Bloggiesta

 

  • Clean up pages (change goals page)
  • Check all links.
  • Clean up tags
  • Visit blogs and comment :)
  • Check in with twitter for #Bloggiesta
  • Visit my Goodreads page and do some fall clean up there as well (library shelves, TBR list)
  • Visit my FIctFact account and catch it up with my series reads.
  • Set up a calendar and/or goals for posting and meme participation.

I am pretty happy with what I accomplished with everything going on this weekend.  I will be visiting blogs and commenting this evening.  I am relatively new to blogging (less than 1 year) so I have been learning a lot from other people – twitter cards, hosting book clubs, branding, and many other things.

Hope everyone else is enjoying their Bloggiesta!

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After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

 

Just finished this delightful mystery.  I really am surprised at how much I enjoyed it!  I am not usually a fan of the time period, the 1920s.  I don’t exactly know why, but I am assuming it was due to enforced readings of The Great Gatsby and The Fountainhead when I was younger, both books from that period.  I know I am in the minority, but I hated both of them.

Dandy Gilver is a great character, fun and interesting to read.   The dialogue and the characterizations seem very accurate for the time period.  Without checking the copyright date, you might think it was written in that time and I loved that about this book. The crime had plenty of twists and turns to make for a good mystery read.  Dandy stumbles her way through the mystery.  She is not an intellectual sleuth in the likes of Holmes, rather she relies on intuition, character judgement, and help from various sources.  The mystery is solved in the end, however there is a little minor cliffhanger that may or may not be resolved in later books.

I will read more in the series and am curious to see if Dandy’s husband, Hugh, becomes more of an important character or not.  Highly recommended!

Start of Bloggiesta

My first time participating in Bloggiesta found here.  Looks like a great idea….so my goals for this three days.

  • Clean up pages (change goals page)
  • Check all links.
  • Clean up tags
  • Visit blogs and comment 🙂
  • Check in with twitter for #Bloggiesta
  • Visit my Goodreads page and do some fall clean up there as well (library shelves, TBR list)
  • Visit my FIctFact account and catch it up with my series reads.
  • Set up a calendar and/or goals for posting and meme participation.

I think that is enough for one weekend

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

“Uncommonly pretty frock, that,” said Hugh entering….Hugh would never dream that I had done any more than put on a frock in the time he had spent bathing and shaving, and I mused, not for the first time, that if men believed a frock could do what had happened to me from the neck up in the last half hour, their world must seem a magical place indeed.

from After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

Arsenic and Old Cake by Jacklyn Brady

  This is the third book in the A Piece of Cake Mystery series.  I have to say it was not my favorite.   I really enjoyed the first two and while the character Rita Lucero remains true to form, I found that some of the plot elements seemed forced.  Rita goes “undercover” with Gabriel to do a little investigatory favor for a friend.  During the course of the investigation a murder occurs and things take off from there.  We meet another whole cast of characters, residents of a B & B that Rita and Gabriel stay at for the investigation.

There is also a plot line about  problems on the bakery front, this involves the other recurring characters, Miss Frankie, Ox and Edie.  Given the economy currently, the problems the luxury bakery are experiencing are very realistic and made  the book feel very current.   I just found Rita’s involvement in the mystery this time really far fetched and I also wasn’t thrilled that we seem to be heading to another love triangle.

I have enjoyed the series so far and so I will read the next book when it comes out.  I really like the character of Rita and the setting of the New Orleans bakery.

 

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

I read this for my One Drink Minimum Book Club.  I would not have picked this on my own to read but I am so glad that I did.  North Korea is in the news a great deal, but I will admit to being pretty ignorant about it other than in broad generalities.  Barbara Demick painstakingly reveals the horrors of life in North Korea through interviews with people who escaped to the south.  The book is extremely well written and detailed in descriptions.  I will say that it is not a light or uplifting read.  At points, it is unbelievably depressing.  Reading about what the escapees and indeed most citizens of North Korea endure makes it hard to believe that it is real.  You almost get the sense you are reading some dystopian novel.  The casual treatment of family members dying of starvation and illness, a kindergarten class whittling down from 50 to 15 due to starvation and disease, and a mother saying at one point “everyone who was going to die already had” and then you remind yourself this is real, happening now, in your lifetime and that  realization is like a slap in the face.

Highly recommended for readers of non-fiction, people interested in events occurring in Korea, and even people who read dystopian literature.

 

Deb Baker Books; Cooking & Evernote; SOA & Broadchurch; Dewey’s Readathon

    

Finally have a moment to breathe…I came back from vacation and then got immediately into getting ready to go back to school.  I moved schools so I had tons of unpacking to do and then setting up new classroom.  My room is in pretty good shape so I just wanted to stop in and talk briefly about two books I read on my kindle.

These books are both by Deb Baker, but they are two different cozy mystery series.  Both of them are cute, quick, cozy mysteries with interesting characters.  Out of the two of them I will say that I enjoyed Murder Passed the Buck more.  The protagonist is a feisty grandma named Gertie Johnson, who eagerly pursues her criminal investigation activities to the dismay of her son. The book has moments of laugh out loud humor.   The second book, Dolled Up for Murder, is also well written.  It is a cozy with a theme involving doll collecting and restoration.  The protagonist, Gretchen Birch, is younger than Gertie Johnson and as such is a more physically active sleuth.   Dolled Up For Murder is less humorous and slightly darker than Murder Passed the Buck.

In other book news, I signed up again for Dewey’s Readathon coming up in October.  I am sooooo excited. I really had fun with the last one and found lots of great book blogs and books.  I highly recommend joining in if you can!

In cooking news, I’ve been culling my cookbook collection and have found Evernote an invaluable tool.  I had lots of books and back issues of Woman and Home, BBC Good Food, and Olive, so I was able to scan in recipes I used from them and then get rid of the original sources.  I also am able to clip from my favorite recipe websites:  BBC Good Food, Woman and Home, and Delia Online and make them Evernote pages in my recipes notebook.  Even better I can share it  with the rest of my family.

In TV news, Sons of Anarchy will soon be on again!  I am also really into Broadchurch on BBC America. Not much else, I am doing in terms of TV viewing.

Finally, in movies – I have a guilty pleasure :

I really want to go see this, but I have to convince my daughter to come with me.