BOOMERBROADcast

Enjoy, laugh, disagree or simply empathize with those who lived life in THE sixties and are now rockin' life in THEIR sixties, and beyond.

Books I’ve read

This is a summary of books I’ve read. It’s meant to be a quick reference in case you’re looking for something interesting to read. For a review of a particular book, go to “Categories” and search under “Book Reviews”. I’ve rated each book on a scale of 1-10 (bad to good) and included a wee bit of description:

Title               Rate

1-10

Author Description
The Charm School 9 Nelson DeMille Espionage set in 1988 American Embassy in Moscow. Captured Americans from Vietnam war held prisoner for more than two decades to train Russian spies.
Running with Scissors 8 Augusten Burroughs Auto-bio not for faint of heart. Humorous but graphic descriptions of unorthodox upbringing.
Madam Bovary 8 Gustave Flaubert Disillusioned bride’s shenanigans have sad consequences in 19th century France.
Yes, Please 5 Amy Poehler Auto-bio written under duress.
My Brilliant Friend

The Story of a New Name

Those Who Leave & Those Who Stay

The Story of the Lost Child

7 Elena Ferrante 4 books following lives of two different girls in Naples, Italy. First book was slow but essential to understand next three. Growing up in corrupt environment, their struggles and diverging yet parallel paths. Good read for Boomer women to learn about counterparts in another country.
The Nightingale 9 Kristin Hannah Two sisters torn apart by WW2 lead very different lives. One stays home in south of France while the younger one spirits allies through underground routes to safety.
Our Turn 9 Kristine Stewart Gold standard of business advice for women. It’s the book I wish I’d written.
The Big Green Tent 8 Ludmila Ulitskaya Three boys grow into men in Russia during the 50s, 60s, 70s. Very different but parallel lives.
Sixty 6 Ian Brown Globe & Mail columnist chronicles his year of turning sixty. Great writing and humorous in places but overall depressing.
Why Not Me? 7 Mindy Kaling Entertaining auto-bio. Shares perspectives on success while being part of visible minority with non-conformist attitudes and presentation. Fun writing from talented comedienne.
Fear of Dying 5 Erica Jong Fictional account of aging screenwriter. Would have been better if she’d written as non-fiction.
Not Quite Nice 7 Celia Imre British actress/author’s story of living in Nice, France. Lovely read.
February 7 Lisa Moore By Canadian author. Fictional adaptation of true story of sinking of oil rig off Newfoundland in 1970s and its effect on local communities.
The Evening Chorus 6 Helen Humphreys Easy WW2 story about British POW in Germany who studies birds while his wife endures war conditions in England living with her sister and cultivating garden.
Daydreams of Angels 8 Heather O’Neill Adult fairy tales as metaphor for life. Unusual approach with great writing.
Circling The Sun 8 Paula McLain Historical fiction based on colourful life of pilot and provocateur Beryl Markham in Kenya during 1920s and 1930s.
A Paris Affair 6 Tatiana DeRosnay Essays detailing extra-marital affairs in contemporary Paris. Expected better from author of Sarah’s Key.
The Green Road 6 Anne Enright Another depressing Irish family saga about a mother’s regrets.
A Fine Romance 8 Candice Bergen Details her life with husands Louis Malle and Marshall Rose. Good writing, easy read, thoroughly enjoyable.
Title                 Rating Author Description Referred by Date Read
Nothing is True and Everything is Possible 8 Peter Pomerantsev Born in Russia, grew up in U.K. he returns to Russia to work in television and broadcasting. Heard interviewed on Judith Regan Dec. 2014
City of Women 8 David R. Gillham Sigrid lives in WW2 Berlin, married to soldier. Story of ordinary citizens coping, trying to save Jews, etc. Jan. 2015
Into the Blizzard 6 Michael Winter Description of events surrounding massacre of Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel Margaret Dec. 2014
How To Build a Girl 8 Caitlin Moran Fiction. Working class teen leaves school to work as music critic for London publication Best Seller Dec. 2014
Rage for Fame 8 Sylvia Jukes Morris Bio of Clare Booth Luce – Volume I TV Dec 2014
Edge of Eternity 7 Ken Follett Cold War period to fall of Berlin Wall – Book 3 of Trilogy not as good as first two Best seller Nov. 2014
I’ll Drink to That 7 Betty Halbreich Buyer for Bergdorff Goodman Dec. 2014
Elizabeth is Missing 8 Healey Maud Horsham is in her 80s, dealing with dementia Best seller July 2014
Hotel on Place Vendome 7 Paris Ritz Hotel during German occupation of WW2 July 2014
Bonkers 7 Jennifer Saunders Of French & Saunders. Auto-bio. Enjoyed it but would have liked more. July 2014

