I read this at least 35 years ago, and it still at the top of my best books I've ever read list. Solzhenitsyn wrote a riveting tale which deals with h...moreI read this at least 35 years ago, and it still at the top of my best books I've ever read list. Solzhenitsyn wrote a riveting tale which deals with his arrest for daring to present a differing view from Russia's prevailing totalitarian regime and his subsequent incarceration in the vast Soviet prison system. Despite the heavy subject matter - the stark chaotic realities of life (and death) in Stalin's Russia and the suffering of the inmates in the Gulag's deplorable prisons - the book is highly readable. Solzhenitsyn's first hand account reads more like a novel than an autobiography. He was able to outlive the rotten system that persecuted him and drove him into prison and exile, and finally wrote about his vindicating return to his homeland. It is an eye opening, poignant, and touching tale which should be read by anyone who thinks government (the State) exists to protect its citizens.
“Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.”
"the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. ...And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
“Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself.”
“It is unthinkable in the twentieth century to fail to distinguish between what constitutes an abominable atrocity that must be prosecuted and what constitutes that "past" which "ought not to be stirred up.” (less)
Delightful book! I loved the main character Flavia, a quirky precocious 11 year old, and will definitely read more in the series. It is a real authori...moreDelightful book! I loved the main character Flavia, a quirky precocious 11 year old, and will definitely read more in the series. It is a real authorial feat to make a murder mystery so light-hearted and humorous.(less)
Very funny book with memorable crazy but believable down-to-earth characters. Excellent writing..if you can ignore the bad language and almost complet...moreVery funny book with memorable crazy but believable down-to-earth characters. Excellent writing..if you can ignore the bad language and almost complete lack of respect for traditional values and uplifting moral standards, which cost 2 stars on my rating. (less)
I don't even like sci-fi dystopian novels, am not a gamer, geek, or techie. I was too busy being a mom to 5 kids in the 80's to be little more than wo...moreI don't even like sci-fi dystopian novels, am not a gamer, geek, or techie. I was too busy being a mom to 5 kids in the 80's to be little more than worried about the influence of its pop culture. I was not only terrible at Mario but I could see no point in wasting my time as it made me tense and jittery. Now as a grandma I have even stronger feelings about online gaming and its violent, addictive qualities. All that being said, I REALLY liked this crazy book about an unattractive, overweight male teen who barely has a life outside of gaming. I don't think it is very well written, but due to the compulsive nature of my reading it, in the end I decided it doesn't matter, because I liked it. I agree with another reviewer who pointed out that the book looks at how we deal with the online "friends" we've never actually met and how certain segments of society wall themselves off from the real world living almost exclusively in a virtual world. It is a fun, escapist read, a blend of "tech version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," The Matrix, and The Hunger Games. I predict a sequel and a movie adaptation. I listened to the audio version which is exceptionally well done. I don't think I would have enjoyed text version as well. I knocked off a point for crude language and mediocre writing. (less)
This is a heart warming, beautifully written gem of a book with an uplifting and faith promoting message about the power of love and hope. The charact...moreThis is a heart warming, beautifully written gem of a book with an uplifting and faith promoting message about the power of love and hope. The characters are varied, endearing, and unforgettable. I want to hug every one of them. The late 1940's story, told from a young girl's perspective, sometimes made me laugh out loud, at other times tugged at my heart strings, and constantly kept me wondering what would happen next. I will definitely be reading more of Tatlock's books. Audio version exceptionally well done. Highly recommend to all readers, all ages. Favorite quotes: “I decided that faith must be the strongest thing in the world, because an ounce of it can change the course of an entire life.” -Nova Tierney “And if I curse God, Mrs. Tierney? What then? If I turn away from him, what do I turn toward? …No. Better to keep one’s face toward heaven, even if you are angry with God, than to turn away and find nothing at all.” -Josef Karski “Funny how even a grain of hope can manage to eclipse a whole world of despair.” -Nova Tierney(less)
An engrossing, powerful read, to which I was riveted until its triumphant ending, this novel tells the stories of three individuals in the immediate a...moreAn engrossing, powerful read, to which I was riveted until its triumphant ending, this novel tells the stories of three individuals in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War.
Sam, a former runaway slave, now an educated successful man who is passionate about freedom, leaves his home & respectable position of employment in Philadelphia, on a desperate journey of 1,000 miles to find his wife whom he has not seen for 15 years.
Tilda, his wife, still considered as “property” by her brutal master who would kill her as he has his other slaves, has no concept of the word”freedom,” and cannot fathom where she would go or what she would do without her master.
Prudence, a wealthy white woman from Boston determined to start a school “for coloreds,” has newly arrived in Mississippi and faces obstacles never considered and an unrevealed past personal history that will shake her world
The realistic lives of these three are intertwined, along with lesser characters’ stories. Heartfelt, poignant, at times horrifying, the book clearly illustrates the inhumanity of antebellum slavery culture, along with an illustration of the most uplifting and praiseworthy nature of humans. Great character development, realistic, believable, some of the characters based on actual individuals and events. It is a book that will affect me for a long time. Audio version. A masterful job done by Sean Crisden, the narrator.(less)
I was deeply moved by this story and am impressed by Mary Doria Russell's ability as an author. She has created characters that one can't help but lov...moreI was deeply moved by this story and am impressed by Mary Doria Russell's ability as an author. She has created characters that one can't help but love and care about. Favorite quote, and summation of the book's message ....“No matter how dark the tapestry God weaves for us, there's always a thread of grace.” This is a beautiful but painful book that will stay with me for a long while. more favorite quotes: “God save us from idealists! They dream of a world without injustice, and what crime won't they commit to get it! I swear, Mirella, I'll settle for a world with good manners.” “The world is filled with unreasonable hate. What's wrong with unreasonable love?” “I suppose I should warn you, Padre. In the absence of male supervision, my mother has become a revolutionary." ~Renzo Leoni” (less)