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February 21, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Coquille River Lighthouse
Bandon, Oregon
October 2017


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For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

February 19, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?




I finished Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (my print book) and News of the World by Paulette Jiles (my audio book) and have started The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. I'm really enjoying this light novella, especially having recently watched two seasons of The Crown. I can hear Claire Foy's voice in my head as I read the Queen's lines and find myself chuckling at some of her thoughts and comments. This is an older book, published in 2007, and one which is certain to entertain bibliophiles, as well as Anglophiles. Now to settle on a new audio book.
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR) is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are, and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever-growing TBR pile! This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at Book Date.

Last Week's Posts: 

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Wordless Wednesday - Little Whale Cove

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Ten

Looking Back - Not Under Forty by Willa Cather


February 16, 2018

Looking Back - Not Under Forty


Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

Not Under Forty by Willa Cather
Nonfiction
1988 University of Nebraska Press (first published 1936)
Finished in August 1997
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

For Willa Cather, "the world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts." The whole legacy of Western civilization stood on the far side of World War I, and in the spiritually impoverished present she looked back to that. To that she directed readers of these essays, declaring that anyone under forty years old would not be interested in them. But she was wrong: since its first publication in 1936, Not Under Forty has appealed to readers of all ages who share Cather's concern for excellence, for what endures, in literature and in life.

My Original Notes (1997):

Fair. Essays regarding Cather's impressions on good literature. None of the essays grabbed my attention. One, I couldn't even finish reading.

My Current Thoughts:

No recollection of this book or the essays. I wonder if I would have a great appreciation for it now that I'm over 40. :)

February 15, 2018

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Ten

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 (Part One)
Port Townsend, Washington 
Point Hudson Marina & RV Park

The sunrise over the Cascades is breathtaking, but I'm afraid my photos don't do it justice. You'll just have to believe me. It was so peaceful sitting on a large log, listening to the birds calling out to one another, the water lapping gently on the rocky shore and the clang of the buoy in the distance. I could easily spend a month at this RV park!










Here it comes!
















Morning glow on the trailer.


Port Townsend

The view from our bed.











Click on photos for a larger view.

February 14, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, Oregon
February 2018


Click on image for full size version.

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

February 13, 2018

Lilac Girls



Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Historical Fiction
2016 Random House Audio
Read by Kathrin Kana, Kathleen Gati, Cassandra Campbell and Martha Hall Kelly
17 hours and 30 minutes
Finished on April 2, 2017
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline's world is forever changed when Hitler's army invades Poland in September 1939 - and then sets its sights on France.


An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.


For an ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems like her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.


The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens, and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents - from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland - as they strive and sacrifice to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.


In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly has crafted a remarkable novel of unsung women and their quests for love, happiness, and second chances. It is a story that will keep listeners bonded with the characters, searching for the truth, until the final moments.


I have become an avid reader of the Holocaust, particularly works of historical fiction. When Lilac Girls first hit the shelves, the cover caught my eye and I was hoping for another book like Kristen Hannah's excellent novel, The Nightingale. Sadly, I felt like the title and cover art were somewhat deceiving. This is not a book about the friendship between three women during WWII, but rather that of three women from very different backgrounds whose lives intersect and overlap as a result of the horrors that took place in Ravensbruck. This is a part of the Holocaust narrative with which I was not very familiar and it was through this novel that I learned about the experimental operations that took place in Ravensbruck. Some of the details of the surgical experiments were very difficult to read. 


It took me a long time to get interested in Lilac Girls, but once each character's story finally merged with the others, I couldn't put it down. The reader for Kasia was excellent, but the one for Herta Oberheuser was disappointing. In spite of my average rating for the novel, it is one that has stayed with me quite vividly.

February 12, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?






After 17 days and 580 pages, I finally finished reading The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I wound up loving the book and am so glad I stayed with it! 

Now I've begun reading Need to Know by Karen Cleveland, which has been getting a lot of buzz. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but I'm intrigued and have a feeling it will be a quick read.

I continue to listen to News of the World in preparation for my book club discussion later this week. I read the book in October, so the story is still very fresh in my mind, but I'm enjoying the audio version just as much as the print edition.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR) is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are, and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever-growing TBR pile! This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at Book Date.

Last Week's Posts: 

Wordless Wednesday - Tulips!

Looking Back - A Map of the World

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Nine

February 10, 2018

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Nine

Monday, September 25, 2017
Port Townsend, Washington
Point Hudson Marina & RV Park


Peaceful sunrise.


Watching the ferry arrive from Coupeville.


Great location!

A little close, but we know our neighbors.




















Adams Street Park












Click on photos for a larger view.

February 9, 2018

Looking Back - A Map of the World



Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
Fiction
1992 Anchor
Finished in July 1997
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

From the author of the widely acclaimed The Book of Ruth comes a harrowing, heartbreaking drama about a rural American family and a disastrous event that forever changes their lives.

The Goodwins, Howard, Alice, and their little girls, Emma and Claire, live on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Although suspiciously regarded by their neighbors as "that hippie couple" because of their well-educated, urban background, Howard and Alice believe they have found a source of emotional strength in the farm, he tending the barn while Alice works as a nurse in the local elementary school. 

But their peaceful life is shattered one day when a neighbor's two-year-old daughter drowns in the Goodwins' pond while under Alice's care. Tormented by the accident, Alice descends even further into darkness when she is accused of sexually abusing of a student at the elementary school. Soon, Alice is arrested, incarcerated, and as good as convicted in the eyes of a suspicious community. As a child, Alice designed her own map of the world to find her bearings. Now, as an adult, she must find her way again, through a maze of lies, doubt and ill will.

A vivid human drama of guilt and betrayal, A Map of the World chronicles the intricate geographies of the human heart and all its mysterious, uncharted terrain. The result is a piercing drama about family bonds and a disappearing rural American life.

My Original Notes (1997):

At first I didn't think I'd like this book. It was too depressing. And it got worse before it got better. However, I became interested in the characters and wanted to know how they all turned out, in spite of all the tragedy around them. As a result, I couldn't put the book down and read at every opportunity. A gripping tale! Emotional themes. Not great, but not bad either.

My Current Thoughts:

I only have a vague recollection of this novel and it's not one I'd want to read again.