Preppy the Whale Quilt Finish

I finished a quilt! I’m a starter and not a finisher but this had a hard deadline so I was motivated to get it done. I gave it to a coworker during our little baby shower for her yesterday.

Side note – I gave a baby quilt to another person who was there. He talked all about how useful it was and how the baby slept on it and all kinds of nice stuff. He said they got a few quilts so they could wash and rotate. It was very nice. Then he showed me a picture of her using my quilt. That was also nice but it wasn’t my quilt. I just giggled to myself and didn’t say anything.

This is Preppy the Whale by Elizabeth Hartman. The theme was underwater so I made the whales. Then I added borders to get it up to 36″ square. I quilted waves in the blue and seaweed in the pink vertical borders.

From Quilts

Linking to – Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Link a Finish Friday

Day in the Life – Day Off/Day On

I decided to cover two days because my first was so unusual for me. My first day was last Friday when I had a very rare day off when I had absolutely nothing scheduled.

2:00 AM – I’m awake!  This doesn’t usually happen to me but my brain woke up and was excited about it.  It wanted to get up and do things.  Stupid brain.  Went to other bedroom and read The Shadow of the Wind until I fell back asleep.

6:30 AM – Husband woke me up before leaving.  Moved back to my bed and started internet surfing – bloglovin’, Facebook, Twitter.  Served as a body pillow for all animals at different moments.  They don’t share so one pushes off the one already there when they want to cuddle.

8:00 AM – I’m taking an online class so I did my lesson and spent some time on Pinterest.

9:00 AM – Writing some blog posts

9:45 AM – Sat down to eat some food and read a bit more of The Shadow of the Wind

11:45 AM – Finished the book.  Now schedule is way off for the rest of the day.  Off to run errands.

2:00 PM – I’m the proud owner of a new suitcase for my trip to England. I needed something bigger than a carry on but smaller than my big suitcase since we’ll be on and off trains with it.  It has so many pockets and compartments that things I pack will probably be lost forever.

I also picked up the library books I had on hold.

3:30 PM – After some more time wasting I decided to take Freckles for a walk.  The freaking dog is psychic.  I was laying on the bed when I thought this.  She lifted her head and looked at me pointedly even though I hadn’t moved at all.  It was a foregone conclusion in her mind that we were about to go for a walk.  We walked on our 1.5 mile loop.  I dropped off my copy of Waking Up White at the Little Free Library up the road.

Start laundry. Clean up kitchen. Make a solemn vow to myself that the rest of the day will not include pants.

 
4:30 PM – Started reading Service Included

6:00 PM – Out to dinner with the husband. Required to wear pants.
 
7:00 PM – Win two games of pool. He put in the 8 ball by mistake but I won the second game fair and square including a beautiful two ball combination shot where I pocketed both balls. Okay, that second ball going in was a surprise.

8:00 PM – More reading and then watch the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas special that finally came out on Amazon.

9:30 PM – Move the laundry and go read more in bed.

The next day was more normal for me and was a Tuesday.

6:30 AM – Wake up when the husband leaves. Have my morning briefing (like the President) through Facebook, Twitter, etc and reply to email.

7:30 AM – Head downstairs to finish quilting a baby quilt that is due on Thursday. Watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while sewing.

The quilt is whales. I quilted waves in the blue fabric and seaweed in the pink borders.

I’m proud of this! I decided to free-hand stitch the baby’s name on the border. It turned out pretty good for not being marked and doing it on a domestic machine.

9:30 AM – Got dinner cooked so it just needed warmed up after work. It was a Mexican-flavored orzo casserole with two types of beans, olives, salsa, orzo, and corn. Also trimmed Freckles’ out of control frizzy hair. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to a dog anywhere anytime to hear her tell the story.

10:15 AM – Leave for work.

10:45 AM – Start reviewing lab results that we got in overnight.

11:00 AM – Doors open. I work at a walk-in clinic so we never know what will be coming in. It was fairly quiet this day. We never had more than 2-3 people waiting at a time.

2:15 PM – We got a lunch break and only 15 minutes late. Lunch doesn’t always happen. Ate in my car while listening to Somewhere Inside by Laura and Lisa Ling.

3:00 PM – Back to work. Still quiet. No major emergencies today and no staff injuries from restraining patients. Almost boring.

5:30 PM – Today was a short day and this is our official closing time. I left at 6 PM.

6:30 PM – Home and heating up dinner. Hung out with the husband watching MASH and Doctor Who.

8:30 PM – Started reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan until I fell asleep.

Nonfiction Food Books for My Vegetarian Soul

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of food memoirs about people who are really into food. The more offbeat the food is, the better. They love their offal and bone marrow. I like food memoirs but I’d like to read one that actually has food that sounds good. I want to read one that doesn’t take numerous cheap shots at vegans. I want to read one that doesn’t make me feel bad about donkeys.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering MyselfFinding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve read Finding Ultra before but it is a good place to start with vegan memoirs. Rich Roll was a 40 year old former college athlete in the worst shape of his life when he decided to take control of his diet. His wife was into healthy eating so he decided to listen to her and almost accidentally became an ultra-endurance athlete.

Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's MemoirCommitted: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir by Dan Mathews

 

“Committed” is a bold, offbeat, globe-trotting memoir that shows how the most ridiculed punching bag in high school became an internationally renowned crusader for the most downtrodden individuals of all — animals. This irresistibly entertaining book recounts the random incidents and soul-searching that inspired a reluctant party boy to devote his life to a cause, without ever abandoning his sense of mischief and fun. “Everyone has a tense moment in their career that makes them wonder, how the hell did I get into this mess?” writes Mathews. “For me, it was when I was dressed as a carrot to promote vegetarianism outside an elementary school in Des Moines, and a pack of obese pig farmers showed up and peeled off slices of bologna for kids to throw at me.”from Goodreads

I’m not a PETA fan but this one might be interesting.

The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern TimesThe Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times by Tristram Stuart

 

“The Bloodless Revolution is a pioneering history of puritanical revolutionaries, European Hinduphiles, and visionary scientists who embraced radical ideas from the East and conspired to overthrow Western society’s voracious hunger for meat. At the heart of this compelling history are the stories of John Zephaniah Holwell, survivor of the Black Hole of Calcutta, and John Stewart and John Oswald, who traveled to India in the eighteenth century, converted to the animal-friendly tenets of Hinduism, and returned to Europe to spread the word. Leading figures of the Enlightenment among them Rousseau, Voltaire, and Benjamin Franklin gave intellectual backing to the vegetarians, sowing the seeds for everything from Victorian soup kitchens to contemporary animal rights and environmentalism.” from Goodreads

I’m excited about this one! I’m already reserved it at my library.

Veganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the BedroomVeganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom by Nick Cooney

 

“Vegetarians differ from omnivores not just in their eating habits but also in their psychology, personalities, friendship choices, even their sex lives. Extensive studies from around the world show that they vote differently, take different jobs, and have brains that fire differently. This research also provides insight into why people who consider themselves vegetarian may not really be vegetarian at all, and why so many fall off the vegetarian wagon.

Veganomics is a fascinating journey through the science on vegetarians and vegetarian eating, shedding new light on how and why people eat the way they do, and what impact their dietary choices can have on the world around us. Be forewarned: after reading this book, you may never look at vegetarians the same way again!” from Goodreads

This one may journey a bit into the “Ooooh, vegetarians are weird…” category. I’m not sure but I’ll check it out. I’d also like to recommend it to the fella who recently took my order for a specific breakfast sandwich “without meat” who responded, “Do you still want the bacon on that though?”

Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream OrchidVanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid by Tim Ecott

 

“From the golden cups of Aztec emperors to the ice-cream dishes of U.S. presidents, Vanilla has mystified and tantalized man for centuries. The only orchid that produces an agriculturally valuable crop, vanilla can mask unpleasant tastes and smells, but also makes pleasant tastes stronger, smoother, and longer lasting. Because it has over four hundred separate flavor components, choosing premium vanilla beans is as complex as judging the aroma and taste of fine wine. Vanilla finds its way into over half of all dessert products sold worldwide, as well as the finest perfumes, well-known brands of rum and vodka, and even Coca-Cola and Pepsi.” from Goodreads

This isn’t a vegan book per se but vanilla is my favorite scent and flavor and I can’t think of a meat dish that uses it so it gets to go on the list.

Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch

Service Included by Phoebe DamroschService Included by Phoebe Damrosch
(Website)Published by HarperCollins on September 25th 2007
Genres: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 0061228141
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
Amazon
two-half-stars
While Phoebe Damrosch was figuring out what to do with her life, she supported herself by working as a waiter. Before long she was a captain at the New York City four-star restaurant Per Se, the culinary creation of master chef Thomas Keller. Service Included is the story of her experiences there: her obsession with food, her love affair with a sommelier, and her observations of the highly competitive and frenetic world of fine dining. She also provides the following dining tips:Please do not ask your waiter what else he or she does.Please do not steal your waiter's pen.Please do not say you're allergic when you don't like something.Please do not send something back after eating most of it.Please do not make faces or gagging noises when hearing the specials—someone else at the table might like to order one of them.After reading this book, diners will never sit down at a restaurant table the same way again.

Yeah, so there’s that.

Then there was this sentence on page 7 describing some time in France.

“I discovered a woman who made sausages from donkey meat, and I lived on baguettes and sausage for my remaining time there.”

No.  Just no.  I love donkeys and not for lunch.  When I read that sentence for the first time my eyes lingered on the “donkey meat” and I figured the rest of the sentence would contain abject horror.  Nope, I was in the wrong book for that.

Not sausage makings

The story in the book was interesting when it talked about the service requirements and training to open a potential 4 star restaurant.  It is a world I can’t even imagine and probably will never experience based on the menus discussed in the book.  (They did have a vegetable tasting menu that was briefly mentioned.  I just looked it up and it is purely vegetarian.  I was suspicious that they might cook the vegetables in veal stock and the tears of baby unicorns.  If I want to spend $310 a person, I can go try it.)

