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.

July 2024
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Wishing all a Happy Valentine’s Day
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 4:03 pm

The snow looks so beautiful and peaceful, a real winter wonderland.Today’s winter storm reminds me of the snow days of my youth.Although I no longer bundle up to rush outside to build snow forts and sled down the hills. They are wonderful memories, it must have been cold but I don’t remember shivering from the chill, we were always so active. However, when we could barely feel our toes and our fingers were stiff, we’d return to the warm house. Mom would have a big pot of real hot chocolate ready for us, I’ll never forget how good it felt to put our hands around those mugs of the best hot chocolate in the world. I hope today’s children will have similar memories to carry with them.

Christmas is neatly packed away until next November and the busyness of the holidays is over for this season. This gives me and you more time to read. I cozy up with a good book by the fireplace and read my evenings away. I love it! 
Some of the good books Ihave read this month are: 

 This Is Happiness, by Niall Williams. Fiction. Irish Literature. If you are a descendant of Ireland, I don’t care how many generations back, this sweet thought-provoking book could be just what you need to read as you begin the new year. It is a book about coming…coming of age, coming of electricity, and mostly for all the characters in this wonderful novel, about change coming. It is set in Fa-Fa, a small Irish parish, unchanged in a thousand years. But the changes are apparent everywhere. Generations of children have grown and gone off faraway to make their lives. Till there are only a few young stragglers left behind with all the older folks. It is a tender portrait of community. The prose is so beautiful that it must be read aloud at times. I re-read many paragraphs-not because I couldn’t make sense of them but rather because they were simply so cleverly written. The author doesn’t just write pretty words, the characters are well developed and the plot has surprises and depth that stays with the reader long after reading the novel.

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman. Australian historical fiction. It is an unforgettable story that moves between 1960s Australia and WW2 Europe. Fate brings two emotionally scarred people together. Every character steals the readers heart in this beautifully written novel.

The Guardians by John Grisham. Fiction.This is a real page-turner as all of his books are. It is about three attorneys whose life work is to free innocent convicts from prison. An inside look at dirty politics interfering with justice. The protagonist’s humor is refreshing as the tension builds…it started out a bit slow and had many characters to  keep straight BUT was well worth reading. It all came together.  A very exciting and thought provoking novel. Interestingly, in his life away from his writing desk, Grisham serves on The Board of Directors of the Innocence Project. 
  *”It’s fairly easy to convict an innocent man and virtually impossible to exonerate one.”

Lights Out by Ted Koppel. Nonfiction. A relevant book for today’s politically tumultuous times.What would you do if the lights went out for weeks or months and you had no electricity? Without a personal generator: no refrigeration, no heat, no water, no sewage, no phone. if you do not prepare for disaster in advance, your supplies of batteries and bottled water would soon be used up. Food and medical supplies would disappear fast. USA has only three power grids. A cyber-attack on our power gird would cripple much of our infrastructure. “It is not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”    *Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

A Burrowing of Bones by Paula Munier. Fiction. Suspense. Crime. A former military police officer, Mercy Carr, and her former bomb sniffing dog, Elvis spend their days recovering from PTSD hiking in the Vermont wilderness. When Mercy finds an abandoned baby along the trail and Elvis alerts to nearby explosives, it is the only the tip of the iceberg of a web of lies, deceit and murder. A good read. 

We have enjoyed the reruns of Ken Burn’s  History of Country Music,Friday nights form 8 till 10 on PBS. Wonderful entertainment. 

The only movie we watched this month was the new version of Little Women. I believe they’ve made more than enough movies of Louisa M Alcott’s sweet novel! I like movies and books to be told chronologically. This version jumped form the  current days to the old days and days somewhere in between. I had seen several other presentations and read the book, yet I still struggled. A friend beside me was really lost since this was her first experience with Little Women!

Till next time, Please keep reading my friends! 

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