Saturday, March 17, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
The main adventure happens as Ken (the young American scientist) and the ancient boy he calls Long Toes find themselves depending on each other for minute-by-minute survival in the Kenyan wilderness. Each of them is a mystery who fascinates and terrifies the other.
Meanwhile, Ngili, the young Kenyan scientist, finds himself pulled into family, political responsibilities and conflict that influence the lives and futures of all who live in the nation.
The storyline includes lions, poachers, drug rings, professional back-stabbing, political meltdown, science, business, ethics, international conflict, bigotry, hatred, death, murder, war, sex, friendship, and wonder . . . action-packed. I loved the idea that a piece of earth and early humanity might be preserved through time and was appalled but unsurprised at the ugly sides of our humanity, regardless of evolutionary stage. Perhaps someone will turn this book into a movie. I think it could be done well.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
The author received his Ph.D. from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, but was raised in Egypt. He has taught the New Testament in institutes and seminaries in several countries for 40 years. He is a Middle Eastern Christian, knows the cultures, speaks the languages, and is able to read early Syriac and Aramaic Christian literature about the Gospels.
Monday, March 12, 2018
I was happily surprised to discover that this is the story of New York City at the beginning of the 20th Century. It was a time before U.S. laws that protected laborers, children, and people with disabilities, back when parents could easily prevent their children from going to school, when women and children could fairly easily be sold by their families, when electricity and indoor plumbing were not yet standard amenities, when fire hoses were a recent invention, and when the city was quickly absorbing wilderness lands where early settlers lived.
Coralie’s father owns the Museum of Extraordinary Things; on her tenth birthday, she realizes that she is a living wonder to be displayed. Towering, lanky Eddie (a 25-year-old photo journalist) comes to the city as little Ezekiel, fleeing the Jewish pogroms in Ukraine that left his village and mother as burned ashes. The story brings other memorable characters to life as well, including a hermit and his wolf friend, a Jewish finder of lost love, a wolf man, a beautiful Irish woman who has been burned beyond recognition, and immigrant garment makers who are locked into their workplaces for up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week while being paid wages that keep them on the verge of starvation. The book is an interesting mix of historical truth, a fictional murder mystery, a love story, fascinating descriptions of living and non-living museum wonders, and young people and a city transitioning into new times.
I would have been happiest to read through the pages at a faster pace than my drive times allowed me to listen to the audio version. The version I heard was well read by Judith Light, Grace Gummer, and Zach Appleman. I would not only recommend this book, but I already have urged my husband to listen to the audiobook that I had checked out. I treated myself to a second listen while he enjoyed the unfolding tale for the first time.
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Friday, March 9, 2018
Through these pages, with the assistance of journalist Michele Fitoussi, almost 50-year-old Malika Oufkir (former Moroccan princess) tells about her life.
I’m glad that Malika got to tell her family’s story to the world and that I read it. My heart hurts for humanity that the experiences in the book actually happened.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Friday, March 2, 2018
The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures-Edited with Introduction by Robert Bly, 268 pages
After my initial few seconds of disappointment, I was excited to read such a variety of voices. When I write, I’m certainly inspired by others, and Bly is one poet who inspires me. What a treat, to read his arrangement of poems, to interact with words that inspire him!
The book features poems by authors familiar to me such as Ranier Maria Rilke, Emily Dickinson, and William Butler Yeats, and it also contains old works from Eastern minds (such as Rumi, Lalla, and Hafez) who were new to me. The collection includes selections from more than 30 different poets from different times and lands. Each poem incorporates a concept of soul, a favorite topic of mine. I appreciated the section divisions, Bly’s brief introductions to each one, and the fact that Bly translated many of the poems himself.
I’ve finished the book that now sits with several dog-eared pages to which I intend to return. Don't worry; this one is my own. I didn't deface a library book. I promise.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
I can’t say, however, that I liked the story telling. I think this content could have been told much better, so I'm not interested in reading other historical fiction by Max Byrd. If I am to read anything else about Grant, I'll look for non-fiction.
