Book Review #37: “The Unknown and Impossible: How a research facility in Virginia mastered the air and conquered space”

The Unknown and Impossible

Image Credit: Amazon

“I am proud to be part of a species where a subset of its members willingly put their lives at risk to push the boundaries of our existence.”

~ Neil deGrasse Tyson


Mike Holtzclaw is a good friend of mine from church and our blood drives. This year, he’s also a co-author of this amazing book. He, along with Tamara Dietrich, and Mark St. John Erickson, are all employees with the Daily Press. All part of the News division, Dietrich is the Senior Reporter – Science and Environment, Holtzclaw is a Senior Reporter, and Erickson is the Senior Reporter – History.

Mike took to Facebook a while back to make the announcement that the book was being published. I immediately went to Amazon and pre-ordered it. I was impressed – It arrived earlier than expected!

Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop! Having worked for the student newspaper of Longwood University, The Rotunda, I immediately recognized the vast amount of research, interviews, and collaboration that went into writing this book!

It’s such a quick read, but it’s jam-packed with over 100 years of history, and a look into our future. I thought I knew a lot about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Langley, but boy, was I wrong!

It’s fitting they published the book during the 100th anniversary of Langley Research Center, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Virginia Air & Space Center (The NASA Langley Visitor Center), both located in Hampton, Virginia. I remember taking many trips to the Air & Space Center as a kid, having grown up across the water in Chesapeake. I was always in awe of the exhibits and the history there. However, this book has helped me truly understand how significant Langley has been to the development of the space program, training the astronauts, and making both aviation and space travel better.

If you haven’t seen Hidden Figures, just do it. It’s not only an impressive movie, but it also shines a nice spotlight on both Hampton and Langley. I want to read Margot Lee Shetterly’s book as well. Katherine Johnson is one of the many profiles in the book, and she’s 98 years old!

I greatly appreciated the dedication to historical accuracy – The authors clearly demonstrated that. They used a vast array of sources, resources, and interviews. Thanks to their work, I now have a much better appreciation of Hampton as a city, and this great research facility that started out so small, and unappreciated. I always smile when I see the NASA logo directing people to Langley on Interstate 64 West on my way to work every weekday!

In addition to historical accuracy, I loved seeing all the photos! I loved how they were set within the text, and each one of them added something to the words on the page. Plus, the profiles of the pioneering people at the end of every chapter was really awesome to see and read, recognizing their talents and contributions from 1917 forward.

If you want to learn about how NASA came out of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), how a tiny corner of southeastern Virginia was one of the first places to pursue and develop groundbreaking research in aviation, how aviation development gave way to the space program, and what the future may behold – Absolutely, definitely read this book.

It’s a refreshing, fascinating read about 100 years that truly shaped our skies, our planet, and our future. Here’s to leaving more footprints on the moon, Mars, and more.

5 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Awesome Authors #5: Margaret Mitchell

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Image Credit: Relatably.com

Another Awesome Author that I was recently thinking about was Margaret Mitchell.

Confession time: I have never read Gone With The Wind all the way through. I attempted several times in middle school (mainly for the massive amount of AR points!), but never accomplished it. However, it’s on my TBR, and I’m absolutely determined to read it before 2017 ends.

Having never fully read the book also means that I’ve never seen the movie. That’s another goal of mine, but that will only happen after I finish the book.


Learning about Mitchell’s life was simply fascinating, having not known much past writing Gone With The Wind.

Born in 1900, she started writing and illustrating stories from a very early age. Her mother kept many of them, and several boxes of stories were still in the house when Mitchell left for college. She was a very imaginative child, making up fairy tales, cowboys and Indians stories, and more.

Starting in 1922, she wrote feature articles for The Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. Although her journalism career was short-lived due to a persistent ankle injury, she wrote 129 feature articles, 85 news stories, and several book reviews in the span of four years.

Her husband, John Marsh, was part of the inspiration for Mitchell (known as Peggy by then) to write Gone With The Wind. Having left journalism due to her ankle injury, John grew tired of constantly lugging books back and forth from their house to the library, and finally said to her,

“For God’s sake, Peggy, can’t you write a book instead of reading thousands of them?”


