Downton Abbey: A Celebration Book Review

Earlier this year, it was announced that series 6 of Downton Abbey would be it’s last.

Over the lifetime of the series, writer Jessica Fellows, niece of the show creator Julian Fellows has published several books about the show.

The newest book is Downton Abbey – A Celebration: The Official Companion to All Six Series

Containing interviews with cast and crew, behind the scenes photos and character profiles, this coffee table book is the perfect addition to any fan’s collection of Downton Abbey memorabilia.

This book also contains spoilers about series 6. While there are tidbits here and there, towards the back of the book is synopsis of every episode. If your like me and prefer to retain your spoiler free status until the episodes air, I would especially recommend skipping temporarily the series 6 synopsis.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The final series of Downton Abbey begins on January 3rd 2016 at 9PM on PBS.


Cozy Classics Review

Ask any parent and they will tell you that their child’s education is paramount to their future success. Education does not begin when the child enters the classroom for the first time, it begins from the moment they are born.

Education begins with words and reading.

Books for the 0-2 age set are very simple. They are colors, numbers and shapes. Physically speaking, they are often board books.

Authors and twin brothers Jack and Holman Wang have taken a revolutionary approach to these board books. Simplifying recognized classics (Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Tom Sawyer, etc), they have created Cozy Classics, board books that shrink the plots of these classic novels into 12 word board books that are child friendly.

Recently the brothers have added Star Wars to their line of books.

Utilizing needle felt characters and natural photography, the images have a 3D quality that seem more real than the traditional art used in other children’s books of this genre.

These books are absolutely charming. Whether the books are for your own children or for another’s children, they are the perfect way to introduce young minds to not just basic vocabulary and concepts, but also to the classics.

I recommend them.

Happy Birthday Frank Sinatra

Today marks the 100th birthday of legendary performer Frank Sinatra.

For fans of all generations, Sinatra is many things. For women who were coming of age in the 1940’s, he was their teenage idol. Music and movie fans in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, remember him as both a respected musician and an Oscar winning actor.

Without knowing it, Frank Sinatra would pave the way for popular music as we know it today.  Unlike other artists, Sinatra was included in the conception and  recording of his albums. He created the concept album that would later become a staple of the top 40 charts. Every musician since then, regardless of the genre of music that they perform, owes this man a debt of gratitude.

He was also an activist for a better future. Including Sammy Davis Jr. in the Rat Pack during the upheaval of the Civil Rights movement was revolutionary in the 1960’s. He was an outspoken supporter of Israel.

In his prime, Sinatra was the epitome of cool. While his swagger and style has been replicated over the years, it has never been truly duplicated.

In the end, he lived the way he wanted to live.

Happy Birthday, Frank. May you live on forever.


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