Saturday, December 31, 2016

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:


The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins
  Published as: The Crooked Branch in March 2013
Publisher: New American Library (NAL)



Birth Name: Jeanine Cummins
Born: in Spain (grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland)

Canonical Name: Jeanine Cummins
Pseudonyms: None

The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins was the fifty-sixth book that I read in 2016. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since December 8, 2016 and it only took me two days to read. This book is definitely still a keeper for me. 

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I Think That my Reading Pace is Back up to Speed - Maybe!

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.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't feeling all that great over Christmas, so Mareena and I pretty much did what we did for Holloween and Thanksgiving. That meant that we basically watched television all day, read and I did sum-doku puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. It was a quiet Christmas, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I'm also delighted to learn that The Exorcist will be played on IFC on Friday, December 30th at 2:15 P. M.

Anyway, I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 53 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!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Point Hollow: A Novel by Rio Youers, which I finished on Tuesday, December 27th! Mareena had also requested a book for me: The Killer Department by Robert Cullen that arrived on Christmas Eve - Saturday afternoon, December 24th! It's the true story of the nearly two decade manhunt for Andrei Chickatilo - Russia's first known serial killer.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rio Youers - Point Hollow: A Novel

58. Point Hollow: A Novel by Rio Youers (2015)
Length: 306 pages
Genre: Horror 
Started: 23 December 2016
Finished: 27 December 2016
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 22 December 2016
Why do I have it? I like horror and Rio Youers is a new author for me.

Point Hollow, New York is such a lovely little town - an idyllic tourist town filled with picturesque streets and stunningly beautiful scenery. It is certainly quintessential America - a place to where tourists come every summer to stroll through Point Hollow's quiet streets and hike its scenic nature trails. However, Point Hollow, New York is also a town with many secrets.

No one knows of the town's terrible history; of the secrets that have remained buried for so long - forgotten by so many. No one sees the delicate cracks in the close-knit town's facade. But Abraham's Faith, the mountain that overshadows Point Hollow, sees everything. And the imposing mountain has never forgotten, will never forget...

Because Abraham's Faith is wicked and controlling; it has always been the keeper of Point Hollow's deepest, darkest, most diabolical secrets. And the mountain has kept hold of the innocent souls of the town's children for decades. It has even become their burial ground...

Oliver Wray is Point Hollow's favorite son, its most generous benefactor, loved and admired by all. But Oliver, like the town, has a secret: Abraham's Faith speaks to him, and he has spent a lifetime serving its cruel needs; fulfilling the mountain's darkest desires. Oliver believes that his secret is safe, but one person has glimpsed the darkness in his heart...

Matthew Bridge hasn't set foot in Point Hollow for the past twenty-six years. Something happened to him there so long ago; something so horrifying that Matthew has spent decades trying to forget the trauma. However, as much as Matthew tries to move on with his life, he just can't. Memories of his ordeal continue to haunt him, to flicker through his memory and taunt the recesses of his mind - never to be fully recalled.

Now, determined to find the answers to his recently failed marriage and his equally failing life, Matthew is coming home again. Back to Point Hollow, New York. Back to Abraham's Faith...to confront his past and claim his future.

Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, Mr. Youers has a remarkably fertile imagination and I really wanted to see how the story would develop. The horror of the plot itself was certainly fantastic, but was used in such a way that the story seemed entirely plausible. The story was fast-paced and well-developed - I would definitely give this book an A+! 

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Christmas to You All!

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

So, in honor of the day, I would like to wish all my wonderful followers the happiest of Christmases. May your holiday be filled with great food, wonderful friendship and all the family ties that you may wish for. :) I have to say that Mareena and I actually ate a pared down dinner because I honestly wasn't feeling all that well - I have had a little bit of a stomachache, and have been feeling slightly off for some reason. So, we just had some wonderful stew meat, pan-fried potatoes and sliced ham. Mareena also had canned pears on the side.

After that, we will take a bit of a nap, watch some television, then kick up our feet and read books for the rest of the day! :)

So once again, may all of you have a wonderfully safe and blessed Christmas and a terrific holiday season. May you also have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

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 holiday season! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Daniel Rhodes - Next, After Lucifer

57. Next, After Lucifer by Daniel Rhodes (1987)
The Courdeval Trilogy Book 1
Length: 258 pages
Genre: Horror 
Started: 19 December 2016
Finished: 22 December 2016
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 13 July 2016
Why do I have it? I like horror and had read and enjoyed Adversary by the same author in the past.

Evil never truly dies. It may sleep for centuries, only to reawaken when innocent souls least expect it. Yet, once such malevolence has made its mark - permeating the lives of modern people and filling their hearts with abject fear - it is always difficult to fully eradicate its touch; even among people who have never dreamed that the supernatural might actually exist.

While on sabbatical somewhere in the south of France - in the beautifully remote village of Saint-Bertrand - medieval history professor John McTell and his new wife Linden have recently rented a secluded villa. The newlyweds have decided to spend the next several months together seeing the sights and settling into their fledgling marriage. Professor McTell is initially drawn to the village of Saint-Bertrand because of its charming scenery and its historical significance.

He also finds himself oddly fascinated by the tales of local lore: most especially by the legend of Guilhem de Courdeval - a renegade Knight Templar, allegedly burned at the stake in 1307 for heresy and dark sorcery. While it is certainly an intriguing story, John finds himself strangely captivated by the dark sorcerer himself. Determined to learn more about Guilhem de Courdeval, the professor sets out to investigate the crumbling ruins of the knight's fortress.

According to the fantastic stories told by superstitious villagers, the sorcerer's malevolent soul has apparently remained imprisoned within carved and blessed stone for centuries. As skeptical of these stories as he may be, John still feels compelled to investigate them anyway. Unfortunately, his investigations will not only threaten his very soul, but could also potentially unleash a diabolically evil presence - to again stalk the land and claim its next victim.

