Thanksgiving books

I don’t know of that many books that involve thanksgiving, other than two, both by Richard Paul Evans:  The Locket, and Miles to Go. The Locket is one of my favorite novels; I’ve read it so many times the hardcover binding is in danger of totally releasing the pages. If you haven’t read it, it is a definite recommend from me.

In both books, Evans had his characters make Parker House rolls. I need to try these some year. 
How about you? Any books that mention Thanksgiving that you particularly enjoy?

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Literary Orphans

There sure are a lot of them. It’s an enduring theme in literature…abandoned children, left parentless, and have to face the World All On Their Own. Some turn out better than others. Here, I’ve named ones whose parents died when they were children/adolescents.

  • Oliver Twist
  • David Copperfield
  • Mary Lennox
  • Harry Potter (is he the most famous? Discuss)
  • Cosette (Les Miserables) 
  • Sara Crewe
  • Quasimodo
  • Jane Fairfax (in Emma)
  • Liir (Elphaba’s son in The Wicked Years series)
  • Mowgli (Jungle Book)
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White
  • Dorothy Gale
  • Heathcliff
  • Jane Eyre
  • Peter Pan
  • Ada and Richard Clare
  • Harriet (also from Emma)
  • Christine Daae
  • Samantha Parkington
  • Nellie O’Malley
  • Anne Shirley
Anyone else I’m missing?

A Friday Gift: First installment of “Damn Rebels”

As some of you know, I’m a writer in my spare time.

As a gift to you (few, you happy few!) readers, here is the first installment of a Thanksgiving story I’m writing.

Yes, it is based on real events, and most of these things happened. Names have been changed.

I would love any and all feedback!

Here is the link to read.

I hope you enjoy! I will post new installments as they come.

The Dreamer by Lora Innes

Allan kissing Bea

I have been wanting to write about this comic series since the beginning of this blog. I mentioned to everyone in my little bio that I am a fan of graphic novels. One of my favorites, is The Dreamer by Lora Innes.

Since I can say very kindly that I lack the ability to give a great summary of this wonderful series, I am going to copy and paste (I call it quoting) Lora Innes synopsis:
“Beatrice “Bea” Whaley seems to have it all; the seventeen year old high school senior is beautiful, wealthy and the star performer of the drama club. And with her uncle’s connections to Broadway theater, the future looks bright ahead of her. Little does she know that her future might actually be brighter behindher…Bea begins having vivid dreams about a brave and handsome soldier named Alan Warren–a member of an elite group known as Knowlton’s Rangers that served during the Revolutionary War. Prone to keeping her head in the clouds, Bea welcomes her nightly adventures in 1776; filled with danger and romance they give her much to muse about the next day. But it is not long before Beatrice questions whether her dreams are simply dreams or something more. Each night they pick up exactly where the last one ended. And the senses–the smell of musket shots and cannons, the screams of soldiers in agony, and that kiss–are all far more real than any dream she can remember.”

What makes me love this series? Truly, it is how Lora Innes has been able to bring history, something that I love to dive into, to life. She does not make it into a story of the fables and legends no,  she researched and brought to life parts of the war that I can tell you I was never taught in school. (which reminds me of that musical, check out 1776, it is a great musical)

When I decided that I wanted to major in American History, I asked myself what parts of the history would I like to focus on. One of the many subjects was the Revolutionary War, which has always been a big deal for me, since it was the beginning of the United States of America.

In high school and even middle school they had always focused on the Declaration of Independence and after the war, than the actual Revolution itself. I knew nothing about Knowlton’s Rangers or Nathan Hale. I have in the past few years learned more about John Adams than what is portrayed in history books. Lora helps to bring that time period and the people who lived that time to life like never before.

Another thing that helped me love the series is the artwork and that it is a webcomic (you can now buy the series in bookstores). Lora updates the comic every Wednesday and Friday. She is currently finishing Issue 13.

I would highly recommend this series to all those who love graphic novels or are history fans, yes there is romance, but that does not hinder the greatness of this series, it actually makes it interesting and fun to read.

Check it out: www.thedreamercomic.com

 

New book reviews

Some quick reviews of recent reads:

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg : Swedish crime novel, recently published in the U.S.  Synopsis: Erika, a writer whose parents just died in a car accident, has the horrifying misfortune of finding her childhood best friend’s body in a bathtub. It quickly becomes obvious that this wasn’t suicide–Alex was murdered. With the help of childhood friend, and now police detective, Patrik, Erika works to discover her friend’s killer, and uncovers the many long-buried family secrets, passions, and betrayals that are just under the surface of her seemingly quiet hometown.

Lackberg does a good job with her characters, making their interactions believable and well-drawn. The only thing I found less than compelling was the way the killer was revealed–I didn’t think it a plausible ending. But that didn’t diminish the pleasure I had in reading the book too much. Erika and Patrik are also found in Lackberg’s new book, The Preacher (recently published in the U.S.)

Lost December, by Richard Paul Evans: I’ve loved Evans’ books ever since I read The Christmas Box in 7th grade. I’ve read every adult fiction book he’s written (I still have to read his new YA novel, Michael Vey). Lost December joins the rest of his books in being a heartwarming story that revolves, in some way, around Christmas (Christmas figures in all of his books, either peripherally or as the main thrust of the story. Maybe that’s why I like them so much.) Synopsis: Luke Crisp is going to have it all. His father is a multimillionaire who built a business from the ground up–and he’s going to leave it all to Luke, his only child. When his father suggests Luke get his MBA, Luke is initially reluctant, but heads to Wharton Business School. On his own for the first time, he reenacts the story of the Prodigal Son, becoming estranged from his father and blowing through his entire $1M trust fun. How will Luke manage to get his life back on track–and can he be reconciled with his father?

(Note about Evans’ books–some are series, and some stand alone. I listed the series below

SERIES: The Christmas Box–> The Christmas Box, Timepiece, The Letter

The Locket–> The Locket, The Looking Glass, The Carousel

The Walk (ongoing series)–> The Walk, Miles to Go)

Out of Oz, by Gregory Maguire: The final novel in his wildly successful Wicked Series (yes, the same Wicked that the musical is based on). Definitely, definitely, definitely read the other books before you tackle this one, otherwise it won’t make any sense. 🙂 So I’m not going to give you a synopsis here, for that reason. But Maguire retells the story of Oz with panache. There are some moments when he seems to lose the thread of his story (this happens in all of the Wicked novels), but eventually the novels come back to themselves.