book · reviews

The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel

I just completed reading my next book. This book was a SLOWWW read. I’m not sure if it was because of the book or because I was reading it at the beginning of the school year or a combination of both, but I felt like it took me forever to finish the book this time.

The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel by Elizabeth J Church begins during WWII when Meridian Wallace is a 17 year old college student studying ornithology at the University of Chicago. There the innocent Meridian meets 2 men who are as opposite as opposite can be. In the end, she falls for Alden, a physics professor. Alden sweeps Meridian off her feet by opening her eyes to the world of words and knowledge.

Meridian is hesitant to give up her schooling, but wants to be with Alden who is now working for the government in Los Alamos, NM. Life in Los Alamos is very different from the world Meridian knows in Chicago , but she find that even in Los Alamos she can follow and learn more about her precious crows.

It is in her studying of her crows that Meridian’s life takes another turn. Here she meets Clay. Clay offers Meridian the type of relationship she no longer has, or actually never had with her husband.

Meridian spends life wishing she has more. Wishing she was more. But, in the end she is who she is, and that can never change.

Read about life in the US changes from the 1940s to the 1970s. Live life with Meridian and think about what choices you would have made in her shoes. Would you give up your dreams for Alden. Would you leave Alden for Clay? Follow Meridian as she negotiates the changing rolls of women in the country.

I did like this book. I mean I finished the whole thing. There was a lot to think about and a lot of incite into how different life was in that time. How much life changed in a few decades and the views of love, life and respect changed over time. I guess it would be a 3.5 out of 5 star book for me. I won’t tell you “run our right now and get this book” but I would tell you that it is a good read. I think you have to go into it looking for an impression of life in that time and you will enjoy the book more.


book · reviews

The Night The Lights Went Out– Book review

What’s better than one book review in a day???? How about two? Click here to see the first one I did today!

I finished the book I was reading upstairs this week too. The Night the Lights Went Out, by Karen White is a contemporary novel. I love the description on the back of the book that says “…. it touches all the bases of a chick-lit thriller…”

This is the story of Merilee who is recently divorced who moves into Sweet Apple, Georgia. There she rents a house on the property of Sugar Prescott, the towns matriarch. Sugar is known to be aloof and a bit odd, but she hits it off with Merilee. Sugar sees a lot of herself in Merilee and begins to open up and share stores with her that she has not shared with anyone.

Merilee’s children are attending a private school, where Merilee meets Heather the queen bee of the community. Heather brings Merilee into her circle and encourages her daughter to befriend Lily, Merilee’s daughter.

As the story progresses, Merilee finds out that a blogger from the town is writing about not only the town and southern sayings, but also about Merilee and her life. She doesn’t know how to feel about this but since she is trying to keep her head above water and deal with all the drama of life.

As you read through the story, you hear more about the drama of Sugar’s life of the past. You read the many blog posts that show a different side of small town drama anddddd the real dramas of a small town. There is so much more to share, but I can’t without telling you too much.

I highly recommend this book. It is a perfect summer read. It is the type of book that keeps you thinking and makes you want to not put down the book. Read and find out what happens The Night the Lights Went Out.

** Product links included, please read my disclosure statement**

book · reviews

Coming to Rosemont- book review

The first book I read on my Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers was Coming to Rosemont: The First Novel in the Rosemont Series, by Barbara Hinske.

Maggie Martin’s husband dies suddenly, but this was just the beginning of the changes in her life. Upon his death Maggie discovers that the life she was living the last few years was not the life she wanted to live. After discovering that her husband was involved in a variety of elicit activities she also discovers that he inherited a house in the serene Mid-Western town of Westbury.

Maggie headed to Westbury to meet with a real estate agent to put the house, known as Rosemont for sale. When Maggie arrives there she discovers more that just a house. She finds home. Maggie then decides to sell her house in CA and move to Westbury.  What she doesn’t know is that this quiet majestic town has a secret or two of its own.

This is a great fast paced novel that is realistic and modern. It is a great story about a strong female who learns so much more about herself and what she is capable of doing. This is also the first book in series, so if you are like me and hate when a book ends… then this is a great book because you can read more in the second book: Weaving the Strands: The Second Novel in the Rosemont Series. I know I will.

