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Monday, May 25, 2015

Best Way to Spend Memorial Day!

Thank you again to Susan Crandall for giving away a few copies of her new book, "The Flying Circus"! This lucky winner is enjoying having it to read over Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Patty Pick for 5/21/15 is "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr

This book will transport you to the European locations 
it so eloquently describes during World War II, but more importantly you will meet two very likable characters in it. They may have to do unimaginable things to survive and in the process they try to save their world and each other. In the picturesque city of Saint Malo, they will cross paths. This is more than another war novel. It is a beautiful story told with the utmost care of it's characters and with words that will sear the times, settings, and people involved in your memory.

The book centers around the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner. Marie-Laure is a blind French girl that lives in Paris with her father. He is a locksmith who works for the Museum of Natural History. He holds the keys to the precious treasures of France, - and he is a wonderful father. He works hard to give Marie-Laure a good life. He builds Marie-Laure incredibly detailed miniatures of the places she inhibits. And when the war breaks into their lives, he takes her to Saint Malo to live with his eccentric brother and his warm and caring housekeeper. 

Werner and his sister, Jutta, are orphans in a poor, coal-mining town in Germany. They grow up in an orphanage cared for by a kind but overworked nun. Werner has an amazing ability to fix radios. He is recruited to attend a special youth school. This will decide 
the trajectory of his life. You want him to make it back to Jutta after the war. 

As they grow up, world forces come together to bring the war to their doorsteps.
They are forced to change their lives in many ways and cope with the untold hardships and dangers that the war will bring their way. As we read back-and-forth between the two, we can sense that there will be a meeting in their future, but you will want to slow down. Every page is filled with vivid imagery and prose. There are a few books you read that you can not wait for the end because it is so exciting. Then there are the ones you want to finish, but hate for them to end. "All the Light We Cannot See" is one of the later. This book came highly recommended and it leaves highly recommended. Don't miss this one! It's worth the hardback price.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Patty Pick for 5/7/15 is Best Mom Award to My Mother


My mother was quiet and loud at the same time. She was always ready to play 
games with us so we grew up knowing most every board game invented. She also taught us   
many card games which I passed on to my family. When my sister and I grew older and would beg off of playing games with her, she would play them with herself. 

She did make me work in our garden and eat my liver at dinner- yuck! But now I realize she was helping me grow up strong and learn the value of hard work. She was the consumate gardener. She had two very green thumbs which she did not pass along to me. Unfortunately I can kill a plant in record time. Plants realize this and they tremble when they enter our home. 

I wish I had more pictures of my mom, but the ones I do have show her laughing and joking. The ones with a serious face are rare. She is famous in our family for sticking her tongue out at the camera at the most inopportune moments. There are many such photos of our smiling family and there is mom making her funny faces. She did not like to have her picture taken any more than I do to this day. 

My mom was not a perfect person, but she was the perfect mom for our family. She held us together, feed us, taught us her life lessons, had fun with us and loved us to no end. I did not realize until after she was gone that she held our family together much more than we all knew. And she taught me what it means to be a mom - the joy, the fleeting timeline, the agony, but above all, the all-consuming love you have for your child(ren). 

My mom will be missed by us for the rest of our lives. She did not get to see her only son marry and have children. She did hold some of her other grandchildren and watched them grow up. She will not be there in person when my daughter marries and has her own children, but somehow I know she will be close. She is always close to me, just not close enough to save those poor plants I keep buying.   

Monday, May 4, 2015

Best Place to Read!

Such a nice warm day! The beaches in NC are definitely one of the best 
places to read! Loving this book all ready!

Patty Pick for 4/30/15 is "this dark road to mercy" by Wiley Cash

I could not wait to read another book by Wiley Cash after reading his, "A Land More Kind than Home". So when it was my turn to pick a book for my book club to read, I picked "This Dark Road to Mercy", his second novel. This novel centers around two sisters instead 
of two brothers and we change our locale to Gastonia, NC. What this one has in common with Wiley Cash's' first book is well written characters who are involved in personal and criminal tragedies.
We meet Easter and Ruth Quillby as they struggle through a hardscrabble life that includes finding their mother dead of a drug overdose in their house. The overly mature Easter takes her sister's hand and marches down to the corner convenience store to call 911. They are placed in foster care together and give a guardian by the court, Brady Weller, who has his own ghosts. 
Easter and Ruth are making friends, and trying to stay together in the system, when 
someone knocks on their window they do not expect - their father, Wade. Wade abandoned them when Ruth was young and their mother has forbidden his name to 
be mentioned. Wade had a promising baseball career that he threw away with a wild pitch and a recovery that never healed. He had made a choice that will effect all their 
Easter is a mature, smart 12-year-old who knows how to figure out things on her own. She has been doing this and taking care of her younger sister for a long time. As the three run away together, they have a lot of people looking for them. This includes a criminal without an ounce of compassion named Robert Pruitt. He has a personal stake in finding Wade and it's not a good one. As our reluctant father works to start a relationship back with his daughters, they all run from Pruitt.  
As this thrilling southern novel runs toward the end, you want the girls to have a future in a safe environment, but does that include their father?