Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January's Book of the Month

 

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

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

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


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



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

Canonical Name: Anna Quindlen
Pseudonyms: None

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

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, January 30, 2017

Anna Quindlen - One True Thing: A Novel

Reread. One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen (1994)
Length: 289 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Originally Read: 26 November 2010
Reread Finished: 30 January 2017
Where did it come from? Originally from Paperback Swap, although I acquired a second copy of this book from a Library Book Sale that Mareena and I went to in October of 2010.

So, I was temporarily stalled in my reading of Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia when I picked up One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen. Actually, I don't usually read two books at the same time, I find that Mareena is so much better at remembering all the different plots of the books that she reads. Although, I was able to do this successfully one time before in November of 2016.

I started reading Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia on January 19th and had to put the book aside on January 26th. I started reading One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen on January 24th, and finished the book six days later - on January 30th! This was actually a reread for me from six and a half years ago, after I had acquired a copy of this book from a Library Book Sale that Mareena and I went to on October 1st, 2010.

Despite having received my first copy of this book from Mareena as her 'just because' gift for March of 2010 - on March 5th, 2010 - I started reading the copy that I had gotten from the Library Book Sale that we went to in October of 2010. My first reading of this book happened over ten days in November of 2010 - from November 16th, to November 26th, 2010. My reread of this book took place approximately six years later, over six days in January of 2017 - from January 24th, to January 30th, 2017.

I have since put my second copy of this book on all of the book swapping websites that we belong to. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I think that I should now pass it on to someone else for them to enjoy. It seems only fair for me to do that!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, January 27, 2017

Contrary to What You May Read, I'm Still 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.

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

I'm also still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 82 sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper, although I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle books, too! I haven't really finished an entire sum-doku puzzle book from my collection since Saturday, December 3rd - I have been working through partial puzzles from the moderately difficult to extremely difficult levels!

I have also started doing jigsaw puzzles again. I actually started doing a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on Saturday afternoon, January 21st, yet despite getting the majority of it done I still have quite a lot left to complete. This is certainly a very tricky jigsaw puzzle to put together.

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Treasures by Belva Plain, which I finished on Wednesday, January 18th! I actually have two copies of this book in my library, and I read it for the first time over six days in September of 2010 - from September 11th, to September 17th, 2010! I'm sure that someone else would definitely enjoy reading this book as much as I have, so I have posted both copies of this book on the several book swapping websites that we belong to.

I recently started reading Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia on Thursday, January 19th! I suppose that I'm not really into the story so far, although, according to Goodreads - as of yesterday, January 26th I've actually read 49 pages out of 446 in Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia; or approximately 11 percent. Since my own copy of Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia actually has 374 pages in it; reading 46 pages means that I have read approximately 13 percent.

Actually, I'm really enjoying reading this book; although, I'm also noticing that Ms. Reynolds is a bit of a name dropper and it's getting just the slightest bit annoying for me. So, I've put the book aside for a while and started reading One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen on Tuesday, January 24th! This is actually a reread for me from seven years ago - over ten days in November of 2010. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book the first time, and I'm looking forward to reading it again.

According to Goodreads - as of today, January 27th - I've actually read 50 pages out of 289 in One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen; or approximately 17 percent. I am getting into the story fairly well. Ms. Quindlen is a truly wonderful author, I love so much of her work!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I'm Back to Doing Jigsaw Puzzles!

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.

First of all, I actually started doing something again that I did semi-professionally for several years after I was married: which was knitting. For about three or four years after my husband and I were married - in fact, just before Mareena was born - I used to knit things for my neighbors and occasionally sold some of these creations as well. My 'business' wasn't all that exclusive; although I generally knitted only by request and not always for payment. So, for the past couple of days I have been knitting a little jacket for myself.

I'm also still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 79 sudoku and crossword puzzles from the newspaper, although I have also done some sum-doku puzzles from my puzzle books, too! I haven't really finished an entire sum-doku puzzle book from my collection since Saturday, December 3rd - I have been working through partial puzzles from the moderately difficult to extremely difficult levels!

I have also started doing jigsaw puzzles again. The first puzzle that I chose to do was actually the sixth puzzle out of my giant box of twelve that I have. Yes, I have already done all these puzzles before, but I just wanted to do them again. I started this sixth puzzle on Wednesday afternoon, January 18th and finished it on Saturday afternoon, January 21st!

Actually, I took a slight break from doing jigsaw puzzles after I finished the one called 'Frederick the Literate' on Thursday night, January 5th! Since I had started the puzzle on Saturday afternoon, December 31st, apparently it only took me a total of six days to complete a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle. Not too bad, if I do say so myself!

So, as regards my own reading, the most recent book that I've read was Treasures by Belva Plain, which I finished on Wednesday, January 18th! I actually have two copies of this book in my library, and I read it for the first time over six days in September of 2010 - from September 11th, to September 17th, 2010! I'm sure that someone else would definitely enjoy reading this book as much as I have, so I have posted both copies of this book on the several book swapping websites that we belong to.

I recently started reading Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia on Thursday, January 19th! I suppose that I'm not really into the story so far, although, according to Goodreads - as of today, January 24th - I've actually read 46 pages out of 446 in Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia; or approximately 10 percent. Since my own copy of Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia actually has 374 pages in it; reading 46 pages means that I have read approximately 12 percent.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Rest In Peace, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds!

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.

First of all, I actually started doing something again that I did semi-professionally for several years after I was married: which was knitting. For about three or four years after my husband and I were married - in fact, just before Mareena was born - I used to knit things for my neighbors and occasionally sold some of these creations as well. My 'business' wasn't all that exclusive; although I generally knitted only by request and not always for payment. So, for the past couple of days I have been knitting a little jacket for myself.

I'm also still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 76 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 Treasures by Belva Plain, which I finished on Wednesday, January 18th! I actually have two copies of this book in my library, and I think that I have read it at least twice. Both books have been put on the several book swapping websites to which we belong.

Since then, I've started reading Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia on Thursday, January 19th! I realize that I have already read one of Ms. Reynolds' autobiographies: Unsinkable: A Memoir back in April of 2016 - and actually, here is my review. However, with her recent passing, I felt that I wanted to read the previous one she had written. Actually, according to Goodreads - as of yesterday, January 20th - I've read 30 pages out of 446 in Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia; or approximately 7 percent.

Since my own copy of Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds and David Patrick Columbia actually has 374 pages in it, reading 30 pages means that I have read approximately 8 percent. So far, this autobiography seems to be focused more on Debbie's tough, hard scrabble childhood. It's a really poignant story.

To be perfectly honest, after Carrie Fisher suffered her unexpected heart attack on Friday, December 23rd - it was completely understandable that as her mother, Debbie Reynolds would be under so much stress and worry. It is equally understandable to me that after her daughter's death on Tuesday, December 27th, Ms. Reynolds would be suffering from shock and grieving immensely. And while it may have seemed surprising to many that Ms. Reynolds passed away so quickly after Carrie - as the result of a stroke that she suffered on Wednesday, December 28th - I absolutely do believe that people can actually die from their grief.

Sometimes, the level of sadness is such that a person may actually lose their own will to live after the death of a loved one. My heart and prayers go out to those who loved Carrie and Debbie, and are left behind to grieve their loss. It definitely was a terrible shock for so many, but they live on through their work. Rest In Peace, Carrie and Debbie!




Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Belva Plain - Treasures

Reread. Treasures by Belva Plain (1992)
Length: 517 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Originally Read: 17 September 2010
Reread Finished: 18 January 2017
Where did it come from? Originally from a Library Book Sale that Mareena and I had gone to in September of 2001 - although after I misplaced that first copy, Mareena reacquired a second copy for me from Bookmooch.

So I know that I have said this many times before, but I have a routine that I employ when choosing another book to read. Granted I don't usually do this all the time, but it does happen fairly frequently so that's why I use the word 'routine'. Anyway, a day or so before I finished reading my last book: A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts, I began searching for the next book that I wanted to read. Since A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts had also been a reread for me - from at least twenty years ago or so - I wanted to choose another 'comforting read' for myself.

Starting the day before, I grabbed between seven to ten books from my 'previously read' bookshelf and looked through them. Trust me when I tell you that perusing seven to ten books is a minimal amount for me - lol! Several of the books were by authors whom I consider to be my 'go to group': Bernard F. Conners, Maeve Binchy, Belva Plain and Anita Shreve. I initially perused Dancehall by Bernard F. Conners, The Copper Beech and Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy, After the Fire, Blessings, and Treasures by Belva Plain; as well as Testimony: A Novel by Anita Shreve.

I also looked at a couple more books that came in fairly recently: The Outside Boy: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins and The Killer Department by Robert Cullen. It certainly seemed that each of the books that I looked at had something about it to make it intriguing for me to read, but after some serious thought, I eventually chose Treasures by Belva Plain. Actually, it didn't take me long to make my choice.

Despite already having one copy hidden away on my bookshelf, I couldn't for the life of me locate where I had put it. So Mareena acquired a second copy for me from Bookmooch as her 'just because' gift for September of 2010. Surprisingly, the second copy of Treasures by Belva Plain arrived on September 11th, 2010. I say 'surprisingly', because my initial copy of Treasures by Belva Plain was actually an acquisition that I had picked up from a Library Book Sale that Mareena and I went to on September 11th, 2001.

Anyway, I immediately started reading the book on September 11th, 2010 - and six days later - on September 17th, 2010 I finished it. The second time that I read Treasures by Belva Plain was actually after I had found my original copy of the book. My reread took place over six days in January of 2017 - from January 12th, to January 18th, 2017. So now I have both copies of Treasures by Belva Plain posted on all the book swapping websites that Mareena and I belong to.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Rereads Are Starting Early This Year!

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.

First of all, I actually started doing something again that I did semi-professionally for several years after I was married: which was knitting. For about three or four years after my husband and I were married - in fact, just before Mareena was born - I used to knit things for my neighbors and occasionally sold some of these creations as well. My 'business' wasn't all that exclusive; although I generally knitted only by request and not always for payment. So, for the past couple of days I have been knitting a little jacket for myself.

As I have said before, Mareena and I are watching some really great horror movies on television - sometimes on cable channels such as 'Chiller', 'Ovation' or 'IFC' - or sometimes on the 'On Demand' Channel - which is kind of like watching movies but without having a DVD player. Actually, the first two movies that Mareena and I watched together on the 'On Demand' Channel were The Autopsy of Jane Doe - a horror movie released in 2016; which we watched on Monday afternoon, January 9th and The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death - a horror movie released in 2014; which we watched on Saturday afternoon, January 14th. Both movies were actually very good, although I have to admit that The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death was remarkably dark, at least visually.

I'm not saying that as a horror movie, there should never be any dark scenes filmed at all, but if I was to offer some advice to any director - could you please use some better lighting in your horror movies? Just to allow your audience to actually see what they should be frightened of? I had such trouble following what was going on because there was almost no light in so many of the scenes.

Also, could you perhaps spend longer than thirty seconds on something that has been written? At least give your audience the chance to read enough of written notes to get the gist of what you are trying to portray. Alright, nitpicking session over and done with for now, thank you very much!

I'm also still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 70 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 A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts, which I finished on Thursday, January 12th! I do vaguely remember reading this book about twenty years ago or so, although I don't really remember all that much about the plot of it. To be perfectly honest, while the book is very good, it's not really Norah Lofts' best work, at least in my opinion.

I immediately started to read Treasures by Belva Plain on Thursday, January 12th. I actually have two copies of this book in my library, and I read it for the first time over six days in September of 2010 - from September 11th, to September 17th, 2010! Anyway, according to Goodreads - as of today, January 15th - I've actually read 165 pages out of 528 in Treasures by Belva Plain; or approximately 31 percent. Since my own copy of Treasures by Belva Plain actually has 517 pages in it; reading 165 pages means that I have read approximately 32 percent.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Norah Lofts - A Wayside Tavern

3. A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts (1980)
Length: 376 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Started: 5 January 2017
Finished: 12 January 2017
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 historical fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Paulus, a crippled Roman soldier deserted by his legion at the end of the Roman occupation of Britain, and Gilda, a former slave girl - dedicate a wine shop with a mosaic-patterned floor to Mithras - the god whom the soldier worships. So it was from such humble beginnings that the 'One Bull at Mallow' was born. Yet, from the fourth century right down to present-day Suffolk, the building has remained in the hands of one particular family, known as the Gildersons. And, through the years the building has served a variety of different purposes: wine shop, ale house, coaching inn, hotel, and a pub of varying reputation - yes, the One Bull at Mallow has always provided respite for many weary travelers during its long and rich history.

Just across the inn's courtyard, stands the church of St. Cerdic, dedicated to the memory of a sixth-century martyr - someone who died at the hands of the Danes. Since its creation, the church has been closely associated with the One Bull - and St. Cerdic was venerated until the dissolution of the monasteries. His image was commemorated in a stained glass window which even a carefully hidden pig of lead couldn't protect; yet his grave, once a place of miracles, still remains a place for remarkable changes of heart.

Yet through all these centuries of upheaval - while the One Bull expands and contracts over the ages - battling for survival as a smuggling post, a secretive men's club, as well as the site of murder and suicide, it has remained in the hands of the Gilderson family throughout the generations. However, the One Bull has always represented a source of hope and disillusionment for the family as well. A Wayside Tavern is ultimately a story of survival: survival of a place, of a people, and of the legacies that they leave behind them.

I have to say that as with so many of Norah Lofts books, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I found it to have an intriguing plot that was historically accurate and that really captured my attention right from the beginning. Although having said that, I must admit that at least in my own opinion, A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts was perhaps not her best work. However, I would still give this book a very definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

So Far, It's a Great Start to the New Year!

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.

First of all, I have to say that I am feeling much, much better than I did over Christmas. Mareena and I are also absolutely delighted with our recent change of cable company, which happened on Saturday morning, December 17th. So far, we've watched four horror movies that we thoroughly enjoyed and countless other television shows that we never even knew were available before.

I'm also keeping myself busy with doing jigsaw puzzles; which despite not really talking about much I have been doing quite a few of lately. I last finished a jigsaw puzzle on Wednesday afternoon, November 30th! I know that this is actually going to sound pretty strange, but although I can't really remember when I did them, I know that I had done another two jigsaw puzzles out of the box of twelve by Sunday afternoon, December 25th!

I had managed to finish a fifth jigsaw puzzle from the box of twelve on Tuesday afternoon, December 28th! Our good friend Lisa gave me a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle as a Christmas present, which I immediately started doing on Saturday night, December 31st! Again, I'm not really sure when I finished the puzzle - which featured a sleeping cat curling itself through cramped-looking library bookshelves - but it was some time around Thursday night, January 5th! The puzzle is actually called: 'Frederick the Literate' and features titles such as Great Rat Holes of the World, The Three Mouseketeers, Puss in Boots and Other Fairy Tales, Building the Perfect Mousetrap and 1001 Catnip Recipes From Around the World.

Anyway, I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 65 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 What Happened to Sophie Wilder: A Novel by Christopher R. Beha, which I finished on Wednesday, January 4th! Actually, I really enjoyed reading the book, as it was very well written. Mareena asked me several days ago if I wanted to go to our local library and peruse the perpetual Library Book Sale.

Of course, I said I would love to do that, but neither of us can decide on a particular date that we want to go. Perhaps some time in the next two or three weeks, we think. Anyway, I have also started reading A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts on Thursday, January 5th! Although I think I've read this book once before, I'm not exactly sure when that was - maybe twenty years ago, or so?

According to Goodreads - as of today, January 10th - I've actually read 285 pages out of 376 in A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts; or approximately 76 percent. I suppose that I could say that this book is very good, but honestly, it's by Norah Lofts, so what else could I possibly say? Actually, I'm just kidding! LOL!!!

I mean this book is by Norah Lofts and yes, she is one of my favorite authors, but I think that this particular book is actually one of her weaker stories. Don't get me wrong, it still is an intriguing plot and a well-written story - and I'm certainly enjoying A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts very much - however, I just think this book is just not as good as many of her others.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, January 7, 2017

I'm Trying to Decide Whether a Trip to our Local Library is Actually in the Cards!

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

First of all, I have to say that I am feeling much, much better than I did over Christmas. Mareena and I are also absolutely delighted with our recent change of cable company, which happened on Saturday morning, December 17th. So far, we've watched two horror movies that we thoroughly enjoyed and countless other television shows that we never even knew were available before.

Anyway, I'm still working through an amazing backlog of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles from the newspaper. So far, I've done approximately 62 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 What Happened to Sophie Wilder: A Novel by Christopher R. Beha, which I finished on Wednesday, January 4th! Actually, I really enjoyed reading the book, as it was very well written. Mareena asked me several days ago if I wanted to go to our local library and peruse the perpetual Library Book Sale.

Of course, I said I would love to do that, but neither of us can decide on a particular date that we want to go. Perhaps some time in the next two or three weeks, we think. Anyway, I have also started reading A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts on Thursday, January 5th! Although I think I've read this book once before, I'm not exactly sure when that was - maybe twenty years ago, or so?

According to Goodreads - as of today, January 7th - I've actually read 136 pages out of 376 in A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts; or approximately 36 percent. I suppose that I could say that this book is very good, but honestly, it's by Norah Lofts, so what else could I possibly say? Actually, I'm just kidding! LOL!!!

I mean this book is by Norah Lofts and yes, she is one of my favorite authors, but I think that this particular book is actually one of her weaker stories. Don't get me wrong, it still is an intriguing plot and a well-written story - and I'm certainly enjoying A Wayside Tavern by Norah Lofts very much - however, I just think this book is just not as good as many of her others.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christopher R. Beha - What Happened to Sophie Wilder: A Novel

2. What Happened to Sophie Wilder: A Novel by Christopher R. Beha (2012)
Length: 255 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction 
Started: 2 January 2017
Finished: 4 January 2017
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 fiction and Christopher R. Beha is a new author for me.

Charlie Blakeman is a recently published author whose first novel has received minimal acclaim. He currently lives with his cousin Max in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. The cousins live on Washington Square, and while Max is relatively successful in his career as a film critic for the local weekly newspaper, Charlie finds himself struggling to write his follow-up novel. For reasons that he can't seem to explain, Charlie is floundering for any serious literary inspirations, and is beginning to settle into an unexpected and somewhat boring routine in his life.

That is when Charlie's college love suddenly returns. Sophie Wilder and Charlie Blakeman had once been extraordinarily close until they had had a strange fallout about a decade before. Since then, they have barely spoken to each other, but Charlie is still pleasantly surprised to see Sophie. She actually appears to be having some difficulties within her own life as well, although Charlie isn't quite sure of the reason why.

So, Sophie begins to tell Charlie the story of her life since they had last seen each other. She tells him of the brief period of time that she spent as a hospice care giver; and particularly of the dying man with the terrible past who forced Sophie to make an extraordinarily difficult decision. When she disappears once again, Charlie sets out to discover what really happened to Sophie Wilder.

I must admit that I really enjoyed reading this book. The story caught and held my attention right away, and was very well written. I would give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, January 2, 2017

Jeanine Cummins - A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath

1. A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath by Jeanine Cummins (2004)
Length: 302 pages 
Genre: True Crime
Started: 30 December 2016
Finished: 2 January 2017
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 27 December 2016
Why do I have it? I like true crime and had read and enjoyed The Crooked Branch: A Novel by the same author in the past.

Jeanine Cummins and her brother and sister had always believed themselves to be invincible; tough street-wise teenagers who were entirely capable of taking care of themselves. The truth was that these supposedly 'street-smart' city kids could not have been living a more sheltered childhood. Truly, life in the big city could never have prepared Tom, Jeanine, and Kathy Cummins for anything. Indeed, nothing could have ever prepared the Cummins family for the type of brutality that they were about to encounter; or for the tragedy that would ultimately destroy life as they knew it.

When their parents packed nineteen-year-old Tom, sixteen-year-old Jeanine and fifteen-year-old Kathy into the family van for the trip to Missouri, the teenagers were absolutely delighted. They would be spending spring break with their cousins, and they couldn't possibly have been more excited at the prospect of seeing their family again - most especially the Kerry sisters; Julie and Robin. As a matter of fact, the Cummins siblings were extremely close to twenty-year-old Julie and nineteen-year-old Robin, and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. Although nobody could possibly have anticipated the horror that they would experience on the night of April 4th, 1991.

A Rip in Heaven is Jeanine Cummins' story of that night, the horrifying night when her cousins Julie and Robin Kerry and her brother Tom were brutally assaulted. What started out as a simple walk to the Chain of Rocks Bridge - which spans the Mississippi River just outside of St. Louis - to read a poem written by Julie, turned into a harrowing ordeal for the three innocent young people. When Tom finally managed to escape their attackers and flag down help, he believed that the nightmare would soon be over.

However, he could not have been more wrong in his assumption. Tom, his sister Jeanine, and their entire family were only at the beginning of a horrifying odyssey through the aftermath of a violent crime; about to enter a world of shocking betrayal, endless heartbreak, and utter disillusionment. Ultimately, this was a trial by fire from which no family member would emerge unscathed.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was a heartbreakingly sad and shattering account of a brutal crime, but I was utterly shocked by the treatment of the victims by the very people who were charged with their protection. I found that the perseverance of the Cummins family was truly admirable and I applaud their dedication to Julie's and Robin's memories. I would certainly give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Yearly Reading Wrap-up at Moonshine and Rosefire


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

Anyway, I started out January with about 1,055 unread books lying around the house and ended December with 1,055 books unread. All of the books that I acquired this year came from authors, Bookmooch, Paperback Swap, a Library Book Sale and friends. Quite a number of my books that I read this year left my house to go to new homes so that's something I guess. :)

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Rereads
- Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel by Nancy Thayer
- A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
- The Rector's Wife by Joanna Trollope
- While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
- Silver Wedding by Maeve Binchy
- Homework: A Novel by Margot Livesey
- Fortune's Rocks: A Novel by Anita Shreve
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Dark Debts by Karen Hall
- The Last Time They Met: A Novel by Anita Shreve
- Julian's House: A Novel by Judith Hawkes
- The Saving Graces: A Novel by Patricia Gaffney
- A Woman's Place by Barbara Delinsky
- A Friend of the Family: A Novel  by Lauren Grodstein
- A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
- A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neal
- While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
- The Saints and Sinners of Okay County: A Novel by Dayna Dunbar
- Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Changes to the TBR pile 

