My #FridayReads are All Over the Place

My #FridayReads

I havent written a #FridayReads post in a long time! Here’s what I’m currently reading:

On Audio

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


I’m rediscovering Harry Potter all over again thanks to the Oh Witch Please Podcast so I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series. But this time on audio. It’s been delightful. Do check out the Oh Witch Please podcast. WARNING: Not safe for work or children.

On My Lunchbreak

The Circle by Dave Eggar


For Bookclub

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Believe it or not, kids, that’s all I’m reading at the mo.

Tell me what you’re reading!


Adult Fiction

Bee Ridgway’s The River of No Return, a Towne Book Center Bookclub Pick


Towne Book Center Bookclub: Picking Cotton

Picking Cotton


This month we’re discussing Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thomspon-Cannino and Ronald Cotton.  Here’s my video review:


As you can see, this is a powerfully moving tale of hope, forgiveness, and redemption.  I highly recommend it for law classes, psychology classes, and just general human nature study.

Well done!


Towne Book Center Book Club: Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

seating arrangements

This month’s book club pick was Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead.  Here’s a blurb from

Maggie Shipstead’s irresistible social satire, set on an exclusive New England island over a wedding weekend in June, provides a deliciously biting glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved.

Winn Van Meter is heading for his family’s retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff.  Winn’s wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne’s sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn, the son of her father’s oldest rival, is an eager target for the seductive wiles of Greyson’s best man; Winn, instead of reveling in his patriarchal duties, is tormented by his long-standing crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid Agatha; and the bride and groom find themselves presiding over a spectacle of misplaced desire, marital infidelity, and monumental loss of faith in the rituals of American life.

Hilarious, keenly intelligent, and commandingly well written, Shipstead’s deceptively frothy first novel is a piercing rumination on desire, on love and its obligations, and on the dangers of leading an inauthentic life, heralding the debut of an exciting new literary voice.

Rarely have I disliked a book as much as I disliked this book.  The paperback cover shows a lovely summer evening party under a tent, so I had high hopes for a lovely wedding weekend tale.  Instead the book is about Winn Van Meter, a self absorbed rich husband who can think of nothing save getting admitted into the one club he’s not been admitted to.  I just couldn’t like him.  And as I got further into the story, I couldn’t like the people too.

Because I believe that life is too short to read a book you don’t like, I didn’t finish it.  Well, let me clarify; I stopped at page 80 and read the last two chapters. So I “finished” the book and at least I know what happens in the end.  The greatest aspect of book club is the discussion.  I was not alone in my dislike for the book; most of the 20+ members didn’t care for it either.  One fellow went so far as to say “I hate anything wedding!”

So there you have it.  Sorry Maggie Shipstead we didn’t like your book but your writing was not bad.  I’d like to give you another try and see if I like any of your other works.  I hear you’re quite accomplished.

Have you read Seating Arrangements?




Adult Fiction Books

The Preservationist by Justin Kramon AUTHOR VISIT


One of the funnest aspects of my job at the bookstore (Towne Book Center & Cafe) is hosting book clubs.  This month we read The Preservationist by Justin Kramon and were visited by the author himself!  To be sure, author visits are always fun and eventful but the special part of this club was that he addressed everyone’s comments personally.  What’s not to love about that?

Here’s my video review. Tell me what you think.

If your club has read The Preservationist, why not contact him and see if he’s available?  He’s a good time and a genuinely good egg.  His website is easy:  He’s also on Facebook.

Have you read it?  Tell me what you think!

Adult Fiction Conferences Reviews Young Adult

The Great Gatsby and Cupcakes and #BEA

The Great Gatsby

Who knew someone would find a way to combine books and food?  Well, the smart folks at BEA figured out how to do just that! They make cupcakes based on their fave books and then send the cupcakes to me to enjoy (I WISH)!

Either way, their videos are cute and fun and prolly very tasty.

You might remember I read and reviewed The Great Gatsby a while back for book club. My review is here.  While the book wasn’t a hit with me, I might hafta revisit the book while eating several yummy cuppies…


On that yummy note, take a look at the video…

How fun was that? Can’t you just see me yourself eating a cupcake?

Similarly, there is a funny pic going round Pinterest about Gatsby.  Let’s see if I can find the photo.

gatsby party

Thanks to I Waste So Much Time for the original post.  You’re completely right: Ain’t no party like a Gatsby party!