Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review

The Little GirlsThe Little Girls by Elizabeth Bowen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the first page, I was smitten with the constant question of what was the unknown, what were the secrets and what would be the outcome.

The British turn of phrase is sometimes a challenge to decipher, but always, for me, a delight.

Three women who were good friends as 11 year old girls are reunited 50 years later, with unsettling outcomes. I am actually still thinking through what those were. As girls, they had buried a coffer of each of their belongings. As adults, that coffer is the subject of their reunion and their quest to see if it is still buried.

Deep emotion rules the pages. Is it ever a good idea to ruffle up the past and those secrets we thought were buried. You just never know.

In reading reviews of this book, I find that some have not found the secrets. I think this is such a well-written book that keeps the reader at attention to the story and it's revelations if she can only keep at it. Perhaps it is so good that each reader finds different endings.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Review

Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian EnglandInside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such an insight into the ways of life in another time; a time when not only everything was so much more work, but a time when propriety reigned.

This book takes us through the house, room by room and what it meant to live in Victorian times. I learned so much about their lives and how mistaken Americans have been about some things, such as what we call "High Tea".

A book to make one grateful for all of our energy saving and time saving ways of life today, but also one to ponder at the hard working souls who came before us.

Includes explanations of meal servings and table settings, the ways various rooms were used and why, the sickroom and death and funeral and mourning customs. A great look into woman's roles and how men formed them.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review

The Blotting Book - A Mystery by E.F. BensonThe Blotting Book - A Mystery by E.F. Benson by E.F. Benson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having read another book by this author that was quite funny, I was ready for another of the same, however, this one was quite different.

A set of events concerning an office of solicitors and their client, involving slander and blackmail, evolve into an even greater crime. The story is written to offer several alternatives to the ending, but the end comes at an abrupt finish.

I was taken with the authors' clean use of phrasing and setting up the story both in place and attitude. I definitely want to read more of his work.

Set in the early 1900's England, my favorite country to read about.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review

Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the PagesForgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having worked in a library for many years and finding so many fun things in books, reading this is like being back there once again for me. Turning each page is a bit like opening a gift to see what is there.

Michael Popek, bookseller, has compiled a clever assortment of various bits left in old books. Many letters or notes, recipes, trade cards, advertisements and much more to delight the avid reader.

The actual book the items were found in is also listed and shown. A fun, fun journey to page through!

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review

DocDoc by Mary Doria Russell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and wish I could have lived for just a bit during the 1880's and met Doc Holiday.

I chose it as I have read other books by this author and they have all been excellent. Doc Holiday was a very likable young man who was plagued by tuberculosis, the disease that also took the life of his beloved mother. He came to Dodge City Kansas from the south to improve his health and worked as a dentist as his health allowed. He was good friends with the Earp brothers, including the most famous, Wyatt Earp.

Many books of the time, especially the "dime novels" greatly embellished the life of Holiday and credited him with a much more lively and crime-filled life than was true. I was glad to know at the conclusion of this story, that although fiction, the author stuck quite close to actual facts where it mattered most.

Being from Kansas makes this story even more interesting for me. Our past is filled with so many interesting people and events that are amazing to learn about. Russell makes the telling of the life of Doc Holiday a true joy to read.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Words to Live (and Die) By

For many years I have said that when I die I would most like to be remembered with two words..............

    Encouraging and Generous

I try to live by those words.    I really believe that the way to be happy is to share what you have with others and to encourage others at all times.  If I have possessions or knowledge that I can share with others, I am most happy to do that.

As this new year begins, I am thinking on those words even more. 

What are the words you would like to be remembered by?


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