John Paul Jones by Ruth Cormer Weir

John Paul Jones, Father of the American Navy, Real People by Ruth Cormer Weir; 1950; $4.00; 36 pages; Row, Peterson &  Company, Evanston, IL; purchased at St. Vincent de Pauls, Springfield, OR; 3/6/17-3/7/17

Why did I pick this up?  We were thrift shopping a couple of summers ago when I stumbled across this.  I remember reading this when I was 8 or 9 so I picked it  up.  Finally got down to it in my To Be Read pile.

John Paul was born the son of a gardener in Scotland, but the ocean was always in his veins.  He went to sea as a captains’ boy when he was in his early teens and never looked back.  He sailed with the British Navy, but found his life in the colonial United States and was one of the first men to command a ship in the U.S. Navy.  He fought multiple battles against the British to help the United States win the War of Independence.  He late fought with the Russian Navy against the Turks.  He died and was buried in Scotland, but President Theodore Roosevelt had his body returned to the United States and he is interred at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Grade-A

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman; 2014; $25.00; 337 pages; Atria Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-3801-7; purchased from Multnomah County Library Title Wave Used Bookstore, 3/3/17-3/6/17

Why did I read this?  The book club that I belong decided to read this as one of its selection for this year.

Ove is a man that knows what is right and lets everyone know when they are wrong.  He has lost his wife and in that loss he also lost his way.  A very diverse group of people and animals come into his life and help him find his way back.  I did not like the book when I started but at the end I cried.

Grade A

Never A Dull Moment by David Hepworth

Never A Dull Moment, 1971 The Year Rock Exploded by David Hepworth; 2016; $30.00; 307 pages; Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY; 978-1-62779-399-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Albina; 2/21/17-3/3/17

Why did I read this?  I was thirteen and fourteen years old in 1971 and was just starting to listen to music that wasn’t chosen by my parents.  I began to experiment listening to my own radio and listened to Sam Riddle on KHJ-Radio.

Rock journalist David Hepworth puts forth the hypothesis that rock changed in 1971 and it was a seminal year for music.  With albums from Zep, Carole King, T Rex, Bowie, the Stones, George Harrison.  He used many more (and bigger) words than I would but I do believe that he proves his hypothesis.

Grade-A

The Sons of Slabtown & Tales of Westside Sports by Donald R. Nelson

The Sons of Slabtown & Tales of Westside Sports by Donald R. Nelson; 2016; $25.00; 145 pages;DNelsonbooks, Portland, OR; 978-0976282396; purchased from the author at the Oregon Oldtimers & Active Association Banquet; 2/18/17-2/21/17

Why did I read this? Because I am interested in baseball and the city I live in.

The audience for this book is probably very limited.  This is the story of the neighborhood in Northwest Portland that produced some major league baseball players, chief among them Boston Red Sox icon Johnny Pesky.  There were several other players that made major league rosters and had cups of coffee in the majors.  It is an interesting history of a neighborhood from the beginning of the twentieth century to mid century.  Living here there is much that was very interesting and several old timers that I have met including Vince Pesky, who signed my copy the night I purchased it.  Also John Leovich who I got to visit  with on the Oregon Coast at his restaurant.  This is actually a scrapbook with captions.

Grade-B

What Grieving People Wish You Knew by Nancy Guthrie

What Grieving People Wish You Knew about what really helps (and what really hurts) by Nancy Guthrie; 2016; $15.99; 180 pages; Crossway, Wheaton, IL; 978-1-4335-5235-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 2/9/17-2/18/17

Why did I read this? I often don’t know what to say to someone who is grieving and am often silent, because I don’t want to say something that might hurt someone.

Nancy and her husband, David lost two children very young and have helping grieving people ever since.  She has compiled the things that have been hurtful and the things that have been helpful in their lives and the lives of others.  It was very insightful and I learned a lot.

Grade-A

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