Thursday, March 10, 2016

A couple of book reviews

As part of our library reorganization, I made a pile of books that I probably want to give away. They were not definite give aways, I needed to look at them and decide. Since Lamb 2 was ill last week we didn't go to all our regular activities so I had a little time to work on that pile. I put some more in the give away and I read a few books from that pile. Lamb 3 got sick this morning so I expect to have more time to work on that this week!

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky
After our library reorganization project I found this book about rescuing books fascinating. In a very small way, Ram and I have done this with old Lutheran books. When we lived in MN, some members or their children gave us old Lutheran books when they downsized and didn't know what to do with them. When we saw good Lutheran books at the thrift shop in MN we always bought them and passed them on to a good home or added them to our library. In this age of technology, books are not often given as special presents for birthdays, holidays, and special occasions. It was not that way for my grandparents. When we organized our library, the books I treasure most are the ones that my grandparents wrote when they received them. When it is time for me to downsize, I hope that one of our Lambs is interested in these books that have been part of our family for a couple of generations. If not, I hope to find a good home for them like Mr. Lansky did with Yiddish books.

Bess W. Truman by Margaret Truman
I had a brand new teacher for my high school American history class so we didn't get much beyond 1900. In college I took a class on America in the 1920s and another class on America and Vietnam. I never really studied the time in-between or WWII.
I identified with Bess as she was older when she got married and then she had several miscarriages before she had one daughter. She really did not want to be first lady, but ended up doing a great job. But both Trumans were glad to not run for another term and go home. They were surprised that they couldn't just return to normal life after presidency. Today we don't even consider that as Secret Service is with our former presidents for the rest of their life. This book helped me fill in a few gaps of my history knowledge of this time and makes me want to read more about this time in history.

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
This is a children's book that I received as a Christmas present. I had never heard of it before. When I read the introduction I was surprised this was J.K. Rowling's favorite book when she was growing up.
The introduction says that Goudge was unmarried and childless, but she wrote beautifully about childhood. "You have to be fairly old before you can recognize the blessings of a single life, for up to that point the deprivation of childlessness is hard to bear,' wrote Elizabeth Goudge. 'Yet for the childless woman there is no lack of children in the world to love...and nothing to prevent a single woman experiencing the richness of falling in love now and again all her life."
I highly encourage you to read this book so I won't give any spoilers. I will say it is a book that has many layers-a child could read it just as a fairy tale and an adult will see a more deeper level. It is beautifully written. I find it especially fascinating that this book was written right after WWII and yet the theme of this book still interests us 70 years later.
This book is one that will not go in the give away pile and I plan to read to the Lambs in a few years.

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