Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Monday, May 30, 2016

2016 Book Challenge - Book 44, Naked

It is getting closer to summer, so remembering to blog is getting harder.

The book I am reviewing is


It was under the category: A  Collection of Essays

This is a collection of stories and memoirs of the author.  It talks about overcoming his OCD, about being gay, his father being so overprotective that David never learns to drive, and how he and his siblings deal with the death of his mother from cancer, to his time spent in a nudist colony.

This book was okay.  The reviews talk about it being "side splitting funny", but I would not agree.  I have read a few of his books, and have always found him a bit.....odd.  Most of these stories in this books are so out there, I did have a hard time believing all of them.  But there were a few that gave me a little chuckle.  I mostly found him frustrating - he has so many tics with OCD, how did he not get help?  And he hitchhiked everywhere and put himself in so many dangerous situations, that it surprises me that he never learned to drive.

If you are a David Sedaris fan, maybe you will find something about this book to like.  Me?  I just thought it was okay.

Stars: 3

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 Challenge Book 43 - The Elephant Whisperer

I am in the middle of running a huge fundraiser for my daughter, and the kids are in the thick of spring activities, so I forgot to blog about my latest book.

I know you were worried. :)

The book was:

The Elephant Whisperer

This was under the category:  Audio Book that has won an Audie Award

(I read the book - instead of listening to it.)

This is a story told by Lawerence Anthony - a man who has devoted his life to animal conservation in Africa.  It is a true story - his own and how he came to be the owner of 9 elephants on his Thula Thula conservation land in Zululand, South Africa.  They were a herd of rogue elephants who continually escaped their former home, watched their matriarch be shot due to her antics, and then had to be moved 600 miles away to a new land unfamiliar to him.  Anthony's ability to settle these large beast and have them thrive was nothing short of amazing.

I loved this book.  I have always had a love for Africa and for Elephants.  These are my daughter, Finley's, favorite animals, and she and I have on our bucket list to visit Africa in the new future (and I think Thula Thula will definitely be a stop).  The story is well written and well told.  He is very honest about how dangerous his work is, and that these are not pets, but wild animals.  He is a man that saves even a deadly mamba snake - his heart is only in the preservation of these animals in their natural habitat.  With Man continually closing in, more and more animals are becoming extinct and ending up in zoos, and people like Anthony are trying to stop that from happening.

I encourage you to read this book. IT was wonderful.

Stars:  5

Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Challenge - Book 42, The Alchemist

Today's book review is for

The Alchemist

This was under the category:  A Book Considered A Modern Classic

This is the story of a Shepherd named Santiago.  He desires to travel and seek worldly treasure.  He has a repetitive dream that tells him he will find his treasure at the pyramids.  He starts his journey and meets a man who calls himself a King.  Before Santiago even tells him why he is on his journey, the King knows.  As Santiago continues his journey to his treasure he meets thieves, people he can trust, the love of his life, and ultimately reaches what he seeks.  Along the way he learns to listen to his heart and follow his dreams even when he is tested.

I liked this book.  It was simple and short, and an easy enough read.  The shepherd boy ran into many obstacles as he tried to reach his treasure in the dessert, but in his quest, he comes across the Alchemist - a man who has the Philosphers Stone which contains the Elixir of Life, and he was 200 years old.  (cue Harry Potter)  He is wise and he taught the shepherd boy how to listen to his heart and follow his dreams and reach his destiny.  Telling him that if he doesn't, he will always regret it.

I say give this book a try.  It is a nice story, and a nice message, and worth the read.

Stars:  4

Saturday, May 7, 2016

2016 Challenge - Book 41, The Crucible

Today's review is for

The Crucible

This was under the category:  A Play

This is a play that is based on historical people and real events.  It tells the story of the Salem witches in Massachusetts in the 1600s.  There is a group of teenage girls that were caught practicing witchcraft in the woods, but turn the tables and confess to seeing at least 100 women and men in the town with the Devil.  The courts believe the children and arrest all the people they name.

This story was quite good.  I live in Massachusetts, and enjoyed visiting Salem and learning about the witch trials.  I shook my head several times reading this book - did these adults really take the word of these children over well respected men and women in the town?  If these adults confessed - they were let go.  If they didn't confess - even though they weren't guilty, they were hanged.  Huh?  Madness.  Many women and men died because they were accused and tried in court for witchcraft, and they were hanged even if they were innocent.  Incredible.

I recommend this book.  It was well written, and flowed nicely, and the story was easy to read.  Check it out.

Stars: 4

Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 Challenge - Book 40, My Life In France

Moving right along - #40 already!  Slowing down a bit because now the weather is nice and I like to garden as much as I like to read, so I am trying to even out my time between both.

Today's book I am reviewing is My Life in France

It is under the category:  Food Memoir

This is the story of Julia Child and her time she spent in France.  She arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, when he was stationed there as part of government work.  She spent her time there becoming a local - learning the language, shopping at the local markets, and really finding her passion for cooking.  She attended classes at the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school and become obsessed with recipes and cooking French food.  She is the author if the cookbooks Masting the Art of French Cooking I and II.  The book goes through her 50 years of marriage to Paul and all the places they lived until his death in 1994 and hers in 2004.

I did enjoy this book.  I have always been facinated with Julia Child - her unusual voice and tall stature.  This tells many little anecdotal stories about her friends, their apartments, the cities and countries she lived in over the course of her marriage.  She lived in several places in France (and eventually built a vacation home there later in life), but also in Germany and Oslo before returning to the United States.  She talked about her relationship with her mother (who died when Julia was young) and her father (who was a very conservative Republican - the opposite of Julia), her sister and brother, and of course, her husband.  The book does jump around a bit.....didn't love the flow in some places.  She would be telling a story and then quickly switch channels.  But those were few and far between, and I greatly enjoyed reading about how she became the famous chef she was.

I visited France two summers ago with my family, and we spent 10 glorious days in Paris.  We loved the city right from the start, and this book made me long to go back.

And it made me hungry.

Check it out.  4 stars