This is not a happy book, although the ending is much happier than the beginning. It does offer much to think and talk about, and reminds me that I have so much to be grateful for. The situation in Afghanistan for women is abysmal, to put it nicely. This book lets us have a glimpse into what it must be like for women over there, and it is not a pretty picture. I have often wondered how I could live under such circumstances because I have a rather spunky attitude. As a child I fought for my own identity with everything within me because of two older brothers whom I perceived as being more valued than I was. Would I be inclined to do likewise under the thumb of the Taliban or Sharea Law? (sorry if I am misspelling those words) I know I would want to fight back, but the fact is, women, even strong, spunky women, are helpless over there. It breaks my heart.
This is a heartbreaking book that, nevertheless, needs to be read by everyone. It underscores the fact that, even in the face of incredible hardship and injustice, many people are inherently good and loving, and can make it through some pretty tough situations if they will turn to love instead of hate.
Beautifully read by Alossa Leoni.
I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I thought I would. I have read a lot of books about Lincoln and the Civil War, but this one made me feel like I was right there. After reading about the death of Lincoln, I felt the need to mourn, and briefly wondered why no one else was feeling that way. There is so much information in this book that I found myself paying closer attention than usual so I would not miss anything. It moves along at a fast pace and reads like a novel.
Although I am not convinced that I want to read O'Reilly's other "Killing" books, I highly recommend this one.
I often shy away from books read by the author, but in this case, O'Reilly did a great job of narrating.
I think Beck has hit on a winning format for teaching the lessons of history. This book is highly enjoyable and informative. Although it took me a little while to get caught up in it, I ended up really looking forward to the next installment each time. This would be a good book to read with a child.
I haven't decided if the governess is telling the truth or trying to hide something about herself. Or maybe she is delusional.
I read this book in the 9th grade, and only remembered the remarkable ending, and that I liked the book. So now, many years later, I listened to it read by Nadia May, and fell in love with the story again. What a lesson this story teaches us! If you have never read it, put it on your bucket list.
I have to say I admire the girl more than I imagined I would. She is strong and smart. And it doesn't hurt that she plays the harp (so do I). I can't even imagine the horror of the things she went through. The physical abuse was horrific, but the mental abuse was even worse.
I also admire her family. Her parents handled the situation about as well as it could be handled. I'm proud of them for never giving up, when the rest of us were sure she was dead. It gives me courage to read their stories and see how people can be strong in the face of devastating circumstances. It makes my troubles look small by comparison.
I'm not usually a fan of authors reading their own books, and I am sure Elizabeth would be the first to say she is not a professional narrator. Still, there was something honest and convincing in the way she read. When she emphasized a word or phrase, I knew it was authentic, and not a reader's interpretation of the author's intent. I like that a lot. It reminds me of another incredibly strong girl, Jaycie Dugard, who also read her own story.
Here's to you, Elizabeth. You did what you had to do, and you survived to tell about it--and you did it with style.
This book put so many things about the beginnings of the civil war into perspective for me. I really did not know many of these things. It helps me make sense of it all. Of course, no war makes sense, but now I can see better how it came to be. For example, I never really understood about Fort Sumpter, and now I do. I think I had it backwards in my mind, something like the north firing on the south who were in the fort. Truth is, it is exactly the opposite of that. I also did not realize the role California, Kansas and other non-southern states played in the war. I certainly never understood how Lincoln's view of slavery and the war changed over time. I did not realize that the war was, at least outwardly, not about abolition, but about state's rights. As time went on, it had to be about slavery. How could half of the country fight for freedom and then turn around and approve slavery for the other half of the country? And many more interesting things. I really want to read this book again sometime. I am sure it will be even better the second time.
I happen to have a large book about Michelangelo that contains detailed photos of almost all of his work. It was so helpful to keep it nearby so that I could refer to it as I read/listened to this book. I also had a hard copy of the book, which also helped me understand it. That is the best way to read a book, particularly one about an artist from a foreign country.
In those days in Florence, Italy, it was thought that if you had to use your hands to make a living, you were somehow a failure. Consequently, he was the only person in his family who earned any money, and he had to support all of them, not only his parents, siblings and their families, but his aunt and uncle also. in fact, until he declared his emancipation from his father, somewhere around the age of 27, his father was entitled to all his earnings. it made life hard for him. Most of his work was commissioned by the pope, which was also difficult because the pope could be fickle and withdraw support at any time. Or a pope may die, and the next pope may order all of his work to be destroyed. But he was compelled by something inside of him to create the things that he did.
To say Michelangelo was gifted, a genius, is almost an understatement. He was driven to do what he did. Each and every detail had to be perfect or he could not live with himself. Although I have never seen any of his works in real life, the pictures that I have seen of them and the descriptions I have read about them have made me feel as if I know them. To be able to catch a glimpse of what he must have been thinking and feeling at the time of the creation of his art work was truly delightful. Here is a trivia fact I did not know: Michelangelo lived to be nearly 90 years old, and was still sculpting right up until his death.
And it is a compelling story, well told, if not always historically verifiable, by Irving Stone.
I really liked the narration of Arthur Morey. He did a great job of the Italian pronunciations, and characterizations from old to young.
This book tied the histories that I have been reading (Washington, Jefferson, Adams) together in a very understandable way. I have totally enjoyed learning so much about this period in our history. It makes me reverence the founding fathers as I never have before. And not just the founding fathers, but those who put their lives on the line, many of them knowing they had little chance of survival. That would have to include the signers of the Declaration of Independence, whose lives were never the same, and in many cases, who lost everything in pursuit of freedom. I hope we can turn things around in this country and get back to the basics that it was founded on.
It is so unusual to have an author be a great narrator also. David was good at narrating his own book, but certainly not great. Too bad, because it is a wonderful book.
I love historical books like this one, and the subject of Shakespeare seems particularly interesting to me. Time and circumstances work strange magic on many things and people, but on literature and literary masters, it can make a person a legend or a truly forgettable character. For Shakespeare, the circumstances and the passage of time are what created him and made him a most memorable literary and historical figure. Although successful and well known in his own time, he did not become The Bard until well after his death, much like Bach, who in many people's estimation is the greatest of composers, but who was not widely celebrated until many years after his death. Funny how that happens.
This was a very interesting book and I just might get around to reading/listening to it again sometime.
This book examines the last year and a half of Lincoln's life and the war that he eventually won, but which victory he did not live long enough to savor. I love reading about Lincoln; my admiration only grows for him the more I learn about his life. I sure wish we had a man of his integrity in the white house today.
This book gives a realistic look at the man that was Lincoln and the great things he did as president of the United States, many that did not seem so great at the time. I learned many things that I was not previously aware of, and I like that. This is a good book to read if you like to learn about Lincoln.
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