In my opinion, this was a very intriguing book to read. I was utterly captivated by the story, and it definitely held my attention all the way through. I found that there was always something happening in the plot, the pace never slowed or became bogged down in any way. I would certainly give this book an A+! 

Daniel Rhodes is actually a pseudonym for prolific thriller author Neil McMahon; and was used for the four horror novels that he published in the late 1980s. I actually had the pleasure of reading Mr. Rhodes' second published novel Adversary about twenty years ago. Both books have since been put back on my bookshelf and I think that I will keep them to read again later.

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

We Have Christmas Day Off!

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, as Sunday, December 25th is actually Christmas Day, Mareena and I taped last week's show - Sunday, December 18th's - to be rebroadcast for this week. So that means that we get to have Christmas Day off. We are so excited that we get the chance to relax and do nothing for the entire day!

Anyway, I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 44 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!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins, which I finished on Thursday, December 15th! Mareena told me that she had put this book on our joint wishlist about three years ago, and that it had just become available in late November. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it was just wonderful.

Since then, I have been trying to narrow down my choices for another book to read. I finally picked Next, After Lucifer by Daniel Rhodes, and started reading it yesterday evening - Monday, December 19th! According to Goodreads, as of today - Tuesday, December 20th - I've actually read 45 pages out of 272 in Next, After Lucifer by Daniel Rhodes; or approximately 16 percent. Since my copy of Next, After Lucifer by Daniel Rhodes is actually 258 pages, reading 45 pages means that I have read approximately 17 percent of the story so far.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Well Surprise, Surprise!

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, Mareena and I were just channel surfing the other night - on Tuesday night, December 13th - and we happened to catch Shutter Island just starting. I had no idea that the movie was actually going to be broadcast so soon after I read the book, but Mareena and I decided to watch the movie anyway. About an hour into the movie - which was actually much darker than I was expecting, although still really, really enjoyable - the cable box cut out. Mareena and I just looked at each other, looked at the television screen, and then Mareena grabbed the remote control to attempt a channel search.

It turned out that while the cable was still connected, several of the channels that we sometimes watched were not available. Actually, our cable company has been doing this type of thing (moving or completely removing certain channels, but continuing to increase our cable bill) for quite a while now, and we were just about reaching the end of our patience with them. So, on yesterday morning - Saturday, December 17th - we changed over our cable company; and everything seems to be working fine for us, so far.

We watched the tenth episode of 'The Exorcist', which aired on Friday night, December 16th. This show is so good, and I hope that it comes back for a second season, but if it doesn't the show definitely ended well, I suppose. Actually, although 'The Exorcist' seems to have dropped slightly in the ratings, the show also seems to have garnered a core fan base for itself as well. Mareena is surfing the internet, and apparently there is a twitter campaign being run with #renewtheexorcist as the 'hashtag'. I'm not quite sure how much this hashtag campaign will ultimately help, but definitely count Mareena and myself as supporters of it - #renewtheexorcist!

Anyway, I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 42 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!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins, which I finished on Thursday, December 15th! Mareena told me that she had put this book on our joint wishlist about three years ago, and that it had just become available in late November. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it was just wonderful.

I haven't actually chosen another book to read as yet, although I do have quite a few on my radar. Since I finished The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins on Thursday, December 15th, I've decided to do a jigsaw puzzle or two. As of today, I'm just about finishing up my third puzzle out of the box of twelve that I thought I put away in my collection on Wednesday afternoon, November 30th! I started doing the puzzle on Thursday night, December 15th, and surprisingly, it appears to have only took me three days to finish the puzzle.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jeanine Cummins - The Crooked Branch: A Novel

56. The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins (2013)
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 13 December 2016
Finished: 15 December 2016
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 December 2016
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Jeanine Cummins is a new author for me.

After the birth of her daughter, Emma, first-time mother Majella finds herself feeling extremely strange - almost like she has somehow become separated or disconnected from herself and her family. The usually resilient and self-deprecating young woman suddenly feels isolated and exhausted - feelings which she slowly comes to realize reach far beyond simply being overwhelmed by her recent introduction to new motherhood. Trying to better understand her extraordinary feelings of 'differential otherness', Majella understands that no matter how much they may love her, her family just can't help her in this particular situation; so she seeks out professional help.

Late one night, while investigating the source of a strange sound up in her attic, Majella discovers the diary of her maternal ancestor - Ginny Doyle. While it is encouraging for Majella to find Ginny's diary - and to again feel the spark of a connection toward this tough and determined woman, Majella is nevertheless shocked to read a story of murder in her family history. Disturbed to think that she may be genetically predisposed to acts of violence herself, Majella sets out to explore Ginny's past.

With the ravages of the famine upon her, a terrified and distraught Ginny Doyle fled from Ireland to America. Although she was eventually able to acquire passage for herself and her children, not all of Ginny's family were able to escape and to start over fresh in their lives. So, what actually happened during those harrowing years, and just why does Ginny continue to call herself a killer?

Despite the centuries that separate them, Majella is heartened to learn that her ancestor Ginny was in so many ways a woman just like herself - just a mother struggling to find a way to raise and protect her young children. Ginny's battles may have been more fundamental than Majella's - as she struggled to keep her young family alive during the time of Ireland's Great Hunger - yet Majella can't deny the strong connection that she still feels towards Ginny. However, does the fierce tenderness that Majella begins to feel towards her newborn daughter outweigh everything else - or is she actually genetically fated to be a bad mother? Determined to understand the truth of her heritage as well as her own identity, Majella seeks to learn more about Ginny Doyle's personal history - and discovers surprising new truths about her family and, ultimately, about herself.

