February 2, 2019

A Month in Summary - January 2019

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, Oregon
January 1, 2019

It's been a little while since my last monthly summary. I like keeping track of my activities, whether they include reading, working on puzzles, entertaining guests or traveling, but the last three months of the year were hectic, stressful and filled with great sadness. I do plan to continue with my travel posts from our two-month road trip (mainly for my own future reference), but I'm not so obsessive that I feel the need to go back and post these monthly summaries for the last quarter of 2018. And with that said, January proved to be a very good month, with regard to the quantity of books read. Typically, I read three or four books a month, but I was on a roll this month. And yet, I didn't read very many from my personal shelves. While picking up a couple of library books for my husband, I decided to wander through the stacks and see what might catch my eye. I wound up with quite a few and five of this month's books were borrowed. 

Books Read in January:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende

And Every Morning, The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes

Ruby by Ann Hood

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (January favorite)

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

First Lines:

Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof. (Anne of Green Gables)

I have lived in Haines, Alaska, all my adult life but there are still times, especially winter evenings when the setting sun washes over the white mountaintops, the sky turns a deep blue, and the water is whipped into whitecaps by the north wind, that I can't believe my good fortune. (If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name)

There's a hospital room at the end of a life where someone, right in the middle of the floor, has pitched a green tent. A person wakes up inside it, breathless and afraid, not knowing where he is. A young man sitting next to him whispers: "Don't be scared." (And Every Morning, the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer)

I remember, in no particular order:
- a shiny inner wrist;
- steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it; 
- gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house; 
- a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams;
- another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;
- bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door;
This last isn't something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn't always the same as what you have witnessed. (The Sense of an Ending)

Olivia had so many things that she wanted to tell the girl who killed her husband that she wasn't even sure where to begin. (Ruby)

Kneeling in the fragrant moist grass of the village green Clara Morrow carefully hid the Easter egg and thought about raising the dead, which she planned to do right after supper. (The Cruelest Month)

My dear Marwan, in the long summers of childhood, when I was a boy the age you are now, your uncles and I spread our mattress on the roof of your grandfather's farmhouse outside of Homs. (Sea Prayer)

Movies & TV Series:

House, MD - We loved this show when it first came aired and have decided to watch it again with my mom, who until now, has never seene it. We are now into Season Four and are hooked. Of course, we're now all dreaming about the terrible diseases we could potentially contract... 

Gifted - Meh. Too sappy.

Cell - I haven't read the book (by Stephen King), but I'm willing to bet it's better than the movie. I do like John Cusak and Samuel L. Jackson, though. Without them, I probably would've turned it off.


We've gotten back to our puzzles and finished a couple from Liberty Puzzles, which are great fun! These wooden puzzles look more challenging than traditionally cut puzzles, but once you get started, they really aren't that difficult.


Travel & Visitors:

The RV was in the shop for some miscellaneous repairs, so we didn't do any traveling for pleasure. However, we did drive up to the Seattle area for my father's funeral in the middle of the month. It was an emotional, yet uplifting weekend surrounded by family and friends, just as my dad would have loved.

Saint Mark's Cathedral
Seattle, Washington

And as often in life, there was a joyful event to offset our sadness. Our daughter, Amy (known to some of you as Fashion Jackson), and her boyfriend Will announced their engagement earlier this week. We couldn't be more excited or happier for them!


  1. You had an awesome month. I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time in 2018 - loved it. Congrats to your daughter - lovely photos of the couple. That puzzle looks amazing and so intricate. Have a wonderful February Les.

    BTW - I love Anne Hood, and just finished Morningstar, which I loved. I read most of her books but, Ruby isn't familiar to me - need to check that out.

    1. Diane, I was really very pleased with my month of reading and look forward to reading more of the "Anne" series. We're so excited for Amy & Will. No specific plans at this point. The puzzle was great fun and very addictive. I"m glad to hear you enjoyed Morningstar. I loved it, too. But honestly, I had to double-check on Ruby to make sure it wasn't written by another author with the same name!

  2. Congratulations to your beautiful daughter and future son-in-law! You had a great month in books. I love puzzles and need to get a Liberty puzzle - they're gorgeous!

    1. Thanks so much, Kathy. We're very happy for them! I'm really pleased with how many books I managed to read in January. Let's see how I do this month! Yes, you should try one of the Liberty puzzles. Such fun!

  3. Yay for Amy and Will! Such a wonderful picture of them. You did have a good month of reading and it's OK to check books out from the library and read them. It really is (says the former library person) - ha! OK, here's a tip about that first line thing - if you forget, go to Amazon's website and many of the books let you take a look at the beginning. You can get your first lines there. I have done that at times, especially for books that I've returned to the library (either print or e-book). That church is lovely. Your pictures are lovely. Hadn't thought about House for quite a while. We watched it when it was initially airing, but got tired of it. Probably won't ever do a rewatch.

    1. Thanks, Kay. We are very happy and excited for Amy and Will. As far as utilizing the library, I'm all for it, but I really want to work on the books on my own shelves, too. :) Thanks for the tip about that first line thing. I updated this post with the missing lines. (You know, I have actually done this in the past, but forgot all about it this time around!). I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying House, MD this second time around. I am ready to take a little break from it, though. Thanks for all the nice comments about my pictures. The cathedral really is quite lovely.

  4. Congratulations again to your daughter and her fiance! What a beautiful couple and wishing them all the best as they embark on a new chapter in their life! I haven't enjoyed a puzzle in so many years. They are fun!

    1. Thanks, Iliana! We are very happy and excited for Amy & Will!

  5. I'm sorry about your father, but glad that your daughter could bring some happiness during the grief. Those Liberty puzzles look like fun.

    1. Thanks, Stacy. It was a very bittersweet month. Yes, those puzzles are a lot of fun and very addictive. I'm ready for another one!


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