Sadly, Mitchell’s life was dramatically cut short. She died at age 48 when she was hit by a speeding car while crossing the street with her husband in Atlanta. She never fully regained consciousness. The driver was eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and served 11 months in jail.


While she is best known for Gone With The Wind, I wanted to highlight a few more of Mitchell’s works. Incredibly, she destroyed some of her manuscripts herself, and others were destroyed after she died!

Lost Laysen (completed 1916, published 1996)

Lost Laysen

Image Credit: Amazon

Reading about this novella was amazing! I definitely want to read it, if I can find it. I’m so glad it was published, even though it took 80 years.

The Big Four (never published)

As a teenager, Mitchell wrote The Big Four, a 400-page novel about girls in a boarding school. At this point, it is thought to be lost. This makes me sad – It sounds like an intriguing story.

Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell (2010)

Before Scarlett

Image Credit: Amazon

This book is a collection of 28 of Mitchell’s early writings. The description on Amazon sounds so intriguing. It makes me think of me, in a way, when I wrote stories as a child. I’m considering adding this one to my TBR – I hope my library has it!


I leave you with this inspirational quote from the author herself:

“I had every detail clear in my mind before I sat down to the typewriter.”


What about you? Have you read Gone With The Wind? Have you read anything else by Margaret Mitchell?

Come back next month for another exciting installment of Awesome Authors!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Blog Awards #15: The Sunshine Blogger Award – Number Three!

sunshine1

Image Credit: Found on Bookmark Your Thoughts

I’m honored and humbled to have been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award for the third time. I was nominated by Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts. Thanks, Jenna!

Here’s the link to the post where I was nominated:


What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.


The Rules

  1. Thank the person/persons that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
  3. Nominate 11 other people, and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the award.

Questions from Jenna

One. What’s your favourite book from your childhood?

  • I read and re-read the American Girl “Central Series,” or the six books that were about the original Historical Characters, throughout my childhood. I had many of the books in my own library, and I checked out the others from the library. Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly were the original three girls when the company first started in 1986. Felicity was added in 1991, Addy debuted in 1993, and Josefina was introduced in 1997. Note – I shamelessly read them as an adult, too. I’m currently rebuilding my childhood collection!

Two. From the best of your knowledge, what is your favourite childhood memory?

  • I have so many! I think my favorite is playing with the kids in the cul-de-sacs of Leeward Drive and Leeward Court (where my parents still live), and hopping the fence in my backyard to access the city park. We had many neighborhood “Breakfast in the Park” get-togethers for years,

Three. What was your favourite subject in school? Why?

  • I’ve always loved English class more than anything else. I love to read, and I became a fairly good writer in elementary school. I think my love of reading and writing led to my decision to study journalism / Mass Media in college.

Four. If reincarnation is real, what would you like to come back as?

  • I’d love to be a guinea pig or a hedgehog. I had several guinea pigs growing up, and we took care of several for friends after ours passed away. My 6th grade Civics teacher had a classroom hedgehog named Curious, and I’ve wanted one of my own ever since.

Five. Name one reason why you would want to teleport to the future? What do you think it will behold?

  • I would love see if self-driving cars actually come to fruition, among other things. I would love to see revolutions in healthcare, cures for diseases (Cancer, Alzheimer’s, ALS, etc.), and agreement on tax reform!

Six. Who is your favourite hero/heroine in YA literature?

  • I loved Tally Youngblood in Uglies. Thinking about it, I need to read the rest of the series (Three more books). But, when I read it for my YA Literature class in the spring of 2011, I thought the book was revolutionary.

Seven. You’ve won a million dollars; what’s the very first thing you do with the money?

  • I pay off our mortgage.

Eight. It’s movie watching time; what’s your favourite movie genre that you’re most likely going to watch? Do you have a favourite movie?

  • Forrest Gump has always been my favorite movie! If I’m not watching that movie, anything with Tom Hanks is a good choice.

Nine. You can instantly travel to anywhere in the world; where are you travelling to? Why?

  • I’m headed to Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to visit! There are so many things to do there. My parents have been several times – They climbed Diamond Head in 2009!

Ten. You find a genie (with no restrictions) and are the lucky one to have three of your wishes granted; what are they?

  1. Have all of my novel attempts officially published and available to everyone.
  2. Have a library like Belle’s in Beauty and the Beast be built in my house / on my property.
  3. Pay off our mortgage, plus have about $20,000 available for several home improvements (New HVAC system, new windows, etc.)

Eleven. What book series or standalone novel would you recommend/do recommend to anyone? Why?

  • If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s one book that I re-read every single year, and it’s made a big impact on my life since reading it in high school.

Questions for the Nominees

  1. Do you have a favorite sports team?
  2. What movie are you most excited about for 2018?
  3. If money was no object, what would be your dream job?
  4. If you could do your school experience over again, would you have changed your field of study? If so, what would you pick?
  5. What is your favorite breed of dog?
  6. Do you have a dream pet(s)?
  7. If you could embark on a week-long trip in the United States, where would you go?
  8. What’s your favorite breakfast food(s)?
  9. If you could meet any author, who would you choose, and why?
  10. Is there a particular time period that you would want to live in?
  11. Do you have a favorite vacation or trip from your childhood?

And The Nominees Are …

  1. Dutch Lion
  2. daily(w)rite
  3. “An Tony’M”
  4. theexceptionalwriter
  5. Noveau Bohemian
  6. The Diary of a Muslim Girl
  7. Thriller/Suspense Film and Writing Festival
  8. Around the Library in 80 Days
  9. Bookends and Endings
  10. WilliWash
  11. BRAINISNTAFTERTHOUGHT

Please note: Your participation is completely voluntary!!


Thanks for reading! I’m so honored to receive this award.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #67: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 29)

Week #29: Your Favorite Memory.

For me, Oreos simply taste better if they’re frozen. Every time I eat a frozen Oreo, I think of the countless visits to Florida with my grandparents. My mom’s parents lived in Coral Gables, very close to Miami. My dad’s dad is still alive, and at age 91, he lives independently in a wonderful condominium community in Seminole, about 15 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida is the state that I’ve been to the most times, easily over 100 times now. I have so many memories – We visited both sets of grandparents, along with other friends and family members, up to four times a year for many years. It was routine to get on a plane to visit for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, and sometimes, both.

Thinking of the current package of frozen Oreos in my freezer, easily reminds me of the Oreos and vanilla bean ice cream almost every night in Florida, coupled with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! Spending time with them meant lots of adventures, and mostly unhealthy food. I learned how to play and master Scrabble and Upwords, improve my tennis skills, swim better, visiting many libraries, eating lots of good food, and enjoying each other’s company.

Both sets of grandparents were married for over 50 years! My mom’s parents celebrated an astounding 64 years together before Grandpa passed away in 2008. I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to have had all four grandparents in my life until I was 20 years old, which is increasingly rare.

My dad’s parents were married for just over 50 years before Grandma Betty passed away in 2011.

Grandma Grace died in 2013 at the age of 96. This year, just a few weeks ago, would have been her 100th birthday.

Writing this post has inspired me to call Grandpa this weekend, as well as my Uncle Richard (Mom’s brother). It’s been too long since I’ve talked to them.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Hot Topic #20: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

Pope Francis

Image Credit: AZ Quotes

To start researching for this post, I simply put the following words into the Google search bar:

sex abuse in the catholic church


On just the first page of results, this is what I found:

Note – For all my blog posts involving research, I do my best to cite multiple sources that are credible.


It was absolutely overwhelming to see the hits from that simple six-word inquiry. Google started to complete what I wanted after I had only typed “sex abuse.”

As I was beginning to compose the structure of this post, I thought of two recent forms of “entertainment” that specifically focuses on this topic:

  1. Spotlight
  2. The Keepers

I’ve seen Spotlight (2015) three times now, and it’s one of those movies that’s made a lasting impression on me. I was pleased that it received recognition, critical acclaim, and a few Oscars. Despite the plot centering on something so horrific and sickening, it quickly rose to near the top of my all-time favorite movies. It’s a well-written, well-cast, and well-performed motion picture. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend that you do so. I have a feeling you will come to the end of the movie a changed person. I know I’m glad that I went to see it in theaters, and watched it several times since then.

I recently wrote a blog post about The Keepers (2017). It’s a decent documentary series that was created by Netflix, and another one that I recommend that people watch and (attempt to) digest. While not nearly as good as Spotlight, in my opinion, it’s still something valuable to see.

Here’s a few sources I found on Spotlight and The Keepers:


I was raised in the United Methodist Church, but I have attended many other churches of different denominations throughout my life – Baptist, Catholic, Congregational, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ.

I knew certain aspects were different from the United Methodist Sunday School and traditional 11:00 a.m. services that I attended nearly every Sunday, unless we were traveling or visiting family. Most Sundays until I went off to college, you would find me in a church. For example, I tasted my first Communion wine while attending a local church service with Christine Anzur and her family after a weekend sleepover in elementary school, and I nearly gagged. I was inherently used to King’s Hawaiian bread and Welch’s grape juice every first Sunday of the month at Aldersgate. I knew a few devout Catholics, and learning about Mass, cantors, and priests was fascinating and intriguing.

As I grew older, I started to have a lot of questions.

  • What is celibacy?
  • Why were priests celibate?
  • What made them different from our pastor or minister? We had a female associate pastor when I was growing up (And we have a wonderful one now!), but why wasn’t a woman leading any of the Catholic churches?

Things like that. As a child and a teenager, I felt confident that I could trust the pastors at Aldersgate – They were all married men and devoted to their families.


I don’t remember the first time I heard about sex abuse in the Catholic Church, but I do clearly remember that my mind immediately starting racing with thoughts like, “Why? Why on Earth would a man of God do something so horrible? And, why haven’t we seen more of this in the news?”

As an adult, I’m finally starting to realize how deep and wide this cycle of abuse has run. I’m glad that priests, cardinals, and other officials are starting to be charged with these unspeakable crimes, but I know this is a never-ending saga. This is only the beginning.

Exposes, so to speak, like Spotlight and The Keepers, are glancing just the tip of this massive iceberg. This is bigger than what sank the Titanic. At the end of Spotlight, viewers are shown a list of places around the world where major abuse scandals took place. It was something immensely powerful. I already felt immensely sick from watching the movie, and seeing that long list just turned my stomach even further. It compelled me to do more than just watch the movie multiple times. It’s inspired me to do more research on the subject, and write blog posts like this one.


This is such a deep topic that I feel like I can’t possibly cover everything that’s happened over the years, or say everything that I want to in this one blog post.

For now, I plan to keep researching, watching / reading the news sources that I trust, and follow any new developments. I hope to publish another blog post, with hopefully some more good news, at some point in the future.

I also intend to watch more films and documentaries, as well as look into other forms of media, to observe the different portrayals of this incredible saga.


This is a tough topic – One of the toughest that I’ve attempted to write about since starting this little blog of mine. I hope what I have written / presented is informative, to say the least.

I welcome any constructive comments, as well as recommendations of any compelling or interesting sources that you have come across.

Thanks for reading!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #21: What Makes Me Happy Tag – Number 2!

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Image Credit: BrainyQuote

I was tagged by the sweet and beautiful Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts!

Thanks, Jenna!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged:


It’s funny – I just realized that this is the second time I’ve been tagged for this one! It looked familiar.

I was previously tagged by B.G. last August:


