Top Ten Tuesday – Books from MY Girlhood

March 24, 2015 Meme 8

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OMG. There are so many. I’m doing this stream-of-conscious style and stopping when I hit ten because y’all. I could go on for ages. There was so much reading in my only-child-childhood.

1. Laura Ingalls Wilder. All of them. She got me through some rough times. She’s my home girl. I need to introduce her to my children.

2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Who DIDN’T read this? Shame on you if you didn’t! I’d have to say this is the first book that made me think, really think, about what it was like to be a girl.

3. CS Lewis. Narnia. I wanted to live there. I still do.

4. The Babysitters Club books!

5. Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I don’t think I’ve read these since then! Would be interesting to see how they are now that I’m grown.

6. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.

7. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. I remember it as one of the first books to freak me the heck out and I don’t remember why! This is not good.

8. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. I remember several people telling me (in 5th grade) that I should read this book. For some reason, it scared me. I felt like an idiot when I finally did read it because it was great!

9. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I actually reread this a few years ago, but it just never gets old. Cause I really really really want a secret garden.

10. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I read the whole series when I was a kid. The library at my church had the whole set and I would take out a new one each week. I adored them. Then never read them again. I consider this a tragedy.

 So? Hows about you? What books from your childhood stand out as favorites?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

March 23, 2015 Books, Meme 5


Good morning my lovelies! And welcome to another week in 2015!!

So, what am I reading this week? Whelp. I finished Cinnamon and Gunpowder yesterday morning and am now weighing possibilities. C&G was SO GOOD that I know I have to be careful with what I pick next. Here are the possibilities:

mountchar deadwake hausfrau stationeleven middlefinger

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins is really gunning for the spot. It’s being compared to Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill, plus it starts with two rockin’ sentences:

Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78. Most of the librarians, Carolyn included, had come to think of this road as the Path of Tacos, so-called in honor of a Mexican joint they snuck out to sometimes.

I mean, I just want to keep reading after that.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson is trying hard too. I love Erik Larson’s work, plus it’s publication coincides with the 100th anniversary of the sinking. It sounds a little action packed, which I’m thinking I may need to bring me down from the high that was C&G.

There is also Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, which everyone and their cousins-sisters-mothers-best friends-daughter is reading right now. I keep thinking I need to wait for the hype to die down but dang it, I hate being left behind.

I also find myself wondering if I should give Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel another try. All my reading buddies seem to be loving it, so much so that I’m completely certain I must have missed something first time around.

And lastly, I’m also thinking of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science by Alice Dreger. There’s just something about that title that appeals to me…. That cover too. It really appeals to me.

What do you think? Which book should I try out? Don’t worry, I’m still going on Middlemarch by George Eliot, as well as The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I like to have at least three books going, for when I need a break from one.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Listen Up! New Music!

March 20, 2015 Listen Up 8

Earlier this week, I was listening to my “Finding My Happy Place” playlist on Spotify when I realized I was skipping every song because I was tired of it. So, I went in search of some new stuff. I thought I’d share and solicit MORE NEW SONGS. Please.

The one song, er, band, I can’t seem to stop playing is one I’d never heard of. The Brothers Bright get my toe-a-tappin. I especially love this one, Blood on my Name:

Then dang if I didn’t catch a couple of older songs I had forgotten about!


Then, back to the new stuff, I found Laura Welsh, who is really out of my norm, but I LOVE THIS SONG:

Lastly, I’m completely loving this song by Martin Harley:

What new (or old) music have you been listening to lately? HELP ME GROW MY PLAYLIST!!!






Top Ten Tuesday – Springing to Read These…

March 17, 2015 Books 14


As of RIGHT NOW, this VERY MINUTE, these are the ten books I want to read this Spring. Because you know it will change in ten minutes.

1. Nightbird by Alice Hoffman – Ms. Hoffman and I have a tenuous relationship, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to read all her books.

2. The Home Place by Carrie La Seur – Someone (not sure who) reviewed it and it sounded great.

3. The Miracle Girl by Andrew Roe – Sounds like a difficult read. I’m ready for one.

4. Dead Wake by Erik Larson – Because duh, I love Erik Larson!

5. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James – We went to Jamaica on our honeymoon. We came away loving the island, the culture, and its people (and the food!). I want to learn more about how they got to where they are today.

6. Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen – Saw it at the library and thought it sounded interesting. I don’t know much about the Congo and want to learn more.

7. The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler – Duh. The title.

8. The French House: an American Family, a Ruined Maison, and the Village that Restored Them by Don Wallace – I love these kind of books in the Spring.

9. A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield – After listening to a podcast on color, I really want to learn more about them and where they came from. Starting with red!

10.We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo – More of that learning thing – this time Zimbabwe. It sounds like a heartbreaker.

What do you plan to read this Spring?



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

March 16, 2015 Books, Meme 7


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Good morning jelly bellies!!! And happy Monday!

Do you know how I’m always saying I’m a mood reader? And how sometimes it takes me a third, fourth, or fifth time to get into a book? Well, it happened again this past week. As I said in last Monday’s post, I was reading Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown, but I wasn’t hooked on it yet.

