Posts Categorized: Lists

Top Ten Tuesday – You Can Quote Me On That

November 17, 2015 Books, Lists, Meme 3


It was so hard to pick just ten. I have noted some pretty awesome quotes this year!

“Once you’ve held a book and really loved it, you forever remember the feel of it, its specific weight, the way it sits in your hand.”  ― Erika Swyler, The Book of Speculation: A Novel

“It’s an inconvenience, true enough, and I don’t like it at all, but I know that you do it for everyone, Mister Death. Is there any other way?’

“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.”  ― Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle

“Do not try any of this at home. The author of this book is an Internet cartoonist, not a health or safety expert. He likes it when things catch fire or explode, which means he does not have your best interests in mind. The publisher and the author disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting, directly or indirectly, from information contained in this book.” ― Randall Munroe, What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

“Some foods are so comforting, so nourishing of body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey. To eat such a meal is to remember that, though the world is full of knives and storms, the body is built for kindness. The angels, who know no hunger, have never been as satisfied.” ― Eli Brown, Cinnamon and Gunpowder

“The women also put my life of privilege, opportunity, independence, and freedom into perspective. As an American woman, I was spoiled: to work, to make decisions, to be independent, to have relationships with men, to feel sexy, to fall in love, to fall out of love, to travel. I was only twenty-six, and I had already enjoyed a lifetime of new experiences.” ― Lynsey Addario, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

“But then again I wonder if what we feel in our hearts today isn’t like these raindrops still falling on us from the soaked leaves above, even though the sky itself long stopped raining. I’m wondering if without our memories, there’s nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.” ― Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant

“My ears become my conduit to the world. In the darkness I listen—to thrillers, to detective novels, to romances; to family sagas, potboilers and historical novels; to ghost stories and classic fiction and chick lit; to bonkbusters and history books. I listen to good books and bad books, great books and terrible books; I do not discriminate. Steadily, hour after hour, in the darkness I consume them all. By way of this unprecedented, unbridled literary promiscuity, I have made some pleasant discoveries.”  ― Anna Lyndsey, Girl in the Dark

“She felt the panic rising in her then. She knew. She knew how quickly things could break. You did the things you could. You tended to the world for the world’s sake. You hoped you would be safe. But still she knew. It could come crashing down and there was nothing you could do. And yes, she knew she wasn’t right. She knew her everything was canted wrong. She knew her head was all unkilter. She knew she wasn’t true inside. She knew.” ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things

What are some of your favorite quotes from your reading this year?


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RIPX Micro-Reviews

October 30, 2015 Lists 4

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

Holy guacamole sports fans; it is time to say good bye to RIP X. It has been my (and Andi’s) extreme honor to host in Carl’s stead this year. I hope a good time was had by all! I know I had a great event, even if I couldn’t get into The Quick. Here is what I read:

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, read by Bernadette Dunne 

Oh Merricat. How you bring on the shivers. From Bernadette Dunne’s first word to the last, she gave me chills. Such a great Halloween read. Glad I reread it!

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs (my review)

Not only was it the last Tiffany Aching book, it was the last Terry Pratchett book. A fitting ending for both. Now excuse me while I go dry my eyes, yet again.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, read by Biaca Amato, Jill Tanner 

Another great reread. It had been a while since I read or listened to this one. Just as good as I remembered.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, read by Lenny Henry

Why oh WHY did I hold off on reading this so long? Just because it wasn’t read by Neil Gaiman. I am so STUPID. It was so so so so so sooooooooooooo good. Lenny Henry is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Jackaby by William Ritter

Part Sherlock Holmes, part, okay yeah, I’m going to go there – part Doctor Who, Jackaby was a LOT of fun. I have to read the next in the series.

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, read by Dan Stevens

I hadn’t read this since college and, when I saw it was read by Dan Stevens, I decided it was high time for a reread. Despite Steven’s MASTERFUL reading, I found the reread to be somewhat…boring? Alas alack, I’m sort of wishing I had stayed with my rosy memories.

What did you read for RIPX? What should I put on my list for next time?



Nonfiction November 2015

October 29, 2015 Books, Lists 5


I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that Nonfiction November is here. Along with my Harry Potter Binging (see previous post), I will also be binging nonfiction. All kinds of nonfiction. I have a varied pile on my table, in my iPad, and my phone (the audiobooks are there). So, any bets how many books I can read this month? I think I’ll go for 15 again.

So. Oh, yes. My nonfiction list. So many excellent sounding books!

From the library:

  • American Bloomsbury : Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau : their lives, their loves, their work by Cheever, Susan.
  • Galileo’s middle finger : heretics, activists, and the search for justice in science by Dreger, Alice Domurat
  • Murder by candlelight : the gruesome crimes behind our romance with the macabre by Beran, Michael Knox,
  • A reader on reading by Manguel, Alberto.
  • The woman who would be king by Cooney, Kara.

