don't forget about reading spooky next month!

Hello, Monday! Today I'm popping in first to tell you that you've convinced me to try writing for 31 days again. The series starts on Wednesday, and I'll be linking up to The Nester's site with the topic. I've been planning and prepping for a couple of weeks now. Get ready!

Secondly, don't forget about reading something spooky next month! This year, Miranda and I are going to tackle Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. We've both heard good things about this one and look forward to being thoroughly spooked. (It is described as "chillingly erotic" on Goodreads, so be warned. I haven't read this one and therefore can't give an adequate content warning!)

And this year I'm offering a secondary spooky reading option. I have this novella called The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley. It's a sequel to that book I read over the summer Parnassus on Wheels. I doubt this one will be especially scary, but it should be a fun read all the same! You can currently find both Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop for $0.99 total in the Kindle store--I'd jump on that if I were you.)

Previous years' spooky reads include:

:: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders , by Vincent Bugliosi (a compelling nonfiction read that is chilling but not necessary spooky)
:: Dracula, by Bram Stoker (a favorite of mine, and currently only $0.99 in the Kindle store!)
:: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
:: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury (a perfect October read full of magic and carnivals and all-around spooky)


to write, or not to write

Remember that time I wrote for 31 days? I think about that project often. It ended up being near and dear to my heart. And now it's already time to start gearing up for the 2014 31 days challenge. The thing is that I'm not sure if I want to do it this year, and if I do want to do it, I'm not sure what topic I'd choose to write about.

Should I do 31 days again? Are you going to try it this year? What should I write about? What would you write about? Maybe 31 days of writing would rev some life back into this space. But maybe I should write for 31 days on my sewing blog. But maybe 31 days of writing would be too much. This month has been on the rougher end of months, what with the car crash and the heat waves and inexplicable funks. I really do love to write, so writing for 31 days could be really good for me.  But it's a gamble, one that I'm not sure if I should take. 

So, what do you think? Should I write for 31 days again


Twitterature: summer reading recap

The calendar says it's not summer anymore (at least not by the school calendar), yet the temperatures here are still reaching 90. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how I feel about that (i.e. I hate it). Regardless of the forecast, it's fall, and I've officially finished my summer reading. I read some really wonderful books this summer, so get ready for some recaps!

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest DisasterInto Thin Air , Jon Krakauer, 2 stars

An audio read for me, this one did not put out. I've heard it's a great read normally, but the narrator (the author, himself, on this one) was awful, and it was all I could do to make it to the end. I'll have to put it back on my to-read list, this time in print. #letdown #audio

The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot, 3 stars

This book started out strong for me but lost a bit of steam about three-quarters of the way through. I did find Henrietta's story both fascinating and sad. I've heard about HeLa cells in various podcasts and enjoyed learning the story of her, her posterity, and her immortal, world-changing cells. #nonfiction #realscience

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be BeautifulThe Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful, Myquillyn Smith, 5 stars

This book changed my whole perspective on my home. I felt freed from feeling the need to perfect my home and justify my decorating. I came out of this book with a boat-load of motivation, my mind brimming with ideas and possibilities. This book was a total game-changer for me, and I'd recommend it to anyone. #gamechanger #idhtbptbb

Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1)Murphy's Law, Rhys Bowen, 3 stars

Another audio read, this one was entertaining though unmemorable. I didn't love it, but it kept me listening. #mystery #historicalfiction #meh #audio

The Secret KeeperThe Secret Keeper, Kate Morton, 4.5 stars

My first Kate Morton novel, this book did not disappoint. I really loved it; it's easily my favorite fiction read of the summer. Part mystery, part historical fiction, this book was unpredictable and captivating. I loved the end and promise not to dole out spoilers. I'd recommend this to anyone. #favorite #readit

The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - CityThe Sweet Life in Paris, David Lebovitz, 4 stars

I laughed out loud several times while reading this book. The author's style is very tongue-in-cheek and appropriately self-deprecating. His various anecdotes about his forays as an expat in Paris leave you smiling and wondering how you'd fare in the BHV. #memoir #Parislife

Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2)Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1)

Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs 1 &2), Jacqueline Winspear, 4 stars each

Both audio books, I really enjoyed these books and found them refreshing from typical mystery novels. Maisie is interesting and complex, and the mysteries themselves follow suit. These are delightful books to listen to, and I'd easily recommend them to anyone looking for an intriguing mystery. #mystery #audio #historicalfiction

The Time in BetweenThe Time In BetweenMaría Dueñas, 4.5 stars

A favorite of my summer reading. I always love anything about sewing, and a story where the protagonist picks up her life with fabric and couture sewing is an automatic win in my book. And a story where the heroine uses her sewing to fight the Nazis? Two thumbs up from this seamstress.

The writing quality is solid and the story is thorough and well developed. This would be a great vacation read or an anytime read. Loved it! #sewingfiction #favorite #historicalthriller

AttachmentsAttachmentsRainbow Rowell, 4 stars

The more I read it, the more I liked it. Endearing characters, predictable yet enjoyable plot points, fun pop culture references. Reading this felt just like watching a rom-com on a Friday night. It's a perfect beach or vacation read, or just a good book to pick up if you need something fun.

Attachments is different from my first Rainbow Rowell read (Eleanor & Park). Attachments is more fun than emotional and serious. Both books are great in their own ways! #chicklit

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs, #3)Pardonable LiesJacqueline Winspear, 4 stars

Another Maisie Dobbs audiobook. This mystery/historical fiction series continues to stay strong! #mystery #audio #historicalfiction

Summers at Castle AuburnSummers at Castle Auburn, by Sharon Shinn, 4 stars

This was a reread this summer, and I forgot how much I enjoyed it. In spite of its awful cover art, this book is a lovely story, full of depth, intrigue, and even a dash of romance. This was a delightful book to reread, and it will certainly be in future reread rotations. #reread #lightfantasy #favorite

The Language of FlowersThe Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh. 3.5 stars

This was an interesting book to read. I had a difficult time identifying with the protagonist, and that barrier did make certain parts very difficult for me to read. The redemption in this story, though, is impossible to deny. Of lesser importance, I certainly enjoyed learning about flowers and their meanings. I loved how Victoria rebuilt her life with them. #happyandnothappy

Parnassus on WheelsParnassus On Wheels, Christopher Morley, 4 stars

A delightful read about a traveling bookstore and the woman who spontaneously buys it. This is a short and gratifying story that should be on the shelves of every book-lover. #bibliophile #favorite (Psst! This one is currently $1.99 in the Kindle store!)

The Girl You Left BehindThe Girl You Left Behind, Jojo Moyes, 4 stars

A very well written story intertwining past and present, while skillfully examining the intricacies of love, trust, and hope. This is a book I'd easily recommend to just about anyone. The only part someone might take issue with is a couple of sexy parts, but no explicit descriptions. #historicalfiction #readit

Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs, #4)Messenger of Truth, Jacqueline Winspear, 4 stars

Another Maisie Dobbs novel just as enjoyable as the others. #audio #mystery #historicalfiction

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic WorldNotes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, Tsh Oxenreider, 3.5 stars

I liked this far better than I anticipated. I really connected with the pursuit and idealism of intentional living. Most of the time I saw the anecdotes as an example of how intentional living worked for Tsh's family, though sometimes her philosophizing waxes preachy, especially when it comes to travel. I had a lot to take away from this book, and I read it quickly; however it won't be my intentional-living-bible or anything. #nonfiction #intentionalliving #artofsimple

The Middle PlaceThe Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan, 4 stars

A memoir that is refreshingly honest and often laugh-out-loud funny. Sometimes Corrigan's attitude about faith frustrated me, but overall I enjoyed reading about her journey. I laughed, I cried, and I counted my blessings. #memoir #nonfiction #countyourblessings

My summer reading tallied at 18! I impressed even myself with that one. What did you read this summer? Anything I need to add to my list?

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy today!


the worst way to spend Labor Day

And no, I didn't spend my holiday in labor. (Obviously.) Though I think I would have preferred labor to our activity: car shopping. Wait, you think, Didn't you guys just buy a car a couple of years ago? Yes, you'd be right. But what you don't know is that last week I wrecked that car. I wrecked it good. (I write with a bit of cheek in this matter to offset the tears that may surface at any moment because of said car accident.)

Let me first assure you that no one was hurt. Our car, however, and the other car involved, and a fence, did not fare well. My newest mantra is Better a car than a person, better a car than a person. So now we're on pins and needles waiting to hear back from the insurance company about whether or not they're going to total our car, which we'd actually prefer, because we think in some twisted way we'd come out ahead. And so today we spent our entire morning shopping for the car that we'd get to replace our broken cartoon car.

Though we did find a suitable replacement-slash-upgrade (dependent, of course, on the insurance ruling), I left that car lot convinced that there's a ring of purgatory dedicated to perpetual car buying, complete with slimy sales managers and one-time-only-in-your-whole-life deals.
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