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Sunday, January 06, 2019

The War I Finally Won

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I read the first in this two-book series a year or so ago and absolutely loved it.  The main character, Ada, spent most of her childhood locked up in her flat because her mother told her she was ugly and flawed and nobody wanted to see her.  Ada had a club foot.  During WWI she and her younger brother escape the bombing and are taken in by a single lady who doesn't really want them but is forced into taking them.

Eventually Susan, the single lady, begins to love the children.  A rich patron in the village pays for Ada's club foot to be mended and Susan gives Ada her friend's horse.  Ada still has fears and is frightfully uneducated but Susan teaches Ada and her brother at home.  Susan is wise in dealing with Ada and her fears.  During WWWII a german girl comes to live with them and is, at first, despised, but eventually Ada develops a sisterly relationship with her. 

I loved how strong Ada becomes throughout the two books.  As her knowledge increases so does her wisdom and bravery.  I love both Susan and Ada and felt like I learn so much from them.  Their compassion led to wise actions in behalf of others.  A wonderful short series that I highly recommend to old and young alike.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Boris Pasternak Quotes

I ran across a few quotes that I wanted to save and since the first one was about literature I thought to save them here.

Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.

I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them.

What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every cup.

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.

Monday, April 23, 2018

My Grandfather's Blessings

by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. 

This is a reread for me.  I've left my bookmark in the book because I'm sure I'll be reading it again in a few years.  Dr. James Allen, our family doctor, recommended this book years ago and both my husband and myself have read it twice.  It's that good!  Fist time through we marked passages we especially liked with book darts.  This time through I used a yellow marker.  I didn't mark passages we'd already book darted and I was surprised at the new items that stood out to me.  This is one from the last few pages: "Only the people who become free can serve God's holy purposes and restore the world.  Only those who are not enslaved by something else can follow the good in them."  Dr. Remen was loved and taught by her Jewish grandfather, raised by socialist parents, suffered since a youth with chrones disease, and still became a doctor.  She is amazing!  And her writing is thoughtful, inspiring, and empowering.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Night Bird

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman

The cover captured my attention the first time I saw it.  It's quite striking.  Of course, it was the book's description that encouraged me to read it.

I loved this smart, complex mystery and I instantly liked the main character, Detective Frost Easton.  Psychological novels hold a special appeal for me, too.

Frost teams up with a psychiatrist who helps people erase troubling, debilitating memories so they can live 'normal' and productive lives.

Immediately after finishing I bought book two in this series.  Book three will be out later this year.  I love finding the first in a series that grabs hold and makes me anxious to read the next.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Swap

by Nancy Boyarsky

I loved this mystery!  There was a lot of action and surprises.  And the story line was new.