Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book 87

When I take a vacation from the computer and live life among my people, I fall behind, lose track etc.  So when I wrote the last post about books, it was originally 87 & 88.  However, then I remembered that I had read another book, so I went back and re-titled the last post and I am now going to chat about Book 87.  Still wondering in the back of my mind if I've missed one... if so, it will go down in incorrect order as 90.

Bygones... (Ah, Ally McBeal, how I miss thee)

I read Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones which also came from that 3x5 card I found in my desk from 2010 books.  However, in spite of the fact I am reading it well past all of the attention it garnered as a novel and a movie, it is a compelling book.  Supernatural, not really my thing, however I enjoyed it more than I thought.  I will admit that I thought it got bogged down in the middle, but I persevered because I wanted the SOB brought to justice!!!  If you haven't read this book, give it a shot.  If you're giving it a shot and want to have a movie night together, message me cause I'm gonna get the movie from the library.  Eventually.

Books 88 & 89

I have started a new series.  Last month, I believe, I learned that Hallmark Channel would be starting a new series in January, based on Janette Oke's series Canadian West, "When Calls the Heart".  I knew then that I would want to read the books prior to watching the 2 hour premiere movie (on my DVR) and the watching the series.  

Of course, other books got in the way and these books have a nasty habit of disappearing from my Nook before I've had a chance to read them.  Nevertheless, I have finished the first two books in the series, When Calls the Heart and When Comes the Spring and I am now again waiting for the next book.  Sigh.  Of course, I doubt that they will get through the first and second books in the first season, so I am not too worried about it.

I like the books.  I will say they are Hallmark, "G-rated", which comes as no surprise having read Janette's bio: "...pioneered inspirational fiction..." and "has been honored... and the Christy Award" the latter is given for excellence in Christian Fiction.  That aside, the series isn't an ongoing romance series as many of the other series that I read, which is what I expected.  The series continues to tell the story of our heroine, Elizabeth, and her life in the Canadian West.  In fact, I would recommend this series to teen girls looking for books to read because they are compelling yet clean.  

I thought perhaps that I would reach the loft goal of 100 books this year, however, I'm not even going to reach 90 even though with two weeks left in the year I had only 4 books to go.  I've enjoyed the books I've read, the characters I've met and earnestly cheer the fact that my 2011 resolution to begin reading again has blossomed to such lofty achievements as 89 books!  With 8 hours left in the year, I could certainly finish another.  However, I will spend it watching football, cooking and playing games with my people.  Happiness is...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book 86

I just finished reading The Orphan Train by Kristina Baker Kline and it is an amazing book!  I really thought that I would finish it last night, but I finally fell asleep around 1 am only to wake early, sneak out and finish it first thing this morning before the hustle and bustle of a Sunday during the Christmas season begins.

It took a little bit to get into the groove of it... it takes place in different times with many different people with a lot of changes in the beginning before settling into a groove that takes you through the rest of the story.  It is fiction, historical fiction, about the Orphan Trains that ran from the mid-1850's through the 1930's.  These trains took east coast orphans to the Midwest and placed them with families.  As I often feel after reading a fictional book about a time in history, I think I might want to read a factual book.  However, this book runs the emotional scale and I'm again not up to that so soon.  (think Molokai ).

I highly recommend this book!   

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Books 80-85

Why did I fight it so hard?  I mean, everyone said the Hunger Games Trilogy was amazing.  Teen Boy loved the series and even College Boy read them!  Finally, I am on the train and leaving the station.  I have now finished Catching Fire the second book in Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games series.  And I've seen the movie.  I am actually pretty impressed with how true the movies stay to the books.  I loved it!  Of course, I didn't pick up the final book.  I think I will wait til next fall and read it before the movie comes out.  Maybe.  (UGH, I just discovered they are making the final book into two movies... why do they do this to me?!)

The next book I read on vacation was Hasty Wedding by Debbie Macomber.  This must have been one of her earlier books.  I mean, I enjoyed it and it was a quick read, but I had to go back and look at it to remember what it was about.  

I hesitate to call book 82 a real book.  I only read one story in a book of Christmas romance stories.  And I didn't enjoy it.  I tried to quit and move on, but I am generally not quitter.  I've decided I just don't care for this author as I believe I've tried her before.  Anyway, I read Making Spirits Bright by Fern Michaels and I loved the premise.  It just seemed a bit contrived and rushed.  

