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ARCHIVE > TERI'S 50 BOOKS READ IN 2013

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 25, 2013 08:33PM) (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Teri, here is your thread for 2013:

Our Format:

JANUARY

1. My Early Life, 1874-1904 by Winston Churchill by Winston Churchill Winston S. Churchill
Finish date: March 2008
Genre: (whatever genre the book happens to be)
Rating: A
Review: You can add text from a review you have written but no links to any review elsewhere even goodreads. And that is about it. Just make sure to number consecutively and just add the months.

Note: I will delete the required format post once you get started.


message 2: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:26PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



JANUARY

1.The End of Your Life Book Club by Will SchwalbeWill SchwalbeWill Schwalbe

Finish date: January 12, 2013
Genre: Memoir
Rating: B+

Review: The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe was a bit of a tough read for me. As a 2x cancer survivor, I remember vividly the chemo treatments, long waits for the doctor, and the anxiousness of test results. All of it with a book in hand. I am fortunate and am now completely cancer free. It was hard to think of reading along with a child, spouse, etc. marking the last years/months/days. I admire this courageous woman, to do all she did going through treatments. I remember the good days and the bad. Being frustrated at being exhausted and wanting to get so much done. Some how she did it and she always had a great outlook. Attitude is everything and can affect the body in so many ways. I would say that is what kept her alive far longer than expected. This book is well worth the read, but left me sad throughout, knowing the inevitable.




message 3: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:26PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)




2.Genesis for Normal People A Guide to the Most Controversial, Misunderstood, and Abused Book of the Bible by Peter EnnsPeter EnnsPeter Enns

Finish date: January 16, 2013
Genre: Religion and Spirituality
Rating: B

Review: Genesis for Normal People by Peter Enns helps the reader to understand Genesis from the viewpoint of the ancient writer(s) written in ancient times for ancient peoples. As the first book in the Pentateuch of the Old Testament, Genesis introduces us to the people and themes that will carry the overall story of Israel throughout the first five books of the Bible. Enns keeps us in the right frame of mind to think like the ancient people and to understand Genesis as the buildup of a much larger story.




message 4: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:25PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)




3.The Last Runaway by Tracy ChevalierTracy ChevalierTracy Chevalier

Finish date: January 22, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: B

Review: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier is the story of English Quaker emigrant Honor Bright, who comes to America with her sister to start a new life in a small Quaker community in 1850s Ohio. Honor soon learns the American way is much different than life in England and is pulled into the world of abolition and the Underground Railroad. Honor also struggles with her own place in the community and soon has to decide if she too is a runaway....is she running to or running from this new life in America.

I enjoyed the book but found myself frustrated with Honor who seemed like she could be a strong woman, but then at times was anything but.




message 5: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:26PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



4.Hacker Mom by Austen RachlisAusten RachlisAusten Rachlis

Finish date: January 24, 2013
Genre: Mystery/Kindle Serial
Rating: C

Review: I felt Hacker Mom by Austen Rachlis was a disappointment. Hacker Mom was released as a Kindle serial, with a different chapter released every month or so. I have read chapter books before (King's Green Mile and John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles) and liked the idea of a chapter book on my e-reader. The book was a bit hard to get into, but I liked the idea of a different "hacking job" coming up in each chapter. Ultimately, though I felt it fell flat. The overall plot was a bit discombobulated and the separate incidents did not come together in the end. In fact, one story started but was left hanging, leaving the reader to wonder what the heck happened there, as if the author went off on a different tangent and forgot what she had started. There were lots of grammatical errors/typos as well. Bad editing overall.




message 6: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:25PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



FEBRUARY

5.Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer ChiaveriniJennifer ChiaveriniJennifer Chiaverini

Finish date: February 2, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: A

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer Chiaverini's Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. I was a little apprehensive at first as it seemed not to have a "plot", and read more like a true history book, but I was very wrong. This historical fiction story takes the reader into the life of Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's Modiste (dressmaker), confidante, and friend. Keckley was a freed woman who bought her freedom after 30+ years of slavery and moved to Washington City (D.C.) to build her own sewing business. Her careful, beautiful work was sought by Washington's elite, including Mrs. Jefferson Davis and Mrs. Lincoln. The story chronicles her time during Mrs. Lincoln's White House years, their continued friendship after the assassination and eventual falling out. Based on true events, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker is rich with details into the life of the family of the Great Emancipator.




message 7: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:25PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



6.Madness The War of 1812 by Dennis ByrneDennis Byrne

*No author image available

Finish date: February 9, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: B

Review: Madness: The War of 1812 follows the story of Ensign Will Quinn of the United States Army during the course of the War of 1812. The story is based on real events, as well as real and fictional characters. In the beginning of the book the reader meets Will Quinn, reporting to duty at Fort Mackinac, Michigan. In between battles, he meets Sally Martin who later becomes Dolly Madison's aide, and amid the war the two fall in love. Byrne not only gives the reader haunting details to the battles themselves, but gives the reader a look into Madison's White House and touches on slavery, the abolition movement, and women's rights.

I enjoyed the book. It was the first historical fiction novel I have read on the War of 1812 and it gave me a more detailed review of the war than I have learned through school history classes. It was more heavy on battles and less heavy on the subplots of Sally and the slave Henry, as it probably should be, I just would have liked more of the subplots.




message 8: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:25PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



7.Behind the Scenes Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth KeckleyElizabeth KeckleyElizabeth Keckley

Finish date: February 11, 2013
Genre: Memoir
Rating: B

Review: Behind the Scenes by Elizabeth Keckley is the inspiration behind the book Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini. It is a memoir of sorts of Elizabeth Keckley, who was Mary Todd Lincoln's modiste (dressmaker), friend, and confidant. Chiaverini's book closely follows Behind the Scenes, so there was not much that I gleaned from reading it. The interesting part, though, were the letters of Mrs. Lincoln's at the end. It was interesting to understand Lincoln's thoughts in her own words and see just how distraught and sad she was after her husband's assassination. It is obvious that she felt everyone was out to destroy her. Sadly, she might not have been far from the truth.




message 9: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:25PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



8.Guns by Stephen KingStephen KingStephen King

Finish date: February 11, 2013
Genre: Commentary/Kindle Single
Rating: A

Review: Guns by Stephen King is one of his non-fiction, Kindle Singles. It is a short diatribe on the issue of gun control in America today. I think he is spot on and I whole-heartily agree with him. I especially liked and agreed with his take on news media and their shameful coverage of the mass shootings we have had to live through. King definitely makes you think about the issue and challenges both sides of the political line that seems to be dividing the whole country.




message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
You are off to a good start - just in front of where your review starts - put the word Review: (I made it clearer in the example for you).


message 11: by Teri (last edited Mar 09, 2013 12:24PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



9.Dearie The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob SpitzBob SpitzBob Spitz

Finish date: February 23, 2013
Genre: Biography
Rating: A

Review: Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz has to be one of the best biographies I have read. Spitz paints such a vivid portrait of Julia Child that emphasizes her fun, vivacious and precocious nature. Child was a determined woman who was at times extremely detail oriented and at times devilish, even into her 90s. She lived life for her friends, family and herself, on her terms. Julia lived life to its fullest until the day she died and even in death, she left the world on her terms. As much as this book is about Julia and her forage into and reign over the culinary world, it is about truly living in the moment and making the most of every day.




message 12: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



10.Stranded by Jeff ProbstJeff Probst

*No author image available

Finish date: February 24, 2013
Genre: Children's Fiction
Rating: B+

Review: Stranded is the first in a series for middle school age kids by Jeff Probst of Survivor fame. The story follows 4 children from a blended family (a sister/brother from each parent) who are sailing with their uncle and friend off the coast of Hawaii, while their parents honeymoon. The trip is meant as a way for the kids to bond, working out the difficulties (personality/attitudes) of blending into a new family. Halfway through their trip and some 900ish miles from Hawaii, a sudden storm finds the kids shipwrecked and separated from the adults on board. Stranded is the first book of three following the kids and their efforts to get rescued. It ends with a cliffhanger...we have to wait til the second in the series is released to see what happens next.

I thought the book flowed well and the writing appropriate for middle school aged kids, but will appeal to adults as well. This may be the new Swiss Family Robinson in the vein of Survivor. I'm hoping this series fares better than Probst's talk show.




message 13: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Thanks. I added the Review tag.

Bentley wrote: "You are off to a good start - just in front of where your review starts - put the word Review: (I made it clearer in the example for you)."


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Terrific, my fault I should have made it stand out more for you.


message 15: by Donna (new)

Donna (drspoon) Teri, I enjoyed your reviews and congratulations on being cancer-free! Several of the books you listed have been on my radar screen so I was glad to get your take.


message 16: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Thanks and Thanks, Donna. Oh, such good books I have read already and it's only March.

