Review: Murder is Binding


  • Author: Lorna Barrett
  • ISBN: 9780425219584
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Pages: 271

When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book. – Goodreads synopsis

This book cost me a penny, and I found it when I was looking for another book.   I had never read an adult mystery novel before, having only ever read a couple of Middle-Grade mysteries, but for a penny, I figured it was worth trying.
For that small piece of mostly zinc, I discovered that cozy mysteries are my new favorite comfort reads.  I enjoyed Murder is Binding so much that after I won a giveaway, I chose the 2nd book in the series, Bookmarked for Death as my prize.  I also bought a couple of other book-related mysteries when I took a box of books to the used bookstore, and the first book of another mystery series when it popped up as a Kindle daily deal.  Then there’s the other mystery I bought with some of my Barnes and Noble settlement money.  Yep, I’ve added five books to my TBR all because of a book I got for a penny.  Let this be a lesson to those of you who love books as much as I do: those random, too good to pass up deals are how they get you.
I have no idea if I will like those other series, but having already finished Bookmarked for Death, I can safely say that Lorna Barrett’s “Booktown Mystery” series is perfect for anyone who is a fan of cozy mysteries.  Even better if you love stories about books.  And if you want to try out the mystery genre, Murder is Binding works as a stand-alone novel to find out if it’s your cup of tea.

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for July 22nd – 28th.
  • My goal for this week was 6K steps per day, but I spent most of the week not feeling well.  Even though I didn’t meet my goal, I’m sticking with my walking program.  So, my new goal is 7K steps per day.
  • I’ve gone ahead and lowered my donation goal.  I figured out that Plus3 changed their rate from 5 cents to 2 cents per mile at the end of May.  Even if I’m successful at getting back to running by the end of August, I highly doubt I would get anywhere near $50.
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Steps: 24,907/35,000
  • Miles: 10.23/10.5
  • Flights of stairs: 94/70
  • Active Minutes: 44/105
  • Road to Hogwarts miles: 30.38/50
  • Monthly 5K Races Completed: 3/10
  • Monthly 1 Mile Fun “Runs” Completed: 2/10
  • Total Money Donated: $20.67/$25.00

Review: Divergent


  • Author: Veronica Roth
  • ISBN: 9780062024039
  • Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
  • Pages: 487

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is – she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are – and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves…or it might destroy her. – Goodreads synopsis

It seems like ages ago, but when my BFF ended up in the hospital after being hit by a truck, I found out she loves the Divergent series.  I quickly went out and bought her the final book that she hadn’t because it was still only in hardcover.  I also got myself a copy of Divergent with the full intention of it being the next book I read.  Lots of physical therapy and a couple surgeries later, and my BFF is a handbike racer and kayaker, and I finally got around to taking the book off my shelf.
While I won’t say this book belongs on my all-time favorites list, I will say that once I started reading it, I had difficulty stopping.  The writing isn’t all that great, but the story sucked me in, and even though I noticed the many awkward sentences and word choices, I kept turning pages until I had read over half of the book in one sitting.  I can definitely see why my BFF gobbled Allegiant up as soon as she was off the pain meds long enough to stay awake for a decent amount of time.  The pacing and chapter lengths are perfect to keep telling yourself “just one more chapter” or “just a few more pages.”
I enjoyed Divergent so much that I’ve already got myself a copy of Insurgent.  I could have left the story at the last page of this book; it’s not a cliffhanger.  However, I don’t want to leave it there.  I want to know what happens next, and I want to continue getting sucked into Tris’s story.  I don’t think there’s anything better than that when it comes to books, no matter the level of writing.

Review: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency


  • Author: Douglas Adams
  • ISBN: 9780671746728
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Pages: 306

What do a dead cat, a computer whiz-kid, an Electric Monk who believes the world is pink, quantum mechanics, a Chronologist over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet), and pizza have in common? Apparently not much; until Dirk Gently, self-styled private investigator, sets out to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things by solving a mysterious murder, assisting a mysterious professor, unravelling a mysterious mystery, and eating a lot of pizza – not to mention saving the entire human race from extinction along the way (at no extra charge). To find out more, read this book (better still, buy it, then read it) – or contact Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. ‘A thumping good detective-ghost-horror-whodunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy epic.’ – Douglas Adams (Goodreads synopsis)

Prior to my BFF giving me this book and the second Dirk Gently book, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, for my Birthday a couple years ago, I had no idea that Douglas Adams had written other books than the ones in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.  I’m so glad she set me straight about that!
While I think The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is probably his best work, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency isn’t far behind.  Also, I think it’s a bit unfair to compare the two since the first started out as a radio series before being rewritten into a novel and polished.
Regardless, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is everything you could hope for from a Douglas Adams novel.  It’s Sci-Fi that doesn’t take its self seriously, and it’s a wonderful way to escape from reality for a bit.  It also makes you wonder if the story isn’t more real than reality as we know it, which is what I love about Adams’ writing.  I’m greatly looking forward to The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.
Five Towels

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.
Current Reads:

  • Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien – for the #FanspeakTheRing Read-Along
  • (R)evolution by P.J. Manney
  • Feed by Mira Grant
  • Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Fellowship Revolution Feed

Primary Scorpio


  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
  • Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Martian Grave Bookmarked


Total pages read: 1117

Total # of books for the year: 46.

What are you reading this week?

