Review — QUEEN OF HEARTS edited by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal)



Queen of Hearts book coverQueen of Hearts: The Story of Anna Sipl Meyers
by Anna Sipl Meyers; Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) — Editor
July, 2018
248 pages
$20.00 (paperback)


Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77)

This is a life story worthy of a Horatio Alger novel, except that it is autobiographical rather than fiction, and the hero, Anna Sipl Meyers, continues her story after achieving her initial goal of owning a Las Vegas hotel and casino. In fact her ups and downs as a hotel and casino owner are among the most fascinating parts of her life story.

The book is based on two years of interviews conducted by Claytee D. White, Director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV (University of Nevada Las Vegas) Libraries. RPCV Leita Kaldi Davis organized the interviews and edited them into a book which is conversational, well organized, and flows very well, keeping the reader’s attention to the last page.

From her early years in Yugoslavia where her family and others of German descent were persecuted by Tito in the post World War II years, to her adventures managing a hotel and casino in Las Vegas as the first woman to do so, Ms. Sipl Meyers’ story is extraordinary. She is a woman of exceptional energy, drive and determination, and she candidly recounts her failures as well as her many successes. At one time she actually owned two hotel-casino combination properties in downtown Las Vegas.

Unfortunately the book displays evidence of a lack of careful proof reading. There are sentences without verbs, prepositional phrases without the preposition, and repeated words and phrases, all of which could have been caught and corrected by a proofreader.

But don’t let this flaw prevent you from enjoying the uplifting story of this amazing female entrepreneur. Her can-do attitude and refusal to allow circumstances to defeat her shine through, making this a very worthwhile read.

D.W. Jefferson was a Peace Corps agriculture volunteer in El Salvador (1974-6) and Costa Rica (1976-7). Click to read his blog about his Peace Corps years. He is currently retired from a career in computer software engineering.


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  • Mr. Jefferson- I have not yet had the pleasure of reading this book but noticed that your comment about few missing prepositions and repeated phrases which sounds like my own editor! Sometimes when listening carefully to recordings, you notice that the speaker does that. It is often part of their unique voice. Just a few days ago, my editor noted the exact same thing in one of my edited transcriptions (oral history) for a new book. I wrote to him: “I’m still stuck with 1950’s rules for colons and semi-colons while you are obsessed with the idea that people speak like a legal brief. I guess we’re even.” This is definitely a form of popular literature and vulgar by definition. Thanks for your review.

    • Thank you Mr. Lihosit. Point taken. I apply the same rules to the books I review that I did to transcribing my own journal. I would prefer that the reader not be distracted from the narrative by obvious grammatical errors. Beyond that I do not impose any style guide.

      I readily admit that I am an outspoken advocate of proof-reading. Spellchecking alone is not enough!

  • Thank you for your reply, Mr. Jefferson. A few years ago I called my main editor to complain that I found a typo in the recently published book of mine.

    “Lorenzo, I am seated in my office facing a rather large bookshelf upon which is the Bible- the Word of God. It too has typos.”

  • The good new is that this book is published via print-on-demand. The editors may fix any typos, reload it and their company will sell that new version within 72 hours at no cost. You might want to contact them with your detailed suggestions, listing page, paragraph and line.

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