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Sunday, 19 April 2015


It's Monday Reading 

Just what I'm enjoying today !
Jenn at Daily Rhythm's Musing Monday asks,
"Do you use your local library? What do you like (or dislike) most about it?"
My A? Absolutely LuV libraries ! Doing 2  library reading challenges this year – already at 28 library reads – and more waiting in my basket :) luv the availability of new material, book sales ongoing, friendly staff, and that I can order titles delivered to my closest to home location :) great question Jenn.
How about you?  any library loves to share?

Bookish News delivered this week held sadness for Anne fans.
Canadian actor, Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert Blythe so charmingly,
passed away.  Forty eight just seems too soon.  Complications from a brain hemorrhage. 
Read more HERE

So... what I have recently read ?

Sweet Dreams by Carla Stewart
Descriptively evocative of the 1960's, Ms Stewart effectively sets the mood and memories of this story. Young women sent for preparation to the Rosebriar Finishing School to learn how to fulfill their roles in society of their day. Reminiscent of The Help, in attitudes and actions. Insights of life of the era including music, artists, fashion, foods, decor, colours, styles, and changing perceptions of life as these young women matured during their year away.

The emotional realities of two cousins who've lived separate lives in pole opposite worlds, now share this experience at the benevolent hand of the one's father. I was fully involved in development of the relationships between the cousins as well as fellow students; fascinated at the world Ms Stewart painted in vivid colour, scents, tastes and sounds that enfolded me in this Texas lifestyle of wealth and privilege. Unlike other coming of age stories that have depressed me over detailed negative experiences, the author conveyed issues with exceptional agility without dragging the reader down into negative responses. Much appreciated. 

Like sipping sweet tea, this full bodied story revealed flavourful nuances and quenched this reader's thirst.
Conclusion to the Everstone Chronicles book 3
The Captive Imposter  by Dawn Crandall ... 
has now become appreciation. 
A solid historical romance that concludes Ms Crandall's Everstone Chronicles with aplomb. Steady pacing, characters I wanted to know, authentic interactions and relationship development; for me it presented the whole reading package. 
I was intrigued from prologue to epilogue.
Congratulations, Dawn, and every continued success !
Busman's Honeymoon - Lord Peter Wimsey #13
by Dorothy Sayers
I have had Dorothy Sayers on my TBR stack for way too long. I've been pleased to begin with a listen to the BBC eloquent characterizations of Ms Sayers' 13th and final, Lord Peter Wimsey in Busman's Honeymoon. Main characters, detective Lord Peter Wimsey and crime writer, Harriet Vane, have just married and headed for their honeymoon to their new country home. The couple receive the unpleasant news of the former owner's dead body discovered in the basement on their first morning in the home.
Well acted, expressive and proper English accented characters create listening enjoyment. The recording is professional with clarity and crisp sound.
A Pocket Full of Rye - Miss Marple
by Agatha Christie
[Novel read by Joan Hickson also available]
Full cast dramatization of this Agatha Christie novel featuring Miss Marple [#7]. As the Inspector consults with Miss Marple, she points out the connections between the murder clues and the children's Pocket Full of Rye rhyme. Selfish, grasping and without scruples, the Fortescues have Miss Marple comparing the family suspects with stories she's known from life in St Mary Mead. Recalling similarities aids the process in her brilliant deductions. Always love Miss Marple's reveal. And a conclusion that involves a cup of tea!

Recording is a listening pleasure of actors capable of portraying the variety of characterizations, voice inflections, authentic accents, clarity of dialogue free of background distractions.


A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
I appreciated the transparency and authenticity shared by Ms Swope in sharing her personal life story .  Running from her past of rejection, regrets and depression, Ms Swope discovers answers and an example to follow in the story of the Samaritan woman.
An encouraging life journey for women looking for a deeper spiritual life. 
Reflection and discussion Q+A interaction follows each chapter, a prayer, and scripture references included when quoted.
Book Events Up Next ?
April 20th begins The True Book Addict's Seasons of Reading SPRING Read-a-Thon
I'm focusing on a fav genre with great anticipation ~
Mysteries for me !
Here's what Michelle says, "the one main "rule" of Spring Into Horror is that you must read ONE scary book (which can be a thriller, mystery, Gothic novel, or similar for those who are faint of heart).
The rest of the week...anything goes! 

And... Right in the midst of this, Dewey's 24 Hr Readathon happens April 25th 
Double motivation to get down to it...
What I'm About to Read ~

Definitely anticipating getting into this one...

