A Book for Going and a Book for Coming Home

We picked up child number 2 from school this week.  It's quite a trip, about 10 hours each way, and it's a perfect time to get some reading done (my husband prefers to do all of the driving). The Ladies of Ivy Cottage and The Bride of Ivy Green are books 2 and 3 in the Tales from Ivy Hill trilogy.  They're set in Regency era England about 10 years after Jane Austen's novels would have taken place, if you enjoy Jane Austen's work, I think you might enjoy these stories.  They aren't written on the level of Austen, but there are elements that have a familiar Austen feel.  The trilogy follows friends Jane Bell, Mercy Grove, and Rachel Ashford, three single women trying to find their way and make ends meet in an era when not having a husband (or rich brother, father, or uncle) could be difficult on a good day.  What I liked:  There was romance, but it didn't dominate the story line.  The situations the ladies found themselves in were pretty plausible (Jan

Screen Free Week April 29 - May 5, 2019

In honor of Screen Free Week, I will not be on my devices at all this week.  I'll be reading, writing letters, catching up with friends, and all sorts of other things.  If you'd like to participate, but don't know where to start I recommend that you check out  events for Screen Free Week  that are happening near you. See you on May 6!

A Little Mystery...A Little Out of Order!

Death Comes to the School by Catherine Lloyd This is book five in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery Series that I read AFTER I read book six.  Clearly I was a little confused when I checked these out of the library!  Mysterious notes without a return address begin arriving at different homes around the village of St. Mary, nasty notes that threaten to reveal secrets that the villagers would prefer were left hidden.  Then the school teacher, Miss Broomfield, is found at her desk - dead!  Is Miss Broomfield's death somehow connected to the notes?  Did she write them?  Did someone else?   Even though I read the books out of order, the mystery itself wasn't ruined for me in any way.  It was still a fun way to spend my weekend with just enough suspense to keep me guessing.  Some of the relationship story between Lord and Lady Kurland I already knew how it was going to resolve, because I read the books out of order, but as I said it didn't ruin the main story for me.  I e

A Little Mystery

Death Comes to Bath by Catherine Lloyd When Sir Robert and Lady Kurland take themselves to Bath for the improvement of Sir Robert's health, they have an opportunity to make a new friend in Sir William Benson.  Their pleasant trip is unpleasantly interrupted by the murder of the very wealthy Sir William Benson.  The Kurlands come to the aid of the Benson family and sleuth out "whodunnit" and find the missing will.   This is the sixth book in the series.  The mysteries themselves are stand alone stories, but you will want to read them in order to find out how Sir Robert and Lady Lucy Kurland meet and marry.  The first book in the series is called Death Comes to the Village.  All of the mysteries were fun and clean.  I confess, I had an idea of who committed the murder about three quarters into the book, but my reasoning for the motivation was wrong.  These are still great books to just kick back and enjoy on a relaxing weekend or as a beach read. Until next

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I wanted to know what the buzz was about and why I kept seeing this book go through the library at lightning speed, so I put the book on hold and finally read it last weekend.  Ms. Hollis is an engaging writer and excellent story teller.  I can totally understand why people enjoy her website, blog, and books.  I do think that we women have a tendency to put ourselves last and not achieve the goals we hope to do and she had some great advice on how to change that.  Before or right after you read this book, I suggest that you read this  review .  There is good advice to be had from this book, but we need to be wise in what counsel we follow.  There were some pieces of advice I intend to follow, but I recommend this book to you with reservations.

A Political Read

I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening) by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers What I liked about this book: This was a challenging read.  Regardless of which party you are registered with or how you voted in the last election, you will be challenged to think differently if you read this book.  We all need that.  I liked that we were encouraged to speak graciously and listen kindly.  Seriously, the screaming has got to stop if we intend to move forward as a nation. Their mantra is "both things can be true" - as in maybe we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Sometimes we are able to take part of your answer and part of my answer and bring them together to make a third solution that is better and more complete than either of our solutions would have been on their own.  What I didn't like about this book: There was no call to personal responsibility.  In discussing the opioid  crisis, the responsibility was placed s

What I've Been Reading Lately

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts This is a work of historical fiction about Maud Gage Baum, L. Frank Baum (the author of Wizard of Oz), and the making of the movie.  The story is told in a flashback format alternating between 1939 when Judy Garland was making the movie and the 1880's when the Baums met, courted, and eventually married.  This was well-written and I wanted to finish the book (I didn't have to force myself to).  I learned many things I didn't know about the author, the writing process, and the movie industry in the late 30's.   Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung Full confession:  This is a re-read from last year.  I loved this graphic novel so much that I needed to re-read it before I read her new graphic novel.  As an introvert I totally identified with many of the things that Ms. Tung described in her book.  I laughed out loud on several occasions - scaring my husband! Book Love by Debbie Tung If you are a rea