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A Wedding Walk

I will have samples of BeautiControl Skincare, Spa, & Color products out for testing. BeautiControl -- Products Beyond Compare -- Bridal Shower Spas; Bridal Party Make Up and Skincare Parties. Brides who book a skincare or make-up party; make an appointment for invitations; or buy any wedding planner may enter my drawing -- five prizes will be awarded! Free gift with every purchase while supplies last.

Henry McAllan was an engineer when he wooed and won city-bred, Laura. So she is caught by surprise and unprepared when Henry announces that he’s bought his “dream,” -- a farm in rural Mississippi. Henry hopes Laura will grow to love it and suggests a picturesque name, but in her heart Laura names it Mudbound – and that’s the name that sticks as she struggles daily to survive and make a life for her family.

The year is 1946, and a generation of American Heroes is returning home. Two young men return to the McAllan farm to help work the land: Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not--charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. The other returning hero is Ronsel Jackson, the eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the farm. Good soldiers took pride in themselves and their unit, and many learned to respect their fellow soldiers regardless of society’s color barriers. As Jamie tries to understand and exorcise the demons he’s brought home from the war, he finds he has more in common with Ronsel than he does with his family. But the war changed nothing in Mississippi, where “white folks” still won’t tolerate a “colored boy” who’s forgotten his “place.” Hillary Jordan has crafted an amazing first novel. Laura’s story is personal and poignant. Jamie and Ronsel’s story mirrors society’s story – gut-wrenching and shameful. Mudbound’s world came alive and the further in I ventured, the harder it was to put the book down.

In choosing Mudbound for the Bellwether Prize, Barbara Kingsolver said of Jordan, "Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still." I read this book in early January, and I feel the same way. You’ll get caught up in Mudbound.

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by Hillary Jordan

y da ur

You Don’t Have to be Planning a Wedding to take a Wedding Walk this Saturday! Start at T h e K a l e i d o s c o p e, pick up your Walking Papers and join in the fun. Start with the right Wedding Planner for your personal style. Our Completely Custom Invitations are designed especially for you at prices to fit any budget -- designs as limitless as your imagination. Let me help you with graduation, baby shower, anniversary and birthday party invitations, too. Wedding Programs -- as simple or elaborate as you want, and printed just-in-time to accommodate last minute changes. Look for my samples on display. Many of the Specialty Shops will have special guests or extras on Saturday. At The Kaleidoscope, I’ll be hosting Debbie Currier from A Better Image. Let her customize towels, robes, hats and more. Ask about her embroidered wedding invitations for framing. School Logo items too. Drop off your linens for monogramming right here at The Kaleidoscope. Jennifer Hobson, our local Creative Memories Scrapbooking Consultant will have wedding ideas on display.

Mudbound

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This Saturday! Hampton Area Specialty Shops Present

All Hampton Reads

Author Alert!

Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

You still have time to participate in All Hampton Reads, sponsored by The Hampton Public Library, The Coulter Public Library, and The Kaleidoscope.

Join Us this Monday, March 31, 5:30 p.m. at merry bee’s for a book discussion.

Come meet Mildred on April 7. We’ll talk about her book, eat Applesauce Cake and Cotton Tops, and Millie will sign autographs.You can meet her at 2pm, Franklin Prairie Apartments Franklin Prairie Apartments are the assisted-living apartments just east of the hospital. They have a lovely lobby area with room for everyone.

Hampton’s Most Wanted!

I went to Jail for Good! Thank You to everyone who helped bail me out by making a contribution to MDA. April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks, “Go.” ~Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe

Keri’s Favorite Book of 2006 Coming Soon in Paperback!

Though the culture in contemporary China is quite different from our own, family issues are universal. My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin is a powerful and moving coming-of-age story, and readers will cheer Li Hui on, hoping she finds her way as she attempts to “hold up her half of the sky” while being a respectful and dutiful daughter. My Half of the Sky opens up a hidden China, one still controlled by ancient codes of honor, the voices of ancestors, and elite men in powerful positions. “All things China” are big this year as we approach the Olympic Games – but this is one thing China that will not be easily consumed, discarded and forgotten.

It’s been almost two years since I first read Li Hui’s story about trying to meet traditional expectations in modern China, but Li Hui and her story won’t let me go. I wonder if she has escaped China forever, if she’s found her place in the world, if she’s made friends. I wonder how her parents can live with themselves, if her true love will come for her, how she will support herself and her child.

