Category Archives: Uncategorized

A God In Ruins

agod  A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2015

Borrowed from my public library.

The first book I read by Kate Atkinson was When Will There Be Good News? .  I remember devouring it, loving the characters, loving the writing.  I read all the Jackson Brodie books, and was excited to learn about Life After Life.

It took me weeks to read that book.  I kept picking it up and putting it down, not sure if I would ever get through it.  I think it was the time shifting, creating a kind of vertigo, much like the main character, Ursula Todd, felt, constantly dying and being reborn.  I ended up finishing the book, really enjoying it, and amazed at Atkinson’s writing abilities, at how different Life After Life was from her other novels.

Atkinson calls A God In Ruins a companion piece to Life After Life.  I read it over five days, taking it in at a moderate pace. It follows the life of Ursula’s younger brotherTeddy, and lovingly weaves in family members, Teddy’s parents, his wife, child and grandchildren.  It also shift chronologically, following the lives of these people in a way I found less jarring, filling in the Todd family story and allowing for mystery, elements of family drama that evolve because of events finally revealed at the end of the book.

There is history it both of these novels, World War II, the blitz, the British and Allied bombing of Germany.  Atkinson dug deep, she holds nothing back in her descriptions of the blitz, in the scenes of Teddy and his crew in their Halifax bomber, flying to and from their bombing runs.   A God In Ruins is beautifully written, deeply engaging and I found it emotionally honest.  I highly recommend it, even if you haven’t read Life After Life.

There, I’ve jumped in, glad to be back in the water.  I find myself reading more and more historical fiction lately, particularly World War I and World War II.  Not sure what that is about but any suggestions would be appreciated.



Filed under Books, British, Historical Fiction, Kate Atkinson, Uncategorized


Soyuziss034e005039_fullI’ve been receiving comments and requests.  Seriously thinking of beginning to post again, or creating a new space on WordPress.  Will visit some old friends and see what is up.


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Gone missing?


It has been over a month since my last post.  I’ve been traveling, spending time outside away from my computer and dealing with a minor health issue.  I have also been reading, loving what I read and finding it difficult to write about the books I’ve finished.  You can see the books on Goodreads.  My user name is Gavin9.

Even with all that keeping me busy, it is obvious to me that I’m just not into keeping up with this blog.  I am reading your posts,  finding time to visit your blogs and sometime leave comments.   I will continue to do so.  I hope to revive my poetry blog and occasionally I post something on tumblr, so you are welcome to visit those place.  For now be well, be happy and keep reading!



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Neil Gaiman – One of my Heros


Filed under Special, Uncategorized, Video

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Top Shelf Productions, Marietta, 2003

Winner of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards for Best Graphic Novel and Best Cartoonist.

Borrowed from the library.

I really though I had read this before.  After looking at it in the library I realized I hadn’t.  I am so glad I brought it home.

Blankets is an autobiographical novel that tells the story of Craig Thompson’s growing up in an fundamentalist Christian family.  Simply told and beautiful drawn in black and white, it revisits childhood memories,  sharing a bed with his younger brother, the horrors of certain punishments, being an outsider at school and at church, the experience of first love.

Blankets tells the story of a young person’s struggle with belief and guilt, the questions many ask themselves about faith, family and individuality.  Thompson’s artwork, sometimes earthy, sometimes dreamlike, adds great emotional depth to this story.  It is an unusually honest portrayal of teen fear and loneliness, as well as the passion felt with first love.  I found the ending quite beautiful.

The only graphic book I can compare it to is Stitches: A Memoir by David Small, another wonderful book.  Here are some links to some great reviews of Blankets.  Please visit them.  (If you have reviewed this book let me know and I will add your link.)


Jenny’s Books (Guest review- Jenny’s Mom)

Regular Rumination

Rhapsody in Books

Shelf Love

things mean a lot


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Sunday Salon – Summer’s Almost Gone?

Happy Sunday to you all.  I will be heading into school this week to begin helping in the classroom and organizing the library.  Summer has passed by quickly but I feel well rested and have accomplished many of the things on my to-do list.  I really can’t wait to see the children.  They can change so much over the summer and they just love to tell stories about their summer activities.

I have spent a good part of this week at “summer camp”.  There is a method of  somatic education work called Feldenkrais.  I started taking lessons in the 90’s and somehow fell away from it.  Last year, when I injured my knee, a friend suggested I see a colleague of her’s for some body work.  It turned out she is a Feldenkrais practioner.  I had one of those “aha” moments. Why hadn’t I thought of that?

Anyway, LeeAnn helped me with my injury and I started going to Awareness Through Movement classes again.  This last week we had five days of intensive work with a master teacher.  Fantastic!  If you have issues with pain and/or injury or you practice Yoga, Tai Chi or martial arts I would suggest you check it out.

As for books, I picked up a large stack from the library and am working on a Library Loot post.  I also added several books to my to-be-read list including By The Sea by Veronique Olmi thanks to chasing bawa and Mosquito by Roma Tearne thanks to Eva.  Right now I am reading Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch and The Passage by Justin Cronin.  How about you?   What are you reading today?  What do you plan on reading this week?


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Moby Dick Monday

This is a read-along organized by Ti at Book Chatter. The whale and I are taking a break this week.  You can join in with the other readers at:

Ti at Book Chatter

Jill/Softdrink of Fizzy Thoughts

Jill of RhapsodyinBooks

Dar of Peeking Between the Pages

Eva of A Striped Armchair

Wisteria from Bookworm’s Dinner

Sandra at Fresh Ink Books

Claire from kiss a cloud

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Sunday Salon – A Slow Week

Greetings and happy Sunday Salon.

It has been a slow reading week for me as I finished up Wolf Hall , tried to assimilate all that I read and found it difficult jumping into another book.  I am working on a review but am struggling to find the words I want.  I loved this book and am in complete awe of Hilary Mantel’s writing style and intelligence.  I have added A Place of Greater Safety to my TBR list but will wait a while before I read it.  It runs close to 900 pages.

I did finish reading  Topdog/Underdog and wrote a short review. Because it took so long for me to get through Mantel’s book I had to return some other books back to the library.   I picked up a few more.  Three of these are by authors I’ve never read before.

I also picked up several picture books.  I find them to be a pleasure for the eye and often they are a joy to read.  I will write about them if  I like them.

I have started reading Tinkers and  find in interesting and unusual.  Have you heard of or read this book?


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2010 Global Reading Challenge

Dorte from DJs krimiblog is organizing a Global Reading Challenge , one of my favorite kinds of challenges from 2009.  I’m joining in at the medium level and reading  2 novels from 6 continents.  How about you?

Leave a comment

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Sunday Salon – Almost Winter

Happy December!  It’s hard to believe the year is almost over.  We are planning several holiday celebrations at school and the children are making holiday gifts.   Everyone is gathering greens for our annual Wreath Making party, a much loved event put on by our middle school students.   It includes a bake sale put on by students and a book sale put on by a  local independent bookstore.  They are kind enough to donate a percentage of the sales to the school library!

I  gave up on a book this week, one I enjoyed reading when I started but grew tired of half way through. Does this ever happen to you?

Maybe it was because I brought home a copy of The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt from the library, and once I’d picked that up I could not put it down.  I am loving it and recommending it to all and sundry.

Griselda said her aunt’s fairy stories frightened her.  So did Hans Anderson, he made her cry.  But not this sort of tale.  She didn’t know why.  It sould be scary, there was lots of blood.  Toby said that these were memories of some other time, long ago, and he agreed, they weren’t scary.

“They are just like that,” said Griselda, feeling for what intrigued her, not finding it.

Toby looked at the serious thin face.  He said he would send her a book of the Grimms, if she was allowed to recieve it.  Griselda said she didn’t think her family had anything against the Grimms.  They just didn’t know about them.  Toby wanted to stroke her hair, and say, don’t worry, but he didn’t think that was a good idea.  From page 56.

I really have to sit down and figure out where I am at with my challenges for this year and which ones I have joined and will join for next year.  Once I’m done with Kristin Lavransdatter I’m joining in on the Moby Dick Monday read-along over at Book Chatter.  I am also considering this read-along.  How about you?  Do you have you challenges all planned out or will you join what ever strikes your fancy?

Sunday Salon is a gathering of book lovers who write about books and about blogging.  The posts and the bloggers are eclectic, intriguing and exciting.


Filed under Sunday Salon, Uncategorized