Monday, April 29, 2019

Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Helen Ellis first lured me in with American Housewife, a book of short stories packing enough zing to win a fan (and boasting a hilarious cover photo to boot). When her follow-up hit stores earlier this month, I immediately grabbed a copy, practically rubbing my hands in anticipation.

The good news: Ellis fills the short, breezy essays with enough wit and charm to make reading them feel like a laid-back lunch date with a funny friend. She's handy with the quotable quips, too. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with free audiobooks

Tomorrow is Independent Bookstore Day! Celebrate by dropping in at your local independent bookstore and picking up a book or whatever strikes your fancy, because these shops usually offer a range of cool items. Browsing through pens, bags, and various doodads is half the fun. Some stores will even plan special events and offers throughout the day. Find your local indie bookstore here.

Free audiobooks from

But wait, there's icing on this cake! is giving away five free audiobooks as well, only on Saturday, April 27. Snag your copies here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

I loved "Educated" by Tara Westover and you will, too

Educated by Tara WestoverEducated by Tara Westover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind.”

"Educated" traces Tara Westover’s struggle to get an education despite a domineering, radical father who mainly wanted his family to work in his junkyard and obediently listen to rants about the government and religion. She and her siblings were supposedly being homeschooled, but her father thwarted that so often that by the time she was 8 her daily routine included no schooling at all. Any learning after that was self-directed, she wrote: “You could learn anything you could teach yourself, after your work was done.”

Her mother tried to teach them for a time, but eventually accepted her father’s way of looking at education. “All that really matters … is that you kids learn to read. That other twaddle is just brainwashing,” she told Tara.

It’s an amazing story, and beautifully written. The journey from the enclosed bubble she lived in with her parents to the foreign world of college was akin to being dropped on another planet and trying to make her way – so alien as to be almost incomprehensible. Learning expands your mind and your horizons, but it isn’t always painless.