05 Oct, 2015

Read This

/ posted in: Reading

20150919_234451_resizedPhoto courtesy of KissinBlueKaren

Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.















05 Oct, 2015

Why I Love Diversiverse

/ posted in: Reading


Why is Diveriverse is my favorite reading event of the year?


About two years ago I decided to make a point to read more authors of color. When I looked at my reading at that time, it was almost entirely white. That wasn’t something I had realized before. My next concern was how to find out about authors I wanted to read. As Aarti from BookLust who runs Diveriverse says:

Reading diversely may require you to change your book-finding habits. It ABSOLUTELY does not require you to change your book reading habits.


I started by looking for recommendations on lists about diversity in publishing. BookRiot had a lot of articles. The #weneeddiversebooks tag on Twitter can help. Find blogs featuring diverse books and see who they like. Follow authors on Twitter and see who they recommend. Once I started looking it wasn’t hard at all.

Once you make a conscious decision to look for something, it pops out at you. I find myself noticing authors more than I ever did before. I notice that I’m more likely to click a link or pick up a book because I notice that the author is a POC. I don’t read a book just because of the race of the writer but a few seconds of extra attention may mean that I find a book I like that I wouldn’t have noticed before.

What does my reading look like now? Even with concentrating on increasing the diversity of the authors I read it can still be about 50 to 75% white in any given month. That’s a reflection on the books that get published. That’s why it is so easy to only read white authors if you aren’t paying attention.

The focus on race of the author you are reading can also be problematic. It is a fine line between increasing diversity and fetishizing people. When I count up the race of the authors that I read am I holding myself accountable for my reading and/or “collecting” people in categories? I don’t know always how to define that line. As one of my favorite authors tweeted recently:

How do you feel about tracking the race of the authors that you read?

04 Oct, 2015

Blog Friends Forever Tour – Adult Book Blogging

/ posted in: Reading

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Friends Forever Tour!

I wanted to highlight a few bloggers I enjoy reading and get their opinions on some questions that I’ve been wondering about.

I’m interviewing Julianne from Outrageous Lit and Talitha Nelle from Victorian Soul Critique.


How do you find out about the books that you read?


Sometimes I’ll hear about books on blogs, but much of the time with older books, I simply pick them up at thrift stores because they look interesting. It’s not a fail-proof method, but it makes reading more of an adventure.


I find out about books lots of different ways. Working as a bookseller definitely helps, but that’s a pretty recent development. Other blogs that I follow, twitter, goodreads, and recommendations from real people in real life (weird, I know) are pretty much where they come from. Being subscribed to Shelf Awareness and checking out Edelweiss when I have time is also a lot of fun and is very useful.

Heather (me):

I learn about a lot of books and authors on blogs and Twitter.  I find some on Book Riot lists like the ones of Protagonists over 40 and Fantasy Books not set in Europe.  I used to just browse at the library but now my TBR list is long enough that I don’t do that as much.

Do you think that blogging about adult books doesn’t have the excitement around it that blogging about YA books does? Why or why not?


I think it’s just as exciting, especially when I see books I have yet to read from authors I know and love. Maybe the impression of more excitement comes because YA bloggers are sometimes on the younger end of the book blogger spectrum, and often have more social media presence.


It totally does not have the same amount of excitement or enthusiasm, so you kind of have to create it on your own as you go. To be honest, I’ve never really understood why YA book blogging is so much bigger than anything else. I guess that maybe there’s a higher amount of series in YA so it’s easier to get deeper into those book worlds. Like there’s more to be enthusiastic about and the characters are more “ship-able” or something. You’re with them for longer and they’re more binge-readable. It’s kind of fascinating. I certainly wish the adult book blogging world was as big. It seems like it’s much harder to find quality adult book blogs. But maybe I’m just picky. It’s worth the hunt if you’re interested in adult books!


I think YA blogging has the advantage of having “it” books with huge followings so it feels like everyone is reading the same thing.  The enthusiasm then feeds on itself because everyone is having the same conversation.  The world of adult books is so huge and spread out that finding people reading the same things as you is rare.  If you are looking for recommendations for adult books, it helps to find bloggers with similar tastes to you and follow them obsessively!


Do you think it is beneficial to blog about books that have been published for a while?


In short, yes. Not everyone can afford the latest and greatest volumes for their library, but beyond that, sometimes older books just click better with me. Publishers seem less willing to risk putting out books that won’t (or aren’t meant to) appeal to every reader.


I think it is super beneficial to blog about books that have been out for a while, but do I necessarily think it gets a lot of traffic or excitement? No. Which is frustrating. It’s not like newer books are just getting progressively better than anything that had ever been previously written. They’re just shiny and new and exciting. Books that have been published for a while 100% deserve to be talked about, and I think it’s worth bringing them to the attention of people who may have missed them!


I find out about a lot of books this way.  There are authors and books who I have never heard of but someone talked about them being a favorite so I look them up.  I love reading backlist books and I’m a huge library user so this is helpful.  If you open your mind to reading not just the newest thing, the whole world is available to you.


What is your favorite book that you read recently that wasn’t published in 2015?


Billy by Albert French was the one book that really knocked my socks off this year. I read it in January and it’s still on my mind now.


Albert French’s harrowing debut novel of 10-year-old Billy Lee Turner, convicted and executed for murdering a white girl in Baines, Mississippi, in 1937, is an unsentimental and ultimately heartrending vision of racial injustice.


I was just rereading this, because it’s THAT GOOD. No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. It was published in 2007 and it’s still just as amazing. If you like short stories, you have to read these. They’re quirky and funny and on point and devastating. Just beautiful.


Award-winning filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection. In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world. Her characters engage awkwardly — they are sometimes too remote, sometimes too intimate. With great compassion and generosity, July reveals their idiosyncrasies and the odd logic and longing that govern their lives.


I invented this question and now I can’t decide.  I’m going to pick two.  The first one is Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn.  I learned about this one from Joy. It is a good example about learning about older books from fellow bloggers.  The second is from an author whose backlist I’m working my way through.

Troubled Waters

Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king’s fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river.

It’s there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right. But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood—and the secrets of the royal family—she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court.”

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

When a massive object crashes into the ocean off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous and legendary city, three people wandering along Bar Beach (Adaora, the marine biologist- Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa- Agu, the troubled soldier) find themselves running a race against time to save the country they love and the world itself… from itself.

Now is YOUR chance to win.

I’m giving away one of the books mentioned above to a winner.  The winner picks the book they would like to receive.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is also a blog hop giveaway
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guess Who Else Is Posting Today?

The Book Cellar
Caught Read Handed


03 Oct, 2015

Read This

/ posted in: General

bookshelfPhoto courtesy of Caroline Andrus

Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.























03 Oct, 2015

Sisters in Law

/ posted in: Reading Sisters in Law Sisters in Law by Linda Hirshman
on September 1st 2015
Genres: History
Pages: 416
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
Length: 13:29

The relationship between Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher's daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other's presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second women to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.
Linda Hirshman's dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. Hirshman also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, setting precedent in cases dealing with employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women's lives.
Sisters in Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes, bringing these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.

I went into this book having read Sandra Day O’Conner’s book but I didn’t know much about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

O’Conner is from Arizona. She grew up on a ranch. She went to Stanford Law School where she didn’t experience much discrimination for being a woman because Stanford was a fairly new school that just needed bodies. However, when she graduated near the top of her class, the only job she was offered was as a legal secretary. She became a Republican state senator and eventually a judge.

Ginsburg is from Brooklyn. She went to Harvard Law which was much more set in its discriminatory ways. The women in her class were invited to attend a dinner where they were forced to explain how they justified taking a seat in law school that should belong to a man. She went on to argue six major cases in front of the Supreme Court that helped establish legal equality for women in the 1970s. She then became a federal judge.

What I noticed over and over in this book was that even though they were discriminated against as women they had extraordinary privilege otherwise. Each of them had connections with several prominent politicians and/or political advisors who they lobbied to advance their careers. They have stories that prove that success is based a lot on who you know.

Of the two stories I found Ginsburg’s life more interesting. It is good to remember what rights we take for granted now that were so controversial in my lifetime. The importance of diversity on the court becomes apparent in discussions when male justices reveal that they think the lives of most women are similar to the lives of their wealthy wives and daughters. Later they were unable to sympathize with a 13 year old girl strip searched at school.

This author did a good job of making fine points of case law accessible and understandable for non lawyers.

02 Oct, 2015

The Shepherd’s Crown

/ posted in: Reading The Shepherd’s Crown The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
on September 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, and the fifth to feature the witch Tiffany Aching.
Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. ¬The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.
This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.
As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.
There will be a reckoning. . . .

It isn’t often that an author writes a book knowing that it is going to be his last.  Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2007 and wrote novels as his “embuggerance” worsened.  When he lost the ability to read and write, he dictated.  The Shepherd’s Crown is the last book he wrote.  It is a goodbye to the world that he created in his Discworld novels.

Minor Spoilers Ahead

I didn’t preorder the book.  I couldn’t make myself do it.  Eventually I ordered it and let it sit in the box on my counter for about a month.  One day I was off work and sick and decided to suck it up and read it.  I didn’t know much about what it was going to be about other than the fact that it was about Tiffany Aching, his YA version of the witches’ story in the Discworld novels and that Granny Weatherwax was going to die.  Granny Weatherwax is my favorite.  I want to be her when I grow up.  This was going to be rough.

Later I handed that page to my husband who has read all the Tiffany Aching books. He said he got chills.

Witches in the Discworld know when they are going to die.  The book starts with Granny Weatherwax finding out that she is going to die the next day.  She gets her affairs in order by cleaning the house and making a coffin.  Then she lays down in bed and greets Death.


“It’s an inconvenience, true enough, and I don’t like it at all, but I know that you do it for everyone, Mr. Death.  Is there any other way?”


The witches and wizards know when she dies and come to pay their respects.  It is a chance to say goodbye to a lot of characters that he created.  What really got to me though was after Nanny and Tiffany bury her, the animals in the forest who she used to borrow (hitchhike on their consciousness to see what was going on) come and sit near the grave.  That got the tears flowing.

The rest of the story is about what happens when a guardian of a land is gone.  How do you go on?  It isn’t hard to see the parallels to him thinking about his own death.  In the book, elves invade because Granny isn’t there to defend the borders between worlds.  Everyone has to learn to get along to defend themselves.  I found that I didn’t really care about the plot so much as I cared about the interaction between characters trying to figure out where they fit in this new reality.  That’s true for most Discworld novels though.  The overall plot takes a backseat to the characters.  (He does work in a great subplot about old, retired men finding a way to be useful and the magical powers of sheds in the lives of men.)

I’m glad I read it.  The husband hasn’t worked himself up to it yet.  I’ll be interested to hear his thoughts on it.



01 Oct, 2015

Banned Books Week – Into the River

/ posted in: Reading Banned Books Week – Into the River Into the River by Ted Dawe
on 2012
Pages: 279
Format: Paperback
Source: Owned

"When Te Arepa Santos is dragged into the river by a giant eel, something happens that will change the course of his whole life. The boy who struggles to the bank is not the same one who plunged in, moments earlier. He has brushed against the spirit world, and there is a price to be paid; an utu to be exacted. Years later, far from the protection of whanau and ancestral land he finds new enemies. This time, with no-one to save him, there is a decision to be made.. he can wait on the bank, or leap forward into the river"

Banned Book Week

Happy Banned Books Week!  I’m teaming up again with Sheila at Book Journey to celebrate books that have been banned.  The book I chose this year is currently in the midst of a legal battle in New Zealand.

If you go to the author’s webpage there is this warning.

From Wikipedia:

“In 2013 New Zealand’s Film and Literature Board of Review, or appeal from New Zealand’s classification office (which had given the book an unrestricted M rating) restricted Into the River to readers aged 14 years and over.[4] This was the first time in New Zealand’s history this classification was used.[5] Auckland Libraries applied to have this decision reconsidered in 2015. One of the reasons given for the appeal was “the impact that the restriction has had on the value of the book as a teaching resource, and the significance of the book as an aid to countering issues in New Zealand about bullying”.[4][5] The conservative Christian lobby group Family First appealed this decision, and applied for an interim restriction order, which was granted by the President of the Board of Review. The interim restriction order under New Zealand’s Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993, bans it completely from being sold or supplied in New Zealand.[3][6] This was the first time a book had been subject to an interim restriction order in New Zealand in 22 years and was reported by several foreign news media.”

Doesn’t that just make you want to read it?  It seems to be having that effect a lot.  I would have probably never heard of it if not for the banning.

I was able to get a copy of the book from Amazon and I’m giving it away because New Zealand isn’t the boss of me. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway



30 Sep, 2015

September Monthly Wrap Up

/ posted in: Reading

I finished 16 books in September.

  • The author breakdown was 12 female and and 3 male.  (I read one female author twice).
  • There were 11 white authors, 1 black author, and 5 Asian authors.
  • Thirteen of the books were fiction and three were nonfiction.
  • I listened to three audiobooks.
  • The books were set in Ireland, England, the U.S., Canada, Vietnam, Italy, Iran, Singapore, Discworld, and a few made trips around the world or didn’t exist in a real place at all.  Yes, Discworld is a real place.

Most emotional

I read The Shepherd’s Crown.  I cried.  Review coming sometime when I can talk coherently about it.

Coming Up


My favorite book blogger event of the year!  I’ll be posting reviews and author spotlights.


I’m posting for this on October 4.  There are some serious prizes being given out.  It starts on October 1.


Next month I’m co-hosting the Monthly Wrap Up with Nicole from Feed Your Fiction Addiction.  Hope you join us.

30 Sep, 2015

Women on Wednesday #4

/ posted in: FeminismWomen on Wednesday

For those of us who follow a lot of news about women, it can seem like a never ending list of gloom and doom.  Sometimes we need to remember that women are doing great things!  That’s the idea behind this new feature.

Every Wednesday I’ll feature some news, articles, and blog posts that are positive about women.  To do this I need your help too.  Link up posts that you have about women.  It could be reviews of a book with a female author, a discussion on a news article you saw, a blog post about important women now or in history, or anything else to show the world that we are able to lift up and support each other.

I’ll be featuring some of the linked up posts the next week, pinning all of the posts to the Women on Wednesday Pinterest board, and spreading the love for our links on Twitter.

Last Week on the Link Up

Marissa shared her review of The Young Elites


Around the Internet

School Girl Develops New Ebola Test

“16-year-old Olivia Hallisey is destined for great things. She’s currently a student at Greenwich High School in Connecticut, where her interest in science led her to develop a new test for detecting the Ebola virus. Olivia’s work is now being recognized all over the country, because last week she won the prestigious Grand Prize and a $50,000 college scholarship at the Google Science Fair.”

The Tajik Women Rejecting Local Taboos – On Their Bikes

“Like anywhere else in the region, cycling has been around for decades, but in rural areas the activity has traditionally been primarily used for work, not pleasure, and definitely not for women.”

20 Years After Beijing How Are We Doing?

“Twenty years ago, at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 189 nations agreed to an ambitious Platform for Action that called for the “full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life.” It was at this conference that Hillary Clinton famously declared that “women’s rights are human rights.”


Not A Good Enough Feminist

“If I’m being completely honest, though, I think the lack of feminism on this blog has less to do with an inability to write thoughtfully on the subject and more with an insecurity regarding my own status as a feminist.”




Based On A True Story


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29 Sep, 2015

Ten Nonfiction Authors To Read If You Like Erik Larson

/ posted in: Reading

I love reading nonfiction.  It always surprises me to hear people say that they aren’t into it because it is boring.  Great nonfiction doesn’t have to read like a textbook.  Narrative nonfiction has as many twists and turns as fiction with the added bonus of having really happened.

The author I see recommended most often for people new to nonfiction is Erik Larson.  His book Devil in the White City is the story of a serial killer who used the Chicago World’s Fair for cover.
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America


The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

He also have books on subjects as varied as the Lusitania and 1930s Berlin.

If you want to check out more fascinating nonfiction books, check out these authors.


Jon Krakauer has written a lot about mountain climbing and surviving in the wilderness. I’m a fan of his work in Under the Banner of Heaven about fundamentalist Mormons and Missoula about rape cases on a college in Montana.

Bill Bryson is one of my all time favorites.  He is known mainly as a humorous travel writer. He doesn’t strike me as a very good traveler.  Things tend to go wrong for him which is great for his books.  In a Sunburned Country is basically about everything that is going to try to kill you in Australia.  He has also written books on subjects as varied as the summer of 1927, Shakespeare, the home, and nearly everything. I recommend his books on audio.


I read Unfamiliar Fishes prior to going to Hawaii and found myself spouting facts from this book about the takeover of the islands by white people.  These are my favorite types of books.  The author goes to trips to find out about the history of places and explains it to you as she goes.



Tony Horowitz also uses travel and misadventures to teach history that you may have missed in school.



