Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day) Thar be a hunt for treasure, Mateys!
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Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #5 for 2017

This is a continuation of the topic Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #4 for 2017.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:21am Top

It is difficult to believe that December is here. It is spring like today. I'm still hoping for a white Christmas.

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:26am Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:30am Top

BOOK #74

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gabriel Savit

Anna is seven, when the Germans take her father away. As she waits and waits, she watches as even a good friend of her father does not help her. All around her Polish neighborhood, things are changing. There is a starrk sense of danger. Suddenly, a very tall, lean man approaches her. As she observes, he calls a swallow bird.

She has no other option but to follow him. As the years progress, they walk miles and miles and miles with dreamlike swallow man. With very little words, they walk throughout Poland into Russia and back.

I recommend this book, but cannot give it the high marks of others. The ending was nebulous and I would have liked more understanding.

Three Stars

Dec 2, 2017, 3:53pm Top

Happy new thread Linda my dear, hope you are having a good weekend with Will, sending love and hugs.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:55pm Top

Happy New Thread, Linda.

I can't think of anything more beautiful than a cardinal in winter. Love that photo up top.

I had a similar reaction to Anna and the Swallow Man. I liked it, and I'm glad I read it, but it didn't bowl me over the way it has some other readers.

Dec 2, 2017, 4:01pm Top

Linda--Love that topper!! Absolutely stunning. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Big hugs.

Dec 2, 2017, 4:43pm Top

Happy New Thread, Linda!!

Dec 2, 2017, 6:46pm Top

Happy new thread, Linda! In answer to your question from the previous thread, I will not see my sister's family at Christmas. We may Skype like we did last year. My sister's family came up for Thanksgiving and we had a lovely time. While we're welcome to come visit on the "other" holiday, they only travel for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Dec 2, 2017, 8:22pm Top

BOOK #75

The Woman In Cabin 10

Many reviews are marked highly. I really didn't particularly care for this book. It was a mystery, but not a page turner. It was prominently displayed in book stores, but I'm glad I didn't pay full price.

Lo writes for travel magazines and is given a lush assignment on a small, intimate crusie with only ten rooms. The description of the craft is lush. All women and men are dressed to the nines.

Immediately before Lo comes aboard, she awakes in her London flat to an intruder who is hooded and wears plastic gloves. She is hut when a door is slammed into her creek, but primarily she suffers post traumatic stress, and climbs into the smallish ship, perhaps she would have been wise to deal with kher emotions first.

She witnesses a body overthrown in cabin 10, and while she believes this occurred in the dark, no one on board will rally round her. She drank too much; she entered the too soon after the breakin, and her personal life was confusing.

From there on, after setting this plot, the book spirals downhill.

Any comparisons to Agatha Christie are grossly overrated.

Two Stars

Dec 2, 2017, 8:32pm Top

Happy new thread dear Linda. xx

Sorry that >9 Whisper1: didn't cut it. Rare to see you post such a negative review.

Hope your recovery is being kind to you.

Dec 3, 2017, 5:23am Top

Hi Linda and happy new thread.

I love your topper! I was just telling my husband on the way home from running errands yesterday that I'd like a good snow or two this winter. I'd be amazed if we got one in time for Christmas, but one can hope.

Dec 3, 2017, 2:30pm Top

Happy new thread! I agree that the ending of Anna and the Swallow Man didn't wrap things up in a satisfying manner.

Dec 3, 2017, 4:00pm Top

>1 Whisper1:

What a perfect Holiday card your Cardinal would be!

Dec 4, 2017, 6:13am Top

Happiest of new threads to you, Linda!
I heard on last night's forecast that we in Cleveland will have a white Christmas. I hope that means you will too.
I too did not enjoy The Woman in Cabin 10. Some authors of late use an alcoholic to bring ambiguity to a mystery but, to me, it seems like an easy/lazy way to write a story. I don't mean to be harsh but any connection to the great mystery writers is just nuts.
Hope your next mystery is an improvement.
And..........have a wonderful week!

