First Book of the Year


Every year Sheila hosts First book over at her blogBook Journey and I’ve participated for quite a few years. Before Sheila started hosting this event I never much thought about what my first book of the year, and now the decade, would be.  I decided to go with an ARC I received from an author I’ve met a few times and email with occasionally.  She’s authentically refreshing.  It’s a sequel and was released yesterday.  I hope to carve out some some to start reading today.  IMG_E3102 Liars’ Legacy – A Jack and Jill Thriller by Taylor Stevens continues the story of brother and sister assassins who took down the leader of the global network at the end of the first book.  Now the government is after them as they try to make their way out of the country to meet their high profile Russian father for the first time.

Later today head over to Sheila’s to see what everyone else is starting the year reading.  What are you reading today?

Book a Day Success!

For the fourth year in a row I’ve read a book a day in September and Gage has joined me the last three.  This year we read 26 books, which is right on track considering our road trip.  I plan on writing mini-reviews for them but thought I’d give you a preview…


Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie N or M? by Agatha Christie Tooth and Nail by Ian Rankin Strip Jack by Ian Rankin Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas Anything for You by Kristan Higgins Twisted Prey by John Sandford Mrs. Pollifax Pursued by Dorothy Gilman G is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton


A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie Borderlands by Brian McGilloway The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson Naked in Death by J.D. Robb The only one I may continue with is the Naked series by JD Robb.


Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll I Had Seen Castles by Cynthia Rylant Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan Washington Square by Henry James Animal Farm by George Orwell The Giver by Lois Lowry The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum


Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon The Dalai Lama by Carol Kelly-Gangi A Dirt Road to Somewhere by Romona Robinson Ohio Presidents by Dale Thomas Illuminated Life by Joan D. Chittister

A few pics from IG of Gage and I reading our books…


Always a fun month, but now I have time again!

Classics Spin #19

I signed up for the Classics Club in January 2015, challenging myself to read 50 classics in 5 years time.  I think I’m halfway, but I’ve only got just over a year left – yikes!

This Classics Spin is to list 20 chunksters still on our list.  A few of these are not chunksters, but I have so few to choose from to get 20 books with a loaded page count.  This week they’ll spin the wheel and tell us which book to read next.  Fun!!

1. Lady Chatterley’s Lover

2. Jude the Obscure

3. Eva Luna

4. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

5. Mists of Avalon

6. Gone With the Wind

7. A Handmaid’s Tale

8. Dracula

9. Mansfield Park

10. Prince of Tides

11. The Once and Future King

12. Travels With Charley

13. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

14. Stranger in a Strange Land

15. Age of Innocence

16. The Chosen

17. Of Human Bondage

18. Neuromancer by William Gibson

19. Animal Farm

20. Mother Night


You can join in the Classics Club any time and you pick your own books!!  If you already have a list, leave a link so I can take a look.


Classics Club Question

Here’s the question for May 2018:


What is your favorite classic book? Why?

This isn’t really a difficult question.  To Kill A Mockingbird, which I read in adulthood, is one that moved and inspired me.  We adopted a cat around the time I read this book and promptly named her Scout.

scout5I also have a love for Jane Eyre, since it was the first classic I read on my own when I was a sophomore in high school.  Although I haven’t read it recently I spent a few years watching all of the movie adaptations of the book. So much fun!

So what’s your favorite classic?



I’m finally joining the Classics Club and the Buckeyes Win!!

I’ve eyed this challenge for years, but have always had enough sense to resist, but NO MORE!  I’m feeling confident and pumped up after my Ohio State Buckeyes kicked butt last night and beat #1 Alabama.  Sorry, still riding a little high 🙂

The rules are that I have to read 50 classics in 5 years time.  I have to make a list (this is often where I’ve stalled out in the past) and to do this I have to define what classic means for me.  I think a classic is something that stands the test of time and has something to say.  I will use an arbitrary number of 25 years, so anything before 1990 (just typing that makes me feel old). The list can be changed as the years go on, but I think I’ll start with the classics that are sitting on my shelves right now, many of them for years. Take a look and tell me which one I should read first.

