I Walked to Zion by Susan Arrington Madsen (Deseret Book, 1994) is a delightful collection of first person accounts of Mormon pioneers who traveled across the American Great Plains to Utah from the late 1840s to 1860s. Although the volume is probably intended for adults to read, the engaging and interesting stories of the pioneers have such
The Simples Love a Picnic by J.C. Phillips (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2014) is so much fun! It is a story of a family going on a picnic in the park. But of course, parks have lots of undesirables…squirrels, ants, and too many people playing sports. This was a picnic trip that I could relate to:
In The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty (Random House, 1972), middle-aged Laurel Hand evaluates her life and that of her childhood associates in the wake of her father’s recent death. It is a contemplative novel about relationships, life, and hopes and dreams. At the beginning of the novel, she visits her ill father as he recovers after
Two friends see events in strikingly different ways in Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack (Chronicle Books, 2012). Using those two phrases, Mack tells the story of a rabbit who wants to picnic with his friend mouse. However, every time Rabbit sees something that he calls “good news,” Mouse has to find something wrong.
Voltaire’s Candide (originally published 17581) is alternatively titled Optimism. A rosy outlook on life is the main target of Voltaire’s satire. Rather than embracing a truly pessimistic approach to the world, however, Voltaire seems to me to be arguing for a realistic and reasonable approach to life. The humorous look at both optimism and pessimism
Here’s a semi-political book I read in honor of the U.S. presidential election today. Now, if only women could rule the world! Why Woman Should Rule the World isn’t just another cliché: rather, in her well-researched social memoir of women, Dee Dee Myers shares what she’s learned about being a woman, both from her experiences
Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 46, when his youngest daughter was just 3 months old. As a well-known computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he was a world leader in virtual reality training. But the focus of his last lecture to the university is not about programming a computer: It’s
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