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Book Review: A Year of Biblical Womanhood

29 Aug

Love this!

This book has sat on my shelf for years.  This morning it captured my attention and held my attention all day.  Smart, witty, insightful, creative, knowledgable, curious, honest…

Rachel’s year of Biblical Womanhood was naturally organized with monthly themes based upon scripture.  Each month Rachel had a TO DO list for herself based upon scripture (sometimes the list included cooking, sewing, sleeping in a tent).  Occasionally, photos and her husband’s journal entries are included.  Raised evangelical, Rachel explored this subject with correspondence exchange with a Jewish woman, 3 day retreat at a monastery, Amish and Quaker experiences, extensive internet research, short stories of women of the Bible….and an extraordinary curiosity.

Fantastic resource!

Another review:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/23/a-year-of-biblical-womanhood_n_2006184.html

Book Review: A Country of Vast Designs

24 Jul

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6895978-a-country-of-vast-designs

Excellent reading for a period of American history that is rarely studied.

James K. Polk committed himself to being the most consequential single term US President 1845-1849 by adding Texas, California and Oregon territories; reestablishing an independent Treasury and reducing tariffs.  The territorial expansion fulfilled the national “Manifest Destiny”…the goal of being a nation from Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans (sea to shining sea).

Polk was an unlikely candidate having lost two races for Governor of Tennessee.  (However, he had been the Speaker of the House for Andrew Jackson and a one term Tennessee governor.)  He won the Democratic nomination on the sixth ballot!

James K. Polk accomplished great things in an era when letters were delivered by horseback.  Railroads were a novelty.  Newspapers were the media for the masses.  Imagine!  The author Robert W. Merry brought authenticity with many quotes from Polk’s diary, congressional records and newspapers of the day.

 

Book Review: Miramont’s Ghost

20 Jun

For my previous book review, I chose Matilda Empress because my niece is featured on the cover.

I chose Miramont’s Ghost because the author ‘Elizabeth Hall’ grabbed my attention.  Elizabeth being my middle name and Hall being my maiden name…I answered to ‘Elizabeth Hall” for over 30 years….no I am not the author….I like seeing my name on the cover 🙂

Miramont’s Ghost is historical fiction.  Most of the narrative is set in France in the early 1900s (before WWI).  It concludes at Miramont Castle in Colorado.  One theme dealt with the dilemma of Adrienne’s clairvoyance which disturbed her family and the community.  Later in the book, Adrienne pivots, realizing her insights could/should solve problems rather than “be the problem”.  This was a history subject I was not familiar with.  I enjoyed the drama revealed in this book.

Book Review: Matilda Empress

23 May

 

I judged this book by its cover!  It features my niece (one and the same with my previous post)!  Not only was she best in her class, but also a fashion model during high school working in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Cape Town, Singapore and more.

Matilda Empress is historical fiction from an obscure period of British History.  Matilda was the daughter of Henry I and mother of Henry II.  The narrative is elegant with elaborate details of the days and times of 12th century England and Europe.  Descriptions of clothing, meals, medical treatment, religious customs/beliefs and more…evoke an appreciation of the life and times.

The author does a lovely job introducing each chapter.  I needed more information.  I was lost a few times.  I recommend reviewing (then referring to) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Matilda  to follow the story which closely follows the historical time line.

My favorite character is Greta, Matilda’s lady’s maid… for her devotion, dedication and resourcefulness during decades of service.

 

Book Review: Sewing can be Dangerous by SR Mallery

25 Apr

Sewing can be Dangerous and other small threads…the title grabbed my attention.  As much time as I have spent sewing over the years, I never thought of it as dangerous.  Sooo…how is sewing dangerous?  S.R. Mallery’s collection of eleven short stories have fascinating characters from eleven times and places.

Danger exists in conditions in the garment district, delivering a warning message, communicating directions, disguising passports…to name a few.  My favorite short story is “Precious Gifts” set in the Washington Territory in the 1870s.    Mama bought a new Singer Perpendicular Action Sewing Machine.  You have to read the story to find out why she set up her new machine in the corn field.  The story tells of her passion for sewing, aiding a young Chinook Indian on his Spirit Quest, exchanging gifts and adverting a conflict due to her quilt making magic.  Love it!

Book Review: The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello (2015)

28 Feb

This work of historical fiction is like “The Monuments Men” meeting “Indiana Jones” with a Biblical history mystery plus a love story.  I thoroughly enjoyed the details of the Princeton University campus circa 1944-5.  The story of Saint Anthony of Egypt’s life and times was new to me.  I found the details of Albert Einstein’s life and work in America during World War II engaging and compelling.  (Spoiler:  The details of Einstein’s prophecy are explained at the end of the book.)

Book Review: Tenzing Norbu Mysteries

15 Jan

The First Rule of Ten, The Second Rule of Ten, The Third Rule of Ten, Fourth….This series is engaging…a charming young Chinese American male takes us on his journey from Tibetan monastery to private investigator in Los Angeles. The plots and character development improve with each sequel. Ten’s rules remind me of the famous rules of Special Agent Gibbs in the NCIS TV series…interesting with Norbu’s Buddist connection. The authors take on contemporary problems of violence and crime with compelling compassion.

Indy Star: Haunted house brings H.H. Holmes’ horror to life

21 Oct

From Indy Star

Haunted house brings H.H. Holmes’ horror to life

http://indy.st/2eVPyJM

The crimes of H.H. Holmes are the stuff of horror movies. A handsome young doctor who lures young women to his hotel with promises of work or love, but the hotel is a warren of death, filled with gas chambers, trap doors and chutes that led to subterranean dissection table and crematorium. All set against the dramatic backdrop of the “White City” constructed for the 1895 Chicago World’s Fair.In all, Holmes — born Herman Webster Mudgett — is believed to have murdered as many as 200 people from 1886 until his capture in 1894. The exact number is unknown. And while he is best known for his so-called “Murder Castle” in Chicago, Holmes left his mark on Indianapolis.

Friday Photo: Eve, let’s read a book

14 Oct
Let's read!

Let’s read!

Our alcove with LED pot lights is “purrrfect” for reading “old-fashioned” books.  Eve joined me in the adjacent chair for each chapter.

This week we read the old-fashioned format…paper, hard cover, jacket of Legends and Lies, The Patriots by David Fisher.  We recommend reading this compelling history of the founding of the United States, especially in an election season.  Our politics were messy then, as now.

 

 

Book Review: The Millionaire and The Bard

29 Aug

“Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio”

Author:  Andrea Mays 2015

I give it Five Stars!

*Inside story of the rise and fall of Standard Oil, the source of economical fuel that launched the automotive industry and the source of Henry’s income for investing in rare books.

*Inside story of the publication of Shakespeare’s plays after his death, in an era when oral performances were not written (His life’s work may have been lost forever.)….typesetting, proof reading, paper, binding

*Inside story of the systematic acquisition of “Shakespeare’s Folios”…research, relationships, negotiations, privacy, delivery, storage…

*Inside story of an amazing marriage and mutual passion for literature.

*Inside story of the wisdom to transition from collecting to developing an extraordinary library to preserve and share the world’s greatest collection of all things Shakespeare.

Recommended reading for everyone interested in libraries, English Literature, Shakespeare, merits of vertically integrated corporations, strategy and negotiations for developing rare collection, early methods of printing/book binding, early twentieth century travel, biography developed from personal correspondence, even early twentieth century golf!

http://www.folger.edu

2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/23/475392480/worldwide-celebrations-on-the-400th-anniversary-of-shakespeares-death