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, September 24, 2019
Tide and Punishment
Baker, Bree. Tide and Punishment. Scottsdale, Arizona: Poisoned Pen Press, 2019.
Everly Swan owns Sun, Sand, and Tea Cafe in Charm, North Carolina. When Aunt Fran discovers the mayor's corpse with one of her sister's garden gnome as the obvious weapon and picks it up, she becomes the chief suspect, particularly since she planned to seek his office and had arguments with him. Everly appears to have some sort of relationship with the investigator, but having not read earlier installments, I never quite figured that out. The setting is near Christmas, but there is not much of a Christmas feel to it. Everly puts her nose in places she should leave to official investigators, but they don't seem all that bothered by her efforts at amateur sleuthing in spite of a couple half-hearted warnings. I suspect my main problems with the book stem from not reading earlier installments. I found the book easy to put down. I received an advance review copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Negro Folk Music U.S.A.
Courlander, Harold. Negro Folk Music U.S.A. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 2019.
First published in 1963, Negro Folk Music, U.S.A. remains an interesting read on the history of African-American songs. Courlander studies the characteristics of the lyrics as well as the rhythms and instrumentations of the songs. He compares the instruments of the American South to those in Africa in regards to comparable sounds. He covers genres from ballads to Gospel songs to the blues. He often includes snippets of songs with lead lines or simply texts of songs in the text. The book concludes with lead notes and lyrics to several African-American songs of multiple genres. The weakness is the lack of chord notations along with those lead lines. Dover should be commended for republishing the work. Many persons will find it an interesting work to add to their private collections, and many libraries may replace worn copies. I received an electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
My Little Crocheted Christmas
Eisterlehner, Doerthe. My Little Crocheted Christmas. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 2019.
My beginner crochet skills will not enable me to complete most of these projects, but I love everything in this book. Originally published in German, Dover Publications releases this to American crafters later this month (September 2019). Some large projects could be done with variations from other "sets" in the book. Finger puppets and dolls will entertain young ones. An adorable "snow fox" makes a perfect huggable toy for a tot. The nativity set is wonderful. I pre-ordered my own copy of the book in hopes my crochet skills will grow into it. Based on the cover alone, two friends who love to crochet plan to order copies also. I received an electronic advance review copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
The Night of His Birth
Paterson, Katherine. The Night of His Birth. Illustrated by Lisa Aisato. Louisville, Kentucky: Flyaway Books, 2019.
Stunning illustrations and a wonderful account of the Nativity of Jesus through the eyes of his mother Mary. This lovely book would make a wonderful gift! It deserves a Caldecott nomination. I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway with the hopes, but not a requirement, of an honest review.
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Molten Mud Murder
Johnson, Sara E. Molten Mud Murder. Scottsdale, Arizona: Poisoned Pen Press, 2019.
The scene for the first Alexa Glock mystery fascinates. A body discovered in a New Zealand mud pot, similar to the ones found in Yellowstone National Park, provides an opportunity for North Carolina forensics expert Alexa Glock to assist the local police with their investigation. Although the boiled corpse leaves few clues, Alexa carefully uncovers a couple which assist the investigation. Maori customs and culture plays a part in the investigation. Glock inserts herself into the investigation, over-extending her charge and possibly jeopardizing work of investigators. Glock's interest in one officer causes readers to wonder if Glock will remain in New Zealand longer to pursue a relationship, which seems "tentative" at the moment. I found the book easy to put down for the first half, but it picked up later. The ending was a little anti-climactic. With an interesting setting, I will likely read the next in the series. I received an advance electronic reader's copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
Bar, Anke. Wilhelm's Journey: An Emigration Story. New York: NorthSouth Books, 2019.
Wilhelm grew up in farming family, but he wanted to become a woodcarver. He learns the trade from a man who teaches him to read. He finds literature describing America and wants to move there because land and opportunity to own a shop do not exist in Germany. He sketched aboard the ship. The book describes his voyage. At the book's end, we learn Wilhelm only remained in America long enough to earn money to return to Germany and own his own business. The illustrations are appropriate for young readers. The book presented an even-handed treatment of immigration to the United States. I received an advance electronic copy in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.
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