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Showing posts from March, 2011

72. The Seventh Princess by Nick Sullivan

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The Seventh Princess by Nick Sullivan (Canada) - (US) Out of Print

Pages: 107
Ages: 7-11
Finished: Mar. 19, 2011
First Published: 1983
Publisher: Scholastic-TAB Publications
Genre: children, fantasy
Rating: 3/5



First sentence:
On a cold, foggy morning in the month of November Jennifer sat by herself in the big yellow schoolbus.Acquired: Purchased a used copy at a book/garage sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Randomly Selected Bookshelf that I am reading from this year. I have not read this before but I have always had a copy of it. One of the purposes of reading from this shelf is to move books out of the house. This one will be sent off to Bookmooch.

Jennifer is on her way to school looking out the window at the forest, daydreaming when suddenly she is inside a horse drawn carriage, taken to a palace and everyone is calling her Princess Miranda. She quickly makes friends with the dwarf Jester, Samson, and it doesn't take her more than a few minutes to…

70. Flight, Volume 7

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Flight, Volume 7 edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Canada) - (US)
Flight anthologies

Pages: 283
Ages: 15+
Finished: Mar. 17, 2011
First Published: July 20, 2010
Publisher: Villard Books
Genre: Graphic Novel, short stories, various genres (though mainly fantasy)
Rating: 3/5



First sentence:

He is the Guardian-Shepherd of a life-giving technology that is said to have been left eons ago by a race of ancient gods.

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Reason for Reading: This book was nominated for a Cybils '10 Graphic Novel, category and we judges didn't receive review copies and I wasn't able to find a copy in time for the judging. I have just now been able to obtain a copy.

I don't have an awful lot to say about this book. A graphic novel anthology of short stories by mostly people who as a collective haven't published many books but are in the industry on a freelance basis with much experience in animation work. I had previously heard of (and read two) of the author/ill…

69. The Cay by Theodore Taylor

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The Cay by Theodore Taylor (Canada) - (US)
The Cay series

Pages: 144
Ages: 9+
Finished: Mar. 16, 2011
First Published: 1969
Publisher: Avon Camelot
Genre: children, historical fiction, survival, shipwreck, WWII
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness of the sea, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night.

Acquired: Purchased a used copy from a book/garage sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Randomly Selected Bookshelf that I am reading from this year. I'm pretty sure I've read this before but it must have been as a kid, because I didn't really remember the story. My son loves shipwreck/survival stories so this one will definitely be going in the bedtime reading pile for his dad to read to him.

Phillip is twelve and lives in the West Indies, has ever since he was four, on the island of Curacao. World War II is in full swing, the year is 1940 and the West Indies have refineries which are …

Monday: Books in the Mail

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Here is what my mailbox brought me last week:

From Random House Canada:

Over the past four decades, the landmark NBC hit television series I Dream of Jeannie has delighted generations of audiences and inspired untold numbers of teenage crushes on its beautiful blond star, Barbara Eden. Part pristine Hollywood princess and part classic bombshell, with innocence, strength, and comedic talent to spare, Barbara finally lets Jeannie out of her bottle to tell her whole story.

Jeannie Out of the Bottle takes us behind the scenes of I Dream of Jeannie as well as Barbara’s dozens of other stage, movie, television, and live concert performances. We follow her from the hungry years when she was a struggling studio contract player at 20th Century Fox through difficult weeks trying to survive as a chorus girl at Ciro’s Sunset Strip supper club, from a stint as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on live TV to tangling on-screen and off with some of Hollywood’s most desirable leading men, including Elvis Pres…

OT: It's Election Time! It's Time for a Conservative Majority!

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Nobody wants an election now, but the Leftists have brought one upon us. The Liberals are either living in a dreamworld or they expect Canadians to vote (or accept post-election) a coalition government. And Canadians already told them what we think of that!!

68. Travelers Along the Way by Benedict J. Groeschel

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Travelers Along the Way: The Men and Women Who Shaped My Life by Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R.


Pages: 159
Ages: 18+
Finished: Mar. 16, 2011
First Published: Oct. 15, 2010
Publisher: Servant Books
Genre: memoir, biography, christian, Catholic
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

For the believer life is a journey, a road laid out for us by the providence of God and guided by the divine law and the teaching of Christ.

