Sunday, January 17, 2021

Life with Leukemia (and Some Reading) - January 17

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

This week has been okay.  Will was feeling really good for most of the week but unfortunately the chemo/med combo he got Wednesday is one that he struggles with and he's not been feeling so hot the last few days.  Luckily, the main thing he has trouble with is the steroid and that's only a 5 day burst so we will be done with that soon.  I'm not sure who is counting down more - us or him.  He did have a Zoom class with the group of kids he had classes with in the pre-Covid days so that was good.  I got hit with a migraine at the end of the week and have felt really drained since.  We haven't done much this weekend so hopefully we will all recharge a bit.  


Mrs. Jeffries Demands Justice by Emily Brightwell and The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Listening:  Bells, Spells, and Murder by Carol J Perry

Watching: I've been binging the Smithsonian channel lately.  There's a show that has an American who has married into the British Aristocracy touring impressive homes and it's very peaceful and pretty.

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Body in the Library - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Rating:  Really Liked It!
Source:  Purchased

Description:  It’s seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library. She is wearing evening dress and heavy make-up, which is now smeared across her cheeks.

But who is she? How did she get there? And what is the connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are later discovered in an abandoned quarry?

The respectable Bantrys invite Miss Marple to solve the mystery… before tongues start to wag.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm reading through the Miss Marple books and this was the next one.

My Impression:  Looking at my Goodreads account apparently I read this last time in 2012 and I gave it an underwhelming 3 stars.  I don't know what I was thinking at the time but I absolutely loved this book when I picked it up this time.  Sometimes I have a vague memory of the premise when I pick up a Christie mystery to reread but the end is just as much a surprise to me as it was the first time.  This is one that really stuck with me as soon as I picked it up I remembered all the whos and whys of the mystery.  That didn't detract from my enjoyment one bit and even knowing just what was going to happen I was still a bit on the edge of my seat as I waited for Miss Marple to reveal all she knew.  

Sir Henry Clithering and Mr. and Mrs. Bantry are back from the previous book and it was a joy to see them working together and with the rather unimaginative Inspector Slack to solve a very puzzling mystery.  I especially loved the scene between Miss Marple and Miss Diana Lee as well as a scene between Miss Marple and Mrs. Bantry that reveals just how well Mrs. Bantry knows her husband and how protective she is of him.  It was really sweet.  

This mystery is a twisty one and with lots of questions and no answers until Miss Marple is able to see through all the deceit for a thoroughly satisfying solution.  I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed Miss Marple stories and the past three books have just been an absolute delight to read.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I can't wait for the next book in the Miss Marple series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  While I love Poirot Miss Marple just might be my favorite Christie detective.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Fives - Five Nonfiction Books I Hope to Read in 2021

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. One of my resolutions for 2021 is to read at least 5 nonfiction books and here are 5 at the top of my list.

1. The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden by William Alexander - This is another used bookstore find that I know nothing about but the title makes me laugh so I'd like to finally give it a try.

2.  The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home by Denise Kiernan - We went to the Biltmore years ago and I found the house absolutely fascinating though it was hard to imagine people actually living there.  I'd love to know more about it.

3.  Missing!: Mysterious Cases of People Gone Missing Through the Century by Brenda Z. Guiberson - I'm fascinated by missing persons cases and this one of sounds fun.  It's a Middle Grade which might make this a good read aloud.

4.  The House at Royal Oak by Carol Eron Rizzoli - This is a used bookstore find that has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now.  I know nothing about it other then it's about fixing up an old house so I think it's time to read it.

5.  The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - I have read 2 books from Larson and one I absolutely adored and the other I was kind of meh on so this one will be the tie breaker.

Is there any nonfiction books on your TBR for 2021?

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Books from the Backlog - Silent Auction


Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Goodreads:  Silent Auction by Jane K. Cleland

Blurb:  The autumn foliage is in full fiery glory on a beautiful day in the little coastal town of Rocky Point, New Hampshire. Josie Prescott arrives at the town’s renovated lighthouse to conduct an antiques appraisal and is horrified to discover the bludgeoned body of her neighbor Zoë’s beloved nephew, Frankie. The owners of the lighthouse are avid antiques collectors, and Josie soon begins to suspect that a scrimshaw tooth from their collection may be the key to solving the crime that has shaken Rocky Point, and broken her dear friend’s heart.

