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Posts from the ‘Books and Essays’ Category

22
Mar

Journey

A picture is worth a thousand words.

People often talk about the power of words but consider for a moment the power of pictures. The well-known saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” is easily understood when we think of the Mona Lisa or American Gothic but the meaning takes on a whole new dimension when applied to a children’s picture book called Journey by Aaron Becker, a man who has been known to say his favorite destination remains in his imagination. Read more »

16
Feb

Finding Winnie

The heart of this story, to me, has always been that you never know the impact one small, loving gesture can have. It is the dedication to my son Cole and it is the one piece I hope all readers will take away from Finding Winnie.  ~Lindsay Mattick

Finding Winnie is the true story of a baby bear rescued by a veterinarian in White River, Canada just as World War I was beginning in 1914.

Harry Colebourn was living in Winnipeg when he had to say good-bye to his family and friends before traveling across Canada to reach an oceanliner that would take him to Europe where he would serve as a veterinarian for the Canadian army’s horses. When the train stopped in White River, Canada, Colebourn noticed a man sitting on bench holding on to a rope tied to a baby bear. He offered the man $20 for the baby bear and the rest is history. Read more »

19
Jan

The Day the Crayons Quit

The battle lines have been drawn.

Every office in the country should have a copy of The Day the Crayons Quit lying around. People may scoff, roll their eyes, and even think that someone left their kid’s book at the office or the waiting room by mistake, but don’t turn away. Pick up the book and read it. Maybe it’s been a few years since you’ve read a children’s book (if you’re not the proud parental unit of a child under the age of 10, then it’s probably been a while). This one’s worth it.  Read more »

11
Jan

The Sympathizer

Vietnam is a country, not a war.

The war known as the “Vietnam War” was fought by the generation before mine from the early 1960’s until 1975. In the most simplistic terms, the Vietnam war was a civil war between North and South Vietnam (sound familiar?) with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong (a South Vietnamese Communist group) fighting to reunify Vietnam under a communist rule.

The US became involved in the conflict to prevent communism from spreading because the American leaders felt threatened by democracy’s counterpart. Russia and China backed North Vietnam while the US, South Korea, Australia and several other countries backed South Vietnam. After years of fighting, the North Vietnamese captured Saigon in 1975 ending the war (the US lost) and the two regions were reunified into a communist country. Read more »

24
Dec

Life Among the Savages

Sometimes a book reminds readers that our lives never really change despite the outside factors that seem to change daily. We write but the computer has replaced the typewriter, we raise children but the social norms change; we drink milk but we buy the containers at the grocery store instead of having them delivered; and we drive cars but with seat belts and air bags. Yes, progress allows us to do things differently but it doesn’t take away the core aspects of our lives: to grow, learn, love, procreate, work, eat, survive, struggle, and die. Life Among the Savages is just that book. Read more »

10
Dec

10 Gifts for the Busy Mom

I hear you. Raising kids and running a house keep me busy, too.  I also have this little gig on the side called a full time job.

Finding just the right gift for the busy mom can be a challenge. Most moms usually have three things on their minds –  family, work, and dinner – so the idea is how to make these three super important parts of her life easier and a bit more relaxing.  With that in mind, here are ten gift ideas for the busy mom who doesn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done: Read more »

26
Nov

Bobby Wonderful

Old age is not for sissies.  Neither is old love, whether you’re in it or watching from the sidelines.    ~Bob Morris

Bobby Wonderful may seem like a strange title for a book but to author Bob Morris, the two words make perfect sense because “Bobby” and “Wonderful” are the last words spoken by his parents before they passed away.  The irony is that the author by his own admission was not a wonderful son (his brother, Jeff deserved that award). He was the   irresponsible fun-loving child, the second of two boys whose job was to lighten the mood and entertain. Jeff, his older brother was the responsible one, the leader driven by duty and purpose who always seemed to make the right decision and be in the right place at the right time (there’s always one  in every family). Read more »

7
Nov

Hesitation Wounds

Little girls are resilient creatures, hiding in graveyards, under a white coat, behind the bathroom mirror of a 747. Every so often we dare ourselves to peek out and sometimes we even move forward, into the daylight – where the assassin has the open shot.

In Hesitation Wounds by Amy Koppelman, the reader is introduced to Dr. Susanna Seliger, a 43-year old psychiatrist who specializes in treatment resistant depression – a career that requires minimal emotional involvement with patients who have exhausted traditional therapy methods. Her tools  are primarily drugs and electrocompulsive shock therapy, the latter of which often causes memory loss – the irony of which is not lost on the reader as the story unfolds. Read more »

30
Oct

Commonwealth

Ann Patchett’s most recent work of fiction, Commonwealth is the story of two families:  the Keatings (Fix and Beverly and their two young daughters, Caroline and Franny) and the Cousins (Bert and Teresa and their four young children, Cal, Holly, Jeanette, and Albie) over a 50-year period that spans from the 1960’s to current times.  Read more »

22
Oct

The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook

The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook is not just a big book with delicious low-fat recipes that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes, but also an excellent and concise source of nutritional and medical information written by Dr. John A. McDougall, M.D. and his wife, Mary McDougall. Admittedly, I bought the book for the 300 recipes that seemed uncomplicated and flavorful but then became focused on reading the single page tips that address protein, carbohydrates, fats, genetic diseases, acute versus chronic illness, reading labels, and more. That this book was originally published in 1999 gave me pause because it made me realize I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Some books are timeless; this is one of them. Read more »