Thursday, December 31, 2015

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


Abide With Me: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout 
  Published as: Abide With Me in March 2006
Publisher: Random House


Birth Name: Elizabeth Strout
Born: 6 January 1956 in Portland, Maine

Canonical Name: Elizabeth Strout
Pseudonyms: None

Abide With Me: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout was the eighty-third book that I read in 2015. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since September 29, 2015 and it took me two days to read. This book is definitely a keeper for me.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Debbie Macomber - 8 Sandpiper Way

85. 8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber (2008)
The Cedar Cove Series Book 8
Length: 377 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 29 December 2015
Finished: 31 December 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

There aren't that many secrets to keep in a close-knit community like Cedar Cove, Washington. So, when Emily Flemming finds an earring in her husband's pocket, she is understandably upset. The lost earring is definitely not hers, and Emily is worried that her husband Dave might be having an affair. She doesn't want to believe that Dave could or would cheat on her, but he's been acting so strangely lately that she just can't be certain.

Dave Flemming is a pastor - a loving husband and a wonderful father to their two boys; he truly is a good, upstanding, moral man - and Emily is deeply ashamed of her thoughts. However, she just can't stop herself from thinking this way. There's just something different about her husband, and she can't put her finger on what it is exactly. She has just learned that some jewelry was recently stolen from an elderly woman's house - and Dave used to visit the lady quite a bit.

Emily can't believe that Dave is guilty of doing anything illegal - that's just not in his nature. However, since he doesn't tell her where he's been when he comes home so late - she can't help but wonder just what is happening with him. Something is definitely going on with Dave; something certainly seems wrong with him, and Emily is determined to find out just what it is.

First of all, let me say that I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick and easy read for me, and a fairly pleasant way to spend a couple of days. I certainly appreciated having the list of characters at the beginning of the book; it was really helpful to know who was who as I was reading.

I must say that the story's plot actually wasn't all that difficult to follow. The storyline itself was pretty simple, and nothing really mind-blowing or overly dramatic happened; at least in my opinion. Although, I would still give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I Guess my 'Puzzle Mania' Comes in Waves!

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, among my Christmas presents, I received four jigsaw puzzles - two from Mareena and two from our friend Lisa. I decided to start doing a 1,000-piece puzzle on Christmas Day. It was actually fairly difficult to do because the puzzle is so detailed. The picture was of a herd of elephants - pink elephants! LOL!!!

Anyway, I finished the puzzle this afternoon and then decided to start reading 8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber. I actually acquired this book from the most recent Library Book Sale that Mareena and I went to on Wednesday afternoon. I started reading it this evening. I'm not that far into the story yet, but it looks like it's going to be good.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, December 25, 2015

Tracy Michele Leininger - Alone Yet Not Alone: Based on the True Story of Barbara and Regina Leininger

84. Alone Yet Not Alone: Based on the True Story of Barbara and Regina Leininger by Tracy Michele Leininger (2001)
Length: 203 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 24 December 2015
Finished: 25 December 2015
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Tracy Michele Leininger is a new author for me.

Nestled high among the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, lies a lush green valley which the Native Americans have named Buffalo Valley. Very few immigrants have managed to tame the wilderness of the American frontier to settle in such a lush valley - named Penn's Creek by the settlers - yet the handful of settlers who were successful had lived peacefully among themselves and with their Native American neighbors for many years. One such family of settlers was the Leininger family; recently arrived from Germany.

Even as the French and Indian War raged around them, the Leininger family - twenty-year-old Christian, nineteen-year-old John, fifteen-year-old Barbara, nine-year-old Regina and their parents - remained relatively safe. The autumn of 1755 had bestowed many gifts upon them - not only in terms of Nature's rich beauty, but also in terms of a bountiful harvest. Indeed, it seemed as if the entire valley rejoiced along with the Leiningers in the fullness of the season. However, their peaceful frontier life could not last forever.

General Braddock and his army had been defeated and soon the Pennsylvania settlers would suffer the bloody effects of the French and Indian War. On October 16, 1755 - a band of Indians, led by Allegheny warriors - stormed through Buffalo Valley, burned the Leiningers' log cabin, and captured the sisters. Few people survived the Penn's Creek Massacre and even fewer lived to tell the story of what happened. However, Regina makes a solemn promise to her older sister just before they are unwillingly separated from each other - each to endure vastly different fates.

Barbara is taken deep into the wilderness, but continues to hold on to the hope that she will someday be reunited with her little sister. Although she is adopted into the Indian tribe, there is a longing deep inside Barbara's soul that cannot be denied. She knows that she must escape - yet the penalty she will incur if she is caught is certain death. However, Barbara's dream of eventual freedom only grows stronger.

What could possibly make a young fifteen-year-old woman defy all the odds and plan such an undertaking? From whom did she draw the strength? Will she ever find her sister? And if she does, will Regina remember her promise?

First of all, let me say right away that I have always enjoyed reading books with inspirational, faith-based plots and this book was no different. However having said that, for my taste, this story seemed slightly over-religious. I still enjoyed this story very much, and must say that reading about the hardships experienced by the Pennsylvania settlers was heartbreaking. I would give this book a B+!

B+! - (85-89%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

May You All Have a Most Blessed Christmas!

MySpace background: CoolSpaceTricks.com
MySpace background: CoolSpaceTricks.com

Hello everyone! :) I hope that you all have a wonderful and much blessed Christmas filled with as much friendly and family togetherness as you could wish for. :) Both Mareena and I are feeling fine, although it's definitely not looking anything at all like Christmas - absolutely no snow, and yesterday's high was about 72 degrees Celsius outside!

The kitties are really getting into the Christmas spirit - 'Santa Paws' bought them a stocking full of catnip and kitty toys, and the purrs of thanks resounded around the room. Right at the moment, every one of the girls is sprawled about the room sleeping off their excess excitement. Fun was had by all - humans and kitties alike!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Elizabeth Strout - Abide With Me: A Novel

83. Abide With Me: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout (2006)
Length: 302 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Started: 22 December 2015
Finished: 24 December 2015
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 29 September 2015
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and had read and enjoyed Amy and Isabelle by this author in the past.

During the late 1950s, in the small New England town of West Annett, Maine, Reverend Tyler Caskey is a man struggling through a crisis of faith. Having recently suffered a terrible loss, Tyler finds it incredibly difficult to be the person he once was. He has always considered himself to be a man of strong faith, and a highly-respected minister to his congregation. Now, in the face of Tyler's crushing grief, he finds himself doubting everything about his life that he once took for granted.

In the opinion of his disapproving, hypercritical mother, Tyler's two daughters - two-year-old Jeanne and five-year-old Katherine - aren't being taken care of properly. He struggles to find the proper words in his sermons, and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own. He finds the personal counseling sessions with his parishioners to be fairly meaningless actually; especially when they don't seem to want to follow his advice.

He hasn't even been successful in finding the right words to help bring his daughter, Katherine, out of the vow of silence she has observed in the wake of the family's tragedy. Tyler's usually kind and patient congregation has now begun to quietly question his leadership and propriety, and soon, inexcusable accusations are born out of anger and gossip. Then, in Tyler's darkest hour of need, a startling new discovery will test his parishioners' humanity - and his own will to endure the trials that sooner or later test us all.

I must say that while this book was slightly difficult to get into; I still found the story riveting and poignant. As I said, I had a bit of trouble getting into the flow of the story, but it was only a temporary feeling. This was the type of book that I began to read compulsively, after the first few pages, because I avidly wanted to know what was going to happen next. Overall, I give this book a definite A+! 

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our Library Visit For December

Hello Everyone! How are you on this fine Wednesday? I'm doing just fine. :) Well, Mareena and I had hoped to go to our local library yesterday afternoon to do some Christmas shopping at the library's perpetual book sale. It ended up that we didn't actually go out yesterday because it rained the entire day. So, we just changed the day of our outing!

Mareena and I got to the library at approximately 12:30 P. M. and immediately went inside. Then we spent approximately an hour and a half happily perusing the Library Book Sale. By about 2:00 P. M., our downstairs tenant, Pamela, picked us up and dropped us off at Walmart to do some last minute Christmas shopping.

Between us, we bought 32 books at the Library Book Sale - 14 paperbacks, 8 oversized paperbacks and 10 hardcovers. We spent approximately $28 altogether. It turned out to be a fairly good haul for a Christmas shopping trip, if I do say so myself. ;) We actually were pretty restrained this time, completely filling up two canvas tote bags and that was all! :)

At the moment, I'm reading Abide With Me: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout which I started yesterday morning, December 22nd. Mareena had requested this book for me from Paperback Swap back in September, and I just started reading it early yesterday morning.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, December 21, 2015

My 'Puzzle Mania' is Waning!

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, for the past five days, I've been doing a thousand piece puzzle of a blacksmith's smithy situated next to a giant overhanging tree. I just finished the puzzle this afternoon and although it certainly wasn't the easiest puzzle to do, five days to finish a puzzle is a fairly short period of time for me.

As for my reading, I briefly set aside Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn on Friday afternoon, December 18th in favor of reading Susan Hill's The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story. I finished reading that book on Saturday afternoon, December 19th!

Since then, I've spent the past couple of days trying to figure out which book I wanted to read next. I'm sure that I'll get back to reading Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn again at some point, but I just don't know when. There's just so many good books on my bookshelf, that I can't seem to choose one! And Mareena and I are planning to go Christmas shopping at our local library's perpetual Book Sale tomorrow!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Susan Hill - The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story

82. The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill (2007)
Length: 145 pages 
Genre: Horror 
Started: 18 December 2015
Finished: 19 December 2015
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch 
How long has been on my TBR pile? Since 18 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like horror and had read and enjoyed The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by this author in the past.

On a particularly bitter January evening, Oliver visits his former tutor, Dr. Theo Parmitter. As the two men sit by the fireside in the professor's rooms at Cambridge - sipping brandy and reminiscing - Oliver notices an unusual painting hanging on the wall. The seventeenth-century oil painting of masked revellers at a masquerade in Venice draws his eye and utterly fascinates him. Although Oliver asks about the painting, Theo seems extremely reticent about revealing too much about the strange picture.

In order to satisfy his former student's profound curiosity, the elderly professor decides to reveal the painting's dark secret. It seems that the ominously dark art of the Venitian scene - instead of imitating life - has the power to entrap it. In fact, the picture is capable of such malevolence, that Dr. Parmitter feels the need to issue a stern warning.

According to his esteemed former tutor, Oliver is dabbling in something he doesn't understand. Indeed, to even stare at the picture for a prolonged period of time is to court danger. Staring into the painting can be viewed as an invitation to all manner of unseen demons, and to become a victim of the painting's enthralling and macabre beauty.

This is actually the second book by Susan Hill that I have read. I must say that as much as I sincerely enjoyed reading The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story, I also enjoyed reading this book just as much. In my opinion, Ms. Hill is a tremendous writer. She creates such a wonderfully eerie atmosphere with her writing style; I found the plot to be intricately woven and chillingly satisfying. I give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My 'Puzzle Mania' is Coming Back Again!

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 for perhaps the past month and a half, I haven't been doing any jigsaw puzzles although crosswords and sudoku puzzles have both been fair game. The jigsaw puzzle that I've finally decided to do is one that looks kind of difficult. It's a thousand piece puzzle of a blacksmith's smithy situated next to a giant overhanging tree. I actually enjoy doing fairly difficult jigsaw puzzles.

