Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In


, ,

May is coming to an end reading friends–has your TBR pile grown any smaller?

Mine has, incrementally. I’ve been writing a lot again this month, so reading time has been hard to find. But I typed the last words this week, so I’m planning a reading binge to recharge my batteries. At the moment, I’m about halfway through Georgette Heyer’s last novel–a historical fiction piece (rather than one of her famous Regency romances) that centers around John, Duke of Bedford, brother of Henry V. It’s an incomplete manuscript, as Ms. Heyer passed away before finishing it (in fact, it stops mid-sentence), so I’m preparing myself for the lack of closure in this novel. But I’ve enjoyed the first half immensely, and I’m looking forward to the rest!

My Lord John cover

This Week In History: May 25-31


, , , , , , , ,


May 25, 240 BC: First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

May 26, 1879: Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.

May 27, 1703: Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of St. Petersburg.

May 28, 1503: James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married. A Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England signed on that occasion results in a peace that lasts ten years.

May 29, 1886: Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, which appears in the Atlanta Journal.

May 30, 1806: Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickenson in a duel after Dickinson accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.

May 31, 1859: The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.








This Week In History: May 18-24


, , , , , , ,


May 18, 1803: The United Kingdom revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France.

May 19, 1897: Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol.

May 20, 1609: Shakespeare’s sonnets are first published in London by Thomas Thorpe.

May 21, 1502: The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese explorer Jaõa da Nova.

May 22, 1816: A mob in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England riots over high unemployment and rising grain costs.

May 23, 1813: South American independence leader Simon Bolivar enters Mérida and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).

May 24, 1798: The Irish Rebellion of 1798 begins, led by the United Irishmen against British rule.







Friday Favorite: Book Buddies



This week’s favorite combines books, animals, and good solid research (three of my favorite things!). It’s a program called Book Buddies, located at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County (Pennsylvania). Students in grades 1-8 can sign up to come to Berks ARL and read to the cats in the adoption room. The benefits are twofold: students who have reading difficulties get to practice reading books in a non-judgmental, low-stress environment. The kitties get socialization and interaction with the kids, and the rhythm of a voice reading is comforting for the animals. Researchers at Tufts University have studied this relationship, and confirm that it even benefits children with Autism

Berks ARL

credit: Animal Rescue League of Berks County


Click here for more pictures of cute kids cuddling with Berks kitties and books.

Programs like this are becoming more and more popular, so if you’re not near eastern Pennsylvania check in your area to see of there’s a shelter whose animals are in need of a little read aloud :-)

This Week In History: May 11-17


, , , , , , , ,


May 11, 1812: Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London.

May 12, 1821: The first big battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks occurs in Valtetsi.

May 13, 1787: Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth, England with eleven ships full of convicts to establish a penal colony in Australia.

May 14, 1796: Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination.

May 15, 1800: George III survives an assassination attempt by James Hadfield, who is later acquitted by reason of insanity.

May 16, 1770: Fourteen-year-old Marie Antoinette marries fifteen-year-old Louis-Auguste, who later becomes Louis XVI of France.

May 17, 1809: Napoleon orders the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.









Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 268 other followers