Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Round Robin by Jennifer Chiaverini

The second in the "Elm Creek Quilts" series, Round Robin by Jennifer Chiaverini continues the story of the Elm Creek Quilters as their lives each take complicated turns.  The characters took on new depth.  These books seem to be a little fluffy, but I'm really enjoying them anyway.  A little fluff is good once in a while, don't you think?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Months ago, at another fabulous book sale, I pick up this book:  Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson.  It is a rare find- a teen historical novel.  I love historical fiction and I have enjoyed the occasional teen novel.  This book caught my interest because I had previously read Speak by the same author and which I thought was lovely. 

Fever 1793 is about the outbreak of Yellow Fever that struck Philadelphia in 1793.  In three months it killed nearly 5000 people, 10% of the city's population.  At this  time, it was also the capital city of the United States.  Thousands of people fled the city to escape the disease.  This book follows the fictional, though likely typical, struggle of a 14-year-old girl named Mattie Cook.  Her mother comes down with the fever and sends her daughter away to the country.  Mattie's grandfather accompanies her, but they are abandoned on the side of the road when it is suspected he has the disease.  Many weeks later, Mattie has returned to the city and is helping others who are sick.  She sees death and sickness all around her and there is almost no food left because the farmers will not bring food into the market.  As she serves the sick day after day, she thinks, "A dying woman in a cot surrounded by strangers was sorrowful, but a dying surrounded by her children, her handiwork, the home where she worked so hard left me in tears." 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Quilter's Apprentice

Have I mentioned before how much I love our town's library?  Well, I really, really do.  And one of the things I really love about it is the library's semi-annual book sales.  A few times a year, our library has a HUGE sale.  People donate books and the library clears from it's shelves books that haven't been borrowed for a while or are damaged.  Most of the books cost three or four dollars and some of the children's books are as low as fifty cents!  It is a book lover's dream!  At a recent book sale, I picked up this gem:

The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini.  It is a fun, somewhat fluffy little book about a woman who moves to a new town and becomes friends with an elderly quilt superstar.  I wouldn't say that the writing is the very best, but it was still fun to read.  I also discovered that it is part of a series, so I have the next one reserved at the library.  I'm looking forward to reading it.  I made one quilt years ago for a friend's baby and it was adorable!  I am currently working on a dinosaur quilt for my son who will probably be too old for dinosaurs by the time I finish it.  Then I will move on to the angel quilt that I started for my daughter.  Reading this book makes me want to create something really beautiful. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

The book club selection for May is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.  Of course, I have seen the movie version many times, though it's been years since the last.  The film is a fairly decent representation of the book, although some events were changed and others were moved around a bit. 

I loved the little bit about Mrs. Threadgood missing eating buttermilk and cornbread:  "I like to smash it all up in my glass and eat it with a spoon, but you cain't eat in public like you can at home...can you?"  My great-grandmother used to do just that very thing, eat buttermilk and cornbread all mixed up in a  glass.  I love all the talk about good Southern food.  My grandmother used to make fried green tomatoes (though she called them green fried tomatoes) and I remember they were delicious.  I haven't had one since she passed away, but I remember them fondly. 

I'm really looking forward to our book club meeting tomorrow evening.  Christy, our host this month, has promised lots of food made with recipes right from the book.  Arteries, don't fail me now!