Bookish Notes: The Becoming by Nora Roberts


I thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd installment of Nora Robert's The Becoming in her Dragon Heart Legacy series. It picks up where the first book ended with Marco latching onto Breen's hand as she jumped through the gate in Ireland. His fascination with Talamha and Breen's world of magic and dragons enlivens the story and love the give and take between them. Watching the relationship between Breen and Keagan build as she learns to embrace her magic, her strengths and weaknesses before they have to battle the big bad.

BW48: Sunday's Book Babble - So many books to choose from


It's week 48 in our 52 books quest. As the year winds down, the best books of the year lists rise up with many books in common.  Some I may have missed and others I may have deliberately missed on purpose. Some may not have been stories that enticed me into reading more...  Yet.  Some weren't my style, which can change from year to year. Different phases, different places, different mind set, or just not in the mood. But when I am in the mood, watch out. My TBR stack gets taller, while some books grow older and wait patiently, knowing that in time, I'll get to them.

If you are like me, your book shelves may be filled to the brim with books double and triple parked.  Every so often, I'll rearrange them, pulling stories and authors forward to sit front and center, pushing others to the back until it's their time to shine again.  I really don't need to buy more books, but you know, you can never have enough.  While the sleepy, dusty tome, bides its time, the shiny penny calls your name. 

While perusing the best of the best for 2021 the past few days, and adding a few to my virtual and physical stack as well as my wish list, I thought, wait.... What about 2022? All those shiny new pennies!  Time to preorder a few before my book buying ban clicks in at the beginning of the year.  Now I know why my stacks keep having babies and those babies have babies. LOL!  I'm ever so grateful to the authors and their creativity who keep me entertained.  

Check out the lists highlighted on 52 Books Blog


I’m enjoying Nora Robert’s fantasy The Becoming, the 2nd novel in her Dragon Heart Legacy series.  It begins where “Awakening” left off and it took a few pages for me to remember what had happened in the first book. This will be a good series to reread when all are available. 

Picks up where the first book ended with Marco latching onto Breen’s hand as she jumped through the gate in Ireland. His fascination with Talamha and Breen’s world of magic and dragons enlivens the story and love the give and take between them. Watching the relationship between Breen and Keagan build as she learns to embrace her magic, her strengths and weaknesses before they have to battle the big bad.

Not sure what I’m going to read next. Have to peruse the stacks.  In the meantime I’ve bought way too many books.  But I did find my next Haruki Murakimi read for January – Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.  And figured out where I left off with Qui Xiaolong’s Inspector Chen and got Hold Your Breath, China.

At some point I'm going to do a reread of Jayne Castles Harmony's Ghost Hunter series and fill in the books I haven't read yet. Guild Boss # 15 in the Harmony series just came out.  Hmm. I should probably read that one.  LOL!

Also discovered a bunch of broken links on the perpetual challenges on the blog so guess what I spent the day doing. Yep.  Which of course is what lead to the book buying binge while I was at it.  🙃

Still listening to Erin Morgenstern The Starless Sea and love the narrators. Two men, one narrating the backstory and another as the main character. I usually run for the book to read when I can’t listen, but not this time.  The narrators make the story. It’s like listening to music and a bard telling a tale. I’ll wait to read the book later. 

We watched Jungle Cruise with Dwayne 'the rock' Johnson and Emma Blunt. Excellent Movie.  

I tried watching Wheel of Time and after seeing Lan’s oh so muscular butt as he climbed into a hot tub, turned it off.  They gamed a throned it and doesn’t make any sense unless have read the books, and if one has read the books, can tell that they are leaving out details which would have made it better.  I’ll stick to the books.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Song of Thanksgiving

(To the air - Portuguese Hymn)

Poems for Young Americans


Will Carleton 

We thank thee, O Father, for all that is bright--
the gleam of the day and the stars of the night;
The flowers of our youth, and the fruits of our prime,
And blessings e'er marching the pathway of time.

We thank thee, O Father, for all this is drear--
The sob of the tempest -- the flow of the tear;
For never in blindness, and never in vain,
Thy mercy permitted a sorrow or pain.

We thank thee, O Father, for song and for feast--
The harvest that glowed, and the wealth that increased;
For never a blessing encompassed thy child,
But thou in thy mercy looked downward and smiled.

We thank thee, O Father for all! for the power
Of aiding each other in life's darkest hour;
The generous heart, and the bountiful hand,
And all the soul-help that sad souls understand.

