Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Vincent Zandri - The Remains

7. The Remains by Vincent Zandri (2012)
Length: 272 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 10 February 2017
Finished: 15 February 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to my next door neighbor for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 4 February 2017
Why do I have it? I like horror and Vincent Zandri is a new author for me.

For years, the Underhill twins had repeatedly been warned to never walk through the woods alone. The rumor was that a serial killer lived there - someone who had reputedly murdered his entire family. While Rebecca Underhill may have taken such warnings to heart, her twin sister Molly had always had a more rebellious nature. Besides, the sisters had always felt safe walking through the woods, and they figured that as long as they were together - they could handle whatever came their way.

That belief was put to the test when the sisters decided to explore the delapidated cabin behind their house. They never expected to ever cross paths with the deranged man who actually lived there, but he unexpectedly came home and caught them inside his house. After a particularly harrowing ordeal, the girls managed to escape - but fearing retribution against their family - they swore to keep the entire incident a secret. In the thirty years since their terrifying ordeal, the girls have done their best to forget what happened to them and to move forward with their lives.

Rebecca is now a painter and a special needs art teacher, but unfortunately, Molly has long since passed away from cancer. Suddenly, Rebecca begins to receive a series of cryptic text messages from her sister. As much as she wants to believe that Molly is trying to communicate with her, Rebecca just can't bring herself to accept something so implausible.

It couldn't be their attacker from so many years ago; he was captured and imprisoned for a similar crime at around that same time. Surely he'd still be incarcerated or dead by now - wouldn't he? Rebecca so wants to believe that 'the boogeyman' can never scare her again, and she doesn't want to believe that she ever gave him such power over her - but the night terrors she still suffers from say otherwise.

When one of Rebecca's art students - an autistic savant named Francis - gives her a series of paintings, she is absolutely astounded by what she sees in each one. She realizes that the scenes in each painting depict something from her nightmares - the nightmares she has had every single night for the past thirty years. Rebecca is certain that Franny has absolutely no knowledge of her horrific ordeal, but she is also stunned and confused by the accuracy of each of his paintings. It's almost as though Franny is somehow forcing Rebecca to relive the most horrifying moment of her life.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, the story was intriguingly original and I enjoyed the subtly mysterious elements of prescience that the author utilized all the way through it. I also appreciated the way the author wove memories of the past throughout the present-day story and knitted both stories together. I would certainly say that Mr. Zandri captured the true essence of his female characters and wrote a poignant story with an extraordinary amount of sensitivity - a definite A+!

Actually, The Remains by Vincent Zandri is one of five books that my next door neighbor sent me, all by the same author. I'm not absolutely certain, but I think that the author may be my next door neighbor. Wouldn't that be something?

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Well, I'm Slowly Getting Back Into 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.

Well sadly, my niece Stephanie passed away on Wednesday, February 1st after bravely battling through approximately two years of a cancer diagnosis. She was suffering from ovarian cancer and had initially been misdiagnosed by her primary care doctor. She lobbied for a second opinion, but ended up being horribly allergic to many of the chemo therapy drugs that her new doctors tried to give her. Despite all that, she fought long and hard and had the best primary care physicians possible working on her case - Rest In Peace, Stephanie!

Actually, I haven't been doing all that much lately, just watching quite a bit of television and doing jigsaw puzzles. I'm putting my 'blah' attitude down to Stephanie's passing and the snow finally starting in earnest over the past few days. After a small reprieve from the snow, there's supposed to be another nor'easter coming through this afternoon - Sunday, February 12th - and its going to bring about two feet of snow with it.

Since Mareena and I enjoyed both movies that we watched on the 'On Demand' Channel about two or three weeks ago, we are trying to decide if we want to make the practice a monthly occurrence or not. As it stands now, we may choose one movie to watch on the 'On Demand' Channel each month; or perhaps two if the mood strikes us. There are several movies that seem to be very interesting.

I'm also still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 98 sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper, although I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle books, too! Actually, I just finished another one of the puzzle books from my collection yesterday afternoon - Saturday, February 11th - and am delighted to say that the book actually came from the six-pack of books that I received on Friday, March 4th of last year.

I have also started doing jigsaw puzzles again. I actually started doing a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of decorative boxes on Monday afternoon, January 30th and finished it on Monday afternoon, February 6th! It was a surprisingly complex jigsaw puzzle for me, despite taking only seven days to complete. I immediately started doing an eighth jigsaw puzzle out of my giant box of twelve on Wednesday afternoon, February 8th and finished it approximately two days later on Friday afternoon, February 10th!

As regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia which I finished on Monday, February 6th! Actually, it seemed like Ms. Reynolds was such a lovely, down-to-earth person. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading her autobiography.

I immediately started reading The Remains by Vincent Zandri on Monday, February 6th. After a few initial stops and starts with my reading, I'm happy to say that I restarted my reading of the book on Friday, February 10th! According to Goodreads - as of today, February 12th - I've actually read 50 pages out of 286 in The Remains by Vincent Zandri; or approximately 17 percent. Since my own copy of The Remains by Vincent Zandri actually has 272 pages in it; reading 50 pages means that I have read approximately 18 percent.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jigsaw Puzzles Seem to Have Taken Precedence Over Reading, But Not For Long!

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.

Well sadly, my niece Stephanie passed away on Wednesday, February 1st after bravely battling through approximately two years of a cancer diagnosis. She was suffering from ovarian cancer and had initially been misdiagnosed by her primary care doctor. She lobbied for a second opinion, but ended up being horribly allergic to many of the chemo therapy drugs that her new doctors tried to give her. Despite all that, she fought long and hard and had the best primary care physicians possible working on her case - Rest In Peace, Stephanie!

Actually, I haven't been doing all that much lately, just watching quite a bit of television and doing jigsaw puzzles. I'm putting my 'blah' attitude down to Stephanie's passing and the snow finally starting in earnest over the past few days. I suppose that I wasn't that close to Stephanie as an adult, but I just keep remembering her as a child.

She was so young when she passed, and she left behind a husband who adored her and two young teenage boys to mourn her. She had also just started to reconnect with our family - extended family, that is - over Facebook and was really suffering from the cancer, even though she continued to have such a positive attitude throughout her illness. The whole situation was, and still is, just so very sad!

Since Mareena and I enjoyed both movies that we watched on the 'On Demand' Channel about two or three weeks ago, we are trying to decide if we want to make the practice a monthly occurrence or not. As it stands now, we may choose one movie to watch on the 'On Demand' Channel each month; or perhaps two if the mood strikes us. There are several movies that seem to be very interesting.

I'm also still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 95 sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper, although I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle books, too! I haven't really finished an entire sum-doku puzzle book from my collection since Saturday, December 3rd - I have been working through partial puzzles from the moderately difficult to extremely difficult levels!

I have also started doing jigsaw puzzles again. I actually started doing a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on Saturday afternoon, January 21st, and finished it on Friday afternoon, January 27th! It was a surprisingly complex jigsaw puzzle for me, despite taking only six days to complete. I immediately started a seventh jigsaw puzzle out of my giant box of twelve on Saturday afternoon, January 28th! After I finished it the next day - on Sunday night, January 29th - I immediately started a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of decorative boxes on Monday afternoon, January 30th!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia which I finished on Monday, February 6th! Actually, it seemed like Ms. Reynolds was such a lovely, down-to-earth person. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her autobiography.

I immediately started reading The Remains by Vincent Zandri on Monday, February 6th. Actually, the synopsis definitely looks intriguing, although to be perfectly honest, I haven't gotten that far into the story yet. This is entirely due to my own 'blah' feelings, and has nothing to do with anything else. I intend to restart my reading some time very soon.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, February 6, 2017

Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia - Debbie: My Life

6. Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia (1988)
Length: 374 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 19 January 2017
Finished: 6 February 2017
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2001
Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and had read and enjoyed Unsinkable: A Memoir by the same author in the past. However, David Patrick Columbia is a new author for me.

Born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas in April of 1932 - the child who would eventually become known as Debbie Reynolds - wasn't planning on ever having a career in Hollywood. Although she grew up in poverty, Debbie was catapulted to fame at a very young age - when she won the 'Miss Burbank' Beauty Pageant at the age of sixteen. What had started out as a chance to win some new clothes, also earned Debbie a screen test with Warner Brothers Studios. And so began the acting career of Debbie Reynolds.

From the very beginning, her fans identified with her and called her 'the kid' - the kid with guts, the kid with personality, the kid sister - and to movie audiences she was truly 'America's Sweetheart'. As Hollywood's reigning ingenue, Debbie Reynolds was the fresh-faced embodiment of American grace and gumption. Throughout her career, starring in such film classics as: Singin' in the Rain, How the West Was Won, Tammy and the Bachelor, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Debbie always portrayed a sassy, spunky, and bright personality. Yet behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood - beyond the dazzling spotlight of instant fame - was a young woman thrown into the starmaking machine, and whose only hope was to achieve personal happiness for herself.

Now, taking readers inside her private world, Debbie tells it all: about an extraordinary life spent in the limelight - the tears, the laughter, and the bitter moments of her career - all is revealed in this candid, funny, and gutsy self-portrait. She reveals the real story behind her marriage to Eddie Fisher - a marriage that blew apart when he began a torrid love affair with Elizabeth Taylor - and abandoned Debbie to the hurricane winds of a sensational white-hot scandal. Here, too, is a startling expose of the years spent with her second husband Harry Karl - a compulsive gambler and womanizer who left her in a state of financial ruin.

Yet there are also so many wonderful memories as well - star-studded recollections from the Golden Era of Hollywood: memories made with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Gene Kelly, Bette Davis and Robert Wagner; the famous movies and movie moguls; as well as her hardwon, yet enduring relationship with her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher. As the last of the red-hot troupers, Debbie Reynolds has lived through it all: the hard times and the happy times, and she has somehow managed to retain her dauntless determination to make her dreams come true. This is so much more than just the saga of a legendary Hollywood star, it is also the fascinating and poignant story of a true survivor - someone who has emerged from her various trials and tribulations, perhaps somewhat battered, but ultimately triumphantly resilient.

Despite reading Ms. Reynolds second autobiography back in April of 2016 - after her recent passing in December of 2016 - I wanted to read her first autobiography. Actually, I found that this book focused more on her hard-scrabble childhood and in my opinion, she held nothing back. I must admit that I found Ms. Reynolds to be a wonderful person, lovingly honest and surprisingly forgiving - to be perfectly honest, perhaps more forgiving than I would be if I were in her circumstances.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, although if I did have any problems with it, it would probably be that Ms. Reynolds tended to drop names of stars into the story fairly frequently. Although having said that, I suppose that this would certainly be something to be expected when a bonafide Hollywood legend writes her autobiography. I would definitely give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Actually, it Has Been a Couple of Tough Days For my Family!

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.

Well sadly, my niece Stephanie passed away on Wednesday, February 1st after bravely battling through approximately two years of a cancer diagnosis. She was suffering from ovarian cancer and had initially been misdiagnosed by her primary care doctor. She lobbied for a second opinion, but ended up being horribly allergic to many of the chemo therapy drugs that her new doctors tried to give her. Despite all that, she fought long and hard and had the best primary care physicians possible working on her case - Rest In Peace, Stephanie!

So, back on Wednesday afternoon, January 18th, Mareena and I got together with our good friend Lisa and we went to a barbecue place up in Saratoga called PJ's Bar-B-Qsa. Actually, we also went back on Friday afternoon, February 3rd and so have gone there a total of three times already. It is actually quite a wonderful little place and the food is really tasty! We just sat and talked and ate together.

Since Mareena and I enjoyed both movies that we watched on the 'On Demand' Channel about two or three weeks ago, we are trying to decide if we want to make the practice a monthly occurrence or not. As it stands now, we may choose one movie to watch on the 'On Demand' Channel each month; or perhaps two if the mood strikes us. There are several movies that seem to be very interesting.

I'm also still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 90 sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper, although I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle books, too! I haven't really finished an entire sum-doku puzzle book from my collection since Saturday, December 3rd - I have been working through partial puzzles from the moderately difficult to extremely difficult levels!

I have also started doing jigsaw puzzles again. I actually started doing a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on Saturday afternoon, January 21st, and finished it on Friday afternoon, January 27th! It was a surprisingly complex jigsaw puzzle for me, despite taking only six days to complete. I immediately started a seventh jigsaw puzzle out of my giant box of twelve on Saturday afternoon, January 28th! I'm hoping to finish this puzzle fairly soon.

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen, which I finished on Monday, January 30th! I initially had two copies of this book in my library, and I read it for the first time over ten days in November of 2010 - from November 16th, to November 26th, 2010! I'm sure that someone else would definitely enjoy reading this book as much as I have, so I have posted my second copy of this book on the several book swapping websites that we belong to.

I recently started reading Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia on Thursday, January 19th! After putting the book aside for a while, according to Goodreads - as of yesterday, February 3rd, I've actually read 205 pages out of 446 in Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia; or approximately 46 percent. Since my own copy of Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia actually has 374 pages in it; reading 205 pages means that I have read approximately 55 percent. Actually, I'm really enjoying reading this book; although, I'm also noticing that Ms. Reynolds is a bit of a name dropper.

Actually, I have absolutely no idea what happened this afternoon, but our downstairs tenant Pamela just came upstairs and handed me five books by a new author for me named Vincent Zandri. Pamela said that our next door neighbor had given her the books and had told her that he understood that someone who lived there liked to read and review books. The man didn't say exactly who he was - or how he knew that we read and review books - but he also said that now that he knew that there would be more books coming!

So I had Mareena do a little research, and while Mr. Zandri's biography does say that he divides his time between Florence, Italy and Albany, New York we still don't really know if he is our next door neighbor. Although while she was surfing the Internet for more information about Vincent Zandri, Mareena discovered that he had written a book called Orchard Grove. LOL!!! Who knows, we may actually live next door to an author, but never knew it!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For January 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 January with 1,061 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,056 books unread. Also, it would appear that for the first time this year, I didn't receive any new books! Oh, my goodness! - :)

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
- A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts
- Treasures by Belva Plain
- One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath by Jeanine Cummins
- What Happened to Sophie Wilder: A Novel by Christopher R. Beha

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger
- Ripley's Believe it or Not!: Ghost Stories and Plays by Ripley's Enterprises, Inc.
- A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath by Jeanine Cummins
- What Happened to Sophie Wilder: A Novel by Christopher R. Beha
- Trade-Off by Harrison Arnston

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

Books Read: 5
Pages Read: 1,739
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was January. 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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January'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. January's Book of the Month is:


One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
  Published as: One True Thing in 1994
Publisher: Random House



Birth Name: Anna Marie Quindlen
Born: 8 July 1952 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Canonical Name: Anna Quindlen
Pseudonyms: None

One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen was the fifth book that I read in 2017. I have had two copies of this book on my TBR shelf since March 5, 2010. The reread of this book took me six days and I have since placed it on all the book swapping websites that I belong to.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight