Category Archives: Book

All Book Posts, regardless of year

Book Review: “a Smile in One Eye…”

a Smile in One Eye, a Tear in the Other -by Ralph Webster

  • DougInNC book review

This work contains life. Author Ralph Webster puts the reader in the conversation of his father sharing day to day existence in Germany during the rise of Hitler. It is about making-do and the makings of history, about minutiae as well as major moments.

  • (a day in the life) “Certain events are remembered for a lifetime. … Father’s fiftieth birthday in 1931 was one of those times.”
  • (a historical turning point) “… the events of 1933 sowed the seeds that fundamentally changed our future.”

Hear the history and learn from it. By the 1930s one’s world was not contained by borders, perhaps something World War I delivered in an unkind way. Germany was not just connected to Europe, but now to America, Palestine, and even China. Fleeing did not mean simply crossing one border, making one excursion, or finishing one move. Continue reading Book Review: “a Smile in One Eye…”

Book Report: “Children of Italy”

Children of Italy -by Christine Simolke

  • DougInNC book report
  • “More than a Review”

Draw me in. Set scenes with senses. Make me want more. Finish the story. This book does all that in wonderful fashion.

Christine Simolke’s “Children of Italy” is about being where you belong, and the journey taken by heart, mind, and body to get there.

The Falconi endeavor crosses an ocean to find their place in America. Family is foremost, with enthusiastic children, coming-of-age women, and adults who look to establish a proper home. Continue reading Book Report: “Children of Italy”

Book Review: “What Does Love Sound Like?”

What Does Love Sound Like? -by Padgett Gerler

  • DougInNC book Review

The pace at which this book progresses is as perfect as any I have read. It is imaginative but does not wander. Upon wading in, there is a flow like waves on the ocean as segments of the story well up to capture your full interest. When one element passes, an equally interesting aspect is there to take its place.

When will the movie be made?
Continue reading Book Review: “What Does Love Sound Like?”

Book Review: “To Any Soldier”

To Any Soldier: A Novel of Vietnam Letters– by Kathryn Quigg, G.C. Hendricks

  • DougInNC book Review

My review begins in the book-of-letters style for “To Any Soldier: A Novel of Vietnam Letters.”
= = = = = = = = =
Dear Co-Author Kathryn Watson Quigg,
Brilliant! Your letters communicate the sprouting of a flower, the search for understanding, and the striving mind of youth.
Fondly,
-Reader
= = = = = = = = =
Dear Co-Author G. C. Hendricks,
Equally brilliant! Your letters remained focused, cut like a scalpel, and expose vulnerabilities below a hardened surface.
Faithfully,
-Reader
= = = = = = = = =
Continue reading Book Review: “To Any Soldier”

Book Report: “The Quartet”

“The Quartet” by Joseph Ellis

  • DougInNC book report – – – “More than a Review”

“four men made history happen in a series of political decisions and actions that … have no equal in American history.”

“When in the course of human events” it becomes you to rediscover roots formed in the 1700s that, of necessity, must hold firmly to be the foundation of these United States, this book is to be examined.

Historian and writer Joseph Ellis finds a comfortable place employing more drama than a typical professor and factual stickiness when a playwright or screenwriter might come unglued. He leverages his own prior work as well as “standing on the shoulders of giants” that have traipsed this historical period. His story builds strength, then gushes with maximum content and consequence as chapter five covers the drama of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and particularly the orchestration around that event by James Madison. Continue reading Book Report: “The Quartet”

Book Review: “Maggie’s Dream”

Maggie’s Dream – by Leslie Tall Manning

  • DougInNC book Review

Author Manning quickly and crisply sets the stage, establishing the view from inside the title character’s head. Scene setting is terrific, with the writer clearly and consistently establishing who, what, when, and where. Her prose hearkens the time period using images of life in 1940s Baltimore and oft-forgotten brand names.

The confused Maggie of Chapter 3 faces uncertainty, saying, “It’s hard to know what I want when I haven’t had it yet.” The path to finding that core desire captivates the reader until she declares for “A life filled with magic and wonder.” Maggie lives before any Disneyworld dream, but Manning magically marshals vibrant visions in the heroine’s head. Continue reading Book Review: “Maggie’s Dream”

Book Review: “Look Homeward, Angel”

Look Homeward, Angel– by Thomas Wolfe

  • DougInNC book Review

Look Homeward, Angel is considered a great work of American literature. Yet, paraphrasing the author to describe this novel and the days I spent in it:

  • “A book, not brief, a bore. … Time lost, O’ Lost!”

I usually enjoy descriptive prose and creative turn of phrase, but a novel ought to have a sufficient story to which those elements are attached. I did not find that story in this introspective on the author’s youth.
Continue reading Book Review: “Look Homeward, Angel”