Nightstanders #2

Hey! I’m back with more books from my nightstand. Here’s a bit of what I’ve been reading lately.


I just finished reading The Great Zoo of China, an action-packed best- seller whose title caught my eye at the store. It’s been a long time since a book hooks me just with a title, I usually have to dig around and read all kinds of blurbs before I make my decision, so I knew I’d enjoy it.
I thought the prologue was fantastic and really sucked you in with a story question and a bit about the main character. That was a smooth move because the set up ran a little long, and if I hadn’t been so intrigued by the first chapter it might have been challenging to get through it.
Then the action started and it was like a female Bruce Willis kicking Jurassic Park ass. I loved the main character’s name (CJ ;)) but I did find myself wishing to know a little more about her so I could care more. I still finished it and it was a good, solid action book.

The other book on my nightstand, Inkdeath, is the last book in the Inkheart series. You may remember how I found the first two at a used book store back in February, but hadn’t had a chance to grab ahold of the last one. Well, the other day I was at Books A Million trying to talk myself into buying a $45 cookbook when I spied Inkdeath while browsing through the Bargain Books section. I was so excited both for me and my wallet. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

The other book I have on my night stand is one of those new adult coloring books that is all the rage right now.


It is a bit of a pricey hobby compared to my kids’ $2 coloring books, but the art is interesting and very relaxing. Here are a couple of the pages I’ve been working on.



What is on your nightstand lately? Have you tried this new art therapy trend that I like to call complicated coloring?

Secretly Proud


The teacher sent a note
I was supposed to be mad
But when it read it
I was secretly glad

She’d been in trouble
For reading during math
She’d been in trouble
For doing what I had

All those years ago
When I was bored in class
How many times had I been caught
With a book in my lap?

I told her gently
That she could read at home
Or even on the bus
But that she must
Show her teacher respect
That Mrs. P worked very hard
On those lessons and tests

My daughter said she would
That she’d never thought of it that way
Then I called my mom
And told her about my day

I knew she’d understand
Cause her bookshelves bulge like mine
And we were secretly proud
And we secretly didn’t mind


Hey, hey, hey! Happy Monday! Did you know Monday is my favorite day of the week? Oh yes, #TGIM I’m sure its a thing.

This past week, I didn’t really spend much time between the pages of my special notebook. I did drop a poem out of nowhere, but otherwise I’ve been surrounding myself with the worlds and words of others. I like to label these book and movie binges as “research”.
At least, that’s what I told my husband when he came home to this:

Good ole research

But I know he gets it. The other day I took this picture


To share with you guys that Spiral Season is on its way, yay! (And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my About Page)

And the next day my husband comes home, without provocation,

“Look what was 17 cents.”

He slaps three spirals on the table. College rule.

“I brought three, so the girls won’t have to write in yours.”

Be still my heart.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been bingeing on in the name of research.

On my nightstand:

This Charming Man Marion Keyes
I’ve read most of her books, so I picked this one up. I don’t read as much fiction as I used to, but I try to read at least a handful or two per year. It was okay. The very serious topics and political bend weighed me down more than say, The Other Side of the Story or even Anybody Out There? But it definitely had great tension and the writing style I’m familiar with and enjoy. It’s partly my fault, I dove in without reading the blurb.

Herbs and Spices
This is a field guide I’m studying for my current writing project. I own two copies, so I decided to cut one up (blasphemy!) and add the relevant sections to a book I’m mocking up for one of the characters.

The True History of Chocolate Sophie D. Coe
Just reading through three chapters gave me inspiration for a fun bit of flash fiction I may flesh out this week. I love learning about plants so it will be fun to learn more about chocolate.

Stir Jessica Fechtor
This is good so far, I’m really enjoying her prose and I’m pretty sure I’ll go back and reread some of her more poetic lines and passages. Might share about it when I’m done.

On my TV:

Don’t you hate when a movie isn’t as good as the book? Me too!
That’s why, I try to watch the movie first if I can. That way, if I like the movie, I know I’ll love the book. Ha!
Anyway, I really liked this one, so I requested the book at the library. And it’s a series. Score!

Spare Parts
This movie got mixed reviews but it was really inspirational. I loved the creativity they used to build their robot.

In the name of genre research. Will be reading this one next.

The Secret of Kells
Research for my current book. I really liked this offbeat animated film.

That’s it! Oh and now its Tuesday.

How do you like to do research?