Saturday, 30 March 2013

Love, Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli

If you loved the original Stargirl, I'm thinking that you will feel just the same about this one.  Stargirl (and her parents, have moved away from Leo's town - a long way).  She's now back to homeschooling and is missing Leo badly.  So badly that this book told by her, not about her, is just one long letter to Leo.  She's not actually in touch with him, but she's informed by other people what he's doing and where he is.  But although she loves him dearly, she has to get on with life - and in this new life it means making friends whilst still being true to herself.  The first friend she makes is Dootsie - and she's just five years old.  Then there's the lady who runs the doughnut shop, and Alvina, younger than her and angry with everyone, balanced as she is on the edge of puberty. There are more, too, you'll get to meet them - and then there's Perry, who steals things, just small things, like a lemon from the greengrocer, and who has a group of girls who all adore him.  Stargirl is invited to join the group.....
Again, I found my self transported back to the age that she is, experiencing the feelings she has, and that's a skill for a male author writing a young adult book.  She's a little older now, and beginning to understand life too.  There are people out there who perhaps need a little help, an arm to lean on,and she finds she's not alone in her oddness at all. A real charmer of a book, and I recommend that you read Stargirl first and then this one, Love Stargirl, if you have not yet done so.  But I do recommend that you do read them!!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Bowel Cancer Charity drive - with birds!

My friend Su has a wonderful sense of fun, even when she is serious.  if you click on the link you will find a selection of goods to buy at very little cost, proceeds of which will go to her chosen bowel cancer research/awareness charity. 

I love the birdy badges - a wonderful school or brownie project perhaps? If you want to know more, use the etsy site and contact her through there. She has other, non-charity items too, which are wonderful and magical!

Monday, 25 March 2013

I got a Sunshine Award - and now I'm dishing 'em out!

 I Got a lovely award!  My booky friend Jane at
gave me the Sunshine Award!  Thank you for that Jane.  Now I have to find some other lovely bloggers to give some sunshine to.

To tell you a bit about this award:    The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers.  The recipients are "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere".

The way the award works is this: on your blog, thank the person who gave you the award, and link back to them.  Then, if you want to, answer 10 questions about yourself (see below). 

Finally, select up to 10 of your favourite bloggers, link their blogs to your post, and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award. 

I'd better tell you that I have changed some of the questions a little, as I want to send my sunshine out to some non-book bloggers as well as those who blog about books, and who make my day a bit sunnier whenever I read their blog.  And remember, my Sunshine Award winners.... no need to reply to those questions unless you really want to!!  Wishing you sunny days.

10 Questions:
1.  What inspired you to start blogging?
2.  How did you come up with the name of your blog?
3.  What is your favourite blog that you like to read?
4.  What would be your dream job?
5.  If you could spend a day with eight authors  or other well known people as a group, who would you invite (past or present)?
6.  What is your favourite place to travel?
7.  What is your favourite book out of all the books you have read?
8.  What was your favourite book as a child and how did it influence your choice in books today?
9.  How much time do you spend blogging?
10.What would you say to your favourite person listed in question 5 if you got the chance?
1.  I'd done a few reviews of books for ReadItSwapIt, and thought I might find a wider readership out there in the blogosphere, also I found I wanted people to read me!
2.  I'm Mrs Mac, and I have adventures..... and I read books too.
3.  There are several that I read regularly but always return to those who are getting the award here! 
4.  I think, the next time round, I'd like to be a private detective (no murders though, please!)
5.  Oh dear,  this is hard. Not eight, but a few fascinating (to me) people.  My Dad; Frank Lloyd Wright; Antonio Gaudi; Mozart; Garrison Kieller.  No authors at all then?  And my Dad?  yes, because he's long gone, but would have been fascinated by it all!
6.  Loved New York, always enjoy Spain and France.... but there's always somewhere else isn't there?
7.  I loved Winters Tale, Mark Helprin when I read it in the 1980s,  but my taste changes all the time and this year it's definitely The Dog Stars, Peter Heller.
8. Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge, which I still love.  I don't know that it had any influence on today's choices.  It was just so wonderful the first time I read it.
9.  Maybe 30 minutes to an hour a day reading other people's And an hour every few days to write mine.
10.  Mozart?  Thank you for the music.

So some sunshine now coming the way of: 

Southern Hospitality -
Sunil's Garden - 
The Amazing American Adventures of Hazel and Bobby -
Letters from a Hill Farm 
Comic Crits -    

Sunday, 24 March 2013

B&B excitement! - experimenting with breakfasts (part 1)

    Eggs Benedict

This year's project (one of them actually, there are several more!)  Is to host some B&B guests.  I joined AirB&B because it's the kind of thing I would do myself - travel and stay in someone's home I mean - and I am not in this to make money, just to have fun.  I have had several enquiries but for various reasons not suitable - until now!

First guest arrives Friday for 3 nights - so the room is clean, the bed is ready, instructions to find us issued, and this morning I tried out the first of several breakfasts I have up my sleeve, which was Eggs Benedict.  Looked professional, tasted fine, but was a bit boring........  Now why was that?  Hahaha!  I had left out the bacon/parma ham.  What kind of a host am I going to be?  Thank goodness I tried it out on Mr Mac first!  The pic is what Delia Smith's version looks like.....scrummy!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Rosemary - with food, for remembrance, air freshener.......

Wait a minute....... did I just say AIR FRESHENER?
Yes, I did! Rosemary, that lovely Mediterranean herb which goes so well with lamb, which can be cooked into biscuits, scones, bread;  can be used in other ways too.  As an air freshener, you just need a sprig picked and left to dry for a day or two on a windowsill before setting the tip alight.  It will flare up and fizzle out, giving off a thread of scented smoke. Mmmmm!  You can throw a sprig or two onto the BBQ  for smell and flavour; and you can also tie a sprig or two with ribbon and loop it round coat hangers to keep your wardrobe sweet smelling (and maybe moth free too, although I cannot guarantee that!). Finally, but very, very, very important - when Rosemary blossoms it attracts bees, and what could be better than that, in these days when bees seem in danger.  So what better to plant in that odd corner of the garden that you haven't filled yet?  It's evergreen, in Summer the flowers are blue, and do plant near the path, so that you can pick some for cooking, but also you can just pull your hand through the bush as you walk by to release the smell.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Hundred-year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared 
Allan is 100 years old, and has recently moved into elderly persons' residential care.  At the residential home they are planning his birthday party, with cake, staff, the press and Allan is not interested.  So, wearing his bedroom slippers he climbs out of his ground floor room, onto the flower bed and hoofs it! Whilst waiting for a bus to anywhere at all at the local bus station, he's approached by a young man who needs to use the toilet, and who asks him if he will just look after his suitcase for a while?  Of course he agrees, it's only polite to do so - and when his bus arrives, the lad is still in the toilet, so ....better take it on the bus with him, so that it's safe.  It's only later when he finds on opening it that it is full of millions of money!!

Yes, it's a quirky read, and yes, it will help a little if you are aware of world changing politics during the 20th Century and the characters involved - although it will not spoil the story if you are not!  It is simplistic in style but don't let that fool you either, because how Allan's 100 years knits up with history is a fantastic tale, and the story of the suitcase, the money, his new friends, the police and the elephant  is not so bad either!  I liked it.

Early One Morning - Virginia Baily

I was attracted to this novel purely by the cover (as I suppose this is meant to happen!) and it has very little about the contents on the b...