Monday, February 6, 2017


I've been in a serious hibernation mode lately.  Most days, I just want to curl up under a cozy blanket and read a book.  I hate to use those years and years of stress and exhaustion as an excuse but it feels like my mind is still recovering.  I do know that one day I'll want to do something but right now, I'm content to relax.  So much in my life has sort of just dropped into my lap (there was a lot of hard work too!) so I sometimes wonder if I'm just waiting for that next thing to just happen.  I don't want to overthink it.  It's almost like I'll know when I see it.

My mind keeps drifting to photography and I have other thoughts swirling around.  Sometimes I entertain those ideas and then I store it away for a rainy day.  I do have to say that around here is the absolute worst time of the year for photography.  For me, anyway.  Every year right at this time, I feel like I hit a wall with creativity.  It's like writer's block, but for photographers.

(clothes hanger on chair = real life)

Rich and I stayed up late last night to watch the Super Bowl.  Normally, it wouldn't have been that "late" but we were out late-ish on Saturday night at a dinner for Rich's work and then I decided to read a few pages before I fell asleep.  Not the best idea as it was a book I didn't want to put down.  And then I didn't sleep well, not because of the book.  Even after the Super Bowl ended, we couldn't just go to sleep because around here, fireworks were spontaneously booming for hours.  Just when you thought it was over - boom.  I mentioned it this morning and Anna didn't believe us.  She must have slept through it.  Her only comment was that she heard bad words and whistles blowing when she was upstairs and Rich and I were still watching the game.  Mean or not, we made the kids go to bed at 9.  Being well rested for school and dance is more important for them at this stage in their lives.    

I wanted to tell you all about this book I finished up at the end of last week.  Like many of you, I read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and like many of you, I really, really, really liked it.  I thought it was a fantastic book.  I randomly came across another book by the same author and discovered that she has written more than 20 novels.  Typically, when I enjoy a book by a certain author, I read (and enjoy) other books by the same author.  So the book was Firefly Lane and when I read the summary I thought it seemed interesting.  Well, interesting enough that it grabbed my attention.  I read the book last week and I did not like it.  I hate to say this but if you gave me that book to read and didn't tell me the author, I would have guessed it was written by Danielle Steel.  Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Danielle Steel but I read so many of those books long ago and there are other books I'd like to read now instead.  Besides the so-so storyline, the two main characters were unlikeable.  It was hard to believe that the same author wrote The Nightingale and Firefly Lane.  So needless to say but I don't think I'll be reading any other books by Kristin Hannah.  Have you read any of her other books?  What did you think?  

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jane said...

Hi, I'm a longtime lurker who usually reads your blog for the photo commentary/tips, but I wanted to weigh in on Kristin Hannah. The first book of hers I read was Winter Garden, and I LOVED it. It wasn't quite as good as The Nightingale, but it was written a few years earlier, so I'd assume her writing has improved over time. (And, actually, there are a few elements from that book that I recognized in The Nightingale. I love seeing how writers evolve over time.) Winter Garden also contains a WWII element, this time set in Russia, and deals with family/mother/daughter/sisters issues. There's one bit near the end that feels a little too "soap opera" for my taste, but other than that I found it an incredibly engaging and powerful read.

So, anyway, in conclusion, Kristin Hannah:
- I think historical fiction/WWII is her thing.
- Is continually evolving as a writer. (Firefly Lane was written even earlier than Winter Garden, I think.)
- May be worth another try -- one of her more recent books, or whatever she comes out with next?

(I should note that I haven't read Firefly Lane and have no opinion about it.)

Christi said...

The Nightingale is in my to read pile on my Kindle. It was on sale a few weeks ago so I finally added it.

I did read Firefly Lane a long time ago. (2009 according to GoodReads). I gave it 3 stars because it had a few more twists than a typical chicklit book.

I really liked Home Front and Winter Garden (though it starts so so slow) a lot more.

And yay Patriots. I still can't believe it.

Kandice said...

Hi! Thanks for your book comments...I'm always looking for recommendations for new books to read.

I've read Winter Garden and Between Sisters (in addition to The Nightingale). I definitely thought The Nightingale was by far the best, but I did like the other two. I recommend giving her another chance.

Melanie said...

I have only read Firefly Lane and I didn't like it either. I have avoided other books by her because of that so it sounds like I should give her another chance?

Sarah said...

Melanie - Definitely read The Nightingale. It sounds like some of her books are much better than others.

adrian faulkner said...

I feel your pain about the photography, in the UK its pretty much the same, by the time the children finish school its getting really dark....longing for warmer brighter days....

Melissa Brouard said...

I was 23 when I read firefly lane and enjoyed it. I recently bought the sequel which came out in 2015.I haven't read it yet

Sarah said...

Mel - I didn't know there was a sequel, but it did end in a way that I suspected she could write one.

Lisa said...

I'm catching up on your blog, and this post is super timely. I loved The Nightingale and my husband is reading it now. I did the same thing as you, checking out her other books. The next one I went to was Winter Garden, which had a lot of great things going on. I heard the book started was slow, so that influenced my expectations. I really liked the overall story idea, though my editor mind would have done some things differently to pull out the same amazing backstory. I'm not annoyed I read it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it. I read the first chapter of Firefly Lane last night and ... darn. Danielle Steele? Haha. I'll give it a chance. Anyway, I appreciate your book posts. :)