Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2007
Fischer's biography of Champlain is a great read and provides further knowledge and insight into the life of this early French explorer. Having spent time in Upstate New York and other New England states as a child, a recognized many of the places described in the book and I enjoyed adding to my historical knowledge of places I've been. I knew little of Champlain prior to reading the book, and I now view him as not only an explorer of lands, but more importantly as an ambassador to a new world. According to Fischer, unlike many of his contemporaries, Champlain went to the new world, and its inhabitants, with open arms, interested in building relationships, not war. There is much we can learn from Champlain and apply to our lives today.
As always, Edward Herrmann's narration is excellent.
Yes, go ahead and run right and get this beautifully told book of a mysterious diamond and its caretakers during WWII. No more should be said than to read it. Now.
This story is touching and enjoyable, and challenges one's assumptions about relationships, care-taking, roles in society and the pre-Civil War south. This certainly isn't a ground-breaking book, but it is a sweet and thoughtful story.
I am not an athlete nor a huge sports fan, but I do read a wide variety of genres and have enjoyed some athletic nonfiction previously. This book came to me highly recommended, but in the end fell a bit short for me. I was curious about why I didn't find this book as good as others had said and spent a fair amount of time reflecting on that. In the end, I think it is because I struggled with the story itself, and not with the telling of it. I did learn some new things about Bobby Knight, about his compassion, his kindness, and his commitment to education (not just athletics), that impressed me. However, his story and the anger and frustration he showed others, how he treated others, etc.; the good in my mind just could not outweigh the bad. Bobby Knight's story made me sick. Not theoretically or figuratively; actually. I was so torn by how he treated others, by his swings in moods, by the duplicity of his actions, that it made me sick. I wish he was more of all those good things and that those good things were his legacy. Sadly, they won't be. If you love basketball, if you are so curious about Bobby Knight that you have to read this, then do. Otherwise, skip it and find some other nonfiction to enjoy.
There is a lot of story here. A lot. There is the time of the novel (late 1990s/early 2000s), a little while ago (1950s) and longer while ago (early 1900s) and lots of wayback (mid 1800s). Sure, it does all come together at some point, but I also felt the story wandering in a way that I wasn't sure if it would ever come back and if it did, would I even remember the tidbit of new info we learned in that ancient journal history and how it impacted the current day. There is also quite a bit of emotion in the book, too, and readers will be impacted differently based on their own life experiences.
Think of this more as a collection of short stories along a central theme and don't fall into the trap of trying to make sense of it as a novel. Because it isn't. The first short story enthralled me, and from there things spiraled downhill. Maybe it's because I wanted the characters in that first story to be more developed. Generally, I would say disappointing.
Certainly a story about a young girl and her friends on a mission to the USA to find men and bring them back to her town in Mexico. Parts of it were interesting as they went about the quest, but overall, it fell flat and lacked inspiration.
I read this book multiple times in high school and college, about 25 years ago, and revisited when students at my school were reading it. I found the story is still captivating and interesting, a relief when other recently revisited classics had lost their luster for me. Knowles' exploration of jealousy set at a prep school at the dawn of WWII still holds relevance today as today's teens struggle with that emotion in the midst of the technology age.
Think of this more as a collection of short stories about members of the same family rather than as a well developed novel. Each member of Hattie's family is developed within its section, but hardly, if ever, reappears in the book. I longed for the stories to be pulled together and for this to be a more complete novel. It lacked that.
I wanted to REALLY like this book--a historical look at Hollywood's role in WWII, specifically with directors sent into the European and Pacific theatres to film the action for propaganda and training films. I enjoy this genre of writing as well as stories of Hollywood and WWII, so this book should have been perfect. In the end, it was just too much. It was so well researched and detailed that for this listener/reader I was overwhelmed with the detail and lost the larger story of how Hollywood directors supported the war. I think I would have enjoyed an abridged version of this book. The details of 20 hours of listening was a turn off.
Mostly, I liked this book. It came at the right moment when I could truly hear most of what she was saying, learn from it, and apply it to my life. Her stories are personal and gut-wrenching at times. And at times, for me, the way she framed some things was a bit too sarcastic for me. Maybe it wasn't sarcasm so much as a dry humor that was a bit of a turn off at times. I got through those moments and am glad I finished the book. I was challenged and encouraged in many ways that I needed.
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