Musings on family history, regional history, book reviews, and miscellaneous observations and comments by a genealogist and librarian living near the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Grow Your Own Herbs
Belsinger, Susan. Grow Your Own Herbs: The 40 Best Culinary Varieties for Home Gardens. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 2019.
This book discusses growing one's own herbs. It discusses not only how to grow them but also how to use them fresh or to preserve them for later use. The illustrations are lovely. Some aspects of the narrative may be more detailed than the average lay person wants, but those with strong interest in herbal gardening will find it useful. I received an electronic review copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amish Voices: A Collection of Amish Writings
Igou, Brad, compiler. Amish Voices: A Collection of Amish Writings. Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2019.
Brad Igou collected writings from Amish publications on such topics as Amish history, marriage and family, work, church, discipline (especially church discipline), clothing, aging and death, and war and peace. While many people think they know what Amish believe, this book shares their beliefs in their own words. While I enjoyed the book, coverage was uneven. Some topics such as rumspringa which interest the "English" barely received treatment. I would have enjoyed more perspectives from nineteenth century Amish life, but I really do not know if the same type periodical literature or even diaries and letters survive that would allow the Amish to share their story from that era. I received an advance copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
Sunday, June 16, 2019
The Liar in the Library
Brett, Simon. The Liar in the Library. Edinburgh: Black Thorn, 2019.
Boring! The description I read on NetGalley mentioned an inspector. I did not realize this was a late installment in a cozy series. A man allergic to walnuts meets his death from something laced with walnuts. For those new to the series, the characters are not well-enough developed in this book to make it enjoyable. I did not enjoy it and really wish it had been a police procedural instead of a cozy. I received an advance electronic book through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
Thursday, June 06, 2019
The Artist Who Loved Cats
Bernardo, Susan S. The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen. Illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher. Los Angeles: Inner Flower Child Books, 2019.
Telling the story of Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, the artist famous for his Chat Noir cat illustrations, this picture book will please young readers who love cats. A young girl sees a bronze cat in a shop, enters, and hears the story from the shop owner (and from the cat). I enjoyed the illustrations. A little more biographical information is presented after the main part of the picture book. I received an advance copy through NetGalley with the expectation I would write an honest review.
Saturday, June 01, 2019
A Dagger Before Me
Dams, Jeanne M. A Dagger Before Me. Scottsdale, Arizona: Poisoned Pen Press, 2019.
The first half of the book more or less is nothing but a story of village life and traveling about England and a collection of odd British facts. About halfway into the book, Dorothy and Alan visit one of Alan's former colleague's sons to be godparents at the christening of a newborn son. A rite involving a dagger must be performed at the christening so the boy can inherit according to the estate's entail. Unfortunately the dagger is missing. Then a woman claiming to be mother of the current estate holder is found with a dagger in her back although she died of smoke inhalation. Alan and Dorothy assist a bit but most of the investigation is handled by the police. The ending seemed a bit abrupt. A better editor would have told the author to cut the first half of the book and expand the rest. Waiting until halfway through a book for a stolen dagger and corpse is too long in a mystery. I used to love the Dorothy Martin series but the last few I read contain major problems. Dams needs to decide whether she wants to write about village life or mysteries and stick with the genre. I received an advance electronic review copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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