Skip to content
January 26, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ January 26th

WinterCardinalMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
After being knocked down by flying ice from a snowplow last week, my mailbox is back on the pole and even received a few books and one audiobook this week, plus the usual (unwanted) bills and advertisements. Unfortunately it’s still snowing!

New Arrivals

BooksJan26_164332

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins from Penguin Audio.
A debut psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally entangled in a murder investigation because of something she witnesses on her daily commute.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson from HarperCollins.
A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer from Flatiron Books.
The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power.

How was your week?

——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

January 25, 2015 / Leslie

Giveaway Winner: Plus One

Thank you to everyone that stopped by to enter the giveaway last week for a copy of Plus One by Christopher Noxon.

 

Winner: Elisabeth

Plus One
 
——————————–
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

January 23, 2015 / Leslie

The Birds of Pandemonium – Life Among the Exotic and the Endangered

BirdsOfPandemoniumThe Birds of Pandemonium
by Michele Raffin

Genre: Non-Fiction / Birds
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publish Date: October 2014
Format: Hardcover | 240 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

From the Publisher

Pandemonium, the home and bird sanctuary that Raffin shares with some of the world’s most remarkable birds, is a conservation organization dedicated to saving and breeding birds at the edge of extinction, with the goal of eventually releasing them into the wild. In The Birds of Pandemonium, she lets us into her world–and theirs. Birds fall in love, mourn, rejoice, and sacrifice; they have a sense of humor, invent, plot, and cope. They can teach us volumes about the interrelationships of humans and animals.

Quick Take

The roadside rescue of a single white dove was the beginning of author Michele Raffin’s journey into the world of birds. Soon her small aviary evolved into a bird sanctuary and, eventually, a conservation organization to rescue and breed birds that are in danger of extinction. I loved every minute of this delightful book. If I was a rescued bird, I would want to live at Pandemonium Aviaries.

More Thoughts

This is an easy read and is written in a humorous and engaging style. I quickly found myself imagining the sights and sounds of the aviary – the birds calling and dancing in the morning. I could easily relate to the author’s love of birds – I volunteer as a wild bird monitor and at a rescue shelter for companion birds who have lost their homes.

Seriously, birds do dance! They have names. The have unique personalities and a story to tell. The author found it difficult to say no to any bird that needed a home and her aviary grew rapidly. Some birds were abandoned by their owners, some were rescued from bad homes, others were dropped off on her doorstep.

A few of the birds I was particularly fond of were: Sweetie, a tiny quail, who was meant to be someone’s dinner! Amigo, a Red-headed Amazon that ‘chose’ the author’s son as his new owner by picking the lock on his cage, flying to the young boy’s shoulder, and then preening his hair. And then there was Shana, a heartbroken Amazon whose owners didn’t want her anymore when she no longer fit into their lifestyle. I could go on and on because they are all amazing birds.

We experience the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the thrill of an endangered species successfully breeding, and the sad times when mistakes are made, disease strikes, or birds die. But overall, an uplifting story of one woman’s unending devotion to her birds. Even those who know nothing about birds will find themselves captivated by these beautiful creatures.

More information about the organization, the birds, and gorgeous color photos of them can be found at pandemoniumaviaries.org.

——————————–
Source: Review copy provided by LibraryThing.
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

January 21, 2015 / Leslie

Yellow Coneflower on a Frosty Morning

YellowConeflower-Frost_IMG_3793

Almost wordless: Early yesterday morning the garden had a light coating of frost. It was disappearing as fast as I could shoot. (Click photo for a summertime view of the flower).

——————————–
More Wordless Wednesday. © 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

January 19, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ January 19th

MailboxInTheSnow_090758Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
That’s my mailbox sitting there on the ground, knocked down by flying snow and ice from the from plow trucks speeding along at 50 mph. This happens every few years, and when it does I call the county and they repair or replace it a few days later. We had a big thaw this weekend; the snow is mostly gone and my mailbox is back on the pole – so all is well!

There were no physical books in my mailbox last week – and probably a good week for an empty mailbox! I did get a few eGalleys: Vision in Silver is book three of a dark fantasy series (for adults, not YA) that I am really looking forward to reading, and Into The Nest is the perfect book for me to read while I wait for actual springtime and nesting season to arrive.

New Arrivals – eGalleys

VisionInSilverIntoTheNest

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop from Penguin.
The New York Times best-selling author of The Black Jewels Trilogy transports readers to a world of magic and political unrest – where the only chance at peace requires a deadly price…

Into the Nest by Marie P. Read, Laura Erickson from Storey Publishing.
Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds. Spectacular, stunning, and beautiful close-up photography documents the family lives of more than 30 birds, from the first song of the courting male to the first flight of the fledglings.

