River Dog Brewing is a fairly new brewery in the lowcountry of South Carolina. When they recently opened their taproom, they invited retailers to come celebrate with them. Vance decided to attend and I decided to tag along. We had a great time seeing their facility and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Alyce’s site.
When third grade teacher Mrs. McCarthy proposed a school garden for Acequia Madre Elementary School, the principal, other teachers, and parents joined forces to make her dream a reality. Along with volunteers and family members, teachers and students have created a garden that is an oasis for learning and a community gathering spot. Teachers incorporate many lessons, including art and music into gardening activities and families gather to enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labors.
It’s Our Garden, by George Ancona, tells the story of Acequia Madre Elementary School’s garden, one of many in the country. With photos of real students working in the garden and drawings by children, I found this book to be completely charming. It made me long for a community garden of some sort. It’s easy to see the sense of pride the students take in their garden and all the valuable lessons they’re learning. The garden has become a gathering place for families in the school community even when school is not in session.
Young readers will enjoy reading about this fabulous project and will be itching for a garden of their own. Seeing photos of others youngsters may even inspire them. It’s Our Garden would make an excellent addition to any classroom or school library.
For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.
Review copy provided by Candlewick Press. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
As a travel guide, Jamie is sent to Bali to plan possible tours for her company when the unthinkable happens – she and her boyfriend are in one of the nightclubs that is bombed by terrorists. Her boyfriend dies but Jamie is rescued by a stranger. When she’s invited to a commemorative ceremony a year later, Jamie decides to go, hoping to put the past behind her and to see Gabe, the man who rescued her, again.
The Paradise Guest House, by Ellen Sussman, has been getting lots of great buzz so I was really excited to read it. I have a feeling my expectations were way to high because while I liked the book, I didn’t love it the way most people have. As much as I empathized with Jamie, I had trouble understanding her feelings. She felt guilty for not agreeing to marry her boyfriend and seemed to grieve his death but was also anxious to see Gabe.
Beautifully written, the book focuses on grief and the fact that everyone processes it differently. It doesn’t drown in sorrow, though – there are many uplifting, and even some funny, moments in the book. The story alternates between the year after the bombing, 2003, and the past and I found some of the shifts in the narrative confusing.
I listened to the audio version of The Paradise Guest House and do wonder if I would have enjoyed the book more in print. Ann Marie Lee does a fine job reading the book but, for me, her voice was a little too breathy or “whispery” and I found it distracting. The book is on seven CDs and lasts approximately eight and a half hours.
Review copy provided by Random House. I am an Indiebound Affliate.
Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative! If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!
So far this week, I haven’t encountered any new words in my reading so I’m relying on my Word-a-Day calendar today.
1. hachure – “In the early years of the survey, hachuring was used to indicate the steepness of slopes on maps. . .” – - – Robin E. Kelsey, The Art Bulletin, December 1, 2003
Hachure is a verb that means to shade with or show by short lines used for denoting surfaces in relief (as in a map drawing) and drawn in the direction of slope.
2. maieutic – “I am grateful to him for his maieutic inquiry about my own views, which had not crystallized.” – - – William F. Buckley, Jr., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 27, 1973
Maieutic is an adjective that means relating to or resembling the Socratic method of eliciting new ideas from another.
3. encomium – “The book is beautifully written and unquestioningly deserves the encomiums of critics . . .” – - – David Milofsky, The Denver Post, August 2, 2009
Encomium is a noun that means glowing and warmly enthusiastic praise, also: an expression of this.
What words do you want to celebrate today?
When I read The Shoemaker’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani, I was sure it was a book my mother would enjoy and was I ever right! As a first generation American, my mother could relate to much of Enza’s story. My mother’s life has never been like Enza’s but her mother’s was and my mother grew up hearing those stories. Even though my grandmother immigrated to this country from another part of the world, her story was not all that different from Enza’s. Reading this book brought all of that back to my mother and filled her with emotion. She told me that Trigiani got the immigrant story perfectly in this masterpiece.
I was recently lucky enough to revisit The Shoemaker’s Wife by listening to the audio version. It’s been over a year since I read the book and it was fun to experience it in a new way. The version I have is narrated by Annabella Sciorra and Adriana Trigiani but I’ve seen another version listed as being narrated by Orlagh Cassidy and the author. It did take me a little while to get used to the transition from one narrator to the other but, once I did, I enjoyed them both. They both do a wonderful job pronouncing the Italian words and read with a lot of heart.
I think The Shoemaker’s Wife would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift and the audio version would be perfect for a mom on the go or one with failing eyesight.
Review copy provided by the author. I am an Indiebound Affliate.
Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and hosted by Abi of 4 the LOVE of BOOKS this month. The weather’s been bad but my mailbox has been full. Most of these books came unsolicited but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to see them. Here are the books that showed up in my mailbox last week:
- Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson came from Algonquin Books
- Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes & Sweetmeats by Eliza Leslie came from Andrews McMeel
- The Virginia Housewife by Mrs. Mary Randolph came from Andrews McMeel
- Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green came from Hachette
- The Look of Love by Bella Andre came from Meryl Moss Media
- Cheese & Beer by Janet Fletcher came from Andrews McMeel
- The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell came from Penguin
- A Chance to Win by Jonathan Schuppe came from Henry Holt
- I’ll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan came from Harlequin
- The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti came from Random House
- Mending the Moon by Susan Palwick came from Tor/Forge
- Sold for Endless Rue by Madeleine E. Robins came from Tor/Forge
- Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck came from Amazon Vine
Did you find any goodies in your mailbox last week?