Shabby Sunday: Death Not Be Proud by John Gunther – 1965


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.

Today’s shabby share is:

Death Be Not Proud

 Blurb: Death Be Not Proud chronicles Johnny Gunther’s gallant struggle against the malignant brain tumor that killed him at the age of seventeen. The book opens with his father’s fond, vivid portrait of his son – a young man of extraordinary intellectual promise, who excelled at physics, math, and chess, but was also an active, good-hearted, and fun-loving kid. But the heart of the book is a description of the agonized months during which Gunther and his former wife Frances try everything in their power to halt the spread of Johnny’s cancer and to make him as happy and comfortable as possible. In the last months of his life, Johnny strove hard to complete his high school studies. The scene of his graduation ceremony from Deerfield Academy is one of the most powerful – and heartbreaking – in the entire book. Johnny maintained his courage, wit and quiet friendliness up to the end of his life. He died on June 30, 1947, less than a month after graduating from Deerfield.

My Thoughts:

This isn’t a book I normally pick up, but I purchased it in a box of books from a church sale years ago, and after going through some of these books recently, it caught my attention. I love reading memoirs, but not so much when it’s a story about a child with cancer. I took a chance and continued reading because I’d already read the blurb and knew what to expect. If you plan to read this book, you may want to skip my review altogether. The edition I’m reviewing is from 1965.

In the beginning of the book, John Gunther writes about his son Johnny and describes him as a happy child who loves to spend time with his parents when he’s not in school. Not only is he a happy and active child, but he’s extremely intelligent and loves school. When he returns home in 1946 for a break, he begins to have some strange symptoms and eventually is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Of course, this was back in a day before there were better treatments for cancer like there are now, and some of the treatments that Johnny undertakes are unorthodox. In fact, this is the first book I’ve read that documents a patient’s story after attempting Dr. Gerson’s methods for battling cancer.

The book is written in two parts. In the first part, the reader learns about Johnny, his diagnosis and some of his treatments. This was definitely a difficult part for me to finish. It’s heart-wrenching, but Johnny was so strong. His parents are with him constantly and move mountains to find him the best treatments possible. They continually search for a cure.

The second part contains a short diary that Johnny wrote and also letters, many from before his diagnosis. I would’ve liked to read the letters from before his diagnosis first, before reading Part 1, but this isn’t the way the book is organized. The final pages in the book contain a note from Johnny’s mother, Frances. In the note, she discusses the many questions you ask with the impending death of a child and there’s a statement that we all hear too often. A statement that reminds us we are never guaranteed any exact measure of time.

“Yet at the end of them all, when one has put away all the books, and all the words, when one is alone with oneself, when one is alone with God, what is left in one’s heart? Just this: I wish we had loved Johnny more.”  

Overall, even with all the agonizing parts of the story, I’m glad I finished the book. In my opinion, it’s written very well. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes to read memoirs.





Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Death Not Be Proud by John Gunther – 1965”

2017: Year in Review

It’s truly been one incredible year of reading! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed discussing reviews, learning about new authors and books, making new friends, and increasing my TBR up to 13,700! I thought it would be good to look back at some of the books I’ve read this year by doing this Year in Review for 2017!


Starting this blog was a pretty good decision for me and I’ve made some wonderful friendships and met some incredible authors too. I enjoy sharing my reviews in the blogging world and on Goodreads.

This year I’ve completed:

Book Reviews: I counted roughly 390 reviews that I wrote in 2017. I don’t have all of them added here on the blog, but they can be found on Goodreads.

Shortest book= Toby – by Margaret Wild

Longest Book= A Little Life – by Hanya Yanagihara

I read 52,845 pages across 421 books

This year I’ve read 421 books after setting my Goodread’s challenge to 400. Honestly, a great number of those are children’s books which makes the number seem insanely high! There’s no way I could read that many full-length books in one year!

Memes and more:

Music Monday –  18 songs


Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – 25 posts

Tags: 20 Tags

Awards: 21 Awards

Meet The Reader Series – 8 Interviews


Author Interviews – 30 author interviews


Throwback Thursday – 19 Throwbacks


Saturday’s Kitchen – 1


Flower Friday – 8 Flower Fridays


Shabby Sunday – 16 shabby book posts


Lessons from Grandpa– 6 posts


I hope to post more Breakfast and a Book posts in 2018 as well as Saturday’s Kitchen and Lessons from Grandpa. I’ll be continuing with all of these in 2018.

As of today I’ve published 347 Blog posts.


I may have missed a couple, but here are the book’s that stand out for 2017.

Favorite Adult Reads:
Dark Matter
A Little Life
Sweet Bean Paste
Watching Glass Shatter
Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat
The Bear and the Nightingale
The White Raven
The Song of the Sirin
Tuesday’s Promise: One Veteran, One Dog, and Their Bold Quest to Change Lives
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
The Last Bar In NYC
The Appointment: Lost and Found (Book 1): Volume 1
The Sword of Goliath
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel
Panther in the Sun


Just Around The Bend: Más o Menos
The Dead Inside
S.O.P.H.I.E. / The World Might Not Live Through the Night
Trance: Formation of America
What a Waste: Where Does Garbage Go?
Thanks For The Memories … The Truth Has Set Me Free! The Memoirs of Bob Hope’s and Henry Kissinger’s Mind-Controlled Slave
Standing Strong: An Unlikely Sisterhood and the Court Case That Made History




Favorite Children’s Reads:
The Frightened Little Flower Bud
The Secret Life of the Red Fox
Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark
Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends
The Unicorn in the Barn
Meatless?: A Fresh Look At What You Eat
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance
Woolvs in the Sitee
The Bear Report
Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport
Pig the Pug
Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat’s Foster Mom
We’re All Wonders
The Raven and Other Poems
Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog
Ida, Always




Favorite Biography:
Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life

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The Wild Country



Military/Police Thriller:
The Policewoman


Favorite YA:
A Monster Calls
Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
It Starts With L
Hearts Are Like Balloons
The First Time She Drowned




Crime Fiction:
The Pull and Kick Murder: Competition can be deadly



Favorite Cookbooks:
A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand
My Mother’s Kitchen: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and the Meaning of Life
Heal Your Gut with Bone Broth: The Natural Way to get Minerals, Amino Acids, Gelatin and Other Vital Nutrients to Fix Your Digestion
Infuse: Herbal teas to cleanse, nourish and heal
Cultured Food in a Jar: 100+ Probiotic Recipes to Inspire and Change Your Life




Christmas Reads:
A Boy Called Christmas
Merry and Bright
Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy: Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer children’s book series
The Deal of a Lifetime


Self Help:
Note to Self
Healing Lyme Disease Naturally
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life




Most Disliked:
The Happiest Mommy You Know: Why Putting Your Kids First is the Last Thing You Should Do

Continue reading “2017: Year in Review”

TAG: Currently Reading Book Tag

I was tagged a very long time ago for this super fun Currently Reading Book Tag by Noriko@Diaryofabookfiend. I have to apologize for my tardiness on this one! I’m just getting caught up on book tags. I’d like to thank Noriko for tagging me. Noriko is a wonderful friend with an amazing blog. She writes beautiful book reviews and I’m always interested in what she has to say! Please check out her blog if you haven’t already. I feel blessed to know her. ❤


The original creator of this tag is Charly Reynhorse and you can see it here.


How many books do you usually read at once?

I’m used to reading four books or more at a time. Right now, I’m reading eight, but two are cookbooks, two children’s, and one is my Orthodox Study Bible which will probably take me two years to read.  If I’m reading a book with tons of characters or maybe an in depth fantasy, I really prefer to finish that type of book alone to avoid confusion. Sometimes, a book is so good, that I simply can’t stop reading it. When that happens I don’t read anything else alongside it because I obviously can’t put it down! 😉

If you are reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books?

I sort of have some attention deficit when it comes to reading. If a book isn’t captivating or interesting to me, I’ll switch to something else. Sometimes, I just put it back on the shelf and start something completely different. I’ve discovered this year that I’m more of a mood reader that I thought and that’s okay.


Do you ever switch bookmarks while you are partway through a book?

Yes! Sometimes, I just grab whatever I have nearby. It might be a piece of mail, my phone, or another book. A lot of times, I just turn it upside down until I can get back to it.

Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading?

All over the house. Wherever I set it down is where it stays. The only thing I have to be careful with is not putting the books where Bowie (puppy) can get them. She’s in the chewing stage and her dad has eaten a few of my books before! Just check out my first “Lessons from Grandpa” post. Aggressive chewers!

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What time of day do you spend the most time reading?

It depends. During Christmas break (now) I’m reading a lot during the days because I have more time available. During the school year, I read more at night. In the summer, I also read more at night. My favorite time to read is right before bed because it helps me relax and fall asleep.

How long do you typically read in one setting?

It just depends on what I’m reading and when. If the book is awesome, I might not stop reading until I finish it. Sometimes chores interrupt my reading and I’ll read bits throughout the day. Real life is the huge determiner.


Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off?

I never remove the dust jackets. I don’t know why, I just don’t. I will say, I’m always super careful with my books because a torn dust jacket is a pet peeve of mine.

What position do you mainly use to read?

I really enjoy reading in bed, but I also have a very comfortable chair in my bedroom where I like to read. If I’m reading there or on the couch, I usually sit with my legs up on an ottoman or sometimes up on the chair. Here are my favorites…



Do you take the book you are currently reading with you everywhere?

If it’s a physical book, yes. If it’s an eBook, no. My tablet is sort of large with a bulky case on it for protection and I don’t like to carry it everywhere. With Audible, it’s always with me on my phone, which is why I love it so much. I dont like reading eBooks on my phone much.

How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading?

All the time. Every time I stop and put the book down, I update my progress.

Continue reading “TAG: Currently Reading Book Tag”

TAG: Anything But Books Tag

I was tagged by Claire @ BrizzleLassBooks for the Anything But Books Tag. This is such a fun tag!  If you haven’t been to Claire’s blog yet, please check it out. There’s always something interesting, great posts, and plenty of books to learn about on her blog. Thanks for tagging me, Claire. ❤


Here are the questions:

Name a cartoon that you love.

It’s hard to pick one, but Dungeons & Dragons was always a favorite and still is…

What is your favorite song right now?

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

I could listen to music for hours and do it often. Music is an escape for me and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it.

What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I love to crochet and knit! I became obsessed with making Claire’s cowl from Outlander and started making them for everyone a few years ago. It was fun! Here’s a picture of one below.


What is your favorite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

I love learning about everything, but I think my most favorite thing to learn about are people and their life stories. I love reading memoirs and learning about people’s experiences in life.

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What is something unusual you know how to do?

Hmm, I don’t think I really know how to do anything unusual, but I did do something a little unusual once which was debarking over 100 locust tree fence posts for our horse fence with a really old draw shave hand tool. Is that unusual? 😀

Name something that you’ve made in the last year

I made this really neat hat that’s crocheted, but it looks like it’s knitted. It’s super thick and I want to make one for myself now. I used this incredibly soft merino yarn and it’s nice and stretchy.


What is your most recent personal project?

Right now as I type this post my family and I are in the process of purging our house of all things that we don’t necessarily need. I’m quite the collector, and because I sell vintage items online, I have way too much stuff and it’s gotten out of hand. I’m really looking forward to having everything cleaned up and tidy by the New Year. That’s the goal!

Tell us something that you think of often.

I think about the future way too often. I tend to be a worrier and wonder often what the future holds for my family, health, life–pretty much everything under the sun. I think I’m getting better though and this is something I hope to completely change in 2018–to try and live one day at a time without wondering about what might come about in my future. Life is way to short to worry, but when you’ve been doing it most of your life, it’s a hard habit to break!


Tell us something that’s your favorite, but make it oddly specific.

I love my Doc Marten patent leather boots. I wear them everywhere. I had a pair of these when I was a teen and went for over a decade without having a pair in my wardrobe. I seriously can’t live with out them. They lace up perfectly, fit comfortably, and they are undoubtedly my favorite boot EVER!


Continue reading “TAG: Anything But Books Tag”