Sunday, June 18, 2017

Joan Mendlicott - The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love: A Novel

15. The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love: A Novel by Joan Mendlicott (2000)
The Ladies of Covington Series Book 1
Length: 371 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 12 June 2017
Finished: 18 June 2017
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 5 June 2017
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

The harsh circumstances of life have brought together three very different women of "a certain age" in a Pennsylvania boardinghouse where the most any of them can hope for is a sagging bed and three square meals a day. Grace Singleton is an extraordinarily cautious woman who remains uncertain of her place in such an intimidating world; Hannah Parrish may be outspoken about a great many things, but she harbors a profoundly private fear that could change her life forever; Amelia Declose is a fragile soul who has been shattered by devastating grief. These three ladies may be as different as can be, yet their friendship will ultimately lead them all to experience the adventure of their lifetimes.

Their friendship will take take them on an extraordinary journey to North Carolina - and to a dilapidated farmhouse where the unexpected suddenly seems delightfully promising. Such startling changes will not only seem entirely welcome, but also come as a sweet surprise to each woman. As each lady travels along on this shared adventure, they will be surprised to find that the years they have managed to reclaim from the shadows of twilight just may be the best years of their lives. Years which will offer something infinitely more precious and rare: confidence, competence, and even another chance at love...

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; in my opinion, it is a truly delightful story. This was certainly easy reading for me, but there was just enough going on in the plot to hold my attention all the way through the story. While this isn't completely a 'fluffy, feel good' story, I appreciated that it also wasn't entirely dark and depressing - I would give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, June 12, 2017

Anne Tyler - Celestial Navigation

14. Celestial Navigation by Anne Tyler (1974)
Length: 248 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 2 June 2017
Finished: 12 June 2017
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2017
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

In the fall of 1960, Amanda Pauling is surprised when she and her sister Laura receive a disturbing phone call from their younger brother in the middle of the night. According to Jeremy's relatively matter-of-fact tone, "I wanted to tell you about Mama. She has passed on." His reaction just seems awfully peculiar given the circumstances; distant and strangely unemotional.

Actually, Jeremy Pauling has never left home. He is a thirty-eight-year-old bachelor who lives simply and quietly on the top floor of his mother's Baltimore boardinghouse. Meanwhile, his elderly mother putters around in the rooms below, and takes in a few down-on-their-luck boarders for little or no rent. Mother and son have lived together in this way for several years - Jeremy quietly creating his vast collection of collages of little people snipped from wrapping paper, and his mother taking responsibility for everything else in their lives.

Amanda was never particularly close to their mother herself, but she is surprised that her brother's voice sounds so passive as he speaks about their mother's death. He just seems totally baffled by the situation; and racked by uncertainties about what he should do next. Apparently, this is another reason why he has called his sisters: to ask them to make the proper arrangements. It appears that their mother died suddenly and left Jeremy alone.

To be perfectly honest, Amanda has always felt slightly resentful of their mother's relationship with her only son. In her opinion, the relationship was an inordinately close one; fostered by the sudden abandonment of their father. In the aftermath of her husband's abandonment of herself and their family, she appears to care more about her son's emotional wellbeing; than she does for both of her daughters'. As children, Jeremy always seemed to get the majority of their mother's attention; while Amanda and Laura were basically expected to fend for themselves.

Amanda firmly believes that their mother's persistent coddling of him only made Jeremy's eccentric behavior worse. She never seemed to expect very much from her son, and so Jeremy never felt that he needed to act any differently. Amanda truly believes that his strangeness can be overcome - he just needs to take responsibility for himself, and stop living in his own little world. Although, Jeremy has always disliked having to live like normal people.

Their mother only ever saw Jeremy's eccentric behavior as a sign of his creativity. He's an extraordinarily talented artist, yet he has always had significant trouble connecting with the outside world. Amanda secretly hopes that their mother's death will be just the impetus Jeremy needs to pull himself together and take responsibility for his own life.

Perhaps...But Amanda doesn't realize just how closely Jeremy resembles one of his own creations - a soul that is fragile and easily damaged. And neither of his sisters fully understand just how much courage it takes for Jeremy to voluntarily interact with the outside world. As a matter of fact, nobody can see how much Jeremy's life will change with the sudden arrival of Mary Tell and her little girl, Darcy.

I must say that this book wasn't anything like Anne Tyler's typical works. In my opinion, this was an intriguing story and a unique premise. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would certainly give this book an A! I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For May 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 May with 1,058 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,055 books unread. All the books that I acquired this month came from Penny Dell Puzzles and Bookmooch.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
- Errands: A Novel by Judith Guest
- Back When we Were Grownups: A Novel by Anne Tyler

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Indignation: A Novel by Philip Roth

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- Collector's Series Sum-Doku Puzzles 6-pack: (Volumes 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22) by Dell Magazines
- Tutankhamun: The Untold Story by Thomas Hoving

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Vanishing: A Novel by Wendy Webb
- Secrets by Danielle Steel
- Indignation: A Novel by Philip Roth

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: 852
Grade Range: A+!

