Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
I received this from Harper Collins and their First Look Program.
I think this is the best book I have read so far this year and it is from a first time author and (I believe) Canadian to boot. The book is to be in stores sometime this month and I believe it is well worth reading. Donna Milner worked in real estate until her husband encouraged her to start writing. The manuscript was found in her agent's slush pile and is now being published in at least seven countries including Canada. Milner lives in British Columbia with her hubby and is currently at work on her next novel.
It is only in the past few years that I have found many Canadian authors that I enjoy. Until then I often found them wordy and boring. I guess I was reading the wrong ones. Because in the past few years I have read quite a few Canadians that I really loved. I often hear people say (about books) that they didn't like a certain book because they didn't like a certain character and what they stood for. I think that it is a superb author that can evoke such emotion from us and pull us into the reality of their story. Some Canadian authors that I believe are well worth checking out are Ann -Marie MacDonald, Bernice Morgan, Joan Clark (one of my all time favorite authors), Mary Lawson, D. R. MacDonald, and Peter Robinson ( a transplanted Brit for well over 30 years).
Anyways, back to what I intended to blog about - After River - is full of characters that work their way into your heart. Just as important was the time and the setting that this story took place . It started in the mid 1960's on a small western farm, in a time when the world was changing fast and a somewhat blanket of innocence was leaving society. The main protagonist Natalie Ward then a 15 yr old believed as I think most of us did in our younger years that our families were exempt from tragedy and that nothing could ever happen to change that. The slow gentle setting of this novel reminded me of a time when my life seemed so much more enveloped in goodness. Donna Milner was able to take me back to a gentler time in my life with many of her examples of life in the 1960's and 70's. However, the story went on to show me that even in what a lot of us remember as good years, pain and heartache still managed to creep into everyday life. Until River (an American Draft Dodger) showed up at the Ward's farm Natalie believed that nothing - not secrets, betrayals, or people could ever come between the love in her family.
I don't want to give away the story so I will just give the description off the back of the book and hope that you enjoy it like I did.
"Growing up on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia in the 1960s, just three miles north of the American border, Natalie Ward knew little of the outside world. But she had her family, a family so close and loving that Natalie believed they were the envy of the nearby town of Atwood – particularly her eldest brother Boyer, whom Natalie held especially close to her heart.But Natalie began to question her family’s idyllic existence the summer she turned fifteen. The arrival of a soft-spoken stranger, an American draft-dodger called River, would test the morals and beliefs of the family and the community to breaking point. The series of events following that summer day would leave relationships shattered and the Ward family changed forever."
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I ended up buying the book Knit 2 Together by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark. It was 50% off and seeing that it was regularly priced at $35.00 I had been putting of getting it. This book has some great and fun patterns and I think Im going to make my girlie Hailey the "Witches Britches".
As for yarn I ended up with:
450M Lang Yarns - JA WOLL sock yarn - Janelle says it makes great socks.
690M Butterfly Mercerized Cotton in an awesome aqua colour - It is EL. D. Mouzakis (never heard of this company) made in Greece. Im think summer tank top for someone.
378M MANOS del URUGUAY kettle dyed 100% Wool in very manly colours of black, dark brown, tan, and cranberry that all blend into each other - probably a scarf and maybe hat for hubby.
375M (aran weight) Kid Aran (50% Mohair 50% Wool) hand painted by Fleece Artist in a gorgeous green. This is to make the felted TOTO bag for me - thats right my first project for me other then scarves.
All in all I only spent $98.00, and I can't tell you what Janelle spent - I was sworn to secrecy.
From there we drove the 20 minutes to Shall We Knit (one of our favorites) in New Hamburg. It was lunch by this time so next door to the yarn store is a cute little rustic like cafe/diner, full of home made yummies. I had the Strawberry/brie quiche with wild greens sprinkled with feta and nuts. Janelle had her favorite tuna sandwich on homemade bread and a bowl of tomato dill soup. Oh ya the restaurant is called MeMe's. Try it if you are ever in New Hamburg.
We then spent the afternoon chatting with Karen (the owner and resident knitter of Shall We Knit) and anyone that wandered in. Janelle is teaching a lesson on Mitered Square Scarf at the end of the month and I was her test pupil. Good for her and good for me - I learned the stitch so I can start my Stained Glass Throw Blanket. This is a great store, full of beautiful yarns, books and company. It is in what used to be an old bank . It is very open and welcoming and the front of the store has a big table and chairs where you are encouraged to sit and knit and chat. I purchased two sets of double pointed needles and a bunch of Koigu Mill Ends to start my stained glass project.
When I finally got home last night I was smiling from ear to ear, but exhausted. A perfect day in my opinion.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
A few days ago I came across it and feeling that I wanted a light hearted sort of read decided that its time had come. The inside cover said that this was Milly Johnson's first novel and that she had another in the works. The Yorkshire Pudding Club starts with three thirty something lifelong friends having a picnic at the base of a fertility statue. Helen the only one of the group that wants to have a child and is desperate to concieve has decided that perhaps the statue may be her last chance. From the picture on the cover of the book it is easy to see that Helen will not be the only one with life changes in the works.
The plot was mostly predictable and aside from a few older stereotypical situations I enjoyed this light and funny read. But then again Im a sucker for anything British and Babies.