Thursday, July 19, 2012

The DovekeepersThe Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An exceptional read. This is a masterpiece, a wonderful, mesmerizing book about the lives of four strong Jewish women, each with different backgrounds, powerful personalities, and distinct stories of there own. Their histories collided when destiny/circumstances found them living at the Jewish stronghold, Masada, during the last and final siege by the Romans. According to the historian, Josephus, two of these women and five children survived the horrendous event.

I agree with Janet, a goodreads reviewer who said the following: Words can be spoken or written. This book did for me what I love about books---it used the written word to create a world for me as real as the one I'm living in now.

On Oct 03, 2011, Another goodreads reviewer, Jennifer Rayment, wrote such an excellent review that I am quoting it in entirety here:

The Good Stuff

* I wish I had the words to express how wonderful this book is. I will be honest if Simon and Schuster hadn't sent it to me for review, I probably wouldn't have picked it up and let me tell you that would have been a shame. This book is haunting and sad but yet so full of hope and of the resilience of the human spirit
* Beautiful raw and honest story and just so god-damned emotional to read
* Exceptionally real and strong female characters
* History written so it comes alive and you learn so much without feeling like you are getting a history lesson
* The faults/flaws of the characters are not hidden and you see how they change and grow over the course of the story
* Emotionally raw by the end of the story and had to go hug my children before I could go to bed
* Obviously thoroughly researched and you feel the authors passion for the subject matter as it never comes across as dull
* I would be shocked if this doesn't get made into a movie or a mini series
* Further Reading at the end of the book is appreciated for those like me who will want to find out more of the history
* Very wise and thought provoking
* A wonderful book for various discussions about faith, forgiveness, compassion, woman's rights etc
* Why are you still reading my review -- get thee to a book store now and buy it -- hello what are you waiting for

The Not so Good Stuff

* Could have been perfect with a some stronger editing. There is some obvious repetition that should have been caught and it would have made it a truly brilliant novel.
* I was forced to stay up till a 1am to finish this and the last 15 pages or so I could barely read with the tears falling down. Alice you owe me some coffee and Kleenex & an apology to my kids for mommy being cranky from lack of sleep

What I Learned

* Man it really sucked to be a women in ancient times, we are so lucky in this day and age to be treated, for the most part, as the equals that we are (still so far to go)
* Now I really already know this, but lets just put this out again -- the persecution of Jews over and over again just completely baffles me. They truly are one of the most formidable, strong and resilient race the world has ever seen.
* Tons of fascinating information about 70-75 CE

Who should/shouldn't read

* Will be buying a copy for my niece, sister and sister in laws for Christmas because I don't want to lend them MY copy and risk the chance of one of them --- "misplacing it" LOL
* Those who enjoy a nice light read, would probably not want to pick one up. It is quite intense and detailed
* Thinking those of Roman descent might be a little put off
* A must have for public libraries


I listened to the audio version, which is very well done with four different women doing the narrative reading of the four main characters. If it were possible I would give this book 6 stars. It is among the best books I've read in a long time and touched me deeply.


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The Magician's AssistantThe Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ann Patchett excels at taking ordinary likable people and dropping them into unusual situations. The premise of the book was fascinating and the characters are multi-dimensional, compelling and so human that you forget you're reading fiction. Her writing is elegant but not flowery, insightful, clever, and sophisticated, but it never gets in the way of the story. I thought this was a sweet and perceptive story. The plot unfolded well, and I didn't want to put the book down because I wanted to see what was going to happen next. I thought the main character, Sabine, was the only character that was hard to understand and was disappointed with the sudden ending.

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Above Suspicion (Haggerty Mystery, #3)Above Suspicion by Betsy Brannon Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My 2nd book by Betsy Brannon Green and I will read more because they are just plain fun with the right combination of suspense and romance. The Southern Haggarty ladies are delightful, especially Miss Eugenia and the audio narrator is wonderful. Although a bit predictable, it was fun to see it all unravel and there were a few surprises. This book appeals to LDS audience especially, but I think the non LDS reader would enjoy it & be enriched. Again, this book reminded me of Miss Marple and also a little of Agatha Christie. Fun, fast paced, with extra kudos from me to the author for a squeaky clean read.

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Backtrack (Haggerty Mystery, #8)Backtrack by Betsy Brannon Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fun, easy read with well drawn lively & affectionate Southern characters, intriguing mystery plot with a "Miss Marple" flare and equally engaging subplot. There is also a tastefully handled romance. I listened to the audio version which is exceptionally well done. I've added an extra star for no vulgar language, and no gratuitous sex.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Across Five AprilsAcross Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an extensively well researched book, the author having woven the story primarily from her grandfather's journals but also from old newspaper clippings, letters, war journals, and stories he related to her and her parents. Her grandfather was 9 years old when the Civil War began and the story 11 year old Jethro chronicles is her grandfather's story. Jethro watches a war unfold around him and feels the effects of it on his community and on his own family.

Five men & boys, age 16 and over, join the forces, four with the Union, and one enlisting with the Confederates. Despite literature that ideallizes the simplicity of an agrarian life in the 1800's, the reality is life was hard, with or without war. Living in Southern Illinois, was a hotbed for conflicting feelings; there were cousins in the family who fought, & died, on both sides. The author gives readers compelling arguments on both sides and the emotions that went with that division, not only within the country but within communities and families. The book begins and ends in April, over a period of 5 years. During these 5 years we see the main character, Jethro, become a man as he takes on the responsibilities not only of the large family farm, but bring for other household duties and being a role model for his brother's sons who live with them. He finds himself in the middle of dangerous, even life threatening situations with some lowlife townspeople who persecute him & his family for having a son / brother considered a traitor for have having joined the Confederates.

I am so glad I read this book. I not only gained insights to the Civil War, but to the realities of life 150 years ago. This was a wonderful book---A good book for men and women, both, whether history lovers or readers who prefer human dramas. I would recommend only to young adults who are avid readers. It is another book I give an extra star to for no vulgar language, gratuitous sex, or descriptive violence. It does deal with some shady vile characters, and some heart wrenching situations in regard to the war, but does it in a tasteful, easy to read style and is a highly moral book with a realistic but satisfying conclusion. Considering the themes and subjects it deals with, it could be very dark, but it is not. I'm a better person for having read it.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Girls Don't FlyGirls Don't Fly by Kristen Chandler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Young Adult novel (I listened to audio version) that is absolutely captivating with charming believable characters who don't have a perfect life. I especially enjoyed it because of the main character, an 18 yr. old girl who is dependent, self effacing, selfless doormat to her family, employer, and boyfriend but who realizes her own self worth and evolves into a strong, confident young woman realizing that she is in control of the direction her own life can take.

The setting is a small town called Linden, Utah, near Salt Lake City. She's the 2nd of 5 children in a loving family that struggles financially. Mother works night shift and father days. Her older married sister is out of the home, temporarily--until a situation develops in which she returns home bedridden, and everyone, especially the 3 younger children, including 2 preschoolers, are all very dependent on her for both their physical and emotional needs. Life is hard and the financial struggle is ongoing. In addition to caring for them & keeping everything running smoothly (e.g. laundry & meals, etc) while her mother sleeps and while father is at work, she holds down a demanding part time job & manages to find time to do her school homework (last quarter senior year). Highly responsible, loving, thoughtful, and completely selfless, she does all this without complaining but also without recognizing the importance of caring for herself. But that changes as choices become more difficult, and painful.
The book deals with the usual teenage angst in a realistic and humorous way as she begins to discover not only who her "friends" really are, but who she, herself, is. I highly recommend this novel to YA girls & to parents. She deals with difficult topics such as teen pregnancy in a tasteful manner without inappropriate scenes or preaching. There is no bad language or sex which always earns an extra star in my ratings.

The prose is beautiful. Really. Her use of metaphor is outstanding and there is rich symbolism in almost everything that happens in the story. An easy, highly enjoyable read.

The audio version was well done & I had a hard time putting it down.


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Sunday, June 3, 2012

No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved OnesNo More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones by Carol Lynn Pearson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a library book & I liked it so much I purchased a copy of my own. I'd like everyone to read it, especially those in leadership positions. Unfortunately most people are laboring under a gross misunderstanding that gay persons can choose who they are and what they feel sexually, when in reality they cannot. LGBT persons did not seek to be so. They want to be straight but they cannot despite counseling, therapy, treatments, despite a profound desire to change, despite religious activity, including fasting, serving missions, marrying in the temple, despite repeated fasting and prayer, despite living a chaste life. Being gay is difficult. Being gay and LDS (or most other devout religious affiliation) is a terrible struggle.

They did not ask to be this way; they just are. And for the most part they are profoundly unhappy. We have no right to inflict additional pain or feelings of isolation. We have no right to judge or criticize them for who they are. Christ said to love everyone, not just those who are like ourselves. The quote on the cover by the Rabbi Harold Kushnor says it all, "The task of any religion is to teach us whom we're required to love, not whom we're entitled to hate."

The book clarifies misunderstandings about a complex issue and teaches generalities of love, compassion and appreciation. The underlying message is simple: to love. I've read, and own, all of Carol Lynn Pearson's books, which indicates that I am a fan of hers, but I wish she had included specifics of what the reader can do to help, i.e. how to circle our wagons around our gay loved ones. I believe one of the ways we can help is to stand up for them, i.e. to object when others tell gay jokes and ridicule them. The likelihood of my being able to get many of my friends to read this book are slim, but I can take a stand and express the author's opinion, that none of us can afford to criticize, make fun of, or not love someone because they are different from us. I can express my opinion that jokes at their expense are as offensive to me as jokes about Blacks, Jews, the handicapped, and other minorities. We are not better than they and to ridicule anyone is insulting, vulgar behavior.

I have become aware of another book which apparently deals with this topic in a less emotional and more practical way: In Quiet Desperation. I look forward to reading that book as well.

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Dancing at the Rascal FairDancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Like Montana winters, this was way too long. I got bogged down a little halfway through, but I continued because the narrator, Robert Ian Mckenzie was terrific. I kept thinking I'd never finish the book if I had to read it, and was almost gleeful when there were only 2 cds (of 17) left and the end was in sight! That ending is not only depressing, but there is no satisfying resolution. Whistling Season is much better, and you'll like the ending, but this not one. I read it first and consider it one of the best books I read this year, so I read this hoping for more of the same but was hugely disappointed. The story drags; I wanted to slap the 2 main characters upside the head; and there is precious little humor in it. I give the author, Doig, credit for ably conveying the homesteaders' exhaustion and defeat to the reader. I was exhausted and relieved when the narrative ended.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Queen of the Big Time

The Queen of the Big TimeThe Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Adriana Trigiani can write, especially about Italian Americans and their colorful culture. This was a very enjoyable book that leaves you with the understanding of the importance of living your life to the fullest and appreciating the love all around you, instead of longing for what you don't have. This is a happy, uplifting, all ends well story.

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The WinnerThe Winner by David Baldacci
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do like reading Baldacci's mysteries. This has a unique fast-paced plot, with lots of twists and turns, and his characters are well developed. Each time I read one of his books I'm impressed with how different they are from each other and I wonder how he comes up with such varying scenarios and interesting characters. He is a very talented writer. There is no bad language and although there is a sex scene it's nothing compared toKen Follett or other popular mystery writers.

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Ella EnchantedElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun, "enchanting," YA read, a retelling of "Cinderella" with a twist on the importance of agency, and an explanation of life before the traditional fairytale. There are a few holes in the story and unanswered questions, but overall a delightful read.

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Firefly LaneFirefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story is trite, unrealistic, cliched, formulaic, overdone, and one dimensional, nevertheless I did keep reading wanting to find out what happened next. It deals with the stereotypical choice of women of the 60's and 70's: career vs. family, but overall it is supposed to be a story about a wonderful and enduring friendship. Yet as one reader succinctly commented, "in reality it's a long, depressing narrative of a profoundly abusive relationship. The fact that neither of these women seem to have any other friends is a clue to their unhealthy dependency on each other." I would not want a young person to read it because it treats getting high on pot, alcohol consumption and sex outside of marriage as the norm and no-big-deal.
If you liked Beaches you'll probably love this. Overall, it lacked that something that makes me know that I'ma better person for having read it. Oh, and did I mention, it's way too long.




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Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Long Way from ChicagoA Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A short amusing read about 2 young people and the summer they spend with their Grandma who is a character with guts and gumption who you'll remember. Very entertaining, with good belly laughs and moral instruction as well

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On the Jellicoe RoadOn the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can't believe this won the Printz award (Newberry equivalent for teenagers), giving a stamp of approval to frequent "f" word usage, teen sex and teen pregnancy. There are many good things about the novel: an interesting & compelling story, a message of the importance of enduring relationships, coming of age theme, but with all the angst and approval of poor values it carries I would discourage any teen I care about from reading it.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the PlagueYear of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully written historical fiction with great character development and many themes. It made me wonder what my reactions would be should we be faced with plague in our time. This would make for great book club discussion.
I listened to audio books which was very well done. Highly recommend.



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Brava, ValentineBrava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun chick lit, although the morals are a little loose, and plotline a bit too predictable. Trigliana can write however this was not as good as Lucia, Lucia or Big Stone Gap. Read those books first.


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Because of Winn-DixieBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo




This much loved kids' classic should not be ignored by adults. It is exceptionally well written and contains a profound message about love, friendship, diversity, acceptance and forgiveness. I would read this to a 5 year old & recommend it to all ages. The movie, which I have not seen, is likely very cute and entertaining, but it would be a shame to ignore the short novel because one already knows the story. Only 2 -3 hour read, tops.



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A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A NovelA Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


This was a great story with believable characters, but I docked it 3 stars for repetitive vulgar language. Edit that out & it would have 5 stars from me.





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Z for ZachariahZ for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Typically I dislike dystopian post-apocalyptic novels, but this was an excellent short read which I couldn't put down--a suspenseful, intriguing, thought-provoking story of survival. A best seller written almost 40 years ago, it is still a time relevant story of Ann, a girl who survived worldwide nuclear war and appears to be the only survivor. Her day-to-day practical aspects of survival are fascinating. She is an intelligent and sympathetic character, and through her the reader really feels the isolation, loneliness and danger of her situation. The tension keeps building throughout, thanks to the intrusion of the incredibly creepy and sinister stranger Loomis. I have a few friends who read this as teens and enjoyed it so much that they reread it recently as adults and recommended it to me. I'm glad they did. I learned things one would need to know in order to survive on their own. Appropriate literature for age 11 and above.











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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Zookeeper's WifeThe Zookeeper's Wife
by Diane Ackerman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do you not love a book that makes you want to reach out and learn MORE? This is a powerful, unknown, true story. It is about an exceptional Polish family, the Zabinskis, people who did good things during a bad time in history. Over several years, they hid over 300 Jews in their home and were tireless in Poland's underground resistance activities. Their home and the Warsaw zoo occupied the same campus and frequently it seems there was no difference between two and four footed beings in their ability to love.

Ackerman, the author, gathered diaries, letters, transcripts of interviews with the Zabinski family, their friends, and the people they hid and helped escape to safety . She did additional extensive research resulting in a domestic drama. It is a surprisingly uplifting description of life during the bloodiest years of the war.

