Goodreads Cleanup Help

Okay, I’ve tried this twice and you guys have helped me so much.  Let me tell you why.  Obviously, I’ve shown you 15 and I’ve eliminated 6 off my list.  But it has forced me to actually look at the books on my list.  I mean the list is only useful if it really is what I want to read.  Not 6 years ago, but today.  And I’ve put on hold the ones available at my library!  So, I’m going to keep it going once or twice a month until my TBR list is reasonable (and no I don’t have a set number in mind for this).

I am planning on writing a post on my Mt. TBR of unread books, but I’ll give you a heads up- during our mold remediation I got rid of every. single. one.  So I really am ready to utilize my 895 Goodreads list 🙂

Help a middle -aged gal out!

How to participate:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order by Ascending Date Added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or let it go?

 

What We Keep Ginny Young is on a plane, en route to see her mother, whom she hasn’t seen or spoken to for thirty-five years. She thinks back to the summer of 1958, when she and her sister, Sharla, were young girls. At that time, a series of dramatic events–beginning with the arrival of a mysterious and sensual next-door neighbor–divided the family, separating the sisters from their mother. Moving back and forth in time between the girl she once was and the woman she’s become, Ginny at last confronts painful choices that occur in almost any woman’s life, and learns surprising truths about the people she thought she knew best. 

I love Berg but this just looks okay to me. Have you read it?

Les is a Yes!


We Are All Welcome HereWe Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom.
It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis’s birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently-and violently-across the state. But in Paige Dunn’s small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit-with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.

I really want to read this!


Back on Murder (A Roland March Mystery, #1)Det. Roland March is a homicide cop on his way out. But when he’s the only one at a crime scene to find evidence of a missing female victim, he’s given one last chance to prove himself. Before he can crack the case, he’s transferred to a new one that has grabbed the spotlight–the disappearance of a famous Houston evangelist’s teen daughter.

Anyone vouch for this series?

Kay says yes!


Sleepyhead (Tom Thorne, #1)Detective Inspector Tom Thorne now knows that three murdered young women were a killer’s mistakes — and that Alison was his triumph. And unless Thorne can enter the mind of a brilliant madman — a frighteningly elusive fiend who enjoys toying with the police as much as he savors his sick obsession — Alison Willetts will not be the last victim consigned forever to a hideous waking hell.

I’ve been wanting to read Billingham since I saw him at Bouchercon.

Kay says yes!


The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their SilenceThe New York Times bestselling and extraordinary true story of the critical events leading up to and following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, as told by the Secret Service agents who were firsthand witnesses to one of America’s greatest tragedies.

I go through my Kennedy phases for sure.


Forever . . .Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…

Don’t know how I can call myself a girl of the 80’s and not have read this.


Talk of the TownDarlings, what a to-do at the Daily Mail today! After fifteen years as Chicago’s gossip guru, Rebecca Covington has been demoted from divulger of secrets for the city’s elite to headlining recipes in the Home and Food section. Apparently, a touchy senator is threatening legal action for Rebecca’s latest extramarital scoop. But Windy City rumor has it that new CEO and dreamy Pierce Brosnan look-alike David Sumner downgraded Rebecca in favor of fresher, younger blood on the social beat.

This sounds trite, but that cover!!


 

Five Miles South of PeculiarIf these three sisters don’t change direction, they’ll end up where they’re going.

Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather’s legacy, and she enjoys being a pillar of the community. Sycamores is the kingdom where she reigns as queen . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns.

Carlene Caldwell, veteran of the Broadway stage, is devastated when she realizes that an unsuccessful throat surgery has spelled the end of her musical career. Searching for a new purpose in life, she retreats to Sycamores, her childhood home. She may not be able to sing, but she hopes to use her knowledge and experience to fashion a new life in Peculiar, the little town she left behind.

Haunted by a tragic romance, Magnolia Caldwell is the youngest of the Caldwell girls. Nolie has never wanted to live anywhere but Sycamores. She spends her days caring for her dogs and the magnificent gardens she’s created on the estate, but when she meets a man haunted by his own tragedy, she must find the courage to either deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.

