Jun 072016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Wow! I’ve been in a reading/blogging slump but didn’t realize it’s been a month since I posted a RW. I’ve been walking a lot on some days and not so much other days. I’ve been doing a bit of weight training but no yoga or chi-gong. Little deep breathing. I’ve been eating more fish but also eating things I know I shouldn’t.

I have 3 months before I get my blood drawn again. I have to make sure my numbers are coming down. I’ve revised my workout schedule some:

walk daily
strength train 3x a week w/bands & weights
yoga/pilates/tai-chi 3x a week
rebounder 3x a week
meditation & deep breathing  daily
cut way back on processed food & drink mostly water and a coffee in the am

I’ll try to keep up with the RW posts and track everything. I’m so bad at this and there really isn’t any excuse. So…well see.

May 032016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

I’ve been upping my steps. The highest day had 7055 and the lowest had 2928. I hope to be more consistent this week.

As for strength training, I did good. So good that I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder, which has given me trouble for many years due to 28 years of taking care of Henry. He was a big man, 6’2. I’m only 5’0. Anyway, I lifted too much and too high and my whole arm was hurting/semi numb for a few days. But it’s better now. I don’t think it will ever be 100% again. My pinkie and side of my hand is numb most of the time and my shoulder pops over and over if I use it or lay on it.

No yoga, chi-gong etc.  Sheesh, just do it!

For food I plan on making:
Tuesday: Veal patty sandwiches. I’ll wrap mine in lettuce, Anthony will use buns.

Wednesday: Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks with Honey-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts for me and mashed potatoes and corn for Anthony.

Thursday: Vegetable Curry

Friday: Wings and chef salad from Hungry Howies

Saturday: Meatloaf, Sauteed Zucchini

Sunday: We’re having a family cookout. We’re having Gardein Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, a kale salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob. And I can’t get together for a meal with my daughter in law with out her also making macaroni salad. It’s the best in the world. Really it is. Honestly!

Parmesan Tuna Patties for my lunch

Apr 192016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Last week was rough for me again, I hurt my foot while playing mini golf and doing some walking at Disney Springs, but it seemed to get better as the week went on and I averaged about 2 miles a day.

Sunday night my daughter called me and wanted to know if I wanted to go to the flea/farmers market and of course I said yes, and I got in a lot of steps. I asked her if she was ready to start walking with me every morning and she said yes! Woo hoo! She’s at home every day like I am and it will do us both good to walk every morning before it gets too hot and humid.

Here is what I plan on eating this week:
Breakfast
2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
Yogurt with Granola
Eggs & Cinnamon Toast
Oats with fruit, flax seed, wheat germ and cinnamon and nuts

Lunch
Parmesan Tuna Patties
Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Wraps
Pepperoni Tortilla Pizzas

Dinner
BOCA Burgers
Slow Cooker Pork with Greens and Beans
Blackened Chicken Alfredo Bake
Simple Salmon Patties with baked beans and coleslaw
Asian Glazed Drumsticks with Asian Style Rice & green beans
Crockpot Cheesy Tortelini

Apr 052016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

I didn’t post the last two weeks because I was dealing with a stupid cold. Runny nose, sneezing and coughing until my sides and head hurt. Also, my leg was acting up again. I didn’t get much walking or anything else done. I did get a few days of some walking but the most steps I got in a day during those two weeks was 6658, about 3 miles.

I like to switch things up every once in a while so I don’t get burned out, so I went though my stack of workout dvd’s and have decided to do Muscle Definition with Kelly Coffey-Myer, Pilates with Ellen Barrett, Yoga with Megan Garcia, and Bosu Ball Total Body Workout. I’ll also do Tai-Chi or Chi-Gong. I plan on doing each one at least twice a week, plus walking and meditation. I’ve done really good on drinking water the last few weeks and am happy about that.

I’ve been trying to eat less carbs. Here is my meal plan for the week:
Breakfast:  Greek Yogurt, eggs, oats with fruit, or 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Lunch: Probably a salad, turkey wrap or Tuna Muffins

Dinner: What I plan isn’t always what I end up making :)
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Baked Chicken BreastsRoasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo
Thursday: Unstuffed Cabbage
Friday: Salisbury Steak, Green Beans, Tomato Slices
Saturday: Chicken & Edamame Vegetable Stir Fry
Sunday: eating out
Monday: Boca Burgers

I hope everyone has a great week of working out and walking!