1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

2. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

3. Washington Square by Henry James

4. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

5. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

6. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

7. Ada by Vladimir Nabokov

8. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome

9. Night by Elie Wiesel

10. Up From Slavery by Booker T Washington

11. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

12. Cat’s Cradle or Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

13. Aesop’s Fables

14. Good as Gold by Joseph Heller

15. Lady Chatterly’s Lover or Women in Love by DH Lawrence

16. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

17. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

18. Moonstone or The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

19. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

20. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

21. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

22. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

23. 1984 by George Orwell

24. Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone by James Baldwin

25. Babbit by Sinclair Lewis

25. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

26. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert m Pirsig

27. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

28. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

29. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

30. The Chosen by Chaim Potok

31. Christy by Catherine Marshall

32. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

33. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

34. Roll of Thunder Hear, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

35. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

36. Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou

37. Villette by Charlotte Bronte

38. Oliver Twist or Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

39. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

40. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

41. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

42. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

43. The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien

44. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

45. Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

46. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

47. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

48. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

49. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

50. The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer


2013 Challenge fail but high hopes for 2014 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge

I’d given up challenges a few years ago because they put too much pressure on my reading.  Last year I gave myself a personal challenge of reading 9 books, but failed.  I only had to read these awesome books.. 001I managed to read 6 of them which is still okay.  After I read everyone’s favorites lists this year I may make a personal reading list again.  If at first you don’t succeed and all that.

This year I decided to join one challenge.  I saw that Bookfan Mary was going to make this her one challenge of the year and I thought it sounded like a great idea.  I am a champion at starting a series but not in completing them. Sometimes I don’t care for the first one but often I just get distracted by new shiny books.

So, I’m signing up here and choosing one series, level 1, so that I don’t have to work too hard to feel successful 🙂  I’ll be completing a series that I started back in 2009 when  read the first two of Shirley Tallman’s Sarah Woolson series.  It’s a great historical mystery series set in San Francisco.  I chose this one because I’m only three behind and I have the next two on my shelves already.

#3 The Cliff House Strangler

#4 Scandal on Rincon Hill

#5 Death on Telegraph Hill

Bring in the clowns and Thrill Week II

I’ve struggled to get into a reading groove this year.  Gage is way more active and my time is spent keeping him busy, finding things and places to go to keep him busy, and spending some time with Jason.  But, Jill had a series of clown posts that I read altogether (because I am currently about 2 1/2 weeks behind on my blog hopping) and I thought in a moment of insanity that, yes, yes I could read the 1000+ pages Stephen King novel IT by mid October.  So, it looks like I will be falling even further behind in my blog reading (although maybe that will prevent me from signing up for more things I don’t have time for).  Sorry, blame Jill.

If you are interesting in joining other crazy, clown loving folk visit Jill and Christina and sign up for the IT-along.  There may even be a clown nose in it for you.

Another fun September event that ties in nicely with the IT read along is Thrill Week over at Tea Time with Marce.  Marce did a fantastic job last year and I’m looking forward to seeing what she’s got up her sleeve this year.  If you like mysteries, thrillers, or horror I encourage you to go check it out.

So that’s what I’ve got planned in September.  Anyone know of a good babysitter so I have time to read and blog?

January Wrap Up and Free Book

I’ve decided to add a new feature to by blog and I hope you’ll like it.  It will replace my free books for the month post.  There is a free book in this post somewhere but you must read on to find it 🙂  They’ll be free book with each of these wrap-ups.

So, I bought this great planner because I decided to enter the world of the productive again instead of the “I’ve got a baby and I can’t get anything done” whine that I had been using.  I make monthly, weekly, and daily goals and I have a way to track them.  I get to check off goals and it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I had 5 daily goals for the month: 10,000 steps (22/31), meditation reading (29/31), 8 glasses of water (keep in mind that I HATE water 22/31), a note to Jason (14/22), One Line Mom Diary (29/31).  I think I did okay and look forward to improving on these numbers in January.

