Thursday, January 29, 2015

My aching back

It has been kind of sad the past couple weeks. 

I have been unable to sit long enough to get any drawing, knitting or blogging done. The degenerative discs in my back have been causing some back pain, sciatica issues that make it really hard to sit to do anything. Chiropractor appointment is set for Monday. A great therapeutic massage would be good, too.

I have really been missing doing all the things I love to do. Thankfully, it is not bad enough to limit my walking which I have been doing. It does, however, keep me from starting to train for the half marathon in July. Need to let it get better first.

So, besides some scheduled posts, it may be a little quiet here for awhile. 

Going to go use my foam roller now and listen to some Lumineers. Then the little girl and I plan to walk downtown for some play dough. 

Hope you are all having a less achy Thursday.

Currently Reading:

The Winter Boy by Sally Wiener Grotta

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

My Father's Wives

My Father's Wives by Mike Greenberg
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 2015, William Morrow

Purchase Links
Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

About the Book
The co-host of ESPN's Mike and Mike follows up his New York Times bestseller All You Could Ask For with this poignant story of one man's search to understand himself , his marriage and his father.
My Review

Jonathan Sweetwater comes home early from work to discover that his wife may be having an affair. Instead of confronting her, he goes on a quest to discover more about his father, who was out of his life by the age of nine. His high profile Senator father had six wives before he died and Jonathan travels the world in search of them and what they can teach him about Percy Sweetwater.

Jonathan is a likable character. His journey seems more appropriate for a midlife crisis, though, rather than a response to thinking his wife may be having an affair. He went two weeks suspecting without ever confronting her about it. Seems a little unlikely, right? But despite that, I enjoyed meeting his father's wives and visiting Aspen, Chicago, London, and Nevis. 

So, did his wife have an affair? Guess you will have to read the book.

About the Author

Mike Greenberg is the co-host of ESPN"s Mike and Mike, the highest-rated sports talk program in the United States, and the author of the New York Times bestselling novel All You Could Ask For. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a native of New York City. He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.
Connect with the Author
Twitter: @ESPNgreeny
Publisher's Author Website 
Happy Reading!

 Disclaimer: Book was received from publisher for review as part of a book tour.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
ebook, 547 pages
First Published September 1992, Knopf

Source: purchased 

A California kid from a working class family manages to get in to an East Coast College and tries to fit in with all the rich, upper class kids in his Classics courses. They are a strange bunch, who happen to kill someone, but he is still determined to be a part of their group. 

This book was so long. Almost 600 pages. About three hundred pages in we finally find out what happened to Bunny. Then there are almost 300 more pages, including a really long Epilogue. This story could have been told in half the pages. 

So long, and yet I kept reading. I wanted to know what happened to Bunny so I kept reading. 

None of the characters are very likable- all very self-absorbed, lazy, drunk kids that don't see any consequences for their actions. They are interesting, but unlikable. I usually enjoy reading about elitist societies but this was different somehow. Perhaps because it was so hard to pinpoint the time period that this story takes place in. I believe it is supposed to be the late 80's or early 90's but it read so much older. I characters dressed and spoke as if it were the 50's or 60's. It was confusing and threw me off when something more current was mentioned.

So, it is hard to say if I liked or disliked this one. The writing is great, the murder and its suspense was intriguing. It is going to make for some interesting discussion in book group next week. Can't wait to hear what the others thought about it. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Current Read and Teaser: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

My book group is currently reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt. We are meeting in a couple weeks and I have about 174 pages left to go. I am enjoying it and it has definitely drawn me in, but it definitely could have been half the length. Very long book.

Here's a teaser for you all... one ver long sentence instead of two. :)

"“WHEN THE LIGHTS came on, and the circle of darkness leaped back into the mundane and familiar boundaries of the living room—cluttered desk; low, lumpy sofa; the dusty and modishly cut draperies that had fallen to Francis after one of his mother’s decorating purges—it was as if I’d switched on the lamp after a long bad dream; blinking, I was relieved to discover that the doors and windows were still where they were supposed to be and that the furniture hadn’t rearranged itself, by diabolical magic, in the dark.”

Excerpt From: Donna Tartt. “The Secret History.” iBooks.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be ReadingAnyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Creative Every Day (Days 12-18)

This week challenged me some- especially with the sketching. I haven't done it in a very long time and am having problems with proportions. Need to do more and practice. That Zentangle was also a bit of a fail, and the little girl added some of her own artistry to it when I wasn't looking. 

Day 12: A is for..Day 13: ZentangleDay 14: Still LifeDay 15: Quick SketchDay 16: AbstractUntitledDay 18: Kid stuff
Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister

The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister
320 pages, hardcover
Published January 2015, Sourcebooks Landmark

Source: Netgalley

About the Book
Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician's Lie, a debut novel in which the country's most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband's murder —and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.
My Review

I enjoyed every second of the Amazing Arden's story. Strapped to a chair, hours after the murder of her husband, the magician shares the story of her life to a policeman in an attempt to convince him that she is innocent. Is it all a lie as the title suggests? 

Switching between the present (1905) and the past, the story of Arden unfolds in spectacular color and magic, some real and some just illusions and slight of hand. A difficult childhood, an abusive cousin and a lucky start to a new life when she escapes her previous life, fill the pages of The Magician's Lie.  It's just that, sometimes, the past doesn't stay in the past.

