Betts ~ A Characterization

has tortured, bleached blond hair in a chin length, blunt cut just the wrong side of perfection.

one who still wears caked-on, blue powder eye shadow to match her bulging blue eyes

deep throaty voice brought on by heavy-duty smoking, yielding rasping hacks when laughing and punctuating her profuse commentaries

speaks loudly, often emitting stories about events and her reactions to them, usually in a humorous fashion, although she could become riled and uncompromisingly opinionated regarding a range of current events, family affairs, and generic gossip

often repeats the just-told story to the same people who had just heard it on the first go-around, then reiterating phrases that particularly tickled her: "Ben and his Doritos; that Ben and those darn Doritos, I swear!"

can be equally bombastic in affection and displeasure, often frightening the young children who are dear to her: "I wanna give you a biiiiig hug. You are so sweet! I haven't seen you in a looong time!" she boomed as she gathered two cringing children close to the pillowy softness of her body.


Favorite Books of 2012

This week's question addresses the end of the year and looking back to 2012 reading: 
"What are/were your favorite book(s) of the year?  Bonus points if you know how many books you read."
Since I keep track of my reading at Goodreads, I know that I read 65 books so far this year. It will be 66 or 67 by the end of the year, which means two days from now. I always have difficulty choosing favorites of anything, so here are a few I especially like:

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity 

by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

The history of the interactions among the sitting President and his predecessors helps the reader to grasp the special bonds that exists despite political differences. Many compelling and entertaining anecdotes make this an enjoyable peek behind the scenes in the world of high level power.

The Book Lover

by Maryann McFadden

The author brilliantly intersects the lives of a struggling independent book store owner and an aspiring author. The subplots involving secondary characters are every bit as clever and enjoyable to read as the main story line. This is a magnificently crafted book--definitely a MUST for book lovers!

The Age of Miracles

by Karen Thompson Walker

This is the completely mesmerizing story of the slowing of the earth's rotation and the ensuing effects upon the characters. The story all the more believable because of the natural setting and events that seem to make sense relative to the slower rotation of the earth. The characters are captivating in the assorted ways they deal with the mysterious phenomena.  I could not imagine what the ending would be--just HAD to keep reading!

Click on the button at the top to read about more favorites and to add your own.
Happy Reading in the new year!


Christmas Home Tour 2012

(Click to follow the tour.)

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. Luke2:11

 Our new fiber-optic poinsettia tree has a beautiful display,
 though you wouldn't know it from this picture!

 Feliz Navidad

 Turn on the music box and watch the miniature skaters.

Merry Christmas.  May you be blessed.

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Afghan Squares for Sandy Hook

These unblocked squares are for memory blankets for the families impacted by the Sandy Hook tragedy. If you would like to contribute, the information is here. The pattern for the daisy square is well-written and easy to follow, although my choice of the variegated red background looks a bit wonky because of the color changes!!!

 The squares were made with Plymouth Encore, some left-over yarn bits from other projects and a size H hook.

 "Any books you’re particularly hoping to be gifted this year? Any that you’re giving as presents this holiday season?"

I have opened a gift from one of my sons, who gave me a wish-list book, Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley. I plan to read it sometime in January when I can really dive into it for long stretches of time.
The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins boxed gift set is wrapped and waiting under the tree for 13-year-old grandson. Several Amazon gift cards will go to other grands so they can select their books.
++Click on the button to answer the reading related question and to read the responses of others.++


Davidson, Dereske, & James

This week's reading will be a continuation of The Main Corpse  by Diane Mott Davidson, which will soon be finished and is most enjoyable.

 I plan to follow it with Miss Zukas Shelves the Evidence by Jo Dereske. Have you read these Dereske books? I've read only one and was enchanted by the characters and clever writing about a community where the businesses are based on books. What fun! The humor clinches it for me! This is a series of light, humorous, highly entertaining reading.

Today I began listening to a memoir, Paris in Love by Eloisa James, which I am sad to report is a bit disappointing. It reads like a list of diary entries read by a way too perky female. At this point, I plan to stay with it. Hope I can finish it. We'll see.

What are your reading plans for this week?


The Main Corpse

The Main Corpse is the sixth book in Diane Mott Davidson's culinary series. These cozy mysteries feature Goldy Bear, a caterer, who happens to solve a murder along with her cooking duties. The stories are whimsical, relaxing, and cozy!

Here are the opening lines to this book:

"Sometimes you'd kill for a booking. I was ready--I'd had a rotten spring. The lack of business meant I spent afternoons frantically scrolling through my client files."

There are times when I am in the mood for a light read like this series. I must admit, however, that these opening lines do not particularly draw me to the story. I am continuing on because I am reading through the series and expect better things than what these opening lines seem to offer! Reading cozies is hit-or-miss for me. There are times when the writing is flat and the plot is so implausible that I just put the book aside. On the flip side, cozies can be a joy when the author achieves a balance with the action, levity, and writing. I hope that will be the case with this book!

page 56: "The sheriff's department had branded Jake an unreliable bloodhound. When the dog's handler of many years retired, the new handler insisted Jake had lost the scent on three consecutive trails. Jake fell into disrepute,..."

Do you read cozy mysteries? Please leave a comment.  :)

I am linking to "Book Beginnings" and "Friday 56" listed in the side bar. Click on the button to participate in the book sharing.


Crocheted Mixed Stitch Throw

 Little Woollie’s crocheted mixed stitch stripe throw is a perfect way to use stash yarn. This fun project isn't a pattern so much as an example. Thus far, which isn't very far as you can see, I have followed Little Woollie's stitch choices. The variegated yarns do change the look quite a bit, not so much by design as by convenience. It's what is in my stash! :)

The size will be for a child's throw. There isn't a recipient at the moment, so I'll keep it for just the right person! For now, though, I am enjoying the process! The mix of yarns are DK and light WW crocheted with a size H hook. Thanks to Little Woollie for sharing her process!

I am linking to Tami's Amis WIP Wednesday in the side bar. Click in to add your WIP, too!


Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is yet another tour de force by Louise Penny. Inspector Gamache seeks physical and mental healing after a particularly brutal incident taking the lives of some of his agents. The multiple story lines deftly woven together guide the reader through the intricacies of relationships among individuals, communities, and subgroups.

Much of the action occurs in Quebec City, Canada, in bitter winter weather. The police are investigating the death of an eccentric who is searching for the grave of Samuel de Champlain, the explorer who established the settlement of Quebec. Another story line involves efforts to rescue a kidnapped agent. Action and witty banter make this an engaging read. Penny's stories always impart charm and humor. This book is exceptional even for this author.

View all my reviews

TEASER: "Now there is no more loneliness. Closing his eyes, he let the voice loose to play, to run around in his head, to laugh and tell him once again about breaking his first violin, a tiny one lent by the school, worth more money than they had and his mother mending it and handing it back to the distraught boy, reassuring him, 'Things are strongest where they're broken. Don't worry.' "

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