DonnaR wrote: "Teri, I enjoyed your reviews and congratulations on being cancer-free! Several of the books you listed have been on my radar screen so I was glad to get your take."


message 17: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Teri, I enjoyed your reviews last year and happy to see you back at it. Congratulations on being cancer free!


message 18: by Craig (new)

Craig (twinstuff) My family was actually on the Jeff Probst Show a couple of months ago (it taped back in August) and the host told us back then about the book. We just got a copy of it too and will read it together one of these upcoming nights!


message 19: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Thanks! I need to go back to last years thread and finish updating my reads. I finished exactly 50 books.

Alisa wrote: "Teri, I enjoyed your reviews last year and happy to see you back at it. Congratulations on being cancer free!"


message 20: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) I like Jeff Probst and watched the show a few times, but I think the daytime talk show circuit is too hard to compete in these days and nothing will compare to Oprah or (for us older folk) Phil Donahue. I think everyone is trying to find a niche and they can't seem to carry good ratings. I really enjoyed the book and I know Probst is just a co-author, but I think he did a great job.

Craig wrote: "My family was actually on the Jeff Probst Show a couple of months ago (it taped back in August) and the host told us back then about the book. We just got a copy of it too and will read it togethe..."


message 21: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



MARCH

11Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric MetaxasEric MetaxasEric Metaxas

Finish date: March 13, 2013
Genre: Biography
Rating: A

Review: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is a biographical account of Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer of The Confessing Church of Germany during WWII. As a young man, Bonhoeffer became staunchly opposed of Hitler and the Third Reich. Rich in detail, Metaxas gleans information from Bonhoeffer's sermons and letters, as well as correspondence and written works of his friends and family to paint a vivid picture of the man who gave his life for his faith.

Although the atrocities of WWII always sadden me and weighs heavily on my mind, I am amazed at those who stand up for their morals and faith and stand for the good in man that often gets lost in the darkness of evil. I personally learned so much more about the events and times in Germany just before and during WWII than I would ever find in the pages of a "history" book. This was a thoroughly engrossing book and a must read for anyone of faith or researching WWII.




message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Good job Teri.


message 23: by Donna (new)

Donna (drspoon) Added to my TBR - thanks for the review and recommendation.


message 24: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



12Truman by David McCulloughDavid McCulloughDavid McCullough

Finish date: March 28, 2013
Genre: Biography
Rating: B+

Review: Truman by David McCullough is a detailed, almost exhaustive chronicle of the life of Harry S. Truman. McCullough begins by giving historical background of Jackson County, Missouri and Bess and Harry Truman's ancestors' move into the Kansas City area. This book then follows Truman as a child through his years as a judge, senator, president and back to a regular citizen. McCullough gives the reader a no-holds barred look into the game of politics in the early 20th century and gives a view of WWI, Potsdam, WWII, the recognition of Israel, the "issue with General MacArthur" and the Korean War. Through the eighty-eight plus years of review, the reader understands Truman to be "one of the people" who led the people with candor and soul.

I particularly enjoyed the book not just to have learned so much about Truman, but to learn more about the history of Independence, Missouri and Jackson County. I have family and close friends born and raised in Independence that I have visit many times and grew up just a few hours away. My great uncle was a friend of Truman and my husband's great great grandfather, former Vice President John "Cactus Jack" Nance Garner is discussed in the book, among other family friends. This book gave me a different peek into their lives. One issue I did have with the book is that there were LOTS of typos. I read the Kindle version so it may be an issue in the translation into an ereader book.




message 25: by Donna (last edited Mar 29, 2013 10:07AM) (new)

Donna (drspoon) Teri wrote: "

12Truman by David McCulloughDavid McCulloughDavid McCullough

Finish date: March 28, 2013
Genre: Biography
Rating: B+




This is one of my favorite books. I don't remember seeing typos in the paper version but I read it a while ago. How interesting that you have those family connections!



message 26: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) DonnaR wrote: "This is one of my favorite books. I don't remem..."

