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Book a Week 2021 - BW7: Daughters of Mnemosyne - Erato


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Happy Valentine’s Day! We are going to dive into the world of romance literature this week as well as love poetry.  It’s quite apropos that our next Daughter of Mnemosyne is Erato, the muse of lyric and love poetry. Her name means the Lovely One and her symbol is the Kithara and she wears of wreath made from myrtle and roses. 

Dip your toes into Shakespeare's Sonnets, love poems of Rumi or Pablo Neruda,  ancient love Poems from Japan by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu to contemporary poetry written by Rupi Kaur

"Love is the Water of Life. "

"Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring."

"A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;"

"Remembering you . . .
The fireflies of this marsh
seem like sparks
that rise
from my body's longing."

Sigh.... 

Romance novels come in all shapes and sizes and ratings from G to XXX, from the Victorian to the Contemporary, from the simple boy meets girl, to musically inclined heroes and heroines to those set in a fantasy world to the magical and mythical  to the not so lost in space.

Read a book with Erato in the title

Read a book with roses on the cover or in the title.

18 Feel-Good Books That Will Make You Believe In Love

22 Books to Read on Valentine's Day—Before, After, or Instead of a Hot Date

Quiz Yourself on These Romantic Literary Quotes

 

Start a new Valentine's or Anniversary tradition and read a love poem with your significant other.  Ooh la la! 

Have fun exploring rabbit trails. 

*****************

Count of Monte Cristo Readalong:

VII The Deputy Crown Prosecutor

VIII The Interrogation

IX The Catheau D'If

 

When we practice to deceive... Danglers makes sure Caderousse is drunk enough not to interfere while he entices Fernand by writing a letter and throws it in the corner where he knows Fernand won't be able to resist retrieving and delivering it to the authorities.  Once Caderousse understands what Danglers and Fernand have done, why do you think he agrees to stay quiet?  Do you think Dantes is a bonapartist or innocently delivering a letter because he promised the captain.  What do you think of the two different betrothal scenes? Share your thoughts and comments about the story so far. 

 

**********************

Link to week six

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews with other readers around the globe.

Edited by Robin M
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I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars and when I took James to Barnes and Noble on Superbowl Sunday I couldn’t resist and bought the book, which I’m reading now. Wonderfully imaginative story.  Buying ban officially broken. However, I’ll stick to it as much as possible with the exception of new releases by a few select authors. Karen Marie Moning’s newest in the fever series Kingdom of Shadow and Light will be out on the 23rd.  😁

Ebook wise, started another dragon read.  Judith Tarr’s Dragons in the Earth. Since one of the stories I’m writing involves horses, I’ve been enjoying her series of posts on Tor.com about Understanding Horses.

“Dragons sleep in the earth here. Claire is barely scraping a living on her friend's ranch near Tucson, Arizona. She looks after the long-abandoned horse facility, makes occasional attempts to resuscitate her academic career, and pays the bills, more or less, with her skills as an animal communicator. Those skills don't always let her say the tactful thing to the human with the checkbook. Sometimes she has to tell the truth.

After a particularly unfortunate session, Claire gets one last chance to keep her home and her livelihood. A small herd of horses needs a place to live and a person to care for them.  But these are no ordinary horses. They represent an old, old breed, the rarest in the world, and they protect an ancient and terrible secret. And something is hunting them.

The ranch is a perfect sanctuary. The powers that live on and under and above it can protect the horses—if Claire can control them. But first she has to control her own abilities, and learn to believe in herself.”

I finished the Book of Secrets  (#1 Last Oracle series) by Melissa McShane and will post a review a bit later.  Looking forward to reading more in the series.

Haven’t decided which romance related book I’ll be reading for our erato read.

Onward and upward with Count of Monte Cristo!!!

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Robin, thank you for this thread, as always. Wishing you and everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. 

I read Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From a Little Golden Book - 2 Stars - Cute, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first one

It's OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick - 3 Stars - There’s quite a bit of good information here that’s backed by science and research. This book debunks so much misinformation that we are often led to believe. However, I cannot imagine that it will change anyone’s mind. Most people will believe what they want to in the end.

