Monday, August 06, 2012

Monday Malarkey - On to un-yellowing; mini reviews of Dreaming in English and The Aleppo Codex

Room #2 is done! Un-greened and . . . well, I'm not sure my choice of bedspread works very well with the rug we bought, but it'll do, for now. The TBRs have moved into our new bedroom! Wahoo! We've moved on to un-yellowing the living area, now.

We are getting to the crunch point on this moving business. Husband wants us out of the old house by the first of September because a friend is going through a divorce and tired of staying at a hotel; husband wants to rent our old home to him. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I want to get out of the old house as soon as possible but it's a bear of a job. We've been in this house for a long, long time.

Anyhow, if I disappear for a time, it's because we're rushing to finish the move. At this point, I barely have time to sit and take a break from packing, moving, cleaning, painting and lining shelves. I have, however, managed to finish a few books in the past 2 weeks.

Dreaming in English by Laura Fitzgerald is the sequel to Veil of Roses and stands alone fine but it's probably a lot more fun to read the two books in order because Dreaming in English does give away the entire plot of Veil of Roses.

In Veil of Roses, which I have not read, Tamila Soroush left her home in Iran and moved to the United States, joining the sister who had already moved to the U.S. and married. Her objective was husband-hunting so that she could leave Iran permanently.

If you plan to read Veil of Roses, the rest of this review will be a spoiler!!

At the end of Veil of Roses, the man Tami was on the verge of marrying asked her to make some unacceptable promises. Knowing she couldn't give in to his demands, she booked a flight home. But, the man she'd really fallen in love with swooped in and they married in Las Vegas.

In Dreaming in English, Tami and Ike begin their marriage rather badly, with a visit to his parents, who are dead-set against the marriage and think Tami is trying to use Ike to stay in the U.S. The newlyweds are determined to make their marriage work, though. They move into the cottage of a friend of Tami's and Tami gets a job working for her brother-in-law. Meanwhile, Ike assumes he'll have to give up his dream of owning a coffee shop when his father refuses to give him the promised funds. The marriage is the obstacle.

Tami knows Ike will never be content if he has to leave his dream behind, so she sets out to help make it happen. But, when Ike's old girlfriend returns to the country from Europe, Tami makes a huge mistake that may cause Ike to give up on Tami for good.

Dreaming in English is a nice, light, romantic read that genuinely surprised me. I figured it would be a little on the chick-littish side but there are constant challenges and the pages simply flew. Recommended when you're looking for a breezy read that isn't pure fluff -- just quick reading. Even though the first book has been spoiled by the reading of Dreaming in English, I liked it enough that I'd still happily read Veil of Roses, even knowing what's going to happen.

The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman is nonfiction, the true story of the author's quest to uncover what happened to the thousand-year-old Bible also known as the "Crown of Aleppo", which was kept safely hidden in Syria until the United Nations agreement after WWII that led to riots and the eventual end of the Jewish presence in Aleppo. How did the Codex travel from Aleppo, Syria to its current home in Jerusalem, Israel? Who brought the book to Israel and when did a large portion of the Codex disappear? Where did the missing pages go?

Because everyone was tight-lipped about all of the above questions, the author had to really dig to find the truth. And, the story of his investigation is absolutely fascinating. I was very impressed with Friedman's journalistic efforts and how he managed to put together the pieces of the puzzle.

The story of the Codex's journey and how the pages disappeared is engrossing. I highly recommend The Aleppo Codex to those who enjoy nonfiction, particularly history.

I've also finished reading The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, but I'll save that for another day. I don't want this post to go on forever.

Books that walked in, this past week:

Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini - from Paperback Swap
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - from Paperback Swap

If I can, I'll sneak in a mini review of The Prisoner of Heaven, in a couple days. If not, see you on Fiona Friday!

Bookfool, slightly overwhelmed in a good way

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

21 comments:

  1. Moving is so much work but I like to do it from time to time.

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    1. I really love moving and didn't want to settle down when we moved into this house, but the years just kept going past. It's going to be nice to turn over a new leaf. But, it is definitely a huge job, especially given how long we've been here. We have just kept piling the Stuff in. Hopefully, moving will help us pare down!!!

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    2. I am so ready to move... Don't tell all my friends here tho who are afraid of such. Which is sweet for them to say. and it is true that I love my neighbors but. I want a smaller place.

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  2. I don't know how you're even managing to read with how busy you've been. I'm impressed.

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    1. I read when I'm so staggering tired I can't stand or sit, any longer. LOL I think I'd be in a room with mattress wallpaper by now, if I didn't get my reading time, to be honest. :)

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  3. Hang in there!! The end - - or somebody's end - - may be in sight! Congrats on still finding the peace in reading. I am aiming for that this school year, but it is after midnight and I am still up prepping for meeting the students tomorrow. Alas, I am not doing so well already.

    Check your hair for paint before you leave!

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    1. Haha, I like: "somebody's end may be in sight". :) The final walls are 12 feet tall. Could take a while. Reading is such a relaxing thing. I hope you get some squeezed in.

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  4. You'll get there! I know how stressful moving is!!

    PS. I love the color of the walls and that rug is absolutely gorgeous!!! I'd pull a cream or soft yellow from the rug for the bedding.

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    1. It's a pain! But, I'm enjoying it when I'm not sweating to death. :)

      Good thinking on the colors!

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  5. The room looks lovely, and I actually like the bedspread. It looks bright and happy. I haven't read either of these books, but have been interested in The Aleppo Code for some time, and am interested in reading it. Good luck with getting out of the house quickly! I know just how hard it is to move!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I like the color - I just am not sure it goes great with the rug and walls. But, with all three together I think it's better than it was *without* the rug, so that's good. :)

      The Aleppo Code is very good - well written, kind of adventurous, definitely compelling. I hope you get to read it soon!

      Thanks. I just realized I've repeated the bit about the fellow who wants to rent my house. You can see my head is not entirely in the game. I'm so focused on moving that I'm scattered, elsewhere. On the other hand, that might be my normal state of being.

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  6. Ah, moving, how I don't miss it! LOL

    Nancy, the new paint looks fresh and pretty and I know that you will be so happy with it all when finished. Such a chore, but one that you can actually see the results. Hang in there. Fall is coming and think how cozy things will be when all is in the new house. :-)

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    1. I think by the time we're done, I'll be very happy to settle in, Kay!!!

      Thanks! I enjoyed painting the first two rooms. The living area, though . . . OMG, the walls are so, so big. They're 12' tall and one is only interrupted by a single door. Ack! Also, it looks like I'm going to have to climb onto the built-in entertainment center to paint above it. Not thrilled about that! But, I still think it's fun and exciting, even if this last room is looking a bit daunting. We have been in the same house for a very long time. It's great to turn over a new leaf.

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  7. All of the moving and painting and cleaning sounds completely exhausting! I hope the rest of it goes smoothly and quickly for you!

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    1. It's pretty exhausting. I just got home from driving up to Oxford to get Kiddo's apartment set up with gas, line up a P.O. Box and buy him a few staples (a 3.5 hour drive). So, we're actually working on moving Kiddo at the same time we're moving our home. And, I've come down with a summer cold. Oh, the timing. LOL

      Thanks! The walls of the living area are proving to be very challenging to paint. We need all the good wishes we can get. :)

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  8. Happy World Cat Day! (as seen on FB) and happy moving cleaning packing sorting unpacking painting carrying puttingdowning etc... whew, I'm tired just cheering you on.

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    1. World Cat Day? Cool! I didn't see anything about it but I was on the road, today. Thanks! Happy World Cat Day to you, too. I'm sure the dogs are enjoying it enormously. ;)

      Thanks for cheering me on. I can use some cheering, now. I'm pretty worn out and not a little daunted by the prospect of emptying this house in 3 weeks. Eeks.

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  9. I'm really impressed that you're reading at all given all the moving business. That's A LOT to handle!

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    1. Why, thank you, Andiloo! If I didn't read at least a little, I'd be booking my room at the funny farm. Gotta have some kind of mental break. I just finished Shadow Show (short stories) and . . . unbelievably . . . bought a book while I was in Oxford to get some things arranged for Kiddo at school. You'd think moving thousands of books would dissuade me from buying more, wouldn't you? Nope. I'm an addict, pure and simple. :)

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  10. I'm with Kay! I've moved so many times in my life... Rod & I have lived in 9 places (a couple of temporary apts while relocating) in our 25 years of marriage. We've been in our current house for 12 years and I'll be happy if we never move again...although after a record month of high temps this past July, I can't believe I really want to stay in NE! If this winter's just as awful, I may have you send me your moving boxes. ;)

    Hang in there!

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    1. I LOVE moving, but I truly was not ready to settle in when we bought this house. We've lived in 8 different homes (including the temporary ones) in 5 towns, so this will be our 9th move. I like change.

      I just read this: "July 2012 was hottest month on record for contiguous U.S. since record keeping began in 1895, NOAA says." That was a CNN breaking news update that came through at about 11:00, this morning. Even friends in upstate New York have been miserable (one is currently installing central air). Moving might not do you much good, IOW! Here, it's just been pretty typical. Summer is always long and miserable. Winter is our respite from hot, hot, hot, hot and hot weather. You'd love winter, here. :)

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