Saturday, May 12, 2018

Thomas' 19th Illustrated Story -- Book 4

         Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  Thomas doesn’t have a girlfriend.  It’s good that Thomas doesn’t have a girlfriend because if Thomas were a praying mantis, his girlfriend would eat him.
The End.

Book 594

Puppies for Dummies, by Sarah Hodgson, Wiley Publishing, 2006.

This book is an excellent source of information for anyone who is even thinking bringing a puppy into their home. And the center photos, while not necessary, are completely adorable.

Book 593

The Innocent Mrs. Duff/The Blank Wall, by Elisabeth Panxay Holding, Quality Paperback, 2002.

Both of these stories are suspenseful and very well-written.  The first story is not so much about Mrs. Duff as it is Mr. Duff; she doesn't even get to react very much.  The second story is about a middle-aged mother of teens, but she is more of a reactor than actor. 

Book 592

A Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Devereaux, Pocket Books, 1989.

This book was my guilty pleasure in my early twenties.  I probably read it at least three times back then.  After that, I put it away and didn't read it again for several years -- until now.

Most of what enchanted me in the first place still at the very least held my interest.  I remember being struck then how well this book was researched for it 'just being a romance'.  I still found it well-researched.  I may have found the motives of the main character a little difficult to understand now, but in my twenties, they would have made perfect sense to me.

Book 591

Sleeping Murder, Murder at the Vicarage, by Agatha Christie, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1976.

This book was a delightful two-for-one.  It was interesting reading the last Miss Marple story first, and then reading the first Miss Marple, but if you are feeling rebellious, read them in the opposite order.  It doesn't really matter; they both are wonderful and should be read.

Book 590

The Blank Wall, by Elisabeth Panxay Holding, Skeffington, 1947.

This book is supposed to be about Lucia Holley, a mother trying to raise her two teenage children while her husband is a captain in the second world war.  It is supposed to be, but Lucia is a reactor, and not an actor.  All of her reactions are to protect her children and live-in father.  Far more interesting is Donnelly.  His motives are as murky as his morals.

Book 589

God's Guest List, Debbie Macomber, Simon & Schuster, 2010.

This book takes a very long time to say that God brings people into our lives for a reason.  If you like the long, winding, rambling path, you would probably like this book.  If not, leave this book on the shelf, and just know that God brings people into our lives for a reason.

Book 588

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt, Vintage Books, 1994.

I first read this book when I was living in Florida and had never visited Savannah. I didn't understand it. Now I live in Charleston, SC, and have visited Savannah a few time. I get it. Characters in the South really are this quirky. And Savannah and Charleston may be 'sister cities', but Charleston is the prim and proper sister, and Savannah is the sister who throws the best parties.

Book 587

The Best of Mystery, edited by Alfred Hitchcock, Galahad Books, 1986.

Anthologies are tricky to rate.  Some of the stories in this collection were so good, they will probably stay with me for years.  Other stories were almost instantly forgettable.

Overall, the writing was good, the pacing was quick -- which is good, because this doorstop has over 600 pages.  

Book 586

Tragic Muse, the Life of Rachel of Comedie Francaise, Rachel Brownstein, 1991.

Before I read this book, I knew nothing about Rachel except her name.  Now I know a little bit more.  But not quite enough to feel like I know her.  Still, it was good to read about a woman who influenced Sarah Bernhardt.

Book 585

Music: Hit the Right Note!, written by Dan Green, Simon Basher books 2011.

I adore Basher books because my third-grade son adores Basher books.  This one was an excellent introduction to the study of music.  It did not cover reading music, as in reading the actual notes of music, but it did cover just about everything else, including types of instruments and musical styles.

Book 584

Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner, Harper Collins, 1980.

There was an article out quite recently about not shielding our children from sadness or darkness.  This book makes no effort to shield, and that may be why it is so memorable.  My son and I read this book for his third grade class, and we both were crying by the end of the book.

Book 583

Planet Earth, What Planet Are You On?, written by Dan Gilpin, Basher Books 2010.

This is another brilliant book from the Basher team.  These books are engaging, informative, easy-to-read, and entertaining.  Pretty much everything you would want in a book for third graders.

Book 582

The Human Body, written by Bob Green, Simon Basher Books.

My third-grade son chose to read this book for fun.  For real.  He likes the Simon Basher books THAT much.  And he seems to always learn something from them.