Showing Posts From: Entertainment

31 Mar, 2020

March 2020 Wrap Up

/ posted in: Reading

Good Lord!  This has been the longest month of all time.  I was talking to coworkers who have been off on various self-isolations.  One said she was on day 12.  I swear I thought I hadn’t seen her in about a month.  Every day is lasting weeks.  Anyway, for an update on my status in all this see yesterday’s post.

I read all the books this month.  Seriously.  In retrospect I can see I was trying hard to distract my brain.  Once I stopped going to work my reading dropped off a cliff.

I present the biggest reading month (actually 3 weeks) ever:

I read this series.  I loved it.  Great world building and relationships between characters.  Go read it.

I read this series. This really should have been three books but she cut the story up whenever there was a cliffhanger. I wouldn’t have read the whole thing if it wasn’t on Kindle Unlimited.


I read another series.  This one was really good.  I 100% recommend.

I reread a favorite series and then realized that there is a new novel out.  I’m saving that.

I read a few books in other series I like.

I also managed to read a few standalone books.

I started some new series.  


That’s a total of 30 books.  What????


The books I read were:

  • 2 audiobooks
  • Set in the U.S. and fantasy lands.


From My Shelf

I’m adding a section to encourage me to read books that I’ve had sitting around for a long time.

What book didn’t you see above?  Yeah, the one I absolutely promised I was going to read in March.

I started it.  I just got distracted.  Will work on this.  

Reading All Around the World challenge from Howling Frog Books

  • Read a nonfiction book about the country – or
  • Read fiction written by a native of the country or someone living for a long time in the country.

Nothing new in my comfort reading month.




16 Mar, 2020

What Am I Reading?

/ posted in: Reading

So, how are all your self imposed social distancing efforts going?  Is it horrible that I’m quite enjoying myself?  I feel like I’ve been training to stay away from humans my whole life.  I’m still going to have to go to work for the time being but I’m not going to be surprised if Ohio ends up getting mandatory quarantine soon.  

A few days ago I signed up for a free month of Kindle Unlimited.  About this same time I saw a Tweet recommending Lily Archer’s books.  They were on Kindle Unlimited and now I’ve read 8 in the last two days.

Yes, there are a lot of abs in these stories.  These actually should be two or three books but they are broken up to have cliffhanger endings.  That really annoys me but with Kindle Unlimited I could just keep reading.  I probably wouldn’t have if I had to buy each book separately because I would have felt like I was being ripped off. 

I’ve also been binging this author.

I finished this whole series.  Actually, I finished it up to the last book that isn’t out yet.  VERY frustrating but she has other series out that I’m about to start.  

12 Mar, 2020


/ posted in: Book ReviewFoodies ReadReading Caffeine Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World on 2020
Length: 6 hours
Genres: Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Michael Pollan, known for his best-selling nonfiction audio, including The Omnivores Dilemma and How to Change Your Mind, conceived and wrote Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World as an Audible Original. In this controversial and exciting listen, Pollan explores caffeine's power as the most-used drug in the world - and the only one we give to children (in soda pop) as a treat.

Pollan takes us on a journey through the history of the drug, which was first discovered in a small part of East Africa and within a century became an addiction affecting most of the human species. Caffeine, it turns out, has changed the course of human history - won and lost wars, changed politics, dominated economies. What's more, the author shows that the Industrial Revolution would have been impossible without it. The science of how the drug has evolved to addict us is no less fascinating. And caffeine has done all these things while hiding in plain sight! Percolated with Michael Pollan's unique ability to entertain, inform, and perform, Caffeine is essential listening in a world where an estimated two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.


This is a fairly short Audible original audiobook written and read by Michael Pollan.  Of course I had to listen to it!

It starts off with the author lamenting that to truly understand the affects of caffeine he had to go off of it for a while.  He procrastinated for a long time and then quit his fairly mild caffeine habit cold turkey.  This led him to believe that the whole idea of writing about caffeine was stupid and also that he would never write again.  He spiraled a bit until his brain got used to this new reality.  

I’ve never really been a person who absolutely needed caffeine to function.  I’ve always felt like it didn’t have a lot of affect on me.  Maybe I’m wrong about that.  It turns out even small doses can make major impacts on sleep quality.  I’m a good sleeper but who knows if I’m getting the best sleep I could be getting?

This audiobook covers a lot of ground in a short time.  There is the history of coffee and tea, the science of caffeine’s affects on the brain, and the affects of caffeine on Western civilization.  Did switching from beer to coffee drive the move out of the Middle Ages in Britain once everyone traded being mildly drunk all the time for being buzzed on caffeine?  

If you’re a Michael Pollan fan, this is a good addition to your library.

09 Mar, 2020

What Am I Reading?

/ posted in: Reading

I’ve actually been getting some quality audiobook time in more than reading books.



This is the fourth book in the Innkeeper Chronicle series. You need to have an idea what went on in the first ones to listen to this one. They are all very good though. I’m a sucker for a sentient house in a story.









I’m also a sucker for “human stumbles into the magical world around her” stories. This is the beginning of a series that I can see myself binging even though I have a bunch of other books appearing on my iPad from the library that I need to get to.

It has been a while since I’ve found a new urban fantasy author that I liked.

March 2020 Foodies Read
01 Mar, 2020

March 2020 Foodies Read

/ posted in: Foodies ReadReading


Welcome to March 2020 Foodies Read!

You guys were on fire in February.  We had 38 entries!  That might be a new record.  The winner of the drawing is Stephanie for her review of Omnivore’s Dilemma.

The Foodies Read Rules:

  1. Every post must feature a book about food.  Posts that don’t center a book will be removed.
  2. Every entry is entered into a monthly drawing to win a gift card.  Once you win a prize you are not eligible to win for 6 months.





You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

29 Feb, 2020

February 2020 Wrap Up

/ posted in: Reading

The slacking continues.  I found myself reading a bunch of books that required THINKING so I wasn’t rushing through them like popcorn.  Then I didn’t even get through all of the thinking books so I only have a few finishes this month.

I was trying to focus on only Black authors for February but then library holds came in and other shiny things happened.  Here are the books by Black authors I read.

My other books


The books I read were:

  • 2 audiobooks
  • Set in Morocco, Egypt, and the U.S.


What were my favorites?



From My Shelf

I’m adding a section to encourage me to read books that I’ve had sitting around for a long time.

Yeah, um, moving along, nothing to see here. 

Ok, I’m getting up from the computer right now and picking a book off the shelf.  

I bought this book when I was giving out books as prizes for Foodies Read.  The cover was damaged though so I didn’t give it away.  It has been sitting on my shelf ever since.  It is now on my nightstand.  I WILL read it by the end of March.

Reading All Around the World challenge from Howling Frog Books

  • Read a nonfiction book about the country – or
  • Read fiction written by a native of the country or someone living for a long time in the country.

I need Morocco but the book I read that was set there didn’t meet the requirements for the author living there.  Sad. 




Roses of Marrakech
19 Feb, 2020

Roses of Marrakech

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading Roses of Marrakech Roses of Marrakech by Rachel Clare
on June 2018
Pages: 330
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Book Tour, From author/publisher

Roses of Marrakech is a breath-taking romantic fiction, set between 1944 and 2016. The story
follows 36-year-old primary school teacher, Ivy Fielding, who suffers from a lack of self-esteem due
to a facial birthmark. Her great-aunt Rose, who has always been her main source of emotional
support, has just died, leaving her a bequest as well as her Lavenham cottage to Ivy and her mother.
Ivy discovers tragedies in her family’s past while reading her late great-aunt’s diary, and this inspires
her to fulfil a childhood dream and she jets off to Marrakech for the summer holidays.
Set against the backdrop of wartime Suffolk and the present-day spice-scented souks of Morocco,
Ivy follows a trail of discovery that will change her life and those around her, forever.
But when uncomfortable secrets of the past begin to surface, can she find the courage to confront
them, or is it easier to walk away?


This is an engaging fiction novel that tells stories in two different timelines.  The first is the story of Ivy, an elementary school teacher who decides to take a trip to Morocco that she has always said that she’ll do “someday.”  Her great-aunt recently died and while cleaning out her house Ivy comes across a diary where her aunt has recorded detail of her life that Ivy did not know about including the lives of her sisters and a romance with an American GI during World War II.

The author did a good job of making the trip to Morocco come alive.  She gives a lot of details about walking around through the different sections of the city.  It makes you want to go and experience it yourself.

I thought that the past timeline was fairly predictable but it was still well written and entertaining.

I wasn’t as fond of the decisions that were made at the end of the story.  

Overall this is a good story about the consequences of secrets in a family.


Author Bio

Rachel gained a BA (Hons) in French/English at Liverpool Hope University and an MA in Modern Languages Research at Lancaster University before training to be a journalist. She now lives in Lancaster and teaches French in a primary school. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was a child and coming runner up in a Sunday Express story competition gave her the confidence to write her first novel, Roses of Marrakech.

Whenever I go on holiday, I always take my notebook with me. Visiting Morocco and Lavenham a few years ago, I made notes of my impressions of the places I visited and began writing the book when I returned”, comments Rachel. “In the book, Ivy’s struggles with coming to terms with her birthmark are based on my own experiences with cerebral palsy, whilst the characters, Violet and Eleanor are based on my great-aunts who both died of TB in the late 1920s”.

03 Feb, 2020

What Am I Reading?

/ posted in: Reading

“Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius.

But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?

She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.”


I wanted to like this one more than I did.  It can be hard for me to get invested in YA fantasy books.  I finished it and I’m still not super clear on exact why everything was happening.








“Trinity Jordan leads a quiet, normal life: working from home for the Hive, a multifunctional government research center, and recovering from the incident that sent her into a tailspin. But the life she’s trying to rebuild is plagued by mishaps when Li Wei, her neighbor’s super sexy and super strange nephew, moves in and turns things upside down. Li Wei’s behavior is downright odd—and the attraction building between them is even more so. When an emergency pulls his aunt away from the apartment complex, Trinity decides to keep an eye on him…and slowly discovers that nothing is what it seems. For one thing, Li Wei isn’t just the hot guy next door—he’s the hot A.I. next door. In fact, he’s so advanced that he blurs the line between man and machine. It’s up to Trinity to help him achieve his objective of learning to be human, but danger is mounting as they figure out whether he’s capable of the most illogical human behavior of all…falling in love.”

This was a good one.  I don’t usually listen to romance on audio.  I like to skip the sex parts and that’s harder to do but this was only available on Audible.  I’d recommend this one anyway though.  Great worldbuilding in a near future world. 



I have so many books out from the library right now.  I went a bit overboard requesting things for Blackathon.  I never learn how to pace myself.

February 2020 Foodies Read
01 Feb, 2020

February 2020 Foodies Read

/ posted in: Foodies ReadReading


Welcome to February 2020 Foodies Read!

Welcome to another great month of Foodies Read.  We are off to a great start in 2020.

Since we are starting another year let’s review the rules:

  1. Every post must feature a book about food.  Posts that don’t center a book will be removed.
  2. Every entry is entered into a monthly drawing to win a gift card.  Once you win a prize you are not eligible to win for 6 months.


We had 28 reviews linked up in January.  The winner of the drawing is Wendy for her review of A New Way to Cake.



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

31 Jan, 2020

January 2020 Wrap Up

/ posted in: Reading

You guys are totally not going to believe this.  I was such a slacker this month.  I even went on vacation and DIDN’T READ A SINGLE THING.  I know.  I was shocked too.


The books I read were:

  • I finally finished the audiobook of The Starless Sea!
  • Set in England, Argentina, and the U.S.
  • Troubled Waters was a reread


What was my favorite?

I’m going to be doing #Blackathon in February.  I already have a bunch of books coming from the library so that should get my reading mojo back.  


I’m still trying to figure out if I want to do any other reading challenges.  I could do the Year of Reading Asian challenge again.  I also found a challenge for reading more Latinx authors which is something I’d like to do.  I don’t know if I’m going to sign up for anything formally though.


From My Shelf

I’m adding a section to encourage me to read books that I’ve had sitting around for a long time.

Yeah, nothing this month. 


