Friday, October 31, 2014

The Comeback by Geoffrey C. Ward A Vintage Short

This short nonfiction book gives a view of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that might not be familiar to most people. Of course, most people know he was stricken by Polio. However, there is more to the story. The quiet part of FDR's story is that he tried to keep the Polio hidden from the public. In the very beginning of this Vintage Short, there is a very awkward moment between FDR and his driver. The driver is trying to get him safely out of the car. Then, the wind blows FDR's hat off his head. The driver asks someone else to hold up FDR while he retrieves the hat. The hat is put back on Roosevelt's head. Then, it's time to get him positioned to walk with the crutches. Meanwhile, a crowd has gathered and are watching closely as this clumsy moment takes place. All the while, FDR is quietly laughing to himself about the whole situation.

Perhaps, this is one of the moments that FDR looked back on and decided to handle future situations in a better way. One way is to check the furnishings in buildings where he is to speak. At one speaking engagement, he had someone to go on stage to shake and move the podium about. This was done so that he and the podium would not fall to the floor. There is so much he went through that is never thought about. One time he used the arm of his son to help him navigate his way across the stage. He did not want to roll on stage in a wheel chair.

Many of these times he would sweat or perspire heavily. He used a great deal of strength to walk about on his crutches.  He also needed a strong mind to continue working in Politics. Geoffrey C. Ward makes the political side of his life very interesting. He writes about Al Smith. He writes about Eleanor Roosevelt and her willingness to work hard within our political system. It's such a small book but a very powerful book.

The Witch's Garden by Louise Lintvelt and Kristin Wiman

This is a fun children's book. I have a feeling most children would enjoy it during a spooky holiday. There is a quiet, little theme. Where ugliness is, there is a chance to find beauty. This theme is helpful for children who are living in tough situations. They are taught early by Louise Lintvelt and Kristin Wiseman to not give up when all around them seems sad and ugly.

In The Witch's Garden by Louise Lintvelt and Kristin Wiman, there is an ugly old witch. She has a crooked nose and an evil smile. Therefore, it's very strange to find out she has a lovely garden which grows the most beautiful flowers. The garden is touched by magic. There are different visitors into the garden. There is a troll, a gnome and a couple of other characters.When our mood is positive, visitors from different backgrounds will visit our "gardens."

Monday, October 27, 2014

West Winds of Wyoming by Caroline Fyffe

I have been enjoying this novel so much. I decided to give up a fun weekend to finish it. West Winds of Wyoming by Caroline Fyffe is like reading two love stories at the same time. There is Brenna and Mr. Hutton's story. Then, there is Nell and Charlie Rose's love story. Both stories are creatively knitted together. Of course, there are sorrows and bad trouble to deal with along the way. To sweeten the story there is little Maddie and a kitten and Brenna's children and the school children.

It all begins with Charlie Rose coming into town with his daughter, Maddie. Maddie is blind. Maddie's blindness is not a problem for her daddy. He loves her very much. He lost his wife, Annie, in a wagon accident. He comes to town because of a man who is chasing him. A man who wants to kill Charlie because he shot his son. Charlie can never relax. For Maddie's safety, he gives her over to Brenna. Brenna is a good woman and a woman who will open her heart to little Maddie.

Nell has also lost a mate. Her husband, Ben, is dead. She lives with her brother, Seth. She immediately falls for Charlie. She's hungry for attention and love from a caring man. She's a strong woman and a loving woman. Charlie doesn't reveal his life to Nell. She doesn't know the new little girl, Maddie, is his daughter. This part of the novel bothered me. I thought Nell would become angry about Charlie keeping so much of his life from her. After all, he's got a daughter walking around whom he never mentions and the daughter is staying with Nell's rival. The woman whom she think Charlie is going to love. However, Nell sweetly accepts the omissions and doesn't get one bit angry. Doesn't seem like the typical woman to me.

