Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can't wait

Well here we go...another new month. Time truly seems to be going faster and faster. I wonder why. I thought it was because I was getting older, but I am not so sure. I hear young people say the same thing, "Where does time go", "Time goes by so fast", .....I realized I hear and say something else a lot lately too. "I can't wait". Maybe that is what makes time go by so fast. We are always looking for the next thing to happen instead of enjoying the moment we are in. I love that old joke "men don't care what is on t.v., they only care what ELSE is on t.v. We always seem to want the "what else" instead of "what is now".
So for September, I am making a conscious effort to look at this day and only this day. Stop myself from saying "can't wait for the weekend", "Can't wait till 5:00", "Can't wait until I can go to bed", can't wait... can't wait. Oh wait....technically it is still August so I will say one last "can't wait". I can't wait for these books that come out in September.

For all you Shopaholic fans we have waited a long time for this one. Becky Bloomwood's little girl is an apple that doesn't fall far from the tree. I have read excerpts and this looks hilarious! I will be in line for this one the minute it comes out on 9-21-10.

This is part of the "Outlander" series I talked about in my blog about fall/winter books. Diana Gabaldon takes a long time to write a book because she is so accurate with her historical facts. This book takes Jaime's point of view of the first book in the "Outlanders" series. I'm very curious to read it particularly because the first book has been my favorite so far. It is out 9-21-10. I'll let you know if you should read the original "Outlander" before jumping into this one.

 I have never discussed Ken Follett in my blog as of yet, but he has definitely written two of my favorite BOB (remember...big ole books) "The Pillars of The Earth" and it's sequel "World Without End". This is gonna be another BOB at over a thousand pages. It is an epic that covers five families in America, Russia, and Germany and takes place during the first world war. Sounds like I have found my first Fall/Winter book. It come out 9-21-10 and this is one I will definitely get for Kindle. A book that big will give me carpal tunnel!

By the time I get around to Debbie Macomber's "Call Me Mrs. Miracle" it will be just in time for Christmas which is what this book is all about. Debbie comes out with a great holiday book almost every year. This one re-visits Emily Merkle (is she an angel?) only this time she is working in a toy store during Christmas. Reading Debbie Macomber's holiday books are the best way I know to get into the Christmas spirit. This one promises to be a great way to kick off the season. It will be released on 9-28-10.

Okay, so NO MORE wishing time away. Every day in September will be savored and enjoyed....just like a great book!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nothing Better Than Small Town Life

I have been asked more times than I can count...what do you do for fun in Smallsville? Well let me tell you, we know how to have a good time with old fashion "clean?" fun. Kaiser was in a pig wrestling contest and my stomach is still sore from laughing. After the firetruck hosed him off we spent the rest of the evening walking around the county fair. 

Where else but a small town can you see a speckled hen, a brown spotted goat, and a cute little pink pig. People strolling around and actually talking with one another. Follow all that up with some home made peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream with your next door neighbor and my friends you have heaven right here on earth in my opinion.We know our neighbors here (and their kids). And we help one another.

And so it is in a little town called Lumby. Lumby is somewhere in the pacific northwest and has two main roads and quirky residents that keep you laughing. If you enjoy small town life you will enjoy these books. They remind me of our own little Smallsville. They are not meant to be terribly profound, just light reading to make you smile. If you're interested in the artwork, the author Gail Fraser, has a terrific website. There is a link where you can purchase the art from her book covers and other items (calanders, etc.) at  http://www.lumbybooks.com/.  It isn't necessary to read them in order however I think you will find it easier to learn the main characters as they remain throughout the series.

We finished the evening by helping out a friend who needed a ride home. Home was 15 miles away but that's okay. I was grateful to do it. Grateful because I live in a place where you can ask a friend "to go an extra mile" and it's no problem. Grateful that I had the means to do it. Grateful that if I have a need tomorrow, my friends and neighbors will be there.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fall's Dress Rehearsal

I have heard it said that a person is naturally drawn to the time and season that they were born. Well I don't know if that is true, but I do know I love fall and that happens to be the season of my birth. Today was a beautiful preview. A promise that the earth WILL cool, that the air WILL get crisper clearer. Soon we will smell chimney smoke and crave rich hearty food. It's as if the body knows we need to store up for the long winter. I feel the yearnings for a "Fall/Winter" book.

Summer reads are light, airy, easy to put down and pick right back up without losing the thread of the story. Kind of like fruit, sandwiches, and salads.  Fall and Winter books are meaty and rich with complicated story lines and fully developed characters. Like stew, chili and roast. They are usually epics. A big ole book that you can snuggle down and read for hours. I have browsed Barnes and Noble for the new releases coming soon...but alas haven't seen my "winter" book yet. One of the best "winter" books I have read is, "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon. You might have noticed her name on my favorite author list. WOW how I love this book. It is a
  1. Love story- whew, some of the "intimate" scenes are pretty risque
  2. Mystery- The main character travels through time to the 1500's
  3. Historical- Takes place in Scotland (think Braveheart)
  4. Series- yes that is right...you know me I am a sucker for a series. So far it is the first in 7 books.
  5. It will be a movie. They have already started working on it.

