Skip to content
April 23, 2014 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Almost wordless: One of the first butterflies we see in the spring in the northern parts of the country. They can tolerate cold weather. This one was lounging in the sun.

——————————–
More Wordless Wednesday. © 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

April 22, 2014 / Leslie

Spotlight & Giveaway: Monday, Monday by Elizabeth Crook

About the Book

Monday Monday by Elizabeth Crook Monday, Monday: A Novel
by Elizabeth Crook
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Publish Date: April 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover | 352 pages

On an oppressively hot Monday in August of 1966, a student and former marine named Charles Whitman hauled a footlocker of guns to the top of the University of Texas tower and began firing on pedestrians below. Before it was over, sixteen people had been killed and thirty-two wounded. It was the first mass shooting of civilians on a campus in American history.

Monday, Monday follows three students caught up in the massacre: Shelly, who leaves her math class and walks directly into the path of the bullets, and two cousins, Wyatt and Jack, who heroically rush from their classrooms to help the victims. On this searing day, a relationship begins that will eventually entangle these three young people in a forbidden love affair, an illicit pregnancy, and a vow of secrecy that will span forty years. Reunited decades after the tragedy, they will be forced to confront the event that changed their lives and that has silently and persistently ruled the lives of their children.

With electrifying storytelling and the powerful sense of destiny found in Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, and with the epic sweep of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, Elizabeth Crook’s Monday, Monday explores the ways in which we sustain ourselves and each other when the unthinkable happens. At its core, it is the story of a woman determined to make peace with herself, with the people she loves, and with a history that will not let her go. A humane treatment of a national tragedy, it marks a generous and thrilling new direction for a gifted American writer.

First Chapter, First Paragraph

1. THE TOWER
Shelly stared at the graph of imaginary numbers on the chalkboard, confounding figures represented by the letter i and less relevant to her life than fairies from her childhood or the vanishing rabbit in the magic show at the Student Union last week. The professor had the face of a cherub and arms too long for his squattish body, and was marking on the chalkboard as he spoke. “The square root of minus four,” he said, slashing the numbers onto the board, a ring of sweat under his arm, “is two i. Two i squared is negative four. That’s two times two is four—times i times i, which is negative one…” [1st chapter excerpt]

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Win a Copy

Thanks to the publicist, I have one copy of Monday, Monday to give away to a reader with a US mailing address. To enter, leave a comment on or before midnight, May 3, 2014. For an extra entry tweet or blog the giveaway and include the link. I will draw a random winner who will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

About the Author

Elizabeth Crook, author of Monday, Monday: A Novel, is the author of three novels, The Raven’s Bride, Promised Lands, and The Night Journal. She has written for anthologies and periodicals, including Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, and has served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters. Currently she is a member of the board of directors of the Texas Book Festival. She lives in Austin with her husband and two children.

Connect with Elizabeth: Facebook | Webpage
 


First Chapter Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. Join us by visiting Diane and linking your own First Chapter post or to find out what others plan to read this week.
——————————–
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Review copy and giveaway provided by FSB Associates.
——————————–
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

April 21, 2014 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ April 21st

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
Tuesday is Earth Day and this week is Spring Cleaning Week in my town. Unlimited trash pick-up, a recycling extravaganza and clean-ups of the nature trails running through town are a few events that will keep me busy. I’m starting with my garage and garden shed and hopefully moving on to the closets in an attempt to get rid of years worth of clutter. It’s also a good excuse to listen to some audiobooks.

Here’s what arrived last week:

New Arrivals

BooksApril21_IMG_1297

Then and Always by Dani Atkins from Random House.
An absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta from Harper Voyager.
An amazing, award-winning speculative fiction debut novel by a major new talent, in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin: Global warming has changed the world’s geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian.
 
BooksApril21_IMG_1302

After the End by Amy Plum from Harper.
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler from Macmillan Audio and Audiobook Jukebox.
Welcome to Little Wing. It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own, or struggling to do so.

Audio Downloads

From Simon & Schuster Audio

Intern's Handbook

The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn
John Lago is a very bad guy. But he’s the very best at what he does. And what he does is infiltrate top-level companies and assassinate crooked executives while disguised as an intern.

New Giveaway

Win a copy of The Remedy by Thomas Goetz:

Remedy by Thomas Goetz

In 1875, tuberculosis was the deadliest disease in the world, accountable for a third of all deaths. A diagnosis of TB – often called consumption – was a death sentence. Then, in a triumph of medical science, a German doctor named Robert Koch deployed an unprecedented scientific rigor to discover the bacteria that caused TB. Koch soon embarked on a remedy — a remedy that would be his undoing.

Fill out the form on my review post. US addresses only by midnight 4/26.

What are you reading?

——————————–
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

April 19, 2014 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Burning the Prairie

Habitat Restoration

During the past few weeks the Forest Preserve District has conducted several burns at the prairie where I volunteer as a bird monitor. I happened to be walking on the woodland path circling the prairie the morning of a burn. I was surprised that they were going to burn along the paths too. I watched them set up and pestered them with a few questions before moving back out to the prairie to avoid the smoke.

Burning The Woodland Path

PrairieBurn_IMG_1124

The burn crew explained that the fire was slow-burning and would clear out the brush, leaf litter and invasive species that are not adapted to fire. The native trees have thick bark and the plants have deep roots. Prairie plants can have roots up to 18 inches deep.

The Prairie

PrairieBurn_IMG_1093

A portion of the prairie had been burned a week or so earlier. Different sections of the prairie are burned each year. After the burn, nutrients are recycled back in into the soil. With the brush removed it is easier for seeds to germinate.

PrairieBurn_IMG_1094

New growth was already sprouting. I’m hoping to see some native wildflowers popping up soon.

Moving away from the fire

The birds were getting noisy and calling to each other to move away from the smoke. A family of deer appeared on the path. The youngsters paused briefly to look at me, then turned and followed mom to the other side of the woods.

ChurchillPrairieDeer_IMG_1118

A Turkey Vulture soared overhead.

TurkeyVulture_IMG_1109

Birdwatching was done for the day.

 


Saturday Snapshot was originated by Alyce at At Home With Books. It is now hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

April 16, 2014 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Curious Fawns

ChurchillPrairieDeer_IMG_1115

Almost wordless: I watched a doe and three fawns cross the nature trail when I was out walking last week. Two of them stopped to look at me before finally obeying mom and scampering off into the woods.

——————————–
More Wordless Wednesday. © 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

April 15, 2014 / Leslie

Review and Giveaway: The Remedy by Thomas Goetz

RemedyThe Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis
by Thomas Goetz

Genre: History / Science
Publisher: Gotham
Publish Date: April 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover | 320 pages
Rating: 4 of 5

From the Publisher:

The riveting history of tuberculosis, the world’s most lethal disease, the two men whose lives it tragically intertwined, and the birth of medical science.

In 1875, tuberculosis was the deadliest disease in the world, accountable for a third of all deaths. A diagnosis of TB – often called consumption – was a death sentence. Then, in a triumph of medical science, a German doctor named Robert Koch deployed an unprecedented scientific rigor to discover the bacteria that caused TB. Koch soon embarked on a remedy — a remedy that would be his undoing.

My Thoughts:

With all our modern advances in medicine and science it’s easy to forget how primitive the practice of medicine was in the 19th Century. Doctors did not know what caused a disease or that it could be contagious or spread from person to person. They didn’t wash their hands or sterilize medical instruments. This began to change towards the end of the century with the acceptance of the Germ Theory of disease.

The Remedy begins with the history of the germ theory and the two men who worked to discover the origins of disease. Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur each demonstrated that diseases are caused by microorganisms. Joseph Lister also contributed to the germ theory with his use of antiseptic surgical techniques. Interesting factoid: In 1879, Listerine mouthwash was named after him for his work in antisepsis.

The section about Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and the scientific method, although very interesting, was only tangentially connected to the cure for tuberculosis. Doyle was trained as a physician and was interested in Koch’s work, but the two never met. Eventually Doyle went on to write full-time and abandoned medicine.

Extremely well researched and filled with fascinating information, we learn not only of their scientific discoveries, but also get a glimpse into the personal lives of those involved. I was amazed at the rivalry and the amount of jealousy between Koch and Pasteur and the lengths to which Koch was willing to go to be the first to develop a cure for tuberculosis.

This is a compelling and very readable story about an important time in medical history. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand or enjoy it.

Giveaway:

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of The Remedy to give away to a reader with a US mailing address. To enter, fill out the form below on or before April 26th. For an extra entry tweet or blog the giveaway and include the link. I will draw a random winner who will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

——————————–
Source: Review copy provided by Gotham Books.
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

April 13, 2014 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ April 14th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


I didn’t get much reading or blogging done last week. I’m not sure where all my time went but I did spend a good chunk of it doing income tax returns. I always end up putting my own taxes off until the last minute.

This past weekend we finally had a couple of warm days and I was able to start cleaning up the garden but it’s too early to plant anything – it’s supposed to snow on Tuesday. I’ve been spending more time monitoring birds now that they are migrating north and Saturday we had our volunteer workshop to prepare for this year’s program. The birds don’t seem to be bothered by the goofy weather.

New Arrivals

BooksApril14_IMG_1259

The Sea Garden by Deborah Lawrenson from HarperCollins.
Romance, suspense, and World War II mystery are woven together in three artfully linked novellas-rich in drama and steeped in atmosphere-from the critically acclaimed author of The Lantern.

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey from HarperCollins.
In this darkly riveting debut novel-a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also an heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging-an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.
 

BooksApril14_IMG_1264

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh from Random House Audio.
A dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense about two mysterious disappearances, a generation apart, and the meaning of family-the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman from Tandem Literary.
Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettably quirky characters. Now her flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines again in her compelling second novel, Looking for Me.
 

BooksApril14_IMG_1258

The Blonde by Anna Godbersen from FSB Associates.
A chilling reimagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe that is part biography, part love story, and part thriller: A young, unknown Norma Jean meets a man in Los Angeles — a Soviet agent? A Russian spy? — who transforms her into Marilyn the star. And when she reaches the pinnacle of success, he comes back for his repayment.

Hannibal: Enemy of Rome by Ben Kane from St. Martin’s Press.
As Rome rose to power in the 3rd century BCE there was only one real rival in the Mediterranean — Carthage. In the First Punic War, the Roman legions defeated and humiliated Carthage. Now Hannibal, a brilliant young Carthaginian general, is out for revenge.

What are you reading?

——————————–
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,096 other followers