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How Can I Get Started Packing Christmas Shoe Boxes?

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This week, thru Monday, is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. If you’ve been reading here, or if you found this post thru a Google search, and are interested in packing shoe boxes for next year, here is some advice on how to get started.

 

 

Educate Yourself and Examine Your Heart

I love doing this and recommend the program highly. There are bloggers who complain about it though as well as those who love it. To that end, in this post I’ve tried to answer those complaints. First thoough take time and read Operation Christmas Child website and that of its parent organization Samaritan’s Purse. Both do tremendous good in the world.

After that examine your heart. Is this a program you fully support? If you are not a Christian, have you ever taken time to understand what Christians believe? If not, I suggest you start here:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 NIV

This is what they all believe–Nazrenes, Methodists, Church of God, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Free Methodists, Non-Denominational “Christians”–they all believe this.

If, regardless of what you think of the Bible verse–the cornerstone verse of Christianity–you want to move forward in packing boxes then welcome! And, if it’s not for you, I still welcome you. Honestly is always welcome and needed in our world today.

Next, if you are willing, PRAY. Pray that your actions will bless the children and bring hope and bring them to know Christ. If that’s too much, too soon, then can you pray for God’s will to be done with this shoe box? Can you pray just “God bless the child who receives this?” Good. If you aren’t there yet, I understand.

If you are a Christian, did you know you can donate $6 additional dollars per box and cover the FULL cost of the Greatest Journey Discipleship program for your recipient child? Select the additional donation when you pay your shipping/handling fee online.

Plan Your Year

Whether you want to pack one box or one hundred, using the year-round shopping approach is a great way to spread out the cost and …. the fun!

Here is the official Year-Round Packing Plan page. You can also download a Packing Calendar here.  I follow this somewhat. I’ve learned that the day after Valentine’s Day and the day after Easter are great times to stock up on stuffed animals–all will be marked 50–80% off. End of season clearance racks provide nice, fashionable clothing at very reasonable prices. Buy one, get one deals on toothbrushes and bar soap help too! This becomes fun and addictive–like a treasure hunt! Here is a link to my post on how I do this–don’t worry, you don’t need to even think of doing it on my scale! 1 box is a blessing.

What Else Can I do?

Get your children involved! While a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy should NEVER be the so-called “Wow” item in a box (the thing the child will be most excited about) they are nice “extras” as are party favors. Have your children save those. Did the dentist hand out toothbrushes or floss? Save them and buy some for your kids instead. Remember to save pens and pencils from conferences or promotions.  This post lists other items that can be appropriate from such events. Your kids can also write notes to put in the boxes, decorate the boxes themselves and, of course, PRAY.

Do you love to do crafts? I have a Pinterest board of crafts that would be WELCOME by most shoe box recipients.  Remember, though, that to very, very poor people a store-bought gift can mean more. They “make do” with homemade things all the time. So choose crafts wisely. In my opinion child-made crafts, unless done to an adult standard, are not appropriate. If it is a game or homemade craft kit, include photo directions. If you go to Church or to a craft club, get others involved!

Raise Money! Each box has a SUGGESTED $9 shipping/handling fee. Remember–international shipping is hugely expensive!!! Pay online and you find out where you box ended up!  Set up a jar to dump change in. Give up $9 of Starbucks or movie tickets or _______ [whatever] per month and put that money in the jar so there are no surprises in November–that will give you s/h for 12 boxes!! Are you having a New Year’s  or Super Bowl Party? Charge a $1 entry fee or have people bring a small item–suggestions are packages of pens and pencils or crayons,  water bottles, hats/gloves, etc. Explain in the invitation where the money or stuff will go. You might be surprised how much you raise!

Have a family or neighborhood packing party on Halloween instead of or after Trick-or-Treating.  Here’s how link. You can order logo-ed boxes or ask at shoe stores or big box stores for unwanted shoe boxes. Walmart has packs of 10 plastic shoe boxes at a big discount. Hobby Lobby sells logo-ed plastic shoe boxes. This post has a great list of my own “what not to pack” items and this post shows how to appropriately re-gift brand new items you may already have.  Almost any Mom will have that shirt the kid hated, but which any other kid would wear or those socks that matched nothing–you get the idea. “Harvest Your House” first!

