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Monday, November 23, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Dr. Martha: The Life of a Pioneer Physician, Politician and Polygamist by Mari Grana

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Dr. Martha: The Life of a Pioneer Physician,  Politician and Polygamist 
by Mari Grana

This post is the one-hundredth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

This was an ‘advance reader’ book I got from LibraryThing.  

This was the review I wrote:
“A well balanced commentary on the Mormon view of women's status during the lifetime of Dr. Martha (Mattie) Hughes Cannon during the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Martha's triumphs and tribulations are illustrative of both the good and the bad of the implementation of Mormon principles within the territorial and federal jurisdictions during this period. As the first elected woman State Senator in the nation, the status of Dr. Martha (Mattie) in American history is secure. This book well presents that status. I highly recommend it to those with an open minded interest in these subjects.”

Book Description from Amazon:

Dr. Martha tells the fascinating story of Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman elected to the Utah state senate—in 1896. She was a polygamist wife, a practicing physician, and an astute and pioneering politician. In compelling prose, author Mari GraƱa traces Cannon’s life from her birth in Wales to her emigration to Utah with her family in 1861, her career as a physician, her marriage, her exile in England, her subsequent return, and her election to the Utah state senate. Her husband was the Republican candidate she, a Democrat, defeated in that historic election.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Golden Age by Jane Smiley

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Golden Age by Jane Smiley
 This post is the ninety-nineth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

I got this one in hard-copy the day it was published, from As I write this, I’m near the end of the one hundred years covered by the trilogy…a few years into the future. The future she envisions is a bit apocalyptic… but seems to fit with he overall narrative of the three books. Having lived the last three fourths of these years, I was fascinated by how similar the lives of her Langdon descendants are to people I know and have known… and also some significant differences. She is a good story-teller, that is for sure! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:

From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: the much-anticipated final volume, following Some Luck and Early Warning, of her acclaimed American trilogy—a richly absorbing new novel that brings the remarkable Langdon family into our present times and beyond

A lot can happen in one hundred years, as Jane Smiley shows to dazzling effect in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as Golden Age, its final installment, opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political—and personal—challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before.

Michael and Richie, the rivalrous twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes world of government and finance in Washington and New York, but they soon realize that one’s fiercest enemies can be closest to home; Charlie, the charming, recently found scion, struggles with whether he wishes to make a mark on the world; and Guthrie, once poised to take over the Langdons’ Iowa farm, is instead deployed to Iraq, leaving the land—ever the heart of this compelling saga—in the capable hands of his younger sister.

Determined to evade disaster, for the planet and her family, Felicity worries that the farm’s once-bountiful soil may be permanently imperiled, by more than the extremes of climate change. And as they enter deeper into the twenty-first century, all the Langdon women—wives, mothers, daughters—find themselves charged with carrying their storied past into an uncertain future.

Combining intimate drama, emotional suspense, and a full command of history, Golden Age brings to a magnificent conclusion the century-spanning portrait of this unforgettable family—and the dynamic times in which they’ve loved, lived, and died: a crowning literary achievement from a beloved master of American storytelling.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Union 1812 by A.J. Langguth

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Union 1812 by A.J. Langguth

This post is the ninety-eighth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

Just finished this one. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years, this was the right time to read it. Great review of 1800-1849 American history, in some detail! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:

By the author of the acclaimed Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, a gripping narrative that tells the story of the second and final war of independence that secured the nation's independence from Europe and established its claim to the entire continent.

The War of 1812 has been ignored or misunderstood. Union 1812 thrillingly illustrates why it must take its place as one of the defining moments in American history.