After Friday night, I AM SO HOOKED. I read over half the book that night and who knows, if I hadn’t fallen asleep, I may would have finished it. As it is, I’m well over halfway now with intentions to fit some more in today. I just don’t want to put it down. So. Much. Fun.

Last Monday, Andi and I agreed to read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie together. I started on it Tuesday. Since my copy is an audiobook, and I’m also listening to Middlemarch by George Eliot, both are going slow. I am loving Americanah in audio, one because I learned how to pronounce Chimamanda’s name AND the reader uses different accents for the different characters. I am still enjoying Middlemarch too, now that I’m getting more into the story.

Up next? Well, after Cinnamon and Gunpowder, I’m really wanting to get to Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science by Alice Dreger because with a title like that, how can I ignore it? I expect I’ll still be listening to both Americanah and Middlemarch so I haven’t really considered what is next for me in audio.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Everybody Needs One

March 11, 2015 Book Reviews, Books, eBooks 9 ★★★★½

Everybody Needs OneStrong Female Protagonist
by brennan lee mulligan, molly ostertag
Series: Volume 1
Published by Top Shelf Productions
on November 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 220
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around.

Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun — until an encounter with Menace, her mind-reading arch enemy, showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn't seem so important.

Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It's impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero....

After a phenomenal success on Kickstarter, Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag bring their popular webcomic into print, collecting the first four issues, as well as some all-new, full-color pages!

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Everyone needs a Strong Female Protagonist, that is.

I hate to admit it, but I had never heard of this comic until I saw it on NetGalley. It’s a webcomic. It had a very successful Kickstarter campaign. It fell into my lap and y’all. I am so happy about that, because this protagonist is right up my alley.

Alison Green is one of those protagonists you can’t help but identify with. Sure, she has superhuman abilities, but underneath all that strength and super-ness, lies a very uncertain girl with real world problems like money, family, friendship, lack of confidence, and a past she just can’t escape. And then yes, on top of it all, Alison has superpowers. What does she do with that? Is she obligated to save the world? And who really cares anyway?

There is so much to love in this little comic. The writing is great. The art is too. The thing I love most though, is the message. That no matter how smart, how super, how strong you are, you are also human. With human fears, feelings, desires, and just messed up.

Highly recommended.



Top Ten Tuesday – Books for the Foodie in YOU.

March 10, 2015 Meme 10

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1. Delicious by Ruth Reichl –

2. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Ann Mah

3. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

4. The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

5. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

6. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

7. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

8. Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

9. My Life in France by Julia Child

10. Orchard House by Tara Austen Weaver

What are some of your favorite books about food?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

March 9, 2015 Books, Meme 11

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I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of sad to see this Monday. This weekend, especially yesterday, was so gorgeous and springlike! We played outside, I read outside, took pictures, started digging out the garden, and just generally enjoyed it all. Especially that extra hour of sunlight.

Spring is on its way!

Thanks to the impromptu Flash Readathon this weekend, I got in an extra book, and the source of my garden work. Orchard House by Tara Austen Weaver was a delight. I’ll be telling you more about it soon, so we’ll leave it with an “I Loved It” stamp of approval.

Having finally finished Trigger Warnings by Neil Gaiman (everything I have come to expect from Gaiman!), I started listening to Middlemarch by George Eliot. My friend Amanda from Fig and Thistle voiced some concern with my listening to the audio, but I did my research and I think I found the best reader and production. Don’t you love it when your friend have your back? She’s the best and why I wanted to read the book in the first place. I trust her when it comes to the classics.

Also, is it normal that I kind of want to smack Dorothea? Hope so….

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, I felt that panic that sets in when one has so much one wants to read that one doesn’t exactly know what to pick up. So, I emailed my bud Andi begging her to give me a book, any book, that she wanted me to read. She rather enthusiastically and promptly emailed back with Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Luckily I already had that one! And after I finished Orchard House yesterday, I decided to give it another go (this isn’t the first or second time!) and I think it’s sticking! I love it when that happens.

After these, I honestly have no idea. I’m taking it book by book right now.

What are your plans for the reading week? Read anything good next week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Stuff I Learned This Week

March 6, 2015 Books 7


Modeling used to be considered a form of prostitution, because you were using your body to earn a living wage. Stuff Your Mom Never Told You – Living Dolls (Listen)

10-15% of humans are left-handed and scientists have NO IDEA WHY. – Stuff You Should Know – Why Do Lefties Exist? (Listen)

There is no such thing as being right or left brained. – Freakanomics – This Idea Must Die (Listen)

Alan Alda (actor, writer) should have been a scientist. Freakanomics -This Idea Must Die (Listen)

The more the do aerobic exercise, the more you can slow the decline of cognitive function. I obviously need to work out more. – The Torch – Busting Brain Myths and Bringing Balance Through Tai Chi (Listen)

And, in Learning Seredipidy, again, there is no such thing as being right or left brained. Both sides work together equally, neither is “stronger” than the other. – Busting Brain Myths and Bringing Balance Through Tai Chi (Listen)

Stan Lee, comic guru, is teaching a Super MOOC at the Smithsonian online. You can take it for free. I signed up. Care to join me? The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture

Did you learn anything interesting or new this week?