Tag: Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Awesome Nonfiction Audiobooks

Posted 13 September, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 17 Comments

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Ten Awesome Nonfiction Audiobooks


Want to hear a secret? I love listening to nonfiction on audio. It’s my favorite way to digest the genre. The other part of this secret is that I prefer listening to nonfiction than fiction books on audio.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (from The Broke and the Bookish) is Top Ten All Time Favorite Books of X Genre. Gah it’s so tough to break down favorites, isn’t it? I’ve shared some of my favorite reads from the past five-ish years, so I didn’t want to focus on fiction books. I’ve also shared some great gateway nonfiction reads, gateway graphic novels, gateway audiobooks. Hmmm–for someone who doesn’t like to name favorites, maybe I need to do a round-up post with all my Best Of lists I’ve created over the years.

Whenever someone says they aren’t fans of audiobooks, I always recommend listening to nonfiction rather than trying to digest fiction. I have a tendency to tune out audiobooks on occasion and I find that nonfiction is much more forgiving than fiction. There aren’t large sweeping plot points to miss and I generally don’t have to keep up with quite so many characters. My only regret with listening to nonfiction rather than reading it is the inability to highlight and mark passages easily!

It was hard to choose favorites but these are two books you won’t regret choosing audio over paper.

Ten Awesome Nonfiction Audiobooks

Awesome Nonfiction Audiobooks

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (narrated by Edward Herrmann) – Maybe you’ve read this one, maybe you just saw the movie, or maybe you’re only familiar of the story of Louis Zamperini’s remarkable experiences during WWII as a Japanese prisoner of war. Even if you’ve read it, listen to the audio. Herrmann’s narration is incredibly emotional and affecting. More of my thoughts on Unbroken.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler – Or as I like to call it: Yes, Please!! I listened to Poehler’s memoir before I was familiar with Park and Recreation (which I now love!) and without having seen too many of her skits on Saturday Night Live, but I adored her thoughts on being a woman, a mother, a person. Not only is she funny, but she’s also relateable. More of my thoughts on Yes Please.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson – You can’t go wrong with any Bill Bryson on audio, though I definitely enjoy when Bryson narrates his own stories. His humor is dry and sometimes a little haughty, but there’s always something so pleasing about taking a journey with Bryson. We enjoyed taking a trip to Australia via In a Sunburned Country and learned so much about this strange and wonderful place down under. More of my thoughts on In a Sunburned Country.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain – So many of these audiobook choices are narrated by the authors and sometimes that can backfire in a bad way (I’ll never forgive Donna Tartt for narrating The Secret History herself), but Bourdain knows how to tell a story and I loved listening to his gossipy tales from the New York kitchens where he first made his mark. Note: never order the Monday special! More of my thoughts on Kitchen Confidential.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – After the hardcover sat on our bookshelf for years and years, I finally opted for the audiobook version of The Happiness Project. I loved listening to Rubin talk about her different projects and felt I could relate to her on so many different levels. I’m glad I opted for the audio rather than paper (but was grateful to have the paper to refer to). I looked for excuses all over for extra time to listen.


Awesome Nonfiction Audiobooks

No Land’s Man by Aasif Mandvi – I jumped into No Land’s Man purely based on recommendation as I had only vaguely heard of Aasif Mandvi prior to picking up the book. I so enjoyed this short little memoir about Mandvi trying to fit in while still feeling the outsider in all of the places he’s lived. There were several funny moments, and Mandvi is great at self-deprecating humor, but there was also a lot of heart as well. More of my thoughts on No Land’s Man.

Quiet by Susan Cain (narrated by Kathe Mazur) – While I’m not sure I always agreed 100% with what Susan Cain discussed regarding Introverts in her book Quiet, I found so many aspects so fascinating. The more I understand about introversion, I feel I understand more about myself. I fear that if I had read Quiet, though, rather than listened, I probably would have fizzled out and not have gotten through the book quite as easily. More of my thoughts on Quiet.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen (narrated by Scott Brick) – Corn corn corn. Michael Pollen changed the way that I look at ingredients in food with his discussion of corn in it’s prevalence in our food industry in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Sure some of the listening was a bit uncomfortable but it was entirely eye-opening and I’ve been collecting Pollen’s books ever since. Plus Scott Brick is an ace narrator. More of my thoughts on The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Stiff by Mary Roach (narrated by Shelly Frasier) – Ahem, not to follow up food with dead bodies, but I had to include Mary Roach on this list somehow. While I’ve also read Gulp (about digestion) and Packing for Mars (about space), Stiff is still my favorite by her. Who knew cadavers could be so interesting! More of my thoughts on Stiff.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (narrated by Cassandra Campbell) – I really should mention Bahni Turpin as well as she co-narrates as Henrietta Lacks’s daughter in the book and does such a fantastic job bringing the story to life (she’s also great in The Help and Bad Feminist). The story of HeLa cells is fascinating and thought-provoking, but it’s also hard to remember that there was a woman behind all of the science. I’ve listened to this audiobook twice and would do it again. More of my thoughts on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Are you a nonfiction audiobook junkie like I am? What are some of your favorites? Any of these sound appealing?