That is good to know. I couldn't imagine that such a book would really have so many typos. There really are lots. Mainly wrong capitalization and periods in middle of sentences, so I thought it was likely the conversion to ereader.


message 27: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



APRIL

13Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1) by Joanne FlukeJoanne FlukeJoanne Fluke

Finish date: April 9, 2013
Genre: Mystery/Cozy Read
Rating: B

Review: Joanne Fluke's Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is the first in a large mystery series about Hannah Swensen, owner of the The Cookie Jar. Hannah Swensen is from the small town of Lake Eden, MN, where no one is a stranger and nothing every happens...until the local dairy delivery man is found dead in the alley behind The Cookie Jar. Hannah soon finds herself helping out the local police to find out who shot Ron.

Somewhat predictable, but entertaining, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder held my attention well enough to make me want to read more in the series. I often read heavy historical/biographical books, that make me want a light read in between and this fills the bill. If you're looking for a complex and highly developed mystery, this is probably not what you're looking for. This is a cozy, fun mystery that also happens to be full of cookie recipes. If you're hungry or dieting, read at your own risk!




message 28: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



14Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi AliAyaan Hirsi AliAyaan Hirsi Ali

Finish date: April 17, 2013
Genre: Auto-biography/Memoir
Rating: B+

Review: Infidel is the autobiography/memoir of Somali born Ayaan Hirsi Ali. During her childhood Ali, the daughter of a Somali politician and opposition leader, moved around Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, bouncing between family members. Ali grew up in a devout Muslim family, whose treatment of women in the name of religion had her fleeing to Holland, seeking asylum, to avoid a forced marriage. Quickly adapting to her new found freedom in Holland, Ali became an important feminist voice and atheist activist. However, her Infidel attitude puts herself and her friends in danger. Infidel is not just Ali's story, but the story of thousands of women living in silence around the world.

The first hundred pages or so seemed to be a bit long winded and I had some trouble keeping up with different people because their names were similar and because of the constant changing scenery. However, that background is important to know for the rest of the story. As a "westerner", it is hard for me to comprehend the treatment of some women in the middle-east. I know that this is not every Muslim woman's story. But I do understand that too many women are abused in the name of religion.




message 29: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Teri I have that book in my short stack of to-read books and I do hope to get to it soon. Glad to see your review. It confirms my interest in the book.


message 30: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Alisa wrote: "Teri I have that book in my short stack of to-read books and I do hope to get to it soon. Glad to see your review. It confirms my interest in the book."

It was a very good book. It is so hard for me to wrap my head around these kinds of acts that still go on today/during my lifetime. Books like
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry Rohinton Mistry Rohinton Mistry and Wild Swans Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang Jung Chang Jung Chang were real eye openers.


message 31: by Alisa (last edited Apr 18, 2013 01:20PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Yes I agree. Unfathomable what some people endure. You might try Half the Sky. Another rough read but there is change afoot and ways to make a direct positive impact through the resources note at the end.

Half the Sky Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof by Nicholas D. Kristof Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn


message 32: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Alisa wrote: "Yes I agree. Unfathomable what some people endure. You might try Half the Sky. Another rough read but there is change afoot and ways to make a direct positive impact through the resources note a..."

Thanks for the suggestion!


message 33: by David (new)

David Arnaudo (davidlloydarnaudo) | 30 comments What some do in the name of religion!!


message 34: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) David wrote: "What some do in the name of religion!!"

Indeed. It was a bit frightening to read while the Boston Bombing played out.


message 35: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom It is indeed. The problem is that "God told me to ...." is impossible to argue with.

My dad used to say "People who talk to God are OK, but the people who God talks to..... watch out!"


message 36: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Peter wrote: "It is indeed. The problem is that "God told me to ...." is impossible to argue with.

My dad used to say "People who talk to God are OK, but the people who God talks to..... watch out!""


Oh, I need to remember that saying!


message 37: by Teri (last edited May 09, 2013 03:22PM) (new)

Teri (teriboop)



May

15Brush with Death (The Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, #5) by Karen MacInerneyKaren MacInerneyKaren MacInerney

Finish date: May 8, 2013
Genre: Mystery/Cozy Read
Rating: B+

Review: Brush with Death is Karen MacInerney's 5th installment in the Gray Whale Inn mystery series. I have enjoyed this light and fun mystery series that takes place on the little Maine community of Cranberry Island. Full of quirky characters, Brush with Death follows Natalie Barnes, owner of the Gray Whale Inn Bed and Breakfast, as she happens upon the murder and murderer of Fernand, the local art studio owner. There are bonus recipes at the end of the book of all the food mentioned in the story. Looking forward to the next book in the series.




