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TeaStitchRead

 Participating in:  

BookLikes-opoly (May 20th - August 10th)

COYER Summer Hunt (June 1st - August 31st)

24 in 48 Read-a-thon (July 20th-21st)

Dewey's Reverse 24-Hour Read-a-thon (August 22nd-3rd)

Bout of Books Cycle 26 (August 19th-25th)

 

 

 

Currently reading

All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 47/336 pages
A Talent for Trouble
Jen Turano
Progress: 91/264 pages

Essential Books Crowdsourced Extra 15+1

The Unleashing (Call Of Crows Book 1) - Shelly Laurenston The Donovan Legacy: Charmed & Enchanted - Nora Roberts Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale - Art Spiegelman, Fred Jordon Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi March (Book One) - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Robert Lewis Bad Blood: Secret and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup - John Carreyrou Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story - Kurt Eichenwald Polio: An American Story - David Oshinsky The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade - Ann Fessler

Romance

1. Call of Crows trilogy by Shelly Laurenston (The Undoing, The Undoing, The Unleashing) - paranormal that takes on modern women's rage and Norse mythology. It's messy and fun and cathartic.

 

2. The Donovan Legacy by Nora Roberts (Charmed, Enchanted, Captivated, Entranced) - there is paranormal romance and then there is ParaNora romances. I think this is where Roberts first started in the paranormal genre.

 

Graphic Novels

3. Saga series by Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples - the only sci-fi story I can stick with.

 

4. The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman - the story of the Holocaust as told by mice.

 

5. The Complete Persepolis - the coming of age of an Iranian girl as the US backed government fell and the Islamists took power. A story of an immigrant, even when she went back to living in Iran.

 

6. The March trilogy by Rep. John Lewis, Nate Powell, and John Robert Lewis - not just the story of the march on Washington, Lewis tells of the early days of the civil rights movement interspersed with the first inauguration of President Obama.

 

Non-Fiction - Corporations Are People and Sometimes People Are Corrupt

7. Bad Blood: Secret and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start-Up  by John Carreyrou - a train-wreck that you can't keep your eyes off. 

 

8. Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story by Kurt Eichenwald - the story of the rise and fall of Enron, written as a suspense novel. 

 

Non-Fiction - US Politics

9. All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward - the Watergate scandal. Back when US politicians put country before party...a simpler time.

 

10. Truth and Consequences: Special Comments on the Bush Administration's War on American Values by Keith Olbermann - the written version of the comments Olbermann made on his MSNBC show with a bit more context and fleshed out.

 

Non-Fiction - History

11. To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild - I think this is the definitive history of the Great War, ensuring even coverage of both the Axis and Allies side of the story and placing the war among the other events happening in the respective countries (such as the women's suffrage movement).

 

12. Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky - how science and vaccines conquered a disease that affected everyone - including a US president. Timely given the shit going on now.

 

13. The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Their Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler - just timely given the shit going on now.

 

Biography/Memoir

14. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - I think this would make a great companion to the memoir by James Yates which was on my original list.

 

Non-Fiction

15. AIDS in America by Susan Hunter - although in my lifetime AIDS went from a straight death sentence to a chronic if manageable disease, the rise of new cases in America and the policies of certain politicians (looking at you Pence!) means this is still a public health issue and needs to be addressed. A little dated as the book was published 2006, but addresses a lot of the root causes that continue today.

 

16. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy - a bonus pick because I couldn't leave it off a second time.

 

I could add a whole bunch more, but some of the titles have already been picked by other BL-ers (well done everyone! we have wonderful taste in books, lol).

 

 

 

TeaStitchRead's 25 Essentials - The Last Group

Rebellion - Nora Roberts With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole Unclaimed - Courtney Milan The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin Rebel - Beverly Jenkins Drifting to You: Cape Fear Shipworks - Kianna Alexander A Radiant Soul: A Sweet Way to His Heart Novella - Kianna Alexander The Lawyer's Luck: A Home to Milford College prequel novella - Piper Huguley, Piper Huguley The Swan: The Seventh Day: The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides, #7 - Piper Huguley

Romance (as per the RWA definition)

17. Rebellion by Nora Roberts - my first adult historical romance. TW for rape in the prologue. Enemies to lovers trope with a Scot heroine who is a badass and the half English/half Scot hero who is trying to bring Bonnie Prince Charles back to the throne and fights in the battle of Culloden. They move to America to start a new life and the start the MacGregors series. 

