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Showing posts from September, 2012

Phyl's 5 Phaves from August

Things are usually pretty slow here at Phyl's Quilts and Books. They've been slower than usual of late because I badly pinched a nerve in my lower back in mid-August. Pain, drugs, and physical therapy have dominated my landscape since then. The good news is that I'm way better than I was a month ago. The bad news is that I'm still dealing with some pain, weird nerve activity, and weakness in my right leg. The goal is to avoid back surgery at all costs, so I've been faithful with my exercise routine. I'm glad to be resuming most of my normal activities, including sewing, but at the risk of being repetitive, it's slow. So very slow.

Fortunately I actually wrote a couple of these (#5 and #3) right after I read those books, before the pinched nerve. I read #1 and #4 while I was stuck in bed. Frankly, I'm amazed I remember anything from the "Vicodin is my best friend" days. But here we go:

5. The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand. I've been luck…

TBR Day. The Birth of Venus / Sarah Dunant. 2003

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I'm bending the rules a little this month. This book was not in my personal TBR pile. It was a library book I'd picked up at the urging of my QBFFs who had read and loved this book. Since they often read the romances I recommend to them, it seemed only fair to follow up on a rec from them. It was almost due and I needed a non-romance for this month, so I decided to write about Sarah Dunant's rich historical novel set in Florence during the turbulent 1490s.

Dunant is apparently well-known for her suspense novels, including a series of crime novels with the recurring character, Hannah Wolfe. The Birth of Venus was her first historical novel. She's since gone on to write a few more. At any rate, I found this to be a very interesting novel, full of details about the art and politics of Florence during a time when a monk named Savonarola temporarily wrested power from the Medicis and preached a very puritanical gospel. He defied the Pope and claimed to have visions that wo…

Phyl's 5 Phaves from July

5. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. I wish I knew where I saw a recommendation for this book. It's YA, I genre I really tend to avoid. But the story intrigued me so much I had to read it and once I started I couldn't put it down. This is the story of Julia, an 11-12 year-old girl who writes about the year the Earth's rotation began to slow down. The earth's 24 hour rotation slows to over 72 hours by the end of the book. The magnetic fields of the earth have shifted, people's circadian rhythms are disturbed, and the world slowly begins to die. Be warned, this is not a book with a sudden miraculous happy ending. Julia, already a lonely only child, finds ways to cope with the changes around her. She's resilient and determined to move forward. This first novel by Walker is compelling and emotional. Thank you to whoever mentioned it online. I'm so glad I read this.

4. Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey. This dystopian story is set on earth at an unspecified…