Book Mail!

B1436991-12EA-470A-A30B-569DB20E8E69Book mail is the best mail.

I subscribe to two book boxes right now and both make me very happy. Book of the Month allows me to pick the book I want from a list. And Page 1 sends me a book based on my favorite books and authors. And it comes wrapped in paper and ribbon along with a fun bookish item.

I thought I’d share my bookmail wiyth you today.

First, Book of the Month.

776CFDD5-A5F6-4286-A148-CEB84417157BMy Pick this month is A Burning by Megha Majumdar.








And, Page 1

In this box I received a tote and The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner.This book has been on my radar for a couple of months, and I am super excited to get a copy. Thanks, Page 1!

If you would like to try Book of the Month use this link here. It’s a referral code that gets you your first box at a discount. And I get something too.

Click here to visit Page 1 book box subscription page. I don’t have a code for a discount, but Literary Life on You tube does have one in her show notes. Click here to watch her video and find the discount code.

Happy reading!

20 Books of Summer 2020

20 books

Yes, it’s time to announce that I’m doing yet another book challenge this year. This time it’s one I missed out on last year the 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy746Books. <<– Click here to see the announcement page for the challenge & to learn more about it. If 20 books are too intimidating, there are also 5, 10, & 15 books of summer levels. Just chose the level that is right for you. The challenge runs from June 1st until September 1st this year.

As always, I plan to use this challenge to tackle both my physical Mt. TBR & all the other reading challenges I’m working on this year. So picking out books for this challenges is simple. I just grabbed books that I’ve been planning to read this summer. Also, I’m only counting books that I started and finished during the run time of this challenge.

So, without further ado, here’s my list*:

  1. You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
  2. A Women is No Man by Etaf Rum
  3. Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
  4. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  5. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  6. The Library of Legends by Janie Chang
  7. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  8. That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam
  9. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  10. The Killing Moon by N.K. James
  11. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
  12. We Love You, Charlie Parker by Kaitlyn Green
  13. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  14. Whiskey by Bruce Holbert
  15. The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
  16. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
  17. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  18. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  19. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
  20. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

*This list will probably change as the summer progresses. I figure as long as I read 20 books on my TBR it’s all good & I accomplish my goal of whittling it down.

I will post about starting or finishing the books on Instagram & Litsy. You can follow me on Instagram buy clicking here. And on Litsy search for Loreen. And of course I’ll be using #20BooksofSummer20 in all my social media posts for this challenge. And at the beginning of September I’ll have a wrap-up post here detailing my reading adventures in this pile & challenge.

Are you planning on joining in on this reading challenge? Let me know in the comments below so I can visit your blog and see what your planning on reading.

Happy Summer Reading, y’all!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

It’s that time of year again. Time to participate in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. Admittedly, its been a year or two since I’ve taken part in it, but I’m looking forward to getting back to it. There are some big changes ahead for the readathon and you can read about them here.

If you would like to sign up and join in, click here for the sign up sheet.

I’m planning to use this readathon to read books for the various reading challenges I’m taking part in this year and finishing up some of the books Ive started but have left languishing on my currently reading shelf on GoodReads. I have so many right now, too. So, yes, I’m more interested in counting pages than books this time around.

I’ll be doing most of my updating on Twitter. You can find me @lbessire1 on Twitter.

I’m also planning to do one or two big updates here on my blog.

I decide just a day or so ago to do this readathon, so I don’t have any yummy snacks planned. And I’m hesitant to go to the grocery store just for a bag of chips and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups during this pandemic, so I may make cookies or something to treat myself with during my reading.

I’m really half-assing this, y’all! 8-}

So join me and the rest of us who are honoring Dewey with this readathon tomorrow. Hope to see you out there!

Here are some links to my previous Dewey’s readathon posts:

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

Dewey’s 24-Hour-Readthon Updates

Count Down to Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon October 2017

Dewey’s Readathon Updates

Dewey’s 24 Hour ReadAThon,

April 29, 2017 Updates

Let me know if you joining in and leave a link to where you are updating your reading in the comments below so I can stop by and cheer you on.

Happy Reading, y’all!

National Bookmobile Day

I am re-posting this in honor of National Bookmobile Day.

Coffee and Cats

Image result for bookmobile bad girlIn honor of #BookmobileDay2018, I am re-posting the tribute I wrote last year.

As a part of National Library Week, today is National Bookmobile Day in The United States. And as a lifelong reader and supporter of public libraries, I just want to celebrate my  love of bookmobiles and the librarians who run the. For many in rural communities, bookmobiles are the only way to access library books. And I wanted to remember the  bookmobile librarian that helped me become the reader I am today.

I grew up in a tiny community in the rural West. It was miles from everywhere. The nearest town with banks, grocery stores, and a library was a 30 minute drive—in good weather. So my first exposure to a library and library books was the bookmobile. The bookmobile came to our house twice a month, every other Wednesday. Mr. Riggs, the librarian, would park…

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Celebrities Reading

18360786-F3FC-407A-B7B0-B2787EAC3A0D I think one of the things I’ve been so impressed by during this self isolation/quarantine/shelter-in-place world is the creativity and talents of so many people. The amount of singing and dancing shared by everyday folks  across the various social media platforms is just amazing. And many celebrities are getting in on the action while they are stuck at home, too. For instance, Patrick Stewart is reading Shakespeare’s sonnets everyday & posting the video on Twitter.  And LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow fame is reading aloud, mostly children’s stories, on Twitter, too . But the one I most look forward to is Jennifer Ehle reading Pride and Prejudice on her Instagram stories and on her You Tube channel.

Jennifer Ehle is, of course, my favorite Lizzy Bennet. She plays Lizzy in the beloved 1995 version which also stars Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. I know there are arguments across the internet about who is the best Darcy (Colin Firth, obviously), but for my money, the best Lizzy Bennet is Jennifer Ehle. So, for me, to listen to her read P&P is just perfection. But make no mistake, this is not a slick professional production. It is Jennifer reading in different rooms of her home while kids, cats, and dogs make noise in the background. It’s Jennifer reading in her car at a park. And her dog, Violet, either just back from a walk or waiting patiently, mostly, to on a walk. And it’s just charming. I can’t recommend listening to her reading enough.  And I think I’ll have to pull out my DVDs of the 1995 version and have myself a P&P bingeathon.

Are their other celebrities or regular folk reading out there on the internet that I should check out? Let me know in the comments below.

O.W.L. Magical Readathon 2020 TBR

A4217102-B285-4FDE-90EB-8DBD1B6603A0It’s time for another readathon. Yes, I just finished one readathon and am getting ready to start another. And it is The O.W.L. Magical Readathon hosted by Book Roast over on You Tube. It runs from April 1st to April 30th. And as with all of my reading challenges and readathons I am focusing on reading books on my TBR pile. It is a Harry Potter themed readathon that is in two parts. The O.W.Ls are in April and the N.E.W.Ts are in August. Basically, like Hogwart’s students, you sit  “exams”/prompts that correspond to the career you have chosen in the Wizarding World. Rather than trying to explain it all myself, do click on this link and watch Book Roast’s You Tube video which explains the readathon in detail.

It may seem daunting at first, but when you read through the Wizarding Careers Guidebook it all begins to make sense. The career I’ve chosen is Seer. For my O.W.L exams I must complete three “exams” (prompts). And I have also chosen to add on a certification for Mermaid Linguistics which requires me to sit for one more exam. So all together I have four books to read in the month of April.

So here is my list of exams and the book I’ve chosen for that prompt.

92CB6110-DB60-4D8F-AFD9-0F94DFDEF36A 3FB313E4-1986-4A9F-8C3C-6671292A6498 4FB63BF7-584B-4547-99CC-F0DE5EAB8029

  • Ancient Runes: Heart on the cover or in the title. The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter. (Heart on the cover.)
  • Astronomy: Night Classes: read majority of  this book when it’s dark outside. TBA. I’ve a bunch of books on my Kindle TBR that I can read late into the night before I go to sleep.
  • Divination: Third Eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read. The book is number 209 on my Mt. TBR list on GoodReads. It’s The Daughters by Adrienne Celt.
  • Herbology: Mimbulus mimbletonia: Title starts with an MMapping the World of Harry Potter edited by Mercedes Lackey. An appropriate book for a Harry Potter themed readathon, no?

45D80688-1F69-4A05-9343-B9A0B9398E02After seeing all the work Book Roast does for this event and how creative it all is, it just makes me more excited about participating. She put together such a fun event. I will include links to the videos and google documents below so that you download and print what you need.

Here are a list of links to most everything you need for this readathon:

Click here for the You Tube Video.

Click here for the Magical Readathon website.