Acquired: This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Travelers Along the Way . They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.

Reason for Reading: I enjoy memoirs and taking a peek inside a Franciscan's life at the people he admired sounded like an inspiring read.

Benedict Groeschel is a Franciscan Friar, has been for more than fifty years now. He is also a psychologist, has written many non-fiction books for Catholics and has his own show on EWTN, the Catho…

The Random Reading Book Shelf Challenge

Goal #4 on my Goals for 2011 list is to read books from one of my bookshelves. On Feb. 18th I randomly picked a bookshelf. I decided to pick from my Juv/YA shelves to make the goal more realistic and I picked the bottom shelf on the left because I couldn't see what was on it. The shelf is in a dark spot. More surprise that way :-)The shelf is double stacked with books squeezed in for maximum use of space with no order, rhyme or reason to what is shelved together, though I do try to keep series books together.

The goal here is to read the entire shelf (or as close as possible) and move out of the house as many books as possible. I blindly grabbed a stackful of books and am working on those at the moment.

1. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (keeper)

2. The Cay by Theodore Taylor (put on Bookmooch)

3. The Seventh Princess by Nick Sullivan (put on Bookmooch & gave away!)

4.The Lady Grace Mysteries, Book the First Assassin by Grace Cavendish, Maid of Honor to Elizabeth I by Pat…

Plenty of Fish by Millicent Selsam

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Plenty of Fish by Millicent Selsam. Illustrated by Erik Blegvad Out of Print
I Can Read Book
A Science I Can Read Book

Pages: 63
Ages: 7+
Finished: Mar. 15, 2011
First Published: 1960
Publisher: Harper & Row
Genre: children, easy reader, marine biology
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:
Here is Willy.

Acquired: Purchased a used copy at a book/library sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: DS read aloud to me as his non-fiction reader.

This is a delightful easy reader, as are most of Millicent Selsam's "Science I Can Read Book"s which are sadly mostly out of print. This would be a wonderful one to bring back into print as the topic isn't out-dated at all. A little boy wants a goldfish, has saved up his money and asks his dad if he may buy one. So off he goes. From the moment he comes home with two goldfish in bags his father starts teaching him about fish, first they need a bowl and so forth. Willy is quite captivated by the way they breathe and does some experiments in …

67. Journey to America by Sonia Levitin

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Journey to America by Sonia Levitin. Illustrated by Charles Robinson. (Canada) - (US)
The Platt Family Trilogy

Pages: 150
Ages: 8+
Finished: Mar. 15, 2011
First Published: 1970
Publisher: Atheneum
Genre: children, historical fiction, WWII, 1930s
Rating: 3.5/5


First sentence:

That winter had been the coldest and the longest I had ever known.

Acquired: I'm pretty sure I Bookmooched this book.

Reason for Reading: read aloud to the 10yo as part of our history curriculum.

This is a gentle, quiet story that is suitable for younger children (as a read loud) since it deals with the very early days of Hitler's Germany, making one aware of the need for escape in those early days and how fortunate were those who did manage to leave Germany before the atrocities began. The story is told from Lisa's point of view, the second oldest girl of three, perhaps 11 years old. Their father has decided that they will leave for America, so he goes first in order to get a job, a place to live and earn enough m…

DNF: Dork Diaries: Tales froma Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell

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Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell (Canada) - (US)
Dork Diaries, Book 1

Pages: 55/282
Ages: 9+
Finished: DNF
First Published: Jun. 2, 20o9
Publisher: Aladdin
Genre: children, chic lit, girls, middle school
Rating: DNF


First sentence:



Sometimes I wonder if my mom is BRAIN DEAD.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster US.

Reason for Reading: This book was nominated for a Graphic Novel Cybils Award '09, we received our review copies and then the book was switched to another category (middle grade I think). I ended up with my copy but no desire to read it until this time.

I didn't really expect this to be my sort of book but after watching the Wimpy Kid movie and loving it, I thought maybe this would be along the same lines except from a girl's point of view. Boy, was I wrong! We start with some dorky girl, smart, good at art and new at school, attending the private school because her dad got the tuition as a bonus for winning the con…

66. Slog's Dad by David Almond

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Slog's Dad by David Almond. Illustrated by Dave McKean (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 57
Ages: 13+
Finished: Mar. 14, 2011
First Published: 2006 UK, anthology (FEB. 22, 2011 graphic US edition)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: YA, magical realism, death
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

Spring had come.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: I have, some may call a morbid, interest in stories that deal with death. From a Christian perspective, but also how people of different beliefs grieve and deal with it and how that compares to the Christian experience.

First of all, this book was not what I had expected. The publisher's tagline "Do you believe in life after death?" and the book's summary had me expecting a story dealing with reincarnation. That couldn't be further from this book's theme. Also the publisher recommends this book for ages 10+ while myself, I can hardly recommend the book for children at all. It is very emotional, dee…

65. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

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Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Canada) - (US)
The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1


Pages: 358
Ages: 14+
Finished: Mar. 14, 2011
First Published: Mar. 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: YA, dystopia, science fiction
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:


I wait. They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster US.

Reason for Reading: I love dystopian novels and this sounded fantastic.

And fantastic it was! Absolutely fantastic! The first book in a trilogy hasn't excited me this much since The Hunger Games (not that this is anything like it). A brutal future world where an entire generation has been artificially conceived but they have cured disease, no more cancer, no more AIDS, no more heart disease. What this first generation didn't know, until 20 years later, though was that their own naturally conceived children were ticking time bombs. Females now only live until 20 years of age, and males to the ripe old age…

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

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Truly the world has lost the last great actress of an era. An era of movies that will never be made again. An era of acting that will never be equaled. The most beautiful woman in the world in her youth, the girl with the violet eyes. Elizabeth Taylor died at age 79 today after a life filled with illnesses, and finally succumbing to congestive heart failure.

64. Stephen King's The Stand: Captain Trips

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Captain Trips by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Art by Mike Perkins (Canada) - (US)
Stephen King's The Stand: Vol. 1


Pages: 160
Ages: 18+
Finished: Mar. 13, 2011
First Published: Jan. 5, 2010
Publisher: Marvel
Genre: graphic novel, post/apocalyptic, horror
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

Sally. Wake up now, Sally.

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Reason for Reading: I re-read The Stand this year and heard about the comic adaptation, so of course wanted to check it out.

This is a very faithful adaptation of King's The Stand and I enjoyed it immensely. This first book covers the whole superflu leak. The government part of the story is taken care of pretty quickly, giving us enough information and background to know what happened but care has been taken to include the significant small things such as the man whose face is in the tomato soup. We meet most of our heroes in this volume and what they were doing at the time the flue, nicknamed Captain Trips, hit. We only meet one memb…

63. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

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A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (Canada) - (US)
Flavia de Luce Mysteries, 3

Pages: 378
Ages: 18+
Finished: Mar. 12, 2011
First Published: Feb. 8, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Genre: mystery
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:


"You frighten me," the gypsy said. "Never have I seen my crystal ball so filled with darkness."

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

Oh what a welcome it is indeed to be back amongst Flavia's world, at Buckshaw, her ancestral home in the hamlet of Bishop's Lacey! The mature 11 year old chemist with a special fascination in poisons continues to dodge her two older sisters' tortures and seek revenge against them while once again unwittingly stumbling upon a crime. The gypsy fortune teller, whom Flavia has invited to park her caravan on their extensive property for the night, is found by Flavia in the middle of the night beaten to a bloody pulp but with the flutterings of a pul…

62. MAOH Juvenile Remix, Vol. 4 by Megumi Osuga

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MAOH Juvenile Remix, Vol. 4 by Megumi Osuga (Canada) - (US)
MAOH Juvenile Remix

Pages: 200
Ages: 16+
Finished: Mar. 11, 2011
First Published: Feb. 8, 2011
Publisher: viz media
Genre: YA, manga, fantasy, science fiction, adventure
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:

Walking back to camp through the swamp, Sam wondered whether to tell his father what he had seen.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

The story pics up where we left off last time and once things are sorted out Inukae reveals he had gathered everyone here for a purpose anyway. He gives a speech to all the grasshoppers in the city via a live feed which will be picked up be television and the Internet. He incites them into believing that it is time to stop being passive and start being aggressive. On the top of a large building's helio pad he asks them to turn on the light and gradually the dark city buildings below have a light turned on over and over until it looks as if…

Monday: Books in the Mail

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Here are my mailbox treats from last week:

From Simon & Schuster Canada:

While the day belongs to humans, the night belongs to yokai,supernatural creatures that thrive on human fear. Caught between these worlds is Rikuo Nura. He's three-quarters human, but his grandfather is none other than Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura clan, a powerful yokai consortium. So, Rikuo is an ordinary teenages three quarters of the time, until his yokai blood awakens. Then Rikuo transforms into the future leader of the Nura clan, leading a hundred demons.













From the author, Hasani Walker:

Winter has come to the world of Valiku sending a cold and powerful wind through the cities. However, the cold chill is the least of Saye's worries. She has just been moved to a new room with girls who seem crazy, she can't stop falling asleep in class, and the one kinth she may be in love with is only talking to her best friend. Can she pull her life together before things become worse? Visit t…

Chester by Syd Hoff

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Chester by Syd Hoff (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 64
Ages: 5+
Finished: Mar. 10, 2011
First Published: 1961
Publisher: Harper & Row
Genre: children, easy reader, horses
Rating: 3.5/5



First sentence:

Chester was a wild horse.

Acquired: Purchased a used copy from a book/garage sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: Ds read aloud to me as his reader.

Chester is a wild horse who wants to be tame but when the men come to gather up the wild horses he just stands there so they will take him and they think he's not much of a wild horse, so they take the others and leave him. So Chester sets off to find somebody who wants him and will take care of him, he tries the farm, walking into town, perhaps a child's rocking horse, a statue, a merry-go-round horse and even has the opportunity to pull a fire engine when it's on the blink but they don't need him after it's fixed. Finally when the children challenge him to run, he runs and runs and runs and the cowboys finally want him where he meet…

61. There's a Wolf at the Door by Zoe B. Alley

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There's a Wolf at the Door by Zoe B. Alley. Pictures by R.W. Alley (Canada) - (US)
Five Classic Tales

Pages: 34
Ages: 6+
Finished: Mar. 10, 2011
First Published: Sep. 30, 2008
Publisher: A Neal Porter Book
Genre: graphic novel, children's book, fairy tales
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:

Once upon a time, three little pigs -- Alan, Gordon, and Blake -- set off to make their way in the world.


Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Reason for Reading: The sequel to this book was nominated for a Cybils '10 graphic novel award but the publisher didn't send us judges a review copy and none of us were able to find a copy to read in time. A couple of panelists, who had been judges since this book was nominated, expressed remorse since they had enjoyed this first book so much. I decided I'd give this a read while I wait until the other book is old enough (required by my library system) to have an ILL request put in for it.

A mixture between retelling and "fractured&quo…

60. Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey

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Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey (Canada) - (US)
Once Upon a Time series

Pages: 175
Ages: 12+
Finished: Mar. 4, 2011
First Published: Sept. 8, 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 4/5




First sentence:



Many years ago, when the world was much younger than it is today, a king and queen dwelt together in a castle made of ice and snow.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: I've wanted to read this series for ages and have just never got around to it. Finally, I brought this book out from my backlog and read my first book in the series!

I just absolutely adored this book! When I went to get my picture for my blog post I noticed that it didn't have a very high overall rating and looked at the ratings chart to see that the opinions were all over the place on this one, from horrible to terrific. Now I don't read other reviews before I've written my own but I'm going to guess the diverse opinions o…

59. The Dragon Seer by Janet McNaughton

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The Dragon Seer by Janet McNaughton (Canada) only


Pages: 324
Ages: 12+
Finished: Mar. 8, 2011
First Published: Jun. 8, 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: YA, historical fantasy
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:

A single dragon swoops and glides above a ring of standing stones in the midnight-bright sky.

Acquired: Received a Review Copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: I enjoy dragon fantasy and this seemed like it might be a bit different, with a society centred around the dragons.

