Wow! Another month has slipped by; it seems like we were celebrating Memorial Day just a few days ago, and already it’s June 30. We’ve had some lovely summer weather, a few very hot days but mostly mild temps, with just the right amount of rain to keep everything green and lush- I love Pennsylvania’s green beauty. We’ve been busy with lots of picnics and family time, also lawn care and gardening. Thanks to my young neighbor/helper all our small and medium size flower beds are ready for summer and looking quite prettyWe attended our youngest grandchild’s high school graduation in St. Marys, PA. She’s lovely, bright, and a very nice girl - with plans to attend the U. of Pittsburgh, Main Campus, (she loves cities), majoring in premed. She took dance classes for 15 years and is an exceptionally talented dancer, ballet to hip-hop to tap. It’s been fun to watch her dance recitals over the years.My computer was down for almost a week, I almost felt like a part of me had been amputated to not be able to use it at all. Finally got it back up today. 100s of emails to sort and mostly delete. My printer is still not working, I hope to get it back on track today. I never thought I’d see the day that technology would be such an important part of my life!I’ve read some interesting books this month, finding read-time has been a challenge, I’ve forced myself to exist with less sleep - the books have been so worth it!Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand, 2021. Fiction. This was my book club’s choice for June and it was a perfect summer read. There were many plot twists and layer upon layer of interpersonal family drama. Plus the guardian angel, Martha, helping the newly deceased protagonist use her three nudges, (i.e. like wishes), wisely. The wit and wisdom along with the character development kept the pages turning. The themes of this novel will stay with readers long after the last page.Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and and James Patterson. 2022. Fiction. I’ve loved Dolly Parton’s music and song writing for many years. When I discovered Dolly was one of the readers on Audible, it was a no-brainer. The characters were well developed and the plot kept the story moving: a young country singer and her harrowing struggles to survive. It was fun to listen to Dolly read, her speaking voice is not reminiscent of her singing voice. She sounds more like a regular person than a singer. And that fits perfectly for the story. When I read a book that’s co-written, I always try to figure out who wrote which part. With this one it was quite obvious and it was another fun book.Eternal by Lisa Scottoline. 2021. Historical Fiction.This was a much more serious novel by this prolific author than any of her other books I’ve read. It was well researched; the characters were extremely well developed. There were many layers of tension threaded throughout the 463 pages of the novel. Takes place in Rome, beginning in 1937, follows three best friends and classmates, Elisabetta, Marco and Sandro from high school and the next twenty years. The exceptional plot twists through the streets of Rome and as Sondra, a young male Jewish Math wizard, Marco a handsome charming athletic man who can’t read and drops out of school. He rises quickly through the highest echelons of Mussolini’s officers. Both are in love with beautiful Elisabetta who is reeling in despair as her mother abandons her and her alcoholic father. Intrigue and suspense keep the pages turning as fast as a reader can read. It is a great book!Wherever the Road Leads, A Memoir of Love, Travel and a Van, by K. Lang-Slattery, 2020. Travel Memoir. If you’ve ever wanted to travel the world and didn’t know how you would have the time or the money, this might be just the right book for you. It’s well documented from letters home, travel journals kept by the honeymoon couple, as well as keen recall for details back in 1972-1973 when they traveled the world for two years in a self-customized green VW van.It is by far the best travel memoir I’ve read, the authors smooth writing style takes you there with none of the hassles of long foreign travel. I reviewed this book for Story Circle. Click link below to read the review: https://www.storycircle.org/book_review/wherever-the-road-leads-a-memoir-of-love-travel-and-a-van-2/.The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan. 2019. Historical Fiction. Started a bit slow but after a couple chapters became just as engaging as the author’s debut novel,”The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.” The characteristics of the protagonists, Mrs Braithwaite and Mr. Norris were totally unlike those of heroes in any other novel. Yet these characters developed throughout the novel - raising the standards for characterizations in all other spy novels, to be more than just physical descriptions of the beyond beautiful and handsome protagonists. The author’s wisdom shines through these characters. It also highlights a seldom mentioned fact that there were many Nazi sympathizers in England during WW2. I highly recommend this fascinating novel.We’ve been waiting and waiting for a movie at the local movie theater that we ‘d like to to see, none this last month. Meanwhile, we’ve been watching the Longmire series again on television. My husband loves it and really can’t remember seeing any of the shows before. I can barely remember these episodes. They’re good entertainment.
Till next time, keep reading my friends and please stay safe and well.Later, Ann