Friday, August 31, 2018

30 in September!


A challenge has been issued! My wonderful blogging friend Stacy over at Stacy's Books has challenged me to read 30 books in September, a book for each day. She did this last year and I had so much fun cheering her on that I told her I'd be up for it the next year. Well, the time has come. I will be sticking to very small books, like all of G's books I could gather up from his bookshelves...and graphic novels from the library! Never fear, I did throw in some short classics like Animal Farm and The Pearl. But for the most part I'm sticking to the small stuff and see how I do. If I manage all right I hope to up the ante next year!

I also am going out of town a couple of weekends in September so I will have to be extra vigilant!

 So without further adieu here is my list in picture form. I do have more than 30 pictured but I wanted to have options! I also may do a few on my Kindle...

Nala couldn't resist helping me out with my piles! And another kitty to round it all out!

I will try to do regular updates but I can't ever be sure. But wish me luck and Stacy too and whoever else is crazy enough to join us!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Week-in-Review--August 30, 2018

I headed out of town last weekend--up to Boise, Idaho for a little reunion with some ex-pat. friends I met while living in Japan a few years ago. We decided to ride around the city on a bike bar. And yes that is exactly what it is. We brought our own liquid courage and had a sober "driver" who told us when to pedal and when to coast and steered us to a few food spots and a bar or two. It was so fun to see old friends and catch up!

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (on Audible)

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate


The Sinner, started The Innocents on Netflix, still watching Making It, and finished the last episode of Sharp Objects! OMG! So good!

Saw in the theater: The Meg. Surprisingly more watchable that I was expecting. Jason Statham seems to nail the action/cheesiness perfectly!

The Lodgers for my scary movie night! Also a winner.

Listening to:

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman


I made some excellent sloppy joe's the other night and I will be making some tasty tilapia fish tacos for dinner tonight! It's been grilling all summer long.

Looking forward to:

Camping for Labor Day weekend! We have been looking forward to this with our good friends for a few months and cannot wait to head out of town on Friday!

Reading/Movie Challenges:

I did not excel at Bout of Books last week! But I did manage to finish a few of my books! But I wanted to try it just to see what it was like and hopefully schedule myself better for the next Bout!

I will be participating in a 30 books in 30 days of September with Stacy! Looking forward to that one soon....

Also R.I.P. XIII will be starting in September. I won't be reading as much horror due to my aforementioned challenge but will be going full throttle with scary movies and TV shows.

Cat Thursday--August 30, 2018

Cat Thursday is hosted by Michelle over at True Book Addict where we share all things cat!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

R.I.P. XIII-- The Challenge!

Join up for all the scary things at R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril site!

Peril The First-- At least 4 scary books

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Out by Matsuo Kirino

The Ruins by Scott Smith

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Scream All Night by Derek Milman

A Ghost Story by Peter Straub

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Peril of the Screen-- I will be watching all the horrors!


The Nun



The Little Stranger


A Simple Favor

I am unlikely to get to all of these but I wanted a small list of possibilities over the next two months!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XIII

It's that time of year again! R.I.P. XIII is just around the corner from Sept. 1- Oct. 31st hosted by Capricious over at the official Readers Imbibing Peril website.

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
Dark Fantasy.
The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.
The goals are simple. 
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.
As we do each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.I.P. XII without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.
Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.

Peril the First:

Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (our very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be Stephen King or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Shirley Jackson or Tananarive Due…or anyone in between.

Peril the Second:

Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the challenge categories.

Peril the Third:

We all want you to participate. This Peril involves reading one book that fits within the R.I.P. definition.

Peril of the Short Story:

We are fans of short stories and our desire for them is perhaps no greater than in autumn. We see Jackson in our future for sure! You can read short stories any time during the challenge. We sometimes like to read short stories over the weekend and post about them around that time. Feel free to do this however you want, but if you review short stories on your site, please link to those reviews on our RIPXII Book Review pages.

Peril on the Screen:

This is for those of us who like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show, like Dark Shadows, or your favorite film. If you are so inclined, please post links to any R.I.P.-related viewing you do on our book review pages as well.

Peril of the Review:

Submit a short review of any book you read and you may see it here on the blog! Again, you may participate in one or all of the various Perils. Our one demand: enjoy yourself!
The R.I.P. XII Challenge does not require you to read from a pre-selected list of books, but like many of you we love to get ideas from what others are thinking of reading. If you want to include a pool of potential reads when you sign up, either in the comments or on your own sign up post on your blog (not required for participation), please do!
This challenge is always a joy because of one thing: you! You sharing your passion for books, reading, films, television, etc. helps bring us together and ensures that we all have a great time. Thank each and every one of you who choose to participate on any level. We are honored that you would choose to do so.

