I seem to be on a bit of a Lady Grim Reaper kick of late. It started off with a very sweet little novella by K.N. Parker called “The Death of Death.” I got it free on Amazon and it was so sweet that I’m definitely going to be seeking out other books by the author, in fact I think I’ll add that blog to my Feedly feed. An adorable tale of finding out who you are and what your purpose is.


Then, on the way out of the library I came across something called “Second Grave on the Left” with a pretty bad ass looking woman. IMG_20170115_185059.jpgThis one was less sweet with some risque scenes, in the Harlequin Romance vein but without the fadeout (so I’d consider limiting this to the older side of “young” but there wasn’t any actual humpty hump dance). Author Darynda Jones writes a smart mouthed, wicked smart, smooth talking Grim Reaper Private Investigator who keeps getting herself in to trouble. I didn’t realize this was the second in a series, but was eager to pick up the third book…until I read on Goodreads that there are ELVEN books in the series, not counting the half books to bump the count. Uh, the story was pretty fun as a stand-alone. As a trio it would have satisfied that itch for more that comes from a good book. But 11? No, no thank you. I don’t need to know eleven books worth of some random shenanigans.


Not Interested


Ha, this photo makes my hand look so BIG and the book look itty bitty! Since it is the only one I took I am going with it.

What makes me stop reading a story? Illuminate, by Aimee Agresti, is an example of a book that I just could not get behind. I always feel extremely guilty when I stop reading a book once I have started and will keep it for weeks to see if I want to finish it or not. Or, sometimes I do the unthinkable and skip right to the end to see if I am going to like what happens or not. That is to be used only in extreme cases.

Not Illuminate, back to the library it went. Haven is the heroine of the story and she is described as meh. Not kidding, but somehow she lands a prestigious internship at a luxurious hotel that is opening in Chicago. It was so far fetched. First, why would high school students be allowed to miss school to work at an internship that requires them to live away from home. Second, almost immediately they are invited into a bar scene.

The book bothered me and at the same time bored me.

Not your average apocalyptic story…

It turns out I am a total sucker for a good apocalyptic story…


Strong female lead – check, a little bit of romance – check, and an adventure rescue story – check! So here is the odd thing, it took me forever to finish this book. I started it 5 months ago and made 70ish pages in and then just got stuck. It was a tad scary for this reader in the fact that I could picture this as a true story. Picked it up again two weeks ago and BOOM! Loved it!

Have you ever done that? Thought a book was too much or not enough, picked it up for a second time, and realized it was just your speed. Cassie is our heroine and the trials she faces are extreme. Humans are being exterminated by aliens (or the others) and she is on a search to find her brother. I will be reading the second book in the series as soon as possible.

My goal for 2017 is to look through all of the unread books that I own and decide to either keep and read or donate. I own so many books, too many. I thought that wasn’t possible, but with 7 bookcases filled in our house the need to downsize is becoming urgent. Otherwise, where will I put all of the new books that I buy?

Christmas Traditions


Traditions are a bit tricky in that you have to decide what you want to do and then make it happen every single year. Follow through is not always my strong suite. This is why a tradition at a friend’s house is nearly perfect. Every year our good friends ask family and friends over for three consecutive nights to read Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. It is one of my favorite times of the holiday season and I value the invitation.

The evening starts at 6:30 where a feast of appetizers and finger foods is assembled on the table. Eating and chatting are on the agenda for a good hour plus. Have you ever had Glog? It is a yummy red wine + spices + raisins + sliced almonds concoction. It is heaven and smells like Christmas to me.

Then, everyone sits in a circle and takes turns reading, you can read as much or as little as you want. All of the kids want their turn and then usually disappear to another room to cause a ruckus and celebrate in their own way. This was the first year that Gus (the 5-year-old) wanted a turn reading. Me, I just want to make it through my turn without mispronouncing too many words. That is a feat in itself.

2016 was our fourth year attending and the cast of invitees attending is familiar to us. There is such comfort in this tradition and such joy. A Christmas Carol, turns out it is a pretty good read.

Beautiful reality takes flight

Wild Wings is a beautiful, powerful book about taking action from a place of compassion.


My niece, age 12, said it is her new favorite book, and I can see why. I recommend it to readers young and old who seek an uplifting and inspiring journey. If you’re a grown up, like me, you can read it in a couple of hours. If you’re younger, you’re lucky: you’ll get to enjoy it longer!

This book follows five children through a tumultuous year of life in Scotland and West Africa. The book does not pull its punches. There are tragedies and heartbreaking realities. The human main character, Callum is our open-hearted guide connected unexpectedly to the avian main character, Iris.

Callum becomes Iris’ guardian angel helping her survive the vast migration from Scotland to West Africa. Along the way, we meet the self-reliant Iona, the brave Jeneba, the loyal Euan, and the daring Rob. All the kids experience growth from both joy and sadness, while Iris, an endangered, migrating osprey, teaches them how to expand their positive influences globally by observing and engaging with their communities locally.

An emotionally charged, highly satisfying story, lovingly written.

Fragile Magic


My workouts might not be so great lately, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading at the gym! This is the second in the Magician series from Charlie N. Holmberg. I reviewed “The Paper Magician” not too long ago (last week). Glass is the second in the series. And before I summarize, I’ll let you know I already have the hard copy of #3, “Master Magician” on hold at the library.

Our battles with the evil Magicians continue from the first book, though the jump in time is more like months rather than the days it took me to get this from the library. And while Ceony’s skills are growing, she is still young, both in actual years and in spells. But her youth doesn’t prohibit her from learning dangerous secrets as she contnues her studies.

Watch the Crease

I’ve got crafting coming out my booty, and yet somehow, “The paper Magician” floated to the top of my “to do” list every day. Library, chug time, craft time. Nyeah, I’ll read.

It seems fitting that the library only had this series in hardcopy since it is about magicians who bond to materials, in this case, ta da! paper. They can then use that medium to cast spells of different sorts. It’s a lovely, simpler time sort of alternate reality. Steampunk with less steam, less random gears decorating things, less angsty. Not that our heroine lacks angst completely, as she didn’t want to be a Folder, a Paper Magician, at all. She’s forced down this path because the number of Folders has dwindled and they don’t want the art to die.

This first in, wouldn’t you know it, the series does a credible job of setting up the world and introducing our heroes. It had my clambering (logging in and requesting) the second book as soon as I turned the last page.