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.
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07/22/17
Hazy But NOT Lazy Days of Summer
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 3:25 pm

Do your days fly by as fast as they seem to for me?! I feel blessed to have many friends and a big family. But wow, keeping up with everyone requires stamina and organization. It seems it is always someone’s birthday! We enjoyed a week at Myrtle Beach, S.C. with most of our immediate family, six were unable to come, we missed them, though there were still twenty-two of us. We celebrated one birthday and one anniversary in our group that week too. We had three, three bedroom condos, side by side. Time shares come in handy sometimes! It was a laid back relaxing fun time. The excitement and wonder of little children is always refreshing, we had four great-grands under the age of six, one more is due any day

Our oldest great granddaughter, age ten, loves to read, I took her to Barnes and Nobles after dinner one evening. Her eyes were popping out, she was so excited! It was her first visit to such a large book store. It was truly fun, I bought her a couple books. She chose them, of course. She will give me book reports when I see her next.

We visited family on the way down and back which extended vacation a bit. Traffic was horrendous on I-95 coming home especially. But we had rented an audio book at a Cracker Barrel that helped keep us focused. (Hint-hint, check out the nice selection of audio books available at Cracker Barrel restaurants if you are traveling. It helps take the boredom out of long drives.)

A few nights ago we went to see War, Planet of the Apes.  When I parked the van, I accidentally backed too far and bumped into a brick building. My husband said he would check for damages. I put the van in park and hurried back to see how bad. He looked glum and pointed to the right rear fender. I looked at it closely and touched the heavy duty plastic fender, stood back and then very firmly hit the van with my hip. Presto, good as new! There are definite advantages to plastic auto parts. Oh, and we enjoyed the movie, too. Andy Serkis, stars as Caesar, is our cousin’s wife’s first cousin. No, we have not met him but we love his acting.

Story Circle made my day a again by choosing me as Reviewer of the Month. Woo-hoo! Click here: to  read my review of Roads by Marina Antropow Cramer. (An excellent book!)http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/roads.shtml   http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/newsletters/170721.html

I have read several books this month, I will share the ones I liked best.

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, fiction. Loved this book but then she is one of my most favorite authors. A simple story, lively, comic and poignant. Blurb on cover: “Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Retold.”  And as with all her stories, the characters stay with the reader long after reading.

Zero Hour, by David Baldacci, fiction. We listened to this exciting book while driving south. From the  John Puller suspense series with layers of government deceit, more murders than we could count, kept us guessing who the good guys were and who all were the bad guys? Great audio for a long trip!

Hope to Die by James Patterson, fiction. An Alex Cross novel, (audio), very exciting with graphic violence, sure keeps one wide awake when driving long distances!

The Dream Lover, by Elizabeth Berg, Historical fiction. The story of Aurora Dupin, i.e. George Sand. She left her abusive husband and pursued her dream of writing in 19th century France. Berg rose to the occasion, careful research with remarkable insights and empathetic character development created a page turner about a literary giant. Definitely worth reading.

Camino Island, by John Grisham, fiction. This was not his typical legalese novel, it was a about the literary world. A world he knows as well as law after all his best sellers. It includes murders, grand theft, deceptive branches of government and colorful characters. A good summer read.

The Forgotten by David Baldacci, fiction. Another suspenseful novel from the John Puller series. Involves human trafficing, murder and deception, even corrupt police proves Paradise is not all it seems to be. Another great summer read!

The Daughter, by Jane Shemlt, fiction. Suspense, thriller - about a family that projects a wholesome image to the world but behind closed doors are slowly falling apart and away from each other, until one event  takes the entire bottom out of their world. Debut novel by a British physician, about a family practice doc who hurries home to fix dinner for her family every day after work, until… Great book! Highly recommend it.

A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline, historical fiction. This was out book club’s choice for the month and what a great choice it was!! One of my favorite books. I liked it even better than The Orphan Train which was wonderful. Christina Olson’s whole life takes place on her remote family farm, sounds boring?  But it’s not, not at all, thanks to the skill and character development of this author. The protagonist had a crippling un-named neurological decease, yet she worked harder every day than most people do in three months. She hosted and inspired the artist Andrew Wyeth, for many years. His most famous painting was Christina’s World, which include her looking at her beloved farm in the painting. Wyeth’s wife and Christina’s lost love, plus her parents and brothers are all well developed secondary characters that add depth to the book.  It is well worth reading.

IF you haven’t read The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls. Please go to your local library and read it ASAP! It is a gripping unforgettable memoir. It’s coming out as a movie, starring Woody Harrelson on August 8th. I watched the movie preview and can safely say, we finally have a grown up drama to look forward to!

Till next time, keep reading my friends.

Later, Ann

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