Monday, September 14, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (09/15/2015)

This past week was quite fun. We had been planning a mini vacation for months now, with plans to put our annual passes to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure to good use for at least a couple of those days. My husband surprised me with reservations at a nearby hotel room so we wouldn't have to make the trek home late at night and could be right at the gate when the park opened the next day. My daughter was ecstatic to say the least. We chose two of the hottest days of the summer to spend at the park. Over a hundred degrees with a thunderstorm overhead that first day. The second day was just plain humid and hot, still over a hundred degrees out. The crowds were not too bad, however, which was nice. We snuck back for one ride the day we headed home. The Haunted Mansion had been closed for revisions the two days we were at the park, and we didn't want to leave without being able to ride it. It's all dressed up for Halloween and Christmas now.

 Mouse Twirling with Princess Ariel

Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure

Saturday saw the beginning of Mouse's new Tumble and Dance class.  Two of her school friends are also in the class with her. The girls had a fun time.

Parker got his staples taken out last week, and has been doing well since his surgery. The tumor was cancerous, but the doctor believes she was able to remove it all. I was told the likelihood of recurrence is high given the type of tumor it was. We'll be keeping a close eye on him from here on out and rushing him in if he develops even a tiny bump.  Poor kitty. He is eating and getting around like his old self, although wishing we would hurry up and take the cone off him.

At the moment, I am reading the third book in Vonnie Davis' Highlander's Beloved Series, Bearing It All, which features the third Matheson brother, Ronan. The novel opened with a bang when the main female character parachutes from a drone, landing on top of Ronan in his bear form (he's a shapeshifter like his brothers).

I am also reading The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig, which was a gift from my daughter. As my husband explains it, he asked Mouse if she had any ideas about what she wanted to get me for my birthday last week. She said she wanted to get me a "real" book (not an e-book, in other words), with no pictures, and that had blue in the cover (my current favorite color). My husband proceeded to go to my wish list on Amazon and found Lauren Willig's The Other Daughter, a book recommended by Katherine from I Wish I Lived in a Library. My husband picked the book, in part, because he thought it held a sort of irony given the subject matter and who it was from. Set in Post World War I England, this is the story of a governess who learns her childhood was built on a foundation of lies, her father not truly being dead, and her parents not ever having married. He, in fact, had been married to someone else and fathered another child.




First Paragraphs of The Other Daughter:

"Can we go look, can we go look, can we go look?" Eight-year-old Amelie tugged at Rachel's hand, pulling her toward the stairs.

"I don't see what the point is of looking at a party you can't go to," said thirteen-year-old Albertine crossly.


Teaser from page 22

"You're not dying of some terrible disease, are you?"


Alice looked at her in confusion. "No. Why?"

"I was trying to think what the third blow might be. That's only two so far. Troubles are meant to come in threes." Her voice was too fast and too high. Rachel took a deep breath and reached for another broken biscuit. "It's an inalterable law of nature. Isn't that whay Mrs. Spicer always said?"

What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it anything you would recommend?

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

This week's  Top Ten Tuesday theme is a freebie, and so I chose Top Ten Books I Just HAD To Buy... But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf Unread. I am ashamed to say I have many more than just these ten books on my shelves yet to read that have been languishing there for years. Many more, in fact. The covers are linked to the Goodreads pages for each book if you want to know more about them.

1.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ~ I bought a copy of this book immediately upon finishing the author's Half a Yellow Sun, which I loved. If this is half as good as the other, it will be amazing. So why am I waiting?

 2.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen ~ I know I will love this book when I do read it. At least I hope I will.  I have no excuse for not having read it yet. It's not even very long.

3.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen ~ I bought this book  knowing I would read it. I loved the other books by Jane Austen I have read. Then why haven't I read this one yet?

4.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett ~ This was the talk of the town when it first came out, and I knew I just had to read it too. It's extremely short, and I could probably finish it in no time.  And yet, there it sits . . .

5.

The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George ~ A former coworker was a fan of Margaret George's books and recommended her to me. She suggested I start with The Memoirs of Cleopatra, which I bought, but never got around to reading. At nearly 1000 pages in length, the book is a bit intimidating.