I love books about famous horses.  That was about all I read growing up.  Seabiscuit is a great book and much better than the movie (of course).  I didn’t read Unbroken but my husband loved it.



I love reading about food almost as much as reading about horses.  Michael Pollan is fascinating and makes you think about the ethics of the choices you make when eating.


A. J. Jacobs is an experimenter.  He takes on challenges that most people wouldn’t want to do and writes about how he did.



I love David McCollough.  I haven’t read all of his books but I always learn so much from them.  They are great on audio too.  The HBO miniseries adaption of his John Adams book is one of the few cases where the movie may be as good as the book.



The Devil in the Grove is one of those books that proves that truth is stranger and more brutal than fiction.  I haven’t read others of his yet.



I don’t run but I like reading about people who do.  It’s a weird quirk.  Born to Run is a great book about a tribe of long distance runners in Mexico and people who go into the canyons to run with them.

Who are YOUR favorite nonfiction writers?


28 Sep, 2015

Faith Ed Tackles the Challenges of Teaching About Religion

/ posted in: Reading Faith Ed Tackles the Challenges of Teaching About Religion Faith Ed by Linda K. Wertheimer
on August 18th 2015
Genres: Religion, Education, Multicultural Education, Philosophy & Social Aspects
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

An intimate cross-country look at the new debate over religion in the public schools A suburban Boston school unwittingly started a firestorm of controversy over a sixth-grade field trip. The class was visiting a mosque to learn about world religions when a handful of boys, unnoticed by their teachers, joined the line of worshippers and acted out the motions of the Muslim call to prayer. A video of the prayer went viral with the title “Wellesley, Massachusetts Public School Students Learn to Pray to Allah.” Charges flew that the school exposed the children to Muslims who intended to convert American schoolchildren. Wellesley school officials defended the course, but also acknowledged the delicate dance teachers must perform when dealing with religion in the classroom.
Courts long ago banned public school teachers from preaching of any kind. But the question remains: How much should schools teach about the world’s religions? Answering that question in recent decades has pitted schools against their communities.
Veteran education journalist Linda K. Wertheimer spent months with that class, and traveled to other communities around the nation, listening to voices on all sides of the controversy, including those of clergy, teachers, children, and parents who are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Sikh, or atheist. In Lumberton, Texas, nearly a hundred people filled a school-board meeting to protest a teacher’s dress-up exercise that allowed freshman girls to try on a burka as part of a lesson on Islam. In Wichita, Kansas, a Messianic Jewish family’s opposition to a bulletin-board display about Islam in an elementary school led to such upheaval that the school had to hire extra security. Across the country, parents have requested that their children be excused from lessons on Hinduism and Judaism out of fear they will shy away from their own faiths.
But in Modesto, a city in the heart of California’s Bible Belt, teachers have avoided problems since 2000, when the school system began requiring all high school freshmen to take a world religions course. Students receive comprehensive lessons on the three major world religions, as well as on Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and often Shintoism, Taoism, and Confucianism. One Pentecostal Christian girl, terrified by “idols,” including a six-inch gold Buddha, learned to be comfortable with other students’ beliefs. 
Wertheimer’s fascinating investigation, which includes a return to her rural Ohio school, which once ran weekly Christian Bible classes, reveals a public education system struggling to find the right path forward and offers a promising roadmap for raising a new generation of religiously literate Americans.

You know this book was hitting all kinds of hot button issues for me. I read parts of it out loud to the husband. He couldn’t understand why I get so mad about people assuming everyone is Christian and people trying to use public schools to target kids for Christianity. “You act like there is some kind of conspiracy.”

“Yes! That’s it! There is a conspiracy and I know there is one because I was once on the inside.”

I get all sorts of angry about people who assume that everyone around them is Christian so they think it is ok to have public Christian prayers. These are the same people who would lose their minds if a public Hindu or Muslim prayer was offered.

I don’t understand people who think that the faith that they have taught their children is so weak that just learning about the origins of another religion will cause their children to convert.

Most of the controversies in the book are based on anti-Muslim feelings. What reasonable person would object to kids learning the basic facts about Islam when so much of the news today concerns Islam? Apparently lots of people object violently.

There is also a lot of anger about people who want to treat Christianity like any other religion. How dare they? Taking away Christianity’s privileged position is not persecution. It is fairness but people who are told over and over that they will be oppressed because of their faith see it as proof that their pastors are correct.

When the author talks to the kids who have taken these courses she finds that they are very supportive of them. It is the adults relying on hearsay who are losing their minds. I think kids need to know the basics of different faiths in order to understand history (the crusades, Pilgrims, Ghandi), literature (Moby Dick’s religious allusions, The Scarlet Letter), and current events (ISIS, is that person Sikh or Hindu). Maybe it is too much to expect that people can think rationally about this. Maybe these courses will raise a new generation who might be able to think calmly about religion?

27 Sep, 2015

How to be a great marathon spectator

/ posted in: Fitness


I don’t run.  I have no desire to ever run a marathon.  But, I’ve been a race spectator since birth.  My father was a cross country coach until I was five.  Some of my earliest memories are cheering on the sidelines for runners.

This weekend the Akron Marathon passed through my neighborhood.  I went out to watch.  Here are some tips for how to make the most of your marathon viewing experience if you know nothing about racing.

Know Where You Are on the Course

You can usually look up the course on the race’s website.  The course of this marathon changed this year.  My viewing spot was right next to the 25 kilometer (15 mile) point.

Know When to Get There

Elite runners cover the 26.2 miles in a little over 2 hours depending on the course. If you know the start time and where you are going to be sitting you can judge when to get there. I showed up at mile 15 about an hour after the race started.

