Sunday, September 26, 2010

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

This is the first graphic novel I've ever read.  The author tells the story of her childhood growing up in Tehran between the ages of 6 and 14.  She witnessed the overthrow of the Shah, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the war with Iraq.  It is both a personal story and a political one, and I found it an interesting way to tell her story.  It was my 17th book for the New Author Challenge 2010.  I rate it 3 out of 5.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Iowa farmer Larry Cook decides to pass his 1000-acre farm to his 3 daughters.  When his youngest daughter Caroline questions whether that's a good idea, he cuts her out altogether.  Everything spirals downhill as suspicion and accusations fly and terrible events of the past are remembered.  This is the first book I've read by this author, and I really enjoyed her writing; I will read other books by her.  It is my 16th book for the New Author Challenge 2010 (my goal was 15 books, but I will continue to report on books I read by authors who are new to me).  I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Retriever Training

Retriever Training
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

Buddy isn't quite 6 months old yet (next week) and he already weighs 65.5 pounds! Our last lab weighed that when he was full grown (he was a little on the small side, but still . . .).

We started obedience class with him last week, and he's coming along. Yesterday we had a couple of friends come over, and he DIDN'T jump on them - YAY! They were both ready to knee him - hard - in the chest, but they didn't even have to. He's still a long way away from being ready to have a kitten in the house though (darn it!).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Sunflowers with Ink
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

Sunflowers are such a happy flower. I frequently drive by a field of sunflowers, so last week I stopped to paint them. This is more of my impression of my happy feelings about seeing the flowers than a photo realistic painting.

This is the first page in a journal I made earlier this year using Strathmore series 500 (Gemini) 140 pound cold press watercolor paper.

I sketched a few flowers in pencil. After putting in a wash of sky, I couldn't see the pencil anymore and decided I didn't really need the pencil marks - does that count as a lead-free sketch? LOL!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

This story deals with the isolation that is common to people no matter what their income or race or status.  It centers around a deaf-mute, John Singer, in a southern mill town in the 1930's, and the various people who are drawn to him:

Mick Kelly, a 14 year old tomboy who loves music.
Dr. Copeland, a well-educated African American doctor.
Jake Blount, an alcoholic carnival worker and labor organizer.
Biff Brannon, a cafe owner and silent observer of his patrons.

The book was very well written and I rate it 4 out of 5.  It is my fifteenth book for the New Author Challenge 2010 (my goal was 15 books - so I met my goal!) and my book club's current month's selection.