Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer
This is Georgette Heyer's very first book. The Queen of Romance wrote this fun rollicking adventure when she was just a teenager and I thought it was the perfect book to finish out the year and to finish up with Tuesdays Tomes.
Jack Carstairs is the eldest son of the Earl of Wyncham but he is disgraced and his place for all intense and purposes has been taken by his younger brother, Dick. Six years earlier, Dick cheated at cards but Jack took the blame-this made him an outcast from society. So what did he do? He became a highwayman!-- but of the Robin Hood type.
Meanwhile, weak brother Dick has married a very spoiled but very beautiful woman. Her brother, the Duke of Andover, has far too much influence over her and Dick...influence that is not good for either of them. Is he truly a villain?
Enter the beautiful and sweet, Diana Beauleigh...will she change Jack's fate?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Set in the mid 18th century, Heyer already shows her wonderful attention to historical detail and one of the most interesting and fun parts of the book are the "moral lessons"...it seems that being a card cheat was just about the worst thing you could be. (There are, to our sensibilities, far worse villains in this book!)
Delightfully read by Sibella Denton, you can download the free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf. e-Pub or Kindle format here.
Yes, this is the last Tuesdays Tomes weekly review. It has become harder to find interesting books, read well, than it used to be and I feel that after more than a year and half of weekly reviews, its time to call it a day. I will leave the links to the reviews on the sideboard and I will write reviews when I've read something that I want to share. I'll see if there are enough to make it a monthly feature or to just leave it as a sometime thing. I hope you've enjoyed reading the reviews and that they led to some fun books...I know I've enjoyed writing them.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Tuesdays Tomes: A bit of holiday cheer: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Hanukkah Song by Adam Sandler
How about some traditional holiday cheer? You can listen to A Christmas Carol beautifully read by Kyle M. (download here) or take it along on your phone or Kindle (download here.)
Here's a fairly new Hanukkah tradition but one that will be put a big smile on your face: Adam Sandler and his Hanukkah Song.
Happy Hanukkah and/or :-) Merry Christmas everyone!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I haven't been posting much because I haven't been working much. I fell on the last day of our trip to Hanover back in October and I pulled a ligament in my ankle. Its finally getting better and I'm doing a little sewing on the machine but not much each day. I did have fun the other day at the physical therapist's: I played Wii baseball while standing on a mushy cushion! I was definitely a better hitter than pitcher-I lost to myself by giving up a home run!
I have been doing a some embroidery and some handquilting. I've now done 6 of the 12 blocks for the mystery quilt.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The House by the Lock by Alice Muriel Williamson
Do you believe in love at first sight? I have to confess that I sort of do. Three days after meeting my husband, I told my sister that I would marry him-we’re married 33 years and still counting.
Noel Stanton, an adventurer and travel writer, has just returned to
“Farnham explained to me that he had “run over” to
‘I’ve had a good offer’, he said; ‘indeed, I’m visiting the house of the man who has made it—a wonderful fellow, only one degree, perhaps, less interesting than you. His name is Carson Wildred.’”
Farnham explained that one of the reasons he came to the theater that night was that Carson Wildred had a previously made engagement to see the performance with some friends and he was extremely curious to see the woman whose beauty Wildred had been praising for days.
“’There’s Wildred and his friends just coming to the stage box. By Jove! what a pretty girl!’
I looked up, because I was sure the volatile American would give me no peace until I had done so; and then, having done so, I completely forgot the play…never I have I looked on a face so radiant, so bewildering.
‘Who is she?’
“A Miss Karine Cunningham.”
And so by page 10, we’ve met all the major characters and already I liked Stanton and Farnham and was suspicious of Carson Wildred to whom
I like books that immediately get me into the story and combine romance and mystery. This book has an added allure. Written by a woman and published in 1906, there are many little peeks into what was considered propriety and convention in the relationships between men and women. Sometimes, these comments were so unexpected that they brought me up short.
