Monday, January 22, 2018

Book Review Anyone?

Time for some book reviews? I think so. I’ve been on a non-fiction kick lately. So I’ll start with those first.

From Silk to Silicon by Jeffrey Garten – I was always a big fan of his wife’s (Ina Garten) cooking show and now I’m a fan of his, too. He begins in China with Genghis Kahn and ends in China with  Deng Xiaoping.  In between we have such notables as Cyrus Field, John D. Rockefeller and Margaret Thatcher, people who affected your life and maybe you don’t even know it. For instance, Cyrus Field was the tycoon who laid the first trans Atlantic cable making communication across the ocean incredibly fast. And the man failed time after time before he finally accomplished the task in 1866. It took 13 years but he hung in there. Amazing stuff. This is a book I’ll read again. There’ s so much in there that I’ll have to.

The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell – I’m a long time coming to Orwell. Never read Animal Farm or1984 (! I know!) but am well aware of that book and the whole Big Brother is watching thing. This particular book was recommended in a You Tube video of Jordan Peterson that I happened to be watching. Orwell was a Socialist so he had a slant, of course. But he got down in the trenches with the coal miners in Yorkshire and Lancashire, England in the 1930’s and gives us a dire picture of their lives. He draws conclusions and makes recommendations according to his views. The book has pictures which help bring the story home. In this book, too, I learned a lot.

The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg – Oh, Fannie. What a delight you are to read. Just like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Miss Fannie takes us through the lives of ordinary people, in ordinary and extraordinary circimstances. We fall in love with the people in Elmwood Springs, Missouri and the family of Lordor Nordstrom, he of Swedish ancestry. You know I’m gonna love that, right? Lordor comes from Sweden in 1889 at the ripe old age of twenty eight and finds a good plot of Missouri land to farm. He rounds up other farmers, gets whole a whole community going, gets a mail order bride, begets children and on it goes. Great fun and her take on what happens in the cemetery Lordor designs is thought provoking. If you read it, let me know if you’d like to, eventually, be a crow or a flower.

There you go. Two non, one fiction. And you are reading? 


  1. Thanks for the reviews, Susan. Sounds like they are good winter reads. I just started reading Ann Gabhart's newest, These Healing Hills, and am rereading Switch On Your Brain (the one I shared in last week's post). Enjoying both very much. Have a great week! :)

  2. Jennifer brown banksJanuary 23, 2018 at 10:15 AM

    Thanks for sharing these reads. Winter weather is the perfect season to curl up to a good book and some warm herbal tea.