Obsession with words

Obsession with words

I love to read and reading helps me to escape. I'm a book addict and currently fighting back the urge to buy ALL THE BOOKS!

Things found in books
The Ebony Swan - Phyllis A. Whitney

I love finding things people leave in books but this is the first time I've found something that I left in a book almost 30 years ago!  

 

 

I am sick so I decided to stay in my pajamas and rest in bed.  I had pulled out this book to read next because I was sure it was the book I'd had the longest.  It is also a hardcover book and they take up too much room in my shelves.  I started reading it and came across a piece of paper printed in red that looked like a $5 bill.  They were called Safety Bucks.  It is from my first job as a teen which I got when I was 17.  I think this was from 1989 when I was 18.  I really didn't remember much about these but my husband just said they could be used to buy things at the hotel.  I think they were earned for not being injured on the job for a certain length of time.  

 

 

This is the time when I met my husband (he worked there too) and in September 1st, 1991 we were married.  

 

 

Review
3.5 Stars
The Key in the Attic
The Key In The Attic - DeAnna Julie Dodson

I lost my reading mojo for a while and got behind for my reading goal.  Then I got sick.  Most of my family got this nasty cold that has been going around.  My husband was a lot worse that I am and he's already getting better.  I have a head cold and my throat is so sore.  I don't really have my reading mojo back completely but I had a little itch to read here and then.  I took this book with me on our trip to Denali for our Anniversary on the 1st but didn't really have time to read.  It was our 27th Anniversary and we had fun even though it was rainy.  There's some pictures from our trip on my instagram.  

 

I finally finished this book and I was having a hard time with the review.  I'm not sure if I'm really being fair or if I just don't feel well.  This book was better than many of the others in the series as far as the writing goes but the story felt like a cat and mouse game with a lot of back and forth without any progress.  Anyway, here is the review I wrote.  

 

(updated to add...)

Mary Beth, the owner of the local needlework store in Stony Point, received word that the owner of her building and the theater next door needed to sell both properties. His wife was ill and he needed the money to pay for her surgery. He told Mary Beth she would buy the property but she needed to buy both. He gave her until the end of the month to come up with the money. He also made a deal with a large burger chain that wanted to buy the property which was located on main street. They wanted to tear down the building where the Mary Beth's shop was for a parking lot and make the theater their newest Burly Boy Burger but they had to wait until the end of the month to honor the agreement with Mary Beth. The problem was that Mary Beth didn't have the money and had no idea where it would come from. Her friends all wanted to help and all started looking for things they could sell to help. Annie found a pretty vase in her attic she intended to sell but she dropped it and it broke. When she was cleaning up the mess she found an old key with a lion on it. She remembered that it was something Mary Beth have given her a long time ago and that she also had other antique furniture with the same lions that her mother had passed down to her. That old furniture had belonged to Mary Beth's grandmother and had been in their family for 150 years. She took it to Mary Beth and they looked at the antique furniture for a hidden spot for a key hole. They finally found one and inside a hidden cubby hole they found a message with a riddle. They started to try to solve the riddle and soon realized their was another clue in the antique writing desk, only Mary Beth had just sold it. They decided to try to track it down to ask if they could look for a hidden spot and see if their was another clue.

 

This story was so interesting but it kept losing me too. I liked the mystery of the antiques and the keys and messages and how it connected with family history but for some reason I didn't read right through it like many of the other books. I kept putting it down and forgetting about it. I think there was just too much going on that made it feel disjointed. When it got to the part where Annie got the idea about the trees I thought I'd missed a page or something. It finally made since later in the book but it still seems like odd leap. Still, I did like the writing style of this author more than some of the others. Her writing is more current and the characters felt more realistic. I think the story just needed a little smoothing out.

Review
3.5 Stars
A Can of Peas (Lake Emily, Book 1)
A Can of Peas - Traci Depree
I really enjoyed this book. It's about a young man named Peter whose grandfather just passed away. He has many fond memories of helping his grandfather on the farm in Minnesota and wonders why his father didn't stay there to take over the farm. He resents his father, who is a musician, for always moving around while he was growing up and for missing his grandfather's funeral. Peter is between jobs and he and his new wife Mae are staying in her parents basement, which hasn't been ideal. Mae's mom doesn't think Peter is good enough for her and Mae ends up leaving with their mother-daughter relationship in ruins. Peter's Grandmother mentioned one day that her husband Roy had always hoped someone in the family would take over the farm and Peter thinks that is what he wants to do. He talks to his wife and his grandmother and they decide on a trial period to see how it goes. Mae finds out very quickly that outsiders have a hard time fitting in with small town folks where everyone knows everyone's business. Peter loves farming but has a hard time keeping up and is worried about paying back his operating loan. The story continues to tell of some of their trials on the farm. 

I really like how the author inserted short chapters in italics that tell a small story from the past just before a chapter where that person is involved in the present. That allows the reader to get to know the people in the small town and how they relate to one another. You learn a little bit of history right when you need to. The stories are very well written and make you feel for the people in the story. After reading this book you are left wondering what's next and there are two more books "Dandelions in a jelly jar" and "aprons on a clothesline". 

This isn't just a book about farming. It's about being new and and trying to fit in where newcomers aren't welcome. It's about love.... and family. It's about coming through difficult times unscathed and knowing you are not alone in the world.
 
 

 

Review
3 Stars
A Man of His Word
A Man of His Word - Karen Kelly

I liked this story but it was slow moving. I liked the historical aspect to the story but also had questions. William, the judge, had made notations in his bible in Latin during a case long ago and when it was found in the attic Annie began trying to figure out what they meant. She discovered the link to the court case and with the help of some friends was able to find the meaning of the words and numbers. I just wonder what the purpose of those notes was. Did he make the notes with the hope that someone would figure them out or was he just making them for himself? What was the purpose of using Latin and Roman numerals? I don't think things are very cryptic and anyone could have looked up the meaning of them. Some of the details, like the identity of the woman on the receipts and who the wife of Ron really was, were not a surprise to me. I wish the ended had included some kind of official remedy to the situation to at least clear the family name. Maybe that was hinted at but it would have been better to include something like that than all the awkward stuff about having to show ID, fill out forms, and check purses at the Historical Research Center.

Review
5 Stars
Absolute Power
Absolute Power (Mass Market) - David Baldacci

This book was Baldacci's debut novel and I loved it!  I'm so glad I finally read it because it was so much better than the movie.  In the movie they changed some of the details and leave out a big character.  I did like some of the changes since Clint Eastwood played Luther and it made sense with him.  It didn't have that thriller aspect like the book did though.  

 

Jack, who was a public defender but recently got a new job in a big law firm with a chance at becoming a partner.  He is engaged to the daughter of a billionaire and his life seems to be going really well.  He can't stop thinking about Kate though.  He and Kate were engaged to be married but she couldn't accept that he liked her dad, who was a thief.  She also couldn't deal with the fact that he defended criminals when he was a public defender.  Kate became a prosecutor and came down hard on people like her father.  She wouldn't have anything to do with him anymore since he ruined their family and she also cancelled her engagement with Jack.  

 

When Luther breaks into a mansion everything is going great until someone else comes in.  He has to hide in the vault hidden behind a mirror and wait until they were gone.  That's when he realizes the mirror is a one way mirror and he can see everything in the room.  He watches as the lady of the house is brutalized and murdered and then the scene is cleaned up to remove all traces of who had been there.  One thing was missed though and Luther saw it fall.  As soon as they left he came out and grabbed it and escaped through a window.  They soon realized what was missing and went back to find it but instead found it gone and a rope hanging out the window.  Luther knew he had to run for his life.  He got out of there and quickly left the country.  He knew no one would believe him if he went to the police with what he knew.  No one would believe who killed her.  He finally decided he had to go back and try to get justice but he knew it could mean losing his life.  

Review
4 Stars
The Last Sin Eater
The Last Sin Eater - Francine Rivers

This book was especially interesting to me because it is about people from the Scottish Highlands and I am part Scottish. The people had come to America to settle near a mountain. One of the customs they brought with them was the use of a Sin-eater. The person was chosen by lot to take on the sins of the others after they died so they could go before God free of sin. The dead was laid out at the cemetery with a try carrying wine and bread. They believed the sin of the dead was absorbed into the food. At the end of the ceremony the people all turned their backs to the grave and the Sin-eater would come and eat the bread and drink the wine and then say a quick statement absolving them of their sin. The children were all warned not to look at the man or some of the sin in him might come upon them. The people all shunned the man and he had to live in the mountain all alone, alienated from his family and friends. When Cadi's grandmother died and she was at her funeral, Cadi heard sadness in the man's voice and couldn't resist looking. He looked like a normal man. She had a terrible guilt on her conscious since the death of her younger sister and decided she needed to find the Sin-eater and ask him to eat her sins now, before she died, to ease the burden of her soul. Her mother was only cold to her and she knew it was because she blamed Cadi for the lost of her favored child. At the same time a preacher of God came to the area and she heard him talking by the river. Cadi and an older boy went to see what he had to say even though they were told to stay away by the clan leader. 

 

This story was interesting but I have a hard time believing the girl (Cadi) was only 10 years old. I think of kids of that age and this girl seemed so much older. Also, the things the preacher was saying was so scattered and it was all difficult language from the bible. I had a hard time following it but this 10 year old was able to understand and repeat it to others so that they understood as well. It really sounded like he was a crazy old man spouting nonsense but these two kids took it as gold and never questioned anything he said. That was difficult to believe but I did like the story anyway. I enjoyed the story about the cave and what they found there and how that story unfolded.

Review
4 Stars
Storm Front
Storm Front - Jim Butcher

I finally read this one.  My husband told me I would like it a long time ago.  I did of course.  Harry cracks me up.

 

Harry Desden is a wizard in a world where people still don't want to accept that magic is real. He uses his talent to help people. He also helps the police from time to time, whenever things seem out of the ordinary. In he same day he got two calls: a woman who was looking for her husband but didn't want to call the police for help and the police, who called him to the scene of a double murder. The murder scene really scared Harry since he knew the kind of power that would have been needed to carry out the crime. He was too scared to even try to figure out how the spell was done. The White Council was already on his case since he used magic to take a man's life. He was only alive because it was done in self defense. In any case, Morgan, who was set to watch Harry in case he broke any more laws of magic, was sure he was evil and also believe he killed the two people. Harry had to figure out how to find the wizard who did this evil thing and stop them without getting himself killed in the process.

Quote
If I was some kind of hero from a romance novel, I'd have said something brief and eloquent and heartrending. But I'm just me, so I said, "I do understand, Karrin."
Storm Front - Jim Butcher

Page 205

Quote
I've got things pretty heavily textured--there are multiple carpets on the floor, tapestries on the walls, a collection of knickknacks and oddities on every available surface, my staff and my sword cane in the corner, and several bulging bookshelves which I really will organize one day.
Storm Front - Jim Butcher

Page 89

 

Hey, me too.  Well, except for the staff and sword cane...  

Review
4 Stars
Open Season
Open Season - Archer Mayor

I've been sorting through my books again and reorganizing them and I found a book in this series.  I looked up the first book in the series, which is this one, and it was a lot better than I expected it to be.  I thought it was going to be one of those really corny books.  It was pretty good though and held my interest till the end.  

 

Joe Gunther is a police detective that is called to a crime scene where an elderly woman had blasted an intruder with a shotgun.  She explained that she had been getting threatening calls and messages left in her house.  She called the police but they didn't help.  Finally, the man killed her cat in a gruesome way and said the same was going to happen to her.  She got her dead husband's old shotgun and was ready when her backdoor opened.  After the police investigated the body and discovered his identity the old woman was shocked.  She knew the man from when they were on the same Jury.  Later, more crimes kept happening where someone from the same jury was set up to look like they did the crime and there was suddenly a lot of reports of a man in a ski mask causing trouble and always connected with that old case. Joe Gunther noticed the trend and started to look into the case where a woman was murdered and a black man had been found guilty of the crime even though he insisted he was innocent.  It looked like and open and shut case but when Joe started to look into it himself he realized it was too perfect.  When he started questioning the people involved he found a lot of things the police missed or didn't look into.  It was starting to look like the police locked up the wrong guy because they were in a hurry to close the case.  Gunther soon learned though, that the man in the ski mask wasn't doing this for the innocent man who was locked up.  He was after revenge.  He wanted the cops to find the real killer.

Review
4 Stars
The Smoke Jumper
The Smoke Jumper - Nicholas Evans

I usually only read mysteries so I was not sure if I would like this book. I was worried it would be too much of a romance. It romance parts are small though. The book kept my interest throughout. It is a pretty good story.

 

Connor and Ed met while training to be smoke jumpers. Even though they were very different they became close friends. When Ed met Julia he was love struck and told Connor all about how she was "the one." Later, when Connor was picking them up at the airport and he saw Julia he couldn't stop staring at her. As they spent time together he found it harder and harder to keep his mind off of her. He knew he couldn't fall in love with his best friend's girlfriend but he was. What he didn't realize was she was feeling the same way, although, she did still love Ed and tried to contain her feelings. Later, when a fire sprang up where Julia was camping with a group of troubled kids in the WAY program, they were called to jump. A girl had wandered away in the night and Julia and another one of the counselors was trying to follow her tracks. The fire was out of control though and they found themselves in the middle of a deadly situation. Ed, Connor, and another jumper leave to try to find them while the other jumpers stay to help fight the fire and prevent it from spreading.

 

_________________________

There is a LOT more to this story and it isn't as flaky as it sounds in what I wrote.  I was having a hard time figuring out what to write without giving away too much.  

 

I also had the audio book, which was narrated by Luke Perry, and I was going to listen to that until I realize it was abridged.  It doesn't say anywhere on the package that it is abridged so I was angry.  I really didn't like Luke Perry's voice anyway,  He sounded like a 16 year old kid.  He talked in such low voice I couldn't hear with the volume full.  I ended up reading the book instead.