Dec 4, 2017, 10:55am Top

Morning, Linda! I also love your topper - so beautiful. I am so happy to see you posting again - keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Dec 5, 2017, 10:38am Top

>10 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul The Woman in Cabin 10 really did not connect. It seemed to be sloppy writing. I can't recommend it.
>11 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I was very close to my grandmother. Whenever a snow storm was coming, she would call and tell me the news of impending bad weather. Then, when I arrived home from work, there would always be a phone message asking me to call her and tell her that I made it home safely. The very first snow after she passed away, I cried all the way home, knowing there would not be a message from her. Thus, I always think of her when it snows. Now, I contact my daughter if I see snow in the forecast. I drive her crazy by telling her to drive carefully, but I have no doubt that when her daughter drives, she will do the same.

>12 foggidawn: Hi Misti. You are my barometer for YA books. If you say it was not a great book, then I know it was not.
>13 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne. You are right. It would make a lovely holiday card.
>14 Carmenere: Hi Lynda. It is unusual, but I read a strong of not so great books.
>15 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie. As always, many thanks for your kind words.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 11:18am Top

BOOK #76

Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen

Creatively written, I very much enjoyed this book. 1959 is a difficult summer for the O'Malley sisters. Their mother is in the hospital for an extended stay. Their older sister who is given charge to help take care of them, is boy crazy and can't stay away from the guy with the large car that tools round town. Their step father, who on a good day likes to give each of them a smack to the head, is worse because instead of the usual six pack, he now drinks constantly. And, the town members know that he is hanging out with a woman where he should not be staying.

As the girls have no one to cook for them, they find places where they can sneak a meal or two. They haven't had a bath in weeks. Hanging out at the playground, they have a host of characters to spend time with, including Wendy LaTour who, though she has parents to watch her, seems to like to run around naked. Challenged, she is the nicest person on the block. Kind and considerate, Wendy cannot understand why people are so darn mean. Troo and Sally are the ones who are good to her, unlike her brother Reese who can't help but be nasty and ugly.

The O'Malley sisters don't like the way their older sister is treated by her boyfriend who can be seen pulling the collar of her blouse while nasty words come flying out his mouth.

Men are not nice in 1959, except for Mr. Dave, one of the local policeman. Though, truth be told, Sally really does believe he just might be the man who is killing little girls. Two are dead now, and Sally can't help but believe she is next. Her father died in a car accident; before he passed on, he asked Sally to take care of her sister, and tell her the accident was not her fault. He asked her to tell her mother he forgives her. While Sally is trying to keep out of harms way of whoever the killer is, she also knows now is not the time to give the messages to her sister and her mother.

Sally has no idea the burden Troo holds. Likewise, Troo thinks Sally is a wisecracking sister who likes hanging out at the zoo watching the gorilla watch her back.

Running loose with dirty clothes, no food and no safe home, the kids are on their own. Sally has quite an imagination that tends to get her in trouble. Troo smokes cigarettes she steals and swears like a sailor.

The town is an amalgamation of Irish, Italian ethnicity and each has names for the other.

This is a story before women learned to fend for themselves, before they were taught to be independent and not rely on men. And, the portrayal of some men is sadly accurate in small town America 1959.

While men are portrayed negatively, the author wonderfully portrays Ethel, a black woman. as a tremendously kind and wise person who cares greatly. And, rare for small town America in 1959, the priest runs away with a man. And, Mr. Gary and Father Jim are portrayed kindly. And, pearls of wisdom flow from Sally's mouth as she believes love is wonderful in many ways.

The ending is happy, but throughout the book, I couldn't help but wonder why the O'Malley mother didn't find a way to check on her children. And, why the town folk seemed to shrug a shoulder and look the other way when it came to the safety of the O'Malley girls.

Four Stars

Dec 5, 2017, 11:40am Top

Morning, Linda! I missed that you previous book was #75 - CONGRATULATIONS on passing 75!!!!

Dec 5, 2017, 3:25pm Top

Hi Linda my dear, congrats on reaching 75 books. Hope you are having a good week dear friend and that Will is ok, sending love and hugs.

Dec 6, 2017, 10:40am Top

Congrats on whizzing by 75!

Dec 6, 2017, 10:11pm Top

Hi Jim. Thanks for your encouragement.
Actually, I thought that for the first time since joining this group, I would not be able to make the goal. But, I did, and I am happy about it.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 10:30pm Top


The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Higgins Clark with paintings by Wendell Minor

What a charming, beautifully illustrated book. Johnnie's father was fortunate to live in the country, on a farm, when he was young. Johnny remembers a wooden horse that he treasured when he visited his grandparents. Excited that the family is returning to the farm in New England for Christmas.

