Aug 072019
 

Summer of '69

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
Narrated by Erin Bennett

Audio CD
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; Unabridged edition (June 18, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1549119370
ISBN-13: 978-1549119378

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.

Thoughts
I loved everything about this book. It takes place in Nantucket and a lot of it is centered at the beach. I loved most of the characters but there were two that I wanted to shake from time to time.

The book is about a family who gets along really well. Even though they all love Grandmother Exalta, she is known for putting a damper on things.

I loved how they genuinely cared for each other and the book brought back a lot of emotions from my own childhood.  Jessie and Tiger reminded me of me and my twin brother. We were 11 yrs. old in ’69 and we got along really good from the time we were infants. Another thing that was similar was that Rick went into the Marines not long after high school. We had 3 older sisters and this book took me back in time to many good memories of growing up with my sisters and brother.

The book has a lot of references to 1969 like Woodstock, the moon landing, the Vietnam war, and the incident at Chappaquiddick in which Ted Kennedy’s car went over the the side of the  bridge  and 28 yr. old Mary Jo Kopechne died. I remember all of those things.

This book made me feel all kinds of emotions. I was engrossed in it from the beginning to the end and was sorry when it was over. I wanted more.

Hilerbrand did a great job with this book, especially since it was her first historical fiction. I listened to the audio cd version of the book and really enjoyed the narration.  Erin Bennett has a voice that is very easy to listen to.

I highly recommed this book!

Aug 052019
 

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

Long Way Gone

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

Part One

I’d seen him before. Old guy was probably seventy-five. Maybe eighty. Gnarled, arthiritic fingers. Four packs a day voice. Cottony white hair with yellowed ends. Wrinkled ebony skin. A high mileage chasis. He wore threadbare, blue and gray striped pants that had previously belonged to a wool suit and a soiled white button down that he’d fastened clear to the top. To complete the ensemble, he wore two-toned classic oxfords. The white was dull and cracked, but what remained of the black had been polished to a spit shine.

Aug 042019
 

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

Outside…
90’s today with a high humidity and little chance of rain

Thankful…
I live so close to my kids and grandkids

Reading…
An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good by Helene Tursten

Listening To…
Only One Life by Ashley Farley

Books Reviewed Last Week…
None, I just keep getting more behind

Books Needing Reviewed…
I’m 5 book behind on reviews

From The Library…
Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt

Watching…
I planned on watching Chasing Happiness, the story of the Jonas Brothers,  but I didn’t get to it so I’ll be watching it this week sometime

Mind Body Spirit… 
I’ve had a sinus infection for 3 days but it’s almost gone now, plus I got a new mattress and I’ve never had one like this before, so I guess it will take my body time to adjust to it because my back has been hurting a little bit

In The Kitchen…
Lasagna, Salmon, Chicken, Pulled Pork

New To Me Stuff:
My car phone holder bit the dust so I got a holder with wireless charging. It was expensive but I like that it mounts on the a/c vent because I’m short and the ones that stick to the windshild or dash make it harder for me to see

Today’s To Do List…
Work was tough today what with my sinus infection and back, so I plan on resting and letting my body heal the rest of the day, plus I’m off tomorrow and Tuesday 🙂

Looking forward to…
Trying out my new Instant Pot

A Favorite Bible Verse…
The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
Romans 8:18

From the camera…

Jul 292019
 

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

Only One Life

Only One Life by Ashley Farley

Part One
Chapter One

Julia
Present Day

Julia felt as thought her belly might explode wide open, even though the baby wasn’t due for another two weeks. She smiled at the thought of giving birth on the tile floor in the kitchen of Duke’s Diner as Duke hovered over her, coaching her through the labor pains and delivery.

Jul 282019
 

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

Outside…
Supposed to be in the 90’s today with a high humidity and 40% chance of rain

Thankful…
That my car a/c was a simple free fix and I didn’t have to go a day or so without it. Turns out my glove compartment had a paper in it that was blocking the Cabin Air Filter

Reading…
I’ve been on again off again with A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble (not because the book didn’t keep my attention, I’ve just been extra busy lately)  so I’m still reading it

Listening To…
Only One Life by Ashley Farley

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Books Needing Reviewed…
Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines

From The Library…
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found by Gilbert King

Watching…
This week I plan on watching Chasing Happiness, the story of the Jonas Brothers, The movie Corner Gas, and catch up on Big Brother

Mind Body Spirit… 
It’s been 4 years since I’ve had my eyes checked so I really need to get that done

In The Kitchen…
On the menu so far are Crazy Cuisine Orange Chicken & Spaghetti

New To Me Stuff:
I’ve had more than a few Crock Pots in the last 45 years and they’ve always been my very favorite kitchen appliance, but last week my latest one started having issues and since I’ve been wanting to try an Instant Pot I decided to buy one of those instead. I haven’t used it yet but I’m searching for recipes. If you have an IP, what are your favorite recipes?

Today’s To Do List…
Going to Costco for groceries and may go out to eat first

Looking forward to…
Less humid weather

A Favorite Bible Verse…
LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me
Psalm 30:2

From the camera…

Jul 252019
 

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (August 18, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385484518
ISBN-13: 978-0385484510

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world.

Thoughts
I debated whether to read this book or not because I knew it would be very sad, but I finally decided I would go ahead and try it. The book is a very emotional read, but I loved everything about it. The relationship between Mitch and Morrie was very special, and the fact that they went a period of time without any communication didn’t change that. Morrie was a great mentor, and Mitch was a great student, they made a great pair.

I think Morrie was way more open about his situation as his health deteriorated than I would be. But I think it helped Mitch deal with Morrie’s impending death knowing how bad it actually was and that Morrie was dealing with things as good as he was.

Morrie had a great sense of humor, was very knowledgeable about many subjects, and was an inspiration to his student, friends, and family.

I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it!

Jul 232019
 

Wondrous Words Wednesday

I saw this word used by Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

“I know #firstworldproblems and all, but it can be such a palaver.”

Palaver
pa·lav·er

INFORMAL
noun
1. unnecessarily elaborate or complex procedure.
“there’s a lot of palaver involved”

HISTORICAL
2.an improvised conference between two groups, typically those without a shared language or culture.

Jul 222019
 

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 Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

Dear Mom,
So here’s the thing. And I know you’re going to make some weird big deal out of it because you’re a mom and a nerd and you can’t help yourself. You’re going to, like, make it into a Facebook meme and then needlepoint it onto a pillow because you’re crazy. But whatever, here it is: you were right.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Jul 182019
 

Weird But True! USA

Weird But True USA by NatGeo Kids

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 4 – 7
Series: Weird but True
Library Binding: 208 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 19, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426333722
ISBN-13: 978-1426333729

It’s weird. It’s true. And now, it’s red, white, and blue! Explore the wonderfully wacky side of the United States of America Weird But True! style.

Calling all patriots! Get ready to explore wacky wonders, facts, stats, tidbits, and trivia about America’s 50 states and territories! Did you know that there is a floating post office in Michigan? Or that a library book checked out by George Washington was returned to a New York City library 221 years late? Maybe you’d be amazed to discover that the ink used to print U.S. paper money is magnetic? In this latest and greatest edition of Weird But True!, you’ll encounter all kinds of bizarre people, places, events, and things that make our country great.

Thoughts
This book is another example of adults being able to enjoy books geared toward children. I love NatGeo Kids books!

I really enjoyed reading this book and I learned quite a bit. Here are a few things I learned:

1. An NFL game lasts longer than 3 hrs. but the ball is only in play for an average of 11 minutes.

2. In 1965 the Ohio General Assembly made tomato juice Ohio’s official beverage. Adoption of an official beverage coincided with the Tomato Festival held in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. (I never knew this even though I grew up in Columbus and went to Jr. High in Reynoldsburg. )

3. California sea otters have pouches under their arms for storing rocks which they use for opening clams.

4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was originally named From Kansas To Fairyland

5. There’s enough water in Lake Superior to flood all of North and South America in one foot of water.

6. The spelling of the word Pennsylvania on the Liberty Bell is mispelled Pensylvania.

It’s a short book at just over 200 pages, but it’s page after page of interesting facts that few people are aware of.

I think people of all ages would enjoy it and learn a lot from it.

I recommend this book to anyone of any age and will be reading more from NatGeo Kids.

Jul 152019
 

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

Evvie Drake Starts Over

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Linda Holmes

First
Go now or you’ll never go, Evvie warned herself. She didn’t want to be there when he got home from work. It was cowardly, yes, but she didn’t relish the whole thing it would turn into, the whole mess. He’d say, not unreasonably, that leaving with no warning at all was a little dramatic. Afer all this time, he would wonder, why now? He wouldn’t know that, today exactly, Evvie had been with him for half her life. She’d figured it out on the back of a grocery receipt a few months earlier, and then she had circled this date on their wall calendar in red. He’d walked by it over and over and never once asked her about it. If she let the day pass, she thought she might start to disappear, cell by cell, bone by bone, replaced by someone who looked like her but wasn’t.

Jul 142019
 

I recently saw Bryan post his favorite books from his last five decades and I enjoyed reading his favorites. Trying to think of my favorites from each year from that far back hurts my head so I thought I’d just share the 5 books that I always think of first when I think of my all time favorites.

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Dollanganger series by V.C. Andrews
Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
The Stand by Stephen King
Zoya by Danielle Steel

Have you read any of these? What are your 5 favorite books?

Jul 142019
 

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

Outside…
It’s really quiet outside which means the neighborhood chickens are probably  not in my yard, the sky is a pretty blue with scattered clouds, it’s cool right now but the temperature is expected to reach at least 95° with a 20% chance of rain

Thankful…
For a vet that I really like and trust to care for my dog and 2 cats

Reading…
A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble

Listening To…
Starting The Overdue Life Of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms on Monday

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holmes
Have You Seen Luis Valez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Listening to My Feelings by Michael Gordon

Book Reviews Coming Up This Week…
Weird But True USA by NatGeo Kids
Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines

On Hold At The Library…
Still waiting for The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren to come in

Watching…
I watched The Glass Castle on Prime Video yesterday and loved it, now I’d like to read the book

Mind Body Spirit… 
Starting a daily routine to help me keep my legs strong and keep my balance good since I’m getting near the age that women start having trouble with balance

In The Kitchen…
Today I’m making a roast, potatoes, & carrots in the slow cooker

New To Me Stuff:
Yesterday I tried the Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich at Arby’s and it was really good

Today’s To Do List…
Watch a few movies, read, and relax

Looking forward to…
A less busy week

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

From the camera…

 

Jul 122019
 

Listening to My Feelings: Children's books, ages 3 5, kids, boys by [Gordon, Michael]

Listening to My Feelings by Michael Gordon

Illustrated by Max Larin

File Size: 9185 KB
Print Length: 21 pages
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07V6GHVPL

Don’t let angry balloon pop! Here’s a great story for helping kids manage their feelings.

* Learn how to cope with feelings in a more natural way.
* Make it clear that hitting, kicking, biting are not allowed
* Behaving badly doesn’t make you bad
* Show your kids how to deal with disappointment
* Teach your children anger management skills
* Teaching kids about empathy, kindness, and compassion

Thoughts
This is a great book that will let children know that everyone gets mad, but that you need to control your anger and not lash out. It has a few different ways that will help them learn how to react in a calm way.

The illustrations are really cute and it’s short so it will hold the childs attention until the book is finished.

Jul 112019
 

Have You Seen Luis Velez?

Have You Seen Luis Valez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Narrated by Michael Crouch

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: May 21, 2019

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

Thoughts
I know I say “I loved this book” a lot. I really do love books so it’s unusual for me to find a book that I don’t love. So for this book, I’ll say I triple loved it! It is a great story of a teenager with a heart of gold. He is everything a mother wishes for her child to be. He is like my children. They also are very caring people.

I loved listening to how the friendship between Raymond and Mildred came about and how it grew with time. They both added so much to each other’s lives and made them so much better! From the beginning I was hoping they would become close friends and “save” each other.

So much happened in this book and I couldn’t wait to get back to listening so I could find out what was going to happen next. I felt like I knew these people and was sad when the book ended. It touched me deeply and I know I’ll listen to it again. I’m hoping there is a “book 2” so I can find out what happened to everyone after the book ended.

I’ve loved every book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I’ve read, but this one is on the top of my favorites. The narrator did a great job too!

This audiobook is free with Kindle Unlimited so why not give it a try? If you do, I hope you love it as much as I did.

I’d rate this a 10★ and it will definitely be on my most favorite books ever & my favorites list for 2019.