Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday



From Amazon: "Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?  
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.  
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive."

Yo! Adrienne says: I ~loved~ this book. Stop whatever you are reading right now and pick this one up. 
Same author of What Alice Forgot ( and for the life of me I cannot find that review on my blog) which is also a must.read.right.now book. So, do yourself a favor - read both. Now.



From Amazon: "Over 2 million people have read the New York Times bestseller Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Readers have also been given a special look at another side of Auggie's story with The Julian Chapter and a peek at his life before Beecher Prep in Pluto. In Shingaling, the third Wonder Story, they'll read about life as a fifth grader at Beecher Prep through the eyes of Charlotte, the girl who had been chosen to be Auggie's "welcome" buddy. Readers will not only learn more about Charlotte and her budding friendship with reader-favorite, Summer (they solve a mystery together), but how the girls at Beecher Prep react to Auggie attending their school for the first time, and how Charlotte came to write the precept she used at the end of Wonder, "It's not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.""

Yo! Adrienne says: I really liked this "extra" Wonder story. Maybe because I can remember (somewhat) what it was like to be a young girl and trying to fit in. It was fun to read about their dance instructor and see how the girls began to mature and build a relationship with each other. This all centered around a specific dance. As they say - music moves the soul ... so just shing-a-ling baby. 






From Amazon: "September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them—but she’s trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience."

Yo! Adrienne says: Well. I enjoyed this book but liked book one better. Does that mean I won't be picking up a copy of book three come Sept. 22nd? Fingers crossed my library will have the an electronic version since it has one and two. If you haven't read these yet I'd suggest waiting until you can read them all through. I think I struggled a bit because I forgot quite a bit from book one. It was 2012 when I read it after all ;-) I am eagerly awaiting to see how this all turns out. It's a creative story and the vintage photographs add a unique edge to the book.


From Amazon: "This powerful dramatization of King Hezekiah's life and faith surges forward. Chronicles of the Kings book 2."

Yo! Adrienne says: I am really enjoying working my way through this series. Old Testament isn't always easy to read much less understand. Austin's writing brings to life what I would otherwise glaze over (or fall asleep while trying to read). 



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday



From Amazon: "A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.  

Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love."

Yo! Adrienne says: This book had me heading constantly looking up books that were referenced within the book itself; some were fictious but many were not and subsequently added to my "list". Definitely a quirky and interesting read. I say go for it.


One Plus One

From Amazon: "Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever. One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again."

Yo! Adrienne says: Hands down one of my favorite authors. So did I like the book? Um. Yeah. Couldn't help but love Jess and slowly but surely come to fall for Ed too. I really enjoy how Moyes wraps up a book - it's never as I suspect. Another home run. Excellent summer (or anytime read).






From Amazon: "What happens to children who are robbed of family? Myrtle Rowley's first three children grew up without any knowledge of their mother after Myrtle was forced to give them up when they were still toddlers. Not only were the children deprived of contact with their mother, they also grew up devoid of any knowledge of each other after being placed in separate facilities. In this sequel to Whisper My Secret, award winning writer JB Rowley explores what happened to the three half-siblings she never knew. As one of the children of Myrtle’s second family, JB also offers a personal view of a mother making a new life without her first family. Although the devastating loss of her first three children remained with her, Myrtle became a caring and committed mother of seven more children living in near isolation in the Australian bush. This mother’s strength of character is matched in her first three children who survived and thrived despite being cheated of the nurturing that should have been their birthright. Their stories are sad, sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately courageous and inspiring."

Yo! Adrienne says: If you enjoy reading about real life struggles that women faced shortly after the turn of the 20th century then you will certainly find this a page turner. Whisper My Secret is the loose history of Myrtle Rowley's early life that her daughter, JB Rowley, pieced together after her mother's death. After publishing her mothers story, many inquired about Mytrtle's "second family", thus Mother of Ten. I was shocked for many reasons - the lack of support, the calculated loss of her children, and what life was like in the outback (I would never have survived!). I would not call this a light summer read but a good look at another's life struggles and triumph over adversity. The review from Amazon is from Mother of Ten.


Hinds Feet on High Places

From Amazon: "Much-Afraid had been in the service of the Chief Shepherd, whose great flocks were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation. She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling. She loved her work and desired intensely to please the Chief Shepherd, but happy as she was in most ways, she was conscious of several things which hindered her in her work and caused her much secret distress and shame. Here is the allegorical tale of Much-Afraid, an every-woman searching for guidance from God to lead her to a higher place."

Yo Adrienne says: This was another of one of my book club reads. I was hesitant at first because of the allegory (I'm not very deep) but quickly found myself immersed. I did read this in small chunks (remember, I'm not very deep). This book is a beautiful reminder that our Father meets us wherever we are (rock bottom) and will guide us to high places.




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday



From Amazon: "1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again."

Yo! Adrienne says: Wow. I loved this book. I read it over spring break and really could not put my kindle down. I even read in the car (I get motion sick but it was worth it). My library had an electronic version. Anyway you can get it do so. This is such a tender coming of age book. I could relate a bit to June - I was 14 in 1987 and remember many a health class addressing this "mysterious illness". Growing up in a smallish southern city I was a bit more sheltered than June but still could throw myself back to my early teen self. I think you will really enjoy this one.



From Amazon: "It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest."

Yo! Adrienne says: Goodness. The determination and obstacles that these young men had and endured just blows me away. Their maturity is hard for me to grasp. I just don't see 19 & 20 year olds with this kind of drive and direction these days. Do I sound old? I'm approaching 43 quickly and have finally strarted to put a demi-glaze in my hair (but not covering all the gray - I kinda like it - just don't want to look like my children's favorite great aunt) - does that make me an autority of the demise of our young people and breakdown in society? Probably not. But it's hard not to compare when you read this. I really enjoyed how the author focuses mainly on one character, Joe Rantz, but introduces you to many of the heros of that time. Yes, I said heros. These young men dug deep and gave much blood, sweat, and tears to their team, school, and country. This is definitely a favorite of mine. I plan to hang on to my copy for my sons to read when they are a bit older. It's a keeper.



From Amazon: "Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country. Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings."

Yo! Adrienne says: There are 5 books in this series and I really love how the author brings the old testament to life. Those that are mentioned in the Bible were real people - I often forget that. They lived, loved, lost - just in a different environment than us. I would recommend this series (which I am working my way through) to anyone who wants the equivalent of a historical fiction to use as an aid to help them dig deeper in understand the OT.



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

Happy TTPT.

On a Wednesday.

Sometimes that's just how we roll.



So sometime ago I read Wonder and *loved it*. It is such a beautiful book. I tried to search my blog for my original review but go sidetracked by this post. Oh that was ages ago ... I'm feeling a bit sentimental. Best get on the to the reviews lest I wipe out a box of kleenex!

The Julian Chapter was such an exciting find - it's an extension of Wonder and is from the perspective of Julian (the bully). You do need to read Wonder first in order to really 'get' Julian and to follow along. I love how the author decided to dig a bit deeper with this short story. It's so fascinating to remember that we all have a story that includes (as they say) good, bad, and ugly.

From Amazon: "Over 1 million people have read Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Now readers will have a chance to hear from the book's most controversial character—Julian. 

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder,it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie's story through six different viewpoints, Julian's perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking.
Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully's side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?"


Yo! Adrienne says: You don't want to miss these two books. Definitely a good summer read.



I think Jojo Moyes has become one of my favorite authors. No. She has become one of my favorites. The Ship of Brides is right on up there with all her other books - delicious. If you've been around here long enough you know I love WWII books. Well. I've got another for ya.

From Amazon: "1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever."

Yo! Adrienne says: Who knew this was happening?! I sure didn't know. This story was based on stories from actual war brides who crossed the ocean and shared their adventure. How far would you travel for love? If it was for my Rocky - to infinity and beyond ;-)

My book club read A Million Little Ways. Sadly I had a sick kiddo and couldn't make the  meeting but I did read the book.

From Amazon: "Do you desperately fear you have nothing to offer the world but secretly hope you're wrong? You were born to make art. You were made to live art. You might not see yourself as an artist, but you are--in so many unexpected ways. In what you create, whether poetry or pie, sculpture or sand castle, calligraphy or conversation. It's time to uncover the shape of your soul, turn down the voice of the inner critic, and move into the world with the courage to be who you most deeply are. 
Creating a life of meaning is not about finding that one great thing you were made to do, it's about knowing the one great God you were made to glorify--in a million little ways."

