Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.

I have ORD

I have ORD.  It is time to share the diagnosis with my friends and family.  It is not a surprise to many of you, but the diagnosis is clear now.  I have struggled with this since I began reading in elementary school.  It has ebbed and surged throughout the years. Lately it has become more apparent.


The list of criteria:  

I would rather read than sleep.

I bring a book with me everywhere.

I have fallen in love with many fictional characters.  

I can’t finish my TBR list in four lifetimes.

I count my book as my significant other.

I have nightmares about not having anything to read.  


For sure, it is obsessive reading disorder.  We can even add another couple of items to the list.

I will read a book in any format necessary.

I teach others how to read.

I always have at least one book going.

I have a list of always read authors longer than one single spaced page.


Like I said, it is clear.  ORD. Obsessive Reading Disorder.  As I understand it there is no cure and there is no medication available.  It is too deep seated at this point. I am sorry. NOT!


Books read this week

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

A Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber

The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin

The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery


martha lawton

Life is a Collection of Moments

Life is a Collection of Moments was on a pin I found today.  Such simple words for such a huge thought. The small simple moments that make up a day and make up a life are they the true meaning of life. When I was young, my Aunt Barbara would say how grateful she was for the small blessings like seeing someone’s new baby or having coffee with her sisters.  I remember thinking that those are not blessings, but are things that happen. How wrong I was! Those are the happenings in a collection of moments.


The last two weeks, I have thought a lot about my collection of moments.  I realized that some of my moments that I have collected were very precious to me, but at the time, I did not recognize their significance.  I have tried to be more aware of the moments. I have seen flickers feeding their babies, I have seen the cardinal calling his mate, I have seen a fox trotting down the driveway and Oscar sleeping on his back sprawled in the sand.  I have always tried to stop and live in the moment with them, but now I realize I need to be more receptive to even more. This week I saw my bestie and her daughter for the first time in three years. Those moments playing Rummikub or Skip Bo in the hotel laughing and plotting how to beat each other are some of that collection to save and cherish. Of equal importance was sitting quietly with each other as we read our novels was also a moment to save and cherish.  Those moments from a quick visit in an anonymous hotel between our homes were special moments - it is those moments that make up a life well lived.  


This week, Elise has given us an interview with Laura L Sullivan about her book Milady.  If any of you have ever read The Three Musketeers, you may recognize the character of Milady De Winter.  It is a great interview. I have read a number of books this week that are romances and one very disturbing book, Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson.   I have to admit, I have had trouble letting the Lucy Dawson book go. It is a twisted story that really has made me think about how the main character in the book… well read it and let me know what you think….


Enjoy your collection of moments this week - may you find them precious.


Books Read this week:

Cowboy to the Core by Maisey Yates

The Bad Luck Bride by Jane Goodger

The Reluctant Duchess by Jane Goodger

One Night of Temptation by Darcy Burke

One Night of Scandal by Darcy Burke


Vacation Days

Last Day of true vacation, but I only going back to work part time for the summer, so I can’t complain.  I had some gorgeous days and enjoyed them all. I was able to balance my reading and cleaning house to some extent, which is always a plus!  I still need to find my dining room table. Pretty sure it is lost somewhere beneath all the paperwork. This summer I am determined to go through all the paperwork and get rid of lots of it.

One of the authors that allows me to read her ARC novels had three new novels out this week.  They are sweet romances that definitely sound like they are from around one of the lakes here. Heather (book 1), Lily (book 2) and Violet (book 3) are the titles of the first three novels in Chris Keniston’s series called Hart Land.  There will be nine books altogether, all nine granddaughters with flower names who visit The General (grandfather) and his wife (grandmother). There are set ups that always cause problems and lots of fun characters. The setting is on a lake in Northern New England with a small town. 

This week, hands down, the best book was Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes.  While the book is listed as Christian, the category is too limiting. It is not just about religion and beliefs,  it is about the greatest generation, loss and love, hope and faith, and people who struggle with making a living and finding their way forward.  It is a book I highly recommend. Oh and it’s setting is on the coast of Maine down past Wiscasset and near Machias.  

The other books this week were a mixed batch of romance (historical, current, and biker).  A couple of great beach reads with Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer set on Nantucket Island and The Big Kahuna by Janet and Peter Evanovich set in Hawaii.  However the islands are the only thing they have in common. Nancy Thayer’s book is about two women who grow up on the island and their lives and struggles.  The Big Kahuna is more of a thriller style with lots of chasing bad guys and being in tight spots.  

Elise has a great interview with Amanda Flowers and her newest cosy mystery called Toxic Toffee.  The books sounds like a fun read.


Books read this week.  

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer

The Big Kahuna by Janet and Peter Evanovich

Hurricane Hearts by Nina Levine

Tightrope by Amanda Quick

One Night of Surrender by Darcy Burke


You can't have just one

I received a text today from my bestie.  It seems that Judith Krantz has died. For some of you, this might be an unknown name, but for me this is an author that helped me fall in love with reading modern romances of the rich and famous.  She is famous for her books Scruples, Princess Daisy and Mistral’s Daughter among others. Her books were huge stories of people with money and means with lots of drama, sparkles and more drama. Her stories brought me into a world that I never knew existed nor ever expected to join.  I owe her my thanks.


Today started my vacation and I have to admit both my couch and lawn chairs were recipient of the bounty of time.  I read and read and read some more. Oscar joined me at times helping me by blocking the book from view. That was one item on my list of things to do, but it was exactly what I did all day…. happily.  I have started to count my summer reads with 2 so far and 78 for the year to date. According to Goodreads I am one behind my schedule. Whatever! I guess I was stuck on the thought that I can’t have just one book I read today.  

The books this week were a bit of a mixed bag, but all had romance in common. Three of them (Queen Bee, Evvie Drake Starts Over and A Vineyard Summer) were great summer reads.  All were set in a place I consider a great summer place - near the ocean. One was a romantic thriller (Dangerous Choice) that I read in one sitting - with breaks of course.  One was a good old fashion cowboy romance (The Second Chance Rancher) with cattle, chaps and horses. Last but not least, an older romance that could be called a bodice ripper (Dearly Beloved).  All of the books were good, but my favorite would have to be the book by Dorothea Benton Frank called Queen Bee. There is something about how she writes characters that pull you into the story. Her books are almost always a five star read and a wonderful journey!


Tomorrow I have an appointment with my toes and sand!  


Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

A Vineyard Summer by Jean Stone

Dangerous Choice by Barbara Freethy

The Second Chance Rancher by Kate Pearce

Dearly Beloved by Mary Jo Putney


The # 500 badge

The # 500 badge

When I started my blog I had 50 hits a month, mostly from family. Now I average over 1000 hits a month, definitely not mostly from family. Between Pinterest and Tumblr, I have another 100 followers.  Thank-you to my partner-in-books Elise Cooper with her great interviews, Net Galley for all the ARC books and for the support from my book family and friends. I also am lucky enough to count some authors as a huge support by allowing me to read their ARC novels.  


Each year I save thousands of dollars by borrowing books from the library when possible as opposed to buying them.  Bow’s Baker Free Library has been a wonderful resource for me and I am ever so grateful that I am allowed (I pay now, unlike when I worked in Bow) to use the library.


I have been a member of Net Galley since 2012.  This week, I finally received a new badge for 500 reviews.  It doesn’t seem possible but I have reviewed 510 books for Net Galley and maintained a feedback ratio of over 90%.  Even more important, I have three publishers that send me books, if I ask for them. YUP a guaranteed acceptance. I am auto approved… (giggling to myself)  


Why am I telling you all this?  It is because I am so very grateful.  While I still have more to accomplish,  I have been loving this particular ride in my life.  I am able to read, write and talk about books. Now I just need time to put my toes in sand while I read - vacation is soon.

