Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Bookish Quotes

I love quotes.  When I was younger I would write quotes in notebooks all over.  Then I would copy and paste them into a massive Word Document and print them out and hang them everywhere.  As an adult I buy sayings and hang them on my wall.  Set them on my mantle. But them on my bookshelves.  And now I've come full circle and started writing them in my notebook I carry around with me.  This time I'm just focusing on book quotes.  Sometimes to remind myself I want to include it in a review, or share it with a friend, or just because I feel so much YES YES YES about a statement.  I've filled up a page in my notebook, since I started copying them down and decided I would share them here since I've done nothing with them. :)

"A trigger - happy government.  Suspicious of everyone, regardless of citizenship.  No, not citizenship, she corrects herself, race. " Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

This quote is in regards to the German government at the onset of WWII.  I loved this fictionalized tale on the way the Hindenburg may have met its fate. 

"But Clara had her own little secret.  She didn't really let go of everything.  Most things, yes.  But some she secretly held and hugged and would visit in moments when she needed to be comforted by the unkindness of others." Still Life by Louise Penny

This quote is just dark enough to be so so true about moments of self-doubt and loathing.  It's from the first book in the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny.  Highly recommend!

"You do not let them win.  Not ever. There is nothing in the world they like more than tearing a woman down for having too much courage.  And there is nothing in the world that makes them angrier than not being able to break her.  A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Feminist Romance novels for the win!

Description: Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren
Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn't hesitate...until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke
The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town
Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else's problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It's the perfect plan, until Lily declares she'll only marry for love...and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much..

"Most Americans understand that being born in the United States, with all opportunities that entails, is a matter of sheer serendipity.  Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

So much yes.  If you haven't read Enrique's Journey which details a VERY young child sneaking into the United States to join his mother in America. 

Do you collect quotes? What are some of your favorite bookish quotes?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Premeditated Peppermint

Premeditated Peppermint came to me at the perfect time.  I've got an evening peppermint tea problem and the peppermint candies this book kept mentioning fit right in.  I may have convinced my husband to even try the peppermint bark recipe that was shared at the end of the book!

This is the third book in Amanda Flower's Amish Candy Shop series.  It definitely was a stand alone book if you are in the mood for a cozy Christmas mystery.  I actually picked up the first in the series today from my library, Assaulted Caramel!

Premeditated Peppermint finds chocolatier Bailey King preparing for her town's Christmas Market.  Bailey has recently moved to Harvest, Ohio to help her Amish grandma run their candy shop after her grandfather's passing.  While Bailey never grew up Amish her grandma and her cousin Charlotte who works in the shop are Amish, as are most of the town's residents.  

Bailey is surprised with a visit from chef Eric Sharp from New York, who brings a television crew to film a Christmas special starring ----- Bailey! Shocked, and a bit peeved to see Eric, Bailey struggles to figure out what she wants for herself now that she is helping her grandma with her shop and left the big city life behind her.  

Another shock has someone dead and Eric the suspect.  Bailey helps out the local deputy in piecing together who was where at the time of the murder and who would have motive.

This book was a quick read with a nice plot.  The characters were fun and there was a bit of humor that reminded me of the Stephanie Plum series that I love so much.  If you are looking for a cozy mystery this winter or a nice holiday read -- pick this one up!

And like I said, I've already checked out the first book in the series from the library.  I also found another series of Flower's that has an Amish aspect to it, A Plain Death, and checked it out too!  We all know how much I love my series reads!

What's your favorite holiday read? Do you have a favorite holiday drink or treat you make?

I received this book for review but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Friday, November 9, 2018

TGIF!

Well, we woke up to our official first sticking snow this morning.  In positive news, just 136 days until my behind is in a beach chair on a WARM BEACH.  The weather in Alabama better cooperate for me! Since, I will also be turning 35 while we are there this spring!

My favorite picture from the week:




My girl earned Crazy About Reading Day and chose to dress up as Laura Ingalls as her favorite book character! I'm pretty proud of my braids!

The high of my week was having the kiddos conference and hearing how great she is doing in school. :):

The low of my week was  snow.  Damn winter.

