Monday, August 4, 2008
A few of the books I have read are: Night by Elie Wiesel (excellent), The Mistress's Daughter by A. M. Homes(disappointing), Drunk divorced and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry (cute knitting read), Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch (good), The Girl Who TStopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson (an ok read), Garden Spells by Sarah Addison (great new writer with her second book out in hardcover right now), The Me I Used To BE by Jennifer Archer (I was surprised how harlequins have changed over the years, this was good), Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote (not his best work but definatly worth the read), Lottery by Patricia Wood (great story), and A Hidden Life by Adele Geras (average story). Phew, most of these are journaled on my bookcrossing.com bookshelf. Im almost finished "The Ballad Of Typhoid Mary" by J. F, Federspiel. A book that I tried to read years ago but left if at work and someone took it!! The very sweet MsJoanna from bookcrossing found another copy and sent it to me. This book has been out of print for some time and very hard to get your hands on. More later, Im off to read and knit.Oh ya, I just looked at how Im doing with my goal of reading the 24 books I picked for this year and I have only read 8 out of the 24 - I better get crackin!
Monday, April 28, 2008
On the knitting front I have finished Mary Jo's poncho (it is being blocked as I type) and will post some pics shortly. I have started my first sock (knitting it on two circular needles) and I am making a cool looking felted basket for my mom to put her crossword puzzle books and balls of yarn in for Mother's Day. Oh ya, I also completed a cute little felted pillow that I just need to stuff then I will post a pic of that as well. Ok, time has run out and I have to get to work.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Set in the 1950's England, Pym (as she usually does) writes of an unmarried (spinster they called it then) woman in her early 30's (would we be spinsters at 30 in todays society LOL) and her relationships in and around the church. These are not preachy books by any means and are often filled with somewhat dark humor making the reader wonder what the author really thought of the "church" in the earlier part of the last century.
"Mildred Lathbury is a cleryman's daughter and a spinster in the England of the 1950's, one of those 'excellent women' who tend to get involved in other people's lives-such as those of her new neighbor, Rockingham, and the vicar next door."
I think this is tied with Crampton Hodnet for my favorite read by Barbara Pym.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
I received this from Harper Collins and their First Look Program.
I think this is the best book I have read so far this year and it is from a first time author and (I believe) Canadian to boot. The book is to be in stores sometime this month and I believe it is well worth reading. Donna Milner worked in real estate until her husband encouraged her to start writing. The manuscript was found in her agent's slush pile and is now being published in at least seven countries including Canada. Milner lives in British Columbia with her hubby and is currently at work on her next novel.
It is only in the past few years that I have found many Canadian authors that I enjoy. Until then I often found them wordy and boring. I guess I was reading the wrong ones. Because in the past few years I have read quite a few Canadians that I really loved. I often hear people say (about books) that they didn't like a certain book because they didn't like a certain character and what they stood for. I think that it is a superb author that can evoke such emotion from us and pull us into the reality of their story. Some Canadian authors that I believe are well worth checking out are Ann -Marie MacDonald, Bernice Morgan, Joan Clark (one of my all time favorite authors), Mary Lawson, D. R. MacDonald, and Peter Robinson ( a transplanted Brit for well over 30 years).
Anyways, back to what I intended to blog about - After River - is full of characters that work their way into your heart. Just as important was the time and the setting that this story took place . It started in the mid 1960's on a small western farm, in a time when the world was changing fast and a somewhat blanket of innocence was leaving society. The main protagonist Natalie Ward then a 15 yr old believed as I think most of us did in our younger years that our families were exempt from tragedy and that nothing could ever happen to change that. The slow gentle setting of this novel reminded me of a time when my life seemed so much more enveloped in goodness. Donna Milner was able to take me back to a gentler time in my life with many of her examples of life in the 1960's and 70's. However, the story went on to show me that even in what a lot of us remember as good years, pain and heartache still managed to creep into everyday life. Until River (an American Draft Dodger) showed up at the Ward's farm Natalie believed that nothing - not secrets, betrayals, or people could ever come between the love in her family.
I don't want to give away the story so I will just give the description off the back of the book and hope that you enjoy it like I did.
"Growing up on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia in the 1960s, just three miles north of the American border, Natalie Ward knew little of the outside world. But she had her family, a family so close and loving that Natalie believed they were the envy of the nearby town of Atwood – particularly her eldest brother Boyer, whom Natalie held especially close to her heart.But Natalie began to question her family’s idyllic existence the summer she turned fifteen. The arrival of a soft-spoken stranger, an American draft-dodger called River, would test the morals and beliefs of the family and the community to breaking point. The series of events following that summer day would leave relationships shattered and the Ward family changed forever."
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I ended up buying the book Knit 2 Together by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark. It was 50% off and seeing that it was regularly priced at $35.00 I had been putting of getting it. This book has some great and fun patterns and I think Im going to make my girlie Hailey the "Witches Britches".
As for yarn I ended up with:
450M Lang Yarns - JA WOLL sock yarn - Janelle says it makes great socks.
690M Butterfly Mercerized Cotton in an awesome aqua colour - It is EL. D. Mouzakis (never heard of this company) made in Greece. Im think summer tank top for someone.
378M MANOS del URUGUAY kettle dyed 100% Wool in very manly colours of black, dark brown, tan, and cranberry that all blend into each other - probably a scarf and maybe hat for hubby.
375M (aran weight) Kid Aran (50% Mohair 50% Wool) hand painted by Fleece Artist in a gorgeous green. This is to make the felted TOTO bag for me - thats right my first project for me other then scarves.
All in all I only spent $98.00, and I can't tell you what Janelle spent - I was sworn to secrecy.
From there we drove the 20 minutes to Shall We Knit (one of our favorites) in New Hamburg. It was lunch by this time so next door to the yarn store is a cute little rustic like cafe/diner, full of home made yummies. I had the Strawberry/brie quiche with wild greens sprinkled with feta and nuts. Janelle had her favorite tuna sandwich on homemade bread and a bowl of tomato dill soup. Oh ya the restaurant is called MeMe's. Try it if you are ever in New Hamburg.
We then spent the afternoon chatting with Karen (the owner and resident knitter of Shall We Knit) and anyone that wandered in. Janelle is teaching a lesson on Mitered Square Scarf at the end of the month and I was her test pupil. Good for her and good for me - I learned the stitch so I can start my Stained Glass Throw Blanket. This is a great store, full of beautiful yarns, books and company. It is in what used to be an old bank . It is very open and welcoming and the front of the store has a big table and chairs where you are encouraged to sit and knit and chat. I purchased two sets of double pointed needles and a bunch of Koigu Mill Ends to start my stained glass project.
When I finally got home last night I was smiling from ear to ear, but exhausted. A perfect day in my opinion.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
A few days ago I came across it and feeling that I wanted a light hearted sort of read decided that its time had come. The inside cover said that this was Milly Johnson's first novel and that she had another in the works. The Yorkshire Pudding Club starts with three thirty something lifelong friends having a picnic at the base of a fertility statue. Helen the only one of the group that wants to have a child and is desperate to concieve has decided that perhaps the statue may be her last chance. From the picture on the cover of the book it is easy to see that Helen will not be the only one with life changes in the works.
The plot was mostly predictable and aside from a few older stereotypical situations I enjoyed this light and funny read. But then again Im a sucker for anything British and Babies.
Monday, February 25, 2008
My mom always told me that if I had nothing nice to say to say nothing at all. This is going to be one of those times that I follow her advice. Isnt it nice to know that we all have our own opinions and thankfully (for Mr. McEwan) mine is but one on the reading highway.
Harris revisits characters from 1999's bestselling Chocolatin this equally delectable modern fairy tale. More than four years have passed since Vianne Rocher pitted her enchanted chocolate confections against the local clergy's interpretation of Lent in smalltown France; since then, Vianne has renounced magic, changed her name to Yanne Charbonneau and moved with her two daughters to Paris's Montmartre district. There, Yanne embraces conformity and safety, much to the dismay of her increasingly troubled older daughter, Anouk. When Anouk becomes entranced with Zozie de l'Alba, an exotic itinerant who happens upon a job at the new shop, and the relationship grows increasingly sinister, Yanne must call up all of Vianne's powers, culinary and mystical, to save her family. Harris again structures the narrative (told in alternate chapters by Zozie, Yanne and Anouk) around a liturgical season (in this case Advent). Harris gives fans much to savor in this multilayered novel, from the descriptions (including Yanne's mouthwatering chocolate confections, Zozie's whimsical footwear and Anouk's artistic efforts) to the novel's classic, enduring theme of good vs. evil-and the difficulty of telling the difference.
This Book is Titled The Girl With No Shadow on this side of the pond.
Finished this enjoyable read last week. I think that I enjoyed it just as much as Chocolat. I had lent this book to a friend to read before me and her comment was that it felt like it was set in the wrong time period and that she was not sure that she liked the dark tone of this sequel.
I would agree that The Lollipop Shoes definately had a much darker tone then Chocolat, but it pulled me in just a quickly. I enjoyed spending time with Vianne and Anouk again, and even found myself (at times) being charmed by Zozie de l'Alba. Author Joanne Harris has once again taken me from my living room couch to the heavy sweet smell, taste, and atmosphere of a small chocolatier. And of course I found myself enjoying just a little bit of chocolate along with this book.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
On the reading front I am reading The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris and at the halfway mark I am really enjoying it. For valentines day hubby gave me a gift certificate for Chapters, so off to one of my favorite stores I did go. I bought two knitting mags and a wishlist book along with a knitting book. I think I'm in Love. (he he he)
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Time to do all the things I love seems to be limited this past week. I did manage to finish two books since I last posted, one of them being The Rock Orchard by Paula Wall. Do you ever pick up a book more for the cover then the blurb on the jacket cover?? I do, and this was one of them.
"Some women can touch a man and heal like Jesus. The man who sees sunrise from a Belle women's bed will swear he's been born again."
"So begins Paula Wall's funny, poignant, and sexy novel, 'The Rock Orchard'. Musette Belle could lay her hand on a baby's heart and see his life as if he'd already lived it. Even in death, she continues to shock the good citizens of Leaper's Fork, tennessee, and her descendents are doing their best to carry on her legacy. Angela Belle, a haunting and beautiful siren, lures every man she meets into greatness, while her illegitimate and very independent daughter, Dixie, serves tea and vanilla wafers to the statue of the Confederate soldier she believes is her father. But when Charlotte Belle, a woman who would rather spend the night with Jack Daniel's than any man she knows, seduces a stranger in the cemetery, it not only transforms the two people involved but the entire town."
This had sat in my TBR pile for far to long so I decided to add it to my goal list of books to read this year. I'm glad I did because this was mainly a story about strong women, and more to the point the 'Belle' Women. This had a tinge of southern to it and a whole lot of chuckle out loud phrases but, it also had a story that made me think. I have put Paula Wall's next book in my wishlist and look forward to reading it.
I also finish Blood on the Tongue by Stephen booth. I wasn't as interested in this story as the first two that I read in this series. It was an average read but seemed slow paced to me. Booth continues to develop his characters Ben Cooper and Diane Fry and I do enjoy their little quirks but wish that this novel had of been set at a faster pace. Just my opinion and it certainly wont stop me from trying number 4 in the series.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
So here goes:
1. Tell 7 quirks, habits or unknown (to most) things about yourself.
2. Tag 7 people to complete this meme but not the person that tagged you.
1. My first husband and my current husband were both born on October 19th. This was also my parents wedding anniversary.
2. I graduated from College as a single mom of three kids under the age of 11.
3. If I could start a new career I would be a midwife.
4. I would love to live in both rural Ireland and England for at least one year.
5. I have a huge fear of Death
6. I love to smell and touch my books - I know Im strange!
7. I have been with my hubby for 16 years but we have only been married almost 6 years.
Im tagging Ottawabill, beckerbuns, morsecode, Aceofhearts, cestmoi, hoserlauren, and princessrica
Saturday, January 26, 2008
What book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Three immediately come to mind - "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb, and I'm not sure why because I enjoyed his other novel. I have only heard good things about this book but I have had it on my bookshelf a few times and just could not bring myself to attempt it. The second book is "The DaVinci Code" and the third is any Harry Potter books.
If you could bring three characters to life for a social event, who would they be and what would the event be?
I would bring Inspector Alan Banks from Peter Robinson's mystery series, Anne Shirley of "Anne of Green Gables" and Moranna MacKenzie of "An Audience of Chairs". We would meet at a remote cabin in a clearing somewhere near the Ocean. Our time would be spent drinking tea and shooting the shit.
You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to give you a nice grave?
I don't know if it is the most boring book on the planet but I think the Bible and following its lessons would help to secure a nice hereafter. I've only read parts of it so I guess I will have to stick around for awhile longer. he he
Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you have been nowhere near it?
I dont think that I have ever hinted or lied about reading a book that I havent.
As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you have'nt. Which book?
I can't think of one but I'm sure it has happened on occasion probabky if it was part of a series I might become confused about having read it or not.
You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you would pick and why?
I would pick "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee because it is a classic (IMO), aone of my very favorite books.
A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. What language do you go with?
A mischievious fairy comes and tells you that you must pick one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life. Which book would you pick?
Easily "The Time Travellers Wife"
I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What is one bookish thing that you 'discovered' from book blogging?
Definately to read out of my normal comfort zone, and that there is a whole world out there to still be discovered.
That good fairy is back for one last visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it and the books that would fill it.
My dream library would have a huge window that looks out over rolling hills, a pond and beautiful flower gardens. It would have a window seat covered with a comfy cushion.
The bookshelves would be built in and the books on them would be both new and used ( I love a book that has been 'loved' my many. It would not matter if they were paperback or hardcover and some would be autographed. I would have an over stuffed chair and a horribly comfy over sized couch, that you would just sink into. The walls would be covered in pictures of family and friends and the floors would be in big plank hardwood with a small throw rug. This room would be probably decorated like an old english country house. There would also be a huge wood burning fireplace, like the ones in old manor houses that use to heat the whole house.
