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Showing posts from July, 2011

A Great War- Hero of Many Countries

My mother worked for the U.S. Air Force in Australia during the Second World War, so I was very interested in reading Macarthur by Mitchell Yockelson.  She used to see the General in the lift (elevator) and she told me how nice and pretty his wife was.  She's also told me hair-raising stories about typing letters begging for more planes.  Macarthur is certainly a hero to my mother and should be a hero to all Australians as well as Americans.

Yockelson's book is an excellent introduction to the life and legacy of the great general.  It outlines the importance of Macarthur's noble family background, the facts of the wars and the general's struggles with Presidents and other war-leaders.  Unfortunately, there is only a small chapter on Macarthur's time in Australia.  This was, of course, the part that interested me the most.  However, I couldn't really expect more because the book is written to appeal to American readers.

 The writing is, unfortunately, a bit dull…

No Way Home by Carlos Acosta

The troubles of Lee Cunxin (Mao's Last Dancer) were bad, but seem like almost nothing when they are compared with those of the famous ballet star, Carlos Acosta.  This book made my hair stand on end!<br/><br/>Born in a poor area of Havana, Acosta overcame terrible conditions to become a ballet dancer.  He really wanted to be a footballer so he played truant from his first school and played football and joined breakdancing groups.  His father gave him a good thrashing when he found out.  Luckily, another school accepted him.  Once Acosta was inspired by going to the ballet, he decided to put up with his coackroach-ridden shed in a swamp, absence from his family, and long bus-rides to school. His teachers saw his potential and helped begin to achieve his ambitions.

These weren't his only problems.  His father was injured in a car accident which worsened his already bad temper.  His mother suffered a stroke at only 35 and one of his sisters was diagnosed with Paranoid…