It is narrated by the author who talks fast enough that I had to slow it down to 1x playback speed for a while to be able to understand.
They made mass quantities of chicken and rice, ham and cheese sandwiches, and stew to feed people.
His plans for food relief include buying the food locally to get businesses operating again quickly.
He talks about making food for relief efforts in Haiti and having to have the humility to adapt to local culture. He made Spanish style beans and not Haitian style as he was told by some local ladies.
Why have I never heard of the Southern Baptists’ relief efforts? They cook all the food for the Red Cross. I went to a Southern Baptist church for 4 years and it was never mentioned.
I pre-ordered this book. It came on Tuesday. I decided that I would wait until my day off on Thursday to read it all at once and savor it. I’m a huge fan of this series. (I’ve watched an illegal upload of The Discovery of Witches TV pilot 5 times this week.)
Of course, I started this on Tuesday. I don’t know who I thought I was fooling with that waiting until Thursday nonsense.
I’m…not loving it…. It hurt to say that. Of course, not loving it is relative because I’m comparing it to the original trilogy that I read at least once a year.
I think the problem is that this is Marcus’ story. You know how he ends up from reading the other books. This is giving you back story so there isn’t a whole lot of suspense.
Stuff in the present is focused a lot on Matthew and Diana’s twin toddlers. I’m a person who thinks a story is ruined once you bring kids into it. Not interested in them at all.
I finished it. The present storyline grew on me a bit. It is good but it isn’t one I see myself rereading regularly.
“The ravens at the Tower of London are of mighty importance: rumor has it that if a raven from the Tower should ever leave, the city will fall.
The title of Ravenmaster, therefore, is a serious title indeed, and after decades of serving the Queen, Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife took on the added responsibility of caring for the infamous ravens. In The Ravenmaster, he lets us in on his life as he feeds his birds raw meat and biscuits soaked in blood, buys their food at Smithfield Market, and ensures that these unusual, misunderstood, and utterly brilliant corvids are healthy, happy, and ready to captivate the four million tourists who flock to the Tower every year.
A rewarding, intimate, and inspiring partnership has developed between the ravens and their charismatic and charming human, the Ravenmaster, who shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the ravens and the Tower. Shining a light on the behavior of the birds, their pecking order and social structure, and the tricks they play on us, Skaife shows who the Tower’s true guardians really are―and the result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.“
I follow him on Twitter so of course I need to read his book.
“We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python–from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on an unforgettable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theater, and film. Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie, and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, and many more, as well as the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart. In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian (the film which he originally gave the irreverent title Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory) and that has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humor that has delighted audiences for five decades. The year 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.”
He’s always been my favorite. This comes out on the same day but I ordered this from Audible so that fine.
“It’s the story of a publisher who wants nothing more than to print her scandalous novels and maybe keep her seditionist pamphleteer brother out of prison. She accidentally winds up falling in love with a handsome illustrator who is extremely cranky to discover he’s the heir to a dukedom. Yes, this is an actual m/f romance.”
I love Cat Sebastian books so I automatically order the next in the series
“The Haunting of Tram Car 015 returns to the alternate Cairo of Clark’s short fiction, where humans live and work alongside otherworldly beings; the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities handles the issues that can arise between the magical and the mundane. Senior Agent Hamed al-Nasr shows his new partner Agent Onsi the ropes of investigation when they are called to subdue a dangerous, possessed tram car. What starts off as a simple matter of exorcism, however, becomes more complicated as the origins of the demon inside are revealed.”
Tor is the only publisher that I pay attention to. It seems like whenever a book sounds really original it comes from them. I loved this description.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.
Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.”
I feel like this will be a big-news book but I just heard of it now in the same tweet thread as the last book. My pre-ordering brain was already on so I got this one too.
Who’s shocked that out of all his books there is no record of Jefferson ever owning the best seller, Vindication of the Rights of Women?
Martha Jefferson gets so frustrated with her little sister Maria that she wonders if she sustained brain damage during some illness. I’m with you there, girl. She’s a hot mess.
I’m sad for Martha because she would have been a brilliant politician but she got married off in backwoods Virginia because she was woman.
I can’t stand Maria because of her emotional manipulations and her distain for all the opportunities that she had to see the world and learn things. All she wanted was to be a wife in Virginia so I guess why should she have wasted to childhood learning things? Both women ended up in the same place no matter what their education and desires were.
I was just getting to the part about his enslaved daughter when the audiobook was returned to the library automatically! I’m going to have to get back to this one later….