I must say that I absolutely loved this book. In my opinion, it was just a wonderful book; beautifully written and seamlessly woven together. Both Ginny's and Majella's stories were equally compelling for me to read, despite the centuries that separated both women. I'm definitely putting Ms. Cummins' name at the top of my wishlist, and I would certainly give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sebastian Junger - A Death in Belmont

55. A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger (2006)
Length: 266 pages
Genre: True Crime
Started: 6 December 2016
Finished: 13 December 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 October 2007
Why do I have it? I like true crime and Sebastian Junger is a new author for me.

It was the finding of an odd family photograph that initially led Sebastian Junger to investigate the murder which forms the basis of this extraordinary true story. Actually, it wasn't so much the photograph itself that was strange, but who was photographed with a one-year-old Sebastian and his thirty-four-year-old mother, Ellen. The story behind the taking of this photograph is actually the most horrifying revelation of all, as this information only further highlights just how close the Jungers came to experiencing their own personal tragedy on that particular day in the spring of 1963.

In 1963, residents of the city of Boston were being terrorized by a series of gruesome murders that soon became known as the 'Boston Stranglings'. However, the quiet suburb of Belmont had never experienced the same level of fear until the brutal murder of Bessie Goldberg - which happened only a few blocks from the Junger family home. While Bessie Goldberg's murder bore all the hallmarks of being committed by the Strangler, a young black man by the name of Roy Smith - who had just cleaned the victim's house that day - was arrested, tried, and convicted for her murder. And so, the Strangler continued his reign of terror.

Two years later, Albert DeSalvo - a handyman who was working at the Jungers' home on the day of the Belmont murder - confessed in lurid detail to being the Boston Strangler. Much to the horror of the Jungers, this competent, punctual, and unassuming young man had often spent time alone in their home, as well as with Sebastian and his mother. This disturbing revelation, and the chilling photograph that was taken to commemorate the building of a home studio, opens into a electrifying exploration of race and justice in America during the 1960s. This extraordinary narrative chronicles the multiple lives that collide - and are ultimately destroyed - in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found it to be very well-written and thought-provoking, if a little slow in certain parts. Although I felt that the story lost some of its momentum, it still picked up appreciably, and I would certainly give this book a strong A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sudoku Puzzles and a Little Bit of Television...These Are Just a Few of my Favorite Things!

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, Mareena and I watched the ninth episode of 'The Exorcist', which aired on Friday night, December 9th. This show is so good, and the season finale airs on Friday night, December 16th! Since this particular episode is being advertised as the season finale and not the actual series finale, that must mean there will possibly be a second season for the show, right? I honestly hope that the show comes back for a second season, even though the ratings are rather low.

Anyway, I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. Despite that though, I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle book collection as well. So far, I've done approximately 35 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!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane, which I finished on Monday, December 5th! Although Mareena saw the 2010 movie last year starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, I wanted to read the book first, before watching the movie. I actually really enjoyed reading the book, it kept me guessing right up until the end!

After starting another book called EndangeredYour Child in a Hostile World by Johann Christophe Arnold on Monday, December 5th, I just wasn't getting into the book that much. I had received the book through the afternoon mail on Monday, November 28th and I have to say that the book wasn't quite what I was expecting; it was pretty good, but I had a little trouble getting into the story. Since this particular book is actually non-fiction and I had only read about 12 pages, I decided that I wanted to read another book that was already in my collection: A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger, a true crime book about The Boston Stranglings.

I actually started reading A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger on Tuesday, December 6th. According to Goodreads - as of today, December 11th - I've actually read 152 pages out of 288 in A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger; or approximately 52 percent. Since my copy of A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger is actually 266 pages, reading 152 pages means that I have read approximately 57 percent of the story so far.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, December 8, 2016

So, the Holidays Have Officially Begun!

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.

So, on Wednesday afternoon, December 7th, Lisa came and picked Mareena and myself up at about 3 P. M. and we went to lunch at Red Lobster. They had concluded the renovations to the restaurant, so we were able to use the more permanent ramp. As we ate, we talked about what we wanted to do after our meal and decided that we would go see the 'Capital Holiday Lights in the Park' in Washington Park - which starts at 6 P. M. and runs until 9 P. M.

This event has actually been going on for 20 years and Lisa, myself and Mareena have seen the lights in the park for the past two or three years. It was really quite good and lasts from Friday, November 25th, 2016 to Monday, January 2nd, 2017. We had so much fun together!

Although I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper, I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle book collection as well. As regards my crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper though, I have done about 32 puzzles all together. I suppose that it's not too bad!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane, which I finished on Monday, December 5th! Although Mareena saw the 2010 movie last year starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, I wanted to read the book first, before watching the movie. I actually really enjoyed reading the book, it kept me guessing right up until the end!

After starting another book called EndangeredYour Child in a Hostile World by Johann Christophe Arnold on Monday, December 5th, I just wasn't getting into the book that much. I had received the book through the afternoon mail on Monday, November 28th and I have to say that the book wasn't quite what I was expecting; it was pretty good, but I had a little trouble getting into the story. Since this particular book is actually non-fiction and I had only read about 12 pages, I decided that I wanted to read another book that was already in my collection: A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger, a true crime book about The Boston Stranglings.

I actually started reading A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger on Tuesday, December 6th. According to Goodreads - as of today, December 8th - I've actually read 69 pages out of 288 in A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger; or approximately 23 percent. Since my copy of A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger is actually 266 pages, reading 69 pages means that I have read approximately 26 percent of the story so far.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dennis Lehane - Shutter Island: A Novel

54. Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane (2003)
Length: 369 pages 
Genre: Historical Mystery 
Started: 29 November 2016
Finished: 5 December 2016
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 29 November 2016
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and have read and enjoyed Moonlight Mile by the same author in the past.

The year is 1954. Two United States Marshals - Edward 'Teddy' Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule - have recently arrived on a remote island located in Boston Harbor. Shutter Island is the home of an extraordinary, groundbreaking medical facility - Ashecliffe Hospital For the Criminally Insane - an asylum which offers only the most modern psychiatric treatments for its patients. The marshals have come to investigate the mysterious disappearance of one of Ashecliffe's most notorious patients - a severely mentally disturbed woman who has been accused of drowning her three young children.

Rachel Solando has been incarcerated for several years, yet she has somehow managed to escape from a locked and guarded cell. Despite keeping her under constant surveillance, the doctors are baffled by Rachel's sudden and inexplicable disappearance, and they are alarmed by the knowledge that a multiple murderess is now loose somewhere on the barren island. As a deadly hurricane bears down relentlessly on the island, Teddy and Chuck find themselves in the middle of one of the most bizarre cases of their careers.

Actually, everything about Ashecliffe Hospital seems bizarre. Hints of radical experimentation and covert government machinations have begun to taint the stellar reputation of Ashecliffe, adding darker, more sinister shades to an already peculiar case. Because the closer Teddy and Chuck come to the truth, the more they realize that nothing about Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, it was a well-written, engrossing plot that kept me guessing right until the end. This was actually quite different from the typical story that I read, and I was intrigued to see how the story would eventually develop. I would certainly give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Apparently, my Reading Plans Can Change on a Dime!

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.

Although I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper, I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle book collection as well. So far, I've finished 95 puzzles out of the puzzle book that I've been working on since June and approximately 85 puzzles from the book that I have been working on since September. As regards my crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles, I have done about 27 puzzles all together.

So, after I finished the 750-piece puzzle of the fairytale-style castle on Monday, November 21st, I decided to do a couple more puzzles from the giant box of twelve that I finished on Friday, November 4th! I started the first of my two jigsaw puzzles on Tuesday, November 22nd and finished it two days later - on Thursday, November 24th! I actually didn't do that much on Thanksgiving - Mareena and I basically just did what we did for Halloween - on Monday, October 31st. Yes, we certainly are creatures of habit!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam, which I finished on Saturday, November 26th! This was such a good book, and it has been quite a while since I have gotten so engrossed in a story in such a short period of time. I also started doing my second jigsaw puzzle from the box of twelve on Saturday afternoon, November 26th! I finished the puzzle on Wednesday afternoon, November 30th, and have since put the box back into my collection.

After spending about a day and a half trying to choose another book to read, I thought that I had settled on a book that has been on my bookshelf for almost eight years. Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel by David Guterson was Mareena's 'just because' gift for me from August of 2009. I've since changed the book that I was reading - Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane arrived in the afternoon mail on Tuesday, November 29th, and I immediately started reading it on the day that the book arrived.

According to Goodreads - as of today, December 3rd - I've actually read 201 pages out of 369 in the Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane; or approximately 54 percent. I'm actually really enjoying reading this book. Mareena saw the 2010 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo last year, and when the movie came back on television a couple of months ago I said that wanted to read the book first.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, December 1, 2016

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 1,061 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,057 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
- Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King
- When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule
The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- House by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti
- Endangered: Your Child in a Hostile World by Johann Christoph Arnold
- Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Telling Lies to Alice by Laura Wilson
- Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King
- Exclusive: A Novel by Sandra Brown
- Ladder of Years: A Novel by Anne Tyler

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

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 1,389
Grade Range: A+! to A!

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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:


The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam
  Published as: The House of Lost Souls in November 2007
Publisher: Hodder and Staughton



Birth Name: Francis Cottam
Born: 1957 in Southport, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Canonical Name: Francis Cottam
Pseudonyms: F. G. Cottam

The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam was the fifty-third book that I read in 2016. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since November 23, 2016 and it only took me three days to read. This book is definitely still a keeper for me. 

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, November 28, 2016

I'm a Little Behind With my Reading!

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

I'm happy to say that I've not suffered from reader's block since maybe mid-April. Although having said that, I've noticed that I have been reading just the slightest bit less. I will say that I have been reading back-to-back chunksters - for a combined total of 1,086 pages - so I guess that's why I haven't read more.

Since I read one chunkster book as my last book in October and the second book was the first one that I read in November, I wasn't too worried about the actual number of books that I was reading. I'm enjoying the books that I've read and that is basically all that matters to me anyway. LOL!!!

Anyway, Mareena and I have been watching 'The Exorcist' since it came back on television on Friday, November 4th! I think the season finale of the show aired on Friday, November 18th, but I honestly don't know if it was actually the series finale or not. It was such an incredible cliffhanger, that I sincerely hope that the show comes back on television again soon.

I haven't been doing that many sumdoku puzzles from my collection of puzzles, but sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper have been all the rage for me recently. So far, I have managed to finish about fifteen to twenty sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper. I have also been dabbling a little bit more into my jigsaw puzzle and sumdoku puzzle collection - I've only managed to do two or three sumdoku puzzles from my books, and I finished the 750-piece jigsaw puzzle of the castle on Monday, November 21st!

So, as regards my own reading, I actually finished reading When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule on Wednesday, November 23rd! Then I immediately started reading The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam - another book that had just arrived in the afternoon mail on Wednesday, November 23rd. I finished the book three days later on Saturday, November 26th!

After spending about a day and a half trying to choose another book to read, I think that I have settled on a book that has been on my bookshelf for almost eight years. Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel by David Guterson was Mareena's 'just because' gift for me from August of 2009. It looks like such a good book that I'm actually quite surprised that I haven't gotten to read it yet.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, November 26, 2016

F. G. Cottam - The House of Lost Souls

53. The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam (2007)
Length: 343 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 23 November 2016
Finished: 26 November 2016
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 November 2016
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed The Magdalena Curse by the same author in the past.

In the 1920s - a decade known for its incredible decadence and opulence - Klaus Fischer built himself a residence that would soon come to rival all other homes of the period. Yet, such a magnificent house can still hide its own dark secrets. And, while many were certainly charmed by the Fischer House - and awed by its mysterious occupant - they would also come to realize that some doors are just too dangerous to open...

Seventy-five years later, the Fischer House has been reawakened to claim the innocent and unsuspecting souls who dare to unlock its door. In 1995, four university students and their professor cross the threshold of the derelict Fischer House. What starts out as a simple class field study and an in-depth discussion on the nature of true evil, soon turns into a waking nightmare for the participants.

Just weeks after the four philosophy students and their professor return home, one young woman has committed suicide and the other three are slowly descending into madness. Nicholas Mason's sister Sarah was one of the participants in that impromptu lecture-study at Fischer House. Determined to find a way to save her, Nick seeks help from Paul Seaton - the only person to have visited the house and to have survived. Yet Paul is also a deeply troubled man, haunted by otherworldly visions which even now threaten his sanity.

Although Paul is fearful of ever returning to Fischer House, Nick is desperate to protect his sister. He forces Paul to go back into his past - to try and recall his own dark memories of a time that Paul would much prefer remained buried. So in order to help Nick, Paul must return to Fischer House to fulfill an unfinished duty: he must find the secret journal of the tragically beautiful photographer Pandora Gibson-Hoare. Although not much is known of the young woman's life, Pandora's journal is rumored to have been kept during a particularly dark period in her life - when she became acquainted with Klaus Fischer.

Paul learns from Pandora's personal diary that Fischer House was a mansion created for debauchery - a decadent house that catered to every hedonistic desire. She describes a secretive gathering in the 1920s which was presided over by a malevolent figure. It was during this gathering of depravity where the dark legacy of Klaus Fischer was born - as the master of the unspeakable crime and diabolical proceedings that have haunted the mansion ever since. Now Fischer House is beckoning, and some old friends have gathered to welcome Paul back...

I must say that The House of Lost Souls was exactly the type of book that I have always enjoyed reading. The pacing of the story was just perfect - there was always something happening in the plot and to me, the horror never seemed forced. I thoroughly enjoy reading books about haunted houses and in my opinion, this book was actually quite brilliant. I give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, November 24, 2016

May you all have a Blessed Thanksgiving!


So, in honor of the day, I would like to wish all my wonderful followers the happiest of  Thanksgivings. May your holiday be filled with great food, wonderful friendship and all the family ties that you may wish for. :) I have to say that Mareena and I had the usual turkey and gravy - as well as pan fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. I had brussel sprouts, and Mareena had some wonderful stew meat and pears on the side.

After that, we will take a bit of a nap, then kick up our feet and read books for the rest of the day! :)

So once again, 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, Mareena 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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Leslie Rule - When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt

52. When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule (2006)
Length: 222 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 14 November 2016
Finished: 23 November 2016
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 7 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and Leslie Rule is a new author for me.

Leslie Rule's When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt explores the supernatural world and chronicles various personal accounts of paranormal activity. For so many people - both paranormal enthusiasts and skeptics alike - the word 'hauntings' immediately conjures up a certain feeling of insatiable curiosity. Paranormal author Leslie Rule explores a new twist on this strange phenomenon as she investigates the historical events, the brutal deaths - and the subsequent hauntings - that have left their own vivid impressions on various historic sites all around the United States. Through her extensive research and by interviewing credible witnesses and taking down their eyewitness testimonies, Ms. Rule reveals why and how the souls of those who suffered such violent deaths are prone to remain earthbound. 

From the hallowed halls of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois to the historic ghost towns of Garnet, Montana - and everywhere else in between - the author visits each location and delves into the history of the area. These spine-tingling true stories divulge the mysterious details of ghostly sightings and include numerous artistically shot black-and-white photographs of the haunted sites. Leslie Rule is the daughter of best-selling true-crime author Ann Rule - and she is a prolific author in her own right - whose lifelong fascination with the paranormal actually sprung up from living in a haunted house overlooking Puget Sound as a child.

I must admit that I really enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, Ms. Rule certainly researched her subject very thoroughly and I was surprised by the number of personal stories of the paranormal that she has managed to collect. Although I perhaps would have enjoyed reading some longer stories, I would still give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, November 21, 2016

Puzzles, Puzzles Everywhere!

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.

So, when Lisa came to take us to lunch on Wednesday afternoon, November 16th, we ended up going to Red Lobster. As soon as we arrived, we discovered that they were apparently freshening up the place - repainting the siding and reinforcing the front steps and the ramp. We still decided to have lunch there - but honestly, the temporary ramp was much steeper than we were expecting - so if they are still working on the place for much longer, we've decided to go somewhere else next time.

Lisa actually gave us the souvenirs that she bought for us from Paris: Mareena got a deep blue enamel clip for her hair, and I received a box of three fairy puzzles all in French. Each puzzle features a fantastic scene with a glittering little fairy sitting in glades, on toadstools, or hiding in trees. I don't know if the puzzles are actually meant for children or not, and I really don't mind if they are. Lisa said that she knows how much I like doing jigsaw puzzles, so she just couldn't pass up the chance to get me a jigsaw puzzle - or I suppose, three jigsaw puzzles - all the way from Paris, France.

Actually, I finished the 1,000-piece puzzle of the old-fashioned county fair on Sunday night, November 13th. Since I initially started doing this puzzle on Friday afternoon, November 4th, that means that I have spent nine days on this particular puzzle. I immediately started doing the 750-piece puzzle of the fairytale-style castle the next day - Monday morning, November 14th! I'm actually pretty close to finishing this puzzle today - exactly a week later.

So, as regards my own reading, I've found When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule again. I actually finished reading Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer on Friday, November 18th and even though I had only spent two days reading this particular book and had already found the Leslie Rule book by Thursday, November 17th - I picked up with my reading of When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt again on Sunday, November 20th!

According to Goodreads - as of today, November 21st - I've actually read 86 pages out of 240 in the Leslie Rule book; or approximately 36 percent. Since my copy of When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule is actually 222 pages, reading 86 pages means that I have read approximately 39 percent of the story so far. Leslie Rule is the daughter of the crime author Ann Rule; but she seems to be a great writer in her own right.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, November 18, 2016

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: 18 November 2016
Where did it come from? Originally from Paperback Swap, then from my "keeper" shelf.

So, having finished reading Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King on Monday, November 14th, I had originally started reading When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule on the same day. I was really enjoying the book, as it is written by the popular crime writer Ann Rule's daughter. It seems as if Ann Rule's books focus on crimes within the physical world - the victim, the perpetrator, the crime itself and the police investigation - and Leslie Rule's books focus more on the paranormal aspect of a crime. Leslie Rule's books are about the poor souls that seemingly can never rest peacefully.

It was actually two days later when I was trying to locate When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule and couldn't find it. I needed to find something else to read rather quickly and just grabbed the first book off the top of my bookshelf. It just so happened that the book that I grabbed was Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer. By the time that I found When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule again, I was already immersed in Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer and wanted to finish it.

So, after starting to read When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule on Monday, November 14th, I started reading Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer for the third time on Wednesday, November 16th. I originally received this book in the mail as Mareena's 'just because' gift for September of 2014. I started reading it for the first time on the same day as it arrived on September 15th, 2014 and finished the book a day later - on September 16th, 2014.

The second time that I read this book was over two days in December of 2015 - from December 2nd, to December 4th, 2015. The third time that I read this book was over two days in November of 2016 - from November 16th, to November 18th, 2016. I'm planning to keep the book and read it again some time soon.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

So, we Are Going Out to Lunch With Lisa Today!

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.

So, after a few months hiatus, we are finally going to be able to get together with our friend Lisa for lunch today. While we were actually able to get together back in mid-August in order to celebrate my birthday, Lisa had said at the time that she had forgotten a couple of souvenirs that she bought back for us from her family's European vacation. Actually, Lisa and her husband and family took a six-week family reunion vacation to a small village in Germany and they went sightseeing around Paris, France as well - so, for the last week in June and all of July - Lisa's family were getting reacquainted with, and in some cases meeting for the first time, her husband's distant cousins and his cousins' families. Lisa's husband was born in Germany, although he and his family came to America when he was about twelve years old.

With all the recent trouble that Germany and France has been experiencing - especially over the summer - Mareena and I were extremely worried that Lisa would be in danger somehow during her travels. When she saw us again in mid-August, she told us that she had actually visited a secluded village in Germany, nowhere near the towns that were attacked - and had only spent one day sightseeing in Paris near the end of her vacation. Lisa also said that she had bought us each a little souvenir back from Paris.

So, as regards my own reading, I'm actually reading two books - something that I have almost never done before. After I finished reading Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King on Monday, November 14th, I immediately started When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule the same day. Because I've temporarily misplaced the book that I'm currently reading, I started the book Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer just today - Wednesday, November 16th!

According to Goodreads - as of today, November 16th - I've actually read 51 pages out of 240 in the Leslie Rule book; or approximately 21 percent. Since my copy of When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule is actually 222 pages, reading 51 pages means that I have read approximately 23 percent of the story so far. Leslie Rule is the daughter of the crime author Ann Rule; but she seems to be a great writer in her own right.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, November 14, 2016

Stephen King - Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales

50. Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King (2002)
Length: 583 pages 
Genre: Short Story 
Started: 31 October 2016
Finished: 14 November 2016
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 October 2016
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

This particular anthology is actually the author's first collection of short stories to be published in almost a decade. According to the introduction, Stephen King is an extraordinarily prolific writer who understandably loves his craft. Apparently, he and his wife also own two radio stations in their hometown of Bangor, Maine - one station is entirely dedicated to sports, and the other one is dedicated to classic rock music. It was while trying to decide how best to boost ratings for the radio station that Stephen King had an epiphany about his own writing career - about just how much he enjoys 'pushing the envelope' with his own writing.

While his subsequent attempt at writing a radio play didn't quite work out the way he had expected, the experience served as an education of sorts - as much as a refresher course in the different styles of writing: writing for ebooks, magazines, journals and digests. In choosing which stories would actually be included in this particular anthology, Stephen King turned to a deck of playing cards to help him decide which stories would appear in the contents. He used the entire suit of spades plus a Joker card and shuffled them; the order in which he dealt the cards turned out to be where he would place a story in the contents. The contents features fourteen short stories that range from "the literary stories to the all-out screamers."

I must say that in my own opinion, this compilation of stories were all rather different from each other. The synopsis of the book claims that Stephen King takes the reader down a road less traveled - and for a very good reason - and I do have to agree with that particular claim. I found this book to be if not easy reading, certainly relatively fast reading. I would give this book an A!

To be perfectly honest, while there were some stories that were middle of the road for me, I also liked quite a few of the stories as well. I suppose that the two that would stand out the most for me would be: 'The Death of Jack Hamilton', which was about a subject that I don't usually like reading about: gangsters in the 1930s. The second story that I really enjoyed - I may even call it my favorite one of the anthology - was actually the twelfth story in collection: '1408'. I also have watched the 2007 movie that stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Since I Think I'm Nearly at the End of This Book...

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.

Since I'm actually almost finished with the book I'm currently reading, I'm on the hunt for another book. I know that I have talked about my process of choosing which book I want to read next. At the moment, I have at least two books on my radar: When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule and Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer. The first book is actually written by the daughter of the crime writer Ann Rule. The second book is actually a reread for me from about a year ago.

I have also been doing a number of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. Although I've only been able to finish a few puzzles, I've only been working through my accumulated puzzles for the past week or so. While I was out running errands on Thursday afternoon, November 10th, I also picked up another jigsaw puzzle - a 750-piece puzzle of a fairytale-style castle. I haven't started doing this puzzle just yet, but I figured that since I'm still working on the puzzle of the old-fashioned county fair, I may as well lay in some more supplies. Yes, I do realize that this is just my justification for buying more jigsaw puzzles, but honestly, this particular puzzle just caught my eye.

As regards my own reading, I actually finished reading Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King on Friday, October 28th! Although I enjoyed reading this particular book very much, I really wanted to start reading Mareena's second October 'just because' gift for me which arrived on Tuesday, October 25th. Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King arrived in the mail after I had requested that Mareena put a few Stephen King novels for me on our joint wishlist. Surprisingly, Lisey's Story: A Novel and Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales - both by Stephen King - basically arrived within a week of each other!

I actually started reading Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King on Monday, October 31st. According to Goodreads - as of Saturday, November 12th - I've read 497 pages out of 583; or approximately 85 percent of the story. I'm actually really enjoying reading this book very much!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, November 10, 2016

It Really Seems Like a Slow Month - or at Least it Does to Me!

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 doing fairly well, I suppose. To be perfectly honest, I haven't been doing any sum-doku puzzles from my stack of puzzle books. Since Saturday, November 5th, I have switched from doing various puzzle books to crossword puzzles and sum-doku puzzles straight from the newspaper. Granted, I haven't finished an actual sum-doku puzzle book since Monday, May 30th, but I'm also glad to say that I am almost done with a book of sum-doku puzzles that I started on Monday, June 20th!

Since this particular puzzle book is from the six-pack of sum-doku puzzles that I received back on Friday, March 4th, that means that I have finished approximately half of the six-pack so far. My goodness, I seem to really be eking out my collection of sum-doku puzzles. Although having said that, I still have a 24-pack of sum-doku puzzles that I received in October of 2013 which I don't think I have even opened yet. I actually just rediscovered the package hidden away in the wicker basket where I keep all my puzzle books together.

As regards my own reading, I actually finished reading Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King on Friday, October 28th! Although I enjoyed reading this particular book very much, I really wanted to start reading Mareena's second October 'just because' gift for me which arrived on Tuesday, October 25th. Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King arrived in the mail after I had requested that Mareena put a few Stephen King novels for me on our joint wishlist. Surprisingly, Lisey's Story: A Novel and Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales - both by Stephen King - basically arrived within a week of each other!

I actually started reading Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King on Monday, October 31st. According to Goodreads - as of Thursday, November 10th - I've read 420 pages out of 583; or approximately 72 percent of the story. I'm actually really enjoying reading this book very much!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

So, Eight Days Into the Month, I Feel Like I've Not Been Reading as Much as I Want!

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, to be perfectly honest, it feels like I have been doing more puzzles than any actual reading. I suppose that this isn't necessarily true, however it just feels that way. I'm still doing the jigsaw puzzle of the old-fashioned county fair that I started on Friday, November 4th. Because this puzzle is so tricky to do, I've actually spent the first couple of days separating the puzzle pieces into color-coded piles according to the picture on the box.

I have been doing a fair number of crossword puzzles and sum-doku puzzles from the newspaper as well. While I still did a few more sum-doku puzzles from both puzzle books that I'm working through, I switched to puzzles from the newspaper on Saturday, November 5th! I suppose I haven't had that much success yet as I have only managed to finish two of the puzzles that I have accumulated over the past few weeks.

As regards my own reading, I actually finished reading Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King on Friday, October 28th! Although I enjoyed reading this particular book very much, I really wanted to start reading Mareena's second October 'just because' gift for me which arrived on Tuesday, October 25th. Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King arrived in the mail after I had requested that Mareena put a few Stephen King novels for me on our joint wishlist. Surprisingly, Lisey's Story: A Novel and Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales - both by Stephen King - basically arrived within a week of each other!

I actually started reading Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King on Monday, October 31st. According to Goodreads - as of Tuesday, November 8th - I've read 390 pages out of 583; or approximately 67 percent of the story. I actually just started reading the tenth story out of fourteen.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Guess Gunslingers Just Aren't my Thing!

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.

Having started the twelfth jigsaw puzzle out of the box of twelve that I bought on Thursday afternoon, October 6th on Monday October 31st, I'm happy to say that I finished it on Friday, November 4th. Five days to finish one jigsaw puzzle isn't all that bad, but I must say that I immediately started another jigsaw puzzle of an old-fashioned county fair that I had already done about two years ago. I actually haven't gotten through that much of this particular puzzle as yet, but then again it is a fairly tricky puzzle and should take some time for me to do.

So between 'vegging out' by watching horror movies on Monday, October 31st, I was also doing the occasional sum-doku puzzle during the television ads. As of yesterday morning - Friday, November 4th - I haven't done any sum-doku puzzles in one book and 74 puzzles in the other book.

As regards my own reading, I actually finished reading Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King on Friday, October 28th! Although I enjoyed reading this particular book very much, I really wanted to start reading Mareena's second October 'just because' gift for me which arrived on Tuesday, October 25th. Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King arrived in the mail after I had requested that Mareena put a few Stephen King novels for me on our joint wishlist. Surprisingly, Lisey's Story: A Novel and Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales - both by Stephen King - basically arrived within a week of each other!

I started reading Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King on Monday, October 31st. According to Goodreads - as of Saturday, November 5th - I've read 285 pages out of 583; or approximately 49 percent of the story. Although I did skip one of the short stories, I'm actually about halfway through the seventh story out of fourteen.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I Must Say That I Have Done Quite a Bit Over the Past Few Days!

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.

So, on Thursday afternoon, October 27th, I was running some errands and caught sight of what I thought was another box of twelve jigsaw puzzles. I had just started doing my eleventh puzzle of the twelve, and thought that another box of twelve would be wonderful for me to have. Yet, in the cold light of Friday morning, October 28th, I noticed my mistake: I had bought the exact same box of puzzles that I had gotten myself on Thursday afternoon, October 6th! I guess that means that I will have to return my newest box of puzzles during my errand day next week.

Anyway, by Friday, October 28th, I'm happy to say that I finished Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King. I say that not because this book was in any way boring - I enjoyed reading it very much - but because Mareena's second 'just because' gift for me arrived on Tuesday, October 25th and I was eager to start reading it as soon as I could! I finally got that chance on Monday, October 31st.

Well, on Monday afternoon, October 31st, Mareena and I didn't watch any of our horror movies that we have on DVD - although, we are still trying to track down our copies of The Exorcist and What Lies Beneath. We know that we still have both movies in our collection, but we just can't locate either of them right now. Is anyone else beginning to think that Mareena and my DVD collection is turning into both our personal libraries: we can never find something when we want to - but when we aren't actually looking for something - ta da, there it is! :)

Instead, we watched two horror movies on television: Silence of the Lambs and Thirteen Ghosts. We had seen both movies already, but they were both so good that we didn't mind watching them both again. In other words, we just 'vegged out' on watching movies for the day. LOL!!!

Between 'vegging out' by watching horror movies on Monday, October 31st, I also started the final jigsaw puzzle out of the big box of twelve. I was also doing the occasional sum-doku puzzle during the television ads. As of yesterday morning - Wednesday, November 2nd - I've finished approximately 93 sum-doku puzzles in one book and 72 puzzles in the other book.

As regards my own reading, I actually finished reading Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King on Friday, October 28th! Although I enjoyed reading this particular book very much, I really wanted to start reading Mareena's second October 'just because' gift for me which arrived on Tuesday, October 25th. Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King arrived in the mail after I had requested that Mareena put a few Stephen King novels for me on our joint wishlist. Surprisingly, Lisey's Story: A Novel and Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales - both by Stephen King - basically arrived within a week of each other!

I started reading Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King on Monday, October 31st. According to Goodreads - as of Thursday, November 3rd - I've read 81 pages out of 583; or approximately 14 percent of the story. I have actually just started the fourth story out of fourteen.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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 1,062 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,059 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
- A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Lying Awake: A Novel by Mark Salzman
Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Lady Fiona Carnarvon
- Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Report to the Commissioner by James Mills
- Lying Awake: A Novel by Mark Salzman 

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: 1,084
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

Monday, October 31, 2016

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:


A Map of the World  by Jane Hamilton
  Published as: A Map of the World in May 1994
Publisher: Doubleday


Birth Name: Jane Hamilton
Born: 13 July 1957 in Oak Park, Illinois

Canonical Name: Jane Hamilton
Pseudonyms: None

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton was the forty-seventh book that I read in 2016. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since June 7, 2016 although my first reading of this particular book took place about a decade ago. My reread of it took me sixteen days to read. This book is definitely still a keeper for me. 

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, October 28, 2016

Stephen King - Lisey's Story: A Novel

49. Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King (2006)
Length: 513 pages
Genre: Horror 
Started: 18 October 2016
Finished: 28 October 2016
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 17 October 2016
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Scott Landon was an award-winning, best-selling novelist and he and his wife Lisey Debusher Landon had been happily married for twenty-five years until his untimely death. Their relationship may have been filled with the typical ups and downs that every couple experiences, but overall, Lisey believed that their marriage was extraordinarily and profoundly intimate - sometimes frighteningly intimate. Scott Landon had recently passed away two years ago, and Lisey is only now coming to terms with what a complicated man her husband truly was.

Lisey had always suspected that her husband had sometimes lived in a world of his own - a world of dark secrets that threatened to consume him utterly. As a matter of fact, Scott himself had taught Lisey about the different sides of his personality - sides that she sometimes found endearingly charming, yet sometimes disturbingly eccentric. Yet, she also believed that their enduring love for each other would always be the key that was strong enough to protect Scott from himself.

Starting early on in their relationship, even before their marriage, Lisey learned about many things from Scott. As a matter of fact, she had to learn about these things in order to better understand the man who would soon become her husband. She had to learn about the importance of books and blood and bools - indeed, there were certain times during their life together, when Lisey believed that Scott was actually trying to teach her a completely different language - a whole new perspective on life that was entirely their own.

It was only later when Lisey began to realize - no, to truly understand - that there was actually a special place where Scott went to be alone. It was a place within his own mind that both terrified and healed him, a place that could alternately eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed in order to live. It was a place of sunlight and shadow, genius and creativity - a world entirely of his own creation, known as 'Boo'ya Moon'. Now it's Lisey's turn to face Scott's demons; her turn to make her own journey to 'Boo'ya Moon'.

What begins as a grieving widow's effort to sort through her esteemed husband's personal papers, becomes a nearly fatal journey into the darkness that had enveloped Scott Landon's mind and soul. So now it falls to Lisey, to make her own pilgrimage to honor her husband's memory. She must find her own way to journey to Scott's special place - the place where his wealth of creativity and imagination existed; and dwelt alongside his increasing fear of his encroaching insanity.

I've recently discovered that Stephen King considers this book to be his favorite one of all his works. Indeed, Lisey's Story: A Novel is definitely Stephen King's most personal novel that he has written, as the genesis of his ideas for the story came about during his convalescence from the near-fatal car accident that he suffered in June of 1999. In my opinion, my own favorite book by Stephen King is Pet Sematary - which was written in 1983.

Actually, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Perhaps it wasn't my absolute favorite, but I still found it to be extremely well-developed and highly intriguing. The plot of Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King was extraordinarily imaginative and descriptive. Overall, I enjoyed the story very much, although I found certain parts of the story to be almost overwhelmingly descriptive.

I must admit that while these particular scenes were certainly very well-written; I generally tried to avoid them - as they tended to give me what Mareena calls 'the cringing skin crawls'. I would also like to mention that in my own opinion, this book probably could have benefitted from being approximately one hundred pages shorter. Having said that, I would still give this book a strong A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight