Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide: Creek Stewart

This book was inspired by the Hunger Games and gives real life advice about how to survive if dropped in the middle of a woods. It was basic survival stuff you would need to know and describes what you would need to hunt for to survive (and assumes you are in a wooded area with water). There is a section in the back about preparing a "bug out" kit to be even more prepared. This was a pretty good book about creating shelter and starting fire with the bare minimum (again in a woods).

Heirloom; Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer: Tim Stark

This was a fun book talking about a variety of things on how he ended up returning to his home and becoming a "tomato farmer". The book was divided into chapters that were all very different from one another, it was told more in memory format than a linear order. The chapters talked about Tim's disenchantment with New York City, the gradual merge into tomato growing, his life on a small farm in PA as a child and the caretaker there, his first few stressful years trying to get his tomatoes planted, weeded and picked. The book mentions a story he got published about killing a woodchuck and the outrage the readers had to it calling him a murderer. It also talked about an older woman in the area known for her lima beans and how she pointed out the parking lots and developments that used to be the farm. This was a very interesting book!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

It's a Long Road to a Tomato: Keith Stewart

This was an interesting sort of biography centered around one man's decision to start farming. He gets young adults to work on the farm each year as a sort of free experience and sells his produce at farmer's markets. He shows how much work farming is and tries to educate city dwellers on the cost of providing their food. He notes that milk 25 years ago was more expensive than now, yet the cost of cattle and keeping them has risen exponentially. Farmers are the only people who pay retail for everything, yet are expected to sell wholesale. His shares stories about his animals and experiences and it is an educational book about respecting and helping those who produce our food. I did enjoy his numerous quotes The moving finger writes; and having writ moves on; nor all your piety nor wit, Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it. by:Omar Khayyam

Face Down Before the Rebel Hooves: Kathy Lynn Emerson

Loved it! In this book Lady Appleton is drawn into investigating Sir Walter Pendennis' wife's murder. She goes to the rebel camp as Lady Pendennis to try to uncover what Lady Eleanor Pendennis was involved in and how it got her murdered. During her time undercover she is nearly murdered a few times, by arrow, by food poisoning and eventually a woman is murdered mistakenly for Susanna. Susanna learns the plot was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. Now she is trying to be murdered by Eleanor's cousin because Eleanor stands in her way of inheritance. Susanna realizes it was the wives of the treasonous men that were responsible for the plot and she aids them in escaping because she pities them and their lack of freedom as women, she understands their lot.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A little Piece of Earth: Maria Finn

This was a lovely book that gives you ideas on how to grow food in tiny spaces and which plants work best for different climates and situations. I enjoyed the recipes and clever ideas for displaying plants as well as the information on plant rotating and creating your own personal space. I now want tea garden and a garden by the grill!

Bless Me Ultima: Rudolfo Anaya

In this story Antonio is a little boy when Ultima, who is known for her magic in healing, comes to live with his family. The book is about him growing up and finding religion, or figuring out what to believe. It is infused with magical happenings in a quiet town. Ultima is able to heal one of Antonio's uncles from a curse that was supposedly laid on him by three sisters. Ultima makes voodoo dolls of the sisters and puts the curse back on them, 2 of the 3 die mysteriously and the townsmen want Ultima tried as a witch. Ultima and her familiar, an owl, are killed at the end of the book by the father of the three girls as Ultima tries to protect Antonio. Knowing a little bit of Spanish would be helpful in reading this book as there are a lot of sayings that would lose their meaning if translated into English and dialogue in Spanish that add to the flair of the book. In addition to Antonio growing up too fast in the couple of years covered in the book, he has to deal with the pressure of his mother wanting him to be a priest as he tries to find himself and his beliefs while growing up.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Terrorist: Caroline Cooney

This book was geared toward teenagers and dealt with terrorists in London. The story centered on an international school in England where 50% of the students are American and the others are from all over the world. A little boy, Billy, was handed a bomb in the subway and is killed when it goes off. His older sister, Laura, becomes obsessed with finding his killer and believes it could have been someone in her school. Suddenly a girl from Iran becomes her friend and asks for help to get out of a marriage to a fifty-four year old in Iran who already has 3 wives. She wants to use Billy's passport to escape to the US. Laura, being naïve agrees and it isn't until they are at the airport that she realizes Jehran is involved in the terrorism plot. Luckily her friends put the story together about the same time and the police arrive. Since Jehran is a minor and whoever lived at her house had vanished, she is put into foster care and one day vanished. Laura's family moves back to the US and tries to piece their life together.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Blue Labyrinth: Preston and Child

I loved this book, like a labyrinth there were so many twists and turns it was hard to keep up with what was happening. FBI agent Pendergast opens the door one night to find one of his twin sons deposited there dead. He chases a car for a while, but loses it and his son's killer. Once the body is autopsied, a rare turquoise is found in his stomach. Pendergast has a hard time picturing that Alban could be murdered because he had the ability to see a little into the future and wouldn't have walked into a trap. With the help of some museum curators on the origin of the turquoise, Pendergast goes to the Salton sea, to a mind there and falls into a trap. He is hit with a powerful drug that makes him smell tulips. He learns this poison he was given was actually a "medicine" his great grandfather made "Hezekiah’s Compound Elixir and Glandular Restorative". The medicine was supposed to make a person more energetic, but it ended up causing dependency and killing them. Constance and Margo try to find a cure before Pendergast dies, but are thwarted by Balboa who poisoned Pendergast and also wants to know the cure. Balboa was taking revenge because Aldan made him aware that the genetic deformity Balboa's son died from was because his grandparents were neighbors to Hezekiah's and they were given the elixir. Before both grandparents died they had a child who carried the results of the elixir on to the descendants. Margo and Constance are able to save Pendergast and Balboa goes to jail.

Spy The Lie: Don Tennant · Philip Houston · Michael Floyd · Susan Carnicero

This was an interesting book showing you how to spot when someone is lying. It gives you ideas on what kind of questions to ask and how to set the mood. It gives some examples of famous interviews when people were lying, one of them was OJ Simpson. I liked that the authors pointed out some gestures are culturally significant and some are just common for a person to do (sitting "closed off") and may hint that they are cold rather than lying. You have to establish a base behavior for each individual before diving in. These people also provide in-class training with a program called Q-verity.