Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars

I just started John Green's The Fault in our Stars.  I am reading it via  I tried to start two other books in between the Chaperone and this one....they just didn't capture my imagination as this one did. So far it is terrific.

I love this book!  Well....I didn't like the second half of the book as well as I liked the first half.  However, I would still recommend the entire book as good entertainment with lots of "aha" moments.  One that particularly hit my personal interests I will describe particularly vaguely so as not to be a spoiler.....when someone is gone, the memories are not so valuable without the one with whom the memories were made....

I liked Hazel's description of the different sizes of infinite....that there is an infinite number of numbers between 0 and 1 and an infinite number of numbers between 0 and 100....but that one infinite is larger than the other infinite.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Chaperone

The New York Times bestseller and the USA Today #1 Hot Fiction Pick for the summer, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both. 

The story in this book is a bit farfetched.  The photos above are of the REAL Louise Brooks taken from web images.  Now the question is: was there a real Cora?  I assumed that the author just used the idea of a chaperone to invent all of the MANY ideas she was trying to cover in one book.  And indeed there were MANY ideas that the author touches on.

Guess I'll need to do a bit of research.  I read this book via audio and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Good Earth

What is it that makes a fictional book great?  For me it is the ability of the author to convey truths that the reader recognizes.  This book is full of those "aha" moments!  The reader thinks: "YES!  That is exactly how life is!  Pearl Buck's book should be required reading for every human being no matter what nationality who is a part of a family....whether that be as a child, parent, or sibling.  I read this book via

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Hornet's Nest by Jimmy Carter

It has not been my habit to add books that I have read in the past.  However, the Hornet's Nest is a book for which I took notes while I read it.  Obviously President Carter and I share ancestors who experienced very similar circumstances and did very similar migration patterns.  I couldn't help but be fascinated with the research that President Carter had done on his ancestors to write this book.  [Note: I looked up the ancestry of Jimmy Carter on a couple of sites and am not completely convinced that it was his ancestors that he was writing about.  Some of his people lived near Wrightsboro, Ga at some point and he may have just done research on the people who lived in that area]

Here are a few of my notes while reading the book:

The Hornet’s Nest by Jimmy Carter

The book opens in 1763 in Philadelphia.  A fictional family with last name Pratt with two sons.  Ethan works for his father as a shoemaker but prefers working with the soil.  He marries Epsey who is daughter of a Moravian minister in PA.  Henry is the other son and is much more interested in trade of shoemaker.  The Pratt family is Scots-Irish.  

Henry moves to Norfolk.  He works for Mr. Carlyle in his shoeshop and part time in a tannery to learn that part of the business as well.  He also visits a local tailor shop to see their work on leather purses, gloves, etc.  He meets Sophronia Knox (Sophie) there.    Sophie was an orphan and lived with her uncle and aunt and was apprenticed since age 12 to the tailor.  Mr. Knox influences Henry to have strong feelings against the stamp act and to become involved with a local group called Sons of Liberty or Liberty Boys.  

Explanation of why the British were imposing stamp act and other taxes:  debt that had been accumulated from Fr. and Ind war.  Also the fact that many of the colonial merchants had continued to trade with the French during the War.  Mr. Knox admits to that.  

Henry marries Sophie....and ends up with a home wedding so as to not have to pay  for the stamp on the marriage license.  

Explanation of Whigs and Tories:The names had come about 100 years before 1763.  Originally Whig meant horse thief and later came to refer to people who were inclined to question the policies of the King.  Tory referred to an outlaw whose first loyalty was to the pope.  Later the Whigs were inclined to be those who placed their faith in business and commerce while the Tories represented the Anglican Church and honorary titles--all tied to favors handed out by the crown.  Mr. Knox explains that nowadays Whigs are those emboldened to question some of the decisions made by King George the third.  

Henry and Sophie move to Orange County, NC.  The year that they move they move to Childsburg.  The town’s name is changed to Hillsborough the following year.  

Henry  becomes more and more involved in the politics of the area...while Ethan and Epsey move out to a farm and are much less involved in politics.  Sophie dies in childbirth.  

I next read many pages that were very confusing to me about the Revolution in GA....I probably need to reread and make some more notes.  However, I am going to put this project off until I have more time.