Sunday, October 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For September at Moonshine and Rosefire


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out September with 1,063 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,060 books unread. All the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
- Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
- The Worst Thing I’ve Done: A Novel by Ursula Hegi

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
The Conscience of the Rich by C. P. Snow
- The Concubine: A Novel by Norah Lofts

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- All Unquiet Things: A Novel by Anna Jarzab
- Sleeping Tiger by Rosamunde Pilcher
- Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
- Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash
- In Love and Friendship by Hilary Norman
- Deadly Whispers by Ted Schwarz
- The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 868
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was September. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. September's Book of the Month is: 


The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
Published as: The Kitchen House in February 2010
Publisher: Touchstone


Birth Name: Kathleen Doepker
Born: in Annaheim, Saskatchewan, Canada 

Canonical Name: Kathleen Grissom
Pseudonyms: None

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom was the twenty-fourth book that I read in 2017. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since June 1, 2015 and it took me eight days to read. I sent this book off to another good home on September 25, 2017.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ursula Hegi - The Worst Thing I’ve Done: A Novel

25. The Worst Thing I’ve Done: A Novel by Ursula Hegi (2007)
Length: 260 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 15 September 2017
Finished: 23 September 2017
Where did it come from? From Christmas Tree Shops
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 December 2011
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Ursula Hegi is a new author for me.

Tonight, as she has done so many times before, Annabelle is driving between the North Sea and Montauk and back again. She is listening to talk radio and eating junk food; stifling her own rage and pain as she listens to the anonymous callers pour out their various tales of woe. This has been a part of Annie’s nightly routine - her own personal ritual - one that she has done ever since her husband Mason challenged everything that she once believed about herself and about their marriage. However no matter what she does, Annie can never seem to silence Mason’s urgent voice within her - it’s as desperate as some of the callers who confess their misery to the radio psychologists.

To so many of the people who know them, Annie, Jake, and Mason have always had a tremendously close friendship. Since early childhood, the three of them have had such a special bond with each other, and those ties have only strengthened for them over time. However on a day that should mark the happiest time of their lives, the initially tight friendship begins to warp into something else entirely. Something so emotionally charged and dangerous that nobody knows what to expect.

Their friendship begins to take a turn for the worse on of all days - Annie and Mason’s wedding day. Unfortunately that same night, Annie’s parents are killed in a tragic automobile accident, leaving their newborn daughter Opal an orphan. Although Annie is devastated by the loss of her parents, she must somehow find a way to put aside her own grief and tend to her newborn sister’s needs. So she and Mason take custody of Opal, and invite Jake to move in with them to help raise the child together.

Annie struggles to find a proper balance between all the responsibilities and relationships in her life and family: she is both a sister and a mother to Opal, a wife to Mason, and a friend to Jake. Perhaps inevitably, this already unique relationship grows increasingly more intense - becoming almost smotheringly close and dangerously entangled. Until that fateful night, when these three friends miss the precise moment in time that could have helped them all to take a step back from a crumbling precipice.

Instead, they continue goading each other to step across a line which ultimately leads to a series of shocking and unforeseen consequences. Set on the East End of Long Island, The Worst Thing I’ve Done is an incandescent novel of love, friendship, and marriage; of joy and betrayal; of an artist’s struggle to reconnect with her work; and of how we can sometimes choose our mothers, our families. This is a beautifully written story, brilliantly vivid and tremendously poignant; a stunning exploration of resilience and courage in the face of uncertainty.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure what to say about this book. Actually, I can’t really pinpoint what it was that disturbed me specifically, but I definitely found this to be extremely difficult reading for me. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the premise of the story; I found it to be very intriguing and well-written. I found myself wavering slightly on how to rate this book, but eventually settled on giving it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kathleen Grissom - The Kitchen House: A Novel

24. The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom (2010)
Length: 377 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Started: 6 September 2017
Finished: 14 September 2017
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2015
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Kathleen Grissom is a new author for me.

When a white servant girl violates the rules of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the best and the worst traits of the people she has come to call her family.

