Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Family Handyman

The Family Handyman Refresh Your Home and 100 Weekend Projects Anyone Can Do
Refresh Your Home has many tips and techniques to save you money, energy, and frustration. There is a lot of useful information for the seasoned DIYer to the beginner. The book includes pro’s favorite shortcuts, info on which products work best and some funny stories of other homeowner’s bloopers.

100 Weekend Projects has some great ideas with all color photos and easy step by step instructions. (I’ve already arranged to have one project built for me!) I liked the book so much I bought one for a Christmas gift.

Both books would be great to have in your home library.

~ Dixie

Today Will Be Different

By Maria Semple
Audiobook format

Did you, like me, enjoy 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' also by Maria Semple? There are some definite similarities between Bernadette and Eleanor Flood. Each, a middle-aged woman living with her husband and child in Seattle; stay-at-home Moms who previously had prestigious careers; quirky and neurotic people with a dry wit and a hilarious take on everyday life.

In 'Today Will Be Different', Eleanor is the wife to Joe, a hand surgeon who’s a team doctor for the Seattle Seahawks, and mother to young Timby.

Overcoming buried family secrets & painful memories, this is a funny and smart book that made me laugh out loud and the audiobook narrator is the best!

~ Paula

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What We Find

By Robyn Carr

I will try any book written by Robyn Carr but I almost didn’t try this book because I thought what was written on the book jacket sounded like something that would not interest me.  I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself; I have thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Fans of Robyn Carr and folks new to this author, give this book a try, you will enjoy how she represents powerful women and their interactions with other women and men in stressful situations as well as everyday life.  I appreciate how Robyn Carr always leaves you feeling good about the characters and the lives they “live”.

~ Beckie

The Lake House

By Kate Morton

Every family has secrets and the Edevane family is no different. It is 1933 and the Edevane family is hosting their Midsummer party. This all night party is a huge event for hundreds of people and looked forward to with great anticipation. Before the night is over, a great tragedy strikes and life is never the same for this family.

Theo Edevane, the much loved only son, has vanished from his crib. The happiness of this party night has vanished also. The long investigation that ensues turns up nothing and the Edevane family leaves their beloved summer estate for London, never to return.

Seventy years later, Sadie, a young detective stumbles upon the run down mansion and learns of the baby boy who disappeared so long ago. What Sadie uncovers is an astonishing tale of secrets, suspicions and regret. I loved this book, it kept me guessing until the end.

~ Dixie

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Great Shelby Holmes

by Elizabeth Eulberg

This is a fun middle grade mystery. Shelby Holmes is not your ordinary nine year old. She is in sixth grade, barely four feet tall and has bright red hair. What makes Shelby really stand out is her skill as a detective in her Harlem neighborhood. Shelby studies people: what they say, how they act, and what they wear. What Shelby doesn’t understand is friendship. She has never had a good friend and her blunt behavior probably has a lot to do with that.  When John Watson moves into the Harlem neighborhood with his Mom, he wants to find a friend. John is patient with Shelby’s unusual personality so he can figure out how she does the detective work. As Watson learns about sleuthing, Holmes learns about friendship and together they solve a missing dog mystery. Told from Watson’s perspective, the story also touches on Watson struggling with moving often and his parents’ divorce.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

by Elizabeth Gilbert
Image result for Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both were survivors of previous bad divorces. Enough said.) But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving into this topic completely, trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is.


Friday, October 28, 2016

VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good

by Mark Bittman

Image result for VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for GoodSix years ago, an overweight, pre-diabetic Mark Bittman faced a medical directive: adopt a vegan diet or go on medication. His solution was a deal with himself. He would become a “flexitarian.” He adopted a diet heavy in vegetables, fruits, and grains by following a healthy vegan diet (no meat, dairy, or processed foods) all day. After 6:00 p.m. he’d eat however he wanted, though mostly in moderation. Beyond that, his plan involved no gimmicks, scales, calorie counting, or point systems. And there were no so-called forbidden foods—he ate mostly home-cooked meals that were as varied and satisfying as they were delicious, but he dealt with the realities of the office and travel and life on the run as best he could.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Irish Country Love Story

By Patrick Taylor

Patrick Taylor is one of my favorite authors; I truly enjoy John Keating’s reading of his novels. This many faceted work contains many love stories: Young love of engaged Barry Laverty, Fingal’s partner; the love of an ailing pensioner for his old dog that becomes lost; the love of the community for their long time doctor and his threatened home and more.

