Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line. This is the last review.
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

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

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

Two more embroidery blocks finished

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

Tuesdays Tomes: The House by the Lock by Mrs. C.N. Williamson

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

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 England from one of his adventures looking for a taste of home and a bit of quiet. He heads off to the theater and while at the box office meets an acquaintance from his travels in the U.S, Mr. Harvey Farnham of Denver. They sit in adjacent stalls and before the curtain goes up chat.

“Farnham explained to me that he had “run over” to England on business, intending to sell a certain mine of his, which though vastly profitable, was the one thing in which he had lost interest.

‘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 Stanton had a visceral and disgusted reaction…he felt he knew him from somewhere but the memory is allusive. And Miss Cunningham? Well, not having fallen in love with her myself at first sight, she’s still a mystery.

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

Tuesdays Tomes: The Fair Reward by Thomas Beer

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

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 London and Paris. The critics-the adapter smiled- won’t dare say anything worse than that it’s immoral. And Cora Boyle will make them laugh in the third act, so that’ll be safe.”

“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…”

Read by Greg W., you can download this free audio-book here or read it on-line here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New embroidered mystery quilt beginnings

I've started on the new embroidered mystery quilt for the Redwork Club I lead at the Quilt Center quilt shop. The theme this year is butterflies so using vintage embroidery patterns as my inspiration, I designed the blocks with butterflies and flowers sprays. Here are the first 4 blocks completed.This will be a nice scrappy quilt and I've chosen 30s reproduction fabrics. I love these cute bright fabrics and how well they go with colorful 30s style multi-colored embroideries.l