In 1791, Lavinia McCarten is almost seven years old when she arrives on the steps of a tabacco plantation in Virginia. Having lost both her parents during the voyage from Ireland, she is subsequently placed with the family of the ship's captain - the Pykes - as an indentured servant. As one of the few white members of the household, Lavinia is raised by Captain Pyke's slaves: Jacob, Mama Mae, Papa George, and the master's illegitimate slave daughter, Belle. Soon, she learns to cook, clean, and serve food with the slaves of the kitchen house; all while being guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In due time, Lavinia is also accepted into the world of the big house, caring for Martha, the master's opium-addicted wife and befriending his impetuous son Marshall - someone who is as dangerous as he is protective. As Lavinia attempts to straddle both worlds of the kitchen and the big house, she begins to realize just how much her skin color will always set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

However, when she is forced to make a choice that she never thought she would have to make; loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk. Ultimately, everything that Lavinia holds dear will be threatened. Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Kathleen Grissom's debut novel unfolds into a heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deeply buried secrets, and familial bonds.

Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I learned more about slavery than I thought I would. In my opinion, this was a beautifully written but heartbreakingly sad story - poignant and thought-provoking. I would certainly give this book an A+! and will be on the lookout for more from this author in the future.

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Michael Phillip Cash - Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island

Reread. Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash (2013)
Length: 231 pages
Genre: Horror
Originally Read: 5 July 2013
Reread Finished: 5 September 2017
Where did it come from? Originally from Michael Phillip Cash, then from my "keeper" shelf.

So, I was once again trying to find something to read and actually couldn't locate my first choice. As I've said before, I had about four books on my radar already and Mareena said she would try to help me find them, since I seem to have mislaid at least two of them. I was actually looking through a canvas bag of books, and although I didn't find the book that I was looking for, I did find a whole bag of books that I had completely forgotten about. So, I've picked several of these books to read next.

Mareena told me that she thought that she had seen two of the books that I was initially looking for. She found this particular book approximately two months ago - sometime towards the end of July. It was actually sitting on a bookshelf outside my bedroom door, as was the book that I first read about twenty years ago. Mareena has tried to locate that other book, but it seems to have disappeared again since she last saw it.

Anyway, I received this book from Michael Phillip Cash himself back in July of 2013 - July 3rd, to be exact. I immediately started reading it on July 4th and it only took me a day to read - from July 4th, to July 5th, 2013. My reread of the book took place four years later, over three days in September of 2017 - from September 2nd, to September 5th, 2017! I've since sent the book off to someone else on September 12th, 2017,

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, September 3, 2017

I’m Actually Doing Very Well With my Reading!

Hello everyone! I hope that you're all just fine this morning - I certainly am! :) Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update on how I'm doing so far.

Surprisingly, the pace of my reading has picked up appreciably. As of Wednesday, August 30th - I have finished a total of six books and two sum-doku puzzle books. Granted, I still haven’t found the book that I was looking for originally, but Mareena has managed to locate at least two books that she thinks that I will enjoy reading. One book is actually a reread for me from just over four years ago, and the other has been on my TBR pile for almost six years.

I have the distinct impression that the book that I’ve been looking for will actually take ages for me to find. Mareena told me that she was certain that it was on the bookshelf just outside my bedroom door, but when she looked for it at the same time that she found the other two books, it wasn’t there. Oh well, I’ll keep searching.

I just found out that 'The Exorcist' will be starting its second season on Friday, September 29th at 9:00 P. M. I'm delighted to see that the show was renewed and want to know where it goes from here. As far as I know, the two main characters are now traveling exorcists and will be dealing with a case somewhere in Seattle, Washington.

I'm immersing myself in sum-doku and sudoku puzzles as well: so far, I finished at least two sum-documents puzzle books - one that was in my collection for approximately ten years, and another one that I finished on Wednesday, August 16th! I immediately started another sum-doku puzzle book on Friday, August 18th. As of today - Sunday, September 3rd - I’ve finished a total of 34 puzzles.

As regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins, which I finished on Wednesday, August 30th. I immediately started reading Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash on Saturday, September 2nd. This is actually a reread for me from about four years ago.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, September 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For August at Moonshine and Rosefire


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out August with 1,068 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,062 books unread. All the books that I acquired this month came from Bookmooch and Paperback Swap.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
- Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
- All Unquiet Things: A Novel by Anna Jarzab
- Shelter Me: A Novel by Juliette Fay
- Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
- The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- The Affair by C. P. Snow

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- See Jane Die: A Novel by Erica Spindler
- Ascent Into Hell by Andrew M. Greeley

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 6
Pages Read: 2,222
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was August. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight