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Search tags: Tad-Williams
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review 2020-05-23 19:14
The Little Palace
The Little Palace - Jeffrey Erlacher,Mary P. Williams

During World War I on a tiny island in the Seine sits The Little Palace, a restaurant run by master chef and cheese maker, Narcisse.  Narcisse happens to be a cat who believes in equality and service for all.  The stress of the war has allowed for animals and humans to communicate in ways unknown before. With the help of a very special group of animals, Narcisse has made The Little Palace an oasis for good food, company and a refuge for artists.  In the cafe animals and humans work side by side; however, one of the servers at The Little Palace believes that animals and humans should not be equal.  The server hatches a plan that damages the reputation of The Little Palace.  At the same time Narcisse gets word that her father has been injured in the war.  

 
A creative and charming story that highlights the animals that, without choice, serve alongside of us in the midst of war.  Written for a middle grade and teenage audience, The Little Palace resonates with adults as well as with themes such as equal rights, justice and kindness.  At first I thought the anthropomorphic animals characters were the only characters in the book, however when I learned that humans were also characters, I became very intrigued at their interactions.  I do wish the mechanism for the human and animal communication was brought up earlier in the story, although it made sense once it was finally disclosed.  I loved the camaraderie between the many species of animals and their willingness to help in the war that was decidedly human. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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review 2020-05-19 15:18
Quiet and poignant read
Stoner - John Edward Williams

What a wonderful gentle read. The life of William Stoner, a student and then a Professor at the University of Missouri. He initially enrolled to study agriculture, and help manage his father’s farm, but in one very significant life changing moment he discovered his true vocation in the world of literature. His choice of Edith as a future spouse was a fundamental mistake….”She was short, plump woman with fine white hair that floated about her face; her dark eyes twinkled moistly, and she spoke softly and breathlessly  as if she were telling secrets.”………”in her white dress she was a cold light coming into the room”…..And so with a stoical mind and a shrug of inevitability Stoner fills his days with the enquiring and challenging minds of his students and his lifelong love of books and the written word. Katherine Driscoll, a student completing her dissertation, falls in love with Stoner and he, whose life is totally devoid of any affection, reciprocates this much wanted attention. For a time, his personal and private life were full of joy but under pressure from departmental elders the affair ended….”He had wanted love; and he had had love, and had relinquished  it, had let it go into the chaos of potentiality. Katherine, he thought. Katherine.”…….

 

The life of Stoner is a life or ordinariness filled with those special moments, full of decisions taken, choices made, right or wrong, good or bad. It is a clever, poignant book and in many ways a reflection of any human life, and the inevitable fate that awaits us all. Beautiful storytelling and highly recommended.

 

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text 2020-05-12 09:57
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
Stoner - John Edward Williams

I don't often share my thoughts as I read a novel but the writing in Stoner is astounding and the observations have a pinpoint accuracy..."Her parents behaved toward eachother with a distant courtesy; Edith never saw pass between the the spontaneous warmth of either anger or love"...

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review 2020-04-23 12:47
More Last Minute Knitted Gifts
More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts - Joelle Hoverson,Anna Williams

by Joelle Hoverson

 

I admit, I was attracted to this one because of the elfin hat on the little girl on the cover.

 

As the title suggests, this is a book of patterns for gift items that you can knit. It is different in that the table of contents is organized by how long it takes to make an item!

 

There are some really nice items to make and some of them take as little as two hours, maybe less. Hats, bracelets, wrist warmers, sock and even toys can be made quickly when you suddenly need a gift for someone. That alone makes this is brilliant book.

 

There are holiday items like bauble covers, not to mention the cute elf hat, and many of them would be a joy to give to someone. The knitted baskets in the 2-4 hour patterns really appealed to me. Nice design and so useful!

 

The book has full color photos for all the patterns and some of them show the effects of making them in different colors and sizes.

 

You get the usual baby socks and hats, but also things for adults like scarves and wrist warmers in particularly nice designs. A few household items are included that are diferent from the usual stuff. As the time commitment gets longer, the patterns include more clothing items for both children and adults. There are even patterns for gift tags to make your present especially nice. There's an index in the back to make it easier to find the pattern you want.

 

Personally, I may have to make a gift for myself out of this. The beret was very appealing, especially with the photo of different ways to use color to make it unique. Apparently there was a first book called Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I may have to search it out!

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review 2020-04-05 10:44
Trivia, or The Art of Walking The Streets of London
Trivia or the Art of Walking the Streets of London (1922) - John Gay,William H. Williams

Two stars only, despite the fact that the subject is London and I would really like to go there this summer but with Corona, it is unsure whether this will be possible!

To me, this felt like John Gay wanted to write an epic tale about, walking through London. There is loads of references to Greek Mythology and a lot of places in London are mentioned, but it is all rather random. Besides, the rhyming scheme felt forced, and although I am sure it is not easy to do, it did not feel right.

Not my style.

~Little Black Classics #107~

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