Thursday, August 23, 2012


I don't get a lot of roses from this bush but when I do they are spectacular. I didn't record the name of this variety but the colors are so pretty- a blend of white, cream, pale yellow, peach, and pink.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith

This was a totally unexpected version of what could have been up with the three Wise Men from the Bible, (these were more like wise guys). We know nothing about the real trio from the Bible itself but somewhere along the way someone attributed the names Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar to this band of visitors. Seth Grahame-Smith takes us on a wild adventure as they try to spirit the Holy Family away from legions of Roman soldiers and the crazed order by King Herod to kill all of the firstborn of Judea. What a wild ride this was. Totally gruesome in many ways and difficult to hear, but it certainly was a very violent culture with persecution and executions being the order of the day. The author captured a feel of this time very well, especially with his portrayal of the sheer madness of Herod. The end of the book was wonderful, I love how everything was all tied together. I was really worried about the book being too disrespectful of Christian belief, but it was really in the end about how the love for others can transform even the most hardened heart and that there is a God above who will show us the way if we open our eyes and hearts. 3 stars

Titanic by Deborah Hopkinson

The story that we all know, told from the perspective of the survivors. Loaded with photographs and detailed information, this is a well written account of this event in history. Recommended for all ages. 4 stars

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

An incredibly sweet young adult novel good for any age! Beautiful. 5 stars.

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill

Easily one of the best books I've read this year. This is the story of Aminata Diallo who was stolen from her village in Africa in the mid 1700's when she was 11 years old. Her grueling journey in the slave ship and the conditions there are tragic and so graphically recounted. How anyone survived even this part was mind boggling. On board the ship she recounted the names of the slaves there so they would feel that they had meaning in this world and that by speaking their names they would not be forgotten. Later in life she keeps The Book Of Negroes, a census of the black population that want to create new lives for themselves in Nova Scotia. Aminata's story is a tribute to the pureness of her heart and spirit, so movingly told by Lawrence Hill. She is sold into slavery in South Carolina, her family is torn from her, yet she somehow endures. She learns to read, write, and she is a much needed midwife, a skill she learns as a child from her mother in Africa. We follow her to New York, to Canada, back to her African home, and finally to England where she becomes the face of the Abolitionist movement.