6.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris ~ This book comes highly recommended, and then after hearing the author speak on a panel at  a book festival one year, I decided I needed to read it (and everything else she has written). I own several of her books, including this one. I still haven't read it (or her other books).

7.

The Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb ~ I was very excited about reading this series, especially given how highly recommended it came by friends. Then my husband read it and didn't care for it. It shouldn't bother me. There are plenty of books I love that he doesn't care for. Still, it has kept me from pulling this off my shelf to read.

8.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini ~ The Kite Runner is one of my all time favorite books to read and I know I will love this one just as much, if not more. I just know it.  Is that why I haven't read it yet?  Or is it fear of disappointment because my expectations are too high?

9.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami ~ I think my failure to pull this off my TBR shelf and read it has more to do with the intimidation factor. I was eager to read it when I first heard about it, but the more I heard about it, the more I began to wonder if it is something I would like.  What if it's way over my head?

10.

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani ~ I haven't always wanted to read this book and series, but enough people talked it up that I decided I might as well give it a try. It has survived two major book cullings, so obviously I am still interested in reading it.  Someday.

What books did you just have to buy and yet still haven't managed to read?


© 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.

74 comments:

  1. A Thousand Splendid Suns is an amazing book. The story is heartbreaking and beautiful. It's about pain and real love and family. I hope you love it!

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    1. Brittany - The Kite Runner was such an emotional read, I can only imagine that A Thousand Splendid Suns would be too. I'm looking forward to getting to it one of these days.

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  2. I bought A Thousand Splendid Suns and never read it too. I bought the audiobook on Audible after it came out YEARS ago. I don't know if I'll ever get to it. My reading tastes have changed some since then and now it's just never what I feel like reading. I have plenty of other books I was dying to get but never read in addition to that one. There are just too many books and too little time. Here's my TTT. Happy reading! :)

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    1. Kim - I've noticed my reading tastes have changed over time too. With the last culling I did, I got rid of a number of books I was so sure I would read when I bought them, and yet have no interest in now. I always worry I will want to read them at some point later, which is why I have so many unread books . . . Sometimes though, a person has to let go otherwise she'd be walking on books.

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  3. Loved Mansfield Park and Garden Spells! I've been meaning to read Chocolat as I loved the movie. Great list, hope you enjoy all these books when you get to them :)

    My TTT

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    1. Lainne - I really do want to read both Mansfield Park and Garden Spells at some point. I liked the movie Chocolat, what I remember of it, but my memory of it is so fuzzy.

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  4. I like your daughter's method of picking a book for you! think I'd enjoy The Other Daughter, based on the synopsis, opening, and your Teaser. I'm wondering what the three blows could be. Sounds like a good story.
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. Sandra - I should ask her what I should read next whenever I'm having difficulty deciding. :-) As it turned out, I loved the book, The Other Daughter, she gave me for my birthday.

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  5. I think your daughter might have a good method for picking books. At least I like how The Other Daughter starts, the cover and the teaser.

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    1. Matgot - She's creative, that's for sure. :-) I quite enjoyed The Other Daughter.

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  6. I could have done this list as well. So many unread books on my shelf! :-) I hope you enjoy these books when you get to them.

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    1. Chrissi - Too many unread books, right? I wish there was more time to read during the day.

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  7. Oh I think we all have too many books that are still sitting on our shelves unread - you have some good ones, I loved One Thousand Splendid Suns. I like the opening and teaser from The Other Daughter - a great pick from your daughter!

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    1. Cleo - I imagine you're right. Especially those of us who love to read. I'm looking forward to reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.

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  8. Oh wow, this is definitely one hell of a post! It sounds like you've had a good week, especially if Parker's health improves even more! I don't think I've heard of the books you are currently reading, but just like Leo I absolutely loved One Thousand Splendid Suns! Your teasers are definitely intriguing as well, I'd want to keep reading :)
    Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - It was a fun week! Parker seems to be doing much better, thank goodness. His incision is healing nicely and he's more like his old self.

