MY WWW POST…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

CURRENTLY READING:

What You Wish For, by Katherine Center – (NetGalley – 7/14/20)

“The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth.”—Kirkus (starred review)

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BOOKS READ SINCE MY LAST POST OF 6/30/20:

The House Guest, by Mark Edwards

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Dead Letters, by Caite Dolan-Leach

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The Half Sister, by Sandie Jones

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

I discovered this book on other blogs, and loved the blurb and the timeliness of it.  Nomadland:  Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, by Jessica Bruder

The book is available now, so I plan to add it to my shelves soon.

Description:  “People who thought the 2008 financial collapse was over a long time ago need to meet the people Jessica Bruder got to know in this scorching, beautifully written, vivid, disturbing (and occasionally wryly funny) book.” —Rebecca Solnit

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.

Soon to be a major motion picture. 

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?
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HAPPY FRIDAY: ADJUSTING OUR ATTITUDES…

Welcome to Friday!  As you enter my apartment, you will be greeted by this hall tree  and a series of handbags. Quirky ones, like the Marilyn Monroe bag and the Elvis Presley bag.

If you come a little farther into my space, you will see my bookshelf, growing every day, with new books added regularly.

 

Now you can grab a book, a cup of coffee, and curl up to enjoy!

Meanwhile, we are still locked down, but we can now go outside with our masks and into the dining room to enjoy our meals…every other day.  On the other days, we eat in our apartments with meals brought from the kitchen.  I serve mine up on a lovely tray that just came from Amazon.

 

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A New Normal doesn’t have to be grim.  We can formulate our own version of it, with the help of creativity and a quirk in our attitudes.

Happy Fourth of July (tomorrow!).

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REVIEW: THE HOUSE GUEST, BY MARK EDWARDS

 

When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite her.

As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

As I was drawn into the story of The House Guest, I was leery of almost every character that appeared. Especially Eden. Who could possibly trust anything she said or did?

But as the story leads us along, and as we meet other characters, all of whom seem suspicious and/or nefarious, I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

What would happen to Ruth when she mysteriously disappeared? Who was behind it, and would Adam figure it out, with the help of a mysterious stranger who seemed to be stalking him?

What did the homeowners, Mona and Jack, have to do with what was happening? Was Eden an old friend, or were they, too, involved in the cult-like events that surrounded them all?

I liked trailing along after the characters and the story, trying to decide who was evil and who was good. In the end, we are quickly swept away to a beautiful beach setting…and we think it is all over. But is it? 5 stars.

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IT’S HUMP DAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

CURRENTLY READING:

The House Guest, by Mark Edwards

“Brilliant, shocking and very creepy. Mark Edwards has done it again.”—Elly Griffiths, bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway series

A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.

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BOOKS READ SINCE MY LAST POST OF 6/23/20

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley

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The Golden Cage, by Camilla Lackberg- a NetGalley ARC for a book that will be released on 7/7/20

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

A book that is on its way to my mailbox is from an author I have enjoyed, and it is a book that delves into timely issues.  A story of absolute, universal timelessness …For any era, it’s an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it’s piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be….” – Entertainment Weekly

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett

Synopsis:  The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

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I have not read much this past week, but the books I did choose were engaging.  What did your week look like?

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A HUMP DAY OF READING…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

 

CURRENTLY READING: 

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

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BOOKS READ SINCE LAST POST OF 6/16/20:

Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown

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Swan Song, by Lisa Alther

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You Can’t Catch Me, by Catherine McKenzie

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

Paris Never Leaves You, by Ellen Feldman (Release Date:  8/4/20)

I have loved many books by this author over the years, so I had to check it out.

Synopsis:  Living through World War II working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman’s Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past.

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That was my week.  A blissful collection of books.  What did your week look like?

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HUMP DAY BOOKS…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

 

 

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CURRENTLY READING:

  Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown

Two wildly different women—one a grifter, the other an heiress—are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear.

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BOOKS READ SINCE MY 6/9/20 POST:

This Is How I Lied, by Heather Gudenkauf

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The Closer You Get, by Mary Torjussen

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A Week at the Shore, by Barbara Delinsky

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING: 

Today I pre-ordered The Switch, by Beth O’Leary, which will be released on August 18, 2020.  I recently read another book by the author, and loved it. (The Flatshare).

