Monday, June 22, 2009

Book Review: The Sea Chest by Toni Buzzeo & Mary GrandPre

The Sea Chest
Author: Toni Buzzeo
Illustrator: Mary GrandPre
Publisher: Dial (2002)
Hardcover, 32 pages, $16.99
ISBN-10: 0803727038
ISBN-13: 978-0803727038

In this tender story inspired by a popular lighthouse legend, Toni Buzzeo gives the reader a timeless tale about the meaning of family and the unique bond shared by sisters.

As her great-great-niece sits close beside her, holding a worn photograph of a baby, Aunt Maita tells the young girl the story of her life at Sanctuary Island. When Aunt Maita was ten years old, she was a lonely only child living at a lighthouse in Maine. During a particularly violent winter storm, Maita and her parents stay up all night; her father tending the light while Maita and her mother watch and worry as a ship tries to make safe passage through the churning seas. Despite their best efforts, the ship is lost to the sea.

The next day, Maita and her father go down to the shoreline to search for sea glass. Instead of bits of colored glass, they find a bundle of mattresses that washed ashore from the ship that was lost in the night. Within the mattresses they find a wooden chest; within the chest they find a baby girl. Her parents last act was to bundle her in the sea chest and hope that their daughter would survive. Maita names the baby Seaborne, and her parents raise the girl as their own. Seaborne sleeps in the sea chest that protected her until she grows too large for it. As the years pass, Maita is delighted to have a sister to share with; she's no longer a lonely little girl wishing for a friend.

When Aunt Maita finishes her story, her young niece looks at the old sea chest, which is waiting to be used for a new occupant: "the tiny stranger my mama and papa have gone to fetch from so far across the wide Atlantic. To be my sister."

Beautifully illustrated by Mary GrandPre (best known for her work on the Harry Potter series), this lyrical story of adoption and sisterly love is not to be missed.

Rating: 10/10.

Buy The Sea Chest:
Powell's | Indiebound | Amazon

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bloggiesta: Final Thoughts

Bloggiesta was perfectly timed for me. I'm house-sitting so I had a lot of free time this weekend and was able to get a lot accomplished. I hosted the Grade Your Blog Mini-Challenge and was absolutely overwhelmed by the participation. Many thanks to Natasha for a great challenge topic, and thank you to everyone who stopped in and took part in the challenge!

Here are my stats for Bloggiesta:
Day One: 9 Hours
Day Two: 11 Hours

Total Time: 20 Hours

Mini-Challenges I Completed:
The Book Lady's Blog - Clean Up Your Feed Reader
Emily's Reading Room - Google Alerts
Devourer of Books - Update a Key Post
Galley Smith - Creating Effective Anchor Text
(I did my own challenge, too, of course, but I don't think that counts!)

  • Finished formatting and published my Review Archive.
  • Added a contact form to my Contact Page.
  • Wrote and published an About Me page.
  • Formatted HTML for over 30 upcoming reviews.
  • Organized my Google Reader and removed over 20 feeds that haven't updated in the last six months.
  • Caught up on comments here at Bookish Ruth a little bit (I still have a lot of comments to attend to and I want to get around to comment on other blogs as well. I'll continue working on this over the next few days.)
  • Prepared four Quotable and four Wordless Wednesday posts in advance.
  • Wrote and scheduled two book reviews.
  • Updated my 100+ Book Challenge post.

I wish I could have participated in more of the mini-challenges and written more reviews, but I'm very happy with the progress I made. I thought my Bloggiesta was going to come to a screeching halt on Friday afternoon. I was diagnosed with shingles on Tuesday, and on Friday I was feverish and in a lot of pain. I took two long naps that day and the extra sleep made a big difference. I'm still not 100%, but I feel much better.

I really enjoyed being able to communicate with other participants on Twitter thanks to the #bloggiesta hash tag. I got a lot of great feedback from other bloggers throughout the challenge. I also enjoyed seeing what other bloggers were working on this weekend. I'll be undertaking several projects that other participants completed during Bloggiesta. I want to change to a three-column layout sometime soon, update more of my book challenge posts, fix my favicon so it shows up in Firefox again (It's showing in Internet Explorer but not FireFox), and re-write my Contact page with more details for authors and publishers.

