Monday, April 22, 2013

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

I am trying to catch up on my reviews; I finished this book a little over two weeks ago.  It is the story of Elizabeth Middleton, a 29 year old spinster who leaves England in 1792 to teach school in a remote village in New York.  She is joined by her brother Julian to live with their father, Judge Middleton.  Upon their arrival, she meets Nathaniel Bonner, a hunter and trapper who was raised by Mohawks.  It reminded me of the Outlander series in many ways; historical fiction, romance, strong female lead character, just as long but not as well written.  It is also a "sequel" to Last of the Mohicans (which I've never read), since Nathaniel Bonner is the son of Dan'l Bonner, or Hawkeye, from that book.  I enjoyed the book, which is the first in a series, but I'm not sure whether I'll read the rest of the series.  I rate it 3 out of 5.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Petoskey Watercolor Journal by Catherine Carey

I really enjoy looking at other artists' visual journals.  I have read Catherine Carey's blog off and on (here) and knew that I liked her painting style; it always looks so fresh and loose.  I did enjoy this book very much, although it isn't exactly like looking into her journal.  Instead, there is a full sketch on the right hand side of each two page spread, and usually a very small sketch on the left hand side of the page.  Then she talks a little bit about what it took to get the sketch, or what the day was like, or where she was, or some suggestion for keeping your own visual journal (such as this quote from page 106):

"Don't save your journal painting just for trips and special occasions.  There is plenty to observe and paint in our daily lives."  I need to remember this more often!  I rate the book 4 out of 5.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Gendarme by Mark Mustian

I finished this book over a month ago and am just now getting around to writing about it. It is the story of Emmett Conn, an old man who suffered memory loss after being injured during World War I. But now he has a brain tumor, and he is having dreams that he is a gendarme, taking a group of Armenians out of Turkey. One of the Armenians is a young woman who captivates Emmett. But the war intervenes and they are separated.

I had never heard of the Armenian genocide before reading this book, so I learned some history. It was a good story and well written. I rated it 4 out of 5.