10 Bingeworthy TV Shows

Posted 6 September, 2016 by Trish in Life / 28 Comments

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Bingeworthy TV Shows

image credit: Paris on Ponce & Le Maison Rouge

Fall is right around the corner! At least to those of you who live a little more north than I do. We’re still firmly in the 90 degree weather, but I’ve seen a handful of turned leaves pictures in the past week. You lucky ducks…

With the arrival of Fall also comes new seasons of shows on TV. Truth be told, I haven’t watched a new fall show in years. I look forward to Outlander when it finally makes it’s appearance, but for the past several years all of my TV watching has come in the form of “backlist” shows that I can binge.

The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday theme for today is all about TV shows and I’m sharing 10 shows that my husband and I loved bingeing.

Ten Bingeworthy TV Shows


A plane crashes on an uncharted island and a whole lot of weird happens. While some of the weird was a bit too weird, I loved the characters and the way they developed throughout the show. I still miss them and would love to watch this one again in the future.


A badass female spy? Yes please! Sydney Bristow certainly fits the bill and all of her disguises were fun to watch. While the show is a bit formulaic in the beginning, the later seasons are stronger and my crush on Vaughn only continued to grow.

Gilmore Girls

I missed the Gilmore Girls boat when it first aired years ago, but even Scott got swept up in this mother/daughter dramedy. Yes, super cheesy at times but even the supporting cast was fun to watch. And major heart eyes for Luke.

Breaking Bad

This might be the first show that I truly binge-watched where I realized that having access to all the shows at once might not be a good thing. So incredibly addicting–even when you want to look away. And there were definitely times that I had to look away. I was grateful when after five seasons I could finally exhale.


I have a thing for westerns and Deadwood, based loosely on actual events and people in 1800s South Dakota, definitely fit the bill for me. Including a bit of a crush on Seth Bollock. If you’re noticing a theme here, you’re likely right. Cut short after three seasons, fans are continually teased with a continuation.

The Wire

This show based on Balitmore’s police department and large drug-running gangs is our most recent binge-watch. Apparently The Wire is a sleeper hit that never really took off when it was originally on the air, but the acting is superb and the script is smart. Sometimes the plot was slow but it was amazing to watch everything unravel (and knit back together).

Orange is the New Black

OITNB is the odd one out of the group as it isn’t a show that is over yet but I just can’t resist these women. We just finished Season 4 yesterday and I was left in tears and outrage. While it’s often debated whether OITNB is a comedy or drama, it’s an important piece that shows the humanity behind those incarcerated.

The X-Files

Oh Scully and Mulder. How do I love thee. I watched this cult classic when it first aired in the 90s but eventually lost touch when the politics and conspiracy was too much for my teenaged brain to be interested in. While the first season is very campy and the middle is way conspiratorial, the relationship between agents Scully and Mulder as they investigate the occult and paranormal can’t be beat.

30 Rock

Liz Lemon. My soul mate.


Another spy show with a lot of heart–Chuck is the nerdiest of nerds who is implanted with a database that gives him access to criminal intel. While I didn’t watch the show religiously, I did watch many episodes with Scott through his two watches (when it originally aired and again this summer). By the end of the show, I’ve grown so attached to the characters and there might have even been a few tears. I would love a reboot!


There are several shows that we want to binge on but I refuse to start until the shows have finished. There have been many that we’ve started and caught up to real time and then lost interest as we have to wait week to week. Apparently bingeing has made us impatient! I’m especially looking forward to The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. One day.

Are you a binge watcher or do you prefer watching TV as it comes out? What are your favorite shows to binge?



Ten Books Set in Texas

Posted 17 August, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 20 Comments


Ten Books Set in TexasNon-native Texans always joke that they might not have been born here, but they got here as fast as they could. 26 years ago my family moved from Toronto to Texas and I’m not sure I could consider anywhere else home. I love this state–for all of its faults. Texas seems to be such a bold state and many of the books I’ve included below are quintessentially Texan.

