Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy early Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!  And even if you aren’t American, it never hurts to be thankful for all the wonderful things in your life, right?

This week’s topic is: Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Books.

Books have long been a big part of my life and I’m sure most of you can relate.  Some of the reasons why I’m thankful to have a wide assortment of books in my life.

  1. They keep me entertained.
  2. They help me learn more about subjects I didn’t know much about before.
  3. They help me understand the world around me and the people that inhabit it.
  4. They bring me peace from the stress and anxiety of day-to-day life.
  5. They give me a reason to cuddle with my cats. Not that I need one, but still.
  6. They give me a way to spend time with someone while they’re doing something I don’t necessarily enjoy. Example: my husband was a huge gamer. I’d read while he played his video games, and it was a way to spend time together.
  7. They help me connect with my kids. I can read about subjects they’re interested in or books they’ve read.
  8. Audiobooks help me get through boring chores like folding laundry.
  9. Cookbooks help me explore the world through food as well as switch up my menu plans.
  10. They help me expand my horizons by inviting me to new worlds or by taking a new look at a familiar one.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for October 14, 2020

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews hosts a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: Rereading books? Why or Why not?

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for August 7, 2019

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews will be hosting a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: Books I Loved but Never Wrote Reviews For

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for June 5, 2019

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews will be hosting a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: Books that Need a Sequel

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for May 29, 2019

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews will be hosting a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: Lessons I learned from a book character

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for May 8, 2019

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews will be hosting a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: Books I Want Youth to Discover

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Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Some of these stories are a little embarrassing, but I can’t help but to share them with you. Here are ten outrageous things I’ve done for the love of books.

1. Snooped

The interesting thing about this is that I have no desire to snoop in other people’s home in general. If you have a drawer filled with private items that you don’t want other folks looking at, I’m the last person in the world who would open it. With that being said, I’m also the first person in the world who would wander over to your bookcase to see what kinds of stuff you like to read.

2. Packed Books Before Clothes for a Vacation

I technically ended up with enough clothing for that trip, but just barely. Having extra socks or t-shirts is much less important than bringing that extra book or two.

3. Intentionally Befriended People Who Liked the Same Genres

This isn’t to say I’d refuse to be friends with someone who had no interest in science fiction or fantasy, but I’m much faster to invite an acquaintance out to do something if I know we can talk about Star Trek or similar topics while we’re getting to know each other.

4. Brought a Book to the Noisy DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)

For those of you who don’t live in the United States (or who have never needed to get a new driver’s license), the DMV isn’t exactly a peaceful place to read. You generally need to sit in a loud, bright waiting room with dozens – or even hundreds – of other people for quite a while before a clerk is ready for you.

It’s not the quiet environment I generally like to read it, but it was a nice distraction from that environment.

5. Got a Sunburn 
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One of the Harry Potter books had just came out, and I was reading it while sitting in the sun. I was so enthralled that I didn’t notice my face had burned until it was too late.

6. Taught My Brother How to Read

He was about five or six, and I thought he should be learning how to read faster than he was. I taught him to sound out words that his teacher hadn’t introduced yet, and I was quite proud when he figured out how to read slightly more difficult books than his classroom had.

7. Used Half of My Closet Storage Space for Books

It wasn’t a big closet, either, but I preferred to have a smaller wardrobe if it meant I could fit another row of books into my bedroom.

8. Formed Opinions of People Based on The Content of Their Bookshelves 

I don’t judge people based on what genres they read, but I do have a strong preference for hanging out with folks whose bookshelves are filled with some sort of books! People who buy bookshelves and leave them empty confuse me quite a bit.

9. Turned Scary Books into Small Talk

A few years ago, I read a sci-fi book about an alien who wore what was essentially a human suit in order to blend in on Earth as she collected human men for nefarious purposes. I loved that story so much that I explained it in great detail to someone I’d just met. She wasn’t as excited about it as I was, but it did make for an interesting conversation.

10. Quoted Books to See How Others Reacted

If I quote one of the less well-known passages of something like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings and you catch that reference, I’m automatically going to be just a little more interested in hanging out with you.

Saturday Seven: Books We’re Giving Away!

To all the folks joining us for Saturday Seven, please don’t forget to leave your link in the linky list at the end of this post.

Last time I did a giveaway here, I did books we’ve reviewed. This time, I’m doing books we haven’t reviewed. If you’d like to win one or more of them, please leave a comment with which of the books you’re interested in (you can do it by title or by number — US mailing addresses only, please). Good luck! All books are hardcovers except #2 and #3.

NOTE: DRAWING WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2018. Winners will be emailed.

1. Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas

By the bestselling author of The Kashmir Shawl, the mesmerizing novel of old friends reunited…and torn apart once again.

Rosie Thomas, beloved by readers for her brilliantly realized characters and twisting, page-turning plots, turns her “sharp nib” (Washington Post Book World) to a group of older friends in this evocative story of camaraderie and its challenges.

Miranda Meadowe decides a lonely widowhood in her crumbling country house is not for her. Reviving a university dream, she invites five of her oldest friends to come and join her to live, and to stave off the prospect of old age. All have their own reasons for accepting.

To begin with, the omens are good. They laugh, dance, drink and behave badly, as they cling to the heritage they thought was theirs for ever: power, health, stability. They are the baby boomers; the world is theirs to change.

But as old attractions resurface alongside new tensions, they discover that the clock can’t be put back. When building work reveals an Iron Age burial site of a tribal queen, the outside world descends on their idyllic retreat, and the isolation of the group is breached. The past is revealed – and the future that beckons is very different from the one they imagined.


2. The Big Chili by Julia Buckley

First in a delicious new mystery series filled with casseroles, confidences, and killers…

Lilah Drake’s Covered Dish business discreetly provides the residents of Pine Haven, Illinois, with delicious, fresh-cooked meals they can claim they cooked themselves. But when one of her clandestine concoctions is used to poison a local woman, Lilah finds herself in a pot-load of trouble…

After dreaming for years of owning her own catering company, Lilah has made a start into the food world through her Covered Dish business, covertly cooking for her neighbors who don’t have the time or skill to do so themselves, and allowing them to claim her culinary creations as their own. While her clientele is strong, their continued happiness depends on no one finding out who’s really behind the apron.

So when someone drops dead at a church Bingo night moments after eating chili that Lilah made for a client, the anonymous chef finds herself getting stirred into a cauldron of secrets, lies, and murder—and going toe to toe with a very determined and very attractive detective. To keep her clients coming back and her business under wraps, Lilah will have to chop down the list of suspects fast, because this spicy killer has acquired a taste for homicide…


3. Lover Awakened by J. R. Ward

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward’s wildly erotic and ferociously inventive series continues as the most fearsome member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood discovers just how tempting the night can be…

A former blood slave, Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the Brother’s seething power. Except even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against her abductor drives him to the brink of madness. Now Bella must help her lover not only overcome the wounds of his tortured past, but find a future with her…


4. Beautiful Bodies by Kimberly Rae Miller

From the bestselling and beloved author of Coming Clean, a brave and witty examination of how and why we try to control our bodies with food.

Like most people, Kimberly Rae Miller does not have the perfect body, but that hasn’t stopped her from trying. And trying. And trying some more. She’s been at it since she was four years old, when Sesame Street inspired her to go on her first diet. Postcollege, after a brief stint as a diet-pill model, she became a health-and-fitness writer and editor working on celebrities’ bestselling bios—sugarcoating the trials and tribulations celebs endure to stay thin. Needless to say, Kim has spent her life in pursuit of the ideal body.

But what is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. While on a fascinating and hilarious journey through time that takes her from obese Paleolithic cavewomen, to the bland menus that Drs. Graham and Kellogg prescribed to promote good morals in addition to good health, to the binge-drinking-prone regimen that caused William the Conqueror’s body to explode at his own funeral, Kim ends up discovering a lot about her relationship with her own body.

Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.


5. The Fortress by Danielle Trussoni

The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of Falling Through the Earth and Angelology returns with this much-anticipated memoir of love and transformation in France. The Fortress is Peter Mayle meets Eat, Pray, Love, a gorgeously written account of one woman’s journey to the other side of the romantic fairytale.

“If I had been another woman, I might have been skeptical. But I wasn’t another woman. I was a woman ready to be swept away. I was a woman ready for her story to begin. As a writer, story was all that mattered. Rising action, dramatic complication, heroes and villains and dark plots. I believed I was the author of my life, that I controlled the narration.”

From their first kiss, twenty-seven-year-old writer Danielle Trussoni is spellbound by a novelist from Bulgaria. The two share a love of jazz and books and travel, passions that intensify their whirlwind romance.

Eight years later, hopeful to renew their marriage, Danielle and her husband move to the south of France, to a picturesque medieval village in the Languedoc. It is here, in a haunted stone fortress built by the Knights Templar, that she comes to understand the dark, subterranean forces that have been following her all along.

While Danielle and her husband eventually part, Danielle’s time in the fortress brings precious wisdom about life and love that she could not have learned otherwise. Ultimately, she finds the strength to overcome her illusions, and start again.

An incisive look at romantic love, The Fortress is one woman’s fight to understand the complexities of her own heart, told by one of the best writers of her generation.


6. I’ll Be Damned by Eric Braeden

In this startling candid and poignant memoir, the legendary Emmy Award-winning star of The Young and The Restless, America’s #1 soap opera, chronicles his amazing life, from his birth in World War II Germany to his arrival in America to his rise to humanitarian and daytime superstar for the past thirty-five years.

For nearly four decades, fans have welcomed the star of television’s number-one daytime show, The Young and the Restless, into their living rooms. While they’ve come to know and love the suave Victor Newman, few truly know the man behind the character, the supremely talented Eric Braeden. I’ll Be Damned is his story—a startling and uplifting true tale of war, deprivation, determination, fame, and social commitment that spans from Nazi Germany to modern Hollywood.

Braeden’s journey from a hospital basement in Kiel to the soundstages of Los Angeles has taught him more about joy, heartbreak, fear, dignity, loss, love, loneliness, exhilaration, courage, persecution, and profound responsibility to the global community than he could have hoped to learn in several lifetimes. Growing up in the years after Germany’s defeat, Braeden knew very little about the atrocities of his parents’ generation, until he arrived in America as a teenager—a discovery that horrified and transformed him. Trying to redress the wrongs of his homeland, he has dedicated his life to humanitarian work—even forming the German American Culture Society—working for decades to show the world that what we share as humans is far more important than what separates us from one another.

Told with openness, candor, humor, heart, and occasional raw vulnerability, I’ll Be Damned reveals a man committed to making the world a better, more loving place. Filled with sixteen pages of photos from his decorated life and career, I’ll Be Damned will be a treasured keepsake for Y&R fans, and is an inspiring testament to the goodness within us all.


7. Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

Take a trip back to Jane Austen’s world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen’s childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses–both grand and small–of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a ‘life without incident’.

Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but–in the end–a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy.

Illustrated with two sections of color plates, Lucy Worsley’s Jane Austen at Home is a richly entertaining and illuminating new book about one of the world’s favorite novelists and one of the subjects she returned to over and over in her unforgettable novels: home.


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