Happy Halloween!


Let the festivities officially begin because Halloween is upon us! (Although I’ve been trying to squeeze in Halloween hijinks throughout the whole month.) πŸ˜›

It’s pretty dang cold here in Michigan right now, but that’s okay. I’m soaking up all this fall weather while I can. This past weekend I got to head out of town to spend it with my #1 partner in crime, Cupcakes and Machetes. She was hosting our book club’s October meeting and threw a lovely get-together with delicious fall goodies and an awesome tour of the old cemetery behind her house. I stayed the night and we wound up carving pumpkins and watching the first 2 episodes of the latest season of Stranger Things. (I can’t wait to see the rest of it!) It was a great way to spend the weekend before Halloween, not to mention how gorgeous all the trees were on the drive! πŸ™‚


I can’t wait to see all the costumes everyone wears at work today. I think I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’m a program instructor at a day program for adults with special needs and we’re having a big Halloween party with a costume contest, creepy sensory bins, spooky decorations, and room-to-room trick or treating. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun. πŸ˜€

One of the major reasons I’m in the job field I am is my big brother. He has autism, OCD, and epilepsy. For a long time he wasn’t really into doing holiday-related activities. (In fact, for years my parents couldn’t put up a Christmas tree because in his opinion, that tree simply did not belong in the living room so it was coming down one way or another.) He’s come around though in recent years and even helped decorate the tree last year which was really nice. πŸ™‚ Well, he’s embraced Halloween now, too, it seems. We got to decorate pumpkins together. I carved mine and he decorated his with paint and face stickers. He did such a great job and it was really cool getting to do that with him.

My pumpkin was supposed to be a pug face. Hopefully it looks sorta kinda like one. πŸ˜› Anywhoooo, I hope you guys all have a fantastic Halloween! Are you doing anything fun today? What were your favorite Halloween activities you got to do this year?


What Time Is It? UPDATE TIME!

Hey, guys! Just popping in for some quick updates!

As last month came to an end I posted about some of the book options I had proposed for June’s book club meeting I’ll be hosting. Things got nuts after that. lol A tie breaker vote had to be done and it was so close even then that we nearly wound up split right down the middle for a second time! There was joking about bribery with cupcakes and cookies among the book club ladies because they were so adamant that their book choice won. All the chaos eventually settled and we finally had a winner . . . The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu!


Ooh, and some exciting news . . . I recently won my first ever book giveaway!! πŸ˜€ And it was even right here on WordPress! If you haven’t ventured on over to The Book-Filled Day yet, I’d say you should rectify that and check it out. πŸ˜‰ It’s all books all the time over there so what’s not to love? I entered their giveaway for the Glimmers series and was so pleasantly surprised to discover that I’d actually won it! From what I’ve read about the series it’s a witty and fun series full of magic about a young fairy godmother in training.

glimmers trilogy.png I’m so very excited to have won, and to get to read this series soon, so a massive thank you to The Book-Filled Day and to the author of the series, Emma Savant! ❀ Seriously, I never win anything, so this was really exciting! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


In other reading news, I just finished the second volume of DC Bombshells, so I’ll be posting a proper review of that soon. πŸ™‚ I’ve got a couple canvas prints from this series on my wall, but I want to hunt down more of them the more I read this series. The ones I have are of Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, but I’d love to find some of the other ladies as well, especially Batwoman! πŸ˜€

PicMonkey Collage h.png

Oh, and I started watching the new American Gods TV series based off the Neil Gaiman novel. I’m only two episodes in, but I’m liking it so far. There’s still a lot of questions at this point, but that’s just fine by me. πŸ™‚ It’s weird as hell so far too, and that is also just fine by me.

So, yeah, those were my quick updates. Feel free to share any of your own recent updates if you’d like. I’d love to hear about them! Are you watching any new shows or reading anything new at the moment?

Book Club Options- Waiting on the Votes to Roll In

I recently volunteered to host June’s night-out-on-the-town for the book club I’m in, which means I got to pick the book options! So as I wait for Wednesday night to roll around so I can tally up the votes I figured I would share the options I put out there with you guys. πŸ™‚

Option #1: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts


Phew! That is one lengthy title, but it definitely gets a person’s attention, so well done.

To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven.

Yup. Sign me up for this one. I’m sold. We’ve got several hardcore nonfiction lovers in our book club so I figured this was a good choice. πŸ™‚

Option #2: An Ember in the Ashes


β€œAll the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.”

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this one, so of course I had to include it in the list. (And if it doesn’t win I’m reading it anyway at some point!) πŸ˜‰

Option #3: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom


This is my other nonfiction selection. After listening to Yeonmi Park’s emotional and heartbreaking speech for One Young World I felt really compelled to read this book. Here’s the video of her moving speech if any of you are interested in listening. (Trigger Warning: topics such as intended suicide and rape are brought up in this video, among other tragic and unjust things, so just warning you guys).


Option #4: Red Sister


It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.

Here’s another book I’ve been hearing amazing things about. If this book wins it will be my first venture into the works of Mark Lawrence. (Honestly, even if it doesn’t win it probably still will be with all the great reviews I’ve been reading about it.) πŸ˜›

Option #5: Stalking Jack the Ripper


A fictional tale involving Jack the Ripper. I enjoy historical fiction so this one seemed interesting.

So, those are my choices I selected for my fellow book club ladies to vote on. I’m very curious to see the winner once all the votes are in. So far it’s kind of all over the place, so I’m hoping the remaining two votes will nail down a concrete winner.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? πŸ™‚


The Nightingale- No Spoiler Book Review

As Book lovers, many of us are well acquainted with those nights when we know we should get to bed, but we just can’t put down the book we’re reading until we’ve finished it. This was me last night while reading the last quarter of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.


I don’t even know how to do this book justice in a review, but I’m going to try my best just the same. This novel is a great example of what historical fiction as a genre can accomplish. It takes what we know of history but gives us as readers the ability to step into the shoes of the characters who are living through the events that happened before many of us were even born. It shows us parts of day to day life that we might otherwise not consider while reading about the overall big picture presented in our history books.

The Nightingale follows the lives of two very different sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, as they do what they must to survive in France during WWII. Vianne is the older of the two, a wife whose husband is being held prisoner in a Nazi war camp, but also a mother who wants more than anything to keep her daughter as safe as she can while struggling just to keep them fed. Isabelle is the young and impulsive sister with a rebel’s spirit, a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. In German occupied France, these are dangerous times. Throughout the story the two sisters are forced to make choices time and time again that could be the difference between life and death, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

Several times while reading this I thought back to people I’ve met and cared for who were there in the thick of things during WWII. In previous jobs I’ve had I have taken care of people from different walks of life, born in different countries, but who all had lived during the same war. Soldiers, civilians, holocaust survivors. I’ve seen firsthand the numbers that were forcibly tattooed onto a person’s arm in their youth that they had to carry with them into their old age long after the war was over. I’ve seen how something seemingly as simple as helping someone to undress and take a shower even decades later can trigger a horrible flashback that mentally takes them right back to the horrors of life in a concentration camp. As I read The Nightingale I couldn’t help but be reminded of these people I once knew. I was moved to tears several times as I read this book.

There is a quote from the book that I think is very relevant now, much as it would have been back then. “What good is safety if she has to grow up in a world where people disappear without a trace because they pray to a different God?” Wars like WWII don’t happen overnight, and I think this book illustrates that very point. Hate, ignorance, and intolerance are all ugly things that can only build in momentum if we let them. This happened then, and one can’t help but feel it happening now. It makes another, older quote come to mind: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It is a disturbing thing to consider, but we as people have to learn from the mistakes of the past if there is ever to be any hope of us moving forward. As another quote from the book explains, “love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”

The Nightingale shines a light on the ugliest parts of humanity as well as the beauty and compassion we are capable of if only we choose to do the right thing and be there for one another. It shows that love comes in many forms, not all of them perfect or easy.Β  This book gets a solid 5/5 stars from me.


Watcha Reading: The Girl With All the Gifts


Although I have yet to mention it in this blog, I belong to a pretty snazzy book club. We’re a small group (there are only eight of us), but we have a great dynamic and have managed to keep it that way for three years now as of this month. Each month, one of us is in charge of picking about four to five books for the rest of our lot to vote on. The winning book is what we end up reading and then we get together near the end of the month to discuss the book (honestly, only for like five minutes and then the talk always turns to inappropriate banter on one topic or another for the rest of the night). There’s also almost always booze and delicious food. Needless to say, it’s always a good time. πŸ™‚


This month is my turn to play hostess. I suggested a variety of books, and the winner was The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. A few of the girls even had it on their TBR lists already. I’d had a good friend of mine recommend it to me months ago. She literally squealed with joy when I told her I was finally going to be reading it.

Although I am not all that far into the book yet, I can honestly say I like it quite a bit already. It doesn’t suffer from any sort of a slow start or info dump that you sometimes have to get through in even the best of books. The chapters are short and interesting, with different characters’ POVs. The characters have depth to them and feel real. Your initial assumptions about them do not define them as characters. They’re complex.

I don’t want to give much about the plot away since I think it is kind of fun going into it without much background info like I did. It’s a book that doesn’t feel the need to spoon feed you all the answers right away. You learn more about the characters, plot, and setting the further you go along reading it. It is a dystopian horror, I can tell you that much. The world has seen better days in it, and although the outlook of the future is grim, there is hope. But what if you had to do horrible things to hang on to that hope? Unethical things? It’s a story that forces its characters to set aside their humanity at times all in the hopes of saving humanity. And all while questioning what exactly even defines humanity to begin with.

If you’re interested in it, here is the book’s goodreads page so you can read a little more about it, but I do honestly think this is a book that is fun to go into with very little background information on it.