Saturday, November 18, 2017

Last Christmas in Paris...

My dear Tom,
    ...How strange that we have known each other for so many years and know so many little things about each other, and yet only in these past months, since writing to you, do I feel that I've really begun to know you at all. Letters make one uncommonly honest, don't you think? I've told you things in words that I would have been far too shy or distracted to tell you in person. I wonder if I will have anything to say to you at all when we see each other in the flesh again. Will it be soon? ...
With much love,

I love epistolary novels! This one is set during World War! Evie's and Tom's exchange of letters tell the story of the war--both on the front lines and back home in England.  It's also a story of friendship, courage, death and loss, endurance, and love. I wish people still wrote letters like this! It's such a great novel. I loved it as much as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And I was sad when it ended. Everyone needs to read this book! You'll be glad you did.

(Oh, and I have to thank Nadia for recommending this book. It was her rave review that made me put this book on hold at the library in the first place.) 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A bookish update...

Recently finished reading:

Looking forward to eating all my favorite Thanksgiving dishes next week:
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, shrimp salad, raspberry and lemon cream cheese jello, homemade rolls, and of course, pumpkin pie!

Bought myself an early Christmas gift:

(It's the best calendar; I buy one every year!)

Recently checked out of the library:
Omega Days by John Campbell
The Lost Causes by Jessica Etting
The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad
Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones
The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick
Lamb to the Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins

Up next:

(#6 in her Cal Leandros series.)

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November's Bookish Art...

Harold Knight -- The Reader
"She had no interest in people who could be summed up in a single sentence."
--Kim Fay, Map of Lost Memories

Thursday, November 9, 2017

From the J Shelf...

Author: Darynda Jones
Title:  Second Grave on the Left

There was a whole row of books by Darynda Jones on the shelf at the library and the titles sounded fun, so I thought I'd give one a try. Of course, my library didn't have a copy of the first one in the series, so I had to start with the second book instead.

Meet Charlotte Davidson, or Charley for short:  private investigator, police consultant, and grim reaper. She sees and talks to ghosts when she's not helping them crossover; she's also a portal into heaven for the demons who are apparently after her. Not that she's ever seen a demon. Unless you count Reyes "Rey'aziel" Farrow who happens to be the Son of Satan. He left hell and was born on earth in order to protect Charley, but that doesn't make him any less dangerous. And now there are demons after him. And if Charley doesn't find him soon he might just let his corporeal body die and become the next Anti-Christ. Oh, and she has another case to solve, too. This one involving a missing woman named Mimi whose case is more complicated than it first appeared and might just include murder.

This wasn't a bad read. The whole thing with Charley being a grim reaper was the best part in my opinion. I liked the connection she has with different ghosts, and the bits of back story of what it was like for her growing up as the grim reaper. The mystery involving Mimi was mildly interesting, but the majority of the book focused on Charley's search for Reyes and their relationship--parts of which I liked, parts of which I didn't. And sometimes I felt like Jones was trying too hard to be funny. (Or to make Charley be funny.) But I'd definitely be willing to read a few more of these books just to see what happens to Charley and Reyes next. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 6, 2017

I want this!

Only I want a better cushion on that seat and LOTS more pillows to lean up against. Other than that, it's perfect. Especially with all those great trees out the window. I think I'd hang a birdfeeder there so I could watch the birds in between books. Ahh...that would be the life!

Happy Reading (and Dreaming)!

P.S. Trish over at Desktop Retreat posted this lovely bookish nook a few weeks ago. I wouldn't mind have this one either.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Giving up!

First of all you should know that I'm a huge fan of reading bingo:  I love finding books that fit each category, and filling in each and every square. And for the past couple of years Stacey at Unruly Reader has created a super fun book bingo card. And I've always gone for blackout. Until this year. With six categories left to fill on my card, I'm officially giving up. No book bingo blackout for me in 2017. I know there's still time before the end of the year, and that I could probably push and get it done, but frankly, I'm running out of steam. And there are other books I'd rather read more.

Here's the card I started off with:

And the books I read that fill the 19 categories I did manage to complete:

POP PSYCHOLOGY:  Aim True by Kathryn Budig
OUTLAW:  Surviving Home by A. American
DOOM AND GLOOM:  Lights Out by Ted Koppel
A BOOK I OWN:  Dance Night by Dawn Powell
WHERE I GREW UP:  Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
CREATIVITY: Good Mail Day: A Primer For Making Eye-Popping Postal Art 
by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee G. Wheeler
GUILTY PLEASURE: The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper
OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS: The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn
AUTHOR'S NAME BEGINS WITH M: Arrowood by Laura McHugh
BEST IN CLASS: Lost by Michael Robotham
THE OUTDOORS: My Last Continent by Midge Raymond
HOT: The Definition of Wind by Ellen Block

And here are the six categories that will remain unread by me this year:
(Even though I own Russell Mean's autobiography Where White Men Fear To Tread, 
which has been sitting on my shelf for years and years waiting to be read.)
(Even though I found and bought a copy of Marilynne Robinson's Lila at a library 
book sale just for this bingo category; it now sits in my room also waiting to be read.)
(I never had a book in mind for this category.)
(This category should've been an easy one for me seeing how much I love 
Haruki Murakami and other Japanese writers, but...)
(This also sounds deceptively easy...but every book I attempted to read 
that fit the category ended up being too bad to finish. So...)
(Didn't even try!)

There you have it. My 2017 reading bingo journey. I did enjoy the books I read. And I had fun! And that's all that matters, right? Maybe next year I'll try for blackout again. Until then...

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

One from my TBR shelf...

Title:  The Prisoner of Heaven
Author:  Carlos Ruiz Zafon
First line:  This year at Christmas time, every morning dawned laced with frost under leaden skies ... Very few stopped to gaze at the shop windows of Sempere & Sons; fewer still ventured inside to ask for that lost book that had been waiting for them all their lives...
Setting:  Barcelona in the 1940s and 1950s.

Why I purchased this book in the first place:  Because I loved The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, Zafon's two previous novels.

Why I've put off reading it for four long years:  I think part of me was afraid it wouldn't live up to expectations, but mostly I didn't read it because I really wanted to reread his other books in this "trilogy" first. Only I never managed to, even though I do own both. But, thanks to Lark at The Bookwyrm's Hoard and her awesome Backlist Reader Challenge, I finally managed to read The Prisoner of Heaven and check it off my TBR list.

Thoughts:  Zafon's writing is amazing. He always manages to craft memorable and unique characters that you can't help but care about as he takes you on a journey back in time to a more dangerous and uncertain Barcelona under Franco's dictatorship. I wish I could give you a succinct and thoughtful summary of this novel, but I tried...and failed. Nothing I wrote did it justice. So all I'm going to say is that The Prisoner of Heaven did not disappoint and I'm very glad I finally read it. Though I do kind of wish I'd reread his other two books first. But maybe I'll reread them next. Because all of Zafon's books are worth revisiting. This one included...even though of the three I think it's the weakest.

Happy Reading!