Sunday, June 19, 2016

One True Loves

From Goodreads:
In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancĂ©, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her
one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

From Me:
Okay the story line was probably not that original, I wanted a little teeny bit more info and development on some of the secondary characters, it was also a tiny-tiny bit predictable, BUT I Loved it!
I got it in the mail on Friday, read it on Saturday, and am writing about it this Sunday morning.
It was fast, it was fun, it was emotional. Heartbreaking.
When it comes right down to it---it's a romance novel.  I know that most people will say "Women's Fiction", but.... it was a romance novel.
  -- named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA Today

Is it a Best Book of the Summer?
It might be 'one' of the best for summer--it's certainly a great vacation read/beach read.
I would recommend it to my friends.
Good discussion for book clubs.
But I'll let you know in September what  my best book of the summer choice is.

This quote from the book:
It's a scary thought, isn't it?  That every single person on this planet could lose their one true love and live to love again?  It means the one you love could love again if they lost you.

This quote!!
It's true and none of us want to accept it as true.  It's a distressing thought.

4 stars.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Simply Irresistible

From Goodreads:
Georgeanne Howard leaves her fiancÉ at the altar when she realizes she can't marry a man old enough to be her grandfather, no matter how rich he is. Hockey superstar John Kowalsky unknowingly helps her escape, and only when it's too late does he realize that he's absconded with his boss's bride. This bad boy isn't looking to be anybody's savior but his own. Still, a long night stretches ahead of them—a night too sultry to resist temptation.

Seven years later, Georgeanne and John meet again. She is on her way to becoming Seattle's domestic darling and he is past his hellraising days. Shocked to learn that he has a daughter, John's determined to be part of her life. Georgeanne has loved John since the moment she jumped into his car, but will he risk the wrath of his boss, and one final chance at glory, to prove that this time his love will be everlasting?

From Me:
Yes, I am making my way thru some romance novels!  This is a contemporary and it's about Hockey.
Well, the male character is a professional hockey player.
That's why I chose it---while I might have lived in the desert for most of my life, with not an ice rink in sight,  my nephews have been hockey players their whole lives.  Hockey is their life!  (as it is/was my brother/sister-in-law's and my parents) So, I was checking it out for them!
Loved it.  It was cute.
I'll read the 2nd in the series.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fates and Furries

From Goodreads:
Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.

From Me:
I can't say I loved this book--but I loved many things about it.  I loved the 2 perspectives in how the story was told.   I loved how the narrator would turn the questions/statements straight to the reader.
I loved this quote:
Between his skin and hers, there was the smallest of spaces, barely enough for air, for this slick of sweat now chilling.  Even still, a third person, their marriage, had slid in.

I love that quote so much!
It was very telling, because it's so true.
It's like 3 versions of almost anything in a marriage--his version, her version and the truth's version.
Because, we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
(another quote, but I can't remember where from)
The writing was really good, the story was good, but I didn't love the characters.
Still---very worth the read.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

He Wanted the Moon

From Goodreads:
A mid-century doctor's raw, unvarnished account of his own descent into madness, and his daughter's attempt to piece his life back together and make sense of her own.

Texas-born and Harvard-educated, Dr. Perry Baird was a rising medical star in the late 1920s and 1930s. Early in his career, ahead of his time, he grew fascinated with identifying the biochemical root of manic depression, just as he began to suffer from it himself. By the time the results of his groundbreaking experiments were published, Dr. Baird had been institutionalized multiple times, his medical license revoked, and his wife and daughters estranged. He later received a lobotomy and died from a consequent seizure, his research incomplete, his achievements unrecognized. 
            Mimi Baird grew up never fully knowing this story, as her family went silent about the father who had been absent for most of her childhood. Decades later, a string of extraordinary coincidences led to the recovery of a manuscript which Dr. Baird had worked on throughout his brutal institutionalization, confinement, and escape. This remarkable document, reflecting periods of both manic exhilaration and clear-headed health, presents a startling portrait of a man who was a uniquely astute observer of his own condition, struggling with a disease for which there was no cure, racing against time to unlock the key to treatment before his illness became impossible to manage.  
     Fifty years after being told her father would forever be “ill” and “away,” Mimi Baird set off on a quest to piece together the memoir and the man. In time her fingers became stained with the lead of the pencil he had used to write his manuscript, as she devoted herself to understanding who he was, why he disappeared, and what legacy she had inherited. The result of his extraordinary record and her journey to bring his name to light is He Wanted the Moon, an unforgettable testament to the reaches of the mind and the redeeming power of a determined heart.

From Me:
We read this one for one of my book-clubs---it was a very interesting read.  The first part of the book were actual journal entries from Dr. Baird.  To tell the truth it was a little unsettling (although very interesting and compelling) to try to understand his thinking process. It was completely readable, but his illness just made his thinking process so unreliable and erratic.   He was brilliant tho--and that comes thru in his journals too.
The 2nd half of the book is his daughter's thoughts, feelings, research, memories of her father and his journey. 
It was a fascinating read.
Lots of good discussion.
3 stars.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Readalong of State of Wonder

I'm doing a  Readalong in June with my friend Care from

You can join if you want to.

I just want to point you to Care's blog and say

What she said!

Because, really---she said it best.
So go check out her blog post and join us if you will

(an interesting side note---I met and became friends with Care all because of a Readalong--see what can happen?  It's magic friendship if you read-a-long!)

How does this work?
I stole this from Care's blog: (word for word--I stole it):

How does a READALONG work?  Mostly via Twitter (and likely Litsy and IG), I will be quoting bits and my reactions to stuff. All extremely informal. Take the month of  June. No timeline other than that. Use hashtag:  #StateOfWonder

So... are you in?   Yes?
You want to know what the book is about?
Goodreads says:
Award-winning "New York Times"-bestselling author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, The Magician's Assistant) returns with a provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest--a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy

See you on Twitter! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Friday Friend Cookbook Volume 2

Do you remember this?

Well my great friend Shelly, just shipped me this:

VOLUME 2!!!!

It's great, amazing, wonderful, awesome!
It's all about my friends--so how can it not be!!

Oh look---my lovely assistants:

I'll be back with more about the 2nd volume of the FF Cookbook!
I just wanted to say a big Thank you to Barb for typing up the original and for Shelly FOR MAKING ME A PRINTED HARDBACK COPY!

and maybe to the Handyman for saying those famous last words:
You'll never make every recipe in this book!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Summer Before the War

From Goodreads:
East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent sabre rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking — and attractive — than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha's reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war

From Me:
I really liked this book--a lovely story about a small town in the south of England, on the verge of WWI, with a cast of quirky fun characters, some whom you will fall in love with.  It's been said if you're a fan of Downton Abbey, then you'll enjoy this book.  There is some similarities, but  it holds up on it's own I feel.  I listened to an audio version and loved the narrator, Fiona Hardingham.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sci-Fi Summer Read-a-Thon

Michelle from Seasons of Reading is hosting a Summer Sci-Fi  Read-a-Thon.

I plan to join along---I've been wanting to read more sci-fi  (It's my least read genre) and this is the perfect opportunity!
Thanks Michelle.

Save the dates!
Read-a-Thon dates: Wednesday, June 1 at 12:00am CST until Tuesday, June 7 at 11:59pm CST (adjust your time zone accordingly).

I can't wait!