Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 - A Reading Year in Review

This past year I read 133 books.  I did not listen to any.  This is straight reading and I had many enjoyable hours!  

Here is my top ten (in no particular order)

1.  A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg  -  The Best reread

2.  A Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor

3.  Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

4.  Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

5.   Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

6.  The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg (made me want to reread Our Town)

7.  A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman  The book that made me cry throughout the entire book.

8.  Glass House by Louise Penny  I love Inspector Gamache and Three Pines

9.  The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford

10.  An Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett   This made me want to have tea with the Queen.

I had very few "stinkers" so all in all a great year.

Friday Firsts

The holidays are over, decorations are down, and I am back to reading!  I currently have three books going.  I am reading The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens in the same manner as I read David Copperfield.  I am reading in installments the way the books were originally released.  In addition, I am reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller and A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie.

"Major Palgrave Tells a Story:  'Take all this business about Kenya,' said Major Palgrave.  'Lots of chaps gabbing away who know nothing about the place!  Now I spent fourteen years of my life there.  Some of the best years of my life." (1)

I have given more than one sentence to give a little flavor to the major!

Rose City Reader  says "Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name."

She goes on to include the Friday 56 from Freda's Voice"The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice."

"Oh darling, that is a bit too melodramatic!  You mean that somebody might have changed his blood pressure pills for something else, and that they poisoned him?"  (56) 

Hmm!  I love Agatha Christie, especially Miss Marple who is on a holiday on a Caribbean island only to encounter - Murder (?).

Monday, January 1, 2018

Monday - Book Date

Hosted by Book Date.

Just Finished:   
From Amazon: 

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.
In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.
Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

Still Reading:

I decided to read The Pickwick Papers the same way I did David Copperfield in the installments as Dickens released them originally.  That amounts to about three chapters a night.  I was very successful reading Copperfield and enjoyed it much more than when I first tried to read it.  Reading this way will take me the better part of the month but I should be able to  manage the three chapters every morning.

Currently Reading:

From Amazon:

Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing, "Political opposition... is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence."

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year

Just popping in to wish everyone a very happy new year.  I hope 2018 is filled with love, laughter, and good books.  I am off to a surprise birthday party.  I will post a long account of my holidays...which mostly includes lots of reading.  

I am anxiously looking forward to beginning my challenges.  I am making my lists and checking them twice?  oops  a lapse into the holidays.

Be back soon...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

First Paragraph Tuesday

First Chapter Tuesday is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea

"This tale begins, as do many Nantucket tails [sic], with a dog.  A Norwich terrier, the runt of the litter--which made him very small indeed--a stubby, sturdy, tan, pint-sized pup with a face like a fox's, ears like a panda's, and the dark passionate eyes of Antonio Bandaras."

This first paragraph is a little misleading because the story centers on Nicole and her new marriage; however, as the novel progresses the little terrier appears every now and then.  What's up with that? hmm!

From Amazon:Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, and the season’s wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scents of pine, baking spices, and homemade pie.

But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole’s chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arm’s length—or, better yet, out of the picture altogether—Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nicole’s holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband

From me, again:
I am not really a fan of romances but lately I have stumbled upon a few that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Maybe it's the holiday!

Monday, December 18, 2017

It's Monday!

Hosted by Book Date.

Just Finished:   

From Amazon:
August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…
Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?
Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

From Me:
This was a surprise for me.  I stumbled on it by accident while looking for Christmas books.  Written in a series of letters, this is the story of Evie, Thomas, and their friends during World War I.  I highly recommend this.  It is a quick read.  It is funny, sad, romantic and realistic.  Please read it!

Still Reading:



From Amazon:
In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold.
Though Polly is busy keeping up with the demands of the season, she still makes time for her beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle. She’s especially happy to be celebrating the holiday this year with him, and can’t wait to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog on Christmas Eve.
But holiday bliss soon gives way to panic when a storm cuts the village off from the mainland. Now it will take all of the villagers to work together in order to ensure everyone has a happy holiday.

From Me:
I read the first book in the series when Polly buys the bakery and the central characters are introduced.  It's cute.  This contains more adventures of the group centered around the holidays.  It is good so far.  There are some predictable ups and downs.  I definitely will finish and I probably will read more books about Polly, the bakery, and her friends.

Up Next:

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg (a reread)
A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I think I will finish David Copperfield by Christmas!!!