A Small Hiatus

I have made some decisions these past few weeks and I thought it was necessary to post. This entry will be placed in every blog, even I created them or co-founded. I have a decision to go on a small hiatus; I promise it will not be forever. I decided on this based on how I have been feeling: lack of inspiration and determination to write.

This hiatus is a way for me to re-work my goals and missions for each blog I write in, making them more cohesive and productive. I am currently working on making a “Blog Planner” to help with this. My hope is by late August or early September you, the readers shall be noticing updates. There will be updates noticed even with the Hiatus; examples are the layout of the blogs themselves to the profile pages and even the links.

I ask all of you to please keep my in your prayers as I work to create the blogs I have always wanted or have leaned towards.

Until then, take care and God bless,

Nikita 

What Nikita Read: February

I am slightly disappointed with myself for I was having a good run with reading. Sadly, I only read three books last month. It is almost as if there was a dry spell just waiting to happen and it had to happen when I was happy reading away my life. Which somehow this meme pops into my head:

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Even though I read just three books, each book was deep and evoked feelings for me. That could be the reason of the dry spell, two of them were good, but majority a sad tale, while the other has some sad moments, but by far a better ending. I would recommend all three, but my favorite was: Letters from Home by Kristina McMorris

Credit: Goodreads

Credit: Goodreads

My reasoning of making this the favorite of February was simple. It dealt with letters to a Soldier, but also followed the lives of three women during World War II. I have always liked stories that dive into the era of the Greatest Generation; there is just something about that time that almost feels surreal to what I live in. Another reason is hand-written letters are more of an extinct practice in today’s society, if anything many of us cannot write decently with a pen and paper. (I would give the example of my sister who is in high school and I feel her handwriting reminds me of a 5th to 6th level. Not saying my sister is stupid, just most people type now and that means we lose the muscle memory that is needed for good hand-writing.)

As I mentioned this story incorporates the story of three women, but also one man, the Soldier. While the main focus is on the woman who is writing letters to the Soldier, the author does an amazing job pulling the other women’s stories in the mix without confusion. (Always a nice touch.) As I was reading I was rooting for certain things to happen, while I was not surprised about the ending, how it played out was not what was to be expected. Even though one of the things I was rooting did not happen, doesn’t mean I cannot think it could. It is left open-ended for one character’s story. And I read it quite quickly, so a good page turner.

The other two novels I read this February were: Lost Saints of Tennessee by Ann Franklin-Willis and The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. The Forgotten Garden was a suspenseful, drama, and tragic story, was still a good read. It made me cry a lot, but there was a sort of happy ending to it all. But, I am not going to spoil that for you. Now, Lost Saints of Tennessee was a book I read before my husband, who wanted to read it as well. If you read this book, I will recommend picking a day where you can stay in your little corner. It is a sad tale that has a happier ending, but nevertheless sad.

My husband was happy that I recommended him to not read it until he had enough time to focus on the book and let it sink in. I think the only thing that bugged me was the transitions from one time period to another were not as clear as I think the author thought they were. Other than that good book.

Well that is all I read for February, until next month, happy reading!

Nikita

What Nikita Read: January 2014

I have been amazed that even though I was ill for almost two weeks that I still was able to read twenty-three books in the month of January. Out of all the books I read I found my favorite book was:

Credit to: Goodreads.com

Credit to: Goodreads.com

This book was my favorite because it was a bit different from all the other books I read. It did not frustrate me as much as one of the other Revolutionary War books I read during the month. I found the character development was good and the story was more real to me. I think one of the other things that helped me like this book is unlike the other book I read of the same time period I did not feel I was being confused on where I was at and I did not feel the confusion of where time went. (Plus I felt the other book, yes had historical events more or less correct, I felt it had to many liberties or felt the gaps bugged me. It probably doesn’t help I am a lover for history.) I would recommend this book to be read by anyone.

Here is what else I read during the month of January:

The Guardian by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

A True Patriot: The Journal of William Thomas Emerson by Barry Denenberg

The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey

Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James

A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James

Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James

This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Calling Me Home by Julie Kiebler

Maniac McGee by Jerry Spinelli

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

Lords of Avalon: Knight of Darkness (Comic Book) Story by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sword of Darkness by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Knight of Darkness by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Return of the Warrior by Sherrilyn Kenyon

A Dark Champion by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Mischief of Mistletoe by Lauren Willis

The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins

The Black Flower by Howard Bahr

Yes, if anyone noticed there are a lot of Romance Novels, there some that were even for me over the top in sex, but I had always liked the stories, the characters and the dialogue. The best part is most of the romance novels I tend to read I can skip the sex and still have a story so most of these I could do that. I cannot say I would re-read them again over and over, it is just it had been awhile since I had read some of them (well most like two years or so). One of the Romance Novels on my list I will never read again or it will be a long while before I do, that was Styxx. I will say it can be a good book, but well, I cannot handle flashbacks of things that happened to me. The certain parts of the book triggered a lot of that. I skipped a lot of pages so I would not have the trigger. If you handle the scenes more power to you. I understand she had to write those, but for some of us well we should be left to not know all the details.

My Favorite Books I Read in 2013

Looking back into 2013, as I mentioned in a previous post I read a lot. But, did I have favorites ? Of course I did! While I found that majority of the books I read during the 2013 were amazing and good, I decided to list out my favorite five from 2013. Just to note, they are not in order of most favorite of favorites.

By Alan Brennert

By Alan Brennert

Moloka’i: this book was part of our book club list. This became one of the five favorites for the simple reasons, it was a beautiful story written very well. It was a part of the history of Hawaii I knew so little of. This fictional story not only informed me of what happened, but I felt I was experiencing the girl’s life.

Editor: Hallie Lord

Editor: Hallie Lord

Style, Sex, & Substance: what happens when you get a group of Catholic women writers/bloggers, and ask them to write something….a great compilation of reflections that truly reflect, I think Catholic women on issues that inflict us in this modern time. I never knew this book existed until I saw it in a Catholic Bookstore in Charleston, SC (where I was stationed at this past year). I knew of all of the writers because I follow their blogs or have met them once in my life.

By: Lynn Sheene

By: Lynn Sheene

The Last Time I Saw Paris: I cannot help but promote this book, I love this book! I was never one to read about the French Resistance during WWII for I felt it was over-played and I do not know it never struck me as interesting to read. That changed with this book! (Or it just could be that this book was really good!) The twists, the spying, and writing, I actually re-read it after I finished it.

By: Bob Thomas

By: Bob Thomas

An American Original: Walt Disney : I have always loved Walt Disney, but I did not know much about his life or some of the myths that were a part of Walt. After reading this book, I found myself respecting Walt Disney even more than I did before. This biography makes Walt, well human not an idol or god, which from what I know of Disney then and now he never was something he wasn’t. Sometimes, what made him an idol of how he wished things to be done or how things seem to just come out of no where. If you want to know Walt, I suggest reading this book.

By: Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI

By: Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI

Jesus of Nazareth, Book II: With this being in my list it proves something for me, I am a woman for Holy Week and the Sorrowful Mysteries. (I have mentioned this to Em and even my own husband.) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s trilogy was one of my favorite series of last year or really all time, but my favorite was book two. The way he approached parts of the Holy Week helped me reflect more on the Crucifixion and the Resurrection more.

What were your favorite books of 2013? Comment below with either the list or even your blog entry link. We would love to know!

Happy Reading,

Nikita

Reading Goals of 2014

As we start the year of 2014, I am reminded that people make resolutions. But, resolutions do not have to be about health; it can actually be about a reading goal. Goodreads, a readers’ paradise (I really believe it is) has way for you to not only share your reviews of books, but a counter too! Last year, I read over one-hundred books! Shocking for me, for the year before I barely take out twenty-five books. This year I have made the goal of reading another one-hundred books.

Does anyone think I can read over that goal? 

Does anyone have a reading goal for this year? In the comments tell us what your goal is!

Happy Reading,

Nikita

Books of the Month: July 2013

This is only new books, as per my Good Reads queue. I generally re-read a lot, as well. I’m a big believer in re-reading.

  • Some Assembly Required and Operating Instructions, by Ann Lamott. Now, normally I won’t read her books at all, because she is diametrically opposed to everything I am, and I generally don’t like book that tell me I’m an idiot or whatever for a whole bunch of pages. But these were a book club selection for my Mail Order book club. So I read them. SAR was better than OI. But still, not high on my list of pleasure reading.
  • Kisses from Katie: about how a teenager from Tennessee came to live in Uganda and become the mother of a lot of girls! A great inspirational read.
  • The Real Jane Austen: A Life In Small Things: Probably one of the top three books on Jane I’ve read.
  • Love Walked In. I thought this book was going one way. It went another. And was better for it.
  • Divergent and Insurgent: Two of the three books in the Divergent trilogy (book three comes out in October). Very much recommended. They’re in the vein of Hunger Games, and a movie comes out based on Divergent next year.
  • The Phantom of the Opera, Twenty-Fifth Anniversary: I love Phantom. So I had to read it.
  • The White Princess: A continuation of Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War series. This time, it’s Elizabeth, who became the wife of Henry VII and the mother of Henry VIII. She was in love with King Richard III, but after his death, was forced to marry Henry Tudor to create a new Tudor dynasty.
  • The Light In the Ruins: Forbidden love in World War II Italy meets a modern day detective story.
  • And Then There Were None: The play version–preparing for an audition.
  • Bring Up The Bodies. Finally finished this. Not compelling, and generally much inferior to its’ predecessor Wolfe Hall.
  • The last Time I Saw Paris: Future book club selection so withholding my review.🙂
  • Organized Simplicity: this had a real impact on how I view housekeeping. So much so that I’m doing a series about it over on my blog.

That’s it for me!

Happy birthday, America!

Something to read today: The Declaration of Indepedence

"The Rocket", 1909

“The Rocket”, 1909

Some good Fourth of July books?

John Adams, by David McCullough. Also, 1776 by the same author, which is a lot shorter, but just as good. (It’s also one of our book club selections!)

The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place July 1-3, 1863, and is also the basis for the film Gettysburg.

July book: Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert

I am really excited to share this book in book club, for a few reasons. One, it’s a great novel about something most people probably don’t know a lot about: how the Hawaiian government handled leprosy/Hansen’s disease by shipping those with the disease to the island of Moloka’i, forcibly separating them from their families, usually for the rest of their lives. Two, it has two new Saints from the Catholic Church in it: St. Damian of Molokai, and St. Marianne Cope, who was a Franciscan sister who ran a house for girls with leprosy on the island. Sr. Marianne was recently canonized.

Moloka’i is told from the perspective of a young girl who is diagnosed with leprosy and sent to live on the island. That choice of narrator provides such a rich variety of experiences, as she grows up in a very different place than most little girls do. The compelling narration is one of the best elements of the story.

If you’d like to read along with us, feel free! Even if you’ve already read it, I always approve of re-reading.🙂

Book Club Reading List July-April 2014

So we’ve cobbled together a book list for our meetings through April 2014. We’re taking December off because that month just gets crazy. Here they are!

July: Molokai by Alan Brennert (2004)

August: Nothing Daunted by Dorothy Wickenden (2012)

September: Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini (2013)

October: Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins (2008)

November: Evangelical Catholicism by George Weigel (2013)

January: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814)

February: The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene (2011)

March: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (2011)

April: 1776 by David McCullough (2007)