There isn’t a lot here about intrigue in the restaurant.  It hardly mentions the people cooking.  It is mostly about weeks of training to be able to answer any question a guest may have including all the facts about everything that could be seen out the windows and all about the suppliers of the ingredients of the meals.

I need a break from reading about people who love to eat fish cheeks and bone marrow.  Tomorrow I’m posting a list of food books that won’t crush a poor vegetarian’s soul.

About Phoebe Damrosch

“Phoebe Damrosch is a writer living in Brooklyn. Her first book, Service Included, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2007.

She has written for the New York Times, Food and Wine, the Daily News, and has been featured in the Financial Times, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, American Way, Eating Well, the New York Post, and Slate.” from her website

Fitness Tuesday

I was a slacker the week before and didn’t work out at all.  I was sick the first part of the week and when I was feeling good enough to work out again I pulled a muscle in my shoulder just by turning around.  Must be getting delicate in my old age!

Tuesday

Black Fire workout on Daily Burn – Weighted Tabata

There are 8 rounds of each move with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.

  • Push press – 15# weights from shoulders to overhead.  My lowest rep was 5.
  • Dumb bell swings – Lowest rep was 10
  • Bent over rows – Lowest rep was 10
  • Thrusters – squat then push weights overhead.  I did 5 each round.

Blood Colony by Tananarive Due

Blood Colony by Tananarive DueBlood Colony by Tananarive Due
(Website, Blog, Twitter)Series: The African Immortals #3
Also in this series: The Living Blood
Also by this author: The Living Blood
on June 3rd 2008
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
ISBN: 0743287355
Pages: 422
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
Amazon
three-stars
Acclaimed for seven novels, ranging from supernatural thrillers to historical fiction, which have garnered her a multitude of fans and awards, Tananarive Due now imagines the story of an ancient group of immortals -- a hidden African clan that has survived for more than a thousand years -- facing one of the most challenging issues of our time: the AIDS/HIV pandemic.There's a new drug on the street: Glow. Said to heal almost any illness, it is distributed by an Underground Railroad of drug peddlers. But what gives Glow its power? Its main ingredient is blood -- the blood of immortals. A small but powerful colony of immortals is distributing the blood, slowly wiping out the AIDS epidemic and other diseases around the world. Meet Fana Wolde, seventeen years old, the only immortal born with the Living Blood. She can read minds, and her injuries heal immediately. When her best friend, a mortal, is imprisoned by Fana's family, Fana helps her escape -- and together they run away from Fana's protected home in Washington State to join the Underground Railroad. But Fana has more than her parents to worry about: Glow peddlers are being murdered by a violent, hundred-year-old sect with ties to the Vatican. Now, when Fana is most vulnerable, she is being hunted to fulfill an ancient blood prophecy that could lead to countless deaths.While her people search for Fana and race to unravel the unknown sect's mysterious origins, Fana must learn to confront the deadly forces -- or she and everyone she loves will die.

Fana was last seen as an all-powerful toddler prone to killing people with her mind in The Living Blood. Now she is 17 and has chosen to live in virtual isolation.  She is a powerful psychic and being exposed to large numbers of people is too much for her.  Through the years she has met a few kids her age.  They are usually the children of the people helping her family to distribute their blood.

A pint of an immortal’s blood can be diluted with saline and given out a drop at a time to help cure blood-borne diseases like AIDS.  It is released slowly and secretly because of the violence that has met previous attempts to heal people.  Now a street version of the drug is showing up and Fana is the source.  She’s using the kids she met to distribute her blood in North America.

When her network contacts start dying violently, the adult immortals realize they are being hunted again.

Liked

  • I loved the first half of this book.  It seemed like a probable scenario that teenagers would reject the caution of their parents and try to do something radical that backfires on them.
  • There is a twist in the middle of the book that is done very quietly and is deliciously creepy.  I actually gasped.  I had to put the book down for a day just to let my mind wrap around it.

Didn’t like

  • The second half of the book didn’t stand up to the first for me.  It seemed to be more about setting up a confrontation for the next book instead of making this a complete story on its own.

About Tananarive Due

Tananarive_Due__public_domain_

“Due has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Leeds, England, where she specialized in Nigerian literature as a Rotary Foundation Scholar. In addition to VONA, Due has taught at the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s Writers’ Week and the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. As a screenwriter, she is a member of the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).” – from her website

Sunday Post and What Are You Reading?

Book Posts This Week

Battle of the Books – Memoirs What was a better memoir – Power Forward or Yes, Chef?

Great Irish Books to Read

Fair Game – The werewolves are out of the closet!

 

Around the Internet

The Spring Cleaning Giveway hop is going on.  I’m giving away a stack of books.  Enter here!

image


 

Trish is doing a Day in the Life event this Friday.  Details here.

