Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

#CoverCrush: The Christmas Cookie Club

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


Christmas cookies. Cut-out sugar cookies. Who doesn't love those? If you don't? You're not human. I love this cover. I love baking, especially Christmas baking. Who belongs to this cookie club? What kind of cookies do they bake? Are there recipes?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Childhood Favorites...First Love from Silhouette

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

In the early 80s, Silhouette came out with their First Love series, which was teen romance. And cheesy teen romance. Looking back now, I just want to cringe. The covers and even the writing. But, I loved reading them because they weren't long. They weren't novels and you didn't have to concentrate to enjoy them. I could buy them from a rack at the grocery store for $1.75 brand new.


Even now, I can look at a cover and have an inkling about the book. I must have reread these so many times. I continued to read romance novels through college because again, they are cheesy, easy and short. And as an English major, I read all the time. So, when I read for pleasure, I wanted something I didn't need to take notes on or write a paper about. Romance novels fit that requirement perfectly.

I don't read many romance novels anymore and I have no idea what happened to my collection of First Love novels. These pictures do bring back some fond memories though.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

#CoverCrush: All I Want for Christmas

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.



Christmas lights sparkle, illuminating a woman on a snow-covered street. Her arms are outstretched as if she is happy. Who is she? What is it that he wants for Christmas? What is her story? 

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

#CoverCrush: A Christmas Flower

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


A door. It it a front door or a barn door? The wreath is lovely, the snow is falling. It is Christmas. What is the flower? Who is it for? What is its story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

#CoverCrush: A Christmas by the Sea

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


A cozy house in a snow-covered beach. Sparkling water and smoke coming out of the chimney. It's obviously Christmas. Who lives here and what is their story? I want to live here.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

#CoverCrush: This is How it Ends

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.



An open door. An empty room. Is it inviting you to enter or to leave? Who lives or lived here? What is their story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

#CoverCrush: Thanksgiving in Connecticut

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


It's Thanksgiving. The table is set in a casual yet creative manner. Who is coming to dinner?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Childhood Favorites...Lenora Mattingly Weber

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

Growing up as a child in the 70s, I found so many awesome books in the library. I loved books that were written in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Don't Call Me Katie Rose by Lenora Mattingly Weber was one I checked out over and over again.  I adored Katie Rose. She was a freshman in high school and only wanted to fit in and be like the other kids. What teenager doesn't? Her family was a bit quirky. Awesome, but quirky and quirky wasn't cool, it made you stand out.

There were sequels and many other books that Ms. Weber wrote, but this was my favorite.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

#CoverCrush: Warlight

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


People out walking on a foggy night. A single lamp post lights their way. The black and white and gray palette evoke mystery and even danger. What is this story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

#CoverCrush: The Artisan Heart

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


Train tracks fascinate me. Where are they heading? What was it like to travel by train? This cover captured my attention immediately. The entire image focuses on those tracks and following them. But to where? Where is the destination? Who is leaving or arriving? What is the story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Girls on the Line...#BookReview

December 1917. As World War I rages in Europe, twenty-four-year-old Ruby Wagner, the jewel in a prominent Philadelphia family, prepares for her upcoming wedding to a society scion. Like her life so far, it’s all been carefully arranged. But when her beloved older brother is killed in combat, Ruby follows her heart and answers the Army Signal Corps’ call for women operators to help overseas.

As one of the trailblazing “Hello Girls” deployed to war-torn France, Ruby must find her place in the military strata, fight for authority and respect among the Allied soldiers, and work to secure a victory for the cause. But balancing service to country is complicated further by a burgeoning relationship with army medic Andrew Carrigan.

What begins as a friendship forged on the front lines soon blossoms into something more, forcing Ruby to choose between the conventions of a well-ordered life back home, and the risk of an unknown future.

Engaged and working as a telephone operator in Philadelphia, Ruby Wagner reluctantly prepares for her upcoming wedding. When her brother is killed in combat, to her parents' disappointment, Ruby accepts an opportunity to work as an operator in the Army Signal Corps in France.

I had no idea that women served as telephone operators during World War 1. It makes so much sense while reading the story though. There had to be some way for those soldiers at the front to contact each other and for the brass to send and receive crucial messages and orders.

Aimie Runyan excels at writing about the relationships between women. These women were amazing. Strong and resilient and they put up with so much grief. Poor treatment by the servicemen, difficult living conditions and then after serving their country, not being recognized for that service in order to receive benefits and pensions. Added  to that, it took another year after the war before American women received the right to vote.

Ruby was remarkable. Tenacious and strong-willed, the conflict between following her heart and pleasing her society parents was on point. Ruby and her fellow operators show us the strength of friendship. Margot was fantastic. Evangeline's story was heartbreaking, but inspiring. I adored Andrew and I shook my head at Nathaniel.

I am never disappointed with an Aimie Runyan book. I so appreciate that Aimie finds untold stories about incredible women in history and then brings them to life on the pages of her books. Women supporting, encouraging and advocating for each other can literally rule the world together. And these women are not afraid to stand up for themselves or work hard.

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this. You can learn more about Aimie K. Runyan on her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Read 9/18

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Thursday, November 1, 2018

#CoverCrush: Brass

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


The cover evokes the 80s. A woman leans against a car. Is she sad? Is she wistful? What is her story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Historical Fiction Reader. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Historical Fiction Reader, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Woman Who Kept Everything...#BookReview

About the book:
The Lady in the Van meets The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in this uplifting, funny and moving debut novel about a 79-year-old hoarder who is convinced the world is against her.

79-year-old Gloria Frensham is a hoarder. She lives amongst piles of magazines, cardboard boxes and endless knick-knacks that are stacked into every room of her home, and teeter in piles along the landing and up the stairs.

She hasn’t left the house in years, but when a sudden smell of burning signifies real danger, she is forced to make a sudden departure and leave behind her beloved possessions.

Determined she’s not ready for a care home, Gloria sets out to discover what life still has to offer her. It’s time to navigate the outside world on her own, one step at a time, with just one very small suitcase in tow...

Heart-warming and poignant in equal measure, this is a story about the loneliness of life, the struggles of growing old, the power of kindness, and the bravery it takes to leave our comfort zones..

Gloria is a hoarder. She doesn't realize it and climbing over stacks of stuff and garbage isn't a problem for her. The bathtub is full? No worries, she doesn't need a shower anyway. She just doesn't understand why her son won't visit.

When an electrical fault causes social services to move her out of her house, she is forced to stay at a facility for care and counseling. It is here that she begins to realize how her hoarding has affected her life. When she is released from the facility, she goes to live with her son and his family, believing that her home was just being cleaned and she would return there.

Once she realizes her son intends to sell the house, keep the money and commit his mother to a facility somewhere else, Gloria decides she has had enough and sets out on an adventure. She begins traveling, meeting people and making friends. And along the way, she learns that she is a woman with a lot to offer.

I appreciated that while the story was more light-hearted than serious, it did not treat the subject of hoarding lightly.

I loved Gloria's spunk and tenaciousness. Watching her blossom into a remarkable woman was a delight. Seeing her joy at helping an old friend, a hoarder herself, and realizing how unhappy and unfulfilled she was for so many years was gratifying.

While this is a story of one woman discovering who she is, it is also a story about relationships. It is a story about kindness and compassion; about adventure and friendship and finding joy in life. It is a story that shows us it is never too late for anyone to learn to love their life.

Thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Jane Gilley on her website and follow her on Twitter.

Read 10/18

* * * *
4/5 Stars