Monday, March 30, 2015

Catching up

So once again, I fall behind. I believe I just have to accept that I'm not going to post on a regular basis and live with it. I have good intentions but they just don't pan out. Oh well, if you are still out there, thank you for hanging in. If not, then I'm writing for myself and that's okay, too.

I found that I was creeping up on the 25 book goal so quickly that I needed to rethink that. I adjusted it upwards to 50 books. Just have to see how that works.

Since my last reading post, I have read 3 books and failed to take a photo before removing them from my Kindle. See how my mind works? I am either rushing, rushing, rushing, or dragging, dragging, dragging. There is no consistency with me. :)

Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall

This book was a freebie from Amazon and it sounded interesting so I got it. Amazon has a selection of First Books and the first of each month they send an email highlighting 4 books that are being published that month. You are allowed to select 2 at no cost and I have found several really good books through this.

The story is about the life of a French girl who has the gift of premonition. Her grandmother was also gifted with this and was hidden because people didn't understand. She died after giving birth to her second daughter who is Adrienne's mother. The story follows her as she grows up with a loving grandfather, loving governess and a distant mother. There is also a spiteful aunt in the mix with a self serving cousin thrown in for good measure. It follows her from France to America when her aunt takes her to live with her as a maid.

It was a good story and the ending was a surprise which always makes me happy.

The One That Got Away by Simon Wood.

Another freebie from Amazon. It was a really good book even if some of it was a little too far-fetched. It's the story of a girl's struggle to return to normalcy after she and her best friend are  kidnapped. She is able to get out of her bonds and sees her best friend being tortured. She manages to get away and suffers from survivor's guilt as she tries to live her life on her own terms. Unfortunately the person who kidnapped her finds where she is living and starts stalking her, determined to finish what he started. Action packed. A good read.

The Lost City of Z, a Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

A total departure from my normal type of book. First of all, it's non-fiction and I don't usually enjoy that genre unless it's a biography or autobiography. Secondly, it flips back and forth between the 1920's and the 1990's. However, I was totally engrossed and could not put it down. The background story of P. H. Fawcett, the explorer the story is about, was complete and allowed me to understand his obsession with the Amazon forest and his determination to find Z. This was his name for a large civilization he believe existed at one time in the jungle and he spent his life searching for it. Most others call it El Dorado. On his last trip, he took his son and his son's best friend. They were never heard from again. The author goes to the jungle to try to trace his steps and to hopefully, find out what happened to Fawcett. I found this book very interesting and intriguing. While it had lots of information and facts, they were presented in a cohesive form that didn't feel like a struggle to understand.

Reading will probably slow down a bit.  I joined a CAL on Facebook through The Crochet Crowd and I'm working to get caught up on that. I am only able to crochet for a little while each time as I'm finding it makes my hands, arms and shoulders hurt. I learned that lesson the hard way last Thursday. There are 20 squares to do for the first week. Easy, peasy granny squares. I made 15 between Tuesday and Thursday.  By Friday, I couldn't move my arms and was in a lot of pain. So Friday was spent sitting in the recliner doing absolutely nothing, no crocheting, no cross stitch, no playing on the computer, nada.  All I could do was read. That's how I finished 3 books in 2 weeks. I finally got all the squares done going slow and taking a lot of breaks. Now I'm up to Clue #2. 

By the way, there are 10 clues altogether and this Tuesday will be Clue #8.  Did I mention I'm a little bit behind???  Oh well, the point of the thing is to learn new stitches and finish, right?

2015 Reading Challenge - 50 books
Read to date - 14


Monday, March 9, 2015

Reading Update

The reading has slowed down a bit here. I find that sometimes I can whiz through books and other times, I just sort of stroll.

That was the case with this book this week.

The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass.

This author is one of my favorites and I normally devour his books. However, this one took place overseas instead of my Tennessee hills and there was a lot going on. It flipped back and forth between the 1300's and present time and I occasionally found myself having to back a little bit and reread to make sure I understood where I was.

There was a ton of history in this book. I enjoyed that. It's set in Avignon, France, the town Pope Clement I moved the papacy to avoid Rome. The details were wonderful and I felt like I was right there. It centers on a set of bones found in the old papal treasury and the identify of those bones. The archaeologist who discovered them asked for help from Miranda, Dr. Brockton's assistant and then she called Dr. Brockton to come to France.

The back and forth between the identify of the bones and the archaeologist's plans to sell them to the highest bidder (sneaky little booger) brings a lot of intrigue to the story. Also, the back and forth between the centuries gives you a clearer picture of how the story unfolds.

I enjoyed the book; I really did. I don't think Jefferson Bass could write a book I didn't enjoy. However, I'm so use to the settings of the book taking place here in Tennessee or in the neighboring states and I was just confused by the setting, although it did start off in Tennessee. My problem totally. I think you will enjoy this book if you like historical fiction.

I'm closing in on the halfway point of my challenge. It will be interesting to see how many books I do actually read this year.

The Light Between Oceans: M L Stedman

I finished this book tonight. It was so very good that I read it in 2 days. It has been on my to read list for quite a while. 

