Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday: The Anti-Heroes

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a soon to be released title I can't wait to read.

This week's pick: The Anti-Heroes by Jen Lancaster

Due out September 3, 2024

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

Once upon a time, Dr. Emily Nichols―the academic kind, not the physician kind―was an eco-crusader who was shot with water cannons, hunted by poachers, and chased by a bulldozer. Now? Action Emily lives in a bland condo with gray walls and teaches disengaged students at a university alongside a risk-allergic boyfriend, asking herself every day: How did I get here?

Then one afternoon Emily and her best friend, people-pleasing real estate agent Liv Bennett, witness an attempted robbery at their local coffee shop that is foiled by a yoga mom wielding a baby stroller. Their hero attributes her bravery to a mysterious class called Fearless, Inc. Its enigmatic and dizzyingly muscular instructor, Zeus, is now fully committed to helping Emily and Liv overcome their fears, too―one thrilling self-help lesson at a time.

Along with a ragtag group of other wimps, Emily and Liv must embrace the passionately unconventional methods of the leader to harness their powers, gain a bracing new perspective on life, act on their impulses, and be the no-holds-barred anti-heroes of their dreams.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Non Fiction Tuesday: Looking Ahead: The Small and the MIghty

I love adding to my TBR and there are so many great nonfiction books I can't wait to get my hands on.


This month's selection: The Small and the Mighty: Twelve Unsung Americans Who Changed The Course of History, From the Founding to the Civil Rights Movement by Sharon McMahon

Due out: September 24, 2024

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

From America’s favorite government teacher, a heartfelt, inspiring portrait of twelve ordinary Americans whose courage formed the character of our country.

The Small and the Mighty, Sharon McMahon proves that the most remarkable Americans are often ordinary people who didn’t make it into the textbooks. Not the presidents, but the telephone operators. Not the aristocrats, but the schoolteachers. Through meticulous research, she discovers history’s unsung characters and brings their rich, riveting stories to light for the first time.

You’ll meet a woman astride a white horse riding down Pennsylvania Ave, a young boy detained at a Japanese incarceration camp, a formerly enslaved woman on a mission to reunite with her daughter, a poet on a train, and a teacher who learns to work with her enemies. More than one thing is bombed, and multiple people surprisingly become rich. Some rich with money, and some wealthy with things that matter more.

This is a book about what really made America – and Americans – great. McMahon’s cast of improbable champions will become familiar friends, lighting the path we journey in our quest to make the world more just, peaceful, good, and free.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Monday Mini-Reviews: Missoula and Mysteries

 We were in Missoula a couple of weeks ago visiting my brother-in-law and niece, so I didn't spend as much time online as I would have normally.  I did enjoy some great books while I was gone and my husband and youngest two daughters ran the half marathon there while my oldest daughter, her fiance and I watched.  

I've enjoyed reading through a variety of "favorites for the first half of 2024" posts on Instagram, but haven't created my own list.  I've read 150 books this year, so picking only ten that are standouts seems impossible.  There are a few genres of books I've been gravitating to lately: rom coms and mysteries.  

These six mysteries/novels of suspense have all been hard to put down.

Love Letters To A Serial Killer by Tasha Coryell was easy to get into. Hannah starts writing an accused serial killer as he is in prison awaiting his trial.  After losing her job, she heads to Georgia to attend the trial and starts doing her own research on who might really have committed the murders of several young women.  She and William have shared letters back and forth and after he is acquitted of the murders, the two continue their relationship in person, while Hannah still tries to decide if William could actually be guilty of the crimes.

A Talent For Murder by Peter Swanson - Swanson is an author who I enjoy and this is no exception.  Martha and Alan are newlyweds.  They seem happy, but Martha has always felt as though she doesn't really know her new husband.  Alan is often away for work and when Martha sees a spot of blood on his shirt after he returns home from a trip, she starts investigating if there have been any crimes that occurred during the times he has been in different cities.  Suddenly Martha is suspecting that her husband is a murderer.  This one is full of twists- some a little unbelievable.  However, it's fast and will keep you turning pages.

The Unwedding by Ally Condie- Ellery travels solo to a resort in Big Sur where she had planned to spend her 20th wedding anniversary. Now, split up from her husband, Luke, Ellery is dealing with being single once more.  Things at the resort are focused on a big wedding that's about to take place.  But Ellery discovers the body of the groom floating in the pool.  Before law enforcement is able to investigate, a mudslide makes roads impassable and the guests are trapped at the resort.  This one was not my favorite. Although the premise was good, I found myself much more interested in Ellery's backstory which was slowly revealed throughout the novel.

The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant - I loved Grant's These Silent Woods and this one was hard to put down as well.  Emlyn is living by herself in her trailer in Idaho.  She no longer speaks to her best friend Janessa but when Janessa, a social media star, seems to have disappeared, Tyler, Emlyn's ex-boyfriend (and also Janessa's best friend while growing up), shows up and wants Emlyn's help finding her.  This story moves back and forth in time periods, slowly revealing what happened between Emlyn and Tyler.

