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Monthly Archives: February 2021

Read so far in February

I have read the following three books so far this month and I am about half way through with a fourth. If I do complete that one before the end of February, I will post my review of it also.

I have been working on my novel more this month and I do feel like my focus is improving.

The first book I completed was The Thursday Murder Club. This was an enjoyable read. It is set in an English retirement center and the sleuths are four septuagenarians who meet to discuss old murders. When a developer is murdered near them, they jump at the chance to investigate an active crime. Of course, they do all the things you would expect older people to do, basically get in the way of the investigation, they do help catch the killer. While doing so, the reader does suspect each of them. The characters are quirky, which I like and the plot was complicated enough to make me want to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.

Richard Osman is a well known face on British television as host of quiz shows. He has also created and worked as an executive producer Numerous UK and US television shows. This is his debut novel. He lives in London.

The second novel I read this month is The Butterfly Sister. I found this one from a local independent used book store. I had never heard of the author but I picked it up by perusing the shelves and was first drawn to the cover. It is the photo of the clasp and lock for an old suitcase.

In this one, a woman receives the suitcase of a missing woman she’d known at college. It was sent to her by the airlines because she’d once borrowed it and apparently the woman had not removed her name tag. The college holds bad memories and the woman is tempted to throw it away but tries to do the right thing and contacts the woman’s family. That is how she finds out about her disappearance. The protagonist agrees to deliver the case to the woman’s mother but before she turns it over to the police, she attempts to see if the contents would help her to locate the missing woman.

This was a good thriller and it did keep me wanting to read more. I did spend one late night finishing it. Messing up my wellness goal of going to bed earlier. But with the pandemic, I find myself stuck home most days anyway. So what if I do have a late night once in a while?

Amy Gail Hansen is a freelance writer and journalist living in Chicago at the time this book was written. This too is a debut novel. I would probably read more of her work but not the way that I read other series where I actually wait most impatiently for the next in the series.

The last book was All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny. This author is one of the authors whose series I don’t read immediately when I purchase her books, not because I don’t want to but because I know she only has one book come out a year and I try to pick a time that I can savor the read.

The only negative about this book was that it was not set in Three Pines, Canada but in Paris, France. So instead of getting to hang out with the residents of Three Pines we were introduced to new characters and visited a few of Armand’s family who’d moved to France. In this book, both Daniel, his son, and Annie, his daughter, live in France with their families. Armand’s daughter Annie is expecting their second child at any time and he and his wife have flown over to be there at the happy moment.

One evening after a family dinner, Armand and his wife witness an attempt on his godfather’s life when he is hit by a car. They go to his apartment and find the body of a stranger. The Paris police don’t believe there is a connection so Armand and his son-in-law Jean Guy – who was also his second in command on the homicide squad in Canada start investigating. That puts the whole family into danger.

The story gives you a better picture of Armand’s family dynamics and while he and his son Daniel have had a strained relationship, it slowly changes to give them a better outlook for their future by the end.

Louise Penny’s books are good for making you feel like you are present in the location and her quirky characters are part of the reason her readers are so loyal. Though she deals with serious subjects there is always a little humor sprinkled in. The only thing bad now is that I have to wait for fall for her next book.

If I manage to complete my current read – At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon, I will have another post later this week. If not, I will add it to my reads in March.

Until next time,

Virginia

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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February To Be Reads

January was not a good month for reading for me. I only completed one book – Midwinter Murders by Agatha Christie.

Midwinter Murders is a collection of short stories set during the winter. I enjoyed all of the stories but I would say my favorite was the last one – Christmas Adventure. That story had an older Poirot. It involved a family in a manor house at Christmas where the children decided to fool Poirot into thinking someone had died. After the prank was done and the victim did not get up, they realized they had a real murder. Luckily Poirot was there to solve the mystery. The rest of the stories included a few more with Poirot and Miss Marple but some had random characters. It was an enjoyable read for a cold winter month. Since I love Christie, it will be a keeper.

Each month I plan to also choose my favorite read for the month and then at the end of the year, narrow them all down to my favorite for the year. January is simple this month since I only have one book to choose from but I will move forward to find my favorite for the year.

So far February has started out much better, I have completed one novel already in my TBR stack. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I will follow up with a review of that book with my next post. I have four books chosen to read this month so besides Thursday Murder Club, I would like to read The Butterfly Sister – Amy Gail Hansen, All Creatures Great and Small – James Herriot, and All the Devils Are Here by Louis Penny. I have already read a few chapters of both The Butterfly Sister and All Creatures Great and Small. So hopefully I can reach my goal of four books this month.

Today we are in a winter advisory with snow all morning and several car crashes on the interstate and a blizzard warning north of us. I have spent the day doing a little laundry, reading, and watching the snow. It truly is a good day to read.

I made it through my first month with the happiness project. When I started this project, I acknowledged that I wasn’t unhappy but I felt I could be happier. Considering what we have been dealing with, I am sure everyone has been struggling with staying home more and the inability to see friends and family. I can’t say I succeeded but I made progress. The main goal for January was to have more energy. So get more sleep, walk or exercise, eat better, and de-clutter my home.

I rarely hit my designated bed time but I did figure out that I may have been trying to go to bed too early, so I pushed my bedtime back a little and did make that goal sometimes.

I really was not able to change my time to shower and dress daily. I still hang out in my pajamas longer than I probably should. I know that will change when we are able to get out and do more and as soon as Spring arrives so I am okay with that but will continue to work on that again in February.

Steve and I had been fairly successful with walking until the weather turned but we do take advantage of the good days. We made a little road trip to a furniture store about an hour away. We figured if nothing else, we could walk around inside and add some steps on our Fitbit. Well we did more than just walk. We bought new furniture for the formal living room and formal dining room. After we’d found a loveseat, tables, and lamps, and while the sales clerk was doing the paperwork, we found the table and chairs we’d seen a year ago but had put off buying. We both really liked that set so much that Steve told the clerk to add it too. Because of Covid we have to wait for a couple items so we will be getting the living room furniture the end of this month and our new table and chairs the end of May or early June. They actually have to make the table the size that we wanted. It is solid wood and made by the Amish. Steve plans to paint the rooms and clean carpet once the old furniture has found its new home. I guess maybe I am happier than I was on January 1st but new furniture always makes me happy.

We continue to work on our diet but that will be on-going. I always say baby steps. As long as we move forward.

So I am continuing with the Happiness project. For February, I am learning to be more kind, stop nagging, and don’t expect praise for things that I do. I will let you know how that goes.

Happy reading and until next time,

Virginia

P.S after I was done, I realized there is a series that I started reading last summer and really want to get back to so if I can, I will read the next Diane Mott Davidson book in my stack of her books to be read.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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