I listened to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass” on CD. This book was one I’ve read several times as a child. As an auI listened to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass” on CD. This book was one I’ve read several times as a child. As an audio book, the voices of the many unique characters enhance the story. I especially liked the rhymes, spoken in their sing-song way, giving charm to the story. Since the version I listened to was abridged, I looked for the full text and found one online, courtesy of the Guntenberg Project: Wonderland and Looking Glass. I skimmed the online versions to see what my audio left out and was reminded of the Mock Turtle and the Lobster, and the Walrus and the Carpenter. In fact this reminded me of curtains my mother made for my bedroom one year … with pictures of all these characters.
Carroll’s nonsense poetry, like “Jabberwockey” and “Father William,” are quite entertaining without the story they are embedded in. I definitely will read these stories again. These adventures are a great escape from reality; the imagination brings them to life in one’s mind. I can see the Garden of Live Flowers, and the daisies changing colors. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is my favorite scene of course.
I do wonder though if Lewis Carroll ever indulged in experimental drugs … with the cakes that made you shrink and grow, and the bottles marked “drink me.” Then there was the caterpillar smoking a hookah on top of a magic mushroom. That is certainly out there! ...more
The Armstrong family has had some traumatic times, but thankfully the ties that bind didn't snap despite all the drama. Jack is on his deathbed when hThe Armstrong family has had some traumatic times, but thankfully the ties that bind didn't snap despite all the drama. Jack is on his deathbed when his wife Lizzie has a fatal car accident on her way to get his prescription filled. This happens early in the story, and after a tragic beginning it is easy to wonder what the climax will be. Suddenly the tables turn and after a miraculous recovery from a supposed terminal illness, Jack and his children must carry on without their wife and mother. Lizzie's in-laws try to keep the children, to prevent them from living with their father's grief and a possible medical relapse. Looking for a fresh start and a chance to reconnect with the children, Jack takes his family to the beach for the summer. Here is where the story takes off. Struggles with Lizzie's parents over custody of the children, dealing with an angry and rebellious teenage daughter, along with learning to be a single parent make things hard. Not to mention the sorrow Jack has about Lizzie's sudden death. He is restoring an old lighthouse at the family's beach house … a dream Lizzie has had for years. A new woman comes into his life and even though he can never forget Lizzie, he learns to love again. This story is full of every emotion and the action begins to escalate when Jack has to save his daughter from a dangerous situation. The ending brings the reader to another miraculous conclusion. This book would make an excellent movie for the Hallmark Channel....more
When you' re weary feeling small When tears are in your eyes I'll dry them all I'm on your side oh when times get rough And friends just can't be foundWhen you' re weary feeling small When tears are in your eyes I'll dry them all I'm on your side oh when times get rough And friends just can't be found
Meredith is under investigation following her husband's indictment in a financial fraud case and Connie is mourning the loss of her husband to cancer. Their friendship is the bridge that gets them over these troubled waters. Meredith finds refuge in Nantucket at Connie's house, and over the summer months the two women are scorned by former friends who invested and lost fortunes with Meredith's husband, Freddy. Connie's house is vandalized and Meredith rarely ventures out. Connie's brother Toby shows up for a visit unaware that Meredith is there and before long their past feelings for each other resurface. Still Meredith has to prove that she doesn't know anything about Freddy's dealings. She begins putting pieces together when Toby plays “Silver Girl” from Simon & Garfunkel's album “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” This song is special to Meredith because her father gave her the album and called her his “silver girl.” The song triggers a memory of a birthday gift Freddy gave her on her 45th birthday … a star. Yes, he had bought a star in Bode's Galaxy and named it Silver Girl for her. When Meredith finds the certificate from NASA that supposedly validates the star's purchase, she realizes that the document is a fake. This leads the FBI to Freddy's hidden bank account and recovery of some of the lost investments.
