Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Great War: A Reading List

Tsar Nicholas and King George V
With the four year-long 100th anniversary of The Great War coming to end in November, now is a good time to brush up on the event that still leaves a mark on the world today.

Starting with how the world got to the event of June 28, 1914
1. To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild

2. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark

3. The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

4. The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillian

5. 1913: The Year Before the Storm by Florian Illies, Shaun Whiteside, and Jamie Lee Searle

6. Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Battles and Soldiers
7. Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics by Kathryn J. Atwood

8. Forgotten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur and the Imperial War Museum (UK)

9. The Harlem Hell Fighters: The African-American 369th Infantry in World War I by Stephen L. Harris and Rod Paschall

10. Voices From the Trenches: Letters to Home by Noel Carthew

11. The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War by Richard Rubin and Grover Gardener

12. Backs to the Wall: A Larrikin on the Western Front by G.D. Mitchell

13. Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front by Peter Hart

14. The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East by Eugene Rogan

The war might have ended, but there is no peace (1918 and beyond)
15. The Great Silence: Living in the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age by Juliet Nicholson

16. The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

17. 1918 The Year of Victory: The End of the Great War and the Shaping of History by Ashley Ekins

April 2018 Reading Wrap Up

*originally appeared on my BookLikes page

April was all about the love for my library. I discovered that in addition to having a subscription to OverDrive, my library also has a subscription to RB Digital (a service that has some book choices that overlap with OD, but also has more offerings, including magazines).

Books attached to the post are my favorites for the month.

Dewey Read-a-thon stats: 5 books, 279 pages read; one mini-challenge completed; 6 hours and 41 minutes reading time. 

BL/GR: 42/75 - I increased by goal by 23 books and I am already over the 50% mark!
Pop Sugar: 10 new prompts filled; 24/50 prompts filled total

1. It's in His Kiss (Lucky Harbor #10) by Jill Shalvis - 3 stars
2. Paper Girls (Book One) by Brian K. Vaughan et al - 4.5 stars
3. George by Alex Gino - 3.5 stars
4. Once Upon a Spine (A Bibliophile Mystery #11) by Kate Carlisle - 1 star
5. Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1) by Melissa de la Cruz - 5 stars
6. Barefoot Season (Blackberry Island #1) by Susan Mallery - 5 stars
7. The Irish Americans: A History by Jay P. Dolan - 2.5 stars
8. Hospitality and Homicide (Tourist Trap Mystery #8) by Lynn Cahoon - 3 stars
9. Three Sisters (Blackberry Island #2) by Susan Mallery - 3 stars
10. Wonderment in Death (...In Death #41.5) by J.D. Robb - 3 stars
11. Evening Stars (Blackberry Island #3) by Susan Mallery - 5 stars
12. Island Girls by Nancy Thayer 3.5 stars
13. One Wish (Thunder Point #7) by Robyn Carr - 2.5 stars
14. Winter Eve (Shifters of Ashwood Falls #0.5) by Lia Davis - 3.5 stars
15. Catherine Finds Love (Ruby Springs Brides #1) by Karla Gracey - 3 stars
16. Desperate (Lipstick and Lead #1) by Sylvia McDaniel - 2.5 stars
17. Doc's Town (Prossers Bay #0.5) by Cheryl Phipps - 1 star
18. Three Fates by Kate Quinn - 4 stars

1. I Contain Multitudes by Ed Young - I couldn't make it through the first chapter. Sorry Flat Book Society. 

2. Death on Tap (Sloan Krause Mystery #1) by Ellie Alexander - Boring, badly drawn characters and lots of details about things that don't matter. Suffers greatly from first book-itis. Still no dead body at the 20% mark so I cut my loses there.

3. Driftwood Cottage (Chesapeake Shores #5) by Sherryl Woods - Stupid morons, their poor kid who is already one year old and looking for an escape away from his parents, and his meddling family left me cold at the 15% mark. Couldn't care about any of these characters to read their stories, so I am DNF'ing the whole series. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cross Stitch

So I have re-entered the world of cross stitching, my first serious crafting hobby. I haven't stitched in a long time and I wanted a creative hobby other than reading.  Here's some projects I completed/works in progress:

1. Sutter's Fort Bookmark
Completed project (not finished): https://www.instagram.com/p/Bevo2SxBgSD/?taken-by=tearainbook

This was a kit from The Posy Collection; I picked the kit up from the gift shop at Sutter's Fort (located in Sacramento, California) and then I packed up and moved to England and never got around to actually making the thing. So it was the first project I did in January to get me to remember how to cross stitch. One of the color floss was missing from the kit; luckily, my local art and crafts store on base had the color in stock. After finishing this project, the last thing I want to get is ink on my hard work. Rather than a bookmark, I will be mounting it in a frame to hang.

2. Just Cross Stitch Magazine Year of Mini-Bunnies SAL
In progress picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/BhOjghWBO33/?taken-by=tearainbook)

This has been a really fun project so far. I have used different shades of the color than the ones called for in the project instructions for three out of the four blocks. Looking at mounting this in a frame to hang, but I have 8 more months/blocks to go. The hard part of this project is keeping track of where in the pattern I finished and where to pick up - I am using a pen to cross out lines that I have already stitched, so I won't be using the pattern again.

I definitely recommend the Just Cross Stitch magazine. It has a variety of projects at variety of stitching levels (Beginner, Confident Beginner, Moderate/Intermediate, Advanced) plus they put out two special edition collections: Halloween and Christmas Ornaments.

3. "Nevertheless, She Persisted" 
In progress picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/BgCLbl7jBqv/?taken-by=tearainbook

This was my first kit or pattern from Subversive Cross Stitch.com and it was so easy that it is my quickest completed project to date. Nice balance of decoration and message.

I listen to podcasts while I cross stitch. I can't do audiobooks while I stitch because I end up screwing up my stitch count or I miss huge parts of the book. Audiobooks work better when I am playing on the PlayStation or coloring. In May, I am participating in the #30for30 crafting challenge (30 minutes per day for 30 days), hosted by The Crafting Geek.com.

Until next time, happy reading and happy stitching!

March 2018 Reading Wrap Up

The last one of my updates to this blog, here is my March 2018 reading wrap up (originally published on BookLikes).


1. Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics by Kathryn J. Atwood - 4 stars

2. A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L'Engle - 3 stars

3. Danger in High Heels (High Heels #7) by Gemma Halliday - 4 stars

4. Deadly in High Heels (High Heels #9) by Gemma Halliday - 4 stars

5. The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias - 2.5 stars

6. Forgotten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur - 2.5 stars

February 2018 Reading Wrap Up

Continuing my updates to this blog, here is my February 2018 reading wrap up (originally published on BookLikes).


1. American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse - 4 stars

2. AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service - and How It Hurts Our Country by Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaeffer - 3.5 stars

3. The Great Silence 1918-1920: Living in the Shadow of the Great War by Juliet Nicolson - 4 stars

4. Dark in Death (In Death #46) by JD Robb - 4 stars


5. Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality by David Boies and Theodore B. Olson

January 2018 Reading Wrap Up

Hey everybody! I am updating my blog to make it current and to get me into blogging here more. Here is my post (originally posted to BookLikes) about what I read in January 2018

Pretty average month, mostly in the 2.5-3 stars range; however it was productive, thanks to COYER, BoB Cycle 21, and 24 in 48 challenges.

1. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill - 3 stars

2. Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flatts by Kristen Iverson - 3 stars

3. The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich - 3 stars

4. Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo - 4 stars

5. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking - 2 stars

6. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David von Drehle - 2.5 stars

7. A Right Honorable Gentleman by Courtney Milan - 1 star

8. Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson - 4 stars

9. Love is Love by Various Authors - 3.5 stars

10. Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole - 4.5 stars

11. The Lotus Palace (Pingkang Li Mystery #1) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars

12. The Jade Temptress (Pingkang Li Mystery #2) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars

13. Agnes Moore's Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole - 2.5 stars

Something True by Karelia Stetz-Waters at 18% because I only liked one MC and the side characters were extremely annoying or stereotyped.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#thankfullyreading weekend

Image result for snoopy happy thanksgiving pictures

 Over at Jenn's Bookshelves blog, there is a mini-read-a-thon going called Thankfully Reading Weekend (November 22-26, 2017). I decided at the last minute to join in since we are staying put for the holiday weekend. I DO NOT DO BLACK FRIDAY - I still have nightmares about working 3 BFs when I was employed at Wal-Mart (this was before I joined the military and one of the major reasons why I joined the military, lol). On the challenge kick-off post, Jenn listed a few questions for participants to answer in our opening post. Here are my answers:

Q1. How will/did you celebrate Thanksgiving?
A1. We are getting together with other military families at a friend's house and doing Turkey Day potluck style. The hosts are deep frying a turkey, which is my favorite kind! I am supplying dessert, so I baked 3 pumpkin pies and one apple crisp (complete with ice cream and whipped cream), plus I am defrosting a pecan pie courtesy of my friend Marie Callendar, as this pie was requested by the host's husband and man in charge of deep fryer.

Q2. What’s in your TBR pile for the weekend?
A2. Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin (historical inspirational romance), The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich (non-fiction women's history), The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen (historical romance), and Bloom by Kelle Hampton (memoir on motherhood and raising a child with Down Syndrome).

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Q3. How much time do you think you’ll have for reading?
A3. Due to work restrictions and duties, my husband has to be in the very local area and needs access to the car to get to work if called in. So pretty much all the time for reading this weekend minus the time socializing with friends over Thanksgiving dinner.

Q4. What book are you starting out with?
A4. Through Waters Deep - looking forward to reading a WWII romance between an American woman and British naval officer.

Q5. Are you reading print, ebooks, or audio? Maybe a bit each?
A5. All reading will be from e-books on my NOOK. Audio doesn't work with the kids home.

Q6. What books will you be talking about during Thanksgiving dinner? Be sure to keep track of any recommendations you receive and share when you have the time.
A6. I don't read the same type of (genre) books my friends' or my husband reads, so I sit out on the recommendations. I do talk to everyone about reading habits or other bookish things, though.

Follow along or join in on Twitter (#thankfullyreading) or Instagram (#thankfullyreading)!