Monday, June 06, 2016

Where Is Your Bookmark? (06/07/2016)

Today I am featuring the book I hope to begin reading shortly, The Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan. I enjoyed the author's book The Curiosity, which had been a bit outside my comfort zone. This one is more up my alley, and one I have been looking forward to reading for awhile now.

Summary from Goodreads: 
Deborah Birch is a seasoned hospice nurse whose daily work requires courage and compassion. But her skills and experience are tested in new and dramatic ways when her easygoing husband, Michael, returns from his third deployment to Iraq haunted by nightmares, anxiety, and rage. She is determined to help him heal, and to restore the tender, loving marriage they once had.  
At the same time, Deborah's primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and expert in the Pacific Theater of World War II whose career ended in academic scandal. Alone in the world, the embittered professor is dying. As Barclay begrudgingly comes to trust Deborah, he tells her stories from that long-ago war, which help her find a way to help her husband battle his demons.  
Told with piercing empathy and heartbreaking realism, The Hummingbird is a masterful story of loving commitment, service to country, and absolution through wisdom and forgiveness.

Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea 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. It is also where I share my first impressions about the book I am sharing.

All I knew at the beginning was that the first two nurses assigned to the professor had no lasted twelve days, and now it was my turn.
When I drove to Central Office that morning to collect his medical records and case-management plan, I also checked the staffing file to see who had bailed on the old guy so quickly. Or maybe had had bailed on them.

Every Tuesday, Jenn from Books And A Beat hosts Teaser Tuesdays at which time participants grab their current read, open to a random page, and share two (2) "teaser" sentences from that page while avoiding any spoilers.


Random Teaser from The Hummingbird :
I have seen people tell patients to keep fighting—typically sons speaking to fathers—when clearly all the exhausted patriarch wants to do is rest. I bide my time, then point out how hard the patient has fought already, and ask them to consider giving him permission to go. Sometimes the people listen, and the patient dies at peace. Sometimes they don’t listen, and the patient dies anyway. Nature will have her way.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

From the opening paragraphs, I get the distinct impression that the elderly gentleman in the novel is difficult to work with. 

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 is Ten Reasons I Love X -- could be a certain book, character, author, your indie bookstore, a fandom, a tv show, reading, a hobby, a genre. I decided to list the Top Five Reasons I Love Reading Mysteries and Fantasy Novels, two of my very favorite genres. Great characters, good writing, and an entertaining story are just a part of the draw.

Reasons I love Mysteries:

Mysteries come in all shapes and sizes and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite sub-genre. It's a genre I can turn to when I need a laugh, something thought provoking, want something dark and gritty, romantic and suspenseful, or just want something on the light side.

1. Mysteries are my best friend when I need distraction from my over-worked mind. I find it easy to get caught up in the characters lives and carried away by the story. So much so, I forget my own troubles or worries for awhile.

2. Solving a puzzle. I love puzzles and my mind just naturally begins to work out the puzzles a mystery offers as I read--even without my trying. I often guess the whodunit and sometimes the why of the crime before the end, but there's something to be said for being right--or proven wrong.

3. The psychology of it - understanding human behavior, motive, and experiencing how someone else copes, struggles with, and hopefully overcomes adversity. Whether the villain or the hero, I like  to see complexity and depth in the characters whose lives I become a part of for a short while. Sometimes it also offers a chance for self-reflection, makes me question my own beliefs and ideas. Who says mysteries cannot be thought provoking?

4. It's a thrill ride! Who doesn't like an adrenaline rush now and then? Whether it is the thrill of the chase or the thrill of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.

5. Seeing justice served. Often, as a reader, I find myself on the side of the good guy, wanting to see right overcome wrong. There's something very satisfying in seeing the villains get what's coming to them.

Reasons I love Fantasy:

Like with mysteries, I like a variety of fantasy novels, although I probably favor urban fantasy. I also enjoy fairy tales and high fantasy, epic fantasy, dark fantasy, steampunk, sword and sorcery fantasy, must to name a few. 

1. The imagination is such a wonderful thing. Fantasy pushes the boundaries by taking us outside of the reality we know. Anything can happen--and often does.

2. The adventure of it. Diving into the pages of a fantasy novel, I often get to travel through unknown lands and meet a myriad of characters--both human and non-human. Flying on a dragon or casting a spell. Dancing with faeries or cuddling up with a gargoyle.

3. Magic - My husband is always quick to remind me that fantasy doesn't have to include magic. There are many fantasy novels that don't involve any at all. But frankly, magic is a must for me--well, maybe just strongly preferred. Wizards and witches. Supernatural beings. Paranormal abilities. There's just something about magic that intrigues me and sparks my imagination.

4. Escape. I am always amazed at how fully and completely I can become engrossed in a fantasy novel, blocking out everything going on around me other than what is happening in the book. Even when away from the book, I often feel the spell of fantasy novel lingering around me.

5. Fantasy is a playground for exploring morality. Whether it is good versus evil or shades of gray. Sometimes fantasy, as out there as it may seem, is a closer reflection of life than might appear on the surface. I like the reality of it as well as the fantastical elements.

Do you have a favorite genre? What about that genre draws you to it?


© 2016, 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.

58 comments:

  1. This sounds like the kind of story I enjoy. I like the idea that something can be learned from the older man.
    My Tuesday post features LA VIE EN ROSE

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    1. Sandra - Me too. I think his story will prove to be quite interesting in this one. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. Mysteries and fantasy are two of my favorites as well. Great reasons! I especially love the imagination and escapism of fantasy as well, and yes the morality, For some reason I don't mind seeing that explored in a fantasy, whereas I might not read a contemporary with a similar theme. Must be the fantastical elements just add something! :)

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    1. Greg - I am sure I left something out on both lists. :-) I think too many people dismiss the value of fantasy because it can be "so out there", but I think it can be very relevant to what is going on in the world today.

      Thank you for visiting!

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  3. Both the intro and the blurb make this sound like my kind of novel! Hope you're enjoying it... thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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    1. JoAnn - I just started reading it today, and so far I am enjoying it. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  4. I love your reasons for loving both mysteries and fantasy--mine are so similar. Both mysteries and fantasy can help us confront real life problems from a satisfying distance, while allowing us to escape at the same time!

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    1. Jenclair - You put it much better than I did. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Love the sound of this one Wendy - would read more.

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    1. Diane - I hope to get more into it during my lunch break today. I think it sounds good too!

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  6. I love mysteries and fantasy too!!! :D Those are really awesome reasons!

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    1. Eustacia - It was hard to put into words everything I like about the two. There are so many reasons! Thank you for visiting!

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  7. I've seen The Hummingbird featured on a few blogs now and must say I like the sound of it. Not enough to add it to my wish list but certainly enough that I'll be sure to keep a look out for it at the library.

    Just finished Game Of Thrones which I enjoyed more than I thought I would, I'm about to start Philippa Gregory's The Taming Of The Queen.

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    1. Tracy - I need to keep reminding myself I can use the library for most of the titles I might want to read. It's too easy to buy them. I'm doing much better though. :-)

      I need to get back to the Game of Thrones series. I really liked the first book.

      Thank you for dropping by!

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  8. Yes, I'd keep reading. This sounds like it would be a wonderful movie too.

    My TT from Chasing Fireflies

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    1. Laura - I does sound like it would make a good movie, doesn't it? I finally just started it and am hopeful I will like it. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  9. I love the teaser of Hummingbird. I'm intrigued.

    Top 5 reasons for enjoying Mysteries, absolutely, especially the solving puzzles and psychology part. Great post.

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    1. Marce - I'm intrigued too. I can't wait to dive further into The Hummingbird.

      I'm a sucker for a puzzle. :-) Thank you for dropping by!

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  10. I'd keep reading too. I love mysteries as well but don't read them much these days. I'm reading The Paris Wife right now - everyone else has loved it but it hasn't clicked with me yet.

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    1. Kathy - I hope The Paris Wife gets better for you. I wasn't able to finish it, I'm afraid. So, if you end up not caring for it--you won't be alone!

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  11. I especially like your last reason for enjoying fantasy- for me, when books don't do this, they fall rather flat. Mysteries on the other hand, I can't quite get into them. I never manage to figure anything out before it's all revealed at the end, and then I feel stupid. Is it a standard the there's enough clues along the way for the reader to solve it theirself? or do mysteries often obscure what's really going on, so no way will you see it coming.

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    1. Jeane - You are anything but stupid. I'm not sure there is a standard per say--some authors leave clues along the way, others don't. Often you'll find red herrings, but not always. Quite a few readers of mysteries will tell you they don't like to guess who the culprit is--they like the surprise. I can't shut my brain off that way, I'm afraid. I think a lot of it, for me, has to do with the fact that I read a lot of crime fiction and the other is because of the work I do--and have done for the past 19 years.

      Thank you for visiting!

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  12. I would definitely keep reading. This sounds like an interesting book. Hope you enjoy it!

    Here's my Teaser Tuesday post for this week.

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    1. Majanka - So far I am liking it. I hope to have time to read a little more over my lunch break. And then I will probably be mad I don't have a longer lunch. :-) Thanks for commenting!

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  13. I really like this intro. I am putting this one on my list of TBR. It growing quickly this morning!

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    1. Judy - I hope you like it if you read it. I added quite a few to my wish list from this week's openings too. :-) Thanks for visiting!

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  14. I've been curious about The Hummingbird. Think I might even have a copy buried in my stacks. Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Catherine - I've wanted to read this one for awhile. I liked his other book, and this one appeals to me even more. Thanks for visiting!

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  15. The first paragraph was okay. What I really like is your Teaser. It's an interesting bit of philosophy.

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    1. Margot - The opening is pretty standard. I like the teaser too. :-) Thanks for visiting!

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  16. This does sound like an interesting story. I hope you enjoy it. My teaser this week comes from Death on the Sapphire by R. J. Koreto. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - So far so good, but it's still early. Hopefully I will continue to like it. :-) Thanks for visiting!

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  17. I love mysteries and fantasy too! I like the thrill and suspense of mysteries and escapism and imaginations for fantasy. I don't think I've a genre I don't like though I've to confess I need to read more nonfiction. ;-)

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    1. Melody - They each bring something unique to the table, I think. There are genres or book types I don't read often, but I always hesitate to say I don't read one or the other because I so often can find something I like in any given book type. Thanks for visiting!

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  18. The cover is so tranquil but the excerpt isn't. I'd keep reading for a while to get a better feel. Enjoy!

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    1. Heather - Yes, the cover looks so calm and yet the book is so full of turmoil. I am enjoying it so far. Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. I am captivated by the premise and excerpts....I want to know more. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “THE GIRLS”

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I am really drawn to this one too. I am eager to get back to it. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

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  20. I admire people who can read mysteries, but, to be honest, I can never figure them out!

    I'd make a lousy police officer.

    Here's my Top Ten Tuesday: I Love Authors.

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    1. Deb - You are far from alone. I think it's much easier for people who read a lot of mysteries to figure them out before the end. And not everyone likes to know ahead of time--they'd rather be surprised.

      Thanks for visiting!

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  21. I love fantasy and mysteries, too. I'd add science fiction and historical adventures as well... Horror is the one genre I can't manage, though I don't read enough non-fiction either. My TT this week is a bit of a genre mash-up...

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    1. Sarah - Add history in the mix and I'm there! I'm beginning to explore science fiction more. Most of my experience with it is Douglas Adams and Robert Heinlein. I really like the genre, but just haven't read much of it. Yet. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  22. Fantasy is my favourite genre, but I do also enjoy a good mystery every now and then, I love seeing if I can work the mystery out and being proved right or totally wrong!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/top-ten-tuesday-60/

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    1. Jo - Me too! It's rare that I'm surprised when I read a mystery any more and so that's always exciting when I do--but I also like being right. LOL Thanks for dropping by!

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  23. I love how you broke up your top ten list. Mysteries are definitely my go to favorite for the reason you mention but I'm not much of a fantasy reader. I love the reasons you listed and I've been wanting to read more so it's definitely a genre I need to explore more. The Hummingbird sounds like a tough read but one I think I'd enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Katherine - Maybe start with a mystery with fantasy elements. Technically, Heather Graham's Krewe books fall into that category. :-)

      Thanks for your comment, Katherine!

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  24. I would keep reading and I am sure the patient tells a great story of his past.

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    1. Nise' - I am looking forward to finding out more about him. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  25. Fantasy is probably my favourite genre!

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    1. Kelly - I love fantasy. <3 Thanks for commenting!

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  26. My husband is reading this and is enjoying it. I'd keep reading

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    1. Beth - I am glad to hear your husband is enjoying it. I am too--although it's still early. Thanks for dropping in!

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  27. Fantasy and SF are my favorite genres for many of these same reasons. I live a fairly boring life, except when I am reading.

    My TTT list

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    1. Jeanene - My life isn't very exciting either. :-) Reading sure makes it so, doesn't it? Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment!

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  28. Cannot wait to hear what you think of Hummingbird. I had mixed success with Curiosity but I am still eager to check out this new book.

    I love fantasy but don't read enough of it. I am trying to change that this year and actively find fantasy reads. Will be poking your blog for recommendations!

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    1. Athira - I liked Curiosity, but didn't love it. The description of The Hummingbird appealed to me quite a bit though--so I couldn't pass it up. :-)

      Thanks for visiting!

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  29. Nice post. I agree, it is interesting to understand a bit about human behavior and motives while reading. You kind of look at the situation from different angles. Romance is among my fav genres and I like it because it's nice to see two people find each other and then eventually fall in love. Especially that lost then found again romance, where they never forget about each other. I'm currently reading 'The Notebook' and it's a sweet read.
    I also enjoy the historical fiction, because history fascinates me and I love being swept away to another time and place. Especially if the story is based on real people and places.
    Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Naida - Thank you! I am more of a whole picture kind of thinker--at least I try to be before making decisions, so it fits that I like being able to do that in my reading too. I ejoy historical fiction quite a bit too. And romance is a re-discovery for me. I like the lost and found again romances best too. :-) I hope you enjoy The Notebook. It's the only one I've read by Sparks but I still think of it. Such a beautiful story. Thanks for visiting!

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