Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Turn The Page Tuesday

From Amazon: "As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war."
Yo! Adrienne says: Another WWII book ... what can I say. I love them. This is a short but very satisfying read. If you haven't read this one definitely do so. As I always say, I can't even imagine.

From Amazon: "Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love--and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate."

Yo! Adrienne says: I listened to this book and so glad I did. The narrator (s?) did an amazing job. It was almost like watching a movie - ok not really - but the character voices were so distinct it really added to the listening experience. I had put off reading this because it was so long. I didn't think I had time and honestly I didn't really understand what the book was about. A painting that goes missing? So what. What's so interesting about that? Well. There is so much more to this. We follow Theo from a young chap all the way into adulthood. We sit by and cringe, laugh, and cry our way through his life. I highly recommend listening as opposed to reading this. It was just done that well. Excellent book. So glad I finally got around to it.

From Amazon: "Set in Kerrville, Kansas, The Center of Everything is told by Evelyn Bucknow, an endearing character with a wholly refreshing way of looking at the world. Living with her single mother in a small apartment, Evelyn Bucknow is a young girl wincing her way through adolescence. With a voice that is as charming as it is recognizable, Evelyn immerses the reader in the dramas of an entire community. The people of Kerrville, stuck at once in the middle of nowhere but also at the center of everything, are the source from which Moriarty draws on universal dilemmas of love and belief to render a story that grows in emotional intensity until it lifts the reader to heights achieved only by the finest of fiction."

Yo! Adrienne Says: Oh gosh. This tender book somehow found it's way to my kindle (I'm guessing it was a freebie or darn near so) and just languished. I'm not sure what drew me to it originally but I'm glad I snagged it (even though it was back in Jan. of 2013!). I couldn't help but feel sorry for Evelyn but her mom as well. One bad decision can so easily spiral into another ... try as we might we still can end up knocked back down. I felt this book was very realistic. It was also a reminder to me that you never know what one small act of kindness can do for someone and to (so cliche but ...) not judge a book by it's cover. A coming of age story not just of Evelyn, who we meet when she is 8, but her mother as well.

Christ is everywhere. We are made in his image and when we serve others we serve him. This little book is a great reminder to never cease to do good and care for others. I know my life is in a busy stage right now with young(ish) children but extending kindness and offering a smile is simple, doable. To love others as I have been loved.  God is love. Where love it there God is also ...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Turn The Page Tuesday

From Amazon: "Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? A moving and haunting novel for readers of The Book Thief"

Yo! Adrienne says: Short but sweet - well ok, not really "sweet" because of the content. It's a WWII story so there is really nothing that is palatable buuuuut if you like history and want to add to your repertoire of war stories this is defiantly a good one. Worth the read. It's quick and satisfying. High five.


From Amazon: "When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the "ungettable" Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner's, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick's Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.

What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel―and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera―where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.
Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby's parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous―sometimes infamous―husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott's, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda's irresistible story as she herself might have told it."

Yo! Adrienne says: After reading a few Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald books I was a bit intrigued by this "brat pack" of writers. They were ... um ... interesting. Their wive's just as much. If you too have read them and want another perspective Z is an interesting read. She had many talents that sadly, because of the era she was born in, went primarily unnoticed/unappreciated an quite possibly drove her mad. I actually listed to the audio version of this book which was well done.

From Amazon: "A dark yet often funny novel narrated by a man who, for the past two months, has been a patient at a New York City mental ward. Having suffered a breakdown—due to his shattered marriage and an irrational fear of fading away as a human—he now finds himself caught between two worlds, neither of which is a place of comfort or fulfillment: the world of the ward, where abnormality and an odd sort of freedom reign, and the outside world, where convention and restrictive behavior rule. Finally on his way to becoming reasonably “normal” again, he requests and is granted a “solo pass,” which allows him to leave the (locked) ward for several hours and visit the city, with the promise that he will return to the hospital by evening.

As he prepares for his excursion, we get a picture of the ward he will temporarily leave behind—the staff and the patients, notably Mandy Reid, a schizophrenic and nymphomaniac who has become his closest friend there. Solo Pass is an unsettling satire that depicts, with inverted logic, the difficulties of madness and normalcy."

Yo! Adrienne says: This is definitely a quirky read. As you read in the Amazon review there are some eccentric characters. I feel the author did a good job of respecting the reality of metal health issues but bringing a fun (but sometimes cringe worthy) read. This was a audio book as well.

From Amazon: "One morning in the small town of Coldwater, Michigan, the phones start ringing. The voices say they are calling from heaven. Is it the greatest miracle ever? Or some cruel hoax? As news of these strange calls spreads, outsiders flock to Coldwater to be a part of it.

At the same time, a disgraced pilot named Sully Harding returns to Coldwater from prison to discover his hometown gripped by “miracle fever.” Even his young son carries a toy phone, hoping to hear from his mother in heaven.
As the calls increase, and proof of an afterlife begins to surface, the town—and the world—transforms. Only Sully, convinced there is nothing beyond this sad life, digs into the phenomenon, determined to disprove it for his child and his own broken heart.
Moving seamlessly between the invention of the telephone in 1876 and a world obsessed with the next level of communication, Mitch Albom takes readers on a breathtaking ride of frenzied hope."
Yo! Adrienne says: I have yet to read a Mitch Albom book that I didn't like (and need tissues for). What would you do to talk a deceased loved one again? What would you do to make something right that went so wrong? You will have to read this one to find out what these characters did ... I promise you will be surprised in the end and happy you gave this book your time.

From Amazon: "Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel.

Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we’ll be prepared to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory each and every day."

Yo! Adrienne Says: A dear friend told me about this book. I've read quite a few of Tripp's books and have never been disappointed. He always points us to God and His redeeming grace. This book is no different. It's a daily devotional that take just a few minutes (if that's all you have). He also references scripture for further reading that relates to the days topic - if you are a journaler this would be a great way to dig deeper. I actually bought it on my kindle and downloaded it to my phone. No excuses not to take a few minutes to spend in the word. I highly recommend this book.

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


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.


"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.