Wednesday, January 31, 2018

'Til Death Do Us Part - Romantic Suspense Review

Rating: I Liked it!
Source: Library

Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.

Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.

But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker...

Genre: Suspense - Historical Romance

Why I Picked This Book:
  I love Jayne Ann Krentz's books and have been wanting to read some of her books under Amanda Quick and I love the memento mori aspect of this one.

My Impression:
  This was one of those books that had been on my TBR for ages and then one day at the library it just jumped in my bag and demanded to be read.  Luckily, it lived up to it's demand and was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

While the primary focus is on Calista and Trent I did enjoy the addition of Eudora (Trent's sister) and Andrew (Calista's brother).  They both enjoyed getting involved in the investigation, brought their own skill sets, and provided some explanations for back stories for Calista and Trent.  Since they're both younger siblings there is a little bit of humor in watching them poke fun occasionally at their older brother and sister.

Calista and Trent have quite a bit in common.  They've both found themselves very much alone at a fairly young age with very little money and people who depended on them.  They've both assumed the role of protector and provider without flinching.  They're smart and resourceful and fairly private.  It took me a little while to really get hooked into this book.  Calista and Trent are fairly stilted with each other at first which made the feel of the book itself a little stilted at first.  However, the mystery was intriguing from the beginning and within 50 pages or so the stiltedness had faded and I was fully engaged.

Despite my initial hesitation I ended up thoroughly enjoying this read.  Calista and Trent were interesting, likable and fairly believable.  I especially appreciated that Calista had realistic views of her abilities but doesn't undersell herself and has no TSTL moments.  The mystery itself was cleverly done and it made for a thoroughly entertaining read.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  This was a lot of fun and I like to read more from her under any of her pseudonyms.

Would I Recommend this Book?
Absolutely!  If you like romantic suspense or historical romance this was a really entertaining read.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is Books I Can't Believe I've Read.  Now I went back and forth on this for awhile because there really aren't all that many books that I can't believe I've read.  I mean there were a few required reads in high school and a few that I read when my girls were teenagers because they were reading them but other than that there aren't that many surprises.  So I'm doing books that I can't believe I HAVEN"T read.  The only problem with that one is that it was hard to narrow that down to 10!

1.  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - I wanted to read this one since right after it came out and then I wanted to see the movie when that came out yet I have done neither.

2.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling - I know this is horrible but I've only read up to book 4 in the Harry Potter series and I've never gone any further.

3.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - I think I've had this on my TBR since I was about 16 (and we're going to pretend that wasn't 20+ years ago) and considering how short this is there's really no reason not to read this but somehow it just never makes it to the top of the stack.

4.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - People have been telling me to read this one for decades and I know a number of people who swear this is their favorite book.  Not to mention the fact I have my grandmother's copy that was given to her by her mother in l946.  I need to read this book.

5.  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - Another one that went on my TBR as soon as I heard about it.  I'm an introvert who can make small talk and my husband and father are both serious introverts so I'm really curious to see what insight this book has to offer.

6.  Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdian - Really the only reason I haven't read this is because my library doesn't' have it on audio  I listened to his book Medium Raw and really enjoyed it.  I don't always like him but I like his voice if that makes sense.  Plus, I love foodie books - especially behind the scenes style foodie books.

7.  Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins -  I read and loved Hunger Games but I was kind of good with just letting the world stay where it was at the end of that one.  I wasn't sure I wanted to continue and considering it's been years I apparently really didn't want to continue!

8.  The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - I've read a decent stack of the Mrs. Pollifax books and stand alone mysteries from Gilman but somehow I never read Mrs. Pollifax's premiere mystery.  I'd really like to read it and reread the rest of the series as well.

9.  Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase - This is one of those historical romances that I've heard about forever and I've heard several discussions about how great it is and lots of people I trust have read it and loved it.  AND I actually own a copy but have I read it?  Nope.

10. The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor - historical fiction about the Titanic?  I've been fascinated by this since the wreck was discovered back in the 80s.  How  have I not read this yet?

What books can you not believe you haven't read?

Monday, January 29, 2018

James Bond Project - Book vs Movie - From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming (Amazon Link)
Published 1957
Notable Characters:  James Bond
Tatiana Romanova
Darko Kerim
Rosa Klebb
This wasn't my favorite of the Bond books so far.  The primary issue that Bond wasn't actually in the book for at least the first third.  Instead it was mostly Russian agents talking about Bond or figuring out a way to get revenge on Bond.  I'm not a big fan of the super villain who can do no wrong or the super hero who makes no mistakes and this had a little bit of both at the beginning.  Once Bond actually appeared in the book things got a bit better but it still took awhile for it to feel like anything was happening.  While I had been impressed with Ian Fleming's female characters in the previous books - they were tough, smart, and frequently saved Bond's life when his plan went off the rails - I was underwhelmed with Tatiana Romanova
.  She's not an idiot but she's very much the damsel in distress and is mostly helpless or afraid.  Gayla Brandt (from Moonraker) or Tiffany Case (Diamonds are Forever)would have made short work of her.  The end felt a bit rushed for all the build up at the beginning.  This wasn't awful but it was by far my least favorite Bond book so far.  When I was doing a little research I found that Fleming really struggled with this one and ended up doing more reworking than he had done of any novel previously and actually set this one up so that it could be the last Bond novel.  I think his struggle really comes through in the book.  I did find it interesting that several of the characters were based on real people who Fleming had come in contact with or written about in his newspaper career.  Rosa Klebb is based on a Colonel Rybkin who was a member of the Lenin Military-Political Academy and Tatiana Romanova was inspired by Krystyna Skarbek a Polish spy.

Premiere Date - 1963
Cast: James Bond - Sean Connery
Tatiana Romanova - Daniela Bianchi
Ali Kerim Bey - Pedro Armendariz
Rosa Kleb - Lotte Lenya

So far this movie follows the book the closest.  They cut down the large portion of the book that was dedicated to plotting and talking about how great Bond was to about 5 minutes worth of screen time.  There was some change up on the villains and the last 20 minutes definitely took a detour but actually made for a more exciting and better flowing end.  I like Sean Connery as Bond far more than Roger Moore.  I think he captures Bond's silent intensity and coldness far more than Moore's humorous gadget heavy portrayal.  We do lose some of the development of Tatiana's motivations and character. She seems kind of like a cut out character and I found it hard to tell exactly what she was thinking or why she was doing what she was doing.  This was a fun movie and my favorite so far of the pre-Daniel Craig Bond movies.  While Connery is a little more charming than Bond it has much more of a book feel than anything I've seen with Roger Moore.  And it's one of the few movies I can say that I liked better than the book.  This was also the first film that Q was played by Desmond Llewelyn - a role that would be his for 36 years.

Next up is Doctor No.  I'm hoping that Fleming's Bond muse will have returned and that this book will be back to the usual standard.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

This Week in Reading - January 28

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

What I Got:

Clairvoyant and Present Danger by Lena Gregory - I loved  the previous book in the series and am excited to get to this one. (Publisher)

The Fast and the Furriest by Sofie Ryan  - I've seen this series around for awhile and I've really wanted to try it.  (Publisher)

Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs - I love this tea shop series by Childs' and when I read this one last year I loved it.  I'm looking forward to reread it. (Publisher)

Claws for Concern by Miranda James - I just read the previous book in this series and am really looking forward to this one! (Publisher)

Death of an Unsung Hero by Tessa Arlen - I've been wanting to read this historical mystery series for ages so I'm super excited about this one. (Publisher)


Reading:  Pines of Winder Ranch by RaeAnne Thayne and A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Listening: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Watching:  We haven't been watching much TV lately but we did get caught up on The Middle and have been watching Top Chef.  

Off the Blog:

This week was decidedly normal.  There were no school delays or cancellations.  The temperatures warmed up to chilly but not so cold it make my face hurt.  J and the Tornado had a campout with Cub Scout's last weekend.  Well kind of a camp out.  Really they spent the night at The Children's Museum in Chattanooga, TN (which is fantastic if you haven't been but find yourself in the area).  They had a fantastic time and the Tornado and his friends got to do bunch of different science experiments.  I stayed home and reread a favorite book so it was a win for all!

