Everyday Tidbits...

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

#CoverCrush: Sold on a Monday

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.


As a parent, this cover just breaks my heart. Who is this boy? Why is he alone and sad? The book title suggests that he is sold. Did his parents sell him? Why? Too many other children? Not enough food or money? Who purchased him? A family who will love him or someone who will use him?

The mom in me just wants to scoop him up and snuggle him and find out his story.

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

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. 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, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation.

Friday, May 25, 2018

5 Books I Want to Read: San Francisco

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 3154. Yikes.

I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I love The City. I sometimes describe it as my "backyard when I was growing up"  as it was only 45 minutes away from my hometown. I explored it with my friends. I shopped there. I went to the theater. I had season tickets to the San Francisco Opera with my sister. I walked the paths of Golden Gate Park and enjoyed the touristy parts of Pier 39, especially when people would visit us.

I watched from afar in 1989 when the Bay Area was hit by the Loma Prieta earthquake and waited long agonizing hours until I could talk to my family and ascertain they were not hurt.

I relished clam chowder in Boudin sourdough bread bowls and bought chocolate at Ghirardelli square. I watched the 49ers play football at Candlestick Park and the Giants play baseball in the new, beautiful PacBell Park. I rode the cable cars and each Christmas, my mom and sisters and I would spend a day in the City, shopping and looking at the Christmas windows and enjoying lunch together.

When friends would visit, we would be their tour guides and take the ferry to Alcatraz Island. I even walked Alcatraz while pregnant.

It is only natural then, that I would be drawn to books set in San Francisco.

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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls.

The Circle by Dave Eggers

When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users' personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can't believe her great fortune to work for them - even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public ...

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.

Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive. Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer's market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.

When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?


The Dressmaker's Dowry by Meredith Jaeger

For readers of Lucinda Riley, Sarah Jio, or Susan Meissner, this gripping historical debut novel tells the story of two women: one, an immigrant seamstress who disappears from San Francisco’s gritty streets in 1876, and the other, a young woman in present day who must delve into the secrets of her husband’s wealthy family only to discover that she and the missing dressmaker might be connected in unexpected ways.

An exquisite ring, passed down through generations, connects two women who learn that love is a 
choice, and forgiveness is the key to freedom...

San Francisco: 1876

Immigrant dressmakers Hannelore Schaeffer and Margaret O'Brien struggle to provide food for their siblings, while mending delicate clothing for the city's most affluent ladies. When wealthy Lucas Havensworth enters the shop, Hanna's future is altered forever. With Margaret's encouragement and the power of a borrowed green dress, Hanna dares to see herself as worthy of him. Then Margaret disappears, and Hanna turns to Lucas. Braving the gritty streets of the Barbary Coast and daring to enter the mansions of Nob Hill, Hanna stumbles upon Margaret’s fate, forcing her to make a devastating decision...one that will echo through the generations.

San Francisco: Present Day

In her elegant Marina apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Sarah Havensworth struggles to complete the novel she quit her job for. Afraid to tell her husband of her writer’s block, Sarah is also hiding a darker secret—one that has haunted her for 14 years. Then a news headline from 1876 sparks inspiration: Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered. Compelled to discover what happened to Hannelore and Margaret, Sarah returns to her roots as a journalist. Will her beautiful heirloom engagement ring uncover a connection to Hanna Schaeffer?


The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

Heralded as “a modern day Jane Austen” by USA Today, National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman has compelled and delighted hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, in her most ambitious work yet, Goodman weaves together the worlds of Silicon Valley and rare book collecting in a delicious novel about appetite, temptation, and fulfillment.

Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of 
Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily’s boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess’s boyfriends, not so much—as her employer George points out in what he hopes is a completely disinterested way.

Bicoastal, surprising, rich in ideas and characters, The Cookbook Collector is a novel about getting and spending, and about the substitutions we make when we can’t find what we’re looking for: reading cookbooks instead of cooking, speculating instead of creating, collecting instead of living. But above all it is about holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays.



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What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesThe Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary and A Literary Vacation.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

#CoverCrush: The Kitchen House


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.


I saw this cover a couple of months ago because my friend Heather used it for her Cover Crush post. I loved it immediately. 

A child. A set of intimidating keys. The girl's hands are folded as if she is waiting. Waiting for what? Is she in trouble? Is she anxious? Who is she and 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 Flashlight Commentary. 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, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Childhood Favorites...Bunnicula

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.

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

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

A new bunny arrives in the house. Harold the dog and Chester the cat are certain he's a vampire because he has markings on his fur that look like a cape and vegetables begin showing up, drained dry of their juice.


I'm not sure who brought Bunnicula home, but it quickly became a favorite book for me and my sisters. So clever, so fun. A vampire bunny? And the dog and cat getting into trouble as they try and get the bunny into trouble. It's no wonder that I introduced my boys to Bunnicula and they loved him as well. This is another story that is rather timeless.

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

#CoverCrush: The House on Harbor Hill


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 older house with columns and a brick walkway. So majestic. A lone suitcase sits at the top of the steps. Whose it it? Is that person 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 Flashlight Commentary. 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, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

#CoverCrush: No Less Days


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.


I really like the simplicity of this cover. A rainy night. A used book store. Who doesn't love the appeal of a used bookstore? A man walking. What is he searching for? Is he looking for a person? A place to stay? Is he lost or just wandering? What is his story?

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

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. 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, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

#CoverCrush: Bachelor Girl


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.


This cover stood out to me as soon as I saw it. Love the colors. Love the image.

A woman stands alone at a train station. Waiting. For whom? For what? Her train? The person who might be meeting her? Where is she going? From where has she come? She carries a single, battered suitcase. 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 Flashlight Commentary. 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, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, A Literary Vacation, Of Quills and Vellum.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Books I Have Forgotten

Each month I revisit some of my past reviews. One of the reasons I started this book blog was to remember what books I have read. My memory isn't the greatest anymore and I found that I would read a book and then not remember if I liked it or what it was even about.

Maybe one of these will prompt you to seek out an older, but amazing book. Or, if you've read one of these and your review was different, please share!

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Stop Dressing Your Six-Year Old Like A Skank by Celia Rivenbark
3/5 Stars
10/2007

"Laugh out loud funny. Some questionable humor and a sprinkling of swear words, but absolutely hysterical. You'll even laugh out loud at the stuff you think you shouldn't.

She completely captures the essence of southern people. I LOVE the skank chapter. It's so totally true!"

This one sounds like it was funny.

Inside My Heart by Robin McGraw
3/5 Stars
10/2006

"I don't always agree with Dr. Phil, in fact I don't ever watch his show, but I enjoyed his wife's book. She shares experiences from her life and how we can make deliberate choices that will enrich our lives. She shares experiences of her life with Phillip and there's is a true partnership and love story.

She has faith and speaks of God, but I felt that much of it was superficial. I would have enjoyed a longer book that openly explored and spoke of a relationship with God. It was good though, and it was inspiring."

I have no memory of this one either.

The Chili Queen by Sandra Dallas
3/5 Stars
10/2007

"Another one from Sandra Dallas. I enjoyed it. It is a well-written and entertaining western set in New Mexico. Everyone is trying to cheat everyone else and you don't find out until the end who really wins! There was one section that had some disturbing images of assault that, although relevant to the storyline, were a little strong for me.

Overall, a good book. I will be on the lookout for more Sandra Dallas books."

This one did not sound familiar at all.

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What about you? What are some of the books you've read in previous years?