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly:

Langguth follows his popular Patriots with a fast-paced account of the War of 1812. Ostensibly a fight over the impressment of American sailors by the British, this little-understood three-year conflict was really about who controlled the middle of North America. As the subtitle suggests, Langguth argues that only with America's second victory over England did the new nation fully confirm its sovereignty over the vast western territories. Langguth thankfully takes his time setting up the war, spending 150 pages walking readers through the first decade of the 1800s, when Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase and attempted an ill-fated embargo against Britain. Though not a traditional military history, this book has a few rip-roaring battle scenes, such as Andrew Jackson's famous routing of the British at New Orleans. Langguth presents the War of 1812 as a pivot, the end of the era of early America. The war's end unleashed the next stage of aggressive expansionism. Langguth's prose is vivid, and he brings to life a panoply of personalities, from Dolley Madison to Tecumseh. He hasn't broken new ground, but he has provided a panoramic view of a decisive event in American military and political history.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? X by Sue Grafton

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
X by Sue Grafton
[Kinsey Milhone Book 24]

This post is the ninety-seventh entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

I have have loved the Kinsey Milhone books from "A is for Alibi" in 1982 - and have read each one as soon as it was published (24 so far!). X will not disappoint either!! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:

Of #1 New York Times–bestselling author Sue Grafton, NPR’s Maureen Corrigan said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.” With only two letters left, Grafton’s many devoted readers will share that sentiment.

X:  The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

X:  The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: think xylophone.

X:  The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Great Agnostic

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
The  Great Agnostic:
Robert Ingersoll and American Forethought 
by Susan Jacoby

This post is the ninety-sixth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

I’ve wanted to read a book about Ingersoll for a long time. This one recently came to my attention via Bill Moyers blog post. Very useful reading, for sure.

Book Description from Amazon:

A biography that restores America’s foremost nineteenth-century champion of reason and secularism to our still contested twenty-first-century public square

Amazon Editorial Reviews:

"'Jacoby's goal of elucidating the life and work of Robert Ingersoll is admirably accomplished. She offers a host of well-chosen quotations from his work, and she deftly displays the effect he had on others. For instance: after a young Eugene V. Debs heard Ingersoll talk, Debs accompanied him to the train station and then - just so he could continue the conversation - bought himself a ticket and rode all the way from Terre Haute to Cincinnati. Readers today may well find Ingersoll's company equally entrancing.' (Jennifer Michael Hecht, The New York Times Book Review)
'Jacoby writes with wit and vigor, affectionately resurrecting a man whose life and work are due for reconsideration.' (Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe)"

For more information on Robert Ingersoll:

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Quartet

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
The Quartet:
Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 
by Joseph J. Ellis 
This post is the ninety-fifth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

Great birthday gift! Thanks, Annette! ;-) Actually reading it on my iPhone!! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:

From Pulitzer Prize–winning American historian Joseph J. Ellis, the unexpected story of why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew.

We all know the famous opening phrase of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this Continent a new Nation.” The truth is different. In 1776, thirteen American colonies declared themselves independent states that only temporarily joined forces in order to defeat the British. Once victorious, they planned to go their separate ways. The triumph of the American Revolution was neither an ideological nor a political guarantee that the colonies would relinquish their independence and accept the creation of a federal government with power over their autonomy as states.

The Quartet is the story of this second American founding and of the men most responsible—George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. These men, with the help of Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris, shaped the contours of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation, manipulating the political process to force the calling of the Constitutional Convention, conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia, orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions, and, finally, drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settlement.

Ellis has given us a gripping and dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government. The Quartet unmasks a myth, and in its place presents an even more compelling truth—one that lies at the heart of understanding the creation of the United States of America.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Giveaway

Book Giveaway

Many of you reading this have already received your free PDF copy of my 23K word eBook, “The Kings of Oak Springs, Vol. One” (Some say it reminds them of a ‘Little House’ story)… for signing up for the free Dr. Bill’s  “The Homeplace Saga” Newsletter.

Join us in discussing family saga and family-related story-telling and reading... ! ;-)

You can still get your free PDF copy today, by simply signing up here with name and email address:

If you share this URL with your friends, and they sign up, they will also receive the free PDF.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)