Congratulation to the following winners of a copy of The Blue Star by Tony Earley. This was a contest hosted by The Hachette Group. Please email me your addresses to my email address. Thanks and I hope you enjoy the book!
Even though my summer vacation is over I look back over the past ten weeks off and realize that it was a productive summer. You all know I was in the painting mode, so I will tell you with the help of my sister we were able to paint my dining room, living room, front entrance and hallways. This was a major feat. My high ceilings in the front entrance were a personal challenge and a feat equal in my mind to climbing towering mountains. My fear of heights saw no difference as the precipice of descending stairs looked like a rock pathway below. You should have seen my white knuckles hanging on to the ladder. It's amazing that I was able to even paint the ceiling edges. So it was a proud moment when I managed to accomplish this job without killing myself.
Here are the pictures I promised some of you. Couldn't help having a few dogs in the photo. They're ubiquitous in my house, along with the many bookcases scattered around. At last count I had eleven. How about you? Are you running out of wall space yet?
This is my new walkway that replaced a few stepping stones that led to my front door. I had the path relocated and a tiered garden built up a slope to the front of the porch. What an amazing change that will be so much safer and nicer in the winter. I feel like I had a landscape makeover and can't wait till next spring to get working on adding more plants.
After some major plumbing work and new gravel for the driveway I had to replace a sliding glass door that one of my greyhounds ran into. Yep, he banged his head into the glass. Fortunately he didn't get hurt, but the slider has never been the same. I saw him running toward the door and couldn't open it fast enough. I felt so bad. I know he saw stars and was shaken up.
During all the summer projects, I did have a little time to read, although not as much as I would have liked. Isn't that always the way in the summer? I intend to read so much, but then I get involved in projects then my reading slacks off.
Now as far as the books I have read recently...
I have previews of four books that are terrific. I will have my reviews after they hit publication. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with any of these choices.
Two Historical Fiction Books
Watching Gideon by Stephen Foreman
From the ARC notes: "A deeply moving and vividly imagined novel about an intrepid father and his extraordinary son as they travel into the heart of the American West in search of riches during the heady era of the 1950's"
The Widow's War by Mary Mackey (hint....I LOVED IT!! Carrie is an amazing character with enduring strength.)
From the publisher..."Set in 1853 against the backdrop of the Civil War, this novel tells the tale of one woman's courageous spirit, rebellious love and fight for justice."
A Year of Cats and Dogs, by Margaret Hawkins
From the book jacket, "What happens when nothing happens? ...a dark yet hopeful novel about a woman in midlife who feels surrounded by death. She answers her own question by deciding to find out."
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, by Allison Hoover Bartlett "The true story of a thief, a detective and a world of literary obsession."
These four books were part of my end of summer vacation reading frenzy in late August. They stood out above others on my nightstand.
I hope you pick one or two to read, you won't be disappointed. :)
Happy weekend to everyone. I've settled back into the teacher role, now that I have reacquainted with all my students from last year. It always amazes me how 10 weeks can make such a difference in their growth. Some of my students are taller than me. They just love trying to out height me. LOL What you probably don't know is that I am only 5' tall.
Some kindergarten students are still apprehensive and others are taking the leadership role seriously. Looking back to this second week of school there were the occasional tears coupled at times with trips to the nurse for sympathy and hand holding. Most surprising and at times astonishing were my conversations with kids that never cease to amaze me.
I read The Reliable Wife back in June and I am just posting it to my blog as it was pending publication elsewhere. I really enjoyed this book. There were a few slow parts in the middle that I remember thinking, ok lets move on, but otherwise it was a great read. Hope you like it!
A Reliable Wife Robert Goolrick, Algonquin Books, March 31, 2009, $23.95,HC, 291pp,978-1410417381.
Ralph Truitt and Catherine Land meet at a train station in rural Wisconsin in 1907. Ralph’s ad for a reliable wife has brought them together. They’re both looking to make a change in their life but it may be more than just a simple marriage. She hungers for more in life as money and social standing utmost in her sights. She is not who she seems. She is hiding more than the precious gems sewn in her dress hem and a small blue bottle she carries. When she steps off the train, Ralph takes one look at the well worn photograph of Catherine and clearly she is not the woman he has been corresponding with. Furious at her subterfuge she will still suit his purpose. Although he feels deceived, he has plans for Catherine that with any luck will bring his wayward son home to him. Detectives do locate this lost son, now a man who plays piano in a bar. HIs name is the lascivious Tony Moretti, but on approach he denies Ralph is his father. Meanwhile, Catherine sets in motion a plan to kill her husband with arsenic from her small blue bottle. Why would she jeopardize her new charmed life style married to the rich Mr. Truitt?
The characters of Ralph and Catherine are carefully chiseled and polished. Robert Goolrick creates a clever labyrinth of deceit, guilt and forgiveness. The story is racked with tension as he slowly manipulates his readers through the twisted maze of plot complexity. Goolrick’s writing is embraceable, warm and comfortable with an occasional electric shock. Suspense is this storytellers magic.
A while back I told you to keep your eye on this biography about Idina Sackville. I was unable to post the review until now, but this is a book to grab on to. It has been getting great reviews elsewhere as well. Don't miss this one if you like to read about a somewhat eccentric and unusual personality. This is certainly not a dull read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The Bolter Frances Osborne, Knopf, June 2, 2009, $30.00/$35.00C,HC, 320 pp, 978-0307270146.
Frances Osborne, the great granddaughter of Idina Sackville has written a shockingly candid biography of a brazen woman who defied the convention of upper society’s expectations. She glowed in the scandalous acts of the choices she made, but always yearned for love. She was born in 1933, the Jazz Age. She married Euan Wallace, the first of five husbands and they set sail to Kenya to build a home. She was surrounded by majestic breathtaking vistas and she fell in love. After having two sons, the marriage began to disintegrate, a divorce was inevitable. When she lost custody and visitation from her boys, she was devastated. She returned alone to her idyllic hideaway of hedonism with only short respites back to England. Idina’s world was wrapped in a cocoon of pleasure with a sharp edge of danger looming about. Her friends, The Happy Valley Set, knew Idina for her outrageous behavior, including frequent nude appearances, adultery and couple switching and the endless flow of alcohol. The Bolter is absorbing with Idina’s life bare and detailed. Her quest for love and freedom was paramount to her. Osborne succeeds brilliantly in conveying a sense of compassion not condemnation for this petite powerhouse.
Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia atThe Printed Page. "Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists." ~Marcia
I know this seems like a lot of books, but remember, I haven't had a Mailbox Monday post in a couple of weeks. I actually have curtailed my purchases and my requests for ARCs for now. However, I do have quite a few I am very anxious to read.
Baking Cakes in Kigali, Gaile Parkin (Found this on my desk when I went back to school) The Coral Thief, Rebecca Stott Hitler and the Mars Bars, Dianne Ascroft Cleopatra's Daughter, Michelle Moran.....watch for contest forthcoming Postcript from Pemberley, Rebecca Ann Collins The Saint and the Fasting Girl, Anna Richenda The Sacrifice of the Sage Hen, Susie Schade-Brewer Willoughyby's Return, Jane Odiwe The Ascent of Man, Richard Guy Mr. Fitzilliam Darcy, Abigail Reynolds What do Exixtentialists Believe:, Richard Appignanesi
Zeitoun, Dave Eggers purchased at an INDIE, on my way back from the Adirondacks Lullaby for Morons, by Ronald Keith Siegel purchased at a cute INDIE in the Adirondacks Field Guide to Knitting, Pawlowski, also from the Adirondacks. The Invisible Mountain, Carolina De Robertis
I was so surprised they had a Field Guide for Knitting...how awesome is that?
I knit quite a bit, but I just had to have this one.
My apologies if I missed listing one or two, but I will go through my list on LT this week to check.
Happy Labor Day to everyone! This poster is from US History.org and I post it to you in celebration of Labor Day.
Hi to all and I hope you are having great weather like we are in Connecticut. I have been trying to podcast a message for you today. I'm hoping it works, if not...it is back to my drawing board. I will be back to regular posting and I have missed all of you soooooo much. Great to be back.
PS...Sorry about the clicking metronome-next time I will get rid of that annoyance. LOL