Sunday, September 19, 2010

Poison: A Novel of the Renaissance by Sara Poole

Poison: A Novel of the RenaissancePoison: A Novel of the Renaissance  - When Francesca Giordano’s father, the Poisoner for the Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, is murdered, she applies for the position herself. Having studied under her father she is skilled with both detecting poisons and creating undetectable poison. Navigating the deadly world of 15th Century Rome, she and Borgia plot to kill Pope Innocent VIII before he can set the Inquisitor loose on the Jews of Europe.
This historical novel had a little bit of everything. A bit of a mystery, a bit of romance and a lots of historical detail that made this debut novel a fun engaging read. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another kitten post....

I was going to try not to blog about the kittens very often but what the heck, they are cute and they make me smile.

Anyway, one of my duties is to name my little foster kittens.  Since the calico is a Hemingway kitten I was thinking that she should have a Hemingway related name. She is a really feisty little thing and she plays so much I am having trouble getting her to put on weight. She is also super cuddly and bendy. When the kittens play, every so often she has to run over to me to get petted or cuddled before she goes back out to play some more. She also is the one who is constantly checking to see what I am doing and is into everything. Since the kittens first adoption event is Friday I can't do my usual and wait for the kittens to tell me what their name is. Below are some of the possible choices. Feedback or other alternatives are welcomed.

Hemingway’s Women:
Hadley Richardson – 1st wife
Pauline Pfeiffer; - 2nd wife
Martha Gellhorn – 3rd wife
Mary Welsh Hemingway – 4th wife
Grace Hall-Hemingway – his mother
Agnes von Kurowsky – first love who jilted him
Lady Brett Ashley – character in The Sun Also Rises
Margot Macomber – character in The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
Catherine Barkley - character in A Farewell to Arms
Maria - character in For Whom the Bell Tolls
Pilar – his boat

Emily Dickinson
Simone De Beauvoir
Nikki Adams
Audrey Hepburn
Joan Crawford
Gertrude Stein
Sofia Loren

Since the rescue group is treating these two like siblings, they want me to name them either something related or something that starts with the same letter. I thought of naming the little male cat Ernest Hemingway but he is so laid back (well, laid back for a kitten) that I am not sure Hemingway fits him. He is also a bit more independent and willing to be on his own than the female is. He also is a purring machine.

Hemingway characters:
Jacob Barnes - character in The Sun Also Rises
Santiago - character in The Old Man and the Sea
Lieutenant Frederic Henry - character in A Farewell To Arms
Robert Jordan - character in For Whom the Bell Tolls
Hemingway cats:
Hairy Truman
Archibald MacLeish
Spencer Tracy
Pablo Picasso
Charley Chaplin

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Last week I started volunteering with a new organization that Average Jane introduced me to.  I volunteer or give money to other organizations that work with animals but I have not been able to work with the animals in a meaningful way. Most of them desperately need volunteers who are willing to do intake interviews or billing and because I work in public service I tend to get funneled into these jobs. This is fine and I am happy to do whatever is needed for a charity I support, however I really like to do something completely different during my volunteer experiences.  Yes, I would be great at literacy based projects, helping people learn computer skills and customer service but sometimes I want to do something a little different from what I do during a day job.

Therefore, I have just become a foster mom for T.A.R.A and taken charge of my first two fur babies. I will keep them until they are ready to join the rest of the animals at the adoption center. This will hopefully work to my advantage because a) I am a sucker for baby animals and b) I have already promised my older cat there will be no more kittens joining our family while she is alive (not even this one). She barely survived the arrival of Spike and I don't think she could handle another permanent cat in her world. Hopefully, the kittens will cycle through fast enough to keep me from becoming overly attached or her having too much interaction with them. 

 Notice that the calico kitten has six toes.  She is a little Hemingway kitten.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Butterfly Swords (Harlequin Historical)Princess Ai Li is on the way to her arranged marriage when she learns the truth about her powerful new husband-to-be. During her daring escape, foreigner Ryam, comes to her aide and helps her to flee. As they are pursued across Tang Dynasty China, Ai Li and Ryam find that some things are worth fighting for. 

This is a great example of a romance with star-crossed lovers who must battle family, tradition, honor and themselves before true love can prevail.  The unusual setting and the cast of strong women made this story memorable.