Sorry kids, no feet.

I'm a reader raising voracious readers. To mock my children, I have recently quit my job so  I can stay at home and read all day. I enjoy caffeinated beverages, short walks to the library, and long walks down aisles of used book stores. 

BL-opoly Assistance Needed

My recently BL-opoly roll has landed me on the dog token. My task is to create a poll. As I'm leaving for a place with very limited internet availability later today, I'm likely to select the book with the most votes by 5-ish this afternoon (CST - USA).


I already have a pile of 4 books I was considering taking with me. The decision regarding what to read first is going to be entirely up to my BL friends.


I don't have the time to fiddle with creating a real poll. I'm just making a list and I trust friends to comment. 


Books to Choose From:


A Talent for Murder (Agatha Christie #1) - Andrew Wilson


Fortune's Fool (Pliny the Younger #6) - Albert A Bell Jr.


The Huntress - Kate Quinn


And They Called it Camelot - Stephanie Marie Thornton

Death of an Eye (Eye of Isis #1) - Dana Stabenow

Death of An Eye - Dana Stabenow

We're suppose to leave to go camping until Monday later this afternoon. My to-do list is a few miles long. I sent my husband off to swimming lessons with the girls intending to knock a few things off said list without interruptions. Instead, I finished a book without interruptions. I regret nothing. 


This is one of the better introductory novels I've read in a long time. Normally first books in a series don't get anything better than three stars from me. I tend to take two or three books to decide if I think a series is going to be worth the time. This book seems to be a rare exception. I know after the first novel, I'm absolutely going to be continuing on with this series and these characters. 


For starters there's Cleopatra. I'm developing a pretty huge girl crush on her lately. This Cleopatra is bold, cunning, and smarter than everyone in the room. She knows exactly what she has to do to get what she wants and she's not afraid to step on anyone to get it. I realize things don't really work out for her in the end. For the moment, I'm rolling with this Cleopatra. You'd be foolish not to.


Then there's this mystery surrounding stolen coin. Stolen coin doesn't seem like such a big deal on the surface. Once you get into all of the things this coin in particular means to the kingdom of Egypt, you understand why getting it back is such a big deal. Nothing is quite what it seems but everything is related. It's complicated without being confusing. Something I personally haven't seemed to master. 


Finally there's Stabenow herself. I've only read one other Stabenow work about China and the Silk Road. At the end I found myself less than impressed. I've never read any of her popular Kate Shugak series. After this, I'm tempted to start tomorrow. Stabenow is quick and to the point. There's a mystery. There's danger. There's intrigue. The amazing part is she manages to handle everything in less than 300 pages. Stabenow seems to know just how much detail the reader needs and exactly when to cut it off. Nothing is drawn out. Not once was I left muttering "Did I really need to know that?" Short and to the point. Again, not something I've figured out how to accomplish on my own. 


Personal kudos to me for knocking out a review in a record time. I suppose that means I can move on to my to-do list. Or I can map out my next BL-opoly roll. Or I can stand in front of my bookshelves and wonder which books are going to accompany me camping. 



Dates read 6/25/2020 - 6/30/2020

Book 43/75

Reading progress update: I've read 13%.

Death of An Eye - Dana Stabenow

Three pages of characters names.


A mc who is calling Cleopatra 'Pati' because they are old friends. 


This could be interesting. 

The Paragon Hotel - Lyndsay Faye

The Paragon Hotel - Lyndsay Faye

Let's mourn only for our losses. And never for the things we haven't lost quite yet. We already have an entire language that would be dead if you were.


Let's make it last.





This just might be one of my favorite final lines (Fine. Technically two lines.) in any book every. So good. Ugh. Lyndsay Faye is rapidly climbing my list of must-read authors. 


Everything about this book was just. so. good. The characters were brilliant, complicated, hot messes. The interwoven story lines about the struggles of the Paragon Hotel residents and Nobody's time with the Mafia kept me on my toes. More than once I had to force myself to only read two chapters so I wouldn't get lost in this book. I actually had places to be this week. 


And then there was that end. I've gotten pretty good at predicting how things are going to end. Wow was I wrong. I did not see that end coming. 




Read 6/14/2020-6/24-2020

Book 41/75


My 11 year old is in desperate need of new things to read. Without being able to actually go into a library and browse shelves, we're struggling. She really, really wants to read the Hunger Games novels. However, I'm being a mean mom and not letting her read them. She struggled with the violence in the 7th Harry Potter novel. There were nightmares. She was upset for days. It was bad. So I'm saying no to Hunger Games for now.


She tried LOTR. She didn't like it. She read the first two Chronicles of Narnia books. She didn't like them. We've done all the Percy Jackson books. She loved Little Women but didn't like Anne of Green Gables. I tried to get her into the Black Stallion novels but she doesn't really care for horses.


She wants to try the Disney Twisted Tale series as well as the Villains series. She's on the waiting list at the library. Has anyone read those? Should they be alright for us? 


Any other suggestions? She's read so much. I can hardly keep up. She does like Historical Fiction like her mother. She was constantly bringing WWII fiction home from school. 

Reading progress update: I've read 186 out of 432 pages.

The Paragon Hotel - Lyndsay Faye

"We go through our lives, so many of us, as fractions of ourselves, with all the other puzzle pieces buried where no on can see them. But there's the paradox and do forgive me for flights metaphorical - we're all of us fractured jigsaws, but we're also the entire picture no matter how far away we walk from what's hidden." 


This book is a hard read. Not because it's not well written or because the characters aren't lively, emotional human beings. It's hard because it's too relevant. The book takes place in 1921. However, the way people of colored are being treated by the world around them? It doesn't seem all that historical. 


The Mirror and the Light (Thomas Cromwell #3) - Hilary Mantel

The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel


POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW (Spoilers for Little Women, not The Mirror and the Light. I know that sounds weird. Just go with it.)







There's an episode of Friends where Rachel finds a copy of The Shinning in Joey's freezer. The discussion that follows leads to Joey reading Rachel's favorite book Little Women. Eventually there's an incident that ends with Rachel spoils the book for Joey by telling him Beth dies. A shocked Joey exclaims "Is that true?!? If I keep reading will Beth die?!?" His friends assure him this isn't actually true. Later we find a distressed Joey. "Beth is really sick. Jo is there but I don't think it's going to matter." 


The Mirror and the Light was my Little Women. For the last 150 pages, I was Joey. "If I keep reading, will Cromwell die?!?" Just because I knew it was coming, doesn't mean I was ready for it. Now I'm not entirely sure what I should do with my life.



---I had so many more thoughts on this book. However, BL decided to eat my review three times and I don't have the patience to deal with it right now.-----



Dates read 4/14/2020-6/18/2020

Book 40/75

BL-opoly Roll 3 (and 4)

I rolled doubles. 


The first space I landed on was - 


I'm definitely doing a task for this space. 

Task- Read a book set on the continent of Africa

Book- Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow or The Hippopotamus Marsh by Pauline Gedge (whichever one gets here first)


Since I rolled doubles, I rolled again.


I landed on -


I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do a task for this space. I need to go through my TBR and see what I've got. I'm also trying to do a 50 book challenge for the summer. That list has already been created and is locked until July 1st. 


Bank to this point - $27

I have all of this in my book journal.  


Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel García Márquez

First of all, I need to thank Themis for recommending this masterpiece of a story. Themis is also the person who shall be blamed for the expansion in my TBR as I add all of Marquez's work. 


In the hands of another author, this story would have been four times as long, drawn out, and boring. Marquez manages to capture so much in so few pages. It's quite a feat. I had sworn to myself I wasn't going to just binge through this book in a day. Chalk that up to yet another promise I've broken. Oops.



Weighed in the Balance (William Monk #7) - Anne Perry

Weighed in the Balance - Anne Perry

I like the Monk series more than the Pitt series. However, Perry's constantly coincidences are starting to get a little obnoxious. In the Pitt series it's how Emily and Charlotte always seem to find themselves at the party of a suspect before they even know Thomas is investigated said suspect. In the Monk novels, it's how Hester always finds that final piece of the puzzle because of one of her clients. Even over 100 years ago, you can't convince me London was that small. I would believe you if you tried to argue that Perry is the ultimate believer in the Kevin Bacon theory. 


Once again, I find myself completely immersed in the courtroom drama. Rathborne is really the star of these books.



Dates read 6/13/2020-6/14/2020


Book 38/75

Devil Dance (Jade del Cameron #7) - Suzanne Arruda

Devil Dance: A Jade del Cameron Mystery (Volume 7) - Suzanne Arruda

This book being the end of the Jade del Cameron series was the book equivalent of the 10th season of Friends. Or that stupid made for TV movie that was supposed to be the big wrap up for CSI.


So disappointing. 

At the risk of jinxing things.......

I was just able to use the search and add book function like normal........


Maybe something finally clicked? Maybe I'm an anomaly? 


There's only one way to find out. 




BL-opoly Roll #2








BOOK READ: Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel Garcia Marquez


DATE FINISHED: 6/14/2020


BANK TOTAL: $27.00


BL-opoly Roll #1

I'm finally getting around to creating a "real" roll post. Better late than never.










TASK: Read a book that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X

BOOK TO BE READ: Belgrave Square (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt #12) - Anne Perry

DATE FINISHED: 6/10/2020

BANK TOTAL: $25.00



Belgrave Square (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt 12) - Anne Perry

Belgrave Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #12) - Anne Perry

These books are so much better when Charlotte and Emily are reduced to background characters. I can only handle so many pages of society scandals. When Thomas is working on his own without the constant meddling assistance of his wife and sister-in-law, the procedure part of the mystery is so much more satisfying. 


One thing I always get a kick out of with these books is the character names. I've worked in a school before. I'm familiar with unusual names. However, the names in Perry's books are something just a little more. Sholto. Beulah. And my personal favorite, Theophania. I'm not overly familiar with the naming practices of English residents but there is something to be said for having characters with names outside of Elizabeth, Mary, Henry, or George. This coming from a mother who has an Elizabeth in her own house. 



Dates Read 6/7/2020-6/9/2020

Book 36/75

Outside of Reading

There are a lot of reasons for my lack of reading lately. Current events aside, one of the more time consuming reasons has been landscaping projects. These are projects I've been putting off for nearly five years now. I finally have time to do the work and my children are big enough that I can really dig in (pun intended) to something without worrying what kind of shenanigans they are causing. They are also big enough to be put to work. 


Just a few of the things I've done so far. 

At some point, I'd really love to rip all of this up and make a small deck or gazebo in this corner. For the time being, flowers are what I can afford. 


I'm not quite finished with this project yet. I'm working on a piece of garden art that is going to go in the center of the hostas.