message 38: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



16O Ye Jigs and Juleps! by Virginia Cary HudsonVirginia Cary Hudson

Finish date: May 9, 2013
Genre: Essays
Rating: B+

Review: O Ye Jigs and Juleps by Virginia Cary Hudson is a quick fun read. It was a favorite of my mom's. This book is a collection of essays by the author in 1904 when she was just 10 years old. Oh the mind of a youngster. They'll say anything.




message 39: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



17The Obituary Writer by Ann HoodAnn HoodAnn Hood

Finish date: May 20, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Rating: B+

Review: The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood is a very interesting twist of fate story of two women longing for love but faced with loss. Four decades separate Vivien in 1919 and Claire in 1961, but we find their lives intertwined and connected in their grief. Vivien, an obituary writer in 1919 San Francisco is pining for her love who has been missing since the great earthquake of 1906. Claire is struggling to be the dutiful wife in a loveless marriage in 1961 Virginia but is haunted by her affair with the man she loves and the baby she now carries. On the day of JFK's inauguration, the story of these two women come together.

I enjoyed the structure of the book, with each chapter alternating between the two characters until the final joint chapter. The book is somewhat predictable but there were some surprises in the end. The book is reminiscent of Michael Cunningham's The Hours and certainly makes you think of love, loss, grief and regret. It is a vast reminder not to be so bogged down in grief that you don't move on with your life and miss out on further happiness.

My one main complaint with the book is that there is some major faux pas/bad editing in the beginning portions of the book. At one point the women's names are switched, making you wonder if you just missed something major (like a few pages), but then you realized they just had the wrong name in.




message 40: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



June

18A Slave to Want by Jay GrewalJay GrewalJay Grewal

Finish date: June 6, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: B+

Review: A Slave to Want by Jay Grewal is the story of a young slave determined to find freedom. Young Jelani watched as his family and close friends succumb to plantation life as slaves, never knowing freedom. Through the help of his master's daughter and the kindness of strangers, Jelani embarks on a path of destiny. Jelani also has a special power, reminiscent of John Coffey from The Green Mile, that keep him one step ahead of those who are searching him out. Jelani also leans on his faith, something his Momma instilled in him at a very young age. Jelani was a slave to want freedom and he would let nothing stand in his way.

I believe this is a second book for Grewal, but read like he was a seasoned writer. I was a little bothered that the voice of Jelani seemed intelligent, beyond his 9-11ish years, even for one who could read and write. I would expect Jelani's english to still be a bit (quite a bit, even) broken and muddled. I did enjoy the book, though. It was at times, a page turner and at times predictable. The twist of Jelani's powers sets it apart from other Civil War/slave stories without it seeming to "sci-fi". The images were vivid and clear from the beginning. It was worth the read.




message 41: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



19A Personal Stand Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck by Trace AdkinsTrace Adkins

Finish date: June 17, 2013
Genre: Memoir/Personal Reflection
Rating: B

Review: Trace Adkins' book A Personal Stand: Observation and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck is part memoir and part dissertation on his views on politics and life in the good ole USA. Trace recounts his childhood, his time as an oil drill roughneck, his foray into music, and family life, interspersed with his thoughts on politics, oil, and foreign affairs.

Adkins is a middle of the road conservative, not quite falling into the Republican party, definitely not into the Democrat party, and finding nothing worthwhile in between. While I agree with him on several points, there are things I don't agree with, but either way, he offers lots of food for thought and an interesting insight into his out of the ordinary famous life. The one big downside is that this book was written during George W. Bush's tenure, so politically things have changed. Would be curious what his thoughts are on Obama, Afghanistan, the economy and the state of the US today.




message 42: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



20House of Stone A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony ShadidAnthony ShadidAnthony Shadid


Finish date: June 19, 2013
Genre: Memoir/Personal Reflection
Rating: B+

Review: Anthony Shadid's House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East is not your typical memoir that reminisces about one's life, but about the life of Shadid's ancestors, their physical home, their town of Marjayoun in Lebanon, and the people that live there. It is about Bayt, which literally translates to "house" but means so much more. Bayt is the family home, and all that goes in and on there.

Shadid recounts the years of rebuilding his great grandfather's home in Marjayoun after civil war has destroyed part of the physical building, interspersing stories of how his ancestors left to move to Oklahoma to start a new life. Shadid has now returned to the home his ancestors left to rebuild the home and to gain an understanding and perspective into his own life.

