Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

Overview: Are any of the Founding Fathers’ words of any value to today’s generation? Let’s see what one of the more, um, controversial Founders had to say about our quest for Independence. This pamphlet was issued to the Revolutionaries.

Story Telling: This pamphlet, if my memory serves me correctly, was written by Mr. Paine to encourage the efforts for freedom.

Likes: Mr. Paine does, oops, did not pull any punches. But, he also didn’t talk down to his audience either. He led his readers down the path of his train of thought. It allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

Favorite Quote: “But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then you are unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.” The words are harsh, but very true, both then and some of today’s situations.

Conclusion: This is a book that should be required reading for any American citizen. Sure, some of the spellings have been altered, and there’s mention of God–surprising because Mr. Paine has the reputation of being an Atheist. But, hey, we haven’t banned William Shakespeare’s works…yet. This book explains why the Declaration, and then the Constitution, was given us. Please, read this one for yourself.

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Brad Leithauser’s The Norton Book of Ghost Stories

Overview: It’s getting to be that time of year again. The time when ghosts and other denizens of the otherworld come to scare us. Or, at least this book is trying to. Shall we see how well it does?

Story Telling: This anthology is loaded with stories from the early turn of the century to the mid-80’s. The only similarity is the fact that every story is considered a ghost story.

Dislikes: It may be my naiveté speaking, but I didn’t really get this anthology. Sure, I enjoyed a few stories, but most of them went over my head. “The Beckoning Fair One” in particular left me feeling sick. This feeling usually comes from Stephen King movies (I don’t have any desire to read any of his works) and the one Peter Straub book that I’ve tried. I do believe that one reached my “The Fallen” list.

Likes: Some of these stories were fun. Or maybe that was just watching those who thought that they knew so much be proven wrong.

Favorite Story: Oh! That would be “Casting the Runes” and “The Open Window.”

Conclusion: This is a decent book for those who are interested in ghost stories. Enjoy the read.

Lynette Jensen’s The Thimbleberries Guide for Weekend Quilters

Overview: Have you ever wanted to quilt? Did you used to quilt, yet quit because there never seems to be enough hours in the day? Well, the Thimbleberries have you covered with this book.

Story Telling: This is a tutorial book, yet it is for the more intermediate quilter.

Likes: This book has tips for working your quilts faster. Now, this book doesn’t pretend to be for the beginner. This book actually presumes that you already have the basics of either machine or hand quilting.

Also, the book includes other projects to correspond with the showcased quilts.

Favorite Quilt: It would be the “Piece of Cake.” It’s the one that I think might be fun to play with.

Conclusion: Once you get comfortable with quilting, this might be fun. Otherwise, this book will help you remember the joy of finishing some terrific work.