Dec 172018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry audiobook cover art

A Christmas Carol by: Charles Dickens

Marley’s Ghost

Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signted it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon “Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Dec 172018
 

The Nöel Diary

The Nöel Diary by Richard Paul Evans
Narrated by Richard Paul Evans

Audio CD
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (November 7, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1508238219
ISBN-13: 978-1508238218

In this new holiday-themed novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Mistletoe Promise and The Walk, a man receives the best Christmas present he could ask for: the chance to re-write the past.

Bestselling romance author Jacob Churcher hasn’t been home for almost twenty years—not since his mentally ill mother kicked him out of the house when he was just sixteen. When a lawyer calls, days before Christmas, to inform him that his estranged mother has passed away and left her house to him, Jacob returns not just to settle the estate but to try and reconcile with the past and the pain and abuse he experienced as a child. Also, maybe cleaning out her house will be slightly less depressing than spending the holidays alone, watching re-runs of Christmas classics.

But as it turns out, the house holds more than just difficult memories, Jacob’s mother had become a hoarder and he must excavate through two decades worth of clutter. As Jacob digs through the detritus, like an archaeologist, he uncovers many puzzling items including a diary left by someone named Noel, a young woman he has no recollection of, who stayed with Jacob’s family during her pregnancy. That’s not the only echo from the past. Jacob has an unexpected visitor, Rachel, a woman looking for the mother who put her up for adoption thirty years before. United by their quest to make sense of the past and rewrite their futures, Jacob and Rachel begin a search for Noel. Along the way they find more than they possibly imagined, including grace, forgiveness and a chance at love.

Thoughts
I love Richard Paul Evans books and this is no exception. The author narrated and did a great job. I liked that he used his regular voice even for the females and just stated “Rachel (or whichever woman was talking) said”, etc. It was so much better than a male trying to speak in a female sounding voice, or vice versa. It rarely works well.

I enjoyed all the characters, even the ones who only showed up once or twice. Evans is a wonderful story teller! The book has an even flow and I never got bored or tired of listening to it.

This is book #1 in a three book series, of which #2 is also available now.

Counts toward the following challenge:
Audiobook
Monthly Motif
2018 Christmas Spirit Challenge

Dec 162018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
The high is supposed to be 68° with a 10% chance of rain. I hope it doesn’t because we’ll be outside a lot today

Thankful…
We didn’t have any flooding like was predicted

Reading…
The Christmas Club by Barbara Hinske

Listening To…
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, narrated by Tim Curry

Watching…
I’m still hooked on Christmas movies

Fitness…
Trying to find some online challenges, not having much luck

In The Kitchen…
Eating out today but tomorrow I’m making BLT’s

Looking Forward To…
My work Christmas party is on the 18. We drew names and I still haven’t bought a gift

Today’s To-Do List…
My two sons, my daughter in law, and maybe my two oldest grandkids are going to Disney Springs

One Of My Favorite Things:
I tried Taco Bell’s Power Menu Bowl  for the first time today and  it was so good that I know I’ll be eating it a lot

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee
Isaiah 26:3

From the camera…

Dec 142018
 
No levels
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Hosted @ Girlxoxo
Monthly Link Ups
 
January: New To You Author
February: Cover Love
March: Royalty, Kingdoms, Empires, Governments
April: Crack the Case
May: One Sitting Reads
June: Diversify Your Reading
July: Through The Years
August: Mode of Transportation
September: Animal, Number, Color, Name
October: Tricks and Trades
November: Seasons, Elements, and Weather
December: Last Chance
 

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No levels
No Link Ups
 
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No Link Ups

I choose these categories:
Food:
Animal:
Travel:
Humorous:
Celebrity:

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Hosted  @ Doing Dewey
No Link Ups

Read X # of nonfiction books:
1. Tuna Melts My Heart by Courtney Dasher
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Hosted  @ Rose City Reader
No Link Ups
Links for reviews & wrap up on Challenge page

Two Star (Adventurer): Read 2 books
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No levels
Link ups the end of each month
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No levels
Monthly link ups
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No link ups
 
Cartoonist: 1-5 books
1. Tuna Melts My Heart by Courtney Dasher
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Link reviews HERE
 
Purring – Read 1-10 cat mysteries:
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Link reviews HERE
An animal must play a major role in the book
Fiction or non-fiction book
 
Level 1 – Read 6 books
1. Tuna Melts My Heart by Courtney Dasher
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Fill out this form when finished
 
Peckish – 1 – 25 Cozy Mysteries
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May have monthly link ups
 
