Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where Is Your Bookmark? (10/21/2014)

Hello from my little corner of California! The weather lately has been so pleasant. I can only hope it will be this way come Sunday, when my family participates in the Annual Cure SMA Walk-n-Roll. This will be our second year participating. My friend's teenager son (and my daughter's bestfriend's uncle) suffers from a rare form of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), an illness that, over time, gets progressively worse. There is no cure as of yet, and testing for such illnesses can be long and arduous. My friend's son has had to switch to home study because the pain in his body has become too great. He is beginning to lose feeling in his feet. He hid his pain from his mom for quite a while, not wanting to give up going to school with his friends.  It is a heartbreaking illness.  The walk is a way to raise money for a cure and also a way to bring SMA families and those who suffer with it together in support. It will be a great day.

 This past weekend we took time out to visit the pumpkin patch, which Mouse had been talking about nonstop for the last few weeks. We had a nice time.  There was a petting zoo, a pony ride, and a few carnival type rides to keep the children entertained.  Mouse went crazy in the petting zoo, she was so excited. She picked out a little pumpkin to bring home.



October has proven to be a month of challenges. If it is not one thing, it's another. Life gets that way sometimes, doesn't it? When I'm feeling at my lowest, I just have to look at my smiling daughter or remind myself it could be worse. Reading has helped too. I recently read Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn which was the perfect escape--adventure and romance in 1920. I also finished Liz Strange's Erased, a science fiction novel, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Talk about intense! And I am back to Fingersmith and loving it just as much as I was before I set it aside to read Night of a Thousand Stars for the upcoming tour. I plan to lose myself in Fingersmith over the next few days as much as I can (darn work--always getting in the way) so I can catch up to the read-a-long schedule.

What have you been up to lately?  What are you reading at the moment?  Is it something you would recommend?





Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.


I have a couple books on tap I hope to begin after I finish Fingersmith, one of which is Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam.  It's a story about a young woman who returns home after the death of her former best friend. Memories of their friendship and just what ripped them apart come back full force. The book is getting good reviews, and I am looking forward to reading it.
The rain assaults my car in the far corner of the empty train station lot, and the wipers dance to a furious beat, so awkwardly out of sync with everything else. 
Smoke streams off the end of the lit cigarette. It's balanced against the car's ashtray--masking the scent of three-year-old air freshener--vanilla and sandalwood. I don't smoke it, but I crave the thick mist spreading beneath my ribs, filling my lungs--filling the space where you hollowed me gutless.
 Would you continue reading?



© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

60 comments:

  1. It sounds interesting and I'd want to know more, I love books centered around memories. I hope you are enjoying Fingersmith.

    http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

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    1. Cleo - I am excited about starting Last Train to Babylon. :-) I am loving Fingersmith so far. I have a feeling it will be one of my favorite books this year.

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  2. I'm glad you and your family had a fun time at the pumpkin patch. I wish we've such farms over here. Well maybe there are a few but a no-no to visitors.

    Looking forward to your reviews. And I think Last Train to Babylon sounds good.

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    1. Melody - Pumpkin patches are very popular in the U.S. this time of year. Many are set up specifically for the season, outside of actual farms--set up in fields or parking lots even. This particular one isn't my favorite, but it is convenient and on the cheaper side. Mouse had fun and that's really all that matters.

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  3. Lovely photos of the pumpkin patch! My husband and I took our granddaughter to a fall festival / pumpkin patch last week, and we all had a great time. The highlight of the day for her was the rubber ducky race, but she was also thrilled when the three baby pigs snorted at her. She's a happy 3-year-old.
    The premise of Last Train to Babylon appeals to me, but the opening didn't grab me. I'm surprised that the author used "you" in that last sentence. Is the rest of the book written that way?
    My Tuesday post features THE LITTLEST COWBOY.

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    1. Sandra - I am glad you all had a great time at the fall festival. :-) Sounds wonderful. Young children just love pigs, don't they? My daughter's favorite animal this year were the chickens, but she also spent a good deal of time chasing the pigs around the petting area.

      I'm not sure if the rest of the book is written with "you" in mind. I am guessing no, thinking the main character is just thinking of her friend who has just died--but I could be wrong. I didn't read much beyond the first three paragraphs in the book yet.

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  4. Hummm. This could have potential. I would need to read a little bit more.

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    1. Beth - I try not to buy into author comparisons (been burned enough times), but when the blurb said this book was similar in style to Alice Sebold and John Green, I had to read it.

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  5. That intro is good and leave me curious for more. (I love your weekend pics - so fun).