Meal plan for the week was  
Monday - Steak, sweet potatoes, and applesauce
Tuesday -  Skillet Chili Mac and Cheese, salad, garlic bread
Wednesday - Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, and Toast
Thursday -  Tuesday's leftovers
Friday -  Pizza!

The Chili Mac hit the spot this week with the colder weather.  Plus, it makes enough for at least two meals!


What I’m listening to   podcasts of course! Up and Vanished is new to me and I'm liking it.  Still really enjoying Slow Burn.

What I’m watching Blackish!  I'm about half-way through Season 2.

What I’m reading: Premeditated Peppermint by Amanda Flower which is a cozy mystery set in Amish country and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.  Really liking both! Hopping to get some tea and reading time in this weekend!

My plans for the weekend include tonight the kiddo is having a friend over for a sleepover.  The husband and I are going to watch Tombstone and have pizza and pop when they go to bed.  Probably need to clean out the garage this weekend so I can park in it again since it is snowing, and on Sunday we are making homemade Clam Chowder, since my husband has now dubbed it Soup Sunday!

What are you listening to? What are you reading?

Monday, November 5, 2018

What I've Read Recently..

I have been doing a lot of read togethers with the 7 year old of middle grade novels and I'm loving it.  I've sorta struggled with adult books lately, so it's nice to be finishing something and having the kiddo be so into reading and writing stories! It's like myself 27 years ago!


I slowed down a bit in October and 'only' finished five books.  I loved Forever Fudge and Freedom Train.  Freedom Train is a middle grade novel about a young boy whose brother is a solider who guards the Freedom Train.  The train is traveling to all 48 states and will stop in Atlanta.  When it does, Clyde (main character) is expected to deliver a speech and he stutters when nervous and talking in front of large crowds.  He gets bullied a lot and a young black boy sticks up for him.  When Clyde's dads boss tries to get his new friend kicked out of his house due to his race, Clyde has some big choices to make. 

Will's Choice was a middle grade novel that I read together with the kiddo.  It is the second book in the Orphan Train series.  For any adult who liked the book Orphan Train, this series for kids is a good one.  It follows different orphans that were on the trains.  We also finished Aggie's Home, which is the 4th book in the series.  It was probably my favorite so far because it includes feminist characters and about women's right to vote.

Southernmost was a novel about an evangelical preacher from the south who realizes that all the judgment that his church and parishioners are doling out towards gay people is wrong, and when he tries to be more publicly accepting it turns his whole life upside down.  He gets a divorce and his wife gets a southern judge to award her majority custody because there is something clearly wrong with the preacher.  He makes a few questionable choices and the book follows how he changes his viewpoints and how it changes his life.

Wicked City was not anything I'd recommend. 

In 1955, Look magazine called Phenix City, Alabama, "The Wickedest City in America," but even that may have been an understatement. It was a stew of organized crime and corruption, run by a machine that dealt with complaints forcefully and with dispatch. No one dared cross them-no one even tried. And then the machine killed the wrong man. 

When crime-fighting attorney Albert Patterson is gunned down in a Phenix City alley in the spring of 1954, the entire town seems to pause just for a moment- and when it starts up again, there is something different about it. A small group of men meet and decide that they have had enough, but what that means and where it will take them is something they could not have foreseen. Over the course of the next several months, lives will change, people will die, and unexpected heroes will emerge-like "a Randolph Scott western," one of them remarks, "played out not with horses and Winchesters but with Chevys and .38s and switchblades.


Our October book club pick was The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent.  It is based upon the author's families real life history with the Salem Witch Trials.  A lot is fictionalized but some of what is included is from family lore and the actual documents that surived.  The main character is Sarah Carrier, who was arrested along with most of her siblings and her mother.  The book covers right before the witch trials and a little after.  It was really good!

What have you recently read and loved? What are you currently recommending?

Friday, October 26, 2018

TGIF!

October is flying by.  We spent a weekend up north and it was PERFECT timing.  The fall colors up there were perfect.  And of our course that week the weather went from 80 to 30s in a matter of days.  It's been cold since then.  SUMMER COME BACK.




My favorite picture from the week:



from a Haunted Forest we attended last weekend!

The high of my week was picking out new glasses! I went with something different, so I'm hoping that I end up loving them when they get in!

