Thursday, February 27, 2020

Dear Edward....

This book was amazing.  Ann Napolitano did an amazing job with Dear Edward.

 I must admit when I checked it out from the library, I had no idea what the book was about, just that it was a popular pick that everyone seemed to be giving good reviews.  When I discovered it was based around such a tragic event, I was hesitant but moved forward with the audiobook.  I am so glad I didn't skip it to avoid the sad story. 

While it is sad and difficult to read at times, especially since I have a teenage boy, it was overall a satisfying read.  It is a testament to the strength of perseverance and of the human will.  It demonstrates that we all process tragedy and life in our own unique way.   I appreciated Napolitano's development of the characters and their relationships.  It made them feel real.  The novel ends on a positive note that left me feeling happy and optimistic.   See my review from Goodreads below




Dear EdwardDear Edward by Ann Napolitano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was very well written. I had no idea of the topic when I first started the book and was a bit worried when I realized what it was about. I am not a big fan of the tear jerk novels that often end up on Oprah's book club list. I find those end up upsetting me so much that I cannot enjoy them. Well, this book was not one that has you bawling. It is very poignant and sad at points but I found it more thought provoking then overly sad. The story is well written, alternating between the past in 2013 and the story that is in the future. Napolitano does a wonderful job of showing Edward as human and the struggles he and his family face while trying to move forward from the tragedy they experienced. She really portrays the reality of the fact there is no guide book for dealing with such loss and there is no right or wrong way to handle it. Lacy, John and Edward do their best to move forward. The relationships between them and Edward's with Shay are atypical but honest. I appreciate the closure that is provided at the end of the story and the glimpse of the future that leaves you with a happy view and hope for Edward to have a happy life. I can definitely recommend this book.


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 21
  2. Audiobook challenge
  3. Wizarding World Tour  
    • Beauxbatons: Blue Cover
  4. Alphabet soup Author- #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  "N"
  5. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #6 Bildungsroman
  6. Around the Year in 52 Books- #22 A major theme of survival
  7. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #28 Literary Fiction
  8. What's in a Name #4   Given name in title

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Queen of Suspense Does it again

I always enjoy reading books by Mary Higgins Clark and  Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry keeps up that trend.  I am saddened to know that she won't be writing anymore for us to enjoy.  Although I do enjoy the ones her daughter Carol writes as well so hopefully we have many more of those to look forward to.    My full review of Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry is linked below.  Overall I enjoyed the book



Kiss the Girls and Make Them CryKiss the Girls and Make Them Cry by Mary Higgins Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book as I always do with stories by Mary Higgins Clark. I thought it was a good balance of addressing the MeToo topic without being too in your face on the subject. While I did figure out who was the guilty party, it took a while to surmise. The different aspects of the storyline worked well together and the story did a nice job of jumping between present day and going back in time to set up the current situation. My only complaint was the ending felt rushed. It was like the book was getting too long so Ms Clark felt she needed to rush to wrap it up. Other than that I really enjoyed the book


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 20
  2. Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book  15
  3. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  Mar  #7 Title has a word beginning in M
  4.  Medical Examiner-  3 Toe Tag 
  5. Six Shooter-  New Target
  6. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Weapons card :  Drowning
    • Crime Scenes: Island (Aruba); Bathroom
  7. Around the Year in 52 Books- #49 Prompt that didn't win-  A book with a theme of discrimination, persecution or prejudice (eg. race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity)
  8. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #11 A book that leaves you thinking
  9. 2020 TBR  #2020TBRReadingChallenge #7 by a dead author
  10. TBR Book #15    #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon 
  11. Wizarding World Tour  
    • Durmstrang:  Dark cover
  12. Monthly Keyword-  #MonthlyKeyWordChallenge  "GIRL"

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Mystery by the Grand Dame herself

I cannot honestly remember if I have read Murder on the Orient Express before or not.  Either way, I enjoyed reading this famous tomb by the Queen of Mystery.  Agatha Christie does such an amazing job of balancing the details and leaving the reader perplexed as to who is the guilty party.  Her talent lies in the fact you realize later you could have seen all the clues if you thought like Poirot and used his powers of deduction and reasoning.   Unlike many other writers, it isn't so obvious that you know halfway through the book who did it.  Even when you get suspicious that you know, the whole explanation and revelation by Hercule Poirot is interesting to read.   I do love how this story is resolved and the creativity with which it is handled.  My only hesitation with the book was I couldn't help but visualize Poirot as the screen portrayal of him,  rather than as Christie describes him in her prose. I guess there are far worse shortcomings to have with a mystery.   A great read if you haven't already read it or it's been a while!


Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Classic whodunit

I have always enjoyed Agatha Christie mysteries since I was a teen. She always lays out the solution so well and her clues and red herrings work so well. Always a joy to read about Poirot although now it is hard not to visualize the actor vs the description Christie uses.


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 19
  2. Literary Escapes-  Yugoslavia
  3. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  October #9 disguise
  4.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book  14
  5. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag 
  6. Six Shooter-  New Target for Agatha Christie
  7. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Weapons card :  Dagger
    • Clues:  stopped watch
    • Red Herring :  Locked room;  maid
    • Crime Scenes: Train
  8. Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020 #5 Author you want to meet
  9. TBR Book #1  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon Book #14
  10. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #43 book with a character with vision impairment
  11. Around the Year in 52 Books- #40 A book with a place name in the title
  12. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #48 character who wears glasses
  13. Wizarding World Tour  
    • Ilvermorny-  Includes a trip
  14. Monthly Motif   #MonthlyMotifGXO-  Seeing Red 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Fleishman in Trouble ... a bit overrated

Having just finished Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner I find myself thinking of the book still the next day, so in that sense it is a successful novel.  That being said, I didn't really like the book all that much.  I found the author's choice of formatting to be inconsistent.  The flipping between a third person voice describing Toby's and Seth's perspectives but then suddenly the next chapter is in the first person.  You come to realize this is Libby telling her side of the story but seemingly as an insider into their stories.  The story line itself, was average although I did find the ending charming and leads you to wonder how the story would play out. The author did characterize the competitive nature of the city quite well as I recall it from my years living there. 

The aspect of the story I dislike the most was the tone of story.  I guess in general I don't like books that try to tell me how I should think on a particular subject.   It seems as though the author was whining about the state of women's lot in life.  What I feel is missing in this perspective is the reality of how much better women have it in the Western world than in most of the rest of the global society.  I did appreciate the perspective of how 2 women who made different decisions about careers vs staying at home were both burdened by their decisions.  What I did not care for was the implication that a woman who chooses to leave her career to raise children is less of a person.  That is suddenly made you stupid or inadequate.  I made the choice to stay home and I don't regret it other than sometimes missing the extra money for extravagances but we certainly don't do without.

 I was  director in an international investment bank before I chose to stay home and I don't feel I have to explain that nor am I less of a success or less intelligent because I chose to raise my child full time.  The author seems to think otherwise.  I don't think one choice is easier than the other, both decisions have their own pluses and minuses.  In general I think women should support each other rather than trying to cut each other down.  This seems to be an issue in business and in social settings.   Maybe if women stopped having an us vs you mentality things would be easier on everyone. 

All in all I found this book okay.  Nothing special and I don't really get the hype that it received. 

  Fleishman Is in TroubleFleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A bit too much of a preaching message for me

I am not sure how much I really like this book The representation of the competitive nature of the city was accurate from my experiences while studying and working in NYC. The story itself was good but I didn't care for the narration style. I didn't like the fact that much of the story is told in third person but then suddenly would switch to first person. I understand it is exposed to.be Libby telling the story that is her novel but I felt the flow just didn't work.
I also grew tired of the woe is the burden of women undertone and the blatant life isn't fair became annoying. I felt as though the story story was saying I must be a dumb woman because I am willing to be a stay at home mom and even enjoy it. That somehow I'm shallow because I no longer strive for success in business, I strive for success in our family instead.

I do agree with the Author that it is annoying when men are revered for watching their children and it isn't babysitting if they are your own kids. Overall this book was not what I expected it to be . I got annoyed at the need to make a statement and found it a distraction even though it was the point of the turmoil the female characters were experiencing.

I guess the Author achieved her goal in getting me, the reader, to think about the mom from a different perspective than my own so in that sense this was a successful novel. I think in general though, I do not care to have books I read preach at me and state one perspective or another is the best. Most things in life have 2 sides and 2 perspective to consider.


