Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Midday Check-In

9 hours down – almost half way there and 2 books down!

It’s the perfect day for patio reading (and for a beer fest!)

So far, this has been a great readathon. Knowing that I’d be taking an extended break for the beer fest gave me more freedom than anything. With such limited time, the pressure’s off to participate in every single mini challenge and just read! That said, my favorite part of every readathon is seeing everyone out on Instagram and Twitter – everyone looks to be having a great readathon! What’s been your favorite part of the day?

I’ll be leaving soon, but I’ve already managed to finish two books today! Both were relatively fast reads: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. Both were enthralling, all-consuming emotional reads for me, A Monster Calls more for Conor’s heart wrenching story and The Dead House for the mystery.

Now I’m back to Vassa in the Night. I started reading Vassa several weeks ago and have struggled with it ever since. Today’s the day I finish it though!

What are you reading?


Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Opening Survey

Good morning, readers! Starting my day off bright and early today and ready to read! First read of the day is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I’ve heard amazing things from all of you, and I can’t wait to start!


Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I’m joining you from Houston, Texas.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. Her book The Trees Crept In was absolutely terrifying so I’m pretty excited for this one!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Chicken sriracha quesadillas. Yum!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’m totally addicted to Hallmark movies! I’ll definitely have some going in the background today.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

Relax! I can’t wait to read and just enjoy a day doing what I love!

Happy Reading!


Making the Most of Your Readathon

Happy Friday! Only one more day until Dewey’s Readathon!


Not only is tomorrow the readathon, but I’ll be going to my favorite beer fest too! A perfect day, if you ask me. Luckily my start time is bright and early at 7 AM and the event doesn’t start until late afternoon, giving me plenty of time to read with a perfectly timed dinner break.

I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to read the full 24 hours (or attempt to), but I’ll still be reading most of the day. And besides, the whole point of the readathon is to celebrate our favorite hobby and connect with other readers, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing!

I first participated in a Dewey’s Readathon in April, but even with one under my belt, I’ve learned a few things about the process. Firstly, don’t take it too seriously! If you want to spend more time connecting with readers and blogging, do that, or if you just want to read, that’s ok too. There are no rules – it’s your readathon, so make it your own!

Tonight, I’ll be spending a little extra time browsing participating blogs and posting on the Goodreads Group. I’ll be posting on Instagram and Twitter, as well as the blog, throughout the day, so I might go ahead and outline a few posts to save time and line up my Instagram props to have at the ready.

This time, since we’re so close to Halloween, I decided on a Spooktober reading list. I LOVE themed reading lists – they make reading more exciting and more challenging. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a horror novel, but of course now I’m totally obsessed! So it’s not too surprising that I’ve already read a few from my Readathon TBR…

More importantly though, what will you be eating!? Last readathon I went a little crazy and ended up spending a few hours in the kitchen, chopping veggies and listening to an audiobook. This year, since I have such limited time, I pre made Sriracha Chicken Quesadillas last night. Yum!

Happy Reading!


The Classics Club: Spin # 14

My first spin didn’t go quite as planned. Given two months to complete your selected classic, I completely guffawed the process thinking “I don’t even need ONE month”. But boy, was I wrong. It was SO hard to fit a classic into my already crammed reading schedule (which isn’t so much a schedule but the egging pressure of having 20 library books checked out at one time and the “need” to read them all! That’s for another time though…). A week or so after the official end of the spin I finally managed to finish The Martian Chronicles, but to be fair, I listened to a large portion of the audiobook multiple times, surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The novel is a collection of stories exploring the effects of colonization on native populations and how our attempt to escape certain traditions or societal strictures is, ironically, a fruitless endeavor (given his allegories are extreme). My favorite chapter, by far, is the one based on The Fall of the House of Usher.

Then, somehow, I managed to fit in TWO other classics via audiobooks since the last spin! After so many trial and errors with The Martian Chronicles, how I found time for two more is beyond me.

Total Classics Read: 3

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Burns
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Unfortunately, after checking and checking and checking The Classics Club, I missed the announcement for Spin #14! So, in order to mimic the spin process, I’m moving on with the usual list of 20 classics, chosen from my lengthier TBR, and picking a random number from a hat.

To the List!

1. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
2. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
3. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
4. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
5. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
6. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
7. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
8. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
9. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe
10. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
11. White Fang by Jack London
12. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston
13. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
14. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
15. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
16. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
17. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
18. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
19. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
20. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

And the lucky winner is…


#18 Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens!

It’s been a while since I’ve read Dickens, even though he’s one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait! I was hoping to get House of Mirth or Three Musketeers, so I might try to fit those in too. I have until December 1st, so hopefully that’ll be plenty of time!

What will you be reading this spin?

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names I’d Name a Child (or Pet) After

This week on Broke and the Bookish, we’re showing extra attention to the characters we love SO much, we’d name a child (or pet) after them. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for these characters. Of course it helps that most come from my all-time favorite novels!


Vivienne or Vivi for short: I would totally name a little girl Vivienne after the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. I couldn’t imagine a better name for a bigger than life character.


Jane/Charlotte: You guys know how much I LOVE Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Actually this is a double whammy, I’d go for either Jane or Charlotte, both are classically beautiful names that any girl would be proud of, just as we’re all proud of Jane for her strong sense of self and unwavering courage to do what’s right for her.


Jules: Jules Verne will always be one of my favorite authors, especially for Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Hopefully some of his creative genius would rub off!


Oliver: I’ve been in love with Oliver Barrett since I first read/saw Love Story by Erich Segal. He’s an amazing character, caring and loyal with a little bit of angst, and totally head over heals for Jenny.


Alexander: I doubt anyone would go along with naming a child or a pet after the beloved Musketeers, but I’d settle for naming a little boy Alexander after Alexandre Dumas.


Lilliet: After reading The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, I totally fell in love with the name Lilliet. It’s absolutely stunning, especially for a character adept to the arts, high fashion, AND espionage.


Lavender/William: I would love to name a pet Lavender after my favorite grandmother bunny in The Sage of Waterloo by Leona Francombe about the Battle of Waterloo. Or William, he’s a sweet rabbit who deeply respects and loves his grandmother, taking every one of her lessons to heart. Any little boy named William is sure to be a sweetheart.


Theo: My next cat is definitely going to be named Theo like the main character from Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. From childhood to manhood, Theo is a total sweetheart, but misunderstood after getting himself tangled up with the wrong crowd and struggle to cover up his innocent mistake.

What character would you name a child/pet after?


Weekly Reads: Week 41

This week was spent icing cookies and petting puppies galore at a local Pet Fest – a perfect week, if you ask me! On the other hand, I hit a bit of a snag with my reading. In a rush to finish my month old stack of library books, plus trying to fit in some new Net Galley reads, I just couldn’t decide on any one book and ended up switching back and forth between five. Not the best system, but I did manage to finish a couple this week, including one of my Readathon picks, What’s a Ghoul to Do by Victoria Laurie. I just couldn’t wait any longer!


Currently, I’m reading Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – what a thrilling read! I can’t believe it took me so long to start!


The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

A shocking new thriller, The Couple Next Door follows the chilling abduction of Anne and Marco’s six-month old baby girl, as a seemingly innocent night leads to tragedy. After the baby sitter cancels last minute, the couple decide to go forward with their dinner plans and besides, they’ll only be next door. bring the baby monitor and check in on her every half hour, what could go wrong? But returning home, Anne finds the front door cracked open and their beloved child gone without a trace. With little evidence and rising suspicions, tensions quickly rise as shocking secrets are revealed and a family left undone.

“The wife is always the last to know, right?”

As a previous Book of the Month Club pick, I had pretty high expectation going into my reading, but even with the novel’s provocative twists and turns, I was left disappointed. The novel is full of decept, and not just from the main characters, from neighbors to investigators to the parents themselves, no one seems to tell the truth, or at least the whole truth. And yes, while the beginning premise of the novel is shocking, parents leaving behind a near new born for dinner and drinks next door, it’s definitely over played while following twists are abandoned right after the reveal. The most interesting point of the novel was the dynamic between Anne and Marco. Even after the first big reveal, their rocky relationship surprisingly remains intact, but after lying to each other for so long, what’s one more? Of course relationships are never quite realistic in their portrayal throughout the mystery genre, but it felt like a missing piece throughout the novel when so much of the investigator’s work was wound around the family. Overall, shocking but not jaw dropping in my book.

Rating: 3 Stars        Goodreads


Replica by Lauren Oliver

A two-book novel, Replica explores the horrifying secrets behind the mysterious research facility Haven, auspiciously located on a deserted island off the coast of Florida. After repetitive illnesses as a child, in and out of hospitals over the years, Gemma’s parents keep a close watch. Between school and home, she rarely spend a moment to herself without a pair of peering eyes overhead, but after a seemingly harmless prank scares her parents into cancelling her spring break plans, coincidently timed with new allegations against her father, Gemma will stop at nothing to reach Haven in order to uncover the truth, no matter how dark the consequences. Meanwhile, Lyra has spent her entire life at Haven. Known as Subject 24, she’s under constant surveillance and a tight schedule of medical and cognitive testing, until a window of escape presents itself. Now, after a chance encounter, the two pair up to uncover earth-shattering secrets that will change their lives forever.

“A strange and baffling truth: that the people we’re supposed to know best can turn out to be strangers, and that near strangers can feel so much like home.”

First, a few tips on how to read the book(s). Though you can easily read one book at a time, I think the best option is to read both stories together, flipping back and forth, preferably beginning with Lyra and ending with Gemma. I ended up reading 4 chapters of each story at a time and ended with Lyra, but I wish I’d ended on Gemma’s story – hers felt like the end all, be all conclusion (it’s also followed by the author’s bio page, which also hints at it being THE end).

“They would face it together, as they were then: turned human by joy, by a belonging that felt just like freedom.”

Replica was one of the most enthralling reads I’ve enjoyed in some time, full of action, romance and mystery. Starting with the girls, reading both Gemma and Lyra felt like I’d taken a step back to visit my teenage self – Oliver definitely knows how to write teenagers, but that’s where they started to fall flat for me. Above the common teenage fears, “I’m different, no one’s going to like me” or “who am I really? who do I want to be?”, there was little focus on actual consequences. Especially in the conclusions, both ending on romance rather than a “we’re saved!”. It felt like a bit of a cop-out ending, even if it’s a planned series there could be a hint of an open ending to show where the story might lead rather than firmly confirming that yes, both girls got the boy. That aside, I couldn’t help but fall for Pervy Pete! He’s quirky, and somehow awkward but smooth at the same time. He makes the perfect knight in shining armor, ready to take charge into the unknown (literally) and always reassuring Gemma when she needs it. Plus, he makes a perfect foil to Subject 72 (Lyra’s love interest) who is just now learning about the outside world, struggling to define himself as a Replica or a human, and trying to distinguish what that even means. He has a lot on his plate right now, just like Lyra, and unlike Gemma and Pete, they make the perfect team, always working together and equally leaning on each other for support. While much is revealed about Haven and the girls, I think we still have a lot more to uncover in the next installment. I can’t wait to see where the story leads! Will they make it home? And, if they do, how is Gemma’s dad going to help Lyra?

Rating: 3 Stars       Goodreads

What have you read lately?


8 Podcasts for a Spectacular Spooktober

Somewhere in the realm between skeptic and believer, I can’t help but love listening to ghost stories and other paranormal legends – who doesn’t? With Halloween approaching, all of my favorite podcasts are stepping up their game with the thrills, making for some spectacularly spooky podcasts!

Happy Spooktober!


Real Ghost Stories Online

I first started listening to Real Ghost Stories Online when they first started shop in 2014 when they interviewed House of Darkness: House of Light author Andrea Perron – the youngest of the Perron family who actually lived through the horrors of The Conjuring! Her story is absolutely terrifying! Back to the podcast though, listening to the podcast is like sitting around a campfire with friends sharing spooky tales, thanks to hosts Tony and Jenny Brueski. They sound incredibly normal and approachable which I think adds to the comfort level of listeners who call in to share stories – they get some amazing first-hand accounts!



A deeper look into popular myths and legends, Lore “exposes the darker side of history, exploring creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares.” And that’s no joke. Some of the tales that host Aaron Mahnke shares are truly bizarre. Get ahead of the trend now, Lore is set for a television adaptation in 2017, with a little help by Walking Dead producers!


Bizarre States

Brought to you by Nerdist, Bizarre States is hosted by the delightfully entertaining Jessica Chobot and Andrew Bowser. The show has changed a bit over the years, starting out with urban legends, strange news stories, personal encounters and listener stories, the pair have branched out to include larger stories and interviews from horror film directors/writers. One of my favorites is their episode on the Berenstain Bears conspiracy (episode #43).


The Black Tapes

The Black Tapes is a serialized docudrama produced by the masters of strange storytelling The Pacific Northwest Stories and hosted by Alex Reagan, following one journalist’s search for the truth behind paranormal investigations and the mysteries uncovered. You won’t want to believe it’s fiction!


Here There Be Monsters Podcast

Hosted by Derek Hayes, Here There Be Monsters shares news stories, first-hand accounts by listeners, and the host’s own experience with cryptid creatures, UFO sightings, ghosts and other paranormal sightings.


The Message

Similar to The Black Tapes, The Message is also a serialized docudrama following host Nicky Tamalin as she uncovers the hidden meaning of a message recorder 70 years ago from outer space. Over the course of the 8 episode show, you’ll follow top cryptologists as they rush to decipher and understand the alien message, all in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. You won’t want to stop listening!


In the Dark

The new IT podcast for fans of Serial. While not necessarily creepy, In the Dark will have you haunted by the truth behind a 27-year child abduction investigation that changed our nation forever. News of Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance from rural Minnesota first broke in 1989, an unsolved case that brought us the phrase “stranger danger”, forever changing the way we parent and led to the creation of the nation’s sex-offender registries. Reported by American Public Media.


History Goes Bump

An all-female cast, History Goes Bump is hosted by Diane Student and Denise Moormeier, featuring interviews and discussions of some of the most mysterious events and places in history. Described as “ghost tours for the theater of the mind”, the show will take you through the historical hauntings of The Tower of London to the mysterious depths of the Paris catacombs, plus a slew of lesser-known haunted homes and lighthouses.

What are your favorite podcasts for Halloween?