Monday, August 3, 2015

This and That

I've fallen behind in my reading goals for the year so have been trying to make up for it.

I've just finished reading London which is well over 1000 pages. This was my third book and perhaps the longest book by Edward Rutherfurd.  Maybe it only seems like the longest because it took me much longer to read it than the other two books (New York and Paris). London didn't quite meet my expectations. It started out strong and finished with a whimper. The book spans 2000 years and I admire a writer who tries to take on such a project even if the effort was not entirely successful.

Alexander McCall-Smith is a prolific writer and has written several different series of books; each of  which are vastly different.  I've read many books from his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, all of which are set in Botswana, Africa. These are my favourite books from this author.   I have also read a few books from a few of his other series. I like them a little less but they are a decent read on a quiet afternoon.  None of his books take much time to read and they add to the sense of accomplishment  toward one's reading goals *wink.

I don't tend to read diet books but I like to learn about tips and tools to help engender a true lifestyle change.  This book is a good addition to the knowledge base and is so easy to read. In addition to the 20 "skinny rules" there are plenty of  menus and recipes all of which fall within the parameters of the author's rules.  I borrowed this book from the library and would need to purchase a copy if I hope to use the recipes in future.  However the author has another book which is made solely of recipes that fit within the "skinny rules".  That book might be more useful.

My current read is this biography of the great writer Charles Dickens. I don't know about you but I haven't read as many of Mr. Dickens' books as I would like.  I grew up watching old black and white movies based on many of his books. Great classics such as:  "A Christmas Carol","David Copperfield", "Great Expectations" and "A Tale of Two Cities". One of my favourite books of his is "The Old Curiosity Shop" but I don't recall seeing a movie based on it.

Before I finish the biography I will get started on the next two books (below).  I  came across them during a recent foray into a book shop. I was there to check out Harper Lee's newly released novel "Go Set a Watchman".

I don't purchase too many books these days but I wanted to check the price of Harper Lee's newly released book "Go Set a Watchman".  Since my visit to the book store I've placed a hold on it at my local library. There are several hundred people on the hold list so it will be at least 6 months before the book finds it's way to me.

It''s okay because I've got so many books that I already own that I can read in the meantime. I am constantly adding books to my "to read" list.  Many of these don't take so long to get once I place them on hold.  I also pick up interesting looking books off the shelves whenever I make a trip to the library. So you see, I am never without reading material.

Other than reading, I've been busy trying to revive my pansies which are mostly now on their last legs due to the heat wave we've been having all summer. I'm not sure if my efforts will work but they've given me a lot of pleasure over the summer with their beautiful colours. The geraniums are still doing well as are the petunias. The gladioli did bloom but  didn't do as well as I expected. Its the first time I've grown them. I think next year I will have to put stakes up to support them because they kept falling over the taller they go. Next year I want to grow sunflowers too and those grow even higher. My cherry tomatoes are now really starting to ripen in enough quantity to use in salads. Yum!

Last night there was a beautiful sky to the north of me so ran to get my camera. Normally we don't get nice colour in the skies to the north of me. We do get some beautiful sunsets here but in order to capture them I would have to be somewhere other than my home to get the right view of the western horizon.

I want to update that little Baby Fidelis had to undergo a medical assessment (Monday) in Nairobi, Kenya.  This is required as a step toward getting the visa to travel to Canada for surgery. Please continue to pray for this dear one and her advocate and her mother who are still hoping to be in Canada by middle August for the scheduled surgery.

Photo Credit: Hope Foundation for Orphans: Baby Fidelis & mother Martha

I also want to let you know that my friend's mom, Eunice, has been battling with typhoid fever. While she seemed to be recovering from typhoid fever she continued to experience mental confusion and heavy nose bleeds.  After being placed on different medications, she finally ended up in the missions hospital again.  This means going to the hospital a few hours away since the local hospital is incapable of diagnosing medical tests and they were perplexed by the issues. I had a sense that Eunice might be suffering from a secondary infection and needed help urgently. The American doctor at the missions hospital indeed found that Eunice had a bladder infection and said it was good she was brought in before sepsis set in.  It has taken a bit longer to get control of the nose bleeds caused by high blood pressure.  I just had word this morning that Eunice is much improved. Please pray for complete recovery and ability to pay the hospital bills.

