Two words. Bagram Ibatoulline- illustrating wunderkind. This beautiful book introduces children (and adults) to urban coyotes. We travel through the nTwo words. Bagram Ibatoulline- illustrating wunderkind. This beautiful book introduces children (and adults) to urban coyotes. We travel through the neighborhood with mother coyote as she pursues dinner for her family in the moonlight. A lovely addition to the urban wildlife shelf. ...more
Homer is cute. As a beloved pet dog, he knows that at his core lives a valiant and wild wolf. The story chronicles his adventures at sleep away Wolf CHomer is cute. As a beloved pet dog, he knows that at his core lives a valiant and wild wolf. The story chronicles his adventures at sleep away Wolf Camp. Fun....more
Just wow. Klinec is an evocative writer who is unflinching in her transparency about herself and her experiences. Adventurous since childhood we meetJust wow. Klinec is an evocative writer who is unflinching in her transparency about herself and her experiences. Adventurous since childhood we meet her in London where she hosts an imaginative cooking school in her apartment. She has abandoned a 'safe' career in banking to travel the world, collect recipes and food esthetic to bring back to London to her 'underground' cooking classes.
She brings us along on a trip to Iran. She shares with truly wonderful attention to detail the sights, sounds, textures, colors, smells and with beautiful descriptions, the food. Finding home cooks to teach her the local foods can be a challenge. A chance meeting with Vahid leads her to his mother's kitchen and into his heart.
Multicultural romance never easy but the difficulty is squared in Iran's restrictive society. These are truly star crossed lovers charting a choppy sea. The way Jenny wrapped up this story was a complete surprise to me. I wish her the best happiness.
Super cute and inspiring. Poppy could not find the lipstick she wanted so at age 18 she researched how to go about manufacturing some. Needing a minimSuper cute and inspiring. Poppy could not find the lipstick she wanted so at age 18 she researched how to go about manufacturing some. Needing a minimum order of a thousand tubes per color the 7 deadly sins lipstick was born. Poppy takes us though the ups and downs and twists and turns of her lipstick career along the way sharing tips and tricks she has learned through the years. ...more
Jude rushes to Pasadena from the east coast when she hears of Maggie's death in the family swimming pool. Some call it suicide, some an accident; JudeJude rushes to Pasadena from the east coast when she hears of Maggie's death in the family swimming pool. Some call it suicide, some an accident; Jude thinks it's murder and pushes and pulls and digs til she finds the reason and method of Maggie's death. It is arduous, it is surprising and ultimately Jude finds the entry to a path for self discovery....more
A wonderful book by Anne Nesbet about the season in East Berlin of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) just before the fall of the "Wall" informed byA wonderful book by Anne Nesbet about the season in East Berlin of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) just before the fall of the "Wall" informed by two long stays Anne had in the GDR. Her first visit to learn German, her second to study East German Literature, coincidentally in 1989.
The book kicks off in a way that rivets the reader; a high speed trip to the airport from Oasis, Virginia to the GDR. On this ride 11 year old Noah's parents cheerfully strip away his name, his age and his plans for the next few months. What?! I can't go to Germany, Zach's birthday is Saturday! And, "What are you doing with my backpack?" Whoops, it has Noah written on it- will.not.do. No Noah, now our name is Brown and you are Jonah....oh, and you are not 11 - now you are 10; you can be 11 again when we return. What!
Told from the point of view of young Jonah we see a bit of the former Soviet Union, the propaganda about the US there and how repressive societies are maintained. Ms Nesbet has shared a fascinating bit of history and place in the context of a lovely story of friendship, loyalty amid a truly scary time as a restrictive society cracks and crumbles on the world stage.
Nina is a bookish woman. At 29 she loves her job as a librarian in Birmingham (UK) but tech centres will be replacing libraries, the lovely and beloveNina is a bookish woman. At 29 she loves her job as a librarian in Birmingham (UK) but tech centres will be replacing libraries, the lovely and beloved books will be tossed (along with the librarians) and new tech-savvy youngsters will be running the show. Quiet Nina reveals a dream of owning a bookshop and surprises everyone, including herself by working up the gumption to buy a van to set up as a mobile shop. Her van of choice is off north in a Scottish villiage.
Glitch One is that Wullie, the van's owner won't countenance selling a van to a wee woman. Stroke of luck is when the fellows at the pub buy the van from Wullie and pass it on to Nina-
Glitch Two is that Birmingham is not about to let her park her van about town selling books in the neighborhoods. Stroke of luck is that the Scottish village really would like Nina's book shop, they have lost their library as well as their book store and are pining a bit for reading material.
Nina decides to just go for it and uproot herself and move to Scotland with her huge collection of books. This kicks off a new career for Nina and a few happily ever afters for her adopted town.
Altogether lovely and not very much like but reminiscent of The Little Paris Bookshop.