9780553508758.jpg   9780980217360.jpg

 

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I've had 3 books going; this week it was Caste, Wild Swans, and In Order to Live. I finished Yeonmi Park's In Order to Live for my bookclub. She escaped North Korea into China with her mother when she was 13, only to find that North Korean female escapees are trafficked and sold as brides to Chinese farmers. I am also still reading Wild Swans and Caste (probably month-long reads for me), so it was interesting when I hit an intersection, such as reading about the caste system in North Korea, or Yeonmi's mother ending up outside the city in Wild Swans where the author's mother grew up (starts with a j--can't remember name right now). I will continue working on Caste and Wild Swans this week.

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Happy Valentine's day!

17 hours ago, bookbard said:

Thanks for the recommendation of And All the Stars by Andrea Host, I enjoyed it. It was good to read something where I knew every place name and could visualise every space. 

I'm glad you enjoyed it, too! And how neat to know the setting. I lived in Australia as a child, so I did know Bondi Beach.

5 hours ago, Robin M said:

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars and when I took James to Barnes and Noble on Superbowl Sunday I couldn’t resist and bought the book, which I’m reading now. Wonderfully imaginative story.  Buying ban officially broken. 

I'm glad you're enjoying it. Interestingly, I started it last night, but I put it aside because of a feeling of impending doom.  Impending doom is definitely not my cup of tea!

Regards,

Kareni

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Anyone care to read about movies? This book is currently FREE for Kindle readers. 

A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder's American Films (Film Europa Book 5) by Gerd Gemünden 

"With six Academy Awards, four entries on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest American movies, and more titles on the National Historic Register of classic films deemed worthy of preservation than any other director, Billy Wilder counts as one of the most accomplished filmmakers ever to work in Hollywood. Yet how American is Billy Wilder, the Jewish émigré from Central Europe? This book underscores this complex issue, unpacking underlying contradictions where previous commentators routinely smoothed them out. Wilder emerges as an artist with roots in sensationalist journalism and the world of entertainment as well as with an awareness of literary culture and the avant-garde, features that lead to productive and often highly original confrontations between high and low."

Regards,

Kareni

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I am going to catch up a bit and mention a couple of interesting but not awesome books I read last week.

The first is The Midnight Bargain which I read in part for my book chain and partly because the cover is awesome. It’s a YA fantasy set in the bargaining season where the girls with magic “come out” in typical historical romance London season but with several twists to the rules I am used to. It wasn’t bad but not a great as the cover! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49151031-the-midnight-bargain

The next is one I waited a really long time to read in terms of waiting for this one to become available. I put a purchase request in over a year ago so I have no idea what list I saw this book on. Possibly a list with supernatural spooks.....this one was pretty close to my scarey tolerance level but I enjoyed the resolution so worth it. The Widow of Rose House https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43263486-the-widow-of-rose-house.

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Just a quick pop in to report on one I finished today, The Language of Sycamores by Lisa Wingate. It felt a tad slow on the front end, and I think the author came *this* close to having too many plot points thrown in, but by the middle mark through to the end, I thought it was lovely. I didn’t know until just now as I went to find a description to paste here that it is #3 in a series. It works fine as a stand alone story.  
 

“Karen Sommerfield has been hiding from the big questions of her life—the emotional distance in her marriage, her inability to have children, and her bout with cancer. Getting lost in her high-powered career provides the sense of purpose she yearns for. Until the day she’s downsized out of her job and the doctor tells her the cancer may be back. It’s a double blow that would send anyone reeling.

It sends Karen to Grandma Rose’s old farm, where her sister has made a seemingly perfect life. Opening herself to the unexpected, Karen finds a lonely child in need of nurturing and insights into her family’s past. In the quiet of the Missouri Ozarks, where the sycamore leaves whisper their soft, secret language, she begins to discover answers—and a joy to make her life complete.”

I am reading CMC slowly, stopping often to look at maps and google images of places. But I am plodding on. I will jump into that discussion in a future post. 

Next up on the quick-read list is Grisham’s latest, A Time for Mercy. It is the same main character as his first novel, A Time to Kill. 
 

On audio I am listening to Bob Goff’s Dream Big podcast. Since I started with the first broadcast and plan to listen through all three seasons, I’ll count it as an audiobook when I am done. He is such a gifted encourager, it’s a treat to listen to. 

Edited by Seasider too
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I'm finally home after caring for my DD and her family for 5 weeks. She had surgery and was on physical restrictions. While I enjoyed being the primary caregiver for the baby, I am happy to be in my own bed and on my own schedule. I am once again able to read at will.  DGD and I tried to get in 20 mins reading time every night before bed. We also listened to a Dork Diaries audiobook together. (I chose not to count Dork as one of my 52 books.)

The weather was excruciatingly cold the entire time I was with DD's family and, along with not being able to get much reading in, I found it difficult to get in any exercise time. I had to take my elderly (almost 14 year old) dog with me and I found our late night walks (about 2 miles at 9 pm) to be the only free time I had. Unfortunately, my sweet canine began to list and fall down on our walks. A quick trip to the vet was in order and we discovered he has developed a heart arrhythmia. No more walks for him.  He could have a pacemaker but the vet isn't certain he would survive the procedure nor can he estimate how long the dog would live. Since the surgery is $3000, we have opted not to proceed. Being at DD's was stressful for him (no fenced yard, can only go out on the leash, 4 cats, 6 month old baby, lots of stairs) and every night I prayed he would make it through until I could get him home.  He made it through and he is now sleeping in his favorite spot and happy to be home.

I am quite proud how well I coped during those 5 weeks. I was only grumpy one day. We ate a different meal every night and I was able to keep up on the housework and baby care. I did forget to sign DGD's school agenda twice; but she forgave me. :)
 

DGD observed how I wrote in my bullet journal everyday no matter what and she decided to create a journal as well. We had a lot of fun looking on Youtube for layouts and creating new pages. She created Books Read and Movies Watched layouts.

As for my reading, I have read through Chapter 9 of CMC. I found an e book edition and have been reading it on the Kindle. My sympathies are with Edmond as it appears everyone is against him. I was greatly disappointed in Villefort. 


I am making my way through The Screwtape Letters. I find it is having a different impact on me this read through. I remember reading it in one sitting before but this time I'm more introspective and find myself thinking about what Screwtape is writing. I hope to finish it this week.

 

I'm still at 9/52 books for the year. Now that I'm home, I hope to finish Screwtape, keep working on CMC, and begin Aurora Teagarden.

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2 hours ago, Granny_Weatherwax said:

I'm finally home after caring for my DD and her family for 5 weeks

Welcome home! There is nothing quite like being back in your own place. How neat that your granddaughter started a journal, too.

Regards,

Kareni

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I just finished the book that my local book group will be discussing on Thursday.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

When my group met in December to choose future books, we discussed how many depressing books we'd read. This book was suggested to balance that. It was a pleasure to read a book group book that was not dark and dismal! I'm curious to learn how the others in the group found it; I'm wondering if some will judge it not sufficiently literary.

"Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.

But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope and healing in the most unexpected places."

Regards,

Kareni

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

I just finished the book that my local book group will be discussing on Thursday.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

When my group met in December to choose future books, we discussed how many depressing books we'd read. This book was suggested to balance that. It was a pleasure to read a book group book that was not dark and dismal! I'm curious to learn how the others in the group found it; I'm wondering if some will judge it not sufficiently literary.

"Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.

But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope and healing in the most unexpected places."

Regards,

Kareni

That sounds good! Just requested it from the library. 

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Books I finished last week:

I finished the Harry Potter series (for the first time ever): The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows.  I really liked the whole series.  I mean, I guess they're a global phenomenon for a reason...

I read another book in the Judy Blume Fudge series: Fudgeamania.  Not my favorite in the series.

Also (because I didn't get to it at Christmas): Agatha Christie's A Holiday for Murder. -- I liked this one a lot.  It was a quick read and it was not as predictable as a lot of mysteries can be.  (At least, I didn't predict it.) 😉

And, Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals.  Her ordeal was horrible, but I'm glad for her memoir.  We have come a long way in race relations, but there is still a long way to go.

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Finished The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. It's a riff on the murder in an isolated house trope. Definitely a page-turner, but it was kind of hard to care about the characters, in some ways. 

