Margaret B.

Renegade Champion, the Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada

Thursday, May 28, 2009
Richard R. Rust

This book is about Jane Pohl, a daughter of a West Point army officer, and the horse, Fitzrada, with whom she forged a great partnership. If you love horses, you will really like this book. Even if you are not interested in horses, you may be interested in the historical aspects of the book regarding the army, West Point, and women’s lives in the 1940s and 50s. Fitzrada came from the U.S. army calvary stock and was scheduled to be destroyed. He was rescued by Jane and her father and became one of the most well-known show jumpers in the late 1940s. They won many championships together. Most men could not ride him but over the course of 5 years of training and riding, Jane and Fitz became true partners. Jane was a pioneer of her time—leading the way for women to be included on the Olympic equestrian teams. My only complaint is that I would have liked more photos to be included in the book.

Margaret B., Reference

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The Kitchen Boy

Friday, December 12, 2008
Robert Alexander

This is one of the best historical fiction books I have read in a long time. Using the facts of the Romanovs' imprisonment and eventual execution, Robert Alexander weaves a tale of mystery and intrigue. Even though you know the fate of the Romanovs, he manages to write the book in such a suspenseful way that you can't put it down. I highly recommend this book. In addition, check out this great website for the book. Hope someone makes this one into a movie.

 
Margaret, Reference
 

Bel Canto

Friday, December 12, 2008
Ann Patchett

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the premise, the setting, the characters, and the "musical" allusions. A terrorist group takes over a private party in a vice-president's home in South-America. An American Opera singer is featured as the entertainer. What happens is extraordinary--the electric mix of guest, dignitaries, servants, terrorist all find that they are witnesses to an amazing musical talent. The music binds them and their lives together as they are held hostage in this house. People fall in love, make friendships; and it all comes to a shocking end.

Margaret, Reference

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The Long Goodbye

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Patti Davis
Okay, I admit it. I picked up this book because of the beautiful photo on the cover of Ronald Reagan riding a horse. But I remembered reading some of Patti Davis' articles about her father in a magazine and that I liked her writing style. I wasn't disappointed. If you have ever been estranged from a family member, suffered the loss of a parent, or are caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, I think you would find this book comforting.
 
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Truth and Beauty

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ann Patchett

A very interesting read. This is a story (nonfiction) about the friendship between Ann and a fellow writer, Lucy Grealy. If you are interested in gaining insights into what a writer's life is like, you would enjoy this book. Most of all, it is about friendship. I think it would be a good book club pick because it would generate lots of good discussion questions.

Margaret, Reference

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Nick Adams Stories

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ernest Hemingway

I hadn't read Hemingway in many years. Reading this book was exactly what my "reading diet" called for at this time! I forgot the simple, short, direct and very satisfying style that he has. Every word is carefully chosen and what's left unsaid is equally important. I really enjoyed this book. It has great themes of coming of age, relationships, and of war. I absolutely love the outdoor life as Hemingway did, and have visited many Michigan places that he writes about in this book. If you have hiked, fished and camped in the north woods, you will enjoy Big Two-Hearted River. This book was chosen to be the first Great Michigan Read. For more information, go to www.howelllibrary.org and click on Great Michigan Read.

Margaret, Reference

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Three Cups of Tea

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Three Cups of Tea. One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations....One School at a Time is an extraordinary story - one that I wish every politician would read. Greg Mortenson, a former mountain climber, discovers his true life mission by building schools for the poor, mountainous villagers inPakistan and Afghanistan. His journey is an inspiring adventure tale. You will be enlighted and discover interesting facts about this region seen through his eyes. A must read!!

Margaret, Reference

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River of Doubt

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This book is non-fiction but reads like a fast paced novel. You won't be able to put it down! A very interesting group of people embark on an exploration of the Amazon river with some disastrous results. The group includes American naturalists, a Catholic priest, a U.S. president and his son, a Brazilian general and more. They encounter near starvation, injuries, cannibals, and the fury of nature in their quest to map and explore the river. If you like adventure and history, you'll love this book.

Margaret, Reference
 

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