The Hearts of Men, Nickolas Butler, Harper, March 2017, out now
Nickolas follows his Shotgun Lovesongs with another book on the contemporary American male. And, as an American male, I appreciate the effort.
In this book, Nickolas uses Boy Scout ideals to describe the erosion of higher ideals in our cynical society, an erosion that can foster the worst. As I understand the story, and the stories within, Nickolas reminds us that we are complex, multi-dimensional creations with the ability to do right or wrong. Each man must define himself and his actions. However, striving to live an image of manhood that is not current can lead to a lonely and misunderstood life.
A really good entertaining and thought-provoking, book.
Agent 110: An American Spymaster and the German Resistance in WWII
Scott Miller, Simon & Schuster, out now
A solid non-fiction about Allen Dulles, creator of the OSS office in Switzerland. Dulles ran several agents and was the US contact with various Resistance groups in Germany including military officers who wanted to kill Hitler and surrender. This is a well-written history book recalling the final years of WWII.
Edgar and Lucy, Victor Lodato, St. Martin’s, out now
A dark literary story about the awkward relationship between a distant mother and a sickly, disturbed son whose closest relationship was with his grandmother. As dark as the story is, a sense of wonder of life remains. This book is really different.
Martin Luther, Lyndal Roper, Random House, March 2017
Martin Luther is a good book of history and biography, in fact, I consider it one of the best Luther books I have read.
One does not read this book quickly. The book is 400 pages and includes extensive notes. I particularly appreciated the effort to locate Luther in time and place from his early life to death. The book should satisfy both scholars and lay readers. Remarkable.
Spaceman of Bohemia, Jaroslav Kalfar, Little Brown, March 2017
An interesting SciFi about the first Czech spaceman, Jakub Prochazka, a one-time scientist who has become an astronaut and is sent on a dangerous solo mission to Venus. The book contains heavy political and philosophical thought. The Czech government declares Jakub dead and then has to hide him since he is alive––why? And in space, Jakub discovers a giant spider—real or not real?—with whom he converses about love and second chances, particularly about his wife, Lenka, who he realizes he has neglected. A very “Russian” type of book. Different and enjoyable.