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A court trumpeter. A silk weaver. A salvage diver. A circumnavigator…
A common misconception both that people of African origin were absent from European countries till after the end of World War II, or, if their presence is acknowledged, it is assumed they were enslaved. But slavery was not allowed in 16th century England, and it may come as a surprise to readers of this book that hundreds of blacks had a productive and respected presence as free men and women in this time and place. Author Kaufmann provides a unique and intriguing glimpse into the lives of ten black men and women in Tudor England who lived as free English citizens, worked for wages, held an array of diverse and often exciting careers, and were present for some of the most memorable events of the age.
Black Tudors: the Untold Story views this period in English history from a new angle, and readers experience “a different country, where an African could earn a living, marry and have a family, testify in a court of law, or even whip an Englishman with impunity.”
If you have not read Malcolm Mackay yet, you need to get to it! His latest Every Night I Dream of Hell follows Nate Colgan who is the “security consultant” for the group of
criminals that run the underworld in Glasgow. The big boss has been thrown in jail and some of the underlings are getting ideas about taking over as the leader while he is
incarcerated. Meanwhile, some criminal outsiders have moved to town looking to take over everything and guess what? They are being strung along by Nate’s ex-girlfriend (and mother of his child) Zara. Everyone is double crossing everyone else and the police are looking to make arrests but avoid a gang war. I really like Nate-hi s only weak spot is his daughter (who lives with her grandparents) but other than that he has no personal life nor does he allow himself a personal life. He is very committed to doing his job and doing it right-people are intimidated by him before he even opens his mouth or uses his fists and he works hard at keeping his reputation. Frankly, if he would lose the daughter (maybe the grandparents could take her and move to another country?) he would be the perfect bad guy. A nice violent read.
Crow was cast away as a baby, set adrift in a small boat on the sea. She is found by Osh, washed up on a beach at Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts. Years later, when she is twelve, a mysterious fire on a neighboring island sets off a chain of events that starts Crow on a journey of discovery to find out who she really is. With the help of Osh and Miss Maggie, a fierce but friendly neighbor, Crow will learn about her history, her strengths, and what is means to be family.
Beyond the Bright Sea involves the real history of Penikese Island, Massachusetts, and it lends weight and substance to the story. Lauren Wolk’s prose is beautiful and powerful, and evokes strong images of life on the edge of the sea. Recommended for readers ages 10 and up.
Marion Palm is a pretty lousy wife and mother. She is unattractive and generally unpleasant but she is good with numbers. Marion Palm is an embezzler. In all she has embezzled $180,000 from her daughters’ private school where she works part time. You know all of this from the beginning. On the day Marion decides the jig is up she takes her young daughters out of school, they have lunch where they dine and dash, and she leaves them to make their way home alone. She is on the run with $40,000 in a backpack.
The fallout of Marion’s actions is darkly funny and sometimes a little madcap. She’s a character you’ll root for even if you don’t like her. The Misfortune of Marion Palm is a really quick read and a very fun ride.
Cheyenne Christensen has never had the easiest life. With her mother raising her and her sister moving from town to town, Cheyenne did not start school until she was 14 years old and that was only because Cheyenne mother was diagnosed with cancer, forcing her mother to finally settle down somewhere. Cheyenne feels the only right thing her mother ever did was settle down in Whiskey Creek, where Cheyenne became friends with people her own age and finally blossomed.
Now the cancer is back with a vengeance and Cheyenne is forced to take care of her mother while watching her slowly wither away while also working a full-time job at her best friend’s family’s bed and breakfast, watching her sister take the same path as their mother, and worrying that she’ll never get the answer to what her early memories of a blond woman with toys all around means. Then her best friend decides to finally ask her crush out on a date, which also happens to be Cheyenne’s longtime crush, but Cheyenne does not want to lose her best friend so she encourages the romance. However, her friends all go on a cruise over the Christmas holidays, leaving Cheyenne in Whiskey Creek to oversee the renovation of the bed and breakfast and to continue taking care of her mother.