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Some bookish posts from Reddit ~

I’m a dummy that wants to learn more history. What are your favourite historical books? It doesn’t matter the era, I’m interested in expanding my knowledge and being engrossed in the history of humanity

https://www.reddit.com/r/suggestmeabook/comments/l2mm3c/im_a_dummy_that_wants_to_learn_more_history_what/

 

A cookbook that teaches you how to cook, not a collection of recipes

https://www.reddit.com/r/suggestmeabook/comments/l0qb9r/a_cookbook_that_teaches_you_how_to_cook_not_a/

 

What are the most fascinating books by Psychologists

https://www.reddit.com/r/suggestmeabook/comments/i8xdua/what_are_the_most_fascinating_books_by/

 

Looking for recommendations for a 13 year old boy that really loved Enders Game

https://www.reddit.com/r/printSF/comments/kprq8w/looking_for_recommendations_for_a_13_year_old_boy/

 

Regards,

Kareni

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On 2/9/2021 at 10:35 PM, tuesdayschild said:

 

16/01 – 06/02  The Count of Monte Cristo ~ Alexandre Dumas, narrated by Bill Homewood (5)  audiobook

My start to this classic was not a good one, the first chapter felt like a fizzer, it gifted me with a character who was clueless about others feelings and motives toward him (that sort of character makes me want to shake them!) ..... I won't add any spoilers as others here are still at the beginning.    I wasn’t sure I want to invest all the hours required to go through the journey with Dantes  ….. so  I went over to Goodreads to put this audiobook into my abandoned stack; and,  then saw how much Kathy @Lady Florida.  loved it - the 5 stars kind of loved it - so I decided I must have missed something as other books she’s gifted 5 stars to have been success reads for me also.   I took a week break and tried again.  With my next attempt I just stuck with the audiobook (on 2x speed) until Dantes meets up with the Abbe:   I ended up really enjoying this involved, slightly convoluted tale and I had no clue of how the end was going to play out.     I will add, as I was listening to the audiobook (at 1.9x speed)  around chapter 55 I absolutely had to (!) pause and realign who everyone was, what they had done in the past and who they were now, whom they had married, and who each child belonged to.     Others may like to note the author uses the 'n' word once.

 

I'm glad to hear you stuck with it and ended up liking it. Now that I'm rereading it with the group I'm remembering how slowly it started out. I too was glad I persevered. It took me quite a while to read. Not the 3 years that shows on Goodreads - that was me not updating properly lol. It did take me several months though. 

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It's been a while since I gave a book update. I've been reading a lot the last couple of weeks but only finished one book.

The one I finished was Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden, a thriller about a Native American "enforcer" who gets involved in solving a crime and searching for drug dealers on a Lakota reservation in South Dakota. Apparently these hired enforcers or vigilantes are real, and pretty common when tribal police have their hands tied by the feds and the feds refuse to prosecute certain crimes. It was a really good debut novel and I especially liked the way the author informed readers about issues Native Americans face and life on a reservation, without it feeling like he was teaching or lecturing. This was my February fiction pick from my TBR jar. 

I'm currently reading three non-fiction books, two fiction, listening to one fiction, and have one I might abandon.

The candidate for not finishing is The Witch's Heart, a retelling of the witch/giantess Angrboda. Although I know more about Greek and Roman myths I've always been most fascinated by Norse myths. I was hoping this would be the Norse myth version of Circe, but am finding the writing to be too plain. It's probably just me but I feel that a myth retelling should have lovely writing. It's a library book that isn't due back until March 3rd and I've only made it to page 63 of 347, so I might give it a bit more of a chance. So far though the writing style is just not making me want to read more. It has good, sometimes rave reviews so I seem to be in the minority. 

The rest are -

King Leopold's Ghost - this was my nonfiction pick from the jar. I started reading it some time ago but got distracted. After giving it some thought I decided to start over rather than pick up where I left off. I think that was the right choice because now it feels like I'm reading it for the first time. 

Romantic Outlaws - the dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. This is my favorite among the nonfiction I'm currently reading. 

A People's History of the United States - my year long read that I don't pick up every day, but instead read a few times a week.

Disappearing Earth -  I'm really enjoying this one and learning about a place I barely knew existed. The style reminds me somewhat of Girl, Woman, Other in that it seems like a collection of short stories but they all have a thread connecting them in some way. 

I'm also doing the read along of The Count of Monte Cristo. It's a reread for me but I like the story so I decided to join in with you all. The first week I was excited to start and read our three chapters on Monday, then was sorry to be finished so fast. I didn't want to get ahead so I didn't read anymore. Last week I was reading Chapter 6 probably just as @Robin M was posting this new thread. This week I'm trying to pace myself so I'm neither ahead nor behind. 🙂

Martin Chuzzlewit - I haven't had a chance to listen lately but I plan to find a crochet pattern of something to make and once I get started on a project I'll have more audio book time. I watched the miniseries on Prime and it's actually helping me enjoy the book more. That's normally the opposite of how I read/watch things but sometimes with classics I find it easier to watch first and then read or listen. 

 

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I didn't mention above that my book club decided to meet in person because we just couldn't take it anymore. Early on in the pandemic we tried a couple of Zoom meetings but the dynamic of our group works better in person. We last met in person almost a year ago - March 3rd to be exact (that was also the last time I ate inside a restaurant). We had Zoom meetings in May and June and then decided virtual meetings don't work for us. Fortunately we're all Covid careful. We met last Monday at a park that has a large pavilion where we could be distanced (hooray for Florida winters), and all wore masks the whole time. I had chosen the book, The Night Watchman. We spent a little time discussing the book and a lot of time catching up. 

Our next book will be Caste. I haven't started it yet so I didn't add it to my list above as currently reading. I'm hoping I can finish either Leopold's Ghost or Disappearing Earth soon and then get started on Caste. I'm expecting to finish one of those two because they're the shortest of the books I'm currently reading. I don't want to add another book until I finish one, or I fear it will take me way to long to finish any one book. 

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39 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

I didn't mention above that my book club decided to meet in person because we just couldn't take it anymore. Early on in the pandemic we tried a couple of Zoom meetings but the dynamic of our group works better in person. We last met in person almost a year ago - March 3rd to be exact (that was also the last time I ate inside a restaurant). We had Zoom meetings in May and June and then decided virtual meetings don't work for us. Fortunately we're all Covid careful. We met last Monday at a park that has a large pavilion where we could be distanced (hooray for Florida winters), and all wore masks the whole time. I had chosen the book, The Night Watchman. We spent a little time discussing the book and a lot of time catching up. 

Our next book will be Caste. I haven't started it yet so I didn't add it to my list above as currently reading. I'm hoping I can finish either Leopold's Ghost or Disappearing Earth soon and then get started on Caste. I'm expecting to finish one of those two because they're the shortest of the books I'm currently reading. I don't want to add another book until I finish one, or I fear it will take me way to long to finish any one book. 

How are you feeling?

 

Thanks for the reminder about Disappearing Earth. It was supposed to be my first read of 2020, but the events of the first chapter triggered me a bit, so I set it aside. I will be fine reading it now, past a certain life stress point. I will put it back in my nightstand stack. 

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2 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

I didn't mention above that my book club decided to meet in person because we just couldn't take it anymore. ....We spent a little time discussing the book and a lot of time catching up. 

That sounds wonderful!

2 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

...Early on in the pandemic we tried a couple of Zoom meetings but the dynamic of our group works better in person....

After meeting with my local book group on Zoom for the better part of a year, I understand entirely. My local group has eleven members, and we struggle with the format. I feel as though we're becoming awkward with each other.

My old group fares better, in part, I think because we are at most six people. Also, the old group has been meeting for over 25 years, so there is a lot of shared history (even though I was not a part of it for the last 18 years).

Regards,

Kareni

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3 hours ago, Seasider too said:

How are you feeling?

 

Thanks for the reminder about Disappearing Earth. It was supposed to be my first read of 2020, but the events of the first chapter triggered me a bit, so I set it aside. I will be fine reading it now, past a certain life stress point. I will put it back in my nightstand stack. 

