Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

  

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week flew by! We had a pretty good week, on the home front here. Today we are throwing a party for my mom's birthday - she is turning 70 this week! I spent much of last week gathering things together and ironing out last minute details with my sister-in-law and aunt. It's a small gathering but I think it will be really special. It's also why I am up early on a Sunday, typing up this post! I know I will be pretty busy the rest of the day, and wanted to get this finished while I could.

Read Last Week:


We Stood Upon Stars by Roger W. Thompson: I read this book before bed every night, a chapter here, a chapter there. It was a nice way to end the day. This book also had cool hand drawn maps by the author from his favorite parks, with little details thrown in, tips and info about coffee houses and people and whatnot. I am a map nerd so I am going to go back and really peruse those soon. Review soon.

The Ridge by John Rector:  This was a very fast read for me. It was pretty good, but felt a little underdone when it came to the characters, although, that might have been intentional, honestly, as the MC is isolated from her community, and therefore doesn't really know the other characters. It was good but I wouldn't say I completely loved it.

Still Reading:


Still reading about my rabbit friends on the Down.

Reading this Week:



Posted Last Week:





Watching:

Riverdale, The Path, Bletchley Circle, 13 Reasons Why, iZombie (yay!). We also found the show Powerless and we are in love with it! Just the right amount of cheeseball humor and it is so fun. Plus, Abed from Community is in it! 


So what about all of you? What have you all been up to this week?





Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Snapshot ~ April 22


This guy. My #cpwarrior. Stubborn, strong, determined, so loving. He turned two at the beginning of March; his actual due date was April 19th. This week on what would have been his actual 2nd birthday, he sat up all by himself for the first time. And hasn't stopped. He is so proud and so are we. He works so hard he should be proud. 😊 Love him more than anything.




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Review: Any Day Now by Robyn Carr

Title: Any Day Now
Author: Robyn Carr
Source: Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

The highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr's What We Find transports readers back to Sullivan's Crossing. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide trails welcomes everyone—whether you're looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or a whole new lease on life. It's a wonderful place where good people face their challenges with humor, strength and love.

For Sierra Jones, Sullivan's Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She's put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn't yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet.

Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she's always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it's a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future. In Sullivan's Crossing Sierra learns to cherish the family you are given and the family you choose.
 

My Thoughts:

I have to say, I have never read a Robyn Carr book before this one, and I am glad that I finally did. When I received the inquiry email, I fell in love with this cover, as well as the idea of a quirky campground owner and an adorable puppy. Those were the hooks for me apparently! I am glad that I followed my curiosity to this series set in the town of Sullivan's Crossing.

I loved the characters - Sierra in particular appealed to my bleeding heart for all underdogs. And when she finds her own underdog ~ heart melt. I found Sierra's journey to be very believable, and I commended her for realizing she had some issues that needed to be addressed, and addressing them. When the big looming "What If" that dangles over her is finally faced, you know that she is going to be ok. She has some serious demons in her closet, including a very dangerous one, a few plaguing huge questions as well as some hard trauma from her youth and even more recently, a new trauma to overcome. She is a determined and tough woman, knowing that her path is going to be one full of hard work, but she is unafraid to put in the time and do what she needs to do.  And of course, there is the matter of a certain fireman..

Overall, I love where she landed! The place, the people, the community- all were endearing to me, and I loved reading about them. I plan to read the first in this series very soon!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

  

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Happy Easter, to those who celebrate! It was a beautiful day in our neighborhood, and we celebrated the day with a delicious family brunch followed by a small trip to the zoo. We had a great day and are now exhausted! 

I am also an aunt again! My brother-in-law and his wife had their little girl Friday - 7 lbs 7 oz of awesome! I love her little self so much already!

Read Last Week:

   

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs: I've said it before, and I will say it again, I really think this series gets better and better every book, with the exception of River Marked, which I actually really didn't like. Lol. This one however was hands down my favorite in the series - I loved it! Review soon.

Reading This Week:
I'm left with a few "slow reading" books, those books that you take your time with and read a little here, a little there. It's also time for me to read my annual spring read of my favorite book!

  

Watership Down by Richard Adams: I was so sad to hear of Adams' passing last year. This book has been my favorite for most of my life, and I read it every year in the spring. 



We Stood Upon Stars by Roger W. Thompson: I read a chapter from this every night, and it is the perfect end to the night. Calming, zenlike. 

Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson: I am enjoying this look at Jackson's life through her work. I am also enjoying taking my time with it. 

Watching:

Riverdale, The Path, Victoria, Grimm, Supernatural, 13 Reasons Why

Posted:



How about you? What's been going on in your world?


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Book Giveaway: In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen


I meant to post this with my review the other day, but me being me, I forgot until I was moving stacks of books around today! Better late than never though, I say!

This giveaway is for a brand new hardcover copy of In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen, that was provided to me by the publisher. 

To enter:


1. Must live in the U.S. or Canada

.  You don't need a blog, just an email.

2.  Enter using rafflecopter below.

3.  Contest is open until April 20th at 12 am.  Rafflecopter will choose the winner!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

  

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

The weather was cold and icky and rainy all week, then boom - beautiful for the weekend. I can live with that! It was good weather for sleeping, according to my son, who took great naps this week. Lol. Usually I catch up on housework or other work while he naps, but this week I decided to read instead. I am glad that I did, it was nice downtime for me too. 

Read Last Week:


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson: I loved this book! I immediately requested a few more Jackson books from the library, I loved it so much. At 160ish pages, it is a good short read too.

In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen: I enjoyed this one as well! I don't usually read books set during wars, but this one I really liked. My review is up if you are interested. 

Reading This Week:

I went to the library and came home with a ton of books, between my stack and the boy's. I think I have narrowed it down to these two.
   
  

Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs (so excited!)

Delivered:

I received two books this week, yay for book mail!

  



Watching:

Riverdale, The Path, Big Little Lies (although, now it is done! noo), Trial and Error. iZombie started again but we are going to let the episodes build up before starting it. We also added 13 Reasons Why, which is amazing, but I had to take a break, espeically with watching Big Little Lies too. So much violence toward women, it was almost overload. Both shows are excellent though.

Posted:



How about all of you? What have you been up to?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Book Review: In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

Title: In Farleigh Field
Author: Rhys Bowen
Source: Little Bird Publicity/Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.


My Thoughts:

I will be honest - I don't normally read books that are set during the war. I'm a history buff, but there is something about WWI and WWII books that don't usually appeal to me. However, unlike other wartime setting books, I ate this one up!

I loved this book. I loved the characters, the plot, the mystery, all of it. Of course, the two English Setters helped a bit, as my beloved dog who passed away was a beautiful setter. Not that they were a major part in the book, just mentioned a few times. Anyway, I digress. I was prepared to not be overly wowed, so imagine my surprise when I couldn't put it down. I found it very readable, not overly taxing with battle scenes, or a plethora of exposition about the war itself. It begins with the finding of a soldier who had fallen from the sky, right into Farleigh Field, at the home of Lord Westerham and his family. His home has been appropriated by a regiment of soldiers, and the Sutton family occupies one wing. His five daughters are scattered here and there - Pamela, who works at Blectchley Park as a codebreaker, Margot, who is trapped in Paris, and then Diana, a restless 19 year old living at home, Phoebe, just 12, and finally Olivia, who is described as matronly, a mother, and whose husband is stationed in the Bahamas with the Duke of Windsor. Poor Olivia. The story centers mainly on Pamela Sutton, and her two childhood friends, Ben Cresswell, and Jeremy Prescott, and their various involvements in the war. There is intrigue, scandal, romance, mystery, and a dramatic finish! I am not sure if there will be a sequel but I am hoping that there will be - I would love to read more about these characters and their wartime exploits and heroics!

A little about the author:

Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty mystery novels. Her work includes the Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1900s New York City, and the Royal Spyness novels, featuring a minor royal in 1930s England, as well as the Constable Evenas mysteries about a police constable in contemporary Wales. Rhys’s works have won fourteen awards to date, including multiple Agatha, Anthony, and MacAvity awards. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has fans from around the world, including the 12,000 who visit her Facebook page daily. She is a transplanted Brit who now divides her time between California and Arizona. Connect with her at rhysbowen.com.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Reviews ~ Let's Talk Hygge

So what exactly is hygge, anyway? From what I have been reading, it is a feeling, a state of emotional well-being, coziness, contentment. Enjoying good things, with good people. Enjoying the moment. It is a type of mindfulness, but to the Danish it is a way of life, one that helps them through all those dark and cold months, and really, helps them be the happiest country on earth.

