If you would like to learn more about Jennifer Wilson, check out her website here.
Lissy Marlin is an award winning illustrator and character designe from the Dominican Republic. She has worked on many projects and has illustrated on a plethora of titles. Learn more about this fantastic artist here.
Soaring in Style is the little known side story of Amelia Earhart. This story not only tells the tale of her becoming a woman pioneer of aviation, but also a pioneer of women’s fashion. It details the motivation behind the aviation icon and what drove her into fashion design.
Soaring in Style is a simple story for young girls 8-10 years old. It describes the hardships that women endured in the early 1900’s in a man’s world. Although the story is uncomplicated, it is inspiring for young girls who want to chase their dreams. Amelia Earhart not only breaks down barriers in the aviation industry, but she bucks the system in women’s clothing design as well.
Although I knew quit-a-bit about Amelia the aviator, I had no knowledge of Amelia, the designer. This book introduces a whole new dimension to the aviation icon.
Soaring in Style is brilliantly illustrated. Lissy Marlin’s use of color and design is breathtaking. The images may be simplistic in nature, but they are provocative, they describe the story well and they are just the right type for young audiences.
Let’s Go On A Hike, by Katrina Liu is currently free-to-read on KindleUnlimited. Discover all the wonders of nature with this beautifully illustrated book all about a little boy on a hike with his dad, mom, and Archie, the corgi. Great for children ages 2 to 8.
True West magazine, in 2011 and 2013, named Boessenecker Best Nonfiction Writer. He received a prestigious Spur award from Western Writers of America and Best Book award from Westerners International. He has appeared frequently as a historical commentator on PBS, The History Channel, A&E, and other media.
John Boessenecker breathed new life into an old case; the case of Lillie N. Davy known by the noms de guerre of Pearl Hart. Drawing upon his research skills, he’s removed the fallacies, the myths, the lies and revealed in extraordinary detail the life and times of Pearl Hart. She was one of the most notorious late 19th Century female criminals of the old West. Pearl was a cross-dressing female with a flare for making herself incognito when the need arose. Her endless dalliances with numerous men doesn’t mark her as unique however, her need to control situations was unique for a woman of that time. At a period in history where women were meant to be housebound homemakers; meek, submissive, barefoot and pregnant; Pearl railed against the expected norms and challenged the mores of the time.
What John Boessenecker has presented in Wildcat is the unoccluded view of a female recidivist from child to adulthood. His research is as exceptional as it is detailed and he comingles them into a completely engrossing narrative. Boessenecker artfully recounts Pearl’s story from her parents brief courtship to her birth and on. He details ad infinitum her early years as the daughter of an indigent, semi-literate, workshy child molester and petty criminal in Canada. We follow her itinerant lifestyle across many years and locations culminating with the pinnacle of her criminal enterprise; a coach robbery.
Throughout the book we discover Pearl’s life of bitter poverty, abuse, and abysmal parenting culminating in a damaged woman bereft of morals, dignity or honesty. Like many women in those historic days, she was often forced to make difficult decisions just to survive. After viewing her circumstances in the round one cannot help but be sympathetic.
Boessenecker reveals the uncompromising world that Pearl lived in and the uncompromising woman that it birthed. From his detailed accounts, she owned the ‘Wildcat’ nickname. She lived life her own way, loved risk taking and took the punishment where she found it. She was intelligent and ‘street smart,’ a potent combination for an erstwhile career criminal.
Living in a time where women rarely left the home once they were betrothed and were kept in check by societal and socio-cultural norms, Pear turned the world on its head to live her own way. She seamlessly integrates into the criminal underclass not as a woman, but as a boy and later a man. She would alter her outer appearance by cutting her hair and affecting a manly stride. She was often found in the company of the criminal class sharing or gleaning useful information for future criminal activities. Peal, we discover, took things to a whole new level when she began utilizing firearms. Weapons that no doubt added to her sense of safety and security, especially due to the company she would often keep.
She is such an outrageous character, that it is amazing that her story has been lost in time until now. It seems strange that she is forgotten but characters like Big Nose Kate still hold a semblance of allure for many Western History fans. If I were to compare the two, I would say that Pearl’s story has far more impact than the latter.
