Dec 15, 2010

Virtual Book Tour: The Active, Creative Child by Stephanie Vlahov

Pump Up Your Book Promotions is hosting author Stephanie Vlahov through Dec. 17.

Title: The Active, Creative Child: Parenting in Perpetual Motion

Author: Stephanie Vlahov
Paperback, 105 pages
Published April 10th 2006 by Hohm Press
Genre: parenting, holistic/health
Source: author/publicist

Author's introduction: " I am writing this book for everyone out there who has a child whom they clearly adore but often do not understand. There is a huge population of active/creative children who are going to make this world a better place....Active/creative children are often misunderstood by the medical community, by schools and by their own parents."

Comments: Lucky are the children who are allowed to develop and flourish in spite of behavior that may seem disruptive to others. Vlahov helps to guide parents into a new way of looking at active children with creative urges and channeling their energies constructively. Highly recommended for those at their wits end coping with children who, as Vlahov puts it, will give you a "life of high drama." Highly recommended for parents and teachers!

About the author: Stephanie Vlahov has an M.S. in psychology and theater arts and has used her background and experience to write this book on parenting energetic children, children whose creative urges put their behavior outside the "average" norm. Many of these children could also be mislabeled as having an attention deficit disorder.

Vlahov's book describes some behaviors of these creative children and offers tips and hints throughout the book on coping and nurturing. Some examples:

- "The active/creative child  will continually get into things, will march to the  tune of a different drummer."
- "The active/creative child is often labeled as having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)"
- "Expect differences and heightened awareness."
- "Appreciate and train your child's high verbal ability."

There is an index at the back of the book as well as a list of recommended reading. Click here for more information on the book and author, Stephanie Vlahov.

Dec 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick

The Forever Queen (Saxon #2)

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to choose two sentences at random from your current read. Identify the author and title for readers.

"It is not in my power to give you Aethelred's crown," she said, holding it out to him. "That you must win for yourself, but it is in my ability to give you mine." ( p. 273)

Title: The Forever Queen
Author: Helen Hollick
Paperback: 656 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (November 1, 2010)

Goodreads book description: Aged only thirteen, Emma, daughter of the Duke of Normandy, is married in a strategic alliance to King Aethelred of England. Inept and arrogant, Aethelred is loathed by his young wife, whom he punishes for his many failings as a ruler. Their first son, Edward, is born through an act of violence that is little more than rape. England is invaded by the Viking King Swein Forkbeard and his son Cnut. After a bitter struggle, Aethelred loses his kingdom and his wife. Emma, now dowager queen, holds London against the invader Cnut. When he demands she surrender or suffer the consequences, Emma stakes everything on a dangerous gamble, but troubles and tragedy still await the indomitable queen as she struggles for power and for survival...

Dec 13, 2010

Poems of Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Prize winner

Liu Xiaobo of China received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, during a lengthy prison sentence for his political opposition. During this detention, he also published the poetry collection June Fourth Elegies (Graywolf Press, 2012) and the essay collection No Enemies, No Hatred (Harvard University Press, 2012). He died, still in custody, on July 13, 2017. (from

Poems by Liu Xiaobo,  and "Your Lifelong Prisoner"

Click on the titles to read the poems.

Dec 12, 2010

Sunday Salon: It's Snowing!

The Sunday

It rained last night and into the morning, but that has all turned into a softly falling snow. It's rather nice, since I did chores yesterday and can stay in!

World and Town
World and Town

I'm in the middle of reading a great library find, World and Town: A Novel by Gish Jen (Oct. 5, 2010). It's about the scientist daughter of a missionary born in China, who helps a Cambodian family, fairly new immigrants in California. Her own life story and love life weaves into the story of the Cambodians, who are trying to fit into American life in a small town in the northwest.

My Christmas gift to myself was a Kindle. I have downloaded quite a few of the classics - Dickens, Jane Austen, Henry James, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, The Iliad, the Odyssey, The Art of War, the sayings of Confucius, the Dream of the Red Chamber, and a few mystery novels. Most of the books are free! Some cost $1 or less and a few are $2.99. 

Two classics I've started to re-read are War and Peace and Pride and Prejudice. I would not have even tried it except for having the books so available on the Kindle! So there's a positive!

I'm doing a blog tour on Dec. 16 for The Active, Creative Child: Parenting in Perpetual Motion by Stephanie D. Vlahov. Come back then for a look and some ideas on how to give your creative child the best guidance!

The snow is still falling, and it is pretty. The first significant snowfall of the season! Have a great week!

Dec 8, 2010

Book Review: Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Genre: Historical fiction
Paperback, 530 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by John Murray (first published 2008)
Source: Library
Rating: 4 of 5

Comments: My husband listened eagerly to the entire audio book version. That's a pretty good endorsement. He was somewhat disappointed though by the ending, as there were loose ends not tied up. He felt the author didn't quite know what to do with all the myriad characters he created in this awesome historical drama. He'll be glad to know that Sea of Poppies is only the first in the Ibis trilogy, and that the story is not over.

I was intrigued by the myriad accents put on by the eBook reader, Phil Gigante, and by the pidgin and Anglo-Indian words used in 19th century India. Gigante's voice versatility gave color and immediacy to the reading of the novel.

Goodreads book description: "At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean; its purpose, to fight China’s vicious nineteenth-century Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.

In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races, and generations.

The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, the exotic backstreets of China. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, that makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive -- a masterpiece from one of the world’s finest novelists."

The novel  is a Man Booker Prize nominee (2008).

© Harvee Lau 2011

Dec 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

City of Tranquil Light

Title: City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
Author: Bo Caldwell

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (September 28, 2010)
Genre: historical fiction
Source: publisher

You'll make a good preacher, Will."
I stared at her, unconvinced. (p. 59)
Book description from Goodreads:
Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?

About the author:

Bo Caldwell based City of Tranquil Light on the lives of her maternal grandparents, missionaries in China in the early 1900s. She is also author of The Distant Lands of My Father.

Dec 4, 2010

Book Review: Busy Body by M.C. Beaton

Busy Body: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M. C. Beaton
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
Genre: mystery, cozy
Source: Library

About the book: Agatha does it again - solves a couple of murders while helping her friends and employees of her private investigation company in Carsley, a village in the Cotswolds. Not a typical P.I. heroine, she is middle aged, heavyset with bear-like eyes, but with "good legs" and lots of raven hair. Her determination gets her through thick and thin and she has faithful friends. A former husband jumps in and out of her life as does a sometime lover, Sir Charles Fraith, both of whom play a part in the resolution of this mystery.  
John Sunday, with the Health and Safety Board, is so detested by the residents of the neighboring village of Odley Creusis that it no surprise when he is stabbed, but no one in the village will say by whom, if they know. When another person dies, Agatha is hired by the son of the victim to find the killer. Attempts are made on the lives of two other people, and everyone feels the danger in the tiny village. 
Comments: Another enjoyable cozy by the prolific M.C. Beaton, who writes two other mystery series set in the U.K. I liked the village setting, the mystery plot, as well as Agatha's personality.
Rating: 4.5 of 5.

Sunday Salon: New Reads

 Recently finished: Central Park  by Guillaume Musso,  March 16, 2021 by Bay Back Books. Genre: thriller, mystery Source: Netgalley The book...