Mar 152016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Last week was not so great. Son Anthony was sick with runny nose, sneezing, coughing, etc. and lost his voice. Then I got it. My sides and head hurt so much from coughing. l almost lost my voice too but it’s coming back slowly. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal in a few days.

Of course I didn’t do much of anything including walking. Same goes for the 30 Day Walk This Way Challenge, so it’s reset time…again.

Mar 082016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

 

Last week I missed posting because we had a crazy week.  Son #2 had drs. appointments in Tampa on Tuesday and Thursday (he had to be knocked out for the tests and couldn’t drive himself home, so I was the designated driver). I didn’t really mind, plus I got a lot of reading done waiting to drive him back home. Then I had a drs. appt. on Wednesday. I also went a few other places that I thought couldn’t wait another week, but of course things got  messed up and they could have waited. I didn’t find that out until Saturday though. Anyway, I did better the last two weeks on all my goals.

Last week I joined the 30 Day Walk This Way SparkPeople Challenge, but with all the going to and fro last week I didn’t get everything done. So I decided to start over today. That’s another good thing about SparkPeople. If you mess up on anything, even challenges, you can start over. And over and over. I like that.

Menu for the week in random order:
Kung Pao Pork Stir Fry
Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken
Spicy Italian Panini
Salsa Fish
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Egg Salad Sammies (for some reason we’re both craving this)
Eat Out

I hope everyone has a great week and meets all their goals!

 

Feb 232016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

I did better with my walking last week, 2-5 miles each day but would like to get up to 4-5 miles every day like I was doing. I did strength training twice and Qigong once, instead of 3 times each. I did pray/meditate every day and drank more than 80 oz. of water every day. I also did some stretching.

This morning I joined the 30 Day Walk This Way SparkPeople Challenge since that helped me get back into the swing of things in the past. I’ll post how I did on week #1 next week.
 

Here’s my meal plan for the week:
Kung Pao Pork Stir Fry

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan & Roasted Broccoli

Keema & Whole Wheat Couscous

Sticky Chicken & Roasted Cauliflower

Easy Vegetarian Potato Soup & Crusty Bread

Slow Cooker Turkey Kielbasa & Cabbage

One day we’ll eat out

I got the recipes from SparkPeople because they show you how much sodium, carbs, fiber etc. is in each recipe and I love that. They also have a food tracker which helps keep track of what you’re eating, an exercise tracker, and more. They have a variety of groups you can join and different challenges for anything you need help with.  If you haven’t joined, check it out. It’s a great site! If you do decide to join, let me know and I’ll friend you.

I hope everyone has a great week of exercising and eating healthy!

Feb 162016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Last week was pretty good.

My miles were:
Tuesday ~ 1
Wednesday ~ 1
Thursday ~ 2
Friday ~ 2
Saturday ~ 2
Sunday ~ 3
Monday ~ 5

I did 3 days of strength training but no Chi-Gong. Son #2, Anthony, had surgery on his throat and we spent one day at the VA hospital. He was on some strong stuff for pain so the other days were spent mostly on trying to keep him moving without falling down. He’s doing better now and isn’t taking the meds any more.

As for my meal plan:
Giada’s One Pot Chicken Stew
Oven Baked Blackened Tilapia
Baked Coca Cola Pork Chops
Spicy Italian Panini
Crockpot Pierogi Casserole
Taco Salad (we’re picky about our taco salad so this is my own recipe, hence the lack of a link. I’ll try to post my recipe soon.)

Feb 022016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

My walking was ok, I did from 2-4 miles each day. I seem to be lacking motivation for everything else. I only did strength training twice and no tai-chi/chi-gong. I need to shut down my brain and stop going over and over things in my mind that I can’t do anything about. This weeks priority is to buckle down and make sure I do my workouts at least three times. I also need to start meditating which will help clear my mind.

Believe it or not I made a menu plan for the week:
Tuesday: Chicken in a Hurry & Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday: Ellie Krieger’s Easy Tomato Sauce with wheat pasta & Texas Toast
Thursday: Left over Chicken In A Hurry & Pea Salad
Friday: Broiled Tilapia Parmesan & Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
Saturday: Boca Burgers
Sunday: Eat out
Monday: Fish & Fries

Jan 262016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

 

Last week was not a good week for me. I was very emotional all week, thinking about my husband and not looking forward to Friday which was the one year anniversary of his passing. I did my walking, but didn’t do so great with everything else. I’ll try again this week.

 

Jan 192016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

I missed posting on 1/12/16 for the week before because I wasn’t home most of the days and just didn’t get many posts done. I don’t think I did one of the weekly memes I usually do other than the ones I was responsible for like Mailbox Monday and Books That Caught Our Eye. As for exercise, I did lots of walking, about 2-3 miles a day. I did some of my other daily goals, but not all.

For last week, walking was ok, again about 2-3 miles a day, but I didn’t do the workouts on the day I was supposed to, so from now on I’m not going to specify what day to do what. I’ll just make sure I get it all done.

So here’s the updated plan:
Daily
Pray & Meditate
Deep Breathing
Stretching daily
Walk 2-4 miles
Drink 10 glasses of water or more per day

Weekly: 3 times each
Strength train
Qigong/Tai-Chi
Eat meatless 2-3 times

As for meal planning, I got it done for this week.
Tuesday: BLT Grilled Cheese
Wednesday: Gyudon
Thursday: Coca Cola Pork Chops with sweet potato casserole
Friday: ? Eating Out
Saturday: Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken
Sunday: Taco Salad
Monday: Seven Up Roast with carrots and potatoes

It’s supposed to warm up some a few days this week, so I’m hoping to get a day or two of biking in. I do love my bike!!

Jan 052016
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Last week was very busy with this and that so I didn’t do as much as I wanted to. I did walk everyday, between 2 and 4 miles most days and I did some stairs too, but of course I didn’t keep track. Maybe this week I can remember. I haven’t started strength training until today, so I’ll report on that next Tuesday. I think I’ll start a weekly menu plan like Tina does, it looks like it would make things easier and quicker each day. Eating hasn’t been all that great, I’ll work on that this week too while I’m planning meals for next week since I’ve already bought food for this week.

So here’s the plan for 2016, for now:
Daily
Pray & Meditate
Deep Breathing
Stretching daily
Walk 1-3 miles
Drink 10 glasses of water or more per day

Weekly
Strength train: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Cardio: Wednesday, Friday, Monday
Qigong/Tai-Chi: Thursday, Saturday, Monday
Eat meatless 2-3 times

2016:
Lose 20 lbs.
Increase endurance and strength

Dec 182015
 
ENTER THE CREATIVE WORLD OF J.S. BACH IN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED GUITARIST STEVEN HANCOFF’S GROUNDBREAKING FOUR-VOLUME E-BOOK

Bach #1

Bach #2

Bach #3

Bach #4

Book Details:

Book Title: Bach, Casals & The Six Suites for ‘Cello Solo: Volumes 1-4 by Steven Hancoff
Category: Adult non-fiction, 1189 pages
Genre: Biography / Music
Publisher: iTunes
Release date: June 2015
Tour dates: Nov 30 – Dec 18, 2015
Content Rating: G

FROM TRAGEDY TO TRANSCENDENCE

A Totally Immersive Multimedia Experience

Richly Detailed Text Embedded with More Than 1,000 Illustrations Illuminating Bach’s Masterpiece, from Its Creation to Its Legacy

Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo and 3-CD set Audio Recording of ’Cello Suites to be Released June 23rd

Exclusively on iTunes and CD Baby

Includes Hancoff’s Complete Recording Of His Acoustic Guitar Transcription of Bach’s ’Cello Suites

From tragedy to transcendence is the theme that embodies the essence of the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach. “This man, ‘the miracle of Bach,’ as Pablo Casals once put it, led a life of unfathomable creativity and giftedness on the one hand and neglect and immense tragedy on the other,” says Hancoff.

Bach’s life was rife with hardship and tragedy from the start. By the time he was nine years old, he had witnessed the deaths of three siblings and then, within a year, his father and mother also passed away.

For all his education and talent, however, his first job was serving as a lackey for a drunkard duke. Subsequently, he spent the next fifteen years in the employ of Weimar’s harshly ascetic Duke Wilhelm Ernst, who cared little for music. When he was twenty-two, he married the love of his live, his distant cousin, Maria Barbara Bach. During the thirteen years they were married, she bore him seven children, three of whom died at birth.

In 1717, Prince Leopold of Cöthen offered Bach a position as the musical director for Cöthen. Bach jumped at the chance. The officials of Weimar, however, threw him in jail for “the crime” of daring to resign his present position. Still, Bach was on the verge of a career breakthrough.

Three years into his happy and contented tenure in Cothen, Prince Leopold and Bach visited the spa town of Carlsbad for a month of vacationing and music-making. Unfortunately, upon his return Bach learned of the death of his wife and then only when he entered into his home. Imagine the shock, the impact. He never even discovered the cause of death.

Yet this tragic setback in Bach’s life was a major turning point because he came to grips with his personal tragedy by unleashing a flood of masterpieces for which he is and will be forever revered. First came the Six Violin Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo and then the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo.

In the ’Cello Suites we hear Bach expressing his own seeking, yearning, love, loss, sorrow, grief and determination and their overtones of surrender, resolution affirmation and transcendence. He aspired to articulate an ultimate personal confession, a revelation, entirely unique, entirely sublime, as an ultimate act of artistic and creative testimony, a heavenly statement about his own life and even of life itself—as a final gift and an enduring, heavenly send-off for his beloved wife.

Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo invites readers and music lovers into a unique experience, contained in an immersive four-volume e-book from Steven Hancoff – a virtuoso musician’s restless, passionate, multimedia exploration of a musical masterpiece that only grows in stature almost three centuries after it was written.

The many fascinating and inspiring aspects of the book include:

• How Bach struggled and overcame adversity and the lessons his example offer us today.

• The ultimate meaning of the Six Suites for ’Cello.

• How almost all of Bach’s works would have nearly sunk into oblivion were it not for the extraordinary efforts of Sara Levy, the great aunt of Felix Mendelssohn, to rescue them.

• How Felix Mendelssohn singlehandedly created with the performance of the St. Matthew Passion a Bach renaissance and a legacy that continues to be enjoyed to the present day.

• The miraculous discovery of the six ’Cello Suites by Pablo Casals in a Barcelona thrift shop and why he studied them for twelve years before performing them in public.

• What Pablo Casals meant when he spoke of “the miracle of Bach.” Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo promises to be an adventure for anyone fascinated by the enduring power of music, art and why they matter.

Buy the music & ebooks: iTunes

 


Thoughts
I received a 3-Disc CD Gift. This year was a very stressful year for me, and I find this very calming. It’s nice to listen to while doing chores around the house or whenever you need to de-stress. I’ve never been a fan of this type of music, but now I’m finding it one of my favorites.

 

Guest Post:

Tell us about Bach, the musician. What makes his music so special?

To me, the mystery and the greatness of Bach’s music lie in his unerring mastery, his ability to unify the expression of breathtaking beauty, primal emotion, vast power, and intellectual rigor, and to do so on a giant canvas. The confluence of these elements evokes the feeling of flow, the feeling that each note inevitably follows the preceding one, such that there is never a “wrong” note, only “right” ones – never a random note, only meaningful ones.

The music of Bach has no trace of negativity, only exaltation and upliftedness – “the permissible delights of the soul,” as Bach himself put it. He seems to have created music from a state of reverence, awe, and wonder at Creation itself, as an act of gratitude for having been created to witness and participate in it, and with an innate feeling of personal proximity to eternity itself. One feels exposed to unveiled cosmic truth by means of transparent musical purity.

It is almost as though rather than having been composed, the music emanated from some exalted plane to which Bach was somehow attuned, perhaps something like The Music of the Spheres, the Keplerian notion contemporaneous with Bach, that ultimately music is the sound of Universal relationship – “the movements of the planets are modulated according to harmonic proportions … as God, the Creator Himself, has expressed it in harmonizing the heavenly motions,” as Johannes Kepler put it in his masterpiece, Harmonices Mundi in 1619, and with which Bach definitely would have been familiar. Or, as the great Pablo Casals most elegantly and succinctly put it, “Music is the Divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” Like some bodhisattva, Bach seemed born to translate and transmit this music to us all.

