Lori (thornton37814) stitches her way through 2024 - thread 1

Keskustelu2024 Category Challenge

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Lori (thornton37814) stitches her way through 2024 - thread 1

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2023, 8:45 pm

I'm Lori Thornton, a librarian, genealogist, and cross-stitcher. I've participated in the category since 2010. I sing in my church choir. Mystery is my favorite genre. I like historical fiction, but I'm not a huge fan of dual time lines that seem to be overused and less effective than writers and publishers sometimes think they are.

I almost went with a simple monthly approach this year because the categories I've had lately haven't been very even. I doubt they'll be even this year either. I did come up with an interesting approach using my love of cross stitch. The categories are named after companies that produce cross stitch patterns. Pictures will not be inserted until later because I'm away from home where I have my pattern stash. I'll try to remember to announce in my thread when I've added photos to accompany. If I have a photographed completion by the designer, I may use it instead of the a pattern.

My 2024 categories are:

1. Country Cottage Needleworks - Cozy mysteries
2. Plum Street Samplers - Police & Detective mysteries
3. Rosewood Manor - History & Genealogy (or historical fiction)
4. Shakespeare's Peddler - Classics
5. Prairie Schooler - Children's Literature
6. Shepherd's Bush - Christmas books
7. Heartstring Samplery - Amish & Christian Fiction
8. Praiseworthy Stitches - Christian Non-Fiction
9. Blue Flower - Food & Garden
10. Sweet Wing Studio - Needle Arts
11. Blackbird Designs - Other fiction & literature
12. Ink Circles - Other non-fiction

Abandoned reads will go in the "My Big Toe" category.

I really enjoyed doing Mt. TBR Bingo last year using the WIPGO calls. I may do that this year with non-fiction books or perhaps some poetry or other types of literary works. I am not making it a separate category though. If I make a card, I'll randomize it by drawing 24 finalists since 9 and 22 have already been drawn for January. I'll either make number 13 a short book or free space.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 30, 5:48 pm

Category 1: Country Cottage Needleworks = Cozy mysteries

I don't have charts or stitched pieces from this designer in my stash that I can find, so I'll just leave you a link to the website to explore the charts. Here's the link: http://www.countrycottageneedleworks.com/

1. Penny for Your Secrets by Anna Lee Huber - completed 12 January 2024
2. Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose - completed 3 February 2024
3. Murder, Simply Stitched by Isabella Alan - completed 29 February 2024
4. Murder on Mustang Beach by Alicia Bessette - completed 13 March 2024
5. Chapter and Curse by Elizabeth Penney - completed 15 April 2024
6. Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto - completed 30 April 2024
7. Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany - completed 20 May 2024
8. A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay - completed 30 May 2024
9. An Unlikely Meeting by Jenn McKinlay - completed 31 May 2024
10. Criminally Cocoa by Amanda Flower - completed 8 June 2024
11. Murder at Pawprint Creek by Cindy Bell - completed 17 June 2024
12. A Deadly Cliche by Ellery Adams - completed 22 June 2024
13. Wrong Side of the Paw by Laurie Cass - completed 24 June 2024
14. The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander - completed 28 June 2024

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 30, 6:35 pm

Category 2: Plum Street Samplers = Police & Detective mysteries

I want to get to "Cardinal Kin" this year, if possible. I have two WIPs from Plum Street Samplers that I'm currently working on. They were on my WIPGO board last year, and I only did a little more than the required amount of stitching on each. I plan to add these to this year's rotation. I really enjoyed stitching on both, although I have to admit that mermaids are not really my thing for the "Live on Little" design. Still I like it overall.


If I read a PI one, I'll probably put it here as well.

1. A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny - completed 14 January 2024
2. Cat's Paw by Roger Scarlett - completed 13 February 2024
3. Hidden Scars by Mark De Castrique - completed 21 February 2024
4. Borderline by Nevada Barr - completed 9 March 2024
5. Cold Is the Grave by Peter Robinson - completed 2 April 2024
6. The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves - completed 15 June 2024
7. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri - completed 29 June 2024

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 3, 2:25 pm

Category 3: Rosewood Manor = History & Genealogy or Historical Fiction

Three designs are in my stash. The first features "Keepsakes" which is the local needlework store in the Cincinnati area and its cat 310 (named after the DMC fiber since he's pure black). The second is a patriotic design I found at the used bookstore. The third is a family history design that can be customized.


If I read genealogical fiction, I'll probably put it here too unless it fits better elsewhere.

1. The Girls Who Fought Crime: The Untold True Story of the Country's First Female Investigator and Crime-Fighting Squads by Mari K. Eder - completed 6 January 2024
2. The English Village: History and Traditions by Martin Wainwright - completed 14 January 2024
3. Woman, Captain, Rebel: The Extraordinary True Story of a Daring Icelandic Sea Captain by Margaret Willson - completed 13 April 2024
4. The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear - completed 8 May 2024
5. Two Wars and a Wedding by Lauren Willig - completed 15 May 2024
6. The Swiss Nurse by Mario Escobar - completed 31 May 2024
7. Clear by Carys Davies - completed 3 June 2024
8. Stark Decency: German Prisoners of War in a New England Village by Allen V. Koop - completed 3 June 2024

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 5:38 pm

Category 4: Shakespeare's Peddler = Classics

Theresa Venette is the designer for this company which also uses the name Kitten Stitcher. Besides charts, they offer fabulous linen. I thought I had a chart from this one, but if I do, I can't locate it. I have lots of the designs on my wish list though. Here's a link to the website: https://www.kittenstitcher.com/original-samplers


Muokkaaja: toukokuu 22, 8:15 am

Category 5: Prairie Schooler = Children's Literature

Prairie Schooler designs an annual Santa. Here's the one for 2023.

Here are a couple of other charts from my stash.


1. The School at the Chalet by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer - completed 31 March 2024
2. The Polite Penguin by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by H. A. Rey - completed 9 May 2024
3. The Fiddler of High Lonesome by Brinton Turkle - completed 10 May 2024
4. The Adventures of the Missing Sock by Lizzie Lange; illustrated by Sally Elford - completed 21 May 2024

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 5:40 pm

Category 6: Shepherd's Bush = Christmas Books

I only have one chart from them in my stash, but they are known for the large variety of Christmas stocking designs they offer. Here's the one chart I own.


Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 1, 1:42 pm

Category 7: Heartstring Samplery = Amish & Christian Fiction

I wanted many of the hymn designs this designer produced, but I'm really glad I waited until they compiled them into a book with 3 bonus designs.

1. Cold Threat by Nancy Mehl - completed 30 January 2024
2. A Love Discovered by Tracie Peterson - completed 8 February 2024
3. The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston - completed 13 February 2024
4. The Coffee Corner by Amy Clipston - completed 7 May 2024
5. Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon - completed 20 May 2024

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 27, 2:25 pm

Category 8: Praiseworthy Stitches = Christian Non-Fiction

This chart was for a stitch along last year, but I never got around to starting it. This particular design is for cancer awareness and includes a list of colors for various cancers so you can pay tribute to your loved ones who survived or did not survive cancer. I will probably do this in the colors for stomach cancer from which my mother died. I've set aside a fabric and identified a couple of overdyed flosses that I think it will look good in. I've got other big projects underway, and I don't want to start until at least one of the three big designs is done.

1. Praying God's Will for Your Life by Stormie Omartian - completed 28 February 2024
2. Painful Passage, Joyful Journey: A Memoir, the Story of God and Me by Susan A. Cooper - completed 1 February 2024
3. The Great Disappearance: 31 Ways to Be Rapture Ready by David Jeremiah - completed 28 February 2024
4. The Battle Plan for Prayer: Bible Study by Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick, with Travis Agnew - completed 12 March 2024
5. Morning Coffee and Time Alone: Bright Promise for a New Day compiled by Alice Gray; illustrated by Susan Mink Colclough - completed 27 May 2024
6. Signs and Secrets of the Messiah: A Fresh Look at the Miracles of Jesus by Jason Sobel - completed 25 June 2024

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 30, 6:46 pm

Category 9: Blue Flower = Food & Garden

I have a couple of charts in my stash, but I will probably stitch a couple of designs I picked up at the Jingle Ball 2023 before I attack these. Both Jingle Ball designs ("Christmas Hippo" and "'Oliday Ostrich") are on my 2024 WIPGO board. (They were online downloads and don't have a fancy cover image I can show without illegally showing the chart.)


1. 5-Ingredient Air Fryer Recipes: 200 Delicious & Easy Meal Ideas Including Gluten-Free & Vegan by Camilla V. Saulsbury - completed 30 March 2024
2. A Soupçon of Poison by Jennifer Ashley - completed 29 June 2024

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 23, 12:34 pm

Category 10: Sweet Wing Studio = Needle Arts

It's no accident that I used one of my favorite designers for this category's name! I could provide you all sorts of photos here, but I'll try to limit myself.

Here are some finishes.

"Blessed Beyond Measure"; "Singing Sparrow"; "He First Loved Us"


"Deep Waters", "Mercy and Grace", and my last finish of 2023, "Indescribable Gift"


Here are some final finishes.

"Without Ceasing"; "Bless and Keep"


Here are just a couple of charts in my stash. I have many more.


1. A Sampler View of Colonial Life by Mary Cobb; illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis - completed 23 January 2024
2. The Quilting Bee by Gail Gibbons - completed 23 January 2024

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 3, 8:08 pm

Category 11: Blackbird Designs = Other Fiction & Literature

The cross stitch world mourned the loss of Barb when she died. Alma is cutting way back, but she is re-releasing some out-of-print designs from this very popular designer. Here are a few in my stash.


1. Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout - completed 17 January 2024
2. Balladz by Sharon Olds - completed 26 February 2024
3. Chenneville by Paulette Jiles - completed 5 March 2024
4. Bramton Wick by Elizabeth Fair - completed 18 March 2024
5. Song of the Closing Doors: Poems by Patrick Phillips - completed 30 April 2024

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 8:56 am

Category 12: Ink Circles = Other Non-Fiction

Most of the charts I own by this designer are in magazines. Here's "Modern Nordic," an ornament I finished in 2022, by this designer known for symmetrical designs.

1. Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell - completed 19 March 2024

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 8:09 am

Abandoned Reads: My Big Toe Designs

Deborah Booth is the designer behind the brand. I am fond of her ornaments in the Just Cross Stitch ornament issues. Here is a finished chart called "Cat Crazy" and one of the ornaments. I've also included one chart in my stash that contains a literary allusion.


1. The Seaside Library by Brenda Novak - abandoned 23 May 2024

joulukuu 29, 2023, 9:43 pm

2023 Year-End Meme:
Describe yourself: Read or Alive
Describe How Your Feel: Dangling by a Thread
Describe Where You Currently Live: The Glass Room
If You Could Go Anywhere, Where Would You go? Intrigue in Istanbul
Your Favorite Form of Transportation: Taking Flight
Your Favorite Food Is: Lemon Curd Killer
Your Favorite Time of Day: Morning by Morning
Your Best Friend Is: The Librarian Spy
You and Your Friends Are: The Bookstore Sisters
What's the Weather Like: In a Dry Season
You Fear: The Square Root of Murder
What Is the Best Advice You Have to Give? So Shall You Reap
Thought for the Day: There's No Such Thing as a Chanukah Bush
What Is Life for You? The Lost Ancestor
How You Would Like to Die: Dark Chocolate Demise
Your Soul's Present Condition: God Sees Her
What Was 2023 Like for You? Embroidering Her Truth
What Do You Want from 2024? Small Things Like These

joulukuu 29, 2023, 9:54 pm

2023 Party Meme

What would you call the event: Winter Study
How did the guests find their way? The Light Over London
How did they know they had arrived? Lark! The Herald Angels Sing
Any special activities? We're Going to the Farmer's Market
Did Your Guests Stay Over? The Black Tower
Were There Servants to Help? Death Below Stairs
Was There Turn-Down Service? Premeditated Peppermint
How Were the Guests Greeted? Five Little Kittens
Was Dinner Held for Latecomers? The Farm Stand
And Dinner Was? A Birthday Lunch
Afterwards? Santa's Crash-Bang Christmas

joulukuu 30, 2023, 9:14 am

Hello Lori! It's nice to "see" you again :-) I'm looking forward to your pictures and I like your categories.

joulukuu 30, 2023, 11:15 am

joulukuu 30, 2023, 12:49 pm

Happy New Year, Lori. Have fun with your 2024 reading.

joulukuu 30, 2023, 1:39 pm

Watching out for BBs in 2024. Happy reading!

joulukuu 30, 2023, 2:00 pm

Good luck with your 2024 reading!

joulukuu 30, 2023, 3:17 pm

Happy New Year 2024! I am interested in following along again. I enjoyed your end of the year memes!

joulukuu 30, 2023, 3:17 pm

Happy reading in 2024!

joulukuu 30, 2023, 3:41 pm

I've placed my star and I love your categories - what creative names these companies have.

joulukuu 30, 2023, 8:39 pm

>19 hailelib: I hope I have fewer klunkers than I did in 2023. Some of the ones I kept reading should have been abandoned but were continued because they were group reads, etc.

>20 dudes22: I hope I have more time to pick up a few BBs myself this year. I still need to visit all the new threads and do the star thing. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon.

>21 Tess_W: Thanks!

joulukuu 30, 2023, 8:41 pm

>22 LadyoftheLodge: I've done those year-end memes for a long time. I still need to add these to the history of answers compilation.

>23 MissBrangwen: Thank you!

>24 DeltaQueen50: And I didn't even get to use all the ones on my list! Of course, some designers use their own names in their company names so I didn't really use those.

joulukuu 31, 2023, 12:26 am

Happy reading in 2024, Lori.

joulukuu 31, 2023, 6:33 pm


joulukuu 31, 2023, 8:55 pm

Hello Lori, and Happy 2024 reading! Love your categories and can't wait to see the books that will fill them this year.

joulukuu 31, 2023, 9:23 pm

>29 threadnsong: Thank you. I guess it will probably be a surprise for both of us. I do keep a list of next in series, but I think I'm going to go by mood and availability this year. I may decide to catch up a series even!

joulukuu 31, 2023, 9:25 pm

ABC is going playing the ball drop

joulukuu 31, 2023, 10:50 pm

Hi Lori, stopping by to check out your categories and love that you also are not a huge fan of dual time lines in historical fiction, I appreciate 'flashbacks' but the continual switching back and forth just gives me reader's whiplash. Making a note to revisit your thread after you have had a chance to set up your category images.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and safe travels home.

joulukuu 31, 2023, 11:05 pm

Good luck with your reading in 2024.

tammikuu 1, 10:22 am

Best wishes for an enjoyable reading year. In addition to seeing what you read, I look forward to seeing what you stitch too!

tammikuu 4, 9:56 am

>31 Wings_14: I didn't watch it, mainly because I really don't know how to navigate through my brother's TV system. I was up stitching until about 11:35 Central and then stayed up until midnight to post "Happy New Year" on Facebook.

>32 lkernagh: I need to work on that today. I should be able to find finishes or charts in my stash for most of them. I'll post in my thread when I have category images added so folks can scroll up.

>33 lowelibrary: Thank you!

>34 clue: I'll try to post those here too. I've mainly been adding them to the Needlework group--except that my posting there went downhill last year too.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 5:46 pm

ATTENTION!!! (For those waiting for the category images.)

I have now added the images to my categories. There are two without images because I didn't have them in stash or finishes, but I did provide links to the websites so you could browser their designs.

tammikuu 4, 6:15 pm

>36 thornton37814: Beautiful work, Lori.

tammikuu 4, 6:47 pm

tammikuu 4, 7:19 pm

The samplers are all so great, the Lebanon House is probably my favorite. Thanks for posting these!

tammikuu 4, 7:26 pm

>39 clue: Thanks. I enjoy them, but I wanted to include some for you all to gawk at all year!

tammikuu 4, 8:43 pm

I finally determined my top 5 for 2023. The first four all got 4.5 stars from me. The second one only got 4 stars, but I did knock it down to 4 from 4.5 because of the blind end notes. I added them to LT's "top 5" list.

1. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
2. Foster by Claire Keegan
3. Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
4. The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl
5. Embroidering Her Truth by Clare Hunter

tammikuu 5, 12:25 am

Beautiful samplers! My favourite piece is Modern Nordic at >13 thornton37814:. I love the colours and symmetry. Have a great year of reading.

tammikuu 5, 6:03 am

Ooh these are all designers I love to stitch too! Look forward to seeing more of your cross stitch through the year. I love Quoth The Stitcher - exactly why I have more patterns than I can possibly ever stitch!

tammikuu 5, 8:16 am

>42 VivienneR: I like it too, but I don't know what my favorite is.

>43 JayneCM: Exactly! I would have liked to work a few more designers in, but I just couldn't manage them all.

tammikuu 5, 11:38 am

Love your cross stitch theme!

I need to make sure that The Taking of Jemima Boone is on my wishlist. I definitely need to read that one since families on both sides of my tree were close neighbors of the Boones in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia.

tammikuu 5, 12:08 pm

>6 thornton37814: How fun to see the Bremen town musicians here! I lived in Bremen for three years and live about an hour away from it now. There is a statue of the musicians next to the city hall.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 5, 2:54 pm

>10 thornton37814: I particularly liked these designs but there were a lot of attractive ones for the samplers and your category illustrations.

tammikuu 5, 3:01 pm

>41 thornton37814: Claire Keegan is very, very good. I have a copy of Foster that I'm keeping for the right moment.

tammikuu 5, 6:22 pm

>45 cbl_tn: I originally picked it up because Matthew Pearl was the author, but when I realized it would work really well with one of my NGS talks, I was even more excited about it. I read an e-copy--from either Reads or Knox County.

>46 MissBrangwen: I loved that chart when I saw it at the used bookstore, so I really should stitch it sometime!

>47 hailelib: I think a lot of people love the Blue Flower. That one that says "part 2" is part 2 of a series where Stephanie Webb of Lindy's Stitches did the first part. I picked up both parts after market in 2022 at Keepsakes in Cincinnati. They ended up with the models (or perhaps copies of the models since a lot of their regulars often do some of the stitching for designers) and had a display. I might not have paid attention to those cute little designs otherwise. I do love that acorn piece. However, I think when the ornaments from Jingle Ball get called on WIPGO, you all will love those finished pieces too.

>48 RidgewayGirl: Foster was part of Christmas 2022 haul, and it was just wonderful. I raved about it in my review and others mentioned Small Things Like These. They both ended up in my top 5!

tammikuu 6, 8:40 am

That's a great theme, Lori. Love the different designs!

tammikuu 6, 8:52 am

The Prairie Schooler Santa is very nice!

tammikuu 6, 9:13 am

>50 MissWatson: Thank you!

>51 rabbitprincess: I stitched most of that one during the Jingle Ball in early December. It was a pretty easy stitch.

tammikuu 6, 9:20 am

Book 1. The Girls Who Fought Crime: The Untold True Story of the Country's First Female Investigator and Crime-Fighting Squads by Mari K. Eder

Date Completed: 6 January 2024

Source: Knox County Public Library e-book

Category: Rosewood Manor

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: The title of this book misleads a bit because it really is the story of one woman in context. The loss of many NYPD records which lie at the bottom of a river somewhat hampered the story. The museum closure in 2019 also hampered the search for information. The author did piece together the story of Mae Foley, one of the early women to serve and protect on the NYPD. While we know a little of what she encountered, I know there are many more stories that were not uncovered through available sources which would have given more insight into her work. We see as much of the real life of the woman as we do her police life--her concern for her children, her love of travel, her love of Broadway and film, etc. We learn of one undercover operation in which she engaged during the war years that she very much disliked, but I'm sure this is one that she talked about with her family after the war. She retired at age 57, having served for 27 years. One other theme in the book is the inequity between men and women in the NYPD, particularly in pay, but also in the opportunities offered to them. Even in 2020, women only comprise 20% of the force. I would have liked to know more of Mae's work because I feel we heard very few details of "fighting crime" and more about NYPD politics.

tammikuu 6, 12:38 pm

When I was stitching a lot, Prairie Schooler was my fave designer. I love the Santas!

tammikuu 6, 7:13 pm

>54 LadyoftheLodge: While not my favorite, I do like her designs.

tammikuu 8, 3:51 pm

I like the ones with hymn phrases on them!

tammikuu 8, 3:57 pm

>56 Tess_W: I love both the hymns and the Scriptures. Heartstring Samplery did lots of hymns, but I'm very partial to the Sweet Wing Studio design of "His Eye Is on the Sparrow." It actually used a wool fiber on the bird's wing. That was fun to incorporate.

tammikuu 10, 8:46 am

I'm here, better a little late than never. Starred!

You have a lot more patience than I, making all those tiny stitches. They're beautiful, though.

tammikuu 11, 7:15 pm

>58 fuzzi: Thanks! Glad to have you around.

tammikuu 14, 4:28 pm

Book 2. Penny for Your Secrets by Anna Lee Huber

Date Completed: 12 January 2024

Source: Tennessee Reads audiobook

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Verity's friend Ada brings a gun to dinner with a household of guests. A male servant pockets the gun to return it to its place. However, later that evening Ada's husband, Lord Rockham, is murdered. The time is shortly after the Great War ended, and secrets from the war come to play in the novel. Verity and her husband Sidney investigate this one as well as the death of a woman who served as a redactor during the war. The police see nothing suspicious in this case, but Verity sees potential. Could the two seemingly unconnected crimes be related? While Verity trusts DCI Thoreau to an extent, she believes external pressures could result in the wrong person being convicted or the case remaining unresolved. Some loose threads remain dangling at the end, probably to set up a future installment. I listened to the audio version of the book.

tammikuu 14, 7:13 pm

3. A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny

Date Completed: 14 January 2024

Source: University library book

Category: Plum Street Samplers

Rating: 3 stars

Review: In this installment, we learn the story of Armand and Jean-Guy's first encounter with one another and the way Jean-Guy became part of the Surete. However, it also features a current problem where the most evil prisoner Armand ever encountered managed to escape prison and get into Three Pines. There is a link between the vile criminal and the early case that brought Jean-Guy into the Surete. The story is perhaps too dark for me, and I really did not enjoy this installment that much although it was well-crafted. I hope the next installment is not so dark. The escape seems improbable although Penny did set up a scenario where it seemed somewhat possible if only the chief warden had been privy to the prisoner's danger. It's just a little too much of a stretch for me. Definitely not my favorite in the series.

tammikuu 15, 2:34 pm

My sister called me and told me she unearthed from a cedar chest at home quite a few cross-stitched projects that I made and gave to her and other family members. They featured hand-made frames (created by my late husband) and my initials and the year (1989) appeared in the corners of them. There were some small angel projects (most likely Christmas decorations), as well as quilt block and country themes, and a few Prairie Schooler Santas! My how time flies!

tammikuu 15, 7:33 pm

tammikuu 16, 10:01 am

Book 4. The English Village: History and Traditions by Martin Wainwright

Date Completed: 14 January 2024

Source: SantaSwap 2023 (Thanks, Carrie!)

Category: Rosewood Manor

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Wainwright's look into English villages, while containing glimpses of everyday life, seems to be heavily focused on political implications. The writing is very academic although inclusions of sketches and lack of footnotes or end notes (although there is a bibliography) make its intended audience seem to be the public. The book is peppered with other book recommendations, particularly in the latter chapters, which may add a lot to one's to-be-read list. While I enjoyed much of the content and gleaned information that might be valuable to me in writing up narratives of ancestors, I found the author's approach and writing style boring.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 4:50 pm

>61 thornton37814: I suppose that every book in a long running series will not be equality satisfying. I need to get back to that series.

tammikuu 17, 9:52 am

>65 hailelib: I acknowledge that the book is just "too dark" for me. People who like that type book will like it far better than I did. I had figured out early who the person was, and I think she dropped a rather obvious hint about the man's identity which, I suppose, could have also been a red herring. I'm caught up until the 2024 release. I hope it is much lighter!

tammikuu 17, 10:58 am

Book 5. Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout

Date Completed: 17 January 2024

Source: University library book

Category: Blackbird Designs

Rating: 4 stars

Review: As the pandemic begins, William calls Lucy, tells her to pack a suitcase, and the two head out of New York City to Maine to be safer during the pandemic. They rent a home on the coast. Readers who went through the pandemic will relate to many of their experiences in the early days of the pandemic. It goes on to explore the lives of their daughters and more. While Lucy sees many of the same flaws in William he had during their marriage, as a maturer person, she sees another side to him as well. The book shows the importance of family and friendship even in a time of social isolation. I believe Strout could have included the plot elements in the story of Lucy's sister and Charlene without the commentary on Evangelicalism insinuated by her wording. At least she was less overt than many authors in their prejudice against conservatives. Strout's writing excellence shines in this novel. Olive Kitteridge is known and discussed by one character. While many people do not want to read about the pandemic, I am glad I read this one.

tammikuu 17, 6:04 pm

>67 thornton37814: - I have a tentative plan to read all 4 books in this series this year.

tammikuu 17, 8:04 pm

>68 dudes22: Strout is an excellent writer. I think I've missed Oh, William, although I forgot I hadn't read it. I'll probably go back and catch it when I get a chance.

tammikuu 22, 7:31 pm

It's a finish!

Design: Town Church
Designer: Diane Williams of Little House Needleworks
Series: Hometown Holiday
Fabric: 28 count natural linen
Fibers: DMC, Classic Colorworks
Completed: 22 January 2024

Note: This was a January WIPGO call. (I only had to do 3 days, but I had time to finish it so I did.

tammikuu 22, 7:37 pm

I also realized I didn't post my earlier WIPGO call on here.

Design: Cats in Love
Designer: CrossStitching for Fun (free download)
Fabric: a heart brought to me from my friend Hildegard from the Zweigart store in Germany
Fiber: Weeks Dye Works Camellia
Completed 9 January 2024

I will probably turn this into a pillow although some of my friends think it ought to go onto a project bag. This little chart was a WIPGO call for January. I'd put about 5 stitches in the night before thinking it would be nice to have a start on it when I stitched on it at lunch. As it turned out, the Internet was out all day at work. I managed to finish it before noon. I had a reception to attend that afternoon. I did get started on another chart, but this was my main accomplishment that day!

tammikuu 22, 9:39 pm

>70 thornton37814: That's really beautiful, Lori.

tammikuu 23, 6:49 am

>71 thornton37814: oh, that is beautiful! Simple but beautiful!

tammikuu 23, 12:08 pm

>72 RidgewayGirl: I love that series. I'm trying to stitch a couple each year. I use a block finish to make a Christmas village.

>73 fuzzi: It is simple and beautiful--as you said. It called for a different fiber, but the variegation would not have shown as much with it. I went with this overdyed floss instead, and I liked it.

tammikuu 23, 12:19 pm

Book 6. A Sampler View of Colonial Life by Mary Cobb; illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis

Date Completed: 23 January 2024

Source: University library book

Category: Sweet Wing Studio

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Samplers were part of a young girl's education from the colonial period through the 19th century. Taking a look at marking samplers and more decorative ones, the author discusses their importance and provides projects today's children can do to create things similar to the samplers. Most of these are done with paper or computer rather than with needle and thread, which I find a little sad!

tammikuu 23, 12:29 pm

>71 thornton37814: This is lovely and so simple. My kitties approve too.

tammikuu 23, 12:33 pm

>76 LadyoftheLodge: I'm glad your kitties approve!

tammikuu 23, 12:36 pm

Book 7. The Quilting Bee by Gail Gibbons

Date Completed: 23 January 2024

Source: University library book

Category: Sweet Wing Studio

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Children are introduced to the art of making quilts, specifically in the setting of a quilting bee. The author includes sample blocks from several types of quilts to discuss the different meanings and reasons quilts were created in the past, but explaining that they were now quite popular motifs. The illustrations are okay but not the greatest.

tammikuu 26, 8:11 am

tammikuu 26, 7:33 pm

>79 Tess_W: Glad you like it!

tammikuu 26, 8:01 pm

Book 8. Canary Girls by Jennifer Chiaverini

Date Completed: 25 January 2024

Source: University library book

Category: Rosewood Manor

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Several women unlikely to encounter one another under usual circumstances find themselves working together at a munitions plant housed in a former sewing machine manufacturing facility. Those assigned to the "danger building" find their skin turning yellow. It was due to working with TNT. Because the male soccer players were in the war, the women of the various plants formed teams and competed in a league. I found the story of their work and health problems more entertaining than the soccer sections, but I grew up in an era when soccer was something "they played in other countries." I did, however, find the bits that told how it once again became "unacceptable" for women to participate in sports once the war was over to be interesting. I felt there was a lot of repetition of some things without moving the story forward that much in places. While I'm sure the reality of life in that time would be much that way, it made the book drag in places. I'm glad I read the story. It tells about a part of World War I that I'd never considered that much.

tammikuu 27, 5:54 pm

Book 9. Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne DuMaurier

Date Completed: 26 January 2024

Source: Mount To-Be-Read

Category: Rosewood Manor

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Daphne DuMaurier, longtime resident of Cornwall, shares her passion for the area by taking a look at how things have changed over the years. She discusses how it figures in the Arthurian legends as well as in her own books. She takes a look at industry, religion, social classes, geography, the sea, trade, and much more. She also looks at the connection the Bronte sisters had to Cornwall. It's fascinating, and the author's love for Cornwall shines in the narrative. The book includes many photographs that help readers unfamiliar with the area visualize it.

tammikuu 27, 7:44 pm

>82 thornton37814: that looks interesting...I love the Poldark books, which take place in Cornwall.

tammikuu 27, 8:12 pm

>83 fuzzi: It is an older book, but it's interesting.

tammikuu 27, 8:33 pm

Hi Lori and Happy 2024! I'm so glad you are choosing these cross stitch designs. The samplers as a genealogy is brilliant, and I am glad to see Prairie Schoolers is still doing their yearly Santas.

>71 thornton37814: Love these cats - did you decide if they are a pillow or the front of a project bag?

tammikuu 28, 11:46 am

>85 threadnsong: Everyone at the cross stitch shop thinks they should be appliqued onto a project bag, so I guess I'm leaning that way--as soon as I learn to sew a zipper!

tammikuu 28, 3:46 pm

>86 thornton37814: Hi Lori! You inspired me to order the three Prairie Schooler Santas that I am missing. I guess the cross stitching bug has me in its grasp, as I also ordered some new Aida fabric and a few pattern books as if I need them! I want to try stitching some squares for Love Quilts USA.

tammikuu 28, 4:40 pm

>71 thornton37814: A really neat design!

>81 thornton37814: That looks like an interesting book about a bit of the war I’ve never come across.

tammikuu 28, 8:29 pm

>87 LadyoftheLodge: Fortunately as the cardboard copies go out of stock, she's reprinting them in groups of 3. Of course, there is no rhyme or reason to which 3 are paired together except that the cardboard stock copies are gone now.

>88 hailelib: It was rather interesting. When I took it out for a student worker to check in and re-shelve, I told him what the book was about. He decided to at least read the blurb. He might even check it out.

tammikuu 29, 8:10 pm

Book 10. Praying God's Will for Your Life by Stormie Omartian

Date Completed: 28 January 2024

Category: Praiseworthy Stitches

Source: Kindle

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I remember Omartian's songs (with her husband) from early Contemporary Christian music radio. She shares her journey to Christianity and her growth process in the book and discusses how prayer plays an important part in spiritual growth. The book offers an introduction and chapters designed to be read daily for almost three weeks. The book will be of most benefit to someone new to the faith. Each daily section ends with a daily prayer prompt and relevant Bible verses.

tammikuu 29, 8:14 pm

I am unable to update the category posts at the top because LibraryThing will now allow me to add or update threads with the Flickr embed code in them. If the post is already there, the Flickr image remains embedded, and it will continue to display. I've reported the issue to the Bug Collectors group, and I hope that I'll be able to add the book listed in

helmikuu 2, 6:20 am

>81 thornton37814: This one goes on my WL. I read the author's Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and liked it, although a bit too much "lecture" on politics and the war.

helmikuu 2, 8:34 pm

>92 Tess_W: I found it interesting.

helmikuu 4, 12:06 pm

Book 11. Cold Threat by Nancy Mehl

Date Completed: 30 January 2024

Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers e-galley

Category: Heartstring Samplery

Rating: 2 stars (barely)

Review: River and Tony help Tony's dad pursue an arsonist nicknamed the "Snowman" because he strikes in December and leaves a snowman ornament near the crime scene. Both River and Tony used to work for the FBI but are now private investigators. Their present task is to build a profile of the arsonist. The crimes took place is Iowa, and the current situation is in Burlington although the crimes began earlier and took place in other places in the state. The writing failed to keep me engaged. Readers have no doubt about River and Tony's faith in Christ because the author makes sure to incorporate it constantly. I would not call it preachy, but I do think a non-Christian reader might be turned off by it rather than continuing to read it. (I am a Christian and appreciate their faith, but I think the author sometimes relied on the faith aspects of the novel rather than her writing to build a bridge to the readers.) I did not read the previous book in the series so it's possible that also affected my opinion on the book although I did not really feel I lacked backstory. I thought the writing was substandard. I received the book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review. I see other reviewers loved the book, but I only continued to read the book because of the commitment to review it honestly. I did not feel I could be completely honest without finishing it.

helmikuu 4, 12:28 pm

Book 12. Painful Passage, Joyful Journey: A Memoir, the Story of God and Me by Susan A. Cooper

Date Completed: 1 February 2024

Source: Kindle

Category: Praiseworthy Stitches

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Orphaned at a young age and sent to live with relatives who did not want her and did not treat her with respect, Susan Cooper tells how her faith in God managed to get her through some rough times in life. She later earned a doctorate in children's literature. A friend who knew I my connection to the author told me about this book. Susan taught a young adult literature course I took while pursuing my master's degree in library and information science. She tells how she lost that position as the university move more in the direction of the IT side of library and information science--even though she was tenured. She went on to teach at other institutions before retiring in Maine. I learned a great deal about her back story, and, as the title says, it was painful. However, her faith in God caused the journey to be one full of joy as she saw God working in her life.

helmikuu 4, 12:47 pm

Book 13. Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose

Date Completed: 3 February 2024

Source: Knox County Public Library audiobook

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Rating: 4 stars

Review: After Lord Wrexford and his friend Sheffield stumble upon a murder scene in a park, he becomes involved in another investigation and seeks Charlotte's assistance. Thanks to a generous friend, she's moved to a better location where she and her wards Raven and Hawk can live a little more safely. The murdered man was a well-bred man on the verge of patenting an engine that would be revolutionary for its time. I love the way the author makes street urchins useful in her plots. I loved the inclusion of mathematics in the plot. I wondered how long we'd have to wait for Raven to be the one to solve the puzzle. We see the relationship between Lord Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane deepening. The mystery was well-built and kept the reader interested. I listened to the audiobook read by J. C. Stewart. I'm enjoying this series very much.

helmikuu 15, 10:45 am

Book 14. A Love Discovered by Tracie Peterson

Date Completed: 8 February 2024

Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Category: Heartstring Samplery

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Orphaned and with a younger sister, Marybeth is in danger of losing her younger sister to a childless family wanting to desperately adopt a child. Marybeth is the only mom her sister has ever known since the mother died in childbirth. Edward, having returned from the Civil War, wants to join his commanding officer on the Wyoming frontier keeping law and justice. However, they really want "family men" out there. He proposes a marriage of convenience to Marybeth--a solution that will help both of them. The author does a good job creating the atmosphere of old Cheyenne as she tells the story of Marybeth and Edward. I find the contrast between the leadership in the Methodist Church in Indiana and in Wyoming interesting as we see the importance of a relationship with God. It's been a long time since I've read a Christian western romance, but this one exceeded my expectations in writing quality. The author knows how to tell a story and keep readers engaged. I received this through LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 15, 12:33 pm

Book 15. The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston

Date Completed: 13 February 2024

Source: Tennessee Reads audiobook via Morristown-Hamblen Public Library

Category: Heartstring Samplery

Rating: 4 stars

Review: After Seth dies in a work accident, Jason blames himself for not being there to catch him, and Veronica his girlfriend is grieving in her own way. When Jason spots Veronica at the funeral, he knows he wants to spend time with her and share the grief they both experience. When Veronica finds an old family recipe, she begins baking raspberry pies and making jams and jellies to sell at a stand. When Jason visits the stand, he can't find a way to share he knew Seth because his attraction to Veronica is so strong. With the help of their families, the two struggle through their grief and the awkwardness of the situation. I listened to the audiobook, and it was easy to follow and a great way to spend time while commuting to and from work.

helmikuu 15, 12:33 pm

Book 16. Cat's Paw by Roger Scarlett

Date completed: 13 February 2024

Source: Santa Swap 2023

Category: Plum Street Samplers

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Dating to the "Golden Age of Mysteries," this book, written by Dorothy Blair and Evelyn Page under their pseudonym Roger Scarlett, features a "locked-room" mystery. Divided into three parts, the first and longest part, called "The Evidence," occurs before readers are introduced to the crime. It seems to largely be designed to become acquainted with the characters, although some evidence is clearly presented in it. The second part, called "The case," includes the murder and investigation. The last section is called "The solution" and shows the logic used by the detective in determining the perpetrator. The book included a diagram of the sleeping quarters of the home although it had little bearing on the mystery. It was a strange arrangement for the mystery and became a little tedious at times. Still the mystery itself featured enough red herrings to make it interesting although I suspected the perpetrator from the beginning.

helmikuu 21, 7:15 pm

Book 17. Hidden Scars by Mark De Castrique

Date Completed: 21 February 2024

Source: SantaSwap 2023

Category: Plum Street Samplers

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Sam and Nakayla are hired by an 80-year-old woman to investigate what she thought might be a suspicious death of her brother some 70 years ago. Although the woman was told it was a hiking accident, she doubted that because of her brother's familiarity with the trails. Every where they turn the official records seem to be gone so Sam suspects a cover-up. The brother was enrolled at Black Mountain College at the time of his death. The college's setting is now being used for a movie set in the 1940s based on a local writer's work. Could there be a connection between the two? When people connected to the movie begin turning up dead, Sam begins consulting with Newly the detective investigating the modern crimes. It all comes to a satisfying head, but the wrap-up in the final chapter was a little too straightforward and anticlimactic.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 29, 7:13 pm

Book 18. Balladz by Sharon Olds

Date Completed: 26 February 2024

Source: University library book

Category: Blackbird Designs

Rating: 2 stars

Review: While the book may have been longlisted for the National Book Award, this is not a book I would recommend. She writes a lot about COVID-19 and the quarantine, the George Floyd situation, and problems in her upbringing. The Amherst ballads section is written in an unusual form (which is probably why it was longlisted for the award). My biggest problem with the book is in crude verbiage. As my mom would say, "She needs to wash her mouth out with soap." Ms. Olds will go on my "Do not read" list.

helmikuu 27, 10:25 am

>101 thornton37814: a little crude language goes a long way. Too much and one begins to wonder about the lack of vocabulary used by the author.

helmikuu 29, 7:13 pm

>102 fuzzi: Definitely.

maaliskuu 1, 1:56 pm

Book 19. The Great Disappearance: 31 Ways to Be Rapture Ready by David Jeremiah

Date Completed: 28 February 2024

Category: Praiseworthy Stitches

Source: University Library

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Well-known Christian pastor and author Dr. David Jeremiah offers insights into the Rapture. He explains the differences in the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ and the confusion offered by different approaches to end times prophecies. He explains the need to be ready at any moment because we already see many of the signs of the second coming--and the Rapture comes before this. Dr. Jeremiah uses a story in each of the 31 chapters to help convey the message of the chapter. These work well. He discusses the timeline for the Rapture, Tribulation, Second Coming, etc. while acknowledging that we need to be ready because no one knows the hour.

maaliskuu 1, 2:09 pm

Book 20. Murder, Simply Stitched by Isabella Alan

Date Completed: 29 February 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Tennessee Reads audiobook

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: When quilt shop owner Angie finds township trustee Wanda Hunt dead at the auction, suspicion falls to her friend Rachel and her husband when the death cause appears to be from consuming a scone Rachel had given her earlier. Angie knows Rachel would not do that, but a zoning issue with a factory her husband plans to build presents a motive. Angie feels obligated to help Sheriff Mitchell with his investigation. Wanda's nephew, a troubled teen, had been living with Wanda and working at the auction yard. After the murder, he goes to stay with Sheriff Mitchell until his mother can come from California to pick him up. This creates problems with Mitchell's ex-wife and his custody rights. The antics of Angie's dog Oliver and Petunia the goat create some comic relief. I listened to the audiobook version of the book. The narrator drove me crazy with her mispronunciation of some of the Holmes County places such as Berlin. (It's pronounced differently than the place in Germany.)

maaliskuu 1, 3:58 pm

> 20 Mispronounced place names on the local news drives me nuts! We have a new weather person who pronounces Alma as Allma. Does anyone call men named Al All?

maaliskuu 2, 7:37 am

>106 clue: When she did it the first time in this one, I remembered the narrator had mispronounced the words in the earlier installment. I'm surprised no one corrected her after the first recording. These were done years ago. I just have to hope and pray that somewhere along the way she starts pronouncing it correctly. I have heard the word to which you refer mispronounced as well, but not by this narrator.

maaliskuu 6, 6:48 am

Book 21. Chenneville by Paulette Jiles

Date Completed: 5 March 2024

Category: Blackbird Designs

Source: University library book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: When Union army veteran John Chenneville returns to his St. Louis home after recovering from a head injury in a military hospital in Virginia at the close of the Civil War, he discovers his sister and her family was murdered by a corrupt law enforcement official who worked in Ste. Genevieve. Chenneville sets out seeking revenge. He follows the man through Missouri to Fort Smith, through Indian Territory where he has a couple of encounters--one with young Indians and another with a federal official based out of Fort Smith soon after the man he seeks commits another murder. Fleeing the agent out of Fort Smith and pursuing the man, he goes into Texas. He meets Belle, the telegraph operator who has been helping him gather information on the whereabouts of the man he pursues. After recovering from a fever, he sets out, gathering information that sets him on course for the encounter. I loved the way the story was built which brought just enough action and excitement along the way, but the ending fell flat for me.

maaliskuu 6, 10:22 am

>108 thornton37814: Thanks for this review! I loved News of the World and keep meaning to read more by Jiles.

maaliskuu 6, 9:32 pm

>108 thornton37814: Did this one have any dialogue punctuation?

maaliskuu 7, 9:09 pm

>108 thornton37814: I might have a look at this. Did it have something of a western feel?

maaliskuu 8, 7:44 am

>109 christina_reads: I enjoyed it--except that the ending let me down.

>110 Tess_W: It must have--or I probably would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. I really only knocked it down perhaps a full point for the ending. I think I would have rated it at least 4.25 and probably 4.5 if the ending had worked for me.

>111 hailelib: I really don't read many westerns, so I don't know what the typical feel is like. It's not like Gunsmoke because it isn't a constant shoot-em-up. There are tense moments such as in the encounter with the Indian boys and there is the federal agent who is upholding the law. You do have the good guy and the bad guys--and you have the revenge seeking. There is also a very small romantic element (or at least care for one another) between the main character and the telegraph operator. I guess that is Western--at least in my eyes.

maaliskuu 10, 11:05 pm

Such an amazing variety of books you've read! The Golden Age mysteries are such fun reads, and I had no idea Roger Scarlett was really 2 women mystery writers who combined their talents.

I look forward to seeing your sampler lists expand this spring!

maaliskuu 14, 1:56 pm

>113 threadnsong: I do enjoy variety in my reading--and in my stitching. I need to make sure to update my stitching thread. I have photos of my "market haul" that could be added. I should be finishing a small project sometime this weekend. I'll start the other small one from WIPGO after that. I've got a couple of big projects in process, and I've been allowing myself to pull out anything I want from my WIPs. I'll probably pick out something from my market haul to start sometime next month.

maaliskuu 14, 5:54 pm

Book 22. Borderline by Nevada Barr

Date Completed: 9 March 2024

Category: Plum Street Samplers

Source: Knox County digital audiobook

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Still recovering from the nightmare at Isle Royale National Park, Anna is on leave and seeing a psychiatrist. She and her husband go on a float trip down the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park with a guide and some college students. They find a pregnant woman caught in some vegetation, and while they are unable to save the woman, Anna performs an emergency C-section with her husband's pocket knife. They encounter a starving cow, and one of the college students insists they must rescue the cow. The guide is shot, and the person doing the shooting seems to be targeting their party when a second member is shot. With the river rising and the loss of their raft, they must try to climb (with a baby in arms), but it puts them in danger. They don't know who they can and cannot trust. The book was written sometime after 9/11 made it more difficult for Mexicans to enter the United States. Barbara Rosenblat does a good job narrating the story.

maaliskuu 14, 6:06 pm

Book 23. Murder on Mustang Beach by Alicia Bessette

Date Completed: 13 March 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: University library book

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Callie Padget works in an Outer Banks bookshop and is about to have her first date with Tony Dodge, owner of a martial arts studio on the fictional Cattail Island. They find a body in his studio. There's also a pregnant wild mustang missing from the local sanctuary which Geri-Lynn asks Callie to help investigate quietly. I like the setting. I even like the characters better than I thought I might. I have not read Smile Beach Murder, the first book in the series, but I didn't feel I'd missed too much by accidentally missing the first one.

maaliskuu 14, 6:27 pm

Book 24. The Battle Plan for Prayer: Bible Study by Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick, with Travis Agnew

Date Completed: 12 March 2024

Category: Praiseworthy Stitches

Source: My personal copy

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This Bible study is intended to be used with the DVD. Our group met a couple times a month with a little more time off around the holidays until we completed the study. The Kendrick brothers and their guests discussed the importance and effectiveness of prayer while giving participants some great pointers on revitalizing their prayer lives. I especially loved the emphasis on praying Scripture over the enemy just as Jesus did. Using Scriptural prayers as models, participants could see examples of how to pray.

Editorial note: Actually, this one is 23 and the previous book was 24, but it's close enough.

maaliskuu 14, 8:00 pm

I've been processing a gift collection at work. There is a lot of stuff we already own; some is in too poor of condition to add; some is not worthy of adding; but this collection is better than most because the person had a pretty unique focus that will benefit many of the courses we offer so I'm going through it book by book. Sometimes the books are from smaller presses, but they fit the collection and will be useful.

Today I ran across a book that caught my attention. I do not know how this person achieved what this book depicts, but one of our librarians decided to read the preface and try it. We told her to report back.

I only wish you could see the "air cat" on page 77 (which is the random page to which I turned).

maaliskuu 14, 10:28 pm

>118 thornton37814: That would be an interesting read, since my cats run to another room when I dance.

maaliskuu 15, 5:42 pm

>119 lowelibrary: I got a laugh out of it when I saw it, but it really doesn't fit an academic library's needs. The one librarian is giving it a good home though.

maaliskuu 20, 8:43 am

Book 25. Bramton Wick by Elizabeth Fair

Date Completed: 18 March 2024

Category: Blackbird Designs

Source: Kindle

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Set in mid-century England mid-20th century, the novel recounts the village of Bramton Wick's inhabitants and their lives. People are still suffering war effects and the economic issues resulting from it. Readers also see all the drama of everyday life. A certain amount of humor is present in the story, but it did not find it as charming as other stories written in this genre and period. Published as part of the publisher's "Furrowed Middlebrow" series, the story focuses on ordinary people rather than the upper class.

maaliskuu 20, 8:58 am

Book 26. Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

Date Completed: 19 March 2024

Category: Ink Circles

Source: Interlibrary Loan

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The author's fascination with dresses led her to study the history of 20th century women's clothing, but particularly that of dresses. Rather than a chronological approach, the author devoted chapters to particular styles of dresses and discussed how they evolved. Each chapter included a black and white photo, and there is a section of color plates near the back. I found myself disappointed in the book, mainly because the author really only looked at a certain level of fashion designers and movie stars, presidential wives, and other wealthier classes of people. While these were certainly the influencers of fashion design, it would have been interesting to see how these things filtered down to the working middle class so we could see and read about examples of what the everyday person wore. I also think the book needed more photos, including color photos, with each chapter--more like a coffee table type book would offer. It's a quick read, but I think it missed some opportunities to tell a richer story.

maaliskuu 20, 10:26 am

>118 thornton37814: That is an interesting title and picture. Dancing is what I associate with cats!

maaliskuu 23, 10:17 am

>112 thornton37814: Just asking because I read (not very enjoyably) another of her works in which she did not use quotation marks. It slowed me down quite and bit as well as being confusing!

maaliskuu 23, 4:28 pm

>123 hailelib: It is interesting.

>124 Tess_W: I think I would have noticed if those had been missing.

huhtikuu 1, 7:14 pm

Book 27. 5-Ingredient Air Fryer Recipes: 200 Delicious & Easy Meal Ideas Including Gluten-Free & Vegan by Camilla V. Saulsbury

Date Completed: 30 March 2024

Category: The Blue Flower

Source: Morristown-Hamblen Public Library (print book)

Rating: 2 stars

Review: I was seeking a cookbook with a little more imagination and creativity when it came to air-fryer cookery. This is the only air fryer cookbook I saw at my local library so I decided to give it a try. While it offers a few ideas, overall there is not much here one cannot come up with on their own (and probably come up with a version seasoned more to their own taste and palate).There are a handful of color photos scattered throughout the book but the lack of photos with each recipe, while probably making the book more budget-friendly, ultimately takes away from its appeal. I'll keep looking for a better option.

huhtikuu 1, 7:27 pm

Book 28. The School at the Chalet by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Date Completed: 31 March 2024

Category: Prairie Schooler

Source: Kindle

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Needing to support herself and her sister Josephine "Jo", Madge Bettany decides to open a school in an Austrian chalet in a location she and her sister enjoyed visiting in the past. A lot of time in this first installment was spent introducing readers to the girls attending, but readers are alerted to potential problems brewing when a couple of students show disregard for rules earlier in the book. Most of the big problems occur near the end of this installment, and readers know they'll be introduced to a few more students in the next installment. I don't think this book will translate well for 21st century girls, but older readers will appreciate the reminders of simpler times.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 9, 8:00 pm

Saturday was my 17th Thingaversary which means I'm eligible to come away with 18 new items. So far I've only acquired 6.

1. Bramton Wick by Elizabeth Fair (Kindle) - I read it last month.
2. Amish Houses and Barns by Stephen Scott - Library sale
3. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - Kindle
4. Above the Fire by Michael O'Donnell- Kindle
5. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore - Library craft exchange
6. All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer - Kindle

I'll keep adding to my list as I purchase things, but I'm not rushing since I'm overall trying to downsize the book collection.

huhtikuu 1, 10:13 pm

Happy Thingaversary.

huhtikuu 2, 6:51 am

>128 thornton37814: 17th? Wow, congratulations.

huhtikuu 2, 9:13 am

>129 lowelibrary: Thanks.

>130 fuzzi: Yes. I joined in 2007.

huhtikuu 2, 12:42 pm

Happy Thingaversary!

huhtikuu 2, 1:52 pm

>128 thornton37814: Happy Thingaversary! I do relate to the need to slowly downside the book collection. I'm working on it, but creating space on the shelves just leads to new books coming home to fill those spaces.

huhtikuu 2, 1:52 pm

Congratulations and Happy Thingaversary!

huhtikuu 2, 4:42 pm

>132 hailelib: Thanks.

>133 RidgewayGirl: I'm hoping I can do some big purging this summer. I'll probably get rid of a few things I'll never read. Hoping I can get credit for them at McKays or Mr. K's.

>134 LadyoftheLodge: Thanks!

huhtikuu 2, 5:24 pm

>128 thornton37814: Happy Thingaversary!

huhtikuu 2, 8:38 pm

>136 pamelad: Thank you!

huhtikuu 2, 9:11 pm

>128 thornton37814: So, we joined the same year. I'm so glad one of my libriarian friends forced me into it even though she hasn't stayed active!

I've had the first two volumes on my shelf for a few years! I'm not sure I'll get into them this year but if not I'll make them a category next year.

huhtikuu 3, 9:12 am

>138 clue: I understand the whole "so many books, so little time" thing. It also applies to cross stitch patterns.

huhtikuu 4, 9:24 am

Happy Thingaversary!

huhtikuu 4, 4:32 pm

Happy Thingaversary, Lori.

huhtikuu 4, 4:48 pm

huhtikuu 4, 7:49 pm

Book 29. Cold Is the Grave by Peter Robinson

Date Completed: 2 April 2024

Category: Plum Street Samplers

Source: Tennessee Reads Audiobook

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: After a reorganization, Annie Cabbot is now assigned to work out of Eastvale with DCI Banks. It is no secret that Chief Constable Jimmy Riddle dislikes Banks, so when Banks is summoned to the man's home, he is surprised. Riddle wants Banks to track down his missing daughter in an unofficial capacity. Banks locates the girl hanging with the wrong crowd in London, but things take some interesting turns from there. I'll leave it at that so I don't spoil the plot for anyone. Shortly after Banks returns, a night watchman with a criminal past ends up dead. Banks sends Cabot to do the initial interviews but with other things happening of more importance, he ends up passing that one off to DS Hatchley. Banks calls on his old friend "Dirty Dick" Burgess to help with some aspects of the major crime. I thought a few things might be left unresolved to come back in a future episode, but they ended up being resolved at the very end. I enjoyed this one, and I can't wait to see who the new chief constable will be. I listened to the audiobook.

huhtikuu 5, 8:14 am

Happy Thingaversary, Lori! I've been traveling and am trying to catchup on threads.

huhtikuu 5, 2:51 pm

>144 dudes22: I understand that. I think "behind" is my perpetual state at the moment!

huhtikuu 6, 11:33 am

Happy thingaversary! I have 3 of your choices on my TBR and not sure when I will get to them!

huhtikuu 6, 11:41 am

>128 thornton37814: Happy Thingaversary, and what a great list of books so far! All of them look interesting.

huhtikuu 7, 12:31 pm

>146 Tess_W: I understand. I've read one already and am in the midst of "the chunkster." I think of the Lockyer book as more of a reference book. I thought I owned the print, but if I do, it isn't cataloged. (I thought I was going to be able to add that one to a pile going to a used bookstore. If I run across it, I can do so.)

>147 MissBrangwen: Thanks!

huhtikuu 7, 1:29 pm

>143 thornton37814: I'd been reading this series and enjoying it and somehow it's been a few years since I picked one up. I'll have to get back to it.

huhtikuu 7, 2:42 pm

>149 RidgewayGirl: I'm just slowly making my way through them. I have many more to go.

huhtikuu 14, 1:25 pm

>143 thornton37814: I haven't read the books, but I do like the TV series based on them.

huhtikuu 14, 2:01 pm

>151 bookworm3091: I've read all the Shetland books and am still making my way through the Vera series. It took a couple of books for Vera to grow on me, but I enjoy them quite a bit now.

huhtikuu 14, 2:06 pm

Book 30. Woman, Captain, Rebel: The Extraordinary True Story of a Daring Icelandic Sea Captain by Margaret Willson

Date Completed: 13 April 2024

Category: Rosewood Manor

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Interlibrary Loan

Review: In the late 17th and early 18th century, Thuridur, a female fisherwoman, captained one of the many fishing boats that worked out of Iceland. She had a great reputation as a sea captain, but men of the men in power disliked her. For a short time, she was able to acquire a leasehold, but when she took a chance on a larger one, she failed to maintain it. Her lowered economic status led to lesser positions in the fishing industry, particularly as she aged and others, including some who worked for her, began to achieve in the fishing industry. I'm amazed at the amount of documentation the author was able to find to tell Thuridur's story. She tells you up front how she approached things documented and things that were generalizations based on research into the time and community. This is an outstanding work of narrative non-fiction, and I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated I would. I truly feel sorry for women who lived in Iceland during this time period, especially single women and widowed women (with or without children). Iceland was under control of the King of Denmark during this period. I also want to comment on the number of times Thuridur went to court to fight for better treatment of herself and other women--with minimal success. She was especially unsuccessful in earning a pension because of her conflicts with the men in power in her community.

huhtikuu 15, 8:30 am

Hello and checking in and wishing you a Happy Thingaversary! I've also been traveling for the eclipse, and I thought I'd have lots of down time for catching up on threads. I had the down time, but limited internet connection where we were camping so out came the paper book instead.

Glad to see your categories of cross stitch continue to grow books that you've read. And good luck with cleaning out your shelves!

huhtikuu 15, 4:54 pm

>154 threadnsong: I will work on the clearing this summer as I have time.

huhtikuu 25, 10:56 am

Book 31. Chapter and Curse by Elizabeth Penney

Date Completed: 15 April 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Molly Kimball, a Vermont librarian, and her mother move to Cambridge, England to assist Aunt Violet in running the family bookshop. They discover the bookstore needs a big cash infusion, and Molly launches a social media marketing campaign to get the shop back on the radar. When a woman is found dead behind the shop at an author event and her aunt becomes the chief suspect because it was done with her knitting needle, Molly and others launch their own investigation to clear her aunt. The proprietor of a bicycle shop next door and Molly are attracted to one another. I found this a refreshing series. I loved the setting, and I liked all the main characters who will continue. I listened to the audio version read by Henrietta Meire. I look forward to future installments.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 27, 4:36 am

>156 thornton37814: Anything about a bookshop interests me! Off to secure.

ETA: It's free on Audible

toukokuu 3, 7:00 pm

>157 Tess_W: Hope you enjoy it! And glad you found it free!

toukokuu 3, 7:08 pm

Book 32. Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Date Completed: 30 April 2024 (It may have been a few days earlier; I don't remember.)

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Knox County Public Library audiobook

Review: This is perhaps the most fun mystery I've read in a long time. Vera Wong, proprietor of "Vera Wang's World Famous Teahouse" in Chinatown, only has one regular customer these days. The place is run-down and a bit grimy. She's lonley, and her son doesn't seem to spend much time with her. She's surprised when she goes down one morning and finds a corpse in her tea room. Before the police arrive, she very helpful outlines the corpse's body in Sharpie and takes the only piece of evidence that might make the police think it is murder. She has watched this on TV. How hard can it be? The perpetrator is likely to revisit the scene of the crime. She immediately comes up with suspects--a man saying he is a reporter, a woman saying she has a true crime podcast, the man's brother, and the man's widow who was accompanied by their small daughter. She begins her process of elimination. Readers (and listeners) will be amused by the story as it unfolds. As Vera gets to know her suspects, she doesn't really want it to be any of them. I figured it out early on even though I knew the solution might be a bit of a stretch. Turns out that was exactly what happened. I even figured out she broke into her own teashop when that happened. Even though the mystery itself may fall a little shorter than the rating I'm giving, the enjoyment pushed it up. It's one I'm unlikely to forget in the future.

toukokuu 3, 8:10 pm

Book 33. Song of the Closing Doors: Poems by Patrick Phillips

Date Completed: 30 April 2024

Rating: 3.5 stars

Category: Blackbird Designs

Source: University library book

Review: I enjoyed many of the author's poems, but several featured a little more booze, cigarettes, and cursing than my comfort level tolerates.

toukokuu 3, 9:48 pm

>159 thornton37814: That was a fun mystery.

toukokuu 4, 12:27 am

>159 thornton37814: Taking a BB for this one.

toukokuu 4, 7:37 am

>161 RidgewayGirl: I'm glad you liked it. It's not your typical mystery, so the change was refreshing.

>162 lowelibrary: I hope you enjoy it!

toukokuu 4, 1:54 pm

>159 thornton37814: I really enjoyed that one, and I loved Vera Wong.

toukokuu 7, 8:31 pm

>164 LadyoftheLodge: It was definitely a fun listen--so different from most cozies.

toukokuu 7, 9:05 pm

Book 34. The Coffee Corner by Amy Clipston

Date completed: 7 May 2024

Category: Heartstring Samplery

Source: Tennessee Reads digital audiobook

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Bethany operates the coffee corner in Bird-in-Hand's marketplace. Each Saturday morning Micah Zook and his grandfather Enos pay her a visit to sample her flavors. Two of her cousins married. One is temporarily on leave from the market; the other who just had a small child will be setting up her baking business at a stand at her home when the child is old enough for her to do so. Bethany's feeling that all the guys like her cousins but that she's just not the type they choose to wed. She's attracted to Micah, but Micah's running from his past--a bad relationship with his father and an engagement that ended with his beloved dying. Can he open up his heart to Bethany? I enjoyed this story. Clipston is quickly becoming one of my favorite Amish fiction authors because of her interesting stories.

toukokuu 9, 12:44 am

>159 thornton37814: Sutanto's book sounds wonderful. I've had it on my wishlist for ages. Time to move it up.

toukokuu 9, 8:27 am

>167 VivienneR: It is a nice change of pace. I hope you enjoy it.

toukokuu 9, 4:35 pm

>166 thornton37814: My first thought was to be skeptical that the Amish own and run coffee shops and it turns out that there is an Amish-owned coffee shop in the very, very small town of Arthur, Illinois. The article claims it's the only one in the US, so maybe the book is based on it?

toukokuu 9, 7:49 pm

>169 RidgewayGirl: I really don't know. The four cousins all had different booths at the farmer's market type venue in Bird-in-Hand. One had a bake shop, one a jam and jelly nook, one a produce stand, and this one the coffee corner. I think the bishop in their district is a little more progressive than some, but I think the Pennsyvlania ones are probably a little more that way than some of the ones in other parts of the country.

toukokuu 9, 7:53 pm

Book 35. The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear

Date Completed: 8 May 2024

Category: Rosewood Manor

Source: Morristown-Hamblen library book

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Elinor DeWitt, aka MIss White, lives in a village in Kent. When her neighbor experiences threats from his family which is involved in organized crime, she wants to take action for his small daughter's sake. Although Dutch, she assisted in the English in espionage during the war, receiving a special "grace and favor" property for her assistance. She has the connections to provide help and the skills to help the family. This is one of those dual timeline stories, and it really doesn't work very well. The ending fell flat for me. This is not Winspear's best work.

toukokuu 9, 7:57 pm

>167 VivienneR: I've been waiting for someone to mention it, but I guess it'll be me: the Edgar award winners were announced on May 1st, & I believe Sutanto won Best Paperback Original. FYI.

toukokuu 9, 7:59 pm

>172 ReneeMarie: That's nice to know. It was deserving IMHO.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 9, 8:24 pm

>156 thornton37814: I added Chapter and Curse to my wishlist. And I should try to get to Vera Wang soon.

toukokuu 9, 8:38 pm

Back on April 1, I reported the first few books of my Thingaversary haul. It was my 17th Thingaversary, so I am entitled to 18 titles. The first six were:

1. Bramton Wick by Elizabeth Fair (Kindle) - I read it last month.
2. Amish Houses and Barns by Stephen Scott - Library sale
3. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - Kindle
4. Above the Fire by Michael O'Donnell- Kindle
5. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore - Library craft exchange
6. All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer - Kindle

I've added a few since that time.

7. Edinburgh: A Traveller's Reader by David Daiches - Kindle
8. 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude: Beware of the Religious Impostors by Warren W. Wiersbe- Amazon purchase for upcoming Bible study
9. 2 John, 3 John and Jude by J. Vernon McGee - Amazon purchase for upcoming Bible study
10. 1, 2, 3 John & Jude: The Battle for Love and Truth by David Jeremiah - Amazon purchase for upcoming Bible study
11. Commentary on 1 & 2 Peter and Jude by Charles Spurgeon - Kindle purchase for upcoming Bible study

I didn't add touchstones for some of these because there are combination problems or problems with the way titles have been entered. Sometimes LT can be a headache, and this is one of them. As a cataloger, I want to follow the cataloging rules and not the way someone who doesn't know what they are doing combined something or decided to enter a title. I just didn't have time to do all the work right now.

toukokuu 10, 9:29 am

Book 36. The Polite Penguin by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by H. A. Rey

Date Completed: 9 May 2024

Category: Prairie Schooler

Source: donated collection of books at the library (one we are not keeping because of poor condition)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: A well-known children's author and well-known illustrator team up to tell and illustrate the story of Little Penguin's education in manners and politeness taught to him by Raccoon with the help of an ostrich, cat, and skunk. It's a cute book. The illustrations are mostly black and white with a few of the older type of color illustrations thrown in. The artwork is very reminiscent of the illustrator's style in the Curious George books.

toukokuu 10, 9:58 am

Book 37. The Fiddler of High Lonesome by Brinton Turkle

Date Completed: 10 May 2024

Category: Prairie Schooler

Source: donate collection of books at the library (undetermined fate)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: The Fogle family lives atop High Lonesome. They make moonshine and like to hunt. One day a young distant relative whose parents died comes calling and is greeted by having his hat shot off. Because the boy doesn't know how to make moonshine and dislikes hunting, they declare he's no kin of theirs until they spot the fiddle he brought along. They decide he can stay. His music entertains crowds at the Saturday dances. Then one Saturday rumors that a neighboring still was busted up cause concern. The boy is left alone to find his way back up the mountain. He hears something in the woods and soon he has all the forest animals dancing. The Fogles make fun of him. What will happen next? I'm not giving away the rest of the plot. I loved this little picture book that has a very Appalachian flavor. The black and white illustrations are well done. It has aged well.

toukokuu 10, 2:52 pm

>172 ReneeMarie: Thank you for that info! Good to know.

toukokuu 10, 4:39 pm

>178 VivienneR: Thanks for dropping in!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 11, 3:18 pm

>169 RidgewayGirl: Having grown up in Amish country, I can tell you that the Amish operate all kinds of businesses. The idea of having a shop in a marketplace is common too. Most people think Amish are all farmers, but that is not the case any more. Some Amish have shops on their own property too. Last spring, I went on a bus trip and we visited a greenhouse, second hand shop, ice cream shop, clothing and shoe store, and a few general stores, all Amish run businesses. We also had lunch at an Amish farm and the mom and daughters and cousins cooked and served the food, and also sang for and with us, as well as running the little shop next door to the dining area.

The Amish women in that community do not wear the organdy Amish prayer caps unless they are going to church. The women also did not wear the colorful Amish dresses or cape dresses. They wear black head scarves, dark colored skirts and blouses. We enjoyed getting to meet them and talk with them, and with their little kids.

toukokuu 12, 8:32 pm

>180 LadyoftheLodge: I always enjoy my visits to Amish country, and I'm overdue one. I've probably mentioned before, but my mother's father's father grew up Amish. His was one of the more progressive groups. He married a Methodist woman, and they began attending the Christian Church.

toukokuu 16, 12:05 pm

Book 38. Two Wars and a Wedding by Lauren Willig

Date Completed: 15 May 2024

Category: Rosewood Manor

Source: University library book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Smith College graduate Betsy Hayes aspires to be an archaeologist. She travels to Greece but discovers the men in charge of the digs do not want to allow women to do actual excavation work. They want her to perform a role more like a librarian or such. She fails the Red Cross course to become a nurse in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, but they need people so badly that she is able to work anyway. Her best friend now wants to enlist in the Spanish-American War as a Red Cross nurse to Cuba, but Betsy tries to take her place. She travels from Greece to Tampa, Florida where she talks her way into a Red Cross unit about to depart for Cuba. She finds the conditions deplorable and the treatment of injured soldiers abominable. There's a little romance thrown in. We see what a difference Betsy was able to make. I'll let you read the novel to see if she is able to achiever her dream of becoming an archaeologist. Willig's book is based on a true story, but she does take liberties which she outlines at the end. I've come to love Willig's books because she does a good bit of research about the topic.

toukokuu 22, 7:47 am

Book 39. Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany

Date Completed: 20 May 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Tennessee Reads audiobook

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Lily Roberts operates a tea shop on her grandmother Rose's bed and breakfast grounds. Rose's old friend Sandra and the entire family comes for a family reunion, mostly at the expense of Heather who has the money in the family. It's clear some family members don't get along that well with one another. One man (Ed) brings his own tea, purchased from a health store. He drinks some after an outside disturbance, and it become clear that someone tampered with his tea. With family dynamics as they are, almost any member of the family could be responsible. I enjoy the regular cast of characters--Lily, Rose, Bernie (Bernadette), and Simon (the gardener). There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested in the outcome. The audiobook's narrator did an AWFUL job. If I could have made it to the library to get a copy of the book soon enough, I would not have kept listening and read it instead.

toukokuu 22, 8:07 am

Book 40. Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Date Completed: 20 May 2024

Category: Heartstring Samplery

Source: Morristown-Hamblen Library book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Katherine needs a break from the fame and lack of privacy her rising stardom brought with it. She goes to Hope Harbor along the Oregon Coast to re-evaluate her career options. Zach quit his corporate job and now owns and operates a coffee shop in Hope Harbor with two part-time employees. Zach's father's criticism of his son's decision hurts. Zach instantly feels an attraction to Katherine, but she just withdraws more when he tries to approach her. Zach's aunt Stephanie, recently retired, comes for a visit and is attracted to Frank, one of Zach's employees. Will she be willing to give up her New York City life to make it work? This was my first time reading this author. I look forward to reading others in the Hope Harbor series.

toukokuu 22, 8:17 am

Book 41. The Adventures of the Missing Sock by Lizzie Lange; illustrated by Sally Elford

Date Completed: 21 May 2024

Category: Prairie Schooler

Source: University library book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Did you ever wonder happened to all your missing socks? They are just enjoying their own adventures. This is a cute and nicely illustrated picture book.

toukokuu 22, 9:08 am

>185 thornton37814: LOL Yes, I do wonder! Some have run away, never to be seen again!

toukokuu 23, 7:13 pm

>186 Tess_W: I have some that have done the same thing!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 8:18 am

Abandoned Book #1: The Seaside Library by Brenda Novak

Date Abandoned: 23 May 2024

Category: My Big Toe Designs

Source: University library book

Comments/Thoughts: Abandoned. I really tried to push on through with this one, but after 150 pages, I had not connected with the characters or the story enough to tackle the remaining 250 or so pages. The story involves friends reuniting after a girl's body was recovered years after she went missing. One had been the chief suspect at the time, but the others lied to give him an alibi because they were sure he didn't do it. Now the family has hired a private investigator with the help of an online funding campaign. Everyone is being questioned again. I expected a library to be more central to the story than it seemed to be--at least in the first 37.5% of the book. I did cheat and look at the ending to see "whodunit." I concluded I made a good choice, because I don't even remember that person's name as someone to whom we'd been introduced.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 27, 8:30 pm

The children's books you found, a.k.a. Prairie Schooler designs, sound charming. I really enjoyed your description of the fiddler in the Appalachians, and yes, I know several of my missing socks are out there dancing their soles off.

Glad to be able to drop by and say hi and best of luck with your WIPs (both reading and stitching)!

toukokuu 28, 8:37 am

>189 threadnsong: All of these were in a gift collection. I kept some, but others I did not because of condition. I only read the ones that seemed most interesting to me.

toukokuu 31, 1:17 pm

Book 42. Morning Coffee and Time Alone: Bright Promise for a New Day compiled by Alice Gray; illustrated by Susan Mink Colclough

Date Completed: 27 May 2024

Category: Praiseworthy Stitches

Source: Gift book to the library that will go into the book sale

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This was a very nicely illustrated devotional book for women that included devotions, poems, Scripture verses, inspirational stories, and prayers. I enjoyed the devotions very much.

toukokuu 31, 1:32 pm

Book 43. A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay

Date Completed: 30 May 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Tennessee Reads digital audiobook

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Sully takes Lindsay out to an island to deliver books to Stewart Rosen, a somewhat reclusive island resident, but he fails to meet them at the dock, which is unusual. When they go to the house to investigate, they find his brother Peter murdered and call in the local law enforcement. The home and island are booby-trapped and full of clutter. Robbie is out of town through most of this book. (I'd be happy if he'd just pack up and move back to England.) Meanwhile a lady is buying up a lot of island properties. I enjoyed this installment, and I liked the way Lindsay alerted the police chief much of the time. She's beginning to learn her lesson about the dangers of amateur sleuthing. I listened to the audiobook, and I've come to expect Allyson Ryan to do a good job with the series.

toukokuu 31, 1:47 pm

Book 44. The Swiss Nurse by Mario Escobar

Date Completed 31 May 2024

Category: Rosewood Manor

Source: University library book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Inspired by true stories, Mario Escobar tells the story of a Spanish woman wed to an American helping fight in the Spanish Civil War who sought refuge in France and the story of Elisabeth Eidenbenz, a Swiss woman who went to teach Spanish children and established hospitals to help pregnant Spanish women give birth in sanitary conditions. Later these same hospitals helped Jewish women as long as they could. The author rotated between the stories of Isabel, Peter, and Elisabeth (and those with whom they came in contact), usually with multiple story-lines per chapter. I knew very little about the Spanish Civil War and really did not realize how close it was to the start of World War II. I really enjoyed this story, and I love the way the author incorporated the faith of her characters when appropriate. I learned a lot about the refugee situation in France during and after the Spanish Civil War. I am glad the author told these women's stories.

toukokuu 31, 4:30 pm

Book 45. An Unlikely Meeting by Jenn McKinlay

Date Completed: 31 May 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Tennessee Reads digital audiobook

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Lindsay is waiting for a tardy interviewee to arrive. The opening came because of the library clerk's promotion. A call to the city's human resources office found they must wait 30 minutes past the scheduled start. Lindsay's dogwalker came in to report that her dog Heathcliff had broken free and gotten away from him. Lindsay, children's librarian Beth, the crafternooners, Sully, and Robbie all go out hunting for the escaped dog. A resident saw the dog lay down in front of a motorcycle. The cyclist picked the dog up. Lindsay continued to look. I won't say much more so as not to give away the plot of the book. This is a great bonus short story at the end of A Likely Story.

kesäkuu 3, 8:55 am

Book 46. Clear by Carys Davies

Date Completed: 3 June 2024

Category: Rosewood Manor

Source: University library book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Beautifully written, it tells the story of the Scottish Clearances and particularly the story of John, a clergyman of the new church, who is sent to a remote Scottish island to evict its last resident. John suffers an injury, and Ivar, the man he is sent to evict, comes to his aid. Meanwhile John's wife Mary learns the factor who sent John on the errand likely expected him to fail in his mission. The book was on track to be a 5 star read until the last 40 pages or so when it took what I consider an inappropriate direction. If I had not started reading it at night, I could easily have read it in a single sitting.

kesäkuu 3, 12:57 pm

>195 thornton37814: I've just added that one to my elibrary wishlist, Lori :-) It sounds good. I like the premise of The Swiss Nurse too, but that one isn't showing up in the library catalogue (yet, anyway).

kesäkuu 3, 2:30 pm

Book 47. Stark Decency: German Prisoners of War in a New England Village by Allen V. Koop

Date Completed: 3 June 2024

Category: Rosewood Manor

Rating: 3.5 stars

Source: University library donated book

Review: Relying mainly on interviews because of the lack of records available to researchers, the author discusses the prisoner-of-war camp in Stark, New Hampshire, for German soldiers. Many soldiers placed there were captured in Africa, often willingly surrendering to the Allied Forces. The camp was housed in an abandoned CCC camp, and the soldiers mainly worked in the forest. They got along better with the local people than many did, and they were generally well-treated with a few exceptions, especially when Americans were inclined to treat Germans less kindly. While this is intended as an academic treatment, I think a work of historical fiction or a more popular volume on this topic would serve the public well.

Note: I brought the book home to read before adding it to the book sale stack. While I could have read the ebook, I'd rather read a print copy!

kesäkuu 3, 2:58 pm

>193 thornton37814: I like the idea of The Swiss Nurse but my local library doesn't have though they do have a couple by Mario Escobar. They do have Clear however so added that to my maybe list.

kesäkuu 3, 4:12 pm

>191 thornton37814: That looks like a beautiful book!

>192 thornton37814: >194 thornton37814: I mean to get back to that series! I enjoyed the first one when I read it some time ago.

>193 thornton37814: Like those before me, I'm also taking a BB for The Swiss Nurse.

kesäkuu 3, 8:30 pm

>198 hailelib: I'll be looking for others by Escobar. A lot of people won't have the problem I had with the last pages of Clear so don't let my opinion stop you.

