Sappy romances and dramatic stories are what I’ve been reading and watching lately

Sometimes I don’t like to write about what I am reading or have read because I figure other people are reading deeper, more meaningful books, but then I decided that while some people are reading deeper, more meaningful books, the majority of us are all probably just reading garbage literature.

If you don’t know me yet then you don’t know I joke a lot and that the previous sentence is a joke, for the most part. Though, seriously, most of what we read is crap, right? Don’t lie. You know it is. And the rest of what we read is actually very, very good. What matters is that we like what we read even if someone else thinks it is crap. That’s what I tell myself anyhow.

So in the last couple of months, I’ve been a bit slow on reading, but I have managed to finish a couple of books and by a couple, I mean exactly two.

516Z4BFJYjLFirst to be finished was a book by the woman called the queen of Christian fiction, Karen Kingsbury, who is a new author for me. I wish I had had some warning on what a gut-wrencher Where Yesterday Lives was going to be. It was the first book in a collection of three books that Amazon offered as a deal a couple of months ago. I have a children’s book by Kingsbury and had seen a presentation by her on Youtube so I thought, “why not? Let’s give it a try.”

Good grief – talk about drama, drama, and more drama through the whole book. It was a poignant and emotional story and very well written, don’t get me wrong, but my diaphragm got a good work out throughout it. I wept through half the book and flat out ugly cried at least three times. It doesn’t give away too much to say the story is about a broken family who must come together for the funeral of their patriarch resulting in a great deal of dysfunctional drama unfolds.

I would definitely recommend it, but prepare yourself with a box of tissues. From what I understand, most of Kingsbury’s books are heartwrenching and dramatic. I sampled another one and was immediately pulled into it and hope it comes on sale before I buy it (yes, I’m cheap like that). Kingsbury’s books are definitely Christian, but not simple or cheesy or even super preachy. I would have to say, actually, they are a bit twisted and depressing at times.

I did manage to finish another book in between the Kingsbury book and working on my own: The fifth book in The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous books but I’m still carrying along with my plan to read through the series in order. I think she wrote some 37 books in this series so we will see how far I get, but for now, I enjoy the light mysteries before bed.

51dCT+7VgOL._SY346_Another series I enjoy before bed is the James Herriot books. They are usually light and don’t cause me to lay awake thinking too much after I turn off the Kindle. I’m currently reading the second of Herriot’s books (at least in the American version of the series), All Things Bright and Beautiful, and I like how each chapter is essentially broke into individual short stories, though the stories still tie together the whole book. I read a chapter or two at a time and it’s like having bit size treats and when I finish the entire book I feel a tinge of sadness. Luckily he wrote a series of them. Most people probably know that Herriot’s books are primarily about his adventures as a rural vet in England before, during and after World War II. Herriot’s real name, as I have mentioned here before was Alfred Wight.

Other books I’ve started since the beginning of June include:

In This Mountain, Book Six in the Mitford Series by Jan Karon.


Hayom Haba: The Next Day by James Sutton (independently published, it tells the story of the disciples the day after Jesus is crucified.)41r7Opff8uL

A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers


And one book I started that I can’t seem to finish: “A Cottage By the Sea”  by Debbie Macomber

I tried to like Debbie Macomber I really did, but no matter what I could not seem to get into her books. It could just be the current mood I’m in. I’ll probably try her again someday because I absolutely love her as a person. My mom said the book I put in our Kindle account for us was “okay”, so at least she got some enjoyment out of it.

As for what I’ve been up to, other than reading, I’ve been writing a couple of stories. You can follow the one-story HERE and I haven’t finished the other one yet, but I have published a sample on my blog this week.

On the blog for the past few weeks I’ve been rambling about writing and how I, and I’m sure others, are sick of trying to make everyone happyhow I, and I’m sure others, are sick of trying to make everyone happy and how the anxiety I deal with isn’t only mental,but also caused by physical reasons.

As for what I’ve been watching, I seem to be on a Miss Marple binge. It’s the original BBC Miss Marple with Joan Haskins, who I love as Miss Marple, though I haven’t read any of the books about her or seen other Miss Marple.  Her attitude and the subtle way she tells people they are full of “tosh”, so to speak, is hilarious. I also love how her eyes light up when she walks in on a crime or she thinks she can wiggle her way into an investigation. During the first episode of the second season, she walks in on a man who’s head has been beat in and literally claps her hand together like “Oh, yeah, I’m getting in on this one, baby.” Of course, she is a bit like Jessica Fletcher – you know – the angel of death. Everywhere the woman goes at least one person, and usually at least three, die. If I were her relatives, I would stop inviting her over.


All of the episodes are at least two episodes, some of them are three. British mysteries are so much different than American ones. They really take their time to develop characters and pull you into the story. I would think a lot of Americans would be too impatient to wait for the story and mystery to develop and would instead turn it off for something more fast-paced, like one of the 5,000 spin-offs of CSI. The only downside to watching so much British television is that I’m beginning to talk to my children and even write in a British accent. For example, in the above sentence I almost wrote “I would imagine a lot of Americans. . .” and when I typed it I said it in Miss Marple’s voice. Yes, actually, I do think I need a wee bit of a British mystery break.

So what have you been reading or watching lately? Let me know in the comments or link your post about what you’ve been reading, or yours for this week’s Sunday Salon in the comments for me. If you want to read what more people are reading and have been up to, check out Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon.

A little chaos in my weekly review

A little chaos reigned for me a few weeks when I watched the movie “A Little Chaos” on Netflix. The basic plot is that Kate Winselt is a designer or a builder or a large breasted woman they needed to look forlorn and longingly at the guy who was also a gardener or a designer or whatever for the king. She is hired to design a fancy concert hall/garden for King Louise VIII (Alan Rickman) and few seemed phased she’s a woman building for the king in 1800 whatever. She’s a woman with tragedy in her past and it takes the entire movie to figure out what her tragedy is.

I believe all the characters are supposed to be French but only the gardener and a couple other characters have actual French accents. The rest have British accents. Not sure what that was about. It sort of reminded me of Robin Hood when Kevin Costner kept losing his British accent and slipping back into Brooklyn or something.

I spent most of the movie trying to figure out why Kate seemed the only woman who wore a dress that pushed her breasts up and almost out completely.

I guess the French were (and are?) an open group but I was really getting confused over who was sleeping with whom as well.

And is it bad that every time I saw Alan Rickman all I could think was “why does the king look like Captain Hook?”

All in all, there was still something charming about the movie. The scenery and sets were beautiful, the costumes were breathtaking, the plot fairly predictable.

Would I watch it again? Not unless I needed another good giggle.

Also in the movie department, I found myself completely delighted with Tea with the Dames on Amazon. This was one my brother mentioned to me when we were talking about another movie. The Dames are Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins. Once a year they meet in the country and chat and “talk shop” so to speak. The movie is a documentary and features the women chatting about their careers, what it meant to become a “dame” and their time as actresses on the stage.

In case your curious, here is a trailer to give you an idea what it’s about:

In the book realm, I am finishing up All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott and A New Song by Jan Karon.

It was nice of my brother to ruin Herriott’s books for me a bit when he told me that wasn’t his real name. After looking up the reason why James Alfred Wight used a pen name, I understood better and accepted that it wasn’t appropriate for veterinarians at the time to promote themselves so he felt it was better not to use his real name. He also changed the names of those in the books, to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent. The fact James Herriott isn’t his real name doesn’t take away from the witty and touching stories in the book for me like I thought it might. I have learned not to talk to my brother about books I’m reading if he has already read them. Who knows what else he will feel compelled to tell me – maybe the endings of one or two.

I’ve been reading All Creatures Great and Small on my Kindle, which is connected to the Kindle my mom uses. She’s on my account and we share Kinde Unlimited. Normally we are reading different books at different times but Mom started All Creatures Great and Small after me and blew through it before I was done. I almost attempted a competition when my Kindle would notify me that another device registered in my name had made it to a page further than I had, but then I remembered my mom is retired I am a mom with two young children, a needy dog, a pushy cat and a newspaper editor husband who asks me to proof his weekly columns. I finally gave it up and let her blow right past me and finish the book before me, even though I had been reading it for a month longer than her. That’s how slow of a reader I am.

A New Song is a slight departure from Karon’s other books in the series because the story takes place outside of Mitford, N.C., which is where most of Karon’s other books about Father Tim Kavanaugh take place. In case you’ve never read the books, the main character is Father Tim, an Episcopalian priest who lives in the small town of Mitford. The books are about his adventures and how they relate to the quirky, fun, and sweet characters in the town. If you’re looking for something light and not very deep then Karon’s books are for you.

Next up on my book list to read or finish is The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, All Things Bright and  Beautiful (after I finish All Creatures Great and Small) by James Herriott and On Writing by Stephen King.

As for what I’ve been writing on my blog lately: here are some links to my recent posts:

When You Finally Stop Waiting for the Calls to Come

A New Beginning For A Small Pennsylvania Farm

And the fifth part in my fiction story “A Story to Tell”

So what are all of you reading or watching or even writing ? Feel free to share here or find out what others are reading by visiting Readerbuzz’s weekly wrap up and Sunday Salon feature on her blog.