Saturday, July 20, 2019

Sunday Synopsis

Fever 1793Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

During the summer of 1793, there was an outbreak of Yellow Fever that killed about 5,000 of the 50,000 residents of Philadelphia. The main character is 14 year old Mattie Cook, a hard worker determined to see her family's business, The Cook Coffeehouse, succeed. Then, Mattie loses her childhood friend to the disease. Then her mother becomes ill, and there is a possibility she will get well. Her grandfather and Mattie must try to leave Philadelphia in hopes of staying free from illness, but things do not go as planned.

The novel is mostly fiction, but the time period, and the events happening during the time period are real. You will get a sense of the culture of Philadelphia in the late 18th, but you won't be overwhelmed with historical details. Mattie is a likeable protagonist.

I only gave this three stars because it didn't move as quickly as I had hoped it would. It is also recommended reading for middle grades, but, except for a few students with a working knowledge of history, some of the details may get lost while attempting to read for comprehension. I don't think the average middle grade student would find it exciting enough to fully keep their attention. Most of my middle schoolers say it is "good" or "okay" but never "great."

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Thursday Thirteen

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen, a fun meme to play.

Today I'm listing some quotes that speak to me in my current situation.

1.  Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.
Dave Mustaine


3.  Recovery begins from the darkest moment. 
John Major 


5. Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Khalil Gibran


7.  I have sadness in me. I have anger in me. I have heartbreak in me.
 Ellen DeGeneres


9.  History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, 
need not be lived again.
 Maya Angelou


11.  There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. 
Malcolm X


13.  People do stupid things... words are important. 
Rodney Frelinghuysen


Monday, July 15, 2019

Random Tuesday

Hi all.  Not feeling very random today.  I'm dealing with some emotional issues right now.  Thanks for stopping by.  Here's a pun for you before you leave:

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Synopsis

First There Was SilenceFirst There Was Silence by Leonie Haubrich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think 3 stars may have been too generous. I almost gave up on this book. There were several characters that were difficult to keep separate due to their names and nicknames, and the author did nothing to endear any of the characters to the audience.

First you are introduced to a foster mom who doesn't want to return a baby to the parents. She seems a little nutty. The biological mom, you learn much later, had lost a child to SIDS during her first marriage. Her current husband knew nothing about it until their daughter is kidnapped. Most of the story is about the search for Lotta.

The characters are not developed such that you root for one over the other; in fact, I didn't really like any of the characters including the police. I honestly did not care if they ever found Lotta or not.

I believe this was written in German because they cover says, "translated by Ruth A. Gentes Krawczyk." Perhaps that was one reason I couldn't get into it. I sooo contemplated abandoning this book, and now that I've finished it, I would have been good with the choice to abandon. Sorry, folks. This one is slow, unrealistic, and not suspenseful.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

Hello!  We just returned from a mini-vacay.  Can you tell what city we visited?

Please leave a guess in the comments.

Summer is flying by, and I don't like it one bit!  How's your summer going?
Image Credit
Did anyone catch the Homerun Derby yesterday?  Congratulations to Pete Alonso from the Mets.  He did a great job, but the duel between Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Joc Pederson?  3 ties!  I was rooting for Guerrero, not that I have anything against Pederson or Alonso.  I know nothing about them.  But, I think it's cool that it was a rookie who won.

I really don't have any news or interesting tidbits to share today, so I'll get to some funnies,

Sad, but true!

This is so me. In fact, it's so me that I've probably posted it before!
Also completely true!

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Sunday Synopsis

The Devil You KnowThe Devil You Know by Terry Tyler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one was interesting. Set in Lyndford, Lincolnshire, England, there is a serial killer murdering young, beautiful women, mostly prostitutes, but not just them. Five people in the town believe they know the killer, and the killer is close to them.

One of them is right.

Could it be Maisie's mum's new beau? Or Juliet's abusive husband? Or could it be Jake, Tamsin's handsome crush? Steve's childhood friend? Or Dorothy's son?

You will find out. Just when you think you know... you don't know! This will keep you twisting and turning until the end.

Along the way, you'll learn some British slang! Most of us have heard "shag," "arse," and "mate." But how about "wanker?" "Nip?" "e-fit?" There are many more! It gives the novel a quirky, edgy feel.

I was a bit confused at the beginning of the novel since there are numerous characters, but I caught on, and when I did, I couldn't put it down! Loved it!

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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Happy 4th

I'm linking up with Stacy for random Tuesday.

Wishing you all a happy 4th of July!  Be careful as you are celebrating.

Whether it's hot dogs, fireworks, or a few adult beverages, whatever you do, stay safe.
If you're enjoying a cold one, designate a driver (it's usually me in our household), call a taxi or an Uber, or just stay put.  As a mom, this is probably what worries me most now that my children are adults.  You can't control what other people do, but you can control yourself.  It is estimated that 40% of deaths on the 4th of July weekend are due to alcohol, and I don't want my family and friends to become statistics.
Sad, but true.

Have a great week!  Be safe!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Random Tuesday

Hello everyone.  I'm linking up with Stacy.

How do you celebrate your adult children's birthdays?  My twins turn 23 tomorrow.  My daughter won't be here to celebrate until the weekend, but my son is here.  I know some people stop celebrating their children's birthdays once they reach a certain age.  What is socially acceptable?  I'm in my 50's, and my mom still gets me gifts and usually a cake as well.  What are your customs?
The NBA Awards were last night.  I didn't watch.  I knew that Harden wouldn't get MVP two years in a row.  Besides, I see this awards show as a money grab.  They used to announce the MVP regular season and the playoff MVP following the final games of each.  They've added other awards such as Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man, and Most Improved.  I believe they are just trying to sell advertisements to make more money.

Have you see the photo below?

The "gorilla crow" has become an Internet sensation.  The video/pictures have been retweet 111,000 times since showing up on Twitter yesterday.  Here is a link to the video you can watch.

Kaelie Swift, Ph. D., explained why the crow appears to strike a gorilla pose:
"What it’s actually doing is sunning itself. When birds sun they drop their wings and cock their tails.At the right angle that could obscure the legs and tail making it look like they’re missing. Usually the mouth is open and the body is closer to the ground, making the behavior more obvious, but perhaps the videographer caught it in a moment of transition. In any case sunning like this is a common behavior among birds."

I learn something new every day!  And now...

This is a joke.  I hope no one is offended.

Have a great week!

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sunday Synopsis

A Gambler's JuryA Gambler's Jury by Victor Methos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book. It's my second book by Victor Methos, the first being The Neon Lawyer. First of all, I had to learn what is meant by "A Gambler's Jury." A defense lawyer might use this to describe a jury that might convict based on race although the evidence points to acquittal.

Now, that is exactly the kind of case that main character Dani Rollins walks into. Her client is Teddy Thorne, a black teenager (17), who has mental difficulties. He's been accused of selling drugs. Teddy is obviously a fall guy. He doesn't have the mental capacity to arrange a big drug deal. He should be tried in juvenile court, but prosecutor's insist on trying him as an adult on a felony drug offense. Worse, still, his parents can't wait to get rid of him when he turns 18.

It seems that, at every turn, people are working against Dani and Teddy - the prosecutors, the District Attorney, the judge, Teddy's so-called friends, and even Teddy's parents. What can she do?

I liked this book, but I found Dani's courtroom behavior not only disrespectful, but unbelievable. There was nothing realistic about her courtroom attitude. In a real court of law, had she behaved the way she did, she would have had to do worse than spend a night in a cell by the judge's chambers. I was also put off by having Teddy's character add the word "see" to almost every sentence. For example, he might say, "Kevin's my friend, see." Or "I have to eat pancakes, see." That was just a personal irritant.

Overall, it was a good storyline. I felt I got to know the characters well. It moved with the speed I expect a good book to have. There weren't any really slow parts and there weren't any parts that didn't add to plot or characterization. So... read it if you like legal fiction.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Photo Day

Beautiful flowers from my anniversary last month.

I'm linking up with image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.  Come join the fun!
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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

I've only had two outings so far this summer.  First, the family and I went to an Astros game.  It was super fun, and we got a George Springer thumbs-up bobblehead.

Second, I went to Garland to see my daughter and her boyfriend.  Sunday we went to the Dallas World Aquarium.  I loved it!  They have so many fish and birds, but also a sloth, penguins, sharks, stingrays, crocodiles, an ocelot, and a manatee.  I took tons of pictures, of course, the better to scrapbook with later. (Click a picture to enlarge it.)
Old Crocodowndillies

Can you see Nemo?
Giant Octopus
 I didn't have any kind of Father's Day celebration because my dad is in Heaven.  It's still difficult for me after all these years, but I was able to get my mind off it by spending a busy, active day with my daughter and her boyfriend.

And now...

Image Credit

Image Credit

Have a great week!


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