My Latest Book Haul


I got books! As you can see, I’ve also got a cat. Tina saw me take out my phone and had to get in the shot, so here she is.

I have lots of great thrift stores nearby. Usually I try to restrain myself, but this time, I bought all the books.



5 mysteries and one fiction! Strong as Death on top, that’s a historical mystery set during a pilgrimage. Then four mysteries from the same publisher. I’ve read The Lord Mayor of Death and wanted to read that one again. It’s good, very suspenseful. Not sure about the others, but they were worth a dollar!

Fannie Flagg writes HILARIOUS stuff. We read one of her books for book club last year and it was really good.


Oh, Murder and Chips is set in New Zealand. I never get mysteries set there, so this should be good. Here’s another shot of my helpful cat.


Thanks, Tina.


What are you doing this weekend?

What are your plans this weekend? I’m looking forward to some more sewing time. I’ve been going through my Netflix queue and watching some pretty good stuff. I discovered a new Amazon series, Medieval Deaths, which is like Historic CSI.

I’ve also been watching Rosewood, but I can’t decide if I like it. The main character is kind of a know it all, and I really want to smack both him and his partner detective. I like the secondary characters though. Crossing Jordan is the opposite – all about the MC, secondary characters not really engaging at all. But I’m not very far into either series.

541803I do like the Father Brown series. Have you read the books by GK Chesterton? Mostly short stories, and in this case, I think the TV show is better than the books, but the books are free through Kindle Unlimited.

I’ve also been sewing a lot. I have a denim quilt I’ve been working on while I watch TV or listen to my audiobook and it’s close to being done. Then I have another quilt top done and I just need the batting and the backing. It’s a camping/woods quilt.

Here’s my list of what I’m currently reading:

  • Queens of the Conquest: England’s Medieval Queens
  • American Colonies: The Settling of North America (audio)
  • The Queen of Attolia (audio)
  • Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen


Feel Good Friday

Johannes_GutenbergToday’s post is all about reasons for readers to feel good.

Let’s start with this guy. His name was Johannes Gutenberg. He was born around 1400 and sometime later, decided to try his hand at coming up with  a new way of making books. So he invented new ink, new movable type, and a printing press that combined everything. Thanks to him, people could afford to buy books. Before that, everything had to be written by hand. After he came along, you could print multiple copies of a book in the same time it took you to finish one chapter! So blame him for your out of control TBR list!


Next, I want to thank this guy – Andrew Carnegie. He wasn’t the first to come up with the library idea, but he sure made it big in the United States. Over 2500 libraries were built all over the world thanks to money he donated. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to an actual Carnegie library, but thanks to him, politicians realized that a library was a positive thing for a community. They began to plan on building them for their towns. And libraries today are more relevant than ever, serving not just as sources of free books, but as meeting places and centers of community outreach.


Finally, I want to thank Sesame Street. For me personally, Sesame Street has been a big part of my life. When I was little, I was in a car accident where I broke my leg and had to be in a body cast. With nothing else to pass the time, I watched TV and thanks to Big Bird and the gang, I learned how to read. By the time I started kindergarten, I already knew how to read some basic words. It just took off from there, and I’ve been reading ever since.

There you go! That’s my Feel Good stuff for Friday. Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday

I wanted to do something fun for today’s post, so I thought I would highlight 5 authors I discovered this year. These are not necessarily first time authors, just authors that are new to me. All the author profiles here were taken from GoodReads.

  1. Selina Siak Chin Yoke – Of Malaysian-Chinese heritage, Selina Siak Chin Yoke (石清玉) grew up listening to family stories and ancient legends. She always knew that one day, she would write. After an eclectic life as a physicist, banker and trader in London, the heavens intervened. In 2009 Chin Yoke was diagnosed with cancer. While recovering, she decided not to delay her dream of writing any longer. Her first novel, The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (The Malayan Series, #1), was published on November 1, 2016 and made an immediate emotional connection with readers. It debuted as an Amazon best-seller in historical fiction, was named by Goodreads as one of the 6 best books of November 2016 and has been compared to the work of Pearl S. Buck and Amy Tan.