Reading All Around the World challenge from Howling Frog Books

  • Read a nonfiction book about the country – or
  • Read fiction written by a native of the country or someone living for a long time in the country.

Added Argentina this month!




My Latest Obsession – Miracle Forest
28 Jan, 2020

My Latest Obsession – Miracle Forest

/ posted in: Entertainment

When I first saw ASMR ambiance rooms on YouTube I totally did not get it.  I couldn’t figure out why people would sit and watch a video that doesn’t change a bunch for hours.  I was clueless.  It took me a while to realize that it is background noise that you can use for your life.  Even then I dismissed it.  I’m a person who prefers to have silence over noise.  I don’t turn on the TV or music just to have it on. But now I’m obsessed.  What changed?

I realized that I could block out the noise I don’t like with noises that I do.  (Wow, I must be slow on the uptake.)

I started using it specifically to block out the husband’s snoring.  I had to upgrade to bluetooth headphones after a few too many near-strangulation/iPad crashes on the floor accidents.  Now blissfully listen to whatever I want while he snores away. (Now I get messages like “Your screen time last week averaged 11 hours a day.”  Yeah, but I was asleep for most of it.  Don’t judge me!)

I started out with rain sounds.

I realized quickly that I’m a water person.  My favorites have some kind of water sounds usually.  I’m not one to like library scenarios usually with fire crackling and pages turning.  There are a lot of great ones out there but I’m a particular fan of Miracle Forest for her quirky sounds that I would have never imagined I wanted to hear.

Need an underwater temple with monks chanting softly in the background?

How about winter tea time?

This elf village is all about the waterfalls

Now I’m listening to them all the time.  I found out I have different needs for reading vs. sleeping.  My favorite reading one is everything I said I didn’t like for sleeping.

There are so many great ones that I’m getting too many favorites to give them all the love they need.  The God of Sleep, who is a purring catDinosaurs in a jungleKrampus trudging through the snow to carry off bad children. I don’t even look at any other channels now because there is so much to love here. Be sure to check out her How I Make My Videos which she had to make to prove to YouTube that she wasn’t stealing content. It is very cool.

Does anyone else use these to block out the world?

27 Jan, 2020


/ posted in: Bookish LifeReading

I’ve been a blog slacker recently so I didn’t really think much about participating in any events.  I briefly looked at Blackathon because it is an event I have liked in the past.  Everything I saw about seems to show that it is living mostly on booktube, which I’m really not interested in.  (If I’m wrong about this, let me know!)

Then N.K. Jemisin happened.

Yeah, that is a thread to majorly blow up a person’s TBR just in time for Blackathon.

Here’s what I’ve either bought or requested from the library.

Shadow Blade (Shadowchasers, #1)Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass

“Kira’s day job as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she’s got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside-down in search of a four-millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira’s hands.

Then there’s Khefar, the dagger’s true owner-a near-immortal 4000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit, looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow force, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever.”

Riot BabyRiot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi


“Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.”

The Record KeeperThe Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion

“After World War III, Earth is in ruins, and the final armies have come to a reluctant truce. Everyone must obey the law—in every way—or risk shattering the fragile peace and endangering the entire human race.

Although Arika Cobane is a member of the race whose backbreaking labor provides food for the remnants of humanity, she is destined to become a member of the Kongo elite. After ten grueling years of training, she is on the threshold of taking her place of privilege far from the fields. But everything changes when a new student arrives. Hosea Khan spews dangerous words of treason: What does peace matter if innocent lives are lost to maintain it?

As Arika is exposed to new beliefs, she realizes that the laws she has dedicated herself to uphold are the root of her people’s misery. If Arika is to liberate her people, she must unearth her fierce heart and discover the true meaning of freedom: finding the courage to live—or die—without fear.”

This is a preorder that isn’t coming out until this fall.

The ConductorsThe Conductors by Nicole Glover


As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people north with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.”

She asked specifically about sci-fi/speculative fiction. I have a few other books on my iPad from black authors in other genres. Let’s see what the month brings. Usually this event adds so much to my TBR list.

The Cake Fairies
16 Jan, 2020

The Cake Fairies

/ posted in: Book ReviewFoodies ReadReading The Cake Fairies The Cake Fairies by Isabella May
Pages: 397
Genres: Fiction
Published by Independently Published
Format: eBook
Source: Book Tour, From author/publisher
Setting: England

1960's Somerset is no fun for cousins Polly and Annabelle Williams. Mourning their non-existent love lives, and the mundanity of village life, their only pleasure is baking - until a chance encounter has them magically transported to the bright lights of London... in 2019!

Promised a chance of love, first they must teach the people of the future about the simpler pleasures of life by becoming Cake Fairies. Over the course of a year they set off on a delectable tour of the UK, dropping off cakes in the most unexpected of places and replacing the lure of technology with much sweeter temptations.

But will their philanthropical endeavours lead them to everlasting love? Or will they discover you can't have your cake and eat it?

The Cake Fairies is the fifth novel by fantastical foodie author, Isabella May.


I jumped on the chance to read this book because of the title.  I love books about food and books with fairies.  Why not combine them?

I loved the idea that Polly and Annabelle meet their fairy godmother who is frustrated with them.  She has set them up to meet many good husbands but their lack of adventurous spirits has derailed every plan.  Now it is time to do something drastic.  

They are good bakers who are brought forward to 2019 to spread joy through random gifts of cake.  I always like time travel books where people need to figure out a new time.  I especially like it when people move into the future since that is a rarer storyline.  This book did make me a bit salty though.  The problem that they are brought forward to combat is that people spend all their time on mobile devices instead of talking to the people around them.  The fairy godmother wants people to look away from their screens. 

Holy Introvert Nightmare!  I am old enough to remember when people didn’t have screens to occupy themselves.  People didn’t just go around talking to random strangers.  We just had books and newspapers to hide behind.  Besides, what do you think people are doing when they are typing on their phone?  Communicating!  Why would we ever want to go back to a world where I have to wait until we get home and can check the encyclopedia to prove to my husband that I was right about whatever we might be discussing when I can google it in the moment?  Oh, and by the way, I read this ebook on my iPad in part while sitting in a restaurant apparently being antisocial and contributing to the downfall of society.  /rant, maybe.

So anyway, the idea that this utopia that they thought they were building equals my idea of a crushing defeat of civilization may have altered my enjoyment of the book just a bit.  I was sassy while reading especially when there was a reveal that the reason one character wasn’t nice was because her mother used to make cake for her father and not for the children.  Her mother loved her father more than she loved her children.  That’s the way I always thought things were supposed to work.  I didn’t think it was cause for alarm.  /rant, seriously this time.

If you are ok with the premise, it could be a cute, light read with a little bit of romance.  



The Polo Diaries
14 Jan, 2020

The Polo Diaries

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading The Polo Diaries Single in Buenos Aires (The Polo Diaries, #1) by Roxana Valea
on July 2, 2019
Genres: Fiction
Published by RV Publications
Format: eBook
Source: Book Tour, From author/publisher
Setting: Argentina

Roxy plays polo… but dreams of love.

Forty-one-year-old polo player Roxy arrives in Argentina with a to-do list that includes healing from a polo injury and falling in love with a handsome Argentine. From polo boots to tango shoes, the adrenaline of riding horses to glamorous after-game parties, Roxy learns to navigate this unfamiliar landscape with the help of new friends who teach her to take life as it comes. But will she find true love? Over three months in Buenos Aires, nothing goes according to plan, and yet, all the items on her list mysteriously get ticked off in the end. Just not the way she had imagined.

Fans of the Bridget Jones series will love the blend of humor, travel, and romantic comedy at the heart of Single in Buenos Aires, all topped off with the unforgettable flavor of life in one of the most sensual and passionate cities in the world.


I was interested in this book for the adventure of living in a new country and trying to meet people with the bonus aspect of horses.  For a while the book works as Roxy moves to Argentina with several goals in mind.  She wants to rehab her wrists after breaking both arms in a polo match.  She is taking Spanish lessons.  She wants to start playing polo again.  She also wants to fall in love. 

I enjoyed the parts of this book that dealt with her learning about Argentinian customs.  I liked the women around her coaching her on how to date in South America and how it is different than in Europe.  However, there is a point towards the end where her love interest yells at her for being shallow and I agreed with him totally.  She doesn’t seem to know what she wants.  She flips between wanting a boyfriend and then not wanting to commit and then being mad when the person she has refused to commit to has to work or doesn’t help her move.  I was exhausted by it and I wasn’t in the relationship. 

This book is based on the author’s real life so it seems churlish to say that I wanted the main character to be a better person but I did.  She has a life that lets her move to foreign countries to play for half the year without working but she is so “woe is me” about it all.  There is also some strange vibes given off at times.  There are a few references to fat people in the book that struck me as judgemental without actually saying anything mean.  It is hard to explain but the fact that the person was fat was not relevant to the story but she would make sure to point it out.  Likewise she has some real hangups about disabilities.  She labels herself disabled when she has a broken arm.  She talks about how no one will date a disabled person like her.  She refuses to dance because of her “disability”.  Who cares?  It’s a broken arm. 

For a book that supposedly centers around polo, there is very little of it here.  I come into horse sports from the perspective of loving horses.  I don’t get that from her.  She never talks about the horses.  She never refers to any by name or acknowledges them at all.  During the time she can’t play polo she never does anything else with horses.  Most horse people would still be hanging out with them or riding around while their arm heals enough to play again.  She appears to have no interest in them.  Now, there is a sequel to this book called A Horse Named Bicycle so maybe that changes.

Cat Daddy
07 Jan, 2020

Cat Daddy

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading Cat Daddy Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean by Jackson Galaxy, Joel Derfner
on May 10, 2012
Pages: 304
Genres: Nonfiction, Personal Memoirs
Published by Tarcher
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Cat behaviorist and star of Animal Planet's hit television show My Cat from Hell, Jackson Galaxy, a.k.a. "Cat Daddy," isn't what you might expect for a cat expert. Yet Galaxy's ability to connect with even the most troubled felines -- not to mention the stressed-out humans living in their wake -- is awe-inspiring.

In this book, Galaxy tells the poignant story of his thirteen-year relationship with a petite gray-and-white short-haired cat named Benny, and gives singular advice for living with, caring for, and loving the feline in your home.


I am so disappointed in this book.  I’m a fan of Jackson Galaxy’s way of interacting with cats and his ability to work through their issues.  It always amazes me how clueless a lot of people are about what is going on in their cat’s mind.  I picked this book up to find some more inspiration about working with cats.  I did find that and I understood that a lot of this would also be about his life but I wasn’t expecting to also find that he seems to be a pretty awful human being.

Over half this memoir is dedicated to the story of his many addictions and how he dealt with them.  He acknowledges that he didn’t treat people well during these times but since this book is written afterwards you would hope that he would have gained some clarity.  Instead he is still quite a jerk when writing about people.  Perhaps I am a bit sensitive to this because the group he singles out for most of his abuse (besides his sexual partners) is veterinarians.  If he just hated us all that would be one thing.  I can deal with the conspiracy-theorist type client who thinks we are out to get their money and poison their cat.  He is a worse type of client.  He’s the type who bonds and likes you until an animal inevitably gets sick.  Then he turns on you viciously for either causing the problem or not fixing the problem or doing too much to fix the problem or usually all of these at once.  This happened several times in this book.  I also have a real problem with his using the names of the vets he did this too.  In some cases he only uses Dr. First Name which is better than the whole name but is still a jerk move to lash out at people who didn’t seem to do anything wrong even according to his own narrative.  He admits that he is a person who needs to place blame for everything.  Guess what, the blame very rarely lands on him.  He’s a victim in all these stories. 

In one case he had a diabetic cat.  He gets mad because no one talked to him about nutrition.  What?  Nutrition is the staple of treatment for diabetes in cats.  The goal is to get cats off insulin.  Even if the nutrition counseling wasn’t his preferred all natural diet, I can almost promise that nutrition was discussed at some point. 

In another case he had a dying cat.  He didn’t want to face that fact.  Then he gets mad because his cat is on a lot of meds.  Here’s what probably happened.  He went to the vet and didn’t want to hear about his cat dying.  He wanted to try everything.  Then when everything was tried he got mad because the miracle he expected didn’t occur.  Suddenly it is the vet’s fault for forcing all these meds on his cat.  Because it ALWAYS IS SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT!

