THE AVALON LADIES SCRAPBOOKING SOCIETY by Darien Gee

THE AVALON LADIES SCRAPBOOKING SOCIETY by Darien Gee, (c) 2013. I admit I’m NOT a scrapbooker although it seems pretty popular according the supplies in MICHAEL’S Hobby and Art Supplies store. As I read this book I swear it was written in conjunction with a scrapbook supplies company! heck maybe it was! LOL Anyway in spite of that the characters seem quirky and just plain human and I always liked that!  The author lives in Hawaii with her husband and three children, other than that there’s not much info on her in the book not even a photo. She did write FRIENDSHIP BREAD also.

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WHAT I REMEMBER MOST by Cathy Lamb

WHAT I REMEMBER MOST by Cathy Lamb, (c) 2014. This is such a GOOD BOOK! Please read it! This is the story of Grenadine Scotch Wild. She barely remembers her Hippie like parents whose last words to her were to run! So she did. She was 6 years old at the time. Shortly after she was picked up by the police running along the side of the road.  Now Grenadine is grown up and has been married to Covey, a well known investor who’s arrested for embezzlement and fraud. Now Grenadine who is a successful collage artist is facing jail time even though she is innocent. Covey refuses to exonerate her unless she comes back to him but she refuses to return to a wife abuser. She’s tired of getting beat up, so she has taken off trying to reinvent herself. She hiding out in a small town in Oregon until Covey’s trial trying to live a normal life, using her real name this time. Usually she uses an alias name. Perhaps she’ll eventually find out what happened to her missing parents after all this time.

This is such a GOOD BOOK! I guess I relate to her because I am an artist too! This is one tough woman!

NOTE: I’m really enjoying her writing style which reminds me of Lorna Landvik’s.

THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINY THINGS by Alice Hoffman

THE MUSEUM OF ORDINARY THINGS by Alice Hoffman, (c) 2014. Here’s another fanciful story. It takes place in Coney Island and Brooklyn NY. Coralie Sardie is a web fingered daughter of a freak show man. He’s the owner of THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, and he even exhibits his own daughter, dressing Coralie up to look like a mermaid in a tank full of water. You’ll enjoy meeting the rest of the sideshow freaks as he calls them. I found them quite interesting! She also swims in the river pretending to be some sort of river monster as she is told to do by her father. Along the way she meets up with a Jewish photographer named Eddie Cohen and they fall in love as he searches for the missing woman who disappeared the day of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she worked with her twin sister. So, it’s a mystery and a little suspense as you read about life in 1910 New York City area. I really enjoyed the book and hope you do also.

THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT by Wendy Wax

THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT by Wendy Wax, (c) 2014. This is the story of three woman named Maddie, Avery and Nikki who are involved in a reality show restoring a historic Florida beach front mansion belonging to 61-year-old William Hightower, a Rock and Roll legend known as “William the Wild” Hightower back in the day. Will capitalized on the few drops of Native American blood running through his veins when it came to his music as he dressed up like a Seminole Indian. Now he’s an old timer getting out of drug rehab and no longer a media darling. Will’s son picks him up for the drive down to Florida. Will guards his privacy so a reality show about turning his mansion into a Bed and Breakfast doesn’t thrill him. Maddie, a newly single woman and Will have strained relationships with their children but manage to fall for each other as they work together in the reality show.

I wondered why this story sounded so familiar, and found I read one other book written by Wendy Wax, about the same three women fixing up another mansion in Florida. I read one other book about a movie being filmed in a small town, that this one reminded me of. IN any case this book sounds interesting and so I begin reading it today.

FAIR DAY, and ANOTHER STEP BEGUN byKatie Letcher Lyle

FAIR DAY, AND ANOTHER STEP BEGUN by Katie Letcher Lyle (c) 1974. This is a real old paperback! 42 years to be exact! In November of 1974 I turned 16 years old. This little novel is unusual to say the least. The writer claims the story is taken from an old English ballad called CHILDE WATERS. It’s about a 16 year old free spirited girl named Ellen Burd who considers herself a “mountain person” a person who grew up and lives up in the mountains surrounding the town.  She learns about animals and plants from an old man who lives nearby as she helps him collect ginseng and other medicinal plants to sell.

One day Ellen comes into town and see’s John Waters an older and financially well off college boy who was a camp counselor at a local camp Ellen attended. They begin to talk and go on a boat ride. Next thing they knew they were making love. Here he is about 21 years old and making love to a 16 year old. Now here it is months later and Ellen seeks John Waters out to tell him she’s pregnant. He tells her to get rid of it but she says “No!”

NOTE: I don’t want to give away the rest of the story, so IF you can ever find it in some old book swap joint maybe you can read it too.

Here’s the old English ballad I found on YouTube:

THE GOOD HUSBAND by Gail Godwin

THE GOOD HUSBAND by Gail Godwin, 1995. A New York Times Notable Book. (Why doesn’t the word ‘notable” have an ‘e’ in it? It seems to logically be pronounced Not-able, Noteable is the truer spelling and pronunciation)
This is the story if Magda Danvers, a 58-year-old college professor dying of ovarian cancer. She is married to a man named Francis Lake, 12 years her junior, who doesn’t have a paying job. He’s a house husband to his busy wife, whom he takes care of gently and tenderly as she lays dying. I suppose he is “the good husband”. It does seem a solemn story, so I’ll have to let you know what I think of it later.

NOTE: This story is full of “pretentious words”, but I’m actually enjoying it anyway since I like the characters so much. The “GOOD HUSBAND” was in the habit of studying “MISERICORDS” while he travels with his wife when she giving her lectures. Although the local college is named Misericordia University,  I never once wondered what the college’s name means, and I thank the author for telling me about it. Here is the definition for you all:

Misericord
noun
1.
a room in a monastery set apart for those monks permitted relaxation of the monastic rule.
2.
Also, subsellium. a small projection on the underside of a hinged seat of a church stall, which, when the seat is lifted, gives support to a person standing in the stall.
3.
a medieval dagger, used for the mercy stroke to a wounded foe.

NOTE: So you see Francis Lake, the ‘good husband’ photographs and studies the undersides of seats in the choir stall of many ancient churches. I find the subject very interesting since I LOVE medieval books with all their calligraphy and artwork. I am a modern FRAKTUR folk artist after all!

NOTE: the word “subsellium” is NOT in my Firefox spell checker, I find that it needs much updating.

Gail Godwin teaches at universities herself or at least she did in the past, so she writes about the real thing.

Other books by Gail Godwin I wish to read:

THE PERFECTIONISTS,

GLASS PEOPLE,

THE ODD WOMAN,

VIOLET CLAY,

A MOTHER AND TWO DAUGHTERS,

THE FINISHING SCHOOL,

A SOUTHERN FAMILY,

FATHER MELANCHOLY’S DAUGHTER.

NOTE: I choose not to read her short stories.