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Urban Leaving to Country Living

Books I’ve Read in the Past (Feb – June 1998)


 photo Books Ive Read text 400c_zpsrnpovccu.jpg

I first started keeping track of the books that I read in 1997 when I was already in my ’40s. These early records are incomplete, and some of the brief comments are laughable. But, inspired by JoAnn of Lakeside Musing who has shared her older journals in a series that she has named Pages from the Past, I’d like to share my journals with you. Herewith, a small sample from February through June, 1998. My record-keeping was thin on the ground!

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (Non-fiction, Autobiography)

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller photo helen keller_zpsuftcm1nz.jpgWritten when she was 22; includes various letters she sent as a girl and young woman. I was prompted to read by seeing a performance of Miracle Workerat Theatre Aquarius.

It’s really remarkable what this girl learned. In future I’d like to read the books she wrote later in life.

[2016 notes: I’ve known about Helen Keller all my life – well, at least since I saw the Patty Duke version of The Miracle Worker when I was eight years old. Keller was an incredible woman.

I never have gotten around to reading more of Keller’s books, so I guess that’s an oversight to correct.]

The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love by Elizabeth Cox (Fiction, Southern USA)

The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love by Elizabeth Cox photo ragged_zpsaaksgbzp.jpgRealistic, but not earth-shattering. I read the last half of the book while I was coming off Effexor [an anti-depressant] and perhaps I was not in a condition to grasp the story. Everything seemed strange.

[2016 notes: I cannot express how glad I am to be free of that incapacitating condition (clinical depression), and I’m sorry that I can’t comment further on this book.]

How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto (Fiction, Women’s)
How to Make an Ame4rican Quilt by Whitney Otto photo quilt_zpslzihb8g4.jpgA good, quick read. I thought sometimes that the sections of “instructions” were overdone and too ethereal. But the stories of the people pieced together in this small town were fascinating.

[2016 notes: I remember little of this book, but it was made into a 1995 movie with Winona Ryder, Anne Bancroft, Claire Danes, Ellen Burstyn and Maya Angelou. I don’t think I saw the movie.]


Dogs Never Lie About Love) by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Non-fiction, Animals)

Dogs Never Lie About Love photo dogs_zpsyncct9f5.jpgThis was really interesting for the first half-dozen chapters, then it seemed to become a lot of padding and unsupported theories. In the end, no one really knows what dogs think or feel – we are limited by being able to think only in human terms. This I knew before I read the book!

[2016 notes: I had a spurt of rating my books around this time, and I see that I gave this only 2 stars out of 5.]

That’s all for the first half of 1998. Does anything interest you?


P.S. The links are affiliate links so I will receive a small percentage of any purchase you make after clicking through from this blog

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7 Comments to

“Books I’ve Read in the Past (Feb – June 1998)”

  1. On December 16th, 2016 at 10:19 pm Naomi Says:

    I also read Dogs Never Lie About Love, also a long time ago. I’m always drawn to books about animal behaviour, because I really want to know what they’re thinking, but of course always come away with the knowledge that we can’t actually know what they’re thinking – we can only guess. I also read one called When Elephants Weep around the same time (maybe written by the same guy?).

    I think I saw How To Make An American Quilt (also a long time ago). Another book that had quilts in it that I was pleasantly surprised by is The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas.

  2. On December 17th, 2016 at 7:03 pm Debbie Says:

    I’ll have to look for The Persian Pickle Club. Thanks for making the connection. 🙂

  3. On December 17th, 2016 at 8:19 am JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing Says:

    I remember reading How to Make an American Quilt about that same time… funny I don’t remember anything about it. Not sure if I saw the movie or not.

    It’s time for me to get back to my Pages From the Past series… I’ve let in slide for several months. Thanks for the reminder 😉

  4. On December 17th, 2016 at 7:05 pm Debbie Says:

    I don’t remember anything about How to Make an American Quilt, either, JoAnn. I guess it was just one of those good-for-the-moment but not memorable books. So many of them out there!

    I’m looking forward to more of your Pages from the Past!

  5. On December 19th, 2016 at 10:22 am Rebecca Foster Says:

    Strangely, I’ve encountered Helen Keller more in fiction than in non-. I enjoyed the novel Helen Keller in Love by Rosie Sultan, and she also makes brief appearances in What Is Visible (Kimberly Elkins) and Twain’s End (Lynn Cullen).

    The one book I’ve read by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Beasts) was not that great either; I think I rated it 2.5. His animal writing doesn’t strike me as very deep.

  6. On December 26th, 2016 at 7:17 am Whispering Gums Says:

    Funnily I started my reading database in 1998 (though recently I’ve populated it with 1996/7 from my diary. Not complete but I tried to mention most books I was reading in my diary.

    Anyhow, I didn’t read any of the books you list at the time, but I did read How to make an American quilt a bit earlier, closer as I recollect to when it came out (probably about 1993??). I enjoyed it – and the film was pleasant – but that’s all. What has she gone on to do. (I think this was a creative writing school work?)

  7. On January 13th, 2017 at 12:29 pm Debbie Says:

    I don’t know what else this author has gone to, Sue. And that’s the thing about How to Make an American Quilt: it was pleasant but ultimately forgettable.

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