He even got pissed off at a vet who he went into business with who had the audacity to get heart disease.  She had to cut back on how much she was working.  Is she ok?  Is she dead?  We don’t know because we only hear about how this was a hardship on him. 

So read this book for the tips on cat behavior and skim/skip the rest in order not to lose all respect for him. 


06 Jan, 2020

What Am I Reading?

/ posted in: Reading

Single in Buenos Aires (The Polo Diaries, #1)Single in Buenos Aires by Roxana Valea

Forty-one-year-old polo player Roxy arrives in Argentina with a to-do list that includes healing from a polo injury and falling in love with a handsome Argentine. From polo boots to tango shoes, the adrenaline of riding horses to glamorous after-game parties, Roxy learns to navigate this unfamiliar landscape with the help of new friends who teach her to take life as it comes. But will she find true love? Over three months in Buenos Aires, nothing goes according to plan, and yet, all the items on her list mysteriously get ticked off in the end. Just not the way she had imagined.”

I’m reading this for a book tour.  That’s always worrisome for me.  I’m so picky that I don’t know if I’m going to like something or not.  But I started this on Sunday and so far so good.



I’m still listening to this one.  I think it is about 19 hours long.  I need to take breaks with it.  It is the kind of audiobook where I know I’m going to love it when I start listening but sometimes it is hard to make myself push play.  It is deep and rich and textured and has many, many things going on.  Sometimes I just want my brain to have a break while driving.  I absolutely recommend it though.  I’m about halfway through and things are starting to come together – maybe?

01 Jan, 2020

January 2020 Foodies Read

/ posted in: Foodies ReadReading


Welcome to January 2020 Foodies Read!

Welcome to another year of Foodies Read.  I appreciate all of you who link up your wonderful posts on books about food.

Since we are starting another year let’s review the rules:

  1. Every post must feature a book about food.  Posts that don’t center a book will be removed.
  2. Every entry is entered into a monthly drawing to win a gift card.  Once you win a prize you are not eligible to win for 6 months.


We had 25 reviews linked up in December.  The winner of the drawing is Avid Series Reader for the review of Out of the Frying Pan.



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

If you would like graphics to use with your posts here are some in different sizes:

31 Dec, 2019

December 2019 Wrap Up

/ posted in: Reading


I read 13 books  in December.


The books I read were:

  •  I didn’t finish any audiobooks
  • Set in the U.S., England, and India

What was my favorite?

This whole series was good.  All of the women are involved in something scandalous. 



Sign-up info


I did it!  I finished the challenge.  I didn’t finish the books that I thought I would but I made it with room to spare.

What I’ve read so far in 2019:

  • Righteous by Joe Ide
  • Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee
  • The Class by Heather Won Tesoriero
  • North by Scott and Jenny Jurek
  • Internment by Samira Ahmed
  • Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder
  • Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
  • The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
  • Bury What We Cannot Take by Jean Kwok
  • Instant Indian by Rinku Bhattacharya
  • The True Queen by Zen Cho
  • Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
  • A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
  • Spices and Seasons by Rinku Bhattacharya
  • Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
  • The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah
  • A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai
  • Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung
  • What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha
  • Proof of Seduction by Courtney Milan
  • Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

I was aiming for 21-30 books to be at the tapir level.  22/21!

From My Shelf

I’m adding a section to encourage me to read books that I’ve had sitting around for a long time.

This just came out so it hasn’t been sitting around for a long time.  But, I preordered it and it came and I didn’t pick it up immediately.  That tends to be the kiss of death and means I never get around to reading it.  So I made sure to read this one this month.  

My goal book for this was Pachinko.  I tried. I really did. I’m probably about 90% done but it is a slog.

Reading All Around the World challenge from Howling Frog Books

  • Read a nonfiction book about the country – or
  • Read fiction written by a native of the country or someone living for a long time in the country.

Nothing new this month




16 Dec, 2019

What Am I Reading?

