Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday Peony in Love

I am sharing words from Peony in Love by Lisa See today. If you want to join in the fun link up with Wondrous Words Wednesday and  Kathy at Bermuda Onion.  It's always fun to learn new words or to share words you really like. 

1. unfilial

It was naughty, but I had lived fifteen years without having committed a single act that anyone in my family could call unfilial. 

Unfilial means unlike, or unsuitable to, a loving daughter or son

2. somnolence

His elegance and somnolence reminded me of a cat: long, slim. perfectly groomed, knowledgeable and very contained.

a state of drowsiness or sleepiness    from The American Heritage Dictionary

I'm not sure about the description as used in this sentence. I need to look in another dictionary. I was unsuccessful in finding a more appropriate definition, so I guess Peony's "heartthrob" was elegant and sleepy! 

3. obsequious

"From the afterworld she looks to your future", the lesser concubine said, in an obsequious tone. 

The definition of obsequious is showing too much willingness to serve someone or something. from Webster's New World College Dictionary

or exhibiting servile compliance; fawning    from The American Heritage Dictionary

There are several more interesting words from Lisa See's novel. I will share more next time. 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Secret Life of Bees The Book

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. A young girl obviously uncared for by her father and so in need of a mother's guidance and love.

But the story gets so much better. Set in 1964, just at Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, the story deals with issues of racial unrest, unconditional love,acceptance and the true meaning of family.

I fell in love with Lily Owens from the opening chapter. She is spunky and awkward, yet street smart and vulnerable. The Boatwright sisters made the book for me. What wonderful examples of womanhood, love and solidarity.

If you haven't already done so, read this book. My next plan is to see the movie. It must be very good, how can you go wrong with Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson.

View all my reviews

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

The Secret Life of Bees The Movie

I finished the book last week and decided I wanted to see the movie. I checked with our library and they do not have it. It is in the inter-library loan system.  I mentioned to my granddaughter, they were living with us up until Sunday night, that I wanted to see it. She looked on Netflix and I think HULU, but did not find it. We checked the one store in our town to rent it. They only had it to buy, so I splurged the $12.00 and bought it. Friday night she and I watched it. We had an almost girls night. Her husband, my husband and her dad left Friday morning with 3 vehicles and trailers in tow, to drive to Ft Collins CO to pick  up the rest of their furniture and belongings. They have moved to our town and have been renovating a house. We did have baby great grandson, but he went to bed early so we watched the movie.                                                  

Anyway, back to the movie. Both of us enjoyed it very much. I don't know how you can go wrong with Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo. Queen Latifah was wonderful as August Boatwright, and Jennifer Hudson was really good as Rosaleen Daise.   I thought it followed the book really well, but of course I loved the book more. The detail was better in the book, as always. I will recommend the movie to others and share it ( now that I own it) but I will encourage others to read the book too!

If you haven't read the book, I urge you to do so. If you haven't seen the movie I encourage you to try to secure a copy. Both remind us of a more tumultuous time in our history and show us that real love, honest love knows no boundaries.

I am really looking forward to reading Sue Monk Kidd's new novel, The Invention of Wings. It is the first read for my F2F book club when we meet again in the fall.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

First Chapter First Paragraph Intros Tuesday-The Potting Shed Quilt by Ann Hazelwood

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea gives you a place to share the first chapter, first paragraph of a book you are currently reading or want to read. It's a great place to see what others are reading and to add to your list of possible new titles.

The Potting Shed Quilt
Ann Hazelwood
AQS Publishing
I was wearing my silly straw gardening hat and favorite torn jeans as I walked down the aisle. Then I noticed brown edges on my bouquet. What would people think of the owner of Brown's Botanical Flower Shop carrying such pathetic flowers at her own wedding? Perhaps brown was the the color scheme, I thought, noting brown wilted flowers gracing the pews. " Not to worry," I told myself. The real purpose here was to join Sam Dickson in holy matrimony. But when I reached for his arm, the face attached to it was not Sam's, but Ted's,  my former boyfriend!

Would you continue to read?   This book is a "share" from a quilting friend of mine. It is part of a trilogy and this is book #2.  Normally I would never read #2 before reading #1, but  "beggars can't be choosy" my mom always used to say.  So I am going to read it see if I feel that it can stand alone.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Review: Peony in Love by Lisa See

This challenge is hosted by Charlie The Wormhole. You can check it out at her blog and click on the image on the right hand side. This fulfills the #4 item in the challenge, a title with a forename or names in the title. I am going to try for the bonus, of a title with a school subject in the title.  Hmmmmmm?

Peony in LovePeony in Love by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chen Tong (Peony) is a 16 yr old maiden, the only child of privileged couple. As she celebrates her 16th birthday she is already betrothed to a man she has never met. As all girls her age, she is in love with the idea of romantic love. She knows that because her marriage in imminent and arranged she will never know real romantic love. This thought is enhanced by the popular opera The Peony Pavilion, which tell the story of forbidden love between Liu Mengmei, an impoverished scholar and Du Liniag, a beautiful maiden he meets in a dream.

As Peony reads the opera she is mesmerized. Later in the Chen Family Villa's garden she watches the opera through a screen separating the women from the rest of the opera goers. As she watches eyes land on the profile of a handsome elegant young man and she in instantly enthralled.

The story explores the journey of love and destiny, desire and sorrow, the living world and the after world.

This is a beautiful tale that sort of sneaked up on me.At first I wasn't sure if I liked the spoiled privileged young Peony. But as the story progresses, I was caught up in her journey into the three realms of Chinese lore. Several times I had to stop,close the book and just give it time to sink in. Although I didn't want to put the book down, I had to pause to digest and savor the story.

View all my reviews

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: We Are Water, and challenges met.

The 2014 Ebook Challenge.
Encouraging readers to expand past just physical books to embrace ebooks in all forms. Hosted by Sarah at Workaday Reads. You can join at any time, sign up under the 2014 Ebook Challenge tab on her blog. I signed up at the DVD Level and promised to read 25 ebooks in 2014. 

Title: We Are Water
Author:Wally Lamb
Publisher: Harper

Goodreads Synopsis:
In middle age, Annie Oh—wife, mother, and outsider artist—has shaken her family to its core. After twenty-seven years of marriage and three children, Annie has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy, cultured, confident Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success.
Annie and Viveca plan to wed in the Oh family's hometown of Three Rivers, Connecticut, where gay marriage has recently been legalized. But the impending wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora's box of toxic secrets—dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs' lives.
We Are Water is an intricate and layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs—nonconformist Annie; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest Oh. Set in New England and New York during the first years of the Obama presidency, it is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.
With humor and breathtaking compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience in vivid and unforgettable characters struggling to find hope and redemption in the aftermath of trauma and loss. We Are Water is vintage Wally Lamb—a compulsively readable, generous, and uplifting masterpiece that digs deep into the complexities of the human heart to explore the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.

My thoughts:

I am not sure about this story. I gave it 5 stars because it touched me, it made me mad, it made me sad, it made me think. This family's story is told from the point of view of each family member. That at least makes it understandable. There are tragedies and emotions and consequenses to decisions. That is reality. I did not like all the characters, but that too is reality. I only really have one complaint in the story, and that is that part 5  is 3 years forward from the last of part 4, which left us sort of hanging as to what happened to Orion Oh, after he went back to the Viveca's rental .  We just get a quick summing up. It was a bit disappointing, but at least you did get a conclusion.  I guess I would recommend it, but it is not a feel-good read, rather a thought provoking, eye-opening, discussion making kind of read.

This book is the summer read from my face to face book club and I am looking forward to the discussion at our meeting in September. It also fits the Ebook Challenge as it was downloaded to my Kindle, and it fits one of the categories of the Mega Mix II Challenge that is hosted by the Love of Reading group on Goodreads.

Monday, July 21, 2014

IMWAYR? The Goldfinch, Sleight of Paw and Peony in Love ( again)

Join us at Book Journey, where we all share the books we are reading or listening to this week. Sheila hosts this delightful meme and her posts are fun. Link up at Book Journey and see what everyone is reading.

Not much has changed in the last week in the reading department.  I did finish The Secret Life of Bees and  I listened to a few more pages of The Goldfinch.  

 I liked this book at the beginning and even through the middle, now I am at 70% and I am not liking Theo Decker very much right now.  I am hoping for redemption for him by the end of the book. We will see. 

Sophie Kelley's book Sleight of Paw still resides in my car. It is an interesting story with a middle aged librarian who "owns" cats. Well not really owns them, but shares her home with them. There is a love interest that I am hoping evolves to a real relationship, but I am not sure if it will or not. There has also been a murder, hence the cozy mystery genre.    

I am about 1/3 of the way into Peony in Love.  Lisa See tells the history of life in China in the 17th century with great detail. You are transported there, you can practically smell the ginger and jasmine. Peony falls in love with a man she can never be with. Her marriage at age 16 is already arranged. How will she survive?

Hopefully I will make some strides this week. I have not been very productive at all. 
Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 7-16 more We Are Water

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog. It is a place to share new words that you have encountered or to spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative. If you want to play along, grab the button at Kathy's blog , write a post and go back and add your link to Mr. Linky.

All the definitions here are from the New Oxford American Dictionary .  As I read We Are Water on my Kindle, I looked up the words that were unfamiliar to me. In these sentences, I did not think is was obvious what the definitions were.

1.   fecund - adj.  producing or capable of producing an abundance of offspring or new growth.

"At the center of the composition stands the Tree of Life, lush and fecund

2.   specious -  adj.  superficially plausible, but actually wrong.

" That's kind of a specious argument, isn't it?"

3.   hubris -  n. excessive pride or self-confidence.

"Or is that hubris on my part, too?"

Did you find any interesting words this week?

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Intro Tuesday Peony in Love 7-15-14

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. Here she shares the first paragraph or ( a few) of a book she is reading or thinking about reading soon. Join us by clicking on the link above and adding your post of your first chapter first paragraph of your current read. It's a good way to get the feel of a book you have only heard about and have not had the opportunity to actually check out.

My First Chapter First Paragraph Intro today is from Peony in Love by Lisa See.

Two days before my sixteenth birthday, I woke up so early that my maid was still asleep on the floor at the foot of my bed. I should have scolded Willow, but I didn't because I wanted a few moments alone to savor my excitement. Beginning tonight, I would attend a production of The Peony Pavilion mounted in our garden. I loved this opera and had collected eleven of the thirteen printed versions available. I liked to lie in bed and read of the maiden Liniang and her dream lover, their adventures, and their ultimate triumph. But for three nights, culminating on Double Seven - the seventh day of the seventh month, the day of the lovers' festival, and my birthday - I would actually see the opera, which was normally forbidden to girls and women. My father had invited other families for the festivities. We'd have contests and banquets. It was going to be amazing.

I have been wanting to read this one since I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. And I am participating in the What's in a Name 2014 challenge, so this read will fulfill the #4 of that requirement - read a book with a forename or names in the title.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7-14-14

Join us at Book Journey, where we all share the books we are reading or listening to this week. Sheila hosts this delightful meme and her posts are fun. Link up at Book Journey and see what everyone is reading.

I am still at the same place listening to The Goldfinch as I was last week. Not much progress on that one. I did finish We Are Water by Wally Lamb and I have yet to get a review on paper. It was disturbing and compelling all at the same time. I am sorting out my thoughts.

I started
I had not read it not have I seen the movie, but  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd is the first read for the fall of my face to face book club and I wanted to read this one first. It is awesome. I am really enjoying it. Finally a book that is uplifting and powerful after the last few I have read. I will finish is probably tonight and then I hope to start on Peony in Love to satisfy another challenge I am doing. 

Also, still residing in my car is 
this one is fun too, but I haven't progressed very far. 

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wondrous Words July 9th

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button at Bermudaonion's Weblog,  write a post and go back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

1. titrating : intransitive verb, to test by or be subject to titration
       titrate:  verb  to titrate is to measure how much of a substance you have by measuring how much of the solution is required to achieve a given reaction. 

After his shower, Griffin mixed blue food coloring in water, titrating as carefully as if he were searching for a cure for some dreaded disease.

From Say When  by Elizabeth Berg.

2.  chiaroscuro noun   the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting. 

He knew nothing about the technique of chiaroscuro; there was no play between shadow and light in any of his samples. 

This example of chiaroscuro is by Gerrit van Honthorst called The Matchmaker. 

3. pointillism  noun. a technique of neo-Impressionist painting using tiny dots of various pure colors, which become blended in the viewer's eye. It was developed by Seurat with the aim of producing a greater degree of luminosity and brilliance of color. 

"At first, I merely imitated the styles of the painters I most admired. The impressionists and expressionists, the pointillists."

Study for a Sunday on La Grande Jatte ,  1884   George Seurat

#2 and 3 are from We Are Water by Wally Lamb.

I found a few other words in Wally Lamb's book, I'll share those next time. 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay happy

Monday, July 7, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7-7-14

Every Monday, Sheila at Book Journey hosts this meme where we can share the books we are reading and find out what books others are reading this week. Join us for the fun. Just click the link to Book Journey above and then link your blog post to the Linky page at the bottom of her Monday post. See you there!

  I hope to be sort of back to normal this week. Our last couple of weeks have been a bit strange and hectic. We are still sorting through the stuff that must be done after my MIL's death. Dealing with the grief and then we are helping our granddaughter and her husband get their new house ready to move into. It has been fun to watch the work being done. I don't help much with the actual labor, but watch their 10 month old son, our great grandson. Whew!, babies wear you out!  "Big grin".

I am still working at trying to listen to
It is a great story, slow moving and I am finding it hard to find listening time. Guess I really need to learn how to get audio books to my iPod instead of my Kindle Fire. It would be easier to be portable I would think. 

I have Sleight of Paw in my vehicle. I read as I wait for Mr Busy to do errands to the hardware store, etc. Not much of that going on  lately, I have been staying home. But it is a fun read, and easy to pick up and read when given the opportunity. 

This one is our summer read for my face to face book club. I have never read Wally Lamb before, but I am enjoying it. It is on my Kindle and I have been grabbing stolen minutes to read it. It is an interesting story and I am anxious to read the conclusion. Have any of you read this one?

Until next time,

Stay Happy and Stay Busy