29 December 2019

Did I achieve my 2019 goals?

In January, I wrote that I wanted to accomplish these items: 






How did I do?  

 I did mail more cards, I also sent more through the work mailbag and hand-delivered some.  I would like to increase that activity for 2020 because I do like to let people know I appreciate them and it gives me a chance to use my Cricut more.  

I did not make a hardcover book. I worked instead on perfecting my book journal. The whole goal of the hardcover book was to make a Moleskin type book of my book journal.  One of my pals suggested that I make a stamp instead and stamp inside the book that I already liked.  That is what I did.  I LOVE my book stamp.  I can stamp 3 entries on each page.  

I did indeed go to Halifax.  I took a cab to the cemetery, I think I took a photo of all 120 graves.  I also got the book that accompanies the gravesites.  Well, I got the book for Christmas and at this writing, I have just started it.  I think it will be great to go along with my photos.  I only recognized a few of the names there so I am looking forward to learning about some of the others.  What was so sad about the whole thing, other than the fact that 1500 died that night) was that there were so many unmarked graves in Halifax.  Someone's loved one is buried there and no one knows where they are, it was just sad.  I also look forward to what the book has to say about all the unmarked graves.

I have done better with not eating candy. I need to work on junk food and pies and cakes.  That will be my goal for 2020. To consume less sugary foods.  

The last two goals I achieved, at least I had the photos organized until October when we went to Halifax and NYC. I need to start with October and start organizing again from there.  As for the books, my goal is always to read 100.  At this typing, I am up to 118, and I hope to finish one more so that my total ends in the 19, the same as the year (I know I am weird).  

I completed one more lifelong goal that I can't talk to anyone about yet, but I never thought it would happen and I did it!!! I am super excited to tell everyone about it when the time is right to tell everyone.  


2020 Goals

Re-read some Fitzgerald (after all we are entering the Roaring 20's)

Keep the photos organized and up to date

Restarting a former goal of backing up phone photos once a month to the external

Read and review 100 books

Do a book of the month and publish it on FACEBOOK to see if folks join in and read with me.  Also, I have written a 2020 Reading Challenge that I want to publish and see if folks will complete that with me as well.

De-clutter my garage

Start working on my book




2020 will show some changes for our family, our son will graduate high school and who knows what we will do after that.  See you in 2020.  






28 December 2019

Review: Me

Me Me by Elton John
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book! I loved it not just because I like Elton's music, but this is a book by a celebrity that isn't pretty. It is honest and in spots, gut-wrenching. There are scenes that make you want to smack Elton upside of the head like Cher did in Moonstruck and say "snap out of it". Then there is there are the scenes with the mother. I don't want to spoil it, but she was terrible! I won't tell you how or what he did.

Elton has always been honest about his addiction to drugs and in these pages, he takes down that short road to addiction, then later he takes us on the long journey to sobriety. He is very honest about how the need for more drugs felt and tells us about the people left in the wake of his unhealthy path.

I devoured this book because I loved everything contained in the pages. Elton's storytelling was interesting, fun, sad, hilarious and to me, time well spent. I don't think you have to be an Elton fan to find the book interesting, but I think you will enjoy the ride more if you are.



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26 December 2019

Review: Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back

Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back by Andrea Barber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is kind of funny that I like Kimmy Gibbler so much because just the other day someone said, "You remind me of Kimmy Gibbler". I loved it when she said that because she was sooooo awesome. This book was fun, not going to break any records with her writing, but it is honest and true and I like that. Andrea is very open about much of her life and doesn't sugar coat it (I hate when celebrities write books to make it seems like everyone screws up but them).



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17 December 2019

Review: Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas

Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas by Gill Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the very first chapter, I was hooked. I was invested to find out how these two ladies existences intertwined because while I knew about Jackie, I had just briefly heard of Maria Callas.

