WISH YOU WERE HERE by Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were Here

Diana is making a name for herself in the art world. She has her life planned and is on track to be married by thirty, have kids, move to the burbs and she isn’t even engaged! Her boyfriend, Finn, is busy being a surgical resident in New York City.

Days before her birthday they will leave for a vacation to the Galapagos. Everything is moving along fine.

But the night before they leave, Finn tells her he can’t go. There is some type of highly contagious virus sweeping through the country and he can’t leave. He wants her to go. She wants to stay but in the end she goes.

On arrival, the island is shut down. Quarantine. With no internet, phone service or mail service, she is completely alone. Her only link to Finn is an occasional email and she writes on postcards she found in her apartment on the island. 

She makes friends with a local teenage girl and ends up making friends with the entire family and she is awfully attracted to the girls father, Gabriel. Alone, she is looking at every choice she has made and wondering if when she returns she will still be the same.

There isn’t a lot I can say about the rest without spoiling all of your fun. I can say this is a beautiful, timely, and heartbreaking story of love, resilience, and adapting to overcome your circumstances.

I cried throughout the book and I think I needed that.

Well Done!

NetGalley/November 30th, 2021  Ballentine

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Unsettled Ground

What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant? What would you do to get it back?

This is a rather dark story. Julius and Jeanie are twins. 51 years old and still living with Mom, Dot, in an isolated cottage with very little to call their own. They don’t even own the house. It is a rental and inside is everything they know. The garden supplies their food both animals and vegetables.

Out of the blue Dot dies of a stroke. And the vultures begin circling. How will they survive? Will they be removed from the only home they know? Dot didn’t leave a lot behind unless secrets count. And oh, they do!

There is a lot of darkness and poverty in this tale. Fuller always has spot-on characters and these two are no different. We watch as they keep pushing on. And begin to see things they never did before.

It isn’t a light read, but it is a worthy one.

It’s Only November and I’m Over It!

Seriously y’all, Saturday I had to wear pants! And a sweater! I’m still shook.

This contains an image of: {{ pinTitle }}

I had to show off my new boots though so pants it was. And socks. My feet were silently crying. Poor babies. Since my Georgia Bulldogs were playing at the same time as OU Boy’s school, we went to brunch and happily dug into the Whiskey Cake Cafe’s Farmhouse Eggs Benedict. Everything here is locally sourced and it was delicious.

We were home in time for the games. Tommy had to watch his on his phone because apparently, I am ‘too loud and vulgar”. Who knew all these years I am screaming, ” Just kill him!” was so awful. I’m sure the neighbors were wondering.

Both of our teams won. Mine clinched the SEC East. All in all, it was a good day and then we watched the GBBO. Oh Amanda, what a bad bake day you had.

For weeks now we have been working insane hours plus caring about our Grandparents and a 17-year-old. We were pretty worn out by Sunday. We watched more football, a really insane show on Netflix about Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Coincidentally, the place our aunts and uncles spent Halloween being drunk in another state.

At half-time, we shot over to the mall for the Wallflower sale at Bath and Body and we were back before kick-off.

Of course, the most important thing that happened on Saturday was the release of the sequel to A Dress the Color of the Sky. A Dress the Color of the Moon. This has been like birthing a baby for my friend Jennifer. The reason I like working with her is she is so open to change but fights like heck for her characters. And she was right!

Today is sunny but cold. That should not be allowed. Oklahoma is still being ignorant trying to not have masks in school and not get nurses and police vaxxed. Seriously, do you want to be sick and have a nurse who is taking care of Covid patients also taking care of your heart condition? That is called an unacceptable risk. Same for cops and medics and firemen. Have you never had to be vaccinated for life? School? If you joined the military they just line you up and shoot crap in your arm. You don’t ask what is in this, Karen!

Let’s all hope November treats us better than oh say, the last two years?!

Stay warm

xx P

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Oh William!

The Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author traces the enduring bond between a divorced couple in a poignant novel about love, loss, and the family secrets that can erupt and bewilder us at any point in life.

The amazing Ms. Strout has brought us back to Lucy. Reading a book by this author is like having someone talking to you about their life. There aren’t a bunch of descriptions to clutter the simple, and beautiful conversation.

