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Book Club: December

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The snow is currently falling outside my window, and with the Alaskan mountains as the backdrop it is hard to tear away from the beautiful sight of the remote rugged terrain of Alaska. For the month of December I wanted to keep up the theme from last month of going back in time, and with this novel we will be heading back in time to 1946, when the second world war was ending, and a new beginning emerged.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows takes us back in time to 1946 in London, where a young author named Juliet Ashton is looking for a new subject to write about. While she is searching for a new subject to write about she comes across a letter that sparks her imagination, and even inspires her next book. The letter she had found is from a man that is from the island Guernsey, the man had found Juliet’s name inside of another book that was written by Charles Lamb, and wanted to speak with her.
As Juliet and her new correspondents continue writing to one another, Juliet begins to learn about their society, a society that is eccentric and worldly. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was found at the spur-of-the-moment, when they were discovered after breaking curfew, the society had become an alibi for all of those who were in the group. Juliet continues to learn more and more about the group and each of the members, and she even gets to know them a little more personally when she asks them to list their favorite books, and even their opinions about the German’s who had occupied the land around them. After learning so much about them, Juliet sets off for an adventure, sailing over to Guernsey, and what she finds outs will change her entire life forever.

This book is truly one of the most unique books that I have read in a long time, and to be able to read this with the current backdrop that is my current town, it makes the novel even more fascinating and captivating.

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Book Club: November

The leaves have fallen off the trees, and now they have become decomposed carcasses crunching beneath our feet awaiting for the first snow fall to occur. For the month of November I wanted to take everyone back in time to the late 1880’s in Paris, France; where the Eiffel Tower is being erected, and the bond between two people from different classes fall in love.

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin is a beautifully written novel that takes place in Paris, France in the 1880’s, during the time that the Eiffel Tower is being built. During this time a young Scottish widow named Caitriona Wallace, and a French engineer named Émile Nouguier meet on a hot air balloon; a moment where anything is possible. However, as soon as they touch the ground, it is revealed that they are from two completely different classes and backgrounds. Caitriona who is having a slight problem with her finances is being told that she must chaperone with two Scottish charges, and this does not settle well with her. Émile having come from a very wealthy bourgeois family, whom are forcing him to choose a suitable wife and take over the family’s business. With these two people from different world’s come together, they must figure out what their love is worth, because everything seems to be against them and the love that they have for each other.

This novel is ideal for the beginning of winter time across the world, especially when you are all huddled inside your homes as the snow begins to fall outside the window, and as the steam from the hot mugs swirls around as you read the novel. The novel has something for everyone, from the Eiffel Tower being erected for the history buffs, to the romance between two people for those who are hopeless romantics.

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Book Club: October

For the month of October I wanted to choose a psychological thriller that took place around an abandoned school, that deals with an unexpected “suicide”, spirits, and a woman named Gloria who brings the past back into her life.

The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson is a riveting novel that will draw you from the very beginning. The story takes place around a school named Eden, that was once known as “An alternative school for happy children”. However, the school had closed its doors due to a suicide that had taken place behind its own walls. Years after it closed it became a care home, with only one neighbor named Gloria Harkness, due to the fact that her son is in the care home and she wishes to be near him.
Everything for Gloria begins to change when an old childhood friend comes back into her life, and tells her that a girl is stalking him, stating that she is from Eden. Gloria begins to unravel the past and uncovers secrets that she had never known about.

With it being October I believe that this book will keep you on the edge of your seat while you are lounging about in your home. So grab a nice hot drink, plop on the couch or bed, and dive into the world of The Child Garden, you won’t regret it.

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Middle of Nowhere (Poem)

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In a diner in the middle of nowhere
I’ve found myself listening to the desert wind,
howling and screaming begging to come in
as I stare at the menu trying to select a meal.

Sitting by the window people glance on in,
wondering what could be held inside this old beat up diner
that’s placed in the middle of nowhere.
A lost soul that has been traveling the lonely roads
a broken heart that is in need of some repairs wandered into the middle of nowhere,
looking for a place to call home for the night,
even if it is inside an old beat up diner in the middle of nowhere.

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Into the Mist with Audiobooks: Running With Audible

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It is a misty morning here in Alaska as I run through the streets and trails, and so far there has been a murder of a young school girl, and I’ve been getting to know Magnus fairly well, in fact, I would say we are becoming friends. Magnus is a man of mystery to most people, partly because he is a hermit and not many people want to get to know him, and partly because they care more about town gossip and make up false stories about him.

Although I am in Alaska, where it rains more than most places in the country, the man, and the murder mystery is happening in my head, actually to be more accurate in my headphones. As I continue to run the novel “Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves keeps my adrenaline thumping, making me more excited as I continue going about my path. The thriller novel set in the Shetland Islands in Scotland makes me wish I was solving each case with Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, chatting with Magnus about ravens, and roaming around Scotland taking in all of the sites. The thought of solving a mystery half way across the world through an audiobook delights me, and even as I run I feel as though I am part of it.

Listening to audiobooks while running isn’t quite new, in fact, loads of people have been listening to audiobooks while they were running, lifting weights, or hiking; just to name a few. For me, when I am running I have found out that I cannot listen to music while I run because the music is more of a distraction than a helpful tool, whereas the audiobooks are more of a helpful tool for me. I can concentrate on the narrator, imagine the scenes playing out before me, and can even concentrate on my pace. While I am concentrating on all of that, I have completely forgotten how many miles I have logged.
The best thing about the audiobooks that I pick I can easily access them on my mobile, having already downloaded the app, making it easier to access them before I suit up for my morning jog. Not only that, I don’t have to listen to the same old boring music that seems to haunt the radio stations over and over again. I can listen to a novel for a couple of weeks in a row (if it is a lengthy one) and will never get bored, because the story is captivating, and keeps me up in the morning as I lace up my running shoes.

Many of you already follow my book club, which I am extremely thankful that you have joined, and so it is with great pleasure to let you all know that I will be hosting an audiobook book club for those who are runners, hikers, weight lifters, or any of the like. I think it will be fun to get people into listening to more audiobooks while they are engaging in activity, to make it more fun.

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Book Club: September

Welcome to the fall of 2017 everyone! For the month of September, since it is the beginning of fall, and Halloween is next month, I chose a book that is a fantastic book to curl up with on a cool September day, it is Nora Roberts’ book Dark Witch.

Dark Witch follows a young woman named Iona Sheehan who looks for acceptance, love, and devotion; this stems from having parents who are portrayed as being indifferent. Even though she has not been able to find that from her parents, her maternal grandmother showed her where she can find the acceptance, devotion, and love she seeks in nature and even in old legends that reside in her ancestor’s homeland, Ireland. Iona sets off to Ireland, and there she meets her cousins Branna and Connor, who take her into their home and into their lives. Iona ends up landing a job at a local stable, where she ends up meeting the owner, a man by the name of Boyle McGrath. He is everything that makes her weak in the knees, a cowboy, pirate, and wild tribal horseman.
Iona realizes that here in Ireland she can make a life for herself, however, an ancient evil sets upon Iona’s family tree, descending upon her and her cousins. Setting in motion, Iona and her family must fight to defeat the evil.

This book is truly amazing, and it certainly is a great book to curl up with while you are enjoying your hot drink and taking in the Autumn breeze that pelts against your house.

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Book Club: August

For the month of August, I wanted to chose a book that a large portion of the world is going through at this moment, war, spiritual awakenings, segregations, and imposed limitations for what someone is “suppose” to believe in (inside their own religion). Find Nouf by Zoë Ferraris dives into each one of those touchy subjects.

Sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing, along with a truck and her favorite camel, her family (who are wealthy)calls on Nayir al-Sharqi, a desert guide, to lead a search party. Only ten days later, when Nayir is about to give up, Nouf’s body has been discovered by some anonymous desert travelers. At first it seems as those Nouf had died of dehydration, but the coroner’s report came back with the death being ruled as drowning. Her family suddenly becomes uninterested in finding out how she could’ve drowned, however, Nayir takes it upon himself to finding out what really happened to Nouf. This will push gentle, pious Nayir, a Palestinian orphan raised by his bachelor uncle, to delve into the secret life of a protected teenage girl, in one of the most rigidly gender-segregated of Middle Eastern societies.

This novel dives deeper showcasing us Nayir’s deepest thoughts, and see him go through transformations spiritually and mentally as he discovers more about Nouf’s death.