At this race they had a car with the race clock on top of it, right ahead of the front runners. This is when they got to me.  At this race they also have cyclists with signs riding next to the front runner in each division – men’s, women’s, master’s men (over 40), master’s women, male relay team, female relay team, and mixed relay team so you know who is winning at the time.  It is sort of mean though.  The runners look miserable and the cyclists are coasting alongside them looking at the crowd and the scenery.  I’d be tempted to knock them over. 

Make Some Noise

When I left my house and started walking to the marathon route, I thought that my neighborhood had hired a band for the race.  It turns out that I was hearing the music from the finish line that was 5 miles away as the crow flies.  I bet all the people trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning were thrilled about that but it is encouraging for the runners.  This isn’t golf.  You are encouraged to clap and yell and ring cowbells (honestly) when runners are passing you.  Some races have the runners’ first name large on the bibs so spectators can see them and yell personalized encouragement.  Making signs and waving them is good too.

Stay for the Regular People

It can be great to see the elite runners passing by.

Actual flying runners!


But the majority of people in a race are not running to win. Their reward is just finishing. They need the encouragement more than anyone. Sometimes with these runners who get to see costumes and funny shirts and signs and all kinds of entertainment.


25 Sep, 2015

Read This #51

/ posted in: General

11717448_10207237277148856_8218957447026415156_oPhoto courtesy of Katie @Just Another Girl and Her Books

Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.














25 Sep, 2015

Vegan Rum Caramel Cashew Butter Cups

/ posted in: Food

I made these cups based on Minimalist Baker’s Caramel Almond Butter Cups.

The hardest part of trying to be vegan for me hasn’t been cheese. It has been caramel. I love chocolate and caramel together. This vegan caramel sauce is amazing.  It is easier to make than date based caramel since I don’t have a super duper blender to make that smooth and it is less expensive.  Dates cost a lot.  The original recipe she posts for the caramel sauce isn’t vegan.  It used heavy cream.  The notes on the almond butter cups though explain making it with the thick part of coconut milk.  Do that.  It is incredible.

The caramel recipe makes a lot so you can find good uses for it.  So far I’ve used it as glue to attach chocolate chips to popcorn!

The cups are fussy to make but not as hard as I thought.  Just use a spoon to put a little melted chocolate in a mini cupcake liner and then spread some on the sides of the liner with the back of the spoon.  I used melted dark chocolate chips.  Then put in a small amount of a nut butter – powdered sugar mixture and pour some caramel sauce over it.  Top with more chocolate to seal it all and freeze.


Clean up ended up being tasty too. I had an improvised double broiler with chocolate all over the sides and some left over filling. I poured the filling in the double broiler and stirred. The filling scooped the chocolate off the sides. I rolled it in balls, refrigerated it to set, and called it truffles.

Not pretty but yummy.

I doubled the amounts used in the original recipe. I think I was a little heavy handed on the chocolate because it didn’t make double the expected amount of cups for me.

24 Sep, 2015

At Hell’s Gate and My Family

/ posted in: Reading At Hell’s Gate and My Family At Hell's Gate by Claude Anshin Thomas
on 2004
Genres: Biography & Autobiography
Pages: 168
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

In this raw and moving memoir, Claude Thomas tells the dramatic story of his service in Vietnam, his subsequent emotional collapse, and how he was ultimately able to find healing and peace. Thomas went to Vietnam at the age of eighteen, where he served as a crew chief on assault helicopters. By the end of his tour, he had been awarded numerous medals, including the Purple Heart. He had also killed many people, witnessed horrifying cruelty, and narrowly escaped death on a number of occasions.
When Thomas returned home he found that he continued to live in a state of war. He was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, fear, anger, and despair, all of which were intensified by the rejection he experienced as a Vietnam veteran. For years, Thomas struggled with post-traumatic stress, drug and alcohol addiction, isolation, and even homelessness.
A turning point came when he attended a meditation retreat for Vietnam veterans led by the renowned Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Here he encountered the Buddhist teachings on meditation and mindfulness, which helped him to stop running from his past and instead confront the pain of his war experiences directly and compassionately. Thomas was eventually ordained as a Zen monk and teacher, and he began making pilgrimages to promote peace and nonviolence in war-scarred places around the world including Bosnia, Auschwitz, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and the Middle East.
At Hell's Gateis Thomas's dramatic coming-of-age story and a spiritual travelogue from the horrors of combat to discovering a spiritual approach to healing violence and ending war from the inside out. In simple and direct language, Thomas shares timeless teachings on healing emotional suffering and offers us practical guidance in using mindfulness and compassion to transform our lives.

Growing up I knew from old family photos that my father’s sister had been married and divorced before I was born.  As an adult this was cause for some annoyance for me because whenever I would drive separately from my husband to a family event my parents would pipe up with, “The last time people drove separately to a family event they ended up divorced.”  This referred to my aunt’s first marriage and was incredibly annoying.  It was also untrue because the “last time” was the last time they said it to me. Then I got divorced and reinforced their beliefs.

Anyway, a few years ago I saw a list on Wikipedia or something about famous people from my hometown.  It is a VERY short list.  One of the people was a famous monk or something and it said he graduated the same year as my parents.  I asked if they knew this person.

My mother:  Disapproving snort “Oh, yeah.  That’s Tommy.  You know, your aunt’s first husband.”

How does that never come up in conversation?  (I can’t believe I even had this thought now after finding out everything never discussed in my family like my grandmother living under a fake name since the age of five and the fact that she had a murdered brother that was never mentioned.)

A few weeks ago I saw another list of famous people from my hometown.  (There were five entries and the first one was a horse.)  It mentioned that Claude Thomas had written an autobiography.  I got it from interlibrary loan.

I didn’t know whether to mention this or not.  The night before I was going to start reading it I told my mother about it.  I wanted confirmation that this was the same guy.  I still wasn’t entirely convinced.

