Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books Read in 2009

Wow, I read 122 books this year, with 1/4 of them being non-fiction. I also was able to listen to 13 audio books, thanks to my Ipod Touch I received earlier this year. Here is a list of what I read:

-101 Dalmations - Dodie Smith (audio)
-Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain (audio)
-Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain (audio)
-Anne of Ingleside - L.M. Montgomery
-The Apothecary's Daughter - Julie Klassen
-Before the Season Ends - Linore Rose Burkard
-Betsy and the Great World - Maud Hart Lovelace
-Betsy's Wedding - Maud Hart Lovelace
-The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery
-The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
-Boomtown - Chang's Famous Fireworks - Nowen N. Particular
-The Bride Backfire - Kelly Eileen Hake
-The Bride Bargain - Kelly Eileen Hake
-Calico Canyon - Mary Connealy
-Cheaper by the Dozen - Frank B. Gilbreth (audio)
-The Christmas Secret - Donna VanLiere
-The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper: Woman of the West - Kathleen Y'Barbo
-Corduroy Mansions - Alexander McCall Smith (audio)
-Cowboy Christmas - Mary Connealy
-Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (audio)
-Dear Pen Pal (The Mother-Daughter Book Club)- Heather Vogel Frederick
-Diva NashVegas - Rachel Hauck
-Elvis Takes a Back Seat - Leanna Ellis
-Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
-Emily Climbs - L.M. Montgomery
-Emily's Quest - L.M. Montgomery
-The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly
-The Falcon and the Sparrow - Marylu Tyndall
-Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer
-From a Distance - Tamera Alexander
-Gingham Mountain - Mary Connealy
-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows (read twice, audio-once)
-Hattie Big Sky - Kirby Larson (audio)
-An Irish Country Christmas - Patrick Taylor
-Jane Austen Ruined My Life - Beth Pattillo
-Joelle's Secret - Gilbert Morris
-Leave It to Psmith - P.G. Wodehouse
-Look to the East - Maureen Lang
-Lookin' Back Texas - Leanna Ellis
-The Lost Art of Gratitude - Alexander Mccall Smith
-Lost in NashVegas - Rachel Hauck
-Lumby's Bounty - Gail Fraser
-Menu for Romance - Kaye Dacus
-Mike and Psmith - P.G. Wodehouse
-Miss Julia Delivers the Goods - Ann B. Ross
-Montana Rose - Mary Connealy
-The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg - Rodman Philbrick
-The Mother-Daughter Book Club - Heather Vogel Frederick
-Mrs. Arris Goes to Paris -Paul Gallico
-Much Ado About Anne - Heather Vogel Frederick
-The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart
-The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey - Trenton Lee Stewart
-The Nanny Diaries - Emma Mclaughlin, Nicola Kraus
-No Place for a Lady: A Novel - Maggie Brendan
-The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective - Andy Andrews
-Our Only May Amelia - Jennifer Holm
-The Penderwicks -Jeanne Birdsall (audio)
-The Penderwicks on Gardam Street - Jeanne Birdsall (audio)
-Petticoat Ranch - Mary Connealy
-Picadilly Jim by P.G. Wodehouse
-The Promise of Lumby - Gail Fraser
-Psmith In The City - P.G. Wodehouse
-Psmith, Journalist - P.G. Wodehouse
-Quaker Summer - Lisa Samson
-Rainbow Valley - L. M. Montgomery (audio)
-Ransome's Honor - Kaye Dacus
-The Red Siren - Marylu Tyndall
-The Rising Tide: A Novel of the Second World War - Jeff Shaara (audio)
-The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
-A Single Thread - Marie Bostwick
-Stand-In Groom - Kaye Dacus
-The Steel Wave: A Novel of World War II - Jeff Shaara (audio)
-The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society: A Novel - Beth Pattillo
-The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love: A Novel - Beth Pattillo
-The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
-Sylvester - Georgette Heyer
-The Tale of Applebeck Orchard (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter) - Susan Wittig Albert
-The Tale of Briar Bank (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter) - Susan Wittig Albert
-The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries) - Susan Wittig Albert
-The Tale of Hawthorn House (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter) - Susan Wittig Albert
-The Tale of Hill Top Farm (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter) - Susan Wittig Albert
-The Tale of Holly How (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter ) - Susan Wittig Albert
-Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall - Emily Bearn
-The Uncommon Reader: A Novella - Alan Bennett
-Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains - Laurel Snyder
-Venetia - Georgette Heyer
-William S. and the Great Escape - Zilpha Keatley Snyder
-The Year of Miss Agnes - Kirkpatrick Hill
-You Had Me at Good-bye - Tracey Bateman
-Your Chariot Awaits - Lorena McCourtney

-Abraham Lincoln's World - Genevieve Foster
-Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt and Craft - Jane Kirkpatrick
-Blogging for Bliss - Tera Frey
-The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child - Donalyn Miller
-Clean and Simple Scrapbooking-The Sequel - Cathy Zielske
-Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl - Susan McCorkindale
-A Designer's Eye for Scrapbooking - Ali Edwards
-A Designer's Eye for Scrapbooking with Patterned Paper - Ali Edwards
-Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God - Voddie T. Baucham Jr.
-The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen: Live Well, Laugh Often, Cook Much - Serena Thompson, Teri Edwards
-Do Hard Things - Alex & Brett Harris
-First Things First: The Rules of Being a Warner -Kurt & Brenda Warner
-Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!- Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller
-Good Day!: The Paul Harvey Story - Paul Batura
-Heart in the Right Place: A Memoir - Carolyn Jourdan (read twice)
-A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table - Molly Wizenberg
-Homeschooling with Meek and Quiet Spirit - Teri Maxwell
-How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations That Made Them -Daniel Wolff
-In Praise of Stay At Home Moms - Dr. Laura Schlessinger
-The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits - Les Standiford
-Manager's of Their Home - Steve and Teri Maxwell
-Modern Memory Keeper: A New Approach to Scrapbooking Your Family Legacy by Ronee Parsons
-My Teenage Son's Goal In Life Is To Make Me Feel 3,500 Years Old and Other Thoughts On Parenting - Dave Barry
-Organizing Your Day - Sandra Felton, Marcia Sims
-Parenting the Heart of Your Child - Diane Moore
-Perspectives from a "Smart" Christian - Karla Christian
-Sorted - Lisanne Oliver
-The Pioneer Woman Cooks - Ree Drummond
-Ten P's in a Pod : A Million-Mile Journal of the Arnold Pent Family - Arnold Pent III (audio)
-The Shaping Of A Christian Family - Elisabeth Elliot
-When Homeschooling Gets Tough - Diana Johnson
-When Your Child Struggles The Myths of 20/20 Vision: What Every Parent Needs to Know - David L. Cook O.D.

Total: 122 books

Books Read in December

Books for Boys and Girls, Bookseller
Books for Boys and Girls, Bookseller

Elvis Takes a Back Seat by Leanna Ellis (review)
No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brenden (review)
Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus
William S. and the Great Escape by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick
The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara (audio)
From a Distance by Tamera Alexander
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (audio)

Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham
The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond (review)
Managers of their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell

Book Review: From A Distance by Tamera Alexander

Book Description:
What happens when the realization of a dream isn't what you imagined... and the secret you've spent a lifetime guarding is finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country's premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.

Daniel Ranslett, a former Confederate sharpshooter, is a man shackled by his past, and he'll do anything to protect his land, and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He's a man of his word, but repaying that debt could bring secrets from his past to light.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth's lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met . . . from a distance.

My thoughts:
I have really enjoyed Tamera Alexander's previous books and I looked forward to reading From a Distance. I was to be disappointed--I hated the beginning of the book. I really didn't like the main character at all, even though the things I disliked about her came out in the open by the end of the story. I also think the description that was given on the back of the book was VERY misleading. I don't know about anyone else, but I expect that what I read in the book description to actually happen throughout the book and not just to happen in the last 1/4 of the book. That left me to sludge through the first 3/4 of the book trying to figure out what was going on! I did enjoy the end of the story, but I don't know if it makes up for the slowness and boredom I experienced in the first part.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book Review: Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick

Book Description:
For the mother-daughter book club, everything changes in eighth grade.
Could the book club break up? When Jess is offered an anonymous scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, she's not sure that leaving home -- and her friends -- is what she wants to do. Meanwhile Megan's grandmother comes for a long visit and turns everything in the Wong household upside down; Emma crusades against her middle school's new uniforms; and Cassidy
finds out there's a big change ahead for her family.

Inspired by Jess's unexpected opportunity, the book club decides to read Jean Webster's classic Daddy-Long-Legs, and there's an added twist this year when they become pen pals with the girls in a book club in Wyoming. There's plenty to write to their new friends about, from a prank-filled slumber party to a not-so-secret puppy -- and even a surprise first kiss.

In this third book in the beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club series, the girls learn that as long as they have one another -- and a good book -- they're ready for whatever eighth grade has in store!

My thoughts:
I was really looking forward to reading Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick and I was not disappointed. In the Mother-Daughter Book Club they not only read Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster, but also Dear Enemy, the sequel to Daddy Long Legs, and Just Patty, another book by Jean Webster, which I have never read. This story was a lot of fun to read and even the whole "first kiss" thing was dealt with very humorously. I think Dear Pen Pal has been my favorite of this series, and it added two more books to my TBR list.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: U

Understood Betsy by Dorthy Canfield Fisher

Book Description:
Thanks to her loving but over-protective guardian aunts, Betsy is a fearful, self-absorbed, nine-year-old hypochondriac. One of the most terrible items on her long list of fears is the horrid cousins her aunts never mention without shuddering. When her aunts are suddenly no longer able to care for her, Betsy is, incredibly, sent to live with those very relatives.

Arriving in Vermont alone and full of trepidation, Betsy is immediately invited by her Uncle Henry to drive the carriage. Steering the fearful horses is just the beginning of her adventures in New England -- and independence. By the novel's end, Betsy has become very fond of the rough but affectionate relatives who eat in the kitchen and expect her to wash her own dishes. When she gets a letter from the aunts inviting her to come home, Betsy must make a difficult choice.

Understood Betsy has been published in numerous editions worldwide since its 1917 debut, and continues to charm readers with its delightful and surprisingly liberated characters.

My thoughts:
I probably would have never read this book except it was a literature selection for the curriculum that we use. I read it to my kids a couple of years ago and we all loved the story. If I remember right, it is a little slow going in the beginning but is definitely worth perservering through.

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James

For the first time, I was struck by how handsome he was, sitting there with the breeze stirring his thick, dark hair and kissing his brow, and his countenance glowing pleasantly in the afternoon light.

"Wouldn't it be grand, Miss Bronte, if we could wipe the slate clean and start afresh, as if we had only just met?"
p. 300

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December Happenings

Here is a little of what we have experienced in December:
Made cookies.

Celebrated Caleb's birthday.

We finally put up the Christmas tree and decorations.

Sent out our Christmas Cards.

Destini and I attended the Nutcracker with friends.

We performed our Christmas program for which I made 6 Bible costumes in 2 days.

On Christmas Eve we celebrated Christmas together.

Christmas Day was spent with my husband's family. (Delani is getting reacquainted with her cousin.)

The day after Christmas Granny and Papa came and spent the night. (Eating apple fritters with Papa.)

And many more numerous things that makes me tired just thinking about it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's On Your Nightstand - December

What's On Your Nightstand

Books on my nightstand for December.

From my November post I read:
Elvis Takes a Back Seat by Leanna Ellis (review)
Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham
No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brenden (review)
Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus

I also read:
The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond (review)
William S. and the Great Escape by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere

I am currently reading:
From a Distance by Tamara Alexander
Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick

I didn't get to:
These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner (I'll try again at another date!)
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith (I am forgetting about this title for right now.)
Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate (I'm adding this title to this month's nightstand list.)

This has been a really hard month for reading. Late night, busy days and a teething baby don't leave much time to get cozy with a book. I am looking forward to next month where hopefully life returns to a normal pace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: T

Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright

Product Description:
With Father in Washington and Cuffy, their housekeeper, away visiting a sick cousin, almost anything might happen to the Melendy kids left behind at the Four-Story Mistake. In the Melendy family, adventures are inevitable: Mr. Titus and the catfish; the villainy of the DeLacey brothers; Rush's composition of Opus 3; Mona's first rhubarb pie and all the canning; Randy's arrowhead; the auction and fair for the Red Cross. But best of all is the friendship with Mark Herron, which begins with a scrap-collection mission and comes to a grand climax on Oliver's birthday.

Here is Elizabeth Enright's classic story of a long and glorious summer in the country with the resourceful, endearing Melendy bunch.

Then There Were Five is the third installment of Enright's Melendy Quartet, an engaging and warm series about the close-knit Melendy family and their surprising adventures.

My thoughts:

If you have never met the Melendy Family who are introduced in the book, The Saturdays, I highly recommend you remedy the situation! Then There Were Five is the third book which follows The Four Story Mistake and is probably my favorite book in this series. Both adult and children will enjoy this classic story, but I do recommend you start at the beginning of the series. The Series include:
The Saturdays
The Four Story Mistake
Then There Were Five
Spiderweb for Two

Teaser Tuesday

I'm finally getting this posted. I just finished hosting a Christmas party and only now have been able to get to the computer.


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

Dear Pen Pal (The Mother Daughter Book Club) by Heather Vogel Frederick

"You'll have to cut me out," I snap. "Find me some scissors." p. 174

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: S

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Book Description:
Swallows and Amazons begins with the four Walker children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger, holidaying with their mother, infant sister Brigit and a nurse at Holly Howe, a farmhouse on the shores of an unnamed lake in the English Lake District. Receiving permission from their absent father, Commander Walker R.N., they set sail in the dinghy Swallow to camp on a deserted island further down the lake.

Camping, sailing, fishing and exploring is soon interrupted when the Walkers (the Swallows) are attacked by Nancy and Peggy Blackett, the self-styled Amazon Pirates. The Amazons live at Beckfoot on the shores of the lake and claim ownership of the island, which they call Wild Cat Island. The Swallows and the Amazons soon form an alliance, united in opposition to the Amazons' irrasible Uncle Jim, who is living on his houseboat whilst writing a book. They conclude that Uncle Jim is a retired pirate and henceforth call him Captain Flint.

The new allies decide to hold a private war to determine whether Swallow or Amazon should become their flagship. As their war reaches its climax, it coincides with the burglary of Captain Flint's houseboat, during which his trunk containing his manuscript is stolen. Captain Flint believes that the Swallows are to blame, a misunderstanding that Nancy soon puts right. Realising his mistake, Captain Flint is quick to apologise and, thinking his book is lost, he makes peace with the allies before challenging them to battle.

At the appointed hour the allies attack and seize Captain Flint's houseboat, strengthening their new friendship by making him walk the plank. However, the friendship is truly sealed when Titty and Roger find his lost trunk, thereby saving his book.

Swallows and Amazons concludes with a great storm on the lake, after which the Swallows and Amazons have to return to life ashore and a new year at school. They part with promises to meet again next year.

My thoughts:
I read this book aloud to my children a couple of years ago. This was a fun read and we all really enjoyed it. One day I hope to get around to the other titles in this series.

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

William S. and the Great Escape by Zilpha Keattey Snyder

"But that meant--he sighed deeply--he not only had to somehow get himself and Jancy and the little kids away from the house and down to the bus stop without being seen by the police or the Baggetts, but also without having their getaway sabotaged by Clarice. And what's more, it was going to have to happen very soon, since tomorrow would be Friday." p.108

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been remiss in posting this. Back in November, Lee from Butterfly Blessing passed on this award:

Here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award": Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Since I have been working on this post since November, I'm reducing my number to four.

1. Hopeinbrazil from Worthwhile Books (I'm cheating on this one. I've discovered Worthwhile Books almost a year ago, but I truly enjoy this blog.)
2. Renee at Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot
3. CeeCee at Book Splurge
4. Christy at Southern Sassy Things

Thanks Lee!

Book Review:The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond

Book Description:
My name is Ree.

Some folks know me as The Pioneer Woman.

After years of living in Los Angeles, I made a pit stop in my hometown in Oklahoma on the way to a new, exciting life in Chicago. It was during my stay at home that I met Marlboro Man, a mysterious cowboy with steely blue eyes and a muscular, work-honed body. A strict vegetarian, I fell hard and fast, and before I knew it we were married and living on his ranch in the middle of nowhere, taking care of animals, and managing a brood of four young children. I had no idea how I'd wound up there, but I knew it was exactly where I belonged.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a homespun collection of photography, rural stories, and scrumptious recipes that have defined my experience in the country. I share many of the delicious cowboy-tested recipes I've learned to make during my years as an accidental ranch wife—including Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, Lasagna, Fried Chicken, Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler, and Cinnamon Rolls—not to mention several "cowgirl-friendly" dishes, such as Sherried Tomato Soup, Olive Cheese Bread, and CrÈme BrÛlÉe. I show my recipes in full color, step-by-step detail, so it's as easy as pie to follow along.

You'll also find colorful images of rural life: cows, horses, country kids, and plenty of chaps-wearing cowboys.

I hope you get a kick out of this book of mine. I hope it makes you smile. I hope the recipes bring you recognition, accolades, and marriage proposals. And I hope it encourages even the most harried urban cook to slow down, relish the joys of family, nature, and great food, and enjoy life.

My thoughts:
I came across The Pioneer Woman's blog when I was blog browsing one day. While looking through her posts I came across the recipe for The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake and was hooked. It looked great and doable, plus I recognized all the ingredients! No, I haven't made it, since cooking isn't first on my list (I have books to read!). The Pioneer Woman makes cooking look enjoyable, understandable and extremely humorous. I repeat--extremely humorous!! The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond is a beautiful cookbook. There are pictures for every step of the recipes, plus pictures interspersed throughout of her family and her ranch. I borrowed this from the library, but hopefully I will add it to my little shrinky dink pile of cookbooks. Even if I never cook a recipe from it, I can pull it down and have a good laugh! Check out her cookbook and her blog.

Book Review:Elvis Takes a Back Seat by Leanna Ellis

Book Description:
Elvis Takes a Back Seatby award-winning novelist Leanna Ellis is the endearing story of Claudia, a young widow determined to fulfill her husband’s last request by hauling a three-foot bust of Elvis Presley in the backseat of a vintage Cadillac from Dallas to Memphis to return it to its rightful owner. The road trip—taken with an eccentric aunt who actually knew the “King of Rock ’n’ Roll,” and a temperamental teen with a suspicious mind of her own—hits some royal roadblocks and detours as these women uncover pieces of their past along with the bust’s mysterious history. What they find along the way changes their lives forever, inspiring readers to also step out in faith.

My thoughts:
Even though I’m not a fan of Elvis, when I saw the title Elvis Takes a Back Seat by Leanna Ellis I was highly interested. The tone of the book has some serious and deep issue that the characters have to work through, but you have this crazy bust of Elvis always adding a slight humorous touch. The story wasn't what I expected, but I did enjoy it.

Book Review: No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan

From Books Covers

Book Description:
Crystal Clark arrives in Colorado's Yampa Valley amid the splendor of a high country June in 1892. After the death of her father, Crystal is relieved to be leaving the troubles of her Georgia life behind to visit her aunt Kate's cattle ranch. Despite being raised as a proper Southern belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land--even if a certain handsome foreman doubts her abilities. Just when she thinks she's getting a handle on the constant male attention from the cowhands and the catty barbs from some of the local young women, tragedy strikes the ranch. Crystal will have to tap all of her resolve to save the ranch from a greedy neighboring landowner. Can she rise to the challenge? Or will she head back to Georgia defeated? Book one in the Heart of the West series, No Place for a Lady is full of adventure, romance, and the indomitable human spirit. Readers will fall in love with the Colorado setting and the spunky Southern belle who wants to claim it as her own.

My thoughts:
No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan was a sweet story and an enjoyable read. My only complaint it wasn't very fast paced in the beginning and I kept falling asleep, so it took me awhile to read it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Delani's New Hairdo

Delani finally has enough hair to do this:

But beware the next day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Books read in November

Books in Winter
Books in Winter

I am posting this a little late, but here is November reading.

The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith (review)
The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake (review)
Look to the East by Maureen Lang (review)
Montana Rose by Mary Connealy (review)
The Noticer by Andy Andrews (review)
Elvis Takes a Back Seat by LeAnna Ellis
Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus
Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith (audio)
The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara (audio)

Organizing Your Day by Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims (review)
Blogging for Bliss by Tera Frey
Parenting the Heart of Your Child by Diane Moore (review)
A Designer's Eyes for Scrapbooking with Patterned Paper by Ali Edwards

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: R

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

Book Description:
Jeff Bussey walked briskly up the rutted wagon road toward Fort Leavenworth on his way to join the Union volunteers. It was 1861 in Linn County, Kansas, and Jeff was elated at the prospect of fighting for the North at last.

In the Indian country south of Kansas there was dread in the air; and the name, Stand Watie, was on every tongue. A hero to the rebel, a devil to the Union man, Stand Watie led the Cherokee Indian Na-tion fearlessly and successfully on savage raids behind the Union lines. Jeff came to know the Watie men only too well.

He was probably the only soldier in the West to see the Civil War from both sides and live to tell about it. Amid the roar of cannon and the swish of flying grape, Jeff learned what it meant to fight in battle. He learned how it felt never to have enough to eat, to forage for his food or starve. He saw the green fields of Kansas and Okla-homa laid waste by Watie's raiding parties, homes gutted, precious corn deliberately uprooted. He marched endlessly across parched, hot land, through mud and slash-ing rain, always hungry, always dirty and dog-tired.

And, Jeff, plain-spoken and honest, made friends and enemies. The friends were strong men like Noah Babbitt, the itinerant printer who once walked from Topeka to Galveston to see the magnolias in bloom; boys like Jimmy Lear, too young to carry a gun but old enough to give up his life at Cane Hill; ugly, big-eared Heifer, who made the best sourdough biscuits in the Choctaw country; and beautiful Lucy Washbourne, rebel to the marrow and proud of it. The enemies were men of an-other breed - hard-bitten Captain Clardy for one, a cruel officer with hatred for Jeff in his eyes and a dark secret on his soul.

This is a rich and sweeping novel-rich in its panorama of history; in its details so clear that the reader never doubts for a moment that he is there; in its dozens of different people, each one fully realized and wholly recognizable. It is a story of a lesser--known part of the Civil War, the Western campaign, a part different in its issues and its problems, and fought with a different savagery. Inexorably it moves to a dramat-ic climax, evoking a brilliant picture of a war and the men of both sides who fought in it.

Winner, 1958 Newbery Medal
Notable Children's Books of 1957 (ALA)
1964 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

My thoughts:
A friend recommended this book for my son, so I decided I would read it myself. I enjoyed the story so much I bought the book and then insisted that my husband read it. It really gives you a different look of the Civil War by showing the good and the ugly of both sides.
This story has everything you could want in a story, and I personally think it is a must read for boys.

I do have to give a warning though, I find the title of the book very misleading! I spent the first half of the book trying to figure out what the story had to do with the title. The title eventually makes sense in the end, but for me it caused too much confusion. If you decide to read it, I suggest to ignore the title and dive right into the story, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

Menu for Romance by Kay Dacus

"But if you're in love with Major, why are you dating Ward Breaux?"

"Because I made a promise to myself that this year I'm going to finally get over this thing with Major and not spend next New Year's alone."
p. 239

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: Q

Quilting-Pieces of the Past by Better Homes and Garden

Book Description:
Studying quilts reveals much about history. The fabrics, quiltmakers, patterns, and techniques reflect what was and is happening around the world. This book shares in in-depth look at quilting from 1830 to the present. You'll be intrigued with the historical references and accompanying stitched works of art. Your inspiration will be piqued when you see the 54 beautiful designs--both old and new, appliqued and pieced. Best of all, you can re-create each of these extraordinary quilts.
The book includes:
-Materials lists with fabric and batting sizes
-Step by step instructions, diagrams, and full-size patterns
-Information on period fabrics, quiltmakers, and more--all to feed your love of quilting.

My thoughts:
Even though I sew I haven't done any quilting. I picked this up from the bargain book at Borders because of the beautiful pictures, historical information and all the detailed instructions, plus the price was right!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan

"Crystal, Kurt, and Rusty had just come upon the chaotic scene, and they watched in horror as the steer snagged Curly and pulled him under the water as other cows thundered into the river. Slim and other cowhands ran toward the edge of the river but could only stand by helplessly, some swearing, others mute with stricken faces." p. 188


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