Thursday, February 9, 2023

Around the World Reading Challenge'

For now, I'm not planning to retro any books...I've read books from different countries, but for now I want to start over. I may eventually go back and add some previous reads.






Antigua & Barbuda:






The Bahamas:










Bosnia & Herzegovina:





Burkina Faso:





Cape Verde:

Central African Republic:







Costa Rica:

Cote d'Ivoire:




Czech Republic:




Dominican Republic:

East Timor (Timor-Leste):



El Salvador:

Equatorial Guinea:








The Gambia:



























Korea (North):

Korea (South):




















Marshall Islands:











Myanmar (Burma):





New Zealand:



Nigeria:  The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi DarĂ© 2/20/2023






Papua New Guinea:










Saint Kitts & Nevis:

Saint Lucia:

St. Vincent & Grenadines:


San Marino:

Sao Tome & Principe:

Saudi Arabia:




Sierra Leone:




Solomon Islands:


South Africa:

South Sudan:


Sri Lanka:













Trinidad & Tobago:







United Arab Emirates:

United Kingdom:  





Vatican City:






Friday, December 16, 2022

My 2023 TBR Challenge books

​This year I have decided to take part in the 10th Annual The Roof Beam Reader TBR Challenge.  Click the link to sign up on his page.  The books have to be over a year old. You post your books in advance and can read in any order. 

My Book Choices are:

Main list

1. Detectives Don’t Wear Seatbelts by CiCi McNair

2. Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People by James Borg

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey

4. Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

5. The Thorn Necklace by Francesca Lia Block

6. Rebel Girls by Elizabeth Keenan

7. Healing States by Alberto Villoldo

8. Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt

9. Toil & Trouble by Jessica Spotswood

10.Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova 

11.Kentucky Traveler by Ricky Skaggs

12.You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner 

Alternate List:

1. Spook by Mary Roach

2. Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Saturday, December 3, 2022

My Spotify 2022 Wrapped Playlist of Most played songs

Chakras -Qveen Herby

Savage Daughter - Sarah Hester Ross

Sade in the 90's - Qveen Herby

Maybe You're The Problem - Ava Max

Self Aware - Qveen Herby

Oh Girl - Paul Young

Godless - Banks

I'll Be Here Where the Heart Is - Kim Carnes

Send Me An Angel - Scropions

Vitamins - Qveen Herby

Rhiannon - Fleetwood Mac

If We Were Made of Water - Banks

Crystal - Stevie Nicks

Wifey- Qveen Herby

Hey Jealousy - The Gin Blossoms

Lovesong - The Cure

Here Comes the Night - Agnes

Mint - Qveen Herby

How Villains are Made - Madalen Duke

The Dolphin's Cry - Live

I Scare Myself - Beth Crowley

I am not a woman, I'm a God - Halsey

Naughty Girl - Qveen Herby

Gemini Feed - Banks

Midnight Sky - Miley Cyrus

I Am - Baby Tate

Bats in the Belfry - Qveen Herby

My Head & My Heart - Ava Max

The Devil - Banks

Talk to Me - Apocalyptica with Lzzy Hale

So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings- Caroline Polachek

Angels Like You -Miley Cyrus

Santa Monica - Everclear

If You Could Only See - Tonic

I Am the Fire - Halestorm

Freaking Me Out - Ava Max

Bad Girl - Daya

#1 Crush - Garbage

Joey - Concrete Blonds

Rooms on Fire - Stevie Nicks

Found Out About You - Gin Blossoms

Private Parts - Halestorm

I Alone - Live

I Want Love - Jessie J

Until I Fall Away - Gin Blossoms

Alone - Heart

Every Time You Go Away - Paul Young

Rich Girl Mood - Dounia

Heaven Beside You - Alice in Chains

Gypsy - Fleedwood Mac

Older - Sasha Alex Sloan

Bad Habits - Ed Sheeran

Death by Rock And Roll - The Pretty Reckless

Edge of Midnight - Miley Cyrus, Stevie Nicks

The Steeple - Halestorm

When You're Gone - The Cranberries

Love My Way - Psychedelic Furs

Broken Pieces - Apocalyptica, Lacey

Til I Hear It From You - Gin Blossoms

I Still Do - The Cranberries

I Found Someone - Cher

Praying - Kesha

Rest in Peace - Dorothy

Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik

Hit Me Like a Man - The Pretty Recklaces

Take You to Hell - Ava Max

Precious Things - Tori Amos

Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage

Allison Road- Gin Blossoms

Every Time I Cry - Ava Max

The Ghost In You - Psychedelic Furs

Calling You - Blue October

Stupid Girl - Garbage

Little Lies - Fleetwood Mac

Here's To Us - Halestorm

Just Like Honey - Jesus and Mary Chain

Somebody I F*cked Once - Zolita

Anarchy - Lilith Czar

BDE - Qveen Herby

No One Like You - Scorpions

Salt - Ava Max

Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy

Abracadabra - Qveen Herby

As Long As It Matters - Gin Blossoms

Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac

You Ruin Me - The Veronicas

I Love You But I Love Me More - Marina, Beach Bunny

Lakini's Juice - Live

You - Candlebox

Invincible - Pat Benatar

Always Remember Us This Way - Lady Gaga

Numb Little Bug - Em Beihold

Losing My Religion - REM

Kings & Queens - Ava Max

Linger - The Cranberries

The World I Know - Collective Soul

Man's World - Marina

Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescense

Prisoner - Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa

Crucify - Tori Amos

Comedown - Bush

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Spotify 2022 Wrapped

 "You explored 52 different genres....

You're Top 5 Genres were


    New Wave


    Nu Metal

    Alt Z

Your Morning started with Empower Confident Bold

You Seized the Day with Chill Calm Relaxing

You embraced the night with Mellow Melancholy Gloomy

In 2022, your total play time was 13,,348 minutes. That's more than 63% of other listeners in the United States.

Your Top Song was Chakras by Qveen Herby. You played it 46 times with the most listens on January 14, 2022.

You played 1,768 songs, but these played again and again and again

Your top songs:

    Chakras by Qveen Herby

    Savage Daughter by Sarah Hester Ross

    Sade in the 90s by Qveen Herby

    Maybe You're the Problem by Ava Max

    Self Aware by Qveen Herby

You listened to 1,147 artists this year, but one ruled your world

Your top artist this year was Qveen Herby

You spent 742 minutes together. You were in the top 0.5% of Qveen Herby listeners this year.

You couldn't stop listening to Chakras

Your top artists

    Qveen Herby

    Ava Max


    Gin Blossoms

    Fleetwood Mac

You are "The Deep Diver

When you love an artist, you dive deep into their catalogs, taking in all the sights and sounds you discover along the way.  


Familiarity Timelessness Variety Uniqueness

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Book Review: Music From Another World

From The Publisher: 
"A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley brings to life an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.

It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against."

My Review:
Tammy and Sharon become pen pals as part of an assignment between their religious schools. The girls write and slowly start to reveal some of their secrets to each other. The girls also both write in their journals and the book is made up of diary entries and the letters the two girls exchange. Both are good Christian girls with secrets. When Sharon accidentally stumbles into gay rights march it changes something in her. It expands her horizons, and she starts to see the world differently.

I really feel for Tammy. Her aunt and uncle are fundamentalist Baptist leaders, and her aunt makes her life a living hell. Tammy has to maintain this good girl image, including pray-a-thons for anti-gay legislation to pass all while being a lesbian herself. I can only imagine how difficult being gay in the 70's would be. This was a time when girls were sent to mental institutions or to conversion camps as it was seen as something wrong and bad. Tammy must hide who she is.  She lives in fear of her secret being discovered. I cannot imagine having to get up and lead a youth group in prayer against essentially who you are inside.

Sharon goes to Catholic school and the nuns (teachers) refuse to discuss the movement that is happening. We see Sharon as someone who is struggling with the things she has been taught were right and wrong her whole life. She's just come to terms with finding out her brother is gay and keeping his secret when the proposition passes. She gets swept up in a protest after an anti-gay law gets passed in Florida and this first step changes her life. It teaches her to question the status quo. She ends up helping with some grassroots activism at a feminist bookstore and discovering punk music. All this time she's still coming to terms with what she believes, what she feels, and what she will stand up for.

