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The State of Reading according to me

The State of Reading This Week according to me...

The state of reading this week according to me consists of some interesting facts and figures.

I can’t read as much if I am being better about moving and cleaning out.  So which do I choose - mind or body?  Lately it is the body, so I can keep the mind for longer. So 37 pounds later…  I feel like I do not read as much…

According to an article by Gabrielle Segal of Bookstr (and her article lists the resources at the bottom) countries such as India with 10.7 hours a week, Thailand with 9.4 hours a week  and China with 8 hours a week.  The United States reads about 5.7 hours a week - way behind the others.  This makes me sad that we do not spend nearly enough time reading!  The scary part is I spend that much just reading the newspaper, not even books.

Don Quixote at 500 million copies is the best selling book world-wide.  I loved Man of LaMancha and the stories of Don Quixote, but I have to admit, the book is ...well...not my favorite.  At least the third book in the list makes me very happy - on of my all time favorites Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.  

The average American read 12 books in the year 2015, but 27% didn’t finish a single book.  How incredibly sad!  The worlds that I so love to create in my mind around the books I am reading are so real and consuming that I can feel them in my mind.  To not have that experience - really sad….  I love nothing better to be taken away to a world where I am dancing a waltz, strolling on a beach, laughing with friends, or listening to friends while never leaving the couch.  Don’t get me wrong - I love my life and my posse of friends, but to listen to Roarke’s accent in the future New York City or Ranger’s “babe” when I blow up another car is magnificent.

Remember reading fiction makes you kinder and more empathetic as well as helps reduce stress and makes you more peaceful (except if you are reading a thriller - or a murder mystery).  

Books this week (I was in a historical romance mood mostly.)

Rescuing Kassie by Susan Stoker

Wed To A Spy by Sharon Cullen

A Counterfeit Heart by K. C. Bateman

The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter (no review yet)

AND

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian (his newest book - only a few pages into it)

My Favorite Season

My Favorite Season

It is my favorite season - Book Sales!  The season starts once it is warm enough to be outside or in a small shelter without heat and then there are loads of BOOKS for sale prices.  People cleaning out the detritus of the winter right into every reader’s hot hands

One of my favorite haunts opened up - the Historical Society Barn with the books located in the loft.  I did succumb to the marvelous pleasure of just reading the book shelves, looking at all the titles and authors for finds.  I was in heaven - who knew that it was second story in the sale barn.  Although to be honest I was mostly looking for the students, not me. The coolest part was I found two almost complete sets of fantasy novels that they will love - I just have to order a used copy of the missing volumes.   

Then MainStreet BookEnds, my local independent bookstore held their annual book sale. It was full of books that were donated by the public to help finance a scholarship for a local student.  In this case you could fill a bag and just pay what you could afford.  It was here in the parking lot of the book store that I scored for me…a couple of novels I wanted to read AND a whole bag of books for the students!  Such a find!  

Next come the library sales.  The one in Hopkinton is famous for its two day event, with day two books being sold by the bags.  I am always up for that one!  

Now I know most people are focused on their gardens, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.  I agree these are all important events to celebrate.  BUT let’s face it, there is nothing like a new novel to read that you scored for next to nothing, especially if it can be read while sitting in the sun at the beach...SIGH

This week’s reads

Nancy Thayer:  Secrets of Summer

Catherine Ryan Hyde:  Allie and Bea

Jacqueline Winspear:  In This Grave Hour

Julie James:  The Thing About Love

Distractions

Distractions

I am in the midst of a large crochet project, so reading has taken a bit of a backseat this week.  The baby afghan needs to be done before the baby is born and my fingers are moving madly trying to get it all done.  Meanwhile I have the newest Maisie Dobbs novel to read and I am about halfway through it as well as a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert on TV.  Earlier it was a Red Sox game that kept surprising me.  Sometimes the distractions that prevent reading win out.  Granted rarely this happens to me but this week it is the case!

