I'm starting with the best first, because Facebook always uses the first photo as the thumbnail. So, when I start with the worst first, it looks like I'm endorsing a book I don't like.
I very much loved this mash-up of fairytales retold as one romantic adventure. Similar to Jessica Day George, Alethea Kontis weaves together the tales of the Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, the Princess and the Pea and more in her novel, Enchanted.
Our heroine, Sunday, is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, all of them named for the "Monday's child is fair of face...etc" nursery rhyme. Gifted or cursed with the ability that anything she writes comes true, Sunday tries only to write about things that have already happened. Trouble is no one in her family wants to read their own history, that's where her new friend Grumble comes in. Grumble is a frog. Well, he used to be a man, but now he's a frog and he's Sunday's best friend...until he's more than that...and then one day he's gone.
You'll have to read the rest yourself.
Speaking of Jessica Day George, Susan received the third installment of The Princesses of Westfalin trilogy, Princess of the Silver Woods. Another mash-up, this time it's Little Red Riding Hood and some more about the Twelve Dancing Princesses. The Twelve Princesses are all sisters, and they're all named after flowers. Each installment has a different princess as the main focus, but each sister is still in the story. I'm just too confused about which flower princess had which adventure and is married to which hero. I didn't read the books in order and it's been too long since I read the last one. Don't let my dementia stop you though. Even with the large cast and my confusion, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
This is the edition I wanted to get Lucy, but it was backordered, and didn't match the other titles, so below is the edition she got.
We watched You've Got Mail during Advent. I love old Meg Ryan movies and it's sort of Christmassy. It would have been a great family movie, save the multiple references to "cyber-sex." sigh.
There's a memorable scene that inspired me to watch it again after all these years. The scene is when former indie bookstore owner, Kathleen, goes to the Children's Department at the mega-store, Fox Books. She overhears a customer asking about the "shoe books." The mega-store employee has no clue, but Kathleen tearfully steps in and shares the titles, the author, and the order in which they should be read.
So, lacking any inspiration for a book for Lucy for Christmas, I ordered the "shoe books" for her. I, myself owned Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild once upon a time. I remember liking it, but feeling woefully untalented as the main characters are adopted sisters who each have a unique and incredible talent in different areas of the arts, which you can infer from the other titles in the series, Theatre Shoes, Skating Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Party Shoes, etc.
If Noel wrote a book about me, it would be Shopping Shoes or Reading Shoes or Eating Shoes. Probably not Eating Shoes, seeing as there's a double-meaning there.
Lucy read Ballet Shoes. She says, "It was interesting to learn about the life of young performers and what the stage was like in the early part of the 20th century." I had to press her for that quote. I had asked her to do a guest post and that idea went over like a lead balloon. She also said, "I liked it." Turns out, Ballet Shoes is a Reading Counts book at an 8th grade level, so she got credit at school too. Those books are hard to find.
Okay, this picture should have been the first. Easily one of my favorite books of all time, you may think Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder is all about how shoes are made, or how to make head cheese, or harvesting, or cutting ice, or breaking oxen, or making bobsleds, or eating ham and other pork products, and butter, and multiple types of pie each day.
Well, that's not even the half of it. Farmer Boy is wonderfully told stories about how when Father sold the colts and it was too late to go to the bank, they almost got robbed that night. But a stray dog that they had fed protected them! And about how Mean Bill Ritchie and the bad boys that MURDERED the teacher last year get thrashed by the young new teacher. And the time Almanzo got hit in the eye with steaming hot potato. And how Almanzo and his sibs ate the WHOLE BARREL of sugar during the one week his parents were out of town. Don't forget the part where Almanzo gets into a fist fight with his (jerk) cousin, Frank, on Christmas Day! Or how he found a pocketbook in the road containing $1500.
We just finished listening to the audio book over the weekend. Would you believe sixteen year-old Peter was the one who kept asking to listen to it? I've raised him to have good taste in stories.
Speaking of Peter, he and Susan are leaving tomorrow bright and early for the March for Life in Washington DC this Friday. The Chef and I both went when we were in high school, and I'm glad they have the opportunity to do so as well. I'll be praying for them and all the pilgrims who are marching on Washington this Friday, and as a Mother Hen, I'd appreciate it if you joined me. As Baby J would say, "Fanks."