December did not suck entirely. I was able to run 97 miles out of the 97 promised. The in-law holiday party was a lot of fun and I got to most of the books on my list:
- Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming (DNF)
- Rainbow’s End by Lauren St. John
- Paul Revere and the World He Lived in by Esther Forbes
- On the Ocean by Pytheas (translated by Christina Horst Roseman)
- Geometry of Love by Margaret Visser
- Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre .
- River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (AB)
- Tu by Patricia Grace – I read this in four days because it was due back at a library that didn’t allow renewals.
- Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright. I listened to this on audio on my lunch breaks. It was a good way to escape for a little while each day. Confessional: I didn’t finish the whole thing but since it is a continuation of the series it doesn’t matter.
- Yoga for Athletes by Ryanne Cunningham – this was an October book that took me a little time to review because I was too busy using it to run!
- Disaster Falls: a family story by Stephane Gerson
St. John, Lauren. rainbow’s end: A Memoir of Childhood, War and an African Farm. New York: Scribner, 2007.
Reason read: December 4th used to be Shangani Day in Rhodesia.
Rainbow’s End is a 1000 acre farm and game preserve in Rhodesia. In the fall of 1978 eleven year old Lauren St. John moves there with her family. This is during the dying, yet bloody, last stages of the Rhodesian Bush War. Rainbow’s End isn’t just a sprawling farm, it is also the scene of a bloody massacre less than a year earlier. The blood evidence still lingered.
Because Lauren’s coming of age years coincided with her time on the Rainbow’s End farm and the end of Rhodesia her memoir is part teenage angst biography and part commentary on the the war and its politics. Was it about Communism versus democracy or black against white? What makes Rainbow’s End so interesting is Lauren’s perception of being white in newly formed Zimbabwe after Independence and the realization she has been loving a war for all the wrong reasons.
There is no doubt of Rhodesia’s untamed beauty.
A line I liked, “Then I relocated to the sofa where I had my new books fanned around me like lives waiting to be lived” (p 48). As an aside, I can remember doing that same thing when I was a kid. I’d put the books in a row and pick one based on where I wanted to go next.
Author fact: St. John has also written a few sports books. None of them are on my list.
Book trivia: rainbow’s end includes a smattering of non-personal (if you don’t count the cover) photographs and a couple of maps. Interestingly enough, one of the maps includes “hippo pools.” Oh goody.
Nancy said: nada. She just listed it for the chapter.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Zipping Through Zambia/Roaming Rhodesia” (p 269).
December is going to be a crazy month. I need to run 93 miles. I will be hosting my in-law’s Holiday party for the first time. I’m going to the Christmas Eve Patriots Game. What else? Oh. The books!
- Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming ~ in honor of December being the best time to visit Peru
- Rainbow’s End by Lauren St. John ~ in honor of Shangani Day in Rhodesia.
- Paul Revere and the World He Lived in by Esther Forbes ~ in honor of Revere’s birth month (I’m guessing since he was baptized on January first.)
- On the Ocean by Pytheas (translated by Christina Horst Roseman) ~ in honor of finally finding a copy of this book!
- Geometry of Love by Margaret Visser ~ in honor of Rome’s Saturnalia Solstice.
- Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre ~ in honor of December being the best time to visit India.
- Tu by Patricia Grace ~ in honor of New Zealand being discovered in December.
- Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright ~ in honor of finishing the series started in September in honor of Enright’s birth month.
- Yoga for Athletes by Ryanne Cunningham ~ for LibraryThing