|A turbulent summer day on Pensacola Beach.|
Here on the Gulf Coast we had sunshiny days interspersed with mighty storms. Tropical Storm Debby and Hurricane Isaac wrecked havoc along our coast. It was an awesome beauty and yet terribly destructive.
Today I wanted to write a blog about the end of summer. I thought about the sugar-white sand of Pensacola Beach, the turquoise water, the gentle gulf breeze. I thought perhaps I could write something light-hearted and fun. But the words wouldn't come. I didn't feel that way about this particular summer.
I selected the above photo, taken on August 27th at Pensacola Beach, which depicts the turmoil of this summer. The sky shows a hint of blue, a possible promise of better days to come. The turbulent surf represents the turmoil, unrest, strife that has occurred around the world all season long.
The books I'm reading lately reflect this sense of turmoil and unrest. This morning I finished Tim Vicary's The Monmouth Summer, which I have to say is an awesome read. It's a novel about the summer of 1685 when the protestant Duke of Monmouth and his followers attempted to depose the papist King James II of England. Frankly, I can't think of a better book to read at this time.
This afternoon I started reading Tim Vicary's The Blood Upon the Rose about Sinn Fein and the IRA in 1919 Ireland. Again, this is a perfect read for these turbulent times.
I'm also reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (the centennial, hardback, library edition of this novel, all 1168 pages, which will take some time). I read this previously, back in my college days, during the tumultuous Vietnam War era. Reading it now, I find different messages in this book. I won't say that I agree or disagree with Ayn Rand's philosophy, only that I find it an essential read for these times.
As usual, I've put together more lists of books. I selected ones that depict the turbulent times of the past and present -- war, strife, a struggle for survival and freedom. The first list is books I've read recently or in the past that I highly recommend. The second list is books of similar themes that I hope to read. Many of the books on the second list grace my bookshelves or Kindles (my old Kindle Keyboard and my new awesome Kindle Fire). When you peruse these lists, I hope that you find some books that you'd like to read. These are listed in no particular order. Most of the books listed are available in eBook format.
My Recommended Reads:
The Monmouth Summer by Tim Vicary
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
The Desert Crucible by Zane Grey
Exodus by Leon Uris
Trinity by Leon Uris
The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West
The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Through a Dark Mist (Robin Hood Trilogy, Bk1) by Marsha Canham
In the Shadow of Midnight (Robin Hood Trilogy, Bk2) by Marsha Canham
The Last Arrow (Robin Hood Trilogy, Bk3) by Marsha Canham
Sons of Liberty by Marie Jakober
Only Call Us Faithful by Marie Jakober
Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen
The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Pretty Birds by Scott Simon
The White by Deborah Larsen
Hawaii by James Michener
Shogun by James Clavell
The Fort by Bernard Cornwell
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
Some books on My To-Be-Read List:
The Blood Upon the Rose by Tim Vicary
Cat and Mouse by Tim Vicary
Shades of Gray by Jessica James
Stone Mountain: The Granite Sentinel by George D. N. Coletti
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
A Town Called Alice by Nevil Shute
On the Beach by Nevil Shute
Where the Mockingbird Sang by David Wilson Atwood
War Brides by Helen Bryan
Far Away Home by Susan Denning
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
The Hope (Bk1) by Herman Wouk
The Glory (Bk2) by Herman Wouk
Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo
The Unknown Soldier by Gerald Seymour
Le Miserables by Victor Hugo
Armageddon by Leon Uris
The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna
I've left a lot of books off these lists, but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment. Once again, please feel free to add suggested reads in the comments below. List books you've read and recommend, ones to be read and even ones you've written yourself. Thank you all in advance for adding to these lists of great reads.