Showing posts with label Treasures By Brenda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Treasures By Brenda. Show all posts

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Best Sizzlin' Hot Barbecue Aprons

Love your grill? You need one of these sizzling hot barbecue aprons!

Grilling Something on the barbecue? Put on an apron first! It is summertime and the living is easy. Great weather, good music and your trusty friend, the barbecue, will help you prepare good food but before you throw your meat on the grill you might want to throw on a fun, spirited and practical grilling-themed apron. Here I review six. That is, six sizzlin' hot BBQ aprons. Six of the best. 'Cause only the best will do for you!

GRILL MASTER APRON


Perfect for the individual who has mastered his grill!

This grilling apron by Attitude Apron is a one-size-fits-all (which is usually the case) apron made of a polyester blend perfect for cooking and grilling.  One reviewer said, "We gave this and a grilling cookbook as a gift to my father-in-law and he loved it! The apron is just as pictured and was a perfect fit for my 5'9" father-in-law."  Find the Grill Master apron here on Amazon.

REAL MEN DON'T USE RECIPES APRON


For the man who crafts unique creations at his bbq, a real men don't use recipes apron!

This Real Men Don't Use Recipes apron is another one-size-fits-all apron. It is made in the United States from a polyester blend, perfect for cooking and grilling. Perfect for any man who likes to ad-lib as he cooks. Find the Real Men apron here on Amazon.

A MAN AND HIS GRILL MEN'S APRON


For a man who loves manning his barbecue, a man and his grill apron.

This a man and his grill BBQ apron is a 65 percent polyester, 35 percent cotton blend and features an adjustable neck and back ties. Just throw it in the washing machine after those big grilling events! "We bought this for my brother in law's birthday (along with grill utensils) and he loved it." Find the A Man and His Grill apron on Amazon here.

BOSS OF THE BBQ APRON


Boss of the BBQ - Smokin' Hot and So Is My Grill apron!

This Boss of the BBQ - Smokin' Hot and So Is My Grill apron, is yet another black, one-size-fits-most apron that will delight any man who is in charge of the BBQ...or who is just plain hot, LOL. Find the Boss of the BBQ apron here on Amazon.

WHO REALLY IS THE KING OF THE GRILL? 


This video will leave you smiling. It captures barbecuing stereotypes, whether they are true at your house or not. At our house, my husband cannot take a book out with him when he tends the grill because that only leads to disaster. The lesson we have learned the hard way is don't get between a Little and his or her reading material even if food is involved.


KING OF THE GRILL APRON


Do You Know Someone Who Is The King of the Grill?

Do You Know Someone Who Is The King of the Grill? They should definitely have their own King of the Grill Apron! Also made of a polyester blend, it is perfect for all of the king's cooking and grilling! This is an apron with attitude, making grilling even more fun! Order your King of the Grill apron from Amazon here.

Are you loving your barbecue? How about these barbecue aprons? And for interest sake, who Is The King of the Grill At YOUR House?

Tie one on! 
Brenda




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

How to Make an Apron Resource Page

A page full of ideas of aprons to craft. If you love aprons and sewing, you will be inspired, for sure!

A PAGE FULL OF RESOURCES TO HELP YOU MAKE AN APRON


This page is packed with resources for anyone wanting to make an apron. Whether you want to make one for yourself or for someone else, you've come to the right spot. It will point you in the direction of some wonderful resources that are available online for making your very own aprons.

I have included a few Youtube videos that show you how to make aprons, including one from Angel Fleece Aprons and one from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I have also included links to pages with great apron how-tos an interesting apron-making book from Amazon.

The aprons shown above are from a vintage 1950s Simplicity pattern, number 4492. I love the turquoise blue one and the big pockets! You can find it on eBay by clicking here.

I hope this page inspires you to make an apron.

HOW TO MAKE AN APRON VIDEO FROM ANGEL OF FLEECE


This first video is inspired by the Baking Outside the Box cookbook. Angel of Fleece steps you through the creation of an elegant apron.



HOW TO MAKE AN APRON VIDEO FROM A TEA TOWEL BY THE MISSOURI STAR QUILT COMPANY (PARTS 1 & 2) 





HOW TO CREATE A RETRO APRON BY CINDY TAYLOR OATES

Cindy Taylor Oates has written a few retro-themed pattern books in this series that offers well written instructions and excellent illustrations. The patterns need to be traced because they are printed on two-sided paper but doing so is, according to reviewers, worth the effort. The author includes ways to make the apron look retro and ways to make it look contemporary so no matter your style, the aprons in this book can be adopted to suit. Click here to find these Retro Aprons books on eBay.

HOW TO SEW A FULL APRON VIDEO FROM PROFESSOR PINCUSHION



HOW TO SEW A SIMPLE APRON FROM MELANIE HAM



HOW TO MAKE AN UPCYCLED DENIM APRON FOR CHILDREN



BLOGS & POSTS DEDICATED TO MAKING APRONS


His and Her Aprons
Blogger Make it and Love It shares, His and Her Aprons.

Romantic Cottage or Shabby Chic Style Apron
Blogger Sew4Home shares how to make a romantic cottage or shabby-chic style apron.

How to Make an Apron on eHow.com
This page at eHow will step you through ow to make a simple bib-style apron. It is a good project for beginners.

Make A Make Do Apron
Mary Jane shows you how to make an apron out of a shirt. That reminds me of the aprons my great grandmother crafted from a worn out dress.

Make a Textured Apron
Justine Lorelle Lomonaco of Better Homes and Gardens shares how to make a simple apron.

How to make an apron with one yard of fabric. 

An easy-to-make pattern.

An awesome project for a new sewer.

No pattern needed for this kitchen apron.

Martha Stewart shows you how.

A FEW APRON FACTS


Previous polls on this page when it appeared elsewhere online showed that 40 percent of the people who visited owned an apron and that 43 percent were looking for a new project or an apron inspiration. Only 19 percent of the visitors said that they ALWAYS don an apron when they're in the kitchen but 30 percent of them said that they should but only do so when cooking a particularly messy item. That is where I fit, in that last 30 percent. How about you? Do you usually wear an apron? Are you looking to craft a new one?

See you in the kitchen.
Hopefully, with your apron on!
Brenda

MORE APRON READING:







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, July 4, 2021

The Apron Book: Making, Wearing and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort Book Review

The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort by EllynAnne Geisel Book Review

When I was a child, I had the privilege of knowing and spending time with my great grandmother, who raised her family during the Great Depression. In those years, she was forced to be very frugal and learned some interesting tricks to stretch the family income that she later attempted to pass on to my sister and I. The time that I remember best is when she showed us how to turn an old dress into an apron. I could not do so today but I guess having participated in that activity with my great grandmother when I was a child created a fond spot in my heart for aprons.

It is very interesting to me then that aprons, both vintage and modern, are turning up everywhere from movies and television shows to magazines and shops the later of which cannot keep trendy aprons on the shelves. Many people collect them including celebrities like Julia Roberts and ordinary folk like you and I though my collection is small and well used. 

This book, The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort by EllynAnne Geisel, is a guide to old and new aprons. It features photographs of both new and vintage aprons, patterns for four basic styles and still more information including tips for collectors, instructions for preservation and even some apron stories.

Amazon calls this book a celebration of the apron and says that it reminds us of why we love this humble item. Homemaker's Magazine says, "this book provides easy-to-follow instructions, interesting facts and vintage illustrations which make it charming" and the Denver Post says "this book restores dignity to a domestic symbol and is part how-to and part history, which is comforting."  Finally, NPR says, "it unfolds like a bolt of fabric, the pattern of a life remembered through a homey object."

The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort is a top ranking apron book. Originally published in 2006, it is still widely available in your choice of format be that hardback, paperback or Kindle. 

 If you are interested in making or even just reading about aprons, you can buy your new or pre-owned copy on Amazon by clicking right here though I was delighted to see that it is available for less than five dollars including shipping on eBay. See for yourself what is available on eBay today by clicking right here.

Are you an apron collector?

See you in the kitchen!
Hopefully, with an apron on.
Brenda

MORE READING:








Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Emma Donoghue's The Pull of the Stars Book Review

Journey to Dublin, Ireland, during the time of the Spanish Flu in 1918 and discover parallels with the world's pandemic experience in 2020 in this fascinating page turner by Emma Donoghue.

I will start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the book The Pull of the Stars by Irish Canadian author Emma Donoghue. My book club chose it and when I first picked it up to read, I had forgotten that it was about a pandemic. It is a story of the Great Flu or the 1918 Influenza, which we now call the Spanish Flu. As it turns out, it was good and it was doubly interesting because of the current pandemic.

Set in Ireland in 1918, it tells a fictional story based on the very real world of a midwife working in a Dublin hospital who is assigned to the maternity fever ward. Not much bigger than a closet, this ward is where they quarantine pregnant women who are stricken with influenza. 

We meet a young midwife named Julia Powers who finds herself alone on her shift with the responsibility for all of the care of these sick, pregnant women.  She is at times aided by one of two women. Firstly, Doctor Kathleen Lynn, who is based on a real historical figure and who is wanted by the Dublin police because she was involved in the 1916 Irish Uprising. Secondly, she is assisted by a young volunteer from an orphanage named Bridie Sweeney who has absolutely no training or education but is quick on her feet and ready to do whatever is required of her.

Included within the story is a peek at the science of the time with regard to the flu and midwifery. It is a visit to the Dublin of the times where they were struggling with not just the flu but the devastation caused by World War I and the 1916 Uprising. Along the way, it also shares a look at some of the Irish societal injustices that existed at the time.  

The book is eerily similar to the current world situation even though we have the advantage of modern day science. Amongst other similarities are the facts that some still managed to question the value of wearing masks and others recommended taking weird remedies.

The Pull of the Stars is a page turner, a non-stop story that happens mostly during one long shift in the hospital during which Powers, sometimes aided by Doctor Lynn and/or Bridie, go from crisis to crisis to crisis. 

The timing of the writing of this book may have been a bit unfortunate though it was written before the current pandemic. After all, who wants to read a story based on a pandemic when they are living through one? However, the timing was not deliberate. Donoghue started writing the story in 2018 and the manuscript was sent to the publishers in March of 2020. 

After possibly a brief moment of hesitation because of the subject matter, the book drew me in and it became interesting to see, as the author says, "the way it mirrors our current situation."  The Guardian says, it is "a beautifully modulated historical novel."  I agree.

Reading this book now is different than it might have been before, for sure. NPR says, "The fourth wall of fiction is broken here. The pandemic spreads out beyond the pages into whatever rooms we are quarantined in.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Do I recommend The Pull of the Stars? Yes, I do. I highly recommend it. It is a fast moving account of life in a maternity fever ward with parallels to the current world situation.  Anyone who enjoys historical fiction, has an interest in Ireland and/or midwifery will enjoy this book.  

I think NPR gives another good reason to pick up this book when they say that that Donoghue has "given us our first pandemic caregiver novel - an engrossing and inadvertently topical story about health care workers inside small rooms fighting to preserve life." 

I say, don't miss it. Order your copy from Amazon now by clicking right here.

See you 
at the book store!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

More Ireland:

Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes


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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Collectible Funko Wizard of Oz Plushies

Discover Funko's adorable, Wizard of Oz Plushies!

CAN YOU RESIST THE WIZARD OF THE OZ FUNKO PLUSHIES?

In my opinion, they are just too darn cute. That is, the Wizard of Oz Plushies by Funko. Even if you have a favorite character, you are likely to find yourself liking them ALL so why don't you follow the yellow brick road with us as we review these retired plush toys.

Funko released the Wizard of Oz plushies on August 17, 2010. Each one is a soft and cuddly plush toy that measures 7 inches tall and is recommended for children 3 years of age and up. When they were released, they were an inexpensive way to add to an existing Wizard of Oz collection or to start a collection though now that they have been retired, the prices have gone up. However, as I write this they are at least still available if you are willing to pay a bit more for the piece you need or want.

You will find all of the Wizard of Oz Funko Plushies on this page, my pretty!

DOROTHY GALE

Love Funko's version of the Wizard of Oz's Dorothy!



Start your collection with Dorothy. She's as cute as a button and exactly as you remember her, albeit as interpreted by Funko. She is wearing her signature blue and white checkered dress and ruby slippers. Never alone for long, in this instance she is carrying Toto in her basket. Find Dorothy on Amazon by clicking here.

THE SCARECROW

The scarecrow needs a brain! You'll love this version of your favorite Wizard of Oz character!




The first of Dorothy's friends to join her on her journey to visit the Wizard of Oz was the Scarecrow. He thought that he needed a brain. However, we know that he already has a brain under his hat, which he uses throughout their journey. The brain that the Wiz grants him in the end is symbolic. Find the Scarecrow on Amazon by clicking here.

THE TIN MAN

This plush Tin Man has a heart!



The Tin Man, who can forget him? Here he is sporting the heart he was given by the Wizard of Oz, ready to add some love to your collection. He is the second friend that Dorothy made whilst traveling to the Emerald City. The heart granted to him by the Wizard of Oz is also only symbolic, of course, as the Tin Man has plenty of love for everyone.  Find the Tin Man on Amazon by clicking right here.

THE COWARDLY LION

Who doesn't love the Cowardly Lion?



Dorothy's friend, the cowardly lion, is as cute as ever and ready to protect you and your home. The lion is the final friend that Dorothy makes as she continues her journey. He knows that it is not noble to be a cowardly lion when you are supposed to be the king of the beasts and hopes that he can obtain some courage from the Wizard of Oz. Of course, fans of the movie know that he already possesses plenty of courage, which he displays when he steps up to protect Dorothy. Find the Cowardly Lion on Amazon by clicking right here.

THE WICKED WITCH


Look out, she'll get you, my pretty.



Be scared, be very scared of the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz although I cannot help but think this witch is, well, kind of cute if you just could turn her frown upside down! Anyway, here she is green skinned, of course, and sporting her broomstick, ready to reek havoc. Make sure to hide your ruby slippers before you bring her into your home!  Find the Wicked Witch on Amazon by clicking right here.

A FLYING MONKEY

Fans of the Wizard of Oz might or might not want to add this Flying Monkey Plushie by Funko to their collection!

Some people do NOT love L. Frank Baum's flying monkeys because they were scary and they did the dirty work for the Wicked Witch of the West. However, this flying monkey is fun in his own Funko way. You will recognize him immediately dressed as he is with vest and hat, "ready to protect your castle at all costs."  Find your Flying Monkey on Amazon by clicking right here.

If you were unable to find the piece you want by following the aforementioned links or you want to do a price comparison, you can click here to find all of the Wizard of Oz Plushies that are currently available on eBay. As I look today, there are a mix of both new and used pieces available with Dorothy being the most sought after and therefore, the most expensive.

Which Wizard of Oz Funko plushie is your favorite?

See you in Oz!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

MORE WIZARD OF THE OZ:






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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Story of Walt Disney World Book Review

The Story of Walt Disney World: A book review of the 1971 souvenir book, which features pictures, information and illustrations of the park when it first opened.

Walt Disney World enthusiasts are always wanting to learn more about one of the world's most famous destinations.  This book, The Story of Walt Disney World, is a big square paperback book with 50 pages of information, lots of photographs and even a few colorful illustrations from the park. The first page has the date of October 25, 1971. I believe it was probably released as a souvenir to celebrate the opening of the theme park, which occurred on October 1, 1971.

The first page includes a dedication taken from the plaque in Town Square on Main Street at Walt Disney World by Roy Disney O. Disney that reads, "Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney...and to the talents, the dedication and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place...a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together."  If you have experienced the park, you know that Disney delivered on those promises. Millions and millions of people have visited, enjoyed and created many fond memories of time spent at the park. 

This vintage book offers a look at what the park offered and looked like when it first opened and even includes a map from the year 1971. A lot has changed since then! 

The Story of Walt Disney World would make a wonderful gift idea for those who have fond memories of visiting the park in the past or for those who are interested in the history of the park. You will find The Story of Walt Disney World on eBay by clicking right here.

See you
on eBay!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

More Disney:

Grab a sketch-themed 20th Anniversary Toy Story coffee mug.

The Story of Walt Disney World: Discover things about the park when it was first opened!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Hallmark Gifts for Mom

FUN AND AFFORDABLE HALLMARK GIFT IDEAS FOR MOM

Discover five fun, fabulous and affordable gift ideas for mom on Mother's Day or any day of the year!

No doubt your Mom raised as Hallmark says, "Good, kind kids who are a great gift to the world." Who better then to offer up a special gift idea for your Mom than Hallmark, whether it be for Mother's Day or on any day of the year? 

On this page you will find gathered together six wonderful Hallmark gift ideas including the Blooming Expressions flowers; the Mom and Me Recordable Conversations To Keep book; a shadow box picture frame; the There is No One Like Mom CD; the movie Soldier Love Story; and, a fun Mom-themed coffee mug series.

I am sure that you will find something here that is within your budget and perfect for your Mom.

BLOOMING EXPRESSIONS FLOWERS



Hallmark's Blooming Expressions flowers will bloom every year for mom!


There are an assortment of Hallmark Blooming Expressions flowers available, including pink and red rose versions. Each vase features a variety of expressions like, "I Love You" and "You Are the Heart of Our Family." I like the idea that this item is an everlasting gift that mom can use to decorate her table, dresser or desk. They will bloom for mom forever!  Find your Blooming Expressions flower on Amazon by clicking right here.


Hallmark Mom and Me Conversations to Keep Recordable Storybook records Mom and her little one talking.

MOM AND ME CONVERSATIONS TO KEEP RECORDABLE STORY BOOK


Some of the most beloved gifts given to Moms are those that are personal in one way or another. A Hallmark Mom and Me recordable book fits that bill very nicely. With a Mom and Me recordable storybook, a young Mom records the voices of herself and her children having an informal and fun chat.

The book provides fun, open-ended questions like, "If you and your mom had a super power, what would it be?" and "What do you want to be when you grow up?" With this special memory book, mom records their thoughts NOW so that she will have them as a treasured keepsake when they are grown up. I sure wish that I had done something similar when my boys were young.

A Hallmark's Mom and Me Recordable Storybook is the perfect gift idea for any mother with young children. You can find the Hallmark Mom and Me Recordable storybooks on eBay by clicking right here


SHADOW BOX PICTURE FRAMES


This Hallmark Shadow Box is filled with treasures from Treasures By Brenda on eBay but your mom can of course personalize it with her own momentos!

With Hallmark's personalized shadow boxes, you can frame pictures of your family along with small mementoes and quotes. Whether you choose to do the decorating or you leave it up to mom, there are a variety of frames available. See the Hallmark Shadow Box frames on eBay by clicking right here.

MUSIC CD FOR MOMS

Hallmark's lovely music CD for mom features music by assorted artists.

Hallmark's There Is No One Like Mom CD features music by various artists including Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Diana Ross and Sting and is an appropriate and affordable gift for moms everywhere. Find it on eBay by clicking here.

SOLDIER LOVE STORY


Faith and Family's Soldier Love Story launched the 2009 Countdown to Mother's Day on the Hallmark Channel, thus feeding the confusion as to whether or not it is a Hallmark movie.

In Soldier Love Story, a ten-year old boy named Jared's life fell apart when his parents divorced. His Dad seems to put his job ahead of him and his mother makes him move in with his Grandma in California so that his mom can take a job there. When the boy's classroom writes letters to U.S. troops who are posted in Afghanistan, a sergeant named Vince who himself had no father takes a shine to the boy and corresponds with him in a fatherly manner. When Vince returns from Afghanistan, he is warmly welcomed and becomes a boyfriend to the boy's mother, with the understanding that there can be no commitment because he will likely be sent back to Afghanistan.

Soldier Love Story was originally called Meet My Mom. It is a lovely story and would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift for any Mom who loves Hallmark movies and in particular for any Mom with a connection to the Armed Forces. It is a hugely popular Hallmark movie with viewers praising it because it combines a bit of romance and family with a lot of respect for soldiers.

Please note that this is not actually a Hallmark movie. Rather, it is a made-for-tv movie that first aired as the lead movie for the Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Mother's Day in 2009. That's good enough for me. It is still a great movie choice for mom. Find  Soldier Love Story on Amazon by clicking right here.

KEN SHELDON MUGS FOR MOM

This is one of a series of Hallmark mugs featuring Ken Sheldon and a mom theme.

Of course, there's nothing quite like a mug for Mom, especially if she loves her cup of tea or coffee. If she does, she will appreciate using a mug every single day that you chose with her in mind. I enjoy the sentiments on these Ken Sheldon mugs, of which there is a series that includes various pieces, not just coffee mugs, and pieces for dad, too. Find all of Hallmark's Ken Sheldon items on eBay by clicking right here.

What will you be giving your mom for Mother’s Day this year?

See you 
next time!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

More Gift Ideas for Moms:



Vintage Taylor and Ng Coffee Mugs

A Clowder of Black Cat Coffee Mugs

Note from Author: This page previously published in part elsewhere.




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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Fun & Fab Book Accessories and Gift Ideas

A page full of fun and fabulous book accessories and gift ideas for friends, family and yourself!

If you love books, you will love the fun and fabulous book-themed gift ideas and accessories that I have catalogued for you here on this Review This blog page. If not exactly what you are looking for, they are sure to be a great jumping off point for a gift idea for yourself or for a friend or family member who just cannot take their nose out of a book. All of these book-themed gifts are from Etsy, many of them are available in a variety of materials and patterns and some of them can be personalized with your or your loved one's name or initials. 

HOLDER

Wooden book holder frees your other hand to handle a mug or glass or whatever needs handling!

If you love to read while enjoying your favorite beverage, you will love this little wooden tool. It is designed to help you hold the pages of your book open with one hand thus freeing up the other to hold a mug of your favorite hot and steamy beverage. 

Reader Dickenson said, “I decided to finally read all the big books on my shelf, and my thumbs have been suffering. This thing is amazing! I will probably be buying ten of these as Christmas gifts later this year.” I think that is a brilliant review and I know exactly what it is like to try to keep the pages of a big, trade paperback book open! 

This device is simple and practical and small and affordable. It is something you probably have never heard of  before but once you have seen it you will surely appreciate it. You will find this little wooden book holder from Engaged Book on Etsy by clicking right here.

COFFEE MUG & SWEATSHIRT


It’s a good day to read a book coffee mug!

Did someone mention a steamy hot beverage? Now that one of your hands has been freed up by the book holder, you need a mug for the other hand!  Book lovers will want to consider this coffee mug that will make you smile. It reads “It’s a Good Day to Read a Book.” If you are a big reader, you know that rule applies to every day and you will therefore want to use this mug every day, too! 

Fun bookt-themed t-shirt reads "It's a Good Day to Read a Book."

Sets make wonderful gift ideas. Why not make it a matched set? The "It's a Good Day to Read a Book" slogan is also available on a t-shirt or a sweatshirt. 

Reader Inbelding says, "I collect literary shirts and this one is my new favorite!" You will find the coffee mug, the tee and more book-themed items from The Harper House on Etsy by clicking here

It is definitely worth noting that The Harper House has many other book themed tees and sweatshirts with fun slogans like "Bookish", "Bookmarks are for Quitters", "One More Chapter", "Books and Coffee and more Books", "One More Chapter" and "It's Not Hoarding if its Books.

METAL BOOKMARK


Metal Bookmark Personalized with Your Name!

This bookmark is so pretty! I love the uniqueness of this personalized calligraphic bookmark with the little heart and a bead. Instead of a name or a word like mom or dad, Charlene also fashions bookmarks with other items on the top like a jigsaw puzzle piece, a bird or a wine glass. 

Reader Janet says, "I think so highly of Charlene! Her artistry and creativity has helped me make so many people extremely happy!"  

You can find these unique bookmarks on Etsy from kraze4paper by clicking right here.

SPOON BOOKMARK


Upcycled vintage hand-stamped bookmarks share a love of books and reading!

How about a hand-stamped bookmark? The text on these vintage spoons makes me smile and can be customized to whatever you want to say. I really like “Drink Tea. Read Books. Be Happy” because that fits me to a tea, pun intended. However, I will admit that “Fell asleep here” would be really appropriate, too. 

Reader Ziehr says, "This is the third spoon book marker that I have ordered. It fits snuggly on my book and it does not move around. It's a great personalized gift for any reader.

Find these fun vintage spoon bookmarks on Etsy from Stamped Frosting by clicking right here.

BIRD BOOKENDS


Attractive metal bird bookends will make you smile!

Bookends, anyone? If you enjoy displaying your books, a pair of bookends can be found to suit any interest. I love these bird-themed bookends and think they’d do a great job organizing the stacks of cookbook in a kitchen exactly as they appear in this photograph. 

Reader Fulkerson says, "These bookends look so cute poking out the sides of my open shelving.

Find them from Max Foundry on Etsy by clicking here.

TRAVEL BOOKENDS


A pair of travel themed bookends for the armchair traveller's books!

Those, like me, who are armchair travelers will love these vintage globe-themed bookends though because they are vintage, they are one-of-a-kind find. Once they are sold, they will be gone and you will have to look further afield to find a set that appeals to you. You will find these globe bookmarks on Etsy from Marchpuces by clicking here

You can also check out all of the vintage globe bookends on Etsy by clicking here.

UPCYCLED BOOKENDS


These upcycled bookends are sure to please any dog lover!

How about some dog-themed bookends? These ones are perfect for a dog lover. They are upcycled bricks painted by the artist in a variety of themes including this dog one.

Reader Bilhartz says that they are “Even nicer in person than I expected!! You’d think painted bricks are just painted bricks, but no! These are really well done. You can tell there is artistic talent, attention to detail, an eye for attractive color combos, and that very high quality, thick and vivid paint was used!” What a great review! What more can I say? 

You can check out these and a pair of cat-themed bookends from Brickends on Etsy by clicking right here.

PADDED BOOK SLEEVE


Pretty Watercolor Wildflowers padded book sleeve will help keep your book safe when you are on the go!

I will admit that when we travel, I put my book into a plastic bag to give it some protection in the car or in my carry-on bag. I never thought that there might be a more attractive way to carry my book around while at the same time offering it some protection. Enter this beautiful padded book sleeve. 

Reader Saelua says, "Beautiful fabric and well made! I got the largest size so I’d be ready to carry any book I need. Right now I’m able to fit one medium sized book and one small in it at the same time. Looking forward to using this for a long long time." 

Annette offers a few fun patterns that currently include this pretty Watercolor Wildflowers. You are sure to find one that best suits you or your recipient's interests. 

You will find them on Etsy from Fred 'N Polly by clicking here.

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Well, there you have it. A page full of fun and fabulous book accessories and interesting gift ideas. You will find all of them gathered together on my Etsy Favorites page. Just click here and then follow the Book Accessories tab.  Is there something here for you or the book lover in your life?

See you
At the bookstore!
Brenda


 
For those who love their books, here's a page full of book accessories and gift ideas.




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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Canada Reads Book List 2021

Canada Reads Book List 2021

Every year Canada's Broadcasting Corporation or CBC as it is more commonly known, releases a short list of five Canadian books. It's a battle of the books competition in which the five books are brought forward by five Canadian celebrities and in March they come together over five days to debate the merits of the books eliminating one each day. On the final day, a winner is proclaimed the book that we should all read. 

I thought I would give you a brief review of the Canada Reads program and the books that were nominated this year. It was interesting to learn a bit about each of the books and consider adding them to my reading list. Obviously since I have not read them, I cannot personally vouch for them though I can give you a brief description, share the official Canada Reads book trailers, and, at the end, tell you the name of this year's winner.  I might help to know that these books have often been nominated for other literary awards.

Here we go, the nominated books for 2021 under the theme 'One Book to Transport Us'.


BUTTER HONEY PIG BREAD BY FRANCESCA EKWUYASI 

Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

Butter Honey Pig Bread transports the reader from Lagos to London to Halifax. It is the story of three generations of women from Nigeria, a mother and her estranged twin daughters. The mother "believes that she is an Ogbanje, or an Abiku, a non-human spirit that plagues a family with misfortune by being born and then dying in childhood to cause a human mother misery. She has made the unnatural choice of staying alive to love her human family but lives in fear of the consequences of her decision." This book is about food and family and forgiveness, about choices and consequences, and about friendship and faith. 

Rated 4.3 out of 5 by Amazon readers and 4.4 out of 5 by Goodreads readers. 

Writing on The Suburban author Meredith says that this book "ended up being her personal favourite to win the 2021 competition. It was a book that she simply didn’t want to put down and a story that she didn’t want to end."

Here's the official Canada Reads book trailer:




TWO TREES MAKE A FOREST: IN SEARCH OF MY FAMILY'S PAST AMONG TAIWAN'S MOUNTAINS AND COASTS 

Two Trees Make a Forest: In Search of My Family's Past Among Taiwan's Mountains and Coasts

Two Trees Make a Forest transports the reader to Taiwan and is a book about memory, love, and landscape, about finding a home, about the distance between people and places and how they meet. 

The author uncovers letters written by her immigrant grandfather that take her from Canada to her ancestral home in Taiwan where she searches for her grandfather's story while learning about the land that he grew up on. She hikes and bikes and swims. She learns about the mountains and the flatlands, the flora and the fauna. She discovers the similarities between natural stories and human stories that created her family and this island. The book is about the world of nature but it also looks at the colonial exploration of Taiwan. It "encompasses history, travel, nature, and memoir."

Rated 4.1 out of 5 by Amazon readers and 3.6 out of 5 by Goodreads readers.

The reviewer on Bomb says, that this book is "A remarkable exercise in careful attention, be it to the nuances of language, the turns of colonial history, or a grandfather’s difficult-to-read handwriting, Two Trees Makes A Forest is a moving treatise on how to look closely and see truthfully, even as the fog rolls in."

Here's the official Canada Reads book trailer:




THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN BY C.L. POLK

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

The Midnight Bargain transports the reader to Regency England. It is a fantasy novel set in a world that looks like Regency England where women must give up their ability to perform magic when they get married. Obviously, this means that you have something else to think about when you are a mighty sorceress and aspire to be the best female magician. In this book the main character wants to be come a full Magus and continue pursuing magic like men do but her family needs her to be a debutante during Bargaining Season and marry to save them financially. She finds the key to becoming a Magus but it is twisted up with the brother of a handsome, compassionate, wealthy man. The question becomes, will she become a Magus and ruin her family or will she marry the man she loves and give up her magic and identity? 

Rated 4.3 out of 5 by Amazon readers and 4.2 out of 5 by Goodreads readers.

Colleen Mondor on Locus says, "The witty exchanges are indeed sparkling and the verbal cuts are of the sharpest varieties. Polk is so clearly in her element that readers will be carried away by the sheer radiance of her smartly crafted prose and, like me, sorely miss Beatrice when they make that final and satisfying turn of the page."

Here's the official Canada Reads trailer for The Midnight Bargain:




HENCH BY NATALIE ZINA WALSCHOTS 

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

Hench transports the reader to the world of superheroes and villains. As a young woman working as a temporary office employee, she finds a great job as a hench. Howver, things go wrong, the hero leaves her injured and she gets laid off. Using her internet prowess, she finds out that what happened to her is not unique and when she shares her story, she no longer feels powerless. She discovers that the differences between good and evil may boil down to marketing, which she knows how to manipulate. When she is once again employed, albeit this time to one of the worst villains out there, she discovers she could save the world. 

This book is a novel of love and betrayal and revenge and redemption. It is a look at the cost of justice via "a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics." 

The readers on Amazon gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 and the readers at Goodreads gave it a 4.15 out of 5.

In the promotional information about the book, Seanan McGuire says "Hench is fast, furious, compelling and angry as hell." On NPR, Jessica P. Wick says, "Although the author tackles serious issues like how women are treated in the workplace, or how friendships might splinter under the weight of fear, Hench is steeped in the glorious campiness of Golden and Silver Age superheroes. There are lava guns! Mind control devices! Costumes! Lairs! Supercars! Awe! Names like Doc Proton, the Accelerator, the Tidal Four, Electric Eel, the Cassowary, the Auditor. It's fun. It's emotional. It feels like a friend. But it's not comforting. I think it might be terribly honest, and I honestly can't wait to see what Natalie Zina Walschots does next with the genre."

Here's the official book trailer for Hench:




JOHNNY APPLESEED BY JOSHUA WHITEHEAD 


Johnny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Johnny Appleseed takes us to the world of an Indian glitter princess. Our main character is trying to forge a life off of the reserve in the big city and becomes a cybersex worker in order to survive. He has to go back to the 'rez' and his former world for the funeral of his stepfather. What follows are seven days. Seven days full of stories that include "love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition and heartbreaking recollection of his beloved grandmother." As he readies to return home, he figures out how to put together his life in this look at "First Nations life which is full of grit, glitter, and dreams."

Amazon reviewers give Johnny Appleseed a 4.3 out of 5 and reviewers on Goodreads, a 4.1 out of 5.

The Globe and Mail says, "Despite its often serious subject matter, Jonny Appleseed is a very funny book, in the same way that Indigenous people themselves are often very funny despite our traumas. In that way, reading this book felt to me like home. Every line felt like being back on Six Nations, laughing with my family, even though I was in my apartment in Brantford. With its fluid structure and timelines, Jonny Appleseed creates a dream-like reading experience – and with a narrator as wise, funny and loveable as Jonny, it’s the sort of dream you don’t want to wake up from."

Here's the official book trailer for Johnny Appleseed:




AND THE WINNER IS...


After five sessions of debate that you can watch on CBC by clicking right here, the panel voted Johnny Appleseed as the winner. In my mind, though I have yet to read any of these books and they may not all appeal to everyone, these books are all winners in their own ways.  

Here is the highlights reel from the five debates. It gives a further insight into each of the books, into the passion behind the individual presenting the book and into the varied and interesting stories written within.



That's it. The 2021 Canada Reads book list. There are a bunch of books here that I would never have picked randomly but some of the storylines and some of the reviews from other individuals have left me thinking that I might read them. How about you? Are there any books on this list that you find intriguing? Any that you have read?

See you
at the bookstore!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

QUICK LINKS:



CBC's Canada Reads Book List 2021






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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Antoine Laurain's Vintage 1954 Book Reviewed

Antoine Laurain's Vintage 1954

I usually know exactly how I am going to start a book review before I even put the book down. However, that was not the case with the book Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain because I was concerned that speaking of any of the individual moments in the book would ruin the fun surprises.

Inspired by the tagline on the front of the book I decided I would simply ask, “What would you do if you could travel to the Paris of your dreams. In 1954?” That is exactly what happens in this book though it is definitely a case of time travel for entertainment purposes and not a scientific look at time travel.

Four residents of a Parisian apartment building meet and, after sharing a very special bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, they discover that it has, as the back cover of the book says, special properties. They wake up the next morning in 1954 with some of them temporarily unaware of the difference and others instantly aware that things are not as they should be.

The characters are an interesting mix that includes a man whose family originally owned almost all of the apartments in the building, an antique restorer, a mixologist and an American tourist who is renting an Airbnb. It is through each of their perspectives that we see Paris of the 1950s.

NB Magazine put it perfectly when they say that, "the comedy is gentle and slightly absurd and that there are many clever vignettes and sketches that enrich the novel." I totally agree. Vintage 1954 is a lightweight but charming, entertaining and sometimes funny book that is RECOMMENDED by me. 

The book was exactly what I and perhaps even you need right about now. It is historical fiction of a different sort. It is quirky or whimsical. It is a romantic book but one in which the romance stems from the setting and the storytelling rather than the fact that two of the characters in the book discover that they love each other. Some might call it a good summer read.

In my mind, there is nothing dark or nasty about it at all though there is a sex scene and the drinking of alcohol. The book is a chance for a trip to Paris from the comfort of your armchair and an opportunity to see and think about some of the contrasts between the Paris of 2017 and the Paris of 1954 and of course, simply the contrasts between those years wherever you may be. The world is a very different place today than it was then.

I enjoyed meeting the characters, seeing Paris through each of their individual lenses, seeing the city of lights in a different time and having the opportunity to meet some of the celebrities who frequented 1950s Paris. I am not naming the celebrities so that you can enjoy them when you meet them in the book.  I was surprised at the very end of the book when the author managed to squeeze in a little life lesson for each of them.

How about it? Would you like to travel back to 1954 or to read this book? Find your copy of or learn more about Vintage 1954 on Amazon by clicking right here.

See you
At the bookstore!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy your copy of Vintage 1954 on Amazon.
The Time Traveler’s Wife movie review.
An American in Paris movie review.
Discover French Kiss, the ultimate romantic movie soundtrack
Pam Jenoff's Lost Girls of Paris book review. 









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