I’ve added two more things to my daily goals for February.  One is a secret til the end of the month, but it is a true challenge and the other is this challenge…

A Month of Letters. This goes along with my bucket list goal of writing 1000 letters, so I’m going to give it a try.  Why not join in?  If I have your address don’t be surprised to find something in the mail from me this month 🙂 I want to thank Care for helping me find this one.

I have a friend named Molly, some of you may know her as the Bumble, and she has been doing a series of posts about lessons learned in Regina Brett’s book, God Never Blinks.  I have enjoyed this series and hope you are reading it too.  Regina is a local writer and has a new book titled Be the Miracle.  She will be signing books in the area this month and I plan on attending one of these events.  Would you like to win a signed copy?  Just leave me your email address in a comment.  I’ll accept entries until I attend the signing, but neither of us knows when that is so better do it now, the next signing is Sunday 🙂

Those are my thoughts for my January goals and a few of my plans for February.  Are you someone who needs a list to accomplish things, too?

Challenging Year

Goals achieved with little effort are seldom worthwhile or long lasting.

from My Personal Best by John Wooden with Steve Jamison

I signed up for 5 new challenges this year.  I completed 4 of them easily, but the States Challenge became a bit of an obsession.  I only managed 76 books this year and still visited all 50 states!  In the month of December I had to finish a book every 2.5 days to check this challenge off my To Do list.  The Agatha Christie Challenge is ongoing so I hope to get more done on that in 2012.

I had one challenge holdover from 2010.  I asked you all to choose 50 book from my TBR piles for me to read and I read 36 in 2010 and another 11 in 2011, leaving me with 3 left for 2012.  Weird that I have had no desire in 2 years to pick up the one that garnered the most votes!

Except for those three books and the Agatha Christie challenge I am making 2012 a challenge free year.  I need to take some of the pressure off of myself and have a more relaxed reading year.  I do have a toddler running around here, you know 🙂

Here’s the challenge wrap up…

1. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb – 12 votes (Mary, Marce, Jo-Jo, Amanda, Calico Critic, ‘Nise, Jo Ann, Allesandra, Piroska, Mom, Literary Feline, Melissa)

2. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – 10 votes (Mary, BermudaOnion, Word Lily, Linda B, Em, Literate Housewife, Ms. Mazzola, Jessica, Mille, Margie)

4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel – 10 votes (Gofita, Carol, Staci, Ms. Mazzola, Heather, Kerri, Rebecca, Alita Reads, Julie H., Rhapsody)

9. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – 7 votes (Carol, Staci, FleurFisher, Vasilly, Ms. Mazzola, Angie, Amanda)

11. Emma by Jane Austen – 6 votes (Candice, Jennifer, Ms. Mazzola, Alita Reads, Kathrin, Literary Feline)

14. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire – 5 votes (Shanyn, Jo-Jo, Calico Critic, Donna S, Lisa-Marie)

19. Roots by Alex Hailey – 5 votes (Cee-Cee, Staci, Literate Housewife, Sarah E., Angie S.)

35. Good Grief by Lolly Winston – 3 votes (Staci, Jenners, Margie)

36. Testimony by Anita Shreve – 3 votes (Marce, Allesandra, Mystica)

40. Three Junes by Julia Glass – 2 votes (Golda, Soft Drink)

42. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins – 2 votes (Carol, Mille)

46. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett – 2 votes (Golda, Heather)

49. The Human Stain by Philip Roth – 2 votes (Jackie, Mille)

50. A Room With a View by E.M. Forster – 2 votes (Candice, Jenny girl)

Book Obsessed

Alabama  The Hellion by LaVyrle Spencer

Alaska  Emerald Dreams by Caroline Bourne

Arizona  Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay

Arkansas Shakespeare’s Landlord by Charlaine Harris

California The 9th Judgement by James Patterson, Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Colorado  The Invitation by Jude Deveraux

