Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, May 27, 2022

2022 Challenge: A Book With A Music or Art Theme: Every Note Played

 Book: Every Note Played

Author: Lisa Genova

Pages: 336

This is my 42nd read for the year

This is the story of Richard and Karina.  Estranged and divorced, they are forced to work together when Richard is diagnosed with ALS.  Karina finds out from friends at a party that her ex-husband has canceled all of his piano concerts because he can no longer play.  When she visits him, she finds out that he is declining quickly and needs more help that he can afford.  At first she is reluctant.  But then she agrees to help him, and eventually moves him into her home so that she can care for him full time.  Richard knows he needs to make ammends with Karina and their daughter Grace, and time is running out.  He has much to apologize for but Karina feels she does as well.  Hopefully they will get the chance before Richard loses his ability to communicate everything he needs to say.

This was a pretty good book.  It is a quick read, and pretty well written.  I wasn't a big fan of either of the main characters - both selfish characters who couldn't see beyond the end of their nose that each had a play in the end of their marriage.  But the story in general was a good one.  Predictable, yes, but a good read none the less. The writer is gifted - and has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard.  She was the author of Still Alice.  So her books are always worth a read.  Glad a friend recommended this one.

Stars: 4

Thursday, May 26, 2022

2022 Challenge: A Book With A Color in the Title: The Green Mile

 Book: The Green Mile

Author: Stephen King

Pages: 400

This is my 41st read for the year

Paul Edgecombe is a guard on E Block - otherwise known as The Green Mile.  This is the last stop for the worst prisoners before they are sentenced to death by electric chair for their crimes.  After years on the mile, the biggest prisoner they have ever seen - John Coffey arrives on the mile.  Convicted of killing two little girls, the guards are not sure what to make of this man.  He cries constantly, he is afraid of the dark, and seems like the most mild mannered person they have ever met.  As the weeks pass, the truth about who Coffey really is comes to light as his interactions with the other prisoners and guards comes to light.  

This was a great book.  I have seen the movie a few times and it is one of my favorites.  The book is well written, and flows well from past to future as Paul recounts his time in the 1930s as a guard at this prison and what it was like to work with the worst criminals.  The author does a good job keeping the story moving - leaving just enough wonder about the smallest details while revealing the truth about Coffey right from the beginning.  The reader isn't kept in the dark unnecessarily.

It is a good one.  It is a horror novel, of course, so keep that in mind if you decide to read it.  But a well written novel like this is worth a look.

Stars:  5

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

2022 Challenge: A Book You Know Nothing About: The Small Scale Poultry Flock

 Book: The Small Scale Poultry Flock

Author: Harvey Ussery

Pages: 416

This is my 40th read for the year

This book is a comprehensive look at having a small flock of chickens at your home. Harvey has a large flock, but does talk about what you need to get started from the brooder to moving them outside.  He covers birds that you keep as a source of food (both egg and meat) as well as incorporating a few other farm animals.  His indepth coverage talks about ways to incorporate a flock into all of your backyard activities - including gardening and composting. 

This was a great book.  I have read another chicken book since getting our 6 chicks, but this one was the one I started with when we went on this adventure.  It just took me longer to finish.  Harvey is a master in this area, and I learned quite a bit from his book.  There are a lot of sections of this book that will never apply to me (he lives on a large farm and we plan on having a few chicks enclosed at all times due to predators), but I learned so much.  I am impressed with how much he does to feed his chick naturally and how he makes them work in all aspects of his farm.

This is a great one.  If you have a flock or are thinking of getting some chicks, have this book on your self for reference.

Stars: 4.5

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2022 Challenge: A Book Set On A Holiday: A Boy Called Christmas

 Book: A Boy Called Christmas

Author: Matt Haig


This is my 39th read for the year

This is the story of Nikolas.  He lives with his father in the woods with very little to eat or play with, but he is happy.  His father tells him one day that he and a group of men are going to the North Pole to find a place called Elfhelm to prove to the king that Elves exist.  While he is gone, Nikolas' aunt is put in charge of him.  A hateful woman, she makes Nikolas sleep outside and cook and clean for her.  After a few months when his father doesn't return, Nikolas decides he needs to go and find him.  Thus starts his adventure to find his father, and the elves, and find who he was meant to be.

This is a very cute middle grade book.  I saw the movie at Christmas time and thought it would be fun to read the book.  The show followed the book nicely.  It is a well written book and a fun read for anyone in that 8-12 age range or older.  Glad I picked this one up.

Stars: 4

Friday, May 20, 2022

2022 Challenge: A Book That Is At Least 20 Years Old: Books of Blood

 Book: Books Of Blood (books 1-3)

Author: Clive Barker

Pages: 507

This is my 38th read for the year

This is a book of short horror stories.  Combined together are the first 3 volumes in a 6 volume series.  Since these are short stories and not easy to give a summary, I won't.  I will just say that I really enjoyed this book.  These are "put the book in the freezer" level of horror stories, which was just what I was looking for.  I am a big Stephen King and Joe Hill fan, but Clive Barker is on a whole other lever when it comes to horror.  These stories will keep you up at night, but are extemely well written.  There is no doubt that Barker is a talented writer.

If you are looking for blood curdling stories - these are for you.  I am going to get the next set of stories to keep this going.  I have watched the show on Hulu as well.

Stars: 4

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

2022 Challenge: A Book Published in 2022: The Diamond Eye

 Book: The Diamond Eye

Author: Kate Quinn

Pages: 448

This is my 37th read for the year

This is the story of Mila Pavlichenko, a sniper from World War II.  Once the war is over, Mila has over 300 kills under her belt for the Russian Army, and is on a good will tour in the United States.  Before thewar, Mila was a history student who had a young son and was getting divorce.  She turned wanting to learn how to shoot so she could teach her son into a career in the Russian Armed Forces.  Those years she fought did not come without heartbreak, loss, and a love that would change her life forever.  

This was a great book.  It is historical fiction but based on the real Mila Pavlichenko who did kill over 300 people during World War II. The author did research into this young woman that a lot of people don't know about and spun quite the story of her time before, during, and after the war.  The author's note at the end of the book reveals how much of this books was based on truth (quite a bit of it), and gave you even more insight into this incredible person.  It is a well written book, and I would say the only thing that made me a little crazy was the amount of times it was mentioned how many people she had killed.  More often than was necessary - to the point that you felt that the author was using this as main thing to be known about this woman, when she was clearly so much more.

Check this one out.  I have read many of Kate Quinn's historical fiction books about the women during the war, and they have all be elightening.

Stars: 4.5

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

2022 Challenge: Book With A Female Protagonist: Fried Green Tomatoes

 Book: Fried Green Tomatoes

Author: Fannie Flagg

Pages: 416

This is my 36th read for the year

This is the story of Evelyn, Mrs. Threadgoode, Ruth, and Idgie.  Four Women spaning two timelines.  Evelyn meeting Mrs. Threadgoode in the 1980s when Mrs. Threadgoode is an old woman living in a nursing home.  Evelyn, a woman in her 40s, is feeling lost and alone, so Mrs. Threadgoode starts to weave the story of Ruth and Idgie who were two friends in the early part of the century.  These woman ran the Whistle Stop Cafe in a small southern town of Whistle Stop.  Thier lives, and the lives they touched while they ran that cafe, and even before.  Idgie and Mrs. Threadgoode's spirit help Evelyn find the person inside herself that was missing.

This was a good book.  I have seen the movie many times-it is one of my favorites.  The book has quite a few more characters than the movie which is to be expected.  The timeline flows nicely for the most part back and forth between the 1980s and the early part of the century.  The author does a good job building Ruth and Idgie's story.  There were chapters where I felt that they weren't really contributing to the overall story line, but not enough of a bother to take away from the story as a whole.

This is a good one.  And if you haven't ever seen the movie, I encourage that one as well.

Stars: 4