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Letters from the Vieux Carré by Haden Hudson

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Letters from the Vieux CarréLetters from the Vieux Carré by Haden Hudson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anna Bailey has lost her fiance in a violent shooting. She is devastated and confused when she leaves the funeral to walk alone in the French Quarter of New Orleans. While viewing the place that her fiance, Joseph, had once described to her, she comes across a mysterious shop owner who has a message for Anna.

Later that evening, Anna goes back to where her mother and she are staying. She is hoping for some maternal comfort, but instead, Anna is thrown back in time to the nineteenth century.
She lands in the bed of a drunken Gabriel.

Gabriel Volcain, looks exactly like Joseph, Anna’s dead fiance, complete with the most amazing blue eyes. And, when Gabriel’s father bursts into the room, the stage is set for a quick marriage.

Anna begins to write letters to her mother in the future to stop herself from going insane. Her incredible situation of going back in time cannot be explained to anyone.

Join Anna and Gabriel in the novel “Letters from the Vieux Carré” by Haden Hudson. The story will keep you reading from beginning to end with the passionate and mysterious relationship between Anna and Gabriel.

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https://grandmothermusings.com/2012/04/05/a-knight-in-shining-armor/

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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Where the Wild Things AreWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

This 1964 Caldecott Medal award-winning children’s book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak is a classic story of a boy’s boredom and imagination. Banned from libraries and schools when it was first released, Where the Wild Things Are has grown to be loved by both children and adults for its ability to visualize the realistic emotions children experience.

The book tells the story of Max, a boy who gets in trouble for goofing around in his wolf costume. His mother has had enough of his mischief-making and she sends him to his room without supper. Max is very angry at his punishment so he imagines that he leaves the safety of his room and sails out to where the wild things are. In this forest, there are gnashing beasts who wish to scare Max, however he is courageous. He stares into the beasts yellow eyes without blinking and impresses the beasts so much so that they make Max “the king of all wild things”, dancing with the monsters in a “wild rumpus”.

Max has a good time being “the king of the wild things”, but, before long, he finds that he is lonely and sails back to his bedroom. When he arrives, he finds that his dinner, still hot, is waiting for him. He is happy to be home and equally happy that he had an exciting adventure.

The book was made into a film released in 2009 and directed by Spike Jonze. The author, Maurice Sendak died on May 8, 2012, leaving a legacy of talent and imagination that will live on through his works.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

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Water for ElephantsWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jacob Jankowski tells his story as the novel’s protagonist who is a 93-year-old nursing home resident. As Jacob is told what to do and what to eat in the nursing home, he fights the idea of giving up his will by reminiscing about his time as a veterinarian in the Benzini Brothers Circus. Going flawlessly back and forth through time, readers learn what it was like to be a part of a Depression Era circus train that traveled from town to town-bringing people entertainment.

The hero meets up with some strange characters on the circus train. His train-mate is a dwarf named Kinko whose only friend is a Jack Russell Terrier named Queenie. The trio starts roughly but grows into a sweet friendship. Jacob works for an abusive Circus owner named Uncle Al, who will do anything to make a buck. Jacob also meets up with Marlena a star performer who loves horses and her husband August who can be both charming and brutal. The three form a unique love triangle that threatens to take all their lives.

Of course, the story’s title tells us there must be elephants in this circus, and there is an elephant. Her name is Rosie and Uncle Al purchases her from another circus. Rosie is ornery when Jacob is charged to take care of her. That is, until he realizes that Rosie only understands Polish and he begins to give her direction in his native language.

This five-star novel will make you laugh, cry, and horrified all at the same time. Some of the scenes deal with the abuse of animals and for the faint at heart; this may be difficult to read. Ultimately, this is an excellently woven story that accurately depicts the time and place it is set. Its themes of morality, mental illness, ageing, and love will pull the reader into the emotional turmoil experienced Jacob Jankowski and the people he surrounds himself with in the past and present.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Giver by Lois Lowery

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The Giver (The Giver, #1)The Giver by Lois Lowry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like dystopian stories like The Hunger Games, you will love The Giver. This young adult novel written by Lois Lowery is set in the future where everything is “sameness”. The main character in the story is Jonas, a 12-year-old who has been assigned his life’s profession as a Receiver of the community’s memories.

In Jonas’ community, you apply for your mate, and apply for children. Birthmothers whose assignment in the community is only to have babies for three years birth children. The elderly and those who are not perfect are chosen for “release”.

The book has won The 1994 Newberry Award, and the American Library Association named it as one of the 100 Most Challenged books.

This book deals with the ideas of sexuality, war, and controlled societies. It is listed as a Young Adult Novel; however, it is written so well, that adults will enjoy the story, too. Lois Lowery weaves a tale that makes you think deeply about even it after you have put the book down.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jeannette Walls writes her deeply disconcerting memoir, The Glass Castle that recounts her life growing up with dysfunctional parents. Jeannette’s father was an amazingly intelligent man who could teach his four kids physics, geology, and fearlessness when he was not drunk. Jeannette’s mother was an artist who would rather get lost in her art than feed and raise her children. Mother and father were a perfect storm of two people who should never have had children. The memoir takes the reader on a tour of great ups and horrific downs for this wandering family.
From the very beginning, I was completely enthralled with this book. The story is expertly woven and easy to read. At times, the book touched a nerve, and it would make me so angry with Jeanette’s parents that I would just have to scream. This was a great book for my book club where we discussed the story with emotion and dismay. I would highly recommend this book.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Illusions by Richard Bach

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IllusionsIllusions by Richard Bach

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two barnstorming pilots meet in an Illinois field. One of them is Donald Shimoda, who quit his job as a mechanic at a garage and as a “Messiah”. He left both jobs, because, he was frustrated by people who cared more about the show than the message. Shimoda becomes a teacher to the other pilot, Richard, and even teaches him to perform miracles on his own.
Shimoda share quotes from the “Messiah’s Handbook” with Richard. Some of the more inspiring quotes are…
• “You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”
• “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”
• “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
• “Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

Illusions is a novel that lets the reader decide what is reality and what is illusion. It states that we are all potential “messiahs” if we choose to be. This book is a precursor for the bestselling novel Jonathan Living Seagull. I have read them both, however, Illusions has left a lasting impression on me.
I have shamelessly read this book at least four times. I no longer have a hard copy of the book because I loaned it to someone and he or she never gave it back. It is a short book with only 192 pages, but the information in the book is so applicable that you will want to keep it and refer to it often. I highly recommend reading this book.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

A Knight in Shining Armor

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A Knight in Shining ArmorA Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. It is a funny, romantic, and well-written time travel story with a twist. Jude Deveraux brings the Earl of Stafford to modern times so the heroine can help him find the scoundrel who accuses the Earl of treason. Since the Earl is from the year 1564, things in the 20th Century are a bit difficult for him. While the heroine is trying to assist the Earl in his plight, she finds that she is falling in love with a very unusual man. This book is a great read and highly recommended.

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Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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