Saturday, December 17, 2022

Alison Weir's New Historical Fiction

ShareAlison Weir Fans Delight!

The King's Pleasure:
A Novel of Henry VIII

Publication Date is May 30, 2023
Ballatine -Penguin Random House
ISBN 9780593355060, 512 pages
Formats Available to Pre-order Kindle and Hardccover through your favorite bookstore. 

Category:Historical Fiction, Literary Fictioon

As one of the most avid fans of Alison Weir's works of both Non-fiction 
Biographies and Historical Fiction Novels this news creates an immediate emotional  must have compulsion. 
A bestselling author  of The Sixth Tudor Queens Series and The Last White Rose.
 I once attended a book signing in CT to see and listen to Alison Weir. She is in a word impressive.

Hear what the publisher has released to the press. 

Wisteria Leigh -December 17, 2022


    Sunday, September 1, 2019

    Where Did Wisteria Leigh go?


    Where Did Wisteria Leigh go?

    Obviously it has been a long time since my last post.
    Since that time, I have continued my work as a full time library media specialist and information literacy specialist. Basically, I teach K-5 in a public school in CT. The subject is called Media, and all students receive instruction in library skills, computer skills (safety, applications, digital citizenship, internet search and research skills and much more.

    I also have spent the past two years building a business as a SeneGence Distributor.  I joined Senegence because I believe in the efficacy of the products. I sell a full line of  cosmetics and anti-aging products. Why Senegence?  SeneGence offers products that I believe in and work. I am amazed at the results personally and of all my customers.

    However, the main reason that I decided  to join SeneGence was more than that. I believe in the ability that all women have the ability to become independent entrepreneurs for a variety of reasons. The reasons are varied and in most cases personal...but nevertheless becoming a SeneGence Distributor is liberating for women, allows flexible work time, provides income and lifts each woman's self esteem and positive self image.

    Should you have the curiosity to see my Facebook Page or pm me on my name still is listed as Wisteria Leigh, My group page is Wisteria Leigh Beauty and my business page is Wisteria Leigh Beauty. If you would like to join my group I suggest asking to join this group,,,,

    Wisteria's VIP Beauties . (customer only access, no distributors).

    I welcome all my reviewer friends and readers of my blog to visit my Facebook business.
    I have been rewarded two years in a row, but if you are looking for an opportunity like this, I am
    delighted to offer mentorship and my availability,

    I have not given up on this blog or my writing...just took an exciting detour with a spectacular
    marketing company.

    As a SeneGence Distributor
    My name on my SeneSite is Donna Edwards
    My distriburot # is 414471

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Review- We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen


    We Found A Hat  (5 star)

    by Jon Klassen
    Candlewick Press
    Published October 11, 2016
    Hardcover, $17.99
    • ISBN-10: 0763656003
    • ISBN-13: 978-0763656003

    My review: Intro

    I ordered Jon Klassen's new book as soon as I could. I teach at the elementary level as a library media specialist. Ever since I received advanced copies of I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat I have been over the moon in love his writing. His untouchable gift to the reader is his simple text delivered through personification  by cute utterly adorable animals.  His brilliant illustrations show personality and hint at what each character may be thinking. (No thought bubbles needed).  How truly gifted he is. My students go wild for all his books and discussions abound at the end. This is not a read it once book, but will become worn through use.  My students participate and role play the text with such glee. It's an experience that Klassen provides my kids that is rare.

    His new book:

    So, I just received We Found A Hat in my mail. I ran to the doorstep and couldn't wait to hold his new book. Once again, it is stellar, fun, witty and ADORABLE. A story of two turtles who discover one hat. Problem: What should they do?  I'm never a spoiler in my reviews, so this one you have to read for yourself.  I am already thinking about the questions and lessons this story will bring to my classes in the next few weeks.

    Jon Klassen has a talent for pushing kids buttons in a way that makes them think, laugh and enjoy reading.....again and again.  What more can we ask for? Highly recommended and a great discussion started.

    In case you are interested Jon Klassen is on tour promoting his book. Details of an upcoming appearance at the Eric Carle Museum can be found here. 
    Further info is on his blog. 



    Saturday, October 8, 2016

    Review- A House Without Windows

    A House Without Windows
    by Nadia SashimiWilliam Morrow (August 16, 2016)
    • ISBN-10: 0062449680
    • ISBN-13: 978-0062449689
    • Hardcover: 432 pages

    Wisteria's Review

    I must begin by saying that like other reviewers have noted: I also reread many chapters in this exquisite novel centered on the protagonist Zeba, a fiercely strong and unselfishly determined Afghan woman. 

    Yusuf, a native Afghan male is a young and eager lawyer. He recently returned to Afghanistan after living with his parents in New York.  Yusuf hears about the case and meets with Zeba at the prison. Yusuf soon discovers to his dismay that Zeba is an uncooperative client. Yet, reluctantly she agrees to his representation in her defense.  However, in order to save Zeba's life he is confronted with the difficult task of uncovering answers, but for now he only has endless questions. 

    As the story begins, Zeba a dutiful Afghan wife and mother is found near the lifeless body of her husband. The cause of death an obvious blow to his skull with a hatchet. Naturally, family and friends are horrified by the discovery. Zeba is naturally accused of murder as she is the only one in the yard with him.  She is taken to the woman's prison in Kabul, Chil Mahtab. Her children confused and helpless are whisked away to live with Zeba's husband's family.  

    Nadia Hashimi is a masterful storyteller. Be prepared to be entranced with each page by her poetic prose and equally engaging plot that meanders as a  hurricane erratic and unexpected.   As a result, the writer skillfully enhances the readers curiosity. Hashimi obviously knows her novel's direction, but as a reader you have no idea what's about to unfold.  The suspense is relentless. 

    Nadia Hashimi is a polished storyteller. I still yearn to reread passages. I still have thoughts regarding Afghan women and their lack of human rights, women's rights and substandard status. I can't help but compare and reflect on this culture's norms.  I cried many times, I ached for Zeba and the other women prisoners whose reasons for imprisonment are inconceivable. to me. 

    Woman's rights throughout our country and the world are of great interest and concern to me. For that reason, I read countless books that depict women who suffer and are controlled by the male dominated society where ever they reside.   A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS by Nadia Hashimi is by far  an exceptional novel.  Written with this author's heart, it is an emotionally satisfying and unforgettable read!

    This book has melody, harmony and discord beautifully orchestrated from the beginning to its conclusion. I know I won't soon forget this story of Zeba and everyone's inner struggles to gain justice. 

    I want to thank Lauren Lauzon from William Morrow for providing a copy of this book for my candid unbiased review. 

    Other books by Nadia Hashimi
    One Half From the East
    When the Moon is Low
    The Pearl That Broke It's Shell

    ~ Wisteria Leigh October 2016

    Friday, October 7, 2016

    Galgos Need Our Help

    My Galgos, Jenson & Button: Their Story


    Many of you know my passion for reading, but not as many know my passion for Greyhound rescue. I am a foster parent and have helped to assimilate many new off the track dogs as they transition from their only job they have known-that of a race dog.  I do not plan to write about the greyhound industry, track life or any other aspect of the sport. My job and my mission is to help retired sighthounds find a new loving home. I like to focus on the love and positive future ahead for this awesome breed. Many of you may have have heard that they prefer a life on a couch or soft big cushy bed. It is true!!   Hence the nickname: 40 mph Couch Potato.  

    This post is about the Galgo, a Spanish sighthound, who look very similar to what we have come to know as a racetrack English or Irish greyhound, but Galgos have different lineage.  They were once prized but now have become throw away (disposable) dogs for the most part. After one hunting season they are turned out to strive to survive solo.

    I have two Galgos who were found together, alone somewhere living wandering the Spanish countryside. They had to survive as best they could and learned to protect each other with tenacious survival skills.  They became a bonded inseparable pair. They were always sighted together, but near impossible to lure to safety.  They feared human contact, but in the end, with the help of Mandy Simpson with Galgos del Sol and her tireless efforts and generous volunteers, they were finally captured. They were then flown to the US and arrived in the care of Greyhound Rescue and Rehabilitation in Cross River, NY.

