Beach Reading

Beach Reading
Beach Reading

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Altamont Augie by Richard Barager

With Vietnam looming like a scythe over an entire generation, University of Minnesota sophomore David Noble bolts from an anti-war teach-in his girlfriend coaxes him to and enlists in the marines. Her pride wounded by his rush to war, Jackie Lundquist ignores David's letters from Vietnam, where he serves out his enlistment burrowed into the blood-red clay of Khe Sanh, surviving a brutal siege before returning home to find Jackie immersed in a counterculture world of drugs and militancy.

To Jackie, the faltering war in Vietnam is a failure of national conscience; to David it is a failure of national honor. But neither her rise to fame as the growing anti-war movement's alluring Radical Queen nor David's defiant counter-protest activities in support of the war can extinguist their passion for one another. Both their tumultuous affair and the Age of Aquarius itself cartwheel into the decade's last great rock festival: Altamont, the death rattle of the Sixties, where shame and honor collide, and tragedy awaits redemption.

To me, this book got a little boring at times. It started off a little slow, but gradually hooked me into the love story between two of the characters. I feel that the author goes into too much detail about racial issues in the book and at times uses words that have to be looked up in a dictionary to understand what is being said. The chapters about the Vietnam War were interesting, but I was disappointed in the book as a whole.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Animal Stories Daddy Told Us By Innocent Emechete

Excerpts from Introduction: Many years ago a lot of African Countries did not have too many things written down because many of the people could not read or write. Consequently oral literature became a part of their life. Memorization was the most used instrument among the people to pass on knowledge, history, literature and all sorts of information from one person to another, and from one generation to the next. "Animal Stories Daddy Told Us" is a product of that oral tradition.

In these oral traditions, African children were given a sense of what it meant to be a village warrior and the honor and prestige that went with it. Character, discipline and integrity were built in the young generation through these oral, human and animal stories of courage and success. The mistakes of the past were also recounted for a precaution in the future.

Some of these stories were funny and some were scary; but they always taught some moral lesson to the next generation. What was handed over orally from one generation to the next is put down in writing now for generations to come...But more importantly it is written down for the benefit of other cultures that do not have such traditions and animal stories as part of their history and culture. Hopefully the little children in these cultures will benefit immensely from these stories from Africa at another time in history.

Some of the stories are humorous and entertaining. But there are some stories that exhibit acts of deceit and game playing. These are set to teach young people that there are some animals which do not play by the rules just as there are some people in our human society that do not play by the rules either. These stories prepare the children for the real world. From the mistakes and fall of such bad characters in animal stories, children are made to learn a good lesson about how to be good and fair to other people.

I was sent this book to review back in February, and have just now been able to finish reading it. It does teach lessons in each story, and the author has even given discussion questions at the end of each story so that it can be discussed in detail with children. The author was also kind enough to add to the back of the book an explanation of some of the foreign words used in the book. I don't believe young children could read this book on their own and get a full understanding of it, but it would possibly be a good tool in home schooling.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stop Looking For a Husband {Find the Love of Your Life} By Marina Sbrochi

This book bucks the notion that a woman needs a husband to be happy. Ever think the reason the divorce rate is so high is because women have been taught that life isn't complete without a husband? We rush into marriage only to discover that it was never meant to be. Quick, find that man before you reach a certain age, and seal the deal. Make him commit or else! The truth is, a marriage will never work when its foundation is set on shaky ground. Author Marina Sbrochi tells the modern, intelligent woman that she will only find real love when she gets the objective of marriage out of her head--a fundamental mind shift. Change your goal from finding a husband to finding the love of your life, and you'll find happiness. Women have been conditioned to search for the perfect man who will fulfill the dream of a white dress, a diamond ring, 2.5 kids, and a house in the 'burbs. Nowhere in this fairy tale is there anything about falling in love with the one you can't live without -- and having fun doing it! The honest, straightforward advice -- and the often hilarious accounts -- speaks to anyone who has read all the "rules" and tried all the tricks, yet can't seem to get off the starting line. Stop Looking for a Husband will not only give the intelligent woman ideas for a new and enhanced approach to finding love but will also keep her in stitches with sage advice and true tales that can only happen in real life.

I loved this book!!! I am one of those women who have a hard time in the romance department. I wish that I would have known to try some of the concepts in this book before getting involved with anyone. I would definitely recommend that every woman who is dating read this. This book helped me to realize that I was trying too hard to make a man interested in me....I need to get out and just enjoy myself, get to know as many people as I can but be prepared to be alone and be okay with being alone. As the author states in her note at the front of the book..."The most vital lesson I've learned is that true love magically appears when you're being yourself, doing things for yourself, and creating opportunities to share that with others."