Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Turn The Page ... Tuesday



From Amazon: "Barely out of school and doing her bit for the British war effort, Marian Sutro has one quality that makes her stand out—she is a native French speaker. It is this that attracts the attention of the SOE, the Special Operations Executive, which trains agents to operate in occupied Europe. Drawn into this strange, secret world at the age of nineteen, she finds herself undergoing commando training, attending a “school for spies,” and ultimately, one autumn night, parachuting into France from an RAF bomber to join the WORDSMITH resistance network.
   
But there’s more to Marian’s mission than meets the eye of her SOE controllers; her mission has been hijacked by another secret organization that wants her to go to Paris and persuade a friend—a research physicist—to join the Allied war effort. The outcome could affect the whole course of the war.
   
A fascinating blend of fact and fiction, Trapeze is both an old-fashioned adventure story and a modern exploration of a young woman’s growth into adulthood. There is violence, and there is love. There is death and betrayal, deception and revelation. But above all there is Marian Sutro, an ordinary young woman who, like her real-life counterparts in the SOE, did the most extraordinary things at a time when the ordinary was not enough."

Yo! Adrienne says: I love a strong female lead. I especially love when the ending totally takes me by surprise and makes me gasp out loud. This was the perfect blend of what happened and what ~maybe~ could have happened during the war. Imagine being tapped by your government / resistance / someone who knows who you are to be trained as a spy. Oh my. I don't think I have the nerves; I'd be one big hive - ha! That's why I enjoyed this book so much. A page turner and a woman of steel (at least on the outside). 




From Amazon: "Paris, France: 1860s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, molding it into a "modern city." The reforms will erase generations of history―and in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand.

Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end. As others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years."

Yo! Adrienne says: I have to admit, I struggled to get into this book at first (I actually listened to the audio version). I am not familiar with France and the narrator did a wonderful job (I think) of pronouncing all the French names/addresses/landmarks but that was the problem - I had no clue what was who or what or where! Once I committed to finishing this book and stopped trying to map it out in my head I began to enjoy the story more. The author does a great job of unfolding the story so that you really do not fully understand Roze's choices/reasoning until the the very end. This did leave me a bit sad at the end so maybe not a beach read. I was more heartbroken for what could have been ... as Roze was. Read it - you will understand.







From Amazon: "Kidnapped from Africa as a child, Aminata Diallo is enslaved in South Carolina but escapes during the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan she becomes a scribe for the British, recording the names of blacks who have served the King and earned their freedom in Nova Scotia. But the hardship and prejudice of the new colony prompt her to follow her heart back to Africa, then on to London, where she bears witness to the injustices of slavery and its toll on her life and a whole people. It is a story that no listener, and no reader, will ever forget. Reading group guide included."

Yo! Adrienne says: Goodness. I listened to this book and man was it amazing. The narrator did an excellent job of changing her voice just enough to distinguish the characters. I found myself often pausing the audio and hitting my friend Google to research part of the storyline.  There is no debate how heinous slavery was (and human trafficing in todays world) was/is. No words.  Pick up this book or download the audio. If you are luck like me, my library had it. It is beautifully written and will have you taking note of those you meet in passing ... you will definitely try to remember their name. Everyone wants someone to know your name.





Yo! Adrienne says: So many verses underlined in my Bible ... here are two of my favorites:

Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners? And when Jesus heard it he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." 2: ...16,17

A reminder to me to not judge. We are all in need of God's grace.

And Jesus said to him, "'If you can!'.  All things are possible for one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe, help my unbelief". 9:23,24

Too often I doubt. This verse reminds me that it's ok to ask God to help me with that doubt ... and He will!

I hope these verses have inspired/uplifted you. I am guilty of not spending enough time in God's word when I am not involved in a Bible study (summers). Writing this post is a reminder to me to get back in the habit.

For those that don't know me personally, I feel I need to update. Many of you have read my blog for ages (when I actually blogged vs just posting TTPT). Sadly, we have experienced great loss this winter. My amazing Aunt lost her 4 year battle with breast cancer in December. I also had the difficult task putting down my 18 year old companion at the end of March.



