Catching up again.

Servants of the Map by Andrea Barrett

I've been reading this for what seems like a very long time. It's a collection of intelligently written short stories all related in one way or another to geography, biology or botany. I read it in small sections, just a few paragraphs at a time, over months and it really didn't work for me like that. It would have been better to read one entire story at a time. As it was, I lost track of characters and lost interest in plots. Understand, it's a very good book. I just didn't give it the attention it deserved.

When Rum Was King by Ruby M. Cusack

This is the story of the prohibition years in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Written from a legal standpoint, there are an awful lot of dates and facts and laws, but mixed in are a few interesting anecdotes. It was boring to read, but it did give me a better understanding of the province's history.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

This classic deserves a much longer and more detailed review that I would or could give it. The truth is I didn't read it because I wanted to. It's on my Guilt List, the list of books I feel I should have read long ago. I read two of Tolstoy's novels because they were on the list and they didn't leave me looking forward to the other Russian novelists. They are so emotional, so over-the-top dramatic that I find it exhausting. The stories and the writing are great as you would expect, but I find the histrionics tedious and that ruins it for me.  As the title suggests, Crime and Punishment is about a young man who commits a crime then tries find a way to live with the consequences. The psychological process he goes through and how that seeps into every relationship in his life makes for a fascinating story if you can get past the melodrama.

My Glimpse of Eternity by Betty Malz

Set in the 50s and 60s, this is the story of a 27 year old woman who was pronounced dead, had the sheet pulled up over her head, then a short time later came back to life, pushed the sheet off, and told the stunned staff and her family about having been to Heaven. That part of the story is the main event, but this book is also about how God used that experience to change a proud, difficult person into the woman He had always intended her to be.

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