Attention, young sleuths:A Study in Scarlet (The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This book is certain to attract new, young readers to the works of Arthur Conan Doyle.  It is a highly engaging, somewhat simplified but not too much so, retelling of this Sherlock Holmes tale.  I very much enjoyed reading the story in this version.  In addition to the text, there are appealing, cartoon like illustrations, boxes that describe terms that children may not know and fun extras like a list that Dr. Watson wrote or a copy of a telegram.  So, get a child you know this book and a magnifying glass.  They will soon be trying to solve the case.

Many thanks to to publisher and NetGalley for this title in exchange for an honest review.


Now out: Madam C.J. Walker Builds a Business by Rebel Girls

This book is targeted to a young elementary school aged audience. It is divided into short chapters and has beautiful, vibrant illustrations. Madam C J Walker Builds a Business tells the story of Sarah Breedlove from when she was the first in her family born in freedom, not slavery, through her remarkable business success and accomplishments. Sarah faced many obstacles including the closing of her segregated school, the deaths of her parents, her difficult time living with a sister and her sister’s demanding husband, her early marriage, becoming a parent and her husband’s violent death. The book shows how Sarah went from this background that included the most menial jobs to becoming Mrs. Walker and a woman who was incredibly successful in building her business centered on caring for African American women’s hair.

This is a detailed, readable biography. There are additional sections at the end of the book to encourage further learning. This book should be in classrooms and is highly recommended.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

Come on an expedition: In the Shadow of Vesuvius A Lady Emily Mystery by Tasha Alexander

Tasha Alexander’s historical mysteries take place early in the 20th century. In this entry, Lady Emily and her husband Colin are visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum where they become entangled in murder and chaos. The book also includes a novel within a novel that tells the story of a (freed) slave, a young woman poet and her fate.

The strengths of this book include the settings and the characters with whom I wanted to spend time. The author has done significant research and her description of the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum are filled with atmosphere, historical terms, and objects. Similarly, the world of the poet, Kassandra, comes vividly to life with its taverns, food stalls and homes both ostentatious and simple.

I enjoyed the relationship of Emily with her husband, Colin, and close friend, a lord. Kassandra, Lepida (her former owner), Lepida’s husband and Melas, a painter are all well drawn. Also, readers of the series will be interested to get to know Kat, but no spoilers here. I found the murder mystery itself to be less compelling and felt that the story could have been edited just a bit.

Nonetheless, if you are curious about archaeology and enjoy historical mysteries, you might want to pick up this latest in the series. I also recommend this author’s earlier title, A Death in St. Petersburg.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for this title in exchange for an honest review.

Cooperation and Values: Working Together at School by Mary Lindeen

This title is a non-fiction book for beginning readers.  It is illustrated throughout with photographs of children and the adults that they encounter during their school day.  The book elaborates some of the basic tenets of working together including, for example, honesty, sharing, fairness and responsibility.  There is a detailed section at the end of the book on ways to reinforce a child’s reading skills.  This book could be used with young children early in the school year as a way to talk about ways to behave when in school.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#WorkingTogetheratSchool #NetGalley

Now out: All Cats Are Introverts by Francesco Marciuliano

This book contains beautiful photos of cats. I enjoyed this aspect of the book very much. The written content is poems told from a cat’s point of view. My sense is that they are meant to be funny. I did not especially enjoy the poems although I can see what the writer is trying to do. If you are a cat lover and you read this one, please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

All Cats Are Introverts

Ready for guests? The Easy Appetizer Cookbook No-Fuss Recipes For Any Occasion by Sarah Walker Caron

This book is exactly as advertised.  It is a compilation of easy to prepare, appealing small bites.  There are recipes in categories including light snacks, dips & spreads, finger foods, savory plates, fancy bites and something sweet.  A few of the recipes include crispy garlic butter smashed potatoes, salmon fritters, cheese stuffed chicken meatballs marinara, bacon wrapped asparagus, chunky guacamole and marinated feta with rosemary and orange.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  All in all, a great resource for those who are entertaining this holiday season!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this moutwatering title in exchange for an honest review.

#TheEasyAppetizerCookbook #NetGalley

From the publisher:

appetizer cookbook, appetizer cookbook, appetizer cookbook, appetizer cookbook, appetizer cookbook



Good for dipping tortilla chips into, serving with tacos, and more, this fruity salsa comes with a spicy bite. It’s a wonderful celebration of contrasts: creamy avocado, sweet mango, tangy pineapple, and spicy jalapeño.


1. Using a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh onto a work surface and dice it. Transfer it to a medium bowl.

2. Stir in the mango, pineapple, jalapeño, and cilantro, stirring until fully combined.

3. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

VARIATION TIP: For a mild salsa, remove the seeds and the ribs from the jalapeño before mincing it.


  • 1 Avocado, Halved and Pitted
  • 3/4 Cup Diced Mango
  • 3/4 Cup Diced Pineapple
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Back Pepper

Now out: Charlie Brown: All Tied Up (PEANUTS AMP Series Book 13) A PEANUTS Collection by Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz had a unique gift for finding both the humor and sweetness in every day life. This book is another great collection featuring the Peanuts gang. There are strips about school, fitness, wanting acceptance and more, all illustrated with gentle humor. This is a great book to dip into. It will make you smile for sure.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

You must go: A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar

The Return (Pulitzer Prize Winner): Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

A few years ago, I read this author’s earlier work, The Return, for a class that I was taking. It was truly an extraordinary book written by a writer of immense talent. The story of the author’s return to Libya and his quest (it really is one) to learn more about his father, the book was moving and thought provoking. As soon as I saw this title on NetGalley, I so hoped that I would be provided with a copy of the book in exchange for my review.

So, here I am highly recommending this book to you. It tells the story of how Matar, following The Return, planned a trip to Sienna. For reasons that he describes, the work of painters from this region were important to him. He almost did not make it. Luckily for the reader, he did.

Matar writes about where he stayed and his experience of the paintings that he came to see. It is a wonderful book by a writer with fluid grace. A couple of quotes to give you an idea.

On a bad plane ride:

I remember thinking I did not mind dying-that it would have to come at some point-but that I was not quite ready yet, that dying now would be a waste, given how much time I had spent learning how to live.

On the school of painting:

They believe that what we share is more than what sets us apart. The Sienna School is hopeful but also flattering…

By challenging the imagination they nudge our perception a little and, for an instant at least, the world is remade.

I highly recommend this book. It is special. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.