Read by the always wonderful Roger Melin, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf, ePub or Kindle format here or read it on-line here.ue
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The Fair Reward by Thomas Beer
This 1923 novel gives us a look at the American theater from the end of the 19th century to the 1920s while telling us the story of Mark Walling: actor and producer. Mark is a truly sympathetic character and as we follow his life story, we can’t help but be moved by him…something we wish to shake him and tell him to wake up.
As the novel begins, we are introduced to Mr. John Carlson, producer of an imported play, Nicoline. He’s nervous about the opening. Mr. Fitch tells him not to worry.
“This’ll be a hit. It’s been a hit in
“Boyle? Who’s she? That black headed gal that plays the streetwalker, y’ mean? She’s no good…Common as dirt and no more sense than a turnip.”
And so we meet Cora Boyle. She and Mark Walling are a young married couple when the book opens-it is she that has gotten him into acting and a small part in the play.
Mark and Mr. Carlson eventually become partners in producing plays with quite a bit of success. And Cora…well, I’ll leave that to you to find out when you read this very interesting novel.
A 1922 review in the New York Times just stopped short of calling this novel brilliant. “…it has style and sophistication and personality, intermingled with a truly vivid show of imagination. It even borders on brilliancy…”
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Cookbook: Young Ladies Cooking Club of
This delightful cookbook was published by the Young Ladies of the Cooking Club of Monroe, Michigan in 1884.
I’ve found that small cookbooks published by organizations or clubs are often very useful precisely because they are not written by professionals. It’s more like having a chat and receiving a recipe from a friend or a friend’s mother or grandmother. This book is exactly like that…but this chat is across more than a hundred years.
What made these young women decide to have a cooking club and then to publish a cookbook
“In launching our little book on the turbulent waters of public opinion, we think some explanation of our audacious undertaking is perhaps necessary, therefore, kind friends, we are going to let you into the secret of its inception with the hope that our frankness may pave the way to a warm reception.”
“It is only fair to say that we started out as a very unassuming little Cooking Club, of only 10 members about two year ago, imbued more with the desire of having a good time together as is the well-known custom of Monroe maidens, than to burden our minds with culinary facts.”
As their membership increased (indeed, they “rose to the dignity of a Constitution”) they began to think about publishing a cookbook and dreaming of what they might do with the proceeds--a trip to Europe being everyone’s favorite idea. (I really like these girls!)
What they do at the Club
“Pray, what do they do at the club?”
T’is ever the question they ask;
But to answer it fully, I fear,
Were rather a serious task;
And yet, if you’ll listen to me,
And pardon my rhyming with “grub”,
I’ll venture a bit of a song
To tell what they do at the club.
The book’s recipes are combined together as menus for entertainments :“Lunch Party” , “High Tea”, “Refreshments for New Year’s Day” includes 3 different menus, “Supper”, “Breakfast”, “Coffee”, “Supper”(2 more menus), “Tea”, “Supper” (6 more times but I really like the first menu in 3 courses: First course-Strawberry Shortcake!. As my son is fond of saying, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”), “Hallow e’en Party”, “Coffee”, and another “Supper”. The last group of recipes are classed under “Miscellaneous” which includes everything from roast goose to Boston Baked Beans to Lemon Drop Cookies… these just didn’t seem to fit into the categories-you’ll notice there was no “Dinner”. On page 36 there is an index.
Some reflections on the recipes: lots of gelatin in use here (they have a recipe for Coffee Jelly!), lots of canned seafood (well, they are rather far from the ocean!), lots of mayonnaise type salads, and cakes.
Here are a few of the recipes-exactly how they appear in the book.
“VEAL CROQUETTES --Take one veal cutlet, cook and chop very fine, four potatoes boiled and mashed hot, one onion chopped, salt, pepper, butter and a little parsley; mix with the veal adding the juice of one half lemon. Roll in the shape desired, dip in egg and crackers and fry in hot lard.—Miss K. Chapman”
(I never would have thought of adding the lemon juice. And yes, just about everything is fried in lard. I think there was 1 recipe that called for frying in butter.)
