Sunday, September 24, 2017

Secret Agent Josephine in Paris

Secret Agent Josephine in Paris
by Brenda Ponnay
Xist Publishing
Available Editions
EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781623955243
PRICE $19.99 (USD)
FTC: Reviewed for Xist Publishing and Net Galley

There's a new super spy in town!

Secret Agent Josephine may not look like a super mom, but when she goes to work, bad guys better watch out for her crafty tricks.

In this Secret Agent Josephine adventure, our heroine travels to Paris to scope out some new craft supplies and stop an infamous art thief. Donning disguises and stocking up on the tools of her trade, Secret Agent Josephine tracks the thief through the streets of Paris. But when she's spotted, will her crafting skills be able to get her out of a jam? 

My Thoughts

This is a cute short read. I love that it is  a mother daughter spy book. And while on the hunt for bag guys, it's good to see they donned different disguises while passing famous places in Paris, I also enjoyed the fact that the books offers crafty ideas that are useful for fun art projects.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

LIFE: Our Finest Hour:Voices of the World War II Generation

collector's edition

Our Finest Hour

Voices of the World War II Generation 

with an intro by Bob Greene

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Time-Life; First edition. edition ISBN 10: 1883013984 / ISBN 13: 9781883013981Published by Time Inc. Home Entertainment, Des Moines, IA, 2000

  • Language: English

  • Package Dimensions: 10.6 x 9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • FTC; Purchased from Store

My Thoughts

Do you purchase Collector's editions? 

 Almost all of my collector's editions have been bought on sale.  As a general rule, I don't seek out a collector's edition. 

But, here's one I recently purchased.

I expect I did this because I enjoy history, have relatives that fought in this war, and felt it included some outstanding photojournalism.  I also don't feel I can go wrong with a read that combines heartfelt depictions with music and lyrics by Herman Hupfeld.  

This collector's edition is broken down into 12 sections: The introduction by Bob Greene, The Beginning, Home Front, The Lonely, Fighters, Entertainers, The Wounded, The Storytellers, The Lost, The End, Chronology, Resources.

It is an extremely interesting read, including 'The Beginning", where the poor sailor admits he gets carsick. 

Throughout the book, we view images depicting valor. And, we learn some soliders who fought in WWII had previously fought in WWI.

We are provided with a glimpse of the outcome of starvation studies as well as learning how soldiers are taught to 'spring up for an advance'. 

I was drawn to the photos that shows the loss felt during war times. In the section "Fighters", a technician is sharing his C-rations with some poor Italian children.  And, the photo of a single solider standing in a bombed out church in Italy, reminded me of how Chaplains are called upon to relay the details of tragedy

We learn of "celluloid therapy", used for those injured. And, we view crewmen in action during a sea burial. 

Beyond that,  we learn of  heart wrenching stories such as the soldier holding the hand at the foot of the mule trail.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Dogist Puppies

The Dogist Puppies
by Elias Weiss Friedman
Artisan Books
Pub Date 19 Sep 2017   
EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781579657437
PRICE $24.95 (USD)
FTC: Reviewed for Artisan Books and Net Galley


The Dogist Puppies, the follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Dogist, is a beautiful, funny, and endearing look at puppies. And with their sweet faces, soft bellies, and oversized paws, the puppies in The Dogist Puppies make this book even more irresistible than Friedman’s first one! Presented documentary-style, every portrait tells a story and explores each puppy’s distinct character and spirit. The book presents a gallery of puppy portraits arranged into themes including Ears, Big Paws, Cones of Shame, Learning to Walk, and Fancy Outfits, giving every dog lover something to pore over. With the author’s 2.4 million and growing Instagram followers, The Dogist Puppies is poised to reach a large audience of puppy lovers looking for the perfect gift book this holiday season.

My Thoughts

I am a dog lover and this book filled with puppies is adorable.The book provides a documentary-style glimpse of the different canine breeds too.

The Very Very Very Long Dog

The Very Very Very Long Dog
Julia Patton
Available Editions

FTC Review for Net Galley


Bartelby is a very long and lovable dachshund who lives in a bookstore. He has a lovely set 
of friends who take him for walks through the city, but he has no idea that his bumbling 
backside leaves a trail of destruction and accidents behind him. Embarrassed that he has 
no control over his back end, Bartelby vows to never leave the cozy bookstore again. 
Can his friends help him find a way to help himself?
This beautifully illustrated picture book features silly fun along with an important message:
 that we love our friends not in spite of their flaws, but because of them. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Vanita Oelschlager and Mike Blanc
Expected publication: May 1st 2018
by Vanita Books
EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781938164200
PRICE $15.95 (USD)
FTC Reviewed for Vanita Books and Net Galley


The Arctic region of North America is a land of long days, icy cold, hardy people and peculiar creatures.  The Inuit people there have made traditional use of remarkable folk tales to find truth and explain the mysteries of an astonishing world.

