Category Archives: Book reviews

The Heart and the Fist

The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens is a most interesting and inspiring book. This guy is a great man among men.  He has truly lived an adventurous, interesting and giving life.

He has traveled to many refugee camps helping out as much as possible.  He was a Rhodes Scholar who became a Navy Seal. This is one good man.

His easy going style of writing makes one feel as if they are sitting down for coffee with a best friend whilst they tell the story of their charitable and unique world adventures.

This book would be a wonderful gift for an older teen interested in humanitarian work and to inspire those who aren’t moving in that direction or for any guy considering joining the Navy Seals Team.

Ginny’s Yarn Along Wednesday (Small Things Blog)

This is a fabulous book. A must read for everyone. Especially if you know someone who has had a stroke. I know that it will be on Nancy’s (Spirit Light’s The Way Blog) favorite’s list after she reads it.

And yes the baby has been born and I am only half way through one little bootie! Or is it booty? Ok baby shoe.

Wednesday’s Yarn Along from Small Things Blog

I have not made much progress at all on the dog blanket for the shelter, I am a very slow knitter! I did however finish reading Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss. Below you will find my review.

The novel, Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss was certainly one of the most unusual and interesting books that I have ever read. After all how many times do you read about conjoined Siamese Twins?
Born in 1811 on a poor fisherman’s small thatched houseboat on the Mekong River in Siam Chang and Eng lived a full but unusual life to say the least. It started out full of love and support but then came many troubled times for these most wonderful siblings. They had many adventures from being in freak shows in the circus to being married men with their own families.
Their father unknowingly gave them one of the best blessings of their lives when he taught them Gung-Fu at a very young age. This form of mental and physical exercise would prove to be invaluable to them throughout their lifetime as would an old saying he also taught them…Mekong fishermen stay abreast of change. River men’s judgment helps one to make the appropriate decisions at the appropriate moment and diminish the influence of fate.
Chang and Eng had two distinct personalities which often times made living attached to each other quite a struggle. They learned from their most loving mother that fighting with each other was fruitless so therefore they had no choice but to learn to get along well together. Their love and support of one another was very touching and sweet.
Reading about their marriage and family life as adults was most interesting. Their marriage to two southern sisters was especially unusual considering the time period. I will say that I would have come up with a slightly different arrangement than the one they used for their marriage bed.
I thought it very odd that they owned slaves considering what they had been through in life. The brothers were hard workers in spite of their handicap but they did need help in running the small farm where they lived during their marriage. I would think however that hired help would have been a more gentle answer to the situation.
Although there were many moments of happiness in this story it has more than its share of sadness. I did not cry until the very end and I can’t imagine anyone not getting at least the slightest bit teary eyed. The story of Chang and Eng had perhaps the most emotionally touching ending that I have ever read.
I put off reading this book for a long time thinking it would be far too sad to read. Now I am glad that I read it. By using the first person point of view in telling Chang and Eng’s story, Darin Strauss captured their true essence so very well. It feels as though I have personally met them and have been familiar friends with them for a long time. It would have been a most interesting and wonderful friendship.

Yarn Along


Today I discovered Yarn Along. It is a weekly post by Ginny from Small Things. You post a picture of what you are knitting or crocheting and reading at the time. I don’t knit or crochet very well at all. Some of you may remember my excitement at acutally making a hat back during the fall. That was an amazing feat for me! So here is my meager offering for the Yarn Along. It is supposed to be a blanket for the Animal Shelter. At the rate I am going one little dog might get it by the time winter comes along again. The book is Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss, about Siamese twins born in Siam in 1811. They were from taken from their very loving and protective family at the age of seven and made to perform for audiences around the world. Later they married two sisters from North Carolina which I think is the oddest and most unexpected thing for that time period. It is so interesting and I loved reading about their early life with their parents who loved them so much.

After You Shoot (a gun in shelf defense)

I came across this most unusual and interesting book this afternoon. After You Shoot by Alan Korwin. He mentions some things that I have never thought about and hope that I never need too. He talks about calling 911 for help if you are ever in the situation of confronting and shooting an intruder and what that does to your legal rights.

Life Without Limbs :: Nick Vujicic

This most inspiring book tells the story of Nick Vujicic learning to adapt to life without any limbs.  He has one tiny little foot. Can you even imagine that? I know that I can’t. Nick has found great happiness in life (more than most people), by accepting himself the way he was born and learning to use all of his God-given talents to help others. I haven’t finished it yet but I couldn’t wait to share it with you. This is one book I want to buy for all of my friends and relatives.

Life Without Limbs :: Nick Vujicic.

The Birth House by Ami McKay

The Birth House

by Ami McKay is a special book. If you enjoy reading about birth, families, community, and history this is your book.  It’s like peeking through a curtain watching as a young girls calling in life slowly but surely drapes itself around her.

I have always wanted to be a Doula but never had the chance, so it was especially thrilling for me to read this book and then give it too my daughter in law who is a Doula! I couldn’t even just hand her the book as is. It’s way too special for that. So I wrapped it up, tied it with a bow and gave it too her with a song in my heart and almost a tear in my eye because I knew she was going to be as enthralled with it as I had been.

I was right.  After she read it she told me that as she read she experienced so many different emotions. She was sad, mad, happy, thrilled, scared, surprised, broken-hearted, contented, shocked, and many other emotions.  It ends peacefully with great content. You walk away with a warm heart as if you have just left from visiting one of the families in the book.

www.thebirthhouse.com

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

I know this woman is a hero for speaking out and telling her life story but it’s going to be difficult to read. By page twenty-two my stomach is already in knots and my heart is wrenched with pain. There are however, bright spots,  dim as they may be. I will never be able to imagine how someone in this kind of position could have ever had a glass half full attitude about life and the future. Harriet Jacobs is a hero even if she doesn’t think so. More later, maybe.

My Mural books finally arrived in the mail!

Below, a peek at some  of the pages.

Good Book


How to Talk to Your Cat covers all the information needed to properly and effectively communicate with your cat, well any cat for that matter. It covers everything from facial expressions to the movement of whiskers. Even though it is a children’s book it’s interesting to read and very informative. I learned that cats will nick each other but not kill each other.