“FROZEN PEACHES—One quart of fresh peaches crushed fine and added to one quart of sweet cream all made very sweet; or you can freeze the cream partially and then add the fruit.—Miss Mollie Morton”
(Mmm! And you don’t even have to bother putting this into an ice cream machine.)
You can see in this little cookbook how recipe styles are changing: some of the recipes are given in the “old” way that are common in 19th century cookbooks and some are given in the “modern” way that is more familiar to us though they’re still not quite there. Take a look at these two muffin recipes and you’ll see what I mean. (The italics are mine.)
MUFFINS No. 1—Mix one teaspoon of baking powder and a little salt, into one pint of flour; add to the beaten yolks of two eggs, one tea-cup of sweet milk or cream, a piece of butter (melted) half the size of an egg, the flour with baking powder and salt, and the well beaten whites of two eggs. Beat well, bake immediately in gem pans in a hot oven. -- Miss Hattie Harvey.
MUFFINS No. 2—Half cup of sugar, half a cup of milk, half a cup of water, two and half cups of flour, two heaping teaspoons baking powder, two heaping teaspoons butter. Mix and bake about fifteen minutes. -- Miss Sadie Noble.
You can read this lovely little time-travel cookbook free on-line here. If you would like to look at other vintage cookbooks free on-line, check out this page …there are over 185 cookbooks to look at…have fun!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The Chestermarke Instinct by J.S. Fletcher
John Horbury, bank manager at Chestermarke’s bank in the small English town of
Neale and even Lord Ellersdeane do not believe that Mr. Horbury took the jewels as well as the securites and fled. Only the bankers do.
When lovely, independent Miss Fosdyke, Mr. Horbury’s niece arrives as she and her uncle were to begin their vacation trip together and discovers her uncle is missing, she has no patience with her uncle’s employers. If they don’t want to call in the police “just yet” as they are more worried about a possible run on the bank when word gets around that the Bank Manager is missing, well she does. She too does not believe any rubbish about stolen securities and is simply worried about her uncle.
This is a rousing good mystery with lots of questions, a few clues, a tinker, a moor to roam around in, a Scotland Yard detective and a bit of romance. And best of all, it was kind of fun to read a book in which the bankers are clearly somehow off. I’m not going to give anything away but believe me when I say that every character in the book is sympathetic except the bankers!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The Thing from the
“The Thing from the
Roger Locke, a
“There, Mr. Locke, is a bargain,” the agent called back to me, where I sat in my car.
I nodded, surveying the house with an eagerness of interest that surprised myself. A box-like fairly large structure of commonplace
He of course buys the house…indeed, he decides that he wants to sleep in it that very night -a bit of “camping out” in the partially furnished house. He gets a bit of a surprise. He’s suddenly awakened during the night. A woman is in his room-she tells him a tale of magic, witches, death and evil-and slips away as mysteriously as she entered.
Locke leaves the next day for New York, after contacting various workmen to set the house to rights.
His cousin, Phillida, has been called home from college by her parents-to be berated for not doing well in her exams and he has agreed to meet her at her train and travel home with her. When her train is late, he calls her parents and telling a small fib says that her train will arrive too late for the connection and that he will take her out to dinner and home later. When he meets Phillida and sees how downcast she is, he offers to let her choose the restaurant. She surprises him by stating she wants to go to a nightclub with an ice dancing show.
There she really surprises him: she introduces him to her secret husband, Ethan Vere, one of the ice dancers. Roger is shocked but he realizes that Phillida has not fallen for some fly-by-night and that Vere is a serious young man who grew up on a farm in
Soon it is summer and Roger Locke is up at the
Bright and sunny by day, mysterious doings and chills by night, this Gothic Romance is very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed the last chapter-a chapter with an alternate explanation for all that has happened throughout the book! Eleanor M. Ingram wrote several novels-I’m definitely going to read another and I'll report back.
