I bought this book on recommendation of a literary event I went to last year. I am a history buff, and thought this would be a interesting read.
This...moreI bought this book on recommendation of a literary event I went to last year. I am a history buff, and thought this would be a interesting read.
This book is non-fiction about the life of Hetty Green. The richest woman in America. She lived during the Gilded Age. Hetty Green was born in New Bedford, Mass, in a whaling town. Her family were from the Quaker faith, and very wealthy. Her father was a financier,dabbled in everything to make money.
She was not treated very well as a child. Her father ruled the roost, and kept a upper hand with her mother. Her father did not pay much attention to Hetty. Later on when Hetty was old enough to appreciate finance. Her father started to pay attention to Hetty. The only way that Hetty felt love was through money. To get her father's attention, Talk Money. She invested her money wisely.
When her Father and Aunt passed away she expected millions would be left to her. But, instead there was simulations to the will. She challenged her Aunt's will and to this day it is remembered in the courts.
Hetty was a very head strong, and independent woman. She did not care about classes, and frivolous things. Such as clothes, makeup, and jewelry. Her husband made a financial mistake.
Hetty had a good head on her shoulders. She learned not to panic. Where she made her money was the financial panics. She made her money with her husband with the rail roads, and bonds, and real estate.
I was hoping to read about the human side of Hetty. But, there was not much written about her. There were glimpses and speculation. But nothing definitive. One minute she spends wisely, the next she spends frivolously. The book seems to contradict itself constantly.
Hetty was married and had two children. They eventually married later in life.
It seems like the author did not have a handle on who Hetty Green was.
What I found interesting is she held on to her children, especially her daughter, Slyvie for dear life. She controlled both her children. When her daughter married at 38 she had a hard time letting go. She did not believe in Women's Suffrage.
The other thing I found interesting. Mistakes financially are forever made over and over again. Reading the book, and the mistakes made in the Gilded Age were again make a couple of years ago, in 2012! Overspending, it never changes!! You compare overextending of the railroads, to what happened a few years ago. It is the same mistakes. Perhaps that is why the author wrote this book. I never heard of Hetty Green, I will have to do my own research.
I am not interested in finance, and the money end of things. That may be why I did not love this book. There were parts that captivated me and others that were dull. I liked the personal side of Hetty. But when the discussion of business, and money was in the book I was not interested. I just make my money and spend it. I did enjoy the writing style though.(less)
This is the third time reading. Because of our community read, The Golem and the Jinni; we decided to pick this one. Pete Hamill's story is wonderful....moreThis is the third time reading. Because of our community read, The Golem and the Jinni; we decided to pick this one. Pete Hamill's story is wonderful.
Michael, Irish Catholic 10 year old. Living in Brooklyn in the 1940's. Michael is a average kid, there isn't any TV. Instead,Michael likes to go to the local movie theatre where he's mom works-with his friends. He also enjoys reading comic books- Superman.
Michael, and his Brooklyn friends are threatened by the gang, The Falcons. I should say the entire neighborhood is afraid of this thug. Michael just happens to be in Mr. G's store ( Mr. G is Jewish)at the wrong time. Mr. G sticks up for Michael. The thug( can't remember his name), beats up Mr. G pretty badly. Michael witnesses the crime. He is not a snitch; he is not going to tell. In the meantime, a local Rabbi see's Michael one day going down the street, He asked Michael a favor. Because it is Saturday, Shabbat for the Jews, a holy day. Would Michael be the Shabbos Goy?
What turns out to just be a favor turns into a friendship that will forever change both Michael, and the Rabbi. Rabbi Hirsch wants to learn better English. Rabbi Hirsch asks Michael, if you teach me English, I will teach you Yiddish- Michael agrees.
What happens is Michael and Rabbi Hirsch become close, and learn about each other. Rabbi Hirsch, we learn about his wife during the Holocaust. We also learn about the story of the " Golem of Prague". Michael we learn about his father's death during the war. But. also the hardship of living in the tenements with his single mother.
Michael's troubles without his father;trying too grow up too fast. He is trying to be strong for his mother. Since there is trouble brewing on the streets of Brooklyn( Falcon gang). Michael is worried about the Falcons. They think he snitched. Because the cops keep showing up at unexpected places. He's friends have abandoned him as well. He's only friend is Rabbi Hirsch.
Each of them become stronger and reach out to each other to help each other, as they friendship becomes stronger. Their connection is baseball, and Jackie Robinson. They talk about these two things every time they meet. Michael is excited one day, the Rabbi got tickets for the baseball game. This is all Michael can think about till the actual game. He is so excited.
After the game, Michael admits to Rabbi Hirsch what happened to Mr. G. Rabbi Hirsch's advise to Michael. Sometimes not telling is worse than the crime itself.
