Thursday, July 15, 2021

Wayward Cat Book News July 2021


It's hot! hot! hot!
Time for some summer beach reads


Wayward Reads


Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin
"Thirty years ago, Amelia Vaux Tanner and her husband built a house high on the bluffs, a cottage they named Chateau Laveau. For decades, “Ama” played host to American presidents, Wall Street titans, and cultural icons. But her favorite guests have always been her three goddaughters. Ama, now nearing going to give the house to one of them. By the end of summer, old ties will fray, new bonds will be created, and these three found sisters will discover they aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Ama has a few secrets of her own."  Sounds like a great summer read!

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?" Ooh, sounds good!

What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins
"In misty, coastal Washington State, Isaac lives alone with his dog, grieving the recent death of his teenage son, Daniel. Next door, Lorrie, a working single mother, struggles with a heinous act committed by her own teenage son. Separated by only a silvery stretch of trees, the two parents are emotionally stranded, isolated by their great losses—until an unfamiliar sixteen-year-old girl shows up, bridges the gap, and changes everything."  This one sounds great!

It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark
"For the past twenty years, Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run...Brooklyn’s beloved wedding-planning business. When Eliot dies unexpectedly, he even more unexpectedly leaves half of the business to his younger, blonder girlfriend, Savannah. Liv and Savannah are not a match made in heaven, to say the least. But what starts as a personal and professional nightmare transforms into something even savvy, cynical Liv Goldenhorn couldn’t begin to imagine." It's a RomCom

The Siren by Katherine St. John
"In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood's most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself." Sounds fabulous!

Celebrate America with History!

The American War in Afghanistan by Carter Malkasian
"The first authoritative history of American's longest war by one of the world's leading scholar-practitioners." 

Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth by Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford
"Three noted Texan writers combine forces to tell the real story of the Alamo, dispelling the myths, exploring why they had their day for so long, and explaining why the ugly fight about its meaning is now coming to a head." 

The Indispensables: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware by Patrick O'Donnell
"The acclaimed combat historian and author of The Unknowns details the history of the Marbleheaders and their critical role in the Revolutionary War." 

King Richard: Nixon and Watergate: An American Tragedy
 by Michael Dobbs
"Drawing on thousands of hours of newly released taped recordings, Michael Dobbs takes us into the very heart of the conspiracy, recreating these dramatic events in unprecedentedly vivid detail."

*Book descriptions taken from

Okay, time for the shameless plug. Scroll on by for more on words...

Wayward's Mini Reviews

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
Lacking a lot of the humor of the first two books, but still a fun and satisfying read.
My Goodreads rating: 4 stars

The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms
Too much moralizing and too much action-hampering narrative. But enjoyable enough.
My Goodreads rating: 3 stars

The New History of the World by J.M. Roberts
1184 pages of history! What's not to love?
My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Wayward Recommends

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Great story, great characters. A lot of fun to read.
My Goodreads rating: 5 stars

Wayward on Words

I'm still milking my Jeff Kacirk's Forgotten English page-a-day calendar for vocabulary. 

viatorian: belonging to a viator, a traveler. 
exhederate: to disinherit. (From Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850) 
nudation: the act of stripping bare or making nude. (From Latin nudas, naked.)
matriotism: love of one's mother country, or of one's alma mater
sinistrous: Absurd; perverse. (From Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language.)
upknocking: the job of waking mill workers by knocking on their doors or windows. General pay was twopence a head per week. (As opposed to knocking up which had its own rewards.)

Each page in this calendar has a paragraph or two relating to the word of the day. I highly recommend it. 



Wayward Quotes

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

                                                                         – Sam Keen

Florida Crackers

I saw this bee on a gaillardia and took a quick picture before he flew away. It's not the best picture I've ever taken, but I got the bee at least. June 2021




My Books

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Sadly as some old mediaeval knight
Gazed at the arms he could no longer wield,
The sword two-handed and the shining shield
Suspended in the hall, and full in sight,
While secret longings for the lost delight
Of tourney or adventure in the field
Came over him, and tears but half concealed
Trembled and fell upon his beard of white,
So I behold these books upon their shelf,
My ornaments and arms of other days;
Not wholly useless, though no longer used,
For they remind me of my other self,
Younger and stronger, and the pleasant ways
In which I walked, now clouded and confused.

The Surprise at the End!

If only I had opposable thumbs...
This hungry cat was photographed by admiller and made available via Flickr

Thank you for reading!

If you had any trouble with this newsletter, drop me an email at

and tell me about it.

See you next month!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Don't sleep, there are roaches

There are times when I wish I had a cat. This wasn't one of them. I've never had a cat that bothered with roaches. Either I had dumb cats, or they just considered themselves above that sort of thing.
Picture of her cat Doobie by Paula over at flickr

Don't sleep, there are roaches*

Funnily enough, I recently heard a "did you know" kind of clip on the radio and one of the things they mentioned was that in a recent survey, 69% of responders said they couldn't sleep if they knew there was an insect in their house.

Last night at about 11:30, just as I was about to turn out the light, I saw an enormous roach next to my dresser. Oh. My. God.

So, there I was, between my bed and the dresser, trying to get low enough to the floor, and yet reach around to the side of the dresser and over the corner of my night table, to smash him with my shoe. But not so low that when he rushes me I can't get away. Because that's one of the things they love to do. They play all wounded and dead like, until you make your move, and then they chase you around the room.

Well, I got a good smack, but missed the bugger--at least missed the majority of him, because he darted under the dresser. Well, I thought, that's just great. Now there's a roach, not dead, under my dresser. I can't go to sleep now! He'll crawl out and get on the bed and terrorize me. Just the thought of him doing that will terrorize me.

So, I got the Raid and a flashlight. I used the light to peer under the dresser and I found the vile creature in a front corner. I might have missed him if it weren't for his long antenna. Shudder

This was the worst part: I had to get down onto the floor to spray the Raid under the dresser. If he rushed me, I'd scream and flail around, trapped there against the bed. Hubs would wake up and shake his head sadly. "There she goes again," he'd mumble, toss a pillow over his head and go back to sleep.

The first spray came out wonky, mostly onto the carpet. So I sprayed again. Mind you, I couldn't see under the dresser without the flashlight and couldn't hold the flashlight and spray at the same time. So I was spraying into the unknown.

After a good dousing of the front corner without being accosted by said roach, I peered under it once again with the flashlight and...nothing. He was GONE! GONE, I TELL YOU! 

Now what do I do?

Obviously I couldn't go to sleep. If I got him with the spray, he'd come out to die and I might step on him when I get up in the middle of the night to pee or something. Even if I tried to sit up in bed and slip my bedroom shoes on before touching the floor...he could be IN MY SHOES! That was not going to work for me. But worse. Sometimes as they're shuffling off the mortal exoskeleton, the try to climb the wall. And he could climb the wall and end up over my head and drop down on me. 

Or I didn't get him at all and he was just waiting there for me to get into bed, at which point he would seek his revenge.

No. No way was I going to get in that bed, turn out the light, and sleep. So, I grabbed my pillow and went out into the family room to watch television. I watched the first couple of episodes of a show about soccer, I think. They called it football, but it looked like soccer. It was called "The English Game." So, cool. Found another show to watch.

Anyway, at about 1:00 a.m. I was finally sleepy enough to give it a go. I'd checked the area a few times, lighting up the room as much as I dared while hubs was sleeping, looking for the dastardly devil. Finally, I decided that if he hadn't climbed the walls yet, or come out to go belly up, he was probably going to stay where he was for the night.

After all, I reasoned, I live in Florida. There are roaches and bugs everywhere. And yes, even sometimes in the house. We usually only see them after a good de-bugging when they come out to slowly die. This one did look a bit peaked. 

So, I did it. I went to sleep with a roach in the room. And as far as I know, he didn't get on me while I slept. And that's about as much as a Floridian can hope for.

Of course, it's still there, somewhere. Probably in my bra drawer. The battle continues...

*The title is a parody of Don't Sleep, There are Snakes by Daniel L. Everett, a book on my shelf that I have yet to read. Maybe I'll read it after I finish The New History of the World by J.M. Roberts.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wayward Cat Book News June 2021

Summer has officially arrived! Time for some summer reading.

In This Issue:

Wayward Reads (books! books! books!)
Wayward's Shameless Plug 
Wayward's Mini Reviews 
Wayward on Words
Wayward Quotes
Florida Crackers (we're all a bit nuts here)
Wayward Links
The Surprise at the End!

Wayward Reads


Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
"Malibu: August 1983. Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party...anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface." From the author of Daisy Jones & the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo which I gave four stars each. I'm in!

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
"For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train. August’s subway crush, Jane, becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all." This one sounds magical!

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
"Evie Thomas doesn't believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began...and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually. As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it's that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?" From the author of The Sun is Also a Star. While it sounds sweet, I'm going to pass.

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi
"Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her heart—It’s broken. Shadi tries to navigate her crumbling world by soldiering through, saying nothing. She devours her own pain, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes. She explodes. A searing look into the world of a single Muslim family in the wake of 9/11." This sounds like my kind of book...when I'm in a certain mood. Let's see if the price comes down a bit before I take the plunge.

For the Wolf
by Hannah Whitten
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose—to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he'll return the world's captured gods. Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can't control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can't hurt those she loves. Again. But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn't learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood—and her world—whole." Ooh, this one sounds fabulous. And it's book one in a series! Plenty of great reading.

Ready for a great Memoir?

Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness by Stephen Hinshaw
"Families are riddled with untold secrets. But Stephen Hinshaw never imagined that a profound secret was kept under lock and key for 18 years within his family—that his father’s mysterious absences, for months at a time, resulted from serious mental illness and involuntary hospitalizations. From the moment his father revealed the truth, during Hinshaw’s first spring break from college, he knew his life would change forever." This sounds like an important and gripping read!

Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined by Jona Frank
"...a multimedia memoir of photographic artist Jona Frank's upbringing in--and flight from--a stifling suburban household. Told in words and evocative photographs, Frank's account of her childhood struggles with a repressive mother, mentally ill brother, and overwhelming expectations is leavened with episodes from her rich interior world." Veeery interesting. Photographs, poetry, and prose. Looks cool.

An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir by Ariel Leve
"Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as 'a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.' Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsy-turvy world of conditional love?" Having been raised by a covert narcissist, I can answer that question. Sounds like a great read.

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness
 by Elyn R. Saks
"[T]he eloquent, moving story of Elyn's life, from the first time that she heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, to attempted suicides in college, through learning to live on her own as an adult in an often terrifying world. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others), as well as the incredibly difficult obstacles she overcame to become a highly respected professional. This beautifully written memoir is destined to become a classic in its genre." Wow. This sounds like a very difficult read. 

(All book descriptions are quoted from Amazon.)

For more on books and reading, check out the Wayward Cat Publishing Facebook Page.

Okay, time for the shameless plug. Scroll on by for more on words... 

Bookish Meets Boy
by Dianna Dann

For more ebook buying options, visit 

Wayward's Mini Reviews

Heart Spring Mountain by Robin MacArthur
A missing mother, family secrets revealed, quirky characters. This was beautifully written, but on the dull side much of the time. I skimmed a lot. I got the distinct feeling at one point that the author read The Grapes of Wrath as a teen and just had to have "a scene like that" in her own story. 
My Goodreads rating: 3 stars
The Puma Years: A Memoir of Love and Transformation in the Bolivian Jungle by Laura Coleman
A wildlife rescue with, among other animals, big cats in the middle of the jungle. Imagine walking a puma! I thought it was boring in certain parts, but it has stayed with me. This was quite an amazing time in the author's life and after living through it with her, I feel inadequate--I could never do what she did. I applaud her.
My Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Sand by Hugh Howey
A post apocalyptic world covered in sand. Thrilling, engaging, and not a boring moment in it. 
My Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Wayward Recommends

The Tent, the Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy
After watching the first and only season of The Kennedy's, I had to have more. This was ridiculously hilarious. and apparently all true. 
My Goodreads rating: 5 stars

Wayward on Words

More crazy words from my page-a-day Forgotten English calendar by Jeff Kacirk.

Grimgribber: A lawyer, the technical jargon used by a lawyer. From James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855.

Tillyvally: A word used formerly when anything said was rejected as impertinent. As in "Tillyvally, dude, that's nonsense." 

Clish-ma-claver: Silly talk; nonsense. From William Patterson's Glossary of the Counties of Antrim and Down, 1880.

Blutterbunged: Sharooshed, taken aback, surprised; disappointed, disgusted. From Harold Wentworth's American Dialect Dictionary, 1944

Rackapelterly: Riotous; noisy. From Edward Peacock's Glossary of Words Used in Corringham, Lincolnshire, 1877. There's a whole dictionary of words used in Corringham, Lincolnshire!

For more explanations of these words with related historical info, get the calendar! It's fabulous. 

Wayward Quotes

Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Florida Crackers

People rarely think of vultures as beautiful birds. And while I suppose I wouldn't use that word, I do find them adorable in their way. They bound around clumsily on the ground and hunch like teenagers when they sit. But look at this guy soaring, as majestic as an eagle! May 2021


A Song

By Michael Earls

(For John McCormack)

June of the trees in glory,
June of the meadows gay!
O, and it works a story
To tell an October day.
Blooms of the apple and cherry
Toil for the far-off hours;
Never is idleness merry,
In song of the garden bowers.
Brooks to the sea from mountains,
Yea, and from field and vine:
Rain and the sun are fountains
That gather for wheat and wine.
Cellar and loft shall glory,
Table and hearth shall praise,
Hearing October's story
Of June and the merry days.

Wayward Links

The Surprise at the End!

This adorable kitty was photographed by Allen Watkin 
and the picture made available via Flickr 

Thank you for reading Wayward Cat Book News!
If you had any trouble with this newsletter, drop me an email at
and tell me about it.
See you next month!

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