Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
lraczova_87
Posts: 8
Joined: 11 Jul 2016, 06:09
Currently Reading: In the Garden of Beasts
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lraczova-87.html
Latest Review: "Granny's Stories" by Margaret Henderson
2017 Reading Goal: 0

Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post by lraczova_87 » 08 Oct 2016, 08:56

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Granny's Stories" by Margaret Henderson.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Granny’s Stories is an autobiography of the highlights of the life and travels of Margaret Henderson, who, although she’s not famous, she’s encountered many extraordinary people in her life. The book doesn’t cover many details of her childhood in Scotland, except when she writes about the life of “Big Duncan” (her father) and memories from 1941. The book is mostly focused on the people she met and adventures she had while traveling abroad.

The book is organized first by time and place, with a series of chapters being about life in Berlin 1955-1957, or experiences in Zanzibar 1990-1992, for example. Then individual chapters are usually focused on different people who she encountered and some experiences they had together, and anything she’s been able to find about what’s become of their lives. I liked this creative approach to the autobiography because the author is sharing interesting experiences and people, rather than writing a self-glorifying book about just about her own accomplishments.

While the book focuses mostly on other people she’s encountered, it’s clear that Margaret Henderson herself has lived a very rich and interesting life that many young people today could envy or aspire to. As her life wasn’t simply touristic travels, hopping quickly from one place to the next, I was impressed that she always managed to find or build a community around herself, rather than falling into mopey isolation like some ex-patriots are prone to do.

I give the book four out of four stars because I genuinely enjoyed reading it and I think others would as well. Reading it felt like actually sitting with a granny and hearing her stories. There were good descriptions, but not so much description that you feel like you’re reading poetry about landscapes, as some travel writing tends to be. I also appreciated how the author would wrap up each chapter simply, without trying to fluff up every story with a moral or an inspirational quote.

If there’s one thing that I could ask for, it would be for the author to have included a brief note about what was going on politically/historically in each time and place she wrote about. That would’ve helped me because I don’t hold a clear timeline of world history in my brain, and a note from her would’ve cured my curiosity faster than looking to Google for answers. But I know that many readers know history better than I, and the lack of given information didn’t detract from her stories, so I can’t deduct a star for that reason.

******
Granny's Stories
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like lraczova_87's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 1971
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
Currently Reading: Prayer Plus Faith Equals Miracle
Bookshelf Size: 387
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: "Woman The Failed Male" by Dr. Geraldine Sharp
2017 Reading Goal: 50
Goal Completion: 136

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 20 Oct 2016, 05:24

Sounds like a great read. I grew up listening to my grandmother's stories which I only learned to appreciate when I got a little older. This seems like something I would enjoy. Good job on the review. Congratulations to Margaret Henderson on such an obviously well written book.

User avatar
Kdonegan91
Posts: 431
Joined: 17 Sep 2016, 14:04
Favorite Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Favorite Book: Never Cry Again
Currently Reading: Fused
Bookshelf Size: 71
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdonegan91.html
Latest Review: "A Matter of Faith" by Duke Woodrick
Reading Device: 1400699169
2017 Reading Goal: 0
fav_author_id: 19883
Location: Ohio

Post by Kdonegan91 » 22 Oct 2016, 23:00

Great Review! :) This book sounds very interesting and your review confirmed that this is definitely a book I want to read. Thank you!
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Wayne Dyer

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 24875
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice
Currently Reading: Sea of Rust
Bookshelf Size: 1696
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Latest Review: "Enough Rope" by P.L. Doss
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
2017 Reading Goal: 100
Goal Completion: 111
fav_author_id: 2484
Location: Lost in a good book

Post by gali » 26 Jan 2017, 07:14

Sounds like the author experienced quite a lot. Her creative approach to the autobiography is quite refreshing. Good job on the review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

User avatar
Gravy
Gravymaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 30218
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 02:02
Favorite Author: Seanan McGuire
Favorite Book:
Currently Reading: Neverwhere
Bookshelf Size: 904
2017 Reading Goal: 60
Goal Completion: 103
Location: In A Good Book

Post by Gravy » 26 Jan 2017, 07:51

An autobiography! I'm looking forward to sampling this one!
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


:reading-4:

User avatar
TrishaAnn92
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3972
Joined: 20 Oct 2013, 15:59
Favorite Book: The Messenger (2)
Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones
Bookshelf Size: 184
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-trishaann92.html
Latest Review: "Escape" by Belle Ami
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
2017 Reading Goal: 90
Goal Completion: 16
Publishing Contest Votes: 20
Location: Virginia, US
Contact:

Post by TrishaAnn92 » 26 Jan 2017, 08:26

Wonderful review! And congrats to the author on BOTD! It sounds like the author led quite an adventurous life and told her stories in an awesome way.
‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,’ said Jojen. ‘The man who never reads lives only one.’

– George R. R. Martin



"I solemnly swear I am up to no good."
-Harry Potter

Hneite
Posts: 92
Joined: 12 May 2016, 06:36
Currently Reading: Shadowrun: Spells and Crome
Bookshelf Size: 42
Reading Device: B00NBOYRNS
2017 Reading Goal: 0

Post by Hneite » 26 Jan 2017, 10:19

Nice review, think I would like to listen to granny telling her tale.

User avatar
Lest92
Posts: 264
Joined: 21 Jan 2017, 18:30
Currently Reading: The Witches of Eastwick
Bookshelf Size: 189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lest92.html
Latest Review: "Operation - Kill the Queen Sins" by Bruce W. Dobbins
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Location: Bloemfontein, South Africa

Post by Lest92 » 26 Jan 2017, 10:28

Clear review, well done. I read the Amazon sample and your review together because I don't generally read autobiographies (as you mentioned, they tend to be self-glorifying) but taking a look at Granny's Stories in this way actually piqued my interest.

User avatar
Cjgarland89
Posts: 151
Joined: 20 May 2015, 05:44
Currently Reading: 4 Counties
Bookshelf Size: 114
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cjgarland89.html
Latest Review: "Farmer Beau's Farm" by Kathleen Geiger
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S
2017 Reading Goal: 30
Goal Completion: 33

Post by Cjgarland89 » 26 Jan 2017, 10:47

I enjoy listening to stories from my elders. I haven't read many autobiographies, but because this one isn't all about how great this person is, it's more about her experiences in life I look forward to sampling it. Thank you for the great review!

User avatar
Sarah_Khan
Posts: 734
Joined: 27 Jan 2016, 11:56
Favorite Book: Gone With the Wind
Currently Reading: When It's Real
Bookshelf Size: 287
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarah-khan.html
Latest Review: "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher
2017 Reading Goal: 80
Goal Completion: 67

Post by Sarah_Khan » 26 Jan 2017, 11:01

Great job on the review! The fact that the author wrote this book to inspire her granddaughters really makes my heart warm. It sounds like the author has lived a full and adventurous life. :)

User avatar
gaporter
Posts: 232
Joined: 03 Oct 2015, 13:47
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 97
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gaporter.html
Latest Review: "The Expansion" by Christoph Martin
Reading Device: B0051VVOB2
2017 Reading Goal: 50
Goal Completion: 80

Post by gaporter » 26 Jan 2017, 11:20

This books sounds inspiring. Even though she wasn't famous herself, she led a very rich life. Great review! Congrats on BOTD!

User avatar
bluegreenmarina
Posts: 255
Joined: 26 Oct 2016, 14:43
Favorite Book: The Count of Monte Cristo
Currently Reading: Dombey and Son
Bookshelf Size: 1156
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bluegreenmarina.html
Latest Review: "Find Calm in the Garden of Paradise" by Elizabeth Eliuk
2017 Reading Goal: 30
Goal Completion: 180
Contact:

Post by bluegreenmarina » 26 Jan 2017, 11:33

We always hear about the wisdom of listening to older generations and this book seems like a fascinating way to get a glimpse at previous decades through the eyes of one well traveled individual. I'm curious to read which interesting people she came across in her travels!

User avatar
Rachaelamb1
Posts: 984
Joined: 07 Mar 2015, 01:58
Favorite Author: CS Lewis
Favorite Book: Dragonwitch
Currently Reading: Falling Star
Bookshelf Size: 126
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rachaelamb1.html
Latest Review: "Dragon Born" by Ela Lourenco
2017 Reading Goal: 60
Goal Completion: 25
Location: Thailand

Post by Rachaelamb1 » 26 Jan 2017, 11:48

Like you, I don't have a good historical timeline in my head either, but this sounds like a great story. I love hearing about people's unique and interesting lives.

AA1495
Posts: 841
Joined: 17 Aug 2016, 14:45
Favorite Book: Out of the Box Awakening
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 72
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aa1495.html
Latest Review: "Perky Girl: The Amazing Life of Bienna Molo" by Vera I. Roberts
2017 Reading Goal: 150
Goal Completion: 9

Post by AA1495 » 26 Jan 2017, 11:54

I agree with you on your point about historical context. Sounds like a well written autobiography! Thank You for the great review!

papaya12
Posts: 113
Joined: 19 Jan 2017, 11:49
Currently Reading: The Sword of Shannara
Bookshelf Size: 61
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-papaya12.html
Latest Review: "Keys to Tetouan" by Mois Benarroch
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
2017 Reading Goal: 100
Goal Completion: 27
Contact:

Post by papaya12 » 26 Jan 2017, 13:02

This book sounds cool! Your review was also one of the most enjoyable and well written reviews that I've read so far on OBC. It makes me want to read the book even more. Also, I like the fact that she talks about others more than herself because most autobiographies focus on the author.

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”