April showers did their work and the early spring flowers were lovely. Then yesterday, May 1, the rains came again. With a vengeance! The downpours continue today and it seems I can almost see the grass growing. Everything is green and beautiful, there have been days that I’ve managed to grab my gardening gloves and get some early gardening done between showers.
Last year I read The Gilded Cage, by Judy Alter. Historical fiction about Potter Palmer and his wife, Cissy and the early days of Chicago, including the great fire and the Columbian Exhibition. It inspired me to see Chicago. My husband had a chance to go to a conference in Chicago. I was excited! We took the train from Buffalo to Chicago for a week in early April. It’s a well organized lovely city, seemingly full of hardworking young people. We did the fascinating Architectural Tour on the Chicago River by boat. Another day we took a city bus tour. We walked the Magnificent Mile. One day we ate lunch at the Palmer House Hilton, and another day we explored on our own and took the El Train for still a different view of the beautiful city. We went to the interactive play, Tony and Tina’s Wedding, that was a fun evening.
The day after we arrived home, we had family visitors stay with us for a week. Our daughter and her friend live in Switzerland. He had never been to the U.S.A. before. He was a gracious and happy guest, curious and enthusiastic about all things American. We enjoyed their time with us.
This has been a good month for reading. And writing. Books I have read this month:
In For A Penny and Not a Penny More by southern writer, Kathyrn R. Wall. The first two novels of the Bay Tanner Mystery series. I cant wait to go back to S.C. and buy the next two novels in the series. Fun reads!
The Mirrored World, historical fiction by Debra Dean. It contrasts the opulent lifestyles of the royal class to the destitution of the multitudes. It shows “….the blessing of friendship, the limits of reason and the costs of loving deeply.” I love Russian historical fiction.
Lion, a memoir by Saroo Brierly, was made into an Academy Award winning movie. I was fortunate to have finished reading the book only a day before we watched the movie. The book was so much deeper and meaningful than the movie. It deals with poverty, hope, and examines what makes a family.
Truly, Madly, Guilty, fiction by Liane Moriarty. She is a very talented writer, unpeeling the story for the reader one onion skin at a time.This book dealt with different kinds of relationships on many levels. It is our book clubs choice for May.
The Longest Ride, a novel by Nickolas Sparks, one of his better books. I enjoyed it.
You can read my review of Shame, Shame, I Know Your Name by Heather Harlan on Story Circle at:
You can read my review of The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah by clicking www.writeradvice.com Then click Hooked on Books on the left side column and scroll to the last review. You may also want to read some of the other reviews too, they all sound like great books.
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I visited State College last week to record four book reviews for WPSU radio. A good friend went with me. We met my cousins for lunch, and we laughed and enjoyed our time together. After lunch we went to the studio and I recorded reviews for the following four books: (I do not know when they will be aired.)
Shame, Shame I Know Your Name, a thriller novel, by Heather Harlan, I love this series and can’t wait till the release of the third in the trilogy!
Mom, Mania and Me, Surviving and Changing a Volatile Relationship, a memoir by Diane Dweller. “Informative and inspiring, this poignant memoir of coping and changing provides hope to others in dysfunctional relationships.”
Time to Heal, American Epochs Vol 3, historical fiction by Todd McClimans. The same characters, Kristi and Ty are in this time-travel book as in the first two. Each could be a free standing novel but I think they are best if read in order. McClimans is a former elementary history teacher who wants history to come alive for his students. In this book they meet Clara Barton on the battle filed as they help the wounded and dying soldiers. Soldiers who are very close their own ages. I believe these books should be required reading for young history classes. It brings history to life. I loved reading them and I’m way past middle school age!
To The Stars Through Difficulty, historical fiction, by Romalyn Tilghman. This is her debut novel and it is a wonderful read. Three diverse women come to the small Kansas town. Each with her own cross to bear. Then there is the history of the Carnegie Libraries and how they impacted the lives of those early Americans. Interestingly, the title of the novel is the state motto of Kansas.
Till next tine, keep reading my friends!