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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

 

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals for the year is to read 50 books.  The latest book I finished was Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews.

I’ve read and enjoyed several books by this author, but this one was a struggle for me to get through.  Normally when I struggle that much, I just stop reading the book.  But for some reason I plugged along.  Took me three weeks to finish.

This book is about Annajane and her relationship with the Bayless family.  Her best friend is Pokey Bayless; she was married to Pokey’s brother, Mason; and she’s been working for the Bayless family business for years.

As the book begins, Annajane is moving on, both personally and professionally.  She’s got a new fiance and a new job and will be leaving town shortly.   Or so she thought.

That’s about all I’ll write, since I’m posting this mainly to give myself credit for reading the book.  And I am just now realizing that it’s November, meaning that I won’t be anywhere near meeting my goal of 50 books.  Maybe I should start counting all the ones I started but didn’t finish?

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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 books.  The latest book I finished is my favorite so far:  Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis.

This book is about Pharr Davis’s first, solo thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.  I loved hiking vicariously along with Pharr Davis as she traverses the 2,175-mile trail.  There’s the bugs, the inclement weather, the feet issues, the rocky terrain, the weird and/or scary people, the traumatic situation she witnessed.  There’s also the beauty of the mountains and valleys, the sunsets and rivers.  There’s the friends and trail angels she met along the way.  There’s the characteristics she discovered about herself.

I loved this book.  I loved this book.  I loved this book.

Did I say I LOVED this book?   Granted, I’m a fan of walkabouts, having recently finished a much less challenging one myself.  I think they are great ways to figure things out (even things you didn’t plan on figuring out) and connecting with the Divine.  So of course I was going to love this book.

What surprised me, though, is that I now want to do a thru-hike myself.  But then I remember there’s the bugs, the inclement weather, the feet issues, the rocky terrain, the weird and/or scary people… For me, there’s also the time and money issue, along with the idea of having to carry more supplies than I did on my recent Camino.

But regardless of whether I personally experience a thru-hike on the AT, I’ve enjoyed reading about Pharr Davis’s experiences, and I’m once again motivated to plan another walkabout.

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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 books.  The latest book I finished is No! I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a 60th Year by Virginia Ironside.

The last book I read was about older women reclaiming their life and passions.  This book is the diary of a woman who, upon turning 60, has decided to slow down and enjoy growing old.  She doesn’t want to take classes, participate in adventure sports, or travel to exotic locations. She has also decided to give up on pursuing a romantic relationship.

Instead, she revels in the idea of becoming a grandma, taking it easy, and having a “Freedom Pass,” which gives her free access to things like public transportation and museums.

I chose to read this book based on the title alone.   Most everyone I know, myself included, wants to keep active and learning as we grow older.  So I wanted to read a funny book about someone who didn’t particularly care to have any more adventures.  Of course, life doesn’t always turn out the way we planned, does it?

A nice, light read.

 

 

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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

 

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 new books.  A book I recently read is The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love by Joan Medlicott.

This book is about three women who became friends while living in a group home for elderly people.  One of the women, Amelia, inherits an old farmhouse in the mountains of North Carolina.  The three drive down to see the place, envisioning a beautiful, comfortable house.  What they find is a building in disrepair.  Rather than move back into their group home, they decide to make the repairs, using the money Amelia also inherited, and move in the farmhouse together.   During this process, each woman faces unresolved situations in her past, and either finds or rediscovers her passion.

I liked this book for several reasons.  The first is the idea of remodeling an old house, though the price on Amelia’s remodel seemed mighty cheap to me!

The second is the idea of a group of people moving in together to help each other out.  I’ve had conversations with several friends about a similar idea.  How can we help each other out when we are older?  Probably the best version we came up with was to buy land together and everyone have little cabins of their own, with some common space for events.  But the ladies in this book figured out a way that worked for them.

The third reason is the setting:  I love the mountains!

A nice summer read.

 

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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals was to read 50 new books.  The latest book I finished reading is The Best of Friends by Joanna Trollope.

This book is about two people, Gina and Laurence, who have been best friends since childhood.  Once grown, they both ended up back in the same hometown, married to different people.    Then Gina’s husband leaves her and life changes for everyone.  Actions do indeed have consequences, and sometimes ones that are unintended! Families fall apart, then build themselves back together.   That’s all I’ll reveal,  in case someone wants to read the book.

I did enjoy this book, and while it doesn’t necessary have a patented “happy” ending,  I got the feeling that the characters would all be okay, and even happy again one day.  That’s almost as good as a happy ending, and perhaps a bit more realistic.

 

 

 

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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 new books.  One I recently read was The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil.

Looking back over the books I’ve read this year, I notice a pattern:  light, easy reading, tending toward the humorous.  I also seem drawn to books about things I find interesting but will probably never do, such as quilting and knitting.  Sometimes things happen in books that I hope will never happen to me, either.  This book is easy to read and funny at times; is about quilting; and starts out with a tragic event.

Jo Mackenzie’s husband announces he wants a divorce,  leaves the house, and then was killed in a car wreck.  Not being able to afford to stay in her London house, Jo moves her two boys to her small  hometown and takes over her grandmother’s quilt shop.

This book chronicles Jo’s life as she adjusts to being a single mom, makes new friends (including a famous actress), and brings change to the quilt shop.  Despite the misgivings of long-time employee Elsie, Jo brightens up window displays, orders trendy yarn colors, and starts a quilting club called “Stitch and Bitch” to appeal to new quilters.  Along the way, she deals with disapproving inlaws, helps her grandmother enter the dating scene, and even finds time for a little romance herself.   A nice light read about how to handle life’s changes.  Unfortunately, I note that Jo handles things with much more grace than I do!  I tend to kick and scream, whine and complain, then move on.  Perhaps I could learn a lesson or two from Jo about going with the flow.

Anyway, I have noted that there are several more Beach Street books, so I hope to read them soon.

 

 

 

 

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Image courtesy of Amazon

Image courtesy of Amazon

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 new books.  A book I recently finished is The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini.

This book is part of a series about a group of women quilters.  I’m getting the books out of the library, and trying to read them in order.  However, the “next” book in the series isn’t always available so I have skipped ahead.  This latest book is one I skipped earlier, and even though it’s not the holiday season, I decided to read it up for inspiration.  Gotta get to shopping and/or making crafts for gifts!!!

Anyway,  The Christmas Quilt begins with Sylvia’s friend and business partner, Sarah, wanting to decorate Elm Creek Manor for Christmas.  Sylvia, however, was hoping to encourage Sarah to visit her estranged mother and possibly reconcile their differences.  Also, Christmas for Sylvia brought up painful memories of family members long gone and traditions no longer celebrated.

Sarah insisted, so went up into the attic to bring down the holiday decorations.  Amidst those decorations was an unfinished Christmas quilt.

From there, we learn about the origins of the quilt, which Great-Aunt Lucinda stopped and started too many times to count.  We also learn about the Bergstrom traditions of making strudel and picking out the Christmas tree.  The family also had a tradition of hiding the glass star that sat atop the tree, and the first child to find it could place it on the tree. One Christmas, no one could find the star, and what happened to it remained a mystery until much later in the book.

Time passes and traditions fade;  a beloved family member moves, while others die, including Sylvia’s husband and brother.  Sylvia and her sister Claudia become estranged, and Sylvia leaves the manor for years.  She returns after Claudia has died, and too late for resolution.  However, sister-in-law Agnes provides some welcome information about Claudia, as well as the long-lost strudel recipe.   Christmas traditions are once again celebrated and memories tinged with sadness now have joy infused in them.

This is another light, sweet book in the Elm Creek series.  Though the focus on the need for tight and straight stitching has made me realize that, rather than attempting to learn quilting, reading about it might be a better option for me.

 

 

 

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