Rosepoint Reviews – April Recap—Welcome May! (at last)

Rosepoint Reviews – April Recap

Rosepoint Reviews Recap - April

Spring bulbsFinally, the trees are blooming and the tulips and other bulbs have bloomed. Haven’t had a freeze for several nights, but as we’ve been taught, that can turn on a dime.

The squirrel wars--I'm losingStill, in my usual early spring exuberance, I started the seeds (indoors). They usually do fine right up until I try to harden them off in preparation for transplanting. I no longer have to start tomatoes—they volunteer now like crazy. The bulbs are blooming in the back flower bed too. The fairy garden is a total winter mess and still WAY too wet to venture down there. Like my son says, not a fairy garden, it’s a swamp. And the squirrel war? I’m losing.

April was a fun month with visitors—our son and his wife, our daughter and her SO, and my granddaughter, her other half, and our great-grandbaby, David, four months. He is WAY too sweet, too cute, and very mellow. It was sure a fun, whirlwind visit, doing the Chicago thing (I’m not a fan), as well as a number of other sites close by. We keep trying to talk them into moving east—closer to our family—but apparently not his.

Monthly cup giveaway winnerAnd, I received the cup that I won in the monthly Giveaway by the author Annabelle Lewis, who wrote and I read and reviewed back in January 2021, Dead Cat Run. I love my new large-capacity cup! And by the way, that book is a hoot. If you missed it, check it out here.

Despite all the excitement, prep, shopping, breakfasts and dinners, we did manage to read or listen to sixteen books in April, most from NetGalley. I’ll be working on that badge all year no doubt, but I’m getting closer with a current count of 448 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander The Promise of the Pelican by Roy Hoffman The Darkest Web by Kristin wright The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi Mining for Murder by Mary Angela A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane They Will Be Coming for Us by Kim Catanzarite Family Money by Chad Zunker - author The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James Souvenirs from Kyiv by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger Cold Snap by Marc Cameron Dark Sky by C J Box Dark Seas by Jerry Borrowman The Art of the Decoy by Trish Esden

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander (blogtour)
The Promise of the Pelican by Roy Hoffman (CE review)
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi (audiobook)
The Darkest Web by Allison Barton (CE review)
The Art of the Decoy by Trish Esden (blogtour)
Mining for Murder by Mary Angela (blogtour)
A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane (audiobook)
They will be Coming for Us by Kim Catanzarite (CE review)
Family Money by Chad Zunker (CE review)
A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James (audiobook)
Souvenirs from Kyiv by Chrystyna Lucyk Berger (CE review)
Cold Snap by Marc Cameron (CE review)
The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton
Dark Sky by C J Box (audiobook)
Dark Seas by Jerry Borrowman (CE review)

 

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges

Okay, so I read and reviewed but didn’t get my challenges caught up. Soon come.  My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page but so far I’m four books ahead on my Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 63.

Kindle Spring Challenge

Kindle spring challengeHave you noticed this little zinger when you open your Kindle app lately? The challenge, in case you needed another, lists days read, books completed (broken into categories), and mysteries (also broken into categories). I achieved “Voyager.” But there’s more… I just achieved a “Perfect Month” a one-month streak. This was something that I was apparently volunteered for in 2021 and never noticed. Not sure what that’s going to achieve. Maybe an attagirl/boy? Have you noticed it before?

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson is winding down. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner will be next and we’re already voting on the one after that. If you’ve read The Lost Apothecary, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Soap Box Soap box

Okay, the gurus, in their infinite wisdom have gone through and reformatted most of anything I thought I’d conquered.

Yahoo mail.

Yahoo new email formatThey’ve been at me for some time to graduate to the “new and improved” or better yet—something I’ll have to pay for–email. Not choosing to do either, the new email as it comes out no longer works on my cell phone leaving my blog posts looking like Twiggy. I mean, really? This was a banner on my computer screen. The pics are ruined and the text is plain. Who wants to open that?

Goodreads

And the sign-in for Goodreads? Changed. Mine changed. Did yours? Did they get together with Yahoo?

And wait.

I finally downloaded several books to the NetGalley Shelf. And before I got to them all-expired? What? Seriously? A time limit on the Shelf books?