When octogenarian Olive Turner is persuaded by her son to move into a retirement home, she congratulates herself on finding the secret to an easy life: no washing up, cooking or cleaning. But Olive isn’t one for mindless bingo with her fellow residents, and before the first day is over she's already hatching a plan to escape back to her beloved beach hut and indulge in her secret passion for a very good gin & tonic.
Before long Olive’s secret is out and turning into something wonderful and new. Only a select few are invited, but word spreads quickly about the weekly meetings of The Gin Shack Club. Soon everybody on the beach wants to become a gin connoisseur and join Olive on her journey to never being forced to grow older than you feel.
I picked up this book because it is precisely a genre that I don’t think we can ever have enough of – old lady chick lit!
Give me stories of older women in charge of their own lives; finding new passions; doing whatever they want! I’ll read them all. Give me more old ladies defying their fussy children and skinny dipping at the beach.
This book also made me really, really want a beach hut even though I don’t live by the beach and even if I did, they aren’t a thing here.
Olive moves into a home where everyone cares about safety to the point of not allowing the residents to live. This is actually a huge problem for older people. If you can’t do anything other than what is super-safe, you don’t get to do anything fun.
I was intrigued by the gin combinations that are discussed here. I wish there were some recipes for the cocktails discussed. I don’t drink so I have no idea if I like gin or not but this book made me want to try some. I feel like I wouldn’t like a gin and tonic at all but the gin with violet syrup that tasted like candied violets sounded interesting. I’m not sure if the rhubarb one sounded good or not but they were fans of it in the book.
I didn’t care much for the bit of mystery in the book. I was just here for the characters and their adventures!
I have been doing Facebook fitness challenge groups. I’m in my second month. The idea is that you have a group of people who post three things every day:
A post-workout selfie
A picture of a healthy meal they ate that day
Check in at night about how the day went
Then once a week we have to record a video about a non-scale victory.
I didn’t win last time. My partner was apparently not as super competitive as I am. She didn’t do her posts every day. This partner isn’t either. I am sad but having to post every day is helpful for me. I makes me eat at least one healthy meal if I’m accountable for it.
I’ve gotten a subscription to Beach Body on Demand. It gives me access to all kinds of workouts at home. I just finished Liift4 which is a 4 day a week mixture of weight lifting and high intensity interval training. I liked it. I finished it exactly on time which meant that I didn’t procrastinate any workouts to the next day.
I didn’t lose any weight but my body definitely changed during the 8 weeks of the program. It focuses on upper body weight lifting and my arms are much tighter. I’ve lifted a lot heavier in the past but this was all about consistency. Unfortunately, I come from a long line of peasant stock so I have my family’s flabby underarms covering up some of the muscle. I need to keep working on it so I can get these muscles to show!
In the challenge last month, I lost 3.5 inches overall. 1.5 inches of that was in my waist. My arms and thighs went down a little. The difference is noticeable even though the scale didn’t move.
I just restarted Liift4 at the beginning to keep working on my upper body. I’m not really a fan of the lower body day each week so I think I may mix in other workouts on those days to keep from getting bored. I’m used to lifting super heavy in deadlifts and squats so doing those moves with dumb bells just isn’t challenging my muscles. There are also a lot of hiit moves in those days that my knees have protested. They must be getting old!
Working out at home is working for me though. I have a scheduled time on each day when I know I’m going to be working out. I don’t have to go the gym even though it is close. The equipment I need is always available.
These are my actual feelings and reactions while I’ve been reading books this week. It isn’t as formal as a review but a little more structured than live tweeting.
Whenever the narrator says, “The Jeffersons” I picture George and Weezy, not Thomas and Martha.
Ooh, Abigail Adams is not amused that Jefferson didn’t come to London to meet 9 year old Maria on her trip from Virginia. She also thought Sally Hemmings should be sent back to Virginia because a teenager wasn’t a suitable companion for a 9 year old and what purpose could she serve in the Jefferson household in France. Well, Abigail, unfortunately he’ll find a use for her.
No, girl. Don’t do it. Stay in France, Sally. You’re a free woman there.
At least she negotiated her terms before she went back to the U.S. Her kids wouldn’t be farm laborers and they wouldn’t work before age 14. They would be freed at 21. No way she could enforce that though.
This book is really sympathetic to Maria Jefferson as a child. I think she is a horrible spoiled brat who manipulates adults through emotional blackmail. She’s the type of child who makes me really happy that I never had kids.
I bought this to get a sense of the history of the area of France that we will be going to this fall. The husband read it and loved, loved, loved this book. I’m struggling.
I dedicated an hour to reading it between a really hard workout and having to go to work. I kept dozing off and dropping the book on my face. I mean, I was dozing off and catching the book every 10-15 seconds at times. I have mad book and face saving skills.
This book is all accounts of battles and conquest and I just don’t care. The husband was an Army fellow so I’m sure that why he was fascinated.
This talks about the defeat of Vercingetorix, the Gaul leader. I read a series about him a long time ago. After that I’m still heartbroken about his loss. I just looked it up. I think it is the Druids series by Morgan Llywelyn. I didn’t drop that book on my face over and over. Soon after reading that the TV show ROME came out. One of the first episodes had Vercingetorix in a cage in Caesar’s triumph parade. I was horrified. In my mind he was still the hero of a series of book with a tragic ending. I wasn’t ready to see him portrayed as a horrible savage. #TeamVercingetorix
Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar's Abbey isn't the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill--though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome--is anything but a romantic hero.
He Needed Redemption...
Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household--and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.
Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena's past threatens, will Justin's burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?
I have pretty strict rules about the historical romances that I will read. Generally they need to be recommended by some trusted sources on Twitter. When I pick them myself I tend to get horrible books that I DNF. That’s why I’m so excited about this book. I chose this one from the description on the book tour and I absolutely loved it!
Helena is on the run but she isn’t flighty or impetuous. Her escape from her family has been well planned. She needs to get married in order to wrest control of her inheritance from her relatives. She is unable to control it herself because she is a woman so she is in desperate need of a husband.
Justin returned from being a prisoner of war in India and in an act of pure spite, managed to seize control of the largest house from its impoverished gentleman owner. Now he is hated by the community and just wants to be left alone. His secretary and a lawyer friend though have advertised for a bride for him. He’s ignored them up to now when his friend in London sent him a woman who is obviously in trouble.
I loved that these were both sensible, no-nonsense people. There was a real threat that Helena was running from based on newspaper accounts of the time. This was a great way to get actual historical issues into the story.
This book felt comfortable from the opening pages. I was pulled directly into the story. This is the type of historical romance that I love and I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of The Matrimonial Advertisement! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
The husband said a mouse was in the garage. He wanted to make a live trap. I was horrified. “We have cats!”
Him – “My way leaves the mouse alive. Aren’t you a vegetarian?”
“The cats aren’t.”
We looked at each other in the silent acknowledgement of the pros and cons of this plan. “Ok, well try the cats first and then get a trap,” he decided.
The mightiest hunter who ever did live. I’ve seen her chilling in the yard and then jump up and snag a bird flying 5 feet over her head. A lot of yelling about how we don’t eat birds followed while she ate her bird. She doesn’t play with prey. She kills in seconds and gets on with her life.
She’s 15 years old and very frail now. Her mass murdering days are behind her. But maybe she has one more hunt in her.
Did I mention how frail she is? A good sized mouse might win that fight.
He’s in the prime of his life. No weakness here.
He loves to hunt things. He hunts his toys, bugs, lint, and Powder despite being repeatedly told to leave old ladies alone. It is time to show him what he has been practicing for.
He was born in a shelter and has been an indoor cat all his life. “Mouse” is just a shape toys come in
He’s afraid of the garage since he heard the garage door opener up close.
I took Powder to the garage and told her the mission. She immediately started a perimeter patrol. I went to get Paul. He panicked when he saw he was headed to the garage and put 4 puncture wounds and 1 laceration on my left bicep. Eventually we were all in the garage. Powder had finished her first circuit and walked up to me. Paul started screaming and crying and pawing at the door to the house.
Powder looked at him with total disgust. “Back in my day cats didn’t have to be taught how to cat. Kittens these days are too soft!”
I let him back in the house before he had a heart attack. Powder stomped off on perimeter patrol number 2.
I went upstairs. Paul stayed by the door to the garage crying piteously because we had abandoned Powder to certain death in the horrible GARAGE.
1 hour later Paul was done crying (probably because he had given up all hope of ever seeing Powder again). The husband went downstairs. Powder hadn’t found a mouse but she was mighty proud of herself and did not want to come in. I checked an hour later with a nervous Paul peering around the door to see if she was still alive. She reported the situation as under control from her station on the mat. She supposed she could come in. She slowly sauntered in with a superior glance at her fraidy cat housemate. Hopefully, she left enough scent to let everyone know that apex predators live here (Well, one apex predator at least) and prey should stay out.
She was very full of herself all night. She had a strut to her stride that I hadn’t seen in a while. Give an old lady a job and she gets all her self esteem back.
No mice have been seen. Either they ran away from Paul’s horrible screeching or they died laughing.
Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath's premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father's iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington's into a new decade, embracing woman's equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
This book takes place in 1910 in Bath. I read a lot of historical fiction but I don’t see many books set in this time period. I was interested to read about a woman who is trying to take over her family business at a time when this was not an acceptable thing to do. This is also a time of great changes in retail. Ready to wear clothing is becoming more popular. Being able to touch the merchandise without a clerk helping you is a new idea.
I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book. In the beginning the writing was a bit clunky. There was a whole lot more description of what people were thinking than showing their actions on the page. I set the book aside for a while because of this. I don’t know if I would have picked it back up if it wasn’t a review book for me and if I wasn’t really interested in the premise.
I’m not sure if the writing improved as I got into the story or if I just accepted it as I went along but it didn’t bother me as much as I got deeper into the book. There are several conflicts here:
The heroine who wants to run the store versus her father who wants her to marry and live the life of a rich housewife.
The hero who wants to expand from a small family store to selling their merchandise in department stores over his father’s objections.
There was conflict between the heroine and hero’s families in the past.
Should department stores continue to cater to the wealthy or should they bring in lower price clothing for the new middle class customers? Would the wealthy continue to shop there if you let lower classes in the same stores?
It was interesting to see the ideas that were considered so progressive (and potentially alarming) that are commonplace now. The anti-woman rhetoric was as expected. Women aren’t smart enough to be in business. Suffragettes are just rabble-rousers causing the downfall of society.
This is a good book for anyone who loves historical fiction where you learn a lot about a topic.
These are my actual feelings and reactions while I’ve been reading books this week. It isn’t as formal as a review but a little more structured than live tweeting. Also these are real thoughts so it gets mouthy.
Warren Harding is a dirtbag. He has multiple mistresses. The Republican National Committee had to send one mistress and her husband on an extended vacation because they were blackmailing him about the affair. That’s the plot of Hamilton.
I had the husband listening to this with me on a road trip. It made him nutty. He said it was worse than listening to baseball because the book is so detailed. He just wanted them to vote and get it over with.
He entertained himself by cheering whenever the anti-suffrage people made a point.
Some anti-suffrage person stood up with a straight face and claimed that nowhere on Earth did the races get along as well as they always had in Tennessee. I’m assuming “always” includes all that time you kept slaves?
I got a little teary when it finally passed and really teary when they talked about visiting Susan B Anthony’s grave on Election Day 2016.
There was a good section at the end about people who didn’t get the right to vote and the violence mostly in Florida when black women tried.
I wanted to read this because I loved her later series.
I have absolutely no patience right now for fistfuls of made up people names and place names. Why do names in fantasy novels have to be so complex? There was one paragraph where about every third word was a complex name.
This book already made me look up the Articles of Confederation because I couldn’t remember exactly who was in charge between the end of the Revolution and George Washington’s first term. Answer – pretty much no one.
I also didn’t know that Jefferson was Governor of Virginia during the Revolution. Why didn’t I remember that?
All I actually remembered was the lyrics of Cabinet Battle 1 from Hamilton, “And another thing, Mr. Age of Enlightenment, Don’t lecture me about the war, you didn’t fight in it”. Not exactly fair. He did spend a lot of time running from the British who were trying to capture him.
About a month ago one of my coworkers asked me out of the blue if I had finished any quilts lately. I was offended. She knows better. She knows I only start quilts and then they live half-done forever in my basement.
I was also a bit concerned because actually I was applying myself diligently to finishing a quilt for her for her rapidly upcoming wedding.
Yes, I hope ya’ll are sitting down, I finished a quilt project!
I’ve always wanted to do a pineapple quilt block quilt but that’s a lot of work. I had only seen them paper pieced. I found a handy dandy ruler that made it a whole lot easier to do.
I made the whole thing mostly with scraps from my magical scrap bin. No matter how many times I dug in there I always found more jewel tones to work with, even if I was sure I had emptied it of useable stuff the time before. I only messed up once and used the same dark fabric in the same block.
I also decided in midstream to make this quilt as you go.
I sewed together each row of 4 blocks and then layered and quilted them. I used the fussiest way possible to join them together but you can’t tell I did anything unusual from the front. There is just a folded under edge of the backing where each row is joined together on the back.
I added borders the same way. I had a different plan for the borders but hated it once I started piecing it. I got the husband’s opinion. He got all nervous and told me that supported me in everything I do. I told him that I was hating what I was doing so critique away. I might have created a monster. He had unsolicited opinions about binding colors and fabric selection after the one day when I asked for his thoughts.
It is at its new home now. I finished with 2 days to spare. I didn’t know how to act with that much wiggle room.
These are my actual feelings and reactions while I’ve been reading books this week. It isn’t as formal as a review but a little more structured than live tweeting. Also these are real thoughts so it gets mouthy.
I know we win in the end but this is a super stressful book.
