WWW Wednesdays – April 14, 2021

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I ventured outside of my home this last weekend to go to the Houston Library book sale. I’m pretty happy with my new stack of books. Now to find more time in my day to read them.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Feel free to leave a comment below on the books I’m reading, the books you are reading, and/or your own WWW link.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – April 7, 2021

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

The Self-Care Solution by Jennifer Ashton – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Book Club: Convenience Store Woman – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Feel free to leave a comment below on the books I’m reading, the books you are reading, and/or your own WWW link.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – March 31, 2021

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I didn’t read much this week, but I got some big house projects done and started my spring cleaning. I have high hopes for reading lots in April. 

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

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Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Feel free to leave a comment below on the books I’m reading, the books you are reading, and/or your own WWW link.

HAPPY EASTER!!!

WWW Wednesdays – March 24, 2021

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I was on a spring break road trip last week, so the following finished reads are over the last couple of weeks, though I did not read much over vacation. However, I did take some time to create my Spring 2021 reading list.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
The Heiress by Molly Greeley – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Feel free to leave a comment below on the books I’m reading, the books you are reading, and/or your own WWW link.

HAPPY READING!!!

Oklahoma Road Trip – March 2021

After of a full year of COVID life, we have decided to embrace the concept of road tripping. Our20210317_140941.jpg most recent road trip adventure during our spring break took us to Oklahoma with stops in Waco, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Boise City, Oklahoma; and Amarillo, Texas. It was amazing to be on the road, and we had a great time at our stops.

Waco, Texas

When we arrived in Waco, Texas, we took a nice evening walk along the Brazos river on Waco’s riverfront. Right near the Waco Suspension Bridge, we visited the Veteran’s Memorial. We also got our first nitrogen ice cream at Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream. They also had keto (low-carb) options.

The next day, we stumbled on a wonderful farmers market on our way to the Magnolia Silos, where we could enjoy some delicious locally grown foods. We also got coffees at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits. The Magnolia Silos was far more of an extensive area than I expected. There are many shops, areas for family fun, and places to eat, including lots of food trucks. One can definitely spend multiple hours there. However, expecting to get into the bakery is wishful thinking. The line was ridiculous. 

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If you are interested in a bit of true crime history or have seen the most recent “Waco” miniseries, there is a memorial just 20 minutes outside of Waco, where the former Davidian compound was located.  

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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We had just about one full day in Oklahoma City, and we made the most out of it. We stayed in the part of Oklahoma City that is called Bricktown, which was easy walking distance to everything that we wanted to see. We started the morning by visiting the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the Crystal Bridge Observatory. Then we visited the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which had a very impressive glass art display by Dale Chihuly. As we love to support independent bookstores, we stopped at Commonplace Books before spending a couple house at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. This museum was amazing, and we probably would have spent more than two hours if we hadn’t already had such a full day. It was an emotional museum for sure but 100% worth a visit. To end our day in Oklahoma City, we visited the riverwalk and did a wine tasting at Put a Cork In It. It was a very relaxing way to end a great day in Oklahoma City.

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Boise City, Oklahoma

IMG_20210316_113616_641.jpgWe enjoyed a nice drive across Oklahoma to Oklahoma’s panhandle, where we would visit our next destination – Boise City. After reading Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time and watching Ken Burn’s The Dust Bowl documentary, we wanted to learn more about that time and found that the Cimarron Heritage Center provided a great exhibition related to the dust bowl in Boise City. Before heading to the center, we stopped at the local Bluebonnet Cafe for lunch, where it appeared that the entire town of Boise City, not a large town, was present. It was such a unique experience, realizing that we were in a location where points of discussion that we normally experienced in the city were not relevant here. The people didn’t talk about the current COVID pandemic or politics or world events, they discussed their cattle, farming equipment and what parts of their fields were currently being plowed. These are all hardworking people, who are dedicated to their families and their land. Unfortunately, our trip to the Cimarron Heritage Center was not a success right away. The individual who was running the center that day had to close the center early to attend a funeral. That is what happens in small towns, and luckily we were able to be flexible and come back to visit the center the next day. We are so glad we did. This was far more extensive of a museum than expected. It included much more than the dust bowl, but all topics of history in the area like the Santa Fe Trail, World War I and II, dinosaur and mammoth excavations, and much much more. By far this is the most unique museum and well worth the trip. 

Amarillo, Texas

IMG_20210315_182707_721.jpgAmarillo, Texas was just supposed to be a pitstop for some rest before traveling home, but due to the delay in visiting the Cimarron Heritage Center, we managed to spend a little more time in Amarillo. At least we had enough time to visit Cadillac Ranch (one of the strangest sites we have ever seen) and a local independent bookstore called Burrowing Owl Books, which was conveniently located next to a delicious cookie shop that even had Keto cookies on the menu.That concludes our 2021 Oklahoma Road Trip adventure. Until next time…

HAPPY TRAVELS!!!

Book Review: The Paris Library

1112Title: The Paris Library
Author: Janet Skeskien Charles
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Pages: 368
Format Read: Ebook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: NetGalley
Date finished reading: March 1, 2021

Goodreads Description: Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.

My Review: I was fortunate to receive an ARC of The Paris Library from NetGalley. I took my time with this novel, as it was a very beautiful story. 

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Lily as a character. I felt the depth at that character was very minor in comparison to Odile’s, but the relationship built between Odile and Lily was heartwarming and a useful tool in uncovering Odile’s past. 

This story centers on Odile’s life in Paris much more than life in Montana. It introduces fascinating characters like her family and the workers and patrons of the American Library in Paris. I do believe the description of this book is correct in saying that the actions of the American Library in Paris and its librarians during World War II were in fact heroic. With all the World War II literature available, it is surprising that I never heard about how the American Library in Paris remained open during the war and Nazi occupation, and how the librarians risked prison camps or worse to deliver books to Jewish members of their community who were no longer allowed to visit the library per Nazi rule. They did their best to bring some light to people during so much darkness. The author really paints a vivid picture of the library’s characters and I enjoyed them immensely especially Miss Reeder and Boris. I think this felt a little like The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

As Odile’s mysterious past in Paris during World War II is revealed, it is a story of intense love and loss. The friendship between Odile and Margaret is so moving that it truly breaks the readers heart when Margaret is attacked and that friendship ends. 

While I did really enjoy this story, I do feel that the first half of the book was a bit slow, but the second half definitely picked up for me. I feel that that is because the author focused more on Odile’s Paris life and less on Lily’s Montana life during the second half of the book. I also believe that Odile, for being a main character, was not a very strong character and at times very unlikeable. She showed amazing strength and courage when it came to the library patrons and the hospital patients she attended to, but when it came to her closest friends like Bitsy and Margaret, she was often not very nice. Maybe it was the effects of war that made her so unkind, but I do wish she had defended Margaret and publicly vocalized her distaste for what Paul did instead of just running away to Montana and starting a new life. These points are the main reason that I can’t give this book a 5-star rating, but I did like the story overall.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

Spring Reads – 2021

Spring is almost officially here! I hope to read some fun books off my bookshelf and continue with my Reading the Classics Challenge and other challenges that I am thinking about doing in 2021. What are y’all reading this spring? Any reads you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

BOOK CLUB READS

  • Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  • The Plotters by Kim Un-su

BUDDY READALONG

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville

2021 READING CHALLENGES

  • Sherlock: The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Sherlock: The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Bible Old Testament: Genesis – Deuteronomy 
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Brönte

NETGALLEY

  • The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

BOOK JARS

  • Outwitting the Gestapo by Lucie Aubrac
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

OTHER

  • The Heiress by Molly Greeley 
  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
  • The Self-Care Solution by Jennifer Ashton
  • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
  • Outer Order Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin
  • Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
  • Minimalist Living by Joshua Hill
  • The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking
  • Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca
  • A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Feel free to leave a comment about any of the books I’ll be reading or the ones y’all will be reading.

HAPPY SPRING READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – March 10, 2021

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

A Promised Land by Barack Obama – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Book Club: The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De Maria – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Feel free to leave a comment below the books I’m reading, the books you are reading, and/or your own WWW link.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – March 3, 2021

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Time Smart by Ashley Whillans – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦
NetGalley ARC: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½ 

*I’ll have a review of The Paris Library available soon hopefully.

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Feel free to leave a comment below the books I’m reading, the books you are reading, and/or your own WWW link.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – February 24, 2021

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I had a bit of a rough week here in Texas. Apparently, Texas is not equipped for any bit of winter weather. We just now are able to utilize the water out of our taps. I know I shouldn’t complain, as things could have been a lot worse, but it still has been a bit stressful.  

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦
The Three Mothers 
by Anna Malaika Tubbs – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Feel free to leave a comment below the books I’m reading, the books you are reading, and/or your own WWW link.

HAPPY READING!!!