Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another lap robe done...

This one is going to an 80 year old friend of mine.

That lump you see to the right of project is my cat, Tiger Lily, sleeping under the covers...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving - and More Crocheting!

Hope of all you are having a very good Thanksgiving and remembering all we have to be thankful for. We're having beef stew and brown bread for our dinner. Don't you think the pilgrim's might have served that, too?

I've been busy crocheting and have finished two more lap robes.

You'll note that Lily had to test the red one - she says it has passed the "kneadability" test.

They're both already packed up and will go out tomorrow. Now I've started another.

What are you working on or reading?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

This is an "engaging" story about a young woman in love who travels to spend Christmas with her newly found family and her beloved.

When she finally found her father, he had already passed away, but his family acknowledged her and, while some still had some hesitations about how to deal with her, she was going to spend Christmas with them anyway.

Before she even gets home, she and Ian find themselves sidetracked to a hospital where his father has been taken because of a heart attack. He will be OK, but now they need to find someone to play Father Christmas at the play.

While decisions are being made on who will fill in, someone leaks the information about who Miranda's father was, and the press swarms on the family!

There are ups and downs, some magical moments, and in the end, an engagement. No matter how all the rest of it turned out, Ian and Miranda were in love - and she captured "Father Christmas" for her mate!

A fun, easy read for the holiday season with a happy ending. This would make a nice present under the tree, or you can just buy it for yourself and set the mood for your own Christmas celebrations.

If you'd like my copy of this book, please leave a comment on the blog AND email me at to tell me why you'd like to be in the drawing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Secret History of Giants by Professor Ari Berk

I won a copy of this book and was looking forward to reading it. I was not disappointed!

This is one of those wonderful books which has little special treats inside. Several pages have little lift up flaps that show you the contents of a book or other "secret" information about giants.

The subject matter is fun! You have history, habits, lifestyle and information on what happened to the giants. You get varying points of view on fairy tales about giants. And you keep turning page after page to see what new idea is offered and how it is presented.

I read every piece of text in this book (even all the little inserts) and I'm not particularly interested in giants. But I sure was when it was presented in this form!

This book is a keeper. You can go back to it again and again and find something new.

It actually reminds me when I entered Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings series. This book, too, will take you on a journey and make you wonder just how far you could take the tale...

I have an extra copy of this book that I will give away to a lucky winner. If you're interested in the drawing, leave a comment here on the blog AND send me an email at to tell me why you'd like it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Finished my bedspread!

This was originally going to be a shawl, but it was too long. So I decided to make it a bedspread. I had enough yarn...

Then it was just a bit short on a queen sized bed, so I added an edging. I think it looks nice and it will be a good summer spread for us. We always have the air going, so you need something, but nothing too heavy. Now I'll have to buy some lavender sheets...

What do you think of it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Remember my review on The Paperbag Christmas?

The author will be doing a Blog Talk Radio interview and you can call in and ask him questions.

Here's where you go at 1PM on Friday Nov. 21st to participate in a Blog Talk Radio interview with Kevin Alan Milne. Here's more info:
Miriam Parker would love to have you call in and ask a question.

How often can you visit an author from home?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another review on BYDL...

I have posted a review on But You Don't Look Sick and am offering the book for free.

Read the review here:

This was Diamonds of Death and had murder, Mafia, and medical intrigue...

If you'd like to get my copy, leave a comment on my blog and then send me an email at . I'll do a drawing for the book later this week.

Do you like Harry Bosch?

Then you've got a treat to read!

I reviewed Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict, which has Bosch and Mickey Haller, an attorney in it. Both characters are well thought-out strong characters and they don't especially trust each other.

Mickey was recovering from being shot on a previous case and hadn't gone back into active practice yet. When he gets summoned by a Judge, he's not sure exactly what's going on, but he knows it's serious.

It seems another lawyer he knows has been killed, and Mickey was the lawyer named to take over the cases. He wasn't quite sure he wanted to go back to work yet, but he began to feel the old excitement at pending cases and agreed to do it.

However, the pending cases could be suspects for the murder of the previous attorney, and Harry Bosch wants to look through them. Mickey won't let them because it would compromise the cases. So he looks through them. And realizes he has one case that is really worth some money - and would help his new business get off the ground and running. It helps that he really doesn't care if his client is guilty or not. But even that doesn't remove the danger from the case.

And Harry cares about who killed the previous attorney and whether people are are innocent or guilty...

The story moves along quickly, has some quirky points, and justice is served - even if it might not be the court who serves it.

I enjoyed this combination of characters and this was a usual full-bodied story by a master storyteller, Michael Connelly.

Try it, you'll like it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crocheting and listening to audio books...

I'm about 1/2 through my bedspread. I'm making it from variegated baby yarn (lavender, pink, and yellow) and using a very lacy pattern. It should be very pretty on my bed.

And, as I crochet, I'm listening to Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot mysteries. I have several read by the BBC radio staff, and I love those British accents! Such fun.

So I put on my headphones, get my hook flying and see where Hercule is off to this time.