Gallagher made many appearances here on the blog. He was loyal, loud, and oh so sweet. The joke in our house was that G came before Rocky (because literally he did - I got G in August and met Rocky in November.). Bless Rocky for understanding my love for the "first" guy in my life. 

A week later Rocky's dad passes (semi-suddenly) from pancreatic cancer. As you can imagine, we all have been dealing with quite a bit of grief. My boys especially.

Fast forward to last week ... 


meet Pearl and Leopould. Our new companions.

It was one of those "everything fell into place". I was not planning on kitties anytime soon. We were all still nursing our wounds. And then I get a text ... my friend has kittens. You see how the story ends. It's a happy one.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

It's summer time!!!! And with that in mind, I have a few of my must reads for you. Perfect for the pool side, sand in your toes, or your hammock - whatever (or wherever floats your boat - there too!).


The Impersonator 

From Amazon: "In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family's vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he's found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he's wrong. Orphaned young, Leah Randall has been acting since she was a toddler.

Oliver, never one to miss an opportunity, makes a proposition―with his coaching, Leah can impersonate Jessie, claim the fortune, and split it with him. The role of a lifetime, he says. A one-way ticket to Sing Sing, she hears. But when she's let go from her job, Oliver's offer looks a lot more appealing. Leah agrees to the con, but secretly promises herself to try and find out what happened to the real Jessie. There's only one problem: Leah's act won't fool the one person who knows the truth about Jessie's disappearance.
Set against a Prohibition-era backdrop of speakeasies and vaudeville houses, Mary Miley's Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition winner The Impersonator will delight readers with its elaborate mystery and lively prose."

Yo! Adrienne says: I have told everyone who will listen to read this! I actually *listened* myself ... another audio book from my library (the only way I get to "read" these days"). I thought I had this book all figured out ... and then there was a twist. Ok - got it this time - I know what's up. BAM. Something (or someone ... ) else. It wasn't until the end that well, I knew the end ;-)  Definitely a satisfying and suspenseful summer read. It will have you uh-hu-ing and ah-ha at the end.






From Amazon: "Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat diner in Plainview, Indiana is home away from home for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean.  Dubbed "The Supremes" by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they’ve weathered life’s storms for over four decades and counseled one another through marriage and children, happiness and the blues. 
 
Now, however, they’re about to face their most challenging year yet. Proud, talented Clarice is struggling to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities; beautiful Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair; and fearless Odette is about to embark on the most terrifying battle of her life. With wit, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together three devoted allies in a warmhearted novel that celebrates female friendship and second chances."

Yo! Adrienne says: This book cracked me up. It is so far fetched and full of eccentric people that I just wanted to find Earl's All You Can Eat and hang with The Supremes. The fact that a fair amount of the characters - a few (famous) ghosts, a pot smoking mother, and a fortune teller - are just a bit over the top just added to the crazy fun. It is a bit outlandish but ooooh so good. If you don't laugh out loud a few times and shed a couple of tears in a few places then well ... maybe you need to listen to the audio version. I loved how the narrator made you feel like you right there telling the Supreme's story just to you. Good all around read.




From Amazon:""The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man" introduces my favorite kind of flawed cynical protagonist in Ruddy McCann, former football star, now Repo Man in a small town full of memorable weirdos. It's suspenseful, action-packed, romantic, and above all, truly funny. I loved it."--Nelson DeMille, "New York Times "bestselling author Ruddy McCann, former college football star, has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now Kalkaska, Michigan's full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. His best friend is his low-energy Basset hound Jake, with whom he shares a simple life of stealing cars. Simple, that is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head. The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. Ruddy isn't sure if Alan is real, or if he's losing his mind. To complicate matters, it turns out Katie, the girl he's fallen for, is Alan's "daughter." When Alan demands Ruddy find his murderers, Ruddy decides a voice in your head seeking vengeance is best ignored. When Alan also demands he clean up his act, and apartment, Ruddy tells him to back off, but where can a voice in your head go? With a sweet romance, a murder mystery, a lazy but loyal dog and a town full of cabin-fevered characters you can't help but love, New York Times bestselling novelist W. Bruce Cameron's "The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man" is yet another laugh-out-loud, keep-you-up-late, irresistible read."

Yo! Adrienne says: Oh goodness. A man and his dog story with lots of bad guys, a ghost and a beautiful girl. Perfect summer read right?! This one had me giggling as well. There is definitely some serious subject matter but again an overall light read. I did find myself trying to tie up a few loose ends that I thought the authors missed but this was another audio book ... I might have been trying to actually pay attention while driving and missed a few things ;-) It's worth a read for sure. There are a few conversations between Ruddy and Alan that still have me shaking my head and laughing. I think you will find the same.




Yo! Adrienne says: I have so many verses I could quote from James that mean so much to me. I'll just list a few:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 1:2-3
I often have to remember this - despite difficult times/circumstances - He is still with me, holding me. I need (sometimes work/pray hard) to find the joy.

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 1:22

In other words, don't just talk the talk - walk the walk. I need to live out my faith and this is a great reminder to me. I have been given eternal life through Christ - that makes we want to "do good" and be more Christ like.

... mercy triumphs over judgement. 2:13
I am quite often reminding my boys that it's better to be kind that right. Again, I need this reminding just as much as they ...

I hope these few verses encourage you to read James (or any book in the Bible). I am a doodle/underliner in my Bible and I love to go back and reread/stumble upon where I marked a passage. Sometimes I wonder why something struck a chord with me and other times I know exactly what was going on; I'm usually back at that spot (see above verses) because either I am reminding my children but more often reminding myself of the grace that has been given me.





Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Turn The Page ... Tuesday





From Amazon:  "A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Childrenand continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience."


Yo! Adrienne says: When I began reading this series (back in 2012) I had no idea this was considered 'young adult'. I should have figured it out when there was no 'adult' uh-hum scenes. Refreshing actually. I also didn't realize that this was going to become a series and it would take me 3 years to wait for and get through the sequels. Was it worth it? Yup. My only recommendation - read them back to back or at least fairly close to one another. I found myself trying to remember details from the first book especially and just couldn't. They were still very readable despite but I would get hung up on details and would just have to remind myself to just soldier on. 


Oh - wait - one more suggestion. Don't read it on a kindle. I read all three on my kindle (because I"m cheap and could check them out from the library). There are some amazing and very unusual vintage pictures that the author strategically placed throughout. You don't want to miss the detail. If you are interested here are the links to when I posted about book one  (10/12) and book two (6/15).










From Amazon: "Pi Phillecroix, daughter and only offspring of Piette and Paul Phillecroix V attempts to survive a world that preys on the weak and vulnerable when she leaves the protection of her Paris home and journeys to the shores of England to find a cure for her dying father. Flightless, she bears the expectations of seventeen centuries of France’s most heroic and decorated flying families. Can one little bird bear the expectations of seventeen centuries? The Phillecroix’ have long been respected the world over for their daring and flying excellence. Each and every member of their lineage has devoted their lives to flock and country. The tragedy is that Pi, the last and only progeny of these decorated heroes, cannot fly. Intelligent, loving, virtuous, enormously devoted and reverential to mother and father, Pi bears the weight of her parents’ disappointment when they learn that the family’s tradition of flying excellence has ended. At a time when most young birds frolic and play in and around the fountains of the Tuileries, Pi relegates herself to a small corner of the family nest atop the l'Arc de Triomphe in order to hide her handicap and escape endless torment from the arrondissement’s teenage birds. When her war-decorated and beloved father becomes seriously ill, Pi steals away in the middle of the night to walk from Paris to England in an attempt to find Dr. Allbewell, the only one who may have the powers to save his life. Flightless, Pi makes her way on two scrawny pink feet, north to Normandy. During her journey she uncovers a host of characters that sometimes halt and other times hasten her journey with a blend of cruelness and helpfulness. Gervaise, an angelic force of wisdom rescues Pi from the throes of two sadistic Starlings; Etienne, a Giant Sea Fish helps Pi navigate the river Seine; Quick Jac Carlson a short-tempered, red-bellied woodpecker strangles her in an attempt to prevent her from seeking a night’s refuge; and Big Fella, a humble stallion who befriends and carries Pi to Cherbourg are just a few of the multifarious characters that drive this colorful and eclectic narrative. Readers from ages twelve and older will identify with Pi’s journey and feelings of inadequacy, the ridicule she has to endure for being ‘different,’ and ultimately the courage she exhibits in facing her fears one step at a time."

Yo! Adrienne says: My step mother shared this book with me. Her daughter lives near the author (all thought I don't believe knows personally) and had picked it up for her since she is an avid reader and support "local". It was a fascinating read from the perspective of a little bird. I have to admit I found myself looking at the birds in our yard quite differently after reading this book. Enjoyable read. Remember to support your local ... everything!




From Amazon: "Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world."

Yo! Adrienne says: I must be the last person on the planet to have read (actually I listened) to this book. I remember everyone raving about this one. I saw mom's at the pool, sunglasses on, relaxing on a lounger with Bernadette in hand. I don't know why I was originally turned off. Thankfully my life has not allowed me time to sit and read (stay with me here) and I have rediscover the convenience of audio books. My library, remarkably, has a generous list that I have been working my way through. This being the first.  I throughly enjoyed this book not just because the audio was done so well but because the characters were so quirky. I kept wondering "what are these people doing?' and "no way!" but "yes way!" until the end when it all came together. If you are like me and don't know Bernadette, I highly recommend you get aquatinted this summer. It's a great pool side read (or ferrying kids to and fro listen).




From Amazon: "A powerful and resonant novel from Tom Franklin—critically acclaimed author of Smonk and  Hell at the BreechCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter tells the riveting story of two boyhood friends, torn apart by circumstance, who are brought together again by a terrible crime in a small Mississippi town. An extraordinary novel that seamlessly blends elements of crime and Southern literary fiction, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a must for readers of Larry Brown, Pete Dexter, Ron Rash, and Dennis Lehane."

Yo! Adrienne says: Another audio book complete with southern accents and sayings. That alone should make you want to listen (I'm a biased Virginia girl). I've had this book on my read list for quite awhile but as I mentioned earlier - there wasn't any time. When I realized that this was also an audio book (for free! score!) from my library I put it in the line up (pun intended - there's a crime as a part of the storyline - you'll have to read to find out). The book was set in Mississippi during the early 1990's and to my surprise still had a tremendous amount of ignorance (racism). As distressing as this was to listen to, the story could not have progressed as it did without this nasty underlying current. Each character has it's own issues unrelated to the color of their skin and then throw in prejudice you begin to understand the why: fear. I really enjoyed this book and was completely surprised by the ending. I say definitely add this to your summer reading. If nothing else you will have a throw back to your elementary days: M-I-crooked-letter-crooked-letter-I-crooked-letter-hump-back-hump-back-I




Galatians



Yo! Adrienne says: My Community Bible Study just wrapped up for the year and Galatians was one of the books we studied. Before I participated in CBS I struggled to read the Bible. I would read and sometimes get it and sometimes not. I did get the ESV Study Bible and that helped but I wanted to discuss, share and learn scripture with others. As the saying goes "I wanted someone with skin on" to walk this road with me. Two of my favorite verses from Galatians that I often recall:

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit  Let us not become conceited provoking one another, envying one another. 5:22-25

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 6:9


So my friends, if you are like me, growing the fruits of the spirit within myself is an ongoing,repentant, forgiving, giving thanks journey. Let us not grow weary - what awaits is eternity with our savior! 




Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Turn The Page ... Tuesday



From Amazon: "Patrick Taylor first charmed readers with An Irish Country Doctor, a warm and enchanting novel in the tradition of James Herriot and Jan Karon. Now Taylor returns to the colorful Northern Ireland community of Ballybucklebo, where there's always something brewing beneath the village's deceptively sleepy surface.