/ posted in: Reading

I’ve been on an all romance all the time reading spree.  I always find those hard to read about especially when I’m reading series. “Yep, same author. Nope, can’t talk plot because it is spoilers for the last 5 books.”


Here are my current non romance reads.

“Known in health care circles for his ability to turn around ailing hospitals, Dr. David Shulkin was originally brought into government by President Obama to save the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs. When President Trump appointed him as secretary of the VA, Shulkin was as shocked as anyone.
Yet this surprise was trivial compared to what Shulkin encountered as secretary: a team of political appointees devoted to stopping anyone — including the secretary himself — who stood in the way of privatizing the agency and implementing their political agenda. In this uninhibited memoir, Shulkin opens up about why the government has long struggled to provide good medical care to military veterans and the plan he had to solve these problems. This is a book about the commitment we make to the men and women who risk their lives fighting for our country, how the VA was finally beginning to live up to it, and why the new administration may now be taking us in the wrong direction.”


I bought this book for my husband since he has a lot of opinions on the VA.  He finished it and I’m going to read it before we talk about it.





I’m not going to put the blurb about this audiobook. I went into it blind. I knew I loved The Night Circus so I just decided to trust the author and listen. I think that was the right choice. I’m not all the far in but I’m loving the confusion that came from starting with no idea what was going on.

13 Dec, 2019


/ posted in: Book ReviewReading Dottir Dottir: My Journey to Becoming a Two-Time CrossFit Games Champion by Katrin Davidsdottir, Rory McKernan
on August 6, 2019
Pages: 304
Genres: Nonfiction, Personal Memoirs
Published by St. Martin's Press
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Setting: Iceland, U.S.

This is a memoir by two-time CrossFit Games champion, Katrin Davidsdottir.

Dottir is two-time consecutive CrossFit Games Champion Katrin Davidsdottir's inspiring and poignant memoir. As one of only two women in history to have won the title of “Fittest Woman on Earth” twice, Davidsdottir knows all about the importance of mental and physical strength. She won the title in 2015, backing it up with a second win in 2016, after starting CrossFit in just 2011.

A gymnast as a youth, Davidsdottir wanted to try new challenges and found a love of CrossFit. But it hasn't been a smooth rise to the top. In 2014, just one year before taking home the gold, she didn't qualify for the Games. She used that loss as motivation and fuel for training harder and smarter for the 2015 Games. She pushed herself and refocused her mental game. Her hard work and perseverance paid off with her return to the Games and subsequent victories in 2015 and 2016.

In Dottir, Davidsdottir shares her journey with readers. She details her focus on training, goal setting, nutrition, and mental toughness.


I’m a CrossFit Games junkie.  When I started CrossFit I just happened to wander into a class that included a reigning Games senior (60 years old and over) champion.  Every morning the first thing we did was a 1/4 mile run.  I suck at running.  I was always last.  One time she was talking to the coach when we started out running.  Part way through she ran up behind me, gave me a cheery “You are doing really well!”, and then kicked into some other gear that I just do not possess and then she was talking to the coach again when I got back inside.  Another time I had dropped a barbell that I was using for squats.  It was too heavy for me to pick up from the ground.  I was going to have to take the weights off of it, put the bar up on the rack, and put all the weights back on before I could do more squats.  I looked at it and sighed to myself.  Suddenly a blur of a tiny old lady appeared, grabbed my too-heavy bar off the floor, put it on the rack for me, and said, “There you go” before fluttering off again.  I’m aware of the super human abilities of Games participants and that was just the older people.  The things that the younger Games athletes do are flat out crazy.

Even though I don’t do CrossFit anymore I am still glued to the Games live feeds every summer.  That’s why I was interested in reading Katrin Davidsdottir’s memoir when I saw it on my library feed.  Icelandic women are famous in elite CrossFit competition.  Katrin is a two times Games winner.  This memoir discusses her approach to training with emphasis on the mental and emotional aspects.

I wish that she tried to make this more accessible for people who aren’t familiar with CrossFit.  I liked a suggestion I saw on another review to look up each event on YouTube when she talks about it to see what happened and then hear her recollection of it. 

This would be a interesting book for people interested in sports psychology in addition to CrossFit games junkies like me.