It’s Monday! What are you reading?



Hey there!  Hope you had a good weekend and now it’s time to check in to see what we are all up to!  It’s Monday!  What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.  Head over there and check it out!

This week was much better reading wise than last-

I Finished Reading

Crazy For The Storm

by Norm Ollestad

5841908From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties, young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that prepared “Boy Wonder,” as his father called him, to become a fearless champion—and ultimately saved his life.

Flying to a ski championship ceremony in February 1979, the chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father’s girlfriend, and the pilot crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains and was suspended at 8,200 feet, engulfed in a blizzard. “Dad and I were a team, and he was Superman,” Ollestad writes. But now Norman’s father was dead, and the devastated eleven-year-old had to descend the treacherous, icy mountain alone.

Rogue Lawyer

by John Grisham

25387351Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.

Sebastian defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house.  Why these clients? Because he believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he, Sebastian, has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks, or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior.

Listening to (still)

It by Stephen King

I know- it’s taking a long time, but I don’t really have long drives.  I am listening while I cook and clean, so it might take a while.


To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.

It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .

The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.

Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

Reading Now

Nothing yet- I have to figure out what I have and what I want to do!

What are you reading this week?



Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts



Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

I think I might still be wreaked from last week, but I have little energy, and fewer thoughts.  I have been reading a ton, and trying to rest since I have had an awful, storm induced headache for three days.  therefore, I have decided to share some visual thoughts, that make me laugh.


1. It’s only funny until it happens to you.  Often.


2.  All the time.  My kids cringe.  I am proud of my knowledge and vocab (or profanity).


3.  We means the dogs.  Within 10 minutes there is fur, dirt, and paw prints everywhere.  And mud!


4.  So much wine.


5.  They plot against us.


6.  Unless that store is Walmart.


7.  Love this.


8.  I could live on bread, cheese, and wine.  Coffee in the morning, then repeat.


8.  This happened.


10. Every Friday night.

One of my favorite books this year- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara



A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

published by Doubleday



Yes- this is one of my favorites books this year (which is almost over).  I will be totally honest- this is not a happy book.   Quite the opposite, this is one of the most difficult, depressing books I have ever read, and that usually isn’t my cup of tea.  I am also hesitant to recommend this book lightly.  I will mention how much I liked it, admired the writing, etc, but I always follow it up with this might not be the book for you.  Because it is hard.  It actually hurt reading this book.  I am not sure if I cried this hard since Dumbledore died.

Many people will describe this as a book about four college friends living in Manhattan.  I think it begins that way, but evolves into the story of Jude, and how his friends affect his life.  Jude is a tough character to get involved with.  From the beginning we know he is somehow disabled, his legs permanently  injured.  He doesn’t say an accident, but a car injury.  We slowly get to know more about all four men- Jude, the broken man, Willem, the charismatic actor, JB, the artist, and Malcolm the talented, quiet architect.  As the story centers more on Jude, we come to see the horrible things he has had to live through, and his unrelenting pain, physical and mental, is devastating.

I do recommend this book for someone who will immerse themselves here.  It might leave you feeling hollowed out, as it did me.  But it might also stay with you long after you finish, as it did me- I am still talking about it months after finishing.


When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.


“I have become lost to the world
In which I otherwise wasted so much time It means nothing to me
Whether the world believes me dead
I can hardly say anything to refute it For truly, I am no longer a part of the world.”

“Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can’t even remember who he is. “Where am I?” he asks, desperate, and then, “Who am I? Who am I?”
And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs.
“You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen.
“You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way.
“You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it.
“You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again.
“You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.”


Top Ten Tuesday- a wish list



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

This week’s topic is-

Well- it is supposed to be Top Ten Debut Novels I am Looking forward to, but since I usually don’t even know when I am reading a debut novel, I find it hard to look forward to any.

Instead I am going to do an older topic that I never did –

Top Ten Books I’d want on a deserted island with me

Most of the books I picked are pretty long, since I will have so much time on my hands

Books I have read before and LOVE-

1.Gone With the Wind

2.  Pride & Prejudice

3.  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

4.  The Harry Potter Series

5. The Silmarillion

Books I have NOT read before but really want to (and will be forced to on a deserted island)

6.  Out of Africa

7.  East of Eden

8.  The Count of Monte Cristo

9.  Wuthering Heights

10.  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

(I have actually read a few of his plays, but not much)

It’s Monday! What are you reading?



I have seen this meme for so long and I finally decided to join in.  It is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.  Head over there and check it out!

This wasn’t a very productive week as we had family descend upon us for a few days!

This week I finished-


I cooked.



Still listening to-


IT by Stephen King


Reading Now-


Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad

This is for my book club next week.



Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

Up Next-



Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

So excited for this!

What are you reading?


Thanksgiving Wishes



Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to reach out and wish everyone a very happy and healthy day.  I hope you are surrounded by loved one, that they do not drive you too crazy, that your pants have elastic waistbands, and that you have lots of yummy desserts!



The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

1 Comment


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

by Katarina Bivald

published by Sourcebooks Landmark – Paperback


I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest opinion.


When a book is compared to another book that I loved, I am usually a sucker and jump right for it.  The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend has been compared to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which is one of my favorites- so of course I jumped at the chance to read it.  I am so happy I did.  I loved the story of how a stranger comes to a broken little town and breathes new life into it.  Sara has lost her job in Sweden and is unsure of what to do with her life.  She decides to visit her pen pal Amy, who lives in Broken Wheel, Iowa, a town that has seen better days.  Amy and Sara have been exchanging letters and books for a while and Amy encourages Sara to visit.  Shen Sara arrives, it is just in time for the end of Amy’s funeral.  The town people insist that she stay in Amy’s house- that that was what Amy wanted.

I loved Sara and all the people of Broken Wheel.  What a fun and quirky group this turns out to be- even the judgy church lady turns out awesome!  My favorite is Sara- who teaches people how different books have different smells.  Sara reminds me slightly of A.J. Fikry (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)  and Monsieur Perdu from The Little Paris Bookshop– two characters that love books so much- maybe more than they love most people.  These are characters I relate to.

If you enjoy books about people who love books, or sell books, or have lots of books and know exactly which one is perfect for someone- you will love this book.


Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

A Thankful Top Ten



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

This week’s topic is-

A Thanksgiving Freebie

I am going to just throw out a list of things I am thankful for! And pay no mind to the order!

1.My Dogs

No matter what else is going on, they are ALWAYS happy to see me.  They always want to sit with me in companionable silence.  Yes, I know- I feed them.  When you have teenagers, you know how important it is to have someone be happy that you’re around.

2.  My Kids

I know I bitch about them, but I love them and they are pretty awesome.  Can’t wait until they are about 21 and become human again.

3.  My Husband

Very cliche, but he IS my best friend and the person that makes me happiest.

4.  Books

I guess you would think this goes with our saying, but I just find them amazing.  They pull me into so many new and wonderful stories.  New worlds, and new people are just behind the cover.

5.  Harry Potter

I love knowing that if I ever run out of books to read at any given time(not likely) I can reread my favorites.  This can also be said for The Lord of the Rings.

6.  My Ceiling Fan

As I get older, I value this more.

7.  My Body

I have begun to train with weights, mainly because I am getting older and my body is weakening.  Last year I strained my MCL while skiing.  I am glad I have begun taking better care of it and that it is responding in kind.  It’s like we have a little understanding.

8.  My Family

Mine and my husband’s.  They are pretty crazy and can be annoying, but they are ours.  Plus, who would we make fun of without them?

9.  My Reading Chair

I fit perfectly in it.  It is like sitting in a soft hug.

10.  Winter

I will regret this in 3 months I am sure, but I love it.  Skiing, crockpot dinners, Sunday football, the holidays- I love it all.

What are you Thankful for?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?



I have seen this meme for so long and I finally decided to join in.  It is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.  Head over there and check it out!

This week I finished-

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald


Farthing by Jo Walton


After You by Jojo Moyes


Still Listening to-

It by Stephen King


Up Next-

After Alice by Gregory Maguire


In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself. 

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin



The Swans of Fifth Avenue

by Melanie Benjamin

published by Delacorte Press

January 2016


This is really my kind of book.  It is based on true people, has secrets, scandals, affairs, style glamour, and betrayal.  If that sounds like too much, it’s not.  Melanie Benjamin does a wonderful job of bringing us into the inner circle of the rich and glamorous of New York society in the mid 1900s.  She paints a picture of the relationship that blossoms between author Truman Capote and his “Swans” – the women of the social elite in New York- Babe Pauley, Slim Keith, Gloria Guiness, and Pamela Harriman.  These ladies seem to serenely drift through a series of lunches, shopping and parties on estates and yachts.  We also see the underbelly of their lives- the addictions, affairs, and betrayals.  We float along as they take Capote under their wings, each believing they are closest to him.  We are there when Capote finally breaks into the big time with his publication of the true crime novel  In Cold Blood.   This is followed with his famous Black & White Ball.  Desperate to put out another successful story, he publishes  the short story Le Cote Basque 1965 in Esquire magazine.  The title is a direct reference to the storied restaurants the Swans would always lunch at.  Here is a great article about that piece and its fall out-needless to say Truman was shocked to find himself totally cut off from the friends he betrayed.

This was such a great book.  It was fun but held my interest completely.  My only problem was that I had to keep putting it down so I could google pictures of all these glamorous people!


Centered on two dynamic, complicated, and compelling protagonists—Truman Capote and Babe Paley—this book is steeped in the glamour and perfumed and smoky atmosphere of New York’s high society. Babe Paley—known for her high-profile marriage to CBS founder William Paley and her ranking in the International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame—was one of the reigning monarchs of New York’s high society in the 1950s. Replete with gossip, scandal, betrayal, and a vibrant cast of real-life supporting characters, readers will be seduced by this startling new look at the infamous society swans.