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 18
  2. Alphabet soup Author- #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge-  "F"
  3. AtoZ and Alphabet soup challenge #AlphabetSoupChallenge-  "T"
  4. Color Coded:  #7  White
  5. Wizarding World Tour  
    • Uagadou-  Read a book where a character follows a dream
  6. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #8 with an upside down image on the cover
  7. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #35 An author’s debut book  
  8. Book List Queen #36  A debut Novel
  9. NJM #NJMBookChallenge2020  #18 a work by a debut author


Saturday, February 15, 2020

Someone we know

This is the 3rd novel I have read by Sheri Lapena and she continues to capture my attention and keep me guessing as to who is the guilty party.   This one didn't reveal itself til the very end and it was quite shocking.  Cannot wait to read the rest of her works.   This is an amazing thriller that will keep you up til the wee hours. 



Someone We KnowSomeone We Know by Shari Lapena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing thriller that keeps you guessing

Ms. Lapena writes amazing thriller with lots of possible guilty parties. She weaves the tale in such a suspenseful fashion that you cannot wait to pick up the book again. She is masterful at twisting the story and drawing the reader to believe in many different characters' guilt. She does a masterful job and creating sympathetic and despicable characters. Her story line ties all the loose ends together and shows how the different plot components come together. She kept regressing until the very end.


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 17
  2.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book 13
  3. Medical Examiner-  2 Toe Tag 
  4. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Weapons card :  Heavy blunt object, stocking/tie etc
    • Clues:  fingerprints
  5. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  October #3 primary action takes place that month
  6. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
    • Castelobruxo: Read a book that includes a troublemaker

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Last Mrs. Parrish

Wow,  first book I've read by Liv Constantine and I would love another.  I must say all the wealth in the world would not have me changing places with Daphne Parrish.  This thriller is well written and tells the story from both Daphne and Amber's perspective and then merging the 2 story lines together at the conclusion of the book.  The development of the 3 main characters is well done and down right bone chilling at times. I found this to be an engaging read and lived up to the hype it received.  Definitely read this if you like thrillers but I will warn it was a bit unsettling at times.


The Last Mrs. ParrishThe Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Complex and conniving characters lead this book

This was quite an engaging book. I really enjoyed how the book was written from both Amber and Daphne's perspectives. This book kept me up late into the night reading. There were definitely aspects of This book that were unnerving and caused me to think about the book when I was away from it. Readers of thrillers should definitely read This book


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 14
  2. TBR Book #12  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon
  3.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book 12
  4. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Clues:  Something said in French
  5. Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020 #18  A Top 10 Read of the Year
  6. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #21 Featuring one of the 7 deadly sins
  7. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #39 A book used in a celebrity book club


Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.

  1. Around the Year in 52 Books
    • #10  book that 400-600 pages  or
    • #11 published in a year that is a prime number
  2. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
    • Beauxbatons: where a character breaks the law;  cover has blue
    • Castelobruxo: Read a book that includes a troublemaker
    • Durmstrang-  that involves a secret
    • Ilvermorny-  Read a book with a body part on the cover
    • Uagadou- Read a book with a hand on the cover

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Treason by Stuart Woods

The latest installment of Stone Barrington's adventures arrived in Jan 2020.  Stuart Woods published the 52nd story in this series when he released Treason.  The plot was a decent story and had some good twists and turns but it did have some weaknesses as well.  I feel there were some parts to the story that were not addressed before the conclusion of the novel. The wink between Betty and Vanessa implies there is more to the story.   Also, the vandalism to the aircraft early in the story leads to an unnecessary plot extension.  Perhaps Woods plans to address those in a future installment of the series, but if not, they represnt a weakness in the story.   Additionally,  Stone and Dino being professional problem solvers sure didn't get suspicious when the antagonist kept showing up at the same establishments they were frequenting even in a city the size of NYC.  Also they think there is something strange about the American they meet in Paris and his connection to the Russians, but when he almost no shows for the flight they don't get suspicious of possible sabotage to the jet?  For clever individuals they sure were naive at times.

 I realize this isn't meant to be the next great American novel, but a bit more time making sure the story line is clean and consistent would benefit this book.  I gave the book a 3 star rating in Goodreads and you can see my review below


Treason (Stone Barrington, #52)Treason by Stuart Woods
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this story in the latest installment of the Stone Barrington saga but I have to admit the shear number of different women he shares his bed with in a given week is getting a bit ridiculous- 1 leaves unexpectedly mid-evening and he takes another home instead, really. This story does have some good plot twists and a quick pace. On the other hand there are some plot lines that needed to be cleared up in my opinion- the wink between Betty and Vanessa is never explained for example. Also, for someone involved in the world of espionage and living in a city the size of NYC, it never raises a red flag that the antagonist keeps showing up in the same restaurants as Stone and Dino? While I enjoy the exploits of Stone and his friends I do think the series is getting a bit hurried in the release of the installments and the bit of extra time could be spent firming up plot details and lose ends. Even still, the book is an enjoyable read for a rainy/snowy afternooon.


