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review 2018-04-16 11:18
Born in a Bookshop
Born in a Bookshop: Chapter from the Chicago Renascence - Vincent Starrett

Not the book I expected.  I bought it because it was advertised to be a book about a bookman - and it is, but it's a biography of Starrett's life, not a memoir of his book buying and selling.  Almost nothing at all about his bookman role, actually.  What he talks about most are his days as a journalist and author, name dropping his way from first to last.  That's not a criticism, but I knew almost none of the names, which makes the whole exercise tedious rather than interesting.

 

Mostly, this book was both out of my league and not what I was looking for, but that's my fault, not the author's. 

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review 2018-03-27 03:05
Finale
Twisted and Tied - Mary Calmes

This is book #4 in the Marshals series.  This book can be read as standalone novel.  For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I do not recommend reading this series out of order.

 

Ian & Miro's story continues with them going on with their lives as a married couple who works together.  Ian has changed up pieces of his life in order to make Miro his priority.  With all that goes on, and there are many surprises in store for the reader, this is a bit of a juggle.

 

I am not one to give spoilers in my reviews, so I will summarize by saying if you are a true fan of this incredibly satisfying series, you will love this book.  The characters are fun to read with steady banter and humor.  There is always the ever present heat and sparks.  Just an all around good read with these characters inside.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-03-02 18:04
"Chicago Eternal" illuminates the graves of the Windy City's famous, infamous, and forgotten
Chicago Eternal - Larry Broutman

 

Chicago Eternal is the newest release in award-winning photographer and historian Larry Broutman’s collection of coffee table books of Chicago-themed photography. In this gigantic, gorgeous book of full-color haunting photographs, Broutman takes on an intimate journey through Cook County’s cemeteries.

 

 

Each picture of a tombstone, chapel, or mausoleum is accompanied by text and sometimes additional photographs or illustrations that give insight into that person’s life. Featured are politicians, sports legends, inventors, entertainers, singers, and mobsters who play heavily into Chicago’s history.

 

 

There are also soldiers and children who we may have never heard of but deserve to be remembered. This book is as touching as it is stunning.

 

Source: www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal
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quote 2018-03-02 17:24
“For me as a photographer, it is not only the human stories but the visual richness of cemeteries that is so arresting. Photographing the images for this book has shown me how very many ways Chicagoans over the decades and centuries have found to visibly express their love and loss in beautiful monuments.” –Larry Broutman
Chicago Eternal - Larry Broutman

From the foreword of Chicago Eternal (page 9).

 

https://www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal

Source: www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal
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review 2018-01-21 03:00
Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist
Tiffany Girl: A Novel - Deeanne Gist

Tiffany Girl is set just prior to the 1893 World's Fair. Flossie wants nothing more than to become a painter, so it's a shock when her mother tells her she's going to need to stop attending the New York School of Applied Design, help out more with the sewing (her mother is a dressmaker), and start thinking about getting married. Her father has gambled away enough of the family's money that they can no longer afford her tuition. When Flossie hears about an opportunity to work for Louis Tiffany as one of his "Tiffany Girls" during a glassworkers' strike, she announces that she's moving out and will earn the money for her tuition herself.

Her new life isn't easy, but Flossie is determined to make the best of things. She deals with angry strikers and "bustle pinchers," tries to figure out how to make her finances work out, and deals with her loneliness by encouraging the people at her boarding house to all get to know each other better. One of her fellow boarders is Reeve, a handsome but emotionally closed off journalist who turns his nose up a "New Women" like Flossie.

I feel like I've been in a partial reading slump since coming back from vacation. I haven't been reading much, and I keep losing interest in the things I read. I was worried that the same thing would happen with Tiffany Girl. The book's length was a little daunting, but thankfully it turned out to be a really engaging read. I flew through it and could hardly put it down.

I don't read a lot of Christian romance, and there are only a couple authors I'll pick up without reading reviews first. Deeanne Gist is one of them. The religious aspects of her books are usually pretty light. Faith is important to her characters, but they don't think about it every few pages, and I don't recall ever feeling like Gist preaches at her readers.

The religious aspects of Tiffany Girl were particularly light, although important. One of the things Flossie dealt with was the belief of those around her that God's highest calling for women is bearing children. This was directly opposed to her desire to work for someone like Louis Tiffany, who only allowed women to work for him if they were unmarried. If Flossie wanted her independence, she needed to remain unmarried and childless, or so she believed. Religion also came up a bit while Flossie was looking at Louis Tiffany's finished stained glass windows. For the most part, though, that was it. I could imagine some Christian romance fans wanting more, but for me this worked out just fine.

Watching Flossie and Reeve interact was fun, even though both characters had aspects that annoyed me a little. Reeve's opinions about New Women got my back up, although I'd probably have been on his side where Flossie and her "get to know each other" activities were concerned. The lack of privacy in the boarding house was, in general, a bit horrifying, but Flossie's dinnertime question cards would particularly have made me cringe. There were, in fact, times when her questions touched on sensitive topics. I was a little surprised that Reeve answered some of the questions he was asked, considering how private he tended to be.

Flossie was a bit too in-your-face friendly for me at times. I'm an introvert, and I can clearly imagine myself going out of my way to avoid her for a while in order to avoid her icebreaker games. As far as she was concerned, everyone at the boarding house was like an extended family and, up until the competition for World's Fair tickets started, she probably felt at least a little the same about many of her coworkers.

Although Flossie and Reeve were attracted to each other fairly early on, they both had a bit of growing to do before they properly meshed as a couple. I really liked how things progressed with Reeve. He had to rethink his ideas about women and marriage. He also had to learn to open up more and allow other people into his life, even if only a little. I absolutely adored the scene with Mrs. Dinwiddie near the end. In some ways, it worked better for me than the romance between Reeve and Flossie.

Flossie's developments near the end of the book were pretty painful, and the attention Gist paid to Reeve's efforts to make more friends highlighted, for me, the fact that Flossie didn't seem to have any close female friends. Whereas I enjoyed the direction Reeve's story took, Flossie's "growth" seemed at least in part to involve breaking her down. She learned that not everyone around her was to be trusted, that she couldn't always count on her parents to act as her safety net (although Reeve stepped in and kept this from turning out worse than it might have), and that she'd never

be able to make a career out of the thing she most loved to do

(spoiler show)

. On the plus side, she learned that all of this could happen to her without breaking her.

The moment when Reeve and Flossie met again was nice, although I was a little sad about how long it took for it to happen. I missed getting to see the two of them together more, and Gist sped through their courtship period way too quickly for my tastes. I really liked how she resolved the issues hanging between Reeve and Flossie, although I raised an eyebrow at the fact that they apparently hadn't talked about any of it prior to getting married. I'd have thought Flossie would have wanted to know how Reeve felt about

the idea of her continuing to paint and occasionally make some money of her own

(spoiler show)

before they said their I dos.

All in all, this was a good book and a quicker read than I expected it to be. I need to hunt down more of Gist's stuff.

Extras:

Many of the chapters were accompanied by a one-page black-and-white illustration. Also, there was an author's note with information about Gist's historical research. Gist's author's notes tend to be fascinating, and this one was no exception.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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