This beautiful Swan family spent most of last summer on our lawn. We named the male, Norman and the female is Mrs Norman. (I think an overdose of sun and vodka had gotten to us!)
The attraction was an abundance of saltines, their snack of choice.  We used to have Turkeys who snacked on bagels, but they treated the yard like their personal bathroom so they were evicted. When one crashed through a window it was time for them to move on.
The cygnets are probably young adults by now and we anticipate a new Swan family looking for a saltine fix come Spring. It's been a bleak winter but  happily, the days are getting longer. 

Here's a brief preview of new titles by two well known authors and two first time authors.


Calico Joe by John Grisham

A surprising novel about the careers of two baseball players on the field and off. This novel is a real departure for John Grisham who favors courtroom dramas and lawyer angst. 
This has been labeled a surprising novel of fathers and sons set in the world of Major League Baseball.

In the summer of 1973 Joe Calico was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen until a fastball changed his life forever...and his Dad's.
If you enjoyed The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, this book is for you. 
The release date is April 10th.

                                                                        The Expats by Chris Pavone

This impressive thriller by first time novelist Cris Pavone is said to be a riviting and complex spy story.
Lots of suspense, surprise, and plot twists focusing on a compelling female protagonist. 
Fans of John Le Carre and Robert Ludlum will welcome this exciting spy thriller. Be ready for lots of plot twists and double crosses.

March 6th is the release date. 

Buy any book on this blog directly from the AMAZON SEARCHBOX 
located in the sidebar or click on an image when indicated.

                                              The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

This is a debut novel by Roberta Rich that was highly praised by a blog follower. It was released in paperback recently and tells the story of a midwife in the Jewish ghetto of Venice in 1875.
The story is rich with historical detail combined with suspense, drama and unforgettable characters.
Besides the intricasies of the tale itself, there are details about midwifery and the constant intolerance between Christians and Jews.
The book may feel a little one dimensional but it's a page turner.

              MUDWOMAN  by Joyce Carol Oates
I am a fan of Joyce Carol Oates and have read most of her books. Her newest novel will be released the end of March but reviewers have already called it "extraordinarily intense, racking, and resonant."  MUDWOMAN explores the  story of a woman cracking the glass ceiling at enormous personal cost. 
As president of an Ivy League college committed to her career she is confronted with challenges that test her in ways she could never had imagined. The plot mixes the real and the imagined culminating in a powerful story of love, mystery and power.

                          WATCH OUT! BOOK ALERT.....

This post focuses on a new book that is slowly and steadfastly moving up the ranks. It has not made any lists yet, but watch is definetly on the move.

Heft by Liz Moore

Arthur Opp is "colosally fat." He has not left his house in a decade, has not worked for eighteeen years and has lost all connections with his family. For over two decades he has had one tenuous lifeline with a former student who was unknowingly the center of rumors that ended his career. The prospect of renewing that friendship and revealing his decline leads to a haunting tale. There are many flawed characters in this story and the author brings them to life in all their quirkiness. Ultimately HEFT is about transformation and acceptance..a good combination. The New York Times  gave this book an excellent review.

REMINDER: Click on the AMAZON SEARCHBOX in the sidebar to order now!


  1. Hi - a new book blog! I just saw your post on and thought I'd say hi. Comments come and go. The important part is to keep posting on a regular basis, stumble, tweet and post on Facebook and keep getting out there.

    I am inviting people to join my ongoing Follow the Leader blog hop. Link up here:

  2. Seems like you've already hit on the biggest secret in blogging - 'friend' and comment on other people's blog and most will return the favour. The best way to find like-minded blogs is to troll through sites like Book Blogs, Linky, Google and any other blog groups that are suitable to you (ie I've joined a couple of Australian blogger groups)
    PS I love your page design....very familier!!