 

How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying 6 Carol Leifer Advice from stand-up/writer who worked for Letterman, SNL, 40 years in business Guest on Bill Maher June 2014
Tracks 7 Robyn Davidson 24-year-old Australian treks across desert with 4 camels in 1980. Globe & Mail June 2014
I See You Made an Effort 6 Annabelle Gurwich Humourist recounts her observations on life. Not as god as I expected. She was on Bill Maher April 2014
Bad Monkey 7 Carl Hiaasen Florida Cop receives dismembered arm and searches for behind the scenes criminal. Keith April 2014
Orphan Train 6 Christina Baker Kline 90-year-old woman who was one of orphans sent to Minnesota in 11920s and how her life parallels contemporary teenager. April 2014
The Invention of Wings 8 Sue Monk Kidd Slavery in southern U.S. in 1800s February 2014
The Goldfinch 8 Donna Tartt Theo’s Mother is killed in museum bombing. He joins no-good father, meets Boris, life ensues. Best seller March 2014
Still Life with Breadcrumbs 7 Anna Quindlen Photog Rebecca Winter moves to rural cabin, discovers life Best seller March 2014
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake 8 Anna Quindlen Perspectives on life at 60. Bit heavy on motherhood but lots of good philosophy No one January 2014
Ali in Wonderland 6 Ali Wentworth Autobio of actress/satirist. Married to George Stephanopolous No one January 2014
Title              

Rating

Author Description Referred by Date Read
Baby Boom

9

P.J. O’Rourke Humourous look at how our generation became what it is. Wonderful read. Magazine January 2014
The Husband’s Secret

7

Liane Moriarty Set in contemporary Australia. Cast of female characters coping with life’s events. Gift January 2014
Road Ends

8

Mary Lawson Great book by Canadian author. 7 brothers & 1 sister in New Liskeard area between 1966 and 1969 Best seller January 2014
Lean In

7

Sheryl Sandberg Business advice for women. Best seller December 2013
Empress Dowager

8

Jung Chang Bio of last Empress of China. Great read with incredible research. Heard her speak December 2013
David & Goliath

7

Malcolm Gladwell Review of how the little guy often rises above adversity – dispelling myth of formula for success. Best seller December 2013
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls

6

David Sedaris Not one of his best but always enjoy his style. Still don’t get the connection with Diabetes in the title. Best seller November 2013
When God Was a Rabbit

8

Sarah Winman Brother and sister growing up in Cornwall England. Parts of adult lives spent in New York. Not about religion or rabbits. Quirky good read. Really enjoyed it. Terry November 2013
Letters From Skye

8

Jessica Brockmole Quick easy read. A bit sappy but loved it. Series of letters exchanged between Scottish poet and American during WW1. October 2013
The Supercharged Hormone Diet

9

Dr. Natasha Turner Self-help non-fiction. Naturopathic approach to managing hormone-related health issues. Comprehensive reference book. Maryse September 2013
Maxine

5

Claire Wilkshire Newfie author. Friend dies of cancer, befriends neighbour boy, writing novel. Boring. Didn’t finish. Globe & Mail July 2013
Unless

7

Carol Shields Not much happens but beautifully written. Reta Winter is a writer whose daughter drops out of life and begs at Bloor and Bathurst. July 2013
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