Pray

Yes, I’ve intentionally repeated this one! Pray for God to guide your efforts, to bless the child who will receive the box and for those who may be considering packing a box or even considering becoming a Christian thru this ministry! Here are my posts on the Children I  Think of when I pack these boxes–Children In Malawi and Children in Ukraine/Russia.

 

Review: The Other Alcott: A Novel by Elise Hooper

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The Story

The Alcott sisters, Anna, Louisa, Lizzie and May mirrored the fictional March sisters of Louisa’s famed Little Women in a few ways–but not all. Elise Hopper has imagined the life of the youngest Alcott, May, in a few ways that are similar to Amy March–both study art, and in others ways that bear no resemblance to the youngest March sister.

What I Liked

I was relieved that May was not the bratty Amy of Little Women! The first part of the book was a bit lacking in depth so I began to grow fearful of the fictional Amy taking over the fictional May….if you can follow that! Happily, with part II the book found both its footing and May’s identity as separate from Amy.  I liked that, when possible, Hooper kept things in tune with the historical record. I’ve read a lot on the Alcott family so my expectations were fairly high for the story’s truthful portrayal of all the Alcotts. In the end, that turned out not to matter, for range of emotion that Hooper gives May–especially in regard to her famous sister, makes May real in every way.  This is a superb story, engagingly told. Do stick around for the Afterward when the author tells what is, and what is not, historical fact–it is well worth it.

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As portrayed here, May was a slightly shallow young woman who found substance through her study of art. I liked that Louisa was shown “warts an all,” as an often daunting task mistress who harped at May about family responsibility. As May studies art, experiences life in new cities and makes her own circle of friends she becomes someone I could respect–and would have enjoyed knowing.

I liked, too, that the author responsibly created personalities for various artists that were believable and in tune with their own era. No one has overly modern views, even if they find fault with the events or expectations of their day.  [Portrait of May by Rose Peckman]

John Ruskin

Of all the art and artists scenes in the book, I especially loved the scene with May and John Ruskin, as May is sketching the works of J.M. Turner in a museum. I wish every student could read that scene and learn from it. I’ll give you a hint–it is similar to Matthew 7:7!! (No spoilers now!)

 

My Rating

4 Stars

The Other Alcott: A Novel by Elise Hooper

It’s National Shoe Box Collection Week!

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It’s finally here! Nation Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child’s Shoe Boxes!! I’ve got 31 boxes ready to go this weekend! I LOVE doing this–it brings HOPE. Yes, it is evangelism. But it is a story of HOPE. It does not teach hate. It gives hope. How do I know? My child received such a box in an orphanage in the former Soviet Union many years ago. That’s why I do this!

 

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One of the things I enjoy most about this project is seeing what other’s pack in their shoe boxes–I often get great tips that I incorporate into future shoe boxes. One tip I’ve  used for years now is to line boxes with a pretty bandana–I now do this for all my girl boxes, trying, whenever possible, to have the bandana and the clothing items match. Next year, I’ve got a new tip to try from my friend Linda at the blog Filled With Laughter

 

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See that bar of soap in the food container? Wow! Super cool and super cost-effective soap box! You can even collect these “free” if you buy a certain brand of lunch meat! I love that the container sits “flat” and is stable. Too often those hinged-lid soap boxes won’t sit flat and that can be annoying if you are washing in primitive conditions. And, depending upon your selections, both the soap and the wash cloth may fit in there. Great tip, Linda!

Here are some photos of this year’s boxes. Thank you to Gideon and Mollie and Mom Melisa at the blog I Will Lift Up and to author Susan Barnett Braun at Girls In White Dresses for sharing photos of some of their boxes. This is a GREAT project for familes–look at some of the the great things Gideon and Mollie helped pack:

 

 

What boy wouldn’t love a cool Lego set?? And a fashionably dressed Barbie for a little girl? I love all the practical things they chose as well.  Best of all, I know these two took even more care in praying over their boxes than they did choosing the contents. Well done, kiddos!

