Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HORSE SAYINGS: wit and wisdom straight from the horses mouth - by Bradford G. Wheler

Horse lovers have a reason to celebrate!  Bradford Wheler has joined together beautiful works of art and quotations about horses in a book that every horse lover will want to own.  Over 60 professional and nonprofessional artists from 11 countries express their appreciation of horses through art forms such as painting, drawing, photography and sculpture throughout the book.  The quotations are paired with this artwork through 8 chapters of the book.  The chapters  include:  The Bond, Humor, The Starting Gate, Horse Sense, Cholla (dedicated to Cholla Chambers, an actual horse artist whose artwork is featured in the book), Competing, Ancient Wisdom, and Training & Handling.  This book would make a fabulous gift for the horse fanatic in your life, but you certainly don’t need to be a horse fanatic to appreciate this lovely book.  

Monday, August 29, 2011


I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for helping me reach 100 followers!  I feel like that's quite an accomplishment in just a few short months and I'm so happy and proud to have each and every one of you supporting me.  Hopefully you're enjoying the reviews I've posted so far and will continue to enjoy reviews (I've got 3 coming up this week!) well into the future.

I realize that many blogs have giveaways to celebrate their 100 follower mark.  I did intend to do that, but honestly with the move that we just completed and all the boxes still left to unpack, I feel that it's a little too much to undertake right at this particular moment in time.  But don't worry!  I'm not going to dismiss a giveaway altogether... that would be no fun!  So I decided that when I reach 125 followers I will be doing a giveaway to express my gratitude to all of you.  More details will be coming in the near future.  Spread the word and help me hit that 125 mark and maybe it will be YOU who is the lucky winner!

Thanks again for your continued support.  I appreciate it more than you can possibly know.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Why am I tossing confetti on my blog?  I'm in a bit of a party mood because I have received my very first Blog Award!  WooHoo!!  Thanks to nominations from Lex Write and Aparajita Basu for The Liebster Blog Award.  I'm very honored to receive it.

The Liebster Blog Award was reputedly started in Germany.  The award was created to give recognition to hard-working bloggers with less than 200 followers.  You receive this award from a fellow blogger that feels your blog is both worthy & important to them.  Once you receive the award, you should follow these rules of acceptance:

1. Thank the giver and link back to their blog giving them credit.

2. Leave your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.  They must have less than 200 followers to receive the award.

3. Copy and paste the award to your blog if I picked you.

4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to the other bloggers.

5. Most of all: support each other and have lots of fun!

My Five Picks to Receive the Liebster Blog Award:

1.. Charlotte at Charlotte's Web of Books

2. Christine at Dixie's Mom's Book Blog

3. Asche at Kawaii Delights

4. Kate at Nomalicious Reads

Check out these blogs!  You'll be happy you did.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Moving Out and Moving On.....

Even my cat is asking, "Are We Really Moving Again!?"

Moving isn't my idea of fun. It's exhausting. There are about a million things I'd rather do than place all of my belongings in boxes only to have to unpack them and find places for them all again! I'm groaning just typing this.

There is a plus side to moving. It is a good time to "purge". I have a 10-year-old daughter who has outgrown clothes, outgrown styles and outgrown toys. It's been a good learning opportunity to place those outgrown items in bags for our local thrift stores. Some other child can now appreciate them. It's also a great time for me to look through all my piles of paperwork and figure out what really needs to be saved and what can be tossed. If only if wasn't so exhausting! and time-consuming! and did I mention exhausting?!

In case you're checking out my blog for new reviews and wondering why I'm not posting frequently...this is why. In a little over a week, this will all be over (I'm repeating this mantra minute-by-minute to maintain my sanity!) and things will be back to reading and reviewing as normal.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz – by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri

Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz is adapted from Eva Mozes Kor's self-published memoir, Echoes From Auschwitz: Dr. Mengele's Twins, The Story Of Eva And Miriam Mozes. This first-person account is intended for readers in grade six and up. Currently available in hardcover, the paperback edition will be released in October 2011

On January 31, 1934, Eva and Miriam Mozes entered the world as identical twin sisters. The twin girls, along with their parents and older sisters Edit and Aliz, lived in the village of Portz in Transylvania, Romania. As the only Jewish family in the community, they increasingly became more and more aware of the growing anti-Semitism pervading the culture. When Eva and her sister began school in 1940, two new teachers were brought into the city by the Nazis. With them, they brought books containing caricatures of Jews and propaganda films. Their classmates began to see them as “Dirty Jews” and turned against them. Things progressively got worse until finally, in 1943, their father decided it was time to try to leave their home and escape to the safety of Romania. Unfortunately, they were too late. The Hungarian Nazi youth had been stationed outside their home to make sure they did not escape.

The year that Eva and Miriam turned ten, they, along with the rest of their family, were transported in a cattle car to Auschwitz. Dressed identically since birth, the girls were quickly identified in their matching dresses. With a flick of Dr. Mengele’s baton, they were separated from the rest of their family. Because they were identical twins, they were of particular interest to Dr. Mengele. Dr. Mengele wanted to learn how to create perfect Aryan babies and interred twins, along with giants, dwarfs, the handicapped and gypsies became his human guinea pigs. Eva, the stronger of the twins in spirit, refused to give in to the Nazis. She realized from the beginning that she must survive so that her sister is able to survive. Subjected to horrific experiments and left for dead, Eva will not let her sister down. They will survive Auschwitz together.

In the epilogue, we learn that Eva has forgiven Dr. Mengele. She explains that anger and hatred are seeds of war, while forgiveness is the seed for peace. 1n 1984, Eva and her sister Miriam founded CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors).

I feel that this book is truly remarkable. The atrocities of WWII are difficult to explain to younger individuals, but the particular atrocities of Dr. Mengele are that much more difficult. The authors did an amazing job at toning down the subject matter enough to allow a younger audience to learn from Eva’s experience. I read this book with my 10-year-old daughter and although some parts of the book brought tears of sadness to both our eyes, we also shed tears of relief and admiration for this amazing woman and her sister. Although I’ve read many other books about WWII, I still learned from this book, as did my daughter.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

THE GIRL IN THE BLUE BERET - by Bobbie Ann Mason

Marshall Stone is turning 60 and his life is in a state of upheaval. Forced to retire from being a pilot, a job he loves, he is also still dealing with the loss of his wife. With his two children grown, he feels that this is the time to return to the place where his B-17 crash-landed during World War II. He is particularly motivated to find some of the brave individuals who helped him along the way.

When I heard of this book, I was very excited to read it. I love historical fiction, particularly books set during WWII. I also was intrigued by the fact that the author, Bobbie Ann Mason, had been inspired by the experiences of her late father-in-law. Like the main character of the book, he too was a pilot that was shot down in occupied Europe.

The potential negatives of the book:
It took quite awhile for the book to really capture my interest. I was probably at least 100 pages invested before the story took hold for me and I was unwilling to set it aside.

The definite positives of the book:
This is a moving story that captures the bravery of ordinary people who were part of the French Resistance during the war. It is also a story of starting over and of second chances.