Flashback June 2007

As a brief reminder, I’m flashing back to reviews from years past. Here is what I was reviewing in June 2007:

Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, The Bad, And The Dangerous by Catherine M. Andronik. Reviewed from ARC. My review:  “Ah, some of the original bad boys. The revolutionary who became Mr Conservative; the drug addict, brilliant, who constantly disappointed; the man who inspired the infamous “mad, bad, and dangerous to know;” the free love, fire-starting, bigamist; and the guy with the talent from the “wrong side of the tracks” who just as it looked like he could have it all — got TB and died. Andronik does a wonderful job of introducing us to William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats, weaving mini biographies of individuals against the broader story of England in the early 1800s. She explains how these five not only lived lives that were far from boring; but how poetry influenced them and how they influenced poetry. As a teen, I loved Shelley; in college, it was Byron; and now, after reading this, John Keats is the man.”

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. My review: “Hattie is alone in her struggle, alone as she has been all her life. Except she’s not. She has neighbors who become friends; including a warm, loving German family. Remember the year. World War I is raging, sons have left to fight in the war, sacrifices are being made for the war effort, and a family that speaks German is not popular, to say the least. But this family reaches out to Hattie, and she discovers that family can be people who are not bound to you by blood. I love the details — we know exactly how much Hattie has in the bank, how much things cost, we add and subtract and hold our breath, hoping it will work out. $400 is a lot of money — will it be enough? How can a teenage girl earn more? The language is wonderful: “The stew tasted of sage and carrots and hope.”

Lions, Tigers and Bears: Why Are Big Predators So Rare? by Ron Hirschi, photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen. Boyds Mills Press. My review:So why are big predators so rare? Disappearing habitats. Many need room to roam; they need enough prey to sustain themselves and their offspring. And for many reasons, their natural habitat is disappearing because people are moving into their backyard. Other reasons: vary from hunters to global warming, war to road building. While this book is sobering, it’s not all doom & gloom; Hirschi includes information about steps people are taking to help the animals. It’s rather interesting to read how people can make a difference in the lives of wild animals. Hirschi includes a list of organizations dedicated to helping wildlife at the end of the book. Hirschi offers just the right balance of “things are bad” with “it is still possible to change things.”


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