As you can see, I have completed the bag part and am now working on the handles. This French Market Bag should be done and felted by the next time you see it.
Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam by Lynda Van Devanter. The author, fresh out of nursing school, joined the army in 1969 and was shipped to Vietnam. When she got there her idealistic view of the war vanished quickly. She worked long hours in cramped, ill-equipped, understaffed operating rooms. She saw friends die. She witnessed the war close-up, operating on soldiers and civilians whose injuries were catastrophic. The first third of the book covered her idyllic life before ‘Nam, and the last third was her life after, when she suffered from PTSD. The middle third, wherein she details what she faced during her year in ‘Nam, was a powerful story of the horrors of war. In every war, medicine has surpassed what it was in the previous war, which meant soldiers that would have died now are saved and sent back home with horrific disabilities. Some of those disabilities, like those exposure to Agent Orange, were not formally acknowledged for years (or decades). The author died in 2002 from her exposure. China Beach was inspired by this book. 5★
Last Call at the Hotel Imperial by Debra Cohen. I have made it to the war years. The writer must have been a fly on the wall during many of the scenes; I marvel at the research she must have done. The leading characters are John Gunther, Vincent “Jimmy” Shean, H.R. Knickerbocker, and Dorothy Thompson, all cub reporters as the book opens. In those tumultuous years between the wars, they landed exclusive interviews with Hitler and Mussolini, Nehru and Gandhi, and helped shape what Americans knew about the world. Along with the worldly reporting are intimate details about each one’s private life. 4★
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. The story is set in early 1960s Harlem and centers on Ray Carney, who owns a furniture store on 125th Street. His father was a small-time criminal, as are many of his friends and relations. Although he is essentially law-abiding, he is not above stocking the occasional piece of furniture or console TV that mysteriously fell off the truck. I went to a convention in La Crosse over the weekend, which gave me ample opportunity to listen. I am about three-quarters of the way through. The story is enjoyable and entertaining and besides being a good novel is also a kind of sociological analysis of Harlem society, both legitimate and criminal. 4★
We finished season two of China Beach; now waiting for season three to come into the library.
While we wait for season three of China Beach, we started season six of Outlander. It is such a good show.