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Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Underground Girls of Kabul

The Underground Girls of Kabul

I enjoyed reading this book. I think we take a lot of granted here in the United States. It is hard for me to relate to a culture where being a girl is not valued and where mothers will dress their girls as boys. I find it sad to think that women are so devalued. Still the inner strength those women have to find ways to survive and thrive in such an oppressive culture is amazing. This was a wonderful read. I think it is important to read books that give us insights into other cultures so we can have a better understanding. Truly a fascinating book.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Thief of Glory   -     By: Sigmund Brouwer

I simply loved this book. It is very well written. It keeps your attention as you just want to find out what happens. The story begins with a flashback in time - our main character, Jeremiah Prins is an old man sitting in jail. His daughter asks him to tell his story. He realizes that "to tell our story makes us human and to be human is to tell our story." p. 275. His flashback is the story as he begins to journal it for his daughter to read after he is dead.

It is an amazing story --- the author's own father and grandmother survived the Japanese invasion and occupation of the Dutch East Indies. They ended up in an internment camp where they endured brutal treatment by the Japanese. The setting for The Thief of Glory is in such an internment camp. The author depicts the difficult struggles faced by those in the camp. It truly is a very good book. This is a story that needs to be told so that events like this can be prevented from ever happening again. It truly is horrific what the Japanese allowed to occur in the camps. Truly horrific.

The book highlights the struggles of a 10 year old boy --- boyhood rivalries, family dynamics and first loves. It is also about reconciliation and forgiveness for others and forgiving one's own actions. 

A wonderful quote from the book ---
"I did not like him, but in that moment I could feel love for him. It would be wonderful if we could always see that what we have in common as humans outweighs our differences." p. 310

I highly recommend reading this book.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, September 19, 2014

An Italian Wife by Ann Hood

Front Cover

I sincerely cannot recommend this book at all. I finished this book only because I kept trying to figure out what the purpose of the story was. Why did the author write it and what was she trying to say? In the end, I just think the book is a very sad commentary on what is going on in America today. The family immigrated to America from Italy. Josephine is the matriarch of the family. Her marriage was an arranged marriage which she was never happy with. She has seven children and the book then goes into their stories. Yet, it isn't always clear who you are reading about and how they tie into the family. The family is hugely Catholic but it is not a saving type of faith. The priest even has sexual relations with Josephine and one daughter lusts after the priest. There is alot of sex described in the book. It is way to graphic for my tastes. The later generations depict girls that are empty -- turning to meaningless sex and drugs to fill the void. No one in the book is happy. They all seem to dislike their family, hate their marriages. It is really sad. I am not sure why I even stuck with it and read to the end. It never got better. While I agree that America's culture is on a downward spiral and this book probably depicted some of the horrible, ickiness of our culture, I guess that I prefer to read books that inspire and lift up, that teach us to reach beyond our depravity and seek something better. At least if the book can't inspire or teach something it should be entertaining. This book lacked all of that. It has nothing to offer really. Still not sure why I finished it. Certainly will think twice before picking up another book by this author. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks


The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.

The story bounces between Ira and Ruth's story and Sophia and Luke's. Ira is at the end of his life remembering back on his life with his love, his beloved wife Ruth. Luke is just beginning his life with Sophia. It is not until the end of the story that we find out how the two couple's lives intersect. It is a fascinating story. Here is a link to the author's website. Click here. The book really kept my attention. It is a wonderful story. The title is a reference to life being a long ride --- it is also a reference to Luke's profession which is bull riding. I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful love story. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

vector transparent negative film strip -

Worry is the dark room in which negatives are developed

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman

Cancel the Wedding: A Novel

This is Carolyn Dingman's first novel - and she did a really great job with this one! I hope she writes more. It was suspenseful and yet the emotions of a romantic sub-plot. Olivia's world is reeling. Her mother died a year ago and her mother's last request was for her ashes to be scattered back in her home town. Yet, this is a part of their mother's past that she never talked about, didn't share with her children. It starts a quest for Olivia to discover the events that shaped her mother into the woman that Olivia had known. In pursuing that quest, Olivia also discovered truths about herself and her relationship with her fiancĂ©, Leo. Really good book. Olivia is a more modern woman and the author does have her living with her fiancĂ©. While it is not a value I hold with I also like that she was not graphic. Since it was a holiday weekend - it was so nice to curl up with a good book. I couldn't put it down. Actually finished the book in two days. Normally I don't have the time to just relax and read. It was such a treat. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brassicas by Laura B. Russell


This is from the author's website: 

Acclaimed by doctors and nutritionists for their miraculous health benefits, brassicas such as kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage can also be the most delicious part of your meal when properly prepared. The 80 inventive recipes in Brassicas play to each vegetable’s strengths, favoring techniques that celebrate their intrinsic flavors instead of masking them under layers of cheese or boiling them to death. Think of the inherent sweetness that can be coaxed from perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts, or the bright, peppery punch of a watercress and arugula salad.

You can find more info from the author by clicking here

I think this is going to be one of my FAVORITE cookbooks. Wow - I am impressed. First, I eat lots of Kale -- I have it growing in my garden right now. Kale is just one of my favorites. I also eat lots of brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage - I actually eat a variety of these daily. To find new recipes and ways to serve them is soooooo exciting. I can't wait to try the Kale and Sweet Potato Saute. It sounds yummy. Her recipes look easy to make and yet very healthy. The Tropical Radish Rice Salad also sounds delicious. Each chapter covers one of the types of Brassicas. The introduction to each chapter tells about that brassicas, how to select and prepare them, plus their nutritional value. 

The recipes and the information look fantastic. This one is a real winner!

I almost forgot this --- and to our family it is probably THE most IMPORTANT aspect of what makes this book great --- p. 158-160 is a special diets table where at a glance you can view the recipes and determine what will work for your dietary needs and what won't. In our family we have one person that can't have dairy, two of us can't have gluten and one of us can't have soy. Yes, we are a JOY to cook for. (sarcasm dripping!) This table makes it so easy - at a quick glance I can easily determine what would be okay and what is out for us. Love it! Wish all cookbooks were as thoughtful to the consumer!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for a honest review.