When I first spied this little book in the library, it caught my eye for these reasons: the cover shows Louise wearing glasses and coloring, just likeWhen I first spied this little book in the library, it caught my eye for these reasons: the cover shows Louise wearing glasses and coloring, just like my granddaughter, and it pictures her younger brother, just like my grandson! I so enjoyed the story of Louise as she pursues her passion to create a masterpiece worthy of the ultimate showcase, the Gallery La Fridge! At last, she succeeds in capturing her beloved pet's "catness" and prepares a one woman show with sticky tape and all the wall space she can claim. In the mean time, her brother, Art (cute pun) is preparing a masterpiece of his own; all the while the cat is trying to warn Louise that tragedy is imminent. There is a sweet and loving sisterly ending because Louise truly does love Art and all's well that ends well. Enjoy this book with the young artists of your acquaintance; I did! ...more
"The Dark Frigate," winner of the 1924 Newberry Award, is a boy's tale of the sea, pirates and adventure. Phil Marsham "was bred to the sea as far bac"The Dark Frigate," winner of the 1924 Newberry Award, is a boy's tale of the sea, pirates and adventure. Phil Marsham "was bred to the sea as far back as the days when he was cutting his milk teeth," learning the trade from his father as a child. When his father dies during a voyage, he leaves his teenage son to fend for himself, which Phil was surely capable of except for an episode of bad luck that forced him to flee the inn where he was recovering from an illness. He happens to join on the road another sailor making his way toward a vessel bound for the quiet shores of New Foundland and casts his lot with Martin Barwick. They board the Rose of Devon, the dark frigate, and set sail. For the next year, young Phil finds himself involved in intrigue, mutiny, piracy, theft and murder as the ship is crippled by a terrible storm and then seized by "gentlemen of fortune" from another wrecked ship! There are characters in abundance: Captain Candle, who recognizes Phil's potential as a sailor; The Old One, Tom Jordan, leader of the pirate band; Phil's friend, Will Canty; the ship's cook and carpenter and many others. The writing style is for older children, 12 and up, and there is a lot of nautical language which may put some readers off, but I enjoyed it. The plot moves right along and there are some excellent action sequences and many descriptions of the ship, people and surroundings that lend color to the action. The New York Herald Tribune said, "No one, we think, has written so perfect a pirate tale since Treasure Island." I would have to agree. ...more
**spoiler alert** I like getting involved with a series. I enjoy getting to know the characters and each new volume is like a letter from a friend cat**spoiler alert** I like getting involved with a series. I enjoy getting to know the characters and each new volume is like a letter from a friend catching me up on what's been happening with them. I was not familiar with the Elm Creek Quilts series and just ran across the books by chance while looking for something else at the Library. I wasn't sure what kind of order they went in and there were quite a few (more than 10)so I picked this title to start since, in my experience, the Christmas selection in any series is fairly neutral; it won't further the story or reveal anything too important about the characters. It would give me a taste so I could decide if I wanted to start at the beginning. Well, it did and I do!
I was instantly drawn to Sarah and Sylvia and their friendship. Without going into so much detail that a reader familiar with them would be put off, it gave me enough information to understand why they were living at Elm Creek manor and enough background info to understand their points of view. Using flash backs to enlighten us about Sylvia's past, we are privileged to watch as she comes to some conclusions about herself, her decisions and her regrets. I particularly enjoyed learning of the Bergstrom family Christmas traditions and found that the description of making strudel dough made me want to try it. I have seen the technique done on a competitive cooking show and found it fascinating to watch! The author's description brought that vision back perfectly.
The relationships examined in this story are complex and interesting. Neither character is too flawed or too perfect and I understood why they are friends and colleagues. The relationships from Sylvia's past were handled just as well and her reminiscences were probably more accurate, especially with her own culpability, than most of us would be.