Why It Needs To Come Off My Shelf:  I love antiques and antique shopping but haven't had much opportunity to go in 2020 but I do enjoy this series so a little virtual shopping and murder solving sounds fun right now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Shadow Sister - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3) by Lucinda Riley

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source:  Purchased (Audible)

Description:  Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life...

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I have really enjoyed the previous two books in this series and want to continue with them.

My Impression:  I wasn't quite sure what I would think of this one.  I loved Ally's story and out of all of the sisters Star's personality seemed the weakest so I wasn't quite sure if she would be able to hold up her story the way Ally had dealt with hers.  However, there was no need to be disappointed.  I absolutely loved this one.

It's very true that at the beginning and for a lot of the book Star is very unsure of herself.  She's a very quiet person who is used to being overshadowed by her sisters and also tends to be a bit of a pleaser - always following other people's leads.  I think her hesitation and second guessing were very realistic to her story.  Flora is a bit of a stronger character.  For most of her life she knows what she wants but is also driven by love and loyalty to family.  She's tough and resilient without becoming too prickly and I found her story as fascinating and compelling as Star's.

I really enjoyed watching both women's stories develop and come together.  I really liked how much closure there is to Star's which I felt was lacking a little in the first book.  The story discusses an interesting part of history as well as the trouble with figuring out what you really want to do in life. I loved seeing all the side characters in Star's world come to life and enjoyed learning more about the real life historical characters that people Flora's world.  I did have some reservations about the romance element but did feel it was handled well.

This is such an entertaining series and such a wonderful way to have these books connected but explore so many different worlds and cultures.  I do recommend the audio as I have listened to both this book and the previous book and they were wonderfully done.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm a little nervous as Cece isn't the most likable character but I trust Riley to make her sympathetic.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical fiction and multiple POVs this is a great series.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - My 2021 Bookish Resolutions

Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is about My Bookish Resolutions for 2021.  I'm sticking with bookish resolutions because honestly I'm not making any personal resolutions this year.

1.  Read 156 Books - I read 172 in 2020 but it was a pretty good reading year so I'm lowering the bar a bit.

2.  Catch up or finish 10 series - There are so many books I'm only missing one or two books on and I hope to get those finished up this year.

3.  Read 20 books off my shelf - I own so many books and in 2020 books I bought books like it was my full time job so that didn't really help.  I'm hoping to read a ton more then 20 but I'm also trying to keep expectations reasonable.

4.  Read 5 Nonfiction Books - I love nonfiction but it's probably my most neglected genre.  I'm hoping to get at least a little in this year.

5.  Track the location of the fiction books I read - Last year my goal was to read books set in as many states as I could.  It was really fun but it did tend to dictate more what I was reading then I really wanted.  I do really love seeing where I "visit" through books so I do want to track even if I don't have a specific goal.

6.  End the year with less then 5 overdue review books that were published in 2021 - I have a tendency to go crazy on NetGalley and end up with way more books then I could possibly read.  I did better in 2020 but still ended the year with 8 2020 books that I have still not reviewed.  I'd like to get that down to less then 5 2021 review books at the end of the year.  

7.  Finish the Miss Marple books - I finished up the Poirot books in 2020 and read the first 2 Miss Marple books.  I'm planning to finish the Miss Marple books by the end of the year.

8.  Finish the Miss Silver books - The Miss Silver series by Patricia Wentworth has been a favorite series for years and years but somehow I've never read them all in order.  I started this in the last quarter of 2020 and want to finish in 2021.

9.  Read the books on my Classic Mystery list - I was loving classic mysteries in 2020 so I made a list and decided to continue diving into my definition of classic mysteries for 2021.

