Sunday, July 26, 2015

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Outside Civilization (Biography)

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.  After graduating from college, Chris McCandless, a smart, affable, determined free spirit took to the road.  Leaving his Atlanta college town he traveled to explore the western United States and Mexico. Before he left he gave his savings away to charity, and along the way he abandoned his car, burned the remainder of his meager cash, and reinvented himself as Alex Supertramp.  Alex kept a written and photographic journal of his adventures which eventually led his to his ultimate challenge: Alaska.  There he went out to “live alone with no signs of civilization”—and he never returned. His body was found by some hunters four months after starting the “Great Alaskan Odyssey.”

Tragic, heart-rending, unforgettable.  A sad, true story. A short book with a hefty lasting impression. 

This book met a couple of my 2015 Book Challenges: Read a book set in an “A” state (Alaska); and read a book that has or will become a movie (released in 2007, though I have not yet seen it yet).

Happy Reading,


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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Zorro by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende Strikes Again (Action Adventure)

Zorro is Isabel Allende’s version of how a great hero came to be.  It’s about two boys growing up in California in the 1800s, and their adventures which later take them to Spain, where Diego de la Vega, aka Zorro, and is “brother” Bernardo hone their swashbuckling sword fighting skills.  This is also where Zorro falls in love and where he duels an evil adversary. This action-packed story is filled with dangers of bears, gypsies, and pirates, of honor, virtue, and love.  It kept me eagerly turning page after page as the young Diego is forged into a blade of justice, defender of the poor, weak, and suppressed.

Isabel Allende is one of my mom’s favorite authors (right along Sidney Sheldon), and I totally understand why.  Allende keeps you interested—itching to continue. 

I thought the same thing about Daughter of Fortune, another Isabel Allende book I read years ago.  My mother read it too, but she didn’t stop there.  She’s devoured most of her books now.

Below is a complete list of Allende's books. 

The House of Spirits, First English Edition 1985

Of Love and Shadows, First English Edition 1987

Eva Luna, First English Edition 1988

The Stories of Eva Luna, First English Edition 1991 

The Infinite Plan, First English Edition 1993

Paula, First English Edition 1995 (About her daughter, who died at 28)

Aphrodite, First English Edition 1998 

Daughter of Fortune, First English Edition 1999 (One of my mom's favorites)

Portrait in Sepia, First English Edition 2001

City of the Beasts, First English Edition 2002

My Invented Country, First English Edition 2003

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, First English Edition 2004 

Forest of the Pygmies, First English Edition 2005 

Zorro, First English Edition 2005

Inés of my Soul, First English Edition 2006

The Sum of Our Days, First English Edition 2008 (Memoir)

Island Beneath the Sea, First English Edition 2010 (One of my mom's favorites)

Maya’s Notebook, First English Edition 2013

Amor, Spanish only

Ripper, First English Edition 2014.

The Japanese Lover, First English Edition 2015 – To be released in November, 2015

You can find the summaries and excerpts of each book, and more information about this remarkable woman at her website 

This book met a couple of my 2015 Book Challenges:  Read a book set in the 1800s; read a book set in a foreign country (a good chunk of the book takes place in Barcelona, Spain.)

Happy Reading,


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