Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday - Books

 This is a busy Spring here and if you aren't busy yet you will be!  The songbirds are back, the sun is shining and all is right with my world!  And my daughter is on Spring Break this week so there will be more "phone time" than usual which is a good thing as we tend to motivate each other.  So, if Spring hasn't arrived yet in a neighborhood near you...just be is coming!
Meanwhile, the reading continues......not as many as last week though.  I only finished one but it was a great one!  I'm going to be making a list of my TOP 10 Books of 2015 and I'll put it on my blog sidebar and this one will definitely be going on it!  I will probably do one for last year too since I kept track of my 2015 reads.
Ms.  Trigiani did not disappoint with this one.  She's such a flawless writer and storyteller that I would probably love anything she writes but I do have my favorites and this is one of them.
I think she wrote a lot of it from family history as she divulges some correlations in the epilogue and what a great family history to have.  I related to much of it and that generation which would have been my parents generation and their parents.  The hard work ethic, the feeling of responsibility to your family and showing love through caring for them.
"This heartfelt story of the limits and power of love chronicles the remarkable lives of the Castellucas, an Italian American family over the course of three generations."  I think you will enjoy it very much.
This is a book I bought years ago and it is a non-fiction about nature but anytime people praise a book as highly as this by "those in the know" I find it disappointing.  So far it seems to me her writing sounds like she's smoking something!  Some of it makes sense and then some sounds like she's in a dream state.  I've only just begun reading it so maybe it will become more understandable as I get further but right now it's a struggle.  Definitely not a "relaxing read" more like one of those required in school. I read Shakespeare and all the Greek tragedies etc. and in my mind if I have to sit and figure out what the writer is trying to tell me then the writer is at fault....not me! LOL!  I'm a realist and I don't deal well with "skipping around the bush" or symbolism...spit it out!
I just chose my next fiction book this morning and this is it......
I got this at a library book sale but I can't remember when.  I buy many books based on the cover and the blurb on the back.  It looks to be one of those book club books which are usually pretty good.
 "A funny and poignant novel about having your heart in the right place even when everything else isn't."
"Newly divorced Dana Stellgarten has always been unfailingly nice --- even to telemarketers---but now her temper is wearing thin.  Money is tight, her kids are reeling from their Dad's departure, and her Goth teenage niece has just landed on her doorstep.  As she enters the slipstream of post-divorce romance and befriended by the town queen bee, Dana finds that the tension between being true to yourself and being liked doesn't end in middle school....and that sometimes it takes a real friend to help you embrace adulthood in all its flawed complexity."
I'm still listening to the audio of Agatha Christie short stories thus I haven't started The Secret Garden audio.  That's it for this week!  What are YOU reading?
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!

Do you have plans for today?  This is one of my favorite days of the year and I made my corned beef and cabbage yesterday..........

 I prepped all my vegetables so they would be ready to put in with the corned beef once it had simmered for several hours.
The cabbage goes in last as it doesn't take long to cook.  I usually cook cabbage, potatoes, carrots, turnips and rutabaga but I couldn't find rutabaga this year but I love it.

I got an Irish care package in the mail too from my daughter and her family........2 packages of my favorite Girl Scout cookies, some Kiss My Face lip balm in Peach and these little canisters that are magnetic on the bottom and will stick on the side of my frig or anything metal.  I think I'm going to put spices in them.   I had one already so now I have 5!
 Plus, this beautiful book............published out of Anamosa, Iowa in the style of the old fashioned almanacs but filled with current articles many relating to the history of the region and filled with original artwork.  I know I will enjoy this book.
and last but not least an original piece of art..........which is now proudly displayed on my refrigerator!
I hope you celebrate this fun day in some small way.  I'm having my great dinner and I'm watching QVC all day as they have all things Irish with history, song and dance and a gay Irish atmosphere plus Waterford Crystal, artwork, hand carved walking sticks, beautiful sweaters and wovens, Connemara marble and more!  I usually get something for myself each year in honor of my Irish heritage.  Have a wonderfully happy St. Patrick' Day!  Happy Trails!

Monday, March 16, 2015


 I got a lot of reading in this week........
 This was a good book and I could barely put it down once I go into it but was it good or did it just peak my curiosity?  The main character was a bit sad but the mystery plot was very good.  My only problem is that so many of these books revolve around violence to women.   I purposely don't read books by male authors because I don't know what I might run into within the book.  I don't expect that from female authors but then it seems to be a "trend".  This book could have been a lot worse.  It was not graphic to the extent where I would have bad dreams or not be able to get it out of my head but there are some books that have had that effect on me.  I am beginning to think that books need to be rated like movies.  If it's a true story one cannot run from the truth but to make up horrible things makes me wonder about the author.  I know, I may be a bit odd compared to society but I don't like to have anything negative around me.....people, books, television, movies....real life is so much more tragic that I cannot fathom thinking up more tragic circumstances within the covers of a book.  So, I am sure most people would rate this book highly and as for the was a great one but I think I'm ready to read something a bit lighter now.

 Actually I finished The Storyteller before The Girl on the Train and it was great....again, sad and tragic but about a real time in history (the holocaust) and the way she told it you understood there was a lot of truth in it.  In fact, you get the feeling that she is weaving someone's personal history into a story.  I liked this book  much better than The Book Thief and Ms. Picoult is a great writer in my estimation.  When you can tell a tragic story in such a gentle manner by your choice of words that is a great "storyteller". 

This was a "sleeper".  Although I believe in an afterlife I wasn't sure this was the one.  I was skeptical and when I started listening to it I found myself analyzing Ms. Eadie and judging her by her lack of education and mispronunciation of several words such as "assept" instead of "accept" and there were others.  By the time I finished listening to it I was ashamed for those thoughts and judgements.  Ms. Eadie was one of the first people to write about her experience so she wasn't really jumping on any "bandwagon" and her sincerity comes through her voice as she does the reading.  At first I wondered why they didn't get someone else to do the reading but by the time I finished I realized no one could have done it better.  I figured this tape would go in my garage sale coming up but is a keeper if only to remind me that we are all God's children and love is the answer to everything.

This was not very enjoyable but I'm not sure if it was the "radio broadcast" atmosphere or my particular cd player.  It was loud and brash and several different accents being used and I had to back up several times as I didn't understand what they were saying.  Like I said, it could be my cheap cd player. 
 This week I am listening to a collection of stories by Agatha Christie and I am a devout fan and have been since I was in my 20's so what more can I say?
 My non-fiction book is on my tablet.........

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers  

No, I'm not reading all about just so happened I am going through old audio tapes and this one has been on my tablet for awhile....coincidence.....I don't think so! LOL!

This is my fiction for this this author!
And once I finish Agatha Christie, I'll be listening to this audio...........a classic.....
That's all for this week......Dancing With The Stars is on tonight!  Happy Trails!