Many people know of the accomplishments Alice Roosevelt made as an envoy of the White House during her father, Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. The rest of this energetic, feisty and totally rebellious woman's life is played out in this ambitious novel that spans from her debutante days to her death at the age of 96. Alice was the consummate politician aiding in her father's, husband and lover's campaigns as well as was on the shortlist for every state and foreign dinner and social event. Her spunk defied polite society, her love of life survived all the scandals and her loyalty to her family knew no bounds. Her only wish was to be truly loved and appreciated for who she was by the important men in her life. This is historical fiction at its very best and a fascinating look at the woman they called "the other Washington monument".
An interesting jaunt between a young girl raised in a harem, a gay magical cartographer and various djinns on the run from the Spanish Inquisition. Fatima wants only the best for her friend Hassan and can't understand why the King and his mother are willing to give him up to members of the Inquisition in a heartbeat. They flee and are pursued by a pale female inquisitor. Traveling by boat and by land, helped by djinns and a wayward monk they are trying to find a mythical land where they can live in peace. This very imaginative fantasy world is grounded in middle eastern history and folklore. Every action they take, every person they decide to trust is a risk but Fatima relies on her own sense of finding the good in people. A delight to the senses, this novel asks the reader to judge what is moral, right and the way of God, Allah or a higher power.
I do not know much about birds or the people who love to watch them but after reading the lessons laid out in this guide, I will now look to the sky when I hear a bird call, pay more attention to the birds around me and hopefully recall the words of wisdom that Ted Floyd has passed on. In 200 short snippets about every type of bird imaginable, the author shares with us not only his incredible knowledge and insight but also his love of feathered creatures. This is not a "see a bird in the sky and identify it" type of guide but more a memoir of birding and a love affair with the species - their infinite changes, behavior, and beauty. With very readable text, this book is written for the beginner birder but those with more knowledge will easily find something they didn't know and it will potentially pull in people who didn't even know they were interested in birding.
This is a story of such magnitude that it cannot be contained in one volume and represent all parts of the story equally and yet that is exactly what Giles Milton has done. This is not your typical history book overflowing with mindnumbing facts and figures. Instead, the author has taken this heroic Herculean effort of so many people and countries and made it personal. Every chapter is riddled with stories and actual accounts from the men and women, on both sides of the trenches. What they experienced firsthand becomes our shared experience. There is still plenty of gruesome and barbaric warfare and the loss of so many lives is staggering but you can't help yourself from having a better understanding of what happened through these eyewitness accounts. It makes what should be a reading challenge much more readable. You are left in awe of what they accomplished, grateful for your family members who served and hope that never again will so many perish in this way.
Three kids try to figure out their world and survive the toxic relationship between their alcoholic parents in upstate New York. Their dad tries to share some knowledge of nature before he gives up and leaves the family for good. Surprisingly, the three siblings grow up to be somewhat normal. One runs off to join the Navy, one goes onto college and into teaching, the last one gets a job, gets married and raises a family. Each of the kids continues to deal with the aftermath of dad leaving them, their mom's inability to cope and the idea of permanence. Terrance, their father, after moving to remote Montana, gets his act together and waits for the day when all the family can be together once more and he can make amends. This had me wondering how much of the novel is based on the author's own life story. Poignant and written with great heart, perhaps we should call this book, "Tiny Broken Americans" broken but nothing that a little family understanding can't glue back together.
This is a story of a Midwestern family of modest means - down to earth people who take care of their neighbors, do the right thing and live a good life. Lyle and Peg raised their daughter with these values until she left to gain her independence. She is back home with her young son and involved in a new church congregation, especially the young pastor. Her parents are thrilled to get to know their grandson and happy their daughter is home but worried about her involvement with this new church and its dangerous ties to their grandson. True to their ways, Lyle and Peg try to not rock the boat or risk upsetting their daughter until Shiloh pulls herself and her son away from her parents and into a dangerous situation. Heartbreaking as it is, the love they have for their daughter and her son means that they will risk everything to save them. A beautiful story of family, faith and the power of love that maybe can change the world, this quiet but powerful story will stay with you well after you close the cover.
College friends Jack and Wynn are on a canoe trip in Canada when their idyllic trip takes a turn for the worse. They spot and smell an approaching wildfire and then stop to help a crazed man find his lost wife. When they find the injured woman and return to find their campsite in ruins outrunning the fire might not be their only problem. Don't let the simple beauty of the deep woods and their friendship lull you into calm, this story quickly ramps up into an intense story that races towards a heart-pounding ending similar to a whitewater rafting trip without paddles. The author has such a love of nature and outdoor adventure that comes through as well as a clear understanding of the potential dangers. This book will resonate with lovers of outdoor adventure as well as those readers who like their nature in the pages of a thriller and within the protection of four thick walls.
Beautifully written story of star-crossed lovers in WWII Germany. Elise is a concert violinist but being a woman and a Jew prevents her from finding her place in the stage spotlight and realizing her dream. She falls in love with Max, a gentile bookstore owner with a secret. You know from the start that they are doomed but you keep wanting there to be a way for them to be together. The book jumps between Max and Elise's story and over a span of 10 years that Elise has blocked from her memory. This is a solid historical novel with a slight twist of time travel and memory loss added in.
This is the quintessential rock and roll band memoir-like novel of a fake band that you swear you have heard of before. It is a warning of sorts as well, of what happens to a talented group of musicians that team up with a very talented singer/songwriter only to have them fly to close to the sun and like Icarus, get badly burned. The memoir interview style makes the whole story more believable and it gets you into the heads of all the major players. Like watching "A Star is Born" you see the warning signs but you are unable to turn away- they were doomed from the start. Sex, drugs and rock and roll in 70's Los Angeles - the women rule even when the guys are convinced they do. One great read from beginning to end!
I always enjoy this author's unique spin on dark topics and this time it is the women who were committed to insane asylums for a variety of reasons including prostitution, infidelity, frail nerves or just because their fathers and husbands needed them out of the way.
Many of the medical staff sought to offer these women help but the cures seemed more harmful than the disease. Many of them were treated with less care and compassion than those in a prison. Charlotte and her sister Phoebe came from a well off family in San Francisco and led happy lives until their father needed to settle a debt by offering Charlotte to marry not the man she loves but his harsh brother. Phoebe who has suffered from some form of manic depression creates a diversion which lands her in an insane asylum. Charlotte has herself committed willingly, a la Nelly Bly, to save her sister but what they go through will change them both forever.
An amazing tale of bravery, love, and one that will shock you to the core when you learn of the conditions these women faced under the auspices of help.
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