Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"The Color of Water"
James McBride

James McBride grew up one of twelve siblings in the all-black housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn, the son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit that she was white.

The author alternates between his own first person voice and his mother's own words.
For the most part, the book takes place in the past tense, as it recounts the past lives of James and his mother Ruth. James uses the present tense when he talks about his current life, activities and beliefs.

Ruth McBride was born to Polish Jewish immigrants. Her early childhood was spent traveling the country as her father, Tateh, looked for work as a rabbi. He eventually gave that idea up and settled in Virginia and opened a store in the mostly black section of town where he overcharged his customers and expressed racist opinions.

Ruth moved to Harlem to escape her abusive father and the South. In Harlem, Ruth met Dennis a black man, to whom she was immediately attracted. She married him, converted to Christianity, and became very involved with church activities.

James weaves his own life story into his mother's story. Ruth's philosophies on race, religion, and work influence him greatly. Ruth sent her children to the best schools. She demanded respect and hard work from her children, and issues of race and identiy took secondary importance to moral beliefs.

This is an amazing book of a woman's courage, strength, faith and love for her family. I highly recommend this book. You can find it in the non-fiction section of the library.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Flirting with Forty
Jane Porter

As someone who is fast approaching 40 I thought this book might be a good read. It turned out to be a delightful book full of great scenes and insights. This book is about starting over, reinventing yourself much to the dismay of your friends and family. When you realize what you need to do to make yourself happy and you don't care what others think.

Flirting with Forty "Ann Says I deserve more. Ann and the rest of my friends say I need someone who will be everything I hope for, someone who will appreciate everything I am.
That sounds fabulous, it really does, but is that real? Will I ever meet someone who will think I'm as wonderful as my friends think? And even if it's possible, does life really work out that way? Because honestly, I've lived long enough to know we don't always get what we deserve. We don't always get the good we should. . . . Life isn't poured in equal cups for everyone. Some people get more and some get less. Some get it hot and some have it cold. Some get drowned by the generosity while others thirst, hungering for more. Some are happy with their portions while others are never filled, never content, never able to say 'Good I've had enough. I'm satisfied.' I fall into that last group"

When Jackie finally has to make a decision for a chance at happiness will she risk everything or stay with the normal and the safe?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Feel Bad About My Neck
and other thoughts on being a Woman
by Nora Ephron

From the woman who brought us "When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Heartburn" comes a collection of essays that women will relate to. Yes, I too have hated my purse, especially when I am standing in the rain trying to locate the car keys from it ! Thanks to her, the aging process can be a laughing matter. I too have pairs of glasses strewn all over my house, but can I find a pair when in need? Since reading her essay on hating her neck, I have taken to checking out every aging TV star and a few close friends. Yup, I can now relate to those turkeys that parade through my yard!.When Nora Ephron bashed Bill Clinton, I wanted to yell, "Right On!' How dare he lied over and over again to us! Trust him- Never! I especially loved her essay "Me and JFK: Now it can be told". Read on to find out-did she have an affair with JKF? What was the writer phillip Roth like as a young man, and the three stages of parenting.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

LaBelle Cuisine by Patti LaBelle

Everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Suzanne Somers is raving about how delicious the southern recipe's are in Patti Labelles cook book "Labelle Cuisine". So with all that in mind I decided to give it a whirl for the Christmas Holidays. As I read through the entire cookbook in search for a sure hit for the Holidays, I noticed that her recipe's were not so southern after all. In the chapter "Fixin's Fabulous " the recipe for Screamin' Mean Greens gives instructions to cook your greens and meat together in 2 cups of boiling water until tender about for 30 minutes.

The true secret to yummy southern fresh greens is to cook your meat ( smoked hamhocks or neck bones) in a pot of water first for about 2 hours and 45 minutes on a low setting adding water to the pot if needed during the cooking process. You will know when the meat is ready because it will start to fall off of the bones. Next, remove the bones from the water only and then add your fresh greens to the pot with the meat. Cook on a medium setting until tender for approximately 30 - 45 minutes. The collard greens will be heavenly seasoned with the smoked flavor of the meat. Yum, Yum, what a real treat this vegetable dish adds to any holiday meal. Now this is the authentic southern way to cook collard greens.

Tuesdays With Morrie
By Mitch Albom

I read this book after hearing so many good things about it and it was a very quick read. The book is basically about Morrie Schwartz, a history professor at Brandeis University, who has been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and is dying. Mitch Albom is a former student of Schwartz's and has become a fairly well known sports writer. He hears about his teacher from an interview with Ted Koppel on Nightline and decided to pay a visit, soon his visits turn into regular meetings, on Tuesdays, 14 to be exact.

Morrie teaches Albom how to live the life you really want all while dying the way he wants. Albom plots Morrie's declining health, which is is a little depressing, but at the same time imparts Morrie's wisdom. You can get a sense of what the important things in life are from someone who has little left, but Morrie is particularly eloquent and seems to carry an upbeat dignity to the end.

by Isabel Allende

"Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes a horseman known as Zorro!" That was the theme song of one of my favorite TV shows as a child. I couldn't wait to see this masked man brandishing his sword as he fought for justice. Isabel Allende has not let me down with her reinvention of Zorro, although, I would have preferred the author to have not spent so much time on Don Diego de la Vega"s (a.ka. Zorro or "fox" in Spanish) youth. Perhaps that's because I was so looking forward to swasbuckling swordplay on every page! Allende does weave the mysteries of American lore and rites, secret underground societies, pirates, and villains into her novel. Her vivid character descriptions and sense of humor make this book a fun read.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Copper Scroll
by Joel C. Rosenberg

I loved this book, a little bit of intrigue, a little bit of mystery, little bit of history. The Copper Scroll reveals the mystery concerning sixty-four different treasures hidden in Isreal. The treasures are from the first and second Temple, the problem is The Copper Scroll is written in code and no one up till now has been able to break the code. Jon Bennett and Erin McCoy race to find the key code to crack the Copper Scroll but will they do it in time and what will they find?

Joel C. Rosenberg has written three other titles in this series:

The Last Jihad
The Last Days

The Ezekiel Option

All three of these titles have depicted events that have come true.
Will The Copper Scroll come true as well.

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