In Fish-Boy, An Inuit Folk Tale, Vanita Oelschlager retells a tale passed down by a wise old Inuit.  It's an origin story involving a little magic and a very odd boy with a large heart for friendship.  On a journey with his new father, he must confront misfortune and the malice of cold hearted villagers.  But he has a way.. and a lesson for all in the virtues of kindness and hospitality. 

My Thoughts

This wonderful folk tale teaches about Inuit culture. And, explains why sea parrots became so numerous around the stony islands of the far North. A lame Inuit fisherman is fishing when he sees something unusual in the water that has a head like a young man and feet behind its tail, speaking to fisherman, "Do not spear me. I am not a fish. I am Fish-Boy." The lame fisherman becomes Fish-Boy's father and together they help us learn of kindness and tolerance.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Rogue Heroes

Rogue Heroes" by Ben MacIntyre.
The History of the SAS
FTC: Reviewed fro Blogging for Books.

Here's the description I received in advance of the copy.

The incredible untold story of WWII’s greatest secret fighting force, as told by our great modern master of wartime intrigue

Britain’s Special Air Service—or SAS—was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II’s African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel’s desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war material. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war, but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS’s remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in the Africa and then on the Continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow.

Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story, but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.

My Thoughts

I have always enjoyed Charles Dickens and the opening line of David Copperfield. "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

Most of you that read my blog, know I enjoy studying historical details so I felt this book was a must read. 

The SAS was founded in 1941 as a regiment, and later reconstituted as a corps in 1950. It is known as the blueprint for special forces that have since been formed around the world.

This book arrived and is skillfully written, including 
 squadron reports, letters, and personal diary accounts.  It makes for a great read for those interested in WWII history and tells of the human endurance it takes for those in the special forces. It also includes some captivating photojournalism.

Below are some of my other recent War reads

Code Girls The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

The Unwomanly Face of War An Oral History of Women in World War II

The Young Guard World War I Poems & Author's War Memoirs: Consecration, Lord's Leave, Last Post, The Old Boys, Ruddy Young Ginger, The Ballad of Ensign ... Uppingham Song and Wooden Crosses

Sunday, September 3, 2017

August 2017 Loft Reads and More

This month, we celebrated a birthday on the same day as the solar eclipse. Here's a photo  we took with our Canon SL1 with a 300 zoom lens and 2 X doubler with a  filter from my husbands welders mask.

This month we read books and  spent our evenings walking with our dogs around the neighborhood park pond. 

I had some interesting reads this month 

I am enchanted by this picture book. I Give You My Heart. The poetic tale is beautiful. The words on the pages are surround by captivating images that signify a nurturing  assurance 'when you give love you can grow anything' and  'you are never alone'. All the while depicting, being patient and opening ones heart, to the inevitable cycle of life and loss.

If you are interested in a nice - easy, slightly - charming, village romance, then this Katie Fforde novel A Vintage Wedding might just be the book for you.

This continues to be the most popular book on this blog.

I adore MANGA ART INSPIRATION and TECHNIQUES from an EXPERT ILLUSTRATOR It contains 5 sections. Characters, Japan, Science Fiction, Conceptual Art, Styleplay.

Mark Crilley, addresses drawing Characters from another world and also those down to earth.Telling us, he often thinks up a story to go along with the characters. 

This graphic novel/ biography grants readers access to the history and legacy of  Alexander Hamilton. It takes us on the journey from his childhood in the West Indies, to his death in July 12, 1804. We see a  strong focus on the American Revolution and Continental Congress proceedings and this gives a view of the Founding Father's impact on our society and speaks to historical details such as, "New Money", and the "Law of Primogeniture."

I received Poetry for Kids; Robert Frost, and immensely enjoyed this book which includes 35  poems edited by author and historian Jay Parini and illustrated by Michael Paraskevas. An  introduction to the poet's life, a commentary and definitions of key words are included.

August feed backs on Net Galley were 10  (mostly ARC's). I did 2 reviews for Blogging for Books. 

It has been a month of  graphic novels, historical fiction,  19 - 21st century poetry,  outdoor and nature works, and colorful children's books. 

At last check, I have 15 countries viewership for my blog pages.

That pretty much rounds up August reads. According to the Book Riot's Challenge, I'm doing good and I am way ahead of schedule in my yearly challenge. Yeah!