This book features intimate scenes between the two couples, scenes where you could just imagine that these conversations really took place. While reading the chapters, there were times when I hated Jack Kennedy for his treatment of Jackie and Ari for his lack of loyalty to Maria, then I had moments where I thought the two women were plotting to get what (I thought) they wanted, security.

It is no secret to anyone that talks to me about books that Gill Paul is one of my favorite authors, that her writings speak to me and transport me back to another time, but this one had emotions about love and betrayal that I had not seen Ms. Paul give us in such a manner. To me, this book was perfection from the opening page until the very last sentence.

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04 December 2019

Review: And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Stephanie Marie Thornton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will start this by saying that I received this book as an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review, but I promise you that I was going to read this anyway because I read every book that Ms. Thornton writes. Stephanie Marie knows how to take events and people from the past and give them a fresh spin and she can tell a story in a way that sucks you in and won't let go until you finish.

We all kind of know of the story of Jackie and Jack, but this book will take you behind the glamour and glitz of what we saw on TV or read about in the history books. We get to experience life right there in Camelot from Jackie's viewpoint. We get a glimpse of how Jackie may have known of the affairs and how she handled them. There are very sweet moments that take place that let you see that the two of them did love each other, maybe for what the other person could do for them, but there was love of some sort.

Then you will experience November 22, 1963 right from Jackie's POV. I have read many books on this day and this scene is very much point by point of how it has been explained in other books. Jackie's actions are hard to read in both the fiction and non-fiction books, but in this one there is so much emotion that I teared up and I knew what was going to happen(also I was ecstatic to see Clint Hill make an appearance, I am in awe of him and love his books--read his book on the assassination).

I wanted to read this in one sitting because I felt like I really needed to know what was going to happen next. It was very hard to put this down and go to work. I advise you to read it when you have some time carved out because I really don't think you will want to stop until it is over. I cannot recommend this book enough...I would give it 5 plus stars on the emotion alone.


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01 December 2019

Review: The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen

The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen by Robert Lacey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this so much more than I did the companion book to Victoria. This one helped the reader/watcher sort out the true to life to the fiction that the show portrayed, as well as mini-biographies of all the "characters". I don't believe you should read this unless you have watched Season 1 of The Crown.

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30 November 2019

Review: Everybody's Doin' It: Sex, Music, and Dance in New York, 1840-1917

Everybody's Doin' It: Sex, Music, and Dance in New York, 1840-1917 Everybody's Doin' It: Sex, Music, and Dance in New York, 1840-1917 by Dale Cockrell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was well researched, the problem that I had was it was hard for me to visualize the description of the dances, I think probably because I know nothing about dancing. You can tell that Mr. Cockrell is highly intelligent by reading his text, and sometimes that flowery vocabulary doesn't fit in with the vulgar talk of prostitution and dancing.

I do feel like I learned a little bit about the history of the dance and glad I read this one.

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Review: Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just love Non-fiction books that grab you and keep your attention like a fiction book. This book read just like it was historical fiction, but it was not! Remind yourself that while you are reading the text, this all happened. I won't spoil too much for you, just know that President Garfield was elected to the office of President of the United States and served for only six and a half months. He was shot on July 2, 1881, and did not die until September 19, 1881...that is a long time to die from a bullet wound.

This was the first book penned by Ms. Millard that I have ever read, but it will not be the last.

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02 November 2019

Review: Gatsby's Girl

Gatsby's Girl Gatsby's Girl by Caroline Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to read this Caroline Preston because I have really enjoyed two of her other books lately. This one didn't have the ephemera that the first did, it was all story. Ginerva is a wealthy debutante kind of girl, whose parents are borderline snobbish. She is a little rebellion and gets in trouble with a boy, to make her more responsible her parents will ship her off to boarding school. Ginerva falls into her old ways of being a rebel rather quickly as this all-girl school. She will attend a party in St. Paul that will introduce her to a man that she will care about for the rest of her days, a budding would-be writer by the name of Scott Fitzgerald. Scott would display his affection for the drink from the first scene we have with him. He will also show us his wit and charm and we can just envision those good looks and flowery prose that he is known for. Scott is NOT the kind of man Ginerva's parents want her to wed or even hang around for that matter. We all know that Scott gets dumped in some way because we know he will be wed to Zelda until the end of his days, you just have to read the book to see why he and Ginerva were not together. Don't forget to remember that this is a fictionalized book based on real-life people.

I have read many books on the life of F Scott Fitzgerald and this is the first time I thought, I wonder if his life could have been different if he traveled a different path? Then I question, would he have been such a brilliant writer without the struggles and trials he faced?

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Review: Cilka's Journey: A Novel

Cilka's Journey: A Novel Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me cry a little. I have been reading a lot of books on WWII, mostly the German aspect, and thought I had a clear picture of the treatment of prisoners...this book showed me that I did not. While life was not kind to Cilka, you will like her. She is a strong, smart woman that has figured out how to survive. While you read the text you need to remember that she was trying to survive, that was her only goal. Her goal does shift when she finds someone to love as she would a close sister. Her goal is to save her new family. This character trait of Cilka and this part of the book was very moving for me.

The book travels back and forth between two prison camps, one in Auschwitz and the other is Siberia. You are going to have to read the book to see how/why she lands in Siberia and if she gets out. I will warn you, that this book was very hard for me to put down.

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25 October 2019

Review: The Guardians

The Guardians The Guardians by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliant! I love Grisham and this was a new style that I just adore. A wonderful, creative book in that twisty Grisham style. A legal aid type office called The Guardians helps to get folks wrongly convicted of a crime exonerated. It is kind of neat to see what the firm does to get the evidence they need to free their clients.

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19 October 2019

Review: The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr

The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Holloway Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You do need to read the acknowledgments of this book because you will be blown away by the imagination of Ms. Holloway Scott. The story she weaves is nothing short of brilliant. Why did I give it a 4 instead of a 5 star? Mainly because this book does paint Burr as an almost kind, caring hero of a person and I don't feel that he was in a shape form or fashion that type of person.

One thing I love is Mary. I fell in love with Mary's character almost instantly. Mary had a warm heart, incredible patience and a desire to learn. She was sold into slavery as a child and she tries so hard to get out of that (I won't tell you how and spoil it for you). Mary's treatment is hard to read, you can't ignore that this treatment probably did happen in real life, and that part angered me with every line I read. It is even hard to write this because those scenes come back to mind.

I do think this is a wonderful book and I do think that folks that like the Burr/Hamilton world will love it.

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Review: The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anyone who knows me knows I love the works of Gill Paul and this one was no exception. I love how she transports us to the exact locations where the Romanovs were murdered. I love how she takes us into the minds of the family and lets us feel what they may have felt. I love how she referenced "The Secret Wife" in the text of this book, even though you don't need to have read that book to fully experience this tale. I love how she took Maria and gave the story hope.

This is an excellent book and in my opinion possibly Ms. Paul's best yet.

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Review: The Dearly Beloved

The Dearly Beloved The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was riveted to this book at first. I got sucked in and I guess I started expecting too much because I lost interest and had to push through, then it got to the part where I got interested again (I won't spoil that part for you).

This was very different than most of the books that I read and I must say I guite enjoyed reading about how two different men from different places in life can get a calling in such a different way. As for their wives, well they could not be more different.

All in all, I am giving this book a four-star rating for its uniqueness and bringing faith into a novel.

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Review: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One thousand times love is what I feel for this book. I seem to love everything Caroline Preston creates. She writes like I talk in my head and I absolutely love that!! Her use of ephemera alongside her writing is just this side of genius. This story is adorable with a fantastic ending, but don't forget to look around at all the stuff. You cannot do this book on an electronic device, you need the written page so you can devour it all. Brilliant!!!!



