Sunday, July 10, 2016

This Week in Reading - July 10

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

A Child's Garden of Death (A Lyon and Bea Wentworth Mystery) by Richard Forrest - A children's book author solving a 30 year old crime!  I'm definitely looking forward to this one and this is a series I've never read before and don't know all that much about.  (NetGalley)

A Turn for the Bad by Sheila Connolly - This is the 4th book in Connolly's cozy mystery series that is set in Ireland.  I've read the first one and really enjoyed it.  (Paperbackswap)

Read to Death by Terrie Farley Moran - This previous book in this series was one of my favorite cozy mysteries last year so I had to pre-order this newest one! (Amazon)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - I've been wanting to read Neil Gaiman and this book for ages and I couldn't resist picking it up when I saw it at the bookstore.  (Parnassus Books)

Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City by Mark Adams - I know nothing about this book but I love travel/research books and what I read looked really funny.  (Parnassus Books)

The Greatest Books You'll Never Read: Unpublished Masterpieces by The World's Greatest Writers by Professor Bernard Richards - This is kind of a coffee table book that has all kinds of info on unpublished works from famous authors.  It's fascinating!  (Parnassus Books)

Currently:

Reading:  Better Get to Livin' by Sally Kilpatrick.  I'm also finishing Thornyhold by Mary Stewart and then will pick up Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie again.  I had put the last two on hold for review books but I'm glad to be back to them!

Listening:  I'm still loving podcasts.  I just finished listening to the The History Chicks' 2 parter on Mary Todd Lincoln and found it fascinating.  I've got some Super Serials podcasts to catch up on too.  I have one about Sweet Valley (which I love listening too even though I didn't really read the books) and a Babysitter's Club coming up and I can't wait!

Watching:  Still not much.  This week I've been trying to go to bed early and we haven't watched much TV but it'll probably spike up a bit next week.

Off the Blog:

It's been a long week.  On Monday we dropped Paul off at the recruitment center here and then the next day met him in Nashville to see him take his oath and then get on the bus to Parris Island.  We were able to spend a lot more time with him Tuesday than I expected so that was really good.  He was one of 9 Marine recruits going up that day.  The rest were Air Force with a few Army.  Seeing him off wasn't as emotional as I expected.  I think we've seen various kids off to college or other trips so often that it didn't feel all that different.  We knew we would be getting a phone call when he was processed in on Parris Island to let us know that he had made it but that it would be a scripted call so we wouldn't be able to say anything.  I don't think I was quite prepared for how unsettling that call was.  The phone rang around midnight and he read his script and hung up and I think that's when it really hit us what was happening.  We're still in a communication blackout and it's really the first time I haven't known what was going on or been able to check in on a regular basis.  Right now I'm just sending strong thoughts in the direction of Parris Island, SC and if you have any to spare please consider sending some that way too.

Once we saw Paul off we spent the rest of the afternoon in Nashville.  While it's only about 90 miles north it's not somewhere we go very often.  I live right between Nashville and Birmingham and people tend to pick one or the other as the primary place they go.  Since I'm from Birmingham we've always gone that direction since there was family there and I knew my way around better.  But I'd definitely like to spend more time in Nashville.  We grabbed lunch in this fun restaurant downtown and then headed over to Parnassus Books which is the bookstore started by Anne Patchett.  It a great little bookstore and the children's section was amazing. Plus it had this little child size door to go through to get to it which the Tornado loved.  We're hoping to head back to spend a weekend soon.

My car decided not to start Sunday night (it's fine now) and with all the stuff with Paul there was just not time to even think about it so we ended up renting a car.  I ended up with a Ford Escape which I was pleasantly surprised by.  It's a fun car to drive and I really like the interior layout.  But why is renting a car always such a disaster?  J travels a lot for work and has to rent cars regularly and I've rented a few for various reasons and every time it's a surprise to see what you end up with regardless of what you reserved in the first place.  The whole Jerry Seinfeld skit about car rental places - "You know how to take the reservation but not hold the reservation which is the most important part OF the reservation." is still so true.  Most of the employees I've dealt with are super friendly but always seem legitimately surprised that I expect not only a car but the kind of car I reserved.  The thing is - especially with the internet - the reservation tracking shouldn't be THAT hard.  Please, if you know about this industry explain all this to me!  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday - The Light of Paris - Fiction Review
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Facts About Me
Wednesday - A Most Curious Murder - Cozy Mystery Review
Thursday - James Bond: Live and Let Die - Book vs Movie Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday: Home Cooked - Cookbook Review + Recipe

Have a great week and happy reading!

61 comments:

  1. I love that Irish cozy mystery series...I've only read the first one, but have the second one waiting on Pippa.

    Enjoy your week; sounds like you've been really busy. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. I've only read the first one too but I'm really looking forward to continuing the series. I've enjoyed all of Connolly's books so far.

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  2. Oh, good you got longer with Paul than you expected and I hope he's going well. Is he free to contact friends and family as much as he likes, or are they limited in how much contact they get?

    And alas Katherine I know nothing about the car rental industry but haven't had any problems myself. We really only have the big companies here (Avis, Hertz etc) but I know there are a couple of groups that rent cheap cars to backpackers and they often have a lot of trouble!

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    1. When we hear from him in the next week it will be letters only which should be interesting.
      We have Hertz and Avis too though I haven't dealt too much with them.

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  3. Best wishes to your son in basic- that communications blackout would be nerve wracking. Sending positive thoughts his way. Nashville sounds fun and so does that bookstore!

    Read to Death looks fun, I read the previous book and liked it especially the setting and the cafe/ bookstore. I'd probably like the Atlantis book also as I was into that as a kid... :) And looking forward to that James Bond post!

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    1. Parnassus was really fun! I was excited to visit. I'm looking forward to spending more time in Nashville. I loved the previous book in the Moran series and am really looking forward to reading more!

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  4. Ooo I must check out the History Chicks! That sounds great. Oh man, thoughts going out to Paul. He'll be fine and it'll be over before you know it. Have a great week!

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    1. I love the History Chicks! They're so interesting and they have the most interesting topics. I hope you enjoy them!

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  5. I hope you'll enjoy The Graveyard Book. And best wishes to your son.
    I've never rented a car before so I have no idea about those struggles, haha.

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    1. If you ever rent a car just be prepared for it to be chaotic. I always end up with whatever I wanted or better but there are always a few rocky moments!

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  6. I can't imagine one of my kids going off to be a marine. I mean, I was an army recruit when I was already 27 and a parent, so parental concerns were mostly my own. I hope you are proud, I know I would be if my son joined the marines.
    Sorry to hear about your issues renting a car. You brought up some good points, why isn't it streamlined? Seems like it would be a no-brainer!
    I am a bit envious about all the books you got read last week! (this will just be fuel for my Beyond the Books post this week)
    am looking forward to your review of The Light of Paris. Have a great week!

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    1. I'm incredibly proud though it still seems a bit surreal. He was always a go with the flow land on his feet kind of kid so I'm still kind of stunned by this decision. I'm doubly proud that he decided to do something important to him that was hard instead of going an easier route.

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  7. Oh goodness. I'll think positive thoughts. That scripted phone call would have really disturbed me as well as knowing I'd be out of contact from then...

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    1. Thanks! I think with the older 2 it was so much more gradual because they went to college so they were constantly in touch at first. This was much more of a jump off the cliff!

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  8. I'm sending positive thoughts in your direction - a communications blackout must be very difficult to deal with:(. Thanks to you - I've now read and reviewed Me Before you:). I'm glad you had a nice time in Nashville and I'll be interested to see what you think of The Graveyard Book. I bought it for the grandchildren, read it and changed my mind... They have had a hard time of it - they don't like dark reads about children without parents. Have a great week:)

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    1. From what I've seen of The Graveyard Book I don't think I would have liked as a child either. It's definitely dark. I'm so glad you enjoyed Me Before You! I loved it. I can't wait to read more of Moyes' books!

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  9. I should start listening to Podcasts again. I just find them hard to work in with everything else I want to do during the course of a day! I hope everything goes fine with Paul!

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    1. I'm struggling to get caught up on podcasts. Because I needed something else to be behind on! I do love them though!

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  10. Thoughts to both Paul and you guys during his basic training. Yes, I'm sure it must be hard to not get to communicate, but my Dad was military and this is just the beginning of the rules and way of life for him. Best of luck to him!

    So, I decided to try some podcasts and have been searching through your archives for suggestions. I've taken a few and will try and see if I like this audio experience. I suspect I will. Enjoy DEATH ON THE NILE. I reread that one every few years. It's one of my favorites.

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    1. I think the communication blackout is probably good for him but as a parent it's been a bit of a shock! I guess with the girls we were able to ease into more independence!
      Death on the Nile is one of my favorites too! It's such a treat to revisit it.

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  11. Good Luck to your son! I think you are amazing for being so strong. I hope you are able to talk with him soon. Most of my family is military or was since they are older now. I wish you and him lots of luck!

    I hate renting cars our car needs to be fixed so bad but we only have one. I am hoping when we get back from vacation I can get it fixed so fingers crossed it hold out.

    Have a great week, Katherine! Happy Reading! ox

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    1. I think narrating next week or so we will able to write letters which should be good. Both my grandfathers were military - one was in for his entire career - but they were both Army. The Marines are a new experience!
      So sorry about your car! We've been in that boat and it is not fun. Check around at car rental places. It may be more affordable than you think and it's always fun to drive something different! Just expect chaos.

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  12. Sounds like an emotion-filled week. Glad you have some great books to distract you.

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    1. It was! I'm just now starting to not feel like I've been hit by a truck! But overall it's been good and yes thank goodness for books!

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  13. That must be hard to have no communication with your son. I wish him luck and hopefully you'll hear from him soon.

    I've never been to Nashville but it is a place I'd love to go to. That bookstore sounds so nice and perfect for your son.

    I've also been wanting to read Neil Gaiman. The Graveyard Book sounds really interesting. I hope you enjoy all your new books and have a great week!

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    1. It's definitely weird but necessary. I'll still be glad to get that first letter!

      I like Nashville though we don't go up very often for how close it is. We tend to head for Birmingham or Chattanooga.

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  14. Gah, renting cars is a pain. Sorry it was a hassle for you. The communications blackout with your son must be so difficult but you know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm sure he's thinking of you and looking forward to talking with you again.

    All of your new mysteries sound good and you got a nice mix of books. Enjoy!

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    1. The thing is renting cars just shouldn't be that complicated - especially for reservations made well in advance.
      We should be getting a letter in the next two weeks and I'm really looking forward to it!

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  15. Sending positive thoughts to the island and to you as you deal with that communication blackout!

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  16. Communications blackouts are hard. Robin's college orientation was three weeks in the back country (no trails, let alone cell phone towers) and it was tough not knowing where she was or what and how she was doing. My mantra became "No news is good news" -- because they would have told us if there was a problem. As long as we heard nothing, we knew she was OK. (The leaders did carry a satellite phone in case someone needed evac.) Paul's experience is going to be more difficult than Robin's, but he will get through it and so will you. And yes, I'll send those prayers and thoughts his way, and also your direction.

    What fun to visit Parnassus! I've read about it and it sounds wonderful. Did you take pictures? I'd love it if you did a bookstore spotlight post.

    Have a wonderful week, and don't worry too much. He's a fine young man, from what you've said about him. He'll do well, I'm sure.

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    1. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have but it won't be my last visit so hopefully a spotlight soon!
      I think it's more that abrupt plunge into no communication that is so strange. It's definitely a shove off a cliff of realizing they're adults!

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    2. Yes, exactly! (The challenges is to keep remembering it when they come home!)

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  17. Good luck to your son! I'm sure it must be hard not being able to talk to him for now. Sending well wishes your way.

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  18. I just finished Read to Death and loved it. I want to start the Sheila Connolly series soon. Have a great week!

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    1. I can't wait to start Read to Death! I loved the last book.

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  19. You are super busy with family and reading too! Happy rest of summer and hope it will be cooler.

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    1. Yes but for the most part it's good busy!

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  20. I hope Paul is doing well. I'm sure the scripted call was weird for me as it was for you but it's just adjusting to another chapter in his life.

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    1. The adjusting is taking some time to get used to as it is so abrupt but I know he's doing a good job!

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  21. I love the cover and the title to A Children's Garden Of Death. I thought at first it was going to be about a doll cemetery. The children's book writer MC is intriguing, too. I will be looking out for your review. I cannot wait for the cookbook review I love those. I will be sending good energies to Paris Island. I had no idea about the scripted call. Take care and hug the little one a lot. Have a wonderful week. :)

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    1. I've been gdpunf lots of snuggling with the little. It's definitely a new perspective! I'm excited about Children's Garden of Death! It's not a series I'm familiar with but it looks really good.

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  22. Most of the books you got this week sounds really cool! I hope you enjoy them! I will send some strong vibes towards your son Paul and hope that he does well and everything goes fine. Hope you get to hear from him soon, the communication blockout while training has to be nerve racking.

    Happy reading!
    Stormi
    Week in Review

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    1. Thanks! I think the blackout makes a lot of sense for the recruits but it's definitely eye opening on this side. I'm really pleased with all my books this week. Of course the making myself actually read them isn't quite so easy!

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  23. Aww, the communication blackout does sound tough if you're used to always knowing what's going on with him and checking in :-/ Your trip to Nashville sounds fun though!

    I've never rented a car myself, but my date ended up having to rent for prom when I was in high school, and my mother had to go to the place, and I just remember it ended up being this whole ordeal. So it does sound like car renting has its issues!

    Have a great week!

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    1. I really want to explore Nashville more. I really haven't explored the city nearly as much as I should for how close we are! Renting a car is just mind boggling. It just shouldn't be as chaotic as it is.

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  24. Sending all positive thoughts to Paul (and his family :) )
    Had to laugh about the car rental issues - so true. It should be that hard!!

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    1. Right! It's just not that complicated! Or at least it doesn't seem like it should be. We are adjusting and I'm sure he's doing well. I'm trying not to find out too much about what goes on though!

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  25. Good luck to your son! I really want to visit Nashville. A lot of friends and family have been and loved it. Sorry about your car. And yes car rentals are completely ridiculous. Have a great week and enjoy your new books!

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    1. I like Nashville though really if you're heading this way I like Chattanooga better for kids. There's so much to do there. I am looking forward to exploring Nashville more though!

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  26. Being a vet with some Marine friends, I've visited Parris Island for a few brief moments, because we wanted to see how different it was from Air Force Bases. (lol) I hope you were able to try some Nashville Spicy Chicken! Sounds like your theme these days is mystery. Isn't it crazy how the car rental thing still works and it's 2016? Wow! Glad you got your car fixed and hope your week is fab! Hugs...RO

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    1. I didn't have the Nashville hot fries chicken there but there's a place here that sells if and it is absolutely amazing. I bet Marine bases are very different than Air Force bases! My grandfather was career Army and I worked on an Army base for years so I'm familiar with Army but have never been to a Marine base. I imagine it will be eye opening!

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  27. So much I could comment on but I will start by saying sending positive thoughts to your son, though I'm sure all if fine, just that you can't communicate that makes it more difficult.

    Lol @ the car rental fiasco! My husband recently rented a car, but the car he asked for wasn't available when he got there, so he had to take another model, and not the first time it's happened to us. I worked so many years ago in a car rental office for a Ford dealership in another state, and we had no computers then... so we manually kept track in a ledger, and by hanging those little round paper tags with the person's name & date of pick-up on the key on a keyboard wall-- not lying-- and never had a problem. I loved that Seinfeld episode you mentioned, though I thought you were going to say the one where the parking valet left B.O. in his car and he couldn't get it out, ha! Too funny!

    Many good cozies for you, very nice. Too bad you didn't get to meet JT Ellison in Nashville; she lives there :) Enjoy the week.

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  28. You read Mary Stewart??? Katherine, you are quickly becoming my best friend on the blogosphere. I love Mary Stewart!!!!!!! The first English books I've read was by her. I've read The Ivy Tree earlier this year again and still want to read Madam will you talk this year again. Rental cars..... Nope - nothing. I've never had to. My husband takes a rental car quite often though. Hope you will have a great week!
    '

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  29. Good luck to Paul. I know how tough it is not to hear from your kids. Our oldest daughter was in the Army and we had several times during her years when she couldn't contact us. Always hard, but as Lark said above "No news is good news."

    I'm going to check out some of those books, Katherine. They sound great. Hope you have a great week and hang in there. It sounds like Paul is a great young man.

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  30. I’ll definitely send some thoughts to Paul!! Good to read you did get a little more time with him than you expected. That phone call sounds a little creepy though.
    Nashville sounds and looks like a great city when I see it on TV. I really hope I can go there one day.
    Have a great week and Happy Reading!

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  31. Oh lots of good thoughts for your kiddo. That would be a bit disconcerting to get that phone call. Glad he made it safely there though :)

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  32. When my oldest brother went to basic, it was really hard with the communication blackout. His calls home he would tell my mom he wasn't going to make it, and he'd write to me how hard it was. After they did get their phones back for the first time, he posted a photo of his shaved head and had tears in his eyes. And then to see him in photos posted by his company and unit on their Facebook pages as he went through the latter part of basic and to see such a change in his demeanor was incredible. Write to him often - it helps!

    I went to Nashville in 2013 for a conference. They put me up in the Vanderbilt hotel. I loved all the things I got to do while I was in town. It's such a fantastic place. I was shocked that people were lined up outside various businesses at lunchtime for the night's shows on weekdays!

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  33. I'm sending positive vibes your son's way - I'm sure that communication blackout is rough, especially with the scripted call. I hope you get to have an actual conversation with him before too long! Nashville sounds fun and the bookstore would be a dream :) I'm glad tornado had fun! Happy reading!

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