Category Archives: Summer Reading

Life From Scratch

I learned the lesson a long time ago that food was love.  If I could draw for you a big, loopy heart and type the word food smack dab in the middle of it, you’d get how I feel.

Food = Love

Food is a friend.  Food makes the good times great, and the bad times suck just a little less.  Pretty sure this feeling is hereditary and passed down from family to family, with the exception of those crazy families who consider food fuel for the body.  A method to keep your metabolism cranking and calories burning.

That’s adorable.

Or maddening… you choose.Unknown

When a book has the ability to capture food, love, and friendship in such a way, and oh, make the main character grow and change that is both cringe-worthy and admirable at the same time?  Well, that’s just magic.

I introduce to you Life from Scratch, by Melissa Ford.

I am pretty sure I heard about this from Modern Mrs. Darcy for a Kindle Deal… last year, and quickly downloaded it.  I never got around to reading it before this past weekend, and once I started, I couldn’t put it down.

I l-o-v-e any book with a major transformation in the main character.  It just always gives me hope for what could be if I took chances more.  Plus, throw in some food, blogging, and a sexy Spaniard and I was hooked.

If you have a chance to add this to your summer reading list, please do so.  If you’re in the mood for a funny, quirky, love story that will make you want to cook a fried egg, then this is for you.

Up next:  In Twenty Years, by Allison Winn Scotch

Happy Reading!

The Gratitude Diaries

It’s no mysteries to anyone who knows me that I’ve had an on-again and off-again relationship with Gratitude (yes, it deserves a capital G in my eyes).  I’ve read about it, done 28-day programs, and even proclaimed myself “cured” from the negative self-talk that has always plagued me.

Funny word, plague.

And by funny, I don’t mean haha.

I always know that my thinking has gotten away from me when I’m most drawn to self-help books.  Yes, it’s true, they’ve always been a part of my life, but now I notice myself steering away from fiction when I’m feeling a little lost.

And by lost, I mean hopeless.

For me, there are two contributing factors to wandering around the desolate island with Jack and Sawyer… exhaustion and diet.  I can function okay when one or the other is out of whack, but when both are, forget about it.

Game over.  Nobody wins.

Gratitude is a tricky topic for me, mostly because I really try to do what I say I’mmaxresdefault going to do.  I genuinely try to find the good in situations and help others along the way.  But I have been finding myself lately in that dark place where nothing feels like it’s ever going to get better.  That place where binge-watching The Killings in two weeks is not only okay, but justified.

The Killings.. totally worth it, btw.

So, last night, while cleaning out my Kindle, I came across a book I had bought last year and never read.  The Gratitude Diaries, by Janice Kaplan, and it was all clouds parting-choirs singing for me.

Of course, this finds it way to me when I need it.  I’ve been working on the food thing again, and exhaustion is far less when I eat better (go figure), so naturally Gratitude is the next step.

If you’re also looking a way out of fiction this summer – even though your To Read list is probably growing every day – pick this up.  We could all use a little more Gratitude in our lives, and sometimes just need somewhere to start.

Ready… set… Go!

Happy Reading Peeps 🙂

Don’t You Cry

51C-qS47EAL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Traditional book reviews are not my favorite thing.  It always makes me a little crazy when I’m looking through Goodreads, only to find the same summary written and rewritten in catchy ways to try and inform the reader of whether to read the book or not.

I can read a book cover.  I don’t need information about what’s inside the book, and for God’s sake, please leave out any spoiler alerts.  I don’t want to know how it ends… until I get to that spot myself, thank you very much.

What I do want is to know how you felt reading it.  Did you laugh, cry (or hopefully both!), or were you unable to put it down?  Did you struggle to get through or give up for something better?  These are the things I want from a review.

And so that is what I will give you, Dear Reader.

No summaries.

No spoilers.

Just thoughts.  Random thoughts, obviously, but thoughts just the same.

Which brings me to this weeks read, Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica.  I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t finish it.  About a third of the way through, I texted my friend Linda to see if it was worth finishing.  (It’s nice to have a friend who has the same taste in books.)  “It does get better.” was the text I got back.

So, I did finish it, although I may or may not have skimmed quite a bit of it in the middle.  It bothered me because I was such a fan of The Good Girl, and while I liked this story in the end, it was a challenge to get there.  But by the time I got to the last fifty pages, I couldn’t put it down.

Mary knows how to weave a story, a mystery, that I will never know how to do.  Days after reading this, I’m still thinking about the characters and the story woven through the pages.

Should you read it, yes.  Don’t compare it to anything… just relax and enjoy the process.

Actually, use that advice for life too.  Don’t compare… just relax and enjoy the process 🙂

And #prayfororlando #loveALWAYSwins

Happy reading, and have a great week.




Summer Reading Kickoff!


New website.  New look.  New projects.

I have been wanting to start a new website for so long now, and finally – with the long holiday weekend – I am digging in.  Everyone I follow says that WordPress is the way to go, so here I am, learning new things.  I only spent a half-hour with the tech support this morning, so #winning!

While I will mostly talk about books and what I’m reading on this site, I will definitely try to spread my wings into other areas as well.  I am trying to bring more creativity into my life, not less, and the best way I know how to start a conversation is about books, so that is where I will begin.

Last sumA-Man-Called-Ovemer I challenged myself to read one book per week, starting Memorial Weekend.  This year is no different.

My first pick this year is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which I started yesterday.  This came highly recommended and has been sitting on my bookshelf since December.  It’s time.

Only thirty pages in, and I’m reminded of Clint Eastwood from Grand Torino – a movie I adore for so many reasons  – and I can’t wait to pick it back up.

My other project this summer is to finally tackle the self-publishing world and finally let the world meet Grace and Charlie.  The whole process is a bit daunting to me, and I know I have a lot to learn, but hopefully the end product will be the beginning of something new for me.

That is what this whole year is about anyway.

I hope you enjoyed this.  Thank you for reading!!

If you want to do your own Summer Reading Challenge, check out this reading guide from one of my favorite websites, Modern Miss Darcy.

Happy Reading 🙂