Sunday, January 3, 2016

Books 17-25

This is all the books for 2015

Bad Boy Jack by Josephine Cox

Robert Sullivan is left to raise three year old Nancy and her seven year old brother Jack.  Unable to cope, Robert is driven to abandon his children to those who he believes can provide them with a better life.  However, he quickly has a change of heart and decides to go back for them.  But on the way there, he is involved in a horrific accident.
Unbeknownst to him, Jack and Nancy are placed in the brutal regime of the Galloway Children's Home, where Jack's fierce devotion to his sister and fiery temper land him in trouble.  Clinging together, the two children find themselves at the mercy of the corrupt Clive Ennington, who splits them up and sells Nancy off to the highest bidder.
When Robert begins to recover in hospital he is determined to find and reunite his family.  But he soon begins to realise the terrible consequences of his own cowardly actions.  

A Wing and a Prayer by Lyn Andrews

For Mary Callaghan marriage has brought heartaches and disappointment.  But with it have come joys, the greatest of which are her daughters.  And what Mary wants most for her girls is what she never had-a husband who will offer the security her own hard-drinking, free-spending, brash-talking Jack denied her.
But when Daisy confesses she's pregnant, Mary knows the future looks grim, for the father, rough, irresponsible Sam O'Grady, makes it clear that marriage is a prison from which he's determined to escape.  As Nell watches her sister sink into bitter poverty she begins to question her mother's belief in the sanctity of the vows that bind Daisy into misery.  And as the world around her grows more uncertain, with war more likely by the day, risking all for love seems to Nell a foolish game.  Especially when a marriage based on mutual respect and financial security seems to be presenting itself-along with the prospect of the child for which Nell so desperately longs.

Whistledown Woman by Josephine Cox

On a moonlit night in 1898, Kathleen Wyman lies in labour at Bessington Hall, her husband Edward sure that she has been unfaithful to him.  In his blind jealous rage he later gives away the baby to the gypsy Rona Parrish, summoned to help with the delivery.  Kathleen, frenzied with grief, is soon after locked away in an asylum.
Rejected by her father, the little girl begins her new life with only a valuable brooch pinned to her shawl as a clue to her true origins.  Named after Rona's own mother, the lovely raven-haired Starlena grows up in ignorance of her true parentage and vast inheritance, believing her birthplace to be the beautiful Whistledown Valley.  And Rona, always afraid, stays watchful over the years for any sign that someone might track Starlena down-someone who wishes her harm.

The Marks of Cain by Tom Knox

When David Martinez receives an ancient map from his dying grandfather, the unanswered questions of his orphaned past begin to reveal themselves.  The map leads David into the heart of the Basque mountains, where a genetic curse lies buried-and a frightening secret about the Western world is hidden.
Meanwhile, London journalist Simon Quinn is investigating two violent murders.  Both victims had once been interred in a top-secret Nazi camp-and both came from the same remote region.
From frozen Scottish islands to the Arizona desert, from the graveyards of the Spanish countryside to the heart of colonial Africa, their separate quests will converge to explain the shocking truth of what drives human beings to violence, genocide, and war.

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

At the age of twenty-nine, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed.  Trying to regain her footing, she has signed on to tutor the teenage daughter of a well-to-do couple as they spend a sultry summer at their ocean-front New Hampshire cottage.
But when the Edwardses' two grown sons arrive at the beach house, Sydney finds herself caught in a destructive web of old tensions and bitter rivalries.  As the brothers vie for her affections, the fragile existence Sydney has rebuilt is threatened.

