Tag Archives: Book review

Book Review: The Miraculous Fever Tree-the Cure that changed the world

27 May

 

“Absorbing and SUPERBLY researched” with my emphasis on superbly.  I agree with Miranda Seymour!  Rocco is an award winning investigative journalist.  Her interest in medicine began with her grandparents in Africa in the 1920s.  They were blessed to get quinine tablets made locally because cinchona seeds/trees from Peru had been planted there decades earlier.

World history over four centuries is told from

  1.  Tragic loss of life due to malaria in Europe, Africa, Panama, South America, Middle East, India and Asia.
  2. The cure identified by Jesuits in Peru in the 1600s as quinine (so bitter tasting, people thought they were being poisoned) written documentation in early 1630s.
  3. Theories challenged!  Treatment changed!  (Malaria DNA dates back to 5th century.)
  4. Rocco accessed original records from 1624 and more periods…exquisite documentation, details that enrich readers with life, times, goals, accomplishments of key figures.
  5. “Tree of Fevers” published in 1713 in Madrid
  6. The narrative fully immerses the reader wars, exploration, building the Panama Canal, challenges of exporting seeds and cinchona tree to other continents to save thousands of lives globally.

Enjoy reading!

 

 

Book Review: In the Blue Hour

8 May

 

Elizabeth Hall is my maiden name.  I like seeing my former name on book covers 😉  I have also read Miramont’s Ghost and The Music of the Deep.

In The Blue Hour multi-generational grief found peace of mind and healing.  The story unfolds in the cultures of New Mexico with a compelling connection to Olalla, Tennessee.

Reference:  Consulting mediums is condemned and forbidden in the Bible.  Deuteronomy 18:10–11 echoes Leviticus and expands it, including diviners, sorcerers, witches/wizards, anyone who casts spells, and anyone who practices child sacrifice.  This link is a concise summary from GotQuestions.  https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-medium.html

However, there is an engaging exchange, point/counter point to rationalize “hunches” and explain the journey.  BONUS:  Recommendation of Spook:  Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach

Peace of mind calls for knowledge and connections in spite of 1000s of miles distance and decades of time lapse.

 

 

Book Review: The Bookshop of Yesterdays

5 Mar

This is an amazing book!  The setting is LosAngelos, which didn’t appeal to me until the storyline developed fully.  Short quotes from classic books (of different genres starting with Shakespeare) expertly punctuated the narrative.  Cause of death and paternity was a mystery for Mira, who had been misled.  She also processed the enormity of inheriting a struggling bookshop 3000 miles from her new home and teaching career on the east coast…learning the financial record keeping, personnel/staffing, business cycles and plan to turn a profit.

Anyone involved with handling an estate with a significant number of books will appreciate this novel!

Books Review: Seven Days in Utopia, Golf’s Sacred Journey and The Sequel

18 Feb

We saw the movie.  I knew I needed to read the book, bonus found the sequel.

The movie starring Robert DuVall and Lucas Black is warm, genuine and inspiring.  In my youth, I took golf lessons and followed tournament play.  As an adult, I played in a golf league after work.  I’m fond of movies about baseball…Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own, The Natural…  Frankly, it never occurred to me that there were great stories and lessons to be told about golf.  (I don’t count Caddy Shack.)

Seven Days in Utopia narrative differs between the movie and the book.  (Both are equally time well spent.)  The book has more details on honing technical golf skills.  There is an opportunity loss, if practice is dominated by driving range parameters.   Improving skills means practicing with up and downhill lies, behind trees, bare ground, deep grass…and more…

What is extraordinary about the lessons?  The originality, experiential and spiritual nature of the situations.  Watch or read for yourself.

 

 

Book Review: The Alice Network

3 Oct

Brought to my attention by Qanon @llcoolja17.

 

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies:  The Alice Network by Kate Quinn is extraordinary, compelling, historical, revealing, healing…

The narrative of The Alice Network alternates between 1915 and 1944 chapter after chapter skillfully telling the story of female spies in WW1 and WW2 in Europe with an amazing amount of historical accuracy.  Europe did not have a chance to recover from WW1 before they were reliving the tragedy of another war.

My husband and I had the opportunity to go to four reunions with Marines who survived Iwo Jimo (with Dave’s Dad before he passed in 2018).  There are many layers to war stories.  It is personal for veterans.  To also have the insights of women patriots as told in the The Alice Network is a blessing.

As a second personal note, 2015 was the 100th anniversary of Allison Transmission where I worked for 36 years…2015 was also the 100th anniversary of Tennessee Tech University where I graduated in Industrial Engineering…2015 was also the 100th anniversary of the town of White Pine TN where my parents have lived for the past 40 years…2015 was also the 100th anniversary of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard near where we lived in the early 1970s.  Many enterprises, schools, communities, government facilities do not last 50 years (or lost their original identities).  

So… four entities I am very familiar with were all founded in 1915…that is before World War I.  What an interesting coincidence!  I added a web page with a tab above because I was unaware of this common denominator until 2015.

 

 

Book Reviews: 2 in 1 This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness

17 Sep

Over 2 million sold.

 

Written in 1986 and 1989 respectively.  These novels are bold, elegant and powerful.  I much prefer these over Harry Potter books.  One reviewer described the books as “Christian thrillers.”  Smile 🙂  Each narrative is set in a small U.S. town with complex problems.

These books were brought to my attention in a Twitter post by Qanon EyetheSpy.

 

Book Review: Origin, A Novel by Dan Brown

26 Aug

Book 5 of 5 featuring Professor Robert Langdon

I have been a Dan Brown fan for years.  I was delighted to find this at a used book store.  Was there no fanfare on the release?  If there was, I missed it.

The dramatic adventure set in Spain includes outstanding narrative of art, architecture, literature, history, science and technology.  I had 2 years of Spanish in high school and appreciated Spanish speaking characters speaking Spanish (English translations keeps one from getting confused).

Not only is reading Origin compelling entertainment, but it is also refreshingly educational as Dan Brown does so expertly.

Book Review: A Mind at Play

5 Jun

The richness of Shannon’s biography creates an engaging review of the science. Like the content of Tuxedo Park by Jennet Conant, the science was so ground breaking… it was many years before declassification would make his work available to the public.  “How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age”

I wish this book was available when I was studying engineering.  Being playful (including juggling) and a “hands on inventor” were foundational to his success.

My “STEM by meme” page (link above) lists books I have found outstanding providing context or “the story” behind text book study.

Book Review: The Library, A Catalogue of Wonders

15 May

 

At a time in history when many readers are choosing digital books…myself included for ease of travel, plus I love the highlighting ability…reading The Library, A Catalogue of Wonders is time well spent.

The research is extraordinary.  The text is thought provoking.  The outstanding anecdotes just keep coming and coming.   Stuart Kells comprehensively covers history of scrolls to libraries of hobbits.  For fragile/delicate books to survive over centuries subject to the elements, insects, fire, humidity, carelessness, war, theft, purging…  is amazing.

Did you know a “book worm” is an insect?  I had only heard it describe readers!

I also appreciated the information on shelving technology…had not thought of it before.

The Library pairs well with The Millionaire and the Bard (previously reviewed).  Kells thoroughly covers the works of Shakespeare.

See 23 of the world’s most enchanting libraries https://on.natgeo.com/2UKZdaH via @NatGeoTravel  These photographs are stunning!  Check it out.

Book Review (plus) The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

13 Mar

 

Love this!  “One sewing machine, two families, three secrets, four generations and millions of stitches”.

This book was funded by readers through a new website:  Unbound.com…a modern version of Samuel Johnson’s idea funding publishing of his dictionary in 1755 in today’s jargon…crowd sourcing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dictionary_of_the_English_Language

  1. Elfcroft loves sewing and posts about charity projects about a dozen times a year.
  2. The owners of this very special sewing machine kept notebooks/journals/log of every task.  This created a marvelous record (including thread and fabric samples) of the needs and wants of life during the 20th century Scotland.
  3. I loved the inside story of Singer’s major manufacturing operation circa 1911.  Sewing machines empowered their owners to unleash talent and progress.
  4. Natalie brings the family legacy to the present with two paths…one using the machine as is, the second-recycling machine parts into art projects.
  5. The personal stories are as poignant as sewing is important.

Recommended!