Ahwatukee Foothills News: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Monday 01/26/2015
New book relatable to women who grew up in the ’50s and ’60s
Updated: January 26, 2015 - 2:15 pm

Did you ever pick a book strictly on an appealing title drawing you in or arousing your curiosity? Often not the best way, leading to disappointment.

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Tuesday 12/02/2014
Ahwatukee author shares hope, healing after tragic loss in ‘Waiting for Heaven’
Updated: December 04, 2014 - 10:33 pm

Holidays can be a difficult time for families who have recently lost loved ones. In “Waiting for Heaven,” an Ahwatukee resident, Heather Gillis, reaches out to parents everywhere who have lost a child and are struggling to find peace within the midst of their pain. As the book jacket says, “Life can sometimes lead us to unexpected places, only to leave us broken, desperate and hurting.” Gillis tells of her personal struggle when her baby son, Bowen, died 13 days after birth of a fatal kidney disease, autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD).

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Tuesday 11/18/2014
‘Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story’ reveals more than ever of late First Lady
Updated: December 02, 2014 - 1:36 pm

As we approach the 51st anniversary month of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a new biography, “Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story,” by Barbara Leaming, is released. The subtitle, “The Untold Story,” is appropriate as it reveals intimate details, conversations, and correspondence which I think the American public has not been privy to earlier. As a devoted fan of Jackie’s like so many of us young women were in the ’60s, I continued to admire her through the years and thought I had read everything written about her. Yet in this biography I felt I was getting to know the real person, not the public figure. I think Leaming has captured Jackie’s thought processes and motivations for many of her actions following the assassination. Although not always presented in a flattering light, by the end of the book, I found myself admiring her even more, yet with a deep sorrow for what she endured throughout her life that the public was probably not aware of.

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Wednesday 10/29/2014
Summer was full of great book reading
Updated: December 02, 2014 - 1:36 pm

Although I do not write book reviews in the summer months, I do continue reading, perhaps more than ever. Lucky enough to spend summers in the cool pines of northern Arizona, I walk a lot and an audio book is my constant companion. I was having a difficult time trying to choose which book to review as I start a new season, so I elected to do mini reviews instead of one long one. I’ll try to capture their essence briefly.

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Wednesday 10/15/2014
Debut author Matthew Thomas gets rave reviews with ‘We Are Not Ourselves’
Updated: December 02, 2014 - 1:36 pm

Hello Ahwatukee readers! Although I do not write book reviews in the summer months, I do continue reading, perhaps more than ever. Lucky enough to spend summers in the cool pines of Northern Arizona, I walk a lot and an audio book is my constant companion. I was having a difficult time trying to choose which book to review as I start a new season, so I elected to do eight mini reviews instead of one long one. I’ll try to capture their essence briefly. Here’s the first one:

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Wednesday 05/14/2014
Ahwatukee - ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Firky’ will put a skip in your step
Updated: December 02, 2014 - 1:36 pm

If you are reading a book review column, I assume you enjoy reading. If so, it’s furthermore safe to assume that “The Storied Life of A.J. Firky” will have great appeal to you. As one reviewer claims “...this book is a love letter to the joys of reading.”

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Tuesday 03/18/2014
‘The Light Between Oceans’ is about ordinary people seeking to find their way in the world
Updated: December 02, 2014 - 1:36 pm

Often in doing research to write a book review, the story behind the story can be as interesting as the story itself. I found this to be the case in “The Light Between Oceans,” by M.E. Stedman. It began as a short story of 15,000 words written in three weeks. After sending it to an agent, the author was told it had the makings of a novel. So began Stedman’s intensive research on lighthouses, including a visit to the bleakness of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse to find living inspiration for Janus Rock, the setting for her story off the Australian coast.

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Tuesday 02/04/2014
‘Orphan Train’ is a story of friendship, 2nd chances
Updated: November 18, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Orphans portrayed as heroic figures are not new to literature. We have sympathized with many through the years.

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Tuesday 01/07/2014
‘The Housemaid’s Daughter’ is South Africa’s version of ‘The Help’
Updated: October 28, 2014 - 2:13 pm

The recent death of Nelson Mendula has put Apartheid back in the news. “The Housemaid’s Daughter,” by Barbara Mutch, is a fictional account of this turbulent time through the voice of one young and humble black girl whose story speaks volumes for the nation.

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Tuesday 12/03/2013
‘The Girl You Left Behind’ makes for compelling reading
Updated: October 28, 2014 - 11:10 am

A true story made headlines Nov. 4. A trove of approximately 1,500 works of art confiscated by the Nazis in World War II were seized in a Munich apartment. The value was estimated to be $1.3 billion by artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. The news goes on to say that determining the rightful owners of the works decades after they were either sold under duress or seized could take years.

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