Debh2010's Blog

Books and Knitting – go figure

Knitting!

Oh crap, I keep forgetting about the knitting.  Right now, I’m working with my favorite hideous orange yarn and working out the details of a shrug for my daughter.  I have sketched out a shrug and tank ensemble, and though I don’t know if I’m smart enough to figure it out, I’m going to give it a go.

I like to work patterns out in the orange – it’s a regular polyester worsted weight from Red Heart.  It’s great for trying things where you may have to rip it out several times.  If I get the pattern where I want it, I have some very nice, but much more delicate yarn that I want to do the final project in.  I love Red Heart’s hardiness.  It can take a beating.  Anyway, if I ever get far enough to show anything, I will. 

Speaking of showing, I still need to scan and upload a picture of the Bella Mittens I did for The Kid.  They came out great and I gave them to her before I got them scanned.  I worry that I may never see them again….

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two from Debbie Macomber

Yesterday and today I finished two of Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street series books:  Twenty Wishes, and Susannah’s Garden.  At first when I was reading Susannah’s Garden, it didn’t feel like a Blossom Street book at all but I realized that it must have been one of the earliest of the bunch and she was just getting the businesses on Blossom Street lined up.  Twenty Wishes happens later in the series.  Once I’m sure I have them all, I’m going to read them again in order.  Ms. Macomber has a gift in her ability to write an ongoing series and I’m envious.  

I’m not going to give the book summaries – it will just be better for you to read them all like I have and love them.  My go-to shelf is getting so full I’m going to have to add on to it.

*** Three stars for series work, as usual.  I have high standards, so a three out of five is not a bad thing at all, and I usually will go back after the end of a series and update the score for overall.

Happy Reading!

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sleeping with Anemone

Sleeping with Anemone, by Kate Collins.  Kate Collins is the author for The Flower Shop Mysteries, and I so enjoy her work.  Kate is a Hoosier, living in the north part of the state and snowbirding in Key West in colder months.  If you have not read any of Kate’s work, I’m giving you a serious recommendation to get started.  The stories stand on their own, but they’re more fun to read in series.  Kate Collins has a website at http://www.katecollinsbooks.com where you can find out more about Kate’s work and her journey.

I am so happy to say that I really enjoyed this book, and after months of the doldrums and feeling blah, I’m feeling very UP.  Of course, it probably helps that this episode in the lives of Abby Knight and Marco Salvare, et al is positive, uplifting and fun.  I read it straight through, and even though I’m a reading addict, I think you might too.

Here’s the back-of-the-book-blurb.  I won’t give away anything more than they give away at the grocery store.  “I, Abby Knight, hometown florist, refuse to be cowed into giving up my stance against the unfair treatment of dairy animals.  But why does gathering signatures for a petition suddenly make me a target for kidnapping — and murder?  MILKING IT FOR ALL IT’S WORTH  Okay, maybe Abby shouldn’t choose a home and garden show sponsored by Uniworld Foods as the venue for her protest against the corporation’s harmful farming practices.  But being forced to leave the event won’t stop her campaign.  Nor will a brick wrapped in burning paper being thrown through her flower shop’s window.  After she narrowly escapes being kidnapped not once but three times, Abby calls in the big guns — her ex-Army Ranger boyfriend, Marco, and her entire posse of friends and family.  And then the stakes are raised by murder.  Having Marco around 24-7 to protect Abby sheds new light on their relationship and gives her lots to ponder.  Add to that pressure from both families for her and Marco to get hitched, and the possibility that the murder investigation may be on the wrong track, and Abby starts to think she’ll soon be sleeping with anemones instead of arranging them.”

It’s rare for me to award a book in an ongoing series more than a ***, but this one is **** four stars out of five.  So many characters engaged in so many different, but full-bodied ways.  It was  delight to read.  Thank you Ms. Collins and I’m looking forward to your next one.  Keep ’em coming.

Happy Reading!

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Catching up again

Could be that I’m getting bored just blogging about my reading habits or something.  Not sure.  I haven’t been reading as much as I did, but I’m not sure why.  I have been watching more movies, so maybe that has something to do with it.  Still not sure.  Over the last few days – hell it might be a week – I’ve finished four books.  I am enthusiastic about the new series I’ve started.

Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street Series – A Good Yarn, Back on Blossom Street and Summer on Blossom Street.  I need to get the right order in which to read these and I need to find them all and do it right.  As it is, Ms. Macomber has produced another ongoing series about a group of people’s lives which are very comfortable and comforting to read about.  I’m giving the books *** each, like usual.  I’m also trying to study Debbie Macomber and how she writes.  I really like her style and I am wondering if I could do that kind of writing.  Might look at it.

West of Bliss, by Suzann Ledbetter.  I have no recollection where this book came from.  I thought it was from The Book Rack in Bloomington, but it has no markings on it.  I know I didn’t buy it new, so I’m guessing that I may have got it from my mom in a book exchange.  Okay, so I liked this book.  Ms. Ledbetter can tell an engaging story.  Unfortunately, this book is the last in a series of four, and I didn’t read the first three.  Apparently she’s written them so that they can stand alone, and it worked, as I was able to read it and not feel like I’d missed a lot of the back story.  My inclination was only to give it two stars, but I don’ t think it would be fair.  So *** three stars out of five and I’ll pick up the others in the series if I find them at the used book store. 

Sigh.  If things don’t pick up soon, I’m not sure what’s going to happen.  At this point, I feel like I’m running out of options.

Happy Reading!

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Kissing Annabel

Kissing Annabel, by Steve Herrick.  I picked this book up at the used book store, hoping I was judging a book by the cover.  The cover features a photo of two young people shot in the style that most of the Sarah Dessen books are shot, and it looked like something I might be interested in.  Of course, I know better than to do judging by cover, since it’s not a good barometer for anything, let alone a book’s content.  Okay, so today I pick it up and decide that I’m going to read it.  I open to the first chapter and… groooaaaannn…. It’s poetry.  I flipped through and the whole damn thing’s poetry.  Gag.  Well, usually gag.  I’m currently running a little short of good looking books, so I decided to give it a go.  Thank God, it’s prose style poetry and not some bunch of rhymy crap.  Here’s the surprise:  It’s really good.

Here’s the blurb:  “Love’s a curious thing.  Jack is an average sixteen-year-old.  He’s obsessed with sex, sports, and his maturing body.  He’s got a lot on his plate, but one issue is constantly on his mind:  his mother’s death.   It’s been seven years, but Jack has yet to let her go…. That is, until he meets Annabel.  Annabel is beautiful, smart, and most important, she gets Jack.  Suddenly love makes sense, and the future seems hopeful.  And for the first time, Jack feels ready to leave the past where it belongs.”

Really, really good.  Despite my initial bitchy reaction, it read fast and kept me turning pages.  I think it was actually two books, one called Love, Ghosts, & Facial Hair and the other called A Place Like This – but they work well together and I’m pleased to have finished the saga all at once and not have to wait or wonder.

Here’s another surprise:  **** Four stars, and I really mean it.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to start hunting up more poetry, prose style or not.  It’s not my usual thing and my usual thing works fine for me without major changes needed.  Still this was good.  Truly.

Happy Reading!

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment