What Norma’s Listening To

The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

From Goodreads:  Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoe, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoe at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

What Norma’s Reading

MarianaMariana by Susanna Kearsley

From Goodreads:  From the winner of the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, this mesmerizing, suspenseful, and richly atmospheric tale of time travel draws us into the heart of a heroine we won’t soon forget…

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.

As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past…until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

Review by Norma: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the WorldNews of the World by Paulette Jiles

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  February 9 to 12, 2017

What an emotional journey this book took me on!  I am absolutely spent after reading this novel!

NEWS OF THE WORLD by PAULETTE JILES was a uniquely written historical fiction novel that takes you on a 400-mile long adventurous and sometimes dangerous journey across the state of Texas in 1870 after the American Civil War.

Reading this book via e-book THE COVER and TITLE did not come into play for me as it was chosen solely to be read on the recommendation of my sister, Brenda.  Although, I do find both the cover and title to be extremely fitting for this book.

The CHARACTERS, 71 year old respectable Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd who travels Texas to read the NEWS OF THE WORLD to a paying audience and scared, lonely, and unsettled 10-year old Johanna who is learning to cope in her new surroundings. Through the kindness and goodness of Captain Kidd they form a relationship that bonds them together by love, trust, responsibility and understanding.

PAULETTE JILES delivers an impressive and descriptive story here that was at times a little hard for me to read, as I found the pacing a little bit slow at times. For me living out in the country on a ranch and having a real cowboy as a husband this book took me to places that were familiar to me and have learned about through the stories that were shared to me by my husband and his family.  I really liked Captain Kidd’s description of the people who are called “cowboys”, an “occupational speciality”.  I shared that one with him…..lol

What I particularly loved about this book was THE ENDING as it was one of those books for me that made me realize that everything I just read was absolutely beautiful.

To sum it all up it was an endearing, steady-paced, and an easy read with a very satisfying ending. Would recommend!!


Review by Norma: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Date listened:  February 9 to 11, 2017

3.5 stars ~ Having YES PLEASE sitting on my Kobo shelf for quite a while unread I decided to give the audio version a try as my sister Brenda listens to audiobooks frequently and told me that I must give it a try. So now I have, Brenda! lol

I found this book to be entertaining and I really liked that AMY POEHLER was the narrator of her own autobiography. To be totally honest I don’t really know what actually attracted me to this book in the first place because I don’t know too much about Amy Poehler. I think I just wanted to see what she was about and I must say that I think I might know her just a little better. I got a good sense of her personality and sense of humour listening to YES PLEASE and I couldn’t help laugh out loud a few times.

I enjoyed it and I will be listening to more audiobooks in the future.