4 Books

I’ve finished four books in the last few weeks, what with my vacation and all. In addition to describing the four books here I have added them to my list of books read this year.  I will soon be creating a summary of the presidential biographies I have read and will add the Martin Van Buren biography to my list. Here are the 4 books:

a book of bees by Sue Hubbell

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I was reading the Fabulouslorraine blog a few weeks ago and she recommended this book. Among other interesting topics Lorraine blogs about bee keeping. A book of bees by Sue Hubbell is a fascinating book and very well written. On the first page she says:

“I have had bees now for fifteen years, and my life is better for it. I operate a beekeeping and honey-producing farm in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri. I keep three hundred hives of bees”

From there she goes on to describe a year of bee keeping. It almost made me want to get some hives.

Different Seasons by Stephen King

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I read Different Seasons by Stephen King while I was fishing in Canada. My secret of catching fish is reading while I fish 🙂  Different Seasons is a collection of four novellas. The first is the story that the movie Shawshank Redemption is based on. Shawshank Redemption is one of my all time favorite movies and the story is as good as the movie. I didn’t enjoy the second novella, Apt Pupil, as much, although it was thought provoking and disturbing. The third novella “The Body” was made into Rob Reiner’s movie Stand by Me. I enjoyed the fourth novella Breathing Lessons. It was a bit weird but still intriguing.

The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick

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The Perfect Poison is a mystery set “Late in the reign of Queen Victoria”  It was light and entertaining but didn’t want me make to want to read more of this series.

Martin Van Buren by Ted Widmer

I am working on reading at least one book about each American President. I just finished reading a short biography of Martin Van Buren, President number eight. It was interesting because a very large financial crisis, The Panic of 1837 hit right after Van Buren took office. The panic was one of the reasons that he was a one term president. Van Buren was also one of only two presidents with no college education or military service.

Van Buren deserves much of the credit for the creation of our two party system. I found the following quotes enlightening.

“evidence of opposition parties is one of the most important ways to measure the vital signs of an emerging democracy…………  Van Buren, while not a radical thinker, deserves full credit for realizing this truth ahead of his compatriots…..  Not only is the spirit of party not hostile to democract\y, it is essential to it…… there is a fundamental balance at its core – an internal gyroscope, based on brute competition – that has allowed this system to continue, with only a few modifications, from 1828 to the present. That gyroscope was built by Van Buren, and every time we ask another country to replicate it, we are paying silent homage to him.”

Ted Widmer’s Van Buren  biography was the first biography I have read from the American Presidents Series. At first I was really put off by how non academic it was. Widmer makes all sorts of contemporary references, to people like George Bush and Rush Limbaugh. But eventually I just decided to take it for what it was a light readable biography of Van Buren.

Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

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