On The Night Stand – January 2018


Let’s get this ball rolling!  In order to hit all of the prompts for my reading challenge, I need to get through almost a book a week  I have to admit that I will cheat and listen to audio books when possible.  I spend a fair amount of time in the car because of The Day Job and I like to listen to books anyways.

I’m going to start with the first prompt which is a book that was made into a movie that I’ve already seen.  I tend to shy away from movies if I’ve read the book, but I’m doing this one backwards.  It has mixed reviews as a book.  It should be interesting.

From the Lauren Weiseberger website:
The Devil Wears Prada gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to plaints about “The Boss from Hell”. Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antiques store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night—with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea beings to realize that the job a millions girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not it’s worth the price of her soul.

I’m going to start with a novel based on a real person.

UPDATE:  I finished this one on 01.02.2018.  One book down!  I love the movie enough that I’ve watched it over and over during the years since its release.  I have to admit that I enjoyed the book just as much.  But, I wonder if I would have enjoyed one so much without the other?

The second prompt is a true crime book.  I’ve chosen The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer.


The Executioner’s Song


Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and unforgettable classic about convicted killer Gary Gilmore now in a brand-new edition.

Arguably the greatest book from America’s most heroically ambitious writer, THE EXECUTIONER’S SONG follows the short, blighted life of Gary Gilmore who became famous after he robbed two men in 1976 and killed them in cold blood. After being tried and convicted, he immediately insisted on being executed for his crime. To do so, he fought a system that seemed intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death. And that fight for the right to die is what made him famous.

Mailer tells not only Gilmore’s story, but those of the men and women caught in the web of his life and drawn into his procession toward the firing squad. All with implacable authority, steely compassion, and a restraint that evokes the parched landscape and stern theology of Gilmore’s Utah. THE EXECUTIONER’S SONG is a trip down the wrong side of the tracks to the deepest source of American loneliness and violence. It is a towering achievement-impossible to put down, impossible to forget.

The next book in a series that I’ve started is the third prompt.  I’ve chosen Revenge Wears Prada:  The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger.


Revenge Wears Prada:  The Devil Returns


With brand-new scenes, The New York Times bestseller and sequel you’ve been waiting for—the follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Devil Wears Prada!

Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine—a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a high end bridal magazine, The Plunge, which has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart’s content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy can’t shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing—not her husband, nor her beloved career—is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago—and directly into the path of the devil herself…Featuring all new scenes with the villainess we love to hate (hate to love?), Miranda Priestly, Revenge Wears Prada in paperback is another publishing event!

The fourth prompt is a book involving a heist.  I chose Heist Society by Ally Carter.


Heist Society


For as long as she can remember, Katarina has been a part of the family business—thieving. When Kat tries to leave “the life” for a normal life, her old friend Hale conspires to bring her back into the fold. Why? A mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and Kat’s father is the only suspect. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

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Want to hang out together on goodreads?  You can find me here!
Peace, Love & Momentum!
Hoosier Barn Chick


The Dead Zone & Bacon

breakfast-meat-roll-lettuceWe’re officially in what I call The Dead Zone.  Yesterday I finished up The Day Job for 2017.  I won’t be going back until 01.03.2018.  Kind of weird.

So, with the major holidays over (we’re too old to do much for New Year’s Eve), I have four whole days that are just mine.  No rushing around to do any special shopping, no social obligations . . . just peace and quiet.  Well, other than the fact that it’s still deer season.  But even that is winding down.

What to do with these four days?  I think Daisy Doodle needs to start some serious training.  So far I’ve only worked on trying to get her to NOT jump on people.  It’s a work in progress.  And, I can now get her to go straight into her crate because she knows treats are given when she goes in it.  “Sit” is hit and miss with her.  I really need to start training her on the invisible fence.  I’m sure she’ll love exploring the yard without me always watching over her.  We play a lot together, but she needs to explore on her own too.

My 2018 reading list is planned.  I only have one prompt not nailed down.  That’s because it’s a book published in 2018 . . . and obviously we aren’t there yet.

For now, I’ll just get some general chores done around the house and enjoy all of the quiet time.

I might have to have some bacon today too.  It IS National Bacon day (started in 1997) after all.

Peace, Love & Rest

Hoosier Barn Chick

Read With Me (Sort Of) in 2018



Is it really almost 2018 already?  Well, I guess with a new month and a new year comes a new book!

While browsing lists of books every adult should read, I found that I had already read so many of them.  That’s the problem when you are not a people person and you like to read.

But, upon further digging, I found a reading challenge list from http://www.popsugar.com that really struck me as something new and different.  Instead of specific titles, they give you prompts as to how to choose what you read.  There is a challenge list and an advanced challenge list.  Being nerdy, I looked at the advanced one first and decided it wasn’t for me this year.  I’ll start with the basic one this year.

As I was preparing my list, I also discovered a list from http://www.popsugar.com that includes books that are being made into movies.

I’ve decided that I will combine the two lists whenever possible and also (hopefully) finish both lists.  For the past few days, I’ve been working hard to match the prompts up with books.  I can’t wait to get started!

Want to follow along with me on goodreads?  You can find me here!

Peace, Love & Adventures In Reading!

Hoosier Barn Chick

Small Town Murder – Tipton Couty

pexels-photo-733614Following along with my recent interest in crimes that happened in places that I’ve lived, I’ve found an interesting case that also happened in Tipton, Indiana.

In late August 1942 (long before I was born), a 36 year-old Mexican migrant worker (Nestor Rios Vargas) was in Tipton working the tomato crop.  For those not familiar with this, migrant workers frequently travelled with the crops to harvest them in order to have work.  Tipton and the surrounding area was known for its tomato harvest which was a staple for the tomato product companies in the area.  I remember growing up and knowing it was fall when you could smell the tomato products being made in the factories.

Back to Vargas.  Apparently Vargas and another man got into a disagreement and went outside of the tavern they were in to settle it.  This is in question.  Some accounts say that Vargas simply left the tavern and was accosted by Gerald Glen Grose (a 25 year-old Tipton County resident) .  During the “brawl”, Vargas was knocked down, his head struck an iron gate and he never regained consciousness.  He died in early September 1942.  Although I can find that the tavern owner was Everett Stout, I can’t find the name of the tavern anywhere.  Having lived in Tipton for a good portion of my life, and reading that Vargas was struck outside of the Diana Theater near Jefferson and Independence Streets, I have speculated that it might have been the Tic-Toc Tavern.  This bar has long since gone out of business.  I think it was closed when I was still living there.

The idea that someone working hard to make a living came to a violent death by a local is bad enough.  However, a whole different can of worms opened up upon his death.  It had to do with citizenship.  Some relatives reported that, although Vargas had been born in Mexico, he had become a U.S. citizen in 1913.  Other members of his family said that he had never gained U.S. citizenship.

The family members contacted the Mexican Consulate’s Office in Chicago, Illinois in order to gain help in investigating the incident.  I didn’t find anything where the Consulate helped the family.  Grose was originally put in jail for assault and battery.  Upon Vargas’ death, his charge was changed to manslaughter.  Grose refused to cooperate in the investigation.

The trial was moved from Tipton County to the nearby Howard County and started in May 1943.  Grose claimed that he was only acting in self-defense.  Witnesses for the prosecution said that Vargas had tried to leave the bar without fighting but that Grose had followed him out and assaulted him.

The trial lasted only three days.  Deliberation lasted 10 minutes and Grose was acquitted of all charges.

Vargas was buried in the local “Catholic cemetery” known as St. Joseph’s cemetery.  I’m assuming that the family did not have money to send his remains back to Mexico to be buried there.

Again, a sad story that seems to say that justice isn’t always served.  Unfortunately, I was not able to find any photos to go with this story.

Peace, Love & Mysteries

Hoosier Barn Chick