This is my "winter retreat" time. I quit working (at listing books) and concentrate on customer service and some "me" time. The only good time to crochet in the desert is the winter - at least if you're doing blanket sized projects.

Normally, this would be a very busy time for orders for me. I typically have a pretty good run in sales for Christmas. Not this year. I am getting orders, but not in any special volume. When the economy sucks, people buy less. I imagine there are going to be some pretty bare trees this year. Which might not be all bad. I think people get too excessive in buying presents nowadays.

We don't "do" Christmas anymore. I have no room for a tree (and you can't afford to buy them down here anyway) and we buy what we need as we need it. No family here. I do have Christmas lights on the house and I send Christmas cards to those who are alone in life and need some cheer. So I share the spirit of Christmas and we have a good Christmas dinner, but we don't do gifts anymore.

So, the end result is that I get more time to crochet. That's not all bad. It's a hobby I love, and I enjoy giving my work as gifts.

Even hardworking booksellers deserve some time off...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did you ever notice?

That doing book reviews is almost like doing a book report? That just occurred to me this morning. (Don't say I'm slow or I'll hit you!)

Hubby took pickup load #10 down to Good Start today. I can now see my front door again. All that stuff going out the door, and I still have LOTS of stuff!

Did you ever notice that no matter how much you give away, you still have more?

Did you ever notice that no matter how many books you read, your "to read" pile never gets smaller? It seems for every one I read, I buy two more!

And now my audio books are growing, too. I like to crochet and listen to a book.

Did you ever notice I'm addicted to books?

Happy reading all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our White House Looking In Looking Out

I've had an opportunity to review Our White House, and I was pleasantly surprised by the contents.

This book is for young adults and has all kinds of fascinating facts about the people who have occupied it, the historical times they have lived through, the pets they had, and more.

Until I heard it on TV the other night, I didn't know that slaves were used to build the original White House. This book gives you the lowdown on that and many other facts I was unaware of.

The majority of what it covers is non-fiction, but there are a few stories and poems in it, too.

It was created by 108 renowned authors and illustrators and the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance.

The illustrations are striking. The articles and quotes could easily lead into papers for class with a little more research.

Learn all about the folks who have lived in the White House - and then think about the Obama family who will be moving in shortly and making their own place in history...

It's easy to read in bits and pieces or all at once, depending on the type of reader your child is.

This is a great resource that should enhance their interest in history!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Milton's Secret by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S Friedman

I have had an opportunity to review a children's picture book that has a good message for kids.

Milton gets bullied by another student and is fearful of when he may be tackled by him again. He worries about "what if" and "what to do", and his family notices a difference and asks him if he's OK. He doesn't want to tell them about it.

Then he has a chat with his Grandpa and he shares his concept of the "Power of Now". Don't look back, don't look forward, deal with NOW.

This would be great for any child who has worries about school, family, or world events. Let Milton show them how to work through the issue and move on with life.

This is from Namaste Publishing. The illustrations are great, too. This is for a young reader or would work well as a "read aloud" book.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Holidays on Ice - David Sedaris

Mr. Sedaris writes stories filled with sarcasm, cynicism and a dark humor in them. This collection covers the holidays, and no one is having a very good time, LOL!

His writing style grabs your attention, some of his assumptions are outrageous, but the stories do have their charm.

If you liked the movie "Nightmare Before Christmas", I bet you'll like this book!

There are 12 stories, ranging from Dinah, the Christmas Whore to Jesus Shaves.

If you like dark humor and need a laugh before Christmas, this book is for you!

If you'd like my copy of this book, leave a comment here on the blog AND send me an email at and I'll put in the drawing for it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Like Humor?

I've done another review on another site and will be giving that book away, too.

Read all about here:

If this book appeals to you and you'd like to be in on the drawing to get it, you need to:

Make a comment here on my blog about it and send me email at expressing your interest. Then I will enter you in the drawing for the book!

Running Horse Ridge #1, Sapphire: New Horizons by Heather Brooks

Emily knows about dressage and riding horses for show. When her grandfather dies, she and her father travel back to the family ranch, which has a show barn and is a horse rescue center. She’s confident she’ll fit right in, until she finds out they train horses for jumping and hunting. There’s no dressage ring here!

She loves being around the horses, and finds one that captures her heart. The problem is that all the horses are bought and resold to keep the ranch, Running Horse Ridge going.

They do have some money set aside that was to be used for the purchase of a dressage horse, and she tries to talk her father into using that for Sapphire. But when they find an injured horse in the wild and go to the ranch that it escaped from, they find 40 abused horses that need help…

This is a story about a young girl growing up in the world of horses. This is a great first book in the series and leaves you wanting to read book two!

I will be giving away my uncorrected proof of this book. If you'd like my copy, LEAVE A COMMENT HERE AND SEND ME AN EMAIL AT TELLING ME WHY YOU'D LIKE IT. I'll pick a winner from the group.

Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrated by)

Suzy is tired of boring summers.  Then she finds out there is a retired circus performer living in her area.  She also finds that her Uncle ...