Christmas Sheep

Feeling Crafty

It took me ten minutes to assemble the Christmas tree this afternoon, and even less time to regret putting it up as Fargo began launching himself into our four-foot, plastic Virginia Pine and ripping down both my Christmas ornaments. Yes, you read that right– both my Christmas ornaments– as in I currently only have two. It dawned on me that I’ll have to sew one every night until Christmas in order to fill up the tree. The two-foot Christmas tree that I stuck my nose up at is looking more and more appealing.

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A Work in Progress

Work took Jon to Alabama this weekend, and I found myself alone in the apartment without a voice of reason. This is how I am accepting the fact that I once again decided to give Books & Tea a makeover, I just spent $100 at Joanne Fabrics on a craft I have zero experience with, and I didn’t complete nearly as many chores as I had intended; although, in my defense, I’ve also completed more chores than I normally do in one weekend, so there is that.

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Chicago Night

Wandering Through Chicago

I don’t know what I was thinking when I accepted an invitation to visit Chicago at “month end” (ie. the beginning of October. Accounting is weird like that). It’s the worst time to be away from work when you’re a bookkeeper, but I decided to ignore the anxiety brewing in my chest anyway; I submitted a time off request, booked a round-trip train ticket for $54 (how can you beat that price?!), and tried to push the thought of having to complete three days worth of work in 1.5 days out of my mind.

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Percy Jackson the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I’m Disappointed…That it Took Me So Long to Read This Book! | The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

There were two reasons why I didn’t read Percy Jackson the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan when it was released:

  1. In January 2005, I was a junior in high school, and I considered myself too old for middle grade novels.
  2. Yet, I wasn’t too old for Harry Potter, which is the other reason I didn’t read this book. Someone said it was “perfect for fans of Harry Potter“, which is an instant turn-off. Nothing can compare to Harry Potter!

So, I’m not sure why, at the age of 27, I felt compelled to buy this middle grade novel (other than, it was on sale, and I’m notoriously impulsive when it comes to buying and borrowing books). Once I brought the book home with me, it spent a few months sitting on the floor beside my bed before I even considered actually reading it. It was because of mentions on two blogs, Reviews and Cake and J.Bookish, that I took as a sign and decided to finally give the book a read. Right from chapter one, I was totally engrossed in The Lightning Thief. Normally I can’t read in bed because I get drowsy really quickly, but this book had me thinking just one more chapter before lights out, and before I knew it, the clock read midnight. I even read this book with the teevee on, and I wasn’t distracted at all.

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Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown

At Least They Didn’t Die of Dysentery? | The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown

I guess you could say I’m fascinated by the Oregon Trail. Like many youngsters growing up in America during the 1990s, I was in love with the Oregon Trail computer game. My knowledge of survival was poor, of course; In Independence, Missouri, often the main starting place for the Oregon Trail, I would always spend too much money on salt pork (that’s practically bacon, right?), and oxen—mostly for lugging a wagon full of salt pork, but that would eventually run out… I also treated every scrape, gouge, and disease with turpentine—good for runny noses, not so good for dysentery. It’s a miracle my party ever made it to Oregon (most of the time they didn’t).

There was also that time in college when I would escape to the library on cold, blustery days and try to read the Lewis and Clark journals—not quite as engaging as one would think—wait, does anyone even think that?

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Books and tea

That One Time I Didn’t Go to the Library

September was such a wonderful month for reading. I finished five or six books, which for a distracted reader like myself, is quite an accomplishment, and it is also the reason October was so flush with reviews. Then October rolls around and all I did was finish one book– When Mythical Creatures Attack by Kathleen Founds. I found myself getting overwhelmed by all of my choices and the desire to READ ALL THE BOOKS, so I started a bunch of new novels that I have yet to finish. When my library date rolled around this weekend, I decided to renew all of my books online instead heading over to the library to return them, or worse! To bring home more distracting books. I just have this feeling that I have a stack of winners sitting next to my rocking chair…

Wanna know a secret though? But promise me you won’t be mad!

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These Monsters are Just My Cup of Tea

I’ve spent a month reading and writing about books full of spooks– phantoms, zombies, and vampires, oh my! My favorite by far are stories about zombies, although I aside from Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handleland, I didn’t read any zombie stories. There is just something so satisfying about a story where people are trying to […]


This cozy mystery is spine-chilling | Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by Victoria Laurie

I’m convinced there is a mystery novel for everyone– for cat lovers, for tea lovers, for book club lovers, for Florida Keys lovers, for baking lovers. The list goes on! So, I’m not really sure why I was surprised to discover a mystery series that followed ghost hunters filming for a TV show. It wasn’t even a question whether or not I was going to pick a book from Victoria Laurie’s Ghost Hunter Myster series; I knew I had to have it. It was however, a question of which book do I choose? Unfortunately, my library didn’t have the complete series, so I started with the first book they had, which was number five, Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls.

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This graphic novel failed a saving throw | Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl

I’m wouldn’t call myself a passionate fan of Batman, but ever since Jon introduced me to some of his favorite graphic novels of the Caped Crusader, I’ve been hooked. I’ve only read five Batman graphic novels so far, but that number is ever-growing, so when, I discovered my library had the first volume of Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl, I couldn’t resist it.

There were two really great things about Gotham Academy:

  1. The artwork. Yet again I’ve discovered a graphic novel with beautiful art, scenery rich with detail, and characters that were incredibly stylish.
  2. Maps Mizoguchi. She’s the Dungeons and Dragons-loving, kid sister of Olive’s (our main character) ex-boyfriend. She’s chipper and vibrant and she has all the best nerdy lines referencing her favorite table top game.

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Based on These Incredibly Vague Descriptions, Which Book Should I Read Next?

September was a great month for reading. I read nine books, a few of them being graphic novels, so make of that what you will. But, I also read Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, a nearly 700-page tome, in about a week. Then, I exceeded my own expectations by focusing on one book at a time. Now, I’m back to juggling books, which means I’m starting A LOT of books, but I’m not finishing anything. I get so overwhelmed by all of the choices, so I either pick up a video game controller instead, or I start another new book. This was of course exacerbated by the weekend’s trip to the library.

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