Friday, March 1, 2024



One of my bookish goals
this year is to read more Golden Age mysteries. I have several British Library Crime Classics and Otto Penzler's Classic American Mysteries on my TBR list. I hope to read at least one a month, and I started in February with Ngaio Marsh's A Man Lay Dead. It's an entertaining mystery that takes place during a weekend party at an English country house. And it involves a Murder Game. I quite enjoyed it. This month I'll be reading Dorothy B. Hughes's Dread Journey. 

Seven other library books I'm hoping to read this month:

Deaf Utopia by Nyle DiMarco
True Biz by Sara Novic
The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
The Murder Wheel by Tom Mead 
Wonderland Trials by Sara Ella
Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
Keeper of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N. Holmberg

And if I'm lucky, my library hold on Hurwitz's newest, Lone Wolf, will also come in this month because I'm eager to read the latest Orphan X novel as soon as possible. 

Three things that have made me glad recently:
  • Two days off from work....which always makes me happy.
  • New episodes of Ghosts and So Help Me Todd (two of my favorite TV shows); also that new show Tracker has been really good, too. Yay for something new to watch on TV.
  • I found a great 15-minute cardio workout I can do in the morning before work that's low impact but gets the heart rate up. I've been doing it for 3 weeks now and not only is it helping me to get in better shape for summer, but I've even lost a little weight. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 26, 2024

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker by Derick Lugo

About the author:  "Derick Lugo had never hiked or camped a day in his life. This Brooklyn-born, New York city urbanite hopped a train to Georgia, grabbed a taxi at the station, and told the driver to drop him off at the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. Then he did as he has always done--put one foot in front of the other and never looked back."

My thoughts:  You already know how much I love reading about other people's journeys hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, and Lugo's is one of the better ones. He's a gifted storyteller, and this memoir is full of humor, adventure, and some profound and uplifting advice...not just about hiking the AT, but about living life. I loved it.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Favorite quotes from the book:
"I'm not going to fall into a mindset of maybe I'll make it. I already have enough going against me, starting with how clueless I am about the trail. Positive thoughts are my biggest asset out here in the unknown."

"This journey will go better if I don't dread and curse the things I cannot control."

"Change can be frightening at times, but out here it's our way of life. When I stepped onto the AT, I sought change. I wanted to move away from a static existence. Suitably, the end of one thing opens the way for something wondrous. I see not the end but a new start."

"Hike your own Hike."

Happy Reading!




Friday, February 23, 2024

Haiku reviews...


Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman

She's his rock star crush--
when they meet it feels like love.
Can it be that easy?

Romance .... 339 pages .... 4.5/5 stars.
(I enjoyed Billy and Margot's second chance love story.)

That Others May Live by Sara Driscoll

Search-and-rescue teams
unite when a 12-story building
collapses in D.C. 

An FBI K-9 Novel .... 337 pages .... 4/5 stars.
(I love Meg and her dog, Hawk, and her firefighter fiance, too.)

The Paleontologist by Luke Dumas

A haunted museum,
dinosaurs, ghosts, and the mystery
of his long-lost sister.

Horror-lite .... 353 pages .... 3.5/5 stars.
(Must love dinosaurs to enjoy this book.)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.


I came up with five: 

1. I wish I had the ability to remember all the pertinent plot points and characters from all the books I've read...or at least all the ones I really liked. 

2. I wish I was able to conjure up any book I wanted to read the moment I wanted to read it...without having to wait for my library hold to come in, or my Amazon order to be delivered. 

3. I'd love to be able to stop time and the rest of the world whenever I wanted so I could give myself an extra hour or two just for reading. 

4. I'd like to be able to enter the pages of any book and spend some time with my favorite characters, or go exploring a favorite setting...especially a magical world like Oz or Le Cirques des Reves.

5. And the last bookish superpower I'd love to have is the ability to change a book's ending when it's disappointing and make it better. Because I hate when an otherwise great story ends wrong. (Yes, Mockingjay, I'm talking about books like you!) 

What bookish superpowers would you love to have?
Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

 "I was not born a monster."

Two sisters:  Channari and Vanna.

Channi, the oldest, was cursed by the demon witch, Angma, with the face of a snake when she was just a child. Her blood carries the killing poison of the Serpent King. Her younger sister, Vanna, on the other hand, is so beautiful foreign kings are vying for her hand. Her heart emits a magical radiance that Angma covets. 

Channi is determined to protect her sister from Angma, their greedy father, and all her suitors, especially the cruel King Meguh, not just because she loves her sister, but because she made a promise to their dying mother to keep Vanna safe. Even if it costs her her own life. 

"One sister must fall for the other to rise."

My thoughts:  This novel is a prequel to Elizabeth Lim's Six Crimson Cranes, but Channi's story stands on its own. And it's quite the adventure, with demons, talking snakes, and a nine-eyed witch. Channi is determined, impulsive, and strong-willed, a fighter who never gives up; she also longs to be loved. She's carried a lot of hurt and shame over the way others have treated her because of her monstrous face. I had a lot of sympathy for her. 

She meets an unexpected ally in Hokzuh, half-dragon, half-demon, who has his own reasons for going up against Angma. He's sarcastic and harsh, but he can also be kind, and he sees something of himself in Channi. I liked him. The other thing I really liked about this book is Lim's vivid descriptions and all the magic in it. It's an entertaining fantasy, but also sad. Though having read Six Crimson Cranes, I knew going in that Channi's story wasn't necessarily a happy one. 

Still I'm glad Melody and I chose this as our first buddy read of 2024. Be sure to check out her review of this one.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Death in the Dark Woods by Annelise Ryan

 "When it comes to the creature known as Bigfoot there are three camps of thought: the skeptics, the believers, and the folks who simply see it all as a way to make a buck."


MORGAN CARTER -- bookstore owner and cryptid hunter. "I don't search for cryptids to make money; I do it because I love it and to continue the work my parents did in the field...I'm a cynic at heart, and I approach my cryptid searches from a position of science and reality, not speculation and rumor."

CHARLIE ABERDEEN -- a conservation warden in Bayfield, Wisconsin. She's a believer. Because when she was thirteen, she saw something in the woods that looked remarkably like Bigfoot. She just can't prove it. 

JON FLANDERS -- Chief of police for Washington Island, located off the tip of Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula, and Morgan's...friend? Boyfriend? They're still figuring that one out. 

NEWT -- Morgan's large, half blind, lovably sweet rescue dog. 

"There's something strange going on in the Chequamegon National Forest. We've had some Bigfoot sightings in the area, a couple of which have been rather...disturbing. One of them may have torn a man apart."

 MY THOUGHTS:  This is another entertaining and well-written mystery from Annelise Ryan. Morgan and Jon are both very likable characters, each with their own tragedy in their pasts. I liked seeing their relationship grow a little more in this one. Morgan is smart and resourceful. And I love her dog, Newt. The Bigfoot angle made the mystery a lot of fun. (But then I'm always a sucker for Bigfoot sightings in any book.) And did they finally find evidence of this mysterious cryptid? You'll have to read it for yourself to find out. This is the second book Ryan has written about these characters, and I enjoyed it as much as the first one. 

Happy Reading!

Ryan's previous book:  A Death in Door County

Other "Bigfoot" novels:

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's them is a Love Freebie in honor of Valentine's Day. But instead of doing a list of favorite romances, which I've done in the past, I decided to center my top ten list this week around a game I love to play instead:  CHESS.   So here's my list of 10 books with a chess theme on the cover or in the title. 

The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte

The Eight by Katherine Neville

The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis 

Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris

Bishop's Knight by Katie Reus

Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Curiosity by Gary Blackwood

Mystery Mile by Margery Allingham

Hunter's Green by Phyllis A. Whitney

Horrorscape by Nenia Campbell

Happy Reading!