Books read this week

Nothing to Hide (Lucy Kincaid #14) by Alison Brennan

One Night to Remember by Erica Ridley

Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor

Project Duchess by Sabrina James

Summer at Firefly Beach by Jenny Hale


And yes I still buy books

There is one week and counting… to the end of school.  I still have two complete weeks to work, but on Thursday the last of the students are gone...gone...gone. There is a lot of work still to do and it is harder than ever to concentrate - such is the way at the end of the year.  

Meanwhile, life continues with lots of ups and downs to each day.  Each day the sun rises and sets, even if we do not see it, but what happens between those times are ever changing.  It seems the only constancy are the stacks of books to read. I look forward to time off, but mostly to reading with my toes in the sand.  

There are so many tasks to each day, it is sometimes hard to find time to read everyday.  I try to make it a priority, but there are days that it doesn’t just happen. 

I am lucky enough to get ARCs from Net Galley.  I have found that I can break into some markets and not others, but such is the way, if I wish to keep my blog a size I can manage independently.  My newest statistics are just wild. I have a 92% feedback ratio. I have been approved 550 times and given feedback 506 times. I have been awarded a top reviewer badge, a book advocate badge, two badges from NetGalley challenges and a badge for over 200 book reviews.  I think the review badge should change soon to a over 500 books reviewed badge.

According to Goodreads, I have read 85 books so far this year.  I am two behind in my challenge to read 200 books a year (an ambitious goal to be sure). Since I have joined Goodreads in 2009, I have read 2075 books, which is just amazing to me!  I am so grateful to the library and Netgalley to feed my reading habit. And yes, I still buy books….


The books this week:  

The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear

Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason

The Cowboy’s Daughter by Jamie K Schmidt

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe


Read and you will be happier

Readers are happier was the headline of a global survey highlighted on the Amazon blog, Dayone on May 28, 2019.

I have to admit that so caught my attention.  I am happier when I have time each day to read.  I am happiest when I am reading in one of my favorite places.  I am happy reading about books, deciding what to read next, reading books, writing about books AND talking about books.  I am happy camper surrounded by books whether in actuality or on my electronic devices. I just love reading. One of my earliest blogs was called Reading Is My Superpower.  

Granted the survey was commissioned by Kindle but was carried out by Kelton Global.  Over two thousand participants were surveyed in 13 countries. Seventy one percent of weekly readers reported that they were happier compared to fifty-five percent of other readers.  (WOW - I must be ecstatic on weeks when I can read daily.) Some of the more interesting aspects of the survey are listed below.

  • More people would prefer to read than get extra sleep in countries like Brazil, India, Italy, Japan, and Mexico.

  • In 2019, more people want to read more than lose weight in countries like Brazil, China, India, and Mexico.

  • More than 70% of global survey participants admit they have skipped or put off another activity in order to read.

  • Many people prefer reading as their primary self-care activity.

  • More than 80% credit reading for improving their relationships.
  • Nearly half of global participants (45%) are making it a personal development goal to read more this year.

  • Eighty-one percent look forward to discussing at least one aspect of the book with others.

  • More than 65% of people around the world agree that reading is a major turn on.
  • Forty-one percent of global couples say discussing books was one of the things that made them fall in love with their significant other.


The geekoid I am was really happy over all the information - I love facts with percents.  The study is a good way to remind us of how we can allow us to be happier - read more.

So instead of writing more today - I am off to read more of the newest Maise Dobb’s book.

Elise has another great interview with Julia London and her new book Charmer in Chaps.  I have lots of reviews added under June Reviews, but as a reminder April’s reviews will only be up another week or so.  

READ and you will be happier.


Books read this week:

Never Deny a Duke by Madeline Hunter

Shamed by Linda Castillo

In Plain Sight by Linda Castillo

Heather by Chris Keniston

Lily by Chris Keniston

Violet by Chris Keniston


Currently Reading:

The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear

The Summer We Lost Her by Tish Cohen




Summer Reading Lists

Summer Reading Lists - oh yes please!

Wait - you choose the books - oh no thank-you!

This is the weekend that for a lot of people means summer is here.  That means cookouts, swimming, traveling, family and lots of other fun activities.  It does for me as well, but it also means reading books outside with my feet tucked in the sand, a breeze in my hair and lots of lake views.  

Yes, I do work during the summer.  Yes, I do get some extra time off as well.  

The lake is nearby and my family shows up there at various times as do friends.  The water is clear enough to see fish. The eagle stops by to pick up some food often, as well as the hawk and other birds.  Last year, I was able to watch a flicker feed their family right near where I was sitting. It was magnificent.

Meanwhile, various articles in the news have shown up with various book lists - lists to read over the summer.  I have to admit I do look them over with a bit of a jaundiced eye. My to-read list continues to grow like the Fibonacci numbers. Even though I am certain, I will never read it all, I add books to it regularly, never mind the stacks of books around my home, the number of books on my kindle and those scraps of paper that just keep adding up.  

Ron Charles, a writer for the Washington Post, wrote a piece about the horrors of summer reading, when students are expected to read specific books.  From there he went on to how people treat their summer reading lists like they are going to be judged or quizzed on the books as part of their reading….  “You don’t have to improve yourself — or impress anybody. You need not succumb to the tyranny of your book club or the predictability of the bestseller list.”  He suggests instead to read what you want and to enjoy the reading.  I am in total agreement!

I hope you read for the enjoyment of the words and the story.  Not for what people think. I hope you pick books that allow you to enjoy the summer and the people without worrying about what others think.  Too long, we have been ruled by other people’s judgements about what is a “good” book or a “proper” book. If it interests you and you like the style - go for it.  Read Away and enjoy your summer.

Elise has an interview with one of my favorite authors Amanda Quick - aka Jayne Ann Krentz.  I have a couple of reviews that are new… and to just tease you I have read and reviewed new novels from a new series Hart Land by Chris Keniston. (Patience - they are not up yet.)

Books read this week:

Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

Presently Reading:

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline


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Kirke | Reply 10.06.2019 12.03

The news Jacquelyn Winespear is on my summer reading list.
Looking forward to another Maise Dobbs

KATHY | Reply 24.12.2018 00.28

Always look forward to your weekly blog, Marti ... safe travels this week. Merry Christmas!

Jeannie | Reply 01.10.2018 16.20

Happy Birthday! I remember when book club started when you turned 50. OMG! 100% agree with political status. So disappointing. Happy Foliage!

Jeannie | Reply 27.05.2018 23.23

Outraged, too! It is just getting coverage. This government is shameful under this leadership.

Jeannie | Reply 26.03.2018 16.01

At first I thought it said spa season. Either way it is a sign of rejuvenation! On a Kristin Hannah kick, loved Winter Garden. Happy reading!

Jeannie | Reply 19.03.2018 14.10

Cities are fun but exhausting. Like you the quiet is needed.

Kirke | Reply 28.08.2017 06.12

August snow days! What a fantastic idea! I've been reading Martin Walker's Bruno series set in rural France full or recipes. Yum

Kirke | Reply 17.07.2017 09.13

Like you Marty, neither my heart nor my brain have ever been able to grasp why an adult would humiliate a learner. Slowness and errors are just part of learning

Barbara | Reply 02.07.2017 06.35

Hey, Marti - Found the blog about your dad. Very nice. I have to tell you that Zane Grey is one of my favorites, too. I've read Riders of the Purple Sage 2-3x

Kathy | Reply 18.06.2017 23.27

What a lovely tribute to your dad! And an excellent example of how a father's attention and a shared love of reading can positively impact a child's life.

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Latest comments

10.06 | 12:03

The news Jacquelyn Winespear is on my summer reading list.
Looking forward to another Maise Dobbs

24.12 | 00:28

Always look forward to your weekly blog, Marti ... safe travels this week. Merry Christmas!

01.10 | 16:20

Happy Birthday! I remember when book club started when you turned 50. OMG! 100% agree with political status. So disappointing. Happy Foliage!

27.05 | 23:23

Outraged, too! It is just getting coverage. This government is shameful under this leadership.

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