Why I bought it? We read it back in the Spring in my book club. I ordered it through Amazon.
Synopsis: As the subtitle suggests the book is told in jouWhy I bought it? We read it back in the Spring in my book club. I ordered it through Amazon.
Synopsis: As the subtitle suggests the book is told in journal entries. It was inspired by the author's great grandmother but departs from the real life story significantly. Sarah Agnes Prine is 17 at the start and learning to read and write (Her writing improves as the story progresses.) and wants to tell who she is so if anyone finds her bones they'll know a little something about her. Her writing project grows into a family saga of settling the Arizona Territory. Sarah is larger than life--full of vibrancy, spit, and fire. She shoots better than most men. Her life is at times harrowing and at other times hilarious. Sarah takes it all in stride with pluck. There's romance eventually for her and that is well done. (I don't want to give any spoilers because I enjoyed having it unfold for me without knowing any details ahead.) So I'll stop there.
What I thought? I enjoyed the book quite a lot. More than I thought I would. It is incredibly vivid and well researched. I felt like I was right there along with Sarah settling the new territory. It feels very authentic. In the "facts check" portion after the novel Ms. Turner tells what is and isn't based in history. I felt like I learned a lot about the era.
My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5
Cleanness Score: 3 out of 10, This is mostly for violence and the deaths/dangers that occur. It is aimed at adults, but I wouldn't have any problem with my teens reading it....more
This is a very straightforward treatment of the events that led up to the massacre at Mountain Meadows and who was really responsible for what happeneThis is a very straightforward treatment of the events that led up to the massacre at Mountain Meadows and who was really responsible for what happened during the siege and massacre. It's extremely well documented and quite candid. I finally feel like I have a good grasp of that atrocity. ...more
Why I bought it? I bought this a few years ago for my daughter from the recommendations of several nieces who loved it and thought she would. They saiWhy I bought it? I bought this a few years ago for my daughter from the recommendations of several nieces who loved it and thought she would. They said I should read it. I didn't at the time. Silly me.
Synopsis/Set up: In Ingary, the Witch of the Waste turns Sophie Hatter into an old woman. Sophie sets off to make her fortune and ends up working for the mysterious Wizard Howl in his moving castle. She makes a deal with the fire demon, Calcifer, that he will break the spell on her if she gets Howl to free him.
What I thought? This book is so charming and clever and witty. I loved it and couldn't put it down. All of the characters are 3 dimensional. Sophie is wonderful. I adore her. A friend described Howl as being like the Scarlet Pimpernel (but actually vain). I love that description. There's more depth to him than you see at first which is lovely to discover as you read. The book reminded me of Harry Potter at times (but this one came before HP). It's incredibly creative.
My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5. I think I may have given this 5 stars on Goodreads. It was very close for me.
My Daughter's Rating: **** out of 5, She said she saw the movie first and kept expecting to book to be as light hearted as the movie and there were a lot more serious moments. She loves the movie and has seen it over and over. I still haven't watched it, and she is giving me a hard time about it. Yeah. Yeah. Eventually.
Cleanness Score: 2 out of 10, You're pretty safe with this one, but there was a little mild language and a couple sort of adult things like drinking that I'm not sure little kids would get. That said. I wouldn't have a problem with my 10 year old reading it.
There are two companion books/sequels Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways. I read both and enjoyed them immensely....more
There were times when it was absolutely incredible. There were times I wanted to chuck the "book" at the wall. Did Rand really have to include the entThere were times when it was absolutely incredible. There were times I wanted to chuck the "book" at the wall. Did Rand really have to include the entire 3 hour speech? She'd never get away with that these days.
Her prose is wonderful. Her dialogue not so much. I felt like I was being preached to when certain characters would speak. Maybe that was her intent, but it got old after a while. ...more
Why I bought it? I had heard it recommended over and over. I had seen it at the book store a few times and almost gotten it. I was running errands witWhy I bought it? I had heard it recommended over and over. I had seen it at the book store a few times and almost gotten it. I was running errands with my daughter at Target and stopped by the books and finally grabbed it. The cover above is the one I got although I really like the other two covers I found. I included them so you could see. As most of you know, I'm a big fan of a good cover. The funny thing about this book to me is that I kept thinking it was a novel. I never actually read the blurb on the back (which I practically always do). For those that don't already know, it's not a novel at all.
Synopsis: Mortenson was a climber in his younger years and made an attempt at K2. He got separated from his group and turned around. He failed to reach the summit. The altitude and cold were taking their toll, and he started feeling bad and tried to go back down to their last base camp area. He missed the path to it and ended up in a little village that changed the course of his life. They nursed him back to health, and before he left he promised to build them a school. He was not a wealthy man, so he had to figure out how to raise the money. This book shares Mortenson's amazing perseverance and charisma that has brought 55 (in 2006) schools to some of the poorest people in the world--in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In a lot of ways he's fighting the war on terror with education.
What I thought? I was blown away by all that Mortenson has accomplished--how dedicated he was to making it happen. He's a rare breed of person. He saw a need and has dedicated his life to filling that need. If only there were more people like him in the world! The author is actually Relin. He recounts Mortenson's story. There were times I was put off by his way of telling things, but the story is such a compelling one that I let a lot of that slide. A friend of mine gave up on it though, because she found it too slow moving. I didn't really have that problem. I wouldn't pass this book up for that. I would say, if you start getting bogged down, just skim to where things pick up again. Finding out what Mortenson has accomplished is worth it. It was quite an education into the world of Islam and the Taliban, etc., as well, which I think all Americans need.
My Rating: **** out of 5 stars. It probably gets that many because of how much respect I now have for Mortenson and his compassion and triumphs.
Cleanness Score: 4 out of 10, This is mostly for violent situations. ...more
Why I bought it? It was October's choice for my book club. I was excited about it. It sounded interesting. I ordered it online from Amazon along withWhy I bought it? It was October's choice for my book club. I was excited about it. It sounded interesting. I ordered it online from Amazon along with several others.
Synopsis: It explains the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. How it happened. The medical environment of the time. The primary players in infectious diseases research prior to and during the epidemic/pandemic. The role of WWI in the spread of the virus.
What I thought? The research that went into this book was astounding. Barry went into a lot of detail. He had some great explanations of what happens in the spreading of influenza. I appreciated his point by point descriptions of what the H and the N refer to--as in H1N1 flu and how we classify different flu strains. I enjoyed hearing about the doctors who were trying to come up with vaccines or cures for the flu. Barry went into their personalities and personal histories fairly extensively. It was all very interesting. I really can't fault him for most of the things he included. I learned a ton. I did find, though, that it was pretty disjointed. He was kind of all over the place. I can understand. It is a huge undertaking with lots of players, but still I was glad to be done with it when it was over. I got annoyed at the way it was written until I started approaching it as random research notes. Barry's writing style didn't do much for me either. Sometimes his sentences were all turned around. Parts of it were brilliant, and parts of it were deadly dull. If you can stand the repetitions and the writing problems, it is a good thing to read. It really gets you thinking about what happened then, the impact it had on the world, and the possibility of it happening again and how prepared we are for it. That part is chilling.
My Rating: *** out of 5
Cleanness Score: 6 out of 10, This is mostly for the horror of what happened when the pandemic was in full force....more