Now I have to tag 4 people to complete this meme.
Lauren (hoserlauren), Shelley (jessiebud), Vincenza (cestmoi) and Janelle (Antheras)
Friday, January 25, 2008
Late last fall I was looking for a new (to me) mystery series to follow. I'm partial to British settings when I read mysteries, and years ago fell in love with Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series. I had tried the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin thinking that the Scottish settings would pull me in, but I found Rankin's character of Rebus and his style of writing just a bit to dark for my taste. Someone (and I can't remember who) suggested Stephen Booth. Booth's books are set in Britian, mostly (so far) in the Peak District . Booth 's main protagonists in these novels are Ben Cooper an almost 30 copper from the local area and the newly transplanted Sergeant Diane Fry.
In Booth's second novel of this series "Dancing with the Virgins" again takes place in and around the Peak District. The Virgins are a set of nine stones placed in a circle with the tenth stone set off to the side. Legend had it that nine village maidens had been caught dancing on the Sabbath and had been turned to stone for their sin and that the tenth stone (the fiddler that played for them) had been dealt the same fate. When the partially naked body of a woman turns up in the circle, Fry and Cooper must solve what seems to be a senseless crime .
I enjoyed watching the relationship start to take shape between Fry and Cooper on a professional level and wonder just how far on a personal level these two will evolve. Opposites may or may not attract in this case?? Don't let this fool you into thinking that this series is more about love interests then mystery and suspense. Booth writes without pleasantries and places the facts in the readers face - cold and unflowered - at times with description unwanting.
My only complaint would be that with the large amount of key characters in this book, I sometimes found it hard to keep them all in place. Nonetheless, I am eager to continue this series that I am sharing with my friend Enza (cestmoi).
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I purchased this from my local knitting store "Spun Fibre Arts" and the owner had this yarn made in Italy exclusively for her store. The Yarns are a nice combination of 100% silk, 100% cotton and 98% alpaca mixed with 2% nylon.
I can picture my boy wrapped in this on his couch drinking a warm drink from starbucks, and I want to be able to put it over him when I bring him home from the hospital. I'm more concerned about this surgery then he is. It doesnt seem to matter how old you children get they are still little to you. He is my first born and 23 years old but when push comes to shove he becomes my little boy again in my heart.
We are not sure how it happened but he ended up with a bad earache early in the fall. It wouldn't go away so he went to the emergency room as he was feeling quite sick and dizzy. It turned out that he had a massive hole in his eardrum. After seeing a specialist and the specialist unsuccessfully trying some procedure in his office to fix it, it was decided that he would need to have surgery. The waiting list in the city he lives in was one year but he could have the proceedure done at my local hospital. So he will come the night before and then stay a few days with me. Im sure I will drive him nuts fussing over him.
Back to my needles I go!!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
The Keepers of the House by Shirley Anne Grau
The Grass Harp by Truman Capote
A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris
Margarettown by Gabrielle Zevin
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant
The Rock Orchard by Paula Wall
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Happiness Sold Seperately by Lolly Winston
Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland
A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy
Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
Wicked by Jilly Cooper
The Summer that Never Was by Peter Robinson
The Man Called Cash by Steve Turner
The Ballad of Typhoid Mary by J.F. Federspiel
The piano man's daughter by Timothy Findley
The Vision of Emma Blau by Ursula Hegi
The Way the Crow Flies by Ann Marie MacDonald
These were picked for many different reasons. some because I enjoy the author, some because they have sat on my shelf forever, some have been recommended by friends or have simply caught my eye, some because they are a Canadian author. I have even been known to pick a book because I like the title or the cover. I'm sure I'm not alone there.
Knitting is still occupying alot of my time right now and hopefully soon I will get a few pics of my projects on here.
Monday, January 21, 2008
A Christmas present from hubby, look me in the eye by John Elder Robison is what I picked up next and thankfully completed. I had first heard about this book when I played in a swap over on bookobsessed.com. I had tried to secure it as my own but unfortunately was not that lucky. The cover is what originally caught my eye but upon further examination I realized that it was about the author's life with Aspergers Syndrome. Aspergers (a mild form of Autism) is a condition that until 20 some odd years ago went undiagnosed.
This was a interesting look into not only into John Elder's experiences both before and after diagnosis as a middle aged adult but also into his family, first written about by his brother Agusten Burroughs in Running With Scissors. Equally funny and heart touching this story was told without sentimentality and maybe because I have some professional experience with Aspergers I found his actions and reactions in certain situations vivid in my mind.
look me in the eye
John Elder Robison