How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny is the ninth in her Three Pines series.  I have slowly been working my way through these books and the further into the series I get, the more I love them.  This installment deals with Beauvoir's addiction to drugs and at this point he and Gamache no longer are speaking.  Gamache is busy trying to figure out what happened to an elderly woman who was killed in her home - and upon further investigation it is revealed that she was one of a famous set of quintets.  And there is another more sinister mystery occurring as well as Gamache is able to uncover corruption in the police force.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman - this is the first in a series and as usual, I expect it will grow on me more as the series develops.  Four septuagenarians at a retirement community meet weekly to discuss unsolved crimes.  They, along with a female cop who is on her first big case, work together to solve a murder.  These characters are fun and I'm excited to read the next one in this series as well as watch them as they are now in production.

We've got a couple college visits scheduled for today with my youngest daughter.  Since my husband is going along, I am packing several books with the hopes that I can enjoy a few more great books.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Friday Five

After a week of rather pleasant temps, things are heating up here.  I do love the hot weather, but I'm not always a fan of the humidity.  

I haven't seen any fall clothing yet, but I'm still finding plenty to share.  Enjoy!


1.  Jacquard Mini Swing Dress

2.  Floral Puff Sleeve Dress

3.  Mini Flounce Skirt

4.  Italian Summer Olive Green Linen Button-Up Short Sleeve Dress

5.  Dalair Tan Embroidered Buckled Flatform Slide Sandal

6.  Aly Puff-Sleeve Blouse by Pilcro: Chambray Edition

7.  The Colette Cropped Wide Leg Pant by Maeve

8.  Remi Ribbed Tank

9.  Chuck Taylor All Star Floral Tapestry

10.  Collins Top

That's it for me this week.  What's caught your eye?

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday: Katharine, The Wright Sister

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a soon to be released novel I can't wait to read.

This week's pick: Katharine, The Wright Sister by Tracey Enerson Wood

Due out September 10, 2024

Synopsis take from Amazon:

She helped her brothers soar… but was the flight worth the fall?

 It all started with two boys and a bicycle shop. Wilbur and Orville Wright, both unsuited to college and disinclined to leave home, jumped on the popular new fad of bicycle riding and opened a shop in Dayton, Ohio. Repairing and selling soon led to tinkering and building as the brothers offered improved models to their eager customers. Amid their success, a new dream began to take shape. Engineers across the world were puzzling over how to build a powered flying machine―and Wilbur and Orville wanted in on the challenge. But their younger sister, Katharine, knew they couldn't do it without her. The three siblings made a pact: the three of them would solve the problem of human flight.

 As her brothers obsessed over blueprints and risked life and limb testing new models on the sand beaches of North Carolina, Katharine became the mastermind behind the scenes of their inventions. She sourced materials, managed communications, and kept Wilbur and Orville focused on their goal―even when it seemed hopeless. And in 1903, the Wright brothers made the first controlled, sustained flight of humankind.

What followed was the kind of fame and fortune the Wrights had never imagined. The siblings traveled the world to demonstrate their invention, trained other pilots, and built new machines that could fly higher and farther. But at the height of their success, tragedy wrenched the Wright family apart… and forced Katharine to make an impossible choice that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

 From internationally bestselling author Tracey Enerson Wood, Katharine, the Wright Sister is an unforgettable novel that shines a spotlight on one of the most important and overlooked women in history, and the sacrifices she made so that others might fly.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Friday Five: Summer Sales Are Happening

 Over the Fourth I started seeing sales for some of the items I've been looking at for a while.  I've only ordered a couple items, but I'm using great restraint. 

Here are the things I've found this week:

1.  Rugby Jersey Dress

2.  Short Sleeve Crinkle Satin Maxi Dress

3.  One Shoulder Traveler Mini Dress

4.  Essential Vintage Sunday Half-Zip

5. Mid Rise Easy Cargo Pants

6.  Frayed Boyfriend Shorts in Washed Black Wash

7.  Forever Soft Sarong MiniDress

8.  Banff National Park Sweatshirt

9.  Baum and Pferdgarten Casie Ashleigh Crochet Mini Dress

10.  Sprint on Netflix

That's it for me this week. What's caught your eye?

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday: Tell Me Everything

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a soon to be released title I can't wait to read.

This week's pick: Tell Me Everything by Elizabeth Strout

Due out August 13, 2024

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

With her “extraordinary capacity for radical empathy” (The Boston Globe), remarkable insight into the human condition, and silences that contain multitudes, Elizabeth Strout returns to the town of Crosby, Maine, and to her beloved cast of characters—Lucy Barton, Olive Kitteridge, Bob Burgess, and more—as they deal with a shocking crime in their midst, fall in love and yet choose to be apart, and grapple with the question, as Lucy Barton puts it, “What does anyone’s life mean?”

