Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Not just for shoes

Not so great for shoes, but I did find it terrific for crafts. I put it in the playroom on a door and we stored glue sticks, glitters sticks and small items the kids play with when they come over. Keeps it organized and off the floor. Especially great for small places like my vacation home. See through compartment makes items easy to find.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Quick, fun read

Delightful collection of short stories much in the style of Erma Bombeck. Barbara Venkataraman includes the reader in her charming observation of daily tidbits. My favorite is the over accommodating hostess's dinner party that get shot to pieces by today's crazy dietary demands, or the silly clutter of unnecessary gadgets that take over our kitchens. Especially sweet, was the essay about the day she spends with her dad, who is slowly losing his memory. A quick read, it will make you smile, as her experiences are both familiar and funny.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Little Boo delivers a thrilling but non threatening build up for the little ones

Delightful story about a seed who is desperate to be scary. The wind advises the little seed to grow, and have patience. Soon enough, Little Boo turns into a Jack o Lantern and his dream is fulfilled. Great kid friendly celebration of the fall. Lovely illustrations. We enjoyed the build up to an age appropriate "scary " moment. My grandson loved it.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Friday, September 12, 2014

Useful for little girl's room

Great items for all those pesky barrettes and bows. I gave it to my daughter for my granddaughters array of hair essentials. The clear packaging made colors easy to find. She also put her small posts in there and told me it makes it easier to locate the tiny studs. With the hanger, it keeps small items safe from little hands.

*I received this item for an honest review.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

End of the cousin's war

Really well written story of Margaret Pole, ill fated cousin to Henry VIII's mother Elizabeth. Caught in the Cousin's war, or as it is known today as The War of the Roses, Margaret is the daughter of George Duke of Clarence, brother to the king and granddaughter of Warwick the Kingmaker. She and her brother are in line for the throne and seen as rivals by the victorious Henry Tudor. Her brother is imprisoned despite his simple nature, and eventually beheaded to prove to the Spanish that there is no threat to their daughter, Princess Catherine of Aragon's way to the throne, as the wife of Henry and Elizabeth's son Arthur. Confusing, yes, fascinating, without a doubt. Margaret is married off to an unimportant knight, thus leaving her buried and destitute in the country. Gregory takes the story from Margaret's lowest time to her rise under the new monarch Henry the VIII. Despite the fact that Catherine of Aragon's arrival caused the death of her brother, Margaret aligns herself with the princess becoming both friend and confidant. She makes a powerful enemy of Henry's VII 's mother , Margaret Beaufort when she colludes with Catherine, helping her in her quest to marry Henry the VIII. The story weaves through her precarious position in court, where a careless remark or an accident of birth can cause not only a person's downfall, but death. Gregory has a unique way of bringing Tudor England alive, letting us get familiar with the players, whether they were considered key or not. A reader is able to put faces to the names that have haunted history, the information of their existence so dim, their role seemingly unimportant, yet they lived and died for the politics of their country. I liked this book. Margaret Pole was a survivor, a thorny rose in the history of England. Someone who tried to grow under catastrophic circumstances, playing the courtiers game where the outcome of losers meant certain death. This is not a flowery book about living in Tudor England, yet Gregory imbues a real sense of the time, the terror of disease, the horrors of childbirth, a woman's helpless role in society. The King's Curse is allegedly the curse made by Elizabeth the queen in response to the death of her brothers, the princes in the tower. It was in essence the downfall for her own house. In the case of Margaret Pole, the King's horrible curse reflected right back to her, including anyone with Plantagenet blood as well in its carnage.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.

Happy Reading! 
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Age shall not wither her...

I read the book a few weeks ago and was entertained for the night. While some of the humor pressed uncomfortable boundaries, I would push past the things I didn't find particularly funny until I found a "day" in her life that made me smile at her keen observations. Isn't life like that, though? Our years are filled with all different things, like a smorgasbord that we can pick and choose, and return to savor. I really liked Joan Rivers. Reading her book, was like a window into her fast paced world. The daily observations dragged me though her hectic schedule, the things that ticked her off, and the people she loved. I always knew I liked her. After all, she has been in my living room dozens of times throughout my life from the time I was a little girl. Joan Rivers was only a year older than my mother. I remember rooting for her when she bravely tried to restart her life after it was shattered by the loss of her husband and her career at the same time. I watched as she reinvented herself in a hostile male dominated environment, creating a whole new industry of red carpet interviewers. It's hard to start over when you're looking at the backside of fifty, competing with fresh young faces. I admired that she always included her daughter, sharing her success and making it a family affair. It's hard to work with family, and they were gracious to each other. Lastly, I bless her for showing that older women can be important, productive, beautiful, and useful in our youth obsessed society. Joan Rivers was a first class act, who lived by her own example. While she did sometimes say something that made me squirm,(Yes, the Ann Frank parts were not my favorite), she was groundbreaking in her humor. So, if I had so suffer with one or two jokes that didn't work, the rest was worth it.

Carole P. Roman

Monday, September 1, 2014

Great book to discuss self acceptance as well as the hurt of bullying

Wonderful book about blocking negativity and learning to love yourself. This book was a jewel of a read with so many different ways to open discussions from bullying, to respect, to accepting who you are. Abena is a sweet little girl who's growing awareness of the negative comments of former playmates begins to sour her demeanor. Where she used to find pleasure in her African roots, now she resents anything about her culture. Her grandmother tells her stories about her own youth, as well as quotes her pastor, that "God doesn't make mistakes." She stresses the lesson that we have to find peace and happiness with who we are. Abena shakes off her resentments and when she goes to school the next day, she encounters another girl who faces similar problems. She passes along her lesson, and the girls find their happy place. Washington writes clearly, without sentimentality, but with bright dialog and great visuals. I felt like a fly on the wall in Abena's bedroom. This book transcends race, creed, or nationality. Any educator can broaden a discussion to encompass all types of prejudice. Whether it's body type, a physical challenge, or a person's background, intolerance hurts, ignorance is dangerous, and bigotry is a weapon that loses it's barb when a person is armored with self confidence.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman