Melissa M. (MemoRandom) - Reviews

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The 100 Best Poems of All Time
The 100 Best Poems of All Time
Author: Leslie Pockell (Editor)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/26/2009


Contains, among others, "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day" by William Shakespeare, "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, "Harlem (Dream Deferred)" by Langston Hughes, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore, "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie, "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Thayer, "Funeral Blues" by W. H. Auden, "Gunga Din" by Rudyard Kipling, "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson, "Richard Cory" by Edward Arlington Robinson, "Fog" by Carl Sandburg.


Alfred and Emily
Alfred and Emily
Author: Doris Lessing
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/17/2012


I had such high hopes for this book. Unique plot device, set in an era that I particularly enjoy reading about, and bearing the seal of 'Nobel Prize in Literature.' The first part (the novella) is boring and the second part (the memoir), strangely incomplete and lacking. I'm in the 7th decade of my life, and I've read a lot of books, but I just didn't get this one. Lessing's prose is not difficult to read, so I kept with it until the end, hoping for some nugget of wisdom or some cohesion of all the loose ends. It was not to be.


Assassin
Assassin
Author: Anna Meyers
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/3/2009


A young adult's book that looks at the assassination of Abraham Lincoln through the eyes of a young seamstress at Ford's Theatre. She called the assassin "Wilkes" and he called her "Bella." Good historical fiction with good character development.


Astray
Astray
Author: Emma Donoghue
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/15/2016


A collection of powerful, memorable short stories; all based in fact, and Donoghue cites her sources. Her characters have all gone astray in some fashion, crossing the borders of race, law, sex, or sanity. If you have read Donoghue's 'Slammerkin', you know her talent for historical fiction is stunning. Each of these remarkable stories gave me pause for thought because they COULD have happened just this way.


A Cup of Tea
A Cup of Tea
Author: Amy Ephron
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 83
Review Date: 10/4/2011
Helpful Score: 4


A remarkable little gem. If you are searching for something thought-provoking for your next airplane ride or lazy afternoon, I recommend "A Cup of Tea." The ending sneaked up on me. Exquisitely structured!


The Curing Season
The Curing Season
Author: Leslie Wells
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/30/2018


Tobacco country, Virginia, 1948. Cora is a bright girl who longs to rise above her life of poverty and alcohol. Enter a handsome drifter named Aaron who plays on Cora's hunger for affection. She learns the hard way that Aaron is no prince on a white horse. When a child is born of their union, Cora despairs of being free of abusive Aaron. But then she crosses the color line for a friend who will make all the difference to her and her child. A poignant, believable story in the tradition of "White Oleander" and "Bastard Out of Carolina."


Damned Through the Church
Damned Through the Church
Author: John Warwick Montgomery
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/25/2009


The author, a Lutheran minister and professor of theology, examines the biblical conception of churchgoing and contrasts it with the modern view of churchgoing. He states that it is entirely possible to be "damned through the church" when we try to make over the church in our own image. "We actually imperil our souls if we view the church as a man-centered organization indistinguishable from a social club." Sub-titled: The Church can be a Place of Accelerated Salvation or Accelerated Damnation.


The Dead Shall be Raised and Murder of a Quack (British Library Crime Classics)
Review Date: 9/11/2018


I like a mystery that is strong on characterization, atmosphere, and intelligent conversation. So these British novels (two in this volume) are just my cup of tea. The author, George Bellairs, worked in the same bank for 45 years and for him, writing was an enjoyable sideline. His writing career spanned nearly four decades - with the same publisher. He was a modest, decent man whose affability and sense of humor are mirrored in his creation of Detective Littlejohn. He wrote the Littlejohn series to give his fellow Brits a little distraction from the stress and loss incurred by WWII. If you are looking for graphic violence and gore, you won't find it here. But you will find a solid mystery set in the atmosphere of the English village and populated with interesting characters whose dialog will entertain and perhaps even bring a chuckle.


Doc Susie
Doc Susie
Author: Virginia Cornell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 7/3/2011


Entertaining biography of Dr. Susan Anderson, a country physician in the Rockies of Colorado at the turn of the last century. Written in the style of a novel. The author makes an interesting point that the 1880's (the time in which Doc Susie trained) preceded the budding age of technology in medicine, and it was not unusual for a woman to be accepted in a career that, in the Victorian era, entailed a lot of hard,tedious, and dirty work.


The Doll Collection
The Doll Collection
Author: Ellen Datlow
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/17/2018


I'm a reader of mystery, psychological suspense, and true crime, but I had to stop with this book. Some of the stories inhabit the mind of insanity a little too deeply for me. "Heroes and Villains" by Stephen Gallagher was a thought-provoking story.


Dolores Claiborne
Dolores Claiborne
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 408
Review Date: 6/9/2009


Stephen King can make your blood run cold with the most commonplace of scenarios - don't you love it?! He takes the dreary life of a "jumped up housekeeper" for a "high-ridin' bitch" and creates a story that demands the reader's attention to the final page. The first person narrative of Dolores is an authentic feminine voice from post-war America through the end of the century. Perhaps the most frightening picture is a time and a place where women's liberation had not gained even a token acceptance from men or from women, either. A word from Dolores: "Sometimes a woman has to be a bitch to survive, but bein' a bitch is hard work, I'll tell the world it is."


Dumped: An Anthology
Dumped: An Anthology
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 8/7/2018


"Dumped" - and who hasn't been? Twenty-three stories told from the vantage point of the dumpee, but also the dumper. Some are funny, many are sad, all are thought-provoking. Contributors include Jane Austen ("I felt myself to be solemnly engaged to him....but unfortunately he did not feel the same"), Roald Dahl (his immortal 'Lamb to the Slaughter' depicts cops discussing the whereabouts of a murder weapon with the comment, "probably right under our very noses"), Dorothy Parker (They hate you whenever you say anything you really think), and Dallas Angguish, who takes on being dumped from the perspective of a precocious gay teenage boy. All in all, a very entertaining collection.


The Fatal Englishman : Three Short Lives
The Fatal Englishman : Three Short Lives
Author: Sebastian Faulks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 10/4/2018


I recommend this for the dedicated Anglophile. Examines the lives and deaths of three Brits: Christopher Wood, an artist in the Paris of the 1920's; Richard Hillary, handsome and gallant RAF pilot during WWII; and Jeremy Wolfenden, journalist and spy in Cold War Moscow. All lived hard and died young. Their stories are used to depict the changes in English society from the Edwardian era through the swinging 60s.


Fear Came to Town: The Santa Claus, Georgia Murders
Fear Came to Town: The Santa Claus, Georgia Murders
Author: Doug Crandell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 8/5/2011


Above-average examination of a true crime. Santa Claus is a real town with hard-packed red Georgia clay for streets....streets with names like Dasher, where the Daniels' home was invaded by a murderer on a cold December night. Kim and Danny Daniels had provided a warm and loving home for many foster and/or errant children, including the one who would take their lives, leaving their survivors with one question: WHY?


Fire: Friend or Foe
Fire: Friend or Foe
Author: Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/20/2019


Author blesses the story of fire using clear prose that a child can read and understand. Crisp and inviting color photos. Topics include: the nature of fire, people and fire, adaptation to fire, fighting fire, the Yellowstone fires, and helping nature with fire.


Follow Me Down : A Novel
Follow Me Down : A Novel
Author: Shelby Foote
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/29/2019


From the cover: "In Jordan County, Mississippi, a murder trial is drawing to a close.....The trial is a formality, because Luther Eustis has already confessed. As Shelby Foote re-creates the murder of Beulah Ross - and the annihilating passion that drew her to her murderer - he generates a suspense full of tension and foreboding. Drawing on themes as old as the Bible and investing them with the chilling dignity of a mountain folk song, Follow Me Down immerses us in lives obsessed with sin and redemption, desire and vengeful retribution."

If you like the southern gothic genre and a story related from multiple points of view, read this. Shelby Foote compares quite favorably with William Faulkner. This is the first of his novels that I have read, but it will not be the last. He is a renowned Civil War historian, and so much more.


For I Have Sinned : True Stories of Clergy Who Kill (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
Review Date: 3/3/2009
Helpful Score: 3


Twelve stories of false prophets. One of the most interesting was the story of Marvin Gaye's murder by his father, Bishop Marvin Gay, Sr. Explains a tortured father-son relationship. All I remembered from 1984 was that father shot son "in self-defense." There's so much more to the story, and the blame falls squarely on the Bishop.


Georgia
Georgia
Author: Thompson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/1/2010


This is a 48-page juvenile non-fiction book from the Portrait of America series. Discusses the history, economy, culture, and future of Georgia. Includes colorful photos, maps, state chronology and state almanac.


Georgia Ghosts
Georgia Ghosts
Author: Nancy Roberts
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 10/10/2018


Georgia has mountains, rivers, beaches, and lots of ghosts! I like to read ghost stories because each one is an historical vignette. Georgia was the first of the established 13 colonies of the United States. Georgia has much native American history. And the entire state was a battleground for Sherman's invading army and the beleaguered Confederate troops of the American Civil War. Lots of dramatic history = lots of interesting ghosts! Many intriguing photographs are included which give the reader a real feel for the topography, architecture, and history of the Empire State of the South.


A Grief Observed
A Grief Observed
Author: C. S. Lewis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 2/26/2009
Helpful Score: 2


I read this book after my husband of 35 years died. There is no one like Clive Staples Lewis for clarity, insight, and unflinching honesty. He came to Christ later in life and commenced bringing all of his genius to bear in writing inspiration for the thinking man. The newly-bereaved will find comfort both down-to-earth and ethereal, and the caring observer will hear a candid story of what it's really like to grieve.


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