It’s Monday!  Time to chase away the blues and ponder some thoughts presented over at A Daily Rhythm.

Here we go:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What would you do if you wanted to buy a book for someone, but didn’t know what they like to read? Would you ask them? Would you choose something you, yourself, like? How would you go about buying them something?


I have been using Amazon Vine and recently, NetGalley, to find new books.  One of the books I requested was The New Neighbor, coming in July.





In the tradition of Zoe Heller’s What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal, The New Neighbor is a darkly sophisticated novel about an old woman’s curiosity turned into a dangerous obsession as she becomes involved in her new neighbor’s complicated and cloaked life.

Ninety-year-old Margaret Riley is content hiding from the world. Stoic and independent, she rarely leaves the Tennessee mountaintop where she lives, finding comfort in the mystery novels that keep her company, that is, until she spots a woman who’s moved into the long-empty house across the pond.

Jennifer Young is also looking to hide. On the run from her old life, she and her four-year-old son Milo have moved to a quiet town where no one from her past can find her.

In Jennifer, Margaret sees both a potential companion in her loneliness and a mystery to be solved. But Jennifer refuses to talk about herself, her son, his missing father, or her past. Frustrated, Margaret crosses more and more boundaries in pursuit of the truth, threatening to unravel the new life Jennifer has so painstakingly created—and reveal some secrets of her own.


I have noticed my fascination (obsession?) with elderly characters lately, like the ones in There Was an Old Woman, by Hallie Ephron, or how about Florence Gordon?  (Click for my reviews).

Is it a characteristic of my own aging?  LOL  Or am I discovering that there are many interesting layers to characters who have lived a while?  Maybe a little bit of both.

At any rate, I am eager to read this one.


As for buying books for friends, I take the easy way out with a gift card.  I wouldn’t even begin to select a book for a friend, or even a family member.

What do you do?






  1. I also am gravitating towards books with more mature characters. Yes, it’s a sign of aging, lol, (sorry about that Laurel but I’m speaking of both of us not being 21 anymore!) but also a seasoned reader will want to find out about a character that has many layers to peel back and discover. Too many YA books I read are shallow. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good one now and then, or that they are not written well, it’s that I seem to demand more from my characterization (and seriously, if you are about 16 years old, how much of that do you possess yet?).

    A gift card is very good. Or a journal with a reading-theme-cover and bookmark from a bookstore is another suggestion. Sometimes a leap of faith is to give a coffee table edition book of the region/state the person lives in for their enjoyment.


    • Thanks, Rita, and I agree about how much more interesting older characters are….I can only occasionally handle reading about teenagers, and even when they are presented as part of a family, they are often very disrespectful, as well as shallow. I doubt that real-life teens are quite that stereotypical…LOL. At least not in my experience.

      I like the idea of the coffee table book….and, of course, the gift cards.


  2. If I’m buying a book for a friend I probably know them pretty well, so would choose accordingly 🙂
    Maybe one they’ve mentioned in conversation or an interest they’re into…
    I prefer the older characters with more maturity. I find myself frustrated with younger protagonists who make unwise decisions and then dislike the consequences 🙂
    My MMs? ChildrensBookWeek Giveaway Hop [signups still OPEN for any to participate in this bit of FuN!
    and joined a great UK blogger’s RE-READ of our favs


    • I agree about the frustration of younger protagonists…not that older people can’t make stupid decisions (LOL), but there is usually something in the person’s history that contributes to those errors in judgment, and that is interesting to explore, IMO. Thanks for stopping by, Sharon.


  3. I still tend to prefer younger characters when it comes to books, but have found myself gravitating towards older adults when it comes to movies. Does that mean I both long for youth but also recognize my age? 😉


  4. I haven’t really read many books with older characters, but I can definitely see why they can be interesting characters! Though, as I get older I feel like I’m enjoying older characters (ie. not young adults – even though I love the genre) too, haha.


    • I never read YA books when I was young, but I often read books about twenty-something characters…and I still do enjoy books with that age group, as long as they are in careers or even in a marriage. I don’t really enjoy the high school set, but I watch shows on TV with that age group…weird, right?

      The older characters can be any age over fifty, but lately I’ve noticed how interesting and quirky the really old characters can be. Thanks for stopping by, Cyn.


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