The Lost Art of Mixing

The Lost Art of MixingThe Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"After the exhilaration that was summer in the Pacific Northwest, autumn was like the sigh of an adolescent who realizes he must indeed grow up. It was Lillian's job to remind people who sat at her tables that being an adult, the passing of a season or a year, was about more than just being older."

Although the story seemed a bit too long at certain points, it is a captivating tale about a circle of lives touching and intertwining in ways not always apparent to the characters. Louise is the only character who didn't ring true for me. Her character seemed contrived to fit the story line rather than being as believable as the others . However the overall effect of this book is highly satisfying. Are we stumbling through life without knowing our impact on others? Read this clever book and draw your conclusions.

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Astor Place Vintage

Astor Place Vintage: A NovelAstor Place Vintage: A Novel by Stephanie Lehmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've just returned from a wondrous journey via Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehman, an ARC that completed transported me to New York City of 1908 and 2008. Simultaneously! My mind wants to linger in the world of horse-drawn carriages and new-fangled motor cars with Olive, the wealthy young woman who has fallen on hard times. And the world of Amanda who operates a vintage clothing store and discovers a diary that links us through time to Olive. We see once again that the essence of humanity in trials and joys is the constant through time and space. Marvelous writing and historical fiction grab me every time! The sense of place and characters placed me amidst it all! 

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Dolly Departed ~ Chaos Theory?

I turned to a cozy mystery after finishing a completely absorbing historical fiction.
These selections are from  Dolly Departed by Deb Baker.
 'The Scottsdale cop asked me if I believed in the chaos theory,' Gretchen said to her aunt from a stool at her work-table.
: : : : :

"Gretchen Birch was still several blocks from the doll shop when Charlene Maize, better known to her friends as Charlie, failed to suck enough air in to feed her panicking brain and various other vital organs. She keeled over in the center of her miniature doll shop, Mini Maize, amid the clutter from a tipped display case. Charlie took the dive in full view of a group of Prada del Sol spectators gathered in front of her shop's window to watch Old Scottsdale's largest western parade."

Would you continue reading?


The Good House
  This is the first paragraph from The Good House by Ann Leary:
I can walk through a house once and know more about its occupants than psychiatrist could after a year of sessions. I remember joking about this one evening with Peter Newbold, the shrink who rents the office upstairs from mine. 
: : : : : 

The Good HouseThe Good House by Ann Leary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an absorbing story of salvaging the broken in its many forms, a horse, a house, a boat, a person. Enthralling subplots mesh together in this story of purpose and value and humanity as a realtor conducts her business in a small town on the Massachusetts coast. Her retinue of clients, family, and long-time friends populate a story about facing harsh realities, then learning to cope and move on. It is a quiet celebration of humanity that leaves the reader with a hopeful spirit.

This is an engrossing story, well-crafted, and absolutely engaging.

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Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen

This is the first chapter from Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen. I must admit that it alone would not enamor me of this book. However, I hope the wit is enough to catch your interest beyond  the metaphor of the final sentence. :)
It is my opinion that there is no place on earth more uncomfortable than London during a heat wave. I should probably qualify this by confessing that I have that I have never gone up the Congo River into the heart of darkness with Conrad, nor have I crossed the Sahara by camel. But at least people venturing to those parts are prepared to be uncomfortable. London is so seldom even vaguely warm that we are always caught completely unprepared. The tube turns into a good imitation of the Black Hole of Calcutta, and smell of unwashed armpits, strap-hanging inches from one's face, is overwhelming.
What are you reading?

South Bay Shawlette

I just returned from taking this South Bay Shawlette to church for our Prayer Shawl Ministry. I made a shawl rather than shawlette. :)
This cotton/linen blend from Interlacements Yarn has been knitted and ripped a couple of times. It has lived in our house for a few years just waiting for the right pattern.
And this is it, not knit but crochet! The lovely South Bay Shawlette beautifully fits these colors and weight. My prayers go with it to comfort its wearer.

What have you been making?



Sunday Post: The Witch of Little Italy

The Witch of Little ItalyThe Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story has ended. I am not ready to leave the world of this enchanting book: the abundant garden thick with hardy vines and flowers, the magical family of loving sisters and brothers, the powers of magic and secret spells, the familiar Italian references, bittersweet memories of childhood, of anticipated birth and acceptance of death, and powers of love and continuity. A book of life and wisdom, a book about women.


"Life gets heavy."
"Everyone is entitled to a redo."

Paraphrase or quote?? Love can be warm and gentle and comfortable rather than a Tasmanian Devil of emotions and insecurities.

The personalities in this book are so like those of my mother's Italian family.

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I have read six books in May: 1 fiction, 1 fantasy, 2 mysteries, and 3 historical fiction.

This week:
Finished Reading
The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri
The Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton
The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson

Currently Reading
Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehman  ARC
The Vicious Vet by M. C. Beaton

To Arrive This Week
Remains To Be Scene by Richard Tyler Jordan

What's happening with your reading?