Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is an e-book I have been eager to read, from a new-to-me author.  My Real Children, by Jo Walton, is the story of one woman’s two versions of her life.






Beginning:  VC:  2015

“Confused today,” they wrote on her notes.  “Confused.  Less confused.  Very confused.”  That last was written frequently, sometimes abbreviated by the nurses to just “VC,” which made her smile, as if she were sufficiently confused to be given a medal for it.  Her name was on the notes too—just her first name, Patricia, as if in old age she were demoted to childhood, and denied both the dignity of surname and title and the familiarity of the form of her name she preferred.

56:  (Tricia 1949)

She changed in Bristol Temple Meads and bought a pallid sausage roll at the station buffet which she could hardly eat despite her hunger.  She was afraid—of Mark, who had been so strange on the telephone and so silent since, of the new life she was plunging into, of marriage, and most of all of her wedding night.


Blurb:  It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know-what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War-those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. Jo Walton’s My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan’s lives…and of how every life means the entire world.


I am eager to continue reading this book, and to discover how it all unfolds.


On other bookish fronts this week, I have conducted another purge, removing several of the older books from two of my shelves…and taken the books to the library collection drive.  Below is a photo of one of the shelves BEFORE the clearing out.





And here it is AFTER:




Here are the books I donated, a combination of what I took from this living room bookshelf (above), as well as from some other shelves throughout the house.




Before I began the purges several months ago, I had counted my physical books (print format), and they totaled 1435.

Today, after this last purge, I counted what remains.  Ready for it?  630 books! 

I am pretty sure that I’m not done yet, but I think we can conclude that I am making real progress.  Do you have any bookish news to celebrate today?



    • I mostly donate to the neighborhood library, Elizabeth, but I have also given my books to Big Brothers & Big Sisters. In the past, I even donated to charity thrift shops.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I have just read a little bit of the featured book, but I’m definitely eager to find out how the author brings the story out.


  1. Oh wow, you’re cutting back majorly!! I just moved and gave around 60 books away and thought I was doing really well. I really like the sound of your featured book today, the way her memories are so different and yet so real to her. I hope you enjoy this read! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words


    • Thanks, Juli, and because the purge has been an ongoing project, I didn’t realize how deep the cuts went, LOL. But when I took six empty bookshelves into the garage (over time), I knew it was major.

      I am eager to find out more about what is happening in the character’s mind, too.


    • I have mixed feelings about all the confusion; just hope I don’t end up as confused as the character! LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by, Laura, and another thing about purging: my books and shelves get thoroughly dusted!


  2. I did a purge a while ago because I wanted all the books I owned to be on bookshelves instead of boxes in closets and piles on floors. Luckily, I have lots of bookshelves but I still got rid of 21 brown paper grocery bags full of books. Your books sounds intriguing. I recently read one by the author and enjoyed its style. I’ll have to look for this one too. My Friday memes this week come from What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris which has been on my TBR mountain for years. Happy reading!


    • When I take my bags of books to the library, they say “you’re back again!” with big smiles. I do enjoy that part.

      Sounds like you did great, too, Kathy. Thanks for stopping by.

      I haven’t yet read this author, so I’m definitely eager to continue.


    • Thanks, Katherine; the purging has offered up the opportunity to dust thoroughly! LOL

      As for the book, so far, it’s being done very well, with alternating chapters devoted to each version, and with the character’s name being the clue (she is Patty or Tricia).


  3. I’m so intrigued how Patricia, or Tricia ended up V.C.
    I did a book purge in the Spring too. Like 300 books, bye-bye. They were all 3 stars or less though, and they went to Cerebral Palsy foundation as a donation. I may do another cleansing before the winter.
    Happy weekend!
    Freda’s Voice


    • I would never be able to purge based on my rating of the books…it would require too much thought. I have to act impulsively, up to a point, or nothing would ever leave my house…LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by, Freda, and I love donating to charities or foundations, too.




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