Patty P. (Patouie) - , - Reviews

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1776
1776
Author: David McCullough
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 241
Review Date: 8/13/2007
Helpful Score: 12


When we learn about the Revolutionary War in school, it seems like a logical progression with democracy as the inevitable result. But when one is living in a historic time, one moment follows another, and everything could change at any time. The outcome is not sure.

McCullough writes as if the year 1776 is a work in progress. I find his style memorable and delightful. As I finished the book, I was thinking, "I don't know which side is actually going to win the war!" Although I've read a lot of American history, McCullough made me feel I was right there, looking over their shoulders, wondering what might happen next.


The Accidental Tourist
The Accidental Tourist
Author: Anne Tyler
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 87
Review Date: 7/1/2007
Helpful Score: 4


A funny, well-written book, Accidental Tourist describes characters who are each on the verge of stereotypes, moving in and out of personality ruts. The reader is sure to recognize traits in himself and in people he knows. Many of the characters are uncomfortably familiar, but just when you're sure you know someone's "type," the author gently offers the possiblity of at least minor transformation.


Ake : The Years of Childhood (Vintage International)
Ake : The Years of Childhood (Vintage International)
Author: Wole Soyinka
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 7/1/2007
Helpful Score: 2


What a wonderfully written autobiographical account of Wole Soyinka's childhood. It is told from the point of view of the child. The picture of African village life is clearly drawn, sometimes surprising, and sometimes very familiar. This was one precocious little guy. I can't get the book out of my mind.


Alligators in the Sewer and 222 Other Urban Legends : Absolutely True Stories that Happened to a Friend...of a Friend...of a Friend
Review Date: 2/23/2007


Really fun urban legends, some of which I had believed at one point or another


American Jezebel
American Jezebel
Author: Eve Laplante
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/7/2014


Through an accident of British church politics -- her father spent time under house arrest for his heresies when Anne was young -- this uncommonly intelligent girl received an education in theology and logic that showed up later in her trials. I found the direct quotes from the trial transcripts to be fascinating and often dense. I reread many of them several times.

I began this book knowing virtually nothing about Hutchinson. The author allowed me to explore the concept of what happens to a thinker and teacher who is not supposed to think or teach.

Hutchinson was by no means a modern woman caught in the wrong century. Her argument was not with a woman's status. Instead, she took up rhetorical arms to defend theological points that seem arcane to modern thought (and perhaps even incomprehensible to many people of her time) because God had revealed these things to her. She would not move on points that had come to her through revelation. And since the church of her time did not accept individual revelation, and especially not to a woman, there was no room for compromise.

Hutchinson is not held up as a model for tolerance or freedom of conscience. She had little patience for those who disagreed with her concept of salvation by grace alone. And yet I am left wishing that the historical record left us more than the trial transcript to give us insight into her thinking. She may have held a great deal of spiritual influence as part of the founding community of Rhode Island. I'd have love to have heard her thoughts on the language in the Charter of Rhode Island (issued after she had died in New Amsterdam) holding that "No person... shall be any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in option in matters of religion... but that all and every person and persons may... freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgments and consciences, in matters of religious concernments."

The author's research was impressive and generous. At times I needed to set aside the author's opinion on a point to reach my own conclusion.


American Jezebel : The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans
Review Date: 6/7/2014
Helpful Score: 1


Through an accident of British church politics -- her father spent time under house arrest for his heresies when Anne was young -- this uncommonly intelligent girl received an education in theology and logic that showed up later in her trials. I found the direct quotes from the trial transcripts to be fascinating and often dense. I reread many of them several times.

I began this book knowing virtually nothing about Hutchinson. The author allowed me to explore the concept of what happens to a thinker and teacher who is not supposed to think or teach.

Hutchinson was by no means a modern woman caught in the wrong century. Her argument was not with a woman's status. Instead, she took up rhetorical arms to defend theological points that seem arcane to modern thought (and perhaps even incomprehensible to many people of her time) because God had revealed these things to her. She would not move on points that had come to her through revelation. And since the church of her time did not accept individual revelation, and especially not to a woman, there was no room for compromise.

Hutchinson is not held up as a model for tolerance or freedom of conscience. She had little patience for those who disagreed with her concept of salvation by grace alone. And yet I am left wishing that the historical record left us more than the trial transcript to give us insight into her thinking. She may have held a great deal of spiritual influence as part of the founding community of Rhode Island. I'd have love to have heard her thoughts on the language in the Charter of Rhode Island (issued after she had died in New Amsterdam) holding that "No person... shall be any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in option in matters of religion... but that all and every person and persons may... freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgments and consciences, in matters of religious concernments."

The author's research was impressive and generous. At times I needed to set aside the author's opinion on a point to reach my own conclusion.


