Book Review:The Captured and Two Companion Books

This book "Captured" my interest at the prologue!  I had placed it on my "looks readable" list eons ago, before it ever found a coveted spot on my annual book list. I did not know what I was missing.

Captured

 The Captured: is the true story of a handful of children who were abducted by Indians in the 1860's & 1870's.  What leads the author to write this book is he discovers that his many-great uncle was abducted and later returned to his family. The story and legacy was lost through the years and the author sets out to learn more.  Beginning his research by looking for information on his uncle, he uncovers the stories of others who undergo the same traumatic experience and live to tell about it in memoirs or stories handed down through generations.

The Captured, is written in a fact filled historical tone, but a story is weaved within the fact, that makes you feel like you are there.  Quotes, interviews with family, and pictures add great detail to this book that kept me reading and reliving one of histories wildest times.

Give this book list choice a read.  I gained a new appreciation for how the west was won!

*Captured is an adult non-fiction read *


Here are two fictional companion reads, one for children and one for adults if this subject interests you.

* For children ages 10 and up, I recommend a title that we thoroughly enjoyed- Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

Based on the actual account of 12 year old Mary Jemison who was captured from Pennsylvania in 1758.  A wonderful story that sheds light on the Indian way of life and will entertain and teach children and adults. This title fits in nicely if you follow Charlotte Mason and her concept of living books.

 

 

* For the fictional romance fan, I recommend: The Second Kiss. This is an older book originally published in 1963 under the title Nakoa's Woman.
This title has it all, romance, suspense, drama, violence but is still full of historical detail.  This book held me spell bound!

 

 

 

 There you have it, three amazing but different books that will keep you reading way past your bedtime.  Enjoy!

 

 

Book Review: First Mothers the Women Who Shaped the Presidents

This title was chosen ahead of time for me, by me, on my annual reading list.  I deemed it appropriate for May, because of Mother's Day.  What better inspiration for a mother than to read about other mother's whose sons reached the highest office in our country?

First Mothers was written by Bonnie Angelo, a reporter with Time, who had covered stories at the White House through eight administrations.  She uses this knowledge as well as interviews with past presidents and their families to write this impressive biography.

Mothers

First Mothers is a wonderful biography full of wisdom, quotes and history made by the work of these mothers.  This book sheds new light on the line: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."  The chapters are dedicated to the mothers of Presidents: FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. 

What I found fascinating is that not one of the eleven mothers sought to have her son become president; many had no political aspirations for their family.
The common thread of each mother whether born wealthy or dirt poor, was that her son be a good man- strong in character and to be able to do what needs to be done. 
It was interesting that each son that would become president, held a special place in his mothers heart, not quite a favorite, but for lack o f a better word, a favorite none the less. Each mother would champion her son; always believing the best in him and encouraging him to do his best. The binding tie was that each mother who would have a president son, had an especially close relationship with her father.  She would hold him in high esteem and find her strength in this relationship that would then influence her and her sons futures. 

First Mothers is a book that sheds new light on powerful men who changed and made history.  A book that will charm and inspire you.

Book Review: The Year of Yes

The cover of this book looked happy and seemed to say- "Yes, you should read me!"
I am glad that I did.


YearofYEs

Not just because I am a fan of Grey's Anatomy- since forever.  You may be saying to yourself- "Wait, what does this book have to do with a TV show?"
Well if the Dance It Out, reference on the cover didn't give it away the I should tell you that the author of this book, Shonda Rhimes is the creator of Grey's Anatomy.

I am glad that I read this book because I think Shonda and I could be friends.  Real friends not just FB friends.

There comes a time when we all need to do the thing(s) that frighten us, that put us on edge. These are the things that will grow us.
Shonda Rhimes does that and lives to tell about it, in a humorous way.
In this book, the author shares the startling moment when she realized she was going through the motions of living; not really living at all. She then decides to do something about it. She starts saying Yes to life.

I enjoyed her autobiography focusing on her year of yes. I found the conversations she has with herself, totally amusing and relatable. It was  comforting to know that there are other introverts who would rather be alone with their thoughts than out at a massive party. 
I liked the tone throughout the book. It is the tone of a friend telling a friend whats been happening in their life.

  DSC00627

Take aways from Year of Yes:

~ "Nothing works until you are ready for it to work."

~ "Its not bragging if you can back it up." – Muhammad Ali

~ You have to read it to get the full effect, but her thoughts on motherhood being called a "job".  She says its not! 
– chapter 6…..Well Said, Shonda!

I am glad that I said Yes to this book.  It was an inspiring and fun autobiography by a super talented woman.
Lets all start living our Year of Yes.

Book Review of A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove

 A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove is a history of American women told through food, recipes and remembrances. I had actually never flipped through the book to see the layout and writing style before bringing it home to read.  That is the only gamble when ordering with Amazon, really- sometimes there is the Click to See Inside feature which thrills me.  But, I did not do that with this title and I wish I had.

In my mind I had built up a book that read as a diary.  In which women left behind recipes and snippets of stories of how they endured the Civil War or the Great Depression with ration cards. I imagined "grocery lists" from different times. Lists of what the women going west would have considered essential to have to cook for their hungry men and children.
I wanted an easy read in a conversational tone that made history come alive.

Booktitle

There is a smattering of these things in this book. There are numerous photographs and historical prints. There are recipes and well researched facts.
However, I never found myself drawn into the world of these women whose stories are chronicled here. I wanted to, very much. I found myself skimming the book looking for snip-its that drew me in.

I did enjoy sections about the pioneer women and their long and difficult day on the journey westward. I wish there had been real diary entries here. I enjoyed portions about women during WWII and the Great Depression and how they helped turn the tide. There is a long quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that I loved. 
Here is the last line of it: "And I hold it equally true that in this present crisis it is going to be the women who will tip the scales and bring us safely out of it."

 A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove is a well written book. I neither loved it nor disliked it. The book was not what I had in mind when I saw the title and added it to my annual book list.  But I would recommend it to someone doing a report on the kitchen and its role in history.

Book Review of Real Food What to Eat and Why

Real Food What to Eat and Why, kicked off my nonfiction reading for 2016. 
This title is from my annual reading list and was chosen because we are what we eat….or so they say.

Funny
I generally eat pretty healthy. But after indulging during the holidays I needed a little inspiration to get back on track. 
This book dives into the science and reasoning of why eating real food is so important.  For those who are not familiar with the thoughts of Weston Price, Joel Salatin and the teachings of Nourishing Traditions, this book may seem a tad "out there" and against the norm.

The author shares her story in the first chapter, of growing up on real food and how she deviated from this and into "health crazes" and then journeyed back to real food again.

The other chapters are broken into food categories- dairy, produce, meat, etc. Each chapter delves into how our food used to be grown or raised and how the more modern methods of production are lowering the nutritional benefits of our food.
There is a lot of information on these pages, so this title is not a binge read in one setting, more of a let it sit and digest, kind of thing. 

Realfoodbook

I particularly liked the tips in the Real Fruit and Vegetables chapter on how to get more vegetables into your body. One tip was to have a salad at every meal, (while I could not handle this at breakfast), this would help me get that vege count up throughout the day.  The other tip I thought feasible was to eat the salad at the start of the meal, before filling up on the carbs.

The only negative I had with the book is the constant reference to the earth and our species being millions of years old. I am from the thought that it is more in the thousands of years, but this difference in opinion did not change my thoughts on the healthy eating information.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why is a wonderful book for those looking to find a way back to eating real food or those in need of helpful reminders.

 

 

2016 Book List

The new year is here!  Which means that I have a new reading challenge for myself.   

As a book lover it is simple for me to find and reach for a novel at any moment.  I have a weakness for fiction.

I enjoy nonfiction books as well, but I am more apt to read these types of books if I know what I want to read about. 

Enter my annual book list.  A list chosen by me, in advance, to encourage reading in a different genre.

I choose twelve nonfiction books that look interesting or are about a topic/subject I wish to learn.  The goal is to read one a month.  Sometimes if a book list choice no longer looks readable, I will swap in a different title. 
My annual book list is not meant to heap on guilt or feel like a must-read-or-else ultimatum . It is simply a guide to ensure that I am always stretching my learning muscles while I am reading. 

Without further ado, here is my 2016 Book List!

 

What books will you be reading this year?

2015 Book List

A few years back I discovered that I was a –Fiction Snob! ( gasp )
 
I tended to gravitate towards fiction books more than any other genre. 
Which is not a bad thing. Especially when I considered the toddlers, naptime chaos and tantrums I experienced on a daily basis. 
 
I needed the escape fiction gave.
 
But as my children grew older, I felt ready to have topics or information to ponder and mull over. So I began forming an Annual Book List.
 
The Annual Book List was made up of non fiction, biographies, or topical titles. All choices were relatable to my interests or season of life.
 
I still kept up my fiction addiction, but these lists gave me a measure of accountability.
 
Each month I would select a title from the list & read. Fast forward many, many years and the annual book list is still going strong.
 
Here is the list I am working on now~

 

Do you make a Book List?