Thursday, May 31, 2012

May in Review

"yes, May is over already!"

How was your month?   I had a decent May -- (10) books: (5) audio books, (3) eBooks and (2) review copies.  That makes (59) for 2012, so right on track for my goal of (125).

I still haven't reviewed Home; Toni Morrison. It's a short novella, I liked it a lot, but just haven't put my thoughts into words yet.  Neighborhood Watch was an audio book I listen to and liked. Parts sounded familiar, and guess what I actually read this in hardcover and found I reviewed it as well when it was first released a couple of years ago....LOL.  It's a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing. The audio edition was read by Coleen Marlo who did a great job.

  1. Blue Monday; Nicci French - 3/5 (eGalley) 
  2. Carry the One; Carol Anshaw - 4/5 (ARC/audio)
  3. The Replacement Wife; Eileen Goudge - 4/5 (eBook)
  4. Say You're One of Them; Uwem Akpan - 4.5/5 (audio)
  5. Bringing Up Bebe; Pamala Druckerman - 5/5 (audio)
  6. Home; Toni Morrison - 4.5/5 (eBook) - no review yet
  7. The Gingerbread Girl; Stephen King - 3.5/5 (audio)
  8. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats; Jan-Philipps Sendker  4.5/5 (eBook)
  9. The Land of Decoration; Grace McCleen - 5/5 (ARC)
  10. Neighborhood Watch; Cammie McGovern  4/5 -( audio) 
I also have a great audio book going:  Monday Mornings; Sanjay Gupta (audio). I also have a few kids books reviews to do as well.

June Plans
Hope June is a great month for all of you.

Taking the "The Stand...along" this summer!


Trish of Love Laughter and Insanity is hosting a (2) month read-a-long of Stephen King's "The Stand". Have you read this massive tome?  If not, how about joining in?

Here are the details that Trish posted on her blog:

The Stand...along Basics:

What: Readalong of The Stand by Stephen King. I'm calling it the Standalong. :)

When: June 1st through July 27th.

Where: Sign up on this post. Midway post will go up July 1st. Wrap-up post will go up July 27th. If you are reading the original version, you should be at Chapter 38 for the midway check-in. If you are reading the "uncut" version, you should be at Chapter 48 for the midway check-in. I know, confuses me, too.

How: However you want. Original (shorter) version, Uncut version, Audio version. Post on your blog or don't. You don't have to have a blog (but it does make it fun). Chitchat on Twitter. Think I'll be using #standalong or maybe #thestand. Input?

-----------------------------------
Trish asks participants the following questions:

1. What makes you want to read The Stand?
It's been on my TBR list forever!
2. Describe your preconceived notions of The Stand.
Scary, nail biting moments
3. What was the last scary(ish) book you read or movie you saw?
Watched Stephen King's MISERY (it's a favorite - that Kathy Bates is scary.
4. Which version of the book will you be reading from?
Kindle's eBook
5. What are you previous experiences with Stephen King?
Loved his books in the 80's, then stopped reading him until 2011/12. 
Loved he latest book, 11/22/63

6. Anything else you'd like to add (bonus points for being extra random).
Hope I can stay focused and finish this one. 
To all who join in - Have fun everyone

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Magnificence; Lydia Millet

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating! Want to participate? Post your own WOW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. My pick is one that won't be released until  November 2012, by W.W. Norton and Co., but it sounds like  a good one to me.

 
November 5, 2012

A woman embarks on a dazzling new phase in her life after inheriting a sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy.

Lydia Millet is “one of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation” (Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times). This stunning novel introduces Susan Lindley, a woman adrift after her husband’s death. Suddenly gifted her great uncle’s Pasadena mansion, Susan decides to restore his extensive collection of preserved animals, tending to “the fur and feathers, the beaks, the bones and shimmering tails.” Meanwhile, a menagerie of uniquely damaged humans—including a cheating husband and a chorus of eccentric elderly women—joins her in residence.

Millet’s “flawlessly beautiful” (Salon) prose creates a setting both humorous and wondrous as Susan defends her inheritance from freeloading relatives and explores the mansion’s many mysterious spaces. Funny and heartbreaking, Magnificence is the story of a woman emerging from the sudden dissolution of her family. Millet’s trademark themes—evolution and extinction, children and parenthood, loss and wonder—produce a rapturous final act to the critically acclaimed cycle of novels that began with How the Dead Dream.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Paragraph ~ First Chapter ~ Tuesday Intros


Every Tuesday, I'll be posting the opening paragraph (sometimes maybe a few ) of a book I decided to read based on the opening paragraph (s). Feel free to grab the banner and play along.  This week's selection is from a book that I started over the weekend  -- it's awesome. Have you read it?


"On a February morning, when a weather front is moving in off the Pacific but has nor quite arrived, and the winds are changeable and gusty and clouds drive over and an occasional flurry of fine rain darkens the terrace bricks, this place conforms to none of the cliches about California with which they advertise the Sunshine Cities for the Sunset Years.  No bland sky, no cool morning overcast, no placid afternoons fading into chilly evenings.  This is North Sea weather.  The sky boils with cloud, the sun glares out now and the like the opening eye of a doped patient, and the brief beam of intelligence it shoots forth lights on the hills and turns a distant subdivision into a view of Toledo.

Fat towhees sidle up to one another, pinheaded doves forage in the grass, the field next door is suddenly full of robins who arrive like brown leaves, picnic awhile, and depart all together as if summoned.  From my study I can watch wrens and bush tits in the live oak outside.  The wrens are nesting in a hole for the fifth straight year and are very busy: tilted tails going in, sharp heads with the white eyebrow stripe coming out.  They are surly, aggressive, and I wonder idly, why I, who seem to be as testy as the wrens, much prefer the sociable bush tits.  Maybe because the bush tits are doing what I thought we would be doing out here, just messing around, paying no attention to time or duty, kicking up leaves and playing hide-and-seek up and down the oak trunks and generally enjoying themselves.

It is a meditation of this kind that keeps me, at nearly seventy, so contented and wholesome".

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, Pamela Druckerman

 
Author:  Pamela Druckerman
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Random House Audio
Edition: audiobook
Reader: Abby Craden
Source: Library
Setting: France
Date Completed: 5/2012
Rating: 5/5
Recommend: yes

I finished this audio book about a month ago, and it was awesome. It's one of those books, I picked up on a whim, and never expected to love it as much as I did.  Sometimes when this happens, I put off doing a review for a long while, feeling like I can't possibly give the book a good enough review.

The author was a former Wall Street Journal reporter who after leaving her job, moved to Paris to be with her new love, Simon, a British Journalist.  The couple marries and she soon finds out she is pregnant. Being that her first baby will be born and raised in France,  she sees herself at a definite disadvantage even before the baby is born. She doesn't ever speak the language well, her family is in the US, and although she has never raised a child, it is already obvious to her early on that French parents do things differently beginning when the infant is only a few months old. 

For example, French babies are eased into the family's routine, and the parents do not rush to always pick up the baby when the baby first starts to whimper.  Parents believe that by do this early on, teaches little ones to wait, teaching them early on self-discipline, which leads to calmer children later on. The French claim that this helps the babies to "do their nights" (sleep through the night) quicker as well. Very important as most French women who worked before their pregnancy do return to work within a few months after the baby is born.

Another observation by Druckerman was that French toddlers and their parents for that matter, seem calmer and more relaxed. Her observations revealed generally pleasant eating out experiences for parents and child. She notes how, early on young children are eased into the (3) meals a day plus a snack routine. A routine that fits the life of the family.  They eat what the parents eat early on, and even seem to enjoy fish, meats and vegetables and other grown up foods that some American children might turn their noses up at.  American children are offered many many "choices" according to the French way of thinking.  French children are not allowed to snack at random times of the day.  Another difference that I was surprised by was the fact that while many American parents are constantly praising their little ones, every time they do something that pleases the parents, French parents are not as generous with their praise, their goal being is to raise calm children, educate them and to teach them how to behave properly. 

There were many other observations that made me stop and think as well. I liked this book, because it was not one-sided. It did not depict either American parenting or French parenting to be the best way to raise a child. Parents are encouraged to take hold of their own lives, and by doing so they will raise independent, well-adjusted children. I liked that the author's findings were based on a lot of observation. From child-care settings, schools and even parks and even play times.  The story is written in a humorous and engaging manner, that captured my interest early on. You don't have to be a young parent to enjoy this book.  The audio reader, Abby Craden did a great job. Loved this one.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Snapshots - Picnic Visitors




Saturday Snapshot

Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Thursday was our work picnic. This box turtle was under one of the tables while we we having lunch.  Not sure how long it took him to get there from the nearby lake about 1/4 of a mile away, but someone volunteered to carry him back to where he most likely came from.


One employee brought her 5-years old daughter's (7 week old)  Bantam chickens for a sort of show and tell.

I had no idea chickens were so cheap. $2.35 each. 
She purchased (4) so her daughter could get involved in 4-H.  She claims they are very little work.

 These were taken the day before the picnic - Mom, Dad and babies down by the lake at work.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend ~ The Official Kick-Off of My Summer Reading 2012


For me, Memorial Day weekend officially kick off the summer. For me that often means, a few easier, lighter reads, that require less focus, are still fun, and will enable me to people watch and bird watch, whether on the beach or in the park.  


  • I'm starting my own, personal summer-reading challenge.  
  • I'm making a list of (15) books, all from my physical shelves.
  • I'm hoping to read and review (10) from this list.
  • Feel free to make your own list and use the image as well.
Here's My List:
  1. Yellow Raft in Blue Water; Michael Dorris
  2. Northwest Corner; John Schwartz (4/5) 
  3. The Spectator Bird; Wallace Stegner (5/5)
  4. The First Day of the Rest of My Life; Cathy Lamb
  5. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest; Stieg Larsson
  6. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty; Josilyn Jackson (5/5) -
  7. The Stand; Stephen King (4/5)
  8. Prodigal Summer; Barbara Kingsolver
  9. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry; Rachel Joyce - 5/5 (no review yet)
  10. Model Home; Eric Puchner
  11. Tell the Wolves I'm Home; Carol Rifka Brunt - 5/5 (no review yet)
  12. Evening Ferry; Katherine Towler
  13. A Translation of the Bones; Francesca Kay  4.5/5 
  14. The Folded Earth; Anuradha Roy 4/5 (no review yet)
  15. Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale; Lynda Rutledge
Have you read any of these? If so which do you recommend?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Gingerbread Girl; Stephen King



Author:  Stephen King
Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Edition: audiobook
Reader: Mare Winningham
Source: Library
Setting: FL
Date Completed: 5/2012
Rating: 3.5/5
Recommend: yes

If you're looking for a quick audio book listen that's super easy to follow, The Gingerbread Girl, a novella by Stephen King, may be a good choice for you. It's only (2) discs and (2) hours of listening time. 

Emily Owensby is a young married woman who has recently lost her baby to SIDS.  Their marriage strained,  she is reeling in emotional pain, and looks for relief by beginning to run. She starts out slow, and then runs more and more and more, until she becomes physically ill because from this obsession.  When her husband confronts her about what she is doing to herself, she runs from him as well.

Emily heads to her father's vacation cabin in Vermillion Key, Florida, hoping to deal with her emotional wounds.  In Florida, she begins running once again, along the beach, each time farther and farther and still thinking about the baby she lost.  One day she encounters a man who seemed "crazy", and what happens next will take Emily's mind off his lost baby, and have her wondering about her own survival.

The reader Mare Winningham, did a good job but, I thought the story itself was just okay. There were no twists or turns along the way, but there was enough suspense to keep me engaged.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats; Jan-Philipp Sendker


Author:  Jan-Philipp Sendker
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Other Press
Edition: Kindle
Source: purchase
Setting: NYC and Burma
Date Completed: 5/2012
Rating: 4.5/5
Recommend: yes


After reading this novel it was hard to believe that the book was originally published in German in 2002. The translation was excellent as was the story.

Although Tin Win was born in Burma, his adult life was spent in New York City.  A successful entertainment lawyer, he was married to a demanding American woman who enjoyed the life her husband's success offered; the couple had two grown children.  After leaving for a business trip, which his family believed was to Boston, he disappears from their lives.  His passport was later found near a Bangkok airport.

Four years later his daughter Julia, also a New York City lawyer finds an unsent love letter, written by her father in 1955, to a woman named MiMi  who lived in Burma.  Hoping to find her father or at least understand his past, Julia travels to Burma.

The story opens in a tea house located in a small town in Burma.  Julia is greeted by a mysterious man  named Uba who tells her that he has been expecting her.  He claims to know her father, and asks her an odd question --- whether she believes in love? What happens next is that the reader is taken on an unforgettable journey by Uba to the humble and sad beginnings of her father Tin Win, a cast off raised by Buddhist monks.

Uba tells the story of Julia's father very slowly. She learns of her fathers disability and how he compensated for it by his acute sense of hearing -- listening to the heartbeats and voices of those around him.  The reader also learns about the special crippled girl with the power of song and ability to heal who stole his heart.

Without saying much more, there is so much to this story that makes it memorable. Readers who can  appreciate a story that is part fable, and also a story about  the power of love -- a love capable of enduring nearly 50 years of separateness will enjoy this story.  It's one of those stories that will stay with you.

Waiting on Wednesday - The Bartender's Tale; Ivan Doig


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating! Want to participate? Post your own WOW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. My pick is one that won't be released until August 2012.


August 21, 2012 (Riverhead Books)

Book Description:
From a great American storyteller, a one-of-a-kind father and his precocious son, rocked by a time of change.

Tom Harry has a streak of frost in his black pompadour and a venerable bar called The Medicine Lodge, the chief watering hole and last refuge of the town of Gros Ventre, in northern Montana. Tom also has a son named Rusty, an “accident between the sheets” whose mother deserted them both years ago.The pair make an odd kind of family, with the bar their true home, but they manage just fine.

Until the summer of 1960, that is, when Rusty  turns twelve. Change arrives with gale force, in the person of Proxy, a taxi dancer Tom knew back when, and her beatnik daughter, Francine. Is Francine, as Proxy claims, the unsuspected legacy of her and Tom’s past? Without a doubt she is an unsettling gust of the future, upending every certainty in Rusty’s life and generating a mist of passion and pretense that seems to obscure everyone’s vision but his own. As Rusty struggles to decipher the oddities of adult behavior and the mysteries build toward a reckoning, Ivan Doig wonderfully captures how the world becomes bigger and the past becomes more complex in the last moments of childhood.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Land of Decoration; Grace McCleen



Author:  Grace McCleen
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt
Edition: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Date Completed: 5/2012
Rating: 5/5
Recommend: yes


The Land of Decoration, from the Book of Ezekiel, is a better world, the "promised land", the way 10-year old Judith McPherson wishes the world to be. It's a world Judith has created from the junk she finds, and the reader can see her creation, beginning with the opening paragraphs of this debut novel------

  "IN THE BEGINNING there was an empty room, a little bit of space, a little bit of light, a little bit of time.

  I said, I'm going to make fields, and I made them from place mats, carpet, brown corduroy, and felt. Then I made rivers from crepe paper, plastic wrap and shiny tinfoil, and mountains from papier mache and bark. And I looked at the fields and I looked at the rivers and I looked at the mountains and I saw that they were good."

Judith's real world is not a happy place. Her mom has died, her father John, is a strict, cold man who works at the steel mill which is troubled by union labor issues. A Christian fundamentalist, the one thing her father insists on is that Judith study the bible daily. He makes sure that she understands how important discipline and righteousness are. At 10, she understands all about Judgment Day, and even though she's still a child, she looks forward to it. She'll be with her mother again, she won't have to worry about school bullies ever again. One day when a classmate promises to embarrass her in school the following Monday, something good happens. Judith believes, "the Land of Decoration" she has created makes miracles possible, making her believe she may be God's "chosen one".

Without telling too much of the story, this debut novel was a hit with me. The chapters are short -- just several pages each, which makes every word, every thought seem perfect considering the narrator is a 10-year old girl. She's very smart, sympathetic and looking to find her place within this crazy world. I found myself rooting for her all the way, but I would find it hard to classify this story -- psychological, coming of age, suspense, faith -- it seems to have most areas covered -- What a terrific book for reading groups; there is plenty to talk about.

READ IT!

Say You're One of Them; Uwem Akpan




Author:  Uwem Akpan
Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Readers:  (3): Robin Miles, Dion Graham, Kevin Free (all very good)
Edition: audiobook
Source: Library
Date Completed: 5/2012
Rating: 4.5/5
Recommend: yes

Say You're One of Them, is a debut collection of (5) short stories about children growing up in Africa.  Each story tells of life in a different African country: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Benin, Rwanda and Kenya.  Making the stories especially poignant and sad is the fact that each story is told from the eyes of the children.  The stories are not easy to listen to, as some of the topics in these stories have parents who are dying of AIDS, children being sold into slavery, the lives of children as prostitutes, and even children who have had their hands amputated as a penalty for stealing.

Even though, in general, I am not a huge fan of short story collections, this audio book got my full attention.  An eye-opening collection of stories about children whose innocence has been lost, because they were born into a life where poverty, chaos and violence were commonplace.

The writing is vivid and sobering. Despite the despair exhibited through and through, never for a minute did I feel like I needed to stop listening.  The author is a Jesuit priest, who I can only imagine, knows first-hand what he has written about.  If ever for a minute you are feeling sorry for yourself, your situation, or your life, you should read or listen to these stories -- they will make you appreciate your life -- the way it is--a lot more. I know I did.

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros


Every Tuesday, I'll be posting the opening paragraph (sometimes maybe a few) of a book I decided to read based on the opening paragraph (s). Feel free to grab the banner and play along.  This week's selection is from a book that I started over the weekend....it's different, but good..
The Land of Decoration
Henry Holt and Co - March 2012

"IN THE BEGINNING there was an empty room, a little bit of space, a little bit of light, a little bit of time.

I said, I'm going to make fields, and I made them from place mats, carpet, brown corduroy, and felt.  Then I made rivers from crepe paper, plastic wrap and shiny tinfoil, and mountains from papier mache and bark.  And I looked at the fields and I looked at the rivers and I looked at the mountains and I saw that they were good."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mailbox Monday - May 21st

 Mailbox Monday during the month of May is hosted by Martha from reviews from Martha's Bookshelf . It's an opportunity for bloggers to blog about the new books they have received the previous week. Here's what arrived by mail:


Hope you had a fun week for new books.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Salon - May 20th



It was so great to be off from work this past week, and to get spend lots of time with my first grandchild.  Did I tell you i can't take my eyes off her? Although she lost almost (1) lb her first week, she's now an eating machine and gaining about an ounce a day, and the doctor is pleased.

After 35 years without a baby around, and just cats for us and our kids, we have this habit of referring to the pediatrician as "the vet" and the baby's hands as her "paws".  I know it sounds ridiculous but when your use to mothering cats, it's actually pretty easy to interchange those (2) words:)

(what a difference 4 weeks makes)

I did get to do a few other things this week as well, like planting (3) purple rhododendrons, (1) bleeding heart, some columbine, a pink hydrangea and lots of potted plants as well.  

I also got to go to a library book sale on Friday, but actually on bought (3) books and (2) DVDs.

As for reading, I finished Stephen King's, Gingerbread Girl - a short novella (good) and am currently listening to Cammie McGovern's, Neighborhood Watch.  I started,  The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen as well.

I also watched a great movie with Mel Gibson called Edge of Darkness (we actually saw it at the movies some time ago but was worth watching again).

Well back to work tomorrow, but it's really just (3) days of work as we have a picnic on Thursday and then I'm off for (4) days for Memorial Day weekend.

Hope you all are having a fabulous weekend. The weather has been awesome here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Snapshots

Saturday Snapshot

Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Flower Shopping Last Weekend
(These 2 were taken with my iPhone)



 Updated shots of nesting at CVS Pharmacy
(Guards on Duty) 
 


Hope Everyone Has a Wonderful Weekend

Friday, May 18, 2012

Carry the One; Carol Anshaw

Title: Carry the On
Author:  Carol Anshaw
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Edition: ARC and audio
Source: Edelweiss and Amazon
Setting:  Wisconsin, Illinois....
Date Completed: May/2012
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: yes


In Carry the One, one bad decision by a group of drunk and stoned young adults, to drive home after a wedding, results in the death of a young troubled girl named Casey Redman, who was wandering the streets in the wee hours of the morning.

The story focuses on the lives of the siblings Nick, Carmen and Alice, who had just attended Carmen's wedding to Matt. Nick's girlfriend Olivia, drove the car, as the group traveled back home from the wedding at an old farmhouse in Wisconsin.

Although the accident took place in 1983, the story spans some 25 years, and renders a tragic story about the lives of the individuals left to carry on with their lives in the aftermath of a young girl's death. While Olivia, the driver, goes to jail, the others struggle with their own personal demons in the aftermath of the horrific event.

The story is told from alternating POVs, but there is no real suspense, or edge of your seat moments, yet, the story was well written and the characters were compelling in their own way. I think readers who enjoy stories about about flawed characters and family dysfunction will enjoy this story. It gives the reader a lot to think about. This one too would make a good story for discussion groups.

The audio version was read by Renee Raudman whose performance was just average in my opinion.

The Replacement Wife; Eileen Goudge


Author:  Eileen Goudge
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Open Road
Edition: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Setting:  New York
Date Completed: May/2012
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: yes

The Replacement Wife seemed like a good choice for me, as I was looking for something a bit different from what I'm generally drawn to.  I was hoping for a book that wouldn't require a lot of concentration, and for the most part this was true, although it's not an upbeat story, it did hold my interest.

On the surface, Camille Hart, appears to have it all: wife of a physician, mother to preteen children, and a career as a successful Manhattan matchmaker. She's battled cancer once and won, but now she's learned that her cancer is back and it's stage IV and terminal.  Camille's mission before her time is up is to to find a good wife and a caring mother for her family.

Camille's own mother died when she and her sister were quite young.  Their father was a pilot who was frequently away from home, and the girls were often left to fend for themselves.  Although Camille's husband Edward is not happy about his wife's plans for them, he understands where she is coming from and reluctantly goes along. Afterall, she does have their best interest at heart,  and a stable life for her children is what's most important once she's gone.

This was a good story about a marriage, and it was not at all predicable as one might expect. There were actually quite a few characters to keep straight, but the author did a great job of creating players that the reader will care about, and it's one of the stories that you may keep thinking about days after you've finished the book.  Although the book is was way too long, in my opinion, it is one of those novels that will appeal to many women and would make for some lively book club discussions I suspect.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Possible Explanations for Distractions


Isn't the WEB great, we can often self-diagnose ourselves without even having to see a doctor. (I'm kidding of course but, lately I feel like I have ADHD. I've never been diagnosed with it, but I'm sure I do have some form of it and always have.  I'm one of those people who thrives on routines, but every now and then I seem to hit a roadblock, and have trouble focusing. 

They say some of the symptoms are:
  • “zoning out” without realizing it, even in the middle of a conversation.
  • extreme distractibility; wandering attention makes it hard to stay on track.
  • difficulty paying attention or focusing, such as when reading or listening to others.
  • struggling to complete tasks, even ones that seem simple.
  • (I say, these fall into that category as well....."staring out a window, or into space for what seems like hours on end." But let me not forget -- my favorite distraction -- staring, or holding at my beautiful granddaughter. -- I'm on vacation this week and spending time with her. (oh my is she a cutie and a good sleeper as well)
Well, what other reasons can I come up with for not posting a book review in (8) days, and day after day telling myself I have to catch up on book reviews for all those books I've read in the last (2-3 weeks).  It's overwhelming.

SO I thought if I at least blogged about what I read, and rated the books, I'd feel somewhat unburdened. Here are some of the books I read, but haven't reviewed:
Maybe next month I'll have my act together a bit more. But seriously, if I'm still scattered in June, I'm using this ADHD as the reason once again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros


Every Tuesday, I'll be posting the opening paragraph (sometimes maybe a few) of a book I decided to read based on the opening paragraph (s). Feel free to grab the banner and play along.  This week's selection was released in October of 2011 - Has anyone read it? What do you think? 

(I'm way behind on my reviews and reading, so this one may have to wait a bit longer??)

W.W. Norton & Company

" The walls were kittens and puppies. Like other pet facilities he had seen--even the Humane Society, where he had taken Casey when she was six to pick out a kitten--the kennel trafficked in a brand of cuteness he could not endorse.  He had nothing against pets; in theory, the more pets the better, although he personally did not own one.  Not in the sense of unchecked proliferation, feral cats mating all over the place, etc., but in the sense that cats were good, dogs were good. No argument there.  But he did not see why this high regard for pets, his or anyone else's, should be represented by photographs of puppies with word balloons emerging from their mouths--balloons that contained supposedly witty sayings that, were, in fact, stupid.  There was no call for dachshunds dressed up as Blues Brothers."

"Susan's name had been on the list of emergency contacts for this particular dog.  When its owner failed to pick it up after several weeks the kennel finally called her.  Instantly she felt guilty; she should have thought about the dog far sooner, she told Hal.  She had forgotten the dog, forgotten all about it."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mailbox Monday - May 14th


Mailbox Monday during the month of May is hosted by Martha from reviews from Martha's Bookshelf . It's an opportunity for bloggers to blog about the new books they have received the previous week. Here's what arrived by mail:


New Books




goodreads.com

Sunday, May 13, 2012

John Irving Giveaway Winner is.......



(25) entries but just (1) winner

is the Winner of

(audiobook)

Congratulations to the winner and thanks to all who entered

Hope all the moms out there had a wonderful
Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday Snapshots

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by:

Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

("Mom and Dad bought new pillows so we could have the box:")

("Freckles, you had the box long enough, now I have to hit you.")

("Guess I showed them who deserves this box.")

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating! Want to participate? Post your own WOW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. My pick is one that won't be released until November 6th.  I'm hoping this one will be as good as The Poisonwood Bible - loved that book.

Harper - November 6, 2012

Book Description
 
Set in the present day in the rural community of Feathertown, Tennessee, Flight Behavior tells the story of Dellarobia Turnbow, a petite, razor-sharp 29-year-old who nurtured worldly ambitions before becoming pregnant and marrying at seventeen. Now, after more than a decade of tending to small children on a failing farm, oppressed by poverty, isolation and her husband's antagonistic family, she has mitigated her boredom by surrendering to an obsessive flirtation with a handsome younger man.

In the opening scene, Dellarobia is headed for a secluded mountain cabin to meet this man and initiate what she expects will be a self-destructive affair. But the tryst never happens. Instead, she walks into something on the mountainside she cannot explain or understand: a forested valley filled with silent red fire that appears to her a miracle.

After years lived entirely in the confines of one small house, Dellarobia finds her path suddenly opening out, chapter by chapter, into blunt and confrontational engagement with her family, her church, her town, her continent, and finally the world at large.