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willowlane16

it's all small stuff

Currently reading

Good Omens: The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Simplify Your Work Life: Ways to Change the Way You Work So You Have More Time to Live
Elaine St. James
Cache Lake Country: Life in the North Woods
John J. Rowlands, Henry B. Kane
Green Is the New Black: How to Change the World with Style
Tamsin Blanchard
The Essential Earthman: Henry Mitchell on Gardening
Henry Mitchell
The Architecture of Happiness
Alain de Botton
The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening and Toning Your Body- Without Machines
Brooke Siler
First American Frontier
Wilma A. Dunaway
Financially Secure: An Easy-To-Follow Money Program for Women
Deborah McNaughton
The Flinch
Julien Smith

Turtle Moon

Turtle Moon - Alice Hoffman About halfway through this book I wrote the following: "One of my gauges for a great read is one that continually sends me back to a work in progress to do an inspired creativity dump that seems to come out of nowhere. It's like the story dials into my subconscious and tells me things I didn't know I knew. This is one of those books. It's quirky, human, and all-too-real. The characters are alternately loveable and maddening, just like most folk I know."

I really didn't want this book to end, but at the same time, it was time to leave the story, and further words might have become maudlin or mundane. That is not to say I understand every character's motivation, or that the book ended happily. You'll have to find that out for yourself. Still, I'd love to read a sequel set maybe twenty or thirty further years in the future, to see if the boy and the baby ever meet again as adults, and what happens then.

And now, it's back to my own writing, because - as I said in so many words - there are things tumbling out of every creative port of my psyche, that must be set down.

Blue Camellia

Blue Camellia - Frances Parkinson Keyes Amazing work, a story so skillfully crafted that its social anachronisms seem charming and quite forgiveable in the context of their time. Powerful and based loosely on historical facts, the story of a woman who found her own way in life and carved a niche for herself that, instead of rejecting family and society, carefully selected the finest yields and stoutest promise, enfolded a heart full of love and wisdom with the best portions of her heritage and fortune to triumph over her personal nightmarish tragedy and make a life well lived.

The Color of Lightning: A Novel

The Color of Lightning - Paulette Jiles THIS BOOK SHOULD COME WITH A HUGE TRIGGER WARNING. Truth to tell, I didn't make it very far into this book. Much as I adore Ms Jiles' work, I felt shocked and dismayed at how little prepared I was for the sickening violence that began only a few pages into the story. If I had wanted to read an accurate portrayal of the horrors faced by some early settlers, I would have picked up a clearly-marked non-fiction historical narrative. That the story wheels so suddenly from the interpersonal struggles of the characters as they adjust to a new life to a terrifyingly descriptive, jaw-dropping scene that sadly is all too real without warning is just too triggering for a reader with PTSD, or for those who simply do not have the stomach for this kind of violence. It may be exactly what some readers like, but not me, thanks.

Indiana Fletcher Williams of Sweet Briar

Indiana Fletcher Williams of Sweet Briar - Ann Marshall Whitley Notes on the life of the woman whose legacy provided the basis for the founding of Sweet Briar College; interesting from the point of view of social and cultural history.

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love - Kristin Kimball I love the fact that Mark never questions whether or not organic farming, providing food for his neighbors on a local scale, is the thing to do. I love how Kristin starts out not knowing if he's crazy or just foolishly ignorant, but plunges in alongside him anyway. And how this book is a perfect illustration of believing in the power of dreams fulfilled by hard work and commitment, with plenty of love along the way.

If You Do Love Old Men

If You Do Love Old Men - Virginia Stem Owens Eloquent, lovely prose. Recommended.

How to Start Making Money with Your Sewing

How to Start Making Money with Your Sewing - Karen Maslowski This is a very helpful book concerning all foreseeable aspects of setting up a sewing or crafts-based business whether in your home or an independent shop. Wish I'd had it 25 years ago!

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti - Annie Vanderbilt I loved, loved, loved this book. Superbly written, with an authentic voice and the twists and turns that are the hallmark of a life truly lived. Looking for more by this fantastic author.

Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference

Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference - 'Wanda Urbanska',  'Frank Levering' A joyful read - including many ideas that were new to me, referenced studies & articles in support of the authors' findings, & anecdotes that make you smile. Much to agree with here, recommended.

Flea Market Style: Decorating with a Creative Edge

Flea Market Style: Decorating with a Creative Edge - Emelie Tolley, Chris Mead Very little I could either use or relate to in this glimpse into a world of mostly frivolously urbane and snobbishly boring decor. Not recommended.

Sensual Crochet

Sensual Crochet: Luxurious Yarns, Alluring Designs - Amy Swenson Excellent book - need my own copy!

Down the Garden Path

Down the Garden Path - Beverley Nichols Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful read.

The Gift of a Home

The Gift of a Home - Beverley Nichols I loved this book, and will go searching for more by this author. It's like a neighborly walk with a favorite uncle, except said uncle has an aversion to neighbors. A perfectly charming read, with interesting characters and gardening anecdotes that will have you giggling into your cup of Earl Grey. Highly recommended.

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion Wonderful, beautiful book. A must-read.

The Small House at Allington (Wordsworth Classics)

The Small House at Allington - Anthony Trollope A delightful story, enjoying it thoroughly. Readers who love Austen will find much to appreciate in Mr. Trollope's work.

If Wishes Were Horses

If Wishes Were Horses - Robert Barclay The theme of this book interested me because it was a romance primarily told from the point of view of the male character, and the first chapter set up some possibility of good storytelling. However, the language and plot overall were just too trite and formulaic to hold my interest. I could not like the female character, and the way she was characterised by the author resulted in neither a sympathetic nor sophisticated protagonist. Two stars for effort, and that is just barely merited IMHO.