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Book Review-The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Night Watch

This is a very worthwhile book to read if you are interested in history and learning more about the real cost of war.

The night watch focuses on England during the time of the blitz (the merciless bombing of London during World War I). It is a time when tragedy strikes quickly and no one is immune or safe.

Since most of the young men are serving in the military, those that are too old for services serve in another capacity as air wardens. Many of the women now work and this story features some gals that make up the rescue crews. It was their job to go into the dangerous, bombed out areas to hunt for survivors and more often bodies. They are courage, dedication and columnists make their story so compelling.

This book by Sarah Waters also features a sometimes tangled web of the present and former relationships between these women. It reveals a large amount of same-sex relationships and experiences in this novel, but waters does so with delicacy and tact. This should not stop you from reading this book as Waters is a class act and a wonderful storyteller..

I highly recommend this book as it is hard for us in the US to get a feel for what war-torn countries go through. 911 was the closest we ever came to experience such overwhelming tragedy and evil.

Waters has more books available and I for one am looking forward to reading them.

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Hand-feeding Backyard Birds by Hugh Wiberg-Book Review

Handfeeding birds

This 1999 addition is a step-by-step guide to introduce you to the hobby of hand feeding birds.

For more than 20 years, this author has focused on hand feeding birds that come to the feeders he keeps and those that regularly visit some of the parks he attends.

The book explains the joy and connection to nature hand feeding brings. It goes through the methods of hand feeding for many different species along with what their favorite foods are and how to attract different kinds of birds.

The guide tells how to start, the best times to hand feed and what the timeline is likely to be till you are successful. This is a hobby which requires patients and a slow hand to win over these feathered friends. It promotes trust and a sense of intimacy between species.

This book features 80 color photos to help you identify birds and show the hobby as it progresses.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn from the experts how to pursue this hobby.

This book is available here-

https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/hand-feeding-backyard-birds-a-step-by-step-guide_hugh-wiberg/565202/?mkwid=spA4mi3qV%7cdc&pcrid=70112905152&pkw=&pmt=&plc=&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1NzZBRCoARIsAIaMwus39oqtjj57oi64Opzze9zno_ByRQ6K2rABGj2ZdlzytaSgJUzQME0aAgi5EALw_wcB#isbn=1580171818&idiq=3213381

The Baglady’s Guide to Elegant Living by Dina Dove -Book Review

Baglady's Guide 

Angela’s life just fell apart when she met, by chance, a lovely elderly woman named Rose. She finds her in the park where she runs.

Rose carries a large bag with her wherever she goes, but it does not can contain all her worldly possessions, nor does Rose live on the street. Her bag contains quotes, helpful advice and articles which she dispenses to Angela just at the most appropriate time. Her timing is perfect and her advice is golden.

These tidbits that she passes on to Angela are like a blueprint as to how to regain her life again, only this time much better. Who is this Rose? Is she just a very nice adult who discovered the secret to living a meaningful and elegant life? Or is she much, much more?

She guides Angela to the peace she needs so badly. She helps Angela accept certain facts about herself and how she contributed to her present circumstances. Acceptance has been more than difficult for Angela.

This book is easy to read and very enjoyable. Use it to rediscover truths you forgotten or as a guide to gain equilibrium, sanity and joy at just being.

A wonderful book for anyone who could use a little pick me up. I highly recommend this as a book for a special friend you wish to encourage and uplift.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DABM9O/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Breathless by Dean Koontz Book Review

Breathless

Dean Koontz is a master storyteller which anyone who has read him cannot deny. He weaves together details effortlessly and we follow him happily wherever his story leads us.

The Rockies are the peaceful setting for this mystical journey between reality and the unknown. You suspend disbelief as you are pulled into this wonderful plot. When something never before seen becomes the daily norm of your life and moves in with you, then you are led to a sacred place of discovery. When everything you thought you knew is turned upside down and the encounters of almost mythical creatures occurs, the protective, mothering instinct is pushed into gear. Known to you only for a short time, you will feel compelled to save and nurture the beautiful beings. The discovery brings strangers together from far away points with various motives. You are let in on a secret greater than one person’s possible imagination and when a secret purpose is revealed to you, then you too will be left breathless.

Don’t miss this one! The childlike belief in all possibility is born again when you get lost in this endearing story.

This 2009 Koontz offering can be found in all major bookstores off-line and online.

Book Review of McNally’s Caper by Lawrence Sanders

 

 McNally

 

If you never read any of the McNally series, you are missing a treat for a light read. They are almost reminiscent of an English Cozy. Archy McNally works at his father’s law firm. He is not a lawyer, but makes Discreet Inquiries for his father. They often work with wealthy clients and Archy always ends up in wild situations.

There are several things that Archy holds important. Number one is he is a snazzy and very bold dresser. His appearance is important to him and he really likes to stand out in a crowd. A second thing that he holds as vital is that he consume great food. The family has a cook that is outstanding and since he lives with his parents, even though he has his own lair, they often share meals. They eat very well and Archy is sure to tell you about it. He enjoys a cigarette from time to time and his liquid refreshment must be every bit as good as his meals.

While solving mysteries for his father, he seems to have no shortage of female companionship. He has a girlfriend he loves, but cannot stop the wealthy females, the heiresses from throwing themselves at him regardless of class and age.

These are like cozies because they solve the complicated crimes, but in less horrific detail for the reader. The mysteries are still good and contain many twists and turns at times, but the reader also enjoys the character of Archy McNally so much he is the story as much as the crime and solving it. Like any other mystery, it has the same elements as any other who-dun-it.

Lawrence Sanders is a great author and the McNally series delights me every time. I recommend all these books.

 

My New Book – Just Released – A Collection of Jo Ann’s Thoughts

article-book-covetr

I just released my new book called A Collection of Jo Ann’s Thoughts. This was a way for me to answer the many questions I get from readers and chat room attendees. It was a way to corral the numerous pieces of writing in one place and still this book certainly does not contain all my articles.

This book is available on Amazon in e-book and print format-https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N05161P

You may also purchase this at Create Space-https://www.createspace.com/6689159

For decades I wrote articles for websites online and print offline. Many of them were addressing parenting and foster parenting issues. I specialized in many different types of articles for specific websites. For example I wrote hundreds of articles about party planning and celebrating holidays for Suite 101. As an Examiner, I covered small business issues and rescue pets topics. There were many more issues especially when covering newspaper stories.

When you are involved in the social services field for foster parents, dysfunctional families and challenging kids, topics you deal with daily results in articles you wish to share. Sometimes they are a form of advice and some of mine have even been used in parenting and foster parent training. Dan and I used them in doing our job and others have included some of them in their agencies training as well. Many of my articles were also reprinted in newsletters for various foster care and adoption agencies.

Some articles discuss terms and concepts which I found vital when working with at risk kids. These include “Success is Relative,” “Unconditional Love” “Separate the Kid from the Behavior” and “Foster Care is a Different World”

While working with whole families, it became apparent that some parents do not know how to provide activities for their children which led to a whole series of articles such as starting your children on a collecting hobby or tracing your roots for your kids.

Kid’s parties and I believe in celebrating holidays of all kinds even when money is short. There are non-expensive ways to keep the holiday and at least include its recognition. Since I love theme parties, I have included several plans in this book.

Relationships have their own set of issues and being married to the same man for over 52 years, I think I found a few of the answers to popular questions about marriage. Communication is one topic discussed in this book along with how to choose friends and mates.

Since wring for such a long time, almost every imaginable topic has been explored in my articles. Of course they are not all in this volume. The miscellaneous section includes such things as an essay of food, how to organize a bedroom closet, spiritual issues and my take on gun control.

This book includes 60 articles. All fairly short and easy to read. Lots of topics not discussed here. If this book finds interest, there are enough articles to at least do two more books.

Please grab a copy since I will need readers and reviewers. Thanks to all who have supported me.

Book Review-Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks

jazz-baby-cover

I cannot give this book enough praise. I believe Mr. Weeks hit the mark perfectly when he described the era and the culture in the poor, dilapidated sections of the southern cities. He lets you into the grungier part of town where vice is expected and the cost of getting what you want or need can be very high. This is not society of The Great Gatsby though the motives and desires may have been the same. Gatsby gave you the cleaned up version.

He introduces us to Baby Teegarten, a -would -be -jazz singer just trying to break into the places where that type of music is allowed. The girl is very young and very small but, with a big voice, enough to make those church women cry. All she wants is to sing jazz and eventually get to New York to perform where she expects to find fame and fortune. But, she must start somewhere so here in rural Mississippi and New Orleans she tries to get her break. The problem isn’t talent but she is too white for those speakeasies.

Emily Ann, in many ways more child than woman, is experiencing her coming of age and the realistic emotions and desires many of us experience go much further when her curiosity leads her into many dangerous and unsavory situations. However, this girl never gives up.

This is a must read book but, be warned of the realistic portrayal of sex and violence if such things would offend you. The book is worth the read in spite of these things. I highly recommend it.