Sunday, July 7, 2024

BW28: July Author of the Month - Ashley Poston

 


Happy Sunday!  Our July author of the month is Ashley Poston.  I recently read The Dead Romantics and fell in love with the charming story about a ghostwriter who falls in love with a ghost. It was humorous as well as touching and hit me in all the feels.  Which meant I wanted to read more of her stories and added the time slipping romance, The Seven Year Slip as well as her young adult science fiction adventure Heart of Iron to my stacks. 

Plus her newest novel, released on June 25th, A Novel Love Story:

"Eileen Merriweather loves to get lost in a good happily-ever-after. The fictional kind, anyway. Because at least imaginary men don’t leave you at the altar. She feels safe in a book. At home. Which might be why she’s so set on going her annual book club retreat this year—she needs good friends, cheap wine, and grand romantic gestures—no matter what.

But when her car unexpectedly breaks down on the way, she finds herself stranded in a quaint town that feels like it’s right out of a novel…

Because it is.

This place can’t be real, and yet… she’s here, in Eloraton, the town of her favorite romance series, where the candy store’s honey taffy is always sweet, the local bar’s burgers are always a little burnt, and rain always comes in the afternoon. It feels like home. It’s perfect—and perfectly frozen, trapped in the late author’s last unfinished story.

Elsy is sure that’s why she must be here: to help bring the town to its storybook ending.

Except there is a character in Eloraton that she can’t place—a grumpy bookstore owner with mint-green eyes, an irritatingly sexy mouth and impeccable taste in novels. And he does not want her finishing this book. 

Which is a problem because Elsy is beginning to think the town’s happily-ever-after might just be intertwined with her own."

I love books about books.  We probably all dream of getting lost in the fictional settings from our books at one time or another.   Which fictional setting would you most like to dive into? 

Big Y, little Y, what begins with Y:  Yesterday, Yearn, Yum, Yoga, and Yabba Dabba Doo!


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Sunday, June 30, 2024

BW27: Zen and the art of ....

 



Happy Sunday! We're headed for a heat wave this coming week, and I've peopled way too much so totally ready to hibernate in the cool with one or two or three books.  We're past the halfway point in our 52 Books journey and moving backwards through the alphabet from Z to A.   We can be zen, we can zoom, we can zigzag, we can stay in the zone.  We can read books that move in reverse chronology. We can read books about Z and the art of ... motorcycles, writing, saving the planet, or even the art of stand up comedy. We can read about zoo's or zombie's or zorro or zealots. There are so many ways we can go. 

Zinfandel

By

Rick Fernandez 

In the skies a wizard flies 

Spreading magic dust.

There is a fire in his eyes

It's Zinfandel or bust.


The animals have seen his stare

And await their manna from heaven.

There's so much magic in the air

As they go on misbehaving.


The seal he wears a crown of gold

The deer in field goes grazing.

Behold! Behold! as tales are told

In this magicland so amazing.


Happy Reading! 


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Sunday, June 23, 2024

BW26: We're halfway there

 


Happy Sunday! Are you ready for the halftime show?  The year is zipping right along, full of zingy and Zen reads, full of zaddy characters, zaffre settings, and zeal.  I added to my stacks when on vacation in Texas when we stopped by a Barnes and Noble while waiting for a table at the restaurant across the way, plus found a little book store at the airport while waiting for a very delayed flight to return home. Plus I had fun exploring my nieces and nephews book shelves and since we have similar tastes in science fiction and fantasy, chatting about stories.  And now I'm off again for a belated father's day celebration with my father in law so time is short.  

What has been your most favorite story so far this year?  Have you discovered a new author or series to explore? Any interesting book news you'd like to share?

June 23rd is Let it Go Day, June 24th is Celebration of the Senses day, June 25th is the day to celebrate The Beatles, the 26th is Forgiveness day, the 27th is National Handshake Day, the 28th is National Food Truck Holiday and last but not least, the 29th is Hug Holiday.  So don't worry and be happy, go out and shake someone's hand or give them a huge hug, and eat plenty of food, while you listen to the Beatles. 

Peace!  

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Sunday, June 16, 2024

BW25: Happy Father's Day

 



Happy Sunday and happy Father's day to all our dad's. The June Solstice is upon us as of the 20th which means we are celebrating the beginning of Summer here in the Northern hemisphere and Winter in the Southern hemisphere.  


An Ode To Dads

by 

Melodia Ortez


Dads are the rock that holds us strong,

A compass to guide us all along,

The foundation of our lives they create,

A stronghold of love that's never late.


With strength and support, they stand by our side,

A beacon of hope that never hides,

Dads are the world we live in each day,

And their love is what lights the way.


Y is for Yabba Dabba Do, Yesteryear, Yum, and Yes.


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Sunday, June 9, 2024

BW24: X marks the spot

 




Happy Sunday! It's time to go on a reading adventure and conveniently, our next 52 Books Bingo category is Adventure.   Find a book about a treasure hunt or go on a treasure hunt for a new title or unread book in your home library.  

Pick a book by the cover and pick it up. What captured your attention? The author, the title, or the picture?  Does it tickle your fancy?  Is it by an author you've read before or a brand new author?  Don't peak at the synopsis on the back or the inside flap. Yes, I know, it's ridiculously hard.  What do you think it will be about? Suppose you go into it blind and read it.  Were your suppositions close or no cigar? 

Or

Choose a random book based on its position on the shelf in your home library or the public library, or the book store.   Decide in advance or leave it up to chance and pick a shelf, pick an aisle, pick a genre. First decide which shelf you will choose from - top, 2nd, 3rd, fourth, or bottom shelf, pick a number between 1 and 30, assuming there are probably 30 books to a shelf, then read that book. 

My son does it all the time when we go to Barnes and Noble and finds the most fascinating reads, for himself, me, or for his dad.   

Have fun treasure hunting! 

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Sunday, June 2, 2024

BW23: Words

 


Welcome to June and our month of celebrating fathers, summer, gardening, and the great outdoors.  This week is devoted to the window of the world with words.  The wild and wacky, wonderful and winsome, the witty and weary, world of words that whisper and weave the wonderous who, what, where, when, and why of words. 

Our author of the month is Akwaeke Emezi, a Nigerian author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as a film writer, musician, and artist. Last year, I read one of her stories - You Made A Fool Out of Me with Your Beauty.  There were so many layers to this story:  loss and grief, sexual attraction, choices, and love, sorrow and learning to live again. After the loss of her husband, Feyi is trying to figure out if she can ever love again. She plunges into the dating waters full steam ahead, trying to figure out who and what she wants. She's a woman exploring the sexual waters and falling in love with someone she didn't expect. The beginning of the story fooled me when it went full boil with a sexual escapade, but I gave it a chance. It simmered down and the more I learned more about Feyi, the deeper I became invested in her story. It was crude, it was raw. It was full of angst, full of sorrow. Full of choices, and full of love. 

“It was like a fork in the road has closed, shut off by an avalanche of grief, choked with rocks and a broken heart. It wasn't supposed to open, and honestly, it still hadn't, but somehow, an entirely new path had formed, green and creeping.”

You Made A Fool Out of Me with Your Beauty sticks with you long after finishing it and makes one think. One of the themes is all about choice. The choice on the characters who wants to make a choice for himself, when in the past, all his choices were for his children. When he choose himself, it got me to thinking about some decisions we make which aren't about the other person but about us. Food for thought.

I'm looking forward to reading The Death of Vivek Oji next.  

Her stories aren't for the faint at heart as they contain LQBTQ supporting cast characters, graphic sex, and crude language, so if you'd like, stick with our letter of the week, and check out Oscar Wilde, E.B. White, Elie Wiesel, Laura Ingalls Wilder,  Colson Whitehead,  Alice Walker, or Martin Walker to name a few. 

