Bell-Bottom Gypsy: A Jessie Morgan Novel- Maggie Plummer

Bell bottoms. Hippies. Long hair, free love, peace signs, and expanding your mind. The early 70’s were a different time, and when I was offered the chance to read and review Bell-Bottom Gypsy: A Jessie Morgan Novel by Maggie Plummer, I decided a trip (not THAT kind of trip!) back to the days of protests and tie-dye would be an interesting use of my reading time.

Jessie Morgan has had it with her regular life. After growing up in a large, strict Catholic family and spending two years trying to figure out what to do with herself in college, she’s ready for a change. When all her friends bail for their planned road trip, Jessie decides to go by herself, traveling the country in her mustard-yellow VW Bug convertible and working seasonal jobs in order to fund her adventures. Jessie’s trek takes her from her home in Detroit down to working as a burgoo server and hot walker for thoroughbreds in Kentucky (where she meets a creepy guy named Twisty who becomes her boyfriend, and if an adult man who introduces himself as Twisty isn’t the biggest red flag in the universe, I don’t know what is), relaxing on the rocky beaches of Key West, exploring the national parks and stunning landscape of Montana, and plenty of other small stops on the way.

Jessie’s searching for herself on this trip, and along with the constant tension caused by Twisty’s possessiveness and drug use, this is pretty much the only plot. Jessie is young and clearly naive, which is shown in some of the questionable choices she makes, such as working as the only woman on a fishing boat for a lecherous man named Earl and sleeping in the RV of a couple she just met hours before (obviously, the 70’s were a different era, and she has the type of personality that helps her make friends everywhere she goes, but at times, it felt as though Jessie were lacking in any kind of self-preservation instinct). I didn’t see much growth in her as a character in the end, besides her newfound appreciation for Montana and the outdoors; although she does state that she’s a different person, any evidence of that wasn’t quite clear to me.

Where this book does excel is in Ms. Plummer’s ability to paint a well-defined picture of the scenery. Bell-Bottom Gypsy is heavy on description, but every instance makes you feel as though your feet are being pricked by the stones on the beaches of Key West, you’re savoring the tang of fresh key lime pie, floating on an ever-changing lake deep in rural Montana, or spending the night in a jail cell in Natchez, Mississippi (only because all the hotels are all full!). Ms. Plummer depicts some lovely scenes, and while I enjoyed the chance to travel without leaving my home (especially to Key West!), the excessive description seems to take the place of a more overarching plot structure, which leaves the reader feeling deprived of any true progression of Jessie as a character. While I did enjoy accompanying Jessie on her travels and viewing parts of the country I’ve never seen before through her eyes, I didn’t quite fall in love with her or her journey.

Thanks to Maggie Plummer for allowing me to read and review Bell-Bottom Gypsy: A Jessie Morgan Novel.

Visit Maggie Plummer’s website here.

Follow her on Twitter here.


Lessons in Letting Go- Allison Janda

Letting go of the past. Moving on to something different, maybe something better. It’s more difficult for some of us than others. It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with in the past, so when I was offered the chance to read and review Lessons in Letting Go by Allison Janda, I figured maybe I could learn a few things.

It all starts out as a typical day when introvert-to-the-nth-degree Ingrid’s life burns down as badly as those charred grilled cheese sandwiches that were meant for dinner but are now headed for the sink’s garbage disposal. Sure, she knew that she and her husband Matthew were in a bit of a slump, one of those rough patches that happens in every marriage, but his announcement that he’s leaving her for someone who wants kids rocks her to the core. Thank goodness for her best friend Nicole, who takes over and begins rearranging Ingrid’s life to accommodate this wreckage. As a result of Nicole’s incessant urging, Ingrid decides to leave her nursing job and sign up as a travel nurse. It’s a terrifying prospect, moving so far from the only home she’s ever known and leaving the only job she’s ever had, but maybe this will be just what she needs.

Scratch that. Ingrid’s frightened and miserable as soon as she arrives in Portland, set to begin a 13-week assignment. She can barely bring herself to leave her apartment and has no clue why she ever thought this was a good idea…until she’s assigned to serve as a nurse to Benjamin, a terminal cancer patient whose outlook on life is the exact opposite of Ingrid’s. Benjamin, who’s determined to squeeze every last drop out of the short amount of time he has left, sees something in Ingrid, something that compels him to create a series of envelopes for her, stuffed with ideas for things to do and places to go when she’s feeling a certain way or needing something specific. And with these envelopes, Ingrid forges not just a friendship with Benjamin, but a newfound confidence in herself and her ability to stand on her own two feet.

