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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

V.V.B.C. Killing LIncoln by Bill O'Reilly

Vicarious Virtual Book Club
Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly

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For those of you who are new to the Vicarious Virtual Book Club, or V.V.B.C: This is an online "book club" that follows the reading selections of my "real" Sisterchicks book club. This group allows anyone to have a book club experience without actually having to GO to book club! You can enjoy the books, the discussions, and sharing comments, wherever you are--no traveling to meetings! If you want to read the blog while in your pajamas, no worries! No membership requirements! No rules! The V.V.B.C. is simply an opportunity to share your love of books with like-minded individuals. Anyone is welcome to join in.

The Sister Chicks will choose our books for the next six months in May. Feel free to post your book suggestions, and I will share them with the group. I never post any discussion about the books for the Virtual Book Club until after my "real" book club has discussed the book on the third Monday of each month. 

Even though our group of ten Sisterchicks was smaller than usual, Pam led us in a stimulating discussion about Killing Lincoln. Several people mentioned enjoying the fast pace and short chapters of the book.

We figured that Bill O'Reilly's background as a history major enhanced the book, and made it more interesting. We also felt that for the most part, the book gave a "fair and balanced" view of the events surrounding Lincoln's assassination.

Sandy had Googled about the well-publicized controversy surrounding errors in the book, in anticipation of Pam's question on the subject. Sandy shared her research. The book's co-author apparently did most of the research. Bill O'Reilly maintains that the errors were minor, were corrected in subsequent printings.

National Geographic is making a two hour movie of Killing Lincoln. It should premiere early next year.

The majority of us were not well-versed on Abraham Lincoln's Presidency, and the conspiracy theories put forth in the book. We agreed that the conspiracies, as well as personal perspectives taken from diaries, made the read more engrossing.

We discussed the role of President Lincoln's wife in the book; how she must have felt guilt because her husband was at the theater at her urging. We talked about how difficult Mary Todd Lincoln's life must have been. She lost three children and endured the Civil War, with her husband serving as President. We also discussed the difficulties of her life after her husband died.

The detailed description of the actual assassination, and the young doctors heroic attempts to save Lincoln, intrigued most of us. We have several medical professionals in our group!

We talked about the scope of injury and death in the Civil War--and the illnesses that killed so many. We lamented the conditions in prisoner of war camps, such as Andersonville, and the tragedy of those soldiers whose families never knew what happened to their loved ones.

We thought it was interesting reading about officers who trained together at West Point. The officers knew their opponents strategies, strengths, and weaknesses, since they had fought together in Mexico prior to the Civil War. Ultimately, friends found themselves on opposite sides in the Civil War--or "the Silver War," as Pam's son thought it was called, when he was in 4th grade.

My husband and I listened to the Audible version of Killing LIncoln, read by Bill O'Reilly, while we were traveling. It was very well done. We both enjoyed it, EXCEPT for my extreme annoyance at Bill O'Reilly's continued mispronunciation of "Calvary" when the correct word for mounted troops is "cavalry!" I played a brief audio clip for the book club, so they would understand why I was chagrinned by Bill O'Reilly's use of the wrong word throughout several chapters of battlefield narrative.

I found it almost impossible to believe that someone who promotes a new vocabulary word each broadcast would make such an elementary mistake! I sent Bill O'Reilly a pithy comment about the matter via his website. To date, I have not received a response.

One person had not quite finished the book, but planned to. Someone joked that we wouldn't give the ending away to her in our discussion! In a slightly unusual unanimous vote, everyone at book club enjoyed Killing Lincoln.

I recommend Killing Lincoln for anyone who'd like to learn more about President Lincoln's assassination. The Sisterchicks are looking forward to the release of Bill O'Reilly's next book: Killing Kennedy, since we all remember that assassination.

(Click on the Audible Links on the right side of the page for discounts on audio books. Click on the link below to order from Amazon.)


  1. I love this idea of a virtual book club. I've been thinking of trying something like this called The Joy Book Club. You have inspired me!

  2. Glad to hear that, Galen! I have read a lot of books over the last few years for book club that I would not have chosen for myself, and have enjoyed all but a few! It has definitely expanded my reading horizons!


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