Monday, May 25, 2015

Nobody's Cuter Than You - Teaser Tuesday and First Paragraph / First Chapter

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Nobody's Cuter Than You: A Memoir About the Beauty of Friendship arrived in the mail as a surprise gift from my good friend Sandra Allen, co-author of I.O.U. Sex, and I've just started reading it. So far, it's sweet and funny, and I've seen lots of passages that I can identify with. The book is a memoir about friendship, especially the author's friendship with Amy Gulley. It's classified as "Christian Living" on its Amazon page, but I haven't seen any preaching so far. Thanks for a delightful gift, Sandra! 
      Here's how the memoir starts (after an introduction):

First Paragraph:
      I dropped off my daughter, Caroline, at camp for the first time ever yesterday and am in the midst of what can only be described as an emotional hangover. Perry and I helped her get her room for the week all set up, and then I hugged her good-bye as her little eyes filled with tears. At that point I basically had to sprint down the hallway without daring to cast a look back over my shoulder lest I be like Lot's wife and dissolve into a pillar of salt. Or maybe just tears. 

Teaser Tuesday (from Page 29 - trade paperback):
(FYI: Melanie has started a new school in seventh grade.)
Junior high girls aren't generally known for their kind and welcoming ways, and my experience proved to be no exception to this rule. These are the years that are a bad cocktail of insecurity, hormones, and believing you know all there is to know about life while you incessantly worry about whether your boobs are ever going to show up. 

Genre: Memoir / Christian Living
Length: 200 Pages (plus Appendices)
Amazon Link: Nobody's Cuter Than You
Melanie Shankle's Blog: Big Mama


Synopsis (from Amazon):
There is nothing as precious in life as a friend who knows you and loves you in spite of yourself. Yet over the last couple of decades, we’ve substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for “community” on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other’s beautifully filtered photos on Instagram and delude ourselves into believing we have a community. But real friendship requires effort. It’s showing up, laughing loud, and crying hard. It’s forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt. It’s making a casserole, doing a carpool pickup, and making sure she knows those cute shoes are 50 percent off. Written in the same comedic style as the New York Times bestsellers Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living RoomNobody’s Cuter than You is a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists between friends and a poignant celebration of all the extraordinary people God had the good sense to bring into our lives at exactly the right moments. From the friendships we develop over a lifetime to the ones that wounded us and the ones that taught us to love better, Melanie Shankle reveals the influence our friends have on who we were, who we are, and who we will become. And on a day when our jeans feel too tight, our chins have decided to embrace hormone-related acne reminiscent of our teen years, and our kids have tested the limits of our sanity, they are the ones who will look at us and say, “Nobody’s cuter than you!”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!
Link at ADailyRhythm.com





First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Charmed, I'm Sure - Saturday Snapshots

Several days ago, while searching for an old pair of bluejeans, I came across my charm bracelet from high school. I thought I'd lost it! 

Did you (or do you) have a charm bracelet? What do you think mine reveals about my teenage years?

*****
Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below. 

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate 
for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. 
Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pompeii - Saturday Snapshots

This past Thursday my husband and I traveled back in time to 24 August, 79 AD to the ancient city of Pompeii and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius - via Seattle's Pacific Science Center. Here are a few of the many photos I took of the exhibit. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
I wonder what the philosopher (on the left)
is contemplating.
Beautiful mosaic table and section of floor,
along with murals portraying life in Pompeii
Amphora used to store wine, grain, water, etc.
Armor
Most compelling of all to me were the casts of people caught in the volcano's ash and lava.
Top to bottom: a pregnant woman,
a child, and a man

The exhibit also featured displays of cooking utensils, jewelry, art, oil lamps, surgical tools, and even a recreation of a brothel. Near the end of the exhibit, we were ushered into a room with a huge movie screen filling one wall. Here's what happened, as described on the museum's website:

Then, as the floors shake and the walls rumble, relive the volcano's catastrophic eruption through an immersive CGI experience, culminating in the reveal of 6 full body casts of twisted human forms, asphyxiated by extreme heat and noxious gases and forever frozen in time.

The shake and rumble were created by sound, and plumes of water mist simulated the noxious gases, but it was still a cool experience.

For an interesting video that encapsulates Mt. Vesuvius's most famous eruption, check out the video on History.com: HERE

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

*****
Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below. 

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate 
for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. 
Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dancing at the Rascal Fair - The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings on Friday

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I've never been to Montana, but I feel like I've seen its wide open spaces and soaring mountains after reading Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig. This second book in Doig's Montana trilogy (it stands alone) made me a fan of his writing, and I've read almost all his books. Unfortunately, Mr. Doig passed away earlier this year at age 75.

Book Beginning (It starts with a newspaper story.)
Scotland and Helena
     Harbour Mishap at Greenock. Yesterday morning, while a horse and cart were conveying a thousand-weight of sugar on the quay at Albert Harbour, one of the cartwheels caught a mooring stanchion, which caused the laden conveyance and its draft animal to fall over into the water. The poor creature made desperate efforts to free itself and was successful in casting off all the harness except the collar, which, being attached to the shafts of the sunken cart, held its head under water until it was drowned. The dead animal and the cart were raised during the forenoon by the Greenock harbour diver.
-- Glawgow Caledonian, October 23, 1889

     To say the truth, it was not how I expected - stepping off toward America past a drowned horse.

The Friday 56 (from Page 56 in my trade paperback edition):
     Past the rear of his saloon and across a wide weedy yard he led us toward a two-story frame house. The house needed paint - this entire town needed that - but it sat comfortably between two fat gray cottonwood trees, like a mantel clock between pewter candlesticks.  

Genre: Montana Historical Fiction 
Length: 400 Pages (trade paperback edition)
Author Website: Ivan Doig

Synopsis:
     The central volume in Ivan Doig's acclaimed Montana trilogy, Dancing at the Rascal Fair is an authentic saga of the American experience at the turn of this century and a passionate portrayal of the immigrants who dared to try new lives in the imposing Rocky Mountains.
     Ivan Doig's supple tale of landseekers unfolds into a fateful contest of the heart between Anna Ramsay and Angus McCaskill, walled apart by their obligations as they and their stormy kith and kin vie to tame the brutal, beautiful Two Medicine country.

                 

Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
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