It is very rare for me to start and book and not be able/interested in finishing. I teach high school world history and we mention Ibn Battuta in our lessons. I thought it would be interesting to find out more about the man and his travels. Even though the book is written for popular consumption instead of scholars, I still found it dry and repetitious. I finally skipped a lot in the middle and just read the end to see if it got better - not really. I'm sure someone more educated and interested in the details of life in the 1300's would find it a better read than I did.
Great first-hand account of the dogs that accompanied marines into the pacific theater during WW II. It is amazing how the dogs were "recruited" and trained - only positive methods were used to create these incredible dogs. Many of the dogs were victims of the Japanese and of the difficult conditions on the tropical islands, but they saved thousands of lives. A great read for dog lovers and for WW II buffs alike.
Heartwarming story of how a dog Dan Dye thought he had rescued ended up rescuing him, and changing his life for the better in so many ways. Gracie was a deaf, albino Great Dane that no one wanted. Dan was a young man in search of direction. They found one another and found a way together. Dan and his friend, Mark, founded "Three Dog Bakery" and now help dog lovers around the country to serve healthy, tasty treats to their best friends. This will make you laugh, cry, and go pet your own dog(s).
Beautifully illustrated biography for children about Andrea Castanon Villanueva, a survivor of the Alamo (all the men were killed, but some women and children survived.) This is a very interesting look at history that few of us know about. Seems most appropriate for children in grades 4 - 6.
Very interesting and well-researched story about the young girl given to Queen Victoria as a "gift" from an African king involved in the slave trade. Sarah is raised in England and in Sierra Leone, but eventually settles in England where she visits frequently with the royal family. A fascinating portrait of the upper-class in England during the Victorian era, and a girl who is thrown into that in a most unusual way.
Think the Middle East is confusing? Read this entertaining book and find out how right you are! Tony Horwitz spent 2 years living in Cairo, Egypt and freelancing as a journalist throughout the Middle East. His observations of the contradictions and absurdities of life in that region of the world are both funny and insightful. I also found the book a little depressing because it highlights the cultural gulf between the Arab world and the Western world - one that we are not likely to bridge.
Fascinating book that mixes history, biology, and anthropology. Koeppel traces the development of the banana from an inedible wild fruit to the fruit we love. He also examines the dangers facing the banana as we know it. The banana is sterile, and so every banana we eat is genetically identical to every other banana! A disease is threatening bananas world-wide. You won't hear about this at your local supermarket. You will never peel a banana again without thinking about how it got into your hands.
This was a cute book. If you are a dog lover, you will be highly entertained as the decidedly non-dog person author becomes a dog person because of her accidental meeting with Libro. Some of the book was predictable, but not totally so. It was a quick read and endearing, though not particularly memorable. If you want something light and entertaining for the beach or a trip, this is the ticket.
This book is both a comprehensive instructional guide and a useful practice tool for coaches and players at all levels. It was the book that my husband turned too most often when he was coaching Little League teams.
This little book is a great resource for children's Sunday School teachers or young children's choir leaders. The tunes are all familiar, like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or "The Wheels on the Bus", but the words are Bible verses or stories. What a wonderful way to teach Bible truths to young children!
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before is the fifth book by Tony Horwitz that I have read. Horwitz follows the winning strategy that he also used in Confederates in the Attic and A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America by choosing an historical topic and tracing the topic in modern times and places. Blue Latitudes takes Horwitz on an 18 month long journey all over the Pacific region from the Aleutian Islands to New Zealand and all sorts of places in between. Along the route of his journey, Horwitz meets Cook enthusiasts, Cook detractors, and many different interpretations of Captain James Cook. He and his traveling companions get into some hilarious situations and also help to unravel some of the mysteries still surrounding Captain Cook. As a world history teacher, I am embarrassed to admit that I was woefully ignorant of much of Cooks accomplishments. However, in this highly entertaining and informative book, I have remedied this situation.
I found this book very informative, but also somewhat confusing. It skips back and forth between the 5 princesses. I suppose the author was trying to keep the chronology straight, but I would have found it less confusing to deal with one princess at a time. The geneoligical chart at the beginning was very important as I referred to it time and again.
It took me 5 months to get through this book - in the meantime I read 9 other books. I just could not get "hooked". I found it very confusing as characters are introduced and then don't show up again for a long time. And each time a character reappears, only a little more is revealed - very frustrating. There were some humorous parts and some very sad parts. It was a scathing commentary on war and the futility of war, but I did not enjoy the book.
Abby Hunter plans a birthday cake her brother will never forget. Will she be able to keep it a secret from him? Or will her little sister's big mouth get in the way? This is another in the cul-de-sac kids mystery series. Great books for kids in grades 3-5.
If you've read the other books in the Ender series, you must read this to wrap up the loose ends. However, I found this book harder to get into than the others in the series. It just seemed even more far-fetched. STILL, you can't leave the fate of Lusitania undecided, and this book was not a disappointment - just not as wonderful as the others in my opinion.
This is a collection of reminiscences of well-known people about Christmases past. The proceeds of the original sale of the book supported the work of Habitat for Humanity - an organization that hopes that all people will have a home of their own for the holidays! Includes stories by people such as Celestine Sibley, Tom Key, Johnny Beckman, Sam Nunn, Zell Miller, Skip Carey, Rosalynn Carter, Robert Shaw, Lewis Grizzard, Nathalie Dupree, and many more.
Lots of adventure, native american/spanish history, and legends of the Knights of the Templar thrown together. While it's a bit far-fetched, the author admits that this book is a work of fiction after all. The book is a quick, light read that has some unexpected twists and turns along the way. The descriptions of the southwestern part of the U.S. are great - it made me want to go back to Mesa Verde and other sites. The idea of the book is similar to "National Treasure" - modern-day people looking for a great lost treasure.
This book is a great tool for youth baseball coaches and parents working with 6-14 year olds. It describes in detail how to teach kids important baseball skills and strategies at a level that's just right for them.
Fascinating story about the author's mother and her life as a Chinese-Canadian. She was the daughter of a concubine to a Chinese man who chased the dream of a better life for his family by coming to the West to work. Through the whole time that Hing (Winnie as her English name) was growing up, she was aware that she had sisters and a half-brother in China - the "other" family. However, she did not meet with her Chinese family until she was an older adult. While full of tragedy, the story is not seeking sympathy, just telling what happened in the lives of both families - the one in China and the one in Canada. Good insight into traditional views of Chinese family structure as well.