I really felt there was a lot of growth between the two girls and Sharons brother, Peter as well. They all learn things about themselves and learn to stand up for themselves. The romances in the story don't feel like they are the main point of this book. The history and activism play a huge part and the romances are slow to build and not without their rough patches. I love that it focuses on the history and how tough things were for the LGBT community at that time and the struggles they went through to get us to where we are now. Things have a long ways to go, but we have come so far from 1977. I think that history is important. I also love that this book shows there are bits of magic and love and courage to be found even in the face of persecution.

This is a 4 star book for me. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Book Review: 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac


From Amazon:  "Perfect for fans of John Green's Turtles All the Way Down and Nina LaCour's We Are Okay, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.

Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about 
anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?"

 My Review: In 10 Things I Can See From Here, the main character, Maeve, suffers from horrible anxiety. In fact some of her anxiousness and quoting of death statistics made me pretty anxious. Her life is upturned when her mom decides to go out of the country with her new boyfriend to help in one of his charitable organizations. Maeve is sent to live with her father, his new wife and two younger brothers in Vancouver.  Maeve has to learn to deal with her anxiety in a new place, when all she really wants to do is go home. Then she meets Salix, a beautiful, talented and seemingly fearless girl and falls in love.

Maeve struggles a lot with her anxiety and with her father. I like that she's really caring about her half brothers, despite the huge age difference. I also like that the author didn't follow the "wicked stepmother" trope. Maeve and Claire get along and you can tell Maeve really cares about her. Claire also does what she can to help Maeve with her issues and to try to push her in small ways to conquer her fears.

I liked Salix as a character as well. We learn a lot about Salix too, and who she is as a person - her hopes and dreams and fears. I think she is perfect for Maeve.  She's funny too.  I love how much both girls grow by the end of the story.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Book Review: Shooter by Caroline Pignat


From Amazon: "The Breakfast Club meets We Need to Talk About Kevin.

A lockdown catches five grade 12 students by surprise and throws them together in the only unlocked room on that empty third floor wing: the boys' washroom. They sit in silence, judging each other by what they see, by the stories they've heard over the years. Stuck here with them--could anything be worse?
Alice: an introverted writer, trapped in the role of big sister to her older autistic brother, Noah.
Isabelle: the popular, high-achieving, student council president, whose greatest performance is her everyday life.
Hogan: an ex-football player with a troubled past and a hopeless future.
Xander: that socially awkward guy hiding behind the camera, whose candid pictures of school life, especially those of Isabelle, have brought him more trouble than answers.
Told in five unique voices through prose, poetry, text messages, journals and homework assignments, this modern-day 
Breakfast Club takes a twist when Isabelle gets a text that changes everything: NOT A DRILL!! Shooter in the school!
Suddenly, the bathroom doesn't seem so safe anymore. Especially when they learn that one of them knows more about the shooter than they realized..."

My Review: I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.  It has the tagline "The Breakfast Club meets We Need to Talk About Kevin." I wrote my Capstone paper for my degree on school shootings.  During my research, I read many books on school shootings, both fiction and nonfiction, including, We Need to Talk About Kevin.  For me, this book missed the mark on both its comparison to The Breakfast Club and We Need to Talk About Kevin which was really disappointing to me. 

Shooter primarily takes place in the boy's bathroom of a high school that is in lockdown. The main characters include Hogan - the jock, Isabelle - the school princess, Alice- brain -Xander - the weird one and Noah who is autistic. I thought the sections told from Noah's point of view were interesting. They were told through his thoughts and through pictures. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like for someone with autism to be in a school lockdown situation where there is an active shooter and loud noises and tension rolling off the other students in waves.   

Now let's look at the caricatures of the jock, the princess, and the weird one.  Hogan played football until there was an incident resulting in his brother's death. Now the other students are afraid of him and spreading rumors about him.  (This is not a spoiler - we learn this basic info early on). Hogan's behavior feels authentic to how someone in his situation behave. He is probably my favorite character in the book.  

Alice is good student and loves writing. She's quiet and none as "the weird guys" sister. I find it really hard to believe that in the world we live in now that other students would refer to Noah as "the weird guy." I'm not saying that people with autism don't get picked on or made fun of - but the fact that none of the other kids know that he is autistic is weird to me.  Anyway, I digress. Alice cares deeply about her brother and has taken all the responsibility for her brother onto her shoulders almost to the point of having a martyr mentality. 

Isabelle is so vapid and unlikable in my opinion. I feel like the authors depiction of her is the least real portrayal in the book. Isabelle supposedly is the queen bee of the school and has all this pressure to be popular both in school and from her parents. She supposedly had this life changing experience that made her see life differently, but that doesn't ring true to me. She's so shallow.  She knows they are in lockdown because of an active shooter, and she spends the time in lockdown complaining about her life and her boyfriend. To me this just doesn't ring true.  These seem like pretty shallow things to be talking about or thinking about when you could be shot and killed.  This character just doesn't ring true to me.  

Xander is the mysterious weird kid.  He likes taking pictures, is obsessed with X-Men and has weird conversational habits. The author never outright says it, but to me Xander feels like he also has a form of autism or possibly Asperger's.   He sees the world differently than his fellow students and he doesn't pick up on social cues or societal norms. He reminds me very much of a friend of mine that has Asperger's. While Hogan is favorite characters, I think Xander is one of the most interesting because of how he sees the world. His Social Autopsies showed us an interesting glimpse of who he is as a character.

The Shooter - whose identity I will not spoil, is the least fleshed out of all the characters.  To compare him to Kevin, from We Need to Talk About Kevin, is a major reach. This character seems more like an afterthought. I feel like we don't really know him or his real motivations. For me, the reason I wrote my Capstone paper on school shootings is because I'm a bit obsessed with knowing the shooter(s). Why did they do it? What lead up to this? What is the motivation? Where did we fail as a society with this person to make them feel that killing classmates and teachers is the answer to life's problems. We don't really have that with the shooter in this book. We get small glimpses but not a lot of why.  There is so much depth in We Need to Talk About Kevin. We really get deep into his psyche and it's a twisted and dark place.  There really is no comparison between these two characters or even these two books.

I gave this book 3 stars because I did enjoy reading it and it was a fast read, but it lacked the depth and the emotion that I was looking for. In the end, lives are changed - which you would expect from an active shooter situation.  I just don't find this book very believable.  

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Review: In-Between Days by Teva Harrison

Summary from Amazon:

Teva Harrison was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 37. In this brilliant and inspiring graphic memoir, she documents through comic illustration and short personal essays what it means to live with the disease. She confronts with heartbreaking honesty the crises of identity that cancer brings: a lifelong vegetarian, Teva agrees to use experimental drugs that have been tested on animals. She struggles to reconcile her long-term goals with an uncertain future, balancing the innate sadness of cancer with everyday acts of hope and wonder. She also examines those quiet moments of helplessness and loving with her husband, her family, and her friends, while they all adjust to the new normal.

Ultimately, In-Between Days is redemptive and uplifting, reminding each one of us of how beautiful life is, and what a gift.

My Review: 

This book is part anecdotal memoir, part graphic novel. The author, Teva Harrison, shares through her words and her images what it's like to have Stage 4 cancer. Her writing is vulnerable and honest. She doesn't sugar coat things. She shares her fears and grief as well as her joy. I think it would be an excellent read for someone who is fighting the fight against cancer.  I rated it 4 stars. I would have liked it better if it had been more graphic novel or more memoir.  It was presented in a way that seemed like I was reading someone's journal with drawings and lists interspersed.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Quarter 1 Reading Wrap Up

January through March 2022

I've decided to try to get back into my blogging, starting with my 2022 1st quarter wrap up. I got a really good start the first quarter. My goal for this year is 200+ and I want to read books that I already own as well as everything on my Netgalley book list.

