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Ambrosia's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
tagged: currently-reading
At the King's Pleasure
tagged: currently-reading

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2017 Reading Challenge

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Posted by on April 3, 2017

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: Are there any songs that make you think of certain books or scenes from books? If so, which songs/books?

For me, I think it would end up taking me a month to name all of the songs I picture when I am reading certain scenes in books. I think for me reading can often also work much like writing, I tend to have a playlist or something playing along when I am not only writing but reading too. If I have to pick one song and scene right at the moment I would pick the theme song to the Vikings, if I had a heart to the books I am making slow progress on called The Viking. It isn’t the book’s fault, of course, my brain just keeps being a flibberty gibbet again, lol. So how about you?



Posted by on April 2, 2017

 

Another Sunday is here and it is the first of April. Can you believe that it is April already? The year seems to be flying by at this rate and given some of the crud that has been happening, maybe it is a good thing that it is. This last week for me was not a very good one. I don’t wish to drag readers down so I don’t want to dive into tons of detailing, but let’s just say stress, work overload, snapping and jealous friends make for an all around not so fantastic week. Couple that with the previous weeks massive incident of rolling around in so much pain I wanted to put my head through a plate glass window and the cold that has continued, I am just a barrel of laughs. Maybe I need to cast myself as a sad Victorian or something presently, lol. Safe to say I have decided that it is a good idea to stay away from any more Machiavelli for a while.

On the bright side of things (I am really deeply, trying to always find at least a little sunny side) it is April which means spring and spring often brings new life and new things eh? I miss the smell of lilac’s in bloom. They are such a delicate sweet flower with such a short life span, but they are truly one of my favorites. I can close my eyes and conjure up the scent sometimes which is always a nice thought.

Spring ha also brought with it for me the need to purge things and to reorganize. So of course I have despite still not being 100 % started the process of the purge and scrub. I am sure the process which includes book, by book dusting is going to take me a while. *laughs* In the end it will make me feel better though eh? I am even going to attempt to organize and straighten my crochet project area.

Stop laughing..I know you are laughing already.

Yes, I know it tends to look like a yarn shop threw up in my crafty area, but I am going to make an attempt at sorting it out at least. On the Sunday list of things to do is moving some new shelving into an area that needs it and then organizing what will go on those shelves. Will then be time to pick out another book to read..you know after I have finished dusting it.

Hope everyone is having a decent Sunday.

 



Posted by on March 28, 2017

 

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

*Face Palm* Sorry that when I copied the format over I left the info about the audio book from last week. Those who saw my mistake.. pretend you didn’t please LOL.

“Many people believe they know true darkness, but until it has been experienced it cannot be imagined. Without even a flicker of light, the mind begins to play tricks. There is a constant feeling that there is a wall before you, that you must stop. The eyes open as wide as they can, hungry for light. The only thing that helps is to shut them tight.”― The Book of Deacon (The Book of Deacon #1) by Joseph R. Lallo



Posted by on March 27, 2017

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION:What was your favorite picture book as a kid?

I went with a fun and easy one this week after my slightly heavy Sunday Salon, that and I am always trying to think of kids books to add to collections. My favorite book with pictures is a toss up. I LOVED Hop on Pop it was probably my all time favorite for YEARS. My Dad used to read it to me all the time. Also I had the Golden book of 365 stories It had pictures in it but it was more story focused. Either way this was another one my Dad or Mom would read to me. One story each night before bed, that one is still a favorite as well. Good memories.



Posted by on March 26, 2017

Happy Sunday to all who see this and a VERY Happy Mother’s day to those in England who are celebrating today. It always makes me smile a bit when I post a Mother’s day message in March and some of my readers or Facebook friends are very confused and say I am off.

Different countries have different Mother’s Day’s. Just like Thanksgiving in Canada is in October if I remember off the top of my head without checking my calendar. I don’t claim to know all the different Holiday’s but with English connections I try to be aware of their different days. You never know how much it can mean to an expat to hear a Happy Mother’s Day on the day they are used to celebrating it on.

What a week it has been in the world eh? Attacks in London and Ohio, I am sure I am missing another one ,but it just hurts my heart to think about all the senseless violence. I wish we lived in a more Utopian world. I know that the world that H.G Wells had hoped for is never likely. We are human and we will always have those among us who think violence prevails. Beyond that we have seen imaginations of what can happen when we want a peaceful never speaks out against anything society. It doesn’t work well either, not without violating a lot of personal freedoms and rights. We can and should do better though.

Love is going to be what will fix the hurts of the world. Not so much violence and hate. Maybe I am an idealist, but I hope someday for a world which is not so violent. I truly hope that we will not have to see daily accounts of mass shootings and attacks anywhere in the world. It is so heart breaking to think this is where we are.

Having a conversation with a dear friend made me happen upon a phrasing that I feel fits. Many people today think we are more civilized than we used to be. That ancient times and even the more recent Renaissance times were so much more savage than we are today. Were they really though? The biggest difference is that we now have access to the savagery almost immediately. We are a society that has a 24 hour at your fingertips news cycle. Very little happens in the world that isn’t seen, uploaded and then spread across the world. Back in ancient times and say, the time of the wars of the roses or the Tudors it took time for news to spread. Things were not as connected as they are today.

Yes, we have come a long way in certain areas, medicine, science and rights for many people. But are we really any less savage? Honestly, I think the age of the internet has allowed some to become more savage. When you look at the way people who in regular life would never raise a bad word, then attack and bully others on the internet. It is astounding. So, maybe we need a little bit more of the age of chivalry put back into our lives. Heck, at least when the Roman’s came in they took over, built roads, let people live their lives. Yes, I know that is simplistic, but early Roman’s expanded for the sake of expansion and Empire. The conquered people generally still got to keep their religion, and were absorbed into the society of Rome. If you look at how many different religions and Gods were present in Ancient Rome before Christianity the number is astounding. Alexandria was also a huge melting pot of religion and culture in its day. While the Knights of old would often (not always I am WELL AWARE) leave women and children alive.

Anyways, sorry for all the random rambling and heavy talk on a Sunday Salon post. I really set out just to say Happy Mother’s day and I look forward to the week to come. I guess I needed to get some things off my chest.

Or I could blame the nyquil for the nasty flu I have been battling.

Either way. I hope you have a good Sunday and pardon my deep ramblings on topics and the world today.



Posted by on March 25, 2017

Voltaire said, “Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known.” For Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronism—its pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, making it essential reading for any student of military history, strategy, or theory. Machiavelli believed The Art of War to be his most important work.

When people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli they tend to think of The Prince, it is by far his most well known book, but certainly not his only one. Machiavelli was a hugely prolific writer and although only a few ( I don’t know the exact number off the top of my head) of his works were published in his life time but thankfully we have his works now.

Other people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli and think of immorality and many other unkind thoughts because of the way his work is. So, well Machiavellian.

A third group will hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli and think of this guy:

Okay, perhaps a shameless excuse to use a picture in my review, something I don’t usually do. Anyways, I digress.

I have always enjoyed reading Machiavelli, yes, he is a little dark overall. However, within that darkness is an honest look at the human condition and all that comes with it. Most think of a completely different book when they think of The Art of War and so perhaps they they have some disappointment in this book because of that. This is one book that has been sitting on my TBR for a while and was one that I did not read before now.

The Art of War by Niccolò Machiavelli is like any of his works an insightful look and for me another great read. It takes a solid look at military maneuvers and the history of them. If you like reading military works this is a book that you shouldn’t skip IMO. This one ranks up there with Caesars’s Gallic wars for me. The theory and strategies that are brought up in this book is just as relevant today as it was when first written down. As much as I enjoyed another solid classic, this book also makes me a little bit sad. That sadness comes from looking at just how little the world has changed in all of this time. We are still highly war driven as a race and I suspect that will never change and so we will always need books like this.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on March 21, 2017

 

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

I ended up getting distracted last week by an Audio book of Sherlock Holmes and can admit I am being to lazy to transcribe a quote from it. LOL sorry. I am still reading The Time Machine though so another quote from that won’t be terrible right?

“It sounds plausible enough tonight, but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning.”
― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine



Posted by on March 20, 2017

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: I am going to stick with the theme I started with Sunday Salon for a moment. I hope no one minds. What do think of fairy tales in general? The book versions and their movie counter parts?

With all the live action movies coming out fairy tales are on the mind again for me. I love them and for me while I love the Disney take I really love to read the books that they come from. The books are of course always darker and that is some of the fun. Like the Snow Queen or The little Mermaid (two favs) for me. Although later this year a new version of The Little Mermaid is coming that is a (closer to the) book version vs. Disney so that is going to be fun.

Maybe I have a dark sense of humor like some friends say..I do love Into the Woods after all..lol

Have a Happy Monday!



Posted by on March 19, 2017


Oh, what a week it has been. There have been ups and there have been downs, but it has been an interesting week to be sure. For once I am ahead on my reading challenge for the year so that is something to be excited about. I won’t get to braggy about it though ,because I know how easily I can fall behind again *LOL*

Beauty and the Beast was the big talk of the week and who can blame me or anyone else right? As a kid Belle was the Disney Princess I understood the most, well, okay Jasmine for having the pet tiger, but Belle loved to read and everyone in her town thought she was odd. She was also a brunette (hey that made a difference to me) and so while I loved so many of the Disney animations I grew up with if you forced me to pick the one Princess when I was younger that I felt was most be it would be Belle. I still understand Belle a great deal though I feel I have moved a bit into an Elsa and Belle mix, but you don’t need me to babble on about that.

 

So Beauty and the Beast.. stunning production value’s and it stayed true to the Disney classic that we all know and love while also fixing a few things that as kid’s you might not notice as much but as an adult. Make you go well… now don’t get me wrong, I don’t try and nit pick animations because sometimes you should just be able to sit back and enjoy a movie for what it is. I mean it has singing objects and a rose that glows, you shouldn’t have to nitpick every little thing. Alas, it is human nature to pick at a few things right? So attempting to not give any major spoilers (but really it is very, very close to the original animation story) I am going to take my Sunday to happily applaud the things that were my nit picking moments as an adult that this beautiful live action version has adjusted. The most beautiful thing about it for me is that these changes were just soft, subtle and executed so well it felt natural as it should.

Nitpick #1: In the animation the curse has been in effect for 10 years by the time we come into the story and the Prince must find true love by his 21st birthday or that’s it for everyone. Think about that for a second. Yeah the enchantress essentially dropped a big curse on a kid for being a bit of a snot. Given the time period, well aristocratic kids could be snots. That has been one of the things that bugged me as I became an adult who loves history. Like come on Lady. The simple correction? The Prince is an adult when he is cursed and oh, he deserves it too, sure does and they simply remove any mention of the exact timeline. Simple, nice and still keeps things essentially the same.

Nit pick #2: The rose. I love roses and I have always loved the rose ( loved ones have often called me Irish rose over my lifetime) but I never really understood as an adult why a rose. Why not a lily or any other flower there is? The rose is give more significance in the live action film and I appreciate that. Sure, it is a small thing, but I have always felt as if the rose was a character in its own right. The tie in’s that have been made just kind of make it all fit together nicer and gives the Rose true significance and importance to Belle, her Father and the Beast. Yay!

Nitpick #3: How could an entire town forget about a Prince? Even as a kid, this one bothered me a bit. Even more so as an adult, especially given the time period this is supposed to be in. The likelihood of an entire province forgetting about their Prince is like.. just not going to happen. Yes, I know talking teapots don’t really happen either, but I have acknowledge I am being nit picky. Another simple, subtle touch, however, explained it perfectly. As the curse befell the Prince, his castle, his loyal servants and the general area around the castle it also touched the people in town. It took their memory of the Castle, The Prince and the Servants away. Easy and goes in perfectly with what a curse really should do.

Nitpick #4: Education or lack of. So I know again a kids movie they couldn’t go into all the big details and what not, but why was the beast so…..well completely ill mannered and not always so smart in the animation? I know nobility doesn’t mean smart, but at the time a boy of his standing would have had some serious education. The table manners aside (hey look at the hands he can be forgiven and its cute anyways) it is nice to see the Prince using his brain like a Prince. Sure, he can be beastly with it (the point I believe is a commentary on how nobility of the time could be very beastly) but he has a princely bearing about him even as a beast. Moreover, the library he has read many of the books and that is how he and Belle really begin to bond. That one gets two happy thumbs up from me.

Nitpick #5: How the heck did Belle get the Beast onto the horse?! Yeah, even my younger brain was curious about that one. Not that women can’t be strong, but come on he would have been massive dead weight and to hoist him up on a horse?!! Yeah….the most simple fix of them all. Belle simply asks him to help her and stand up. Well, there ya go, one line and all fixed.

So there are my nit picks and happy feelings if you ever wanted to know over Beauty and the Beast, lol. I know this one isn’t the most book related of my Sunday Salon’s but Beauty and the Beast was taken from the fairy tale book  La Belle et la Bête by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve so it counts right?

I am just going to go and spin around and sing some songs again as I get ready for the week ahead. Sometimes it is fun to take a moment to feel like a kid again right?

 



Posted by on March 17, 2017

A fresh, humorous, and timely YA novel about two teens conceived via in vitro fertilization who go in search for answers about their donor.

Milo has two great moms, but he’s never known what it’s like to have a dad. When Milo’s doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo’s extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he’s always wondered about.

Hollis’s mom Leigh hasn’t been the same since her other mom, Pam, passed away seven years ago. But suddenly, Leigh seems happy—giddy, even—by the thought of reconnecting with Hollis’s half-brother Milo. Hollis and Milo were conceived using the same sperm donor. They met once, years ago, before Pam died.

Now Milo has reached out to Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way, they locate three other donor siblings, and they discover the true meaning of the other F-word: family

First, I would like to say a thank you to Net Galley for giving me this book as an ARC to read. I was very excited about the approval, my opinions, however, as always are my own.

I wanted to like this book more than I did, that is not to say it was terrible, but for me it just hit a middle ground road for me. The concept of this book and the overall plot was very good and interesting. The idea of a family that has two siblings whom were conceived by sperm donors. Wanting to know where you come from is a very human emotion. Even those of us who know who both of our parents are often wishing to know more, to dig back into the past and find it all out. For that I applaud this book and for the message that it gives throughout it is wonderful and that is where most the 3 rating comes from me.

Where it fell short for me is that much of it just feels incomplete. There were places where the book could have gone deeper found another level. SO overall ,I am just a little on the fence with this one, it was a good enough read, but not one I am likely to pick up again. I might take a look at future works from the author though all the right things were there just put together a little wrong.

My Gemstone Rating:

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