Connecticut  Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton

Delaware  Hawke’s Harbor by SE Hinton

Florida  Black Out by Lisa Unger

Georgia  Quicksand by Iris Johansen

Hawaii Kona Winds by Janet Dailey

Idaho  Killer Summer by Ridley Pearson

Illinois The Litigators by John Grisham

Indiana  My Personal Best by John Wooden with Steve Jamison

Iowa Laughing Through Life by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Kansas The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

Kentucky  Foxfire Light by Janet Dailey

Lousiana Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Maine  Carrie by Stephen King

Maryland  Earthly Possessions by Anne Tyler

Massachusetts  Just Above a Whisper by Lori Wick

Michigan  What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage

Minnesota  Buried Prey by John Sandford

Mississippi Third Degree by Greg Iles

Missouri  Little Black Dress by Susan McBride

Montana Work Song by Ivan Doig

Nebraska  My Antonia by Willa Cather

Nevada  The Missing Ink by Karen E Olson

New Hampshire A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

New Jersey  Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

New Mexico  The Secret of Everything by Barbara O’Neal

New York  Hush by Kate White, After Isaactown by Ward Jones, Deadly Vows by Brenda Joyce, Live Wire by Harlan Coben, The Fountain by Emily Grayson, Shut Your Eyes Tight by John Verdon

North Dakota A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor

North Carolina  The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart

Ohio  The Lake Effect by Les Roberts

Oklahoma Six White Horses by Janet Dailey

Oregon  HeartSick by Chelsea Cain, Good Grief by Lolly Winston

Pennsylvania Someone in the House by Barbara Michaels

Rhode Island The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

South Carolina  What So Proudly We Hailed by James Howard

South Dakota  Black Hills by Nora Roberts

Tennessee  The Glass Flame by Phyllis Whitney

Texas  Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Echo Burning by Lee Child, Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough by Ruth Pennebaker

Utah The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Vermont Testimony by Anita Shreve

Virginia Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

Washington  The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts

West Virginia Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen

Wisconsin  Afraid by Jack Kilborn

Wyoming Open Season CJ Box

Washington DC  The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

1.  What So Proudly We Hailed by James Howard.  Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

2. The 9th Judgement by James Patterson.  Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

3. After Isacctown by Ward Jones. Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

4.  Third Degree by Greg Iles. Reviewed here. Gave away here.

5. The Hellion by LaVyrle Spencer.  Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

6. Testimony by Anita Shreve. Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

7. The Glass Flame by Phyllis Whitney. Reviewed here. Gave away here.

8. Emma by Jane Austen. Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

9. Carrie by Stephen King. Reviewed here. Gave away here.

10.  The Invitationby Jude Deveraux. Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

11. Open Season by CJ Box. Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

12. Skinny Legs & All by Tom Robbins. Reviewed here.  Gave away here.

1.  Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

2. Deadly Vows by Brenda Joyce

3. The Hellion by LaVyrle Spencer

4. A Room with a View by EM Forster

5. The Fountain by Emily Grayson

6. Emerald Dreams by Caroline Bourne

7.  Emma by Jane Austen

8.  The Invitation by Jude Deveraux

9. Foxfire Light by Janet Dailey

10. Kona Winds by Janet Dailey

11. Black Hills by Nora Roberts

12. Six White Horses by Janet Dailey

1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles reviewed here.

2. The Secret Adversary reviewed here.

Finish 100 miles in three months, July 1-September 30. I finished my 100 miles on September 14th!!!

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VI   September 1-October 31st.

1. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

2. Buried Prey by John Snadford

A Challenge Completed

I finally finished my first challenge of the year, the 100 Miles Fitness Challenge!!  Woo Hoo!  I actually finished my 100 miles with 2 weeks to spare.  So, far this walking has not translated into weight loss, but I’m okay with that.

I don’t sign up for challenges expected not to complete them.  I tend to push myself to get them done.  With Gage around this year I chose only a few challenges to try to think I have a good chance of finishing them all, except for the States challenge.  I still have a lot of states to get through and  this is my 3rd year trying this one and I’d love to complete it.  If you’d like to recommend a short book for any of the states I have left I will send you lots of virtual hugs 🙂  My challenge list here.