Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England

A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century - Ian Mortimer

Just finished this today - what a wonderful book!  Well-written and interesting to read, educational and thought provoking.  I love his attitude towards judging our ancestors by our own standards.  He says that they worked just as hard as we and reared their children and cleaned their homes according to the standards of their day.  They took pride in their homes and in their children's behaviour just as we do.  Well done Ian Mortimer!  I've recommended this book to more than a few of my friends.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

the bright forever by Lee Martin

Another book loaned to me! I enjoyed reading this book. I wouldn't have chosen it and that's what I like about borrowing from my co-worker as she is introducing me to new reading material.

Reading the book was like meeting people in person. Their characters unfolded and each new piece of information changed my perception of them slightly. It was a sad book about lonely people and the ways that they cope.

I won't spoil the book for you, but I believe someone else is responsible for the actions presented to the reader; someone other than the people the author has given up to us.

An interesting read and I think I would like to read more by this author.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

I came across this book by accident. A co-worker was reading it and mentioned it to me. When she said it was in a child's voice, I was immediately interested. It's not a long book and I was hooked from the beginning. It never ceases to amaze me how cruel adults can be to children and that verbal assault hurts a lot longer than some physical. I'm also happy that some children are resilient and can rise above the crap that's dished out to them.

A great read. Thanks Jackie!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The People of the Abyss by Jack London

I read about this book somewhere on the 'net and it peaked my interest. I borrowed it from the library (I love the library!) and in the end was really happy to have read it.

Since it was first published in Britain in 1903, the language is wordy and a little hard to get through. However, the message is clear; being poor in London in the early years of the 20th century was horrible.

London disguised himself as an out of work seaman in order to find out how folks in similar circumstances lived. It was an eye opener for him and for me.

We've all heard the stories about the Home Children being scooped up from the street and shipped to Canada. I feel sad when I hear how badly some of those children were treated. However, knowing what the conditions were like for children in the East end of London, I am happy that someone tried to help them. In fact, London praised Dr. Bernardo for rescuing hundred of children and providing passage for them to Canada.

It was so sad to read about the elderly who couldn't work who had to line up to get into shelters for the night - when the shelters were full they were turned away. Then there was no other choice but to spend the night outside where the police rousted them and moved them along continually. These people were homeless through no fault of their own and they were sick, hungry and sleep deprived.

The author tells of one experience where the Salvation Army advertised a free breakfast. The had passed some coupons out on Saturday evening and those people got in around 5:00 in the morning. Everyone else had to line up and finally got inside around a couple of hours later. They had to stand in a courtyard and were packed in like sardines. Many slept standing up and had no fear of falling as there was no room. These starving exhausted people waited until 11:00 to get something to eat and then found out they were expected to stay for the service at noon. And, they weren't allowed to leave. Most of them were upset since by the time the service was over, most of the day would be gone and there would be no chance to look for work and they might even be too late to get into a shelter. London managed to get out by appealing to several of the higher ranking officers.

We are so lucky to have the social programs we do have and this book reminded me to be grateful.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter

Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's DaughterShattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter by Melissa G. Moore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was interesting to read about a serial killer's family. Sadly, I think her mother and step-father caused her just as much grief as her father.

I understand that it was her story and she wanted to get it on paper, but I did skip over some of it as there wasn't much in the way of information in some of the paragraphs.

I first thought I'd give it two stars but it deserves three as it helped me remember that the criminals have families that are innocent of their crimes and deserve compassion.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Think of a Number by John Verdon

I first heard about this book on some talk show on TV a while ago and immediately went to my library website and put it on hold.  It was already popular then, so I've had to wait a while for it to come in.  I got the email today from the library that it's waiting there for me to pick it up and that's where I'm headed in a few minutes.  Yippeee!  I hoped either this book or Book of Negroes would come in before the November 11 holiday.  I have taken Friday as a vacation day so I have four days off in a row.  Another Yippee! :)  I love having blocks of time to read instead of just the bits before bed.  Now that I'm not travelling by bus, I don't have nearly as much time to read as I used to.

I have enough reading in this apartment to keep me busy for the rest of my life, but, something new now and again doesn't hurt.  If you want to know more about this book, check this link to the Google Books entry.  If you like mysteries, I'll bet you'll rush to find this one.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Misleading Magazine Articles and Store Flyers

I found a magazine in some papers I was going through.  It was a give away and silly me thought I needed something to read :)  So, in the box it went a few months ago and it's just made it's way to the surface.  On the cover, an article was advertised "5 Easy Steps to Writing Your Memoirs".

I pulled the magazine out of the pile and eagerly opened to the article to get in my before sleep reading.  Easy steps, me arse!  One of the steps was "Join a Group".  I don't even remember any of the others.  That article was a farce!

So, I moved on to a grocery store flyer and enjoyed that much more than the article. :)