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Marie de Rabutin-Chantal

There are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night.

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Marie de Rabutin-Chantal

October 20, 2017

I do not like getting up in the dark. I clearly remember the days when we used to change the clocks the third weekend in October; I need the hour back that we gave up last March. NOW! Is anyone with me?

Last weekend was a wonderful bookish blur. Ron Chernow’s sold-out keynote presentation at the Morristown Festival of Books on Friday night was fabulous. For anyone who thinks that history is dry, spend an evening listening to Chernow and your mind will be changed. His talk was full of anecdotes about Ulysses S. Grant, those of him as a soldier, a general, a husband, a father, a leader and a president. He moved from one story to the next at a brisk pace that had the audience riveted. A copy of his book, GRANT, was part of the ticket price, and it was lovely to see attendees weighing the heft of the book, which clocks in at 1,104 pages, with reverence. My husband started reading it as soon as we got home. The crowd was completely engaged, and he was impressed with the questions that were asked. I agree. Clearly people were passionate about the subject matter --- one woman had been touring a number of sites where Grant had lived and traveled; another was related to a historical figure mentioned in the book. In fact, Chernow said that the questions brought up some nice memories from his research with what they referenced. Lovely evening. And he was very available to speak with guests at the sponsor party.

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Liv Constantine, author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

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Elin Hilderbrand, author of Winter Solstice

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Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than 10,000 women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history.

Amy Tan, author of Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir

By delving into vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, Amy Tan gives evidence to all that made it both unlikely and inevitable that she would become a writer. She explores shocking truths uncovered by family memorabilia --- the real reason behind an IQ test she took at age six, why her parents lied about their education, mysteries surrounding her maternal grandmother --- and, for the first time publicly, writes about her complex relationship with her father, who died when she was 15.

John Sandford, author of Deep Freeze: A Virgil Flowers Novel

Virgil Flowers knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt --- and, as it turned out, homicidal --- local school board, and now the town is back in view with more alarming news: A woman has been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There’s a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of 20 years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, so Virgil begins to dig into 20 years’ worth of traumas, feuds and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him.

October 20, 2017 - November 3, 2017

Tell us about the books you’ve finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from October 20th to November 3rd at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of IN THE MIDST OF WINTER by Isabel Allende and TWO KINDS OF TRUTH: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly.

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October 20, 2017, 224 voters