I'm on the mend, thank you. I still have movement limitations at least until my six week checkup in early March and have to wear my brace anytime I'm in a car (driving or passenger) as well as when I'm on my feet for any length of time. I don't have to wear it in general, just when I need support. Pain relief is slow but I'm told that's normal. When I saw the PA at my two week post-op she said I should notice a huge improvement by the time of my next appointment. Back surgery for pain relief seems to be so hit and miss. Fingers crossed mine will be a hit.

I was concerned when reading that first chapter too and wasn't sure I wanted to continue, but thought I'd give it a chance. I'm now about 2/3 through (67% on my Kindle) and I can say there's been nothing else like that. Of course I don't know how it will end but so far I'm finding the book really interesting and worth the read.

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Last night I finished the science fiction romance Overload Flux: Central Galactic Concordance Book 1 by Carol Van Natta which was a gift from a friend who knows I like space opera and romance; I enjoyed it. Interestingly, it has a pandemic storyline though it was written in 2014.

"The Central Galactic Concordance has been stable for two centuries, but trouble is brewing. A pandemic is affecting hundreds of civilized planets, and someone is stealing the vaccine...

Brilliant investigator Luka Foxe's hidden mental talent is out of control, making him barely able to function in the aftermath of violence, and the body count is rising. The convoluted trail leads to a corrupt pharma industry and the possibility of an illegal, planet-sized laboratory. In the face of increasing threats, he must rely on an enigmatic, lethal woman he just met, but she has deep secrets of her own.

Mairwen Morganthur hides extraordinary skills under the guise of a dull night-shift guard. The last thing she wants is to provide personal security for a hot-shot investigator, or to be plunged into a murky case involving sabotage, treachery, and the military covert operations division that would love to discover she’s still alive.

Two more lives in a rising death count won’t bother their enemies one bit. Their only hope for survival lies in revealing their dark secrets and learning to trust one another."

ETA: In browsing other books by the author, I just saw that you can get the above book for FREE as part of a seven book collection ~

Star Crossed: 7 Novels of Space Exploration, Alien Races, Adventure,...

Regards,

Kareni

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I enjoyed the book Mail Me Art: Going Postal with the World's Best Illustrators and Designers by Darren Di LietoIt was fun looking at all the different art pieces with their various styles; I also liked reading the included artist interviews.

"Art on a Journey


It started with an idea Darren Di Lieto had: Challenge illustrators and designers to create works of art on packages, envelopes and postcards - then actually send them to him through the mail. The response was overwhelming, and Di Lieto posted photos of each piece of art on MailMeArt.com, so people the world over could follow the art on its journey from artist to post office to computer screen. The images are preserved in this book to inspire you as well.

Inside, discover:

  • 200 of the best pieces of mail art from the project, showcasing the variety and depth of the international illustration community.
  • Interviews with 17 of the artists - including Jon Burgerman, Dan May, Kristian Olson, Michael Slack, Catalina Estrada and Jeff Miracola - that give insight into the work and the spirit of the project.
  • Darren Di Lieto's firsthand experience of the challenges and joys of organizing this worldwide project, from storing the mail art to the daily anticipation of art in the mailbox."

Regards,

Kareni

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And I finished a second gift book this evening ~ Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair. This author's books often show up on lists of science fiction romances. Interestingly, I've tried several of her books in the past with no success; this one I enjoyed.

"Independent trader Trilby Elliot is making some not-quite-legal modifications to her starfreighter, when an unexpected visitor falls out of space. Literally. He’s crashed onto the uninhabited planet of Avanar in a crippled ’Sko fighter–the last place you’d expect to find a Zafharin military officer because the ’Sko and the Zafharin have been at war as long as Trilby can remember.

Rhis Vanur is your typically arrogant Zafharin. But to Trilby’s surprise, he doesn’t look down on her or her slapdash ship. Still, Trilby’s learned the hard way that even though she found Rhis, she can’t keep him. She’s just a low-budget jump jockey as far as men like him are concerned. She’s not falling for his offer to help…until Port Rumor reports her best friend missing and Trilby learns that the ’Sko are hunting both her and Rhis. Now they’re in it together for better, for worse–or till death blasts them to oblivion...."

Regards,

Kareni

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I finished listening to JD Robb’s latest Faithless in Death.  Like always it was a great story!
 