Eh.


Crossbones YardRay and Marie Benson killed 13 women before they were caught, tried and imprisoned. Five of their victims were never found. Six years later, psychologist Alice Quentin discovers a woman’s body on the waste ground at Crossbones Yard. The wounds are horrifyingly similar to the Bensons’ signature style. But who would want to copy their crimes? When Alice is called in to consult, her first instinct is to say no. She wants to focus on treating her patients, not analysing the mind of a murderer. But the body at Crossbones Yard is just the start, and the killer may already be closer than Alice knows.

I’m intrigued.


The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1)Anidora-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s incredible stories, and learning the language of the birds. Little knowing how valuable her aunt’s strange knowledge would prove to be when she grew older. From the Grimm’s fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become a queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must understand her own incredible talents before she can overcome those who wish her harm.

I’m on board with this I think.

Jill and Heather say yes!


Okay, I really want to know your thoughts on these – especially the ones you’ve read.

 

The Burial Hour by Jeffery Deaver

Title: The Burial Hour, Author: Jeffery DeaverThe Burial Hour. Finished audio 1-11-19, 3.5/5 stars, thriller, pub. 2017

Book 13 in the Lincoln Rhyme series  (1st-The Bone Collector, 2nd- The Coffin Dancer, 3rd- The Empty Chair, 4th- The Stone Monkey, 5th- The Vanished Man, 6th- The Twelfth Card, 7th- The Cold Moon, 8th- The Broken Window 9th- The Burning Wire, 10th-The Kill Room 12th-The Steel Kiss)

14 hours read by Edoardo Ballerini.

A businessman snatched from an Upper East Side street in broad daylight. A miniature hangman’s noose left at the scene. A nine-year-old girl, the only witness to the crime. With a crime scene this puzzling, forensic expertise of the highest order is absolutely essential. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are called in to investigate.

Soon the case takes a stranger turn: a recording surfaces of the victim being slowly hanged, his desperate gasps the backdrop to an eerie piece of music. The video is marked as the work of The Composer…

Despite their best efforts, the suspect gets away. So when a similar kidnapping occurs on a dusty road outside Naples, Italy, Rhyme and Sachs don’t hesitate to rejoin the hunt.   from Goodreads

I love Lincoln and Amelia and Tom, but I loved the Italian setting and characters we found there even more.  I’ve never been to Naples so I don’t know how much leans toward truth and how much is more clique, but it was fun for someone who doesn’t know the difference.

For much of the book it was all about chasing down the Conductor before he kills again, but then BOOM something happens and that’s not what’s going on anymore.  The mystery aspect was good and the new characters were good, only Lincoln himself seemed a bit diminished in this one and that was okay for me because everything else worked.

Recommended for those who love Italian settings and for thriller lovers.  I’m not sure, given Lincoln’s smaller role, that you would even need to read any of the rest of the series to enjoy this one and I don’t say that very often.

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Title: Bellewether, Author: Susanna KearsleyBellewether.  Finished 1-13-19, rating 4/5, historical fiction, 422 pages, pub. 2018

It’s 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. The times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many New York merchants who have secretly been trading with the French for years, defying Britain’s colonial laws in a game growing ever more treacherous.

When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes on their parole of honour, it upends the lives of the Wilde family—deeply involved in the treasonous trade and already divided by war.

Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother’s death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. French-Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war’s end they’ll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily.

Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum.     from Goodreads

This was my first book of the year and it took me a while to become invested in the three characters whose stories make up Bellewether.  Charley who moved to the area so that she could live with her niece after the untimely death of her brother, took a job as museum director of the under construction Wilde House.  There she encountered maybe my favorite character of the book, the ghost.  There was also a cute contractor and some animosity toward the grandmother she’d never met who lived nearby.

As for the 1700’s storyline, we move between Lydia and Jean-Philippe’s perspective as the former tries to come to grips with unwanted houseguests and brothers with problems of their own.  Jean-Philippe only spoke French, so for much of the book he didn’t communicate freely.

I liked getting a deeper understanding of the war and what was happening in the region.  Some of these characters were based on real people or compilations which made the story richer, but maybe not quite as fanciful as I’d hoped.  There was romance, sure, but most of Kearsley’s books feel magical and this one didn’t quite get there for me.  It’s still good and I really enjoyed the multitude of characters and history.  My favorite ghost saved the day and the end was excellent and worth reading 400+ pages.

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

The day is almost gone and I was thisclose to forgetting to mark the anniversary of my opening up shop here on WordPress.  Eleven years ago I wrote my first post and have maintained a steady schedule since then.  I posted 280 times that first year and it was my most prolific. Since then it’s gone done a bit every year with last year clocking in at 113.  Amazingly, the number of views and visitors while taking a dive in 2016 has gone up considerably the last two years.

I didn’t start this blog to crunch numbers and I don’t stick around because a few more people have found their way here.  I’m still here writing and connecting because of you, my fellow book nerds.  May we continue to support each other for many more years to come 🙂

Sundays with Gage – Presidents

Over the years I’ve tried variations of ‘mom school’, but for the most part let it go by the wayside when he started 1st grade over a year ago.  Too much school work and way too many activities. But, well, mom school was never really about hard learning.  It was more for fun time spent learning together – usually both of us.  I like teaching and connecting and learning with my son and decided to bring back mom school.

In December (when we had time) we did 5-10 minutes learning about kids who did amazing things and it was fun.  But with the new year we started something with a little more stretch.  We are spending 5-15 minutes a day to study each President in order.  The first four are pretty easy since big things were happening.  I don’t know how it will hold up over the next 41 (and the 45th? it will take all of the diplomacy this Libra possesses).

img_5211 (2)

So, my goal was to read a book and then choose one thing that we could do.  Jason and I visited Mount Vernon last month and I picked up a book of paper dolls.  It took me more time to cut out George and his stepson and all of their clothes than we actually used them, so not sure that was a win for me, but they are cool.  For John Adams we had a 10 minute drawing contest to see who could draw the best picture of the first White House and then we called Jason in to see who did the best.  I was robbed.  For Thomas Jefferson we read through the two picture books shown Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation and Worst of Friends and then Gage traced from a photo America before Jefferson was President and after the Louisiana Purchase to see what a big deal it was.  James Madison’s book was okay and after we learned that the White House burned to the ground in 1812 Gage went to work burning down the White House he drew  two days earlier, lol.  We also watched a video on the story behind the Star Spangled Banner.

So, as you can see, we aren’t doing anything mentally strenuous here, but it’s nice that we can spend a few minutes together each day reinforcing that knowledge and learning are important.  I want him to remember that learning can be fun and so can his mom (when she wants to be ;)).

 

Charity Winner…

is Best Friends Animal Society chosen by Heather (Gofita’s Pages)!  

Our Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles

The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. We do this by helping end the killing in America’s animal shelters through building community programs and partnerships all across the nation. We believe that by working together we can Save Them All.

 

$100 was sent in Heather’s name to this wonderful charity.


Would YOU like to choose the next charity?  It’s not hard.  Every month I write a 5 word review of the movies I’ve seen and to encourage participation I ask you to write a 5 word review for the ones that you’ve seen too.  It’s fun!

Every ‘review’ is worth $1 and when we reach 100 I send $100 to the charity of the person who has contributed the most reviews.  In the past I’ve had people spend a few hours submitting reviews of all my past movies so their charity could get the money. Go for it.

Want to get started?  You can browse through 8 or 9 years of monthly posts (easiest way) or you can look through this list and click on the movies you want.

Goodreads Cleanup

I found this fun way to clean up my GR wishlist and want your help.  I’m listing the 10 oldest titles on my list and want you to help decide what’s worth keeping and what’s not.  I kept 2 out of 5 last week.

How to participate:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order by Ascending Date Added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or let it go?

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

I’m leaning towards keeping it.

Kay says yes!

