On a Reading Binge

I signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge last year. Ha! That went well. I committed to reading fifty books. I read a whopping twelve.

I decided to give the challenge a go again this year. With a positive mindset, I set my number once again to fifty books. I can say with confidence that my goal won’t be a problem. I’ve already read twenty-two of the fifty.

I’ve definitely been on a reading binge. I read at night before bed, in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, and I read for at least two hours every morning before I start my day. Even though I’d prefer to be able to sleep more, I’m enjoying reading.

I read many books in my own genre of writing, so my list has quite a few fun, light mysteries, but I’ve also picked up some other good reads.

unwanted

I got a big kick out of the western Unwanted Dead or Alive by Gene Shelton. Two ranch hands lose their jobs and decide to try their hand at being outlaws. A reviewer said they were like “Abbott and Costello go west,” and I have to agree.

groovin

Groovin’: Horses, Hopes, and Slippery Slopes by Rich Israel was a hoot! He recounts his travels and travails in the sixties as he traveled around the country during the time of free love and drugs, all the while hoping he wouldn’t be drafted.

prestonblack

One of my favorite reads so far was The Devil and Preston Black by Jason Jack Miller. The book is billed as Appalachian Noir fiction and “… is your ticket into a world where love can save your soul, where a song can change your destiny, and where evil still hides in the dark corners of the night.” I enjoyed the music references and the description of music as the characters played their instruments. Preston Black was a well-written character. It was easy to feel sympathy for him and to root for him.

comfortfoodcafe

Summer at the Comfort Food Café is by British author Debbie Johnson and had a wonderful mix of humor, heartbreak, and family life. I like when I continue to think about a book days after I’ve finished reading. This book was like that for me.

branson

I’ve only recently become aware of Richard Branson and what a motivating person he is. I read Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way. Having worked in the music industry for several years, I especially enjoyed the stories around Virgin Records, but the entire book was a good read.

Have you ever heard you should never meet your heroes? Well, I think that should be extended to include don’t ever read tell-all biographies of your heroes. I read a Frank Sinatra biography last year, and although it was fascinating, I was so disappointed to read about the man’s faults. Of course, I knew he would have faults, but I should have left that sleeping dog lie. However, I do still love to listen to him sing. I’m currently reading a biography about Jimmy Stewart. He’s not a hero, but I do enjoy a good biography, and he seems to have led a tamer life.

Have you signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge this year? If you haven’t, it’s not too late. If you have, what have you read, and what has been your favorite book so far?

Dipping My Toe in the Pool

Princess_Pancake_BeachI’ve been thinking about coming back to blogging on a regular basis.

My “few months” of hiatus turned into just over nine months of disappearance. Stepping away for a while was a good move for me, but I miss reading blogs and the friends I’ve made here.

I made two main goals for myself this year. One is to read every day, and one is to write every day.

I started my year of reading with Janet Evanovich’s book, Top Secret Twenty-One. I enjoyed the book, and I especially enjoyed seeing how many exclamation points she uses in her writing.

I’m currently reading two books – A Hardboiled Murder by Michelle Ann Hollstein and an autobiography, Dick Van Dyke. Both are good reads.

My writing goal is coming along just fine, and I think I’m in a groove now. My current work in progress is book number four in my Two Sisters and a Journalist series. I started it last week. Here’s the opening line: In exactly one minute, I was going to be a millionaire and quit my job as a private investigator.

I suppose Jo may be overly optimistic with that statement.

There isn’t much to tell about my hiatus, but here are a few highlights:

Our six-year-old granddaughter stayed with us again for six weeks over the summer. It was very fun … and very exhausting. That’s her in the beach picture above.

I managed to go nine months without a dryer. That’s right. My dryer laundryburned up last March, and I insisted I could hang laundry just fine. Rich bought a dryer last month. He finally had enough of jeans stiff enough to stand on their own and towels so rough, you could exfoliate your skin when you dried with them.

I power-watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls – late at night – under the covers – on my Kindle – twice. How did I not know about this show?

I changed my spot in the house for writing. After our granddaughter left, I claimed a nook in her room upstairs, so I could sit near a window and have a view of the center of town while I write. I’m surrounded by pink walls and pink Minnie Mouse curtains. It has been a productive move.

I cleaned up the mess I wrote for National Novel Writing Month in 2013 and wrangled it into a book – Murder Is Where the Heart Is.

I fulfilled the goal of having the two main characters in my two series meet. Buckeye Hunter is the seventh (and final) book in the Susan Hunter series. Murder Welcomes You to Buxley is the third book in the Two Sisters and a Journalist series.

All three books are currently in various stages of editing.

Three_BooksMost recently, I was getting out of our truck with my arms full of grocery bags, and I slipped on ice and fell. The only thing that broke was a box of tissues. I crushed it with my … er, never mind.

I hope to see you soon. I’m sure I’ll come and go, but I’m optimistic I can add blogging to my goals for the year.

What have I missed while I was gone? What’s new with you?