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    • #23728
      Colleen Steele

        I know many of us have enjoyed a lot of binge watching movies and shows but how about reading? Have you read or listened to any good books lately? I think that is what I will do this weekend. Historical fiction is my favorite. What about you? Share suggestions with us and tell us about what you are reading now.

      • #23744
        Jen Cueva

          Hey @colleensteele, although I read a variety of books, I am currently reading, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It is a witty yet heartbreaking novel. I have many others on my list, but this was one that I had already started before all of the lockdowns began.

          I have never been one to listen to books, although I know many who do. Do you prefer listening to or reading a book, @colleensteele? I like to have the book in my hands, I know, silly. I do think I may try using our Amazon Prime to see what free books are available. I can read those free ones via my iPad.

          Anyone else reading anything interesting to keep your minds busy?

        • #23750

          Hey @colleensteele my friend just got me into reading the Harry Potter series from start to finish last year. She told me that she always re-reads these books in a time in her life when there is a lot of struggle and uncertainty. I figured, what better time to re-read about this magical world than now! It is a life so different from our own and that’s what I really loved about it and all the characters were so relatable. I will be starting book 1 again tonight !

        • #23757

          @jenc I am actually reading that too! I like all of the Reese Witherspoon top book choices. This was on her list too. I really like it and I like the character a lot. She is relatable ! I also like the feeling of having an actual book to hold while I’m reading. My bf bought me a kindle and I ended up reading a lot of books off of it but it bothered me that my book shelf was so empty LOL! I am old school when it comes to reading, I prefer holding it vs just seeing it on a screen. The screen ends up hurting my eyes after awhile (even with the special light protection)

        • #23767
          Jen Cueva

            @brittany-foster, too funny. My hubby bought me a Kindle last year, and I used it for maybe a week. Like you, I am old school with books. I have books that I have read and books that I may get to- hehe.

            I have never started reading Harry Porter. For some reason, I feel like I may not get into it as much as other books. You make an excellent point; we all do need some magic in our lives. Maybe that is something that I need to try to start reading once I finish this book. I find as I get older, I can only read one book at a time. Has anyone else noticed this yet?

          • #23777

            @jenc for me, that’s not just an “as I got older” type thing hahaha! It has happened to me my whole life. In school it was always so hard to keep track of all the books I was reading for all my classes. They all seemed to mix in with the next and I had a hard time keeping characters straight. Reading comprehension was something that I really struggled with. So, mix that with having to read for several classes and I was SO CONFUSED !

          • #23784
            Colleen Steele

              @jenc I prefer the old fashioned hardback or paperback books. I do have a tablet and since I can’t get to the library I might break down and download a few books. I don’t listen to books either but I know people who seem to really enjoy it.

              A co-worker many years ago introduced me to the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. Many times when Cullen was in the hospital I would break out and even re-read one of those books because they are so funny! The setting is in South Jersey where I grew up so I’m familiar with the places, foods, etc. that she writes about. I’ve even known guys who have read her books and thought they were hilarious. I’m thinking about re-reading the series again.

              That being said, I swore I was going to read this weekend but instead I watched Netflix and Hulu.

              I have never read Harry Potter but my husband wants to start re-watching the movies while we are in lockdown. When you mentioned Reese Witherspoon it made me think of Drew Barrymore. She has written a few books. A close friend gave me Find It in Everything which is a collection of photographs by Drew that contain hearts found in everyday situations. Some are kind of unique, like a photograph of a break in the clouds that forms a heart. And a sun spot on a cat. My friend gave it to me because when my son was on the transplant list we kept finding hearts in weird places which we took as a sign of hope.

            • #23796
              Robin Webster

                Animal lovers and romance lovers might enjoy the last one I read. It’s called Love, Chocolate and a Dog Named Al Capone. The dog is the narrator, and while I know that sounds ridiculous, it’s really very clever. And Capone the Wonder Dog also has his own Facebook page!

              • #23799

                @colleensteele I really love that about the hearts and finding them everywhere. The universe gives us signs when needed and sometimes when least expected. I find heart shaped rocks sometimes on walks or runs on the beach and I always stop to get them and put them in a jar. Usually they just pop out at me and I don’t do much searching for them. But, searching for them is pretty calming and mindful too. It’s something I look forward to doing again when the weather gets nicer ! Definitely helps me take my mind off things.

              • #23800

                @jenc do you do books on tape at all? I can barely listen to two things that come out of someone’s mouth on a regular basis, nevermind listening to something on tape. Songs and stuff I can do, but I am not one to listen to podcasts or books because I just don’t have the attention span for that. My attention has gotten a lot worse over the years and I am particularly challenged when it comes to listening to something and actually taking it in!

              • #23809

                @robin-webster I love books about animals ! I loved “Marley and Me” when I read it and it was one of the only books to ever make me cry hysterically. I also loved the movie ! My love of animal books happened when I was younger and read “Because of Winn Dixie” . It is a book more for children and is a really cute movie too.

              • #23818
                Jen Cueva

                  Haha, @brittany-foster. I love that and will go with your thoughts on that. I probably have been dealing with this longer than I realize.

                  , I am also thinking of using my iPad for reading more now, too. So, we will see how that goes. I always have preferred holding the book in my hand, also. Yes, I know old-fashioned.

                • #23819
                  Jen Cueva

                    @robin-webster, how are you doing? I am happy to see your post. I love animal movies, too. I do not think I have seen that one, but I will check it out if it’s on Amazon Prime Or Netflix. Like Brittany, I did love Marley And Me, too.

                  • #23822
                    Colleen Steele

                      Oh thanks for the suggestion @robin-webster! I never heard of the book “Love, Chocolate and a Dog Named Al Capone”. Maybe that will be my next read. @brittany-foster “Marley and Me” is a good one too! I enjoyed that. Have either of you read “A Dog’s Journey” and “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron? I know they made movies out of them but I really recommend the books. Those are two I plan on re-reading in the future. Loved them!

                    • #23836

                      @jenc let me know how it goes with the reading from the ipad. I wish I could do it because there are a lot of good books and they are sometimes cheaper when purchasing them on a kindle too! But for me it also hurts my eyes and makes my vision way more blurred at the end of the night so when I look up from what I’m doing it’s all foggy and harder to see. Even with my glasses on !

                    • #23837

                      @texas2018 I agree with Jen! We are so appreciative of your contributions and your best thoughts and prayers on this forum. Please let us know how we can be of support to you too during your hard time. This really is a tough situation for so many of us and you’re not along in feeling that way and feeling overwhelmed by what is going on around us as well as what is going on within us. It seems like so much is in conflict right now. I am so thankful for your support and care!

                    • #23839

                      @colleensteele I saw the movie “A Dog’s Purpose” and cried and CRIED my eyes out. I watched it while in the children’s hospital with my mom. It was on their suggested movie list and free movie list. I wasn’t expecting to be as moved by it as I was. This was even BEFORE getting my dog, so now I am going to cry even more with reading the book. I definitely have to add them to my list.

                    • #23861
                      Jen Cueva

                        Oh @brittany-foster, A Dog’s Purpose was another tear-jerker. I cried in that one, too.

                        As far as reading on my Ipad, that will only be when I finish with the book I am reading now. I, too, find that it is easier on my eyes to read from an actual book. But, I will certainly keep you posted if and when I do try it again.

                      • #26441

                          I am re-reading a whole series of books by Bodie Thoene called the Zion Covenant and the Zion Chronicles. The first series is set in 1938 and 1939 while Hilter was annexing Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The next series is set in 1948 as the British leave Palestine and Israel is born. Bodie’s husband Brock is a historian and does much of the research for these historical novels. Character development is good and the times and places can be backed up with your own research that I find to be fascinating. Before the lockdown I also re-read her series called the A.D. Chronicles that I first read in 2009 before I visited and toured Israel. They certainly give a great context to life in Israel 2000 years ago and made our visit there in 2010 even more wonderful. Reading them again was well worth the effort the second time too (there are 12 books in this series).