 

18. With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1) by Sarah Sundin. Hero and heroine fall in love via a pen-pal scheme while both serve in the North African campaign of WWII. Faith-based but not preachy. Heroine is half-Filipina, hero is the son of infamous murderer; great cast of side characters that are blended into the story very well.

 

19. Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole - an American historical romance set in the very early 1960s. Heroine is African-American, hero is Jewish and the son of a Holocaust survivor. The short story that follows the couple post Loving decision and into the thick of late 60s/early 70s rights movements and should be read with the original novella.

 

20. Unclaimed (The Turner series #2) by Courtney Milan - hero is making his name via his writings on male sexual purity in Victorian England, heroine is blackmailed into seducing him to discredit him. Angsty to the hilt, but I love this book out of all of Milan's historical romances.

 

21. The Dragon and the Pearl (The Tang Dynasty #2) by Jeannie Lin - again with the enemies to lovers with a hero and heroine who are not squeaky clean typical romance characters. The setting, the details, it is all so different and refreshing from the glut of historical romances. Some of the best sex scenes because of the sensuality of the writing and not the graphicness.

 

22. Beverly Jenkins - seriously, just anything by her. Ms. Bev does so much research and then seamlessly blends that real historical detail into a great romance. Just can't go wrong with a Jenkins historical romance. 

 

23. Drifting to You and A Radiant Soul by Kianna Alexander and The Lawyer's Luck (Home to Milford College #0.5) and The Swan: The Seventh Day (The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides #7) by Piper Huguley - I feel these authors in general and these books in particular need to be on anyone's essential romance list because they defy an ugly and false myth that constantly circulates around romance writers groups and bloggers - certain characters can't have a happy ending when their story is set in certain times - or to put it more bluntly, black woman can't have HEAs at any time in American history prior to 1955. Alexander and Huguley prove you most certainly can have your black heroine have a HEA in any historical setting if you approach your writing with sensitivity and knowledge of the era and area you set the story in. Basically, do your homework.

 

Fiction

24. True Colors by Kristin Hannah - story of three sisters and how they dealt with growing up without a mom and with an mentally/emotionally abusive man. The youngest sister marries a Native American man who is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and goes to jail and how the Innocence Project-like organization, along with his sister-in-law, got his name cleared and him back at home with the family. 

 

25. Naked in Death (In Death #1) by JD Robb - a futuristic-ish police procedural that is about to publish #49 in September and #50 in February 2020. It was originally slated as a trilogy and this is where it all started. The more recent ones have been hit or miss for me, but yet I keep coming back to spend time with the NYPSD gang because the specialness of this series comes via the relationships between the recurring characters and the main characters.

 

And that's my essential 25-ish books.

TeaStitchRead's 25 Essentials - 11 to 16

A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present - Howard Zinn A History of the American People - Paul  Johnson Through Women's Eyes: An American History with Documents - Ellen Carol DuBois, Lynn Dumenil Through Women's Eyes, Volume 1: To 1900: An American History with Documents - Ellen Carol DuBois, Lynn Dumenil The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine - Michael Lewis The Mercy of the Sky: The Story of a Tornado - Holly Bailey Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath - Ted Koppel

Non-Fiction American History

11. A People's History of the United States 1492 - Present by Howard Zinn - history is often written by the victors. This book helped me see all the others in history. 

 

12. A History of the American People by Paul Johnson - American history seen through the lens of someone not American. 

 

13. Through Women's Eyes: An American History with Documents Volume 1 and 2 edited by Ellen Carol DuBois and Lynn Dumenil. A more intersectional look at American history. Very academic but still quite readable.

 

Non-Fiction Disaster

14. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis - it was hard to pick one Lewis book because I am such a fan of his writing, but this was the first I read so on the list it goes. 

 

15. The Mercy of the Sky: The Story of a Tornado by Holly Bailey - the story of how the Moore, OK tornado happened and the aftermath. Heartbreaking but also the writing kept me turning pages quickly.

 

16. Lights Out: A Cyberattack, a Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath by Ted Koppel - a what if? premise that is a very realistic threat. Infrastructure matters.

