Book 594: River Queens – Alexander Watson

Watson reached out to me about this way back in July of 2017, well ahead of publication. Unfortunately, due to an impossible work-life balance and other random crap I only just now got around to reading it.*

This memoir tells the tale of Watson and his partner, Dale, as they purchase, restore and then travel the rivers from Texas to Ohio by boat. It touches on family, friendship, urbanization, and a bit of politics.

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Book 538: Quakeland – Kathryn Miles

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one when the publisher reached out to me about a few books way back in August of last year.* Quakeland caught my eye for the very reason any of those disaster movies (TwisterThe Day After TomorrowSan Andreas, Volcano, etc.) speak out to millions of people every year. We’re fascinated by the potential destruction and yet completely disbelieving that it could happen to us. Fun fact, it can and will at some point (maybe not the Volcano story line) but according to this and a lot of scientists earthquakes could!

The book started off a little slow after a powerful forward, but picked up pace the further I got into it, which was weird because the amount of science seemed to increase and I usually fall asleep when books get too technical.

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Books, The Classics Club

Book 299: The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of WrathI did it. I completed a John Steinbeck novel!

Honestly, I think even in high school I only partially read The Red Pony and The Pearl (or maybe I did actually read them, because they’re both novellas and pretty short), but the point is I finished a BIG one! In addition to it being a “full” Steinbeck novel, it counts toward both my Classic Club list (32/100) and as part of my 30 x 30 list!

I’ve always felt a little guilty at the lack of American authors on my read list and not having Steinbeck seems like a big omission. I’ve read many American authors, mostly before I started this blog, but Steinbeck is one of those which really is synonymous with America. He is America, a very specific swath and very specific time period of America, but he is America none-the-less.

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Book 60: Amerika (The Man Who Disappeared) – Franz Kafka

The American dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in this Franz Kafka novel.

As an introduction to Kafka I thought it was decently well written and had an interesting story line. I can only imagine the improvements of the work had Kafka finished the novel in his lifetime and had time to rewrite and edit the novel. As it is the novel has a few interesting quirks pointed out in the preface, like a bridge between Boston (whoop) and New York City, and what appear as the Rocky Mountains just outside of New York City (between NYC and Oklahoma). I’m definitely interested in reading more of Kafka. I have The Metamorphosis on my Kindle, so maybe I’ll get to it soon.

Without knowing how Kafka meant to end the book, one can only surmise on the lessons the novel appears to teach. From the hardship of his forced immigration to the US by his parents, to the abandonment by his uncle, and the indentured servitude to his friends, the protagonist, Karl Rossman has a tough time in America.

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