Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Time, Legend of Garrison Fitch by Samuel B. White

What a ride!  And I don't mean in a DeLorean.  This first in a series is one of my favorite time traveling books.  Interestingly enough I stumbled upon it because I was looking for a book to discuss during a sailing ministry at church.  

You know that I have pretty strong feelings about Christian Fiction.  I have been delighted by some but worry when people try to box God into a single genre.  It can  feel forced or caned. How dare one dictate where the sacred can be found.  So I googled "The Best Christian Fiction"  (because who wouldn't want that?) and a review of  "Lost Time" came up. It was the third book in a trilogy so I immediately ordered the first in the series which was appropriately named "First Time, The Legend of Garrison Fitch"

Mr. White has woven a fascinating tale of Garrison Fitch a scientist who grew up geographically in what we know as the United States but it is Soviet ruled. The United States as we know it only lasted for a few years in the 1700s. But then, through a time traveling experiment/accident he winds up back in the 1700s. When he returns it is to a United States that has been altered to what we know as reality today.  Should he stay?  Should he go back?

All time travel authors need to make decisions about time travel.  
1.  Do the travelers need some sort of device to travel or is it spontaneous.  
2.  Can they control the travel
3.  Can they alter the future by traveling to the past

White chooses vehicular, quasi controlled travel with obvious alterations, and that's where the fun begins.  This is such a great choice for book clubs because there is so much to discuss.  I would happily provide a brief discussion guide upon request but don't want to include any spoilers here.

Sam White is a minister, writer and cartoonist living in the Texas panhandle. He is married, has two teenage boys, as well as a cat and a dog, and prompted me to get about my blogging!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting Ready For 1,000 White Women

The Cheyenne Indians- Tribe of Algonkian linguistic stock, whose name means "red talker", or "people of a different speech", lived, and hunted on the hills and prairies alongside the Missouri and Red rivers.

The Cheyenne were commonly known as the Indians of the Great Plains. They once lived primarily in what is known now as Missouri but later became nomadic, moving from place to place usually following the herd of buffalo they were hunting along what is now Minnesota and South Dakota. They continued to be an agricultural people, though, planting mainly corn and beans. 
In the 1700s, after acquiring horses from the Spanish like the Comanche before them, the once sedentary Cheyenne became expert buffalo hunters. The tribe usually moved their encampments according to the location of the buffalo herd they were following.  Like other plains Indians, The Cheyenne had become very dependent on the buffalo for food, clothing, and other other items such as tools and jewelry.  

Cheyenne culture was one of ritual and nature. They recognized the "Wise One Above" and also believed in a god beneath the ground. Their ritual dances and practices centered around the battle and the hunt, the two primary focuses of the Cheyenne after they were oppressed by foreign settlers.
One of the most prominent objects they carried was called a sacred bundle. It contained a hat  made from the buffalo and four arrows. Two of the arrows were painted for hunting and two were painted for battle. This bundle was carried into war and the hunt to ensure success.

About 1825, when they were at peace with the Sioux, and making war upon the Pawnees, Kansas, and other tribes, a feud occurred in the family. A part of them remained with the Sioux, and the others went south to the Arkansas River and joined the Arapahoes. Many treaties were made with them by agents of the United States, but broken; and, finally, losing all confidence in the honor of the white race, they began hostilities in 1861. This was the first time that the Cheyennes were at war with the white people. While negotiations for peace and friendship were in progress, Colonel Chivington, of Colorado, fell upon a Cheyenne village (Nov. 29, 1864) and massacred about 100 men, women, and children. The whole tribe was fired with a desire for revenge, and a fierce war ensued, in which the United States lost many soldiers and spent between $30,000,000 and $40,000,000. 

The ill-feeling of the Indians towards the white people remained unabated. Some treaties were made and imperfectly carried out; and, after General Hancock burned one of their villages in 1867, they again made war, and slew 300 United States soldiers and settlers. General Custer defeated them on the Washita, killing their chief, thirty-seven warriors, and two-thirds of their women and children. The northern band of the Cheyennes remained peaceable, refusing to join the Sioux in 1865.

The Cheyenne creation myth is also interesting, as it offers a story similar to Christianity's Old Testament and God's creation of Adam and Eve, in which we are told that Haemmawihio had created man from his  right rib, and woman from his left.  After Heammawehio had created man and woman, he placed the woman in the north to control of Hoimaha, who in turn controlled storms, snow, and cold, and was also responsible for illness and death.  Heammawehio placed the man in the south to control the heat, and the thunder.  Twice a year, the two battle for control of the earth, creating the seasons.  Another important figure in Cheyenne mythology is that of Sweet Medicine, a deity responsible for giving the Cheyenne four arrows, two bestowing them with power over men, two giving them power over the buffalo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jim Fergus, One Thousand White Women, and More!

There are mixed reviews on One Thousand White Women, while one critic says: The best writing transports readers to another time and place, so that when they reluctantly close the book, they are astonished to find themselves returned to their everyday lives.One Thousand White Women is such a book. Jim Fergus so skillfully envelops us in the heart and mind of his main character, May Dodd, that we weep when she mourns, we shake our fist at anyone who tries to sway her course, and our hearts pound when she is in danger.Colorado Springs Gazett, other critics say it reads like May Dodd was a mom transported from 1990 to the old west and totally unbelievable.  I loved it!  It is a good addition in what's shaping up to be our year of, "not so proud moments in USA history."

If you enjoyed One Thousand White Women, You might want to read  Fergus' other novel, "The Wild Girl" already being made into a Hallmark film. Clip below:
When Ned Giles is orphaned as a teenager, he heads West hoping to leave his troubles behind. He joins the 1932 Great Apache Expedition on their search for a young boy, the son of a wealthy Mexican landowner, who was kidnapped by wild Apaches. But the expedition's goal is complicated when they encounter a wild Apache girl in a Mexican jail cell, victim of a Mexican massacre of her tribe that has left her orphaned and unwilling to eat or speak. As he and the expedition make their way through the rugged Sierra Madre mountains, Ned's growing feelings for the troubled girl soon force him to choose allegiances and make a decision that will haunt him forever. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I loved this book.  It is one of those that was indeed bittersweet.  I felt like crying through much of it.  I suppose it was the shame of remembering a time that was not our finest hour; the sadness that I feel when I think of all war and how it tears families apart; how hard it is for young men to grow up; and how cruel kids can be to one another.  This beautifully written story was a love story, told with honor and intrigue.  Buoyed with a smokey jazz undercurrent that made it even richer.  I loved it!  If you missed book cub, here's the clip Sue showed us 

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Help and The Cabin

What could be better than a great book, great friends, and bringing both together at a gorgeous setting.  Thanks again Cindy.  Pictures attached!

Also from Kathryn Stockett's web page,    click here for link     for the never fail Creamy Caramel Icing Recipe.
Never Fail Creamy Caramel Icing
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
1 stick of butter
3/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Melt 1/2 cup of sugar in iron skillet slowly, until brown and runny. Mix egg, butter, remaining sugar, and milk in a saucepan and cook over a low flame until butter melts. Turn the heat up to medium and add the browned sugar. Cook until it reaches the soft ball stage or until mixture leaves sides of pan. This takes about 10 minutes. Remove from fire, let cool slightly, and add vanilla. Beat until right consistency to spread. If it gets too thick add a little cream. This will ice a 2 layer cake.
Reprinted by permission from The Junior League of Memphis, Inc. from “The Memphis Cookbook” © 1952; recipe submitted by Mrs. Phil Thornton, Jr.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

As a Yorkist myself...I concur!

