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?



Flash! Readathon! #FlashReadathon!

March 5, 2015 Books 8


Me and my big mouth. I mentioned needing a Readathon on Facebook and next thing you know, we’re having a Flash Readathon this weekend.

You’re welcome.

As you can see, it’s loosy-goosy, easy peasy, sit down and read when you can. No work! All fun!

I’m not sure what I’m planning to read yet, but I know it’ll be fun. Come on. Join us!



Comics February! The Roundup!

March 3, 2015 Books 6

Another year, another end to Comics February. Sure, I can read comics all year, but it’s not quite the same. February is special because a bunch of my friends are indulging in comics too! It’s just so much fun.

So. Surprisingly for me, I read 22 comics this month. I meant to read more, but I ran out of time. Here is the run down:

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Alex + Ada, Issue 6
Alex + Ada, Issue 7
Alex + Ada, Issue 8
Alex + Ada, Issue 9
Alex + Ada, Issue 10
Alex + Ada, Issue 11
Alex + Ada, Issue 12

ratqueens copy

Rat Queens, Issue 6
Rat Queens, Issue 7
Rat Queens, Issue 8
Rat Queens Special: Braga #1


The Fade Out, Issue 1
The Fade Out, Issue 2
The Fade Out, Issue 3
The Fade Out, Issue 4


Lumberjanes, Issue 11

Wayward_LogoWayward_Logo copy

Wayward, Issue 1
Wayward, Issue 2
Wayward, Issue 3
Wayward, Issue 4
Wayward, Issue 5

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Fatale, Issue 1

Yeah, I’m feeling kind of wow about it. I’m sure others read more, but by golly, I read all these and all of them were awesome. I honestly can’t point to one I didn’t like.I love the futurist tones of Alex + Ada, and the unlikely love story. Rat Queens is just plain FUN. It’s like the male trope of raising hell, kicking ass and taking names, and getting as drunk and sexed-up as you want and giving it to the ladies. The ladies. They love it. The Fade Out is pure cinema noir/murder mystery fun. Lumberjanes is my love. I can’t get enough of these kids. Wayward indulges my fascination with mythology and Japanese culture. And Fatale, in the vein of The Fade Out (same authors!) is, well, I need more of it to say for sure. I only read the one volume. But I’m dying to get my hands on more.

So, there you have it. My Comics February. Now I can’t wait for 2016!



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

March 2, 2015 Books, Meme 13

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HAPPY MONDAY!!!!!! No, seriously. It’s not snowing or sleeting or freezing of the rain or even raining. It’s just foggy. I AM HAPPY.

And would you look at that? I’m not reading The Soloist OR Geek Love any more! BECAUSE. I. FINISHED. THEM.

Hallelujah amen.

After the complete…weirdness…of Geek Love, I needed something relatively normal. I am not finding it in The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac! I am in Someone at a Distance though. These two together feel like a good balance for me.  And Neil Gaiman. I’m just dragging it out because it’s Neil Gaiman. So yeah.

Up next, I’m leaning toward Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer,  the audiobook of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Pepper: A History of the World’s Most Influential Spice by Marjorie Shaffer.

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.




A Winner! And a Monthly Wrap Up – February 2015

March 1, 2015 Books, Monthly Wrap Up 6

First things first. The winner of my Ten Year Blogging Anniversary prize is…………..

Wesley at Library Educated!!!!

Congratulations and thanks for reading! I’ll be emailing you about your prize shortly!

Now, on to February. I read a TON of comics last month (see post). So many, in fact, that my book reading went down just a bit. I managed to finish:


Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
The Man Who Touched His Own Heart by Rob Dunn, read by Robert Fass
Geek Love by Katharine Dunn
The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music by Steve Lopez

I adored three out of four of these. Geek Love was….interesting…it put it very mildly. I’ll be posting about it later this week. The Man Who Touched His Own Heart was killer interesting and the narrative was fantastic. Burial Rites was a great little murder mystery set in Iceland. Very fitting for the winter we’ve had around here. And The Soloist, wow, it just made me want to get out there and DO SOMETHING for someone else.

Here’s hoping March brings more fabulousness.



Ten Favorite Posts from the Last Ten Years

February 26, 2015 Books 6


In ten years of blogging, I have wrote a LOT of posts. This will be my 1,902nd post, to be precise. I’ve had some popular ones, mostly giveaways and anniversary posts. I thought, to continue my anniversary celebration, I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite posts from the last 10 years.

1. Virtual Advent Tour, 2009 – a collection of favorite Christmas songs

2. My review of The Help by Katherine Stockett was a surprise favorite book. I didn’t think I’d like it, but as it happens every once in awhile, the hype was right.

3. My review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was one of my most visited posts ever. It was a fun book at the time, but I got tired of mash-ups super fast.

4. I first read The Little Stranger in 2010 and was completely blown away. I love the picture I took of the book for my post! I forgot I used to take pictures for my reviews. Maybe I should get back to that….

5. My review of Room by Emma Donoghue has the most comments of any post on my blog. I was so surprised to see that!

6. My interview with Barbara Rosenblat for Audiobook Week in 2010 was a fun experience. She’s is quite a character.

7. In 2010, I shared a recipe for Strawberry Rosemary jam for Weekend Cooking. Man, that stuff is so good! I’ll have to make some more come strawberry season.

8. Also in 2010, I read and reviewed The Color Purple. That was an amazing audiobook production. Having Alice Walker read her own book was a stroke of genius.

9. And then, there was the time Andi and I read Madame Bovary together. That. Was hilarious. I love reading books with my Andi.

10. It’s so hard to pick just one more post. I interviewed Melissa Wyatt for NerdsHeartYA in 2010. I interviewed Audrey Niffenegger in 2009. I MET NEIL GAIMAN in 2012. I’ve shared a pregnancy and a miscarriage, I went through the loss of my birth mother and my grandmother. I found my best friend. I have shared my kids growing up, our adventures in the wild, our pets, gardens, food, everything. This blog has been such a huge part of my life. I’m so thankful you’re along for the ride.



Ten Years Is A Long Time; a Celebration of Blogging and a Mission Statement

February 25, 2015 Books 31


That’s right. Sometime around now is my ten year blogging anniversary. I don’t remember the day I started, I just know it was around the same time Andi started hers.  It wasn’t even my first, but my second, or maybe even third attempt at blogging. It was a rough start. I’m almost embarrassed by my backlog (and am often tempted to delete it!). But it grew, and I grew, and even though I’ve never been a major book blogger (thank God), it’s been a happy home.

In light of the general craziness going on in book blogging right now, I almost didn’t post for my anniversary, but ten feels too big to let just go past. Things have been rocky this year. We’ve already had plagiarism scandals, favorite bloggers quitting, and a general malaise flooding our small community. Honestly, I even entertained the thought of quitting a couple times as well. My readership is down. My spirit is sore. Reading is (sometimes) a chore. Yet, there are so many good things. I met my best friend in the whole wide world because of blogging and finally got to meet her (and be in her wedding!) last year. I’ve made many lifelong friends that I care about very much. I know about their families, their favorite books, and their lives. I wouldn’t give that up for the world. I still love discussing books and listing books and just being the bookish self I am.

As I look ahead, I honestly expect much of the same. We are a drama filled group. I can hope for some peace and happiness for our community, and we will have it again, but we’ll also still have the drama. I will continue to do my damnedest to stay out of it. I have no desire for my blog to be any bigger than it is, so my social media presence will remain small (for the blog anyway). I am seriously considering moving away from reviewing books as, well, basically no one reads them and that’s fine. Reviewing can be stressful for me and I’ve never felt very good at it. I will still discuss the books I read, but in a different way – a way yet to be determined. I will continue to mix in other parts of my life like the podcasts, the learning, and perhaps more. Perhaps less.

Mission Statement:

I’m going to do what makes me happy.

So, to celebrate? I really feel like a giveaway is in order! I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate to Amazon or B&N OR for the international readers, any book under $25 from The Book Depository. This will run until next Wednesday and is open internationally. I’d love for you to leave a comment telling me how long you’ve been following me or how you found me or, even better, tell me about a book you read because of me! Thank you for reading and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Top Ten Tuesday – Pure Heroine Worship!

February 24, 2015 Meme 9

or I couldn’t pick between Pure Heroine and Heroine Worship, so it became PURE HEROINE WORSHIP because WHY NOT? Hey, it’s late when I’m writing this. I can’t help it.

So. My favorite heroines.

But first, just what exactly DEFINES a heroine?

Do we go with:

a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her bravedeeds and noble qualities.

or the second definition:

the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.

If I was going to go by the latter definition, I’d be here all night because OMG THE HEADACHE of trying to pick 10 favorite principal female characters from books, am I right? I am going with the former. This is my list of the most kick ass fems I have met in all the books I’ve read. Well, at least the first 10 I can think of while I’m writing this up.

Gone with the wind

1. Say what you will, but Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind is wicked resourceful, crazy determined, and, well, just a all-round ball-busting broad. You can’t take this girl down because, after all, tomorrow is another day!


2. Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my girl, yo! A complete bookaholic with the ultimate life goal of reading every book in the library, she is a scrappy, clever, bright girl that you just can’t help rooting for.


3. Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Yeah, she starts out mousy, but it doesn’t take her long to find her backbone. Something about being turned into a 90 year old woman will do that to you, I suppose.


4. Viola from The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. Dude. Girlfriend crash lands on an alien planet, looses both her parents in the process, then meets up with a boy who literally cannot control the thoughts jumping out of his head AND SHE GETS UP AND KEEPS GOING. That. Is bravery.


5. Tiffany Aching from The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. A young girl who uses her wits and brains to get out of situations? That girl be powerful.


6. Verity from Code Name Verity. I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t even begin to talk about all the feels this character gives me. SO MANY FEELS. And all of them of the weepy variety. I want her in my corner though. In My Corner.


7. Mare from Mare’s War because I’ll be damned if I will ever miss an opportunity to push this book on you.


8. Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. She believed she could, so she did. That’s 99% of the battle.


9. Hermione from Harry Potter by JK Rowling. Because duh.


10. Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia. Girlfriend fights for truth. What is harder than that?

Who are some of your favorite heroines?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



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

February 23, 2015 Books, Meme 6


Y’all. I don’t know why I’m bothering. I’m reading the same stuff I was last week and IT. IS. DEPRESSING. Not that The Soloist isn’t good. Not that Geek Love isn’t weird. It is just still. there.  I am ready to be DONE already.

In the listening side, I’m listening to Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warnings, which is every bit as delightful as I expected. The man can do no wrong in my eyes. I was trying to listen to My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh as well, but it’s not working out too great on my phone. I think I’m going to have to burn it to CD. My phone doesn’t want to keep my place and Lord knows I can’t remember.

On deck, I STILL WANT TO READ The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac (will I EVER get there?). I was talking with a coworker about The Dresden Files series, which made me want to listen to the next book (for me) Proven Guilty (by Jim Butcher, read by Spike from Buffy aka James Marsters). I also want to listen to Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Robert G. Slade.

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

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

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