Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Cruelest Miles by Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury

I just returned from Alaska.  When I travel, I am always amazed by the things I learn in far off places.  Everything in Alaska is big and vast and full of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.  And the official state sport is dog mushing.  While on a tour bus, I won a stamped postcard of Alaska for knowing that little tidbit. 

The Cruelest Miles is the story of how diptheria antitoxin was dog sledded across Alaska to save the city of Nome from an epidemic in 1925.  The disease broke out in winter, when the temperature dipped to minus 60 below, the bays were frozen over and a new winter storm brewed almost every day.  Children were dying and the people of Alaska did what they knew they could do best to save them.

This story was written with great care.  It's full of emotion and suspense, heartache and love and at the center of it all, the dogs.  Sled dogs love to run.  And run they will, without regard to their cargo.  They knew they had a job to do and they did it in the worst conditions possible. 

I wish the authors had spent a little more time on a piece of the story near and dear to my heart.  The mushers fought over the celebrity of the dogs and who deserved the most recognition.  While no one was paying any attention Balto and several other dogs ended up in a carnival show.  The good people of Cleveland raised money to save the dogs and generously cared for them in their zoo.  I was raised in Cleveland and had never known the story of Balto, who is displayed in their Natural History Museum to this day.  I find it funny how our paths in life circle around. 

If you are interested in a piece of history, The Cruelest Miles is a well written, suspenseful, story of the will of man and his faithful dogs.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm Over All That by Shirley MacLaine

One day I turned on an Oprah rerun and Shirley MacLaine was on discussing her new book.  I rarely watched Oprah, so it's even more unusual that I watched a rerun.  Being a very spiritual person, Shirley's story caught my ear.

I don't agree with her politics of which there are many references in this book, but I do agree that we are here on earth living in a physical body, one life of many our soul will experience.  Death is not to be feared, our soul will move on.  She wrote of her love of travel because each trip was a journey home to somewhere she had been before.  That really struck me.  I too love to travel and I can tell many stories of being in a place having on overwhelming sense of familiarity. 

I'm Over All That is a fun and interesting book with a point of view that doesn't come along every day.  And it should.  The world would be full of love and peace if it did.

City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves by David Benioff It's World War II in Leningrad, Russia.  17 year old Lev elected to stay behind in the city when h...