Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

June 2018
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June Has Come and Gone…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 5:07 pm

Happy summer everyone! It is 92 degrees, but the humidity is low, this makes the heat more bearable. We mow a very large lawn that claims several hours of my time each week. I finished putting the grub poison around my plants — hostas and the ones normally grub-attacked by the middle of the summer. I have my fingers crossed it will work this year. Dead heading my geraniums and keeping all the flowers fertilized and watered, are summer rituals I enjoy.

Today we visited the Ice Mine in Coudersport, PA. It is a fascinating place and on a hot day, the perfect outing!

My review of Sweet Hollow Women by Holly Tierney-Bedord can be read on at this link:

*We are getting closer to the new book launch, SO, if you haven’t signed up for the Willow Lane Newsletter…you still have time. The first issue will be sent when the launch is ready. Just send your name and email address to me to confirm you want to be added to the mailing list.

I have read several interesting books this month:

Book Friends club read was The Woman in the Window, debut novel by A.J. Finn. 2018. Fiction, psychological thriller. It was a page turner, generated a good discussion at book club. Dealt with agoraphobia, personality disorder, delusions, and the list goes on. A good book, perhaps over-rated a bit.

The Devil Amongst The Lawyers by Sharon McCrumb, 2010. Historical fiction, a Ballad Novel. I always enjoy reading her books, she’s definitely a master story teller. And she knows her Appalachian mountain people well. Set in 1935, when a beautiful young school teacher is charged with murdering her father in a remote Virginia mountain community. The deception of the famous national press writers vs. the entry level local reporter was like a night and day battle for truth. His editor screamed at him, “…You’re paid to report the facts. Nobody cares what you think!” Family values, sensationalized news reporting and PTSD were all significant factors.  Excellent book. (I couldn’t help thinking, IF ONLY the news media today would report the facts and keep their opinions to themselves!)

Faith by Jimmy Carter. Memoir, 2018. Quote from inside book jacket: “The issue of faith arises in almost every area of human existence, so it is important to understand its multiple meanings. In this book my primary goal is to explore the broader meaning of faith, its far reaching effect on our lives, and its relationship to past, present and future events in America and around the world.” A memorable and interesting book, I highly recommend it. President Carter is one of America’s most respected and admired citizens. He still teaches Sunday School about once a month, the clock is ticking if you ever thought about attending that class, better to go sooner than later!(We had the honor of attending his Sunday School class in Plains, GA about five years ago. it was one of the highlights of our lives. Our photo with him and Roslyn is proudly displayed on our fireplace mantle!)

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Historical fiction. 1961. A coming of age young adult novel especially for boys. I read this one with my oldest son many years ago and re-read it now as part of the PBS 100 Books to read, in order to write a review. It was a wonderful book and evoked many warm memories from my first read. I highly recommend it. 

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova. Fiction. 2018. Another BIG winner from Ms. Genova, who has become the reader’s favorite guide on neurological disorders. What could be worse for a famous concert pianist than ALS? Two flawed characters learn to forgive and reach out to each other as the future opens up for one and life slips away from the other. And excellent book, I highly recommend it!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Fiction. 2018. Powerful, nothing is as it seems as the writer takes us inside the lives of her characters. She explores a microcosm of American society. A story that can easily shake the reader’s attitudes about life. A very good book.

The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts. Historical Nonfiction. 2017. This book was about the daring mission to rescue the priceless stallions kidnapped by the Nazis; very detailed and thoroughly researched, BUT such a worthwhile book. I loved it. It gave me new respect for our brave soldiers during WW2…and I already had a way above average respect. Also renewed my respect for excellent research writers. Letts is definitely one of the best! Disclaimer: I am a horse lover. If you love horses and history, this could be a perfect book for you.

The Bookie’s Daughter, A Memoir of Growing Up in a Crazy, Crime-Ridden Family, by Heather Abraham. Memoir. 2013. The author states, “I was a child of crime not by choice but by birthright.” It was a dark comedic family saga, a wild ride through a childhood dominated by Big Al, the author’s larger than life bookie father and Bonnie, her trigger happy alcoholic mother. She and her sister’s childhood norms were gambling, police raids, trials public scorn, hitmen, IRA gunrunners, pedophiles, bodyguards and midnight runs for illegal goods. I enjoyed the author’s wit and openness as I gasped and laughed out loud as I read about her life, so very different from my sheltered childhood on the farm.

We are still watching 24, season 2. It is so exciting! We also watched Olive Kitteridge, but I was a bit disappointed by the screen play. NOT the way I remembered the novel. We watched two good movies, both were based on real life stories.: Molly’s Game and All the Money in the World. Both excellent thought provoking movies.

Till next month, keep reading my friends and enjoy the lazy hazy days of July.

Later, Ann

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