The Update


I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!! I spent most of the holiday weekend, reading, crocheting, and watching The Great British Baking Show. Yes, my life is indeed awesome.

I haven’t been the best at staying on top of my blogging game recently, but I assure you the month of December is jam packed because the majority of the month will be spent reviewing my lengthy list of reads from 2018. The list is far longer than expected.

As I did last year, there will be the four part Book Brawl to see what will be crowned as my personal best book of 2018.  Last year’s winner was A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman. There are currently 69 contenders and there will be probably closer to 73ish by the time the last post is published this year.

There will also be a review of some stellar non-fiction and my favorite post of the year: The Razzies. The books that were the biggest flops.  They didn’t make for very fun reading, but they make for some seriously fun blogging.

This will all be done along with all my Christmas present making. Last year, I had an inadvertent theme of getting nearly everybody a literary type gift and this year it seems that my theme is homemade gifts. I have a pretty good handle on a few, but I’ve got a ways to go. But for the first time in a long time I’m looking forward to the holiday gift-giving season.

I have gone from being afraid of being the strange person that gives horribly mis-shapen, ugly, itchy sweaters as gift to embracing it. (I promise that no one is getting a sweater. I cannot guarantee against the mis-shapen, ugly , or itchy parts.) But the thing is those are the gifts with a whole lot of love in them. Personally, I have always been jealous of Ron’s Christmas jumpers from his mother.

So, whatever happens there will be lots of memories and probably some pretty good laughs. I better get busy.

Until next time, happy reading!


Box of Books Hopefuls- 2018

I know that it wasn’t too long ago I ruminated on how fall is here and how wonderful it is, but right after fall comes winter more specifically Christmas.  And Christmas means, I get a box of books! Probably the best Christmas tradition ever created.  Anyway, in order to get said box of glorious books means that I must create a list of books for my mother to choose from.

I always try to pick a wide variety to keep it interesting, so after much thought here is this years wish list:

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by: Agatha Christie. This is the first Hercule Poirot novel and after reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd I want to read more about this clever little Belgian.
  • Madame Bovary by Flaubert. I also add a least a couple of classics to every list. This book appears on almost every top 100 books you should read, so I thought it would a good edition.
  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve received the last two books of this series for the prior two Christmas, so I thought I would add the gargantuan tome to this year’s list. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.
  • The Complete Works of Shakespeare. (I really nice edition). While I have read several works of the master or masters I haven’t read nearly enough and believe it’s high time to remedy this issue.
  • City of Golden Shadow (Otherlands book 1) by Tad Williams. I was told about this book years ago but have never gotten around to reading it.  My husband listened to it this past year and while he thought it was a bit strange he enjoyed it, and I think would like a buddy to discuss it with.
  • Salt: A World History by Kurlansky This is a non-fiction work that I’ve been interested in for the last few years, but like many others I simply haven’t gotten around to it. Obviously, if it found its way to my bookshelf that is likely to change.
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. I read Killers of the Flower Moon this past year and couldn’t rave enough about it. Hence, I would love to read more of Mr. Grann’s work.
  • Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear. This is the second book in the Maisie Dobbs series. I adored the first book and would love getting the second one to continue to see what happens to this wonderful interesting private detective.
  • The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate. This was a Goodreads recommendation and it looks really sweet and wonderful.  Fluffy without being annoyingly so. (I’m not sure that makes senses, but nevertheless I’m intrigued.)
  • Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman. I have read two of Mr. Backman’s novels and both were phenomenal! He is currently batting a 5 out of 5 rating, so I’m curious to see if he can keep the streak going with this one as well.
  • Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. I’ve gotten really into running and find other people’s stories helpful and inspiring. Adding a book from one of the best ultra-runners just seems like the right thing to do.
  • Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen. This is another recommendation by Goodreads but it sounds to be right up my ally. Spies, England in the early 1930s, and British nobility not following the norms…yes please.

Well thee it is.  The potential for this year’s box o’ books.  I’m ridiculously excited per usual.  These will keep me occupied for at least the first few months of the year.

Box o’ Books

The past few Christmases my parents have given me a box of books instead of just a Barnes and Nobles gift card. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with B&N gift cards, but there is something truly delightful about getting actual books for Christmas.  Maybe it’s because there is no delay in being able to thumb through them, smell their pages, and ogle their pretty covers.  Wow…that’s creepy.  But you get the idea.

Since this has become a tradition of sorts, and I’m just about to finish the last book from last years box.  Yes, I’m still reading  The Brothers Karamazov, but I’ve almost conquered the beast. Woof.  But that’s another blog post.  However, since the Christmas season seems to be upon us (even though it’s only November), I thought I should start making this years list.

Yes, every year I give my parents a list.  I read too many books for my mom to stab in the dark.  This year the process of making the list has been much harder.  There are just so many wonderful books out there, and I struggled with what I should ask for specifically. Nevertheless, after much contemplation I have the list.  Like any wish list I will not obtain the full list and my mom may throw in one or two she thinks that I might like, and naturally this makes it all the more fun!

Okay, I’ll shut up. Here’s the Box o’ Books  list of 2017:

Rebecca by: Daphne du Maurier- A former roommate mentioned that this was one of their favorite books and for whatever reason, it’s been stuck in my head ever since.

Brave New World by: Aldous Huxley- I’ve seen this book appear numerous times on lists of books everyone should read, so I thought perhaps I should see what everyone is on about.

Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by: Sam Kean- Mr. Kean is my favorite non-fiction writer, so his latest book was an absolutely must on this years list.

The Rithmatist by: Brandon Sanderson- I’ve again see this book recommended quite often, and I’ve liked Sanderson’s other work.

Words of Radiance by: Brandon Sanderson- This is the second book in the Stormlight Archives series.  I really enjoyed the first one which I received in last year’s box.  Naturally, I want to find out what happens next.

The killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by: David Grann- This book was recommended to me by my aunt and uncle-in-law. They said it was a tremendous read and apparently many others agree.  This book was originally on my book date list, but it didn’t make it into my basket that day.

Sense and Sensibility by: Jane Austen- I’ve only read one other Austen novel: Pride and Prejudice while it wasn’t my favorite. I’ve decided I need to give Austen another go.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper  by: Phaedra Patrick.  This book also was on my book date list, but I could not find a copy in our search.  The title has me very intrigued.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by: Benjamin Alire Saenz- I know nothing about this book, but I thought the title and cover were amazing and thus on the list it went.

When the Moon was Ours  by: Anna-Marie McLemore- Yes, I also shamefully picked this book because of its cover.  It looks so magical.

Otherland by: Tad Williams- I have been meaning to read this book for years.  It was recommended by a few friends, and I thought maybe it was high time that I get around to reading it.

There it is folks! Thoughts?  Did I pick some doozies or duds?  Let me know your thoughts below!

Happy Friday!