Johnny can hardly wait to show the horse to his younger brother Liam. As he climbed the attic steps, he found the wonderful trunk, and he found the horse. But, the horse was ruined and in very poor condition.

Upset that his special secret to be shared with Liam isn't possible for Christmas, Johnny was overjoyed when he walked down the stairs on Christmas morning to find the magical horse just as he remembered it was when he was young.

His father and grandfather repaired the horse and placed it under the tree for Liam. And, in order to hold fast to a tradition, Johnnie's grandfather handed him a unique wooden ornament of the farm.

This is exactly the kind of book to read at Christmas time. Sugary, hopeful with the love of family and objects that reinforce special traditions.

Dec 6, 2017, 10:50pm Top


Who Will Go To School Today? by Karl Ruhmann with illustrations of Miriam Monnier

Sam longs to stay in bed' perhaps he could read some of his picture books, and maybe he could play with some of his stuffed animals. Pulling the cover over his head, Sam pretends not to hear his mother. But, getting out of bed, he thinks he has a solution.

Perhaps his stuffed monkey Timbo would like to go to school. As he places his own clothes on Timbo, he begins to tell Timbo all the great things he will be doing today. Snacks, playtime, circle time where a book is read, and then going grocery shopping with his mother before they arrive home at the end of the day, are some of the things he outlines to Timbo.

As he mentions the special things that make school unique, Sam changes his mind. Maybe school isn't that bad afterall.

Dec 6, 2017, 11:18pm Top

Congratulations on blowing past that 75 book mark, Linda!! Way to go!!

Dec 6, 2017, 11:40pm Top

OOoooo! 75!!! Congratulations!!!!!
I always think of my grandmama when it snows too. She'd always say, "We children would be in such a glee ------- foolish!" Since she was born in 1885, she was of a generation that gave at least lip service to the foolishness of anything frivolous, but she loved fun things very, very much. And of course, in SE NC snow is a rare and wonderful event.
Hope you're beginning to feel some improvement, dear Linda, so that you can truly enjoy the holiday!

Dec 7, 2017, 5:34am Top

Belated happy new thread & congratulations on reaching 75, Linda!

Dec 7, 2017, 8:37am Top

Hi Roni, Peggy and Anita...Incredible a triple win ..messages from three of my favorite people. The day will be great from now on.
>24 ronincats: Roni, How are the kittens? Will you keep them?
>25 LizzieD: Peggy, It is amazing the impact grandmother's have! Thank you for your kind words. I have days when I feel like I am moving forward, and then, a day like yesterday when I slept the day away. I hope your mother is improving.
>26 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, When I last checked your thread, I was very impressed at all the books you read this year! Incredible!

Dec 7, 2017, 2:11pm Top

Congratulations on flying past 75 books, Linda! I've spent the day stashing away my book piles in order to put out way too many Christmas decorations! Of course, then I keep finding books that I just need to read but was strong and put them away. They will make great presents for me again when I put them back!

Dec 8, 2017, 4:30am Top

Hi Linda!

I totally blanked on your reaching #75 6 days ago, so here's a belated Congratulations!

It is amazing the impact grandmother's have! I still miss both my grandmothers and think of them often. One passed away in 1964 (1882-1964) and the other in 2003 (1909-2003).

Dec 8, 2017, 9:11pm Top

Oh, yes, we are keeping them, Linda!

Dec 8, 2017, 9:14pm Top

Congrats on passing 75, Linda!

Dec 8, 2017, 9:50pm Top

Snow tomorrow, I hear. Hope it's a decent snow that sticks for the weekend, anyway. Enjoy it! :-)

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 9:55pm Top

>32 weird_O: Hi Bill. Yes, we did get snow this morning - the afternoon. It is a pretty snow. The soft piles on the tree and ground look lovely. I hope you enjoyed your day.
>31 tymfos: Hi Terry So nice to see you here. I hope all is well in the house of Sig
>30 ronincats: Hi Roni...I am so glad you are keeping the kittens. What joy they must bring ou.
>29 karenmarie: Karen, not a day goes past when I don't think of my grandmother and all she taught me. I was fortunate enough to know her mother -- my great grandmother who passed on when I was 12. I have so many wonderful memories of both.
>28 Dianekeenoy: I certainly understand that. I think I should stay away from book sales for awhile....but, maybe you and I could attend one wherein I don't bring so many home...

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 10:01pm Top

BOOK #77

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marlanne Malone

I found the writing uninspiring and boring. The book simply seemed to lack character development.
A museum in Chicago holds a miniature display of 68 rooms. Called the Throne rooms, and housed in the Art Institute, two youngsters go on a class trip and become enthralled with the display. Finding that one can shrink herself and fit in the rooms.

One Star

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 10:14pm Top

BOOK #78

Nory Ryan's Song by Patricia Reilly Giff

In Ireland, 1845, life is brutal for those lacking in resources. The potato famine occurred, destroying a crop that sustained the poor. This is a small, but mighty book, and analogous to the character, it becomes a wonderful YA book that teaches the plight of the poor in Ireland and their desire to find a way out of their country to the land of plenty. Families dreamed of affording the price of tickets to come to America, and Nory Ryan's family is no exception.
The main character is young and responsible for finding food for her family while her father is away fishing in the hope of catching excess in order to not only feed the family, but find safety in a new country.

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 11:41pm Top

>33 Whisper1: I hope all is well in the house of Sig

Sig is fine, as are we all. This morning we were channel surfing, and came upon Meow Manor, a show featuring three kittens in a miniature kitten-size house. Sig was spellbound! Usually he ignores the TV, even when we'd watch the Kitten Bowl, but he sat and watched attentively, then jumped up on the TV stand and tried to interact with the TV kittens! Maybe it's time we brought in another kitty -- maybe he needs a friend?

I read this book today -- fun!

The caption for the cover photo is, "life is more fun with a partner in crime."

Dec 11, 2017, 10:23am Top

>35 Whisper1: I'm pretty sure I read that one years ago. If not, I own it and might need to dig it out to re-read. I've enjoyed books I've read by that author.

Dec 12, 2017, 2:08am Top

Linda--look at you! #78 and going strong. So nice to see you back here. : )

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 6:42pm Top

>36 tymfos: What a great story about Sig. My grandmother had a cat that sat on the hassock in front of the tv. When a car or truck was moving on the screen, her cat would turn his head toward the way in which the vehicle was moving and would jump to see if he could hit it.
Another kitty? How could any other cat be as adventurous as Sig?
>37 thornton37814: Hi Lori. She is a great author! No doubt!
>38 Berly: Hi Kim. I hope you are feeling well.

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 6:20pm Top

BOOK #79

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

I understand why this book was so well liked. A host of interesting characters, some evil, some helpfully good, a lonely young girl who grieves her father while she is alone in the attic where her nasty stepmother placed her. Then, she notices a shadow and next to that shadow is a cat or a dog figure accompanying the ghost with the name of Po.

Pleading with Po to help her communicate with her father, Po agrees to try. Enter a nasty alchemist who also holds a young person hostage. Will happens to watch Liesel from her lonely attic window. He wonders is she might like him and find something special about him. Verbally, emotionally abused by adults, both Will and Leisel find a way to escape.

Then, another near do well grown up known as "the lady premier," wants something that the alchemist had, but the magical box was lost by Oliver.

A lot of characters, and a lot of action might lend for a confusing story, but the author is excellent with character development while rendering the story magical and mystical.

This is an excellent YA book that appeals to young and older alike.

Four Stars.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 8:54pm Top

BOOK #80
A House of Tailors by Patricia Reilly Giff

This is a small, but mighty young adult book that realistically portrays the belief that immigrants have of America and the streets of gold, compared to the reality of some of the hardships endured when they come to the new land.
Dina's family is hard working. When her father dies, Dina uses the skills learned from her mother to help the family.

Living in Germany in 1870, she is mistaken for being a spy for the French. Her sister was slated to come to America, but now Dina must use the coveted ticket instead to save her life. Hoping that she does not have to work as hard, and certainly does not have to sew, she learns that she lives in a "house of tailors." Her Uncle hopes for a better life than he can currently give his family living in Brooklyn, NY.
Thus, Dina is required to sew, a talent she thought she hated.

Yet, when she begins to assimilate into her American family, she risks all in order to be instrumental in helping her new family.

This is yet another book written by an excellent author who portrays history in a very realistic manner.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:12pm Top

>40 Whisper1: I really loved that one, Linda. I listened to the audiobook, which is full of fabulous.