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 16
  2.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book  11
  3. Finishing the Series-  #FinishingTheSeries2020 -Stone Barrington series as of Feb 2020
  4. Medical Examiner-  2 Toe Tags 
  5. Six Shooter-  1 shot for Stuart Woods (2 total on target)
  6. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Clues:  Reading the will: something said in French
    • Red Herring : inheritance
    • Crime Scenes:  Boat
  7. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  July #4  Independence Day

Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.
  1. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #1 published in 2020
  1. Around the Year in 52 Books- #48 A book published in 2020
  2. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #18 a book published in 2020
  3. Book List Queen #49  2020 New Release
  4. NJM #NJMBookChallenge2020  #1 a book published in 2020
  5. 2020 TBR  #2020TBRReadingChallenge #1  A 2020 release
  6. Wizarding World Tour  
    • Ilvermorny-  Read a book published in 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A Key Lime pie mishap in Key West

In this first installment of a new series, The Key West Food Critic by Lucy Burdette, we meet Hayley Snow.   A recent transplant from New Jersey who is growing very fond of her new home in Key West.  Although crashing on her friend's houseboat probably isn't what she had in mind when she followed her boyfriend to Key West.  This character is a bit of a mess but is likable none the less.  The book has lots of good descriptions of the character of Key West and the foods that Hayley consumes while on her quest to become the new food critic for the Key Zest magazine.  The supporting characters of her friend, Connie and Eric as well as their significant others add to the story line and develop her world as we get a glimpse into it.  All in all I enjoyed this book and will look to find others in the series.





An Appetite for Murder (Key West Food Critic Mystery, #1)An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun cozy set in Key West. The main character, Hayley Snow, is a bit flighty but lovable character who makes some bumbling mistakes while trying to prove she didn't commit a murder of her ex's current flame. She is simultaneously trying to land a food critic job at a new magazine in town. All the while trying to prove to herself and her family she didn't make a mistake by following her heart to the Southernmost point in the US. If you enjoy reading about food dishes and the fun lifestyle of Key West you will enjoy this book.


View all my reviews




Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 15
  2. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #12 A "guilty" pleasure
  3. TBR Book #13  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon
  4. Literary Escapes-  FL
  5. Alphabet soup Author- #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge "B"
  6. AtoZ and Alphabet soup challenge #AlphabetSoupChallenge  "A"
  7. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  10
  8. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice
  9. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020   Nov #4-  Thanksgiving
  10. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag for a poisoning
  11. Six Shooter-  1 shot on a new target for Lucy Burdette
  12. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Weapons card :  poison
    • Red Herring:  someone gets tied up; former lover 
    • Crime Scenes: Kitchen


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Kiki Lowenstein saves the rainy day


This is a short novella in the Kiki Lowenstein series.  She is a single mom who works in a scrapbooking store in St. Louis.  She has a knack for getting involved with murders.  This particular installment was murder free though.  I am currently trying to  work out which books I have previously read and to go back and read the novellas on my Kindle.  I always enjoy hearing about the scrapbooking projects that are incorporated into the stories.  Two of my favorite things, scrapbooking and mysteries, altogether in 1 place.  Heaven!


Kiki Lowenstein and the Purple PassionKiki Lowenstein and the Purple Passion by Joanna Campbell Slan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun quick read that lets us catch up with Kiki in between the bigger volumes. Always fun to see the different scrapping projects she comes up with. Nice change to have a cozy that doesn't involve murder, although it does involve a generation appropriate topic. All in all a quick read that was fun to fit in between some more serious novels. This one sets up some interactions for future books that I had previously read.


View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. TBR Book #11  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon  
  2. Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  #4 book with less than 200 pages
  3. Literary Escapes-  MO
  4. Alphabet soup Author- #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge "S"
  5. AtoZ and Alphabet soup challenge #AlphabetSoupChallenge  "K"
  6. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger: Book 9 
  7. Cruising through cozies -  #3 Craft related
  8. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  April #5  other holiday in month (April Fools)
  9. Six Shooter-  New target opened
  10. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge  #47- More than 20 letter in Title;
  11. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #30 A book with recipes inside
  12. Book List Queen # 40 with a color in the title
  13. Around the Year in 52 Books- # 13 A prompt from a previous Around the Year in 52 Books challenge-  I chose A "between the numbers" book of a series from 2016
  14.  Wizarding World Tour 
    • Beauxbatons: Read a book from a series with six or more books or the sixth book on your TBR

Friday, February 7, 2020

January Books recap

Thanks to some time in the sun and a bit of prioritizing, I managed to read 13 books in January.   The selection varied in genre and I managed to hit upon a number of the different challenges.  Be sure to check out the different tracking pages linked here to see how what I read for each of the prompts.  Those pages also contain links to the reviews I did for the books and the original blog posts I wrote about each of them.

