Spring Fling!

bouquet-tulips-books-white-hat-carafe-juice-green-grass-spring-garden-against-background-cherry-53447938Spring is in full swing, and to my delight I’ve done a lot of reading over the last couple weeks. While on a wonderful extended weekend trip to beautiful southern California, I was even able to completely read one book and start two others. A total of five books since spring officially began,
I like the way this is going!

Here is What I’ve Been Sipping on this Spring:

Proof of Heaven
by Dr. Eben Alexander
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
This is a story that would be remarkable no matter who it happened to, but the unique and intriguing circumstances make it all the more enchanting. A highly trained and respected neurosurgeon contracts (mysteriously) an extremely rare brain disease, has an extensive and scientifically unexplained near death experience, and then miraculously makes a statistically impossible full recovery.
That it happened to Dr. Even Alexander makes it revolutionary. This is even truer of this new edition, in which he expands upon the lessons he learned from his experience, adding new insights and guidance for a world more in need of them than ever. Reading this book inspires a whole new way at looking at life and one’s self; that is both comforting and enthralling.

Playing with Fire
by Tess Gerritsen
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
I bought this book completely on a whim, because while purchasing it for a friend I read the first page and instantly knew it was my cuppa tea. This musically inspired thriller was also a romantic historical fiction.
It had an air of antique ambiance that I was quickly and completely absorbed in. To my surprise it also happened to take place in pre-WW2 Italy, did she write this just for me!

This book is deeply personal to the author and her musical background, which added an intimacy to the reading experience that was wonderful. The story also inspired/compelled her to compose a peace of music “Incendio” that has been performed by international violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him, as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers.
One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”

Here is a new go to favorite of mine I tried on my trip

Book Bean: Green Tea Lemonade
3c1b4d4cfc6a01ca57759a20c4a6c940Add some old school charm to your afternoon tea! Make some iced green tea and add a splash of homemade or prepared lemonade for a lightly sweet twist. Serve with lemon slices and mint leaves. Find a place under a tree or on a porch swing to lose yourself in a book while sipping this crisp and refreshing drink, and enjoy the added benefit of a healthy boost of energy!

Papillon
by Henri Charrière
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
A young man called “Papillon,” for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious Devil’s Island, a place from which no one has ever escaped .
His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.

The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexander Dumas
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
Dumas’ classic novel of wrongful imprisonment, adventure and revenge. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of the Château d’If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.

I love Dumas’ storytelling; he is romantic, witty, and poetic, and yet the way he can spin an intriguing adventure cannot be matched! This story (as is customary to his writing) has it all.

I’ve also been trying this new coffee out, and it is fantastic

BookBean: Seabrook Blend
by Grounds for Change
 images (2)A perfect match for my current nautical reading selections! Full-bodied, rich, and so deliciously smooth; with noticeable notes of hazelnut and caramel that are a pleasant delight. Each cup is interesting and full of flavor and culture, a perfect blend.

So what have you been reading/sipping? Do share!

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TBR Tuesday

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It’s Tuesday again and yes I still have more tbr books I have yet to share. I know, it’s a problem.

 


Here a just a few more tbr waitlisters:

 

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia.

Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
My Life Before, During, and After

(1952; German: Sieben Jahre in Tibet. Mein Leben am Hofe des Dalai Lama; 1954 in English) is an autobiographical travel book written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer based on his real life experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the Second World War and the interim period before the Communist Chinese People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet in 1950.

An adventure classic in a vivid memoir that has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

‘Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of my tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta’. Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, frustrated college professor. In love with his landlady’s twelve-year-old daughter Lolita, he’ll do anything to possess her. Unable and unwilling to stop himself, he is prepared to commit any crime to get what he wants. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert?

A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these?

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

It’s actually because of the synopsis of “Lolita” that I’ve yet to read it…
I feel I may end up regretting it or torn between not finishing it…
Yet it’s always lingering there on my shelf asking me if I’m ever going to read it,
or showing up somewhere as praise worthy…

Help! Tell me your thoughts on this novel please.

 

TBR Tuesday

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It’s Tuesday and I thought I would share some books that are on my every growing To-Be-Read list.

 

Here is a snapshot of my tbr list of
books; waiting patiently, but
in good company:

 

(Click any picture or title for more info.)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
 by Rebecca Skloot
This one has been on my list for a while, I’m a bit ashamed of that. I am so interested in the story, and anxious to one day finally get to it.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more.

Peach-Iced-Green-Tea-Recipe-0Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Peppered Peach Tea
Peach tea mixed well with clove and anise,
then poured over ice.

 

The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov
This book was suggested to me by a fellow blogger and I am intrigued by the said odd and mysterious pages within.
This uncensored translation of Bulgakov’s posthumously published masterpiece of black magic and black humor restores its sliest digs and sharpest jabs at Stalin’s regime, which suppressed it. Filled with punny and soaring prose thick with contemporary historical references and political irony.

orange-mocha-mousseRated 4.5 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Sunset Cocoa Add extra hot milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a heaping tablespoon of marmalade into a blender and blend well. Pour the frothy, rich, citrusy goodness into a mug and top with a dollop of whip!

 

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee:
An Indian History of the American West
by Dee Brown
I recently came across this book and was really excited about it. I love historical books of this nature and Native American history is especially close to my heart.
Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell their stories.

 

473103621Rated 4.7 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Herbalberry Tea Steep your favorite herbal tea I like chamomile, mix in fresh berries of choice (I like marionberry.) Top off with a garnish of lemon and a drizzle of agave

 

With every new book I read I feel like I gain 2 more to add to my list. At this rate I’ll never read every book that I set out too, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love always having a plethora of options and a variety of interesting and exciting things to read!

What books are on the top of our tbr list?