Like most Americans. I often have to be reminded to stop, enjoy, just be. To not settle for fast food while on the go, but to take the time to make good food, and spend time with my family, away from distractions like cell phones, social media, the television. I would go go go and do do do, not taking time for myself, like an Energizer bunny. I want to be more present. I want to enjoy a good cup of hot chocolate, in my comfy home, lit by candles.. That is what hygge is about. Enjoyment of life.

Last Saturday we went out as a family, into the woods. It was a little chilly but the sun was shining, and the birds were out full force. We ran into an old friend and her children, who had moved away and was in town to visit, and had a nice chat. I also bumped into a former student library helper of mine, who was in 5th grade when I knew him - now he drives. It was good catching up with all of them. We went home feeling amazing, and the feeling carried through the rest of the weekend. This morning, instead of racing through a weekday breakfast, I took a few extra minutes to make pancakes for Wyatt and I - and we were both feeling full and happy after.

So now, the books.


How to Hygge by Signe Johansen: This book was the first I really read about the idea of hygge. I loved the photos, and the descriptions of the author's life, her chunky sweaters, her 20 year old Timberland boots that have been on countless hikes. The best part however were the recipes.  I need to return this book to the library, so I won't get to try them just yet, but there are some seriously delicious treats within its pages. Oatmeal waffles, pancakes, and for the practice of fika, the getting together with friends over cake and coffee, there are such desserts as a midsummer almond torte with lemon and elderflower glaze, and a cake called darkness and light. This book talked a lot about nature, food, comforts, and natural materials, warm sweaters. It is not just a feeling, but also tactile feeling as well. I relate it to how I love to cradle my beloved ceramic mugs that my mother-in-law made me, my slouchy fat belly one, and the one that reminds me of the Great Lakes at night, when they are full of coffee or tea and I just hold them, feeling comfortable and safe and happy.

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking: From what I believe, this is the book that launched hygge into the the rest of the world. Wiking works at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, which sounds like a wonderful place to work. (and don't get my husband started on Copenhagen, his dream city) I feel like of the two books, this book was the better of the two in terms of some sort of practical guide. Both are more for the beginning reader on the topic, but this one was broken down more into an easier to understand format. I like lists, and it was sort of listy. While hygge is associated more with autumn and winter, this book offered suggestions on how to hygge year round. It too, provides delicious sounding recipes, and since I bought this book, I will definitely be giving them a go. 

Wiking describes hygge as "humble and slow. It is choosing rustic over new, simple over posh and ambiance over excitement." This is a feeling and a movement I can understand, feel, and totally get behind. It engages all the senses. It's casual. It involves chocolate.

Since tonight is a perfect night for hygge, with a quiet rain hitting the window outside, I think I will finish here, and go snuggle under a blanket, while I drink a cup of mint tea, my favorite. And I may even have a slice of pie with it.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

  

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date!

I feel like I putzed a lot last week. I did a little of this, a little of that. I have been trying to go through all of our stuff, and decide what we can donate or sell or just plain get rid in an attempt to control the chaos that is our home. We have lived here long enough that our possessions have run amok! And add a toddler ~ yikes! Lol. I am currently in high organization mode ~ if you follow me on Pinterest you can see all the stuff that I've pinned but maybe won't do! Lol. Anyway, it's been fun putzing.

Read Last Week: 


 

Forever a Hero by Linda Lael Miller: I hate to say this, but while I started off enjoying this book, it just ended up boring me and I had to force myself to finish it. 

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking: This book was a great resource for anyone just starting to learn about the whole hygge lifestyle, like me. Plus, I want to work at the Happiness Research Institute. How fun does that sound!

Reading this Week:

  

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson: Our book club pick for the month. Shirley Jackson rocks. (I wasn't trying to be ironic, but there you have it)

We Stood Upon Stars by Roger W. Thompson: From Blogging for Books. So far, I really like it, and I read a chapter every night. It is nice way to end the night.

Bought for my Kindle under $2.00/free:

 


Falling Free by Shannan Martin - I used to read her blog, Flower Patch Farm Girl or something like that. I loved it, so I am interested to see what her book has to say.


Watching:

We finished up Bones ~ the final series episode was last week, and I was teary! We also are watching Big Little Lies (so good~ I really need to read the book, eh), Riverdale (although on hiatus?), Victoria, Supernatural



How about you all? What's going on with you?