2016: Very Good Reads

Of 200 books read in 2016, here are my VGRs:

Crooked Heart, by Lissa Evans: This was an excellent book set during WWII in London. Noel, aged 10, has been living with his godmother Mattie, a former suffragette with an unconventional lifestyle. When she dies, Noel is evacuated to the suburbs and is taken in by Vera, a woman in her mid-30s with a very messy life. Together, they come up with an unscrupulous scheme to get money and form an unlikely and lovely friendship. Continue reading “2016: Very Good Reads”

Military Library Links

Military members and their families can access free ebooks and audiobooks through the various digital libraries available to each service. As you can imagine, this is one of my favorite military resources! I happen to have an account with the Navy, Air Force, and Army libraries (all of which were freely offered to me as I tried to get an Army library account while my husband was working on a Navy base. Yay for joint bases!) For those of you not in the service and still reading this post, don’t despair – there’s a good chance your library participates in OverDrive. Check the site to see if your library system is included. My library here in Virginia Beach is on, and so is my mom’s in Indiana and my mother-in-law’s in Massachusetts. You can transfer books you’ve checked out on OverDrive onto your Kindle (not available for all books), tablet, or phone, and I think you can also read them in your browser. I use the OverDrive app on my iPad to do the majority of my reading – you’ll need a free Adobe ID in order to read any books in epub format.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 4.06.06 PM Continue reading “Military Library Links”

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author best known for her novel Anne of Green Gables and the other books that followed in that series. All of which are wonderful, but Anne of Green Gables is actually not my favorite of Montgomery’s novels, even though it is wonderful and timeless and always a great reread. No, my top three L. M. Montgomery novels that I most enjoy rereading are the following: Continue reading “Lucy Maud Montgomery”

2013: Very Good Reads

Of 144 books read in 2013, here are my VGRs:

Two-Part Inventions, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz: As a musician, I found this book especially fascinating and thought-provoking.  It starts with the death of Suzanne, a pianist who suffered from crippling stage fright and only found fame later in life through recordings.  The recordings turn out to have been brilliantly edited by her husband, Phil, who inserted bits and pieces and even movements from other pianists’ recordings into Suzanne’s recordings.  The book moves between the present, when listeners and websites are starting to discover the plagiarism, and the past, detailing Suzanne and Phil’s childhoods, teenage years, and beyond. Continue reading “2013: Very Good Reads”

Quote for Readers

My mom emailed me a great quote a few days ago.

As readers, we remain in the nursery stage so long as we cannot distinguish between taste and judgment, so long, that is, as the only possible verdicts we can pass on a book are two: this I like; this I don’t like.

For an adult reader, the possible verdicts are five: I can see this is good and I like it; I can see this is good but I don’t like it; I can see this is good and, though at present I don’t like it, I believe that with perseverance I shall come to like it; I can see that this is trash but I like it; I can see that this is trash and I don’t like it.

-W. H. Auden, from A Certain World

Continue reading “Quote for Readers”

A Few Favorites

Graeter’s ice cream, a college standby when I lived in Cincinnati, is absolutely wonderful.  Their chip flavors are chock full of huge chunks of Ghirardelli chocolate, unlike the waxy fake chocolate crap so many ice creams sport.  After leaving Cincinnati, I had to settle for having Graeter’s every few years when I went back to town.  Sometimes I would get 12 pints and bring them back home with me, packed in dry ice.  Luckily, Graeter’s is now being distributed nationally, though with a limited range of flavors.  A seasonal flavor, strawberry chip, has long been one of my absolute favorites, but I couldn’t get it unless I happened to be in Cincinnati in the month it was being sold (often June).  Lo and behold, what should appear in my Kroger’s freezer yesterday as I was picking up a few items: Continue reading “A Few Favorites”