WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: November 20, 2019

Yahoo! It’s Wednesday! That means it is time for WWW Wednesday and, as always, a big thanks goes to Sam @ Taking on a World of Words for hosting this weekly meme that asks the four questions that keep me (decently) organized.

What Did I Recently Finish Reading?

kindnessandwonderThe only book I finished this week was Kindness and Wonder; Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever by Gavin Edwards. You can read my full review by clicking the title but it is easy to gush about this book. If you need to be reminded of the wonder that was Mister Rogers, this book will do it for you.




What Am I Currently Reading?

Five is one too many for me!! I just cannot seen to get back into The Heart Forger after putting it aside to focus on nonfiction. The parts I have read are too good and I need to just let it rest and start again fresh. Meanwhile, just a touch of insomnia has me diving into the new selection of Smartypants Romance selections with Weight Expectations and it is cute!

What Will I Read Next?

These are all the nonfiction books I have waiting for me. I think Empire of the Summer Moon is probably going to be next but if anyone has any other suggestions, let me know!

Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW list?


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten Things I Should Change About My Reading Life (but won’t)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Every week there is a prompt and every week I love reading everyone else’s list. I have participated before but this week’s responses had my brain spinning. The prompt was “Changes in my Reading Life” but, instead, I give you my top ten list of things I should probably change about my reading life (but won’t).

1. Reading Too Many Books All At Once

Oh man, this is a massive struggle of mine that I should really change. But I know I won’t. I try to limit myself to the system I know works for me (1 fiction, 1 nonfiction, 1 audiobook and 1 ebook) but then I get….distracted. And, like a house of cards, I end up not finishing anything for a week (or two). But, other books are so….cool!

2. Reading Based on My Mood

I envy those people who can set out a plan for a month or even a year. I can’t honestly say where my reading journey will take me from day to day. I think that is why I read so many books at once. Then, I always have something I feel like reading. Except when I don’t and then please refer to #3.

3. Buying Books When I Have Books at Home

Setting a book buying ban is akin to swearing off candy for me – it just makes me binge. I’ve come to terms with my buying and anyone who wants to argue about it has to let me see all their receipts first. Let’s face it, we all spend money. I’ve been wearing the same bargain Target shirt for ages but I have new books. This is where I spend my money and I’m happy.

4. Leaving My Books All Around The House

They are literally everywhere. I bought one of those cute carts to make it look organized except it didn’t really contain the mess. If you follow this blog then you know that I couldn’t find Frankenstein for a number of weeks in October but it was on my bedside table. It was right there the whole time (just under five other books.)

5. Writing in my Books

Ok! Calm down! I know for many of you this is a cardinal sin but let me just tell you – it’s awesome. I only write in the ones that I know I will keep and usually only in the nonfiction. I would never (ever) write in a book that didn’t belong to me.

6. Cracking the spine

Well, if you made it through #5, this might be the deal breaker. I do crack the spine on my mass market paperbacks. Otherwise you can’t see what they wrote in the seam!!! Again, I would never do this to a book that didn’t belong to me.

7. Getting Too Attached

I get attached to characters but I also get attached to the physical copies of books. Maybe this seems crazy since I’ve just admitted that I crack them and write in them but those are expressions of affection for me. Like doodling a heart on your crushes hand. I will pull a book off the shelf and hug it. I don’t keep my hugging to own copies either – I’ll happily hug your copy of a beloved story or even one in a story. It makes me look bizarre and strange but I won’t stop. They’ve given me so much, they deserve a hug!

8. Not Breaking Up With Authors Even Though We’ve Gone Our Separate Ways

I’m sure I’m not alone in this one but I will continue reading an author long after it is clear that one of us has changed. I really need to stop having authors as “auto-purchases” after the second or third book that I just didn’t enjoy. This is not the author’s fault, as a mood reader I take full responsibility (see #2) but as an avid book buyer I really should be more self-aware (see #3).

9. Talking About Books Too Much

Yeah, I know, I’m laughing too. But, really, maybe I could work on my timing? Or limit the number of times a day I bring up books? No, probably never going to happen.

10. Judging People Based on What They Read

Not every Harry Potter fan is possible friend. Likewise, people who only read “good fiction” (whatever that is) can still be my likable. Pretentious but likable. I need to stop lumping everyone into piles. Actually, this one, I think I will do!

Tell me, please!

What are you reading habits that you should probably change (but know you won’t)?



Kindness and Wonder, Why Mr. Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever by Gavin Edwards

“Don’t you like to be with real people? People who aren’t afraid to make mistakes, and people who just know that life is a gift and relish in it?” Fred Rogers

One of the most terrifying moments of television for me was when Mr. Rogers was on Candid Camera. I watched Mr. Rogers on PBS as a kid and I adored him. He talked to us about everything; feelings, death, how to make friends, and how people were different. I didn’t enjoy the land of make-believe, I wanted facts as a child. And Fred Rogers delivered on that front by taking us to factories long before How It’s Made debuted. He meticulously worked through complicated ideas for us. And the glorious music! It was not a show for adults. It was just for us.

Years and years later, while watching Candid Camera, there was his familiar face. Candid Camera was trying to aggravate people by giving them a room without a television and I watched, while holding my breath, to see if this would be the undoing of a childhood hero. I shouldn’t have worried, Mr. Rogers was the same person I had watched everyday. A little older, but just as kind. You can see the clip here. Thank goodness, he was real.

kindnessandwonderKindness and Wonder, Why Mr. Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever by Gavin Edwards is a lovingly written biography of the man and the show. Fred Rogers grew up in the wealthiest family in his town but that a combination of his wealth and asthma led him to be isolated for his own safety and often playing alone. His ability to remember his childhood and the way he felt during those times gave such vulnerability and credibility to his message. His mission, to use all of his gifts, combined with his understanding and his constant desire to help is what created the magic that was, and for many children still is, Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

This book not only reminded me of all the things I love about Fred Rogers it also gave me the personal side of why he did the things he did. Certainly, the biggest complaint most people have about Mr. Rogers is the pace of his deliver. But, he was so determined to be both a good listener and a person whose words children could rely on that he learned to carefully select his words whenever he spoke. His show was scripted and he insisted that everyone adhere to the script. Adults may not have enjoyed it but that was fine since he only cared about how children felt. He knew the power of the right word to a child and he made sure to work hard to provide all the best words, phrases, and messages.

Mr. Rogers cared so deeply he is often credited with single handedly saving public television as we know it today. In 1969 President Nixon wanted to cut the budget for public broadcasting to free up funds for the war in Vietnam. President Johnson had budgeted twenty million dollars for public broadcasting and Nixon wanted to cut it in half. Mr. Rogers appeared before the subcommittee late on the second day of a two day hearing to face an already disgruntled Senator Pastore. As Mr. Rogers took the witness table it seemed that the subcommittee was unconvinced that public television would put the full amount to any good use. In fact, so sick of hearing from people, the Senator had said he would listen to no more pre-prepared statements.

But, through his quiet way, Mr. Rogers impressed upon the committee how the funding would help children process the inner drama of childhood. His argument was so eloquently put and so concisely phrased he gave Senator Pastore goosebumps. You can watch, in this video, the Senator’s mind being changed in less than seven minutes. It was how much Mr. Rogers cared for children and how important that work was that made the Senator declare, “Looks like you just earned the twenty million dollars.”

Whether you enjoyed the show or not, even if you haven’t seen a single episode, this book will impress you at the sheer determination this individual put into being a good neighbor. And isn’t that something we should all aspire to be? The author gives ten ways to be more like Mister Rogers today:

Be deep and simple

Be kind to strangers

Make a joyful noise

Tell the truth

Connect with other people every way you can

Love your neighbors

Find the light in the darkness

Always see the very best in other people

Accept the changing seasons

Share what you’ve learned (all your life)

And I want a neighborhood expression of care. Because we still need someone telling us all “You’ve made this day a special day, just by being you. There’s no one in the whole world like you and I like you just the way you are.” And, today, it starts with me. So, if you are reading this, just know:

I like you just the way you are.

Tell me, please!

Who is a childhood hero you aspire to emulate?



Snacks: A Canadian Food History by Janis Thiessen

One of the best days of my childhood was when my Mom bought my brother and I a gigantic bag of Willie Wonka candy, popped on original version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and left the two of us to eat all the candy we wanted. The ability to self-monitor our consumption without our younger sisters or parents watching was the most grown up and indulgent moments of my life. I was probably somewhere between eight and ten and I will never forget that feeling.

Snacks, whether they be sweet or salty, are woven through so many people’s lives. We all have our favorite holiday snacks (I’m a sucker for those nuts in a shell that show up here around Thanksgiving) our favorite movie snack (Popcorn with peanut butter M&Ms mixed in) and our the snack we don’t understand (Kale chips people, really?). But, until this book, I hadn’t given much thought to the snack business itself.

snacksSnacks: A Canadian Food History by Janis Thiessen is a thoroughly researched book focusing on the Canadian snack industry. We see chips, chocolates, and candies in the isles of our local grocery stores, but the history of these businesses and the impact of politics and corporate mythology was never something I had pondered. I was struck by the complicated growth of many of these companies. But, I was most struck by the individual pride of the workers that has taken massive blows with the current snobbish attitude towards snack foods.

Several things surprised me as I read about the history of snacks in Canada. For example, Canada has a great many grants available to businesses that aid in building or expanding fledgling businesses. Covered Bridge Chips traces its routes back to 2004 when three members of the Albright family decided to form the Carleton County Spud Distributors to sell their own, and others, chips. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided $528,000 in repayable funding for plant construction and another $77,150 for marketing and bus tour operations. Another expansion was supported by both federal and provincial government funding totally $340,000. Perhaps, as an American, I’m more surprised by the transparency of these transactions.

Also, whether a product is made entirely in Canada or had its roots in America, if the public embraced a product as Canadian, it was seen that way. Old Dutch chips are synonymous with Canada but they started in Minneapolis. Similarly, Cheezies was originally part of a snack food company in Chicago. But both snacks have been embraced as wholly “Canadian” through advertisement, local ties, and a sense of corporate humility. My obsession with this country grows. Unlike in whole great swaths of my country, where you aren’t local until the fifth generation no matter your dedication to the town, the idea that Canada will just decide that you’ve earned the label, “Canadian,” is intriguing to me.

One thing all the snack companies are not humble about is the quality of their products. Whether they be chips or chocolate, the companies actively fight against the label of “junk” food and the pervasive myth that these type of foods are inherently evil and across the board, unhealthy. Old Dutch potato chips have been manufactured for over eighty years using local potatoes and local canola oil and the company credits these simple ingredients and the boutique process used to cook the chips as the reason Old Dutch chips are the healthiest version of the snack possible. Similarly, Cheezies production has been virtually unchanged since 1948 and its product is proudly made from local sources with no preservatives.

Cheezies also uses corporate mythology to align itself with Canadian culture. The plant is only open from Monday through Friday so that families can spend time together on the weekends. Also, the company is reluctant to advertise, they have no Facebook or Twitter account.

Cheezies corporation boasts that, “unlike Jelly Belly in California who have turned their factory into a carnival of color and celebration, the Hawkins Cheezies factory in Belleville is just a factory. Very Canadian.”

Meanwhile, Ganong, the sole remaining Canadian chocolate company, takes credit for the heart shaped Valentine’s box and proudly hosts a chocolate festival every year. I can tell you, I’ve added this festival to my travel calendar because I am dying to meet “The Great Chocolate Mousse and his lovely wife Tiffany,” the mascots that preside over the festival in St. Stephens. And, even with their bragging, festivals, and a chocolate museum, Ganong has used the romance of chocolate and its devotion to the community to instill the pride of Canada in its success and survival.

“Everyone needs some pleasure and enjoyment in their lives, and that no one deserves our moral judgment.”

The journey through these companies inception, survival, and continued existence was wrought with disaster, war, unionization, and more fires than I could track. But, the biggest threat to all of these companies is the current ideology of the wholesome food movement. The author makes fantastic arguments that this manifesto is relevant mostly to the privileged healthy and has me questioning some of my beliefs regarding snack consumption. The balanced attitude of one individual interviewed, Grant Wichenko, just keeps coming back to me.

“…I grew up knowing that snack foods had a place. So, thankfully, I was able to bring that forward to my kinds. You don’t eat this because you are hungry; you eat it because it’s a treat.”

My obsession with all things Canadian brought this fascinating book into my life and now I know I need to travel back to Canada just so I can try all the local favorite snack foods.

Tell me, please!

What’s your favorite snack?


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: November 13, 2019

This week has been too long already so I’m doubly thrilled that it is Wednesday. Not only are we half way through the week but it is also time for my favorite meme of them all, WWW Wednesday! If you want to join it – please do! Just answer the following questions:

What did you just Finish Reading?

What are you Currently Reading?

What will you Read Next?

Thanks (as always) goes to Sam @ Taking on a World of Words for taking the time to host the meme that keeps me as organized as possible.

What Did I Just Finish Reading?

I am having a wonderful time focusing on my giant stack of nonfiction books for NonFiction November!

I finished Snacks: A Canadian Food History.  It was excellent and a true test of my healthy eating plan. Thankfully, most of the snacks highlighted are only available to ship from Canada at an exorbitant rate but the next time I am there I plan on buying all the Old Dutch chips, Cheezies, and locally made chocolates. Yum. My review should be up either today or tomorrow.

The Time Chunking Method by Damon Zahariades was a fast read (less than an hour) and has some good tips and tricks for getting things done. None of the information was new to me as it relies on the Pomodoro technique that I’ve been using for years. But if you are looking to increase productivity, this is a great primer on one way to get stuff done.

I also finished Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon. I love this book and the premise is so freeing: there is never a time when it is too late to start a working on your dream. You can read my full review here.

I also read Beard Necessities by Penny Reid and Geektastic by Mary Frame. Both are authors that I adore and both books were wonderful! If you are in the market for a new contemporary romance author – I highly recommend both of these.

What am I Currently Reading?

I offer my formal apology to The Heart Forger by Ron Chupeco. I was reading this book in October and I got so excited about my nonfiction stuff I put it aside. But, if I have time to read new romance books, I have time to finish this story! I hope to complete it this week.

As expected, I’m still working through Hand Reading. This is the longest and most details palmistry book I own and I just want to finish it by the end of 2019.

I am reading and listening to Black Countthe story of the real Count of Monte Cristo. The audiobook is really helping me keep the pace with this historically rich adventure and I am almost 30% into it.

Finally, this morning I started Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is one of my 2019 Resolutions and, gulp, the year is really starting to close in on me.

Sadly, the library demanded Haben back before I could finish it. I put my name back on the list through because I really want to know her story.

What Will I Read Next?

I have a stack of nonfiction left to choose from and these are on top. I’m especially drawn to Have You Eaten Grandma? because I could use all the punctuation help in the world and look at the cute Grandma!

Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW?



NonFiction November: Week 3

It is already time for Week Three of NonFiction November! This week we are the experts and it is hosted by Katie @ Doing Dewey. Participation is easy. Just name three books on a subject you are / want to become an expert on or name a subject you are interested in and books that fit into that area. I’ve done a little of both for this prompt.

At the beginning of the year I really wanted to become an expert on Sherlock Holmes / Arthur Conan Doyle. I started by reading Conan Doyle for the Win and it was such an excellent book that I thought: if Sherlock is so interesting, Conan Doyle must be fascinating. What’s wrong with me!? This is like loving a character and believing that the actor who plays them must have all the same fun characteristics. After trying to read three or four different biographies I gave up. Arthur Conan Doyle bored me to tears.

But, I still wanted to focus on something this year and so I turned to an interest of mine from years ago: Palmistry.

palmistry3I bought Palmistry by Lori Reid in the bargain section of Barnes and Noble years ago. Like 15-20 years ago. It is one of those introductory books that has wonderful pictures and makes learning the basic ins and outs of a subject effortless. It wasn’t long before I was reading all of my friend’s palms at parties. To date, this is the only book that I know I have read cover to cover on the subject.





The Complete Illustrated Guide to Palmistry by Peter West was the second book I picked up on the subject. I think I was getting worried that using my $10 bargain book to read palms wasn’t enough information to give people free palm readings (type A much?). This book was very similar to my first book but with more famous people’s hands included. I have probably read this whole book but in the section by section way I find myself doing things sometimes when I’m giving a subject my total focus.



I received these two books as presents this year and I have yet to crack into them. I have been too enthralled with this book:


The Art and Science of Hand Reading is huge but this textbook is the one I am determined to finish before the end of 2019. Also, I feel like if I can make it through this book I can zip through the much smaller and more picture-rich texts quickly.

As I work through this book I am obnoxious in my head, especially on public transportation, at looking at people’s hands and trying to figure them out. Since winter has started, my ability to stare at hands has been lost to mittens and gloves but I’ll keep reading and practicing on my friends until the flowers, and the palms, come back to me in the spring!

Tell me, please!

What subject do you want to be an expert in?


all ages · nonfiction

A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon

I was far from cool my whole life. Doing anything different bothered people from the age of 10 to about 23 when suddenly, being different was fascinating and all the odd and unusual things I had been doing my whole childhood made me interesting instead of weird. Whether weird or interesting, doing stuff made me happy so I just kept going.

Because of that mindset, and my Mother’s sage advice that happiness is a choice, I have spent every year learning something new and exploring every odd whim I had the time and money to support. This blog is just one of the many irons I keep hot in the fire. If it ends up being the ship I sail away on in my retirement… yahoo! If not, I have other things to occupy my mind and feed my soul.

agloriousfreedomA Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon is for anyone out there who thinks they are on some kind of happiness timeline. If you are stressing that if you don’t achieve your dreams by 25, 35, or 50 then you have failed, well, this book may convince you that you can breathe. Success comes to all who work for it, but not always at the same time. And, sometimes, the success that brings you the greatest joy is not the one you’ve been working on all this time.

Author Lisa Congdon did not begin to paint or draw until she was 31. She didn’t write regularly until 42 and her first book wasn’t published until 44. When A Glorious Freedom was published she was 49. She didn’t quit on life or relegate herself to the sidelines because of her age. And this book is a collection of other women who passed the imaginary limitations of forty and embraced their future. Through profiles, interviews, and essays of “older” women we can see that professional and / or personal success can be achieved after the forty.

I was unhappy with the disparity in the number of white women who are highlighted. Realistically, I understand that opportunities for minorities has always trailed behind the doors open to white women but these the book also focuses almost exclusively on artistic success. Writers, artists, and painters dominate the pages.  When the focus turns to other pursuits, like mathematics, nature and advancements in civil rights, those women are also people of color. There is an Iranian writer and an African-American artist but the reality is that either this author focused more on white women or there is just more opportunities for white women to find success in their dreams.

Beyond coming to their extraordinariness after age forty, the women all had one other things in common: longevity. Numerous women featured in the book lived into 100 or well into their 90s with many of them continuing to participate in their passion projects until their deaths. Perhaps the secret to longevity is to fill your life with a purpose.

Tell me, please!

If money was no problem and failure wasn’t possible, what would you do?


Romantic · Science Fiction · SeriousSeriesLove · YA

The Illuminae Files

The chance of this not being my favorite series of the year is so slim it’s not worth mentioning. But, since I already brought it up… This is the best series I’ve read this year.

These books are winners, each and every one of them. I am obsessed with these books. I formally apologize to each and every person that recommended them to me for delaying in reading them. I’m sorry. Let me take you out for coffee so we can gush. Wait, first, perhaps I should calm down.

Ugh. I’m being obnoxious. (Clears throat). Let’s start over. The Illuminae Files…..? shrug. They were good. (So freaking good)


I am going to do everything in my power to avoid spoilers but this is so difficult to do in a series review. I’ve included the book jacket descriptions but even then, there are spoilers. I’ll let you know before you get there.

Note: the books look huge but don’t be put off by their size. They are not a straight forward narratives but rather, a collection of documents. I initially passed on reading the books because I thought they would take too long. That was silly of me. These stories are so ingenious and artfully crafted that the pages almost flip themselves.

