Monday, April 20, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (04/21/2015)

Life was a bed of roses this past week, thorns and all. A flat tire, a sick cat, and other bad news on the home front. Mixed in with a trip to Disneyland, painting in the park, and the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Overall, I think it turned out well, despite the prickly bits.

I left the book festival with hardly any books. Just two: one for me and one for Mouse. It seems wrong somehow, doesn't it?  My husband was not feeling too well, and Mouse had her own ideas of what she wanted to do. It made for an interesting day. I got to meet several authors, including Linda O. Johnston who writes a cozy mystery series and Jan Moran, the author of Scent of Triumph.

Our day at Disneyland was much more a success, even when Mouse stomped her feet and begged to stay when it was time to go. When we first arrived, Mouse (in her Snow White dress--I never thought I would be that parent who let her child dress as a princess for a visit to the park. You try saying no to a dreamy-eyed 4 year old.) insisted on visiting the princesses first. And then it was all about the rides. We took in the Frozen show, which we all enjoyed. Mouse got to play in the snow for the first time (thanks to Olaf's Snow Fest) and was in Heaven, dancing and sliding across the ice and snow. I think that was her favorite part.

As for books, my husband is too easily distracted. How can he just put Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre aside and not read it for weeks?! I have been trying not to outpace him by too much, but it gets harder and harder to set the book aside to let him catch up.  He's not that slow of a reader.  He just has other interests that keep him occupied. Too occupied.  It is a crime to stay away from Jane Eyre this long! Anyway, I am at that part in Jane Eyre where all hell has broke loose, and I find myself both hating and loving Mr. Rochester all the while loving Jane (as always).

I finished Leif Enger's Peace Like a River last Friday and haven't yet settled on a new book. I keep going back and forth about what to read next.

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.

The two books I am going back and forth between at the moment are Jan Ellison's A Small Indiscretion and Jan Moran's Scent of Triumph (it just dawned on me both authors' names are Jan). How about I let you help me decide which to read next?

About A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison (from the publisher):
At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.
After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future.
 A Small Indiscretion announces a major new voice in suspense fiction as it unfolds a story of denial, obsession, love, forgiveness—and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.

Here is the opening of the novel:
London, the year I turned twenty.
I wore a winter coat, the first I ever owned--a man's coat purchased at a secondhand store. I wore it every day, along with a silk scarf tied around my neck, imagining I looked artsy or sophisticated. Each scarf cost a pound, and I bought them from an Indian woman who kept a stall in the tube station at Victoria, where I caught my train to work. They were thin, crinkled things, not the sort of scarves that ought to be worn to work in an office or that offered any protection against the cold. But I could not resist them, their weightlessness and soft, faint colors. The money I spent on them, and the habit I adopted of wearing a different one each day, seems to me now a haphazard indulgence, an attempt to prove that I was the kind of girl capable of throwing herself headlong into an affair with her boss--a married man twice her age--and escaping without consequence.

What do you think of the opening of A Small Indiscretion?  Would you continue reading?

About Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran (from the publisher):
When French perfumer Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength and support of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a young captain. Finally, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940's Los Angeles. 
There, through determination and talent, she rises high from meager jobs in her quest for success as a perfumer and fashion designer to Hollywood elite. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, Scent of Triumph by commanding newcomer Jan Moran is one woman's story of courage, spirit, and resilience.

Here is the opening of the novel:
A rose, the symbol of love, the queen of the perfumer's pallete. How then, does the perfume of war intoxicate even the most reasonable of men?
-DB (From the perfume journal of Danielle Bretancourt)
Danielle Bretancourt von Hoffman braced herself against the mahogany-paneled stateroom wall, striving for balance as she flung open a brass porthole, seeking a moment of respite she knew would never be. A damp, kelp-scented wind--a harbinger of the storm ahead--whistled through the cabin, assaulting her nose with its raw intensity, but the sting of the salty spray did little to assuage the fear she had for her little boy.