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Point Hollow: A Novel by Rio Youers
- Next, After Lucifer by Daniel Rhodes
- The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins
- A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger
- Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam
When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt by Leslie Rule
- Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King
- Lisey's Story: A Novel by Stephen King
- Lying Awake: A Novel by Mark Salzman
- Becoming Jane Eyre: A Novel by Sheila Kohler
- When You Believe by Deborah Bedford
- Snow in April by Rosamunde Pilcher
Knitting: A Novel by Anne Bartlett
- On the Street Where You Live: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
- More Than You Know: A Novel by Beth Gutcheon
- Sweet Salt Air: A Novel by Barbara Delinsky
- Unholy Fire by Whitley Strieber
- Charming Billy: A Novel by Alice McDermott
-  The Castaways: A Novel  by Elin Hilderbrand
- The Language of Sisters: A Novel by Amy Hatvany
- Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds and Dorian Hannaway
- The Return by Bentley Little
- Criminals: A Novel by Margot Livesey
- An Unexpected Family by Joan Mendlicott
- Capitol Murder: A Novel of Suspense by Phillip Margolin
- Cruel Winter by Anthony Izzo
- Dearest by Peter Loughran
- The House at Old Vine by Norah Lofts
- Overnight Float: A Mystery by Clare Munnings
- The Other Family: A Novel by Joanna Trollope
- The History Major: A Novella by Michael Phillip Cash
- A Scaly Tale by Kay Wilkins
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
The Fever Tree: A Novel by Jennifer McVeigh
- Secret For a Nightingale by Victoria Holt
A Walk Among the Tombstones by Lawrence Block
- Come Walk With Me by Joan Mendlicott
- Vinegar Hill: A Novel by A. Manette Ansay

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :)
- A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath by Jeanine Cummins
- The Outside Boy: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins
- The Killer Department by Robert Cullen
- Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
- A Gesture Life: A Novel by Chang-Rae Lee
- Indignation: A Novel by Philip Roth
- House by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti
- Endangered: Your Child in a Hostile World by Johann Christoph Arnold
- Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Lady Fiona Carnarvon
- The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio
- The Businessman: A Tale of Terror by Thomas M. Disch
- A Dog's Purpose: A Novel For Humans by W. Bruce Cameron
- The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Erzsebet Bathory by Valentine Penrose
- While we Were Watching Downton Abbey: A Novel by Wendy Wax
- Eleanor: The Years Alone by Joseph P. Lash
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Absent Friends by S. J. Rozan
The Dive From Clausen's Pier: A Novel by Ann Packer
Henry and Clara: A Novel by Thomas Mallon
I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir by Lee Grant
Japan Took the J. A. P. Out of Me by Lisa F. Cook
Keeping Faith: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
Last to Know: A Novel by Elizabeth Adler
Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury
My Theodosia: A Novel by Anya Seton
An Old Betrayal by Charles Finch
One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix by Jane Kirkpatrick
The Phantom Coach: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories by Michael Sims
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
The Spire by Richard North Patterson
Stone Angel by Carol O'Connell
A Table by the Window: A Novel of Family Secrets and Heirloom Recipes by Hillary Manton Lodge
The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J. R. Moehringer
The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
- Blind Date by Frances Fyfield
Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated Reference to the Myths, Religions, Pyramids and Temples of the Land of the Pharaohs by Lorna Oakes and Lucia Gahlin
- Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Novel by Alison Weir
- Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir
- The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel by Alison Weir
The Diabetes Heart Healthy Cookbook by The American Diabetes Association and The American Heart Association
Engaged to Murder: The Shocking True Story of the Nation's Most Brutal Triple Murder by Loretta Schwartz-Nobel
- The Open Channel by Jill Morrow
- Collector's Series Sum-Doku Puzzles 6-pack: (Volumes 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13) by Dell Magazines
- Tongues by Sam Joyce
- Angel Cafe by Jill Morrow
- Storming the Magic Kingdom: Wall Street, the Raiders and the Battle For Disney by John Taylor

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King
- The Deceit by Paul Block
- Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
- A Walk Among the Tombstones by Lawrence Block
- 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
- Report to the Commissioner by James Mills
- Lying Awake: A Novel by Mark Salzman
- Dying Young by Marti Leimbach 
- Bless me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
- The Race: A Novel by Richard North Patterson 
- Sins of the Fathers by Susan Howatch
- Seawitch by Alistair MacLean
- Snow in April by Rosamunde Pilcher
- Donovan's Brain by Curt Siodmak
- Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans
- The Entity by Frank De Felitta
- When You Believe by Deborah Bedford
- The Castaways: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand
- December 6th by Martin Cruz Smith
- My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier 
- My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
- Keep Calm and Ask On: A No-Nonsense Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams by Michael Samuels
- The Titan by Fred Mustard Stewart
- Embrace the Serpent by Marilyn T. Quayle and Nancy T. Northcott
- Sweet Salt Air: A Novel by Barbara Delinsky
- Dark Debts by Karen Hall
- The Return by Bentley Little
The Complete Diabetic Cookbook by Mary Jane Finsand
Diabetes A to Z: What You Need to Know About Diabetes - Simply Put by The American Diabetes Association
Julian's House: A Novel by Judith Hawkes
Cold Mountain: A Novel by Charles Frazier
- Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell
- Loves Music, Loves to Dance by Mary Higgins Clark
Falling in Love With God: Reflections on Prayer by Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. and Colleen Birchett, Ph.D.
- Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
- The Language of Sisters: A Novel by Amy Hatvany
- The Joshua Sequence by Frederick D. Huebner
- Country Kitchen Collection: Fruit Basket by House Regency
- A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neal
- An Unexpected Family by Joan Mendlicott
- Saving Face and Other Stories by Norah Lofts
- Criminals: A Novel by Margot Livesey
- A Density of Souls: A Novel by Christopher Rice
- 8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber
- In Another Country by Susan Kenney
- Capitol Murder: A Novel of Suspense by Phillip Margolin
- Best Friends by Martha Moody
Big Girl: A Novel by Danielle Steel
Handsome Women by Judith Henry Wall
Last Kiss by Luanne Rice
A Good Woman by Danielle Steel
- Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend by Robert James Waller
- Dearest by Peter Loughran
Friends and Lovers by Helen MacInnes
- Tongues by Sam Joyce
- Doctor Love by Gael Greene
- The Saints and Sinners of Okay County: A Novel by Dayna Dunbar
Anne McKevitt's Style Solutions: 365 of the Freshest Looks, Smartest Tips and Best Advice For Your Home by Anne McKevitt
A Scaly Tale by Kay Wilkins
- The History Major: A Novella by Michael Phillip Cash
- The Fever Tree: A Novel by Jennifer McVeigh
- A Ruling Passion: Volume 1 by Judith Michael
- One Day at a Time by Danielle Steel
- A Scaly Tale by Ripley's Believe it or Not!
- The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
- Blood Sugar by Jim DeFilippi
- A Simple Plan by Scott Smith
- The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
- Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
- Christian Clip Art by In Celebration Publishing
- Vinegar Hill: A Novel by A. Manette Ansay
Alone Yet Not Alone: Based on the True Story of Barbara and Regina Leininger by Tracy Michele Leininger
- Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown

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

Books Read: 58
Pages Read: 19,033
Grade Range: A+! to B+!

So, there you go! The reading year that was 2016! I hope that you all had an equally good reading year; if not a little better. :) See you all next year! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Reading Wrap-up For December 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 December with 1,060 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,055 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

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
- A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger
The Crooked Branch: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins
- Next, After Lucifer by Daniel Rhodes
- Point Hollow: A Novel by Rio Youers

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- Indignation: A Novel by Philip Roth
- A Gesture Life: A Novel by Chang-Rae Lee
- Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
- The Killer Department by Robert Cullen
- The Outside Boy: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins
A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath by Jeanine Cummins

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- A Walk Among the Tombstones by Lawrence Block
- Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
- The Deceit by Paul Block
- Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King

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: 1,583
Grade Range: A+! to A!

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