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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Category: Classic with a Place in the Title- Back to the Classics 2020 (Books and Chocolate
"Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It's growing out of sour earth. And it's strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong." 
    There is a lot of hype surrounding this book, and I just don't get it. I mean, I get why this has a place as a classic, being as it is a slice of historical realism. It is semi-autobiographical, about an impoverished Irish-German family living in Brooklyn during the early 1900s. I just couldn't get into it. The pace was too slow. It was like it was in real time. There were several pages dedicated to shopping at candy stores, butchers, etc. Every mundane detail about purchasing a pickle was laid out. My eyes started glazing over. There are also a lot of things that just don't make sense about the characters.…

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson


Classic by a Woman Author--Back to the Classics 2020 (Books and Chocolate

Three Books by the Same Author (#2)-#mmdchallenge 2020 (Modern Mrs. Darcy

"There is no drop of water in the ocean, not even in the deepest parts of the abyss, that does not know and respond to the mysterious forces that create the tide." 

In this 2nd book of her "sea trilogy", Carson, with her lyrical prose, reveals the power, beauty, and complexity of the ocean and it's history. She does get a bit too technical at times. I started skimming at the parts where she droned on about pressure per cubic foot, etc. But really most of the book is very accessible to the the average reader, and even though it contains some outdated/inaccurate information, this book is still worth reading. Carson has an amazing ability to see the big ecological picture, how everything connects in the ocean, and how dependent we are on it. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on the tides and the creatio…

Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson

20th Century Classic- Back to the Classics 2020 (Books and Chocolate)

Three Books by the Same Author (#1) - #mmdchallenge 2020 (Modern Mrs. Darcy)

"Yet so quietly did he approach that the sound of his wings, if sound there were, was lost in the whisper song of the water turning over the shells on the wet sand." 

     Wow! Reading this was like watching Planet Earth, Blue Planet, or pretty much anything narrated by David Attenborough. Carson has a way with words. That's for sure. I appreciate her lyrical style. This book covers the Atlantic Coast of North America, mainly by following the lives of a sanderling, a mackerel, and an eel. I admit that as much as I love animals and the ocean, I thought I was going to be bored during the mackerel section. I was so wrong. It turned out to be one of my favorite sections of the book! This is a book I know I'm going to re-visit

The Underwater Welder By Jeff Lemire

a book outside of your (genre) comfort zone. #mmdchallenge 2020 (Modern Mrs Darcy)

     This is a graphic novel, which is definitely not my go to genre. In fact, I don't think I've ever read a graphic novel. Comic strips? Yes, but not a graphic novel. I'm not even really sure why. It's just never been on my radar. I did enjoy this one. To me, it's sort of got a Ray Bradbury vibe mixed in with a bit of "It's a Wonderful Life". It's spooky, haunting, and heartwarming. There are parts that are confusing, but there is a reason for that. I can't really say why because it will give away too much. All I can say is that, ultimately, this is a story about family.

Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge 2020 (Sign-Up)

I will again be participating in the Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge, hosted by Modern Mrs Darcy My tentative choice for each category is listed in Red.  Note: This is one of my favorite challenges. I have participated in the past with various success. I wasn't able to finish every category last year, but I just love participating. 
1. A book published the decade you were born- Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman (1985) 2. A debut novel- The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper 3. A book recommended by a source you trust- The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan 4. A book by a local author- The Siren by Kiera Cass (Myrtle Beach, SC)  5. A book outside of your (genre) comfort zone- The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire (Graphic Novel)  6. A book in Translation- Antigone by Sophoceles (Greek)  7. A book nominated for an award in 2020- Granted by John David Anderson (2019/2020 SC Children's Book Award Nominee)  8. A re-read- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 9. A classic you didn't rea…

Back to the Classics Reading Challenge 2020 (Sign-Up)

I will again be participating in the Back to the Classics Reading Challenge hosted byKaren @Books and Chocolate. My tentative choice for each category is listed in Red.

Note: I always try to go for all twelve categories, but I've never succeeded. I'm OK with that, though. I just really love participating. In 2019 I completed Tier 1: Six Categories. We'll see how it goes this year.


1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899. The Lifted Veil by George Eliot
2. 20th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1900 and 1970. All books in this category must have been published at least 50 years ago. The only exceptions are books that were published posthumously but were written at least 50 years ago. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
3. Classic by a Woman Author.The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson
4. Classic in Translation. Any classic originally written in a novel other than your native language. You m…

Back to the Classics 2019- Wrap-Up Post

This year I was intending on reading 12 categories for the Back to the Classics 2019 Reading Challenge, hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate, but I ended up doing 6 instead because, well, life with chronic illness happens, and I need to be flexible. I've earned ONE ENTRY. Here are the links to my reviews for each category.

Classic by a Woman Author- The Wreath (Kristin Lavransdatter #1) by Sigrid UndsetClassic in Translation- The Wife (Kristin Lavransdatter #2) by Sigrid UndsetClassic Tragic Novel- The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter #3) by Sigrid Undset19th Century Classic- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonaldClassic from the Americas- My √Āntonia by Willa CatherClassic from Africa, Asia, or Oceania- The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell
My contact info is mique3483 [at] gmail [dot] com