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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November 2020
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10/31/20
Happy Halloween
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 3:34 pm
We made a round trip journey to Buffalo yesterday, October 30th, (my husband had a doctor appointment), temperatures hovered between 33 and 38. We drove on slushy highways thorough many spitting snow flurries. On the way home at the crest of a hill north of Ellicottville, N.Y. we saw our first snow, just a thin layer of lacy snow on the branches of huge pine trees. It was so beautiful. Snow is predicted for the next two days and I have an appointment to get my winter tires put on November 2. We’ve cancelled our annual  January trip to South Carolina due to Covid.

I’ve started my early Christmas preparations in earnest. Sewing double sided fleece blankets but only 15 this year. Last year I made more than 40. My sewing machine has been a challenge, I’ve had to take it for repair twice in the last 2 weeks. It’s always something!

Our ’sisters writing project’ is progressing slowly, today we tried Zoom but my computer wouldn’t cooperate. So we had a three-way phone conversation, and agreed on a ‘road map’ to continue on through the winter months. It’s a challenge to blend our three different perspectives into one novel. BUT it’s working and worth it!
 
My review of Edith, the Rogue Rockefeller McCormick was posted on Story Circle a couple weeks ago. Just click the link below to read it.
https://www.storycircle.org/book_review/edith-the-rogue-rockefeller-mccormick/.

I’ve read several books in October, a very eclectic list:

When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal. Fiction. 2019. My book club’s choice. A story about two sisters who grew up on the Santa Cruz, CA beaches, until their lives are upended by a ferocious Earthquake and life as they knew is over. One sister becomes an E.R. doctor. The other fakes her death in a train accident in France after drifting around the world in a haze of drugs and promiscuity. She starts her life over in New Zealand with a new identity. It starts a bit slow but quickly becomes a page turner. A very good book. Lots to think about, it should generate a great discussion for our book group.

My Name Is Layla by Reyna Marder Gentin. Teen fiction. 2021. This is an Advance Reader Copy for review. My review should be posted within the week at  https://www.storycircle.org/book_review/  It’s a great little book told in the point of view of a thirteen year old girl. It will show young readers that even when they feel they don’t fit quite right anywhere and even when they make poor choices, there is hope at the end of the tunnel. It will make a wonderful Christmas for our 13 year old great granddaughter. It brought back long ago memories of eighth grade, my least favorite year of school!

The Time of Our Lives by Peggy Noonan. Nonfiction/Essays. 2015. Ms. Noonan was President Reagan’s speech writer and has been a Wall St. Journal weekly columnist since then. She weaves together stories about Margaret Thatcher, Joan Rivers, Tim Russert, 9-11 grief and her own personal rags to riches story as well as personal comments on Reagan. She’s also the author of eight N.Y Times best selling books. This is the first one of her books I’ve read, though I’ve reads some of her columns over the years.

Every Second Tuesday By Elwood
Writers; Jennifer Bryce, Barry Lee Thompson, Helen McDonald and Margaret
McCaffrey. Memoir, Poetry, and Short Fiction. 2020. From the back
cover: A group of writers meet every second Tuesday in a seaside suburb
of Melbourne. They capture points of drama often found in every day
life. Examples:
A man celebrates his birthday alone, content with the solitude.
A woman whimsically irons out the creases of her life.
A couple struggles with the precarious life of their premature baby.
The discovery of a grandfather’s World War I diary, written in the trenches, stirs heart-breaking memories.
It’s
a well written compilation easy to read in snips and pieces, something
to interest almost any reader. I enjoy reading stories with an
Australian human twist. I highly recommend this anthology.

I read two family memoirs by country music stars:
Sister Robbie, True Tales of the Family Band. 2020.  By Willie Nelson and Bobbie Nelson, With David Ritz. It’s the untold story of Willie  Nelson and his sister Bobbie, who, over the years supported each other through personal tragedies and triumphs and forged an unbreakable bond through their shared love of music and family. A fast and interesting read, I am in awe of such gifted musicians. Resiliency is the key word that comes to mind when I think of these fantastic performers. He said of his sister, “…I didn’t understand what was going on, but I trusted Bobbie. She kept saying we were going to win. She had faith. She gave me faith. She promised me that our lives wouldn’t be ruined.”  I could hear the songs in my head as I read some of the stories behind the inspirations to write them. Amazing story.

Me and Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust by Loretta Lynn and her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell. (This daughter is named after Patsy Cline.) Memoir and Tribute to Patsy Cline. 2020. Loretta Lynn arrived in Nashville  sixty years ago, a broke young mother, to take on the country music business. Patsy Cline was already a star. Rather than competing with each other, they forged a friendship and leaned on each other while balancing touring, raising children, writing songs and making dinner. A beautiful up-close and personal portrait of friendship. A very good book,I could almost hear Loretta Lynn’s voice as I read the pages!

We also watched two good movies this month at our local Movie House:

War With Grandpa, starring Robert DeNiro and Uma Thurman. It was good to just sit and laugh out loud at this funny and often silly movie. It was just what we needed. I actually went to see it twice, once with my husband and the second time with a friend who needed a laugh.

Honest Thief starring Liam Neesan. This was a really good movie with surprising clever twists. I highly recommend it. Somehow this familiar actor makes me feel safe and protected even when he plays a thief!

Till next month, stay safe and well my friends.
Keep reading!

Later, Ann



 

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