Saturday, April 30, 2011

31. I'll be Seeing You

By:  Margret Mahew
Rated 4.5 Stars
From:  Library

Well this wasn't exactly a Romance novel but it was a nice, well written and well plotted sentimental WWII novel about a woman's search for the American airman who fathered her.  It filled the hole my monthly need for a sappy book very nicely.

Publisher Summary 3
A superbly romantic and moving wartime saga of a young woman's quest to find her American father, formerly a B17 pilot. Juliet Porter loved her mother. She thought she loved her father, too. It is only when her mother dies, leaving her a letter of confession, that she learns the truth: the man who raised her was not her father at all. Instead, her mother, like so many other English girls during the Second World War, fell passionately for an American pilot ? only to lose him in the chaos of the war. With no name, no clues, and only a photograph to guide her, Juliet must learn the truth. Shot down over France in 1944 and presumed killed for so long that Juliet's mother married another man, her father never learned of her existence. But Juliet is determined to find him, and sets out on a journey that will take her from the old wartime Suffolk airfield in England all the way to California, to meet not only her past, but her future

30. Quilters : Women and Domestic Art : An Oral History

By: Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen
Rated 5 Stars
From Library

I find the history of these strong women who learned to make to in the days before Wal-Mart and Shopping Mall's fascinating.

Publisher's Description

Those forms of creativity dominated by women-weaving, potting, quilting-have long been called "crafts," as if to imply that women weren't capable of artistic inspiration. These domestic arts were, however, often the only artistic outlet historically available to women, and the skills were passed down from mother to daughter. Poignantly revealed here, through interviews with quilters all over the Southwest, is how these women gained inspiration for their art from their daily lives. The quilts aren't idle pictures to hang on the wall; they are alive as dynamic parts of everyday life, reflecting family, community and history.

31. Stitched from the Soul : Slave Quilts from the Ante-Bellum South

By:  Gladys Marie Fry
Rated 5 Stars
From Library

This is a fascinating book on this history of quilting by early African American Quilters.  Not very many examples of these quilts survive since the purpose of making them was the need for bedcovers and most saw heavy usage and simply wore completely out.  There are a few examples of the lucky ones that have survived over the years and it's very interesting to see their distinctly styles and to read about the experiences of some of these early quilters.

Product Description

This richly illustrated book offers a glimpse into the lives and creativity of African American quilters during the era of slavery. Originally published in 1989, Stitched from the Soul was the first book to examine the history of quilting in the enslaved community and to place slave-made quilts into historical and cultural context. It remains a beautiful and moving tribute to an African American tradition.Undertaking a national search to locate slave-crafted textiles, Gladys-Marie Fry uncovered a treasure trove of pieces. The 123 color and black and white photographs featured here highlight many of the finest and most interesting examples of the quilts, woven coverlets, counterpanes, rag rugs, and crocheted artifacts attributed to slave women and men. In a new preface, Fry reflects on the inspiration behind her original research--the desire to learn more about her enslaved great-great-grandmother, a skilled seamstress--and on the deep and often emotional chords the book has struck among readers bonded by an interest in African American artistry

28. Breaking In - Breaking Out

By Nicholas Monsarrat
Rated 4.5 Stars
From:  Library

This 2 volume autobiography of Nicholas Monsarrat was published as one book titled Breaking In - Breaking Out in 1970.   I find Monsarrat's writing style very entertaining and his life, while kind of sad overall, still fascinating.  I always wonder what it is about someone's life that makes them turn into a very good writer.  Wistfulness on my part I imagine.

I've read most of what Monsarrat has written and consider this his best work. It is the story of his life, told in glimpses with 5-year intervals and gives the most vivid portrait of the pre-war era (social customs, education, family life and general way of thinking) that I have ever read.  

Monsarrat seems to hold nothing back and gives what effectively amounts to the story of his life, wonderfully condensed. Reading it feels like being inside his head, but he never goes too far. If you are at all interested in the pre-war era, Monsarrat as a person or how other people live and think you want to read this. I knew Monsarrat was a good writer, but the quality of this book still shocked me.


Nicholas Monsarrat was a noted English novelist, best known for THE CRUEL SEA. BREAKING IN, BREAKING OUT is an engaging and candid autobiography in which we follow Monsarrat to Cambridge, the Royal Navy, South Africa and Canada. We learn much about him, much more about the world through which he traveled. Monsarrat resists sentimentality while clearly expressing his hopes and frustrations as a writer and man.

29. Finders Keepers

By:  Fern Michaels
Rated 2 Stars
From:  Library

I try to throw in a Romance novel every month or so just to keep my reading balanced and to keep me from taking myself too seriously and turning into one of those insufferable snooty readers that make everyone laugh at them behind their backs.  Sadly this novel came very close to turning me  into one of those insufferable snooty readers that make everyone laugh at them behind their backs.  It was bad.  Badly written and what was worse, badly plotted.  I finished it but I will never understand why I did.

Jessie Roland always knew that her feelings for her parents--dislike and disgust for her mother, less than love for her father--were anything but what a child should feel, especially for the parents that had given her a privileged childhood filled with private schooling, lavish vacations, and any gift that her heart desired. But try as she might, something always kept her from truly loving the Rolands. Strange dreams of a yellow dog and a stroller hinted at the truth, but Jessie couldn't recall the fateful day when Thea and Barnes Roland had stolen her from her stroller, leaving her pet retriever Jelly to chase after their car for miles, only to return to Jessie's stunned parents without the golden-haired little girl. Now a woman, and armed with a sizeable trust fund, Jessie moves far away from her parents to start a new life in Washington, D.C., where a new job, new apartment, and a new man awaits her. Tanner Kingsley is handsome, charming, and hiding something. Jessie's involvement with him will lead to happiness, heartache, and the full realization of her hidden past--a past she must come to terms with before she can find true peace.