Top Ten – Adjectives in Title

I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately. I’m still reading a book a day, 107 total for the year so far, but haven’t had the time (or energy) to take pics for IG or post here. So, I thought participating in Top Ten Tuesday was a perfect way to spend some time 🙂

Top Ten Books with Adjectives in the Title is the prompt and here are the ten I chose, all women for Women’s History Month. Do you see a favorite in the stack? My favorite so far has been The Starless Sea, but there are still several I need to read.

📕American Wife by Curtis Settenfeld

📒The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – liked it

📗American Duchess by Karen Harper

📘An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – really liked it

📙The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag

📒The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

📗The Rooftop Party by Ellen Meister

📕The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – loved it

📘Shallow Waters by Anita Kopacz – really liked it

📙The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern – loved it

Do you see a favorite here?

The latest Harlan Coben and Elizabeth Chudleigh

The Duchess Countess.
Let’s talk about a rather infamous woman from from the Georgian Era for Women’s History Month. Elizabeth Chudleigh was a woman who learned how to use her considerable assets to gain security and influence. In the mid 1750s women had make an advantageous marriage and Elizabeth managed to do that, twice and at the same time.

She was a strong-willed woman who knew what she wanted and no shortage of men willing to provide it. She made a hasty marriage when she was young and a well-suited one when she was in her middle years. When she becomes a widow she still has a husband left.

This biography was dense and well annotated, so I really got a sense for the customs and politics of the day and all the players involved. Because of that it wasn’t a fast read, but I suppose if you were more familiar with her or her story this might read a little easier.

She was fearless, but with vulnerabilities too. A fascinating woman.

Thanks to Atria Books for sending me a copy of this book.

The Match.
Wilde, The Boy In the Woods, is back. It’s a few months after the first book ended and he’s managed to track down his father via an online DNA database. He also finds someone he believes to be his brother. Only neither one is really forthcoming with information for different reasons.

This can be a standalone, but do yourself a favor and read The Boy in the Woods first. You’ll want to know more about Wilde. All of the great characters from that book are back as is an additional guest from another Coben novel, The Stranger.

No one does thrillers quite like Harlan Coben and his latest is the sequel to Wilde’s story that I’d hoped he write.

Wilde survived in the woods on his own as a very young child, so Gage and I took this book on a walk in the woods and discussed how likely that would be. We decided you’d have to be extremely 🍀, but today is a lucky day, so anything is possible!

Loved it and am looking forward to more Wilde in the future.

Women’s History Month Reading

A few of my reading favorites so far this month…

❤️My favorite was The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. Dual storylines and three perspectives made this a fast read. In the 1700s there’s an old apothecary shop that women in need can find to assist them with their troubles, man troubles. A young girl visits one day bringing friendship and disaster. The current day storyline involves a woman with man troubles of her own unraveling the mystery of the serial killer apothecary.

❤️ Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab by Priya Huq is a colorful graphic memoir by a Bangladeshi-American. I really liked this true story of her experience as a 13 year old girl being targeted in a hate crime. She showed the struggle of coping, the family drama, and the lessons learned about friendship, as she came out the other side of her PTSD a stronger person. Perfect for tweens who need to read from another kid’s point of view.

📚The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict was a good historical novel that imagines what was behind the true life 12 day disappearance of renowned mystery writer Agatha Christie. I liked it , but admit I wasn’t thrilled at the end 🤷🏻‍♀️ it did make me do some internet reading, so it sparked an interest!
On a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk. A sensible young woman with a fiancé who doesn’t appreciate her has the opportunity to live out her wildest dreams. It definitely had some Cinderella vibes, in the best way. One magical night at a ball brought Fran the excitement she didn’t even know she was looking for. She was kind and funny and I liked her journey to find herself and the friends she picked up along the way.

I was sent the ARC but ending up mostly listening to it because I really liked the audio.
These are a few of the favorites we’ve read for Women’s History Month this week pictured with the only other girl in the house.

We just finished Who Was Amelia Earhart after dinner. I learned new things that either I didn’t know or didn’t remember. It really is amazing how her plane just disappeared with a Coast Guard ship waiting for her and 10 ships and 65 planes trying to find her soon after. A mysterious and tragic end for a badass woman.

We read She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton. It featured 13 women who didn’t take no for an answer. We used the one page as a starter and supplemented with other books or articles. A great message for girls (and boys, but I imagine it would mean more for girls).

Who Said Women Can’t be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone was great. She applied to 28 medical schools and was told NO! by all. Women were not doctor material. Her 29th application proved fruitful and in 1849 she graduated and became America’s first woman doctor. If that doesn’t convince your kid to never give up on a dream I don’t know what will.

Gloria Takes a Stand: How Gloria Steinem Listened, Wrote, and Changed the World by Jessica M. Rinker is a nice reminder to all of us that change doesn’t happen without a fight. Too many people like to wax poetic about the good old days without bothering to acknowledge the ridiculous limitations put on women (and others but specifically women here). It was a nice reminder to use your voice for progress.

February Favorites

I wish I had time to log in all of my February books, but this will have to do. You can see on the right the stack of picture books Gage and I read for Black History Month (plus 2 Van Gogh books). The back row were standouts for me.

❤️ The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and EB White
❤️Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson and Christian Robinson
❤️A Children’s Introduction to African American History by Jabari Asim and Lynn Gaines 👉🏻 we used this 96 pager as our textbook for the month

You can see my list of adult reads on the left is considerably smaller. Still managed to have ones I loved just a little bit more.
❤️Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez 🖋 graphic novel
❤️Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
❤️The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova

I’ve read 90 books this year and I’m in my 15th month of reading a book a day.

This Week – Quick Road Trip

Highlights of the Week – Jason decided that he couldn’t take the Cleveland cold and snow for another week and booked us a stay on Lake Norman in North Carolina. He did this late Friday afternoon and we left bright and early Sunday, lol. I was already 100% stressed and when he came to me on Friday afternoon with his plan I have to admit I was pissed. That is not a word I use lightly. My husband came to me with photos of this gorgeous condo on the lake with promises of beautiful weather and all I could think about what how long my multiple to-do lists were. For us, going on a road trip involves some planning mainly due to Gage’s food allergies, but I was able to get that done and our cat to the vet and a week’s work of washing and packing and homeschool planning in a day and a half. It really wasn’t until we got there and I had a glass of wine on the deck that I forgave him.

As I enjoyed our week away, we watched, read, and talked about what was happening in Ukraine and I felt all kinds of entitled for my attitude. It’s truly heartbreaking. Seeing the destruction and death and one man’s insatiable thirst for power is difficult to take. I’ve been praying for Ukraine and even booked a Ukraine Experience on AirBnb on our way home, mainly as a way to feel as though I was doing something (Jason had different opinions, but it gave me a momentary sense of helping).

Now that we’re home, the worries that I left with are still here, but I’m hoping to maintain a level of chill for as long as I can so, here are are pics from our week away.