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27 September 2019

Review: The Flight Girls

The Flight Girls The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Audrey was fantastic!!! She was tough as nails, jumping out of the 1940's view of what a woman could do and determined to live her dream. I think she is a great character that came out of the first page as a lady I respected.

I loved that this was based on the WASP and how they were treated/trained. Seriously, I loved everything about this book!

I kept seeing Rose the Riveter while reading the pages. I won't spoil the plot but I am adding this to the my "Favorites of 2019" list.



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Review: Chasing Salomé: A Novel of 1920s Hollywood

Chasing Salomé: A Novel of 1920s Hollywood Chasing Salomé: A Novel of 1920s Hollywood by Martin Turnbull
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone that likes Old Hollywood should read all of Martin's books. I love them! They all are liking stepping back in time. This one takes you further back to the woman who gave us the Garden of Alla. I didn't know much about Madame until I read this book, but I like it. Seeing her interact with the early film (pre-code) stars was so much fun. Seeing her give up so much to make her dream role (Salome) was a fun journey. I am not sure I would have the guts to do all that she did. What did she do? READ THE BOOK, you won't be sorry.

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11 September 2019

Review: The Secrets We Kept

The Secrets We Kept The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had never thought of what could happen to a writer that writes a book that is unpopular with their government. I never thought about how the writer's family/loved ones could be tortured for just loving the writer. I never thought about how a group of people could work as spies behind the scenes to get a book published because it is so important to let the world know about a government.

That is I never thought about it until I read this book. I was full of emotion in reading the text. I don't like spoiling a book for anyone I will just tell you that is about people that sacrifice everything for love and the love of writing.



I just read a little bit about the book being about Dr. Zhivago, but I will be the first to admit about 2 months ago, I put the book on hold because I loved the cover. The cover was just the beginning. I enjoyed this so much.


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27 August 2019

Review: The Winemaker's Wife

The Winemaker's Wife The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I will be honest, I picked it up because of the cover and the fact that I have read another Kristin book and enjoyed it. I will tell you that from the first page I loved it. Every time I thought I had the ending figured out, Kristin would throw me a curveball and I had to start all over again with my assumptions. The characters were not those perfect little storybook folks, they were full of holes and imperfections but had a desire to defeat the Germans during occupied France. In the modern-day story, we are sitting on the sidelines waiting to find out how the modern-day ties to the past, because we know it does...it always does.

The last little section blew me away. I did not expect it and I loved it because of that.

thank you Ms. Harmel for a very interesting book.

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17 August 2019

Review: All the Flowers in Paris: A Novel

All the Flowers in Paris: A Novel All the Flowers in Paris: A Novel by Sarah Jio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved every page of this book, from the first word of the first sentence to the very last, I love this!

I am not going to spoil a thing, but the characters of Papa, Cecille and Cosi were just wonderful. We meet them during occupied Paris. Where life for many Parisians would be one of uncertainty and terror throughout the occupation. Some residents would choose to "bed" with the Germans in order to save their lives or those of their family, often with dire consequences. Some would hide in fear of the Germans and some would blatantly turn up their noses at the invaders. You are going to meet or learn about all these behaviors while reading this book. There is no sugar coating what the Germans did so be prepared for disgust too.

We also get to fast forward to 2009 to a character that gets her own drama because she has amnesia. This storyline would weave into the characters of the past and would prove equally as thrilling.

I read this book on a Friday night after a long week at work. I kept telling myself, "just one more chapter"....that lead into finishing the book and dreaming about it all night long.

I am not sure if this is my pick book of the year 2019 or the runner-up but I can tell you that it is well worth your time.

