Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

I have been a busy little bee lately! We have things happening around here, little changes are being made - we will see how they go! We just got back from our first family trip, and we had a blast. 

Right now, Billy and the boy are out at breakfast, and I have the house to myself. I'm just sitting here, drinking my coffee, listening to the quiet. I had almost forgotten what quiet sounded like.

Read Last Week:


Mystic Summer by Hannah McKinnon: I am not sure I really liked this book? I feel like there was too much infidelity going on, and I am not a fan of that.

Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne: I don't usually read a Christmas book out of season, but this advanced readers copy was worth breaking my pattern for. I am not quite finished but I will be very soon.

Reading This Week:

I was so excited! I went to the library when we got home from vacation (of course) and I had a ton of my holds come in! Now, to decide where to start is the problem. It will be one of these.


Posted Last Week:


We finished up Stranger Things, which was amazing! We actually finished a lot of stuff up that we had been saving, and now are fishing around for something until the fall lineup begins. We are watching Season 3 of Sleepy Hollow, and while I love the two lead actors in this show, it's not the same as Season 1. We also watched the BBC series Thirteen, which was amazing! You have to pay per episode on Amazon, even with Prime, but there are only a few episodes and it was fantastic, in my opinion.

What about you? What's been going on?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Catching Up

We have been a busy little household lately!

Last weekend we took our first ever family vacation. My father and stepmom always rent a cottage on the lake up north every summer, and invited us up to stay for the weekend. So we packed up the Jeep and headed north! Wyatt did so good in the car - it was a four hour drive, which took us five, but we had a pit stop in the middle so Wyatt could eat and be out of his car seat for a bit. He was fussy for maybe 15 minutes of the whole drive - he's a trooper! 

We had a great time up north, despite the fact that it rained more than it has all summer! Our beach day hopes went down the drain, but we still slogged wetly through Leland/Fishtown, one of my favorite spots in northern Michigan. I was reminded of Innsmuth from Lovecraft, with the quaint fishing village, the gray skies, the unrelenting rain - minus the horrors of course. My dad generously bought us all warm sweatshirts, and onward we touristed. The highlight of that particular visit was the candy store! I usually skip that one, but this time we indulged and we were thankful later that night, while the wind was whipping around the cottage, and the rain was pelting down. We all got to snuggle inside, reading and playing games, and eating our candy. Or sleeping, if you were Wyatt. All in all, it was a great first trip.

In other news, I also started classes this week (two online Anthropology classes), and also, work! I haven't worked since before Wyatt was born, but my cousin is an attorney and needed some help in the office. So I'm back in the world! Only two half days a week, but that is enough for now, with everything else that is happening. It's fun to get out and do something different.

So the last week went from zero to sixty in a hurry, and I am excited about the new changes, although I will miss the nugget while I am away!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

It was a pretty great week, which ended with my niece's first birthday party today! It was pink lemonade themed and it turned out so cute! The desserts were spot on - lemon cookies, lemonade cupcakes, fairy wheels - it was adorable. Wyatt loved it too, and put away a few fistfuls of cake.

Seriously, how cute is this cupcake? My niece's maternal aunt made these!

Read Last Week:


I loved School for Unusual Girls - now I can't wait to read the next one. 

Joyland was a reread of an old favorite for my book club - my pick. I love this book and it was interesting to hear my book clubbers thoughts!

Reading This Week:


The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel - A NetGalley read

I will probably throw something else in the mix too - tomorrow is library day!!

Posted Last Week;


The Office (American) - this is sometimes almost painful to watch!

The Olympics, and we are about to start Bloodline. Otherwise, just waiting for my regular shows begin. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book review: The Girls in the Garden

Title: The Girls in the Garden
Author: Lisa Jewell

Goodreads Summary:

Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really? 

On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

Dark secrets, a devastating mystery, and the games both children and adults play all swirl together in this gripping novel, packed with utterly believable characters and page-turning suspense.

My Thoughts:

I could not put this book down! I was fascinated by the dynamics of the characters in this story. I am so drawn to books that are character driven with cool settings, and this book was both.

This book was unusual, and I think that is why I liked it. It didn't follow the normal path that I expected it would. Everything in this book played with conventions - traditional vs. alternative, from parenting to living arrangements, to children's names and even pets. Things were turned upside down everywhere, forcing your brain to look at things in ways you didn't expect. Was this always successful? Perhaps not, but it was always interesting.

The children in this book ran free and wild, without much supervision from parents, either through a parenting choice (Adele), neglect (CeCe), or too much trust in the park itself (Clare). Where one may believe this kept the children safe or innocent, it had mixed results. The girls in the garden I believe refers to more than just Pip and her sister Grace, who were the new girls in the park, whose presence upset the whole social ecosystem that was in place. An influx of new thoughts and ideas, girls who had not been raised in this communal environment their whole lives and brought with them, in essence, the rest of the world. Despite this, they began as the most innocent.

The mystery itself kept me guessing - Jewell did a great job at making everyone seem suspect. The ending was unexpected, and slightly unsatisfying, but I think it fit the story and the characters well. And, I think, it is an ending that could actually happen in reality.

 You have to wonder, can such a self-contained world remain pure, or will it eventually warp upon itself?

One last thing - these giant rabbits! I totally want one! One of the characters in the book has a giant rabbit on a leash, and a cat in a box. Again, with the upside down. I looked the rabbit up, a Flemish Giant, and it appears they are definitely real. I wonder how one would get along with my cats?

Click on the pic for source and more info!
For more info on this guy, click his photo. I loves him!!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked how Jewell skewed things, instead of doing the expected. I hate writing such vague reviews but  I really don't want to give anything away!! My suggestion: if you are in the mood for a quick read, but one that keeps you guessing and introduces you to interesting characters, then this book is for you. Give it a whirl - maybe even read it in a park on a warm day with a breeze, surrounded by the sounds of children playing, and think about how children playing can sometimes be less than innocent.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

My lazy summer all of a sudden got really busy! I didn't get a chance to do anything on the blog last week, but this week will be different. It's been busy. All good stuff but phew I am tired and we have just begun. My husband was off for four days which was awesome! We had a mini staycation and did all sorts of fun things, just bopping around town. I also have lots of things coming up on the calendar, so Wyatt and I will be whirling through August. Should be fun!

We also saw Suicide Squad over the weekend. Billy and I realized it is the first time we have seen a movie in the theater since Jurassic World came out last year!! Yikes! We need to get out on date nights more often.

Read Last Week:

Wow I loved The Girls in the Garden!!! I never figured it out either.

The Drafter was a fun departure from Harrison's Hollows series - bonus: it is set in futuristic Detroit!

Reviews upcoming.

Reading This Week:


 Joyland is my book club pick - and book club is Wednesday! I have already read it, I just need to refresh my memory. I loved this book!

A School for Unusual Girls is a series I have seen around and it sounds awesome. I am excited to start it.


The Olympics!! I love the cycling and swimming.

We also finished up Stranger Things which was amazeballs - I can't wait for season 2!!! We are also catching up on Outlander - it is getting so good.  We are trying to find a half hour sitcom though, sometimes you just need something light and funny. We finished up Community and Wrecked and now we are out of our funny shows!