This Newbery Award winning children’s story follows the life of an orphan girl, who can’t even remember having a real name, let alone a real home. She is taken in by a medieval village midwife but not out of kindness. The midwife wants an assistant who will do all the chores and be thankful for a roof over her head and a few scraps of bread. But by the end of the story our young woman has found a name and made a place for herself in the world. An interesting look at a part of history rarely covered in children’s literature.
The further adventures of druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, his apprentice Granuaile and faithful wolfhound, Oberon. For twelve years Atticus has been training Granuaile and the world believes he has died. Now that he has to come out into the open to bind Granuaile to the earth and complete her training as a druid a whole host of supernatural beings are upset that he’s still alive.
A collection of poems that start with the thoughts of our murder victim, high school teacher, Mr. Chippendale, right before his untimely demise. Each poem that follows is the thoughts or police interview with students, teachers, neighbors and the police detectives themselves. The finale poem reveals who the murderer is with clues along the way in the poems to point you in that direction.
A collection of poems from Robert Service who is best known for his poems set in the Yukon such as “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. Most of the poems in this collection are set around his home in Ireland and with everyday experiences and people. They still tell a clear story and he pulls you into the lives of the poems’ narrators.
This was a fun, informative book. Great for all Downton Abbey fans. It is written by a British author so occasionally a British term or two. Each chapter covers a different section of life in a wealthy home usually starting with how the lord and lady and their family were expected to behave then the upper servants down to the lowly kitchen maid, poor Daisy.
Meet Pat. He believes in “silver linings”. That everything in life will turn out all right and have it’s silver lining. This is a moving story of two people emotionally damaged by their early choices in life and the loss of someone close to them. This novel tells how they deal with loss and betrayal, how it affects their friends and family and finally how they are able to move on.
This illustrated book takes you on a guided tour of a single day in an wealthy English home of the Edwardian era. Starting with the servants hard at work while the family is still asleep in their beds, and ending with a lavish dinner party, this book includes accounts from actual masters and servants. It also contains feature pages on famous figures like Winston Churchill and Virginia Woolf and their comments about their home life and their servants.
This was an amazing novel. A young Scottish woman volunteers to be a spy for Britian in France during WWII and is captured by the Germans. Her captors break her and she shares information about British defenses and her training but really it’s the story of her best friend, female pilot, Maddie. A well-written wonderful story of friendship and bravery that shares parts of British, French and German history during WWII.
This story of two sisters growing up in the harsh environment of a Canadian fishing/farming town started out well. You meet Idella and Avis in 1916 as children surrounded by their close knit fishing community, mom, dad and an older mother. Their older brother is always distant and prefers being out on the boat to helping around the farm and dad’s mood depends on how much he’s been drinking leaving mom to be the center of their world. Shortly into the book she dies in childbirth and now young Idella must step-up and take over the household duties and raising her caring but wild younger sister. After several missteps with hiring girls in their teens to help raise the girls and take care of the household chores dad sends the girls off to live with their aunt and uncle on a farm in Maine. Both girls love going to school and are amazed at how deep dark and rich the earth of their aunt’s farm is compared to the dust brown, dry, rocky dirt of home.
But then their dad is injured in a hunting accident and the girls must return home to take care of him and “the place.” Their brother leaves the house as soon as the girls arrive, not able to stand their father’s moods any longer. Still by this time I was invested in the characters and wanted to see how Idella and Avis managed.
Then it felt like the author didn’t know how to continue the story and decides to jump ahead to when the girls are adults and living in America. Idella and Avis continue to make one poor decision after another especially with men. Then the book switches into each character telling their memories of life as an adult and Idella’s children and husband sharing memories of what it was like to live with her.
I discovered after reading the book that it is a compilation of short stories about the same family written by the author who died unpublished at the age of 49. This explains so much! The first part of the book was published as “Gone” and the chapters dealing with Idella and Avis returning home to bury their father was published as “Wake.” The beginning was the best part of the book I thought and I wonder what the author could have accomplished if she’d live to weave all her stories into one cohesive novel.
The Truth tells how Anhk-Morpork’s first newspaper got it’s start and how the second son of a wealthy family found his own way while he wrestles with what IS truth and why does it matter. William de Worde is an ethical writer and publisher who stumbles onto a group of dwarves and their new purchase from their hometown, a printing press. His once a month newsletter to the uppercrust soon becomes a daily newspaper angering the engraver’s guild and sparking rival publications including the Inquirer which cares more about selling papers and putting the de Worde’s Times out of business that bothering about the truth. But William has an inside informant about the charges of attempted murder against city leader Vetinari and soon hires a whole staff to run the newspaper including lots of dwarves, a troll, a zombie and my favorite vampire from Discworld, Otto von Chriek a photographer who has to watch how strong a flash he uses or the light evaporates him.
This is mainly a photo collection of the history of theme park, Silver Dollar City and Marvel Cave starting with the cave’s discovery. The photos also feature the theme park’s festivals, craftsman and visitors having fun in the park. It was a fun read for me, since I first went to Silver Dollar City as a sophomore in high school with my aunt and uncle, then when in college Branson was only an hour away so it was a great get-away spot for a day of fun with friends. So, the area holds lots of good memories for me.
Book 1 of the new children’s series, All the Wrong Questions, by Lemony Snicket. The main character is a young Lemony Snicket relating his adventures. Instead of heading off to a boarding school Lemony has found himself an apprenticeship with an unusual secret organization. He thinks his first adventure will be assisting a friend of his but instead he is sent to an isolated town separated from everyone else by an inland sea that is now dry. He starts by asking questions that shouldn’t have even been on his mind. Will he think of the right questions in time to find the real answers?
Looking for a book with a global conspiracy? How about one set in a tiny bookstore in a neglected part of San Fransisco? Or a book with a mystery and code-breaking? Maybe a book with romance between 2 sets of young professionals trying to make it in the big city? Do you like books with high tech computer digitization or maybe one with ancient rituals and secret rites is more to your liking? What about a book that has all of these and more and it’s only 288 pages!
If you said, Yes! then Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is the book for you. The story starts our normal enough with our everyman hero Clay Jannon having just been downsized and hunting for a job. He comes across a tiny entrance to a bookstore with a Help Wanted sign in the window and decides it can’t hurt to inquire. This starts his career as a clerk at this vertical bookstore. The shelves go up more than two stories and require the regular use of tall ladders for the majority of the stores inventory. With regular odd customers who rarely buy anything but check out items from the tall shelves instead. Surely this bookstore is just a front for something more. Clay decides to find out what and takes us all along for a journey of discovery both about the bookstore and himself.
A collection of brief biographys of six Russian women who made great contributions to literature through supporting their husbands writing careers. Some are well-known authors such as Tolstoy and Dostevsky while others are lesser known authors and poets. Sophia Tolstoy, Vera Nabokov, Elena Bulgakov, Nadezdha Mandelstam, Anna Dostevsky, and Natalya Solzhenitsyn all assisted in a variety of ways including being stenographers, typists, editors, researchers, translators and even publishers. These brave ladies also faced adversity in financial circumstances and often under a restrictive government many of them battled censorship and even risked their lives to preserve her husbands writings, documents and important papers for the future.
This seems to be a unique trait among Russian women to so completely throw themselves into their husbands work. Often these ladies were the writers’ intellectual match and often made invaluable contributions and suggestions during the creative process as well as serving as an example of women’s thoughts and feelings. At Dostevsky’s request Anna kept a daily journal of her activities, thoughts and feelings and he read these to gain a better understanding of a female perspective.
They established a tradition all their own, unmatched in the West. Sometimes they were celebrated for their contributions during their lifetime and sometimes they were ridiculed and popularly believed to be holding their husband back. Here are the stories of the writing of some of the world’s greatest literature through the wives’ eyes.
Wall Street Journal’s Middle East correspondent, Farnaz Fassihi, relates her interactions and interviews with the citizens of Iraq and how they are dealing with the affects of the US/Iraq war since 2003. She relates stories mainly from the ordinary working and middle class people she mets while living in Iraq. See the war through their eyes, everyone from a middle class art gallery owner to taxi drivers to radical teenagers.
Set in England during the French Revolution you follow the exploits of a British government worker, Jonathan Absey tasked with reviewing documents for messages to or from spies for France. Jonathan becomes convinced that he has a found spies being sheltered by a wealthy French immigrant family and worse that they may be sheltering a murderer who is stalking London’s streets looking for young, red-haired women. But no one will listen to him and his frustration and desperation grows because he believes this serial killer may be the murderer of his only daughter!
Book 3 of the Iron Druid series. Not my favorite of the stories so far. Very little time was spent with Oberon or the widow next door, so less humor in this book than the first two. Despite warnings from two other deities about dire consequences if he continues on his current path, Atticus keeps his word to Leif, his vampire lawyer, to transport Leif and several others to Asgard. Leif and his friends want to kill Thor (yes, Thor the Norse god of thunder)for crimes he commented against them. Each member of the traveling party tells the story of why he is on this revenge quest to the rest of the group and a lot is learned about each one, but especially Leif.
Harry returns as the winter knight. As a knight of the winter court in service to the fairy queen, Mab, Harry gets his first assignment from Mab, but as always when dealing with the fairy court – nothing is exactly as it seems. Multiple powerful forces are manipulating events and manipulating Harry along with them. Someone is also trying to blow up the island of Demonreach and Harry discovers the island’s true purpose. Of course, all the major events have a deadline for Harry to figure out what’s happening, midnight on his birthday, Halloween.