Jun 10, 2012

Sunday Salon: A Cherry Festival

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon.

It was in the 90s yesterday, but we went to the Cherry Festival in Whitehouse, Ohio anyway. This is a yearly local event in the Village of Whitehouse.

Two firsts for me, a sundae with real homemade cherry sauce. Tart and sweet! And a cherry pie eating contest with little kids under age 13 scarfing down a pie with their hands behind their backs and their heads into the pie tins. You guessed it; the oldest kid won. There was also a cherry pie auction to see whose pie or cake could raise the most money. One pie went for $110! All to help the village's Chamber of Commerce. We missed the cherry dessert contest and I don't know who won, but I bet some of the entries made it to the auction. All of these very local events were much fun to watch. Too bad we didn't stay for the fireworks at 10 p.m. as it was too hot to stay longer than 2 p.m.!

The Cherry Dessert Contest

I've been good about featuring new books on the blog but very bad about reviewing. I have a blog tour of The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse tomorrow and another tour for An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd later in the month. I also have a review to post for Tim Hallinan's new thriller, The Fear Artist, which will be released early July.

My yoga teacher is also a sports athlete and gave us a stiff yoga workout stretch on Friday. My right leg is still aching but she did tell us we might feel it for a few days. All for the good, I'm sure.

What have you been up to this hot summer?

Jun 9, 2012

Saturday Snapshot 3

Tour boat approaching Niagara Falls in the mist. Taken July 2011.

Visit Alyce at At Home With Books to join in the Saturday Snapshot and post your picture on the linky there.

Jun 8, 2012

Book Review: The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus

Title: The Dog That Talked to God: A Novel by Jim Kraus
Paperback published by Abingdon Press; March 1, 2012
Source: publisher

Comments: I was intrigued by the title of the book and loved the cover picture of this miniature schnauzer. Christian fiction is not normally a genre I read but this one I couldn't resist, animal lover that I am.  This is a cute story of a recent widow who overcomes her sorrow and loneliness with the help of her new puppy Rufus, whose advice she sometimes suspects but begins to rely on. Rufus talks to God and to Mary Fassler, who never tells about her dog's unusual powers. I admit I flipped through the 330-page book to get all of the plot, but I liked the use of the dog in this story.

Book description: "A wonderfully quirky, heart-breaking, heart-warming and thought-provoking story of a woman's dog who not only talks to her, he talks to God. Recently widowed Mary Fassler has no choice except to believe Rufus, the miniature schnauzer, who claims to speak to the Divine. The question is: Will Mary follow the dog's advice, and leave everything she knows and loves Is this at the urging of God Or is it something else? Will Mary risk it all or ignore the urgings of her own heart?"  (goodreads)

Jun 7, 2012

Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook

Title: Wallflower in Bloom: a Novel by Claire Cook
Hardcover, published June 5, 2012 by Touchstone
Source: publisher

Book description: "From the bestselling author of Must Love Dogs comes a new novel about a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and finds herself “dancing with the stars.” Deirdre Griffin is the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother, Tag. As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be as gatekeeper to Tag at his New England seaside compound. Then Deirdre’s sometime boyfriend informs her that he is marrying another woman, who just happens to be having the baby he told Deirdre he never wanted. Deirdre decides to use her brother's massive online following to get herself voted on as a last-minute Dancing with the Stars replacement. It’ll get her back in shape, mentally and physically. It might even get her a life of her own. Wallflower in Bloom is a story of having the courage to take a leap into the spotlight, no matter where you land." (publisher)

Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson

Title: Jasmine Nights: A Novel by Julia Gregson
Paperback published by Touchstone, June 5, 2012
Source: publisher

Book description:  "Based on true accounts of female entertainers used as spies during World War II, Jasmine Nights is a  story of danger, secrets, and love set in two exotic cities, Cairo and Istanbul during WWII.

Saba Tarcan knows her only hope of escaping the clamor of Cardiff Bay, Wales, lies in her voice. While traveling Britain, singing for wounded soldiers, Saba meets fighter pilot Dom Benson, recovering from burns after a crash. When Saba auditions to entertain troops in far-off lands, Dom follows her to London.  Saba is sent to sing in Africa, and Dom is assigned a new mission in the Middle East. As Saba explores Cairo’s bazaars, Dom returns to the cockpit,  thrilled and terrified to be flying above the desert floor. In spite of great danger, the two resolve to reunite.

Saba agrees to help the British Secret Service, concealing her role from Dom. Her decision will jeopardize not only her safety but also the love of her life." (publisher)

There Goes the Bride: A Novel by Holly McQueen, new release

Title: There Goes the Bride: A Novel by Holly McQueen
Paperback published by Atria Books, June 5, 2012
Source: publisher

Book description: Happily ever after isn’t always what you expect…

"Polly Atkins, a Londoner living in New York City, is headed back across the pond for her wedding, a grand affair that has her older sister, Bella, in a whirlwind of excitement. Bella can’t wait to take over the wedding plans—and neither can Polly’s best friend, Grace, whose life as a wife, housekeeper, and mother is making her feel older than her twenty-eight years. She’s desperate to see Polly settle down in the same city—and the same life.

The only one not enthusiastic is Polly. She calls the whole thing off with no explanation and lets go of the most perfect man on the planet. Grace and Bella are determined to get Polly and her fiance back together if it's the last thing they do.

Jun 6, 2012

Broken Birds by Jeannette Katzir, a memoir

Opening sentences can give readers an idea of a book's style, writing, and a sense of the story. Here are the beginning sentences for the memoir, Broken Birds: the Story of My Momila by Jeannette Katzir.

Title: Broken Birds: the Story of My Momila
Author: Jeannette Katzir
Published April 2, 2009 by Jeannette Katzir
I hurried down the hallway but stopped when I saw her. "Mom, why did you do this?" I cried. I stood there for a moment and studied her face. She looked beautiful. A white silky scarf was artfully wrapped around her head like a headscarf and she was wearing her favorite red lipstick. She was smiling at me and there was a twinkle in her eyes. "This could have all been avoided," I told her. Waiting for a response would have been pointless, because photographs never answer back.
Book description: "World War II has long since ended, and yet Jaclyn and her four brothers and sisters grow up learning to survive it. Having lived through the Holocaust on the principles of constant distrust, their mother, Channa, dutifully teaches her children to cling to one another while casting a suspicious eye to the outside world. When Channa dies, the unexpected contents of her will force her adult children to face years of suppressed indignation. For Jacyln and her siblings, the greatest war will not be against strangers, but against one another. 

Broken Birds: The Story of My Momila is Jeannette Katzir's achingly honest memoir of the enduring effects of war. From her parents' harrowing experiences during the Holocaust to her own personal battles, Katzir exposes the maladies of heart and mind that those broken by war, inevitably and unintentionally pass down to the generations that follow."

Comments: I always admire the honesty of those who write memoirs and personal family history, but I find that this book has a lesson to teach.

About the author: Jeannette Katzir was born in New York of Holocaust survivors. Broken Birds: the Story of My Momila was published in 2010, marking the beginning of Katzir's career as an author. She lives in Southern California with her husband.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.

Sunday Salon: Always Currently Reading

  Currently reading:  Missing and Endangered   by J.A. Jance, February 16, 2021, William Morrow Genre: thriller, suspense Source: library Ab...