Book Review-The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

This book was just darn cute. It was written in both Joanna’s and Chips voices, with different fonts for each. It explains how their marriage and business got started. They are very different individuals and I believe that is how it works. Joanna is quiet and subdued where Chip….well…isn’t, but very entertaining. He is a fun but irritating person, who doesn’t have much fear of trying new endeavors. They have done well and keep adding new lines to their story along with a new baby, who came after the book was finished. This book was published in 2016. My son Kevin and I always watched Fixer-Upper together. He loved the use of all the tools and the craziness of Chip. We both loved to watch the different houses and would discuss what we liked the best and were definitely disappointed when they ended the show. Chip and Joanna have now come out with a good possibility of a network and it will be fun to see what they do with it. Kevin and I look forward to it. If you are fans of Chip and Joanna, read the book, it was a fun read.

Book Review-The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin

I am an Amazon Prime member and they send book suggestions. I don’t usually look at them because I know that I would buy one. This time I did and I bought one, of course. I have many  books that I need to read,but oh well….you know.

Many things caught my interest, the title, the color of the book and that is was about a man who owned a book store. I love bookstores, oh the possibilities!
When I started this book I perceived this man as quite old, a widower, living in a musty bookstore, with old titles, and was very cranky. I was very surprised that he was in his mid thirties, and had just lost his wife a couple of years before. I thought it was well written because it gave the reader the sense of just how sad A.J.Fikry was.
Many things started happening to him that started waking him up to life again. He met a new literary rep, though he was mean to her the first time. A two year old was left with a note, in his store for him to take care of, with the mother washing up on shore the next day. With those two things it grew and was fantastic to watch him join the world again. Though you will need to keep a few tissues nearby.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it took me no time to finish it. By the ratings and reviews many felt the same way. I always looked forward to picking it back up.

Book Review-Still Me by Jojo Moyes

This book is the third of a trilogy by Jojo Moyes.

1. Me Before you
2. After You
3. Still Me
These books are about Louisa Clark, who is a care taker of people. She did not start out that way in the beginning of the books, she was a waitress. Her evolution into care taking has been an interesting and emotional ride.
I have reviews on the first two and had to read the third, it did not disappoint.
The setting for this book is in New York City where she came to assist a very wealthy, younger second wife, who was not originally from the United States and married into this status of wealth. It took Louisa a while to figure out what the needs of this woman were. Louisa worked long hours, had some perks and many quirks as with the mega wealthy living the elite life in downtown Manhattan. Eventually events happened that Louisa got let go from this job and surprisingly became employed, with no pay, by the irksome woman down the hall with her dog. Louisa had been treated poorly and unfairly by the wealthy family so we are seething at that, and then started liking the irksome woman where the story takes a interesting turn.
I enjoyed this book, it is purely entertainment and liked the intertwining of the people in Louisa’s life. Will she find happiness again? When she was let go of her job, which brought her to New York from England, would she have enough money to live on? How was she going to do that? I like New York City, lost love, found love etc. I do recommend this trilogy, it is not deep, just an enjoyable easy read. Keep a few tissues nearby.

Book Review: Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser

This book has won many awards; A Pulitzer Prize, one of the 10 best books of 2017 by the New York Times, National Book Critics awards for biography’s and many others. It was not what I was expecting and I disliked it. I call it “The Bash Rose Wilder Lane” book. It is a half of interesting information about Laura Ingalls Wilder with a dash of Almanzo thrown in. Half of the unsavory, mentally unstable, strong willed and bossy Rose. Clearly the author did not like RWL by the language that she used. I don’t see this book as conveying much of the American Dream of Laura Ingalls Wilder as trying to persuade the reader of what a poor money handler and terrible daughter, political rebel Rose was. I finally got to the point that I would skip the long Rose tirades, they wore me out. The author should have just written a biography on Rose Wilder Lane and not disguise it as a book about her mother, truly disappointing.

Katherine Hepburn

In Bar Harbor Maine this summer there was a second hand book store right next to the library. I spent a little time there and discovered some really good finds. This book is one of them- Me…Stories of my Life….by Katherine Hepburn. I find I am drawn to books about real people. After finishing the book I then decided I needed to revisit some of her movies.

So I rented The Philadelphia Story, which on a scale of 1-10 I give a 7. It kept my interest and was humorous and fun. I just didn’t finish it with, Boy that was good!!

The next I watched again was On Golden Pond. In fact we even had the DVD. This is always one of my favorites. More so now since Katherine wrote about the story and characters.

The last two I had watched with my Mom a long time ago, she has been gone 20 years! Guess Who’s coming to dinner with Spencer Tracy. He passed away a few weeks after the taping.

The African Queen which was an exciting movie. The leaches still stand out in my mind. She did so many different movies. She was such a strong women and I give the book a rating of a nine. I learned a lot and it kept my interest.

Book Review: After You by Jojo Moyes

This book was the sequel to “Me Before You” the earlier book review. It picked up Louisa in Paris and her trying to live the life that Will wanted and provided for her to live. She tried to do this but was very sad. Maybe if she would have waited after she knew she was ready to move on it would have worked out better. She really just needed to heal first. She had an accident, reunited with her family, started eventually dating the ambulance driver and had unknown daughter of Will come into her life.

As my friend Theresa tells me, ” I am glad I read the book, but it wasn’t as good as the first”. I feel the same way and from other reviews that is the same sentiment.
So I have now watched the movie “Me Before You” and read the sequel “After You”, I feel I have now gotten it out of my system and can move on.
Don’t hesitate to read the book because it has a good story, just don’t expect the tear jerking feeling that the first book brought on.
Thanks for stopping!

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard

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Approximately a week ago we saw this little lady walking around close to the house. She heard me taking pictures of her so she started to head out.

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But still you could tell that she was looking around for just the right spot.

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As she was walking past the daylilies you can tell by the angle of her head that she spied just the right area.

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A few days later we found a hole strategically built behind the daylilies. I cannot be seen from the front. A couple weeks ago I had pulled those dead leaves out with the plan of throwing them away when I cleaned up the landscaping. She took them and spread the leaves around the hole. I would have loved to watch her do her work. So in this picture she has place one egg.

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The next day I saw her come back and sit in the nest.

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She got up and left and egg number two was there.

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So today I was watching these two. They took a swim along the edge of the pond. Then she would stop and go up into the neighbors yard and she would stop and look around then come back into the pond. I wanted to open the door and say “No, you’re in the wrong yard!” But she eventually realized it and she went out and was fluffing up her feathers while he stood guard on the bank. Then I saw them walking through our yard making their way to the front. But then I saw the neighbors cat out. And she froze and was not moving. I went back to whatever I was doing and did not see them walk away and I don’t have egg number three. I hope she comes back and doesn’t abandon the nest. I am really getting a kick out of watching them. I always feel blessed when animals choose our yard to have their babies.

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This is one of my favorite books growing up. Ping, decides to move her baby ducklings from the park to another spot. They are in the big city and walk along a busy highway and the policeman stops traffic for them and the ducklings get through a very populated city. I hope I get to see the little ducklings following their mom. Do you have any spring babies in your yard? Thanks for stopping!