Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

Month: May 2018

Recently Read – April

Since being back home in the Ville, my reading progress has soared! In the last month, I have doubled my 2018 reads. Among the “settling into the Ville” tasks for me was getting a library card & I have been putting it to good use already. Also, I’ve finally started utilizing NetGalley for some advanced reads. Here, some snapshots from my April reading list.

The Last Sword Maker by Brian Nelson – A techno-thriller that takes several current technologies and scientific discoveries and tweaks them into more frightening possibilities that threaten to alter the world in drastic ways. Taking place in the near future, this tale of utilizing DNA to target and wipe out specific people and people groups leaves you at the last page pondering “what-if” and other implications of taking some of these discoveries to the extreme. Free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Book is available October 16th.

The Lido by Libby Page –  A story of community and the importance of time and place to come together from all backgrounds into a common purpose. A quick and cheerful read that leaves you thankful for the multi-generational relationships and communities that you have in your own life. Free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Book is available June 19th.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan –  – A spring release that keeps getting mentioned  & has a spot on book cover recommendation blurb: “As if Donna Tartt, Gillian Flynn, and Patricia Highsmith had collaborated on a screenplay to be filmed by Hitchcock” —Joyce Carol Oates A quick paced story set in  Morocco – filled with the mystique of a foreign land – a newlywed orphan feeling adrift in the dusty and bustling city of Tangiers as her husband pursues a mysterious job. When her former college roommate suddenly appears on her doorstep the temperature rises and life boils over with discontent, jealousy and dark secrets in the heat of a land in turmoil. A Kindle deal.

A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin – Once again, opening a Charles Martin book is a soothing balm – this time, an engaging story of a star football player…well, after an amazing high school and college career he was set to be the #1 draft pick until he was accused of an unthinkable crime and spent the next 12 years in prison. When he is released, he comes back to his small Georgia down to try to rebuild his life – a parole condition of no contact with children is put to the test when he is asked to quietly coach a high school player at his old school. As the story unfolds, we learn the true story of how the start came to be accused and a story of redemption and forgiveness unfolds. A Kindle deal.

Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson – A cookbook from a food blogger that I used to follow in the heyday of blogging. Lots of fresh fruit and veggie based recipes that look like they will be fun to try as the local farmers markets kick into high season. A Kindle deal.

The Lost Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland – A tale of lost and found with a main character so guarded that it takes you a while to get to know her. A clever story that seemed to cross several different flavors of reads that I enjoy. It is more than a “bookshop story that draws in learnings from favorite books.” It is more than the story of a young woman with a mysterious past that is told in present time and also by jumping back into her history. It is more than a young woman trying to figure out her way in the world. Woven into the storyline is an ode to the tactile memory we all have as we hold a book in our hands and are transported back to the time/place/moment of reading that book for the first time and the memories that will always be invoked. Free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Book is available June 19th.

Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee – I first started seeing Ginger Zee weather reports when I lived in Chicago – she was at my “default” news station. In recent years, I see her whenever I have “Good Morning America” on as I get ready – more often than not, that seems to be while on the road. This was a quick and candid read that provides insights into her career and also unflinchingly shares her struggles with depression and that impact on her choices and life.  New Release borrowed from my local library.

Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell – Picking up in Tombstone, AZ this novel recounts the life and times of Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers leading up to and after the famous/infamous shootout at the OK Corral. A richly crafted story of the full cast of characters – on both sides of the shootout as well as their supporting cast of wives, girlfriends, town locals and more. This is the follow-up to Doc that I read last month. I snagged a Kindle deal on this one. 

What are you reading these days?

Linking of with other readers via “Show Us Your Books” with Stephanie and Jana.

Seasons Change…

…since last this blog saw much action, many things have been happening…and as the seasons changed from winter to spring, there is a definite season of change around here…The last week of March, I moved home to the Ville!

Last August, I decided that the time had come to get back home to Georgia and when I renewed my lease I was able to go with a shorter term lease and began planning to leave PA by the end of March. As 2018 progressed, I started working through my move plan – while also pursuing a new role in the company that would have allowed me to be based anywhere. By the middle of March, this role got caught in some company hiring constraints and since my previous role had been ended, it was time for me to exit the company after 6 1/2 years. March was a whirlwind of a month. Mother Nature provided plenty of entertainment with four nor’easters. On the home front, furniture and home goods donations were being gathered and picked up. Packing was happening. Movers were being finalized.

I did most of the packing. The best money I spent in move prep was bringing in Wendy from Gingerly Packed to spend a couple of hours packing up my kitchen and dining/entertaining wares. In seemingly no time at all, she had emptied all the cabinets and drawers and china cabinets and had everything securely packed into dish packs and other boxes.

Before I knew it, I was packing up my desk where this “Embrace Change” art had been a smart reminder of the work that I led. Farewells were said. A final happy hour with office friends.

After a final fast paced weekend of packing, my moving team arrived around 9AM on Monday and quickly had everything loaded into the truck. By noon they were pulling out of the apartment complex to head down here to Georgia (and they had unloaded everything into my storage unit here by 5:30 on Tuesday afternoon). While I was mentally ready to hit the road, I had to “stay back” to finish closing out the apartment with the thorough cleaning & carpet cleaning on Tuesday & final walk through on Wednesday morning.

“Finally” just before 11AM on Wednesday, I pulled out of my Pennsylvania carport one final time and started my southward trek home. While the skies threatened rain for several hours, thankfully it was a mostly dry drive on Wednesday. While I wanted to just drive straight through, I knew that I needed to stop along the way. So as the sun was setting, I reluctantly pulled into a hotel outside of Charlotte for the night.  By lunchtime on Thursday, I had passed these signs and was pulling into the driveway, home in the Ville.

By lunchtime on Thursday, I was pulling into the driveway here in the Ville and ready to begin this next chapter of life. I’m home. I’m decompressing from an intense couple of years as I look ahead to what’s next with work. Catching up on sleep. Reading. Enjoying being home with Mom & Rebecca. Planning. Returning to the artisan side of life.

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