Wishing each of you a wonderful week ahead.
I'm joining in this week with Our World Tuesday


  1. Quite a reading list you've set yourself. I though I'd read all of Dickens, but realize I have not, and must start out with The Old Curiosity Shop.

  2. Thank you for the medical updates, they are both in my thoughts and prayers. Love your interesting post on the books. I just finished Whistling Past the Graveyard, it was very good.

    1. Thanks for the book suggestion. I'm always interested in good book suggestions and will add it to my list of "want to read" books. Hugs. xx

  3. Edwin Rutherfurd is one of my favorite authors. His stories are rather long but he has a neat way to hang a story on history. Of course, I like historical novels.

  4. You do such a lot of good, thnaks for keepign us updated. I also always enjoy your book reviews. I love to reserve books at the library too.

  5. Great books to read. Beautiful views of the sky.

  6. The books look interesting and your photos are beautiful!

  7. i read all of Alexander McCall-Smiths lady detective agency, so beautiful! great sky shots, too. all the best to you and yours

  8. Beautiful skies. Best wishes and a speedy recovery to both Fidelis and Eunice. Happy reading and have a great week.

  9. Great reading list and lovely shots of the sky. Here's hoping all goes well for Fidelis.

  10. Hello, What a great reading list. I love your beautiful sky shots, lovely captures. MY prayers go out to Fidelis and Eunice! Wishing your a happy week ahead!

  11. Those are pretty good selection of books. I continue praying for baby Fidelis and your friend's mom Eunice.

  12. Kudos to you on completing the book, I haven't read such a long book for a long time now.
    Lovely sky shots!
    Hope the little child recovers fast!

  13. You have quite a lot to read. I have since slowed down on my reading. Hope all will go well for Fidelis and Eunice and speedy recovery for both of them.

  14. me too fallen behind my reading goals in goodreads. hopefully this year can complete my goals

    So far I cant seems to get into Alexander McCall-Smith's books. Tried one or two titles but just cant get into the "mood" . Maybe try again few years later.

    Have read "Go Set a Watchman". For me it was ok. Maybe my expectation too high.

    I like Mambo in Chinatown and Girl in Translation.

    I wonder if your local library have Kevin Kwan's books. Titles are "Crazy Rich Asian" and "China Rich Girlfriend". Those two book really had me in stitches. The way he exaggrate the lifestyle was so hilarious.

    Am totally in love with A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Familycby Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. Do try it.

    1. Thank you so much for those book recommendations. I will look for the books and ad them to my reading list. It is always good to read a funny book. I have heard that "Go Set a Watchman" is not that great but I will read it anyway. Happy reading.

  15. Glad to hear Eunice is better, and prayers for the baby. It sounds like you have been keeping busy reading! We had gladiolas when we lived in Portland. They are beautiful flowers. Glad you were able to capture the lovely colors of the sunset.

  16. Will keep your friends mother and that little kid in my prayers. Let all go good and have a wonderful life...

  17. What a good reading list. I seem to have some months where I read books more than others. The Charles Dickens biography must be interesting.

    Beautiful colours in the sunset pictures.

    Prayerful thoughts for baby Fidelis ... and all who are need of some extra love and care.

    All the best Jan

  18. I enjoyed your review on the books. Reading is all-the-year-round activity but I think summer is best for reading as I prefer reading indoors when it is scorching outside. The sunset sky with rosy clouds is so beautiful. Best wishes to Fidelis and your friend's mom. Have happy summer ahead.


  19. Hi Joyful, What a nice list of books you have given us. I really like the way you did this with the photos of the book covers. I am trying to recall if I've asked you before ... Do you ever "listen" to books, aka audio books? I enjoy it from time to time and with all the recent hot weather it has been nice to sneak off to some cool place and listen to a good book for a while. I just purchased a new one, "The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey" by Rinker Buck. It is the story of how some younger folks tried to find and go along the original Oregon Trail in 2010. I will let you know how it goes. Your photos of the sunset on Monday are excellent. I always enjoy your sky photos. I will add Eunice to my prayer list. Hope you are having a fine week, enjoying the cooler weather. Correspondence on the way! :-) Best regards to you from Seattle!


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