Option 1: Read six picture books of your choice
1. Tuna Melts My Heart by Courtney Dasher
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Link Reviews HERE
 #LibraryLoveChallenge
Mid-Year Library Check In Post sometime in June or July
 
Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books
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Hosted @ As Told by Tina
Link up last Wednesday of the month
Use #ForTheLoveOfBooks19 on review posts


I’m doing: Phase 1 – 1-10
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2019 Audiobook Challenge
2 updates with giveaways (June 30th & Dec 15)
 
My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
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Dec 112018
 
Readers-workouts-Joy

Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Goals
1. Eat more meatless meals: yes
2. Drink enough water: yes
3. Strength train 5 times a week: yes
4. Tai-chi/chi gong twice a week: nope 🙁

Food
I’m eating some meat but don’t miss it when I don’t. Trying to eat more veggies and fruit.

Steps Last Week
Tuesday: 8,715
Wednesday: 9,842
Thursday: 8,880
Friday: didn’t track
Saturday: 9,501
Sunday: 8,642
Monday: didn’t track

Dec 102018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Santa Puppy (A Tourist Trap Mystery #9.75)

Santa Puppy by Lynn Cahoon

Chapter 1
Home. It’s somewhere we can lay our heads at night. Where we can store our belongings and cook our food. Home is where we live with the people we love, raise our children, and cuddle with our pets. Some people live in houses. Some people live in homes. And a few, more than I’d like to admit, live in shelters and on the street, whether they be man or beasts. I couldn’t do much regarding the human issue of homelessness today, but I’d had a brainstorm about the beast part.

Dec 102018
 

The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall
Narrated by Fiona Hardingham, Henrietta Meire, & Nico Evers-Swindell

In this festive novella by the author of Christmas at the Vicarage, will Enid follow her heart or her head?

Since the tragic loss of her parents, Enid has lived alone in a coastal cottage in Jersey. But this year someone new has come into her life: Fred, who truly gets her, and who knows how to make her happy. The only problem is that Enid has Asperger’s and doesn’t like to leave her comfort zone – and Fred lives in Australia.

Like Enid, Fred has survived heartbreak and is searching for a way to start again. Could a stranger on the other side of the world really bring new meaning to his life, or is he just setting himself up for another fall?

When Fred invites Enid to Australia for Christmas, her vivacious sister Bess begs her to take a risk for the first time ever. But Enid’s whole life is structured around familiarity. As the festive season approaches, she has a decision to make: play it safe, or embark on a momentous journey into the unknown?

Thoughts
I enjoyed this book, it was a great story that kept my attention from the start. But, I really wouldn’t call this book a “festive novella” as the description states. Yes, it takes place around Christmas time but the only mention of Christmas is a few times when a Christmas play is mentioned (which is where the title comes from because the play is called The Christmas Forest, when Enid asks Fred to stay for Christmas, and buying or giving of a few Christmas presents.

Still, like I said, the story is good and I’m glad I read it. I just wish that it would have been more “Christmassy.

Counts toward the following challenge:
Audiobook
2018 Christmas Spirit Challenge

Dec 062018
 

Elevation

Elevation by Stephen King

Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (October 30, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1982102314
ISBN-13: 978-1982102319

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

Thoughts
I’ve loved Stephen King’s books since Carrie but haven’t read one in a while. When I saw this book and read that it was different than his usual horror books, I decided to get a copy from my local library.

I really enjoyed this book and thought it was perfect for readers who don’t read King because they don’t like the horror aspect of his books. This is a perfect book for them, it has King’s gift for telling a great story without the scariness.

The book is only 160 pages and I could have easily read it in one sitting, but I had a lot to do the day I started it so it took me two for a total of about 3 hours.

I loved this book. The story was very different and kept me interested from the first paragraph. I really hope King decides to write more books like this. I would read every one.

Dec 042018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy
Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog
 

Didn’t do so good this week with steps or food 🙁

July Goals
1. Eat more meatless meals: a few days
2. Drink enough water: not every day
3. Strength train 5 times a week: yes
4. Tai-chi/chi gong twice a  week: none this week

Food
Don’t know why but I’ve been eating when I get home from work about 11-1 but then I don’t feel like eating supper so I just grab something and munch on it, usually popcorn or something

Steps Last Week
Tuesday: 8,083
Wednesday: didn’t track
Thursday: 9,442
Friday: 8,158
Saturday: didn’t track
Sunday: didn’t track
Monday: 7,503

Dec 032018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall

Prologue
Friday 17 November 2917
Enid

Even as she approached the postbox, it’s bright-red hue matching her sister’s winter coat, she wasn’t sure which one she would send. The letters looked identical: the same high-quality ivory envelopes; the same precise calligrapny – neat, inky loops; the name of the recipient and his exotic address; the stamps and the royal-blue ‘Airmail’ stickers. There was nothing to distinguish them at all but Enid knew absolutely that the one clapsed in her gloved left hand was a polite refusal and the other, in her right, said ‘yes’.

