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Readers will be captivated by the life of Alice Hart, the momentous chapters of her not so simple life, the symbolism of Australian wild flowers throughout the story line and the shimmering success of this author's storytelling finesse. Beautiful line drawings adorn each chapter - every one a pearl and a perfect tribute to Floriography. Readers who enjoy strong and true female characters will be awash in them here. A full-hearted and exciting debut. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Need encouragement to persevere? Seeking a more creative path?
Try a dose of Keep Going, by Austin Kleon. This is a no holds barred approach to hanging tight with the mindset and habits we all need for an actively inspired life. A long line of creatives like John Waters, Emerson, C.S. Lewis and Wendell Berry are quoted here, and if these alone don't move you along, any of the recommended practices in this sweet little book surely will. Perfect for gifting, Keep Going, has found a permanent perch on my nightstand. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
If I Had Two Lives asks some potent questions. What is the best way to love another being? What defines a family? How do our earliest alliances direct us throughout life? In elegant prose this powerful novel follows the journey of a Vietnamese girl growing to adolescence in a military camp, her solitary immigration to America and her ultimate trip back to Vietnam with her own little girl. Read this debut for unforgettable lessons in kinship. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Ravens are terrifically smart. Skaife describes them as "feathered apes" and extraordinary problem solvers. Like primates, ravens can make use of tools and have a language and pecking order all their own. The ravens in this book, though wild, live in a palace and are waited on by a team of humans! Skaife gives lots of amusing testimony to the challenge of keeping them safe, his utterly crazy job, (soaking biscuits in blood), and keeping the group alive and thriving despite their devilish antics that might include playing dead, noisily eating a live pigeon in front of visitors, hiding, stealing teddy bears from children and brown bag lunches from distracted tourist. This is a delightful romp of a read, that is part memoir, part history of tower of London and 100% must have for ravenologists. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Anyone who would advise, "make sure the dog has been walked extensively on the day of the party", in a preparation list for an entertainment book, gets-it. European food writer, chef & columnist, Yvette Van Boven has published a gorgeous holiday cookbook designed to take the angst out of party prep. Beautifully photographed and laced with lots of good advice, you'll want to give this to someone who absolutely adores the holidays and will invite you later to experience the inspiring recipes throughout. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker