Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.


This is our last week before Christmas, and I’m really feeling the holiday spirit take over. We’ve had some rainy days this past week, and it was delightful.  Yes, imagine that, since this blog is about “Rainy days and Mondays” making me blue.  LOL.  But then, remember, “books chase away the blues.”

The week of reading was kind of slow at first, then it picked up, ending with a total of 3 books and 1 novella.  My total for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge:  wait for it!  99 books!!  I currently  just finished reading my 100th book, which is the goal I had hoped for. 

So far my ratio is:  100 books read/138 books purchased, once I read the 100th book…and if I don’t buy any more.

I might read even more…since there are still two reading weeks.  Of course, the challenge is for purchased books, and I’ll also be reading some review books.

So….with rain outside, and a little more interiors work…it turned out to be a good week to stay indoors and read, watch movies, etc.  I also watched Season I of Goliath, on Amazon Prime.  Wow!  Now I want another season.

Let’s look at the week, and have a glass of something sparkling:





Finding Balance…Through the Forest…

Commitment Post:  Read the Books You Buy – 2017

Curl up with “The Sleepwalker” – Excerpts

Goodreads Report:  2016 Books Read

Hump Day Reading:  What’s On Your List?

Hump Day Thoughts:  From the Foothills to the City…

Thursday Potpourri:  My Book Compulsion, Etc.

Bookish Friday:  “White Trash”

Curling up with TBR Books:  The Challenge

Wrapping Up the “Read the Books You Buy-2016” Challenge

Review:  The Premonition (e-book, prequel), by Chris Bohjalianratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  Sweet Lamb of Heaven (e-book), by Lydia Milletcropped-again-5Review:  The Mothers (e-book), by Brit Bennettcropped-again-5Review:  The Dollhouse (e-book), by Fiona Daviscropped-again-5


INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Two books came in the mail!  One review book from Amazon Vine; one purchased book.

I downloaded three e-books (purchased)


I See You, by Clare Mackintosh (Amazon Vine)





Talking As Fast As I Can, by Lauren Graham (Purchased)






Sweet William (e-book), by Beryl Bainbridge





The Stepmother (e-book), by Claire Seeber





Faultlines (e-book), by Barbara Taylor Sissel





WHAT’S NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  Just Finished:   Scandal in Skibbereen (County Cork #2), by Sheila Connolly (Click title for my review of this 100th book).




White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg, is a book I’ll be slowly reading, a bit at a time…





At some point, I’ll be reading more review books, like The Sleepwalker, by Chris Bohjalian…and then, whatever my mood dictates.

By the end of the year, I’ll be participating in First Book of 2017, hosted by Sheila, at Book Journey.

I’ve selected my book, snapped a couple of photos of me holding it…and that’s all I’m saying until January 1, 2017!


That’s what is going on here…what did your week look like?  The upcoming weeks?  Check out my split pea soup and strawberry margarita from last weekend!




  1. Greg Hill

    Congrats on the challenge, and I like your tree on the table! It’s been snowing and COLD here so I envy you the rain a little bit. 🙂 The weather’s here been awful, but it’s december in Michigan so I shouldn’t act surprised!

    I love the look of I See You (looks suspenseful) and the Lauren Graham book looks very popular- lotsa people reading it. Can’t wait to see your First Book!

    Mmm soup!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Greg, and I am quite pleased that I read 100 books (well, almost, I’m on the 100th book) from my purchased stack. Now if I could learn to buy fewer books…lol. My total of all books for the year so far was 160, which includes review books.

      I think I See You looks good, too. I tried to get it from NetGalley, but wasn’t approved, for some reason. Then I found it on Vine.

      Today is pretty cold and it looks sunny out, no rain, so it looks like a really nice day. But it’s in the 40s. Probably much warmer than in your parts, though.

      Enjoy your reading and your upcoming holiday.


  2. Am keen to hear what you think of I See You. I didn’t love it as much as her first but still enjoyed it.

    I’ve had a couple of slow reading weeks and am not really in the mood to pick it up so expect my total reads for the year won’t change much (and December will be very low).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kathryn, and isn’t it fun to plan that moment, the time when we reveal our First Book? It feels like we’re opening a gift. I have a page on my An Interior Journey blog dedicated to First Books.

      Enjoy the week and the holidays!


  3. Fizz sounds good for this time of year. I am definitely in the mood for the holidays. Congratulations on 100 books. Some good ones have come in for you this week by the looks of it. I really want to read I See You. Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rachel, and after reading your comment, I had to go back and check what I wrote…about the mood descending…and realized how it sounded. I meant to say that the Christmas spirit had descended upon me…sort of. Lame!

      Enjoy the week, and thanks for visiting.


  4. I hope you feel better soon – the rain does make everything look bleak, doesn’t it? Having said that your tree and your home look amazing… I’m awed and envious! Congratulations on having read so many of the books you’ve bought – that’s a really good percentage. I’ll be posting all my reading results in early January as it takes me a while to sort out and organise my various reading statistics… Have a lovely Christmas, Laurel and look forward to continuing to talk books with you in 2017:).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sarah, and I’m going back to correct what I wrote! I meant to say that the feeling of Christmas was descending upon me, or some such lame thing. LOL.