This is a lovely story of growth, of pushing boundaries, stepping outside your comfort zone, and learning to accept and love all the facets of yourself. Ingrid and Benjamin’s friendship is both charming and bittersweet, a constant reminder that life is short but that the lives we touch will continue on after we’re gone and a gentle suggestion that while we may want to wallow in the what-might-have-been, life is for the living. Push your boundaries and face your fears, because you never know what new opportunities you’ll find to love.

This would be a fantastic book for introverts (which I am, in a pretty severe way), or someone who understands them. Ingrid has no family and has spent her life clinging to her husband and best friend; post-breakup, she’s alone in a way similar to Lucy from While You Were Sleeping (one of my favorite movies). Her foray into travel nursing (which I never knew existed until I read this book!) is the first step she didn’t know how to take herself, as is each adventure she goes on thanks to or with Benjamin, until the day arrives when she’s able to push herself out of her comfort zone on her own. If you’re not introverted or don’t understand or have empathy for people who are (and I’ve come across them!), I’m not sure this would be the book for you (much like I’ve seen people blow off Lo’s anxiety in The Woman in Cabin 10 as being annoying. If you don’t understand it, you may be quick to chalk it up to weakness or an annoyance, but if you get it, you get it). Ingrid does struggle a lot with making the leap to a different kind of life, and it’s something that I would definitely have a difficult time doing as well, so I felt like I understood her.

This was a lovely, heartfelt read, underscored with the looming tragedy that comes with a terminal diagnosis, but with that, Ms. Janda serves up a heaping score of hope, and of knowing that the love we put into those around us will carry on long after our death. Huge thanks to Allison Janda for sending me a copy of Lessons in Letting Go for review; I definitely feel like I’ve learned a few things from Ingrid and Benjamin.

Visit Allison Janda’s website here.

Follow her on Twitter here.


WWW Wednesday! March 27, 2019

As it’s Wednesday, it’s time for another WWW Wednesday, coming to you from Taking on a World of Words. To play along, all you need to do is answer three simple (HA! Is anything every simple about reading choices?) questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s get started!

What are you currently reading?

I started reading Lessons in Letting Go by Allison Janda two-ish days ago (I think! Kids are on spring break and my son was sick this past weekend, so it’s been busy and my days are all thrown off), about a woman who gets dumped by her husband and who decides to step out of her comfort zone by becoming a travel nurse (and there’s a guy, but…there’s a catch. A big one). So far, I’m really enjoying this!

What did you recently finish reading?

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. If I were rich, I would throw piles of money at Angie Thomas and fund 100% of her life so she could do nothing but write because I love her books so much.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Up next is a review copy of Bell-Bottom Gypsy: A Jessie Morgan Novel by Maggie Plummer. It sounds interesting, so I’m looking forward to it. And after that, I have a stack of library books waiting for me, including Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which my husband expressed interest in reading (so I may have to share!).

Hopefully I’ll get some good reading time in in the next few days (not tomorrow, because we’re going to visit my mother- spring break week just isn’t conducive to long, lazy days of nothing but devouring books when you’re the mom…).

What are you reading this week???


Tell Me Something Tuesday #177: Topics I Avoid in Books

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and covers a range of topics about books and blogging (you can check out their answers here).

This week’s question:

What are things that make you steer clear of a book?

Excessive violence, especially against women. This is where Pat Conroy lost me. His writing is beautiful, but after being shocked by reading brutal rape scenes in several of his books, I decided I couldn’t do any more. I tend to steer clear of a lot of thrillers as well, since I’m not the hugest fan of reading about murder…or heists, for that matter. Crime in general, really.

Titles/covers that show the book is obviously sci-fi or western. Just not genres that really interest me, for the most part.

Sometimes size matters. (Insert inappropriate joke here.) I’m not opposed to gigantic brick-sized books- Alaska and Hawaii, both by James Michener, were gloriously enormous books and some of my favorites ever, despite being close to or over 1000 pages- but at this point in my life, I prefer shorter reads. Hit me up again when my daughter’s older, giant books.

