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Gang Roundup – June 2018 – A 1920s Summer

I don’t know what’s happening to me, I’m in a total slump. Don’t you hate it when it happens? I know I have so many things to do and still I can’t do anything. I’m so mad with myself!
Know what I’m going to to? I’m going to set a nice schedule with deadlines for me and see whether this will shake me and give me a purpose. I need to do somethign about it!

In the meantime, I can at lest share a few links with you for the montly roundup. You can do this, Sarah, don’t you? Come on!

Vino Sano Grape Bricks

It has to be acknowledged, during Prohibition there was no limit to the creativity of people to devise ways to get their own alcohol without breaking the law, or at least appearing as not breaking the law.

Vino Sano is probably one of the most creative. It was a brick of solid grape juice and when it was sold, the label explained clearly what you were not supposed to do if you really didn’t want your grape juice to turn into wine.

Marketing was born in the 1920s, you know.


In the matter of swimwear, the 1920s were that awkward place where garments had changed dramatically from the previous decades, but were still weirdly different from what we are accustomed to now, even if they were fast approaching our way to think about it.

Sharilyn Decter presents us a wonderful article that covers everything seaside, from fashion to accepted beaviours. Some of these information is quite surprising.

Ireland’s Holocaust heroine

It’s always a good time to hear an inspiring story and Many Elmes’s sure is.

Put plainly, Mary Elmes was a humanitarian par excellence, who was locked up in a Gestapo prison for doing good work… work that has until recently been forgotten – work which, in 2014, earned her the Jewish accolade of Righteous Among Nations… the only Irish person to be so honoured.

David Lawlor grabs the occasion of the publishing of Clodagh Finn’s book  A Time to Risk All to tell us about this remarkable woman who deserves to be remembered.

And since we’re heading toward a season where we normally have more time for reading, let me make a few reading suggestions.

On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell

On April 15, 1912, three women climbed into Lifeboat 21 and watched in horror as the Titanic sank into the icy depths. They were strangers then…

Con artist Charlotte Digby lied her way through London and onto the Titanic. The disaster could be her chance at a new life—if she hides the truth about her past. Esme Harper, a wealthy American, mourns the end of a passionate affair and fears that everything beautiful is slipping from her grasp. And Anna Halversson, a Swedish farm girl in search of a fresh start in America, is tormented by the screams that ring out from the water. Is one of them calling her name?

Twenty years later, a sudden death brings the three women back together, forcing them to face the impossible choices they made, the inconceivable loss, and the secrets they have kept for far too long.

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Death of a Novice by Cora Harrison

The Reverend Mother is delighted with her new entrant to the convent. Young Sister Gertrude is well-educated, has worked for an accountant and has an appealing sense of humour. But one autumn morning, Sister Gertrude is found dead inside a small wooden shed, just beside the river. Surely a young nun could not die from alcohol poisoning?

But when the Reverend Mother delves more deeply into Sister Gertrude’s b

ackground, she finds some puzzling anomalies. Why did the young nun not delay her entry to the convent until after her sister’s wedding? Is it a coincidence that her father died of a similar illness not long before? And could there be a link between Sister Gertrude’s death and the gunpowder explosion on Spike Island? The Reverend Mother must find the answers to these questions if she is to safeguard her community from suspicions of murder.

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Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. 

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? 

As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

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1929 by M.L. Gardner 

As Black Thursday triggers financial despondency, three young couples in New York City must trade their lives of luxury for poverty, tragedy, and setbacks.

When Jonathan Garrett’s brokerage firm collapses on the day of the Stock Market Crash, he unites with his closest friends (and former business partners), Aryl and Caleb, to relocate, track down a low-paying job, and cultivate a new life.

As the three men toil in their laborious jobs, their wives, Ava, Arianna, and Claire, slowly adapt to life in a shabby, rundown apartment, learning to sew, cook, and clean. With the help of their former, outspoken, Irish maid, Maura, and a new, equally Irish friend, Shannon, the wives become even closer than before.

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GANG ROUNDUP - JUNE 2018 - In this month's roundup I've gather a few 1920s video (always such a great way to envision the past) and a few reading recommendations for the approaching summer. Historical novels, most of them with a touch of mystery

NOTE: This blog contains affiliate links (including Amazon links) to the book I independently review. When you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for advertising the product (at no extra cost to you).


  • Sara C. Snider
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 13:39

    I’ve also been in a slump. We can be slump buddies together hehe. That wine brick is hilarious. Now I know what to do to make sure my juice doesn’t turn into wine! 😉

    • Post Author
      Posted June 5, 2018 at 15:40

      Slump buddies? Now that’s a charming idea! How do you suggest to go about it? 😉

  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 17:43

    I’m liking that wine brick, too! I appreciate this round-up, Sarah. You always find the most interesting articles, sites, books, and so on.

  • Jack "Blimprider" Tyler
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 17:58

    Good morning, my old friend, and I hope it finds you well. Having just come off an eight-month slump, I have a few words of advice for you. Of course, my method may not work for you, but it’s something to consider.

    You may have burned yourself out with the intensive work of the A-Z Challenge. Identifying the reason can be helpful, but isn’t completely necessary. The thing I would most strongly advise against is drawing up that list of deadlines for this and that project. A slump is a slump, and as you see more and more deadlines come and go with nothing accomplished, it just drives you down further. Creativity, the muse if you like, is somewhat like a temperamental lover or spouse. They get into a mood, and any attempt to engage them before they’re ready makes you appear too “clingy” to suit them. Ignore them. Put them out of your head. Read a favorite author, binge-watch some movies, go on a vacation. As soon as they see that their antics aren’t causing your life to go off the rails, they’ll be right back at your side trying to reestablish your close relationship.

    Creativity is a fickle bitch, it comes at its own time, and there’s no use chasing it.

    Hope this helps you; it sure did me!

    • Post Author
      Posted June 5, 2018 at 15:44

      Thanks so much for your thoughts, Jack.
      It’s hard to know what to do, but you may be right. I do feel tired. But I also hate to just wait for it to go away. I alwasy try to do something anyway, maybe something not too demanding.
      Mhm… I suppose I can take a few days off and see what happens 🙂

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 23:28

    Hi Sarah – I too had to kick out today’s post … ah well these things happen. I need more of your wine bricks obviously – amazing items. The three books look to be interesting … so many to read – but I know where to come to … cheers Hilary

    • Post Author
      Posted June 5, 2018 at 15:45

      True, eh? Too many books, too little time.
      But I intend to have a go to all of the above, so I’ll keep everyone posted 😉

  • Roland R Clarke
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 02:41

    And I thought I was alone in my slump – but yours is less dramatic as you provide such invaluable links. Keep your head up, Sarah.

    • Post Author
      Posted June 5, 2018 at 15:47

      Thanks, Roland. I do think the AtoZ sucked a lot of our energy. MAybe we shouldn’t be surprise that we need some rest 😉

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