Introducing books through the first chapter or so...
-- Going Home by A. American
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
QUICK REVIEW: The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature by Tammi Hartung
This one-of-a-kind book shows you how to create a peaceful co-existence between your vegetable garden and the wildlife who consider it part of their habitat. By understanding and working with the surrounding environment instead of continually fighting it you ll reap a larger harvest with much less stress and effort. Tammi Hartungexplains how to start with a hardy and healthy garden, create beneficial relationships through smart planting, attract helpful insects and pollinators, intentionally create habitats for wildlife, and much more.
Paperback, 144 pages
Expected publication: December 31st 2013 by Storey Publishing
ISBN 1612120555 (ISBN13: 9781612120553)
This book may be a guide to helping gardeners coexist with wildlife, but it doesn’t read like a reference manual. It is almost like a memoir of the life of a gardener.
It is full of wonderful ideas for attracting wildlife to your garden, and living cordially with them when you succeed.
The author suggests keeping a “nature journal”. The author will sit in the garden with the journal and jot down her observations-- what she did (fertilizing, trimming, planting), what she saw, problems noted-- so she can see how her actions affect the garden, and what changes she may need to make. She also notes wildlife spotted, and what can be done to keep them coming around without causing conflict in the garden, or where they may need to be deterred.
This book was chock full of little ideas and lessons, many of which I had never heard:
- There are lots of pollinators you have never considered, including bats and flies.
- Bumblebees are attracted to blue flowers.
- Honeybees aren’t native to the US, but were brought here by the colonists from Europe.
- Butterflies and moths are often attracted to flowers similar in color to themselves.
- Weeds aren’t always a bad thing. Some are edible (if you don’t treat your lawn with pesticides and the like), and many are food sources for wildlife.
- Ants don't like cinnamon. Put a line of ground cinnamon on the baseboard at the entrance to your kitchen, or around lettuce and strawberries.
- Sprinkle crushed chili peppers where animals dig (although this didn't work with keeping my cat out of my potted plants when I tried it years ago).
- Birds have no sense of smell
- Use decoy plants, like radishes to lure flea beetles away from broccoli, or sunflowers to lure birds from berry bushes.
- Mint repels rodents
The author also gives examples of how nature will take care of things, if you just leave it alone and allow it. She relays an example of discovering horned tomato caterpillars. But when viewing them with a magnifying glass, she then noticed little white rice-shaped bits on the backs of the caterpillars. She realized that parasitic wasps had laid eggs on the caterpillars, and those eggs had hatched into larvae which were now feeding on the caterpillars. Problem solved!
...I didn’t need to use an organic pesticide. The larvae of the wasps took care of the whole situation efficiently, and as nature intended, keeping my tomato plants safe.This book helps you consider things you may not have otherwise.
...putting up a nest box for solitary bees (i.e., bee species that, unlike honeybees, are not communal) in a tree near a birdbath could result in the bees becoming snacks for the bathing birds. Better to put the bee box in a different part of the garden landscape.If you are a gardener, or if you enjoy welcoming wildlife into your yard, but want to avoid conflict with it, this book is for you! Interspersed with charming, homey illustrations, it is like taking a walk with the author through her backyard while she teaches you a thing or two about nature and living harmoniously with it.
My Rating: B
I received a free copy of this ebook through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Introducing books through the first chapter or so...
-- Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch
-- Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch
NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.
Hardcover, 1st edition, 692 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by William Morrow
ISBN 0062200577 (ISBN13: 9780062200570)
About the Author
Joseph Hillstrom King (born 1972) is an American writer of fiction, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill.
Hill is the the second child of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. His younger brother Owen King is also a writer. He has three children.
Hill's first book, the limited edition collection 20th Century Ghosts published in 2005 by PS Publishing), showcases fourteen of his short stories and won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, together with the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection and Best Short Story for "Best New Horror". In October 2007, Hill's mainstream US and UK publishers reprinted 20th Century Ghosts, without the extras published in the 2005 slipcased versions, but including one new story.
Hill's first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins on February 13, 2007 and by Victor Gollancz Ltd in UK in March 2007. Simultaneous to these two editions, a limited edition of Heart-Shaped Box was also released by Subterranean Press; it sold out several months prior to publication. The novel reached number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list on April 1, 2007.
His new novel Horns was published in 2010.