10.  Read 5 Books from the Backlog Books - Carole over at Carole's Random Life in Books has a fun meme every Thursday where we dust off a book that's been hiding on the back of our shelves and remind ourselves just why we need to read it.  My goal is to actually read some of the books I dust off!

What are your bookish resolutions for 2021?

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Last Garden in England - Historical Fiction Review

Goodreads: The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source: Publisher

Description:  Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.

Genre: Fiction - Historical 

Why I Picked This Book:  So many reasons!  The cover is gorgeous, I love multiple timeline books, but mostly because my friend Tina over at Turn the Page recommended it.

My Impression:  Well this was just lovely.  Very rarely in a multiple POV book do I enjoy all the different POVs and find them all equally compelling but that was definitely the case in this book.  I might have looked forward to Emma's story just a little bit more but that's because she is putting the pieces of the past together and that's one of my very favorite things.  

All of the women featured are sympathetic and easy to connect with even if I didn't always like them or agree with their decisions.  Each woman's perspective was completely different and very well developed.  I especially enjoyed Beth's life as a Land Girl and Diana adjusting to her home being requisitioned and her life completely changing in an instant as well as Stella's below stairs perspective.  

I loved watching how everything unfolded and even though I'm not a gardener I enjoyed all the talk of flowers and garden architecture.  I would love to walk in Venetia's garden and explore all the different room.

This was my first Kindle read of 2021 and I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.  The only thing that kept it from being a 5 star read for me is that I really wanted just a little bit more of Beth and Diana's story (especially Beth) - something just felt a little unfinished there.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely! I have at least one other book by Julia Kelly on my TBR and I think this book just moved it higher up the list.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical fiction especially one with a varied cast this is a must read.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Life With Leukemia and Some Reading - January 10

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

Off the Blog: 

So on non-Leukemia news my step-daughter and her husband both have Covid.  His case looks like it's really mild and while she isn't feeling quite as well she's more in bronchitis/sinus infection level not feeling well.  What's really scary is their almost 1 year old started running a fever today.  Their pediatrician says his longs sound really clear and his oxygen levels are good so hopefully it's super mild or something teething related.  What's frustrating for them (and us) is that they've been so careful but her husband came into contact with one person who was not so careful and picked it up from that person.  It just takes one exposure.  

We have been extra isolating this week as Will's counts were really really low at his clinic appointment.  This in some ways is a good thing because it shows that he is extremely responsive to chemo which hopefully will mean less chemo all together but the bad thing is that this means his immune system is nonexistent.  We had planned for a masked outdoor visit with a few different family members for his birthday but that's been put on hold until at least next weekend.  I spoke with his new oncologist at clinic and she was great and definitely took the time to answer questions.  On an even better note Will has been feeling really good and is very much to being his old self which has been wonderful.  We've been having a good time playing video games and watching shows together and just overall enjoying that he's feeling good.  This journey has a lot of ups and downs but so far it's make us really appreciate the ups. Now if only I could get caught up on sleep.  I'm past exhausted right now and really want to get feeling better before we have to go back to Memphis in a few weeks.


Reading:  Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly and The Crying Child by Barbara Michael

Listening:  I'm almost done with The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

Watching:  We finished the latest season of The Great British Bake-Off and thoroughly enjoyed it.  We were very pleased with the winner.  

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Miss Silver Deals with Death - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads: Miss Silver Deals with Death (Miss Silver #6) by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source: Purchased

Description:  Miss Silver, the retired governess turned private eye, turns her investigative skills to a case of brutal murder. Meade Underwood's fiance is the man suspected of murdering the scheming Carola Roland, a figure from his murky past.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I am reading the Miss Silver books in order for the first time and this was what was next in line.