Man vs. nature books. There are exceptions; Jon Krakauer’s books are awesome for this, but in general, I’m not a fan of ‘the plane crashed and now we’re all fighting to survive in the jungle/desert/side of a mountain!!!’ books. I find them stressful. And in that vein…

Books about or containing animals. If there’s a beloved pet in the book, you can be sure I’m stressing from the first mention that that pet is going to die (or be horribly injured) somewhere in the book. This was like the Number One Plot Device in books when I was a kid; the author would kill off the main character’s pet in order to foreshadow the death of someone even more important, like a parent or sibling. It was horrible and traumatizing and to this day, I get uncomfortable when the plot centers too closely on an animal. I LOVE animals and don’t need to stress about them more than my own two cats make me. (See pic of me doing yoga and Turd Cat Reba, also known as The Bitey One, getting all up in my face. Not shown: the blurry pictures of her climbing across my face, the pictures I couldn’t take because she was jumping on me when I was trying to downward dog, and the other cat, Piglet, who likes to stand at the edge of the mat and scream at me. Yeesh!)

I’m half-tempted to put religious fiction here, but I’m not entirely opposed to that. I don’t enjoy religious fiction when it comes on too strongly, but I’ve read a few that were okay, so that’s not a never for me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be my faith for me to appreciate how it works for someone else.

Very Serious Biographies About Historical White Men. I don’t necessarily want to read, say, a biography of Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln. It’s not that they’re not interesting people; I just got my fill of that in school. Now, say, a Very Serious Biography about Harriet Tubman or Maya Angelou? YES PLEASE.

Literary Fiction. When it gets too literary and the writing gets too flowery and convoluted for my tastes, I’m out. Just not my thing.

That’s about it for me. What about you? Are there things you run screaming from in the bookstore or library? Any certain genres you refuse to engage with? Certain tropes you can’t stand? (I’m not adding this to the list, but years ago, I somehow managed to read three or four books that year that involved cousin love, and not like, “Here is your cousin, the Earl of Moneyton. Marry him to increase our fortunes!”, more like, “Dude, my mom’s sister’s son is freakin’ HOT!” NO NO NO. SO gross, and I will nope out of books that do that, because seriously, there are so many other people you can get it on with besides one you’re related to.) I’d love to hear what doesn’t do it for you, literarily-speaking!

fiction · YA

On the Come Up- Angie Thomas

How badly did I want to read On the Come Up by Angie Thomas? I put my name on the list as soon as this appeared in the library’s catalog. On Saturday at 3:14 pm, I received the email that my copy was waiting for me on the holds shelf.

By 3:33 pm, I had that book in my hands.

I only live 1.8 miles from the library, but I had just gotten up from a nap. Didn’t care. When the library summons me, I go, and I go in a hurry when it’s Angie Thomas waiting for me.

Set in the same neighborhood as Thomas’s debut novel, The Hate U Give, On the Come Upfocuses on Bri, a sixteen year-old who dreams of becoming a rapper. Her father, who was murdered when Bri was young, was an up-and-coming rap artist who had just begun to taste success, so the rhymes Bri fills her notebooks with run deep in her blood. But Bri’s not about capitalizing on her father’s name; she’s out to make it on her own merits. Times are tough at home, though; her mother, who’s in recovery from the addiction that nearly ruined everything after her husband died, has just lost her job, leaving Bri’s older brother Trey’s pizza place job the family’s sole source of income. Aunt Pooh, who serves as Bri’s manager alongside dealing drugs, has gotten her a place at the local rap battle, and thus begins everyone knowing exactly who Bri Jackson is.

Nothing is ever that simple, though. Bri’s got trouble at school from the security guards who seem to treat the black and brown kids more harshly than the white ones, and when the song she writes and records to protest the injustice of it goes viral, Bri gets more attention than she bargained for. Some of it’s positive- Supreme, a producer who knew her father, is interested in helping her grow her career- but some of it comes from a local gang that takes her lyrics as a front against them, and suddenly Bri’s not sure she’s projecting the image of who she really is. Can she stay true to herself and the kind of music she wants to make while still saving her family from poverty and making it out of the Garden?

Ms. Thomas tackles a lot of issues in this novel- poverty, racism, addiction, friendship, strained family relationships, grief, the constant stress and stressors of life in an impoverished community- but they’re never thrown in the reader’s face in an overwhelming manner. Rather, she lets you get to know each character, fall in love with them, and lets the pressures build as the characters live their lives. It’s such an amazing change from the YA that I read growing up, where the authors would basically punch you in the face with whatever message they were trying to convey. Ms. Thomas’s voice is so fresh, so immediate and authentic, that it imbues each character with such energy that they practically leap off the page. Please, someone tell me this is going to be made into a movie, because I will see that thing twice.

Each character in On the Come Up has their own distinct personality (which, you’d think that’d be a given in all novels, but it’s really not). I’ve read plenty of books with large casts where I had to stop and try to remember who that guy was, or refer to my notes to remember the girl that was speaking. Not so at ALL in this book. There’s no mistaking Sonny for Malik, no interchanging Curtis with anyone else, no struggle to remember who Shana was again. Every single character is easily identifiable by their own traits and mannerisms, and the description is never once overdone here. And Ms. Thomas is a master of dialogue. It’s the way the characters speak, both with each other and Bri’s inner dialogue, that makes this story feel like the cool side of the pillow on a summer evening. I only hope that one day, my own writing is as real as this.

I wasn’t sure how on earth Ms. Thomas could ever manage to follow up The Hate U Give– second novels are notoriously difficult, even without your first being the smash success THUG was- but On the Come Up is utterly brilliant and just as amazing. She thanks someone in the acknowledgements for believing in Bri and her story, even when she was struggling to write, but the finished product comes off as gloriously effortless. This book is just. so. good. My brain was going full on teenage-girl-screaming-at-the-Beatles-on-The-Ed-Sullivan-Show fangirl levels throughout the book. Angie Thomas has sealed the deal for me with On the Come Up; I will read absolutely anything she ever writes from now until the end of time.

I may be about the last book blogger to have read this, but it was absolutely worth the wait, and I’m thinking I should get in line now for whatever it is she writes next, because I’m an Angie Thomas fan for life now.

Check out Angie Thomas’s website here.

Follow her on Twitter here.


The Cider House Rules- John Irving

Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge suggested The Cider House Rules by John Irving as a book by or about someone who identifies as neurodiverse, and as I adored his A Prayer for Owen Meany and have always wanted to read this book, I jumped right in.

The Cider House Rules tells the story of Homer, an orphan raised in the orphanage at St. Cloud, Maine, where women come for either an orphan or an abortion, performed by Dr. Wilbur Larch, ether addict extraordinaire. As Homer nears adulthood, he begins to train with Dr. Larch but refuses to perform abortions, despite his skill. With this attitude and his desire to know more of life outside of St. Cloud, Homer leaves with a wealthy young couple who came seeking an abortion, set to begin his new life working in their family’s apple orchard.

But his new life is far more complicated than just picking apples and pruning trees. Wally, the golden only son of the owners of Ocean View Apple Orchards, quickly becomes Homer’s best friend…but Homer is in love with Wally’s girlfriend Candy, who also has feelings for Homer. Underlying this complex love triangle are the rumblings of World War II and the aging Dr. Larch’s growing need for someone to take over his work, a job desperately needed by the women who come seeking his services.

Tragedy and uncertainty come to Ocean View Apple Orchards, and this sets into motion a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone Homer has ever known or will know. Through it all, John Irving weaves a story thick with emotion, one that delves deeply into the idea of home, where we belong, the rules we follow and those we choose to ignore, what being truly useful is, and what we owe each other as human beings.

This is a slow read. Not due to any flaw in the writing; there’s just so much to absorb in each of John Irving’s carefully chosen words, and my copy of the book had 567 pages, making it one of my longer reads this year (if not THE longest so far). The story itself is so deep and such a thorough examination of the human psyche that I don’t feel like any plot synopsis could do this novel justice. I didn’t even begin to scratch the surface with the complexities Mr. Irving managed: Melony and her anger; the real story of Fuzzy Stone versus the one Dr. Larch created for him; the nurses; Olive Worthington and her husband, Senior. Everything is so deeply interwoven in the most intricate way, and I’m in awe of John Irving’s skill as a writer. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget the room full of sleeping orphans, the office with the tang of ether, the row after row of apple trees, Ray Kendall’s dock where Candy and Homer would sit, and the list of rules tacked to the wall in the cider house, because I spent so much time in all of those places, emotionally invested in every character in this book.

