Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Our Iowa Magazine

Live in Iowa or enjoy reading about it?  This magazine celebrates Iowa with beautiful pictures, enjoyable articles, tasty recipes, contests and so much more! In every issue certain features are included which cover interesting topics. Some examples are: "What I Miss Most About Iowa," "From the Eyes of Little Iowans," and "Iowa Rewind." I especially enjoy articles of an "Amish Diary" or "The Prettiest Farm in Iowa." There is a lot of variety to pick from included in this magazine or to read from cover to cover!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich

For a raw, unfiltered, emotional look at a side of World War II not many are familiar with, try Svetlana Alexievich's "The Unwomanly Face of War".
A winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Alexievich's book looks at the military careers of Soviet women during the war. "Career" may not quite be the proper term, as these women went to war and saw some of the bloodiest, most cruel action any soldier in any nation saw during the Second World War. Many left home at the age of 15 and 16 to do their part against the Nazi invasion of their country.
These women saw action on the front line as nurses, infantry, snipers and pilots, right along side the men. Many found themselves braving the front lines, dragging or carrying wounded soldiers back to the aid stations.
"The Unwomanly Face of War" compiles the first-person narratives of these women, showing the dangers they faced, the emotions they struggled through, and the bravery that saw them through to the end of the war.
For many, the war's end was just as cruel, as they were shunned by their government and ridiculed by their neighbors and townspeople for their actions. Their gallant hours and deeds fell on deaf ears until their encounter with Alexievich and they were able to share their pain and memories.
"The Unwomanly Face of War" is very much in your face and graphic, and a very important look at an area of history that has been far understudied.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

HANDPICKED by Ingrid Carozzi

I love flowers. Unfortunately, I always have a difficult time making flower arrangements. I think my garden provides a good variety and has plenty to pick from (although there is always room for more!) to make some nice arrangements. I wish I could just cut them and stick them in a vase and they would look gorgeous, however they seem to look less than beautiful if you don't put some effort into it. So I really enjoyed looking at this book. The author lists her favorite varieties to use when making arrangements. She also gives instruction on how to use green foliage in your work, suggestions for what king of containers to use, and guidelines for small, medium, and large creations. She uses a lot of beautiful blooms that coincide with the season, so you can make an arrangement with spring, summer, mid-summer, fall and winter flowers. Soooo lovely! I guess I will try again and see what kind of flower arrangement I can come up with.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Based on true events, "Before We Were Yours" tells one family's story involving the Tennessee Children's Home Society and its infamous director, Georgia Tann.  While Tann can be credited with popularizing the idea of adoption, she also ran a network that stole poor children from their families and sold them to wealthy families who wanted a child.

1939: Rill Foss, 12, is the oldest of 5 siblings.  When their mother & father rush to the hospital one night, leaving Rill in charge, strangers show up and take the children to an orphanage.  Conditions are miserable, but Rill is sure that their parents will come back soon to claim them.

Present Day: Avery Stafford was born into a life of status and privilege.  A chance encounter at a nursing home leaves her with questions about her grandmother that she is determined to answer.

Alternating chapters chronicle Rill's and Avery's stories in this very well written book. I highly recommend it!