January life and books

January wrap-up:

It was a good month. We enjoyed some real winter weather, I managed to keep up with the photo challenge, baked a couple of good cakes, tried some quick bread recipes, and got most of the Christmas decorations down.

I also enjoyed 5 books (see below) from beginning to end; and then I flipped from “Night of the Fox” by Jack Higgins to “Full Black” by Brad Thor to “Scorpions for Breakfast: My Battle with Washington to Secure Our Country’s Border” by Jan Brewer. I’ve settled on the Brewer book and once finished I’ll go back to either Higgins or Thor, unless a library book becomes available. *rolling my eyes at myself*

Cakes: made a spicy chocolate cake for hubby – gads it needs less cayenne pepper next time. For lodge I sent a “tropical cake” made with Duncan Hines Supreme Lemon cake mix that I added mandarin oranges to and topped with pineapple frosting. I thought the lemon overpowered the mandarin oranges, but the guys liked it.

There was the crab incident that at least left me with a clean fridge, Twinkle-Toes turned into his father and glued his shoes thus earning a new nickname from me (Ha Ha), saw “Red Tails” with a friend on the 25th (excellent movie), and enjoyed a wonderful evening at the symphony on the 28th.

All in all a nice month.

January Books:

My rating system is simple:

  • Loved – 5 stars: I seldom give this rating out.
  • Liked & Recommend
  • Didn’t like or hated (seldom give this out as I usually dump the book)

Book #1
Title: “B is for Burglar”
Author: Grafton, Sue
Started: 12/31/11
Finished: 1/4/12
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle
Genre: mystery
Rate: Liked & Recommend

Comments: Solid mystery, with some good twists. My favorite line is the last, because it’s close to what I was thinking as I read the conclusion:

“ … I [Kinsey Millhone] … wonder how many times I’ll dance with death before the orchestra packs it in for the night.”

Book #2
Title: “The Burglar in the Closet”
Author: Block, Lawrence
Started: 1/4/12
Finished: 1/8/12
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle (library)
Genre: mystery
Rate: Liked & Recommend

Comments: See review

Book #3
Title: “Bridge of Scarlet Leaves”
Author: McMorris, Kristina
Started: 1/8/12
Finished: 1/16/12
Pages: 352
Format: Trade paperback
Genre: historical fiction
Rate: Loved – tops my best of 2012 list – 5 stars

Comments: I received a “review” copy courtesy of Kristina. Touched by the nod to a dear friend in the preface. So many questions I’d love to ask Kristina about this story, and oh, what a story. Love, hate, prejudice, anger, sorrow, loss, forgiveness, growth, change, healing all tucked into the pages of a wonderful book. I laughed, cried, felt guilty, felt angry, read faster to find out if ___, sighed with relief, wanted to shake some of the characters, shed tears of joy, and more. This is one of those books that touches the reader deep inside their heart and forces you to look at some of your values and your attitudes; it gives you a push to hug a loved one while you have the chance, and it’s a reminder to watch your words and actions–for others are listening and watching you. Another wonderful offering from Kristina, and I highly, highly recommend this book. (You can pre-order this book now, due out in the US on 2/28/12).

Book #4
Title: “The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling”
Author: Block, Lawrence
Started: 1/17/12
Finished: 1/20/12
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle (library)
Genre: mystery
Rate: Liked & Recommend

Comments: What’s not to like about a book that quotes some bad poetry? Okay, so I’m not a fan of Kipling. Still this was a good read. I like all the characters (reoccurring and drop-ins), and I like the writing style, so I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Book #5
Title: “Naked Heat”
Author: Castle, Richard
Started: 1/24/12
Finished: 1/29/12
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle (library)
Genre: mystery
Rate: Liked & Recommend

Comments: Not as enjoyable as the first book in the series, the mystery was darker and a bit more graphic than I remember. As I read I kept wondering why they weren’t noticing a certain thing, and they did eventually, and then the author tossed in a few wrinkles, but I still had it figured out. I’m going to read the next book and then see if I like the books as well as the TV show. Oh, and I never wanted to know about “safe words” in sex. 😮

So a good start to the year. Here’s to 11 more months filled with fun, love, laughter and good books.

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1 Comment

Filed under Books, Life

One response to “January life and books

  1. I sounds like you had a full, rich, pleasant month, and I’m so pleased for you. If we are starting 2012 as we mean to continue, this is a good way to go.