Booze, Books, Battlestar Galactica.

Ok, or not.  Here’s the thing, I’ve once again been relegated to the damnable treadmill and elliptical because, reasons. MOTHER LORD ABOVE THOSE ARE BORING MACHINES. It’s as though they stare at you as you approach them. You can hear their chatter “woosh, woosh, I make your eleventh-grade chem teacher seem interesting.”

(mine was a beady-eyed man who had severe halitosis and looked like a bald “Beaker.” Meep.)

What do you do when you want to stab yourself in the face with an ice pick just to alleviate the boredom that’s swamping your limbs into a state of angsty ridicule?

Read. On the damn whatever machine. I tried watching Kathy Lee and Hoda, but I learned my lesson. You just never can be sure they’re not going to do a segment on pediatric cancer that sends you into heaving sobs. in public. That’s just embarrassing.

What else do you do? Imagine yourself a new bookclub wherein there are as many cocktails as there are books and points of discussion. I’ve already done the wine-meets-books-recs.  This one is “we’ve worked out. we’ve read. we’ve paid our dues for our calories. I like booze.” book club.  The title may need some work, but, you get it.

“we ran, we read, we *rummed.↓” That’s better.

To get started, I thought I’d compile a list of unconventional romances/love stories that will be even more fun to discuss after you drink the cocktail I’ve made.

*not to be confused with rimmed, which is a different club altogether.

Top Ten Unconventional Romances for your book club.jpg

Top Group, Clockwise.

Painted Faces by LH Cosway. This is CERTAINLY unconventional. –From the blurb…

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she’s around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn’t know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.

–spoiler alert–the picture on the cover is of the hero, not the heroine. SOOOO GOOD.

The Night Gwen Stacy Died by Sarah Bruni From the blurb,

An offbeat love story about the adventures and mutual rescue of a young woman out of place in her hometown and a mysterious stranger who calls himself Peter Parker (and begins to cast her in the role of Spider-Man’s first sweetheart), The Night Gwen Stacy Died is about first loss, first love, and finding our real identities.

I Am Livia by  From the blurb,

“It is possible for a woman to influence public affairs,” reminding Livia that—while she possesses a keen sense for the machinations of the Roman senate—she must also remain patient and practical.

But patience and practicality disappear from Livia’s mind when she meets Caesar’s heir, Octavianus. At only eighteen, he displays both power and modesty. A young wife by that point, Livia finds herself drawn to the golden-haired boy. In time, his fortunes will rise as Livia’s family faces terrible danger. But her sharp intellect—and her heart—will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice: one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen.

Unravel by  From the blurb,

Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine. One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward. Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind. Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help. A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past. And now…everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he’s real, and I know he needs me. Do you believe me?

Robicelli’s: A Love Story With Cupcakes By Allison and Matt Robicelli.

I’ve already reviewed this book multiple times and in multiple locations, but to review, see here.

Bottom Group.

The Rosie Project by  From the blurb,

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Edward Adrift (book 2 in a series.) by 

From the blurb:

It’s been a year of upheaval for Edward Stanton, a forty-two-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s lost his job. His trusted therapist has retired. His best friends have moved away. And even his nightly ritual of watching Dragnet reruns has been disrupted. All of this change has left Edward, who lives his life on a rigid schedule, completely flummoxed….Edward goes against his routine and decides to drive to a small town in Colorado where he once spent a summer with his father—bringing Kyle along as his road trip companion. The two argue about football and music along the way, and amid their misadventures, they meet an eccentric motel owner who just might be the love of Edward’s sheltered life—if only he can let her.

Bone Deep by  From the blurb,

In the fall of 1946, grieving war widow Sarah goes to the carnival with her friends and is riveted by the tattooed man in the freak show, sporting head to toe body art. Later she discovers him hiding in her hayloft, escaped from virtual imprisonment since childhood by the carnival’s evil owner. She shelters him on her farm, fighting a powerful sexual attraction while learning about his mysterious past and gentle nature. When a local child goes missing, Tom uses his psychic gifts to locate her, but his assistance in the case doesn’t allay the town’s mistrust of such an exotic stranger in their midst. Small-town prejudice tears the lovers apart and a very real threat from carnival owner Art Reed endangers them. Can they rise above obstacles of fear and hate to create the family both have always craved?

Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo by  and 

This is a very long blurb, but let me tell you that it’s a highly-unconventional book that you’ll fall into and will leave you thinking about it for years. It inspired much of my scholarship, and continually inspires others.

THE MOTHER LOVING FLOWERS IN THE MOTHER TRUCKING ATTIC. (poetic license used with title.) by VC Andrews.

If you didn’t hide this from your mom when you were twelve only to watch what is possibly the worst and best Lifetime movie ever made while drinking at age thirty? YOU’RE MISSING OUT. For real. Time for a re-read…AWAY FROM GRANDMA. (closer to your cousin?)

And to get your drink on?


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by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: beverage

Ingredients (2 drinks)

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1.5 oz DiSaronno Amaretto liqueur
  • 1.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Creme
  • 1 oz vanilla coconut milk
  • sprinkles, maraschino cherries and simple syrup for garnish


dip rim of 2 martini glasses in simple syrup and then in sprinkles

drop maraschino cherry into each glass

shake alcohols together with ice

strain into glass

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