On the iPad:

  • On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope
  • Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story by Michael Rosen
  • The French House: A quirky and inspiring memoir about turning a ruin into a home by Don Wallace
  • Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine by Maximillian Potter
  • The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean
  • A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield
  • Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann
  • A History Of The Wife by Marilyn Yalom
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman
  • This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All Marilyn Johnson
  • Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands by Michael Chabon
  • Tracks: One Woman’s Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
  • Curse Amazon and their sales. There are more. And I may read one of them. But I’m tired of looking. I think you get the idea. I have a lot of nonfiction I want to get through next month.

Have you read any of these? Which do you recommend?



Things that make me absurdly happy

September 10, 2015 Art, Lists 11

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.31.14 AM

Foxes. It’s the new owl. (Totally kidding. Nothing will take the place of my beloved owls. This is more like an almost equal to.)

My kids. Today is my son’s 8th birthday (remember this anyone?). He told me at 7:05 this morning that he was going to sit back and enjoy his last 15 minutes as a 7-year-old. “It’s been a good year,” he said. He’s so old.

And my daughter, the almost teenager telling me she’s not almost a teenager in her best whiny, prepubescent voice.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I’m very late to the bandwagon, but I’m ready to party like it’s 1999.

Jamestown Revival. Especially California and Revival.

Readathon planning. We’re getting started for October 17th! Changes are coming, but hopefully good ones.

A sharp pencil and my new sketch book.

There is this shade of yellow, in my set of Prismacolor Premiers that makes me smile every time I pick it up. It’s called Yellow Ochre. It is delicious.

What is making you absurdly happy these days?



Currently Crushing On….

September 4, 2015 Lists 10

crush-on-you copy
  • I have a big ole crush to start with this week. Our state, North Carolina, has a magazine (called Our State ha!) and this months issue features “voices” of our state. On the cover is Rhiannon Giddens. I had not heard of her, but I had heard of her band Carolina Chocolate Drops (their cover of Blu Cantrell’s Hit ‘Em Up Style is a thing of wonder). She released a solo album earlier this year and holy cow guacamole she is great. She’s like a cross between Nina Simone and Patsy Cline.

This is my favorite song of hers so far. Listen to her! What a set of pipes.

And, speaking of Patsy Cline, check out this cover!

*weeps* Check out more music here. Seriously, do it.

  • Another thing I AM HUGELY EXCITED about this week is RIP X! I am loving all the posts and tweets and just general excitement going on for this event. Makes my readerly heart so very happy. Check out some of the tweets and reviews that have already gone up! And heck, JOIN IN THE FUN.
  • I love love love Pinterest and I love Trish’s Pin It and Do It Challenges! (Sign up here!) There are several things I’ve pinned that I want to do, so I’ll be reporting back on this one!
  • Remember last week when I was obsessing over double exposures! I did it!
double negative play

I’m so proud of me.

That’s it this week. I’ve been too busy to be obsessed with much! What are you currently obsessing over?



Currently Crushing On….

August 28, 2015 Lists 7

crush-on-you copy Cheesy-Corn-Dog-Muffins1

I am currently loving all these different “entrees” that can be made in a muffing tin. They make packing lunch SO EASY. Or, hopefully they will when I actually try them out, my kids actually try them, and then hopefully love them. (Mini Deep Dish Pizzas, Pepperoni Pizza Puffs, and Cheesy Corndog  Muffins [see above] are all in my sights)


I am currently obsessed with double exposure photography. I will figure out how to do this. There are several tutorials online and I WILL LEARN. But I am obsessed, I tell you, OBSESSED. More to come on this one.


DOCTOR WHO LEGOS!!!! Must have.

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Netflix. I’ve had to bring some work home with me lately, and I’ve been watching these shows. THEY ARE SO GOOD. Bomb Girls is absolutely fantastic. And now that season 8 of Doctor Who is FINALLY on Netflix, I’m catching up. Hidden Kingdoms is a marvel. It got my Minecraft-and-YouTube-obsessed son to sit, spellbound, for over an hour. And now all he’ll talk about are these tiny animals. It’s true love. For both of us.

So, what are you obsessed with this week?



I Don’t Feel So Bad – Some Favorite Things

July 23, 2015 Lists, Miscellaneous, Music 17


1. Chai Latte. Where have you been all my life? Seriously. I die without it.


2. Coloring books. It’s not COMPLETELY new, I’ve been coloring (and drawing and such) for a long time, but in the last couple of weeks it has reached near obsession. Buying Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest DID NOT HELP.

3. Pasta. Again, not new, but since going Gluten Free I have had a super hard time finding one I like. Now I have two! I had alfredo the other night and I HAPPY. Two years without good ole pasta with tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil, and parmesan is a freaking long time.

4. YouTube. Hey, I didn’t say they were NEW or OLD favorite things. Sure, YouTube has been around a VERY LONG TIME, I just never paid it much attention (except for you, my dear Andi!) but now, suddenly, I am waking up to the marvels of YT. I’m learning InDesign, getting coloring tips, and excellent book recommendations. Oh, and the occasional Jamestown Revival song:

or The Brothers Bright

5. Incidentally, I am really loving on some music right now. I went on a mission a month or so ago to find some new tunes and I hit the jackpot in a little genre called Southern Gothic. I’ve also seen it called Dark Americana, Americana, and other such things. It’s like the bastard lovechild of Southern Rock, Bluegrass, Folk, Rock, American Roots, and Country. With some soul and jazz thrown it. It includes old (Johnny Cash) and new (Delta Ray) and oh so much loveliness in between. It nurtures my repressed goth soul. Some of my favorites include the aforementioned Delta Ray, The Brothers Bright, Jamestown Revival, and others like Lucette, Dorothy, Sun Kil Moon, Kari Kimmel (Black is like the BEST SONG EVER), Whiskey Shivers, and yeah, I could go on and on. I’ll make you a playlist. I’m sure you won’t listen, but if you actually do, PLEASE let me know if you like any of it. I don’t know anyone who listens to this stuff!

What new (or maybe not so new) favorite things are you jamming on right now?



Weekend Inspiration

October 11, 2014 Art, Books, Lists, Miscellaneous 6

With the fall season upon us, the fact that temperatures will actually drop below 40 degrees this weekend, and because my favorite scarf is looking a little worse for wear, I am feeling the need to either knit or crochet myself a new one. As my skills have developed, this decision (which scarf do I make this time) has become harder every year. When I could only follow one pattern, it was easy! It was just a matter of deciding which color this time! Now, this all important decision includes questions like cowl? Infinity scarf? Go all out with a shawl? Knit or crochet? That awesome yellow color I used last year:

Screenshot 2014-10-03 at 7.32.23 PM

or pick something new? A dark orange? An interesting blue? Oh, the decisions!

This is why Ravelry exists. And Pinterest. And Google. They give me the hope I can narrow down my choices and make a decision. So, for submitted for your approval, here are my top choices of what to make this year:

Screenshot 2014-10-03 at 7.40.24 PM

This GAP-tastic Cowl looks humongous, but also terribly warm and snuggly.

Screenshot 2014-10-03 at 7.45.23 PM

But this New Year’s Cowl does too. And I love that color!

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Or, is this the year I finally learn cables? Because good golly look at that thing?? Love! Even the color! Hmm…

So, do you see my problem? What do you think? Which scarf tickles your fancy? What colors are in this fall? I am in no way up on the latest fashions. Have something else to suggest? Hit me up in the comments!



Top Ten Tuesday – My Summer TBR List

June 17, 2014 Books, Lists, Meme 12

It has taken me ALL DAY, but dangnabit I’m going to post this. I love lists too much to ignore it. It will just have to be a barebones, stripped-down version (as in no pictures. Sorry!).

Here is a list of 10 books I HOPE to read this summer. It is by no means comprehensive. It is likely to change within 10 minutes of my hitting publish. But here it is:

1. The Green Mile by Stephen King. I know I previously said I wanted to tackle another King this summer, but a review pushed this one to the forefront. Plus, I adored the movie. God, I miss Michael Clarke Duncna.

2. The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow.  For The Estella Project this summer. It sounds fabulous. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it!

3. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. There were two different books by Stegner on The Estella Project list, this one and Crossing to Safety. My library has Angle of Repose, so it wins.

4. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Another, and last, for The Estella Project and also so Andi will be happy. She’s read so many books I’ve recommended to HER lately, that it’s time I read some of hers. This one has gone on long enough. Andi is usually right about books I’ll like and she insists I’ll love this one.

5. Middlemarch by George Eliot. I really need to just go on and start this one. (*digs in heels*)

6. The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman. I managed to score an ARC. Plus, hello! It takes place in a book shop? I’m there. Plus, this paragraph from the first few pages:

“Because, after all, the fellow who invented the guillotine was a man of medicine,” he continued, restoring books to the shelves, riffling their pages to kick forth the old-paper aroma, which he inhaled before pushing each volume flush into its slot.


7. Where the Mountains Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. My daughter ALMOST got this book this past weekend and I rather wish she had. The book feels so lovely in your hand! And the story sounds fantastic. She may be getting it soon anyway!

8. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. FINALLY! The last one!! Will be reading with Andi. VERY SOON.

9. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld. Another to blame on Andi.

10. Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Blame this one on Idina Menzell. I want to listen to the music from the Broadway play and I’m afraid of spoilers and also not knowing what is going on. Damn your amazing voice! lol

So, that’s a small sampling of all the books I hope to read this summer. What’s on your list?



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Top Ten Tuesday

December 10, 2013 Lists, Meme 9


Almost did the wrong list (I pulled next weeks by accident)! It’s why I’m late posting. I had to think!

Betwixt and Between by Jessica Stilling

As I mentioned last week, I saw this on the new arrivals shelf at the library and it just called my name!

To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl

Heard about this one on the History Chicks poscast and it sounds amazing.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

It was on sale Black Friday, or maybe Cyber Monday… either way, I snapped it up. It’s Donna Tartt y’all!

True Grit by Charles Portis

Completely Melissa’s fault.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Also on sale whatever day that was…. Sounds like a nice, cozy read. Actually got the whole trilogy.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

AND on sale. Been meaning to read it forever.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Need to review it…. And that cover is just so cute to me!

Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

Was on sale sometime or other. Sounds good!

The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins

For Estella!

The Devil in Silver by Victor Lavalle

Reading this with my Andiroo. We call it the demon buffalo book.


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