Happy reading! 


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Sunday, May 26, 2024

BW22: Virtual Reality


 

Happy Sunday!  Ever since the 1980's when I first read Brian Daley's Tron, a story about a computer geek who gets sucked in his own computer world, stories about virtual reality have fascinated me.  Tron lead me to Larry Niven's Dream Park series to William Gibson's Neuromancer through the years to Ernest Cline's Ready Player One and Two, and now my current read, Armada.

"Zack Lightman has never much cared for reality. He vastly prefers the countless science-fiction movies, books, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. And too often, he catches himself wishing that some fantastic, impossible, world-altering event could arrive to whisk him off on a grand spacefaring adventure.

So when he sees the flying saucer, he's sure his years of escapism have finally tipped over into madness.

Especially because the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of his favorite videogame, a flight simulator called Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.

As impossible as it seems, what Zack's seeing is all too real. And it's just the first in a blur of revlations that will force him to question everything he thought he knew about Earth's history, its future, even his own life--and to play the hero for real, with humanity's life in the balance.

But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking: Doesn't something about this scenario feel a little bit like...well...fiction?"

Join me in immersing yourself in Virtual Reality. 

Happy Memorial Day! 

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Sunday, May 19, 2024

BW21: U is for ...

 



BIG U, little u, what begins with U?
Uncle Ubb’s umbrella and his underwear, too. 
~ Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!



Sunday!  Big U, little u, what begins with U?  How about under, unique, utopia, umbrella, unicorn, ugly, and universal to name a few.   


Read a book with these words or any word that start with U on the cover.  

Read a utopian novel. 

Read a book with an ugly cover or with the word Ugly in the title and fulfill yet another one of our 52 books bingo categories.  

Read a book by an author whose name begins with U. 

Read a book that will make you 'ugly cry.' 

Read a book about an ugly duckling. 


Under The Moon

by 

Bayard Taylor

I.
From you and home I sleep afar,
Under the light of a lonely star,
Under the moon that marvels why
Away from you and home I lie.
Ah! love no language can declare,
The hovering warmth, the tender care,
The yielding, sweet, invisible air
That clasps your bosom, and fans your cheek
With the breath of words I cannot speak, --
Such love I give, such warmth impart:
The fragrance of a blossomed heart.

II.
The moon looks in upon my bed,
Her yearning glory rays my head,
And round me clings, a lonely light,
The aureole of the winter night;
But in my heart a gentle pain,
A balmier splendor in my brain,
Lead me beyond the frosty plane, --
Lead me afar, to mellower skies,
There under the moon a palace lies;
There under the moon our bed is made,
Half in splendor and half in shade.

III.
The marble flags of the corridor
Through open windows meet the floor,
And Moorish arches in darkness rise
Against the gleam of the silver skies:
Beyond, in flakes of starry light,
A fountain prattles to the night,
And dusky cypresses, withdrawn
In silent conclave, stud the lawn;
While mystic woodlands, more remote,
In seas of airy silver float,
So hung in heaven, the stars that set
Seem glossy leaves the dew has wet
On topmost boughs, and sparkling yet.

IV.
In from the terraced garden blows
The spicy soul of the tuberose,
As if 't were the odor of strains that pour
From the nightingale's throat as never before;
For he sings not now of wounding thorn,
He sings as the lark in the golden morn, --
A song of joy, a song of bliss,
Passionate notes that clasp and kiss,
Perfect peace and perfect pride,
Love rewarded and satisfied,
For I see you, darling, at my side.

V.
I see you, darling, at my side:
I clasp you closer, in sacred pride.
I shut my eyes, my senses fail,
Becalmed by Night's ambrosial gale.
Softer than dews the planets weep,
Descends a sweeter peace than sleep;
All wandering sounds and motions die
In the silent glory of the sky;
But, as the moon goes down the West,
Your heart, against my happy breast,
Says in its beating: Love is Rest.




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Sunday, May 12, 2024

Bw20: Happy Mother's Day


 

Happy Mother's Day!  


is for

Terrific and tenacious, 

Timeless and tireless,

Tangible and transparent, 

Tough and tolerant,

Trusting and tranquil, 

Thoughtful and true! 



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Sunday, May 5, 2024

BW19: 52 Books Bingo - Space



“The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 

1) Silence; 

2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; and 

3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.”

― Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!


Happy Sunday! A door opens up and you see...Space.  You look up into the sky and see...Space.  You climb aboard a train and look for...Space.   

According to Dictionary.com: 

Space is the unlimited or incalculably great three-dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur.

The portion or extent of this in a given instance; extent or room in three dimensions: a space your body occupies. 

In Fine Arts, space is the designed and structured surface of a picture, or the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface.

In Mathematics. space is a system of objects with relations between the objects defined.

In Storytelling, space is an interval of time; a while. 

In Music, space is the interval between two adjacent lines of the staff.

In Telegraphy, space is an interval during the transmitting of a message when the key is not in contact.

Outer Space which is the space beyond the atmosphere of the earth or Deep Space which is the space beyond the limits of the solar system

Oh my. Space travel sound rather perilous.

 I can assure you they will never get me on 

one of those dreadful Star Ships. C-3PO from Star Wars.

In our household, we are big fans of everything Star Wars, so if you have a hankering to explore through their extended world,  check out these massive list  of canon in chronological order and legends in chronological order

 

Have fun traveling in, out, and about space! 

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Sunday, April 28, 2024

BW18: May Author of the Month - Peng Shepherd

 


Happy Sunday! Our author of the month is Peng Shepherd who writes speculative fiction as well as mysteries. Shepherd's debut novel, The Book of M, released in 2018 won Dartmouth College's 2019 Neukom Institute for Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction. Her second book, The  Cartographers, was an international best seller, and her third book, All This and More will be released in July of this year.  I'm currently reading The Cartographers which is about a young woman who finds a map with a dark and deadly secret, in a hidden drawer of her deceased father's desk. 

I have always been fascinated by Cartography, the study, science, and practice of drawing and using maps, which brings us to one of our 52 Book's Bingo categories.  From the real life cartographic crimes like in Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey to writing books like Maps of the Imagination by Peter Turchi, to creating your own maps in Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel, to fictional tales of mapmakers such as The Mapmaker's War by Ronlyn Domingue, they have all been an adventure to read. 

Have fun exploring the fiction and not so fictional roads and routes of cartography! 


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Sunday, April 21, 2024

BW17: Question me an Answer!

 



Happy Sunday!  We have a queen who is in a quagmire to answer the quality of the quadragenarian quest without qualms or quibbles due to the quadrants quirks.  What is the question?  Your mission is to read about a quest, a question, a quack, even a quid pro quo.  Have fun! 


Lost Horizon 

Music by Burt Bacharach


Question me an answer bright and clear
I will answer with a question clear and bright
Even though your answer may be wrong
My question will be right

Question me an answer
Answer with a question

(Chorus) Fourteen hundred ninety two. (1492)

(Bobby) What's the year that Babe Ruth hit his sixtieth home run?

(Chorus) Wellington at Waterloo

(Bobby) Who became the hero at the battle of Bull Run?

Learning can be lots of fun
Question me an answer bright and clear
I will answer with a question clear and bright
Even though your answer may be wrong
My question will be right

Question me an answer
Answer with a question

(Chorus) Midnight ride of Paul Revere

(Bobby) What's the way that Yankee Doodle really went to town?

(Chorus) Cleaning up the atmosphere

(Bobby) What's the reason London Bridge is always falling down

(All) You can learn things from a clown

Question me an answer bright and clear
I will answer with a question clear and bright
Even though your answer may be wrong
My question will be right

Question me an answer
Answer with a question

(Bobby) On the good ship Lollipop

(Chorus) How did Christopher Columbus sail upon the sea?

(Bobby) Underneath the circus top

(Chorus) Where did Cleopatra get to meet Mark Anthony?

