Sign Up for Fall 2021 COYER

I am participating in the fall season of COYER 2021. This last season for the year starts October 1st and runs until December 22nd. I like that the scavenger hunt list will give me directions to read for those last two months of the year. There are several prompts I am skipping (I don’t do TikTok or reverse harem/harem) and several prompts I will probably read multiple books for (dog on the cover and nonfiction).

I will also be moving my blog to Blogger by the end of the year. I can’t deal with the WP editor and find myself uninspired to write posts on a blog I am not happy with. Blogger gives me more to work with and customize to make my blog look and read how I want it to.


What’s in My Ears Lately

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When I am not reading, I am listening to podcasts. There are the usual book related podcasts, but what I really enjoy is long-form journalism in podcast form. Here are some of favorites and new podcasts I’m listening to


  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – written and hosted by Holley Frey and Tracey Wilson. My first podcast, still my favorite through three major company changes. I am a little annoyed at the amount of ads the more recent episodes have, but I just fast forward through them. And there is a noticeable difference in the number and length of ads in the recent episodes.
  • Book Riot – family of podcasts. I listen to the main show (BR: The Podcast), Get Booked (recommendations show), For Real (all non-fiction books), and When In Romance (all romance).
  • America Dissected – written and hosted by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. This podcast started as a response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, now it covers a wide range of medical and health issues in America; it does still cover COVID-19.
  • Citizen Chef – hosted by Tom Colicchio. I am a big fan of Tom Colicchio and his co-host Padma Lakshmi, even though I don’t watch the show they host (I am just not a foodie). One of the ways I became a fan of Colicchio was his appearances on the Melissa Harris-Perry show (also BOOOOO to MSNBC for how it treated MHP). The podcast talks about how restaurants are doing in the wake of a pandemic, but also how the farmers, fisherman, etc are doing and how the hunger problem in America is getting worse and how to solve problems. Colicchio also references how climate change is changing our food as well.
  • Attitudes! (formerly Throwing Shade) – hosted by Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson. The new name and updated look really has given this long time podcast a fresh, more interesting look and listen. With their turn towards independence (no longer with any podcast company), they seem more comfortable with themselves and each other and really dig into their niche randomness. Still love them after several years of listening. Gibson is the author of Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Drinking Herself to Death, a book that I really enjoyed but it has been a few years and probably should re-read it again. Since the book was release, Gibson has gone public (at least on the show) with her sobriety from alcohol. Safi is an actor who can be seen on the television show 9-1-1.
  • Double Love – hosted by Anna Carey and Karyn Moyn. These Irish ladies hating on the walking-talking toxic masculinity that is the character Todd Wilkins is a joy to listen to every other week. In each episode, the ladies dive deep into a book within the Sweet Valley High series, I series I read and loved back in the day when I was young and naive and completely dumb about how the world worked. Now, I listen in horror/laughter as I wonder what the hell I saw in these characters and why I was obsessed with this series. Needless to say, these books (written in the 80s and 90s) DO NOT HOLD UP. But it is a lot of fun to mock them. #TeamFlatFacedFowlerForever


  • Bad Blood: The Final Chapter – written and hosted by John Carreyrou, the author of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. I will say the book is awesome (for a non-fiction true crime business book it is a real page turner) and would be best if you read the book first before listening to the podcast so that you have the full background knowledge. There is 3 episodes released at the time of this writing.
  • This Land – written and hosted by Rebecca Nagle. I just started season 2, which is 3 episodes in at the time of this writing. Season 1 involved tribal lands and federal jurisdiction when it comes to crimes committed; Season 2 tells the story of how 3 states, with the help of Christian religious groups and right wing lobbying lawyers, are trying to overthrow the Indian Welfare Act and take indigenous children away from the families and tribes and give them to white Christian families. And one of those states is Texas – BECAUSE OF COURSE TEXAS IS DOING SHADY STUFF. In the wake of mass graves found at former Indian Residential Schools, this is a very timely discussion and investigation.
  • Maintenance Phase – written and hosted by Michael Hobbs and Aubrey Gordon. This is the antidote to the wellness/health/diet culture that has taken over American social media (looking at you IG!). Hilarious, scary, infuriating, informative, sometimes all at once, this is a great podcast. Gordon is also the author of What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, a part memoir/part investigation into America’s obsession with obesity and the diet culture run amok.
  • Heart of the Matter – hosted by Elizabeth Vargas. Vargas is a recovering alcoholic and investigative journalist. She talks with policy makers, fellow journalists, and recovering addicts about how America’s drug policy is not working and solutions for better policies as well as better recovery processes for addicts and their families, employers, and community – this includes better mental health. I have a print copy of Vargas book, Between Breaths, which she wrote extensively about her addiction and recovery.
  • Under the Influence – hosted by Jo Piazza. Piazza is a former magazine journalist and editor who turned her attention to social media and the rise of the “mommy influencer.” I was not sure I was going to like this podcast after listening to the first 3-4 episodes (which is a lot), and then it took a turn, and then another turn and now I am really eager for season 2 (which she is working on, along with releasing a new book). I have listened to the 2 bonus episodes as well. This podcast really made me re-think how I put my kids on my social media – for instance, I don’t name my kids on Twitter (just refer to them as my kids), I only post pictures of my kids on FB (where I have my account on private so only friends can see what I post).
  • You’re Wrong About – hosted by Michael Hobbs and Sarah Marshall. If you are bored with today’s petty controversaries, hot takes, and Satanic panics – here’s your antidote, a podcast about America’s modern history full of petty controversaries, hot takes, and Satanic panics. Deep dives into Princess Diana’s time as a royal until her death, DEEEEEEEEEPPPPP dive into the O.J. Simpson trial, the defense of one of the best music genres in modern history – Disco. There is so much good stuff. There are episodes of book club (check out the Jessica Simpson memoir) and the (Dixie) Chicks vs. GWB and his Iraq War.

Books mentioned in this post:

Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat
Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction
Book Haul

August 2021 Haul

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Can you tell the kids went back to school in a pandemic and my anxiety went through the roof? I self soothed by going to the NOOK store Free section.

Library Borrows

  • One of Us Is Next (One of Us Is Lying #2) by Karen McManus (Saved: $19.99) – Halloween Bingo 21
  • Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War by Mike Johnson, Angel Hernandez, Alejandro Sanchez (Saved: $19.99) – Halloween Bingo 21
  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (Saved: $8.99) – Halloween Bingo 21
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (Saved: $17.99) – COYER book club

Saved: $66.96

Personal Collection

  • American History Now by Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr (Spent: $37.95) – my textbook for a graduate class I am taking in November & December (oh the sticker shock of buying textbooks!)
  • Longitudes & Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 by Thomas L. Friedman (Spent: $1.00) – nonfiction from the friends of the library bookcase
  • Losing My Voice to Find It: How a Rock Star Discovered His Greatest Purpose by Mark Stuart with Roger W. Thompson (Spent: $5.00) – nonfiction about how the lead singer from Audio Adrenaline left the music industry and what he has been doing since – I was a big AA fan back in the day
  • Infamous (Rebels of the Ton #3) by Minerva Spencer (Free ARC) – historical romance I earned through GoodReads Giveaway
  • Sisters in Arms: A Novel of the Daring Black Women Who Served During World War II by Kaia Alderson (Spent: $9.18) – historical fiction about the Army’s 6888th unit – I spent less than the sticker price because I won a gift card from the COYER group
  • Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks #3) by Karen Barnett (Spent: $5.00) – historical cozy mystery with romantic elements
  • Duchess If You Dare (The Maidens of Mayhem #1) by Anabelle Bryant (Spent: $1.99) – historical romance
  • Heard It Through the Grapevine (Dead Sister Talking Mystery #1) by Lizbeth Lipperman (Spent: Free) – contemporary cozy mystery with possible romantic elements
  • Christmas Cactus (Old Town Braverton: Pinwheel Plant Shop #3.5) by Roxie Clarke (Spent: Free) – I’ve been slowly collecting the contemporary romance series
  • The Forsaken Children (The British Home Children #1) by Naomi Finley (Spent: Free) – historical fiction about a glossed over part of UK history
  • DC Bombshells United, Volume 1: Homefront by Marguerite Bennet et al (Spent: $15.00) – complete the collection
  • West Coast Love (Journeys From the Heart #3) by Tif Marcelo (Spent: $1.99) – I have book one in the series already
  • Of Dubious and Questionable Memory (Herringford and Watts Mystery #1.5) by Rachel McMillan (Spent: $2.99) – historical cozy mystery that will be on the list for 2022 Finish That Series challenge
  • A Study in Seduction (Daring Heart #1) by Nina Lane (Spent: Free) – historical romance
  • When Life Gives You Oranges (A Rainbow Central Story) by Arizona Tape (Spent: Free) – contemporary f/f romance
  • Frosted with Murder (Soulful Bliss #1) by Emily Page (Spent: Free) – cozy mystery
  • A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia (Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures #1) by Clara Benson (Spent: Free) – historical cozy mystery
  • Aged for Murder (A Tuscan Vineyard Cozy Mystery #1) by Fiona Grace (Spent: Free) – cozy mystery
  • Aged for Death (A Tuscan Vineyard Cozy Mystery #2) by Fiona Grace (Spent: Free) – cozy mystery
  • Night Shift Witch (Night Shift Witch #1) by Cate Lawley (Spent: Free) – paranormal mystery
  • Damaged Goods (Ravenswood #1.5) by Talia Hibbert (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • Night Myst (Indigo Court #1) by Yasmine Galenorn (Spent: Free) – paranormal
  • Bewitching Bedlam (Bewitching Bedlam #1) by Yasmine Galenorn (Spent: Free) – paranormal
  • Flirting with Fire (Blue Collar Brothers #1) by Piper Rayne (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • Paws Off the Boss (Rescue Dog Romance #1) by Casey Griffin (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • Lipstick and Lies and Deadly Goodbyes (The Vampire Housewife #1) by Jodi Vaughn (Spent: Free) – paranormal mystery
  • Wrapped in Ink (Montgomery Ink: Boulder #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • Love Me True (Willow Oaks #1) by Melissa Crosby (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • It Must Be Your Love (Seattle Sullivans #3) by Bella Andre (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • If You Were Mine (San Francisco Sullivans #5) by Bella Andre (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • There Goes My Heart (Maine Sullivans #2) by Bella Andre (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • Since I Fell for You (New York Sullivans #2) by Bella Andre (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • Manners and Monsters (Manners and Monsters #1) by Tilly Wallace (Spent: Free) – historical paranormal
  • Engaging the Enemy (The Wild Randalls #1) by Heather Boyd (Spent: Free) – historical romance
  • Tempting Taste (Cinnamon Roll Alphas #1) by Sara Whitney (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • If You Loved Me (Sugar Maple #1) by Ciara Knight (Spent: Free) – contemporary romance
  • Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron (Spent: $2.99) – contemporary romance

Spent: $83.09

Halloween Bingo 21

Halloween Bingo 2021

It’s the most spookiest time of year! And I can’t wait – this game is not only fun, it also helps me with my reading goals just as my motivation peters out and I just start wanting to plan for next year.

My card for this year’s game is beautiful, full of squares I want to read from. Moonlight Reader, our co-host with OB, did an amazing job giving each of us who requested a card a personalized one. She also built five “blank” cards for latecomers to the game. There are a couple of squares that will need a little help – luckily, there is the spell pack.

First, these cards are beautiful and I would love to have a set of physical version of these cards. Second, I plan on playing the Transfiguration Spell for sure – Film at 11 will be changed to Romantic Suspense. I might use Double Trouble card to fill both Plague and Disease and Doomsday. I will make that decision come mid-October, when I start to worry I won’t be able to read all the remaining books for remaining squares in the remaining time.

I want to read from my own personal unread pile of books, either the physical or e-book piles. So there are 10 books from the library; however, I already blew passed my Library Love 2021 challenge level, so it’s all good. Moonlight Reader and OB gave participants a head start – starting this weekend we can start as many books for the game as possible, but can’t finish more than 2 books prior to September 1st, the first day of square calls. I am taking the opportunity to head start because I am one of the slower readers in the game and I want a black out – all squares filled. I am putting any books started in August and not finished by today on paused while I play the game.