The rest of the story is very moving and Mystical. I only learned about the Golem from reading Snow in August. It is a very moving sweet story about a boy growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940's. I will worn you that there is antisemitism, and discrimination in Snow in August. But that is the point of the story. If you are waiting to hear about the Golem. Yes, there is a golem that is created in the story. But, I am not going to relate that to you. That will just ruin it. The book brought tears to my eyes what happens at the end. I would love to tell you why. But, I just can't. If you do read the book. Check out other background info. about the golem. There is also on Netflix, a episode of X-Files called Kaddish. Then check out youtube, you will find the movie, Snow in August; the movie adaption.(less)
This is the first time I am reading a novel that takes place in Israel. I have always been told to stay away from books from Israeli author's because...moreThis is the first time I am reading a novel that takes place in Israel. I have always been told to stay away from books from Israeli author's because of the translation.
Either, they never head of this author before, Liad Shoham, or we were told wrong. Because Line Up, is terrific. It gets you at the first sentence and grabs you, and it doesn't let you go.
I don't know much what comes out of Israel. But, what I do know it is used to be there was limited books translated to English. But, now it seems that there are more authors able to be translated and read by English speaking language.
I am very happy I read this book. There is many twists and turns, and holds your attention.
It starts in Tel Aviv, Israel,with the noisy neighbor watching out in the wee hours of the morning making sure that he picks up after his dog.
Sara Glazer, notices a struggle, she realizes it is more sinister, it is a rape. But, she keeps her mouth closed. Can she identify the man? Who knows.
But, what we do know is Adi Regav has been raped brutally. After the rape she and her family will never be the same. Adi, is a single, independent woman. She is terrified every day, wondering what is lurking outside her window. Her father,Yaron sits and waits outside of her apartment building, waiting there to protect his daughter.
One night, while he is sitting out in his car, while he's daughter is in her apartment. Yaron notices something strange. A man is following a woman. He thinks to himself definitely, this is the same man that raped my daughter. He bring him to justice. But, not everything seems as it should.
The man picked up is, Ziv. He works for a mafia mob boss. But, he is mistakenly picked up, and accused of a different crime. At first that is what Ziv thinks. But, then realizes they are accusing him of something else.
He is not going to tell the police what really went down. He is released on a technicality. The mafia is looking for him. But, luckily Ziv is one step ahead of them. This is when it gets exciting.
That is all I am going to reveal. Because if I reveal too much more I will ruin it for you.
This is not my type of book. I usually read literary fiction, or historical fiction. But, when TLC book tours asked me if I was interested, I jumped at the chance.
For years I wanted to read something from my "tribe". But,there wasn't anything that took my fancy. I am so glad, that TLC Book Tours contacted me.
I was in the need of a fun book. I have not found any good books to read lately. But, this one hits the spot if you are in the mood of a fun, beach read.
One thing, I have noticed not putting the author down. The writing is not flowery, or pretty. It is simple writing, like you were reading a newspaper. The author doesn't trick you. He gets to the point. This book doesn't make you think, and question. Just read it for what it is. (less)
I saw this book being publicized in the local book stores. To find out the local author, Becky Bilingsley wrote a book about the culinary history of M...moreI saw this book being publicized in the local book stores. To find out the local author, Becky Bilingsley wrote a book about the culinary history of Myrtle Beach, and the Grand Strand intrigued me. I don't know much about the history in our area. I was not too interested. But, I am a history buff. So, of course this perked my interest and taste buds.
The author, is a food critic, and has her own website called, Myrtebeachrestaurants.com. She picked a interesting topic, for those of us from the Beach, and also tourists that come and go every year.
I am a Northerner, and I have not thought about the culinary history of where I am from. Up north, food is different than the south. Most foods we think of are from the grocery store. We don't think of how, and where meat is butchered.
I will tell you some of these foods that Becky talks about. I say, to myself I don't think I would ever eat it. But, I don't think I will ever be a southern gal, even though I have lived here almost 13 years.
The start of corn, sweet potato, boiled peanuts are just a sampling of foods that she talks about. From the beginning of the Native Indians, planting and cooking with sweet potato. Then she talks about the planting season. What foods are good during this time, meats, in the smoke house, killing of hogs.
The best is the description of foods that, we know a days would not eat, or think about eating. But, back in a century or two ago. You did not have a choice. Food was sparse, and you were poor. You did what you could eat to survive.
I did not know too much about the history of the Wacammaw Indians, how this influenced the foods. But, what was interested, not thinking about it. Food that was prepared by the slaves at the plantation owners homes were inspired for later generations. How the Chicken Bog became a local favorite here. To prove it we have a local festival in October, named after it.
The book goes by the historical events that happened before Europeans came to this country. The Native Indians influences to the European flavors, and the Afro American slaves. Then we come to the present day of Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand.
The restaurants had come and gone despite their popularity. Then the Forest Hotel, came and gone. It was a grand hotel. People came from all over to be treated in luxury. The hotel is no longer here. But, I understand, you dressed in gowns and tuxes.
Interesting aspects of the local small town. How the popularity of the area became a tourist town. The local restaurants, when Myrtle Beach was a dead town after the summers. The locals had to learn to survive. The changing of hands of the small restaurants. Where some of the families, were successful. The restaurants, Mom-Pop restaurants that began in the 40's are still here. The locals still come for breakfast. Then you have the locals that families have passed on and new generations have taken over.
