Category Archives: Good Books

What I’m Reading: The Four Winds

I’ve been trying not to burn up Audible credits.  All books aren’t available through my online libraries or the wait is incredibly long so after seeing I was still on the list as #124 on 19 copies for my chance to read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.  I decided the heck with it.  I was burning up a credit and treating myself to this book.

I’m a long-time Kristin Hannah fan.  I’ve read so many of her books and I love them all.  I put myself on the waitlist immediately when I knew the book was coming out…but I was #210 on six copies.  Apparently, the library got more copies in but I wasn’t feeling patient.  I wanted something really good to listen to while I worked on my deadline quilt.  I figured if I had a really good book, I’d be more apt to sit and sew.

The Four Winds: A Novel
I loved the book.  I was nervous about it after Mary at Country Threads said it was hard to read as there was so much sadness.  I’ll warn you, there is a lot of sadness.  Once I saw the story was about the dust bowl I knew there would be.

Reading dust bowl stories, I believe, is super hard for people with a connection to farming and land.  In the story, the family speaks so much about a connection to the land.  I totally understand that connection.  It was hard for our family to sell the farm after my Dad died.  He had a connection to the land.  We had the connection to the land…my Grandpa had a connection to the land.

I’ll admit to crying a few times while reading this novel so many blows this family endured…it was impossible for me not to get teary-eyed.

I listened to this in audiobook form.  I actually very much recommend it in audio form.  There is a wonderful interview with the author at the end.  I think I learned even more from the interview.

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What I’m Reading: Memorial Drive

I’ve been trying really hard to get out of my kick of reading so many WWII Holocaust novels.  I appreciate them and feel I learn a lot about life during those times even though the books are fiction.  I think I become a little numb when I read too many of the same genre so I picked up this book, a memoir called Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey.

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

I will admit, I grabbed the book because of the cover.  I picked it because it was a memoir.  I’ve read a few memoirs that weren’t interesting.  I guess I feel if the person thought their life was interesting enough to write, it must be interesting to read.  In fact, some of my favorite books are memoirs.

This memoir is wrapped in a lot of layers.  There is a bi-racial marriage in the mid 60’s and a biracial baby follows.  That baby is the author and if you listen to the audio version, she’s also the reader.  She does a great job.

The book also covers the hard topics of domestic abuse.

The book isn’t told in conventional form.  There isn’t a beginning, middle, and end to the story.  The author bounces from present to past…to the middle of the story and gives clues of what is to come.  At first, I had to take a deep breath a couple of times before I could follow but in the end, I loved the format.

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What I’m Reading: The Children’s Blizzard

You all know I love historical reading either fiction or non-fiction as long as there is a story to it.  So you can imagine when I saw this book, The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin, I put it on my waitlist.

Some of my favorite books happen on the prairie.  They happen with children and they happen with school teachers.  For much of my life, I always thought I was born in the wrong generation.  I always dreamed myself to be a teacher in a remote area in a one-room schoolhouse.  So when books come up that have anything to do with any of those themes, I grab them up.

This book does not romanticize teaching on the prairie in a one-room schoolhouse at all.   This book showed the reality and the terrible thing that happened when a historical blizzard hit just at the time schoolchildren were done with the day and going home.

The author does a good job telling how the blizzard affected many.  It’s so sad that this happened and is a part of our American history.

Here’s what Amazon had to say:
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What I’m Reading: The Last Garden in England

I was scrolling the online library and I found this book…The Last Garden by Julia Kelly.  Completely judging a book by the cover I thought I might enjoy this book.  It looked like a historical fiction work and it was set in England.  Those are both things I love.

So was I right…YES.  The book was set in England.  It did take place, at least partially, during WWII.  So did I like it?  YES.  The book was good.  I didn’t guess the ending yet the ending was very plausible.  The book follows three different groups of people which is a lot to keep track of but if it’s a good author, they can pull it off and this author did.

Here is what Amazon has to say:
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