What do you think of the opening of Scent of Triumph? Would you continue reading?  

Of the two, A Small Indiscretion and Scent of Triumph, which do you think I should read next?


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors. I cannot do this! It's too hard.  Okay, so let's stick to authors of whom I have read more than one book by.  Heck, let's just keep the list to series authors I adore. It seems only fair. I hate that I am behind on almost all of these series.

1. The obvious.  J.K. Rowling.  I love the world of Harry Potter. I love Hogwarts. I love Hermione.  I hated to see the series end. I haven't yet read her mystery series, but I know I am going to love it too. 

2. Jim Butcher, of course.  Did you really think he wouldn't be on the list? I have so much love in my heart for his Dresden Files series. It's addicting.

3. Sue Grafton is one of my favorite mystery authors. I have enjoyed reading her Kinsey Millhone series since I first read A is for Alibi.

4. Craig Johnson is such a nice man in person. If you ever get a chance to meet him, please do. And his mystery books featuring Sheriff Longmire are pretty awesome too.

5. Patricia Briggs. I have only read part of one of her series (Mercy Thompson), but I so easily get lost in her books.

6. Same with Ilona Andrews (a wife and husband team) and their Kate Daniels series. I can't wait to read their other books.

7. Is it cheating to pick a trilogy? Patrick Ness for his Chaos Walking Trilogy?  Talk about an author who can make you feel all sorts of emotions.

8. Anne Bishop. Have you read the Others series?  If you like dark fantasy, you really should.  I also enjoyed her Back Jewels books.

9. Kelley Armstrong and her Women of the Other World series. Another series I am addicted to by an author I love.

10. Michael Connelly is one of my all-time favorite mystery authors. I haven't actually read most of his books.  Yet.  But the ones I have read, I have really enjoyed.

Have you read any of these authors?  Who are some of your all-time favorite authors?


Mouse and Snow White
  

© 2015, 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.

78 comments:

  1. Mouse looks so adorable as a princess, and with a princess! We used to take our kids as youngsters to Disney World in FL when we lived there. Haven't been to Disneyland yet, but now the kids are adults and are thinking of doing Universal instead.

    Ah, the LA Times Book Fest--how lucky!! I read about it online Sunday morning (and had other plans for that day) and was so bummed out that I missed it Saturday. I have been looking for some kind of author signing or book festival within reasonable distance since we moved here. Oh well.. next year.

    I am looking at both your books with great indecision! I knew about A Small Indiscretion and have it on my wishlist, but now the one by Jan Moran sounds really good too. Hmm, back and forth, I give up. Okay, I choose your new book, Scent of Triumph, because I want to hear an opinion about this new-to-me title :)

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    1. Rita - I haven't been to Disney World, but I imagine it is much bigger than Disneyland. My husband has always been interested in the history of the Disneyland Park and he's hoping to instill that in our daughter I think, for better or worse. :-)

      I've only ever been to Universal Studios once or twice--and that was before my daughter's time.

      We had a nice time at the book festival. We went Sunday, not being able to make it Saturday. There was quite a crowd, as always. When the festival was at UCLA, we used to go both days of the festival, but haven't been able to do that since it moved venues.

      I did start with Scent of Triumph and am enjoying that. I didn't have it with me today though and so started a mystery--I needed something a little more fast paced, anyway, so it's a good balance.

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  2. You've got some amazing authors on your list! I could have put J.K on my list this week too. I adore her writing! My TTT!

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    1. Chrissi - I am a big fan of her Harry Potter books. I really need to get started on her mystery series.

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  3. Sorry that you and the husband weren't feeling to well in the beginning, but everything sounds like it turned out better in the end! Festival of Books sounded great, I saw people's photos. And Disneyland?? Yesss.

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    1. Jillian - The week definitely had its ups and downs, like most weeks really, I suppose. :-) We had a nice time at the book festival, although I wish I had more time to explore on my own (no offense to my husband and daughter).

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  4. If it were me, I'd read Scent of Triumph. The first book seems somewhat depressing, although I'm not sure why. There are two authors in your Top Ten that I agree with: Craig Johnson and Michael Connelly. I love whatever they write, even their short stories.

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    1. Margot - I think both books are on the darker side. With so many votes for Scent of Triumph, I did start on that one. :-)

      Craig Johnson and Michael Connelly are such great authors, aren't they?

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  5. I'm glad Disneyland was a success for your princess :-) I do like both of your book choices and would definitely keep reading A Small Indiscretion. Here is my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/first-chapter-first-paragraph-april-21/

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    1. Cleo - She had a lot of fun at Disneyland. :-) I haven't started A Small Indiscretion yet, but I'm looking forward to reading it!

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  6. I'm glad Mouse had a wonderful time at Disneyland; and she looked so adorable in her Snow White dress.

    I bet the book festival trip was an exciting one; imagine being able to meet up the authors and seeing their books on display.

    I don't know... those two books sound intriguing to me. Looking forward to your thoughts on them.

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    1. Melody - She was so adorable that day. She was even talking to all the birds we saw at the park. She said it was because Snow White can talk to animals. So cute. :-)

      I kind of miss being able to go to the panels and hear the authors discuss various topics at the book festival. That was always my favorite part in the past. I joked with my husband that before too long we'll have to attend all the popular YA panels, when Mouse is old enough to be interested. :-)

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  7. Michael Connellys books is so good. He is also on my list.

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    1. Lena - He's one of my all time favorite authors.

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  8. I love the beginning of 'Scent of Triumph', there is some kind of urgency behind it and I have been fascinated with parfums and smells since reading 'The Parfum', so I'd recommend starting with that one but then getting straight on 'A Small Indiscretion' afterwards! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - I thought so too--about the opening of Scent of Triumph. I can't even imagine what Danielle must have felt, being separated from her young son at such a time. I did decide to start with that one and will get to A Small Indiscretion later on. I hope you had a good week too!

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  9. I love that you and your husband are reading the same book together, even if he is slowing his pace:) Mouse at Disneyland sounds like any kids dream day.

    As for the intro of A Small Indescretion, I like it and would read more.

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    1. Diane - I ended up finishing Jane Eyre because I couldn't wait any longer. LOL I am not sure where he is in the book right now. I think he's close to the end though. :-)

      Mouse loves Disneyland. So does my husband. LOL

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  10. Oh how cute -- a little girliness never hurt anyone.

    I had mixed feelings about A Small Indiscretion. The opening of A Scent of Triumph has promise.

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    1. Beth - Mouse is one of those girls who is very girly one minute and then completely the opposite the next. I love that about her. :-)

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  11. What a precious picture of Princess Mouse and Princess Snow White! Love it. You should save it for her high school graduation. LOL

    OK, I didn't do the top 10 authors for the same reason as you mentioned. Too hard. That being said, I love JK Rowling, of course, and Craig Johnson. Your two teaser picks - well, I think I'd go with the first one. I saw it in the library the other day. May go back and get it. I'm not so much interested in the perfume one for some reason.

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    1. Kay - It was cute when people would ask if Snow White is Mouse's favorite princess when we were at the park. She always said yes in a really quite voice, all shy and sweet. But if you ask her the open ended, "Who is your favorite princess?" You'd get an entirely different answer. She's never really shown an interest in Snow White, but the dress was a gift and she wanted to be a princess.

      I left out some obvious names from my list, looking back. For instance, how could I forget Elizabeth Haynes?! There's a definite theme though in the type of series I favor - mysteries and urban fantasy.

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  12. I hope there weren't too many thorns over the weekend. I love seeing children dressed up like that!!

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    1. Kathy - It seems like the thorns can't be avoided no matter how hard we try. :-S

      The staff at Disneyland are always so nice to children, but I think many of the cast members are trained to go an extra mile for those in costume. The way Mouse's face lit up when someone asked her to twirl and paid her extra attention . . . It was worth every moment. Even with the parade, as we sat on the side line, Snow White from her spot on the float that went by acknowledged Mouse and blew her a kiss. Princess Anna did too. And there was a cast member from the Lion King section of the parade that stopped and chatted with Mouse--told her she should have taken the banana like he told her too instead of the apple.

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  13. The L.A. Book Festival and Disneyland trip -- how delightful! The Snow White story took me back to a particularly sweet moment at Disneyworld many years ago when my daughter was Mouse's age. We were at a character breakfast, and my daughter was out of sorts, so I took her into the ladies room to try and settle her. She continued her hissy fit there, and I was beside myself as to how to quiet and soothe her, when in walks Snow White in full regalia. My daughter went immediately silent and was overcome by a state of awe and wonder. It was priceless.

    My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/04/first-chapter-first-paragraph-103.html

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    1. Catherine - It made for a busy and fun weekend! I think it would be fun to take Mouse to a character breakfast one of these days. She'd love that. That's too cute about the story you shared about your daughter. :-)

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  14. I seriously don't know how I missed JK Rowling!

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    1. Amanda - There are a couple of authors I am slapping my forehead for forgetting too!

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  15. I'm a big fan of Connelly as well and annoyed that I overlooked him on my list! So many authors, so little time!

    You can find my list at www.nashvillebookworm.wordpress.com

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    1. Michael - I completely agree with your sentiment about there being so many authors and so little time!

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  16. The Snow White Dress comment made me laugh. I've decided to not fight that particular battle several times (though mine normally involve Batman or Star Wars instead of Princess dresses) and there's no way I would've said no to her either! Sounds like you had a bit of a crazy time of it lately. I really enjoyed Scent of Triumph even though there was some over-dramaticness. I haven't read many of your favorite authors though Ilona Andrews and Kelley Armstrong are on my list!

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    1. Katherine - Letting her dress up like that was so worth it. Seeing her so happy, especially the way the cast members at Disneyland fawned over her (and every other little girl who dressed up--to be fair, the boys who dressed up were given that extra bit of attention too).

      I started on Scent of Triumph, but got distracted. I haven't read anything in over a week. :-( At least until today when I started a new book since I forgot to bring my copy of Scent of Triumph with me.

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  17. I'd read A Small Indiscretion first and then add Scent of Triumph to my list. Your photo of Mouse and Snow White is lovely. So lucky you are to live near Disneyland and be to visit. Hope you week get better and better.

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    1. Judy - It is nice to live close to Disneyland. If only it wasn't so expensive!

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  18. I enjoyed A Small Indiscretion....read it a few months ago. And I am now curious about Scent of Triumph.

    Adorable Snow White dress...and the Disneyland Snow White must have really made Mouse's day.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I am glad to hear you liked A Small Indiscretion. I decided to start with Scent of Triumph, although it's not quite holding my attention the way I hoped. Or it could be because everything else going on right now in my life . . .

      Mouse was excited to meet Snow White. :-) Her favorite is Ariel though--but Mouse is always disappointed when Mouse is in her "human" form instead of being a mermaid. LOL

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  19. Great TTT list! I have Kelley Armstrong on my TBR queue with her Cainesville novels. I've also been meaning to continue reading Jim Butcher's Dresdon files but alas, other books got in the way xD

    My TTT

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    1. Lianne - Those pesky other books always get in the way. But they are often so good, aren't they?

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  20. I like the intros of both books. Since I just finished a contemporary, I'd probably go with Scent of Triumph. Love Ilona Andrews too!

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    1. 'Nise - So many votes for Scent of Triumph! I decided that would be my next read. :-)

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  21. Loving your top ten authors. I do like Jim Butcher but don't know if he'd make my top ten who probably number Philippa Gregory, Faye Kellerman and Kathy Reichs.

    Three quarters through Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey and loving it. I can quite understand your husband not getting around to picking up Jane Eyre as alas I don't fare very well with the classics.

    Loving the picture of Mouse with Snow white.

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    1. Tracy - I never got to Kathy Reichs books. I had several of her books for awhile there for when the mood took, but about the time I burnt out on Patricia Cornwell, I lost interest in trying Kathy Reichs. I've only read one of Faye Kellerman's books, and I really liked it.

      I am glad you are enjoying Elizabeth Is Missing (you are probably finished with it by now). That's one I am hesitant to read because of the subject matter. I've heard great things about it though.

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  22. I read A Small Indiscretion earlier this year and thought it was just so-so.

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    1. Sarah - That seems to be a popular consensus of A Small Indiscretion.

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  23. First of all, I'm amazed that your husband is even willing to read JANE EYRE. Mine never would! Too girly.

    Also, I love Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy. I wish he would write something similar to it (just dfferent). His other books haven't entranced me as much as that one did.

    Oh, and I love PEACE LIKE A RIVER. Great book.

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    1. Susan - Haha! My husband really likes Jane Austen's work too. :-)

      I haven't had a chance to read anything else by Patrick Ness yet, but I want to. The Chaos Walking Trilogy wowed me in so many ways.

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  24. I love the pic of Mouse with Snow White! How adorable. I couldn't say no to her either Wendy. Lol.

    I love Jane Eyre! I've been itching to read it again or listen. I can't imagine ever putting s book down. I very seldom am without a book or an audio. I try to incorporate my other interests in with my reading which helps since they are things like walking e dog or crafting.

    I haveny read either of those books but I do have A Small Indiscretion on audio. Whichever you choose I'll be watching to see how you like it. As for authors J.K. Rowling makes the top of my list too. I still miss the excitement of waiting for a new HP book to come out.

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    1. Darlene - Thank you. I really like the photo too. :-)

      I loved Jane Eyre just as much this time as I have the other times I have read it. It's such a good book! I should try listening to it if there is a good narration out there.

      We'll have to compare notes on A Small Indiscretion. I haven't read it yet, but plan to soon. I've been so slow about reading books lately. :-(

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  25. Michael Connelly is fantastic! I love his books, especially the Harry Bosch series and the Mickey Haller Series. (I have read almost all of his books, just one or two stray ones left.) Rowling and Grafton made my list as well.

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    1. Kristi - Yes, Michael Connelly is fantastic. I love his work. And Sue Grafton's and J.K. Rowling's. :-)

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  26. Glad to hear about the happy parts of your mixed week, and sorry about the harder bits. Lovely to hear you are reading Jane Eyre, that's one I plan to re-read one day hopefully not too far in the future. I would struggle to pick ten, I love your list though and there's some authors there for me to investigate further! I hope you have a good week.

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    1. Lindsay - Thank you. Those bumps can sure put a damper on things, but I try not to let them too often. I really enjoyed re-reading Jane Eyre. It's stood up well over the years as I've gotten older. :-)

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  27. Love the photo! I like both openings, but A Small Indiscretion intrigues me the most. Your comments about Jane Eyre make me want to read it again! Have a great week!

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    1. Monica - Thank you! I do recommend reading Jane Eyre again if you get a chance. :-)

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  28. Glad to see Jim Butcher getting some attention! :)

    Check out my TTT.

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    1. Lauren - It's well deserved attention. I just love his work! I even have a little crush on Harry Dresden. :-)

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  29. I love the pic of Mouse in her outfit with Snow White! These lists are so much fun to read, but I find choosing the authors too difficult!

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    1. Jenclair - It was hard to settle on just ten authors. Even after I hit publish I wanted to go back and edit the list. :-)

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  30. Both books sound good. I would probably choose the second as I love reading about the WWII era. Girl Who Reads

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    1. Donna - I am partial to the WWII era too. It's an interesting read so far.

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  31. I love J. K. Rowling best for turning so many reluctant readers (my son, amongst the many children I teach) into voracious readers.

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    1. Bellezza - Yes, Rowling certainly did a great job of that. I look forward to introducing my daughter to the Harry Potter books.

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  32. How cute with Snow White!! Sounds like a busy but fun week.
    Great list, I am a big fan of J.K. Rowling as well, she is brilliant. I lived inside the HP books for a good while and when it was over, I read them all again.
    I'd add Stephen King and Jane Austen to my list.
    I have A Small Indiscretion as well, I can't wait to get to it.

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    1. Naida - It was a busy week! And a whirlwind of a weekend. :-) We had a nice time over all.

      It was hard not to be pulled into the Harry Potter books, wasn't it? I put off reading them for so long and could kick myself later for doing so.

      Jane Austen is a wonderful author. She's one of my all-time favorites.

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  33. I love both the Longmire books and TV show. I'm really glad Netflix is picking up the series.

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    1. Yvonne - I have only seen a couple of episodes of the Longmire TV show. It didn't grab me right away and so I haven't gotten back to it in awhile. I do want to give it another try though. I love the books.

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  34. I really need to read more Patrick Ness! I know I would love his books if I read more of them. I hear lots of great things about Jim Butcher from my dad who is a huge fantasy reader.
    Thanks for stopping by The Local Muse

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    1. Mallory - Jim Butcher is such a good author. I love his books. I need to read more Patrick Ness too.

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  35. Oh Mouse looks so adorable in that dress! I love princessy dresses, which is weird because I never grew up being a girly girl, and maybe that's why I like princessy stuff. It's been years since I've been to Disney - I definitely need to head back, maybe once my little one is 3-4 years old.

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    1. Athira - I don't like to admit it, but I kind of like that my daughter leans toward the girly girl side on occasion. I never was like that, but it can be fun. :-)

      I know every child is different, but I think my daughter had more fun this time at Disneyland than she did when she was 3. It's also a lot harder to get her to leave. She did not want to leave and she was very clear about that. Feet stomping and all. LOL

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  36. That is a lovely dress (though I'm thinking it couldn't have faired too well at the park?) Glad your week was good, and two books is something to be proud of, even if it wasn't through willpower. I think I'd read both books, though I'm more interested myself in the Ellison as there have been many war books lately. I wouldn't want to choose for you, though!

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    1. Charlie - The dress held up surprisingly well, considering. Mouse has three other princess dresses at home, and I ruled out two automatically because of their length. I didn't want them dragging on the street. The other has a hoop and I thought that might be awkward, so was glad she didn't choose that one. So many of the girls dress up though--for a pretty few (too many) pennies, there's a boutique that will do the girls up really nice--make-up, glitter and hair, even a new dress and shoes if you want. We saw quite a few of those little princesses around. So adorable, but so expensive!

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  37. That picture with Mouse and Snow White is just priceless!!! I bet she had a wonderful time and how lucky you are to be making these memories with her. I have read and loved almost all of the authors on your list. So many of them are my favorites as well :) I am glad to hear that overall the good outweighed the bad and you had a good week. Hope this one is going just as well for you!

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    1. Samantha - Mouse was over the moon. She had such a fun time. :-)

      We were lucky that week, that the good outweighed the bad. I wish I could say the same for the following week. Hopefully this week will be better.

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  38. Of course Mouse had to go in her Snow White outfit! If for no other reason than that it's a battle not worth fighting. We have watched Longmire on tv and knew it was based on a book series but only just picked up our first book. Looking forward to reading what inspired such a great show.

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  39. Lisa - She loved the attention she received by the staff and cast at Disneyland. :-) I hope you enjoy Johnson's books as much as I do!

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  40. I'm sort of curious about Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran. Have you finished reading it?

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    1. Melinda - I have finished Scent of Triumph. I liked it overall, but had a couple of issues with it. Probably more a matter of my preferences though.

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