Tuesday, August 15, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 8/15/17



In the past year or two I've been getting acquainted with books by Elizabeth Cadell. I have only read five so far, but my library has several (I'll look: 15, with 11 more in its system of 50+ libraries; yea!), and she wrote over fifty books.

My favorite of her books so far has been The Lark Shall Sing. It is the first of three books that tell about the Wayne Family. I got such a kick out of the six Wayne children and their shenanigans and the people they bring home who wind up being a part of the mix. It really could be a movie in the same vein has Cheaper by the Dozen or With Six You Get Eggroll, etc. Lots of fun craziness.

What is odd is that I can't remember the second Wayne book at all, although I have read it: The Blue Sky of Spring. I think it was more romance and fewer shenanigans.

I've had a request in for the last of the three, Six Impossible Things, for ages, but my library hasn't tracked it down as yet- one of their very few failures to do so. I was putting off a post on Cadell until I read this final Wayne installment, but decided to go ahead.

Some of Cadell's books are available for Kindle or in paperback, so I will have to splurge sometime on the final Wayne Family book that way. (Or her books can be found via third parties.)

Cadell's books, I believe, are mostly romances (see this site). (Evidently, she also wrote a few of what we'd call cozy mysteries.) Some are more fun, though, than others. Mrs. Westerby Changes Course was fun, whereas Any Two Can Play (but even it had its moments) and Remains to Be Seen were more typical, imho.

If you enjoy light, clean romance and quirky books, you may very well enjoy books by Elizabeth Cadell. I'd say her writing is between D E Stevenson and M C Beaton as to depth and style, for whatever that's worth. :O)  

If you've read some Cadell and have particular recommendations, let me know so that I can read your suggestions sooner rather than later in the queue!

Blessings on your reading,
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, August 13, 2017

A Word for Us on 8/13/17


For instance, take the matter of eating. God has given us an appetite for food and stomachs to digest it.
But that doesn't mean we should eat more than we need ...
1 Corinthians 6:13  TLB

This is a tough one (and food isn't the main topic of this verse, but I'll leave it to you to look it up if you're interested).

It has taken me many years to accept the fact that I can't eat as much as I want to and be slender. My life is a far cry from my twenties when it seemed I could eat all I wanted of anything and stay a healthy weight (there were brief exceptions when I did gain, though, I'll admit).

These days I am older and sedentary enough that it just doesn't take much food to keep me going. And the lighter amount I do eat (I shoot for 1200 to 1400 calories most days) still maintains far more weight than I'd like. (I eat a little more some days, which I need to amend. But honestly, sometimes I fear that to weigh 130 lbs I'd have to live off 800 calories a day and two hours of daily exercise!)

And if I want to feel well, I need to get all the nutrition I can out of my calorie intake. That's sort of hard for me to accept, too!

But I hereby resolve to do my best, with God's help, to make better choices, including getting more exercise. However, I'll still have the occasional treat because I want to do that for myself just as much as I want to make better choices on the whole. A gal can only take so much deprivation. ;^]

Have a great start to your week!
Bess
PS: The photo is from 2014.



Friday, August 11, 2017

Another Quote Friday



To get away to myself, where I was sure no one could hear me, and sing and sing till I made the echoes ring, was one of the chief joys of my existence, but I had never made a success in singing to company.
From My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin (1901)

Fits my early life exactly! Now I just plain can't sing out loud, though. I've gone all croaky. (Although I do seem to be less inhibited while driving and sometimes croak away in the car.)

These sometimes ring when I walk by the cabinet; then I have to move them a little.

Enjoy your weekend!
Bess

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 8/9/17




Before recommending a series, I like to have read at least its first three books. If there isn't anything too offensive within the first three books, I can have hope the rest of the series will be likewise.

But today I'm sharing after having only read the first book in a series of 27 or 28 books so far: Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M C Beaton.

First, however, you might have noticed I usually am reading older books. And mostly, I'm sure, I will continue to do that for the rest of my reading days. I simply have too much catching up to do when it comes to books. My lists of reading possibilities are very lengthy, so I must keep my nose to the grindstone! In fact, sometimes I get too enthusiastic and borrow too many books from the library. That's the way it's been going this summer: It seems every few days I've put another book on hold, along with checking out other library books.

Back to our heroine, Agatha Raisin. She is the protagonist in this series of cozy mysteries. The first book came out in 1992, and Beaton is still writing them. Agatha is 53 (plain and stocky), and takes early retirement by selling her small but successful PR firm and moving into a cottage in the Cotswolds. Having been a ruthless career woman, Agatha has never learned to cook, never done her own decor, and doesn't do her own housecleaning.

The villagers aren't overly welcoming, and she soon learns that as an "incomer," one is forever an incomer. But in her "get things done" fashion, she enters a quiche-baking contest, hoping to win and to win friends. Naturally, things do not go as planned.

I read the first chapter of the book the day I picked it up, and loved it, even though there was the inevitable use of the occasional swear word. But then I wanted to finish another book or two, so a few days later, when I came back to this book I was disappointed in the next chapters.

What?! The writing seemed terse, with short, "clippy" sentences. There was a glaring error with a major character's name, a timing error, and typos. It ran through my mind not to finish it. (This edition, shown above, needed better editing, but perhaps newer editions have improved.)

But the next night, my mood must have been better because I once again was enjoying the book. Beaton, a pen name for Marion Chesney (which is a pen name for Marion McChesney) does write in rather short, choppy sentences, and I reminded myself she wrote that way in the seven Regency Romances of hers I've read. In all, I believe since 1979(?), Beaton/Chesney has written almost 150 books!

But here's what I liked: The story moves fast. Something new is always happening almost from page to page, which as I got farther into the book, really held my interest. I also liked the fact that the series revolves around the character of Agatha Raisin. (I liked Chesney's Travelling Matchmaker series for Hannah Pym; but after reading the first Six Sisters book, I knew I didn't care about each of the other sisters and their separate stories.)

The clincher: I was sorry when the book ended. Fortunately, my own local library has the next in the series, so I will pick up The Vicious Vet soon.

Have you read this series? Or any others by the same author?

Blessings for a well-read week!
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.





Monday, August 7, 2017

Another Quote


Hello there! My usual book post will be later this week because I have to finish the book first! I like the book so far, but I'm only halfway through. I looked over my previously read books on my shelves for inspiration for a post, but no such luck this time.

Today I'll share with you a quote from Joyce Meyer that I thought was good. I think it was from a recent Enjoying Everyday Life program. Her theme this month is Summer Makeover with teachings on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Joyce said:

"Even if you feel lousy, every good decision you make helps undo the results of bad decisions that you've made in the past."

Thinking like that should fill a person with hope. As I recall, she was referring to physical health, but those words apply in any area. It's never too late to change because at the very least, we can change our thinking. And that's not "the very least," that's major!

Enjoy your days, and maybe there's one small, but good decision each of us can act on this week.

Back soon,
Bess

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Word for Us on 8/6/17



You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

This psalm was written by King David, referring to himself, and in parts apparently prophetically referring to Jesus.

We can rightly believe David's words apply to us, as well. God helps us in life; we can have joy whenever we think of Him; and we confidently look forward to indescribable pleasures forevermore once we soar to Heaven.

It's going to be awesome.

For now, have an awesome start to your week!
Bess

Friday, August 4, 2017

Healthy Girlish Vanity



Aunt Helen's treatment for making me presentable was the wearing of gloves and a shady hat every time I went outside; and she insisted upon me spending a proper time over my toilet, and would not allow me to encroach upon it with the contents of my bookshelf.

"Rub off some of your gloomy pessimism and cultivate a little more healthy girlish vanity, and you will do very well, " she would say.

From My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin



I suspect even we women of a certain age, especially we retirees, could use a little more "healthy girlish vanity." I do notice the temptation to let different little things within "my toilet," aka beauty routine or regimen, slide.

When I was maybe thirteen or fourteen I begged my mother to let me shave my legs. "Once you start, you'll have to do it every day," she warned. Still I wanted to do it, and eagerly did.

By the end of high school, I was keeping my nails polished at all times and loved that whole process.

Well, since now I never show my legs, I don't shave them except before a doctor's appointment, and I polish my nails about once a year! There are other things that I'm "hit or miss" with as well. 

Where is my self-respect?! 

Lately, my pierced ears have become a conundrum for me. I no longer want to wear earrings at home, or even to run casual errands. But on the other hand, I don't want the "holes" to grow over, or whatever they do, because I might want to wear my earrings sometime in the future. (I have oodles of earrings, but no reason to wear them.)

But I make myself put in my most casual pair of earrings, the tiny gold balls I've had since I had my ears pierced (in a doctor's office, by a nurse) the summer of 1972. And they don't look casual enough to me. Yet I'm not sure what style of earrings would look casual enough for spending every day in jeans and a t-shirt. I used to like my earrings to be noticed; now I want them to be nearly imperceptible. Well, much ado about nothing, and no doubt time will bring a resolution.

I so envy French girls whose first beauty regimens were/are taught them by their mothers and who were/are even taken to aestheticians to learn more about skincare, soaps, and makeup specific to their needs. My mother didn't seem to be inclined that way. Perhaps she thought I'd figure it out on my own. (I know she sometimes would say, "Dr. Spock says ...", which studying his 1946 book may have contributed to her largely letting me raise myself.)



But going back to today's quote, I do think a little healthy vanity might be just what I need these days. I'll have to see if I can do better in that regard: a little less reading, a little more pampering!

Blessings,
Bess
PS: If you'd like to see more of this vintage beauty publication, click here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 8/1/17




Fairly recently I discovered another new-to-me series of novels while searching for something else on my library's website.




I am now almost through the third book, The Wedding Circle, of The Cherry Cola Book Club series, and although definitely not great literature, the series is light reading that holds my interest. Photos are Amazon links.




The book is about a young librarian, Maura Beth Mayhew, in the small town of Cherico, Mississippi. The early books are about her fight to keep the City Council from defunding and closing down the rather pathetic-sounding library in the town of 5,000. The town's main players are introduced, and I soon became interested in the various story threads.

One of Maura Beth's strategies is to begin a book club that meets at the library. One wouldn't see how that could help circulation, but as the group meets to eat a meal together and discuss books, they formulate and carry out other plans to help the library survive. (Recipes appear at the back of each book.)



 
This series is written by a man, Ashton Lee (a pseudonym I think). He does fairly well with the female roles (and male), although some of the humor that he has the characters laughing over just fell flat with me. But then I rarely read books expecting much humor, and for some reason I don't often laugh at books or movies or tv shows. It doesn't mean I don't like them, though!

There is a little swearing, but nothing vulgar, and intimacy is left to the imagination. So I would call these "clean" books, and I am always grateful for such as these.




If you are interested in libraries, small towns, books, book clubs, or Southern cooking, you might want to give this series a try. And of course, there is romance and the inevitable problems that afflict new and old relationships.

To date there are five books in the series, with the sixth slated for release this November. Let me know if you've read any of these books, and what you thought of them. Or you can always leave a suggestion for other books for our reading enjoyment.




I'm grateful for each and every one of you that visits my blog,
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.