As many of you know, "The Sunne in Splendour" is on my top 10 list of all time favorite books.  As much as I love the Bard (and I do truly love Shakespeare) he, out of necessity, wrote with a Lancasterian bent and maligned  our poor King Richard III.  I have long held this belief and the Sunne in Splendour is a glorious work which happens to bolster my humble opinion so what's not to love about that!  Now my fellowChapter Chatters, and  fans everywhere, she has done it again! Philippa Gregory has written two novels which she dubs "The cousin's war" which the rest of know as..."The War of the Roses"  Here you will discover the mighty Duke of York who did more than march his men up and down and half way up hills!  You will meet the Plantagenets, and learn the difference between red and white roses!  Ooooh I can't wait to dive in!

Summer Reads

I've had a great summer of reading, can't believe it's Labor Day tomorrow and everything changes.  Would love to talk about any and all!  Will try to catch up on my reviews this week!
Here's the list:

Book Club:
  • Very Valentine and Brava Valentine by Adrianna Trigianni
  • The Help byKathryn Stockett
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford0
  • Silent Snow: Weatherman series book 2 by Steve Thayer
  • 1000 White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
  • The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang

  • Welcome to Fred,
  • First Time, Legend of Garrison Fitch
  • Can of Peas
  • (Tons of reference books on Exodus, which no-one wants to hear about !)

On my own:
  • What theDog Saw
  • Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Girl who played with fire
  • South of Broad
  • Singing With the Top Down

Monday, July 12, 2010

What The Dog Saw

I have just finished a WONDERFUL book by Malcom Gladwell, called "What the Dog Saw"  ("Tipping Point")  It would be an amazing read for Book Club.  A little different but fascinating, and impossible to NOT have a great discussion

"You don't start at the top if you want to find the story. You start in the middle, because it's the people in the middle who do the actual work in the world," writes Gladwell in the preface to WHAT THE DOG SAW. In each piece, he offers a glimpse into the minds of a startling array of fascinating characters. "We want to know what it feels like to be a doctor," he insists, rather than what doctors do every day, because "Curiosity about the interior life of other people's day-to-day work is one of the most fundamental of human impulses." Like no other writer today, Gladwell satisfies this impulse brilliantly, energizing and challenging his readers.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"The World is Perishing From an Orgy of Self Sacrificing"

You have all heard of The tea Party movement I presume...They are connecting themselves with "Atlas Shruggs" Ayn Rand's other famous book.

Thought you all might enjoy this clip, and part 1 of an interview with Ayn.

Here is Rourke's famous speech at his trial, of course echoing Ayn's beliefs.

Also here is part one of Ayn with Tom Snyder...part two is on you tube if interested

Thursday, April 29, 2010

This about sums it up

Ayn Rand say selfishness is a virtue but this quote from her book really sums it up. " I love you so much, nothing else matters, not even you." What do you think about THAT!

Monday, April 26, 2010

More thoughts on Ayn Rand

Ayn said "Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life"

Really!?!?!? This is so self centered...but totally explains why Howard and Dominique are the heros of this book and totally explains why I cannot see them as such.

Ayn Rand's Philosophy

In casual conversation I asked a friend of mine if he had ever read The Fountainhead.
He said "no, but I am familiar with Ayn Rand's philosophy"
My response "errr?!" Ok, time to use the World Wide Web!
The Ayn Rand Institute is located at my Alma Mater UC Irvine. Her philosophy is Objectivism.

The following is a short description of Objectivism given by Ayn Rand in 1962.

At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did as follows:
Metaphysics Objective Reality
Epistemology Reason
Ethics Self-interest
Politics Capitalism
If you want this translated into simple language, it would read:

1. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed” or “Wishing won’t make it so.”
2. “You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.”
3. “Man is an end in himself.”
4. “Give me liberty or give me death.”
If you held these concepts with total consistency, as the base of your convictions, you would have a full philosophical system to guide the course of your life. But to hold them with total consistency—to understand, to define, to prove and to apply them—requires volumes of thought. Which is why philosophy cannot be discussed while standing on one foot—nor while standing on two feet on both sides of every fence. This last is the predominant philosophical position today, particularly in the field of

There is more more, click here

Frankly, I find "God is Love" much simpler. But I will give Ayn a bit more of my time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Been Reading About New York Again!

So...the weather has been great and my deck chair was calling.  I read 3 books this last week... I KNOW! CRAZY! Oh yeah, and  BSC is over.                                                                                           A new author (to me anyway) Shanna Mahaffey has done a remarkable job with a book called "Sounds Like Crazy."  It is the story of a waitress (yay) in New York city who has 5 people living inside her head.  She ends up getting fired (again) from her waitress job and getting voice over work.  I have to adnit I was a little resistent to pick this one up because I was so traumatized at age 11 by reading "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden"  and of course who wasn't mesmerized and a little freaked out by "Cybil!"  I could not put this book down.  The characters  fascinating and I couldn't wait to find out the impetus for her DID.   Thankfully I found it more tender than horrifying and was grateful there wasn't horrendous torture, or worse, involved.  This would be AN AMAZING! book for a book club many things to delve into! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Adrianni, New York, and Italy..Perfecta-Trifecta

So...the weather has been great and my deck chair was calling. I read 3 books this last week... I KNOW! CRAZY! Oh yeah, and BSC is over. 

Let me tell you about the first two:
Adrianna Trigianni is one of my all time favorite authors.  I just finished "Very Valentine" and "Brava Valentine."  I LOVE when a I come late to a series so they are all there, no waiting for the author to finish the sequel.
Valentine Roncalli works in the family shoe business Angelinni Shoes, in Grennwich.  The character is so rich and believable (written in first person)  that you feel like it is autobiographical.  You learn the details of making fine shoes, you get to live in a brown stone in Greenwich, and travel to Tuscany, Naples and the island of Capri.  There is family to fight with and love, and a restraunt owner to socialize with....what more could you want!  (AND... we meet an old friend in this book, very nostalgic!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Suggestion

In the vein of Red Tent... Here Burns My Candle. Set in Scotland during the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie, but reflective of the Ruth and Naiome story. Liz Curtis Higgs is always masterful so it should be great.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm a Gleek!

If you haven't watched Glee yet, try to catch it when it returns in April. Basic premise Glee club (absolutely amazing talent) trying to make it in school when they are so uncool. One of my favorite characters is Sue Sylvester. She has a TV show within the show and is the "Cheerios" (cheerleading) coach. Here is a bit from her TV show

What's New With Elizabeth Gilbert

The Author of Eat Pray Love, has been busy.
Her new book "Committed-A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage" would turn Lisa on and Sarah off just from the cover....Why you might ask.... Lisa loves a title and and then a colon (or implied colon) and sub title. Sarah hates a title that is smaller than the author's name. Although if you consider the whole of the artwork in which the title is embedded I think it is bigger :)
This is the story of Ms. Gilbert getting married. If any of you have read it, please use the barely used comment button to reply. Except Nancy of course because "She doesn't BLOG!" Which is actually just reading, but hey I'm done with that argument.

Two interesting videos below. One is Elizabeth Gilbert speaking about her writing muse...I think it is fascinating, the other a trailer for EPL. Let's go when it gets here!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Adrianna Trigiani

I fell in love with Adrianna Trigiani when I saw the cover of "Big Stone Gap!" The trilogy did not disappoint! I just received "Very Valentine" and "Brava Valentine" in the mail. I can't wait to dig in! I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time Travelers Wife

I can't wait for book club in a few weeks! (My grandma would say, "quit wishing your life away!") I have loved this book for years and can't wait to share it with you Chapter Chatters. Of course I have a deep love for all things "time travel" and when I figure it out I will come back to book club from some future date to tell you all how it works!
I will throw one question out now....If you could time travel (and safely return) A. Would you do it? and B. if it could be to only one place/time...where and when?
So Audrey Niffenegger. Endlessly fascinating! Her bio can be found at this link She has an interesting Q& A session and I am going to include just one of her answers re: e-books Why can’t I find e-book versions of your books? I am not opposed to the existence of e-books; I know lots of people are wildly enthusiastic about them. But I have spent my life working with books as an art form and I am devoted to physical books. E-books in their current incarnations are still imperfect and they threaten the arts of book design and typography. As a book conservator I am also nervous about the digitization of books: will they be readable one hundred years from now? Or will thousands of books simply vanish as platforms and programs change? E-books have certain advantages (they are searchable) and disadvantages (they are not beautiful objects in themselves and don’t display images very well). I’m sure they will improve over time, though. I don’t know when or if my books will become e-books. Writing me hostile e-mail about this will not hasten my desire.
Ms. Niffenegger lives in Chicago; has another book coming out; "Her Fearful Symmetry" A ghost story set in and around Highgate Cemetary in London. (Clip included below) She also has a serialized graphic novel, titled "The Night Bookmobile" which ran in the London Guardian, but will be coming out in book form in 2010.
You may remember I have been wanting to read a graphic novel but they are all either so foreign to me that I'm not comfortable, or so violent I have no interest. Mostly I am turned off by how literally and literarily dark they are. (My foray into comic books never went past Archie and Jughead) But this looks fascinating. It has a Jasper Fforde air about it. Can't wait to discuss, and I have a surprise for April 8th for all of you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anne Provoost

Anne Provoost was born in Belgium in 1964 and studied literature at the University of Leuven (Louvain). Her first novel, My Aunt is a Pilot Whale, she wrote while living in Minneapolis, USA. The book was published in Dutch in 1991 and translated into English three years later. My Aunt is a Pilot Whale was awarded with the Book Lion 1991 and the Interprovincial Prize, 1991, two main Belgian Awards. The novel was translated in German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Portuguese and Polish. Back in 1991, it was the first book on sexual child abuse for a young audience produced in the Low Countries.
Her second novel, Falling (1994), in which the pitfalls and allurements of extreme right-wing rhetoric are dealt with extensively, was published in Dutch in 1994. The book received five major awards in Belgium and the Netherlands. It was translated into English by John Nieuwenhuizen in 1997, and was made into an English spoken feature film that came out in the fall of 2001, starring Jill Clayburgh and Alice Krige (YouTube trailer). The book Falling has been translated in English, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Polish and Slovenian, and was selected for the honor list of IBBY.
In the Shadow of the Ark ...several different covers!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Last 5 years! Favorite Reads- VI

Best of List: New Favorites from 2009
31 Hours by Masha Hamilton

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Oxygen by Carol Cassella

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Perfection by Julie Metz

The Photographer by Didier Lefèvre and Emmanuel Guibert

Rainwater by Sandra Brown

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty

Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Testimony by Anita Shreve

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Last 5 years! Favorite Reads- V

Best of List: New Favorites
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

*Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

*Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

*Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

World Without End by Ken Follett

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Last 5 years! Favorite Reads- IV

Best of List: New Favorites
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

*Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern

*The Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsLoving Frank by Nancy Horan

March by Geraldine Brooks

Peony in Love by Lisa See

The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

*Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway

World Without End by Ken Follett

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bread Alone Plus More

Below are run downs on more of Judith Ryan Hendricks' works, a link to her Web site and some fun facts about the state of Washington. Enjoy!See you next week at Book Club

The sequel to Judith Ryan Hendricks' absorbing debut novel, Bread Alone
Having found her calling, Wynter Morrison is blissful about her new career in Seattle as a baker -- cherishing the long days spent making bread and the comforting rhythms of the Queen Street Bakery. Still, she struggles with the legacy of her failed marriage and with her new boyfriend Mac's reluctance to share his mysterious past. When Mac abruptly leaves Seattle, Wyn again feels abandoned and betrayed, at least until intimate letters arrive in which Mac at last reveals his deepest secrets. But the more she learns about her absent lover, the more Wyn discovers about herself -- and when tragedy threatens, she will have to decide if there is a place for Mac in this new life she has made.

