hbellanca@northshire.com's blog

The Observations

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The Observations Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143112013
Availability: Special Order
Published: Penguin Books - June 27th, 2007

A wonderful novel with an intriguing mystery starring a wonderful pip of an Irish girl, of dubious origins, who comes to be hired as a servant by a beautiful, but strange mistress of the manor. Set in Scotland when the Irish were considered subhuman, and servants barely superior to that. Bessy's humor and language is a delight as she navigates her precarious role in this odd household. I would rank this up there with my current top 3 favorites. My 16-year old daughter consumed it in about one sitting. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

The Madonnas of Leningrad

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The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060825317
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 20th, 2007

The author manages to tell this sad tale in a way that is beautiful, moving and not depressing. I was able to imagine the opulence of Leningrad's Hermitage Museum, as well as the devastating deprivation caused by the WWII seige of Leningrad. I really cared about the aging West Coast immigrant whose present-day mind is succumbing to Alzheimers but remembers vividly her youth as a docent at the Hermitage, finding her first love and loving the artworks in the museum. Read it just to get a feel for what it's like to survive the assault of your city, and its beloved treasures. Highly recommended. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

Logo, Font & Lettering Bible

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Logo, Font & Lettering Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Design, Construction and Usage of Alphabets and Symbols Cover Image
ISBN: 9781581804362
Availability: Special Order
Published: How Design Books - February 1st, 2004

An invaluable resource for inspiration and self-education for the truly faithful devotee of typography and graphic design. Read the Gospel on pages 196 and 197. Should be on the shelf of every designer, and designer wannabe. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

Stone in the Garden

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Stone in the Garden: Inspiring Designs and Practical Projects Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393047790
Availability: Special Order
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2001

If you garden in Vermont, then you know that the thing Vermont soil yields best is stone! This book is full of wonderful, inspirational ways to put stone to use. Take this book home, look around your property and start planning! ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

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The Memory Keeper's Daughter: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143037149
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Penguin Books - May 30th, 2006

An intriguing premise, well executed. Set in the 1950s, a physician delivers his wife's twins at the clinic, left unstaffed due to a snowstorm, with the help of one, trusted nurse. The first, a healthy and "normal" boy, the second a girl with Down's Syndrome. To "protect" his wife from the pain of rearing such a child, he directs the nurse to spirit the baby away to an institution. When his wife comes to, he tells her the girl baby died. The rest of the story follows the lives of the nurse, the doctor and his wife, and the twins, growing up without knowledge that the other is alive, leaving the reader to hope for a reunion. Additional tension pulls the reader along as the father works to keep the truth from his wife and son, who to his dismay, suffer anyway, never ceasing to mourn the loss of the girl baby. A thoughtful read about a family in all its complications, and a pointed lesson about the dangers of trying too hard to "take care of" loved ones. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca


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Misfortune: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316154482
Availability: Special Order
Published: Back Bay Books - April 10th, 2006

What a romp of a novel! Like Harry Potter in the sense that good people deal with evil characters and unfair events without appearing to become bitter, distraught or victimized. It makes the injustices played out among 1800's English nobility easier to take. The polarized life of the haves and the have-nots of that time and place, is exquisitely evoked as questionable identities, family infighting, characters you love to hate, bastard births and cross-dressing contribute to a Henry Fielding (Tom Jones) type fun. (Equipped with a family tree at the beginning to help keep the characters straight as this wonderful yarn unravels.) ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca


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