Good Reads

The days are getting shortter and the nights are getting longer. Curling up under a cosy blanket is my fave activity as a chill fills the air. As Christmas gets closer and closer the hustle and bustle of our daily lives increases it is a treat to just still and relax. To just be still and curl up and read a good book. Here are some of my most recent good reads.

 

The Shoemaker’s Wife – Adriana Trigiani. Enza and Cira first meet in the Italian Alps as children. Ciro is banished from his village and he goes to America. Ciro learns the art of shoemaking. Enza also journeys to America. The two finally meet just before Ciro leaves to fight in WWI. The Shoemaker’s Wife is a story of star-crossed lovers and the pursuit of the American dream. This is not the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn. I had to read this book before I saw the movie. Which reminds me…I still need to see the movie. This was a great book. It kept me guessing. Nick comes home to find his wife Amy missing. He soon finds himself suspected of her murder. I hated both Amy and Nick. In the end I felt that they deserved each other. Despite that, I love a great thriller and this book does not disappoint. I plan to read the rest of her books in the spring.

Monuments Men- Robert M. Edsel &  Brett Whitter (Contributor).  I am a history buff but I knew nothing about the Monuments Men. During WWII a group of museum directors, curators, and art historians  formed the Monuments Men. Their mission was to recover and save major works of art. They had no vehicles, no supplies and no budget. Most were middle aged. They were not soldiers but often found themselves just behind the front lines. I was shocked to learn how Hitler had a list of the great works of art of Europe that he wanted collected for his own great museum even before the war started. Today these great work of art can once again be seen thanks to the Monuments men.

The Hundred – Foot Journey – Richard C. Morais. Hassan Haji and his family leave their native India and move to the French countryside. His family opens and Indian restaurant across the street from a famous French restaurant. Hassan is drawn to the reasturant’s chef and French cuisine. The Hundred-Foot Journey shows us that embraced different cultures can be very rewarding. I cannot say that this is a great book but I did enjoy it.

Burial Rites – Hannah Kent. It is 1829 in Iceland. Agnes is found guilty of murdering her master. She is sent to live on a remote farm as she awaits her execution. Burial Rites is based on actual events. This novel is as haunting as the Icelandic landscape. Agnes is different than most women and everyone believes that she is a cold-blooded murderess. But as the family and the local priest get to know Agnes they begin to doubt eveything they have heard and wonder if she is innocent. The perfect book for a wintery day.

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt. I am comflicted about this book. It was a great book but it was painful to read about  theo’s self destructive ways. I struggled through those parts but the ending gave closure and made it all worth while. When Theo is thirteen his mother is killed in a bombing attack. His father does not want him. Theo struggles to overcome guilt, to find his place in the world and to come to terms with the loss of his mother.

 

What are some of your recent good reads? I love hearing what others are reading. Please feel free to share in the commets.

Happy Reading.

~ Jody

Good Reads | The Young Adult Edition

I may be a few years beyond my teen years but I still love some great young adult reads.

 

Divergent series – Veronica Roth. This was a book club pick. We wanted to read it before we saw the movie. I still have not seen the movie. I need to get on that. Even though we had only picked the first book in the trilogy we had all read all three of the books. This nevers happens. The series was interesting and a very easy read. We all had to finish it to find out what happened in the end.

Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia &  Margaret Stohl. This was another book  club pick. One of those books to read before the movie books. I could not put this book down. Filled with lots of Southern personality. Ethan’s world will never be the same after he meets Lena (a caster). Ethan soon discovers a world full of casters (both light and dark), seers, incubases and sirens. Ethan tries to save Lena from becoming a dark caster. The rest of the books in the Caster Chronicles are on my winter TBR list.

Miss Peregrine’s School For Peculiar Children and Holllow City – Ransom Riggs. This series takes you away to another world. Filled with wonderfully scary pictures. A group of peculiar children set out to save the world. I cannot wait for the third book in this series.

Flavia de Luce series – Alan Bradley. Flavis is a young girl living in her family’s ancestral manor home in post WWII England. Flavis spends her days learning chemisty in her uncle’s Victorian chemistry lab. She has a fascination for piosion and love to solve local murers. Delightfully charming. I am addicted to this series.

The Fault in Our Stars and Looking For Alaska – John Green. These were both book club books. We choose two for that month in case some did not fel like reading a book about kids dying with cancer ( The Fault in Our Stars). It was my first time reading John Green. I read The Fault in Our Stars first. As soon as I finished it I started Looking for Alaska. John Green captures teen angst with incredible skill, understanding and compassion. These books are so different but equally as good. I have added the rest of John Green’s books to my TBR list.

 

365 Project

It has been a few weeks since I posted an update on my 365 project.

It has been a few weeks since I posted a 365 project update. So curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and spend some time with me.

27 October 2014

Fall is coming to an end.

 

28 October 2014

Chilly days and long nights call for a fab supper.

 

29 October 2014

This sums up my feelings for today.

 

30 October 2014

A few leaves are left clinging to the branches.

 

31 October 2014

I left my Halloween candy shopping to the last minute. This is why.

1 November 2014

We awoke to a dusting of snow this morn.

 

2 November 2014

Andrew and his childhood friend Jeff walking in the woods they used to play in a little boys.

 

3 November 2014

Rainy day.

 

4 November 2014

Another rainy day, sigh.

 

5 November 2014

Fall day exploring the countryside.

 

6 November 2014

Sea urchins and the ocean have a hold on my heart and soul.

 

7 November 2014

Today we went to Stratford, the Canadian edition. When we lived in England we lived 20 minutes away from Startford-Upon-Avon. This quaint town reminded me of a town in England.

 

8 November 2014

For the past month we have spent way too much time in the car. Today we are once again spending a few hours in the car. Tonight we are heading into Toronto for a show.

 

9 November 2014

We move way too often for me to have many house plants. I love having live plants so today I brought a Christmas cactus home.

 

10 November 2014

Stormy sky, beautiful light and golden fall fields. Swoon.

 

11 November 2014

This year my husband is home from Afghanistan. I am so proud of him.

 

12 November 2014

My goal for the new year is to start using this vintage German completely manual camera

 

13 November 2014

I LOVE my IPSY bag this month.

 

14 November 2014

Today I got to experience my first lake effect snowsqualls. It sure is pretty.

15 November 2014

This pretty snow seems to be staying.

16 November 2014

The last light of the day.

 

Thank you for checking out my last few weeks in images.

~ Jody

Travels : Oxford

The wind is howling and a snow squall watch is in place. The news is filled with road closures and accidents. I am reminded of a day back in December 2010.

When we first moved to England our B & B was very close to Oxford. A short 40 minute bus ride. We picked our day and it was going to be AMAZING! Except for one small detail. Snow. At breakfast Dave (owner of the B & B) asked what our plane were for the day. When we mentioned that we were taking the bus into Oxford and spending the day exploring he became very concerned. I asked why. “Snow. We are getting lots of snow.” I asked how much snow and a lost laughed at the answer. “5 cms.” At this point I thought that Dave was a little crazy. 5 cmd of snow. I mean really. I had survived White Juan. Lived through many a Nor’ Easter. Grew up in Newfoundland. I was used to storms and snow. Before we left for the bus stop Dave made sure that we had our mobiles, that they were charged and that we had his phone number. “I can come get up in the 4×4 if needed.” Again I thought this was a little crazy. Oh how wrong I was.

As the bus drove through the English countryside it started to snow. It was magical. With map in hand we set off to explore Oxford. The snow got heavier and heavier. My camera started to get wet. After a quick stop at the department store for a huge umbrella we were once again ready to explore. Our first stop was the Bodleian Library. The Bodleian Library is exactly what you would imagine an old English library to be. We had planned to see more sights but due to the weather most places were closing. We decided to stop at a pub fro lunch and to make a plan. The news was filled with stories of the weather. Airports shut down. Roads closed. People stranded. People in the pub were talking about the weather. Trains were stopping. Buses were stopping. We decided to make haste for the bus station and get home. Andrew was opposed to this plan but I over-ruled him. We were able to get on the last bus that was heading to Shrivenham. It took us almost 2 hours to get out of Oxford. Beneath all of that beautiful snow was a layer of very slick ice. The bus driver kept talking about all of the roads he could no longer travel on. We had been in the country for less than a week. It meant nothing to us. We considered getting off of the bus. Thankfully a very kind lady was sitting next ti us and lived near Shrivenham. She knew where we were staying and promised that she would make sure that we got home.. True to her word, she had the bus drive drop us off at the end of the drive. In a country that is not used to snow, 5 cms is a very big deal.

 

 

Brittany’s Last Kiss

From the time Brittany was a young puppy she loved to give kisses. At first her kisses were little nibbles. She had not quite learnt how to kiss. She gave her vet a kiss during one of her puppy check-ups. She jumped up and gave his beard a little nibble. Brittany eventually leaned how to give the sweetest softest little kisses. All you had to do was ask her for a kiss or do some chirping noises and she would walk up to you and give you a kiss. Unless she was ticked at you or not feeling well.

One day I was sitting on the floor. Brittany came up to me and jumped up putting her front paws on my shoulder pushing me down towards her on one side. She then gave me a kiss.

Andrew and I went to visit Brittany the Monday night she spent at the animal hospital hooked up to iv fluids. The fluids and pain meds had helped her feel better. She wagged her tail and gave us both very excited happy kisses. Those were the last kisses she ever gave.

It broke my heart that I did not get another kiss from my sweet girl. She was too sick and in too much pain. For weeks this ate away at me.

Then one night I had a dream. I was in bed sleeping. I heard Brittany’s little feet walking on the hardwood floor. The next thing I knew she jumped up on the bed with me. (she had not done this in years) She walked up to me and gave me a kiss.

Brittany came back to me in my dream to give me the one thing that I so desperatley wanted – one last kiss.

 

 

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