Then a change took place in the area of chain restaurants and hotels, of the Grand Strand. The changes that have taken place where The entire Grand Strand has grown and changed with the times.
I enjoyed reading the book, with the history of the town, and the people and culture. But, it seemed at the last part of the book, it was rushed. Something went missing. One minute we are still in 1800's the next we are fast forwarded to eating at a local restaurant in Murrells Inlet in 1940. Other than that I enjoyed reading The Culianry History of Myrtle Beach, and the Grand Strand. I would recommend it to anyone that loves to learn about food, and history, and the area of the south, and the Grand Strand area.
Thank You, Becky for the review copy. I am looking forward to your visit on Feb.3 at my book club. (less)
The Aftermath takes place after the war, in Germany after WW2. It is taking place in war torn occupied British territory in Germany. The Germans that...moreThe Aftermath takes place after the war, in Germany after WW2. It is taking place in war torn occupied British territory in Germany. The Germans that occupy their homes are told the British soldiers will be taking over and staying in them. You must find a new place to live.
But, Col. Lewis Morgan a British soldier, is a kind soul. He allows his German tenant, Herr Lubert and his daughter to stay on the second floor in their Elbe home. He's wife was killed during the war, and Freda is very bitter. She takes off every day hanging out with the German homeless boys helping them find food.
Col. Morgan Lewis, has lost a son during the war. He's wife, Rachel and son Edmund live on the first floor. They rule is not to fraternize with Herr Lubert and his daughter while living in his home.
Edmund tries hard to get along with Freda. But, she ridicules him, and tries to make Edmund's life miserable. Freda tries to be independent as possible to her father. Pretending that her hurt is skin deep and her loss of her mother doesn't bother her.
Then the sexual attention mounts with Col. Lewis away. As they say, the mice will play. Rachel and Herr. Lubert are left in the house by themselves. What do you think? Sexual tension mounts.
What help my attention was the history, and what life was like after the war. I found this interesting. The war torn home, demolished by the bombs. Bodies, being pulled out of the rubble. There is not much written in fiction after the war, in war torn Germany.
But, the story did not hold my attention. After not connecting with the characters after 200 pages. I finally let it go. (less)
I was expecting another romance novel. I have never read Kristen Hannah before. The reason I picked this up was for the book club discussion today. Ac...more
I was expecting another romance novel. I have never read Kristen Hannah before. The reason I picked this up was for the book club discussion today. Actually the book was chosen by accident. I am glad it was. I was not expecting such a awesome novel. I expected a another romance novel.
It is the story of Meredith, and Nina. Meredith is the homebody and responsible one. She stays home to take of the house, and children and family, and family orchard business in Washington State. Where Nina, has a boyfriend, Daniel. She is a photojournalist, and is traveling all over the world.
But, then their father becomes ill. He asks each one of them to promise to listen to the fairy tale. You see when they were younger they were told the story but never the entire Russian fairytale. This is the only connection the mother has with her daughter. Their mother is very cold and disapproving. Her mother Anya is a very cold and disapproving. Her daughters have never been able to get close to her. Their Dad, is a very warm caring person,
The story of Anya is told through fairy tales. Anya's life in Leningrad has been kept a secret for over fifty years. The story goes back and forth in time. The sister's eventually find out the hidden truth about their mother. This story is about secrets, family, motherhood, it is historical fiction.
I did not expect this from a novel. I thought it would be a light fluff novel. It is light reading, but it is heavy subject matter. It takes you to Leningrad, to Alaska, and Washington state to find out the secrets, and find ways to understand their mother's odd behavior. Why did she go out to the winter garden ? What happened to her children? What happened to her family? How did she end up in the United States?
The first half of the novel was not getting anywhere then when she started talking about Leningrad it became interesting for me. I am a sap when it comes to history. After reading this I want to do some research with the Leningrad Seige. For the first time in a digital book, there is supplemental reading and book club discussions questions at the end. There is some Russian recipes that you can use for your book club.
How would you feel finding out the answers to your family later on in life? I would be upset that it is after many years that years have been wasted trying to make up for lost time. There is not alot of time to understand your mother and her secrets? But, you can't cry over spilled milk either.
There is one thing that asks the question at our book club? How can you make a choice on which child should you stay with? Could you? I don't think I could. Anya has to decide they have train tickets to get out of the country. Her son is very ill, and will most likely will die. He can not get on the train because he is ill. Her daughter is healthy, would you be able to send her away, and you stay behind? You know the son will not survive, how do you choose?
The shocking truth at the end of the story. When we find out what happened and the secret was out. I could not believe the end of the story. I was at the doctor's office and did not want anyone to see me crying and wiping the tears. I was so glad I just finished the book, and headed right for the book club. What timing. This is a novel you can't wait to discuss, and especially since I just finished it... It was so heart wrenching. At the end you need lots of tissues, and a shoulder to cry on!!(less)