HALF BROKE HORSES by Jeannette Walls

HALF BROKE HORSES- A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls (2010). This was a New York Times Bestseller! I was drawn to the photo of poor country kids on the cover, plus the first few sentences drew me in even more: “Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did. It was late on an August afternoon, the air was hot and heavy like it usually was in the rainy season.”
Why am I reading another true life story? Well this type suits me better I hope. This is the story of Lily Casey Smith the grandmother of Jeannette Walls. Lily was quite a character, who was helping her father break horses at age six! (Can you imagine?). At age fifteen she left home to become a teacher in a frontier town , riding 500 miles alone to get there! Now that sure does sound interesting. Lily survived all sorts of ordeals, such as tornadoes, floods, fires, droughts, the Great Depression, and a most heartbreaking tragedy. (I won’t tell you as I don’t know it yet anyway!). She also experienced prejudice as a woman even though she was a tough and strong and smart as any man. The book is “destined to become a classic.”, so it says on the back cover.. so maybe your own kids and grand-kids will read it for a book report someday!

I LOVED this book! And highly recommend it!

CHICKAHOMINY FEVER by Ann McMillan

CHICKAHOMINY FEVER by Ann McMillan (2003). Well here’s another Civil War story, I guess it’s fitting since the Civil War started in April. Did you ever read ACROSS FIVE APRILS in junior high school? I did, it was kinda sad, and I should reread it someday. I have no objection reading books for older teens and young adults.
CHICKAHOMINY FEVER starts out in Richmond, Virginia in Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s office, where Brigadier General Henry Wise gives him a letter stating the weak spots in the city’s defenses. The letter was thought to be destroyed unopened, but a maidservant/spy stole it from the fire. Meanwhile Confederate nurse Narcissa Powers is trying to help a woman locate the body of her soldier son while a black herbalist named Judah Daniel is searching for the mother of an abandoned black infant. Meanwhile the letter finds it’s way to the heart of Richmond’s Unionist network. I see that this is a nice mystery book of sorts, here’s hoping I don’t get bored with all the war jargon.

A FLICKERING LIGHT by Jane Kirkpatrick

A FLICKERING LIGHT is a historical novel by Jane Kirkpatrick. (c)1973, 1978, 1984 and 2009.

Jesse Ann Gaebele lives in 1907 Minnesota, where she works as a photographer’s assistant, working in the studio and toxic dark room. Remember this was a time of explosive powder used for lighting.  Jesse proves to be a skillful and artistic assistant. Of course there is a growing attraction between the two main characters. 

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling author whose previous historical novels are ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE and WILLA Award winning  TENDERING IN THE STORM.

NOTE: This is a very good book, and I’m really enjoying it! It’s well written!

This is my review written immediately after reading the end of the book which I wrote for my Facebook Reading group:

I highly recommend this book. It’s the story of Jessie Ann Gaebele who was given a camera and wanted to become a photographer. It’s about Jessie’s relationship with her employer, a photographer named F.J.Bauer and how it affects her life. I didn’t understand until the ending and was reading the author’s notes that the book was inspired by the author’s grandmother! It’s really a biography, with added artistic license, and of course for the sake of the story somethings were made up.. It was well written and there is a sequel to it, which I really want to read called SHIMMERING GRASSES printed in 2010, which tells about what happens to Jessie and her family.

AUTHOR’S BOOK LIST

Change and Cherish Historical Series
A CLEARING IN THE WIND
A TENDERING IN THE STORM
A MENDING AT THE EDGE

A LAND OF SHELTERED PROMISE

Tender Ties Historical Series
A NAME OF HER OWN
EVERY FIXED STAR
HOLD TIGHT THE THREAD

Kinship and Courage Historical Series
ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE
NO EYE CAN SEE
WHAT ONCE WE LOVED

Dreamcatcher Collection
A SWEETNESS OF THE SOUL (Won Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Western Novel and Literary Oregon 100, Best Books Published About Oregon in the past two hundred years).
LOVE TO WATER MY SOUL
A GATHERING OF FINCHES
MYSTIC SWEET COMMUNION

Nonfiction
AURORA: AN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN QUILT AND CRAFT
HOMESTEAD: A MEMOIR OF MODERN PIONEERS PURSUING THE EDGE OF POSSIBILITY
A SIMPLE GIFT OF COMFORT

POPE JOAN by Donna Woolfolk Cross

POPE JOAN by Donna Woolfolk Cross was one of my favorite books. It was exciting to read about her short life in this book, and to think it actually happened, although the Vatican tried to erase all the evidence. I believe it took place in the 1300’s or 1400’s and Joan just wanted an education, her own father a Parrish priest back in the days when they were allowed to be married, and Joan had to go to extreme means to get that education! Posing as her own brother to become a student in a monastery. She grew to be a great healer, and when she was ministering to an ailing pope who eventually died due to excesses in his diet, she was elected the next in line and became pope! She still managed to have an older lover who was married for a while until his wife was murdered in a raid on the church. Later Joan managed to get pregnant and die during the birth of her baby. It was a sad ending to a brilliant woman’s life. The movie was so good I saw on TV, but of course the book has more detail!

Here’s her biography, I’ll be a little embarrassed if what I remembered from reading the book is incorrect! LOL

http://www.biography.com/people/pope-joan-279083

http://atheism.about.com/od/popesandthepapacy/a/popejoan.htm

BOUND WITH LOVE , 4 short novels in one book

BOUND BY LOVE, (c)2004.  Four short novellas in one book: IMMEASURABLE WORTH by Joan Croston, RIGHT FROM THE START by Cathy Marie-Hake, A TREASURE WORTH KEEPING by Kelly Eileen Hake and A LONG ROAD HOME by Joyce Livingston. These stories are published by a Christian publishing house. Although I believe in God I’m more spiritual. and if a book is too “churchy” I usually get turned off when they push religion, but the writers do a fair job and the characters are interesting, so I continue to read it. 

MIDWIFE by Gay Courter

MIDWIFE a novel by Gay Courter, (cr 1982), a nationwide bestseller. This is a very old paperback from 1982! It’s 31 years old,  a year older than my daughter! This story is about Hannah Blau a midwife who fought religious prejudice to gain medical training in Moscow’s legendary Imperial College. Later she immigrates to New York where male doctors were very hostile towards her.  Well I love a good story where the woman triumphs over adversity.

 I’m reading this book in my bedroom before falling asleep and I’m reading WINDLESS SUMMER at the kitchen table. In the past I often could be found reading two books at the same time. One was usually a novel for enjoyment and the other a self help book for life improvement.  Right now it’s two novels.

NOTE: This book has tiny type! UGH! I’ll be a while reading it, but it’s interesting at least, I tend to read about Jewish people… holocaust stories etc. I may have been Jewish in a past life! Seriously! This is s GOOD book, but it’s bogged down with to many details, I guess that’s why the type is so tin
y to make it fit in the pages! UGH!

NOTE: I’m really enjoying this book, once I got past the tiny type.. so YES I do recommend it… Was it ever a series on TV?