Published December 28, 2008
Tags: books, cats, Dewey
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
rating: 5 of 5 stars
About 3/4 of the way through this book, I went into a panic. I realized that I was rapidly approaching the end, and I did NOT want that to happen! I couldn’t put this book down, yet I did not want my journey through nearly 20 years of trials, tribulations, and triumphs at the Spencer, IA Public Library to end. You will laugh much more than cry, but cry you will. A not-to-be-missed book.
On a professional note: writing teachers, you will find a wealth of incredible examples of descriptive writing in this book, almost all of which are appropriate for middle-school and up. The first paragraph is the best opening I’ve read since “A Tale of Two Cities.” I’ve never been to Iowa, but I know I could find Spencer just by reading the opening, which is as informative but much more entertaining than any map.
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Lone Star Nation: How a Ragged Army of Volunteers Won the Battle for Texas Independence – and Changed America by H.W. Brands
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really, really wanted to give it five stars, but had to ding it a little for the amount of effort it took for me to finish this book. It took three attempts over three years to get through it (although, admittedly, the second attempt was aborted when Hubby took the book with him when he relocated for his new job and I stayed behind for 8 months to finish my teaching contract), but the effort was well worth it.
This book is THE definitive history of Texas from the first steps of Europeans on her fertile soil to the death of Sam Houston in 1863. There is a wealth of information you never hear in History classes, even though Texas history is taught all year in both 4th and 7th grades.
H.W. Brands pulls no punches when recounting the history of principal players in the struggle for Texas independence (even secondary players, such as Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams get extensive coverage). The admirable qualities (and, believe it or not, there are some) of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna are not overlooked. Still, and refreshingly so, Brands does not fall into the trap of post-modern revisionism.
Writing this book was obviously a labor of love, as was reading it. God Bless Texas!
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