Sunday, September 17, 2023

BW38: September Equinox


Happy Sunday! Autumn is upon us in Northern Hemisphere which means the beginning of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Whether the season is Autumn or Spring, nature's palette is painting our world with leaves turning burnt orange and yellow and purple or flower blossoms blooming,   The sights and sounds of leaves and bonfires crackling, or lavender and rose perfuming the air, are just right for curling up with a good book. From new releases to the old tried and true, it's time for our Fall Reading Mini Challenge. Substitute Spring if you're on the opposite side of the world. 

 The PERFECT Autumn Vibes Reading List For 2023  - Good ideas for our October Spooktacular.

The Best of Cozy Books for Fall

Curl Up this Fall with a Great Book: 12 Best Reads for Autumn

10 Most Exciting Fall 2023 Fantasy & Science Fiction Books

Cozy Fall Romance Novels

This post sponsored by O and observant, open, officious, and oblique. 

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

BW37: 52 Books Bingo - Western


Happy Sunday! Our next 52 Books Bingo category is Western which means our reading journey is taking us West.  But where in the West?  

Read a book set in the western world which includes most countries of the European Union as well as the U.K., Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand.  

Read a book set in the western united states encompassing  Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Turn towards the West and read a book from whichever town, city, state, or country is in that direction.  Find a a book with West in the title or a character, or even a dog named West. Ask a family member to blindly pick a point on the map located in the West and read a book by an author closest to that point.

Read 50 Books of the West 

Read a book about Western Culture 

Read a book set in Western Europe

Read a book set in the West Indies

Read Great Books of the Western World

How you interpret it is up to you.  Enjoy! 

This post is brought to you by the letter P for positivity, ponder, poetry, and peace. 

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, September 3, 2023

BW36: September Author of the Month - Dame Hilary Mary Mantel


Happy Sunday!  September is upon us which means Fall is on the way. This week we celebrate the anniversary of Emma M Nutt, the first woman telephone operator, International Bacon Day, Skyscraper Day, Labor Day, Be Late for Something Day, Read a Book Day, Neither Rain or Snow Day which was the day the first post office opened in 1914, and International Literacy Day.  

Plus our author of the month is historical fiction writer, Dame Hilary Mary Mantel who passed away at the age of 70 September 22, 2022.  Mantel has written numerous books and essays and is best known for the Thomas Cromwell series - Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and Mirror and the Light.  She won the Man Booker Prize twice, and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1996. 

Hilary Mantel reading list: a guide to her Booker nominated titles and other best works

Hilary Mantel: her 10 greatest books

Hilary Mantel Thinks the Last Book Is Her Best

Hilary Mantel, The Art of Fiction

Our post is brought to you by the letter Q for quintessential, quiet, and queen. 

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

BW35: Isn't it Romantic


Happy Sunday! I was getting ahead of myself, thinking the month was about to end last week. So guess what? We get a bonus week for our Romance Awareness month. Which brings us to our next 52 Books Category -   Isn't It Romantic.  

85 Best New Romance Novels That'll Make You Swoon

Best Romantic Suspense (August 2023) - Rated by CherryPicks' Experts

Favorite Historical Romances for the First Half of 2023

August 2023 Paranormal Romance Titles

14 Best Fall Romance Books With Cozy Autumn Love

This post is sponsored by the letter R for romance, Romeo, roaming, risk and reflection.

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

BW34: Reluctance by Robert Frost


Happy Sunday!  We're coming to the end of our romance month and while meandering through the interweb came across Robert Frost's Reluctance. Frost is a favorite of mine and the poem may be better served for the fall or winter, but I liked the themes of nature and human will and not letting love go. 

Then it got me to thinking about romance stories in which one or more of the characters are reluctant to change, to explore, to live, to love which make for some interesting stories. So your mission this week is to look for stories about reluctant heroes or heroines.  



Robert Frost 

Out through the fields and the woods

   And over the walls I have wended;

I have climbed the hills of view

   And looked at the world, and descended;

I have come by the highway home,

   And lo, it is ended.


The leaves are all dead on the ground,

   Save those that the oak is keeping

To ravel them one by one

   And let them go scraping and creeping

Out over the crusted snow,

   When others are sleeping.


And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,

   No longer blown hither and thither;

The last lone aster is gone;

   The flowers of the witch hazel wither;

The heart is still aching to seek,

   But the feet question ‘Whither?’


Ah, when to the heart of man

   Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things,

   To yield with a grace to reason,

And bow and accept the end

   Of a love or a season?

This post is sponsored by the letter S for soft, sentimental, sweet, and sexy. 

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

BW33: The Funny and the Weird


Happy Sunday! I'm in the mood for something funny, something weird, something romantic.  Our Romance Awareness Month continues with the wild and wacky happily ever afters. My TBR pile grew exponentially after reading through these lists. 

35 Hilarious Romcom Books That Will Have You Laughing Out Loud 

19 Best Romantic Comedy Books That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

28 Best Rom Com Books, Smart & Funny Romance Novels

Quirky Romance Books 

And because August 18 is bad poetry day, I've been playing with Oulipo's. The constraint:  Book must have a J in the title.  Not very original, but let's see how it works out. 

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
A Jerk, A Jihad and a Virus
Just One Damned Thing After Another
Just So Happen

Just Listen
Journey from the Land of No
Just a Little Lie

A Kind of Justice
Just Between Us
Just One Golden Kiss
Just Say Yes

Is it Just me. 
Just Friends
Just a Cowboy
Just my Type

Just Like That 
Juliet Immortal 
Jumping Through Fire 
Journey to the Center of the Earth 

Jump the Cracks
Jeweled Fire 
Joy of Life
Jewels of the Sun

Just One Look
Just Like  A Man
Just Me in the Tube
Just Take My Heart

And this week's post is sponsor by the letter T for tangents, tempting, therapeutic, and  tantalizing.

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, August 6, 2023

BW32: Time to revisit Flufferton Abbey


Happy Sunday!  Since this is romance awareness month, it's a good time to revisit Flufferton Abbey, 

Flufferton Abbey is a term coined by Amy (Aggieamy) several years ago and described as "not a genre so much as a writing style.  A few genres lend themselves well to being Fluffeton books such as cozy mysteries, comedy of manners, romance, and historical fiction.  Everyone has their own specific thing they look for when they pick up a book and plan to spend time at Flufferton Abbey but there are a number of things that are expected:

Happy Ending – If you are crying at the end of the book it does NOT qualify.  A Flufferton book has the couple getting together, the mystery solved, the situation put right tidily.  If anyone has died during the course of the book they had better have deserved it.

Setting – A lot of the charm in these books is being able to sneak away to someplace wonderful for a visit.  It’s easy to imagine that the cuppa tea we’re having isn’t really in our living room but the morning room of our manor house.  Gritty?  Realistic?  Downtown Detroit in the 1960’s?  Nope.  Not Flufferton appropriate. 

Characters – We love these characters.  They have charm.  They make us smile.  We wish we knew them in real life.   

Humor – A mandatory ingredient.  Some books have us laughing out loud in ways that make our family worry about our mental stability.  Some books have just an occasional chuckle.  All books have at least some. 

Re-readability - Absolutely.  These are the books that we've read so many times that there are sections we've memorized."

 I've been enjoying Lucy Score's Blue Moon, Knockemout, and Riley Thorne series which are laugh out loud funny which charming characters and interesting situations. Everyone's idea of Flufferton is different so I'll let you enjoy following your own rabbit trails leading to Flufferton Abbey.

Our post is brought to you by the letter U for unbelievable, unique, unconventional, and unusual. 

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

BW31: August Author of the Month - Jorge Luis Borges


Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica

Happy Sunday! Ahoy and avast ye maties, Arrgust is upon us with International Pirate Month, as well as Romance Awareness Month, Admit Your Happy Month, and Family Fun month.   

August is also the birth month of our author of the month - Jorge Luis Borges - who was born August 24, 1899.  His magical realism stories were greatly influenced by the surrealist movement in Europe during the late 20's and early 30's.  And at the age of 16 Borges read Gustav Mehring’s book The Golem which inspired him to write.  

I really enjoy magical realism which is why I currently have many books in my stacks including Borges Book of Imaginary Beings as well as Juan Rolfo's Pedro Paramo and The Golem

Why Borges

The Radical Extension of Reality: Jorge Luis Borges

Ten of the Best Jorge Luis Borges books everyone should read

If you aren't in the mood to read Borges, check out Penguin Random House list of  Magical Realism Books You Need To Read or Mental Flosses 10 Classic Magical Realism Books You Should Read I've read about half of their suggestions. 

Our post is sponsored by the letter V for Voice, Volta, Verisimilitude, and Vignette.  

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

BW30: Choose Something Like a Star by Robert Frost


Choose Something Like a Star


Robert Frost

O Star (the fairest one in sight),

We grant your loftiness the right

To some obscurity of cloud –

It will not do to say of night,

Since dark is what brings out your light.

Some mystery becomes the proud.

But to be wholly taciturn

In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn

By heart and when alone repeat.

Say something! And it says "I burn."

But say with what degree of heat.

Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.

Use language we can comprehend.

Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,

But does tell something in the end.

And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,*

Not even stooping from its sphere,

It asks a little of us here.

It asks of us a certain height,

So when at times the mob is swayed

To carry praise or blame too far,

We may choose something like a star

To stay our minds on and be staid.

Our post is brought to you by the letter W which stands for water, wander, welcome, and whimsical. 

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

BW29: To the Moon and Back!


This week on July 20th we celebrate the very first time Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon in 1969 with the historic words:  "That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  In honor of the moon walk, we're going to take a Mind Voyage, which just also happens to be one of our 52 Books Bingo categories. 

Science fiction and fantasy stories became my first true love ever since I discovered the genre back in the 70's.   I don't remember who captured my attention first, whether it was Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Clark, Ray Bradbury, Larry Niven, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey or Robert Silverberg but my love for the genre has never stopped. 

What do you think of when you hear the words Science Fiction and Fantasy?  I think of books with adventure, exploration, mind altering worlds, knights, dragons, cool space ships, alternate realities, magical quests, new technology,  evil villains and heroes.  Books that entertain and enlighten, books that take you away, books that take you on a voyage.  Which is why I created the Mind Voyage challenge back in to 2010 revolving around the vast world of Fantasy and Science fiction. Join me in exploring and take a voyage to another planet. 


Moon Voyage :  Choose from the winner on the Hugo Winners List

Sling shot back to Earth:  Choose a story from the Nebula Winner's List

Venus Voyage:   Philip K. Dick Quest 

Mercury Voyage:   Robert Heinlein Quest 

Mars Voyage:  Take a side trip through the 21st century. 

Go into Warp Drive and visit the other planets

Jupiter Voyage:   Go side tripping 90's Style

Saturn:  Go Side Tripping 80's Style

Uranus: Go Side Tripping 70's Style

Neptune Voyage:  Go Side Tripping through the 50's and 60's

The I'm going to Pluto because Pluto is still a planet as far as I'm concerned Voyage.  Mix it up, choose whatever you want to read, and enjoy the ride.

All the links may be found on Mind Voyages in the menu bar. 

This post sponsored by the letter X. Big X, little x, what begins with X?  Xu and Xun Zi and xenophone and xylophones and xyloid.

Have Fun!   

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

BW28: 52 Books Bingo - Speculative Fiction


Happy Sunday! Our next 52 Books Bingo category is Speculative Fiction which are novels that have limitless possibilities, stories full of curiosity and what could be. There is a broad range to this subgenre such as alternative history, steampunk, gothic fiction, paranormal, magical realism, and dystopian to name a few.

100 Speculative Fiction titles to add to your to be read pile

Translated Speculative Fiction

Can’t Miss Indie Press Speculative Fiction for July and August 2023

Our post is sponsored by the letter Y which means the answer is always Yes.

Y'all know what to do. Leave a link or comment below!

Sunday, July 2, 2023

BW27: July Author of the Month - Cormac McCarthy


Happy Sunday! Summer is officially here on the west coast as we begin our four day weekend with triple digit temperatures. But we can't complain because this year we actually had beautiful spring weather for quite a while before the heat hit.  

Little did I realize when I picked our author of the month at the end of last year that we'd be celebrating his life and death. Cormac McCarthy passed away last month on June 13th at the age of 89.  

In 2021 I read The Road and was enthralled to say the least. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. McCarthy's writing pulled me deep into the apocalyptic world of the man and boy and their journey through a devastated world, bleak and dangerous, full of obstacles to overcome from nature itself and the people left behind. I began to wonder what and why? Why did the man need to get to the coast? What was he expecting to find there? Who was he expecting to find? When they found safe places with water and food, why didn't they stay here. What would I have done in his place? I, for one, would have hunkered down in the bunker and stayed there. What was this great need to keep going? It was bleak and dark, but full of perseverance, hope, love, and goodness in the face of evil. I'm glad I finally read it.  

"He pulled the boy closer. Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that. You forget some things, don't you? Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget."

Once I finished, I wanted more but McCarthy, for me, is one of those authors you have to be in the mood for and read slowly and deliberately. Much like Proust. So I'll be working my way through his books over a period of time. On the nightstand for this month are his last two books - The Passenger and Stella Maris. 

Remembering Cormac McCarthy

The Final Triumph of Cormac McCarthy (1933-2023

Cormac McCarthy obituary: Stripped-down novels mirrored his dislike of trappings of success

Join me in reading Cormac McCarthy!


We’ve reached the halfway point in our reading and will be working our way backwards through the alphabet from z to a. No zipping, zapping, or zooming through your reads. Enjoy!