Dec 022018
 

Sunday Reflections

Outside…
74° with an expected high of 82°, sky is a very light blue with soft wispy clouds

Thankful…
That my friends husband won’t loose his site after his retina detached from his eye

Reading…
Elevation by Stephen King

Listening To…
A Christmas Flower by Bryan Mooney

Watching…
Christmas movies, which I rarely do, but this year I’m craving them

Fitness…
It’s cooler now so it’s time to get the bikes out and start riding the trails

In The Kitchen…
Tomorrow I’m making a big pot of spaghetti

Today’s To-Do List…
Going to Longhorn Steakhouse with family

One of my favorite things:
ZEISS Lens Cleaning Wipes, the keep my glasses and phone screen so clean

Looking forward to…
Going out to eat with family and maybe a movie

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

From the camera…

Nov 292018
 

Raymie Nightingale by [DiCamillo, Kate]

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
Narrated by Jenna Lamia

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 4 hours and 25 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Listening Library (Audio)
Audible.com Release Date: April 12, 2016

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship – and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

Thoughts
This book is geared toward middle school readers but I enjoyed it a lot. It reminded me of being a child and the friends I had.

Raymie is a fun character who is loyal to her friends and whatever they want to do, or need her to do. Even if she’s afraid. The three girls go on a few adventures, get into some trouble, rescue a a few critters, and learn that no matter what hard blows life gives you, things will be eventually be ok.

This was a fun book that was very cute, often funny, and always entertaining. It’s a short one at only 4 1/2 hours, but a lot happens in that time.

I loved the narration and was glad I decided to listen instead of read. There were quite a few instances where hearing a voice made it so much better.

Would recommend this to anyone who loves to read, or listen 🙂

Counts toward the following challenge:
Audiobook

Nov 262018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Raymie Nightingale by [DiCamillo, Kate]

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

One

There were three of them, three girls.
They were standing side by side.
They were standing at attention.
And then the girl in the pink dress, the one who was stand right next to Raymie, let out a sob and said, “The more I think about it, the more terrified I am. I am too terrified to go on!”

Nov 262018
 

The Storyteller's Secret

The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
Narrated by Siiri Scott

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 13 hours and 21 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: September 1, 2018

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.

Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.

Thoughts
I’m so glad I decided to read (listen) to this book! It was a Prime First Reads and none of them really grabbed me, but this book sounded different and I thought I’d enjoy it more than the others, so I choose it.

The story is about love, loss, family secrets, heartbreak, healing, and life changing friendships. It’s also about so much more.

The descriptions of India were so vivid that I could see myself there, and to me that makes a huge difference in a book, especially when it’s about a far away place that I’ve never been.

The writing was terrific, the story flowed smoothly, the narration was wonderful, the characters were interesting . I didn’t want to stop reading. This was a great story that grabbed my attention from the first paragraph and I thought it got better and better as it went on. There were a few times that the story made me gasp, either from shock or sadness.

I was satisfied with the way the book ended, but would also have liked it to keep going.

I definitely recommend this book. I loved it so much that I’ve already gotten a copy of her first book, Trail Of Broken Wings.

Counts toward the following challenges:
Audiobook

Monthly Motif

Nov 192018
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Elevation

Elevation by Stephen King

Chapter 1

Losing Weight

Scott Carey knocked on the door of the Ellis condo unit, and Bob Ellis (everyone in Highland Acres still called him Doctor Bob, although he was five yeard retired) let him in. “Well, Scott, here you are. Ten on the dot. Now what can I do for you?”

So sorry about this week’s post. It was scheduled to post last night but it didn’t so it was a few hours late going up. And then when I checked it today Mister Linky was missing. Thanks for adding your links in your comments before I got it fixed!

Nov 192018
 

Readers-workouts-Joy
Hosted by Joy @ Joy’s Book Blog

Food
This morning I decided to make 15 bean soup chili (with ham instead of ground beef) in the slow cooker. We’ll be eating that tonight and probably tomorrow night. Might even eat some for lunch tomorrow

Later this week I’m making homemade potato soup

Then it’s Thanksgiving so you know what we’ll be eating

Steps Last Week
Tuesday: 8,637
Wednesday: 8,282
Thursday: didn’t track
Friday: 9,294
Saturday: 8,576
Sunday: 8,067
Monday: didn’t track

Tai-Chi/Chi Gong, Strength Training, Etc.
Every day except two