Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mount TBR- book 10 The Letterbox by Layton Green


   The Letterbox 
     I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway.  Layton Green also signed it and wrote me a note. Thanks! This book is about a box that is found buried in the English moors.  It is procured by a man in New Orleans who then hires a team of people to go searching for answers regarding its origin and purpose. The team visits ancient sites across Europe in their quest to find "the pathway to God." I always looked forward to reading the book and seeing what was next but there were a few parts of the book that I found a little predictable. With that being said, the book kept me guessing at other points and still left me with some questions at the end of the story. There was also a theme of religion running through the book. The 4 person team looking for answers were all at different points in their faith (or lack thereof) and I enjoyed thinking about some of the questions that some of the characters were concerned with or motivated by.  I would recommend it to friends who I know enjoy this type of book. I would also be interested in reading more from Layton Green.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ancestry DNA results

  Back in this post, I told you that I was taking an Acestry.com DNA test. I was so excited to get my results back in 6-8 weeks. Well, I finally got them. Get ready for some bumps in the road.

1) I am a very time oriented person. The kit directions state that you will get results in 6-8 weeks. (There is a disclaimer that it might take longer if there is a high volume of tests at that time.) After 6 weeks, I logged on to my account and checked the status. The test had been received by Ancestry on 1/24. Ok... that's not too much more time, no biggie. However, after 8 weeks, I still hadn't heard anything so I called their help line. I had noticed that they had marked it received, but there was no record that it was being processed. When I called, the woman at Ancestry.com explained that after they receive it, they send it to the lab for processing, Apparently none of the testing process had even started. Grr. Luckily, I'm a patient person (most times) and I realize that they had a HUGE push for advertising these kits around Christmas. I get it, no reason to ruin this poor woman's day. On 4/3, they started processing my test and I got my results mid-week this week.

2) I thought I'd get something like 80% Ireland, 20% French Canadian.  From my Ethnicity Estimate, I'm 72% from Great Britain, 25% Irish, 2% Iberian Peninsula and 1% West Europe. Great Britain surprised me. Then I realized it said "Thousands of years ago."  Ok, less shocking I get.

3) I belonged to 2 possible genetic communities- Settlers of New England and French Settlers along the St. Lawrence. Both of those seem likely too.

4) DNA Circles- I was excited by this. I was hoping to find lots of close matches... ANY close matches. I do not belong to any DNA circles. This was disheartening. In my head I guess I was hoping to find some "distant" (but really- not distant, close enough that I could figure out a connection) relatives. There was 1 2nd cousin, my dad's cousin Elizabeth. I was hoping for 3rd cousins or closer. I have found people that might be a 3rd cousin but they don't have family trees submitted. I thought that maybe I could find people who were connected by my 3 mystery relatives that I've been struggling with. Nope.

5) What does THAT mean?! A few months ago, I thought I had solved some big mystery. Now that I have my test, I looked forward to confirming people I should've been related to. There was no DNA match. I guess this can happen with distant relatives, but I'm also wondering if I have something wrong with my research.People who have not taken the test will also come up as a "no match."  

       It was interesting to read the results and maybe somewhere down the road they will help connect with people,  but I was hoping for something more. Maybe I should force all of my relatives to do the test too. lol. Kidding.. sort of. I think I need to spend a few days parked at the Ma Archives to try to dig deeper.

Dear Heart by Judith Pinkerton Josephson

Dear Heart: The Courting Letters     
      This is another one of my books from NetGalley. I was really excited to hear about NetGalley and really excited that they have approved me to read so many books. I think I've only officially been turned down for 1. (Thanks Penguin UK... boo.)
    Anyway, this book is a love story; two actually. One story line follows a woman named Lisa who finds a box labeled "Courting letters," while she is cleaning out her recently deceased father's house. If you know me at all, I'm immediately interested in the story. The letters are the second story line. The letters are written between a woman named Gertrude and a man named Fred. They meet in Ipswich England in 1907 and soon begin courting. The letters are exchanged after Fred and his family move to the United States.
      This is a sweet story based on the courtship of a real couple. . To be honest, I'm not usually a huge romance fan but I do appreciate the written word and comparing the past to the present. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it was a little lighter than the materials I usually read.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Intentions... and some good books.

Well, I thought I would be writing a lot this weekend. I have been able to read a lot lately. Here are my latest 3 books.




The Chilbury Ladies' Choir 
I really enjoyed this book.  Set at the beginning of World War II, it follows the story of a village whose choir needs to dismantle because the men have gone to war. One of the women in town, Primrose Trent, decides that the choir can continue, just including the women. This is a bit of a new concept, but the women agree. This book follows the individual lives of most of the women in the choir. Being a person who often expressed myself through writing with my penpals or with my music, this book really appealed to me. 

Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland  
  I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. (Thank you) I am reading this as part of my Monthly Keyword Challenge and Mount TBR Challenge. The keyword for April was his. (From, Trigger, Crown, Tale, Mist and His. Can you believe I only had 1 book with ANY of those words?)  Though I do not have much personal experience with the state of Florida- and therefore, do not know it's "weirdness quota," this book made me laugh quite a bit. If you like Dave Barry, you will probably enjoy this book.The chapters were `the introduction, a brief history of Florida, The Skunk Ape, Weeki Wachee and Spongeorama, Cassadaga, The Villages, Gatorland, Lock & Load Miami, LIV and Key West- most of which I had not heard much about before. Fun read. I will be passing this on to a friend of mine. 

The List 
 This is another book I read through NetGalley.  (I would also like to thank Brianna and Jabberwocky Publishing because when I first my digital copy, my Nook would not open it. Brianna contacted Jabberwocky and they fixed the issue. Thanks. It's a book I was really looking forward to it.)
        The concept of this book really interested me. After global warming has created a flood that has wiped out much of civilization John Noa helped founded the city of Ark. (I know, Noah's Ark.. that's the one thing that kind of annoyed me about the book.) There are 3 groups of people who live in or around Ark- the citizens of Ark, the Desecrators  who live in the forest and the Wordless, who have lost the power to communicate through spoken or written language. Fearing that words help to incite people, Noa has limited language to a list of 500 words- with some specialty words thrown in for specific occupations.  A teenager named Letta becomes the official wordsmith of Ark when her master, Benjamin,  is thought to be dead.
      After meeting some Desecrators, mostly artists, musicians, scientists (All creative types), Letta learns of a plot that Noa has for the citizens of Ark. She has to decide her between her loyalty to Noa or the possibility of living without language.  Great book. Interesting. I loved being able to relate the emotions that music brings up to as well.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Still alive

    Life has been going by quickly lately. I have a lot of reviews of books that I'd like to post and some personal posts I'd be tempted to put up too. For now, I just wanted to say hello. I have a little free time over the next few weeks so maybe I will try to add a few posts to reconnect. Hope your spring is going well so far!