How was your week?

——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

January 17, 2015 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Not-So-Wild Birds

It’s no secret that I’m NOT a cold weather person. Unfortunately, I live in the Midwest, which experiences its share of days below freezing. So it’s no surprise that I haven’t been out photographing birds for the past month. Snow, ice, subzero temperatures. Yeah, that. But today it is going to be warm – 40F+ … and I intend to be outside birding. Looking out the window just isn’t as satisfying.

Greater Chicago Bird Rescue and Adoption

Even when I’m stuck indoors I still interact with birds. In addition to being a volunteer with the forest preserve to monitor wild birds, I also volunteer a morning or two a week at a rescue shelter. Just like dogs and cats, birds need our help too. Volunteers clean cages, change food and water dishes, and spend time interacting and socializing with the birds.

Greater Chicago Bird Rescue

Birds at the shelter range in size from small birds – parakeets, cockatiels, lovebirds, finches – to the larger Macaws and Amazons. I took photos of some of the residents with my phone, and the birds agreed to be part of this week’s Weekend Birding.

Sun Conure

Lucky-SunConure_123855

This is Lucky, a Sun Conure, who was found outdoors. She is very shy. I would love to take her home!

Senegal

Wilber-Senegal_124035

This is Wilber, a beautiful Senegal. This species can live up to 50 years.

Umbrella Cockatoo

Harley-Cockatoo_101613

Meet Harley, an Umbrella Cockatoo. He is quite the character. He was following me around trying to bite my shoelaces. His owner of 20 years passed away and he is looking for a new home.

Lovebirds

Lovebirds_131216

There are a lot of Lovebirds and Budgies that need new homes.

Blue and Yellow Macaws

JellyBean-Kiwi-Macaws_105241

There are several Blue and Yellow Macaws at the shelter. These larger birds would benefit from an experienced adopter. Kiwi, the bird on the right, plucked her feathers out – possibly a result of a stressful situation in her former home.

Companion birds are a big commitment

Birds arrive at the shelter under many different circumstances. Too often people don’t realize the level of commitment it involves to have a bird in their home. Some of the larger birds can live 40, 50, or more years. Birds can be loud; they can be messy; they want our attention; they like to chew things.

Sometimes birds are abandoned by owners who tire of the responsibility, or their housing circumstances change and they can no longer keep a bird; a loving owner may become sick or dies, and no one in the family wants the bird; others are rescued from an abusive or neglectful environment; still others escape and are found outdoors.

Adopt – don’t buy

There are thousands of homeless pets – birds, along with dogs, cats and others. Adopt, don’t buy, and give a pet a home.

 


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos.

© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

January 16, 2015 / Leslie

Spotlight & Giveaway: Plus One by Christopher Noxon

Today I have a special feature and the opportunity to win a copy of Plus One, a hilarious and wickedly honest debut novel by Christopher Noxon.

About the Book

Plus OnePlus One

by Christopher Noxon
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Publication Date: January 2015
Format: Hardcover | 288 pages

Alex Sherman-Zicklin, former punk ‘zine pioneer, is a mid-level marketing executive in Los Angeles whose wife Figgy’s fourteenth TV pilot attempt becomes a huge Emmy-winning hit. Overnight, she’s sucked into a mad show-business vortex, while Alex–who has quit his job to become the family’s domestic first responder–falls in with a posse of “plus ones,” a group of men uniquely able to school him in his new role. In this wickedly honest debut novel, Christopher Noxon taps into his own experience as the husband of an acclaimed Hollywood writer/producer to deliver a story about fatherhood, fame, marriage, and a modern family in the fast lane.

About the Author

Christopher Noxon is an author, journalist, and illustrator. His debut novel PLUS ONE grew out of his experience raising three children and managing a household after his wife, TV producer Jenji Kohan, created the programs Weeds and Orange Is the New Black. He’s also the author of the nonfiction book Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes and the Reinvention of the American Grown Up. As a journalist, he has written for the New Yorker, Details, New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, and Salon. He has also covered the Democratic National Convention for Reuters; lived as a patient with recovering addicts for a Playboy feature about troubles with drug rehab; and was the first journalist to report on actor Mel Gibson’s ties to an ultraconservative Catholic splinter group in a feature for the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.

Connect with Christopher

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Webpage

Giveaway Information

Courtesy of the publicist, I have one copy of Plus One to give away to a reader with a continental US mailing address. To enter, fill out the form below on or before midnight, Saturday, January 24th. For an extra entry, tweet or blog about the giveaway. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

——————————–
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Giveaway provided by Tandem Literary.
——————————–
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,297 other followers