Wondrous Words #397

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.

Last week I listened to the audiobook vesion of All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark. I heard a new word and decided to look it up. It’s not that easy when you just hear the word. Here’s what I heard:

The man was suffering from hypothermia and numonitis.

It took some doing, but I finally figured out the numonitis is actually pneumonitis.

Pneumonitis or pulmonitis is an inflammation of lung tissue. Many factors can cause pneumonitis, including breathing in animal dander, aspiration (inhaling small food particles or vomit “down the wrong pipe”), and receiving radiation therapy to the chest.

_______________________________

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

Posted in Wondrous Words | 3 Comments

First Paragraph: Cover Her Face by P.D. James

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

I’m an old fan of P.D. James and I picked up her first novel to read it again. Let me share the opening paragraph of Cover Her Face.

 

Chapter One

Exactly three months before the killing at Martingale Mrs, Maxie gave a dinner party. Years later, when the trial was a half-forgotten scandal and the headlines were yellowing on the newspaper lining of cupboard drawers, Eleanor Maxie looked back on that spring evening as the opening scene of tragedy. Memory, selective and perverse, invested what had been a perfectly ordinary dinner party with an aura of foreboding and unease. It became, in retrospect, a ritual gathering under one roof of victims and suspects, a stated preliminary to murder. In fact not all the suspects had been present. Felix Hearne, for one, was not at Martingale that week-end. Yet, in her memory, he too sat at Mrs. Maxie’s table, watching with amused, sardonic eyes the opening antics of the players.

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

Posted in First Paragraph | 4 Comments

My Week . . .

Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by to check on me. I had an excellent reading week. It makes me say – “This is why I read.”

I’ve just finished reading what is – so far – one of the best books I’ve read this year: A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles. I’m not the only one who feels this way. This was a book club choice and, for the first time in a long time, every member of our book club felt as I did. I was surprised at this because we pride ourselves on our variety of opinions on books.

What made me and members of my book club love this book so much? Its simple. Its the incredible character at the center of the novel – the gentleman in Moscow. Count Alexander Rostov has been put on House Arrest at the Metropole Hotel. The only thing he has done wrong is to be born an aristocrat. But then, its 1922 and the Bolsheviks are in charge, so what can he do?

The Metropole Hotel in Moscow is a real hotel.

The Count no longer has his luxurious suite. Instead he is given an extremely small room in the attic. But with all the insults he received, the Count makes almost an instinctively choice about his attitude and on how he will continue to live his life. Reading this novel now, for me, came at just the right time. I do pay attention to politics and I’ve been seriously worried about the character of some of our leaders. Meeting Alexander Rostov, a man with incredible integrity, kindness, and honor made the difference for me. It was terrific to spend so much time (18 hours on audio) with the Count. It reminded me that, yes, no matter where they are or their circumstances, there will always be people of good character. Thanks to the author Amor Towles for introducing the Count to us.

______________________________

I also read Song Of The Lion by Anne Hillerman. This is the third novel by Anne Hillerman in her Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series started by her late father, Tony Hillerman. I’m really enjoying this continuing series. The characters and the landscape is still the same, but there are slight changes – at least I think so. The novels seem to focus more on Manuelita, Jim Chee’s wife. We are at least seeing more of Manuelita’s interior life.

Song Of the Lion opens when Manuelito hears a bomb going off outside a school gym while she is attending a local basketball game. Mamuelito manages to get help in controlling the crowd, getting emergency help, and the F.B.I.’s bomb squad. Only one person was killed and no injuries. Who is the dead guy and was he the bomber or just an innocent bystander?

As Manuelito works on this case she finds a link to something her husband Jim is working on. Jim has been assigned to do body guard service for a man who is leading the mediation team of people who want to develop a resort at the Grand Canyon and all those who oppose it. Someone wants him dead. Along the way we get a good look at what’s happening in that special world of New Mexico/Arizona. It was an enjoyable visit.