We thank thee, O Father--for days yet to be --
For hopes that our future will call us to thee:
That all our eternity form, through thy love,
One Thanksgiving Day in the mansions above.

**Copyright 1910 Every Where Publishing.


Yeah. My head didn't explode from all the number crunching. Done with submitting all paper work for both the Workers Comp audit, and SBA loan annual review. Now I can relax and enjoy our Thanksgiving holiday.  We're having a quiet one to ourselves which means getting some honey do projects done.  

And because life is to short to read books that just don't hold my interest, I'm giving up on Wise Woman.  Too depressing.  I'm in more of a fluff mode at the moment.  Finished Darynda Jones second book in her Sunshine Vicram series with A Good Day for Chardonnay.  Why oh why though is it going to take a full year for the next installment to release?  Oh well. 

Happy Dance....   Nora Roberts newest came in -  Becoming, #2 in her Dragon Heart Legacy series. Absolutely love this word of wisdom when character talks about losing time –

“Time’s never lost, just spent on other matters.”

My new favorite quote.

Happy Birthday to me!!!


Because life is to short to read books that just don’t hold my interest, I’m giving up on Wise Woman. Too depressing. I’m in more of a fluff mode at the moment. Finished Darynda Jones second book in her Sunshine Vicram series with A Good Day for Chardonnay. Why oh why though is it going to take a full year for the next installment to release? Oh well.

Happy Dance…. Nora Roberts newest just came in – Becoming, #2 in her Dragon Heart Legacy series.

Gasp! What? No books.  My guys got creative this year for my birthday and went to the local antique dealer down the street.  Hubby cooked an awesome roast with yorkshire pudding.  Had long chats with my dad and one of my sisters.  Great day! 

BW47: Sunday's Book Babble - On the nightstand


Its week 47 in our 52 Books quest and I finally updated my books completed list and discovered my reading has fallen largely into three categories:  romance, crime, and fantasy.  However, I did split dragons/fantasy/Science Fiction into three different categories when it should have all been one.  And a lot of the romance category included paranormal and urban fantasy. So, there’s been a lot of blending. I think my 10 x 10 was a failure this year.  Think I’ll skip making 10 x 10 for 2022 and see what themes extemporaneously develop in the process.   

In progress:

Hardback -- Wise Woman by Philippa Gregory, 
Audiobook –- Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern 
Ebook  -- #2 in Sunshine Vicram trilogy by Darynda Jones A Good Day for Chardonnay

We watched Red Notice tonight on Netflix with Dwayne 'rock' Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot which was very entertaining. 

More books for the tbr stacks


My friends have talked about the Expanse series so much I finally had to check it out.   Added Leviathan Wakes to my virtual stacks along with several other books in including Jo Walton's Among Others, Ann Perry's Face of a Stranger, and Willo Davis Roberts Girl with the Silver Eyes.  A bunch more dragon and bookshop books. I see some themes evolving.  I think I'm done buying books for the time being and will wait to see what my guys get me for my birthday and Christmas.   The poor dears had to force themselves to go the store today because they missed the time window for Amazon to get here by Sunday, even though I gave them plenty of warning.  It'll be a total surprise since neither one has any idea what to get and hubby always looks for the fattest book possible.  😁

Finished When Sorrow Comes and happy that October and Tybalt finally managed to get married. 

Gave up on 42nd Street Library for the moment, just couldn't get into his writing.

Philippa Gregory's Wise Woman has captured my attention so far.  

Guest Post -James M's review of the Archie Sonic Underground Epilogue


Salutations Sonic fans. Well, its finally happened. The crew of Archie Sonic Online has released Archie Sonic Underground Online #50 featuring the long-awaited, the awesome SONIC UNDERGROUND EPILOGUE!

Remember that 40-episode Sonic cartoon from back in 1999, made by DIC, and was about Sonic with siblings and had musicals. Guess what? After years of waiting, we finally have just gotten a proper conclusion to the show in comic form, made by fans anyway.

Having just read the whole thing, what do I think of it?

That story WAS AWESOME! The crew did a great job, they wrapped up the story without an issue.

Sonic and his family were characterized sweetly and the story was a treat to read, it had some action moments and a heartwarming reunion with the queen. At one point, after I read the story, I almost teared up before I posted this review. But either way, we got what we wanted, even if it wasn't delivered by the generous people at SEGA.

Robotnik's defeat was very well written, I was nearly hoping he'd be killed off, but they roboticized him and turned him into a good guy instead. Now that the story of Sonic Underground is done, where do we go from here? Its likely we might get more Underground stories in the future, if ASO wants to revisit that world anyway.

If that wasn't enough, guess what, ASO actually interviewed Ian Flynn. Y'know how Ian Flynn wants to stay away from fan stuff, looks like he made an exception to talk with the ASO folks. Holy sh*t, this is f***ing crazy! I LOVE SONIC!

Did I have a favorite moment from it?

Robotnik's defeat, thats all I have to say.

Fanboy craze out of the way, my score for this is a solid 9.5 out of 10. If you want, go ahead and rewatch the Sonic Underground show in its entirety and then read/reread the epilogue online. The Sonic franchise and its fandom is the best, may Sonic keep going and may the fans keep the spirits of forgotten characters alive until the day they eventually return at long last.

In the meantime, lets go enjoy some Modern Sonic content from SEGA.

-James M

Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic Imposter Syndrome issue 1


Imposter Syndrome is here and we got new characters: Surge and Kit.

Who's Surge and Kit?

They're new characters, sort of. Surge is basically the spiritual successor to lost Archie Sonic character Scourge the Hedgehog, but unlike Scourge, Surge is made by Ian Flynn and is owned by SEGA (hopefully). What's the issue about? Doctor Starline preparing for Project Remaster, a plan that involves getting rid of Eggman (like thats ever gonna happen) and paving the way for something new. To prepare, he tests Surge the Tenrec and Kit the Fennec, who are kinda stubborn and rebellious at times.

Another good and harmlessly fun IDW Sonic comic issue, very good read. Ian Flynn's writing just got more impressive with another story penned by him, he did a good job without being held back. In fact, you may as well say SEGA's doing a good job with the storytelling too. Looking forward to the rest of the miniseries and the epic IDW Sonic issue 50 assuming it is epic in anyway.

My score is an eight, it was acceptably fun.

-James. M

BW46: Sunday's Book Babble - Why You Need a Reading Plan

 It's week 46 in our 52 Books Quest. We're in the midst of planning our 2022 bookish adventures and having loads of fun with the bingo categories and coming up with new challenges. Meanwhile getting side tracked and adding to my TBR pile.  So many good books.  I went a little bit link happy while writing this week's post and figured out I need to have a better plan for actually reading all the books I've been acquiring.

Which lead me to The Art of Manliness, which is actually a wonderful site to explore. 

I came across Why you need a Reading Plan detailing the importance of having a plan and sticking with it.  I ditched my non fiction reading plan somewhere in the middle of the year and need to revise for 2022. I have a whole slew of nonfiction books on my shelves from memoirs like Trevor Noah's Born a Crime to Adam Savage's Every Tool's a Hammer to multiple writing books such as Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova.  

Stumbled across their article on The Best of the Marine Corps’ Reading Lists with many books my hubby will enjoy reading. Unfortunately, it looks like The Art of War has been removed from the current list which is a must read for anyone.  Caboodle lists it among the  10 non-fiction books that changed the world

Today is the 170th anniversary of when Moby Dick was published.  If you haven't read it yet, maybe 2022 would be the perfect time. Why read Moby Dick? makes the case for why and In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex gives you the real story behind the fiction tale.  Another seafaring tale that captured my attention is Hampton Side's In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette.   Both Philbrick and Hampton make history come alive.

Check out the links on 52 Books 


Still reading Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet.  I came across this article Can Rilke Change Your Life in the New Yorker on Saturday which lead to me to a new edition of Letters which includes the missing letters of the young poet which weren’t included in the original edition.  Maybe if I’m curious enough after finishing the edition I have, I may get it.

Finished The Riviera House by Natasha Lester which was good, but I liked Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale so much more.

Ebook – started #15 in the October Daye series When Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuire and in hard cover – Philippa Gregory’s The Wise Woman.   

Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 46


Part 2 of Trial By Fire, the road to issue 50 nears the midway point as year 4 of IDW Sonic slowly draws to a close. 

Picking up from where part 1 left off, Bell reactivates following her encounter with a Moto Bug as a forest fire unfolds and we get a tease for Imposter Syndrome when Surge and Kit make a short appearance in the shadows. 

Amy, Tangle and Jewel get to work on protecting as much people as they possibly can and Tangle eventually finds Belle before they find the camp ranger's son and his Wisp. The issue ends with a very literal cliffhanger, with the heroes falling down a cliff.

This issue was entertaining and Evan's storytelling gets more fantastical as time passes, she knows what she is doing and she has ran into zero roadblocks. IDW Sonic's stories have come a long way since year 1, they're no longer bound to the game Sonic Forces as they've become their own thing. 

May nothing ever bog down IDW, may they keep going a bit longer. Sonic's 30th anniversary has been full of great content, despite the odds stacked against SEGA and their partners. Lets hope the finale to this three parter is satisfying. Cheers! 9/10 for greatness, no flaws whatsoever.

-James. M

Thought of the day: Cancel Culture and Books


Lately with every book I’ve read, the thought has crept in, yep this one would be canceled or not allowed or would have caused an uproar and not allowed to be published because it would be offensive to someone.   So in essence, all the books of the past would have be canceled.  In the future, books will have to come with a warning label to read with an open mind or sense of humor.  Or for historical context, refer to back to year XXXX.  Grumble, grumble, going back into my hidey hole.

Bookish Notes: Aha! New to Me author Natasha Lester


Reading a new to me author – Natasha Lester’s The Riviera House which is set in two time frames and is about wwII and the French resistance.  Combines history and art which are two things I love to read about.  Enjoying it so far.

“Paris, 1939: The Nazis think Éliane can’t understand German. They’re wrong. They think she’s merely cataloging art in the Louvre and unaware they’re stealing national treasures for their private collections. They have no idea she’s carefully decoding their notes and smuggling information to the Resistance. But Éliane is playing a dangerous game. Does she dare trust the man she once loved with her secrets, or will he only betray her once again? She has no way to know for certain . . . until a trip to a stunning home on the French Riviera brings a whole new level of peril.

Present Day: Wanting to forget the tragedy that has left her life in shambles, Remy Lang heads to a home she’s mysteriously inherited on the Riviera. While working on her vintage fashion business, she discovers a catalog of the artworks stolen during World War II and is shocked to see a painting that hung on her childhood bedroom wall. Who is her family, really? And does the Riviera house hold more secrets than Remy is ready to face?”

Read Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale a few years back and that one was both haunting and beautiful and well worth reading.

BW45: Sunday's Book Babble - Time for our Fictional Librarian of the Month


It's book week 45 in our 52 books quest and highlighting the fictional librarian of the month. I'm in a bit of a flounder with books right now and need to sit and contemplate my shelves and figure out what I'm really in the mood for, besides rereading Nora.     

In my ongoing Nora Robert’s Reread,  currently on The Calhouns two book saga of sisters trying to save their ancestral home in Bar Harbor, Maine which coincidently is where my mother was raised.   

Murder at the 42nd Street Library is waiting in the wings. 

Reading Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and loving it so far.  Love this bit of advice - don’t look out side for validation, look for it inside yourself.

We saw Free Guy which was a fun movie to watch and put both James and I in the mood to watch Detective Pikachu again. 

Watched the new Dune Trailer. I read Dune years and years ago and will probably read again with James at some point.   I liked the movie version with Kyle Mclaughlin since it covered the whole movie. I heard the current Dune only covers the first half of the book and they will release the sequel with the remainder in 2023.  And if I remember the story correctly, splitting it in two that way wouldn't have made sense to someone who has already read the book.  James will be too excited to wait when it comes out in DVD, but since he hasn't read the book yet, won't make much difference.   

Bookish Notes and Links - Preparations for Harry Potter Anniversary next year


Procrastinating web wonderings this morning:

Ursula Le Guin has jumped into the awards game with Prize for a single work of Imaginative Fiction.   

I love doorstoppers:   Rhythm of War & Other Best Fantasy Doorstoppers.  Now that I've finished Wheel of Time, dipping into the Stormlight Archive with Way of the Kings.

Off the Shelf's ebook roundup: November eBook Deals: 10 Magnificent Reads for Your Digital Library

2022 is Harry Potter's 25th anniversary. James has a reread and movie rewatch in store for us. Bloomsbury unveils big plans for 25th anniversary of first Harry Potter book

Tom Hanks likes manual typewriters and wrote a book: Uncommon Type: Some Stories  and hails Edinburgh bookshop owner as his hero.   Brings back memories of learning to type on my dad's old manual.