Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Book Woman's Daughter

 


The Book Woman's Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson. Sourcebooks Landmark, 2022. 320 pages. ***** Publication Date May 3, 2022.

In this sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, after both of her parents are arrested for having an illegal marriage, Honey Mary-Angeline Lovett, the daughter of the Troublesome Creek book woman realizes that she is on her own. Determined to avoid the House of Reform or the orphan's home, Honey sets out with Junia, their difficult mule on the long journey to Miss Loretta's house in Troublesome. On the way to Miss Loretta's, Honey stops at the Troublesome Creek Library branch and is surprised to see a posting for an assistant librarian, pay is $98 a month. Taking over her mother's route may be the answer that will keep her free. Hoping to find a safe haven, Honey is unprepared for the way women are mistreated and the harshness of some of the miners. Making friends with Pearl, the new female fire-tower watcher, helps ease the burden of being without her mother and father. Standing up to the societal norms that allow medical experimentation, imprisoning orphans, sexual harassment, and murder is no easy task, however, Honey is tough and up to the challenge. 

I was so excited to receive a copy to review and I read it in two days.  Sometimes, sequels disappoint, not this one! Life is grim in the hills and Richardson doesn't pull any punches. Women are treated as a commodity and have no independence. The Fugates, or the Blue People of Kentucky are discriminated against and prohibited from marrying a person of another race. Fans of the first book will thoroughly enjoy this one too. A Note from the Author is a must read, complete with pictures, Richardson has thoroughly researched before writing this story. As a retired librarian, I question whether I would have survived the roughness of the terrain and the harshness of life in the hills. This title will make an excellent Book Club choice, many topics to be discussed.

I received an ecopy of this book to review.

Review of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. with additional information.

The NEW YORK TIMES, LOS ANGELES TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kim Michele Richardson has written five works of historical fiction, and a bestselling memoir, The Unbreakable Child. 

Her fifth novel, The Book Woman’s Daughter is both a stand-alone and sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Kim Michele lives with her family in Kentucky and is the founder of Shy Rabbit. For more information, click here.

Follow me on IG at flamazing_books for more book reviews.

#bookwoman'sdaughter #fugates #bookstagram 

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

 January 2022

This is my first book read for the Book Girls -Lifetime of Reading Challenge  This month's theme is Novels With a Child Protagonist. 


The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie:A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley. New York: Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks, 2009, 385 pages.  Reader's Guide  **** 


I read this book when it first came out and immediately fell in love with Flavia. Eleven years old, part Miss Marple, part Dr. Frankenstein, Flavia uses her obsession with science to solve mysteries and create havoc. This is the first book in this very creative series of ten. We begin in the summer of 1950 at the grand mansion of Buckshaw, near Bishop's Lacey, a small town in England. The once grand mansion has fallen on hard times after the disappearance of Harriet, Flavia's mother, in 1941. In this book, Flavia is left to her own devices, riding her bike into town and free to investigate a series of seemingly unrelated events.
A dead bird is found on the front doorstep with an odd stamp impaled on its beak. Father is heard arguing with a stranger during the night. A man is found dead in a cucumber patch in the garden the next morning. Everyone seems to have something to hide, especially when more than one person in the house confesses to the murder. Flavia is determined to help Inspector Hewitt solve the murder.
 
Rereading this book was like visiting an old friend. I purchased a copy for the High School Library in which I was working when it was published and every teen, I recommended it to loved it. There's a cunning and naiveté about Flavia that at times had me laughing out loud. Her experiments on her unsuspecting sisters, poisoning Ophelia's lipstick and recording her findings is hilarious. Bradley has a talent for staying in character for his writing that is not easy to do as a male 80 years old. Bradley talks about Flavia as if she co-writes the series and tells him what is happening next. You'll have to read the second book, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, to find out.

Alan Bradley was born in Toronto, Ont. and grew up in the pleasant lakeside town of Cobourg, Ont. After a long career in television broadcasting, he took early retirement from the University of Saskatchewan to write full-time. He has published many children’s stories as well as lifestyle and arts columns in Canadian newspapers. His adult stories have been broadcast on CBC radio and published in various literary journals. He has also written several screenplays and taught university-level courses in screenwriting. He was the recipient of the first Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children’s Literature. After writing for several years on the Maltese island of Gozo, Alan Bradley now lives on the Isle of Man.


Follow me on IG at flamazing_books

For more information about Alan Bradley and the mystery series, click here

#bookgirls #lifetimeofreading #sweetnessatthebottomofthepie #2022readingchallenge #flaviadelucenovel #pause

Monday, January 03, 2022

Under The Whispering Door



Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. New York: a Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2021. 376 pages. *****

Wallace Price is a "by the book" type of person. There are rules to be followed and no room for compassion, grey areas or flexibility. He ignored the twinge in his chest, until he died. "One moment, he'd been staring down at his body" and then he was standing in front of a church. His funeral was not one he would have planned, his ex-wife told unflattering stories of their life together and his colleagues (the few who attended) called him an asshole. One woman at the funeral stood out from the others, Wallace has no idea who she is. Mei introduces herself as a Reaper whose job it is to help him transition by taking him to meet Hugo, the ferryman. This is all very confusing to Wallace who still can't believe he is dead. Hugo lives in and runs a Tea Room in Charon's Crossing. The Tea Room, a way station for Ghosts, has a door to the next destination.  It is also a meeting place for the town residents to congregate and enjoy a delicious cup of tea often steeped with the perfect blend just for them. "Death isn't a final ending, Wallace. It is an ending, sure, but only to prepare you for a new beginning." (page 120) 

After I finished reading, The House in The Cerulean Sea, I couldn't wait to get my hands on another book written by TJ Klune. I was hooked from the very beginning, Wallace is such an unlikable character who is surprised when he realizes he has no friends or people who love him. I love Klune's writing style and am amazed by his insight into his character's thoughts and personality. I have heard of authors and artists who say they have to create or write what they do or dream and I suspect it is the same for this author. The story seemed to lag for a bit and at times, I wanted him to get on with it, however, a new twist would appear and I thought - oh, that's why! So hang in there, if you are tempted to stop. Parts of the story are scary for me and I can't even tell you why. It is a story of friendship, love, and hope. I love his descriptions of Wallace tethered-- bouncing and floating, his fear of banging into things. There are many humorous moments in the story as well as triggers for anyone grieving. I laughed, I cried, and scribbled down comments about death that I didn't want to forget. Do not skip the Epilogue! Klune is one of the few authors when I finish one of his books, I wish I could reread it for the first time once again. Louise Penny is another one of those authors. 

My Review of The House in the Cerulean Sea

TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include  the Green Creek series, The House on the Cerulean Sea and The Exraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

For more information on TJ Klune, click here.

#lgbtqfiction #deathfiction  #queerfiction @tjklune

Follow me on IG at kathy.nester

Saturday, January 01, 2022

2022 Monthly Color Challenge - January - Saffron (Orange)

January - Saffron- Orange



The theme for the 2022 Monthly Color Challenge is Spicy. The pattern and instructions for this month's block can be found at Jen's Blog. One of the best things about this BOM (Block of the Month) is that the blocks are easy to assemble and Jen's instructions are spot on. 

Information on Saffron:

Encyclopedia Brittanica - https://www.britannica.com/topic/saffron

11 Impressive Health Benefits of Saffron - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/saffron#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

WEB MD - https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-844/saffron


Some of my favorite tools:

  • Best Press - for all ironing
  • Aurifil thread - 50 weight in a neutral color to match the fabric
  • Wood clapper for pressing seams - creates a nice flat seam  
  • Scant 1/4 inch seam
My Bernina QE 440 is one of my favorite machines, a real workhorse that just keeps going!



 Choosing the color saffron was a little bit challenging. Is it a bright orange or a reddish orange? 


I decided to go with this shade because I liked it with my background color. My plan is to go with neutral backgrounds for each



Another important tool for me is the 12.5 square ruler. It' so easy to square up your block!

  
Color differentiation is because of the lighting. 



Check out all of the guest bloggers for their hints and tips:

Andi - True Blue Quilts

Anja - Anja's Quilts

Kathy - Kathy's Kwilts and More

Rylee - Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting


Jen has asked that we post quilts with this month's color in it, I will have to get busy because I don't have any quilts with orange in it. 

Follow me on IG at kathy.nester

#monthlycolorchallenge #saffron #januarycolorchallenge 



Friday, December 31, 2021

City of the Dead

 



City of the Dead: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman. New York: Ballantine Books, 2022. 336 pages. **** Publication February 2022

City of the Dead is 37 out of 37 in the Alex Delaware Series. Each of the books may be read as a standalone and enjoyed as a thrilling mystery. Once again psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis are called out to investigate a puzzling murder scene. 

Donny and Alfie work for a national moving company, Armour, Inc, and nothing about this trip has gone right. However, nothing prepared them for a loud thump which turned out to be a naked man hitting their truck. "Wrong place, wrong time for everyone." 

When a man in the neighborhood suggests that the victim may have been running from a rental house nearby which has frequent visitors of questionable character, blood is discovered by the rear door. Sturgis and Delaware are called to the scene when a woman's body is found in the house. Further complicating the case is that Alex realizes he encountered the victim in a prior case. 

Some authors who write series books become stale over time, not Jonathan Kellerman. I welcome every new book as an old friend and this one doesn't disappoint. Kellerman provides clues along the way (easily missed) as he reels the reader in. I recommend this book as one to add to your TBR list. 

Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than three dozen bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, True Detectives, and The Murderer’s Daughter. With his wife, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. With his son, bestselling novelist Jesse Kellerman, he co-authored The Golem of Hollywood and The Golem of Paris. He is also the author of two children’s books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York.

For more information about Kellerman - https://www.jonathankellerman.com

#psychologicalmystery #alexdelaware #cityofthedead #bookstagram #psychologicalthriller

Follow me on IG at @flamazing_books

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Book Girls - Lifetime of Reading : 2022 Reading Challenge

 December 27th, 2021

I stumbled across this Facebook Group and I am so excited to join in the Reading Challenge and to have some fun! More information is on the Book Girls' Guide Wepage. When you sign up through the Website, you will receive a free book tracker. 

Each month on the 20th I will receive a suggested list of books according to the theme.  I may choose one (or any other according to the month's criteria). The January theme for the Group I have chosen is  Novels With A Child Protagonist 

A few pluses for this Reading Group over others:

  • You don't need to participate through Facebook, you may communicate through email.
  • Some of the books have been around for awhile, so they may be available at your library or a Used Book Store.
FAQs and Introduction can be found here.

My book choice for January is -- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. This is book one of ten in the Flavia De Luce series. 
  


A Book Review will be posted for each month's book and my Book Tracker will be updated. 



#bookgirls #lifetimeofreading #thesweetnessatthebottomofthepie #2022readingchallenge

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2022 Monthly Color Challenge

 The 2022 Monthly Color Challenge begins in one week! I have participated for the last 3 years and it is great fun. I am a Guest Blogger again this year. 

The Theme this year is "Spices" - sign up on Jen's Blog https://patternsbyjen.blogspot.com/2021/12/announcing-2022-monthly-color-challenge.html

and Join the "Quilt and Learn with Patterns by Jen" Facebook Group to show off your blocks and learn from others. Make sure you answer both questions in order to join. 


Look at all of those gorgeous colors!



I ordered these luscious fabrics from the Fat Quarter Shop. In previous years I spent may days trying to match colors and this year, I ordered the fabrics suggested by Jen.  


 I will be blogging during the months of March, July, and December. Follow along each and every month for tips and tricks from Jen and all of the Bloggers. 

Follow me on IG at kathy.nester

#2022monthlycolorchallenge #quiltandlearnwithpatternsbyjen