Sunday, November 29, 2020

November Reflections

Books Reviewed at Becky's Book Reviews

133. The Rules Have Changed. Lesley Choyce. 2021. [January] 120 pages. [Source: Review copy]

134. Wench. Maxine Kaplan. 2021. [January] 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]

135. Harrison Ranch and Macgregor's Mail Order Bride. Susan Payne. 2019. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]

136. A Midwife for Sweetwater and A New Face in Town. Susan Payne. 2020. 274 pages. [Source: Review copy]

137. Three Sisters. Susan Payne. 2020. 155 pages. [Source: Review copy]

138. Zanna's Gift. Orson Scott Card. 2020. [November] Originally published in 2004? 250 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

139. A Regency Christmas Anthology. Susan Payne. 2020. Wild Rose Press. 212 pages. [Source: Review copy]

140. A Husband for Christmas. Nancy Pirri. 2020. 189 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

141. All I Want for Christmas. Wendy Loggia. 2020. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy]

142. Kisses for Christmas. Dana Volney. 2020. COMPLETE GUESS 250? pages. [Source: Review copy]

143. Talent. B. Lynn Goodwin. 2020. [November] 226 pages. [Source: Review copy]

144. Holiday Hearts. Dana Volney. 2020. 242 pages. [Source: Review copy]

145.  The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane. Jaimie Admans. 2020. 311 pages. [Source: Review copy]

146. Rock of Freedom: The Story of the Plymouth Colony. Noel Gerson. 1964/2020. 167 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 

Books Reviewed at Young Readers

109. Go to Bed, Monster! Natasha Wing. Illustrated by Sylvie Wickstrom. 2007. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

110. Noisy Nora. Rosemary Wells. 1973. 32 pages. [Source: Bought] 

111. Ann Likes Red. Dorothy Z. Seymour. Illustrated by Nancy Meyeroff. 1965. 28 pages. [Source: Bought]

112. Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman. 1962. 64 pages. [Source: Bought] 

113. Stranger on the Home Front. Maya Chhabra. 2021. [January] 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]

114. Ballerina Bess. Dorothy Jane Mills and Dorothy Z. Seymour. 1965. 25 pages. [Source: Bought]

115. Anne's School Days. Kallie George. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. 2021. [July] 72 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

116.  Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends. Tina Kugler. 2016. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

117. Snail and Worm Again (Snail & Worm #2) Tina Kugler. 2017. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 

Books Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

91. 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. (Thru the Bible #50) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]
92. Welcome to the Journey. A Baptism gift. Bob Hartman. Illustrated by Raffaella Ligi. 2021. [March] Lion Hudson LTD. 40 pages. [guess on my part, but there are at least 36; since most picture books are either 32 or 40, I went with 40] [Source: Review copy]
93. Psalms 42-89 (Thru the Bible #18) J. Vernon McGee. 1997 (really earlier). 192 pages. [Source: Bought]
94. Hebrews 1-7 (Thru the Bible #51) J. Vernon McGee. 1978/1996. 152 pages. [Source: Bought]
95. Hebrews 8-13 (Thru the Bible #52) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 168 pages. [Source: Bought]
96. James. Thru the Bible #53 J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 120 pages. [Source: Bought]

Bibles Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

none in November, but should be three in December!

5 Star Books

Go to Bed, Monster! Natasha Wing. Illustrated by Sylvie Wickstrom. 2007. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. (Thru the Bible #50) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]

Zanna's Gift. Orson Scott Card. 2020. [November] Originally published in 2004? 250 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Ann Likes Red. Dorothy Z. Seymour. Illustrated by Nancy Meyeroff. 1965. 28 pages. [Source: Bought]

Noisy Nora. Rosemary Wells. 1973. 32 pages. [Source: Bought]

Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman. 1962. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]

Psalms 42-89 (Thru the Bible #18) J. Vernon McGee. 1997 (really earlier). 192 pages. [Source: Bought]