Holding you in my heart, dear one.

Dec 12, 2017, 8:01pm Top

Thanks, as always, Dear Mamie!

Dec 13, 2017, 8:49am Top

Adding A House of Tailors to the WL, Linda. I thought I'd read one of hers before, but it doesn't look like I did.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 9:35am Top

>41 Whisper1: I don't think I've read that one, but it sounds like one I'd love.

ETA: It was available in the Tennessee Electronic Library so I downloaded it.

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 9:27pm Top


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Great Museums of the World) by Licia Ragghianti Collibi

If you enjoy art, then the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, NY is the place to visit. The largest museum of art in the Western Hemisphere, containing more than two million works of arts spanning five thousand years from prehistory to the present. Each and every part of the globe is represented.

Located at 1000 5th Ave, climbing the steps to the entrance of pillared columns, sets the stage for an exciting experience. Impossible to due justice if visiting only one day, each part of the museum can hold interest for hours upon hours.

I am fortunate to live only an hour and 1/2 from there. And while I have visited often, I am always amazed! Claiming a specific section as favorite is difficult.

While it snowed this weekend, I comfortably sat in a large chair, and took hours to pay attention to the description of the history and some of the collections. However, one of my favorite places in the museum is the costume institute. Throughout the year various collections are on display, giving attention to specific designers, the Met sets the tone not only for fashion of the past, but also for present.

This exquisite coat was displayed during a 1983-1984 show was designed by Yves Saint Laurent:

Estimated to have been painted sometime between 1620-1626, Georges De LaTour, The Fortune Teller held and aura of mystery as experts believed that the authenticity was not correct. With today's technological advances, there is no doubt that the painting was indeed painted by LaTour.

With a large collection of flemish paintings, one of my favorite is titled The Harvesters. Approximately painted in 1526 by Peter Bruegel The Elder this is one in a series of five that have survived. The Met owns this one

During the day various tours are held at the museum. Starting at the bottom of the lavish marble stairs on the ground floor, I often try to join a tour narrated by volunteers who guide the group through some of their favorite works of art. During one of the tours someone asked what was the most significant painting acquired. While the answer to this question is of course subjective, the tour guide noted the acquisition of Jean de Pareja painted by Velasquez in 1650:

While I could continue for hours, I'll end by saying if you are in New York City, truly it is a must to spend time at the Metropolitan Art Museum.

Dec 17, 2017, 7:24pm Top

>41 Whisper1: I have seen a couple of positive reviews for that one recently, Linda, and should start to look out for it.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend, dear lady.

Dec 17, 2017, 7:52pm Top

>44 jnwelch: Hi Joe. You won't be disappointed. I send all good wishes for a wonderful holiday!
>45 thornton37814: Hi Lori. I think you will enjoy this book. I hope your holiday is special as you are!
>47 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. I am trying to read books from my own overflowing collection. There is no set criteria for those I select. But, I really do have to at least make some kind of dent. Thinking of you and sending all good wishes.

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 9:09pm Top

BOOK #82

Phaidon Press The Pre-Raphaelite Vision by The Editors of Phaidon Press

Awhile back, I stumbled upon the exquisite art of The Pre-Raphaelite artists when listening to the music of Loreena McKennitt. Haunted by the words of a song she sang titled The Lady of Shalott, I discovered this was a poem written in 1832 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

This then led me to study the poetry written during Victorian time, which led to the discovery of an incredible painting of The Lady of Shalott, by J.W. Waterhouse. This rather large work can be found in the Tate Museum in London. I long to visit this museum and sit and study the painting.

As I tumbled through many references about Waterhouse, I learned he was connected to an artistic movement started by a small group who defined their art as getting back to nature and purity. Rather than paint stoggy works of buildings, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood used Victorian poems and works of William Shakespeare to paint images of lovely ladies who depicted a pivotal moment in time. The works of Pre-Raphaelite artists heavily used symbolism depicting references of love and chivalry.

Another of the most famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings is that of Ophelia, the lass who pined for Hamlet and was a victim of unrequited love. Rather damagingly not only did Hamlet scorn Ophelia, but he also murdered her father. Driven to madness, Ophelia committed suicide by falling into a stream and drowning.

John Everett Millais. one of the first members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, depicted Shakespeare's masterpiece from Hamlet, Act Iv, Scene VII, wherein Ophelia wound flowers round her head and fell into the weeping brook. "Her clothes spread wide, and mermaid-like awhile they bore her up, till that her garments, heavy with the drink, pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death."

These two paintings are but a few referenced in this lovely book.

Four and 1/2 stars.

Dec 18, 2017, 1:20am Top

So many gorgeous images on your thread , Linda! Thanks for reading The Woman in Cabin 10 and warning me off it. I've looked at , but never picked it up and now I won't bother. So, one of many Linda's in your small graduating class! I think , as I mentioned on my thread, that there were a total of 3 Deborah's/ Debbie in my graduating class, but there were about 500 people, so it did not bother me. I am sure there were as many Karen's and Jennifer's - so no problem.

Dec 18, 2017, 6:38am Top

>40 Whisper1: I also loved Liesl & Po. Such a little gem.

Hi, Linda. It looks like I haven't stopped by in awhile, but I do see you churning through the books. A good sign and I really like your topper too.

Hugs, to my pal.

Dec 18, 2017, 1:12pm Top

Glad to see you are picking up books again, Linda!
I loved the reviews of the Metropolitan Art Museum book and The Pre-Raphaelite Vision.

Dec 18, 2017, 3:38pm Top

Hi Linda, hope you had a good weekend my dear and wishing you a good week ahead on the run up to Christmas. Sending love and hugs to you and Will from both of us dear friend.

Dec 18, 2017, 8:32pm Top

I'm a bit down in spirits today, so it is wonderful to see such kind, sensitive messages. We had snow yesterday, Saturday and last week. After an unusually warm fall, it is good to see the temperatures where they belong for this time of year.

Deb, Mark, Anita and John, many, many thanks for your lovely messages. Anita, have you ever been to the Tate Museum in London? John, have you? How I long to go there. It seems that there are so many lovely museums throughout England, including the Lady Lever gallery, another one I would like to see.

I am fortunate though to be near enough to New York city to visit when my health allows. There is another lovely museum near the Met. The Frick museum is a gem that I stumbled upon years ago. Here are some of their joys:

This awaits as you walk through the main entrance:

The galleries are lush, and the paintings are displayed in eye-catching beauty.

Bellini's St. Francis

Hans Holbein the Younger, portrait of Thomas Moore:

Dec 18, 2017, 8:53pm Top

BOOK #83

The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanon

This is a delightful YA book. Living in a small town has good things, and some rather annoying things as well. Mainly, it seems that everyone knows that Ivy Green's mother up and ran away with a traveling preacher who blew into town and whisked away Diane Green, who was a loving family member who also was a solid, pillar of the community.

Hallelujah Dave hails from the Great Good Bible Church of Panhandle Florida. When an area near Loomer, Texas was burned to the ground Ivy's mother questioned why and thought perhaps Hallelujah Dave might have the answer.

Knowing that Ivy's father also misses her, she tries not to show her emotions. But, she is sad and she is mad. Finding a friend in Paul Dobbs, who is known as a science geek, they bond, and since Paul longs to visit the space center now that the space shuttle program is shut down, he plans a way that Ivy can find her mother, and he can visit the museum.

As the pool together money, they board a bus that will eventually take them to Florida.
While this book certainly isn't a page turner is it charming and cute. The author did a superb job with character development.

Three and 1/2 stars for this poignant tale of things and people lost, then found.

Dec 18, 2017, 9:09pm Top

>54 Whisper1:

I recently read that yet another great NYC museum, the Cooper-Hewitt,
has many of Winslow Homer's Civil War drawings.

He was sent by Harper's magazine to travel with the Union Army.

Dec 19, 2017, 2:44pm Top

>54 Whisper1: When I was in London earlier this year, I only visited the Tate Modern. I hope to visit the Tate Brittain someday, whenever we get to London again.

Dec 19, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>54 Whisper1:, Hi Linda, we don't often get down to London but last year we had a few days staying out at Uxbridge and got the underground into the centre and we went into the National Gallery and had a good few hours wandering around enjoying the paintings. When we go off on our travels we sometimes visit small galleries.

Dec 20, 2017, 6:32am Top

Hi Linda!