The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe.
After a childhood spent in an institution and a series of foster homes, Avery James has trained herself not to wonder about the mother who gave her up. But her safe, predictable life changes one night when she stumbles upon the portrait of a woman who is the mirror image of herself.
Slowly but inevitably, Avery is compelled to discover all she can about her mother, Isabel. Avery is drawn into complex relationships with the people who knew her mother. As she weaves together the threads of her mother's artistic heritage and her grandmother's skills as a healer, Avery learns that while discovering Isabel provides a certain resolution in her life, it's discovering herself that brings lasting happiness.

1. The state of Washington is the only state to be named after a United States president.
2. Seattle is home to the first revolving restaurant, 1961.
3. Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the union.
4. Washington state has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined.
5. Washington state's capitol building was the last state capitol building to be built with a rotunda.
6. Everett is the site of the world's largest building, Boeing's final assembly plant
7. Medina is the home of the United States wealthiest man, Microsoft's Bill Gates.
8. The Northwestern most point in the contiguous U.S. is Cape Flattery on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
9. King county the largest county in Washington was originally named after William R. King, Vice President under Franklin Pierce; it was renamed in 1986, after civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
10. Microsoft Corporation is located in Redmond.
11. Before it became a state, the territory was called Columbia (named after the Columbia River). When it was granted statehood, the name was changed to Washington, supposedly so people wouldn't confuse it with The District of Columbia.
12. The highest point in Washington is Mount Rainier. It was named after Peter Rainier, a British soldier who fought against the Americans in the Revolutionary War.
13. The Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge at Evergreen Point is the longest floating bridge in the world. The bridge connects Seattle and Medina across Lake Washington.
14. Washington is the birthplace of both Jimi Hendrix (Seattle) and Bing Crosby (Tacoma).
15. The oldest operating gas station in the United States is in Zillah.
16. Washington's state insect is the Green Darner Dragonfly.
17. The world's first soft-serve ice cream machine was located in an Olympia Dairy Queen.
18. Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world was founded in Seattle.
19. Spokane was the smallest city in size to host a World's Fair. - 1974
20. The state capital is Olympia, and the largest city is Seattle.
21. Puget Sound's many islands are served by the largest ferry fleet in the United States.
22. The forests of the Olympic Peninsula are among the rainiest places in the world and the only rainforests (such as the Hoh Rain Forest) in the continental United States
23. By the turn of the 20th century, Aberdeen had the distinction of being "the roughest town west of the Mississippi" because of excessive gambling, violence, extreme drug use and prostitution (the city remained off-limits to military personnel into the early 1980s).
24. The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company became an established icon in the area.
During the Great Depression, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia river as part of a project to increase the production of electricity. This culminated in 1941 with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest dam in the United States.
During World War II, Seattle was the point of departure for many soldiers in the Pacific, a number of which were quartered at Golden Gardens Park.
25. As of 2004, Washington's population included 631,500 foreign-born (10.3% of the state population), and an estimated 100,000 illegal aliens (1.6% of state population).
26. The six largest reported ancestries in Washington are: German (18.7%), English (12%), Irish (11.4%), Norwegian (6.2%), Mexican (5.6%) and Filipino (3.7%).
27. The percentage of non-religious people in Washington is the highest of any state, and church membership is among the lowest of all states.
28. The state of Washington is one of only seven states that does not levy a personal income tax.
29. Washington is home to four of the five longest floating bridges in the world: the Evergreen
30. Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball, and Cranium were all invented in Washington.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Last 5 years! Favorite Reads- III

2006Best of List: New Favorites (According to book clubs contributing to
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern

For One More Day by Mitch Albom

* The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

March by Geraldine Brooks

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

*Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Last 5 years! Favorite Reads II

2005 Best of List: New Favorites

(According to Book Groups contributing information to Reading Group!)

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Leap of Faith by Queen Noor

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

*The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

*Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

*The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

*The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Last 5 years! Favorite Reads- I

2004 Best of List: New Favorites (According to Book Groups contributing information to Reading Group!)
Atonement by Ian McEwan
* Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
* The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
* The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
* Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
* Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
* The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Three Junes by Julia Glass
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom-->