Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Reading Stack - August 29, 2017

This week's stack is a carryover from last week. I am still reading "South Pole Station" by Ashley Shelby and should finish it in the next day or so. It has turned out to be a really good book. The Newcomers to the stack are "Wind, Sand and Stars" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and "The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty.

In "Wind, Sand and Stars" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, we meet the author as he recounts his experiences as a mail pilot in the late 1920s and early 1930s over the Andes Mountains, across the Sahara Desert, and near waterspouts of an African typhoon. Some of you may remember him from being the author of "The Little Prince," one of the best books ever written.

"The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty is about a letter written by a husband to be opened upon his death. The only problem is that the wife finds the letter prior to the demise of the husband. Ooops!! I am reading this book for a book club discussion. I am sure there will be a lot to discuss.

I am back with my favorite tea cup. You can never go wrong with chai in a Klimt tea cup!!

What is in your reading stack this week?

Monday, August 21, 2017

My Reading Stack - August 21, 2017

This week's reading stack is another short one.  I finished "Rabbit Cake" by Annie Hartnett from last week.  It is definitely a 5 star read -- check it out.

"South Pole Station" is about a group of "Polies" who live and work in a place with an average temperature of -54 deg. F. and no sunshine for six months of the year.  People apply and go through rigorous physical and psychological testing to be selected to participate in this program.  This the new debut novel release from Ashley Shelby is  "about the courage it takes to come together, even as everything around you falls apart."

"Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore" is a debut novel by Matthew Sullivan that will solve the mystery surrounding the suicide of a favorite bookstore customer.  As one of the clerks in the bookstore untangles the mystery, she unlocks a secret in her past.

"Idyll Banter" by Chris Bohjalian is a collection of columns submitted to a local weekly newspaper column in Vermont over a period of twelve years.  They serve as a diary of Bohjalian's life and reflections on his personal observations.  Anyone who has read any of his previous work knows they are in for a treat by reading this little treasure.

"Rabbit Cake" by Annie Hartnett

If the title and cover of this book are not enough to intrigue you to read it, I do not know what is.  When I saw it in the bookstore, I immediately put it on my "to-read" list.  I borrowed it from the public library.  After reaching for my highlighter about 40 times, I knew it was time to reach for my laptop and visit Amazon to purchase the book.  For some reason, the folks at the library get upset when you highlight their books.  Hey, I do not charge for my editing/commentating services!!  Anyway, then the wait was on to receive the book in the mail.  About a week later, I was back into the book and was following Elvis Babbitt on her daily journey trying to keep her family together after the untimely death of her Mother. 

I HAD to finish reading this book this morning, so around 6:25 a.m., I finally finished it.  I have to admit that I did drag out the last portions of the book because I did not want it to end -- it was just THAT good.

I laughed on many occasions.  Who knew grief could have a humorous side?  I cried on more than one occasion.  My heart started to break a time or two.  Life seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl, who has just lost her Mother, who was also her best friend AND the glue that kept the family together, has its tragic moments. 

Fortunately for Elvis, she has a heart of gold that can forgive just about anything . . . and I do mean ANYTHING!!  It is no wonder all of the animals at the zoo were missing her and asking about her when she was terminated from her volunteer position due to one of her sister's many outrageous antics.  Elvis basically has to deal with the grief of losing her mother all by herself . . . well, except for a counselor at her elementary school who gives her a grieving calendar.  Her older sister and Dad are drowning in their own grief which only adds to more problems for Elvis.

Annie Hartnett has a wonderful style of writing that is down-to-earth and really lets you see the world through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl.  The emotions are real, some gut-wrenching, and make you want to reach out and hug Elvis close to you and tell her things will be okay.  But will they really?  No one really knows from day to day.  Hartnett does a fine job of tying up the loose ends and making us see that there can be happiness on the horizon for everyone.

If you want a break from the normal novel, take a couple of days out and pick up "Rabbit Cake," the debut novel by Annie Hartnett.  I guarantee you will not be bored and you will see a new light on how some people deal with their progress through the grieving process.  You will come away with a new attitude on the whole grieving process!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Reading Stack - August 15, 2017

This week's reading stack is short. "Rabbit Cake" by Annie Hartnett is still in the mix. I have not had the time to devote to finishing it. It is an excellent book.

"If I Forget You" by Thomas Christopher Greene is a good novel about a couple (Henry and Margot) who date in college, something happens (I have not gotten that far yet), they split up, and then they see each other on a New York City street years later. Now Margot is wondering "what if?" . . . .

"A House Among the Trees" by Julia Glass looks like it is going to be a great book -- at least the cover is great!! I hope to get into it in a couple of days.

Rather than top the stack with a tea cup, I decided to share my favorite cookie -- the MEGA-STUF Oreo. I bought four packages of them this afternoon. Yum!! I will not say how many are left in the first package.

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Reading Stack - August 11, 2017

I am late AGAIN in posting my reading stack for the week.  This morning in the wee hours I finished "My Name is Lucy Barton" by Elizabeth Strout for the library's first book discussion group.

"Goodnight Mind" by Colleen E. Carney, Ph.D., and Rachel Manber, Ph.D. will hopefully offer me some insight to "turn off [my] noisy thoughts & get a good night's sleep."

"Rabbit Cake" by Anne Hartnett is back.  I originally was reading a library book.  I kept reaching for my highlighter too many times and figured it was time I reached for my laptop and ordered the book.  I am about 2/3 of the way through it.  Great book!!

My favorite tea cup is back this week.  

There you have it!!  What is in YOUR reading stack this week?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Reading Stack - August 1, 2017

This week's reading stack is a hodge-podge of books.  I just purchased two of Menna van Praag's books I had not read:  "The Lost Art of Letter Writing" and "The Witches of Cambridge."
I received a copy of "The Hippopotamus" by Stephen Fry.  It is a 1994 book that is now being made into a movie.  I saw the trailer for the movie and wanted to read the book.

"The Widows of Malabar Hill" by Sujata Massey takes place in Bombay in 1921.  The book comes out in January 2018.

"The Bright Hour" by Nina Riggs is a carryover from last week. It is "a memoir or living and dying."  It will be a tough one.

"The Library of Light and Shadow" by M.J. Rose is a little bit of mystery and mysticism in the 1920s in Manhattan and the south of France.where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering.  It is also a carryover from last week.

"All the Birds in the Sky" by Jane Anders is "a tale of science and magic, life and love, and the beginning of our future."  One character is able to turn herself into a bird -- definitely something magical about that!!

"Tiny Little Thing" by Beatriz Williams is about the life and times of a weathly familly on Cape Cod in the mid-1960s.  I am reading this book for a book club group.  It is difficult to imagine sitting around all day soaking up the summer ocean breeze and planning a dinner menu.  Ahhh, the life I will never know.

Oh yes, I was reading "Rabbie Cake" by Annie Hartnett last week.  After reaching for my highlighter close to 40 times while I was reading a copy of the library book, I then reached for my laptop and ordered my own personal copy on Amazon.  I should receive it by Thursday.  Then I can highlight to my heart's content and finish the book.  Yeah!!  Check into the book if you have not already done so -- well worth it.

Well, that is it for me this week.  What is in your reading stack this week?