While her friends are on a cruise to the Bahamas, Cheyenne runs into her crush (yes, the one that just went on a date with her best friend) and he finally decides […]
Interested in planting the right stuff in your yard and flower gardens? Native Plants of the Midwest by Alan Branhagen is for you. In fact after browsing the copy we have at the library you might want to buy a copy to have on hand. Landscaping and gardening books and magazines are like cooking ones to me-you think you have read it all and then you come across a gem like this and are very appreciative. I’m trying to fill our acreage with an abundance of native trees, bushes, grasses and perennials so this book was right up my alley. Sometimes native plants are not always the most beautiful and sometimes I want to plant something that just does not flourish in our zone so discipline is a must. I try to tell myself just because I think a certain plant is kind of boring, if it’s for my zone and the birds, bees and butterflies love it, it belongs on my land. In this particular book I learned some new facts about some of the oaks we have planted and oaks in general. I did not know that they are in decline and so I am hopeful that more people will choose to plant them. Some are very hard to transplant, some are easier and this book will tell you which ones. Oaks are divided into 2 main groups: white and red. Did you know that white oak wood holds water (so it can be made into barrels) […]
Ryhalt Galharrow is a bounty hunter who serves Crowfoot, one of the Nameless. The Nameless, ancient beings of great power, are fighting an ongoing war with beings of even greater power, the Deep Kings. At one point, the Nameless won a great battle against the Deep Kings by using a weapon that created a blighted land called the Misery. We first meet Ryhalt as he and his merry band of fellow bounty hunters enter the Misery in search of a bounty. It is here we also first meet Crowfoot. Crowfoot has a mission for Ryhalt, and it’s to protect a Ezabeth, a light mage who apparently has a part to play in the ongoing war. So Ryhalt sets off to do just that, and finds himself smack in the middle of the conflict between the Nameless and the Deep Kings. This, it turns out,is a terrifying place to be.
This is a dark fantasy, full of grim and gritty characters living in grim and gritty places. The world building was very well done, and the pace was excellent. Blackwing is a debut title for Ed McDonald, and first of the Raven’s Mark series. If you like the works of Joe Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence, you’ll likely enjoy Blackwing.
California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot before the Mamas & the Papas is both a biography and a tribute to Cass Elliott. She was born Ellen Cohen to a father who dreamed of being an opera singer and mother who was a singer in a swing-jazz group in her youth. She idealized her dad and had a flair for the dramatic from a very young age. The book tells the story through various narrators’ points of view. It begins in 1941, covering her high school years, dropping out to be an actor, her various bands and ends just as The Mamas & Papas are beginning. It tells of her triumphs and struggles along the way. Her large size was an obstacle for record producers, but her extraordinary talent and formidable personality could not be ignored. Cass Elliot became a star.
Reading this book it is obvious that Penelope Bagieu is a fan of Cass Elliot. She writes with obvious compassion and her drawings feel alive on the page. Together they create a character worthy of our affection and admiration. California Dreamin’ is a great read and a visual treat.
Gail DeMarco was born and raised in the small town of Whiskey Creek, California. But she left her home behind to move to Los Angeles and has created a PR empire that lists some of the biggest celebs among its roster. One of those names was Simon O’Neal, until Gail could not handle his self-destruction anymore and told the world her opinion of him. Then Simon’s manager decides to get even with Gail by calling in a few favors. Pretty soon, Gail’s PR firm is starting to crumble because her clients are deciding to use a rival PR firm instead. So Gail decides to apologize to Simon for her comments before her business completely fails. However, one of her assistants decides to spread a nasty rumor about Simon to get even so Gail’s apology ends up being useless. So, to save Simon’s career (and life) and to save Gail’s business, Gail and Simon’s manager concoct a scheme in which Gail and Simon marry!
However, this is not a conventional marriage. It is set to last only two years while Gail helps clean up Simon’s image and Simon sets his life on track in order to see his little boy again. Soon Gail realizes that Simon’s self-destructive behavior isn’t because he’s “Hollywood’s Bad Boy”, but because Simon’s heart is broken by what his ex-wife has and is continuing to put him through. Then after a life-threatening accident, Gail decides to bring Simon home to Whisky Creek, to save their careers and to […]
In The Breakdown by B.A. Paris, Cass is coming home late at night from a party (and taking a short cut on a usually deserted road) and sees a woman sitting in a car on the side of the road. At first she pulls over to see if the lady needs any help but it’s late, pouring rain, and as the lady does nothing to acknowledge her like waving or flashing her lights, Cass drives on. She has heard of motorists getting robbed or assaulted just pulling over to help someone and so she is scared it’s a trap. She means to call the police when she gets home for their help but forgets and in the morning she is horrified to learn that the woman in the car was murdered. Even worse it turns out to be someone Cass recently met. The police ask for any witnesses from the road to come forward but Cass is afraid of being judged for not offering to help the lady so she stays silent. Then she starts getting harassing phone calls and forgetting all kinds of minor things. As time passes she is wallowing in guilt about the murder victim, worried she is getting early onset dementia like her mother had, and convinced that the woman’s murderer somehow saw her that night and is the one harassing her. Cass’ husband and friends try to reassure her (but they do not know she was on that road that night) and try to […]