Monthly Archives: July 2012

Wondrous Word Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme from Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and write a post.

My words this week are from The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter (which I am enjoying greatly).

varioloid: 1. resembling smallpox. 2. of or pertaining to a mild case of smallpox.

“Instead, my mother died of the varioloid a few months after Nanny moved in.”

calumnious: of, involving, or using calumny;  slanderous; defamatory.

“You are here to help acquit the President of these calumnious charges, not to hunt for conspiracies or solve murders the police have closed.”

I haven’t been posting alot this month, and now there is only one full week of summer left for us!  I’ll be back on a blogging schedule soon, but for now I’m focusing on family time.  Hope each of you are having a wonderful summer!

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Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of  A Girl and Her Books.  The host for July’s Mailbox Monday posts will be Mrs Q: Book Addict.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

After a couple of slow weeks in my mailbox, this week has been great!  I also went shopping at my library bookstore, and got 3 books to add to my overflowing book collection.

Hocus Pocus Hotel by Michael Dahl from Capstone Publishing – I won this one, signed by the author!  Releases Aug 1, 2012

“Ever since it was built by the great magician Abracadabra, the hotel Tyler Yu lives in has had its share of mysterious events.  Ghosts wandering the halls, a magician who vanishes into thin air – Ty can’t figure these things out on his own.  But Charlie Hitchcock, with his photographic memory, might be just the partner the school bully needs.”

The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex by Owen Chase, First Mate (bought at the Library Bookstore)

“On the morning of November 20, 1820, in the Pacific Ocean, an enraged sperm whale rammed the Nantucket whaler Essex. As the boat began to sink, her crew of thirty had time only to collect some bread and water before pulling away in three frail open boats. Without charts, alone on the open seas, and thousands of miles from any known land, the sailors began their terrifying journey of survival. Ninety days later, after much suffering and death by starvation, intense heat, and dehydration, only eight men survived to reach land. One of them was Owen Chase, first mate of the ill-fated ship, whose account of the long and perilous journey has become a classic of endurance and human courage. The elements of his tale inspired Herman Melville (who was born the year the Essex sank) to write the classic Moby Dick.”

Tulipomania by Mike Dash (bought at the Library Bookstore) – I’m not usually a big history genre reader, but this book seemed really interesting to me.

“In the 1630s, visitors to the prosperous trading cities of the Netherlands couldn’t help but notice that thousands of normally sober, hardworking Dutch citizens from every walk of life were caught up in an extraordinary frenzy of buying and selling. The object of this unprecedented speculation was the tulip, a delicate and exotic Eastern import that had bewitched horticulturists, noblemen, and tavern owners alike. For almost a year rare bulbs changed hands for incredible and ever-increasing sums, until single flowers were being sold for more than the cost of a house.”

The Little Sparrow: The Orphan Train Trilogy by Al & Joanna Lacy (bought from the Library Bookstore)

“Kearney, Cheyenne, Rawlins. Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco. At each train station, a few lucky orphans from the crowded streets of New York City receive the fulfillment of their dreams: a home and family. This “orphan train” is the vision of Charles Loring Brace, founder of the Children’s Aid Society, who cannot bear to see innocent children abandoned in the overpopulated cities of the mid-nineteenth-century.”

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves from Plume (a Penguin Imprint) – Releases July 10, 2012

“Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.  T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.  Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.  At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return.”

Falling in Love With Joseph Smith by Jane Barnes – a win from Shelf Awareness – Releases Aug. 16, 2012

“When award-winning documentary film writer Jane Barnes was working on the PBS Frontline/American Experience special series The Mormons, she was surprised to find herself passionately drawn to Joseph Smith. The product of an Episcopalian, “WASPy” family, she couldn’t remember ever having met a Mormon before her work on the series—much less having dallied with the idea of converting to a religion shrouded in controversy. But so it was: She was smitten with a man who claimed to have translated the word of God by peering into the dark of his hat.

Barnes describes her experiences working on the PBS series as she moved from secular curiosity to the brink of conversion to Mormonism. It all began when she came across Joseph Smith’s early writings. She was delighted to discover how funny and utterly unique he was—and how widely divergent his wild yet profound visions of God were from the Church of Latter-day Saints as we know it today. Her fascination deepened when, much to her surprise, she learned that her eighth cousin Anna Barnes converted to Mormonism in 1833. Through Anna, Barnes follows her family’s close involvement with Smith and the crises caused by his controversial practice of polygamy. Barnes’ unlikely path helps her gain a newfound respect for the innovative American spirit that lies at the heart of Mormonism—and for a religion that is, in many ways, still coming into its own.”
Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff from Voice – a Hyperion Imprint
“Life is good for Maura Corrigan. Married to her college sweetheart, Pete, raising three young kids with her parents nearby in her peaceful Chicago suburb, her world is secure. Then one day, in a single turn of fate, that entire world comes crashing down and everything that she thought she knew changes.  Maura must learn to move forward with the weight of grief and the crushing guilt of an unforgivable secret. Pete senses a gap growing between him and his wife but finds it easier to escape to the bar with his friends than face the flaws in his marriage. “Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work by Tama Kieves – Releases Aug. 30, 2012

“Tama Kieves, Harvard-lawyer-turned-career-coach, has spent the last decade crossing the United States and Canada, speaking to tens of thousands of people and sharing her inspiring story of moving from a career that was killing her to a life that has uplifted her, chronicled in her first book, This Time I Dance!: Creating the Work You Love. She has mentored thousands of people who, with her help, have followed their passion, and now live their dream lives.  And now she takes us to the next step in our journey…

Within you is your purpose—your destiny—that will lead you to your greatest fulfillment, and your greatest success. What Kieves discovered in her own journey is that the way to success is an inspired path, not a linear one. She brings her mentoring ideas and actions together in her latest work, Inspired and Unstoppable. In this motivating book, Kieves teaches that it is only in unleashing this purpose that you can become truly happy and satisfied.”

