Bright and Shiny Shiny

Bright and Shiny Shiny

I'm always off to the next bright and shiny book and there is always a new bright and shiny book!

can't make a post
Halloween Bingo: The Reveal


It's time to reveal our new bingo card!



Over the next 13 days, Obsidian and I will be posting some of our favorite books to fit under some of the categories.


Rules of the Game


  1. Have fun!
  2. The categories that are marked with an image are intended to be a bit of a free-for-all, so use your imagination in filling them! A cover image, the word within the title or text, or some sort of an allusion that only makes sense to you is fine - let us know how the book fits!
  3. There is a buddy read/read-along category. In a follow-up post, I'll be announcing a read-along that OB & I have planned for the month of October and participating in that will fill this category. In the alternative, Murder By Death has already announced an Ammie Come Home buddy read, which will start on September 1. And if you have a different idea, feel free to throw it out there!
  4. The center square is free, as always!


If you have questions or comments, post them below!


Reblogged from The Quilty Reader
4 Stars
Our Chemical Hearts
Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland

I received a review copy of this from Goodreads and since there are lots of long and detailed reviews already I'm just going to do a thumbnail review.

Overall I'd have to say I enjoyed myself as I was reading this but it's definitely a novel that requires a little suspension of disbelief the further you get into it. Looking back I think I'd knock it down 1/2 a star for some of the later reveals. I don't think some of the things that happened in the novel would have happened in real life but maybe. It just doesn't feel completely believable for adults to behave in the ways they did.

If it feels as though I'm being deliberately vague I am but I don't want to give away any spoilers.

It wasn't a bad read by any means and you can see from the reviews how many others loved it. I would recommend it, just with some minor reservations.

5 Stars
The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir
The Arab of the Future: A Graphic Memoir - Riad Sattouf
This was another one of those random grabs off the graphic novel shelf of my local library branch. Then a few weeks ago it turned up on the top 1o list of graphic novels or manga that have stuck with you of a friend whose opinion I really trust I guess it was time for me to read this.
-read more-
5 Stars
The Forbidden Orchid
The Forbidden Orchid - Sharon Biggs Waller

This had everything I could want in a book!

This story takes place in 1861--the year after the "Opium Wars" had finally ended between England and China.

Elodie is the eldest of ten sisters who's father is a plant hunter, spending most of his time in exotic locations and then showing up yearly to make another baby before heading out again. Things go wrong on his last journey and he is unable to find orchids promised to a very rich client which could cause the family to end up in the workhouse. Mom has also had complications from a pregnancy causing the local physician to give her Dr J. Collis Browne's Chlorodyne which only makes her worse. Elodie is rightfully suspicious of the treatment and discovers later on this medicine is opium.

With the only way to take care of the debt owed being a return trip to try once again to find the orchids her father was unable to get on his last journey and her father unable to make the trip alone due to circumstances involving his last journey, Elodie shows away on the boat to China. Her discovery halfway through the journey changes not only her life but the life of sailor Alex Balasov, who helps her out. To say more would spoil the story.

In this story we have a heroine who goes from being the put upon dutiful daughter to woman who has found her place in the world and is going to claim it, even if it doesn't conform to what society expects of her. A very powerful and positive message!

I loved this book and would highly recommend it!!


3.5 Stars
In Another Life
In Another Life - Julie Christine Johnson

I wanted to love this book with comparisons to Susanna Kearsley having been made but I was confused too often so it loses half a star.  Glad to have given it a try.

5 Stars
The Vanishing Throne
The Vanishing Throne: Book Two of the Falconer Trilogy - Elizabeth May
  I loved this! Much darker than book one of the series so be prepared. For people who loved all the gadgets in book one, you are going to be disappointed because there is none of that in this volume. Lots of death and destruction and loss with another cliffhanger ending that will have you frantic for the next volume. But this book wrapped itself around my heart it was so amazing!
Highly recommended!!


4 Stars
The Turner House
The Turner House - Angela Flournoy
  This probably wouldn't have come across my radar without the Detroit connection and might have languished on my TBR shelf if it hadn't turned up at my local library in the front area new book shelves--one of the best (and most dangerous) areas in the library.

The Turner House is the story of a family and the story of a city both undergoing extreme changes. Viola Turner is the matriarch of thirteen children, who's been forced to leave the family home of 50 years on Yarrow Street and live with her eldest son Cha-Cha and his wife Tina. This of course, is only temporary until she recovers from some health issues she's been having.

The home is no longer in a desirable neighborhood and sadly only worth 1/10th of it's mortgage, so the kids have to decide what they are going to do. Lots of suggestions but nobody's happy with any of them. And it's becoming more and more obvious as time passes that Viola will end her days at her son's home--regardless of her wishes.

Told between the two time frames of 1944 when the Turner patriarch Francis first arrived in Detroit from Arkansas to 2008 and mostly following the oldest son Cha-Cha and the youngest daughter Lelah with appearances by the other siblings along the way this is a bittersweet story with lots of heart.


Reading progress update: I've read 270 out of 400 pages.
Outrun the Moon - Stacey Lee
4 Stars
The Shadowy Horses - Susanna Kearsley

I love Susanna Kearsley!!


Reading her (for me at least) is the literary equivalent of a favorite old sweater--comforting and warm. Almost as soon as I start I can feel it gathering around me like a safe little bubble. They are not for everyone--the romances in them always seem to end a little too perfectly with the future all mapped out but never ever discussed and you must be able to suspend disbelief at least somewhat.


This particular story doesn't have a dual time line/time travel story like many of her others but instead has a ghost story. We have archeologists looking for the famous missing Roman Ninth Legion in Scotland and a ghostly Sentinel watching over what may or may not be a Roman marching camp.


I loved the setting-the small town of Eyemouth (which from the outside seems quaint but would probably drive me nuts if I lived there) and most of the characters (Adrian & Fabia I'm looking at you!) Things ended a little too tidily and of course left other things just hanging in the breeze but that's just how it goes.


If you decide to check out Susanna Kearsley and I highly suggest you do start with Mariana or The Winter Sea which are my two favorites! This is a great addition for the person who loves to read an author's complete collection but don't make this your first.

4.5 Stars
The Flood Girls
The Flood Girls - Richard Fifield

This book was sweet and charming--sucking you in right from the very start. I wasn't surprised by the ending but I was super sad by the twist (which is why it lost .05 points) the author used to end the book--you'll just have to read this to find out what that might be.



If you're looking for what I'd term "recovery fiction" I'd highly recommend this along with the mysteries by author Barbara Seranella though it is much more than that. I just know when you are new in recovery and are desperate for something life affirming a novel that helps reaffirm your sobriety is a godsend.




3.5 Stars
Black Rabbit Hall
Black Rabbit Hall - Eve Chase


I was almost ready to bail on this at about the 150 page mark but since this was a Goodreads giveaway title I thought I'd give it a more time and even though I didn't love it I'm glad I stuck with it.

When the twist finally happened I was sure i had it figured out and then I didn't and then I did so I give the author props for throwing me a curve but overall it wasn't anything new and while my younger self probably would have loved it I finished it more out of obligation.

The 0.5 was for the nice ending--otherwise a solid but not terribly exciting 3.

Reading progress update: I've read 207 out of 304 pages.
Brown-Eyed Girl: A Novel - Lisa Kleypas

The Travises   Bk 4



I'm not usually a fan of contemporary romances but it's Lisa Kleypas!! and there's no "magic" (uggg) unlike her other contemporary romance series Friday Harbor.  I definitely  prefer historicals but I'm enjoying this enough to want to read the others in the series.

4 Stars
Destiny's Embrace
Destiny's Embrace - Beverly Jenkins

What can I say--I loved it and will be looking for more of her historical romances. Love that this took place in California, giving me the chance to learn some more things about the state's history.


A nice mini history of Queen Califia (who was a warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of Black women living on the mythical Island of California) is casually slipped into the story.


Jenkins also includes a partial list of her sources at the end as a helpful resource if you want to learn more.

Reading progress update: I've read 340 out of 384 pages.
Dukes Prefer Blondes - Loretta Chase
Reading progress update: I've read 332 out of 517 pages.
Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

currently reading

Progress: 163/502pages
Progress: 85/480pages
Progress: 100%