Posted in Reading Life, Reading List

Last, Now, Next: Christmas Edition!

Hey, friends! Are you into the full holiday swing yet? Need some books to get you in the right frame of mind? Help is here!

Today, I’m sharing a “Last, Now, Next” post… featuring what I last read… what I’m reading now… and what’s next on my list. And, these are all festive holiday reads! Pick one up and it’s sure to help you find your seasonal spirit.


Continue reading “Last, Now, Next: Christmas Edition!”

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello, friends! Back with another edition of Friday Favorites! Here’s what I’m loving this week…

The Power of Imperfect Starts

This article popped up in suggested reading recently. It’s several years old, but new to me, and just as applicable today. Do you ever feel like you can’t make changes until you’ve purchased the proper tools, done all your research, or chosen just the right time? (Raises hand and waves it about vigorously.) Then you might enjoy this quick read. (Click article title for link.)

Unseasonably Mild Weather

It’s now November (how did THAT happen?), and here in the Midwest, that could mean nearly anything weather-wise. Snow? Thunderstorms? Seventy degrees and sunny? Sure, we’ve had it all depending on the year.

But this weekend, we’re slated to have the most perfect fall weather. High 60’s for temps, sunny, and a light breeze. Perfect time to do some yard work, go for a walk, and enjoy the warm sunshine. Maybe I’ll finally plant the daffodil bulbs I purchased weeks ago then promptly forgot. Because all too soon we’ll be in the throes of winter, days like these are to be savored!

(Then there’s Daylight Saving Time, also this weekend, so a reminder to set your clocks back. Don’t get me started… if I ever do a post of Friday Un-Favorites, we’ll talk more about DST.)


Speaking of planting bulbs and otherwise playing in the dirt… I’ve never been much of a gardener. In fact, we’d all agree my proverbial thumb is less green, and more black as the darkest midnight. But lately I’ve had a craving to learn more about gardening. I look out the window and see the beautiful flower beds my neighbors have cultivated, or I see the harvests of vegetables that friends have grown in their own backyards, and I want to figure this out. I’m going to do a little prep now, and some research over the winter, to see if I can finally accomplish something in this area.


One book that is helping me is Kitchen Garden Revival. This gorgeous book makes a kitchen garden look gorgeous, yet simple and manageable.

Re-reading Old Favorites

Now and then, when you get in a slump, there’s nothing like revisiting an old favorite book or series to draw you back into reading. One thing that always seems to do it for me are Nora Roberts trilogies. I wrote about this over the summer, when I was apparently going through a certain NR series that I’d read several times before. They have magic, romance, quaint settings, and plenty of action.

The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy

This week, I’ve started another: The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, which kicks off with Dark Witch. It’s the story of family drawing together to defeat an ancient evil, and like several of Nora’s other stories, it’s set in a delightful Irish village. Highly recommended as an escape whatever else you’re supposed to be doing! (Although it makes me sad I never got that Hogwarts letter.)

How about you, friends? What are you loving this week? Any great finds, bookish or otherwise? Feel free to share in the comments. As always… happy reading!

This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.

Posted in Gift Guides, Reading Life

Gift Guide: Non-Book Gifts for Bookish People

Well, friends… here we are. The most wonderful time of the year. It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Okay, I know… I know. It’s early November. We’re not trimming the tree or decking the halls just yet. Mostly. Although I did already snag a few new pieces of cute holiday decor!

And yet… once that calendar flips to November, it’s hard not to think about the Christmas season. There’s movies on TV, music in the mall, and gift ideas in EVERY store! And if you’re like me, you tend to start shopping a little earlier to be prepared.

But even if you’re a typical week-of-Christmas shopper, you may want to move up those plans a bit, as it sounds like things may take longer to arrive or be hard to find on store shelves later in the season. So, there’s no time like the present… to, you know, buy presents.

As in past years, I’m putting together a series of gift guides to help spark some ideas. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration to kick off (or finish) your shopping! So, without further ado, may I present (there’s that word again) gift guide number one for the year…

Non-Book Gifts for Bookish People

Most of us have reader friends, right? But maybe their unread book pile is already threatening to cause an avalanche in their home. Or maybe you just want to pick up something aside from the newest bestseller for them. This post will give you great ideas for gifts that aren’t actually books, that will support the reading habits of loved ones near and far!


Continue reading “Gift Guide: Non-Book Gifts for Bookish People”

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello, friends! Here we are at the end of another week, and I decided it was time to resurrect a fun tradition: the Friday Favorites post!

Friday Favorites are a short list of things I’m enjoying, finds I want to share, or links I’m loving. It might be bookish content, or perhaps completely unrelated. I’m sure I won’t post every Friday, but I’m going to try to hit quite a few, particularly as we approach the holiday season!

So, without further ado… this week’s Friday Favorites from The Biblio Blonde!

Continue reading “Friday Favorites”

Posted in Book Notes, Reading List

Book Notes: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons by Kate Khavari

It’s no secret I love a good cozy mystery, and it’s always a delight to find a new series! Cozies cover just about every subject you can think of… bookstores, cooking, small towns, and much more. But when a book ties in a mystery, a fabulous historical setting, and a female scientist who’s ahead of her time… well, who could resist?

Kate Khavari’s A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons introduces us to Saffron Everleigh, an independent, scholarly young woman living in the 1920s. Here’s the publisher’s description:

London, 1923.  Newly minted research assistant Saffron Everleigh attends a dinner party for the University College of London. While she expects to engage in conversations about the university’s large expedition to the Amazon, she doesn’t expect Mrs. Henry, one of the professors’ wives to drop to the floor, poisoned by an unknown toxin.
Dr. Maxwell, Saffron’s mentor, is the main suspect, having had an explosive argument with Dr. Henry a few days prior. As evidence mounts against Dr. Maxwell and the expedition’s departure draws nearer, Saffron realizes if she wants her mentor’s name cleared, she’ll have to do it herself.
Joined by enigmatic Alexander Ashton, a fellow researcher, Saffron uses her knowledge of botany as she explores steamy greenhouses, dark gardens, and deadly poisons. Will she be able to uncover the truth or will her investigation land her on the murderer’s list? 

In a time when girls definitely didn’t run the world, Saffron held her own. She was an interesting character… you can feel her pain in certain situations but she knew how to make the best of her abilities.

(A few slight spoilers ahead… nothing to do with the mystery itself.)

While some cozies tend toward the humorous side, there were definitely some darker aspects to this book. Deadly poison aside, the story touches on workplace harassment (it still exists certainly, but it was disgustingly acceptable in previous times), women’s opportunities, and a veteran with what we now know to be PTSD. These all tie together to add depth to the storyline.

I was able to get a very early copy of this… it won’t be out until summer, but it had just the right feel to read as autumn settled upon us!

I’m very much hoping for the continuation of Saffron’s adventures, as I’d like to see where her career takes her, what might come of a certain relationship, and how she grows and matures.

The book will be released on June 7th, but you can preorder it now:

Find this title on Amazon

Or, if you’re a blogger with a Net Galley account, you too may be able to snag this one early. At any rate… definitely plan to pick this up and look for more in the future from this talented author. Happy reading, friends!

Thanks to Net Galley and Crooked Lane Books for a complimentary digital review copy of this title. All opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.