Theme boxes can be a fun way to show a child your love and to have fun doing so. I happen to know that Linda and her hubby are HUGE Reds fans, so I love that they are sharing this love with a shoe box recipient!

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See how easy it is to “theme”? Some composition books, a t-shirt and a water bottle. I love that she carried the Reds theme thru with a red Recorder to play and red/black socks, baseballs and even a red balloon! Well done, Linda!

This year I forgot to keep an exact list of what was packed. Here’s a summary of sorts from memory:

Every box–all 31–got shirt or dress, underpants, pencils/pens/sharpener/bag, toothbrush and wash cloth. There were 4 lightweight fleece blankets suitable for up to age 14 and 2 baby-toddler sized blankets. Numerous water bottles or cups. Older child boxes (over age 4) received a composition book. Several sets of colored pencils. Numerous stuffed animals. 9 soccer balls with pumps–some to both boys and girls and all ages. Hot Wheels cars. 1 Barbie doll. 4 pairs of shoes. Numerous pairs of socks. Every girl box got a bandana and the middle and youngest aged girls got jump ropes. Little children’s boxes had coloring books and crayons. There were 4 Bible board books. Little children each received a toddler sized bowl, cup and silverware–all sturdy (not disposable) plastic. 4 light backpacks.  Several children’s puzzles. A bar of soap is in every box that with room enough left in it.

 

Here are some of the shoe boxes my friends and I have packed this year.

 

 

Want to know where your box(es) end up? Pay your suggested $9 shipping fee online HERE, print you label and, once your box(es) is delivered you will receive an e-mail telling you it’s country of destination.

You forgot? Just learned of Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes? Don’t worry! Not only do you still have thru November 20th to pack and drop off a box(es), but you can also create a box online, or, if you don’t mind paying the shipping, you can ship your box(es) to a processing center. Here are the links you need: [click the linked text to go directly to the page]

Operation Christmas Child home page

Find a local drop-off location

Pack a box(es) online

To Mail a shoe box:

[This option is available year-round]

Operation Christmas Child

801 Bamboo Road

Boone, NC 28607

 

If you are new to Operation Christmas Child’s shoe box gifts, take a little time and explore their web page and take time to read some of my posts on the program, especially if you’ve never been outside the U.S.A.   Pack This, Not That is a good place to start.

 

Remember, please, please, remember: Don’t pack things that may sexualize young girls! What we think of as cute can be very provocative elsewhere. Keep to traditional styles and fit for clothes–especially underpants. And, if packing menstrual hygiene kits, be DISCREET. No one anywhere dreams of opening a pack of Kotex in front of others! Even a pretty, cloth kit can cause shame and embarrassment. Put such items in the bottom and never send tampons.

 

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Review: Christmas in London by Anita Hughes

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The Story

Louisa receives the career-making chance of a lifetime when Baking With Bianca’s desert fails and her cinnamon rolls are brought in to save the day. Off to London to do a tv show, Christmas at Claridge’s her professional life is made. And, possibly, her personal lie, too. Kate’s TV career is taking off. Since leaving Prince William and Kate’s alma mater, St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, she’s put in the time. Now, with Christmas at Claridge’s, her mark is made. But will some blasts from her past enhance or endanger her happiness and success?

What I Liked

I loved it all. It’s light and fun, well-paced and jolly. Just what a Christmas book should be.  The food sounds so delicious, the venues so inviting and the worst thing that happens to anyone is an attempted tryst that is solved with the words “No thank you.” Pass the eggnog and the mince pies, please! This one is a winner.

P.S.

But even in a fictionalized Royal Family, they mostly live at Kensington Palace–not St. James. But who, other than me, cares, right?

My Rating

4.0

THE Christmas book for lovers of contemporary romantic stories!

Christmas in London by Anita Hughes

The Kids I Think of When I Pack Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child Part Two

Hopewell's Public Library of Life

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Last week I told you about the children in Malawi. This week I’m remembering the children in Crimea–then it was Ukraine, today it is Russia. The children in this orphanage were far better off than children in many orphanages, but it had not always been that way for them. A complete change of staff brought caring adults, a clean building and programs that gave the children hope. Operation Christmas Child, or perhaps a similar program (I’ve never confirmed which) gave shoe boxes to at least some of the children in this orphanage.

Local missionaries helped get them good quality used clothing. American adoptive parents formed a group to love on these children in tangible ways. These “ways” included brand new school uniforms, a new washing machine and water heater,  new backpacks, plentiful school supplies, clean, new mattresses and bedding and extra food. The group also sent annual Blessing…

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Helen R. Davis Book Blast and Book Giveaway!

Note: I have not received pay or product for running this promotion. I merely liked the sound of the books. I do not make any money off this blog.

Discover the world of Helen R. Davis’s Alternate History–where Cleopatra and Antony are the victors! Where Anne Boleyn is triumphant! And discover Helen’s version of Evita’s life!

Cleopatra Unconquered
by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: December 2, 2015
Savant Books & Publications LLC

eBook & Paperback; 328 Pages

Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction

The first book of three in a richly imagined ancient world where the course of history is altered by one battle. In this world, Antony and Cleopatra triumph at the Battle of Actium, and Cleopatra emerges as a queen, stateswoman, and politician. Those around her come to life as the reader returns to those days to live them with her.

“The first in a series, Cleopatra Unconquered by Helen R. Davis is a treat for those fascinated by Egypt and the lost glories of antiquity. The author weaves the fruits of her careful research into a fascinating combination of both the historical fiction and fantasy genres. It gives readers a look into history as it was, as well as into what might have been.” – Elena Marie Vidal, author of The Paradise Tree

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Evita…My Argentina
by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: February 10, 2017
Custom Book Publications
eBook & Paperback; 228 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical

EVITA … My Argentina

Evita Perón tells her own spectacular story.

Tracing her life back to her humble beginnings, when she is abandoned by her father, Evita takes the reader on her journey to become an actress and later, to the pivotal moment when she meets Colonel Juan Perón. Never content to stay in her husband’s shadow, Evita reveals how she shares his belief that Peronism will help the working class. Eventually she begins doing work on her own as the president of the Society of Benevolence, helping the poor and winning the peoples’ trust.

As the times change and women get the vote, Evita becomes even more powerful, running the Ministries of Labor and Health, starting a foundation, and organizing the first female party, The Female Peronist Party.

A larger-than-life story, told in her own fictional words, the powerful novel is as educational as it is entertaining.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Most Happy
by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Callipe Editorial

Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction

Anne Boleyn is known throughout the world as the beheaded wife of King Henry VIII, a woman for whom Henry discarded a Spanish princess and who was later discarded for the woman who gave Henry his longed-for son. Love her or hate her, it cannot be denied her romance with Henry VIII changed the course of English and European, and perhaps World History, forever.

This is a novel that imagines Anne Boleyn giving Henry a son and taking the reins of power as Regent of England when Henry VIII perishes in a jousting accident.

Told in the voice of the infamous Anne Boleyn, we are treated to the 16th century world that has recently become famous through programs such as The Tudors. We meet Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, and many of the personalities of the mid-16th century albeit in an altered setting.

How would this era and time, a pivotal one in Western Civilization, have changed if one of the movers and shakers of the period, Anne Boleyn, had not been struck down in her prime by the man who once adored her?

Amazon

About the Author

Helen R. Davis is an American author. Her first novel, Evita: My Argentina was previously published as Evita: My Life and republished with Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong. Her second novel, CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED, which is the first in a series, imagines a world in which Antony and Cleopatra, rather than Augustus Caesar, are the victors of the Battle of Actium. the sequel, CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS, will be released soon, followed by the titles CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA and CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT. Her third novel, or at least, her third historical novel/alternate history, THE MOST HAPPY, will be published with Callipe Editorial, based out of Madrid Spain, on July 25th, 2017.

For more information, please visit Helen Davis’ website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, October 30
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 31
WS Momma Readers Nook

Wednesday, November 1
The Reading Queen
Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, November 2
The Never-Ending Book

Friday, November 3
CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, November 6
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

Wednesday, November 8
What Is That Book About

Friday, November 10
Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

Sunday, November 12
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Monday, November 13
The Hungry Bookworm

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook of Cleopatra Unconquered to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Helen R. Davis Book Blast

Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

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The Story

“I believe in it, because it is impossible.”

Fisheries scientist Alfred Jones leads a sedate life married to career-obsessed banker Mary. His job with the British government’s fisheries agency is not very taxing and not terribly well-paid. When he is first contacted about helping with a scheme to release salmon in a stream in the Middle Eastern, mostly desert, nation of The Yemen he is skeptical. But then 10 Downing gets involved and it all gets surreal.

 

What I Loved

The whole way the projected is schemed and “sexed up” by the Prime Minister’s media guru/ communications director, Peter Maxwell was spot on and too funny for words. “Prizes for the People” was genius! In my mind every time the P.M. appeared in the story I immediately saw chubby, pink aristocratic David Cameron. Naturally, a feel-good project was needed to offset the bad press of the war in Iraq! I loved the whole epistolary set-up of the novel with e-mails, deposition-type interviews, newspaper and other reporting. Such fun.  The author really knew the government. His portrayal of smarmy, suck-up politicos is unsurpassed.

What I Didn’t Like

Really, it would only be what I liked less. Mary got tedious and then suddenly Harriet…. [well, that would be a spoiler, wouldn’t it?].  One big farcical element took it down a small notch in my rating [again to say what it was would be a spoiler].

I am in another world, a world where faith and prayer are instinctive and universal, where not to pray, not to be able to pray, is an affliction worse than blindness, where disconnection from God is worse than losing a limb…. (p.214)

It saddened me that he expressed the common theme of knowing no one (in the UK) who actually goes to church or even believes. Yet he expresses the idea that in the [fictional] Yemen everyone believes and prays all day without mentioning that the laws in such real  countries as the Yemen represents REQUIRE all outward signs of belief and that to fail to turn up for prayer or to close your business at prayer times or  to ignore hundreds of other faith-related obligations but a person’s life at risk. His “awe” at their faith was a bit annoying due to this omission.

My Rating

3.75

 

Sadly, the author of this fun send-up of the British government died a few years ago, but did live to see his book become a well-received movie. You can read his obituary here.

The movie version, staring Kristin Scott Thomas Thomas, Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor can be watched on Amazon here.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Protagonists You Hate to Like

I couldn’t come up with a list enough different for this week’s “Problematic faves: Characters you don’t want to love, but you can’t help liking.” So, I’m re-posting  “Protagonists You Hate To Like.”

Hopewell's Public Library of Life

Top5Wed

Richard Grenville

King's General

Richard is unapologetically masculine, while also being weak. But Honor Harris fell in love with him and so did I. I cried a few times reading this book. It remains my favorite by Daphne Du Maurier–even more so than the older man -younger woman Rebecca.

Dexter Mayhew

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I know, I know! I shouldn’t like him. He trampled all over Emma! It’s disloyalty to a sister to say that maybe Emma asked for some of it. Not like she tried very hard to get a life, is it?  So, yeah. I kind of liked Dexter. Kind of. Not in a “let’s spend a lifetime together” way. Just kinda. Sure he’s a jerk, but let’s face it, he was an appealing jerk!

Sir Richard Carlisle (aka Jorah)

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Let’s be honest here. As dwerpy/sweet as Matthew was, he’d never have kept Mary happy. Mary would have raged with boredom after…

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Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders

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  1. Mila!

 

Like Moses parting the waters, it took only one word from super-toddler Mila to quiet an entire preschool! Move over Eloise! This girl is the real deal.

 

2. Flora Poste

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2. Flora Poste  from Cold Comfort Farm–if she can sort out that mess, she could deal with Congress! Now if she could just find out what the nasty thing was that happened in the woodshed. My review.

 

 

 

 

3. Crumpet

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3.  Crumpet the Elf in Santa Land by David Sedaris. This is the piece that MADE David Sedaris. I remember howling with laughter in my office the morning it was originally braodcast. It’s a Christmas Classic at my house! Here’s the link to the ORIGINAL broadcast.

