Love, War and Misunderstanding

shadow of stoneShadow of Stone, Book Two of the Pendragon Chronicles by Ruth Nestvold;2013;$13.95; 503 pages; Red Dragon Publishing; 9781493627301; purchased from Amazon.com;7/21/15-7/24/15

This is the follow up to Yseult which uses the well know story of King Arthur as a jumping off place.  This book follows Yseult after the death of her great love and her husband.  She is engaged in a great deal of political intrigue in this volume, but also finds that a friendship can turn into a true love.  She also finds that misunderstandings can throw a huge monkey wrench into a relationship if they are not dealt with quickly.  There are lots of life lessons to be learned from the story.  My favorite line from the story, Of course I am right, I’m dead.  It is hard to summarize the story without giving too much away.

Grade-A

Did I enjoy it?  Yes, I did.  I am going to be looking for more of Ruth’s work to read and see how her other genre stuff is.

What is with the title of the review?  There are several love stories within the story and war is the backdrop for the entire story and misunderstandings abound between multiple characters.

 

 

Read this book, get pissed off, organize and VOTE

Winner-Take-All Politics, How Washington Made the Rich Richer-And Turner Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson; 2010; $27.00; 357 pages; Simon & Schuster, New York, NY; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 7/15/15-7/21/15

If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.

If you weren’t outraged before you read this you will be by the time you are finished.  For years I thought the rich were just getting richer because they had an army of lawyers looking to exploit every loophole they could find.  It turns out their army of lawyers consists of most of the members of the US Government, in all three branches.  Pierson and Hacker point out how the government is essentially written by the rich, members of the government go onto become lobbyists and how the campaigns are funded by the major corporations (which we know now are people too){wish there was a sarcasm font} so of course the candidates are beholden to them.  The authors point out two ways the government has made the wealth gap larger.  First by passing laws that obviously help the rich retain their wealth and build it on the backs of those who work for them.  Secondly by being like Scarlett O’Hara and waiting to do it tomorrow, however tomorrow never comes.  This is a great companion volume to Matt Taibbi’s Divide and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.

Grade A+

Did I learn anything?  Yes that we need to clean house at the national level.  We need to stop this bullshit that rewards corporations for leaving the US, we need to return to Eisenhower levels of taxation on the wealthy and we need to stand up and organize and make our voices heard.

What is with the title of the review?  This book will piss you off and make you mad.  But you have to do something about being pissed off, get out and put out the word about the problem, support a candidate that may change things and vote.  Like I tell the people seeking citizenship through the classes I teach, if you don’t vote you don’t have a right to complain.

The Hatfields and McCoys before there were Hatfields and McCoys

Yseult, A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur, Book One of The Pendragon Chronicles by Ruth Nestvold; 2013; $16.81; 542 pages; Red Dragon Books, San Bernadino, CA; Purchased from Amazon.com; 2/8/15-2/12/15

A warrior is killed in a fair fight but severely wounds his killer.  The wounded man is put in a boat to go to a warring tribe and their well known healer.  When he is picked up he gives a false name and is nursed back to health by the queen, the healer. He falls in love with the princess who has been betrothed to his father and the drama begins.  It is a big book but an engrossing tale.  Their are so many types of conflict going on here, royal intrigue, religious conflict, societal conflict, familial conflict and warring tribes and countries.

Grade-A

Did I enjoy it?  I don’t read too much Arthurian legends but I may now.  I have ordered the second volume already.  It has all kinds of intrigue and mystery in it.  I was drawn in and kept in the story.

Why did I pick this up?  I have been trying to read books that are written by people that I know.  Ruth Nestvold and I went to South Eugene High School together.

What is with the title of the review?  There are several families feuding throughout the book and it goes back and forth throughout the story.

We need more like this!

steve myers 001Legacy of Leadership, Zenon C.R. Hansen, The Untold Story of A Dedicated Scout’s Rise to Captain of Industry by Steve Myers;  $17.50; 2014; 76 pages; BookCrafters, Parker, CO; 978-1-937862-75-6; Purchased from BookCrafters; 2/7/15-2/8/15

Zenon Hansen was a virtual orphan when his parents divorced before he was 4 at the urging of  some family members.  He was raised  by a couple of spinster aunts and his grandmother.  He joined the Boy Scouts of America and earned 81 merit badges which was the record for merit badges at the time.  After he became an Eagle Scout and graduated high school he went to work for International Harvester and worked his way to the top of the company.  He continued working for the rest of his life heading up several other companies including Mack Trucks, which he revived and brought back to prominence.  He worked around the world and always was in involved in Boy Scouts.  His biggest influence was not monetary but the mentoring and influence on those around him.  His influence lives on in a school of leadership at Doane College in Nebraska.

Grade-A

Why did I pick this up?  I have been trying to read things that were written by people I know and this was written by someone I went to South Eugene High School with.

What is with the title of the review?  It has two meanings; one, we need more people like Zenon Hansen to lead and influence others, two, we need more biographies of unsung heroes, people who influenced people but aren’t widely known.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan; 2014; $18.00; 328 pages; Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY; 978-0-316-12281-8; Young Adult Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 8/14/14-8/18/14

Sam and Riddle are now part of the Bell family, in Oregon and their no goodnik father, Clarence, is locked up in prison in California.  Destiny comes between Sam and Emily Bell, she has much in common with Sam, her Mom is also dead and Father in prison.  Clarence breaks out and heads for Oregon because he blames the Bell family for his sons being taken away from him and his being in prison.   He gets to Oregon and kidnaps Emily and her only hope is her nemesis Destiny who goes from being the different homeless girl in town to part of the Bell family.  Exciting action and realistic relationships make for a great book.

Did I like it?  Yes it was good to revisit the characters from I’ll Be There and the relationships were realistic and the action was well paced and realistic.

Grade-A

Why did I read this?  I had picked up I’ll Be There because Holly and I had gone to the same high school at the same time, now I just pick up her books because they are really good.

What is with the title of the review? There is seemingly nothing that can keep Sam and Emily and as the title of the book is a song so is the title of the review