7

Betty Smith Francie grows up in poverty in Brooklyn in early 1900s. A classic and good read but more for young female readers. June 2013
Why Be Happy When You Can be Normal

7

Jeanette Winterson Adopted and raised by fervent Pentacostal mother in northern England. Best seller July 2013
Must You Go

6

Antonia Fraser Brit author’s relationship and marriage to playwright Harold Pinter. Written diary-style. Got bored, gave up. July 2013
Silver Star

8

Jeannette Walls Liz and Bean are abandoned by their mother; go to West Virginia, stay with Uncle Tinsley Went to her book launch June 2013
The Unlikely Pilgrammage of Harold Fry

6

Rachel Joyce Harold walks from southern England to north to visit dying friend. Gave up – boring – but may give it another try sometime. Susan June 2013
She may Not Leave

7

Faye Weldon Yuppie London couple hires  Polish au pair who usurps lady of the house June 2013
All That Is

8

James Salter WW2 vet Philip Bowman becomes NY book editor, marries wrong lady, has series of affairs Newspaper June 2013
The Binding Chair

7

Chinese woman with bound feet leaves first “husband”, works in brothel, marries Jewish Brit in Shanghai, gains culture, moves to Europe Terry – Riverwood library May 2013
Slaughterhouse Five

6

Kurt Vonnegut WW2 story – wanted to read something by this author On Kindle April 2013
Night

7

Elie Wiesel Oprah recommendation. Description of trip to concentration camp during WW2 On Kindle April 2013
The Book Thief

6

Markus Zusak A bit plodding but not bad. German family hides Jewish man during early years of WW2 On Kindle May 2013
1984

2

George Orwell Gave it a try – don’t like science fiction It’s a classic
The Bedwetter

6

Sarah Silverman Contemporary comic/tv writer. Rather self-serving and not all that interesting Kindle April 2012
Country Girl – A Memoir

6

Edna O’Brien Irish Author who lived swinging 60s lifestyle in London. First book was burned and banned in Ireland. Could have gone into lots more detail – left out a lot of good stuff Magazines May 2013
Unbroken

9

Laura Hillenbrand Bio of Louis Zampolini,1936  olympic runner captured by Japanese in WW2. Great read on Kindle, saw him on TV documentary April 2013
Middlesex

9

Jeffrey Eugenides Bio of hermaphrodite growing up in Detroit. Slow start but got really good. Terry March 2013
On The Road

7

Jack Kerouac A classic – a bit rambling, very interesting look at early Beat generation in 40s on Kindle Feb 2013
Just Kids

7

Patti Smith Autobio. Interesting read. Rock star/artist from 60s, 70s. Companion of Robert Maplethorpe in early years on Kindle Feb 2013
Me Talk Good One Day

7

David Sedaris Not his best but very good. Dealing with learning French on Kindle Jan 2013
Poisonwood Bible

8

Barbara Kingsolver Family of missionaries in Congo in 1960s written in voices of wife and daughters. Didn’t expect to like it but loved it. Perry Feb 2013
A Surrey State of Affairs

7

Ceri Radford First novel by Brit Ceri Radford. Blog in voice like Hyacinthe Bucket. Funny Mag Nov 2012
Are You Somebody

8

Nuala O’Failan Memoir of Irish Journalist Oct 2012
Almost There

8

Nuala O’Failan Memoir Oct 2012
Outside The Box: The Life and Legacy of Writer Mona  Gould

8

Maria Meindl Bio by her granddaughter.  Life in St. Thomas, Port Stanley, Toronto Bronie Nov 2012
Cutting For Stone

8

Abraham Verghese Twins Marion and Shiva are Ethopian doctors abandoned as babies by their surgeon father and nun mother. Joanne Rose Oct 2012
Winter of the World

8

Ken Follett Part 2 of Trilogy 1933 to 1949. Sept/Oct 12
Auditioning

8

Barbara Walters Autobiography Gail’s book Sept. 2012
How to be a Woman

9

Caitlin Moran Feminist. British Times’ columnist. 35 years old. Great Stuff. My kind of book. Best seller August 2012
Paper Shadows

8

Wayson Choy Memoir of growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown in the 40s and 50s. He was teacher/mentor at Humber August 2012
Bachelor Brothers Bed & Breakfast

9

Bill Richardson (CBC) Wonderful literate quick read about twin bachelors in their 50s who run a Spartan B&B for bibliophiles on Vancouver Island. One of the ladies on Paris trip July 2012
Dragon Seed

6

Pearl S. Buck Life of farming family in China during WW2. Written in old-style language biblical style. July 2012
The Winter Palace

9

Eva Stachniak Historical fiction of life of Russia’s Catherine The Great from viewpoint of female palace “spy” She’s author of one of my Humber courses June 2012
It’s a Brad World

7

Brad Goreski Bio – really liked it – MaryAnne’s gay nephew who is a stylist-to-the-stars June 2012
Ship of Brides

7

Jojo Moyes War brides from Australia on board ship to England in 1946 to meet their soldier husbands Perry McEwen June 2012
Why Men Lie

6

Lyndon MacIntyre Basically a sequel to The Bishop’s Man. Character study of Cape Breton’ers living between Toronto and Cape Breton. Left a lot of loose ends – OK but not great Current Canadian Best Seller June 2012
Anna Karenina

7

Leo Tolstoy Russian middle class prior to revolution. Difficult language translation, interesting characters. I thought it was like an extended Harlequin. Beth McEwen May 2012
These Foolish Things

9

Deborah Moggach Read it first about 6 years ago and just re-read. FABULOUS! About retired Brits unable to get seniors’ accommodation in UK moving to India. Book is ‘way better than movie! Terry April 2012
The Age of Innocence

8

Edith Wharton Newland Archer marries May Welland after falling in love with Countess Olenska. Tale of social restrictions and demands April 2012
Hotel at Bitter and Sweet

9

Jamie Ford Two young people affected by internment of Japanese Americans in Seattle in WW2 April 2012
The Time in Between

9

Maria Deunas Young Spanish seamstress marries rogue, moves to Morocco, is cheated, becomes spy in WW2. Xmas present from George March 2012
Bride of New France

6

Suzanne Desrochers 17th century orphans transported from France to Quebec as wives/mothers Elle Canada Feb 2012
Super Sad True Love Story

2 Gave up

Gary Shteyngart Jewish guy and Asian may-december romance.  Futuristic sci-fi Heard him interviewed on radio Feb 2012
How Georgia Became O’Keeffe – Lessons on the Art of Living

7

Karen Karbo Bio with some philosophy thrown in. Dec. 2011
Steve Jobs

9

Walter Isaacson Business Case Study – extremely worthwhile read. Gift from Geo Jan 2012
Women on Fire

6

Debbie Phillips 20 women share life secrets – a bit preachy and self-serving but got a few quotes Dec. 2011
Falling Backwards

8

Jann Arden Autobio about first 30 years of her life – growing up in Alberta Nov. 2011
The Late Show

8

Helen Gurley Brown Written 20 years ago about issues related to aging – she was 70 when she wrote it Re-readOct 2011
Little Comrades

10

Laurie Lewis Autobiography of growing up in western Canada, Toronto and New York as the child of communist parents. Saw author on Canada a.m. and Macleans. She stayed at Margaret’s B&B in Stratford and gave me signed copy August 2011
Russian Winter

7

Russian ballerina auctions her jewellery in her old age, bringing back memories of earlier events. July 2011
Sarah’s Key

9

Tatiana De Rosnay Sarah locks her 4-yr old brother in a cupboard when the Nazis raid their Paris apartment to deport them. July 2011
Wait For Me

9

Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire bio May 2011
Star of The Morning

8

KirstenEllis Bio of Lady Hester Stanhope a 19th century female  Lawrence of Arabia – her loves, her political influence, her eccentricities. A dense, historical read. Perry McEwen July 2011
The Bronze Horseman

9

Paullina Simon Love story. Alexander & Tatiana in Leningrad during WW2. Couldn’t put it down. Jennifer HuttSirius radio June 2011
The Moveable Feast

4

Ernest Hemmingway His version of the same time period  as Paris Wife below
The Paris Wife

8

Paula Fictional bio of life of Hadley Richardson, first wife of Ernest Hemmingway in Paris in 1920s Best seller
The Mulberry Tree

7

Bailey’s billionaire husband dies and leaves her a dilapidated old house with secrets. She starts canning business with locals Picked up at Activity Centre Feb 10
Fall of Giants

10

Ken Follett Early 20th century and WWI. April 20111
The Bishop’s Man

9

Lyndon MacIntyre Priest in Cape Breton is Bishop’s hatchet man for priests involved in sexual misconduct. Dec. 10
Secret Daughter

7

Indian woman gives up her baby daughter who is adopted by California doctor couple – father orig from India Sharon Dec 10
Half-Broke Horses

9

Jeannette Walls Prequel to Glass Castle. Bio of horse-loving teacher  Lily Casey Smith, grandmother of Jeannette Walls. Gift from George bought by Sharon Jan 11
The Glass Castle

10

Jeannette Walls Growing up in dysfunctional family and becoming a writer for Newsweek in spite of it all Laurie Locke Sept 10
The Almost Moon

7

Alice Sebold Helen kills her demented old mother by suffocating her. Riverwood library Dec 10
After the Falls

9

Catherine Gildiner Growing up in Buffalo in the 60s. She’s a psychologist. Sequel to Too Close To The Falls – fun read Terry Sept 10
The Invisible Bridge

8

Julie Orringer Begins in 1937 Budapest, goes through war. Oprah mag
Corduroy Mansions

7

Alexander McCall Smith (Canadian) London flats with eccentric residents Easy Living July 2010
The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo

9

Stieg Larsson Lisbeth Salander, savant has affair with Mikael while researching family of Harriet Terry July 2010
The Imperfectionists

9

Tom Rachman Foreign correspondent in English-language newspaper in Rome.  A litany of interesting losers. Macleans and Toro Star Aug 2010
Women Work and the Art of Savoir Faire

10

Mireille Guiliano Business Sense & Sensibility by author of French Women Don’t Get Fat July 2010
Simone de Beauvoir – A Biography

10

Totally engrossing chronology of her life and relationship with Sartre. March 2010
The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

8

Julia Cameron 12-step program for unleashing your creativity – and exercises to get you going June 2010
Floor Sample

8

Julia Cameron Autobiography of her battles with creativity, drugs, alcohol May 2010
The Stone Carvers

9

Jane Urquhart Klara and her brother go to Vimy to carve the monument May 2010
Somewhere Towards The End

4

Diane Athill Issues related to aging Zoomer
The Help

10

Kathryn Stockett Maid, cook & college grad in Mississippi Leslie
That Old Cape Magic

5

Richard Russo University professor and his wife separate. Not as good as Bridge of Sighs. Didn’t finish. Heard him interviewed on radio March 2010
50 Is The New 50Ten Life Lessons for Women in Second Adulthood

6

Suzanne Braun Levine Self-Explanatory MORE magApril 2009 Summer 09
The Bolter

10

Frances Osborne Follows her great-grandmother Lady Idina Sackville through 5 marriages and countless affairs to become notorious in Europe and Africa. MORE mag Jan 10
Book of Negroes

10

Laurence Hill Slave Aminita leaves Africa for U.S. then freed to move to Nova Scotia, back to Africa and U.K. January 2010
Family Tree 9 Carole Cadwalladr Tracing family roots back to Grandmother’s true love, a black guy called Cecil. Doreen, not great mother. From Riverwood Library. Terry read it too. March 2010
Kate Remembered

5

  • Scott Berg
Bio of Katherine Hepburn Didn’t finish it as I wasn’t enjoying it. Trite. Riverwood Library March 2010

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