Monday, June 24, 2013

FEVER by Mary H Keane

Who is Mary Mallon?  Mary Mallon was an artist, a kitchen artist devoted to her passion and willing to make sacrifices for it.  In her day, she is remembered, but not as Mary Mallon, the cook, but as Typhoid Mary, the spreader of disease and often death.
Mary is a sympathetic character.  Certainly not a heroine, not even when her condition is thoroughly explained to her, not even when she indicated she understands.  Mary continually puts lives in danger by following her passion and supporting her one live, cooking.  "Baking is not cooking" she explained after she was forbidden to cook for others continued.

Mary was a victim and a villain.  Even after the Department of Health forcibly apprehended her, she refused to believe she was the one making people sick for she stated she'd never been sick in her life.  She could be considered victim because not much was known about Typhoid and how disease was spread at the time; Mary was taken against her will--doctors tested all her blood fluids weekly but yet nothing was explained to her concerning the results of these tests.  She was quarantined on an island away from people.  Mary could be considered a villain for after she was released from isolation with the stipulation of no cooking, she baked in a bakery and cooked for a hospital and many patients become ill.  This is an interesting read--part fiction part history.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Touching Heaven

Touching Heaven, by Leanne Hadley, is a sweet and touching account of actual real stories of terminally ill children and their encounter with a loving heavenly Father!

While Hadley served as a chaplain at a children's hospital, she came to know and love the seriously ill children she served.  She shares with us their faith and as well as their personal encounters with a God who proves He is ever present with the suffering and with the children!

This is an uplifting book and a special read for those who may have a loved one dealing with a terminal disease. Or if you are struggling as to if there is a here-after or questioning is their really a loving God when such innocent children suffer so, this book is for you! The faith of these children and their very unique stories of receiving peace before passing on to eternity will bless you and those you share these special God-encounters with.  Short and delightful!

Friday, June 14, 2013

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

A few years ago  I discovered that Stephen King's son, Joe Hill, had followed in his parents' footsteps and was a published author. Skeptical at first,  I admit that I was a bit critical of his work. But after finishing his latest novel NOS4A2, my opinions regarding his previous works have quickly been altered and are no longer quite as harsh. And I must say that this book is my favorite of his previously published titles; undoubtedly the best book that I've read all year.

Victoria (Brat) McQueen has a gift that she keeps to herself. She possesses the ability to locate missing objects by way of her Raleigh Turf Burner bicycle and an ancient old bridge dubbed "The Shorter Way." Once across, she skids and burns rubber into a different place and time, emerging from the Shorter Way with the missing articles and answers to questions gone unanswered for far too long.

Vic crosses paths with evil one day with she meets Charlie Manx. Charlie makes children disappear and has been doing so for several years. He seduces them with tales of a wonderful place called Christmasland and by the time they reach their final destination, those children are as horrific in nature as Charlie is. But Vic succeeds in a feat in which her predecessors failed. She manages to escape the 1938 Rolls Royce Wrath with the mysterious vanity plate and Charlie Manx's clutches.

Years of therapy later, Vic is now an adult, an author of children's books and the recent reciprocate of some very chilling phone calls. You see, Charlie is back with a vengeance and has set his sites on young Wayne, Victoria's son. Can a strong will, love and unimaginable magic conquer the evil that cruises down the back roads of Joe Hill's imagination?

Read it and find out.


Cooked is the newest offering from New York Times bestselling writer Michael Pollan.
Pollan is the author of several food related books including "The Omnivore's Dilemma:  A
Natural History of Four Meals" and "In Defense of Food:  An Eater's Manifesto".

This book begins with Pollan's realization that even though he has studied food
extensively, he has never given much thought to the food the comes from his own
kitchen.  Intrigued and somewhat dismayed by our first world culture of microwaved pizza and frozen ready to eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches, he set out to learn why we no
longer cook at home.  Relying on huge corporations to cook our food, we subject ourselves
to large quantities of fat, salt and sugar.

His journey to reclaim the food he eats is broken down to four catagories:  fire,
water, earth and air.  In the chapter titled fire, he learns from a North Carolina
barbecue pit master the method of cooking a whole hog over a wood coal fire.  He
is pleasantly surprised to find a noticeable difference in the flavor of the finished
pork.  Pollan takes the reader through similar journeys with braising, baking and

In the end, he learns that cooking connects us all and the cook stands between the
raw material of nature's gift of food and the culture that consumes it.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A STEP OF FAITH by Richard Paul Evans

Alan Christoffersen lost his heart when his wife was killed in an accident almost one year ago. He lost his trust when his business partner stole his advertising business. He lost his home when the bank took his house. So Alan decided to leave his painful memories behind and walk from Seattle to the farthest point on the map, Key West, but in St. Louis, he is forced to stop.
  Midway through his cross-country walk, Alan collapses and wakes up in a hospital learning he has a brain tumor. His father has come out from Pasadena and takes him back home for the necessary surgery and recovery. At the hospital are two women who have prior connections to Alan, and both love him deeply. It is revealed that his young wife, who may have foreseen her own death, wanted him to remarry should she die before him, and his father, himself widowed early in life, discusses this with his son.  Treatment waylays him for a few weeks, during which time he manages to alienate the few friends and family he has left. One by one, Alan alienates them all, and he resumes his journey in angry loneliness. The people he meets as he walks the dusty southern back roads have lessons to teach Alan about accepting love. He just has to have faith that life can be worth living again—and that the woman he rejected will be willing to forgive him.
  A Step of Faith is the fourth journal of the Walk series an intriguing story that is simply an enjoyable read.

"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light" - Helen Keller