May 23 Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads Featuring Complicated Romantic Relationships

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I know it seems like all I post are memes lately, I swear I have reviews coming up soon too. This week’s TTT is a Summer Reads Freebie. I really enjoy reading outside during the summer months and my favorite beach reads are ones that hook me from the start. During the summer especially with the nice weather beckoning, there are other things that will grab my attention if the book I’m reading isn’t a real page turner.

What is better than a complicated love story? Love is never easy so it seems more realistic when its that way in books too. It feels like the characters earn their relationships in a way, if they have to struggle and fight to stay together against the odds.

Here is my list of page turners and my hot dog legs from last summer by the lake….

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Top Ten Beach Reads Featuring Complicated Romantic Relationships

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1.  Letters to the Lost by Iona Gray

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five…He promised to love her forever. Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness….

Letters to the Lost became a favorite when I read it. It is both historical and contemporary romance with dual story lines. Keywords in the blurb “all the odds are stacked against them…” So good.

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Top Ten Tuesday April 11: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read

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Top Ten Tuesday April 11: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read

This weeks topic was harder than I thought it would be. As for myself, unique books are ones that are hard to forget.
Here’s my list…

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1. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band
Motley Crue is an American hard rock band that formed in 1982. In The Dirt each of the four band members tells his story from childhood through their time with the band. This book was like a roller coaster ride, wild. There was sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, but you also get to see another side of the group, the guys behind all the glam and fame. Very entertaining.

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2. Flowers in the Attic  by V.C. Andrews
I don’t know what it is about Flowers in the Attic. It is just one of those books that is almost awesomely bad, in the best way. The flowery writing, the taboo twist to the story-line, the drama….it’s all juicy.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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source: personal copy
title: The Girl on the Train
author: Paula Hawkins (twitter)
pages: 323
genre: mystery/psychological thriller
published: 2015
first line: There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.
rated: 1blustar1blustar1blustar1blustar
4 out of 5 stars

blurb:
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

my thoughts:
Today is the perfect day to sit at my computer and write up a post about my latest read. The snow is falling outside as Blizzard 2017 is in effect. I hope those in its path are staying safe and warm. Having a snow day, I’m home with my family, the crock-pot is on and there’s something to be said about staying cozy inside in your pajamas during the snow fall.

Onto my review….
Alternately narrated by three characters, Rachel, Megan and Anna, The Girl on the Train had me wondering from page one. Rachel is a thirty something alcoholic divorcee who is “the girl on the train”. Having lost her job a few months ago because of her drinking problem, she continues to take the train daily pretending she is going to work so that her roommate does not find out. She is somewhat obsessed with her ex-husband Tom who left her for another woman, Anna.

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200 Fun Things to Crochet

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source: free copy courtesy of St. Martin’s Press
title: 200 Fun Things to Crochet: Decorative Flowers, Leaves, Bugs, Butterflies, and More!
published: St. Martin’s Griffin (February 7, 2017)
genre: crochet/crafting
rated: 5 out of 5
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blurb:
If you ever find yourself wondering what to crochet next, then just open this book, and you’re guaranteed to find the answer. 200 Fun Things to Crochet is an irresistible collection of cute little crochet projects for all levels of ability. Containing a mix of beautiful projects inspired by nature―crochet flowers, birds, bugs, leaves, and even sea creatures―as well as a collection of charming floral squares, you’ll want to pick up your hook, sort through your yarn stash, and get started right away.

The 200 projects are quick to make, use hardly any yarn, and are perfect as stylish embellishments, to give away as a gift or to keep for yourself!
200 Fun Things to Crochet combines the work of four bestselling designers:

LESLEY STANFIELD is the author of 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet and 75 Birds, Butterflies, & Little Beasts to Knit & Crochet.

BETTY BARNDEN is the author of 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet.

JESSICA POLKA is the author of 75 Seashells, Fish, Coral & Colorful Marine Life to Knit & Crochet.

KRISTIN NICHOLAS is the author of 50 Sunflowers to Knit, Crochet & Felt.

my thoughts:
Happy Saturday everyone. Spring is in the air here with unseasonably warm weather this past week. Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on a crochet pattern book that has recently become a favorite.
200 Fun Things to Crochet: Decorative Flowers, Leaves, Bugs, Butterflies, and More! has a nice variety of crochet patterns all inspired by nature. The patterns are divided into sections for flowers, plants, sea life, critters and blocks. The section titled “Flower Garden” has patterns for a variety of pretty flowers like Chrysanthemum, Narcissus, Marigold and Forget-Me-Not. There is also a special section of various beautiful Sunflower patterns.

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Mandalas to Crochet: 30 Great Patterns by Haafner Linssen

msource: free copy courtesy of St. Martin’s Griffin
title: Mandalas to Crochet: 30 Great Patterns
designer: Haafner Linssen
published: St. Martin’s Griffin (March 15, 2016)
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Crocheted mandalas are having a moment! And it’s no wonder the lovely mandala is in vogue: one evening is often enough to begin and finish something eye-catching. Many crocheters make mandalas as a meditative activity, while others love them simply for the wonderful opportunities they offer for mixing colors and stitch textures. A new take on traditional shapes, like granny squares or hexagons, these attractive crocheted circles are causing a real buzz in the crochet community.

Included are complete written and charted directions for a variety of types of circular designs, plus a range of creative techniques and ideas to make yours stand out from the crowd. With full patterns and inspiring photos, a review of crochet techniques, a discussion of materials, colors, finishing techniques, and lots of project ideas including bags, shawls, blankets, and pillows, this book guarantees many hours of happy mandala-making.

my thoughts:
Mandalas to Crochet: 30 Great Patterns by Haafner Linssen has become an instant favorite. This one has thirty gorgeous mandala patterns, crisp photos, clear instructions and really is a visual delight.

Designer Haafner Linssen says “In Hinduism and Buddhism, mandalas have a ritual role, representing Buddha or even the universe. The different parts of such a mandala have a symbolic meaning. For instance, the outer circle often symbolizes wisdom in Buddhism”

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