Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beginner's Garden

Beginner's Garden
A Practical Guide to Growing Vegetables & Fruit without Getting Your Hands Too Dirty
by Alex Mitchell
Fox Chapel Publishing
IMM Lifestyle Books
Crafts & Hobbies , Home & Garden
Pub Date 12 Mar 2018   
Edition Paperback
ISBN 9781504800983
PRICE $16.99 (USD)
FTC:Reviewed  for Fox Chapel Publishing and Net Galley


This book offers a fun and lighthearted guide to growing your own salads, herbs, vegetables, and fruit, armed with little more than a trowel and some seedlings. Aimed at complete beginners, it de-mystifies the gardening process with sound practical and seasonal advice, lots of hints and tips for successful growing, delicious recipes, and fun weekend projects to help you make the most of your outdoor area, however small.
This completely new kind of gardening book is ideal for first-timers who have busy working lives but still want to grow their own produce—without spending all weekend digging.

My Thoughts

It is currently 21 degrees here. So, earlier this morning, I snuggled up on the sofa with a cup of tea and read this lovely beginner's gardening book. And while I am not new to gardening, I enjoyed this book. 

Being that we have snow on the ground here, I found myself skipping around a bit while reading this. 

I skipped forward to the section on winter jobs and then onto the section that promotes starting seed trays and pots inside in early spring.

 I then viewed the section on soil type and preparation.

From there, I moved onto composting, planting and harvesting. 

I paused for a while to check out the section on terracotta pots and flowers. You see, I like to grow impatiens in terracotta pots like this one on our porch.

Throughout the read, beautiful photos and tasty recipes lure one to want to begin gardening as soon as possible.There are some descriptions of pesky garden villains too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Cozies the Legend of Operation Moonlight

The Cozies 
the Legend of OPeration Moonlight
T.L. Fischer
Children's Fiction , Middle Grade
Pub Date 16 Dec 2017 
FTC Reviewed for Bookbaby and Net Galley


In a lecture hall on October 13, 1927, the speaker, Thursby, welcomes the audience. Although only five inches tall, Thursby is elegantly dressed; also, his head is that of a lop-eared rabbit. An English lop rabbit, to be specific. 

Thursby relates a story of long past: In a grand house in the country, six figments of the imagination (specifically nursery figments, also known as Cozies) have gathered on the nursery window seat for a theatrical presentation. The performance, though, is interrupted when the new nanny arrives. From the start, something about the new nanny makes the Cozies worry for the little human in their care—a toddler nicknamed Bingo. 

When their worst fears come true, the Cozies must figure out how six imaginary beings can make a difference in the world “out there.”

My Thoughts

If you are going to read this book, if may help to enjoy the scientific field of Figmentology. 

I found myself drawn to the characters, knowing in advance that imaginary beings have imaginations.

This book is a well written family read  that allows all to travel along on the journey  where imagination and creativity combine to amuse all.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Knot Yours Truly Inspiration and Ideas to Personalize Your Wedding

The Knot Yours Truly Inspiration and Ideas to Personalize Your Wedding 
by Carley Roney 
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter 
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
Sold by: Random House LLC
Language: English
FTC Reviewed for Blogging for Books


Your wedding day is a unique opportunity to show the world just who you are as a couple. The Knot Yours Truly helps you envision your celebration—from the big decisions like venue to the small stuff like escort cards—and show off your particular style. Chock-full of fresh ideas for your ceremony, centerpieces, wedding cake, The Knot’s Yours Truly also includes 20 craft projects for personalizing your day. From invitation embellishments to a macrame leash for your four-legged ring bearer, this book has everything you need for the most extraordinary day.

My Thoughts

I love the cover on this book which helps one figure out style details with blueprints for things like color, flowers, menus, signage and venues that assist in complementing the wedding theme. 

 I enjoyed the craft section that provides DIY projects like vellum wrapped hurricanes, crepe paper flowers, gold leaf card boxes and more. Included, are interesting suggestions for welcome bags, personalized maps and photo booths.

The gorgeous photos throughout this book, provide everyone with a glance inside some real weddings which incorporate eclectic, classic, rustic or glam decor.

Monday, January 1, 2018

December 2017 Loft Reads and More

This month, we met with family, celebrated Christmas and rang in the New Year. We read books, listened to albums, traveled to bookstores and I reviewed some interesting reads. 

The Runaway Children is a deeply touching story and gives us a glimpse of the perspective of Olive and Nell as they adapt to life as evacuees during the devastation of the Second World War.

Dream When You're Feeling Blue is Chicago at the time of World War II

In this beautiful read we  have three sisters in the Irish Heaney family, whom nightly write to soldiers who are fighting overseas in WWII.

The Tunnels is a heart wrenching compilation of accounts of the Cold War. 'A group of young West Germans risked prison, Stasi torture, and even death to liberate friends, lovers, and strangers in East Berlin by digging tunnels under the Wall. Then two U.S. television networks heard about the secret projects and raced to be first to document them from the inside.'

They Came for Freedom is the story of the Pilgrims deviating from the Church of England and voyaging the Atlantic only to struggle with their newfound freedom. 

In Strange But True Tales of Car Collecting  Keith Martin and the staff of Sports Car Market Magazine recount the wildest car-collecting stories of all time.'

The Hound of Baskervilles Graphic Novel. This is the third  detective Sherlock Holmes novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle .  Basically, this legend about a supernatural hound that stalks is set in the late 1800's.  

Rosie the Tarantula assists children in having a deeper appreciation of nature.The rhyme is well versed and the illustrations throughout the adventure show processes and clarify concepts. 

 Fred Wants to Play is a read about  friendship and teaches children about creatures of the sea.

 Where is Bear Going? is a sweetly illustrated children's book, good for number association as well as teaching about getting along with others.

Kitty Magic ....Kitty always wanted a cat of her very own, even though they make her eyes puffy and her nose tickly. When her best friend's new kitten, Misty, causes Kitty to have a sneezing fit in the middle of their sleepover, something magical happens--Kitty turns into a cat!

Make a Day Craft for Kids provided a range of craft projects for ages 7-12 years.

The Fruit Gardener's Bible provides everything you need to know to successfully grow delicious organic fruit with tips on cultivating too. 

Since starting this blog in June, I've reviewed 66 books for Net Galley, 12  books for Blogging for Books and 1 book for The LibraryThing. 

It's the first day of the New Year and snowing here. Think I will stay inside and read.

Have a happy and safe January.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Lady, It's Cold Outside

Lady, It's Cold Outside
by Deb Marlowe
Night Shift Publishing
Historical Fiction, Romance
Pub Date 01 Jul 2016   
ISBN 9780997644616
PRICE $0.99 (USD)
FTC Reviewed for Net Galley


Miss Glenna Bolton is not having a Happy Christmas. She’s lost her grandfather and the bookshop they ran together. If not for the invitation from the Duke of Danby, she would have no place to go. 

No Christmas festivities for Baron Ellesworth this year. His newly inherited estate is in bad shape—and so is his bank account. He’ll spend the holiday traveling to do a bit of business with Lord Danby, in hopes of bringing Christmas to Elleshaven next year. 
Traveling during the holiday season doesn’t sound romantic, but a star in the East, an abandoned child and a quest for holiday cheer might just convince these two that love is the best gift of the Season.

My Thoughts

I enjoy receiving books to review like this because dashes of romance are not my normal read and yet at Christmas time I'm drawn to them. 

I'd not read anything previously from Deb Marlowe but rather like that this Novella's plot setting and descriptions are vivid and somewhat predictable.  

This storyline begins just days before Christmas and the author boldly throws out the title of the book on the first page. 

It's 1816 and Glenna Bolton is summoned to visit the Duke of Danby in Yorkshire. 

As the journey begins north, there's mentions of Athena, the Goddess of defense, wisdom and crafts and we soon learn how Glenna portrays these same attributes.

I was lured into Glenna and Baron Ellesworth's lives and rather enjoyed the building and duel perspectives of characters having a common bond over books while traveling by carriage. 

Delicious flavors and the aromas of Christmas trimmings are incorporated into this read, heightening our senses. And with the help of a small acquaintance called Dowd, we watch Glenna's and the Baron's emptiness disappear, as their love blooms.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas Joy

We have many Christmas traditions and they help to bring about our Christmas joy! 

We decorate the house with snowflakes and twinkle lights and we hang candy canes in the trees. 

We bring the outdoors in with greenery and pinecones.

We get together and go Christmas shopping. 

We make homemade noodles and mail out Christmas card

We drive around and look at Christmas light displays.

We shop at Antique Malls and drink hot cocoa while waiting for the first snowfall! 

We attend Christmas cantatas and we return home and snuggle up on the sofa with our dogs and watch " It's a Wonderful Life" 

 Then we are content with a  feeling of love and hope.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Connecting Through a Read

We will soon be preparing for a Holiday get - together with family. These people have known me since I was a child and reading participant. 

When I accepted a position many years ago in a library that reading role expanded. And when questioned, I'd say I love books and explain, my mom took me, and siblings, to the library where we were involved in the summer reading program.

You see. The best thing about that library position was I was surrounded by books and able to read and help others with their selections. I also had the opportunity to learn what people enjoyed most about what they were reading, and was able to recognize we often have more in common than we realize.

Well fast forward many years and one of my first reviews posted on this blog was an awesome read about a bookstore owner. The description lured me in with the motto "No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World." 

Yes, we can all connect through a read!

Around this same time, I also had an author request I read and review a thriller he'd published. Afterward we discussed the book at length, as I had many questions about the direction the main character was going.

And shortly after this a terribly frightening thing happened.

We had a FLOOD. 

As we were under a state of emergency, thoughts filled my mind with what this might mean to our libraries collection. You see, our library sets to the east of the creek bed and when the creek toppled, they informed us they were going to start sandbagging. But the water moved in so quickly, a large number of library books were moved to safety, as a precautionary measure.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I was notified that I'd won a book raffel. Yes, my name and 9 others was selected in a random drawing, for a free autographed book which would soon arrive on my doorstep. As a result, I joined a book club and some on-line groups to discuss my love of books and be connected to bloggers, educators, librarians, publishers, reviewers and sellers.

Nowadays, I do receive a lot of ebooks to read/review. But I also often find myself sitting on the floor, in old bookstores, or looking through stacks at the library, searching through books while responding to book club members or making notes about future choices.

It has been a beautiful year of words. And my goal is to continue connecting through a read.