List Five Things That Make You Happy

  1. Writing — I love my blog! I’ve also written drafts of three novels, and I have an idea for a fourth. I greatly enjoy supporting other writers and bloggers. I try really hard to write about things that are interesting and exciting!
  2. Books — I’ve always been a reader. I will always love books. I’m excited to get my giant bookcase from my parents’ house (when the weather isn’t so hot) and fill it up with my collection. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed certain authors (Nicholas Sparks, J.K. Rowling, John Grisham) and certain series and collections (Chicken Soup for the Soul, Dear America, American Girl), but I’m always looking for recommendations!
  3. American Girl Dolls — This ties in with the books. I fell in love with the American Girl books before the dolls. As a child, I had a Bitty Baby first, and then I received my “American Girl of Today” 18-inch doll that I named Stephanie. She was supposed to look like me, but American Girl didn’t sell a brown-haired, green-eyed look-alike doll when I received Stephanie in 1997, so she’s blonde. I currently have five 18-inch dolls (Stephanie, Molly, Kit, Chrissa, and another look-alike doll that I may sell or make into a custom). Al is helping me design a custom doll cabinet / storage unit, and I’m excited to make this dream happen! I would eventually like to own Maryellen, Nanea, and a true look-alike doll.
  4. Traveling — I love having a job that gives me substantial PTO. We try to travel as much as we can. Right now, we’re planning to go to New York City next summer, for my milestone birthday!
  5. Podcasts — As I wrote in my Getting Personal post about podcasts last year, I love being able to listen to a variety of topics during my commute, or when I’m traveling solo. Like books, if you have any podcast recommendations, feel free to send them my way!

List Five Songs That Make You Happy

  1. “Mine” by Taylor Swift
  2. “Who I Am With You” by Chris Young
  3. “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Buble
  4. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
  5. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

All five of these songs remind me of Al, in some way 🙂

I sang “Mine” to him at our rehearsal dinner. My amazing bridal party helped me make posters that spelled out “You are the best thing that’s ever been mine.” They, along with the groomsmen, stood behind me and held them up as I sang to him. I was so nervous! I practiced every chance I could in the car for months. Overall, I think he was embarrassed, but it went over well and I enjoyed doing it for him.

We danced our first dance to “Who I Am With You” at our reception. I knew I wanted to use that song in some capacity starting in 2013, when I first heard it on the radio on the way back to my apartment late one night.

I still get chills when I hear “Haven’t Met You Yet” because that’s one of the songs that reminds me of the very beginning of our relationship. Plus, all these music videos make me feel warm and fuzzy.

We played the other two at our wedding reception. I just love “Uptown Funk” in general and I knew I wanted it played at our reception. Everybody danced! Then, “Don’t Stop Believin'” was the last song of the afternoon. Everyone surrounded us in a big circle, and we danced and sang our hearts out. The photo on my phone is a perfect shot of us singing and dancing during that song, and it makes me smile every time I see it.


I won’t tag anyone in particular, but you feel led to do this tag, please do so! I love seeing other people’s responses. Plus, I love spreading happiness!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #36: “The Lost Symbol”

The Lost Symbol

Image Credit: Target

If you’re curious about other books involving protagonist Robert Langdon, here are my previous Book Review posts:


Dan Brown has done it again!

Like Angels & Demons, this book was really long – Over 500 pages. However, I didn’t mind that it was so long. It was action-packed, and I learned so much about Washington, D.C.

However, I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying to read this book in one sitting. It’s so dense, I found myself taking multiple breaks, sometimes days at a time, in order to process all of the information. It wasn’t necessarily a turn-off, but it was a challenge. The longest stretch was a few nights ago, when I read Chapters 78 through 112. I needed a day-long break before starting again. Luckily, reading through Chapter 112 brought me closer to the end – I finally finished last night, around 10:30 p.m.

Langdon’s adventure this time is set primarily in Washington, D.C., with a few scenes in Maryland and northern Virginia. If you’ve ever been curious about the Masons and their history, this is a good book to learn about them!

For once, I greatly appreciated the lack of a romance aspect. This book appeared to focus on the various mysteries surrounding Langdon, especially since these 500 pages are set, for the most part, within just one night in the characters’ lives. I’d be happy to eventually see Langdon and Katherine end up together – I think they have a lot in common – but I was excited that the book primarily focused on solving the mysteries!

Again, like his other books, I really liked and appreciated Brown’s attention to detail and historical accuracy. It was incredible to see just how much history is jam-packed into Washington, D.C. Reading his books has taught me so much about our world’s various secret societies and great mysteries!

This book was a great mix of an intense thriller and historical novel. When I was able to wrap my mind around everything that was happening, I found myself flying through the pages. I think Brown is clever to mix up the length of his chapters – Some were long, some were a few pages, and a handful were either one page or a half-page. It’s a great way to keep the reader interested and wanting to read “just one more chapter” before turning out the lights.

Following the chronology of Robert Langdon’s character, I now need to find a copy of Inferno (2013). Hopefully, I can read that one right before Origin is released in early October!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

 

Writing Prompt #66: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 28)

Week #28: Your Past

I’m grateful to simply be sitting here, typing this. As I write this, I think of my birthday that’s coming up in a few weeks. My mom recently commented on how stubborn I am, and that’s part of the reason I’m alive today.

I was given a 50-50 shot when I born. I came 15 weeks early, which was terrifying for everyone, especially my parents. However, I quickly made it known that I was a fighter, and I was determined to live.

As an only child, I was independent, outgoing, and enjoyed a variety of interests. Being involved in the local Methodist church was a family affair, and that involvement continues today, nearly 25 years later.

I loved school, although I struggled with math. It was clear early on that I was definitely not engineering material like my dad! I loved reading, writing, and history. I thought about many different careers over the years – Being an explorer for National Geographic, a teacher (like my mom), a writer/author, working in the news business.

As I graduated from high school and went off to college, I realized how naive I was. I had been a sheltered child. I was called spoiled more than once, although I tried to maintain my Christian image. I worked hard in college, and enjoyed most of my experiences. I loved working for the student newspaper, and as a junior, I joined an incredible sorority.

Not everything in my life was sunshine and rainbows. I was in an abusive relationship from 2006 through 2010. When I finally got the courage to escape and leave, I tried to pick up the pieces that was my relationship with my mom. Many people, however, were immensely forgiving, and soon discovered my abuser’s true character.

It’s amazing how things come together when you least expect it. Shortly after I ended the abusive relationship, I was formally introduced to Al. His brother, Nick, had wanted to set us up for a long time. Nick thought we would be awesome for each other.

I wanted to be friends first, being very cautious and somewhat apprehensive after my recent experiences.

That only took two weeks of talking on the phone, texting, and being friends on Facebook. Our first date was September 4, 2010, and I felt like I was on top of the world. I couldn’t believe what was happening. We kissed for the first time, and I knew I loved him.

Now, here we are, nearly seven years later. He stuck by my side from the very beginning, when we were long-distance for nearly nine months while I was in my senior year of college. We’ve seen each other through job searches, celebrations, frustrations, vacations, multiple moves for me, and more. It’s hard to believe we got engaged nearly three years ago, and we’ve been married for almost two. We bought our house last year. We’re enjoying making home improvements (for the most part), trying new recipes, and we like getting together with our families and friends regularly.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #75: Third TBR Recap

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Image Credit: Ebook Friendly

Welcome back!

In case you’re interested, here are the links to my previous TBR posts:


This is what I’ve read since my last update in April:

  1. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
  2. Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, Piper Kerman
  3. The Devil’s Dozen: 12 Notorious Serial Killers Caught By Cutting-Edge Forensics, Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D.
  4. Music in My Heart: My Journey with Melody, Erin Falligant with Denise Lewis Patrick
  5. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick

And, here’s my updated list!

Laura Beth’s To Be Read (TBR) List, as of July 2017:

  1. The Language of Silence, Tiffany Truitt
  2. Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase
  3. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  4. The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
  5. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  6. New Boy, Julian Houston
  7. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling
  8. 11/22/63, Stephen King
  9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
  10. Hollow City, Ransom Riggs
  11. Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs
  12. Tales of the Peculiar, Ransom Riggs
  13. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
  14. Quidditch Through the Ages, J.K. Rowling
  15. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, Emma Straub
  16. Modern Lovers, Emma Straub
  17. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
  18. You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
  19. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  20. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  21. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  22. Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  23. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
  24. Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson
  25. Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
  26. The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr
  27. Loving Day, Mat Johnson
  28. American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst, Jeffrey Toobin
  29. The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, Jeffrey Toobin
  30. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Gretchen Bakke
  31. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  32. A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe
  33. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney
  34. Bright, Precious Days, Jay McInerney
  35. Underground Airlines, Ben Winters
  36. A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad, Del Quentin Wilber
  37. Teardrops of the Innocent: The White Diamond Story (True Colors – Volume 1), Allie Marie
  38. Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, Lily Ledbetter
  39. Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  40. The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  41. Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1, Valerie Tripp
  42. Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2, Valerie Tripp
  43. Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit, Valerie Tripp
  44. Autumn Street, Lois Lowry
  45. The Giver, Lois Lowry
  46. Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
  47. Messenger, Lois Lowry
  48. Son, Lois Lowry
  49. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  50. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  51. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  52. Emma, Jane Austen
  53. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  54. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  55. The List, Patricia Forde
  56. Hello Me, It’s You, Anonymous; edited by Hannah Todd
  57. Use The Force: A Jedi’s Guide to the Law of Attraction, Joshua P. Warren
  58. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
  59. Inferno, Dan Brown
  60. Digital Fortress: A Thriller, Dan Brown
  61. Deception Point, Dan Brown
  62. Origin: A Novel, Dan Brown
  63. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  64. The Runaway: A Maryellen Mystery, Alison Hart
  65. The Lady’s Slipper: A Melody Mystery, Emma Carlson Berne
  66. Camino Island, John Grisham
  67. The Unknown and Impossible: How a research facility in Virginia mastered the air and conquered space, Tamara Dietrich, Mark St. John Erickson, and Mike Holtzclaw

That’s all, for now!

I’ll publish my next TBR update / recap in October!

What have you read recently?

Happy reading!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #20: The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

zombieap_booktag

Image Credit: My Tiny Obsessions

Yay! A tag that I was actually tagged in! Woohoo!

I’m so sorry this post is so incredibly late. But, better late than never?

I was tagged by Not-so-modern girl. Please check out her blog – She’s awesome!

This tag was originally created by Jill at Rant and Rave About Books!


Here’s the link to the original post where I was tagged:


The Rules

  • Choose 5 books.
  • Randomly set up your books in order.
  • Flip to a random page in the book and write the first two names you see.
  • Then, put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them (don’t peek!! 😉 )
  • Cry about how screwed you are!
  • Tag some more people to join in the fun!

My Books

  1. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  2. The Whistler, John Grisham
  3. Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling
  5. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The first person to die …

Cora from The Underground Railroad. No, crap, that’s a huge bummer! She’s the central character in her book, and she’s incredibly brave and smart!

The first person you trip up to escape the zombies …

Michael from The Underground Railroad. I’m sure it was an accident! Now I feel bad.

The person that trips you to get away from the zombies … 

Lacy from The Whistler. This actually makes sense. She’s the central character in her book, and I can totally see her doing this! As an investigator with the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct (BJC), she’s super smart, and willing to do anything to save herself.

The team idiot …

Michael from The Whistler. He’s the boss in his book, which naturally comes with some idiotic characteristics.

The brains of the group …

Atticus from Go Set A Watchman. This – This I agree with! He’s a lawyer, and a pretty good one. I like this!

The team medic …

Calpurnia from Go Set A Watchman. Another one I’m honestly okay with. She’s a strong woman and helped take care of Atticus’s children after their mother died. So, I know she dealt with many an injury while helping raise Jem and Scout. My confidence is building!

The weapons expert …

Harry from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. YES! This is awesome. He is a wizard, and, come on, he helped form and train Dumbledore’s Army. I’m very happy about this. He can use his wand to do almost anything.

The team brawler …

Hagrid from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Another excellent choice. The man is a beast, and very intimidating! I know that he wouldn’t want to hurt anyone intentionally, but I know that he won’t back down, either.

The first to turn into a zombie …

Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. I’m not really sad about this. Gatsby’s story ends up very sad in his book, so we’d might as well get it over with early on.

The team leader …

Daisy from The Great Gatsby. This is possibly the worst. Ever. Daisy is so self-absorbed and flirty. I would glad pick ANYONE ELSE. If her character existed in modern times, she’d be making duck faces and taking selfies most of the time, and always worried about her makeup. She’d be totally distracted! Not awesome if you’re tasked to be team leader. Sigh.


Well, I don’t have a totally terrible team. I think we’d make out okay, although I’m pretty sure Daisy would become a zombie right after Gatsby, and the rest of us would have to fend for ourselves. Regardless, I think we’d end up surviving.

This was really fun! I liked this challenge!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