Finley Public Library

  Book Reviews   | |

October 16, 2015

Today as I write this we are getting some well-needed rain, although some farmers may have liked for the rain to hold off until the corn was all in, but after the dust storm of last night, I appreciate the rain.  In our nine years here we have not experienced anything like yesterday (Sunday) afternoon/evening.  Local volcanic eruptions in Alaska and dust storms in Saudi Arabia let us know what it is like to be covered with ash and dirt.  No fun.  Actually, yesterday reminded me of the dust storms of the "dirty thirties" and what farmers, particularly, went through then, which reminded me of the book, The Grapes of Wrath.  Such books are classics for many reasons, but that one reminds us of a time we never want to see again--watching the top soil of our farm fields being swept away to other areas and leaving hundreds of thousands without work or food.  It could happen again as we saw for a time yesterday.  Meanwhile, Finley Library continues to be there for you and the community with stories of such historical times and events.  The Classics section has fiction books of the past that speak of other times and events in our nation and the world.  The Reference room has books concerning the past, but from a factual standpoint.  Both are interesting for the the same and different reasons.  Come in and check us out!

Here's a couple reviews:

The Black Stallion's Filly by Walter Farley.  (HC/RP)  (Y/A)  (Black Stallion series #8)  (1952)  Written in 1952, it is probable that you have either read this book or one of the others in the series.  I may have read a different one, but hadn't read this one.  Alec Ramsey, his family and their trainer, Henry Dailey, run Hopeful Farm in the Pennsylvania/New York  area.  Alec is a jockey having ridden the Black Stallion and Satan and is the warm-up rider at the farm.  When Henry "retires" at the end of Satan's career, he decides he wants to buy his own horse and, hopefully, train it to run in the Kentucky Derby which in 1952 is still the "Queen of all Races".  He finds a filly that is untested and under-trained that just happens to be the daughter of the Black Stallion.  Through the year he and Alec break her of her bad habits and train her so she is strong, but she will only run full out when she has the bit in her mouth--in other words, when SHE wants to  do so.  They wonder if they can break that habit, but they wonder even more if she has the heart of her sire and the will to win.  Read and find out!  (What an exciting book!  It just shows that a book can be interesting and exciting without all the language and terrible events that occur in so many books today.)

The Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham.  (HC/LP)  (2001)  British author, Laurie Graham, is well-known in literary circles for her humor, wisdom and empathy and it all shows in this book.  Beginning in 1952, four women--all wives of United States Air Force pilots--face the world of post WWII misery in the English countryside while their husbands fly in the skies above thinking they are gods and "protecting the world" from the "Red scourge of Russian Communism".  While there, the women--on one of their outings-- meet an English women that becomes the fifth in their group.  As the years go by the five women keep in touch due to the vigilant letter writing--and then telephoning--of Peggy Ramsey, the narrator of this book.  Each woman has her own particular set of problems--from being beaten by their husband to losing the love of their life in a plane crash that could have been prevented.  The friendships they make in 1952 outlast marriages, affairs, deaths , divorces, sickness and faith healers.  Audrey, Betty, Gayle, Peggy and their British friend, Kath, keep the faith in each other--and the love--flowing amongst them through thick and thin and into the nineties.  A heart-warming, abrasive, genuine book about women's friendships, this book gets more interesting with each page and year that passes.  I read the book because I, too, was an Air Force dependant wife (DW), just at a different time, and I wanted to compare.  I will say one thing--the friendships I made during those twenty years are still with me--just as in this lovely book.

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