Friday, February 23, 2018

Echoes of Understorey

Echoes of Understorey
A Titan's Forest novel
by Thoraiya Dyer
Tor Books
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 13 Feb 2018   
EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780765385956
PRICE $16.99 (USD
FTC Reviewed for Net Galley


In the quest fantasy Echoes of Understorey, part of Thoraiya Dyer's extraordinary Titan's Forest series, trees loom large as skyscrapers, mortals can be reborn as gods, and a young woman finds herself part of an adventure that is destined to become legend….

Great deeds are expected of Imeris.

She has trained endlessly to become an extraordinary fighter. Yet she wants more than to compete against the glories of her divine sister and the charms of her courtesan brother.

Imeris thought she could prove her worth during a mission to kill a body-snatching sorceress, but fails disastrously. With death on her conscience and in hiding from her peers, Imeris is determined to find a way to redeem herself.

My Thoughts

I don't know what is is about me but I have great difficulty reading Sci-Fi Fantasy which is really odd as they are often my favorite movies to watch. 

In general, my tastes in reading material  focus on history and nature and really anything I can analyse. So, I was drawn to the cover of this book. What's not to love about a mythical rainforest?  I found this story telling to be huge in world building and weighing heavily on characters and culture. 

The Cats of Butterwick Sands

The Cats of Butterwick Sands
by Gabriella  Thomas
The Book Guild
Children's Fiction , Outdoors & Nature
Pub Date 28 Nov 2017   
  Available Editions
ISBN 9781912575176
PRICE £3.99 (GBP)
FTC Reviewed for Net Galley


The Cats of the Butterwick Sands is a children’s book following the various adventures of cats in a small run down seaside town called Butterwick Sands, a place that has seen better days; the hero being one special cat named Percy. He is a very clever and dignified cat and he is at the centre of all the adventures, stories and intrigues that the cats and other animals have. The other cats within the book are strays from across England and beyond – they come together to restore the funfair and caravan park, breathing life back into Butterwick and thus ensuring its survival.

My Thoughts

This charming story moves from one location to another with a mix of characters  such as a Percy, Pebbles and Mr. Peabody. It includes many animals and  describes their behavioral or physical characteristics to amuse readers. There is mentions of fur flying and crooked whiskers and the clucking voice of chickens. It also speaks of stray cats and donations to cat charities.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables
The Enchanting Island that Inspired L. M. Montgomery
by Catherine Reid
Timber Press
Biographies & Memoirs , Outdoors & Nature
Pub Date 17 Apr 2018   
ISBN 9781604697896
PRICE $24.95 (USD)
FTC: Reviewed ARC for Net Galley


Anne of Green Gables is a worldwide phenomenon that has sold over fifty million copies and inspired numerous films, plays, musicals, and television series. It has turned Prince Edward Island into a multimillion-dollar tourist destination visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. In The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables, Catherine Reid reveals how Lucy Maud Montgomery’s deep connection to the landscape inspired her to write Anne of Green Gables. From the Lake of Shining Waters and the Haunted Wood to Lover’s Lane, readers will be immersed in the real places immortalized in the novel. Using Montgomery’s journals, archives, and scrapbooks, Reid explores the many similarities between Montgomery and her unforgettable heroine, Anne Shirley. The lush package includes Montgomery’s hand-colorized photographs, the illustrations originally used in Anne of Green Gables, and contemporary and historical photography.   

My Thoughts

This was a must read for me. I love Anne of Green Gables and spent time watching the television series as we followed Anne Shirley's spunky character on her escapades while she took sleigh rides over snow covered hills and wandered through red clay paths skirted with lush trees and scenic farmland

Yes, many years ago, I along with millions of other readers, fell in love with the landscape of Green Gables, located in Cavendish in the Prince Edward Island National Park. 

What I took from this amazing collection of images and photographs was that in her writing, Lucy Maud Montgomery often focused on things that comforted her, like the beauty of the land and sky that surrounded her. 

Catherine Reid compiles and creates a well written story of a look into the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery 's on the enchanting Prince Edward Island.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Baby Bird

Baby Bird
by Andrew Gibbs
Illustrated by  Zosienka
Quarto Publishing Group - Frances Lincoln Childrens
Children's Fiction
EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781786030122
PRICE $19.99 (USD)
Pub Date 01 Mar 2018
FTC Reviewed ARC for Net Galley


‘All birds are born to fly,’ thinks Baby Bird, watching the other hatchlings leave the nest. ‘I suppose it’s now or never…’ But one of Baby’s wings is twisted and shrunken and not at all like the other one. Instead of flying, Baby plummets to the ground. There, Baby makes a new friend, and learns that sometimes you have to find unexpected ways to achieve your dreams. A moving story about the power of friendship and the importance of accepting yourself just the way you are, this lovely watercolour picture book shows how friends can help you overcome difficulty.

My Thoughts

I enjoy reading picture books that teach children about the importance of acceptance. This book will help children better understand that it is ok to be different and I absolutely adore the illustrations by Zosienka which make me think of spring. 

Fairy Tales Winter Garden Exhibit

I have a fascination with fairy tales and this month we traveled to Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory where we enjoyed a magical day at their “Fairy Tales Winter Garden Exhibit ".  

Fairy Tales have characters we love and those that frighten. They allow us to worry, cry and laugh along as we read of giants, evil witches, girls in red capes, trolls, frogs,  princesses, and so much more.

Jack and the Beanstalk" is an English fairy tale.

Rapunzel is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel by Friedrich Schulz published in 1790.

Little Red Riding Hood" is a European fairy tale .

Three Billy Goats Gruff is a Norwegian fairy tale.

The Frog Prince is a fairy tale, best known through the Brothers Grimm's and the 1st in their collection.

Woody the Talking Tree Guards the Discovery Gallery

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Daring to Hope

Daring to Hope; Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful
Author Katie Davis Majors
ISBN 0735290512 (ISBN13: 9780735290518)
FTC Blogging for Books

How do you hold on to hope
when you don't get the ending
you asked for?

When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible--the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn't come. It's about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It's about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God's goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You'll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you'll hear God's whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here

My Thoughts

Today is Valentines Day and  I found it to be a good evening to settle in and read "Daring to Hope". 

When I first started reading this, the entire atmosphere seemed complex. A young single woman, Katie, volunteers at a hospital  which serves a poverty-stricken community in Uganda, eventually adopting 13 girls. 

We have the opportunity to watch and learn as stories unfold and we witness Katie's struggle with the courage to endure things she does not understand while assisting those she cares about with healing and palliative care.

This is not a comfort read. But  it does speak to us in that it is a real read that shows us how acts of compassion can change lives and communities.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kitchen Herbs: The Art and Enjoyment of Growing Herbs and Cooking With Them

ISBN 0553052659 (ISBN13:9780553052657)

It's February and it snowed 5 inches here today. I can't help but tell you, while I believe the snow is beautiful, I miss being able to go outside and work in our garden. 

When I got off work today, I stopped in at our local Salvation Army and came upon this book, Kitchen Herbs. After leafing through it, I can't imagine why anyone would want to part with this book. Even though the book was published back in 1988, the details and recipes are still useful today. And, I expect the section with varieties, tastes, best with, and herb combinations I will frequent.And the recipe for Apricot Rosemary Chicken looks delicious.

Kitchen herbs like this popular Basil, I use to grow in container pots but many years ago I switched to growing them in raised beds. 

When this gets a full leaf, I bag it and keep some in the refrigerator 
and some in the freezer.

I also have dried Basil bagged.

Herbs are FUN! 

Not only do they flavor foods and drinks, you can grown them outside or bring them indoors. 

The lemon balm in my back flower bed is actually pretty invasive.

I bring some indoors and use it when making salads and cooking fish or poultry.

One of my favorite herbs to grow is chives like these from my garden.

I like the onion flavor and the plant itself makes me smile. 

It resembles a clump of grass and produces the most striking purple blooms.