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Mary's Books

I have loved to read since I was little. I would borrow many books from the library and still borrow to this day, but I also purchase books (mostly for my kids) and freebies on Kindle. I read as much as I can daily. Sometimes I read several books at one time. I don't have a preference of paper book over an ebook, I just love to read. Keeping lists of what I have read is a good way for me to remember. 

Currently reading

Thirteen Chocolates (A Chandler's Chocolate Box Mystery Book 1)
agatha chocolats
A Catered Wedding
Isis Crawford
The Murder at the Vicarage
Agatha Christie
The Know Your Bill of Rights Book: Don't Lose Your Constitutional Rights--Learn Them!
Sean Patrick
Delicious and Suspicious
Riley Adams
All Fudged Up
Nancy CoCo
Black River Falls
Jeff Hirsch
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré
Magic and Macaroons
Bailey Cates
Six Geese A-Slaying
Donna Andrews

Forever Hatter Mad Tea Party Recipes

Forever Hatter: Mad Tea Party Cookbook [Digital Companion to the Coloring Book Comic] (These Aint No Confidential, Top-Secret Recipes from Literary Kitchens Kinda Cookbooks Series 1) - Wonderland Cafe, Buffy Naillon, Buffy Naillon, John Tenniel

This was such a fun cookbook with recipes that I will enjoy making. This book also can be printed and becomes a coloring book. It has some fun information on tea and what a high tea is and why it originated. Very good information. 


Cozy Mysteries Cookbook

Cozy Mysteries Cookbook: Recipes from Hope Callaghan's Cozy Mystery Books - Hope Callaghan

I do enjoy mysteries with recipes in them. I have found some really good ones and I love when the author puts all the recipes (or a large grouping of them) into a cookbook so that I can just look in one book for the recipes instead of searching through all of the books. I realize that the author was attempting to get people to buy her books by putting excerpts from the books near the recipes, but I didn't want to read the excerpts here, I just wanted to look at the recipes and plan when I was going to use them (like for Easter). 



For the Love of Knitting 18 Weekend Projects

For The Love of Knitting: 18 Easy Weekend Projects - Tammy Asselin

This is another book that I was able to acquire for free and finally had the time to go through. There were so many different things to make from slippers to headbands. They are all deemed weekend projects so that you should be able to make them in a weekend. 


I did like a few of the items but was uncertain about others. When I get to the point of making something from this book, I may change my mind. 

Rainbow Sock Knitting Pattern

Rainbow Sock Knitting Pattern - Olivia Clark

This was one simple sock pattern. It was okay and I was glad that I was able to get the pattern book for free. 

Sock Monkey Knitting Pattern

Sock Monkey Knitting Pattern - Sarah Taylor

When my girls were little we would go to a nearby Lutheran Church and a wonderful lady there would bring in her sock monkeys when she would do the children's sermon. My girls eventually became enamored with sock monkeys. I bought this book when it was reduced/free priced and put it aside to make when I had some free time (getting less every day it seems). I think this pattern is super simple to make and will still make for my girls. 

Knitting Socks

Knitting Socks for Beginners: Quick and Easy Way to Master Sock Knitting in 3 Days (Sock Knitting Patterns in Black&White) - Emma Brown

Like I explained in another post, I received 2 skeins of sock yarn and I want to make myself some socks and I love patterns, pattern books and I especially like books that help me to understand what I need to do to make socks. This book breaks down all the ways to make socks and all the tools, all the yarns and even has some patterns in it to help along the way. It was good to revisit this book. 

Toe-Up Two at a Time Socks

Toe-Up 2-At-A-Time Socks: Yet Another Revolution in Knitting Two at Once on One Circular Needle! Includes 15 New Sock Patterns - Melissa Morgan-Oakes

I like to make socks and frequently look at sock patterns to make socks. I also recently received two very nice skeins of sock yarn from a friend that I am excited to make socks with. She uses sock yarns to make some very beautiful lacework shawls (she is very talented). This book was very discounted a couple of weeks ago and I bought it as it has some skills that I want to learn. I will practice with the new yarns and make some two at a time socks for me and my girls. 



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

Harry is more miserable at the Dursley's. His cousin has been put on a very restrictive diet and they give him less food than Dudley so that they can make him feel better about the fact that he is getting so much less. He requested and received food from his friends so that he is not starving, but he cannot wait for the summer to end and he can go to the Quidditch World Finals with Ron's family and Hermione. 


He has a good time at the game but during the night Death Eaters come out and start terrorizing the Muggles and a Dark Mark is shot into the air causing the Death Eaters to run. 


When they get back to school they find out the special event that is happening...The Tri-Wizard Tournament. Somehow Harry's name is put into the Goblet and he is chosen to be a Champion, one of the four chosen instead of three. 


I again borrowed the audio version of this book because I was driving a lot. We drove to Ky and back and Columbus and back. It was something fun to listen to and look forward to when we were on the road for over an hour. We finished this book today while knitting so that we could start the next one as we again have a drive to KY and Columbus again this week. 

Cinnamon Toasted

Cinnamon Toasted - Gail Oust

Piper's mother-in-law is super excited that the owners of Trustychipdesign.com are coming and want to buy her fix of their program. She starts prepping for their arrival and takes them all over the town. They offer her less that they said in their letter and she refuses to accept their offer. That night Chip of Trustychipdesign shows up at her house to try and talk her into accepting their offer, but he ends up dead at the bottom of Melly's basement stairs. Melly in a panic calls Piper to come and help her, not her son CJ or his fiance, but her ex-daughter-in-law. Melly then moves into the small apartment with Piper and her daughter. Piper fears that Melly is going to be accused and arrested for the murder of Chip and begins her own investigation. She suspects Chip's ex-wife, Cheryl, Cheryl's boyfriend, Troy, and Rusty. She begins to look for who had the motive, means and opportunity. 

There were some errors in the writing (spelling and grammatical) and there were times where I felt that she was not certain of who she wanted to be with leading to her daughter not dealing with her mother and father moving on in their lives. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  - J.K. Rowling

It is the summer between the 2nd and 3rd years and Harry is still living at his aunt and uncle's house and still cannot wait for the school year to start. He receives paperwork for his aunt and uncle to fill out for the school year to let him go into Hogsmeade but he has to make a deal with the devil (his uncle). On the last day of the Uncle Vernon's sister Marge's visit, Harry cannot control his temper any longer and Marge ends up swelling up and floating on the ceiling. He runs away from their house and takes the night bus into London to the Leaky Cauldron where the Minister of Magic is there to tell Harry that he is to stay the rest of the summer at the Leaky Cauldron and only wander around the town, but not London. 


As the new year starts, Harry learns more and more about Sirius Black and how to battle the Dementors as they continually come after Harry. 


I really am uncertain as to how many times I have read this book as I do enjoy this story very much. 

Do Not Read in Public

Killer Characters - Ellery Adams

This is set Oyster Bay, NC, and Olivia helping her friend Laurel deal with all that is expected of her while her mil dies from cancer. As she is at Laurel's in-law's house, she overhears something suspicious between Laurel's husband and the nurse, Stacy. She goes to Laurel's house and tells her what she heard and then stands by Laurel when they go to find Laurel's husband with Stacy and then when Stacy is murdered and Laurel is the prime suspect. 


As they begin the search for the truth they find out that Stacy has been stealing from the people she is caring for in the hospice. As they continue to work they discuss the issues that made them who they are and how they trust or not trust. 


I had moments where I didn't like how the writing went and there were moments where my heart broke for Laurel. I had read something written by another that said the author said this was not going to be a Disney ending and I was uncertain about what that meant. Then as I read the ending I started crying and realized that I should have only been at home when I reached this point and I really wanted to hold my husband tight. 


Also, this is another book that is the middle or end of the series. It wasn't a problem with reading this book first as I didn't wonder about the earlier books. I may read the earlier books, knowing my luck, out of order and I do plan on finding more by this author. 

Audio/Book and Mystery with Recipes

A Catered Tea Party (A Mystery With Recipes) - Isis Crawford

Libby and Bernie are catering a tea party during a play. The play is "Alice in Wonderland," rewritten by the eccentric Russian Ludvoc “Zeb” Zalinsky. Zalinsky has irritated and angered so many people and just makes them irritated. He threatens them with lawsuits and many regret ever getting into a contract with him. Casper, the director, is the one who got Libby and Bernie to sign a contract with him. On the night of the opening, Zeb is murdered and Casper is considered a suspect. So much drama from Casper and Bernie and Libby help him by trying to figure out who did commit the murder. Also, throughout this is the stress of Michelle, the woman their dad is dating trying to get their stuff and open her own place, exactly like Libby and Bernie's. 

I do enjoy the audio version of the story, as it seems to move along faster and I have paired it with the book so that I can read where I cannot listen and listen where I cannot read.

Audio paired with the book

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  - J.K. Rowling

I was "re-reading" this book as I was able to acquire the audio from the library and pair it up with the book to read while driving and doing other things. I do enjoy Jim Dale's reading of the books and it provides some entertainment while driving for extended periods of time and also it helps to remind me of things I had forgotten as they were not included in the movie versions.

Started in the middle of the series again

No Cats Allowed (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

I have been wanting to read books by this author for a while. I found an audio version and paired it with the book. When I was driving, I would listen to the book and able to sit and read would read the book. 


Charlie Harris is a part-time librarian at Athena College Library and in charge of the old texts. He has a large Maine Coon cat that goes to the office with him, called Diesel. The old supervisor, Peter, left without warning from his job and the replacement is a hateful man named Oscar Reilly. Oscar is so hated by the staff that people start playing jokes on him (writing Oscar the Grouch on his windshield with pink lipstick and then covering with vaseline) and doing things to make him even angrier. Finally, one night he is murdered in the library and everyone is trying to figure out who hated him the most. 


This is a series of stories, and again I started in the middle, but it seems to be a series that can be read out of order and the story was very interesting. You meet Charlie's son and daughter and their spouses, his housekeeper and her daughter, a deputy, and many others. 


I did enjoy this story and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 

Mother's Day

A Catered Mother's Day (A Mystery With Recipes Book 11) - Isis Crawford

Libby and Bernie are working on making items for Mother's Day for fathers and children to bring home to their wives and mothers. In the midst of all this, Ellen, Bernie's oldest friend, decides that even though Bernie was joking, she was going to pretend to be kidnapped and then calls Bernie terrified and wanting her help. When Libby and Bernie show up at the motel where she had hidden, there is a dead body on the bed of her room and she wants them to do something. While they argue with each other, Ellen listening through the door of the bathroom takes off. Then the police show up while they are chasing her and she is in more trouble and so are Bernie and Libby. The sons of Ellen show up and ask her to help their mother and find out who really did murder the man found in the bed of the room Ellen was staying in. 


This story was better, but I don't know if it was because I was listening to the audio, as well as reading it, or if it was just better because it was later than the first in the series. I have been reading the books out of order. 


I have also been reading the books when listening to the audio isn't able to happen (noisy places or libraries) and listening to the audio when reading is not an option (driving the car or knitting or crocheting). I find that this helps me get through more books and my daughters have been enjoying some of the books I have been "reading" because they are usually in the car with me when I am playing the audio. 



Murder She Wrote, Continuation

Murder, She Wrote: Aloha Betrayed - Donald Bain, Jessica Fletcher

When this show first appeared on tv, my mom loved the show and watched it religiously. Eventually, I started watching it, too and enjoyed it. I wasn't as religious about watching it (between work, school and homework there wasn't time) and so would watch whenever I could. Then it was on Netflix and I would watch a few episodes at a time to catch up. Then one day in a library, I saw the books, not all of them, just some. I borrowed one here or there. 


I found this originally as an audiobook and borrowed it, but didn't get very far and gave up. I found it again as a Kindle book and regular book and borrowed it so that I could read it to fill in the Reading around the USA mysteries. It took care of Hawaii (I know there are many out there, but this worked, too). 


Jessica Fletcher has arrived in Maui, HI to co-teach a class with a famous retired detective, Mike Kane. On her arrival, she finds another person she has been asked to find and meet, Mala, a friend of Seth Haslitt's granddaughter. On the first night, Jessica is going to a luau and looks for Mala there but meets, Bob and his wife, Elaine, Professor Luzon and his wife, Honi and his graduate assistant, Grace. Just before she leaves, Grace tells Jessica that Mala was at the luau, but that she was arguing with someone. Jessica also overhears some men talking about getting rid of a woman if she continues to cause trouble. 


She is told about Mala's death by Mike and they begin to look into the death of Mala because while the officials are calling it an accident, they don't believe it was an accident. 


I did enjoy this story and was glad that I finally got a chance to read it.