Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

Hello!

1.  I have been away from my blog for a while now, though I did manage to schedule a handful of posts while I was away.

2.  My kids had two weeks of spring break- and it was awesome.  I think I might be suffering what my daughter called PDSD-Post Disney Sadness Disorder.  If I am totally honest, I wasn’t looking forward to our 5 day Disney trip, especially since we were skiing before it, which doesn’t put you in the 90 degree frame of mind.  I had to dig through all of my clothes to find summer things.

But we had such an amazing time!

3.  My favorite ride was the Rock n Roller Coaster.  Least favorite- It’s a Small World.  My daughter wanted to go on since she had never been.  Now she knows why she has never been.  I though the boat wasn’t going to stop, and I seriously considered jumping in the water.

4.  Favorite non park activity- reading The Stand by the pool while drinking a pina colada.  Don’t be jealous- I am home again and I have to live in New Jersey.  Spring here sucks.

5. Best meal- at Monsieur Paul in France/Epcot.  And Vincent the waiter was awesome (and very handsome).

6.  We usually like to go during Food and Wine fest in October-can you guess why?, but the kids can’t get out of school, so we went in March.  They have the Flower Show in March, and we were like- meh.  WRONG!  There are all these amazing topiaries throughout Epcot, AND they have these great outdoor kitchen stands that sell all food, beer, and wine from different places.  The Florida stand had an amazing ceviche.

And now onto Non Disney things-

7.   I was rereading The Stand the entire spring break.  It’s a long book, but I wasn’t that motivated.  But I LOVE being able to talk to my husband about a book!

8.  Since I finished that, I have been whipping though new books!  I read The Bookseller and Inside the O’Briens in a day each.  They were both amazing!

9.  I have been enjoying being away from the blog, and am dragging my feet on writing any reviews- I have about 4 that I still need to crank out, but I might wait till next week.  There is enough in life to stress about, I won’t stress about this.

10.  We have two dogs- Katie is a 12 year old yellow Lab and Jack is a 6 year old chocolate Lab.  We have been going back and forth for about a month whether we want to add another puppy.  My cousin just informed me that she will be fostering a 7 week old black lab next week.  Is this Karma?  Or am I entirely crazy??

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg

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The Dream Lover

by Elizabeth Berg

published by

2015

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

I honestly knew next to nothing about French novelist George Sand, though I had heard of her.  Therefore, I was looking forward to reading Dream Lover, especially since I have enjoyed Berg’s previous works very much.  This novel is a departure for Berg, and I am not sure it was totally successful.  The beginning is interesting, where we learned about Sand’s parents, how they met and fell in love, and the early years of their family.  As we move on to where Sand leaves her husband and children to live with her lover in Paris and write, I lost interest.  The story seemed forced and a little boring, which surprised me.  George Sand was supposedly a very scandalous person, but here she was really just selfish and annoying.  I kept waiting for it to improve and was sorry it did not.  This was unusual for me, because I truly enjoy Berg as an author.

Summary

George Sand was a 19th century French novelist known not only for her novels but even more for her scandalous behavior. After leaving her estranged husband, Sand moved to Paris where she wrote, wore men’s clothing, smoked cigars, and had love affairs with famous men and an actress named Marie. In an era of incredible artistic talent, Sand was the most famous female writer of her time. Her lovers and friends included Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more. In a major departure, Elizabeth Berg has created a gorgeous novel about the life of George Sand, written in luminous prose, with exquisite insight into the heart and mind of a woman who was considered the most passionate and gifted genius of her time.

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

Looking it over, it seems a little eclectic-or bipolar.  There’s a little of everything!

1.  Dead Wake by Erik Larson

2.  Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

3.  Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

4.  World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

5.  Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova

6.  The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

7.  The Sound of Glass by Karen White

8.  The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

9.  A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

10.  It by Stephen King

Not too sure on this last one- might be too scary for me.  I hate clowns.

What books are you looking forward to this spring?

Top Ten Books about Books!

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ttt2jpg

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten books for people who like X

I chose to list the top ten books about books- here it is in no particular order

1.  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

2.  The Book Thief

3.  The Shadow of the Wind

4.  The Historian

5.  The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

6.  Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

7.  Northanger Abbey

8.  Little Women

9.  The Reader

10.  The People of the Book

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

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At the Water’s Edge

by Sara Gruen

published by Spiegel & Grau

 March 31, 2015

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

I read Water For Elephants and Ape House by this author so I was really looking forward to her new work.  The beginning of the book dragged a little for me, mostly due to the characters being quite obnoxious.  Maddie, her husband Ellis, and their friend Hank are wetly ne’r do wells living in Philadelphia during WWII.  Ellis and Frank and medically unfit to serve, and this is a source great embarrassment to Ellis’ family.  On New Year;s Eve, the three get very drunk and declare to a large party that they are going to go to Scotland to find proof of the Loch Ness Monster, a particular source of embarrassment to Ellis’ father, who was caught trying to falsify pictures of the monster years earlier.  They make the perilous crossing and take up residence in a small inn.  It is here that Maddie begins to change, and starts to really question the lifestyle she has been leading.  At this point, Gruen really pulls the reader in and makes them care what happens to these characters.  I would have liked to spend more time on the characters of Anna, Angus, and Meg.  I loved that Gruen took some time to give a real sense of a small Scottish town and its inhabitants.  If you like historical fiction, you will enjoy this.

Summary

After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love.

Friday Wrap Up

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Friday Wrap Up

As I head off for a very long weekend to start the kids’ Spring Break, here is a wrap up of what went on for me this week-

Reading

This has been a slow week for me, which was okay after all the reading I did last week!  I started my reread of The Stand for King’s March, and it has been a little slow.

As I said in my last post, it has been a crazy week and it has kept me from really settling in to read.  I never realized what a pain it is to have your wallet stolen.  I really need to have this week be over!

Posts

I did much better in the posting category this week.

 I had my initial King’s March post, a Top Ten of my recent faves, a review of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and my Friday link up to King’s March where I rehash my slow going.

Cooking

Well, the cooking wasn’t too elaborate this week, but here it is

Potato & Cheddar Soup with BLTs

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Mahi Mahi with a tomato chutney and asparagus

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Chicken and Beef Tacos

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How was your week?

King’s March- rereading The Stand

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This is the first week of King’s March, and I really haven’t been very successful in getting very far in my reread of The Stand.  The first time I read this book, I couldn’t put it down, but this time life is getting in the way.  A very sick boy was home for two days, three storms (which equal 3 migraines for me), computer issues, and a stolen wallet and the ensuing mayhem of canceling and replacing everything has done me in!

I have been successful in getting my husband to start the audio version of The Stand too, and he seems to be enjoying it- or at least being smart enough not to trash a book I love.  I am still in the early stages and am looking forward to getting away this weekend for some serious skiing and reading, with some wine thrown in too.

My favorite pastime while reading this book is imagining the cast for the new version that is supposed to be in the works.  I heard a rumor that has Matthew McConaughey as Randall Flagg.  What do you think?  Any other casting suggestions?