Review: The Warden’s Daughter

This is a nice coming-of-age story set in Pennsylvania in 1959.  Cammie O’Reilly’s father holds a unique position in town and Cammie isn’t just known for that, either.

This is a story about waiting for the truth to be revealed, trying to guess at what is going on, wishing and wanting, heartbreak, and Cammie’s realization that everyone is connected even if we don’t realize it at first.

Cammie is a character one can identify with.

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Review: Fifth Business

Don’t look up information before you write a review.  Yet I did find out Tokyo Police Club wrote a song based on this book.

Ramsay, the protagonist of Fifth Business, could be Everyman and Anyperson except that historical and world events move through his life and become up close and personal.

Fifth Business is a story that no matter how much we don’t believe that we impact people’s lives around us, we find out about it at the weirdest moments and when we least expect to. Then at some point everything will come to a head and perhaps not the way we expect. It’s also about belief, love, being yourself, being part of something and being part of other people’s lives.

This book talks a lot about magic and has a magic all of it’s own.

Ayn Rand’s Anthem

The edition I found of this is the Student Edition.  I am always wary of these because I feel like something has been taken out or simplified.

What is the word that must not be spoken?  What is this word that people die for?

I’ve tried reading Ayn Rand in the past and haven’t been able to read through.  I may try again.

Anthem, as presented here, is a parable.  A man whose only identity is a number decides to go against what he has been told he must be.  A woman joins him and they find refuge in something they were told was dangerous.  And they find a lot more.

This books asks the question: what does it to mean to exist?  What is existence?

All the Single Ladies (The Extra Woman)

Before picking up this book, I had never heard the name Marjorie Willis and after reading the book, I understood why.  Ms. Hillis is one of those “hidden” historical people that unless you study a particular area and era inside and out, you will never hear of.

I’ve read plenty about the Roaring 20s and the pre-World War II era.  Plenty.  This era of American history fascinates me and in some ways our society today is a lot like it as much as things have changed.  For example, Prohibition is still here except now it is with items such as marijuana and not alcohol.  The effects are similar and at the same time but farther reaching.  This is for another time.  Another example is Wall Street and society was shaken to it’s core again in 2008.  Yet sometimes the question bed, did we really learn?  How much of what we have is still only on paper?

Marjorie Hillis wrote several books, her best known at that time being Live Alone and Like It. Ms. Hillis wrote for the single woman of the 1920’s and managed to sell products, known today as cross-promotion, for major retailers at the same time.  Ms. Hillis managed to ride out the Great Depression and continued writing for many years, even after she married at an older age for the first time.  The author, Joanna Scutts, paraphrases the book and goes into the historical context surrounding Ms. Hillis and her works.

10/10 for helping your mind to bloom.  A must for feminists, Women’s Studies, Jazz Age enthusiasts, and history buffs.

Review: The Battle for the Castle

I found this book in one of the local Little Libraries.  I didn’t know about the author Elizabeth Winthrop, even though she has written over 60 books for children, nor have I ever heard of the book until now.

Magic is in the air.

William, the protagonist, is 12.  His friend Jason jumps trains for fun and it has become a local coming of age for youngsters in William’s town to jump the trains as a rite of passage.  William may not be one for jumping trains but he does receive a very unique and powerful present for his birthday from his old governess.

One never knows what those forgotten toys in the attic might hold.

 

 

From Here to Eternity

I read Ms. Doughty’s first book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes while on a bus trip three years ago and after a death in the immediate family.  I finished reading From Here to Eternity the same day another immediate family member had been placed in hospice.

I applaud Ms. Doughty for doing what she does and bringing a very tough topic to the forefront with honesty and humor.  Death is part of the life cycle and so is grieving and not enough is given to the ritual of death and grieving.  Ms. Doughty traveled the world to see how other cultures deal with death and it is very different from what we know in the United States.  And then how the United States is influencing other cultures.

A must read.

Review: The City of Brass

Nahri and Ali take us through this magical journey that feels so real you can picture being part of it while reading it.  This is an adult fairy tale and adds dimension to stories from the Middle East.  Hang onto your seat because it also ends like an adult fairy tale, not as you would expect.

I’m glad I found an extra copy.  A must.