Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Books n' Bloggers Swap Reveal

When Chaotic Goddess Swaps announced another Books n' Bloggers Swap, I knew I wanted to do this.  Last time was such a blast.  This time my package was such a pleasure.  I loved hanging out at Kaylee's Blog Home...Chair in the Shade.  I love her creativity and enjoyed seeing her sewing projects.  She is such an enjoyable blogger.  I loved the fact she is from Wisconsin.  I would love to have an opportunity to hear her speak because I wonder if she has that wonderful Wisconsin accent.  *smile*  I love accents.  We both have similar taste in books which made it great to shop for.  Kaylee you did an outstanding job and so many extras.  Thank you!

You know what?  February is my favorite month and to have the mailing and reveals this month is even more pleasurable.  Now on to the actual reveal. {Please forgive my photography.  Night is not the best light but it is all I have to work with to get my post up in time.  I plan to go back and re-take my photos this weekend and post better photos.}

My complete gift packet.  Kaylee wrapped each book individually and I was so excited to get a picture but my more excited two and half year old grandson made a surprise visit and remembered how fun Christmas was and started to unwrap prior to my camera getting out.  Who can blame him?  It was exciting to see.
Kaylee sent the cutest post card with all the little puppies.  I had a hard time making Taj leave it alone.  He loves all types of animals.  She also gave me an adorable packet of Kleenex I will keep in my purse.  She said it was "In case you cry."  Hmm...I must have some great books in store for me. 
Oh, here is my favorite extra goodie.  A book marker I am assuming she made.  I feel bad because my pictures are awful.  She made a paisley lady.  I love the details she added in it.  I am not sure if I really want to use it as a book marker or who knows, I might frame it.  It is frame worthy! 

In case I was hungry she sent a Spicy Aztec Chocolate Bar.  It is made of dark chocolate, cayenne, pumpkin seed.  A very spicy dark chocolate.  I had to cheat and take a sample of one square.  It was very good.

Now on to the books:  One she thought I would enjoy.  In The Garden Of Beasts: Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson. 
GoodRead Synopsis:  The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the surprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror

*EECK!!!  I am so excited to read this one*

A book she read:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
GoodReads Synopsis: Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.

As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story.

Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets... and the ghosts that haunt them still.  

*OH!!! Sounds so Interesting!*

A book on my list:  The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
GoodReads Synopsis: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

*I just cannot wait to read this one!* 

Miss Angie and Beth, thank you so much for hosting this Swap.  Kaylee, thank you so much for my collection.  It really was a wonderful pick me up and you very much spoiled me. 



  1. I loved the 13th tale! I hope you do too.

  2. Kaylee is an awesome swapper and blogger...and so are you! I'm so glad we got to pair you two up (frankly, Miss Angie did an AMAZING job pairing folks for this swap). Those books all sound intriguing, and I love the art she made for you (I'd frame it!) AND Lake Champlain chocolate....I'm jealous! ;)

  3. "the Snow Child" sort of reminds me of that movie, The Odd Life Of Timothy Greene... you know, the one where they accidentally planted a little boy and he grew in their garden?

  4. Those look like such great books! Thanks for joining us love!

  5. Glad your package got there safe and sound, and that Taj could unwrap them for you. I can't take credit for the bookmark. I actually got it in a little gift shop about an hour from here. The lady there said it was a local artist but I can't remember her name. I have a feeling all three of yours may involve tears. I know I cried while reading "The Thirteenth Tale" and reading the back of the other two, it seems there could be some sad parts.

    You did a great job picking my books! I think they all sound great and still don't know which one I want to read first. Oh, and no need to fear that I already had any of them, I didn't. So, thank you so much!

    It's been great getting to know you through the swap!

  6. Jolene, I'm so horrible…I'm just now getting around to visiting everyone's reveals!!! :/
    In The Garden of Beasts gave me nightmares. And The Thirteenth Tale is wonderful. We're reading her latest Bookman & Black for my church's book club.
    I got Snow Child for Christmas. Let's read it together!



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