How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White

How to Manage Your

The following summary is copied from  Hoopla Digital

Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets

Bring your home out of the mess it’s in and learn how to keep it under control. ‘The dirty little secret about most organizing advice is that it’s written by organized people,’ says blogger, speaker, and decluttering expert Dana K. White. ‘But that’s not how my brain works. I’m lost on page three.’ Dana blogs at A Slob Comes Clean, chronicling her successes and failures with her self-described ‘deslobification process.’ In the beginning she used the name ‘Nony’ (short for aNONYmous), because she was sharing her deep, dark, slob secret. Now she has truly come clean-with not only her real name but also the strategies she has developed, tested, and proved in her own home. She has learned what it takes to bring a home out of Disaster Status, which habits make the biggest and most lasting impact, and how to keep clutter under control. In How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind, Dana explains that cleaning your house is not a onetime project but a series of ongoing premade decisions. Her reality-based cleaning and organizing techniques debunk the biggest housekeeping fantasies and help listeners learn what really works. Chapter titles include • My First Step: Giving Up on the Fantasy • The Worst Thing About the Best Way • Just Tell Me What to Do • Conquering Laundry • Get Dinner on the Table • Putting an End to the Never-Ending Weekly Cleaning Tasks • Don’t Get Organized • How to Declutter Without Making a Bigger Mess • Fighting the Perceived Value Battle • But Will It Last? With a huge helping of empathy and humor, Dana provides a step-by-step process with strategies for getting rid of enormous amounts of stuff in as little time (and with as little emotional drama) as possible.

I had heard of Dana White from reading her blog, A Slob Comes Clean, occasionally.  But I really didn’t know about her until I read this book.  Now I know why I’ve never been successful cleaning, decluttering or organizing my home – I, too, am a slob.  My brain, like Dana’s, doesn’t work the way we are usually told to do these things.  but I know that tiny habits done every day work miracles.  Every bit of advice she gives in this book powerfully connected in my mind.  And I actually did my dishes.  My husband helped!

I listened to the book via Hoopla thru my local library, but as soon as I post this, I’m going to by a copy of it for myself.  Not a common practice for a frugal book lover with a fabulous local library!

I began reading this book on 2.2.18 and completed it on 2.3.18

In the A-Z reading challenge, this is filed under H.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #10.


The Want-Ad Killer by Ann Rule

The Want Ad Killer

The following summary is copied from  Hoopla Digital

After his first grisly crime, Harvey Louis Carignan beat a death sentence and continued to manipulate, rape, and bludgeon women to death-using want ads to lure his young female victims. And time after time, justice was thwarted by a killer whose twisted legal genius was matched only by his sick savagery. Here, complete with the testimony of women who suffered his unspeakable sexual abuses and barely escaped with their lives, and of the police who at last put him behind bars, is one of the most shattering and thought-provoking true-crime stories of our time.

I love Ann Rule.  She always writes very detailed and thoughtful accounts of true crime. The victims and surviors become so real I can see them and hear their voices.  This is a particularly unusual killer.  His defense at trial is so bizarre it would make laughable fiction.  Once again, truth is stranger than fiction.

I began reading this book on 1.31.18 and completed it on 2.2.18

In the A-Z reading challenge, this is filed under W.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #09.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

The following summary is copied from  Hoopla Digital

This #1 internationally bestselling thriller is an ingenious book within a book about the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old New Hampshire girl and, thirty years later, a young American writer’s determination to clear his mentor’s name and find the inspiration for his next bestseller. August 30, 1975. This is the day fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan is glimpsed fleeing through the woods before she disappears – the day Somerset, New Hampshire, loses its innocence. Thirty-three years later, Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of America’s most respected writers, and to find a cure for his writer’s block as his publisher’s deadline looms. But Marcus’ plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan – whom, he admits, he had an affair with. As the national media convicts Harry, Marcus launches his own investigation, following a trail of clues through his mentor’s books, the backwoods and isolated beaches of New Hampshire, and the hidden history of Somerset’s citizens and the man they hold most dear. To save Harry, his writing career, and eventually even himself, Marcus must answer three questions, all of which are mysteriously connected: Who killed Nola Kellergan? What happened one misty morning in Somerset in the summer of 1975? And how do you write a successful and true novel? A global phenomenon, with rights sold in more than thirty countries, The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair is a fast-paced, tightly plotted, cinematic literary thriller and an ingenious book within a book by a dazzling young writer.

Wow!  What a book!  I usually read crime or true crime stories, and this one has as many twists as a plate of curly fries.  I could hardly stop reading to sleep.  As it’s an 18 hour audio book stopping was necessary.  I don’t have a number system for rating books, but this one is right up there at the top.  Read it.  NOW!!!

I began reading this book on 1.28.18 and completed it on 1.31.18

In the What’s In a Name challenge, this title has the word “the” twice.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #08.

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby

The following summary is copied from  Capital Area District Libraries.

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica.Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit and takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal–or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What begins as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

This book was really hard for me to listen to.  I kept talking to the characters but they totally disregarded me and did crazy things anyway.  It was very well written but it’s hard to read about Willow’s horrific past and Heidi’s overwhelming sadness.  If you haven’t read this one yet, you should.

I began reading this book on 1.22.18 and completed it on 1.27.18

In the Keyword Challenge it’s under Baby.
In the A to Z Challenge, this book is filed under P.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #07.


The Broken Road by Richard Paul Evans

The Broken Road


The following summary is copied from  Capital Area District Libraries.

A broken man. A twist of fate. A second chance. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Mistletoe Promise and The Walk comes the first novel in a riveting new trilogy that explores the tantalizing question: What if you could start over?

Chicago celebrity, Charles James can’t shake the nightmare that wakes him each night. He sees himself walking down a long, broken highway the sides of which are lit in flames. Where is he going? Why is he walking? What is the wailing he hears around him?

By day, he wonders why he’s so haunted and unhappy when he has all he ever wanted-fame, fans and fortune and the lavish lifestyle it affords him. Coming from a childhood of poverty and pain, this is what he’s dreamed of. But now, at the pinnacle of his career, he’s started to wonder if he’s wanted the wrong things. His wealth has come legally, but questionably, from the power of his personality, seducing people out of their hard-earned money. When he learns that one of his customers has committed suicide because of financial ruin, Charles is shaken. The cracks in his façade start to break down spurring him to question everything: his choices, his relationships, his future and the type of man he’s become.

Then a twist of fate changes everything. Charles is granted something very remarkable: a second chance. The question is: What will he do with it?

The Broken Road is the first book in a much-anticipated new trilogy by beloved storyteller Richard Paul Evans. It is an engrossing, contemplative story of redemption and grace and the power of second chances. It is an epic journey you won’t soon forget.

This book has such an interesting premise.  Imagine being able to start over.  Everyone thinks you’re dead but you aren’t.  All the things you regret in life can be left behind and you can look for the real you.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the two to come in the series.

I began reading this book on 1.20.18 and completed it on 1.21.18

In the Keyword Challenge it’s under Road.
In the A to Z Challenge, this book is filed under B.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #05.

End Game

End Game

End Game by David Baldacci is book #5 in the Will Robe series.

The following summary is copied from  Capital Area District Libraries.

Will Robie and Jessica Reel are two of the most lethal people alive. They’re the ones the government calls in when the utmost secrecy is required to take out those who plot violence and mass destruction against the United States. And through every mission, one man has always had their backs: their handler, code-named Blue Man.

But now, Blue Man is missing.

Last seen in rural Colorado, Blue Man had taken a rare vacation to go fly fishing in his hometown when he disappeared off the grid. With no communications since, the team can’t help but fear the worst.

Sent to investigate, Robie and Reel arrive in the small town of Grand to discover that it has its own share of problems. A stagnant local economy and a woefully understaffed police force have made this small community a magnet for crime, drugs, and a growing number of militant fringe groups.

But lying in wait in Grand is an even more insidious and sweeping threat, one that may shake the very foundations of America. And when Robie and Reel find themselves up against an adversary with superior firepower and a home-court advantage, they’ll be lucky if they make it out alive, with or without Blue Man . . .

I was surprised over and over as new twists on the story kept popping up.  It definitely had a surprise ending.  I was frustrated that life kept interviening so I couldn’t just listen to the book straight thru.  I’ve read all Baldacci’s books and they just keep getting better and better.

I began reading this book on 1.16.18 and completed it on 1.19.18
In the A to Z Challenge, this book is filed under E.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #05.

Year of No Clutter: a Memoir


Year of No Clutter

The following summary is copied from the Content Cafe at the Capital Area District Libraries.

Eve has a problem with clutter. Too much stuff and too easily acquired, it confronts her in every corner and on every surface in her house. When she pledges to tackle the worst offender, her horror of a “Hell Room,” she anticipates finally being able to throw away all of the unnecessary things she can’t bring herself to part with: her fifth-grade report card, dried-up art supplies, an old vinyl raincoat.

But what Eve discovers isn’t just old CDs and outdated clothing, but a fierce desire within herself to hold on to her identity. Our things represent our memories, our history, a million tiny reference points in our lives. If we throw our stuff in the trash, where does that leave us? And if we don’t . . . how do we know what’s really important?

Everyone has their own Hell Room, and Eve’s battle with her clutter, along with her eventual self-clarity, encourages everyone to dig into their past to declutter their future. Year of No Clutter is a deeply inspiring-and frequently hilarious-examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.

I loved this book.  I laughed.  I felt uncomfortable because some of it hit a little too close to home.  I thought she was really strange.  I mean, who saves a dead mouse or a fingernail that fell off?  But I was cheering for Eve as she worked thru her issues and came to conclusions that worked for her.  I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to tackle some of my own clutter.

I began reading this book on 1.10.18 and completed it on 1.11.18

In the Keyword Challenge the keyword is YEAR.
In the A to Z Challenge, this book is filed under Y.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #04.


The Rooster Bar

The Rooster Bar

The Rooster Bar is another legal adventure by John Grisham  The following summary is copied from the Content Cafe at the Capital Area District Libraries.

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham’s newest legal thriller takes you inside a law firm that’s on shaky ground.

Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.
     But maybe there’s a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right?  Well, yes and no . . .
Pull up a stool, grab a cold one, and get ready to spend some time at The Rooster Bar.

I definitely sympathized with the law students.  But I was surprised by the ending.  As usual, Grisham writes a great book that kept me hanging on every word.

I began reading this book on 1.5.18 and completed it on 1.8.18
In the A to Z Challenge, this book is filed under R.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #03.

Deep Freeze

Deep Freeze

Deep Freeze is the 10th book in the Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford.  The following summary is copied from the Content Cafe at the Capital Area District Libraries.

Class reunions: a time for memories—good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly—in this New York Times bestselling thriller from John Sandford. 

Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt—and as it turned out, homicidal—local school board, and now the town’s back in view with more alarming news: A woman’s been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There’s a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years’ worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It’s true what they say: High school is murder.

Virgil Flowers works for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in the State of Minnesota.  He’s usually given the hard cases or the really unusual ones as you can see above.  There are lots of laughs along with serious situations when Virgil is around.  I only wish John Sandford could write the books faster because I love to read them.

I began reading this book on 1.3.18 and completed it on 1.4.18
In the A to Z Challenge, this book is filed under D.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #02.

Two Kinds of Truth

Two Kinds of Truth

This is book #22 in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly.  The following summary is copied from the Content Cafe at the Capital Area District Libraries.

Harry Bosch searches for the truth in the new thriller from #1 NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly

An NPR Best Book of 2017
Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017

A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Mystery of 2017

An Amazon Book of the Month

Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drug store where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town’s 3-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch’s LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him, and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues aren’t keen to protect his reputation. He must fend for himself in clearing his name and keeping a clever killer in prison.

The two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

As always, I love Harry Bosch.  His personal mission shines thru this book.  I fell hard for Harry in the first book when he said “Everybody counts or nobody counts.”
I began reading this book on 1.1.18 and completed it on 1.2.18
In the A to Z Challenge, this book is filed under T.
In the Audio Book Challenge it’s book #01.