Book Musing Secrets!

Happy Monday-Funday!! Are you reading a good book this week? I am beginning Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine. Not sure about this one yet because I'm only a few pages into it. At this point, it seems that Lady is a zany young adult who is stepping in to take custody of her much younger half-brother when he is left an orphan.
Still reading The Intercept by Dick Wolf, though I must admit I have been neglecting Keeping Mum by Alyse Carlson. The Intercept is not my usual fare, but I'm staying with this thriller to the end. It does seem quite wordy to this reader.

Today's musing is a set of book-related questions:

Top 3 bookish pet peeves?
  1. Unnecessary interruptions while I'm reading.
  2. Having to wait for a book that I really-really want to read.
  3. Coming to the end of a good book that has drawn me into its world.
Perfect reading spot?
Anywhere. Any time. My choice reading spot is on the swing on our back deck, birds chirping,
and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves  on the trees. Like now as I write this.

3 Bookish confessions?
  1. I do not re-read books, even ones that have spoken to me deeply.
  2. I write favorite passages from books, but seldom go back to my journal to read them. Maybe the act of writing the words that touch me is enough.
  3. I keep a physical map on which I plot the settings of each book I read, though I do not select books by the setting. Thus far in 2014, my book settings cluster in England and on the NE coast of the USA. 
When was the last time you cried during a book?
Years and years ago. I don't remember, really.

How many books are on your bedside table?
None. I don't keep books there.

What is your favorite snack to eat while reading?
A Diet Coke and chips. (Please don't judge me!!)

Name 3 books you’d recommend to everyone.
  1. The Gamache series by Louise Penny
  2. The Sugar Queen by Sara Addison Allen
  3. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Write how much books mean to you in 3 words
Lost without books.

What is your biggest reading secret?
I prefer books to people much of the time!

Who I’m tagging:


Be Careful What You Wish For ~ Jeffrey Archer

Do you read books by Jeffrey Archer? I get absolutely lost in his writing--so lush, so rich, so enveloping. I am now reading Be Careful What You Wish For, the 4th book in the Clifton Chronicles series with so many twists and turns that I have to pause and take a deep breath every now and then! Will the Barrington Company go forward with building and launching the new ship, The Buckingham? Who will have controlling shares in the Barrington Shipping Company? Does Jessica learn the identity of her biological parents? Read on. Read on!

"Sebastian tightened his grip on the steering wheel of the little MG. The lorry behind him touched the bumper and jolted the car forward, sending its number plate flying high into the air. Sebastian tried to advance a couple more feet, but couldn't go any faster without running into the lorry in front of him and being squeezed between the two of them like a concertina."

 What will you be reading this weekend?


A Blingy Bag for a Walker

Front View
My stash yarn came in handy for this project. The pattern is called "Helping Hand Walker Bag" and is available at crochetme. I used a G hook and WW to make a sturdy fabric to avoid as much sagging as possible. After a bad fall, a friend has to use a walker so why not add some bling? Hope she will like and use this button-on bag. The three buttons on the pocket are not functional, just some extra bling!

All of the buttons are from my mother’s button jar, possibly from the ’40s or ’50s?? This was fast and fun to make.
Back View
Details are here.


The Intercept by Dick Wolf
"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

"Bassam Shah had driven through a day and two nights from Denver, stopping only for gas, eating fried pies, drinking Red Bull, and urinating into a plastic milk jug between gas station fill-ups."
First sentence. First paragraph. An evocative and rather disgusting opening for this thriller also launches a new author and the Jeremy Fisk series about New York City's joint task force on terrorism. I haven't read a thriller in a while and am tip-toeing through this one, ready to slam the book shut on any sickening violence. So far, so good.

Rules:*Grab a book, any book.*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence,  that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple

"Geeseman gestured to two men who looked like they had been sent by a movie studio casting department to play computer hackers. Rosofsky was the plump one, Pearl the emaciated pale one, each wearing jeans, T-shirts, and shy smiles. No eye contact."

What is your current read? 


Book Formats -- A Fave?


The books we think we ought to read are poky, dull, and dry;
The books that we would like to read we are ashamed to buy;
The books that people talk about we never can recall;
And the books that people give us, oh, they're the worst of all.

                                                                                                                --by Carolyn Wells
"All other things being equal, what is your favorite format for reading? Hardcover? Paperback? New book? Old book? Leather-bound first edition? E-book?"

Hardback books, especially thick ones, are my all-time favorite reading format. I like turning the pages, seeing them stack one upon the other from right to left as I travel through the words and commas and periods.

E-readers are so convenient for accessing books and for portability. I do like reading on my Nook.

I find that my most common way to read in recent years is via my iPod so that I can knit, crochet, cook, work in the yard whilst absorbed in the world of my current read. I download books from two libraries and get absolutely lost in the stories.

What? What's that you say? I can't hear you because of my ear buds.
Sorry, I'm in Tuscany at the moment.


Suzon Shawl in Silk

It's time to pull out the Rowan Summer Tweed again for yet another project. After a couple of incarnations, said yarn is becoming a beautiful summer shawl. Luscious to knit, Rowan Summer Tweed is 70% silk/30% cotton and feels a bit stiff at first. It softens as I knit and transforms into this lovely shawl. The cream and nutty brown colors are Summer Tweed combined with the soft green and purple stash yarns for the stripes.

I loved this pattern from the first moment I saw it! It is knit from the neck down is alternating sections of stockinette stripes and a simple lace pattern. The sizing can be adjusted by the yarn weight and needle size that you choose. This WW and size nine needles is yielding a nice shawl size, but would probably be too heavy for a neck kerchief. It would be lovely with DK and a smaller needle size. The pattern pictures show gorgeous striping with variegated yarn. I wanted to use only stash yarn and didn't have suitable yarn in variegated so my stripes are solid colors in cream, soft green, and purple. The pattern is the "Suzon Shawl" by Cecile Berne.

