This is the time of year when families come together no matter the challenges. Airports will spillover with unhappy children (and adults) as flights are delayed, and waiting is frustrating. Travelers using mass transit or driving on overcrowded highways can find this holiday demanding yet rewarding. So this month take an intermission just for yourself and try reading something from the selections below. Traveling or not, be safe, and enjoy your mouthwatering Thanksgiving meal. Happy Reading!
The Woman in the Camphor Trunk
By Jennifer Kincheloe
Living in a single ladies apartment building in Los Angeles, Anna Blanc is financially broke and her ‘well to do’ socialite father has removed her from his home and payroll. Anna works as Assistant Matron for the Los Angeles Police Department and has successfully solved a few murders; something her men detective coworkers find uncomfortable. Anna has become a thorn in the side of Central Station. Whether it is a severed head or a missionary left to decay in an apartment; will Anna solve the murders? The Woman in the Camphor Trunk is due out this month; the second of the Anna Blanc series. A relatively new author I hope you will enjoy.
She Sheds: A Room of Your Own
By Erika Kotite
I told my husband I wanted a She Shed. He very nicely suggested I use the ‘unused living room.’ I had heard the term ‘she shed’ earlier this year; a place just for the woman of the house to call her own. I wanted to know what all the hype was and I was very excited to discover this fantastic book with more ideas than you can imagine. Stop. Imagine an outdoor haven just for you to read, sew, exercise, meditate, use as a planting shed, or whatever you need – it is your new oyster – go with it.
While the pictures tell a thousand stories, the content is spot on. You will learn so much with this book, and you will be able to challenge your inner decorator skills along with a few skills that might channel your hidden woodworking abilities. If you have some tools you have never attempted to use, or want to bone up on learning how to use a new device, this book might be just what you have been waiting for to engage that project. So if you have a dilapidated or unused shed in your backyard (or even an old playhouse), this book is full of inspiration on how to turn it into your own space. Enjoy your new zone! Meanwhile, I will be in my living room debating on how to redecorate.
The more I read Farm City by Novella Carpenter, the more I loved the book. I admit I subscribe to Mother Earth News where I imagine a small farm with loads of animals and acres of produce; minus the work of course. However, to read about her city farm in the ghetto of Oakland, CA was an education. The references Ms. Carpenter uses in her book are a librarian’s dream; books on raising rabbits, pigs, and how to grow produce in abundance. Ms. Carpenter writes about her experiences as a city farmer over the course of a few years. Taking on the task of raising animals and food on a deserted lot located a half a block away from your home is gutsy – she refers to it as squat farming.
Can you imagine dealing with stray animals, predators, and neighbors who do not understand the joy and time invested in taking on this chore? In building her city farm, Ms. Carpenter dumpster dives for discarded bread, cheese, meats, and vegetables to feed her animals; while putting in endless hours properly fertilizing her garden. I learned in the pages of Farm City the greatest reward for all the hard work, is the richest and most flavorful foods. I hope you enjoy reading about her struggles and blissful bounty; it is a great read.
Featured Author of the Month
Recently an author’s relative contacted me from Brunswick County, NC and alerted my attention to a fascinating book. This is what I discovered. Living on the coast, we endure hurricanes. They can be devastating and leave us questioning why we live so close to the ocean where Mother Nature can wreak havoc. But what about the destruction by the hand of humans? The carnage caused by human hands wrecks our lives. On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza massacred twenty children and six adults in Newtown, CT.
To honor those lost souls, one man who was questioning his own moral quest, decided to create a project to honor the victims and begin a healing of communities. William J. Lavin and a group of volunteers known as the Angels’ Army founded the Where Angels Play Foundation to build playgrounds dedicated to those twenty-six victims. In his book Where Angels Live Work and Play, Levin has documented those builds and the people who are responsible for promoting and funding the projects. Though the initial project of building twenty-six playgrounds has long been completed, Lavin continues to build in the US, Canada and currently expanding to Rwanda in East Africa. Mr. Lavin will be relocating to the Brunswick area in the future where I am sure you will read more about the efforts of the Angels’ Army and foundation. For more information visit whereangelsplayfoundation.org.