Also, while books take place in space and in the future they each have a timeless feel. The romance in each book feels genuine and the balanced inclusion of action, mystery, and straight up terror keeps the story from any feeling of familiarity. Not to say they are as scary as say, Misery, but being locked on a spaceship with a virus, or being stuck on a space station with bugs are high, high, up on my own personal nightmare list. The romances are sweet and fairly clean but the language is not. Hilariously, the words are redacted, but that just made my brain work a teeny bit harder to come up with the most appropriate expletive.


This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. (Goodreads)

This is the book that introduced me to the format and wonder that is The Illumnae Files. I have said it before but it is important to note that I read and listened to the full cast audiobook and it brought the book to a whole other level for me. If you have the chance, I highly recommend doing both. Please don’t make me pick between the audiobook and the physical copy – I doubt I could manage to choose.

Kady, the strong female lead of our dreams, is an talented computer hacker while still in high school. Her brusque manner belies the depth of her caring. In fact, this book introduces a cast of characters for the ages. My own personal obsession is Analyst ID 7213-0089-DN. Hello Mr. Hilarious observations!


Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope. (Goodreads)

I didn’t think I could enjoy anyone as much as I did Kady but Hanna Donnelly is a woman after my own heart. Furthermore, she keeps a physical diary in which she draws her thoughts (Marie Lu Illustrates!) adding just one more layer to the experience of reading these books.

I was, admittedly, throw by the shift away from Kady’s perspective. It started to dawn on me that there was some connection between the stories when I saw my beloved Analyst’s reports start coming through. In the end, if this has been a standalone, I would have been thrilled but the way the two books connect turned me into that person on the bus that tells random strangers how fantastic their book is. That lady didn’t need to get off the bus to get away from me… Sorry lady! I hope that was your actual stop!

The book jacket for the third book contains series spoilers! If you want to avoid this: stop reading this post now!


Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken. (Goodreads)

I ignored every obligation in my life to read this book. I couldn’t even wait for the audiobook to read it to me – I cleared my calendar, holed up in my house, and read it page by delicious page.

People are not exaggerating when they talk about this series. It has something for everyone and delivers book after book. This series gets all the stars from me and will get a hug every time I see them out and about!

Tell me, please!

Have you read The Illuminae Files? Can we please talk about them??!!


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: November 7, 2019

I don’t know what it is about the start of November but I feel totally invigorated! Perhaps it is just the magic of “the first” or because NaNoWriMo has me sitting in front of my computer more frequently but I have been reading and posting. I mean, I haven’t been reviewing quite on schedule like I should but, no one is perfect right?

There is nothing like posting a WWW when you feel good about yourself though is there? It feels so good to thank Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting the meme that, this week, adds to my momentum instead of just resetting it. To participate, just answer three questions:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Feel free to link to your blog below so I can see how your week has been or just comment with what you have been reading. Please note: I just cannot bring myself to answer the questions unless they are in chronological order.

What Did I Just Finish Reading?

In November I participate in Nonfiction November. I love the wonderful group of people who take turns hosting this event and I always find so many NonFiction books for my shelves.

This week I have already enjoyed the delightful ethical journey James M. Russell takes us on in The Forking Trolley. If you enjoy watching The Good Place you might also enjoy this fun look at all the ethical theories presented on the popular television show. You don’t need to have seen the show to enjoy the book but there are spoilers included and, honestly, it all just makes so much more sense when you understand the show. My full review is here.

I also read and reviewed The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I cannot stop thinking about this book and I desperately want to sit and talk through the whole thing with someone. Has anyone else read it? Thoughts?? My full review is here.

What am I Currently Reading?

This is one more book than I like to have going at one time but I lost any measure of self control and downloaded Beard Necessities onto my kindle early this morning. The darn time change had me awake too early! It won’t be on my list for long though because I have been waiting to hear the story of Billy and Scarlet forever.

I am three chapters in Snacks, A Canadian Food History and I desperately wish I had pre-ordered all of the snacks covered in the book before I started reading. This will be yet another excuse for me to visit Canada (I’m still embarrassingly obsessed with everything Canada).

I am nearly half way through The Heart Forger by Ron Chupeco. This is the second book in the series and it is excellent. It was supposed to be one of my last books for Frighteningly Good Reads but I didn’t finish it by the end of October. Now, admittedly, I am struggling to finish the book because I am far more fascinated by my NonFiction Stack.

I have finally, after putting Black Count on my list last year, getting around the reading the story of the true Count of Monte Cristo. I managed to get a copy of the audiobook and I am loving it. This is one of the gems I discovered during 2018’s NonFiction November!

As was expected, I am still working through The Art and Science of Hand Reading.

What Will I Read Next?

I cannot wait to start reading A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon. It is a collection of stories of women who started a new business or hit their personal / professional stride after 50.

Haben the true story of Haben Girma is going to be wanted back by the library soon. I really need to start reading it before I run out of time.

Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW list?



NonFiction November: Week 2

It’s Week Two of NonFiction November. This week the prompt is to pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title a la, “if you like this, you might enjoy that.” This week is hosted by Sarah @ Sarah’s Book Shelves and is always one of my favorite weeks to peek around. Some of the participants come up with amazing posts!

My fiction and nonfiction pairings are also connected to films. So, this post is more a “if you enjoyed the movie, you might like the book and whoa, there’s also this nonfiction book!”

The Princess Bride and As You Wish

The Princess Bride is one of my favorite books as well as one of my favorite movies. This book is, hands down, the best example of how to make a wonderful movie from a fabulous book. I believe this feat is only made possible by author William Goldman’s participation in the screenplay. If you love the movie, you will love the book.

But, my infatuation with the book (and movie) made me nervous to read As You Wish, Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. I actually purchased the book as soon as it was available but couldn’t bring myself to read it for months. My fear was a tangible thing. What if he gave into the general public’s need for tawdry details? What if he hated everyone from the film? Oh my gosh, what if Wesley was a jerk?

I shouldn’t have been worried for a moment. As You Wish is a love letter to the amazing cast, crew, and experience of filming The Princess Bride. If anything, this book will make you want to immediately re-read the book and watch the movie. Cary Elwes defines what it means to be a gentleman.

The Princess, The Soundrel, and The Farm Boy and The Princess Diarist

I had the joy of reading both of these books as audiobooks and if you can, I highly recommend the experience. This fictional re-telling of the original movie, Star WarsA New Hope, is masterfully re-imagining. It is a much more character-driven story as opposed to the action-based energy of the movie. This full cast recording is complete with sound effects and music and will transport you back to that feeling of watching Episode III for the first time.

Similarly, reading Carrie Fisher’s diaries and memories left me missing my Princess more than ever. If you don’t know, Fisher was an unbelievably talented writer and this shines through in her journal entries. Her daughter, Billie Lorde, reads excerpts from journals written during the filming of the original films. Listening to these passages will leave you with no doubt as to why Carrie spent so many years as one of Hollywood’s go-to script doctors. The Princess Diarist does contain some salacious gossip but nothing the fans didn’t already know. What it does give you is a look at how a young woman in Hollywood embraced (eventually) the iconic role that defined her forever.

Pretty in Pink and So That Happened

Pretty in Pink is the book from the screenplay written by John Hughes and I recommend it because it has the original ending before they made the massive change seen in the popular 80’s movie. I’m Ducky forever (and ever and ever) so I prefer the original ending and the book was just plain fun.

As a Ducky fan, I knew I wanted to read Jon Cryer’s memoir, So That Happened. This book measures somewhere between Carrie Fisher and Cary Elwes in terms of gossip. In his memoir Jon is upfront and honest about himself and his journey through life and, while he delivers information about other people, it never takes the reader down any tawdry paths. Except when those paths were walked by Jon! The book is absolutely stuffed with other famous people and hilarious moments. The audiobook is read by the author and is thoroughly enjoyable. It is one of the longest audiobooks I listened to last year and it left me wanting more.

And there you have it! My movie to fiction to nonfiction adventures have lead me to some interesting books and memoirs. It is clear that I have an obsession with reading any book that has been made into film (and vice versa) and an addiction to audible memoirs.

Tell me, please!

What is your favorite fiction / nonfiction pairing?