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May'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. May's Book of the Month is: 


Published as: Back When we Were Grownups in July 2001
Publisher: Ballantine Books



Birth Name: Anne Tyler
Born: 25 October 1941 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Canonical Name: Anne Tyler
Pseudonyms: None

Back When we Were Grownups: A Novel by Anne Tyler was the thirteenth book that I read in 2017. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since July 1, 2010 and the reread took me seven days to finish. This book is a definite keeper for me.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, May 26, 2017

I'm Not Sure When, But There May be a Trip to the Library in the Cards!

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.

I'm finally getting back into a fairly regular reading routine this month, thank goodness for that! Granted, my reading pace isn't completely back to normal yet, but at least I'm reading more than a book a month - lol! I do feel a little bit like I'm in constant catch-up mode, though - :)

I'm actually still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 201 sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper, although I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle books, too! As a matter of fact, I just received another six-pack of sum-doku puzzles through the afternoon mail on Tuesday, May 9th! So far, as of this morning, I have done approximately 36 sum-doku puzzles in the newest puzzle book that I have started most recently.

I have also been doing a number of jigsaw puzzles as well. After I finished the 500-piece puzzle of the four cats playing on someone's desk in a study somewhere, I immediately started in on the box of ten jigsaw puzzles that I purchased on Friday, April 14th! I don't know if I have finished all the puzzles as yet, but I think that I'm well on my way to doing that.

As regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Back When we Were Grownups: A Novel by Anne Tyler which I finished on Friday, May 19th! The next book on my TBR pile that I started reading on Friday, May 19th was The Shroud Key by Vincent Zandri! Mareena's birthday is also coming up very soon, and as usual we may be going to our local library's book sale to celebrate.

I have to say that The Shroud Key by Vincent Zandri isn't quite like the typical contemporary mysteries that I usually read. In my opinion, this is a cross between a hard-boiled detective story and an archeological mystery. To be perfectly honest, I'm not that far into the story yet - but I am curious to see how it develops.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I'm Slowly Getting Back Into Reading by Rewriting Some of my Reviews!

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.

I'm finally getting back into a fairly regular reading routine this month, thank goodness for that! Granted, my reading pace isn't completely back to normal yet, but at least I'm reading more than a book a month - lol! I do feel a little bit like I'm in constant catch-up mode, though - :)

I'm actually still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 198 sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper, although I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle books, too! As a matter of fact, I just received another six-pack of sum-doku puzzles through the afternoon mail on Tuesday, May 9th! So far, as of this morning, I have done approximately 30 sum-doku puzzles in the newest puzzle book that I have started most recently.

I have also been doing a number of jigsaw puzzles as well. After I finished the 500-piece puzzle of the four cats playing on someone's desk in a study somewhere, I immediately started in on the box of ten jigsaw puzzles that I purchased on Friday, April 14th! As of this morning - Tuesday, May 23rd - I've done approximately nine of those ten puzzles! What can I say, I just can't help myself - :)

As regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Back When we Were Grownups: A Novel by Anne Tyler which I finished on Friday, May 19th! I'm going to have to do some rewriting of this review as it is a reread for me from almost seven years ago. The next book on my TBR pile that I started reading on Friday, May 19th was The Shroud Key by Vincent Zandri!

I have to say that this book isn't quite like the typical contemporary mysteries that I usually read. In my opinion, this is a cross between a hard-boiled detective story and an archeological mystery. To be perfectly honest, I'm not that far into the story yet - but I am curious to see how it develops.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, May 19, 2017

Anne Tyler - Back When we Were Grownups: A Novel

Reread. Back When we Were Grownups: A Novel by Anne Tyler (2001)
Length: 284 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Originally Read: 7 July 2010
Reread Finished: 19 May 2017
Where did it come from? Originally from a Library Book Sale, then from my "keeper" shelf.

When I had almost finished reading Indignation: A Novel by Philip Roth, I decided to look through the three remaining books that Mareena had pulled off my bookshelf a couple of weeks ago. I finally settled on this book and started reading it on Thursday, May 11th although I actually restarted it again the next day. I'm surprised that it took me this long to read this again because it's such a great book!

I had originally acquired this book from a Library Book Sale that Mareena and I went to in July of 2010 and read it for the first time over six days in July of 2010 - from July 1st, to July 7th! My reread of the book took place almost seven years later, over a week in May of 2017 - from May 12th, to May 19th! Since I have read this book at least twice, I have put the book back on my bookshelf and will probably read it one more time.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight