My Must Reads for 2023

Happy 2023! What books are you excited about reading in 2023? Here is the list of books I would like to read in 2023:

  1. Homecoming by Kate Morton (2023)
  2. Spare by Prince Harry (2023)
  3. Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby (2023)
  4. Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez (2023)
  5. Touch by Olaf Olafsson
  6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  7. Category Five by Ann Davila Cardinal
  8. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
  9. Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton
  10. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson



My Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2022

Out of the more than 100 books I read this year, here are the ones I enjoyed the most:

  • If You Ask Me by Betty White
  • Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  • Taste by Stanley Tucci
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Our Riches by Kaouther Adimi
  • Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
  • The Book of Boundaries by Melissa Urban

Favorite Read of 2022:


                    Finding Me


                     Viola Davis

Completed 24-Hour Readathon – October 2022


I have completed Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon! To be honest, the last few hours were much tougher than in the past, so this might be the last time I do the full 24 hours. I am overall very happy with my reading progress during the readathon. I definitely made a dent in my TBR & currently reading book pile.


  • Finish 5 books – I finished 7 books
  • Read at least 1,200 pages – I read 1,227 pages
  • Read for the full 24 hours – I did read for the full 24 hours
  • Post at least 10 times to social media – I posted more than 40 times to social media (goodreads, facebook, litsy, instagram, & twitter)
  • Track progress in bullet journal – I did this (see below)
  • Drink at least 100 ounces – I drank 64 ounces
  • Play bingo – I had multiple bingos on the below bingo card

Closing Survey

  1. How would you assess your reading overall? I am thrilled with the fact that I finished 7 books, including finishing two books for November book club meetings. I will say that I wish I had picked a couple of better audiobooks. 
  2. Did you have a strategy, and if so, did you stick to it? I actually 100% stuck to my reading plan that I put together the day before.
  3. What was your favorite snack? I did enjoy my readathon taco dip.

Books Finished

Books Started

If you participated, how did you do? Can’t wait to do this again in the Fall!

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24-Hour Readathon Halfway Point – October 2022


I’ve made it to the halfway point of Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon. I’ve been reading for 12 hours. I may not have finished that many books yet, but I am averaging more than 50 pages an hour. I think I am on track to completing my readathon goals. I also got to enjoy a fair amount of outdoor reading time too.

Mid-Event Survey

  1. What are you reading right now? I am reading It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (audiobook) and Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig (physical book).
  2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve finished 2 books.
  3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the readathon? For many readathons now, I have had Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest on my TBR pile and never get to it. I will change that today.
  4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? It is always a bit distracting to share a space with someone not participating in this readathon, but it hasn’t been bad.


Finished Reading

Currently Reading

Looking forward to the next 12 hours! Hope everyone participating is doing well and hitting all their reading goals!


Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon Begins! October 2022

298384944_10160784564836424_5882214575971162727_nIt’s that time again! The semi-annual Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon begins now!!! As always I’ve been looking forward to this. My reading life has actually been struggling a bit recently, so I am exciting to get back on track. This is officially my 11th time participating in this readathon. 


Here are my goals for the readathon:

  • Finish 5 books
  • Read at least 1,200 pages
  • Read for the full 24 hours
  • Post at least 10 times to social media
  • Track progress in bullet journal 
  • Drink at least 100 ounces
  • Play bingo

TBR Pile

Physical Books:

  • Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Our House by Louise Candlish
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry


  • Unmasked by Paul Holes
  • It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  • A Place in the World by Frances Mayes
  • The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson
  • The Wilderness of Ruin by Roseanne Montillo


Opening Event Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I’m reading from Houston, Texas today.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m looking forward to all the books in my stack and especially looking forward to finishing all the books I have started.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I tend to eat unhealthy snacks that I do look forward to: pizza, taco dip, and ice cream.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! My reading life has been put on hold lately to accommodate my second passion – travel. Glad to be traveling again!

Social Media

I will be posting updates on multiple social media outlets:

Are you participating in this readathon? If so, let me know in the comments what you are most looking forward to and let me know what you plan to be reading.

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A Day in Corpus Christi, TX – April 2021


We got to take a day trip to Corpus Christi and what a full day it was! If you have a day to spend in Corpus Christi, this is what we recommend experiencing:

Texas State Aquarium

U. S. S. Lexington

Selena Memorial



Stop at Nueces Brewing Company for some local beer.



To get some fresh gulf coast seafood visit Landry’s Seafood House.



There are a lot of beaches to visit in and around Corpus Christi. We chose to end our visit to Corpus Christi by walking along the beach at Mustang Island State Park.


Oklahoma Road Trip – March 2021

After of a full year of COVID life, we have decided to embrace the concept of road tripping. Our20210317_140941.jpg most recent road trip adventure during our spring break took us to Oklahoma with stops in Waco, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Boise City, Oklahoma; and Amarillo, Texas. It was amazing to be on the road, and we had a great time at our stops.

Waco, Texas

When we arrived in Waco, Texas, we took a nice evening walk along the Brazos river on Waco’s riverfront. Right near the Waco Suspension Bridge, we visited the Veteran’s Memorial. We also got our first nitrogen ice cream at Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream. They also had keto (low-carb) options.

The next day, we stumbled on a wonderful farmers market on our way to the Magnolia Silos, where we could enjoy some delicious locally grown foods. We also got coffees at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits. The Magnolia Silos was far more of an extensive area than I expected. There are many shops, areas for family fun, and places to eat, including lots of food trucks. One can definitely spend multiple hours there. However, expecting to get into the bakery is wishful thinking. The line was ridiculous. 


If you are interested in a bit of true crime history or have seen the most recent “Waco” miniseries, there is a memorial just 20 minutes outside of Waco, where the former Davidian compound was located.  

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


We had just about one full day in Oklahoma City, and we made the most out of it. We stayed in the part of Oklahoma City that is called Bricktown, which was easy walking distance to everything that we wanted to see. We started the morning by visiting the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the Crystal Bridge Observatory. Then we visited the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which had a very impressive glass art display by Dale Chihuly. As we love to support independent bookstores, we stopped at Commonplace Books before spending a couple house at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. This museum was amazing, and we probably would have spent more than two hours if we hadn’t already had such a full day. It was an emotional museum for sure but 100% worth a visit. To end our day in Oklahoma City, we visited the riverwalk and did a wine tasting at Put a Cork In It. It was a very relaxing way to end a great day in Oklahoma City.

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Boise City, Oklahoma

IMG_20210316_113616_641.jpgWe enjoyed a nice drive across Oklahoma to Oklahoma’s panhandle, where we would visit our next destination – Boise City. After reading Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time and watching Ken Burn’s The Dust Bowl documentary, we wanted to learn more about that time and found that the Cimarron Heritage Center provided a great exhibition related to the dust bowl in Boise City. Before heading to the center, we stopped at the local Bluebonnet Cafe for lunch, where it appeared that the entire town of Boise City, not a large town, was present. It was such a unique experience, realizing that we were in a location where points of discussion that we normally experienced in the city were not relevant here. The people didn’t talk about the current COVID pandemic or politics or world events, they discussed their cattle, farming equipment and what parts of their fields were currently being plowed. These are all hardworking people, who are dedicated to their families and their land. Unfortunately, our trip to the Cimarron Heritage Center was not a success right away. The individual who was running the center that day had to close the center early to attend a funeral. That is what happens in small towns, and luckily we were able to be flexible and come back to visit the center the next day. We are so glad we did. This was far more extensive of a museum than expected. It included much more than the dust bowl, but all topics of history in the area like the Santa Fe Trail, World War I and II, dinosaur and mammoth excavations, and much much more. By far this is the most unique museum and well worth the trip. 

Amarillo, Texas

IMG_20210315_182707_721.jpgAmarillo, Texas was just supposed to be a pitstop for some rest before traveling home, but due to the delay in visiting the Cimarron Heritage Center, we managed to spend a little more time in Amarillo. At least we had enough time to visit Cadillac Ranch (one of the strangest sites we have ever seen) and a local independent bookstore called Burrowing Owl Books, which was conveniently located next to a delicious cookie shop that even had Keto cookies on the menu.That concludes our 2021 Oklahoma Road Trip adventure. Until next time…


My Must Read List for 2021

What books are you excited about reading in 2021? Here is the list of books I would like to read in 2021:

  1. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo 
  2. The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
  4. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  5. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  6. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  7. Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
  8. Sanditon by Jane Austen
  9. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  10. Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg

HAPPY 2021!!!

Book Review: West With The Night

West-with-the-NightTitle: West with the Night
Author: Beryl Markham
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 1942
Pages: 294
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: June 21, 2020

Goodreads Description: West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham–aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty–and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and ’30s.

My Review: I heard about this book via Jeff O’Neal on the Book Riot Podcast. Based on his description, I thought it would be an interesting travelogue. The goodreads description, as you can see above, can hardly be considered a comprehensive description. I really did not know what to expect with this book. I just really wanted to read something set in a different part of the world. Plus, Jeff O’Neal mentioned that this book was given high praise from none other than Ernest Hemingway.

I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of Beryl Markham. I have definitely been missing out. Her life was absolutely fascinating! She lived a free life, yet maybe at times a bit lonely. West With The Night has everything you could think of: descriptions of the Maasai culture, a lion attack, horse racing, malaria, World War 1, colonialism, fascism, and aviation by only maps, protractors and compasses (no navigational or radio systems).

Plus, Hemingway was absolutely correct. Beryl Markham was a beautiful writer. Her descriptions put you in another time and place beyond what may be imaginable. This book was a truly a remarkable and memorable reading experience. I highly recommend it!

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

“Every tomorrow ought not to resemble every yesterday. Still I look at my yesterdays from months passed and find them as good a lot of yesterdays as anybody might want. I sit there in the firelight and see them all.”

Book Club Pick: Into Thin Air

1898Title: Into Thin Air
Author: Jon Krakauer
Genre: Nonfiction Adventure
Publisher: Villard Books
Publication Date: May 1, 1997
Pages: 368
Format Read: Paperback book
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Unknown
Date finished reading: May 11, 2020

Goodreads Description: A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that “suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down.” He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more–including Krakauer’s–in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer’s epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

My Review: When my book club voted for this book, I was thrilled to read an adventure story about Everest, especially since travel is so limited in the world right now. I had been wanting to read Jon Krakauer for a while. What better place to start than by reading about the highest point in the world from the comfort of my couch.

This story started off as an article in Outsider magazine. However, after some harsh criticism, Jon Krakauer decided to dive further into his and others’ experiences on Everest during that tragic May expedition in 1996. His interviews led to the realization that some of his memories from his time on and near the Everest summit had been inaccruate – most likely from the lack of oxygen.

Whatever the reason for writing this book, whether it be survivor’s guilt or trying to make sense of this event that costs the lives of his fellow hikers, Jon Krakauer wrote one hell of a great story. This book included a historical introduction to Everest and expeditions on Everest. The descriptions of Everest and mountaineering on Everest made you feel like you were right there with the hikers. An expedition on Everest is so much more involved that I could have ever imagined. A hiker spends days/weeks on this expedition. Much of that time is spent acclimating to the high elevation, and then the hiker gets one shot at reaching the summit, as one should not spend an extended time at that elevation.

By the time the final summit hike for Krakauer and the hikers came, I was very invested in them and their trek. That made this story even more heartbreaking. It was thrilling and terrifying. There were twists and turns and lot of moments that surprised me. The book club found lots to discuss.

Of course, we had to discuss mountaineering first and one’s motivation to climb Everest. Then we discussed the sherpas that risk their lives to pave the path for the hikers and assist them on their journey for very little money. I think Jon Krakauer tried to bring to light the mistreatment of sherpas.

Finally we discussed the actual tragic events that took place on May 10th and the following days in 1996. We debated on whether this was a natural disaster or a man-made disaster. We discussed the decisions made by everyone during the summit trek, when the storm hit, and the days afterwards.

Not only did every member of the book club read this book, but for days we have been sending each other links related to Everest. We have not run out of things to talk about when it comes to this expedition and Everest. It is surprising, based on this excitement, that everyone rated this the highest rating of all our previous reads. I personally am looking forward to reading more by Jon Krakauer.

The book club unanimously loves Beck Weathers! ♥♥♥

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Book Club Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