What do you have on your needles??


Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list

"Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers."
~ Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list ~
  1. Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer
  2. I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum
  3. This Town by Mark Leibovich
  4. The Vacationers by Emma Straub
  5. The Storied Life of A. J. Fickry by Gabrielle Devin
  6. Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
  7. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  8. China Dolls by Lisa See
  9. The Girls Of August by Anne Rivers Siddons
  10. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
Being a slow reader, I know I won't get through all of these books by September. It will be interesting to compare this list with the books I do read!!
* * I'd love to read your list! * *


Flight Behavior ---

Flight BehaviorFlight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sadly,this was not a book for me. The atmosphere was heavy, the characters were heavy, and the setting was less than attractive. There were brilliant descriptions of butterflies and mud and despair which wore thin for this reader.

There was a ray of hope in the story which, alas, was not quite enough for me.

View all my reviews


Books To Read
"To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?"

  • Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (It's taking forever to read this book. I'm simply not engaged with the characters.)
  • Keeping Mum by Alyse Carlson (I set this one down mid-read and have yet to pick it up again!)
  • Latte Trouble (Coffee House Mystery #3) by Cleo Coyle  3/5
  • Framed in Lace (Needlecraft Mystery #2) by Monica Ferris  4/5

  • Every Day In Tuscany: Seasons in an Italian Life by Frances Mayes
  • A Stitch in Time (A Needlecraft Mystery, #3) by Monica Ferris

What's happening in your reading life?

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2014

"Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers."
Top Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year
  1. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  2. Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes
  3. The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer
  4. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  5. The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn
  6. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  7. A Matter of Honor by Jeffrey Archer
What are your top reads thus far in 2014?



Flight Behavior

When I heard Barbara Kingsolver discuss her book Flight Behavior, I was immediately drawn to her ideas surrounding this book. The whole notion of shifting patterns and behaviors in nature is a fascinating premise for a novel.

Have you read Flight Behavior? What are your thoughts about it?

 "...It was about thirty of them up here the Friday after Thanksgiving. I want to tell you! That's not normal, for the day after Thanksgiving. 'No, it isn't,' Valia agreed. 'People should be at the mall.' "

"A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away, and it is one part rapture. Or so it seemed for now, to a woman with flame-colored hair who marched uphill to meet her demise. Innocence was no part of this. She knew her own recklessness and marveled, really, at how one hard little flint of thrill could outweigh the pillowy, suffocating aftermath of a long disgrace."
 These are the opening sentences of a very long first paragraph.

What are you reading?


Framed in Lace

Framed in Lace (A Needlecraft Mystery, #2)Framed in Lace by Monica Ferris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sleuthing needle-arts shop owner is the lead character in this entertaining Needlecraft Mystery series. The author skillfully threads needle craft through the story in a natural way that fits with the action and plot, a feat that is not always accomplished in some cozy series. Monica Ferris' writes with savvy use of misdirection that engages and challenges the reader. FRAMED IN LACE is an entertaining, deliciously crafted story of strength, ingenuity and needle work, of course!

View all my reviews


Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes

Hello there! I hope you are there!! I have been ill and away from my blog for a month or so. I think I'm ready to get back in the swing of things. I want to get back in the swing of things! I've been away too long!

So, to begin here is my "Sunday Post" a review of my week's reads and books to begin soon. Although I just might include a few reads from while I've been away. :)

The Sunday Post
May Book Review
Naughty in Nice (Book #5, Her Royal Spyness series) by Rhys Bowen
I love Rhys Bowen. I love her leading lady in this series, Lady Georgiana Rannoch 35th in line for the British throne. Set in the 1930's, this humorous book finds our illustrious heroine in France on a mission for the Queen. She bumps into Coco Channel, the Duke of Windsor, and Wallis Simpson in a story that begs the antiquated descriptor such as "a mad-cap romp". Suspend reality and get ready to read this award winning author with smiles, giggles, and laughs. It's a good story.
Under The Wide Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
Finely crafted historical fiction about Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fanny. Riveting read!
My First Ladies by Nancy Clarke
A White House florist recounts her interactions with Presidents and their wives from Carter to Obama. The book is the author's walk down memory lane after her retirement. This is a gentle read without surprises.

Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes
Can I just say that this is my bell-ringer book of the month? Ding-ding-ding!!! A very wealthy, dying man convinces an old acquaintance to determine if he has an heir to his fortune. The task is to talk to women who may have conceived a child by him during his salad days in the "swingin' 60's". Whaaaat? I know! And, the author is Julian Fellowes! Magnificent story, well told.
Currently Reading
Keeping Mum (A Garden Society Mystery #3) by Alyse Carlson
I'm just a few pages into this one, so we'll see how the story develops as Camilla provides the flowers for a fundraiser for a Senate candidate sponsored by the Roanoke Garden Society.
Burning Questions : Will the candidate survive the fund raiser? If not him, who will the victim be?
I must read on!!
Coming Right Up
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Caine's Pestilence by John Bascom
And in Other News
I came across a reference to NewBooks magazine and looked it up online. It's a British book magazine for readers and book clubs. I decided it had good articles and reviews and added it to my news feed. You can too! Right here.
Quips & Quotes
“This phenomenon, where the losers of a revolution try to demonstrate their support for, and approval of, the changes that have destroyed them, always fascinates me.”
Julian Fellowes, Past Imperfect
“it was the juice of a lemon in his father’s wounds.”
Nancy Horan, Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Thanks for coming by. I can't wait to read your comments and visit your blogs!!