Sunday Bookends: big house news, books finished, books to start

 

I finished two books this week. One was a middle school-aged book and the other was an adult book (not that kind of adult book!). The adult book was a library book, the first I’ve actually read in probably 10 years, if not more. Normally I borrow books or read them on Kindle.

The middle school book, The Misadventured Summer of Tumbleweed Thompson by Glenn McCarty was one my son and I read together for his homeschool English. It was a fun book, full of adventure and perfect for every age, but especially 5th to 7th-grade boys.

Tumbleweed Thompson

I helped my son write a book report about it and realized it really is not easy to write a book without giving away the entire plot. Of course, I realize this when I mention books on the blog, as well. I decided I’d share part of my son’s book report to let my readers know what it was all about and why he said he felt sad when he realized he had reached the end of it.

The Misadventured Summer of Tumbleweed Thompson (or M.S.T.T.), a book made for kids about the Wild West, was written by Glenn McCarty and is his second book. This book follows Eugene Appleton and the son of a shady businessman Tumbleweed Thompson. They go adventuring, doing kooky stuff like being tricked into looking for a fake treasure to getting kidnapped.

The story starts when Eugene Appleton was walking in Rattlesnake Junction when he saw Tumbleweed and his dad “performing. After a scandal involving a misunderstanding about what was actually in Mr. Thompson’s tonic, they became friends, despite the fact the tonic worked as a laxative. Eugene, Tumbleweed, and Charlotte (the love interest) go on crazy adventures, but it gets serious. While they are looking in a widow’s old house, they found out robbers were living there with plans to rob a train. The rest of the book is them trying to stop the robbers.

Eugene, Charlotte and Tumbleweed are the main characters of this story. Eugene is smart, brave, and trusts people too much. Tumbleweed is dumb, brave and lies a lot. Charlotte is smart, brave, and a love interest of Eugene and Tumbleweed, who sometimes compete for her attention. Together they try to stop a band of robbers named the No Shave Gang. It’s probably important to say everything is told through the eyes of Eugene.

Well, in conclusion, this book has everything a children’s book should have. It has adventure, interesting characters, and slapstick comedy. I love how three dimensional some of the characters are, take for instance Widow Springfield the local widow whose husband got in trouble with a local gang. The plots and the great description of the locations are on point and make you feel like your really there. If you like stories that make you think this is the book for you. Even if you don’t like thinking, there’s a lot of action.

I also finished Falling Home by Karen White.

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The book was well written but was fairly melodramatic and cliche. Since I like books that are melodramatic and cliche, that didn’t make me hate the book but I did find myself rolling my eyes a few times. (Let me clarify that the books I write are also melodramatic and cliche and sometimes I even roll my eyes at my own writing, so this isn’t a negative review 😉 ). I ended up skimming through some of the chapters toward the end because the subject dealt with a very real fear of mine and I couldn’t handle reading about it. White did such a good job of bringing out the emotion of the situation I could immediately see myself in a similar situation. She’s a wonderful writer, but during those chapters, I almost wish she hadn’t been and I could have had an excuse to abandon the novel. I read all the way to the end, even though I had figured out both plot twists well toward the beginning of the novel and I was squirming reading the one plot twist because of the aforementioned personal trigger.

Up on the reading block this week is a book recommended by Erin at Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs: Love Begins at Willow Tree Hall by Alison Sherlock. I’ve started it and so far I’m really enjoying it. It’s a nice light read, which I need right now. The description, according to Goodreads:

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A feel-good love story in a gorgeous country village, perfect for fans of Milly Johnson and Heidi Swain.
Previously published as A House To Mend a Broken Heart.

Willow Tree Hall has been the proud ancestral home of the Cranley family for centuries. But now the house is falling apart, and the elderly Earl is growing too frail to manage it himself.

Annie Rogers is looking for a job that will allow her to disappear. The role of live-in housekeeper to Arthur, Earl of Cranley, and his reluctant heir, Sam Harris, is just perfect. How hard can it be to run a household? But with no qualifications, and Sam criticising her at every turn, Annie suddenly finds herself completely out of her depth.

But it turns out that Sam and Annie have more in common than they think. Both of them are running from their past. And both of them have fallen under the spell of Sam’s beautiful, once-grand home. Maybe, just maybe, together they can save Willow Tree Hall … and bring each other back to life at the same time.

As for what I watched recently, not a lot. I’ve been reading and writing more than watching. I did watch a movie by myself on the recommendation of my brother: About Time, starring Domnhall Gleeson (what a name) and Rachel McAdams. If you don’t recognize Domnhall’s name you might recognize him from the newer Star Wars movies as General Hux:

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And if you have children, you might recognize him as Thomas McGregor from the latest adaption of Peter Rabbit:

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Or from the Harry Potter as Ron Weasley’s brother Bill (which I added here after my brother reminded me.):

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After I saw him in Peter Rabbit, I recognized him in Star Wars I said “Hey! It’s that guy!” Since I don’t know how to pronounce the man’s name, I will most likely say “Hey! It’s that guy!” And honestly, I’ve been saying that a lot lately since he’s been in a lot of movies we have watched recently. When my brother mentioned About Time, I looked it up and said “Hey! It’s that guy!”