Friday, February 23, 2018
The former is a precocious child obsessed with Harry Potter, straightforward to the point of adult discomfort with her never-ending questions. She is well-versed with Wikipedia content and experienced in running from children who would physically punish her for being so different.
The latter is a retired surgeon turned grandmother who does and says exactly what she likes when she likes, very little of it socially acceptable.
Grandmother and Elsa survive real-world "idiots" through fairy tale worlds Grandmother has created . . . until Grandmother dies . . . until Elsa is left with last missions from Grandmother that bring adventure and new perspectives of the real world, of cherished fairy tale lands, and even of Grandmother herself.
This book was written by a Swedish author and takes place in Sweden. It's packed with dialogue, told through Elsa’s viewpoint, and caused me to laugh out loud all the way through . . . until I cried . . . and ultimately reached the end quite satisfied as should happen in all good fairy tales. The experience was delightful.
I listened to the book as read by Joan Walker.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
This was a really well woven, enjoyable mystery. Archie's sarcastic, confident voice was as entertaining as ever. I highly recommend this series.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
This is a story of love in many forms, kindness, friendship and even adventure. Almost all of it happening within the walls of the Metropol Hotel. I listened to the book and enjoyed every moment of Nicholas Guy Smith's fabulous voice. Two sentences on the book jacket of the print book sum up this book perfectly for me. "He can't leave. You won't want to."
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Sigh. I've reached the end of the entire tale . . . again. It was time, but, still. Sigh.
Monday, February 12, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Friday, February 9, 2018
This is read by Michael Prichard (who would want to listen to Nero Wolfe books read by anyone else?) and is a really great story.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
This blue book is a primary piece of literature for Alcoholics Anonymous, aimed to be a tool to help those in recovery and those seeking sobriety guide each other through meetings and personal contact. The first section of the book describes how the program came about and how it is designed to work, along with notes to family members and employers of alcoholics. The majority of the book consists of personal stories written by individuals in recovery, each one sharing his/her own struggle and path to sobriety. The appendices are also much-used tools.
The book retains the Foreword from each of the previous editions that, when viewed back to back, are awe inspiring. In 1939, the Foreword identifies Alcoholics Anonymous as “nearly one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.” In 1955, the group had “mushroomed into nearly 6,000 groups whose membership is far above 150,000 recovered alcoholics” in the all 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii, all the Canadian provinces, plus communities in six other countries. The 1976 edition conservatively estimated more than one million recovered alcoholics among their ranks belonging to 28,000 groups in more than 90 countries. The 2001 edition celebrates more than two million recovered alcoholics finding sober lives through Alcoholics Anonymous via more than 100,800 groups in approximately 150 countries. Impressive life changes across the globe stem from this book!
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Friday, February 2, 2018
Thursday, February 1, 2018
It's a collection of short stories, hence the title. A handful of the stories feature typewriters, there are a couple sci-fi stories and the last story is more like a radio play production, with actor friends reading the parts. Remember Peter Scolari from Hank's "Bosom Buddies" days? Woe unto the reader who doesn't get to hear that one.
Hope, friendship, love and good people are featured throughout the stories. What a treat!
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Thursday, January 25, 2018
The book begins with the cliche, "It was a dark and stormy night" which made me giggle. I missed out on a lot of great books when I was a kid because I didn't think I liked science fiction and fantasy. You live, you learn.
This is book one in a five volume series. Kids, adventure, space travel and a little magic. Great fun!
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods and Ministry Formation by David A. DeSilva, 975 pages
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Monday, January 22, 2018
Friday, January 19, 2018
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Double Bonus: I listened to this book and it was read by one of my favorite readers, Scott Brick. (sigh of satisfaction.)
To sum up, here is a longish quote from the book: "Why is any one book different from any other books? . . . We have to look inside many. . . We agree to be disappointed sometimes so that we can be exhilarated every now and again." Thank you, Ms. Zevin for the exhilaration.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy, 640 pages
Seventy plus years after the end of the war and fiction and non-fiction writers have not run out of material yet. My hope is that those stories continue well into the future.