Monday, January 26, 2015

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

One of the things I missed about blogging was that it made me more thoughtful about what and why I was reading certain books. By participating in a variety of challenges, I was able to ensure that I read a variety of genres and authors, still getting in my favorites and not just what I was sent as ARCs. Historical fiction has been one of my favorite genres, all the way back to the Little House books and my all time fave, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, which I still pick up every few years. With my return to blogging I am returning to Amy's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge at Passages to the Past. I'm shooting for the level of Ancient History, which means 25 or more HF books this year, out of the 110 total I've pledged to read on Goodreads. Let's see how it all works out. Are you doing any reading challenges this year?

A Traitor's Tears by Fiona Buckley
To Shield the Queen by Fiona Buckley
Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn
A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters

I'm Back!

Where are you? Was a question I received a lot in comments and emails back in the fall of 2010. I thought I was taking a short bloggy break while I reconfigured my daily life. I had been home recovering from my second Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) for almost 4 years, but was well enough to return to teaching for the 2010-2011 school year. I was off the steroids and the oxygen and was walking under my own power all the time. It was so exciting, because being a teacher is all I ever wanted to do. It was a great school year, I loved being back with my colleagues, both former and those hired while I was gone, and with the students most of all. Although things were great, and I didn't miss more than a couple of days all year, it was still physically a lot for me to handle and I was coming home and going to bed by 7:30 most nights, so not a lot of time for blogging.

After that first year back, my health slowly has gone down hill, which I will write about in a future post, but I am now officially retired and home all the time, so I'd like to rejoin the blogging world. I plan to get around to visiting all of my old friends who are still out there, and maybe make some new ones. Keep your eyes out for me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Review: The LIfe You've Imagined

Are any of us living the life we imagined we'd have? I don't mean becoming a firefighter or a ballerina, but the daily quality of life with our families and careers? Kristina Riggle shares the lives of two single women in their early 30s, each at a crossroads in her life, with The Life You've Imagined.
Cami and Anna, friends in high school, have each coincidentally returned to the small lakeside town of Haven, MI at the same time. Their lives drifted into very different directions  but they easily fall back into their friendship, working at the Nee Nance convenience store owned by Anna's mother, Maeve. Anna has returned home for some quiet time away from her job as a high-powered Chicago lawyer, and is living with her mother above the Nee Nance in her1970s wood-paneled bedroom. Cami returns to her father's ramshackle house, a place of terrible memories, because she literally has no place to go after a relationship break-up.
Told through first-person narration of each character, readers learn of the secrets of both Anna and Cami, as well as their parents. The Life You've Imaginedmakes readers think about parents and adult children in a different way. Do we really know our parents as well as we think? And do they know us better than we realize? Although both Cami and Anna return to Haven adrift, confused, and overwhelmed by life, by the end of the summer they are both heading into positive futures, and know they have a strong friendship that will sustain. I enjoyed The Life You've Imaginedfor reasons both thoughtful and whimsical. Memories of my own childhood paneling, running into the convenience store for a candy bar or popsicle, and the cycle of certain family disagreements that never go away, made me smile. The relationship of children and parents, which stays the same in some ways, but reverses in others was interesting to me, as someone close in age to Anna and Cami. The Life You've Imaginedis a book that made me think, while still be a very entertaining story.
This review is part of a TLC book tour. To read the thoughts of more book bloggers, you can visit TLC's Life You've Imagined page.