31. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson , read by Angie, on 08/28/2013

The Civil Rights Movement was at a standstill and organizers were not sure how to get it started again. Then the kids started marching and things started moving. The jails were soon filled with children and students, but more and more kept joining the movement. They were determined to make changes in their world and their determination and fearlessness paid off. This is the story of several of the young people who marched in Birmingham that year; they were jailed and hosed with fire hoses and chased by dogs and jeered at by whites, but they stayed strong. They have told their stories to Cynthia Levinson in a moving account of how things happened. I loved the first person aspect of this book; it makes you feel like an insider to a part of history. The back matter of the audiobook included the actual interviews with those featured in the book. This was a wonderful peak into history.

29. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Informational Book, Janet, NonFiction

Haunted Ozarks by Janice Tremeear, read by Janet, on 08/28/2013

Haunted Ozarks     We live in an area of the Ozarks that has a very interesting history.  Some people who lived here before are not content to be forgotten.  The lay of the land is so varied that many types of living arrangements have developed through the years. From the earliest man living here, about 10,000 BC, to the present, many groups of people have had experiences that have left a busy history in this region – the Mound Builders, the Baldknobbers, and the Jessie James gang, to name a few.  There have also been happenings that involved many people, such as the Civil War and the Trail of Tears.  It seems that when some people die untimely, their spirit remains in that area.  Many stories are Indian legends.    Every county has at least one place where the restless bodies are known to be seen or heard, things are moved, or one feels the presence of another body.  Many homes are named in this story: Ha Ha Tonka, Leeper Mansion near Chillicothe, Houston House at Newburg, the Iberia Academy, the Kendrick House at Carthage, and Ozark Avalon were a few.  There are also many castle-like homes which have haunted legends.  Along with the stories are old sayings and superstitions listed.  This is a very interesting book with lots of historic information.

27. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, History, Kim, NonFiction · Tags:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, read by Kim, on 08/27/2013

It was wonderful to read this book again after so many years.

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic; a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

24. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Biographies, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, & Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple, read by Angie, on 08/23/2013

Who doesn’t love a bad girl? Jane Yolen teams up with her daughter to give us brief glimpses of the lives of several bad girls throughout history. We learn about such bad girls as Salome, Cleopatra, Bloody Mary, Lizzie Borden, and many, many more. The information is presented in two to four page chunks that will whet your appetite for more information about each of these women. Yolen doesn’t gloss over their bad deeds but she does offer explanations for the times and for history’s retelling. Interspersed between the chapters are one page graphic novel format sessions of Jane and Heidi doing “research” and arguing over the latest bad girl. These segments are funny since a lot of their research involves eating, traveling and shoes. I think kids will enjoy these bad girls and their stories. You can read them all or just your favorites and with only a couple of pages for each lady it doesn’t take very long.

22. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Historic Photos of Missouri by Alan Goforth, read by Tammy, on 08/17/2013

historic photos

This book contains many interesting photos of Missouri throughout it’s history including some from Cole and Osage County. In fact the first photo inside the book is from Chamois, Missouri in Osage County!

This book conveys Missouri’s rich cultural heritage and history through this collection of photos. Ranging from city life to rural country life this book features some of the states most important natural resources, including the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers. Nearly 200 vivid black-and-white photographs show the reader the places, people and events that have shaped the history of the Show-Me State. From the early 1870s to the 1970s are photos of President Ulysses Grant’s cabin, the Gateway Arch,  cotton pickers in the Bootheel, the 1904 World’s Fair, Whiteman Air Force Base, the Lake of the Ozarks,the St. Louis Browns, the first capitol at Jefferson City, Ste. Genevieve and other towns as they looked in days gone by.

21. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

The War to End All Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman, read by Angie, on 08/19/2013

Russell Freedman is a master of children’s nonfiction. His work is readable and interesting. His look at WWI, the War to End All Wars, was a fascinating read. He gives us the history and politics that started the war and the major campaigns and battles in the war. He also takes a look at the aftermath and how it led to WWII. This was a war that changed how wars were fought. 20 million people were killed during WWI and yet the world went to war again 20 years later. It is like we learned nothing. I would definitely recommend this for fans of military and historical information.

16. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Talking Pictures by Ransom Riggs, read by Tammy, on 08/09/2013

The author found antique photos with notes on the photos about the personal moments of the people in the pictures or other friends and family. He realized he had something unique in his unusual collection and decided to share this lost bits of time and place in a book.talking pictures

01. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

Seven Wonders of Ancient Greece by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, read by Angie, on 07/31/2013

This book covers the seven wonders of ancient Greece; it includes things like the Parthenon and the Oracle at Delphi. It gives really good historical information and facts about each wonder and their condition today. Lots of good information; educational and entertaining.

01. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Christian, History, Inspirational, Kira, NonFiction, Reviewer · Tags:

The heart of Christianity: rediscovering a life of faith by Marcus J. Borg., read by Kira, on 07/31/2013

Renowned Jesus SeminarBorg_Heart_of_Chrty mborg_arms_raised scholar, Marcus Borg, distinguishes between “Earlier Christianity” and “Emerging Christianity”.  He discusses how Christianity limited its focus in reaction to Enlightenment Science challenging aspects of the Bible.  Christianity narrowed its focus to a set of beliefs (atonement theology) focused around sin and the afterlife.  Borg shows how much deeper and richer Christianity is than merely believing certain doctrines or the literalness of certain biblical passages.

I was impressed.

If you’re interested and want to see a video-clip of him go to:

 

29. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson, read by Angie, on 07/27/2013

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer is a fast-paced, exciting read. It details the plot to kill Lincoln and the manhunt for Booth afterwards. There is a lot of details about why John Wilkes Booth wanted to kill the president, how he set it up, and how he escaped into the Maryland/Virginia countryside. There are also a lot of details about how General Stanton took over the death watch for Lincoln and the manhunt for Booth. This book reads like fiction even though it is nonfiction. I listened to the audio and Will Patton has the perfect voice for this type of material. It was compelling and fascinating.

23. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Biographies, History, Kim · Tags:

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer, read by Kim, on 07/19/2013

Based on the true story of Irena Sendler, a Holocaust hero, and the Kansas teens who ‘rescued the rescuer’.

I loved this book. Couldn’t put it down!

15. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

Discovering the Iceman by Shelley Tanaka, read by Angie, on 07/12/2013

In 1991, a couple hiking in the Alps discovered the frozen remains of a man. At first many thought the man was a lost hiker, but it turns out he was 5300 years old. His body had been preserved in the ice on the mountain for all those years. It was only discovered because the ice had been retreating and melting. Scientists studied the remains and learned a lot about this prehistoric man. He died where he was found and had many artifacts with him, including jewelry, weapons, tools and clothing. We may never know exactly what happened to this man, but his discovery was very interesting.

This book talks about the discovery of the man, his possible life and what we learned from him. Tanaka did a great job researching the find and its importance. I especially enjoyed the side items explaining things that were discussed in the text; like prehistoric tools, glaciers, and animals.

06. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, History, Madeline, NonFiction

We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson, read by Madeline, on 06/10/2013

The inspiring story of one of the greatest moments in civil rights history as seen through the eyes of four young people who were at the center of the action.
The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March was a turning point in American history. In the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, the fight for civil rights lay in the hands of children like Audrey Hendricks, Wash Booker, James Stewart, and Arnetta Streeter.
Through the eyes of these four protesters and others who participated, We’ve Got a Job tells the little-known story of the 4,000 black elementary, middle, and high school students who voluntarily went to jail between May 2 and May 11, 1963. The children succeeded – where adults had failed – in desegregating one of the most racially violent cities in America.
By combining in-depth, one-on-one interviews and extensive research, author Cynthia Levinson recreates the events of the Birmingham Children’s March from a new and very personal perspective.

A terrific book! I’ve read a good amount about the civil rights movement but didn’t know about this.

18. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, History, Informational Book, NonFiction

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach, read by Angie, on 06/16/2013

Did you know that congestion is basically an erection in your nose? I didn’t, but it is making me think of colds in a whole new way. Mary Roach tackles sex in all its glory in Bonk. Like Stiff and Packing for Mars (the other two Roach books I have read so far), she focuses on the absurd, the lurid, and the hilarity of the subject. She delves into the history of sex research from Kinsey to Masters and Johnson to modern day researchers. Through Roach’s research we also learn all about penile implants, non-sexual orgasms, who has the best sex* and more. The book was fun to listen to if slightly embarrassing when caught at a light while driving. Other drivers tend to take notice when the words masturbation and clitoris are blaring out of your speakers. This is my third Mary Roach book and I highly recommend them.

*In case you are wondering…it is gay and lesbian couples who have the best sex. They seem to take their time and enjoy the ride whereas heterosexual couples race to the finish line and don’t always take the time for their partners.

05. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim · Tags:

Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys by Jeffrey Herf, read by Kim, on 06/05/2013

There is a lot of dry information in this book, but  if you want to get a feel for how West and East Germany handled the difficulties that presented themselves in the decades after surrendering in WWII, especially how they dealt with the memory of the Holocaust and their relationship with the Jewish faction of the population, it is very interesting and very meaningful especially to the amateur Holocaust scholar.

31. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

Ariel Bradley, Spy for General Washington by Vanita Oelschlager, read by Angie, on 05/27/2013

This is the story of how young Ariel Bradley became a spy for General Washington during the Revolutionary War. His job was to get into the British camp and find out how many men and weapons they had. Ariel does this by playing the country bumpkin, but it gets the job done. This is a very short book that only deals with this one incident. I kind of wish we would have found out more about Ariel and his family, but it was still interesting.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com

31. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, History, NonFiction

Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson, read by Angie, on 05/28/2013

This is an excellent account of the short voyage of the Titanic. It covers everything from its construction to the aftermath. I especially enjoyed the first person accounts that were interspersed throughout the book. It helped make the tragedy come alive. I listened to the book on audio and it was wonderful. The narrator did a great job telling the story and distinguishing between the different people. There are a lot of interesting facts in the book which help shed light on how the tragedy came about. Some myths are dispelled…like the fact that the 3rd class gates were not locked as the rumors said. There are also amazing accounts of heroism until the very end. Many of the passengers and crew helped so many people only to perish themselves. Truly one of the great tragedies of our time.

2013 Sibert honor book.

28. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, read by Kim, on 05/26/2013

It was a good read considering this is the year of the 50th anniversary of the assassination. However, I was a little concerned about where the authors came up with very private information about the JFK’s and Jackie’s personal life and their  private conversations. You have to read those incidents with a grain of salt.

27. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tracy

Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again by Gary Calamar, Peter Buck (Foreword by), Phil Gallo, read by Tracy, on 05/12/2013

This book was a lot of fun for me. In the sixties I spent a lot of time in record stores and unlike other girls my age I spent my allowance on records. It’s full of pictures and the history of the almost extinct record store. I still listen to records and enjoy the artwork. Imagine going to a record store and seeing a band promoting their new album. It still happens in big cities. These stores were also a place you could chat about music while listening. The walls were covered with posters and albums. The digital age has taken over.

21. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, History, Humor, Informational Book, NonFiction

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach, read by Angie, on 05/21/2013

I was first introduced to Mary Roach with Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadaversand I quickly fell in love. Roach has the ability to make nonfiction fun and informative. In Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Roach tackles life in space. This book is chock full of everything you ever wanted to know about the history of space exploration and a bunch of stuff you never thought about and will never forget. Roach spends a big portion of the book dealing with human digestion and how to deal with it in space. Our bodies don’t work quiet the same in zero gravity as they do on Earth. So eating and everything that comes after have to be dealt with in special ways. Roach details everything from different sized condom-type urine collection bags, to fecal popcorning, to space toilets, to recycling waste into food (highly unpalatable). There are also the problems of how to eat in space and how your clothes break down after going unwashed for weeks. I was not aware that underwear would disintegrate after a couple weeks of constant wear/definitely not something I have had to experience! Roach doesn’t just focus on the absurd and the gross, she is truly fascinated by space travel and has a deep appreciation for those who work in the industry.