Bookish in the Mitten

Book reviews, book recommendations, book talk, and a little knitting

The new website is up and running; come see me at Your Book Group. You can navigate with the red menu above photo. To get ideas for what to read next, click on “What to Read Next” and choose your genre. To see all the titles I have reviewed click on All Reviewed Titles. The list is small, but it’s growing,

See you there!

We went to Holland State Park to catch the late afternoon sunset today. This is one of the few beaches along our coastline with no major erosion, so I was able to walk about 300 feet from our parking spot to the edge of the waves -so close my shoes got wet when some of the larger waves rolled in. I took this video, and thought I would share it. I hope it offers some peace and a sense of presence; when I was watching these waves I lost all sense of time.

Reading a poem is a form of meditation. It requires attention to every word, and awareness of the preceding words as well – one has to be fully present when reading, if one wants to understand the poem.

The Academy of American Poets has a website in which you can search for poets and poems, by title, theme, occasion, or specific poets. You can also sign up to get a poem emailed to your in-box every morning! Visit to sign up. While you’re there, consider donating or becoming a member. They are providing value and information – a comprehensive poetry library at your fingertips, no ads, just poetry. Who doesn’t love that?

I know – what happened to “I’ll update every week?”

Life happened, I guess. Working my day job while building the new website, which has had its share of technical issues (which I’m proud to say I solved) takes a fair amount of time, and when I’m not navigating life (cooking, shopping, laundry, cat wrangling etc) I’m reading as much as I can to get new reviews out there.

Speaking of which, I’ll share a link to a new review which you will find on the new web site. I had to take down the Under Construction screen because it crashed the site, which made for an interesting couple of days. This means readers do have access to the new site but be aware, the site is nowhere near complete. Lots of menu items won’t work and lots of pages you see will not be complete. The listed reviews, however, are complete as they are written. I hope to have the site completed by the end of the month, but it could be later as I did have a couple of crashes as I worked on it, so I lost some time.

I most recently mentioned that I was reading Wicked. I finished it. Here’s the review: The website is It should be easier to comment there than it is here, so feel free to do so.

No – it’s not my birthday. However, I did discover today, while traveling down a research rabbit-hole, that three of my top ten favorite authors have the same birthday (in different years).

C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia as well as some completely engulfing adult fantasy (Perelandra and Out of the Silent Planet are two of his titles) was born on Novenber 29. I would put him somewhere around #10 on my list.

Louisa May Alcott, of Little Women fame, was born also on November 29. She probably ranks around #7.

And last – but far from least – is my NUMBER ONE FAVORITE AUTHOR. Madeleine L’Engle, who penned A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and many other titles, was born on November 29.

I can see that I’ll need to make this an annual personal holiday.

There will be cake.

In other news, the building of the new web site is moving along swimmingly after I broke through a couple of hurdles. We are on track for an October launch date if not sooner. I will share a link on this blog when the site is live.

Stay well and safe everyone.

Well hello!

The link below will take you to a survey in which you will answer questions about your reading tastes. The goal is to gain insight into readers’ preferences, which will provide some direction for our upcoming new site, Your Book Group. Feel free to take the survey (especially if you plan on visiting the new site). You can also email to ask for notification when we are live.

Thanks for your help! Here’s the link:

My favorite bookstore, Schuler Books and Music in Grand Rapids, MI, is open again! They are open daily from 10 to 7, or you can access their book inventory anytime by visiting them online.

I had this morning off, so I ventured out of my lair to visit them in person.  They have excellent Covid-19 safety precautions in place, including limiting the number of shoppers allowed in the store at one time, masks (of course, as this is now a state order), and regular sanitizing of items that are handled by shoppers. (They have empty tables, and ask that their customers put items there after handling, rather than re-shelving them.) 

I bought two journals (one will be a writing/blogging notebook, one will be for work) and this book:

I read the first page in the car and I can tell it’s going to be a ‘deep dive’ sort of read. 

I am still reading Wicked, which is so excellent that I went back and started from the beginning. This title was published two years before the first Harry Potter book, and I find myself wondering whether J.K. Rowling had read this book before or while writing about Harry, and possibly got some of her inspiration from author Gregory Maguire. (I’m still about 60% into Wicked since I started over.)

I am listening to the latest Agatha Raisin mystery, Beating About the Bush (2019). I love every Raisin book, and author M.C. Beaton is still making me laugh. At six hours plus some change, this is a quick listen. I have about two hours to go.

Work continues on the new web site, which I still anticipate launching by the end of October at the very latest.

Stay safe my friends!

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