Tuesday, April 25, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 4/25/17





Today I'm sharing the book Home Fires (photo is a link to Amazon) by Julie Summers. The book was first published as Jambusters in the UK, and then apparently republished after the tv series was in production.

The tv series is excellent, and it's so disappointing that it has been cancelled after only its second season. There is a move to have it continue, and I hope it will be back.

Mostly I'm sharing this book to make sure people who like the series and are expecting the book to be a novel about Great Paxford and all its beloved residents, that they know this book is a non-fiction history book about the Women's Institute, aka WI, during WWII. It is definitely not a novel, and almost reads like a textbook. 

But I have enjoyed reading and learning, although it's slow-going. I have about 100 pages left. The book is a thorough study of, and contains the best take-aways from, probably hundreds(?) of records, letters, and interviews of the ladies of the WI and the various organizations holding some sway over their activities during the war.

The chapters are lengthy and chock-full of stats and letters and quotes. But it's all interesting to me. I do think it would have helped immensely to break up the chapters with subheadings, but maybe that's just an older-age preference of mine.

The book has me thinking about how much the WI women knew how to do, or were willing to learn, in order to improve and help their homes, villages, and country. They were a remarkable group, some 330,000 strong, housing evacuees, feeding England, keeping soldiers warm with knit garments, and so much more. Often while planes flew overhead and bombs dropped nearby.

Me? When I married I didn't know how to bake a potato. Or much else. I've never canned anything; and when I tried it, I found I hated sewing. I do love to knit, but am mostly foiled by arthritis these days.  All this to say: Brava, Ladies of the WI. Well done, indeed.

Blessings to my precious family, friends, and all my lovely visitors,
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 4/18/17





The Travelling Matchmaker books: Emily Goes to Exeter; Belinda Goes to Bath; Penelope Goes to Portsmouth; Beatrice Goes to Brighton; Deborah Goes to Dover; and Yvonne Goes to York. (Photos are links to the Amazon pages; available for Kindle or in print.)

After reading several, but not tons, of Harlequin Romance books in my 20s, I pretty much gave up reading romances for years. Decades even. When I was that age, I decided romance novels had the power to make me unhappy by thinking my husband or our relationship/marriage didn't measure up. 


     This is the series version I've been reading.

I don't recall doing that much reading in my 30s, but in my 40s I began to read mostly non-fiction and/or inspirational books. I didn't bother with much fiction because I didn't think there was anything out there I would like.

When my 50s arrived, I began to read a few blogs that were written by ladies I perceived to be kindred spirits. They would suggest books by authors such as Miss Read, DE Stevenson, LM Montgomery, and others. So I began to read some of their suggestions and finally, after a lifetime of not knowing, I discovered what "my kind of books" were: gentle, wholesome or clean, character-driven books; many by British authors.





 
In time, I discovered there were even romance novels that could be considered "clean" and fun, without being graphic or leading to unwanted arousal. So to make a long story short, in recent weeks I've been making my way through The Travelling Matchmaker series by Marion Chesney, aka MC Beaton. You'll find them both ways. These are short Regency novels about a retired manor housekeeper who travels by "stagecoach" for fun. Jane Austen books they are not, but I am enjoying Miss Pym's efforts to make a match or two. She often has to keep several people in line, as well.





I think it would be best to read the books in order since Miss Pym's background is given in Book 1, and her own romance possibility is ongoing in each book thereafter. I'm ready for Book 4 of six. The story lines are similar to each other, yet different enough to hold my interest. Beaton has written several other series of six books each. They look interesting, also. The books sometimes have a few phrases that are "suggestive," but I haven't found them to be in poor taste.

So if you like romance novels at all, you might want to read some of these books. Maybe it's a sign of the times, but I find myself, now in my 60s, wanting to do very light reading; books that aren't overly serious, and a bit fun. I may reach my fill of romances and clean cozy mysteries (another type of book I never thought I'd enjoy much), but for now they are a nice escape.

Hope you are finding time to indulge in a good book,
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Another Glimpse



I hope you had a pleasant Easter. It was a day of indulgence for me because I allowed myself all the chocolate I fancied, along with two regular Cokes. Yes, I had given up both for Lent, and believe me, there were times I regretted it! Lent seemed especially long this year. I tried to determine just when it ended, but there were so many opinions, I decided to stick it out until 12:01AM Easter.

At least the final evening was entertaining because we had a bad thunderstorm, some hail, and lost power as soon as the storm arrived. As near as I know, only the few houses that run off our same transformer lost power. Across the street had power; up the street had power, and so on. But our wonderful power company arrived quickly, and power came back on ... except for my house! When I realized the situation, they were just about to pull away, but I ran to my back porch and flagged them in the alley with my flashlight. They said they'd check it out, which resulted in their having to pick up a new transformer and replace it. By that time, we were having a second thunderstorm with more terrific lightening, and there they were, up at the top of the pole changing out the transformer. Those guys are heroes if you ask me. I was quite concerned and said my prayers for their safety. But then I realized they take a lot of safety training, and I decided to trust in their ability to do their job, with God's help.

While this was going on, my brother was using oxygen tanks, what with no power to run the concentrator. Before the big ice storm this past winter, I had picked up a new big tank. But last night I couldn't stop the leakage, so when his small portable tank was near empty, I was starting to change it out to another small tank, which wasn't going to be easy to do with just a little flashlight for light. I must admit to feeling some frustration by that time. And then, voila! The lights came on; I yelled my thanks to the power guys; and had good light to exchange the tank to be ready for next time. It's that time of year on the Great Plains.

I used to drink solely Diet Coke for a soda, then this past year I'd been rotating in regular Cokes to where I'd enjoy two or three a week. That's not a good thing, so seeing as how I went without them for forty-six days, I'm going to try to cut back a bit. 

It's odd, perhaps, but I find the older I get, the more I want to consume certain foods and treats from my childhood. White bread for toast or sandwiches is another. But then I don't have it very often so I guess I won't fret over it. The occasional Hostess Cupcake. Oh dear. At least I haven't gained my lost weight back ... yet!

In other news, I've decided I hate the romance book I wrote years and years ago, but I am still, slowly, inputting it into the computer. Then I will probably have to shoot it. I mean, fry it. And lose the backup flash drive. On the other hand, I may put it on Amazon so that its few readers can learn how not to write a romance. I'll stop now. (But really, it's a wonder people publish anything because we are our own worst critics.)

Just took a break to watch tonight's episode of Home Fires on PBS. I have the book coming from our library system. I'm aware it's not a novel, but rather more of a history of the WI. I'll let you know if I like it.

On that note, I may be a day late with this week's book suggestions. We shall see. Well, it's still Easter evening as I write this, and I feel the need for a bit more chocolate, so I'll close. 


Remember, God loves you and, believer or not, there's not a thing you can do about it. Be blessed.
Bess