Carolyn L. Braun (

Following the path …

Have you ever thought that someone is deciding things for you  – but you don’t know who that someone is?

For months, I have spent most of my time sitting while my body tries to recover from surgery and a series of setbacks – including pneumonia. About two months ago, I decided that I might as well read some of the many books I have — and I mean MANY.  However, instead I’ve been reading books as they are presented to me from various sources.

The first book came from reading a facebook post for a free copy of a book about living with a chronic illness.  Of course, I couldn’t pass up a free book. Dealing with chronic illness can be quite frustrating so I’m always interested in hearing how others do it. This book is about the life of a determined young woman with spina bifida. Despite all the complications, she lived to be 32. The book was written by her mother and provides a thorough overview of the many issues involved in living with a chronic illness. The book: The Able Life of Cody James: Still Celebrating; the author — Marly Cornell.

I found the next book by watching one of the talk shows on TV. (By the way, watching talk shows means you are truly bored.) The guest was Yolanda Hadid of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and  long-time model; her book — Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease — is about her struggle with Lyme’s disease,  including the fact that some doctors don’t recognize Lyme’s disease as a disease. Yolanda describes her illness in sometimes shocking detail,

After two books on chronic illness, though, I wanted something different. I don’t think it was helping my mindset for healing. Before I could think about it, I was presented with a book from granddaughter Alexandra. She was impressed that I had read those books so quickly. Proudly she suggested that I read her book “The Chronicles of Narnia.” What was I to do? I read it and I enjoyed it greatly. The chronicles are seven books in one book – so it took a little longer to read. While I was reading it, I provided Alexandra with updates on my progress, much to her delight. Author: C. S. Lewis. 

About the same time, I came across A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles — and a New York Times Bestseller. I think I found it on Amazon – where it was highlighted for me. The book is about a Russian aristocrat who was sentenced to live out his life within the walls of the grand hotel Metropol hotel, across the street from the Kremlin. This book is an excellent read.

Next my husband came  home from his township zoning job where he met an author that he was sure I ‘d want to meet. He brought a bookmark from her that included the names of her books. They were ordered the next day, read within two weeks, and – since the reading – have now been graciously autographed by the author.  The books: The Women of Beowolf Serices; Book One: Faces in the Fire; Book Two: Fanning the Flames; and Book Three: Cloak of Ashes. Author Donnita L. Rogers. This trilogy tells about the times of King Arthur from a woman’s point of view and clearly align with my interest in mythology.

I loved the Beowulf series and mentioned that on a post on Facebook. Our daughter immediately suggested that I read the Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  Again, I can’t believe I never read this book; it was published in 1982. I truly enjoyed her exquisitely detailed writing. I was easily transported to the time of King Arthur and took my role as Morgaine. Like the Beowulf series, I didn’t want this book to end.



Next I came across a poetry compilation, This book came to me from knowing Rick D. Hallbeck, who an English major and a very talented musician. He is graciously helping our granddaughter as she launches her music career. One of Rick D’s poems was chosen for inclusion in this book. The book: Tennessee’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology; Rick D.’s poem: Trudy Ann. It is an excellent poem as are the others in the anthology.

Next I reacted to a post on Amazon – where I have ordered many books. (I also have a Kindle but prefer to touch the pages.) It was a post of one David Baldacci’s newest books — End Game. I’ve read and own many of his books. As always, his books are fast-moving, crime solving adventures and are a fun read (if you can get past the vision  of exploding body parts).


Next I was going to read another novel (see below) but I saw an ad in the local paper for a book signing in a neighboring town. I couldn’t go to the book signing so I ordered the book: The Infamous Harry Hayward: A True Account of Murder and Mesmerism in Gilded Age Minneapolis by author Shawn Francis Peters. As a Minnesota history buff, I quickly read the book — as soon as it arrived. As it turns out, the Governor – who did not pardon Mr. Hayword, is a shirt-tail relative of mine through marriage. This book fits nicely in our extensive Minnesota history book collection.

What’s next ….

  • I’m now reading Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier,  another New Yorks Times bestseller; it’s a novel about the ancient tribe of Amazon women – who some believe existed and some don’t


  • My daughter then posted about I’ll Be Gone In the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. The author died before they identified the Golden State Killer. He was just captured which just happened in the last few days.
  • Origin by Dan Brown. I ordered this book quite some time ago but keep putting off reading it. It might be because it’s another long read.
  • Violets are Blue by James Patterson. I must have bought this book earlier and forgot about it.

A general theme of ancient goddesses, mysteries and history seem to run through the books I’ve been reading. I will keep reading and see what’s presented to me next … or …

Perhaps I should get back to work on the book I’m writing. It is ‘a mystery based on history and is about a modern-day doctor who is on vacation and the unnatural things that happen to her. Many of the events in the book are based the antics of a real woman homeopathic doctor who practiced in the Midwest during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I can’t tell you how it ends because I don’t yet know – and if I told you, it would spoil your reading of it.


Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.


2 replies to “Following the path …

  1. Thank you for the book reviews. I am always looking for something good to read both fiction and nonfiction. I love A Gentleman in Moscow and placed it on my bookshelf next to Dr. Zhivago and Gone with the Wind. I used to keep most of the books I have read, but discovered that I usually did not go back and reread any of them because there was always a new good book to read. Now I give my books away when I have finished them and only keep a few dearly loved books some of which are books I read in my childhood.
    Glad to hear that you have not given up on writing a novel about Alice Bunker Stockham!

    Liked by 1 person

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