Thursday, September 29, 2022

Friday Five: Here We Are In October Already


It's October already and although I'm not looking forward to winter weather, I do love a cozy sweater.  We are also midway through cross country season already. 

 It has been a good season, but not as fun as last.  Middle Sister is off at college and although she's on the XC team, she's been suffering through shin splints and has yet to compete.  Little Sister is doing well, but ever the perfectionist, isn't ever happy with her performance.  Her times are just slightly slower than from her freshman year and this is also frustrating to her.  And as the mom, that means I spend my time worrying over these things.  It's hard when your kids aren't happy.  

Hopefully we will find some high points in this season. There are still a few weeks left to enjoy.

Here are the things I've found to share with you all this week:

1.  Donegal Cable Crewneck Sweater

2.  Signature Coverall Jumpsuit

3.  Hensley Pullover Sweater in Rainbow Donegal

4.  Karlie Clogs

5.  Rosanne Dress in Polka Dot

6.  Meg Leather Flat Loafers

7.  Jacquard Knit Turtleneck Sweater

8.  Mid-Rise Perfect Vintage Jean in Ainsdale Wash: Knee-Rip Edition

9.  Women's Puff Elbow Sleeve Top-Knox and Rose

10.  The Patient on Hulu - I've been hearing some buzz about this show and have added it to my list of shows I plan on watching someday.

That's it for me this week.  What's caught your eye?

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday: Only The Beautiful

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a soon to be released book I can't wait to read.

This week's pick: Only The Beautiful by Susan Meissner

Due out: April 25, 2023

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

A heartrending story about a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the winds of fortune that tear them apart by the New York Times bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things and The Last Year of the War.

California, 1938—When she loses her parents in an accident, sixteen-year-old Rosanne is taken in by the owners of the vineyard where she has lived her whole life as the vinedresser’s daughter. She moves into Celine and Truman Calvert’s spacious house with a secret, however—Rosie sees colors when she hears sound. She promised her mother she’d never reveal her little-understood ability to anyone, but the weight of her isolation and grief prove too much for her. Driven by her loneliness she not only breaks the vow to her mother, but in a desperate moment lets down her guard and ends up pregnant. Banished by the Calverts, Rosanne believes she is bound for a home for unwed mothers, and having lost her family she treasures her pregnancy as the chance for a future one. But she soon finds out she is not going to a home of any kind, but to a place far worse than anything she could have imagined.

Austria, 1947—After witnessing firsthand Adolf Hitler’s brutal pursuit of hereditary purity—especially with regard to “different children”—Helen Calvert, Truman's sister, is ready to return to America for good. But when she arrives at her brother’s peaceful vineyard after decades working abroad, she is shocked to learn what really happened nine years earlier to the vinedresser’s daughter, a girl whom Helen had long ago befriended. In her determination to find Rosanne, Helen discovers that while the war had been won in Europe, there are still terrifying battles to be fought at home.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Upcoming Non-Fiction: Untold Power by Rebecca Boggs Roberts

My TBR is always growing.  I love finding new books that will soon be published. Here's a non-fiction title I'm adding to my wish list. 

Untold Power: The Fascinating Rise and Complex Legacy of First Lady Edith Wilson by Rebecca Boggs Robert

Due out: March 7, 2023

A nuanced portrait of the first acting woman president, written with fresh and cinematic verve by a leading historian on women’s suffrage and power

While this nation has yet to 
elect its first woman president—and though history has downplayed her role—just over a century ago a woman became the nation’s first acting president. In fact, she was born in 1872, and her name was Edith Bolling Galt Wilson. She climbed her way out of Appalachian poverty and into the highest echelons of American power and in 1919 effectively acted as the first woman president of the U.S. (before women could even vote nationwide) when her husband, Woodrow Wilson, was incapacitated. Beautiful, brilliant, charismatic, catty, and calculating, she was a complicated figure whose personal quest for influence reshaped the position of First Lady into one of political prominence forever. And still nobody truly understands who she was.

For the first time, we have a biography that takes an unflinching look at the woman whose ascent mirrors that of many powerful American women before and since, one full of the compromises and complicities women have undertaken throughout time in order to find security for themselves and make their mark on history. She was a shape-shifter who was obsessed with crafting her own reputation, at once deeply invested in exercising her own power while also opposing women’s suffrage. With narrative verve and fresh eyes, 
Untold Power is a richly overdue examination of one of American history’s most influential, complicated women as well as the surprising and often absurd realities of American politics.

Monday Mini-Reviews: Five Star Read

I love Allen Eskens' books and I am always excited to see he has something new coming out.  I've been anxiously awaiting this one for many months and I am happy to report that it lived up to my expectations. 

Forsaken Country brings back Max Rupert (one of Eskens' recurring characters) in this novel of suspense.  Max has been in a self imposed exile for a couple of years but when his friend, Lyle, comes to ask him to help him find his daughter, Sandy, and grandson, Pip, Max finds himself caught up in this missing persons case.

I loved the way this story unfolded. I loved the Minnesota setting.  I loved getting to know Max Rupert a little better.  I loved the twists and turns in the plot.  

And by novel's end, Eskens ties things up nicely while still leaving room for Max to have more stories to be a part of in the future.

Although this book features a recurring character, it easily stands alone.  However, once you read one of Eskens' books, I think you will anxiously pick up another one.  

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday: Flight

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a soon to be released title I can't wait to read.

This week's pick: Flight by Lynn Steger Strong

Due out: November 8, 2022

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

The new novel from the critically acclaimed author of Want, told through the shifting voices of a family gathering for Christmas in upstate New York after the death of their beloved matriarch, at odds over the settling of her estate—a novel about art, grief, shame, ambition, joy, and the American safety net. 

It’s December twenty-second and siblings Henry, Kate, and Martin have converged with their spouses on Henry’s house in upstate New York. This is the first Christmas the siblings are without their mother, the first not at their mother’s Florida house. Over the course of the next three days, old resentments and instabilities arise as the siblings, with a gaggle of children afoot, attempt to perform familiar rituals, while also trying to decide what to do with their mother’s house, their sole inheritance. As tensions rise, the whole group is forced to come together unexpectedly when a local mother and daughter need help. 

With the urgency and artfulness that cemented her previous novel Want as “a defining novel of our age” (Vulture), Strong once again turns her attention to the structural and systemic failings that are haunting Americans, but also to the ways in which family, friends, and strangers can support each other through the gaps. Flight is a novel of family, ambition, precarity, art, and desire, one that forms a powerful next step from a brilliant chronicler of our time.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Reading on Topic: The Royals

Back in June of 1982 I remember driving to swimming lessons and listening to a radio news report that the Princess of Wales had gone into labor and had been admitted to the hospital.  I anxiously awaited the news of the birth of Prince William and from that day on I scoured the newspapers every day for news of the British Royal Family, gluing each article into the numerous scrapbooks I eventually amassed. 

I no longer create scrapbooks about the royals, but I am still a royal watcher and love reading anything I can about them.

The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor - the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown was a fantastic read earlier this year.  I have a firm base of royal knowledge, but admit to not being as up on the current royal events as I once was.  This book told me things I already knew while adding new information. I loved hearing more of the current royal saga and hope someday in the future Brown will have another installment.

I've got shelves of books on the royal family, most are ones I bought in the 1980s and 90s when beautiful coffee table books were published routinely.  

Here is a list of some rather new-ish books for your royal family deep dive:

1.  The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull -a fictionalized version of the woman who was in love with Prince Edward before he married Wallis Simpson and abdicated the throne.

2. On Royals: A Very Polite Inquiry Into Some Strangely Related Families by Jeremy Paxman - a look at the royal family and how ancient tradition blends with the modern world

3. Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown - a biography of Princess Margaret using interviews, dreams, parallel lives, diaries, announcements, lists, catalogues and essays to help uncover the life of Margaret who was known for being both glamorous and unhappy.

4. The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen's Childhood by Her Nanny, Marion Crawford- Crawford shares her account of the time she spent caring for Elizabeth and Margaret. Writing this memoir caused her to be ostracized by the royal family for the rest of her life.

5.  The Gown by Jennifer Robson - this is a novel of the Royal Wedding, a fictionalized account of the making of Princess Elizabeth's dress as she prepared to marry Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.  

6.  Battle of Brothers by Robert Lacey - Lacey has been watching and writing about the royals since the 1980s and this book looks inside William and Harry's relationship. The copyright of this book is 2020, leaving room for the many things that have happened in the past two years to be written about.

7.  Elizabeth and Margaret: the Intimate World of Windsor Sisters by Andrew Morton - Morton has written other books on the royals, but this one focuses in on Elizabeth and Margaret providing anecdotes of their childhood through adulthood.

8.  HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes- beautiful photos accompany the text that focuses on the fashion of Elizabeth II, Diana, Catherine, and Meghan

9.  The Lady Di Look Book by Eloise Moran - Another book filled with beautiful photographs showcasing the many different outfits, hats, and looks that Diana took on over the years.  

10.  William and Catherine by David Elliot Cohen - this is the traditional coffee table book about William and Kate's wedding, filled with gorgeous photographs.

I'm also anxiously awaiting two new books set to be published in the next few months:

I've watched coverage of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral and am already gearing up for the many new books that will soon be published chronicling this momentous event.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Friday Five: Enjoying Fall

Yay for Fridays!  We've had beautiful weather this week, a fun cross country meet on Tuesday, and a week that felt busy every single day.

I love this warm weather we are having, but as any Midwesterner knows, it won't last forever.  I've got some things to share, and they are looking a bit more fall-like.  There has also been a big amount of news from the Royal Family this week after the Queen's passing.  I would normally be all over this, watching the coverage, but we never hooked up our cable after we recarpeted last year.  Watching less television is an OK thing, but I sort of feel like I'm missing out on this.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

1.  The Downtime V-Neck Hoodie

2.  Carson Spotted V Neck Top

3.  Superbrushed Easygoing Sweatshirt

4.  Lexi Rib Puff Sleeve Top

5.  Flare Dress in Cross Weave

6.  Dark Navy Striped Round Neck Top

7.  Floral Grotto Top

8.  Oversize Quarter Zip Flannel Shirt

9.  Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee TShirt

10.  The reunion between Prince William and Prince Harry as they greet people after their grandmother's death.  

That's it for me this week.  What's caught your eye?

Children's Lit Thursday: Farmhouse

I've been waiting for this book since early 2022 when Colby Sharp posted something about it.  I've heard Caldecott buzz about Farmhouse ever since.  


I rarely pick up a picture book to sit and enjoy by myself.  But I specifically made time for this one, and could tell by just looking at the front cover that it was going to be worth my time.  (Can you see the detail inside the house by looking at the windows?).  

I loved the story of a house that had a family of twelve children raised in it; the cadence of the writing felt a little like "this is the house that Jack built," as I read to myself.  The children grow up and leave the home, which eventually is overtaken by animals as it is left in disrepair.  

Eventually the narrator comes upon the house, taking some things from it and recreates a version of it on paper.  

I loved this book so much. It would be a delightful gift book for a small child or baby. I'm so hoping that when January 2023 rolls around and the Caldecott is announced, Farmhouse has a shiny gold medal adorning its cover.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday: When We Had Wings

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a soon to be released novel I can't wait to read.

This week's pick:  When We Had Wings by Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, and Susan Meissner

Due out: October 18, 2022

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

From three bestselling authors comes an interwoven tale of a trio of World War II nurses in the Pacific who wage their own battle for freedom and survival.

The Philippines, 1941. When US Navy nurse Eleanor Lindstrom, US Army nurse Penny Franklin, and Filipina nurse Lita Capel forge a friendship at the Army Navy Club in Manila, they believe they’re living a paradise assignment. All three are seeking a way to escape their pasts, but soon the beauty and promise of their surroundings give way to the heavy mantle of war.

Caught in the crosshairs of a fight between the US military and the Japanese Imperial Army for control of the Philippine islands, the nurses are forced to serve under combat conditions and, ultimately, endure captivity as the first female prisoners of the Second World War. As their resiliency is tested in the face of squalid living arrangements, food shortages, and the enemy’s blatant disregard for the articles of the Geneva Convention, they strive to keep their hope—and their fellow inmates—alive, though not without great cost.

In this sweeping story based on the true experiences of nurses dubbed “the Angels of Bataan,” three women shift in and out of each other’s lives through the darkest days of the war, buoyed by their unwavering friendship and distant dreams of liberation.