Widely Read






“Read and listen to one thinker and you become a clone; Read two and you become confused; Read ten and you get your own voice; Read a hundred and you start to become wise.”

― Timothy Keller


Been reading lately– and taking to heart the call to read more widely.  Here’s a couple books that were so worthwhile…

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles rells the story of a Count Rostov who in 1922 is confined to the attic rooms of a  luxury Moscow hotel for house arrest.  He spends the next decades there, passing days with a fascinating cast of characters that pass through the doors.  There are gold coins, a pass key, a hidden room and a long term secret romance. But the star of the story is definitely the count himself, wry, witty and cultured to a T. The story concludes with riotous twists and turns and leads to a truly satisfying ending.  Loved this book– favorite this year…

Just finished Hillbilly elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance.  The author grew up in the Rust Belt of Ohio, into a tumultuous troubled family and made his way to graduate from Yale Law School.  Vance’s grandparents moved up to Ohio from the Appalachians of Kentucky in pursuit of a middle class life.  But the legacy of abuse, addiction and poverty followed them.  Vance tells his own personal story of a chaotic childhood and the support he received along the way that made him able to move up in the world.  At the same time he is candid about the effects of his family that followed him into adulthood.  As well as a personal story, the book is a worthwhile analysis of class and and the struggle to break out of the bounds of poverty and addiction.  Loved the author’s openness and very real view into a segment of America not well known to me.

P.S. The photo above is from the movie The Painted Veil– which is one of my favorites, along with the original excellent book The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham.



38 thoughts on “Widely Read

    • I know Brigid– I loved it. It was sad, but so beautiful. And the images of that movies were gorgeous. Loved the book too– the plot was slightly different. What other movies would you recommend?? xo

        • Fun Brigid! I want to see Mama Mia with a friend who loves that music and she couldn’t help singing along!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead– any plans?? We still have our kids here and their college friends are coming for brunch tomorrow. take care friend. xo

          • I went to see the show in Derry with my sister. We took the bus so we could relax and not have to drive. We went into a cafe while waiting for the bus and two of the female leads came in. I had bought a poster and they autographed it. It is now framed on my wall. I could go again as it is such a feelgood show.
            I had a lovely meal out with ex work colleagues last night. Lots of fun.
            That’s so nice to have the family and their friends around. Enjoy. X

            • Wow Brigid– what a fun weekend! A great serendipity to have your actresses sign your poster– and don’t you love outings with your sis?? I have my little sis close by now and it’s just so comfortable and agreeable to spend a day with her. Sounds like you two had the best time! And add on a great meal with old friends from work. Perfect. We had our kids here til Saturday– and today welcomed a new pastor to our church–a big day for us! Blessings to you Brigid for the week ahead… xo

    • Hi Miriam!! I know what you mean– when I was teaching, I had a whole lot less reading time. But since I retired (woohoo!) I read my way through lunch everyday. It’s great! How is the new job going?? Do you feel like you’re settling in?? Is it what you expected?? Good good luck! xo

      • Aw, thanks so much Rhonda. It’s been a hard couple of weeks. My boss is very strong, quite aggressive and domineering and her training of me has been minimal. Having said that however, if I can get my head around these computer systems I’ll be ok as the job is leading into part time (so I’ll only have to deal with her one day a week!)

        • Sounds like a challenge Miriam– and that you have an awesome attitude taking it on. You have my total sympathy jumping into new computer systems. That was the hardest part of my teaching job!! Hope and pray it turns into a great job for you ahead… xo

  1. Hi Rhonda! I’ve been looking for some recommendations and A Gentleman in Moscow sounds right up my street. Always resolving to read more – read so many hundreds of books for my degree it’s taking a little while to rediscover the joys of reading for pleasure! x

    • Hi Becca!! Fun to hear from you! I’ve missed your blog posts. Oh gosh– I know when you are studying all your book time gets taken up with text books. But this book is a lot of fun with all the colorful characters and the backdrop of Russian history as the years go by. Hope all is well with you. Take care… hugs!!

  2. I have not seen the movie, but will definitely look for it. If it comes recommended by you, then it’s worth a look-see! 🙂 I’ve been sick this week but was looking forward to going to the library some time this weekend. I will look up the books you suggested, along with the children’s books you posted not too long ago. My granddaughters aren’t here, but I love children’s books and like to “preview” some so I can have them here when they come to visit. 🙂 Have a blessed day, Rhonda! Xoxo

    • Hey Daisy– The movie is beautifully filmed. It’s a sad story, but satisfying to watch the characters grow and change. — And– sorry to hear you’re not feeling well Daisy! Hope by the time I (finally!) get around to getting back to you, you’re on the mend. Love kids’ books too. And reading them to the grand-girls. OK, take care friend. hugs hugs!

      • I actually just finished Anne of Green Gables.. I hadn’t read it since I was a kid. We got the kids usborne books for their Easter baskets. One is illustrated bible stories and one is secrets of a vegetable garden. I hope they are hits!

        • Hey Lacey! never read Anne of Green Gables, but watched the PBS series years & years ago and loved it! I should track down the book. And– books for Easter?? awesome! Lucky kids! Hope you have the best weekend ahead. We still have our kids visiting and some of their college friends are coming for brunch tomorrow. OK, hugs hugs Lacey!

          • I loved the PBS series of it. There was 1 or 2 times while reading it that I thought I was losing interest. I think it’s listed as a YA book? But by the end it was heart warming, and I really loved it.
            Ohhhh brunch and visitors! So much fun!

  3. Loved a Gentleman in Moscow. We rad it for book club and everyone liked it. I loved the witty humor. Hillbilly Elegy is in my reading pile, haven’t got to it yet but will soon. – Kat

    • Me too Kat. The Count Rostov was so urbane and witty. And I loved the twists and turns at the end! So what else have you read in your book club??? (we did Hillbilly Elegy for this month)– Always looking for recommendations! Do all read once a month? Where to you meet? How do you pick your books? Happy reading!! xox

      • Hi Rhonda – yes we meet once a month in our homes, the host picks the book. We try to get book discussion sets from the library to keep costs down. Right now we are reading the Storied Life of AJ Fikry, it was a slow start but now I am loving it. -Kat

        • Oh Kat!! That’s so funny– we are reading the same book for our group! I read it last year and put it on the voting list in January and it got picked. An easy, fun story– liked the characters. And a book store in the plot is always good! Let me know what you think… What are you reading next?? xox

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