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!

Susannah's Garden

— feeling smile
Susannah's Garden - Debbie Macomber

This is the 3rd book in the Blossom Street Series and it is also my favorite book in the series.  I'm not sure what it is about this book that makes me like it so much but I've read it 4 times (that I can remember).  I guess maybe it is because there is a mystery to be solved and I love mysteries.  I often have a hard time staying interested in books when there isn't a mystery. 

 

This book takes the reader away from Blossom Street when Susannah learns her widowed mother is not doing as well as she thought living alone.  She decides to go stay with her mother for a while and see how she is doing for herself.  She soon realizes her mother needs to be moved to a long-term care facility.  She was especially concerned when her mother tells her that her dead husband is coming to see her.  

 

Susannah also has another mission too, one she did not tell her husband about.  She wants to find her high school boyfriend and find out why he suddenly left and where he went.  While looking through her father's desk she uncovers some things that her father was keeping secret.  Together with one of her friends from high school they start to put the pieces together.

 

While Susannah is dealing with those things her daughter is home from college for the summer and decides to come and help her mom with her grandmother.  She ends up hooking up with a troublemaker that is the son of someone Susannah went to school with.  Susannah is sure he is dealing drugs and doesn't want her daughter to be involved with him but trying to talk to her daughter only causes more problems.  Her daughter is just like Susannah was when she was that age and she is learning how her dad must have felt.  

Comeback by Dick Francis

— feeling happy
Comeback - Dick Francis

I've never read a book by this author and I must not have thought I'd like it because I kept putting off reading it.  This book has been on my "to be read list" for years!  I recently joined a group in the discussion threads at Paperbackswap.com called This Book Has Been on My TBR Long Enough.  They start a new thread each month and everyone digs out a book that has been languishing around for the longest and commits to reading it. Many times we find the book was a lot better than we expected it to be.  This is true for my pick for May.

 

I thought this was a good book even though it took me a bit to get used to the different British lingo. I guess I haven't watched enough BBC TV. Peter Darwin works for the Civil Service and is given a new assignment in Gloucestershire, England where he lived as a child. His mother worked as a secretary at the horse races then so he grew up around them and had wanted to race himself one day. He is interested in seeing his old neighborhood again. He befriends a man there named Ken that is a local Vet and surgeon to the racehorses. He confides in Peter that he is worried about his reputation because recently several horses have died unexpectedly during or after surgery. As Peter begins to learn more about this mystery he is also recognizing names and places from when he was a child. Things begin to get more serious when part of the Vet clinic burns and a body is found inside. More horses die mysteriously and Peter has to figure something out fast before there is nothing left of Ken's career.

 

I noticed that Peter is quite the ladies man although there aren't any sex scenes. Even the woman that was described as being less attractive or built like a man with fuzz on her lip etc was someone he was attracted to. This is a minor part of the story.  There are a few f-bombs but not a lot.  

What Amanda Wants

More Than Words, Volume 2 - Debbie Macomber, Sharon Sala, Jasmine Cresswell

In continuing with rereading the Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber I read the short story "What Amanda Wants" in this book.  This story by Debbie Macomber continues along with the Blossom Street series right after the second book, A Good Yarn. Some of the Characters introduced in A Good Yarn are also in this story.  

 

This book contains 5 short stories about inspiring women.  What Amanda Wants is a story about a teenager who finds out her cancer has come back and this time it is worse than before.  She misses out on a lot of things that teenagers look forward to like dances and graduation.  Her friends drift away because they don't know what to do or say.  This isn't just a sad story though and Lydia that owns the yarn store, A good Yarn, wants to help. Read the story to find out how she makes a difference.  

 

That story is also in the book called Stories of the Heart by Debbie Macomber (Goodreads Author), Brenda Novak (Goodreads Author), Meryl Sawyer 

ISBN 0373837690 (ISBN13: 9780373837694)

 

The other stories are also very good.  I've read them before but this time I'm just reading the first one that is part of the Blossom Street series.  The first time I read this book and then swapped it.  I had to get another copy and this time I'm keeping it. 