The review of Wildcat would not be complete without mentioning Katy Davy, Pearl’s younger sister. An outrageous character every bit as unique as her older sibling. Katy Davy, who used the sobriquets of Millie Davy has an incredible nerve and was talented physically and mentally. Both sisters were, without-a-doubt, survivors; Katy even more so. At thirty-six-years-old, in the 1890’s, Katy became an ascensionist and a descensionist. She took a rest from being a fille de joie started parachuting from a balloon at a thousand feet. Following a near fatal accident she retired, but not for too long. The many tales of prison escapes, her years as a teenage madam and rescuing her husband from prison, Katy appears to have an unending skill in creative problem solving. They sisters even made it into Cosmopolitan magazine, the nations most popular women’s publication at that time. The sisters were walking contradictions for women of their time.
John Boessenecker’s writing style is compelling from the very beginning. His research is second to none, and his narrative is fascinating throughout.
The book is entertaining, inspiring, alarming and touching in equal measure. The main characters are mentally re-created. Boessenecker did an exceptional job in breathing life back into the long dead. He avoided tainting the account with his own opinions and simply reported the facts previously occluded by time, myth, disinformation and lies. Overall, John Boessenecker created a fair illustration of the characters, the time period and the environment in which they lived. He’s managed to inject new life in the antics and life of Pearl Hart and her sister. It is a superior read. Some of the material discussed will remain with you long after you have read it.
I highly recommend Wildcat to all adults and children over the age of sixteen. It is entertaining, heartbreaking, outrageous and so much more in-between. If you enjoy reading about true survivors of extreme circumstances, look no further because Wildcat is the story of two consummate survivors.
Wildcat will resonate with you if you are an avid reader of Western History of the United States, Criminal Biographies or Women in History. This it is a rip-roaring tale. You know that if Pearl were alive today, she would be down at Cancún during Spring Break doing whatever she wants whilst engaging in some nefarious activity. You are left with the feeling that she was mad, bad and dangerous to know, but that she was also probably huge fun.
Why not give it a read yourself? Be prepared, it’s quite a ride; remember to hold on to your hat!
Rating: 4 out of 5.
I would like to thank John Boessenecker, Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West’s Most Notorious Woman.
#Artist & Architect Biographies, #Art History (Books), #Great Britain History (Books)
Franny Moyleis the author of The King’s Painter. She is a Cambridge educated art historian and biographer.
The King’s Painter: The Life of Hans Holbeinwritten by Franny Moyle is a long-awaited full biography of the great German Artisan. Moyle presents her research and analysis into his life, times and work. Moyle posits that Holbein was arguably the greatest renaissance Master painter in Northern Europe with a wide repertoire during the 1530’s until his death. Holbein was exalted by his peers as comparable to the German artist Albright Dürer and indeed there are some similarities in their style of painting. Nicholas Bourbon compared him to Apelles of Kos. Others have described him as a multifaceted genius, humanist, political propagandist and a satirist. A man who’s deft work consisted of loosely concealed symbolism and allusion, hidden in plain sight. Moyle’s focuses upon the period of Holbein’s life from the 1520s until his death and the administration of his will.
The King’s Painter begins with the unique and close relationships that Hans Holbein enjoyed with King Henry Vlll of England. Holbein is at the height of his power, and his talent was known around Northern Europe. He was arguably the most notable painter in Europe during the Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England.
The book begins in the 1530s; Holbein was an exalted artist enjoying the fruits of his labors. He had a wealthy clientele, fame and riches; all forged on his talent of creating realistic likenesses for his patrons. Such was his success that he was one of the few who could engage with King Henry Vlll in private, a very rare honor indeed.
The gravitas of Holbein’s fame as Northern Europe’s most heralded painter comes into stark contrast when one considers his contemporaries. His peers during the period were: Leonardo da Vinciwho was working in France at the time; Michelangelowho was painting the Sistine Chapel for Pope Paul lll; and the Venetian artist Titian da Cadore, also know as Tiziano Vecelli,, who was creating work for King Charles V The Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria.
