ningerbil (ningerbil) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 90 and 91

90. The Oxford Project, by Stephen G. Bloom and Peter Feldstein. If I absolutely had to pick a favorite book this year, this is it. The concept is so neat! The Oxford Project is a history record/time capsule of a small town in Iowa. In 1984, photographer Peter Feldstein decided to photograph the residents of Oxford. Nothing posed, just had them stand against a plain background. In 2005, he revisted this project, again taking pictures of as many of the residents he could (some had died, and some had moved). Stephen Bloom conducted interviews with the residents who wanted to be interviewed -- and many did. Their thoughts and insights encompass a wide spectrum of thought of living in a small town. They share their past, their dreams and their regrets. Throughout also are pictures of the town itself. This is a large book, a coffee table book, really. There are several pages which fold out. The people are organized by family, and you have several generations at times represented.

91. At Bertram's Hotel, by Agatha Christie. I had seen the television version with Geraldine McEwan, and that had been my favorite televised Miss Marple. I was startled how much the television episode differs from the original book. I enjoyed both, however. Miss Marple goes to the luxurious Bertram's Hotel for a nice holiday, but of course not everyone or everything is as they appear. A clever crime spree, a disappearance and a murder present themselves, and the lively spinster of course has some key pieces to the puzzle. One thing I really like was the character of Chief Inspector Davy. In a lot of detective series, the main character is often portrayed as the one with all the brains with the police and FBI (or equivalent) being window dressing or just plain incompetent. Davy and Marple make a pretty formidable duo.
Tags: award winner, mystery, non-fiction

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