Tag: reading

The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans Book Review

I am participating in several reading challenges, one being the 100 Bestsellers List.  Here’s my review for The Horse Whisperer, by Nicholas Evans.

This post does not contains spoilers.


The Horse Whisperer* by Nicholas Evans
(*Amazon Affiliate link)
The first line in The Horse Whisperer sets up the tone of the book quite well:

There was death at its beginning as there would be death again at its end.

After reading that line, how can you not read quickly through the first chapter to see who is going to die and how?

Horses and More

This story has all the components needed to suck you in: forbidden love, a life-threatening accident, a ruggedly handsome cowboy (Tom, the horse whisperer), a driven professional woman seeking healing for her daughter and herself (Annie), a teenage daughter in emotional pain (Grace), a supportive husband who fears he’s losing his family (Robert), and the big sky of Montana. Oh, and horses.  Lots of horses.

While I’m not exactly a horse person, I liked almost everything about this novel.  The characters were multi-dimensional, the storyline compelling, and the descriptions of Montana made me want to hop in the car and go see it for myself.

Initially I was shocked and angry with the story resolution.  I wanted a fairytale ending, which, of course, wasn’t possible.  “There would be death again at its end,” remember? (By the end of the book, I’d forgotten that tidbit of information.)  The only question was, who would die?

Philosophy of Life

Early in the book we learn Tom’s philosophy of life:

“I guess that’s all forever is,” his father replied. “Just one long trail of nows. And I guess all you can do is try and live one now at a time without getting too worked up about the last now or the next now.” It seemed to Tom as good a recipe for life as he’d yet heard.

Read the rest of my review over on It’s A Mystery Blog.


Books Read 2015

It’s been a long time since I mentioned the books that I’m reading.  2015 was my “Irish” year.  I read 25 books and 14 of them dealt with Ireland in some fashion.

Here’s the Irish list:

  • The Lion of Ireland, Morgan Llywelyn
  • Finn MacCool, Morgan Llywelyn
  • 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion, Morgan Llywelyn
  • Bard, The Odyssey of the Irish, Morgan Llywelyn
  • Pride of Lions, Morgan Llywelyn
  • The Last Prince of Ireland, Morgan Llywelyn
  • 1921: The Great Novel of the Irish Civil War, Morgan Llywelyn
  • 1949: A Novel of the Irish Free State, Morgan Llywelyn
  • 1972: A Novel of Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution, Morgan Llywelyn
  • 1999: A Novel of the Celtic Tiger and the Search for Peach, Morgan Llywelyn
  • The Princes of Ireland, Edward Rutherford
  • A Short History of Ireland, John O’Beirne Ranelagh
  • Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas, Morgan Llywelyn
  • The Rebels of Ireland, Edward Rutherford

And the rest:

  • Lyndon Johnson and The American Dream, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Elantris, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Girls of August, Anne Rivers Siddons
  • Effortless Savings: A Money Management Guide to Saving Without Sacrifice, Richard Syrop
  • How To Compost: Everything You Need to Know to Start Composting and Nothing You Don’t!, Lars Hundley
  • 365 Days of Vegan Recipes, Katie Emma
  • Pizza Pie In The Sky: A Complete Guide to Pizza, Penguin Cooking
  • You Are A Writer, Jeff Goins
  • Daily Self-Discipline: Everyday Habits and Exercise to Build Self-Discipline and Achieve Your Goals, Martin Meadows
  • The Book of Fate, Brad Meltzer
  • Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire: An Absent-Minded Tale of Life with Giftedness and Attention Deficit-Oh Look! A Chicken!, by Stacey Turis

If you are interested in Irish history and Irish lore, I highly recommend most everything that Morgan Llywelyn has ever written!

In the second list, I highly recommend those that are highlighted in green.  The rest were either fluff or so-so.  And the books highlighted in red, don’t waste your time!

I’m a bit amazed at the number of books I read this past year.  In recent years, my norm was 10 – 15 books.  But, many of the books listed above are shorter than those read in previous years.  Some I’ve read more than once.  Plus I began reading electronic books on my phone at night when I couldn’t sleep, and then I acquired a Kindle in December, so I think that accounts for much of the increased read time.

Next week I’ll list the books I’ve read since the first of the year.

What I’ve Been Reading

The last time I posted what I was reading, it was the end of April and I had just finished up several books on Richard III and also read several Mrs. Pollifax spy novels.

In the three months since then, I’ve read thirteen more books! That sounds like a lot, but many were more of the Mrs. Pollifax series. They are short and enjoyable – I can finish one off in about two and a half days – perfect reading for stressful times.

Mrs. Pollifax on Safari
• Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief
• Mrs. Pollifax Pursued
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer

Author Dorothy Gilman creates wonderfully vibrant and memorable characters in the Mrs. Pollifax series. Unfortunately, I only have two more Mrs. Pollifax books to read and then I will be done with the series. She has written other books, though, so perhaps I shall have to try one of those.

I did finish Richard Castle’s Heat Wave, but while I enjoy the series, the book was not as exciting, perhaps because there wasn’t the visual of Nathan Fallon playing Richard Castle! In any case, I decided not to read the second in the series.

Another author that I have come to enjoy is Elizabeth Chadwick. She writes historical romances, mostly centered around the 1100s and 1200s of England, or at least those that I have read so far have been in that time frame. The Marsh King’s Daughter and Shields of Pride were excellent reads and I can’t wait to tackle more of Chadwick’s books.

Other books that I finished were Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and Bernard Cornwell’s The Burning Land. Weatherford’s biography of Genghis Khan and the succeeding two generations of Mongol rulers was extremely interesting. If the Mongols did only half of what Weatherford attributed to them as positively impacting the modern world, then they were truly a remarkable people, even while they were violent and ruthless. Cornwell’s The Burning Land is the fifth book in The Saxon Series, which brings the readers up to near the end of King Alfred of Wessex’s reign. I have enjoyed the series, although they are quite violent and I am getting tired of the non-stop battle scenes.

In my April post I mentioned that I was reading Was it something you ate? Food intolerance: what causes it and how to avoid it by John Emsley and Peter Fell. I have not progressed any further with that book and have set it aside to maybe tackle again at a later date.

Two books that I am currently reading are Fifty Is the New Fifty by Suzanne Braun Levine and Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Braun’s books is a continuation of her “women in second adulthood” theme that she covered in her first book Inventing the Rest of Our Lives. I am not very far into the book yet, so I’ll don’t really have any comments/reviews on it yet. Fuhrman’s book is very interesting! Here’s from the back cover:

Eat to Live offers a highly effective and scientifically proven way to lose weight quickly. The key to Dr. Fuhrman’s revolutionary six week plan is simple:

health = nutrients / calories.

When the ratio of nutrients to calories in the food you eat is high, you lose weight. The more nutrient-dense food you eat, the less you crave fat, sweets, and high-calorie foods.

Eat to Live will help you live longer, reduce your dependence on medications, and improve your overall health dramatically. It will change the way you want to eat.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. His other books include Eat for Health and Disease-Proof Your Child. He lives and maintains a private practice in Flemington, New Jersey. For more information visit Dr. Fuhrman’s websites at http://www.drfuhrman.com/ and http://www.diseaseproof.com/.

I will definitely be posting a review of this book when I have finished it. He goes into a lot of science and scientific studies in the first several chapters, wanting his readers to really understand how the body uses the nutrition is receives so that they will understand the basic premises of his new way of eating. Stay tuned!