On the Nightstand

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend? Was it cold where you live? It was cold and dreary around here but that meant a lot of time for reading and crafting. I may have taken a nap too!

This morning I finished reading The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez and wow, it was wonderful. I’ll try to do a bit of a recap of it in another post but all I can say is that this will more than likely go on my favorites of the year. Loved it.

So currently I’ve got Felicity by Mary Oliver which is a delight to read. As I’ve mentioned before when I read poetry books I like to take my time and will only read a few poems a day. On the book flap the description of the poetry is that happiness abounds and of Mary Oliver as a delicate chronically of physical landscape. So true. I feel like I can hear the sounds of the crickets that she describes or see the rising sun over a river.

For something totally different I have The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham on audiobook. This has been a good suspenseful story of Megan and Agatha. Both are eagerly expecting the birth of their babies but each woman holds a secret that must be kept hidden. The chapters are told in alternating viewpoints and just as I’m hearing from Meg, I want to know about Agatha and vice versa. I’ve only got about two hours left on this one and all sorts of things are coming out so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Finally, I did start a new book The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams. This cozy mystery is the first in a series set in a small town. The main character is a bibliotherapist… One who finds the right book for whatever ails you. I’ve read another book that had the same sort of premise and I didn’t enjoy that one very much but we’ll see how this one turns out. This is the February selection for my mystery book group.

That’s about it. Let me know if you’ve ready any of these and if you were able to catch up on your reading this weekend.

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Tuesday Intro

It’s time for, First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. If you aren’t familiar, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be at the Beach hosts this meme. It’s your chance to post a bit from a book that you are reading or planning to read. Today I’m posting about a book I started last week which I’m really enjoying.

“Back then, all we wanted was the simplest things: to eat good food, to sleep at night, to smile, to laugh, to be well. We felt it was our right, as much as it was anyone’s, to have those things. Of course, when I think about it now, I see that I was naive. I was blinded by the swell of hope and the promise of possibility. I assumed that everything that would go wrong in our lives already had. 

Thirty hours after crossing the border, we arrived, the three of us in the backseat of a red pickup truck that smelled of cigarette smoke and gasoline.” 

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez.

What do you think? Would you keep on reading? I know heard a lot about this book when it first came out but not sure what took me so long to get to it but I’ve started it and I’m loving it.

Here’s a bit more about the book from Booklist: On a cold, bewildering night, the Riveras, who have just left their happy lives in Mexico, are dropped off at a dilapidated apartment building on the western edge of Delaware. Arturo has given up his thriving construction company to labor in a dark, grimy indoor mushroom farm, while his wife, Alma, lonely and afraid, with no English and little money, worries incessantly about their beautiful 15-year-old daughter, Maribel. She has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and her parents have sacrificed everything to send her to a special school.

Their building turns out to be a sanctuary for Central and Latin American immigrants, and as the Riveras’ dramatic tale unfolds, Henríquez brings their generous neighbors forward to tell the compelling stories of why and how they left Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Paraguay.

Let me know if you’ve read this book and/or if you will be adding this to your list.

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The Thrill of the Hunt

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent a great Saturday morning checking out Austin Creative Reuse. I love going there because they collect and distribute materials donated by individuals or corporations. They have a wonderful shop where you can find all kinds of things. Yarn, paints, baskets, you name it!

I was sort of looking for any vintage postcards/photos and they did have some but nothing that really called my name. But boy did I score when I hit the scrapbook area. I found tons of paper pads – some looked new – and I spent all of $10 on a huge stack of items. The only bad thing about ACR is that it’s not that close to my home, or maybe that is a good thing. Ha.

After that we discovered Bun Belly,  a new to us Vietnamese restaurant where we enjoyed Chicken Pad Thai. That was quite yummy. Before we headed back home we stopped off at Paper Place where I drooled over their fountain pen display. I was looking for a new Leuchttrum notebook but they only had the ones with dotted or ruled pages and I prefer blank.

What else, oh yes, today my husband made a new recipe for us from Real Simple magazine, Sheet-Pan Smashed Potatoes & Broccoli. These turned out so delicious. Simple but good comfort food. We also made a quick stop at the bookstore and I remembered that Somerset Studio is now a quarterly magazine. What a bummer but I guess it’s better than it having gone away like so many other magazines.

Anyway, that’s a bit of what I was up to this weekend. Tell me what you got up to and if you discovered anything new this weekend.

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