TeaStitchRead's 25 Essentials - 6-10

Mississippi to Madrid: Memoir of a Black American in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade - James Yates Night - Marion Wiesel, Elie Wiesel How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child - Abigail Pesta, Sandra Uwiringiyimana The Complete Call the Midwife Stories: Collection 3 Books Set Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse, Farewell to the East End - Jennifer Worth Plenty of Time When We Get Home( Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War)[PLENTY OF TIME WHEN WE GET HOM][Hardcover] - KaylaWilliams

Biographies/Memoirs

6. Mississippi to Madrid: Memoir of a Black American in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade by James Yates - first book I read in my first history class in college. That semester the class (HISTORY 101 for History Majors) was spent learning all about the Spanish Civil War and this was what my professor started with as a bridge between American history and the conflict in Spain. Many POC who fought in the Lincoln Brigade would go on to serve in WWII and had more experience fighting Germany than their white counterparts because they had already seen the destruction the Nazis could do in war via Spain. Also a theme in the book is living life under Jim Crow and then going abroad to fight for another people's liberation. Can't recommend this one enough.

 

7. Night by Elie Wiesel - should be required reading for every high school freshman in the US. And every member of the US political realm.

 

8. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana - ditto the sentiments in number 7.

 

9. Call the Midwife series by Jennifer Worth - while I do love the show, the memoirs of a mid-wife/district nurse in the poorest area of London after the war is a must read, especially in light of how the NHS is being used as a pawn in the Brexit/PM race. The second book doesn't deal with pregnancy or childbirth but does deal with people who are otherwise invisible.

 

10. Plenty of Time When We Get Home (Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War) by Kayla Williams - Kayla and Brian were friends, meeting through different times while both served in Afghanistan. Brian was involved in roadside bombing but nobody could know the depths of his injuries until much later. Kayla and Brian eventually fell in love and got married, but dealing with their own and each other's PTSD and Brian's physical injuries were challenging. Kayla and Brian are now working in the VA, hoping to create change in culture and attitude as well as policies that hinder a veteran's progress. I follow Kayla on Twitter and she is just a great person to highlight how women veterans are faring in the VA and what we can all do to help.

TeaStitchRead's 25 Essentials - The First Five

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary Double Love - Francine Pascal The Fowlers of Sweet Valley - Francine Pascal, Kate William Kristy's Great Idea - Ann M. Martin Much Ado About Nothing - Paul Werstine, Barbara A. Mowat, William Shakespeare

To know me is to look at my bookshelves....

 

Juvenile Fiction

1. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary - the book that started it all. Read this in Kindergarten (the second time - I had to repeat this grade due to a move that included losing my school records). Re-reading this book a couple of years ago helped me gain patience when dealing with my kids because it reminded me that little people need understanding as much (or more so) than they can understand at the time. Ramona was NOT the chose one, she was not the popular or fashionable one, she was the rest of us and that was okay with her. 

 

Middle Grade/YA

2. Double Love (Sweet Valley High #1)/Secrets (Sweet Valley High #2)/Dear Sister (Sweet Valley High #6) created by Francine Pascal - I bought the first two books in the series the summer between first and second grade. My mom didn't notice that these books were rated for sixth grade (12 years) or older, she was just happy I was entertained by myself. The third book has the first "intimate" scene I have read (at age 8 - what would Ramona think?) and it has stayed with me long after I have read a ton of racier stuff - the scene where Bruce Patman gets to second base with Elizabeth Wakefield is by now the stuff of SV legend. I ended up reading any book in the series I could get at the school and public libraries and then moved on to the first eight books of Sweet Valley University by the time I hit 13 years old. 

 

And because everything is new again, I now listen to two podcasts that go book by book through the series and we (podcast hosts and listeners alike) think - WHY DID I READ THIS STUFF? So much toxic masculinity....

 

3. The Fowlers of Sweet Valley (Sweet Valley Historical Sagas #3) created by Francine Pascal - this book is special to me because it was my first historical romance book and it told the story of events in French history from the French point of view without adding in American or British biases into it. This is where I learned about French resistance during the World Wars - not my history books/class. I became a bit of Francophile in my teens and ended up taking five years of French (8th - 12th grades) because of this book. 

