Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann
@ 11:50 am
May is almost here and we’ve had days in the high 70’s this April … as well as 8 inches of snow for Easter with several days well below freezing. On one of the sunny warm days, I set out our porch and patio furniture. I’ve never seen so much snow pile up on our colorful summer cushions before. The daffodils and hyacinths are so hardy that they appear to be happy even after being buried in snow for a couple days. Yesterday I planted a healthy red rhododendron bush to replace one that nourished the deer this past winter. I replanted that one away from the house and hope I can nurse it back to health in the next couple of months. Even as I type this blog, there are snow flurries softly dancing their way to the ground.
My little sister has had a very rough few months with various health problems. Then on April 21, she had a serious stroke that’s left her with left side weakness and slurred speech. After several days in ICU, she is on a Physical Therapy Rehab floor of the hospital. Prayers are welcome for our sweet Sue. Sometimes it seems life is not fair.
I finished reading The Most Famous Man in America, The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher by Debby Applegate. 2006. (It was a National Book Critic’s Circle Award Finalist.) Nonfiction. Three Leaves Press. (500 pages) This is an interesting book, though not a page turner at any point. There were pages and pages of unnecessary tedious details but I’m still glad I read it. (Mr. Beecher was the younger brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) The book starts as he journeys with his wife and many friends on a ship to deliver the unifying speech at Fort Sumter after the Civil War. He was a very well paid, even by today’s standards back in the 1860’s, a charismatic preacher, free spender who never had enough money. A self-absorbed brilliant man who was able to talk his way out many complicated situations during his life. Henry was the son of a famous minister, and the younger brother of several preachers, it seemed that the ministry was the family business. The harshness of pioneer life along the Ohio River in Indiana and back to the east coast, finally landing in Brooklyn with his long suffering wife. The deaths of two of his children in early childhood shook the foundations of his life. He projected himself as a people person, though the author paints a picture of a man who suffered from great loneliness based on the death of his mother when he was a toddler. His views on slavery, politics of the day as well as life in America during the middle and late19th century make this a worthwhile read.
The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark. 2015. Suspense, fiction. Thorndike Press. I hadn’t read a book by this author in several years, and I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded as to why she is so successful. This book was a page turner, I remember reading years ago that Mary Higgins Clark got most of her story ideas from reading the newspapers.This one was definitely inspired by Bernie Madoff. It was an excellent story written by a master story teller. i highly recommend The Melody Lingers On.
Never by Ken Follett. 2021. Suspense, fiction.Viking Press.(802 pages.) i have been a Ken Follett fan for many years. His books are amazing and this is one of his best. It is current day, post pandemic; the terms ‘DEFCON 5′, 4, 3 , 2 and 1 become all too familiar as the characters and plot rotate between Chad/Libya, Washington D.C. and China/North Korea. At first it is challenging to keep the large cast of characters straight, but the tension builds quickly from
the beginning. It’s definitely a page turner. I spent many nights reading by the midnight oil and then tossing and turning as I dreamed about what was happening in Never. I highly recommend this novel.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 2017. Fiction. Washington Square Press. (385 pages) The story of a beautiful ambitious young motherless girl from Hell’s Kitchen, NYC who used her body to get to Hollywood - that was husband number one: Poor Ernie Diaz. Evelyn contacts a famous magazine to request Monique, a relatively unknown writer to do an interview with her. When the interviewer arrives, the aging actress demands she write Evelyn’s biography. And the duo-story unfolds, Evelyn dictates the chronological story of her life as Monique asks probing questions, while dealing with personal issues of her own. This has been a best seller for a couple years, it is our Book Club’s choice for April. I’m hosting Book Club tonight; I’m curious what the reaction will be from the other members. I personally did not like it much, I felt it was another example that being a best seller does not necessarily mean it’s a good book. The ending redeemed the book with me just a bit.
We went to see The Lost City, staring Sandra Bullock. It was a fun evening out with friends, no cooking since the evening included a quick dinner before the show. And we’re still watching Heartland for the second time. My husband just loves the series and we’re noticing so many more details that went over our heads the first time.
Till next time, keep reading friends and please do stay safe and well.