    There are many many  rescue groups throughout Europe and the United States dedicated to Galgo Rescue. This flight from Spain brought two special fosters who I soonI met. Their names were Jenson and Button. (girl and boy)

    Once in my care........

    They began to learn the ropes-so to speak: for example: they learned to climb stairs, easy for people, but a frightening challenge for a Galgo, who have no idea what it is like to live in a house. Now, when they head up or down the stairs, watch out.  It's a race to the other end and you wouldn't wand to be caught in the middle. Yikes!!

    As time passed, everything was new to them. They had to learn not to be afraid of other animals, and people. Birds at the bird feeder, chipmunks, pet store critters, and the infamous mailman. Fortunately, sighthounds should be on leash at all times so the mailman is pretty safe.  Believe it or not they loved riding in the car, but hated walking in heavy traffic near trucks.

    As for my neighborhood fauna, I'm not sure the squirrels in my yard will ever appreciate the sudden attack mode stance and fierce drive to lunge at them through the glass. Squirrels are like rabbits to them and a constant torment.

    As an avid gardener, their ability to scare off hungry pesky deer who like to decimate buds just as they begin to bloom.  (Yes, deer are cute...but they can eat other things.)

    When it rains, they still have an unbreakable habit of licking the puddles rather than their ever present water bowl.

    They are catlike and will lick and kiss each other endlessly with sweet affection. These two are inseparable often wrapped in each others embrace on the same pet bed. It is a a priceless picture of cuteness.

    As far as weather....they hate the rain, love the heat and literally shiver when the temperature drops below 60.  So, they love the pajamas, blankets, snuggling and laying in the hot sun. Come winter the woodstove is their friend.

    So these are my two adorable Spanish Galgos, Jenson and Button who have given more to me than I will ever be able to repay.

    Button  &  Jenson 
    (tender time together)

    Within the next couple of weeks, I will again take in a foster Galgo from Spain. I am very excited and will show you a picture of the newbie as soon as she arrives. 
    Until then, please check out the non-profit Galgo and Greyhound Rescue Groups in you area and help in whatever way you can. 

    Thursday, October 6, 2016

    Can It Be a Year?

    Has it really been a year since my last 

    Bookworm Dinner post?


    At last my year long journey has taken a turn back to the roots of my passion.....writing.

    • I have missed the daily/weekly posts to my blog readers. 
    • I have missed the time writing about one of my biggest passions, books. 
    • Something is indeed missing....Bookworms Dinner has been an empty plate too long. 
    When you love to read, love the discovery of each new book, never want that incredible new book to end because it is that good, and know you will never have enough time in your lifetime to read all you want to that grows in all possible directions.... in what readers ofter call their TBR pile. Naturally, a reader will never reach the bottom of that pile-even a determined bookworm that pens this blog.

    But, then again....who would want to. How would a bookworm survive when the books run out A dear friend of mine would refer to this fortunate dilemma in life as the glow of Joie De Vivre.

    Dewy spider web.jpgBy the way, I never stopped reading. I have posted reviews on Goodreads and various other social media venues, but Bookworms Dinner like an old and dear bookstore was sadly collecting dust. Here's to a return, a renewal and a rebirth of my reading notes as they brush away this years cobwebs on this blog.

    How appropriate that it should take place in the last few weeks leading to Halloween.

    View all my reviews on Goodreads

    Disclosure: An uncorrected proof was sent to me with a request for an unbiased review.  This review is my honest opinion.

    © [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2016]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

    Sunday, September 27, 2015

    Review: The Prize, by Dale Russakoff


    by Dale Russakoff
    Houghton Mifflin
    September 2014
    0547945019 ISBN 13 9780547840512
    304 Pages

    THE PRIZE: WHO'S IN CHARGE OF AMERICA'S SCHOOLS, commands your attention throughout.  An absorbing book and necessary read for all who think educational reform will ever be realized. There is no easy solution as Russakoff gives the reader insight from a recent example in the Newark, NJ public school system.  The players: I expect had grandiose intent: Christ Christie, Cory Booker, Mark Zuckerberg and Cami Anderson. Who doesn't want to reform education these days?

    I consider myself an optimist, but Russakoff's years of research took me on a painful roller coaster ride through the urban city of Newark.  Juggling below amid the dropping test scores, high crime, gangs, single parent homes, and general indifference is the powerhouse quartet with a staggering $200 million to play with, to reform the failing district. Lofty goals for sure, but obviously misplaced. It becomes evident in this case that political gain supersedes all. Once again, uninformed capitalists believe they can mold schools into their corporate model structure. NO!

    It is not the teachers! You can't replace community schools without considering the insiders. What about people...students...parents...yes and those dedicated teachers? Support is needed on so many levels. 

    Dale Russakoff, a 28 year veteran reporter for Washington Post has delivered a well researched, well paced and comfortable style for all readers. Her experience shows. Her first book gives promise for her future projects. 

    As the author concludes and I concur,  you need to 

    "....put the real needs of children at the center of the national conversation about education reform, which in its ideological decisiveness is in danger of leaving them behind." (218)

    Kudos to Dale Russakoff for unveiling the shortsightedness of people in power. This is a dynamic and valuable addition to educational library book stacks.

    ~Wisteria Leigh 
    September 2015

    Disclosure: Self-purchased book. 

    View all my review on Goodreads

    Disclosure: An uncorrected proof was sent to me with a request for an unbiased review.  This review is my honest opinion.

    © [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2015]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

    Sunday, August 9, 2015

    Review-The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz


    The Hired Girl
    Laura Amy Schlitz
    Candlewick Press
    Publication month: September 2015
    $17.99/$23.99 Canada
    400 pages
    Age 12+

                                                                      Review by Wisteria©

    The heroine of this coming of age novel is a feisty, headstrong, inherently impulsive powerhouse-a memorable character destined to be a classic. The Hired Girl, set in the year 1911 on a Pennsylvania farm is historical fiction.  However, the author has a storyteller's magical gift to transport the readers  into the mind  of Joan Scraggs and her experiences through her daily diary. Joan, fourteen, lives with her three brothers and evil tempered father.  After her mom dies, Joan is forced to assume her mom's arduous chores, exhaustive and thankless. She seeks solace in her passion for reading. The few books she owns have been read again and again.  Her father is determined to end her educational goals and the close relationship she has with her favorite teacher. Joan is very quick witted and eager to learn. Yet, when her teacher tries to persuade her father that Joan should stay in school she is rebuked.  Later, her father spews words of vitreous hatred at his daughter. Sadly, it just confirms what she has felt all along.  Unloved and shackled to a hard life on the farm she makes plans to flee.  As hateful as her father is, she recalls her mom's love and support.  Fortunately, her mother left a rainy day treasure in the ruffles of her favorite doll. With her mother's gift and and timely luck Joan secures a job as the hired girl, with a Jewish family.  Although she leads her employers to believe she is eighteen, assumes the name Janet, she settles into this new life.  It is through her diary that the reader will come to empathize and love Janet (Joan).   Her struggles with her own faith, love, women's roles, Anti-semitism and the social class prejudice prevalent are believable. The author captures not only the flavor of this period in history, but she allows the reader to experience Joan's her inner most thoughts, as only a diary will allow.  Laura Amy Schlitz is a gifted storyteller, one of my favorite young adult/tween writers. This one is now on my list to be order for my school's media center. The Hired Girl, with multiple themes and character study possibilities, is the perfect novel for classroom libraries, literature study and read aloud.  Yet it will stand out as a well loved free choice read for young and adult readers. Highly recommended. ~Wisteria Leigh

    View all my review on Goodreads

    Disclosure: An uncorrected proof was sent to me with a request for an unbiased review.  This review is my honest opinion.

    © [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2015]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.