Hans Holbein the Younger worked during some of the most tumultuous times in history. Times that were resplendent with great artists. His work was held in the highest esteem due to the verisimilitude of his portraits. He was respected and valued by the political elite, religious, and other connoisseurs.
It is difficult for us to imagine today just how popular Holbein’s art was during the late 16th Century’s European Renaissance period. When he released a new work, there was a frisson of excitement so powerful it was palpable. Holbein’s projects were considered to be a luxury. At a time before modern photographic processes, his paintings were seen as a way of passing down your visage to history and your decedents. At no time since Apelles had an artist been so able to depict his subjects with unfettered verismo.
By the end of Holbein’s life, he had accrued wealth and notoriety. Moyles posited that his sad demise was due to the plague. However, the absence of an identifiable resting place or his remains leave us with an enduring mystery.
The King’s Painter is a detailed history of 16th Century England, the Monarch Henry VIII and a testimony to the verisimilitude of the portraits painted by Holbein. Moyles book will be popular with those interested in; Hans Holbein the Younger, art history and those who wish to understand Holbein’s work through the context of his life and times. The King’s Painter is an authoritative dive into Hans Holbein’s past. It enlightens those of us who are fortunate to still enjoy the great artists work today.
The King’s Painter is not a gallery book filled with images of either the artist or his works. Instead, Moyle has produced an academic examination of Hans Holbein, his associations and challenges. Moyles writing is exceptional and she maintains the readers attention with her deft narrative.
The King’s Painter is engaging, entertaining, informative and accomplished. The subject is handled masterfully and is impeccably researched. There are extensive and detailed Notes for each chapter and in addition a short, Selected Bibliography. The King’s Painter proved to be an addictive read.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I would like to thank Franny Moyle, Abrams Press, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review The King’s Painter: The Life of Hans Holbein.
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Butch Cassidy, The Story of an American Outlaw is a historical look into the one of the Wild West’s most notorious outlaws. The book covers Robert Leroy Parker’s origins thru his infamous career and eventual death.
Robert, aka Butch, was born into a Mormon family in Utah. He grew up in poverty, but was said to be a charismatic soul. Born on Friday the 13th of April, 1866 as the first born to Maximilian and Ann Parker. During his early years, his father was gone a lot working a variety of jobs to support the growing family. This left Robert largely unsupervised; he had a dozen younger siblings that needed looking after.
Robert was a natural showman and incredibly intelligent. He organized kiddie rodeos, built rafts and gave rides. He got some chickens drunk for the amusement of his family, etc. As an outlaw, he planned his robberies and escapes with precision and engineering. He pioneered the relay escape…..he would station fresh horses along his escape route, so he and the gang would be able to transition to fresh mounts and outrun any possie.
As Robert began his working career, he bounced between outlawing and cowboying. He was such a charismatic man, that ranch owners stood by him even though they knew he was an outlaw. Butch never stole from the people he worked for nor the patrons in any bank or on a train. He only wanted the money from the big companies and the Banks.
As Butch’s notoriety grew, it became increasingly dangerous to remain in the United States. Eventually, he had to move to South America where he went straight for several years. Circumstances forced him to try again at outlawing, but he and Sundance paid the ultimate price in the end.
Overall, I enjoyed Butch Cassidy, The Story of an American Outlaw. The historical look into the American West was fascinating and intriguing. Charles Leerhsen obviously did a lot of research for this book. He covers Butch’s life in detail and brings the notorious character to life.
Some of the distractions, I found, were the authors liberties. The book is interposed with innuendo and the authors guesses. I prefer my historical books to be factual and backed by proofs, not supposition. The whole line of Butch’s supposed sexuality was a great distractor for me. Also, the constant comparing of the real life of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with the movie version did not add anything but pages.
If you can filter out all the unnecessary movie comparisons, the innuendos, the authors liberties; then this is a great book. The actual historical and factual information contained within the pages is an eye-opening experience into life in the Historical West.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
I would like to thankCharles Leerhsen, Netgalley, and Simon & Schuster for affording me the opportunity to review Butch Cassidy, The Story of an American Outlaw.
I would say that this work has a universal appeal.
