Monday, January 31, 2022

Reading Wrap Up: January 2022

(books not listed on book club and challenge posts)

Small Things Like These
by Claire Keegan
Historical, Christmas, Novella, Ireland | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: 4
cozy story that packs a punch in the end

It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.
Five Tuesdays in Winter
by Lily King
Short Stories, Literary | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
collection of gems

Told in the intimate voices of unique and endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller's unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl's loss of innocence at the hands of her employer's son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter's hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King's enduring subject of love.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Lovely Books and Things - 1.30.22

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Learning about scorpions of California from scientist, Lauren Esposito (here)
2. Awesome finds at the local thrift shop
3. Googly eyes

The Tale of Genji
by Murasaki Shikibu
translated by Royall Tyler
illustrated by Minora Sugai
Classics, Historical, Japan | Published: 2003 (first 1001) | Goodreads
for Zusetsu Japan in January book club (details)

Library: audiobook
by Sayaka Murata
translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori
Horror, Japan | Published: 2020 (first 2018) | Goodreads

Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day
by Clemency Burton-Hill
History, Classical Music | Published: 2017 | Goodreads

Freebies: gift from friend -thanks!
Ready Player Two
by Ernest Cline
SciFi | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by The Poisoned Pen
See archive of this (here)

The Accomplice
by Lisa Lutz
Mystery, Thriller | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Murder By The Book
See archive of this (here)

A Flicker in the Dark
by Stacy Willingham
Thriller, Mystery | Published: 2022 | Goodreads


AND currently listening: podcast
The Dropout (2019, 2022)
hosted by Rebecca Jarvis
produced by ABC News, Taylor Dunn, Victoria Thompson, and Rebecca Jarvis
Investigative journalism, true crime | website

This follows the story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Books and Bag: January

Books and Bag
doing some dreaming
a designer bag and books to fill it


Bake It Like Betsey Oven
Crossbody bag (details)


My Fine Fellow
by Jennieke Cohen
Historical, YA, Food | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

It’s 1830s England, and Culinarians—doyens who consult with society’s elite to create gorgeous food and confections—are the crème de la crème of high society.

Helena Higgins, top of her class at the Royal Academy, has a sharp demeanor and an even sharper palate—and knows stardom awaits her if she can produce greatness in her final year.

Penelope Pickering is going to prove the value of non-European cuisine to all of England. Her contemporaries may scorn her Filipina heritage and her dishes, but with her flawless social graces and culinary talents, Penelope is set to prove them wrong.

Elijah Little has nothing to his name but a truly excellent instinct for flavors. London merchants won’t allow a Jewish boy to own a shop, so he hawks his pasties for a shilling a piece to passersby—but he knows with training he can break into the highest echelon of society.

When Penelope and Helena meet Elijah, a golden opportunity arises: to pull off a project never seen before, and turn Elijah from a street vendor to a gentleman chef.

But Elijah’s transformation will have a greater impact on this trio than they originally realize—and mayhem, unseemly faux pas, and a little romance will all be a part of the delicious recipe.

An Immigrant Family's Fortunes
by Albert Samaha
Memoir, Filipino | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

A journalist's powerful and incisive account of the forces steering the fate of his sprawling Filipino American family reframes how we comprehend the immigrant experience.

Nearing the age at which his mother had migrated to the US, part of the wave of non-Europeans who arrived after immigration quotas were relaxed in 1965, Albert Samaha began to question the ironclad belief in a better future that had inspired her family to uproot themselves from their birthplace. As she, her brother Spanky--a rising pop star back in Manila, now working as a luggage handler at San Francisco airport--and others of their generation struggled with setbacks amid mounting instability that seemed to keep prosperity ever out of reach, he wondered whether their decision to abandon a middle-class existence in the Philippines had been worth the cost.