My Impression:  This is probably my favorite book so far of the series!  Miss Silver is a little more Miss Silver-y and Frank Abbott finally appears on the scene.  They are possibly my favorite combination so it was a delight to see them appearing for the first time.  The mystery is a bit intriguing.  Meade Underwood's fiance was believed to have died in a shipwreck but things aren't always as they seem and things are complicated quite a bit by the scheming of Carola Roland.  There's all kinds of sinister things happening in an innocent looking house and luckily Miss Silver gets called in to figure it all out.
This was just a delight to read.  I loved getting to know the residents of each of the apartments and trying to figure out what was going on.  Meade had a tendency to go very pale which is not that uncommon for Wentworth heroines but she did have some common sense and a good brain.  The mystery is a good one though it does turn a bit on a coincidence which is the only thing that bumped this down from a 5 star read to a 4 star read.  

That said if you enjoy Miss Marple at her sharpest this is a mystery not to be missed.  While this is technically the 6th in the series there is no need to read them in order as the only link is Miss Silver who is a private detective and has no connection to the characters.  I think this is probably the strongest Miss Silver book yet and would be a great place to start.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm already looking forward to book #7

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy Miss Marple books or really Agatha Christie in general this is a don't miss read.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Friday Fives - January TBR


I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  Since it is the first Friday of January (well actually the 2nd but last Friday was the first so that doesn't count because it was all about first books) I'm looking at my January TBR.

1.  Mrs. Jeffries Demands Justice by Emily Brightwell - This series has become one I really look forward to every year and I can't wait to spend some more time with Mrs. Jeffries and the rest of the crew.

2.  The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie - I'm trying to get through all the Miss Marple books this year and this one is up next.  Plus, it's a favorite!

3.  Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly - This is an overdue review book from 2020 and it looks like a fun one so I'm hoping to get it read this month.

4.  The Crying Child by Barbara Michaels - I'm trying to reread through my keeper shelf to see if every book still deserves to be there.  This is next on my Barbara Michaels list.

5.  Bells, Spells, and Murder by Carol J. Perry - I have been so enjoying catching up on this series and this is the next one.  It's too bad I didn't get to it in December but I think it'll still be fun.

What are you hoping to read in January?

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Books from the Backlog - On Borrowed Time

Today I'm linking up with Carole from 
Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Goodreads:  On Borrowed Time (Library Lovers Mysteries #5) by Jenn McKinlay

Blurb:  Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water…

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I'm really focusing on getting caught up on series this year and this is one I only have a few left in.  Plus, it's a favorite.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Ten Series I Want to Finish By The End of The Year


My main focus reading-wise for 2021 is to catch up on series.  There are so many that I've read most of or half of or read the last few but missed the first ones and I really want to fix that.  So looking over the books I currently own I picked out 10 series I want to finish in 2021.  I'm going to list the next book in the series I have to read just so I'll have a concrete goal.  I do love a check list that's easy to mark off.

1. Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander (The Bakeshop Mystery) - This is a bit of a cheat since I'm actively reading it but it's one of my very favorite series and somehow I missed one that involves an old missing persons case which is one of my very favorite types of mysteries.

2.  Bells, Spells, and Murder by Carol J. Perry (Witch City Mystery) - I read a few of these years ago and really liked them but in 2020 I started from the beginning of the series in audio and absolutely fell in love.  I can't wait to finish this series this year.

3.  Tulle Death Do Us Part by Annette Blair (A Vintage Magic Mystery) - This is the book that really made me start thinking about series.  It's the last book in a series involving a vintage clothing shop where the owner sees ghosts and has visions related to the previous owners of the clothes she sells.  I enjoyed the previous books in the series but for some reason never read this one even though it's been sitting on my shelf for literally years.  

4.  A Curio Killing by Mary Ellen Hughes (A Keepsake Cove Mystery) - Another last book in the series (probably) and another that's been sitting on my shelf for far too long unread.

5.  On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinley (Library Lover's Mysteries) - I've read the first four and the last few and really enjoy this series.  I just need to read the books in the middle!

6.  Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly (County Cork Mysteries) - Pretty much ditto above though I've found this series a bit inconsistent so I want to read a little bit more and see if it is one I want to continue.

7.  The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley (The Seven Sisters) - There's no way I'll finish this series this year because the books are huge but I'd like to make a little more progress.  I'm listening to the 3rd book now and loving it so I want to at least get the 4th book in before the end of the year.'

