Rules of Civility – Amor Towles


♥♥♥♥ (4 of out 5 hearts) – Rules of Civility is the debut novel by Amor Towles. It was first published by Penguin Books on July 26, 2011.

The historical novel is set in New York City between 1937-1938. It follows Katey Kontent, 25, single, and working a secretary/typing job following the Great Depression, before the U.S. knew what was to come with World War II.

During New Years in 1937, Katey and her friend Eve meet Tinker Grey, a well-respected, handsome, and well-off banker in a jazz club. From here, Katey goes on a year-long journey with Tinker and Eve and the upper class society of New York.

I read this book in collaboration with my work’s book club. Overall, everyone that participated in the discussion loved the book, and my thoughts are the same. Towles did a wonderful job setting the 1930s NYC scene. His writing is beautiful and the way he was able to visually tell Katey’s story on paper was breathtaking.

If you love New York City like I do, want to read a historical fiction novel, and are fascinated with the 1930s upper society, I highly recommend picking up this book.

2020 Pride Month

The year 2020 has been unique from the beginning. We have all had obstacles that we have had to maneuver through and for some, they are still dealing with the impacts of this year.

June is always a special month for me. I’ve always felt the most comfortable in large groups with other members of the LGBTQ+ community, even if I’ve never met them before. There is a feeling of being bonded with a complete stranger that is wonderful and hard to describe.

This year, because of COVID-19, I didn’t get to celebrate Pride month in the way I normally would – attend the DC Pride Parade and dance all night at a gay nightclub. It felt different this year, but I didn’t let that stop me from celebrating my uniqueness that is being an open lesbian for over 20 beautiful years! It’s also given an opportunity to appreciate the history of LGBTQ+ rights in America. We’ve come a long way, but there is still so much work to be done to provide equal rights to everyone, especially our trans community.

So, I leave with you all a photo of my always growing LGBTQ authors/stories book collection. Remember to read queer lit all year long!

Something to Talk About – Meryl Wilsner


♥♥♥.75 (3.75 hearts out of 5) – Something to Talk About is the debut novel by Meryl Wilsner who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them/their pronouns. It is also the first female/female romance novel published by Berkley Publishing Group. The contemporary romance novel was published on May 26, 2020.

The story follows a Hollywood powerhouse, Jo Jones and her assistant, Emma. After a red carpet incident at the SAGs, the rumors start about their relationship. This is where our story begins…

Jo Jones was a child actor, and is now one of the hottest directors in Hollywood. She is about to start a new movie project, and in order to limit the media interaction on her new movie, she invites her assistant, Emma to be a buffer at the SAGs. After a reporter tries to question Jo about her movie project, Agent Silver, Emma quickly jumps onto the red carpet to save her – and this where the rumors start about Emma dating her boss to help her climb the Hollywood ladder.

Emma and Jo have a love/hate relationship throughout the novel. Emma is her assistant, so naturally knows exactly what Jo needs and wants. However, she isn’t accustomed to the celebrity lifestyle and paparazzi so frequently fights with Jo about the tabloids talking speculation on their relationship.

After Emma is sexually harassed by a celebrity crush of hers, Jo starts to re-evaluate her original thoughts on how the media perceives her and Emma’s working relationship. One could almost argue that that is when Jo started seeing Emma as more than her assistant.

I tend to not gravitate towards most romance novels. My esthetic in reading is geared towards sad or dark stories. However, I will always read any queer romance. Although I found the pace to be too slow for my liking, I really enjoyed the personalities and relationship between Jo and Emma. Being in a biracial relationship with a Chinese American woman, I appreciated being able to see that resemblance in a story.

Overall, Meryl’s writing style as a contemporary romance is by far my favorite. The last three or four chapters really drove the story home for me, and can I mention the beautifully written sex scene?! All authors of intimate scenes within romance novels should take a look at how Meryl wrote out the sex scene in “Something to Talk About”!

If you haven’t picked up a copy of this book yet, I strongly urge you to order it from your local indie!

Where have I been?

After I introduced myself back in 2018, I fell off the radar. I never came back to my blog and since April 2019, I have been almost non-existent on Instagram.

Let me update you all on where I’ve been: at home, being socially distant, and extremely depressed. Back in February of this year, I hit my all-time lowest point mentally. It got so bad that I contemplated taking a leave of absence from work with my HR representative. I was likely going to lose my job if I didn’t take any action and I was on the verge of losing my relationship.

I finally called my doctor, set up a virtual appointment (Welcome to 2020, can I introduce you to COVID-19 and Police Reform?!), and we talked. She prescribed me anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. I’ve been on both since the end of March, and have things changed in my life. I’m back at work, feeling more optimistic, and the rage I had which negatively affected work and my relationship is almost non-existent.

In addition, I’m actually reading again, which feels wonderful. I haven’t been very active on Instagram yet, but  now that I’m more settled after starting my medication, I’m looking to change that very soon. I’m also hoping to start posting my book reviews on here – I might as well since I pay annually for this page!

I’m currently reading four books, so I am tasking myself to post a book review within 2 days after finishing each one – wish me luck!

Who is DC Ginger Reads?

Hello again! As I stated in my previous post, my name is Ness and I live in Washington, DC. This is my first attempt at blogging. I’m hoping that my motivation stays strong for many years to come! My goal is to write on some bookish topic every Sunday (one of the only days I try to force myself to not work). In between those Sunday posts, I will have book reviews for my current reads. So now, let me formally introduce myself…

I grew up in a small, urban city in the Northeast Pennsylvania region of Wilkes-Barre. I came out as a lesbian at the age of 13 to some of my friends, and at 14, to my parents. I spent all my high school years studying hard and being an example to my local LGBTQ community.

After graduation in 2006, I chose to go to a small-town college in central Pennsylvania called Lock Haven University. It was my first true experience of independence as it was more than two hours away from my hometown. During these 4 1/2 years, I joined a social sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and a co-ed business fraternity called Alpha Kappa Psi. I was also a co-captain for my school’s cheerleading squad (probably one of the only sports I’m good at). My professional goal at the time was to go work for an Accounting firm and become a CPA.

I graduated in 2010 with my B.S. In Accounting, shortly after the financial crisis of 2008, and let me tell ya, finding an entry position was HARD! I spent a year post-graduation as a full-time teller at a local credit union and part-time as a caregiver for an adult group home. I was also in a long distance relationship with my at the time, fiancé. I was starting to accept the fact that I would never get out of small-time Pennsylvania, and be able to use my degree. In December 2011, I finally got my chance of a lifetime to be an Auditor for a non-profit association in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (where my ex-fiancé lived). I moved, and that’s where I spent the next three years of my adult life.

As you noticed, I said ex-fiancé, so as you can assume, that relationship has ended. Around June 2014, after purchasing our first home with our two dogs, and Pennsylvania finally legalizing same-sex marriage, our relationship was over. It would take a few more months for that realization to finally sink in, and then another few months before I finally left our home.

In January 2015, I made the biggest decision of my life, the one that fully made me feel independent, and up-rooted my world to Columbia, Maryland. You might be wondering about the dogs (who wouldn’t?!)…I kept one dog, and she kept the other. I had no friends, disliked the company I worked for, and was in a new relationship that we both knew would not make it very far (we are friends now, and know that this is what is best).

I joined Tinder in the hopes of finding friends so I could love the DMV a little more than I currently did. I found a few people, and one of them I ended up falling in love with, almost like a fairy-tale but very complicated!

We now live together in Northeast DC with our dogs (the one I brought from Pennsylvania, and hers) and I’m finally that girl who works at an Accounting firm (as a Senior Audit Associate to be exact). My job is 80% stressful, but I’m so fortunate for the opportunity I’ve been striving for since I was 19 years old (I’m now 31, and was 30 when I accepted that position).

This brings my introduction to the present. One thing you all need to know is how much I’m struggling mentally. My job is very demanding and most times, stressful. Since I quit smoking at the end of 2014 (congrats to me!), I’ve gained over 50 pounds and battle with major health issues now and as you can imagine, my self-esteem is non-existent. I’m in a very dark place in my life, so I’m leaning on my love of books to help me out of this hole I’ve dug for myself. This is the main reason I’ve started a book blog and bookstagram account (@DC_Ginger_Reads). I’m looking for purpose…

I still have bad days, but, the last twoish weeks have been good overall.

Welcome to my blog everyone. I hope you stick around!


Our Book Journey Begins

Hey there, I’m glad you stopped by! My name is Vanessa, but you can call me Ness. I’ve lived in Washington, DC for two years, I have a wonderful girlfriend, and two children (my dogs!). I spend most of my money going out to eat (since I can’t cook), and don’t currently have much of a social life, which is quite challenging when you’re as extroverted as I am. I love being around people, but I don’t know many in the “DMV”. To occupy my time, I explore as much of DC as I can, and I’m either reading or listening to a book.

I’ve been struggling through life, from drowning in debt to major health and weight problems. I’ve hit a low point in my life, and I need help to get back out of the dark hole I’ve dug myself in to. This is why I decided to start this blog. I don’t expect many people to read it, but, I need to find something that makes me feel like I have purpose in life. I’m hoping this can be that “thing”. I’m an opinionated person, so why not channel that into book reviewing?!

I hope you follow me on my journey to happiness and finding the next best read! (Formal introduction blog to come!!)