Anne's School Days. Kallie George. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. 2021. [July] 72 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Hebrews 1-7 (Thru the Bible #51) J. Vernon McGee. 1978/1996. 152 pages. [Source: Bought]

Hebrews 8-13 (Thru the Bible #52) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 168 pages. [Source: Bought]

James. Thru the Bible #53 J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 120 pages. [Source: Bought]

November totals

November Totals

Pages4705
Books30

 

Yearly Totals

 

2020 Totals
Pages106265
Books368

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Saturday, November 28, 2020

1945 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished listening to the 1945 Hits Archive available via the78prof's YouTube channel. We were both a little disappointed with this year's offerings. Especially early on in the alphabet. (The playlist is arranged alphabetically by song title.) But the year did have some great songs.

For your reference:
List of Billboard number one singles of 1945

Highlights

Don't Fence Me In -- Sammy Kaye (Billy Williams Vocal); Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters;

I'm Beginning to See the Light -- Kitty Kallen (Harry James Orchestra);  

It Might as Well Be Spring -- Margaret Whiting & Paul Weston Orchestra; Dick Haymes; Sammy Kaye (Billy Williams, vocal).

It's Been A Long, Long Time -- Harry James (Kitty Kallen); Bing Crosby

Sentimental Journey -- Doris Day

That's For Me -- Dick Haymes

Till the End of Time -- Perry Como

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Thursday, November 26, 2020

1946 Hits Archive


Mom and I finished the 1946 Hits Archive earlier today posted at the78prof's YouTube channel. Overall, it was a solidly good year! (I think it was 1948 that was a bit more "interesting" and "taste-specific.") 

For your reference: Billboard year-end top singles of 1946 and Billboard number-one singles of 1946.

Highlights:

All Through the Day -- Perry Como

Boogie Blues -- Gene Krupa (Anita O'Day vocal) 

Bumble Boogie Freddy Martin and His Orchestra with Jack Fina on Piano.

Buzz Me -- Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five

Cement Mixer (Put-ti Put-ti) Alvino Rey (Rocky Coluccio vocal)

Choo Choo ch'Boogie Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five

The Christmas Song -- Nat King Cole/ The King Cole Trio

Dig You Later -- Perry Como

Give Me the Simple Life -- Benny Goodman and His Orchestra 

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Vaughn Monroe & Orchestra

Oh! What It Seemed To Be -- Frank Sinatra; Frankie Carle & His Orchestra, Marjorie Hughes vocals; Dick Haymes & Helen Forrest; Charlie Spivak, Jimmy Saunders Vocal.

Day by Day -- Frank Sinatra

One-Zy Two-Zy Phil Harris & Orchestra (he's singing with his daughter) 

Route 66 King Cole Trio/ Nat King Cole

Winter Wonderland -- Perry Como

There were many, many songs from Annie Get Your Gun. 


 

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

146. Rock of Freedom


Rock of Freedom: The Story of the Plymouth Colony. Noel Gerson. 1964/2020. 167 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: There was no sound in the vast, black expanse of wilderness but the faint, steady drip of raindrops falling from pines and birches, cedars and poplars and firs. Gradually the dark clouds hovering over the crescent of land on which Plymouth Colony was built began to roll away.

Premise/plot: Rock of Freedom is nonfiction narrative--an account of the first two to four years of the Plymouth Colony. The framework of the story is the arrival of Anne and Little James in 1623. This is where the story opens and closes. In between is the story of how the Separatists--and other would-be colonists--together sailed to the New World (on the Mayflower) and settled in what would become New England. It focuses primarily on three or four leaders; not every colonist was mentioned and received attention. It is a story of strength and weaknesses, successes and failures. It is grim and gritty--for life was hard, unimaginably hard. 

The book was originally written in 1964 at a time when political correctness was not reigning supreme--for better or worse. Know this going in that perhaps if an author was writing today that he/she might phrase things a bit differently in hopes of reaching the widest audience possible. I am not ever suggesting that facts should be manipulated or twisted--revised or corrected long, long after the fact. Facts are facts are facts; they can be interpreted differently with each generation, with each reader. Researchers should stick to facts and if at all possible show their work--their research. Modern writers don't necessarily need to "rescue" or "save" historical figures--by justifying every word, every act. Nor do modern writers "need" to crucify those that lived in the past and vilify everyone and everything. Present the facts and let readers decide for themselves. In the case of the pilgrims, it's not an either/or. They are neither saints nor sinners. I don't need perfect heroes to idolize. 


This book definitely presents the pilgrims as an incredible group of people--a bit idealistic at times perhaps. But then again they do stick to the first few years of the colony.

My thoughts: Rock of Freedom is READABLE. Sadly not all books about the pilgrims are. I have read several adult books this year on the subject of the Mayflower and Pilgrims, etc. Some of them are a CHORE. One of them I'm almost ready to give up on completely. A dryer book has never been penned. And that book in particular seeks to strip all the pilgrims of any good attributes or nature. Again, I don't need my pilgrims to be saints--but human nature is always such a mixing of the good and bad, the right and wrong; no one is purely good or purely evil. So it was refreshing that this book was READABLE.

It does include a lot of dialogue. I'm not sure this much dialogue would pass as nonfiction in 2020, but, in a way it's delightful. I take dialogue in nonfiction with a grain of salt. I know that the writer might be putting words in someone's mouth that may or may not in any way whatsoever be true and legit. Maybe those words reflect his or her interpretation of written facts in primary or secondary sources. 

I definitely enjoyed reading it.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

1947 Hits Archive


Mom and I finished the 1947 Hits Archive on the78prof's YouTube channel. For your reference, Billboard number one singles 1947; Billboard year-end top singles of 1947

Highlights:

Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five. He writes, " Composed by the husband-wife team of Alex Kramer & Joan Whitney, this novelty spent a whopping 17 weeks atop the R&B charts, reaching #6 on the pop juke box listings." I just have to say I LOVE this one so much. I listened to it three or four times in a row!

Almost Like Being In Love -- Frank Sinatra. I'm so used to this being "Frank's" song that I didn't realize it was from a musical--Brigadoon.

There were 4 Anniversary Songs. The first by Al Jolson. "Among 1947’s top ballads, “Anniversary Song” was a new lyrical adaptation of the 1880 composition “Waves Of The Danube” by Ivanovici and was the #1 tune on “Your Hit Parade” for six consecutive weeks. Popularized through its appearance in the box office hit “The Jolson Story,” five different versions of the tune reached the top-5 on Billboard’s weekly best-sellers charts. Jolson’s own studio version led the pack, spending six weeks at #2 (blocked from the top spot by Ted Weems’ “Heartaches”). The other four versions in the collection are by Dinah Shore, Tex Beneke, Guy Lombardo and Andy Russell."

There were two An Apple Blossom Weddings. Eddy Howard. Don Cornell, vocal Sammy Kaye orchestra.

Babalu -- Desi Arnaz 

Here Comes Santa Claus Gene Autry

I Believe -- Frank Sinatra

For Sentimental Reasons Nat King Cole. There were four other versions also in 1947. "Not yet including “Nat” in his professional name, King Cole and his jazz trio enjoyed their first #1 ‘pop’ best-seller with this memorable 1946-47 ballad. The song itself spent 7 weeks atop Your Hit Parade and spawned several other successful recorded versions: Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald, Eddy Howard and Charlie Spivak are also posted."

I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now -- Perry Como 

Open the Door, Richard -- Count Basie; All five posted versions of this short-lived novelty sensation made it into the top-10 on both the pop and R&B Billboard weekly record charts: Count Basie (#1 pop), Dusty Fletcher, Jack McVea, Louis Jordan and The Three Flames

Ragtime Cowboy Joe -- Eddy Howard

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) Phil Harris

That's My Desire -- Frankie Laine

White Christmas -- Bing Crosby

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah JOhnny Mercer


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews