Sunday, 25 March 2007

Coyote Dreams by Jessica Davis Stein

After a slightly slow start I could feel myself becoming absorbed into this book. A business trip buying Native Indian art work for the family successful New York stores leads Sarah to meet and subsequently fall in love with Ben Lonefeather. Ben has struggled; he lives alone sharing his life with three coyote pups he rescued, his life is built around self preservation and he spends his time making jewellery and sculpting.

This is not a typical love story. It is the story of two people from different walks of life, different religon's and cultures. Are they prepared, once they admit they love each other to build a life together without others approval?

After a slightly slow start I could feel myself becoming absorbed into this book, and I really enjoyed it. It is written in a very comfortable manner and the storyline has a very gentle feel to it. One for the permanent collection!

Monday, 19 March 2007

Sisters in the Wilderness by Charlotte Gray

A fascinating account of two sisters who married and migrated to Canada out of necessity in the early 1830s. Even though these two women (and the family they left behind) were authors, they were not exempt the severe hardship that pioneering Canada would entail. Ironically, when I bought the book I had not been aware that the very area they had migrated too, was infact the area where my own family would migrate too twenty years later.

The book gives not only details of the life the two women experienced in Canada, but of the life that was endured by their relatives back in England and the circumstances that lead to them migrating in the first place. This is the story of two very brave and resourceful women, who were ahead of their time.

There are some wonderfully descriptive passages showing just what pioneering this part of Canada meant. Buying land, clearing the forest areas and establishing and building a house. Meanwhile, both the sisters relied heavily on their spouses, this was a time when men made the decisions, good and bad and women endured the outcome. Nonetheless, both sisters commenced their writing career in Canada, and later, so did their brother Samuel. Their sister Agnes, who remained in England also wrote and assisted them as best she could.

A lovely descriptive and informative book, complete with photographs (not colour),maps,sources,several family trees and an index

The Our Roots web page has various books online. These are the books available online from this family.

Life in the Clearings Versus the Bush by Susanna Moodie

The Canadian Emigrant Housekeeper's Guide by Catherine Parr Traill (1802-1899)

Twenty-seven years in Canada West, or, The experience of an early settler. Vol. 1 & Vol 2 by Agnes Strickland & Samuel Strickland

Sunday, 18 March 2007

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

I am disappointed to say that I have really struggled with this book. I found it immensely difficult to remain focused despite holding onto the book for over the month. I am now at the point that if I can't manage it in five weeks I'm probably not going to.

It is very rare that I give a book less than 5/10, alas this scored a 4. A huge shame as I had been looking forward to reading it.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Arrived the day before I was heading off on a business trip. I could not resist this one and ring jumped it! It proved to be ideal travel & hotel reading, and I wasn't disappointed with number 12 of the series.

Stephanie does seem to get into some real pickles; and I found this one as funny as the rest of the series. There is less of Grandma and Stephanie appears to be growing up, ever so slightly! and of course more of Morelli and Ranger.....wonderful!

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde

Another great book from Katie Fforde. If it is book to escape with you can not go far wrong with one written by Katie Fforde!

Anna has bought a lovely cottage that needs lots doing to it. She can put her hand to any DIY job, and plans to get the house up and running within budget. She forms a lovely friendship with the lady who lives next door. With a short time, Anna has acquired a dog called Caroline and has met the "dog and building police" to whom Anna finds herself slightly attracted to. Then there is her old college lecturer.......

Paradise Fields by Katie Fforde

Nell is a widow, with three children, all at college. Nell spends lots of time fundraising for the local hospice who use the land called Paradise Fields owned by one of the locals. When he dies, the land is passed to his son who has, along with the director of the hospice and a local builder has other ideas. Nell decides to find a way around this and then enters the Solicitor for the family, despite being on opposing sides, Nell is attracted to him.......

The Rose Revived by Katie Fforde

The story of May,Sally & Harriet. They met by chance whilst working for "Slimeball Slater" and when they realised they were being exploited they decided to form their own company. Each of them are short of money and yet they get by despite some serious upsets and of course all live happily everafter with the men of their dreams, eventually!

Another relaxing read from Katie Fforde

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

From Random Books

"This is a truly extraordinary book which has already become a bestseller all over the world in hardback. Read as much by adults as the older children for whom it was originally published, it is the story of a 9yr old called Bruno, another boy called Schmuel – and a fence. It is Berlin, year 1942.

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. And that’s when he meets Schmuel – the boy in the striped pyjamas."

Written from the perspective of a child, complete with the innocence of childhood, this was an incrediably powerful story, and one that will remain with me for sometime.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Tracing Your Roots, 4.30-5.00pm Radio 4

Tracing Your Roots, 4.30-5.00pm, 12th March. Serial of 6.

New series. Sally Magnusson explores how to trace your family history and delve into ancestors' lives and times. The team would welcome your input with stories of family history or burning questions about how to do the detective work. email:

Friday, 9 March 2007

Bricks and Mortals,11-11.30am Radio 4

Bricks & Mortals, 11-11.30am Starting 9th March Radio 4. Series of 4.

Series bringing the past to life through historic buildings and the imaginary lives of the ordinary people who lived there. Series of 4.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom

I finished this book over the weekend, and wanted to take a few days to reflect on it. I found that it was actually a powerful book, allowing us as readers to identify with ourselves that we really don't know what is around the corner. We each have someone who has in someway shaped our lives or perhaps someone that we greatly admire. This was the story of admiration,friendship,understanding, acceptance, death and mortality. Morrie had such dignity that was actually refreshing and I feel that we can all learn a great deal from this book, no matter how often it is read. Definitely one for the bookshelf and I shall acquire a copy for my PC.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle by Lois Battle

The very gentle story of women who come together through circumstance and not choice. What continues to bind them together is friendship,understanding and appreciation of each others achievements. There is not much sewing, as the title might imply, but it does bind the women together. It is a delighful book illustrating that every cloud has a silver lining!

The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle


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