As for my reading, I finished reading An Act of Love by Nancy Thayer on Sunday evening, December 13th! Since then, I've spent a couple of days trying to figure out which book I wanted to read next. I finally settled on reading Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn, which I started yesterday afternoon - Tuesday, December 15th! It certainly seems like a promising book! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Nancy Thayer - An Act of Love

Reread. An Act of Love by Nancy Thayer (1997)
Length: 245 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Originally Read: 20 October 2013
Reread Finished: 13 December 2015
Where did it come from? Originally from Paperback Swap, then from my "keeper" shelf.

So, I think that I actually already have perhaps three or four books by Nancy Thayer in my library. I'm still trying to search through my bookshelves to find them, but haven't found all the books yet. Mareena requested this book for me as one of her 'just because' gifts for October of 2013. I had already read four books by Nancy Thayer when I received this one on October 7th, 2013.

I immediately started reading this book on October 18th, 2013, and it actually took me only two days to finish. I placed the book on my "keeper" shelf on October 20th, 2013. My reread took place over two days in December of 2015 - from December 11th, to December 13th, 2015. I think I will definitely be keeping this book to read again at some point.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, December 11, 2015

Danielle Steel - Big Girl: A Novel

80. Big Girl: A Novel by Danielle Steel (2010)
Length: 323 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 9 December 2015
Finished: 11 December 2015
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 24 June 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Victoria Dawson can't help but feel out of place in her family, especially living in a city as glamorous and body-conscious as Los Angeles. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender, and Victoria's mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired beauty. By comparison, Victoria was a chubby little girl with blonde hair, blue eyes, and rather ordinary looks. Needless to say, both her parents were intensely critical, outspoken, and noticeably disappointed by their daughter's ordinary appearance.

When Victoria was six years old, she saw a picture of Queen Victoria, and her father told her that she looked just like her. After the birth of Victoria's perfect little sister Grace, her father liked to refer to his firstborn as "our little tester cake". With the birth of Gracie, everyone agreed that Jim and Christina definitely did something right.

As hard as she tries, Victoria just can't seem to win the battle against her weight: as a young adult, she is still overly plump, and has an awful sweet tooth. While her parents and sister can eat anything they want and not gain an ounce, Victoria must watch everything she eats. She quietly endures her father's belittling comments about her body and watches her various academic achievements go unacknowledged by her family. Ice cream and oversized helpings of all the wrong foods may give Victoria some comfort, but only for a few moments.

The only thing Victoria knows is that she must get away from home, and so, after going to college in Chicago, she moves to New York City. Landing her dream job as a high school teacher, Victoria feels like she has finally found her niche: she absolutely loves working with her students and continues to wage a determined war on her weight at the gym. When Grace announces her engagement to a man who is an exact replica of their father, Victoria worries about her sister's future happiness. However, with no man of her own, Victoria can't help but feel like she is a failure once again.

Returning home to attend Grace's wedding, Victoria finds that not much has changed in her absence. Despite the continued tension with her parents, Victoria and Grace have always been close; and although the sisters could not look more different, they love each other unconditionally. Yet regardless of Victoria's many accomplishments, her parents attitudes toward her still haven't changed: they know just what to say to bring her down. She will always be her father's "big girl," and her mother's constant disapproval is equally as unkind.

Victoria has spent a lifetime trying to forget the numerous little occasions of thoughtlessness and cruelty - the various incidents of hurt and neglect perpetrated on her by her parents. But she has finally reached the point of no return; the point where even ice cream can no longer dull the pain. As the wedding draws near, a chance encounter, a deeply upsetting betrayal, and a family confrontation all lead to an unavoidable turning point for Victoria. She faces a tough challenge as she goes ahead in her life, as well as a difficult personal risk: to accept herself as she is, celebrate it, and eventually to claim the victories she has fought so hard for and deserves.

To be perfectly honest, this story was a little bit of a let down for me. I found it to be slightly repetitive and somewhat disappointing, although it was still a fairly enjoyable story - certainly Danielle Steel's typical writing style. This was fast-paced and easy reading for me, but overall it wasn't her most riveting storyline. I had to give this book a B+!

B+! - (85-89%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Maeve Binchy - A Week in Winter

79. A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy (2012)
Length: 326 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction 
Started: 4 December 2015
Finished: 8 December 2015
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Stoneybridge is a small resort town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. During the summers, the picturesque town's beautiful beaches are filled with tourists and their families - all carrying buckets and spades to play in the sand; building towering sandcastles and searching the shore for seashells. In the winters, few people would venture out into the frigid wilderness; yet those who brave the cold weather to walk along the beach and look out over the exposed windswept cliffs that make up the Atlantic coastline can't help but notice the dilapidated house on the cliff known as Stone House.

Against the sage advice of many, Geraldine 'Chicky' Starr has bought Stone House and has begun renovations of the old decaying mansion. Her plan is to turn the ramshackled house into a thriving vacationer's paradise, specializing in restful holidays by the sea. Not everyone believes that Chicky is entirely capable of turning Stone House into a lucrative business, but she has a vision for the place and is certain that she can make it work.

Helped out by Rigger, a local bad boy turned good who is also handy around the house and Orla, her niece, a truly remarkable business whiz, Chicky is soon ready to open the opulent mansion to the public. As she and her household make final preparations to welcome their first guests into Stone House's large, warm kitchen, roaring log fires, and understated, yet elegant bedrooms, Chicky is delighted at the initial interest shown in her little venture. The guestbook is filling out nicely, and the visitors seem to be thoroughly delightful people...

There is John, the American movie star, who thinks he has arrived to Stone House totally incognito. Winnie and Lillian are taking their holiday together; forced into a seemingly intolerable situation not of their choosing: 'getting to know one another' under duress. Nicola and Henry, husband and wife, have seen so much death while practicing medicine; both doctors have been shaken by their views of mortality and are left feeling overwhelmed and depressed.

