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Showing posts from August, 2014

Week in Review

       Good evening. I'm a little late with today's update. I've had a week full of reading due to the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon . I didn't read as much as I had hoped, but I did get a lot more reading done than usual. Today was the first day of school for my kids. C started 5th grade and M started 2nd. They both had good days, but we're already having to juggle homework and afterschool activities. At the moment they're outside playing with friends even though they should be doing homework and practicing piano. I just can't bring myself to make them come inside yet! Reviews and Blog Posts Aside from the Bout of Books postings, I also wrote a review of The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell. I was hoping to get a couple other reviews written, but it didn't happen. Reading I finished The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe, which is my August book club selection. We'll be discussing it later this week. And I've made it through about ha

Book Review: The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Easter is a special time for the Bird family. Every year, Lorelei goes all out to make the day special for her family, with an egg hunt in the garden and a special meal with family and friends. But then tragedy strikes, and the family breaks apart. Easter is no longer a happy time for the entire family. Years later, Meg returns to clean out her mother's home after her death, and the story of how this family fell apart is finally revealed. The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell is a family saga told from several different times and perspectives. We get to know Lorelei and Colin, and their children Meg, Beth, Rory and Rhys when they were young and happy. And we get to see them as they are now. Lorelei is an eccentric woman whose perpetual collecting eventually evolves into a severe hoarding problem. The impact this ~ and the tragedy that happens on that one Easter ~ has on each of her family members is what the story is all about. I had mixed feelings about The House We Grew

Bout of Books Challenge: Book Spine Poetry

This week, I'm participating in the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon . Today, My Little Pocketbooks is hosting a Book Spine Poetry challenge, in which you need to create a poem using at least three books. I thought this sounded like fun, so here is my poem. The beach house on Cape Cod . I recall the secret place , the forgotten garden .  The rules allow for the addition of one additional word for each title, and I added three so it would make a bit more sense.

Bout of Books 11 Read-a-thon

The Bout of Books read-a-thon starts today and I've decided to sign up. I don't think I've actually done this one before, but it sounds pretty easy. Here's an explanation of what it's all about: The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the  Bout of Books  blog.  - From the Bout of Books team My goals: Read every evening for at least an hour Mon-Fri. (I work full time and the kids start all their fall activities this week, so getting an hour of reading in each night

Week in Review

       It's been two weeks since I participated in this weekly meme. I'd like to say I've been reading and blogging a lot in that time, but I haven't. I do have some reviews planned for this week, and I am determined to finish the book I started over a week ago. I haven't made it very far into it, though. Reviews and Blog Posts I compiled a list of 13 historical fiction novels that I recommend. Check it out and let me know what your favorites are. I also wrote a review of The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett. It's a wonderful novel for book lovers! Reading I finished The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell, which I found on NetGalley. I need to write that review, but I had very mixed feelings about the book and am having a hard time putting my thoughts down. Hopefully I'll manage to do that this week. I've been reading The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe, which is my August book club selection, but I just haven't felt like re

Book Review: The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Peter Byerly is distraught over the loss of his wife nine months ago. He has retreated to their cottage in the English countryside, hoping to return to his love of collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens a book about Shakespeare forgeries and finds a Victorian watercolor of a woman who looks just like his wife, Peter is soon on a search for the origin of the painting and the truth about Shakespeare's real identity. The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett is a wonderful journey for anyone who loves books. It follows Peter's search in 1995, which turns into a bit of a thriller at times. But Lovett also takes the reader back in time a bit so we can learn the story of his relationship with his wife and how he came to be a bookseller. He does a beautiful job of expressing Peter's feelings about the rare books he encounters, and his feelings are contagious. And then he takes us back even further to the history of one particular volum

13 Historical Fiction Novels Worth Reading

I've read some excellent historical fiction novels recently, so I thought it would be fun to compile a list of recommendations. I ended up with 13 historical novels that are worth reading, in my opinion. Every one of these would be a great selection for book clubs as well. I've included the first paragraph of my review for each book to give you a sense of what the book is about. This list is presented in no particular order. 1. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd ~ When Sarah Grimke turns 11 years old, her mother gives her a very special birthday gift: her very own slave, 10 year-old Handful. But Sarah is an unusual Southern girl who abhors slavery, even at her young age. She tries to refuse the gift, but her mother forces her to accept it. So she takes Handful as her handmaid, and they form a unique relationship that lasts a lifetime. Read the rest of my review 2. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline ~ On the brink of being kicked out of another foste