Welcome To All Around The Circle!

Glad you've found the time to visit today! I'm Elle and I blog about my family, book reviews, arts and crafts, education and so much more. Life is always changing around here, but we try to keep up the best we can. I hope you'll follow along on our journey.
Feel free to visit other locations I maintain: CraftWithKids NetWork FB Group, SparkPeople Connections, and Lighthouse Lane Tags 'N Snags.


Musical Monday #10 ~ 'How Many Kings' by Downhere

I heard this song last year (2013) for the first time.
 On December 4, 2014 while I was driving Em to her orchestra practice in the morning this song came on The Word FM (Christian radio station) and I remember how much I LOVE this song! Then it hit me who this guy's voice reminds me of...... Freddie Mercury of Queen. The first video is of the live version and the second video is the recorded version with a video. Unfortunately this is only played on Christian radio stations, but I think it should be played on the major ones as well! I hope everyone enjoys this beautiful songs! Feel free to leave me comments, especially if it's your 1st time hearing it!

Musical Monday Link-Up Rules
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  2. Link up your post.
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  4. Check out those listed in the link-up, make new friends, and spread the word!  The more friends who join, the more fun this link-up will be!
  5.  Have Fun!!!!!

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book because it is the selection for the book club at my church. It is not the usual genre I would read, but I did truly enjoy this story.

The book is very different in that the entire story is told through the correspondence of letters or telegram.

The setting is England, 1946 and Juliet Ashton is a British journalist who has lost everything (including her book collection) and is looking to start anew. She receives a letter from a resident from the island of Guernsey that has a second-hand book that has her name and address written in it. The correspondence with the many islanders of Guernsey begins with members of the literary society writing about the books they enjoy and why. However, Juliet begins to want to meet the people she's corresponding with and has an idea that she could write a book about these people. She decides to go to the island to interview them and becomes involved in her new friends lives.

It was a bit confusing at first getting to know all the characters in the book and keeping who was who straight through the correspondence of the letters. Also, sometimes the way the letters were written the tone fell flat for me and a lot of the characters started to blend together. Maybe this shows that it is difficult to develop a character's personality just through letters? It was definitely a different kind of book and one that book lovers may enjoy. Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book.

"I would like to write a book, but I am having trouble thinking of a subject I could live happily with for several years." ---Juliet Ashton before she knows what she's going to write about

"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." -quote from Isola Pribby

"I did not want to spend my time reading about people who never were, doing things they never did." -quote from Clovis Fossey, one of the book club members and why he didn't initially want to be a part of the society.  This quote reminds me of my husband and how he justifies not reading books!

" 'Women like poetry. A soft word in their ears and they melt a grease spot on the grass.' That's no way to talk about a lady, and I knew right then he didn't want the Widow Hubert for her own self, the way I did. He wanted only her grazing land for his cows. So I thought, if it's rhymes the Widow Hubert wants, I will find me some." -quote from Clovis Fossey on how he started reading poetry, started going to the society meetings and discovered the works of Wadsworth.

Book Review: Sea Glass Island by Sherryl Woods

Sea Glass Island (Ocean Breeze, #3)Sea Glass Island by Sherryl Woods

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the third book in Sheryl Woods Ocean Breeze series.

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first two. As usual, Cora Jane is meddling in one of her grand daughter's love lives, but this time the other two sisters are involved as well. The target this time is Samantha and they're trying to hook her up with her high school crush, Ethan Cole. Ethan is a local doctor who is not interested in getting involved in a relationship. He is a veteran with a prosthetic leg and focused on protecting his heart due to a bad break-up with his fiance.

Samantha is open to getting involved with Ethan, but not the way her grandmother and sisters keep 'conveniently' throwing them together in different situations.

I didn't like Emily's bridezilla-esque personality in this book at all. What I think I did enjoy the most is that Samantha is a very strong, independent person and tried not to let anything get her down. Ethan could've been a little more open to getting involved with Samantha and less skittish about women in general.

Book Review: Wind Chime Point

Wind Chime Point (Ocean Breeze #2)Wind Chime Point by Sherryl Woods

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Ocean Breeze seeries. For some reason I enjoyed this book more than the first.

The focus is on Gabriela, where as the first book focused on Emily.
Gabi finds herself unemployed, broken up with her boyfriend and pregnant. She returns to Sand Castle Bay to figure out her next steps and finds herself becoming friends with the local cabinetmaker, Wade Johnson. Their friendship grows and she resists the fact that she may be falling for him. Of course her grandmother, Cora Jane, is right there trying to nudge their relationship along.

The story also continues with the planning of Gabi and Samantha's sister Emily's wedding. Samantha is still feeling down in the dumps because she's not landing any acting jobs and Gabi steps up to try to help her with public realtions. The last book in this series will be Samantha's story and I'm hoping that book is even better than this one.

This series is a very relaxed and mellow. It's not heavy on the romance, but more so focused on the mentality of falling in love and making life choices.

Book Review: Sand Castle Bay by Sherryl Woods

Sand Castle Bay (Ocean Breeze, #1)Sand Castle Bay by Sherryl Woods

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the Ocean Breeze series by Sheerryl Woods. The Castle family consists of Emily, Gabi, Samantha and their meddling grandmother, Cora Jane. The women have returned to the small North Carolina town due to a hurricane that has torn apart their grandmother's restaurant and they're all there to help her.

The story focuses on Emily who hasn't returned to Sand Castle Bay since breaking up with her high school sweetheart, Boone Dorsett. Emily decided to leave behind her boyfriend and the place she grew up in order to pursue a career elsewhere as an interior designer. Boone does not wait for Emily and marries, has a son and then becomes a widow after his wife passes away from an illness. So when Emily returns ten years later both Emily and Boone are a little worried about old feelings being stirred up.

For some reason this book took me longer to read than normal. It seemed slow, a bit predictable and the wishy-washiness of Boone and Emily was a bit annoying. That said I will read the next two books in this series to see what's in store for Gabi and Samantha.

Speed Of Reading Test

The average person could read Game of Thrones in 484 days.
Click the image to find out if you could read it faster. (via BlinkBox Books).

This quiz said I read 325 words per minute and if I read for 40 minutes each day, I could get through 48 books per year. That sounds about right, but I usually don't get 40 minutes a day in of reading a book (I try though.) It also revealed that I'd read 286 days faster than the average person.