Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Fire Road by Kim Phuc Phan Thi

A famous picture showing the terror of war of children trying to escape a napalm bombing during the Vietnam War in 1972 shows a young girl running with clothes burned off her body.  This book is the story of this survivor who almost died and was actually found in a morgue by her family. The extremely painful treatment for her burns was very difficult and she still experiences pain after all these years. The Communist government used her for political propaganda and controlled her life. Expecting to never find love because of her scars she eventually did marry and have children. There is strong emphasis in this book on her conversion to Christianity and forgiveness of those who had harmed her. This author now is committed to global peace and supports child victims of war. Her life has been very hard but she has overcome a lot of traumatic events and writes an inspiring story.

We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

This is a beautiful picture book version of the much loved chapter book and motion picture, ‘Wonder’.   It is targeted for younger readers, but all ages can appreciate the message of choosing kindness.  Palacio also illustrates the book with vibrant colors sure to capture the readers attention.  A great read-aloud that provides a perfect opportunity to discuss empathy, kindness and acceptance with children. 


Saturday, May 19, 2018

I Found You by Lisa Jewell

Alice observes a man on the beach. He sits for hours, even in the rain. She brings him a jacket. He doesn't know who he is. She asks him to her chaotic home, with two teenagers a grade school daughter, and three dogs. Meanwhile in London, Lily's husband hasn't returned from work, she just knows something is wrong. Now we become involved in the lives of Alice and Lily. The story alternates between the two characters until about three quarters of the way through, when their paths cross and the answers slowly come to light. A double fold missing person mystery all the way around!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

Who invented the light bulb?  Thomas Edison, right?  Perhaps, but perhaps not.  This engaging work of historical fiction follows the "current wars" between Edison and his rival, George Westinghouse.  In the race to electrify America (and make lots of money in the process), Edison advocated DC current, and Westinghouse chose AC.

Edison sued Westinghouse over the light bulb.  If Edison won the suit, he would also win the current wars.  A young untested lawyer, Paul Cravath, takes on the case for Westinghouse.  Over the span of the lawsuit, many wide ranging factors come into play -- among them corporate espionage, JP Morgan, a financial crisis, an opera singer, capital punishment, and Nikola Tesla.

And that untested lawyer went on to create the structure of the modern day law firm!  There was much more to the current wars story than I realized.  Moore also includes notes in the back to explain where he deviated from actual history, which I appreciated.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

This cookbook includes 125 classic comfort recipes, many of which are featured at the new Gaines family restaurant in Waco, Texas, which is also named Magnolia Table. Full of personal stories and beautiful photos of each dish, this book was a fun read. I especially enjoyed Joanna’s commentary about each recipe and what makes it special to her. As breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, I look forward to making of few of Joanna’s family favorites from this section of the book.