Recent Reads

Tonight I thought I would share some of my recent reads. These will not be full reviews, but just some observations about each book.

Hello Universe, 2018 Newbery Medal, Newbery Awards, Erin Entrada KellyI just recently read all of the Newbery Award winners for this year. The Newbery Medal winner was Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. I recently wrote a post about the winners for this year, so if you want to know more about this book click on 2018 Newbery Books.The Last Ballad, Wiley Cash, North Carolina, StrikeI have also been reading some of the books that have a chance to win the Pulitzer for Fiction this year. Each year I try and read the winner before it is announced 🙂

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash is a great book about a young woman who participates in a strike in North Carolina in 1929. The writing in this book is very good. It is a great book about American Life and it is near the top of my list to win the award.

The Leavers, Lisa Ko, Immigration, ChinaThe Leavers by Lisa Ko is a great book that addresses undocumented workers, immigration and the effect that it has on families. In this book a young Chinese boy is adopted by an American family after his mother is deported back to China. The book follows his struggles in life and his search for his family.

I believe that this book would be a good choice for the Pulitzer. However, I have not yet made my final prediction as to what books I think may win. Look for a post closer to the announcement in mid-April.

A Prairie Girl's Faith, Stephen W. Hines, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little HouseI also recently read A Prairie Girl’s Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Stephen W. Hines. The author is recognized as an authority on Laura Ingalls Wilder and I was looking for some new information on her spiritual life. The book had a lot of great information, but much of it I already knew from other sources. However, I have not found a book that brings the information together like this one.

I was disappointed in the first pages of the book when the author stated the wrong location for the marriage of Ma and Pa which is a fact that is well documented. I was really surprised to see the wrong information, so did do some fact checking while reading the book. Fortunately the other facts I checked were all accurate.

The Weight of Ink, Rachel Kadish, Shakespeare, London, Jews, Portuguese, scribeThe Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish was a book that I picked up quite some time ago but finally got around to reading last week. It was a page turner and one that I really enjoyed. The story is divided between modern day London and London of the 1660’s. The plot is intricate and is well tied together. I really don’t want to give much away, but it is about a female Jewish scribe in the 1660’s and a female professor in the present who is doing some research on the documents that she penned.

The structure of the book is similar to those written by Charlie Lovett which I wrote about in Lovett Books.

Hippie Food, Jonathan Kauffman, Food CultureToday I finished reading Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman. This was a great book about Food History. I enjoyed reading how brown rice, whole-grain bread, carob, yogurt, sprouts, tofu and other foods were developed and made available to a wide range of groups.

Many other topics like organic farming, vegetarianism, co-ops and communes were also explored.

I had many memories as I read the book as our family often would try new ‘healthy’ foods and diets. I also discovered that the author is most likely a distant cousin as he comes from a similar Amish/Mennonite background and my great-great grandmother was a Kauffman.

Which of these books would you read?



This entry was posted in Blog, Books, Culture, Food, Genealogy, Memories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Recent Reads

  1. Carolyn Legg says:

    These sound good, Steven. I am in a book club with 6 other women from our congregation. Is there one of these books that you think would be better suited for our group. Thanks

    • vanbraman says:

      I can definitely recommend A Prairie Girl’s Faith. Also, if they are interested in Food History or food in general then Hippie Food would definitely generate some good discussion.

      • Carolyn Legg says:

        Thanks, Steven. I didn’t receive a notice that you had replied and forgot to come and look. Is there a woman that is not interested in food! 😁

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