Monday, May 26, 2008

Book Review: The World in Pancho's Eye by J P S Brown

Written from the perspective of a young boy, this story follows the life of a cowboy, his family, his work, and his ups and downs. This is a very authentic depiction of early ranch life and experiences - Mr. Brown is writing a fictional account based on his own life experiences.

Life for a cowboy is not easy. And when alcohol plays a large part in it, it's very hard on family life. Cowboys travel for days or months, while the wife is left at home with the kids. Marriages are fragile when there's not much time for a relationship and the cowboy would rather hang out with the boys and drink than come home.

Life for a cowboy's son is not easy either. It's easy to think the sun rises and sets in his Daddy's eyes, and that everything is alright in the world as long as you're with him. But you're not always with him...

Parts of this book made me cry. Parts made me angry. It's not the most positive story - but it is like life is with cowboys. Whether they are raising horses or cattle, that's the most important thing with them. And they like to have a little fun along the way and some booze for that dry throat at the end of the day.

I see cowboys here in New Mexico now that still honor that tradition. And I know Arizona has its share, too.

Read an authentic western story about a child growing up in the era of the depression on a cattle ranch in southern Arizona - it will make you realize why ranchers are so tough.

If you'd like to buy a copy direct from the author, here's his email:

Sit back in your chair and visit the southern Arizona border with someone who has actually lived there! Mr. Brown would be happy to take you on that journey.

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sigh, I have to get a new printer...

I've been using a Canon i860 for years, and it's been a real workhorse for me. However, it's beginning to croak - making the sounds of gears not working right and getting ready to pass on...

I hate that. I like nice simple things, and trying to find a plain old printer is quite a chore nowadays. They have all-in-ones, laser and inkjet (I do like to print in color once in a while), and I just want a simple to use, no big deal printer.

I finally found the model I wanted to buy. No one carries it locally. No one knows how much longer my cripple will last before it does its last gasp. I'm stressed.

So I start doing price checks on the internet. Good ole Amazon has it - and can ship it in one day. They sure can - for $75!!!!! Gasp!

That was when I started making phone calls and found out I can't find it locally.

So then I looked for the particular model on the net. I found it on Dell. I lose a day while they deal with order, but it's technically cheaper than the Amazon offer (just have to send in the rebate request instead of getting it automatically), and they will do one day delivery for $24.

How long do you have to think about cheaper and $24 versus $75 for delivery? Didn't take me long.

Now I just have to hope the cripple will plug along until the new one comes in.

Another stresser for me was that I had purchased enough ink to carry me through the new year - and now the printer is sick. But I bought it from Staples (free delivery for over $50 orders). And their policy is that you can return any office supply for refund, no time limit! Now I have printed out my receipts, and I'll be visiting them after my new printer gets here. To give back the old ink type, get some new, and maybe even get some money back. I like Staples!

So, maybe next Wednesday I'll have my new workhorse for my business.

I should note that the Canon printer I originally purchased was "reconditioned" and worked like a champ for 8 years. Way past what most people would consider a reasonable life for something I paid $100 for.

I have also ordered another Canon printer. Why not?

And you can bet I'll be ordering more supplies from Staples, too.

Just like I hope my customers will order more books from me because I make customer service one of my priorities.

To me, customer service or quality products are the only things that you make you stand out in the internet world!

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Craft magazines, LOTS of craft magazines!

I just spent about three weeks listing piles of magazines that I had picked up here and there in bulk buys.

If you have a magazine collection and are missing a few issues, check out my magazine category. I have 270 listed now and many are old as well as some newer ones. All types of crafts. Many magazines have a variety of crafts in each issue. It's a good way to pick up a magazine and try different crafts and see which one is for you.

My main craft is crochet, but there were lots of lovely projects in these that I might try if I wasn't so busy listing books all the time!

Here's a sample for you:

Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas 1968 Title: Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas 1968

Seller ID: 017707

Magazine. In good condition, cover wear and light soiling. Interior is clean and bright. Trees, wreaths, centerpieces, wrappings, toys, ornaments, gifts, and more. Plus 20 pages of recipes.

Christmas Holidays Gifts Crafts Decorations

Price = 8.00 USD

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Book Review: The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

What made me request a copy of this to review was the fact that it is about the days of witch hunts in Salem. The little knowledge I had of the historical facts made it seem to be a time of frenzy, a way to get even with your enemies (or perceived enemies), a way to accumulate goods, and just in general, a totally greedy unrational time in the early history of the states.

This book is written by a descendant of one of the condemned witches who was hung. While it's fiction, it's a very compelling and authentic account of a family who got drawn into the conflict because they were "different".

A variety of comments, odd happenings and smallpox coming to the village turned local people away from them, and, in time, made the outspoken woman a target for the "touched" villagers. They were touched alright, but not with kindness.

It's written well, goes along smoothly, analyzes the relationship between the oldest daughter and her mother, and truly depicts the torment of the accused families and what they had to do to survive themselves.

This book will be available in September 2007, and I'd recommend it to anyone who has any interest in this period or who would like to know more about the witch hunts.

It has sadness in the story, but the resiliency of people shines through despite their losses.

I'll remember this book for a long time.

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie,

Eeny Up Above! Jane Yolen, Kathryn Brown (Illustrated by)

Eeny is a mole.  Her sisters are very happy in their home but Eeny is more adventuress.  She goes up and samples all of the seasons of the y...