Tag Archive: history



Caste: The Origins of Our DiscontentsCaste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The bestselling list on CBS Sunday Morning today put Caste at #3 of non-fiction books. I usually don’t end up reading things that are on those lists. But a couple of months ago during the Unitarian Universalist Zoom worship service, this book was highly praised and gently assigned as homework for the congregation. I found it on Audible and had a free credit so went for it.

Robin Miles narrates beautifully. Her voice and acting help keep the listener engaged. Even though this was one of the longest ‘reads’ I have indulged in of late. It has taken me several weeks to get through. For some books, I set the speed faster than normal and can follow a story quite well, but I loved Ms. Miles’s voice and found myself deeply involved in the caste education Isabel Wilkerson had presented so well that I left it at normal speed.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. If you feel ‘woke’ enough that you feel this will be elementary, you will find depths of information you may have not thought of. I remember as a child at church excitedly singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children, all the children of the world; Red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight…” Yet hearing we couldn’t go to a certain park because the blacks were taking over. In a child’s mind, that seemed strange and I couldn’t believe that would stop us from going to the park. We lived in a very white area. There were few kids of color in school. As a kid, I didn’t think of what that meant. As a newlywed, my husband and I made friends with a mixed couple. Through them, we attended a dance and a big picnic where there were only three whites. Us. The dance was amazing until they invited me to dance. My shyness took over big-time. I can’t dance and it was obvious that our new friends were experts. The picnic was more intimate. A couple of women had beautiful cornrows. As a cosmetologist, I was fascinated with how they did that. We weren’t taught black hairstyles in my school. These gracious ladies laid down in the grass with me and showed me how to braid grass. It still amazes me that they could get the grass to stay braided. It was so short! No, I never did get good at braiding.

Anyway, I went into this book with these life experiences behind me and hearing that song worming its way through my head wondering how people have been treated so poorly by folks that claim to be Christians. I do remember learning about India’s caste system as a young adult and thought how it seemed we weren’t far from that here. But this takes all that to such depths of understanding I was wowed every night I was involved in the book.

Please if you get the chance, give this one a read.

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Beneath a Scarlet SkyBeneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a compelling story. I loved that I got to ‘read’ it through Audible on Kindle Unlimited. It was quite interesting.

Normally, I don’t like war stories. And my mission has been for quite some time to read female writers and female main characters. Mostly because in my early life, I only had male books to read to. I am feeding my inner child. Even so, I make exceptions. This one qualified. It is based on a true story, and I did love the main character in most of the book.

Pina is the main character, and I think I loved him because he tried so hard to help his loved ones, and then he tried to help others to safety in a world that was going wrong all around him.

I highly recommend this book, especially the Audible version. It is longer than my usual read, but It kept me up until 4 AM a couple of times. I just didn’t want to leave him to fight without me. And the story, probably because it is based in a sucky reality, stayed with me into my sleep. I pray we never have that kind of thing happen in the world again!

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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader GinsburgNotorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two days ago I had merely a chapter to go to finished. I feel so bad that I didn’t finish a day earlier. To finish on the day of RBG’s passing is both heartbreaking and yet feels the honor to my heart.

Irin Carmon is one of my favorite commentators on MSNBC. So when she was doing her book tour for this book I knew I would have to read it. It was well-written. So many pictures kept it visually interesting. Irin captured this brave woman’s strength and character. I feel so good to have read this at such an important time in our history.

I highly recommend this book!

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Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous ManToo Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As with most memoirs, I cannot judge this. This is her life. Her experiences. I hope that if what she says is true that someone finally put this to unbiased courts if any still exists.

It was worth the read. Ms. Mary writes well and keeps the reader involved. I think she does her best to keep her book on an emotional even keel.

There are a lot of reviews out there. As with this world since her Uncle, they run both sides of emotion. Don’t listen to any of them and read and decide for yourself.

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The Island of Sea WomenThe Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Lisa See’s work. Her research is obvious and the story draws me in. And makes me want to know more about the Sea Women of the Korean island of Jeju.

