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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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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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Imperfections (Poem)

My imperfections shine so brightly
yet you still love me,
as your imperfections are non-existant
as you live life as if you had any.
I’m such a mess I know it,
yet you embrace them,
while you step forward
reaching out for my hand,
trying to guide us into the next step.

These imperfections of mine give me small limitations,
yet you keep pushing
showing me to see over the wall,
and see the next step ahead.
I’m such a mess
I know I will be throughout time,
you show me the value of my imperfections,
and where I can be in time.

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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.

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Book Club: July

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“The Diary of a Chambermaid” by Octave Mirbeau graces the book of the month club for the month of July. This classic book transports back in time to witness the life of Celestine, a chambermaid, that goes to different houses and takes care of the occupants. Her first station is at the home of an elderly man who has an odd fetish with her boots, later on while she is still working there, she finds the man dead in bed with one of her boots in his mouth. She then takes a position at a home where a married bourgeois couple reside, and she finds herself in the midst of a estranged marriage and ends up becoming entangled in their marriage as well. Celestine’s last position is at the home of bourgeois café hostess who mistreats her servants at every turn. During all these positions at all of these different residents, Celestine has begun to learn more about her body, her mind frame, and finds herself learning the ways of love, sex, and even the ways of the upper class world.

Octave Mirbeau is one of the most gifted authors of the late 1800’s-early 1900’s, and this book proves the talent he possessed. Celestine, the main character of the novel, is a great strong leading character, showing exactly what all women go through from an early age, and it shows that each woman takes control of their own lives and situations in different ways.

I thoroughly enjoy this novel, just as I enjoy all of Octave’s other novels, and this is why I highly recommend reading this book for the month of July. Once you have finished reading this book, comment below and tell me what your thoughts are on the character, the plot, and the book as a whole.

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Book Club: June

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As a book dragon (I divulge books like a dragon and rather enjoy them), I thoroughly enjoy a novel that is both fiction and historic, to me those novels will take me back to a simpler time that I have always wished for. And the Medici’s Daughter is one of those novels, a novel that will transport you back in time and lets you see through the eyes of Marguerite, daughter of Catherine de Medici, and sister to the future king Francis.

The time is 1564 in the winter, Princess Margot (Marguerite) has been summoned to the court in France, where one word from your mouth could cause travesty to you and your family. Being the daughter of Catherine de Medici, who is highly intimidating and such a powerful player of the courts during the time of a religious war, Princess Margot must learned the game just as well to please her family. Margot being the obedient daughter has accepted her role as a marriage pawn, even though she is in love with Duc de Guise, and agrees to marry Henri of Navarre, a man who is over zealous and wishes to seal a truce between the two countries. However, this promised marriage is all but a mirage concocted by her mother. On the day of her wedding, after the bloodshed has occurred, Princess Margot must choose between her family and soul.

Sophie Perinot has truly done it again with this novel of Princess Marguerite, and quite honestly there is nothing this author cannot do. Run to the nearest place where they sell books, and pick up your copy of this wonderful and colorful novel, it is truly a great way to kick off the summer time.