Clara and Mr. Tiffany

I am so happy to share this riveting book, Clara and Mr. Tiffany,by Susan Vreeland. Ms. Vreeland imparts fascinating history and details about daily life in New York City at the end of the 19th century in the most beguiling way via the protagonist, Clara Driscoll. Clara is not a fictional character, but the designer of 30+ Tiffany lamps and the director of the design department of "Tiffany girls". The author deftly combines the zeitgeist of the political and social climate addressing working conditions, immigration, and squalid tenements with the evolving role of women in American life. The boarding house, where Clara lives among artists, actors, and socialists, gives depth and richness to the stories of that time. The quality of the writing and the I-can't-put-it-down nature of the story makes this a must read for those who enjoy historical fiction.

He tugged at his beard. "It's brilliant! An entirely new product. We'll be the first on the market. And not just peacock featherth. Flowerth too!" Excitement overtook his struggle to control his lisp, which surfaced only when he spoke with passion. 

I opened the beveled-glass door under the sign announcing Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in ornate bronze. A new sign with a new name. Fine. I felt new too. In the ground-floor showroom of the five-story building, stained-glass windows hung from the high ceiling, and large mosaic panels leaned against the walls. Despite the urgency of my business, I couldn't resist taking a quick look at the free-form vases, bronze desk sets, pendulum clocks, and art nouveau candelabras. It was the oil lamps that bothered me. Their blown-glass shades sat above squat, bulbous bases too earthbound to be elegant. Mr. Tiffany was capable of more grace than that. 

Would you keep reading? 


Garment of Shadows
 "Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."
These are the opening lines from the Preface of Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King:
The big man had the brains of a tortoise, but even he was beginning to look alarmed.
Sherlock Holmes drew a calming breath. Then another.
It had seemed such a simple arrangement: If Mary Russell chose to submit to the whimsy of Fflytte Films as it finished its current moving picture,that was fine and good, but there was no cause for her husband to be tied down by her eccentricities-not with an entirely new country at his feet.
 : : : : :

The Friday 56 is a bookish meme sponsored by Freda's Voice. It is easy to participate. Just grab a book and turn to page 56. Find a sentence that grabs you and post it.
Here's a sentence from page 56 of Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King:
The man's face gave a little twist of chagrin, that he had been distracted into a premature revelation of the tale's denouement, but Holmes did not give him the chance to regain the floor.
 : : : : :

This book is one in the series about Sherlock Holmes and his wife, Mary Russell.


Lap Robe

I was asked to make some lap robes in colors suitable for men for our Prayer Shawl ministry at church. Since I had two balls of James Brett Marble in stash, I decided to crochet this simple "Spicy Delights" pattern. You can get pattern info here. I used a size K hook as specified, but now realize that I could have used a larger size for a more open look in the pattern.

My neighbor gave me some vintage Bucilla "Melody" 50-50 mohair/acrylic yarn that had been in her sister's stash. I used a bit of it to finish this lap robe with a scallop edge. While the pattern calls for fringe, I am not a fringe fan, so I substituted this edging. I pray that this small blanket will bless and comfort the recipient.



True Believers


I have just started reading True Believers by Kurt Anderson, so I'm not very far into it. The novelty, of sorts, is that the male author is writing in first person female voice. Here's the first paragraph in the first chapter:
My publishers signed me up a year ago to write a book, but not this book. 'A candid and inspirational memoir by one of the most accomplished leaders and thinkers of our times,' their press release promised. They think they're getting a slightly irreverent fleshing out of my curriculum vitae, a plainspoken, self-congratulatory chronicle of A Worthy Life in the Law and Modern Triumph of Women, which they're publishing, ho-hum premise not withstanding, because I've written a couple of best sellers and appear on TV a lot.
Would you continue reading?  


Miss Zukas

Turn to page 56 of your current read. Blog a sentence or two from that page. Share your blog post at .

"Would it kill you to give out just a teensy bit of information, like is the guy dead or alive?" She stopped when she saw Helma. "So how is he?"

Hmmmm, I wonder? How is he any way? I know I'll read on! Would you?


Murder on the Cote d'Azur


*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it on your blog.
*Add the URL of your post it at

From Murder on the Cote d'Azur by Susan Kiernan-Lewis:
Over the garden wall, she could see the Mediterranean Sea, just a patch of it but enough to fill her with delight. The air was fragrant with the scent of lemons and roses.

Does this description engage your senses?