Monday, September 16, 2019

Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a topic near and dear to my heart, but a difficult topic for me to discuss with those outside of very close family members and friends.

10 years ago, I went in for a routine blood draw and during my drive home afterward, I began feeling a plethora of disturbing symptoms: numbness, tingling, swelling, and pain at the blood draw site that radiated/spread into my forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers. 

The symptoms steadily grew worse on my drive home to the point that I could no longer close my hand and make a fist shortly after arriving home. My fingers looked like fat, red sausages and my hand and wrist were swollen beyond belief. 

New symptoms kept appearing: sweaty palm, intense burning sensations, waxy/shiny skin that made my fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm look like they belonged on a mannequin, and several other forms of pain. I was in constant pain 24/7 and in a lot of distress over what was going on.

After seeing my primary care physician, having an ultrasound, a MRI, and seeing 2 to 3 different specialists, I was finally diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) 2 to 3 months after the blood draw that caused it. 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is not curable, but can go into remission. There is loads of information about it online and not all of the information is positive.

Long story short, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has been a difficult journey with various highs and lows. I've recently had a pretty bad flare up (which is still ongoing) beginning in early August 2019 that has kept me from doing much blogging and other basic daily activities without some assistance. I've given up on knitting and several other activities for the time being as well. 

So if you don't see me posting much on my blog or responding to comments you leave for me... or don't find me commenting on your blog posts... please don't take it personally. I'm currently on a healing journey.

I've recently read Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris and have come away with a renewed outlook regarding CRPS. I am armed with new information and look forward to trying some new protocols. Onward I MUST go!!

Here's a summary for Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris from Amazon:
Imagine if the mere breeze of an air conditioner on your skin were to cause excruciating pain. For those suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), previously called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), this crippling neuropathic pain poses an unrelenting reality. With symptoms such as swelling, hypersensitivity, stiffness, burning pain, and temperature abnormalities, CRPS can develop at any time and quickly leaves its victims disabled and isolated.
This book explains CRPS in an accessible style for all readers, providing the latest medical treatments, complementary therapies, and holistic coping strategies for maximizing the potential for healing. Readers will find a wealth of tips on life modifications to help better manage their condition. They'll find two interviews with practitioners who offer insights every patient should know, with the help of pain specialist Edward Carden, MD, and occupational therapist and neurological acupuncturist Sheri Barnes. They'll find a discussion of complementary therapies to tailor to their needs. They'll find a list of "dynamite distractions" that can refresh the pain-wracked mind and help readers rediscover their imagination and humor, when they just need to take their mind off the illness. They'll draw hope from real patient testimonies on techniques for transforming the pain and discomfort of CRPS. They'll find a chapter addressed to loved ones, providing advice and support in their difficult roles as encouragers and caregivers. Finally, readers will find information on how everyone can help to increase CRPS awareness, and an extensive list of resources to help patients and caregivers begin to connect with the support available.
CRPS remains a mysterious, poorly understood condition and few books about it exist, as knowledge of the syndrome continues to evolve. Previously, the condition was called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). This second, retitled edition to the original Positive Options for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD): Self-help and Treatment (2004) is chock-full of new information, reflecting a decade's worth of advancements following the popular debut of the book's first edition.
I am giving Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Author, Ann Patchett's Bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee


Wow, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee looks like a really cool, independent bookstore!! The website for Parnassus Books is well done, so check out their website by clicking on the above link.

If I ever visit Nashville, Tennessee, I'll have to stop by Parnassus Books. 

Check out the above video to learn more.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - The Ten Books In My 'TBR' I’ve Avoided Reading and Why!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Below are the Top Ten Books In My TBR I’ve Avoided Reading and Why.

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Duma - I have the unabridged audio version of this novel and the listening time for it is 43 hours, 52 minutes!! I've heard nothing but great things about this classic novel, BUT the time it will take to listening to it seems like a lot of time to devote to a single novel.

2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I was a Russian language major in college and love Russian classic novels. Believe it or not, I have yet to read Anna KareninaI have the unabridged audio version of this novel and the listening time for it is 35 hours, 35 minutes!! I've heard nothing but great things about this classic novel, BUT the time it will take to listening to it seems like a lot of time to devote to a single novel!!!

3. Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell - I have the unabridged audio version of this saga and the listening time for it is 30 hours, 9 minutes!! This is another one of those long books by a new to me author and it seems daunting to listen to a novel because of its length.

4. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl - I picked up an autographed copy of this novel at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona shortly after it came out in 2006. I thought the title was catchy and it sounded like a great novel, but I have yet to read this novel. I am not sure why I haven't read this book yet.

