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Adult Non-Fiction

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming

5 Stars –  

Audible Audio, Unabridged, 1143 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Random House Audio

Continue reading “Becoming by Michelle Obama”

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The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism by John U. Bacon, Johnny Heller (Narrator

345226535 Stars

Published November 7th 2017 by HarperAudio

Continue reading “The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism by John U. Bacon, Johnny Heller (Narrator”

Night (The Night Trilogy #1) by Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (Translator), François Mauriac (Foreword)

Night (The Night Trilogy, #1)5 Stars

Published January 16th 2006 by Hill & Wang (first published 1958)

Continue reading “Night (The Night Trilogy #1) by Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (Translator), François Mauriac (Foreword)”

Nature Crafts by Fiona Hayes and Creative Adventures in Cursive by Rachelle Doorley

These two books are both wonderful additions to a family, school or classroom library. They are all about creativity, crafting and homemade gifts. I thought they were both especially timely with Christmas coming. I love homemade gifts from my family and these books have several suggestions.

Nature Craft5 Stars

Published August 14th 2018 by QEB Publishing Continue reading “Nature Crafts by Fiona Hayes and Creative Adventures in Cursive by Rachelle Doorley”

The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

The Illustrated History of the Snowman4.5 Stars

Published September 1st 2018 by Globe Pequot Press

Continue reading “The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein”

The Doggie in the Window: How One Beloved Dog Opened My Eyes to the Complicated Story Behind Man’s Best Friend by Rory Kress

The Doggie in the Window: How One Beloved Dog Opened My Eyes to the Complicated Story Behind Man's Best Friend5 Stars

Published April 3rd 2018 by Sourcebooks

This is not a book that you can read in one sitting. It is a tough book to read, especially for dog lovers, of which I am one.

For anyone who plans on purchasing a puppy or adopting a dog, this is a must read. I’ve heard about puppy mills but the descriptions that the author shares really brings it home. I’ve always been an advocate of adopting from shelters, but know that is not always what someone is looking for, especially if they want or need a specific breed. However, as stated in this book, before adopting a dog, one has to see the environment that it’s currently living in as well as seeing the dog itself. I can’t believe people purchase dogs sight unseen, and just believe whatever information they are told. This book had a good balance of research, first-hand experience, and personal anecdotes. The insight into puppy mills was very in-depth. I was surprised to hear about the inspection process and how it does not really enforce the laws in place. It was very interesting to read information about her dog’s behavior and how being born in a puppy mill can impact the dog’s personality for its entire life.

Check out this issue of the online magazine Shelf Awareness to read a great interview with Rory Kress from the article, The Writer’s Life.

I hope this is read widely and is a force for needed change. I definitely recommend this book to dog lovers or those involved in advocating for dogs and healthy, regulated breeding. I requested and received a copy of this book from the publisher, Sourcebooks, to read. The rating, ideas and opinions stated are my own. Continue reading “The Doggie in the Window: How One Beloved Dog Opened My Eyes to the Complicated Story Behind Man’s Best Friend by Rory Kress”

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Educated: A Memoir5 Stars

Published February 20th 2018 by Random House

I read all kinds of reviews and accolades for this book, so decided that I needed to read it. Being a retired teacher and administrator, I didn’t want to read it. Well, I am certainly glad that I did. This book hurt my heart and my soul. This is a book that I had to take time outs from. It was so real and so hard to read all at the same time. This is the story of Tara Westover and her dysfunctional family. They were Mormons, but her father took it to an extreme. He did not trust the government, medical care and certainly not schools. He was also a survivalist who stockpiled supplies and lived off the land. He did not have a high school diploma, yet was smart. He also had some sort of mental illness, whether it was bipolar disorder or schizophrenia it was never diagnosed.

Tara Westover never went to school, was not even home-schooled, yet she ended up with a doctorate. She is stubborn as a bulldog and pulled herself up by the steel-toed boots she wore as a child working in her family’s Idaho junkyard. The first class room she ever entered was the first day of her freshman college year at age 17. She had never seen a doctor. Never had a vaccination. Never taken any kind of medication, not even an ibuprofen. She had no birth certificate. She didn’t even know her birthday. As she continued on in her education, there were many things about the world that she didn’t know. She always felt she was a fake, that she didn’t belong there. She was poor, uneducated and a whore, at least that is what she thought.

As you read this book, be prepared for some physical, verbal and emotional abuse. Tara wants to be part of her family, even with her successes at school, but she can not bring herself to accept that the things that have happened in her family were okay. She is so damaged along the way, that without the counselling she finally participates in, she would not be where she is today. EDUCATED is a fascinating story of sheer perseverance and grit. As I said at the beginning of this review, this book brought out so many emotions as I read it, but in the end, I am very glad I did. Bravo to Tara Westover.

Continue reading “Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover”

Mercy by Michael Palmer, Daniel Palmer

261145104.5 Stars

Published May 17th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

The book opens with someone killing a terminally ill patient, a mercy killing, except the patient did not ask for it. Dr. Julie Devereux is a critical care physician working in Boston. She’s also an advocate for death with dignity. She believes that patients should be able to end their suffering on their own terms, that is until her fiancee suffers serious injuries and paralysis in a motorcycle accident. When he begs Julie to help him die, she enlists the help of a volunteer with the organization Very Much Alive to help Sam recover his desire to live. Sam starts to get better, when he suddenly dies. Julie orders an autopsy and what she finds leads her in a search for the reason for several unusual deaths. With the help of others in the hospital, she puts together the pieces at risk to her own job.

The philosophical debate that is the heart of this novel is very timely. Mercy or murder? Do the terminally ill or the severely disabled deserve the right to die at their own request and in their own time to avoid inhumane suffering? Or should suicide or assisted suicide in those cases remain illegal and generally thought immoral? Would allowing it lead to abuse or reduced care? Beyond this question, this is a Medical thriller that had me reading fast and furious. This was a realistic story (as far as the ill patients, discussion of right to die) with lots of medical action and terminology, intensive care, pathology, laboratory analysis and more. Of course there are also plotlines that are a bit far-fetched, but there is always license with fiction to fictionalize. I liked the character of Julie. She was a hard worker, very smart and intuitive, friendly to her co-workers and willing to put herself out there to find out what was going on. The only think I was unsure of was the fact that she is able to disconnect from work completely when she goes home. I wish I could have done that and I was in education, not as stressful or life altering as a medical career. This was a fast-paced story that I really enjoyed! I was unable to solve the full mystery of who was involved in these killings until the very end when it was all put together and revealed to the reader, yet it all made sense. I have read one other book by Michael Palmer, but will definitely be looking for others.

Continue reading “Mercy by Michael Palmer, Daniel Palmer”

Spring at Lavender Bay (Lavender Bay #1) by Sarah Bennett

Spring at Lavender Bay4 Stars

Published February 2nd 2018 by HQ Digital 

This is my first book by Sarah Bennett and it won’t be my last. I enjoy these fun, romantic stories on the coast in the UK. Beth returns to Lavender Cove for the funeral of Eleanor, the woman who raised her. When she finds out that Eleanor has left the Emporium to her, she needs to figure out what to do with it. She lives in London, not Lavender Bay. When she returns to London, she realizes that there is nothing there for her, she has broken up from her boyfriend and the promotion at work seems to be going to someone else. Time to go back home.

This story is filled with great characters, friendships and memories. Eliza, Libby and Beth (all named Elizabeth, so they had to take on nicknames) have been best friends all their lives. I love the relationship these ladies share. The others in Lavender Bay all love them as well and support whatever they are trying to do.When trouble brews, the people in the town are there to help. When romance is in the air, friends promote and encourage and when emotions boil over, friends are able to calm and support. A wonderful story filled with love, loyalty, friendship, a bit of angst and happy endings. I am definitely going to read the next one in this series. The publisher, HQ Digital, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The opinions shared are my own.

Continue reading “Spring at Lavender Bay (Lavender Bay #1) by Sarah Bennett”

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