I know I'll be reading lots of things in September and I'll throw some good scares in all month in October. Horror movies will be back in queue for those two months! Can't wait! I'll probably throw some titles up that I'd love to get to as September approaches. Join in if you dare!!!

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Goodreads Summary:

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she--or anyone--saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings--massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.
Yet it's immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.
And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

Things I liked:

  • It's a fast read.
  • The middle section is pretty intense and I was unsure where he was going with the story. Kept me guessing.
  • I liked the overall atmosphere of being up in the woods, camp, cabins, spooky lake and mysterious people showing up.
Didn't Like:

  • The story fell flat in the end. I thought he was going to have something to say about the lake and where it came from but that was a red herring.
  • As in his first work under Sager, the author had a hard time with the female voice. They come off very stereotyped.
  • The ending....I can't. It was too much.
I read it in two days and the mystery isn't bad but it could've been so much better. The Final Girls was a better plotted story overall. I don't think I'll read more by him.

Part of Bout of Books readathon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday-- Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

These are books that are guaranteed to pull me out of a reading slump! Maybe they will for you too.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte-- This is my all-time favorite book. I first read it as a teenager and it only gets better each time I read it. Truly a timeless classic.

2. Persuasion by Jane Austen-- My favorite Jane Austen novel.

3. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier-- One of my favorite historical fantasies. It's a beautiful retelling and it's just guaranteed to drawn you in.

4. Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling-- If I'm not sure what to read...this is always a go-to.

5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Ayedemi-- My love of ya fantasy has been reignited!

6. Yes Please by Amy Poehler-- Listen to this one. She has her friends and family do their own parts and it's hilarious!

7. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah-- Also listen to this one. His accent and his optimism despite his awful childhood is truly inspiring.

8. The Demon-haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan-- Carl Sagan can always get me out of any funk.

9. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bragieu-- Great graphic novel collection of women who truly rocked the world.

10. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell-- I listened to this one. If you love history and comedy, Ms. Vowell is a true national treasure.

Visit That Artsy Reader Girl to participate and find out more!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Week-in-Review August 20, 2018


Where did the summer go? I mean there is still 5 weeks left til the official start of autumn but once the kiddos hit school, it all changes. Summer isn't quite the same with school back in session. G was really nervous about starting but we went to his back to school night and he had a blast. He loved seeing his new classroom and meeting his teacher and seeing all his buddies from last year. He was excited all weekend long to be heading back to school.

It's bittersweet. G is getting older so we can hang out and do a lot more stuff together. This was the first summer he actually enjoyed our hikes together. We did our last one together Monday and it was challenging and very hot but he stuck with it and told me it was one of his favorite hikes. So yeah it's a bittersweet time. I wish we had a few more weeks to just hang out and be together. It's enjoying these tiny moments together and keeping them with me.

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Zoo day for DH's work family summer party!

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Our last hike together before school started

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Last big water park shin dig!

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What!? G in 4th!!!

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First book to read for Bout of Books!


I'm Fine and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings (listened to audiobook)

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager


Finished up Killing Eve. Whoa! That was a good show. Weird and awkward and funny along with some action. Caught up on The Sinner season 2, Castle Rock, and Sharp Objects.

Netflix just released To All the Boys I've Loved Before and I watched that with DH. Super cute. I loved it! I want to read the trilogy now. It was a little cheesy but overall a well-done production. I hope it goes viral and gets watched a lot. I'd love to see the next two in the series also made into movies.

I Kill Giants was also a very poignant coming-of-age movie. Though, A Monster Calls was done a lot better it was still a great movie to see and that little actress is gonna go places.

And if you want creepy and disturbing I watched The Gift with Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton.

Listening to:

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. So good. Over half way through.


I've been grilling brats and chicken all week. I've been trying to get full use out of our grill this summer.

Looking forward to:

Heading out of town with a friend. We're doing a little expat reunion for all of us who were in Japan together a few years ago. It's been three years since I've seen one of them. It should be a great weekend.


I'm participating in Bout of Books this week.

September I'll be joining Stacy from Stacy's Books to read one book every day in September. I'm choosing a lot of kids book and graphic novels. But it'll be fun to try and focus and get as many in as I can.

Yay to Fall! I can now officially look forward to it!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cat Thursday-- August 16, 2018

This week is all about the kitten memes! I needed a good laugh. Go check out more cuteness at True Book Addict.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mini Book Reviews-- Bingo Love

Once again I fail to keep up with my book reviews! I've tried to keep them clear and concise.

1. Bingo Love by Tee Franklin

I loved the sweet love story between Hazel and Mari. The illustrations are beautiful. I'm looking forward to reading more about the characters and their families.

2. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

I loved this take on zombies rising during the Civil War. Jane was a slave until they were all freed when the dead started to rise. She's been sent up to a finishing/fighting school to help protect precious white women from being eaten. She soon find herself kidnapped and taken away with a fellow cohort to a strange western frontier town where all is not what it seems.

We've got fighting, great characters, serious but light discussions of race and class. It comes together for a wonderful story. Can't wait for the next installment.

3. Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Pessl is a fantastic world and character-builder. Her creepy purgatory of Neverworld is truly terrifying. It's a haunting and poidnant story on grief and friendship.

4. Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper

I loved reading about Homer and his sisters. The most harrowing chapter was Cooper's experience of the 9/11 attacks in New York. It was gripping and told a side I had never heard before. And the horror she went through to get back to her cats was truly terrifying.

5. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

Yay! One done on my big Classics list! I enjoyed the mini series BBC put out a few years ago. The story focuses on one women in Victorian times England who must make the ultimate decision to leave her abusive husband. How does she do it? How does society view her? Big questions especially for that time. But ultimately it was too long. The middle was tough to get through. And the way she ends it reminds me a lot of Jane Eyre. Too easy in a lot of ways. But I get why she did it. Not the best of the Bronte sisters but still worth a read.

6. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I read this one for Emma Watson's book club Our Shared Shelf. I'd bought this book of poetry a year or so ago when it went on sale. I'd heard it was pretty heart-breaking. No lie. The poetry rips right through and makes you feel. It was enlightening but tough. Give it a go, though; it's very short.

7. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu

I loved this collection of bad-ass women in history. My favorite was Therese Clerc who came up with quite the utopian conclave and inspired women to come together and take care of each other especially as they age. She was very inspirational.

8. Longbourn by Jo Baker

Read this one for Austen in August as part of the read-along. I listened to it and found it a lot more interesting than I would have otherwise. Baker takes us downstairs to the servants quarters in Pride & Prejudice's Longbourn. We see bits and pieces of all of our favorites but they don't come off so shiny clean as they do in the original. It is an interesting twist but I would rather have had this as a historical novel rather than a reworking of Austen's P&P.

9. How Not to Get Shot and Other Advice from White People by D.L. Hughley

This is sadly hysterical. Since it's so true and yet Hughley brings it to our knowledge with not so delicate humor. He goes through each "sound" advice letting us know exactly why it doesn't work and won't in the future. It's a quick. It'll leave you reeling, that is for sure. But pick it up. I'm glad I did.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Horror Movie Wednesday-- Breaking In


Breaking In (2018)

What I didn't like:

  • The thieves did not have a good plan to execute the find safe and empty in only 90 minutes. They never did any research on family and who actually owns the house! They were sooooo dumb.
  • We do not get a background on her she military trained? Grew up as a survivalist? She did some pretty amazing things which would not come to you without training.
What I liked:

  • Gabrielle Union kicks butt! She goes into mama bear mode and gets her kids. It's a fun thriller and I enjoyed the perspective of mom saving the family, including the saving of her husband---he did not take the beatings as well as she did.
  • I enjoyed the end scene with her encircling and hugging and protecting everyone in her family. It's a sweet moment and one you usually see with the man in that role. It was a fantastic twist and hope to see more like this in the future.

Bout of Books 23

I've heard a lot about Bout of Books over the years in the book blogosphere and I'm finally taking the plunge and signing up! Yay! This is my first time and know it won't be my last.

For those unfamiliar with Bout of Books:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. --From the Bout of Books team

I'm going to pick up some quick and easy reads. I bought a few mysteries and romances and think these will do the trick this week along with reading through my regular fare. Good luck to all!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Finally! July Wrap-up and Week-in-Review


July was so much fun! It's my favorite summer month. June is my birthday but July has so much going for it. The wildflowers are in full bloom in the mountains so it's warm enough and the snow has melted so we can hike!

Independence Day is the big holiday of the summer for us. We host a big neighborhood BBQ and light all the fireworks. There's usually at least one trip planned during the month and in Utah we celebrate Pioneer Day--or as us heathens call it Pie n Beer Day! Another neighborhood BBQ and I add a little extra pie and beer. Plus more fireworks!

