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!

Review
4 Stars
The Voice on the Radio
The Voice On The Radio - Caroline B. Cooney

This story continues to be an emotional roller-coaster. It seems like nothing could be worse than the way it started but it did get worse. Of course, Cooney did a wonderful job at wrapping up. I can´t wait to see what happens in the next book.

Review
5 Stars
The Last Leopard
The Last Leopard - Lauren St. John

I am 46 years old and love these books. Lauren St. John writes in magic ink. I want to read every book she has ever written, minus the golf books. I just can´t get excited about those little balls. White giraffes, dolphins, leopards etc are a different story. I think everyone should read these books. Her stories are pure magic.

Review
3.5 Stars
1st to Die
1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1) - James Patterson
Lindsay is an inspector for the San Francisco Police Department. She gets hit with world shattering news about her health the same day she meets Chris Raleigh, who has been assigned to work with her on a potentially messy case. He works for the mayor and his job is to keep things neat and contained as much as possible while also helping with the case. They are trying to catch a killer who murders newly weds. Cindy, a reporter for the Chronicle who is trying to get a scoop on the case somehow manages to get up to the floor of the hotel where the first murders were committed. She gets a peek at the groom on the floor by the door before she is found and hauled out. Later, Cindy sees Lindsay go into the ladies room in an emotional mess and follows her. She didn´t just push for details though, she was kind. She is smart and a good reporter but also seems to be human and possibly a good friend. Later when they meet again where another newly married couple have been reported missing Lindsay decides to make a deal with Cindy to keep things under control. They end up becoming friends in the process. Lindsay, who is dealing with this new shock about her health decides she has to solve this case and decides to ask some female friends for help. She and three other women who have also clawed their way to the top in their respected fields decide to put their heads together and work on the case independently. They meet regularly to discuss the details of the case while Lindsay and her partner track down more leads officially. It was the start of the Women´s Murder Club.
 
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This book was interesting enough but I did think some things were kinda dumb, like the name of the club.  I also find it very unlikely that a reporter, cop, and DA would be willing to work together on a case.  I also got REALLY sick of the name Lindsay.  Some things I saw coming but not every detail.  I liked this book but in a cozy-mystery kind of way and not like a thriller.  
 

 

Review
2.5 Stars
The Lottery Winner
The Lottery Winner: Alvirah And Willy Stories - Mary Higgins Clark

This is a series of short stories about a working class couple that won the New York State Lottery and became millionaires. They are a cute couple and definitely good for a few laughs. Alvirah is pretty sharp and is good at solving mysteries. 

This book was okay but nothing exciting.

Review
3 Stars
Weep No More, My Lady
Weep No More, My Lady - Mary Higgins Clark

I enjoyed this story even though I knew who the murderer was from page 48 or a little before. MHC attempted to make all the main people seem guilty at different times but I always went back to the same person. The whole time I hoped I´d be wrong but no. It was still an interesting story and I´m glad I finally read it. 

Leila, a famous actress is found dead after she had begun to unravel and had been drinking heavily. Everyone knew something was wrong and her last performance in a play was very bad. Many people believed she could have committed suicide by intentionally falling off the balcony of her apartment until a witness claimed to have seen her fiance push her. Her sister, Elizabeth, was shocked and didn´t want to believe it but she heard him yelling at her sister over the phone just before she died. The witness said she saw him push her over 1 minute after her sister hung up the call. One week before the trial was to begin Elizabeth got an invitation to the spa owned by their friend. She didn´t want to go but decided to go so she could talk to her sister´s secretary who had something important to tell her. After her sister died her secretary went to work at the spa and she thought she knew why Leila was so upset just before she died. Shortly after she arrived at the spa Elizabeth realized it was a mistake to go and she better watch her back.

Review
0 Stars
All She Ever Wanted
All She Ever Wanted - Lynn Austin

I didn´t get a change to review this when I finished it.  I think the site was down for maintenance or something.  

 

This book was so good that I have been feeling out of sorts since finishing it.  I miss it.  It is a Christian Fiction that wasn´t a flimsy romance story.  It wasn´t even just ONE story.  It started with one story and then gradually unfolded into several stories that intertwined and slowly revealed a total picture of one family.  No one knew all of the story but when they got together the pieces all fit.  

 

The story starts out with a mother who is having a very bad day.  She argued with her boss and walked out and now thinks she may be fired for it.  She was sitting in her car when she got the call that her teen daughter had been caught shoplifting at the mall.  Her husband decided to send her daughter to a counselor to see if they can help.  The counselor discovers that the daughter is acting out because she wants a closer relationship with her mother.   She said her mother never talks to her and she knows nothing of her mother´s family.  She wishes she knew her grandparents and aunts and uncles but her mom won´t speak of them.  One day in therapy the counselor wants her mother to join in on the session and the daughter pulls out a birthday invitation that had been crumpled up and tossed in the trash.  It was a party her aunt Annie was throwing for her grandfather.  She asked her mother why she doesn´t know her aunt or her grandfather and why she won´t go.  Finally, in an effort to repair her relationship with her daughter she decides to go.  She and her daughter go on a road trip and as they drive she tells her story, the story of her childhood.  

 

That is just the beginning though and as they arrive and meet more people they hear more stories and slowly begin to understand why people behaved the way they did.

Review
3 Stars
Tidewater Inn - Colleen Coble

This is another good fiction story by Colleen Coble. I enjoyed the mystery but as with her other books I´ve read, there are always a few details that bother me. In this story there is one detail that is mentioned in one part (mentioned at the dinner table at the Inn with everyone present) and then later the same detail comes up again and some of the people that had been at the table earlier were surprised. It seems like an editor would catch that or the author would reread the book before publishing. That is just one thing. There were some parts that were just not realistic.  It was still good though and I´m glad I read it.  I´m just not sure I want to read the rest of the series.

Spanish

I´ve been trying to learn Spanish on my own for a couple years now and haven´t gotten very far.  I do know some basic stuff that is a little useful but not enough to say much or have a conversation.  I got this thing in the mail before I went on my trip to California and just happened to pick it up just before the sale was over.  I ordered a Beginning Spanish course and I´m already very happy with it.  I haven´t received the DVD or the book in the mail yet but I can access the material online.  I finished the first lesson and feel pretty good about it.  I´m going to practice that lesson more for a few days and see if I can keep more of it in my head without leaks.  I may need some corks.

 

Anyway, if anyone cares I ordered it through The great courses.  There are many other classes but I honed right in on what I wanted.  It is taught by an actual professor dude from the University of Alabama.  I looked him up and found him on their website.  Can you tell I´m a skeptic?  

 

One thing I was always frustrated with when trying to learn with other apps, sites and misc other things was organization of the material.  I have learned a lot with Duolingo but they throw verbs out but don´t really teach how to know which form to use well.  I wanted a book that laid out which to use is a chart.  I learn best from books.  Go figure.  

 

This course teaches using video, audio, and a book.  The dude is very easy to follow and doesn´t talk to fast.  I listened to the audio portion which had the vocabulary words and practice phrases etc.  There were a few things I didn´t get but the book helped with that.  Now I hope to be able to understand all of it when I listen again.  

 

There was another app that I was using that was teaching greetings and responses.  It went through the conversation way too fast for me and I was so confused.  After just doing the first lesson of this I understand it so much better.  

 

I sound like an infomercial.  I am not just a student, I´m also not the president.  

Review
4 Stars
The Wedding Dress
The Wedding Dress - Mary O'Donnell

This is one of my favorite books from this series so far. I was a little annoyed at first because there was so much refreshing of the previous books but the story was very good. I really like the historical aspects and how they connected with the present. 

Annie is moving things in the attic to make room for a handyman to install new lighting. She decides to move the dressmakers manikin to another room. When she moved it she was surprised to find that it had been standing on a hand-painted hat box. The was curious what was on the manikin so she carefully unpinned and removed the sheet covering it. She was shocked to find a beautiful antique wedding dress with crochet accents. When she opened the box she found a matching veil and gloves. She doesn´t remember seeing the dress when she was younger and she knew it wasn´t her grandmother´s dress. She´d seen picture of her grandmother´s dress and this one seemed to be from an older generation. Annie told her friend about the dress when she attended the weekly Hook & Needle club meeting and they all had questions. Someone mentioned it could have been left by the original owner, a sea Captain named Grey. Ann learned that her home, Grey Gables, which she inherited from her grandmother had been named after him. Now she wants to learn more about this man and the wedding dress.

Quote
I´m thinking you could serve baked filet of sole with Lobster Newburg sauce, over a bed of rice pilaf with a nice watercress/Boston lettuce salad on the side, and flambéed pears and frozen gelato served with espresso for desert. Can you handle that?

Of course. I may have to substitute a can of tuna for the filet of sole, and a can of cream of chicken soup for the sauce, but I´m sure I have a box of Rice-A-Roni. We can try to light a can of fruit cocktail on fire but it may not be the same.
The Wedding Dress - Mary O'Donnell

From page 151

Review
3.5 Stars
What Matters Most
What Matters Most - Cynthia Victor

This book almost lost me at first. I was a little put off by some stuff in the beginning and I almost stopped reading it. It got better though and I had to know how it ended. I felt the ending was rushed compared to the rest of the book and could have been better. Still, I´m glad I finally read this book that has been on my bookshelf for over a decade. 


Lainey has been best friends with Farrell since grade school and she loves her kids, Riley and Tim. At a Christmas party at their house she admires the life her friend has. She finally gets a job offer to design her own cartoon character and her career is about to take off when she gets a call that rocks her world. Her friend and her husband have died in a freak accident and Lainey had agreed to be their guardian if anything happened to them. She never thought anything would really happen and realized she had been too quick to agree to just drop her life and take care of her friend´s children in their own home. She does love the kids though and she did her best to juggle her job and take care of them while they are going through the trauma of losing both parents but she notices some things that bother her. She starts to wonder if it was really an accident that took her friend´s life.

Life and such

Buddy the beagle just noticed a diamond shape on the linoleum and is trying to ¨dig it up¨.  The diamonds are all over but he only cares about that one for some reason.  I wish the floor had more texture so he could file down his nails some doing that.  

 

We are getting ready to go on our vacation to California tomorrow night and my husband caught the crud I had.  My son and I both had the stomach flu for a good week.  Yesterday was the first week I´ve been totally better.  My husband is just starting now and going to be stuck on a plane and traveling with that.  I´ll make sure he packs extra underwear and maybe some depends. My husband is going to hang out with us at his mom´s house and then he is going to fly to another city in California where a friend lives and then they are going to drive to Vegas.  I´ll stay with my MIL where I can be more comfortable.  We will have our own fun.  She will probably want to go play some slots there in Cali though and I find that really boring.  You don´t even pull levers anymore, just push the button, spin, bloopidee-bloop, nothing....push the button, spin...etc  I would rather go shopping since they actually have places to shop there.  

 

I´m excited to go though.  I can´t wait to see GREEN TREES and FLOWERS.  My MIL said there are some things blooming in her yard.  

 

My book is not making me happy.  It is in rough shape so if it doesn´t get better I´m tossing it.  

Currently Reading
What Matters Most - Cynthia Victor

I decided to finally read this book so I can lay it to rest.  It is in sad shape.  

 

Does anyone use the website www.paperbackswap.com? I have used it for years and love it.  I participate in a group there where every month they pick a book that has been languishing on their TBR list and read it and then post their star rating and review.  At the end someone else from the group can request a book from the list of reviewed books.  If a book is unpostable because of damage or whatever, according to the rules of the website, then we just write that it is unpostable and for what reasons and the other people can decide for themselves if they want it anyway.  Some people will send those books for free.  

 

I participated in that group for most of last year and moved a lot of books off of my TBR list and some of them I ended up loving. I also acquired a few good books too but I´ve been trying to make room on my shelves so I didn´t request many.  

 

This particular book is falling apart as I speak so I´m sure no one will want it but it looks interesting.  I´m just having a hard time getting the last book out of my head.  

Review
0 Stars
The Woman in Cabin 10
The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

I listened to the audio version of this book and really enjoyed the narrator. I was frustrated with the main character because she seemed odd. If you only read the parts she spoke you would think she was mentally disabled. She stammered all the time and did not seem like the professional journalist she was supposed to be. Sure she was having trouble with anxiety but I don´t believe she would have been sent on this trip. She just didn´t seem capable of her job....or speaking. I did enjoy the book though and definitely recommend the audio book.

 

Lo wakes up one night and realizes something isn´t right.  She isn´t sure what woke her up but her bedroom door is shut and she didn´t shut it.  She opens it and sees a man standing there.  He has a mask on and surgical gloves and in his hands was her purse.  She is paralyzed with fear.  The man suddenly slams the door in her face and smashes the lock, trapping her in her room.  Her face was hit by the door when it was slammed and she is dazed and bleeding.  She can´t call for help since her phone was in her purse.  When she finally gets out she finds the intruder is gone and so is her purse with wallet and ID.  He also took her computer which had her banking into on it.  She puts on a brave face but inside she is traumatized.  She calls to tell her employer why she didn´t come in but she said she was fine for the cruise she was set to go on.  Lo is a travel journalist and excited to finally get a chance to prove herself.  The trip was going okay until she woke up suddenly.  She thought she scream and then she heard a big splash like someone someone falling into the water.  She looks out and thinks she sees a hand below the surface.  She called to report it but the chief of security doesn´t believe her... because no one was missing.  The person who was going to be in cabin 10 cancelled at the last minute.  But Lo talked to a woman that was in there and borrowed a mascara from her.  Now she is sure someone killed her and threw her overboard.  How could she get them to believe her?

Review
5 Stars
The Silver Suitcase
The Silver Suitcase - Terrie Todd Wetle

This is such a touching story. I will be looking for more from this author. I especially loved the ending. The whole thing is well thought out.

Sometimes when you are going through hard times it helps to read about someone else that is going through harder times and still keeping their head up through it. Cornelia lost her mother on her 12th birthday and she hates God for taking her away. She keeps that inside though and doesn´t tell anyone. She just keeps writing in her dairy. When she is older a young man named Henry from the city comes to spend the summer with some family and help on their farm. Henry and Cornelia fall in love and everything seemed perfect until Henry decides to join the military. Cornelia is heart broken when he is killed in an accident before he even makes it to the war. Things get even worse for her but something unexpected happens and changes her perspective and that helped her through the toughest and loneliest times. This story has a ripple effect and Cornelia´s legacy affects many others, including me.

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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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