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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: HappyMerryChristBirthMas to Me!


There are so many things to love about today.  Not only is it a few days before my favorite holiday, but it's also my birthday (which I share with my dad), and Top Ten Tuesday.  Talk about a delightful trifecta!  My dad and I live in different states, so unfortunately, we don't get to celebrate our special day together very often. The Norman Rockwell-ish picture above is from a family party in 2013.  It's not a great shot of either of us, but I think it shows how much we love each other :)  I hope you are feeling lots of love this season as well, even if the holidays look a little different this year.  Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

Today's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl) has a Christmas theme (naturally).  It's all about the treasures we're hoping to find under the tree this year.  Honestly, I live a very charmed and blessed life, so I already have everything I could possibly want and need.  Having all my babies happy, healthy, and home for Christmas is all the gift I need in this crazy year.  Still, if Santa really, REALLY wanted to spoil me, he could check this list twice:   

Top Ten Bookish Things I Hope Santa Brings 



  • I bought my Harry Potter books as they came out, so they're old.  They've been loved so much that they're tattered and torn.  I'd love a clean, new set.
  • Speaking of HP, my sister just snagged a pair of these fun socks at the grocery store of all places.  She really should have grabbed an extra pair for me, don't you think?  I think Santa should leave her coal and bring me some of these cute feet-warmers.

  • Since Santa can make magic happen, I'd love a newly-published Kate Morton book on December 25th, please and thank you!  It's so hard to be patient when it comes to new books by my favorite authors ...  
  • And while we're dealing in Christmas miracles, how about a paper copy of The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan?  It was supposed to come out in the U.S. pre-COVID, but that never happened.  The book has been released in Australia and it can be ordered via Amazon for $40.48.  As much as I love McTiernan, I'm not paying that kind of money for her newest book!  Santa and his elves can just magic a copy to me, right?



  • I love the idea of book-themed subscription boxes, but I'm not enough of a risk-taker to spend a bunch of money on something I might now love.  If the Big Guy wanted to sign me up for one gratis?  I wouldn't complain.

  • This puzzle is so cool!  It gets kind of dubious reviews on Amazon, so I decided not to buy it for myself, but I still love the picture.
Obviously, Christmas isn't about what fills Santa's sack, but I still hope he brings you something fun that makes you smile.  What are you hoping to find under the tree on Christmas morning?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT! 

Tough, Beautiful Fighting Words An Unforgettable Novel

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Every child needs a fierce protector.  Ten-year-old Della has her older sister, Suki.  It was Suki who cared for her while their mother cooked meth; Suki who watched out for her when their mom went to prison, leaving the girls in the care of her abusive boyfriend; Suki who got the evidence that convicted him for molesting Della; and Suki who still shields her even though the sisters are finally safe with Francine, their forthright but loving foster mother.  It's only now that Della is beginning to realize that while she's always had Suki as her older, wiser guard, Suki's never really had anyone to fulfill that role.  And she's needed a protector.  Desperately.  When Suki tries to take her own life, Della discovers just how broken her she-wolf sister really is.  Can Della find a way to nurture her sister the way Suki has always done for Della?  Will the two ever find the healing they so need and deserve?

As you can no doubt tell, Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a raw, gut punch of a novel.  While it's not graphic, it's still honest and hard-hitting.  The thing that saves it from being unrelentingly grim is our heroine, Della.  She's tough, irrepressible, and hilarious.  Her voice is absolutely pitch-perfect.  For all these reasons, it's impossible not to root for her and Suki.  While Fighting Words is about so many things—sexual abuse, consent, bravery, resilience, etc.—it's really about two sisters and their unbreakable bond.  Despite its touch subject matter, I loved this beautiful, empowering novel.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a bit of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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