There There

There There by Tommy Orange. New York: Knopf, 2018. 290 pages. *****

It is essential to read the Prologue before jumping into this story. Orange introduces us to his 12 characters, Urban Indians who are unknowingly connected and on a collision course with each other at the Big Oakland Powwow. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Daniel Gonzales creating guns on a 3-D printer and using the money from their sale to purchase a drone and virtual reality goggles. Guns created this way can go through metal detectors without setting off an alarm. Tony Loneman discovers that bullets hidden in socks and thrown over the wall also beat the detectors at the Powwow.

Told in alternating voices and first and third person, this book could be very confusing, but it isn't. Their voices are clear and strong and it isn't difficult to separate the main characters. Orange builds the suspense and while it is apparent that the action is going to happen on the day of the Powwow, it's hard to predict exactly whose paths are going to cross. I wrote some notes as I read with descriptors of each character and why I thought that they might be important. The Prologue sets the stage and explains where the Indians have come from and how they have evolved into  "Urban Indians." Orange has provided a different perspective of what we believe happened at the first Thanksgiving.
Having heard comments from friends and other reviews, I didn't expect to like this book and wondered whether the committee for choosing the One Book One Philadelphia book read it in advance. (I can't imagine recommending a book for a Book Club without reading it first, so having read it, I'm sure that they screen each prospective book) My friends are meeting on Tuesday to discuss it and I am curious as to what their opinion will be on this book. I think I get it, however, I'm not sure if I can articulate what I understand. There's a part of me that thinks Orange could be writing about any members of a culture that has not moved beyond alcoholism, drugs, abandonment, lack of education and unemployment. We have been grappling as a nation with these issues forever; there are no easy answers. I suspect that this book will be a topic of many discussions and readers will either love it or hate it. I'm glad that I read it, it's not something I would have chosen on my own, but I was hooked as soon as I met Tony Loneman. I recommend you read it and decide for yourself.

The Book Group met to discuss this book and the consensus was some liked it and some didn't. Questions centered around the spider's legs, the many relationships among the characters, the 3d gun and the plan to thwart the metal detectors and will it be made into a movie?

There There was chosen as the One Book One Philadelphia choice for 2020. One Book, One Philadelphia is a signature program of the Free Library that promotes literacy, library usage, and civic dialogue by encouraging the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book. There There is accompanied by the One Book youth companion titles If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (grades 5-8), and When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett (K-3). For more information on this program visit the Free Library of Philadelphia and Facebook

One of the 10 best books of the year—The New York Times Book Review
A finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize. 
Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize
Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Winner of an American Book Award

Tony Orange was born and raised in Oakland, California. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. Tommy currently lives in Angels Camp, California, with his wife and son.

#onebookonephiladelphia #therethere #UrbanIndians


Temperature Quilt

February 12,  2020
I gave a demo to my Quilt Guild on my temperature quilt. 

January 8, 2020

August, September, October, done!!!

January 6, 2020

This quilt is not as easy to construct as I thought it would be. I cut the black in-between strip the size I thought it should be based on 31 squares at 2.5 = 62.5 inches. When I laid it out, the squares strip was about 1 inch bigger than the black strip. Back to the sewing machine to adjust some seams. I was more careful with second strip of squares and it was better. Not exactly straight! I did the flying geese method of making 4 at a time. I carefully cut and sewed and I’m disappointed in the result. The points are close to the edge and the pattern says to trim them down, 2 of them aren’t even the size I am supposed to trim them down to. I may be remaking them.

January 4, 2020

Temperature Quilt

I am intrigued by the concept of a temperature quilt, One records the highs, lows or averages for every day in a given year. I also read about making one recording the temperatures from my birth year. Wunderground Is an amazing website/App that will give historical temperatures by locale.
I decide to make one using the average temperatures in my first year of life. This isn’t as easy as I think it should be. I saw a quilt with the colors in it that I wanted my quilt to have, but I needed a pattern. A friend posted this quilt pattern on FB and I loved it.

The store where I went to purchase my fabrics had it in stock, sold! The pattern is "Showering Stars designed by Robin Pickens. My husband was sweet to extrapolate the daily data from Wunderground into an Excel spreadsheet.

These are my fabric choices.

I decided to use the colors in the same order for each month, but to record the temperatures independent of the other months. So the same color in each row will not necessarily be the same temperature. The highs and lows for each month will be unique and this will enable a more colorful quilt.

I found this cute little 2.5 square ruler in my rulers. It makes it really easy to cut the fabric.

Since the colors are so close in value, I decide to separate them into plastic bags and assign a number to each fabric.

This is my first row, August 2nd to August 31st. There are a few duplicate squares next to each other, but I think I am going to like it. I chose a black Kona cotton for the background, "Pepper." There will be strips of it in between the colored rows.



a family of strangers

a family of strangers by Emilie Richards. Canada: Mira, 2019. 484 pages. Reader's Guide. *****

All of her life, Ryan lived in the shadow of her much older perfect sister, Wendy. When Wendy calls asking for help and swearing Ryan to secrecy, Ryan drops what she is doing and rushes to take care of her two nieces. Not having children of her own and having had a traumatic break up, Ryan is unprepared to take care of two little girls who seem determined to guard their secrets. When Wendy's story starts to fall apart and someone tries to break into her sister's home, Ryan discovers an unusual locked medicine cabinet and a safe disguised as a circuit breaker box.  Ryan uses her skills as a true- crime podcaster to try and find out if Wendy is in danger or is she on the run because she is guilty? Ryan begins to realize she doesn't she really know her sister, and she begins to question her relationship with her parents. Is anyone telling the truth?

I received this book as a monthly choice of the Whimsical Wings Book Club (Book Hive FB Book Club) and I really enjoyed it. I was drawn in from the very beginning and read it in one day. Perfect escape from life reading, Richards "good sister gone bad" plot is refreshing and will keep you guessing until the very end.

This is my favorite book that I have received so far from the Book Club to read.

Emilie Richards is the author of seventy plus novels which have been published in more than twenty-one countries and sixteen languages. Her most recent novel is A Family of Strangers, a June 2019 trade paperback and hardcover release from Mira Books. Emilie has won the RITA from Romance Writers of America and multiple awards from RT Book Reviews, including one for career achievement. She regularly appears on bestseller lists, and ten of her books have been made into television movies in Germany. Emilie lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband in the winter and Chautauqua, New York in summer.

#afamilyofstrangers #whimsicalwingsbookclub #bookhivebookclub #mystery


The Bermondsey Bookshop

Check out the other Bloggers on each day!

The Bermondsey Bookshop: A heart-wrenching saga of love and loss in 1920s London by Mary Gibson. Head of Zeus, 2020. 313 pages ****

Set in 1920s London, this is the inspiring story of Kate Goss's struggle against poverty, hunger and cruel family secrets.

When her mother dies and her father leaves to find his fortune, Kate is raised by Aunt Sylvia. Her Aunt and cousins are particularly cruel to Kate who is cold, given barely enough food and forced to leave school to work in a foundry. It is there that Kate makes friends and learns a trade.  The factory where she works lays off people seasonally and Kate must search for a way to make money to eat and pay her rent. Kate's only choice seems to be to borrow money from an unscrupulous money-lender while looking for work. 
A job cleaning a most unusual bookshop, where anyone, from factory workers to dockers, can learn to read and then buy books cheaply opens up a new world for Kate. Even on her darkest days, she holds onto the dream that her father will return and save her from squalor and hunger. Kate has two love interests, Johnny, her childhood friend, and Martin, who wants nothing more than to save her. When Kate finds her father, she isn't prepared for the flashbacks to her mother's death and the violence that she unleashes. 
Based on the true story of the Bermondsey Bookshop, this is a grim look into poverty in the 1920s and the hopes and dreams of the people who survive it.
This historical fiction opens a window into the past without sugar coating the grimness, hunger, and violence towards women and intolerance towards the physically disabled. Kate's hope and goodness shine throughut the story and serve as an inspiration to her friends and co-worksers. Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Gibson's characters ring true and add a realism and relevance to the time period portrayed. This is the first one of Gibson's books I have read, however, it won't be the last. 
I received an ecopy for review.
Mary Gibson was born and brought up in Bermondsey, south east London. After a thirty year career in publishing, she took the opportunity of early retirement to write a book of her own. Her d├ębut novel, Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts, was inspired by the lives and times of her grandparents in World War One Bermondsey. It went on to become a top ten Kindle best seller and was selected for World Book Night 2015. 
Twitter handle: @MaryGibsonBooks
Facebook: @MaryGibsonBooks
Website: marygibsonauthor.co.uk

Follow me on IG @kathy.nester (I am a quilter also, so be prepared to see quilts!)

#thebermondseybookshop #historicalfiction #1920slondon 


January 2020 books

February 1, 2020

I saw this idea in a Facebook Group, I wish I could remember where so I could give them credit. For every book that you read during the year, you put  a dollar in a jar and at the end of the year, you buy new books with the money! Win-win!

I found this pretty glass jar at Marshall's and added my $5.00 this month.

During the month of January, I read and reviewed 5 books.

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris ****

When You See Me by Lisa Gardner ****

The Nowhere Girl  by Nicole Trope. *****

Hindsight by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen ****

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl  by Catherine Ryan Hyde *****

On to February, I'm reading The Bermondsey Bookshop and enjoying it so far!

2020 Monthly Color Challenge - February

February - Indigo Bunting - Teal

Indigo Bunting

This is an easy pattern and you can find it at  Pattern by Jen's blog

The teal fabric isn't photographing well,  looks more blue in the picture.

The most important step in this block is to trim the sections to the correct size. 

Lay out the block to make sure the squares are in the correct order. I sewed one row upside down and didn't notice until I photographed it. 

I found these plastic boxes at Michael's and they are the perfect size for this project.

Check out the other bloggers for this month:
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Create with Claudia
Sweet Boater Chick
So This is Kentucky

Don't forget to Link Up your block each month to be eligible for some fanatastic prizes from our sponsors! (details on Jen's Blog

Sponsors for January through March are:

Quilters Chic - PDF Pattern
3rd Story Workshop: Andrea Jackson - Book: Gemology
For the Love of Geese - PDF Pattern
Quilters Dream Batting - Dream Fusible 80/20 - 60" x 60"
Andover Fabrics - Fabric Bundle -  Giucy Giuce's DECLASSIFIED
Warm Company - Warm and Natural - Needled Cotton Batting 45" x 60"
Make Modern Magazine - 6 month subscription
Patterns By Jen - Superior Thread S-Fine 30
Patterns By Jen - Tucker Trimmer

Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram - kathy.nester

#2020monthlycolorchallenge  #februaryteal #indigobunting