robert the bruce
i am pretty sure that went to a cave where he hid when i was little so this book really intrigued who he wasRobert the Bruce (1274–1329) famously defeated the English at Bannockburn and became the hero king responsible for Scottish independence. In this fascinating new biography of the renowned warrior, Michael Penman focuses on Robert’s kingship in the fifteen years that followed his triumphant victory and establishes Robert as not only a great military leader but a great monarch.
Robert faced a slow and often troubled process of legitimating his authority, restoring government, rewarding his supporters, accommodating former enemies, and controlling the various regions of his kingdom, none of which was achieved overnight. Penman investigates Robert’s resettlement of lands and offices, the development of Scotland’s parliaments, his handling of plots to overthrow him, his relations with his family and allies, his piety and court ethos, and his conscious development of an image of kingship through the use of ceremony and symbol. In doing so, Penman repositions Robert within the context of wider European
Robert the Bruce is an excellent book to read about the Scottish king. I thought it was well researched and documented. Recommended.
me after you
He crashed on to the pillow next to me, heavy as a felled oak. I slapped His face and told Him to wake up.
Our daughter, B, appeared in the doorway, woken up by the screaming – I must have been screaming but I don’t remember – and she was crying and peering in. I told her the ultimate adult lie; that everything was all right.’
Sudden death is rude. It just wanders in and takes your husband without any warning; it doesn’t even have the decency to knock. At the impossibly young age of 37, as they were making love one night, Lucie Brownlee’s beloved husband Mark dropped dead.
As Lucie tried to make sense of her new life – the one she never thought she would be living – she turned to writing to express her grief. Me After You is the stunning, irreverent and heartbreakingly honest result.
how would we survive ? what would we do .. lucy well you certainly want tofeel all the feelings she is going through
Honest, open and raw.
I have been struggling with what I will write in this review – somebodies memories are what they are – memories and personal reflections. This is not a work of fiction where you can like or dislike the characters, or look for the plot twist or know it will all work out ok in the end. This is real. This life. And this is at times emotionally raw and blunt.
I picked up this book because I was looking for answers – I am not grieving but someone close to me is and it breaks my heart not being able to help them in their time of need. I discovered that grieving whether for a relationship that has been severed or a partner or relative that has died, no matter what reason…is difficult, traumatic, exhausting and so very personal. No one can feel the loss the way you feel the pain. No one can rally help you “get over” the severance of that cord that bound you together. You have to do that yourself and that takes time.
What I learned is that you can help by providing company, being a sounding board, checking in and seeing that everything is ok, giving hugs, providing the physical help – doing the dishes, hanging out the washing, making meals, reminding the grieving one that they are achieving, they have coped with organising/ dealing with all those mundane things that still need attention at this time; moving house, arranging/dealing with insurance companies, government departments, rental agencies, getting up each day and facing the next one…and by sharing that one day when you least expect it you will notice that life is just a little easier and the weight on your shoulders a little lighter.
This is a brave, at times blunt and open personal story of love and loss and the road to recovery.
all we had
The stunning debut novel from sculptor and painter Annie Weatherwax, a wry and sharply observed portrait of a gritty mother and daughter, living on the edge of poverty, who find an unlikely home amid the quirky residents of small town America.
For thirteen-year-old Ruthie Carmichael and her mother, Rita, life has never been stable. The only sure thing is their love for each other. Though Rita works more than one job, the pair teeters on the edge of poverty. When their landlord kicks them out, Rita resorts to her movie-star looks and produces carpet-installer Phil, “an instant boyfriend,” who takes them in.
Before long, Ruthie convinces her mother to leave and in their battered Ford Escort, they head East in search of a better life. When money runs out and their car breaks down, they find themselves stranded in a small town called Fat River where their luck finally takes a turn. Rita lands a steady job waitressing at Tiny’s, the local diner. With enough money to pay their bills, they rent a house and Fat River becomes the first place they call home.
Peter Pam, Tiny’s transgender waitress and the novel’s voice of warmth and reason, becomes Ruthie’s closest friend. Arlene, the no-nonsense head waitress, takes Rita under her wing. The townspeople—Hank and Dotty Hanson, the elderly owners of the embattled local hardware store, and even their chatter-mouth neighbor Patti—become Ruthie and Rita’s family.
Into this quirky utopia comes smooth-talking mortgage broker Vick Ward, who entices Rita with a subprime loan. Why rent when you can own? Almost as soon as Rita buys a house their fortunes change. Faced once again with the prospect of homelessness, Rita reverts to survival mode, and the price she pays to keep them out of poverty changes their lives forever.
Accomplished visual artist Annie Weatherwax has written a stunning, heartrending first novel. Ruthie’s wry voice and razor sharp observations about American life in the twenty-first century infuse the prose with disarming honesty and humor. All We Had heralds the arrival of a powerful new voice in contemporary fiction.
I received this book for free from Scribner through the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.
“Every character is a protagonist in their own story” is a quote I once heard (apologies, but for the life of me I can’t find the person who actually said it), and on my own attempts at writing, I have always tried to keep it in mind.
“All We Had” is hands-down the greatest example of this concept in action I have ever read. The heart of the story is Ruthie and her young mother, but every single character has a deep and rich history that is revealed through remarkably little prose. I found myself wondering what happened to them all after the last page, and I imagine I will do so for quite some time.
This book is a slice-of-life story that is a very easy read about subject matter that is not easy to read about. Ruthie shares it all with stark realism, zero nostalgia, and brutal honesty. There are no feelings of self-pity or self-congratulation. It is what it is, and that is how the story is told. As such, it feels raw and honest, ultimately leaving an uneasy feeling in the readers about all of the Ruthies that live within our world.
I don’t want to spoil anything, because in this case the journey is the story, so even a summary feels as though it would give away too much. I can say that it’s on the list of books I will be giving all of the readers in my life this holiday season. Annie Weatherwax is a wonderful storyteller, and I look forward to many more novels from her.
Five stars. I wish I could give more.
beneath the scars
The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace. The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.
Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset. Until she meets the
unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and
discovers his secrets.
All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His
canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.
Until she enters his life. She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared. A story he keeps buried below the surface.
Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?
Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and
threaten to tear them apart. Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?
I love the sound of this!
The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace.
The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.
Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset.
Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.
All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.
Until she enters his life.
She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared.
A story he keeps buried below the surface.
Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?
Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart.
Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?
from this day forward
amy & matt baumgardner
“I did a very bad thing. An unforgiveable thing. A thing that destines you to be a leper, someone with an A branded across your chest (though mine could also be a D), a person that people talk about with disgust and awe and an “aren’t you so glad you’re not her” tone.
I drove drunk. With my two children in the car.
And we got in an accident.” From the intro of From This Day Forward.
Like many relationships, after eight years of marriage and two kids, Amy and Matt had drifted apart. They started fighting, lost trust and respect, and their marriage spiraled down. Instead of dealing with the problems, Amy started to drink. She lost her job, she gained weight, she neglected her children. And then one day, she went too far. Even though she knew she’d had too much to drink, she got behind the wheel of her car and in a drunken blackout crashed head first into a tree. Only when she came to—to the sounds of her daughter’s screams—did she remember . . . both her children were in the car with her. After this ultimate betrayal, Matt was done. He filed for divorce.
But this is a story of miracles.
Combining the heart wrenching blow-by-blow devastation of Beautiful Boy, and the inspiring devotion found in The Vow, From This Day Forward has all the drama of a Lifetime Movie, with a universal message for anyone who strives to love one person no matter what happens. With heartrending honesty Matt and Amy tell a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. It is a story with the power to help others find the strength to take that first step in the right direction, to start a conversation with the one they love, to repair, rebuild, and restore, because once we understand the power of forgiveness, no relationship is ever past hope.
forgiveness .. do we do it for us ? so we feel better ? or do we really forgive our loved ones ? or is the question can we really forgive ourselves ??