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter from Alfred Knopf – Releases July 10, 2012

I have to say, I was so SO excited when I got the email saying that I was receiving this book – I’m a big fan of President Lincoln, and I love the premise of this book – what might have happened if he survived the bullet wound.

“Stephen L. Carter’s thrilling new novel takes as its starting point an alternate history: President Abraham Lincoln survives the assassination attempt at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Two years later he is charged with overstepping his constitutional authority, both during and after the Civil War, and faces an impeachment trial . . .

Twenty-one-year-old Abigail Canner is a young black woman with a degree from Oberlin, a letter of employment from the law firm that has undertaken Lincoln’s defense, and the iron-strong conviction, learned from her late mother, that “whatever limitations society might place on ordinary negroes, they would never apply to her.” And so Abigail embarks on a life that defies the norms of every stratum of Washington society: working side by side with a white clerk, meeting the great and powerful of the nation, including the president himself.  But when Lincoln’s lead counsel is found brutally murdered on the eve of the trial, Abigail is plunged into a treacherous web of intrigue and conspiracy reaching the highest levels of the divided government.”

The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields from Viking.  Releases Aug. 2, 2012

“When at the age of forty-five, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith’s marriage crumbles and Anna’s disapproval threatens to shatter their lifelong bond, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships.

Told through the points of view of both women, The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton’s early Gilded Age world: Paris with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret cafés, the Whartons’ elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James’s manse in Rye, England.”

I also got several Kindle books, but this list is already quite long, so I’ll stop with the print books.  :)

What new books came into your home this week?

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Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.  It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Alyce’s site.   Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

This week I’m posting a photo a friend took on a recent trip to upper New York State.  Here’s what he said about this photo:

In 1874 the French artist Claude Monet was born in Paris France. He is the most famous impressionist artist in history.

The Mirabeau Inn & Spa at Skaneateles NY. was built to replicate a French Chateau outside of Paris France. The center

piece of this French Chateau in America is a Monet styled garden, designed in a scaled down version of the Monet garden 
in Paris France.


Photo Credit: Dr. John Sims

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It’s summertime!

I’ve noticed the last couple of weeks that it’s really REALLY hot, and that I’ve been struggling to post anywhere near five times a week.  Combined with the fact that my lil’ heart is in year-round school and only gets six weeks of summer, and we are down two of those weeks already, I’ve decided that I’m not going to stress about posting this month.  She’ll be back in school August 1st, and until then, I want us to have a fun, schedule-free summer.  I will be posting over the next four weeks, just not on a schedule or five times a week!  There, I feel better already! :)

We got a new addition to our family this week – my daughter got her very own kitten.  It’s been about 13 years since I’ve had a baby animal around the house –  most of ours are rescues, either from the shelter or from being a stray, and they weren’t babies.  This little guy is just now 9 weeks old, and he’s the cutest thing (maybe ever)!  He’s bonded with her and cries when she leaves him sometimes.  Not always though – sometimes he’s asleep!

She was walking out the door to go play and he stood up and started talking to her.  She came back and this is what he did.

Because it’s so hot here right now, doing fun stuff outside has to be done before the sun comes up or after it goes down – which really limits available time.  I was planning on starting to run this summer, but I’m afraid I’d have a heat stroke less than a block from my house.  Also, I’m not really good at running, so I need all the help I can get.  The sun beating down on me at 8am isn’t considered the help I need.

I recently discovered a 5K called the Color Run. I really want to do this, and while I’ve done several 5K’s, I’ve never run one.  I would like to run this one – or at least run part of it!  They have some awesome videos of the Color Run that really inspire me to be involved.  Although the race that I want to participate in isn’t until mid-August, it’s still one of my summer goals to train/prepare for this.

We also made a list of other things we wanted to do this summer – we didn’t factor the heat in when we made the list, so some of them we haven’t even attempted.  We have picked wild blackberries and made a cobbler, but other outdoor things (including running), we haven’t done yet.  We are going out to do A-Z photography – we each will have a sheet, and as we drive around (or walk or hike), we will take photos of random things to check off of our list – “A” might be an airplane, “S” might be the big artsy snails in our downtown square.

We also want to go back to the Crystal Bridges Art Museum (we’ve been twice already – see some photos here), paint pottery together, volunteer at the library and a local food bank, play games, read, nap, bake and have movie marathons.  I recently introduced her to the movie “A League of Their Own”, and she loved it!  Of course we want to see new favorites like Brave and Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.

As you can see, we have a lot to do in just four weeks – our agenda for today will include volunteering at the library, sharing a Midnight Truffle Blizzard from Dairy Queen, a bit of reading and math (to stay ready for 3rd grade), and I’d like to teach my lil’ heart how to play Bunco.  Who knows what tomorrow’s plans will be, but I’m thrilled to be spending all day with her!

I will be posting soon with my thoughts (what some people call a review) about Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, which I loved!

I hope you are having a wonderful summer!  I know it will fly by!

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