(All) They say knowledge makes you free

Question me an answer if you please
I will answer with a question if I can

(Bobby) Let me show you just how I
Became an educated man

Question me an answer
Answer with a question

If you wanna' know, if you wanna' hear, if you wanna' see
Question me an answer


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Sunday, April 14, 2024

BW16: P stands for .......

 


Happy Sunday! P stands for Paint.  We’re still prepping our bathroom since we had the bathroom disaster and we’ve been scraping and scrubbing and sanding, redoing the old orange peel left over from the days we used to rent before we lay linoleum, and shop for replacements for the old medicine cabinet and mirrors, and light fixtures. Hubby and I have different methods for getting some things done and we are both passionate about how to do so but we have fun in the process since both ways work well. Things goes faster when we work together as a team. Which brings me to our letter of the week.

P not only stands for paint but also poetry,  plot, prose, personification, protagonists, proverbs, puns, as well as pool.  Ha! 

"Trouble (oh, we got trouble)

Right here in River City (right here in River City)

With a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool (that stands for pool)

We've surely got trouble (we've surely got trouble)

Right here in River City (right here)

Gotta figure out a way to keep the young ones moral after school

(Our children's children gonna have trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble)"

Ya Got Trouble by Robert Preston


April is National Poetry Month and the poster above represents the poem Blessing the Boats by Lucille Clifton. 

may the tide

that is entering even now

the lip of our understanding

carry you out

beyond the face of fear

may you kiss

the wind then turn from it

certain that it will

love your back may you

open your eyes to water

water waving forever

and may you in your innocence

sail through this to that


Why the poem has no punctuation is beyond me, but it's another p word.   So read a book of poetry or punctuation.  Read about Robert Preston, or Prince or Pedro Pascal.  Read a book about painters, or pets, or penguins.  Read a book about passion or peace or prosperity. 

Find your pleasure, find your prize, as you participate in our favorite pastime.  

Peace out! 


*****

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Sunday, April 7, 2024

BW15: Onomatopoeia

 


Happy Sunday!  Our next 52 Books category meshes well with our letter and word of the week: One word titles and onomatopoeia.  


Weather

by

Eve Merriam

1916 –1992

Dot a dot dot dot a dot dot
Spotting the windowpane.

Spack a spack speck flick a flack fleck
Freckling the windowpane.

A spatter a scatter a wet cat a clatter
A splatter a rumble outside.

Umbrella umbrella umbrella umbrella
Bumbershoot barrel of rain.

Slosh a galosh slosh a galosh
Slither and slather a glide

A puddle a jump a puddle a jump
A puddle a jump puddle splosh

A juddle a pump a luddle a dump
A pudmuddle jump in and slide!



Have fun! 

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Sunday, March 31, 2024

BW14: N is for Non Sequitur

 

“The glass-blower's cat is bompstable,” said Mr. Parker aloud and distinctly.” ~ Dorothy L. Sayers


Grandpa Joe: "I used to work for him, you know."
Charlie: "You did?"
Grandpa Joe: "I did."
Grandma Josephine: "He did."
Grandpa George: "He did."
Grandma Georgina: "I love grapes."
~Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 



Hi! Happy Sunday and Happy Easter for all who celebrate!  April is upon us and with April showers bring May flowers so let it rain.  April is also Stress Awareness Month, National Humor month, and National Card and Letter Writing Month. So send a funny card or send a humorous caring letter to someone this month and make their day, week, or year. 

As we all know, Easter Sunday is always followed by Dyngus day in Poland on Monday so have fun and follow it up with Tuesday's Children's book day, then Wednesday's National Walking day and explore somewhere new. Follow it up with Thursday's Walk around Things day since you're probably lost by now. Then Friday's Read a Road Map day which is necessary when traveling with your hubby.  After our last road trip, I purchased National Geographics Adventure Edition U.S Atlas, a paper map of the United States California, and Arizona.  Eventually we'll buy a map of all the individual states in the U.S. because hubby doesn't trust electronic maps. They like to send you weird places. 

