You know how I mention every once in a while that one of my main goals when I retired was to fill my days with good books and the time to read them? That’s not usually all that hard to do, but in the time since we’ve returned home from Mackinac, I’ve only read two books, and that’s just downright ridiculous! Oh, I’ve read magazines galore, skimmed through catalogs, and watched lots of Netflix movies, but for some reason, the time to just sit for a few hours of good, steady reading has escaped me.
The two books I have read were good ones, so I’d like to share.
THE BRONZE HORSEMAN TRILOGY by Paullina Simons
I read the first two books in this trilogy, The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana and Alexander, before I left the Island, then ordered this last book when I returned home. In combination, they are quite possibly the best love story I’ve ever read.
If anyone had told me I would be just as entranced with the same couple at the end of the 600+ page third book as I was by Chapter 2 of the first book (all three were over 600 pages), I would have said, “No way – nothing and no one can keep my attention that long.” I was wrong.
Along with this couple’s love story, the first two books tell vividly what it was like living in Russia during World War II. Telling you where the third book is set would let you in on too much of the plot, so I will just zip my lips on that. I have never been much interested in Russian history, but by the middle of the first book I was turning pages just as rapidly to learn about Russia as I was to learn what would happen next with Tatiana and Alexander.
Amazon calls these books “a Russian Thorn Birds” and a stirring tale of devotion, passion, secrets, betrayal, and sacrifice. I totally agree!
MRS. KENNEDY AND ME by Clint Hill
I was in high school when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and like the rest of the country sat for hours and hours watching days of coverage of his funeral. In the years since then, we’ve learned more about this family than most of us care to – and the majority of it isn’t very flattering.
Remember the photograph of the car the Kennedys were riding in and the Secret Service agent crawling over the back of the car right after the first shot? I always believed that agent was assigned to the President, but he was not. He was the agent in charge of Jackie Kennedy, and his name is Clint Hill.
Decades after Kennedy’s assassination, Hill has written a book about his years in the White House as Mrs. Kennedy’s Secret Service agent. If you are looking for juicy tales and sordid secrets, this is not the book for you. Mr. Hill has written a story of what it was like to protect the President’s wife – a job he at first did not want (he was one of the agents in charge of Dwight D. Eisenhower and was hoping to be assigned to President Kennedy).
Hill’s admiration of Jackie Kennedy shines through every page, and the book details the minutiae of life in the White House and in the several homes owned or used by the Kennedys during his presidency.
If you are interested in the history of the Kennedy years in the White House, or if you are just fascinated with the Kennedy family, please read this book. I loved it.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND
FINALLY! I’ve been waiting all winter for the publication of Heart of Ice, and it’s out on February 26.
Well then, Brenda, just how did you come to have a copy already . . . . I know you’re asking!
OK – I’ll tell you! P.J. Parrish is actually the two-sister team of Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols. They write fabulous novels that make the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. This latest novel is set on Mackinac Island, and one day a couple of summers ago Jill introduced me to Kristy.
Kristy had actually been reading my blog and took some island details for Heart of Ice from what she read. We have chatted back and forth since then, and this week the book arrived in the mail!
And when I turned to the Acknowledgement Page . . . .
How cool is that!
So now I can’t wait to settle in and start reading Heart of Ice and figuring out all the places they talk about in the book. Here’s a little preview of what it’s about:
Florida PI Louis Kincaid wants to wear a badge again. But before he can, he must return home to Michigan – and some unfinished business. He hopes to bond with ten-year-old Lily, the daughter he only recently learned existed, and reunite with girlfriend Joe Frye. But new clues to an unsolved murder put his plans on ice. A trip with Lily to enchanting Mackinac Island turns grim when the child falls on a pile of old bones; the dangerous discovery reopens the cold case of Julie Chapman, a teenager from one of the wealthy summer families, who vanished two decades ago. And when Louis is forced to cooperate with a tough state investigator who once worked with Joe, tensions skyrocket. Now, what was supposed to be a time of building lasting ties splinters into disturbing fragments, personally and professionally, as Louis pursues a mystery entangled in dark family secrets and twists even he can’t predict.
Sounds like I’m going to have to find an unoccupied cushion on the couch and curl up. With over 10 inches of rain expected here over the weekend, and flood warnings posted, I’d say it’s the perfect time to read!
If you’ve read something you really, really liked and want to share, please tell us about it in the comments section! Always looking for a good read!
1) Please keep Lowell Greene and his wife Faye in your prayers. He goes into the hospital on Friday morning for a heart cath and possibly a stent. Jill and I visited Lowell and Faye last fall in Olivet, MI, and he and Faye will be visiting the Island in June.
2) I talked with Chris Ann for a few minutes on Wednesday and it was so wonderful to hear her voice. She sounded very weak, but I understood everything she said and even got a small laugh from her when I said some stupid, silly thing. When I talked to Burton, he said Hospice had come the day before and washed her hair, and they continue to juggle her pain meds for the best combinations. Both of their Michigan children and their families are coming in for the weekend. Chris Ann is very close to the end of her journey.