In the tradition of Gone With the Wind or Jane Eyre, My Half of the Sky paints an intimate yet epic portrait of a young woman who survives even though she seems to be trapped by her circumstances. And Jana promises that she’s well on her way to finishing the sequel. If you can’t wait, I still have a few signed copies of the hardcover first edition in stock.


Vampires and Easter:

Christ the Lord by Anne Rice

I hope it’s not too late to share my Good Friday essay with you. I really enjoyed these books this Easter Season, and am anxiously awaiting the last one in the triology -- which we probably won’t get until next Easter.

I have a confession to make: I love vampire stories. I think it started in 4th grade. If I ran all the way, I would arrive home in time to see the last few minutes of Dark Shadows – and even though my mom wouldn’t be home for another 20 minutes, I knew I wasn’t supposed to watch it. So I’ve read several of Anne Rice’s vampire stories, but when I heard three years ago that she’d written a book about Jesus, I avoided it. As a Christian, I was afraid of what she might do to the stories that are so important to me. That changed for me this Easter. I read her Christ the Lord books. They are amazing.

Why is this Friday Good? I had a young customer ask me this question earlier this week. She wanted to know why we called today Good Friday when it marks the death of Jesus. I told her that it certainly wasn’t a good day for Jesus, but that his death was a good thing for us – the ones he died for. In most countries, today is known as Holy Friday or Great Friday. Arab Christians – those closest to the events we commemorate this weekend, call this day Sad Friday, and in Chinese, today is Day of Christ’s Suffering. English’s little word good comes to us from the Dutch goede. But its meaning in this case is best understood as great. Great as in great work – much was accomplished in Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection. Since 1974, Anne Rice’s name has

been synonymous with vampire fiction. Her work always reflects carefully researched and accurate historical settings in which vampires happen to live. Having rejected the rigid religion of her youth, and living her adult life as an atheist, she had still always wondered, “How did Christianity happen?” and “Why did Rome actually fall?”. In 2002, she decided to put everything else aside until she answered these questions. What she discovered astounded her: “What gradually came clear to me was that many of the skeptical arguments…lacked coherence. They were not elegant. Arguments about Jesus himself were full of conjecture. Some books were no more than assumptions piled upon assumptions. Absurd conclusions were reached on the basis of little or no data at all. “In sum, the whole case for the nondivine Jesus who stumbled into Jerusalem and somehow got crucified by nobody and had nothing to do with the founding of Christianity and would be horrified by it if he knew about it – that whole picture which had floated in the liberal circles I frequented as an atheist for thirty years – that case was not made. Not only was it not made, I discovered in this field some of the worst and most biased scholarship I’d every read.” Rice credits a book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, with providing the answer to her deepest questions: “Christianity achieved what it did, according to N. T. Wright, because Jesus rose from the dead.

“It was the fact of the resurrection that sent the apostles out into the world with the force necessary to create Christianity. Nothing else would have done it but that.” So in 2005, Rice “did violence to her career” by writing a book about the Jesus revealed in the Gospels. She writes that in retrospect she understands that all her previous novels reflected her “guilt and misery” at “being lost in a world without light” and “reflected my quest for meaning in a world without God.”

So if this Friday is in anyway Good, it is only because Easter celebrates a reality: Christ is risen. He is risen, – Keri indeed.

For Our Younger Readers…

Sofia and the Heartmender by Marie Olofsdotter is a great kid's pick. Sofia is afraid of the dark and her parents and teacher don’t take her fear seriously. These two problems are practically universal with kids. In Sofia and the Heartmender, Marie Olofsdotter empowers Sofia to solve both problems herself. Sofia’s magical journey to the heartmender gives her what she needs to replace her fear of the dark with anticipation of the moonlight, and to talk with her teacher and parents until they can hear her. The crayon and scratch-board illustrations are fun and accessible. Sofia and the Heartmender belongs in every library, and in the homes of every parent interested in empowering their children to help themselves. Not So Tall for Six by Dianna Hutts Aston Kylie Bell, a spunky and clever first grader uses her family motto to guide her actions when she stands up to a bully: Brave and Smart, Big at Heart. First she earns Rusty's respect. Later when she finds the courage to invite him into her reading circle, she gains his friendship. A great book for the "little ones" in your life, it will also make a good addition to any classroom. How to Handle a Bully curriculum guide available -- just ask!

The Pirates of Turtle Rock I see that Richard Jennings owns a parrot -- perhaps that is why he decided to tell a modern-day pirate story. Jenny Snow finds herself torn between exotic and perhaps dangerous Coop(er) DeVille, and dependable and perhaps a bit boring Burson. Toss in an eccentric Uncle, an artistic mother, and the treasure of the Ugiri-Tom, missing since 1795, and you end up with a summer adventure to remember. Aaargh! -- The Pirates of Turtle Rock, a mystery for middle readers. Coming mid-April.

