Nonfiction November- Book Pairings

Woohoo I made it through week 1! There is so much participation in this challenge, that it makes it so fun. I had a great time and tried to visit everyone, although I think I missed some bloggers near the end, due to my schedule and Halloween.

This week is all about book pairings!

Week 2: (Nov. 4 to 8) –  Sarah’s Bookshelves is back to host – Book Pairing: This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story. SARAH

First Pair:

My first pairing is The Radium Girls with A Beautiful Poison. I love Lydia Kang and her books always send me down a rabbit hole to track down more information on what she writes about in her fiction. She is fascinating, and so are the real histories, although tragic for these women.

Second Pair:

My second pairing is The Children’s Blizzard with The Long Winter. This would be an interesting duo to “buddy” read with a child. I always loved this Little House book but when I got older and read the real history of that winter, I saw just really how lucky to survive Laura and her family were.

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

Phew! I don’t think I realized what a marathon Halloween can be until this year! And I even cut down on our planned activities. Our normal lives put on the brakes by Wednesday morning it seemed, with all the Halloween stuff we had going on over the course of Wednesday and Thursday. It was a crazy schedule but we had so much fun. Wednesday was Wyatt’s classroom Halloween party, then later in the afternoon he had a Halloween party and parade at the place where he goes to PT. So two costume changes in one day, and lots of candy and fun. On Halloween we went to my brother’s house and trick or treated with Wyatt’s cousin. It was a bummer, the weather was freezing and just a literal downpour. If it would have been one day later I could say it was a cold November rain, but alas, it was just a cold Halloween rain. Despite the weather, the kids were all smiles. We only did a few houses, but we still had fun.

Read Last Week:

The Wicked Deep: Oo, I loved this book!! It was a great read, and it seemed to dovetail nicely with The House of Salt and Sorrow that I read earlier in the month. I loved Ernshaw’s writing style, and this book was very original and well done. I loved it and now I can’t wait to read Winterwood.

Reading this Week:

I am participating in Nonfiction November this month, so I will be reading a few nonfiction books (hopefully!) I tend to read nonfiction slower than fiction, and I have never done a month of straight nonfiction, so I may mix it up a bit. We will see how it goes!

21st-Century Yokel: This was not in my plan at all until I started hopping around the blogs for #NonficNov! I saw it on The Secret Library Site and knew I had to add it to my list for the month.


We didn’t watch too much, but we did catch the finale for GBBO! Oh my gosh that ending!

What about all of you? What is going on in your neighborhood?

Nonfiction November:Wk 1 A Year in Nonfiction

I am so excited to be participating in Nonfiction November this year! It’s my first time ever and I am looking forward to this challenge. Our first week is hosted by Julz Reads and our prompt for this week is a look back at our year. I haven’t read all that much this year in the way of nonfiction, just a few, so I am going to just post those titles near the end and slide right into my favorite.

Your Year in Nonfiction (Julz of Julz Reads): Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

If you ask anyone who knows me, they could answer what my favorite nonfiction read of the year so far has been. Hands down, it was The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.

I picked this up right around New Year’s last year, but it sat on my shelf waiting to be read. Then in February, my aunt passed away. This devastated me and left me heartbroken. My aunt was like a second mother to me my whole life, from childhood on. Everything big or important, she was there. Always. And then she wasn’t anymore. As a reader, reading is an escape. But nothing was working – until I picked this book up. It was perfect for me in my grief, quiet, gentle, slow. A tale of a woman dealing with her own debilitating illness and finding hope and peace in the slow movements and life of a common garden snail that lived in a pot by her bed. This book fascinated me and entranced me. I felt hope and peace, in bits and pieces, inspired by Bailey’s story. I talked about this book to anyone who would listen. My friends know far more about snails than they probably should. Then in June, our family faced heartbreak once again, when my stepdad passed away suddenly. My mom had just lost both of her best friends within a few months, her sister and her husband, and for a week she lived with us, casting about for something as well. I gave her this book and while it didn’t make her grief go away, because nothing can but time, it worked its magic on her as well.

My snail love still is going strong. I had snails off and on all summer, hanging out in our terrarium for a bit before I let them go again in the garden. Then right before fall, one came to me, right to my door practically. We decided to keep this snail around for the winter, safe and warm in our house. We have named him Sampson and he loves apples! I imagine that is why he was hanging out at our house, with all of our apples from our apple tree.

This is by far my most recommended nonfiction book so far this year. I have sung its praises far and wide, asked my book club to read it, and extolled its virtues to my family and friends.

When I read nonfiction lately, it is generally nature nonfiction. I love memoirs and John Lewis Stempel, and in November I have a few nature books lined up to read already. But I feel my nonfiction reading is going to take a bit of a turn as well this month, veering off into food. Maybe it is the holiday at the end of the month, but I feel like reading about pie and foodways in addition to my nature reading. Here are the nonfiction books that I have read this year! Reading nonfiction is relatively new for me, and I am really enjoying it.

I am excited to participate, see what other people are loving and reading. There is always more room on that old TBR list after all!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

Last week was all about getting things back in order after being sick. And book club! This month we went out to a restaurant and it was different but fun! We had two people who couldn’t make it which was a bummer but we still had a good time. We also took an invigorating fall morning hike as a family on Saturday morning which was much needed. It was nice to get back outside and into nature! This week is a crazy one, with Halloween and all that. We also are joining up with the 30 Day Slow Down Childhood Challenge hosted by Wilder Child, and I am starting the Nonfiction November challenge as well. So, lots going on this week that we are looking forward too! Plus, the new moon is Sunday night, so we will be learning about the November full moon with the Kids Moon Club, also hosted by Wilder Child. I am excited about all the new happenings this week!

Read Last Week:

I finished Endless Night, which frankly, felt endless itself. I have just started reading Christie and have loved everything until this one. It was ok, but not great. But everyone has an off day, even the best. I am partway through Tunnel of Bones and I am liking this middle grade book. It has a great premise and I really enjoyed the first in the series as well.

Reading This Week:

The Wicked Deep is on the kindle and ready to go – I just love this cover, and I am looking forward to this read! I think it is perfect for the busy week of Halloween!

Posted Last Week:

A Sunday of Foraging and Gathering

A Few Mini Reviews

What Wyatt’s Reading – October

Bits and Pieces Friday


Interior Design Masters on Netflix, Riverdale, Great British Bake Off, and this weekend Sleepy Hollow – both the Disney cartoon (with Wyatt) and the Christina Ricci version. (without Wyatt)


We are getting ready to embark on our pie project that I mentioned last week! I think we are going to start with a classic apple pie first. I’m still making my little peg people gnomes, and I think we are going to make leaf bowls as a family tonight or tomorrow.

How about you all? What is going on in your neighborhood?

Bits and Pieces Friday

Sometimes I run into bits and pieces that are not enough for a whole blog post but that I really want to talk about! Sometimes they are purchases, sometimes they are fun stories, and sometimes they are worthy causes. That being said, here is what I loved this week and wanted to share!

One: I first learned about this contest from Marmelade Gypsy, and it brought tears to my eyes. Well, more than tears, I sat here and cried in my coffee over the lovely soul of Judy Winter. Judy had a son nineteen years ago who was born with Cerebral Palsy, like my little guy has. What Judy did though, is amazing. What a fierce advocate and mom for her boy. She and her charity, The Eric RicStar Winter Music Therapy Camp, have been nominated for an amazing prize by L’Oreal and reading her story, she definitely gets my vote. I will be voting everyday! Please read this post by her dear friend to learn more about the Eric RicStar Winter Music Therapy Camp and Judy herself.

Two: Since we are talking about special needs, I see this meme every year in different forms and love sharing it to remind us all to be patient and kind with each other. It has particular meaning for me, as my son has a speech delay and while he is working on his words, will not be able to say Trick or Treat this Halloween. I love Halloween and it’s magic of bringing people together, out and about in a community, and I love the energy and happiness it can bring. I like to keep that going by making all children feel comfortable and also, by not turning away teenagers. Trick or Treating is such an innocent activity for them to be doing, and I love to see them still enjoying it.

Three: Can we talk about this adorable new collection from Boden! All Harry Potter inspired, and I want to buy all of it up for all the kiddos in my life! Wyatt and I just watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone the other day and while he was not really all that into it, I am sure he will be one day…. lol. He did really love the Sorting Hat though.

Four: I am always looking around for fun nature crafts to do with Wyatt, to encourage his love of nature, and because play is learning! I loved this post that had so many fun ideas! There are a few here that I think we are definitely going to try!

Five: This article about revillaging. I know I miss the village and community I never had. I don’t believe we were all supposed to be out here without our village and tight community, and it makes me sad that society has moved away from this, and frankly left people on their own a lot. I feel lucky I have close family and my friends are small in numbers but they are my family too. I would step in and take care of their kids if needed, make a meal, just be there for them. My neighborhood is becoming closer too, that kind where you call on your neighbor for sugar or milk and hang out with on nice nights outside. I think America needs to find this quality again, the one where we embrace our community and our neighbors..

And that is it for this week! I hope you enjoyed these little bits and pieces, and don’t forget to vote for Judy Winter, please, if you think her charity should win. All the candidates are worthy as are their charities, but Judy Winter’s is near and dear to my own heart.

A Few Mini Reviews

House of Salt and Sorrows: I loved this moody and atmospheric book! A retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, this was a macabre and maritime version that I really dug. I loved the world that Craig has built here, and it kind of reminded me a little of the Greyjoys from GOT. Lol. It was a great read, although I did figure out the villain pretty easily. I think the characters and the story were really interesting and well done though. A quick read, which might be neat to read near the sea or on a rainy day…

Death of a Ghost: Death of a Ghost is one of the many books in the Hamish Macbeth series. I hadn’t read this one and I love to just pick these cozies up and get to it, especially this time of year. I thought this was a pretty good one, that had poor Hamish running about and being clever all over the place. It was one as well, where you could feel these modern times encroaching on the Highlands – I think some of the other books felt more timeless, but this one is definitely for this era. A good comfort read, and one I needed while I was sick.

The Simple Wild: I adored this read by K.A. Tucker. Calla is a product of her generation, hooked on her selfies, and glued to her phone. She takes great pride in her appearance and style, and loves her fancy coffee. (I do too) Born in Alaska, she left with her mother when she was just a little girl, and doesn’t recall much of her time there. She and her father had a relationship that was strictly through phone calls, until one day she gets a call urging her to visit. Her father is sick and since she is at loose ends anyway, she goes. Little does she realize her whole life is about to change in a big way. I really loved this book and Calla’s eventual transformation. I did wish there were more interactions between her and her father, although the romance was quite nice.

The Dead Girls Club: I was so excited to read this book, and was sort of meh for me. I never could connect to the main character at all- I didn’t find her likable or sympathetic, and in fact I really didn’t like her too much. I felt like the author had some good ideas and good material – I loved the idea of these friends sneaking off to talk about scary things together, the idea of the Red Woman, and the hardships of friendships when we are young. However, for some reason it never came together for me. Overall, good ideas, interesting plot, but the main character never grew on me, and I was never rooting for her.