I won this book on a contest from Goodreads.
Amy & Matt Baumgardner met on a bus taking them to middle school. Although Amy was new to Oxford she was a force to be reckoned with. Amy & Matt became good friends in middle school and when they both went to different universities they became disconnected. Finally, eleven years after that bus ride to school, Matt & Amy were married. Amy was always the ‘party girl’ and Matt the good looking athlete. Since before they married, Matt & Amy were always asked to all the parties which always centered around alcohol. But when Amy got pregnant, Matt would go to his bars after work leaving sober, pregnant Amy at home alone. This began to deeply annoy Amy & she resented Matt for this. Not long after Gavin was born, Amy realized she was pregnant again, and again Matt did the same thing. After Amy had her second child, her pent up resentment resulted in her drinking ‘a lot’. To the point all she thought about was ‘when is it time for my next drink’. As things began to spiral out of control, Amy began leaving her children alone at home so she could go bar-hopping. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when a drunken Amy took the kids in the car and got into a horrific accident. So now with a whole lot of debt to deal with and Amy in rehab and the threat of jail time hanging over her head, will Amy ever be able to get ‘the proverbial monkey off her back’ and is there any chance at all for Amy & Matt to reconcile and be a family again? But first & foremost, will Amy ever be able to forgive herself.
An excellent story of love, heartache, addiction and forgiveness. Fabulous
love & profanity
Here are forty short, brilliant, and unforgettable true stories from writers famous and on-the-rise. Here is the intensity of daily life. Here are transformative moments arising from the mundane. Here are strange and surprising tales that tap into universal truths. Here are teenagers in full splendor and horror. Here they are, bursting with love and profanity.
For ages 14+.
*Short nonfiction stories about the experience of being a teenager
*Includes more than 40 writers
*The authors include a National Book Award winner, several well-known YA authors, authors of books and stories for adults, and some rising stars in literature
*Literary nonfiction that will appeal to a wide range of readers
Okay the cover got me on this one. I mean I loved it right away and knew I had to read it. Plus who could miss stories of love from people we admire? Well this is a great read and the love stories and things that happened had me laughing and crying at the same time. Lord I could not wait to turn the page and keep reading because it was so interesting.
To me first love is the one you remember and base all other loves on and it is not fair to that other person but it is the way life rolls sometimes. should you love them or not is the question. Are they worthy of that love or will they take your heart and break it?
This is a must read for all teens experiencing their first loves or likes.
how we deal with gravity
ilove this cover – think the covers always make me want the book to be good 😀
When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again.
But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots.
Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?
Beautiful just downright AMAZING!!! Stars??? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh way more than 5 ++++ stars!!! A phenomenal story that touched my very soul!!! I have to be emotionally hooked in order for me to get excited about a book
.. Well, How We Deal With Gravity did IT!!! A MUST read for everyone …A look into the lives of those dealing with autism. I learned so much from this book…you will fall head over heels in love with Max!This book deserves a full review which I will post very soon!! I love this authors style I’m FREAKING giddy I found her and I’m so very thankful she wrote this book!!!!
Recalling my darkest day is as simple as typing a few search terms into a web browser. It only took thirty minutes for me to become the center of a media frenzy that caught the attention of an entire country.
So I hid.
Nine months later and I’m getting better. Moved two hours from home, landed my dream job, and met a delicious new guy.
Healing is that simple, right?
Note: New Point is the start of a standalone series with connected characters, but independent story lines
ARC provided by author in exchange of honest review
☆☆☆☆☆ 4.5 New Beginnings Stars☆☆☆☆☆
Shattered. Broken. What is left when the life and world you once knew comes crashing down when a tragic event leaves you traumatized? For Zoe Baker, nine months ago she was a happy carefree woman living without fear but in an instant her world changed. The safety and comfort she once knew was stolen. Fast forward to the present, Zoe tries to begin anew. A new life. A new beginning. A second chance to start over. A NEW POINT.
When Zoe Baker moved to New Point, it was her fresh start. Goodbye old life, hello new beginnings. The comfort of knowing that no one knew her past and secrets is what Zoe craved. She doesn’t want pity and recognition. She just wants to be normal. So when she meets sexy new neighbor, Miles Wilson, Zoe finally begins to feel. New feelings begins to emerge. Slowly Miles was able to breathe life into Zoe. Happiness begins to surface. Miles was Zoe’s fresh new start and hope. She found comfort and safety in Miles. As the couple begins to get serious, will Zoe be fully able to let go and let Miles in? Will she finally able to reveal her secrets and past? Or will Zoe’s fears push Miles away? Or will they reach a NEW POINT in their relationship?
Olivia Luck did an amazing job in New Point. She took her readers on a journey of a woman rediscovering her strength that she once thought she lost. It is a story of rebuilding your life and picking up the broken pieces. The journey may not be easy but with the help from family and friends, it can be done. Ms. Luck reminds her readers to not be afraid to get help even if it means getting therapy. A fresh new start begins taking the first step and for Zoe Baker, she did just that. So if you are looking for book that incorporates romance and second chances, then go read NEW POINT.
heaps of trouble
Trouble in one form or another…
Growing up in a toy shop situated in Inchicore, Dublin, Emelyn Heaps accounts his youth during the late 50s and 60s. With two parents who spent most of their time at loggerheads with each other, one of whom was an alcoholic, Emelyn spent his younger days being educated by nuns at Golden Bridge Convent.
After being knocked down by an ambulance at the age of seven and being blown up at the age of ten in an explosion that killed his sister, which subsequently led to a court case in search of compensation, Emelyn explores the effect these traumatic experiences had on his parents, as well as himself.
It will make you cry with sorrow, and also cry with laughter, sometimes all at once.
“I have lived a very interesting life and in my book there is an underlying message to anybody who reads it… there is always hope so never give up”, explains Emelyn about the motivation behind his book.
Wonderful little gem of a book – not very often I get to read a book in which the street where I live plays such a major role! Loved it.
the health diet the hd diet
HD is in high demand these days. It’s only natural to want everything in sharp focus. But what about health in HD? The HD Diet shows readers how to choose the right foods to ensure a high-definition life.
This 12-week plan provides guidelines on incorporating hydrophilic (“water-loving”) foods like oats, beans, artichokes, spinach, and apples, along with nutrient-dense hydro-boosters like chia seeds, into a well-balanced diet. When digested, these foods diminish cravings, maintain digestive health, and encourage weight loss. Keren Gilbert also encourages readers to phase out “IF” foods—infrequent foods such as white bread, processed foods, and refined sugar. Readers will find delicious recipes like cinnamon-chia oatmeal, scallop stir-fry shirataki, and Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait.
The HD Diet focuses on a mind-body approach to weight loss that is both pleasurable and sustainable. With motivational stories from clients (some have lost up to 30 pounds in 12 weeks), detailed shopping lists, daily menu templates, and a strong emphasis on making healthy decisions for life, The HD Diet ensures that every reader will live life in high definition.
Thank you to Netgalley & Rodale Inc. for allowing me to read this ARC. The opinions expressed below are solely my own.
I like the idea of the HD diet, but I feel that it may be complicated to begin. There are too many different food groups and trying to memorize which foods go into which groups would be very difficult. I think that without having the book with you to reference and being very organized with meal and snack planning and grocery shopping it would be very difficult to make good food choices according to this diet. Once you have been doing it for a while I’m sure you get used to it and know which foods go together and what to buy.
There are many examples of clients in this book that tell how the diet worked for them and what they learned. I liked these examples, but I think it is easier when you are working directly with the creator of the diet to stick with it and figure out any confusion.
I also liked the recipes that were included in the book. Some of them look pretty yummy!
Overall, I think the diet is a good idea, but a bit too confusing to start. I will probably incorporate a few of the ideas into my current diet, but I won’t go all out with it at this time