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Mary's Books

I have loved to read since I was little. I would borrow many books from the library and still borrow to this day, but I also purchase books (mostly for my kids) and freebies on Kindle. I read as much as I can daily. Sometimes I read several books at one time. I don't have a preference of paper book over an ebook, I just love to read. Keeping lists of what I have read is a good way for me to remember. 

Currently reading

Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti
Bailey Cates
Chocolate Frosted Murder: A Donut Hole Cozy Mystery - Book 5
Susan Gillard
The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
Kate Andersen Brower
Devotional Bible-NCV-Personal: Experience the Heart of Jesus by Max Lucado (2008-03-01)
Max Lucado
Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days
John A Carroll

What is the Order?

Theodore Boone: the Fugitive - John Grisham

As I was reading this book, I was questioning the order the books went in. The reason I was questioning was that the book that I read before this one "The Scandal" had the kids taking the tests. These tests are given in February and March (in Ohio) and the trip to Washington DC happens end of April beginning of May. The kids aren't in school too much past that. 


Upon researching the books, I found that the class trip was prior to the testing, as found on this site.


In this book, Theo and his 8th-grade class are going to DC for their field trip and while he is on the Metro coming back from the theatre where Lincoln was assassinated, he sees "The Fugitive" Peter Duffy, who ran before the start of the 2nd trial. He has a bounty on his head and he has changed his looks. Theo decides to ditch his partner (the kids have to pair up) and his classmates and the teacher who took all this group of kids. He states that due to the press of the people he wasn't able to get off the train and would ride back as soon as he got to the next stop. He films Duffy with his phone and sends the recording to his uncle, Ike, who promptly comes to DC to trail Duffy himself and then they report what they learned to the FBI who require Ike's and Theo's help in finding Duffy and so he gets to go back to DC. 


Things that I found interesting, was that the Defense attorney paid thugs who bugged another attorney's office and then used the information to threaten a witness. It made me wonder what they were going to get out of an acquittal. I also wondered why the witness was not kept in a room with the police officers so that he couldn't sneak out when he was threatened. I wonder why this threat to the witness was not brought to the attention of the judge as soon as the witness finally trusted Theo enough to call him and why the police didn't ping the phone they gave the witness, and why they didn't ask for a transcript of calls and texts to the phone they gave him, as this phone was not owned by the witness, but the police who gave it to him. 


I had more questions on this book than on the other five and felt that the order was wrong as the ending makes you think that the thugs are going to do something to Theo or his family in the next book and that doesn't happen or that there is a 7th book in the works. 


It was a good read, but I think they depended too much on a 13-year-old to "help" solve the problems of adults. Given that I was able to suspend reality for a bit, was good. 


21 FAVORITE PALEO SOUP RECIPES (Everyday Paleo Recipes Book 9) - Happy Cook

I like to make soups, especially when my family isn't feeling well or it is cold outside. These soups are for people who cannot have gluten. I wasn't excited about them, but I may try one or two and change them to what I have and what my family will eat or that I can have. 


The book was another free find on Kindle and is now $2.99

Pumpkin Anytime

25 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes: Quick and Easy, Step-by-Step Pumpkin Recipe Cookbook - Martha Stone 20 Easy Pumpkin Recipes: Quick and Easy Pumpkin Recipe Cookbook (Quick and Easy Cooking Series) - Hannie P. Scott

I love pumpkin. Pumpkin Pies, Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Raviolis. These recipe books were also another found free for Kindles. I had them on my to-be-read-list and I marked several to try when I have time. Some of these would be only for me as I am the only one who will eat pumpkin in many things. 


Pumpkin was used in many different recipes. I recommend this book to anyone who also likes pumpkin. 

25 Uses for Boxes of Brownie Mixes

25 Brownie Mix Recipes (Awesome Fast Recipes Anyone Can Make!) - Amy Allen

I don't know what I thought would be in this book, but it basically just takes a brownie mix and then follow the directions and make something with it. Brownie Waffles, make brownie mix according to directions, put a small amount on well-greased waffle iron, tada. 


Good for beginners. I may try something from the list, but not certain. It was another of my free finds. 


