Friday, February 26, 2016

This book Surprised Me

     I like to read a book that really surprises me by how good it turns out to be. A book was lent to me by a friend why highly recommended it. It was one of those local history biography stories with narrow interest and a small number that were published. I'm interested in local history but it has to have some relation to me or important  events in the history of the area.

      Jack Kates wrote the story of his life while growing up in a small Saskatchewan village during the thirties and forties. The setting makes this story fairly precise. Most people won't have heard of Saskatchewan.

      Well, Jack Kates pulled this off. He wrote a fascinating tale of growing up and the fun he had along the way. This experience shaped him to become a successful man in his field.

       In the early 1900's many Jewish people ran small general stores. Half of the villages had a business owned by Jewish people.

     Jack's family had a small general store in Sheho Saskatchewan. This was a miserable way to make a living. The business was small and credit was given to the customers. Payment of suppliers was difficult. They had a cow, some chickens and grew a vegetable garden. They also picked wild fruit. They survived the many hardships. Things improved for the family during the forties.

      Jack's childhood activities are many. His teenage years and worries are like any other teenager.

     Jack's Jewish faith played an important part in his life and that's what made the book for me. Jack describes his daily life following Jewish religious traditions. They ate kosher food. They celebrated all the Jewish holy times. He describes his bar mitzvah.  the family struggled to maintain contact with the few Jewish people scattered over a wide area.I was familiar with the Jewish faith as I'd read many other books which has Jewish characters. This description was a humorous and laid back and easy to understand..

     And there was a small connection to me in Jack's story. His cousin had a store next to my home town and directed a very competent community band. Jack had also been a friend of one of the best dentists I ever had.

     My wife also read this book. We read in bed and she has the annoying habit of laughing out loud at funny things in a story. She did a lot a of laughing when she read this story.

    Now I won't go out on a limb and recommend that everybody read this book. It's focus is just too narrow for many people to get a feeling of the setting and lifestyle. I just want you to know that this book surprised me and that I really liked it.

19 comments:

  1. Darn, they don't have this book at my local library. But I can get it on my Kindle for $2 so that's what I'll do. Thanks, Red! :-)

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    1. I'm not surprised this book isn't in your library. It would not be widely circulated.

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  2. This sounds like a compelling story no matter where the reader happens to be from.

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    1. The guy tells a good story. He ended up being an education prof somewhere in California.

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  3. Isn't that just the best sort of book? I choose a book from the library and I guess I half expect, half hope I will enjoy it. Only when a book has been passed to me by someone who thinks I 'may" enjoy it, do I ever get a wonderful surprise. I'm like your wife, enjoy nothing more than a laugh out loud book.

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    1. I like to browse in the library to find a book. I also like recommendations from other readers.

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  4. Oh I like when people have read things and sort of recommended it meaning . Read it if you wish. Everyone has different tastes. When My cataracts get looked after. I then will read better for eye sight.
    My hubby was born in Holland he tells me all the things about his fun in Holland and his dad who was a guy. You do not step on his toes or you will hear from him soon enough but then when the war began. He was loved by all he helped. His wife was a quiet lady but the best Mother in-law ever. Then my young sons book he wrote. I laughed out loud in many places like your wife did or still does.

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    1. I like other people recommending books to me. I also like to talk about books with people.

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  5. Sounds like an interesting read. I enjoy these types of books. I'll have to see if my local library has it.

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    1. I will be surprised if this is in your library as it wasn't widely circulated.

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  6. I just finished a series of 15 books by the same author. i read all the authors books if they are good. always fun to find one with good humor, I will have to add it to my list.

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  7. It's always great to find a good book, especially one you can relate to!

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  8. Hi Red, It does sound interesting to me. I am somewhat fascinated by the prairie Provinces. Thanks.

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  9. I now have an image of you and your wife lying in bed reading different books! But why don't you read the same book? You could take it in turns reading aloud.

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  10. I read a lot in bed, but Art can never get past a chapter before falling asleep.

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