Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

From a review:  
“Fantasy of the very best.” Wall Street Journal
A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

I read this book because it is the choice for book club this month.  I am not sure that I will be able to attend, but the book was a quick and easy why not?  I liked the book.  My thoughts as I read this book were:  hmmmmmm...Why do we read?  To be entertained?  To learn?  To have something to do while we knit?  There are a million reasons.  I believe that this book was all about being entertained and listening to a story while I knitted.  That is OK.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Rosie Effect

I didn't like this sequel to the Rosie Project quite as well as I liked the the Rosie Project.  But I don't finish books that I don't like....and I did finish it.  Don is so likable....Rosie is likable as well.  You can't help but hope that their marriage "makes it" in the long run....with a little help from their friends!

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Place Called Freedom

I was a bit slow reading this book.  I thought that the book was a bit silly.  Too many coincidences keeping the characters entwined and too many overly dramatic experiences.  But I did like the fact that the author used an excellent imagination to give the reader a feeling for so many things that are a part of our history.  Starting with the coal mining in the 1700s and the terrible conditions of the coal miners in the British Isles, he moves on to many, many other parts of everyday history:  London in the 1700s and the TERRIBLE plight of the poor as they struggled to make ends meet.  The people who were hung for small crimes and only if lucky enough to have someone of importance to plead for them were they lucky enough to be transported instead.  The terribleness of the ships that transported the prisoners.  The brutal fact of life if one was a black slave or a white person sold into slavery in Virginia.

I also enjoyed the explanation of a young couple moving towards the Cumberland Gap from Fredericksburg, Virginia in the era before the Revolutionary War.  And also the description of the Fredericksburg area in the time period.  Jay Jamison was probably not far from being what the real plantation owners were ......younger sons....and not necessarily good business men.  He lacked an interest in running his plantation himself and was very contented to leave the management to an overseer who was not necessarily a good and honest leader with lack of real understanding of the farming practices that led to a good plantation.  It was an interesting read.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


The book club is reading Wonder this month.  I forgot.  At knitting today Mitzi said that she had finished the book and had liked it....I looked it up....I don't think that I'll read this one.....hmmmmm....Mitzi said she liked it.  That is what book clubs are about:  reading books you might not read otherwise.


I am listening to it on audible and I think perhaps listening is the absolute best way to read this book!

The marriage of Mr. Tushman and Miss Butt.  Oh my gosh, how perfect is that!  Perhaps it is the sense of humor that both Augie and his dad have that saves all!

I asked a young girl on the plane last night if she had read it and she said yes....when she was in the 5th grade.  And she and I agreed that we liked the book a lot.  Her comment about it was that she liked the way much of the story was told from other character's perspective....just the comment that I made at book club!  Good read!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Books for Living

I did not like this book by Will Schwalbe as well as I did The End of Your Life Book Club.  Somehow I also did not get around to making a list of the books from his list that I might like to read.  I am not sure that I found the books he named as appealing as those in his first book.  But I did finish the book which I never do if I really don't like a book.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mary's link to an article on reading

Mary sent me a link to an article about adding more reading in one's life that she said reminded her of me

hey mom, this article made me think of you

My comment back to Mary was:

No wonder it made you think of me!  It is ALL about me ……every part of it!  Well except perhaps the turning on the TV part…..I loved the article!  

I am putting it on my blog!  And interestingly enough, I don’t have a problem with trying to read too many books….but I just put into place the rule about not having more than three knitting projects going at any one time.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hillbilly Elegy

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town 
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of poor, white Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for over forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck. 
The Vance family story began with hope in postwar America. J.D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. 
A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.