Tuesday, April 30, 2019


I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars - but that's not an option on here. I didn't dislike the book, there were just A LOT of players to remember and keep track of and at times it got overwhelming. Other than that, this book is a good read not just for golfers, but for event planners. It's the play by play account of all the blood sweat and tears that went into making the Black Course at Bethpage a US Open site. It took years or work, negotiations, contracts, money, and hard work to transform the old public golf course into a masterpiece worthy of hosting a major golf championship there. Many thought it could never be done because traditionally all championships are played at ritzy private courses. But one man's dream became reality and Open is the story of hard work, perseverance, and the love of golf.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Flowers for Algernon

This book didn't make me cry (although it came close), but it was very sad, emotional, and raw. It won major science fiction awards, but to me it's more literary - it's so human!

Charlie Gordon isn't very smart... he has a severely low IQ and as a product of his time, was often referred to as retarded. His story is told through a series of journal entries (or progress reports) about his life cleaning in a bakery, attending classes for the mentally challenged, and the prospect of an experimental surgery that will make him smart. He's 32 and all he want in life is to be well liked, he figures if he can get smart he will be able to achieve that and so much more. The scientists have already operated successfully on a mouse named Algernon, and they seem fairly confident that the same results will apply to Charlie. He happily allows them to operate on his brain and is initially frustrated because he doesn't perceive anything as happening, but slowly his mind starts expanding and his entries become more and more eloquent and hopeful, until one day ... they aren't hopeful and happy anymore. Groundbreaking and wonderfully believable. Charlie's journey from "dumb" to "smart" is a revelation and brilliantly told. I loved this book even though it made me an emotional wreck.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bad Blood

I will admit, I wasn't initially jazzed about this book, but once I started reading I couldn't put it down! It was weirder than fiction. How could someone build an empire on lies that was harmful to those seeking medical health?!? Elizabeth Holmes started Theranos, a company that promised that one drop of blood could be tested for up to 800 different things in one small device. The problem is that that device didn't exist, it just wasn't possible, but she kept promising her investors that is was and thought she could fake it until she made it. They had prototypes, but they were YEARS away from even being able to make good on half the promises that Holmes alleged her machine could do. The blood tests they ran on their prototypes were riddled with errors and working for this company was causing employees some PTSD and major ethical qualms. Turnover was high and people were fired left and right for questioning anything. In short it was a nightmare, but no-one outside those walls knew anything was wrong; they were charmed by Elizabeth Holmes and her vision. She charmed so many investors that soon she was worth over 5 billion dollars. Things started to unravel though as disgruntled former employees and disillusioned investors started opening up and the Wall Street Journal launched a major investigative piece into their company and practices. What they discovered was worse then they could have imagined. A roller coaster of crime and ambition. A must read!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Firefly Lane

Firefly was kind of a let down for me because I was so over the moon obsessed with her last two books, The Great Alone and The Nightingale. Those were both 5 stars and this was an alright read about best friends forever. It got a tear or two out of me, but I didn't love the characters like I knew I was supposed to. Kate is a down to earth mom and Tully has only ever wanted to be the most important female anchor in the world. Their friendship started when they were 14 and they have stuck by each others sides even when their paths started to diverge. Tully has shied away from love ever since her mother abandoned her and she was raped at a young age; the only family she has ever needed was Kate. Kate on the other hand has only ever wanted real love and is content to start a family of her own instead of conquering the world. Firefly Lane is the story of the ups and downs and the ebbs and flows of their friendship through the decades. I like Kate well enough, but the indomitable Tully, I couldn't get behind. The story isn't intricately plotted, it just long. Not bad, not great. Chick lit at its finest.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Ms. Marvel: Time and Again

I had been a little meh about the last few volumes, but this one really renewed my love for this whole series. It really shows the stress of being a teenager, sometimes there are scarier things then fighting villains, like keeping secrets from your friends or trying to come to terms with your crush. Kamala Khan fights off the bad guys while navigating friendship, family, the future, and compassion. Cute while still being totally kick ass!

Homegrown and Handpicked

A wonderful follow up to Carol Michel's first book of gardening humor! Filled with vignettes, gardening tips, letters, advice, and more; this little collection is pure fun. Just as with here first collection, this book inspires the reader to get out there and start gardening, right this second! It's cute and inspiring; and reading it at this time of year (spring) makes me want to do even more in my yard. I can't wait to get my hand on the third book in this trilogy, if anything like the first two it's going to be amazing :)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Scooby Apocalypse: vol. 4

This series has been a mixed bag for me, and volume four is easily my least favorite of the bunch. It wouldn't have been as bad if it just focused on Scooby and the gang but we kept getting weird side stories with a talking mole and squirrel (top agents) with babes in bikinis assisting them.... ok. Is it going to tie in later? Did it already tie in and I miss it? God knows. It was weird and diverting. The rest of this graphic novel the gang has to focus on if there can be good monsters and deciding what they want to do with the rest of their lives now that they know there isn't a way to reverse the nanites that affected everyone and turned them into monsters. They decides to hole up in a mall and make the best of it. Very meh, I'll give it one more volume, but my heart isn't really in this anymore.


Charming, heart-wrenching, and seamless; this literary western is an instant classic. Two story-lines dance around each other before weaving themselves together in an unforgettable way; Nora, a stubborn frontierswomen trying to navigate family strife and find water in the midst of a drought and Lurie, a young outlaw whose past ghosts keep him company as he aimlessly meanders across the west with his camel. Nora's husband was due back two days ago, but she's not worried, she doesn't have time to be; she has to look after her superstitious young son and the head strong and spirit seeing cousin. As the day progresses and her thirst grows stronger, Nora starts to realize something is amiss. Lurie's story on the other hand, spans decades while Nora's is merely one long, hot day. Lurie travels across the country on one expedition after another, with no place to truly call home. Home is where his camel and the spirits are Poetic, beautiful, and haunting, this story spins a tale so fascinating that the reader can't stop reading. A wonderful novel!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Cold Days

Amazing as always! I am thrilled that we're back to having James Marsters be the narrator, because he's the best and his voice is the voice that brings this series to life for me. Cold Days opens with Dresden waking up from his coma and beginning rehab. He tried getting rid of his Winter Knight mantle in the last book, but no dice, he's got obligations that he can't get out of. When he's fully recovered Queen Mab throws him a lavish birthday party and gives him her first command - to kill her daughter, Maeve. Harry has one full day to go back to the mortal world, survive Halloween night, dodge fairies that are trying to kill him, and find a way to kill an immortal. Tons of shit gets thrown at him, and Harry being his usual sarcastic, charming self, can be counted on to somehow figure it all out. Another stellar installment!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Brunch at the Bittersweet Cafe

A quick Christian read that I initially thought was going to be super predictable, but ended up being more than I expected. For starters, I will admit, that I did not read the first in this series. That being said, it didn't seem to hinder any of my understanding of this book, I think the first one may have focused on another couple in this friend group (although I may be wrong). The novel opens with a spunky single 30 year old baker helping an attractive airline pilot after his fancy sports car gets stuck in a snowdrift. Spark fly, but they don't exchange numbers because neither of them are looking for a fling. Their paths continue to cross but they soon realize that any relationship they might spark is doomed because both of their futures aren't compatible. Could Melody give up her dreams of co-owning a bakery with her best-friend and could Justin turn his back on his sister and his family? Peppered with family strife, friendship problems, doubting of faith, and lots and lots of food descriptions. This book will definitely make you hungry. It was cute, romantic, and like said the ending didn't end how I thought it would, so there is that.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Commander in Cheat

I couldn't put this book down. Amazon delivered it yesterday afternoon and I spent all evening at my local watering hole devouring this book. I've never picked up a golf club or been a fan of Donald Trump but I've read books on both topics and this book takes the cake. Rick Reilly uses golf's Trump techniques (cheating and lying) to explain his terrible practices in office. Trump has been a notorious cheater in golf for decades, something he can't argue against; it's on film, hundreds of athletes, celebrities, and politicians will attest to it, he's admitted it, and his caddies joke that "Trump doesn't cheat... because we do it for him." Trump boasts that he's won 18 golf tournaments, although not ONE can be verified (16 are easy to disprove). He usually bullies course managers to put his name up on the trophy plaques because he "plays better than most other players all the time (most tournaments he never even played in!). Reilly then elaborates on Trump's business practices: specifically with his golf courses (lawsuits galore), his fight against paying contractors in full, and his failure to ban any Muslim countries that he had golf interests in. The book also discusses all presidents and their attachment (or lack thereof) to golf and how it influenced their presidential terms. "Obama wound up playing 306 rounds in office, or once every 9.5 days. Trump is on pace to, over eight years, to obliterate Obama's number - 759 rounds, which goes to show you that bone spurs do heal very nicely." The humor, the insight, the golfing parallels, and the writing make this book a showstopper. It was eye opening and golf was the perfect lens to view Trump and his "ethics" through. "In life, we're defined by the obstacles we overcome. That's the stuff we hang on our inner wall. But if you cheat to get around those obstacles, you never know the thrill of actually beating them. It's like buying a trophy in a pawn shop. You can shine it up and show it off and pretend you won it, but when you get close to it, it only reflects the face of a loser." make this book your most read political/sports book of 2019!

Men in Green

For someone with little golf knowledge, this book was at times tedious. That being said, I still learned a lot about many different players, feuds, has beens, legends, caddies and more. It was like taking a peak into a boys club and discovering they're gossiping just as much as the women! At times it felt a little gossipy, who was flirty with women, who had the most sex appeal, who refused to let go of a grudge, who didn't take care of his ex-wife, who didn't like Tiger Woods (a lot more people than I thought). Sports author, Michael Bamberger made a list of the 18 greatest golf legends and set out to drive around and interview them all. The front nine were living legends (Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, etc.) and the back nine were "secret" legends (caddies, writers, aficionados, no pros). He road-trips along with his good friend Mike Donald (a golf pro and one of the living legends on his list) and they hobnob with the old golf crowd. Lies, legends, humor, and memories are shared and pieced together throughout the book. Interesting read, but not my favorite golf book.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Potted and Pruned

I ADORED this book. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't exactly have a green thumb. I mean, hell, we have the world's smallest yard and by default the world's smallest garden. That being said, the past few years John and I have really enjoyed getting a vegetable garden going (cherry tomatoes are the best part of summer) and I even keep a few plants inside year round (not too many because cats are demons). Even if I didn't have a garden though, I think I would have enjoyed this book. It was quick and humorous and I read it in one sitting. Written as a collection of short vignettes, essays, thoughts, and letters; Potted and Pruned is a reaffirmation of the love, joy, frustration, and comedy that can be found in gardening. It made me laugh out loud on several occasions and it made me inspired to go out and start working on this summer's vegetable patch. A small enjoyable book that gardeners will keep coming back to. I can't wait to read the next two in the series!

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Future is Feminist

So I really enjoyed some aspects of this book and hated others. The main thing I hated..... was the damn font color! The neon orange was damn near impossible to read, it literally hurt my eyes. When the text was in pink it was "ok" to read, but it was mainly frustrating. Other than that, I really enjoyed the variety of feminist voices and stories shared in this compilation.Some feminist writers I had heard of but never read, others were brand new to me. This collection is empowering and superbly well written. I liked that it included a variety of formats (speeches, poems, essays, etc.), diversity, and feminist text from not just several decades, but from several centuries. They made sure that feminism included not just the middle class white women, but females from all of the world, in different financial circumstances, ages, and ethnicity.  The collection ranged from calls to action, empowerment, humor, and educational. A great read in a horribly formatted book.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Walking Dead: Book Fifteen

Dayum! A lo happens in this installment. Not only do we need a spunky new character, we meet a whole damn new community! Rick is still reeling from the loss of Andrea, Carl is still pining after his new little girlfriend leaving poor Sophia behind in the dust, Maggie may have a new fuck buddy, Jesus and Aaron are officially out and open, and Neegan is out on his own with permission from Rick. Hilltop is slowly rebuilding after the devastation from the last book and a small group of people from Alexandria ride out to meet the people that Eugene has been talking to on the radio for weeks. All in all, there are a lot of plot lines, a lot of action, and it's damn fun! I especially love Princess, the wild girl they encounter in the city. She reminds me a lot of Tank Girl. Another great installment and I feel like it may be leading us up to a conclusion? Probably not, but you never know!


A short quick graphic novel that explores a young foodie wanting share her love of insect based foods with the world. Yarrow moves to a new town where she hears a insect based restaurant will be opening soon. She interviews with the head chef, but the chef is wary that Yarrow doesn't fully appreciate their food traditions and just wants to exploit it or turn it into a fad. Not only does Yarrow have to win over the chef, she has to win over one of her new neighbors and friends. She's pretty sure sparks are flying between them but what if she's wrong? An interesting look at food, culture, and romance all told through the lens of a short, well illustrated graphic novel.

Blood Orange

So fast paced! I managed to read this in one day (while also working an 8 hour shift!) and I could not put it down. This managed to be just like all the other unreliable female thriller novels, while actually being it's own new thing. You have a female lead who, while reliable, is a major alcoholic. She's also a barrister in London bringing home the big bucks while her husband works part time as a sex psychiatrist and raises their six year old daughter. The wife starts an affair, drinks too much, and is an all around shit parent and spouse. She should care more about her home life but she's wrapped up in her new murder case and her affair with Patrick. Things slowly start to spiral out of control and before long the reader can barely keep up with the fast pace. It's tense, and although you don't really like any of the characters you want everything to be resolved and you want that happy ending. As the pace speeds up, so does the readers suspicions. It was great, and there was a twist at the end I should have seen coming.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


I didn't know what to expect out of this book. On one hand I was really excited that it was from the world of Buffy, but on the other hand it's been quite a few years since the show ended and I didn't want too much of it to get lost in translation when adapting it to a teen novel in 2019. I was disappointed at first that it didn't feature Buffy as the main character, but later I was glad for it. The novel centers on Athena, affectionately called Nina, and her twin sister Artemis. They are training to be Watchers in an isolated castle in Ireland. Their father had been Buffy's first watcher (before Giles) and had died young. Their mother wants to keep the Watcher tradition alive, but with only one of her daughters it would appear. Artemis is cunning, active, and fearless; Nina on the other hand has never been allowed to train so she studies to become a medic. She's everything her sister isn't; shy, weak, and defenseless. Even her mother has always preferred Artemis over her. One day, something happens that will change everything, she becomes the chosen one, the last slayer ever. Fun and unique, I can't wait to see where this story goes, it looks as if it will be a series.