As Meredith learns more and more about the lies and deceit from Freddy, she is able to let go of the vows she made years ago. With Connie and Toby as support she is able to face the future. Elin Hilderbrand was able to make Meredith so vulnerable and real, that I was easily pulled into her world, although I certainly have never experienced her lifestyle. I felt the agony of her failed marriage and sadness she had because of her husband's betrayal. The use of flashbacks on events throughout Meredith and Connie's lives really developed the ups and downs of their friendship, and made it so rewarding in the end when they were there for each other. The memories Meredith has about her romance with Toby brought hope again into her otherwise bleak future....more
Steinbeck weaves a tale that parallels the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with the Trask and Hamilton families. Spanning severalSteinbeck weaves a tale that parallels the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with the Trask and Hamilton families. Spanning several decades and generations the main characters are two sets of twins that carry opposite personality traits. They are very similar to the twins Cain and Abel in the Garden of Eden. The twins of the younger generation never knew their mother, who turns out to be quite evil. These twins Aaron and Cal want to please their father Adam, and at times their situations even reminded me of Jacob and Esau, trying to please their father Issac. I enjoyed the simple way the story developed, while at the same time the complicated thoughts of each character took me into their minds and motives. ...more
Beach Music is full of excitement and brings a dysfunctional family together with love and tragedy. Jack has left South Carolina for Rome, Italy afterBeach Music is full of excitement and brings a dysfunctional family together with love and tragedy. Jack has left South Carolina for Rome, Italy after his wife Shyla commits suicide. He is determined to raise their two-year daughter away from the sadness and craziness of his former life. Several years later he returns to the low country when his mother is diagnosed with Leukemia. Pat Conroy’s characters are colorful and their dialogue draws the reader into the story very easily. As one of Jack’s long-time friends, now a famous movie producer, approaches him to help with writing a screenplay about their younger years a number of stories and backgrounds suddenly come together to help the families heal. It is amazing how the histories of the Holocaust and war protest of Vietnam, along with saving endangered loggerhead turtles on the South Carolina coast, dealing with alcoholism and mental illness, and finding a long lost friend once assumed to be dead but now living the life of a catholic priest all combine to tell a tale well worth reading. Conroy is a master of his craft. ...more
Three parts – 102 chapters ... I love this Western! I first read this book after the mini-series came out on TV. With the 25-year anniversary of McMurThree parts – 102 chapters ... I love this Western! I first read this book after the mini-series came out on TV. With the 25-year anniversary of McMurty’s masterpiece, I listened to the audio this time. The characters, mainly the Hat Creek Outfit, include all types and accurately portray the Old West. This bunch is an eclectic mix of cowhands, led by two ex-Texas Rangers, on their way to Montana with a large herd of cattle. They have left South Texas for greener pastures. Along for the ride, and a better life, is a saloon girl who dreams of getting to San Francisco. There is everything you could imagine in this epic novel. Danger around every corner … flood waters, Indian attack, hailstorms, grasshopper invasions, murdering horse thieves, etc… But there is also loyalty, strong love, perseverance, and strength to beat the odds. McMurty ends the novel by bringing everything back to the tragic girl, Lorena, who left a life of exploitation and ends up sad and heartbroken by the loss of her soul mate. Her beauty broke many hearts in return. One cowhand, Dish Baggett, couldn’t get her out of his mind. He gave her time, and showed respect. I think he would make a good life for her, if she could really leave the past behind and try to love again. I guess I’ll have to read “Streets of Laredo” to see how Lorena pulls through. Despite her hypnotic beauty that has the power to get her anywhere, or anything, she is left in a severe depression....more
In “Cat's Cradle”, Vonnegut creates a new religion … Bokonoism. The concept of the Bokon belief is that everything is foma (lies). With that in mind,In “Cat's Cradle”, Vonnegut creates a new religion … Bokonoism. The concept of the Bokon belief is that everything is foma (lies). With that in mind, the story begins when John, wishing to be called Jonah admits that he was once a Christian but now a Bokoni.
Jonah is on a quest to find out what makers of the atomic bomb were doing when the bomb was dropped. He wonders if they had a conscience and wants to write a book showing a human side to the madness of annihilating thousands of people. He learns of Dr. Hoenikker, a physicist who worked on the research team that created the bomb and is able to track down the children of this scientist to interview them. He discovers that Dr. Hoenikker has developed another destructive technology. Actually it is a new form of ice … referred to as Ice-9. Each of Hoenikker's children have inherited a vial of this hazardous material. Once Ice-9 is exposed it will freeze water at room temperature, and that would be fatal for the natural environment.
As the story unfolds, Jonah finds that each of the children have used their portion of Ice-9 to find acceptance in someway. But, the world's end is inevitable when Ice-9 falls into the wrong hands. I think Vonnegut was making a point about the carelessness of nuclear scientists … maybe what he perceives as unconcern for future consequences. Jonah finds himself on a mad-cap adventure to learn more as he travels to see each of the children and meets many interesting characters. When he is introduced to Bokonism the irony of the belief is that he wants to believe everything is lies. Despite the fact that Bokonon believe life to be sacred, the threat of Ice-9 becomes a reality. The game Cat's Cradle is symbolic to the story, representing the never-ending search for meaning that doesn't exist. ...more