Vacation Books

Our road trip to Maine, with overnight stops in New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts was a huge success. I posted in Instagram daily so you can click on over if you want to see more, but these were my top 5 favorite moments…

Sunrises

With my guys on my birthday in Hampton, NH
and by myself in Wells, Maine

Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts

Rachel Carson Refuge, Kennybunkport, Maine

So many beaches, so little time


I considered putting my book-a-day challenge on hiatus when we went on our 9 day road trip, but decided to honor the challenge with books I had on our homeschool reading shelf.

My favorite was the picture book A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thu Bui. It’s a touching story of a boy who accompanies his Vietnamese father fishing early in the morning so that the family can be fed for the day. I absolutely loved it!

I also read another picture book, Miep and the Most Famous Diary: The Woman Who Rescued Anne Frank’s Diary by Meeg Pincus, illustrated by Jordi Solano.

I liked How Wolves Came From Dogs by Jack Myers, illustrated by John Rice. There were 12 articles about different animals, all taken and updated from past Highlights Magazine articles. Fun to read and discuss with Gage. We were most interested in how they populated two islands in Maine with Puffins.

We listened to two Big Nate books in the car, Big Nate Flips Out and Big Nate In a Class By Himself. These were quick funny stories that gave all three us smiles and laughs.

The Story of Chocolate by Caryn Polin was interesting. DK always does a good job of sharing facts in a fun layout.

Not so successful (for me and Jason, Gage like them) was the audio of Nate the Great Collected Stories, Volume 4 and Pup Detectives .

On my actual birthday I read the little book that Jason got me that tells me all about the year I was born. It was fun!

I’ll have to catch up with the rest of my reading another day, still playing catch up!


October is here

It’s over a week into October and here I am. October is a crazy month for us, We have 2 birthdays and an anniversary in within a week and half and this year we decided to add a four state road trip into the mix, lol.

I’ve been trying to read some creepy books for this spooky month.


I woke up to find 50 flowers waiting for me. Happy birthday month to me!

I’m intending to read from these stacks worthy of #ripxiv #ripperils 💀. I’ve got ghosts, magic, horror, and mystery waiting for me this month.

What’s your favorite story with a ghost?

For my first ghostly story I read the kids book The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall and loved it! What a great intro for kids into the the horror stories of the day. It had a little Haunting of Bly Manor feel, only with a 12 year old orphan girl protagonist. There was real danger and scares here.
First flowers and this morning balloons! I’m feeling the birthday love and I still have 9 days to go! 🎉

The Flip by Phillip Michael Cash was full of ghosts, just what this month calls for. A newly married couple flips houses and one of them falls in love with an old Victorian, hoping to make it their permanent home. The other feels the presence of spirits not altogether friendly. The ghosts are dealing with issues of their own and you even get their backstory of their time in the house.

A quick and ghostly October read 👻
This morning a vintage 1971 wine glass and a bottle of Korbel, added to my earlier balloons, and flowers and I’m convinced I should turn 50 every year! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

And I finished up Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz. An evil wanna be god nicknamed Tick Tock because he tells people when they’re gonna die, wreaks havoc. Fortunately, there’s a hero dog that saves the day more than once. A decent audio for October listening.

The birthday fairy came again and brought 50 chocolates from @malleyschoc 🧚‍♂️ You may notice the pack of 2 chocolate covered pretzels is already empty. 🥨🍫

I read the spooky Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child and loved it for an October read. People in the Catskills are being brutally murdered. First they say it’s a bear, and then a wolf, but some people suspect a more human element.

This is the most recent of the Jeremy Logan series and even though I haven’t read any of the others I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I’m tempted to go back and read a few others this month. Think X-Files or Supernatural.
My birthday fairy brought some sparkly numbers s as d 2 books on turning 50. At breakfast Gage and I read All the Great Things About Turning 50. I’ll be using it as a journal since it’s 104 empty pages 🤣🤣. The other one, 50 Things To Do When You Turn 50, looked a bit more serious. I’ll keep you posted.

I read Gage the 84 page book, Scary Tales: One-Eyed Doll. Spooky and fun, it was a great atmospheric October read. Siblings dig up an old box from the yard of an abandoned house. Inside the locked box they found a doll. The 5 year old girl takes it home and starts to act strangely forcing her brother to ask questions about the house. Loved the layout of the book and the few pictures included. I’m going to track down some more of this series this month.

A few years ago Jason bought me a Keurig and we use the reusable pods because all of this plastic trash everyday would drive me nuts. But I’m not gonna lie, when the birthday fairy brought me an assortment of 50 coffees for the machine I was happy to know that on more difficult mornings I could skip a few steps for my joe. It even came with a fun mug for those mornings 😆

Gage read me Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Sleepwalking Snowman. This is #7 and we haven’t read any of the others, but when the library put up their spooky story display for kids I grabbed randomly. Desmond and his best friend Andres (who happens to be the book’s author) are called upon to solve a case from someone in their school. What the find is a snowball bully and something scary enough to only come to life in a dream.

Loved the humor, the illustrations, and the spookiness of this Halloween thriller for the older elementary school set. We will definitely be picking up more from this series! 120 pages.
The birthday fairy doesn’t seem to be pacing himself. Day 7 of his visits brought me shirts that I will be wearing proudly. Most especially the one touting all original parts, although there are a few I wouldn’t mind trading in for newer models. Still 4 days til the big day.

