Book 45 of 50 – The Screwtape Letters

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We knew C.S. Lewis was brilliant and The Screwtape Letters (affiliate link) only confirms it. How did Lewis even come up with this book? God only knows.

The Screwtape Letters

If you do not read anything else by Lewis, read this one.

Screwtape is a devil who is teaching his nephew, Wormwood, how to tempt a young man (a British man named The Patient in the book). The book educates you and shocks you about the way demons look at us humans. Very insightful indeed.

Every letter becomes a chapter which advances the story of the young man. This is a small book and the chapters (or letters) are short. As such, The Screwtape Letters is very easy to read.

The ending will give you chills. Throughout the book though, depending on how much you already understand about the battle between Jesus and Satan, you will have goosebumps.

Teenagers should read this book for themselves, in my opinion. It would help them gain an understanding of the forces at play in their lives as they make decisions.

Book 43 of 50 – Smoky Mountain Black Bears

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Courtney Lix wrote a very useful book about our beloved black bears, Smoky Mountain Black Bears. I call it a picture book for adults.

Smoky Mountain Black Bears

The book is written in FAQ style

The pictures are actual photographs of black bears in the Smokies. The content is strictly nonfiction – different facts about the bears. Continue reading »

Book 40 of 50 – From Plant to Plate

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Tami Bivens wrote From Plant to Plate (affiliate link), a vegetarian cookbook which goes beyond recipes. As a registered dietician, Bivens also put together a 21-day menu with the recipes from the book. On top of that, she added ideas and lists of ingredients and tools needed in the kitchen.

From Plant to Plate

Very useful cookbook, especially for the new vegetarian cook

I have been vegetarian for more than 30 years. The health benefits of this diet clearly show in my bloodwork every year. Also, on my face and body. Many people cannot believe my age when I tell them how old I actually am. Continue reading »

Book 32 of 50 – 52 Ways to Walk

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Annabel Streets grew up in Wales without a car or public transportation, so she walked everywhere, sometimes for miles. She is not afraid to walk or write about it. In her book, 52 Ways to Walk, (Amazon Affiliate link) Streets encourages us to find innovative ways to get outside and move.

52 Ways to Walk

She found 54 ways, but her editor said they should stop at 52, one for every week of the year.

How ironic is it that her name is Streets, right? Well, we can all do better when it comes to exercise. Streets quotes many research studies which show the benefits of walking for the body and for the mind. Continue reading »

Book 28 of 50 – Bolt

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Bolt by Dick Francis is a thriller set in the horseracing world of England. Kit Fielding, the main character, works as a jockey who races for a wealthy couple. Without wanting to, he turned into a detective, to help them escape a business partner. On the other hand, somebody is killing their horses “humanely,” with a bolt-gun.

Bolt by Dick Francis

Another horseracing thriller

Over these two plot lines, we also read about a love story. Kit and the niece of the wealthy couple, in fact, are engaged. Continue reading »

Book 27 of 50 – Driving Force

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Driving Force is a Dick Francis novel, i.e. a thriller from the world of horse racing. Queen Elizabeth II loved these novels and Mr. Francis wrote about 40. His son continued the legacy with more titles in the same vein, after they co-authored a few titles.

Driving Force by Dick Francis

I read Driving Force by Dick Francis on Libby, the library app, on my phone, in dark mode to protect my eyes

A few years ago, I read a Dick Francis novel and liked it, so I decided to try a few more. Well, I could not stop until I read four of them in row. Driving Force was the first in my little Francis cavalcade. Continue reading »

Book 26 of 50 – The Second Mrs. Astor

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One book leads to another. As I read Angela Gheorghiu’s autobiography, she mentioned the most famous cake in the world: the Sacher torte from Vienna. This lead me to discover a whole series of books about rich desserts and wealthy people. Talk about a unit study. That is how I discovered a historical novel titled The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe.

The Second Mrs. Astor

I read it from READS, Tennessee’s electronic library

Have you ever wondered who the richest man on the Titanic was and if he made it out alive? The answer is John Jacob Astor IV (net worth $2.6 billion in today’s money) and no, he did not. He put his wife on Lifeboat #4. Continue reading »

Book 23 of 50 – The Battle in Gatlinburg

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The Battle in Gatlinburg by Bill Morris is a very small booklet about a Civil War skirmish which happened in Gatlinburg, about Light #3 and Anakeesta. The Cherokee Confederates were having breakfast one morning when two columns of Union soldiers surprised them.

The Roaring Fork River at Zoder's Inn and Suites in Gatlinburg

The Roaring Fork River at Zoder’s Inn and Suites in Gatlinburg

Leaving their corncakes in the skillet over the fire, the Cherokees retreated into the forest. The Union soldiers ate the corncakes and then pursued the Cherokees up the hill, in a tree-by-tree skirmish. Eventually, the Cherokees ran away and disappeared into the Smoky Mountains. Continue reading »

Book 22 of 50 – Paul et Virginie

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Paul et Virginie by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre is a classic French novel of the 18th century. I bought my copy a long time ago, in 1992, in Romania, but never read it.

Paul et Virginie

My copy of “Paul et Virginie”

The story fits the century in which de Saint-Pierre lived. On Mauritius, a French colony at the time, two single mothers (one widowed and the other never wed) raise a daughter and a son almost as siblings. When puberty kicks in and the platonic feelings turn to romantic, Paul and Virginie face some choices. Continue reading »

Book 21 of 50 – Learn Chess

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Learn Chess by John Nunn gave me great insight into the game of chess. Written for absolute beginners, the book provides the rules and all the strategies needed to become proficient in chess and go to the next level.

Learn Chess by John Nunn

This book will take you from absolute beginner to worthy opponent

I thought I knew how to play chess and taught my children the way the pieces moved when they were very little. My father had taught me how to play when I was a child. We even had a book about it (Primii Pasi in Sah by Elisabeta Polihroniade). I never finished that book as a child though. Continue reading »