Tuesday, June 30, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - State of the Onion - Julie Hyzy

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. It is a place to share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon. Post about your first chapter first paragraph then link up at Diane's blog. It is a great way to get a glimpse into a book you have been thinking about too or maybe one you never would have considered otherwise. 

State of the Onion
Julie Hyzy
Berkley Prime Crime

Chapter 1
I slid my employee pass into the card reader at the Northeast gate of the White House, and waited for verification--a long, shrill chirp that always made me wince. The pedestrian gate unlocked with a click and one of the guards, Freddie, emerged from the checkpoint to greet me. Like all of the staff here, he was fit, smart, and imposing. But he had a soft spot for those of us in the kitchen. We gave the guys cookies when we had time to make an extra batch.

" Hey, Ollie," he said, looking at a bulky parcel in my hand, "What's that?"

A pretty benign beginning, but setting up the chapter pretty well. Do you read cozy mysteries?  I have come to like them a lot. They are a favorite genre. I have a lot of favorites...most of them. 

Would you read on?

Hoping to finish this one today and then begin the another library find. I'll probably feature that one next week. 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Boston Girl - What's In a Name Challenge 2015

The Boston GirlThe Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Addie Baum begins to tell the story of her life to her 22 year old granddaughter, when Ava asks, "How did you get to be the woman you are today?"  Addie is 85 and begins her story in 1915, the year she joined the library group at a neighborhood settlement house for girls. It was there that she found her voice, and made friends with teachers and other young girls who would become lifelong friends.

I love how the story is told as a grandmother talking to her granddaughter. It feels private and personal and truthful. The chapters all have names, like What are friends for?, or How do you go on after that?, and It made me feel like a real Boston girl.

Ms Diamant tells an unforgettable story about family, remarkable friendships, and feminism from the POV of a young Jewish girl growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday Snapshots - A Boy and his dog!

Join us at West Metro Mommy Reads to share a photo or a few. There are a few rules, check them out at Melinda's blog.

Our grandkids have a new puppy. He is an English Bulldog and his name is Stoic. Our great grandson thinks he is pretty special. And Stoic likes JR too.

"Come Stoic"

Stoic sound asleep on JR's splat mat underneath the highchair. "zonked"

There is something special about a small boy and a puppy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. The Summer Hideaway

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. It is a place to share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon. Post about your first chapter first paragraph then link up at Diane's blog. It is a great way to get a glimpse into a book you have been thinking about too or maybe one you never would have considered otherwise. 

The Summer Hideaway #7 in The Lakeshore Chronicles
Susan Wiggs
Published 2010 by Mira Books

Korengal Valley, Kunar province, Afghanistan
His breakfast consisted of shoestring potatoes that actually did look and taste like shoestrings, along with reconstituted eggs, staring up at him from a compartmentalized tray in the noisy chow hall. His cup was full of a coffeelike substance, lightened by a whitish powder. 
At the end of a two-year tour of duty, Ross Bellamy had a hard time looking at morning chow. He'd reached his limit. Fortunately for him, this was his last day of deployment.  It seemed like any other day--tedious, yet tense with the constant and ominous hum of imminent threat. Radio static crackled along with the sound of clacking utensils, so familiar to him by now that he barely heard it.  At the comm station, an ops guy for the Dustoff unit was on alert, awaiting the next call for a medical evacuation. 

I shared two paragraphs today. I felt like the first one did not give you a good indication as to where this story might be headed.

I am on page 21, barely started, but already I think I have an idea of what will happen next. So would you read on?

This definitely falls in the genre of contemporary romance, fictions, chick lit, etc. I used to read more of this genre, but not so much lately. However, it was loaned to me by a friend and it is summer so I decided to make this one the book I leave in the car. I have a small canvas bag that hold a book, a notebook and a pen. It is there when I need it to pass the time waiting in line, waiting on my DH while he is in the hardware store or any other time I am idle.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, June 22, 2015

Working on completing a challenge - Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

Harvesting the HeartHarvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is why I am a Jodi Picoult fan. She takes the tough parts of life and lets us see how they affect us all.

I developed a kind of love/hate relationship with Paige O'Toole. She was beautiful, talented, loved, but still she couldn't see that she was also valuable, strong, and worthy. I guess like all of us. And I really did not like Nicholas. A whinny spoiled kid who is a skilled cardiac surgeon, but obviously with no bedside manner whatsoever. He patients like him because he is good and he is gorgeous!  Really!!!

Ms. Picoult did address issues like postpartum depression, abandonment, lack of self worth, and also strength, forgiveness, and the power of love of a child to really to bottom of some of our more self-centered issues.