I want to go back in time and hug all the suffragettes who didn’t live to see the amendment pass. It was 80 years from the beginning of the fight until ratification.
I have a life philosophy that you will always be on the right side of history if you just oppose the conservative American Christian church. Works in 1919 and it works now.
The arguments that the anti-suffrage women used are the exact ones that I see conservative women still making. You could put any of these biddies on FauxNews and they’d fit right in.
I’m going to give Eleanor Roosevelt a pass for being anti-suffrage at this point in her life because eventually her husband will piss her off enough to push her to the feminist side.
Edith Wilson does not get a pass. This bitch is the de facto President of the United States after her husband’s stroke at the same time that she mouthing off about how women can’t handle politics.
Also, the lady that campaigned to start Barnard College when she couldn’t enroll at Columbia was anti-suffrage.
There were so many female full time political activists campaigning against suffrage on the grounds that women can’t be lowered to get into politics. Do they even hear themselves talk?
Miriam Leslie – I want to read a book about her. She became a publishing mogul and left all her money to the suffrage effort.
I’m sort of scared to read this book. Michael Pollan turned everyone who read Omnivore’s Dilemma into raging foodies. Am I going to start craving psychedelics?
The husband says I can’t do everything that Michael Pollan tells me to do. Well, he’s not the boss of me! Apparently Michael Pollan is.
There is a report on using mushrooms with terminal cancer patients to get them past a fear of death. A coworker was discussing her fear of death the other day. Maybe she needs more magic mushrooms in her life?
I told her she needs mushrooms. She said she will take it under advisement. Good deed for the week – done.
Ok now, this hero is a world class jerk.
Seriously, I would have DNFed this one already if it wasn’t an author that the Twitter hive mind recommends. That’s the only thing keeping me reading.
Now this fool actually is carrying on about how her body belongs only to him even though he hasn’t seen her in years. Nope. I hope an anvil falls on his head.
So much of this plot would be resolved by an honest conversation between characters. I hate that.
The plot is that they were courting but his family disapproved. He went to the Army and was reported killed. She married. Now years later he is home and she is widowed. He keeps showing up and making snide comments about her being a slut. She slept with you, you dumbass. That seems to be very poor judgement, I grant, but you have no room to talk.
Ew, in the middle of threatening her his interior monologue is all, “Why won’t she do what I want? I’m such a nice guy.”
This dude is a majorly entitled asshole. He doesn’t care who tells him no. He ignores them, jumps to some erroneous conclusion, gets all offended on his own injured behalf, and then does whatever he wants.
In case you can’t tell, I’ve totally moved into hate-reading now.
She couldn’t have loved her late husband, he has decided. After all her husband wasn’t him. Jerk.
Oh! If she’ll just admit she has regrets about her life he’ll forgive her. FORGIVE HER! She needs to stab this fool.
Oh bloody hell, he magnamously told her he’d forgive her and is pouty that she’s not overjoyed. Kick him!
This man never heard of No Means No. He’s trampling all over her refusal of him and when she is finally able to get away from him, he decides she must be hysterical.
He thinks all this asshole behavior isn’t wrong. It makes him a man.
Now he broke into her bedroom and he gets it into his head that there’s another man there and wants to beat him up.
I never stopped hating him. He didn’t get an anvil dropped on his head. I am sad.
I’m a BookBub junkie. I like scrolling through the weekly email for free and discounted ebooks. I don’t always get books though. Here’s what I’ve picked up in the last month or so and why I wanted them.
“England, 1673: Lady Violet Ashcroft grew up sheltered in the countryside, far from the dashing gentlemen of the court—and that’s how she likes it. Here on her family’s beautiful, quiet estate, she needn’t fight off suitors who are only after her sizable inheritance, or play second fiddle to her prettier younger sisters. Love and marriage aren’t for everyone, and sensible Violet would rather spend her days improving her mind than risking her heart. Until a rather dashing gentleman shows up next door…
Ford Chase, Viscount Lakefield, has had it with women. Who’s got time for them, anyway, when there’s important work to be done? Fresh out of Oxford, Ford is ready to devise his first world-changing invention. All he needs is some peace and quiet on his neglected country estate, where there is no family to nag him and, most especially, no women to distract him—until he’s thrown into the company of the intriguing Lady Violet…”
I didn’t realize until I went to Goodreads that this is a “sweet and clean” version of a previous book. I don’t like sex scenes in books unless they somehow advance the plot. I guess these were easy to cut? I usually don’t get historical romances that I don’t see recommended on Twitter. I’ve picked up so many awful ones when deciding on my own. This may be one of those. We’ll see.
