Wednesday, March 15, 2023


So close to spring!!!! Counting down the days!!

Reading:   Final Girls by Riley Sager

Loving: the workouts I've been doing.  I am going on 3 plus months of working out consistently for the first time ever.  I've been doing a mixture of youtube videos and using my treadmill.  It's been going really well and I'm feeling stronger!

Feeling: excited.  We are going on a road trip in a couple weeks and I'm really excited!

Anticipating: a morning cup of coffee looking at the Atlantic Ocean and an evening drink looking out at the Atlantic Ocean. :)

Struggling: patience with the play with me play wiith me 24/7.

Grateful: that we get to go somewhere warm and that I get to turn 39 soon!

Working: on organizing what we need to pack for our road trip.

Listening: lots of podcasts!

Watching: Summer House

Wishing: that my donation bags would walk themselves to the trunk and deliver themselves to the donation location.

What are you reading/listening/watching?

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Campbell Sisters

The Campbell Sisters by Eileen Joyce Donovan is a story about a family of strong willed sisters making their way in 1950s NYC.  The oldest Helen, works at an orphanage and takes some ribbing for being the old spinster sister at the ripe age of 25.  The middle daughter, Carolyn, is feisty.  She does what she wants, when she wants, others be damned.  The youngest, Peggy, is working her way through med school.

 As was typical of the time, all three girls are sharing a bedroom in their parents crowded apartment.  Their parents are immigrants from Ireland who have strong views on how the girls should be acting. At times the parents talk to them like they are in high school or younger and I had the thought that pretty soon they were going to ground 20 - something year old women!

The book covers a very short time period where Helen meets a boxer and falls in love, Carolyn gets into many a jam, and Peggy proves that she can be a trusted mature sister. A love story of the time.

Description: Helen Campbell is the eldest and most practical of three sisters, daughters of hard-working Irish emigrants living in New York City in the 1950s. She does what she can to keep the wild-child middle sister, Carolyn, in line and support the youngest, Peggy, as she pursues her dreams of becoming a doctor. Then Helen meets Charlie.

While it’s love at first sight for those two, Carolyn’s antics threatens to derail all the sisters’ future happiness. However, through thick and thin, the three sisters strive to prevail, though not necessarily in the ways they thought they wanted.

About the Author: Eileen Joyce Donovan has been writing her entire life, in one way or another, whether it was imaginative stories for friends, or advertising copy for clients. At the persistent urging of her husband, she finally agreed to seriously edit and revise one of her stories and take the plunge. Years later, her persistence paid off and both her debut historical fiction, Promises, and her second novel, A Lady Newspaperman’s Dilemma, won prestigious awards. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and her essays have been included in various Chicken Soup for the Soul editions.

She lives in Manhattan, New York and is a member of Authors Guild, Women’s National Book Association, Women Fiction Writers Association, and The Historical Novel Society.

I was given a copy of this book for review from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

February Reads!

In one word the books I read in February along with how I feel about February is summed up with, "meh."

I love Jasmine Guillory's books but this one was my first dud -ish.  Not a fan of the retelling of beauty and the beast.  It pains me to say it but this is my least favorite by her.

The Sun Down Motel was pretty good.  It was hard to believe that people would keep working at a hotel where they obviously see ghosts and hear stuff but, hey beyond THAT, it was a good mystery trying to figure out what happened to a woman who disappeared many years earlier.

How to Excavate A Heart was a cute YA love story.  It would definitely hit if you are a bit nerdy and want to read about interning in a a Smithsonian museum.  

 The Mitford Affair was good for the content and learning about a family I hadn't known about before.  But the writing was hard to keep sisters apart because they almost all read like they had the same voice.

Plantation Shudders is a cute mystery set on a plantation in Louisiana.  It is the start of a series and I may or may not pick up more in the future.  

When we Believed in Mermaids was okay, but I think I'd rather have watched it as a Hallmark movie as opposed to reading it as a book.  The  back cover made it seem a little more intense than what it was.

A Tourists Guide to Murder is a continuation of a series I'm reading that is set in Western Michigan.

What did you read in February?

Friday, March 3, 2023

2022 Reading Stats

 My 2022 reading recap is a bit delayed.  Whoops.  The good news is that I am doing really well on two of my new years goals of working out and finishing up my classes to renew my teaching certificate and that is why I haven’t gotten this posted yet!

How many books read in 2022? – 85.  Which was 16 less than last year.  But at the last minute I finished my goal of 85! 

How many fiction and non-fiction? 80 fiction and 5 non-fiction with a couple memoirs involved.  

Male/Female author ratio? 50 women and 17  men.  Read a few repeaters.  My favorite author was J.L. Hyde, I read three of her books last year!

Which author was new to you in 2022 that you now want to read the entire works of?   Gilbert King.  I read Beneath a Ruthless Sun, and loved it. I want to read his others.  

Favorite book read in 2022?  Always a hard decision.  Looking back now three months into a new year the ones I still think about and recommend are: Summer of ‘99 by J.L. Hyde, The Winners by Fredrik Backman, The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn, Beneath a Ruthless Sun by Gilbert King, Book Lovers by Emily Henry, Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini, The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne, and It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey.


Least favorite? A Lesson Plan for Murder, You Should Have Known, Recovery Agent or Our Missing Hearts.


Any that you simply couldn’t finish? Just Mercy (want to finish it but it needed to go back to the library and I havent gotten back to it), Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder ( really trying to read this but it had to go back and who knows).  There might have been more but I cleared by goodreads shelf at the new year.  Whoops.

How many pages did you read? 27,012

How many books from the library? 72.  

How many books read did I purchase? Of the ones on this list I purchased 7.

How many were gifts? 3 and 1 from the library community read

How many borrowed from others? 0

How many were given to me for reviews?  1 

How many books read on kindle? None

Audiobook? 1 , I listened to The Dry , which was a “re-read”


Any re-reads? Yes, 1

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading? United States, Australia, Sweden, Mexico, England, Scotland, China, Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany, and Chile

What states did you go through the page in your year of reading? Minnesota, Georgia, California, New Jersey, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, Washington, North Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Indiana, Maine, Colorado, Vermont, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?  Razorblade Tears, The Mist, Middle School Matters, You Should Have Known


Which author did you read the most of? Aaron Stander 6

What was your best reading month? December, July, and August, I read 10

What was your worst reading month? June, I read 4

Top Five Reading Moments of 2022

  • Meeting J.L. Hyde at a book signing

  • Visiting Sleepy Dog Bookstore

  • Reading the Aaron Stander Series

  • Visiting several used bookstores

  • Finishing the Beartown series


2022 Reading Goals - Revisited

I am upping my number again….

  1. Read 85 books.  - Success! I read exactly 85.

2. Read 12 books on my shelves. - This was again a fail.  While technically I read some from my shelves they were all because they were gifted to me at 2021 Christmas to read for book club.  

3. Read a biography on a first lady.  - Yeah, forgot again.  I totally said I was going to put a reminder in my phone to remind myself to do this at the end of June and I did not.  But in general I did read more non-fiction.

2023 Goals

  1. Read 85 books.

  2. Read and/or clear 28 books from my living room bookshelf.

  3. Read more non-fiction.


 How many books did you read in 2022? Did you complete your 2022 reading goals? What are your goals for 2023?? What book do I NEED to read in 2023?