If Patrick Taylor is new to you or one of your favorites, I’m certain you will enjoy reading or listening to his latest work An Irish Country Love Story.

~ Beckie

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

the life she wants

By Robyn Carr

I almost stopped reading this novel. The background of the story focuses on a Ponzi scheme which is something that is so objectionable to me that I soon had had enough. But I am such a fan of Robyn Carr I thought that I would persevere and read to the end and I’m glad I did.

Emma’s dream life is shattered by her husband’s many extremely bad choices. She is left with nothing and goes back to her home town to try to start living a “normal life”. One of her best friends welcomes her with open arms and a place to stay. Her other best friend, from whom she has been estranged for years does not. Life is very hard and but she is determined to be a survivor.

If you like a good story about powerful women that is thought-provoking with a good touch of humor, you will enjoy “the life she wants”.

~ Beckie

Great Reckoning

By Louis Penny

Great Reckoning is one of Penny's best. Armand Gamache has retired and moved to Three Pines with his wife following his near-death injuries. Gamache is offered the position of Commander of the Surete Academy. This position will allow him to finish rooting out corruption in the Surete at the entry level. Unfortunately, things are worse than he expected. Like many of her stories, there are multiple story lines that are woven together for a fascinating conclusion.

~ Rochelle

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Bicycle Spy

By Yona Zeldis McDonough
(Juvenile book)

Marcel loves to ride his bicycle and dreams of someday racing in the Tour de France. He is happy racing his friends or making bread deliveries for his parents’ bakery. His little town in France is feeling the effects of Germany’s occupation. For two years now, since 1940, the race has been cancelled. As Marcel makes his deliveries, he is often stopped by soldiers and questioned about where he is going and why. Then Marcel discovers that this war is much worse than he imagined. His friend’s entire family is in imminent danger as is his whole family. He can help by taking the most risky bicycle ride of his life. If this isn’t successful, life for these two families will change for the worse.

~ Dixie

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Indian Summer


Starring: Alan Arkin, Diane Lane and Bill Paxton. Eight friends reunite at their summer camp after 20 years. They might be 20 years older but they are still full of fun – practical jokes, races, kitchen raids and those romances that started 20 years ago just might start up again. This is a fun movie. Rated PG-13

~ Dixie

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pushing Up Daisies

By: M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin is perpetually longing after a man and solving difficult mysteries. Pushing Up Daisies continues with this theme. When Lord Bellington wants to turn a community garden area into housing the gardeners are outraged. You may be able to guess what happens to Lord Bellington but the “who-done-it” is not revealed until the end of the story. There are multiple murders and an attempt that failed; Agatha and her crew find out the perpetrator(s) before the police. M.C. Beaton always gives the reader a great story with plenty of twists and turns, I hope you enjoy Pushing Up Daisies as much as I have.

~Beckie H.

Otherworld Series 11,12 ,13

Waking the Witch (Otherworld #11)
by Kelley Armstrong
At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she's having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult.
Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she's been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman's dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.

Spell Bound (Otherworld #12)
by Kelley Armstrong
Savannah Levine is all grown up. As a witch endowed with an array of spells, she is also a force to be reckoned with. As a paranormal investigator she is finally coming into her own. But her last case tore a family apart, and Savannah swore she'd give up her powers to fix the mess she helped create. Someone--or something--must have been listening. Powerless and on the run from witch-hunting assassins, Savannah stumbles upon a gathering storm that threatens the very existence of the Otherworld.

Thirteen (Otherworld #13)
by Kelley Armstrong
War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons. On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival - Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jaime; Hope and Karl, Eve and more...They are fighting for lives.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

At the Edge of the Orchard

By Tracy Chevalier
Audiobook format

The narration of the first section of this novel is split between James and Sadie Goodenough, the parents of a very dysfunctional family. They tell of their struggle to survive after being forced to leave their Connecticut home in 1829. They get stuck in the mud of the Black Swamp (north-west Ohio), a place Native Americans would not live, and decide that this free land will be their home. The next section takes an unexpected turn, a series of letters from one of the children who has left home at age nine.

I don’t like to give away too much of the plot when blogging a book so I am going to conclude by saying that if you enjoy historical fiction you will truly enjoy At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier. To quote Geraldine Brooks: “Chevalier is a master at foregrounding the small, dramatic stories of the overlooked people from the past.”
~ Beckie