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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Did you grow up loving Nancy Drew mysteries?  I know I did and I think I read every one of them that was available to me.  My book today which is “A Duty To The Dead” by Charles Todd is a lot like a grown up version of the Nancy Drew series.

“Tuesday, 21 November, 1916. 8:00A.M.

At sea…

This morning the sun is lovely and warm.  All the portholes below are open, to allow what breeze there is to blow through the lower decks and air them.”

The main character, Bess Crawford, is a nurse during World War I and makes a promise to a dying soldier.  She doesn’t want to shirk her “duty to the dead” so she delivers the soldier’s message which gets her involved in a family murder mystery that has gone on for years. 

If you are a historical fiction fan along with a mystery fan, don’t miss this great book.  I can’t wait to read the next one!

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings today.

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“As the wind blows through our bedroom window, it sounds like a whistling teakettle.  As I wake, for a split second, I forget where I am.  As soon as I see our suitcases piled next to the closet door, in the exact place where we dropped them, I remember.  Etta’s wedding, though it was just one week ago, already seems like a faraway dream.”

This is the first paragraph from “Return To Big Stone Gap” by Adriana Trigiani and it is the final book in The Big Stone Gap series.  I am actually re-reading these books and I don’t do that very often.  That shows just how much I enjoy Ms. Trigiani’s characters and stories.  The people in her books are real.  They have flaws and problems, but they also have so much love for each other.  I highly recommend this series and any other books by this author.

Thanks for joining me today for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.

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Welcome to a special edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  Well, it is special for me because today I am writing about the eighth Outlander novel called “Written In My Own Heart’s Blood” by Diana Gabaldon.  It follows the story of Jamie and Claire during the start of the Revolutionary War.  Here are the first lines:

“June 16, 1778

The forest between Philadelphia and Valley Forge

Ian Murray stood with a stone in his hand, eyeing the ground he’d chosen.  A small clearing, out of the way, up among a scatter of great lichened boulders, under the shadow of firs and at the foot of a big red cedar; a place where no casual passerby would go, but not inaccessible.  He meant to bring them up here – the family.”

Whenever I read one of Ms. Gabaldon’s books, I just get lost in it.  I could read for hours at a time (if that were possible with a full time job and a household to take care).  I was overjoyed to read it, but sad to see it end.  Bring on number 9!!

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Please join me at this week’s Book Beginnings link party hosted by Rose City Reader.  My book today is “The King’s Deception” by Steve Berry which is the eighth book in the Cotton Malone series.  Here are the first lines:

“Prologue

Whitehall Palace

January 28, 1547

“Katherine Parr saw that the end was approaching.  Only a few more days remained, maybe a mere few hours.”

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I enjoy historical fiction regarding England’s royalty and that this book started with that was a pleasant surprise.  As usual, this book is a fun adventure with lots of historical references thrown in. 

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It is time for another edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  Head on over to her blog when you are done here to read about many other blogger’s book choices.  There is always an eclectic mix of titles and authors there.  Thanks also to Rose City for hosting every week!

My book for today is another great story by Adriana Trigiani named “The Surpreme Macaroni Company” and it is a continuation of Valentine Roncalli character:

“The Hudson River lay flat and black like a lost evening glove.  The clouds parted overhead as the distant moon threw a single, bright beam over lower Manhattan as though it were looking for its other half.”

Isn’t that a beautiful description?  I am a huge fan of Adriana Trigiani’s writing as you can tell since I have used two of her books in a row.  The Big Stone Gap series is still my favorite, but this series is in a close second.

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Thanks for joining me today for Book Beginnings.  Join in if you like,  just grab the book your are reading or want to ready.  Jot down the first line or two and give us your feelings about the book.  That’s all there is to it.  Link up at the Book Beginnings party hosted by Rose City Reader and let the fun begin!

My book today is “Milk Glass Moon” by Adriana Trigiani and it is the 3rd installment in the “Big Stone Gap” series.  Here are the first lines:

“The Wise County Fair is my daughter’s favorite event of the year, and I think it’s safe to say that includes Christmas.  Etta has been on her best behavior for the past two weeks, so perfect down to the smallest detail including unassigned chores like making my bed and weeding my garden) that I’m worried.”

I love this series and this author.  Her characters are so real that you think you might be reading about your neighbor down the street or even a relative.  These are people I would love to meet in real life. 

From the first book to the last, Ave Marie seems like she has changed so much, but deep down she is the same scared and vulnerable “strong” woman that we met in the beginning.

I hope you gives these books a try.  Ms. Trigiani’s writing is among the best I have read.

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Please join me at Rose City Reader for today’s edition of Book Beginnings.  The book I am spotlighting today is the 2nd of a 3 book series by Adriana Trigiani called “Big Cherry Holler”.  It continues the story of Ave Maria, a small town pharmacist and self proclaimed “spinster” that is a spinster no more.  Here are the first lines:

“The rain is coming down on this old stone house so hard, it seems there are a hundred tap dancers on the roof.”

What a picture those few words paint!  I can just see an old stone farmhouse up in the mountains with rain just pouring down around it.  It seems a little gloomy at first, but if you think about it, the hominess of the situation can shine through as well.

This series of books is so good and the stories told by Ms. Trigiani ring true even though they are fiction.  The characters are so real and relatable that you think she might be writing about you or your next door neighbor.  I can’t recommend them enough!

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The book I am spotlighting today is by first time author, Lauren Graham, who used to star in one of my favorite television shows.  She played Lorelei Gilmore in The Gilmore Girls.  My mom and I both loved that show and would watch it together when we could and always talk about it afterward if we weren’t together when it was on.  Such happy memories!

Anyway, her book is titled Someday, Someday Maybe and tells the story of a young woman trying to make it as an actor in New York City.

“Begin whenever you’re ready,” comes the voice from the back of the house.”

Yes, this story has been told over and over, but Ms. Graham’s writing is fresh and lighthearted.  I really enjoyed this book and hope to see more from her.

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Please join me for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  There is always an eclectic list of books on the list sure to inspire you.  My book today is the next Cotton Malone book by Steve Berry called “The Jefferson Key”.

PROLOGUE

WASHINGTON, D.C.

JANUARY 30, 1835

11:00AM

President Andrew Jackson faced the gun aimed at his chest.  A strange sight but not altogether unfamiliar, not for a man who’d spent nearly his entire life fighting wars.

The first 6 Cotton Malone books were mostly set in Europe and Asia, but this one takes place right here in the good ol’ USA and it makes for a welcome change of pace.  I loved the National Treasure movies and, if you enjoyed them, you will love this book.  It really isn’t necessary to read them all in order (though it does help with the character development), so if you want to give these books a try, try this one!

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Do you ever have a time when you want a new book to read, but you just don’t know what you want?  I found this book during one of those searches.  Any member of our local public library can use their library card number to access thousands of online books, both new and old.  C & I both love to do this and I know I have had access to books that I wouldn’t have otherwise by doing this.  There were a couple of books that I was interested in, but they weren’t available at the time. 

While browsing, I found The Winter Prince by Elizabeth Wein.  Here is the first line:

“He sat on the floor before the hearth with his knees against his chin, the flames at his back, and warily watched his father’s face.”

This is a story of King Arthur’s children and it actually a young adult novel.  If you read my blog, you will know that I am a huge fan of historical fiction, but this wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t a terrible book, but I got a little bored while reading it.  AND, if it’s supposed to be a YA novel, there are some very adult themes in this book.  Parents, take note that you may want to review this book first to make sure it is appropriate for your child.

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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