Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

July Recap: Books and the Bar

It's August and, as promised, I'm back! Ish.

Quick recap: I took the New Jersey bar exam at the end of July. It was killer. I am now ignoring its existence until I get my test results in October-November. :)

Surprisingly, I actually got a bit of fiction reading done during bar prep. Some of them were "reality TV" reads I just needed to get a mindless break, but I read a few of the unread books on my shelf, some OTSP secret sister gifts, and some others that were mostly decent.

I'll be back . . . in August

I just realized I haven't posted anything since May. (I also realized there were a few comments I never replied to because I didn't get the usual email notifications. I'm sorry guys! Blogger has failed me.)

So, I'm checking in to say I'm still alive and . . .

How to Read the Unread Books You Own

Once upon a time, I got almost all my reading material from the library and saved my chore and holiday money to buy a few books I LOVED and would reread again and again. Ah, happy childhood. Then the internet struck, and I realized my library didn't have a lot of books I wanted to read. I was still a cheapskate, but I had jobs, and I knew how to find books cheaply, so...I became something of a collector. *cough dragon-like book hoarder cough*

Which brings us to today:

Basically, I have a ton of unread books on my shelves. This isn't all of them. They were just the easiest to group and take a picture of. It's kind of depressing. I feel really wasteful and unproductive seeing all these books I bought sitting around. They're not totally untouched; my mom routinely raids my collection and has probably read most of these, but the guilt remains.

So, I want to fix this. I'm moving in a few months and, while I'll be able to keep some books in free storage for a while, that's not permanent. In preparation for the inevitable book purge, it's time to find out what's actually worth keeping, and the only way to do that is to read them.

March Adventures: Weddings, Work & the PokeRap

It was another busy month. I did my taxes, went to a couple of lecture events, put in volunteer hours, grabbed ramen with an old high school friend, worked, and then ran down to Florida for my little sister's wedding. I drove down with my folks, was actually in Florida for 1.5 days, and then flew back home.

Yeah, my little sister is officially married. It was a sunrise beach wedding. There were a lot of seagulls. :)

Then I got home, wrote a paper, went back to work and school, binged most of "Cranford" during a snow day, and applied to take the Bar Exam. Duh duh DUH!!

I got a little bit of fun reading done in between all this. One of them was from this month's OTSP Secret Sister package, which rocked a March Monsters theme! The mix CD has the PokeRap. Need I say more?

February Adventures: School, Work and Secret Sisters

February was rough. Adventure #1 was an intensive advanced evidence class that took place over the course of two weekends. The class wasn't bad, but it was Friday through Sunday, combined with pro bono mediation training and tax prep volunteering. And a couple of the clerks at work were out for the February bar exam, so I've been pulling extra hours there too. All told, I was driving up to school or work basically every day this month. I'm ready to have my four-day weekends back. :)

Surprisingly, I still got a little reading done!

Heart of Iron: liked the core, but connection failure

I saw Heart of Iron pitched as Anastasia meets Firefly. Combine that with an entertaining experience with Poston's last book, Geekerella, and I was in. I didn't love this book, but it has a lot of elements I know other readers will enjoy.

This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Series:  #1?
Genres: YA, Sci-fi
Published on February 27, 2018
Published by Balzer + Bray
Final Rating: 2 stars
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

I like the overall concept. Space pirates, missing royalty, evil lurking in the shadows. There's a lot of good stuff there, and the plot was generally interesting.

January Adventures: Scotland, Knitting and Books

The biggest January Adventure was easily my week in Scotland! Technically 5 days, but who's counting? I posted a few of my best photos over on Instagram. Here's a sample:

A post shared by Kel (@kelmpeterson) on

I got two days in Edinburgh, during which I stayed at a hostel, explored, saw a musical, ate tasty food, and climbed up to Arthur's Seat (which was amazing and FREEZING). The other three days went to a tour through the Highlands and the Isle of Skye. It was beautiful and amazing, and I'd love to go back!

In other news . . .

A romance I read because I needed more Scotland

I got back from a whirlwind 5 days in Scotland last week, and I wish I could go back already. (Curse you school!) So, to slake my need for more Scotland (without missing class), I picked up this.

This e-book was provided by the author for review.
Lake of Destiny by Martina Boone
Series: Celtic Legends #1
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Published on April 25, 2017
Published by Mayfair Publishing
Final Rating: 2 stars
A magical Highland romance about men in kilts, destiny, family, healing, and the sometimes twisted path to love by the award-winning author of Compulsion.

Helping her aunt organize a Beltane Festival in a picturesque Highland village seems like the perfect escape from Anna’s second broken engagement and the meltdown that wrecked her legal career. But to succeed, she’ll need to wrangle kilt-wearing villagers, dangerous sheep, a disaster of a dog, and the reclusive laird who refuses to open his property to the public for the ancient tradition of “Sighting.”

For centuries, Loch Fàil in Balwhither has been known to locals as a "thin" place, one where the veil between worlds peels back on Beltane morning to show the face of a person's one true love. The tradition could draw tourists by the busload, but that’s exactly what Connal MacGregor fears will reveal the two secrets he's been desperately keeping hidden.

While Anna struggles to mediate between the needs of the village and Connal’s need to protect his identity and his child, Anna finds herself falling in love with all of them: Connal and his daughter, the magical glen, the villagers. But day by day, opening herself to love exposes deep scars from Anna’s childhood, and confronting those wounds could finally set her free--or endanger her every chance of happiness.
Lake of Destiny will appeal to contemporary readers looking for a light read centered around a sweet romance. I definitely got Highland vibes (and sheep), and there are some great humorous moments toward the beginning.