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    1. Diane - Thanks, Diane! She was so happy that day. :-)

      I like the intro too. I almost included the 3rd paragraph too because that's even more interesting when added to the mix, but decided against it.

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  6. I like that intro... will be curious to hear what you think. Fingersmith is the perfect book to lose yourself in!

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    1. JoAnn - I'm looking forward to reading it.

      I wish my lunch at work was longer--I've been nearly late a few times because I was so lost in Fingersmith.

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  7. Proper autumnal here, in fact we are suffering the tale-end of Hurricane Gonzala so in the words of Winnie the Pooh its what you could call a rather blustery day.

    Whilst getting more so Halloween isn't nearly as big here as in America. It would be great to be able to visit a pumpkin farm like this.

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    1. Tracy - We've gotten some good winds out this way too, and I'm sure more are to come--probably not quite as strong as yours have been. :-)

      Yes, the U.S. does love Halloween. We live in a neighborhood that goes all out for both Halloween and Christmas. It's been fun to see all the decorations people have put up in their yards. I've already loaded up on candy to pass out to kids who come trick or treating on the 31st. We get so many every year . . . We always end up running out of candy.

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  8. Not sure about the book. I do like the writing! Good luck with the run this weekend.
    Today I'm featuring Lost and Found by Brooke Davis.

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    1. Kim - It's a hard book to describe since I know so little about it just yet. :-)

      Thanks! It's actually just a walk--no running involved. It should be fun. It's very casual.

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  9. There is something so cool about a pumpkin patch and watching kids (and adults) choose the "right" one! I'm catching up on some series books that I've missed (Louise Penny, Jaqueline Winspear), but I certainly want to read the new Deanna Raybourn.

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    1. Jenclair - Haha! Yes, it is fun to see. Poor Mouse has such different taste in pumpkins than her father. He wants the perfectly smooth round, unblemished pumpkin and Mouse would rather have the one that looks the most bumpy, beat up pumpkin. :-)

      Playing series catch up sounds like fun! I meant to do that with a couple series I follow this year and I haven't even read one book yet this year in either series. Ugh.

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  10. I hope all is going okay. It definitely helps to put problems in perspective though that is frequently easier said than done. That's fantastic about doing the walk though awful about your friend's son. I can't imagine having to watch your child go through something like that. I have enjoyed Deanna Raybourn's books and glad to hear you enjoyed the latest. I have it but haven't gotten to it. She's great at description. I recommend her mystery series if you haven't tried it. It's set further in the past though I can't remember exactly when off the top of my head. Have a great week! Love the pics of Mouse. We got pumpkins this weekend as well though we left one in my car and it started to rot. Don't recommend doing that!

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    1. Katherine - Ain't that the truth? Much easier said than done. :-S

      I can't imagine seeing my child suffer like that either, Katherine. My friend has such strength. She is a single mom and does everything she can to support her son. He's had a really rough time of it since he entered his teen years, both physically and emotionally. It's so much for a child to go through, you know?

      I will have to check out Raybourn's mystery series. I really enjoyed Night of a Thousand Stars.

      Oh no! I bet a rotting pumpkin doesn't smell very nice either.

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  11. I hope you have a successful walk and that the weather cooperates! What a wonderful cause.

    The pumpkin patch is always a favorite this time of year. Cute pictures.

    Last Train to Babylon is new to me, but the excerpt reeled me in. Now I want to know more. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - Thank you! Twenty percent chance of rain. My friend said she hopes it holds off until after the walk. The place where we walk is mostly dirt and I don't think the wheelchairs would do too well in the mud. :-(

      I am glad we could go this year to the pumpkin patch. It almost didn't happen, but I knew what a disappointment it would have been for Mouse.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your memories of the pumpkin patch and the joy of a three-year-old. I try hard to remember those days. My kids are 46 & 50, grandkids, 29 to 21 (6 of them). But we have great grandchildren, 8 months to 4 yo, only one live nearby however. Next year he will enjoy the pumpkin patch activities. I would probably give "last train to babylon" a try. I really like the cover.

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    1. Judy - It sounds like you have a nice big family, Judy. :-)

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  13. I like the writing and would continue reading this book. October has been a challenge for us too. Can't wait for 2015, a new year :)

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    1. Harvee - I'm sorry to hear you've had a challenging October too. Here's to a better 2015!

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  14. I like the premise of this one, but the writing style of the intro turned me off a little bit.
    Thanks for visiting my blog today!

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    1. Sarah - I can't wait to dive into Last Train to Babylon. I'm curious to see what direction the author will take it.

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  15. I hope all goes well on Sunday.

    That's a good opening to Last Train to Babylon - I'd read on.

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  16. I've heard good things about the book. The intro wasn't what I expected, but I'd read on. Thanks for visiting my blog today!

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    1. Monica - The intro wasn't what I expected either. I like it though. :-)

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  17. I like the opener of Last Train to Babylon and would keep reading. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pumpkin patch photos! Have a great weekend.

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    1. Pat - Thank you--and you too! I am looking forward to reading Last Train of Babylon. :-)

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  18. I like the sound of your current reads (Last Train to Babylon is brand new to me), as well as the Deanna Raybourn novel. So many good books, so little time! Hope the good weather holds for the walk. Thanks for visiting my blog--enjoy the rest of the week.

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    1. Catherine - Yes, so little time to read all these great books! Oh, how I would love a day or two of uninterrupted reading--and that's just for starters!

      As much as we need the rain, I do hope it holds for the walk too.

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  19. Sounds as though it might be a sad story but I would read on.

    Fingersmith - brilliant, hope you are loving it too.

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    1. Cat - It does sound like it will be sad, doesn't it? That's okay. I like sad stories. I like happy ones too. And in between ones. Most of all, I like a good story. :-)

      Oh, yes! Loving Fingersmith so far!

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  20. October has been crazy busy for me too! It's all work work work. I hope things slow down for you - don't we keep wishing that? Mouse looks so cute trying to pick a pumpkin! Glad she had so much fun. Kids sure know how to enjoy the little moments.

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    1. Athira - You too? Ugh. Yes, work has been crazy. It's been busy as usual, but there's been turmoil too. Mouse loved her time at the pumpkin patch. I wish we could have stayed longer. I know she wished we could have. :-)

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  21. October has been super busy! And my little guy is almost one so I would like it to slow down! Ha ha ... love the pumpkin patch! This is my favourite time of year .... I can't wait til my guy is old enough to enjoy the beauty of it!

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    1. Kristilyn - With an one year old, I know you could use some slowdown time! It'll be a while yet before that happens though. I'm still waiting and mine's 3 1/2!

      I love this time of year too. It's so much fun seeing my daughter get into the festivities.

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  22. You mentioned challenges and I have to agree... lately I just feel grumpy but not in a bad way. Like a silly, I wanna be grumpy way. It's like I have to be this way because days and weeks and months of putting on a happy face have worn me down. I have no issues at the moment that a really good nap can't fix but the time to take that nap?? Nowhere to be found at the moment.

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    1. Ti - I know the feeling. It's exhausting always trying to be the (somewhat) optimistic happy one. For me, it doesn't help that everything seems to be coming to a head right now--stressors on all fronts. I hope you get that nap you want in that busy schedule you have. Between work and the kids, it'll probably be a few years before you get one.

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  23. I hope you are enjoying Fingersmith as much as I did. I love the pictures!

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    1. Irene - I just know I'm going to love it. :-)

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  24. I'd read a bit more before deciding. I hope your walk goes well. Have a good week! kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Kelley - I like the opening, but, I agree, it's hard to tell which direction it will go from just those two paragraphs, whether it will be a good overall read or not. I hope you have a good week too.

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  25. I would keep reading. It sounds like a good one.

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  26. Sounds intriguing. I like stories that revisit history.

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  27. I'd like to read more. That was a very compelling way to begin. Very visual.

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  28. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is beautiful this Sunday in your neck of the woods. SMA sounds like a devastating disease.

    As for me, having just finished Gawande's Being Mortal, I am now reading a biography of Dr. Mutter (of the Mutter Museum, medical history museum in my area). It's fascinating and appropriate for my morbid mood this fall.

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    1. A.M.B. - Thank you! I hope the weather cooperates too. The rain is welcome to come after the walk or all next week. SMA is very devastating. :-(

      I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on Dr. Gawande and Dr. Mutter!

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  29. I would continue reading. I'm behind on Deanna's books! I have several on my shelves. The pumpkin patch looks like fun. I refrained from buying my 4 month old grandson a pumpkin.

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    1. 'Nise - This was my first I read by her and I loved it. Can't wait to read more by her in the future.

      It's hard to resist buying a pumpkin, isn't it? Especially the little ones. And buying them for children is the perfect excuse. :-)

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  30. I absolutely adore that beginning. It's so descriptive and wistful! I actually hadn't heard of this one yet but it sounds very good! I feel like another addition to my TBR pile is coming on! Thanks for dropping by and sorry for such a late visit back! Have a great week!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - Me too! I hope to dive into Last Train to Babylon officially soon. I hope you have a great rest of the week too!

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