Wonderfully read by Roger Melin, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf., e-Pub, or Kindle format here.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Survivors by Tom Godwin
A little over 4,000 people, men, women and children, are left on an unknown planet after their ship has been boarded by earth’s enemy, the Gern –and left to die. The first night, about a quarter of them do die-killed by a terribly swift lethal disease and by the wild animals that inhabit the planet. But by the second night, they have defenses in place.
Life is not easy on Ragnarok (a perfect name-it is a bit of a rag of a rock). There is a brutally hot summer and a brutally cold winter but over the years, the “colonists” learn to cope better and better. And they vow to someday get back at the Gern and defeat them.
This tale, while technically science fiction, is actually the story of pioneers who rise to meet the challenges before them and to conquer them. The story covers generations-something I really liked-and while its true that we don’t really get to know many of the characters very deeply, we get the overall flow of families establishing themselves in a former wilderness.
Published in 1958 (the photo above is of the dustcover to the hardback edition), this book got a title change to “Space Prison” when the paperback was published in 1960. I thought you’d enjoy seeing the 1960 and 1962 paperback covers.
LOL! Isn't the first paperback cover hilarious! A perfect example of Pulp Fiction style. Two years later, the cover returned more to the hardcover graphic style.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
A shot is heard in the night! A man runs out into
Don’t worry, there are fearless and clever detectives on the case. Detective Sergeant Dave Morgan and Detective Tierney of the
This fun book was written by the husband and wife team, Paul and Mabel Thorne in 1921. It was their first collaboration-after that they wrote one more mystery together and then Paul wrote several on his own.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
The circles are made from left-over cut-offs from my Drunkard's Path Quilt. (BTW, you can see a tutorial on using Marti Mitchell's templates for this quilt on my side board.) I actually hand-pieced the quarter circles last spring when I was visiting (and helping out a bit with) my new twin granddaughters in Boston. I machine appliqued the circles with a buttonhole stitch...you can see how I used iron-on interfacing to make this super easy to do here.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Then I sewed with a 1/4" seam allowance around the circles, trimmed the interfacing, and carefully slit the back of the interfacing.
Then I turned the circles out...
and laid them on red and white striped square and pressed. The iron-on interfacing held well enough that I could sew them (using a buttonhole stitch) without any pins.
The circles were about 9" and I played around a bit with the size of the striped square until I decided I liked a square that would finish at 11". (Any bigger and I thought the red was too dominant.)
Then I started playing with them on my design wall and I liked them off-set. It just added to the fun.
So I sewed it all together with sashing that finished at 3", then added a 3" outer border in white too and a fun red and yellow 3" square outer border.
I'm linking to Finished for Friday at Lit and Laundry and to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop. Hop on over and see all the terrific stuff happening.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The Calico Cat by Charles Miner Thompson
Mr. Peaslee and his wife moved into town from their farm one year ago and ever since he has been tormented by a rascally calico cat who likes his hen house. He’s convinced that this calico cat is the smartest, most annoying cat ever: a cat that delights in making him miserable.
When he’s full of his good news-he’s been called to serve on the county Grand Jury and pictures himself serving with wisdom and great dignity, he sees that calico cat sitting on the fence. He’s certain that cat is mocking him and he goes a little crazy. He tries to shoot it!
Now don’t worry, the cat is fine but the ramifications of that shot go far.
This hilarious, generous hearted tale of a small American village on the Canadian border is filled with wonderful characters.
A first novel (1908) by Charles Miner Thompson with illustrations by F.R. Gruger, this story first appeared in The Youth’s Companion, a family magazine (1827-1929). BTW, Francis Bellamy who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in1892 (it was adopted by Congress in 1942) was a staff writer at The Youth’s Companion.
Charmingly read by Allyson Hester, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf., e-Pub or Kindle format here.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Shadow of the Rope by E.W. Hornung
Romance? Mystery? While its hard for me to assign this book a genre, it is easy for me for say how delightful it is.
Young Rachel, alone in the world, jumps at the opportunity to travel from
Acquitted of the murder by the jury but not by public opinion, Rachel finds herself penniless and alone. White-haired Mr. Steel, who sat everyday at her trial, offers his assistance. She is hesitant- why would this man, a perfect stranger, want to help her? She has heard of other women, acquitted of horrible crimes, that are later besieged by marriage offers…is this his intention?
She accepts his help because she truly has no other choice, and because he clearly states that she will have her own rooms at a respectable hotel. The next morning he does propose marriage-a completely platonic one. His explanation of why wants to marry her is one of the delights of this book.
“I want a wife; or rather, my neighbors seem bent upon finding me one; and, if the worst has to come to the worst, I prefer to choose for myself. Matrimony, however, is about the very last state of life that I desire, and I take it to be the same with you. Therefore--to put the cart before the horse--you would suit me ideally. One's own life would be unaltered, but the Delverton mothers would cease from troubling, and at the head of my establishment there would be a lady of whom I should be most justly proud.”
Take that, Mrs. Bennet!
What should Rachel do? Considering her last hasty marriage, you would think she would give Mr. Steel’s offer a pass but she is truly friendless. They marry and after a tour of Europe, they return to his large estate in
“The novels of Charles Langholm were chiefly remarkable for their intricate plots, and for the hope of better things that breathed through the cheap sensation of the best of them.”
I had to wonder if the author was thinking of himself but my favorite comment is yet to come.
"What!" he cried; "you call yourself a lady, and you don't look at the end before you reach it?"
Ahh, from now on, I will not feel guilty when I peek at the end of a book.
That’s it for now…you’ll have to read this 1902 novel to find out more about Rachel and Mr. Steel. This is the second novel by E.W. Hornung (brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that I’ve read and I liked it even more than the first. (You can read that review here.)
Read by Christine DuFour, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf., e-pub., or Kindle format here.
Some rather cheesy yet romantic illustrations
Some rather cheesy yet romantic illustrations
Friday, October 7, 2011
It is the most powerful Holocaust Memorial I have ever seen-each person's name, age or date of birth and place and date of death is inscribed on the sloping sides. They finally have a gravestone.
I think I went to every museum in Hannover-large and small. Here are just two of the wonderful things I saw that I wanted to share: a pair of antique dolls ( taken through the glass case).
Most evenings we went out to dinner with other conference participants-it was nice to finally meet many people that I've heard Dan talk about for years. We did go to the opera one night (The Marriage of Figaro) and this is the door knob of the Opera House! Pretty cool!
Saturday, the conference organized a trip to the Harz Mountains (bird seed, anyone?). I've discovered that the Harz Mountains are really a plateau of rolling hills and
We made a friend...isn't he gorgeous!
The trip was organized around Leibniz, of course. Besides math and philosophy, he was interested in industry and general problem solving. The silver mines in the Harz Mountains had terrible problems with water in the mines...the solution was to use water wheels to run the pumps to get the water out! Leibniz thought he had a better way-windmills-or at least a closed water system that then utilized the water pumped from the mines to run the water wheels. It wasn't actually put into practice at the mine he worked with but both were later used at another mine.
sluice and pump house.
And a real water wheel...look at the size of it!
How did they get enough water to run the water wheels? They dug channels to bring water from higher, more distant mountains-these covered miles and miles-
and they created reservoirs to collect the water from local streams and creeks-creating lastingly beautiful places.
Now that we're back, Tuesdays Tomes will resume-I definitely had no time to read on our trip!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Here you can see one of the formal mazes-with two special Hannover differences: 1) flowers and 2) the maze is cut very low (those aren't mutant giant flowers!)
Our hotel was in the old quarter and right down the street was the Old Town Hall...the streets were too narrow for me to get a picture of the whole building so this is from the internet.
Isn't that quite an amazing brick building? I just love the crazy high frontage. This is the most southern building in Germany done in the North German Brick Gothic style. Parts of the building date from 1410.
Historians don't know why this was added into the brick work on the side wall...maybe this is how the townsfolk felt about the local government!