Monday, December 30, 2013

Tesla's AtticTesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An intriguing beginning for a new trilogy. After a disastrous fire that claimed the life of his mother, Nick moves to Colorado Springs with his father and brother into an old decrepit house that belonged to a great aunt. In the attic Nick finds lots of junk and broken objects that, strangely, sell like hotcakes at his yard sale. There is adventure, danger, and humor as Nick and his new friends discover the strange properties the attic objects possess and try to reclaim them before they do damage.

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Saturday, December 07, 2013

I am woefully behind on posts.  Once the holidays are over I hope to be better ... New Year's resolution!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American TasteProvence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Barr recreates the separate events in the lives of M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard and others that lead to a turning point in American attitudes toward French cuisine. Culling information from letters, publications, and diaries of Fisher and others, Barr, Fisher's great-nephew, creates a narrative that is informative and dramatic. A great selection for foodies who savor the history of cuisine.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Icing on the Cake: The Cupcake ClubIcing on the Cake: The Cupcake Club by Sheryl Berk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As the girls of the "Peace, Love and Cupcakes Club" return for more adventures, Jenna's mother is engaged to Leo and planning a Las Vegas wedding. Jenna is not sure about this, but her mother wants the club to come to Las Vegas and create a cupcake tower for the wedding. As can be suspected, not all goes well. They help an Elvis impersonator celebrate by making a peanut butter and banana cake for the 250 people in his audience. Then, several near disasters threaten the cupcake tower. This is a series that 2nd through 4th graders will relish because the characters are endearing and the recipes for the Cupcake Club's creations are appended.

Thanks go out to Sourcebooks for the review copy!

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Fear in the Sunlight (Josephine Tey, #4)Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Josephine Tey is celebrating her 40th birthday with friends in the village of Portmerion in the summer of 1936. Alfred Hitchcock is also there, scouting film locations and seeking script rights for Tey's A Shilling for Candles. As a practical joke, Hitchcock has cooked up a fake murder to observe the reactions of his dinner guests. Slight problem --- three bodies turn up dead before the weekend is over. As a long time fan of Josephine Tey, I was delighted to run into this series that features her as a character.

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Monday, May 06, 2013

Z: A Novel of Zelda FitzgeraldZ: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was eager to read this historical fiction novel because I have long held an affinity for the Jazz Age and a particular interest in the Fitzgeralds. While previous works have cast Zelda in the role of airhead-selfish-unstable-party girl, Fowler sees her as a lively girl whose curiosity and talents did not mesh with the demure role of women prescribed during her time. Recommended to fans of The Paris Wife or the film, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS [2011].

My particular interest in Zelda developed when I did an author study in college on F. Scott Fitzgerald and, after my research, wrote my paper with a "woman-behind-the-man" thesis. Needless to say, it did not receive a warm welcome. FSF was brilliant but insecure, and being married to him would have driven anyone crazy [being married to Hemingway would have made ME commit suicide]. Ms. Fowler, thank you for exposing Zelda as the talented, inquisitive woman she was --- caught in the wrong decade.

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