Wondrous Words #421

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I found this word while reading a review for the book Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein:

encomium:  “I knew there had to be a reason for all the encomiums so I kept going, and was richly rewarded for it.

Encomium means a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly.

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That’s all for me this week. Don’t forget to visit Kathy for more Wondrous Words Wednesday.

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First Paragraph: Miss Jane

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

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I’m reading Miss Jane by Brad Watson for an upcoming book club discussion. It’s historical fiction based in part on the real life of one of the author’s relatives. So far i am thoroughly enjoying this one. Here’s how it begins:

You would not think someone so afflicted would or could be cheerful, not prone to melancholy or the miseries. Early on she acquired ways of dealing with her life, with life in general. And as she grew older it became evident that she feared almost nothing—perhaps only horses and something she couldn’t quite name, a strange presence of danger not quite or not really a part of the world.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

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A Look At My Week

Hi Everyone, thanks for joining me this week. I’m all about Christmas reading today. I have always read various traditional Christmas books and watched traditional movies such as A Christmas Carol, White Christmas and so forth. I also like to pick up some modern pieces. Here are three I’ve enjoyed this week:

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

I just “discovered” Rhys Bowen this year via her stand-alone novel, Farleigh Field. I liked it so much I decided to read more of her work. I’ve now read several from her Royal Spyness Mystery series. The Twelve Clues of Christmas is one of them. The main character, Lady Georgiana, has no money of her own and is always looking for odd jobs and other ways to earn money. Georgie takes a job hostessing a house party for the holidays in the lovely English countryside. There is a quaint village near to the manor house and residents have been dying at the rate of one per day for the past week. Georgie is an excellent amateur detective and helps solve this mystery. Great fun.

Believing by Sandra Brown

I listened to Sandra Brown read her short Christmas story featuring her mother. Titled Believing, its the story of how her mother helped her understand believing in Santa when she was a little girl and then her mother’s actions in the last weeks of her life as she battled cancer. Her mother reached out to her fellow patients and showed them, by example, how to believe in hope. Its a lovely story for the holidays and I doubt you can read/listen to the story without a tear or two.

Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou

This book is the “piece de resistance” for the week. Its Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace. This poem was first read at the White House in 2005 as part of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

At first I bought this poem for my kindle, but as I started reading it I thought of the author’s beautiful melodic voice reading her poems on other occasions. I wondered if there was a recording of this poem. Yes! The library had a copy. While at the library I discovered the poem was published as a beautifully illustrated children’s book. Perfect! Inside the front cover was a cd of Maya Angelou reading the book. Double perfect! This is so much more than reading a book — its an experience. Listening to Maya Angelou while absorbing all the details of the pictures — well, it had to be done more than once, This lovely book was illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. See if you can find a copy at your library or local book store. It’s just right for children of all ages.

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Away From the Blog:

Prepared for Christmas? I’m almost too busy to stop and talk about it. I’m only half-way done with Christmas shopping. I haven’t sent even one Christmas card yet or done much in the way of decorations. We will be heading to Portland, as usual, for the holidays and I have at least thought about what needs to be done to accomplish that. This coming week will have to be my pull-it-all-together week, so I’m not going to stress out about all that right now. Somehow everything always comes together.

I can share one Happy Holiday thing with you. Our town sets up small Christmas Trees all over the Town Green. Various groups in town sign up to decorate them. When they are done people come from all over to “tour” the Green and admire all the creativity. Our grandson TJ’s Montsori Preschool signed up to decorate a tree. As you can see in the picture above, the kids covered their tree with pictures and objects about firefighters, including a fireman’s hat on the top. Firefighters are big heroes in this community. The kids were excited to honor our local heroes.

That’s it for this week. I hope your week is going well. Happy Reading.

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Wondrous Words #420

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I found this word while reading A Man of Some Repute by Elizabeth Edmundson.

insouciant:  The local bad boy went on his insouciant way.