“When octogenarian Olive Turner is persuaded by her son to move into a retirement home, she congratulates herself on finding the secret to an easy life: no washing up, cooking or cleaning. But Olive isn’t one for mindless bingo with her fellow residents, and before the first day is over she’s already hatching a plan to escape back to her beloved beach hut and indulge in her secret passion for a very good gin & tonic.
Before long Olive’s secret is out and turning into something wonderful and new. Only a select few are invited, but word spreads quickly about the weekly meetings of The Gin Shack Club. Soon everybody on the beach wants to become a gin connoisseur and join Olive on her journey to never being forced to grow older than you feel.”
I love books with older protagonists. Forget YA heroines – give me the old ladies.
“After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and sustainable energy. The city’s denizens have become accustomed to a roughshod new way of living, however, the city is starting to fray along the edges—crime and corruption have set in, the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are spawning unrest, and a new disease called “the breaks” is ravaging the population.
When a strange new visitor arrives—a woman riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side—the city is entranced. The “orcamancer,” as she’s known, very subtly brings together four people—each living on the periphery—to stage unprecedented acts of resistance. By banding together to save their city before it crumbles under the weight of its own decay, they will learn shocking truths about themselves.”
I sought this one out after hearing about it on Twitter. I was in with a lady riding an orca with a polar bear at her side.
“As a widower, Nathanial Durham has the monumental responsibility of finding suitable husbands for his two daughters. Flirtatious and changeable Bethany might have nearly anyone, but she seems determined to toss her suitors away almost the moment they arrive. Laynie, on the other hand, far behind her sister in looks and charm, is of especial concern to her father. And so, when Harold Vaughn returns home to inherit, it seems the problem, at least for one of his daughters, is solved. Only which daughter will it be?
Even his girls cannot quite decide, and so, to cool the rivalry, the sisters are sent to an aunt’s, where they are thrown into the path of other young and eligible gentlemen—and a new rivalry begins.”
This description seems really boring. The BookBub one was much different, I think. Not sure about this one now.
“Book one of THE RACHAEL O’BRIEN CHRONICLES begins with Rachael enrolled at a southern college intending to earn a degree, party, and meet cute guys–hopefully acing the latter two. She has barely had time to acquaint herself to the dorm food before finding herself threatened by a jealous She-Devil, fending off the advances of a thirty-something redneck, and stumbling upon an art fraud scheme. To top things off, her parents go their separate ways: her mom to follow a psychic calling; her dad adrift in his midlife crisis.”
The title seems like it might fit for Foodies Read but the description doesn’t. Thought I’d give it a try.
“John Braxton arrives unannounced on Lizzie’s doorstep. Little does she know that when she invites him for a drink on the porch, Lizzie opens the door to a secret world of Lycan, magic, spelled books, and a power hungry mastermind. Caught up in one man’s search for power, Lizzie soon begins to uncover surprising secrets about her own past and powers—but not before stumbling upon a library like no other. And romance with a serious but sexy Lycan? It might just happen…
Take a romp through the life of the quirky and well-meaning Lizzie as she discovers exactly what it means to live with magic.”
Werewolves and books? Could be great, could be a hot mess.
“Elizabeth Lara built a perfect life as San Francisco’s top divorce attorney, but when she loses her great-aunt Mags, the woman who raised her, she boards a plane and leaves it all behind.
The Irish shores welcome her as she learns a shocking truth, kept secret for thirty-five years. Devastated and now alone in the world, Beth tries to find peace in a beautiful cottage by Lough Rhiannon, but peace isn’t what fate had in mind. Almost as soon as she arrives, Beth’s solitary retreat into the magic wilds of Ireland is interrupted by Connor Bannon. A man with light brown hair, ice blue eyes and a secret of his own. He’s gorgeous, grieving, and completely unexpected.
With the help of Mags’ letters, the colorful townspeople of Dingle, and Connor, Elizabeth might just find a way back to the girl she lost long ago and become the woman she always wanted to be.”
“As a writer for Chick Habit, an increasingly popular women’s website, Alex Lyons gets paid to be a bitch. She’s churning out several posts a day, and she saves her juiciest ones for blog prime time, when working women eat their sad desk salads in their offices. Alex tells herself she’s fulfilling her dream of being a professional writer; so what if it means being glued to her couch and her laptop from six a.m. to six p.m., scouring the web in search of the next big celebrity scandal? Since Chick Habit’s parent company keeps close tabs on page views, Alex knows her job is always at risk.
So when an anonymous tipster sends her the year’s most salacious story—a politico’s squeaky-clean Ivy League daughter caught in a very R-rated activity—it’s a no-brainer. But is Alex really willing to ruin the girl’s life by igniting the next Internet feeding frenzy? And what she doesn’t yet realize is how this big scoop is about to send her own life spiraling out of control.”
