Skip to content
June 21, 2018 / Leslie

Celebrate the Summer Solstice

The Longest Day of the Year

The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. It is also the first day of summer. Conversely, it is the beginning of winter for the southern hemisphere. National Geographic has an astronomical explanation for the curious.

Celebrate the Summer

For centruies this major celestial event was celebrated with Midsummer Festivals (ie Shakespeare), dancing, and bonfires. It is still celebrated today and can be see in such events as the gatherings at Stonehenge and, closer to home for me, our local outdoor food and music festivals.

The beginning of summer is my favorite season, right between spring and summer. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the days are long and pleasant. This year Mother Nature has decided to mess with us a little and sent blazing mid-summer heat last week, and this week we are getting non-stop April showers!

As much as I love to celebrate the summer solstice, it is bittersweet for me, because after today, the days begin to get shorter as we head toward (ugh) winter.

——————————–
© 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

Advertisements
June 20, 2018 / Leslie

The War Bride’s Scrapbook by Caroline Preston

A Rapid Review

A Novel in Pictures

Publisher: Ecco| December 2017
Format: Hardcover | 224 Pages | Rating: 5 stars

A World War II love story, narrated through a new bride’s dazzling array of vintage postcards, newspaper clippings, photographs, and more.<

After only a few weeks together, Lila and Perry elope. Their story is told in the first person by Lila using photos, drawings, notes, correspondence, newspaper/magazine clippings, illustrations, advertisement – all types of memorabilia. An original concept that I enjoyed reading.

This is a love story and also historical fiction; a realistic glimpse of what life was like in the early 1940s. It’s not only a book to read, but one to experience. It’s a form of graphic novel, but uses a multimedia scrapbook format rather than illustrations.

I have tried to read graphic novels with some success but often find them frustrating. As a scrapbook, this is different. It’s not just a story with pictures. It immerses you in the time period. It’s engaging. Interesting. Authentic. It was an enjoyable break from a regular print novel.

——————————–
Source: Review copy
© 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 18, 2018 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ June 18th

Welcome 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.


 

Two new books and a heat wave arrived last week. Summer is here with a vengeance. I like warm weather but a 108 degree heat index in mid-June is a bit much even for me!

New Arrivals

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle from Flatiron.

For fans of Me Before You and One Day comes a wondrous novel of first love, loss, and the dinner of a lifetime.

Ohio by Stephen Markley from Simon & Schuster.

The debut of a major talent; a lyrical and emotional novel set in an archetypal small town in northeastern Ohio—a region ravaged by the Great Recession, an opioid crisis, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—depicting one feverish, fateful summer night in 2013 when four former classmates converge on their hometown, each with a mission, all haunted by the ghosts of their shared histories.

——————————–
© 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 14, 2018 / Leslie

Celebrate Audiobook Month: Tips for New Listeners and a Giveaway

An industry-wide celebration

Audiobook Month is celebrated industry-wide during the month of June with the goal of increasing awareness of this growing format. In celebration of audiobook month, the Audio Publishers Association and Audiobooks.com are sponsoring a giveaway. More on that below.

For those still hesitating to try the format, summer is the perfect time to try an audiobook. All of my audio listening is while multitasking: Doing boring household chores, driving, walking, gardening.

Audiobooks are an acquired skill

Don’t be disappointed if listening to a book doesn’t work on the first attempt. It took me several tries and failures before I embraced the format. Start with something easy like non-fiction or short stories.

Things to avoid for new listeners

Too long, complex plot, too many characters or changes in point of view, or multiple jumps in time and place. Having to constantly press the reverse button and listen again can get very frustrating.

How to find a good audiobook

The best way to find a good audiobook is to read reviews or ask for recommendations. When I review an audiobook I’m now including a difficulty rating ie Easy, Intermediate or Difficult. The narrator also makes a difference. Some are such a pleasure to listen to that they could read the phone book and I’d enjoy it!

Recommendations For New Listeners

Bossypants by Tina Fey

A favorite of mine from several years ago is Bossypants, Tina Fey’s memoir. Entertaining, interesting, and funny. Laugh-out-loud funny! The book is narrated by the author and she does a superb job. This is the perfect book for non-audio folks to try an audiobook. No complex plot lines, one narrator, and no problem staying interested.

A recent read that I found engaging and delightful was Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is a pleasure to listen to and he makes astrophysics sound easy. At only a few hours long, I was wishing for more.

Why Dinosaurs Matter by Kenneth Lacovara is a short, interesting look at dinosaurs. This was read with enthusiasm by the author and is a book the entire family will enjoy. At only four hours long, it’s a good choice for a long ride in the car.

A Few of My Many Favorites

Win Audiobooks

In celebration of audiobook month, the Audio Publishers Association and Audiobooks.com are sponsoring a giveaway.

The winner will receive a fantastic selection of 8 audiobooks that have been generously donated by Blackstone Publishing, High Bridge Audio, Hachette Audio, LA Theatre Works, Macmillan Audio, Post Hypnotic Press Audiobooks, Scholastic and Tantor Audio. The books will be available on Audiobooks.com for download. (US only)

For a chance to win . . .

Fill out the form below on or before midnight, June 30th. I will draw one random winner (US only) and they will be notified by email. That’s it. Easy!

The Eight Titles

  1. Seven by Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith, and Susan Yankowitz
  2. Gone to Dust by Matt Goldman, narrated by MacLeod Andrews
  3. Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris, narrated by Kevin Hely and Cathleen McCarron
  4. Wings of Fire Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland, narrated by Shannon MacManus
  5. Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, narrated by Todd McLaren
  6. Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan, narrated by David Shih
  7. A Girl Stands at the Door by Rachel Devlin, narrated by Robin Miles
  8. Torn from Troy, Book 1 in the Odyssey of a Slave Trilogy by Patrick Bowman, narrated by Gerard Doyle

For more chances to win, visit the other participants in the tour.

——————————–
© 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 13, 2018 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Blue Jay

——————————–
More Wordless Wednesday. © 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 11, 2018 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ June 11th

Welcome 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.


 
Rain, rain, rain. June is not usually a rainy month, but it seems like every morning has been cloudy and raining. That’s nice for the plants and grass, and I don’t need to spend time watering, but the mosquitoes and other insects are also thriving! I finally got a book photo outside between the raindrops!

Two new books and a win arrived last week . . .

New Arrivals

On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old by Parker J. Palmer from Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Drawing on eight decades of life — and his career as a writer, teacher, and activist — Palmer explores the questions age raises and the promises it holds. “Old,” he writes, “is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to dive deep into life, not withdraw to the shallows.”

Left by Mary Hogan from William Morrow.

In this beautifully crafted novel from the author of the critically-acclaimed Two Sisters, comes the story of a woman who retreats into a fantasy world on New York City’s Upper West Side as she slowly loses her once whip-smart husband to dementia—perfect for fans of Still Alice.

A Win

From Lisa See, author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, a Tea-Tasting Package to try raw and aged pu’er while reading the book.

——————————–
© 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 6, 2018 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Green Heron

Almost wordless: I see an amazing variety of birds in the park near my house. This guy was sitting on a branch over the pond looking for a meal.

——————————–
More Wordless Wednesday.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos.
© 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

%d bloggers like this: