Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Challenge Wrap-up and New Challenges for 2013

I participated in two challenges this year:  War Through the Generations Reading Challenge, which had World War I for the theme, and The Sketchbook Challenge, which had a different theme each month.  I am very pleased that I met both challenges.  My goal for the reading challenge was to read 4-10 books, and I actually read 11 books.  My goal for The Sketchbook Challenge was to complete and post at least one sketchbook page per month, and I did this as well.

I will be participating in the same two challenges in 2013.  The War Through the Generations Reading Challenge theme will be the American Revolution, and The Sketchbook Challenge will continue to have a different theme each month.

I have moved the 2012 challenge pages to the Previous Years' Challenges page and set up new pages for 2013 challenges.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dragon House by John Shors

This book has been on my shelf since 2010, when the theme for the War Through The Generations Reading Challenge was the Vietnam War.  I had trouble finding books I wanted to read that year (at least, books other than those written by Tim O'Brien, whose books I loved).  I didn't get this one read during the year of the challenge, but I finally decided to read it this month.

Iris travels to Vietnam with Iraq war veteran and childhood friend Noah to finish building a center for street children that Iris's father had begun.  Iris's father had fought in the Vietnam War when Iris was a child, and right before he dies, Iris promises him that she will go to Vietnam to complete his center.  I had read Beneath a Marble Sky by the same author and really liked it, but I was disappointed in this one.  I didn't think it was as well written, the story was a bit too predictable, and the characters were flat.  I rate it 2 out of 5.

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Eighty-six year old Hennie Comfort moved to the rugged mining town of Middle Swan, Colorado, as a young widow, shortly after the end of the Civil War.  It is now 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, and 17 year old Nit Spindle has just moved here with her husband.  They form an unlikely but close friendship almost immediately.  I found the story, and the writing, to be mediocre.  I rated it 2 out of 5.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays

Our holiday card this year (2012).

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin

This is the second book by this author that I've read; the first was Mistress of the Art of Death, which I reviewed here.  I really enjoyed the first book, which is why I decided to read this one.  And while I liked this book fairly well, I didn't think it was as good as the first one.  It might have been because I'm not a huge fan of mysteries, and this was more about the mystery and less about the characters than the first book.  Adelia (who is the mistress of the art of death) is commanded by King Henry II to find the murderer of his favorite mistress, Rosamund Clifford.  Henry's estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is the prime suspect.  I rate this book 2 out of 5.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge - Spice of Life

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorites - especially using my mother-in-law's recipe. It seems the perfect entry for November's Sketchbook Challenge theme of Spice of Life.