>199 MissBrangwen: The illustrations in it were gorgeous. It is one of those gift type books, and it was just begging for me to read it. I enjoy the McKinlay library series. The second was a short story tacked onto the end of the audiobook. I really enjoyed The Swiss Nurse.

kesäkuu 3, 9:35 pm

>197 thornton37814: Interested in the Koop book, pretty expensive on Amazon/Abe's, although I did find a used copy for $2.09 + shipping

kesäkuu 4, 3:07 pm

>201 Tess_W: It was kind of interesting. Did you purchase the one from Amazon? I will be putting this copy in our library's book sale. I don't know what the retired faculty are planning to charge, but I think that it would be similar in cost for a paperback plus the shipping.

kesäkuu 5, 11:59 pm

>202 thornton37814: Yes, I did. I got one for $2.09 plus $3.99 shipping. The condition was "acceptable."

kesäkuu 7, 8:02 am

>203 Tess_W: Glad you got one.

kesäkuu 11, 12:14 am

>195 thornton37814: I've just added this to my wishlist because I read good things about the author in my latest Guardian Bookmarks. Too bad about the ending.

kesäkuu 14, 2:12 pm

>205 VivienneR: It may not bother you as it did me.

kesäkuu 15, 8:01 pm

>195 thornton37814: I am intrigued by this book, especially as I have heard my Celtic roots are from the Scots-Irish background. Reading your review of Clear took me down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia just now to get an overall quick view of the time period of this history.

kesäkuu 15, 8:22 pm

>207 threadnsong: I'd heard of the Scottish Clearances, but the book helped me understand them better.

kesäkuu 16, 2:16 am

>195 thornton37814: Our school text (grade 9) calls them Highland Clearances. We study the clearances and the enclosure movement at the same time. I always give them an opportunity for 5 bonus points with the following: Write this doggerel (rhyme) in your own words: The law locks up the man or woman who steals the goose from off the common; But leaves the greater villain loose who steals the common from the goose." Seldom does anybody get it correct--they are just lazy and do not want to think!

kesäkuu 16, 5:17 pm

>209 Tess_W: I would have been all over that when I was a student. It is really sad this took place. I've seen them referred to both as Scottish clearances and Highland clearances. I wonder if the difference in nomenclature is geographic?

kesäkuu 16, 5:22 pm

Book 48. Criminally Cocoa by Amanda Flower

Date Completed: 8 June 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Knox County digital audiobook

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This novella is told from the perspective of Charlotte, a young Amish woman on her rumspringa who is Bailey's assistant. Charlotte accompanies Bailey to New York to help on the set of Bailey's new television program. Someone is trying to sabotage Bailey and her candy dishes and the chances of the show's success. When Juliet shows up with her pot-bellied pig Jethro in tow, we know the star will not be Bailey, but Jethro. It's a nice "filler" for between stories.

kesäkuu 16, 5:40 pm

Book 49. The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves

Date Completed: 15 June 2024

Category: Plum Street Samplers

Source: Knox County digital audiobook

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A man discovers the body of a young man housesitting for a couple gone to Australia. His body's recovery locations was not the murder scene, but when they go to the home where he was staying to investigate, they find a second body. The two victims were linked to one another through an interest in moths. Vera and her team focus on the families residing in the quiet Northumberland hamlet where the murder. One family's daughter will soon be freed from a detention facility. On Vera's team, Holly is struggling with the stress of working with Vera. Joe, of course, wishes for more time to be with his family. Vera knows her team, and although her praise is thrifty, it is often well-timed. While the reader does not always get the full picture until the final reveal, the author provides enough hints to keep readers engaged and guessing up to the end. I listened to the audiobook, and I really enjoy the narrator for the series.

kesäkuu 18, 10:55 am

Book 50. Murder at Pawprint Creek by Cindy Bell

Date Completed: 17 June 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Kindle

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This book, labeled as a prequel to the Wagging Tail series, but possibly just a somewhat related novella, features Nikki, a dog-sitter. A friend recommended her to a dog owner in a somewhat distant location which gives Nikki a little time to wind down in a different location. Her charges are two pugs. Her neighbor, a somewhat unpopular chef, is dead, and it's clearly murder. He's damaging the economy by trying to dam up the town's creek, a source of water which provides important drought relief to all the local neighbors and their businesses, so just about everyone has a motive for wanting the man dead. Even the man for whom she is dog-sitting seems to have some holes and suspicious activity in his story as she can piece it together from afar. It was a pleasant diversion, and it makes me interested enough in what the author can do with a full length novel in this series to consider forking out the $2.99 for the first installment since it isn't available at one of my libraries.

kesäkuu 18, 3:10 pm

>211 thornton37814: I read the first of these books some time ago and I just loved Jethro! I am looking forward to continuing with this series.

kesäkuu 19, 11:12 am

>214 MissBrangwen: Jethro is cute. I added the next one to my list after I finished reading that novella so I'll get around to it at some point. The novella was actually the "next in series" for me, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens.

kesäkuu 25, 2:10 pm

Book 51. A Deadly Cliche by Ellery Adams

Date Completed: 22 June 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Knox County Public Library digital audiobook

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Olivia Limoges discovers a body under a bucket while walking her dog along Oyster Bay's beach. There's also a series of burglaries, all of which fit a well-known cliche. One of these turns deadly. About the same time Olivia receives a blackmail letter telling her that her father who went missing when she was a child is alive. The author tries to include too much in this installment. While a link is established between the body on the beach and the burglaries, the story focusing on Olivia's father is unrelated. It perhaps should have been a novella between installments rather than a part of the cliche story. Its purpose seems to be to introduce readers to her newly found half-brother who will likely be appearing in future installments. While enjoyable, the problems mentioned in the spoiler prevent a higher rating. Olivia is not my favorite character. I read the first installment several years ago. I will try to get to the next installment a little sooner and hope the author learns to keep her novels more focused.

kesäkuu 25, 2:28 pm

Book 52. Wrong Side of the Paw by Laurie Cass

Date Completed: 24 June 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Morristown-Hamblen County Library book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Minnie has a new boss who wants the library's budget, including the bookmobile budget, to be cut so she can get the same system she had at her previous place of employment that the library board had recently decided did not meet their needs. She's buttering up the board members, and Minnie feels the new director doesn't like her very much. The rest of the staff and the patrons don't really like the new library director either. While on her bookmobile route, a lady lawyer who just returned to the area visits, but Eddie the cat finds a dead body in the bed of the pickup she drove. The body belongs to her father. She didn't get along that well with her father, but Minnie is convinced she did not kill him. Lots of people had reason to want him dead. He was one of those builders that cuts corners, creating problems for the people who purchase the homes, the building inspectors, his employees, and everyone else. I really enjoy how Eddie always has his pulse on the situation and drops clues--whether or not they are recognized as such. As I read this book, I couldn't help but wonder if the author had an experience with a D. R. Horton home. D. R. Horton is a builder who is flooding our local area with a bunch of cookie-cutter shoddily-built homes. If I hear of his demise, I'll probably expect it to be murder by one of the persons who bought one of his sub-par dwellings.

kesäkuu 27, 2:27 pm

Book 53. Signs and Secrets of the Messiah: A Fresh Look at the Miracles of Jesus by Jason Sobel

Date Completed: 25 June 2024

Category: Praiseworthy Stitches

Source: University library book

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Messianic Jewish rabbi Jason Sobel examines Jesus' miracles in the Gospel of John from a Jewish perspective. He takes into account the importance of numerical values of Hebrew letters as well as cultural aspects as he gives insight into these instances. Sobel believes Jesus still performs miraculous healings through prayer, anointing, and laying on of hands. The book does not flow as well as it could, and sometimes the author seems to be more on his own agenda than on the Biblical texts. It is always interesting to examine the Bible through a Jewish or Messianic Jewish lens.

kesäkuu 30, 5:51 pm

Book 54. The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander

Date Completed: 28 June 2024

Category: Country Cottage Needleworks

Source: Knox County e-book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Leavenworth, Washington, a Bavarian-theme brewery town, is preparing for its Octoberfest. A group filming a documentary arrives, but the program's troublesome star ends up dead before much filming occurs. The microbrewery where Sloan Krause works is a bit off the beaten path, but tasting their cherry weizen seems to be among the star's last experiences. Sloan and the police begin investigating persons who'd had run-ins with the star. Is it Leavenworth local or a member of the documentary crew? This continues to be an interesting cozy series.

kesäkuu 30, 6:18 pm

I have a couple more books to add, but for some reason I don't seem to be able to get the add books search to work with any library. I guess I'll just have to wait and add them when that feature works again.

kesäkuu 30, 6:37 pm

Book 55. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri

Date Completed: 29 June 2024

Category: Plum Street Samplers

Source: Morristown-Hamblen County Library digital audiobook

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Montalbano helps Livia's friends locate a last minute rental near the sea. It seems each new day brings a new challenge . . . and another visit from an exterminator. When their son goes missing, it's the last straw, and Montalbano locates the boy under the house but realizes he needs help to avoid further collapse. The firefighters discover an underground apartment that mirrors the one above. It's fairly common for persons to build something illegally and follow a process later to recognize the validity of that construction. However, the real surprise comes when Montalbano opens a trunk in the apartment and finds a corpse. Grover Gardner's audio narration is wonderful as always. The story itself is perhaps a little too predictable.

kesäkuu 30, 6:48 pm

Book 56. A Soupçon of Poison by Jennifer Ashley

Date Completed: 29 June 2024

Category: The Blue Flower

Source: Knox County Public Library e-book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This prequel to Death Below Stairs introduces us to Kat Holloway and to Daniel McAdam and his son, the "street urchin" James. After serving a meal for her former employer, Kat spends a night in Newgate Prison as a presumed murderer until Daniel miraculously gets her out. Although Daniel finds her a position, she insists on going through her own agency to locate a new one. Since her food had been corrupted, she's determined to find the person who made suspicion fall on her for the murder of a man no one really liked.

kesäkuu 30, 6:58 pm

>222 thornton37814: I read the first 3 in this series and liked the characters. Now that I've checked I see I have the 4th on Kindle and I'll work that in soon (this brave statement comes from a person with 3 library books on her desk).

kesäkuu 30, 7:09 pm

>223 clue: I've also read the first in the series. (To be honest, I think I read this prequel last year and forgot to record it. The plot was very familiar--and I kept thinking I'd forgotten one book I'd read. I think this is the one. It's recorded now, so I won't make that mistake again.) I hope to get to the second soon.

kesäkuu 30, 8:15 pm

>217 thornton37814: Oh, the shoddy developers! I remember a boyfriend talking about the new homes that were going up in the late 80's in the northern Atlanta suburbs. He described how he could (and did) put his arm through an outer wall, due to the cheap materials they used. (He later patched up his work, or so he claimed.) I so hope the shoddy builder in your area falls by the wayside!

heinäkuu 1, 9:47 am

>225 threadnsong: I think everyone in this area keeps hoping he'll lose so much in legal suits that he'll be forced out.

heinäkuu 1, 9:47 am

I'm excited! I just discovered there's a new installment in the Flavia de Luce series coming out September 3. It's the first one since 2019!

heinäkuu 1, 12:57 pm

>227 thornton37814: - I'm not quite caught up with the series, but that is good news.

heinäkuu 1, 1:18 pm

>227 thornton37814: Ha! There's few things more thrilling than finding out that a new installment of a favorite series is on its way!

heinäkuu 1, 1:26 pm

>228 dudes22: I was really excited!

>229 RidgewayGirl: Especially when the one in 2019 was advertised as the last in the series!

heinäkuu 1, 3:47 pm

>227 thornton37814: I just got an ARC of that book on NetGalley. It will be interesting to see how this one works out compared to the previous books in the series.

heinäkuu 2, 8:36 am

>231 LadyoftheLodge: It will be interesting. I'm looking forward to its release in fall.