Showing posts from June, 2012

July 4th 2012 Holiday

I had intended to work on reviews of The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Early this morning we got a phone call that our oldest son and his family are coming to visit for a few days. My reviews will be posted after July 4th.
Thank you!
Hoping you will have a safe and happy 4th!

Book Review: The Confession, An Inspector Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

I have fallen in love with these mystery books. The Confession is my third, but first from the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. I've read two out of three from the Bess Crawford series. I've ordered more from the library.

Our main character is Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard in London, England. The time period is post World War I. Rutledge is a Veteran of the war and suffers from shell shock or what we now call post traumatic stress disorder. His present commander of Scotland Yard is sensitive to this issue, but as the book transgresses Rutledge worries about his "problems" affect in his other commander's eyes. Rutledge is able to fulfill is duties as an inspector in spite of his shell shock. He is a man of determination, sacrifice, honor, and grit. He has a sister named Frances that he has an active relationship with. During this novel he did not have other active friendships, nor a girlfriend. His life is his work.

In the Essex Marshes in 1915 a male de…

Book Review: A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

In 4 posts in June I've participated in a read-a-long through War Through The Generations Challenge.
This will be a brief review because in all my previous posts they gave much information about the book including spoilers. 
A Farewell To Arms is about Lt. Frederic Henry that is an American from Pittsburgh, PA, that was in Italy when World War I begins and he joins their Army to fight Germany/Austria or the Hun's. The Hun's is a decrepit slang term for German's. I believe that Lt. Henry must have had an inheritance or an allowance of money to be traveling in Italy. We are told little about his family in America. It is obvious by this that he is not close to them and they are of no consequence to the story. He is a young man full of romance, with a penchant for bravery. He often drinks alcohol: brandy, vermouth, grappa, wine, sherry, cognac, etc. Everyone he meets he asks them to join him in a drink. Henry is an officer and an ambulance driver. He has narrow escapes, i…

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway Read-A-Long Week Four

This is the final week for the read-a-long. Thanks again to Serena and Anna for hosting this read-a-long.
In a separate post I'll review A Farewell To Arms.

1. "In Chapter 31, as Henry is swept down the river, he refers to a 'we.' Who do you think this 'we' is?"
You know, I was wondering the same thing! I too saw that the author used both singular and plural through this part. At first I wondered if he had escaped with another person in the literal sense. I've since re-read this section at least 3 more times studying again this interchange of pronouns. My answer is I'm still not sure why?
Could it be the before and after Henry. Meaning the before his life altering and near death experience, and the after Henry that has escaped near death? Could he be referring to himself and Catherine together? That her presence is with him even though in body she is not? Could it be Hemingway did this to cause us to ask these questions and thus cause a discussi…

Book Blogger Hop, Week of June 29-July 5, 2012

Book Blogger Hop is a creation of Crazy-For-Books.
It is a way to have fellowship or socialize with other bloggers.

This weeks questions:
1. "Do you have a keeper shelf for books you loved?"
2. "What books are on that shelf and why?"

I do not have a specific shelf where I keep the books that I love. Most non-fiction and classic literature books I keep, and a few fiction books that were extra special to me.
Yes, I do re-read books. I've read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at least 3 times in my life. I've read Pride and Prejudice 2 times. This fall I'll re-read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. 
All non-fiction Christian books are in 1 book shelf. This includes biographies, commentaries, theology books, many copies of the Bible.
I have a 2nd book shelf also for non-fiction such as World War II books, Holocaust, World War I, and other history books. Also in this same book shelf  is housed fiction that I keep. They take up 2 shelves. This includes Shakespeare, J…

Book Review: A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd

I've already began reading another Charles Todd book---The Confession, An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (2012). I have grown to love these books by Charles Todd (a mother son writing team.)
On order at the local library, I'm waiting on the first Ian Rutledge book---A Test Of Wills. Eventually I hope to read every book this writing team has written, including the other Bess Crawford books I've not read yet.

I read A Duty To The Dead, A Bess Crawford mystery previously. Link for this review:

Why do I love Bess Crawford mystery stories? They are ravishing stories with a mystery element that I adore. Bess is a straight forward character. She is calm and intelligen…

Reading Habits

I came across this meme through Novembers Autumn, which led me to I Read That Once, which then led me to A Room of One's Own. Each of them participated in the question and answer about reading habits.

"Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?"
I don't snack, but I do eat meals while I read, if I can balance the plate on my lap and hold onto the book at the same time!

"What is your favorite drink while reading?"
I drink 2 cups of coffee in the early morning, followed by water the rest of the day. Sometimes I will drink a cup of tea in the afternoon about 4. This time of the year because it is so hot (102 today) I will have a glass of iced tea with lime slices about 4 PM.

"Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify?"
I do not mark in my books because many of them I give away to the library as a donation. It does not horrify me to mark in them, but the library would not want them marke…

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway Read-A-Long Week 3

This is week 3 of A Farewell To Arms read-a-long, 1 more week to go and I will have completed my 1st Ernest Hemingway novel.
This read-a-long has been hosted by Anna and Serena from War Through The Generations Challenge.
To read the questions and answers from our hosts:

1. '"The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one" is a statement made by Henry, and he and Catherine enter into a discourse about bravery. Do you think either character is brave and do you think Catherine is right when she says the brave die more deaths but just don't talk about it? Explain."

