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November 21, 2020

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Doug M

Very sweet photo of your daughters up there, had a good chuckle over Ashley's lament her dress resembled upholstery! Haha, it didn't! And Alison's princess dress was equally smile-worthy :)

Anyway, glad you're getting out & about, your home (and the new paint) looks better than ever and I always enjoy seeing your handsome little grandson--he sure is a happy little guy :)

Tonya

Is your painting done now? Kitchen, too? It sure does look great, the rooms I've seen in your pictures.

Yeah, it sure is hard to feel particularly merry.

Joanne Noragon

That house painting job is a shame! Makes me wonder if the owners aren't back from vacation, yet.

Marie K

That is the cutest baby photo blanket (as well as the cutest baby!). I like how your paint makes your frame stand out behind your couch. The coffee date was very much needed, even with the weird guy!

Ally Bean

I'm glad you like your new wall color. I'm not surprised you want to change your chandeliers. In my experience you change your wall color, you slowly change everything else in the room. Painting is just the beginning...

Ed

On the last day that my mom was awake before she slipped into that final coma, my daughter played her violin and then piano in the neighboring room while I saw by mom's bedside. Though she was by that point largely speechless, I did see the relaxed smile across her face as she listened. I hope someday when it is my turn to go, someone, perhaps a grandchild, will be there playing some music in the next room.

Wendy

My daughter when looking back at pictures says to me, WHY would you let me even out of the house looking like that? haha! I said because it wasn't worth fighting over your clothes or hair.
Your painted walls look so nice. It's so nice to have that done I am sure. I would look for a different light fixture too now.
Oh my goodness, that striped house is pretty bad. Maybe they tried to save money and did it themselves? Ooops!
Your baby grandson is so cute. I know you can hardly wait to get out there to see him again. My littlest grandson is 4 months old today, smiles so big, coo's and carries on a good conversation :-) rolls over as soon as he is laid on his back. Loves his belly.

AC

That was touching about your husband wanting to listen to your daughter playing the piano.

Liora

Cutie pie photo. He's very photogenic! When I see the blue house, I wonder if they wanted it to look like that? Pinstriped?? haha

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Book Club Reads

  • Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel

    Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel
    4 1/2 stars for this quirky, emotional, sad, joyful, fascinating read about chemistry, relationships and life. I don't know how it will work in a Book Club discussion, but I didn't want it to end. It was cheesy and unrealistic at times yet somehow emotionally fulfilling as well. (****)

  • Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand

    Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand
    This beautifully written and intricate book is my first 5 (or 4 1/2) star read for quite a while. It was powerful and filled with fascinating and well-developed characters. I even liked the ending! Jumping between two time periods isn't my favorite style, but the author handled it masterfully. (*****)

  • Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel

    Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel
    4 for the writing which was excellent, and 4 for the characters who were interesting and well-developed. 2 for the non-existent plot. The ending of the book left me extremely dissatisfied. Sadly, there are no discussion questions for it which might force me to reflect on the book's messages. (***)

  • Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy

    Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy
    A solid 3 1/2 stars for me, but a disappointment in general. As a former violinist myself, I was excited about the topic. I love mysteries which was what this novel was billed as. (not much of one and very predictable) I found the writing sophomoric and rather repetitive; the topics of slavery and underrepresentation of POC in classical music were compelling though. As always, I'm hoping for an excellent discussion at BC. (***)

  • Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel

    Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel
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  • See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel

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    Although it wasn't perfect (sometimes hard to follow the timelines), this book was fascinating on a personal, historical and cultural level. I learned so much while suffering through the tragedies and celebrating the joys of the characters. I'm hoping for an insightful discussion at Book Club, as this novel deserves. (*****)

  • Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel

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    Extremely well-written, atmospheric and full of fascinating characters and history. Being a mystery reader, I would have preferred more plot though. If you haven't read Whitehead before, I recommend "The Nickel Boys" instead. Fortunately, the book seems like it will elicit a decent discussion. (****)

  • Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea

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    This book was hard to rate (***1/2): heartwarming, yet cheesy and predictable. Imaginative, but also preachy. It reads like a YA novel. There were some wonderful characters if you enjoy fantasy. I think it will be nearly impossible to discuss as a Book Club read. (***)

  • Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel

    Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel
    This is a exquisitely crafted book and extremely well-written. I didn't always like the way it jumped from one person to another, especially when I was very engaged in the last story. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but the ending was also beautiful in its own painful way. 4 1/2 stars. (*****)

  • Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir

    Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir
    Although it had some fascinating and illuminating moments, this memoir of a young Chinese immigrant facing poverty and prejudice was ultimately a let down. Part of it was the writing and lack of proofreading(too many grammar mistakes) while the rest related to my confusion about whether I admired or disliked the author. She was often mean and dishonest. Much of the time I didn't find her sympathetic. (***)