I may know more about Sarah and Sylvia than those who started with The Quilter's Apprentice (the first book in the series) but I'm sure to enjoy going back to the beginning of what appears to be a well-written series....more
This was my first Kay Scarpetta novel and I enjoyed it very much. It had just the right mix of science/forensics, good ol' detective work and back stoThis was my first Kay Scarpetta novel and I enjoyed it very much. It had just the right mix of science/forensics, good ol' detective work and back story. While this was not the first in the series, I was not lost regarding the personal details; it's a stand alone book. Dr. Scarpetta is assisting in the investigation of the death of 11 year old Emily. The prime suspect is a serial killer she has encountered before, but some of the evidence doesn't add up. She's working closely with Benton Wesley and Pete Marino; she has history with both. There is good character development and I like them all. Kay's niece, Lucy, plays a big part in the story and it all becomes more complex and more personal as more details are revealed. While the science has changed some from when this book was written (mid-90s)it is still fascinating and works well with the plot to keep things moving to a startling but not shocking conclusion. Told in the first person, we only know what Kay is thinking and feeling, but it works great because she shares everything and there are no secrets. I'm looking forward to reading more about Dr. Kay Scarpetta. ...more
Biographies are fraught with issues; author bias, changing sensibilities, societal attitudes can all impact the product and color the final portrait oBiographies are fraught with issues; author bias, changing sensibilities, societal attitudes can all impact the product and color the final portrait of the subject. Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun) has taken what could and perhaps should have been a monumental task and broken it down into bite size pieces just right for a newby like me to handle. I have always admired the legend of Winston Churchill and his handling as British Prime Minister of the 2nd World War. I have a special affinity for that period in history and his influence takes up a large chunk of space. I had never read a biography of the man and since I enjoyed Rubin's style in The Happiness Project, gave this a try. I am glad I did. The writing style was clean and clear and I learned a lot about a complex man, his motives, his passions and his disappointments. The chapters are short and to the point, giving balanced representation of an individual who was larger than life with faults and flaws like the rest of us. Drawing from varied sources, Rubin captures the essence of Churchill and, in so doing, transports us to his time to experience Britain from her peak of influence in the world ("The sun never sets on the British Empire") to the inevitable decline during the mid 20th century. This treatment was such that it gave me an appetite to try a larger take on his life but yet satisfied my need to know to the point that I don't believe I will miss out if I don't accept the challenge. ...more
We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, that "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner." We gravitate toward the "We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, that "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner." We gravitate toward the "scary ghost story" referenced in the perennial song and watch the likes of Henry Winkler, George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart bring him to life in our living rooms. But what can we learn from his journey and redemption? How can the story of Scrooge impact our daily life? Bob Welch, award winning columnist, is pleased to tell us in his "52 Little Lesson from a Christmas Carol." Taking us on the fateful nightlong journey again, Mr. Welch delves into the nuance and genius of Charles Dickens and brings to light the wonderful magic that transforms Scrooge bit by bit from loveless miser to "as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew." The author's insights, supported by scripture and the life of Jesus, help us understand more deeply how the choices each of us makes may impact those around us; how our life experiences can color our future and how each fork in the road has a consequence at the end. I will take this book as a guide this year, reviewing a lesson each week to better absorb and apply it in my life. These are lessons worth learning and reviewing and applying again and again. There is character analysis, not just of Scrooge, but of Nephew Fred and Clerk Bob Cratchit. We learn how their attitudes color their view of life. In lesson 24, Don't Return Evil for Evil, the author touches on Fred and Bob's response to the shabby way Scrooge has treated them. With a representative touch of humor found throughout the book, he says, "You could understand why Fred might have shown up at Scrooge's house that evening and decorated the knocker on his uncle's front door with what looked like a festive bouquet of mistletoe but was actually poison oak." The light touch on delicate topics, interspersed with scripture and historical references to Dickens' life makes this an enjoyable, easy read but it has much deeper meaning that will be pondered long after the reading is done and perhaps referred to over again. ...more