Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection - Secret Santa and Other Gifts


Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection - Secret Santa and Other Gifts

This week is a special one, as it allows me to share this much-delayed holiday post! Between motherhood, life, and writing - plus the unexpected setback of losing then finding my phone again - I hadn't been able to put these thoughts together until now. It's finally here – let’s take a look back at my holiday gifts. Although the holidays have been long gone, I'm grateful to take this opportunity and show my appreciation to my Secret Santas!

My TBTB Santa Goodies!! A super thank you to my Santa. You picked great gifts for me. Thank you so much for the books on my wishlist. I'm actually still using the Christmas mug to drink coffee, keeps the spirit of the season alive. I burned through the candle pretty quickly and the scrapbooking supplies are perfect.

I also enjoyed iggppc's #geekysantaswap. This year I was so happy to receive super cool Batman graphic novels and cute stickers. Geeky Santa, I thank you very much!

Bookish gifts from family and friends for my birthday and Christmas. Including: A beautiful outdoorsy planner from B&N, sci-fi short stories and nerd stuff, writerly gifts, and toddler fun for next Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read


One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read 

1) This Is Your Brain On Food - Undecided.

2) Silver Linings Playbook - Touchdown.

3) Crumbs - Hermoine?

4) Lore Olympus Vol 3 - Melodrama.

5) Cryptic Club - Adorkable.

6) Chasing American Monsters - Mythical.

7) Object: Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier - Shocking.

8) Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds - Can-Do!

9) The Trope Thesaurus - Useful.

10) Ungovernable - Frustrating.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Top Books With A Halloween Vibe - 2022


Top Books With A Halloween Vibe - 2022

Is that pumpkin spice or mulled cider in the air? Ah, yes, that time of year, again. For this year's Halloween Top Ten Freebie post, I decided to share my recent TBR pile additions with a Halloween Vibe.

Poems For Nighttime - Collection from B&N, if you read it outside at night with the sound of the ocean, you might not wanna leave.

Autumn, Ten Little Jack-O-Lanterns, and You're My Little Pumpkin Pie - A few of my girl's favorite fall themed picture books.

We Can Count On Eleven - I can't wait for the final season of Stranger Things...even though I have a bad feeling they'll kill off either Steve or Jonathan as an easy way to resolve the love triangle with Nancy.

Snowmen At Halloween - Has it ever snowed in the South on Halloween? I've had a few rainy Halloweens, no snow though.

Cryptic Club - Creepy cute from the fabulous Sarah Anderson.

I Am the Wolf - RIP Mark Lanegan, super underrated - soulful lyrics that walk on the dark side.

Chasing American Monsters - Many I'd never heard of, but I'm fascinated.

Bear or Big Foot? IDK...

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

My Favorite Bookstores


My Favorite Bookstores

Ahh, bookstores. While I enjoy my Kindle, I'll always like bookish outings with fam.

Here are a few of my favorites in the East AL/West GA area, as well as, some I've discovered on vaca.

East Alabama

1.) 2nd and Charles - Oxford AL - I grew up here. No seriously, back when it was a Books-A-Million,  this was fam outing and date night. Now that it's a 2nd and Charles, it's still a great spot for gently used childrens books.

2). Books-A-Million - Huntsville, AL - The ideal Books-A-Million location. Everything in stock, unusual titles, unusual bookish gifts, helpful employees. Recommended.

West Georgia

3) Barnes and Noble - Rome, GA - My mouth waters for coffee just thinking about it! It's usually the coffee refill station before and after the fam dines for birthdays. The best employees out of every B&N have ever visited.

4) Quest Comics - Carrollton, GA - When you visit, you become like family. The owners are super sweet people, who will hook you up with your comic book/graphic novel fix. They have a lot of old school titles that I missed out on as a kid.

5) Dogwood Books - Rome, GA - They also carry vintage yearbooks. We were able to find my late grandfather's college photos thanks to this shop!