The final three books I read on vacation were a series by Margaret Brownley, A Rocky Creek Romance.  These books are historical fiction and that is where the similarity starts and ends.  Each story was unique and delightful.  We didn't visit with all of the characters from book 2 in book 3 like you get in some series, but the characters from book 1 were prevalent in both sequels.  The books, A Lady Like Sarah, A Suitor for Jenny and A Vision of Lucy are detailed and twisty and I found myself disappointed when I read that the last book was indeed the last of the series.  In the future, I will try other books by this author.

Catching up! 47-49

Oh I have a LOT of catching up to do.  See, I've been on vacation.  I spent 12 days visiting with family.  A week at the beach with my family followed by 5 days with my in-laws and that side of the family.  There were some really great times.  I thought I'd read the 23 books I downloaded onto my Nook... LOL!  It was time best spent connecting with people.  I am so blessed.  Some of it was stressful, I won't lie.  But at 12:30 am after being delayed 3 hours and landing in bitter cold and snow, we got on the wrong shuttle bus to take us to our car and I just started laughing cause what else can you do?!  Just a 30 minute detour.  But the car started and we arrived home safe and sound at 4 am to the blessed news that we had a school delay (later to become a snow day!).

Where do I start?

47 - Throw Out Old Make-Up:  So make-up is supposed to be used within a year and then tossed.  I don't wear much make-up, mostly mascara and eyeliner.  And I mostly wear it around the holidays and for family pictures which we had taken last week.  So I opened the drawer where the make-up was hibernating and looked the entire situation over.  I was glad to see that it was NOT the Clinque make-up I bought when I got married over 2 decades ago.  However, I thought and thought and thought and couldn't come up with a time that I'd bought the Mary Kay that was in my drawer.  Perhaps when my lifelong friend was a MK person which was before she started teaching and before she went back to school for her teaching license.  Read that a very long time ago.  So, I tossed.  Half-used make-up sponges, tossed.  Used up lipstick, tossed.  I had recently purchased new lipstick and then I purchased new mascara and eyeliner to the tune of $11.  But to not get an eye infection, it is worth it.  And I didn't use the rest of that stuff, so I didn't replace it.  I am asking you, think about what you have, what you use and what could be tossed in the interest of good health and less clutter.

48 - Prepare for the Holidays:  Now some folks may take exception to the fact I didn't say "Prepare for Christmas", but honestly I needed to prep for Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Nicholas Day and the New Year as well as two birthdays.  I needed to prep for the entire season.  I caved and let my husband choose our son's gift this year (he'll love it).  I bought St Nick's Day gifts for my College Boy and Teen Boy and wrapped them so I could give them to them when we were on vacation to take back to school with them.  I purchased the rest of the birthday gifts to pass out at our Thanksgiving Beach Reunion to the nieces and nephews, but still not sure what to do about Christmas gifts.  I had to rewrite the recipe I needed to make for Thanksgiving Dinner.  I gathered with my girls and prepped a gazillion meals so we can enjoy the season instead of worrying about dinner.  Everyone needs to step back and picture what they want their season to look like... from decorating to baking to present buying.

49 - Celebrate a Feast Day:  I've been wanting to celebrate Feast Days all year long (it was supposed to be the focus of our Lenten Journey, however...) and we finally did!  We actually started celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas years ago after the big boys learned about it in school (see, public schools do cover all kinds of stuff!).  However, apparently LRHB doesn't remember us celebrating it (and since I'd started working last November, it is possible that I missed last year).  He and I got on the computer and "learned" about St. Nicholas together.  This was a great site for that: http://www.loyolapress.com/assets/saints/saint-nicolas.swf.  I can tell you that if you aren't Catholic, it is still interesting to read about St. Nicholas as the secular Santa Claus is based upon him.  There are also Feast Days every day in December if you want to try this resolution out yourself.  LRHB found an ornament in his shoes from St. Nicholas.  I told him that in our family, traditionally St. Nicholas gifts are preparing us for Christmas.  He then remembered getting his Santa hat one year.  The big boys got holiday boxers and matching stocking caps!  Other things St. Nick has brought are books about the Christmas season.

It seems as if the year is quickly winding up, but don't worry... I am going to try to complete the missing resolutions from the summer (I have 4 more!).