  2. Melanie Cellier grew up on a staple diet of books, books and more books. And although she got older she never stopped loving children’s and young adult novels. She always wanted to write one herself but it took three careers and three different continents before she actually managed it. She now feels incredibly fortunate to spend her time writing from her home in Canberra, Australia where they don’t have a beach but they do have kangaroos hopping down the streets. Her staple diet hasn’t changed much, although she’s added choc mint Rooibos tea and Chicken Crimpies to the list. She is currently working on The Four Kingdoms, a series of YA fairy tale retellings.
  3. Karen Charlton writes historical mystery and is also the author of a nonfiction genealogy book, ‘Seeking Our Eagle.’ She has published short stories and numerous articles and reviews in newspapers and magazines. An English graduate and ex-teacher, Karen has led writing workshops and has spoken at a series of literary events across the North of England, where she lives. Karen now writes full-time and is currently working on the third Detective Lavender Mystery for Thomas & Mercer. A stalwart of the village pub quiz and a member of a winning team on the BBC quiz show ‘Eggheads’, Karen also enjoys the theatre, and she won a Yorkshire Tourist Board award for her Murder Mystery Weekends.
  4. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues for and the magazine. He is the author of the 2008 memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood. His book Between the World and Me, released in 2015, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 2015. He is a prolific writer, but I read his graphic novel Black Panther.
  5. Unlike so many writers, Susan Crandall did not emerge from the womb with a pen and paper in hand and a fully formed story in her mind. Instead, she was born with an incredible love for books. This must be genetic, because her father and now her son, both hated school, but are somehow addicted to books. For much of her young life, even those exhausting years when her children were young and Susan worked in her previous profession (yes, the rumor is true, she was a dental hygienist) she was an avid reader. Susan has always been fascinated with words – those of you who catch yourself reading the dictionary when you cracked it open to look up mesopelagic you just might have a writer hiding inside you, too. She wrote Whistling Past the Graveyard.

Off the Shelf reading challenge

I’m having trouble with my “Off the Shelf” September challenge. I can’t seem to settle down and read any of my books. I spent an hour searching for free books from Amazon and wound up with a dozen new books for my Kindle! I haven’t started any of them, but the whole point was to read books I already own and take a break from buying new ones for a month.

It’s not like there’s a shortage of books in my house! There are bookshelves everywhere, all of them full and more books stacked on the floor. I don’t have that many Kindle books to read, but I have plenty. I also have a few books to review, including one I’m reading now.

Here’s what I think I will read next:

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey – for the Book Riot challenge

The Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd

Slaves of Spiegel by Daniel Pinkwater

And I’m currently reading:

Something New by PG Wodehouse

Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir – for review

American Colonies: The Settling of North America by Alan Taylor




Looking for content!

Are you an author? Would you like to be interviewed and reviewed? Or are you a blogger looking for a little more exposure? My blog is small, but I’d love to grow! Contact me and we’ll see if we can help each other.

I’m looking for solid writers who just need a little more publicity and write in my preferred genres – science, history, historical fiction, mystery/thriller, fantasy or sci fi. Not so interested in romance, MG, contemporary fiction or horror. Let me know! I’d love to have you on here.

For bloggers, I’d love to host just about anyone! As long as you write about books, any aspect of books, it would be fun to host you.

Happy reading!

Book Club Last Night

Last night was book club night. We had a fun discussion. The book was The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright. We wound up telling our worst mice stories and snacked on cheese. It was a lot of fun.

We decided to do something different. Normally we draw months. Then on your month you can pick any book and we read that. But this time, we’re doing categories – biography, thriller, fantasy/sci fi – and assigned them each a month. Then when it’s your turn, you have to find a book in that category. It will be a little more complicated, but I think it will be fun. We’re going to draw months at the next meeting and I may ask for help picking a book.

Fall Movies

Now that summer is over, the movie season has calmed down a little bit. But soon the holiday movies will hit. Time to see what movies based on books are coming out.

The big one right now isn’t based on a new book – it’s a remake of Stephen King’s classic horror It. I’m not a big horror movie buff, but I have seen a few of his movies. It’s got solid ratings, but I don’t think I’ll be seeing this one.

American Assassin is based on the series by Vince Flynn. It features counterterrorism agent Mitch Flynn. Otherwise, I don’t know much about this one, but it sounds interesting. I like Michael Keaton, so it could be good.

This month’s Rebel in the Rye is, as you might guess from the title, about the author J D Salinger. Again I am uninformed! I haven’t ever read anything by him, but his novel The Catcher in the Rye is a famous one. The movie is about his struggle as a young writer and his experiences in the war. It looks really good. Maybe I’ll actually read this book after all!

If you’re into tennis, Battle of the Sexes is about the famous match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. It’s not, as far as I know, based on a book (although there are books about the match) but on real life. However, there is an autobiography of King. Given today’s political climate, the movie is as topical as it gets and I’m really excited to see it. This one is great for discussing the issues of feminism, LGBT rights, and equal pay. The casting is great and it’s a must see.

These are all September movies. I’ll have part two, October movies, next week.


September is here

I 💘 fall. It’s my favorite time of year. The weather is nice, it’s time to get back to routine, and you can start baking. And it’s perfect reading 📚 time.

So what are you reading? Here’s what I’ve been doing.


Private by James Patterson – too much going on, too many characters, too much profanity. Not recommended, even though it was free.

Frogkisser by Garth Nix – really enjoying this.

Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix – fun so far, sounds good.


The Case of the Fallen Hero by Alison Golden – new series to me, but I liked it.

The Scent of Rain ☔ by Anne Montgomery – very good, review coming.




Climbing Mt. TBR

Hey there. If you’re like me, your TBR pile is more like a mountain. I have almost 2000 books on my “To-Read” shelf in Goodreads. (Hey, feel free to check me out there. I am Cindy B.) With that many books floating somewhere in my radar, I may never run out of book ideas! Just kidding. At my present rate of reading, it would take 10 years. A long time, but totally possible. Of course, I keep adding more books to the list, so it really will take me until I die.

That’s not to say I actually own 2000 books I haven’t read. It’s more like 100. Still, way too many. That’s why September is my “Off the Shelf” month. I try to make September the month that I only read books I already own. I have plenty to choose from. There are piles or stacks or shelves or something in every single room except the upstairs bathroom.

Here’s my Top 20 books I want to read this month (I probably won’t get to all of them, but I hope to make a dent.):

  1. Rough Crossings: Britain, Slaves, and the American Revolution by Simon Schama
  2. A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic by Henry Mayer
  3. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey – for the Book Riot challenge
  4. The Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd
  5. Servant of a Dark God by John D. Brown
  6. The Killing of Katie Steelstock by Michael Gilbert
  7. Partials by Dan Wells
  8. Passage by Connie Willis
  9. Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
  10. Glory Road by Bruce Catton
  11. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
  12. The Raphael Affair by Iain Pears
  13. A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming, Book Riot Challenge
  14. Native Son by Richard Wright, Book Riot Challenge
  15. Spider Woman, Book Riot Challenge
  16. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
  17. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon
  18. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Supetys
  19. Two for the Lions by Lindsay Davis
  20. Emma Brown by Clare Boylan

These are a few of the Many! books I have lying around the house. Any of them sound good to you? I’d love some recommendations about which ones to tackle first. I’m really excited about the Connie Willis one and the Iain Pears one, but otherwise I don’t have a preference. It will probably depend on what I’m in the mood for, fiction or non-fiction or audiobook, something quick or something meaty. In the comments, vote for which one I should read first.