My Favorite Books


Reading is something I love to do.  It is something that I haven’t done in the last year.  I know my son’s current problems have lead to me not read anymore.  I’m just too mentally spent.  I only lately seem to have time for podcasts.  I have a huge pile of books that need to be read! One of my new goals for 2019 is to get my pile of books read.

I love to read all types of books.  The following are my top five favorite books:

  1. Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King. This is an epic true story of survival when 12 merchant sailors where shipwrecked on the coast of Africa in 1812. Kidnapped and sold into slavery only a few would survive thanks to the generosity of a single stranger.
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Memoirs was a  New York Times best seller, and this book also appears on PBS’s Great American Read.  Geisha tells the story of Nitta who at a young age was sold to a Geisha house.  It follows her through her trials and tribulations to become a Geisha herself.
  3. The Land of White Death by Valerian Albanov. Another true story of survival. See a pattern here?  I love to figure out what motivates people and why they do what they do. This is a journal of crewman Valerian Albanov and how he became the only survivor of the expedition ship Saint Anna.
  4. The Gryphon and Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantock. I love this whole series. It’s the combination of a great story with artwork. It’s a quick read that is really enjoyable.
  5. The Tatooed Map: A Novel by Barbara Hodgson. If you like the last recommendation you will love this novel by Barbara Hodgson.  It’s a very short read, but the combination of art and story are wonderful.  This is a great book for a creative in your life.

What are your favorite books? Are there any you are giving  for Christmas?  Let me know in the replies below.


5 Blogs I like


Most bloggers have favorite blogs.  Why would we write our own if we didn’t love them?  There are so many blogs out there.  How do you find them all?  There isn’t one central clearing house of blogs, there are several.  I’m always finding new blogs.  So I thought I’d share 5 of the ones I read with you.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

  1.  The Londoner.  The Londoner is a award winning British lifestyle blog.  I have been following Rosie for several years.  She has beautiful photos, a fun upbeat style that is not too sugary, and some great articles.  She has also had some amazing collaborations too.  If you are looking for a fun new lifestyle blog check her out!
  2. The Inspired Room. Another award winning blog, that has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazines.  I love looking at their decorating ideas, and suggestions for organization.  Quality photos and a friendly tone make this a great blog to read at the end of a long day.
  3. My Scandinavian Home. I love Scandinavian Design.  This blog written by a Londoner who now lives in Sweden.  See some great style on
  4. The Monochrome Minimalist. A lifestyle blog with a concentration in fashion.  I love seeing what new wardrobe ideas are given.
  5. Another great lifestyle blog by a Brit.  This time it’s  . Lydia has great style and amazing photos.  She also adds some of her personality to each post.  From Style to living to travel and beauty, Lydia does a wonderful job and I am so glad to have watched her build her blog.

I hope this gives you a few blogs to look at this week.  Let me know if you like them.  What are your favorite blogs?















My Favorite Podcasts.

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Like listening to podcasts?  I think it is a great way to pass the time. I love podcasts.  I listen them in my car, while waiting for a doctors appointment, walking the dog, trying to sleep (I’m an insomniac), and working on my blog.

What podcasts to listen to?  The possibilities are endless.  You look at all the varieties of categories and the breadth of podcasts in each category the possibilities are endless.  What to listen to?  Here are some of my favorite podcasts.  I hope you enjoy!

True Crime Japan. I must admit, I love a mystery. I don’t like gore.  I avoid many crime television shows for that reason.  I don’t like to see people hurt or the evidence of it.  What interests me is why someone disappears.  What is the motivation of someone?  The psychology of it all.  In True Crime Japan, the hosts cover various crimes all commited in the land of the rising sun.  Because Japan’s culture is so unique from that of America’s it’s crimes also take on a different meaning.  Everything from how or why they happen to how they are investigated is unique to the Japanese culture.  I makes me wonder how different things are in say Nigeria, or Chile?  While True Crime Japan does not broadcast a lot it is definately worth subscribing.  Also, their hosts must put a lot of work into research and then translating.  So be patient.  It is worth it to see the unique quirks of a cluture as well as the dark elements not show in the tourist guides.

The Art of Charm. “The Art of Charm” is a broadcast geared towards men.  However, I think the topics they cover apply to both sexes. It is designed to help men improve their social skills thus improving their life. “The Art of Charm” also has a webpage and physical location to ficilitate more learning.  What I love about this podcast is the experts they have in each episode.  You can always go to that person’s website or get their book to learn more.  Past topics include: How to improve memory, how to gain confidence, how to survive a faster furture, and relationship exit stradgey.

The Minimalists.  The minimalists consist of Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  Two childhood friends who starting living the minimalist lifestyle.  They have written books, done a documentary, have a weekly podcast and a blog helping others define and live their own minimalist lifestyle.  I like this broadcast because every week it reminds me to evaluate what I own and if I need it.  You hear questions from other listeners and get and give answers to their particular situation.  So take some time and join the minimalist movement.

Stuff Your Mom Never Told You.  This podcast is a cornucopia of various topics. It’s a great way to spend your time. Topics the podcast has looked into in the past include: The Vegetarian Gender (definition of Vegetarian and Vegan and what gender has to do with it), Women of a Certain Age (about the aging process in women), Is Burlesque the same thing as stripping, and What does a feminist look like.  Podcasts are short and too the point.  A great way to spend your listening time.

Thinking Sideways. Okay, this podcast is my guilty pleasure. I love to listen to this one. This podcast examines everything from crime to cryptozoology, aliens to the atomic bomb and everything in between.  The hosts Devin, Joe, and Steve sit down every week to discuss a new topic.  They try to be skeptical but allow for some crazy theories if they are presented as a solution by others.  The hosts are just ordinary people investigating and learning about extraordinary things in our world.  Past topics have included: McCormack Cypher, The Spanish Flu, Dyatlov Pass, Isdal Woman, The Princes in the Tower, The Wow signal, Maura Murry disappearance, Isabella Art Theft, Lord Lucan and Atlantis.  Interested in the strangeness of the world? Give Thinking Sideways a try.

Unfound.  My final recommendation is the podcast called “Unfound.”  It is a missing persons podcast.  Each episode investigates what happened to a missing person before their disappearance and the investigation afterwards.  The story of the missing person is told by someone with firsthand knowledge of the case such as a relative or friend.  The aim of the podcast is to try and solve the disappearance and keep the disappeared in the spotlight.  I think the host does a good job of presenting the facts while showing those left behind compassion and patience.  He not only presents the disappearance but the personality of the disappeared is also presented.  They (the disappeared) are not just a story but real people which sets this podcast apart from others in the genre.