5. Encounter With Tiber by Buzz Aldrin & John Barnes - Okay, I had the wonderful opportunity of briefly meeting Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, at an author signing event in 1996 for his above mentioned novel. (I even had my photograph taken with him!! How cool is that??) Of course, I had Buzz Aldrin sign his book for me at the event as well... (I think the author signing event was at a Barnes and Noble in San Diego???) But the fact is, I've never read Encounter With Tiber to this day!! Looking back on it now, I think I was just happy to have met Buzz Aldrin in person, have my photo taken with him, and have a signed book by him. Encounter With Tiber is a science fiction novel. I've never been much of a science fiction fan. Plus, it is a long book at over 500 pages, which is another reason why I've never read the book. I've kept Encounter With Tiber all of these years. Maybe I should read it to see if it is any good!

6. The Devil's Company by David Liss  - I picked up the autographed, hardback edition of The Devil's Company at an indie bookstore over 5 years ago. I had heard great things about David Liss's writing, so when I found an autographed copy of his above mentioned novel, I bought it. What I didn't realize at the time was that The Devil's Company is the 3rd novel in a series!! I generally don't like starting novels that are in the middle of a series. I haven't felt like buying the 1st two novels in the series and starting the series from the beginning. I have a feeling that this novel will remain unread. I am thinking of selling it online.

7. The 5-Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman by Carmindy - I use to love watching the television series, 'What Not To Wear'. I thought the make-up artist, Carmindy, always did a good job applying make-up for guests on the show, making them look natural. So when I discovered that Carmindy had come out with a make-up book several years ago, I decided to buy it to learn a few tricks as I'd never been much of a make-up wearer. Long story short, I've never read the book (yet), mainly because I haven't worn make-up the last 6 years. But I may return to wearing make up again in the years to come, so have kept the book in my collection.

8. S by J. J. Abrams - I remember learning about this book before it had been published in October 2013. I knew I had to obtain a copy of S once it was released and read it asap. It sounded to intriguing and unique not to read and keep in my personal collection. Why I still haven't read this book yet is a mystery to me!

9. Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos by Ed Hardy - For the record, I have no tattoos, nor do I ever plan to obtain any tattoos. However, during the past 20 to 25 years, it seems like everyone from every walk of life is having themselves tattooed. 

Ed Hardy is one of the well known tattoo artists that have made a big name for himself. Interested in popular culture, I decided to acquire a copy of his memoir to learn about his life. Somewhere along the way, I lost interest in reading Ed Hardy's memoir. BUT, there is still hope that I may end up reading Hardy's memoir after all... I recently learned that the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California has an Ed Hardy exhibit now through early October of this year. Maybe if I see the exhibit, I will become inspired once again to read this memoir.

10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I started reading this novel years ago after watching the movie, but I gave up on it roughly 20-30 pages into it as I just couldn't get into at the time. I've never tried reading it again. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been such a popular read, so maybe I should give it another try??? 

Maybe I need some inspiration here... Have you read any of the above books?? Is there a single book in particular I should REALLY read this year? Let me know in the comment section below!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Topaz by Leon Uris


I've been wanting to read a novel by Leon Uris for a few years now. I decided to give his novel, Topaz, a try! I ended up listening to the unabridged audio version of Topaz by Leon Uris and narrated by David de Vries.

Listening time for Topaz by Leon Uris is 11 hours, 8 minutes.

I like cold war, spy thrillers and Topaz by Leon Uris fits the bill in spades for this category. Overall, I like the plot, storyline, and character for Topaz. Leon Uris is a master story teller and definitely writes a layered and detailed story. 


David de Vries is an excellent narrator. I'll have to look into other books he has narrated.

My only complaint is that women aren't always portrayed in the most positive light in this novel. Topaz by Leon Uris was published in 1967. So the female characters seem very stereotypical for the time. 

The following is the plot summary for Topaz by Leon Uris from Audible:
A #1 New York Times bestseller, Topaz follows French intelligence chief André Devereaux and NATO intelligence chief Michael Nordstrom.

On the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis in Paris, 1962, Devereaux and Nordstrom uncover Soviet plans to ship nuclear arms. But when nobody acts after sharing his findings, Devereaux becomes the target of an assassination attempt and soon realizes the plot extends far beyond Cuba - and himself.

A thrilling and well-paced novel filled with Cold War intrigue, Topaz features two agents on a journey around the world to save NATO and themselves. A subsequent film based on the novel was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1969.
I am giving Topaz by Leon Uris a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Beloved Author, Toni Morrison, Dies @ Age 88

I discovered this morning in an online article from The New York Times titled, Toni Morrison, Towering Novelist of the Black Experience, Dies at 88 by Margalit Fox, that Novel Prize winning author, Toni Morrison, died yesterday due to complications from pneumonia. In the article, Margalit Fox wrote a lengthy obituary about Toni Morrison's life. Click on the above link to read the full obituary.

I have only read one of Toni Morrison's novels for a college English course, The Bluest Eyes, back in the early 1990s. I've always wanted to read more of her novels. I remember liking The Bluest Eyes at the time... But I cannot remember much of the plot details for this novel now though. I recently placed it on my reread list.

Have you read any of Toni Morrison's novels? If so, which ones have you read? What did you think of the novels you read by Toni Morrison?

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Evolution of the Book!!


The basic evolution of the book is discussed in the above YouTube video. I enjoyed learning some new things by by watching the video. I hope you enjoy watching the video too.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm


I've wanted to read Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm for quite awhile. I am glad that I finally did read this book. It's really well done.

The artwork for Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is phenomenal and really captures a lot of detail making this a worthwhile read! The text that accompanies this novel provides just the right amount of information about the history of uranium and plutonium, fission, the Manhattan Project, the making of the first atomic bomb, the key players in making the first atomic bomb, detonating the first atomic bombs, its aftermath, and so on. 

I highly recommend Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm if you like learning about history and want to know the basics behind the first atomic bomb. Additionally, if you like reading graphic novels in general, then you'll like the artwork inside this book as well. 

I also found the font size of the text in this book to be the perfect size... Usually, I find the font size to be so small in graphic novels, comic and manga books that I need to use a magnifier of some sort to read the text itself!

Below is the publisher's summary of Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm from Amazon:
Trinity, the debut graphic book by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb in World War Two. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Project, and even transports the reader into a nuclear reaction―into the splitting atoms themselves.The power of the atom was harnessed in a top-secret government compound in Los Alamos, New Mexico, by a group of brilliant scientists led by the enigmatic wunderkind J. Robert Oppenheimer. Focused from the start on the monumentally difficult task of building an atomic weapon, these men and women soon began to wrestle with the moral implications of actually succeeding. When they detonated the first bomb at a test site code-named Trinity, they recognized that they had irreversibly thrust the world into a new and terrifying age.With powerful renderings of WWII's catastrophic events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fetter-Vorm unflinchingly chronicles the far-reaching political, environmental, and psychological effects of this new invention. Informative and thought-provoking, Trinity is the ideal introduction to one of the most significant events in history.
I am giving Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, August 2, 2019

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Read of July 2019

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reads and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. This book meme focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc). Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

This week's 50/50 Friday topic is Best/Worst Read of July 2019!! I read 16 books! Still need to write a few reviews though.


My Worst Read of July 2019
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
(Click on above link to read my review)





My Best Reads of July 2019
I have a tie for this category!! 
Two books made the spot for favorite read for July 2019.

(Click on above link to read my review)



(Click on above link to read my review)


Which books were your favorite reads in July 2019?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Daxton by Becca Fanning


Daxton by Becca Fanning is another paranormal romance short story to feature bear shifters. It's approximately 50 pages and is the first in the 120 Proof Honey Series.

I was able to download Daxton by Becca Fanning to my Kindle for FREE from Amazon.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Daxton by Becca Fanning.

The writing and storyline started out really well for Daxton. I liked the main characters. I also liked the tension and and some of the drama... BUT how the drama was handled seemed a bit unrealistic. Additionally, the ending for Daxton was abrupt and felt rushed, which made it lose points with me.

The following is the plot summary for Daxton by Becca Fanning from Amazon:
Blair Mason was a woman with a one-track mind, and that track was work. From sunrise to sun down, all she thought about was how to keep her small town grocery store open. That meant hard decisions, the type Blair was in the midst of making when she was rudely interrupted by a tall man. A tall handsome man. Oh, there were things other than work after all!
Daxton Holt thought getting his honey on Mason's shelves would be simple. Walk in, flash a smile and fill out some paperwork. But this owner was something else. She saw right through his charms, pushing him to really sell his product. He liked that, and he liked her. A feisty little minx is sweeter than any honey his bees made...
I am giving Daxton by Becca Fanning a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Dietrich by Becca Fanning



Dietrich by Becca Fanning is a paranormal romance read. I read the ebook version of Dietrich by Becca Fanning, which is approximately 44 pages... So I guess you could call it a short story!!

I was able to download Dietrich by Becca Fanning for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Dietrich by Becca Fanning.

I thought Dietrich by Becca Fanning was an okay read. It is the first read in the Bear Dating Agency Series and contains bear shifters. I thought the writing was okay and so was the storytelling. Let's just say that this short story is forgettable... I read Dietrich a few days ago and I am already forgetting quite a bit of the plot details. I'll skip reading the rest of the series.

The following is the plot summary for Dietrich by Becca Fanning from Amazon:
Elise Davenport was not having a good night. Just the day before she put her whole career on the line thanks to a few glasses of champagne. Loose lips can sink ships, and they can obliterate your social status. So here she was, stumbling through Fairhaven Park in pitch blackness, looking for the cabin she rented. She'd just hung up the phone with her agent when she heard the rumbling growl come from beside her. Not a good night at all...
Dietrich Best was trying to play it cool. The young lady now sitting next to his Gram looked him up and down, her eyes stopping on his washboard abs. But soon they made their way up, locking with his. She knew. Somehow she knew...
I am giving Dietrich by Becca Fanning a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - FREEBIE - Book Series I'd Like To Catch Up On



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Below are the top ten book series I'd enjoy catching up on in the future!

1. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
2. The Lord John Grey Series by Diana Gabaldon
3. The Blood Destiny Series by Connie Suttle
4. Miss Fortune Mystery Series by Jana DeLeon
5. Tenzing Norbu Mystery Series by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay
6. A Flower Shop Mystery Series by Kate Collins
7. A Mira James Mystery Series by Jess Lourey
8. The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
9. The Coffee House Mystery Series by Cleo Coyle
10. A Hangman's Daughter Tale Series by Oliver Pötzsch

Monday, July 29, 2019

All About The Bear by Bianca D'Arc


All About The Bear by Bianca D'Arc is the first of thirteen books in the Grizzly Cove Series. It's a paranormal romance novella featuring bear shifters. It's also a novella approximately 126 pages in length. 

I was able to download All About The Bear by Bianca D'Arc for FREE to my Kindle.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of All About The Bear by Bianca D'Arc.

I really enjoyed reading All About The Bear. The writing is good/solid. The characters are fun. The storyline and plot details make for fun reading... And there is even some humorous scenes. I enjoyed that there is no cliffhanger ending either. Just a fun easy, breezy, no drama summer read!

Below is the plot summary for All About The Bear by Bianca D'Arc from Amazon:
New town, new people, new…shapeshifters?
In the small, sleepy town of Grizzly Cove, Washington, all is not as it seems. Nell abruptly discovers that she and her sisters are the only humans in a town full of shifters – most of them bears! Knowing nothing about the paranormal creatures all around her, but wanting to know everything about the sexy sheriff who comes to her rescue, Nell has to find her backbone and brace herself to learn All About the Bear.
Can he keep the shifter secret…and the girl, too?
The sheriff of Grizzly Cove has more than the peace to protect. It’ll be up to Sheriff Brody to keep Nell calm and cooperative—and in his bed—for the next fifty years, or so. Yeah, that might be enough. Then again, maybe he’ll keep her forever.
I am giving All About The Bear by Bianca D'Arc a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin


I read the ebook edition of Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin. 

Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin is the first paranormal romance in the 'Dragon In My Heart Series' and is approximately 100 pages in length.

I was able to download Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin to my Kindle for FREE.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this paranormal romance as I think Mad About The Dragon may be the first of anything I've read with a dragon shifter in it. I like paranormal romances in general, but one featuring a dragon shifter would normally not be ones I am drawn to generally. 

With than said, I thought Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin was so-so. I am also NOT interested in reading the rest of the  'Dragon In My Heart Series'. The writing was so-so, the main character, Maia, wasn't consistent in her thinking/actions, and one of the major plot details didn't make sense as to how it could have happened... I don't want to go into the details of that plot snafu as it may be too much of a spoiler for those that may still want to read, Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin. 

Additionally, there's plenty of tension in Mad About The Dragon, loads of action, and a lot of romance, but nothing about this novella would motivate me to keep reading the series... Oh, and the ending of for Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin is flat, blah, boring.

The following is a plot summary for Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin from Amazon:
Love must rise in a desert of adversity...
Maia isn’t your run-of-the-mill lass.
A professional dancer with the Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, her vision is becoming the most skilled dancer of the troupe. Life might have been easier if she just jumped on the pole, becoming the lascivious focus of randy men, and certainly more lucrative in the short term, but that life wasn’t for her.
When she needs to clear her mind, she collects desert glass in the Mojave Desert. But the desert doesn’t always give you what you want. Sometimes it gives you what you need.
A Red Dragon.
Maia had no idea her strange hobby will bring her face-to-face with a freakishly handsome dragon shifter, an encounter that will turn her world on its head.
From the moment she met Ignacio, she knew she was down for the ride. She’d never met anyone with such fiery passion, mystery, and she couldn’t get enough. Who knew that passion would open the floodgates of love, but may also bring about their downfall?
Mad About The Dragon is the first novel in the Dragon In My Heart series, which is a paranormal romance novella. If you’re a fan of thrillers, exciting storylines and steamy love scenes, then get your hands on this exhilarating story by Selene Griffin!
I am giving Mad About The Dragon by Selene Griffin a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights

I'm very interested in the topic of reproductive rights. So, when I came across an article on Bustle's website titled, 15 Nonfiction Books About Reproductive Rights You Should Be Reading Right Now by Kristian Wilson, I decided to check it out. In the article, Kristian Wilson wrote the following:
With health care under fire across the U.S., it can be difficult to parse the negative feelings you're having about the potential revocation of your bodily autonomy. I've picked out 15 nonfiction books about reproductive rights you should be reading right now, because conservatives are inching closer to overturning Roe v. Wade everyday...

Several organizations have already taken legal action against what Planned Parenthood Federation of America V.P. of Government Relations & Public Policy Jacqueline Ayers called the "unethical and dangerous" requirement that "health care providers to withhold important information from patients," but no one can be sure of whether or not their efforts will succeed. Additionally, because of legal challenges against the unconstitutional abortion restrictions and bans that have cropped up around the country over the last two years, Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that secured our right to abortion care, could soon be overturned.
Interestingly enough, I've already read two of the books listed in the above mentioned article...And now, I have more books to add to my ever growing reading wishlist.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I've read and reviewed both; Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker and This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund and Alan Kesselheim. Both books are excellent reads!! Click on the link for each book to read my review of each book.

Friday, July 26, 2019

50/50 Friday - Most Favorite/Least Memoir

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reads and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. This book meme focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc). Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

This week's topic is to share your most/least memoir. I've read a lot of memoirs. Many of the memoirs I loved and others I have not... Deciding on a favorite or least favorite memoir will be tough... Especially, a favorite memoir as I've read so many good ones.


Least Favorite Memoir
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I read this memoir earlier this month and yuck!
(Click above link to read my review.)



Favorite Memoir
My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem
(Click on above link to read my review.)


Which memoirs have you enjoyed reading over the years?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Sister by Poppy Adams


Do you enjoy reading novels with unreliable narrators?? Then I have a novel for you! I recently finished listening to the unabridged audio version of The Sister by Poppy Adams and narrated by Juliet Mills.

Listening time for The Sister by Poppy Adams is 10 hours, 48 minutes.

The Sister by Poppy Adams had been in my 'to be read' pile for over 5 years and I am glad I finally listened to it! It hooks you in from the start all the way through to the end. Juliet Mills is a fabulous narrator and sounds a bit like actress, Judi Dench!

The Sisters is told through the view point of Ginny Stone. The story opens with Ginny waiting for her younger sister, Vivi, to return home after an absence of almost 50 years. As the listener, you feel a sense of excitement, tension/nervousness, and curiosity build while Ginny is waiting for Vivi to arrive home... Vivi is late which only adds to the suspense. All the while we're left wondering why Vivi has been away so long.

As the story unfolds, we learn about the entire Stone family and their deep dark family secrets, Ginny's specific quirks and unusual habits, and of course, and meet Vivi early on in the novel as well. 

Ginny is a little off/unstable and this becomes apparent early on in The Sister. As the storyline progresses, life seems to unravel fairly quickly for Ginny after Vivi's return home. They each have a differing opinion about things that occurred within the family, which lends to the unreliable narrator theme I mentioned earlier. 

I do mot want to give away much more of the plot details, but the end of the novel has a dramatic conclusion.

All I can add is that, I enjoyed The Sister quite a bit. It has a steady, but leisure pace to it.

The following is a plot summary for The Sister by Poppy Adams from Audible:
From her lookout in the crumbling mansion that was her childhood home, Ginny watches and waits for her younger sister to arrive. Vivien has not set foot in the house since she left nearly 50 years ago; the reclusive Ginny has rarely ventured out, retreating into the precise routines that define her days, carrying on her father's solitary work studying moths. 
As the sisters revisit their shared past, they realize that their recollections differ in essential and unsettling ways. Before long, the deeply buried resentments that have shaped both their lives rise to the surface, and Vivien's presence threatens to disrupt Ginny's carefully ordered world.
Told in Ginny's unforgettable voice, this subtle and chilling debut novel tells an extraordinary story of how families are capable of undoing themselves - especially in the name of love.
I am giving The Sister by Poppy Adams a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

My Blog Name in Books Tag

I saw My Blog Name in Books Tag over at The Butterfly Reader's blog!! This book tag looked like so much fun that I wanted to do it too. 



The Rules

Spell out your blog’s name. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. 
You cannot add to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodreads TBR... 
Scratch that!! I don't keep my Goodreads TBR current. So, I am going to select books from my already massive physical TBR here at home.

C - Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers 
A - An Eagle Named Freedom by Jeff Guidry 
P - Poseidon's Steed by Helen Scales Ph.D. 
T - Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick 
I - Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie 
V - Vaccine by Arthur Allen 
A - Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano 
T - Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
E - Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo 
D - Dapper Dan: Made In Harlem by Daniel R. Day 

R - Riven Rock by T. C. Boyle 
E - Enough Already by Mike Iamele 
A - A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka 
D - Down To A Soundless Sea by Thomas Steinbeck 
E - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer 
R - Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

Want to participate in this book tag? Consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Final Stop Albuquerque by Alice Zogg



Final Stop Albuquerque by Alice Zogg is the second mystery novel I've read by the author. I became acquainted with Alice Zogg's writing from Judy @ Keep The Wisdom. I do love a good mystery novel and am very happy that Judy introduced me to Alice Zogg's novels.

Final Stop Albuquerque is the sixth novel in the 'R.A. Huber series' by Ms. Zogg. I really enjoyed reading this novel. I really liked the characters, the plot, and storyline very much.

I did guess whodunnit before the killer was actually revealed, but that was okay by me as the writing was good. There were a few minor scenes that were a tad unrealistic in my opinion, but overall Final Stop Albuquerque by Alice Zogg was a really good read.


Below is the plot summary for Final Stop Albuquerque by Alice Zogg from the author's website:
FINAL STOP ALBUQUERQUE is Alice Zogg’s 6th mystery novel in her R.A. Huber series. Also featured is the sleuth’s dynamic young assistant, Andi, whom the author introduced in “The Fall of Optimum House.” Elena Campione seemed to have vanished into thin air. She had apparently left her South Pasadena residence without telling a soul. The police traced her to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was last seen boarding the shuttle bus to the Balloon Fiesta Park on the last day of the annual balloon festival. Bruno Campione hires R.A. Huber to find his missing wife. The investigation takes Huber to several towns in Arizona and New Mexico, while Andi pries into matters closer to home. When Elena’s body washes up at Lake Havasu, it is no longer a missing person case but a homicide. The women’s probing into the murder puts them both in harm’s way. Huber ends up in the hospital in critical condition, and Andi also barely escapes with her own life.
I am giving Final Stop Albuquerque by Alice Zogg a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars. I look forward to reading other novels in the 'R. A. Huber' series by Alice Zogg.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams


I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams, which I've wanted to read or listen to for over a year now.

Listening time for The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams is 10 hours, 12 minutes.

I enjoyed that The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World was divided into three parts: The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu discuss "their own stories and teachings about joy (first part), the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness (second part), and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives (third part)."  Douglas Carlton Abrams acts as sort of moderator in The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

Honestly, I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it verses listened to it! 

I didn't like the sound of the voices of the voice actors who read for the Dalai Lama's and Desmond Tutu's voices... I found it initially difficult to differentiate between whether it was the Dalai Lama speaking or Desmond Tutu speaking in certain sections of the book. 

I also found that I would want to go back and listen to certain passages again in this book, which was a bit difficult to do with the audio format. If I was reading the printed version, then I could easily reread passages I just read to gain a better understanding or clarification. Plus, I could use book tags to flag passages I would want to refer to again in the future.

Below is the publisher's summary for The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams from Audible:
Two great spiritual masters share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity.
The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together in Dharamsala for a talk about something very important to them. The friends were His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The subject was joy. Both winners of the Nobel Prize, both great spiritual masters and moral leaders of our time, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet.
From the beginning the book was envisioned as a three-layer birthday cake: their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu have been tested by great personal and national adversity, and here they share their personal stories of struggle and renewal. Now that they are both in their 80s, they especially want to spread the core message that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others.

