Good Things In February #goodthings

rainbow by Clker-Free-Vector-Images

Candles

Blankets

Fireplaces

Red Roses

Valentines

Chocolate Candy in Heart Shaped Boxes

Birthdays!

Leap year day (Feb. 29th)!

The Super Bowl

Daffodils

Super bowl parties

Romantic celebrations

Movies

Snowscapes & snow flurries

Hot soup on cold nights

Reading in bed

Indoor Heating

sun

rain

Time to read

time to visit with sisters

dogs in sweaters

cool, early morning runs

pre-spring cleaning

more hygge time
(which leads to)
wearing scarves

time for reflection

Rainbows

Image Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images

Good Things In January #GoodThings

Winter Landscape by OpenClipart-Vectors

Hope

Fresh Starts

Fresh Air After A Rain

Quiet Times

Crunching Snow

Boots!

Books!

Sunrises

Snow scenes

January Thaw

Hot food

Fresh salads

More time with books

Renewal!

a positive attitude

the thought of crunching snow underfoot

anticipation

joy

newness

cold days, warm dinners

snowflakes

moonlit snow

more time to read

scented candles

snuggling with our pets

Blood Wolf Moon

Image Credit: Winter Landscape by OpenClipart-Vectors

Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

the promis between us

Mental illness is a tough topic to discuss.  Barbra Claypole White, in  The Promise Between Us, does an excellent job giving us insight into OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) through an entertaining story about a mother (Katie) and daughter (Maisie) who both have OCD.

(Purchase from Amazon)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (January 16, 2018)

Forms of OCD are different, yet similar.  Katie uses mantras to face down the relentless, unwanted, thoughts in her head.  One of her mantras, repeated often, is:

“A thought is just a thought.  It has no power.”

Continue reading “Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White”

Review: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Bear Town

I was glad to read my book club’s selection, Beartown by Fredrik Backman, narrated by Marin Ireland.

So many people, recently, have been talking about “A Man Called Ove” and “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry: A Novel.”  However, I have not, until now, had the chance to read/listen to one of this author’s novels.

(Purchase from Amazon)
  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 11 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: April 25, 2017

Beartown is a story about a small town, who’s existence revolves around ice hockey. The junior team, this particular year, is headed for the semi-finals with a good chance at winning the finals.

In essence we see, when bad things happen and controversy strikes, the heavily ingrained ‘ice-hockey’ culture affects the overall views and culture of the town-folk.  People begin to take sides.

It seems the entire town is explored from players to coaches, teachers, parents, students, local factory workers, the local pub owner, hockey club board members, sponsors …  We learn who is on the right side and who is on the wrong side.

One observation (not a complaint) is that the author, seems to be vested in all of his characters as, in addition to the main story, many tidbits of information about the various character’s past, present and futures are included.  The over development of characters works well in this small-town story.

Continue reading “Review: Beartown by Fredrik Backman”

What’s In A Word

Some of my past words: Reach (2014), ? (2015), Simplify (2016),  Strength (2017).

Continuing with a tradition started with Sheila over @ Book Journey, I am selecting a new word for 2018, a word to reflect on throughout next year.  This year my word is Joy!  While considering this for my word, I began to see it a lot.  It is the holiday season, so it’s no wonder.  I was definitely feeling hints of this word last year too.  I thought I would hang onto this thought throughout 2018!

Going through family medical issues for over a year and having successful outcomes, I feel we have a lot to be joyful for.  I will call on this feeling throughout the new year.  Being joyful, also brings on feelings of being grateful to the powers that be.

I appreciate all my friends who follow my posts.  I wish you much joy this holiday season and much joy throughout the new year.

Definition of joy (From Merriam-Webster)

1a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2: a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3: a source or cause of delight

What’s your word for 2018?

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

little fires everywhere
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
(Purchase)
  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 27 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: September 12, 2017

My Review ( 5 Stars: Loved it!)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a well written, well thought out story.  The first half is devoted to laying ground work and building characters, the second half is to the engrossing plot.

Set in the time period around 1980, I’ve tagged this novel as Historical Fiction as it describes the times of that period (making me feel old).  I remember the history and time period well.

I read/listened to Little Fires Everywhere in starts and stops and found it was no problem picking up where I left off and no problem enjoy each and every chapter.  The narrator, Jennifer Lim, did an excellent job.

At the heart of this story are two families, at different sides of the spectrum, one very domestic and middle-class with a mother, father, and four children and the other a mother and daughter who are nomads.  The children are adolescents.  The focus of the novel is the mother/child relationship.  I am amazed at the number of perspective Ng manages to bring into this story.

While I have marked this novel as Historical Fiction, the 1980s were not too long ago and the issues at the heart of this novel have not changed much.

In Ng’s previous, debut, novel, Everything I Never Told You, family dynamics and disconnects were central to the story.  So far, this is common theme in her work.

Continue reading “Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng”

Good Things In November #GoodThings

November

Friends

Family

Thanksgiving

Hot Coffee

Birthdays!

Crisp Air

Crisp Leaves

Beautiful Fall Colors

The Elections are over! and so are the commercials! ?

Love the yellow coat on the bird. Yay for yellow. And family and the time of the year to catch up with many of them.

Love these posts!

Here are my good things (some will overlap with yours):

Thanksgiving (of course!)

Pumpkin pie

November skies

Rain

Cooler weather for runs

Sales

Apples

Shorter days

Cozy nights

Snuggling with Daisy

Holiday decorating

Image credit: OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay

Book Brief: Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

Pope Joan

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 19 hours and 24 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • Audible.com Release Date: September 24, 2009

Barbara Rosenblat (Narrator)

My Review (3 Stars: Liked it)

I listened to Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross.  It is about a women, in the 9th century who becomes the Pope.  It is historical fiction that has gotten high marks, but I struggled getting started with it.  However, even though it has difficult vocabulary and even many words in Latin, I enjoyed the story and wondered how much of it is based on believed truths.  Almost toward the end, I was compelled to look up information about this pope and got a clue to how the story ended.

At the center of this novel is the stark contrast between men and women’s places in society.

The narrator had a gruff voice and I wasn’t sure I liked it.  However, she did represent the various character’s voices distinctly which helped in following the narration.

There is a movie based on this novel, that got less than stellar marks.

Movie Trailer

Continue reading “Book Brief: Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross”

Good Things In October #GoodThings

October

Dogs

Dog Clothes

Pets

Leaves

Autumn Colors

Birthdays!

Sweaters

Hoodies

Pumpkins

Woman’s Soccer!

New lawn grass

‘Blood Moon’ or ‘Hunters Moon’, full moon

The phenomenon usually occurs in October and is the first full moon after the autumnal equinox. –  http://www.express.co.uk

Autumn Weather

Cinnamon Brooms

Persian cucumbers

Raisins

Dark chocolate

Oversized ? apples

Shorter days

Cozier nights

Halloween decorations

Hot chocolate

Image Credit: Stefan Schweihofer via Pixabay

Book Review: The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

The Wedding Dress

My Review (3 Stars: Liked it!)

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck is fairly predictable, but still enjoyable.  It is a ‘Christian’ based novel.  I found the religious undertones to be distracting.  I think the story would have stood better on its own without some of the ‘preaching’.

Instead of magic, there is divine intervention that takes place with a wedding dress sewn with gold thread that is beautiful, timeless and fits every bride who wears it (without alterations).

 

(purchase from amazon)
  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 50 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Oasis Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: April 13, 2012

I tagged this review with Romance and Light Reads. This novel is not too complicated. It was a pleasant read I think, especially because of its predictability.

There is some meat to the novel as it switches between present day Birmingham Alabama,  and 1912.  I always like going back in time.  The examination of relationships leading to marriage is also entertaining.

I enjoyed the southern setting.  The narrator, Eleni Pappageorge, does a good job with the southern accent and representing both male and female characters.

So, if you like romance, light reading and can take a little preaching to, this would be a novel to enjoy.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck”

Good Things In September #GoodThings

September

Birthdays!

Schools

School Buses

Books

New Clothes

Women’s College Soccer!

Football

Cooler Temperatures

Starbucks!

Hmm . . .
Good things abound:
🙂

Books

Birthdays

Apples
Cooler weather (sometimes)

Leaves that are a-changing

Dogs who are reunited with owners (check out the Find Rover.com app)

Image credit: ddzphoto via Pixabay