BeautiControl -- Products Beyond Compare

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Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

(I wrote this in November after reading the advance edition -- the book is out now and waiting to become you and your children’s classic folktale favorite. --Keri)

I'm sitting here alone in my shop listening to Mannheim Steamroller's Stille Nacht and it seems like the fitting accompaniment to my pondering of Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. Like Ms George, I also have Danish forbears and my love of Nørsk / Dansk tales was entrenched before I was conscious of it. Mercer Mayer's lushly illustrated East of the Sun & West of the Moon (which fortunately I bought while it was still available in hardcover) is a favorite in my children's book collection. So you see I had high hopes when I requested an advance copy of Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. As it happens, my high hopes were only foothills, Ms George having quickly run up and over. This is a glorious telling of an old, old story that begs to be read aloud. I can almost hear Burl Ives -- it must be the ice and snow and echoes of Rudolph in my mind. I understand Not A Box Event for Boys

Before play stations and gameboys Before ipods, my space & facebook Before Sesame Street & learning toys Before all these there was the box. You’re invited to an exercise in imagination

Story • Activity • • Snack • A Box for Everyone •

Date: Sat., April 19, 2008 Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Place: The Kaleidoscope

$3 -- Reserve Now, Space Limited More Info: 641-456-2787

This event is designed for Boys 5-10 Younger Boys Welcome with Adult Companion

another reader’s comparisons of George to Patricia Wrede and Tamora Pierce, but it's superfluous, for George stands alone. Her narrative voice exactly captures the tone of quiet stories around a warm fire on a cold night. The woodcutter's family is so human, it could be mine. Hans Peter's post traumatic shock, eased only by Lass; Lass's desire to help him be happy again; gifts from a magical reindeer; isbjørner -- real and enchanted; trolls; one nameless pika determined to set things right - and someone who's loved the story her whole life to weave it all together for us -- who could ask for more? So, yes, I'll sell it to my Tamora Pierce fans. I'll sell it to my fantasy fans. But I'll also put it in the hands of those grandmas and aunts I know who still love fairy tales, and I’ll say, "You gotta read this." And they will. Then they'll pass it on. Here's wishing Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow seasons of life around family hearths for generations to come. My grandchildren will grow up thinking it is a classic. Ages 14+.


Computers for Beginners

April is … National Poetry Month The Kaleidoscope is celebrating.

Short Classes to Get You Started

Buy a book of poetry in April, including children’s poetry books, and receive a CD of poetry free (while supplies last).

$5 each ( pre-registration requested) Call Today: 641-456-2787

As you may know if he’s helped you with the Sony Picture Station, my husband Paul knows a lot about all things technical and he’s a good and patient teacher. We want you to think of us as your Digital Camera Experts -- and something that goes along with that is helping you answer some basic questions about personal computers. Paul has designed two classes for you.

Carry a poem to share on April 17th for Poem In Your Pocket Day. Stop by The Kaleidoscope and read the poem to us, and receive 10% off any in-stock book -- including books already on sale.

Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. So you think you need a computer?

Poem in Your Pocket Day is Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets & the American Booksellers Association. “In this age of mechanical and digital reproduction, it's easy to carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own PIYP day event. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:” • Start a "poems for pockets" give-a-way in your school or workplace • Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems • Post pocket-sized verses in public places • Handwrite some lines on the back of your business cards • Start a street team to pass out poems in your community • Distribute bookmarks with your favorite immortal lines • Add a poem to your email footer • Post a poem on your blog or social networking page • Project a poem on a wall, inside or out •Text a poem to friends

Women Today

presents

About Women By Women For Women

April 13th 1 pm to 5 pm AmericInn Lodge & Suites Conference Area

We've done it! Hampton Today is sponsoring their first Women's Half Day Retreat. It's Spring and time for women to come together to share, celebrate and learn!

Sunday April 13th you are invited to attend the Women Today Half Day Retreat at AmericInn Lodge & Suites in Hampton, Iowa. Admission is $5.00 in advance, or $7.00 at the door. Tickets can be purchased from Kaleidoscope and AmericInn. If PayPal is a better option for you, contact Deb at 641-4581114 for more information. We will be serving cheese, crackers, dip and celery. If it's a cold day, hmmmm mulled wine. If its a warm day, oh boy wine coolers! There will be prizes given away all day long from the various speakers attending.

