Thursday, May 17, 2018

Book Beginning: Life Expectancy: Poetry by Kirsten Rian

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



I'm up there talking about war, the kind with Kalashnikovs and scuds.

-- from "Embedment," the first poem in Life Expectancy: Poetry by Kirsten Rian. Rian's poetry looks at how life goes as it does -- usually in unexpected directions.




Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING





Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review: The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe, RIP

Tom Wolfe, one of the greats, passed away this week at age 88. I absolutely loved Bonfire of the Vanities, his first novel and one of the best American novels. His essays Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers are the most trenchant social commentary I have ever read.

His nonfiction book, The Right Stuff, was not one of my favorites, but it is a classic. Here's a re-post of my 2008 review.



The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe is my favorite book about astronauts. Of course, it is the only book about astronauts that I will ever read, so that isn't the strongest praise. But it is perfect for a general reader like me looking for an entertaining history of America's early space program. Wolfe definitely keeps the tale interesting. He focuses on the personal, rather than the technical and administrative, aspects of the Mercury space program and the first seven astronauts involved. He follows the seven through their early careers, mostly as test pilots, through each of their turns in a Mercury capsule.

The most remarkable part of the story is the connection Wolfe makes between fighter jet pilots and astronauts. Having grown up in the NASA age, I did not know that the Air Force had a competing rocket program (a program that managed to send pilots several miles into space and then have them actually land the aircraft back on earth) before it was scuttled in favor of NASA's moon missions.

The only drawback of the book is Wolfe's Gonzo journalism style, which much have been refreshing and bold back in 1979. Now, the hipper-than-thou tone is a little tired and can get exasperating.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm



Without looking at Adam or their daughter, she hauls herself up the bedpost, Her feet hit the floor like stumps.

The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm. This historic novel, set in Montana in the early 1900s, tells the story of a homesteading couple struggling with the wife's recurring postpartum depression. Notbohm was inspired by research into her own family history and by "what we owe all women who bravely undertake the risks and unknowns of motherhood."



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mailbox Monday: New Books

Two new novels arrived in my mailbox this week. Their stories intersect in the history of America's western expansion -- and with disappearing husbands leaving wives behind to save the family.



All Coyote's Children by Bette Lynch Husted. Annie Fallon must pick up the pieces after her husband Jack, a professor of Native American history, disappears without a trace into the wilderness surrounding the family ranch in northeastern Oregon. Annie is befriended by Leona, a Umatilla-Cayuse neighbor with long but hidden ties to Jack's family.



The Seasons of Doubt by Jeannie Burt. This historical novel is set in 1873 Nebraska and tells the story of a homesteading woman and her young son, abandoned by her husband to freeze and starve in their prairie sod house unless she can save them. It looks like quite an adventure.


What books came into your house last week?


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Book Beginning: Homing Instincts by Dionisia Morales

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



At the Hotel Maestral, Zlatko leaned forward in his chair, took a sip of wine, and described in broken German the idiosyncrasies of his family history: his grandmother was Austrian, his mother was Italian, his children are Croatian, "And me?" he said, as if delivering the punch line to a joke, "I used to be Yugoslavian."

-- from the Prologue: You Are Here, in Homing Instincts by Dionisia Morales, a collection of essays on the idea of home and how it plays out in daily life.

The humor in Zlatko's story is that his family lived in the same town for generations, only the national sovereignty changed.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Ghost Writer: A Story About Telling a Holocaust Story by Beth Benedix




The more Joseph story unraveled, the more pronounced the layers of his intuition became. I had to keep reminding myself that he was fifteen (fifteen!) When he made this series of right choices between life and death.

-- Ghost Writer: A Story About Telling a Holocaust Story by Beth Benedix. Benedix ghost wrote a memoir for Holocaust survivor Joe Koenig. At his urging, she then wrote this book about her own experience of taking on the responsibility of listening to his story and giving it its fullest form.

I was drawn to this book because I see a parallel between Benedix's experience ghost writing a Holocaust memoir and my work as a lawyer representing adult victims of childhood sexual abuse. My clients trust me to tell the stories of their childhood trauma the way Koenig trusted Benedix. Bringing their stories to light -- bearing their testimony in a way -- is the best part of my job to me.


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mailbox Monday: Suicide of the West by Jonah Goldberg

I got one new book last week and I am racing through it. What books came into your house?



Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy by Jonah Goldberg.

Goldberg examines how the ideas of democracy and liberty are at odds with our baser instincts so need to be re-learned and shored up, or lost. And since he can quote Game of Thrones as comfortably as John Locke, I'm entertained and educated!




Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.




Thursday, May 3, 2018

Book Beginning: The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



Of all the heartless things Annie's mother has done in twenty-six years, this might be the corker.

The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm. This historic novel is set in Montana in the early 1900s. Notbohm based her debut book on a true story about a homesteading couple whose fiery romance and financial success is threatened by world events, natural disaster, and Annie's recurring difficulties with miscarriage and childbirth.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING





Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Review: Sam's Theory by Sarah Mendivel



Mendivel is a therapist who wrote this YA fantasy novel to use as a creative way to help young people heal from trauma. It is a terrific resource for young people dealing with difficulties because it offers practical help in a creative and entertaining way.

Sam's Theory is a fantasy adventure story about a 15-year-old girl named Same who runs away after she is abused. Hiding in the forest, Sam meets an old woman named Theory who helps her with some magic and sage advice. Scared for her little sister, Nova, and with the help of her friend, Dodger, and two other kids, Sam sets up a hidden camp in the wilderness and forms “The Orphan’s Collective.”

The book offers creative advice on how to cope in the face of trauma. It acknowledges the problems young people face, including depression, suicide, abuse, neglect, and loneliness, and provides positive tools and applied examples of healthy behavior changes.


NOTE

Read my Q&A author interview with Sarah Mendivel here to learn more about her book and her work with young people. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Shores Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story by Irene Butter




The Star Camp was in the middle of Bergen-Belsen, almost entirely surrounded by other smaller camps. The camps were all sectioned by barbed wire.
-- Shores Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story by Irene Butter. Butter's family and Anne Frank's family were neighbors in Amsterdam before both were taken to concentration camps.

It was decades before Butter told the story -- outside a close circle of family and friends -- of her childhood escape from the Nazi death camp. She recently wrote about growing up with this silence in The New York Times.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

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