The Evergreen reference desk’s most prolific reader suggests these titles – one fiction and one non-fiction – for readers interested in something new.
My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliviera
This haunting novel of midwife Mary Sutter who aspires to be a surgeon on the cusp of our Civil War stays riveting throughout. Fast-paced and well-researched, this novel provides much information about the gritty details of living conditions, the generals, the medicine, and the plight of the aspiring professional women during that time.
We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren
State Department team leader Van Buren describes the many projects we tried to force on the Iraqis from a poultry-processing plant or a dairy plant – both costing millions, and neither workable in a country with no refrigeration. The things that worked well, medical help for women, were abandoned and unfinanced as another wacky idea came along. Darkly humorous about the living conditions, the food, and the danger, it presents a completely different view of our nation-building than the press accounts as currently reported.