Author Jeff Kinney is back with another book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Big Shot. This time the book is all about sports.
Knowing the main character, Greg Heffley, I could almost guarantee that sports would not be up his alley. But Greg’s mom has other ideas. Team sports are good for building character, blah, blah, blah… So Greg must attempt to try another team sport to please his mother.
When Greg hears that there will be more kids trying out for the basketball team than available spaces, he decides this would be his sport. Afterall, what could his mom do if he didn’t even make the team? His mother is thrilled with the idea of basketball. She played on her school’s team. Perhaps talent for this sport runs in the family.
Things go just as poorly at tryouts as Greg expected but (and there’s always a but) unexpected circumstances come into play and lead to… To find out more, grab a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid Big Shot.
Jill G. Hall’s debut novel, The Black Velvet Coat, was hard to put down. The story is placed in modern day San Francisco and San Francisco of the 60’s. Hall merged the stories of two women, each who wore the same black velvet coat, but in different decades.
The first woman to wear the coat was Sylvia. An orphaned heiress who finds herself engaged to trouble. Will she go through with the wedding? The executor of her estate does not seem to think she should.
Fifty years later, Anne, a starving artist, comes across the black velvet coat in a second hand shop. When she puts it on, her life will never be the same again. She is obsessed with the coat and its original owner.
I enjoyed The Black Velvet Coat. There were nights when I stayed up a little longer than I should have to see what would happen next. I can not wait to get started reading Hall’s other books in the trilogy, The Silver Shoes and The Green Lace Corset, also written around a piece of clothing connecting women.
I was gifted the book The Apprentice My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin. It is a biography written by Jacques Pepin of his life, how he came to be an apprentice in the kitchens of France, how he came to America, and how he became a televsion personality and cookbook author. And what would a biography of a famous cookbook author be without recipes sprinkled throughout the book? This book does not disappoint.
Jacques Pepin had me hooked on this book from the beginning. It is far from dull! Pepin, obviously a humorous man, told laugh out loud stories from his childhood and beyond. There were also interesting looks into the life of the little boy he was during war torn France during WWII. Of course, there were plenty of details into the life of an apprentice in the many kitchens of France. Upon coming to America, Pepin, always a hard worker, detailed the many jobs he had and the choices he made that led him to become a famous chef. Every chapter highlights a recipe with an introduction, in Pepin’s own words, as to what makes the recipe special.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Apprentice My Life in the Kitchen! What a fascinating life. I would say a lesson learned by reading this book would be to do what you love and to enjoy life to the fullest. And of course to eat good food. I highly recommend reading a copy of this book. It would also make a wonderful gift to anyone interested in cooking.
Art, murder, mystery, romance, are all combined in Portrait of a Murder by Kerry J. Charles. This is the first book in the Dulcie Chambers Mystery series. After finishing Portait of a Murder, I can not wait to start on the other books in the series.
Kerry J. Charles has quite an impressive resume. She has worked as a researcher, writer, and editor for National Geographic Magazine, the Smithsonian Institution, and Harvard University. She has also worked for major textbook publishers. All of this experience has surely come in handy at penning her own works.
The mystery is set on the coast of Maine. Dulcie Chambers is a curator for the Maine Museum of Art. She wants to acquire a watercolor by Winslow Homer to complete her exhibit. The museum’s director, Joshua Harriman, volunteers to go to Christie’s auction house in New York to bid on and hopefully obtain the watercolor. But before Dulcie can lay her sights on the watercolor, she instead comes across a body. She is now in a sticky situation, but police detective Nick Black is on the case.
I enjoyed Portrait of a Murder very much. At 137 pages, it was not a super long read, however, it was a page turner. There were just enough suspects to confuse things and keep one guessing. I would recommend this book and I am planning to continue reading the series. The next book is titled, From the Murky Deep. Sounds interesting already! As always, Happy Reading!
My latest read was a book I asked for and received for Christmas, Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane. Rules for Visiting was an easy read. This book will make one think of the way in which they live their life and the role friendship plays.
The novel is about May, a botanist, and how she decides to catch up with old friends, and perhaps find herself, during bonus time off from her work. May is a gardener at the local university. Being granted a months vacation from her job, May decides to take four seperate vacations to visit friends from her childhood through her college days. While May does have friends of her own, she is often intrigued by other peoples relationships with their frineds. Why does her life seem lacking? Will she find what she is looking for?
Kane’s novel is a wonderful read. A book about life that could easily be made into a movie. It also has plant and tree facts sprinkled throughout the book. This helps define the character and may also teach the reader a thing or two about plants. As always, Happy Reading!
