Chi’s Sweet Home

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 12Chi’s Sweet Home by Kanata Konami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been truly delightful getting to know the kitten Chi and the boy Yohei and their friends and families. The drawings capture the essence of kittenhood perfectly. As a cat “mom” all of Chi’s antics and dilemmas are thoroughly familiar to me. I’m a sucker for cats, but the author has a real gift for capturing the essence of catness. The drawings are simple but depict cat behavior to a T. Yes, it is for kids, but I loved every page of it. This story of a lost kitten finding a home and a family is heartwarming. My first cat was in an apartment that didn’t allow cats, so I could really identify with the fear of discovery. Over 12 volumes, the Yamada family find a new apartment that allows cats, Yohei and Chi grow and explore their environment. Chi is an indoor/outdoor cat with all the potential dangers of being allowed outside. Whether Chi is getting her first bath, going to the vet, or learning what being a cat is all about, you will both laugh and cry at her antics. She eventually is reunited with her mother and siblings and must make a decision where her true home is. I am not tired of Chi after 12 volumes, and while this is a complete story arc, I hope that Chi might have further adventures.

Book description: Chi is a mischievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost. Separated from the warmth and protection of her mother, she breaks into tears in a large urban park meadow, when she is suddenly rescued by a young boy named Yohei and his mother. The kitty is then quickly and quietly whisked away into the warm and inviting Yamada family apartment…where pets are strictly not permitted.

Santa Clawed

Santa Clawed (Mrs. Murphy, #17)Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 It’s cute, it’s cozy, it’s Christmas. Actions of the animals are not really believable, and the mystery is easily figured out before the end. Nothing too taxing on the brain at a busy time of year! This is one of those series that I have fallen behind on, and plan to start over from the beginning. Not really great books, but if you like corgis and cats being heroes and other talking animals, and are in the mood for fluff, it has enough mystery and quirky characters to be entertaining.

Book Description: As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. Snowflakes, carolers, it’s all picture-perfect until Harry and her husband, Fair, find the tree they’ve chosen grimly decorated with a corpse. The tree farm is run by the Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization whose members live atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Now, as the season grows merrier, a murderer is growing bolder. One by one, prominent men of Crozet are being crossed off Christmas shopping lists and added to the morgue. And if Harry and her four-legged helpers aren’t very good–and very careful–this Christmas will be her last.

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Home: A Memoir

Home: A Memoir of My Early YearsHome: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews Edwards

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been a fan of Julie Andrews since childhood. And I could listen to her voice all day long. Full of lots of family details, and the grueling day to day routine of a performer, along with anecdotes about her contemporaries: Rex Harrison, Robert Goulet, Richard Burton, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Moss Hart, Roddy McDowell, and T.H. White. I hope she will continue her memoirs – this ends before Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.

Book description: Audiobook read by the author. Julie takes us on a warm, moving, and often humorous journey from a difficult upbringing in war-torn Britain to the brink of international stardom in America. Her memoir begins in 1935, when Julie was born to an aspiring vaudevillian mother and a teacher father, and takes readers to 1962, when Walt Disney cast her as the world’s most famous nanny. Along the way, she weathered the London Blitz of World War II; her parents’ painful divorce; her mother’s turbulent second marriage to Canadian tenor Ted Andrews and a childhood spent on radio, in music halls, and giving concert performances all over England. Julie’s professional career began at the age of twelve, and when only eighteen, she left home for the United States to make her Broadway debut.

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Mistletoe Murder

Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery #1)Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a temp job with a mail-order company (Signals) about the same time this book was written, which brought back some memories. Read this for the small town atmosphere and the day to day lives of the characters. The plot was okay, although there were incidents (the family cat) that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the murder. In this case, it was just a contrivance to get Lucy into a dodgy part of town to get kittens, and add some social commentary. It wasn’t bad over all and there were some nice humorous moments, but it wasn’t enough to get me to read any farther in the series.

Book description: As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband’s gift, and making her daughter’s angel costume for the church pageant weren’t enough things for Lucy Stone’s busy Christmas schedule, she’s also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn’t smell right.

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After You

After You (Me Before You, #2)After You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This sequel to Me Before You is every bit as good. But don’t expect it to be like Me Before You. Lou has changed. Will’s death left a hole in her heart that money and travel has not healed. Jojo Moyes gives us an unflinching look at love and loss, and how sometimes it takes a devastating accident, and to have our world turned upside down before we find how to move on. I loved all the zany characters and all their faults. I have half a mind to read everything else Jojo Moyes has ever written…

Book Description: Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

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