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Review: The Chelsea Girls

The Chelsea Girls The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book started off as the usual WWII book that I read. Girls and boys overseas fighting a war in a few theaters while the rest of our country is at home doing what they can to help the war effort. This time some girls join up with the USO to give the troops a little entertainment. The girls forge a friendship that lasts after the war. Then we see the girls join back into their old lives and forge new ones. Hazel, who wrote the USO shows longs to be a writer right here in NYC. She moves into the Chelsea Hotel, a place where artists can live with no prejudice and lots of support. She moves right into an entertainment industry that is in turmoil because of Joseph McCarthy and the HUAC (House of Un-American Committee). Maxine, her former USO pal, moves back to NYC too and joins Hazel's play. Now I can't tell you any more about this one because I don't want to ruin it for you. Hazel, Maxine, their men, their fellow cast members will all get tangled in with the HUAC in some way. You will get a glimpse into the future so you will find out what happens with the characters from the time we meet them in the '40s to the end of their life. I did very much enjoy this book but only gave it 4 stars because I felt it wasn't as vivid as Fiona's other books. It is a good read though.



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Review: Evvie Drake Starts Over

Evvie Drake Starts Over Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one was a tad of a departure from my "normal" read, but maybe it is the new normal. Who knows? Anyway, I loved this book from the turn of the very first page. Evvie was packing to start a new life, but one was started for her in a completely different way than she imagined. Then she realizes it wasn't the life she envisioned but the life she thought the world wanted her to have. It was time to break the mold and do what she needed to do. The way she achieved her goals made for some interesting reading.

I don't' like giving you too much, but this one has a little romance and a lot of taking leaps. I realized that once you realize you need to take a leap, take it.

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06 August 2019

Review: Meet Me in Monaco

Meet Me in Monaco Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all, while reading this book I felt a tad transported back in time. From the descriptions of the clothing and the locations (especially the flower fields), I felt like I was right there in the middle of it all. I only wish the book had smell technology so I could have smelled the lavender.

I loved the subject matter. I am fascinated with classic movie stars and their lives. I have always had an interest in Princess Grace because she was one of the first celebrity deaths that I was aware of (I was 10 when she died). I liked how Grace weaved in and out of the story that Sophie was "writing". Sophie was a great character with a very interesting story. I hate how people spoil things in books so I will just tell you that her story involves a perfume business, friendship, and a little romance.

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04 August 2019

Review: The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved every second that I spent with this book. First of all, anything that even mentions Wallis Simpson grabs my attention. Secondly, any book that is based in a tropical location will pull me into its pages. Thirdly, add to that, characters that I met in another book and I am hooked!!!

I won't spoil anything for you because this book has some intrigue and moments where my jaw dropped for a second and you need to experience that for yourself. I just want to tell you that the book travels a little through time, but you should not have trouble keeping up. You need this "time travel" to grab the importance of the story and how it weaves over almost 50 years.

If you have read other Beatriz books, be on the lookout for a character you have seen before (I love it when she does this).

The only thing I didn't like about this book was when it was over.

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Review: Blackberry and Wild Rose

Blackberry and Wild Rose Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are four players, Esther, Sara, Bisby, and Elias. Only two of them are married to each other, but the other two will change the course of their marriage and the lives of all four of them. I hate to give away anything because I hate when folks do that. I will just tell you that I was captivated from the first chapter wanting to know what was going to happen next. Elias is a master silk weaver and Esther longs to have her watercolor paintings made into silks. What lengths would she go to in order to see her art turned into silk? What would Elias do to remain a master? How could Sara try to ruin the lives of all four of the players? Do you see what I am saying? You really need to read this one.

Some scenes are a little violent, but it was the times and situations that the players lived in so there is no way around that.

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Review: Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy

Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy by Andrew Morton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have always enjoyed an Andrew Morton book. You can count on him to be detailed and tell things you may never have heard before. I was looking forward to reading this one the second I heard it was a book because of that fact and I must say I was NOT disappointed.

This one seems brutally honest, I mean no polishing over any fact. Let's face it, even though Wallis fascinates me, she was not someone who I would have wanted to be friends with in any way.

This is a good book for anyone trying to figure out what attracted David to her and made him give up a whole throne to have her in his life.

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22 July 2019

Review: Hope Rides Again

Hope Rides Again Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are a fun little journey with Joe and Barack. You never know what mess they will get into next. This book is a fun way to spend a day at the pool or a long train ride. It is a fun journey and is a quick mystery that will be solved by the end of the day.

I do love that while this a complete work of fiction, some of the statements made by Joe and Barack could actually be something they would say (or so I think since I have never met either man I can't be positive).

I do enjoy the fact that Joe wrestles with himself in these books to figure out if he is going to run. He tries to figure out how he can keep serving his country, figure out who killed that guy and how he will get home to Jill for dinner.

Funtimes!

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14 July 2019

So Long 2018

2018 was not the kindest year to me.  When I started thinking about what this year meant I was thinking about how much I hated it.  Our lives changed so much and not for the better, but I stopped. NOPE, I was not going to 2018 win.  Here is the deal, there were big changes for us, but there were a lot of good things that happened that were amazing.  My word for 2018 was the Future.  I took that word to mean something totally different when I chose it.  It does still apply though.  Future.  There are so many good things in the future that completely outweigh a crummy year, week or even day.

I went to a class the other day for journaling and the girl teaching it said everyday she writes down one good thing that happened to her that day.  Before I fall asleep at night I think about the day, but this struck me right in the face...BAM!!  Write this stuff down.  That leads me to my word this year...FORWARD.

It is a variation on the future, I know that, but I am looking forward.  Things won't always be as they are now, that is the good thing about life, it is ever-changing.  What seems horrible right now, will one day be in the past.  You can choose to look at it or forget it.  I am choosing to look back on the good.  There were many things in 2018 that were amazing for me.

1.  I saw Hamilton again
2.  I took a week off in June
3.  I went to Canada for a weekend
4.  I saw Chicago, Wicked, Rick Springfield and every play at the Market House theater
5.  I went to Disney World
6.  I bought myself cupcakes for my birthday
7. I had a tumor removed and it was a nothing tumor!!!
8. I finally got to redo the landscaping at the house.  (well I didn't someone did for me)
9.  Pepper joined our family
10. I  saw about 8 classic films on the big screen

2018 you weren't so bad, but I will see ya later.

So in love with you, my love am I

The more I think about you, the more I love you. The more I long to stare into your face. You are carved completely out of a cold substance and I hate to be cold. Why then do I love you? I love to read about you, to view photos of you, and I long to climb on your crevices.

For those that don't know what you are, you are a glacier. A massive piece of ice that moves. Yeah, it moves...it leaves in its path moraine and a U shaped valley. When you start down a fjord (an inlet of water that was formed by a melting glacier) the vegetation will be larger more lush, as you travel down the fjord closer to the glacier face it will appear smaller and in most cases, you will see NO vegetation. Instead what you will see is a large sheet of ice with crevices indentations and possibly icebergs. You will experience colors that may be indescribable....a topaz blue, granite gray, pure white, ice blue, azure, black, teal blue or teal green...and the list goes on and on.


the John Hopkins Glacier The Mendenhall Glacier 2008

Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve....the Majorie Glacier

Tracy Arm Fjord and the granite wallsthe Mendenhall, see it before it's gone. Receding at an alarming rate.

The lovely Majorie Glacier (GBNP&R)

all that is left of a glacier

the mendenhall 2010

The Majorie and the Grand Pacific (the GP once filled glacier bay


Moraine

13 July 2019

Review: Confections and Confessions

Confections and Confessions Confections and Confessions by Harper Lin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being a massive fan of Harper's work I knew this one would be amazing. Dan and Amelia continue to be just adorable. John is still a jerk! This book had a serial killer and a second cupcake truck (because can you ever have enough cupcakes?). Don't forget the recipes at the end. If you have not, please read all 9, this series is so fun. Great beach or one day reads.

I am a proud member of the Review crew and super grateful to Harper for her time and talents.

