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Showing posts from 2015

Staff Picks 2015 & Scheduling Note

We began the year with a new annual series called Staff Picks, and we are starting to gather up those picks around here.  The 2015 series will kick off in the new year with a brand new installment of Staff Picks each week.  If you want to catch up on what we read or watched and loved last year, you can click on the links below.

Now for a scheduling note: in light of the holiday, the blog will likely take next week off.  We may be back between Christmas and New Year's with a final review to close out the new year.  We here at the Matthews Public Library wish you and your family a very merry holiday and good tidings for the new year!
Staff Picks 2014: Part 1 (Miss Sheila's picks)
Staff Picks 2014: Part 2 (Timothy's picks)
Staff Picks: Part 3 (Ms. Angie's picks)
Staff Picks: Part 4 (Miss Cherrie's picks)
Staff Picks: Part 5 (Miss Shayne's picks)

Celebrating Pride and Prejudice by Susannah Fullerton

I saw Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen's Masterpiece by Susannah Fullerton on the New Titles list in the online catalog.  And by now you all should know: I love all things British period drama and Jane Austen.  And Pride and Prejudice, above all others, warms my little British period drama loving heart.  So you really shouldn't be surprised that I had to read this book when I saw it on the New Titles list.

Fullerton covers the writing of Austen's masterpiece and by far her most popular book as well as contemporary reactions to the novel in the first couple chapters.  Subsequent chapters offer analysis of the novel's famous first sentence and its characters.  Later chapters also offer notes on the myriad translations of Austen's novel as well as its many adaptations in English and other languages.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book.  The parts I enjoyed most were the analyses of the characters that populate Pride and Prejudice.  The chapter…

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Hello, readers!  This week's review is by guest reviewer, Miss Shayne; for Miss Shayne's previous review posted to this blog, please click here, and for Miss Shayne's Staff Picks 2014 post, please click here.

I had been eyeing up this book since I saw we had it. I know I shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but I usually do. I was instantly drawn to this mysterious-looking book with the black-and-white forest on the cover. The Creeping looked so wonderfully creepy. This story takes place in a small town called Savage. We are immediately introduced to the main character, Stella, and her friends. We also get a bit of background information. Eleven years ago, Stella and her friend Jeanie disappeared, and only Stella returned chanting over and over, “If you hunt for monsters, you’ll find them.”  However, Stella doesn’t remember anything that happened that day. Eleven years later, a little girl’s body is discovered, and the story launches into a murder mystery as Stella and …

"The Secret Sharer" by Joseph Conrad

In college I had to read The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad twice.  And write a paper on it both times.  I hated the novella.  Hated. It.  I wrote the first paper for an introduction to literary criticism class, and for the school of criticism that I chose I could pretty much write about how I got nothing out of the story and why I got nothing out of it, and that's what I wrote about.  Now I had to read The Secret Sharer for a graduate class for library school--just when I thought I would never, ever have to read another Joseph Conrad anything ever again.  So that's just a little background for this review for The Secret Sharer also written by Joseph Conrad.  I didn't hate The Secret Sharer as much I came to hate The Heart of Darkness, but that's not really an endorsement either.

In The Secret Sharer the unnamed narrator has been recently appointed to command a ship, but he doesn't know why (seriously?), and he doesn't know the crew, and he doesn't kno…

The Crimson Field: Episodes 5 & 6

This is the conclusion of the reviews for the mini-series The Crimson Field.  By the conclusion of these two episodes, most everyone's secrets will be revealed to the audience if not to other characters.