I'm really trying to get more reading time in this year so anytime I find myself mindlessly flipping through Pinterest on my phone I pick up a book.  So far it's working!  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  James Bond Project: Book vs Movie - From Russia with Love
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read
Wednesday:  Til Death Do Us Part - Historical Romantic Suspense Review
Thursday:  The Crown Princes' Wife + Pines of Winder Ranch - Contemporary Romance Short Reviews
Friday: Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  About That Kiss - Contemporary Romance Review

Have a great week and happy reading!

The English Wife - Historical Fiction Review

Rating: I Liked It
Source: Publisher

Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind romance in London, they have three year old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and renamed it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?

Genre: Fiction - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:
  I loved another book by Lauren Willig (The Other Daughter) and this one sounded intriguing.

My Impression:

What I Loved:
Seeing Janie develop a backbone and while not necessarily standing up to her mother but at least doing things because she wanted to do them.

Watching the relationship between Janie and Burke develop and their initial impressions of the other be proved wrong.

The setting.  Oh how I love Gilded Age New York with all the tension between the old society and the new moneyed set.

The friendship between Bay and Georgie.  They were both used to dealing with people who expected something from them or for them to be people they weren't.  It was nice to watch them develop a friendship by just being who they were.

What I Didn't Like
The pacing.  While I did get caught up in the story it seemed to drag a bit at the beginning.

It was a little convoluted.  There are 2 timelines and multiple mysteries going on.  I was good with how it worked out but it was a little hazy at time.

This was a good heavy atmospheric read with a gorgeous setting and all kinds of Gothic-y darkness lurking in the corners.  While I had a few issues I still enjoyed the reading experience and am looking forward to trying more from Lauren Willig.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I definitely want to read more of what she's already published and will be keeping an eye out for new releases.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  I would  - especially if you enjoy Gothic novels like Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.  

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday Linkups - A Curious Beginning

It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
Do you ever go back to older posts and change things?

My Answer:
No though I probably should.  I'm almost scared to go see some of my early mistakes!

This week's book is one I've been meaning to read since it first came out and since the third book in the series just came out it means it's been sitting on my TBR for quite some time!  A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn looks like it has a fantastic main character and Raybourn has never let me down when it comes to a mystery so my hopes are high and so far I'm loving it.

The Beginning:
I stared down into open grave and wished that I could summon a tear.

My Thoughts:
I'm wondering if this means that Veronica isn't really grieving whoever is in that grave or if she's just cried out or so sad that she is unable to cry.

The 56:
He took it from my had and swallowed deeply, then sputtered so hard he nearly choked.  "Good God, what the devil is that?"

My Thoughts:
Well now I kind of want to know what it is!  They're talking about different South American beverages so I'm very curious.

So what do you think?  Keep reading?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Twelve Angry Librarians - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating: I Really Like It!
Source: Publisher

Light-hearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself in handcuffs...
Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie s old nemesis from library school.
It s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So, when Gavin is found dead, no one seems too upset...
But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin after the speech, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library..."

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  I had seen this series around for years and even read the first one forever ago and really wanted to continue with it.

My Impression:
  I don't really consider myself a cat person but I really want a cat like Diesel!  I love his personality and how he interacts with Charlie.  I really just want to snuggle him though I'm not sure how happy Diesel would be about that!

This series is a little unusual in that the main character is a man and at retirement age.  He's a true Southern gentleman in the best possible of ways and of the kind you don't see much anymore.  He's unfailingly polite, quick to open the door, pull out a chair or make a tactful remark all while staying incredibly nosy!

The mystery was intriguing and followed the Agatha Christie rules of the most unlikable character being the victim.  I think the 12 angry librarians in the title was an understatement!  The convention center was crawling with angry librarians all with a very real reason to dislike the victim  but is that the same as wanting to kill him?  Since Charlie has experience in murder investigations and a less than friendly interaction with the victim shortly before Gavin died he finds himself unable to resist following the clues and finding the killer.  I really appreciated Charlie's respect for the police - especially for Detective Kanesha Berry and that he encourages everyone he questions to go to the police with their information.  There are no TSTL do-it yourself moments in this book!

As some of you know I spend quite a bit of time in Mississippi and so it was an extra treat reading a mystery set in the state.  While this is the 8th book in the series I had no problem jumping in here.  Since this particular book involves a lot of non-regular characters I'm not sure this would be the case with every book.  There are a handful of side characters sprinkled through the book including Charlie's children, their spouses, and a handful of friends.  All this brought this little Mississippi town to life - my only complaint is that Helen Louise's Bistro isn't a real place!

