The Oregon Book Report - Book News from Oregon


Mormon girl meets Apache boy in SW love novel

May 29, 2014 --

bk-fish-in-a-birds-nestDan Rehwalt reviews “Fish in a Bird’s Nest” By author F. Elizabeth Hauser
Lizzard Press 2014

A Mormon girl of fifteen and an Apache boy of nineteen were less than desirable marriage partners in the early 1900’s, especially in the Gila Valley of Southeastern Arizona. F. Elizabeth Hauser weaves a tale that confronts issues existing to this day, and does it with superior skill.

Emmaline Cluff was the daughter of James and Elizabeth, Mormon pioneers to the Gila Valley, who farmed hay and cotton. Ransom Henry was the son of William and Frances, Apache farm laborers, who were employees of the Cluffs since the time Ransom was three. Cluffs and Henrys lived as neighbors and the two children were together every day.

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“Come Fly With Us” takes you on wild retro spin

May 21, 2014 --

bk-comeflywithus“Come Fly with Us” Reviewed by Mary Jane Tenerelli,
Poet, legal writer and Mom


This beautiful book is full of gorgeous historical photos and fun and informative text. This is the story of the flight attendant, from her very beginnings to the present, and what a fascinating story it is as told here. I didn’t realize that the first flight attendants were registered nurses…and that in the 1960s, some wore paper dresses that male business passengers used to burn with their cigarettes or splash with cocktails by way of flirting with them! Others did an airborne striptease for the passengers! The history is interesting, touching and often funny.

I really loved the glamour of the early years of flying in Come Fly With Us. There’s a photograph of a woman in a lace nightie being served breakfast in bed in the 1930s! Even in the 1970s, American Airlines had a piano bar in coach and everyone looks really happy enjoying cocktails and singing around the piano. And for the flight attendants it was pretty glamorous too because they traveled around the world, shopping for leather goods in Italy, dining in the best restaurants in London or Paris, seeing the sights in New York one day and frolicking in the surf off some exotic South Pacific island the next day.

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A fast & funny read on the Middle Ages

May 15, 2014 --

bk-mddleagesA book review of “The Middle Ages” By author Morris Bishop

I’m a fan of history and have generally been interested in most time periods—with the exception of the Middle Ages. The era’s very title implies a period of time between more important periods of time. Ancient history of Greece and Rome fascinates me. Religious and political history of the last few hundred years is critical to understanding where we are today. But the Middle Ages, also referred to as the Dark Ages, has always seemed a bit of a historical no-man’s land, and I’ve never been sure where to begin. Fortunately, I was recently given a copy of Morris Bishop’s book, “The Middle Ages”.

Bishop, now deceased, was a professor at Cornell University and one of the world’s preeminent medieval historians and authors during his lifetime.

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Three Spring books to love

May 8, 2014 --

By Erika Weisensee, booklover
Milwaukie writing mom,

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” -Cicero

This quote combines two of my favorite things, reading and being outside in my garden. In fact, I love to read outside. I have written before in this column about my love of good books and the fulfillment I get from being part of two book clubs. Good books have the power to transport one to another time and place, to inspire, to challenge and change minds. While I read plenty of book reviews, the best book recommendations always come by word of mouth. Here are some books people are buzzing about:

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
A debut novel, “The Help” is set in Mississippi in 1962. Stockett, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., creates a work of historical fiction that reveals the lives of black women—”The Help”—who were hired to care for and nurture white children. Though tackling serious themes, this book is winning praise for its storytelling, and for the inspiring, even humorous, tone of this new author.

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Behind Astoria is some dramatic history

May 1, 2014 --

astriabookAstoria; John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival by Peter Stark
Reviewed by by Michelle Barnhart

When I was little, my grandparents occasionally took me to visit the Astor Column in Astoria. I didn’t pay much attention to the faded murals ringing the tower; I was too busy climbing up and down the circular iron staircase inside. I’ve been there occasionally as an adult, but not since my family was kicked out of the park a few years ago following an unfortunate incident involving a young child, a shoe, and a park attendant with a very small sense of humor.

In his book Astoria, Peter Stark tells the story behind the founding of the Astoria settlement. The key to John Jacob Astor’s vision of a global trading empire was an outpost on the Pacific coast, and he poured men and a substantial fortune into the venture. Although Astor was a detailed planner and spared no expense, he failed to take human frailty, an unexpected war, and sheer bad luck into account.

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