 

 

Book Diet

I have way too many books.  I just organized them last month.  I had books in every room and in stacks on the floor or boxes in the garage.  I wanted to get them all out so I could get to them easier.  It was a huge mess for a while but I finally got them all sorted and most of them shelved.  I ended up getting a few of those wooden crates from the craft store to use as a temporary shelf for some.  I got all of them listed on goodreads.com and I made a shelf called "books I own" so I could know what I had by looking at the app. That helped a lot and now I don't buy duplicates anymore.  I also made shelves that help me know where to find a book.  

 

Since I've gotten all of my books organized I've been trying to read the books I don't plan to keep so I can make space and get those books on the crates onto my shelves. The problem is I keep seeing books that interest me and getting them.  So far I have acquired more books than I have parted with so I've decided I need to go on a book diet.  

 

I always do better with diets when I keep track of calories.  I decided to make a plan for losing book weight.  Starting May 1st I'm going to consider myself at zero and then, every time I get a new or used book I'm going to count the weight of the book as a gain. Both Amazon.com and pbs.com tell how much books weigh and I can also use my kitchen scale.  Any book I part with can be listed as a loss in oz/lbs.  Library books and ebooks will not count since they don't take up permanent space.  I will just keep track in a notebook.  

 

I really think this will give me the incentive I need to get reading and making room for those books needing shelf space.  After that, I can just make sure I only get books when I have room for them.  

 

Wish me luck!

 

DJ

A Lesson Learned

— feeling sad

Last night I wrote up a post and suddenly started to get tired.  I decided to save it as a draft and finish it in the morning.  It didn't save though and I'm sad.  I did a test with this post to see how it works.  Either my click didn't register or there was a gremlin in the works.  When I clicked "Save as draft" for this one I could tell it worked because the screen changed as the gears turned to release the little elves to move the item to the proper location.  I checked and there is a new link for drafts and I was able to access it and continue.  I guess I need to slow down and make sure things work before turning off my computer.  

 

Oh well, ya live and learn. I looked outside and there are no shards of sky on the ground so all is well.  

 

DJ

A Good Yarn

— feeling love
A Good Yarn - Debbie Macomber

I just finished listening to the audiobook for this today. I'm loving Hoopla digital.  Up until last weekend, I rarely left my house.  I ordered books on amazon.com or from paperbackswap.com.  My books showed up in the mailbox and one of my sons would bring them to me and even open the box for me.  I spend a lot of days in bed in too much pain to move around much.  I send out my used books using paperbackswap's printable postage so I don't have to go to the post office. I just print the wrapper, wrap it up well and stick it in the mailbox.  In the wintertime, my boys take the books out to the mailbox for me.  If you've never heard of paperbackswap, it is a great website for swapping used books.  When someone requests one of my books I wrap it up like I mentioned above, paying media mail postage, and then I get a credit that I can use to request a book I want. I don't have to pay anything other than the credit to request a book.  

 

Anyway, last weekend I was feeling a bit better and wanted to go out for lunch with my husband. He was surprised.  After that, we went to the library and renewed our library cards. I haven't used mine for years. My husband's card was so old he had to get a new card but I just needed to update and get a sticker for mine.  When I got home that day a friend online mentioned Hoopla digital and I downloaded the app.   I've now listened to 2 audiobooks and it was nice to be able to just rest in bed when I wasn't feeling well and just listen.  

 

A Good Yarn

 

 

Linda Emond does a wonderful job reading.  Her voice is easy to understand and easy to listen to.  This is a heartwarming story of Lydia's second year running her knitting shop, A Good Yarn. She decides to have another knitting class, this time teaching how to make socks using two circular needles. When I read this book the first time I also made the sock pattern from the front of the book which has instructions for the 5 needle method also. It is neat when you understand exactly what they are talking about when they are at the knitting class. When they were struggling I understood.

In this story, the characters are all dealing with their own struggles. Elise, a retired school librarian, invested in a new home only to learn the contractor filed for bankruptcy. Now she is wrapped up in a class action suit and she had to move in with her daughter. Bethanne woke up on Valentine's Day to her husband asking for a divorce and now has to find a job so she can help support her 2 teenaged children. Courtney, a young girl whose mother died in a car accident, has to move to Seattle and live with her grandmother for her senior year. She is overweight and is feeling so sad and alone. She misses her family and her friends in Chicago. Lydia and her sister also have their own issues to work through but they are there for each other. Lydia never thought she would be so close to her sister. She also has the 3 ladies from her first knitting class that has become great friends. Together, these women all help to support each other through their difficult times and grow closer in the process.

Just starting here and rereading the Blossom Street Series

— feeling love
The Shop on Blossom Street - Debbie Macomber

I just learned about this website today and it is definitely right up my alley.  I read all the time.  I have chronic pain and other health issues so reading is my escape.  I started a regular blog on blogger but I haven't been keeping up with it.  I realized it is because I haven't been into anything but reading lately.  

 

I just learned about Hoopla digital a few days ago and downloaded it.  Since then, I have listened to two audio books.  I found the audio book for the book I just finished reading and listened to it.  I really don't like abridged audio books but I don't mind so much when I've read the books before.  

 

I decided to reread the Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber.  I really enjoyed the first several (maybe 6?) books I had and I've read them multiple times.  I got to Hannah's List and just couldn't get interested in that one.  I loved all the others before that one, especially Susannah's Garden.  I recently noticed that there were more books to the series that I missed so I picked them up.  I decided to start back at the beginning and read my way through again or listen to the audio books available through the library.  Now I use Fictfact.com to keep track of my series.  

 

The Shop on Blossom Street

 

I feel a real connection with Lydia in this series.  I haven't had cancer but I identify so much with a lot of what she says.  In the very beginning when she is trying to get her older sister to understand what she is going through she said it was as if her sister thought she had chosen to have cancer.  That is also how I feel about my family or friends sometimes. Either they think I should just deal with it, smile and think about puppies and rainbows and I'll be all better, or they think I'm just being weak and whining too much.  No one really understood or seemed willing to listen.  Lydia's sister Margaret finally comes around though.  First, she had her own cancer scare when a lump was found in her breast. Lydia went with her to the follow-up appointment and everything ended up okay.  Then, Lydia had another cancer scare.  Another tumor had formed and had to be removed. Her sister was with her through that and seemed to grow a heart.  I won't say more about this as I don't want to spoil the story for anyone.  

 

In this book, Lydia decided to open a yarn store as her affirmation of life.  She opened the shop with an apartment upstairs using inheritance money from her grandmother. She decided to have a knitting class to draw people into the store, the first project being a baby blanket.  The pattern for that blanket is in the front of the book and I started it.  Maybe I'll finish it someday.  

 

Three very different women signed up for the class.  Lydia wasn't sure the class was going to go well since 2 of the women kept butting heads.  They grew on each other though and ended up becoming very close friends.  I really like Alix because she reminds me of myself.  She is an individual who likes to be different.  Alix wears black and has purple spiked hair.  She is a bit rough around the edges since she had a rough childhood.  

 

Carol decided to sign up for the class when she saw they were making a baby blanket. She wanted desperately to be a mother but so far hadn't been able to carry a pregnancy to term.  She decided this was a sign from God that she was going to need a baby blanket for her child.  

 

Jacqueline is a high society woman who is used to being catered to. She isn't happy about her son's choice for a wife and now they are expecting a baby.  She was hoping her son would come to his senses, realize his mistake and escape from that sham of a marriage.  A baby complicates things though.  Her husband doesn't understand her problem with their daughter in law and encourages her to take the knitting class to make a blanket for their granddaughter.  

 

These three women, so different but all with the same goal, attend the class determined to master the challenge, even if they can't stand each other.  

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The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
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