Most of all, during that landmark week in Dharamsala, they demonstrated by their own exuberance, compassion, and humor how joy can be transformed from a fleeting emotion into an enduring way of life.
I am giving The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars. I think I would have given this book a higher review had I read it verses listened to it.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Thousands Of Books Given Away At A Contra Costa County Library!!!


Wow!! Just wow!! I live in Contra Costa County, which is located in Northern California. So, I was beyond thrilled to learn that the Pleasant Hill Public Library was giving away thousands of withdrawn library books for FREE to the public starting Tuesday, July 16th through Saturday, July 20th between the hours of 9am to 4pm. 

All free books were located in the Pleasant Hill Public Library's shipping and receiving area located behind the library itself. The books were being "removed from the library collection due to lack of circulation, poor condition or relevance" according to a news article I read online.



I made my visit to the Pleasant Hill Pubic Library on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 around noon and stayed for quite awhile looking through several boxes of books. There were a plethora of books in boxes to look through during one's visit... It was a massive set up for sure!! Did I look through all of the boxes? Not a chance!! I would have been there for hours if I had.

Lots of people were in attendance perusing the boxes looking for books. Everyone appeared to be hauling off large bags or boxes filled with books. A few people even had rolling bags on wheels to load their books off in.



I captured only a few imagines of the shipping and receiving area at the Pleasant Hill Public Library during my visit as I was fairly busy browsing for books to add to my collection. There was another entire area of books that I didn't even capture photographs of during my time spent at the library.

I came home with a total of 25 books - 6 audiobooks and 19 hardback books. Believe me, as a book lover, I found it difficult to stop at coming home with just 25 books... But the extreme afternoon heat was getting to me. Additionally, I already have so many unread books in my personal collection as it is that stopping at 25 books was probably a good thing! Plus, I don't have much more room in my home to store extra books as it is.




I'm hoping that they will have this wonderful event next year as well. It was fun browsing for free books as you never know just what you'll find and that was the fun of it. I didn't find any books that were on my reading wishlist, but I did grab some books that were by well known authors that look like promising reads.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Read About Women In Space

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar landing. 

To mark the occasion, I am sharing an interesting article I discovered through Bustle's website titled, Read About Women In Space In These 10 Novels & Nonfiction Books About The Final Frontier by Kerri Jarema. In the article, Kerri Jarema wrote the following:
In July 2019, the United States celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Taught in school's across the country, and depicted repeatedly in books, films, and television shows, the moon landing in 1969 — in which astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to step foot on the moon, taking "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" — is one of the most iconic moments in world history. Since the late '60s, the NASA program has continued to make history, with missions like the Mars Exploration Rover ensuring continued interest in the men and women who explore the unknown Final Frontier.
But once you've gotten your fill reading all about Apollo 11 and other major space missions, you might find that you want to keep those galaxy-filled stoties on deck — especially stories about women, who are so often left out of important historical moments. This list of 10 books about women in space contains both fiction and nonfiction picks, with classic must-reads and newer books among them. Whether you want an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi novel set in space, or you want to learn more about the real-life women who have made space their careers, there's something on the list for you:
Click on the top link to discover which books made the list about women in space!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg


I enjoy reading mystery novels. I learned about author, Alice Zogg, from Judy @ Keep The Wisdom. So, I decided to start by reading one of Alice Zogg's standalone novels titled, Accidental Eyewitness.

I enjoyed Alice Zogg's writing style. The storyline and characters for Accidental Eyewitness were interesting and kept my attention throughout the entire novel. I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed at the end of the book. In fact, I was actually kind of surprised by the killer's identity!! Additionally, I thought the killer's reasoning for killing was a bit superficial. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg.

The following is the plot summary for Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg from the author's website:
Kurt Nobel, known as “The Real Estate King,” invites a mixture of odd guests to his mansion on the Isle of Ease for a week of snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and general fun in the sun. The occasion is to celebrate the millionaire’s recent marriage to his new young wife, singer Barbie.
But all is not pure pleasure and merriment on the tropical island. One person plans an intriguing way to commit murder, and may get away with it, if not for the fortuitous eyewitness, eight-year-old Evie Frederique.
I am giving Accidental Eyewitness by Alice Zogg a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta


Lucky me!! I was able to download Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta for FREE to my Kindle from Audible with a special code from the author!!

Listening time for Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta is 4 hours, 48 minutes.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta!!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the unabridged audio version of Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta and narrated by Sarah L. Colton. This is a sweet, contemporary romance novel. The writing is good. I enjoyed the characters and the low drama storyline. If you want a fun, feel good novel with a happy ending, then this is the novel for you.

I also thought that Sarah L. Colton was a good narrator for Watching Willow

Additionally, I have not read any of the other novels in the 'Gold Coast Retrievers' series by Ann Omasta, but felt that I didn't need to have read the previous novels to read/follow the plot for Watching Willow.

The following is the plot summary for Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta found on Audible:
On the verge of losing her job, local television star Willow Winks desperately seeks the one thing she believes can save her fledgling career - a golden retriever sidekick.
Willow thought being told she was getting too old for television was the most frightening thing a celebrity diva could hear - until she and her furry best friend, Buddy, receive a threatening letter. Concerned for their safety, the television studio hires Caleb McCreery, a brave, strong, and young bodyguard to protect the famous duo. Caleb is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his charges safe, even if that means risking his own life. As the threats begin to escalate, Willow and Caleb struggle to keep their budding attraction at bay. Will the distraction of their growing feelings make the bodyguard vulnerable and put all three at risk?
This sweet tale is a romantic adventure you don’t want to miss.... Grab your copy and start listening today! Fans of the Must Love Dogs series by Claire Cook and the Everyday Heroes series by Margaret Daley are sure to enjoy curling up with this delightful romantic suspense novel. Watching Willow is part of the Gold Coast Retrievers series. Each book stands completely on its own, but you'll have even more fun if you listen to them all!
I am giving Watching Willow (Gold Coast Retrievers #7) by Ann Omasta a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod



As a member of Audible, I was able to download the Audible Original titled, A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod, for FREE to my Kindle.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod.

Listening time for A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod is 2 hours, 42 minutes.

I enjoyed listening to A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod more than I thought I would. I learned lots of new to me facts about dinosaurs... Like some dinosaurs had feathers and that chickens are related to dinosaurs!! 

If you want to learn more current information about dinosaurs, then check out A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod from Audible.

The following is the publisher's summary for A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod found on Audible:
Most children go through a dinosaur phase. Learning all the tongue-twisting names, picking favourites based on ferocity, armour, or sheer size. For many kids this love of ‘terrible lizards’ fizzles out at some point between starting and leaving primary school. All those fancy names slowly forgotten, no longer any need for a favourite.
For all those child dino fanatics who didn’t grow up to become paleontologists, dinosaurs seem like something out of mythology. They are dragons, pictures in books, abstract, other, extinct.

They are at the same time familiar and mysterious. And yet we’re in an age of rapid discovery - new dinosaur species and genera are being discovered at an accelerating rate, we’re learning more about what they looked like, how they lived, how they evolved and where they all went. 
This series isn’t just a top trumps list of dino facts - we’re interested in the why and the how and like all areas of science there is plenty of controversy and debate.
I am giving A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich



With July 20th marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, I decided to listen to an Audible Original production titled, The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich.

Listening time for The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich is 3 hours, 32 minutes.

I was able to download The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich to my Kindle for FREE from Audible. 

Below is my honest, unbiased review of The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich.

I enjoyed learning about the behind the scenes information about how we, as a nation, were able to make it to the moon in July 1969. 

I knew nothing about the story of John C. Houbolt, a mid-level engineer at NASA, who advocated the use of the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous to get to the moon until I listened to The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon. Nor did I know much about the politics and so on that came to building Apollo 11.

The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich makes for a fascinating listen for readers that want to learn more about Apollo 11.

Below is the publisher's summary of The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich from Audible:
The story of John C. Houbolt, an unsung hero of Apollo 11 and the man who showed NASA how to put America on the moon.
Without John C. Houbolt, a mid-level engineer at NASA, Apollo 11 would never have made it to the moon.

Top NASA engineers on the project, including Werner Von Braun, strongly advocated for a single, huge spacecraft to travel to the moon, land, and return to Earth. It's the scenario used in 1950s cartoons and horror movies about traveling to outer space.

Houbolt had another idea: Lunar Orbit Rendezvous. LOR would link two spacecraft in orbit while the crafts were travelling at 3,600 miles an hour around the moon. His plan was ridiculed and considered unthinkable. But this junior engineer was irrepressible. He stood by his concept, fired off memos to executives, and argued that LOR was the only way to success.
For the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, hear the untold story of the man who helped fulfill Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon and begin exploring the final frontier.
Below is video footage of author, Todd Zwillich talking about his book, The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon.



I am giving The Man Who Knew The Way To The Moon by Todd Zwillich a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!