#24in48 Readathon – Final Update

The 24 in 48 readathon is over, and while I didn’t read for 24 hours, I still see it as a success.  Below is my final update.
Final Update
The Boyfriend brought me home a burrito from Chipotle so I wouldn’t have to interrupt my reading time to make lunch.  However, we had plans to go out for dinner with friends, and I’m already in bed thanks to having to be up at my normal time to go to work, so I still didn’t read as much as I wanted.  That’s ok, because I got a lot of reading done, and I’ll be much better prepared for my next 24 in 48 hour readathon.
In the Middle of Reading:

  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Feed by Mira Grant

Scorpio Feed
Books Finished:

  • Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

Bookmarked Giver
Pages Read: 291
Total Pages Read: 780 – I added wrong at some point during the readathon, but this is the accurate page count.
Time Read: 6 hours 52 minutes
Total Time Read: 18 hours 25 minutes – It took me a ridiculous amount of time to get through less than 800 pages, and I can only guess that the reasons are listening to audiobooks and my edition of The Fellowship of the Ring having larger pages with a smaller type.
I don’t know when the next 24 in 48 readathon is, but I will definitely be participating!

#24in48 Readathon Update #3

Only 12 hours left of the 24 in 48 readathon!  Below is my update.
Update #3
The cat allowed me to sleep in a little bit this morning and was nice enough to only paw at my ankle insistently until I raised my head from the pillow and acknowledged his presence.  I had the same breakfast as yesterday, except only one boiled egg, and twice as much tea.  Though I know I won’t make the goal of reading for 24 hours, I’m determined not to take any impromptu naps.
Current Reads:

  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Feed by Mira Grant

Scorpio Feed
Books Finished:

  • Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

Bookmarked Giver
Pages Read: 80
Total Pages Read: 576
Time Read: 1 hour 57 minutes
Total Time Read: 11 hours 33 minutes
My final update will be at Midnight Central time.  Happy reading!

#24in48 Readathon Update #2

We’re now a whole day into the 24 in 48 readathon.  I’m off to bed, but below is my update.
Update #2
I really didn’t prepare for this readathon like I have in the past, and that started to show shortly after breakfast.  I didn’t get nearly as much reading time accomplished as I wanted to, but that’s because I fell asleep twice while reading The Fellowship of the Ring.  I was enjoying it, but I was so tired from not getting enough sleep (thanks to the cat) that it wasn’t enough to keep me awake.  After my two naps, I realized I needed to switch books.  I finished listening to Bookmarked for Death and started The Scorpio Races while I did some laundry, then I read Feed for a bit until my Nook warned me my battery was about to die.  I couldn’t even read (R)evolution by P.J. Manney because my Kindle needed to be recharged as well.  On top of that, I was feeling a little moody and didn’t want to read Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro, so I picked up The Giver instead.
I remembered that I had leftover Chinese food from Friday night, so I ate that for lunch.  I had some of my ice cream for dessert, and I had vegetarian “fish” filets and fries for dinner.  I also drank a lot of green iced tea.
Current Reads:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Feed by Mira Grant
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

Fellowship Scorpio Feed
Books Finished:

  • Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett

Pages Read: 457
Total Pages Read: 496
Time Read: 7 hours 51 minutes
Total Time Read: 9 hours 36 minutes
My next update will be at noon tomorrow.  Now that my Kindle and Nook are charged, tomorrow should be a better reading day.  Goodnight!

#24in48 Readathon Update #1

It’s hour 12 of the 24 in 48 readathon and here’s my first update!
Update #1
For breakfast, I had two boiled eggs, whole wheat toast with Irish butter, a vegetarian “sausage” patty, a yogurt, and a large cup of Earl Grey.  I haven’t decided on lunch yet, but I know it will involve a tall glass of green iced tea.  My goal for today is at least 12 hours of reading, and compared to the last 24 in 48 readathon, I did a little better, timewise.
Current Read: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Pages Read: 39
Time Read: 1 hour and 45 minutes
My next update will be at Midnight central time, and I will have much more to share!  See you then 🙂

#24in48 Readathon – See you in the morning!

You Can't Read All Day
Though I won’t start reading until I get up in the morning, the readathon officially started at midnight EST.  So, I figured I’d post this now before I go to bed.  I’ll be posting updates throughout the weekend, every 12 hours.
For every readathon I’ve ever participated in, I always buy lots of snacks and easy to cook and eat one-handed meals.  I’m doing things a little differently this time.  With the exception of ice cream and popcorn, the only extra I’ve got is a carton of guava nectar to make homemade slushie cups.  Other than that, I’ve got my regular breakfast foods and fruit.  Oh, and lots and lots of tea, but there’s always plenty of that.  I’m not sure what I’ll eat for lunch or dinner, but I’ll figure it out.
My TBR pile has changed slightly since I finished The Martian by Andy Weir and Grave Peril by Jim Butcher earlier this week:

  • Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • (R)evolution by P.J. Manney
  • Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett
  • Feed by Mira Grant
  • Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

Fellowship Revolution Bookmarked

Feed Primary

The Boyfriend was sweet and hired a maid service to clean the whole apartment so I wouldn’t have to do anything but the laundry.  So, I’ll be sitting or laying on the couch in my pajamas for most of the readathon.  However, I also intend on getting on the treadmill each day as well as taking breaks to move around and do other things while I listen to an audiobook.
For now, though, I’m going to sleep.  See you in the morning! 🙂