An Irish Doctor in Peace  and at War by Patrick Taylor

Long before Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly became a fixture in the colourful Irish village of Ballybucklebo, he was a young M.B. with plans to marry his sweetheart, Deidre Mawhinney, and settle down.  But those dreams are complicated by World War II and the call of duty.  Assigned to the HMS Warspite, a formidable thirty-thousand-ton battleship, Surgeon Lieutenant O'Reilly soon finds himself face-to-face with the horrors of war, tending to the dreadnought's crew of twelve hundred as well as the many casualties brought aboard.  Also a struggle:  remaining true to his beloved Deirdre despite temptations abroad.
Over two decades later, life in Ballybucklebo is a far cry from the strife of war, but O'Reilly and his younger colleagues still have plenty of challenges on their hands, from an outbreak of German measles, the odd tropical disease, a hard-fought pie-baking contest, and a local father whose muleheaded adherence to tradition is standing in the way of hi son's future.  Now older and wiser, O'Reilly has prescriptions for whatever ails...until a secret from the past threatens to unravel his own peace of mind.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

The year is 1803.  Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years, there are now two sons in the Pemberley nursery, and Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles.  The ordered, secure life of the great house seems unassailable, and Elizabeth's happiness is complete.
But on the eve of the much-anticipated annual autumn ball their peace is threatened, and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled when a chaise appears, rocking down the path in the darkness,  As it pulls up, the youngest sister, Lydia, an uninvited guest, tumbles out screaming that her husband, George Wickham, has been murdered.

Guard a Silver Sixpence by Felicity Davis

In 1903, in the mining town of Barnsley, a brutalised wife called Emily Swann lashed out at her violent husband.  Her actions brought tragedy and scandal in their wake.  Her children were ashamed, her family broken apart.
Over one hundred years later her great-granddaughter Felicity, also a victim of physical and psychological abuse, set out to uncover the secret history of her family in the hope it would heal the scars of her own childhood.
As Felicity discovered more about her mum and nan, and was led back to Emily herself, she came to see how these women had all been caught in a damaging cycle, endlessly repeating the mistakes of the past.  And she knew that she, at last, had the power to break free.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Shock and fear shudder through the village of Three Pines when one of their own is found dead in the woods, an arrow wound in her heart.  Chief Inspector Armand Gamache knows that in every Eden lurks a snake-and as he probes the baffling murder of a seemingly innocent woman, the village begins to give up its dark secrets...

The Blue by Lucy Clarke

Lana and her best friend, Kitty, leave home looking for freedom-and that's exactly what they find when they are invited onto The Blue, a fifty-foot yacht making its way from the Philippines to New Zealand.  The crew is made up of a group of young travellers bitten by wanderlust, and it doesn't take long for Lana and Kitty's dreams of sea-bound romance to turn into reality.  Both women fall under the hypnotic spell of The Blue, spending their days exploring remote islands and their rum-filled nights relaxing on deck beneath the stars.  But when one of their friends disappears after an argument with another crew member, the dark secrets that brought each of them aboard start to unravel.

That's the end of the 2015 books read.  Some good, some really good, some not so good.  I think it's about the same number as last year.  I think I'd like to try and increase that number in 2016.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Almost Here!!

The tree is decorated
The presents are wrapped

The bauble wreath is hung
 Some of the Santa collection
 Mostly snowmen and a couple of nutcrackers
More Santa's and Snowmen

I think we are as ready as we're going to be.  House full tomorrow night.  Lots of presents and goodies to eat.

Don't know what that blue line thing is, no time to fix it right now!

Monday, December 7, 2015

'A Little Something'

Look what came in the mail today, all the way from Tasmania, Australia!  I entered a giveaway on Cath at home.  I didn't win but she decided to send me 'a little something' anyway.  How nice is that!  It's a package of chalkboard labels.  I'm going to make great use of these in the new year as I will be reorganizing my sewing room.  Go and visit Cath at the above link, she has some amazing pictures on her blog.

