Friday, November 11, 2016

Midway November Reading

In The Heart of The Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
I knew nothing about whaleships going into this book so it was a bit of a stretch for me. But I'm glad I did it because it's a part of history that I think is fascinating and wish I knew more about. Melville, the author of Moby Dick, based the climax of his story off this tragedy. But the destruction of the ship Essex was actually in the middle of the book rather than at the end.

It was the journey on the boat after the ship got destroyed that is more unknown. If you've read Unbroken, it's like the extended version of Louis being stuck on the raft. Unfortunately, the men had to succumb to cannibalism to stay alive.

The last half of the book was on cannibalism so not as pleasant to read obviously. I thought it was interesting that once those who survived and went back to Nantucket would hoard food in safe places in fear that they would never eat again. They did this for years. And on the anniversary of the destruction of the ship, Captain Pollard would shut himself in his house and fast in remembrance of those men. Anyway, a slower read past the ship wreck but interesting none the less.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Alright, I'm not a die hard fan of Fixer Upper like I know many people are. I have watched a few episodes and they definitely are enjoyable but I've seen enough to know that I really like Chip and Joanna Gaines.

There's been a couple of videos that I've seen of them outside of their show that have really impressed me. You can tell they are down to earth, genuine, and authentic. I've been especially impressed with the way they talk about God in their lives and they are unashamed to do so. Too many today push God to the side or don't acknowledge His hand in their life but not with Chip and Joanna. Their faith is in the very thread of their lives.

I'm always interested to hear people's stories and so when I was the first one on my library to put this one on hold, I'm like "why not?"

I liked the way the structure of the memoir was laid out. It didn't start right from the beginning of their lives but rather how they get onto the show with the fiasco boat house. If you are familiar with their show, then you could almost see this scene play out in your mind.

Then it jumped to how they met and were married, their years together, and then in the middle of the memoir, they did a chapter each of their background stories when they were kids. Then it ends with the ups and downs of their business (and quite a lot of miracles) and where they are today.

It was really fun to see how Chip and Jo balanced each other in personality yet made the other one stretch beyond their comfort zone. They are true go-getter people! And their optimism and enthusiasm and worry free attitude (well in some ways) was amazing and refreshing. It truly made me want to get more outside myself and try something new.

And when they talked about their faith, it didn't feel preachy or overdone but like "hey, this is who we are and we're not afraid to talk about it." This is needed so much in our society today. Definitely recommend.

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
When I read the premise and found out it was a bully type story, I was a little hesitant about how that was all going to go down. I realized I haven't read very many so in some ways this story was unique. Betty is hostile, has a record of lying, and a bully but pretty much everyone believes she is this sweet angel. 

There was no redemption for Betty in this story. Something happens to her and you would think that would humble her a little but no, more lies and more lies. Annabelle has been on the receiving end of her bullying and finally does something about it. 

Okay this is all very loose because I'm afraid to give too much. It's set in WWII time and to me, I felt like this book was important. It's important for youngsters and adults to read. You could learn so much about integrity, courage, standing up for whats right, and not to judge too quickly. 

I felt like every character was different and provided a richness to the story. You could talk about how each character dealt with the situation and why and what you could learn from it.

Overall, this felt like the middle grade version of To Kill A Mockingbird. And Betty was the wolf in sheep's clothing. I loved Annabelle. She stood up for what she believed even when everyone else was against her. Toby said, "I wish I had a daughter like you." Yes, if girls were like Annabelle, the world would be in good hands. 

1 comment:

  1. Amazing how you're going through your reading list. So fun to read your comments. Makes me want to keep reading and enjoying some of those books, too.