We sometimes forget that there are always good people trying to do the right thing. I think anyone who reads this well crafted, multi-layered, honest retelling of someone else’s life story would be enlightened and encouraged by it. It will stay with me for a long time.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Breathing LessonsBreathing_Lessons
by Anne Tyler
My rating: of 5 stars

I saw this movie over 20 years ago but had never read the book and since Anne Tyler such a gifted writer and since this is a Pulitzer Prize winner, I decided to read it. A novel about marriage, the setting is late 1950's-60's so I really enjoyed it, but I suspect it would be an irritating novel for today's readers. Excellent character development.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

One Second AfterOne Second After by William R. Forstchen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Can you provide for yourself and family should the grid and food supply shut down? This is a highly plausible story of the members of a small No.Carolina community doing what they must to survive the horrors (which were glossed over) resulting from an EMP, one of the leading threats to America's security today, and probably the most underrated one. I finished this book 2 weeks ago, am still thinking about it, and am more motivated to prepare for such an event. In that sense I would give the book 5 stars, but despite the relative importance of the issue, I’m giving 4 stars because while subject matter is important, the quality of writing is almost amateurish. This is a quick read.



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Monday, March 12, 2012

Ladder of YearsLadder of Years by Anne Tyler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read this book several years ago and was entranced by it. It was a satisfying read which helped me struggle through a difficult time of new beginnings in my life. While reading it I found myself wishing that I had read it 10 years earlier, before it was published, so that I might have earlier gleaned the wisdom of its pages, and I have often thought of Delia, the main character, by whom I was both puzzled and impressed. Tyler has a lyrical prose style and has just published her 9th book, The Beginner's Goodbye.



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Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight LossEat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


March 10 2012 Update: I've been eating this way for 2 years and it has changed my life. Not only did my LDL (Lousy bad) cholesterol drop 56 points but my HDL (happy good)cholesterol is elevated 15 points. But the primary reason my life is changed is no more aches & pains which means I no longer need round the clock medicating with Tramadol, Neurontin, & other pain killers. It has not been easy to discipline myself to eat this way & often I indulge in something that Dr. Fuhriman & his colleagues would frown at, but I'm 95%. Why would I go back to the Standard American Diet(SAD) with those results? Oh, and I am also 40# lighter than I was 2 years ago. A good companion book with even more compelling arguments for eating mostly vegan is The China Study by Caldwell and Esselstyn.



Written March 10, 2010: Awesome book for anyone interested in nutrition and healthy living. I wish it had been published 40 years ago when I was raising my family.

I've been on this diet (moderately high) for 4 weeks and have lost 14 lbs. but my primary reason for this change is cholesterol and arthritis pain. The pain is almost nil and I'll see how many LDL points I've dropped next week & report back.

To read more about this amazing diet go to Robin's nutrition blog: http://leantowardthesun.blogspot.com/





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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Immigrants (Lavette Family, #1)The Immigrants by Howard Fast

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A family saga that spans 4 generations of 4 families. You will want to make a geneology chart as you read in order to not get mired down with who's who in the plotlines. It was a little crude for my tastes, and overly long, however I enjoyed reading about the rise and fall of the well defined characters and it did hold my interest to the end; but I won't read the sequels.



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JulietJuliet by Anne Fortier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


An intriguing mystery and romance which takes place in both the late 16th century andmodern day Siena, Italy. When you finish this you will be convinced that Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" was not a fictional account. I couldn't put it down. The film rights to this have been sold already.



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Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon PoetsFire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A collection of some of the best current LDS poets, including "True Love," by Joe Plicka.



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The Beach TreesThe Beach Trees by Karen White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I couldn't decide between 4 or 5 stars, but with no violence, gore, sex, or vulgarity chose 5. It is a 3 generation mystery which takes place in Biloxi and NewOrleans. If you read it (or audio) I suggest you begin by making a couple of 3 generation charts to keep the families & their stories straight. I thought it was a great read.



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The Whistling SeasonThe Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a thoughtful, extremely well written novel by an author who loves words and their etymology. A widowed father of three boys reads a woman's classified ad saying "can't cook, but doesn't bite" and hires her sight unseen as the family housekeeper. The setting is 1910 rural Montana, with a one room schoolhouse for grades 1-8.

Written in eloquent but sparse first person prose, I seemed to a nonfiction accounting of perhaps his grandfather, which it is not. This book was delightful! It made me laugh outloud, added some new words to my reading vocabulary and random facts to my store of knowledge. (Do you know what an orrery is? what the letters "chavivry" spell? what famous person was supposedly born in 1835 and died in 1910 with the coming and going of Haley's comet?) I enjoyed the audio version immensely and was sorry when it ended. I will read more of Ivan Doig.





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The Paris WifeThe Paris Wife by Paula McLain

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


If you are a Hemingway fan you will likely gobble this up. Flamboyantly handsome, egotistical, selfish, yet brilliant, he really was not a nice man and I did not care for him as a person; but he is considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century with good reason. This novel is about his first wife(he had four), Hadley Richardson, and their years together. It resonated with me because in so many ways it reminded me of my 34 year marriage to Dave. It is also about the "Lost Generation" of 1920's Paris.



H. was one of the authors I studied in H.S. honors English and I had just completed my college freshman year and was preparing for my wedding when I was shocked to learn he had committed suicide. Shortly before this he wrote a letter of apology to Hadley, telling her that he "would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but" her. That letter was included in The Moveable Feast, was removed from a 2nd publication by a son from his 2nd wife, but is once again included in a recent publication.



The book moved me, and I shed a few tears when it was over, then I spent a few hours googling everything I could think related to Hemingway and Hadley. Paula McLain did extensive research before writing this poignantly absorbing story. When a book stays with the reader at its conclusion and drives her/him to the internet the author deserves kudos.



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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I don't usually get excited about nonfiction, and only read this because so many friends and family recommended it. I loved it! I couldn't put it down. It is about the Tarahumara Indians whose long distance endurance running of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons is amazing.



Some things I learned from the book: 1. Smile when you are running and think of it as a fun game, not a task that must be completed in order to meet some outer validating goal. 2. Nike ruined most of our feet beginning in the 70's with their strategically supportive athletic shoes. The Tarahumara run barefoot or with light, thin-soled sandals. 3. Don't put shoes on your babies' feet until successful social interactions demand it. The Tarahumara are the fastest, strongest runners in the world and except for occasional sandals they live their lives barefoot. 4. Chia seeds are really good for you. Unlike other seeds, nuts, grains, they are a complete protein all by themselves. 5. Eat like a poor person: corn and beans. 6. How to pronounce Tarahumara ( listened to the audio book).



I highly recommend this fascinating book.





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A year with no rainbowA year with no rainbow by Frank M Keele

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The author has woven both ancient and modern prophecies of the Last Days to warn the reader to prepare for the second coming because 2012 *may* be the year with no rainbow. Especially for the LDS audience. Self published, it is available for free on the internet. google it. It's a short, and repetitive, read--132 pages.



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The Whistling SeasonThe Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a thoughtful, extremely well written novel by an author who loves words and their etymology. A widowed father of three boys reads a woman's classified ad saying "can't cook, but doesn't bite" and hires her sight unseen as the family housekeeper. The setting is 1910 rural Montana, with a one room schoolhouse for grades 1-8.

Written in eloquent but sparse first person prose, I felt that it was a nonfiction account of his grandfather, which it is not. This book was delightful, it made me laugh outloud, added some new words to my reading vocabulary and random facts to my store of knowledge. (Do you know what an orrery is? what the letters "chavivry" spell? what famous person was supposedly born in 1835 and died in 1910 with the coming and going of Haley's comet?) I enjoyed the audio version immensely and was sorry when it ended. I will read more of Ivan Doig.





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