Have you ever had one of those nagging feelings that won’t go away? One of those that make you feel extremely compelled to do something, even though rational thought tells you it is insane? I had one of those feelings back in September. In October it became even more of a nagging feeling. In November, I went along with it.
I put my house up for sale in December. I came to Ohio and purchased over 60 gorgeous acres that has three gorgeous ponds on it. In March I found a contractor and got an estimate for my dream home, it would be a stretch but it was doable. Two weeks later I sold my house in NC. Dream house had to be put on hold. I hired a contractor to build a garage apartment as my temporary home until I could build up my savings again for my dream home.
Then I fired my contractor. He cheated on the size of windows. Walls fell over & leaned. Now my father is spending his days off helping to teach me how to build my house. I am also looking for a new contractor for my dream house. But I wouldn’t trade this for the world, even though it leaves me without a decent kitchen to cook in and internet too slow to use.
After being back in Ohio for almost 3 months, my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and we are currently awaiting test results to find out if she is strong enough for surgery to remove the cancer and infected organs. She is already having too many problems to risk trying chemo or radiation. While this is a horrible thing to be watching her go through, I am beyond thankful to get to spend a lot of time with her over the last several months.
While I have very limited internet and have been cooking out of necessity instead of desire, it means that this blog has been put on a back burner for a while. I promise though, once I have a kitchen I can move in again, I will be back with full force and numerous delicious recipes to share!
As for now, I leave you with my extensive summer reading list. (Descriptions taken from Amazon)
Day Shift by Charlaine Harris (read the first in the series)
There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves. Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma. She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she’s beautiful and dangerous.
Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day. To make matters worse, one of Manfred’s regular—and very wealthy—clients dies during a reading.
Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press. He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal. As normal as things get in Midnight…
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.
At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed—by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster—Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life’s beauty and surprising possibilities.
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich (read the others in the series)
Murdered and mummified nearly a century ago, notorious bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle discovered and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice—the very item reluctant treasure seeker Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine.
Miss Hazel & the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League is a brilliant reimagining and republication of Jonathan Odell’s debut novel, The View from Delphi. Set in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi, and inspired by his Mississippi childhood, Odell tells the story of two young mothers, Hazel and Vida – one wealthy and white and the other poor and black – who have only two things in common: the devastating loss of their children, and a deep and abiding loathing for one another. Embittered and distrusting, Vida is harassed by Delphi’s racist sheriff and haunted by the son she lost to the world. Hazel, too, has lost a son and can’t keep a grip on her fractured life. After drunkenly crashing her car into a manger scene while gunning for the baby Jesus, Hazel is sedated and bed-ridden. Hazel’s husband hires Vida to keep tabs on his unpredictable wife and to care for his sole surviving son. Forced to spend time together with no one else to rely on, the two women find they have more in common than they thought, and together they turn the town on its head. It is the story of a town, a people, and a culture on the verge of a great change that begins with small things, like unexpected friendship.
The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
I hope you enjoy these books! I am looking forward to reading them myself.