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Tag Archives: Good Reads

Book Review: Brides of Prairie Gold by Maggie Osborne

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Brides of Prairie Gold (Dangerous Men, #2)Brides of Prairie Gold by Maggie Osborne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maggie Osborne has done it again! This historical romance has twelve mail order brides from Chastity, Missouri, embark on a journey to find their husbands in Clampet Falls, Oregon. The wagon master, Cody Snow, is doing his best to keep them healthy and safe as they travel across the western expanse, however, the perils are many. Each of the women has their own unique qualities, but Snow is especially interested in Perrin Waverly. Perrin is in charge of the women and finds it difficult to earn their trust due to her past.

Unbeknownst to the brides, the wagon train is not only taking them to Oregon but also hauling whiskey and guns. This sets the wagon train up for ambush and death.
This book is exciting and easy to listen to on audio. There are themes of racism, social bias, forgiveness, and of course, finding true love. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Esperanza Rising Book Review

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Esperanza RisingEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan was a surprisingly good novel set in Post Revolutionary Mexico and Great Depression Era California.  Esperanza is a young girl who was born into a wealthy family and has never known poverty.  That is, until her father is killed by bandits, and her uncles take over the land.  Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their home to avoid a forced remarriage of Esperanza’s mother.  The two, along with three loyal servants steal away in a mango cart toward California and the promise of freedom.
In California, Esperanza learns what it is like to be poor and an immigrant.  She learns to work hard, to make do, and to think about someone other than herself. Like the mythical Phoenix she rises from the ashes to remake herself.  This was an excellent book and one I want to share with my students.

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When Healing Becomes A Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and Therapies by Kenny Ausubel

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When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative TherapiesWhen Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies by Kenny Ausubel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This Exposé is the story of Harry Hoxsey and of the politics of cancer. It is an eye-opening look at the dirty secrets of oncology. The author, Kenny Ausubel, shares the intriguing story of Harry Hoxsey, whose great-grandfather stumbled upon a cure for cancer. Harry received the recipe for the herbal salve and tonic from his grandfather on his deathbed. He told Harry to guard the secret with his life because there people out there who would want it at any cost. He also told Harry not to charge those who lacked funds to pay for the treatment.

Harry Hoxsey followed his grandfather’s creed until his death. He cured thousands of cancer patients and at one time had the largest cancer treatment center in Texas with branches in 17 states. He was also touted to be the biggest snake oil salesman who ever lived.

How can a man who saves so many lives be a quack? Well according to Morris Fishbein, the editor of the American Medical Association (AMA) Journal, the Hoxey Formula was useless folk medicine against cancer. Fishbein wielded his influence to have Hoxey arrested, harassed, and his clinics closed down.

In the second half of the book, we learn that there are many alternative methods to treat cancer. Most of these methods are never shared with the American public because of the politics involved. We learn what roles the AMA, the FDA, and the National Institute of Health, play in the treatment of cancer. The standard treatment in our country is surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. They have been the only option for those who are suffering from cancer.

The author does extensive research into alternative methods and the Hoxey Formula. Scientific testing done on individual herbs used in the Hoxsey formula has been proven to have anti-cancer properties to cure some forms of cancer.

This is a must read book for anyone who has cancer or has a loved one with cancer. Although, there are not cures in this book, there are many citations of research directed at alternative methods. Warning: This book will make you furious about the state of Cancer Treatment in America at this time. The money and politics involved in the big business of cancer creates a barrier for alternative methods of treatment to be used.

Kenny Ausubel also made an award-winning documentary entitled, “Project Censored’s “Best Censored Story” that follows the Hoxsey story with live footage of Hoxey and his clinic.

You may also wish to listen to Ausubel’s interview on Coast-to-Coast AM at http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/20…

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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Where the Wild Things AreWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

This 1964 Caldecott Medal award-winning children’s book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak is a classic story of a boy’s boredom and imagination. Banned from libraries and schools when it was first released, Where the Wild Things Are has grown to be loved by both children and adults for its ability to visualize the realistic emotions children experience.

The book tells the story of Max, a boy who gets in trouble for goofing around in his wolf costume. His mother has had enough of his mischief-making and she sends him to his room without supper. Max is very angry at his punishment so he imagines that he leaves the safety of his room and sails out to where the wild things are. In this forest, there are gnashing beasts who wish to scare Max, however he is courageous. He stares into the beasts yellow eyes without blinking and impresses the beasts so much so that they make Max “the king of all wild things”, dancing with the monsters in a “wild rumpus”.

Max has a good time being “the king of the wild things”, but, before long, he finds that he is lonely and sails back to his bedroom. When he arrives, he finds that his dinner, still hot, is waiting for him. He is happy to be home and equally happy that he had an exciting adventure.

The book was made into a film released in 2009 and directed by Spike Jonze. The author, Maurice Sendak died on May 8, 2012, leaving a legacy of talent and imagination that will live on through his works.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

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Water for ElephantsWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jacob Jankowski tells his story as the novel’s protagonist who is a 93-year-old nursing home resident. As Jacob is told what to do and what to eat in the nursing home, he fights the idea of giving up his will by reminiscing about his time as a veterinarian in the Benzini Brothers Circus. Going flawlessly back and forth through time, readers learn what it was like to be a part of a Depression Era circus train that traveled from town to town-bringing people entertainment.

The hero meets up with some strange characters on the circus train. His train-mate is a dwarf named Kinko whose only friend is a Jack Russell Terrier named Queenie. The trio starts roughly but grows into a sweet friendship. Jacob works for an abusive Circus owner named Uncle Al, who will do anything to make a buck. Jacob also meets up with Marlena a star performer who loves horses and her husband August who can be both charming and brutal. The three form a unique love triangle that threatens to take all their lives.

Of course, the story’s title tells us there must be elephants in this circus, and there is an elephant. Her name is Rosie and Uncle Al purchases her from another circus. Rosie is ornery when Jacob is charged to take care of her. That is, until he realizes that Rosie only understands Polish and he begins to give her direction in his native language.

This five-star novel will make you laugh, cry, and horrified all at the same time. Some of the scenes deal with the abuse of animals and for the faint at heart; this may be difficult to read. Ultimately, this is an excellently woven story that accurately depicts the time and place it is set. Its themes of morality, mental illness, ageing, and love will pull the reader into the emotional turmoil experienced Jacob Jankowski and the people he surrounds himself with in the past and present.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jeannette Walls writes her deeply disconcerting memoir, The Glass Castle that recounts her life growing up with dysfunctional parents. Jeannette’s father was an amazingly intelligent man who could teach his four kids physics, geology, and fearlessness when he was not drunk. Jeannette’s mother was an artist who would rather get lost in her art than feed and raise her children. Mother and father were a perfect storm of two people who should never have had children. The memoir takes the reader on a tour of great ups and horrific downs for this wandering family.
From the very beginning, I was completely enthralled with this book. The story is expertly woven and easy to read. At times, the book touched a nerve, and it would make me so angry with Jeanette’s parents that I would just have to scream. This was a great book for my book club where we discussed the story with emotion and dismay. I would highly recommend this book.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

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The Summerhouse (Summerhouse, #1)The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a romance novel about second chances. Three young women meet on their birthday at the New York DMV. Ellie, Madison, and Leslie are seated together and they instantly decide they want to be friends. We learn that Madison is beautiful and is sent from her hometown in Montana to become a model. Leslie is a graceful dancer wishing to make it big. Moreover, Ellie is going to become an artist that shows her creative spirit. It seems that these women have their whole life ahead of them.
Flash to nineteen years later when the three meet up again at a borrowed old summer house in Maine. Things have not quite worked out the way they had envisioned when they were young. The three are then given a magical opportunity to go back in time to change the mistakes they made.
I thought this was decent read. I enjoyed Madison’s story more than the other stories. Some of the later concepts introduced by the author were not very believable. There were some areas of the story that I flipped quickly through, because I was bored. In the chapters that discussed Madison’s life, I felt very connected with the character and sympathized with her problems. Morally, I had a few issues with the choices the main characters made. Nothing horrible, but it still made me question. The writing was light and easy to follow. I feel that book was good and it generally held my interest; however, it was not the greatest book I have ever read.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
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