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Recent Reads

Brutal Discoveries by Kasey Millstead (2016).  Bakery owner Scarlett's life changes dramatically when she joins a group matching volunteer visitors with prisoners serving life sentences.  She can't even imagine the changes prisoner Damon and prison guard Aden bring to her life.  While I found the romantic aspects of the story lacking and the details about the bakery distracting, I enjoyed the details about the relationships and getting to know Scarlet.

Abandoned:  The Story of the Greely Arctic Expedition 1881-1884 by Alden Todd (2001).  Fascinating read about the experience of a group of Arctic explorers.  Snippets included from diaries really tell the story as the group moves from being well-fed and excited about their adventure to starving, struggling to survive, and knowing each other almost too well.  Sadly, most of the men died before being rescued.

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick (2013).  This is a re-read for Maya and me.  Seemingly shallow, this book is actually a wickedly smart and funny take on what happens when an American girl from a Missouri trailer park (Becky) magically becomes the most beautiful woman in the world (Rebecca).  All sorts of opportunities suddenly come Becky's way as Rebecca, and she only has a year to get married or lose her beauty.  What happens?

Tabula Rasa by Kitty Thomas (2016).  Lots of angst and twists when Elodie wakens in a post-apocalyptic, abandoned theme park with amnesia and a husband who strikes her as "off," including being found by someone just as terrifying as her husband.  I found the story fascinating right up until the very end, which left me unsatisfied and upset.  No spoilers, so let me know what you think if you decide to read the book--disappointed with the ending or not?


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If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor

The May selection for my work book club is Jon McGregor's If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (2002). The novel follows various individuals in one neighborhood on a particular day, an ordinary day that ends with a terrible tragedy.

Here's the short set of questions I e-mailed to book club members yesterday, along with my own responses.

Did you have a favorite character, or one that spoke to you the most? Who and why?
The father with the burned hands is the one who stayed with me the most after reading the book.

Did you notice that the day on which the events unfold is actually the same day that Diana, Princess of Wales, died? Does knowing that make any difference in how you see the story? I wouldn't have made the connection if I hadn't just watched some of the coverage of the Royal Wedding. To quote the author, he chose this particular day because his novel is about how ". . .everyday miracles of life and death go unwitnessed in favor of celebrity and sensati…

Current Little Pleasures

Girls' weekend in Omaha with Maya and her friend.

Happy Buddha:  Sweet Orange and Cedar Shower Foam from RITUALS

Time for iced or blended peppermint mochas.

Shopping for little gifts for Maya's Japanese pen pal.  They were matched through their schools, and we're hoping she can stay with us for a few days this summer.

The flock of wild turkeys, foxes, and other assorted wildlife entertaining us this fall.

Thanksgiving plans to visit my sister.

Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas is back!

Current Little Pleasures

Christmas Keepsake Week, July 14-23, filled with Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Sending Christmas (in July) cards with a Peace greeting to some of my favorite people.  Why not??

Scott Tube Free Toilet Paper--nothing to recycle.

Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream--always!

Baby Driver movie.

Seeing photos from my sisters and niece on Facebook during their Italy trip.  I can't imagine they will want to come back home!

What are your current little pleasures?