Okay, enough of this lazy business of recovering from out of town guests. Time to get a move on. Time for a few book reviews, don’t’ you think? Let me tell you about . . .
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown – Crewing. Whenever I heard the word (rarely) the first thing that came to mind was a crew neck sweater. Or maybe haircuts? Silly me. In this book I learned all about “crewing” as it relates to boats and water. The “boys” were nine members of the University of Washington crewing (rowing) team and in at the 1936 Olympics they kicked butt. The path they had to take to get there will amaze you. The author focuses on the life struggle of one rower, Joe Rantz, and several of his crew mates. Your heart will bleed for Joe. In one instance he was left to fend for himself at the ripe old age of fifteen. He came home from school one day to find his dad, stepmother, and siblings all packed into the family jalopy and ready to leave – for good. Joe was told there was no room for him so he was on his own. At fifteen. Wait’ll you read about that! Anyway, the stories behind the story made this a terrific read and by the end of the book I was cheering like a crazy woman for that long ago crewing team. And Hitler never saw it coming.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – Maybe “unbelievable” would have been a better title for this astonishing book. One of the reasons I read it was because I’d read Seabiscuit by the same author. Hillenbrand is one thorough writer! This is the tale of the Impressive life of Louis Zamperini. The years leading up to his becoming an airman in WWII were harrowing enough (he was also an Olympian – a runner), but as the story progresses, we find him stranded in the Pacific Ocean after his plane went down. He and two other men faced the elements for nearly seven weeks (catching a shark and eating its liver???) and when Louis and his pilot (the other man died) were finally rescued by some Koreans they were tromped off to prison camp. Ghastly. When you read of the cruel officer known as “the Bird” you’ll understand what I mean. So scary. But when Louis died at the ripe old age of 94 he had become a redeemed and forgiving man. He even sought out the Bird to offer him that forgiveness. He was a remarkable human being. Can’t recommend this one enough.
The Anarchist’s Dictator by Eric Sundwall – How smart do you think you are? Our firstborn son has written this lyrical riddle and boy, ya gotta have some brains to get it. What is the Midgard Serpent and why do dolphins fascinate us so? Epsilon Xi might shed some light on the subject. Who is Uncle Murray – do you think you know? No, he’s not the dictator. Or maybe he is. In July of 2017 your name could be in the pool of readers who have taken a stab at naming the anarchist’s dictator. Big bucks at stake, too. The whole book is only 27 pages long and it may take that many years to figure it out but perhaps you’re up to the challenge. Check out http://anarchistdictator.net/ for more.
So, what’s on your book list?