Monday, May 30, 2016

Quick & Easy Bookmarks

If you're like me and you want make something quick, easy, cute, and useful, then these bookmarks are just the thing!

Bookmarks, Easy Bookmark

Learn how to make your own over on my other blog, Etcetorize.  All you need is some paper, a pen, and a craft knife!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lost King

Hetshepsut Book Review

Summary(from Goodreads): Undercover agent Omar Zagouri has been ordered to Giza. A prominent Egyptologist was murdered, and a priceless artifact—the only complete version of the Book of the Dead—is missing. Omar is still reeling from the recent disappearance of his girlfriend, Mia Golding, but he puts his quest to find her on hold to track down the lost piece of history.
Hetshepsut, Hetshepsut Statue
Statue of Hetshepsut
I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This book deals with one of my favourite figures of ancient Egypt, Hetshepsut - the Lost King. She's now a very familiar figure of Egyptian history but there was a time when she was erased from antiquity. This is something that has to be kept in mind and, I suppose, taken into account in the present day portion of this book. There are actually three story lines, the first two set in what I assume to be relatively present day, and the second set in 1490 BC, Ancient Thebes. Luckily the first two eventually coincide which cuts down on the number of characters to keep track of.

I had to suspend reality just a bit when one of the main characters in the present day story line had to give a full overview and description of who Hetshepsut was and why she was such an important figure in history. Anyone who knows even only a small bit of Egyptology has heard of Hetshepsut and most likely has been captivated by her story. But for those readers who are new to the subject, I suppose this quick foray into a history lesson can be forgiven.

From the author’s notes I can see that this book is from a series of books with Omar Zagouri as the main character, in present day. To be honest though, the Ancient Thebes story line was so enjoyable and kept me completely enthralled.  I could’ve easily enjoyed the book without having to jump back and forth through time for any added action scenes. Omar comes across to me as a James Bond wannabe, but falls just slightly short of his goal. That being said, I don't feel like I missed out on anything because I didn't read the book previous to this.

Overall I enjoyed the book. I think there’s something in it for almost anyone. There’s mystery, intrigue, spies, kidnapping, car chases, bombs, history, royalty, and what I always love most….a strong female main character who knows how to take charge and doesn’t let anything or anyone stand in her way.

The book is well written, with the exception of perhaps just a bit too much of the present day storyline for my personal tastes, and had a nicely constructed narrative arc that was easy to follow. I’m not sure if I’m interested in more of Omar Zagouri’s adventures, but I am interested in this author and will definitely be looking up more of her work.
Hetshepsut Temple
Temple of Hetshepsut - near Valley of the Kings

Who is your favourite 'character' from Ancient Egypt?  There are so many amazing people to choose from.  Sometimes it's hard to believe they were real!  Leave a comment below.

If you want to learn more about Hetshepsut, click over to the Book Depository to check out their great selection (and free worldwide delivery).

Thursday, May 26, 2016

TBT: Calling Me Home

If you used to follow me on Etcetorize, my sewing and crafting blog, you know that I used to post book reviews over there from time to time.  A good book never gets old though, so I thought I'd re-post reviews from some of my favourite books of the past, just to make sure that you don't miss out something great!

Calling Me Home Book Review

Summary (from Goodreads): Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler is a soaring debut interweaving the story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in 1930s Kentucky with an unlikely modern-day friendship

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.

Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son’s irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.

Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper—in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way. 

Review (4/5 stars): About half way through listening to the audio version of this book I found myself really getting into it and falling for the characters. Some of them verge on the stereotypical, but I still liked them. I checked back on Goodreads to see if my instincts were right and was a little surprised by some of the negative reviews and "controversy" surrounding the book's premise.

Racism is a hard thing to read about and to write about. Even in writing this inconsequential little review I find myself deleting sentences, wondering if what I've written will be taken the wrong way and someone will be offended. I think it takes a brave author to venture into this arena.

I liked the relationship between Dorrie and Isabelle and although I could see bits of myself in each character, found myself wanting to be more like Isabelle. I envied her ability to fall head over heels in love like she did. 

This book is heart breaking in so many ways though. All of the missed opportunities for love, understanding, and happiness are frustrating. To make up for it, there were many great lessons to be learned, the most important being that "The truth will set you free." Keeping secrets in an effort to protect someone else is almost never a good idea. Second and third chances are rare, especially when it comes to love.

For me, the surest sign that I've fallen in love with a book is when I find myself still thinking about the characters even though the book is over, wondering what they're up to and how they're getting on. I like to think that Dorrie and Isabelle are closer than ever and that both have found their way back to a peaceful life filled with family, joy, and most importantly, love.
This book was inspired by
the author's grandmother.

“The heart is a demanding tenant; it frequently makes a strong argument against common sense.” 
                                                                                                                                       ― Julie KiblerCalling Me Home
Have you read this book?  How did it affect you?  Leave a comment below~

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Judging a Book by it's Cover: Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1925.  Since then it's become a classic and has been republished countless times, often with different cover art.

The original cover art is #1.  According to Wikipedia, the cover was completed before the novel and the Fitzgerald loved it so much that he wrote it into the novel. (remember the billboard next to the garage?) 

I think I'm most drawn to cover #4.  How about you?  If you'd never heard of the book before, which one do you think you'd pick up?  How influential is cover art for you when choosing a book?

Leave a comment below~

Monday, May 23, 2016

DIY Beaded Butterfly Bookmarks

Butterfly Bookmark, DIY Bookmark, Butterfly, Bookmark Craft, Beaded Bookmark, Beaded Butterfly, book jewellery, bookmark jewellery

I'll use just about anything as a bookmark, even other books!  But it's so much nicer to have these gorgeous butterflies holding your spot until you return.

You can learn how to make your own Beaded Butterfly Bookmarks over on Etcetorize - my crafting blog.

What's holding your spot in your current reading material?  Is it something special?  Leave a comment below~

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Book Love

Image via We Heart It #booksvintageinteresting:

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