Tag Archives: Book review

Book Review: Code Girls

6 Jun

This is an amazing “behind the scenes” story, only recently declassified. The subject and situation are both very complex. I look forward to a film version (like the movies Hidden Figures and Green Book set in the 1960s).

Personal Note: In 2008, I joined a reunion of Marines with my father-in-law who fought on IWO JIMA. We met in Washington D.C. It was an honor and a privilege to tour the WWII memorial with veterans as well as join them for other activities. Their experiences fighting in the Pacific were profoundly life altering.

Other books with personal/behind the scenes accounts of WWII are

The Alice Network

PT109

Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II

The Dressmaker’s Gift

I recommend them all.

When inspiration hits dirt

22 Apr

Back ground: Winter 2021. When will pandemic end? Seed catalogs: Shumway and Jung. Delightful dreams of spring planting. Adventure! For the first time I ordered strawberry, raspberry and asparagus roots.

The good news (maybe) is that I reconsidered where to plant strawberries and asparagus to prevent them from becoming snacks for wildlife. These are my trials/experiments…what’s my vision?

Veg in One Bed by Huw Richards, Wales

The Family Garden Plan by Melissa Norris, Oregon

Both are excellent! Great photos.

Several years ago, I followed the Instagram account (grandoakfarmtn) of Grand Oak Farm’s launch of a three season three acre project to supply farmer’s market with fruit, vegetables and flowers. I could see what they were doing, but I did not comprehend how it was orchestrated. Some areas of the field were planted with three different crops. What? How did they go together? Veg in One Bed (with photos) discusses three season gardening plan. However, as helpful as the plan is, it did not include examples with my favorite produce.

I turned to The Family Garden Plan which focuses on “likes” and growing quantities to supply the home kitchen year round. Very well done. Bible verses introduce each chapter. Illustrations and planning charts are outstanding.

My long term memory (40 years ago) of the kitchen gardens of Colonial Williamsburg Virginia kicked in. Ah! Ha! Charming. Fruits. Vegetables. Herbs. Flowers. Right out the back door. Narrow paths. Three season. Less than 1/2 acre.

Hmmmmm. There’s a future post on this subject. ūüėČ

Book Review: The Dressmaker’s Gift

9 Apr

Dressmaker is a term that is no longer in our contemporary vocabulary.  A century ago, it was a profession with formal training.

The American College of Dressmaking in Kansas City published The American Dressmaker textbook in 1906.  I assume this instruction became part of Home Economics curriculum some decades later.

I digress… the title The Dressmaker’s Gift understates the powerful story of women in Paris during WW2 resisting the domination and occupation of Nazi Germany.

From making custom dresses/gowns in Paris, to being held at a location for political prisoners (Fresnes), then transferred to Dachau…shocking!  In 2012, I was on the grounds for a walking tour.

The author accurately related the horrors of life in the concentration camp.

Read for yourself how it is possible to reconcile the trauma, not only for one’s self but also one’s children and grandchildren decades later.

 

Book Review: Secret Empires

31 Jan

I saw multiple interviews with Peter Schweizer over the last few years especially timed around new book releases. Reading a Schweizer book completes one New Year’s Resolution. The content is detailed with MANY footnotes. Excellent questions are posed. The content is absolutely relevant to matters that influence “these days and times” at home and abroad. From my point of view, this public knowledge is integral to the “Great Awakening”.

Other books by Peter Schweizer: Extortion 2013, Clinton Cash 2016 and the latest Profiles in Corruption 2021

Recently, I realized that Dan Brown’s works of fiction The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Lost Symbol and others also influenced the “Great Awakening”.

Book Review: The Winding Ways Quilt

26 Sep

 

I have had quilts all my life…gifts from both grandmothers and a bonus from Great grandmother Hall (photo on the “About” page).

Until I browsed the aisles of the Used Book Store in White Pine, TN I did not know there was a series of books on quilts and quilting. ¬†I bought four of the series by Jennifer Chiaverini. ¬†Jennifer is delightful…delving the reader in the process of quilt making, choosing fabrics, patterns and the network of friendships that develop along the way.

Other books by Jennifer Chiaverini:  An Elm Creek Quilt Sampler, An Elm Creek Quilts Album, Circle of Quilters, The Wedding Quilt, The Giving Quilt, The Winding Ways Quilt and The Aloha Quilt

Of course on my return trip to the Used book store I find two more authors…

Jan Cerney and Arlene Sachitano both with multiple titles.

 

White Pine Used Books, 1703 Main Street, White Pine, TN

Book Review: A Drop in the Ocean

11 Aug

Jenni Ogden skillfully juxtaposes:  University based health care research scientists and Wildlife researchers in the Great Barrier Reef.

Perhaps one could say Jenni developed a matrix juxtapositions of scientists and researchers in settings of…

Island life where supplies are delivered every two weeks…no utilities or ground transportation in the Southern Hemisphere contrasting with one of the oldest communities in Europe…Unst, the northern most inhabited island in the British Isles.

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 ūüėČ ¬†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‚Äď11 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.