I listened to another from the Jeremy Logan series by Lincoln Child since I liked the other one I read. It was just as appropriate for October since Dr. Logan is a ghost hunter. This one is about a mysterious scientific think tank and the scientists who are going crazy. Logan discovers a secret room with a machine that seems to summon the supernatural. I like Logan, the atmospheric setting, and the moral quandary presented. This is a fun series!
Have you ever been mentioned in a book? Thank you Ivy Zelman for the nice mention of Jason is your book, Gimme Shelter: Hard Calls + Soft Skills From a Wall Street Trailblazer.

It’s Ivy who brought us to Cleveland in 2000. Her maternity leave allowed us to live in up in midtown Manhattan for 4 months. She always treated Jason and I well, even inviting us to parties at her home and events for her kids. Thanks to her I attended my first and only Bris. Soon after he started, fresh out of college, I remember her gifting him a $200 dinner wherever he wanted to go. Needless to say, we had to do a little looking to find out where we could blow $200 on a dinner for 2 😂. Now I request Johnny’s downtown every birthday!

She has written a book about her ascent to the #1 analyst in her field and the lessons she learned along the way. In a male dominated profession she did things differently, not relying on her name or degree at an Ivy League school. I liked getting a different, more personal perspective from a powerhouse woman. And yes, the best page is 74, the one pictured, for obvious reasons.

Jason worked for Ivy for 4 years and she taught him well.

September wrap up and favorites

I’m barely holding on to my sanity right now, but my book a day success continues (barely).

My September reads with my favorites front ant center.

❤️ Infinite Hope: A Black Artists’ Journey From WWII to Peace by Ashley Bryan

❤️ Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

❤️ The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab

❤️ I Am Beauty: Timeless Skincare and Beauty for Women 40 and Over by Riku Campo

❤️ March trilogy by John Lewis

What was the best thing you read in September?

A few I haven’t talked about yet…

Are you a library book sale lover? We had our first book sale in 2 years. I helped set up Wednesday and Thursday and yesterday I wheeled 7 carts of books outside and spent the day talking to folks and directing them inside to where we had thousands of books waiting for them.

A few fun happenings…
💵 a man paid with a $2 bill. I joked with him about it and he pulled out a second one and gave it to me as a tip. I don’t think I’ve ever held 2 $2 bills at once!

📖a conversation with a retired librarian led to a few fun personal stories about children’s authors Dav Pilkey and Cynthia Rylant when they lived together in the area way back when. Conversations like this made my day.

❤️ it was around 5 and I had been in the sun since 9, but people were still looking at the carts and I started a conversation with one of the last women about the latest Lisa Kleypas book that she had just checked out. This led to a 15 minute conversation about historical romances where she tried to convince me that I had to read the Bridgerton series instead of just watching the Netflix series. She was just as passionate as you were @oursewgoodlife so I’m in 😁

A fun day day, but I’m burnt and exhausted and taking today off 😁. I did manage to read through Seinfeld Companion about the first 61 episodes of my favorite show ever and it was a fun, light diversion between bookish fun.

I didn’t post yesterday but we watched The Tale of Desperaux as a family. Gage loved the book, calls it his favorite, so it was fun to discuss the many, many changes the movie made and possible reasons why. Even with all of the changes he still really liked the movie too.

I always bring home Jack Reacher books when I find them, knowing I’ll get to them all eventually. I didn’t have #20 so I listened instead.

The driving storyline behind this one is horrific on many levels, but it takes awhile to get there so it’s not all dark.

Reacher meets a woman 😱. I know, I know, this is a common occurrence but something different and unexpected happens with this one…and it’s not just that she convinces him to go to the emergency room.

This wasn’t my favorite, but learning a bit more about the workings of the dark web was interesting. Looking forward to following Reacher on his continued journey.
What’s up with all of the honey bears around my book of the day? Gage took The World of Honey taste testing class online at @outschool today. We love Outschool classes and this was the first one that we had to order our supplies, but it was so worth it! These honeys came from a farm here in Ohio, Kline’s Honey Bee Farm (you can order these samplers that come with colorful fliers and information on bees and honey on @etsy ). I made him take the class in the kitchen so I could follow along 😂. All three of us had different favorites, but universally hated buckwheat and fall honey.

Do you have a favorite honey?

I picked up my book at the library sale over the weekend. Long Story Short has (mostly) 3 panel comics for 100 (mostly) classics. The illustrations were great and I loved that there were more recent titles like, A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Graveyard Book by Gaiman alongside the oldies but goodies. It fell short in the humor department for me. Maybe it just wasn’t my taste, but I was underwhelmed.

But, hey, the honey tasting was fun! 🐝
So, do you think masks like this are creepy or beautiful?

I bought this in Venice on our 2008 Italy trip. I love these masks and find them creepy AND beautiful.

This is the last book I found at the library book sale over the weekend and was a relaxing way to spend some time. A glass of wine is a must. Italian Dreams is mainly a book of interesting photographs with quotes about Italy. The pictures are not your typical tourist shots and are mini works of art. I love Italy and this is perfect for my bookshelf.
We read When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex because we’re learning about South Dakota this week. The book is beautifully told and illustrated. Starting with her childhood as a shy girl who didn’t like the same things other kids did and continuing her habit of ‘looking for things’ into adulthood, this book gives hope to all kids everywhere.

Sue found the largest, most complete at 90%, and best preserved T. Rex ever found. And her coworkers named the T. Rex after her in honor of her discovery.

Great for younger or older elementary, especially for girls, any kid who feels different, or those interested in dinosaurs or science. That covers almost everyone right?