Day-in-the-Life-Event 2


 

Do you like Shakespeare?  Alexa is looking for guest posts for her Shakespeare themed week in April.  Details here.


 

Reading This Week

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star BallerinaTaking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by Michaela DePrince

“The extraordinary memoir of Michaela DePrince, a young dancer who escaped war-torn Sierra Leone for the rarefied heights of American ballet.
Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life.” from Goodreads

Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen VictoriaBorn to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria by Julia P. Gelardi

“Here are the stories of Alexandra, whose faith in Rasputin and tragic end have become the stuff of legend; Marie, the flamboyant and eccentric queen who battled her way through a life of intrigues and was also the mother of two Balkan queens and of the scandalous Carol II of Romania; Victoria Eugenie, Spain’s very English queen who, like Alexandra, introduced hemophilia into her husband’s family—with devastating consequences for her marriage; Maud, King Edward VII’s daughter, who was independent Norway’s reluctant queen; and Sophie, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s much maligned sister, daughter of an emperor and herself the mother of no less than three kings and a queen, who ended her days in bitter exile.” from Goodreads

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop

Yeah! Free stuff!

I’m giving away an assortment of books.

It is simple to enter. Just leave a blog post comment.

Other people are doing it too. Go forth and get more free stuff!

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Fair Game by Patricia BriggsFair Game by Patricia Briggs
(Website, Twitter)Also by this author: Hunting Ground
on 2012
Genres: Fantasy
ISBN: 1841497967
Pages: 308
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Goodreads
Amazon
three-stars
Set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey. They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind. Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights.

The werewolves are out of the closet.

Now that humans know that werewolves exist, there can be no ugly incidents that can turn into a public relations nightmare.  Bran (the leader of the North American werewolves) has increased the punishments for many offenses.  Many of the alphas of local packs are rebelling against the harsher policies, including death sentences for several offenses by younger wolves who don’t have great control yet.  Charles is sent in to kill when the alphas refuse.  This is wearing on him.  The ghosts of the wolves he has killed are following him around, attracted to his guilt.  He has shut out his wife for fear that the ghosts might latch onto her too.

This is where the story picks up, a year after the last book.  Anna has tried everything to convince Bran that Charles is breaking under the strain of constant executions.  When he finally sees a bit of she has been seeing, he sends them to Boston to help the FBI track a serial killer.  He hopes that the chance to hunt something that he doesn’t have to execute and the chance to be a good guy for once will help.

Liked

  • The law enforcement officials are getting their first contact with werewolves and learning how to deal with another species.
  • The public is learning too and wants to take pictures with them.
  • Peter!  There is a little dog named Peter who is not going to let the wolves anywhere near his person and acts like he is going to tear them apart.  The werewolves think he is cute and pretty brave since he’s only 10 lbs.  I happened to see a little dog named Peter at work the day I listened to this part.  He was pretty tough too.
  • It explains why the Fae disappear into their reservations.  The Mercy Thompson series discusses the ramifications of this decision but not the reason for it.

Didn’t Like

  • There is a really awkward sex scene.  I’ve already established how much I hate sex scenes in audiobooks and this one was cringier than most.
  • I figured going in that Anna would manage to get herself kidnapped by the bad guys but it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  I was happy about that.  Then she got kidnapped.  Seriously, how many times can this happen to one person?
  • The bad guy was pretty easy to figure out this time.

About Patricia Briggs

“Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. ” from her website

Standing Up For Women’s Rights in Africa

It has been a while since I’ve gone off on a rant here but they pushed me over the edge.

My particular form of masochism involves reading some anti-feminist websites once a week. This week I followed a link to an article by R.C.Sproul Jr. You can read the whole thing here. The site doesn’t allow comments so I have to vent here.

A woman named Rachel Marie Stone wrote an article on Christianity Today that talked about a woman who works in a hospital in Malawi who praised Margaret Sanger. The article then goes on to discuss how the author felt uncomfortable with that because of Sanger’s association with eugenics. However, in this hospital in Africa there was overwhelming evidence that birth control is needed. Read the article here.

My first thought was, “You go girl!” for writing a pro-contraception piece on Christianity Today. That was not the overwhelming feeling.

Sproul:

“Rose Marie Stone stepped in it recently when she, a blogger carried by Christianity Today, wrote a brief piece in praise of contraception. That, of course, won’t get you in much trouble with many audiences. The deeper problem was that in making her case, she held up Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, as something of a hero, however wrong she might have been in eugenics. This was, in a manner of speaking, a social faux pas, a rhetorical fail, on par with observing that while Hitler had his issues, at least he got the trains to run on time.”

Wow. That’s not exactly an equal comparison.

“Ms. Stone highlighted a long list of hardships that could have been avoided had some children been avoided – mothers dying in childbirth, children laboring in difficult conditions and for long hours, sundry illnesses suffered by children and mothers in third world contexts. How wonderful, the argument goes, it would have been if the blessing of contraception could have kept these hardships at bay. Trouble is, contraception wipes out the hardships by wiping out the babies. It’s as if terrible weather came together with terrible car designs, in conjunction with terrible road design, and government subsidies for driving drunk to create a perfect storm that leads to a 100 car pile up with dozens dead and scores injured. And our solution would be to get rid of the people. If only they had never been born. That would have solved this problem.”