Being distractible always bothers me.  Mostly because it cuts into time I want for me to accomplish other tasks.  Even cleaning the house takes on a disheveled appearance because it is hard for me to stay focused on one task at a time. According to different personality tests I am a random thinker and have to work to stay sequential.  I suspect that is more accurate than I want to admit!

I did manage to complete four books this week despite my randomness. All of them were ARCs and only three are up - one comes out later this week so stay tuned. All of them were romances and were not long books, which I suspect helped me a finish them.  I also finished the reviews which is always a plus.  

I should finish the afghan by next week during the Sox games, since it is supposed to be cloudy and dreary all week.  {SIGH}

Wait - I can read now - concert is over and this is done - or very close to it!

Books finished

The Sweetheart Kiss by Cheryl Ann Smith

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

Alone With You by Amanda Adams

Going in Deep by Carly Phillips (review to come)

This Week in Marjay's World

It has finally hit. My place could be a superfund site.  I do not mean to be a stacker, keep everything because I might need it, and someone gave it to me person, but I am!  This week has been my first few steps to decluttering and cleaning.  It feels good, but WOW I am tired.   It has been helpful that I have had a couple of books that I am not loving, but every book is not made for every person.  That has helped me push through the reading fog I prefer to live in and stay on task.  My fitbit is so happy with the numbers that I am registering.

There have been some great books that I have read this month and you can see them all here:  http://marjay.simplesite.com/239538811.  In the next two months I only have about 8 ARC books each to read and then it is glorious summertime!  Reading at the lake - sun, sand, book - my idea of HEAVEN!

Oh, but I fell off the subject of Marjay’s World, I  also have gardens to clean out - preferably without gathering any ticks - I HATE TICKS.  I know growing up in this area that I did not get ticks on me even playing in the fields behind the house. Now I have to go out in full combat mode with enough deet to cause a population decrease.  Anyway two are done, four more to go approximately.

The leaves are beginning to bud and the daffodils and narcissi are coming up bright and cheery.  The forsythia is brilliant today against the gray of the trees and green of the field. I have about another hour of cleaning in me.  Hopefully enough to finish the bedroom as I would like to sleep there tonight after the Red Sox game.  

I sent in my summer reading list into the library and have reserved what I can.  Luckily for me my bestie made the list and I just had to adopt it for me. Now, before you think I have missed a bunch, I have - This is just the SUMMER books that are on the reading list.  I still have lists of my favorite authors of books upcoming, but those I will share another time.  

Enjoy Reading - oh and a fitting punishment for cleaning not reading - lost the fitbit - hopefully not in the garbage can!

4/11/2017  Karen White: The Night the Lights Went Out

4/16/2017  Anita Shreve: The Stars are Fire

5/9/2017  Amanda Quick:  The Girl Who Knew Too Much

5/16/2017  Dorothea Benton Frank: Same Beach, Next Year

5/16/2017  Nancy Thayer: Secrets In Summer

5/30/2017  Nan Rossiter:  Summer Dance

6/6/2017  Nora Roberts: Come Sundown

6/13/2017  Elin Hilderbrand: The Identicals

6/13/2017  Shelley Noble: The Beach at Painter's Cove

6/20/2017 Jill Shalvis:  Lost and Found Sisters

6/20/2017  Mary Alice Monroe: Beach House for Rent

6/26/2017 Holly Chamberlin:  Home for the Summer

7/11/2017  Susan Mallery: The Secrets of the Tulip Sisters

8/29/2017  Susan Mallery: You Say It First


BTW - the new book:  Come Sundown by Nora Roberts was Excellent!  Thanks Main Street Bookends!

World Book and Copyright Day

World Book and Copyright Day

Today is World Book and Copyright Day.  Prior to earlier this week, I had not heard of this day and the mission of this organization. It is an international celebration to promote literacy and knowledgeable societies. Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO ,focus is on making sure books are available to even those who struggle with sight and/or learning disabilities.  

"According to the World Blind Union approximately one in every 200 people on Earth—39 million of us—cannot see. Another 246 million have severely reduced vision. These ‘visually impaired persons’ or ‘persons with a print disability’ can access an estimated 10% of all written information and literary works that sighted people can read."

Poorly designed or inaccessible books also limit reading and comprehension of those who have learning disabilities. According to the International Dyslexia Association, 3- 5 percent of the school population requires special accommodations and support.

Irina Bokova goes on to point out that we need to have a better understanding of those who struggle to access books and mobilize support to help meet those goals.

Penguin Random House books put together ProjectReadathon.  They set up a site where people could go and read various books for specified amounts of time.  Then based on the numbers of people and pages read, they would donate books to young readers in North America up to 300,000 books! According to research, “Today, only about one third of American fourth-graders are proficient in reading. By fourth grade, if children can’t read at grade level, studies show, they are unlikely to ever catch up.” This is quite a potent statistic with downright scary implications.  If one-third of Americans struggle with reading, their options for employment and long term job security are impacted.  Therefore setting up a disparity between the have and have not based on reading.  

The Project Readathon was set to run from April 17 to April 23rd.  Ending today means many of us didn’t have even the opportunity to start to help.  A goal I have for next year is to do my best to join in and help with the reading!  So mark up those calendars, I hope all of you will be joining me!

Books Read this week:

Unfinished Night:  The Complete Duet by Violet Duke

Brew or Die by Caroline Fardig

Devil’s Own by Megan Crane

The Bohemian and the Businessman by Katy Regnery

The Last Good Cowboy by Kate Pearce

Blood by Nicole James

Marjaysreadingblog@gmail.com
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Read What Makes You Happy

Read What Makes You Happy

In the New York Times Sunday Review, there was an opinion piece titled Why You Should Read Books You Hate.  I must admit, it caught my attention.  I try very hard to read books that I will like and not hate.  I am not sure why I would purposely read a book I do not like.  The author of the article, Pamela Paul believes “It was only by burrowing through books that I hated, books that provoked feelings of outrage and indignation, that I truly learned how to read. Defensiveness makes you a better reader, a closer, more skeptical reader: a critic…. You may find yourself developing a point of view.”   

Obviously, the author has not met my family and friends.  They have opinions of outrage and indignation without even discussing books. Politics, sports, religion and even mundane topics such as the weather can start a discussion.  We always have plenty to discuss and points of views enough for the hardiest of souls to debate.

And yes, we even speak about books.  We have readers of nonfiction, thoughtful meaningful books, best sellers and lots of fiction.  We are a family of readers and I have friends who are readers.  My besties and I share lists of our favorite authors with each other and talk about what we are reading often.  My aunt and I share authors and book titles back and forth.  One third of the people on my Facebook page are authors I love. I am surrounded by points of views daily. Never mind the feelings of outrage and indignation garnered just reading the newspaper.     

Books are my pleasure, my comfort, my sanctuary in a world gone mad.  Books bring me happiness and adventures.  I heartily disagree with the author of the opinion piece titled Why You Should Read Books You Hate.  I think life is short...read what makes you happy and if the real world doesn’t piss you off sufficiently - perhaps you are not paying attention.  

I Work Out...

 I Work Out...

For those of you who know me, I have been trying to take better care of myself, that includes eating better and more exercise.  However, I must admit, I am tempted to count turning the pages of a great book as exercise. (There are several memes about it.)  

I spent two days in Massachusetts at a conference called Seeing Stars (one of the Lindamood Bell programs).  I have to admit, the commutes were overwhelming for me and certainly out of my comfort range, but I am proud I accomplished them. There were a few potholes larger than my car to avoid and people stopping on a major highway to increase my heartrate.  I enjoyed learning the new program and can see how it will be useful in the future.  All the traveling did impact my reading time!

However, I am trying not to let somethings get in the way of reading and the Red Sox.  (I am trying to exercise with the team by watching them - not working).  This week I have been all about catching up and trying to get ahead.   Two new books to read for Rockstar PR:  Faking It and Crash and Burn are completed with the reviews ready to go.  I finished the new Lisa Scottoline book called One Perfect Lie.  I did finish the review and it is up on the site.   Holy moly - a great story with lots of twists and turns!  