Episode 5

This is the episode in which secrets are revealed for better or worse (for some it is definitely for worse).  Major Ballard is a rather unpleasant man with a secret that jeopardizes both his life and the men he serves with on the front lines.   Luckily the matron easily ferrets it out and turns him in to Lt. Col. Brett to confirm it.  Meanwhile Ballard rather enjoys taunting the matron in order to tease out her secret that was alluded to in the last episode by Sister Quayle.  Sister Quayle is mercifully absent throughout the episode having been suddenly and unwillingly dispatched back to England for a breather a.k.a. some soul searching to determine whether she can continue to serve under Matron Carter.  (If Sister Quayle cannot serve under matron without undermining her…

The Crimson Field: Episodes 3 & 4

Episode 3

Major Yellin has it in for Captain Gillan because Gillan is Scottish, has a lovely accent, and is uncivilized and barbarous by virtue of his low, Scottish birth.  Yellin is so determined in his campaign of harassment that he interferes with the care of one of Gillan's patients, and the two men almost come to blows over dinner, but Yellin backs down and runs with his tail between his legs to file a complaint with Lt. Col. Brett, who runs the field hospital.  Luckily Capt. Hesketh-Thorne has Gillan's back and is waiting up at dawn for Brett at his office to defend Gillan.  Meanwhile, Matron Carter cares for a man headed for certain death following his court martial for cowardice (though it's uncertain whether his injuries actually were self inflicted).  And Nurse Livesey's secret is (half) revealed to the wrong person.  While Flora ferrets out the orderly corporal's secret and warns him to be careful.

Episode 4

Just when Captain Gillan finally arranges a dat…

The Crimson Field: Episodes 1 & 2

Last week I introduced the mini-series The Crimson Field; please scroll down to catch up if you haven't already read it.  This week I'm writing (ranting) about the first two episodes.  If you've seen the mini-series, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought about it!

Episode 1

Rosalie, Kitty, and Flora arrive at the British Army field hospital outpost after a long journey.  The British Army nurses who welcome them are rather put out because these are civilian nurse volunteers with only a few months of training.  They need help, but they want Army nurse help that is properly trained not civilian volunteer help that isn't!  Kitty's immediately at odds with both Rosalie and the British Army nurse Matron Carter because Kitty has no patience for protocol, rules, or any other petty business, and she'll tell you so too.  Flora also runs afoul of Matron Carter, who, in order to save face in front of Sister Quayle, punishes Flora by assigning her to wash/…

The Crimson Field (DVD)

The Crimson Field is a British mini-series that aired on PBS recently.  The BBC commissioned the mini-series as part of its special programming in observance of the centenary of World War I.  Apparently the series did not receive good reviews in the British press.  And I guess it didn't get very good ratings either because it's not coming back for another season.  I've heard that some people have started a petition to get the BBC to bring it back, but I don't think that's going to happen.

I think I mentioned this program or other programs set during World War I in my review of ANZAC Girls.  At first I wasn't going to review The Crimson Field because I just reviewed another mini-series and also TCF is six episodes long.  However, after viewing the first episode, I had opinions, and I need to vent about some characters.  So now I'm reviewing it.  I'll be splitting it into three more posts, each of which will cover two episodes.

While ANZAC Girls focused …

The Bridge on the River Kwai (DVD)

The Bridge on the River Kwai was required viewing for a class I'm taking.  I had a choice between reading the book of the same title by Pierre Boulle or viewing the movie adaptation.  I chose to watch the movie which is about 40 minutes too long.

Set during World War II in a prison camp in Asia, Col. Nicholson butts heads with Col. Saito, the commandant of the prisoner of war camp that Nicholson and his men have the misfortune of landing in.  When Nicholson refuses to allow himself or his fellow officers to perform hard labor in the camp (the Geneva Conventions forbid it!), Saito throws Nicholson in the oven fully expecting him to capitulate within a few hours.  However, Saito sorely underestimates Nicholson's hardheadedness because the stalemate between the men lasts weeks (possibly months; it's hard to tell, but I know it lasts an hour in the movie) while Nicholson and his men bake in a dark hole.

When the two men finally reach an agreement that gets Nicholson and his m…

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood

Last week I confessed my weakness for fairy tales and shared a review for the book Cinderella and the Incredible Techno-slippers.  You can scroll down to read that review and also to see what I reviewed earlier in the month.  This week I'm reviewing Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Meg Hunt.  I mentioned it in the last week's blog.

