Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Salon: March 23, 2014

The Sunday

The scene: Noon on Sunday morning after a long walk with with Prince. He is recovering in his new bed.

I have been keeping his hair long as a form of insulation but he's getting scruffy - time for a cut! 

Reading: Four Friends by Robyn Carr  - this is an easy read but the jury is still out on what I think of it.  Generally I enjoy books about women's friendships but some of these women are not resonating with me. It does, however, have some witty dialogue which I am enjoying. I recently finished Five Days at Memorial - what an amazing read (or listen in my case). The pacing in the book is excellent and it almost felt like a thriller rather than non-fiction.  The book gives you so much to think about.

 Blogging: It seems I am back to having issues posting regularly - my last Sunday Salon post was a month ago and the reviews have been few and far between.  I hoped to use my time off to bank some posts but that just didn't happen so I am still limping along here.  We'll see - I might need to re-evaluate blogging and if I want to continue to prioritize it. This week, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I posted a review of one the many reads I did for the Ireland Reading Challenge - An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor. I love this series and this book actually stands alone and doesn't need to be read following the earlier ones.

 Watching: My TV time has really tapered since I returned to work - not watching much on the tube right now.  I did go to see the musical Once last weekend - it was great! The music was amazing and you felt like you were sitting in bar watching it all unfold. I definitely recommend it. We topped that off with a trip uptown to Dinosaur BBQ.  I have wanted to go for awhile -their BBQ is legendary. I am back on solid food but still with some restrictions so I had to have a burger rather than some of the other meat offerings but everything smelled amazing. I will be back!

 Looking Forward To: A quick visit to Texas to see my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. I am really looking forward to seeing them all again.  My SIL and I are doing a 5K (I will be walking it since I only just got cleared for exercise) on Saturday - the DFW Women Rock.  It looks like a lot of fun and I am excited to be back in the running world - it is something I have really missed.  I also start my "running class" this week at Jack Rabbit Sports.  Now that the weather is getting better (or trying to!) it will be good to get outside 2 nights a week for some exercise.

 Grateful: For the body's ability to recover - I feel better every day and am more grateful for what my body CAN do than I every was before surgery.

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Audiobook Review: An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor

An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor (10 hours, 19 minute; narrated by Terry Donnelly): Maureen "Kinky" Kincaid is the wry, no-nonsense housekeeper to Doctor Fingal O'Reilly and his young assistant Dr. Barry Laverty in the town of Ballybucklebo. For the first few books in the series, she supported the doctors and was largely in the background; this book tells her story before she came to Ballybucklebo.

 Kinky begins telling her story to a group of local children at Christmas. She weaves the tale of Irish fairies, or dubh sidhe, through her own story and captivates the young children. Young Maureen O'Hanlon was fey and could see things that others could not. At first, she was scared of "the sight" which her mother also shared but as she grew to trust it she realized she had a gift. Her gift also gives her a healthy respect for the fairies and their power to punish those that cross them while protecting others. There is a lot of folklore and magic smattered throughout the story of her young life but it features a little less prominently as she meets her future husband. Maureen was instantly taken by Paudeen Kincaid even though his traditional beliefs about women not working ran counter to Maureen's desire to be teacher and her independent streak. Their love story is endearing, if tragic.

My Thoughts
I have read a number of the books in this popular Irish series (my review of An Irish Country Christmas) and always enjoy the cozy nature of the books. I get drawn into the small town life and the memorable characters. An Irish Country Girl did not disappoint but it is different from the earlier books.  The biggest difference is the theme of Irish mythology and the prominence it takes within the book. I initially had trouble with this part of the book but the storytelling eventually drew me in.

This is my first time listening to the narration of Terry Donnelly and I really enjoyed her narration - it was such a pleasure listening to her lilting Irish accent. Although this is the fourth book in the series, it truly stands alone as it is the contained story of Kinky's young life with almost no character overlap with the other books. If you are looking for an enjoyable read with a peek into small town Irish life of the past, pick up An Irish Country Girl and get transported by a true Irish storyteller.