1.) Bush Dweller – Essays in Memory of Father James Gray, OSB edited by Donald Ward (Part I and Part II) – The book is a collection of essays on the relationships Benedictine monk, Father James Gray, developed with Canadians near and far during the 30 years he lived as a solitary at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan. While living alone he formed deep friendships with many people. 21 contributed essays. In our restless, often frantic, world the essays remind us of the benefits of time spent over cups of tea considering our spiritual lives.
2.) Becoming Justice Blackmun by Linda Greenhouse – Harry Blackmun was a reserved Minnesota lawyer who happened to be a childhood friend of American Supreme Court Justice, Warren Burger. When nominated to the Supreme Court he was expected to be a solidly conservative justice. Instead, he proved independent and gradually became a strong liberal member of the court.
3.) Hitler’s Empire - How the Nazis Ruled Europe by Mark Mazower – Most of my reading of World War II has been on the battles or the leading figures of the great conflict. In Hitler’s Empire I learned how the Nazis governed their vast territories. More specifically it was frightening to read how they were radically transforming the Slavic lands to the East of Germany. The Nazi ethnic cleansing was dramatic.
1.) One-L by Scott Turow (Guest post and my post) – For the first time as a blogger I had both a guest blogger and a dual review of a book. My son, Michael, and I both wrote about Turow’s book on 1st year law at Harvard in the mid-1970’s. We went on to reflect how our respective experiences in 1st year law compared with Turow.
2.) The Invention of Murder – How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders (Part I and Part II)– An intriguing look at how Victorian England enjoyed murder cases. The rise of modern newspapers was significantly aided by graphic accounts of murders and trials of those accused. The stage was dominated by re-creations of famous cases. The book also examines the origins of crime fiction. Some of the earliest mystery books were inspired by real life cases. Murder became major entertainment in the 1800’s.
3.) Murder in a Cold Climate by Scott Young – In a prolific career as a writer, Young, ventured into mystery fiction with Murder in a Cold Climate. Set in the NWT in the mid-1980’s his sleuth Inspector, Matthew “Matteesie” Kitogitak, is the first Inuit inspector to be a member of the RCMP. Matessiee feels personally challenged to find a killer who shots a friend of Matteesie in front of him on a plane while the friend is being airlifted to a hospital. The murderer flees from the plane on a snowmobile - a Canadian winter appropriate means of flight. Young was also my "Y" post for the Alphabet in Crime Fiction hosted by Kerrie Smith at Mysteries in Paradise.
I had a good year reading in 2012 but lost ground on the TBR piles. They dare not grow in 2013 or I will have no room left on my home office desk.