I missed this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish), but the topic is Books with X Setting. I played around with books not set in our world (Discworld!) or books set after an apocalypse, but then decided to look to my own state for inspiration since Lonesome Dove is the book I vowed to read this year.

Ten Books Set in Texas

Texas Books 1


11/22/63 by Stephen King – While King’s books are generally set in Maine, this favorite of mine is set in my own big city (Dallas). There’s lots of history in 11/22/63, but besides that it’s just a damn good story. A must read! Amazon | Goodreads

The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing, All the Pretty Horses, Cities of the Plain) – Many of McCarthy’s books are set in Texas and the outcome of these stories is often as bleak as the landscape of West Texas. One could argue that the landscape in the Border Trilogy plays as big of a roll as any of the characters.  Amazon | Goodreads

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – Cowboys cowboys cowboys. So very Texan. Even today (I married one). Amazon | Goodreads

Borderlands / La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua – The border between Mexico and Texas plays a huge role in the lives of so many on both sides. In this collection of poems/prose, Anzaldua discusses identity and how borders are blurred in all aspects of life. Amazon | Goodreads

You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon – Fort Hood is one of the largest army bases in the United States and is smack in the middle of Texas. In Fallon’s collection of interconnected short stories, she highlights life for the women on the base, particularly when their men have gone on tour overseas. Amazon | Goodreads


Texas Books 2

Ride the Wind by Lucia St Clair Robson – Although this story is fictionalized, it tells of Cynthia Ann Parker who was kidnapped by Comanches in the 1830s, married to one of the chiefs, and mothered Quanah Parker (one of the last Comanche cheiftons). I loved this book. Amazon | Goodreads

Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros – Another look at border life, through short stories, from one of the leading Chicana authors (you know her from The House on Mango Street).  Amazon | Goodreads

Texas by James A. Michener – Ha! Truthfully I haven’t been able to get through this slog of a saga yet, but how could ignore a book titled Texas? One day I’ll get through this huge tome on my shelves.  Amazon | Goodreads

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger – The year that my baby brother went to college was the first year that I hadn’t attended football games in decades. Friday Night Lights refers to the lights that shine down on high school football–the game that is king in Texas. Nonfiction. Amazon | Goodreads

In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel – I’ve covered west Texas, the border, and Dallas, so that leaves us with east Texas where the land is swampy and the air thick as butter. The atmosphere of In the Midnight Rain plays a huge part of the mysterious, romancy story. Amazon | Goodreads

Sadly enough, I haven’t read all of the books on this list though I own them all. Since making my list, I’ve also discovered books like Holes and Giant that seem to be must reads when it comes to Texas. This makes me feel like a bad Texan and I’m definitely making a list to amend my bad ways.

What books come to mind when you think of Texas?



Books From Around the World

Posted 19 July, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 28 Comments

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10 Books from Around the World

Reading books from around the world is something I love to focus on. I love traveling to different countries via books and seeing the world through other’s eyes. Sadly over the past couple of years, though, I haven’t been paying as much attention to where I’m reading nor where the authors I’m reading are from. This means that while my reading is still fairly diverse, the books I’ve been reading have been mostly set in the United States and the UK.

Today the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish are asking for our favorite books that aren’t set in the US. I took this one step further and am sharing books set abroad by authors who are not from the US. This means I had to leave out some of my favorites–The Poisonwood Bible (Congo), Maus (Poland), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Dominican Republic)–but hopefully you can find something on the list to diversify your reading list.

Books From Around the World

Books Around the World

The Bone People by Keri Hulme (New Zealand) – A beautiful and tender story about the tenuous relationship between an outcast woman, an orphaned boy, and a haunted man.  Hulme focuses on the Maori culture and the way that the indiginous people are margionalized in New Zealand. A touching read. On Goodreads

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (India) – Set in 1960s India, The God of Small Things centers around young twins and an Untouchable whom they both love dearly despite “love laws.” While this wasn’t the easiests of reads, it gripped me while reading it and has had a lasting impact on me. More of my thoughts | On Goodreads

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (Canada) – I feel a bit of a cheat including a book set in Canada in this list, but I love Atwood’s books set in Toronto which make me nostalgic for the years that I lived there when I was young. The Blind Assassin is part mystery, part science fiction, but entirely engrossing. On Goodreads

I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached (Lebanon) – This graphic memoir shows what life was like during the Lebanese Civil War through the eyes of a child. I loved the black and white illustrations, but what struck me was seeing the everyday juxtaposed with a wartorn country. More of my thoughts |  On Goodreads

