Deborah Johnson’s The Secret of Magic


The Secret of Magic

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

 

Title: The Secret of Magic
Author: Deborah Johnson
ISBN: 9780399157721
Length: 416 pages
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Harris County Public Library

Goodreads

 Reasons for Reading: I either heard about or read something referring to this 2014 release. Given that we were planning a library program about African American History Month, I sought and requested this book via Harris County Public Library (HCPL).

Summary: Decorated African American World War II hero Joe Howard Wilson took the bus home to his native Revere, Mississippi. When expected to give up his seat for German POWs, Joe Howard refused. Later on, Joe Howard’s body is found. Fast forward to the Fall 1946 New York, the reader meets Regina Mary Robichard, a young attorney working for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP. Regina discovers a letter from writer of the notorious The Secret of Magic, M.P. Calhoun, has called upon the NAACP for help in bringing Joe Howard’s killer to justice. With her childhood copy of The Secret of Magic practically in hand, Regina journeys down to Revere in order to discover what happened to Joe Howard.

One Thing I Learned from this book: Thurgood Marshall’s wife was called “Buster.” To learn more about the late Justice Marshall, click on the following link – Marshall, Thurgood – Facts on File History Database

What I Liked: Regina is an African American woman who was also an attorney. Author Deborah Johnson’s inspiration was Constance Baker Motley. I liked the tidbits about Marshall, too. Johnson’s writing is vivid and rich. Already, I was imagining who should play Regina, M.P. Calhoun, Joe Howard, and Marshall in the movie.

What I Disliked: A few parts dragged for me but this didn’t much eclipse my appreciation of the book.

RR - Yellow  Rainbow Rating: Yellow – Parental Guidance for Kids Under 13

 

Song: Cristine and Kathrine Shipp – Sea Lion Woman

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Meg Waite Clayton’s The Wednesday Sisters


The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton | LibraryThing:

Clayton, M. W. (2008). The Wednesday sisters: A novel. New York: Ballantine Books. 9780345502827

Reasons for Reading : After I read The Four Ms. Bradwells, I wanted to read another Meg Waite Clayton book. So, I checked out The Wednesday Sisters at HCPL.

Summary: In the setting of late 1960s Palo Alto, California, five women gather at the park near their homes. Brought to the neighborhood by their husbands’ jobs, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally begin meeting Wednesday mornings. These ladies differ greatly – the narrator is the meek Chicago Catholic Frankie. She’s awful baffled by blunt, athletic Linda, Kentucky debutante Kath, brilliant Brett who never goes without her white gloves, and secretive Ally. Yet, they’re all readers and closet writers. Thus, at Linda’s urging, the Wednesday Sisters Writing Society is born. Not only do the Wednesday Sisters write, they also support each other throughout the years.

What I Liked:  After I finished this book, I wanted to start my own Wednesday Sisters Writing Socierty. I still adore the idea. Anyone who has asked me for a book recommendation has received this response “Have you read The Wednesday Sisters yet?

Also, I liked that only Frankie narrated. She talked of her attitudes and actions in past events even when they didn’t reflect well on her.

What I Disliked: A few sections, Frankie told of what had happened to other characters in the book. This nearly took on a third person omniscient point of view which seemed unnatural.

Other than Frankie’s husband, Danny, I had a hard time remember which spouse went with each Wednesday Sister.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Paperback Writer – The Beatles

Setting :  Palo Alto California, Hawaii

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Kathryn Stockett’s The Help


The Help by Kathryn Stockett | LibraryThing

Stockett, K., Lamia, J., Turpin, B., Spencer, O., & Campbell, C. (2009). The help. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Audio. 9780143144182

Reasons for Reading : First, numerous people requested The Help. Second, the several hundred people on the waiting list gave witness to the buzz. Lastly, the movie hit theaters. I definitely wanted to read the book before I saw the film. Per advice, I requested the audiobook version from HCPL.

Summary : It’s 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi and Mrs. Elizabeth Leefolt’s maid, Aibileen readies the house for the white ladies’ bridge club. Aibileen and her best friend Minny are African American maids working for the society ladies. Mrs. Leefolt leacer her chubby toddler daughter, Mae Mobley, for Aibileen to raise while keeping up appearances for her best friend, the villainous Hilly Holbrook. Mrs. Leefolt’s other best friend, writer Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, just graduated from Ole Miss and joins them for bridge.

As Hilly pushes Elizabeth to get her maid her own “bathroom” (more like an outhouse), Skeeter quietly asks where her beloved family maid, Constantine, has gone. Minny, the best cook in Jackson, works for Hilly’s senile mother until Minny’s mouth gets the best of her.

Seeing the injustice around them, Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter conjure up a book – the true telling of what it’s like for an African American maid in The South.

What I Liked : I loved hearing the various voices reading the different parts of the story. Minny’s part was read by Octavia Spencer, who played the maid in movie.

Several of the events in the book amused me greatly but I won’t spoil 🙂 those.

What I Disliked : While I wanted to know what different characters thought, I felt the only authentic voice was that of Skeeter. I think the sections by Aibileen and Minny were well-written but I wondered how much Stockett could know about these women.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Bob Dylan – Times They are a-Changin – YouTube

Setting : Jackson, Mississippi

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Jorie’s Top Ten Books of 2011


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

These are 10 books I enjoyed reading the most in 2011.

1. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help

2. Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for real: A little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back

3. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

4. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire

5. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

6. Michael Connelly’s The Reversal (fourth in the series)

7. Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love

8. Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss

9. Caroline B. Cooney’s What Child is This? A Christmas Story

10. Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

1. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help

2. Rachel Cohn’s Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

3. Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot

4. Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shanara

5. Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ

6. Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote

7. Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley Confidential

8. Michael Connelly’s Nine Dragons

9. Caroline B. Cooney’s What Child is This? A Christmas Story

10. Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time