I believe a key word that needs defining is death. Do you mean death of the physical body; or the death of a dream, or innocence, or personality trait, etc. I'm not necessarily asking a question, but thinking out loud.
I believe as humans when we encounter a horrific event or per…

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway Read-A-Long Week 2

To read my previous post for the first week of this read-a-long:

This read-a-long is hosted by Anna and Serena @ War Through The Generations Challenge

This is week 2 questions for A Farewell To Arms read-a-long. I'm a bit late because of a busy Father's day weekend.

1. There is a lot of talk about being tired or the priest looking tired in this section. What do you think Hemingway is trying to get at?
It was mentioned by the hosts of this read-a-long that the word tired is used in reference to being tired of the war. I agree, but I believe there is more. In referring to the priest (chapter 11) when he first arrives at the hospital to see Henry that the priest looked embarrassed, he was definitely uncomfortable. I believe the priest has a soft spot, endearment for Henry. I believe the priest has been teased in the past by the other soldiers and does not feel that he is taken seriously. He …

Book Review: Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've been a bit afraid of this book. I'd heard it was considered one of the saddest of tales in British literature. In the past I'd started this book at least twice, then stopped.
I'm over-joyed to say I fell in love with this book and finished reading it Sunday night!
It is a beautiful story. It is not a cheerful story, but it is a story of sweet- tenderness, sacrifice and love.

Ruth Hilton, when we first meet her is an auburn haired teenage girl working long hours in a workshop. Her parents are both dead. Her benefactor had arranged for her to apprentice in a dressmakers workshop. Ruth had been left with out a mother since she was a young girl. Certain topics of conversation that a mother teaches her daughter were never taught to Ruth. Ruth is naive, easily persuaded. She is not wise enough to understand the ramifications of wrong choices. She does not think of future consequences, only of her emotional entanglement with wealthy boy…

Book Review: Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

A dead male infant has been found by hired hands in a barn belonging to the Amish Fisher family. The Fisher family is apart of the Old Order Amish of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The police are called and during the early part of the investigation the Fisher's 18 year old daughter Katie is the prime suspect.
Meanwhile, an attorney named Ellie Hathaway has recently come for a lengthy visit with her family living in Lancaster. Not long after arriving Ellie becomes Katie's defense attorney. In the beginning Ellie is reluctant, as the case progresses she becomes more involved in the family than she'd ever imagined. Ellie, a big city attorney with progressive ideas faces a radically different Amish way of life.

I enjoyed reading this book. It kept my attention--reading the 432 pages in about 2 days.
The mystery element is Katie adamance of her innocence; I wondered whether someone else was involved, or maybe she was mentally ill. This was the first point that kept me in-tuned to e…

The Classics Club Reading Challenge

The Classics Club is a 5 year project. A serious classics reading list of at least 50 books to be read over a period of 5 years.
The full description and list of rules is at the above link under photograph.
Beginning on this date June 10, 2012 my project begins and will end on June 10, 2017.
First is my list of classics reading for this year, then followed by my additional list to carry over in to the next 4 years.
This is a living list and maybe revised by me over the 5 year period.
Some of these books are re-reads for me as I've read all of the Bronte sisters books in the past.
The books I'm most looking forward to reading are: Ivanhoe, Les Miserables, The Woman In White, The Mills on the Floss, Tess of the D'ubervilles, Wives and Daughters, Nicholas Nickelby, The Count of Monte Cristo, Paradise Lost, Rob Roy, The Odyssey, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, The Tempest.
All the books on the below lists are currently on my bookshelf and are owned by me.

1. Ruth by …

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Read-A-Long

I am participating in a read-a-long with a few other book bloggers that are members of War Through The Generations Challenge. Farewell to Arms is a novel that Ernest Hemingway wrote about an American ambulance driver named Henry that was with the Italian army during World War I. World War I is the war that our group is reading about in 2012. Although this book is a work of fiction, Hemingway was himself an ambulance driver during World War I. The read-a-long is broken down in to 4 weeks for the 4 weeks of June.
Week 1 June 1-8, Chapters 1-10
Week 2 June 9-15, Chapters 11-20
Week 3 June 16-22, Chapters 21-30
Week 4 June 23-29, Chapters 31-40

Our 2 hostesses for this challenge are Serena and Anna....(thank you---to you both for all your hard work!)

1. "So far, how do you feel about Hemingway's writing style? Are you enjoying it?"
(I have edited a part out in th…

A Bronze Star


In Honor of My Dad on the Anniversary of D-Day

On this day, 68 years ago, my dad literally stormed the beach at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.
Dad has freely shared his story with us, his family. There were many years where he did not share his story with others because of certain comments he'd heard shortly after the war that what he'd expressed, "was not true." Another words these people had told my dad he was a liar. In later years dad agreed to be interviewed for our local newspaper. I was and am still so proud of my dad and his service to our country. I'm so thankful that dad is still living and that for almost a decade we've lived together so that my husband and I could care for him. It has been an honor to care for him.  

This is a historical recreation of the invasion, a video from the Military channel:
More links on D-Day:

A Victorian Celebration June and July 2012

I'm a bit late, sign-up began last March, but I'm in for the challenge of reading as many Victorian books as possible in June and July.
For more information A Literary Odyssey is hosting this challenge:

My first choice in this challenge is Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell.

For more information about my particular copy which is an Oxford World's Classics: