This is the first hand account of the civil rights movement by a woman who witnessed it. Carolyn Maull was just a teenager living in Birmingham, AlabaThis is the first hand account of the civil rights movement by a woman who witnessed it. Carolyn Maull was just a teenager living in Birmingham, Alabama when a bomb blew up the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and killed four of her friends. She recalls the incident, her fears, her hurts and the people who inspired her. This is a tragic part of American history that everyone should educate themselves about. I was just a little girl at the time and I can remember when these girls were killed. I was always sheltered from the outside world and as a white child I really knew nothing about prejudice and hate. But I can remember the incident because it was girls close to my age and it happened in church, a place that should always be a place of refuge. Birmingham, Alabama was a hotbed of racial hatred. During these dark years, many brave people stepped up for what they believed in. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. emerged as a leader for not only the black community, but for everyone who believes that equality is for all. I was glad to see so many of his speeches included in this book. I have read bits and pieces, but this gives me much more to refer to. I learned so much about the children’s peace marches that I didn’t know. Until I read this first-hand account, I had a vague vision of what happened. But to read it is shear horror. Grown adults spraying children with fire hoses, loosing dogs on them, and jailing them is horrible when all they were doing was clapping and singing. One of the youngest children was only four-years-old. What really shocked me is that it wasn’t until 2009, just two years ago, that the criminal charges against those children were dropped. That means they had to live their whole lifetime with criminal charges on their record. Obviously things have changed, but there is still a lot of change that needs to come. I hope that if I am ever put in a situation where I have to choose between standing up for what is right or siding with my peers, that I will have the courage to do the right thing. Martin Luther King Jr, was a great leader, but other quieter leaders have emerged and one of those is Carolyn Maull McKinstry. Thank you, Carolyn, for your story.
I won this book in Goodread's First Read giveaway....more
I believe Heaven is for real. What I'm not sure of is exactly how much of this book is true and how much has been exaggerated. I do believe the littleI believe Heaven is for real. What I'm not sure of is exactly how much of this book is true and how much has been exaggerated. I do believe the little boy probably had a near death experience and saw something. What I am having a hard time with is the descriptions of crowns, thrones, pearly gates and everyone with angel wings. It sounds like the things you picture about heaven when you are a child, and what I used to think of when I was a child. Now, I think of heaven of a place that is beyond words that we can express in our human form. But maybe, just maybe, we all would experience heaven in different ways - in ways that only we could understand. That is why is was so simplified for this child. What I do believe is that this family was grieving - the parents for the child they lost and the grandma wondering if Pop made it to heaven. God was able to ease their pain and suffering by giving a child a glimpse into the afterlife and allowing him to see these people and reporting that they were in heaven. Maybe that is the whole point to this experience. Many people will be comforted by reading this book, and that is a good thing....more
This woman must be the best looking, most spectacular woman on the planet. I mean, according to her memoir, every single guy she came in contact withThis woman must be the best looking, most spectacular woman on the planet. I mean, according to her memoir, every single guy she came in contact with was practically drooling all over her. This is the one thing that turned me off about this book. I really liked “Wild,” but I did not really like the author. She was promiscuous, used heroin, and divorced a really great guy, that according to her she still loved. Why? Because her mother died and she was in the throes of grief. At least that was her excuse.
