Participating in: 

COYER Winter 2018 Edition (December 1st to March 1st) 

Dewey 24-Hour Read-a-thon (April 6th) 

Bout of Books Cycle 25 (May 13th-19th)




Last 2 Weeks of Winter COYER

The end of Winter COYER is coming up at the end of the month and to bring everyone across the finish line, there is one more read-a-thon - Pick a Format (ebook, print, or audiobook). No other restrictions other than sticking with your announced format. I went with print just so I had a reason (excuse) to go wild and borrow all the books from the library I had been holding off until the end of COYER. It's on now.



How to be a Craftivist: The Art of Gentle Protest - Sarah CorbettOnce Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA - Julia AlvarezHow Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child - Sandra Uwiringiyimana,Abigail PestaThe Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murd... - Carolyn MurnickLove, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir - Padma LakshmiElle and Coach - Mark Dagostino,Stefany ShaheenEast End Girl - Sally WorboyesHunger Makes Me a Modern Girl - Carrie BrownsteinHunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane GayGood and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's A... - Rebecca Traister Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture - Roxane Gay


Guess What??????

I've officially been admitted into the MLIS program at Drexel University! I start next month (all online)! 


*Of course, this guarantees that Adam gets order and we move this summer. Because I just started a long-term project and the military hates having spouses with outside interests >:/

Friday Reads - February 15, 2019

The Preacher's Promise - Piper Huguley What Lies Behind Us (The World War 2 Sisters Book 1) - Sierra Rose The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman

It's the middle of the month and my reading has slowed down due to real life. My daughter turned 6, we went to see Alien Ant Farm and P.O.D. at a free concert on base (thank you USO/Armed Forces Entertainment!), my husband put the paperwork in for his last re-enlistment (5 more years!), and Valentine's Day added into the normal week has me exhausted. 


I still have to finish last week's short book pick The Preacher's Promise and my short book for this week is What Lies Behind Us. I am still in chapter 3 of The Genius of Birds for my science reading - it's interesting content delivered via ASMIR (and I am reading the print version). So I hope to get something done by the end the holiday weekend (made longer by a no school day today), but I am not getting my hopes up too high.


I hope you had a good Valentine's Day and for my fellow Americans, have a good Presidents' Day weekend. My son turns 8 on Monday, so I am going back into birthday mode. May your reading be all 5 stars!



Friday Reads - February 8, 2019

The Preacher's Promise - Piper Huguley Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage - Edith B. Gelles The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman

I read Corvina: The Perfect Bride (Brides of Paradise Ranch #1) by Merry Farmer and Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder. I DNF'd Maisie Dobbs - I just couldn't find the energy to slog through Maisie's teen years.


My random short book this weekend is The Preacher's Promise (Home to Milford College #1) by Piper Huguley. Trying to finish The Genius of Birds and start Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage by the end of the weekend.


I've got my little one's birthday party on Sunday (we invited her entire class because I hate myself), birthday snack for her class on Tuesday (brownies, unfortunately not the fun ones), and taking her to a free concert on base Tuesday night (P.O.D. and Alien Ant Farm is touring Europe and the USO worked with the bands to play on the base on their off night). Little Miss Sassy Pants is turning 6!

Sale! Don't Know How Long It Will Last.

35069544 $1.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


33574165 $2.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble


I only know of these sales because my reading preferences on Amazon recommended me these books, so I verified (and purchased) on B&N NOOK store. Same price at both sites.

Friday Reads - February 1, 2019

Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman Corva: The Perfect Bride - Merry Farmer

This weekend my reading plans include more of Maisie Dobbs (I'm in the second part where it is all memory of her teenage years) and starting The Genius of Birds. Both are library books that I would like to read and hand back in by the end of next week. 


I have a list of 25 books that are less than 200 pages on my NOOK, so each Friday I am going to pick one and read it. This week RNG gave me a 10, which is Corvina by Merry Farmer (126 pages). 




The Making of the President 1972 - Theodore H. White

One of the books on my Nixon reading list. Found a sale on Bookbub. I bought the book in the NOOK store, but Amazon also has this price.