6) The Underground Bookstore / Hills & Hamlets Bookshop - Carrollton, GA and Chattahoochee Hills, GA - IMO, best for bookish gifts and gently used non-fiction. I've bought a lot of research, world culture books, there. The owners are also cool people.

Elsewhere Georgia

7) Little Shop of Stories - Decatur, GA - The sweetest children's bookstore. I only lament that due to COVID and schedule that I have not been able to visit (or attend the Decatur Book Festival) since my girl was born. Now a toddler, she'd have a lot of fun in this shop.

8) Barnes and Noble - GA Tech Square, Atlanta, GA - Part books, part college book store, part Starbucks, part Apple Store. Makes me think of fall and football season. I missed out on a traditional college experience, but I got to live vicariously through hanging out at my spouse's alma mater.

8) Barnes and Noble - Macon, GA - Ah, home sweet home. When we lived in an apartment this area, we joked that this store was our backyard. At the time, I was experiencing very debilitating anxiety and agoraphobia (long story, I am writing a graphic novel about it) and I often used this store as a 'safe spot' and a reward for going out.

9) Books On The Bay - Savannah, GA - Well, of course, as a long time cat-mom before being a mommy-mom, the logo with the cat on top of the books made me a shoe-in to visit this shop. At the time, I was just getting into antiquarian titles, and this store is a treasure cove. If you visit the riverfront and love charming old books your great grandma might have read, don't miss it.

10) The Literary Guild Used Bookstore - St. Simon's Island, GA - IMO, there's nothing better than climbing a lighthouse, and then used book shopping on an island, which supports the island's local library. The beach reads that keep on giving.

North Carolina

11) Malaprop's - Asheville, NC - The.Best.Indie.Bookstore.That.I.Have.Ever.Visited. A Must for book lovers while visiting Asheville. (hint: hit up the chocolate shop across the street, The Chocolate Fetish, too, for awesome vaca)

12) Barnes and Noble - Asheville, NC - OMG, a two-story B&N that just keeps going and going and going. You could get lost in there and it wouldn't be a bad thing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Books With My Favorite Trope(s)

Books With Your Favorite Trope(s)

Ah, sweet trope-y goodness. I was excited to see this on the Top Ten Tuesday topics. I always say, don't avoid them, study and embrace them, just keep 'em fresh. Annnnd, kudos to MountainMythos, for the awesome tee above (and shop in general).

That said, it's hard to pick just one. (It'd probably be easier to list the ones I don't like). If I have to narrow it down, here goes:

SLOW BURN (pining due to the focus on the slow nature of the relationship)

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson


The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels #1) by Kerrigan Byrne

Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1) by Julia Quinn


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne 

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi 


The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood 

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (Rokesbys #2) by Julia Quinn

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned On My Blog


Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned On My Blog

Ok, this is a tough one, because, typically, when I read something I really like, it eventually ends up in a Top Ten Tuesday. But here are a few that, I believe, I've never mentioned before.

A Worn Path by Eudora Welty - It's technically a short story (I'm going to let it count because there are print copies, tis a book). It was required reading for a college class, but the sweetness, and interesting vagueness of it (can't explain more without giving it away), have stuck with me. Phoenix Jackson, an old woman, is on a dangerous journey through the woods to get medicine for her grandson. The Atlantic Monthly first published the story in February 1941.

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter - An underrated, mostly forgotten classic. If you like L.M. Montgomery’s novels, or can imagine Katniss Everdeen without the Hunger Games violence,  this one is for you. It's a 1909 coming-of-age tale. Elnora lives in the deep Limberlost swamp of Indiana with her abusive, narcissist mother. Ever the surviver, Elnora hunts for swamp moths to trade for cash to pay her way through high school and college.

Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne- Have I mentioned this one before? I don't remember and I don't have time to double check. Anyways, this collection was released to accompany the biographical movie Bright Star (2009). Prior to the movie, I had never heard of Keats, so I requested this book from I soft fell in love with John Keats after reading his letters. If you've ever enjoyed the male POV of a historical romance novel, you'll enjoy Keats, literally, flirting and falling in love on the pages.

The Love Letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning- Yeah, I got on a non-fiction, real life, historical letter kick there for a while. I, honestly, almost...almost felt bad for reading their never-ment-to-be-published-letters. Mainly because they're so intensely personal; their hearts are on their sleeve. 
If you like will-they or won't-they romantic drama, this'll be a page-turner. Will shut-in Elizabeth open up and let Robert meet her? Will he call, again? I demand a movie based on these two.

If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle-Aged Men- This was one of those random Amazon-recommendations-based-on-my-humor and graphic-novel-shopping-trends. It's just so obtuse, I was a moth to a flame, and had to read it. If you've ever had a dog who's a close part of your family, you'll get it. It would probably make a funny sitcom.

Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges- One of the most epic picture books ever (but then again most anything involving fighting a dragon is). I owned a copy as a child, and it most likely led to a lot of my romantic notions about knights and the Middle Ages.

The Wonder Weeks: A Stress-Free Guide to Your Baby's Behavior- 
Ok, prior to having a baby, I probably would have thought being able to predict infant behavior week by week was a snake-oil marketing scheme. However, based on decades of research, it does seem phases occur on similar schedules for most babies. Babies have “stormy weeks” that precede the “sunny weeks.” My girl was usually right on track and I found this book to be very helpful.

Caesarean Birth - A positive approach to preparation and recovery- I would say childbirth is like a box of chocolates, you never know...Anyways, under normal circumstances, you don't expect to have a C-section, but when you do, it can be shocking, and recovery can be a solitary thing when no one around you has ever experienced it. I thank God for this book, and wish every mama-to-be would at very least skim through the preparation chapters.

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns- My relatives swear that this classic Southern lit is based on true events in my hometown. I haven't read it, so I can't yet say. It sounds like an interesting slice of life, full of the whirlwind local gossip that is oh-so familiar in any small town.

Ready, Set, Memoir! : The Essential Guide to Telling Your Story- If you're interested in writing your own slice of life, this workbook from NaNoWriMo contains helpful tips and advice. Oddly enough, although I've always focused on writing fiction, I've been urged by family and mentors to write non-fiction. As they say, the truth is usually stranger than fiction, and if you're tired of fiction, it might just be refreshing.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron: A Graphic Novel.

Release Date: March 22, 2022

Book Summary: "A madcap romantic adventure, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron has appeared in several Julia Quinn novels and enthralled some of her most beloved characters. Now this delicious tale of love and peril is available for everyone to enjoy in this wonderfully unconventional graphic novel.

Born into a happy family that is tragically ravaged by smallpox, Miss Priscilla Butterworth uses her wits to survive a series of outlandish trials. Cruelly separated from her beloved mother and grandmother, the young girl is sent to live with a callous aunt who forces her to work for her keep. Eventually, the clever and tenderhearted Miss Butterworth makes her escape . . . a daring journey into the unknown that unexpectedly leads her to the “mad” baron and a lifetime of love.

Delightfully illustrated by Violet Charles, told in Julia Quinn’s playful voice, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron is a high-spirited nineteenth-century romp that will entertain and enchant modern readers."

My Thoughts: Ah yeah! I soooo, so very excited when I learned that Julia Quinn was releasing a graphic novel. Foremost, because I am a historical romance nerd and graphic novel fangirl, so the two crossing over is the perfect combo for me. And, I feel like they rarely cross over; although there are some cute, fluffy Harlequin romance comics out there, but that's about it. Secondly, I already love Julia Quinn's sense of humor. So far, the book looks and sounds delightfully silly. Personally, I hope to see more Regency themed comics in the future. Hey, just through it out there, I would totally read a Bridgerton manga adaptation!