Special Feature: You Grow, Gurl: A Lush Guide to Plant Parenthood by Christopher Griffin

Growing up, my parents owned a feed and seed store along with a nursery. Both of my parents and grandparents loved yard work and gardening. As a result, naturally I grew up hating gardening. I love how pretty flowers are and in the last few years I have grown a veggie garden from seed with my son. I have grown to enjoy gardening to some degree or another but I have yet to master the art of house plants.

I literally murder every single house plant I have ever owned including cactus! However I am envious of those that are successful at house plants. In recent years there have been three new house plant speciality boutiques open here in my hometown! And my hometown is NOT a mecca like LA or NYC. But houseplants seem to be a pretty big deal right now. I have also seen a few articles about how house plants are big for people with anxiety or just looking for self care. There has never been a time when self care has become so important as during this pandemic. So when I saw this book come up for review I was intrigued.

Not only does the author tick all the boxes for me when it comes to fun and memorable, but the book itself sounds so interesting and user friendly. This is normally not the sort of book I would review or feature since I read mostly fiction books like murder and romance. I don’t normally feature a lot of non-fiction books but this one just stood out above all the others. If you are looking to up your houseplant game and are looking for a fresh voice who will get you excited and eager to grab some houseplants for yourself, then look no further than Christopher Griffin the PLANT KWEEN!

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Review: Tough: Building True Mental, Physical and Emotional Toughness for Success and Fulfillment by Greg Everett

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you will know one thing—I do not review and/or read self improvement books. I have nothing against self improvement or motivational books I just simply don’t read them. They aren’t really my thing…..if they are yours, that’s awesome. They just aren’t typically for me. I like reading for escape and distraction not necessarily for self betterment if that makes sense.

So why this book and why start now? Many of you know that I also do competitive weightlifting. The last couple of years I have invested a lot more time, resources, and intension into the sport. It is a very mentally taxing sport which is one of the reasons why I love it. Anyone who is into weightlifting knows that Greg Everett is the guru when it comes to the Olympic lifts and training.

Currently I am trying to work on some mental obstacles with my lifts and my coach suggested that I read Everett’s book Tough as a way to help my examine and work on some of my mental challenges with the sport. Rather than hard pass and say no I don’t read self improvement books, I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the audiobook so I could listen to it at work and Everett is the narrator which was awesome. I have been in a bit of a reading rut lately so I was excited to try something completely different as my first book of the new year.

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Special Feature: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

It’s the bewitching time of year and it is also my favorite time of year! I absolutely love Halloween and all the spooky reads, especially this time of year. But to be perfectly honest, I can read a good ghost story any time of year. While I normally don’t read a lot of non fiction, sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction and I for one couldn’t pass on sharing a bit about this spooky non fiction read this Halloween season!

Last year for Christmas I actually bought this book for my sister and she absolutely loved it! Her an I both love ghost stories and when I saw this one I knew she absolutely needed it! I can’t wait to read this one and explore some of America’s haunted history. If you have a ghost story fan in your family this is a great gift not only for Christmas but you can always trick or treat someone with this lovely little number this Halloween!

It sounds like Dickey really digs into some creepy places here in America as really researches some of this history of these haunted buildings, locations, and homes. If you are looking for a spooky read this season but maybe fiction isn’t your thing, this would be an excellent choice, but even for us fiction fans it’s always fun to read about real haunted places. Keep reading for all the details—-if you dare!

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Special Feature: Agatha Christie: First Lady of Crime by H.R.F. Keating

Is there really any argument when it comes to who the first lady of crime is? No, no there is not. Agatha Christie is the queen of crime and mystery novels. She has written many a beloved series and I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t read at least one Christie novel or at least seen a film or two based on one of her books.

I know that I have enjoyed her books as well as some of the films and tv series based on her books, and while I have enjoyed the films and such, nothing beats her actual books. I think one of the things that I often ask myself though is what was this amazing woman like in real life? What is her story? Where did she get her inspiration from? Beyond her books, I don’t really know much about her as a woman which is one of the reasons this book caught my eye.

I don’t read a lot of non fiction or biographies but this one sounds really interesting and I think that fans of Christie will find something to enjoy in getting to know the beloved author a little better. The author of this book, H. R. F. Keating, is a mystery writer in her own right and I am eager to see how her love of writing mysteries translates in this lovely non fiction work about one of the most beloved authors of all time! If biographies are your thing, I think you should check this one out and discover a bit more about the woman behind some of the most iconic mystery novels of all time!

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Special Feature: The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts

I have had a life long love affair with horses. I absolutely love horses and grew up riding (hunters and western reigning). As I grew into an adult I continued riding and purchased my own horse when I was in my 30s. Horses are such magnificent animals and to be honest there is no friend like a horse. I cried for days when I sold mine. I entered a new phase in my life (parenthood) and had to pause my riding. I do know that I will return to riding one day—-that is a guarantee.

When I was a child I must have read Black Beauty and The Saddle Club books a million times, as an adult I read The Eighty-Dollar Champion, also one of Elizabeth Letts books. My horse was an off the track thoroughbred (OTTB) and a big white gelding. So to say I connected with Letts books was an understatement. She has a unique way of capturing the essence of bond between horse and owner/rider and writes with such passion for the animals and their stories.

Now that her next book, The Ride of Her Life is out, you can guarantee that I have it already downloaded and ready to read this summer. This book follow the real life story of Annie Wilkins who rides her horse across the U.S. to see the Pacific ocean before she dies. If you love moving stories that included horses and other animals, then you don’t want to miss this one. The story of Annie Wilkins is incredible and quite moving even if you aren’t into horses you don’t want to miss this truly unique story! Be watching for my review later this summer!

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