Young Doctor Barry Laverty has only just begun his assistantship under his eccentric mentor, Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, but he already feels right at home in Ballybucklebo. When the sudden death of a patient casts a cloud over Barry's reputation, his chances of establishing himself in the village are endangered, especially since the grieving widow is threatening a lawsuit. 
Not all their challenges are medical in nature. When a greedy developer sets his sights on the very heart of the community, the village pub, it's up to the doctors to save the Black Swan (affectionately known to the locals as the "Mucky Duck") from being turned into an overpriced tourist trap. After all, the good citizens of Ballybucklebo need some place to drink to each other's health….
Whether you've visited in the past, or are discovering Ballybucklebo for the first time, An Irish Country Village is an ideal location for anyone looking for wit, warmth, and just a touch of blarney.

Yo! Adrienne says: DOH!!! I meant to post this last month so you would have a St. Patrick's Day read. Oh well. Put this series on your list for next year (or anytime you want something fun). I actually listened to this one and loved the narrator's Irish (of course) accent. These books are light hearted and easy but I recommend reading them in order.



From Amazon: "It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.


Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies. Though her handcrafted confections-rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds-are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.
Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby- a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.
Sydney's daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to...if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?
When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.
Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It's where the real story begins."

Yo! Adrienne says: If you have been around here for awhile you know Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors. This book did not disappoint. Typical of her style - a little bit of magic and mayhem to keep things interesting. Maybe I like her books (this one included) because I was a fan of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie back in the day. Definitely add this author to your list of reads.




From Amazon: "Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.
One of the best-loved classics of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many dis-tinctions since its original publication in 1960.
It has won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. It was also named the best novel of the twentieth century by librarians across the country (Library Journal).

Yo! Adrienne says: Wow. I literally had one chapter to go when I got the notification on my phone that Harper Lee had passed. I have so many things I like love about this book. Several places I marked sticky notes because I wanted to remember:

"Atticus, are we going to win it?"
"No, honey."
"Then, why - "
"Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win", Atticus said.

And

"Well, most folks seem to think they're right and you're wrong ..."
"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions," said Atticus, "but before I can live with other folks, I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

If we could just as a society - as people - for all are created in His image - remember those wise words today.

(and no I am not going to read To Set A Watchman)




From Amazon: Chronicles of the Kings Book 3- God has rewarded Hezekiah's faithfulness with great wealth and power, but the king has much more to overcome. Will his faith sustain him against the ultimate enemy?"

Yo! Adrienne says: I think I said this after book 1 and 2 - I have really enjoyed this series. Austin does such a great job of bringing the Old Testament to life. They have really helped me dig in to the OT and understand a bit more. I highly recommend.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Turn The Page ... Tuesday




From Amazon: "In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are. 

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can … completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime."

Yo! Adrienne says: Many people were head over heels for this book. I liked it. I thought I was worth the time to read and a very interesting story line (remember I'm a sucker for any WWII storyline). I love a strong female character and The Nightingale provides several. The main characters were so different - opposites really (isn't that often true of siblings). Vianne and Isabelle both wage war according to their disposition and wills; in the end realizing that they were on the same front. An enjoyable read for sure. 





From Amazon: "From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times)."

Yo! Adrienne says: Another "I LOVED THIS BOOK" from many. Again, I enjoyed it but I think the hype brought with it too high expectations. Continuing on the WWII theme but a totally different perspective (something else I love about WWII books - there is seems and endless supply of storylines). I often wonder after reading a book like this, "what would I do?" - "would I be able to survive/fight/stay strong?". One of my favorite parts of this story is the connection made through the characters via the radio. Compare that now to how social media is used and it seems small but during WWII the radio was a true lifeline. The fear of what was being spread/heard is the same for today. If you are late to the game like me, it's worth the read. Just don't let the hype get in the way.




From Amazon: "“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await."

Yo! Adrienne Says: The sequel to Me Before You did not disappoint. I loved it just as much. Lou's family is just as lovable and kooky and people we meet along the way  were well developed and believable. I could not put this book down. I am eagerly awating the release of the movie Me Before You. I know it won't be as good as the book (they never are) but I could not get enough of sweet struggling Lou and those that love her in their imperfect way. Defiantly a summer read ... or now ;-)



From Amazon: "Her father was an American serviceman, her mother a young Korean woman confused by the ravages of war. Abandoned at age four, nameless, homeless, and utterly alone, this child roamed the bleak, war-ravaged countryside of South Korea for three years and was finally left for dead. But The Creator had other plans and revealed them through the words, "She Is Mine.""

Yo! Adrienne says: I actually won this book from the blogger Monica Swanson last year. I literally read this book in one sitting. I knew Stephanie survived (because she wrote the book) but as I was reading I kept reassuring myself that she did indeed survived and thrive despite her ordeal. It's beautiful to see how the Lord was present with her through her trials and has used her story to share His love for us. Even when we are facing what seems like insurmountable circumstances He is with us. A must read. Puts my cart traffic jam at walmart and my bad hair days in proper perspective. Stephanie is writing a sequel. I am eagerly awaiting it's debut.






Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Turn The Page ... Tuesday



From Amazon: "Welcome to Spencerville, Virginia, 1977. Eight-year-old Rocky worships his older brother, Paul. Sixteen and full of rebel cool, Paul spends his days cruising in his Chevy Nova blasting Neil Young, cigarette dangling from his lips, arm slung around his beautiful, troubled girlfriend. Paul is happy to have his younger brother as his sidekick. Then one day, in an act of vengeance against their father, Paul picks up Rocky from school and nearly abandons him in the woods. Afterward, Paul disappears.

Seven years later, Rocky is a teenager himself. He hasn’t forgotten being abandoned by his boyhood hero, but he’s getting over it, with the help of the wealthy neighbors’ daughter, ten years his senior, who has taken him as her lover. Unbeknownst to both of them, their affair will set in motion a course of events that rains catastrophe on both their families. After a mysterious double murder brings terror and suspicion to their small town, Rocky and his family must reckon with the past and find out how much forgiveness their hearts can hold."

Yo! Adrienne says: Well if this isn't a "valentine's" themed title I don't know what is. I must come clean here ... I am good friends with the author's sister and mother. I know all the ins and outs of "Spencerville" where the book is set and I could not put this book down. Yes, I loved figuring out the local references (he changed many names/places) but his writing is just beautiful. It is so well done. Be forewarned - there is a lot of "adult content". If that bothers you just skip those pages - the rest of the book is so worth it. If I may step out on a limb and compare Ed Tarkington's southern writing style to that of Rick Bragg's ... Only Love Can Break Your Heart is that good. It's worth the hardback price.





From Amazon: "In this “charming debut” (People) from one of Sweden’s most successful authors, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review)."

Yo! Adrienne says: Every person that will listen I've told to pick up this book and read it. I knew I was going to fall for it as soon as I realized that the main character was a "cranky old man" (I was a geriatric social worker). What I was not expecting is the evolution we were privileged to read of Ove. No only did the author slowly but surely give us nuggets of what life events happened in his past but showered us with characters that were just quirky enough to keep the crabby Ove on his toes. Truly a book to add to your list.



From Amazon: "The heartwarming tale of an irrepressible donkey who needed a home―and forever changed a family.

Rachel Anne Ridge was at the end of her rope. The economy had crashed, taking her formerly thriving business along with it. She had been a successful artist, doing work she loved, but now she felt like a failure. How would her family pay their bills? What would the future hold? If only God would somehow let them know that everything was going to be all right . . . and then Flash the donkey showed up.

If there is ever a good time to discover a wounded, frightened, bedraggled donkey standing in your driveway, this wasn’t it. The local sheriff dismissed Flash as “worthless.” But Rachel didn’t believe that, and she couldn’t turn him away. She brought Flash into her struggling family during their darkest hour―and he turned out to be the very thing they needed most. Flash is the true story of their adventures together in learning to love and trust; breaking down whatever fences stood in their way; and finding the strength, confidence, and faith to carry on. Prepare to fall in love with Flash: a quirky, unlikely hero with gigantic ears, a deafening bray, a personality as big as Texas, and a story you’ll never forget."

Yo! Adrienne says: Oh my goodness. I bought this book for my MIL for Christmas without having read it myself (I bought it based on a recommendation). Within 2 weeks my MIL had passed it back to me with the instructions to read ASAP. So - I have no other choice but to tell you dear readers to do the same. It's a beautiful (true) story that will have you measuring your less than an acre lot trying to figure out how you are going to get approval from the city for a donkey.