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (Ukraine) – Partly set in the UK and partly set in Ukraine, I learned so much about wartime and peacetime life through Lewycka’s quirkly little book. A Short History is full of colorful characters and is a gem of a book. More of my thoughts  | On Goodreads


Books Around the World

Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata (Japan) – The book that made me put Seeing the Cherry Blossoms in Japan on my bucket list. While the book details a love affair, the descriptions of the Japanese countryside and culture were unforgettable. More of my thoughts | On Goodreads

My Father’s Paradise by Ariel Sabar (Iraq) – I’m breaking my “authors not from the US” with this selection, but I wanted to include Sabar’s memoir/biography/history of searching for his Jewish roots in Kurdish Iraq. Certainly when we think of Iraq, we don’t automatically think of the Jewish faith, but reading Sabar’s book brought to light so many things about the country and religion. More of my thoughts | On Goodreads

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (Chile) – One of those sweeping South American family sagas with all of the magical realism. No but really–a great multi-generational story that will make any soap opera look tame. I read this one over a decade ago and some of the scenes are still so vivid in my memory. On Goodreads

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Mexico) – Admittedly I didn’t love this little love story set in Mexico, but so many people rave about it that I’ve kept it on my shelf for a re-read one day. Do you do that? Plan to read a book you didn’t love the first time to see if you like it better the second? Sigh. More of my thoughts | On Goodreads

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria) – Another book set in the 1960s, this time during the Nigerian-Baifran war. A war I didn’t realize happened and a country I didn’t realize existed (Biafra) until I read this book. Half of a Yellow Sun is a character study and one that I would love to revisit. You know, right after I read Adichie’s other books first! More of my thoughts | On Goodreads

Coming up with this list made me realize how much I miss reading the world.

Which books set outside of the US by international authors do I need to add to my reading list? I’d love to hear your recommendations.



Ten Random Facts About Me Right Now

Ten Random Facts About Me Right Now

Hi guys! I’ve been wanting to write some rambly style posts for a while but time always seems to get away from me. Yes on Wednesday through Friday each week I’m at home alone with the babe and she usually naps for two to three hours during the day, but I have no idea what happens during that time! Of course, if I’m honest, it usually takes me several hours to churn out a single […]

Posted 12 July, 2016 by Trish in Life / 34 Comments

How to Fit Audiobooks Into Your Day

How to Fit Audiobooks Into Your Day

Did you know that June is Audiobook Month? I can’t believe I let the entire month go by before mentioning this, but since there are still three days (including this one) left, here we go! When I first started listening to audiobooks, my listening was limited to my 45-60 minute commute to and from work. If I was listening to a particularly good book when I got home, it wasn’t unusual for me to sit […]

Posted 28 June, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 32 Comments

Ten E-Books I Couldn’t Resist

Ten E-Books I Couldn’t Resist

  Guilty! I’m absolutely guilty of buying ebooks on whim, especially if they are on Kindle daily deal (I used to subscribe to the Barnes and Noble daily deals as well but after my Nook battery exploded I haven’t read any Nook books). Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) is books we picked up on a whim. While I often buy books I know nothing about, I rarely buy […]

Posted 17 May, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 19 Comments

Ten Websites I Love [That Aren’t About Books]

Ten Websites I Love [That Aren’t About Books]

  My feed reader is bursting full of awesome book blogs–one day I assume that my baby will nap and I’ll actually get to read some of them again. Snort. Though most of the blogs I read are bookish in nature, I also have folders for cooking, quilting, and the miscellaneous. When I saw that The Broke and the Bookish was asking for Top Ten Nonbookish Websites for today’s meme, I started compiling a list […]

Posted 10 May, 2016 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 21 Comments

Books to Look Forward to this Fall

Books to Look Forward to this Fall

You guys would probably throw tomatoes at me if I started waxing poetic about fall again, huh? But you know–we’re still in the 90s everyday and all I dream about is a crisp autumn day where I can pull out a scarf and drink a hot coffee without developing beads of sweat above my lip. Ha!! Even without the cool weather, there is LOTS to look forward to this fall in terms of books. At […]

Posted 22 September, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 32 Comments

College Literature Seminars that Rock!

College Literature Seminars that Rock!

Has school started in your neck of the woods? Our kiddos started yesterday which made getting to work a maze of school zones and speed traps. I always take the summer traffic for granted until it’s gone! While both of the girls are in school every day year round, Elle officially started junior kindergarten and Evie moved up to the 2-2.5 year old class. Crazy to think that this time next year I’ll have one […]

Posted 25 August, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 18 Comments