In print since it was first published in 1979, this book is a glorious collection of American folk art by "ordinary" women of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Filled with beautiful four-color reproductions of samplers, quilts, paintings, and needle-pictures along with excerpts from diaries and letters, sampler verse, books, and magazines of the period, Anonymous Was a Woman celebrates the daily experiences and inner lives of women who, in acts of love and duty, created many masterpieces of American folk art.
An interesting, but not perfectly plotted novel. The focus is a conspiracy to create clones of celebrities, using advanced biotechnology. Standing in the way of this conspiracy are former FBI agent Christal Anaya, famous actress Sheela Marks, and ex-Marine Lymon Bridges.
Willis' books, all of which are excellent, are either horribly bleak tragedies or madcap romances. I like the madcap romances best, and this is one of the best of those. Cloche hats! Sheep! Grantwriting! This book is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Four stars.
The author features essays on knitting in this book, but also includes some patterns. This is not an anthology by different authors, as I originally thought - the author wrote each of the essays herself. I liked the book.
This book is pictures only - no words. It's definitely meant for adults, and I found it very moving. I loved the use of color and the use of perspective. I loved the way the artist conveyed the emotions of his characters. I loved the sense of hope after tragedy. Anyone who's interested in graphic novels should read it. Five stars, since it changed the way I thought about graphic novels.
This is the first in a series of paranormal romances. The main character is a small-town female police officer named Jessie McQuade. A woman is badly injured when she hits a wolf with her SUV, and McQuade is sent to investigate. She follows the trail of a wolf and finds a gorgeous naked man. Are things about to get hairy?*
I am picky about romance novels, but this one satisfied my criteria. There are a lot of things I liked about it.
1) The heroine is smart. She has common sense and she calls for backup when appropriate.
2) Her love interest is a caring, mature person. Specifically, he appreciates the heroine for more than just her body. Also, although there is some sexy R-rated wrestling, he never pushes past what she's willing to give him.
3) I didn't care that I could see where the plot was going. Most romances are a bit predictable. That's okay, as long as they're good enough that you don't mind, and in this case I didn't. I knew who Jessie was going to end up with, but I really wanted to know how it would happen and what they would say to each other and how they would (inevitably) foil the bad guys.
4) Who the bad guys are and what their deal is remains a mystery up until the end.
I enjoyed this book and I will be looking up more of Ms. Handeland's work. Recommended for all fans of love stories with bite!* Four stars.
The Bowl of Night is third in the Bast mystery series. This series features a pagan amateur sleuth solving mysteries within the community. I had read the first two books as a teenager (Speak Daggers to Her and Book of Moons) and liked them very much. Somehow, until a month or so ago, I was not aware that a third book had been added. I found out because there was a Bast short story in an anthology I read recently - just don't ask me which one - which referred to the series as a trilogy. Any road. This third book is about the murder of a fundamentalist Christian at a pagan gathering. Cliche, to be sure. It was clear to me from the second chapter who the murderer was, but that wasn't really why I was reading - I was more interested to see the way Edghill would describe things playing out in the community. Wow. She and Bast both have a pretty cynical view. I found the book rather bleak. Probably the saddest thing about it is Bast's lack of faith in the community. She is so sure that she will be judged for her actions that she doesn't even speak out for herself. Now, I'm not saying the community is eternally free of faults. But people can't act well unless you give them chances to do so. Maybe this is Edghill's way of portraying karma? Anyway, it was compelling and felt very real. Three stars.
I was still interested when I got to the fifty page mark, so I kept going for a while. But I found I had to skip the last hundred pages. It was painfully obvious where everything was going. The plot was so cliched. So they're dragons? Whatever. Naomi Novik did it better. Don't bother reading The Dragon DeLaSangre.
I am amazed that Jo Walton wrote this book in just 17 days. This book is taking up a disproportionate amount of psychic space in my head right now. If you don't want to be made to think, stay away. In some ways, Walton's inscription says it all: "This novel is for everyone who has ever studied any monstrosity of history, with the serene satisfaction of being horrified while knowing exactly what was going to happen, rather like studying a dragon anatomized upon a table, and then turning around to find the dragon's present-day relations standing close by, alive and ready to bite."
The premise of the book - an embattled, isolated England sued for peace with Germany to end WWII. It's now 1949. A blue-blooded society daughter, closely related to the political faction that created the peace, has shocked her family and indeed all of the upper class by marrying a Jew. When they are invited to a weekend retreat with her family, he thinks that they are finally getting used to him, but she smells a rat. Then a prominent politician is killed - at the party - and evidence points to murder by Jews.
Everyone in this book has a secret. Most of the secrets are dangerous. Most of them will stay on my mind.
An old friend of mine once explained his idea of science fiction this way: "Really good science fiction makes you think, 'Wow, that's really terrible! I'm so glad it's not happening here!... Wait a minute....'" And Farthing definitely fits this bill. It will unsettle you and make you worry about the future. Four stars.
I ordered _Galileo's Daughter_ on a whim. Wow. It was really, really good. The story is the story of the life of Galileo, and especially of his relationship with his older daughter, who is a nun with the convent name of Maria Celeste. The time period featured here is not one that I've ever been especially interested in. Nor did I know anything about Galileo, (beyond that Indigo Girls song and a conspiracy theory that someone told me when I was a teenager, that the Church actually knew already that the earth went around the sun, they just weren't ready for the public to know) or think that it was a lack in my life not to, but this book was riveting. Sobel did a great job of keeping you interested with the narrative and the letters from Maria Celeste to her father, without neglecting contextual information about the politics and church doctrine of the time. This book transformed my understanding of this period of Italian history. The idea of being arrested, tortured, or even executed for disagreeing with church doctrine is chilling. If you are interested in science, history, or the relationship between church and state, then order _Galileo's Daughter_ right away. Dava Sobel also wrote a similar book which I plan to investigate: _Longitude:The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time_. Five stars.
This is a disturbing science fiction piece, on a world where some grow up without a gender and become part of a powerless underclass. I found some portions of the book upsetting, but it will really make you think.