I also finished my first ever Charlie Parker thriller.  I have to say I find it fascinating that Lee Child (a Brit who went to the University of Sheffield) and John Connelly(an Irish dude from Dublin) both seem to write great US law enforcement thriller type fiction.  I started with the first in the series Every Dead Thing and while really violent it was well done.  I will read more in the series but this isn’t one that I feel the need to put a hold on the next today!😉 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6637865-every-dead-thing

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Good morning from what feels like the Arctic! We have only had one day with a Feels like above 0. The forecast is for a warming trend and we should be in the 20s by the weekend. I hope so as I would like to take my dog for a walk and feel some sunshine.

I finished The Screwtape Letters.  This read through was much different from when I read it 15 years ago. I found it be much less humorous and much more prophetic; especially the included Screwtape's Toast written in 1961 for The Saturday Evening Post. I found myself writing copious marginalia and highlighting passages throughout (good thing this was a personal copy). I had to walk away from the book a few times as the content and relevancy to current events weighed heavily on my heart (and I am by no means a practicing Christian; my faith waivered when we were treated so deploringly by the church when my DD became a teenage mother). My DH was treated to a personal reading of many of my highlighted passages last night; he sat there with good humor and decided he needs to read it as well.

I am making my way through the next few chapters of The Count of Monte Cristo. 

My sister sent me a box of books she has read and I chose to read one of those, Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan.. As I was entering it into Goodreads, I noticed the many reviews stating not to read this book as the Aboriginal peoples of Australia have attempted to have it withdrawn from publication claiming the drastic and hurtful falsehood claimed by the author. I think I'm going to set it aside, maybe look into the furor a bit.  Have any of you read it?

I found a short audiobook about creativity written by the woman who wrote Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert. Interestingly enough, I chose this book to listen to while creating a journal for a friend and learning how to draw gnomes. I have neglected the creative part of my brain far too long and am enjoying myself. I have no artistic talent and rely heavily on Youtube vids and google images for ideas but I am having fun. My stack of gnomes notecards is growing so if anyone wants to get a good laugh, let me know and I'll send you one.

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I finished Disappearing Earth today and really enjoyed it. Solid four stars. @Seasider too the end comes back to the thing that happened in the first chapter but much of it is ambiguous. Without getting too spoiler-y I'm not actually sure what happened. I can read difficult things in fiction (less so in nonfiction because I know a thing really happened) so it's hard for me to say but I would think it's not really triggering.

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After staying up late last night and reading much of today, I finished Metal Boxes by Alan Black. The book is silly in parts; however, it definitely kept my attention, and I enjoyed it. I see it's classified as both space opera and military science fiction.

"Coming of age can be hard for anyone. But for Blackmon Perry Stone it is life threatening. At 15, he barely manages to graduate from the empire’s cadet training by a talent for unusual problem solving. He has trouble settling into navy life, but life becomes harder when he uncovers a ring of thieves aboard the huge ship. Life becomes difficult when they killed him.

Stone is ejected into hyperspace in an escape pod without hyperspace engines. Fully expecting to die, he reconfigures the sub-light engine to escape the inescapable. To his surprise it works, but only well enough to do little more than crash on an uncharted planet. It will surprise him if he can make the engine work again, but not as much as it will surprise everyone else if he can come back from the dead."

Regards,

Kareni

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Dropping in with a quick note as I've been awol this week.  I'm nursing a book hangover as I finished reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.  Lot to process and will write a review at some point. Still listening in the car and now can relax a little bit since I know what happened in the story.  Hard for me to listen to a story when it's new. Requires way more concentration and had to keep hitting 30 second rewind because I kept missing things. 

I discovered Microsoft Word's read aloud function which has come in handy with my current WIP and making lots of changes, and its taking  up a lot of time, but I'm happy to be back in the writing zone after a long hiatus. 

Plus I  finally got Netflix and I've been binge watching Schitts creek so not spending a whole lot of time on the internet. 

Will check back in tomorrow. 

@Lady Florida. Glad you are doing better and @Granny_WeatherwaxWelcome home and hope your furbaby is doing okay. 

Edited by Robin M
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