If you enjoy a good cozy mystery with entertaining and likable characters (and a delightful cat) this is a must read series!  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I'm glad I have the next book ready to go.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  Yes!  I think cozy mystery readers would really enjoy this!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sisters Like Us - Contemoporary Romance Review

Description:  Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

My Thoughts:  If I was having a contest for characters I hated the most Bunny would definitely be in the lead at the moment.  I get that the ridiculous standards she expects her daughters to meet are based on her own issues but that didn't mean I could like her.  What I did love was how all of this affected Harper and Stacey.  I loved that they were friends and hadn't let their difficult mother drive them apart and I loved how they started to resist.   It was interesting to see how different the two sisters were and how they responded to their incredibly overbearing mother.  Harper desperately wanted to live up to her mother's standards whereas Stacey just tended to avoid them.  And in the middle of this is 16 year Becca, desperate to fit in, desperate to be noticed, and desperate to have someone think she's special.  My heart broke for her even when she was at her most self-involved 16 year old self.

I really enjoyed this book. There is some romance but what really stands out is the women themselves.  All 3 are so different and in such different phases of life and I think I connected to each of them in a different way.  This is a light read but not a fluffy one.  There is heart and emotion and the characters came alive as I read.  This was the first book in the Mischief Bay series but it won't be last.  I'm looking forward to reading lots more from Mallery!

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Liked But Don't Remember

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is Books I Liked But Don't Remember Much About.  This is definitely an issue that comes up frequently for me.  I read a lot of cozy mysteries and romances that have similar settings and they can blend together if they're not huge stand out reads.

1.  Love and Death in Burgundy by Susan C. Shea -  The cover and the setting are gorgeous and I remember liking it and thinking the setting was amazing but that's about it.

2.  Never Entice an Earl by Lily Dalton - I remember this was a quick read that I enjoyed but even the blurb doesn't trigger any memories.

3.  How Secrets Die by Marta Perry - I enjoyed this one enough to request another book in the series.

4.  Deep Dark by Laura Griffin - This one hurts a little as I really love Griffin's suspense and her Tracers series.  I know I loved this one but even the blurb doesn't bring back memories.

5.  Sea Glass Sunrise by Donna Kauffman - I'm not too surprised by this one.  I typically enjoy Kauffman's romances but there is rarely anything stand out about them.  Pretty much the only thing I remember here is that the heroine had slightly knobby knees.

6.  The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham - I've had terrible luck with Allingham's books.  They're kind of hit or miss for me and the ones that I enjoy don't seem to stick.

7.  One in a Million by Jill Shalvis -  This one hurts!  I love Jill Shalvis and I love the Lucky Harbor series but I remember nothing about this one.  I suspect one of the problems is that I was reading a bunch of books at the time and it just kind of got lost in the shuffle.  I'd really love to reread this series as a whole.

8.  Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts - I enjoyed this one but other than the fact that it's set in Ireland and there's some magic I got nothing.

9.  Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett - I really like this series set in a town filled with bookstores but this one just didn't stick around in my memory.

10. Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan - I don't know if this one got lost among all the other Christmas romances but whatever happened I remember absolutely nothing about this one!

What books did you enjoy but can't remember?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Say No Moor - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating: Just Okay
Source: NetGalley

Hoping to reach an expanded clientele of senior travellers, Emily Miceli, travel agency owner and tour escort, offers discounted fares to a handful of bloggers in exchange for highlighting her group’s tour of Cornwall, England. But when the quarrelsome host of their historic inn dies under suspicious circumstances, Emily worries that the bloggers’ coverage of the situation will torpedo her travel agency.

To make matters worse, Emily is roped into running the inn, and not even a team effort from her friends can prevent impending disaster. As one guest goes missing and another turns up dead, Emily discovers that well-kept secrets and family treasure can provide more than enough motive for murder.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  Ever since I read Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers I've been fascinated by Cornwall so there was no way I could resist a mystery set there!

My Impression:
  For some reason when I requested this I thought it was the first in the series so I was surprised later to see that it was actually the eleventh.  Normally this isn't that big of a deal in a mystery series but with the large number of regular characters and the addition of the bloggers and Cornwall residents it got a little confusing.  I think it would have been a little easier to keep track of all the Iowans if I had gotten to know them in the earlier books.

However, this wasn't my real issue with the book.  The main problem is that with the exception of Emily I disliked all the other characters - especially the bloggers.  If we were going with the Agatha Christie method of the most unpleasant person meeting their untimely end the entire Inn would have fallen off the cliff.  I had a hard time believing that not only would the remaining Innkeeper have thrust the running of the Inn into Emily's hands but that she would have accepted it.  It got a little eye roll-y at times.

With all my complaints how did I enjoy the book?  Partly because Hunter's writing style and pacing drew me in right from the beginning and kept me reading even as I was trying to figure out which character I disliked the most.  I wanted to pick this book back up and I wanted to find out just who the killer was and what was going on in Cornwall.

While this wasn't my favorite read I did find it page turning and I love Hunter's writing as well as the concept of a cozy mystery series set around a tour company and being set all over the world.  From the reviews I gather this was a weaker book and despite the flaws I'm looking forward to reading more from the series and starting with (the actual) first book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  I would.  While I didn't love this I think there's a lot of promise and I definitely want to read more of this series.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  Probably not.  This series looks really great but this wouldn't be the book I'd start with.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

This Week in Reading - January 21

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

What I Got:

Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna - I heard a lot of good buzz for this one so when I saw it on Goodreads Giveaway I couldn't resist.  And I won!  (Giveaway Win)

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs - I love Susan Wiggs so when the opportunity came up to read her latest for a blog tour of course I couldn't say no!  (Blog Tour)

About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis - I'm trying to catch up on Shalvis' newest series and am really excited about this one (Edelweiss)

A Reisling to Die by J.C. Eaton - I've really enjoyed another cozy series from this author duo so there was no way I could resist an invitation to read this newest series about a winery!  (Author)

Who Moved My Goat Cheese? by Lynn Cahoon - I love Cahoon's cozy mysteries and am super excited about this latest farm related series. (NetGalley)

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz - I love the Food Lover's Village series so I'm super excited to get this newest book.  (NetGalley)

The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr - I've really loved the Sullivan's Crossing series and am looking forward to this one as well.  (NetGalley)

The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March - I love Eternity Springs and this one looks like a great springtime read.  (Publisher)

This was really a week and a half worth of books since some of them came at the end of last week when I was out of town but things did get a bit out of control!


Reading:  Twelve Angry Librarians by Miranda James and The English Wife by Lauren Willig

Listening:  I'm listening to The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher right now and I just finished Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

Watching:  J and I have been watching Top Chef and are really enjoying this season.  I'm liking the low drama a lot.  I've been watching the new Danger Mouse on Netflix with the Tornado and we're both loving it.  I was a big fan of the original show and it's been fun to share this with him.  

Off the Blog:

Last weekend was my Grandfather's 94th birthday so I was out of town visiting him.  We had such a nice visit and because it was a long weekend Emma was able to leave school for a few days and join us.  She was very vague on who Jimmy Stewart was and had never watched Casablanca so of course we had to fix that!  We watched Casablanca of course and then for quick lesson in who Jimmy Stewart is we watched Harvey and Destry Rides Again which was his first Western made in 1938 with Marlene Dietrich.

When I got back things got a little crazy thanks to the weather.  The Tornado was out of school last Friday, then Monday (for MLK) and then Tuesday and Wednesday for Icy road conditions and then had a 2 hour delay on Thursday.  Friday was Scholars Celebration for all the students who got all As and Bs or higher on their report card so I spent a little while up at the school for that.  The Tornado and I had a good time hanging out in our pajamas and drinking hot chocolate but needless to say nothing got done!

My rather old and quirky desktop died last week to make things even more fun.  My husband has been encouraging me to upgrade and get a laptop for some time but I'd been resisting so this was the push I needed to finally get it done.  I'm really liking the portability and being able to work anywhere but I'm still trying to reorganize all my files!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Say No Moor - Cozy Mystery Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I Liked But Don't Remember
Wednesday:  Sisters Like Us - Contemporary Romance Review
Thursday: Twelve Angry Librarians - Cozy Mystery Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with current book
Saturday: The English Wife - Historical Fiction Review

Have a great week and happy reading!