Even a reader who is relatively immune to the charm of pets can enjoy the narrators memories of the family dog. Even "just a dog" can be an integral mEven a reader who is relatively immune to the charm of pets can enjoy the narrators memories of the family dog. Even "just a dog" can be an integral member of the family who heals and teaches in gentle loving ways....more
This is becoming a sub-genre; crime family kid running away to 'go good'. See, the thing is when you have been trained as a criminal you can survive oThis is becoming a sub-genre; crime family kid running away to 'go good'. See, the thing is when you have been trained as a criminal you can survive on your own at a tender age with your acquired skills. The catch is-the family does not always want to let you go. In one recent book a girl is called back to the family to release her beloved dad who is kidnapped. In another Dad needs his kid's skills because he is just not a very good con man. In another, the dad is a psychopath and just wants his own back. In Thieving Weasels the reason is revenge, pure and simple. Skip has ditched his family. At age 13 he found Grandpa's storage locker and took all the money stored there. He knew his family would think he did it, but really they are all thieving weasels and any of them could have taken it. What they would not believe is that it was as little as 100K. Did Grandpa really waste That Much gambling? At any rate, at age 13 Skip gets a clean identity, becomes Cameron Smith and uses the money to enter an extremely tony private academy. He scrimps and works and saves to stay there. For the first time in his life he can excel; grifters stay under the radar; they cannot get As, cannot win races, Cannot in Any Way stand out. Finally he can be himself, just not with his given name. He gets excellent grades, kicks it at Lacrosse, gets into Princeton with a full scholarship and even gets a girl. He does look over his shoulder to make sure he is not made, but all in all the frame is holding. Until graduation when he scans the audience and sees his uncle and cousins in row three. Yikes. They want him back; apparently his mother is so devastated that her baby is gone she has attempted suicide. She needs money for care and they need Skip back for one last job. Skip/Cameron has to play along- his bank account, his phone and his Princeton acceptance have been hacked by the family, all his plans have been hijacked by Uncle. Skip has to out think the family and fast or the con will be on him.
I put this in my ‘important book’ stack. Definitely for teens and adults [content!] the story addresses wounded warriors and encourages us to think loI put this in my ‘important book’ stack. Definitely for teens and adults [content!] the story addresses wounded warriors and encourages us to think long and hard about the human cost of war and our responsibilities as individuals to step up and do something. Even in the case of an all “volunteer” army those of us who allow our neighbors, friends and countrymen to go to war need to really think about how our fellows are faring when they come home.
The story is hard to describe, a lot is going on; some of the bones are this: Josh and Skylar live in a ‘blink’ town in the central valley of California. A blink town is so small that when rolling down the freeway you will miss it if you blink. There is not a lot of opportunity in this little town and Skylar and her friend Chris have been on a mission to get full scholarships and blow out of town upon graduation. They succeed. Chris is headed to Boston U and Skylar to an Art Institute in San Francisco. A couple of years ago Josh Mitchell joined the Marines, before he left he told Skylar that the Marines were his only hope to leave their tiny town.
The book opens on Grad Night- Pretty much everyone under 20 is getting blatted at the Mitchell’s. This would have been Josh’s native land and his kingdom before leaving for Afghanistan but tonight when Skylar looks around, even though he is supposed be home on leave he is nowhere to be seen. When he does appear, it is obvious to her that he is emotionally shattered and has a gleaming steel prosthetic leg.
Skylar’s life goes sideways from here. For years she has been the adult in her family; Dad died when she was little (drunk driving) and her mom dove right into the bottle to cope. For a few years Mom has been sober and between Mom and Skylar’s jobs they have been solvent. Now Mom has lost her job, Skylar is leaving and that bottle looks great to Mom! Skylar freaks as her mom slides back into drunken self-pity and unstated stark fear about how she will get on when Skylar moves on. Add to that Skylar’s concern about Josh’s reaction to his injury and his time in Afghanistan and Skylar sees her move to San Francisco slip into the realm of the impossible. How can she leave Mom and Josh in the messes they are in? Why does Sky think this is her responsibility?
For years Sky has worked at the Paradise Motel with the indomitable, big-hearted Marge. Josh had been the Paradise’s handyman before leaving; now he is back as pool whisperer and general fixit guy. This summer their shifts occasionally overlap and a romance develops. Because of Josh’s PTSD and phantom leg he runs a confusing hot and cold with Skylar. Mix Josh’s situation with her mom’s craziness and impending college… Skylar is at a loss.
With persistence and time things resolve. Perfectly? No.
In the afterword Heather Demetrios gives us some numbers and anecdotes to ponder. In 2014 we lost 2,000 Americans in Afghanistan, 20,000 came home wounded. In one year. More GIs died of suicide than combat. That is American loss literally countless Afghanis died. Heather’s hope is that we seriously consider this plight and do something to help the Josh’s and Marge’s son in our communities.
I agree with Vicki, there is a point when the story sags a bit- but plow through, it's worth it. ...more