I had this on my TBR for so long that it got purged. Then it showed up on sale so I got it.
Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…
New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.
Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.
Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?
Alyssa Cole is an autobuy author for me for both her contemporary and historical romances. This is book 2 of her contemporary Reluctant Royals series.
Do you have to read the first book to read this one?
Not really as long as you can just accept that her best friend is a Princess. (But you should read the first book because it was wonderful.)
Portia has always felt like she is a failure. She comes from a highly successful family. Her twin overcame a life threatening illness and now runs a very successful website. Her family is pushing her take a job with the family company just so she does something stable. Instead she took an internship with a Scottish sword maker, because that’s a practical life skill.
Her skills are a big help to the company though. She increases their social media profiles so they get more business. She redoes their website. It is in doing research for the website that she finds out about her boss’s relationship to a former Duke.
I liked that the conflict keeping them apart in the story was a logical one. He’s her boss and it is inappropriate and wrong to hit on interns. People should remember that.
This was a fun read that I finished in a few sittings. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Oliver Dasenby is the most infuriating man Primrose Garland has ever known. He may be her brother’s best friend, but he has an atrocious sense of humor. Eight years in the cavalry hasn’t taught him solemnity, nor has the unexpected inheritance of a dukedom.
But when Oliver inherited his dukedom, it appears that he also inherited a murderer.
Oliver might be dreadfully annoying, but Primrose doesn’t want him dead. She’s going to make certain he survives his inheritance—and the only way to do that is to help him catch the murderer!
Emily Larkin’s Baleful Godmother books are also autobuys for me. This is the first book in a new series but it is set in the same world as her previous books.
Do you have to read the other books to read this one?
The premise of these books is that a long time ago a woman helped a fairy. In exchange all her female descendants are granted their choice of a magical power at some point in their mid-twenties. Each book can be read as a standalone.
Primrose’s power is teleportation. That’s a good choice. That’s the power I would choose. I like that she is first seen using it to go get a book she forgot at her house. However, her magic doesn’t really affect the story a lot. The same story could be told without it.
Oliver was an Army officer who came home after he inherited a title. He was far out of the line of succession but several relatives have died unexpectedly in the last year. Now someone seems to be trying to kill Oliver too. The mystery of who it is the main story of the book. It is quickly narrowed down to two suspects but the story twists and turns to keep you guessing.
All the action takes place at a house party where Oliver is the fresh meat being dangled in front of several marriageable ladies and their mothers. He is trying to stay out of their clutches but the marriage hunt is deadly serious.
Primrose and her brother are Oliver’s childhood friends who are trying to keep him safe. Their relationship develops because Primrose is the only woman who likes him for himself instead of his title.
“When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forward as a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.“
I’m a huge fan of Michael Pollan’s food writing. I’m not sure where he is going with this one but I’ll give it a try.
What Am I Listening To
“Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don’t want black women voting. And then there are the ‘Antis’–women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel’s, and the Bible.“
I’m still listening to this one. It is slow going because I have to keep stopping to cuss people out.
The inspiring and sometimes hilarious story of a family that quit the rat race and left the city to live out their ideals on an organic farm, and ended up building a model for a new kind of agriculture. When Brent Preston, his wife, Gillian, and their two young children left Toronto ten years ago, they arrived on an empty plot of land with no machinery, no money and not much of a clue. Through a decade of grinding toil, they built a real organic farm, one that is profitable, sustainable, and their family's sole source of income. Along the way they earned the respect and loyalty of some of the best chefs in North America, and created a farm that is a leading light in the good food movement. Told with humour and heart in Preston's unflinchingly honest voice, The New Farm arrives at a time of unprecedented interest in food and farming, with readers keenly aware of the overwhelming environmental, social and moral costs of our industrial food system. The New Farm offers a vision for a hopeful future, a model of agriculture that brings people together around good food, promotes a healthier planet, and celebrates great food and good living."
A lot of the time when you read memoirs about people moving away from the city and starting a farm they stop the story after a few years. This book chronicles ten years of the ups and downs of a small organic farm.
What I found most interesting was the multiple times that they found that they needed to stray from small organic farm “orthodoxy” in order to have a viable and profitable business.
They tried growing a large number of crops but realized that most people don’t want the exotic stuff so now they grow mostly greens and cucumbers.
They abandoned farmers’ markets and CSAs to sell directly to restaurants
They tried using wannabe farmers as interns for farm labor but they were such bad workers that they ended up hiring Mexican workers instead.
I was interested in the difference between the experience of Mexican migrant farm workers on this farm in Canada versus what I was familiar with in the United States. In Canada there are worker programs so they are in the country legally and have workers’ rights. The guidelines seem reasonable and we should have programs like that too.
I also liked that this book did not shy away from the cruelty involved in animal agriculture. I found the section about their pigs and chickens hard to read. They have moved away from raising pigs in part because they had issues with it too.
There is a truism in farming that you have to go big to survive. They discuss the conflicts that they have had about this. At what point do you stop trying to grow so you don’t destroy yourself or your marriage? They are very honest about the toll that the last ten years have had on their relationships.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think that this is a good book for anyone interested in what it really takes to have a small farm.
In a lyrical love letter to guide dogs everywhere, a blind poet shares his delightful story of how a guide dog changed his life and helped him discover a newfound appreciation for travel and independence.
At the age of thirty-eight, Stephen Kuusisto—who has managed his whole life without one—gets his first guide dog, a beautiful yellow labrador named Corky. Theirs is a partnership of movement, mutual self-interest, and wanderlust. Walking with Corky in Manhattan for the first time, Steve discovers he’s “living the chaos of joy—you’re in love with your surroundings, loving a barefoot mind, wild to go anyplace.”
Have Dog, Will Travel is the inside story of how a person establishes trust with a dog, how a guide dog is trained. Corky absolutely transforms Steve’s life and his way of being in the world. Profound and deeply moving, theirs is a spiritual journey, during which Steve discovers that joy with a guide dog is both a method and a state of mind. Guaranteed to make you laugh—and cry—this beautiful reflection on the highs, lows, and everyday details that make up life with a guide dog provides a profound exploration of Stephen’s lifelong struggle with disability, identity, and the midlife events that lead to self-acceptance.
The thing that I found absolutely amazing about this memoir is that the author was raised to not let anyone know that he was blind. How do you even do that? There is a very scary story about the time he rented a motor scooter and drove around the mountains in Santorini following the red blob that was his friend.
His mother was adamant that being blind meant that he was defective. He should never let anyone know. That meant memorizing the small towns he lived in. Reading by holding the paper up to his left eye. Living a life made difficult by a disability but almost impossible by a lie. Seriously, his mother needed a good whooping.
At 38 he was forced to make a change. He got his first guide dog. He was now open about his blindness. It changed his entire life.
This book is a tribute to the freedom found in living your true life and the way that is enhanced by his guide dog. The author is a poet and that is obvious in his lyrical writing style. He is a very philosophical person who deeply considers things that others may gloss over.
I appreciated the fact that he discussed the professionalism of real service dogs. He worries about the damage being done by people registering out of control pets as emotional support dogs just so they can take them anywhere. (One of my major pet peeves!) He explains that there still is resistance to and ignorance of guide dogs for the blind now. I wouldn’t have thought it would be so common.
I was a guide dog puppy raiser. (My puppy passed his temperment and training tests but failed his physical.) He talks a lot about the importance of puppy raisers and the trainers who work with the dogs. You find out how the process works.
For the dog lovers, this story starts in 1994. That means that the dog does die before the book was written. It is discussed but not dwelt on.
This is a wonderful book for dog lovers everywhere. All dogs can change your life but Corky the labrador revolutionized her person’s.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about the body positivity movement. On one hand, you shouldn’t hate your body and obviously you can look amazing at any size. On the other hand, being fat is hard on your body. On your magical third hand, I’m a healthy fat person who doesn’t like being fat so that colors everything.
I was going about my business not taking a side until a few days ago when I got a letter turning me down for life insurance. You know what the reason was? My “build”.
It took me a second to reread that a few times to even understood what it meant. Then the rage took over. Yes, I’m overweight. I also am pretty muscular. That adds to my weight.
If they had cared about my health, they might have asked to see my perfectly normal blood work. But, no. Height and weight only.
I don’t even wear plus sized clothing, for the love of chunky Aphrodite.
I have spent the last few days yelling that I am “too fat!” and swooning when asked to do anything. So far it hasn’t actually gotten me out of anything because no one agrees with me.
The life insurance company doesn’t care that my workout routine is going swimmingly. I did a challenge group last month. I was down 4 lbs and about 4 inches. I’m happy about that. I’m halfway through the course I’m using (Liift4 on Beach body on demand) and I really like it. I’ve made a routine of 7 am workouts on Monday and Tuesday and I’m actually getting out of bed and doing it. I also work out on my day off on Thursday and as soon as I get home from work on Friday. (I go in too early for a 7 am workout on Friday.)
So right now I’m feeling super skinny from the inches off the waist. I might even be feeling body positive.