General Tracking

AtoZ  and  Alphabet Soup #AlphabetSoupChallenge  - D, E, G, L, M, N, O, P, S, T, U, W

Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge- A, C, D, H, J, K, L, P, R, S, V

Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2020  Tracked Here  completed 4/5 completed

Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Tracked Here  11/36 books read

Literary Escapes  (Destination)  Visited:   CA, CT, MA, NY, TN, WA  plus England, France, Ireland

Specific Criteria


PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge  # 12, 19, 20, 23, 27, 35, 38, 41 46, 47, 49, 50 completed in Jan

Around the Year in 52 Books # 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 19, 33, 34, 50 completed in Jan

52 Books in 52 Weeks  #1, 4, 8, 12, 13, 15, 17,  21, 26,  34, 37,  47 completed in Jan

BooklistQueen #3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 21, 32, 39, 46 completed in Jan

20 in 20 #Read20in2020  #1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 13, 17, 18,  completed in Jan

NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2020 #2, 4, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20, 25

Wizarding World Tour
  • Beauxbatons: set at Christmas;  Book involving horses
  • Castelobruxo- contains a magical creature
  • Durmstrang:  related to the cold  involves a secret (feb)
  • Hogwarts:  Gem in the title or on the cover;  set in multiple locations; involves a train; mentions the Harry Potter universe
  • Ilvermorny-  Set in NorthEast USA 
  • Koldovstoretz- none
  • Mahoutokoro- includes an animal

While I was Reading  Centered around a holiday; a romance novel

What's in a Name  -  reference to children;  one of the 4 natural elements

Color Coded  Blue, Black, Red and Orange are completed

Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO   Winter Wonderland completed; visited Narnia

Monthly Keyword #MonthlyKeyWordGXO  Water was the word I selected

Monthly Book Awards #GXOAwardReadingChallenge   2018 Costa Award for Normal People

TBR Based Challenges

2020TBR #2020TBRReadingChallenge  # 5, 9, 14, 20, 21


Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  8 books;   bingo squares: cover redesign is better; 4th+ book in series; one word title; author who writes multiple genres; genre-mashup; book with less than 200 pgs; wish you had read it sooner; new to you author;

Back List Reader  #Backlistreader Tracked Here   9/24 read

Start on Your Shelfathon  #StartOnYourShelfathon Tracked Here  9/5  thru Apr 2020

Mount TBR  #MountTBR2020 Tracked Here  9/24 read  in Jan.

Genre Specific


Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2020  a prompt in 5 months- Apr, May, Aug, Oct, Dec

Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal - Mysteries Tracked Here  5/25 completed in Jan

Craving for Cozies  Tracked Here  4/26 completed

Cruisin thru Cozies  4/20 completed;  read the culinary, holiday, career and 1 freebie

Historical Fiction  #2020HFReadingChallenge  Tracked Here  1/5

Memoir  completed 1/5  memoir for the Food memoir category



Amish Candy Shop #4

Bailey is back home in Harvest, OH for the latest installment of the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries.  Someone she manages to be present at the scene of another death almost immediately upon her return from NYC.  The story introduces us to new characters- including a matchmaker who is getting a spinoff series from the book and delves deeper into some of the supporting characters and relationships.  All in all a good and light read. 





