Monday, January 02, 2012

True Blue and randomness

Smiley, Jane. True Blue. (Sequel to The Georges and the Jewels and A Good Horse)
Abby Lovitt’s family lives on a California ranch in the 1960s. When a friend who runs a stable ends up with the horse belonging to a woman killed in a car accident, she offers the horse and its fittings to Abby, who gladly takes them. True Blue is a good horse, and well-trained, though apt to spook. The horse is a good addition to the family’s stables, and Abby gives lessons and goes to school, but is plagued by the ghost of the dead owner. Abby imagines seeing this ghost all over the farm. Abby breaks her arm, the family suffers some illnesses, but the activities of the stable continue and eventually Abby realizes there is no ghost.
Strengths: Don’t know how I missed this series, but will definitely be buying it. I have had a few girls who really like horses, and most of my horse books are really old! I really enjoyed the Elaine Clayton illustrations.
Weaknesses: The ghost story is rather weak, and the 1960s setting doesn’t really add anything to the story. There were also too many church details for my taste-- they slowed down the story.

Brocket, Jane. The Gentle Art of Domesticity.
Okay. Really, I was looking at a catalog for middle grade books and saw Spotty, Stripy, Swirly. Since I am always looking for good nonfiction, I investigated further at my public library (which didn't have any of the Jane Brock's Clever Concept Books from Lerner at all.) and found this. Which I had to have, for no particularly good professional reason.

I enjoyed it, but it made me feel a little bad. I've been quilting for 30 years, and knitting for 43 and could have done a blog like Yarnstorm and earned my living doing fun things like knitting tea cozies. Or, at the very least, have had a better blog name. Man. One of my big regrets.

I realized that I spend a HUGE amount of time reading, to the exclusion of doing the crossword, caring what the house looks like once it is clean and clutter free, talking to my children, and knitting.

So I knit a sweater for Sylvie. Really, it's only practical. When you are that low to the ground, if it snows, you end up with icy armpits.


  1. Anonymous2:08 PM EST

    Oh the sweater. Our wee dog, Kanga is up for a trim. I do believe she will want a new sweater too!

  2. I like books like The Gentle Art of Domesticity too. I am not sure I would want to blog about crafty things, though I enjoy doing them.

    Sylvie looks wonderful in her new sweater and I hope she stays nice and toasty warm in it.

  3. And if you had done a knitting blog, then where would we all be without you? Oh, and since random is on order today, I can say how much I like the book tree design header. Very nice.

  4. If you're looking for more contemporary horse stories, I'd go for Chris Platt's books - contemporary stories, just enough drama, lots of horses, nice covers.

  5. Oh, I know what you mean about The Gentle Art. I started a craft blog in 2004 and it seems as if everyone else who started that year (and kept up with bloggin) has at least one book out now. Jane Brocket even has a couple of children's book-related books out there--she's a triple threat!

    Also, I really like Sylvie's sweater. I think you have your priorities in order.

  6. I wish someone could knit that well for me!

  7. Adorable! She looks like she is very proud. Great book reviews. I am always looking for great books for boys and my

  8. That's a great looking sweater. Is it hard to get it on the dog, or does she appreciate it?

  9. Oh my goodness! How adorable is that sweater and the sweetheart it cuddles?! Love so much! Also, glad to read your review of True Blue. I read The Georges and the Jewels and found much to enjoy (although your criticism of TB seems to fit that book as well). Still, love me a good horse story. Thanks!

  10. your doggy sweater made me think of a book i saw in passing the other day: Men who knit & the dogs who love them: 30 great-looking designs for man and his best friend; it's by Annie Modesitt and Drew Emborsky. matching sweaters for owner and pup!