 

Steven Hancoff

Steve Hancoff began playing guitar when he was 13 years old, captivated by the folk music craze of the 1960s. Within a year he was performing in coffeehouses around Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

For nearly 15 years, he toured the world—about 50 countries—as an official Artistic Ambassador representing the United States of America. His recordings include Steel String Guitar, New Orleans Guitar Solos, Duke Ellington for Solo Guitar, and The Single Petal of A Rose. He is also the author of Acoustic Masters: Duke Ellington for Fingerstyle Guitar and New Orleans Jazz for Fingerstyle Guitar. He is a graduate of St. John’s College, home of the “100 Great Books of the Western World” program and has a Masters degree in clinical social work. He is a psychotherapist, a Rolfer, and a practitioner of Tai Chi. An avid hiker, he is also a member of the Grand Canyon River Guides Associations.

Connect with the author: Website   ~  Twitter  ~   Facebook

Subscribe to Steven’s Hancoff’s work on YouTube

@StevenHancoff  and @iReadBookTours

#biography  ~ #music  ~ #JohannSebastianBach  ~ #cello  ~ #classicalmusic

 

Enter the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Dec 022015
 

aHR0cCUzQSUyRiUyRmtpc3NpbmJsdWVrYXJlbi5jb20lMkZ3cC1jb250ZW50JTJGdXBsb2FkcyUyRjIwMTUlMkYwOSUyRmJleW9uZHRiLnBuZw==

Hosted @ Kissin Blue Karen

 This week’s question is: What’s on your bucket list?

Read the Bible all the way through again
Watch 2 classic movies I’ve never seen
Learn Spanish
Learn sign language
Donate books to the local library
Learn how to use my $1000.00 camera so the $ wasn’t wasted
Go on a “Girls Night Out”
Send a message in a bottle

If you want to see what I’ve already crossed off, your can go here

Dec 012015
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Reader’s Workout is a weekly event where book lovers share their workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges. It’s hosted by Joy @Joy’s Book Blog

Last week my family and I were in NYC to see my granddaughter Arianna in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She was part of the Great American Marching Band. Before I left I was somewhat worried about so much walking. The fact that we were going to have to climb stairs to get down to and up out of the subway never even entered my mind. My recent fall on an already injured leg had me a bit worried about how I’d do. My son Anthony helped make sure I stepped off and on the curbs ok and went in front of me going down the stairs so I could hold on to his shoulder, and behind me going up stairs so he could make sure I didn’t fall. I was surprised that I really didn’t have any trouble with the stairs. I may not have been as fast as I was before, but I did good. Going up was easy, it was the going down that messed with my head, but still I did ok. My son Jeremy, daughter in law Susie, and grandson Jordan also helped me from time to time. Susie and I went off by ourselves a few times and she watched me closely. She didn’t want me to fall again on her watch, even though it wasn’t her fault I fell. I felt so safe and calm about the walking and steps with them watching over me. I sure do love my family!!

I didn’t read one thing while we were gone even though I took my Kindle.
I plan on posting more about our trip later.

Anyway, here are the stats according to my iPhone for the week:
7,254 steps
1 flights stairs

19,322 steps
16 flights stairs

8,218 steps
9 flights stairs

12,422 steps
8 flights stairs

3,804 steps
1 flights stairs

14, 826 steps
13 flights stairs

14,404 steps
8 flights stairs

I’ve taken the last few days off but will start walking again either today or tomorrow.

My goals for December are:
1400 mins. cardio
620 min. strength training
12 days of tai-chi/chi-gong
deep breathing and stretching every day

Nov 032015
 

Readers-workouts-Joy

Reader’s Workout is a weekly event where book lovers share their workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges. It’s hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

 
I haven’t posted in a while so I wanted to let you know what’s been going on. Remember that I told you I fell at IKEA on my sore knee? Well, after a few months of it being really sore and swollen and my son making me buy a cane to use, I’m glad to report that my knee isn’t hurting any more unless I walk  a long way (for me) or go up or down a lot of steps. Steps. Yeah. I’m really careful now.  It doesn’t even hurt like it was before I fell. I must have fell on it just right and knocked whatever was causing the pain to go back into place. I still can’t bend or straighten it all the way though.

We leave for NYC in 18 days and I was I was hoping to be able to walk for as many miles as I was before, but so far that’s not happening. It is improving little by little though. I was worried about slowing everyone down but my daughter in law Susie said if I need to stop and rest, we will, and we can take the subway more than we had planned to and for me not to worry about it. Love her for that. Kinda made me leaky eyed. I’m not so stressed about it anymore.

I started a November challenge I found online that has you do 3 different exercises a day along with a walk.

Today is day 3. I’m doing good. Go me! :)

Oct 172015
 

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

So, we’re at the half way point and Kerry from Entomology of a Bookworm is the host for the next two hours. She wants to know:

1. What are you reading right now?
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

2. How many books have you read so far?
Only on my 2nd one. I’ve been slightly sidetracked by this that and the other thing

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Not as many as I usually do, but still enough to distract me. And one thing leads to another, to another…

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
Trish and her singing vlog. I thought she did a great job!

Oct 172015
 

scavenger-hunt1-600x2914

Hosted @ Just One More Thing

Find these from your current read: The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

1. Something hard
Hassan’s grandfather clinging to the top of a hot iron train in the fiercely hot sun for 3 days.

2. Something fast
The tourist who drove into the farm too quickly and killed the mother of six ducklings.

3. Something sweet
The sweetbreads Chef Verdun was famous for.

4. Something high
The rugged mountain range alog the French and Swiss border that Mallory loved.

5. Something funny
The dish created for and served to Cardinal de Richelieu’s, which was an omelet with codfish cheeks.

Oct 172015
 

22233206195_1e1488ddf8_z-620x620
This mini challenge is hosted at Books, The Universe And Everything

The theme of this mini-challenge is ARMCHAIR TRAVELING. One of the many delights of reading is the ability books have to help us travel the world in our imaginations – rich descriptions and stories that make us feel transported, even if we haven’t left our couch.

But what if you could actually be transported into the setting of the novel? Magically teleported while you’re reading, with the ability to look up and take in the setting all around you, and then find yourself home again when you close the book?

So, what is the book I’d choose and the location it would transport me to?

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Sisterchicks in Gondolas (Sisterchicks #6) by Robin Jones Gunn

Love Love Love the cover!!!!
I’ve dreamed of visiting Vienna since I was a child and saw the movie Summertime

“Ciao bella!”
SISTERCHICK “n.” a friend who shares the deepest wonders of your heart, loves you like a sister, and provides a reality check when you’re being a brat.
When Jenna is invited to Venice for a week of cooking for a small retreat group, she knows just who to take along: her sister-in-law Sue. With her Dallas drawl and wild tangle of red hair, Sue desperately needs her own retreat from the pressures of the past two years…and blessedly for their guests, Sue actually knows how to cook (unlike Jenna)!

With about six words of Italian between them, a map, and a keen appetite for gelato, they puzzle out the lovely city together. During their stay, Jenna and Sue become victims of grace in ways they never expected–starting with their accommodations: a restored fifteenth-century palace on a quiet canal complete with a stairwell perfect for mattress sledding!

Coming out of a time of dark shadows in their lives, these two friends dive into a new season of refreshing and realize that sometimes when serving God, the most important thing to do is just show up…and watch for goodness and mercy to follow close behind. Come join Jenna and Sue over boiling pots of pasta in this lilting gondola-paced adventure!

Oct 172015
 

#Inspire14 (1)

Shaina Reads is hosting the hour 5 challenge

She says: Pick a book that you felt was a winner of a read but was sorely lacking in the cover art department and try to persuade me that it was the best book ever. What greatness will I discover if I can look past its eyesore of an exterior? Leave your pitch in a comment on this post, and be sure to include a link to a picture of the cover!

51Ndo8Gks-L._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_

I’m a cover snob, and the cover of The Mayor’s Tongue by Nathaniel Rich is UGLY. But, the book is better than the cover it seems. I haven’t read this even though it’s been on my shelf for some time, I really should get to it soon.
Stephen King said “terrifying, touching, and wildly funny”. So, it must be good!