 

 

 

4. Morticia

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She’d never hog the spotlight–she prefers the dark. She’s got the wardrobe nailed. And, her husband adores her! Perfect next POTUS.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Mummy-Ji

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Chubby, middle-aged Vish Puri solves crimes without realizing that his beloved Mummy-Ji helps lead him to the solutions.  She is brilliant. Vish Puri by Tarquin Hall.

 

 

 

 

6. Ruth Zardo

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The Grumpy Cat of Three Pines, poet Ruth Zardo, whose best friend is a duck is profane, annoying, insane and loveable. She’d be an awesome leader–like the dictator in a dystopian series!

 

 

 

7. Bernadette

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Bernadette is spot on in her “take” a Seattle’s upper-upper class parents–and on life today.  This lady is a “cut-the-crap” Queen who could take charge and put people in their place.

 

 

 

 

 

8. Miss Clavel

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Anyone who can get 12 little girls to march around in two straight lines has to be a leader! Yes, yes, then there  is Madeline….ok.. 11 little girls. Still….. There’s always a loose canon, right?  Miss Clavel from Madeline

 

 

 

9. and 10. Grace and Frankie

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If these two oversaw the White House and the Senate we’d get things done! Not done to please everyone, but DONE. And their ex-husbands are adorable. I love this show! Grace and Frankie.

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish each week.  You can read more about it here. Or, you can read this week’s lists here.

 

 

Review: The Kaiser’s Last Kiss aka The Exception by Alan Judd

The Story

Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany’s deposed Emperor, is living out his days in exile at Huis Doorn in the Netherlands. He and his controversial 2nd wife, Hermine, live in a sort of gilded cage–able to travel freely only 15 miles from home.  Born Queen Victoria’s eldest grandchild, Wilhelm now spends his days railing at Juda-England, as he now calls his mother’s country, chopping wood, smoking, and feeding the ducks.

When the Nazi’s invade Holland, the Kaiser is given an SS security detail headed by Martin Krebbs, a young officer not sold-out on the SS or Nazi ideals, but who none-the-less discounts the idea of an “interior” life.( “You were what you did; the rest was froth.“) All the same, he arrives not sure he cares about an old Emperor–he wants to go back to the war.

Not long before the Nazis’ arrival, a new well-educated maid, Akki, joins the staff at Huis Doorn and the Kaiser takes a liking to her. She has lovely hands and hands are sexual thing to him–a part of a woman’s beauty and sensuality. And, she is very well-educated and respectful.

Trouble arises, as you can imagine! To say more would be to spoil the story.

The book is now a movie starring Christopher Plummer as the Kaiser. The movie’s trailer is at the bottom of this post. The story has been re-titled The Exception. Names have been changed, too.  (I have not, yet, seen the movie).

What I Liked

I thought Judd’s portrayal of the twisted, lonely, and often deluded Kaiser, was excellent. He also captured the personality of the scheming Hermine as well. I thought each of the major characters were believable. More depth would have been nice, but the story was very compelling as is. He did not bog the story down in too much historical minutia–even though I’m a reader who often enjoys that. This kept the story moving at a fast clip.

What I Didn’t Like

If you’re going to write a book–even a novel–on royalty get a grip on titles and forms of address! If you don’t know, look it up! Judd was all over the place with this and it was annoying.  Even though real life added some confusion, he should have figured out how the staff would properly address the Kaiser and his wife. By all the residents at Huis Doorn Wilhelm and Hermine were treated exclusively as Emperor and Empress. When the Nazis were present they insisted he was simply Prince Wilhelm. Yet Judd never could get it right. This was irritating.

The other thing that I wasn’t so happy about was that the beginning of the book seemed to mostly be just retelling parts of this video:

 

My Verdict

Overall, this was a great fast-paced story and I enjoyed it. But for the title thing I had to knock it down a bit in my rating.

3.75 Stars

The Kaiser’s Last Kiss  (aka The Exception) by Alan Judd