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Anyhow, the movie was very good (rated R for language, just an FYI if you sit down to watch with the family). The R rating surprised me in some ways because the movie really was pretty clean. I think a couple uses of the f-word were what gave it the R rating. The basic premise is that the main character learns that the male members of his family can go back in time to certain points in their lives to change what happened without changing the timeline drastically, as long as they don’t go back before a child or person is born, which can pretty much mess everything up.

The theme was love in all forms – between couples and family, but especially love between a son and father. Yes, I cried. I cried a lot. I think I damaged a muscle in my cheek from crying toward the end because for the rest of the day a muscle along my cheek and temple jumped.

I will probably be burying myself in books the next few weeks while we deal with the stress of selling and buying a house and moving. Last week someone made an offer on the house and we accepted and hope to have it sold by the beginning of April. We also hope to be able to move into our new house around the same time, if all goes as planned.

Last week on the blog, I shared photos from our winter; wrote about my need to trust in God even when I don’t feel he’s near; and I shared Chapter 20 and Chapter 21of my novel in progress, A New Beginning.

Up on the blog this week will be a post sharing some of my favorite blog posts from the last month and two more chapters of A New Beginning and a post about nightmares in children and adults.

How about you? What are you reading or watching or simply doing this week? Feel free to share in the comments.


This post is part of Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon and Caffeinated Reviewer’s Sunday Post. 

28 comments

  1. That was a great book report that your son wrote! It’s not easy helping with the way those essays turn out. And congratulations on the buying and the selling! I will pray for you to have the strength to get through it all, and for all the details to fall into place. Another of my friends with chronic pain is in the moving process right now, so I’m praying for both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on the house sale!! Praying everything goes through with no issues and the packing goes smoothly! (One can pray anyways 😉 ) I’m really excited that you were able to get an offer on the house so quickly. I can just imagine all the stress……God Bless!

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    1. We are trying not to get too excited, but my husband has started packing. With no friends right now we aren’t sure how we will get it all moved but we are looking at our options now. We have a couple friends, but I mean, no male friends who can help move and the other friends are too far away. I’m sure it will work out. We were surprised with the quick offer so hope it all pans out!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. About Time sounds pretty good. I’m a sucker for time travel and romance. Funny thing about those Domnhall Gleeson pics: I’m mildly face blind, so Hux and Thomas McGregor look like completely different people to me and it’s all about the hair color!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on selling/buying a house but ughh on the packing.
    I think About Time is in my Netflix queue but I haven’t go to it yet.
    Please tell your son thank you for sharing his review. My son and daughter have written at least one review for my blog over the years.

    Wishing you a great reading week

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your son wrote an excellent report on the book. It’s quite tricky to tell enough about the plot to get others interested in reading it, without revealing too much. Well done. Maybe he needs to start his own book blog….

    We’ve lived in the same house now since our son was a few months old, and now he’s grown with kids of his own, and I never want to move again. Just thinking about toting all the books from place to place is enough to stop me from even thinking about it. Good luck with selling and buying and moving.

    Hope you love Willow Tree Hall and that is is perfect for this busy time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought he did a good job too. I helped him tighten things up a little but he did well with the directions I gave him to not give all of the plot away when reviewing a book. He wasn’t too happy I shared it on my blog, but when I assured him I don’t have a lot of readers, he felt better. “See, honey, this is one of those times it is good that mommy isn’t popular.” Hahaha!

      yeah, we are not looking forward to all the moving part of moving at all. My husband just packed up our DVDs and we aren’t even officially moving for another month. Sigh. It’s going to be a long process.

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  6. He also was Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. 🙂 And Kim had the same thought: that guy. He’s been everywhere recently. As for the movie, I think it’s much better than the director’s other movie, Love Actually. This one has more heart, I think, and actually is about love, see what I did there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m actually only kidding. I’ve seen the first movie and read the first book years ago. I do like Harry Potter. I forgot the emoticons. Jonathan has also watched the first three movies and will watch the fourth whenever he finally finishes the book! Our rule is that he has to read the books before he can watch the movies.

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  7. Congrats on your house!! Yay!!

    I am also glad you are enjoying Love Begins at Willow Tree Hall – it is just such a sweet little story. 🙂 Plus I love all the house reno stuff. Lol. And I love Karen White, but then again I also love melodramatic and cliche. I haven’t read that one yet though. I had to put down a Robyn Carr book recently though, because it also addressed actual fears of mine lol and I couldn’t go on. I don’t like confronting my anxiety in books that I am hoping to escape too. 🙂

    Your son’s book report makes me want to read the book! All that talk of adventure captured my attention!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen White actually said in the back of the book this was her first book that they rewrote and rereleased and she hoped her other books were less melodramatic now so I will have to try another one and see what I think. Don’t get me wrong, I love her writing and how she tells a story but I knew what was going to happen pretty fast — still not a bad thing because I do that with a lot of books and still like them.

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