Happy New Year! ( a little late)

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Hello all and Happy 2016!

I have been away from the blog these past few weeks, submerging myself in the holidays, which flew by. Now it is time to settle in and start fresh for the New Year-or restart, as I have decided to revisit some of my old favorites!  I just finished my reread of Gone With the Wind-more thoughts later- and have now turned my attentions to a much needed reread of The Lord of the Rings trilogy!

I am hoping to read as much of them as I can, with a sprinkling of other books thrown in.  Since almost everyone has read them- please don’t tell me you haven’t, just do it- I have decided to share some random thoughts as I go along, instead of traditional reviews.

I will go back to reviewing newer books, but I am really looking forward to changing things up a bit!

Also looking forward to- skiing for the first time this year, cuddling up with my book and my dog on the couch on these cold winter nights, and trying our my new recipes that I am sure will be healthier but that the children will hate.

Mostly, looking forward to maybe taking this blog in a slightly newer directions than pure reviews.  A little more interaction/real life?

So- a question to you-

What book are you dying to reread?  Is it a first time reread, or something you return to often?

Currently Reading….

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I am Currently Reading…

(or Rereading)

Gone With the Wind 

by Margaret Mitchell

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As the holidays approach, I find myself not reaching for any new books or ARCs, but instead grabbing an old favorite- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

I am not sure why, but I am happy to curl up when I have a few (very few) minutes to read with a book I know and love.  It gets so crazy this time of year, and I don’t want to feel anxious about solving the mystery or finding out what happens.

So, I will be enjoying my old friends Scarlett, Rhett, Mammy, and Miss Melly over the next week or so.

It might mean not getting any closer to my Goodreads goal, or missing a deadline for one or two ARCs, but it also means a more relaxed Christmas for me!

What are you reading?

 

 

My 2015 Favorites

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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 I read in 2015

This is a little strange for me.  I looked back over all the books I have read this year (91 out of my 115 goal-oh well), and I realize there was no rhythm or reason to my book selections in 2015.  I think I might want to change that in 2016!

So here are the books I enjoyed reading the most.

 A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

It by Stephen King

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

At the Waters Edge by Sara Gruen

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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Hey there!  Hope you had a good weekend and now it’s time to check in to see what we are all up to!  It’s Monday!  What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.  Head over there and check it out!

This week was much better reading wise than last-

I Finished Reading

Crazy For The Storm

by Norm Ollestad

5841908From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties, young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that prepared “Boy Wonder,” as his father called him, to become a fearless champion—and ultimately saved his life.

Flying to a ski championship ceremony in February 1979, the chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father’s girlfriend, and the pilot crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains and was suspended at 8,200 feet, engulfed in a blizzard. “Dad and I were a team, and he was Superman,” Ollestad writes. But now Norman’s father was dead, and the devastated eleven-year-old had to descend the treacherous, icy mountain alone.

Rogue Lawyer

by John Grisham

25387351Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.

Sebastian defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house.  Why these clients? Because he believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he, Sebastian, has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks, or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior.

Listening to (still)

It by Stephen King

I know- it’s taking a long time, but I don’t really have long drives.  I am listening while I cook and clean, so it might take a while.

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To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.

It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .

The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.

Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

Reading Now

Nothing yet- I have to figure out what I have and what I want to do!

What are you reading this week?

 

 

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!

I think I might still be wreaked from last week, but I have little energy, and fewer thoughts.  I have been reading a ton, and trying to rest since I have had an awful, storm induced headache for three days.  therefore, I have decided to share some visual thoughts, that make me laugh.

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1. It’s only funny until it happens to you.  Often.

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2.  All the time.  My kids cringe.  I am proud of my knowledge and vocab (or profanity).

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3.  We means the dogs.  Within 10 minutes there is fur, dirt, and paw prints everywhere.  And mud!

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4.  So much wine.

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5.  They plot against us.

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6.  Unless that store is Walmart.

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7.  Love this.

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8.  I could live on bread, cheese, and wine.  Coffee in the morning, then repeat.

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8.  This happened.

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10. Every Friday night.

One of my favorite books this year- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

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A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

published by Doubleday

2015

Thoughts

Yes- this is one of my favorites books this year (which is almost over).  I will be totally honest- this is not a happy book.   Quite the opposite, this is one of the most difficult, depressing books I have ever read, and that usually isn’t my cup of tea.  I am also hesitant to recommend this book lightly.  I will mention how much I liked it, admired the writing, etc, but I always follow it up with this might not be the book for you.  Because it is hard.  It actually hurt reading this book.  I am not sure if I cried this hard since Dumbledore died.

Many people will describe this as a book about four college friends living in Manhattan.  I think it begins that way, but evolves into the story of Jude, and how his friends affect his life.  Jude is a tough character to get involved with.  From the beginning we know he is somehow disabled, his legs permanently  injured.  He doesn’t say an accident, but a car injury.  We slowly get to know more about all four men- Jude, the broken man, Willem, the charismatic actor, JB, the artist, and Malcolm the talented, quiet architect.  As the story centers more on Jude, we come to see the horrible things he has had to live through, and his unrelenting pain, physical and mental, is devastating.

I do recommend this book for someone who will immerse themselves here.  It might leave you feeling hollowed out, as it did me.  But it might also stay with you long after you finish, as it did me- I am still talking about it months after finishing.

  Summary

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

Quotes-

“I have become lost to the world
In which I otherwise wasted so much time It means nothing to me
Whether the world believes me dead
I can hardly say anything to refute it For truly, I am no longer a part of the world.”

“Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can’t even remember who he is. “Where am I?” he asks, desperate, and then, “Who am I? Who am I?”
And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs.
“You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen.
“You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way.
“You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it.
“You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again.
“You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.”

 

Top Ten Tuesday- a wish 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-

Well- it is supposed to be Top Ten Debut Novels I am Looking forward to, but since I usually don’t even know when I am reading a debut novel, I find it hard to look forward to any.

Instead I am going to do an older topic that I never did –

Top Ten Books I’d want on a deserted island with me

Most of the books I picked are pretty long, since I will have so much time on my hands

Books I have read before and LOVE-

1.Gone With the Wind

2.  Pride & Prejudice

3.  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

4.  The Harry Potter Series

5. The Silmarillion

Books I have NOT read before but really want to (and will be forced to on a deserted island)

6.  Out of Africa

7.  East of Eden

8.  The Count of Monte Cristo

9.  Wuthering Heights

10.  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

(I have actually read a few of his plays, but not much)