And why is it when I look up Non Sequitur on the Internet, I found The Non Sequitur Survival Guide for the Nineties but no other decade?   What happened in the nineties?  I guess we all lost logic and reason in the 90's.  Something to think about. 

And our April author  and book of the month is Bonnie Garmus and her debut novel Lessons in Chemistry." 

"Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo."


It's different, it's maddening, it's unusual, it's heart wrenching, it's all the feels. Proceed with caution. 

Big N, little N, what begins with N: Nudge, nurture, noteworthy, and nuance. 

Nanu nanu!!!


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Sunday, March 24, 2024

BW13: 52 Books Bingo - Musician

 



Happy Sunday! The musical earworm stuck in my head today is Lady Gaga's Million Reasons which if you'll notice also starts with M and is our letter of the week, which leads me to our next 52 Books Bingo Category - Musician.  Don't you hate run on sentences. I was helping my son with his philosophy class today and the text for the philosopher of the week used long run on sentences with double and triple negatives making it so convoluted, you had to read it several times to figure out what he was trying to say.  Thank goodness musicians make songs easy to understand with their repetitive melodies or story telling in musical form.  

There are numerous directions we can go with the category of Musician whether you wish to learn about music or an instrument; read a biography about a famous or not so famous musician;  read a fictional tale involving a musician or musical event; or read a book with music on the cover or in the title; or whatever your imagination conjures up for the letter M. 

Have fun and enjoy! 

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Sunday, March 17, 2024

BW12: Happy St. Patrick's Day

 




St. Patrick’s Day

by

Jean Blewett


There’s an Isle, a green Isle, set in the sea,

     Here’s to the Saint that blessed it!

And here’s to the billows wild and free

     That for centuries have caressed it!


Here’s to the day when the men that roam

     Send longing eyes o’er the water!

Here’s to the land that still spells home

     To each loyal son and daughter!


Here’s to old Ireland—fair, I ween,

     With the blue skies stretched above her!

Here’s to her shamrock warm and green,

     And here’s to the hearts that love her!


L is for luck of the irish, love, and laughter!


Please share your thoughts and reviews. Link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week. 

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Sunday, March 10, 2024

BW11: Knowledge versus Wisdom


 

Happy Sunday!   Are knowledge and wisdom the same thing?  Not exactly. Knowledge comes from education, learning about different subjects, getting the facts, acquiring the skills, an understanding of how things work.  Wisdom is knowing what to do with those facts, skills, and information.

"Knowledge is love and light and vision." ~- Helen Keller

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it." - Thomas Jefferson.

Which brings us to our next 52 Books Bingo category -  Wisdom. - and our letter of the week - K - which brings us to Knowledge. 

Inspiring books such as the Tao of Pooh to the thoughtful wisdom books of the bible to the fictional tales of inspiration and thought, Wisdom and Knowledge presents us with a very broad category from which to choose. 

28 Books that Will Open Your Mind, Expand Your Knowledge & Transform the Way You Live

Novels for thought

What Books Would You Recommend Someone Read to Improve their General Knowledge of the World?

50 Short Books Packed with Wisdom


Don't forget to change your clocks tonight - We are springing forward. 

Happy reading! 

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Please share your thoughts and reviews. Link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week. 

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Sunday, March 3, 2024

BW10: March Author of the Month - Rebecca Yarros


“I am the sky and the power of every storm that has ever been. I am infinite.” ~ Fourth Wing

Happy Sunday! Welcome to March and National Irish Heritage month as well as Women's History Month. Today is also Namesake Day in celebration on the history of our names.  Years ago, when we were thinking of names before our son was born,  our relatives managed to turn every name into a nick name, prompting us to change our minds several times. We settled on the name that meant to most to us historically, musically, and personally.  Remind me to tell you the story one of these days.  