Click here for Owl prompts and Owl Letter

Click here for Wizarding Careers Guidebook PDF

Be sure to look at the video notes for links to Instagram and Twitter for Book Roast and the Magical Readathon. What do you think? Do you like readathons and have you participated in this readathon? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!


The Top Five Highest Rated Books According to GoodReads on my TBR Stack, The 2020 Edition!

Last year one of my many reading plans was to read the top five highest rated books according to GoodReads on my owned books TBR stack. Click on this link to see the original post & plans. But, not surprisingly,  I never got around to reading any of them. It was one of those years, y’all.  A couple of days ago I looked over the list from last year and compared it to the highest rated books I own as of January 14, 2020. And the list had changed quite a bit. Only two books from last year actually is on this years top five. So, due to the change of line up, it sort of encouraged me to try this plan again this year. And many of the books will fit the prompts of the various Reading Challenges I’m attempting, too. So it’s another solid reason why to attempt this personal challenge again.

Here are the guidelines I’m using for this challenge:

  • I’m using GoodReads ratings to pick the books.
  • Books must have at least 100 ratings on GoodReads.
  • Books that I own as of December 31, 2019. Books purchased after this date will not be included this year.
  • All the ratings are as of January 14, 2020 on GoodReads.
  • I will read and write a review for each book before the end of the year.

So, here is the list:

FFC92875-57D4-40A6-A8E4-3CC3B6442882Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat. This book is the highest rated book on my TBR. Average Rating:  4.53 Stars. 12,193 ratings. 1,084 reviews. I own a hard back copy of the book.


06B8C19A-7944-4662-9753-42BAC32134F1 Harry Potter & Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts Edited by David Baggett and Shawn E. Klein. Average Rating: 4.48 stars. 11,454 ratings. 92 reviews. I own the paperback.



16E232A3-CB6E-4C1D-8317-EEDA4A5AD4DE Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling. Average Ratings: 4.47. 6,330 ratings. 185 Reviews. The three titles included in this collection are Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch Through the Ages, & The Tales of Beedle the Bard. This is a hardback collection.



6D19B45C-22E5-4AB6-8EC6-153AB1807641 Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. Average Ratings 4.45 stars. 113,295 ratings. 13,568 reviews. I own a hardback. This is one of the books on my original list. Another hardback copy.


broken angelBroken Angels by Gemma Livero. Average Ratings: 4.44 stars. 9,587 ratings. 729 reviews. I won a Kindle copy a year or two ago? I really need to read and review this one. And it is the other book that was  on my original list.


What do you think? What does your top five look like, if you use GoodReads, of course. Have you read any of the books on my list? If so what do you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!


Here is a link to the original you tube video that inspired my original list in 2019:


Happy Birthday, Harry Potter

***I originally posted this a couple of years ago to celebrate the publication date of the first novel. I’m taking a bit of break from blogging to catch up on my reading and writing goals for this blog. I’ll be back in the Fall.

Twenty years ago on June 26, 1997 Harry Potter was first published in the UK. And the reading world has not been the same.

This series of books has launched movies, merchandise, and fan fiction. Publishers are on the prowl continually looking for the “new” Harry Potter. Children have grown up with Harry and are there are  now children being introduced for the first time to his wizarding world. But not all fans of J.K. Rowling’s series were children when the series first appeared 20 years ago.

I was in my early 30’s when I first read about Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone  in 1998. I was reading an essay about children’s books since I was always on the look out at the time for good books for my kids to read. At that time both kids were close in age to Harry in that first book. Both kids were readers and I thought they might enjoy this story that had taken the UK by storm. So, the next time I went to the store I bought it for the kids. And they both loved it. Loved it! The pestered me to read it too certain I would enjoy it as much as they did. But I put it off since that summer I was taking classes at the local community college and getting ready for a cross-country move. Harry would have to wait.

By the fall of 1999, we were settled in our new home, getting ready to go back to school, and waiting for the paperback version of the second Harry Potter book to come out. I knew my kids were very excited to read more about Harry’s adventures. They pestered me to read the book too, but I was enrolled in college busy reading the required texts and hadn’t time to read for pleasure at all. So again, Harry would have to wait.

It wasn’t until the third book in the series was published that I read the books. The film version was coming out and I try to read the books before I see the movie, if at all possible. So, finally, that summer of 2001, I belatedly sat down and read Harry’s story. And I loved it. I finished the first book in a day and moved on to the second, then the third. I was hooked. Later, when the fourth book came out, we all went to the Harry Potter book release party at the local B&N. (I miss those book release parties. They were such fun.) After we bought the book, like a good mom, I gave it to one of the kids to read. In the car. On the way home. In the dark.  And “encouraged” her to stay up all night and read it. Because her brother and I needed our turn! After she finished it, the boy took his turn. But he stopped at some point to play video games. So, while he played video games, I read. I suppose I could have bought two books or books for all of us, but money was tight in those days so all three of us shared the books.

At some point J.K. Rowling slowed down a bit and needed more time to write Harry’s story. But my kids didn’t slow down. They grew up and became older than Harry. By the time the final book was published both kids were grown and gone. And they bought their own copies of Harry Potter to read.

But we three can still argue about Harry Potter when they come home. Their dad, who has not read any of the books, has seen all of the movies and can follow our discussions. Harry was such a part of their young adulthood that realizing how many years ago it all started is shocking to me. It’s shocking because the kids who read Harry Potter are now adults. My kids are adults. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are adults, too. How can that be?

Have you fond memories of reading Harry Potter for the first time? Let me know in the comments below.


Happy Birthday to you, Jane Austen.

According to my big of list of author birthday and death days, today is Jane Austen’s birthday. And because I’m a fan of her writing, I didn’t want to let the day pass without marking the day.

Here’s a list of links to some fun Austen related posts I’ve read recently.

Click here to read an interesting post about how we read Jane Austen. 

Over on the blog Drunk Austen, she is doing a daily re-watch of Emma Thompson/Ang Lee adaptation of Sense & Sensibility. And everyday she writes a lovely post to report her response to that days viewing. Click here to read my favorite post (so far).

Lastly, here are some links to my own posts about Jane Austen and her novels. I’m really surprised by how few I’ve written. I’d best get to writing more in the new year.

My most recent Friday 56.

A Few of My Favorite Things. 

March 2017 TBR.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Let me know in the comments below any other posts and articles about Jane Austen or books that you think I should read.

Happy reading, y’all.

National Bookmobile Day

Image result for bookmobile bad girlIn honor of #BookmobileDay2018, I am re-posting the tribute I wrote last year.

As a part of National Library Week, today is National Bookmobile Day in The United States. And as a lifelong reader and supporter of public libraries, I just want to celebrate my  love of bookmobiles and the librarians who run the. For many in rural communities, bookmobiles are the only way to access library books. And I wanted to remember the  bookmobile librarian that helped me become the reader I am today.

I grew up in a tiny community in the rural West. It was miles from everywhere. The nearest town with banks, grocery stores, and a library was a 30 minute drive—in good weather. So my first exposure to a library and library books was the bookmobile. The bookmobile came to our house twice a month, every other Wednesday. Mr. Riggs, the librarian, would park the large bus-sized vehicle near our house. In the spring, when our yard was muddy, he would park in the driest spot possible and help my mother lay wooden boards to the door of the bookmobile as a makeshift sidewalk. This kept the mud out of both our house and the bookmobile!

Mr. Riggs really seemed to appreciate my mother’s love of books. I don’t recall him limiting the number of books I checked out. He knew my mother had taught me to love reading and to respect the books. I remember having a stack of 15 or so storybooks at one time checked out from the bookmobile. And I can honestly say I never lost or ruined any of the books I checked out from the bookmobile. Mr. Riggs would also set aside books for Mom. He knew what she loved to read and would make sure to get the books for her. The bookmobile also visited our elementary school. And once as I checked out a book at school, he gave me a book he knew she would want to read. Mom had not been home that day when he visited our house. Now, did the other patrons of the bookmobile receive such consideration? That I don’t know. What I do know is he recognized in my mother a fellow lover of books.

I, of course, didn’t know what a special person he was until after he retired from running our bookmobile. The next fellow (whose name I don’t remember) wasn’t as friendly. He put limits on the number of books I could checkout and, when I was a teenager, tried to stop me from checking out “inappropriate” books that I wanted to read. I continued to visit the bookmobile and check out books, but it wasn’t the same. As I read back over what I’ve written I see that it’s hard for me to differentiate between the man who ran the bookmobile and the bookmobile as a service. And I think that’s okay. Because of his kindness and dedication as a librarian and bookmobile operator, I became a supporter of libraries and librarians. And I passed the love of libraries along to my children because of Mr. Riggs and his bookmobile.

Here is the link to the page where I found The Bookmobile Bad Girl Image.

Do you have a bookmobile or library story? Share it in the comments below. Happy #NationalBookMobileDay, y’all!