The kitties enjoy lounging in the sun and spending nights rolling around on the concrete outside on our porch. It's the month where you finally find your groove and yet school is still too far off to worry about.

I read 10 books over the course of the month. I joined in on High Summer Readathon hosted by Michelle over at Seasons Reading. Check out my post for info on all the books I finished this month.

Lammas Day was August 1st--it's the first sabbat for Fall. It comes from Old English for loaf mass and is a way to celebrate the wheat harvest or bread! I love bread! It's about the only time I put forth some cooking skills to make homemade bread. It turned out yummy (which means I should so more of it!) I like to celebrate little things throughout the year and Lammas day is perfect. It gets us thinking about the end of summer and the good food that is in season. I'm not much of a baker or cook but I do the best I can and enjoyed making a little Lammas figure and some homemade honey wheat bread along with honey butter. A simple grilled chicken dish, grilled corn on the cob and some blackberry cobbler rounded out the meal.


Saturday we headed over to a Food Truck and Brewery round up for some good eats and drinks! The air had cooled a bit and we enjoyed walking around and soaking in the sunshine.

Food trucks

Saturday night was my 20 year high school reunion! What?! How time flies. A group of us got together for an impromptu dinner at Chili's.



I'm about halfway through Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Ayedemi on Audible. Also listening to Longbourn by Jo Baker for Austen in August. Halfway done with The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Still reading The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert but it is a difficult read because it is a tad tale to tell about us and our world. I'm also making my way through the graphic non-fiction anthology Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate--reading with G aloud before bed.

I finished up  in one day How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People by D.L. Hughley. It's so good. Heart-breakingly funny and sad.


TV: I finished up The Sinner and will start up the second season soon. Quite a few plot holes but it was such an interesting storyline. I truly enjoyed it despite its flaws. Plus I have a crush on Bill Pullman. I've been a fan since Spaceballs!

Sharp Objects. I really want to read the book now. Fascinating.

Hulu's Castle Rock. I haven't read a lot of Stephen King. He's a little too wordy for me. But I do enjoy watching anything that gets made of his. There are a lot of Easter eggs spread throughout. I had to look up many of them but I did catch quite a few! It's weird and creepy. My kind of TV show.

Dietland: Just bingewatched the first 7 episodes yesterday due to illness...Love! I need to read the book as well.

Making It: Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Gold. Pure TV gold.

Movies: I saw The Darkest Minds in the theater. My brother wanted to see it for his was as good or bad as I thought it would be. Though, I did enjoy the actors. They just didn't have much of a script/story to work with but they were all phenomenal and look forward to Amandla Stenberg in The Hate U Give.

Books acquired:

Library: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, I'm Fine...and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings.

For the Kindle: Happy Doomsday by David Sosnowski, Special Topics in Calamity by Marisha Pessl, Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, and The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

Looking Forward to:

DH's work is having a night at the zoo tonight. We get to see the animals and enjoy free food!

G has another summer camp this week and I'm enjoying the time to get caught up on my items and to-do projects.

The Book Rat

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Cat Thursday-- August 2, 2018

The True Book Addict

Welcome, August! Where has the summer gone? And onto another Cat Thursday hosted by Michelle over at The True Book Addict.

This week I thought I'd highlight a little spotlight on some bookstores that have in-resident cats! KQED, the local PBS branch of the Bay Area, went out and met some local bookstore cats. Here are a few highlights but go check out the original article for all the details!

Meet Hudson from Borderlands:

According to Borderlands if Hudson were an author he'd be Oscar Wilde. "Because he's a sassy freethinker, yet very lovable."

Meet Owen from Aardvark Books!

According to Frieda if he were an author he'd be Christopher Isherwood, "because he's loving, kind, pragmatic and takes life as it comes. Nothing really seems to upset him."

I love cats and bookstores! They go together like Sonny and Cher or peanut butter and jelly!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

High Summer Readathon Wrap-up

Seasons Reading

I did really well this July! I petered out a bit toward the end with a big vacation in the middle but I read 10 books! And none were the ones I was planning on in my sign-up post! Ha! Such is the life of a reader...

I finished:

1. People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman by Richard Lloyd Parry

2. Silent City by Alex Segura

3. The Epic Failure of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya

4. Bingo Love by Tee Franklin

5. Down the Darkest Street by Alex Segura

6. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

7. The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg

8. Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

9. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

10. Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline, or How I Learned About Life and Love With a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper

2 non-fiction, one short story collection, 2 mystery-crime novels, 3 young adult books, one classic, and one graphic novel.

Some of these I started before July but I finished them in July so I'm counting them!