books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel by Alison Weir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is excellent! While it is fiction based on rumors Alison Weir's knowledge of the life of Elizabeth I allows the surrounding details of the story to support the plot. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is a tremendous amount of background information on the life of the aristocracy during the period. What I was most impressed with and intrigued by was the extreme risk being a noble, or even a princess could be. There was such an undercurrent of suspicion and treachery and it made me think that their lot was hardly better than the middle class...if in fact, as good.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Nathan Price drags his wife and four daughters to the Congo to preach to the natives. Unfortunately, he fits the 'worst of the missionaries' list hands down. He doesn't know how to relate to his family, much less natives. The story concerns the effect this move has on his wife and daughters. Each responds to the Congo in a different way. Two of the daughters stay in Africa and their personalities couldn't be more different.

I felt like Africa was a crucible for the family and each responded in a different way, showing what they were made of. As I try to write this review, I also find myself thinking of and old grindstone wheel that my grandfather had. The grindstone of Africa peels away layer after layer in the family and reveals the metal underneath.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

The White Giraffe

The White Giraffe The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. It touched off a passel of books about Africa and some internet research on white Giraffes. I found the whole subject very compelling. Martine’s parents are killed in a fire on her 11th birthday and she comes to live with her grandmother whom she does not know. There is so much mystery surrounding the relationship between Martine and her grandmother and between Martine's mother and her own mother. Martine makes friends with a white giraffe on the game preserve and manages to learn to ride it. (There is a video clip on YouTube of a man trying to ride a giraffe, but he only stays on for a few seconds. It looks almost impossible to me!) Martine forges ahead and finally finds out what her grandmother was afraid of as the story unfolds.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Queen

Lately I have been reading about queens and The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran fit right in.

It is the story of the Princess Nefertari's princess's rise to power. Nefertari, was the niece of the famed heretic queen Nefertiti, became part of the court of Pharaoh Seti I after her family was deposed. She was highly intelligent and competitive with the young prince who was to become Ramesses II. It is a wonderful story of a highly intelligent young orphan whose friendship with Ramesses II leads them to the golden age of Egypt.

The book is well written and engaging. I found myself following along with the Internet to gain a deeper understanding of this remarkable young woman.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Great Read!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

This book was a real surprise to me. I wanted to read about a little know part of America's WWII experience, and expected a book that tore at my heartstrings like The Diary of Ann Frank What I didn't expect was a book that was truly "bittersweet." This is the story of a Chinese American boy, Henry, who fell in love with a Japanese American girl, Keiko, in WWII Seattle. They met at an exclusive private school to which they were both sent in an attempt by their parents to further Americanize them. Neither of them fit in and thus began the story a first love which never died despite her internment in a Japanese war camp.

The story is masterfully told by Jamie Ford and left me in tears. I felt like I knew these two people intimately and grew to love them. I have read that the Depression brought families and communities together in a way that prosperity never could. I think that is what sets this book apart. During the rough times during the war, people found a way to be happy and despite what happened to them, they were able to rise above it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've read this several times over the years and always get something new out of it. Murphy, a conman and petty criminal, pretends to be mentally ill to get out of going to prison. He turns the ward upside down but is in a battle of wills with the control freak "big nurse." This time reading it, I found that there is a lot of me in both main characters. At times I am the iconoclast and at other times I am control freak. It interesting to me that I have never seen myself in the nurse before...hmmm... could I be learning something over the years?

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