Category Archives: Cindy P.

The Last of the Husbandmen by Gene Logsdon

The Last of the Husbandmen by Gene Logsdon (2008)
is the farming of animals and produce using resources wisely. This book explains how families have struggled to maintain animals and produce in the 20th century. It’s a fast read about farming in Northern Ohio from the 1930s to 1970s. The book includes factual information about how families could earn a living from farming through the generations to when a family could no longer support itself farming.

You’ll find the impact of supply and demand along with politics interesting. The farm machinery and growth methods using fertilizers that caused changes in farming from the family to corporations is a reminder of today’s dilemma about farm produce. Today people are revisiting organic farming. Get a great overview of farm information in the USA today without a dictatorial presentation.

Read reviews at and read an excerpt from the novel.

Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Scat by Carl Hiaasen (2009)
is a book in the teen section which parents and grandparents should read and recommend to their children. Carl Hiaasen writes in the same style as he does in his adult fiction, but without the profanity. Adults will find this Florida environmental issue of the black panther very informative. Hiaasen’s quest continues to make his readers aware of environmental issues using interesting topics, writing style and suspense.

Read an excerpt from the book and read reviews at

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (1999)
This collection of topics, with Bill Bryson’s usual humorous outlook, is very enjoyable. It’s a great book to pick up and put down because each chapter is a short story about a separate subject. Bryson was urged to write articles about returning to America after living in England for 20 years. This book is a collection of the articles he wrote about how things had changed in America while he was gone.

Visit the author’s website and read reviews at

Home by Julie Andrews

Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews (2008)
This is Julie Andrews’ memoir about her life growing up in England during WWII and her childhood singing career. It was very interesting to read about Julie growing up in England and how strong she was in dealing with her life as a child, as an amateur and as a beginning professional. The book explains Julie’s life on-and-off stage and how it only takes a few kind people to nurture talent in spite of situations that are not ideal.

If you like Julie Andrews, you’ll be interested in this book. The book ends as Julie is hired to be Mary Poppins by Walt Disney in this wonderful animation and actor movie. I hope Julie writes the next book about her middle years because it would be interesting to know how she managed to have a diverse career and a family life using all of her artistic and domestic talents.

Visit the Julie Andrews website and read the USA Today review.

Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow

Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow (2005)
The son of a WWII veteran tells a story of what he found out about his Dad’s military service in WWII. His dad never talked about WWII and believed in living in the present because he did not want to remember his military service or relate it to his children.

You’ll enjoy the suspense of the story. Not a tedious war story, but a human story about the moral decisions made in the midst of gruesome reality. I am the daughter of a WWII veteran and the niece of four WWII veterans who never talked about the war. Therefore, this story interested me, but the grit of the war’s reality was disturbing. As the characters in this story led full successful lives after WWII, so did their children; the same has been true of my family members.

Preview the book, read reviews at, and visit the author’s website for more information.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (2008)
The time is post-WWII in the 1940s. The place is a Mississippi cotton farm. The story is about two families: landowners and sharecroppers. It’s extremely informative about the poverty that existed for people in the South after WWII. This is an interesting story of choices people make which turn out good and bad.

Read an excerpt, view reviews and a reading guide at and visit the author’s website.

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (1925)
The Painted Vei
l, published in 1925, has well-developed characters not captured in the 2006 movie. This is a great short book that uses the English language concisely and descriptively. The setting is early 1920s Hong Kong, yet the story concentrates on the personalities of the characters rather than on the story’s geographical settings. It’s an interesting read about humanity. This novel has as much to say as books which are much longer. It’s surprising how short the time period is in which this story takes place. Before Maugham wrote The Painted Veil, he published Of Human Bondage, which is a classic book and movie.

Watch the trailer for the movie, learn more about Somerset Maugham and visit Google Books to preview his works.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (2006)
Humorous, laugh-out-loud story of Bill Bryson‘s childhood growing up in the 1950s. If you want to read a true version of how life was growing up in the 1950s in Iowa, this is it. If you want to recall how life was in the 1950s, this is it.

Check out the reviews at, preview the book before visiting the library, and watch a video of Bryson discussing his book.

The Waterworks by E. L. Doctorow

The Waterworks by E. L. Doctorow (1994)
Setting is Manhattan after Civil War. This suspenseful story takes place in 1871 and the descriptions of life in New York City with the corrupt Tweed government are a good reminder that all was not well for people in historical times. A good mystery thriller for those who like the true grit of Doctorow’s writing. Easy, enjoyable reading with a good tied together ending.

Learn more about the author and his writings at BookBrowse and read reviews at

River Horse: Across America by Boat by William Least Heat-Moon

River Horse: Across America by Boat by William Least Heat-Moon (1999)
Moon takes a 5,000 mile journey by a small 22 ft. boat he put in at the Hudson River in New York. He travels the inland rivers he mapped from travelogues of past river travelers. The many rivers Moon travels are amazing to read about knowing that these rivers were traveled and uncharted until Lewis and Clark and other trappers went west. The travel by Moon and his small crew details the geography and rivers which make it possible to end up at the Pacific Ocean. Good read for people interested in someone traveling the rivers’ routes from Atlantic to Pacific in the 21st Century!

Before you visit the library preview the book and read an interview with the author at Powell’