Insouciant means showing a casual lack of concern or indifferent.

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That’s all for me this week. Don’t forget to visit Kathy for more Wondrous Words Wednesday.

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First Paragraph: Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

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I’m featuring this lovely Christmas poem written by one of our country’s well-loved literary figures, Maya Angelou. She is, sadly, no longer with us. This poem was first read in 2005 at the tree-lighting ceremony at the White House. Here’s how it begins:

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes

And lightening rattles the ears of our houses.

Floodwaters await in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalance

Over unprotected villages.

The sky slips low and gray and threatening.

 

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

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A Look At My Week

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me today. I’ve had a fairly quiet week — how about you?

This week I read one book I really enjoyed and two that were just so-so. The really good one is Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It’s been out since 2012 and has won a number of awards for best Young Adult novel. I don’t know why I put off reading it for so long.

It’s the story of two young women, best friends, in England during World War II. Maddie has the gift of being able to understand and fix all things mechanical from bikes and cars to airplanes. Julie has other amazing skils that the reader learns as the story progresses. The women are on a secret mission to occupied France, but Julie gets captured by the Gestapo soon after she lands on the ground. Julie is forced to write what she knows about the operations of the war, but she does it in journal form so we learn about the adventures of the two friends through this “confession.”

There is so much to this story. I’m being careful not to tell you too much and spoil it for you. It’s extremely well written and written in such a way that I stopped and re-read parts of it because I realized there were double meanings in there. It is so well detailed that I felt I could see every scene and feel the emotions. If you haven’t already read this book, do find a copy. Highly Recommended.

I started to read The Color of Fear by Mar cia Muller. I’d read a number of good reviews, but I just couldn’t get into it. As it turns out this is book # 32 in the Sharon McCone series.That probably explains why it seemed like a very tired story. I only made it half-way through.

Then I grabbed one of those $1.99 specials from Audible. I’ve had some good luck with those books. I’ve noticed the “daily deals” are often last year’s book of an author who has a new one coming out. This one is Bum Rap by Paul Levine. This was just plain fun. The main character, Jake Lassiter, is a former pro-football player who went to night-law-school and is now practicing in Miami. He’s not a high-profile attorney, but he seems to have a good understanding of the law and can handle himself well in court. He’s been hired to represent another lawyer in a murder case. The man killed seems to have been a part of the Russian mob and the only witness has fled town.

This was fun and I liked it a little bit better than the other one. There’s some sarcasm and banter back and forth and the story moves fast. It was an okay mystery. Actually, it was the right thing to read after finishing a serious book like Code Name Verity that was still playing with my mind.

Away From My Blog:

I got a new phone! I’m pretty excited about it as it seems to be just what my old eyes need. This one, a Samsung Galaxy 8, lets me enlarge the font size. That’s been my biggest complaint about my old cellphone. The keyboard was so small that I guessed every time I punched a letter. Although I know the keyboard so well, I could only stab at what I thought was a partiular letter. Now I have an enlarged keyboard and I have the ability to enlarge all the other font or letter/number sizes. Thanks to all the genius techies out there who are looking out fpr the Nanas of the world. Now I’m back to loving my little gadget again.

Happy Reading everyone.

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Wondrous Words #419

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I heard this word on TV while listening to an interview with Senator Adam Schiff:

percipient: “It allows the opposition to line up percipient witnesses.”

Percipient refers to a person having a good understanding of things. By the way, the interviewer on the TV show didn’t know the meaning of the word either. He made a point of asking the senator the definition and then thanking him for giving all of us a new word.

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That’s all for me this week. Don’t forget to visit Kathy for more Wondrous Words Wednesday.

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First Paragraph: Code Name Verity

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

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This week I’m sharing a book that’s been on my shelves for a long time. I just started  it and am so sorry I waited. It’s a very compelling story about two young women who fly planes during World War II.

 

Ormaie 8.XL.43 JB-S

I AM NOT A COWARD.

I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was. I have always been good at pretending. I spent the first twelve years of my life playing at the Battle of Stirling Bridge with my five big brothers—and even though I am a girl, they let me be William Wallace, who is supposed to be one of our ancestors, because I did the most rousing battle speeches. God, I tried hard last week. My God, I tried. But now I know I am a coward. After the ridiculous deal I made with SS-Haupsturmfuhrer von Linden, I know I am a coward. And I’m going to give you anything you ask, everything I can remember. Absolutely Every Last Detail.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

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A Look At My Week

Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by. I had a lovely week and I hope you did too. Thanksgiving consumed most of the week and that’s a good thing. I’ll tell you about it at the bottom of this post. In spite of everything, I did manage to read three books.

What is it about series books, especially mysteries? I’m addicted to them. I really love reading them as it gives me a chance to spend more time with the characters I like. This week’s books were all series books and all mysteries.

The first two books were from Elizabeth Edmondson’s A Very English Mystery series. The books are set in the early fifties, a time when England was still recovering from the war. The setting is Selchester Castle in the quiet and lovely English countryside.

The main characters are Hugo Hawksworth and his young (13) sister, Georgia, and Freya Wryton. As Book #1, A Man of Some Repute, opened they are the only ones living at the castle in addition to the housekeeper. The castle has been mostly vacant for severn years, ever since the Earl of Selchester went missing. But now a set of bones have been discovered and they are indeed those of the missing Earl.

Its determined the Earl did not die naturally, but was murdered. Determining the reason for the death and who was responsible falls to the local police, but its really Hugo, Georgia and Freya who are on-the-spot and really work to solve the case. Hugo has been working as an intelligence agent, but no one is supposed to know that. He has great investigative skills and knows all the right people. Freya is supposed to be at the caste writing a family history, but she secretly writes best selling romance novels. She’s also very observant and has good people skills. Georgia sees life from a different perspective so she’s great at asking the not-so-obvious.

The second book, A Question of Inheritance, introduces a new Earl, Gus, to the castle along with his two teenage daughters. What is about to be uncovered are an attic full of valuable paintings, possibly stolen ones. Hugo is involved in the hunt for two top-secret spies, but he adds murder investigaion to his duties when an art dealer is found dead in the green-house. Everyone at the castle, including the new arrivals, join in to solve the newest puzzle. It is lots of fun getting to know all the new characters and see how they intermingle with the current residents and the villagers.

Both books are well written and give the reader enough clues to be right in there at the conclusion. There are more books in this series and I’m definitely going to pursue this series.

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UPDATE: On Sunday I posted a review for Book #1 in this series, something I had done just the previous week. I refuse to call  it senility – it’s just “senior brain.” (The words sound better.) Here is the book I meant to tell you about:

Incriminating Evidence is Seldon Siegel’s second book featuring lawyer Mike Daley. In this book Mike finds himself defending the local district attorney, a former law partner and a man Mike can’t stand. The man is also running for California’s attorney general and, so far, is doing quite well. But now, the man has been arrested for murdering a male prostitute. As Mike digs into the background of everybody involved, it all turns quite sleazy. In addition to prostitution, there is big time drug-dealing, gangs, dirty businessmen, dirty politicians, and maybe a dirty priest.

There are loads of plot twists in this story—so many people who might have been responsible that it keep me at it long after I should have taken a break. This is one series I don’t mind recommending.

Away From the Blog:

We had a most happy and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving. I love a Thanksgiving where everyone contributes a dish to the feast. It makes for a wonderful sharing of flavors and traditions. The picture above shows just a portion of the twenty-six family and friends gathered.

Everyone had loads of fun, but probably not as much as these four boys who made up the kid’s table. One of the boys made those great turkey hats which were so cute. As is our tradition, every person, even the boys, shared one thing they are thankful for. The list was overwhelming. We do indeed have so much to be grateful for.

Happy Reading everyone.

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