__________________________

One of the other things I’ve been doing is  watching Iron Chef Gauntlet for a couple of months now. Sunday will be the final show in the current series to see if Chef Stephanie Izard can survive the “guantlet” of cooking against three of the premium Iron Chefs. She’s already beat seven other chefs to have this chance. For me it’s fun to see how and what these amazings cooks will cook and serve during a limited time slot. Stephanie’s cooking has been very creative and she seems to keep her cool. I’m pulling for her to make it.

That’s it for me this week. I hope you’ve had a good week too.

Posted in Weekly Review | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Wondrous Words #396

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.

In the NY Times Opinion newsletter, written by David Leonhardt, I found this word:

fulsomely: Rosenstein wrote a memo that claimed James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, was fired for his handling of the Hillary Clinton inquiry that Trump and Sessions had once praised fulsomely.

Fulsomely is an adverb which means complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree.

_______________________________

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

Posted in Wondrous Words | 2 Comments

First Paragraph: Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman

I’m so glad that Anne Hillerman is continuing the series her late father, Tony Hillerman, started. Its so enjoyable to keep up with the adventures of Jim Chee and his wife, Bernie Manuelito and even Joe Leaphorn. Here’s how the newest book in the series begins:

 

Chapter One

Navajo Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito stood in the lobby of the Shiprock High School gym, fondly known as the Chieftain Pit of Pain, trying to decide if she should buy a hot dog or a Frito pie from the booster’s stand. Despite the decibel level produced by more than a thousand fans screaming and stomping on the bleachers, she recognized the new sound even as she felt the building shake.

In Bernie’s mind, the noise from the parking lot changed everything. She nudged back her panic and hurried toward the exit, pushing through a few folks also hoping to leave the building. They sensed danger and wanted to escape; she headed toward it.

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

____________________________

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

 

Posted in First Paragraph | 8 Comments

My Week . . .

Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by to check on my week. I’ve had a fun and busy reading week. First, I posted earlier this week my thoughts on American Gods by Neil Gaiman. That was an amazing book and now a TV series! There is nothing like a Neil Gaiman novel.

I also read Silence of the Jams by Gayle Leeson. This was a lovely surprise – a win from Candace at Beth Fish Reads. Believe me, I needed to read a light-hearted cozy mystery after the intensity of American Gods. Silence of the Jams (don’t you love the title?) features cafe owner and super-cook, Amy Flowers. Her Down South Cafe has only been open several months, so Amy is still trying to build its customer base.

The last thing she needs is a customer dropping dead while eating a meal at her cafe. Amy has a natural affinity for chatting up and gossiping with certain residents of the small town. Its the perfect way to narrow down the suspects. Having a boyfriend who works for the sheriff’s department also helps. There was a lot of talk about food, primarily menus for breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, nothing I was excited about. However, I did enjoyed this fun cozy mystery. I must be losing my touch – I didn’t predict the final culprit.

I also read All By Myself, Alone a Mary Higgins Clark novel this week. A friend told me the plot which sounded good, so I picked it up when I saw it at the library. I was about half-way through it when it seemed like this might be a book from a series. Sure enough – it’s number 11 in the Alvirah and Willy series. Here’s what its about:

A very sleek and luxurious ocean liner is on its maiden voyage. On board are some very wealthy people and those who work for them plus a few others. There is a Lady Emily, a very wealthy woman who has brought along quite a number of her jewels including a necklace believed to have been the last thing Cleopatra wore. Several people on board covet the necklace, but will they commit murder to get it?

Celia is another passenger who befriends Lady Emily. She’s a gemologist who was hired by the cruise ship to give lectures as part of the entertainment. Also on board is a couple who won the lottery several years ago. The wife, Alvirah, is quite the detective so, when Lady Emily is murdered, she and her husband Willy jump in and do what amateur detectives do well – poke their noses into all sorts of places and gather enough tidbits until they solve the crime. It was a fun change of pace to read this very good mystery.

___________________________

What I Watched:

My husband and I saw a very inspirational documentary called Tomorrow at our local theater.

“Tomorrow is an optimistic documentary about saving the planet. Actress Melanie Laurent, who directed the movie, traveled the globe in search of innovative ways people have devised to counter climate change, economic inequality, and other critical issues.” (from Variety)

We saw communities of people all over the world working in innovative ways to solve energy problems, grow food all over a busy city, change a school system in Finland, a town in England that prints its own money, changing city streets in Copenhagen to promote more bike riding, city-wide composting in San Francisco, and so on.

We came out of the theater believing that people all over the world are working to solve some of the greatest challenges facing all of us. I hope you all have a chance to see this hopeful and inspirational film.

Posted in Weekly Review | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Wondrous Words #395

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 was reading author Louise Penny’s monthly newsletter when I came across a new word. She was quoting part of a sonnet written by William Wordsworth.

vicissitude:  “But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?”

Vicissitude (vəˈsisəˌt(y)o͞od) is a noun meaning a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.

_______________________________

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

Posted in Wondrous Words | 3 Comments

First Paragraph: A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles

I’m reading A Gentleman In Moscow for an upcoming book club meeting. I’m just barely into it so I don’t have an opinion yet. Here’s how the story begins:

 

1922
An Ambassador

At half past six on the twenty-first of June 1922, when Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov was escorted through the gate of the Kremlin onto Red Square, it was glorious and cool. Drawing his shoulders back without breaking stride, the Count inhaled the air like one fresh from a swim. The sky was the very blue that the cupolas of St. Basil’s had been painted for. Their pinks, greens, and golds shimmered as if it were the sole purpose of a religion to cheer its Divinity. Even the Bolshevik girls conversing before the windows of the State Department Store seemed dressed to celebrate the last days of spring.

 

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

____________________________

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

 

Posted in First Paragraph | 6 Comments

Book Tour: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

When I first read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, I was stunned by how much I liked it. I was just plain blown away. How could that be? I’ve never been one for ghost stories or vampires or anything smacking of woo-woo. I don’t know how I was taken in, but I’ve now read that book three times! When asked if I’d participate in a book tour for the Tenth Anniversary of American Gods, you bet I said, Yes!

About American Gods

Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; The Tenth Anniversary Edition

Now a STARZÆ Original Series produced by FremantleMedia North America starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, and Pablo Schreiber | Premiering Sunday, April 30, at†9pm EST

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadowís best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesdayís bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewingóan epic war for the very soul of Americaóand that he is standing squarely in its path.

Purchase Links†for the TV Tie-in Paperback

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Find out more about Neil at his†website, find all his books at his†online bookstore, and follow him on Instagram,†Facebook,†tumblr, Twitter, and his†blog.

My Thoughts:

All through this story I kept shaking my head and saying. “Neil Gaiman is an Amazing Storyteller!” I said this with various degrees of emphasis on Amazing. He created this mix of mythology and fantasy with a strong message. He made me, this non-myth and fantasy reader, believe it all.

There were so many things I loved about this novel. Here are just a few:

  • Shadow, the main character, had my sympathy at first and then my admiration. He is a modern hero, flaws and all.
  • Meeting all the other characters – the immigrants and the ancient gods and learning their  beliefs.
  • The  Road Trip around America!
  • How much the book made me think – really think – about what we consider “gods” in modern America. Can it really be social media? Its all those things we worship. Some people are going t think this is a book about modern politics, but keep in mind this was written over ten years ago.

I don’t have the Starz channel so I wasn’t able go see the TV series. However, I did listen to the audiobook which was superb. It was a full cast of actors including Ron McLarty and Daniel Orekes. I highly recommend listening to this book.

P.S. I do have one caution: American Gods is not a children’s book. There are plenty of f-words and other adult content here. I didn’t mind it as it fit the story, but I’m letting you know in case this bothers you.

___________________

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour. The full tour schedule is here:  Neil Gaiman Tour Schedule

Posted in Book Tour | Tagged , | 5 Comments