Sunday, January 7, 2018

Books 23-25

This is the last of the books I read in 2017.  One less than last year!  I'm going to have to pick up the pace if I plan to even read half of my books in my lifetime,lol

4 Blondes by Candace Bushnell
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Four Blondes tells the stories of four women caught at crossroads in their lives, facing choices and realizations that will redefine them forever.  A beautiful B-list model finagles renfree summerhouses in the Hamptons from her wealthy lovers, until she discovers that she can get a man for the summer but she can't get what she wants.  A high-powered magazine columnist's floundering marriage to a literary journalist is thrown into crisis when her husband spends a wild night on the town with his movie star friend.  A self-styled Cinderella whose royal husband was one of the world's most eligible bachelors records her descent into paranoia as she attempts to re-create herself and her world.  A writer who fears her time for finding a husband is running out travels to London in search of the kind of love and devotion she can't find in Manhattan-and gets far more than she bargained for.
When I saw this book in the store I thought this might be okay because it was by the author of Sex in the City, which was a huge success.  I didn't watch Sex in the City but there is no doubt. it was very popular.  Started reading the book and thought 'why did I buy this' , further on I thought 'why am I reading this'.  When I finished the book I thought 'why did I finish this'.  Total and absolute crap!!!

The Daughter she used to Be by Rosalind Noonan
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The daughter of a career cop, Bernadette Sullivan grew up with blue uniforms hanging in the laundry room and cops laughing around the dinner table.  Her brothers joined New York's finest, her sister married a cop, and Bernie is an assistant District Attorney.  Collaring criminals, putting them away-is what they do.  And though lately Bernie feels a growing desire for a family of her own, she's never questioned her choices.  Then a shooter targets a local coffee shop, and tragedy strikes the Sullivan family.
Anger follows grief-and Bernis realizes that her father's idea of retribution is very different from her own.  All her life, she's inhabited a clear-cut world of right and wrong, of morality and corruption.  As Bernie struggles to protect the people she loves, she must also decide what it means to see justice served.  And in her darkest hour, she will find out just what it means o be her father's daughter.
I had mixed feelings about this book.  In the beginning it what difficult to sort out all the characters and remember who everyone was.  The family was portrayed as stereotypical Irish, Catholic NYC cops.  As I got into the book it became more interesting.  I found Bernie, the main character a little annoying and naive.  The other main character, Peyton, was intriguing and there was an interesting twist at the end.  I felt the end of the story was a bit rushed as if the author had run out of time to finish the book.

I Let You Go by Clare MacKintosh
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On a rainy afternoon, a mother's life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street...
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind, desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run.  As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist filled case before them.
I really liked this book.  There are plot twists that made me say 'WHAT' and made me stop and think about what I had read, up to that point.  I don't want to say too much about the book because it would give away so much of what happens.  I would definitely recommend this book and I hope she writes more.

Well, that's all of them.  Over the year, some good, not so good, and real page turners.  That definitely applies to the last one I read.  Hope I find some good ones for 2018!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cool Animals

Saw some cool animals at the mall today.  I'm sure they'll be gone by the end of the week.




There were 2 deer galloping down our street today.  Going so fast I didn't have a chance to take a picture!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Enough!!!

Just spent 2 hours shovelling, with help from my neighbour on the driveway!!







Supposed to get more snow tomorrow but hopefully not as much!!!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Almost There!

Soooooo many dresses.  So far she has been to 9 different salons and there are two more to go.  Then that is it-she says,lol.
We went today and there were 2 dresses that she really liked.  If nothing shows up at the next two salons I think one of those two might be it!!
I won't post pictures of the two special ones, just a couple of the others she tried today.



 There are so many beautiful dresses but she pretty well has it narrowed down to the style she wants!




Monday, December 11, 2017

The Tree


Spent most of the day yesterday decorating the tree and putting some other decorations out.  Probably only put about half of the collection out this year.  The problem is that all the Christmas stuff is kept in the rafters in the garage.  DH has been somewhat out of commission for the last 5 months with spinal stenosis (although there has been significant improvement) and therefore unable to climb the ladder let alone lift boxes down.  Fortunately youngest son and GD2 came over and got a lot of the boxes down for me.  After about 12 containers and the 71/2 foot tree were brought down I said that was enough.  Whatever was in those boxes would be more than adequate.  Mostly all the kitchen type stuff got left still in the rafters but that's okay, we'll manage!

As I was decorating the tree yesterday afternoon a bobcat walked down the driveway and crossed the street.  Fortunately he didn't have a rabbit in his mouth, although I'm sure that was what he was looking for, like the one in 2015!
Later on a buck with only one antler walked down the street.  He must have been in a fight to lose his antler.  Of course, no camera at the ready for either one.
You would think we lived in the country instead of a city of 1.3 million people, with the wild life that's come to visit.  We do live fairly close to some very big natural parks but the animals would have to cross some 6 lane highways to get into our neighbourhood!!!


Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Hunt Continues!!








Still hasn't found the one that makes her say 'Yes!  That's it!!'  But she has tried on a couple that she would be happy with if she can't find the 'one'!
I love the second and fourth ones.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Books 17-22

The Scent of Secrets by Clara Vine
The colourful, lively streets of Paris come as a welcome relief to Clara Vine after the dour countenance of Berlin, where bunkers and bomb shelters are being dug, soldiers march the streets in their high boots, and Jewish residents rush to make it home before curfew.  Though Clara is in Paris to make a film, her true work is never far from her mind.
Approached by a British intelligence officer, Clara is initially confounded by his request: Get close to Eva Braun and glean as much as she can about the Fuhrer's plans and intentions.  Clara has already established friendships with several high-ranking Nazi wives, but Eva Braun is another matter altogether.  Hitler keeps his "secret" girlfriend obsessively hidden, fiercely guarding their relationship as well as Eva's delicate psychological state.
From the gilded halls of the decadent City of Light to the quaint, cobbled streets of Munich, and even to the chilling, rarefied air of the Berghof, Hitler's private mountaintop retreat, Clara flirts with discovery at every turn-and a dangerous, devious plot unfolds.
I thought the first few chapters of this book were quite slow and boring.  About half way through the book things did pick up.  There seems to be some fact and fiction mixed together.  It did give some insight of life in Germany before the start of WW11.  I found some of it anticlimactic because most people know what happened in history and so you knew what would happen in the end.  I just read that this book is the 3rd book in a 5 book series. That explains a lot.  I don't think I will search out the other books.

Better Together by Sheila O'Flanagan
When Sheridan loses her job as a journalist at Dublin's biggest newspaper, she's determined to come back fighting.  Forced to take a position in a small country town, this seems almost impossible...until she discovers that the owner of her guesthouse holds the key to a big story.
But the longer Sheridan stays in Nina's home and the closer she gets to a certain handsome man in the town, the tougher it is to expose their secrets.  When it comes to love or success, will Sheridan go with her heart or her head?
This story is about the lives of two very different women.  Sheridan who is a journalist looking for a big story to advance her career, and Nina who runs a B&B and loves her husband way more than he loves her.  There lives become entwined when Sheridan finds out some information that could boost her career but destroy some people along the way.  What will she do?  This is a very easy read but definitely kept me interested even though it was quite predictable.


A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
As I'm typing this the words and paragraphs are jumping all over the place.  I've had to load the pictures 3 times!  Hit Save and Publish and see what happens!!
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In the words of Jaycee
In the summer of June of 1991, I was a normal kid.  I did normal things.  I had friends and a mother that loved me.  I was just like you.  Until the day my life was stolen.
For eighteen years I was a prisoner.  I was an object for someone to use and abuse.  For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name.  I became a mother and was forced to be  sister.  For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.
On August 26, 2009, I took my name back.
My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard.  I don't think of myself as a victim.  I simply survived an intolerable situation.
A Stolen Life is my story-in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.
This is an amazing story, to say the least.  Jaycee, age eleven, was on the way to school when she was kidnapped by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy.  He kept her chained and handcuffed in a shed and used her for his sexual pleasure.  She had two children by this man, the first when she was 13 and the second when she was 18.  
Garrido was a convicted sex offender.  He made his mistake when he took all of them to his parole officers office.  Jaycee found the courage to speak out and stood up for herself.
This was a shocking read with an amazing story of a mother's love for her daughter
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Image result for The Chemist by Stephenie Meyers
She used to work for the U.S. government.  An expert in her field.  She was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name.  Then, one day, they came for her without warning.   She's been running ever since.
When her former handler offers her a way out-one last job in exchange for her freedom-she realizes it's her only chance.  But as she prepares for the toughest case of her life, she finds herself falling for the man she was sent to trap.  Now she has a choice:  return to the shadows, hunted and alone, or stand and fight.
I quite enjoyed this book.  Not at all what I would have expected from Stephenie Meyer.  It's an action packed thriller with a mysterious heroine who is an expert in her field but very naive in relationships.  I would definitely recommend this book.

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest.
Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths.  With their loved ones away busy fighting the enemy, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day.  Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love...Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day-could he reignite a spark in Betty?
As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead,,,
With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?
I found this book to be a very light read.  It covered certain aspects of WW11 but in a very light fluffy way.  Interesting read but very little of it based in reality.

An Irish Country Love Story by Patrick Taylor
It's the winter of 1967, and snow is on the ground in the colourful Irish village of Ballybucklebo, but the chilly weather can't stop love from warming hearts all over the country.  Not just the love between a man and a woman, as with young doctor Barry Laverty and his fiancee, Sue Nolan, who are making plans to start a new life together, but also the love of an ailing pensioner for a faithful dog that's gone missing, the love of the local gentry for the great estate they are on verge of losing, or Doctor Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly's deep and abiding love for his longtime home.  
For decades, ever since the war, number One Main Street, Ballybucklebo, has housed O'Reilly and his practice.  An unexpected turn of events threatens to drive O'Reilly from his home for good, unless the entire village can rally behind their doctor and prove that love really can conquer all.
This is another feel good book about life in Ballybucklebo.  Things are moving along with Barry and Sue.  Will there be a new road put through the village at the cost of O'Reilly's house.  As all these books are 'feel good' books I think the answer is obvious but still an enjoyable read.