This sci-fi twist on the Cinderella fairy tale is set in outer space where Cinderella is a brainy gal who fixes space ships while her stepmother and stepsisters jet off to the prince's space ship parade taking Cinderella's tool box with them and leaving her stranded at home.  Fortunately Cinderella's fairy godrobot shows up to save the day and get Cinderella to the space parade where she arrives just in time to save the prince's bacon when his space ship breaks down (you know, because the royal space ship mechanic quit and all).  Unfortunately, before the prince can get Cinderella's name she has to…

Cinderella and the Incredible Techno-slippers by Charlotte and Adam Guillain

Ya'll already know about my weaknesses for British TV/period dramas and Jane Austen adaptations.  But now I have another confession to make.  I also have a weakness for fairy tales.  They are a fascinating genre to study, which I did in college when I did an independent study with a professor on fairy tales.  That professor now teaches a course on fairy tales that shares some of the same readings we did in our independent study.  My undergraduate honors thesis was a case study of the Snow White fairy tale.  I'm not sure if you're aware, but there are hundreds of versions of most fairy tales across the world and dating back hundreds of years.  If you're interested in learning more about the study of fairy tales, some authors who have written books about the subject include Jack Zipes and Maria Tatar.  You can also check out the website SurLaLune Fairy Tales; it's a great place to start because it has almost 50 different fairy tales annotated, including histories, d…

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

In an earlier post I mentioned that we acquired some new easy reader books that I really liked and would probably be reviewing on the blog.  Stick and Stone is one these books.  I'm not sure how I found it; I may have seen it on Amazon.  But it's one of my favorite books from this year.  I don't care that it's an easy reader.  I love this book.  I think both adults and children will enjoy it, and it also contains a great lesson for children.  Stick and Stone is written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.

You guys.  I.  Love.  This.  Book.  I've read it three times now (and I'll probably read it again too), and I love it every time.  The story is told in spare, rhyming prose, and the illustrations are lovely, interesting, and creative.  It's both uplifting and a little sad--stick and stone are both alone!  They don't have friends!  Then some pine cone comes along and starts bullying stone (who could roll right over pine cone and crush him…

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Hello, readers!  This week we have a guest reviewer.  You might remember Miss Shayne from a post earlier this year during the Staff Picks 2014 series that ran during January and February.  Miss Shayne is reviewing a book that was a required text for one her classes last semester.

Last semester, I took a class about English literature.  We read several short stories and poems, but only one book: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.   Mrs. Dalloway takes place after World War I in England.  It is the story of one day in a woman’s life told through different perspectives of several people.  The story converges at a party hosted by the main character, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway.  The characters all receive some terrible news yet none seem to be affected by it except for Clarissa.
My opinion of this book differed greatly from my professor’s.  While he thought this was one of the most incredible books he had ever read, I had the typical college student’s opinion.   I didn’t like it, and it dragged …

Longbourne by Jo Baker

Longbourn is the fifth novel by Jo Baker; however, I think it's one of only two that are available in the U.S.  I started this book back in May and only recently finished it (finally, I know, right) because I got waylaid by classes.  There were about three weeks during the second class that I only had time for work work and school work because that professor crammed 95% of the work into the first three weeks of class.

You guys, I loved this book, and you have to read it if you haven't already!  Depending on how long or how regularly you've been reading this blog, you may or may not know of my affinity for English period dramas and Jane Austen adaptations in particular (okay, it might be more accurately characterized as an obsession, but who cares?).  Longbourn is in the vein of Pride and Prejudice fiction--there are numerous sequels to and re-imaginings of the famous Jane Austen novel in the form of more novels and short stories.  Longbourn is neither a sequel nor a re-im…

Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

The full title of this book is Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford with illustrations by Ekua Holmes.  I'm not sure how I came across this book.  It might have been reviewed recently in BookPage, or I may have come across it on Amazon while looking at other books.  I can't remember.  It's juvenile non-fiction, and I have another book from the easy reader section that I will probably be reviewing soon too.  I'm branching out a little bit in what I'm reviewing partially because I have classes starting again soon, and I'm not sure how much time I will have to read adult fiction or non-fiction.  And also because we got a few new easy reader children's books here at the library that I really (really) loved and wanted to tell people about them.  Voice of Freedom is one of those new books that I really liked.  It's told in verse and is accompanied by some stunning illustrations.

The book is told…

Sons of Liberty: Episode 3 (Conclusion)

Episode 3: Independence

The episode opens on the green in Lexington with the shot heard round the world.  Unfortunately, the redcoats pretty much roll right over the colonial militia men in what turns into a bloody massacre that is a short stop for the British as they march on toward Concord.  The rebels' munitions stores at Concord needs to do some fancy footwork to hide all the guns from the redcoats.  Paul Revere, Hancock, and Sam Adams (very) narrowly escape being taken captive (again).  Revere and his band hide out in the woods (again narrowly avoiding the redcoats) as they watch the regulars tear the farm turned munitions stores apart in a futile attempt to find the rebels' guns.  This time it is the rebels who run the British off rather than the other way around.

General Gage is none too happy when his troops slink back to Boston with their tails between their legs and licking their wounds.  Meanwhile, the second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia and summons Sa…

Sons of Liberty: episode 2

I just want you all to know that every time I type the title of this mini-series for the blog post title, I always type "Sons of Library."  So I think that should be the title of History Channel's next mini-series.

Episode 2: The Uprising

The Boston Tea Party commences when Sam Adams and friends seize a British ship and proceed to dump its cargo in Boston Harbor.  In retaliation the British prime minister back in London, despite Ben Franklin's futile ministrations on behalf of Boston, dispatches the "cancer" otherwise known as General Gage to Boston with more troops to bring the city to heel.

After relieving the governor of his duties in Boston and putting the city under military rule (for all intents and purposes really), Gage attempts to placate the Sam Adams problem by buying the man off.  This fails miserably, and so Gage decides the next best thing is to send a message to the city and its citizens by publicly flogging a man caught stealing.  In anothe…

Sons of Liberty: episode 1

Episode 1: A Dangerous Game

The British have put out an arrest warrant for Samuel Adams, tax collector, because he hasn't been collecting taxes.  That is, rather than put his friends out of their homes or businesses or throw them in jail when they can't afford to pay, he lets it slide.  And now the British want their money and have come to Sam to collect the debt.  Instead Sam leads his would be captors on a wild chase through the streets and over the roof tops of colonial Boston eventually eluding them when a mob of colonials chases the British regulars back to the governor's mansion.  The soldiers grab up the governor and skedaddle before the mob descends on the mansion.  And so begins Boston's ever escalating British problems.

Following the failed arrest of Sam Adams and the ensuing debacle that ended with the mob taking apart the governor's mansion, the governor decides to approach the Sam Adams problem from a different angle.  The governor reaches out to the v…

Sons of Liberty

It's been a while since my last post.  I took two classes this summer, and I didn't really have a lot of time to read anything other than class assignments, especially after the second class started.  I've been reading the same book since May and have picked that one back up after the end of the second class.  So there will be a review for that one eventually.

I recently watched History channel's mini-series, Sons of Liberty (for which I've now typed 'Sons of Library' twice).  Prior to Sons of Liberty I watched the movie Seventh Son, which stars Ben Barnes (of Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia fame) as the apprentice and seventh son of a seventh son of the title.  Ben Barnes also stars in this mini-series as Sam Adams.   Anyway some people watch this mini-series and are all 'so many errors--it's so bad.'  People.  I realize History channel didn't advertise this fact (it sounds like they buried it a little bit), but it's a mini…

Jane, The Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

I've been taking a class this summer, so I haven't had much time for reading anything other than class readings.  However, I did recently read the graphic novel Jane, The Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault.  I was shelving books in the juvenile fiction section, and I came across this book; it looked intriguing so I checked it out.  Originally written in French and published in French speaking Canada, it's been translated into English by Christelle Morelli.

Jane, The Fox & Me is both a charming and heartbreaking story about a friendless girl who is being bullied by a group of girls who used to be her friends.  What precipitated the bullying isn't elaborated upon... and really, I want to know why these girls turned on their friend, Helene.  The former friends bully Helene about her weight and call her fat, which Helene is not.  What is even more upsetting is that Helene has so internalized their barbed comments that she believes she is fat.  Helene is…

Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust

Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust is written by Loic Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano and colored by Greg Salsedo.  It was also translated by Alexis Siegel.  It's a very slim, middle level graphic novel.  This is the second Holocaust themed graphic novel that I've read.  In college I read Art Spiegelman's Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History and Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began; I also read Spiegelman's later graphic novel that depicted his experiences in New York City on September 11, 2001, and I highly recommend them all.

I don't know if Hidden is based upon the writer's family history or if it is a fictionalized Holocaust story.  Other than a synopsis of the story on the book jacket, there isn't really information on the writer and illustrator.  According to the publisher's website, Hidden is a Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book, an America Library Association Notable Children's Book, an…

How To Be A Victorian by Ruth Goodman

I had previously read a book that explained aspects of life in Austen's and Dickens' England and enjoyed it because--English period drama.  When I saw a review for this book someplace, I thought it was right in my wheelhouse--because English period drama.  The book about life in Austen's England covered English customs and life in the late 1700's to early 1800's.  The Victorian period covers about mid-nineteenth century to early twentieth century.  How To Be A Victorian: A Dawn To Dusk Guide To Victorian Life by Ruth Goodman is about exactly what the title says.

Goodman gives an account of a day in the life of the average Victorian.  She covers those living in the early Victorian period and addresses the changes to Victorian life that occurred later in the period.  She also addresses the differences in Victorian life that would exist between the classes as well.  And Goodman also distinguishes between the daily life of men, who worked outside the home, and the wor…

The 13th Gift: A True Story Of A Christmas Miracle by Joanne Huist Smith

I know, I know--I'm either late or early reading this book for Christmas.  However, I'll watch a Christmas movie even if it isn't Christmas time.  I love Hallmark Christmas movies; I've watched Lifetime's Christmas movies (not as good Hallmark's though); I've watched ionTV's Christmas movies.  I guess you could say that Christmas movies is another genre I enjoy almost as much as British period dramas.  Or maybe I like them both equally.  Anyway I don't normally read Christmas themed books.  I have read Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand, a Christmas themed book by an author I love.  My grandmother found The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith in a magazine somewhere back in December.  She read it about the same time as Napkin Notes and enjoyed it more than that one as did I.  I've checked this book out of the library a few times, and because of other readings that got in the way, I only recently got around to reading it.

In the aftermath of her hus…

The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

The Other Side of Midnight is the fourth novel by Simone St. James.  Her previous novels, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, Silence For The Dead, and An Inquiry Into Love And Deathwere all reviewed here on the blog.  You can click the links to read those reviews.  Simone St. James is an excellent writer, and I've enjoyed all of her books.  They are English period supernatural thriller/historical fiction.  Each has been a page turning, suspenseful, atmospheric, creepy, supernatural read.  Her next novel is due in April 2016.

1925.  London.  The death and terror of the war has sparked an obsession with the occult and so-called psychics who claim the ability to contact the dead.  Frauds prey on the survivors left behind who are desperate to speak with their lost loved ones one last time.  In all of England, the sole proven true psychic is Gloria Sutter, a flashy, manipulative, competitive woman, who contacts the dead for a price--she's out for herself and only herself.

One night Elli…

Deadline by John Sandford

If you've read this blog for a while now, you know that John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series is one of the series that I read.  Deadline is the eighth installment in this series.  I've read and reviewed all the previous installments on this blog.  You can click here to read the review for the previous installment in the series.  I've been doing some thinking about some of these story lines and the crimes that Virgil Flowers' has investigated over the course of the series, and some have been a little absurd and ridiculous (and in some cases, Virgil has even agreed with me!  See the review for Storm Front, the book right before Deadline).  I'm thinking about the one in which he goes up against some Vietnamese spies/assassins that come to Minnesota to rain down some vengeance stemming from a forty or fifty year old massacre that happened half a world away and the last one in which a Da Vinci Code-esque Biblical archaeological artifact heist is at the center of t…

Anzac Girls

I'm not sure how I ran across this mini-series.  I think I was looking at something on Amazon, and this was one of the recommended titles or something like that.  I thought it would be something a little different from the usual English period dramas that I watch.  With the centennial of the beginning of the first World War, there are several mini series and such that have been released--most are Australian or British productions.  Hollywood tends to focus more on World War II (there are always World War II movies coming out every year... hardly any about World War I with the recent exception of Spielberg's War Horse).  There is also the upcoming mini-series The Crimson Field which will air this summer on PBS about a British nurse (I think) serving in a military hospital in France during World War I.  It's based on a true story.  As it happens Anzac Girls is also based on a true story originally told by Peter Rees in his book, The Other ANZACS.  I haven't read the boo…

Through The Woods by Emily Carroll

It's been a long, long time since I've read a graphic novel.  I found this one when I was perusing Amazon.  You know how that goes: you go on there to look up one book and then the next thing you know, it's two hours later,  you've got a long list of interesting titles you want to read and you've forgotten why you went on there in the first place.  Or maybe that only happens to me.

Through The Woods is a graphic novel.  Carroll is a graphic artist who publishes many short comics via her website and in other print anthologies.  She lives in Canada.  I like to read a graphic novel every once in a while, and this one seemed right up my alley because the stories looked spooky.

This is a collection of several tales told in the graphic novel/comic format--all of them twisted, all creepy, with endings bleak and dark as the tales themselves.  These are tales of monsters and murder, of things that hide in the dark of the shadows and the night.  The drawings are both stark a…

How To Be A Heroine: Or What I've Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis

I feel as if I could write a book subtitled "What I've Learned From Reading Too Much" except all my lessons would be culled from Greek mythology, the Babysitters' Club, the lives of British queens, crime mysteries, suspense thrillers and celebrity and entertainment gossip.  I first ran across How To Be A Heroine by Samantha Ellis in an ad in BookPage.  The title sounded intriguing and once I looked it up on Amazon, I was in for reading it.  It reminds me of the literacy autobiography writing assignment that I had in one of my English composition classes in college--except this is the literacy autobiography on steroids.

The premise of this book is that the author revisits the seminal texts that she read in her youth by examining the lessons and impressions of the novels that she had upon her first readings when she was younger.  Ellis has then re-read the novels as an adult specifically for the writing of her own book to see if the novels hold up to her original impr…

Lives In Ruins: Archaeologists And The Seductive Lure Of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson

Lives In Ruins is Marilyn Johnson's third book.  It was initially the book that first caught my interest, but since my library had a copy of This Book Is Overdue, I read that one first.  Then we got a copy of The Dead Beat, which I also read.  In the hierarchy of Marilyn Johnson books, Lives In Ruins is at the top with This Book Is Overdue, and The Dead Beat is at the bottom.  For some reason, The Dead Beat just never caught fire for me like the other two did.  In Lives In Ruins (I love the title!), Johnson turns her sights on the field of archaeology and the passionate professionals who work in it.  It is a field about which you have to be passionate to work in it because it is not an easy life, you will never have career stability, and you won't get rich working as an archaeologist (far from it in fact).

The book begins at the beginning: at field school where archaeology students go for practical experience in the field on an actual dig.  Johnson also explores the many speci…

The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson

The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries is Marilyn Johnson's first book.  It is the second book by Marilyn Johnson that I have read and reviewed here on the blog.  I previously read and reviewed This Book Is Overdue.  Her research for The Dead Beat and the interesting obituaries of librarians that she found led her to the subject of her follow up book, which was This Book Is Overdue.

This book was a little slow to start, but it sucked me in around the part about how the New York Times dealt with 9/11 and its resultant obituaries or "portraits" as the paper dubbed its articles about the myriad missing but not yet confirmed dead.  Indeed this particular section was rather poignant.  Johnson is a fan of obituaries--she reads obits from several newspapers, including some from Great Britain.  She has even attended an international obituarists conference, an eclectic gathering of both obituary writers and the fans who faithfully, obses…