American Jezebel : The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans
Review Date: 6/7/2014


Through an accident of British church politics -- her father spent time under house arrest for his heresies when Anne was young -- this uncommonly intelligent girl received an education in theology and logic that showed up later in her trials. I found the direct quotes from the trial transcripts to be fascinating and often dense. I reread many of them several times.

I began this book knowing virtually nothing about Hutchinson. The author allowed me to explore the concept of what happens to a thinker and teacher who is not supposed to think or teach.

Hutchinson was by no means a modern woman caught in the wrong century. Her argument was not with a woman's status. Instead, she took up rhetorical arms to defend theological points that seem arcane to modern thought (and perhaps even incomprehensible to many people of her time) because God had revealed these things to her. She would not move on points that had come to her through revelation. And since the church of her time did not accept individual revelation, and especially not to a woman, there was no room for compromise.

Hutchinson is not held up as a model for tolerance or freedom of conscience. She had little patience for those who disagreed with her concept of salvation by grace alone. And yet I am left wishing that the historical record left us more than the trial transcript to give us insight into her thinking. She may have held a great deal of spiritual influence as part of the founding community of Rhode Island. I'd have love to have heard her thoughts on the language in the Charter of Rhode Island (issued after she had died in New Amsterdam) holding that "No person... shall be any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in option in matters of religion... but that all and every person and persons may... freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgments and consciences, in matters of religious concernments."

The author's research was impressive and generous. At times I needed to set aside the author's opinion on a point to reach my own conclusion.


Babe in Paradise
Babe in Paradise
Author: Marisa Silver
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 7/19/2007
Helpful Score: 2


A slide show of the darker side of L.A. Powerful stuff! Silver gives us a series of glimpses into various L.A. characters. We're not talking Hollywood here, but people struggling on the edge.


Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Author: Dai Sijie, Ina Rilke (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 682
Review Date: 1/18/2007
Helpful Score: 1


A very human glimpse inside China during the Cultural Revolution.


Bambi
Bambi
Author: Felix Salten
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 8/27/2006
Helpful Score: 2


My daughter, an avid reader, announced to me one day that she'd figured out that if she went back to the original books behind various Disney movies, she could get some real treasures. This is one of those.


The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, Bk 1)
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, Bk 1)
Author: Laurie R. King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 62
Review Date: 10/28/2006
Helpful Score: 2


This is fun and clever look at the "true" Sherlock Holmes, combining good sleuthing with the story of a bright and engaging girl who is coming of age against the backdrop of World War I.


Before the Dawn : Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors
Before the Dawn : Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors
Author: Nicholas Wade
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/23/2010


Someone just asked me what my favorite book this past year was. This is it. The author borrows from linguistics, archeology, genetics, and other disciplines to trace the history of the first small human group to successfully make its way out of the African continent and slowly, slowly spread through Europe and Asia, and the world. I love science, but it isn't my field. The book was captivating, readable, approachable, and introduced me to many ideas that made their way to our dinner table.


Blessings
Blessings
Author: Anna Quindlen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 254
Review Date: 11/19/2006
Helpful Score: 2


A lovely cross-sectional look at a small town, and the influences of isolation and interaction.


Broke Heart Blues
Broke Heart Blues
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 1/21/2007
Helpful Score: 1


I started off with gleeful disdain for these pitiful people whose lives circled around gossip and myth. By the middle of the book, I, too, was digging for any scrap of information. By then end, I was a character in the book. Wonderful stuff!


The Bronze Bow
The Bronze Bow
Author: Elizabeth George Speare
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/2/2006


A wonderful story! I remember being bowled over as a child!


California: A Novel
California: A Novel
Author: Edan Lepucki
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 8/29/2016


I started off thinking that the main character was perhaps mentally or emotionally disabled, and that intrigued me. Not many novels in this genre have that character type as a lead character. But it turned out she was just poorly drawn -- a 27-year-old reacting to things the way a 13-year-old might.

The characters had swings of opinion and emotion that were not backed by an internal logic, nor the logic of events.

There were interesting elements: the "forms", the pirates, the color red, but I was left dissatisfied, yet not yearning to read a sequel.


The Celebrated Jumping Frog and Other Stories
The Celebrated Jumping Frog and Other Stories
Author: Mark Twain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/26/2006
Helpful Score: 1


Also includes "The Story of the Bad Little Boy" which shows how those who deserve punishment don't always get it, and "A Fable," which explores point of view, and how one does not have to see to believe.


Christina's Ghost
Christina's Ghost
Author: Betty Ren Wright
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 3/14/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Reading level 5


City of the Beasts (Jaguar and Eagle, Bk 1)
Review Date: 7/1/2007
Helpful Score: 2


A wonderfully scary Amazon adventure! Allende is a great writer, painting pictures, finding new ways to tell us things we feel we have always known. I was so glad to find she had written a children's book!


Class President
Class President
Author: Johanna Hurwitz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 3/14/2007


Reading level 4


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