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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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18 03, 2012

Review: Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography by Susan Cheever

By | March 18th, 2012|Categories: Arts & Literature, Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Christen Krumm

Louisa May Alcott has been one of my favorite American authors since I was ten. I loved Little Women and loved The Inheritance even more. As a writer myself, I am always very excited to get the chance to read biographies of other writers and explore their lives. Susan Cheever’s account of the life of this beloved author, while beautifully written, is a tad luke-warm.

Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography begins with the story of how Little Women came to be — out of necessity to feed her family and at the bullying from her publisher. From there, Cheever switches gears and begins the story of Bronson Alcott, Louisa’s father. We are thrown little tibbits of Abigail “Abba” Alcott’s, Louisa’s mother, life, however, it seems the main spotlight in these first few chapters, and ultimately the rest

4 03, 2012

Review: Edwardian Country Life by Helena Gerrish

By | March 4th, 2012|Categories: Arts & Literature, Coffee Table Books, Gift Ideas, Historical, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

As coffee table books go, Edwardian Country Life does not disappoint the reader yearning for photos of the English countryside.

Henry Avray Tipping lived for 1855 to 1933. He was a man who was best known as an academic, a writer and a collector. His hobby included visiting the great country houses in the UK and writing about his experiences in Country Life, a magazine of the time. Tipping wrote extensively as an authority on houses, furniture, landscaping, and gardening. He also restored older homes, and bought several estates in Middlesex, Oxfordshire, and Monmothshire.

Edwardian Country Life chronicles the contents of a diary which is a year in Tipping’s life as an Edwardian gentleman. He was born in France to cultured parents and lived in various chateaus during his childhood. His father was an educated man and he was

14 02, 2012

Review: Style Me Vintage: Make-Up by Katie Reynolds

By | February 14th, 2012|Categories: Arts & Literature, Beauty & Fashion, Beauty & Fashion, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Photography|Tags: , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Wendy Fitos

Style Me Vintage: Make Up by Katie Reynolds is the second book in the Style Me Vintage series and covers makeup looks from each decade starting with the 1920’s. The book is targeted for makeup artists as well as women looking to create a look for a party, so the application techniques are very clear and concise.

Many of the looks featured in this colorful book can be easily worn today by slightly changing up the colors and refining the technique if the look needs to be professional. The Marlene Dietrich look from the 1930’s is very classic and would work great for either the office or a cocktail party. The Audrey Hepburn look from the 1960’s can be seen today in many style and fashion magazines. What is refreshing about Reynolds’ technique is that it isn’t picture perfect

20 12, 2011

Review: Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas by Ace Collins

By | December 20th, 2011|Categories: Arts & Literature, Christian Living, Entertainment, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , , , , , , |2 Comments


Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

I am a huge fan of Ace Collins books! He has quite a few focusing on Christmas, and specifically the stories behind some of our favorite aspects of this wonderful Holiday season. His most recent book, Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas, lists off America’s favorite Christmas songs (think Casey Kasem’s countdown, for those of us who are old enough to remember, focusing on Christmas music), the story behind what made that song a “hit,” as well as the story behind how the song was originally created.

Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas is similar to Ace Collins’ Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas (which I gave as a Christmas gift to a music loving friend a few years ago), however, it gives a bit more focus to how those songs came to weave

29 09, 2011

Review: Pearl Buck in China by Hilary Spurling

By | September 29th, 2011|Categories: Arts & Literature, Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Nina Longfield

Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth by Hilary Spurling is an extraordinary review of a remarkable woman’s life. Pearl Buck was a woman who knew world leaders and artists. She advocated for equal and civil rights. She introduced the western world to the dying Imperial China of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet, in our modern world, the works of Pearl Buck are nearly forgotten. It is within the pages of Pearl Buck in China that Spurling reintroduces Pearl S. Buck in a fresh, sometimes fierce, scope. Spurling reminds us that Buck wrote several dozen books, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel (The Good Earth) in 1932, and she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938.

It is in rural China, a place untouched by western missionaries at

23 11, 2009

Review: The Sugarless Plum by Zippora Karz

By | November 23rd, 2009|Categories: Arts & Literature, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |1 Comment


The-Sugarless-PlumReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Zippora Karz was born to dance. Having watched her grandmother, mother, and older sister all pursue their love of dance, it was no surprise when little Zippora wanted to take ballet lessons too. It wasn’t long before Zippora’s talent was recognized and she was offered a scholarship to the School of American Ballet at the age of 14.

Ballet was the focal point of Zippora’s life and something she envisioned doing for the rest of her life. She constantly sought approval from her various instructors, never feeling confident enough in herself. Eventually Zippora was given the opportunity of a lifetime–to dance with the New York Ballet at the age of 18. But just 3 years later, Zippora’s career as a dancer took a sudden turn. It all started with irritating sores beneath her arms. Not willing to