February 2019 TBR

Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage - Edith B. Gelles The Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Kama and His Nation - Susan  Williams The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars - Nathalia Holt 1968: The Year That Rocked the World - Mark Kurlansky Radio Girls - Sarah-Jane Stratford Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War - Jennifer Robson Master of Love - Catherine LaRoche The Trouble with Valentine's Day - Rachel Gibson, Kathleen Early, Blackstone Audio Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear

 Image result for snoopy february


From my physical non-fiction shelf -  Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith B. Gelles and Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Khama and his Nation by Susan Williams.


From my science reading list - The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman and Rise of the Rocket Girls by Natalia Holt. 


From my Nixon reading list - 1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky.


From my Winter COYER reading list - Radio Girls by Sarah Jane Stratford, Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson, and Master of Love by Catherine LaRoche.


From my physical fiction shelf - The Trouble with Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson.


Library pick - Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear.


Finally, I am doing an experiment. Every Friday, I am going to read a short book from either my NOOK or Kindle. I am using Random Number Generator to pick from a list. I will announce these picks on my Friday reads. 







January 2019 Reading Wrap Up

Image result for goodbye january


Goals Progress

BL/GR: 16/75 (21% complete)

Nixon Reading List: 1/12 (8% complete)

Science Reading List: 2/15 (12% complete); 1 read, 1 DNF

Physical Non-Fiction List: 1/18 (5% complete)



Winter COYER: 10 books

BoB Cycle 24: 1/4 (25%) books read, 4 challenges completed

24 in 48 Read-a-thon: Read for 12 hours, 23 minutes and completed 597 pages



1. A Dance with Danger (Rebels and Lovers #2; Tang Dynasty #5) by Jeannie Lin (COYER; last item for 24 Festive Task game) - 4.5 stars


2. The Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward (Nixon reading list) - 4 stars


3. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean (Flat Book Society book club pick) - 2.5 stars


4. Cheer Up, Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate by Susan Calman (COYER) - 3 stars


5. A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard - 5 stars


6. Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire by Malcolm E. Barker - 4 stars


7. The Rancher's Convenient Bride (Coal Valley Brides #1) by Rose Andrews (COYER) - 2 stars 


8. A Death on the Way to Portsmouth (Lady Ashes Mystery Short Story) by Christine Trent (COYER) - 3.5 stars


9. To Be a Spy (Spy Series Short Stories #1) by Jessie Clever (COYER) - 2 stars


10. The Schoolmarm's Surprising Suitor (Poppy Valley Romance #1) by Beverly Bernard (COYER) - 2 stars


11. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (COYER) - 1 star


12. For the Love of Laura Beth (Chicago Christmas #4) by Aubrey Wynne - 5 stars


13. The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1) by Jill Shalvis (COYER) - 4 stars


14. The Chef's Mail Order Bride (Wild West Frontier Brides #1) by Cindy Caldwell (COYER) - 3 stars


15. Poison in Paddington (Cassie Coburn Mystery #1) by Samantha Silver (COYER) - 4 stars




1. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel - the ladies in the subtitle got almost no page time, it was all the males and rich heiresses that funded the work. Very dry; no narrative hook or personality development of the ladies. My science reading list is not off to a great start.


2. The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins - a lot of words, nothing happens and after 25 pages I hadn't made it out of chapter one and couldn't care for any of the characters mentioned so far.


3. An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train #0.5) by Jody Hedlund - I knew by page five I was not going to like the author's writing or the characters. It was that instinct.

Poison in Paddington (Cassie Coburn Mysteries #1) by Samantha Silver

Poison in Paddington (A Cozy Mystery) (Cassie Coburn Mysteries Book 1) - Samantha Silver

Date Published: December 6, 2016

Format: E-book

Source: NOOK

Date Read: January 27, 2019

Winter COYER/24 in 48 Read-a-thon



After a car accident ended her medical career before it even started, Cassie moved to London on a whim, expecting to see the sights and live the typical tourist backpacker lifestyle.

Instead she finds herself accompanying a French private detective, Violet Despuis, as they attempt to find out who poisoned four people in the middle of London.

Cassie's life soon includes this crazy detective, an ancient landlady with a curious past, a mischievous orange cat who likes going for walks on a leash, and a super hot pathologist that Cassie is sure is out of her league.

And they haven't even found the murderer yet...



A fun cozy mystery that is partly inspired by Sherlock Holmes, although Cassie is more Dr. Watson than a knock off Holmes. And the beginnings of a relationship between Cassie and the ME worked really well for me. I love the dynamic between Cassie and Violet and how they work off each other or work together. Definitely adding this series to my read list!

Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire by Malcolm E. Barker

Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 Earthquake & Fire - Malcolm E. Barker

Date Published: June 15, 1998

Format: Trade Paperback

Source: Own Physical Non-Fiction Shelf

Date Read: January 13-25, 2019

Physical Non-Fiction Shelf Read Down



The 1906 earthquake shook San Francisco for sixty seconds and ignited fires that raged for three days, killing more than 3,000 people and destroying 500 city blocks. Dozens of first-hand accounts by people who endured the catastrophe. Stories of watching the quake approach and rip open the streets. Fighting the fire from inside the mint. Being trapped in the basement as City Hall collapsed.



Barker wrote a quick introduction to the book, then let the people of San Francisco during the time really tell the story. These stories are from a broad section of the population, from the mayor to the National Guardsmen (a relatively new development of the military) to the fireman and the opera singer Caruso. I learned a lot  - such as the cattle stampede and the saving of the Mint and Hotaling's whiskey. A good source of primary research for the historian and history buff alike.

Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate by Susan Calman

Cheer Up Love: Adventures in depression with the Crab of Hate - Susan Calman

Date Published: May 5, 2016

Format: E-book

Source: NOOK

Date Read: January 7-11, 2019

Winter COYER/ BoB 24



Susan Calman is a well known comedian and writer who has appeared on countless radio and television programs. Her solo stand up show, Susan Calman is Convicted, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and dealt with subjects like the death penalty, appearance and depression.

The reaction to the show she wrote about mental health was so positive that she wanted to expand on the show and write a more detailed account of surviving when you're the world's most negative person.

The Crab of Hate is the personification of Calman's depression and her version of the notorious Black Dog. A constant companion in her life, the Crab has provided her with the best, and very worst of times. This is a very personal memoir of how, after many years and with a lot of help and talking, she has embraced her dark side and realized that she can be the most joyous sad person you'll ever meet.



There were serious laugh out loud moments in this book, but mostly it was real talk about Calman's struggles with depression, with moments of such repetition that it was a bit of a slog to get through. Hence, this is the only book I read for BoB 24. She avoids the clichéd aspirational sayings and instead goes into the reasons for her to choose cognitive behavioral therapy over talking therapy, and how she navigates the chaotic outside world by controlling so much of what can be in her control. Her writing about her relationship with her wife were just a lesbian version of my relationship with my husband, I swear.  While I am glad I now know of Calman and will look forward to her comedy projects in the future, I don't think I will be reading anymore books from her.

The Chef's Mail Order Bride (Wild West Frontier Brides #1) by Cindy Caldwell

The Chef's Mail Order Bride: A Sweet Western Historical Romance (Wild West Frontier Brides Book 1) - Ashley Merrick, Kirsten Osbourne, Jeannine P. Pray Cindy Caldwell

Date Published: June 17, 2015

Format: E-book 

Source: NOOK

Date Read: January 27, 2019

Winter COYER/24 in 48 Read-a-thon



All Sadie had ever known, or ever wanted to know, was being a baker. She'd been raised to bake in her parents' bakery, and after their deaths, she had planned to carry on the family tradition. Devastated to find out she was losing her family's business, she needed something to do to support herself. When she received a letter from her twin sister's husband in Arizona Territory, suggesting she come out to be the bride of his best friend who was opening a restaurant, it seemed like the perfect solution to her problems.

Tripp had gone to the best culinary school in the country, and he knew exactly how to create the perfect meal. He spent hours and hours coming up with just the right menu for his restaurant, only to be told he couldn't get a loan for it unless he married. When his best friend came up with the solution of sending for his baker sister-in-law, it only made sense. Her ideas of the perfect menu were different than his, though. Would the two be able to stay together long enough to convince the bank he was a good risk? Would Sadie be able to convince Tripp that the two of them belonged together after all?



A few twists on the mail-order bride western romance that made the story very different from the fare found in this sub-subgenre. I really liked Sadie from the beginning, but Tripp took a lot longer to warm up to - the author really had the personality of chef nailed in the character of Tripp. I do want to read the next story in the series, which involved a dear friend of Tripp's and Sadie's BFF from Chicago, but I don't know if I want to read the whole series just yet. The writing was good, if a bit repetitive (the motives behind the marriage).

The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1.5) by Jill Shalvis

The Good Luck Sister - Jill Shalvis

Date Published: May 1, 2018

Format: E-book

Source: NOOK

Date Read: January 26-27, 2019

Winter COYER/24 in 48 Read-a-thon



This summer, romance blooms again in Wildstone!

After a difficult few years, Tilly Adams is ready for life to start going right. Though she has a case of first day nerves teaching art at the local community college, she knows it isn’t anything a few snuggles from her rescue puppy won’t cure. Until she sees Dylan Scott again, her one time bff and first love sitting in the front row.

Dylan knows he should’ve left well enough alone, but when he sees Tilly living her dream, he can’t help but make contact. Ten years ago, he left Wildstone and everything in it behind, including Tilly. He had his reasons, but now he wants her back in his life, anyway he can get her.

When Tilly agrees to design the logo for Dylan’s new helicopter touring company, it’s business only…until she finds herself falling into his arms once again. Can she possibly open her heart back up to the only man who’s ever broken it? But soon they’re both realizing the truth -- love always deserves a second chance.




A great read because I really liked the heroine, which is rare for me reading contemporary romance. Shalvis really worked the second chance trope with flashbacks to the past but also clearly showed when she moved to the present tense in each chapter. I loved the quotes from the heroine's diary. There was humor but it wasn't slap stick and the angst came from the flashbacks, making the story seem very balanced. I want to read the other books in the series. Highly recommend!

For the Love of Laura Beth (Chicago Christmas #4) by Aubrey Wynne

For the Love of Laura Beth - Aubrey Wynne

Date Published: December 7, 2018

Format: E-book

Source: NOOK

Date Read: January 26, 2019

Winter COYER/24 in 48 Read-a-thon



The Korean War destroyed their plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts…

Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she counts the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse.

The couple endures the hardship of separation, but the true battle begins when Joey returns home. Their marriage is tested almost beyond endurance as Laura struggles to accept the tragedy thrown in their path. Joey watches as the woman who has kept him anchored slowly crumbles. With the same steadfastness his wife has always shown him, he faces the invisible enemy with the heart of a soldier. He will fight anyone or anything…for the love of Laura Beth.



I loved this book even though it made me tear up. You follow the couple over several years, so no insta-lust. Also the conflicts are real - war, PTSD, death of family members, all via normal people. There was a great deal of give-and-take in the relationship between Joey and Laura Beth that made them feel like real people. Highly recommend!

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Elaine Hedges

Date Published:



Date Read:

Winter COYER/24 in 48 Read-a-thon



Based on the author’s own experiences, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the ‘rest cure’ prescribed after the birth of her child. Isolated in a crumbling colonial mansion, in a room with bars on the windows, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America’s leading feminist intellectual of the early twentieth century.



I guess I just didn't get it. I found Gilman's introduction much more interesting than the story. Yes, her husband gaslit the fuck out of the heroine, but her ramblings didn't really give me any understanding on what was going on. I am going to try Herland, but don't have high hopes of liking or even understanding it.

Currently reading

Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith B. Gelles
Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah
The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder by Carolyn Murnick
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman
Progress: 155/371pages
How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Abigail Pesta, Sandra Uwiringiyimana
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister
The Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Kama and His Nation by Susan Williams