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review 2019-09-30 00:25
Why Art? - Eleanor Davis
Why Art? - Eleanor Davis

No doubt there is far more one could say about this than "that's weird and cool." But that's all I've got. It was handed to me and it only takes a very short time to read, so I gobbled it up. Some of the scaled art was particularly intriguing.


Library copy

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review 2019-09-03 17:07
Simply Dead
Simply Dead - Eleanor Kuhns

Will Rees, his wife, and family live in the house that his wife inherited and that the Shaker community covets. He married into the Shaker community, even though the Shakers don't seem to accept him that much. He had previously investigated a murder in the community and it seems that he will be doing it again as the daughter, Hortense, of a midwife,  goes missing. 

There are two men who are looking for her. Will finds her in the snow without shoes or a coat. He and his wife Lydia are suspicious of the circumstances. They hide her away in Zion, the local Shaker community. There is an eye witness and it appears that the description of the witnesses matches that of Josiah Wooten, a nasty man who lives with his wife and two sons. 

Will investigates the family and is surprised by what he finds. He has gone to the Wooten home in a blizzard, puts his life at risk yet again. He is determined to not only find out why Hortense went missing but also investigate the murder of the Shaker sister and what the correlation is between the two incidences. He is concerned about the welfare of his family and that they could be in danger.

The author writes in such a way that you can almost feel like you are in the snowy woods of 1790's Maine. A community that is set far apart from the rest of the country. There is a cast of characters that are believable. The story is suspenseful and you also get a feel for what it is like to live in a Shaker community. There are also some twists to the story that was not expected. I love a story that does that, I don't want to figure out who did what in a mystery, I like being surprised.

This is only the second Shaker Murders book that I have read but I found that I really did not miss not having read the previous ones in the series. I want to start the series from 

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review 2019-08-07 01:36
Review: Eleanor by Kristiana Gregory
Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136 - Kristiana Gregory

Title: Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine
Author: Kristiana Gregory
Series: Royal Diaries
Format: hardcover
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Eleanor lives in a palace in Poitier, France, with her father, Count William of Aquitaine, and her younger sister, Petronilla. Mischievous and daring, Eleanor's daily exploits are a constant source of frustration to her grandmother and ladies-in-waiting, who are the girls' caretakers. Eleanor's life is turned upside-down, however, as her father goes off to fight in the invasion of Normandy, and her safety, as well as that of her sister's, is at risk from his enemies. Then, at age fifteen, Eleanor is forced into a new role when her father dies and she is betrothed to sixteen-year-old Prince Louis VII of France. When Louis' father, King Louis VI, dies suddenly, Louis VII becomes King - and young Eleanor is now Queen of France!


Favourite character: Petra
Least favourite character: N/A


Mini-review: At the back of the book in the historical notes (which I love btw) it mentioned that Eleanor was spoiled, but I didn't see that. Except for the fact that she slaps about three people in the book, including her sister, there is no indication that she's spoiled. And I guess because it's from her point of view, maybe we wouldn't see that, but I feel like it should've been more implied than just slaps.

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review 2019-06-19 20:24
Barbie's Secret, Barbie #7 by Eleanor K. Woolvin
Barbie's Secret - Eleanor K. Woolvin,Robert Patterson

After arranging for his family to take in a Japanese exchange student, Mr. Roberts has vanished on a long, long business trip. His stressed out wife and nervous daughter are also hosting a young boy cousin, just because.


Barbie is excited for her new 'sister', so much so that her cousin, and friends Midge and Ken get sick of hearing about it. When Yoshiko arrives the two girls hit it off. Barbie even gives Yoshiko a western nickname, Posy. Uh-oh. Worse yet, Barbie begins getting poison-pen letters demanding her new sister go home.Barbie keeps these letters secret from Yoshiko and the rest of her family.


The second plot has to do with Barbie's friendship with a morose girl named Shirley who, among other things, kisses boys to get dates with them and plans to run away to become a "sandwich girl". Career choices, right ladies? Her home life is unhappy, with a stern and emotionally distant mother, and various clues make Barbie  begin to suspect Shirley of writing the letters.


Yoshiko is fine as a character, but the text constantly refers to her as dainty, bird-like, delicate, floral, etc. It gets a little wearing. The homesick Yoshiko pulls through and introduces the Roberts to new experiences. Overall the novel uses her character to make a nice story about acceptance and true welcoming.


Despite Yoshiko's fragility, its interesting to note that 'Barbie's Secret', perhaps because of new author Woolvin, is the best written so far with interconnected plots and occasionally atmospheric writing.



It seems appropriate to show off this "absolutely mint" (husband's words) raven-haired Barbie in 1964's 'Garden Tea Party' #1606. Yoshiko teaches Barbie a tea ceremony as a way of relaxing and bringing harmony back to the house.


Barbie Random House Novels:


Next: 'Barbie in Television'


Previous: 'Barbie's Hawaiian Holiday'

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review 2019-05-15 14:31
Outdoor London
Outdoor London: Green spaces and escapes in and around the capital - Eleanor Ross

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Technically speaking, I could only review a PDF copy, not a physical one, so I can’t comment on the quality of the paper and of the printed colours; but the photos in the digital copy were, at any rate, vibrant and gorgeous.

This book presents quite a few parks, gardens, walks and cycling paths throughout Greater London, ranging from cozy gardens to cemeteries and preserved areas—we all have that idea of "the big city" as made of concrete only, but London is actually a pretty green city, or at least one with many more green places that one would suspect. Along short texts and beautiful pictures, the author also takes care of giving addresses, opening days/hours, and the closest Tube lines, to make it easier to find these locations and book entrance when this is necessary.

While visiting more than a couple will be difficult for someone who's in the capital for only a few days, if you're a local, or go to London more regularly than just every few years or so, "Outdoor London" will definitely give you plenty of ideas for both summer and out of season outings. (I was particularly happy to find about several smaller gardens in the City, since this is a very accessible area for me, and now I have no excuses whatsoever not to go visit these places more often.)

If anything, maybe I would've liked to see more details about each park or trail—a few more anecdotes, perhaps? But that doesn't detract from the book as a whole.

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