December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my dear friends and family!
 Love, Lesley

December 11, 2016

A Month in Summary - November 2016

Can we get a do-over? November was pretty much a bust in more ways than one! I'm surprised that I'm able to list these two books, since I really was in a slump and couldn't focus on reading. Now with all the holiday busyness, I'm not getting much accomplished in the way of reading this month, either.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (borrowed - audio) 3/5

Gemini by Carol Cassella (own) 4/5


Triple Dog Dare Challenge - Seems odd to say that I stuck with the challenge this month, since I only read two books. And yet, the one from my shelf is one I've been eager to read, so I'm glad I had the challenge as motivation.

2 books
1 novels

1 nonfiction
1 new-to-me-authors 
1 print
1 audio
1 female
1 male
1 borrowed
1 from my stacks 

Favorite of the Month: Gemini by Carol Cassella

Reviews to follow

December 8, 2016

Looking Back - When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

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.

When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple by Sandra Martz (Editor)
1991 Papier-Mache Press
Finished on January 10, 1997
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

This enchanting collection of fiction, poetry, and photographs evokes the beauty, humor, and courage of women living in their later years. More than 1.7 million copies have been sold, thanks to its universal message of aging as a natural gift of life. Winner of the American Booksellers Book of the Year Honors Award (1991), and two Benjamin Franklin Awards: for design and content, literature (1988), and for excellence and innovation in marketing, literature (1992), When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple has been applauded for its honest and inspiring approach to the much neglected topic of aging. When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple has created a network of support and encouragement: the sixty-plus men and women whose work is included, the readers who have taken the time to share how the book has touched their lives, and the booksellers who have so graciously recommended it to buyers. Stories and poems such as Warning, Like Mother, Like Daughter, Love at Fifty, Near Places, Far Places, and Dear Paul Newman tell of the endearing moments of joy -- and passion -- to be found in the rich and varied world of midlife and beyond. This award-winning anthology has earned a word-of-mouth popularity because, as the Los Angeles Times said, the time is ripe for such a message.

My Original Notes (1997):

I read the poetry and short stories in this book over the course of a year. After reading the whole book, only one poem caught my attention. It's titled "Translations" by Margaret H. Carson. Other than that, I didn't really care for the book.

My Current Thoughts:

This was certainly a popular book 20 years ago! I wonder, though, if I read it too early in my life. I was only 35 years old! Far from becoming an "old woman." However, I have no desire to find a copy and read it a second time, although I am curious about Carson's Translations. I may have to track that one down and see why it appealed to me when it did.

December 5, 2016

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter, #7
Juvenile Fiction/Fantasy
2015 Audio Pottermore from J.K. Rowling (Originally published in 2007)
Read by Jim Dale
Finished on June 23, 2016
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

It's no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it's up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean.

Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined.

The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry's Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries.

Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.

I feel like this final installment was better than the previous two in the series, but the first two were by far the best. I'm glad to have read all seven books, but I can't say that I'm a huge fan. As usual, Jim Dale is an outstanding reader and without his superb narration, I doubt I would have continued with the audio books.

December 1, 2016

Looking Back - The Country Ahead of Us, The Country Behind

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.

The Country Ahead of Us, The Country Behind by David Guterson
Fiction - Short Stories
1996 Vintage Books (first published in 1989)
Finished on January 6, 1997
Rating: 3/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

Like his novel, Snow Falling On Cedars, for which he received the PEN/Faulkner Award, Guterson's beautifully observed and emotionally piercing short stories are set largely in the Pacific Northwest. In these vast landscapes, hunting, fishing, and sports are the givens of men's lives. With prose that stings like the scent of gunpowder, this is a collection of power.

My Original Notes (1997):

By the author of Snow Falling on Cedars. Good, but not great. Short stories. The last was the best ("The Flower Garden"). Guterson writes beautifully. I just wasn't interested in fishing and hunting themes.

My Current Thoughts:

I wrote about Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars here. I really enjoy Guterson's prose, but I'm not a huge fan of short stories. It would be fun to go back and reread The Flower Garden, but I have no interest in revisiting the entire collection.