This is another hot day, so I will keep this short so as to get off the heat-creating computer. Which brings me to remember my favorite aspect of the book, water, and swimming. The descriptions of the cold sea and the beauty of the underwater life cooled me off and distracted me from the other aspects of today’s life.

Jennifer Lim’s narration kept the characters individualized and interesting.

Maybe a warning is needed for the angst and sadness this book brings. It was wartime and the poverty and pain are there. But it seems truthful and helps us see how others have lived.

The research of the Sea Women draws me. And the heat imposes. I hope you get the chance to read this book.

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Anne of Green Gables UnabridgedAnne of Green Gables Unabridged by Lucy Maud Montgomery
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I couldn’t find this version on GoodReads, and so had to add my own. This one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083DYJB1X/…

is whispersynched with this version: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gab…

I had just finished listening to an Audible and just wanted to hear it again.

Beth Kesler was the narrator I got to hear. I think she did an excellent job sorting through all the characters.

I had just finished watching Anne With An E and wanted to see the differences. Here is the YouTube link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5qJX…

The differences are the original story didn’t have the modern takes about gay rights or bigotry of any kind. I like it when shows or books do bring in these topics. But not in an older classic like this. I think it is vital that we all see how it was and, if need be, have the discussion in class or with parents about how we could have improved the lives of others or adapt the old kindnesses to today.

I do think that the narrator caught the Chatty Cathy of Anne in this version. I highly recommend it. I will be reading/listening to other versions as I don’t want to leave these characters yet.

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A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance (Thief in Time Book 5)A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inspirational! Who doesn’t enjoy a good time-travel book? This one addresses the subject of the musical Hamilton. What fun! And now I have to go find the books about him and the sheet music to play with, and learn to sing the tunes like I did with Phantom and Les Miz.

But the book isn’t all about the musical. It covered a lot about the history and character of the man, statesman, politician, Alexander Hamilton. And the fictitious twins of this century and their coming of age issues.

I always enjoy books by Cidney Swanson. I always have to say that her Saving Mars series is my favorite but all her work is so fantastic it is only that I have to be the old grown-up with left-over space-travel dreams that I gravitate to those books. But Time-Travel is fun, and educational and inspires me so much! Enjoy! I did!

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Everything My Mother Taught MeEverything My Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely love Alice Hoffman’s writing. I couldn’t resist when I saw this for free on Audible. And this did have her great storytelling. The narrator, Brittany Pressley, was superb.

The story kept me interested. But the end came too soon I didn’t realize it was a short story until it ended. And that is my biggest problem with this audiobook. I don’t like short stories. They leave me wanting more. I want to know what happens next.

Still, it was a delicious story.

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The Half-Life of Marie CurieThe Half-Life of Marie Curie by Lauren Gunderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a quick listen on Audible. It was free. Only an hour and fifteen minutes. Narrators: Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany made you feel you were watching a movie. I’m not sure if it is all factual from Marie Curie’s life but it seemed plausible. I loved the messages for women’s rights given life.

If you get the chance it is a good read/listen.

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Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If my mind has not been very focused. This book may be the cause. Lack of sleep. Not because of worries. Nope, I just couldn’t stop reading/listening to the book.

I had the Audible Whispersynched with the Kindle version. Davina Porter did a marvelous job of narrating the story. Hers is not the sweet voice of the actress who played Claire Randall in the TV series. But Ms. Porter has the versatility to play all the characters perfectly.

The show did a good job following the books. The only thing I miss in the reading is the music.
That’s okay. I can Sing Me A Song of a Lass That Has Gone…

This story is captivating either way. I love getting involved in the history presented. I wish I were better versed in world history, especially France, and the British Isles. I know the next book will bring me into the founding of the United States of America. So that gives me a timeline I know, somewhat.

Since I read the book after watching the show, I wish I could have read it first. Not that the show is missing anything. I just like visualizing the story for myself. Now the people and places are fixed by the show.

At any rate, it is a good read, even if you’ve seen the show. It will keep you engaged in the story. I can’t wait until I can afford book three.

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