Toxic Toffee (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #4)Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Candy making and crime solving in Amish country

It's a joy to catch up with Bailey in Harvest, OH. The supporting characters are a pleasure to read about as well. This is a wholesome feel good cozy. The guilty party was definitely a bit of a surprise. This installment had us viewing the English world from Charlotte's perspective a bit more. It is such an innocent view and gives you pause about some everyday things we take for granted. We also get a sneak peek at the main character of Amanda Flower's newest series which seems as though it might be delightful. We will Have to wait and see

All in all a fun read


View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book 12

Literary Escapes  Visited:  Harvest, OH

Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger : Book 8

Cruisin thru Cozies  #2  animal related

Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  "F"

Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tag for Poison

Murder Mysteries Bingo  Weapons-  Poison Card 2;  Crime Scenes-  Pathway in Woods; Clues:  Footprints and Anonymous Message

Six Shooter Challenge  1 shot on New target for Amanda Flower

TBR Book #10  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon

Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  #16 shocking plot twist

20 in 20 #Read20in2020 #10 Book with 11 letters/characters in the title (excluding spaces and punctuation)

2020 TBR  #2020TBRReadingChallenge- #16 Set in different Continents- N America

PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge  #14 by an author with flora or fauna in their name  

52 Books in 52 weeks  #14 Book In a Series

Around the Year in 52 Books  #16 A book set in a rural or sparsely populated area

BooklistQueen # 43 A mystery

Wizarding World Tour

  • Hogwarts: Read a book that’s a guilty pleasure

Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.

Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2020-  April #4 (Easter) ;  June #6 (orig publication month)


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Nine Perfect Strangers

I listened to the audiobook for Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty and thoroughly enjoyed it.  My Goodreads review is below.   One aspect of the book I didn't write in my review had to do with how I visualized the character Masha.   
I couldn't help but see the character Edna, from The Incredibles in my mind whenever her character spoke in the story.  The voice the narrator used was a cross between  Edna's and Gru's (from the Minions)  to my ears.  Thus, I kept seeing Edna each time the narration switched to Masha's perspective.  Created quite a few moments of chuckling I must say.  I enjoyed the book and would like to try other Liane Moriarty books going forward.






Nine Perfect StrangersNine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty


I found this book to be a rather interesting read. I know several of the reviews I read prior to reading the book thought there was no point to the book, but I disagree. It was a book that caused the reader to do some self reflection. The premise of silence during their retreat lead to a natural evolution to hearing the characters inner voices without seeming out of context. I could see many aspects of myself in several of the characters. I definitely could relate to Francis' self conversation and her second guessing. I enjoyed the style of the novel where there was a timeline moving the story along, but Moriarty jumps from character to character for the perspective of the story. It made for an interesting progression of the storyline and enabled flashbacks to occur. I also appreciated the flashes forward at the end to see where the characters end up and to get a glimpse of their relationships post their visits to the spa.


View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this title for are:

Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book 13

Literary Escapes  (Destination)  Visited: Australia

AtoZ and Alphabet Soup #AlphabetSoupChallenge "N"

PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #40  Fav Past Popsugar prompt-  It fits 2019 Book representing different Points of View

NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2020 #21 a book nominated for an award

Wizarding World Tour

  • Durmstrang:  Read a book that involves a secret


52 Books in 52 Weeks #22  A character that frustrates you

Around the Year in 52 Books #28 A book by an Australian, Canadian or New Zealand author

BooklistQueen #31 an Audiobook


Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Enjoyable visit to Narnia

I decided to reread C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for some January challenge prompts.  I last read this book when I was in elementary school.  The specific copy I read was originally a gift from my grandmother.  The most wonderful thing about that, is she always wrote a note in the front of any books she gave me.  So, I got to enjoy that momento as well as the book itself.


Here is my review on Goodreads.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyed revisiting a childhood favorite. I had taken a college course on children’s literature that discussed the correlation between the Narnia series and religion. I hadn’t read this installment in that context so this reread definitely allowed me to see those parallels. Beyond that the level of detail in the descriptions is amazing. The edition I read had some wonderful illustrations as well.

All in all enjoyed this reread


View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Monthly Motif   #MonthlyMotifGXO   
    • JANUARY-  Winter Wonderland  Narnia is definitively  a wondrous location.  The magical feel of the land comes alive and well in Lewis' descriptions.  
  2. Color Coded:  #6-  Black cover
  3. 20 in 20 #Read20in2020 #13 An Illustrated Book
  4. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #34 A book with illustrations
  5. NJM #NJMBookChallenge2020  #14 a book with images:
  6. Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  #10 Cover redesign is Better
  7. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge  #19 Book with only words on the cover
  8. Around the Year in 52 Books- #19  A fantasy book
  9. 2020 TBR  #2020TBRReadingChallenge #21 a fantasy book
  10. Wizarding World Tour 
    • Castelbruxo- Read a book that contains a magical creature
  11. Book List Queen #16  Reread a Childhood Favorite
  12. Alphabet soup Author- #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  "L"
  13. TBR Book #9  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon