15 May 2018

My book of the month: May

Oh I do love Marisa de los Santos' novels! I read Love Walked In years ago, after a friend gave me her copy of the book because she had read it while travelling and didn't want to carry it during the rest of her trip. I was immediately entranced by the story and the positive feelings it left with me. I quickly followed this by reading the sequel, Belong To Me.

I'll Be Your Blue Sky is her latest novel and it revisits the characters from these earlier stories. 

It's another uplifting story but also has elements of sacrifice, courage, and many secrets. Love wins in the end (as I knew it would) and all the strands of the story are woven together so cleverly that, before you know it, the book finishes. 

This is one of those novels that I am so eager to start reading, yet don't want to finish because then the enjoyment is over. Immerse yourself in this book (you don't have to read the first two in the series but they may captivate you as well) and you will give a big sigh of pleasure at the end. 

You can read more about I'll Be Your Blue Sky on Goodreads.

08 May 2018

Time out

Today I went to the movies for the first time in six months. 

For the past several years, two friends and I have had a regular day out at the movies, followed by lunch, every six weeks or so. November was the last time we did this.

Circumstances this year have led me to push these regular days out of my life. My weeks were too crowded, squeezing in a plethora of tasks for a family member to my calendar. Activities that contributed to my own well-being were put on hold and my life was lived through the prism of another person's needs.

I don't regret doing any of this - I'm grateful that I am capable of making a difference - and it is ongoing. But slowly I've been reclaiming some time for myself.

So what did we see today? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It was simply lovely, just what I needed to help me regroup. I'd read the book so long ago that I'd forgotten details of the plot so it was like a new story to me. Beautiful.

There's so much value in taking time out from the stresses of life; living one day at a time, don't you think?

29 April 2018

My book of the month: April

Sometimes it's good to take a risk with an unknown author, based on the story summary on the blurb. (Those summaries are important! They attract new readers.)

Cherise Wolas' first published novel is a stunner. It's the story of a woman who had planned her life to focus solely on her writing but life got in her way after she had published her books of acclaimed short stories.

When she was 13 years old, Joan Ashby listed nine actions to guide her life. Number 9 was "Never allow anyone to get in my way" and this is where her plan became unstuck.

There is some beautiful writing in this novel and the story has a massive twist after Joan has finally completed her first novel and is ready to make it public. A hefty book (over 500 pages), it held my attention until the end.

Read more about The Resurrection of Joan Ashby on Goodreads.

24 April 2018

Three things

Hello, is there anybody out there? I hope you all haven't given up on new posts from me! It's been a difficult time, with lots of time-consuming activities that I didn't anticipate, but I thought I'd use this tiny amount of time to tell you about three things I like this week.

1. The change in the weather

Finally! The nights and days are cooler and autumn has arrived. We've had a longer than normal period of hot days - this is something that I really haven't enjoyed. It's only been this week of glorious days that has made me feel civilised again. Now, if it would only rain, I'd be even happier.

2. Hand sewing as therapy

Stitching these small squares together into Nine Patch blocks is so soothing! I've made a few blocks every couple of days and the pace has helped me relax. Have you tried hand sewing?

3. Retiring my old washing machine

It's difficult, sometimes, deciding when to replace an old faithful machine. My Simpson Delta has served me faithfully since 1988 but it was showing its age by groaning loudly and making noises that sounded like it was going to grind itself into oblivion. I'd put up with this for quite a few months but had to face the fact - it was time to retire it. I hope it enjoys its time in the scrap metal yard in the sky.

So there are my three things. Tell me about your week - what have you liked this week?

12 March 2018

My book of the month: March

Have you ever postponed starting a new book because of the avalanche of rave reviews that you read? Maybe I subscribe to too many book review tweeters and bloggers? Maybe too many authors are heavy-handed with retweets?

That's something for me to ponder because it delayed my reading of Jane Harper's current novel, Force of Nature

Three pages in and I was hooked. That's important to me. 

There are way too many novels published for me to be able to read every one that I want. So it's important that a novel 'grab' me within the first couple of chapters otherwise I put it aside and move on to another book. Life's too short to force my way through stories I don't enjoy.

Force of Nature is a fabulous mystery. Five women go on a team-building corporate retreat and only four return. Each one of the four tells a slightly different account of what happened. What really did occur?

Read more about Force of Nature on Goodreads

26 February 2018

Blog derailment

Hello everyone! I've been distracted for the past month because of my Dad's illness and the time and energy that I've needed to spend helping him recover. It's an ongoing process and will take many weeks yet. We'll get there!

One victim of my derailment has been my 'happiness every day' post on my Facebook page that I wrote about in my last blog post. I've started that again so, if you want to stay in touch with my goings-on, best visit over there. I find it easier to pop up short posts on Facebook than blogging. 

Please say hello if you visit there!

22 January 2018

Happiness every day

This year on her blog, Anita Heiss is posting about where she finds happiness every day. I've been reading her posts each day and her positivity is contagious.

Some days are merely routine, aren't they? Get out of bed, get ready for the day, deal with things as they occur, come home, go to bed. Frankly, they are the type of days I prefer. No drama, no surprises, just predictable. 

But even in these 'ordinary' days, there are moments of happiness - we just need to look for them. I've been doing this and have been writing about these moments on my Facebook page

You are invited to join me over there!