#ShelfLove – Dear Author…

Shelf Love Challenge 2016

This month’s discussion for the Show Your Shelves Some Love challenge is all about giving some love to the writers of our favorite books.  So, without further ado, here is my “Dear Author” letter/thank you note:


Suzanne Collins, thank you for Mockingjay and giving me the ability to heal.

Diana Gabaldon, thank you for writing historical fiction about an intelligent woman’s romantic relationship that isn’t just a trope-filled bodice ripper.

J.R.R. Tolkien, thank you for giving the world the true history of the Hobbits and Middle Earth and making me a fanatic for the Fantasy genre.

Dr. Seuss, thank you for writing the best books a kid could learn to read.  If it weren’t for you, this introvert wouldn’t have discovered her love of words and her ability to escape to other worlds whenever needed.


C.S. Lewis, thank you for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I have never looked at wardrobes or armoires the same since.

Stephen King, thank you for writing the scariest book I have ever read, IT, and one of my all-time favorite Fantasy novels, The Eyes of the Dragon.  Also, thank you for showing me how evil can twist seemingly innocent things into something horrible and corrupt in Needful Things.

L.M. Montgomery, thank you for Anne of Green Gables.  Anne is my spirit animal and without her, I would have never learned that I am perfect just the way I am.

Katherine Paterson, thank you for Bridge to Terabithia, the first book to make me ugly cry.

Roald Dahl, thank you for Matilda and giving me the dream of one day escaping the family I was born into but never belonged.

John Lenahan, thank you for writing Shadowmagic and offering it for free on podiobooks.com. Without you, I wouldn’t have discovered how much I enjoy listening to audiobooks.

Ann M. Martin, thank you for “The Babysitter’s Club” series.  I never enjoyed babysitting, but I loved every moment of reading your books during hot Summer days when no one but myself seemed to realize that being outside was over-rated.


Jenny Lawson, thank you for Let’s Pretend this Never Happened and Furiously Happy.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hysterically while reading.  Also, thank you for the phrase “Depression lies”.

Rainbow Rowell,  thank you for Eleanor and Park, the first book, not counting anything by Dr. Seuss, that I immediately re-read as soon as I finished it for the first time.

Anne Rice, thank you for Interview with the Vampire, the book that started me on my vampire obsession.

Brontë sisters, thank you for getting me hooked on Gothic literature and the Classics.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, thank you for making me fall in love with historical fiction and giving me my childhood go-to books to read when I was sick.

Edgar Allen Poe, thank you for making my Freshman study hall periods more interesting and giving me a much-needed distraction from my Algebra homework.

Love with all my heart,


Rachelle, The Girl in the Book Fort


P.S. Thank you to all the authors I haven’t mentioned who have written books that made me clutch them to my chest, sigh, and wish there was more.  You make it worth getting out of bed in the morning, even after staying up all night to read.


#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for September 16th – 22nd.
  • I’m still only able to walk during my morning break at work.  Now that it’s officially Fall, I’m hoping Texas will get the hint and cool down enough for me to go out during my lunch and afternoon break as well.
  • My second meeting with my “coach” was about continuing with a daily calorie goal and tracking all of my food, but now I have to track my exercise as well.  I’ve already been doing that, so I’m working on finding little ways to get more steps.
  • Though I won’t be tracking my weight in these check-ins, I have to mention that I lost two more pounds when I weighed in this week.  It’s nice seeing that I’m making some kind of progress.
  • My work schedule did not change, and I’m more than unhappy about that.  I and my coworkers were promised several different, more flexible schedules to choose from and then we were unceremoniously told the Friday before the switch that, no, it wasn’t happening.  I’m so ticked off that I’m actively looking for a new job.
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Steps: 33,174/49,000
  • Miles: 13.62/17.5
  • Active Minutes: 143/175
  • Days I Tracked My Food: 7/7
  • Monthly 5K Races Completed: 3/10
  • Monthly 1 Mile Fun “Runs” Completed: 2/10
  • Total Money Donated: $22.36/$25.00

Sci-Fi Summer Wrap-up

SCI-FI SUMMERReading Challenge

Today is the last day of the Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge!

We started the challenge on June 20th, the official first day of Summer, and agreed to read a certain number of Sci-Fi books by the official end of Summer, today, the day before the Autumnal Equinox.  Below are the levels:

  • Red Shirt – 1 to 5 books
  • Viper Pilot – 6 to 10 books
  • Jedi – 11 to 15 books
  • Time Lord – 16 or more books

I was successful in reading 16 books for the Time Lord level, and I managed it with more than a week to spare.  I’ve still got a couple reviews to write, however.  While the review link-up isn’t closed yet, I wanted to share with everyone the amazing reviews that the other participants wrote throughout this Summer:



Thank you for a great Summer filled with Science Fiction!  I plan on doing this again next year, and perhaps by then I’ll be able to do a giveaway to go along with it.  The review link-up will remain open until September 25th, so if you were a participant in the Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge, you’ve still got a few days to get those reviews posted!

The review link-up will remain open until September 25th, so if you were a participant in the Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge, you’ve still got a few days to get those reviews posted!

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – for Castle Macabre’s Gothic September read-along.
  • Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
  • A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly
  • Plain Kate by Erin Bow
  • Slave of My Thirst by Tom Holland

Peculiar queen free

plain thirst


  • The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
  • Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett

hospital sentenced


Total pages read: 713

Total # of books for the year: 63.  I thought my reading would slow down once I focused on catching up on reviews and non-blogging stuff, but I’m reading just as much, if not more, than usual.  I spent most of the weekend reading Slave of My Thirst after picking it up from my stack of RIP XI books.  I thought I wasn’t going to like it and would quickly DNF it, but I was completely wrong.  So far, it’s one of the best vampire stories I’ve ever read and I didn’t want to put it down.  I managed to get the laundry and dishes done, but everything else fell by the wayside.

What are you reading this week?

Mini-Review: The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul


  • Author: Douglas Adams
  • ISBN: 9781476783000
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Mystery
  • Pages: 256


I love anything by Douglas Adams, but I was particularly interested in reading The Long Dark Tea-Time of the of the Soul because of the title.  I thought there’s no way this book could be bad with a title like that.  In order to read it, however, I had to read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency first.  That was amazing, so I was looking forward to this one even more.

The story was very different from the first book.  It was more of a Fantasy than a Sci-Fi story and involved Norse mythology.  However, think of a comical version of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and you’ve got The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  After I finished it, I even wondered if this book is where Gaiman got his idea for American Gods.  Regardless, I enjoyed The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul much more because, as with everything Adams wrote, it doesn’t take itself, or anything, too seriously.  If you’re looking for a book that shows just how absurd life really is, you can’t go wrong with this one.


#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for September 9th – 15th.
  • While I didn’t get anywhere near my step goal, I did get out every day during my morning break at work to walk.  The temperature is finally cool enough for the first half of the day that I can get a few steps in.  Hopefully, it will be cooler soon so I can go out during my lunch and afternoon break as well.
  • My first meeting with my new “coach” was mostly an introductory, getting to know you meeting.  However, I did set a daily calorie goal and did my first weigh-in.  I also committed to tracking all of my food.
  • I’m no longer going to be tracking how many flights of stairs I do each week.  I have no problem surpassing that goal since I have stairs at home and I always take the stairs, instead of the elevator, at work.
  • My work schedule may be changing next week, so my workout plans/goals will have to change too.  I’m still figuring it out, but I’m sure it won’t be a problem.
  • I got my medal for the 50-mile Road to Hogwarts virtual race I completed:


I’m looking forward to doing more of these so I have an excuse to buy a rack to display this and any future medals I earn.

  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Steps: 33,607/49,000
  • Miles: 13.81/17.5
  • Active Minutes: 160/175
  • Days I Tracked My Food: 7/7
  • Monthly 5K Races Completed: 3/10
  • Monthly 1 Mile Fun “Runs” Completed: 2/10
  • Total Money Donated: $22.13/$25.00

Review: The Communication Room


  • Author: Adam Aresty
  • ISBN: 9780692664797
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Publisher: Vagabondage Press

Leonard Ackerman works at a remote army base trying to solve the greatest threat facing mankind. An alien invasion that has eroded our species down to very few numbers as far as Ackerman can tell. His base is compromised and Ackerman retreats to a laboratory he has never been inside, locking himself there with the enemy right outside his door. Inside the lab are thirteen telephones—from the American civil war through to Ackerman’s present day, about 100 years from now.

This laboratory seems to be some sort of closed experiment and Ackerman discovers that he cannot exit the lab until the experiment has run its course. The method and ultimate goal of the test is beyond his reach for now… but the first telephone rings and the only thing Ackerman can do is answer… – Goodreads synopsis

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

As soon as I start reading that an author is “award winning” in a pitch from a publisher, I tend to be suspicious about the book they’re trying to get me to read.  However, the idea of being locked in a laboratory full of phones from various points throughout time was too intriguing for me to pass up.

The only negative I have about The Communication Room is that it’s too short.  I think it would be an even better story if it were closer to novel length rather than only a novella.  Other than that, it’s a terrific example of the Science Fiction genre and would fit perfectly into an anthology, perhaps between two much shorter pieces.

For anyone interested in trying out some Sci-Fi, this would be an excellent choice.  It only takes an hour or so to read, so it’s not a huge investment.  Besides, I think this story just might get anyone new to Sci-Fi hooked and wanting more.  I’ll definitely be looking into reading more of Adam Aresty’s work and seeing what else Vagabondage Press has to offer.