Readathon Wrapup

Fellow bookworms, I am calling it.  I started at 8 and read off and on until 5:30, tallying a total of 5 hours reading.  Here’s how my day went:

I started with a bowl of cereal and wrote my intro post.  I then snuggled up in my library with a few chapters of HP7.  After a snack of vanilla yogurt with strawberries and granola, I began We Have Always Lived in the Castle.


I got sidetracked doing laundry and prepping dinner mid-morning, so decided that would be a good time to shower.  After a lunch of salad with romaine, dried cranberries, walnuts, feta, and homemade vinaigrette, I moved my reading downstairs to the family room and started a fire.

I began Tomes of Terror, read another HP chapter, and finished WHALitC.  Afternoon snacks included radishes, pistachios, and celery with peanut butter.  It was a delightful day, nice and cozy, and here are my stats:

  • 1 book read entirely
  • 65 pages of Tomes of Terror
  • 51 pages of Deathly Hallows
  • Total pages read: 272

I tweeted quite a bit and even mentioned my arch nemesis, the unopenable pistachio,  It was good fun!

Readathon: Ready, Set, GO!

Happy Readathon everyone!  Are we so excited?!?!  Of course, I started an hour late, because waking up before 7 on a Saturday just doesn’t work for me.  I decided I’m going to try to keep things simple this time around to focus on reading and not get too distracted by updating posts or other time-sucking internet stuff.  I’m going to begin my session in my library with Harry Potter 7 and We Have Always Lived in the Castle and see how the day progresses from there.  I will take pictures throughout the day because for the first time I’m going to be tweeting my updates. I’ll be recording my page count and time actually spent reading in my notebook.  At the end of my reading day (usually about 6 or 7 pm) I’ll sum up in one big post.  And holy crap, I am at the very top of the Blogroll!


To begin, I’ll start with the obligatory intro post via Dewey’s site:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Chicago Suburbs
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? We Have Always Lived in the Castle
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  Pistachios are my go-to readathon munchie
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  My new house has 2 libraries (one for fiction and one for nonfiction) and I plan on spending the day reading in them
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?  This isn’t my first rodeo.  I won’t be posting updates on the blog, but you can follow along on Twitter.

The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva

rembrandt-affairRating: **** (4/5)

Published: Signet 2011

Format: Pocket Paperback

Genre: Thriller

Source: Personal Collection

After the traumatic events in Russia in the previous book, The Defector, Gabriel Allon is looking forward to quiet retirement in England. But when art dealer Julian Isherwood implores him to help find a stolen Rembrandt, Allon cannot help but be intrigued. What seems like a theft gone wrong becomes a more complex issue of misappropriated art looted during WWII. Gabriel’s search for answers takes him across the globe to a Holocaust survivor in Amsterdam, the son of a Nazi war profiteer in Argentina, and a philanthropic business man in Switzerland. The greater global implications of a long lost secret hidden within the Rembrandt culminate in a plot so daring, even Allon is amazed by his own audacity. This is another great installment to an engrossing series.

The rest of the Gabriel Allon series:

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaugter

the-kept-womanRating: ****  (4/5)

Published: William Morrow, September 2016

Format: ARC

Genre: Mystery

Source: Publisher (BEA)

If I had to review this book using just one word, that word would be INTENSE. It wasn’t quite as messed up as Pretty Girls, but it came close. A former cop is found dead at the construction site of an accused rapist’s nightclub, and Detective Will Trent knows he has a mess on his hands. But there is more to the crime scene that meets the eye. When Will’s wife Angie’s gun is found at the location, all heck breaks loose. Not only does it implicate a more convoluted crime, it compromises Will’s relationship with his medical examiner girlfriend Sara. Angie is one disturbed lady and she will stop at nothing to save her own skin. She royally screws with Will and her ruthlessness makes her a character I loved to hate. Throw in blackmail, pimps, crooked cops, drugs, and all manners of corruption, and you’ve got a high-octane novel full of suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.

Also by Karin Slaughter, the VERY excellent Pretty Girls

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

First and foremost – GO CUBS!

You may have noticed, I finally sucked it up and paid for my own domain name.  I have yet to play around with themes and features, so you may see some changes to the blog in the next week or so.

I am still geeking out about the delightfully bookish BEA reunion I hosted last weekend and I absolutely loved Katie and Stacey’s write-ups on the day.

Readathon is just a week away!  I’ve got my small stack ready, including:

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries
  • The Princess Bride

I’ve also got a collection of creepy short stories that I scored from the Vine: A Tree or A Person or a Wall.  I’m going for the Halloween-esque reads next week, plus The Princess Bride will add a bit of levity when needed.

I finally got a new mailbox, since the one that came with the house didn’t have a flag and didn’t close properly.  And I gave it the UP treatment…

I bought pumpkins and Halloween candy for the first time ever.  I’m getting into the spirit!

Thanks Christine for the topic!

Book Nerds Unite!

So this happened:


My lovely BEA ladies Marisa, Stacey, and Katie came over for lunch and 5 hours of delightful nerdiness!  The afternoon absolutely flew by, we had so much fun.  We had some very stimulating discussions, most of which revolved around books (duh) and food.  Other interesting topics of conversation:

  • Katie’s obsession with  Lin-Manuel Miranda (she even rapped for us)
  • David Bowie’s package in the Labyrinth
  • Stacey and I GUSHED about Gentleman in Moscow 
  • Blog platforms, domain names, and self hosting (and I will finally be sucking it up and paying for my domain name) and they gave me pointers on image editing websites and were to find free images
  • A goddess swallowing a dude’s something?
  • Saved by the Bell (because Stacey didn’t know what a Zach Morris phone was and I sang the song from the caffeine pill episode)

But my favorite thing was when I asked the girls to pick a book from my TBR shelf that they thought I absolutely must read before the end of the year.  Here’s what they chose:

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman – this was something both Stacey and Katie both enthusiastically promoted
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – Katie’s pick, she likened it to A Little Life, so I’ll probably cry
  • The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall – Stacey’s pick, which I’m actually really excited about
  • This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – Marisa’s pick, because she hadn’t read that much on my TBR shelf and they all agreed this was a good one
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence – Marisa’s bonus pick because she wanted me to be embarrassed reading it on public transportation


I look forward to expolring these books in November and December.  It was really the perfect afternoon with good food, excellent company, and fantastic conversation.

The Defector by Daniel Silva

defectorRating:  ***** (5/5)

Published: Signet 2010

Format: Pocket Paperback

Genre: Thriller

Source: Personal Collection

A continuation of Moscow Rules, this is the most personal mission of Gabriel Allon’s career. Allon volunteers to find the defector who saved his life when he mysteriously disappears in London. With the Russian antagonist still at large from the previous novel, Allon is in greater danger, and more vulnerable, than he ever anticipated. His mission takes him from London to Switzerland, back to Moscow and to Stalin’s personal killing ground to rescue the one person he holds most dear. The high-stakes rescue mission leaves Allon and his wife deeply affected by their ordeal, their trauma and grief inconsolable. Even the indomitable Shamron was not immune to the grave consequences. Needless to say I was absolutely engrossed in this installment of the Allon series.

The rest of the Gabriel Allon series: