RKLW

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Reading: The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen. So far, I’m enjoying it. The cover is gorgeous! And no, I didn’t pay that much for it. I got it for 50 cents at the library sale. I’ve started another one of her books, The Secret of Pembroke Park, but that was a couple of months ago.

Knitting: a pair of wristwarmers to match a hat I finished yesterday. This is the second of the pair. I’ll write more about them when I do a FO (finished objects) post in a couple days.

Listening: (song(s) playing while writing this post) Soldiers by Otherwise. Such a good song! Also Stay by the Gardiner Sisters, a song I haven’t heard in awhile but I really like. 🙂 Monster by Runaground is an amazing cover of the Imagine Dragons song. I actually prefer the cover to the original.

Watching: the first season of Monk. So far, I’m really enjoying it. Monk is such a nut and I love him. He’s like a different version of Sherlock, but much nicer and much less dark.

I’m finally rejoining Ginny for YarnAlong!

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rainbow spines

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When you look at books, the first thing you see is the spine of the book. Sometimes the spines are very pretty. Sometimes they’re really ugly. I searched through my favorite books to find ones with pretty, rainbow spines. Here they are in order. I hope this cheers up your dreary day!

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Red

Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll~ I just had to include this book. My blog is named Alice In Bookland, after all! And the book itself is stunningly pretty. I love the vintage spine. And the White Rabbit on the front? Darling!

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Orange

Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham~ The third of the Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer books by John Grisham. The spine looks more red than orange, but whatever. This is a really good book, great for boys. And girls!

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Yellow

Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne~ I think this book was printed in the 1930s or so. It is gorgeous!

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Green

Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck~ Number four in the Tiger’s Curse series.

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Blue

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall~ Can I say how much I love the Penderwicks? The sisterly love between them is wonderful. The story is sweet. Skye trying to be the OAP (oldest available Penderwick) is hilarious. This is the third in the Penderwick series.

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Indigo

Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery~ My favorite of all the Anne books. I like it because Anne is older (but not too old), and it has romance. And Gilbert! Oh, I have such a literary crush on Gilbert…

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Violet

The Quiet Light- A Novel about Saint Thomas Aquinas by Louis de Wohl~ Louis de Wohl is one of my favorite authors ever in the history of authorship. His books are so well written, so detailed, and the subjects are wonderful. This one, about Saint Thomas Aquinas, is one of my favorites. And it’s one of the only books I have that has a purple spine!

Care to share your favorite rainbow spine books? Comment below!

The Spear~ review

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The Spear -by Louis de Wohl

All Cassius Longinus, son of a noble Roman house, wanted to do was impress a noble lady, win her hand, and make a name for himself as a great soldier. Unfortunately, his plans are forced to change when Sejanus, most important man in Rome, becomes even more ambitious. He’s out for the throne, and the family Longinus is in the way. Cassius is sent to Judea, a little outpost on the frontier of the Empire, in the escort of Pontius Pilatus. Stationed in Jerusalem, he gets mixed up in all sorts of plots and possibly something even more dangerous; a man calling himself the Son of God, the Messiah…..

Louis de Wohl considered The Spear to be the magnum opus of his literary career. Frankly, I’m inclined to agree. Of all de Wohl’s novels, I think The Spear is one of my favorites. The novel revolves around the last days of Christ and all the events leading up to the Passion and Crucifixion. The style of writing is so lush and descriptive. Mr. de Wohl has an interesting way with prose. He uses dialogue outside of quotation marks. That makes no sense. It’s more like the characters’ thoughts are more detailed than the dialogue. Character-wise, I like Naomi the best, I think.

Have you read The Spear? What did you think? Comment below!

The Joyful Beggar~ book and movie review

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The Joyful Beggar- by Louis de Wohl

St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most well-known saints of all time. He’s popular among Catholics as the patron saint of animals, and even non-Catholics know who he is. The Joyful Beggar is the story of Francis’ life, as told by one of the greatest Catholic storytellers.

The Joyful Beggar follows Francis as he goes from being the spoiled son of a wealthy merchant to the founder of the Friars Minor, or Franciscans. Born in Assisi, he was named Francis after his father’s love of all things French. There are other storylines that add to the richness of the story. The lives of St. Clare of Assisi, Frederick, King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor, St. Dominic, and Pope Innocent III are woven in with ease. Mr. de Wohl is a master of detail. He described the Italian countryside, the sands of Egypt, and the Italian society of the 1200s in amazing detail.

The Joyful Beggar was made into a movie called Francis of Assisi. I actually watched the movie not that long ago on the feast of St. Francis, October 4. It seems to be pretty typical of a movie made in the 1950s or so, (I didn’t see the actual date). It has a very grand, sweeping style, but plays around a bit with the novel. That’s understandable, as it’s rather hard to cram a 370 page book into an hour and a half movie!

I enjoyed the book and the movie. The Joyful Beggar was the first de Wohl book I ever read and I have been hooked ever since. 🙂

Have you read any of Louis de Wohl’s books? Which is your favorite? Tell me in the comments!

The Miner’s Lady~ review

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The Miner’s Lady-Tracie Peterson

The Italian families of Panetta and Calarco brought their fifty-year feud with them to the New World from Italy. But when Chantel Panetta learns that her sister Isabella has fallen in love with Orlando Calarco, she knows it will never work. The feud is too serious a matter  to be brushed aside so easily. Isabella is determined that she and Orlando are going to marry, and maybe their marriage will end the fighting. Chantel is more practical in her thinking but is willing to help Isabella. However, Orlando’s brother, Dante, is determined to keep the lovers apart. In the process, he and Chantel start out as enemies, growing closer as the story progresses. Will the families be able to heal the breach? Or will stubbornness and hatred prevail?

 I think The Miner’s Lady is the first book I’ve read by Tracie Peterson. I really, really enjoyed it. The feud between the families was very Romeo and Juliet style, but with a bit of a twist. The story moved easily, with no awkwardness or strange dialogue. The author added in some Italian words which added to the story without making it seem silly. I liked Chantel better than Isabella, who seemed kind of silly to me.

In books that have families fighting for years and years, sometimes I just want to grab them and shake them! Seriously? You’ve been fighting for 50 years and haven’t resolved it yet? Grow up, people! But I suppose if they didn’t fight, there would be no story. It has been a few weeks since I’ve read The Miner’s Lady, but the story was so good it stuck with me. I highly recommend it.

The Pelican Bride~ review

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The Pelican Bride-Beth White

Genevieve Gallain is grateful to have left the dangers of 18th century France behind. Being a Huguenot, or Calvinist, was dangerous in the times of Louis XIV. However, she might be trading one danger for another. Genevieve and her sister have traveled on the ship Pelican to what would become Mobile, Alabama, to become mail-order brides. Tristian Lanier, an exiled cartographer, isn’t looking for a bride. But there’s something about Genevieve Gallain that attracts him to her. But will the secrets of Genevieve’s past threaten their happiness and the safety of the fort?

The Pelican Bride is one of the first books I’ve read about mail-order brides, but the issues touched on in this book go much deeper than that. Genevieve is a member of a denomination that was illegal in France. The British were attempting to take over France’s holdings in America. The book showed how the Native Americans were either wary of the French or firm allies. Some of the authority figures were corrupt. The story was a tangled web of loyalties, politics, religion, and love.

Brief history lesson: At that time, Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Nantes, against the advice of the Pope. The Edict gave Protestants the freedom of worship and equal political rights with Catholics. Louis had seen the Protestants as a serious religious and political threat. They were ordered to become Catholic or leave France. Louis XIV wanted to be the Supreme Head of the Church in France, just like the King of England. Pope Innocent XI remained firm and Louis never dared take France into schism.

I was disappointed in Beth White’s handling of her Catholic characters. They were lukewarm believers in name only.  Her writing style also left something to be desired. The dialogue and pacing seemed disjointed and ran on oddly. There were too many secrets between the characters and I couldn’t connect to any of them. I don’t think I would ever read The Pelican Bride again, even if the cover is very pretty.