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12 July 2019

Review: How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country

How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country by Daniel O'Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While this is probably the most irreverent book that I have ever read on the US Presidents, it was without a doubt the most fun and the illustrations only added to my enjoyment. I have always thought that some of these guys could win any kind of fight but it was fun to see others take on how strong and tough some of these guys could be. I can't decide which one is my favorite, could it be John McClane in Ulysses S Grant's body or maybe Ronald Reagan being like a Wolverine or George Washington loving the sound of bullets or even Teddy Roosevelt (who I think is the toughest President EVER) as just perfection?

I think any Presidential fan would enjoy this, but also someone that maybe wants to study the Presidents but not get into a lot of history or boring stories. There is NOTHING boring about this book.

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10 July 2019

Review: Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss

Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss by RoseMarie Terenzio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book because it made John Kennedy, Jr seem like a regular guy (which he was) instead of this icon. I enjoyed RoseMarie's relationship with John and Caroline and how she did not at all glorify anything. She just told what everyday life was like and how devasted she was when he passed. I found myself wanting to hug her fiercely when she realized he was not coming home.

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27 June 2019

Review: A Dangerous Act of Kindness

A Dangerous Act of Kindness A Dangerous Act of Kindness by L.P. Fergusson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started this book because it was part of the #biglibraryread with Overdrive and it was a WWII historical fiction. I didn't really have any expectations going into the book because I did not read the synopsis, I just jumped in. Well, I lost a lot of sleep over this one because I could not stop until it was finished. The first part is a full love story, love between a German pilot and the British woman who helped him after he crash landed. The second part of the book was how to live after such a dramatic, secret love affair. I won't tell you too much because I hate when people spoil books for me, but if you like WWII historical fiction and if you like to see someone do the right thing even if your country thinks it is wrong...then I think you will like this too.

The ending is exactly what I wanted.

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Review: The Night Tiger

The Night Tiger The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was quiet a departure from my usual genre of books, but it was a pleasant diversion. I was not sure what I would think about it at first because it was so different, but every review i read said it was great so I started it. I got sucked into the characters fairly quickly. I frankly wanted to adopt Ren just about as soon as he opened his mouth for the first time. What a sweet, devoted child. I started rooting for him early on in the book.

As for Shin and Ji Lin's story, well it is taking place at the same time of Ren's story, and eventually they will wind up in the same plot line. I am not going to give much away because it is just a lovely journey, but I will tell you there is mystery, murder, love, intrigue, and friendship. Just beautiful.

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20 June 2019

Review: Rogue One: A Junior Novel

Rogue One: A Junior Novel Rogue One: A Junior Novel by Matt Forbeck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do think that this book is just as good as the movie (I liked the movie). The Narrator is animated and does all the voices and even the "beep beeps".

I still am sad that everyone dies.

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17 June 2019

Review: The Last Year of the War

The Last Year of the War The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Susan did not disappoint in this book. She gave us a tale that in parts was hard for me to read. I have known for a while that we had camps in America, but it is still hard to read about. Then the way the family left the camp and what they were to experience when they did leave the camp. I won't give you details, but it was very hard.

The book got happier as you find someone who is willing to give so much to be so selfless. Even if they had a motive for doing so, they still saved someone in every way a person can be saved and that was beautiful. I can't tell you what I mean by this statement, you really need to read the book and see what a wonderful act it was and who committed it.

It was a very well written tale that if you let it can give you a little history as to what life was like for a German American or Japanese American living in the USA during WWII.

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11 June 2019

Review: Granny on Board

Granny on Board Granny on Board by Harper Lin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love a good Harper Lin novel and this one is set on one of my favorite things to do....on a cruise ship!! You know going into the book there will be a murder, what you don't know is who will be murdered and how. Ok, the how blew me away but I can tell you nothing because you need to read this for yourself and determine how it all works on your own.

What you need to know going into this is that Octavian and Barbara are adorable together and I love that they took a cruise together. The other thing you need to know is just when you think you have it figured out....you don't!!!

Enjoy!

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