25 Delicious Cupcake Recipes - Delicious and Easy Cupcake Recipes for Every Occasion - Cooking Penguin

This is another book I was able to get for free, now $3.99. Cupcakes are fun to make and can be used to make fun "shaped cakes." I marked so many recipes in this book, I know my girls will have fun making these recipes and in some cases, when I don't want to mess with cupcakes, you can just make it as a cake. 


Loved this book when I was going through the recipes. I have many birthdays coming up and we are in cake baking mode. 



Christmas Yummies

25 Days of Christmas Treats: Delicious, no-fail recipes to please even the pickiest eater! - Barb Asselin

My girls and I like to bake, especially around Christmas time and we make lots of different things and I buy containers and we deliver the goodies to our First Responders. My girls know that they appreciate what we bring in. We are not the only ones to do this in our area, so we try to deliver when they are working (all the time) but not too many have delivered. 


I found many recipes that I know that the girls will enjoy making and experimenting with these recipes. Many were marked for trial. 

Need Help to Start a Story?

The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 9-10: Story Starters for Journals, Assignments and More - Bryan Cohen

This book is for Grades 9-10. I mentioned that I homeschool and that I will have a 9th grader next year. I went in search of something that would excite my kids into writing. It has a little bit of everything for writing prompts. As I am writing this, I have assigned one of the prompts and the 2 younger girls are making it happen. It should prove to be a very interesting day! 


If you have a child that you are homeschooling and need writing prompts (for those teenagers), this is such fun! 

Fun Fast Read

223 Amazing Science Facts, Tidbits and Quotes - Tasnim Essack

I got this book 2 years ago for free, today it is $0.73. Yeah, I know very expensive. It is just a bunch of fun scientific facts. I got it in hopes that one of the fun facts would prompt the girls to in search of more on something that they read. They tend to fight me on these things, but I keep working on it. I even started collecting "History's Mysteries" for them to research. I may write these items on cards for them to research, too. 


I did enjoy reading through the facts, at the end, there were some fun quotes from scientists. 

The Fast Dessert

24 Dump Cake Recipes: Simple and Easy to Make - Marylyn Smith

Dump Cakes are fun! They are lots of fun! You can mix and match with cake mixes and just dump things together. No mixing! You make the Dump Cake and heat it up and then serve it with a little ice cream (usually vanilla is what we use) and you have a great dessert for most anyone! 


My girls and I found a dump cake one time that we couldn't find a pie filling for and we improvised and it was so good, that when we found the filling it called for, we tried it that way, too. 


Dump Cakes are also great for beginners. 

Using Cake Mixes or From Scratch

100 Bundt and Tube Pan Cake Recipes - Tera L. Davis

I read some of the reviews on the book on Amazon and it was a mixed review, but there was one review by a "professional pastry chef" and they pointed out that this was a good book because there were options for people who were not very good at making things or were just beginners and there were scratch recipes for those who were more advanced. It was a very good point. This book is good for all. I got it for free and it is now $2.99 and a good price. 


I marked several recipes that my daughters and I might end up trying and experimenting with. I do suggest this book and if you are just beginning or experienced it will be enjoyable. 

Not Sure

25 Easy Breakfast Recipes and Ideas: Easy to Cook Breakfast Recipes and Breakfast Ideas the Entire Family Can Enjoy! (Simple and Easy Cooking Series) - Hannie P. Scott

I got this book two years ago, for free and it is now $.99. 


I like to make things for my family from scratch. I make spinach pancakes that my family cannot get enough and request that I make more often. This starts with donuts using rolls of canned biscuits. That stopped me in my tracks. I wasn't sure if I was going to go any farther. I don't like canned biscuits generally and will make biscuits from scratch for breakfasts. I did continue on and found a breakfast casserole that uses a loaf of bread, but that can be overlooked as I have used a store bought loaf of bread for sandwiches and for French Toast. 


Then I went on and found where canned biscuits were used a lot through the book. There were many recipes that did not require store bought biscuits, which saved the book. 


I think this book is a good book for someone learning how to make breakfasts. It has some shortcuts and gives detailed directions. 




20 Delightfully Delicious Dessert Recipes: For Any And All Occasions - Tony Trent

I mentioned that baking/cooking is something that I enjoy doing with my daughters (youngest mostly). I found many recipes in this book that I would love to try out, but I also have to be careful as there were many items that would be an allergy problem with my friends/sisters and also they use sugar, so not good for my dad or father-in-law. 


My girls like to participate in Baking Contests so there are many recipes that will be good for them to practice over Christmas, we make and take to our First Responders as a gift for all they do all year long. 


I got this book on Kindle for free two years ago, and now it is $2.99. I usually put books into my "Wish List" and watch for them to be free or reduced before I "buy" them. This does go under the would buy for $3.00 category. 



Diabetic Desserts

20 Awesome Diabetic Desserts!!: Enjoy These Desserts Recipes Without Increasing Your Blood Sugar!!! - Levi So

My father and father-in-law have diabetes. My youngest and I love to bake. We collect cookbooks. Best cookbooks are free cookbooks. We can read them, mark recipes we want to try, handwrite them onto a recipe card and then make the recipe. 


I found several recipes that I want to try in this book. My dad once said that he misses having pies and cakes, but he is very good about following his diet. My father-in-law, not so much, so this can be good for making him a cake for his birthday. 


I marked several recipes that my daughter and I will try and experiment with and I look forward to that time. Baking/Cooking are science and math and bonding time. 


This is a good book for anyone who has someone they love with diabetes, it may just be good for anyone who just wants to cut the sugar out of their lives. 

Gathering to Revel While Others Die

The Masque of the Red Death - Edgar Allan Poe

I am rereading this story as well. I read this over the summer in high school because I was interested in other Poe stories and whenever possible I tried to watch Vincent Price in Poe made movies. 


I have just finished rereading this after reading "The Bone Garden" by Tess Gerritsen and many things came to mind. One was that the Prince had gathered his friends in a castle and sealed everyone inside to party while many were dying horrible deaths outside. Two was that in "The Bone Garden" Rose was encouraged to bathe and get rid of her clothing that was very old and very dirty because everyone staying in the doctor's house needed to be clean so that no one brought an illness. 


It seemed that while the courtiers were enjoying all the good in life, they still stopped to listen to the clock and maybe hear the stillness from outside, listening to life leaving. 


This is another book that I will be using in the lessons this year. See what the girls think after reading the story. 


On a side note, I did look up to find that Red Death was fictional and a disease created by Poe, but there had been many who died from many different plagues. 

Poetry from High School

The Raven - Gallery Books

When I was in high school, I went to a private school that prepared an all-girl student body to go to college. I remember being assigned this poem in an English class and I remember some of the discussion, but when I reread this poem today, I looked up more of the words that I had just passed on when I was in high school. Why did I reread this poem? I am starting my prep for next year. I will have a high school freshman, an 8th grader, and a 7th grader. I am looking at the poem from a new perspective and realizing things from the poem that I had missed when I was in high school. 


Have you ever reread something you read when you were younger and thought about it in a new way? 

"The Bone Garden" by Tess Gerritsen

The Bone Garden  - Tess Gerritsen

This book goes back and forth between past and present. It goes back to a past in Boston, MA where women were dying under the care of doctors while giving birth, because of a lack of knowledge that they needed to wash after each patient and before each new patient. Back to a past where Oliver Wendall Holmes was a doctor in training. It goes to a present where a woman finds a body buried in her garden and in trying to find out about the skeleton, she meets Henry who may have the information in papers from his relative, Margaret, who once owned the house. She learns some information on the skeleton from Dr. Isles and that is all the Rizzoli and Isles that is seen in this book as it looks at a past where women were not cared for as well as they should have been, children were born without knowledge of their true fathers and women have to marry someone in order to have a father for a child they are carrying. It is sad and tragic what a woman went through in those times and it is good that Oliver Wendall Holmes did learn how to prevent so many deaths in women giving birth and presented a paper on this after learning abroad in France. 


Enjoyable book with a great deal of history in it and while it was mostly fictional, it was a good story to read. I do recommend this book. It is not the typical mystery, but there is a mystery and it is solved through letters supposedly written by OWH.