Book Report: The 19th Wife

I love the listmania feature at Amazon.com.  It allows you to make lists of your favorite things.  I keep track of the books I have read and books I may want to read in the future.  While browsing books all sorts of listmania lists are displayed along the sides of the pages.  These lists are great places to find new and interesting books.  It was on one of these lists thatI first noticed The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.  I added it to my Books I Want to Read (list 7 ).  Who knew if I’d ever actually get to it, I have so many books waiting to be read!  Lo and behold, a few short weeks later I was studying the shelves at my favorite used book store (where hardcovers are $1 and softcovers are $.50- can you say book lover heaven?) and there it was in all it’s hardcover glory- The 19th wife!  Was it even a possibility thatI left it on the shelf?  NO WAY!  Instead of adding it to my pile of books awaiting their turn I read it immediately.

The 19th Wife has two story lines, one is current and follows a twenty year old man who was kicked out of a polygamous sect when he was fourteen.  He returns home after discoverireng his mother has been arrested for the murder of his father.  His mother was his father’s 19th wife.  The second story line revolves around real life person Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, one of the early leaders of the Mormon church.  Ann Eliza did write a biography, a scathing expose of the bebinnings of polygamythat was called Wife No. 19.   Ebershoff’s novel is a fictionalization of Ann Eliza’s book.  It has book chapters, interviews, wikipedia entries, rejection letters from the Mormon temple archives, letters from Ann Eliza’s son and excerpts from newpaper articles.  It is fictional but relies heavily on real life sources and appears to be well researched.  I have to confess I was fascinated by these stories.  Two thirds of the novel is dedicated to the historical aspect and one third to the current day story.  If I have a complaint it is that I wanted the stories to be fifty-fifty, an even split of pages alloted.   The historical started to become tedious and the modern day story needed more!  Overall a very satisfying and informative read.  Grade:  B.

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Vacation Photos!

Below are some photos from my recent vacation to South Dakota and Wyoming.  Captions are under the photo and may contain links to the National or State Park mentioned.  No stories about the trip yet, I have a couple of things I am fleshing out but until those stories are perfected the pictures are all you get!

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Grasslands as far as the eye can see.

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Yellow Mounds, Badlands National Park.


Night time lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore National Monument.

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 Mount Rushmore in the distance.

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Forest fire damage in Custer State Park.

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Hildy, Linda, Charlie and Shiney at Rod and Gun State Campground  in the Black Hills National Forest in Spearfish Canyon, SD.

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Desolate landscape (and cattle!) in Wyoming.

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Devil’s Tower National Monument.

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Games with friends.  Linda, Lori, Shiney, Charlie, Levi, Kayla, and Katie.

Musical Genius

I am not a music whore.  I don’t live for the next great artist, song or album.  That said I enjoy music, most types of music.  Leave out twangy country, angry rap and destructive death metal and I am good!

I find that I go back to the same “comfort music” again and again.  In fact, I do this so much that I forever ruin wonderful songs.  I ruin them because I listen them to death, they get stuck in my head for days, and then I can never again listen to them without them becoming enslaved in my thoughts.  I was told a surefire way to remove  songs that are stuck on mental replay is to hum the theme to The Smurfs cartoon and, surprisingly, this frequently works, but not always.  In the most recent example I can cite I was forced to endure Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape for an entire weekend.  I hear those woo hoo’s in my nightmares now!

Music runs the gamut of all emotions making it easy to find music to match your mood or to coax you into a different mood.  Since I love laughing it seems apropos that some of my favorite songs make me laugh out loud, or at least smirk a little!  Songs like Banjo Boy, from Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband; Gimme Three Steps, from Lynard Skynyrd; Mood Rings, from Reliant K, The Spiderman Theme brilliantly performed by Michael Buble; The Barenaked Ladies singing If I Had a Million Dollars; Chris Rice singing the Cartoon Song; or Carmen poking fun at soap operas in the Soap Song.

What I love love love is finding just one phrase from a song that is completely, totally,  outstandingly brilliant!  It jumps right out and grabs me by the, well, by the something or other.  Here are some of my favorites in a quiz format-  see how many of the songs you know.  Don’t worry, I’ll throw in some easy ones!

1.    My Maserati does 185, I lost my license, now I don’t drive.

2.    ‘Cause every time I see your bubbly face I get the tingles in a silly place.  It starts in my toes, and I crinkle my nose, where ever it goes I always know that you make me smile.

3.    Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

4.    Lately I’ve been running on faith
What else can a poor boy do?
But my world will be right
When love comes over you

5.    When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom
Just like a wavin’ flag

6.    Every gambler knows that the secret to surviving
Is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep

7.    I never knew you, you never knew me,
Say hello goodbye,
Say hello and wave goodbye

8.    You’re the cutest thing that I ever did see
I really love your peaches wanna shake your tree

9.    If beauty is all in the eye of the beholder then I
wish you could see the love for you that lives in me

10. Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care”?

11. While peace like a river runs into the setting sun, mercy painting the sky

12. I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes.
And the wonder of it all is that you just don’t realize how much I love you

13. My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.  My God, My Savior has ransomed me.  And like a flood His mercy reigns, unending love amazing grace.

14. Born alone, die alone and I’m just sittin’ here by the phone waiting for the Lord to send my callin’.

15. Who can say if your love grows,
As your heart chose?
Only time…

16.  Lazarus……….Jesus?
Lazarus……….Jesus?
Lazarus……….Jesus!
Lazarus, COME FORTH, I command you, Come forth

 NO PEEKING!  ANSWERS BELOW! (Each song title is a link to a YouTube video for the song and the number following is the time stamp location of the key phrase in the video.)

1.    Joe Walsh, Life’s Been Good  1:54

2.    Colbie Caillat, Bubbly  :23

3.    Eagles, Desperado 1:13

4.    Eric Clapton, Runnin’ on Faith :35

5.    K’Naan, Wavin’ Flag #1 1:12, Wavin’ Flag #2 1:00

6.    Kenny Rogers, The Gambler 1:18

7.    David Grey, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye 1:42

8.    Steve Miller Band, The Joker 1:12

9.    Geoff Moore, If You Could See What I See :37

10. Pink, Glitter in the Air :48

11. Nouveaux, Simply Beautiful :54

12. Eric Clapton, You Look Wonderful Tonight 2:05

13. Chris Tomlin, Amazing Grace 1:15

14.  Everlast, Saving Grace 1:16

15.  Enya, Only Time :24

16.  Carman, Lazarus 5:18

So, how’d you do?  Aww, who cares, it was fun anyway, wasn’t it?