Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, April 27, 2018

5 Books I Want to Read...Bookshops

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 3078. It's definitely time for a purge, but I just keep adding more and more books to it.

I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

"Oh look down there! You've got a little shop. I love a little shop." 

I love bookshops. Used bookshops are the best. I love wandering the aisles and finding treasures. As I was going through my reading list, I saw several books about bookshops and who could resist a theme like that?

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The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.  Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works - come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

 Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

The Lost for Words Bookshop is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for fans of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and The Little Paris Bookshop.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

Everyone has a story...but will they get the happy ending they deserve?

Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren't just within the pages of the books she sells - Emilia's customers have their own tales to tell.

There's the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn't quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush...


And as for Emilia's story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books? 


The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives.


The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading.

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy's bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda's twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda's life. She doesn't hear from him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy--and one final scavenger hunt.

When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books--now as its owner--she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store's shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy's last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy's past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda's mother has kept hidden--and the terrible secret that tore her family apart.

Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It's a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become.

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee

In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore--the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through The Weekly Reader in grade school. Interwoven throughout is an historical account of the bookseller's trade--from the great Alexandria library with an estimated one million papyrus scrolls to Sylvia Beach's famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, which led to the effort to publish and sell James Joyce's Ulysses during the 1920s

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What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, The Maiden's CourtFlashlight Commentary and A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

#CoverCrush: The Little Shop of Found Things


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


Oh my goodness. This is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Even knowing nothing about the book, I am drawn to this cover. There is a magical element to it. The shop? The sign says Antiques. What kind? What is it about? What is the story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Room on Rue Amélie... #BookReview

About the book:
For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.

The story begins in present day and is then told in flashback.

Ruby, an American woman, marries Marcel Benoit after a rather whirlwind courtship and arrives in Paris thinking it's going to be magical. But, war is coming and as France falls and the Germans invade, Ruby begins to question her marriage because her husband is so secretive and distant. Charlotte and her family live next door. Being Jewish, they live in constant fear of arrest. Ruby and Charlotte bond over their mutual feelings of unease.

Ruby soon discovers that Marcel is a French resistance fighter sheltering British soldiers who have been shot down and are trying to get back to England. When he is caught and executed, believing in the work and refusing to return to America, Ruby begins aiding the resistance as well. When Ruby meets Thomas, a British fighter pilot she discovers in her hallway one evening, she realizes that he is special and even after he returns to England, they can't forget each other.

When Charlotte's family is arrested, Ruby takes her in and together they continue working with the resistance, helping others escape. Needing papers for themselves and those they help, Charlotte meets Lucien, a young forger who teaches her what he knows. But how long can they all do this without being found out themselves?

The treatment of the Jewish people during World War 2 was an atrocity, and this story doesn't minimize it. The story weaves history and fiction without being over-dramatic or long-winded. War brings people together. People who might not normally have been acquaintances, become friends and ultimately family.

The story has its share of heartbreak, but also hope. And instead of being depressing, it simply tugs at your heartstrings and makes you appreciate the importance of love and family and the strength of women, especially women who support and help others.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Kristin Harmel on her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Read 1/18

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Weekend Reflections 4/21

Looking outside...it's clear. The sky is blue and the sun is shining. It's about 59 degrees.

Listening...to the Doctor. We took a getaway weekend to McCall. It's wonderful just being together.

Loving...this gorgeous weather. The drive up from Boise was lovely.

Thinking...that I love spring. And The Doctor. And our boys.

In my kitchen...I don't have a kitchen. I'm staying in a hotel. We had lunch at My Father's Place, which has the best burgers. Not sure what we're doing about dinner.

Wearing...black skirt, blue top and bare feet.

Reading...I haven't finished anything. 

Today...some work. Part of this getaway is to work on some ideas for the practice.

Quoting...“I have gone to [this bookshop] for years, always finding the one book I wanted - and then three more I hadn’t known I wanted.” ― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Feeling...somewhat relaxed, but frustrated with this hotel's internet. It doesn't like interfacing with my laptop.

Planning...this next week. 

Gratitude...for my family. And for indie bookstores. 

From my world... 




We discovered the most wonderful little indie bookstore. If you're ever in McCall, you must stop by Barn Owl Books. It is a delightful place with an equally delightful owner. And a cat that is available for adoption. No seriously. I loved this store and I can't wait to go back.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Childhood Favorites...Corduroy

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

A little bear, waiting desperately in a department store for someone to buy him and take him home. A little girl who instantly loves him, but her mom says, no and points out that he is missing a button on his overalls. Corduroy believes that if he can find his button, then someone will buy him, so that sweet little bear searches the department store that night looking for his button.


And then, the next morning when that darling little girl comes in and buys him and takes him home and sews a new button on his overalls.

Who doesn't love Corduroy? If you say that you don't, I'm not sure we can be friends.

Corduroy is a heartwarming, sweet story about acceptance and love. I grew up reading Corduroy and so did my children. Corduroy is timeless.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

#CoverCrush: The Lost Castle


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


The blossoming trees evoke spring. The shaded pathway invites a slow, ambling stroll among the trees. Who is lost? What is found at the end of this walk? 

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Weekend Reflections 4/14

Looking outside...it's cloudy and overcast. Crisp, but not cold. We have had rain this week and everything is green.

Listening...to the the family. The Boy is at work. The Artist is on his computer. The Doctor and I have been talking.

Loving...time spent with friends. We met some good friends for dinner last night and had a delightful evening laughing and visiting together. 

Thinking...that I love that our boys like each other. Today, before The Boy went to work, he and The Artist went shopping to find some sneakers and then they went to see Ready Player One together. 

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. We are going out to dinner after Stake Conference.

Wearing...black skirt, purple top, bare feet.

Reading...I haven't finished anything. 

Today...some errands. Some laundry. Stake Conference tonight and tomorrow. I need to pay bills.

Quoting...“The smug mask of virtue triumphant could be almost as horrible as the face of wickedness revealed.” ― Granny Weatherwax, Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett.

Feeling...tired. The fact is, I am weary. I am tired of working in a field that is depressing and so very, very broken. The Doctor asked me how I would fix it. And honestly? I don't know. I do know that I don't want government run healthcare because that would be like Medicare and Medicaid and it is never beneficial for providers to work with either organization.

I have no problems paying for healthcare or health insurance. But, I expect to get the care I need. Not to be nickel and dimed, not to have some things covered and other things not. Not to have some spawn of Satan who sits in a gilded tower decide if my care or procedure should be covered or how much of a bill they will actually pay to us as providers.

I grew up in the Kaiser system in California and I miss those days. You paid a premium each month and you got the care you needed. Our son was born under that system 20 years ago and his open-heart surgery was covered. Totally and completely. We didn't receive extra bills and threats of bankruptcy or collections. I know that the Kaiser as I knew it has changed now, but boy do I miss those days.

I know that some of those who want universal healthcare expect that it will simply be free. That they will walk into a hospital or doctor's office and get what they need without paying anything. That is a fallacy, but it is perpetuated. Universal healthcare certainly won't help those doctors who are in this work because they care. It won't help them pay their bills. You might not believe me, but not all of us live extravagant lives and exhort high prices from their patients or insurance companies.

We are like you. We have our own bills and our own struggles. We like putting food on our tables. But, we don't have salaries. We don't have a guarantee of what we will earn each month. I know what I bill, but I don't know what will get paid by the all-mighty insurance companies and I don't know if patients will actually pay theirs.

Our system is broken and with our current political climate, I do not see answers coming or a solution that will actually help people.

So while I like our patients and I enjoy seeing them and I love watching them leave our office feeling better, I am weary of all of the drama and frustrations and brick walls that we run into trying to help people feel better.

Planning...this next week. 

Gratitude...for my husband and sons. I say that a lot, but it's true. They are my world. They are amazing. 

The Artist came home this week and told me about a situation that had happened at school with some boys who were being mean. He explained how he hadn't been in a position to stop the action, but he had stayed behind to make sure the boy in question was ok. We talked about what he could do and the next day he talked to the boy and found out his name and then talked to his teacher who said he should report it. And he did. 

I am so proud of my children because both of them look out for other people and when they recognize a need, they act on it. I have seen The Boy reach for his wallet when the person in front of him in a store is a few dollars short to pay for their groceries. He has often given rides to girls from work because they would have been waiting outside, in the dark, late at night waiting for their rides to show up. I have seen The Artist ask if someone needs help and seen him give service to others.

They are becoming good men. They give me hope.

From my world... 



Truth.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

#Cover Crush: Letters to Lincoln


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


Who is Lincoln? Why is someone writing letters to him? I loved the colors and the simplicity of this cover. It's evocative. It draws you in, curious to know the details and secrets.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

#CoverCrush: Boundless Compassion


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


A woman presenting a gift: a bouquet of lavender. I can just smell it. So fresh, so unique. So calming.

I believe this is a Christian self-help book, but the cover was so inviting that I just stopped when I saw it. It just speaks kindness to me.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Books I Have Forgotten

Each month I revisit some of my past reviews. One of the reasons I started this book blog was to remember what books I have read. My memory isn't the greatest anymore and I found that I would read a book and then not remember if I liked it or what it was even about.

Maybe one of these will prompt you to seek out an older, but amazing book. Or, if you've read one of these and your review was different, please share!

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Heat Wave by Richard Castle
3/5 Stars
1/2013

"I watch very little television. Seriously. Especially in comparison to people who watch tons of shows. But, I adore, absolutely adore the show Castle. I love what ABC has done with the Richard Castle character and that the Nikki Heat books are real. I just wish I'd loved this as much as I love the show. The book is entertaining and it's easy to see the character comparisons between book fiction and the fictional 12th precinct. But, it just shows me again that murder mystery isn't my favorite genre. Sometimes I get lucky with it and this one wasn't bad, it just won't ever be my favorite. I prefer watching Rick and Kate go at each other rather than reading about Rook and Heat.

Best part of the book? The acknowledgements and author interview at the end. Hysterical and so true to the Castle character."

I really don't remember anything about this.

Threads of Hope by Andrea Boeshaar
4/5 Stars
1/2012

"As the feud between the Sundberg's and the Eikaas' grows, the town and church congregation find themselves divided. Discovering how, and if, that divisiveness can be healed makes Threads of Hope a compelling novel.

Some of the dialogue was a bit stilted and formal at times, but this was a sweet story about love and forgiveness. Andrea Boeshaar has a gift for creating realistic characters and situations. I've enjoyed everything I've read from her so far and as this is the first book in the Fabric of Time series, I eagerly look forward to more."

I have no memory of this one either. I didn't recognize the cover and nothing about the summary seemed remotely familiar. Bummer. Apparently I liked it.

Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott
4/5 Stars
2/2012

"Second in the Saddler's Legacy series, the book stands alone well, but Fairer than Morning is the delightful story about Ben's parents Will and Ann, who return here. I have loved getting to know the Hanby family in these books. These stories are fictionalized accounts based on real life people and Rosslyn Elliot has not only created engaging, likeable characters, she has also captured the essence of humanity, where good men and women are able to rise above their own adversity to help others in need."

Apparently I enjoyed it. Quite a bit.

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What about you? What are some of the books you've read in previous years?