It’s Monday! What are You reading?

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme,  It’s Monday! What are You Reading?, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

I have continued to write every day and still working on stories, and on a memoir.

As I get closer to the end of the year , I am trying hard to finishe several of the reading challenges I participate in and I got a few read for them this month.

II read 7 books– 2 historical romance novels, a romance, a non-fiction, a woman’s fiction, an historical fiction and an inspirational reread.

The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis. I loved this dual timeline novel. This was for a challenge read (WWI novel) but it was the favourite of the month. Ellis is a new to me author who I will definitely read again.

Santa Cruise by Fern Michaels. Read this for a challenge and did enjoy it.

Rebirth by Kate Brenton, I read this for a WOW blog tour as I will be reviewing it on the 8th. I really enjoyed it – found this non-fiction to be quite inspirational at times.

The Boy, the Mole , the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. This was my inspirational reread and I LOVE it. I follow the author on Instagram and know that I will reread this book every year.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe by Ella Quinn. An historical romance I enjoyed, by another a new to me author who I will read again.

The Merry Mishap by Ruth Pendleton. An enjoyable contemporary romance novella.

What a Lady Needs for Christmas by Grace Burrowes – another enjoyable read by one of my favourite authors.

What I’m Reading Now 

The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

What I am Reading Next

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (found it!)

NF Nov.: Week 4 – Worldview Changers

Here we are at Week 4 of Nonfiction November with host Rebekah of She Seeks Nonfiction.

It is an intriguing topic and asks questions to guide us:

What nonfiction book (or books) has impacted the way you see the world in a powerful way?

Do you think there is one book that everyone needs to read for a better understanding of the world we live in?

One book that I found quite powerful was Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Why can’t we be more joyful? We definitely should be.

“In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive while another fosters acceptance and delight–and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.” (from Goodreads)

The Age of Creativity by Emily Urguhart was a fascinating memoir and made me think about creativity as a senior in a good way. Gave me hope, as I age.

“With the eye of a memoirist and the curiosity of a journalist, Urquhart began an investigation into late-stage creativity, asking: Is it possible that our best work is ahead of us? Is there an expiry date on creativity? Do we ever really know when we do anything for the last time?” (from Goodreads)

Maria Shriver’s book I’ve Been Thinking… was a powerful book, full of insights, quotes and wisdom.

“In this moving and powerful book, she shares inspiring quotes, prayers, and reflections designed to get readers thinking, get them feeling, get them laughing, and help them in their journey to what she calls The Open Field–a place of acceptance, purpose, and passion–a place of joy.”

When I chose these books for this post, I really was just thinking about how much I enjoyed reading them. Yet they all have to do with capturing what you love, what gives you joy. And that is something we all need to hold on to, especially in this crazy world where intolerance and hate seem to be flourishing.

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, It’s Monday! What are You Reading?, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

I have continued to write every day and still working on stories, and on a memoir.

I have created most days and I am pleased with that.

The Grey Cup is playing in the background. there is still a bit of snow on the ground and it is coollld. But we are warm and enjoying Grey Cup snacks.

I read 4 books– 2 historical romance novels and 2 romance novellas.

I read 2 historical romances by Grace Burrowes to finish the series – so enjoyed the whole series.

The Truth about Dukes

How To Catch a Duke 

I read 2 romance novellas by Nora Roberts (in the anthology Christmas Everlasting, both of which were quick, okay reads.

Local Hero

All I Want for Christmas

What I’m Reading Now 

Santa Cruise by Fern Michaels

Life Class by Pat Barker

Phosphorescence by Julia Baird ( a NF slow-read)

What I am Reading Next

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (If I ever find my copy!)

Nonfiction Month: Week 3 – Stranger Than Fiction

Welcome to Week #3 of Nonfiction November 2022:

This week it is looking at non-fiction that is stranger than fiction. This week’s host is Christopher from “Plucked from the Stacks

Two books I will focus on are books that my writing partner Linda and I have been reading and both definitely have strange elements.

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs was a hunorous read at times and definitely had me shaking my head.

“Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the hundreds of less-publicised rules. The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal, and will make you see history’s most influential book with new eyes. ” (from Goodreads)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. A memoir that is unbelievable at times, but shocking as well, at times.

“A tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.” (from Goodreads)

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, It’s Monday! What are You Reading?, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

I am continuing to write every day and although it is usually around 500 words, I am still writing. I am working on stories, staring a novel and on a memoir.

I have created most days and I am pleased with that.

Well, woke up to white stuff this morning. The temperatures have sure dropped. Ugh. Winter is trying to arrive early.

I read 5 adult books and 2 pix books– 3 historical romance novels , i non-fiction and a romance.

A Duke to Die For by Amelia Grey. I’m really enjoying this historical romance series

2 historical romances by Anne Gracie in her Rogues series. Iso enjoyed them both – and sad now the series is finished.

Marry in Secret

Marry in Scarlet

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. I read this with my writing partner and found so much humour in it. An interesting read for sure.

Wounded Grump by Stella Banks. I read this for the Novella reading challenge – an okay, quick read. (Was a free read from the author, no cover pox)

2 pix books which were both excellent.

Because You Are by Jael Richardson illus. by Nneka Myers

I Hear You Ocean by Kallie George illus by Carmen Mak

What I’m Reading Now 

Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan

How To Catch a Duke by Grace Burrowes

Phosphorescence by Julia Baird ( a NF slow-read)

What I am Reading Next

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Non-Fiction Month Week 2: N-F – F Pairings

It is Week 2 of Nonfiction November and is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey.

This week we are to pair a fiction and nonfiction book:

It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.”

I have chosen 3 fiction books I have read and have paired them with a non-fiction book that focuses on similar issues.

  1. Fiction: The Maid by Nita Prose and Non-fiction: Life on the Autism Spectrum by Karen McKibbin

Fiction: The Maid by Nita Prose

This was a fascinating read. So enjoyed it.

“Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed.”

Life on the Autism Spectrum by Karen McKibbin

Haven’t read this but I am eager to, especially as I have taught girls who I was sure were on the spectrum.

Why is Autism Spectrum Disorder so misunderstood in girls and women and why do so many go under the radar without the support that they need? This practical guide explains the unique issues that affect females with autism and provides tools and strategies that girls, women and their families can use in day-to-day life.”

2. Fiction The Princess Bride by William Goldman and As You Wish by Cary Elwes

I so enjoyed these two books. Although I had seen the movie at least a dozen times, I hadn’t read the novel until last year.

Fiction: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I loved the movie so I’m not sure why it took me so long to read the book. Such humour.

“As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.”

Non-Fiction : As You Wish by Cary Elwes

Loved the movie, loved the novel and definitely loved this memoir that took us behind the scenes of the movie.

“From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.”

3. Fiction: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd Non-Fiction: The Map Thief by Michael Blanding

Fiction: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

I so enjoyed this magical realism novel.

“Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating.”

Non-Fiction: The Map Thief by Michael Blanding

I’ve always had a fascination with maps and after reading The Cartographers, this looks like a real-life mystery to be savoured.

The Map Thief interweaves Smiley’s escapades with the stories of the explorers and mapmakers he knew better than anyone. Tracking a series of thefts as brazen as the art heists in Provenance and a subculture as obsessive as the oenophiles in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Blanding has pieced together an unforgettable story of high-stakes crime. “

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, It’s Monday! What are You Reading?, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

I’ve started NaNoWriMo and have been writing every day. That was my goal for the month – to write daily, even if it was only 500 words. But I have written 3 short stories and 2 picture books. Not a bad start.

It is also AEDM (Art Every Day Month) and I have created 5 out of 6 days so far. Not too bad.

I am also participating in 20 Books for Christmas, Novella November and Non-fiction November

I read 6 books – 2 historical romance novels , 3 women’s fiction and a romance.

Duke By any Other Name by Grace Burrowes

Snowed in For Christmas by Sarah Morgan. So enjoyed this family drama. Morgan is one of my favourite authors and she didn’t disappoint.

The Invitation by Vi Keeland. I borrowed this from Hoopla and loved it. Will be reading more of this author.

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry. Another favourite author – I am reading her back list and so enjoyed this one.

The Earl Next Door by Amelia Grey. Another enjoyable historical romance in her series.

Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day. A novella that was unexpected and enjoyable.

What I’m Reading Now 

Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan

A Duke to Die For by Amelia Grey

Phosphorescence by Julia Baird ( a NF slow-read)

What I am Reading Next

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Non-Fiction November – Week 1

It’s time for Nonfiction November, starting with my ‘Year in Nonfiction’, hosted by Doing Dewey 

I read 14 non-fiction books this year so far.

Doing Dewey has set some questions about our reading this past year::

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

There were several favourite reads this past year, but 3 stood out:

The Age of Creativity by Emily Urquhart

Becoming by Michelle Obama

As You Wish by Cary Elwes,

Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?

I prefer memoir or autobiography.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

I have recommended several but especially the three listed above.

What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November? 

I really enjoy the recommendations from other bloggers. So many great books to discover.

“OurOwn Backyard” Challenge – Part 4 (Fall)

Welcome to the “Our Own Backyard” challenge, in which my friend Linda and I have been sharing pictures of our yards during the seasons. This is our last season to share – fall.

Same City
2 Friends
2 Yards

The idea was to document a part of our backyards every season for a year. Linda chose to document her beautiful linden tree. Even though I have a huge evergreen in my yard, I am choosing to highlight the gardens in my front yard and now, with my back gardens as well. 

With fall now here, and a variety of changeable weather, flowers have withered, although some weeds still prosper.

The garden to the left of the front door is flowerless, altho still green. It also holds our jack-o’lantern for Hallowe’en night.

To the right of the door is the garden where the lilies bloomed, is now seen them all cut down. Even the coneflowers are withered..

The garden in the middle of the yard has had the peonies cut down as well as the other plants.

Our raised garden has a few tomato plants still sporting a few green tomatoes and some large kohlrabi .. What a harvest of tomatoes this year..

Beside this garden, the asparagus has grown and finished. .

Our huge evergreen has had a trim, but is also sprouting so many cones.

Head on over to Linda’s blog to see what’s she’s documented this season.

I’d love to see something from your yard.