Bye for now.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Books 15-16

The Finisher by David Baldacci
Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood.  She was told there was nothing outside but a forest filled with danger and death.  And she always believed it-until the night she saw Quentin Herms run away.
Vega knows Quentin didn't just leave-he was chased.  And he left behind a trail od clues that point to a dark conspiracy at the heart of Wormwood.  To follow the clues will attract attention of influential people willing to kill to keep their secrets.  If Vega wants to stay safe, she just needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut.  There's only one problem-Vega never walks away from a fight.
This book was given to me by a neighbour who said he had never read a book like this but once he got into it he enjoyed it.  It is a scholastics book so I presume it is a book for young adults.  It is fantasy full of demons, beasts and some very bad people.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book, 'The Keeper' when it comes out in the fall.

The Keeper by David Baldacci

This is the second book in the Vega Jane series.

Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood.  She was told there was nothing outside but the Quag, a wilderness filled with danger and death.  And she always accepted it-until the night she stumbled across a secret that proved everything she believed was a lie.
Now just one thing stands between Vega Jane and freedom-the Quag.  In order to leave Wormwood and discover the truth about her world, Vega and her best friend, Delph, must find a way to make it across a terrifying land of bloodthirsty creatures and sinister magic.  But the Quag is worse than Vega's darkest imaginings.  It's a living, breathing prison designed to keep enemies out and the villagers of Wormwood in.  The Quag will throw everything at Vega.  It will try to break her.  It will try to kill her.  And survival might come at a price not even Vega Jane is willing to pay.

I enjoyed this book as much as the first book and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Won, I won, I won!!!!!!

Look what I received in the mail today.  A package all the way from Wales from Pam at A New Life in Wales!!
Look at all the goodies.  The picture doesn't do the items justice.  Today is very overcast and dull (8degreesC) and this picture is taken on my bed!

First of all there is a very handy craft bag that is just the right size for a knitting project.

Then so many other things.  First of all a very pretty waist apron that my GD claimed as soon as she saw it.  She loves to bake and cook and is at present saving for a mixmaster like grandmas.
Also included was the cutest little pincushion, a rainbow wheel of quilting pins, a package of 5 different ribbons, some pink satin cord, 42-21/2" Moda squares-love the colours from pale grey to black,  a selection of squares from 'Stash of Pam' (I think), a selection of templates, Angel in a Heart Garland pattern, modern dresdens made easy instructions and a bookmark, phew!!!!!
What an amazing giveaway, and what's even more amazing is that it all fit inside a 13x8 envelope!!!
Thank you so much Pam for a wonderful giveaway. 
Oh, by the way, you have a very unusual address Pam, if I didn't read your blog I would never know that the package came all the way from Wales!

Bye for now.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Visitors for my birthday!!!

Today is my birthday and Cooper (and GD1) came to visit this morning.  He's sure grown a lot and he's only 4 months old!

We went out for supper for a fabulous seafood feast.  About 10 minutes after we got home this is what was wandering around on the front yard.  A bobcat!!!  

I hope he finds his way home back to Fish Creek Park and doesn't come visiting again!!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

2015 Books 8-14

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want-husband, country home, successful career-but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion.  This book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and what she found in their place.  Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.
I found this book interesting in parts and boring and tedious in others.  There is a followup to this story-Weddings and Evictions, a memoir about her unexpected journey into second marriage.  I will read the second book (when and if I find it at a book sale) to find out what the rest of the story is.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Shanghai, 1912.Violet Minturn is the daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house.  But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother and forced to become a "virgin courtesan".
Spanning more than forty years and two continents, this novel maps the lives of three generations of women connected by blood and history-and the mystery of an evocative painting known as "The Valley of Amazement."  Moving from the collapse of China's last imperial dynasty to the rise of the Republic, the growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, and the inner workings of courtesan houses, The Valley of Amazement interweaves the story of Violet, a celebrated Shanghai courtesan on a quest for both love and identity, and her mother, Lucia, an American woman whose search for penance leads them to an unexpected reunion.
This is a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, legacies, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters.
 I think this is the first book I've read by Amy Tan and I found it to be a good read.

Resistant by Michael Palmer
Dr. Lou Welcome never could have imagined what a sports injury would mean for his best friend, Cap Duncan.  Surgeons manage to save Cap's shattered leg, but the open wound is the perfect breeding ground for a deadly microbial invader committed to eating Cap alive from the inside out.  Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, a teenage girl is fighting for her life against the same microbe.  The germ is resistant to any known antibiotic-and the government scientist tasked with finding a cure has been kidnapped.  And time has already run out...
Turning to the Centers for Disease Control for help, Lou uncovers a link to the Society of One Hundred Neighbours, a terrorist organization whose members are holding our own health institutions hostage.  Like the microbe itself, One Hundred Neighbours will stop at nothing to further its agenda.  Now, from the hospital corridors where anything you touch can mean your end to the top corridors of domestic power in this war against humanity, Lou must put an end to a terrifying epidemic-if it doesn't kill him first.
This was quite the page turner, I really enjoyed reading it.

The Nature of the Beast by Frances Fyfield
Amy Petty is dead.  But Amy Petty is alive...
When an intercity train from Kent to London crashes, it isn't only fate that decides who is killed: one passenger uses the opportunity for argument to spill over into murder, while another-blond, beautiful Amy Petty-sees the accident as a chance to leave her life behind.
But why would Amy Petty want the world to presume her dead?  Is it because of her husband, currently embroiled in a libel action against a national newspaper?  Douglas Petty, a former barrister, is rich, charismatic and evil tempered: he runs a dog sanctuary in a brutally eccentric manner.  Amy was to be his star witness; without her, his reputation faces ruin.
A brooding thriller of truth, betrayal and human instinct which I enjoyed reading.

My Secret Sister by Helen Edwards and Jenny Lee Smith
Helen grew up in a pit village in Tyneside in the post-war years, with her gran, aunties and uncles living nearby.  She felt safe with them, but they couldn't protect her from her neglectful mother and violent father.  Blamed for everything that went wrong in their lives, she suffered years of abuse.
Jenny was adopted at six weeks old and grew up in Newcastle.  An only child, she knew she was loved and with the support of her parents she became a champion golfer.  But she still felt that something was missing.
Neither knew of the other's existence until Jenny went looking for her birth family and found her sister Helen.  Together they searched for the truth about Jenny's birth-and uncovered a legacy of secrets and lies that overturned everything Helen thought she knew about her family.
Moving and inspirational, this is a story of the extraordinary bond of sisterhood, and a tribute to two women strong enough to let love, not bitterness, define them.
At times this true story is heartbreaking, especially when reading about the treatment of Helen as a child.  I did find it somewhat anticlimactic towards the end when all thy want to find out is if they are twins or not.  I think it would have been better if that fact wasn't printed on the cover.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage.  Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, a she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event.  He is a committed cheater.  She lives and breathes denial.  He exists in dual worlds.  She likes to settle scores.  He decides to play for keeps.  She has nothing left to lose.  Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can't be made, and promises that won't be kept.
For me this was a very bizarre and weird story.  That's what I get for taking the word of a complete stranger standing next to me at the book sale.  She thought it was the best book she had ever read and was so sad that the author has died and there will be no more books from her.  I must have missed something!

Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
It's the nightmare scenario-a serial killer is on the loose and is targeting children.  Dr. Temperance Brennan is unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD to consult on two child murders that are separated by a thousand miles.  Tempe discovers that the two cases have one link in common, and she's suddenly in the middle of her own personal nightmare.  Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a number of girls in Montreal, and narrowly missed being captured be Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan.  Now, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, connected to two more victims in Vermont and North Carolina.  When another child is snatched, the reign of nightmares promises to continue, unless Tempe can take this second chance to stop a psychopath.
As Tempe's past and present collide in this nail-biting chase to stop the deadliest and most elusive of predators, Brennan has to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local and state police from one another's throats, and face more than just her own demons.
I enjoy all this authors books and this one, once again did not disappoint.  AND it left you with a bit of a cliff hanger!

Well, that's it for now.