casual conversation

Annette Rochelle Aben

Those free-flowing thoughts

Drifting hither and dither

Coming and going

Carefree as they float on by

Inviting you to join them

©2019 Annette Rochelle Aben

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A–Z Reading Challenge Update​

In the last update, I posted, I mentioned beginning Reading with Patrick, a book given me by Debbie Nance of Readerbuzz. I have not quite finished it but have finished The Sunken Cathedral, for the letter “S.” I just finished posting a review of Cathedral on an “accidental blog” I discovered on

I have already taken down a book from my TBR shelf for the letter “T,” This Noble Land” subtited, “My Vision for America” by James Mitchner. It was published in 1996, as Mitchner was approaching his ninetieth birthday.  I have no idea how I acquired this paperback, nor have I ever heard of it. Either my friend Deb Nance of Readerbuzz passed it along to me, or my friend, Susan gave it to me in one of the many cartons of books she gave me to “have first dibs on, but to see they get a good home ” when she remodeled her home.” What fun I have had passing-along/donating/distributing the books all over our community!  Sometimes I find the perfect “fit” for an individual, other times I put freebies out in daycare centers and at the  Alvin Family Community Center where I volunteer. Duplicates and others, I donate to the Alvin Library League, of which I am a member, for their “sale shelves” at the library whose proceeds are used to buy un-budgeted items the library needs like furniture, children’s books and computers, and for many projects.  The kids at the primary school where I volunteer in the library sometimes see me in town and call me “The Book Lady, “for the trunk of my car is always full of free books.

HOWEVER…I am taking a break from the A-Z Reading Challenge just long enough to finish the library books I have checked out, the church library books sitting on my sea chest, and whatever books are in the piles next to my sleeping places, bookmarked, but unfinished. LOL





Chapter One, “La Vie Moderne”    20 July 1880

“He rode the awkward steam-cycle along the ridge to catch glimpses of the domes and spires of Paris to the east, then turned west and careened headlong down the long steep hill toward the village of Bougival and the Seine. With his right elbow cast in plaster, he could barely reach the handlebar, but he had to get to the river. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Now.  Idleness had been itching him worse than the maddening tickle under the cast.  Only painting would be absorbing enough to relieve them both. Steam hissed out of the engine, but it built up inside of him.”

This is our first glimpse of Auguste Renoir, wobbling and sliding down an embankment on a steam-cycle, presented by historical novelist, Susan Vreeland. How Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party came to be, changed the school if Impressionism…

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FLOWER POWER TRIP by James J. Cudney: A Review


Shalini, book-blog tour arranger, extraordinaire for Great Escapes Blog Tours is arranging a tour sponsoring Cudney’s third book in his Braxton Campus College Series, Flower Power Trip. I, the techie that I am not, have lost the pictures (don’t know how to attach them anyway) dates things are due, and all other vital information given in Shalini’s email. I vaguely remember this tour was supposed to take place around the end of March, so with apologies to both Jay and Shalini, here is my review:

I had read and reviewed Jay’s first book in the series, Academic Curve Ball, on PWR when it was first published. I so enjoyed the main character, Kellan, his troubles with the women in his life, rather the two he wished were in his life, and his strained relationship with his father, president of Braxton College. The mystery of two murders at the college were…

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Although I have used the following kid’s novel for a Tuesday Teaser and a First Line Fridays post, I failed to write a proper review on it when I finished reading it.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, children’s “classic,” Newberry Award Winner in 1977, ALA “Notable Book,” NY Times Book Review’s “Best of Children’s Books, 1970-1980, and nominee for the National Book Award deserves at least a full review on PWR.

During the time this book was being talked about, discussed, and recommended, I was teaching junior high. I remembering typing up a list of recommended “Outstanding Books for Summer Reading,” and Thunder was included. BUT, I never read the book myself. I just went by the book back and blurbs on the paperback version to deem it “worthy.” About a month ago, someone donated the Penguin paperback version to my Little Free Library…

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