Now I am reading The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova. An intricate book that looks at both the history of Bulgaria while weaving a mystery around the event of Alexandra Boyd’s trip to Sofia where she accidently picks up a bag of another traveler.  She is trying to find them to return the bag, but it is not an easy task. Along the journey she meets people who share parts of an older story.  How the stories are going to interconnect interests me as does the mystery of who is following and watching them.

My to-read list is becoming slightly more manageable. Perhaps because I see a week’s vacation coming up in the future.  Or the return of warmth and spring has rejuvenated my iced in soul from this winter.  Either way, the sun is back - although we still have snow banks which interfere with parking all over with the melting snow freezing at night.  

I am looking forward to having more time to read in a couple of weeks...meanwhile this week grades are due and I must catch up with inputting grades and writing comments.  So I am off to exercise my elbow and fingers to turn pages while I can this evening.  

Books this week

Faking It by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

Crash and Burn by Amanda Adams

One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

 

Catching up reviews

Shamed by Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele

 

A Reading Conference

I am going to a reading conference this week for a couple of days.  I am quite pleased about the conference and am looking forward to honing my skills and learning some new things.  I am less pleased with where I am going for the conference, but that is for another day.

I am a special education teacher by trade.  I have been able to learn and use different reading methods like Orton Gillingham and Lindamood Bell.  As I have taught for a gazillion years, I have had a range of students and abilities in reading, writing and math. I have always been drawn to wanting to help students read, but more importantly love reading.  Certainly a lofty goal when just reading the words for many is very difficult.  

Mrs. Ames was my first grade teacher and I loved her!  Reading at that time was learning about Dick, Jane and Spot.  I didn’t seem to “get” it at first, but after the Christmas vacation it all seemed to make sense and I began to read.  I have many fond memories of reading in elementary school including Ready-Made Family, All-of-a-Kind of Family, and Susannah the Pioneer Cow. From there reading took off and I read everything I could get my hands on to read.

I know you are wondering - why the story? Well, I need it to highlight my next point. I learned to read memorizing every word.  I didn’t see the relationship between sounds and the letters.  I didn’t see root words and vaguely recognized suffixes and prefixes.  I was amazed one day when the obvious was pointed out and worked very hard to recognize, learn and then teach with encoding and decoding (and yes, I still stink at spelling, although it is better).  Having these skills made me a better teacher. Knowing how I learned to read has made me a more compassionate teacher.  The inefficiency of my method was only able to be pulled off because of my visual memory.  

This week, I am going to a conference on utilizing symbol imagery.  This is a step for students who even though they know the sounds and the letters and can sound out word, the work is laborious for them and does not allow them to be efficient.  I am excited to be going, despite the horror of rush hour traffic near Boston, because this is one more strategy in my arsenal to change reading for students and allow them the magic of reading.  The magic that allows me such pleasure!

I fall into books

This is what happens to me sometimes when I find a new series, where all the books are available. I fall into the books figuratively.  Literally, what happens is the books consume me and the entirety of my life - heck - the whole world just disappears… Make the books about a series of people who have each other’s back… add hot men and sassy women and I am done - gone - in a new world.

It happens with stand alone books too, but there is something about a series with bad bad men that takes my ordinary (and let’s face it boring) life into a thriller with unknown assailants.  I disappear into the world within the book and all the regular parts of life fade away. Well, except for the cats - they do not ever fade away - and always know when I am at the best part of a story.  

Reading is an obsession with me.  I know this about myself and usually can use it to force myself to pay attention to the daily needs of life - cooking, cleaning and work.  Sometimes, the books take me so deep that it is hard to come back into the ordinariness of life…  Of course it is always difficult to come back to the bills, taxes and dishes.  Even I find it amazing how much a book or books can pull me out of the everyday into the extraordinary…

The part that you may find implausible is that I am generally very happy with my life.  I mean - there are, of course, things I want to change or have differently, but that is true for most people. Like hiring someone to clean the kitchen and bathroom or having a huge piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting all come to my mind. The worlds within the books are like vacations. Places and people to visit, maybe even to pretend with until it is done and time to come back home.

For today though, I need to be done!  I have much to do before tomorrow and work. Things to write and plan for work and for the blog.  So I am back in my apartment that could use a good vacuum and the dishes need washing. I have left the warmer weather of series I have completed, as well as the hot men.  Maybe - just maybe - I kept a bit of the sass for the next few days!

Books read this week and need to be reviewed:

The Memory of You by Catherine West

Highland Duke By Amy Jarecki

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Knight Secrets CC Wiley

Finn by Chris Keniston

The Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Shamed by Chelsea Camaron

Scorned  by Chelsea Camaron

Hellion’s Ride Series  by Chelsea Camaron

Reading and Writing

I have been a writing fool this weekend - last weekend and this last week I read like crazy.  This week I have tried to catch up on my writing reviews for all of you.  There are seven new reviews and three more to write {sigh} and still three more books to read.  

It has been a week of cold weather and snow, so having lots of books to read has been awesome. I love keeping warm with the cats and a blanket while reading.  Having a cup of ice tea just makes it even better.  The books I have read in the last couple of weeks have been from a variety of genres.  I actually tried to plan it out, so each book would not be read next to a similar book!  I did pretty well with the thrillers and romance going from historic to contemporary dealing with government conspiracies to bikers to the ton.  Perhaps that is what made the reading so much fun.  

I do have to admit, I overextended myself this month. All the books listed at the end along with three more were all to be read and reviewed in March.  Way too many! I enjoyed the challenge - but I will try not to do that to myself again for a while, especially since there are three more to read that I have already missed their due date. I felt like I had to hurry and not enjoy the stories and the characters as much as I would have liked.  It seems to me the lesson I needed reminding of was too much to do takes away from the time to look around and enjoy.

Enjoy Reading!

 

Books read and reviewed

It Started With A Kiss by Ella Quinn

Tightening the Thread by Lea Wait

Claiming Grace by Susan Stoker

The Lost Order by Steve Berry

Shade’s Lady by Joanna Wylde

Love, Honor, and Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

If Not For You by Debbie Macomber

 

More reviews to write but the book has been read

Curse of the Healer  by Ashley York

The Memory of You by Catherine West

Knight Secrets by C. C. Wiley

 

More books to read and review

Highland Duke by Amy Jarecki

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

Baseball and Steve Berry

WOW this weekend was COLD! I tried to get so much done so I could stay inside and not be cold.  It worked somewhat.  It helped that baseball is on TV again and I have lots of good books to read!  I have two loves (oh - and the cats) baseball and reading.  

Baseball, the game of slides, curves and home runs is one of my favorite things.  I live and breath with the Red Sox and their daily games.  I have been known to plan my day around an important game. Every swing of the bat brings a chance for a change of fortune.  Every pitch decides what happens next.  This weekend I watched mostly the World Baseball Classic.  The games have been tremendous with every player playing for “the name on the front, not the name on the back”.  It has been awesome.

Reading is my other love.  Reading trumps almost anything, except chocolate.  I had the newest Steve Berry book, The Lost Order to read this weekend as an ARC.  I love his books.  He takes one fact from history and then using intrigue and great characters, he weaves a story that takes you away from the everyday and brings you into being chased by bad guys, following clues, and getting help from unexpected places to finally resolving the whole situation.  

What made the whole situation humorous is that I cannot read with my glasses on and I cannot see the TV with my glasses off.  I was constantly looking for or reaching for my glasses to do something with them.  I think I have worn a new groove in my head from dragging them through my hair.  I do know that there is a section of hair that is shorter than the rest on my head.  It may have gotten caught a time or two or five in my glasses.  

That was my dilemma this weekend - Steve Berry’s newest book, The Lost Order (comes out early April) and baseball games played with heart and passion.  Oh the struggles …..

Reading and Vacation

I had such big plans for vacation.  I was going out and about to see friends and have some good visits.  Instead I ended up sick, obviously not in my plans.  Instead my vacation included more time with the cats and the couch than I originally planned. I think in the long run it was helpful, as I read a bunch of books and I am beginning to feel better (rest and antibiotics), except for the headache.    

While I was ill, I reorganized my to-read list and realized I was so behind this month. I have twelve books to read this month!  WOW!  The scary part is that does not include the library books on my list. I went to defer myself on the library list only to not be able to have it accept the dates.... SIGH.   Luckily, I have made a plan that I am comfortable with.  I am going to read the books, I was personally asked to read first, and then books I have most connection to with my obligations, and then the others. I expect I will be busy!

Meanwhile, I did read some fabulous books this week!   

The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison is a thriller.  The two main characters are FBI agents who take on different cases.  Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine  end up in Italy trying to save two people who came into some information about why there are sandstorms in the Gobi Desert.  The book’s action never stopped.  It was a thrill!

The Tiger in the House by Jacqueline Sheehan was a wonderful read.  It encompassed so many emotions and hopes that just stick with you for the whole book.  The twists and turns in solving who Hayley is and why she was left open up to Delia a world of searching - not just for Hayley’s family, but for herself as well.

Wind River Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna focuses on the story of Kira Duval and her journey to finding peace and love. Lindsay McKenna writes stories that make you believe in miracles. She has drawn me in again with another story about a military veteran who is struggling with PTSD.  She has managed to teach, share and weave a story about the difficulty for many veterans coming home and starting their life again, while weaving in a love story that curls your toes!  Wind River Cowboy is a great read!

In her newest book Her Rebel Heart, Jamie introduces us to a physics professor, Kaci Boudreaux who is all about shooting and throwing things. Pumpkin chucking, Miss Grits physics professors sass meets flyboy!  Jamie Farrell’s book, Her Rebel Heart is a fun-loving read!  Her characters are fun and quirky and often make me laugh out loud.  

Meanwhile I am back at work this week and will be squeezing in reading whenever I can!

Books this week:

The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter and JT Ellison

Tiger in the House by Jacqueline Sheehan

Wind River Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna

Her Rebel Heart by Jamie Farrell

Last Night with the Duke by Amelia Grey

The Second Time Around by Ella Quinn

Wild Card Undercover by Kari Lemor

Hygge

I learned a new word today - hygge - apparently it is Danish and was one of the top words of 2016.

"Hygge is the quality of coziness, togetherness, and contentment, which provides a warm and welcome antidote to frigid winter days and uncertain times. Hygge anchors us, reminding us to slow down, to connect with place and with one another, to dwell and savor rather than rush and spend."

Louisa Thomsen Brits has written about this in regards to reading: “Reading affords us stillness, connection and inspiration and often, like hygge, moments of restorative ease.” She has even written a book of poems about hygge to help people find that state.

I am not sure a book of poems would help me find hygge, but I know reading a piece of fiction always helps with finding peace and ease.  I know I use reading to help me rebalance the craziness of the world.  I use reading to cheer me up and chill me out.  Perhaps that is the state of hygge in my vernacular - cheering and chilling.  

I have been cheered and chilled with reading these last two weeks.  Reading thrillers like JD Robb in Echoes in Death or James Patterson in Missing have held me captive.  Reading love stories like Going Down Hard, Catch and Release and Sentinel’s Kiss have reminded me of the central need for togetherness, connections and love.  The Impossible Fortress reminded me … well mostly that teenage boys and girls do not always make good decisions.  

This week is vacation week for my school.  I have decided to spend the majority of it hanging out with friends (some I haven’t seen in awhile), reading books and watching baseball (go Sox).  Interspersed are real life issues like laundry, dishes and the dentist - oh well. I am hoping to find the state of hygge - if that is how to call it and enjoy the warmth, togetherness and contentment of the simple but wondrous parts of my life.  May you all find the same contentment in life.

James Patterson - Missing

JD Robb - Echoes in Death

Carly Phillips - Going Down Hard,

Laura Drewry - Catch and Release

Jamie K Schmidt - Sentinel’s Kiss

Jason Rekulak - The Impossible Fortress

A Year Ago

It was a year ago this week that Mom died.  I found myself thinking a lot about her this weekend.  Mom was very intelligent and always wanted to learn something.  It was not her cup of tea to read romances or cosy mysteries. She would read fiction novels, if they were books with meaning.   She preferred to read nonfiction, whether it was in books or articles.  She loved having the Boston Globe or the New York Times to read on Sundays.  Later when she lived near Washington DC, she read the Washington Post daily.

Mom would write all over her books - in the margins and in the spaces on the top or bottom. It wasn’t always notes about the books, but her thoughts about different sections or synthesising information from a number of books.  She would underline things and put stars next to parts she wanted to remember.  

Mom also loved Children’s Books, especially when they were Christmas books., which always surprised me. To me the dichotomy always seemed to be striking. She could never remember who she gave various books to and often gave them second and third copies.  She also liked to give away books she thought were so remarkable that she wanted us to read them as well.  

It took me forever to clean out all her books.  I found several copies of different books like Night by Elie Wiesel.  She has several books by Chris Bohjalian.  And loads and loads of books about mathematics, psychology, religion and counseling. I know it took me forever to clean them all out.  She never wanted a book to leave her house, unless she felt you needed to read it.  

I know my love of reading came from my mom and dad.  While I do prefer fiction over nonfiction, I am my mother’s daughter and have had to work really hard to get rid of books that were inundating my house.  Instead my kindle is chocked full of books!  I hope she knew how much of a gift she gave me!

Snow Day!

Snow days Snow days!  I love them in winter, but not so much in June.  We have had three cancellations and one delay in the last six days of school.  The snow bankings are pretty high and I have trouble throwing the snow so high.  This has allowed for reading and snuggling time with the cats, the couch and I.  My neighbor has noticed the local owl hunting during the day, so the cats outside time between not liking to get their feet wet and the owl have been severely cut back.  

All this time has allowed me some great reading time along with time to accomplish a few projects.  I have to admit, I continue to read the newspapers everyday (Globe and Times), which also takes time.  I again had the opportunity to read another new book by a favorite author, Don’t Speak by Katy Regnery.  The books that are part of the Modern Fairy Tales series are my favorite, because she writes the most marvelous love stories that just take your heart away!  I think she is able write stories about those who would not normally be main characters in such a way that you want them to have the love story.  

I read two thrillers, both holding me to the edge of my set as I tried to solve the mysteries with the characters.  Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman comes out on Thursday!  It starts with us meeting a delightful elderly lady who needed to speak with Alex Delaware.  The next day after he met with her, she was found dead, not from old age, but murder.  The whys were most curious and I love how Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis work together to discover those whys.

Laura Griffin writes romantic thrillers.  Her newest one, At Close Range certainly were both thrilling and romantic!  Daniele Harper had the chance to head her first homicides.  The problems with the lack of clues and twists and turns just made the mystery more interesting.  Scott Black despite being told to stay away from the case, couldn’t let Daniele handle it alone.  Even when the evidence seems to point toward him.  Laura Griffin’s books are part of a series that highlight the use of a private crime lab, called Delphi Center.  It is there that the clues are teased out using high tech methods.

Time to go to bed, so after I shovel and then shovel some more I can read tomorrow … Sigh - happy face...until June.

Reading and Purring Warmth

Reading and Purring Warmth

Ah - the freedom to read is upon me again, except for a knitting project and a few details like cooking, cleaning and laundry.  Tonight, I still have to cut up snacks for this week, but that will be nicely mindless, I hope. I read three cool books this week, all of them advanced reader’s copies and all of them in different genres.

This week I read a book called The Girl in the Garden by Melanie Wallace.  I felt I was unable to use the right language to express myself with that beautiful book. The characters were finely drawn and so alone, so insular that it touched a deep chord.  June, Iris and Mabel had reasons and back stories that slowly leaked out from the pages insuring your undivided attention.  The Girl in the Garden came out this week.

Her Rebel Heart by Jamie Farrell made me laugh, snort and cry - sometimes all at once.  I think this is one of the best of Jamie’s books if not the best that I have read. I have really liked all of the books about the Ex-Wives club (Moonshine and Magnolias and Southern Fried Blues), but this one with its quirky, wild and unpredictable main character Kaci.  Her Rebel Heart comes out in March.

