'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Ballad of Sir Benfro by J.D. Oswald

Looks really good! Wish it was being published in the USA! All my kids love fantasy. Hopefully they will make it to our shore soon. If not I will pick up copies when I go to Scotland.  Great trailer!

Peggy Ann

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Out of Dublin by Ethel Rohan

Format: Short Story ebook
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Shebooks
source: Netgalley

Out of Dublin, a survivor’s captivating story of loss, abuse, and resilience, is a stunning short memoir told with startling honesty and vulnerability. Perhaps what’s most arresting about this work, above its unique voice, above its call to end silence, is the depth of its author’s capacity for compassion, love, and forgiveness.

Raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ethel Rohan lives in San Francisco. She is the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the latter named a 2010 Notable Story Collection by the Story Prize.

Winner of the 2013 Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, Rohan’s work has appeared or will appear in the New York Times, World Literature Today, and PEN America, among many others. Visit her at Ethelrohan.com.

This is a short e-book published by Shebooks--high quality fiction, memoir, and journalism for women, by women. For more information, visit Shebooks.

I didn't realize when I requested this book it was a 'short' book. It is that. I don't really read short stories. This one is crammed full of a very full life. Amazing how she got so much in so little space! Vivid, wonderful sense of place and people. Would love to see her life story in a full length novel!

If you like short stories be sure to check out Shebooks, written by women for women.

Peggy Ann

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Publisher: Atria
Genre: Literature, Adult Fiction
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-1476738017
Source: NetGalley

'In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.'

Quirky character got me interested in this book. And Ove is quirky! And I absolutely loved him! Ove is pronounced 'uu'-ve the uu sounds like the u in rule and the ve like vay. I looked it up! Go here and hear it pronounced, click on the little blue triangle.

The writing is wonderful, the characters excellent. I felt like I knew the whole neighborhood by the end of the book and I hated it to end. I hate to give too much away, but Ove is trying to commit suicide throughout the whole book and he is constantly interrupted, by his neighbors whom he really wants nothing to do with, and a stray cat that seems to have adopted him. Such a serious matter and yet so very funny. I laughed out loud, a lot. Lots of tender moments to that bring you to tears.

Get a taste of Ove:

''After this, he detoured through the guest parking area, where cars could only be left for up to twenty-four hours. Carefully he noted down all the registration numbers in the little pad he kept in his jacket pocket, and then compared these to the registrations he had noted down the day before. On occasions when the same registration numbers turned up in Ove's notepad, Ove would go home and call the Vehicle Licensing Authority to retrieve the vehicle owner's details, after which he'd call up the latter and inform him that he was a useless bloody imbecile who couldn't even read signs. Ove didn't really care who was parked in the guest parking area, of course. But it was a question of principle. If it said twenty-four hours on the sign, that's how long you were allowed to stay. What would it be like if everyone just parked wherever they liked? It would be chaos. There'd be cars bloody everywhere."

I liked the way the author describes things:

'He had never heard anything quite as amazing as that voice. She talked as if she was continuously on the verge of breaking into giggles. and when she giggled she sounded the way Ove imagined champagne bubbles would have sounded if they were capable of laughter."

"Ove stands there with his hands in his pockets. The cat beside him looks as if it would do the same, if it had pockets."

Beautiful lessons:

"On the other hand he tried to point out to her that she shouldn't give money to the beggars in the street, as they'd only buy schnapps with it. But she kept doing it. "They can do what they like with the money,' she said.

When Ove protested she just smiled and took his big hands in hers and kissed them, explaining that when a person gives to another person it's not just the receiver who's blessed. It's the giver."


"He knew better than to speak ill of what she loved; after all he understood very keenly how it was to receive her love when no one else could understand why he was worthy of it."

A beautiful, funny tale of loss, love and reconciliation. I hope you get a chance to read it and fall in love with Ove too. We can all learn a lot from him.

Peggy Ann

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Song for Sunday

1) Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2) So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3) Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4) But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said,  5) "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?" 6) Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7) Therefore Jesus said, "Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial."             
John 12:1-7 

Alabaster Box by CeCe Winans

The room grew still
As she made her way to Jesus
She stumbled through the tears that made her blind
She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There's no place here for her kind
Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Every thing she said was heard
As she poured her love for the Master
From her box of Alabaster

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him-like oil
From Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash His feet with my tears
And dry them with my hair
You weren't there - the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When He wrapped His loving arms around me
And you don't know the cost
Of the oil in my alabaster box

I can't forget
The way life used to be
I was a prisoner
To the sins that had me bound
I spent my days
Poured my life-without measure
Into a little treasure box
I thought I had found
Until the day-when Jesus came to me
And healed my soul
With the wonders of-His touch
So now I'm giving back to Him
All the praise He's worthy of
I've been forgiven
And that's why
I love Him so much

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him-like oil
From Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash His feet with my tears
And dry them with my hair, my hair
You weren't there-the night Jesus found me
You did not feel what I felt
When He wrapped His loving arms around me
And you don't know the cost of the oil
Oh you don't know the cost of my praise
you don't know the cost of the oil
in my alabaster box

Such a lovely song that touches my soul so.

Taken from the scripture at the top of the page. This story is also recounted in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9 and in both of these tellings it is mentioned that she poured from an alabaster box.

Nard was a plant and the fragrant oil it yielded. Since it was very expensive, Mary's act of devotion was costly. It was also an unusual act, both because she poured the oil on Jesus' feet (normally it was poured on the head) and because she used her hair to wipe them (a respectable woman did not unbind her hair in public). Further, it showed her humility, for it was a servant's work to attend to the feet.

Never judge a person's praise of Jesus as we don't know what it cost them to be able to do that. Only He knows the cost of their praise. And it's very precious to Him.

Peggy Ann

Friday, August 22, 2014

When You Hear Maine, First Thing You Think of is...

Stephen King of course!

Came across these sites this week and it just goes in with our last destination so had to share!

13 things Stephen King made scary
22 Lessons on how to be a great writer
Duma Key by Stephen King review

Stephen King makes his home in Bangor ME. I haven't been there yet, but next trip we are going for 4 weeks with the camper and will travel around so this is one area we will spend some time in. Can't wait!

Stephen's scary house info and pics

Locale's made famous by Mr. King tours

Stephen and his author wife Tabitha donated 3 million dollars to the renovation of their local library, the Bangor Public Library. Check out the visual tour of this gorgeous library! Read the history of the Library here.

Not only is his wife an author so are his kids! It's a family business. Read this great article about the King family.

I have recently started watching Haven,  set in Maine of course, on Netflix. It's based loosely on his book The Colorado Kid. Too bad the show isn't filmed in Maine! It's filmed in Lunenburg Nova Scotia. The book is a mystery and was published by Hard Case Crime in 2005. Compared to Dashiell Hammett and Graham Greene. No longer in print, you can still purchase the ebook or audio format or the paperback used.

I've never read his books. Tried one once years ago, but didn't care for it, but I LOVED them in the movie versions. I must try reading one again. Tastes change over the years. I have The Colorado Kid on the shelf and will definitely give it a try.

Peggy Ann

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey

'A long line had formed for the standing-room-only section of the Woffington Theatre. Didn't You Know?, London's favorite musical comedy for the past two years, was finishing its run at the end of the week. Suddenly, the line began to move, forming a wedge before the open doors as hopeful theatregoers nudged their way forward. But one man, his head sunk down upon his chest, slowly sank to his knees and then, still more slowly, keeled over on his face. Thinking he had fainted, a spectator moved to help, but recoiled in horror from what lay before him: the man in the queue had a small silver dagger neatly plunged into his back. So begins Inspector Alan Grant's first spectacular case, and it's up to the dapper detective to discover how murder was committed among so many witnesses, none of whom saw a thing.'

Finally finished this book! Took me long enough. It seemed slow to me, but that might have been because the kids where here and I didn't get to read much. Or was it because the book was slow and didn't draw me in so that I wanted to read much? Hmm...

I did like the final chase, it did pick up closer to the solution. I liked the chase in the Highlands of Scotland. I felt like I should have known it involved a certain person, just me being thick, but it seemed like the person that did the dirty deed was snuck in on us and how could we have known. But then, maybe I missed something in the beginning that I should have caught as I was distracted while reading this. Sorry not much of a good review here:)

Good characterization, solid puzzle and nice climatic ending. Only my second Alan Grant book and not really one of my favorites but enjoyable all the same.

Peggy Ann