The story is about Tom and Isabel and their love, marriage and life on an island tending to the lighthouse. It is the most remote lighthouse sitting on Janus Island off the south-western tip of Australia, where the Indian and Great Southern Oceans meet. As one of the reviewers wrote "A moving tale....Prepare to weep." And weep I did. 

I love a story that draws me in and keeps pulling until I am totally immersed in the story. The love and troubles of this couple go far beyond anything imaginable. A heartbreaking loss is followed by the discovery of a tiny child in a boat. This child brings joy and happiness to the island but the happiness will be short lived. What follows is a study of right and wrong, compassion and determination and desperation, A great read and one I highly, highly recommend.

This is her debut novel. She is from Australia and I look forward to her next book. 

2015 Challenge - 25 books
Read to date - 11 books


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Where to Start, Part 2

The weekend birthday party was a blast but the week after.....not so much. I woke up on Monday (Jellybean's actual birthday) with a raging RA flare that continued to get worse into Tuesday (Elijah's actual birthday). Flares just do me in as it seems they settle in my arms now and the pain reaches points where I cannot move any part of my arm. It's hard to describe the pain and I am so thankful that it doesn't happen often. I can't imagine having to deal with this pain on a daily basis like my grandmother did. I can understand completely why she cried so much. And she was bedridden; at least I am mobile the majority of the time. Luckily this one only lasted 4 or 5 days and by Friday, I was able to get out and do some things, which was good because for the next 2 - 1/2 weeks, I was housebound. Unfortunately, I didn't get much crafting done because I felt so bad.

My dear Hubs came home on Friday (my birthday) coughing and sneezing and complaining with chest congestion. He was sick all weekend and I ended up with a bad cough and headache on Sunday. I tried to tell him I truly did not want anything for my birthday or for Valentine's Day, but I guess he felt bad so he shared his cold with me. On Monday, he went to the doctor and found out he had bronchitis. He tends to develop that when he gets a cold.

Then the snow and ice started. We got a little bit on Tuesday and then got slammed on Wednesday.  It was cold and the snow just hung on. In the meantime, I lost my voice. With all the bad weather, Hubs stayed home and ended up not working all week. Then we got more ice and more snow. However, we've had nothing here compared to the folks up north, some of them getting over 100 inches of snow.

So we finally got rid of the snow and I was able to make my doctors' appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Even though it was just going to the doctor, it felt good to be out of the house. Then we got another ice/snow storm today with highs only in the 20's after having a high of 70 F here on Wednesday. Weird!

So that brings me up to date. I'm working on a cross stitch piece and making baby hats for Taci. I'm also doing a CAL from but I'm about 4 weeks behind on that as I haven't started yet!  OOOOPS! But I will.

I have one more photo of Jellybean that I HAVE to share. This one put a huge smile on my face. My goodness, I love this boy! My daughter posted this one on Facebook the other day.

Abby: "Who are you calling?"
Jellybean: "I talka Mimi."

Thank you for stopping by. I so enjoy your comments and I enjoy your blogs. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend. Spring can't get here soon enough for me.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Reading Update

So at last count, I had read 4 of 25 books for this year. As of today, I have read a total of 8.

The Jefferson Key by Steve Barry. I am really enjoying these books by Steve Berry. He does a lot of research and blends history with fiction very well. I get lost in the books and that's what I love about a good author. In this one, there are a group of modern day pirates who are doing as they please because George Washington had given their ancesters a letter giving them freedom from persecution in perpetuity. Their ancestors had helped with the Revolutionary War by attacking English ships. Cotton Malone, the protagonist in these stories, has to find the Jefferson Key to break a code showing where the original notes to the Congressional meetings are hidden. Very well written. One of my new favorite series.

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry. Another highly entertaining historical fiction centering around Lincoln and the Mormons of Utah. There was an agreement between Lincoln and the Mormon leader at that time to leave them to their own devices as long as they would not participate in the Civil War. Another Cotton Malone story with lots of travel and mystery. One thing I specifically like is that Mr. Berry includes a section at the end of the book, explaining the parts that are true history and the parts that are fiction he devised. And these books make you stop and think how easily all this could have been true.

Wicked Ways by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush. I have always enjoyed Lisa Jackson's work but wasn't sure about this one. She co-authored this one with her sister and it was a little out there. As in women with "special" powers. There was a lot of death but nothing gruesome and the ending totally surprised me. It took a while to read, though, as it wasn't what I was use to. I'm not sure if I'll try another by them. There are at least 2 more in this series so we'll see.

And finally,

Miss Julia's Gift by Ann Ross. This was a short novella about Miss Julia and her new husband. She has to decide how to accept all the gifts that Sam brings her almost daily and how to give him something unique for Valentine's Day. A short, sweet story.

I am now reading The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass. I had it on hold in the digital section of the library and received it yesterday.

Today I received The Light between the Oceans by M. L Stedman.

I like having books on hold so I know I will eventually get them but boy, when they come in 2's, it means I have to get busy.

I hope you are enjoying my reading challenge as much as I am. And I hope I am stirring some interest in some books you might not have otherwise read.