I'm sorry you're were a bit down in spirits. I do hope your recovery is coming along as expected. You've been through so much that a few ups and downs are probably to be expected, if unwelcome.

Thank you for sharing your musings and the beautiful images.

Dec 20, 2017, 6:26pm Top

Belated congratulations on reaching the 75-Book-goal, Linda. My last book hit that magic number but I am far short of my real goal of 100. Oh well, it’s just a number. The important thing is enjoying what we read. Thanks, for the warning about Cabin 10. I fell for the hype about Girl on the Train and have been leery of books with Girl or Woman in the title ever since. Lol.

I hope the winter doldrums don’t last long. I find myself overly tired this time of year. I have a large family with lots of demands. I kept gifts a little simpler this year and won’t have company which helps. We will travel to both KC and Denver in the next two weeks. Best wishes for lovely Christmas and a Healthy New Year!

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 6:33pm Top

>49 Whisper1: Wow! The image of Ophelia is breathtaking and haunting. Sounds like a great book. I do love your reviews. : ) Hope your spirits have picked up a bit. Is the recovery on track? When is your next checkup? Hugs.

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 9:26pm Top

>59 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I love books; I love art. And, when the two are combined, it is marvelous.
>60 Donna828: Hi Donna. Our holiday will be simple and quiet. Christmas Eve will be spent with neighbors. Christmas day Will and I will have dinner and perhaps go out to a movie. Then, Christmas day our daughter, her finance, and out granddaughter will be here for dinner and a day of relaxing and watching movies. Each one gets a choice. My favorite is The Polar Express. Bre likes The Nightmare Before Christmas. Will likes teh older black and white movies. Most likely he will choose The Miracle on 34th Street.
>61 Berly: My next check up is soon -- December 29th. At that time, the surgeon will determine if he thinks I am ready to return to the university. I'm still in a lot of pain, but the short term disability company does not think pain is a reason not to work. So, the surgeon will send the xrays and talk about eight surgeries and the slowness of healing.While I would like to return, I know that it would do harm. Most likely, I will be home another month. I will retire in September, so that time will go rapidly.

A wonderful holiday to all!

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 9:43pm Top


Victoria Rebels by Carolyn Meyer

This author does a very credible job of writing YA books which tell a historical event. In this book, Carolyn Meyer tells the story of young Victoria. Destined to be queen by a happenstance of Uncles who either die early, or who have children, none of which are legitimate. Shortly after her birth, Victoria's father dies, leaving her mother and a caretajer,

Exceedingly dominating and controlling mother, Victoria leads a very sheltered life and Kensington palace. Victoria is also controlled by Sir John Conroy, her mother's "adviser." Because she rarely sees King William and others, she is lonely, leading an exceedingly dull and empty life. When she is placed on the throne, she feels the freedom of letting her mother know how much she disdains and resents her. Sleeping all her life before she came to be Queen, the first announcement is to tell her mother that she will have her own room.

Ruling England, Ireland and India, Victoria's 63-year reign is the longest of any female monarch in history. Falling deeply in love with her German cousin Albert, their marriage is a happy one with nine children. Unfortunately, when Albert died at a young age, Victoria was forever heart broken.

This book focuses on Victoria's young life, and thus there is not a lot of text regarding her rule, her marriage and her long reign.

Dec 21, 2017, 1:17pm Top

Hi Linda. I'm glad I skipped The Woman in Cabin 10! I had a feeling it was overhyped.

We will also have a quiet Christmas this year. BIL, SIL, nephew and his fiancée will be coming over for dinner but other than that we have no plans. P is getting a new gas stove so that is her main present. I have no idea what she might be getting for me other than a milk chocolate Santa from Fran's. :-)

Dec 21, 2017, 3:14pm Top

>62 Whisper1:

Any chance you could, or would want, to take Early Retirement to avoid the inevitable work related stress between now and September...?

That might make for a Happier New Year!

Dec 22, 2017, 4:40am Top

>1 Whisper1: This is an incredibly beautiful picture, Linda. I'm sending you lots of good-health wishes along with my Christmas post. I'm sorry I'm such an infrequent visitor at times, but you're always in my prayers and I wish you a wonderful Christmas and as >65 m.belljackson: said a much Happier New Year!

