Great Philosophy

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."-Dr. Seuss

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Only Woman In The Room by Marie Benedict


Hedy Keisler was a young aspiring actress in Vienna in 1933. She was gorgeous and her acting was well received. She had done a movie before acting on the stage, but it had not received a lot of notice.
In the audience one night, a gentleman showered her with flowers. He also introduced himself to her mother and father and proceeded to court Miss Keisler. The gentleman in question was Fritz Mandl, the richest man in Austria at the time.

They ended up marrying and Mr. Mandl was the owner of the largest munitions company supplying weapons to anyone who needed them. Hitler was advancing, but Austria was trying to stay independent.

Hedy becomes the glitter part of the marriage, the pretty face that Fritz loves to show off. Then things get blatantly abject and Hedy has to make a move to get away.

Hedy Lamarr was gorgeous and a star, but there really was so much more to this woman than that.
This book was written with a lot of research into a past that we didn't know too much about. Kudos for championing this woman and all of her intelligence, which she was never given the credit for.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Nevers by Sara Cassidy


Odette is on the run again with her accident-causing mother, Anneline. Anneline has a tendency to bring on death to people she gets involved with (7 husbands to be exact). They come to a town called Nevers and start to settle in.

The town is filled with eccentric characters: a man who obsessively smells hands, a piglet who takes over mothering a chick, a donkey who brays loudly at night speaking in Latin, etc. While Odette seems to feel a sense of wanting to feel secure, Anneline is seeking a box that was left under a bridge at one time. She leaves notes in every town they have been through.

Odette becomes friends with Nicois. They discover the secrets about the donkey and other mysteries.

This was a good story. Lots of French language, which is good if you speak French, though I do not. The language is pretty though. The story rambles a little bit, but is fun to read.
This book was sent to me as an ARC for a review from

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

31147619. sy475

What a generational treasure trove this novel is!

Two half sisters are born in two different villages in Ghana, unaware of each other. One is chosen to marry an Englishman and live at Cape Coast Castle. The other is captured and sold into slavery, being held in the same castle.

We follow these girls and their descendants for eight generations. Some are still in Africa, others are in America.

Really loved the passage through time and all of the repercussions that came with slavery and then the freedom (technically).

Saturday, July 20, 2019

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

25614898. sy475

Paul Kalanithi has to be one of the smartest, bravest men I have ever had the opportunity to learn about. While studying and becoming a neurosurgeon/neuroscientist, he learns of becoming afflicted with lung cancer.
 Paul had entered college studying literature, and was going to become a writer. He decided that his curiosity about death and science prompted him to become a neurosurgeon.
This man had such a deep longing to understand the pain, the depth of anguish experienced by someone given a diagnosis of death, that he found he needed to write about his own experience.
Unfortunately, he had not finished the book before he was taken. His wife fills in the gap and kudos to her for letting us know her love for him.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

We Are Still Here by Emily Koon


These short stories are interesting. Well written and they make you think. I really liked "We Are Still Here", it was probably my favorite.

The novella was good also. I didn't make numerous choices in reading it, stayed with my initial choices and finished it from there.

Emily Koon is going to be someone to watch and read in the future

This book was sent to me from for an early review.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Devil's Knot by mara Leveritt

I have always had so much faith in the judicial system in this country and still have a lot of respect for it. This case throws that for a loop.

3 very young boys are murdered and mutilated in Arkansas and without a shred of hard evidence, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, children themselves, were tried and convicted.

 This book goes through all the information about the charges, how they were applied at trial and the trials themselves.
Serious, serious misjustice.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Schroder by Amity Gaige


Eric Schroder is from Germany. He lives in Dorchester, MA with his father. Since he is from a different country, he feels that he does not fit in. He finds a pamphlet for a summer camp and applies, using the name Eric Kennedy, hoping that the name helps him fit in more. From that point in his life, he uses that name.

He attends college and falls in love with a woman, mostly referred to as "You". They have a child, Meadow. He never goes back to using his correct name.

The marriage falls apart and Eric gets visitation with his daughter and takes a long trip to Vermont, New Hampshire and maybe a run to Canada.

The book is really about Eric learning to know who he himself is. His love for his wife and daughter are really just lackadaisical attempts at knowing about himself.