Quarterly Stats

Total Books Read: 85
Audience: 80 Adult 5 Young Adult
Total Pages: 18,983
Publication Year: 4 New Releases 81 Backlist
Format: 2 Physical 35 Ebook 48 Audio
Netgalley Books: Read: 6 Reviewed: 17


I read almost the entire Piper Ashwell, Psychic P.I. series this month. I think I stumbled upon this one browsing on Amazon. I really enjoy the series.  I'm completely caught up now and awaiting the next in the series. My favorite book this month was:


This month I read several books from my Netgalley list and also cleared up some audiobooks from my Audible list. My favorite book this month was:



 I read less books in March as I was traveling for work and vacation. I did go a little crazy and I bought five books at the airport.  My favorite book this month was:

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

2021 Spotify Wrap - My Most Listened to Songs of 2021 Playlist

 Gemini Feed - Banks

You Should Be Sad - Halsey

Salt - Ava Max

Godless - Banks

Torn - Ava Max

Hallucinate - Dua Lipa

good r u - Olivia Rodrigo

You Ruin Me - The Veronicas

EveryTime I Cry- Ava Max

Fever - Dua Lipa, Angele

Haunting - Halsey

The Night We Met - Lord Huron

Who's Laughing Now - Ava Max

Break My Heart - Dua Lipa

Without Me - Halsey

Somebody I Fucked Once - Zolita

So Am I - Ava Max

Don't Start Now - Dua Lipa

Midnight Sky - Miley Cyrus

Hate Me - Ellie Goulding, Juice WRLD

My Head & My Heart - Ava Max

Physical - Dua Lipa

Mother's Daughter - Miley Cyrus

Talking Body - Tove Lo

Kings & Queens - Ava Max

Ghost Town - Adam Lambert

Prisoner - Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa

Just Dance - Lady Gaga

Freaking Me Out - Ava Max

Only Love Can Hurt Like This - Paloma Faith

Pillowtalk - Zayn

Monster - Meg Myers

Levitating - Dua Lipa

Woman Who Runs with the Wolves -Marya Starka

The Devil - Banks

Parade- Meg Myers

Montero - Lil Nas X

Prosperity Codex -Marya Stark

Graveyard - Halsey

Caught to the Winds - Trella

Annabel - Goldfrapp

Hideaway  -Kieza

Hypnotic - Zella Day

The Morning After - Meg Myers

Fighter - Sneaker Pimps

Fading Like a Flower - Dancing DJs

S&M - Rihanna

Joey - Concrete Blonde

Save Your Tears - The Weeknd

A Bolt From the Blue - Meg Myers

Bone by Bone - Mayra Starks

Live to Survive - M0

In Your Eyes - the Weeknd

Desire - Meg Myers

In My Blood - the Veronicas

Levitating - Dua Lipa, DaBaby

Counting Crimes - Nessa Barrett

The Underground - Meg Myers, K. Flay

Elle Elle LA - Kate Ryan

High by the Beach - Lana Del Rey

Adore You - Miley Cyrus

Funeral - Meg Myers

Voice of My Womb - Marya Stark

Confident - Demi Lovato

Forever - CHVRCHES

Tear Me to Pieces - Meg Myers

no tears left to cry - Ariana Grande

all the good girls go to hell - Billie Eilish

Gods & Monsters - Lana Del Rey

Oblivion - Grimes

Sweet by Psycho - Ava Max

Love Again - Dua Lipa

Bad At Love - Halsey

bitches broken hearts - Billie Eilish

Into Your Arms - Witt Lowry, Ava Max

Pretty Please - Dua Lipa

Like the Way I Do - Melissa Etheridge

Lights - Ellie Goulding

Kids (Ain't All Right) - Grace Mitchell

Feather - Meg Myers

ocean eyes - Billie Eilish

Your Woman - White Town

Lineage - Marya Stark, Sasha Rose

Make a Shadow - Meg Myers

Beggin for Thread - Banks

Under Your Spell - the Birthday Massacre

Six Feet Under - Billie Eilish

West Coast - Lana Del Rey

Poltergeist - Banks

Feel Good - Marya stark

Glory Box - Portishead

Sorry - Meg Myers

Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac

Alone, Pt II - Alan Walker, Ava Max

Hurricane - MS MR

Fuck With Myself - Banks

One Word - Kelly Osborne

Running With the Wolves - Aurora

Seether - Veruca Salt

Don't Leave Me Lonely - Mark Ronson

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