The low of my week was  I can't even think of one, except the weather.  And that will be my complaint until summer!  

Meal plan for the week was  
Monday - French Toast Sticks, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and strawberries/oranges
Tuesday -  Make Your Own Pizza and Salad
Wednesday - Smothered Pork Chops, Roasted Potatoes and Cottage Cheese
Thursday -  Baked Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs, Mac and Cheese, Peaches and Cottage Cheese
Friday -  Cheesy Taco Soup and Salad

Saturday we are going to a brewing with friends for dinner and Sunday my husband is making homemade beef stew (which we will see because he's said this a LOT and it hasn't happened yet).

The best money I spent was on Short's Brewing Moscow Mule Beer! So yummy!

What I’m listening to   podcasts of course! I've been enjoying this season of Slow Burn, which is about the Clinton Presidency scandals and the third season of Serial,which is focusing on the judicial system in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

What I’m watching Blackish!  I'm just finishing up Season 1.

What I’m reading:  Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  It's taking me awhile to get into it.  It's tough reading material, I may have to stop and go back to it later.

My plans for the weekend include tonight the kiddo and I are attending a local pumpkin plunge where she and her friend are going to swim with pumpkins and then they get to keep one to decorate and stuff.  Tomorrow night we are going out for my best-friends birthday with other adults and the kiddo is sleeping at the grandparents.  Sunday the making of beef stew is the main agenda. 

What are you listening to? What are you reading?

Friday, October 5, 2018

TGIF!

Welp, Fall is here.  The fall I don't like.  The rainy, cold part of Fall.  I would rate Fall as my second favorite season if it didn't lead right Winter.  So by default Spring is my second favorite season because it leads into Summer.  This week was full of workouts, volunteering, and cleaning/organizing.  I signed the 7 year old up for swim lessons for the next round since she's enjoying them right now and I do like to have her practice actual strokes and to have a 'sport.'  I'm slowly finding spots for our Spring Break road trip.  We will be hitting up multiple states Missouri, Tennessee, and Alabama .  And all the spots in-between.  I think as of today we officially have all our our hotels/Airbnb's reserved.  I need to spend some more time on the nitty gritty planning like what to take with us food and clothes wise since we will be experiencing multiple different types of weather!  I love it!

My favorite picture from the week:


trees are changing!


The high of my week was volunteering for AR prizes and in the kiddo's classroom! I may not be a fan of AR overall, but man do the kiddos at her school (along with my kiddo) get super excited for prizes.  It's not a part of her grade and not mandatory just used as a supplemental fun program.  It has increased the amount of reading and encouraged my kiddo to take the quizes online which is giving her practice in using the computer for non-fun games too.

The low of my week was  all the dang rain.  I had to turn my heat on Monday.  I would have turned it on over the weekend but we (my husband) made a ton of marinara sauce from our tomatoes in our yard and kept the house warm with that.  Then we had my parents over for a roasted turkey breast dinner on Sunday night so the oven kept us comfortable but it was by no means warm! I am constantly under a blanket.

My Workouts were 

Tuesday - Couch to 5k Week 1 Workout 1
Wednesday - 40 minute walk
Thursday - 30 minute walk
Friday - 30 minute walk

I definitely felt it after that run on Tuesday.  That was the first time I ran in over a year.  Close to 2 years.  I am slowly trying to add running into my walking and a bit of a more full body workout too, hence the walk away the pounds videos because I am so uncoordinated and I can follow along with those! My plan for October is 3 days of walking, 1 day of running, 1 day of Walk Away the Pounds videos.  I am trying to do it all Monday through Friday but I'm not sure how that's going to keep up as October is pretty busy.  I'm trying to schedule which workout I'm going to do that day based upon what else is happening, but if I have to do some on the weekends I will.  And I may add a run or walk extra to the weekend depending on weather.

Meal plan for the week was  
Monday - Steak, salad, homemade applesauce, roasted new potatoes and broccoli and cottage cheese
Tuesday -  Baked Pork Chops, Zucchinni Cheese Casserole,  homemade apple sauce
Wednesday - Smoked Sausage, mac and cheese, salad, cottage cheese, homemade applesauce
Thursday -  Eggs, homeade home fries, cottage cheese and apples
Friday -  Pizza Hut pizza and cantaloupe

Saturday we are going to smoke some chicken breasts we have leftover from when some friends brought some over earlier this summer when we had a party.  

The best money I spent was on the kiddos Halloween costume.  Growing up my parents usually made me make my own.  I mean I had a few store costumes but after about age 6 or so I don't think I did.  However, I hate making stuff so, yes child tell me what you want to be and to Amazon I will go!


What I’m listening to   podcasts of course! I really enjoyed Oprah's Super Soul Conversation with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Katie Courics podcast with Reddit CEO about fake news and propoganda.  

What I’m watching we record and watched The Late Show with Stephen Colbert every night. But I'm really glad NCIS: New Orleans is back!

What I’m reading:  Southernmost by Silas House.  I just started it but the premise is that an evangelical preacher in Tennsessee takes in two gay men after a flood which partly causes the pastors divorce and pushes him into going to Key West and connecting with his brother...

My plans for the weekend include the kiddo is having a friend spend the night tonight.  Tomorrow we are attempting to go do an old home tour as long as it is not pouring rain since we have to walk through the local gardens to do it.  We may have some friends come over to enjoy the smoked chicken and Sunday we are going to Sam's Club, Hooters, and possibly our local nature center to enjoy a cider making day.  That is also weather dependent cuz the kiddo and I agreed we didn't want to do it in the rain. 

What are you listening to? What are you reading?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Forever Fudge


I love Murder She Wrote.  Angela Lansbury was one of my favorite female actors growing up.  I still can get sucked in to a marathon Murder She Wrote when I find it.  And Matlock.  They were my pre Law & Order loves.  The book I just finished I’d like to bill it as Murder She Wrote in book form and a good Hallmark movie. 


Cozy mysteries have become my jam in the last year or so.  Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco appealed to me because it is set on Mackinac Island, and as a fudgie (person who visits the island) I knew I had to read it! Mackinac Island has such a quaint charm to it.  I really want to say on the island sometime.  I’ve only done day trips, but I think it would be a perfect destination, in season (summer) or early fall.

Allie McMurphy is the owner and operator of the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop.  The business has been in her family for many years and this is her first season at the helm.  This is the 6th book in the Candy-Coated Mystery series.  I had not read the other 5 but I quickly and easily caught up.  The first 5 are now on my ever growing to read list! (Perfect for cozy winter reading!)

What you learn at the beginning of the book is that Allie seems to be an amateur sleuth.  She and her dog Mal have an uncanny ability to attract dead bodies.  She’s helped the police out all ready this summer on quite a few cases.  She also has broken up with her boyfriend and another man in town is showing interest.

The mystery that happens in Forever Fudge begins when Allie and Mal go outside for Mal to do his doggie business.  There while talking with a neighbor, they find a dead body.  With the body there is a note.  A note that is written TO ALLIE.  So begins another mystery.

My favorite parts of this book are how the charms of Mackinac Island are incorporated and other Michigan cities.  And how the senior center is a hub for island gossip.  It basically takes my favorite parts of things and puts them together into this book!

I really enjoyed it as an easy to read cozy mystery with local to me ties.

Description: When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .

SHOT ON LOCATION

 It's Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie's help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie's bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head--with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer--but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .


Have you been to Mackinac Island? What is your favorite cozy mystery series?

I received this book for review.  All thoughts an opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Author's I'd like to Meet

Today I decided to link up with That Artsy Reader Girl  and participate in her Top Ten Tuesday.  This week's theme is 10 Author's I'd like to Meet. 

1.  Allison Winn Scotch - Number 1 reason I picked her is because of Twitter.  I feel like we are political bffs and I do enjoy her books.  I need to read more of them.  I have so many on my kindle and just haven't read them yet because I rarely read on my kindle!

2. Shannon Hale - Also, love her on twitter.  And I adore her Princess in Black Series.  I have the first book of the Princess Academy series to check out from the library.

3. Laura Lippman - Also love her on twitter.  Also, love her Tess Monaghan series!  I hear there is a new one coming out!  I'm psyched!

4. Jewell Parker Rhodes - I first heard her lovely lyrical voice on a podcast and since they I have almost read all of her books.  I would love to hear her speak in person!

5. Margaret Atwood - I've read and enjoyed and been confused by many an Atwood.  I really would like listening to her speak!

6. Sarah Maclean - Love her on twitter as well.  And she's pretty much the only romance author I've read and enjoyed in the last decade.

7. Alyssa Mastromonaco - Love her on twitter and love all her podcast appearances.  She cracks me up.

8. Alan Gratz - Loved his book Refugee and I really need to read the rest of his books!

9. Sarah Dessen - Love her on twitter and have always enjoyed her books when I check them out.  I have to catch up on some.  Can't wait for the kiddo to be old enough to read her books.

10. John Green - LOVE his books too.  Would love to hear him speak.

As I quickly just started thinking of authors and jotting down their names I first noticed that the majority of my people are women and second that most of them are on here because of their social media presences and not necessarily because they are zomg my favorite authors.  They are human beings that I'm interested in!

How awesome is social media that we can communicate with our favorite authors?? I have had the pleasure of tweeting at them and having many respond.  Also, don't be the idiot who tweets an author to tell them you hate the book!

Also.. also... coming up with 10 authors who are still alive was kind of hard.  However, I wouldn't turn down many authors if they happened to be nearby! :)

Who are some authors you would love to meet? What authors have you heard speak/met? Do you like following authors on social media?

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

I've read a lot of middle grade/YA this year.  Partly, because I've been trying to find books to give
'book talks' to my 7 year old.  She loves reading, but unlike me who could read all day every day, she has to be encouraged and persuaded into trying some books.  So because I know watching me is half the battle, I've been modeling reading some middle grade in front of her and discussing it.  I've read some books aloud to her.  I've shown her book lists and I've tried to find any book similar to Laura Ingalls Wilder as I can. 

Now, this book The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty has nothing to do with Laura Ingalls but I have convinced my kiddo to read it some day. And she would like that some day to be way sooner but for me to read it to her.  So I'll just be over here winning at my reading parenting life right now.

Lucy Callahan is a 12 year old math savant.  She was struck by lightning in 2nd grade and she got some stellar math skills.  She also picked up some OCD habits (number related of course).  She hasn't attending public school since she finished second grade.  She stays in her apartment that she shares with her grandma and uses her computer to connect with other math smart people around the world.  She's finished all her course work to be done with K-12 education but her grandma insists she attend at least one year of middle school and make one friend.

This is harder on Lucy than any math problem ever. 

I really really really liked this book.  It had some very authentic middle school moments.  It wasn't overly preachy.  It had relatable characters.  They had diversity in characters throughout the book and NO BIG DEALS WERE MADE.  One boy had two moms, one girl had divorced parents, one is an orphan, and they all have weird middle school quirks.

I highly recommend it for adults or your middle grade reader!

DescriptionLucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test — middle school!

Lucy's grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation?


A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty's smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different.

What was a middle school book you liked? Disliked? Favorite book in middle school?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

New Library Haul

I have a problem.  A library problem.  I keep going back and getting more books to add to my stack.  And then not finishing the stack.  It's a real problem here folks! I have the best of intentions and want to read these books.  But I get swayed by book club books, books with my kid, books for review, and you know the internet and chores and stuff. 

I won't lie, I don't hate the problem.  And it's probably way better than my Reeses Peanut Butter Cup problem. 


I was going through some library withdrawal since the last two books I read were 1) a review copy and 2) a kindle read so I stopped today when I was done working out and it was open.

I mean I stopped for my kid and got distracted a bit.

She is loving anything Little House related.  She's a few chapters in Little House on Boston Bay by Melissa Wiley so I got book number 2 since it was checked in.  She got started on the Maple Ridge series earlier this month when I asked the librarian for a suggestion because she has read almost all the books our library has about Little House related characters and I figured she needed a new series.  Logan Price is a young boy in the 1800s and she flies through these books as well.

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes was for myself.  She is the author of Ghost (which I LOVED and will not stop recommending) and the Louisiana Girl Trilogy that I read through this summer (Sugar, Ninth Ward, and Bayou Magic).

I'm about to start The Miscalculation of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty, which I already had at home from the library.

Do you suffer from a library addiction? Any book recommendations for my Little House lover?