 

4. Kristy's Big Idea (The Babysitter's Club #1) by Ann M. Martin - this book started the series that was 180 degrees from Sweet Valley and the idealized California life in the 1980s. Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, Dawn, Jessie, Mallory and the others were much more relatable to a kid growing up in NJ and PA. And surprising for kid lit in the 1980s, really diverse - disability/medical conditions (Stacey has diabetes), Asian-American family (Claudia and her family, including her grandmother who was in the internment camps of the 1940s) are just two examples of how Martin gave real girls a voice within the series.

 

Classics

5. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare - for me this is the story of Benedick and Beatrice and the rest of the cast is just there to witness their awesome banter and saving Hero. This is the play that made me realize I really love the enemies-to-lovers trope.   

Dewey Reverse 24-Hour Read-a-thon

 

 

 

Sign ups are now live. This is a reverse read-a-thon, meaning that it starts at night (rather than morning/noon) on a Friday and runs through the day on Saturday. I enjoyed this last year and I signed up for this year. This year's dates are Friday, August 2, 2019 at 8pm to Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 8pm EST. August 2nd is my 40th birthday, so I can't think of a better way to end the day than participating in a read-a-thon and hanging out with other readers. 

Summer 24in48 Read-a-thon

Sign ups are now live for the summer edition of 24 in 48 Read-a-thon. Click on the link in the post title and fill out the form. It starts on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 12:01am to Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 11:59pm EST. And new for this year, there is a limited edition of merchandise that is specific to the summer read-a-thon.

 

I have signed up and will be living in the States by the time of the read-a-thon, which should move my reading and updates closer to the read-a-thon hours and posts.

  

TeaStitchRead's Booklikes-opoly Tracking Post - Roll #9

A Talent for Trouble - Jen Turano

Tuesday, June 11th - Roll #9

1. DNF at a little over 17% (page 61) Hearts of Gold. Trigger Warning for violence and violence against women (on the page and a bit graphic). 80s romance didn't catch or keep my attention - I ended up cross stitching and binge watching season 11 of Big Bang Theory and season 3 of The Good Place rather than read the book.

2. Current Bank Value: $48.00

3. Roll #9

You rolled 2 dice:

1 5

Timestamp: 2019-06-11 16:13:35 UTC

4. Space 34 - When? Time Travel, Historical Fiction, or has When? in the title. I chose A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction #3) by Jen Turano (historical romance). I really enjoy the series thus far and can count on the author to give me a great and fast read. 264 pages = $3.00 book value

read more »
Reblogging again so I can find it without scrolling endlessly, especially with BL being slow.

The Monopoly Board - in plain text

Reblogged from TeaStitchRead:
For my (most likely repeatable) reference

Peregrinations asked for a version of the board spaces in plain text. I posted it in the Bingo group in the Rules thread, but thought I'd do it here as well, in case it would be helpful to anyone.

 

GO SQUARE

 

1. There is quite literally nothing quite like the feeling of closing the empty locker for the last time with 90 days of freedom stretching into the future.

Read a book that appears on any school related "summer reading list," or that is identified as YA or Middle Grade.

 

2. Who?

Read a mystery or detective story or a book with the word "who" in the title.

 

3. However, by the end of the summer, I was usually bored out of my mind, and ready to go back to school (and I'm sure my mom was ready to send me back to school, too).

Read a book set in a school or college, or that is considered a "classic," (using any criteria that you want) or that is frequently banned.

 

4. One of the highlights of starting a new school year was going shopping for school clothes or supplies

Read a book that was published during the months of May, June or July, or that contains an item that would be used as a school supply or an article of clothing or an accessory pictured on the cover.

 

5. The Silk Road:

Read a book set in any of the 40 countries* along with the Silk Road, or by an author from any of those countries.

*UNESCO list

 

6. The summer vacation is fun, but if leaving town is just too expensive, the stay-cation can be fun, too.

Read a book set in your home town, state, or country or that you checked out of your local library or that has been on your (physical) bookshelves since last summer.

 

7. Most places have a lot of different opportunities for summer fun!

Read a book that has a house on the cover, or that is related to something unique about your community (for example, if your community has a strawberry festival, read a book with strawberries on the cover).

 

8. Race car: Roll again & hold card to play later; race around the game board to the space of your choosing.

 

9. And, let's be honest, just not being at work is a vacation in and of itself, and is an opportunity to see some of local amenities, or read & relax!

Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library, or a park, or that the authors name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.

 

JAIL SQUARE

 

10. There's nothing like a trip to the beach to start the summer off, and, for readers, half the fun is picking the beach read!

Read a book that appears on any beach reads list or a book whose author's first or last name begins with any letter in B-E-A-C-H.

 

11. There are gorgeous beaches all over the world. My personal favorite beach is in Pacific City, Oregon.

Read a book set in a coastal/beach region that you love, or would love to visit, or a book that has a beach or ocean on the cover.

 

12. Robot: Roll again & hold card to play later; create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you.

 

13. It's important to get all of your proper accoutrements together for a day at the beach.

Read a book with sunglasses, swimsuit or other beachy items on the cover, or that has a cover that is more than 50% yellow.

 

14. The Patagonia Star: Read a book set in Central or South America, or by an author from any country in Central or South America.

 

15. My husband, Mr. MR, is a big fan of the mountain vacation.

Read a book with a tree (or trees) on the cover, or that is set in a mountain community.

 

16. For some reason, I associate mountain/forest locations with mystery/suspense books. I think it's all of that deep shade!

Read a book that is a mystery or suspense, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.

 

17. Why?

Read a book that is non-fiction or a book with the word "why" in the title.

 

18. I grew up hiking in the Rocky mountains of Colorado and skiing in the mountains of Idaho and Utah, so mountains are inextricably linked to the Western US in my mind (although many places have even bigger and more impressive mountain ranges).

Read a book that is set in the Western United States (west of the Mississippi) or that was written by an author who comes from that region, or that is in the Western genre.

 

FREE PARKING

 

19. Spending some lazy days at the lake house sounds like a wonderful summer vacation!

Read a book with a cover that is more than 50% blue, or by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.

 

20.My dog, Jack, is a golden retriever, and he loves the water, which means he loves spending time at lakes.

Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.

 

21. The cat: Be the cat. Read whatever the hell you want.

 

22. My mom grew up going to Minnesota, Land of a Thousand Lakes, for her summer vacations.

Read a book with a word that refers to women's roles, such as wife, daughter, mother, mistress or title, such as "Mrs., Miss or Duchess, in the title, or a book that has a strong female lead character.

 

23. The Cape-to-Cairo Railway

Read a book set on the continent of Africa, or by an author from any African country.

 

24. BL square.

 

25. I look forward to the summer blockbuster movie releases every year!

Read a book that has been adapted for a film.

 

26. How?

Read a book that is science fiction or a book with the word "how" in the title.

 

27. In the summer of 1977, my brother and I went to the summer blockbuster that launched four decades of sequels - Star Wars - on a summer road trip.

Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a bildungsroman (coming of age tale) or that has a word related to space in the title, such as star, planet, rocket)

 

GO TO JAIL

 

28. From Grease to The Summer I Turned Pretty, the summer romance is a staple of screen and page (and the dreams of teenagers everywhere)

Read a book that is identified as romance or chick-lit, or that has a cover that is more than 50% pink.

 

29. Scottie dog: Post a list or poll of 4 books, and ask your fellow players/followers to "fetch" you a book.

 

30. Romance novels have the prettiest covers, featuring beautiful people, and places, and, often delicious food.

Read a book with fruit or pastries on the cover, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in L-O-V-E.

 

31. BL square

 

32. The Nordic Express

Read a book set in one of the Nordic* countries, or by an author from any of those countries.

*Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

 

33. The summer after I graduated from high school, A group of my friends and I took a European Tour, and London was one of our favorite stops.

Read a book set in the UK, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-O-N-D-O-N.

 

34. When?

Read a book that is time travel or historical fiction, or a book with the word "when" in the title.

 

35. We took the Ferry to France, crossing the English Channel.

Read a book set in Europe, or that was written by an author who was born in a Europe, or that involves travel by boat or that has a picture of a ship on the cover.

 

36. While we were in Europe, we visited Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Geneva, Rome, Florence, Venice and Barcelona

Read a book that involves travel to Europe, or that has an image of any European city or monument on the cover, or that the letters of the title can spell the name of any European country that I visited on my trip.

 

June 2019 TBR

Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon & Spiro Agnew - Jules Witcover Maid to Match - Deeanne Gist A Talent for Trouble - Jen Turano All I Am (A Farmers' Market Story) - Nicole Helm A Gentleman For All Seasons - Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Kate Noble, Theresa Romain

My list is short because most of my reading will be for BL-opoly. Summer COYER has no restrictions unless it is reading for the read-a-thons or the treasure hunt. I will be doing one COYER read-a-thon this month as well as setting aside time to read a book off the Nixon list I have. 

 

Nixon Reading List pick this month is Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew by Jules Witcover. 

 

Deserted Island Read-a-thon (June 9-22, 2019) list: Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist, A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction #3) by Jen Turano, All I Am (Farmer's Market #3) by Nicole Helm, and A Gentleman For All Seasons by Various Authors.

 

Currently working on The Dancing Lady: The Ninth Lady (The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides #9) by Mimi Milan for BL-opoly.

May 2019 Reading Wrap Up

We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal At a Time - Richard Wolffe, José Andrés Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine - Damon Tweedy The Fifth Risk - Michael Lewis Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated - Alison Arngrim On Distant Shores - Sarah Sundin A Change of Fortune - Jen Turano Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection - Kate Beaton

The end of Snakes and Ladders and BoB helped me push past my usual number of books read. COYER Summer starts tomorrow and BL-opoly is off to a good start, so I am looking at upping my BL/GR goal. I really need to write reviews at least once a week instead of writing all the reviews at the end of the month.

 

Goals:

BL/GR: 61/75 (80% completed)

Nixon Reading List: DNF the book this month

 

Challenges:

BoB Cycle 25 - 4 books finished and 3 IG photos

Snakes and Ladders - Finished

BL-opoly: earned $14.00

 

May Reading List

 

1. We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time by Jose Andres and Richard Wolffe - 5 stars

 

2. Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery #1) by Laura Durham - 3 stars

 

3. Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine by Dr. Damon Tweedy - 5 stars

 

4. The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis - 4.5 stars

 

5. Are You There Coffee? It's Me, Mom by Kianna Alexander - 3 stars

 

6. Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Olsen and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim - 5 stars

 

7. Bitch Planet, Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine de Landro - 2.5 stars

 

8. Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine de Landro - 2.5 stars

 

9. Bombshells: United, Volume 1: American Soil by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage - 2 stars

 

10. Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton - 4 stars

 

11. American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson - 3.5 stars

 

12. The Making of the President 1972 by Theodore White - DNF

 

13. A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction #1) by Jen Turano - 4 stars

 

14. On Distant Shores (Wings of the Nightingale #2) by Sarah Sundin - 5 stars

 

15. Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey #1) by T.J. Brown - DNF

 

16. Gentleman of Her Dreams (Ladies of Distinction #0.5) by Jen Turano - 2 stars

 

17. Then Came You (Bradford Sisters #0.5) by Becky Wade - 0 stars

 

Stats

Non-Fiction: 6 (5 read, 1 attempted)

Fiction: 11 (10 read, 1 attempted)

 

Print: 7

Ebook: 9

Audio: 1

 

Male Authors: 5

Female Authors: 12

 

AoC/LGBT: 3 (all AoCs)

 

 

Then Came You (Bradford Sisters #0.5) by Becky Wade

Then Came You: A Bradford Sisters Novella - Becky Wade

Date Published: March 7, 2017

Format: Kindle

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: May 29, 2019

Read for BL-opoly 2019

 

Blurb

A leather-bound journal. A single father. A woman in pursuit of freedom.

Garner Bradford, heir to the troubled Bradford Shipping empire, doesn't know much about babies. But he's going to have to learn fast because he's just become a single father to his newborn daughter. As he confesses through his journal entries, he's not entirely sure how to keep a newborn alive, whether or not he'll ever patch together his shattered heart, or how to forgive himself for his mistakes.

Career girl Kathleen Burke is wholly uninterested in settling down. She has big dreams, and none of them include Garner and his small hometown in Washington State. Yet she can't seem to get her handsome boss out of her head or her heart. There's something extraordinarily tempting about his beautifully sad green eyes. . . .

Told through journal entries, phone conversations, and letters, Then Came You
is a unique, heart-stirring romance novella by acclaimed author Becky Wade.

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Review

 

There will be a lot of cursing and trigger warnings and just a complete rant against this shit-show of a novella. So naturally, spoilers - which will be hidden under the page break. Also, really long.

 

Trigger Warnings: rape

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A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction #1) by Jen Turano

A Change of Fortune - Jen Turano

Date Published: November 1, 2012

Format: NOOK Ebook

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: May 24-26, 2019

Read for BL-opoly 2019

 

Blurb

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiancé, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society—all the female ones, at least—are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.

Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton's path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza's determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone's antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence.

When all of Hamilton's and Eliza's best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

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Review

 

A fun, light-hearted historical romance. I enjoyed reading about Eliza and Hamilton as both individuals and as a couple. Their respective friends and family added to the story without taking over the story and were naturally added into the plotline. The plot moppets were a little much, but were used sparingly. Looking forward to reading more from this series.

Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine by Dr. Damon Tweedy

Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine - Damon Tweedy

Date Published: September 8, 2015

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: May 7-9, 2019

 

Blurb

One doctor's passionate and profound memoir of his experience grappling with race, bias, and the unique health problems of black Americans

When Damon Tweedy begins medical school, he envisions a bright future where his segregated, working-class background will become largely irrelevant. Instead, he finds that he has joined a new world where race is front and center. The recipient of a scholarship designed to increase black student enrollment, Tweedy soon meets a professor who bluntly questions whether he belongs in medical school, a moment that crystallizes the challenges he will face throughout his career. Making matters worse, in lecture after lecture the common refrain for numerous diseases resounds, "More common in blacks than in whites."

Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of many health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy is himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care.

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Review

 

A great book to introduced the intersectionality between identity and medicine. There is much information about taking care of yourself based on an idealized person (race, gender, socio-economic status, etc) that the government and private practice doctors often push without coming to terms with the access and ability of their non-idealized patients to put that information into action. Dr. Tweedy has a very conversational tone in his writing, making the book hard to put down. He has given me a new perspective on the health information bandied around. 

Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery #1) by Laura Durham

Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery Book 1) - Laura Durham, Laura Durham

Date Published: January 25, 2005

Format: NOOK Ebook

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: May 2-6, 2019

 

Blurb

The murder of a particularly difficult mother-of-the-bride has cast a pall on wedding planner Annabelle Archer's latest triumph -- and suspicion falls heavily on her sometime-business partner and friend Richard Gerard. Annabelle knows that even her trusted wedding emergency kit won't be able to salvage their careers if she and Richard can't find the real culprit.

It's no easy task since the slain matron was perhaps the most hated socialite in D.C., but Annabelle navigates through the city's colorful wedding industry and powerful social scene on the deadly trail of a killer. Always the bridal consultant and never the bride, she's seen her fair share of bouquet tosses. But there's no telling what surprises a ruthless killer will throw her way if she gets too close.

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Review

 

A decent start to a new to me cozy mystery series. I liked Annabelle and Richard the most, Annabelle's neighbor just needs to stop match-making already, and Kate just got on my nerves. I hate characters that get adages mixed up and someone has to constantly correct them (see Lt Eve Dallas, Kate here) - I think the authors think that it is an easy way to inject some humor, but it is just lazy and annoying. Also Kate's less than awesome driving skills sounds harmful, not funny. I could take or leave the detective as both an investigator and as a love interest. More Richard though, please.

 

As for the mystery, I guessed that the first husband was the killer - so I was very wrong but also surprised in a good way that I was wrong. It was the mystery and the friendship between Annabelle and Richard that kept me reading. I will be reading more from this series in the future.

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

The Fifth Risk - Michael Lewis

Date Published: October 2, 2018

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: May 9-10, 2019

 

Blurb

What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

 

Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.

Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.

If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.

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Review

 

Another great reading time spent with Michael Lewis. This is a compilation of his work for Vanity Fair at the beginning of the Trump administration. But it goes beyond the incompetency and willful ignorance of the Trump administration - the American people really don't know how governmental agencies work (example #1 - Rick Perry and the DoE). So Lewis did a deep dive into just how the work of three Departments (Energy, Agriculture, and NOAA/NOW) affect the day-to-day life of Americans. The fifth risk comes from "program management" - or lack thereof. Turns out, program management is a huge deal and can have consequences that last a generation or more; unfortunately it is not as scary as disease outbreak or sexy as DoD launching rockets at random countries. This should be required reading for any high school or college civics class. Highly recommend.