Book Review: Wpa Buildings: Art of the New Deal by Joseph Maresca


Wpa Buildings: Architecture and Art of the New Deal by Joseph Maresca

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer; 1 edition (February 15, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764352113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764352119


My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Continue reading “Book Review: Wpa Buildings: Art of the New Deal by Joseph Maresca”

Book Review of a Classic: The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (March 20, 2012)

  • Publication Date: March 20, 2012
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JLKG4S
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Continue reading “Book Review of a Classic: The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett”

    Book Review: Ancient Ways: The Roots of Religion, by Diane Olsen

    Ancient Ways: The Roots of ReligionAncient Ways: The Roots of Religion by Diane Olsen

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Olsen (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996756558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996756556
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Continue reading “Book Review: Ancient Ways: The Roots of Religion, by Diane Olsen”

    Book Review: Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South, by Christopher Dickey

    Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War SouthOur Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey

    Print Length: 410 pages

  • Publisher: Crown (July 21, 2015)
  • Publication Date: July 21, 2015
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00OWWC25S
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    About The Author:

    Award-winning author CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, the foreign editor of The Daily Beast, is based in France. Previously he was the Paris bureau chief and the Middle East editor for Newsweek. He served as Cairo bureau chief for the Washington Post and, before that, as the paper’s Central America bureau chief. His books include the acclaimed memoir Summer of Deliverance as well as Securing the City, Expats, With the Contras, and two novels about espionage and terrorism.

    My Review:

    This is the story of Robert Bunch, the British government’s consul in Charleston, South Carolina, before the start of the civil war. I have never read such chilling accounts of the slave industry as I did in this book. To know that even after it had been banned in the south a ship was confiscated and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was carrying what was left of four hundred plus Africans to America, it was treated as a nonoccurrence.

    After reading these secret memos that Robert Bunch sent back to England, you can understand the distaste for the south that he conveyed. He had seen into the deepest darkest aspect of life in Charleston. He had been privy to the leader’s inner workings and their flawed decisions about human trafficking.

    When the Echo was brought into Charleston’s harbor, the city was given a birdseye view of the destruction, horrors, and inhumanity of slavery. Yet, when given an opportunity to prosecute the perpetrators, aka the ship owners, they were let go by the leaders of the legal system in Charleston. This shines a different light on what we in the south were told about slavery and Northern aggression. The north was not left out of the slavery problem as they were many times the owners and builders of these slave ships. Ships built to hide hundreds of illegally acquired Africans.

    Bunch was in the thick of things in Charleston and he saw things that many were not able to see. Sending dispatches back to England allowed them to have inside knowledge of the slave mentality of the Southern states and America​ in general. Written in an easy to understand manner, I was pulled into the history of the prewar south.
    An excellent read that encapsulates the real reasons behind that war and why Great Britain was so staunchly anti-confederacy. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

    My Recommendation:

    I can highly recommend this well crafted and researched book to anyone that wants to know​ the truth behind the slavery question of pre-civil war America This book brought so many points to the forefront that I had never seen in print before. It is an excellent resource. I felt I had to give it 5 stars, as it was wonderfully written.

    Where to Find Our Man in Charleston:

    This​ book is available in Hardback, Paperback, Audiobook, Kindle, and Nook.

    Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

    Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

    • Print Length: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Pottermore from J.K. Rowling; Special Rehearsal ed. edition (July 31, 2016)
    • Publication Date: July 31, 2016
    • Sold by: Pottermore
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01BMJWU4Q



    My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥


    I read the play Harry Potter and the cursed child and I was immediately thrown back into the good old days at Hogwarts. Even as Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy have now become men and quite comfortable as friends. It is fun when you see the children heading off to school, being sorted and making friends. Continue reading “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne”

    Book Review: Jefferson’s America by Julie M. Fenster


    • Print Length: 442 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307956482
    • Publisher: Crown (May 10, 2016)
    • Publication Date: May 10, 2016
    • Sold by: Random House LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B013ZNK5D0


    Book Blurb:

    The surprising story of how Thomas Jefferson commanded an unrivaled age of American exploration—and in presiding over that era of discovery, forged a great nation.
    At the dawn of the nineteenth century, as Britain, France, Spain, and the United States all jockeyed for control of the vast expanses west of the Mississippi River, the stakes for American expansion were incalculably high. Even after the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Spain still coveted that land and was prepared to employ any means to retain it. With war expected at any moment, Jefferson played a game of strategy, putting on the ground the only Americans he could: a cadre of explorers who finally annexed it through courageous investigation.

    Responsible for orchestrating the American push into the continent was President Thomas Jefferson. He most famously recruited Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific, but at the same time there were other teams who did the same work, in places where it was even more crucial. William Dunbar, George Hunter, Thomas Freeman, Peter Custis, and the dauntless Zebulon Pike—all were dispatched on urgent missions to map the frontier and keep up a steady correspondence with Washington about their findings.