8.  A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Veronica Speedwell Mysteries) - This is another series where I've read the first few and the last few but somehow missed the ones in the middle.  I've only got two and then the new release this year so it should be manageable.

9.  The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King (Mary Russel and Sherlock Holmes Mysteries) - I almost didn't include this one because I'm not exactly sure what I want to do about this series.  I really enjoy it but at this point it's been probably 20 years since I read the first book and I'm not sure I ever read all of them.  I have a hard time remembering all the details so I kind of feel like I need to go back to the beginning but since I already own this one I thought I'd try continuing first.

10. Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber (Verity Kent Mysteries) - I've read book 1 and 3 in this historical mystery series set right after World War 1 and really enjoyed both so I need to read 2 and 4.

Do you have any series you'd like to catch up on?

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021

Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021

 1. An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn - I enjoy this series and I can't wait to read this one!

2.  A Wicked Conceit by Anna Lee Huber - This is a historical mystery series that I've really grown to love.  I'm hoping this year to go back and read the earlier books in the series but that won't keep me from being excited about the new one.

3.  Murder on Wall Street by Victoria Thompson - Another historical mystery!  I'm not sure I'm going to try and go back to the beginning with this series because there's a lot of them but I am looking forward to this one.

4.  Haunted Hibiscus by Laura Childs - I've really been enjoying this series set around a tea shop in Charleston, SC.  Since I won't be traveling for awhile this may be the best way to visit Charleston.

5.  The Art of Betrayal by Connie Berry - I read the 2nd book in this series last year and really enjoyed it so I'm excited to read the 3rd book.  And of course I have to go find the 1st book!

6.  Off the Wild Coast of Brittany by Juliet Blackwell - I've read a bunch of her cozies and finally read one of her fiction books in 2020 and loved it.  This sounds wonderful and I must read it.

7.  Miss Jeffries Demands Justice by Emily Brightwell - This comes out at the end of the month and I have really come to love this upstairs downstairs historical mystery.  I'd love to catch up and read the beginning books in the series but there are a billion of them so I'm not sure that I'll be able to do that this year.

8.  Undercover Kitty by Sofie Ryan - I love this series involving a junk store and a cat who has more then a little bit of personality.

9.  The Unforgiven by Heather Graham - Every year Heather Graham puts out a new trilogy in the Krewe of Hunters series and every year I buy them.  This year is no different.

10. The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffiths, Countess of Romanones by Larry Loftis - I read a book written by Aline Griffiths when I was a kid and became obsessed.  I'm curious to read about the real story!

What books are you looking forward to picking up in the first half of 2021?

Monday, January 4, 2021

A Look Back at 2020 Reading



I think I can safely say that 2020 did not go like anyone expected.  For us there was an unexpected diagnosis for our son and an very unexpected move so that he could undergo treatment for Leukemia in Memphis.  Then the move back right before Christmas.  There were a few small reading slumps but for the most part reading was one of my constants this year and I surpassed my goal and significantly increased my reading from 2019.

Book Total:  172

Most Read Genre: Cozy Mysteries at 74 which isn't a shock

Least Read Genre: Nonfiction at 5.  Honestly I'm a bit surprised I read this many.


Audio: 41

Classic Mysteries: 21

Rereads:  23

Romantic Suspense: 7

Romance: 14

Middle Grade: 11

Historical Mystery: 18

Fiction: 13

Mystery: 8


I did 2 personal challenges this year.  One was trying to read a book with a title from every letter in the alphabet and the other was to see how many states I could "visit".  

Alphabet Goal:  Completed!  I had 2 small cheats;  For J I used Darkest Journey and for X I used The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax.  No words start with "x" but it has 2 in the title so I'm saying it counts!

Armchair Traveling:  I went to 47 states.  I didn't visit North Dakota, Delaware, or Nebraska but I managed the rest.  My most traveled to states were California (11) and Massachusetts (7).  I visited Maine, Connecticut and New York 5 times.

I went to England 39 times though very rarely was it present day England.  I also visited Ireland, Albania, Canada, Norway, Egypt, Scotland, France, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, Italy and Greece.  

How was your 2020 reading?  

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Life with Leukemia (and Some Reading) - January 3


It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

This has been a tough week.  Will's energy level has been super low.  He slept through most of his birthday though he did wake up to open presents which he was excited about though he hasn't been able to play with much.  He had a spinal tap scheduled for Wednesday but that was canceled at the last minute because his platelet count was too low.  I'm obviously very glad they didn't take the risk and canceled the surgery but he gets so nervous before and I hate that he will have to go through that stress again.  It will most likely be rescheduled for the week after next but we won't know for sure until we get his counts for next week and see how he's trending.  By the time we got home from the hospital he was pretty much worn out so he slept New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  He did wake up long enough to watch the New Year's Countdown on Animal Crossing New Horizons so that was fun.  

We are pretty much unpacked now and settled in from our move home.  I'm trying to get my bookish goals figured out for this year now that I have all my books around me and I've been really enjoying that.  I had thought about trying to get rid of some of the books that I have decided I don't want to read but after I started looking I decided I couldn't possibly get rid of any of them!  


Reading:  The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly and Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander

Listening:  The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

Watching:  Not much but we have been finishing up the latest season of The Great British Bake-Off on Netflix and really enjoying it.

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Ten Classic Mysteries on my 2021 TBR


1.  The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie - Really I'm hoping to finish all of the Miss Marple books this year but this is the next one on my list.

2.  The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth - Another book that is the next in a series that I'm hoping to finish this year.  I've been reading Miss Silver for ages but this is the first time I've ever read them all in order and I've discovered a couple that I've missed over the years so I'm excited to keep going

3.  Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers - Somehow I've never read very much by Sayers and I really need to fix that so I'm going to pick up the next Lord PeterWimsey mystery this year.

4.  The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - Last year I read the first two Mrs. Pollifax mysteries and had the best time with them so I'm really looking forward to continuing the series.

5.  The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -  I listened to the first Sherlock Holmes mystery in 2019 and really meant to continue in order but then completely forgot.

6.   The Religious Body by Catherine Aird - I discovered Catherine Aird a number of years ago and have read two books by her.  I really enjoyed both but somehow never read anything else by her.  This year I'm hoping to change that.  

7.  The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart - I'm a little confused about this one.  Some things I've read say it's just a rewrite of The Circular Staircase which I read in 2020 and really enjoyed.  But it also sounds really different.  So I decided to put my curiosity to rest and just read this and compare!

8.  Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey - While I have read Daughter of Time several times I have neglected Tey's other books and am looking forward to giving this one a try.

9.  The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cozy by James Anderson - I know nothing about this one and was surprised to see that it wasn't quite as classic as I thought it was but the title sounds incredibly classic so I'm keeping it in the list.

10. Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart - I'm not sure exactly how much of a mystery this one is as Mary Stewart has surprised me on that end in the past but it sounds good and spooky so I'm counting it!

Have you read any of these?

Friday, January 1, 2021

First Books of 2021


Happy New Year everyone!  This feature has been run for years by the amazing Sheila over at Book Journey and it is so fun to see what everyone has picked for their first book of the year and why.  I didn't get my act together enough to send in a picture (or take a picture) so I'm participating unofficially.  For 2021 my goals are a bit loose.  My primary focus is trying to catch up on series that I have neglected or left unfinished.  I also want to read more of my own books and focus less on review books.

My First Book of 2021:

Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander - This is a series I'm caught up on except for this one which is kind of in the middle that I somehow weirdly missed.  

My First Kindle Book of 2021

The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly - This one just looks gorgeous and my friend Tina really enjoyed it so I'm excited to read it!

My First Audio Book of 2021

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley - This is the 3rd book in a series that I've been enjoying but making very slow progress on.

My First Library Book of 2021:

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh - I just put this one on hold at the library and I can't wait.  I enjoyed the first book but had pretty much given up on this one.  I'm looking forward to reading it and to using the library again!

What books are you starting 2021 with?