Friday, Mar 5, 2010

In 1904, 25-year-old Carrine Gafkjen traveled to bleak, blustery North Dakota to stake out a 160-acre homestead. After living alone for 6 months, barring her door against coyotes and walking 10 miles weekly for drinking water, she meets the conditions of the Homestead Act, and the land is hers. This is just the beginning of a remarkable true story of pioneering courage.

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

C.S. Lewis move over! Here comes Denise Jackson. Reminiscent of the Oxford doyen's Surprised by Joy, Jackson's faith biography comes to us in the tenor of a Southern blonde belle. Her unabashed naked soul shakes the reader to the core. As a graying librarian I've learned to listen carefully to my patrons. One day a mousey female in her late 20's approached saying, "I want the book, It's All About Him.

Friday, Jan 29, 2010

This biography is an up-close-and-personal view of mental illness as a father watches his teenage daughter develop psychotic manic-depressive disorder. It is a quick read, like reading a very long newspaper article. It is difficult, too, because you want a happy ending but know from the beginning that there is no way to cure the disease.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010

Louis Armstrong is an iconic figure in American popular culture and in jazz.

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010

This poignant story of a remarkable and complex struggle in one of the darkest corners of Africa brings light to our shaken world. Mark and Delia Owens have developed a revolutionary and enlightened economic system which uplifts the local population and preserves wildlife. Devoted to conservation, the Owens survived threats to their lives and overcome ruthless corruption.

Wednesday, Jul 22, 2009

Senna’s narrative is very much in the vein of Walls’ The Glass Castle or Bragg’s All Over But the Shoutin. It surpasses both for its examination, not only of Senna’s parents relationship, but for its exploration of identity today, yesterday and tomorrow.

Monday, Mar 9, 2009

This memoir would be overwhelmingly sad for me, had I not already read Old School by the same author and know that he becomes a successful author and teacher of literature at Stanford. But if you didn’t know that this child redeems himself in the end, this would be sad, a sad tale indeed.

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2009

In a departure from her usual fiction and mystery books, Paretsky turns her pen to her childhood and the significant events that shaped her writing. It’s fascinating stuff. Her eccentric parents moved their family to a secluded part of Lawrence, Kansas and raised her conservatively, keeping her at home to take care of household tasks. Her brother had taught her to read, and she began telling stories from a very young age.