**This post contains product links, please read my disclosure statement**

book · reviews

Snowfall at Willow Lake– book review

I just got back from a 2 mile walk in the neighborhood. I needed to go put something in the mailbox, we have central mailboxes not ones at each house, so I decided to take a real walk. I love the fact that I can get a good walk in right in my neighborhood and I don’t even have to walk the same route each time or walk in circles to get a decent distance in.

I could take this walk because spring has finally arrived. It is so nice to have the windows open. We have turned off the heat and don’t need to turn on the A/C yet so that will save on the gas and electric bill… that is always a good thing!

Yesterday while the boys were playing on the PS4 and Richard was building his workbench, which is almost finished, I decided to get my book from upstairs and finish it off. I have been reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban downstairs. I have been enjoying this trip back to Hogwarts that I decided to take. I also like having a book downstairs that I can read. I need something that I can put down at any time. I need something that will hold my attention, but not enrapture me so much that I loose track of time. AND most important, I need a book that has the qualities that I try to pick out in the books the boys read. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught them reading over my shoulder… some adult books are still very much not appropriate for them, and I don’t read smut books.

Anyway,…. I finished reading Snowfall at Willow Lake, by Susan Wiggs. This book is part of a series, but I’ve never read any of the other books in the series, at least I don’t think I have. My mom brought this book to me on her last trip up to PA.

Sophie Bellamy would appear to have everything someone could want in life. She worked in Hague as an international attorney. She dedicated her life to helping others. But, when life took a turn and she found herself in a hostage situation, she realized that the life she was leading was missing one big piece, her children.

Sophie decided then and there to move back to the United States, into the town where her children lived with her ex-husband and his new wife, and her whole family. This transition won’t be easy, and not even close to smooth, but she needs to put her life into a new perspective.

Life decides to throw her one more curve ball when she crashes her car the night she arrives in Avalon. Noah Shepherd, the local veterinarian came to her rescue that night. Read to find out if Sophie can mend her relationship with her son Max and daughter Daisy. How will she adjust to being a grandmother to her grandson Charlie? Can she live in a small town filled with her ex-husband’s family and new wife’s family? What will come about in meeting Noah Shepherd?

I just started reading my next book last night and I’m already enjoying it. Maybe I should take it outside and read it in the sunshine? What are you reading? Where is your favorite place to read? Do you read one book at a time or multiple?

–This link contains affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra if you purchase an item through these links, and I get a little extra to help. Please read my disclosure statement.  Thanks!–


book · life

To Kindle or not to Kindle… that is the question

So yesterday I began the search for my next book to read. I didn’t find one, but I began thinking that I may need to give in and get a kindle. So many of the books I was looking at I could get free for the kindle with my Amazon Prime membership, but had to pay over $12 to get the paperback version. I’m so hesitant. I have tried to read on my phone and on my tablet and hated it. I keep reading that if you get the kindle paperwhite it is so much better and feels more book-like. I read a lot (see my book reviews here) and know that I would make back the cost of the kindle in short time, but….

So, do you have a kindle that you read on or other device for reading? Do you have the paperwhite or the original version? What do you like most about it, least? Is it worth the expense? Can you find enough books on there that are worth reading with little to no expense?

On the same but different topic… I need a new books soon. I am almost done reading the book I have on my nightstand. I also just finished reading the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, yes in the illustrated version again. I am going to start reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as we have that illustrated version too. But, I do not have a desire to read those at bedtime, they are a bit cumbersome. So what should I look at next? I like historical fiction, mystery, romance (not smut), and just general fiction books.

**this post contains Amazon links. please read my disclosure statement.  thanks!**

book · Education · life

Reading is a journey

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This picture came up on my Facebook On This Day today. As a mother of avid readers and a person trained in the art of educating children who are in the process of becoming readers, I can’t agree with this statement more.

So often, people put emphasis on how children read. My son read at a Lexile level of xxx. My daughter needs to be reading this level of book. I taught in schools were reading was pushed to take tests, not just reading tests in class, but also AR (accelerated reader) or other programs similar to this. They were forced to read books within a certain reading level.

I don’t believe this is the right approach… (gasp!)

Learning to read is not always a natural process for all children, but learning to love stories should be. Children should already have a love of books before they step one foot into school. Learning to love stories starts by sitting in the lap of a loved one and hearing a story read aloud. It is fostered by hearing the same stories over and over and over. When children get to pick the books they hear read to them, they learn what they like and what they don’t like from books.

Parents do not always know, but just because your child has learned to read doesn’t mean you should stop reading aloud to them. Choose books your child cannot read independently, but would love to hear. I believe that children should be exposed to chapter books around the age of 4 or 5. This is an age where they have excellent imaginations and can learn to start to see the pictures in their head. They can start to retain the story from one day to the next.

When children are motivated to move forward and see that the world open up in books, they will want to read. Even struggling readers want to read. I never told my students what they had to read. There were children who would pick up books way beyond their level, but they were motivated by the story. They would fight through he book just so they could say they read it. I also know children, including my own, who will pick out picture books when they were reading much longer chapter books. Who are we to say what they should or should not read.

Read to Me

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes
Read to me stories of magical times
Read to me tales about castles and kings
Read to me stories of fabulous things
Read to me pirates and read to me knights
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then
When you are finished- please read them again.

Author: Jane Yolen


book · reviews

The Identicals– book review


Last night I finished reading The Identicals, by Elin Hilderbrand. This was a much lighter departure from the last few books I have read. I always enjoy reading Elin Hilderbrand books. Elin Hilderbrand typically sets her books on Nantucket Island.

The Identicals is written about identical twin sisters, Tabitha and Harper. The unique part of this story is when their parents divorced the girls were forced to pick a parent. Tabitha went to live with their mother and Harper lived with their father. Tabitha and her mother lived on Nantucket and Harper and her father lived on Martha’s Vineyard. This put the girls 11 miles away, but it may have been across the country.

Before the divorce the girls were inseparable, but after they had little to nothing to do with each other. They lived opposite lives.

Harper is carefree and goes from job to job. She find love, but he is the married doctor who is caring for their dying father. This causes issues for her in so many ways.

Tabitha works for her mother a famous women’s clothing designer and lives in her mother’s carriage house. Tabitha is raising her teenage daughter, but that is a rocky relationship. There is a lot to Tabitha’s background that takes a woman who seems to have it all together and shows that it is all smoke and mirrors.

When Billy, the girl’s father passes away, the twins are forced back into each others lives. Then things get worse when Eleanor breaks her hip. Can the girls figure out how to live and function together, on their own islands or together on the same island? What happens when identicals are forced to deal with their past, present and future? Can they find the relationship they once had?

If you are looking for a fun, light read, this might be the book for you. I’m heading to Costco today… maybe I’ll find my next book there? If not, I plan to re-read Harry Potter. We have started collecting the fully illustrated versions and I have yet to read it in this format.

book · Education · family · life

Time to Read

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It’s Saturday! Sorry I have been off in my posts lately. Thursdays’ post was really late. Yesterdays… well it never happened.

Yesterday I was up and going to the boys’ school. Did you notice a trend this week?? I went to help out with the last day of the book fair. I wasn’t actually working in the book fair. I was helping with the money they collected to donate money to Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh. Each day they collected coins and the PTO counted the coins and let the classes know how much was collected. They held a contest between the grades. The class in each grade to raise the most money won a prize. The prize was just a little whatever item. Each child got putty, a pencil and then some other little item (one class got folders, one class got sunglasses and the one in first place for the whole school got sunglasses and a bookmark). When they set up this fundraiser they had no clue how much money they would collect. When I arrived at school and the Friday buckets were starting to pour in… and let me tell you they were FULL. We had a bucket that had over $200 in coins… in one bucket! The school raised over $3400.

The job I had planned to accomplish when I got to school on Friday was to pull the books from the All for Books donation money to send off to Children’s Hospital.  But, we did not have a final tally of how much until around 2pm. So, we didn’t even start. This means more work on Monday. Monday I will go in and help pull the books for this. Add up the books for the teachers. The PTO donates $50 in books to each teacher. Then we have to clean up and close down everything for the cases to be taken away.

Lot of work, but lots of books getting into the hands of those who need them. My own boys purchased a total of 7 books. Works for me!

As a person who loves books. Who guides children in the process of learning to read. Who is raising two avid readers. I feel that book fairs are a fun way for children to see the joy of books. Since this book fair came on the tail of Read Across America week, where the school made it fun for the students. They celebrated books in so many different way, I’m sure this also motivated the students to want to buy more.

In terms of me and books right now… I’m almost done reading Lilac Girls. I’m also about 1/3 of the way through The Identicals. When I finish Lilac Girls, I need to pre-read a book for Blake. Richard is also pre-reading a book for Blake. It is hard when your children are reading at a level that is way beyond their years. We have struggled with this before. When Blake started into chapter books I would read them before he could, then he got to an age where I trusted most of the books he would encounter/ he reads a lot faster than me. Now we are getting to a point where he is reading books that could contain sexual/ violent/ or other content that we need to check for maturity. He isn’t happy when we say, yes but… but he also knows we are doing it for his own good.

Colby is also a strong reader, he actually reads at a higher level than Blake did at that age. At this point, the books Colby typically chooses would not have the violent type content that Blake’s does. Blake is into history and therefore into wars and teen age war books can be very graphic. Colby enjoys reading stories about human nature (Wonder, Ugly, Finding Gobi, and more) the type of books that touch your heart strings. Those who know my sons would not be surprised at the difference in the types of books they choose. So, we know at some point we will have to read Colby’s books too, but right now we don’t. I guess when that day comes we will either have moved on from reading Blake’s or I’ll only be reading their books!

**This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for checking them out. Please read my disclosure statement. thanks again!**


The Bookshop on the Corner- book review

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I was searching Amazon for a new book to read, and the book The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan was listed as a suggestion. I said… sounds good to me, lets try it out!

I found this book to be a slow read at first, but once the story got going, it was a much quicker read.

Nina is a librarian who finds herself without a library. The library she works is in closing due to decreases in funding.

Nina decides that she is going to forge her own path and sets out to find a new way. She decided that she would like to own her own bookshop. She wants to continue to match books to the reader. To encourage a love of reading.  Little does she know that this new adventure will take her beyond the comfort of her home and onto a whole new life.

Read about Nina and how her love for books helps her bring about a change for so many, but especially herself.

I did enjoy this book, and will have to try out another book written by Jenny Colgan sometime soon.


book · reviews

Book Review- Cobbled Court Quilt Series

The first book review I did was on The Promise Girls, by Marie Bostwick. After I finished this book, I went right onto Amazon and ordered A Single Thread, which is the first book in her Cobbled Court Series.

In the story, A Single Thread, Evelyn Dixon learns to find life again. The story begins with her living in TX. She was recently divorced and needs to move out of her family home. Not knowing what to do, she decided to get in her car and drive to CT. Originally going there to see the leaves change color. Evelyn ends up in the town of New Bern. She finds the town to be welcoming and decided to stay and open a quilt shop. Here in this small town, Evelyn not only opens her shop, but finds herself, a new group of friends and a loving community. While enduring a challenge she meets a new group of unexpected friends: Abigail Burgess, the richest woman in the area; Abigail’s niece Liza, a college age rebellious “girl” coping with the death of her mother in all the wrong ways; Margot Matthews a New York transplant who is dealing with being downsized and Charlie, the owner of a local restaurant. The story shows the love that can come from the family you choose, your friends. Each of these characters learns to grow together and each life is changed just a bit by the twists and turns of daily life, and how friendship and a bit of quilt making helps them grow together.

Before I’d even finished reading A Single Thread, I’d already ordered the second book in the series, A Thread of Truth.  In this book, you will find all the usually characters and continue to see how they learn to work and interact with each other. We learn more about the Cobbled Court Quilt store. But, we also learn a bit more about Ivy Peterman, who you meet briefly in A Single Thread. Ivy is a mother of two who lives in the local women’s shelter. Abigail Burgess, takes a liking to Ivy’s daughter and decides that she using her wealth to help the best place to put her time and energy. Ivy comes to work at the quilt store and it is here we learn her story.  Especially when Mary Dell and Howard, friends of Evelyn’s from TX who are now TV celebrities for their quilting show decide to feature Evelyn’s quilt shop on their show. Ivy unexpectedly ends up in the commercial for the episode, and this Ivy’s ex-husband finds out where Ivy is living. Read to see how Evelyn and the rest of the quilting group can yet again band together to help out a friend.

I’ve already ordered the 3rd book in the series and can’t wait to read what adventures the quilting group gets into next.

On a side note, I sent a copy of my The Promise Girls post Marie Bostwick. I originally posted the book review because in the books Bostwick encourages her readers to share about her books on social media… so I did! And, I received an e-mail from Marie Bostwick herself. I had also posted the link on her Facebook page and she responded there as well. How cool is it to have an author send me an e-mail!