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  9. A Thousand Splendid Suns an The Uncommon Reader are excellent, but in very different ways. Hope you can read them soon.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful trip, despite the heat. Have a great week!

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    1. JoAnn - I am glad to hear you loved both A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Uncommon Reader. That bodes well for me when I read them. :-)

      Our weather is still pretty warm, but not quite as bad. I am hoping we'll see cooler temperatures in October.

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  10. Your husband and daughter sound so sweet. Happy belated birthday and I do love that intro, so I'd read more for sure.

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    1. Diane - They are sweet. I love them both so much. Thank you for the birthday wishes. :-)

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  11. First of all, I love it when you share your Mouse trips with us. Precious picture of her twirling. And I would have gone back for a ride on the Haunted Mansion too. I love the Haunted Mansion. Great pick by Mouse for your birthday. I've been wondering if I wanted to try that one and your teaser has sold me.

    As to your 10 unread books, well, don't we all have a bunch of those? Ha! I've read and can recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns and Big Stone Gap. Have not read the others - well, I've read Mansfield Park, but it's been a long, long, long time. And I always recommend Jane Austen. :-)

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    1. Kay - I don't share as much about her on my blog anymore, do I? It was worth going to the park for the Haunted Mansion before we checked out of the hotel. :-)

      So many unread books . . . Too many. It's a good problem to have though, isn't it?

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  12. There's no place like Disney for children and those who are children at heart. I haven't been to Disneyland, but I've been to Disneyworld many times (much closer for east coasters).

    The Other Daughter sounds like it's off to a good start--it's a book I've had an eye on, and I'm hoping to borrow a copy from a friend who bought it recently.

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    1. Catherine - Mouse and my husband just love Disneyland. I think they'd live there if they could. LOL We've never been to Disney World before. Maybe someday.

      I hope you do get a chance to read The Other Daughter. I really enjoyed it.

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  13. Your trip sounds like so much fun!

    I love the fact that Mouse knows her mama so well!

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    1. Kathy - It was a lot of fun. While it was good to sleep in our own bed, we wished we could have stayed longer.

      Yes, Mouse knows me very well. :-)

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  14. Glad that Parker seems to be on the mend! Loved Garden Spells, The Uncommon Reader, The Assassin's Apprentice (triple love), and Chocolat. Garden Spells and Chocolat are magical realism, which I don't always appreciate, but both of these were delightful.

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    1. Jenclair - Parker is doing much better. I can't tell you what a relief it is.

      Like you, I don't always appreciate magical realism, but I think I might like Chocolat and Garden Spells. I hope so, anyway. :-) I do like Alice Hoffman's writing, and so that makes me hopeful.

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  15. I like the cover of your new book too. Mouse has a great way to pick a book, a real book! I too have many on my shelf that I have not read. Someday, maybe!

    How lucky to live so close to Disneyland! I have never been. My children had to go the first time as adults!

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    1. Judy - Isn't it pretty? My daughter said I don't read enough real books. :-)
      I do hope we can get to our unread books one day. They all seem so tempting . . .

      If only Disneyland weren't so expensive . . . We go every chance we get just about just to make sure we get our money's worth out of our annual passes.

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  16. I love the cover and excerpts from The Other Daughter...now I want to know more.

    From your Top Ten list...I also have Garden Spells, still unread.

    I loved the Big Stone Gap series.

    Enjoy...and here's mine: “PRETTY GIRLS”

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    1. Laurel-Rain - The Other Daughter was such a fun read. I am glad I had the chance to read it. :-)

      I hope I will love the Big Stone Gap series too. I wasn't always interested in reading it, but I think I might really enjoy the series now.

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  17. I've definitely been interested in The Other Daughter; I hope you're enjoying it!

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  18. The Other Daughter sounds good! I would respect a positive review from Katherine also.
    Glad you had a fun Disney vacation. We used to have season passes to Disney World, but I haven't been to this Disney yet. Looks so pretty and I don't care that my kids are grown already.
    Re: books I couldn't wait to buy then never read, lol, I have way too many to name. This is my major downfall :)

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    1. Rita - The Other Daughter was good! Katherine and my daughter have good taste. :-)

      I imagine Disneyland would seem a little puny next to Disney World, but I haven't been to Disney World so don't know that for sure. It seems so much more massive though . . . Disneyland is fun for all ages--unlike Legoland. If you get the chance, I hope you will go.

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  19. what a great trip!
    like the tease too. may have to add this to my TBR!
    trish - my teaser

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    1. Trish - We had such a fun time. We'll be going back to celebrate my brother's birthday, but that will just be a one day trip.

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  20. You covered so much in this post! I have to say that Chocolat is well worth reading. Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap was not my favorite of her books though. Thanks for visiting my blog. Here's Mine

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    1. Paulita - I'm so glad to hear you liked Chocolat! I am looking forward to reading it.

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  21. Interesting teaser. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Stormi

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  22. How cute is Mouse twirling with Ariel! Sounds like a wonderful mini-vaca. I love Disney and hope to make it back out to FL next summer for a trip. It's been several years since we last went. That shot of Paradise Pier is awesome.
    Poor Parker, hope he is feeling better. Otis just got the 'snip snip' a few weeks ago and was really happy to have his stitches and cone off finally after ten days.
    I like Lauren Willig's work, I'd keep reading.
    Chocolat was good, and I liked the movie too. I have Garden Spells sitting waiting to be read as well, there are just not enough hours in the day.
    Happy week :)

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    1. Naida - Sometimes I think Mouse's favorite part of our Disneyland visits are getting to see the princesses. :-)

      Poor Otis. Wearing that cone is no fun. I am glad the surgery went well for him. Parker is glad to be out of his cone too.

      This was my first Willig, but definitely not my last. I really enjoyed The Other Daughter.

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  23. Love your top ten topic!! I have so many of those books. One of them is the Kite Runner for me. I know I have to get to it. The Other Daughter looks interesting - Hope you enjoy it!

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    1. Grace - Thanks! I'm not so good at thinking up ideas of my own, so I stole one of the past Top Ten topics. :-) I hope you do get a chance to read The Kite Runner. It's disturbing and emotional, but oh so good.

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  24. Sounds like a fun trip and I just love that pic of Mouse and Ariel. Hope Parker is feeling better!

    I enjoyed reading Garden Spells and The Uncommon Reader and I hope you'll like them as much as I did! Hope you've a great week!

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    1. Melody - We had a great time. Mouse loves going. Parker is much better, thanks for asking. His fur is starting to grow back where it was shaved off.

      I am looking forward to reading Garden Spells and The Uncommon Reader. Hopefully I will get to them sooner than later. :-)

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  25. Nice characterization in your teaser. I can read all kinds of stuff between the lines.

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  26. I loved Garden Spells - I'm sure you will too!! My TTT

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    1. Carrie - I hope so! Garden Spells sounds like something I would enjoy! :-)

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  27. I haven't read any of these books before, but a few of them sound really interesting!

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    1. Kaitlyn - I hope you will give some of them a try!

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  28. Hi Wendy,

    Loving the cover art and premise of 'The Other Daughter' and very topical over here in the UK, given all the recent scandals concerning many celebrities, politicians and others of great power and influence, who have been involved in various 'activities' shall we say!

    Hubbie has visited Disneyland, although I have only ever been to Disneyworld, Florida (over 25 times in all), although due to circumstances beyond our control, the last time was almost three years ago and we are not likely to get back any time soon ): - I LOVE IT!

    I have so many 'really want to reads' on my various lists and shelves, that I couldn't begin to choose just a few. Mind you, I have read some great books recently, so I don't mind too much.

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your week,

    Yvonne

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    1. Yvonne - Isn't the cover of The Other Daughter great? I like it too. I can just imagine how topical a book like this might be--and given the number of scandals throughout history, I imagine it wouldn't be far from the truth in some cases.

      I haven't made it to Disney World yet, but someday I would like to. We enjoy our visits to Disneyland very much. :-)

      It was hard to settle on the list of ten books for this topic, I admit. I kept switching out titles and finally told myself to just stop and let it be. There will always be books we really want to read, won't there?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  29. This is a pretty great topic. We all have those books on our shelves. Great list.

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    1. Annemieke - Thank you! Yes, I imagine many of us do have these types of books on our shelves. If only we had more time to read everything we want to read.

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  30. I would LOVE to go back to Disney - Been there twice or thrice (as an adult) and could not get enough of it, lol! Except for Kafka, I haven't read any of the others - and they are all on my wishlist too!

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    1. Athira - My husband and I had season passes to Disneyland years and years ago, before Mouse came along. The prices for the passes went up and we were kind of burnt out on the park, and so we stopped visiting. That was about 15 years ago, I think. It's so much fun, especially with a young one. And now my husband is obsessed! LOL He's always loved the history of the Disneyland Park and he's gotten back into reading and watching everything he can about it.

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  31. Garden Spells and Mansfield Park, You gotta read them soon.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Happy Reading!

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    1. Ria - Given how long it's been since I've been saying I will read Garden Spells, I think you're right. I really do need to make time for it and Mansfield Park soon.

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  32. I have so many books on my bookshelf that are patiently waiting to be read too! I know that I'll eventually get to them. Your teaser is intriguing and I would definitely keep reading :)

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    1. Claudia - Yes! There are so many on my shelf I hope to get to as well. Someday their time will come . . .

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  33. The trip to Disney sounds like such fun! We're hoping to take the Tornado to Disney World soon but it's a 12 hour drive so always takes some figuring. How sweet of Mouse! I hope you enjoy The Other Daughter. I loved the setting and would love to look through her wardrobe! I love your topic this week. I just read my first Sarah Addison Allen and really loved it. I'm hoping to read or listen to Garden Spell soon!

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    1. Katherine - Twelve hours is a long drive, so I imagine it will have to me more like a vacation. I hope you do get to go and have a great time! I am sure Tornado would love it.

      I am so glad to have discovered The Other Daughter through you. Thank you for the recommendation. :-) I would have loved to look through her wardrobe too. The ending was perfect.

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  34. That's early to be ready for Christmas! Glad you had a good time and were able to stay nearby.
    It's difficult when you've a pet looking at you with the 'why are you doing this to me face?' You kinda hope they 'get' it afterwards. Good that Parker's ok.

    From the extract itself I'm not sure, but the summary, yes, definitely. The social history and potential of, sounds really intriguing. I'm reading The Brethren by Robert Merle and would recommend it, just with the note that it's very much set in both its era and the one of the writer.

    Some great books on your list; I've only read the Austen but know you've a lot to look forward to. Like you, I had to get A Thousand Splendid Suns; haven't yet read it because I've heard it's good (that's why I got it) and that's daunting.

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    1. Charlie - The Haunted Mansion ride holiday theme is from The Nightmare Before Christmas, which I believe covers both Halloween and Christmas. The additions to the ride are quite elaborate--it's no wonder they closed the ride for two days to decorate.

      Parker is not a cat to hold grudges fortunately. He seems to be much happier now, thank goodness.

      I will have to look for The Brethren. I enjoyed The Other Daughter quite a bit, and will be looking for other books by the author.

      Yes, sometimes it can be daunting when so many people say a book is good. Hopefully we'll both like A Thousand Splendid Suns when we get to it.

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  35. Happy Belated Birthday Wendy! I love how your husband and Mouse got your gift. That is just too cute. Wishing all the best for your kitty. Enjoyed reading your list of books bought and still unread... let me tell you, I have tons and tons of those! haha...

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    1. Iliana - Thank you for the birthday wishes! :-) My husband and daughter did well this birthday. As if they don't every birthday. LOL They always make it special.

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  36. Oh, I love that Mouse wanted to get you a real book!

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  37. Garden Spells and to a lesser degree The Uncommon Reader are all time faves and super quick reads. Glad that Parker is on the mend and that you were able to have a fantastic mini-vacation :)

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    1. Stacy - I am relieved Parker is doing better. We were so worried about him for awhile there, especially since he's getting up there in years.

      I am looking forward to reading Garden Spells and The Uncommon Reader. I've heard such great things about both, and it's nice to know they are among your favorites. :-)

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