                        • #26442
                          Colleen Steele

                            Hey Chris! Thanks for sharing. I’m a big fan of historical fiction so I will have to check out your suggestions!

                          • #26452
                            Robin Webster

                              Hi, everybody! I haven’t been on here in a while. I hope all are doing well. I have some more book recommendations. (And I’m wondering if anyone tried Love, Chocolate and a Dog Named Al Capone, which I suggested before. If so, what did you think of it? And if you, too, fell in love with Capone, “he” has a Facebook page. Can’t remember if I mentioned that before. Capone the Wonder Dog. It will give you a daily chuckle, for sure.) I read two more books by the same author, Abigail Drake — The Hocus Pocus Magic Shoppe and The Enchanted Garden Cafe. I also enjoyed The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert and The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman. (Anybody else notice the running food theme? LOL!) I also liked a book by J.B. West called Upstairs at the White House. And I read a couple of autobiographies — one poignant, Inside Out by Demi Moore, and one witty, (deep breath, long title) The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures: A Funny Memoir of Missteps by Amy Lyle.

                            • #26463
                              Colleen Steele

                                I appreciate the running theme @robin-webster! Hehe! I’m sorry to say I haven’t read the previous books yet that you suggested. Thanks for the reminder though and I will add these new ones to my list!

                              • #26492
                                Gayle Ward

                                  I’ve read a lot these past months on lockdown. One book I really enjoyed was “The School of essential ingredients”. A light enjoyable read. The book “Echo” is best on audio books. Lovely story and beautiful music. The books “One day” And “ On the Corner of Biter and sweet” were also good reads. Hope you enjoy.
                                  Warm wishes

                                • #26495
                                  Colleen Steele

                                    Thank you @gward for adding your suggestions! It’s nice to share the joy of reading with each other. It can be a wonderful distraction from health issues.

                                    How are you doing Gayle?

                                  • #26503
                                    Gayle Ward

                                      I am doing well. This is a great idea for a forum. New book idea are so helpful. Your the best. Thanks

                                    • #26516
                                      Jen Cueva

                                        Wow, @b2testnav, have you read all 12 books that are within that series? Is the reading fast-paced for you Depending on how things are written, I can read most genres, but historical ones for me for some reason are slow reading. It could be that I have yet to find an author that grasps my attention in that genre. Thanks for sharing.

                                      • #26517
                                        Jen Cueva

                                          Hi @robin-webster, I now do recall you suggesting that book. A Dog Named Capone sounds interesting. Sadly, I have been busy and have not been reading as much as I would like to. Hopefully, I can start back and read a few of these that you and the others suggest.

                                          Food anything gets my attention, hehe.

                                        • #26518
                                          Jen Cueva

                                            Thanks, @gward. I am grateful that you shared those titles with us. I have a few books that I have started and yet to finish but hoping to get back to them.

                                            Books can certainly help take us away from all that is going on around us and also be a bit therapeutic. Would you agree?

                                            I am happy that you like the book suggestions. We certainly will keep this open so all can share it here. I guess we have not visited it in a few months. So this is a great time to hear from you and others and share our joys of reading. The books you suggested sound up to my speed, light, lovely, and something to enjoy with a coffee or tea, maybe.

                                          • #37008
                                            Jen Cueva

                                              Hey @brendad53, here is an older topic about books we did during Lockdown. You might find it interesting, too. Please feel free to share some of your favorites with us.

                                              Where are our bookworms? @gayleward, what have you been reading? @cdvol3gmail-com, I know you also enjoy a good read. How about you, @carol-alexander? Do you enjoy reading to help keep your mind occupied?

                                              • #37016
                                                Brenda Denzler

                                                  Currently, I just finished *The Myth of Normal.” I’m in the midst of “Stranger Than We Can Know.” And I’m dabbling in “The Secret Teachings of All Ages.”

                                                  For a few years recently I was reading about Nazi Germany and WWII from the point of view of the masses of people–not political deals and battles and treaties and such. But how the events that unfolded affected Joe and Jane Schmoe, and what they did or could not do or had to do to cope with what was unfolding. Both within and outside of the various kinds of camps that were set up.

                                                  Like you, Jen, I always wanted actual books I could hold in my hands and read. And I have the bookshelves to prove it! But in the last 10 years or so I’ve gotten into Kindle books. The nice thing is, you can take a LOT of potential reading material with you that way, in just a slim little tablet.

                                                  • #37030
                                                    Colleen Steele

                                                      @brendad53 I’m an eclectic reader but favor history and historical fiction. Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite historical fiction writers.

                                                      I’ve done my share of reading about Nazi Germany. If you remember titles of any of those books you read I would be interested.

                                                      I wish I made use of the epidemic to read more but I didn’t. I’m making an effort in the new year to become an avid reader again, beginning with a book a friend recommended last year, “Handle With Care” by Jodi Picoult. It’s about a woman whose child had the rare disease, Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

                                                      My friend said that while reading it she kept thinking about me and all I’ve been through while caring for Cullen. I hope to start it sometime this week and plan to write a reflective column about it in the near future.

                                                    • #37031
                                                      Brenda Denzler

                                                        OK, Colleen. Here are the titles:
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>After Long Silence</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Auschwitz</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>The Children’s War</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>The Choice</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Enemy of the People</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>A Good Place to Hide</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Hitler</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Hitler’s Children</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Hitler’s Last Secretary</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>An Honorable Defeat</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Journey Interrupted</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Long Road Home</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>My Battle Against Hitler</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Nancy Wake</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>The Nazi Officer’s Wife</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>The Nazis Next Door</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Rather Die Fighting</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Savage Continent</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>The History of the Black Hunters</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Woman in Berlin</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>A Woman of No Importance</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>What We Knew</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Defying Hitler</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Black Earth</p>
                                                        <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Last Train for Berlin</p>

                                                  • #37034
                                                    Jen Cueva

                                                      Hi @colleensteele, have you read Cilka’s Jouney by Heather Morris? It’s about a young girl taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 10942 and her resilience. KK gifted me this book for Christmas after she read it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

                                                      Ohh, I have always enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s books, too. I don’t believe I’ve read that one, so looking forward to your column about it once you read it.

                                                      Maybe revisiting this old post will motivate me to get started this year by reading more. I have many books on my Kindle app on my iPad that I either have started or never began reading. I also thought because it was often cheaper and easier to carry with me. My issue was at the beach. The sun is where I like to be, and I can’t see my screen too. hehe

                                                      • #37037
                                                        Brenda Denzler

                                                          Yeah. Reading Kindle books in direct sunlight is very hard. Impossible? I think you can change the screen color, though, so that it’s darker, with light type, which might make it easier to see in bright lighting conditions?

                                                          • #37123
                                                            Jen Cueva

                                                              Hi @brendad53, some have said to try that on my iPad. However, I haven’t had much luck at the beach. I’ll try again on the next trip. Thanks for that reminder.

                                                        • #37113

                                                            Books OMG , the boss reads on average one book a week .I read two pages a night ,if I’m lucky , and fall asleep. There are boxes of books under beds in the walk in robe ,in the garage . You know , I  vac and wash the floors once a week and it takes me a day to recover from moving the boxes around .

                                                            For me the Edward Rutherford books are brilliant but a bit heavy to read in bed and I am absolutely hooked on Gerald Seymour having read every one from Harrys Game to the latest bar one. He releases one every two years so at the rate I read I dont have to wait long in between .

                                                            • #37122
                                                              Jen Cueva

                                                                Hi @terry, you crack me up with every post! I swear you should be a comedian; think about the money you could make touring worldwide.Hehe.

                                                                I was more like your wife before. Your reading sounds more like my reading speed. I hope to get back into reading more but it’s been a slow start.

                                                                Post-COVID, my attention span went haywire!

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