Our author of the month is Rebecca Yarros, a military mom with six kids who writes stand alone contemporary romance, military romance, as well as has a new fantasy series.  Her stories will make you laugh and cry and cheer and give you all the feels.  Yarros was a new to me author when I read The Last Letter and her writing and the roller coaster of emotions experienced while reading the story made me want to read all her books. Which leads me to the first two books in her  young adult fantasy series Fourth Wing and Iron Flame all about dragon riders. 

"Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away...because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom's protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die."

It is the year of the dragon after all. Join me in reading Fourth Wing. 

Our post is sponsored by the letter J for justice, juggernaut, juxtaposition, and journaling. 

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Sunday, February 25, 2024

BW9: I is for imagery

 



Happy Sunday!  I am in the midst of reading In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helprin who uses a great deal of imagery in his books.   From Winter's Tale to A Soldier of the Great War to In Sunlight and In Shadow, Helprin's use of imagery tickles your senses - what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, as well as emotion, and even employ the use of metaphors or similes.  All chunky books, Helprin brings not only the stories of the characters to life, but the settings as well.  

Winter's Tale is an historical, magical realism, romance story about a middle aged burglar and a young girl dying of consumption and how their paths crossed in a city consumed by an arctic winter.  The imagery in the story took my breath away. 

“Winter then in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees. It was a mad and beautiful thing that scoured raw the souls of animals and man, driving them before it until they loved to run. And what it did to Northern forests can hardly be described, considering that it iced the branches of the sycamores on Chrystie Street and swept them back and forth until they rang like ranks of bells.” ~ Winter's Tale

A Soldier of the Great War is one of those books that once finished, you have to let yourself ponder what it is you've just read, let it sit with you for a time, while you formulate your thoughts. After being immersed in Alessandro's world for three weeks, took me a while to surface. It's epic, poetic, heart wrenching, funny, scary, breathtaking, maddening, and leaves you with much to ponder.

“And then one morning the soldiers grew suddenly still as the heavy latches were lifted and turned. Just before the doors slid apart, a man from Pisa took the opportunity to say, "The air is thin. We're in the mountains." Alessandro straightened his back and raised his head. The mountains, unpredictable in their power, were the heart of his recollection, and he knew that the Pisano was right. He had known it all along from the way the train took the many grades, from the metallic thunder of bridges over which they had run in the middle of the night, and from the white sound of streams falling and flowing in velocities that could have been imparted only by awesome mountainsides.”  A Soldier of the Great War

Which brings me to In Sunlight and In Shadow, a novel set just after WWII, is a romance set in New York between Harry who has just returned from the war and Catherina, a wealthy aspiring actress. 

I had to stop and read my husband a passage when the narrator of the story was describing the female character as he watched her rehearsing on stage. 

"The lenses, plumb-set and perpendicular to the plane of the floor, were a foil to the sharp assertiveness of her nose, which was small, perfectly formed, gracefully projecting.  Her upper lip was larger than her lower, which suggested imminent speech protected nonetheless by careful reticence.  Her teeth, unnaturally white in the glare of the spotlights, were even straight, and large, in alluring palisades that cried out to be kissed."

And his thoughts as he sat across from her at a restaurant: 

"He wondered if women understood that their apparently insignificant attributes often have a power greater than that of armies. It was what he had meant when he had said that the war had been fought for her. Like the atom, which in its internal bonds contains the essence of matter and energy, in her glance, the sparkle of her eye, the grasp of her hand, the elasticity of her hair in motion, the way she stands, the blush of her cheek, sweep of her shoulder, tone of her voice, and snap of her locket, a woman is the spur and essence of existence." 

Helprin's imagery makes me slow down and read the story slowly,  makes me stop and think, takes my breath away, and yes, makes me laugh at what one could consider absurd but also beautiful.  These stories aren't full of purple prose, but descriptive imagery which is very much part of the over arching story.   

What authors or stories come to your mind that are full of imagery that tickles your senses and adds to the story? 

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week. 

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