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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.

Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#1 by lraczova_87
» 08 Oct 2016, 08:56

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Granny's Stories" by Margaret Henderson.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by lraczova_87
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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
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#2 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.
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#3 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!
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#4 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)
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#5 by Gravy
» 26 Jan 2017, 07:51

An autobiography! I'm looking forward to sampling this one!
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Doesn't mean I can't believe it.
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#6 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.
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#7 by Hneite
» 26 Jan 2017, 10:19

Nice review, think I would like to listen to granny telling her tale.
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#8 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.
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#9 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!
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#10 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. :)
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#11 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!
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#12 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!
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#13 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.
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#14 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!
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Re: Official Review: Granny's Stories by Margaret Henderson

Post Number:#15 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.
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