My mother: “Really?  You have to tell me what it says. He didn’t just marry into your father’s family.  He was close to mine too.”

Me:  “The back says that it is mostly about Vietnam and lists a lot of medals he won.  Then it is about peace marches.”

My mother responded with a story about how he took her brother’s car and rolled it and her brother took the blame for it.

Me:  “(the husband) and I were talking about this.  We decided that if (my ex) became President of the United States and single handedly ended fighting in the Middle East and brought about world peace, your first comment would be, ‘The bastard owes my daughter money.'”

My mother: Laughs and then immediately lists five other things she’s mad at my ex about.  “Let him try to run for President.  I have things to say.”

I think my family missed their calling.  They should have been in the Mafia.  They have the Don’t Cross Family thing down cold.

He doesn’t own up to rolling the car in the book.  He glosses over most of his upbringing.  He does mention joy riding in cars from the local dealership but says he never wrecked any of those.  He dismisses my aunt and their marriage in two sentences.

This is the story of a veteran with severe PTSD using Buddhism as a coping mechanism.  It sounds to me like it isn’t working too well.  He mentions still not being able to sleep more than two hours at a time, for example.  I live with a veteran with PTSD so I’m used to some of the behaviors that comes along with it.  I’d recommend medication and maybe counseling to learn coping mechanisms.  I was hoping to read how Buddhism and meditation helped him but he seems to be barely functional.

He lives as a mendicant monk which means that he has no possessions and is homeless.  He leads long walking pilgrimages like Poland to Vietnam or across the U.S.  The participants carry no money and make no plans for housing.  When they get to a town, they ask at local churches for a place to sleep and some food.  I found this part interesting and disturbing.

Most often they are turned away from churches even in blizzards.  So much for Matthew 25:35.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in

He tells stories of being allowed to stay in a church but being told that they have to hide so children don’t see them.  They often have the police called because of “suspicious looking people seen walking down the road”.

He doesn’t refer to any Americans except his son by name in this book.  It seems like most of his anger is still focused on the American people.  He seems capable of accepting Vietnamese people but not Americans.  That may be a new idea for some people but doesn’t seem to be uncommon.  A lot of veterans are incredibly angry at Americans who didn’t serve in wars and many hate nonveterans blithely telling them, “Thank you for your service.”

This is a good book to read to open your eyes to the psychic toll that war can take on soldiers.

23 Sep, 2015

Women on Wednesday #3

/ posted in: FeminismWomen on Wednesday

For those of us who follow a lot of news about women, it can seem like a never ending list of gloom and doom.  Sometimes we need to remember that women are doing great things!  That’s the idea behind this new feature.

Every Wednesday I’ll feature some news, articles, and blog posts that are positive about women.  To do this I need your help too.  Link up posts that you have about women.  It could be reviews of a book with a female author, a discussion on a news article you saw, a blog post about important women now or in history, or anything else to show the world that we are able to lift up and support each other.

I’ll be featuring some of the linked up posts the next week, pinning all of the posts to the Women on Wednesday Pinterest board, and spreading the love for our links on Twitter.


Around the Internet

The 104-Year-Old Street Artist Who Yarn Bombed Her Town

“Grace Brett might be the oldest living street artist in the world. The 104-year-old grandmother of six is a member of a knitting club known as the “Souter Stormers,” who recently yarn-bombed the towns of Selkirk, Ettrickbridge, and Yarrow in Scotland.”

Drive for women’s empowerment: Mumbai’s all female taxi firm

“The all-female Priyardarshini Taxi Service was set up in Mumbai in 2008 by the social entrepreneur Susieben Shah, who wanted to support women’s economic empowerment in India.”

#SmartGirlsAsk Challenges Red-Carpet Sexism at Emmys

“Are you tired of sexist interview questions? It’s an irritating, yet persistent habit of Hollywood to give male actors interesting and relevant questions while women are asked about their makeup and dietary choices. Amy Poehler’s #SmartGirlsAsk campaign asked Twitter for some thoughtful questions, and brought them to the Emmy awards.”

Women Sweep 2015 Ignatz Awards at This Year’s Small Press Expo

“How rad is this: this year’s Ignatz Awards were swept by female creators in every category. For those of you who don’t know, the Ignatz Awards are awards given to comics creators in recognition of their achievements within small press or creator owned comics”


Based On A True Story
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22 Sep, 2015

Top 10 Books on my fall TBR

/ posted in: Reading

fall 2015 reading list

Fall is my favorite time for book blogging.  Some of my favorite events happen.


Hopefully, Nonfiction November will be back.  I loved that too.

Here are the books that I plan on reading soon.

The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

I don’t know what this one is about and I really don’t care. I love Jim Butcher’s books and I’ll read them all. This one is the start of a new series. The only sad thing is that isn’t isn’t narrated by James Marsters who I think of as the voice of Jim Butcher. It is released this month.

Wicked City (Zephyr Hollis, #2)Wicked City by Alaya Dawn Johnson

I recently read Moonshine, the first Zephyr Hollis book. It is about a woman in early 20th century New York who is a social justice crusader. This version of New York though includes vampires.
This is currently on its way to me through intralibrary loan.

The Killing Moon (Dreamblood, #1)The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

Can you believe that I’ve never, ever read any N.K. Jemisin? I’ve promised myself that I will make the time during #diversiverse in October this year.

When Autumn LeavesWhen Autumn Leaves by Amy S. Foster

This is about a witch who has been promoted and needs to leave the town she takes care of as soon as she finds a replacement. Requested through intralibrary loan.

The SelloutThe Sellout by Paul Beatty

This is a satire about reinstating slavery and segregation. I don’t know much else about it. I like not to read too much about books before I read them.

Currently waiting for my turn from the library.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of ConsciousnessThe Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

If I wasn’t a veterinarian, I’d have liked to study octopi. This nonfiction books about working with them sounds perfect for me.

War of the Whales: A True StoryWar of the Whales: A True Story by Joshua Horwitz

This is a nonfiction books about the relationship between Navy sonar and beaching whales.

The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld, #41; Tiffany Aching, #5)The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

I did it. I ordered it. It’s here but I haven’t opened the package yet. I’m going to read it. I’ll be so sad.


A Fall of MarigoldsA Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

I got this book in a swap and it sounds great. It has intertwining stories taking place in 1911 and 2011.

SoundlessSoundless by Richelle Mead

I like fantasy books set in China. I tend to be disappointed by a lot of YA fantasy though so I don’t know if I’ll rush to read this one even though it sounds interesting.

What books are you looking forward to reading this fall?


21 Sep, 2015

How Does an Artist See? Blue Sun, Yellow Sky

/ posted in: Reading How Does an Artist See? Blue Sun, Yellow Sky Blue Sun, Yellow Sky by Jamie Jo Hoang
on March 11th 2015
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 322
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

"Hailed as 'One of the best technical painters of our time' by an L.A. Times critic, 27-year-old Aubrey Johnson is finally gaining traction with her work. But as she weaves through what should be a celebration of her art, a single nagging echo of her doctor's words refuses to stay silent-- there is no cure. In less than eight weeks Aubrey is going blind. Traveling on a one-way ticket around the world with childhood friend Jeff Anderson, Aubrey is in complete denial. But a blindfolded game of tasting foreign foods in China jolts her into confronting the reality of her situation. So begins her quest. In this adult coming-of-age-story, Aubrey struggles to make sense of her crippling disability. But on her journey she finds a deeper understanding of herself and her life-- sometimes fragmented and complex, but always with relentless truth"

Aubrey is 27 and just starting to make a name for herself in the art world when she is diagnosed with an incurable eye disease that will lead to blindness in eight weeks.  She goes deep into denial because she doesn’t know how to imagine her life without being able to see.  She doesn’t feel ready to tell anyone about her diagnosis.

An encounter with her childhood friend Jeff, who is also facing crises in his life, leads to him inviting her along on a round the world trip.  She decides to go so she can see the world before she loses her sight.

The joy of this book is in the way that Aubrey sees the world.  The author does a great job of describing the way a painter sees the world and how she translates that onto a canvas.  As she paints her way around the world, her art starts to change with the new way that she is experiencing the world.

I liked the fact that this book doesn’t end with the end of the trip or even when Aubrey becomes totally blind.  The story shows how she works through this major transition and tries to find a new way to express her artistic vision when she can’t see.



About Jamie Jo Hoang

“Jamie Jo Hoang is the author of the award-winning novel Blue Sun, Yellow Sky.
After graduating from UCLA with a degree in screenwriting, she worked in entertainment as an independent producer. In 2011, she moved to Houston, Texas to write a book. Why Texas? Why not! Her debut novel, BLUE SUN, YELLOW SKY, was a Kirkus Indie Book of the Month (February 2015 Issue) and a finalist in the International Beverly Hills Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Hoang currently lives in an apartment in Los Angeles with a décor made up almost entirely of Post-It Notes.” from her website

19 Sep, 2015

#30 Authors – Anesa Miller about James McBride

/ posted in: Reading


#30Authors is an annual event connecting readers, authors, and bloggers. Throughout the month of September, 30 authors review their favorite books on 30 blogs in 30 days. The event has been met with incredible support from and success within the literary community. In the six months following the event’s inaugural launch, the concept was published as an anthology by Velvet Morning Press (Legacy: An Anthology). Started by The Book Wheel, #30Authors remains active throughout the year and you can join in the fun by following along on Twitter at @30Authors, using the hashtag, #30Authors, or purchasing the anthology. To learn more about the event, please click here.

When Black Lives Didn’t Matter
a review of James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird
by Anesa Miller

If you’ve ever caught sight of something so rare and astounding it forced you to reconsider your entire approach to life, then you understand a key theme of James McBride’s award-winning novel, The Good Lord Bird. For the rest of us, accustomed to mundane sights that seldom challenge us to reform ourselves and uplift others, the book offers the next best thing: insight on a powerful personality and its meaning for the mortals chosen by fate to encounter it.

The literal “good lord bird” of the title is none other than the ivory-billed woodpecker, one of the world’s largest and most beautiful wood-drilling birds. This feathered marvel is considered extinct today, but in the mid-19th Century, ivory-bills were still found in the Ozark forests—site of the Kansas Border Wars and setting for the early scenes of McBride’s story.

Any tale that opens here is likely to depict another colorful denizen of the region: John Brown, whose truth marches on in “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” McBride makes the renegade abolitionist a symbolic corollary of the black, white, and scarlet bird that evoked the cry of “Good Lord!” from settlers who lay eyes on it. But the author does still more by showing us the legendary character through the eyes of a unique protagonist, whom I’ll discuss below.

Are people like John Brown extinct in our day and age—men possessed by such unrelenting conviction that hatred, loss, and imminent death cannot sway them from their cause? McBride seems to suggest that leaders of this stripe are certainly rare, which many would consider a blessing.

As a native of Kansas, I’ve been familiar with the towering figure of John Brown since at least sixth grade. By that age, most school kids have visited the statehouse in Topeka where Brown looms not just larger than life but twice the size of anyone else in murals on the capitol rotunda. The crazed glare in Brown’s eyes has inspired much comment in my conservative state. Back in 1940, the Kansas Council of Women protested that, “…the artist has emphasized the freaks in [our] history – the tornadoes, and John Brown, who did not follow legal procedure.”

Hounded by controversy over his murals, Kansas-born artist John Steuart Curry left his work unsigned and abandoned his home state altogether.

Art lovers everywhere rejoice that Curry’s work remains, albeit without his signature. But McBride’s novel affirms that the Council of Women was correct: John Brown certainly “did not follow legal procedure.” He killed his opponents, many in cold blood, and appropriated their property to his cause—i.e., stole—without a hint of remorse. His fury at the institution of slavery led his family into mortal danger and left the survivors unprovided for.

Hoping to steal arms for a universal slave rebellion, Brown seized the national arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859. The poorly planned attack resulted in many deaths and decimated Brown’s followers. It achieved none of the stated objectives, although tensions soon escalated into civil war.

Many books, including other novels, have dealt with John Brown and the dire events he instigated. Two aspects set The Good Lord Bird apart: It is largely a comic novel, and it views history from a unique point of view. Mr. McBride’s race should not matter in our appreciation of its literary achievement, but I doubt that a white author could create such an off-beat, hilarious, and often absurd protagonist as Henry “the Onion” Shackleford.

“The Onion” (a nickname bestowed by Brown) gives us an outsider’s view par excellence. When this boy of twelve first encounters Brown, the abolitionist mistakes him for a girl because, “I wore a potato sack like most colored boys did in them days.” Thus our storyteller emerges as a transvestite slave child who embraces a female identity in order to avoid being pressed into service with the Pottawatomie Rifle Corps.

In these early scenes, the Onion’s “mental dependency” is such that he deems his “Massa…not a bad feller” and resists being liberated by the fanatical Brown. So do all other slaves at the opening skirmish. Like most growing children, especially those who’ve known privation, the Onion’s main concern is getting enough to eat. But Brown’s powers of persuasion are nothing if not dogged. Just as he gives up the potato sack when a dress is offered, the Onion gradually sheds his limited perspective. He comes to recognize the importance of burning issues of the day: equality, emancipation, self-determination.

At the same time, the Onion reveals Brown’s many shortcomings. “The Old Man” cannot fathom the distrust and reluctance he encounters among those he aims to free. The men who follow him face constant hunger because Brown would rather pray than bother to find provisions. His immersion in the cause entails little regard for reality: “He just changed the truth till it fit him. He was a real white man.”

More chilling are the Onion’s revelations of the backlash against slaves that Brown’s rebellion inspired. Few blacks willingly joined the attack on Harper’s Ferry, but many were hanged while more were sold “down the river” by terrified slaveholders. “White folks was in a state of panic that bordered on insanity,” the Onion observes. “The Colt Company ought to do something nice for Captain Brown’s family,” due to sales of thousands of weapons in the days after the Harpers Ferry attack.

Echoes of our time ring throughout this strangely beautiful historical novel. Amid the tragic events and profound emotion, there is much laughter but no hint of sentimentality. No stock answers. Instead, the tale conveys a rare and astonishing love for the other, for those who are different, for our neighbors and outsiders. As Brown says while awaiting execution, “Whatever you is, Onion…be it full.” Not the man’s most famous oration but one that brought tears to my eyes.


BIO: Anesa Miller is a recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council. She studied writing at Kenyon College and the University of Idaho. Her work has been published in The Kenyon Review, The California Quarterly, the Southern Humanities Review, and others. Her debut novel, Our Orbit, was published by Booktrope of Seattle in June 2015.

Our Orbit Blurb: Nine-year-old Miriam Winslow never wore new clothes, never had a haircut, and believes that sinners must repent with dramatic displays of remorse, or harm will come to their loved ones. Now thrust into foster care, Miriam must adapt to a secular lifestyle while struggling to keep in touch with her past. Foster parents Rick and Deanne Fletcher quickly come to love their “new little girl.” Soon they meet the rest of Miriam’s family. Uncle Dan believes he was abducted by aliens. Sister Rachelle, just out of juvenile detention, harbors painful secrets. Brother Josh is outraged that the Fletchers disrespect Christian teachings. He vows to take Miriam out of their home and put a stop to meddling in his family’s way of life.
Now a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Regional Fiction, Our Orbit captures the tension between modernity and tradition in the Appalachian corner of southern Ohio. “A literary novel that reads at the pace of a thriller.”

Anesa Miller’s new novel, OUR ORBIT, is available at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Our-Orbit-Anesa-Miller/dp/1620157233/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/our-orbit-anesa-miller/1119914300?ean=9781620157237
and by order from most brick-and-mortar stores.
You can always find Anesa at:
Website: www.AnesaMiller.com
Blog: http://www.anesamiller.com/?cat=2
Pinterest www.pinterest.com/anesam98/
Facebook www.facebook.com/anesamillerauthor
Twitter twitter.com/anesam98

Author site: http://www.jamesmcbride.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16171272-the-good-lord-bird
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Lord-Bird-James-McBride/dp/1594632782

18 Sep, 2015

Books N Bloggers Swap with Ebooks as Gifts

/ posted in: Reading

I was paired with Kim from Thistle Dew Fit for the Books N Bloggers Swap. We both decided that we preferred ebooks so we gifted those to each other through Amazon.

Did you know that you could do that? They make it really easy.

First find the book you want to give as an ebook. Then look on the right side of the screen.

Fill out the email of the recipient, set the date of delivery, and your message.

It is that easy. We set up our swap to deliver a book every other day to draw out the suspense.

Here are the books that I received.

If You Could Be MineIf You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read this one already and reviewed it. I loved it.



Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread AmericaBento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America by Linda Furiya

I’ve started this memoir about a Japanese family living in the United States and the connection to Japanese food that held their family together.

A Fall of MarigoldsA Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

This one has lots of plot points I like – stories in different time periods, women’s history, fabric stores, and something tying them all together. I can’t wait to get started.

Thanks Kim!