Such an enjoyable read. I didn't want it to end.

About the Author

Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist whose work has appeared in publications such as The North American Review, The Missouri Review, and The Messenger. Her plays have been performed at American University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.

For more info about the book and author visit her WEBSITE.

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Creative Every Day (Days 5-11)

Still at it and really enjoying it. It's fun to do such different styles each day. I could sketch and doodle endlessly, so actually using color and and other media besides pen and ink or pencil is a big change for me. 

Day 5: CollageDay 6: Quote
Day 7: PhotographDay 8: Stickers
Day 9: Draw ItDay10: Crafty
Day 11: Flowers

Happy Monday!

2015 Goals

My goals for 2015

1. Run a Half Marathon.  I am signed up to run the SF Half Marathon on July 26th! My goal is just to finish in the allotted time.

2. Read 75 Books. I read 52 last year. Upping it quite a bit.

3. Daily Art Journal. Draw, paint, sketch, or create something each day of the year.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014: Year in Review

2014 has come and gone in a flash!

It was another busy year full of travel, family visits and fun. We flew to Maui, London, Maine, Florida and Austin. The little girl has become quite the world traveler. I am so glad she enjoys it as much as we do.

We celebrated the little girl's fourth birthday and our fourteenth anniversary. 

I lost 10 pounds!

I knit a couple sweaters, started another afghan and a pair of socks for the little girl.

I challenged myself to read 50! (Yay for reading two extras.)


1. Third Lies the Charm by Laura and Lisa Roecker *
2. Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield *
3. 11/22/63 by Stephen King =
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zukas
5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
6. This Girl by Colleen Hoover +


7. The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose *
8. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
9. Divergent by Veronica Roth
10. The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert *
11. Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin *
12. The Diviners by Libba Bray~
13. The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off by Carolyn Brown*


14. Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
15. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares*
17. Joyland by Stephen King


18. Faithful Place by Tana French
19. The Medici Boy by John L'Heureux*
20. Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor+


21. The One and Only by Emily Giffin*
22. Pat of Silverbush by LM Montgomery+
23. Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman*
24. Broken Harbor by Tana French


25. Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele+
26. Palo Alto by James Franco
27. The Revealed by Jessica Hickam*
28. Queen of Hearts, Vol 1 by Colleen Oakes


29. Peter Pan by JM Barrie
30. The Yard by Alex Grecian
31. The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg
32. Queen of Hearts, Vol 2 by Colleen Oakes*
33. Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline~
34. The Bone Church by Victoria Dougherty+
35. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


36. Dead Wrong by Allen Wyler+
37. The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe*
38. Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke*
39. Recipes for Play by Rachel Sumner*
40. The Secret Place by Tana French*
41. The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar*


42. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
43. Ghosting by Edith Pattou*


44. Enchantress by Maggie Anton*
45. The Barter by Siobhan Adcock*


46. The Tudor Vendetta by CW Gortner*
47. Stillwater Rising by Steena Holmes*
48. World War Z by Max Brooks~
49. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
50. The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg*
51. Die Again by Tess Gerritsen*


52. The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Leslie Kagen*
53. Passionate Nutrition by Jennifer Adler*


* ARC/NetGalley
^ LT Early Reviewers Program
# GoodReads First Reads Program
~ Giveaway Win
+ publisher/author sent for review (not ARC)
= Mooched/Borrowed
Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Creative Every Day Challenge 2015

One of my resolutions this year is to do something creative every day. Joining the Creative Every Day Challenge and starting an Art Journal will hopefully keep me going all year.

(Thanks, Becca, Vasilly, and Belle for suggesting this and letting me create with you. Four days in and I am loving it. Ya'll are motivating me to keep it up.)

January's optional theme for the challenge is "Lost and Found" and within that I have created some daily prompts for my journal.

January Prompts

Here are my Days 1-4:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel

Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel

176 pages, Paperback
January 2015, The Experiment

Source: NetGalley

About the Book

More than 100 Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes for Eating Leafy Greens and Other Green Vegetables at Every Meal, Every Day

My Review

Eating Greens 24/7 is a hard thing to do for most people including me and my family. It is, however, something I am striving towards. This book by Jessica Nadel has some interesting recipes on how to get those greens in. 

Who knew you could get your greens in a cake?

I have yet to try some of these, but I do have many marked pages for ones to try.

About the Author

Jessica Nadel is the creator of the popular blog Cupcakes and Kale.

Happy Reading!

2015 Reading Challenge

Going to try this challenge I found on Pinterest from PopSugar. Anyone want to join me?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 2014, Ballantine Books

Source: NetGalley

I was so excited to get the chance to preview Die Again. I am a big fan of Gerritsen's books and especially of the Rizzoli and Isles series. The last book I read, Ice Cold, was three books ago so I am a little behind in the series. That was not a problem. These books are usually easily read as a stand-alone.

Die Again starts in Botswana with seven people out on a safari. All is going well until it is not and people start dying- the work of a leopard or a madman?

Six years later, Jane and Maura begin investigating the murder of a taxidermist and avid hunter who happens to be the father of one of the people on the safari in Botswana. A coincidence?
Fast-paced, interesting mystery, and a slew of possible suspects. Made for a quick, fun and enjoyable read.
Happy Reading!