The Possible TBR

  • Genre: Suspense: Mountain Fugitive (Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense) by Lynette Eason (romantic suspense)
  • A Grimm Tale: Tamlaght Mhor by Rowena Holloway (Celtic folktales centered on Samhain)
  • Dark Woods: Autumn Thorns (Whisper Hollows #1) by Yasmine Galenorn (paranormal romance set in the Pacific North West)
  • Lost in Space: any Star Trek graphic novel
  • Genre: Mystery: Murder Most Fair (Verity Kent #5) by Anna Lee Huber (historical cozy mystery)
  • Plague and Disease: Year One (Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts (dystopian as a result of a pandemic caused by a virus…)
  • Gallows Humor: Blood, Bath, and Beyond (Immortality Bites Mystery #1; Immortality Bites #6) by Michele Rowen (paranormal mystery with romantic elements)
  • Black Cat: Fallen (Kate Burkholder #13) by Linda Castillo (mystery)
  • Pysch: Problem Child (Jane Doe #2) by Victoria Helen Stone OR The Insanity of Murder (Dr. Dody McCleland #4) by Felicity Young
  • Terror in a Small Town: The Secret She Keeps (Whitaker Island #2) by HelenKay Dimon (romantic suspense set in the Pacific North West)
  • Paint It Black: Legendary Wolf (Harlequin Nocturne) by Barbara J. Hancock (finally! werewolves!)
  • Free Space/Poe’s Raven: Forgotten in Death (In Death #53) by J.D. Robb (futuristic mystery that I am already on the waiting list at the library for)
  • Ghost Stories: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (middle grade graphic novel)
  • Romantic Suspense: Forever Strong (True Heroes #6) by Piper J. Drake (former military dude on a mission)
  • Stranger Things: The Evil Lives! (Fear Street Cheerleaders #5; Fear Street Super Chiller #13) by R.L. Stine
  • Magical Realism: The Cake Therapist by Judith M. Fertig (small town baker who adds special ingredients to her work that help? her customers)
  • Doomsday: Radio Silence (Off the Grid #1) by Alyssa Cole OR Year One (Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts
  • Truly Terrifying: Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History by David M. Brown, Michael Wereschagin
  • Halloween: The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls #1) by Kristin Painter (paranormal romance)
  • When Mother Nature Strikes: Shelter From the Storm (Harlequin Silhouette Romantic Suspense/Galvez Brothers #1) by RaeAnne Thayne (blizzard romance!)
  • Read by Candlelight/Flashlight: Death of An Avid Reader (Kate Shackleton Mystery #6) by Frances Brody (historical cozy mystery)
  • Monsters: Legendary Beast by Barbara J. Hancock (more werewolves!)
  • Relics: Ghost of a Chance (Maggie Mulgrew Mystery #1) by Cat Dean (cozy mystery)
  • Gothic: Nocturne for a Widow (Sybil Ingram #1) by Amanda DeWees (young widow is left a Gothic revival mansion in the Hudson Valley, NY that comes with two additions – a ghost and a very handsome, very living man)

Over the course of the next 8 weeks, this is my only TBR. Most likely I will have to skip COYER book club picks unless they can magically fill a prompt. But the sheer amount of books I can read and archive off my NOOK will help me so much. I’m hoping to update once every 10 days to show my progress to you all here. I will turn the titles green for books that I read but have not been called; read for books not read but have been called, and blue if book is read and called.

I usually start with Poe’s Raven square, as it is a free space and doesn’t get called – once you read the book, you can call it good. But the book I have planned is not released until after Labor Day and I have to wait for my hold to come through the library anyway. So Saturday night/Sunday I am going to read a chapter or two from some of the books and see which ones grab my attention out of the gate and I can finish in early September (which starts Wednesday…).

Now if only the weather would cooperate and give me autumn temperatures. It is time for soup and sweater weather. Until next time, happy reading! – Tea

Bout of Books 2021

Bout of Books Wrap Up

Grab button for Bout of Books

So when I posted my participant post a few weeks back, the week was quiet – nothing planned, no urgent errands to run. By the time Monday (the first day of the readathon), I was going to miss several reading sprints due to other people’s mistakes and completely whiff on the Monday night Twitter chat. And yet, I was able to read and finish three books in one series, completing it entirely. I ended up with a book hangover on Sunday (the last day), so I didn’t read at all. I only posted one picture on IG, but honestly I’m not really feeling IG at the moment in general. I did the Saturday morning Twitter chat, which is usually the one I miss.

