books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Thursday, October 30, 2014

40 Bright and Bold Paper-pieced Blocks

40 Bright and Bold Paper-pieced Blocks40 Bright and Bold Paper-pieced Blocks by Carol Doak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautiful book people who love foundation pieced quilts. I originally got it from the library, but liked it so well, I ordered it. The arrangement and color choices of the quilts illustrated are really beautiful and they really are exceptional. Carol Doak is known for her paper piecing books and this one is a real winner. The only thing that could make it better would be a CD to copy blocks into any size rather than to have to graph them.

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101 Fabulous Small Quilts

101 Fabulous Small Quilts101 Fabulous Small Quilts by Martingale & Company
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is excellent! It is going to be one of the books I reach for most. The quilts are lovely and I'd be hard pressed to figure out which ones I like most. They are perfect for wall hangings, lap quilts and baby quilts and it is easy to make them larger. This is not a book for the absolute beginner because it doesn't devote a lot of pages to elementary quilting, but most of the projects are easy enough for a beginner who knows the process. This book has a whole lot for the money.

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The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age

The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic AgeThe Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was excellent, albeit frightening. It is a concise description of the history of viruses, the major ones we face today and the potential viruses which can transfer from animals to humans. It is technical without being unreadable. There are fascinating examples which illustrate some of the more difficult concepts and solid information about what is being done now and what should be done in the future.

There are a lot of topics mentioned in the book that I wanted to know more about and I don't think the book is meant to be definitive on the subject by any means, but it is a very good introduction to the subject and It's a book I think everyone should read.

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Friday, October 17, 2014


DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a librarian, I introduced this book in our book club and a number of people read it. The consensus was that it was the scariest book they had ever read. Note that was "scariest" as opposed to "gross." Too many horror novels today are overly concerned with gore and not with plot development. I think this is a classic because the suspense builds and builds while there is a pervading sense that the protagonists may not be able to survive. They have already lost one of their number and she was not a "disposable" character that the readers hadn't invested much in.

I homeschool my 7th grade grandson and had him read this book for Literature. We both enjoyed it and I was surprised at how much he learned from it. We studied the Gothic novel, Eastern European geography, living standards in Victorian times and a great vocabulary.

October 15, 2014
I'm reading it again with my granddaughter for her Literature requirement. Every time I read it, I learn something new. This was a perfect book to read just before Halloween.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death CampsSurviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps by Andrea Warren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story of an ordinary Jewish boy brought up in a town near the Polish border and caught up in Hitler's final solution. Early in Hitler's take over of Poland, he was given some very good advice which helped him survive. The most important was that he could do whatever he had to do and to not give in to hate. During a large part of the early years of Hitler's plan, Jack Mandelbaum was was sole breadwinner for his family. His father was taken away and they never heard from him again. Many times Jack didn't think he could survive, but he kept on pushing himself, becoming such a good worker the Nazi's did not kill him. He also remained cheerful and compliant, a task almost as arduous as the physical work. He realized that hate would consume him and sap his strength and energy if he gave over to it.

This is a good book for Young adult readers. It is not so gruesome as most books and yet gives an accurate view of what went on in the cities and concentration camps.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being EarnestThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book! It is such fun! It's a comedy of manners. Two upper class young gentlemen have found a way to escape the demands of society by creating an excuse to flee to the country. One has a dissolute younger brother and the other an aggravating friend who always needs to be sorted out. Using this ruse gets them a ready excuse to retreat to the country and escape the tedious social demands of the London season. In this country life, they also rename themselves "Earnest" to complete this change of personality. Problems come up with the women in their lives who love the name "Earnest" and have nothing but contempt for their real names. From these seeds of a plot, the humor begins.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is always a good story for Halloween. It has to be read slowly in order to gain the true effect. I used the LibriVox recording and it was wonderful. The reader has the perfect voice to create the right kind of atmosphere. I intend to use it for Homeschool and I think I will use the LibriVox version for my granddaughter instead of letting her just read it.

The story is of a rather foppish New England schoolmaster who has high hopes of winning the hand of the daughter of a wealthy land owner with whom he has stayed with while being housed in turn amongst the local community. He spends much time looking over the countryside and imagining the time when it would all belong to him. His way was not clear though. A bruising young Dutchman named Brom Van Brunt also has his eye on the lovely Katrina Van Tassel and it is not clear if she bestows her attention on the schoolmaster because she truly considers him a suitor or if she is trying to make young Brom Bones jealous.

On of the more enjoyable past times of the community was to tell old tales, especially that of the Hessian soldier who rides through the hills carrying his head in his arm. At the end of such a gathering of villagers during which the story of the Headless Horseman was told to great effect, the schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, found himself having to pass through the same covered bridge in which the Hessian was often seen. Not being a very courageous at the best of times, Ichabod becomes terribly alarmed and the result of his journey becomes another chapter in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Ludwig Conspiracy

The Ludwig ConspiracyThe Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Pötzsch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and will probably read it again some time. I visited Bavaria a number of years ago and saw the castles, so it was easy to picture the setting. I also did a lot of research about Prince Ludwig II just because he was an interesting and complex person. He is Germany's most famous king and he actually helped the country in providing work for the people surrounding the castles when they were built and in the present. Thousands of people visit these castles and immerse themselves in his legend providing the German government with a substantial income.

Before I read the book I had already formed the opinion that he was an artist and a dreamer and totally unsuited for the militaristic government that was being formed around him. It is sad that he was overthrown because he continued to build castles that he couldn't afford. The militaristic German governments have cost the German people so much more, both in money and in lives.

This work of fiction is based on the idea that there was a diary kept by someone loyal and close to Prince Ludwig and that the diary told the real story of his death. What was interesting is that this fictional journal was written in the same shorthand that Samuel Pepys used for his diary and Pepys' journal was untranslated for 200 years. The main characters are trying not only to translate the diary, but also to follow a code interspersed between the chapters.

I can sympathize with the main characters because my family was left with more than 1,000 old family letters and some of them were written by my grandfather and his brother. They both learned a form of shorthand in college and it is no longer used. It's frustrating to look at those letters and not be able to read them, especially because there is a family mystery about why my great uncle suddenly left school and those letters probably refer to it.

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Friday, October 03, 2014

Love Over Scotland (44 Scotland Street, #3

Love Over Scotland (44 Scotland Street, #3)Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is another visit with the characters in and around 44 Scotland Street in Edinburgh and are introduced to two new and very promising characters; a very shady character from Glasgow who is a special friend of Bertie's and anthropologist Domenica Macdonald's friend who has come to stay in her flat while she is studying pirates. In this book we find Bertie managing to rebel against his horrid mother a little more with the help of his father. He also manages to get loose in Paris to his intense delight, and manages very well. Bruce sells his flat and Pat has to find someplace new to life which manages to usher in the "love" over Scotland Street, but not in the way she imagines.

I love these books because they charming without being trite. Smith has a wonderful way of creating characters that are real and likable even with all their faults. I feel like I am catching up with old friends and when I finish a book, I feel a real sense of sadness. I find myself wanting to know how they think and feel about my world and I find myself changing because of some of the subtle bits of philosophy that resonate with me.

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