Secrets of Sloane House - Chicago World's Fair Mystery #1
by Shelley Gray
Against the backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair, a young woman finds employment with an 
illustrious Chicago family-a family who may guard the secret of her sister's disappearance. Sloane House is among the most gilded mansions of Gilded Age Chicago. Rosalind Perry, the new housemaid, pours the morning coffee before the hard gaze of her mistress. "It's simple, Rosalind," she says. "I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country's greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids." Back on the farm in Wisconsin, Rosalind's plan had seemed logical: Move to Chicago. Get hired on at Sloane House. Discover what transpired while her sister worked as a maid there-and follow the clues to why she disappeared. Now, as a live-in housemaid to the Sloanes, Rosalind realizes her plan had been woefully simple-minded. She was ignorant of the hard, hidden life of a servant in a big, prominent house; of the divide between the Sloane family and the people who served them; and most of all, she had never imagined so many people could live in such proximity and keep such dark secrets. Yet, while Sloane House is daunting, the streets of Chicago are downright dangerous. The World's Fair has brought a new kind of crime to the city ...and a lonely young woman is always at risk. But when Rosalind accepts the friendship of Reid Armstrong, the handsome young heir to a Chicago silver fortune, she becomes an accidental rival to Veronica Sloane. As Rosalind continues to disguise her kinship to the missing maid-and struggles to appease her jealous mistress-she probes the dark secrets of Sloane House and comes ever closer to uncovering her sister's mysterious fate. A fate that everyone in the house seems to know ...
but which no one dares to name
Have any other mystery buffs read this newest release?
The Monogram Murders - 
A Hercule Poirot Mystery
by UK crime writer, Sophie Hannah
The new Hercule Poirot novel - another brilliant murder mystery that can only be solved by the eponymous Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'. Since the publication of her first book in 1920, Agatha Christie wrote 33 novels, two plays and more than 50 short stories featuring Hercule Poirot. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha's most beloved creation. Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at the fashionable Bloxham Hotel have been murdered, a cufflink placed in each one's mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim...In the hands of internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London - a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.

Susan Elia MacNeal's Maggie Hope series is one I've been waiting for time to dig into.  I read #2 Princess Elizabeth's Spy and was caught!  Great plotting and writing - winning combo - so adding this or any other available title at the library now on the book radar for this 
Spring ReadaThon.

Another new to me author, the plot captivated me...
The Princess Spy - Fairy Tales #5by Melanie Dickerson
Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha-one of the few who speaks his language-understands the wild story. Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin's message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself "Lord Colin" is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy-not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.

One of two mystery audios for review awaiting me -
Susan Meissner's tantalizing
A Fall of Marigolds  narrated by Tavia Gilbert
A beautiful scarf, passed down through the generations, connects two women who learn that the weight of the world is made bearable by the love we give away....
September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries...and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she's made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her? 

September 2011. On Manhattan's Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers...the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn's eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?
Secrets of a Charmed Life audio
Susan Meissner Narrated by Alana Kerr
Def cover luv with this one!
"The author of A Fall of Marigolds journeys from the present day to World War II England, as two sisters are separated by the chaos of wartime ... She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no turning back. But instead of two choices, she saw only one--because it was all she really wanted to see... "Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden--one that will test her convictions and her heart.1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London's civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy's burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia's profound need for her sister's presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed...
A few more than one 'scary' type read on my goodreads mystery shelf, so my options are open.
 Plus, I know I have a few ARCs needing attention by month end [which may get added to the mix!]  But I do know to keep Dewey's ReadaThon choices easy reading to make it through as many of the 24 hrs I possibly can.
I've also taken up the French Reading Bingo Challenge at Words and Peace, 
thanks to Lucy at Fictional 100.
Couldn't pass on Sophia's Austenesque Lovers TBR group  at goodreads -
 in case you've got Jane Austen JAFF filling your shelves like I do !
{All my 2015 Challenges HERE}

An invitation to other Audio listeners to join Lorelai at Audio Walkers blog
as well as get the conversation happening on FB.
Add your blog link as a listener plus add your current audio listens to intro to others.
I know she'd luv to see the group grow - Thanks!
Final two upcoming Spring Events?
May Clean Sweep ARC Challenge


Bout of Books
I'll look forward to catching up with your reading and musing about reading and all things bookish.

Shared With ~
* Small Victories * Literacy Musing Mondays
* Audio Walkers * Book NookMusing Mondays * Inspire Me Monday *



Lucy said...

All sounds good! You have a great menu of reading laid out. Glad you are joining Emma's French Bingo Challenge at Words and Peace! I'm planning just to assemble a list of my French-themed reading toward the end of the year, and then see how it might fit the Bingo card. Hopefully, I can fill in any gaps at the last minute! ^_^

Have a lovely and mysterious reading week!

The Literary Lioness said...

Looks like you have a lot of great reading to do!

I was also soooo sad to hear about Jonathan Crombie. I loved that Canadian TV version of Anne of Green Gables. It was wonderful and he was so cute and so good in it. He was much too young :(

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, so sad about the actor...48 is definitely too young!

You have a lovely bookish haul...enjoy! Someday I plan to participate in a Read-a-Thon.


Nise' said...

I am fortunate to have two great libraries that are close. I hope to participate in the Read-A-Thon, probably as a cheerleader.

Michelle Miller said...

Welcome to my Spring read-a-thon, Sharon. I hope you enjoy your mysteries this week. Glad to have you join us again!

I'll look forward to seeing you around Dewey's on Saturday too. :)

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai said...

What a fabulous list of books! I have Mr. Churchill's Secretary, and have been waiting to listen to it. Sloan House and the Princess Spy look really good too.

Thanks for the shout-out for #AudioWalkers -- it would be great to have more readers in the group! :)

Life With Lorelai

Katherine Thayer said...

After reading "Confident Heart". My whole life changed.

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