I have reread that analogy so many times and I can’t make it work. I read it to other people in case I was missing something. No one found it enlightening.

Here’s what she actually said about “hardships” after listing off numbers about the number of deaths that may be prevented from spacing births and from women not having babies until fully mature.

As I walked the halls of Zomba Central Hospital, I saw hugely pregnant girls of 12 or 13 years of age. I saw women with untreated tuberculosis and HIV pregnant for the fifth, sixth, or seventh time. I saw babies born too soon due to their mothers’ overwork and malnutrition; babies going blind from their mothers’ untreated venereal disease. I saw hungry children in rural villages; five-year old girls carrying water jugs on their heads and baby siblings on their backs while their heavily pregnant mothers gathered firewood or hoed the maize.

I’d maybe go more for “tragedies” instead of “hardships.” Notice who aren’t being inconvenienced in this list.

Now it is time for my all time favorite line from the Sproul piece.

“But I can’t help but notice that it is always the living who wish others had never been born.”

As my coworker said, “Yep, zombies don’t care one bit!

He finishes by saying that he wants “a good life.”

I think that is probably the goal for the women and children helped by this African hospital too.

Go to the article on Christianity Today and add some comments if you support her ideas.  The comments are overwhelming anti-woman and anti-science.

Almost a whole quilt

Preppy the Whale has found some friends and turned into this.

#preppythewhale Needs one more border to get it to the size I want. #quilt

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

I’ve order some light pink tone on tone to add another border and then will bind it in the blue. I’m running out of the blue or I’d just make the final border from that.

I’m thinking of quilting some seaweed into it on the pink vertical border strips. Whatever I do I have to give this away next Thursday so I better get a move on.

Great Irish Books to Read

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s discuss books set in Ireland.

The Lace Makers of GlenmaraThe Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

“”You can always start again,” Kate Robinson’s mother once told her, “all it takes is a new thread.” Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, the struggling twenty-six-year-old fashion designer follows her mother’s advice and flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland, hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself.

She arrives on the west coast, in the seaside hamlet of Glenmara. In this charming, fading Gaelic village, Kate quickly develops a bond with members of the local lace-making society: Bernie, alone and yearning for a new purpose since the death of her beloved husband, John; Aileen, plagued by doubt, helplessly watching her teenage daughter grow distant; Moira, caught in a cycle of abuse and denial, stubbornly refusing help from those closest to her; Oona, in remission from breast cancer, secretly harboring misgivings about her marriage; Colleen, the leader of the group, worried about her fisherman husband, missing at sea. And outside this newfound circle is local artist Sullivan Deane, an enigmatic man trying to overcome a tragedy of his own.

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

 

“Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift-by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

Juliet Marillier isn’t Irish but the books are retellings of fairy tales set in Ireland.

 

1949: A Novel of the Irish Free State1949: A Novel of the Irish Free State by Morgan Llywelyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

“1949 tells the story of Ireland’s progress as seen through the eyes of one woman, from the bitter aftermath of civil war to the controversial dawn of a modern state. Ursula Halloran, the daughter of a famous revolutionary, comes of age in the turbulent 1920s. An education in Switzerland broadens her world view, but Ireland has become a repressive Catholic state where women are second-class citizens. Married women cannot hold jobs and divorce is illegal.

Fighting against the stifling constraints of church and state, Ursula forges an exciting career in the fledgling Irish radio service. Her life is torn apart when she finds herself caught between two men who love her in very different ways. Refusing to surrender her hard-won independence to marriage, or her illegitimate infant to an orphanage, she flees to Europe to bear her child. There she takes a job with the League of Nations and is caught up in the terrifying outbreak of World War II. Hard decisions and desperate situations stand between her and any hope of returning to the land she loves.

These books are a historical fiction family saga that taught me all about the Irish fight for statehood.  They range from 1916 to 1999.  They can be clunky to read but I learned a lot.

Sushi for BeginnersSushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

“This Prada-wearing magazine editor thinks her life is over when her “fabulous” new job turns out to be a deportation to Dublin to launch Colleen magazine. The only saving grace is that her friends aren’t there to witness her downward spiral. Might her new boss, the disheveled and moody Jack Devine, save her from a fate worse than hell?”

Scarlet FeatherScarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

“Set in contemporary Ireland, filled with warmth, wit, and drama, Scarlet Feather is the story of Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather, their spouses, families, and friends, and the struggling new catering business that transforms their lives in ways big and small.”

I loved Maeve Binchy.  Her books did always make me wonder if Ireland would be a better place if antidepressants were put in the drinking water, though.

Irish Gold (Nuala Anne McGrail, #1)Irish Gold by Andrew M. Greeley

 

“Nuala Anne McGrail, a student at Dublin’s Trinity College, is beautiful the way a Celtic goddess is beautiful – not that Dermot Michael Coyne of Chicago has ever seen one of those in his twenty-five years – unless you count his grandmother Nell, who left Ireland during the Troubles with her husband Liam O’Riada, and who would never tell why they left. Somebody else remembers, though – or why is Dermot set upon by thugs?”

Ah, Andrew Greeley, a priest who wrote romance novels.  In his books the woman are always magnificent, the men are subservient, and married couples have sex at least twice a day or their marriage is in serious trouble.

The Greener Shore: A Novel of the Druids of HiberniaThe Greener Shore: A Novel of the Druids of Hibernia by Morgan Llywelyn

 

“As druids in Celtic Gaul, they had been the harmonious soul of their tribe, the Carnutes. But when Julius Caesar and his army invaded and conquered their homeland, the great druid Ainvar and his clan fled for their lives, taking with them the ancient knowledge. Guided by a strange destiny, they found themselves drawn to a green island at the very rim of the world: Hibernia, home of the Gael.

Here they would depend for survival on an embittered man who had lost his faith–and a remarkable woman who would find hers. Burning with hatred of the Romans, Ainvar can no longer command his magic. But his mantle falls on unexpected shoulders. In a beautiful, war-torn land of numerous kingdoms and belligerent tribes, Ainvar and his beloved wife, Briga, struggle toward an uncertain future. Their companions include the volatile Onuava, widow of their fallen chieftain; Lakutu, Ainvar’s dark and mysterious second wife; Ainvar’s son, Dara, who seems more drawn to poetry than to combat; and the “Red Wolf,” the young warrior who is as close as kin and is determined to find Ainvar’s missing daughter.”

Morgan Llywelyn’s magical/historical fiction novels set among the Druids are wonderful too.

-All descriptions from Goodreads

What are your favorite books set in Ireland?

Battle of the Books – Memoirs

Battle of the Books – MemoirsPower Forward by Reggie Love
Published by Simon and Schuster on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs
ISBN: 1476763348
Pages: 224
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
two-half-stars
Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that momentous first term, Love sat yards from the Oval Office and often spent more time with the President than anyone else. While his experiences were unique, the lessons he learned during his tenure with the President are universal. Persistence. Responsibility. Passion for a cause greater than yourself. In short, maturity. Love has been singularly lucky in his mentors. At Duke University, where he was a walk-on and a captain of its fabled basketball team, Love learned from Coach Krzyzewski that sports builds character—from President Obama, Love learned that how you conduct your life defines your character. Accountability and serving with honor were learned during unsought moments: co-coaching with Malia Obama’s and Sasha Obama’s basketball team with the President; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly your own. From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the President-elect to the White House, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase, playing pick-up games in New Hampshire to secure votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of adulthood. Power Foward is a professional coming of age story like no other.

It took me a few days after reading this book to figure out where it went wrong for me. At first I thought it was the overall “sports is a metaphor for everything” vibe but that wasn’t it. Then I thought that it was that he just tells anecdotes and not a chronological story that was bothering me.

I think the real problem is that he never tells the reader something real.

There are stories about campaign events and mistakes and visiting dignitaries but they are relayed in the matter of fact manner of well-rehearsed stories you pull out when you need to entertain. A memoir needs more. It needs to have heart, which is a term I totally hate but is applicable here. This book reads like, “I was in college and played sports and then I lucked into a job, and then I worked for the President and that was cool.” It stays on the surface so there is always nagging feeling that something is missing.

 


Yes, ChefYes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, Chef gets it right. Marcus Samuelsson was orphaned in Ethiopia at a young age. He and his older sister were adopted by a Swedish family. He went on to become an acclaimed chef.

The first chapter of the book is a discussion about how he has no memories of his mother but knows what she must have been like because her life would have been similar to women he’s met in rural Ethiopia now. It talks about the hardness of her life and then about her walking 70 miles to get him and sister to a hospital during a TB epidemic where she eventually died.

“My mother’s family never owned a photograph of her ,which tells you everything you need to know about where I’m from and what the world was like for the people who gave me life.  In 1972, in the United States, Polaroid introduced its most popular instant camera.  In 1972, the year my mother died, an Ethiopian woman could go her whole life without having her picture taken – especially if, as was the case with my mother, her life was not long.”  page 4

That chapter was compelling enough that I read it out loud to the husband and Z in the car.  Nothing in Power Forward made you feel the need to share it.

The rest of the books was also very good.  As a vegetarian, I’m always a little disturbed by food memoirs.  The food descriptions are just so disgusting.  He has to take the obligatory shot at vegetarians when he talks about being chosen to do the Obamas’ first State Dinner.  It was for the Prime Minister of Indian and his wife who are vegetarians.  Oh it is just so hard to make food that tastes decent without using meat!  How can it possibly be done?

(Power Forward talks about this dinner also from the security side and never once mentions the lack of meat. )


These books are both by black men who have nurtured their respective talents (sports and cooking) to rise to positions of prominence that they would never have imagined as children.  Yes, Chef‘s more powerful writing and willingness to look below the surface recounting of accomplishments gives it the edge here.

Photo Credit USDA Flickr

About Last Week

Book Posts This Week

A Time to Dance –  A teenage classical Indian dancer tries to recover after losing her leg.

Invaded – How do you survive in high school on another planet?

Hunting Ground – If werewolves are going to come out to the public, they need to do some public relations among themselves first.

Ten Books for People Who Like Gods and Mythology

 

Around the Internet

I was in the middle of a truly annoying day when I got 5 minutes to myself to get my phone and was deluged with the news that Terry Pratchett had died.  He was my all time favorite author.  His fans knew it was coming but I know that I didn’t think it would be so soon.  I wasn’t able to read his last book Steam.  I had it but read a few chapters while thinking, “What if this is it?  What if this is the last book?”  I couldn’t finish it.  I don’t know if I’ll ever read it.  I have to leave something out there to look forward to.

There are so many tributes out there but here are a few:

Revisiting Terry Pratchett’s Discworld taught me why I love reading

What Terry Pratchett said about Death

Redditors are making sure that Terry Pratchett’s name lives on forever


 

Trish is doing a Day in the Life event.  Details here.

Day-in-the-Life-Event 2

Reading This Week

I’m still in a place where I’m better at starting books than finishing them.  I’m reading a lot but nothing is getting finished.  I’ve forced myself not to start new ones mostly but I did get this one from the library.

Princeless #1Princeless #1 by Jeremy Whitley

Why do kings lock up their daughters in towers and have dragons guard them?  Where do you even get a dragon?  Why are all the princess white?  What makes them think that the princess even wants to marry a guy who kills a dragon?  Find the answer to these questions and more in this graphic novel.

 
Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her HomeSomewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home by Laura Ling and Lisa Ling

“On March 17, 2009, Laura Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were working on a documentary about North Korean defectors who were fleeing the desperate conditions in their homeland. While filming on the Chinese–North Korean border, they were chased down by North Korean soldiers who violently apprehended them. Laura and Euna were charged with trespassing and “hostile acts,” and imprisoned by Kim Jong Il’s notoriously secretive Communist state. Kept totally apart, they endured months of interrogations and eventually a trial before North Korea’s highest court. They were the first Americans ever to be sentenced to twelve years of hard labor in a prison camp in North Korea.

When news of the arrest reached Laura’s sister, journalist Lisa Ling, she immediately began a campaign to get her sister released, one that led her from the State Department to the higher echelons of the media world and eventually to the White House.” from Goodreads

 
Crazy Rich AsiansCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.“

Invaded by Melissa Landers

Invaded by Melissa LandersInvaded (An Alienated Novel) by Melissa Landers
(Website)on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
ISBN: 1423169492
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Cara always knew life on planet L'eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L'eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her. Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L'eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L'eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side. Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L'eihr relations. Humans don't know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx's people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists' multiple attempts on Aelyx's life. The Way clearly needs humans' help but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

If you think too much about the premise of this series it is a bit disturbing. An alien race needs an influx of genetic material so they come to Earth. They want to establish a colony of people from both planets and let them breed. Of course, this is a YA novel so all the breeding stock colonists are teenagers. I hardly think teenagers are the best people to make this kind of life and species altering decisions, but it is what it is, so moving on.

Cara, the human chosen to represent Earth on L’eihr, is put into the equivalent of high school where she is much less advanced than the rest of the students. Someone is setting her up to take the fall for some crimes so she has to figure out the bad guys. Meanwhile, Aelyx, the L’eihr representative on Earth has multiple attempts on his life.

This book is a fun, light read. It reminds me of Dawn by Octavia Butler. They both are about setting up a new civilization combining humans and aliens. Dawn looks much more deeply at the issues involved and is much less optimistic about the ability of humans to adapt and survive in this environment.

Are there any other books that you know of that explore these themes?

About Melissa Landers

“Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett.” from her website

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Hunting Ground by Patricia BriggsHunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
(Website, Twitter)Series: Alpha and Omega #2
Also by this author: Fair Game
on 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
ISBN: 044101738X
Pages: 286
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Goodreads
Amazon
three-stars
Anne Latham didn't know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son--and enforcer--of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn't know how dangerous it could be either... Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran's controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan--and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all--or risk losing everything...
  • I like the developing relationship between the main characters.  In this series only a few months have gone by since they met and were put into what was basically an arranged marriage.  They are still learning about each other and how to live together.
  • Charles has been an assassin for his father for over a hundred years.  He is good at his job so everyone is scared of him.  It is an interesting dynamic to pair him with a woman who met him when he saved her so she isn’t intimidated by him.  She is trying to be his kinder, gentler side to the public.
  • Anna is also tough though.  She is the Omega part of this series.  That means that she is able to step outside werewolf pack dominance fights and calm other wolves.  That gives her the perspective to tell when everyone is acting stupid and then bang their heads together to get them to act right.
  • Both the Mercy Thompson series and this series have been focused on the lives of the werewolves in the western U.S.  It was nice to see the author’s take on the European wolves and the different struggles they have.
  • I’ve come to the realization that one of the reasons I like these books is that they remind me of my husband and myself.  He’s paranoid and hyperaware from his military time and I pet him on the head and say, “Isn’t that sweet” and then tell him to knock it off and act right.  I’ve even been known to growl at him but that’s because I spend most of my time interacting with dogs and some things rub off.

About Patricia Briggs

“Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. ” from her website

Fitness Tuesday

Black Fire Program on Daily Burn

Wednesday

I did the Stragetic Endurance 1 video.

  • 2 minutes of burpees with a step over a small box in between each – I did 15 on round 1, 15 on round 2, and 11 on round 3.
  • 2 minutes of bench dips – Ouch.  I did 25 on round 1 and 30 on the next two rounds
  • 2 minutes of sit ups – I did 25 on rounds 1 and 2 and 23 on round 3.

Friday

This was a repeat of the Bodyweight Tabata workout I did last week.  It was 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for each of the four movements.

  • Air squats – I did 13 on my lowest round.  My quads still hurt from doing this video last week.  I think I tweaked something doing these today.  I need to roll that quad before it totally cramps up.
  • Hand release push ups – I pushed hard and got 7 each time today instead of the 5 I did last week.
  • Step over a box – I did 20 this time instead of 15
  • Burpees – 4 instead of 3.

 


 

I didn’t do any other workouts this weekend and then Monday was warm. It was the first day over freezing in about a month. I went for a walk with Freckles and then for another walk without her. I did about 4 miles.

 

10 Books for People Who Like Gods and Mythology

toptentuesday

Greek

The Lost SisterhoodThe Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

“Oxford lecturer Diana Morgan is an expert on Greek mythology. Her obsession with the Amazons started in childhood when her eccentric grandmother claimed to be one herself—before vanishing without a trace. Diana’s colleagues shake their heads at her Amazon fixation. But then a mysterious, well-financed foundation makes Diana an offer she cannot refuse.” -

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

“Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea.”

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

“It’s always been just Kate and her mom – and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld – and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.”

Celtic/Norse

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)Hounded by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

“Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.”

African

Anansi Boys (American Gods, #2)Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

“Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep — about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting… and a lot more dangerous.”

Egyptian

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

“Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. “

Middle Eastern

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood PalLamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

“The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years — except Biff, the Messiah’s best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work “reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams”

Indian

Priya's ShaktiPriya’s Shakti by Ram Devineni

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

“A mortal woman and the Goddess Parvati fight against sexual violence in India and around the world in this vivid epic augmented reality comic book involving the Lord Shiva and the gods.”

Chinese

White Tiger (Dark Heavens, #1)White Tiger by Kylie Chan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

“A young woman accepts a position as nanny to the young daughter of a handsome, wealthy, and mysterious Chinese businessman only to discover her new employer is really a god and every foul demon in creation is out to destroy him!”

America and Everywhere else

American Gods (American Gods, #1)American Gods by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

“Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.”

All descriptions from Goodreads.

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

A Time to Dance by Padma VenkatramanA Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
(Website)on 2014
Genres: Young Adult
ISBN: 0399257101
Pages: 307
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-stars
Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.   Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

I didn’t realize that this book was written in verse. When I opened it and the first chapter was verse I planned on skipping it and getting to the real story. That’s what I do when I see verse. If an author quotes song lyrics or poems in the book, I skip it. That probably makes me a bad person but it is the truth. I don’t like verse.

Apparently I learned nothing from my own reading of Brown Girl Dreaming.

I really enjoyed this verse novel too. The author covered a lot of issues that can appear after a person’s life changes – friends fall away, people you weren’t close to are there for you, starting over with the basic functions of your body, being a financially comfortable amputee in a country where beggars are on the streets.

One of Veda’s inspirations in this book is Sudha Chandran, a classical dancer who lost a leg at 16 and has since become an actress and dancer in India while using a very basic prosthetic.

About Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman was born in Chennai India and currently lives in the United States. She has a doctorate in oceanography. Her debut novel was published in 2008.

About Last Week

Book Posts This Week

This Side of Home What is the cost of gentrifying a neighborhood?

The Living Blood How do you control a toddler who can kill with her mind?

The Witch with No Name The end of the Hallows series

Are You A Book Prude?

Top Ten Books I’ve Read in the Last 3 Years

Around the Internet

Is Our Concept of “Well-Read” Elitist? – This drives me crazy. The husband gets on his high horse about this sometimes. He thinks I’m not “well-read” because I don’t read what he considers to be classics.

Douglas Adams made me a writer – Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, and Terry Pratchett in one article!

Reading This Week

I’m about halfway through a bunch of books.  These ones are new this week.

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I’m reading this one for the Travel the World in Books read a long.

“Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.” from Goodreads

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3)Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

I’m listening to this on audio.

“Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case.” from Goodreads

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