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Book Discussion Group

The History Discussion Group

Date: September 30, 2018                     Group Leader Charles Vietzen

Day: Sunday

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Title: Isabella

Author: Kirsten Downey

Description


An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile, the controversial Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history.

In 1474, when most women were almost powerless, twenty-three-year-old Isabella defied a hostile brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and León. Her subsequent feats were legendary. She ended a twenty-four-generation struggle between Muslims and Christians, forcing North African invaders back over the Mediterranean Sea. She laid the foundation for a unified Spain. She sponsored Columbus’s trip to the Indies and negotiated Spanish control over much of the New World. She also annihilated all who stood against her by establishing a bloody religious Inquisition that would darken Spain’s reputation for centuries. 

Whether saintly or satanic, no female leader has done more to shape our modern world. Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella’s influence. Using new scholarship, Downey’s luminous biography tells the story of this brilliant, fervent, forgotten woman, the faith that propelled her through life, and the land of ancient conflicts and intrigue she brought under her command.

About the Author


KIRSTIN DOWNEY is the author of The Woman Behind the New Deal, which was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles TimesBook Prize. She was one of the writers of the New York Times bestselling Report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and was previously a staff writer at the Washington Post, where she shared in the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. She was a Neiman fellow at Harvard University in 2001. She is married to Neil Warner Averitt, and together they have five children.

 

 

Isabella: The Warrior Queen Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780307742162
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - November 10th, 2015

The History Discussion Group

Date: November 25, 2018              Group Leader: Erin McLaughlin

Day: Sunday

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Title: A Higher Call

Author: Adam Makos & Larry Alexander

$17.00

Description


A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies”* emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times and international bestseller. 

December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger...

What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”

The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

About the Author


Hailed as “a masterful storyteller” by the Associated PressAdam Makos is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Higher Call, and the critically-acclaimed Devotion. Inspired by his grandfathers’ service, Adam chronicles the stories of American veterans in his trademark fusion of intense human drama and fast-paced military action, securing his place “in the top ranks of military writers,” according to the Los Angeles Times. In the course of his research, Adam has flown a WWII bomber, accompanied a Special Forces raid in Iraq, and journeyed into North Korea in search of an MIA American airman.  

Larry Alexander is the author of the New York Times bestselling biography Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers. He is also the author of Shadows in the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II and In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company’s Battlefieldswith Sgt. Forrest Guth. Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for nearly twenty years and has won numerous state-level awards for excellence in journalism.

 

 

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780425255735
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Caliber - May 6th, 2014

The History Discussion Group

Date: 10/28/18       Group Leader: Gloria Waber

Day: Sunday

Time: 2:00-4:00 PM

Title: Killers of the Flower Moon

Author: David Grann

$16.95

Description


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   -  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST 
New York Times Notable Book
From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history


            In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
            Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. 
            As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

About the Author


David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, which was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He is also the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. His work has garnered several honors for outstanding journalism, including a George Polk Award.

 

 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307742483
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

Meeting of the G. K. Chesterton Society of Metropolitan Chicago

Title: The Ballad of St. Barbara and Other Poems

Author: G. K. Chesterton

                                                                   

                                                              Image result for Holy Card for St. Barbara

 

The Ballad of Saint Barbara

G.K. Chesterton


(St Barbara is the patron saint of gunners, and those in danger
of sudden death.
)

When the long grey lines came flooding upon Paris in the plain,
We stood and drank of the last free air we never could taste again:
They had led us back from the lost battle, to halt we knew not where
And stilled us: and our gaping guns were dumb with our despair.
The grey tribes flowed for ever from the infinite lifeless lands
And a Norman to a Breton spoke, his chin upon his hands.

"There was an end to Ilium; and an end came to Rome;
And a man plays on a painted stage in the land that he calls home;
Arch after arch of triumph, but floor beyond falling floor,
That lead to a low door at last; and beyond that is no door."

And the Breton to the Norman spoke, like a small child spoke he,
And his sea-blue eyes were empty as his home beside the sea:
"There are more windows in one house than there are eyes to see,
There are more doors in a man's house, but God has hid the key:
Ruin is a builder of windows; her legend witnesseth
Barbara, the saint of gunners, and a stay in sudden death."

It seemed the wheel of the world stood still an instant in its turning,
More than the kings of the earth that turned with the turning of Valmy mill:
While trickled the idle tale and the sea-blue eyes were burning,
Still as the heart of a whirlwind the heart of the world stood still.

"Barbara the beautiful
Had praise of tongue and pen:
Her hair was like a summer night
Dark and desired of men.

Her feet like birds from far away
That linger and light in doubt;
And her face was like a window
Where a man's first love looked out.

Her sire was master of many slaves,
A hard man of his hands;
They built a tower about her
In the desolate golden lands,

Sealed as the tyrants sealed their tombs,
Planned with an ancient plan,
And set two windows in the tower
Like the two eyes of a man."

Our guns were set towards the foe; we had no word for firing.
Grey in the gateway of St Gond the Guard of the tyrant shone;
Dark with the fate of a falling star, retiring and retiring,
The Breton line went backward and the Breton tale went on.

"Her father had sailed across the sea
For the harbour of Africa
When all the slaves took up their tools
For the bidding of Barbara.

She smote the bare wall with her hand
And bade them smite again;
She poured them wealth of wine and meat
To stay them in their pain.

And cried through the lifted thunder
Of thronging hammer and hod
"Throw open the third window
In the third name of God."

Then the hearts failed and the tools fell,
And far towards the foam,
Men saw a shadow on the sands
And her father coming home."

Speak low and low, along the line the whispered word is flying,
Before the touch, before the time, we may not loose a breath:
Their guns must mash us to the mire and there be no replying,
Till the hand is raised to fling us for the final dice to death.

""There were two windows in your tower,
Barbara, Barbara,
For all between the sun and moon
In the lands of Africa.

Hath a man three eyes, Barbara,
A bird three wings,
That you have riven roof and wall
To look upon vain things?"

Her voice was like a wandering thing
That falters yet is free,
Whose soul has drunk in a distant land
Of the rivers of liberty.

"There are more wings than the wind knows
Or eyes that see the sun
In the light of the lost window
And the wind of the doors undone.

For out of the first lattice
Are the red lands that break
And out of the second lattice
Sea like a green snake,

But out of the third lattice
Under low eaves like wings
Is a new corner of the sky
And the other side of things."

It opened in the inmost place an instant beyond uttering,
A casement and a chasm and a thunder of doors undone,
A seraph's strong wing shaken out the shock of its unshuttering,
That split the shattered sunlight from a light beyond the sun.

"Then he drew sword and drave her
Where the judges sat and said,
"Caesar sits above the gods,
Barbara the maid.

Caesar hath made a treaty
With the moon and with the sun,
All the gods that men can praise
Praise him every one.

There is peace with the anointed
Of the scarlet oils of Bel,
With the Fish God, where the whirlpool
Is a winding stair to hell,

With the pathless pyramids of slime,
Where the mitred negro lifts
To his black cherub in the cloud
Abominable gifts,

With the leprous silver cities
Where the dumb priests dance and nod,
But not with the three windows
And the last name of God.""

They are firing, we are falling, and the red skies rend and shiver us,
Barbara, Barbara, we may not loose a breath -
Be at the bursting doors of doom, and in the dark deliver us,
Who loosen the last window on the sun of sudden death.

"Barbara the beautiful
Stood up as queen set free,
Whose mouth is set to a terrible cup
And the trumpet of liberty.

"I have looked forth from a window
That no man now shall bar,
Caesar's toppling battle-towers
Shall never stretch so far.

The slaves are dancing in their chains,
The child laughs at the rod,
Because of the bird of the three wings,
And the third face of God."

The sword upon his shoulder
Shifted and shone and fell,
And Barbara lay very small
And crumpled like a shell."

What wall upon what hinges turned stands open like a door?
Too simple for the sight of faith, too huge for human eyes,
What light upon what ancient way shines to a far-off floor.
The line of the lost land of France or the plains of Paradise?

"Caesar smiled above the gods
His lip of stone was curled,
His iron armies wound like chains
Round and round the world,

And the strong slayer of his own
That cut down flesh for grass,
Smiled too, and went to his own tower
Like a walking tower of brass,

And the songs ceased and the slaves were dumb;
And far towards the foam
Men saw a shadow on the sands;
And her father coming home...

Blood of his blood upon the sword
Stood red but never dry.
He wiped it slowly, till the blade
Was blue as the blue sky.

But the blue sky split with a thunder-crack,
Spat down a blinding brand,
And all of him lay black and flat
As his shadow on the sand."

The touch and the tornado; all our guns give tongue together,
St Barbara for the gunnery and God defend the right,
They are stopped and gapped and battered as we blast away the weather,
Building window upon window to our lady of the light.

For the light is come on Liberty, her foes are falling, falling,
They are reeling, they are running, as the shameful years have run,
She is risen for all the humble, she has heard the conquered calling,
St Barbara of the Gunners, with her hand upon the gun.

They are burst asunder in the midst that eat of their own flatteries,
Whose lip is curled to order as its barbered hair is curled...
Blast of the beauty of sudden death, St Barbara of the batteries!
That blow the new white window in the wall of all the world.

For the hand is raised behind us, and the bolt smites hard
Through the rending of the doorways, through the death-gap of the Guard,
For the cry of the Three Colours is in Conde and beyond
And the Guard is flung for carrion in the graveyard of St Gond,
Through Mondemont and out of it, through Morin marsh and on
With earthquake of salutation the impossible thing is gone,
Gaul, charioted and charging, great Gaul upon a gun,
Tip-toe on all her thousand years and trumpeting to the sun:
As day returns, as death returns, swung backwards and swung home,
Back on the barbarous reign returns the battering-ram of Rome.
While that the east held hard and hot like pincers in a forge,
Came like the west wind roaring up the cannon of St George,
When the hunt is up and racing over stream and swamp and tarn
And their batteries, black with battle, hold the bridgeheads of the Marne,
And across the carnage of the Guard, by Paris in the plain,
The Normans to the Bretons cried and the Bretons cheered again...
But he that told the tale went home to his house beside the sea
And burned before St Barbara, the light of the windows three,
Three candles for an unknown thing, never to come again,
That opened like the eye of God on Paris in the plain.

Meeting of the G. K. Chesterton Society of Metropolitan Chicago

Title: Brideshead Revisited

Author: Evelyn Waugh

 

Description


The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece-a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire.

Through the story of Charles Ryder's entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.

 

About the Author


Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), whom Time called "one of the century's great masters of English prose," wrote several widely acclaimed novels as well as volumes of biography, memoir, travel writing, and journalism. Three of his novels, A Handful of Dust, Scoop, and Brideshead Revisited, were selected by the Modern Library as among the 100 best novels of the twentieth century.

Brideshead Revisited Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316216456
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - December 11th, 2012

Meeting of the G. K. Chesterton Society of Metropolitan Chicago

Title: Joan of Arc

Author: Hilaire Belloc

 

Description


One of the most artful narratives ever written concerning the life of The Maid. Hilaire Belloc wrote with a familiarity only possessed by those with an intimate knowledge of the facts. A Catholic, of both French and English descent, Belloc clearly had an emotional affinity for this episode in the long struggle between the two nations.

About the Author


Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) was one of the great Catholic authors and historians of the twentieth century. Born in France, but raised in Great Britain, he later became a naturalised British subject and served in Parliament from 1906 to 1910. After his brief political career Belloc continued his writing, commenting on a large variety of topics throughout his lifetime.

 

 

Joan of Arc Cover Image
$5.25
ISBN: 9780991560608
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Cavalier Books - March 2nd, 2013

History Discussion Group (Clio's Chroniclers Meeting)

History Discussion Group Meeting

Titlle: Astoria: Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American Frontier

Author: Peter Stark

Date: July 29, 2018

Day: Sunday

Time: 2:00 PM

 

Description


In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeletons in the ZaharaAstoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation's landscape and its global standing.

Six years after Lewis and Clark's began their journey to the Pacific Northwest, two of the Eastern establishment's leading figures, John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson, turned their sights to founding a colony akin to Jamestown on the West Coast and transforming the nation into a Pacific trading power. Author and correspondent for Outside magazine Peter Stark recreates this pivotal moment in American history for the first time for modern readers, drawing on original source material to tell the amazing true story of the Astor Expedition.

Unfolding over the course of three years, from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship in the wilderness and at sea. Of the more than one hundred-forty members of the two advance parties that reached the West Coast—one crossing the Rockies, the other rounding Cape Horn—nearly half perished by violence. Others went mad. Within one year, the expedition successfully established Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River. Though the colony would be short-lived, it opened provincial American eyes to the potential of the Western coast and its founders helped blaze the Oregon Trail.

 

 

Astoria: Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American Frontier Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062218308
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - February 10th, 2015

Mystery Writers of America (Midwest Region) Meeting

Mystery Writers of America (Midwest Region) Meeting

        Image result for Mystery Writers of America logo

    Date September 16, 2018

      Day: Sunday

       Time: 12:00 to 2:00PM

Change in Schedule.

Guest Speaker:  Julia Borcherts of Kaye Publicity

Topic: How to Be an Author on Social Media.

Here's more about Julia:
Julia Borcherts is the publicity manager for Kaye Publicity, a literary and entertainment PR firm. She received her M.F.A in Creative Writing and her M.A. in the Teaching of Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Before joining Kaye Publicity, she was a daily columnist for several Chicago Tribune publications and a frequent contributor to Time Out Chicago, Windy City Times and many other media outlets. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago and in the Masters in Written Communications program at National Louis University and regularly speaks at conferences and workshops on the topics of publicity, social media and author branding

 

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