Yo! Adrienne says: At first I was a bit turned off when I read the title ... art? I'm not an artist. But then I jumped in and was pleasantly surprised. Art isn't just a drawing, painting, jewelry making ... and the list goes on. It's about tapping into your own gifts that our Creator has given us. Do you like to tell jokes? Bake cookies? Give hugs? We all have talents that bless others and in turn bless us. Take some time to read this book and begin discovering the million little ways that you have been made in His image.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

MIA

Sorry folks.

Between Busch Garden field trips (that's educational right?), violin solos, end of the year picnics and tours of new schools I am a bit behind. You should see my house ...

Turn the page ... Tuesday should be up and running ... Wednesday.

I've have managed time to read (go me) and can't wait to share.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Eleven



How did that happen? 

He's eleven. 

And that makes me ... lets not go there yet k?

And that handsome kitty - he's seventeen. 

Oh boy oh boy. My fellas are getting on up there. 

Anybody know how to hit pause? 

I kinda like right where we are thank you very much. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Turn The Page ... Tuesday


From Amazon: "Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbeyand Upstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell’s classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs,is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high. Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s.  As a kitchen maid – the lowest of the low – she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5.30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were. Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids’ curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlormaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress’s nephew, Margaret’s tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation. Margaret Powell's true story of a life spent in service is a fascinating “downstairs” portrait of the glittering, long-gone worlds behind the closed doors of Downton Abbey and 165 Eaton Place."

Yo! Adrienne says: I have just begun watching Downton Abbey. I know. I am sooo behind. It's my reward for getting on the treadmill when I can't get outside and run. I just push my treadmill right up to the TV and stream an episode. It's beautiful. I actually read this book long before I began streaming DA but it was with the anticipation that I would someday actually begin the series. I really enjoyed Below Stairs and quite frankly can't imagine living the DA life or of those in this book. 


From Amazon: "I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?" The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of New Hampshire, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case--an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women--Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of--actions with horrific consequences. Everywhere hailed for its beauty and power, The Weight of Water takes us on an unforgettable journey through the furthest extremes of emotion."

Yo! Adrienne: I"m a big Anita Shreve fan. I've read quite a few books of hers. The Weight of Water completely shocked me at the end. I did not see it coming. Any book like that gets a two thumbs up from me even if the ending made my heart ache and tears fill my eyes.


From Amazon: "All roads lead to home. It’s easy to go through life believing that we can satisfy our longing for home with a three-bedroom, two-bath slice of the American dream that we mortgage at 4 percent and pay for over the course of thirty years. But ultimately, in our deepest places, we’re really looking to belong and to be known. And what we sometimes miss in our search for the perfect spot to set up camp is that wherever we are on the long and winding road of life, God is at work in the journey, teaching us, shaping us, and refining us―sometimes through the most unlikely people and circumstances. In Home Is Where My People Are, Sophie Hudson takes readers on a delightfully quirky journey through the South, introducing them to an unforgettable cast of characters, places, and experiences. Along the way, she reflects on how God has used each of the stops along the road to impart timeless spiritual wisdom and truth. Nobody embodies the South like Sophie Hudson, and this nostalgic celebration of home is sure to make even those north of the Mason-Dixon line long to settle in on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and reflect on all of the people in our lives who―related or not―have come to represent home. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the address on the front door or even the name on the mailbox that says home, but the people who live and laugh and love there, wherever there might happen to be."

Yo! Adrienne: Ya'll. I wish Sophie Hudson was my neighbor. She is so funny. I love her blog and her first book so when this one came out I had to read it right away. You will want to read this too. Don't wait.


From Amazon: "According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker―a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer."

Yo! Adrienne says: My neighbor lent me this book and it sat on my shelf for embarrassingly too long. Then one day I just decided it was time to read it. I really am in awe of what Mark Batterson has been able to do (Lord willing) in his community and how his church had grown. His writing is real (it's not all roses) and he is not afraid to share his doubts, lack of faith at times, and questioning of God's plan. He also does an amazing job of giving us insight into his prayer life and how that impacted his family and ministry. It's definitely a good read if you want to grow in your relationship with the Lord.