The writing was really good and kept me interested the whole time. If everything happened as she says it did, I have to hand it to her for being so brave to tackle a feat like this. But, I asked myself the whole time I was reading it if it was believable. Not that I don’t think it couldn’t be done by a woman alone. But this woman, according to herself, was totally unprepared. Unless there is something we aren’t being told, she just straps on a backpack that is so heavy that even strong men have trouble with it, wears boots too small, and then just starts hiking 10-12 miles a day. Maybe she was super fit and already hiked a lot, who am I to say? Strayed hiked the PCT in 1995 when she was 26 years old, nearly 20 years ago. I like stories about adventurous women, but Strayed makes it sound like anyone can just pick up a backpack, throw on some boots and walk 1200 miles. ...more
This is the true story of a sweet little cat who lived in a library. Dewey lived to a ripe old age and touched many lives. Don't expect a lot of actioThis is the true story of a sweet little cat who lived in a library. Dewey lived to a ripe old age and touched many lives. Don't expect a lot of action, but it's a worthwhile story....more
This is the memoir of Julia Child, the French Chef, who revolutionized American cooking. It's a very interesting look at the time she lived in France,This is the memoir of Julia Child, the French Chef, who revolutionized American cooking. It's a very interesting look at the time she lived in France, and how she came to love food and the art of cooking. In this book, she describes her dream and the hard work she put into writing the cookbook that brought step-by-step French cooking to American households. She, and her husband, spent an incredible life together and shared a great love. If you saw the movie Julie and Julia, or you ever watched the cooking show The French Chef years ago, you might really enjoy this book. Bon Appetit!...more
Amazing! Those are the first words I uttered as I closed the last page of this book. I have never read a more inspiring story that this one of Louis ZAmazing! Those are the first words I uttered as I closed the last page of this book. I have never read a more inspiring story that this one of Louis Zamperini. Never having heard of this man before I opened the pages of this book, I became glued to the story. I never thought I would like a war story so much, but I just couldn’t quit reading. Zamperini’s tale is one that every single person should read, not only because it tells of an amazing life, but it tells the story for thousands of servicemen who have served for our country. I highly recommend this book for everyone. 5+ stars....more
Janice Holt Giles is as authentic of a writer as you can find. All of her novels take place in her adopted state of Kentucky where she moved after meeJanice Holt Giles is as authentic of a writer as you can find. All of her novels take place in her adopted state of Kentucky where she moved after meeting her husband Henry, who was eleven years her junior. This book is an autobiography of the first years that Janice and Henry left good jobs in the city and moved to the hills of Adair County, Kentucky. Times weren’t easy and they had to do without a lot of comforts. This is probably the best book I have ever read that describes the Appalachian people so thoroughly. She helps the reader to understand their customs and beliefs. In addition there are so many really wonderful people we are introduced to in this book and stories that were the basis of some of her novels. Giles lived from 1905 to 1979 and left a wonderful legacy of historical fiction to the world. ...more
This is the true story of an African girl, Fauziya Kassindja, who sought asylum in America to escape FGM (female genital mutilation) and an arranged mThis is the true story of an African girl, Fauziya Kassindja, who sought asylum in America to escape FGM (female genital mutilation) and an arranged marriage to a man 30 years her senior. Her family were devout Muslims, but her parents were more traditional and opposed FGM. Because her father was well-to-do he was able to protect Fauziya and her sisters from this practice. When her father died, Fauziya, who was only 17, was put on an airplane and sent to Germany to escape. She had only a suitcase, no contacts, and no knowledge of the language. After a couple of months she made her way to America because she had heard what a welcoming country this is. What a welcome she received. She was thrown in prison, sometimes with hardened criminals for 14 months. Until I read this book, I never realized how horrible refugees are treated. I never realized how horrible prisoners are treated. Not even the most basic human rights are respected. I didn't even knew that much about FGM. Know I know that hundreds of thousands of women are put through this ordeal, most often with no anesthesia. Girls of all ages go through this depending on the tradition of their culture, from infants to grown women. They have no choice; they have no voice. They all experience excruciating pain, sometimes severe bleeding, infections, and even death. This practice devalues women. What impressed me about Fauziya is that she never ever lost her faith in God. Every day she made time to pray follow her faith the best she could. I guess I can say this book was a real eye-opener for me....more
I thought this was an excellent little book. It is the memoir of Robert Leon Davis, an ex-cop who broke the law and became a fugitive for over 20 yearI thought this was an excellent little book. It is the memoir of Robert Leon Davis, an ex-cop who broke the law and became a fugitive for over 20 years. He traveled all over the United States, hopping trains, living in the wilderness and taking jobs stealing cars. Through those years he gave up family, relationships and proclaimed himself an atheist. God never gave up on him though. As horrible as Robert's life became and the crimes he let himself stoop to, God had bigger plans for him. This book shows us that God will not give up on each of us either, whatever pathway our lives take us....more
After reading Krakauer’s book, “In To Thin Air,” about a disastrous climb on Mt. Everest I had a few thoughts. It’s totally stupid for people who areAfter reading Krakauer’s book, “In To Thin Air,” about a disastrous climb on Mt. Everest I had a few thoughts. It’s totally stupid for people who are not very experienced to try and climb a mountain just because they have $70,000 to blow. Some things can’t (or shouldn’t) be bought. It puts too much responsibility on the experienced guides. People today think that everything should be given to them. Climbing mountains should be for the true athletes and experienced climbers who have earned the right to this achievement.