I just finished reading Bomb Girls by Jacky Hyams. This book is about the women who worked in Britain’s munitions during WWII. The book is a rare treat, especially for those interested in history.
Bomb Girls starts out by introducing the reader to munitions factories and what it was like to work in one of these factories. But what is even better are the following chapters, the memoirs of the actual workers, the stories they tell of their life experiences. The chapters read as though the women are right there, telling their stories in person. Each woman tells a little about her life before working at the factory and then details of her experience at the factory and what she did after the war was over. The last chapter gives more details about each of the munitions factories that the women in the book worked at and what happened to the facility after the war.
This book was an easy read and kept me interested the entire time. I had no idea that once a girl turned 18 they were called up to work in factories of this kind during the war years. It was very dangerous work. Accidents happened and some were deadly. So what got these women through this stressful time? Friendship, doing what they thought was right to help their country, and the hopes of helping the men they knew and loved.
I highly recommend Bomb Girls. If you love history, have an interest in WWII, or want to learn more about women and their efforts during the war, this book is a must read. As always, Happy Reading!
Back in high school, my teacher assigned the class to read Dracula by Bram Stoker. What! I was none too thrilled to say the least. Of all the books, why on earth did she have to choose that! I had NO interest in reading a book about vampires, or so I thought…
I should have known that this particular teacher (who was one of the best) would not let me down. Shortly into the book, I was hooked. Dracula, of course, is a classic. This is with good reason.
Since high school, I have read Dracula a few more times. I just recently finished reading it again. It is one of the few books that I have read more than a couple of times. It is a great read around Halloween. I am also a fan of reading this book at night; helps to set the scene.
So the moral of my story is… it is hard to judge a book by its subject matter alone. It is a good idea to try reading books one would not normally choose. One never knows what they may be missing.
Jeff Kinney is at it again. His latest book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Deep End, is out. I pre-ordered my copy and happily found it in my mailbox a few days ago. I just finished reading the book. Being a fan of the series, I knew things would not go smoothly for the Heffley family. Of course, I was correct.
The story picks-up where we left off in the last book, Wrecking Ball. With the Heffley house left in shambles, they are forced to move-in with Gramma. Of course, this leads them into close quarters and in the needs of a vacation. Having seen how the Heffley’s other vacations have turned out, it was no surprise that this vacation would not exatcly find the Heffley family in paradise. However, when Greg’s mom is determined to do something, do it they do.
Pick-up a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Deep End, and join the Heffley family on their RV road trip. With the Covid pandemic, I think we can all feel a bit of what Greg and his family are going through on their vacation. But don’t forget to laugh.
Jerry Stiller passed in May of this year. He was 92 years old. I loved watching him as the over-the-top father, Frank Costanza, on the hit television show Seinfeld. Married to Laughter is a book written by Jerry Stiller about his life growing up in New York, meeting and marrying actress Anne Meara, and his life as an actor.
Jerry Stiller was nothing like the character he played as Frank Costanza. He was an actor after all. He attended Syracuse University, where he studied Theater. He worked in clubs and the theater. Even while working on Seinfeld, he worked in theater. He was an actor and he was driven to act. Not only was this his way to earn an income but it was his passion.
I find it interesting to read autobiographies. I feel like I get to know that person better by reading about them in their own words. One gets a sense of who they are and what they are like. It was interesting to hear the stories Stiller told of his life and what his thoughts were on what was happening at the time. I would recommend Married to Laughter to anyone that enjoyed Stiller’s work. I would also recommend it to anyone interested in theater or acting. The book gives a good sense of what it is like for an actor and the struggles they face at keeping the jobs coming in. It takes a lot of drive. As always, Happy Reading!
The suspended head of the Surete du Quebec, Armand Gamache, receives a letter informing him of a meeting to discuss a will. Curiously enough, Gamache has been named executor of a complete stranger’s will. As he arrives at the meeting place, which turns out to be an abandoned farmhouse, his neighbor, Myrna Landers also pulls-up in her car. Going inside they are met by the Lawyer and are introduced to a young builder named Benedict who was also named as executor to the estate. Not one of the three persons named executor knew the deceased. How odd…
And thus begins the novel The Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny. The threesome decide to accept the role of executor and will find themselves not only asking why they were named executor to a complete stranger’s will, but who done it. Gamache will also try to solve his own mystery. The mystery that got him suspended from the Surete.
With likable characters, such as Gamache’s unique neighbors, and plenty of mystery, The Kingdom of the Blind is sure to keep one guessing and intreaged. This novel has two mysteries in one book that are unrelated to each other. So, it is a bit of a bonus. This is not the first in the Gamache series. Choose to start at the beginning or jump right in with this page turner.