Anders hates his father's business, but has a real talent for music. Miss Nell Howe, a retired schoolteacher, is highly critical of everything and leaves a day early, much to everyone's immense relief. The Walls are disappointed with having won this second place holiday in a contest where the grand prize was a trip to Paris. And Freda, the librarian, is frightened by her own psychic visions. Sharing a week with such an unlikely cast of characters should be pure joy, to Chicky's way of thinking.

This was Maeve Binchy's final novel and was finished just before her untimely death in July of 2012. I absolutely loved reading this book; it was typical Maeve Binchy for me: poignant, warm, and filled with characters that I couldn't help but fall in love with. I give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)


Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, December 4, 2015

Nancy Thayer - Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel

Reread. Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer (1999)
Length: 241 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Originally Read: 16 September 2014
Reread Finished: 4 December 2015
Where did it come from? Originally from Paperback Swap, then from my "keeper" shelf.

So, this book is another one that Mareena requested for me in September of 2014 as her 'just because' gift for September of last year. I had already read nine other books by Nancy Thayer, and was eagerly searching for another one to read. I received this book on September 15th, 2014 and immediately started to read it. It only took me a day to finish this book - from September 15th, to September 16th, 2014.

My reread took place over two days in December of 2015 - from December 2nd, to December 4th, 2015. I think I will definitely be keeping this book on my bookshelf - for a little while longer, at least - to read again in the future. I may be able to squeeze out one or two more readings yet. It's such a good book.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bentley Little - The Haunted

Reread. The Haunted by Bentley Little (2012)
Length: 389 pages
Genre: Horror
Originally Read: 13 October 2014
Reread Finished: 2 December 2015
Where did it come from? Originally from Paperback Swap, then from my "keeper" shelf.

I seem to be rereading quite a number of my books this year, but that's alright because they all seem to be spread out over the past twelve months. I think that this is approximately the twelfth reread that I have had this year, and that's not including the several books that I read twenty years ago and then reread this year. I actually enjoy reading books for a second or third time as I usually never remember the entire plot, so it's like reading a completely new book for me.

Anyway, I had already read two other books by Bentley Little when Mareena requested this book for me as her 'just because' gift for October of 2013. I received the book on October 12th, 2013, although I didn't read it for the first time until almost a full year later in October of 2014. I really don't understand why it took me so long to start reading the book, but it only took me three days - from October 10th, to October 13th, 2014 - to finish it.

My reread took me another three days - from November 30th, to December 2nd, 2015. I enjoyed the book so much that I've decided to keep it on my bookshelf. Hopefully, I'll read it again some time in the future.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Reading Wrap-up For November 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 November with 1,039 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,030 books unread. All the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and Bookmooch.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
- Lovers All Untrue: A Novel by Norah Lofts

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Unnatural Causes by P. D. James
- I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel by Laura Lippman
- The Golden Fleece by Norah Lofts
Telling Lies to Alice by Laura Wilson
- The Wednesday Sisters: A Novel by Meg Waite Clayton
- A Density of Souls: A Novel by Christopher Rice
- Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
Ripley's Believe it or Not!: Ghost Stories and Plays by Ripley's Enterprises, Inc.

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- Firestarter by Stephen King
- Big Stone Gap: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
- Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
- The Count and the Confession: A True Murder Mystery by John Taylor
- Ripley's Bureau of Investigation: Ripley's RBI: A Scaly Tale by Kay Wilkins

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Shack: A Novel by William P. Young
- Fatal Dosage by Gary Provost
- Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs
- Under Gemini by Rosamunde Pilcher
- All He Ever Wanted: A Novel by Anita Shreve
- Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson
- I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel by Laura Lippman
- Love in Bloom: A Novel by Sheila Roberts
- In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
- The Wednesday Sisters: A Novel by Meg Waite Clayton
- Wishes on the Wind by Elaine Barbieri

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

Books Read: 9
Pages Read: 2,506
Grade Range: A+! to C!

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

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


Lovers All Untrue: A Novel by Norah Lofts 
  Published as: Lovers All Untrue in June 1970
Publisher: Doubleday


Birth Name: Norah Robinson
Born: 27 August 1904 in Shipdham, Norfolk, England
Died: 10 September 1983 in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England

Canonical Name: Norah Lofts
Pseudonyms: Juliet Astley and Peter Curtis

Lovers All Untrue: A Novel by Norah Lofts was the sixty-eighth book that I read in 2015. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since April 7, 2009 and my second reading of this book took me three days to finish. This book is definitely still a keeper for me.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ripley Enterprises, Inc. - Ripley's Believe it or Not!: Ghost Stories and Plays

76. Ripley's Believe it or Not!: Ghost Stories and Plays by Ripley Enterprises, Inc. (1968)
The Ripley's Believe it or Not! Series Book 6
Length: 126 pages 
Genre: Horror 
Started: 28 November 2015
Finished: 29 November 2015
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 November 2015
Why do I have it? I like horror and Ripley's Believe it or Not! is a new series for me.

Each of these spine-chilling tales of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls is absolutely, one hundred percent true. Would you believe that a ghost would leave a map to a fifty-million-dollar silver mine? Is it possible that love could bring a dead woman back to life? Could a skeleton shoot its own murderer? 

Every one of these stories may seem totally beyond belief, yet they actually happened. In a book featuring sixteen eerie stories, nine spooky plays and twenty pages of ghostly cartoons, the eminent American cartoonist and entrepreneur, Robert Ripley's legacy of eccentricity survives. Believe it or Not!

To be perfectly honest, I didn't know that much about Robert Ripley before I read this book. I basically recognized his name and knew that he was a newspaper columnist who specialized in strange and unusual facts. Then, several weeks ago, Mareena and I watched a television documentary about the life of Robert Ripley and the creation of Ripley's Believe it or Not! as a worldwide phenomenon. I asked Mareena to see if she could find any Ripley's Believe it or Not! books and she did; I've received two books already, and two more books are coming soon.

I have to say that this book was thoroughly enjoyable. The ghost stories and plays are all purported to be true and are based on factually historical events. In my opinion, all these stories were absolutely amazing and so interesting.

Actually, none of the stories were tremendously detailed; they were just basically abrievated accounts of odd or inexplicable occurrences. The only section that I had a slight problem with were the plays - only because I didn't really understand how that particular style would properly portray what happened. Overall, I loved reading this book and give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, November 27, 2015

Emma Donoghue - Room: A Novel

75. Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue (2010)
Length: 361 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction 
Started: 25 November 2015
Finished: 27 November 2015
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 contemporary fiction and Emma Donoghue is a new author for me.

Jack is five years old. He loves watching 'SpongeBob Squarepants' and 'Dora the Explorer'. He loves playing 'Simon Says' and singing nursery rhymes with his Ma. He loves the candy and chocolates they sometimes get for Sundaytreat.

Jack loves his Ma. He loves Room. To Jack, Room is his entire world. Jack doesn't really understand why Ma doesn't love Room as much as he does.

Room is where Jack was born; it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, Ma makes sure to shut him safely into the wardrobe, where Jack is meant to sleep when Old Nick visits.

To Jack, Room means home; it means safety. But to Ma, Room means prison. Room is the place where Ma has been held for the past seven years.

Yet, her fierce love for her son has made it possible for her to make a life for him. She has created a life for both of them; inside this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's own desperation - and she knows for certain that Room cannot contain either for much longer.

I must say that I absolutely loved reading this book. Yes, it was an extremely difficult story to read; terrifyingly and heart-breakingly sad, but also remarkably funny in parts. In my opinion, Ms. Donoghue's writing style is absolutely fabulous; so riveting and poignant. This book is a gripping yet hopeful story - a truly fantastic novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, November 26, 2015

May You and Yours All Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!


I hope that all my blog readers in the United States have a very happy Thanksgiving! May your Thanksgiving be filled with great food, wonderful friendship and all the family ties that you may wish for. :) So, Mareena and I had turkey au jus, pan fried potatoes and potatoes au gratin; and stew meat. I had brussel sprouts while Mareena had canned pears for dessert. We also had an apple pie for dessert. After that, we may watch a movie or read books for the entire day! :)

May all of you have a wonderfully safe and blessed Thanksgiving. Be sure to find some quiet time for yourselves and count your blessings today when and if you can. I know that I'm incredibly thankful for my continued health and happiness, my daughter's continued health and happiness, that we are both comfortable and love each other as much as we do, and that our family is as well as they are. We are also incredibly thankful for our three kitties - Ruby, Leila and Lollipop.

I also hope that everyone who is away from their families at this time, will know that they are sorely missed, truly loved and deeply appreciated by all! God bless all of you, may you have a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Christopher Rice - A Density of Souls: A Novel

74. A Density of Souls: A Novel by Christopher Rice (2000)
Length: 307 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 20 November 2015
Finished: 24 November 2015
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 contemporary mysteries and Christopher Rice is a new author for me.

Meredith, Brandon, Stephen and Greg were practically inseparable as children; playing hide and seek and constantly riding their bikes together through the New Orleans woods. The four friends shared an unbreakable bond and an undeniable connection with each other that they all believed would last forever. Such strong friendship should last forever; but teenagers can be fickle.

By the time Meredith, Brandon, Stephen and Greg enter high school, something has changed within the dynamic of their friendship. Suddenly, the four young friends are living drastically different lives; and deep feelings of envy, rage, and secret passions have succeeded in tearing their friendship apart. Soon, two violent deaths irrevocably disrupt the core of what these friends once shared, and they all go their separate ways - certain that they will never see each other ever again.

Five years later, the friends are reunited with each other. And, when one of the mysterious deaths that initially drove them apart is discovered to have actually been murder, secrets once thought to be deeply buried begin to unravel. And the casual cruelties inflicted by thoughtless high school students from the past, suddenly have the potential to develop into acts of brutal violence that threaten to engulf an entire city in the present.

First of all, let me say that I initially thought that this mystery was really quite good. I wanted so much to like this book. I thought the premise was intriguing and I found myself really feeling for the characters and what they were going through. However, by about halfway through the book, I noticed that the story was starting to slide slightly off track for me.

I wasn't quite sure why I felt this way at first, but was finally able to put my finger on the specific reason for these feelings. In my opinion, as a debut novel, this began off as an intriguing mystery and initially had such promise. However, I must say that I found Mr. Rice's writing style to be incredibly detailed and somewhat overwritten at times - some of the overly descriptive passages were hard for me to follow. Overall, I was disappointed to discover that this book was ultimately just not my cup of tea - I had to give it a C!

C! - (70-75%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, November 20, 2015

Meg Waite Clayton - The Wednesday Sisters: A Novel

73. The Wednesday Sisters: A Novel by Meg Waite Clayton (2008)
The Wednesday Series Book 1
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 16 November 2015
Finished: 20 November 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 April 2013
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Meg Waite Clayton is a new author for me.

During the late 1960s, five totally different women find themselves consistently meeting together every Wednesday at a park in Palo Alto, California. Initially defined by what their husbands do, these young homemakers and mothers are all fairly far removed from the Summer of Love. The 'Wednesday Sisters', as the ladies begin to call themselves - Frankie, Linda, Kath, Ally and Brett - actually don't seem to have much more in common with each other beyond a shared love of literature and the 'Miss America Pageant'.

Frankie is a timid transplant from Chicago; brutally honest and blunt Linda is a remarkable athlete; Kath is a Kentucky-bred debutante; quiet Ally has a secret that she has been keeping to herself; and quirky, ultra-intelligent Brett always makes sure to wear white gloves with her miniskirts. Yet somehow these five women find a way - over the course of nearly four decades - to redefine the meaning of the word family. By sharing their mutual admiration for the work of such authors as F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier, Sylvia Plath, and Charles Dickens and watching the 'Miss America Pageant' on television together each year; the ladies form an extraordinarily strong and lasting bond that will sustain all of them through the years.

As the years roll on and their children grow older, the quintet forms a writers' circle to express their hopes and dreams through writing poetry, stories, and, eventually, books. Along the way, this talented sisterhood also experiences history in the making - Vietnam, the race to put a man on the moon, and a women's movement that challenges everything that they have ever thought about themselves. All the while, the ladies support each other through the various personal struggles that they experience in their own lives: the changes to each of them that come from infedelity, longing, illness, failure, and success. The Wednesday Sisters is a humorous and poignant novel; a literary feast for book lovers that earns a place among those popular works that honor the joyful, mysterious, unbreakable bonds between friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, the story was very well-written and wonderfully historically detailed; I found that this author worked the various historical events into the story in a realistic and completely believable way. While I appreciated the detailed historical context - and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because of it - I must say that I actually loved reading the stories of the 'Wednesday Sisters' themselves; their own personal life stories, slightly more than the historical context. I would give this book a definite A+! and am eagerly awaiting the chance to read Ms. Clayton's sequel: The Wednesday Daughters.

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Laura Wilson - Telling Lies to Alice

72. Telling Lies to Alice by Laura Wilson (2004)
(Originally Published as: Hello Bunny Alice) (2003)
Length: 305 pages 
Genre: Historical Mystery 
Started: 13 November 2015
Finished: 15 November 2015
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 12 November 2015
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

In 1967, nightclub waitress Alice Conway met Lenny Maxted - one half of England's legendary comedic duo, 'Maxted and Flowers' - and fell deeply in love with him. Yet, like so many great comedians before him, Lenny had a troubled side - a dark side which even Alice, soon his fiancĂ©e, could never reach. So it comes as a devastating blow to the entertainment community when it learns that Lenny Maxted committed suicide on an earl's estate. However, no one could possibly be more shattered by Lenny's inexplicable death than Alice herself, who found his body.

Now it's seven years later, and Alice is living quietly on an isolated farm in Oxfordshire, still trying to forget the pain of her past. Traumatized by having been the focus of so many newspaper tabloid-style headlines, and continuously haunted by her vivid nightmares of Lenny's death - Alice's serenity has practically been demolished. When an anonymous newspaper clipping arrives in the mail, everything immediately comes rushing back. Despite spending years in self-imposed isolation, and the beauty of her chosen safe haven, Alice knows that she can't ignore the past for very much longer...

And when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep, and another venomous newspaper article arrives, Alice is certain: The nightmare is somehow beginning all over again. What happens next will take Alice on a terrifying journey into darkness...because someone is telling lies to Alice about what happened one night seven years ago. Someone who knows the full truth about what really happened that terrible night - a monstrous secret that has been kept for seven years; a dark secret that ultimately links a time, a place, and a group of friends and lovers. A secret that will put Alice in mortal danger.

This is actually the third book by Ms. Wilson that I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one as much as I did the other two. In my opinion, this was a very intriguing mystery. The plot was just intricate enough to hold my attention, but not overly complicated. I appreciated that I had absolutely no problem following this story. I give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Norah Lofts - The Golden Fleece

71. The Golden Fleece by Norah Lofts (1943)
(Originally Published as: Michael and All Angels) (1943)
Length: 238 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 10 November 2015
Finished: 12 November 2015
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 7 November 2015
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

On a particularly chilly morning in the autumn of 1817, Will Oakley - the proprietor of a roadside inn called 'The Fleece' - is just beginning his day. He is a forty-four-year-old widower; the father of two fully-grown daughters - Myrtle and Harriet - who also help their father run the inn. When a coach from Ipswich arrives at 'The Fleece', the Oakley family and their servants have absolutely no idea how much their lives will forever be altered by meeting its passengers. A strange, motley company of individuals is discharged from the Ipswich coach and each person within that group has the potential to irrevocably change the lives of everyone who calls 'The Fleece' their home.

Despite his hospitable position of landlord, Will Oakley is a quiet, secretive man. He is seen by others as being slightly standoffish, but he is actually a man who is more than what he seems; a man with a past that he has kept carefully hidden. Jonathan Smail has recently arrived at 'The Fleece', and is delighted to have become reacquainted with his old friend, Will. He knows all about Will's deepest, darkest secrets actually, and is quite willing to make his good friend pay...by any means necessary.

Myrtle is Will's older daughter. She is a beautiful, generous, and bright-spirited soul - pleasant and witty, and hopelessly in love with a man she can never have. Roger Moreton is young, aristocratic and careless. He may love Myrtle, but a simple innkeeper's daughter would never do for a marriage proposal. Roger sought a wealthy wife to pay his debts.

Harriet, Will's younger daughter, is practical and level-headed; so different from her sister, Myrtle. She may not be as vivacious or as winsome as her sister - she is certainly no beauty - yet she is far more courageous than many people would expect.

I have to say that as surprising as it may seem, this is one of the very few novels by Norah Lofts that I haven't read before. In my opinion, it seemed slightly different from her typical writing style, but I couldn't quite pin down why. The story was beautifully written and well-developed, and as with the majority of Ms. Lofts' work, she has completely captured the time period.

Personally, I had a little bit of trouble getting into the story, but once I did, I was completely swept away by Ms. Lofts - as usual. I will certainly be keeping this book to read again; but I give this book a full-fledged A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Laura Lippman - I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel

70. I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel by Laura Lippman (2010)
(Originally Published as: Don't Look Back) (2010)
Length: 373 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 5 November 2015
Finished: 10 November 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 16 August 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Laura Lippman is a new author for me.

Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life. She is happily married to her successful husband Peter, and the couple have two precocious children - thirteen-year-old Iso and eight-year-old Albie. Yet Eliza's tranquility is suddenly and inexplicably shattered when she receives a letter from the one person from her past she never thought she would hear from again. He is, in fact, the last person she ever expects - or even wants - to hear from: Walter Bowman.

With his simple statement: "There was your photo, in a magazine. Of course, you are older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere." - Walter Bowman has the disturbing ability to turn strong, self-assured thirty-eight-year-old Eliza Benedict, back into a desperate, frightened teenager named Elizabeth Lerner. In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had already killed at least one girl by the time he took Eliza, and she always suspected that he had other victims as well.

Now sitting on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim - a thirteen-year-old girl - Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Although Eliza wants absolutely nothing to do with him, she has also never forgotten that Walter was always the most unpredictable when he was ignored. Desperate to shield her children from the undisclosed trauma in her past, she cautiously makes contact with Walter. She's actually always wondered why Walter let her live; perhaps now he'll tell her. And finally reveal the truth about his other victims.

Yet, as Walter continues to press Eliza for more frequent contact and a deeper connection, it quickly becomes evident that he has ulterior motives. He wants Eliza to remember what actually happened to her during that long-ago summer. He is after something far greater than forgiveness. He wants her to save his life.

And Eliza, who has worked so hard for her comfortable, cocooned life, will do absolutely anything to protect it...to maintain her hard-won serenity - even if it means finally facing the events of that horrifying summer and the terrible truth she's kept buried deep inside. I'd Know You Anywhere is an edgy, gripping tale of psychological manipulation that will leave readers breathless. This is a tremendous novel about fear, intimidation and survival from the acclaimed, award-winning author Laura Lippman.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was an incredibly vivid portrayal of the psychological scars that are left behind by a single traumatic experience. Laura Lippman is a new author for me and this is the first of her books that I've ever read, but I will certainly keep her name on top of my wishlist. I give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

P. D. James - Unnatural Causes

69. Unnatural Causes by P. D. James (1967)
The Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries Series Book 3
Length: 256 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 2 November 2015
Finished: 4 November 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 May 2001
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and P. D. James is a new author for me.

Maurice Seton was a distinguished mystery writer living in the tiny town of Suffolk, England. He may have come to prominence through his books, but no murder that he had ever devised for one of his stories could possibly have been as grisly as his own. When his gruesomely mutilated corpse is found in the bottom of a dinghy, drifting just within sight of the lakeshore, ripples of shock and horror spread among the tightly-knit circle of Maurice's bizarre friends.

Scotland Yard Inspector Adam Dalgliesh was supposed to be on vacation, visiting his eccentric Aunt Jane. To be perfectly honest, he is actually looking for some time off; some time away from crime and death. However, it would seem that crime and death never got the message, and Inspector Dalgliesh soon finds himself investigating the murder of Maurice Seton. His primary list of suspects seems to come from the close-knit circle of Maurice's self-described friends; certainly an unusually odd bunch of people, if truth be told.

There is a cynical and cruel drama critic, a voluptuous burlesque showgirl, a dissolute young heir, and a young woman who is absolutely terrified that she may become the killer's next victim. Inspector Dalgliesh and his extraordinary aunt Jane are following a tantalizing trail of sin and scandal. And they must make sure that they are on the right track to discovering a dead man's secrets, because if the sleuths are wrong, this perilous plot is bound to take another twisted and murderous turn...

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The mystery itself wasn't too taxing and I found it easy to follow. I also appreciated that there weren't that many characters in the story; I usually find myself getting confused if there are too many characters to remember.

Anyway, I know that I have several other books by P. D. James on my bookshelf, but I haven't found them yet; they are so well hidden. I will say that this was the first book by Ms. James that I've actually read, although I have started to read one or two in the past. For whatever reason, I was unable to really get into either book and had to set them aside for a while. Although I would happily give this book an A+! Guess I'll be looking out those other two P. D. James books next!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Norah Lofts - Lovers All Untrue: A Novel

68. Lovers All Untrue: A Novel by Norah Lofts (1970)
Length: 252 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Started: 30 October 2015
Finished: 1 November 2015
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 7 April 2009
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

A carefully detailed portrait of Victorian England serves as the background for this ultimately tragic story of two young women taking their first eager and awkward steps towards adulthood. For the Draper sisters; headstrong Marion and her more docile-natured sister Ellen, living under their father's thumb has reached nearly intolerable levels. Their father is a strict disciplinarian, a controlling, domineering man who seeks only to stifle his daughters youthful exuberance and incipient passions.

From the inevitable conflict that is created by such strong personalities living under the same roof, arises feelings of frustration and bitterness. The struggles of a young woman who is trying to escape an impossible situation by finding love, quickly deteriorate to the point of no return. What should be easy and natural in the life of a young, passionate girl, however, is not, and her circumstances go from bad to worse.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found myself completely swept away by this story. In my opinion, this is typical Norah Lofts fare - a superbly-crafted plot and intriguing story; filled with well-developed and believable characters, and realistically suspenseful gothic atmosphere. I give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Reading Wrap-up For October 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 October with 1,041 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,036 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
- Gad's Hall: A Novel of the Supernatural by Norah Lofts

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Amateur Marriage: A Novel by Anne Tyler
- Flowers in the Rain and Other Stories by Rosamunde Pilcher
- End in Tears by Ruth Rendell
- The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- The Brownstone by Ken Eulo
- The Bloodstone by Ken Eulo
- The Deathstone by Ken Eulo

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Heartwood: A Novel by Belva Plain
- Twins: A Novel by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland
- Save the Last Dance For Me by Judi Miller
- Soul/Mate by Rosamond Smith
- Groundswell: A Novel by Katie Lee
- Man, Woman and Child by Erich Segal
- Gad's Hall: A Novel of the Supernatural by Norah Lofts
- Myself, my Enemy by Jean Plaidy
- End in Tears by Ruth Rendell

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: 1,481
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was October. 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, October 31, 2015

October'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. October's Book of the Month is:
  Published as: Gad's Hall in September 1977
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton, Ltd


Birth Name: Norah Robinson
Born: 27 August 1904 in Shipdham, Norfolk, England
Died: 10 September 1983 in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England

Canonical Name: Norah Lofts
Pseudonyms: Juliet Astley and Peter Curtis

Gad's Hall: A Novel of the Supernatural by Norah Lofts was the sixty-third book that I read in 2015. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since December 22, 2011 and my third reading of this book took me four days days to finish. I sent this book off to another good home on October 15, 2015.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, October 23, 2015

Anita Shreve - The Pilot's Wife

67. The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve (1998)
The Fortune's Rocks Series Book 3
Length: 293 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 20 October 2015
Finished: 23 October 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 October 2000
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

As the wife of an airline pilot, Kathryn Lyons understands the importance of being prepared for every eventuality that life presents to her. That includes everything from moving fairly frequently; to long periods of separation due to her husband's flight schedule; to the inevitable late-night knock at the door that every pilot's wife dreads. Yet when Kathryn receives such a knock: carrying word that the plane flown by her husband, Jack, has exploded somewhere off the coast of Ireland, she must confront the unfathomable - one startling revelation at a time.

Soon drawn into a maelstrom of publicity fueled by the persistent rumors that Jack had led a secret double life, Kathryn sets out to discover the truth. She is determined to learn just who her husband really was, whatever that knowledge might cost herself and her fifteen-year-old daughter. Her exhaustive search for the truth is what propels this taut and impassioned novel as it poignantly explores the question: just how well can we ever really know a person?

I must say that I absolutely loved this book. It was such an easy read for me; truly a page-turner. I've had this book on my bookshelf for quite a long time, but I can't remember if I have ever read it before. I think that I remember watching the made-for-television movie that was broadcast in 2002, starring Christine Lahti. I would definitely give this book an A+!

A+! -(96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ruth Rendell - End in Tears

66. End in Tears by Ruth Rendell (2005)
The Chief Inspector Wexford Mysteries Series Book 20
Length: 323 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 17 October 2015
Finished: 20 October 2015
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 contemporary mysteries and have read and enjoyed A Sight For Sore Eyes by this author in the past.

At first there was no reason to link the killings. In fact, the first death could easily have been called an accident. When the car driven by Mavis Ambrose is struck by a falling chunk of concrete and she is killed, the police have absolutely no reason to suspect foul play in her death. However, the bludgeoning of gorgeous eighteen-year-old Amber Marshalson that follows several months later is clearly murder.

In the midst of the hottest summer on record, Inspector Wexford is called in to investigate the Marshalson case. He quickly discovers a potential link between Mavis' death and Amber's murder: Amber was driving the car directly behind Mavis' when the piece of concrete crushed it. Whatever other ties both cases might have, Inspector Wexford is certain of one thing: whoever wanted the teenager dead was willing to kill twice. 

When a third body is found, the case takes a completely unexpected and quite a darkly disturbing turn. And as Inspector Wexford investigates the case further - the darker such realities become. In fact, the more Inspector Wexford digs into the case - and the closer that he gets to solving it - the more it inevitably leaves him feeling adrift; absolutely lost in a world that is seemingly without morals. 

I have always enjoyed reading Ruth Rendell's books and this one was no exception. I have actually read several earlier books from this series many, many years ago. However, while I'm not sure if it is because this is a later mystery in a rather long series or not, I will say that I found the mystery to be remarkably more complex than I was expecting. I had some trouble keeping all the characters straight in my mind, so the mystery became just the slightest bit confusing to me. Despite that, I would still give this book an A! 

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Rosamunde Pilcher - Flowers in the Rain and Other Stories

65. Flowers in the Rain and Other Stories by Rosamunde Pilcher (1991)
Length: 277 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started: 13 October 2015
Finished: 17 October 2015
Where did it come from? My friend Noeleen got married in March of 2011, but before the wedding she needed to purge some of her books in the process of merging two households.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 11 April 2010
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

In this second collection of short stories written after 1985's The Blue Bedroom and Other Stories, Rosamunde Pilcher writes all about love and the pinings of the heart. From the familial style to the bittersweet pang of first love, these sixteen stories showcase all the joys and sorrows experienced by a variety of lively and unique characters. Whether it's a mother's love for her son expressed as she talks to him on the morning of his wedding, or a son's enduring love for his widowed mother and sister, or a headstrong girl's first encounter with love and heartbreak: each story is written with Rosamunde Pilcher's usual warmth, flair, and wisdom.

While millions of readers have become fans of her work through reading her best-selling novels, Rosamunde Pilcher has also been writing short stories for over fifty years. Through a variety of vivid settings the reader is transported back to a simpler time and place; into a thriving world of hope and romance that has become this author's trademark. Flowers in the Rain and Other Stories leaves absolutely no doubt that Rosamunde Pilcher is that rare style of writer whose every work is like a gift of love.

In my opinion, this was a really enjoyable book to read. These are sixteen 'feel good' stories; truly heartwarming and emotionally-satisfying, just all-around delighful reading. I must say that none of the stories were all that complex or taxing for me to read; they were just nice, nice stories. I would certainly give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight