I plan to begin reading Flora by Gail Godwin this evening. Here is the opening paragraph:
"There are things we can't undo, but perhaps there is a kind of constructive remorse that could transform regrettable acts into something of service to life."
 Well. That sounds a bit grim to me. I hope things become bright and shiny at some point!! Would you continue reading?


So, this is going to be a teaser for me as well as you, gentle reader, since I have not yet begun the book.
"Which would have been worse? Never to have been a favorite or to become an ex-favorite, cut in half and passed on to someone left behind?"
I think it sounds promising. Sounds like it could be an interesting read.

 What do you think?


Cuckoo's Calling ~ What are you reading?

I'm currently reading and enjoying Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J K Rowling).

Admittedly, I have not previously read Rowling so I cannot compare this title to her published works. However, while I find her writing appealing, it is quite simple and straight-forward. Her strength seems to be in plotting which carries this mystery through an interesting and twisting story line. Did the popular model commit suicide or was it something more sinister? A private investigator, whose estranged father happens to be a quite thin, world-famous rocker, has been hired to determine the cause of her death. Trite as this sounds, it is a good story for those who enjoy a mystery without detailed violence.

So...what are you reading?


The Queen Mother: The Official Biography
 "Wednesday 19 July 2000 was the day chosen for the pageant celebrating the hundredth birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. In London, the day did not begin well."
Thus begins the biography of the long and eventful life of the mother of the current Queen Elizabeth. Though familiar with some events in her life, I am enjoying the book immensely as I read about this woman of character, strength, and great warmth.

Do you read biographies?


Lap Blanket and Baby Blanket


This lap blanket went to the Prayer Shawl Ministry at church. I started it as a stash buster but, of course, had to purchase more yarn to finish it. I used 'Loops and Threads" yarn and a size H hook to make block 97 from Jan Eaton's book, 200 Crochet Blocks, with the diagonal pattern as the basic block. I then made a few different patterns to break it up a bit.

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Here's my grannified baby blanket for great nephew Benjamin with a peek-a-boo owl in one corner--just for fun! Another stash buster that required a purchase or two is a collection of basic granny squares in white and shades of blue and green with some variegated here and there. Most of it is Bernat DK weight worked with a size G hook.

I'm now using more stash to crochet a shawl for our Prayer Shawl Ministry. How did I acquire so much blue yarn?


Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer

 Though I haven't read the preceding two books in this series by Jeffrey Archer, Best Kept Secret  stands on its own quite well. Admittedly, Archer is a favorite author because of his eminent gift of telling an absorbing story. While this is a light read, it is quite relaxing and interesting.

" 'Therefore if any man can show any just cause why these two people may not be lawfully joined together in holy matrimony, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.' 
Harry Clifton would never forget the first time he'd heard those words, and how moments later his whole life had been thrown into turmoil. Old Jack, who like George Washington could never tell a lie, had revealed in a hastily called meeting in the vestry that Emma Barrington, the woman that Harry adored, and who was about to become his wife, might be his half sister."
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"Moments later, Emma's Father Hugo had slipped out of the back of the church, like a coward leaving the battlefield. Emma and her mother had traveled up to Scotland, while Harry, a desolate soul, remained at his college in Oxford, not knowing what to do next. Adolf Hitler had made that decision for him."

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Much of the story has an odd gossipy tone to it, however I am continuing because the narrative flows easily and the pacing is flawless.

Would you continue to read this book set in the late 1940's/early '50's ?


Tapestry of Fortunes

 This is the first sentence of Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg:
"When I was growing up, my mother's best friend was a woman named Cosmina Mandruleanu. I liked her for a lot of reasons: her name, of course; her ash-blond hair and throaty voice and black nylons and the way she was generous with the Juicy Fruit gum she always kept in her purse."
Does this beginning invite you into the story? Admittedly, I would not choose to read the book based solely on this opening, but so far/so good as I read. You can read about more book beginnings at Rose City Reader.

Turning to page 56 to share on Freda's Voice, we find:
"Listen. Whatever you think of me or what I'm doing, I don't want or need or expect any longer to hear. You managed to raise a spineless son..., but I've got a long line of vertebrae running down my back and I'm going to tell you what I should have said a long time ago: Back off and butt out."

This story of interwoven lives and the influence of the past upon the future is not well represented by these lines. I am on page 49 and will continue reading this book. Would you?



 Deb at asks"All other things being equal (good writing, enthralling story, etc), which would you rather read—something serious, angsty, and tragic? Or something light, fluffy, and fun? Or a blend of both? (Since, really, isn’t that how real life works?)"

Since the question describes opposite ends of the spectrum, I  probably land somewhere along the continuum depending on my mood. Fluffy is not something I enjoy, though I relish wit and humor. I am not particularly drawn to angst and tragedy as a way to relax, though serious can be entertaining and thought-provoking. So with all other things being equal, I would most enjoy a blend and avoid the extremes.

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Crime of Privilege by Walter Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Crime of PrivilegeThink of a powerful New England family. Now think of being swallowed into their vortex of unbridled wealth,influence, privilege, promiscuity, ambition, hubris, and self-indulgence. What if you are a potential threat to them? How would being in their cross-hairs affect your daily life, your career, your family? CRIME of PRIVILEGE provides an unnerving view of how wealth, influence, privilege, promiscuity, ambition, hubris, and self-indulgence interweave to protect a name and legacy. The trials of protagonist George Becket, Assistant District Attorney, carry the reader through a murky labyrinth that lulls only when the author needlessly pontificates.CRIME of PRIVILEGE was a page-turner for this reader.

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America, America by Ethan Canin

America AmericaAmerica America by Ethan Canin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book strikes me as a scandal salad. Toss together the shenanigans of the Kennedy brothers, Nixon, Clinton and assorted senators to create a story line. Drizzle with Mid-West/Eastern class conflict and rags-to-riches stories. Gently sprinkle with coming-of-age and pondering the future. It is very enjoyable where the flavors mingle and come together, yet rather bitter in the places where it all separates into singular parts. America, America is one of those books that could be a very good read if only we could sort out the ingredients and remix. Rather like redoing a salad.

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