Tracing his family's history through the region's unique geopolitical roots in Spanish colonialism, American intervention, and Japanese occupation, Samaha fits their arc into the wider story of global migration as determined by chess moves among superpowers. Ambitious, intimate, and incisive, Concepcion explores what it might mean to reckon with the unjust legacy of imperialism, to live with contradiction and hope, to fight for the unrealized ideals of an inherited homeland.

The Books of Jacob
by Olga Tokarczuk
Historical, Poland | Published: February 2022 | Goodreads

In the mid-eighteenth century, as new ideas--and a new unrest--begin to sweep the Continent, a young Jew of mysterious origins arrives in a village in Poland. Before long, he has changed not only his name but his persona; visited by what seem to be ecstatic experiences, Jacob Frank casts a charismatic spell that attracts an increasingly fervent following. In the decade to come, Frank will traverse the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires with throngs of disciples in his thrall as he reinvents himself again and again, converts to Islam and then Catholicism, is pilloried as a heretic and revered as the Messiah, and wreaks havoc on the conventional order, Jewish and Christian alike, with scandalous rumors of his sect's secret rituals and the spread of his increasingly iconoclastic beliefs. The story of Frank--a real historical figure around whom mystery and controversy swirl to this day--is the perfect canvas for the genius and unparalleled reach of Olga Tokarczuk. Narrated through the perspectives of his contemporaries--those who revere him, those who revile him, the friend who betrays him, the lone woman who sees him for what he is--The Books of Jacob captures a world on the cusp of precipitous change, searching for certainty and longing for transcendence.

This Time Tomorrow
by Emma Straub
Literary, Time Travel | Published: May 2022 | Goodreads

On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice's life isn't terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn't exactly the one she expected. She's happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn't just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it's her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Explore: New York

Explore The World 2022
through books, films, etc.
January: New York

Her Last Breath
by Hilary Davidson
Thriller, Mystery, Manhattan | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: 4
sister vengeance

Dinner with Edward
A Story of an Unexpected Friendship
by Isabel Vincent
Memoir, Food, New York | Published: 2016 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
delightful friendship with dinners as bonding moments

Going Into Town
A Love Letter to New York
by Roz Chast
Graphic Novel, Humor, Memoir, New York | Published: 2017 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
a humurous inside scoop

tick, tick... BOOM! (2021)
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Screenplay: Steven Levenson
Based on musical by: Jonathan Larson
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesus
Drama, Biography, Musical | imdb | my rating: 5
amazing playwright with backstory of the infamous musical, Rent

On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City.

Rent (2005)
Director: Chris Columbus
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky
Based on musical by: Jonathan Larson
Stars: Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rosario Dawson
Drama, Romance, Musical | imdb

This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America.

the iconic: bagel and lox cream cheese

New York Drawings
by Adrian Tomine
Graphic Novel, Art, New York | Published: 2012 | Goodreads

Tenements, Towers & Trash
An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City
by Julia Wertz
History, Art, Artchitecture, New York | Published: 2017 | Goodreads

MAGAZINES and PUZZLE: catching up with New Yorker back issues
Japan Society NY
art exhibit: Shikō Munakata: A Way of Seeing
December 10, 2021 – March 20, 2022 (here)

VISIT bookstore: someday...
Albertine (details)
bookshop in New York devoted solely to books in French and English


* part of Explore the World (here)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Happy release: Threads of Magic by Monica Fairview

Threads of Magic:
A Pride and Prejudice variation
by Monica Fairview
Fantasy, Regency, Romance, Jane Austen theme | Expected publication: January 25, 2022 | Goodreads

In a magical Regency England, two powerful magicians strive to find a balance between love and duty as they confront enemies who might well be their closest friends.

Elizabeth Bennet may be a heroine, but by defying some of the most powerful mages in England, she has made enemies who will stop at nothing to embroil her in scandal.

So when she is accused of endangering the Royal Mages through her reckless actions, she no longer knows who to trust. Even the gentleman she loves is taking their side. It seems the only person who believes her is the captive French mage who is imprisoned in the cellar at Netherfield.

Meanwhile, Fitzwilliam Darcy is willing to fight to the death to defend Elizabeth, if only she would stop getting herself into trouble. Why does she always have to break the rules? And why does even her sister Jane cause him so many problems?

Join us in this magical Jane Austen Regency variation. Set mostly in Meryton, with familiar beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice, you will once again be captivated by Elizabeth and Darcy as they struggle to find true love against the backdrop of England’s war with Napoleon.

Threads of Magic is Book 2 of Mr. Darcy’s Magic. It is a standalone novel without cliff-hangers, but it is best read as part of a series.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Lovely Books and Things - 1.23.22

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Release of the The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis stitch along from the Stitching Book Club (details)
2. Super easy and yummy Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce recipe from Gimme Some Oven (here)
3. Mystic Package by Claudio Bravo - a hyper-realism still life painting currently on exhibit at the Legion of Honor



Cry Wolf
by Hans Rosenfeldt
Mystery, Thriller, Sweden | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

When We Cease to Understand the World
by Benjamín Labatut
translated by Adrian Nathan West
Short Stories, Historical | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Library: audiobook
Feels Like Family
by Sheryl Woods
Women's Fiction | Published: 2020 (first 2007) | Goodreads

New York Drawings
by Adrian Tomine
Graphic Novel, Art, New York | Published: 2012 | Goodreads

Tenements, Towers & Trash
An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City
by Julia Wertz
History, Art, Artchitecture, New York | Published: 2017 | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passage
See archive of this (here)
The School for Good Mothers
by Jessamine Chan
Literary, Dystopia | Published: 2022 | Goodreads


AND watched: Netflix
The Lost Daughter (2021)
Director/Writer: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Based on book: Elena Ferrante
Stars: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson
Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

A woman's beach vacation takes a dark turn when she begins to confront the troubles of her past.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Books and Laundry: On the Island

On The Island
by Tracey Garvis Graves
Romance, Contemporary, Survival | Published: 2012 | Goodreads | my rating: 4

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family—and a stack of overdue assignments—instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter.

Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

First sentence(s):
June 2001 - I was thirty years old when the seaplane T.J. Callahan and I were traveling on crash-landed in the Indian Ocean.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

To Be Read (TBR) Pile Challenge 2022

2022 To Be Read (TBR) Pile Challenge
hosted by Roof Beam Reader
January 1 to December 31, 2022 (details)

GOAL: Read 12 books on your TBR shelf. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2021 or later (any book published in the year 2020 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books ends up in the “did not finish (DNF)” pile.

Mood reader that I am these days makes me hesitant to commit to a list. I have a tentative stack, but will post actual books read as I work towards the twelfth book.

Camp Austen:
My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan
by Ted Scheinman
Memoir, Jane Austen theme | Goodreads | my rating: 4

Made for Love
by Alissa Nutting
Literary, Humor | Goodreads | my rating: 4

My Holiday in North Korea:
The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth
by Wendy E. Simmons
Memoir, Travel, North Korea | Published: 2016 | Goodreads | my rating: 4

Compartment K
by Helen Reilly
Mystery, Canada | Published: 1964 (first 1955) | Goodreads | my rating: 4

The Plotters
by Un-su Kim
Thriller, Mystery, South Korea | Published: 2010 | Goodreads | my rating: 4

by Jung Yun
Contemporary Fiction | Published: 2016 | Goodreads | my rating: 5

Miracle Creek
by Angie Kim
Mystery, Korea | Published: 2019 | Goodreads | my rating: 5

by Marissa Stapley
Thriller, Canada | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: 4

A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
(The Austen Project #4)
by Curtis Sittenfeld
Romance, Retelling, Jane Austen | Published: 2016 | Goodreads

The Island of Sea Women
by Lisa See
Historical, South Korea | Goodreads

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu