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Eisen is uniquely qualified to write this book because, as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, he was one of the most recent occupants of the palace built in Prague the 1920s by Otto Petschek. Eisen weaves an incredible story of the palace and its occupants, from Ashkenazi to Hollywood royalty, Nazis, communists, heroes, villains, and victims. The book extends from the 1920s through the Velvet Revolution to the present. The plot twists would rival any mystery. Eisen's own existence, not just his ambassadorship, winds around the thread of his own mother surviving the Holocaust, the Russian invasion, and rise of Communism. This book is fascinating,insightful and timely. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan
This beautifully illustrated book is a wonder, a cross between epistles on nature (delving anywhere from the bloodthirstiness of house wrens to the haunting beauty of a pond's loss to rapacious waterlilies) and a memoir, where tales of great and little loves happen on a daily basis. This book is one to savor in pieces, so you can think, reflect, and revisit sections. Late Migrations is for anyone who loved Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan
This is a memoir of the Dao of Donkey. Christopher Mcdougall's wonderful, funny, insightful, and always entertaining book is about training a rescued donkey named Sherman to be his running partner, or vice-versa. The story evolves into life lessons learned from a myriad of characters: burro racers, "crazy" ladies, Amish people, goats, and of course Sherman, who is the real hero—move over Black Beauty. This book left a warm happiness inside my head and my heart long after I finished it. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan
Harjo is a shapeshifter, weaving ancestral lore and personal memory, lessons, and experiences of beauty and sharp edges that blend into sublime lyrics in her work and her well-lived life. They are one and the same. This memoir exemplifies her desire to "aim in humanizing and healing" as American Poet Laureate. I did not want this book to end. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan
This Is a wonderfully soulful memoir and an homage to the author’s parents, particularly her father, a man who thrived on living on the edge. Their strengths and weaknesses made for a grounded (in a most unorthodox sense) childhood. As a reader it was sometimes hard to catch my breath, whether from laughter or, occasionally, from tears of empathy. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan