nscheemaker@northshire.com's blog

The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780374113346
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 2nd, 2018

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

Home Made Christmas by Yvette van Boven - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781419732386
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Abrams - October 16th, 2018

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

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780778307747
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Park Row - June 11th, 2019

From the moment I was crouching alongside Gertrude in the heat of an alligator infested swamp, I was hooked by her story, just as I would be upon being introduced to the other two main narrators - big hearted Retta still mourning the death of her little girl, and Annie, isolated by her tyrannical wealthy husband.Together, they tell of their rural lives in a southern town, just after the Civil War, where race and class are a mighty burden, and where women, despite their station or class, reach out to nurture, keep vigil, and rescue one another. A first rate novel with great depth, terrific writing and characters whose faces I will never forget. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781947793156
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Published: Tin House Books - October 9th, 2018

Claire Fuller certainly proves her ability to charm and captivate readers in her newest novel, Bitter Orange. But this novel also scared me to death. You know as you wade in that something is terribly, horribly awry This lurking sensation emerges and retreats throughout, seemingly like a main character - ever present, but never solid. You just can't put your finger on it. Until the end. I never anticipated such an ending. Whoa!! ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

The Girls at 17 Swann Street: A Novel by Yara Zgheib - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781250202444
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 5th, 2019

Yara Zgheib has delivered a compassionate portrayal of anorexia in her new novel The Girls at 17 Swann Street. I never considered the terrible demons that plague those who have suffered from this merciless disease. The fight with self starvation. The compulsive need to exercise. The arresting guilt from every bite of food and the ever present heckling of a distorted self image. Certainly, readers will find strength, courage and hope through the characters of Anna and Mathias. Zgheib has shared a serious portrayal based on personal experience that is certain to resonate with readers who need this story the most, joining the ranks of must read contemporary lit for many women and girls. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780525521228
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Knopf - July 10th, 2018

Before reading Anne Tyler's newest novel Clock Dance, I had read 18 of her previous works. I've come to realize that like a favorite ritual, her novels have become a great comfort to me - always her distinct voice, and always her magnificent sharing of characters that are so honestly and endearingly human. Clock Dance is classic Tyler. Readers and fans can assuredly welcome the life story of Willa Drake with open arms into their reading lives. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker


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