I'm not doing this book justice...all I can say is that any one I have ever talked into reading it LOVED it. It is a long one at 640 pages but they are pages that fly. Don't be afraid of BOB (big ole books). How many times have you finished a book and wished there were more pages! Besides, if you wanna be a "Fall/Winter" book lover, you have to read BOB!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Essentials Done...Time to Read

Another Saturday...and I find myself doing anything BUT housework. I was better today, and made myself promise to do the essentials before reading or blogging.  So with the essentials done....I went outside to practice with my camera and found this.
Which of course reminded me of two great books that I love.  These books were so sweet that I purchased them twice. Once for me on my Kindle and then again in paperback as a gift for my Aunt Salley. These are both re-readers!! Do you ever re-read a good book? My husband simply cannot understand how I can read the same book over and over.

"At Home On Lady Bug Farm" and the sequel "A Year On Lady Bug Farm" by Donna Ball is just a good sweet clean read. I can't describe it any better than the following synopsis I found on Barnes and Noble:
"Their husbands were gone, their families were grown, and the future stretched out before them like an unfulfilled promise...
Tired of always dreaming and never doing, Cici, Lindsay, and Bridget make a life-altering decision. Uprooting themselves from their comfortable lives in the suburbs, the three friends buy a run-down mansion, nestled in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley. They christen their new home "Ladybug Farm," hoping that the name will bring them luck.
As the friends take on a home improvement challenge of epic proportions, they encounter disaster after disaster, from renegade sheep and garden thieves to a seemingly ghostly inhabitant. Over the course of a year, overwhelming obstacles make the three women question their decision, but they ultimately learn that sometimes the best things can happen when everything goes wrong..."

If you have read and liked the Mitford Series by Jan Karon or Lumby Series by Gail Fraser, then these books are right up your alley.
Let me know what you think. If you do like it try "The Fixer Upper" by Mary Kay Andrews, you'll like that one too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did Kindle kill the bookstore star?

Remember that '80s song "Video killed the Radio Star"? It was about how the new age of video and MTV could make the radio obsolete. Of course it did change music for ever but do you think it has replaced the radio? The question these days is will the Kindle, ipad and other electronic books make physical books obsolete? How does cheap and easy access to ebooks(electronic books like Kindle) affect the bookstores and libraries? I recently heard John Grisham express his concern, for new authors trying to sell their stories. He feared that as cheap as Walmart, Amazon,Target and others were selling books, that publishers and new authors would not be able to make it. He commented “I’m probably going to be all right — but the aspiring writers are going to have a very hard time getting published”.

I am torn because I have a foot in both camps. You see, I want my cake and I want to eat it too. I love my library. I love to touch, smell, and look at my shelves of books. It is soothing to me. I love to feel the weight of a 300 page novel in my hands while I sit in my favorite chair with my favorite blanket and snuggle down to read. On the other hand I love to slip my sleek, thin, Kindle into my purse, (loaded with 3 new novels) as I head out for vacation, the Dr's office, etc...I also love instantly downloading a new release where ever I am, instead of driving 40 miles to buy it, or waiting for the library to get it.
You see, I am an optimist. I don't think you have to have one or the other. Why do we always feel we have to throw out the old in order to have the new. I believe both ebooks and good old fashion books have a place. After all we didn't stop making hard backed books with the invention of paperback books, right? Kindle, ipad, Nook, ebook...all will change the way we read, but it doesn't have to kill the bookstore. Looking through my polly anna glasses, I see it as another avenue to turn more people on to reading.

Monday, August 16, 2010

School Days

Everyone is talking about it, dreading it, preparing for it, excited for it...School Starts. A brand new year to start fresh. Maybe a college freshman moving away from home, excited for their independence but nervous about making new friends. Maybe a Kindergartner worried that no one will like him.  No matter how old you get you never forget those first days of school. I remember in junior high I was terrified that I wouldn't fit in and then I found that special friend. The one that lasts a lifetime.

That is exactly why I loved the book "Firefly Lane" written by Kristin Hannah.  The story opens in the summer of 1974 and spans three decades of friendship between Tully and Kate. They make an unlikely bond that takes them through junior high all the way to motherhood. Some critics compare it to the movie "Beaches" with Bett Midler. 

It made me remember, made me laugh and made me cry.  I couldn't put this one down, and while I never     guarantee you will love a book...I don't think you will be disappointed. 
ALERT: Have a box of Kleenex at the ready. 
It is available for the Kindle and in paperback.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend with Preston

Uh Oh little shoes and an extra toothbrush means PRESTON'S IN THE HOUSE!!!

What a great surprise...Ryan came home Friday from Stillwater with an extra passenger. Preston told me he needed to see his Grammy and PaPa!  Well alrighty then, let the party begin:

Swimming first and of course
 you must have all the proper equipment,
including a Nemo swim cap, duck life jacket and
goggles that pinch the nose and squash the eye! :)

Bathtime...no wait we got two birds with one stone in the pool, and puzzle time, and snack time, and movie time,......Finally
We had a great night's sleep with Preston in-between Grammy and PaPa (sideways with all the covers). 

Bright and early Saturday morning Preston, Papa and Uncle Brock head out for the lake....

leaving Chipper and Grammy behind:(

Okay, so Chipper was sad....Grammy wasn't!

I took advantage of the quiet time with what else.....a good book.
Here is one you might not have read: "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton. It is a definite page turner. It jumps back and forth between 1913 and present day. You guessed it, it has a quaint cottage in a secret garden, and a bit of mystery. Oh and of course a love story. It is available in Hard back, paperback and for the Kindle. I happen to have it on my Kindle.

So we finished up the weekend with Sunday morning church, then lunch at home.

It was a weekend well spent. No laundry was done, no errands were run and certainly no cobwebs were dusted but... I hope years from now Preston has many special memories with Kaiser and I.  I hope he remembers when we read about far away places where amazing things happened. I hope he remembers putting puzzles together, playing hide and seek, and swimming. Most of all, I hope he remembers while sitting on his Grammy's lap....he fell in love with reading.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dog Days=Good Reading

Wow it is unbelievably hot and when it is this hot, there is only one thing for it.
A tall glass of iced tea,

a comfy chair under the ceiling fan, and a great book.

I tend to stick with the same authors, but while I was in San Francisco a few years ago I was shopping at a Borders (my favorite) and came across a hidden treasure.

The author is Jennifer Donnelly (www.jenniferdonnelly.com) and the books are "The Tea Rose" and it's sequel "The Winter Rose".  A third book in the series will be "The Wild Rose" and due out sometime in 2011.  I definitly recommend reading them in order. These stories take place in London starting in the year 1888 (there is a hint of "Jack The Ripper" in part of the story line). It is an epic tale and covers the lives of two families in the poverty stricken parts of London as well as America. Think Oliver Twist. Of course it is a great love story as well. If you liked "The Thornbirds" or even "Gone with The Wind" you will love these books.

Now for the bad news, and the reason you can't always just stick with one author and think it's a sure thing. Given that I loved the Rose series I attempted to read another one of her books called "A Northern Light". For me this book fell flat and it is one of the few books I couldn't make myself finish (oh that's a great idea for another blog... another day!). Cobwebs can wait...go grab one of these books!

Books of the past

Now that I have started this blog thing, it is all that is on my mind. Kind of like a new book, you know the kind that you just can't put down. So I would like share with you how all this "reading thing" got started. These are some of the books that opened up an imaginary world that I could travel to through the written word.
Laura Ingalls Wilder taught me to love reading long before the "Little House" television series. I still have my original set that my Grandmother got for me (one at a time) when I was in the third grade. Everyone who knows me, knows I have a passion for the "Wizard of Oz" however if you have never read the book you should. It is much different than the movie. Dorothy still gets home but her shoes were not Ruby! While we are discussing trivia, did you know that Julie Andrews, the famous singer/actor of "The Sound of Music" is also a children's author. She writes under the name Julie Edwards and penned one of my favorite childhood books "Mandy". If you have a little girl please read this to her or better yet get her a book of her own. Of all the gifts my Mother and Grandmother gave me, reading is one of the greatest.
Well, it is Saturday and there are cobwebs to clean...or better yet I think I shall re-visit a childhood favorite and read "Charlotte's Web" to Preston

Getting Started

Well it's another sleepless night so I was surfing the net and reading some of my friends' blogs. After several false starts...I have a blog of my own. I plan to use it for sharing a thought about a good read (or a bad one), lots of bragging on my only grandson, posting a picture or two, and hopefully satisfying a secret desire to write.
Preston (The Grandson)
Don't look for many recipes here...I'm no cook. Although I do love to eat so expect a diatribe on my perpetual journey to shed pounds!
Kaiser (husband of 28 years) and I are slated to begin our second semester of Spanish Class, and that is always fodder for a good story. Kaiser provides the class with amusement because he speaks Spanish with an Asian accent. Go figure.

Kaiser (The Husband)
Good book lately? I read several this summer and seem to be stuck in a "beach" theme. Mary Alice Monroe's "The Beach House" and it's sequel "Swimming Lessons" were both very satisfying. Made me have a yearning to vacation in South Carolina (were the story takes place).  

I am anxiously awaiting the September release of "Mini Shopaholic" by Sophia Kinsella and also Jean Auel's latest in the Earth Children's series "The Land of the Painted Caves" which will be out in March of 2011.
Well the sleep that had alluded me has found me at last. The first post was rather uninspiring but fun. I'll work to improve though doubt that my fan base will complain.
Until then..."May the cobwebs collect in the corners while you find more important things to do than clean them!"