Book Review: Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

A couple months ago, I found out that Barnes & Noble has a book club that actually meets at each of the store locations, so I decided to join and see what it was like. The first meeting I went to was the one where the book Clock Dance by Anne Tyler was the selection. I ordered the book online and picked it up at the Barnes & Noble closest to me.

Not sure what to expect of Anne Tyler as I had never heard of this author before, I was surprised to see that the cover of Clock Dance mentioned that she was a Pulitzer Prize winner. The novel she won the Pulitzer Prize for was A Spool of Blue Thread.

The concept of the novel intrigued me . . . it follows the defining moments of the main character's life. We first meet Willa Drake at age 11 in 1967 dealing with her mother's disappearance. In 1977, Willa is 21 year old college student who has been proposed to by her college boyfriend. Then, she becomes a widow with two teenage sons in 1997. By the time 2017 rolls around, Willa …

Book Review: Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

In the days leading up to Halloween, I decided that I wanted to read a spooky book but one that wasn't too long. Perusing my bookshelves at home, I came across one of my favorite YA Authors when I was a tween and teen . . . Richie Tankersley Cusick. How apropos would it be to read her book entitled Trick or Treat?
Regrettably, I didn't finish reading Trick or Treat before Halloween like I wanted to. The reason is simple . . . it creeped me out even though I ended up remembering who "did it" early on. Reading it late at night didn't help either as every little creak or noise in the house made me even more jumpy. Because of this, I kept putting it down after reading a chapter or two a night. I was in awe that a book that I hadn't read in 15 - 20 years and geared towards teens could still spook me like it did. Although, it was written in the late 1980's, the story holds up and is still enjoyable. I think the tweens and teens of today would enjoy Trick or Tr…

Book Review: A Clash of Kings by Georg R.R. Martin

I know I'm late to the game with reading George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books . . . A Game of Thrones for you underlings, but I just can't get enough of them. I haven't watched the show yet. I'm old school; I like to read the book, or books, before watching the television show or movie.

All the books in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series take me at least a year to read. It isn't because they're difficult to read as far as the way they're written.  It's more that it is such heavy content, and there are a ton of characters. Because of this, I find myself putting it aside for a little while and then coming back to it. While reading A Clash of Kings, there were a lot of things that made think of other books or movies.

One example is when Tyrion, Joffrey, Sansa, Tommen, and Cersei saw Myrcella off. They are on their way back to the castle, and the poor people are rioting and throwing rotten food at them. It makes me…

Key West, Florida: Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

Last week, I went on my third cruise for vacation hoping third times a charm. On the previous two cruises, I experienced rough seas due to hurricanes brewing. I was in luck . . . it was smooth sailing the entire time. My cruise was six days and five nights and cruised to Key West in Florida, and Cozumel in Mexico.

I decided to visit the Hemingway House and Sloppy Joes on my own in Key West. My first stop in Key West was the Hemingway House, which is just under one mile from the port and on the Florida Scenic Highway. I enjoyed walking to the house and being on part of the Florida Scenic Highway. On the way, part of the road was roped off by yellow police tape and police cars & motorcycles. From what I could gather, a bicyclist had been hit by a vehicle as there was a warped bicycle on the ground, and the police were taking photos of it. No cars or people were at the scene, so it appeared that it was in the investigation phase. Approximately a quarter of mile later, I arrived at th…

Book Review: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

Starting where A Discovery of Witches left off, in Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) Diana and Matthew have traveled back in time to London in the year 1590 to search for the mysterious Ashmole 782 AND find someone who can tutor Diana in the art of witchcraft.

The opening quote that Deborah Harkness chose couldn't be more perfect as it sets the tone and theme of Shadow of Night. Throughout the novel, the reader learns a multitude of things about Matthew and the regrets he has about his past . . . things he would change if it wouldn't cause dire consequences to the future.
                               The past cannot be cured.
                                              - Elizabeth 1, Queen of England
There is a plethora of historical people who make an appearance in Shadow of Night, which enhances the reading experience and made me want to learn so much more about history. Historical people who are characters in this installment include, but are not limited to, Chr…

National New Jersey Day

Something I never realized was that once a year, each state apparently has a national day. In this case, "National New Jersey Day" is July 27. You didn't know this either? That's because it just came into existence in 2017 when National Day Calendar created the holiday.

This new holiday celebrates the day New Jersey signed and ratified the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The year was 1787 and made New Jersey the third state of the new nation called the United states of America.

National New Jersey Day shouldn't be confused with New Jersey Day. In 1664, on June 24, the state of New Jersey came into existence . . . at least appearing on paper for the first time ever. New Jersey Day celebrates the day it was officially created by the Duke of York making it an English Colony.

In honor of National New Jersey Day, I thought I'd share my favorite book series with you that is based out of the Garden State.
Janet Evanovich writes many different books and series, but…

National Pennsylvania Day

July 20 is National Pennsylvania Day! As the second state of the United States, there are lots of things to celebrate about the Keystone State. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed in Philadelphia*; the first polio vaccine was developed at the University of Pittsburgh*; and the Pittsburgh Pirates was one of two of the first teams to play in the first ever World Series (baseball)*.
In honor of National Pennsylvania Day, The Running Bibliophile put together a list of books that take place in Pennsylvania. So, light a candle, grab some wine and Hershey chocolate, and slip into a bubble bath while checking out these books set in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Taking place in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie in that awkward time in life between childhood and adulthood as he navigates his freshman year of high school. Topics include sexuality, drugs…