Thursday, December 18, 2008

Big Book Review, Vol. 2

I guess this will be a biannual event around these parts, though the first one did not exactly fall mid-year.

Ordinary Heroes, by Scott Turow

I really am a sucker for WWII stories. Perhaps that is because my grandfather landed on Omaha Beach and I am fascinated by what he does, and doesn't, say. When I first saw Saving Private Ryan, I just sat in utter shock. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that those were the images and sounds that my grandfather saw and heard. Anyway, this was a pretty good story about a military lawyer (okay, so I may be a sucker for that as well!) during the war. There was a bit of hanky panky going on in the story, but the descriptions were not overly vulgar. All in all, I liked it.

Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian, by Herrick Kimball

Don has read and used a few of his other how-to books (Anyone Can Build a Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker, Anyone Can Build a Whizbang Chicken Scalder, and Anyone Can Build a Whizbang Garden Cart) and they were so useful. I did not expect that he would also have so many nuggets of wisdom and insight that would be so enjoyable to read. He talks of everything from gardening to hunting to the companionship of a good dog, all with an overarching Christian (agrarian) worldview. I truly enjoyed the book. And, I taught Caleb the hilarious "farmer's handshake" described in the book.

The Appeal, by John Grisham

I just can't miss a Grisham book. I truly enjoy his diversions from his usual legal drama, but this one is back to the usual. An interesting read about just how much control big business has over politics. Grisham does get on his soapbox about judicial reform a bit, but it wasn't too unpleasant. I didn't agree that his solution was the easy answer he made it out to be, but then it's his book, right? It was disturbing how easily people were led to believe one thing or another in the book, but then I guess that was his point. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to the next one I have authored by him, Playing for Pizza.

And the school books I read:
  • The Apprentice, by Pilar Molina Llorente (A picture of an art apprenticeship in Italy during the Renaissance)
  • Dolphin Treasure, by Wayne Grover (A sequel to Dolphin Adventure, an awesome true story of an amazing creature)
  • The School Story, by Andrew Clements (A really good look into the world of publishing)
  • In Grandma's Attic, by Arleta Richardson (So many good stories about everything from wearing a hoop skirt to getting one's tongue stuck to a water pump)
  • White Stallion of Lipizza (Set in Vienna, a neat story about a boy's love for horses)
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum (So much better and more in-depth than the movie, we thoroughly enjoyed it)
  • The Twenty-One Balloons, by William Pene du Bois (A terrific adventure story)
  • A Little Princess, by Francis Hodgson Burnett (We've watched the Shirley Temple version, but by the 3rd chapter, Meagan was already exclaiming how much better she liked the book!)
To Sonlight's books, we also added:
  • The Cry of the Crow, by Jean Craighead George (The story about a girl and her love for an orphaned crow was great. There were tidbits thrown in about marriage that were unneeded and, in my opinion, wrong, that I could've done without. Overall, a good story)
My reading in the last 6 months or so has been quite pathetic. Besides trying to keep up with the stack of periodicals that comes in every month, there was just so much to be done and not much time for curling up with a good book. I do hope to get a few more read this winter, though, before I have to head back outside in the spring and tend to, what I hope is, a very large garden.

No comments: