With its beautifully textured and toned parchment, "Be Still, My Soul: The Inspiring Stories Behind 175 of the Most-Loved Hymns" immediately gives the...moreWith its beautifully textured and toned parchment, "Be Still, My Soul: The Inspiring Stories Behind 175 of the Most-Loved Hymns" immediately gives the reader a feeling of coming home to something wonderfully familiar. Author Randy Petersen has put together a richly rewarding hymnal and historical, offering an in-depth look at twelve composers and purveyors of inspirational music, and encompassing a wealth of information on how these hymns became popularized. As you read the text, and run your fingers over the lyrics and musical scores, you most likely will find yourself humming the tunes or singing out loud. This is a historical reference, songbook, and a source of inspiration for singers and soul-searchers. Many songs in popular culture, including holiday carols and more, have their roots in secular music. "The Index of First Lines" is a helpful resource at identifying songs for which you know the tune, but not the title. Even if you can't play a note or carry a tune, you will enjoy this entertaining and enlightening work from author Randy Petersen.
"Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories", is a fascinating, faith-filled volume of music, lyrics, and the stories of the creator...more"Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories", is a fascinating, faith-filled volume of music, lyrics, and the stories of the creators and popularizers of familiar inspirational songs. My mother was quite musical, and for many years she was the organist in the little country church attended by my family. Upon reading this history of hymns by author Robert J. Morgan, my mother and I realized that our favorites, "Take My Hand Precious Lord" (hers), and "Peace in the Valley" (mine), were both written by Thomas A. Dorsey. This is a wonderful, heart-stirring hymnal, full of history and sentiment. The ivory pages and sepia ink along with the rustic look and texture of the paper give it a homey feel. Very enjoyable and most certainly worth your time. A delight for the devout and for those still seeking, and a treasure for those whose trace their musical roots to their house of worship. "Then Sings My Soul" will stir your soul indeed. (less)
Frontiersman, politician, and genuine American Icon, Davy Crockett was a legend in his own time. Although his time on Earth was relatively short, just...moreFrontiersman, politician, and genuine American Icon, Davy Crockett was a legend in his own time. Although his time on Earth was relatively short, just forty-nine years, he achieved much before that fateful battle at the Alamo ended his celebrated life. His legendary status will live on forever, and it will never be equaled in its uniqueness. Author Bob Thompson offers a fascinating look into the blended facts and fallacies of Crockett's life in: "Born on a Mountaintop--On the Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier". The author's journey following the course of Crockett's life is intriguing, often surprising, and once again affirms why our true-life heroes deserve a place of honor in our hearts and minds. This is a wonderfully entertaining book for people like me who love American History. Just a shade less enjoyable than the book itself are the "Notes on Sources", which are a mini-book in themselves. My favorite "note" is the one in which the author extolls the execellence of a children's CD in which actor Nicolas Cage portrays Davy Crockett. Cage's performance is described as "seamless" (Go Nic!), and hearing the author's description of the CD makes it more than okay to be a kid at heart, wanting to walk in Davy Crockett's footsteps as he made his history-making way across America. Dust off your coonskin cap--fake it if you don't have one--and settle in to get to know the King of the Wild Frontier. You'll be glad you did. Recommended.
As much as I enjoy reading fiction, every once in a while a true story will come along that is better than fiction. Such is the case with "Visiting To...moreAs much as I enjoy reading fiction, every once in a while a true story will come along that is better than fiction. Such is the case with "Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace" from author Michael Perry. "Visiting Tom" is a real slice of American Pie, a tart cherry pie topped with farm-fresh sweet whipped cream. Tom Hartwig and his wife of six decades, Arlene, still live in the Wisconsin farmhouse in which Tom was born. In their eighties, they are as full of spirit as they are stories, and by now, they are two halves of one person. Tom is a natural-born mechanical genius and a builder of cannons and maker of black powder to fire his homemade artillery. Visitors to the Hartwig farm are greeted by the sight of a fully functional cannon, a fact which intimidates the likes of traveling salesman and other uninvited guests. The Hartwig farm is split by a government-enforced four-lane highway, an ever-present intrusion upon daily life which the Hartwig's have endured with admirable perseverance. The author writes with humor, heart, and wryly astute observation. The affection between Perry and the Hartwigs is obvious, and while the men are quite different, they share a great bond. Observations on wives and children, the land, the government, and life in general are funny, touching, and simply profound. There are a few photos in the book, and I would have loved to see quite a few more--each picture is a story in itself. Author Michael Perry also writes articles and essays, performs as a humorist and radio host, and tours with his band, "The Long Beds".
"Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel", by Jane Kirkpatrick, is based on the remarkable true life story of Hulda Klager. A German immigrant and a "farm w...more"Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel", by Jane Kirkpatrick, is based on the remarkable true life story of Hulda Klager. A German immigrant and a "farm wife" with only an eighth-grade education, Hulda's natural intellect and intuition, along with a burning curiosity, allowed her to develop hundreds of hybrid fruit and flower varieties, especially lilacs. The book is beautifully written--an inspiring and life-affirming tribute to the courage and spirit of the amazing Hulda Klager. The book begins in 1948, with a brief prologue during which the flood waters are rising and threatening to destroy Hulda's work of a lifetime. She is eighty-five years old, and as she looks down on the surging waters from the safety of a bluff, she recalls her life story. What a story it is! As the book unfolds, we share with Hilda her triumphs and sorrows, and her indomitable spirit shines throughout the years. In her own way, she was a pioneer for women's rights, a scientist, an environmentalist, and an example for anyone who won't take no for a final answer. There is a pure, timeless joy in putting a seed into the ground, nurturing its growth, and watching it come into its full glory. Hulda did all that and more, ever adding newer and more sustainable plant varieties that she first cultivated in her agile mind. The real Hulda survived until 1960, when she passed away at the age of 96. I am now in my early fifties, and I cannot imagine living four more decades, much less being vibrant and vital until the very end. Hulda outlived her beloved husband Frank, all of her children, and all of her brothers and sisters. Her gardens were restored after the disastrous flood of 1948, and to this day, they remain open to the public. The "Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens" are a National Historic Site located in Woodland, Washington. The "Hilda Klager Lilac Society" revived her annual “Lilac Days” each spring when the lilacs come into bloom, selling lilac plants to visitors just as when Hulda Klager was there. As generations come and go, Hulda's sweetly scented legacy continues to enrich lives with its beauty.
"Food Network Favorites: Recipes from Our All-Star Chefs" was my first cookbook purchase connected to the "Food Network", and it was a great way to st...more"Food Network Favorites: Recipes from Our All-Star Chefs" was my first cookbook purchase connected to the "Food Network", and it was a great way to start my collection! The format is friendly, the food is flavorful and fixable. The book is overflowing with relaxed and revealing interviews and insights from some of TV's favorite celebrity chefs. The food photos are gorgeous, and the recipes are well laid out and easy to follow. I also greatly enjoyed the "insider" pages from the Food Network kitchens. A cookbook to be often used and read. (less)
You will never read of another person quite as unique as Evelyn Ryan. Her magically creative mind was far beyond most of our imaginations. She kept he...moreYou will never read of another person quite as unique as Evelyn Ryan. Her magically creative mind was far beyond most of our imaginations. She kept her family together by the sheer force of her will and the incredible scope of her intuition. Her husband was an alcoholic,and at times, he was abusive to Evelyn. She remained steadfast throughout, raising their ten children with love and courage. Her genius was the ability to write winning slogans and jingles for advertising contests. Evelyn supported her family for many years by winning prizes. If necessary, the prizes were sold for much-needed cash. This heartwarming true story was written by Evelyn's daughter, Terry "Tuffy" Ryan. This amazing real-life story was made into a film starring Julianne Moore as Evelyn Ryan. (less)
"Graceland's Table" is filled with amazing personal stories, beautiful photos, touching and humorous insights, and an astounding variety of recipes. T...more"Graceland's Table" is filled with amazing personal stories, beautiful photos, touching and humorous insights, and an astounding variety of recipes. The food is fabulous--ranging from down-home good cookin' to creative culinary delights! I am Southern to the bone. I have loved Elvis since I was a little girl. For almost 50 years, I lived with a legendary Elvis fan--my Mama! "Graceland's Table" proudly resides among my collection of Elvis memorabilia. Good cookin' tonight!!! (less)