    But they weren’t always well-matched—with each other and certainly not with a Spanish army of a thousand soldiers or more. These tensions threatened to undermine Jefferson’s goals for the nascent country, leaving the United States in danger of losing its foothold in the West. Deeply researched and inspiringly told, Jefferson’s America rediscovers the robust and often harrowing action from these seminal expeditions and illuminates the president’s vision for a continental America.

    My Rating :

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 


    My Review: 

    I enjoyed reading Jefferson’s America the President, The Purchase, and The Explorers who Transformed a Nation so much. there were great stories that told about the men that were sent out to discover the passageways to the Pacific ocean and map the west. There were some colorful characters that I did not expect to encounter.

    One of these explorers, John  Evans, was sent to be a go between for the United States and Spain that controlled so much of the area west of the Mississippi River. The Spanish  were controlling the expansion while in New Orleans and so the Evans  arrived there, spoke to the leaders of the Spanish government and was recruited to go into the wilderness, establish trade with the Native Americans. He was ordered to make peace and establish trade with the Mandan Indians  and plot the routes he took. He was happy to become an agent for Spain, until he reached south Dakota where he decided to become a freelance trader. His story was so fun to read. He was like always changing sides and sometimes was working for both governments at the same time.

    That is just one of the stories that were so fascinating. The book is packed with stories and recounting of the travels of Meriwether Lewis and George Rogers Clark. These were known as some of  Jefferson’s men and they were actively engaged in discovering cities and towns all across the country. There are snippets of letters included in the book. So fascinating to see that President Jefferson spelled knowledge as “knoledge”. There are stories of women and children that lived harsh lives because of these early explorers and tradesmen. There is so much information about the Louisiana Purchase. A great deal of factual information complete with photo’s, letters, and human interest stories.

    One of the main attractions of this Historic non Fiction book is the in-depth knowledge you gain about Thomas Jefferson.  He was way ahead of the time in his thinking. When it came to farming, governing, and exploring. He did not want just rough and ready explorers on these missions, he wanted educated men. He wanted philosophers, astronomers, biologists, and anthropologists to gather information about the entire country.  The projects were insistent on documenting their finds with drawings, copious notes and  detailed maps. He knew what he wanted and he gathered men of all ages to do the task at hand. It was an amazing adventure to read about. I was so impressed with Jefferson’s brain.

    If you love history or are just curious about how America was populated, this is a wonderful opportunity to read all about that. reading about Lewis and Clark was especially poignant because I live in the same area that George Rogers Clark is from.  The High school here named after him.  Makes local history even more fun now that I know more about him.  I was provided this book by Blogging for books in exchange for this review. I have to admit I am a junkie for history, so I assure you the love I had for this subject, the writing and the anecdotal stories made my heart and my brain very happy. In this book some of the most obscure and some of the most recognizable names in American history are discussed in a personable and interesting way.


    This is a great tool for learning in an easy to read, interesting and colorful book. If you home school or just love having informative and comprehensive books on History, this is the book for you. It covers many years of growth and expansion for the United States.


    Where To Find:

    Jefferson’s America the President, The Purchase, and The Explorers who Transformed a Nation is available in many formats. Kindle, Hardback, Audio book and CD. By clicking  the links shown  below.

    Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Audible


    Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    I have just finished reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I was floored by the depth of the story. The little hunter girl that did whatever it took to take care of her family. When she killed a lone wolf, she had no idea what she had done. Feyre the nineteen year old human was then whisked away by a large beast into a different world from her own. To pay the price for her murder.

    Feyre is held in this fairy manor with the shapeshifting Tamlin. She finds that even though she wants to escape and return to her family she finds herself accepting her fate and adjusting to her new life. With painting and lunches with Tamlin and Lucian to keep her occupied, she found herself drawn to the High Elf, Tamlin.

    Lucian is a great character, he is loyal to Tamlin and he is suspicious of Feyre. But he too has depths that only come to light slowly over time. I enjoyed their dinners together. I enjoyed their discourse over dinner.

    Tamlin protects her and keeps her in his lovely home even when things are confusing and scary for the brave strong girl. There are secrets and mysterious events that she doesn’t understand. Feyre is curious and keeps finding herself in situations and places where she does not understand.

    The writing was beautiful. I can visualize the fairies, their gardens, and their dark ceremonies. The beauty of Tamlin in his gold mask that can never be removed. The kingdom cursed by an unknown evil a blight on the entire world. A threat to the human world also. I pictured her life before in a hovel with sisters and a father that depended on her too much.

    When she is not privy to the truth of the blight and she sets out to find the missing population, her search turns her into a warrior again. Fayre the warrior, a person that will face magic, horror and fear with a brave face. I could not put this down. It is a huge book with so much action and detail. I have to admit this is my first book about High Elf, faeries, and shapeshifters. I loved it. It was more than I expected. There are challenges, riddles and terrible choices and consequences that are faced and wow, they are captivating. I was captivated by the entire book. The world Sarah J. Maas created drew me in with its beauty and intensity.

    There is a second book in this series and I am going to start it now. I am looking forward to seeing what happens to this world next. There are still some things I want to know. I am glad I tried this Fantasy genre. I found a lot to love about it.

    The first book in this series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is available in many formats. Available in hardback, paperback,Kindle Edition, and as an Audible Audioboook through Amazon

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    Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

    The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    The book The Girl on the Train is wickedly mesmerizing. The main character, Rachel Watson is a pathetic alcoholic that thinks she sees something from the daily commuter train.

    Who will listen to a drunk that has been pestering and threatening her ex husband’s new family? Tom and Anna Watson are always in her thoughts and the loving couple have made it clear to the police that she is severely troubled. It doesn’t help that she is living a lie and has a tendency to not say the whole truth about things.

    There is a mysterious man at the station that seems to share a secret with Rachel, but she doesn’t know what that secret could be. What does he know or what has he done? All she knows is that she is afraid of him.

    The missing woman’s husband Scott Hipwell is a possible suspect, he might have been seen with Megan Hipwell in a threatening manner. Then there is the other mysterious man that was seen in a compromising situation with the missing woman. Oh yeah, there are suspects all over the place.

    So what does a drunken and angry woman do when no one believes her? She tries to figure out what she saw on her own. That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, but than again I am not a drunk. So off she goes, seeking out people that she suspects of some possible nameless atrocity against a poor beautiful woman.

    The story is dense with facts, the story unfolds one layer at a time and each layer is covered by another thick layer of facts. It is such a magnetic read that you can’t walk away you are pulled in one layer at a time, drawing you deeper into the story.

    The story makes me unsure of exactly who do I like, and who should I be afraid of. It is funny how even innocent people act guilty when there is a missing person and a possible murder afoot.

    Rachel suffers from black out drinking binges and she can’t even trust her own memories, dreams and flashes. Does she know more about what happened? Even she isn’t sure.

    Did she participate in whatever happened? I suspected everyone and was tense worrying about a woman that might even be guilty herself. A woman that comes off as rather pathetic and totally self destructive. A woman that deserves to be worried about.

    Oh yes, it is intense. It is gripping and I am really glad that I read this book. It was just plain thrilling. I highly recommend this book and remember when you think it is a little slow, you are actually learning tons about the people in the story. It all comes together after that first little bit.

    It seems there is to be a movie out in October based on this book. I viewed the trailer and it does look like they have many scenes out of the book included.

    I must have missed all the hype about this book, I just found it and then I saw that it was actually the source of a lot of differing opinions. Some reviewers liked it, some thought it was not worth the hype. Since I missed the hype I can give a review from an non hyped perspective. Maybe I need to watch more TV and commercials.

    The Girl on the Train is available in many forms. Hardback, paperback, Audible narration, and in Kindle edition all available on Amazon

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    Book Review: A Dubious Mission by Gerald J. Kubicki

    A Dubious Mission (Colton Banyon Mysteries, #1)A Dubious Mission by Gerald J. Kubicki
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Gerald Kubicki has written a wonderful completely mesmerizing book called A Dubious Mission. This story starts in the 1930’s and carries all the way through to current day. It does it so effortlessly that it is easy to keep up with all the characters, their plights and their accomplishments. The characters are written so well that you understand the reasons for all they do.

    Walter Pierce starts out as a child in the book and by following his life, you know what makes him tick. You see his character traits as well as his character flaws. He is human but he has strength of character that sometimes feels like it leaves him on occasion. But he always finds his nobility again. He is likable and you are not sure exactly if you are supposed to like him. Walter then shares more about himself and he kind of disgusts you. He is all inclusive. He is a exactly what I would describe as a conundrum.

    There is Colton Banyon. He is a man that has lived a normal life. Now he has found himself in a terrible situation for the last year and has no clue why. He knows he did nothing wrong except he had to say he had caused an accident. He no longer could trust anyone, especially the police. I, as a reader can not blame him. He has some odd events happening and he is feeling pretty paranoid.

    The acting Police Chief and Agent Loni Chen are great. There are laughs and quirky moments between Loni and Colton. All in all this book is so interesting and so full of historic events and colorful stories, I can’t help but love it.

    The book had an explosive finale that was perfectly satisfying and unexpected.

    Then the fact that there are eight other books in the series. That made me even more happy. I am off to garner book two. You should read this series, I know I am going to. Excellent work by Gerald Kubicki.

    A Dubious Mission (A Colton Banyon Mystery Book 1) is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle Edition through Amazon

    View all my reviews