Winter Reading 2018

 I read some great books this winter and we finished a project that I have been looking forward to having for some time now.  I'm going to confess, right up front, that I do judge a book by its cover.  At least until I read the inside cover or the back page of the book .. then I make the final decision on whether to go with it or put it back, thinking how pretty it is.  So lets get startd because I'm happy to say I read nine books this winter season.   

I read some great books this winter and we finished a project that I have been looking forward to having for some time now.  I'm going to confess, right up front, that I do judge a book by its cover.  At least until I read the inside cover or the back page of the book .. then I make the final decision on whether to go with it or put it back, thinking how pretty it is.  So lets get startd because I'm happy to say I read nine books this winter season.

 

 First I have to thank my husband for making this very old piece new again.  It is my Mother's bookcase and I love it.  Jim completely stripped it down, sanded and restain it to it's original condition.  I love the little draw on the bottom.  My Mom used to keep our photographs in there.  The detail is lovely.  Thanks Jim..xoxo

First I have to thank my husband for making this very old piece new again.  It is my Mother's bookcase and I love it.  Jim completely stripped it down, sanded and restain it to it's original condition.  I love the little draw on the bottom.  My Mom used to keep our photographs in there.  The detail is lovely.  Thanks Jim..xoxo

                                                               Pile number one.  

                                                              Pile number one.  

                                                           Pile number two...

                                                          Pile number two...

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I'm not a big mystery reader anymore but this winter I came across two mystery books that really took me away.  I read this one right after Christmas and the other one will be in my spring reading review.  Both so good... I love this book and gave it a 5-star rating.  You never knew until the last page who was doing what, a wonderfully surprising ending also . "Twisted and deliciously chilling. The Wife Between Us deftly explores the hidden complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love."  If you are up for a real page turner, give this one a try.

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Here's the deal on this one.  When we were in New York in November one of the places we visited was the Tenement Museum.  They had a lovely gift shop when exiting and the book section was wonderful, with some great books on the history of New York and its immigrants. A book caught my eye titled, Rats In The City.  I'm not a rat fan, I'm not even a mouse fan.  The day before though on our walk I came across a dead rat and screamed bloody murder.  Do you know not one person even asked me why I was screaming?  Must happen all the time.  Jim wanted to know why I was so upset because the Rat was dead.  I won't tell you what I said to him.  O.K., I digress.  Anyways when I saw that title it kind of intrigued me and scared me at the same time. The woman that worked in the book section suggested the above book to me because it was written by a young woman who actually went down in the tunnels of the city and met the people who make the tunnels their home.  Jim gave me this book for Christmas.  It was the most fascinating, scary and enlightening book I have ever read.  It was a hard read at times.  It was an honest and surprising read.  A world existed that most people probably never know about.  I know I didn't. It's raw but in the end,  I will never judge street people again.  It's one of those life-changing books for sure.  I also understand it's not for everyone.  I didn't think it was for me...but it was. All you have to do is get beyond the first three pages.  Five stars...

 

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I totally was attracted to this book because of the cover.  I was doing walking meditation at a half day retreat (my son is the meditation teacher) when I saw this book on the shelf in the tea room.  I loved the cover.  Later that day I checked out the book and when I got home I ordered it.  I'm not much of a poem reader but I am trying more and more to read it.  When I hit on the right book, it feels good.  This was a good one.  I have highlighted many of the poems that I like and some I didn't connect to but that was o.k. I keep it on my nightstand for reference when I need it.  "These 108 poems are gems reflecting timeless love and wisdom-a treasure trove for the soul." Marci Shimoff author of Happy For No Reason.  I gave this 4 stars but only because I didn't connect to all the poems.

 

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I just loved this book.  How often do we hear the name of an author but never pick up a book that they wrote?  This is my story with this author, Ann Hood.  Fortunately, this was given to me by my son for Christmas.  He does pick the best books for me.  I will share with you a quote from my favorite writer...Elizabeth Berg.  "The Obituary Writer is an engrossing book, drawing you in from page one. I admire this graceful and intimate writer for her literary sleight of hand: you don't so much read about her characters as you inhabit them. There is sadness of loss, the deliciousness of gossip amongst a group of woman friends."   After I finished reading this book, I actually found two of her other books on my bookshelf and then I ordered one more.  5 Stars for sure.

 I actually got this book in my book page from Random House.  A new writer that I had not heard of before. It was a wonderful story about love and forgiveness, the violence of memory and the equal violence of losing it.  The landscape was sweeping.  A meditation on the power and limits of the individual imagination. I would read her again.   4 Stars   

I actually got this book in my book page from Random House.  A new writer that I had not heard of before. It was a wonderful story about love and forgiveness, the violence of memory and the equal violence of losing it.  The landscape was sweeping.  A meditation on the power and limits of the individual imagination. I would read her again.   4 Stars

 

 By now most of you have already read Eleanor Oliphant.  If not, run out and get it now.  A wonderful read about an outspoken and socially challenged girl who meet an unkept and quirky young man.  They save an elderly man who has fallen and together the three of them save each other.  Heartwarming and 5 str worthy.

By now most of you have already read Eleanor Oliphant.  If not, run out and get it now.  A wonderful read about an outspoken and socially challenged girl who meet an unkept and quirky young man.  They save an elderly man who has fallen and together the three of them save each other.  Heartwarming and 5 str worthy.

 I just couldn't love this book.  I tried.  Then I read the back of the book and realized it wasn't so much about me as it was about the Gothic tour de force.  I'm not a fan of gothic and I wasn't a fan of The Remains of the Day either, which was also by this same author..  I should have known better.  I did not finish this book...so no stars..

I just couldn't love this book.  I tried.  Then I read the back of the book and realized it wasn't so much about me as it was about the Gothic tour de force.  I'm not a fan of gothic and I wasn't a fan of The Remains of the Day either, which was also by this same author..  I should have known better.  I did not finish this book...so no stars..

 Another Christmas gift and I enjoyed it so much.  It is uniquely written.  A memoir written in poetry form.  I could relate to lots of it.  The writing was beautiful, the drawings fantastic.  If your heart needs healing this is for you.. I just bought her second book, The Sun and the Flowers. Can't wait to read that one,  Four stars   

Another Christmas gift and I enjoyed it so much.  It is uniquely written.  A memoir written in poetry form.  I could relate to lots of it.  The writing was beautiful, the drawings fantastic.  If your heart needs healing this is for you.. I just bought her second book, The Sun and the Flowers. Can't wait to read that one,  Four stars

 

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So many great books as gifts this year.  It's the best gift anyone could give me.  I also like that the people who give me books seem to really know me or they are trying to teach me something new.  My son and I discuss books all the time.  Sharing what we read and who we like.  He tends to get me thinking in different ways by some of the choices he makes for me. It's really quite remarkable how alike we are in books.  Most everyone knows that I love Michelle Obama.  So this book was a keeper before I even read it.  It is not a book that she wrote about herself but a book that 16 other authors wrote about her and how her journey Inspired their own lives and hopefully could inspire ours also.  Some of the authors I was familiar with and some were new to me.  Each essay brought a different perspective on Michelle life and what that meant to the author that was writing.  Now I know this may not be for everyone.  It was not a political book but a "life" book.  I am happy to have it, to have read it and I will keep it in the hopes that someday someone else will come to my bookcase and take it home for a good, honest read about a lovely lady who made changes in my time.  Absolutely 5 stars for the book and for the wonderful essay written between the covers.

So that was it for winter reading.  I have moved on now to spring reading.  I find spring more of a challenge with so many projects needing to get down but still, I find time every day to read. Of all the things I love to do, reading is my favorite.  It always has been for many reasons.  I hope something here inspires you to pick up a book and grab a cup of tea and a treat and run away to another world without ever leaving your chair.  Oh, the places I've been and the people I've met.  They come to visit me wherever I am.

All photo's from this series were taken with the Fuji XT-2 and the Fuji 35 f2.2 lens.  

 

Spring overall. But inside us
there’s another unity.

Behind each eye here,
one glowing weather.

Every forest branch moves differently
into the breeze, but as they sway
they connect at the roots. Rumi
From Mala of the Heart
how is it so easy for you
to be kind to people he asked

milk and honey dripped
from my lips as I answered

cause people have not
been kind to me...rupi kaur
from Milk and Honey.
Having aimed high, having strode beneath New York with a can of Mace from her father, and with a heart and head ready to listen, [Toth] has brought back a book of stories that no one else has told-a book that is honest and above all, loving, to people who are nobody’s friends. We should all do so well.” Jim Dwyer, The Washington Post...The Mole People.