Thursday, June 23, 2011

Everything Beautiful Began After

Everything Beautiful Began After took me by surprise. It begins with a little girl playing in the "wild end of the garden". She's thinking about how she came to be, and realizing there was life before her, she decides she again wants to hear the story about how her parents met.

I thought I had an idea of the story this book would tell, but I was taken down a completely different path. 

Rebecca is a beautiful, young, former French stewardess turned aspiring artist. 

George is an American, with a bit of a drinking problem, who grew up in boarding schools and Ivy League colleges. 

Henry is a British archeologist who has been trying to find a way to live with a single, tragic moment from his childhood.

They all find themselves in Athens one summer where three chance meetings forge friendships that will shape the rest of their lives.  When a catastrophe hits, their lives and relationships are changed forever.

It's intriguing, heartbreaking, and hopeful. July 5th. Buy it. You won't be sorry.

Advance copy provided by publisher for review.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Migrant Mother

A last minute decision caused photographer Dorthea Lange to turn around and check out what was beyond the sign along Highway 101.  A 10-minute introduction and photo session produced a series of photos, one of which became one of the most iconic photographs in American history.

What made this photograph so compelling?  Who was this woman?  What became of her?

Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression answers those three questions and more.  The author shares with us what led up to this photo session, and the series of 6 photos taken during that 10 minutes.  We learn who the woman in the photo was, where she ended up, and how she felt about practically every US citizen seeing her face.  In short, Don Nardo tells us the whole story behind the photo that shocked the government back into reality about the human toll during the Great Depression.

If you enjoy learning about the human aspects of history, especially through photographic evidence, you will enjoy this book as much as I have.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Home to Woefield

This book was such a fun read!  I was looking for some new books, but I wanted something that wasn't serious or depressing.  I didn't want a love story, or even a story about love, overcoming diversity or addictions, or forgiveness.  I just wanted something that was fun, lighthearted, and easy to read.

Home to Woefield was full of what I thought I didn't want, and was exactly what I did want.

Prudence is a 24-year-old city girl from Brooklyn who is concerned about the environment and strives to eat only organic foods.  When she inherits her uncle's farm, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to make her dreams happen.  When she arrives at the farm, she finds a run-down house that probably hasn't been cleaned anytime within the last decade; 30 acres of rocks, grass, and weeds;  Bertie the half sheared sheep; and Earl.

Earl is the 60-something-year-old farm foreman.  Once the old man died, Earl figured he would just pack up his belongings, and find a new place to call home, but Prudence convinces him to stay on the farm.  Seth is the 21-year-old celebrity gossip and heavy metal blogger with a drinking problem who lives across the road with his mother.  He dropped out of high school after an embarrassing experience, and hasn't left the house in years.  When his mom moves her boyfriend in, Seth has no option but to move out, and lucky for him, Prudence has room to spare.  Sara in an 11-year-old local girl who needs a place for her chickens.  As her parents' marriage deteriorates, it's not just the chickens who finds refuge at the Woefield farm.

The story is told from 4 different perspectives which just adds to the amusement.  It is such a delight to read, and is the perfect book for the beach or pool.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm Back!

Where have I been for the past 4 months? Here, there, everywhere. I have been reading, of course, but not as much as I would have liked. I'm currently reading a great book, and can't wait to tell you about it soon!