I was considering sending a Santa or Christkindl pic, but maybe a snow-covered family dog - Anton, my aunt Karin's Eurasian - serves better
as a neutral messenger for the joys of the year-end. :)

A Very Merry Christmas or Very Happy Holidays to all my dear LT friends and their loved ones.
May there be lots of great books under the tree or in the stockings, may there be your favorite foods on the table,
May there be joy and laughter and above all lots and lots of love around you and everywhere in the world.


Dec 23, 2017, 10:40am Top

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

Dec 23, 2017, 5:10pm Top

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Linda!

Dec 23, 2017, 11:24pm Top

Merry Christmas, Linda!

Dec 23, 2017, 11:30pm Top

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:

Dec 24, 2017, 8:12am Top

Wishing you and Will a very Merry Christmas my dear and sending love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.

Dec 24, 2017, 8:13am Top

Knowing you lights my world!
Merry Christmas! Peace and Joy!

Dec 24, 2017, 10:28am Top

Hi Linda!

Stopping by to wish you and yours all good things this holiday season.

Dec 24, 2017, 2:18pm Top

(Or in other words, Happy Christmas, to you and yours!)

Dec 24, 2017, 9:18pm Top

^I hope you are having a lovely holiday with the family, Linda. Hugs to my pal.

Dec 25, 2017, 9:49am Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 25, 2017, 9:52am Top

Merry Christmas, Linda! (It's so good to see you reviewing books like old times!)

Dec 25, 2017, 2:39pm Top

Oh, My! How wonderful to see so many incredibly heart-felt images. Thanks to each and every one!.

Dec 26, 2017, 4:16pm Top

And don't forget Happy Boxing Day!!

Dec 28, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Dec 28, 2017, 11:37pm Top

Dear Linda, I hope that you and Will are having a wonderful holiday!
I have a new recommendation for you that I got from Stasia (who may have gotten it from you, now that I think of it). Allegra Maud Goldman is a classic and a wonderful find about a Jewish child and teen growing up in Brooklyn just before WWII. So funny! So insightful!
How I wish that 2018 at last may hold less pain for you!

Dec 29, 2017, 8:10am Top

I hope you and Will had a delightful, yet different, Christmas in PA! Wishing you both a spectacular new year!!

Dec 29, 2017, 9:31am Top

Happy Holidays, Linda!

Dec 31, 2017, 12:52am Top

I am happy that this year is drawing to a close. Buh-bye 2017...You can't leave soon enough.

I broke my right ankle a couple of weeks ago, and that kinda sums up the year. Surgery to strength the bones with plates. But healing seems to be progressing, because the doc prescribed a boot (on Friday) rather than the hard cast he had talked about in pre-op. While I not supposed to put weight on the ankle for another month, I can take the boot off at bedtime. Can't drive, so we're not so free to travel about the country.

How did your Friday appointment with your surgeon go?

So Happy New Year, Linda.

I'll doing the reading business in 2018, hoping to do better both in numbers (just...just...well, uh....a half-dozen more would be satisfying) and in being more social (getting around the threads, tipping the hat, sharing a smile). See you on the other side, my friend.

Dec 31, 2017, 10:54am Top

Hi Linda, just stopping by to wish you and Will a Very Happy New Year my dear and hope that 2018 is a really good year. Sending love and hugs to both of you from both of us dear friend.

Dec 31, 2017, 12:48pm Top

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 1:08pm Top

>62 Whisper1: "but the short term disability company does not think pain is a reason not to work"

What idiocy! Obviously whoever made that rule has no clue. It sounds like your doctor has a good sound reasons to continue your short term diability - healing vibes sent your way. ETA: Oh dear - I shortened that to STD - but not wanting to start any rumors, I've now spelled it out instead. Hope that gives you a chuckle, my friend.

I hope your appointment went well. I'm sending good wishes that 2017 saw the Very Last Back Surgery EVER!

Thanks again for all the wonderful reviews and marvelous images you've shared this past year and all the other years. I'll see you again soon - round the corner in 2018!

Dec 31, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Hi Linda!

Peace, Health, and Happiness in 2018

Dec 31, 2017, 5:32pm Top

view from Zürich's landmark mountain Üetliberg

Dec 31, 2017, 10:23pm Top

Wishing you a Happy New Year, Linda and at least another month off work. I am glad to hear that you are on the count down to retirement.

Jan 1, 7:03pm Top

Happy 2018!!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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