I vaguely remember seeing parts of the movie…somewhere. One of the libraries around here has it, and I’ll grab it the next time I’m there, because now I’m curious to see how this adapts to film. If you’ve both read the book and watched the movie, I’d love to know how they compare. I actually thought I’d read another John Irving novel, but looking through my Goodreads list, I guess I’ve only read these two. Have you read more? Any suggestions as to what I should read next from him? (For when I gather up the courage, that is. His novels are so complex that I think I need some time to process before I feel ready to pick him up again.)

Check out John Irving’s website here.


Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations (foreword by Jill Norman)

Growing up, some of my favorite books were set during World War II or its aftermath (particularly Back Home by Michelle Magorian; you’ll hear me mention this all the time because it’s such a wonderful book), and all of those books mentioned rationing, the restriction of certain foods and materials because the majority of those items were going to the soldiers and the war effort. Those on the homefront had to learn to make do with what little they were allowed. Clothing and fabric were also rationed, and Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations (foreword by Jill Norman), a collection of British government-issued leaflets instructing the women at home how to make the best of what they had, shows the extent and the hardship of wartime rationing (British rationing was a lot stricter than what the US experienced, something that Rusty, the main character in Back Home, notes on several occasions).

I thought I knew a decent amount about rationing, what with my past reading (and even my reading this year; here’s my review for Ration Book Cookery by Gill Corbishley, which was super fascinating), but this book definitely expanded my knowledge on the subject and shows how much work it really was. The book starts off talking about how women should reinforce the seats of children’s underwear before the children wear them for the first time, and sock heels and toes should be knitted with a double strand of wool, because these are the areas most prone to wear. Collars can be turned, elbows should be patched and reinforced before they show signs of wear, and the insides of pants at the ankle should be reinforced with a small leather strip to prevent wear from rubbing against shoes. When your underwear wears out, save them; you can still patch together a decent pair of underwear from three or four old, holey pairs. Absolutely NOTHING should go to waste, because that’s basically the same thing as stealing from the soldiers and the war effort. Isn’t that an amazing attitude? The book also contains a lot of diagrams on how to mend clothing, including approximately 43782394284932 diagrams on how to darn sock holes. So. Much. Darning.

There are charts that show how many ration coupons each item of clothing would cost (obviously you’d still have to pay for the item, but ration coupons were only for what you were allowed to buy. Out of coupons? You’re out of luck). There were so many rules for using ration coupons; even secondhand items required coupons (for the most part. There were some exceptions). Pregnant women received 50 extra coupons, but they were encouraged to make do with their regular wardrobe if at all possible. And don’t think you could’ve cheated the system by making your own clothing; yarn and fabric (some of it, at least; again, lots of rules here) required ration coupons. Interestingly, this is when ankle socks came into fashion, because they required less yarn.

It wasn’t just clothing that was rationed, though. Coal was rationed and thus women needed to learn to be thrifty with how they cooked and heated their homes. Hot baths were limited to once per week, with no more than five inches of water (so much for a relaxing soak to take your mind off your wartime troubles). They were encouraged to cut hot meals down to a minimum, only heat one room of the house (“Make your kitchen your living room!” one leaflet suggests), and turn the heat off 30 minutes before leaving a room. And if you were going to use your oven at all, you were supposed to cook multiple things at a time in order to cut down on fuel usage. Rationing required a LOT of big-picture thinking.

There were a few things that weren’t rationed: jock straps (!), ballet shoes, shoelaces, suspenders, sanitary belts and napkins (Are you there, God? It’s me, WWII-era Margaret…), and luckily for me, specialty belts for sacroiliac disease (I have sacroiliac joint dysfunction; it’s painful and not very fun). So if you find yourself traveling back in time to Britain in the early to mid-1940s, go crazy with those items!

This book would be a fantastic resource for writers of WWII-era historical fiction, in order to have specifics on rationing. It gave me a few ideas on how to patch a set of sheets that my cats’ claws poked holes in, so I appreciate that. But moreover, it’s inspiration. The women on the homefront had to work so very hard in order to make ends meet; I can probably do a better job as well.

I’m pretty proud of all the things I *do* do to use my resources wisely, though. Case in point: my daughter’s pants I patched earlier this year (and hoooooo boy, did I ever have to do this with my son’s pants when he was younger. Six weeks in a new pair of pants, tops, and he was through the knees. Drove me NUTS). Holes in the knees turned into adorable heart patches. I have another pair of pants to patch right now, as well as the shoulders of a dress, and the shirt she’s wearing today (a plain red henley) has some unsightly grease stains on it, so I’m going to applique…something…on there to cover them up. The rest of the shirt is perfectly fine, so a little bit of decoration should make it wearable for another year or two.

How do you make do and mend? Are you the kind of person who fixes holes in socks, or do you just grab another pack at the store? How do you think you’d handle WWII-era rationing if it were put in place today?


Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out- Jon Robertson with Robin G. Robertson

I’m a planner by nature (not a prepper; I don’t have a bunker full of Spam and bottled water or anything like that). Whether that stems from my anxiety or just my general nature (or hey, why not both?), I like to have a plan for what I’m going to do in any random scenario. If this happens, we’ll do this, but if that happens, then we’ll follow this plan. It’s because of those reasons that Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out by Jon Robertson with Robin G. Robertson ended up on my TBR list (and then sat there for…um…a while).

We’ve all been inconvenienced by a power outage that happens at mealtime, but what do you do when the power goes out…and stays out? When a hurricane or a tornado strikes and you’re left in the dark for days or weeks? The Robertsons know firsthand what this experience is like, having lived through several devastating hurricane seasons, and this prompted them to write Apocalypse Chow, part cookbook and part disaster preparedness manual.

The first hundred pages are dedicated to a combination of the Robertsons’ experiences, lists of potential food to stock for those unexpected times, and items you may need to stock in order to be prepared (they seem to assume that tons of people have electric can openers. I can’t think of anyone I know who owns one; do you have one?). The second half of the book is full of recipes that can be made using the shelf-stable ingredients they discussed earlier. It’s a vegetarian and often vegan cookbook (while the authors are vegan, they do point out that you have the option to add canned meat and/or fish if you can stomach those things. That’s not a judgment on anyone’s choice to eat meat, it’s merely a commentary on the quality of most canned meats. Even in my meat-eating days, I was never a fan. Canned chicken tastes straight-up like the can it was packed in to me), simply because that’s the safer food choice when there’s no refrigeration. There are lots of tasty-sounding recipes here, pasta and grain-based salads, soup, even desserts, all cooked over a butane stove, which I thought was neat. Like I said, I’m not a prepper, but having a butane-powered stove wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep around, and if I ever see a decently priced one, I may pick it up, thanks to this book.

It’s probably not the way you’d want to eat in happier, more electrified times (canned goods are higher in sodium than their fresher counterparts), but if you live in an area where you have the potential to lose power for long periods of time, this wouldn’t be a bad little book to have on hand.

How do you prepare for power outage scenarios? Do you keep a stash of ready-to-eat stuff on hand? Do you just go out for dinner if the power fails? Do you even spend any time thinking about this, or is this another one of my weirdnesses? 😀

You can visit Robin Robertson’s website here. (I’m not seeing a website for Jon, but if I’m wrong, please let me know and I’ll happily update the post!)


WWW Wednesday! March 20, 2019

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for another fun WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. To play along, just answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s get started!

What are you currently reading?

Yesterday, I picked up my interlibrary loan copy of Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations (foreword by Jill Norman). It’s a book of WWII-era reproductions of government-issued leaflets designed to teach the women on the homefront to make their clothing last longer (since clothing was rationed during the war years). My mother was up visiting yesterday and my son had a choir concert last night, so I only got about ten minutes yesterday to read, but this book seems really neat so far and I’ve already learned something about making hand-knit socks last longer.

What did you recently finish reading?

Yesterday, I finished Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out by Jon Robertson and Robin Robertson. Review will be up tomorrow!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next up in the pile is The Cider House Rules by John Irving. I’ve wanted to read this for YEARS, so I’m so excited. I very vaguely remember seeing parts of the movie when I was younger, so I may have to seek that out after I finish this book (is it any good, or should I avoid it?). I do have a copy of Angie Thomas’s On the Come Up on hold at the library, so if that comes in, I’ll read that as soon as possible so that I can get it back and it can go to the next person on the list. (I try to be courteous with popular holds!)

That’s it for this WWW Wednesday! What are you reading right now? Anything interesting coming up next?