Bloggiesta was a great experience, and something that I will definitely participate in again. I just hope the next one is a little longer. I got so many ideas from other bloggers that I wanted more time to implement them!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloggiesta: High Apple Pie in the Sky Hopes

This weekend I'll be participating in Bloggiesta, a 48 hour blogging marathon hosted by Natasha of Maw Books. The purpose of this event is to catch up on all those little things you've been meaning to do around your blog, whether it's writing reviews, creating backup posts for rainy days, reorganizing your post tags, tweaking your blog's layout, etc. I'm not sure how much I'll be doing since I'm a little under the weather at the moment, but here are a few of the things that I'd like to focus on this weekend:
  • Finish formatting my review archive and publish it. Done!
  • Add a contact form to my Contact page. Done.
  • Make a separate About Me page. Done.
  • Catch up on comments. Ongoing.
  • Format review posts in advance. Download cover images; copy and paste book information so that the HTML for the review is already in place when I sit down to write my review. (I do this on a regular basis, but need to catch up on it.) Done.
  • Review, review, review. I have a bit of a backlog of unwritten or partially written reviews. I'm house-sitting this weekend so I don't have access to all of my notes, but I have enough notes that I should be able to make significant progress.
  • Prepare and schedule future Quotable and Wordless Wednesday posts. Done. I now have a month's worth of reserves for both features.
My official start time is Friday, June 19, 2009; 11 AM EST. I'll probably be working in 1-2 hour blocks throughout today and tomorrow.

Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Grade Your Blog

Welcome to the Grade Your Blog Mini Challenge. As part of the Maw Books 48 hour blog improvement marathon, Bloggiesta, I'd like to introduce you to a great site that will help you build a better blog. Website Grader will give you a detailed report about your blog and all you need to do is enter your URL. Not familiar with Website Grader? Here's a description of the site:

Website Grader is a free SEO tool that measures the marketing effectiveness of a website. It provides a score that incorporates things like website traffic, SEO [Search Engine Optimization], social popularity and other technical factors. It also provides some basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective.

I like to run my blog through Grader every few weeks. This site will give you an overall grade (Bookish Ruth is currently graded at 97.3 out of 100), show you your Google Page Rank (Mine is 4 of 10), tell you the last time Google crawled your site, show your Technorati rating and offer suggestions for how you can improve your search engine traffic. I added meta tags to my blog after my first report suggested that I do so, and have seen my search engine traffic improve drastically. (Edit: A lot of folks have asked about this, so here is a good explanation of how to create meta tags for Blogger. Here is a tutorial for meta tags for Wordpress.)

Have a Twitter account? Don't forget to check out Twitter Grader to make sure you're maximizing your Twitter experience!

To participate in this challenge and be eligible for prizes:
1. Run your blog through Website Grader:
2. Leave a comment on this post. Did anything in your report surprise you? What sort of improvements, if any, will you be making to your blog?
3. To be eligible for the Bloggiesta giveaways, please include an e-mail address with your comment.

Don't forget the other mini-challenges:

  • Beth from Beth Fish ReadsOn lists and opinions.
  • Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog - Getting out from underneath the feed reader.
  • Jill at Fizzy ThoughtsJust when you thought the feed reader was halfway managed.
  • Emily from Emily’s Reading RoomAre you talking about me?
  • Deborah from Books, Movies, and Chinese FoodYou have a blog? So tell me about it.
  • Lynn from Chronicle of an Infant BibliophileGet listed.
  • Jen from Devourer of Books - Wow. I wrote that when? Let’s update.
  • Amy from My Friend AmyI need a friend.
  • Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?On favicons and gravatars. Huh?
  • Michelle from GalleySmithAnchor text. You mean there’s a way this *should* be done?
  • Andrea from Book BlatherAuthorities? What authorities?
  • Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Booking Through Thursday: Reading Niches

    This week's question:
    There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)

    But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.

    What niche books do YOU read?

    I do a fair amount of niche reading, and am always interested in the unusual titles that other bloggers read. My niche reading tends to fall into three categories:

    Doctor Who
    When The X-Files went off the air in 2000, I didn't think I would ever love another show that much. I was proven wrong in 2007 when a friend told me, "You've got to watch the new Doctor Who series. It's fantastic and you will love it." I watched Series 1 and was absolutely hooked by the third episode, "The Unquiet Dead", where the Doctor and Rose travel back in time and encounter Charles Dickens. And, should anyone wonder: My overall favorite episode is "Blink", but I love all of the episodes that involve historical figures. (Especially "The Unicorn and the Wasp" from Series 4, which centers around Agatha Christie. They worked 18 Agatha Christie titles into the dialogue of the episode.) For Christmas 2007, I received several Doctor Who novels and have since accumulated quite a collection of Doctor Who books. I've reviewed a few of them on Bookish Ruth, and plan to eventually have reviews of all of them here.

    Sherlock Holmes
    It will come as no surprise to regular readers of Bookish Ruth, but I do a lot of Sherlock Holmes-related reading. I was 14 when I first read one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories and have been fascinated by all things Sherlockian ever since. Again, a large percentage of my bookshelves are populated by Sherlock Holmes-related books.

    I read a lot of books about lighthouses earlier this year to help prepare an annotated bibliography of lighthouse books for children. This was a very fun and rewarding project for me. Many of my reviews have already been posted here, but I still have several that need to be properly formatted and published to the blog. (Pictured at the right is Cape Neddick Nubble Light. I took this picture on a trip to Maine in 2005.)

    And, while I wouldn't really call them niches, I also read a lot of Victorian literature (both books that were written during the Victorian Era and books that are set in that time period) and I love just about any book with a plucky female heroine.

    Do you have a reading niche?

    Mystery Read-A-Thon: Final Summary

    I took a bit of a break from blogging earlier this week while I recovered from the Mystery Read-A-Thon. It was a great experience, but very tiring. Even Gwen, my cat who stayed with me throughout the entire read-a-thon, was feeling it. The picture to the left is her falling asleep standing up during Hour 11 of the read-a-thon. She does this a lot, but it's usually at my computer desk just before I head to bed in the evenings.

    Did you finish a book?
    I finished two, Assassin by Patricia Finney and They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie. I came close to finishing a third, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer. I also read about 100 pages of Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye.

    How many pages did you read?
    I ended up with a total of 585 pages, which was rather disappointing to me. I've read 700+ page books in an afternoon many, many times so I was surprised that I didn't at least hit 800 pages during the read-a-thon.

    How did the reading go for you?
    Honestly, I was surprised at how much my reading fluctuated with each book or even the same book. My lowest hourly total was 31 pages, while my highest hourly total was just under 150 pages. I think part of this was the books that I chose. Dust and Shadow was extremely engaging, but over three hours I had read just over 100 pages. I was also trying to take notes while reading this one, and I know that slowed me down a bit. After three hours, I set it aside and abandoned my note-taking. Assassin started out slowly, but once the book picked up my reading pace did as well. They Do It With Mirrors and The Case of The Cryptic Crinoline both went very quickly for me, and I rather wish I had started with those two.

    Did you have any major disruptions?
    I didn't have any major disruptions other than a 45 minute break for dinner and some time spent mediating spats between felines. While not exactly a disruption, the clock was definitely a distraction. I checked the clock on my laptop and cell phone rather obsessively, calculating how many pages I'd read so far that hour when I really should have been reading and not worrying about my time. For my next read-a-thon, I'm going to make sure that I do not have easy access to a clock!

    Would you join in for another read-a-thon later this year?
    Absolutely. I had a lot of fun with this one even if I came up a bit short of my goals. It was a great experience.

    What else do you think about the read-a-thon?
    I had a great time. I haven't read that much in a single day for a long time, and it was wonderful to just relax with a book and a cat curled up at my feet all day. I did get tired, especially around Hour 9. I rallied a bit for the last two hours of the read-a-thon, and those two hours were the best for me statistically.

    Sunday, June 7, 2009

    TSS: Mystery Read-A-Thon Starts Now

    For the next twelve hours I'll be participating in the Mystery Read-A-Thon. In the image above you can see the books I have to choose from, listed from bottom to top:

    Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye
    The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
    The Last Nightingale by Anthony Flacco
    The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding
    The Lady Grace Mysteries: Assassin by Patricia Finney
    They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie

    I'll be happy if I get through three of these, but pleasantly surprised if I can exceed that. I'm a fairly fast reader but have never done a read-a-thon before so I'm not sure what to expect from myself. My official start time is 12:45 PM and I'll be reading until 12:45 AM.

    I'll post updates every four hours here, and hourly on Twitter.

    End of Hour 4 Update, 4:45 PM:
    It does not feel like I've been reading for four hours. It's not unusual for me to read this long on a weekend afternoon, so it hasn't felt like much of a challenge yet. I've read 149 pages in a total reading time of 3 hours, 3o minutes.

    End of Hour 8 Update, 8:45 PM:
    I'm up to 385 pages total, with 236 pages in the past 3 hours, 15 minutes. I took a break from Dust and Shadow (I'm loving it too much to read it in a hurry; I really want to savor it) at the start of hour five and switched to Assassin by Patricia Finney, which I finished right before taking a break for dinner. At the moment I'm reading They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie. I'm starting to feel a bit tired now and have been taking more frequent breaks during the past hour.

    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    Mystery Read-A-Thon: Introductory Post

    Many bloggers are participating in the 48 Hour Reading Challenge this weekend. I've never done a reading marathon before and thought that the 48 Hour Challenge might be a little too ambitious for me as a first read-a-thon. I also knew that I was going to be busy for most of the day today.

    I've enjoyed cheering the participants on (and rather wished that I'd joined them), so when Vasilly mentioned that there was a 12 hour Mystery Read-A-Thon scheduled for tomorrow, I couldn't resist signing up. My favorite genre, a shorter time frame, and the fact that I have tomorrow completely free? Yeah, I'm there. I'll be starting the challenge tomorrow at 12:00 PM EST and finishing at 12:00 AM EST. I'll be posting periodic updates tomorrow, both here on the blog and on Twitter.

    Kathrin, one of the organizers of the Mystery Read-A-Thon posted some interesting introductory questions:

    What books do you want to read during this read-a-thon?
    Since I'm also doing the 30 Books in 30 Days Challenge, I'll be picking mysteries from this list. I'll be starting with Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye, and I'll see what I'm in the mood for after that.

    How many books do you hope to finish?
    I would be really happy if I finished three or more books.

    What (if any) breaks do you intend to take?
    I'll probably take a few short breaks throughout the 12 hours, with a longer break for dinner. It's really going to depend on how things go tomorrow.

    Do you generally read lots of mysteries and thrillers or are they one of the many genres you like?
    I read a lot of different genres, but mystery is my overall favorite genre. I love puzzles and I always enjoy the challenge of trying to solve a case ahead of the characters in a book.

    What are some of your favorite authors?
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Laurie R. King, Agatha Christie, Nancy Springer, Tess Gerritsen, Michael Crichton, Elizabeth Peters.

    If you could make us all read one mystery or thriller for this read-a-thon, which one would it be and why?
    This is a tough question! I love Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and heartily recommend them. I'm also a big fan of the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King. (I'm quite tempted to re-read her newest book, The Language of Bees, during the read-a-thon even though I just read it last month. Is it time for the next book yet?!)

    Do you prefer series or stand alones?
    I will read both, but I'm probably more of a series reader. When I meet characters that I really like, I want to hang onto them.

    Friday, June 5, 2009

    Review of The Mystic Lighthouse Mysteries: The Mystery of the Dark Lighthouse

    The Mystic Lighthouse: Mystery of the Dark Lighthouse
    The Mystic Lighthouse Mysteries: The Mystery of the Dark Lighthouse
    Author: Laura E. Williams
    Publisher: Scholastic (2002)
    Paperback, 128 pages
    ISBN-10: 0439217261
    ISBN-13: 978-0439217262

    Eleven-year-old twins Jen and Zeke live at the Mystic Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast with their Aunt Bee. As guests gather to celebrate the lighthouse's bicentennial, a storm causes a power outage.

    After Jen and Zeke discover a young guest, Karen Mills, searching for something in the B&B, they're intrigued. Karen is related to Catherine Markham, the daughter of Mystic Lighthouse's first keeper. Karen has Catherine's diaries and is searching for secret passages that are mentioned in the diary. There are also rumors of a treasure hidden somewhere in the lighthouse and it quickly becomes apparent that each guest is searching for it. Can Jen, Zeke and Karen find it first?

    The reader is encouraged to gather clues and solve the mystery along with the main characters. A blank suspect sheet like the one Jen and Zeke use in the story is provided for the reader. A fun and exciting story in a great setting.

    Rating: 7/10.

    Buy The Mystery of the Dark Lighthouse:
    Powell's | Indiebound | Amazon

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Book Giveaway & Interview with Mary Stanton, Author of Angel's Advocate

    Today I'm very pleased to welcome Mary Stanton, author of the newly published Angel's Advocate, to Bookish Ruth. Thank you Ms. Stanton for sharing your time with me and my readers!

    This was my first time reading a paranormal cozy mystery and I have to admit that initially I was a bit skeptical. However, the magic of Beaufort & Company quickly won me over. What would you say to other mystery lovers who might be hesitant to pick up a paranormal cozy?

    I was skeptical about writing it! When the idea for Beaufort & Company began to come together in my head, I thought of it as urban fantasy, and not as a paranormal cozy at all. I love great fantasy; Charles de Lint, James Blaylock; Emma Bull; Dan Simmons--these are all marvelous writers working in a great tradition, and I tried to follow in their footsteps. I hope I succeeded a little bit. But there are readers for whom urban fantasy doesn't work, either. So I guess I'd say: "There's lots of great books out there! If you don't like fantasy, there are other genres that you will love."

    The world you have created for this series is so unique -- an interesting blend of Dante, Paradise Lost and Law & Order. What was your inspiration for Beaufort & Company?

    I'm tickled you recognized the Dante; and I hadn't thought about Law&Order, but I'm a fan of the series, so a bit of that certainly must have crept in.

    I did approach the whole notion of the Celestial Spheres and the Company of Angels in the traditional way of fantasy writers. I did what fantasy writers call 'world-building' which means you create a whole back story for the universe. This back story has to be coherent, logical, and as authentic as possible. So it took a lot of work. And I'm still adding to it.

    I enjoyed the relationship between Bree and her sister, Antonia. They are both very strong characters with a genuine sisterly affection for one another. Can you talk a bit about developing their characters, especially in relation to each other?

    I'm glad Bree and Tonia come across well. They are actually very easy to write. I have two sisters--neither one of them an aspiring actress--and I love them dearly. I think a lot of that sisterly cross-fire crept into Bree and Tonia's relationship. (And yes, I'm the oldest sister.)

    Since Bree's client, Lindsey Chandler, is accused of stealing from a Girl Scout, I feel that I have to ask this question: Do you have a favorite type of Girl Scout cookie?


    Is it more challenging to write temporal characters like Bree and Lindsey or angelic characters such as Ron, Petru and Lavinia? What about canine characters like Sasha?

    It's harder to write good guys. It's much easier to write bad guys. Truly good and saintly characters are to be much admired, but they are bor-r-r-ing. I have the most fun writing the sleazy lawyer, Payton the Rat, and his sleazy boss. In the 3rd Beaufort & Company, which I just turned in to Berkley, the easiest parts of the novel were when Beasley and Caldecott showed up. They are the lawyers for the Opposition. They make a brief appearance in ANGEL'S ADVOCATE.

    As for Sasha--I began my career as a writer with a novel much like WATERSHIP DOWN, except the characters were horses instead of rabbits. Animals are much much much harder than people--unless you turn them into people in dog suits or horse suits or rabbit suits. Sasha is sort of in-between; he's more angelic than dog-like.

    You have written two other mystery series as Claudia Bishop, the Hemlock Falls Mysteries and Dr. McKenzie Mysteries. How do you divide your writing time between multiple series?

    Well, it's actually pretty hard. For three seasons of the year, we live in Upstate New York. We have a working goat farm (900 goats, 300 sheep) and although we have lots of help, my real life gets pretty hectic. So I set my working year up in three-month increments. I can usually get a first draft in three months, then I take a few weeks off, and rewrite. Then I take a few weeks off and start another novel.

    In Angel's Advocate, Bree muses that reading detective novels might help her during her investigations. As an author, what would you recommend to her?

    Now that's a really cool question! Hmmm. Probably Sue Grafton, SJ Rozan, Lee Child, and maybe all of Nero Wolfe. Those guys are great on how an investigation works. If your blog readers have more suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

    What's in store for Bree next? Can you give us a teaser for the third book in the series, Avenging Angels?

    I decided that Bree needed to know a lot more about the background of Beaufort & Company. So she learns more about the Celestial Spheres. And DEFENDING ANGELS, the first in the series, was a little thin on the mystery end. So I concentrated on writing the best mystery I could, with a nice twist at the end. I had a lot of fun with that.

    Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton
    Angel's Advocate Book Giveaway

    Mary Stanton is giving away a signed copy of her book, Angel’s Advocate, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Mary’s book tour page,, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 7147, for your chance to win. Entries from Bookish Ruth will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Mary’s book tour page next week.

    Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops on Ms. Stanton's tour:

    Musings of a Bookish Kitty | Mystery Reader Discussion | Book's Ahoy | Wendi's Book Corner | Mystery Books News | Allie's Musings | Shhh I'm Reading

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    Discussion: ARCs and Book Buying

    Open BookI recently received an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I loved the book so much that I decided to purchase a finished copy of the book as well. I realized that this is something that I do fairly often -- I can think of at least five books that I have bought finished copies of after reading an advance copy.

    If you read an advance copy of a book and love it, do you buy a finished copy when it's available?

    What do you do with the ARC if you purchase a finished copy? Do you keep it? Do you pass it on to a friend or another reviewer?

    Have you ever NOT purchased a book that you normally would have because you received an ARC?

    Wordless Wednesday: Stained Glass; Valley Forge, PA

    Stained Glass Panel
    Washington Memorial Chapel
    Valley Forge, PA

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Book Review: Sirius, the Dog Star by Angeli Perrow

    Sirius, The Dog Star
    Sirius, The Dog Star
    Author: Angeli Perrow
    Illustrator: Emily Harris
    Publisher: Down East Books (2002)
    Hardcover, 32 pages, $15.95
    ISBN-10: 0892725451
    ISBN-13: 978-0892725458

    During the winter of 1897, young Nathan and his loyal Newfoundland dog, Sirius, are aboard the Goldhunter. The book begins with the young ship crewman pointing out the constellation that the dog was named for -- Sirius, the Dog Star.

    When the Goldhunter strikes a ledge during a storm, the sailors abandon ship. After rowing for more than six hours, the men in the lifeboat are exhausted. As they approach Maine's Boon Island Light, Nathan asks Sirius to help. The strong Newfie takes the bow line and swims to the waiting lighthouse keeper, delivering his friend Nathan and his shipmates to safety.

    This is another beautifully illustrated book by Angeli Perrow and Emily Harris. The storm scenes in particular are quite eye-catching. Sirius, the Dog Star will delight both dog lovers and lighthouse enthusiasts.


    Monday, June 1, 2009

    The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes Giveaway Winner

    The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
    Many thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway for The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Short Stories. The response was overwhelming! I really enjoyed reading what everyone's favorite Holmes stories are. It's nearly impossible for me to choose; "The Red-Headed League" is my sentimental favorite since it was my first exposure to Sherlock Holmes, but I also love "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" and "The Adventures of the Copper Beeches".

    Anyway, back to business. The lucky winner of this beautiful set is Heather J. of Age 30+...A Lifetime of Books! I've already contacted Heather to confirm her address. Congratulations Heather, I hope you enjoy your set as much as I love mine!