Friday, December 2, 2022

Winterland by Rae Meadows -- BOOK BEGINNINGS



How are you this first Friday in December? I'm starting the month as I'm sure it will continue, in a blur of work and holiday activity. So much so that I forgot to post early yesterday!

Please join me now on Book Beginnings on Fridays to post the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. Or you can share from a book that caught your fancy and you want to highlight this week.


Katerina smoothed back her hair, tucking in a dark strand that had come loose from her bun. The tips of her fingers were cold and leached of color.

-- From Winterland by Rae Meadows (2022, Henry Holt).

This exciting new novel tells the story of Anya, tapped at eight years old to join the prestigious USSR gymnastics program. The story weaves the threads of Anya's rise through the ranks of the fiercely competitive program with the mystery of her mother's disappearance from Siberia years earlier. 

Just look at this gorgeous cover! Winterland looks like the perfect book for a cold winter weekend.


Please leave a link to your Book Beginnings post in the linky box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings. 

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The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


From Winterland:
She knew that, knew she couldn't keep her hair long forever, but he had been so quick, so heartless. The scissors splayed open obscenely on the desk, hair caught between the blades.

23 Days to Christmas!


Thursday, December 1, 2022

24 Days to Christmas! An Advent Calendar Tradition


Every year, I count down the days to Christmas with a daily post of a vintage holiday card. I've kept up this advent calendar since I started Rose City Reader back in 2008.

I love holiday traditions and vintage ephemera. If you also like vintage cards and want to see more, click on the "Advent" or "vintage postcard" tags at the bottom of these posts (or bottom of the page) to find hundreds of images from past years. You will find trees, ornaments, Santas, elves, cats, birds, dogs, deer, gifts, candles, bells, and lots more!


Some years I have a theme for the advent calendar, sometimes it's a hodgepodge. I've done all cats, all houses, all animals, all Santas. My goal is to use different pictures every year and it's getting harder to keep with a theme, so I'll probably mix it up this year. 

When it comes to real time Christmas cards, do you send them? I do! I still send old-fashioned cards out of a box, usually with a picture of me and Hubby stuck inside. 

I did order printed cards from Zazzle for my law firm. I was lucky to snap this picture with my law partner before she left for maternity leave! 


Do you have special holiday-themes blogging you do in December? Besides this advent countdown, I don't do much Christmas-themed blogging. I don't really do Christmas-themed reading that lends itself to Christmas-themed blogging. Although I like the idea of reading Dickens in December so I'm reading Our Mutual Friend.

I get excited about next year's reading challenges this time of year, although with so much else going on, it is hard to get all the posts up before the end of the year. I usually end up planning in December and posting in January.

I am hosting the European Reading Challenge again in 2023 and a TBR 23 in '23 challenge. I will get those posts before the end of the year, I promise!

What are your blogging plans for December? Do they include planning or posting any 2023 reading challenges?

See you tomorrow when the advent calendar continues!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

I Meant to Tell You by Fran Hawthorne -- BOOK REVIEW



I Meant to Tell You by Fran Hawthorne

Fran Hawthorne's new novel, I Meant to Tell You, starts with the disclosure of a little secret and follows the ripple effects of that disclosure back through years and relationships.

Miranda and Russ are engaged to be married and Russ is ready to start a new job in the U.S. Attorney's office. As part of a routine FBI background check, both must disclose any criminal history. Miranda had never told Russ that years earlier, she tried to help a friend and her child leave the US for Israel during her friend's nasty divorce. Although Miranda did not know this trip was illegal, is was, and she and her friend were arrested at the airport. Miranda was sentenced for a misdemeanor, which was later expunged. Because the conviction was not on her record, she didn't mention it to Russ or the FBI. Big mistake.

The story unspools from there. Other family and marital secrets come to light. The characters wrestle with the ethical dilemmas created by balancing secrecy and honesty. Hawthorne narrates the book through the multiple voices of those involved. The story remains upbeat and it is a fairly quick read, but provides food for thought. It would be a terrific book club pick.

I Meant to Tell You launched this month, in time for holiday gift giving. It is Fran Hawthorne's second novel after her 2018 debut, The Heirs.

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