Book Review-The Daughter’s Walk

In this day and time of foreclosures, would you be willing to walk from one end of the U.S. to the other if it meant saving your home?  What if it meant losing your family?

I’m a sucker for fiction books based on historical facts, particularly when so much of the book is true and not fictionalized.  This book definitely falls in that category.  Author Jane Kirkpatrick did an amazing job researching facts and interviewing family members.  Initially it’s hard to imagine that over 110 years ago a young woman and her mother took on a challenge as daunting as walking across the U.S., all in an effort to save the family farm and then it clicks in your brain that Helga (the mother) really had no other means or methods at her disposal to save not only the farm, but her family.  Helga really was a woman born in the wrong era and it appears at times that Clara (the daughter) really behaved as if she were the mother.

Clara, who fought the (il)logic of the journey every step of the way, lives the rest of her life as one big adventure and in essence becomes the mirror image of her mom, with the exception of bowing down to a husband!  She was a woman ahead of the times and one that should have been admired, in my humble opinion, by her family.  She took risks, big risks, and I found the reactions of her family, particularly her mom, disturbing and sad.

Honestly, at first I was concerned that since WaterBrook Multnomah is a Christian-based publisher (division of Random House) I would not find the book nearly as interesting as I did.  I can truthfully say that if you are opposed to reading “Christian” books you should try reading this book!  It really was a great, exciting read, and I could envision all types of book lovers enjoying it.  Click here to read an excerpt.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


Books for a Meme

A “meme“??

I confess, when my friend Sue of dswalkerauthor sent me a message that she had tagged me for a meme, I had no earthly idea what she was talking about!  Wikipedia to the rescue!

Sue, who is an accomplished author was tagged in a post for this meme by a reader of her book (Delightfully Different).  How awesome is that?  Visit Sue’s blog and check out her book!

Here are the rules for this meme:

1. Take a picture of the books you are reading currently and add them to your post.

2. Describe the books and if you are enjoying them.

3. For every book you are reading, you have to tag one person.  (Sorry, but I’m tagging five people, rather than six, in hopes that maybe four of them want to complete the meme!)

4. Leave the person a comment letting them know you tagged them.

The above are books I am currently reading.  All but one are from the library, and it is probably quite obvious that I love having several books going at the same time.  (Yes, there is a seventh book there, but shhh, I’m trying to ignore it!)

Finding Better Crocker (Susan Marks):  I’ve explained previously that I was born in the wrong era and this book confirms my suspicions.  What can I say?  I love biographies even if the person isn’t real!  Not only do I love reading about the era when I should have been born, but this book is fascinating as regards to marketing an image almost 100 years ago.  Cool vintage recipes too!

The Nasty Bits (Anthony Bourdain):  I have a strange attraction to Anthony Bourdain.  I’m married to such a normal “good” guy, that Tony’s (I can call him Tony because we’re close. . . .) bad boy image intrigues me.  A bad boy who cooks? Hello, sign me up!  Warning:  this book (as is his television show) has explicit language!

Felted Knits (Beverly Galeskas):  I love to knit.  I love to knit and felt.  I’ve checked this book out several times because I love almost all of the projects.  How many have I completed?  Next question, please.

As Nature Made Him-The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl (John Colapinto):  I’m not sure what made me pick this up off the biography shelf, but I was intrigued by the story of a crazy Johns Hopkins doctor who convinced this simple Canadian family to change their poor injured little boy into a girl.  It’s a rather bizarre read (particularly for me), but I’m fascinated by things that aren’t a part of my life and that I am unable to relate.

House Rules (Rachel Sontag):  I’m halfway through this biography which tells the struggle of an obsessive control-freak doctor/father and his daughter who tries to escape the emotional abuse.  I’m anticipating this book to be cathartic for me.

Twain’s Feast (Andrew Beahrs):  I haven’t started this book yet, but I know I’ll enjoy it.  The young author “searches for America’s wild foods, from New Orleans croakers to Illinois Prairie Hens, with Mark Twain as his guide.”  Oh yeah baby, I can tell this book, which appears that it will commingle the lives of the author along with Twain’s works, will be a great read.

Here are the fellow bloggers (whose blogs are all wonderful!) I am tagging for this meme (and I really hope they don’t mind!).  I’m hoping each of them will have at least one book they’re reading and don’t mind sharing!

Stacey @ Bringing Up Goliath
Tricia @ {every}nothing wonderful
Nancy @ Nancy’s Point
Sandie @ A Bloggable Life
Christine @ Cpeezers at Home

Bye-Bye Books

Go away digital readers.

One of my great pleasures is reading.  I was a precocious child (and a middle child—double whammy!) and taught myself to read by stealing my mother’s novels and Good Housekeeping magazines.  In first grade school officials wanted to put me in third grade, but my parents decided against it.  It was all because of reading.  In retrospect, based on my math skills, good call. . . .

I love books.   I honestly have a hard time falling asleep if I don’t read in bed prior to turning off the light.   I used to buy stacks of books, but came to the realization that I was never going to have a personal library and frankly moving boxes of books is a pain, even if the military is moving them for you. I am a huge library junkie and in front of me are eight books checked out four days ago.  I only buy a book if it is one I will continue using long after I’ve read it.  The books on this post are 1950’s books I just purchased at an antique store in St. Joseph, Missouri.  I’ve been reading all books regarding Julia Child and these were mentioned in her biography.

There was a report on the news other day that mentioned digital readers are taking over our beloved books, and it actually mentioned a date (sorry, I can’t remember the date!) when they believe all books will be digital.  Whoa Nellie!  How can did we let this happen?  It breaks my heart imagining future generations being unable to browse book stores and antique stores for cherished books.  I have cute little antique books all over my house.  There’s one about the Air Force I have placed under a C-130 model (my husband’s plane); I have antique gardening books; many signed books by authors I admire.  Borders Books is going out of business and shutting their doors.

I tried a Kindle.  Really, I did.  Tried it for two months.  Thought it was awesome; at first.  Then, I realized I missed the feel of a “real” book, the quickness of thumbing through back pages, the heft of the book, even the smell.  The darn reader wouldn’t turn pages fast enough for me.  I tested the Kindle and gave it back.

Try snuggling with your kids and a Kindle.

Pumpkins and a Great Read

Start to finish.

A friend recommended a book to me that (honestly) I wasn’t sure I would really “get.”  Oh, I got it, and I really, really liked it.  It fit along with my whole, “I wish I was a prairie girl.”  Seriously, I was born in the wrong era.

The book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was written by Barbara Kingsolver and documents her family’s year of eating locavore (eating only locally produced food).  If you think it sounds like a strange book, it’s not.  I felt the same way until about 15 minutes into the book.   The book actually makes you think, really think, about those bananas in your fruit bowl and how the heck they showed up in your local supermarket when bananas don’t grow anywhere near your region.  It details the family’s struggles, their miracles (e.g., baby turkeys), some yummy recipes, and much more.  If you grow a garden; if you’ve ever dreamed of having chickens; if you wish your food tasted better; if you love visiting farmer’s markets—this book is for you.

With that in mind, here is my weekly contribution to eating locally.  I grew the above pumpkins in my garden.  I baked and froze the puree for the seasons when pumpkin is not available.  I then roasted the pumpkin seeds for snacking.  To finish the cycle, I tossed the pumpkin shells into our compost pile!  Start to finish pumpkins.  Good karma to my friend for the great book recommendation, to Barbara Kingsolver and her family, and every person who craves better food.

The Prairie Girl’s Guide to Life: a guide for a wannabe homemaker….

I was born in the wrong era.  Don’t get me wrong; I love my DVR because I am not about to miss an episode of Women Behind Bars or Snapped!  I just long for a time when things were simpler, there was less chaos, people were nicer, neighbors helped neighbors, that kind of thing.  Plus, I like to dabble in all aspects of–and I hesitate to say this–homemaking.  Now Better Half is probably rolling his eyes around in his giant head, but I really do like being a wife, mom, and homemaker.  There, I said it.  I like being a homemaker, and I’m proud of it!

So here’s where the nice and good karma part comes in.  A kindhearted, generous friend last weekend gave me the above book:  The Prairie Girl’s Guide to Life, written by Jennifer Worick.  It is so me.  If you too long for the pioneer, prairie way of living this little gem of a book is for you.  There are all kinds of fun, crafty items, such as soap-making, braiding rugs, all thrown in with homespun humor.  So, get ready, because I feel a craft coming on!  Good karma to my dear friend for gifting me with such a cool book (along with yummy leftovers from lunch)!

Now, how I’m going to score karma points today.  I’m going into “town,” buy an iced tea through a drive-in window at a fast-food restaurant, and pay for the customer behind me.  I tried this last Saturday evening, and I was very, very disappointed when no one ever pulled up behind me in the drive-through….  Kinda anti-climatic, don’t you think?

Niceness and good karma to all!

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