The last book (and I admit - not quite finished) is Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman.  I love the characters of Dr. Delaware and Milo Sturgis.  They somehow work their way through the detritus of a crime including the grunt work, but they always find a clue, or pull a string that leads to a clue.  In this particular novel Dr. Delaware is invited in to speak with an older lady, who wants to learn and speak about the genetics of criminal behavior.  It is curious until the book slowly evolves into digging into the past.  I felt this book’s premise made it quite interesting. Heartbreak Hotel comes out on Valentine’s Day.  (Yes - the irony.)

It was lovely to read this week and be surrounded by purring warmth. I am thankful.

The Girl in the Garden by Melanie Wallace

Her Rebel Heart by Jamie Farrell

Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman

Time for reading

Another week has raced by.  Lately I think they all do!  I spent even more time at work this week getting ready for our onsite (name for the inspection by state) and have found myself coming home and staring at the TV.  It seems like politics are all over the news and facebook and take more time away from reading time.  I am really rather disgusted with how much time,  I have lost without being able to read, which is a problem for me.  Reading soothes me and grounds me.  It allows me a way to disconnect from the pressures of my world.  No reading means, everything seems bigger, badder and busier.  

I did finish a lovely book by Catherine Bybee called Staying for Good.  A contemporary love story with fun characters and a series message about families and home.  I also finished reading Ashlyn Macnamara’s book To Tame a Wild Lady, an historical romance with lady with a passion for horses and not so much for marriage to another in her ‘class’.  Both stories were good  and the type I love but not having much time to read them made them seem to last forever.  Certainly not a problem with the stories, but a problem with lack of reading time.  

Hopefully, after Tuesday everything will calm down and there will open up time for reading.  Maybe even a whole night or two for reading.  I am trying not to jinx myself, but all my fingers and toes are crossed metaphorically (otherwise typing would be a little rough).  I hope all of you are finding time to read and enjoy the lengthening of the days.  Here’s to hoping!

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Jeannie | Reply 20.02.2017 16.35

Moms are uniquely special and mold us in so many ways. We love them always.

Starry Storyteller | Reply 07.02.2017 16.41

What a nice website! I love how it's done. I love how you organized it with letters. You are a great writer. Check out my website at thewplace.simplesite.com!

Jeannie | Reply 21.11.2016 15.30

I read the sequel After You and am reading One Plus One. Can't wait to discuss the book at book club. So glad you were provoked!!!

Jeannie | Reply 10.10.2016 02.18

Gee, Marti, sounds like you need a hug! Escape this negative world and just read! We love you and would never give you a hard time, unless you merited it! LOL.

Eva Charles | Reply 05.10.2016 20.04

I love Katy Regnery's fairy tales too! All her stories are great. Congratulations on the uptick of traffic on the blog.

Eva Charles | Reply 05.09.2016 12.08

So glad you read Petite Madeleine! Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the similarities between the Blues and your beloved Sox 😉

Marjay 05.09.2016 16.33

I did enjoy the similarities between the Sox and the Blues. Loved the story. Loved the characters. The review will go up on the day it is released!

Jeannie | Reply 18.07.2016 12.12

Right on! Sad state of global reality, but we must live on. . .

Jeannie | Reply 09.05.2016 23.12

Tune out all around you. Go into another world. Yes, meditative!

Jeannie | Reply 18.04.2016 12.04

Will read Georgia. I have always been intrigued by her art, raises questions which this book might answer!

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Latest comments

20.02 | 16:35

Moms are uniquely special and mold us in so many ways. We love them always.

...
07.02 | 16:41

What a nice website! I love how it's done. I love how you organized it with letters. You are a great writer. Check out my website at thewplace.simplesite.com!

...
21.11 | 15:30

I read the sequel After You and am reading One Plus One. Can't wait to discuss the book at book club. So glad you were provoked!!!

...
10.10 | 02:18

Gee, Marti, sounds like you need a hug! Escape this negative world and just read! We love you and would never give you a hard time, unless you merited it! LOL.

...
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