Lucy tells us about her first husband, William, in this story. Their relationship is what it is. They take each other as they are. Friends, parents and secret keepers. We see the story of how they met and how and why they divorced. There is no drama in the telling of infidelity. Again, it is what it is. And that empathy towards each other is what is so beautiful. There is no judgment. Just support given and received.

Secrets long kept come to light and I loved how these two handled them. Lucy learns quite a bit about herself as well. And how others view her. And she accepts this and adjusts. Again, no drama, no extra stuffing, just a crystal clear voice of calm.

I connected at once with her almost stream- of- consciousness style of writing. It was so easy to slip into her world. A story of life, love and ,a lot of empathy.

NetGalley/ October 19th, 2021 by Random House





Voices from the Pandemic by ELI SASLOW

Voices from the Pandemic: Americans Tell Their Stories of Crisis, Courage and Resilience

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter, a powerful and cathartic portrait of a country grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic—from fear and overwhelm to extraordinary resilience—told through voices of people from all across America

Eli Saslow is one of the best at explaining things. Traveling around gathering data but also stories of people’s experiences. Some painful, some hopeful, but all true.

Covid-19 snuck up on all of us while we were paying attention to the antics of the administration. And from the start, Mr. Saslow started talking to Americans all over. From all walks of life. This book is the culmination of all of those conversations.From the exhausted health workers to the unemployed facing hardships, his stories are heartbreaking.

What are a teacher’s responsibilities to her students versus her family? How about the people who still think it is a hoax, even on their deathbeds. This pandemic has pitted us against each other. Family members and friends fall by the wayside if they aren’t vaccinated.

Where do we draw a line? The accounts in this book are real and their stories will make you think, cry, and feel just as helpless as the rest of us. I did a lot of crying over this one and I needed that.

Always a pleasure.

NetGalley/Doubleday 28 September 2021

It is officially Autumn…somewhere

Hell yeah we are ready for a little cool down. With Autumn officially here it is still 90 degrees.

I have seen so much pumpkin spice crap I want to throw up. Popcorn, Oreos (seriously leave Oreos alone). Personally I’d like to see more cider donuts. Buckle up y’all, things are about to get weirder.

I haven’t been able to type for a bit. I had second degree burns and blisters on my left hand. I would love to say it was a welding accident or I rescued a puppy from a fire, but no if you are a crafter you already know. The dreaded hot glue gun. And while I’m running to the faucet screaming I ran into the wall. A picture fell down and broke two of my toes. I knew they were broken because one looked like the letter C and they turned black. Days later OU Boy rolled his ankle. So we’re just gonna sit on the sofa and not move for a bit.

Obviously we are trying to do too much. OU Boy got a huge promotion which also means different schedules and fixing up his office. I stopped by and he has two loungers, a 70 inch flat screen on the wall, an air fryer, and a fridge. That is the outer office. His new schedule is 8 to 4 and Monday through Friday. I don’t remember when we didn’t work Saturdays. So we are adjusting to each other’s schedules and I am trying hard to be a wife. So far it’s just having dinner ready. I’ve made it twice this week.

I realized that I have no idea what a wife does. Iron? I work full time myself. We sat down and talked about my lack of wifery skills. He is fine with just carrying on as we are with me being understanding of his odd hours at first. And sex. The good thing is he is a garbage eater. Meat, potatoes,pasta, casseroles and the good old sandwich with Kraft cheese. I can make dinner of two olives and a triscuit. I’m great at taking things out for dinner but by the time it rolls around I just don’t care.

It’s still hot here so we have been kayaking and visiting the Grands. Grandpa is in hospital now. If you are on the fence about this Covid thing, well, get off. My Grandpa had pleurisy and a mini-stroke. There were no hospital beds at all. Nowhere. We were told a bed may open up at Yukon Community and it did after 8 hours. We are sending folks to other states now and still these idiots refuse to get a shot. If you have to be hospitalized you wait for someone else to die. That’s brutal.

I am grateful for a never ending stack of books and a tea supply that will never run out. So, how are things in your neck of the woods?

I’m gonna go take something out for dinner. “And she laughed and laughed”.

P

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by LAEKAN ZEA KEMP

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Meet Penelope Prado who works like crazy at her father’s restaurant. Nacho’s Tacos. It’s a mix between a bar and a great Mexican food place. The entire family works insane hours to support themselves and a lot of people in the community.

Her parents don’t want that life for her. They want her to be a nurse or something stable. So she enrolls in college and pretends to go. Because Pen has her own plans. To take over the restaurant and make it more. Specifically a bakery. She already is known for her food and especially her baking. She adds that secret ingredient only people who love baking can add. Love.

Pen has had demons in her past that have left her feeling unsure of herself and what she controls. When she finally works up the nerve to tell her parents that she hasn’t actually been going to classes. Not once. Because she wants to have the restaurant that her brother is managing.

Pen’s parents are not happy and she doesn’t get the restaurant and she doesn’t get to keep her job. She’s on her own.

Xander came to this country at nine years old. His mother left, his father left and all he has is his grandfather. And fear. Lots of fear. He is undocumented and lives in the shadows, constantly afraid someone will find out.

When he comes to work at the restaurant, he and Pen are instantly interested in each other. They share their deepest secrets and fears. Together they just may be able to save themselves and a lot of other people they love.

This is a YA book and I cried and was saddened by the treatment of immigrants in this story. It’s all true. We see it everyday on the news. This was a beautiful and timely book that I enjoyed very much.

Little, Brown, And Company

CHAMELEON GIRL by LIZ FERRO

Chameleon Girl

Adapt and Thrive. This is the way of the chameleon.

And so we are introduced to Nora Horvath. A woman who is fighting demons from her past and yet still creates a life she loves. A life that she can manage. A life with enough. She loves her job and she is good at it. But she is also haunted by something just out of her grasp.

Her life is going as well as it can and she is okay with that.

As a firefighter, Nora is good at her job. Until one day when a horrifying rescue leaves her with brutal memories of an abusive past. Are these real memories? It would explain so much about the voices in her head. And she is one tough lady so she faces them head-on.

While Nora struggles to remember all of the horrible things she has endured, she is questioning her own sanity at points. But these things almost broke her. Almost.

And when everything comes out it is so horrible I don’t see how she stood it. This was such a small book but such large emotions. It doesn’t really have a genre. This feminine narrative is brilliant and heartbreaking and full of hope and courage.

Very well done debut novel!

The Beauty of Spring and New Life

1489338645786

Spring is popping up all over today! Birds chirping, sun burning off the haze and should be in the 70’s today.

Today I’m finishing up    Humor and sorrow join together in Jamie Weisman’s captivating debut novel—the story of an interfaith wedding from the perspectives of its (adoring, envious, resentful, hilarious) guests!

And it is set in Atlanta, Georgia. How could I say no? Georgia girls stick together! So far I’m laughing a lot.

What are you doing this Palm Sunday? Anyone march for life yesterday? I would love to hear about that if you did!

Good Reading and Warm Breezes!

xx Patricia

AND GREEN IS MY FAVORITE TODAY

greenthoughts

Since I don’t have a Book Review due today, I thought I would just take all those Blog Awards and mush them together and answer the questions!

How did this Blog begin? Because people get annoyed when you are constantly giving them your opinion on what they are reading while in public.

How many books do you read? A lot. And most of them don’t even make it to the blog for one reason or another. Good or Bad, the ones I’m obligated to do go on the Blog.

Things about me:

I hate cats. Horrible allergies but I really just don’t like them although people compare me to one.

I don’t eat meat.

My closet is organized by color/fabric/function. I am compulsively neat.

I despise Romance Books. Same man with the same abs on every cover.

I have a very morbid sense of humor.

I have no patience with pretentious people. Or as my Momma calls it people who put on airs. Favorite saying to those people? You’re pretty uppity for someone who doesn’t even have a job.

I love tea! Shocking, I know.

I play the piano. 

I ride horses.

I do not do reviews through the author. Don’t ask.

I own 23 formals. I have a life at night that I know nothing about it would seem.

My favorite color is pink. And Green.

Favorite Movies….Resident Evil, Any Avengers, Gone With The Wind, The Secret of Roan Inish, and Saving Grace ( the UK one) the original Paren Trap

Favorite Music….Halestorm,Paramour, Post Malone, Imagine Dragons, Grunge, Celtic. Basically anything except Country.

So there you go. All of them rolled into one. Now I’m off to review the new LSAT Study Guide. Exciting stuff here! And if anyone needs any study guides for tests, let me know! They need to go to a new home.

xx Patricia