It’s autumn in Maine, and the town lawyer Bob Burgess has become enmeshed in an unfolding murder investigation, defending a lonely, isolated man accused of killing his mother. He has also fallen into a deep and abiding friendship with the acclaimed writer Lucy Barton, who lives down the road in a house by the sea with her ex-husband, William. Together, Lucy and Bob go on walks and talk about their lives, their fears and regrets, and what might have been. Lucy, meanwhile, is finally introduced to the iconic Olive Kitteridge, now living in a retirement community on the edge of town. They spend afternoons together in Olive’s apartment, telling each other stories. Stories about people they have known—“unrecorded lives,” Olive calls them—reanimating them, and, in the process, imbuing their lives with meaning.

Brimming with empathy and pathos, 
Tell Me Everything is Elizabeth Strout operating at the height of her powers, illuminating the ways in which we our relationships keep us afloat. As Lucy says, “Love comes in so many different forms, but it is always love.”

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Friday Five: The End of June

June is almost a done deal.  Yesterday was the last day of summer school, and tomorrow we fly to Montana to visit my brother-in-law and niece and for two of my daughters and husband to run a half-marathon.  It's a short trip, but it will be good to get away, and I like so many things about Missoula.  We are limited on luggage, so my biggest worry is which books I can take - unfortunately I'll be needing to rely mostly on my kindle.  

Here are some things that caught my eye this week:

1.  Ruffle Trim Button Up Shirt in Linen

2. Striped Dolman Sleeved Shirt

3.  Petite Metallic Dobby Halter Flare Dress

4.  Maeve Short-Sleeve Ruffle Yoke Blouse

5.  Maeve Halter Midi Sundress

6.  Lux Intentions Jumpsuit

7.  Boatneck Sweater

9.  Tried and True Chambray Shirt

10.  Federer on Prime

That's it for me this week. What's caught your eye?

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday: Three Keys

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a soon to be released title I can't wait to read.

This week's pick: Three Keys by Laura Pritchett

Due out July 16, 2024

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

Becoming invisible is painful . . . unless you know how to work it.

Ammalie Brinks has just lost the three keys of her life’s purpose—her husband, her job, and her role as a mom, after her son went off to college. She’s also mystified to find herself in middle age: How exactly had 
that happened? The terrifying idea of becoming irrelevant, invisible, of letting her life slip away Into obscurity, has her driving distracted through Nebraska with a broken plastic fork in her tangled hair.

But what Ammalie has found are three literal keys, saved in a drawer for years, from her and her husband’s past. They are the keys to homes that she hopes will be empty—and plans on spending time in. Embarking on an international and increasingly complicated journey (criminal behavior turns out to be challenging!), she seeks to find a life truly her own. And that middle-age business? As someone breaking the law, Ammalie finds there's a real benefit to being invisible when you’re working on becoming the striking, bold, and very much manifested self you want to be.

Laura Pritchett, winner of the PEN USA Award for Fiction and the Colorado Book Award, offers a delightful exploration of the very serious business of living a full and honest life. Filled with love, heartbreak, and misdemeanors, 
Three Keys tackles the unavoidable sorrows and joys experienced during a second coming of age with the zest and vigor that it deserves.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Monday Mini Reviews: A Month of Record Breaking Reading

 This month the stars have aligned and I have read a record number of books - and most of them have been great.

This past week I enjoyed Lula Dean's Little Library of Banned Books by Kirsten Miller.  This will probably be one of my favorite books of the year.  First of all, I love anything about books.  The humor had me chuckling out loud, and I loved the many residents of the small town who were affected by Lula Dean's book ban.  As most books seem to these days, there's an agenda that Miller has with her story, but it wasn't so pervasive that I couldn't enjoy the reading experience.  This is the book that our local book club will be reading for July.

These three are among my favorites for June as well.  

Margo's Got Money Troubles by Rufi Thorpe is a unique story about a young woman who tries to make a living after she finds out she is pregnant.  The possibilities she has aren't plentiful so she comes up with some unique ways to generate income. I wasn't sure what to think about this one, but I loved it.  And now I need to pick up Thorpe's first book.

Anna Bright Is Hiding Something by Susie Orman Schnall is a fictional story that closely resembles the real life story of Elizabeth Holmes, an American biotech entrepreneur, who defrauded investors out of millions of dollars. I have read anything I could get my hands on about Holmes as well as listened to a podcast and watched the Hulu series about her.  I read this in one sitting and couldn't put it down.  I'd hand this to anyone who is looking for something entertaining and fast.

Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan is Monaghan's third book, and is as fantastic as her first (her second was good as well).  I love a good rom-com and Monaghan has the formula for this perfected.  Ali Morris is in the process of divorcing and even wearing hard pants seems like a lot of effort.  When her dog pees on a guy at the dog park, the two start a conversation and end up hanging out once.  There are obstacles in the way, of course, but they don't seem contrived or unrealistic.  I'm always OK with already knowing how things will end in a rom-com and this one was delightful.  I don't necessarily love when authors churn books out a rapid pace, but I do hope there is another one in the works already.


I can't believe we are in the last full week of June.  In just a few days I'll be looking over the list of books I've read this year and picking out my favorites.