 

Review
4 Stars
Deadline
Deadline - Professor John H Dunning

This story got my attention very early on and kept it the whole way through. It was a good story. I really like the way it sounded like an old detective novel only it is about a journalist. Walker is just starting work at the Tribune in New York but before he gets there he happens to see a fire and hears people screaming at a small carnival. A circus tent was on fire, the fabric going up like paper. He went to help and a fireman asked for his help carrying a small body out on a stretcher. It was the body of a young girl and seeing her young form affected him deeply. Later, as the number of deaths increased, he kept tabs on the story and was surprised to learn that no one ever came to claim the young girl's body. He had been given another story to work on but he wasn't interested. He began trying to figure out the identity of that little girl who was eventually buried in a pauper's grave by the coroner. He knew there must be a big story there and there was. It was so big in fact, that finding out might cost his life.

Review
3 Stars
The Stolen Canvas
The Stolen Canvas - Marlene Chase

I had to fly to Anchorage Friday, which is only about a 50 minute flight, for a doctor appointment.  I was really achy so I decided to take this book to read since I knew it would be light reading.  I  guess no one else on here has read it since I had to add it to the system.  

 

This story was pretty slow and not as interesting as others in the series. Tara is at her mother's apartment to gather anything she wanted before they throw out her things. Her mother has passed away and Tara is sad because she never knew her. Her mother was always distant. She finds some letters from an elderly lady in Stony Point that had been writing to her mother. When her boyfriend sees the letters her gets an idea for a way to make some money. He is originally from Stony Point and he remembers that lady named Mrs. Holden in the fancy big house. He and his brother used to do odd jobs for her to earn money.  He decided Tara will go to the house and befriend the women so they can steal some of the cross stitches the woman was famous for that are now fetching a lot of money at auction.  Tara finds that Mrs. Holden has passed away and her granddaughter, Annie Dawson, is living in the house. Tara had agreed to go along with her boyfriends plan but when she meets Annie and the other ladies at the Hook & Needle club, she doesn't want to go through with it anymore. She really just wants to learn more about her mother and hopes someone there will be someone that remembers her.

 

Review
3 Stars
Murder on the Links
Murder on the Links - Agatha Christie, John Moffatt

This was an interesting story but Hastings really proved himself to be a huge boob.  I cannot believe he didn't get run out of the place.  It wasn't until near the end that I was sure who the murderer was.  Does Poirot really keep him around after this story?  I am sure he is in the whole series but why I don't know.  I also found it really irritating that they decided the murderer had to be a man because a woman couldn't have dug the shallow grave. 

Review
3 Stars
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie

After reading Murder on the Orient Express last fall I decided to start at the beginning and read the whole series. I found this story pretty scattered and frustrating at times. Hastings seems to be really dumb. His sole purpose seems to be to have someone dumb for Poirot to explain things to. He would miss a jetliner that flew right over his head. He also falls for every pretty girl he sees and wants to marry them within the first five minutes.

 

The mystery itself was interesting and I suspected who was involved but wasn't quit sure how it would work out. There are a lot of things going on. I really hope this series gets better though.

Review
4 Stars
Miles to Go
Miles to Go - Richard Paul Evans

This book continues the story from The Walk.  

 

Alan Christoffersen is on a journey, a soul searching walk across the US.  He started in Seattle after he lost everything.  His wife died, his partner stole his business, and his cars and home were repossessed.  He was thinking about giving up and ending it all but something stopped him.  Instead, he grabbed a map and figured out the farthest he could walk on land and set his sites on Key West Florida.  At the end of The Walk he was attacked by a gang and serious injured.  He ended up staying with a woman who he had helped on his walk.  He fixed her tire and she gave him her card.  He forgot all about it but when he was taken to the hospital that number was the only contact info on him.  She came to help and offered him a place to stay while he healed.  While he was there he realized he wasn't there for her to help him.  She needed help herself.  

 

After Alan was healed enough to return to his walk he saw young woman being attacked by a group of men.  He helped her and she began to walk with him.  After she finally talked about her situation his heart really went out to her.  She was an abused child put in the foster system.  She was nearly 18 and since she knew she was going to be on her own soon anyway, she ran away and was living on the streets.  She was a great girl and didn't deserve her situation.  Alan really wanted to help her.  

 

____________________________________

 

This is a great soul-searching story for both the character and the reader.  I found several little gems to add to my quote book.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series and continuing the journey along with Alan.  

 

 

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Donna has read 1 book toward her goal of 80 books.
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2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Donna has completed her goal of reading 40 books in 2017!
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