As you may have noticed, Joyfully Retired is having a slow start to the new year. My husband and I went to Portland for the holidays, but we extended our stay to see our eldest granddaughter’s high school dance performance. Seeing the show was worth the wait. Then when we got back on the highway heading home to California, the weather was not interested in cooperating. First Oregon gave us black ice and snow and then California pelted us with hard rain, high winds, and flooding. We are finally happy to be back home. Now it’s time to get back to blogging.
I had a good time reading while I was gone. There are always quiet times for good stories. My first book of the year was this one:
Mom & Me & Mom
by Maya Angelou.
Random House, 2013
After reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I came away loving the writing style of Ms. Angelou and a tremendous admiration for her courage in surviving the early part of her life. I also ended up disliking young Maya’s mother and father. If you remember, Maya’s parents put her (when she was 3) and her brother (he was 4) – by themselves – on a train from California to their grandmother in Arkansas. Five years later, at age 13 while visiting her mother, was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. I came to this new book with a bias against Ms. Angelou’s mother.
Mom & Me & Mom focuses on Ms. Angelou’s life from age 14 when she went to Oakland, California to live with her mother. In this book I saw the mother in a different light. I can’t say I came to love her, but I did understand her as Ms. Angelou did. Vivian Baxter was small in stature, but definitely a force to be reckoned with. She was a savvy business woman and an advisor to Maya. The remainder of the book covers Maya’s career and includes her mother’s role in and out of her life.
Here are some of the other books I read in the last couple of weeks. As you can see, I was on a women-author, feel-good roll.
- The Quilter’s Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. This is book #1 in the Elm Creek Quilt series which is now at number 20!
2. Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts: Part mystery, part romance set in a massive beach house above the Atlantic Ocean in Massachusetts.
3. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey: Inspirational essays taken from the author’s monthly column in her O Magazine.
Last year I gave up on trying to review every book I read. For me it was a matter of time. Did I want to spend my time writing reviews or more time reading. Reading won. This year you will see me doing what I did above – a short reviews and a couple of “mentions” about books I’ve read.
I’ve also reached the point where I no longer finish books I don’t like. I just abandon them. Life is too short. So, you can assume that if a book makes it to this blog, I liked it. I’ll let you know if I really liked it.
*Mom & Me & Mom was borrowed from the library. It also qualifies for the What’s In A Name? challenge.
*Whiskey Beach was also borrowed from the library.