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Risk Return (Return on Investment Book 2)
Aleksandr Voinov
Paul Markun
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace
Patrizia Collard

chalk one up for old white guy authors, this is a winner

Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner is a fantastic writer. He makes me nostalgic for a time I never experienced. He creates real characters and makes you realize that people today are no more sophisticated or complex than past generations. He doesn't resort to easy plot gimmicks and devices, there are no betrayals, no explosions, no trips to Betty Ford. There's just good old fashioned character driven story that is told so well told that I want to eat my book.

End of review.

The rest are just some assorted comments and observations I would like to share.

First, there is reference to $490 savings at 4%. Yes Virginia,there was a time when ordinary passbook savings accounts earned the enviable 4%. (BTW, the author is so literary he spells out four hundred and ninety dollars savings at four percent).

Second, the story features a car called a Marmon which had a V-16 engine (oddly enough, he didn't spell that out), running boards and spare tires on the sides. I'm just enough of a car nerd, I had to google it. Turns out, only 400 of these babies were built from 1931-1933. Victim of the Great Depression.

Third, one of the characters, Sally Morgan is stricken with polio while on a week-long hiking/camping trip. She survives

not a spoiler, we meet her in the first chapter 30 years later

(show spoiler)

 but to debilitating effects. Aside from requiring leg braces and crutches to walk, one of her hands was permanently clenched. Growing up, I had a friend whose mother had the same clenched hand, a skid mark from a bought of childhood polio. This took place in the late 1930's, more than 20 years before polio vaccinations became commonplace. It's so easy to forget the devastating effects of diseases that are nearly wiped out, and with each generation, the reason for vaccinating has become more and more abstract. No wonder an anti-vaxxer movement has emerged, just mix some misinformation with long forgotten diseases, and presto, blissful ignorance. Le sigh.

Lastly, chalk one on for old white-guy authors. My first Wallace Stegner read was Angle of Repose and I really liked it. I even recommended it to my mother who was writing a family history, much like the protagonist. Anyway, it was good and I didn't really think more about the author. Recently, I read Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith and the author references Wallace Stegner writings in several places. Turns out, Stegner isn't just a writer of fiction, but also some non-fics related to the US West and Mormon history. I am intrigued.