Synopsis:  When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest.

Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects.

But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything….or to find yourself.

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Another great week for me!  What did yours look like?

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REVIEW: THE CLOSER YOU GET, BY MARY TORJUSSEN

Coworkers Ruby and Harry are in love—but they’re married to other people. They decide to tell their spouses that their marriages are over and to start a new life together. Ruby has wanted to leave her controlling husband for a while, so she tells him she’s leaving and waits at the hotel where she and Harry are to meet. But Harry never shows up.

Suddenly, Ruby has lost everything. Harry won’t answer her calls, and she’s fired from her job. She finds a cheap apartment in a run-down part of town, all the while wondering what happened to Harry.

Just as Ruby thinks she’s hit rock bottom, strange and menacing things start to happen—someone is sneaking into her apartment, and someone is following her home late at night—and she is going to have to fight for her survival.


Alternating narrators tell the story in The Closer You Get. First, we connect with Ruby’s voice, and then with Emma’s.

Two women trying to move beyond the disappointments in their marriages. Who can they trust? Will they find what they are seeking, or will they realize that there is nothing good to be found in those they turn to?

At first, we believe that Ruby will have her happily-ever-after, but when he seemingly dumps her without a second thought, she almost reconsiders leaving her husband. But he is keeping things from her, and his bullying ways continue, even after she thinks he might have changed.

Emma seems like someone who could be an enemy, but as time goes on, we realize that she has not found what she wanted either. She might be more of a victim than we realize.

Back and forth the story takes us, making us wonder just who these women can trust, and what further secrets will be revealed. Twisty moments that kept us wondering what would happen next led to me awarding this book 5 stars.

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HUMP DAY READING…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING: 

This Is How I Lied, by Heather Gudenkauf

Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide…

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BOOKS READ SINCE MY LAST POST ON 6/2/20:

A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline

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Watch Me Disappear, by Janelle Brown

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The Flatshare, by Beth O’Leary

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

The Cousins, by Karen M. McManus, will be released on December 1, 2020.  That is a long time to wait, so I’ll be on pins and needles.

Synopsis:  From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?
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REVIEW: A PIECE OF THE WORLD, BY CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE

 

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

As I walked into the world of a complicated and somewhat isolated woman who is the primary character of A Piece of the World, I was fascinated with her interior thoughts, her interior world, and how she became the muse of the painter Andrew Wyeth, who spent more than twenty years sketching and painting her.

He came in the summers, literally seemed to move into the farmhouse, and immersed himself in the work. When the painting, entitled Christina’s World, was finally unfurled, we see how this artist truly saw his subject. Her complicated and seemingly isolated life was so much more. There were many stories beneath the surface, yielding an iconic character..

As I read, I felt truly sorry for Christina, but also had to admire her inner strength. She showed us how an individual can persevere and triumph. How one person could slowly reveal so many layers that can inspire others, seen by the world through one man’s art. A fictionalized story with a very human centerpiece. 4.5 stars.

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HUMP DAY BOOKS…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING:  A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline

This is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

I have had this book since February 22, 2017, and rediscovered it in my search through my backlog books.  I hope to love it.

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BOOKS READ SINCE MY LAST POST OF 5/26/20:

The Sea of Lost Girls, by Carol Goodman

 

My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell

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The Dilemma, by B. A. Paris (NG-6/30/20)

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After Anna, by Alex Lake

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:   I am waiting for a copy of The Half Sister, by Sandie Jones, an author I enjoy.

Synopsis: 

THE TRUTH

Sisters Kate and Lauren meet for Sunday lunch every week without fail, especially after the loss of their father.

THE LIE

But a knock at the door is about to change everything. A young woman by the name of Jess holds a note with the results of a DNA test, claiming to be their half sister.

THE UNTHINKABLE

As the fallout starts, it’s clear that they are all hiding secrets, and perhaps this family isn’t as perfect as it appears.

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So that was my week.  I loved the books I read!  What did you enjoy?

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