When someone decides to climb Mt. Everest they need to take responsibility for themselves. They should realize that this is a life or death deal, and not put blame on others for what happens on the mountain. Every man for himself. The true heroes in my eyes are the sherpas who do the hard part. They carry huge loads of useless things up the mountain and going ahead to prepare the way and make their employers comfortable. Do they get the glory?
The book itself was well written and very interesting. I think Krakauer tried to be as honest as he could with all the events, but let’s give the man a break. He was up on a stupid mountain with no air and fighting for his life too.
Just reading this book made me want to curl up in a blanket with a cup of hot tea! ...more
If you have the time and energy to put into it this is such a worthwhile book to read. It is a memoir of three generations of Chinese women, told by tIf you have the time and energy to put into it this is such a worthwhile book to read. It is a memoir of three generations of Chinese women, told by the author Jung Chang. She describes how her grandmother had bound feet and was a concubine to a war lord. Then she describes her mother’s experience as an active member of the Communist Party. Then she tells her own story of growing up under the rule of General Mao, and how the ideals of the Communist party became skewed under his command. She relays the struggles, persecutions and lifestyle living in China during his rein.
The book held my interest throughout, and it read almost more like a novel in places. It is not a quick read, but I was fascinated through the whole book. I really didn’t know much about China’s history before, but now I feel like I am at least a little more knowledgeable about it.
In America, we take our freedom for granted and it is hard for us to see how people could accept life under such a ruler as General Mao. These people were cut off from the rest of the world and lived in a Godless society where their whole world is to pay tribute to one evil man. This novel is banned in China. I am thankful that I live in a society where I can read what I want, think and say what I want, and worship the way I want to. ...more
This book is the prequel to the author’s bestselling memoir, The Glass Castle. Walls hoped to write a book about her mother’s early years, attemptingThis book is the prequel to the author’s bestselling memoir, The Glass Castle. Walls hoped to write a book about her mother’s early years, attempting to explain how she became the person she did. Once she started researching she found that her grandmother was the one who had all the stories. Wall’s grandmother, Lily, died when she was just a child but she left many stories about her life that cried out to be told. Lily was an incredible woman. She grew up learning to break horses and took on way more responsibility than most children should. Once her parents sent her off to be educated, but her father spent her tuition money on dogs, so she had to return home. The nun told her that when God closes a door he opens a window, and that is pretty much how she lived her life. She was fearless, riding her horse 500 miles alone to her first teaching job, before she even finished her own education. When the war ended and she lost her teaching job, she left the only life she ever knew and moved to Chicago. There, she married and divorced, became a teacher again while playing poker and racing horses at night. She married again and had two children, but moved back to Arizona. She learned to fly an airplane, sold bootleg whiskey that she hid under her baby crib and worked as a partner alongside her husband on the ranch. She took along her two young children along with her when she had work to do or she just let them run free on the ranch. They grew up half wild (half broke horses). This is an interesting book to read about a strong-willed woman who was not afraid to try anything, and who left behind the legacy of a remarkable life....more
A humorous look at what it was like growing up in the 50's and 60's. Parts of this book I thought were really funny, but other parts I found boring anA humorous look at what it was like growing up in the 50's and 60's. Parts of this book I thought were really funny, but other parts I found boring and just wanted to skip over them. Overall, it was a good book, but not nearly as entertaining as "A Walk In The Woods," by the same author....more
I believe in miracles. This is the true story of a black man, born into sharecropping, so poor that living homeless was a step up in the world, and anI believe in miracles. This is the true story of a black man, born into sharecropping, so poor that living homeless was a step up in the world, and an affluent Christian couple called by God to make a difference in the world. Ron and Debbie Hall start off volunteering at a local soup kitchen one day a week. Debbie, who must have been an angel in disguise, sees the good in every street person. She sees behind the meanness, the dirt, the poverty and makes it her mission to love each person. Ron, her husband, is more reluctant, but God has a plan for him too. Denver is a large, black man who is so mean that people scatter when he comes near. Debbie loves him anyway, and that made all the difference. This book is co-authored by Ron and Denver who, by the end of the book, have become best friends. This is really Debbie’s story and the story of all the homeless people in America. ...more