Here’s what I read:

Magnate (The Knickerbocker Club, #1)
Emmett and Elizabeth
Baron (The Knickerbocker Club, #2)
William and Ava
Mogul (The Knickerbocker Club, #3)
Calvin and Lily

I am giving the first two books in this series 5 stars; the last book I am giving 4.25-4.5 stars, mostly because that cover is so wrong for the storyline contained inside the book. These are some seriously steamy books, especially that second book. But the emotional punch in each of the book kept me coming back for more. My favorite couple is Emmett and Elizabeth (the first book MCs).

This is half the very ambitious (maybe too ambitious) TBR I had set for the readathon. That is fine because it is still 3 fewer books I need to finish in November and December. And it was such a good series. I want more Gilded Age NYC in my historical fiction.

I still think it was a success, despite the constant interruptions to my reading time. I’m looking forward to cycle 33 in January!

Until next time, Happy Reading! – Tea

Book Haul

Free Comic Book Day Haul

Here in the U.S. it is Free Comic Book Day – a day to visit your local comic book shop and pick up some free/promo-esque stuff that comic book publishers put out to entice customers to come in. Most comic readers go not just because of the free stuff, but just to make the time to go and visit. My family went to our local eastside Wizard: ICT shop (a smaller version of the same shop on the southside of Wichita), and stayed to get lunch at the traditional German restaurant next door.

So my son got a figure to play with and a free sampler of the graphic novel from middle grade series The Last Kids on Earth. My daughter pulled two free comics – Mean Girls: Senior Year and The Smurfs: Tales. My free comic book is DC Future State sampler.

Star Trek: Year Five, Issue 11 | Memory Alpha | Fandom

The shop also had boxes of comics that were on sale 2 for $1, so I got Star Trek: Year Five #11, Wonder Woman #775: Graveyard of the Gods, Superman: Truth & Justice #2, and a trade-ish first volume of DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration.

Until next time, happy reading – Tea

Bout of Books 2021, Readathon and Challenges

Bout of Books Cycle 32

Grab button for Bout of Books

It’s two weeks to the final BoB of 2021 and the first two were very successful for me so I am hoping to sweep the podium and go for a three-peat. But first, the blurb:

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 16th and runs through Sunday, August 22nd in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 32 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I’m doing an all romance TBR for the readathon. Here’s what I hope to get done:

  • Magnate (The Knickerbocker Club #1) by Joanna Shupe
  • Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe
  • Mogul (The Knickerbocker Club #3) by Joanna Shupe
  • His Perfect Partner (Matched to Perfection #1) by Priscilla Oliveras
  • Her Perfect Affair (Matched to Perfection #2) by Priscilla Oliveras
  • Their Perfect Melody (Matched to Perfection #3) by Priscilla Oliveras

Ambitious? Yes, but these two series are ones that I want to finish by the end of the year. If I only get to half of these books, that is less books to try to fit in November and December reading. Readathons are made to go big or go home; and this readathon has 3 daily reading sprints (30 minutes each), plus random sprints announced by participants. Add in the four times a week DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) sprints from COYER, I should get a lot of reading done in a week. Fingers crossed.

No reviews will be written until after the readathon, but the way I am STILL in a review writing slump (almost a year now) that wasn’t going to happen anyway.

Until next time, happy reading – Tea

Monthly TBR

August 2021 TBR

Welcome to my favorite season – Leo season. Today is my husband’s birthday; tomorrow is my birthday. We shine as a couple, LOL.

So I am cutting my summer reading short with the end of this month. Some online book friends are indeed doing Halloween Bingo this year so my September & October will be reading for that. Luckily for me, August brings the final Bout of Books readathon for 2021 and that is a chance for me to clean up and finish all my reading plans so I can start fresh in September. I am also ending early my Beverly Jenkins reading – I have found through this experiment that I can’t read more than 3 books of one author in a single year. With Jenkins, I read 4; however, I am just not feeling picking up those final three books. I need a break.

Born to Run

So what am I reading this month? I am going ahead and reading Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen, which is a B.A.B. at 508 pages. I will try to get section four done in The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor, another B.A.B.

I want to finish Tales of Mystery & the Macabre by Elizabeth Gaskell, a book I started last year for last year’s Halloween Bingo and I couldn’t finish it in time. I have half of the book left to read; it is very wordy and the font is incredibly small. But I am enjoying what I am reading, which is why I am still grinding through this book. Also, I am hoping reading this book will get me into the spirit of reading spooky reads.

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World
Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future

I want to read two more science books before the end of the month. First is The Water Will Come by Jeff Goodell, which is about rising sea levels and how that will remake a lot of city living in many countries. Then there is Never Out of Season by Rob Dunn, which is about how modern farming and supermarket shopping has impacted our environment.

After the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 2001 and the Years That Followed
Ground Zero

For my year-long reading of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I am reading After the Fall edited by Mary Marshall Clark, Peter Bearman, Catherine Ellis, and Stephen Drury Smith. Also I hope to get to Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11 by Alan Gratz, which is a middle grade dual timeline (2001 and 2019) fiction.

I have one Net Galley book due this month. It’s in a historical mystery series, so it should go quickly.

His Perfect Partner (Matched to Perfection #1)
Her Perfect Affair (Matched to Perfection #2)
Magnate (The Knickerbocker Club, #1)

Finally, I would like to get to Magnate by Joanna Shupe, His Perfect Partner and Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras. This way I can finish both series post Halloween Bingo. Fingers crossed, but if I can finish these three books with time left in the month, I would just continue one of the series.

I am going to make a concerted effort to finish my summer reading strong.

Until next time, happy reading – Tea

Monthly Reading Wrap Up

July 2021 Reading Wrap Up

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I re-read what my goals were at the beginning of July and wow I thought I was going to be much more productive than what I actually was. I fought to get these few books done by the end of the month and need to re-evaluate my goals for August. So what did I read in July?

First, I finished off Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. I enjoyed it, but I think London was better. I am very interested in getting to New York which is sitting on my NOOK taking up a huge amount of storage. Sarum was the largest book on my TBR, and now it is at the used book store as I exchanged it for credits.

Next up, I read Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett. I really enjoyed it and have since put her other books on my OverDrive wish list. It was fun, it was very educational, and it all tied in together. There is talk of climate change, but also real world solutions highlighted. There was balance between fun and education. I’m glad I finally pulled the lever and read this book.

I was not impressed with Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink. This was the minute by minute play back of what happened to Memorial Hospital in New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. I DNF’d this book at 40 pages for the following reasons: 1) the history of this area and the hospital pretty much foretold what was going to happen during Katrina; 2) the main doctor featured used the n-word with the hard r with regularity; and 3) the writing was a little too melodramatic for me. There were a lot of mistakes, bad policies, corruption, racism/sexism/classism/ableism, and generally a lot of non-caring about disaster-proofing a public good. I couldn’t get up enough energy to continue on with this car-wreck.

My Summer of Science project standing now stood at 1-1 when The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan walked up to the plate. This was a great, in-depth look at the Dust Bowl of the 1930s in the western part of the U.S. Midwest. For a history book, there was a ton of science found – including science of the time. In fact, there was science being distributed by non-scientists – long-time ranchers and Native Americans in the area knew that the native grasses were important to the ecological health of the region – granted, they may not have known the scientific terminology or the process, but they knew by their success that tear up the soil and getting rid of the protective grass was a bad idea. AND they were ignored/mocked along with the scientists, because Americans have a history of ignoring experts, much to their own peril. Well, they learned the VERY hard way that ignorance lies madness. I loved this book and it’s probably going to be a top ten nonfiction book of the year.

So first month of Summer Science standing is 2-1.

Finally, I finished Murder on Location (Charlotte Brody #3) by Cathy Pegau, the last book in the trilogy. I felt very satisfied with the character development, but the mystery faltered a little for me. I wanted more real red herrings – I figured the culprit pretty early on in the book and it was just a matter of time before finding the person out. I think the strongest mystery was in the first book, but the character development over the three books were what kept me reading.

I started a new series, The Knickerbocker Club by Joanna Shupe, with the prequel novella Tycoon. It was good but too short (83 NOOK pages) for the real grovel scene I wanted (the hero knows what he did). I hope to see the couple in the other books.

So I finished one series for the Finish That Series and started a new one. This is where I really failed because I was to start two new series and work through Knickerbocker series (I should have been finished by August, now it looks like I will finish by the end of the year). My November and December are going to be a race to finish all the books I was supposed to finish in June and July.

At last, I got a little over 200 pages into Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor. This is ssslllooowww reading; it’s designed to go way in-depth on the subject, to the point I can’t read more than a chapter at a time with some chapters taking two days to finish. One is just my headspace, one is that the font is too small for me to read much while riding as a passenger in a car – the space I was in a lot in the last two months. So I am not going to push myself to finish this book on a set time schedule, other than I will finish it by the end of the year. I am going to read my other B.A.B.s while working through this book.

So I am going to take tomorrow to really drill down and set goals that are somewhat more attainable than what my original plan for my summer reading was.

Book Haul

July 2021 Haul

Live look at how the weather feels here in Kansas.
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

I got back from NE Pennsylvania last night and honestly, I am so burned out from being on the go or on the road this summer. I did love visiting my family and hometown during the summer, I am just really run down. And we are about two weeks out from the first day of school – my son is a fifth grader and my daughter is a third grader; so we need to finalize and supply their school plans in the next week. As my busy summer goes, my reading has suffered; I haven’t finished as many books as I wanted to this month.

But my book shopping never missed a step LOL. Today, the local library had mini book sale (the big weekend long sale is at the end of September) to clear some books. Everything was a $1, so I got three books plus season one of The Golden Girls on DVD. My kids each got a book as well. Our library has a book case in the lobby for regular book sales, which another book on the list was purchased from.

Library Borrows – Nothing. I am working on getting to the last two library books from last month.

Personal Haul

  • One Week to Claim It All (Sambrano Studios #1) by Adriana Herrera – contemporary catagory romance (Spent: $3.20)
  • Radio Girls: A Novel by Sarah Ackerman – historical fiction set in WWII (Spent: $12.74)
  • The Metal Heart: A Novel of Love and Valor in World War II – historical fiction set in WWII by Caroline Lea (Spent: $13.00)
  • The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian – historical fiction set in the 1950s (Spent: $1.00)
  • That Churchill Woman: A Novel by Stephanie Barron – historical fiction about the mother of Sir Winston Churchill (Spent: $1.00)
  • Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristin McMorris – historical fiction set at a WWII internment camp in the US (Spent: $1.00)
  • The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan – nonfiction about the Biltmore estate (Spent: $1.00)
  • The Huntress: A Novel by Kate Quinn – historical fiction set in both WWII and post war (Spent: $1.00)
  • DC Bombshells United Volume 2: War Bonds by Marguerite Bennett et al – this is a spin off from the original DC Bombshells; the storyline in this set during and post the Spanish Civil War (Spent: $8.00)
  • DC Bombshells United Volume 3: Taps by Marguerite Bennett et al – this storyline deals with hijacked pirate radio and gathers all the Bombshells for one last mission (Spent: $8.00)
  • A Duke in Disguise (Regency Imposters #2) by Cat Sebastian – historical romance (Spent: $0.99)
  • Couldn’t Ask for More (The Southern Gentleman #2) by Kianna Alexander – contemporary romance (Spent: $0.99)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson – a modern classic of nonfiction (Spent: $1.99)
  • How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Christmas Romance Anthology by Various Authors – historical romance (Spent: $1.99)
  • The Glorious Guinness Girls by Emily Hourican – historical fiction (Spent: $2.99)
  • Her Wicked Marquess (Sinful Wallflowers #2) by Stacey Reid – historical romance (Spent: $0.99)
  • The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen – historical fiction with dual timelines (Spent: $2.99)
  • One Touch More (U.S. Marshals #3) by Mandy Baxter – contemporary romance (Spent: $1.99)
  • Right All Along (Willamette Valley #3) by Heather Heyford – contemporary romance (Spent: $0.99)
  • First Comes Love (Willamette Valley #2) by Heather Heyford – contemporary romance (Spent: $0.99)
  • The Sweet Spot (Willamette Valley #1) by Heather Heyford – contemporary romance (Spent: $0.99)
  • Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein – nonfiction about the hollowing out of the middle and working class in the Midwest (Spent: $1.99)
  • It Happened on Love Street (Everland, Georgia #1) by Lia Riley – contemporary romance (Spent: $1.99)
  • Open for Murder (Happy Camper Mystery #1) by Mary Angela – cozy mystery (Spent: Free)
  • Shouldn’t Have You (Fractured Connections #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan – contemporary romance(Spent: Free)
  • Mountain Fugitive by Lynette Eason – contemporary romantic suspense(Spent: Free)

Spent: $69.82