Who's speaking and what will we be covering? Glad you asked! Here's just a few of our honored speakers (we are still confirming other speakers): Jenn Hobson - Telling Your Family Story with Creative Memories Jerre Grefe RN CH - Hypnotherapist Keri Holmes -Healthy Skin at Any Age by Beauti Control Jan Roberts -Mind, Body and Spirit Massage Judy Harper -Towns End Winery and Gifts Hope Polk - Gold Canyon Candles Deb Brown – Natural Cleaners with Melaleuca

Each speaker will also have an area that you can visit. View their products and get all of your questions answered.

Overnight Package Available AmericInn has a special for those of you who might want to stay overnight. For only $69.90 two people can stay in a room and receive their admission to the retreat free! This is good for Saturday and/or Sunday. Breakfast is included, there is a whirlpool as well.

Why A Retreat? The central theme of this half day retreat is about women, by women, for women. Take half a day and spend it being pampered – learn new things from women in our own community! Drink some wine and have cheese and crackers, enjoy other women's company, win a prize – but most of all, get away from the everyday. Retreat.

Jennifer Louden says “I call this the when-then whine. "When I'm done with my Ph.D., then I'll take some time off" or "When the kids graduate from high school, then I'll go on a retreat." The call to attend your deepest self speaks in the tongues of yearning - how you drive yearningly by the dance center or obsessively read the adult education class schedule or stare at the patch of woods you can see from your office window. What are you waiting for? Ask yourself. Stop reading, close your eyes, and ask yourself, "What am I waiting for?" -- Deb Brown & Keri Holmes

•Your grandkids want to play on one when they visit •Your friends/kids want to send you e-mail & pictures •You cannot get new ribbon for your typewriter, but you still need to write your Christmas letter. •You got this new camera, and it’s “digital”

You have heard about this stuff, but where do you start? Right Here. This 45 minute session will cover the basics of what you can do with a computer, and what it’s likely to cost. Included is a handout with summary information and a worksheet to help you compare options when you shop.

Monday, May 5, 6:30 p.m. Now that I’ve got a computer, what can I do with it? • Stand-alone projects •Pictures •Music •Writing •Internet projects •E-Mail •Web Browsing •Getting Free Stuff •Staying in touch with friends

This 45 minute session will walk you through specific examples of the types of projects that you can do with your computer. Included is a CD with free software tools from the class.

Upcoming classes

•So you think you want a digital camera? •Digital pictures and your computer

Remember, at The Kaleidoscope, you’re our neighbor, not a number.

Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller

The title implies it, and the book delivers. This isn’t just an insightful and sensitive biography of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. It is our biography too. If you’re a “Baby Boomer” woman your story will resonate with every word of Girls Like Us. I’ve pre-sold four of these -they’re due in mid-April. Reserve yours today. This one I’m buying for me.

The Accident Man by Tom Cain

If Princess Diana’s death wasn’t an accident, who would want her dead? Who would benefit from her death? And how would her death be made to look like an accident?

British investigative journalist, Tom Cain poses these questions, then answers them (and more) in The Accident Man. This is a thriller for people who don’t usually read thrillers.

I was shocked when I heard about Princess Diana’s death. She meant more to me than I even knew – I only found out how much she meant when I started to cry when I heard the news report. She carried herself with grace and honor in a broken family system and under intense public scrutiny. She raised her sons to be as normal as humanly possible considering their apparent destinies. And she used her public platform to speak out on global issues that were important to her.

And yes, The Accident Man is fiction. It is a novel. But it also makes too much sense. It’s a fascinating read for the conspiracy theorist in all of us.

1000 Ways to be

a Slightly Better Woman by Pamela R. Satran

I enjoyed every page of 1000 Ways to be a Slightly Better Woman. It will make a fun gift for the woman in your life – especially if that woman is you. If you think that basically you’re okay, but you’re open, as the author says to “a little tweaking,” this book contains just enough inspiration to encourage without overwhelming you. It’s just right.

For Any Seeker

Timothy Keller's The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism builds solid, reasoned arguments for God's existence -- arguments that educated and / or thinking people need not apologize for. Given the post-post-modern state of our culture, this is no small feat. But our young adults are looking for rationality beyond the post-modern "whatever anyone thinks is right is right for that person" morass. Keller steps up to the podium and gives those questioners what they're looking for.

I appreciate that the book is carefully researched, and documented with extensive footnotes -- not only does Keller point us to his sources for further study this way, but he also allows us to see whose voices join in to his arguments.

April is a promise that May is bound to keep. ~Hal Borland


Fall to Grace by Kerry Casey

I enjoyed this book very much. It captures wonderful details of small town life in Minnesota, while telling a moving story about dealing with tragedy. Fans of books by Karen Kingsbury will appreciate the themes and storytelling techniques of the author. The two 13 year old boys who form the center of this story each lose their fathers on the same day. While they each react in different ways, they establish a friendship that is unshakable. Typical of Northern Minnesota, hockey plays an important role in their lives. If you know someone who appreciates how sport brings out character (both good and bad), this would be a great gift. -- Paul

It’s beginning to look a lot like … Spring!

I know we just had snow this week, but ready or not, spring is on its way. Drive by and see Kathleen in the window – she’s wearing her yellow raincoat, and the spring wind has caught her umbrella. Then stop in and check out our table full of Gardening and Wildlife Books. I brought some marigold seeds home from the spring bookseller’s meeting. Buy any book off the gardening table, and I’ll give you a package of seeds (while supplies last).

I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed By Me

This is the quirkiest little book I’ve ever seen. Trevor Paglen has gathered up actual mission patches from various military “black” (classified or covert) operations. Then he filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act, and got descriptions of the military operation each patch commemorates. In addition to color photographs of each patch, the book includes an introduction to military insignia. This is one of those books where seeing really is better than describing. If you have any interest in knowing about the secret projects your tax dollars fund, this may be the book for you. Quirky, funny, unique -- for the hard to buy person on your list.

Newest Staff Member Recommends Books

If you’ve been in the store lately, you’ve already met her. But for the rest of you, I’d like to introduce you to Sassy, the newest addition to our staff. She’s been with us almost three weeks now, and is settling in nicely. After retiring from the Show Ring, Sassy went home to the farm to raise a few litters of puppies. After that work was complete, she was ready for a family. When I heard her story, and had a chance to meet her, I knew she’d fit right in here.

Sassy’s favorite book is The Nature of Dogs -- photos and essays for the dog lover in your life. Sassy’s favorite essay in the book is titled Cat-Dog Marriage. Stop by and read it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too. Sassy also recommends Are You Ready for Me? a book for families to help them decide if they are really ready to take on the responsibility of a pet. She also enjoys Forever Home because it tells the story of abandoned dog Trina, who finds a forever family.

Store Hours

Always Open with Free Shipping On-Line at ourfocusisyou.com Monday

Noon

6 pm

Tuesday

Noon

6 pm

Wednesday

11 am

7 pm

Thursday

11 am

7 pm

Friday

11 am

5 pm

Saturday

Noon

4 pm

Sunday

Closed Closed Most Holidays

The modern life is about pursuing power, wealth, things. Even friends and loved ones become more like accessories than priorities. In The Cure for Modern Life, Lisa Tucker introduces a ten year old boy into the world Matthew has constructed around himself. And the walls come tumbling down. Is it possible that the cure for modern life is the same old socializing force it's always been -- homes instead of houses, family instead of careers, relationships instead of "doing lunch?" Tucker makes the reader believe and murmur, "Yes, yes, yes."

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

This is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. If you've begun to feel like all the fantasy books you read are rehashes of Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, this is the book for you. It has the depth of a classic and storytelling that won't let you go. We will have the paperback version in the store when it is released on April 1. And when the sequel is released this fall, we hope to have the author in for a book signing. -- Paul

Some Thoughts About Reading…

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

"Babies are born with the instinct to speak, the way spiders are born with the instinct to spin webs. You don't need to train babies to speak; they just do. But reading is different." — Steven Pinker

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. She will not want new fashions nor regret the loss of expensive diversions or variety of company if she can be amused with an author in her closet." — Lady Montagu providing advice on raising her granddaughter, 1752 "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney

Choose Your Own Adventure by R. A. Montgomery

Much of the entertainment for kids today is "interact i v e " . Computer and video games adapt to the choices each player makes. For some younger readers, books may not catch their attention because of their static nature. One story beginning to end, no changes, no choices.

Make room for the classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" series. These short books allow the reader to influence the story as it progresses. Depending on their choices, they turn to different pages and the story changes. After his first five minutes with the book, one of our young patrons was telling me how he would avoid turning to page 41, because "There the robot gets destroyed!". These books cover adventure in many different forms, from under-water to outer-space, from the Amazon to the Far East. We even have some of these stories for pre-chapter-book beginning readers. These text and picture books capture the imagination. They are particularly attractive to kids who love to "figure out how to win", since each book has many different endings. -- Paul

Kaleidoscope Newsletter March 2008  

Book reviews special events and more from the Kaleidoscope Bookstore: Our Focus is You www.OurFocusIsYou.com

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