Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Not too long ago I read a book that was very good and told a story that was true and I love those kind, don't you? 

I've heard of the Appalachian Trail for years, too many to count, but never knew one single thing about it. I knew it was there and that was about it.

And, then I ran across this book '"Grandma Gatewood's Walk" by Ben Montgomery. I'll buy nearly any book if it's a bio or based on true facts and so "Grandma Gatewood's Walk" found it's way to my Kindle. Sorry for the poor quality of the book image above... I just couldn't get it any clearer.

Emma Gatewood had already lived a tumultous life. She'd had an abusive marriage, raised a pascal of kids alone and by 1955 she had an empty nest. The Appalachian Trail had always intrigued her and so one day she left home with a small amount of money and a few supplies. She didn't tell anyone, but her sister, where she was going. So, she started the long journey of hiking the Trail, the first woman to do so alone.

The next anyone heard of her she'd already walked 800 miles. By then she was becoming somewhat of a celebrity. The news media began to follow her every step. This disturbed Emma. She didn't like the attention but it made her famous. By September after surviving a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes and a run-in with gangsters, she reached her goal. She stood on top of Mt. Kalahdin in Maine, sang "America the Beautiful" and pronounced to the few news reporters who stood in admiration, "I said I'd do it and I've done it".

She went on to hike the trail two or three more times. This was done after she was 65 years of age. Because of her and the interest that arose with her great feat, a movement came about to save the declining trail. Without her it probably would have fell to ruin and we would not have that beautiful part of nature that so many people enjoy today.

I just fell in love with Emma Gatewood. I admire her spirit, her courage and her determination. I think you will enjoy this book for yourself. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Reading a Recommended Book

Guess what? I am reading (about 1/3 through it) "Lives In Ruins" recommended by Marie a while ago. Totally different from what I usually read. I am, however, really enjoying it.

What are you reading at present?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"The Forgotten Seamstress"

                     I came upon a book "The Forgotten Seamtress" recently on Amazon. 

It was about a quilt and since I am a quilter I thought it might be a fun read. I had never read anything by Liz Trenow before so I didn't know what to expect. 

I have to say it was probably the best book I have read in quite awhile. A little slow in the beginning as most books are. So few books grab you from page one and this one did not, at least for me. But, the more I read, the more intrigued I became. Trenow is quite a story-teller. 

Caroline is going through her Mother's household things in preparation for putting her Mother in a nursing home. She runs across a quilt she remembered from her childhood, one her Granny had, one that Caroline had lain under numbers of times. It was done with fancy stitches, enchanting patterns. The message embordiered into the edging of the quilt is a mystery Caroline feels compelled to solve. Upon questioning her Mother about it, she discovers that the quilt by probably made by a woman named Maria, a friend of her Grandmother, who had been in a mental hospital a large portion of her life. 

Trenow stitches the two time frames, the two lives together in such a fascinating story. Is what Caroline discovering about the quilt the truth or is it the ramblings of a mad woman, a woman who claims she was the steamstress to the royal family? The journey of discovering each and every clue takes you down paths you would not imagine. Yes, it is a 'I can't put this book down' sort of book. And yes, there is scandal woven into it's pages. I loved the ending. 

I thoroughly enjoyed "The Forgotten Seamstress" and I recommend it as a future read for any of you.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Must Read

By now you've figured that I like historical fiction.  Somehow I've gravitated towards books that take place during WWII.  Only recently did I realize that most of these were taking place in Great Britain with only a few exceptions.  The book I just finished remedies that.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr takes place in Germany and France during WWII.  It follows the story of Werner, an orphan and Marie-Laure, a blind French girl.  The author uses lots of time flipping, from events leading up to the war and the war itself and also flipping between the two main characters stories.  As you read you wonder how will they converge? Well they do in St. Malo, France.

Now I have to tell you that the story is gripping.  In fact I had to set it aside for several days before I could pick it up and finish it.  It wasn't one that I wanted to read the end ahead of time to be sure of where its going.  Do you do that sometimes?  I read it through and learned a lot about life in Germany before and during the war and life in France during the same time period.

I'm not going to give anymore away other than there is a valuable jewel involved in the story and a very nasty Nazi officer searching for it.

You must read this one - all 530 pages.