I have to admit I thought this book was going to be about the Celts but it's not and I won't tell you what group of people it is about as it isn't given away until the Historical Note at the end. Just in case you are not up on your early history. Set in the same time period though, that of the eight century in the Orkney Islands at the tip of Scotland. The book is firmly grounded in its medieval historical setting. While no famous personages make appearances except for a passing remark abou…

58. Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 by Jake Parker

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Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 by Jake Parker (Canada) - (US) Missile Mouse, 2

Pages: 146
Ages: 9+
Finished: Mar. 7, 2011
First Published: Jan. 1, 2011
Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic
Genre: Graphic Novel, Children, Science Fiction
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:


Freeze, or I blast you!

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: next in the series.

Missile Mouse is chasing a fugitive on the capital planet, has a bad run-in with the robot guards, is attacked by Blazing Bat and after mass destruction to the docks brings his man back to the GSA. Turns out the fellow was under the influence of a mind altering device which made him the living slave of the one controlling the device. Missile Mouse is sent with the victim back to his home planet along with a team of Security Robots, one of whom becomes his new partner, Agent 44. Here they find the evil King Bognarsh who has captured all able-bodied men and taken them to the other side of the planet to work as slaves in his…

DC Super-Pets!: Super Hero Splash Down

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Super Hero Splash Down by Jane Mason. Illustrated by Art Baltazar. (Canada) - (US)
DC Super-Pets! series

Pages: 52
Ages: 6+
Finished: Mar. 7, 2011
First Published: Jan. 2, 2011
Publisher: Picture Window Books
Genre: Easy Reader, Superheroes
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:


"This is the life." B'dg exclaimed.


Acquired: Received a review copy from Capstone Publishing.

Reason for Reading: Ds read aloud to me for his reader. This is his first official "chapter book".

This new series "DC Super-Pets!" is a younger sibling to the already established "DC Super Heroes" series by the publisher. While the latter series is for established, and perhaps reluctant readers, this new series is for emergent or reluctant readers. All six books in the series are at a GR. 2 level with this one being the easiest at a RL:2.3. Following the same format as the established series, DC Super Pets uses colourful cartoon graphics for all the sound effect words. It goes on to make the …

57. Vermonia #4: The Rukan Prophecy by Yoyo

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The Rukan Prophecy by Yoyo (Canada) - (US)
Vermonia, Vol. 4

Pages: 208
Ages: 8+
Finished: Mar. 6, 2011
First Published: Nov. 9, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, manga, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5


First sentence:

Naomi, this way.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

The book starts, as usual, with four gorgeous full colour pages of art and on each page is a very brief summary of something that has happened in the past volume, taken out of context. I must say that when I started reading this I was rather confused. I read Vol. 1-3 back-to-back so obviously followed the storyline then with no problem but with a break of 3 months between, the fact that this series does not contain the usual "The Story So Far" summary of most manga or the page of characters and their descriptions to refresh your memory was sorely lacking. I floundered my way through the first pages as the book opens right in the middle of an action sequence…

56. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

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Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 233
Ages: 14+
Finished: Mar. 6, 2011
First Published: Feb. 8, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA, horror
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:

Everything changes when Tiffany Quinn disappears.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: I enjoyed the author's Wake trilogy so much there was no way I was *not* going to read her next book. However, the plot summary of this was so captivating I would have chosen to read it anyway.

I just love a good horror story and there really isn't that much available in the teen market these days in this genre. Good, old-fashioned, creepy horror story; that's what this is, forget about that paranormal romance stuff. This is the type of story that would have made a good X-Files episode. It starts with a missing teen girl in an extremely rural small town. It has a one room high school of 24 students. Then we meet and really get to know Kendall and Nico. They live…

Baby Joseph Rescued!

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Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! God is Good!

Baby Joseph is currently in a hospital in Missouri, US where he is finally receiving medical care and if is the case will be allowed to die naturally with dignity at home with his parents.


Doesn't he look happy?

Monday: Books in the Mail

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My mailbox turned into a treasure trove last week, which was very welcome after the little break of two books the week before. So take a look at all the great reading I have ahead of me!

From the book's publicist (for a Book Tour):

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.
A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why h…