Is it truly a conspiracy? Has anyone else had a problem with either of these two innovations? Changes don’t work real well for non-techy seniors.

One more (off the soapbox) observation: Wordle is now heavily messing with my morning wake time. Supposed to be a calm time with my mocha—not frantically trying to find the word before I give up yet another streak (two now!). Remember how I took up Pokémon to see what all the fuss was about? Will I never learn? Are you playing? Are you doing as well as the US VP? 100%?! Gawd! I’m competing against my daughter and daughter-in-law. Yeah—I’m masochistic.

I hope you are all doing well, excited for your own version of spring. Welcome to my new followers and a hardy thank you to those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. I do so appreciate you!!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Chill--It's Sunday

The Henna Artist: (The Jaipur Trilogy Book 1) by Alka Joshi – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Goodreads Choice Award nominee

Book Blurb:

Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still, she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK

“Captivated me from the first chapter to the final page.”—Reese Witherspoon 

My Review:

I grabbed at the opportunity to borrow this audiobook from my local library as I remembered it being a Reese Witherspoon book club pick when I was looking at celebrity book clubs. For one thing, it takes place in 1950’s India, and I could certainly relate to the moral ambiguities. There is the immersion into Indian society in that decade and, of course, an introduction to the kind of literature that Reese Witherspoon will be choosing for her book club picks. (I feel like I’ve come to know her in her Instagram stories–she really is adorable.)

The Henna Artist by Alka JoshiLakshmi flees from an abusive marriage at seventeen to establish herself in Jaipur. Years later she has not only become a renowned Henna artist of some stature, but quietly cares for many of her upper-class (female) clients with herbal remedies that allow them a certain additional “freedom.”

She counts heavily on her ability to be trusted with confidences and carefully contrives to build sufficient funds to build her own home. She is so close and her successful reputation will secure her dream.

That is, until her ex catches up with her with a thirteen-year-old girl in tow—a sister. Well, THAT’S a surprise! At first the high-spirited girl is reserved, unhappy. Neither has an easy job getting to know each other. It’s strained and puts a damper on the house in progress.

The problem is, the sister lacks the fierce drive Lakshmi has or interest in her trade, she is rough around the edges and doesn’t really care if she is trained in refinement or not.

And then a shock.

Mercy, what a problem! The 50s or choose the decade, teenagers can be difficult and control is tenuous. For the most part, I didn’t care for Radha’s character. She doesn’t seem to care one whit if she is ruining the seasoned relationships her older sister has cultivated—in fact—it appears she is purposefully trying to sink it.

“A reputation once lost is seldom retrieved.”

Lakshmi has gripped reader interest and as she struggles with losing her business(es—both of them), her character wields some sympathy. But, of course, as the old saying goes, “when one door closes…”

“Only a fool lives in water and remains an enemy of the crocodile.”

Lakshmi is nothing if not resourceful. The tale weaves through then family traditions, divulging secrets, and the tenacity of family. There is a myriad of characters, the women more empathetic, the men powerful, and it is fun to peek into the culture. I always enjoy the discussions of herbal remedies, some eons old (although these veered into sensitive areas), and eventually there is a blending of “modern” medicine with the ancient.

Lakshmi manages a brilliant maneuver and I was quite satisfied with the conclusion. An ending you probably wished for as well and brought a smile. The narrator does a great job of smoothing difficult words I’d have stumbled over often and definitely enhances the enjoyment of the tale. You may wish to choose the audiobook as well.

Book Details:

Genre: World Literature, Cultural Heritage Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
ASIN: B07XVNLH7P
Listening Length: 10 hrs 56 minsNarrator: Sneha Mathan
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Henna Artist [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Alka Joshi - authorThe Author: Alka Joshi was born in the desert state of Rajasthan in India. In 1967, her family immigrated to America. She earned a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of Arts in San Francisco. Prior to writing The Henna Artist, Alka ran an advertising and marketing agency for 30 years. She has spent time in France and Italy and currently lives with her husband on the Northern California Coast.

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPflbk14yjY&t=2s

More at: https://www.instagram.com/thealkajoshi/

©2022 – V Williams V Williams

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