      Enjoy the holidays, and thanks for visiting. I do love counting up all the accomplishments and preparing for that New Year’s post.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rain there and snow here…both make me want to read books! Congrats on achieving your reading goal. That’s awesome. I usually get in about 100 books a year but I also read kidlit and non-fiction. Your post just reminded me about first book of the year. I got Sheila’s email and have yet to sign up! Love pea soup…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Literary Feline

    I’m feeling the Christmas spirit too, Laurel-Rain, even if it’s not reflected in my reading. It helps having a young child in the house who won’t let me forget. Haha

    Congratulations on reaching 100 books for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge! That is awesome. I’m thinking of doing the First Book if the Year too. I just need to figure out which one. You are way ahead of me. 🙂

    Have a great week, Laurel-Rain. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohh, I want to try this soup now! 😀
    I am so glad you reached your goal and read 100 purchased books (or 99, but it will be 100). That is AMAZING!
    At least it shows that the money you spend on books is worth it (unlike in some cases when someone (caugh, caugh, me) purchases books and then only looks at them for years and reads review and library books).
    I hope you’ll have a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You had such a fantastic week–and SO MANY congratulations on hitting your goal for the reading challenge, 100 books is quite the achievement! Here’s hoping the rest of the month is smooth sailing and awesome reads for you!

    Again, happy holidays this season to you and yours!

    And thank you so much for popping by my blog earlier, it’s much appreciated! Have a great week-to-come!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. katarguelles

    It rained on Thursday here in Sacramento and the streets were flooded. Even though it is hard to drive in I enjoy the rain too. It makes me want to cozy up with a warm drink and a good book. Congrats and making your reading challenge goal. That is a great challenge but I would have a hard time not buying anymore books lol. I have 4 Amazon gift cards to use but I’m trying to use them for really good sales. That way I can get more books lol. I hope you have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I obviously kept buying more books, but in the end, my percentage of books read to books bought wasn’t bad. LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Kathy, and I also prefer being inside curled up when it rains.

      Enjoy your holiday!


  10. I still need to choose my First Book – it’s so much fun seeing everyone’s choices. I hope you enjoy I See You – I really liked the author’s first book. Have a great week, Laurel. Merry Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Nise, when I started reading them, I wasn’t sure how it would all work out…I’m pleased, and ready for a new year to continue tackling my shelves. Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and I’m excited about seeing the First Books, too.


    1. Thanks, Roberta, and while I mostly worked on my writing for a few years, and now I seem to be focusing on blogging, I do have six novels out there…and a seventh one in its WIP form. I might not be very balanced, but I’m hanging in there. Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting.


  11. Wow 100 books is great achievement – I hope you manage to squeeze some more in over the next two weeks.

    It sounds very festive your way, rain means more reading time too. Our temps have been up and down but mostly very warm.

    I like the look of The Step Mother and I also have I See You on my TBR pile.

    Have a lovely week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Anna, I’m glad that, out of the 160 books I’ve read so far this year, 100 of them were from my own shelves. Enjoy your week, and thanks for stopping by. I hope to enjoy the Lauren Graham, but probably won’t get to it this year.


  12. Congrats on finishing #100!! That’s awesome! Mmmmm, I love split pea soup. I made some a couple of weeks ago when I had a leftover ham bone, but I never thought of pairing it with a strawberry margarita 🙂 I will do that next time! Enjoy all your lovely books!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brandie

    Awesome job hitting your reading goal!! That margarita looks fantastic…I think I’m going to have one for lunch today when I meet my girlfriend for lunch! I mean, I am on vacation. 😉 Happy reading this week! I’m anxious to read I See You soon. I hope it’s good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Brandie, enjoy your margarita! And your lunch with your friend. I love those get-togethers even more these days, since there is no “time clock” hovering in this post-retirement life. LOL.

      Vacation is good, too. I hope to love I See You…have a wonderful week, and enjoy your reading and the holiday!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Kathy Martin

    I’ve had I See You on my Kindle for review for a while. I see it is finally coming up on my calendar. I’m not doing as well as you are with reading the books I buy. I still have 187 2016 arrivals to read. Of course 30-some are review books and will get read in 2017. That still leaves more than 150 to read. I just seem to get further and further behind. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The Cue Card

    Hi Laurel: You are on a roll reading your purchased books! What is Goliath? Is it on Netflix? I will check. I wonder if the novel I See You will be as good as I Let You Go …. hmm. You must let us know. Have a wonderful holiday! Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan, and Goliath is a legal thriller about a small firm going up against a giant one…and there are lots of tricks and hijinks, and even some nefarious actions. It’s on Amazon Prime Video, starring Billy Bob Thornton and William Hurt, among others. Truly addictive.

      I hope to start I See You this week…I also loved I Let You Go. Happy holidays!


  16. The soup and drink both look yummy! And I am loving several books on your list. I have I See You coming up on my reading list soon. And The Step Mother and Faultlines both look very intriguing. I am going to have to add them to my TBR list. Have a wonderful holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am feeling the Christmas spirit as well. That’s great you reached your goal of 100 books for that challenge and maybe you can add a few more to that in the last few weeks. I like that picture of your little tree, so cute! Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

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