Birthday Eve


On this, my birthday eve

If I can just believe

That 56 is young,

Then I have just begun

I’ll go outside and play

And worries go away

No more responsibility

From it all, I’m free

I miss the skip and jump

Before I grew so plump

Birthdays come and go

The years, they never slow

I do prefer this age

I have become a sage

Would not relive the bad

Some things are gone, I’m glad

I do wish for more time

To spend just making rhyme

Or with my nose in book

My favorite place to look

So I will end this verse

My skip, I must rehearse

Or perhaps I will sit and be

And watch the squirrel in tree

Image courtesy of

Stacking the Shelves #4

STSmall_thumb[2]Stacking The Shelves is about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.  The original webpage is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews (

It’s been a while since I posted a Stacking the Shelves post.  I’m so short on time lately between work, school and reading for book club.  I don’t have much time for reading for just me.  Here’s the first batch of what I’ve downloaded to my Kindle since August 28th.  I’ll post the rest soon.


The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva – It sounded interesting, but it’s #12 in a series.  I have yet to start it, and no, I did not download the other 11 books.

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty – I picked up this one because I liked “What Alice Forgot” by this author.

The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam – I downloaded this one after reading a review.  I started it, but it didn’t hold my attention. I may go back to it.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder – I downloaded this one after reading a review.  This is about a student who falls in love with a teacher.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty –  I picked up this one because I liked “What Alice Forgot” by this author.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – because it’s always nice to have some of the classics on hand.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – because it’s always nice to have some of the classics on hand.

Happy reading, everyone!

Donna Reads: The House Girl

housegirlIn The House Girl by Tara Conklin we are told the story in two separate women’s voices. In the present day the protagonist is Lina Sparrow, a young attorney working on a case that involves reparations for slavery. In the storyline from the past (1852) we learn about Josephine Bell, a house slave who was owned by the Bell family.

I downloaded this book weeks ago when it was offered as an Amazon special. I didn’t start reading it until my book club decided to read it. It was fairly easy to read, but it wasn’t the type of book that demanded that I read it. I only read it on my lunch hours, and it was something I could easily set aside and go back to later. I read other books while I was reading it. It didn’t fully engage me. Perhaps it was the way the story was told – jumping back and forth from past to present, but I didn’t feel much attachment to either character.

Josephine is owned by the Bell family, and her mistress is not well. She has been kind to Josephine at times over the years and has taught her to read and write. She has also taught her how to draw and paint. Mrs. Bell is an artist, and Josephine often finishes her artwork when she is unable. In the present day the artwork is the center of the story. There is controversy over whether or not Mrs. Bell had in fact created the artwork herself or whether it was done by someone else.

The story had promise, but it didn’t quite play out the way I had hoped it would. I thought for a while that it might be a courtroom drama type story and the forensics of the artwork itself would be discussed. I like legal dramas, and I was hoping it might develop into one. Trying to focus on two different characters left the story fractured. I felt the author gave both characters short shrift. I didn’t particularly care about Lina or her father so those parts of the story dragged for me. I also did not like the ending of the story at all.  I would not personally recommend it, but it has a number of glowing reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads.

Donna Reads: Allegiant (Divergent #3)

allegiantGoodreads Review – 2 out of 5 stars


**SPOILERS BELOW** Allegiant by Veronica Roth is a monumental disappointment. I feel cheated,and I feel let down. I feel like I wasted three years following this series and getting involved with the characters. It all seems so pointless now.

I loved the first book in the series – Divergent. I found it very hard to put down. In her debut novel, the author created a dystopian society that was at times terrifying but was very believable. I was hooked on this series, and I waited impatiently for the second book – Insurgent to come out. Insurgent was good but not as good as Divergent was. It felt like the author had gone off on a tangent, and she struggled to match what she’d written in Divergent.

The final book in the series, Allegiant, is awful. The main characters go beyond the fence, and I expected them to spend several chapters exploring and wandering, but no, they are picked up also immediately by people in a truck. They end up in what-used-to-be O’Hare Airport and the story kind-of went nowhere from there. New characters were introduced who didn’t add anything to the plot. Then we manage to lose the main character before it’s all said and done.


What purpose did this serve?

Killing off the lead character doesn’t make the book edgy. It doesn’t make the book “cool”. It’s understandable that faithful readers are upset and angry with how it all turned out. This series started out with so much promise. The author’s voice was fresh, and the characters were believable. We wanted to see how they grew as the series went on. We cared what happened to them.

I am left feeling sucker-punched, and I’m pretty sure I won’t read anything else by this author. I definitely will not bother seeing any of the movies.