Katherine Keith is epic and so is her manuscript. In a world where people breakdown or have a conniption-fit if their phone runs out of power there are others; extraordinary, resilient, talented, survivors that put the rest of us to shame. Whilst most of us consider we have had a bad day if we miss a phone call or a connection at the airport; this woman deals with exceptional challenges and never fails to meet them head on.
Katherine takes us on a journey from her most formative years as an adolescent and on to her 20’s. Partly forgotten memories emerge and create dissonance that she combats through the implementation of superhuman physical challenges. She tries to rein in her early experiences against the back drop of mountains, wild rivers, and valleys.
At 21 years old Katherine moved to Alaska and performed several jobs before finding her reason to remain. Happiness is fleeting, and an accident leads her to dig deep and change her circumstance. Coping with deep-seated loss, she seeks to drive away the overwhelming sadness with training; ultimately competing in the Iron Man Race and in several triathlons. Practical problems require practical solutions and we are there along for the ride as Keith uses academia to elevate herself substantially, economically, and psychologically. She endures through pilot training and engine malfunctions to earn her private pilot certificate.
One cannot help but feel inadequate for all that this woman achieves through sheer brute determination and personal application. Set against all the trials and tribulations is Keith’s passion for the wilderness and its solitude. In the wilds facing down the elements, living on the edge, and racing across the environment you feel she is the freest.
Interspersed through the book are Keith’s recollections of her Endurance Dog Sled Races. These races include: the Yukon Quest, the Iditarod, the Kobuk 400, and the Kuskokwim 300. They occurred during a period that spanned from 2012 to 2017 set against numerous and increasingly destructive personal experiences.
I am filled with admiration for Katherine Keith’s ability to get up again and again and continue fighting. She is all the more exceptional as she was also a single parent with all the responsibility that brings.
Her spiritual beliefs she found to be irreplaceable. When times were at their worst, she gained solace in their tenants. We are left in no doubt that without her core beliefs she would have had to struggle even harder to survive.
I have no reluctance in recommending this book to you. Katherine Keith’s tale is genuinely epic, as is the woman herself. After all the adversity, grief, heartache, misery and misfortune Katherine has never given up on her goals. She is currently working her way to climb 7 Summits in 3 years.
They are as follows:
Puncak Jaya [AKA Mt. Koscuiuszko]
When she isn’t planning the next adventure, she can be found working in her company with John Baker, owners of Remote Solutions, LLC based in the town of Kotzebue, Alaska. They provide the community with essential project management support and design tailored for remote communities.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
My sincere thanks go out to: NetGalley, the Author, Katherine Keith, Blackstone Publishing (2020) for affording me the opportunity to review; Epic Solitude.
Norman 2: The True Story of a Possessed Doll’s Revenge
Llewellyn Publications (September 8, 2020)
Stephen Lancaster is a self-proclaimed phenomenologist and has been involved in the field of paranormal research since 1997. In 2010 he became an author; chronicling his experiences investigating the paranormal.
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?
The target audience for this publication is all those who have an interest in the paranormal and horror stories.
Norman 2 is the sequel to Norman: The Doll That Needed to Be Locked Away. The earlier publication introduced Norman, a doll that the author and his wife discovered in a store. An ominous comment from the store owner piqued Lancaster’s interest, and he bought the doll and took it home. All too quickly, Stephen Lancaster claims, Norman began performing for his new audience. Almost immediately, sinister occurrences began to take place that forced him to utilize cameras to capture footage of the paranormal happenings. The author claims to have extensive footage relating to the possessed doll. The Lancaster’s lives become a nightmare that escalated exponentially over time. Eventually provoking the author to place the doll in a vacant room in an attempt to assuage the temper of Norman the doll.
It is now two years later and Norman 2 continues the haunting tale. As the saying goes, sensational claims require sensational proof and that seems to be where the wheels come of this project. I am only too aware that paranormal investigators claim that their methods are based in science but that just isn’t so. The scientific method requires a number of things: for example, the experiment is repeatable producing the same result. In addition, it must be possible for your peers to replicate the same experiment and attempt to prove your theory wrong. In the paranormal world it is impossible to find irrefutable proof derived from the scientific method.
In Norman 2 Lancaster attempts to prove with visual evidence the voracity of his claims. I remain skeptical as I felt the events described fell short of proof of paranormal occurrences.
Lancaster recounts various disturbing situations including a seemingly spontaneous fire claimed to have been created by Norman in its room. There are instances of exaggerations or sensational claims that reduce, rather than increase the probity of the claims. The telling of the story reminded me of the over elaboration of a bad liar. I came to the uncomfortable conclusion that I was being lied to.
Throughout the book there were examples of repetition, misspellings and an amateurish writing style. This devalued the trope almost as much as the outlandish claims themselves. The work could have been far more concise and measured. I found myself being less subjective in part due to the lack of skilled writing, language, grammar, and vocabulary.
If the family are so afraid of the doll it seems odd that they should wish to continue to house it in their home. Is the doll inhabited by a restless spirit, a demon, or the soul of a dead child? That question I leave for you to decide.
I am aware the force of my review may indicate I do not enjoy the entertainment value of paranormal entertainment shows and literature. I am intrigued with the subject and have been since I read TheAmityville Horror as a child. I consumed the book in less than 24 hours, not stopping to sleep until I finished it.
Incidentally, I do enjoy reading publications on the paranormal, especially when they are well written, balanced, and subjective. I enjoy paranormal literature that present the claims and evidence that leave it for me to decide if the claims carry any weight or not.
This is simply my opinion and you have your own and that is why I recommend you read the first book and then decide if you would like reading Norman 2.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
I would like to thank Steven Lancaster, NetGalley and Llewellyn Publications for affording me the opportunity to review Norman 2: The True Story of a Possessed Doll’s Revenge.
OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR
SPOOKS AND KNOCKERS UNCENSORED IS CURRENTLY FREE TO READ on KindleUnlimited
The Story of Jane Goodall: A Biography Book for New Readers
Susan B. Katz/ Lindsay Dale-Scott
Rockridge Press (May 5, 2020)
Susan B. Katz is a Board Certified Educator with a quarter century of experience, an award winning bilingual author, and a popular speaker. When not writing, she can be found working as the executive director of ConnectingAuthors.org, a national nonprofit organization that brings authors and illustrators into schools. Susan also enjoys an active social life. You can read more about her here: http://susankatzbooks.com
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?
Children 6 to 8 years old will enjoy reading this publication.
The Story of Jane Goodallis a child orientated biography. It’s an attractive and informative revelation about the leading light in conservation. The Story of Jane Goodall describes her life, passions, studies and her meteoric rise professionally, socially and educationally. Her name is synonymous with the study of chimpanzees and the conservation of their habitat. Inspirational throughout, The Story of Jane Goodall is a must read for any child whose parent wants to impress upon them the importance of a life long commitment and conservation.
Dame Jane Morris GoodallDBE., formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is world renowned for her study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. Over 60 years of studying primates have established her as the worlds leading authority on chimpanzees. She also founded the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots programme. She was named a UN Messenger of Peace in April 2002.
As the title makes clear,The Story of Jane Goodall describes the life of Dame Jane Goodall. It takes us through the evolution of Jane. From her formative years as a young girl in England through her life experiences and the fortunate accident that ushered her to become a woman of letters. Katz’s relates the ups and the downs of Jane Goodall’s life and experiences. Through her skilled writing Katz relates Jane’s enthusiasm for her subject.
Katz does a great job describing Janes’s life. She goes into detail such as: the type of books that Jane loved to read as a child, her ambitions to travel to Africa and her love of animals. She describes how Jane got her job in Gombe, Kenya with Dr. Louis Leakey Ph.D., an archaeologist and paleontologist. Katz relates how working with the notable Leakey led Jane to earn her Ph.D., in ethology. She went to Newman College, Cambridge and became the eighth person to be allowed to read for her doctoral thesis before having been awarded either a graduate or post graduate degree.
The Story of Jane Goodall is a refreshing new take on an old genre; that of the biography. Katz’s years spent as a teacher are obvious from the outset. Her prose is written with children in mind, and yet speaking as an adult, I enjoyed the simplicity and the clarity of her writing style. It is fun and enjoyable throughout.
The illustrations contained within the pages are delightful. They are age appropriate, colorful and fun. Lindsay Dale-Scott did an excellent job telling the story through pictures. I especially liked the way she put faces with the names of Jane’s chimpanzees. I thoroughly enjoyed her art work.
The Story of Jane Goodall is a tiny gem; enlightening, informative, compelling and concise. Large enough to satisfy and short enough to read in an hour or two. The timeline is interspersed through the chapters and easy to follow. Included are many memory retention tools and quizzes. I loved this book, and you will too.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
SPECIAL MENTION – ILLUSTRATOR
Lindsay Dale-Scott is an accomplished illustrator and designer. She studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design. An animal lover herself, she she earned an award for her advertising campaign for the sloth sanctuary of Costa Rica. She says, “I have always been an artist ever since I could hold a crayon, drawing on walls and just creating.” Her works are not just on books, she also creates greeting cards for American Greetings. If you would like to learn more about Lindsay Dale-Scott, her web site is here and you can follow her on Instagram here.
I would like to thank Susan B. Katz, NetGalley and Rockridge Press for affording me the opportunity to review The Story of Jane Goodall: A Biography Bookfor New Readers.
LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE
Q. Why isn’t a Koala bear a real bear?
A. Because he isn’t Koalafied.
SIMILAR BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR
These books are currently free to read on KindleUnlimited
Robert Lantana has a dozen years of teaching in the dark denizens of education we like to call schools. During his time as an instructor, he seems to have acquired the attitude that all is lost in the current system of education. He produced this satire depicting the trials and tribulations of a day in the life of a teacher.
Teachers, Student Teachers, Students, Parent & Teacher Association, and scholars over 18 years of age may find this tome interesting.
I Hate Everything: A Day in the Life of a Teacher is an no holds barred discourse on the profession from the point of view of a working educator. It is a funny, raw, vulgar, expletive filled rant against the experience of teaching in a modern-day academic institution.
The book begins with cutting humor and a bitter irony that comes to characterize the book by the end. The individual chapters include the express reason that he hates everything; capitalized for emphasis. The humor quickly becomes sidelined with his loss of hope and motivation. The disparaging opinion of the tutor’s allegations leaves the reader in no doubt as to his frustrations. His antipathy quickly becomes palpable.
Initially funny with reckless abandon and an utter lack of finesse, the atmosphere quickly changes and becomes terminally depressing and lacking in any kind of positive appeal. Phrases used to describe those in his care like “psychotic zombie monkeys” or as a “self-absorbed, reality-warped generation” line the pages. The disparaging remarks continue and are qualified towards the end the book with the comment “we aren’t educating the future. We are herding cattle.”
You have to dig deep on occasion to find the humanity that this character is left with. Despite the constant unending whinging on about his loss of faith and hope in a broken system; some passages showed he entered the profession with positive aspirations, goals, and a genuine love for imparting knowledge to willing and able students. Lantana describes the dulling of his initial enthusiasm as it slowly eroded over time due to poor pay, disrespect from the school body and the administration. The long hours with little thanks combined with trying to teach the unteachable whilst protecting the academically motivated continue to skew his mindset in a negative direction.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Lantana couldn’t give a damn about the young people under his tutelage. However, woven through the pages is a small voice which shows just how much he cares for the institution and its charges. He is concerned enough to write a book to expose to the world the problems of todays academia. His expressed concern about his scholars not having enough to eat, lacking home based leadership and basic social skills more than prompt the reader to understand his earlier desperation.
If you enjoy dark humor mixed with witty irony and raw unfiltered opinions and language that would make a sailor blush, I think you might just appreciate this. I know that many in the Western teaching profession will see similarities in their own working conditions and will sympathize with the author and his experiences.
I found this book to be a mixed bag of dark humor and the desperate cry of a solitary instructor who has lost all hope of improving an impossible situation.
I would like to thank Robert Lantana, NetGalley, and Dog Ear Publishing for affording me the opportunity to review I Hate Everything: A Day in the Life of a Teacher.