Autobiography/Biography

Educated by Tara Westover

This was a tough read. It is amazing that the author survived many of the events that she was subjected to throughout her childhood. Having never gone to school until she was 17, she lived with her survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho and later went on to educate herself. She then tested high enough to be admitted to BYU. Her thirst for knowledge led her to eventually earn her PhD. Along the way the reality of her family’s issues come into focus for her and eventually lead her to sever the ties between herself and her parents. A sad story in that a child/teenager would grow up so isolated that they needed to take charge of their own learning and miss so many opportunities and access to an education at such a young age.

~Lisa

Autobiography/Biography

Adrift: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea by Tami Oldham Ashcraft

I was interested to read this because Tami Ashcraft lives in Friday Harbor and was also intrigued with her story. The title really sums it all up, it is a story of love, loss and survival at sea. It was sad, inspiring and just a darn good story. Sometimes some of he sailing terms were a little over my head but I would highly recommend it and would read it again.

~Gail

Autobiography/Biography, Fantasy, Humor, Juvenile Fiction, Short Stories

And Timmy strikes again!

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn runs away from his drunk father down the river and meets up with a runaway slave, Jim. He nearly gets caught many times.

Other books read this month:

The lesser-known Roald Dahl collection: In typical Roald Dahl style, these wacky books are funny.
The Vicar of Nibbleswickle
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Danny the Champion of the World
George’s Marvelous Medicine
The Minpins
The Twits

The Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson: These stories are the prequel of Peter Pan.
Peter and the Starcatchers
Peter and the Shadow Thieves
Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
Peter and the Sword of Mercy

The My Father’s Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannett: Elmer rescues a dragon and goes on a few adventures with him.
My Father’s Dragon
Elmer and the Dragon
The Dragons of Blueland

And randomly:

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Sleeping Dog by Donald J. Sobel
The Littles by John Peterson
The Sword in the tree by Clyde Robert Bulla
Double Fudge by Judy Blume

Meet Thomas Jefferson by Marvin Barrett
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and became our third president.

Romance, Young Adult

PWNED by Matt Vancil

Reid is getting ready to propose to Astrid, his stunning girlfriend. But she will barely even look up from her game, Fartherall Online, and doesn’t even remember their anniversary. Then Reid gets very drunk and does something stupid to try and get her attention that causes her Guild to lose a raid they have been planning and working on all month. When he wakes up again the next morning she’s just gone. He does the only thing he can think of. He makes an account in Fartherall Online to try to find her. In the game his name is Noob, and he sure lives up to it. He makes friends and enemies and an admin promises to find Astrid’s info for him if he can complete an impossible Quest. So he gets to work…

This is a really gripping book, The adventures are epic video game level and the characters are incredibly human. I loved it, I found it because Matt vancil created two of my favorite shows JouneyQuest and The Gamers. I was ecstatic, but not surprised, to discover that his stories are just as amazing without actors to translate them. Seriously, I’m writing this at work and I’m glad it’s a slow day because I was up until 3:30 a.m. unable to put it down.

~Naomi

Autobiography/Biography

Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum, the Outstanding Heroine of the Baha’i Faith by Janet Khan

I had ordered a book with the same title—a memoir by the daughter of Elizabeth Clare Prophet—but somehow ended up with a biography of the daughter of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith. But what the heck, I had it and I read it. This is really a book for Baha’is, since it comes from the religion’s U.S. publishing house and is written in a reverential style. I did learn quite a bit, however, about the early days of the religion, its organization, and structure. I wondered if the unspoken subtext was the debate within the group over women’s exclusion from the highest governing body—the Universal House of Justice. I couldn’t tell if the author was using the prophet’s daughter as an example of women’s ability to lead (since Bahiyyih Khanum ran the fledgling religion for her uncle and nephew when they were incapacitated), or if she was supposed to be an example of feminine submission. The book could be used by either side of the debate.

~Rebecca

Mystery

The Witches Tree by MC Beaton

This is the first book I have read by the prolific author.I enjoyed the plot and the little town of Cotswold, Britain. Other than that I feel the writing was choppy, disjointed with characters and their dialogue all over the place and It was hard to follow. The main character Agatha Raisin was rude and I tired early on with her penchant to find a man to satisfy her in life. Solving the murders was almost an afterthought by Agatha.

~Louise

Historical

Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America by Kathleen Belew

In our country, there are people who see themselves as defenders of a white homeland. Beginning with the Pacific Northwest and expanding to include the US and Canada north of Mexico, they plan, by exclusion, removal, and killing of nonwhites and Jews, to create a country for whites only. Small, independent groups trained in military tactics and stockpiling modern weapons are working to achieve this vision through race war and actions against the US government.

This history is meticulously documented. Despite historic links to the Klu Klux Klan, the author argues that the present white power movement is something new. It surged in membership and popularity after the Vietnam War when veterans were sent home, some disillusioned with a government they felt would not allow them to win the war. In the 80s and 90s, they faced economic and cultural shocks from unemployment, civil rights laws, womens’ rights, and changing immigration patterns, and, post Watergate, lost confidence in government institutions.

With recruitment of veterans, active military, and others, the white power movement developed the training and tools needed to conduct war against the federal government, a war declared in 1983. Paramilitary training camps sprang up around the country; robberies of banks, armored cars, and businesses provided funding for land and weapons purchases.

Acts of violence occurred. Richard Wayne Snell, for example, member of the Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA), blew up a natural gas pipeline in Arkansas in 1983, plotted to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City, and killed a black state trooper during a routine traffic stop a year later. The Arkansas CSA compound included workshops where they built silencers for automatic weapons and produced high-tech hand grenades and land mines. They firebombed a synagogue, Jewish businesses, and a gay community church. In 1985, ATF agents tried to serve a warrant for manufacture of a silencer. After a 4 day siege, members of the CSA compound surrendered. Among those arrested was Richard Snell, who was eventually scheduled for execution April 19, 1995.

White power actions continue today, but Below ends her history with the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh. He loaded a Ryder truck with 7000-pounds of fertilizer, blasting gelatin, dynamite, and fuses with the help of accomplices, drove it to the federal building, lit the fuses, and walked away. The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children in a day care center, and injured more than 500. McVeigh was arrested later that day, April 19, 1995.

By FBI report from the prison log, in the hours before his execution, Richard Snell lay on his bunk “smiling and chuckling” as he watched television coverage of the bombing he had proposed 12 years earlier.

This is history to know, for it does not bear repeating.

~Alison