How to Be an International Person of Mystery, Without Leaving Your Couch

Getting tired of the same old NCIS-Boca Raton or Law & Order ASPCA? You can check out my Stories I Love posts for recommendations, or read on… The hubs and I have been incredibly fortunate during the pandemic in many ways, but we haven’t seen our families—or much of anyone or anything else—in over a year. I’m sure many of you can relate. On top of that, we’re both the kind of people who need periodic exposure to new things to maintain our sanity. So how have we kept our household from turning into a lurid headline or a Stephen Read more…

An Impromptu List for a Much-Needed Reading Retreat

How are y’all doing out there in the big wide world? I hope you’re not still slamming ibuprofren after digging out from Winter Storm Gail. If—like me—you were wondering about the whole winter storm-naming thing, Wikipedia says it has happened intermittently in the U.S. since the 1700s, but really kicked in with the Weather Channel in the 2010s. This Mental Floss piece explores, Why Is It Controversial to Name Winter Storms? Webcams showed that, in solidarity, Hawaii Island had at least a dusting of snow on Mauna Kea last night. Meanwhile, we had four inches of rain in Lower Puna. Well, Read more…

Stories I Love: Justified

Hoo, boy. This post is one that’s been a long time coming, and almost didn’t happen this week, either. But when my husband shared that a friend is currently watching this Story I Love as comfort viewing, I knew I had to suck it up. Who knows? If you’re a stranger to Harlan County, this may be the comfort you need to get you through until your next delivery of ice cream and/or alcohol. (Future blog readers, assuming there are any: we’re currently seven months or so into the Covid Times.) Harlan County, Kentucky, is the setting for the crime Read more…

Stories I Love: Shetland

The United States and I are both Cancers. That’s not an existential or political statement; we were both born in early July. If they weren’t so dog-traumatizing, I’d pretend the incessant fireworks were celebrating my arrival. (The little 4.6 earthquake we had last week was probably not in my honor either, even if it was on my birthday.) I’m sharing this not to guilt you into belated well wishes, but because a birthday gift prompted this post. Thanks to the wonderful hubby, we are currently re-watching Seasons 1 and 2 of Shetland, an ITV adaptation of the Ann Cleeves books. Read more…

Stories I Love: Another Year, Another Dead Body with the Inimitable Amelia Peabody

I had intended to do something fun this week to celebrate the release of the Heir audiobook—woo hoo! Except Heir isn’t actually showing up on most stores yet, so less woo and more boo. 😢 Retailers are being slow as pahoehoe. (A 5.5 Kilauea-adjacent earthquake woke us a few nights ago, so lava flows are on my mind.) That leaves me scrambling at the last minute for a blog post, which means it’s time for a Story I Love I could write in my (non-earthquake-interrupted) sleep. “Another dead body. Every year it is the same. Every year, another dead body…” Read more…