One Night for Love (Bedwyn Prequels, #1)She said she wanted only to start a new life—wanted only a husband who truly loved her. She had to leave him to learn how to meet his world on her terms. So Lily agreed to earn her keep as his aunt’s companion and study the genteel arts. Soon she was the toast of the ton, every inch a countess fit for the earl, who vowed to prove to his remarkable wife that what he felt for her was far more than desire, that what he wanted from her was much more than… One Night for Love

I’m a sucker for historical romance so I probably want to keep it. Right?

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with RecipesLunch In Paris is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs–one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate souffle) and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon).

I love Paris, but am not feeling the pull of this right now.  Have you read it?

Kathy says read it!

BlacklandsTwelve-year-old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body. Every day after school, while his classmates swap football stickers, Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle he never knew, who disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery.

This has potential.

Kay says keep it 🙂

JasmynOne day, without warning, Jasmyn’s husband died of an aneurysm.  Since then, everything has been different.  Wrapped up in her grief, Jasmyn is trapped in a world without colour, without flavour – without Liam. But even through the haze of misery she begins to notice strange events. Even with Liam gone, things are not as they should be, and eventually Jasmyn begins to explore the mysteries that have sprung up after her husband’s death… and follow their trail back into the events of his life.

This one still sounds intriguing.

The Girl in the Flammable SkirtBold, sexy, and daring, these stories portray a world twisted on its axis, an unconventional place that resembles nothing so much as real life, in all its grotesque, beautiful glory. Bender’s prose is glorious, musical, and colloquial, an anthology of the bizarre. In ‘The Rememberer’, a man undergoes reverse evolution — from man to ape to salamander — at which point a friend releases him into the sea, while in another story a woman gives birth to her mother. A grief-stricken librarian decides to have sex with every man who enters her library. A half-mad, unbearably beautiful heiress follows a strange man home, seeking total sexual abandon: He only wants to watch game shows. A woman falls in love with a hunchback; when his deformity turns out to be a prosthesis, she leaves him. A wife whose husband has just returned from the war struggles with the heartrending question: Can she still love a man who has no lips?

I loved the one Aimee Bender I read but I’m not crazy about short stories.

Scott says read it!

Willful CreaturesWillful Creatures conjures a fantastical world in which authentic love blooms. This is a place where a boy with keys for fingers is a hero, a woman’s children are potatoes, and a little boy with an iron for a head is born to a family of pumpkin heads. With her singular mix of surrealism, musical prose, and keenly felt emotion, Bender once again proves herself to be a masterful chronicler of the human condition.

Again with the short stories?

Margherita Dolce VitaStefano Benni’s enormously popular and distinctive mix of the absurd and the satirical has made him one of Italy’s best-loved novelists. This is his twelfth bestselling book of fiction. Fifteen-year-old Margherita lives with her eccentric family on the outskirts of town, a semi-urban wilderness peopled by gypsies, illegal immigrants, and no end of bizarre characters: a reassuring and fertile playground for an imaginative little girl like Margherita. But one day, a gigantic, black cube shows up next door. Her new neighbors have arrived, and they’re destined to ruin everything.

No idea how this ended up on my list but it sounds fun!

The City of Falling AngelsVenice, a city steeped in a thousand years of history, art and architecture, teeters in precarious balance between endurance and decay. Its architectural treasures crumble—foundations shift, marble ornaments fall—even as efforts to preserve them are underway. The City of Falling Angels opens on the evening of January 29, 1996, when a dramatic fire destroys the historic Fenice opera house. The loss of the Fenice, where five of Verdi’s operas premiered, is a catastrophe for Venetians. Arriving in Venice three days after the fire, Berendt becomes a kind of detective—inquiring into the nature of life in this remarkable museum-city—while gradually revealing the truth about the fire.

I LOVE Venice and this is the same author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil so I’m leaning towards yes unless one of you tells me it’s a snoozefest.

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of LiberationExhilarating short stories of women breaking free from convention
Every now and then, right in the middle of an ordinary day, a woman rebels, kicks up her heels, and commits a small act of liberation.
What would you do, if you were going to break out and away? Go AWOL from Weight Watchers and spend an entire day eating every single thing you want-and then some? Start a dating service for people over fifty to reclaim the razzle-dazzle in your life-or your marriage? Seek comfort in the face of aging, look for love in the midst of loss, find friendship in the most surprising of places?

This doesn’t sound all that great, right?

Okay, so let me know if you’ve read any of these and whether I need to keep them on my reading list 7 years later.

 

First Book and One Word

Sheila over at Book Journey has hosted us book bloggers on the first of the year to share what we’ve chosen for our first book of the year AND invited us all to choose one word to be our focus for the year.  I’m so glad she continues to do this.

2019

Yesterday, Gage took this pic of me and my first book, Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley.

IMG_E5146  I was excited to receive 7 books as gifts in December, but am the most excited about the lastest Kearsley. I hope to get an hour in today, but since Jason’s home from work I have a feeling more furniture shopping and cleaning may take up most of the day.  We’re hoping to sleep in our bedroom for the first time since May.

 

my-one-word-300x180I was planning to write a post last week about all of our house tragedies and silver linings.  I’ve shared updates on the blog, but I haven’t always gone into the nitty gritty feelings and stress of having to be home surfing half the year, having to get rid of lifelong possessions (yes, this means my books too), and moving back into a house with no flooring, molding, curtains, furniture. etc., not to mention the financial burden… Well, you can imagine, I think, how off kilter you might feel if it happened to you.  I feel like I’ve barely held on to my sanity some days.

So, my word for 2019 is one that has been rolling around in my head for a few weeks.  After a year of flying by the seat of my pants my focus for 2019 is PURPOSE.  I can take back a little of my life living with more purpose in how I spend my time, the choices I make for my health, in the things to which I say yes, and the new things we bring back into our home. Bring it on 2019 🙂


So what’s your first book of the year going to be? And do you have a word you’d like to focus on this year?

2018 Movie Favorites and Stats

I watched 40 movies this year, down 10 from last year.

2018 was my most watched year with19 movies.

I wrote 2 Book Vs. Movie posts (Far From the Madding Crowd, Charlie St. Cloud)

My most popular post of the year was Book Vs. Movie And Then There Were None.

We saw 18 movies at the theater, with 9 of them being animated or the like.  It’s been nice that Gage loves to go as much as we do!

The oldest movie I watched was – Halloween, 1978

Newest crush is Chris Pine. His turn in Wonder Woman won me over 🙂

Cutest Couple- Elisa & the Fish (The Shape of Water)

My most watched actor was Zac Ephron with 3 movies (The Greatest Showman, The Paperboy, Charlie St. Cloud)

My most watched actresses with 2 movies a piece- Jennifer Aniston (Storks, Dumplin’), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water, Paddington 2), Danielle Macdonald (Dumplin’, Bird Box), Margot Robbie (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Peter Rabbit)

Most despised movie of the year – Nights in Rodanthe

I continued my 5 Word Movie Reviews with $ for Charity .  Keep adding to my reviews and maybe you can choose the next charity!

My 5 favorite movies this year

Coco (2017 film) poster.jpgCoco

The Shape of Water (film).pngThe Shape of Water

The Favourite.pngThe Favourite

Bohemian Rhapsody poster.pngBohemian Rhapsody

The film poster shows a close-up of Emily Blunt in-character with her hand over her mouth.A Quiet Place

 

December’s Movies and $ for charity

A very female-centric way to end 2018!

Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine in a comment and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

We’re at $100 right now, thanks to these two reviews!  Keep adding and we’ll start the next $100.

The Favourite.pngThe Favourite, 2018 (Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult)      Grade B+

What’s wrong with these women?!


Bird Box poster.jpegBird Box, 2018 (Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, BD Wong, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, Danielle Macdonald)      Grade B

Riveting. Those poor kids (especially Girl).

Movie…great. Book was better.   Michelle


Dumplin film poster.jpgDumplin’, 2018 (Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, Odeya Rush, Maddie Baillio, Bex Taylor, Klaus, Luke Benward, Harold Perrineau, Kathy Najimy)   Grade B

Celebrating an imperfect you.

Dolly Parton inspires love.  Kathy