Hill chose to use an abbreviated form of his given name (a reference to executed labor leader Joe Hill, for whom he was named) in 1997, out of a desire to succeed based solely on his own merits instead of as the son of Stephen King. After achieving a degree of independent success, Hill publicly confirmed his identity in 2007 after an article the previous year in Variety broke his cover (although online speculation about Hill's family background had been appearing since 2005).
Check out the author's website
Follow the author on Twitter
Nurse Thornton dropped into the long-term-care ward a little before eight with a hot bag of blood for Charlie Manx.Vic learns as a young girl that she has the unique ability to find things. See, she has this special bridge that she can ride across to wherever she wishes, and find things that were lost. One day she will need to use this ability in order to find her son, after he is kidnapped by child abductor Charles Manx, who drives around in a Rolls Royce Wraith with the license plate NOS4A2, grabbing up children to take them to Christmasland and do unspeakable things to them.
There were some great characters in this novel! I loved Vic, who is a very damaged woman, struggling to keep it together. Strong, tough, and loyal, Vic is one of those people who keeps most people at arm's length, but who loves and lives with a fierceness.
Lou is the one man Vic has been able to count on since that fateful day they met and he whisked her away to safety on the back of his motorcycle. A kind and patient man, he feels like the luckiest guy alive to have Vic as his woman.
Charlie Manx is a creepy character. The license plate NOS4A2 says it all! There is a passage where Manx explains the NOS4A2 license plate, and it sounded very familiar, as I seem to recall reading that the author had said something similar regarding an ex-girlfriend.
Manx said, “It is one of my little jokes. My first wife once accused me of being a Nosferatu. She did not use that exact word, but close enough...” (p. 56)Enter the equally creepy Bing Partridge, and you have a dangerous team. But whereas Manx is a genuinely evil man, Bing is something of a farce-- dangerous, yet hard to take seriously.
But he most assuredly should be taken seriously. Him and that darn Wraith that Manx drives around in. That thing should definitely be taken seriously!
After Vic and Lou's son Wayne disappear, Tabitha Hutter is on the case as the lead FBI agent. I could identify with Hutter. She’s logical, something of a bookworm, detached from her emotions. There is a passage with which I could really identify, as Hutter was thinking...
His company did not cheer her but only made her more conscious of her own aloneness. Hutter had believed she would have more friends by now. The last man she’d dated said something to her, shortly before they broke up: “I don’t know, maybe I’m boring, but I never really feel like you’re there when we’re out to dinner. You live in your head. I can’t. No room for me in there. I don’t know, maybe you’d be more interested in me if I were a book.” (p. 589)I "got" Hutter.
There was a great flow to the story. Easy to read, graphic and descriptive without bogging down the story in superfluous narration. And there were "aha!" moments as well. For instance, when there is a discussion of how innocence isn't what people make it out to be.
Innocence ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, you know. Innocent little kids rip the wings off flies, because they don’t know any better. That’s innocence. (p. 552)
It's one of those moments when I found myself nodding and thinking, "I never thought of it that way, but that is oh-so-true!"
My final word: This book is good, old-fashioned horror that is hard to come by anymore. You can definitely see the influence of Stephen King in the author's writing, as it gave me the same feeling as an old Stephen King novel from the 80s or 90s, like the classic It. Absorbing and imaginative, author Joe Hill has definitely found a fan in me! I only hope if I ever encounter a Rolls Royce Wraith, perhaps out on a deserted country road, all I see of it is the license plate NOS4A2 as it passes me by...
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher William Morrow, I have an extra copy of NOS4A2 to giveaway. This giveaway is open to US residents only this time. Just use the entry form to enter. Don't miss your chance!
I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour! Check out the website for the full tour schedule:
Tuesday, October 22nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, October 24th: The Best Books Ever
Monday, November 4th: Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, November 5th: The House of Crime and Mystery
Thursday, November 7th: Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity
Friday, November 8th: Drey’s Library
Sunday, November 10th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, November 11th: Entomology of a Bookworm
Tuesday, November 12th: The Book Bag
Wednesday, November 13th: The Reader’s Hollow
Monday, November 18th: The Road to Here
Tuesday, November 19th: Olduvai Reads
Wednesday, November 20th: The Scarlet Letter
Thursday, November 21st: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, November 28th: My Shelf Confessions
TBD: red headed book child
Barnes and Noble
Writing Style: A-
I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.