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Showing posts from January, 2014

January Summary of I Love Library Books Reading Challenge

I Love Library Books Reading Challenge 2014hosted by Book Dragon's Lair
Books Checked out and Read:
Real by Katy EvansFrancis: A New World Pope by Michel CoolMine by Katy EvansRemy by Katy EvansStill Foolin' Em by Billy Crystal (Aduiobook) Books Checked Out and Currently Reading Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
Books Checked Out and Not Read - Yet Boy21 by Matthew QuickSorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew QuickI Love Coffee! by Susan Zimmer
Books Checked Out and Might Not Read Yoga XXL by Ingrid Kollak
Books Checked Out for School Assignments Cane by Jean ToomerOnce Upon a Time by John BarthHouse Calls with William Carlos Williams by Robert ColesMade in America by Lisa Malin SteinmanSomething Urgent I Have to Say to You by Herbert A. LeibowitzThe Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford by Wendell BerryWilliam Carlos Williams, Poet from Jersey by Reed WhittemoreWilliam Carlos Williams' Paterson by Joel ConarroeThe End of the Road by John Barth

Tea & a Book: The Magic of Provance

The Magic of Provence: Pleasures of Southern France by Yvone Lenard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yvone Lenard tells stories about her journey of finding herself owning a second home in Southern France and the interesting cast of people who occupy the village and surround areas.  Yvone and her husband Wayne were not looking to buy a second home, especially not in France, but at the end of an assignment in the country they quickly found themselves searching for the perfect place.  Not finding what they were looking for they had an old house rebuilt and renovated into their dream vacation home.

I found the stories charming, but struggled with the vagueness of her writing. It bothered me that I didn't know what decade these stories took place in or even really a solid timeline of events. There was also a vagueness in the relationships she writes about, between her and her husband and her and others.  I also felt the stories were just a bit too idyllic, even if her story was about something…

Books to Read During Your 20s

I was on Pinterest last night and saw a pin that linked to an article on Buzzfeed about the 65 books you should read in your 20s.  I thought I would see how many books on the list I've read since my 20s will be over in less than 100 days.

I want to say sadly, but I don't know if that's accurate, but I'e only read four of the books on the list:

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineOn the Road by Jack KerouacKitchen Confidential by Anthony BourdainHe's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
I can also say that I've read parts of two more but have never read the full novels:

Song of Solomon by Toni MorrisonThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway I can't say that I feel my 20s were lessened by not having read all the books on the list, normally I don't take lists like this into account.  I number of the books are on my To Be Read list I just haven't gotten around to reading them with all the other books I've read during my 20s!

Writing Exercise #5

When we got this prompt I had thought it would play in nicely for me to pick back up writing my novel, but I just couldn't get myself to write anything.  So then I thought I tried writing something, anything really and was still drawing a blank.  Then the morning of our writers' group, I saw an email that lamented the end of 2013 and the 200th celebration of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and I just knew what I was going to write.

Prompt:  I knew he was being patronizing but I was still glad that he showed up
Story:
Dearest Jane,

I must tell you about an encounter I had with Mr. Darcy yesterday. I will relate to you as best as I can what transpired. I was writing some letters when the door bell sounded. I will admit, only to you dear sister, that I had hoped it would have been Colonel Fitzwilliam. Well, imagine my surprise when instead of the Colonel it was Mr. Darcy, to see me. He was polite and asked after my health but I could tell something was bothering him. He paced…

Winter Book Club: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book had been on my TBR List for awhile now.  I wasn't too sure about it, but a number of patron who I share similar reading tastes had really liked it, so I kept it on my list.  I'm always happy when a book club picks a book I've been meaning to read, I feel slightly accomplished in being able to cross a book off my ever growing list.

I really enjoyed this book, Enzo was a great narrator and told the story as best he could from a dog's point of view.  I think presenting this book from his point of view gave the reader a perspective other than their own to judge the actions of the characters.  Enzo, being a dog and innately loyal, would view his master as a hero and see very little fault in his character.  As a reader, we see Denny as a flawed and at times very selfish (or at least the members of the book discussion did).

During our discussions we talked about decisions Denny made throughout the …

Writing Exercise #4

I didn't follow this prompt perfectly, but I really like what I wrote. I'm playing with the idea of filling it out more to make a nice length short story.

Prompt - You wake up in heaven but know that you don't belong.

            Micah opened his eyes and knew that something was wrong. He was lying in his childhood bedroom, a room he hadn’t seen in more than ten years.  He glanced around and noticed that everything was how he always remembered that room looking, a mess of sports equipment and school books.  He could hear the sounds from the rest of the house.  It must be a Saturday; the sounds of his brothers watching television were the first to reach him, followed by the sounds of his mother in the kitchen.  The only sounds missing were those of his father. Micha laughed, he had woken up in that weekend, the only weekend of his life when he could remember being truly happy. “Micah are you ever going to wake up?”  His mother knocked on the door before pushing it open enough …

Book Review: A Movement of Crowns

The Movement of Crowns by Nadine C. Keels
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Constance is the princess of Diachona and the only child of the King and Queen.  She has great aspirations in being her father's heir and showing those who doubt a woman could rule that they are wrong.  She has her father's support and is willing to put in the hard work to prove she has what it takes.  By her side is her childhood friend and romantic interest Commander Alexander the leader of the her father's army.

Just as Constance is coming into her role as heir, a neighboring empire starts to threaten the people of Diachona.  When an allied country is hit by hard times the King's focus is torn and Constance sees the right time to step up to secure her position on the Council. Constance was allowed to travel as a young woman and this helps her with knowledge that could prevent the kingdom from going to war.

I enjoyed this novella. I think Nadine did a great job in creating the world of her series. You…

Writing Exercise #3

I have not been keeping up with the writing exercises for my writers' group. I also haven't been going to the meetings.  Two of the old prompts inspired me to write a short story...here's a glimpse of what I'm working on!

Prompt: -The asteroid was hurtling straight for...

The asteroid was hurtling straight for Captain Mar’s ship and all he could think about was if he had turned the coffee pot off in his cabin. Damnit he just couldn’t remember, not that it mattered. The ship’s engines were not responding and they were on a deadly collision course with the asteroid. If they couldn’t get the engines restored they had little chance of survival. Every second that passed their chance of survival if they got the engines working decreased. Mar was doing everything in his power to guide his crew to survival, but there wasn’t much more he could do besides shouting orders. His mind kept wandering to his errant coffee pot.
Prompt: - The garden was overgrown.

Mar came awake and had …

55 Flash Fiction Friday - Reference Question

This meme is hosted by Mr. Knowitall.

We have a patron who comes into the library nearly everyday.  He loves to watch Jeopardy and when he discovered the Clue of the Day in the NYTimes he was thrilled.  He believes that he tricks his wife that he knows the answer to Final Jeopardy or what every clue it happens to be in that day's broadcast. 
Reference Question
“Good morning ladies.” Nearly every day he comes to the reference desk, a folded section of The New York Times in his hand. “I think it’s …” he’ll share his answer. More often than not he’s not even close. I take the paper and start my research to answer the Jeopardy Clue of the Day.

Series Review: At Somerton series by Leila Rasheed

Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I requested to review Diamonds and Deceit not fully realizing that it was the sequel to this novel.  I don't know how I missed this book when it came out earlier this year, but I'm happy that it came to my attention.  I waited patently while I wound my way down the holds list on the book and then promptly read both books as quickly as I could manage around work and other social obligations.

Lela Rasheed, tells a wonderful story about the lives of the Averley family and those closely associated with them.  There was drama galore and while a lot of it was over the top, I think it just added the my enjoyment. The main story lines revolve around Rose Cliffe, a maid at the Averley's home, Somerton, and the oldest Averley daughter Ada. There is also a cast of characters who do not fade into the background and only add to the over-the-top-ness of the novel.

I recently reviewed a novel that I compared to a soap opera…