I enjoyed this book. It makes you contemplate what is important in life (family!) and what Bayt might mean to you. I think people often think of the home they grew up in, but is it the home that makes those memories, or is it what happens there and everything that pertains to it? Sadly, Shadid died just a few years after the home was complete, so he was unable to enjoy it along with his family, but they have kept his spirit alive in this House of Stone.




message 43: by Jill (last edited Jun 19, 2013 10:11AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Very nice review, Teri. Would you also post it in the House of Stone thread at the following link. I appreciate it.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

House of Stone A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid by Anthony Shadid Anthony Shadid


message 44: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



21Trial by Fire by Jeff ProbstJeff ProbstJeff Probst

Finish date: June 22, 2013
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Rating: B+

Review: Trial By Fire is the second in a series for middle school age kids by Jeff Probst of Survivor fame. The series follows 4 children from a blended family (a sister/brother from each parent) who are sailing with their uncle and friend off the coast of Hawaii, while their parents honeymoon. The trip is meant as a way for the kids to bond, working out the difficulties (personality/attitudes) of blending into a new family. Halfway through their trip and some 900ish miles from Hawaii, a sudden storm finds the kids shipwrecked and separated from the adults on board. Trial By Fire is the second book of three following the kids and their efforts to get rescued. The theme of this book is fire and light. Fire is needed to survive and quite possibly what can save them. It can also be their demise. This story also ends with a cliffhanger...we have to wait until the third book in the series is released to see what new things lurk on the island and if they are rescued..

I thought the book flowed well and the writing appropriate for middle school aged kids, but will appeal to adults as well. This may be the new Swiss Family Robinson in the vein of Survivor. I'm hoping this series fares better than Probst's talk show.




message 45: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



22The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferMary Ann ShafferMary Ann Shaffer

Finish date: June 25, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: A

Review: May Ann Shaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is not what you expect from the title. The reader may seemingly expect a cozy read about a group of southern women discussing books and unhealthy, scrumptious dessert recipes from the deep south, a la Paula Deen. Instead, it is a beautiful story of a cast of quirky characters from the Channel Island of Guernsey, UK in post war 1940s, who correspond with author Juliet Ashton, discussing the German occupation of their island. Written completely in letter format, we follow Juliet as she meets the islanders and eventually visits them in person. Part humorous and part dramatic, Shaffer's novel gives us a glimpse of World War II from the perspective of an almost isolated English community.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the correspondence format. I occasionally chuckled out loud at some of the antics of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and also felt the sorrow of the characters who endured the atrocities of WWII. Ultimately, the book ends on a positive note as love triumphs on the island of Guernsey.




message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 25, 2013 08:35PM) (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Teri you may want to try to add the word by after the html of the bookcover and before the html of the author's photo.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer by Mary Ann Shaffer Mary Ann Shaffer

That is the way the mods do it - but it is more advanced.


message 47: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) :-) I think I can handle that! It does look nicer.

Bentley wrote: "Teri you may want to try to add the word by after the html of the bookcover and before the html of the author's photo.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer by [aut..."



message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Always good to try new things (smile)


message 49: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Indeed!


message 50: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop)



July

23 Smart Customers, Stupid Companies Why Only Intelligent Companies Will Thrive, and How To Be One of Them by Michael Hinshaw by Michael Hinshaw

Finish date: July 2, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: B

Review: Smart Customers, Stupid Companies by Michael Hinshaw and Bruce Kasanoff is a short book about our ever evolving technologically smart society and how companies need to be more forward thinking in the area of technology or they will miss out on business or even not make it at all. The authors' theory is that companies must be customer centric and not financial centric (build it and they will come, along with the money) and be on the cutting edge of technology to gain customers and their loyalty. In the last ten years we have moved from a society that could go out to buy a product at a specific store, say Best Buy, and take the product home without a lot of price comparison to a society that walks into Best Buy, sees in person what we want then with our smart phones, purchase that item in the store from the cheapest seller they can find, say Amazon. If companies are not prepared for the new way of shopping for products and services, they will not be able to compete with the companies that are available to work with these new smart customers.

I didn't think the book was totally eye opening, maybe because I am one of those "smart customers" but it did remind me as a person that works for a large technology company that we need to continue to be on the cutting edge and make the customer experience better and easier




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