Quote of the Week

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If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
Oscar Wilde

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Book of the Week: One Soldier’s Story: A Memoir

bob doleMy grandmother once said, “In order to learn about history, it is best to talk to or read about those who experienced it first hand.” On Monday, May 28, our nation will celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day was originally instituted as a federal holiday to honor those individuals who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.

I feel  it only fitting to honor an individual who has served our country not only as a soldier, but also as a statesman. Long before he was a senator, Bob Dole was a soldier fighting on the battlefield during World War II. In his memoir One Soldier’s Story, Bob Dole gives a first hand account of life on the battlefield and how his life was changed forever.

“On one hand, war represents the ultimate failure of mankind. Or at least the politicians and diplomats entrusted with keeping the peace. Yet it also summons the greatest qualities of which human beings are capable: courage beyond measure, loyalty beyond words, sacrifice and ingenuity and endurance beyond imagining.”
Bob Dole
(1)

Kathy Alphs

Bibliography
(1) Dole, Elizabeth. Hearts Touched With Fire: My 500 Favorite Inspirational Quotes. Carroll & Graf (September 29, 2004).

 

Book of the Week: Barbara Bush: A Memoir

bow barbara bushWhile perusing a local book store, nineteen years ago, I came across the softcover edition of Barbara Bush: A Memoir.  In her memoir, First Lady Barbara Bush gives the reader a glimpse into her childhood, marriage, loss of her daughter, politics, Presidential campaigns, the Vice Presidency of the United States, Desert Storm, the Presidency of the United States and life after politics. The memoir is authored in a conversational tone and is peppered with Barbara Bush’s candor and wit.

On April 17, 2018, the former First Lady passed from this life into the next surrounded by her loved ones. To sum up her legacy, I believe it is fitting to utilize her own words. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” (1)

Kathy Alphs

Bibliography
(1) Gajanan, Mahita. (2018, April). ‘Believe in Something Larger Than Yourself.’ Read Barbara Bush’s Remarks on Life, Family and Love in Her Wellesley Commencement Speech. Retrieved from http://time.com/5244232/barbara-bush-death-wellesley-commencement-speech/

Book of the Week: The Duchess Of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson

The-Crown-2016-movie-posterWhile watching the Netflix series The Crown, I became intrigued with the scene which features a conversation between Queen Elizabeth II and her Uncle David, the Duke of Windsor, previously King George VIII. The premise of the conversation revolves around the Duke’s motives for abdicating the throne which resulted in the Abdication Crisis of 1936. After watching the episode, I wanted to dig deeper into this topic. All sorts of questions went around in my head: Who was Wallis Simpson? What events were put into motion to bring the country of Great Britain to a constitutional crisis? What kind of woman would cause a king to renounce the throne and his kingdom for all time?

As I perused the online library catalog, I decided to check out every book on Wallis Simpson I could locate. After perusing through a stack of biographies, I finally decided on one: The Duchess of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson by Greg King.

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Greg King’s biography gives the reader a complete scope/sequence of the life of Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor: Romeo and Juliet in Baltimore, Childhood, Youth, Win, Marriage, China, Ernest, The Prince of Wales, A Fateful Weekend, Wallis in Wonderland, The Relationship Deepens, The Passing of the King, The New Reign, The King’s Mistress, The Nahlin Cruise, The Divorce, Growing Troubles, A Pretty Kettle of Fish, The Morganatic Marriage Proposal, Flight to France, The Struggle for the Throne, Abdication, Rat Week, The Whole Word is Against Us and Our Love, At War with the Royal Family, The King’s Wedding Present, The Wedding, The Visit to Germany, Exile in Paris, Two Houses, War, The Plot to Kidnap the Windsors, The Bahamas, The Visit to America, The Duchess’s War Work, Shady Friendships, Murder and Treachery, Postwar Wanderings, The Death of the King, The Last Two Houses, A Woman of Style, Life in Paris, American Adventures, The Windsors and the Royal Family, Declining Years, The Duke’s Death, Wallis Alone, Last Years and Epilogue.

By the time I finished King’s biography, all of the questions I had asked myself prior to reading had been answered. Through King’s narrative tone, I felt I had come to know Wallis,  Duchess of Windsor as a human being who faced adversity and persevered.
Her life can be summed up in her own words: For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat.

Kathy Alphs

Book of the Week

boweaster2018One of our child’s favorite Easter story books is Paul L. Maier’s The Very First Easter.

The Very First Easter is the re-telling of the final week of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection through the eyes of a ten year old boy named, Christopher. Opulent paintings by Francisco Ordaz assist in bringing the Easter Story to life.

The Very First Easter is a book your family will enjoy for years to come!

Kathy Alphs