Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered #Thursday Book Feature

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered

by Gary Paulsen

Copyright 1993.

 

In the 1950’s, a boy, living in the city, is sent by his alcoholic parents to spend a summer with his uncle, aunt, and cousins on their farm. While there, he survives many misadventures such as being kicked by a cow and attacked by a rooster. He also learns about milking cows, feeding chickens, and other tasks associated with farming. He feels at home for the first time in who knows how long.

This book is written for grades 6-9, but it can be enjoyed by older readers. I wouldn’t have read it, though, except that it was selected by my regional talking book library’s book discussion group.

I’m glad I picked it up. In a way, it’s a modernized version of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. I enjoyed escaping to the farm and laughing at all the humorous situations into which the young characters got themselves.

 

Coming Soon: The Red Dress, a Novel

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

Synopsis of The Red Dress

A novel by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

 

My Other Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to purchase My Ideal Partner from Smashwords absolutely free!

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Thursday Book Feature–The Star-Spangled Banner: Cornerstones of Freedom

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.I can’t think of a better way to commemorate Independence Day than to re-blog a book review I posted here last year. Not only do I discuss a  book about the creation of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but I also sing the song. Enjoy, and have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

via Thursday Book Feature–The Star-Spangled Banner: Cornerstones of Freedom

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

Piss Call

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Yesterday, I returned home from Florida, where I had a great time with my brother and his family. I traveled mostly in airplanes equipped with restrooms, but here’s a post about having to stop and use the facilities while traveling. Enjoy!

via Piss Call

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

My Battery-Operated Phone

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.I was reading through some inspirational quotes when one of them struck my fancy. “You can’t see it now, but the thing you didn’t get will someday be the best thing you never had. Let it go. Better is coming.” — Mandy Hale

When I was about eight or nine, one of my friends had a battery-operated toy phone system. A phone was in her room, and a phone was in her brother’s room, so they could communicate that way. I wanted the same gadget for Christmas that year, so I could communicate with my younger brother in similar fashion. Never mind that he was only three. As you can imagine, Santa didn’t bring me what I wanted.

Now, as an adult, like many others, I own a battery-operated cell phone. Unlike my friend with the toy phone long ago, I can talk to anyone, not just my younger brother. This is just as well, since most of my calls to him go to voicemail, and he rarely calls me. So, that battery-operated phone system I wanted was the best thing I never had, and I have something better.

How about you? Can you think of something you wanted when you were a child that you never got? Do you think now that it’s the best thing you never had?

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

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Thursday Book Feature: Happiness

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After

by Heather Harpham

Copyright 2017

 

This is the true story of how one sibling saved another’s life via a stem cell transplant. Heather Harpham’s daughter Gracie was born with a mysterious blood disorder, requiring frequent transfusions. She describes how she and her husband Brian accidentally conceived a second child soon after Gracie’s birth and the long, agonizing, decision-making and transplant process.

At first, I was concerned, not only for Gracie’s welfare, but about what her younger brother Gabriel would need to endure in order for Gracie to have the transplant. Then I learned that since Gabriel’s stem cells were harvested at birth with no pain or discomfort, nothing else needed to be done to him. Maybe the author should have made this more clear from the get-go.

I also didn’t like the way she, at the beginning, switched between scenes with her and Gracie in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after Gracie’s birth and the story of her and Brian becoming a couple and her subsequent pregnancy. Although the back story about Heather and Brian is important, at the time, I couldn’t have cared less. I was more concerned about Gracie. It would have been better to have a prologue with one scene in the NICU and then start the story at the beginning. That’s how I do it in My Ideal Partner; How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Otherwise, I love this sweet story with a happy ending.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Thursday Book Feature: Peanut of Blind Faith Farm

Peanut of Blind Faith Farm: The Heartwarming True Story of a Little Blind Lamb

Written by Jim Thompson

Illustrated by Rebecca Gavney Driscoll

Copyright 2017

 

Although this book was designed for children ages four to nine, I think animal lovers of all ages would find it inspiring. It’s the true story of how a blind lamb became the top sheep in her flock on a farm in Wisconsin. The author describes how he and his wife discovered Peanut was blind and how they helped her adapt to her blindness and surroundings. He also explains how other sheep interacted with Peanut and how he and his wife solved a bullying problem.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Thompson and his wife Laura when they attended a recent meeting of Behind Our Eyes, a group of writers with disabilities, of which I’m President. Through his experiences with Peanut, he seems to have developed a deep understanding of what it’s like to be blind. As a result, he has ensured that Peanut of Blind Faith Farm is available through the Wisconsin State Library’s Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement program. Laura narrates their recorded version of this book and does an excellent job.

Jim has conducted presentations at schools and other locations and even given a copy of his book in braille to a blind boy who visited his farm. He has a knack for writing about his love of farming and animals, and I hope he will write more about this in the future. Meanwhile, I recommend Peanut of Blind Faith Farm to children of all ages, blind or not.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

A Sentence from a Book

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Thanks to Charles French for inspiring this. In his post, he quotes a couple of sentences from books that strike his fancy and asks readers to respond with quotes of their own.

One sentence that came immediately to mind after reading this post was from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist. “But now that he was enveloped in the old calico robes which had grown yellow in the same service, he was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once—a parish child—the orphan of a workhouse—the humble, half-starved drudge—to be cuffed and buffeted through the world—despised by all, and pitied by none.” When I read this classic as a teen-ager, I was horrified to learn that poor Oliver suffered a lot of abuse.

Nowadays, I apply the concept of being cuffed and buffeted through the world to how I feel children should be raised. I’ve never been a parent, so I’m going by the experiences I had as a child. Too often, today’s children are coddled and not shown enough discipline.

I’m not saying children should be fed three meals a day of gruel or beaten, but parents need to be more authoritative, and there’s nothing wrong with a few good hard swats on a child’s bottom. That’s the way I was raised, and I’m proud of it. If punishment is swift and sure, children will grow up to be responsible citizens, and down the road, we’ll have less crime and violence.

What about you? Is there a sentence from a book that stands out in your mind? Why? I hope you have plenty of good books to read in 2019.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.