Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Bountiful Container

I bought this book last spring after we had moved into our first house. I was feeling pretty domestic and thought that there was nothing I'd like more than a container garden on the deck off our 2nd floor master bedroom. Before reading this book I knew nothing about gardening in containers (or otherwise, for that matter). I still feel like an extreme novice but this book gave me the confidence to forge ahead and plant a container garden.

This book is written in such a way that I didn't feel intimidated but I can imagine that even seasoned gardeners could glean some good information. They detail vegetables, fruits, edible flowers, and herbs that can be grown in containers. The offer suggestions as to whether to plant as seeds or buy plants, when and where to plant, temperatures, harvest times, etc... They even include some "theme" gardens like an Italian Cook's garden or a Kid Garden.

I recently got this book back off the shelf to prepare for this gardening season. Now I can't wait to see what I'll be able to produce this year.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This was a fun and entertaining book. Set in Botswana in Africa a woman becomes the only female detective in the country. It is funny and sobering and an all around enjoyable read. I will definitely be checking out the additional books in this series.

The Barnes & Noble Review The pantheon of brilliant detectives with great names -- Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, Sam Spade -- has a new member: Precious Ramotswe. As Botswana’s only female private investigator, Precious finds herself in some exotic situations -- flirting with wayward husbands in the Go Go Handsome Man’s Bar one minute, confronting witch doctors about missing boys the next. But cases and solutions here are only half the fun. Author Alexander McCall Smith, the leading authority on Botswana’s constitutional law, writes with such beautiful simplicity, he may actually give lawyers a good name. His slice of Africa is vividly rendered with an appropriately dry wit and an almost Dickensian array of characters, from the upstanding mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni to Precious’s humble assistant, Mna Makutsi, to an assortment of cocky con men and frauds. Precious, meanwhile, is one of the most original private detectives ever put to page: a bright, fallible woman who gets duped romantically and on the job but bursts with compassion for everything in her path -- especially Africa. Fans of transportive, literary mysteries have a reason to ululate. Loudly. review by Seth Kaufman

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Peter Pan in Scarlet

This sequel to Peter Pan, by contest winner Geraldine McCaughrean, was a joy to read. It drew me into the story from the very beginning. It starts off years later when all of the Lost Boys are grown with children of their own. They are starting to have dreams of Neverland. And, so the adventure begins.

Because the plot of the original Peter Pan is so well known, I was focused on the language and writing style of the book. Peter Pan in Scarlet is also written in a fantastic way but I was much more caught up in the plot of the book. It was hard for me to figure out what was going to happen next and that kept me turning page after page until there was nothing left but my hope that it doesn't take another hundred years for the next book. I'm sure it won't be long before someone makes this into a movie.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Peter Pan

I know the plot. I've seen almost all of the movies made about the book. Until last week, I had yet to read the actual book by J.M. Barrie. I was motivated to read the original once I checked out the sequel from the library. I felt a little like a cheat starting that book if I hadn't really read the first one. I was surprised to find out that between all of the Peter Pan movies out there (Disney's--which was released this week on DVD, Hook, Peter Pan, and even Finding Neverland) I had an excellent grasp of everything that was in the book. However, I was pleasantly surprised to fall in love with the language of the book. This may have something to do with the fact that I imagine Johnny Depp writing this book and not the actual Sir Barrie. But I digress...the writing is superb and I don't think I would have enjoyed this book as much had I read it as a child or teen.

I'm now looking forward to reading the authorized sequel. Review to come soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Witness by Dee Henderson

Great psychological thriller with no language, no sex, some violence but nothing graphic.


Police Chief Luke Granger's witness to a murder, Amy Griffin, has been on the run for years. Her two sisters think she was murdered eight years ago. But Amy chose to accept a life in the shadows to protect her sisters' lives. Now unveiled secrets about their father have thrust the sisters into the public spotlight. The man who wants Amy dead now sees her sisters as the way to locate her. Luke and two of his homicide detectives are determined to stand in the way. They are each falling in love with a different sister, and it's become a personal mission to keep them safe. But chances are that at least one of them will fail....And facing the future will take a faith deeper than any of them currently knows.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Murder She Wrote: Palette for Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

I love the show Murder She Wrote and these books are much like the TV series but with a lot more detail. Jessica Fletcher finds herself involved in murder at every turn. I enjoyed this book and if you are a mystery fan you might like to try it.


Jessica Fletcher's mid-summer vacation to New York's famed Hampton beaches turns into a lesson in the art of murder. Indulging in a lifelong passion, she enrolls in an art class, but when the model they had been sketching fails to stir--the victim of a deadly poison--Jessica canvasses the area, chasing down a killer with an artistic flair.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Reckoning by Beverly Lewis

I loved this book. It was a great conclusion of the Heritage of Lancaster County series. The ending was somewhat predictable but it was fun finding out how she got there.
Description from the book jacket:

The Powerful Conclusion to The Shunning and The Confession!

Katherine Mayfield, the new Mistress of Mayfield Manor, always dreamed of a fancy "English" life. But as the seasons pass, she finds herself grieving the loss of her Amish family and dearest friend, Mary Stolzfus. Shunned from the Plain life she once knew, Katherine finds solace in volunteer work with hospice patients--a labor of love she hopes will bring honor to the memory of her birth mother.

Unknown to Katherine, her long-lost love, Daniel Fisher, is desperate to locate his "Sweetheart girl," only to be frustrated at nearly every turn. Meanwhile, she delights in the modern world--once forbidden--cherishing the attention of Justin Wirth, her handsome suitor.

Her childhood entwined with Daniel's, yet her present life far removed from Lancaster County, Katherine longs for the peace that reigned in her mother's heart. And once again, she is compelled to face the heritage of her past.