There are certain parts of the novel I really loved. I liked Mr. Hutton, the school teacher. He became sick with the Measles. I also liked Seth, Nell's brother. There isn't much told about him. I just feel like his life could be picked up in another book. I would like to know what happens to him. Seth has a very bad cough. It worries his fiancee, and it worries Nell. The novel never tells what caused the cough. I just know he did agree to go to a doctor. I wanted to know did the cough get worse? Was it contagious? Did it lead to Logan Meadows needing to quarrantine the town and the school? I also wanted to know more about the girl he loved. His story seems only there to whet the reader's appetite. I also wanted to know more about Maddie. I don't think her blindness is really addressed until the end of the novel. I wondered how were the blind handled in the Nineteenth century? How did the children treat her? Was it difficult to find Braille books?

With Maddie too much of the story seemed glossed over with sugar. I felt as if the author, Caroline Fyffe, was afraid to touch such a delicate issue. Her writing is so good. I know she could have handled Maddie's story. I've been to Caroline Fyffe's site to look at all her other wonderful titles. I enjoyed men having guns on their hips once again like the Old West. I enjoyed reading about the horses. Nell has a soft heart for the horses and sees them with the traits any human might display. Each character is well developed except for the ones I mentioned above. Thanks to Amazon for giving me this book to review.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I finished Song Of My Life by Carolyn J. Brown and A Wedding And A Killing by Lauren Carr.  These books are from Amazon, Pump Up Your Books and NetGalley. Thank you.
Now I'm going to read All Things Murder by Jeanne Quigley(Gale) from Omni Mystery News Daily. Also, The Bachelor by Stephanie Reed, Bethany House.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Song Of My Life by Carolyn J. Brown

Margaret Walker wrote poetry and a great novel titled Jubilee. The novel, Jubilee, is based on the life of Margaret Walker's great grandmother. Margaret Walker led a fascinating life as she made her way to Iowa and other places completing her education. She lived in Mississippi. At one point, she lived across the street from Medgar Evers. She was out of town on the night he was gunned down by an assassin's bullet. Carolyn J. Brown writes about Margaret Walker with great admiration. Margaret Walker had a never give up spirit, a fighting spirit. She knew what she wanted and had the bravery to go after what she wanted.  After meeting Langston Hughes for the first time, she asks him to read her poetry. He took her work and read it. When she meets him at another reading affair, she asks him to read her work again. This time he turns her down. I admired her ability to ask such an important man to read her work. She wasn't a shrinking wall flower.

It was very interesting to read about Walker's feelings about Alex Haley. Some time after Roots was published,, Margaret Walker criticized him and sued Alex Haley for taking pieces from her work, Jubilee, and using those pieces in Roots. She didn't whisper about it. She took Alex Haley to court.

Then, there is her fight about where her important manuscripts should go after her death. People automatically concluded she would choose the Library of Congress. Margaret Walker said a resounding no, not there. She felt her manuscripts would go unused in the Library of Congress ending up in a dusty drawer in a dark cellar. In the same place where they placed information about Native Americans. She wanted Black students to be able to use her papers for research. The continued watering of the Black Culture, keeping it alive and growing, were very important to her. Her manuscripts and other papers are now housed in Mississippi easily accessible to students and researchers and those curious about her life.

Margaret Mitchell died because of cancer. Her name will never die. There is all her poetry, letters and the book, Jubilee. I am grateful for the photographs placed in the book by Carolyn J. Brown. I especially liked the photo of Margaret Walker's desk, her typewriter and a favorite hat she wore. All that I know about Margaret Walker came from Song Of My Life. Thank you for writing it and not omitting information about segregation and other hard times faced by American Black people who are our literary stars today. My thanks to NetGalley for a courtesy copy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday

"Margaret's favorite room was the front room "with two large oak chairs, a library table, and two small walls that were covered with books. It was my favorite hiding place. I would take a book and hide under a chair and read myself to sleep. Grandma would call me to come and wash dishes and I wouldn't answer. I never read all the books in that room but I formed a great admiration and awe for books at that time."

Monday, October 20, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph

About six months later, September 1882

"Tristan Charles Axelrose guided his mare under the wooden sign spanning the width of the narrow, wagon-tracked road. COTTON RANCH. This was the place. The outfit the sheriff of Logan Meadows had informed him was looking to hire. A good twenty minute ride from town, across some of the prettiest country he'd seen in a while. The land was sparse of humans but thick with wildlife, foliage and trees."(courtesy of Amazon)