If you are a Picoult fan, you no doubt will like this book. Although lots of her books are more compelling this one is pretty insightful, in my opinion.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 19, 2015

Saturday Snapshots. - My kind of flower

I am linking up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads to share a few snapshots. Check out Melinda's blog for the few rules. You know the drill. Only your photos or ones you have permission to share, appropriate for all eyes, and such. 

Last week everyone was sharing photos of the flowers in their yards on my FB feeds. I had yet to plant any annuals and have no perennials these days. So I posted these! 

I have 12 or so of these kinds of appliqued banners from Patchabilities. There is the perfect place for them between the front closet and the stairway to the basement. 

Then later in the week, I got busy and did some planting. So here is the hosta garden in my back yard. The hostas have been there for a few years and should be bigger, but we have had dry season up until this year. I added mulch and planted some free standing pots of impatiens. They add a little pop of white in the otherwise shady spot.

I know those of you who live in the Northwest or the Southeast where there is so much moisture and resulting green, probably don't understand, but getting even a little green in this high plains desert takes lots of work, lots of expensive city water and more than a little luck. 

 When I look at these photos I can see I need to do something to the retaining wall in the back. A trellis or maybe even a mural!
 This is another angle and I notice the paint needs to be redone on the shed siding!  "sigh"
This close up is a little better, mostly green and the pot of white. I am happy that I upgraded this little space this year. 

How 'bout sharing your green thumbs with me this week? 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros -The Boston Girl

 First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday is a place to share the first bit of a book you are currently reading or plan to start soon.  Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts. Post the first paragraph or two of the first chapter of your featured book and link it up at Diane's Blog.

The Boston Girl 
Anita Diamant
Schribner, A Division of Simon and Schuster
Published 2014

Nobody told you?

Ava, sweetheart, if you ask me to talk about how I got to be the woman I am today, what do you think I'm going to say? I'm flattered you want to interview me. And when did I ever say no to my favorite grandchild?
I know I say that to all of my grandchildren and I mean it every single time. That sounds ridiculous or like I'm losing my marbles, but it's true. When your a grandmother you'll understand. 

This is the first chapter first paragraph of The Boston Girl. Sort of a prologue.  The next chapter is titled 1915-16, That's where I started to be my own person.  I think I will like this one. How about you? Would you read on?

Staying Busy and sort of Staying Happy

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mailbox Monday and from other sources 6/14/15

Mailbox Monday is hosted at it's very own blog.  I'm taking a bit of blogger liberty with this meme. It is supposed to be titles that showed up in my mailbox. But all of these did not come in the mail.

I haven't posted to Mailbox  Monday in a very long time. I don't receive any ARC copies and rarely purchase books. I have been using the library a lot lately and of course share with friends. Plus, I have a pretty full bookcase of books that I have not read and really want and need to.

That being said, these last couple of  weeks were a bit different. My F2F book club does not meet in the summer. I don't know why this was decided 12 years ago when the club was formed, but I think it was because most members were teachers, and teachers like their summers free. ( not that I blame them one bit). Nowadays, our membership is about 1/2 teachers and the rest of us. Retired teachers, wives of teachers, bookkeepers, retired bookkeepers, receptionists, make up the balance. We are reading a trilogy over the summer.

So these are the new books at my house this week!

Top to bottom:

The Summer Hideway: The Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs   Shared from a friend and the 7th in the series. I have not read any of them.

The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen     Shared from a friend and a book club read that I missed when we were traveling in March.

The Ticket by Karen Schutte  #1 in the trilogy that is our summer read
Seed of the Volga by Karen Schutte  #2
Flesh on the Bone  by Karen Schutte  #3
I purchased all three of these from Amazon, so these really did come in my mailbox (well in actuality on the porch because they came via FedEx. )

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.  This one is from the library. It has been on my TBR list for a few months.

Did you have a full mailbox last week?  Have you read any of these titles?

Friday, June 5, 2015

After the Storm - Saturday Snapshots

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on Melinga's blog, West Metro Mommy Reads.  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.

We had a couple of days with severe thunderstorms late in the afternoon. They came on quickly and were over quickly too. After the rain was gone and the wind died down, the sky was amazing. 
 This one is to the west, you can see the sun reflecting on the clouds.
 Another one to the west. Just a quarter of a turn to the north.
 This one is the same time but facing east. The clouds were pink and blue and puffy.
 The camera on my old android phone is not the best but was easily accessible.
And this last photo is from our front porch looking southwest.

Tonight, Friday, we have flash flood warnings and watches in our area. Our house is not threatened, but  Donkey Creek, which runs through our town is running swift and at flood depth. I hope there is no damage during the night.

Until next time

Stay Busy and Stay Happy