Day: October 16, 2017

My Very Own “Book Bucket List” – September 2017

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I’ve knocked the 4th entry off my Book Bucket List:  ‘Carnegie’s Maid’ by Marie Benedict. You can see the review here. In its place, I’ve added Didi Oviatt’s ‘Search for Maylee’ to round out the 12 options for the next vote (post with poll to VOTE will be released next week).

 

 

The book you chose for me to read in September is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (review to be posted by 10/23) and to read in October is A Court of Thorns and Roses (review to be posted by 11/7). Congratulations to everyone who voted for these books. The poll to vote for the November book I should read will be opened next week.

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Below is the link to the on-going Book Bucket List and a background on what it’s all about. Click the link to access everything since the beginning of this post series.

My Very Own “Book Bucket List”

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to publish it in early 2018. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 218 – Holiday (Ryder Rant)

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Holiday: a special day where you send out a card to all your friends, family and acquaintances

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Hello, Furry Friends! I just assume you are all dogs like me, please don’t take offense. The world would really be better off if we were all dogs who just wanted to cuddle with one another. Too many bad things going on and I just hate reading about all of them. I do read a lot, in case you didn’t know that… Mostly stories with dogs in them, or the news to see if anything special is happening. Speaking of special, let’s chat a bit about holidays, as there are quite a few coming up in my world.

Halloween is always fun around here. The building has trick-or-treating for all the kids. Dad 2 calls it “Ryder’s Halloween Extravaganza” or something like that… I don’t always pay attention. We bought a bunch of candy for it, or rather my Grandma, Dad 1’s mom, bought a bunch of candy for it. She laughed when Dad 1 told her how much he paid last year for candy in the city, so she bought bags in the ‘burbs where I used to live and dropped it off for him. But he’s been eating several pieces of it lately. I’m worried I may not have any left. He keeps complaining his belly hurts from it, yet he still eats it. Now I know where I got it from; he can’t say anything bad about me anymore now that I’m on to him. Anyways… it’s coming up… and I’ll be ready to answer the door for all the trick-or-treaters even though there may be small children haunting me.

The other big news is Dad 2 created the Christmas card to send out this year. Last year, he took a photo of me sitting under the Christmas tree, claiming he would use it this year. He bought a new computer yesterday and decided to start working on the card. Apparently it’s all done, but he won’t let me see it. It’s off to the printer after he put his own finishing touches on it. It seems I’m the cover photo and will be sent out to everyone. How exciting! I will have to share a picture of it once I see it. Can you believe it’s almost Christmas season? I know we first have to get thru Halloween and Thanksgiving, but planning has started. I already know what I want for the holidays. And no, it’s not a brother or sister, so bite your tongues.

Time to go check on all the fall flowers… it’s a beautiful 55 degrees here in NYC, so everything is starting to really feel like autumn. Ah, it’s a good start to the week. What’s up for your holiday planning? Bye for now!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Book Review: Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

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Book Review: 4 out of 5 stars to Carnegie’s Maid, a historical fiction novel set to be published in January 2018 by Marie Benedict.

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Why This Book 
I saw this show up on NetGalley and wanted to read something about the Carnegie family. I’ve been on a hunt to read/learn more about all the “tycoons” of America, curious about all the connections between them. I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction, so I requested this one and was approved. I picked it up last month because of a trip to the Vanderbilt Estate, even though it’s a different family. Wanted to immerse myself in the culture before the trip.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Andrew Carnegie, a leading member of one of America’s tycoon families, has settled in Pittsburgh with his mother and brother. A woman who leaves Ireland to help earn money to send her family back home, learns that the lady’s maid hired for Mrs. Carnegie has died during the Atlantic voyage. She takes her place and becomes Clara Kelly, despite not having all the knowledge a lady’s maid should have. She learns quickly, befriends some of the other staff, even fights with a few. Over time, she convinces everyone she is a good maid, but there is much more to her than they realize; she’s got strong business acumen and become a confidante of sorts to Mrs. Carnegie’s son, Andrew. Their relationship grows and begins to cause a few folks to question what is going on in the Carnegie household. This is a story about the relationship between the Carnegie family and their staff, love between two unexpected souls and the vicious rules of society.

Approach & Style 
I read the Kindle version on my iPad over 3 days. It is about 250 pages with short chapters, told from the perspective of Mrs. Carnegie’s maid during the 1860s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, America.

Strengths 
The story is simple and complex, quite beautifully told from the maid’s perspective. Only she’s so much more than a maid, and you can hear every bit of pain and love in her voice. Benedict does a fantastic job at transporting us to the setting of the story, which makes it a strong connection. It’s a slow-build to see and feel the love, but quite believable.

I learned a bit about how Carnegie grew to fame and fortune. The book has made me curious to know how much of this story is true, hence why I am on the lookout for a biography on him and the family. A good author makes that happen… thanks, Ms. Benedict!

We only see a glimpse (less than ten years) of the life between these characters, then it jumps to when they are much older. I loved seeing a future glance rather than everything that happened over the years after Andrew and Clara met. Usually I don’t like missing details, but in this story, it worked quite well.

Concerns 
The writing is a little clunky at times; sometimes it’s as it should be, given the story takes place 150 years ago. But on a few occasions, I thought simpler phrases or imagery would have helped with the complexity in the differences between the time period and today.

Author & Other Similar Books 
This is the author’s second book, as she has a debut titled ‘The Other Einstein.’ I don’t know a lot about it, but I am curious to check out the description to see if it’s something I’d want to read.

I read a bunch of historical fiction and have encountered books like this before; however, seeing it about a famous American family, and learning of a potential ‘hidden’ relationship, was different and exciting.

Final Thoughts 
Good read. Quick. Informative. I liked the style. Characters well-drawn. Matches the style of the time period. Overall, better than average.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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