MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS….

Welcome to another Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts post.  To participate, click on over to Christine’s Bookishly Boisterous site.

  • How did the week fly by so fast?  Yes, each day had errands or appointments, so that was part of it.  Yesterday’s appointment for my annual physical took up most of the day, as I fiddled about getting ready, and then afterwards had lunch out to relax again.  However, I have been doing a little reading, having finished reading and reviewing two books so far.
  • Earlier in the week I got an e-mail notification that Spring Bloggiesta is coming next week:  March 20-26.  I’ve been spending some time each day creating potential new blog headers.  This blog will be the focus of the event, but I tend to spend a little time on each site.
  • Only two more weeks until the beach trip for my daughter’s “wedding.”  Yes, in quotes, because they actually tied the knot in November so she could be on his health plan, but had already arranged for the beach getaway.  We will get to dress up, she will be wearing “bride’s” clothes, and we will have dinner afterwards.  Then…back to the city the next day for the reception.
  • I had trimmed down my list of NetGalley Review books...but then, unexpectedly, received two more!  Now I have four…but they are sort of spread out, with two in April, one in May, and another in JulyThe newest one:

Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane.  I loved this author’s Waverly Bryson series.

 

I also love the cover!

  • Yesterday I received a new Amazon Vine review book in the mail:  Small Hours, by Jennifer Kitses, which I’ve been ogling.

 

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So….these are my meandering thoughts on this Thursday.  What are yours?

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MY BOOKISH/NOT SO BOOKISH THOUGHTS: SNAPSHOTS OF JULY

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Welcome!  It is Thursday, and even though I have been absent from this event for a while, I am delighted to return with some Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts.  Check out the host, Christine.

For Saturday’s Snapshot post, check in with Melinda, at West Metro Mommy Reads.

For most of July, I have been hosting my eldest son and his wife, newly arrived from Berlin.  They stayed all month, and now are up north visiting other family members.  They will return in early September and stay most of the month….and when they fly out, this time they will be headed to Prague, where they met several years ago.

Before they arrived in my Central Valley city, they spent July 4th weekend in LA, and here are some of their photos.  My second son lives in an apartment in Hollywood, called The Broadway.  Great for rooftop shots, like this one of Gabi on the roof:

 

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Here is my son Craig on the rooftop…the building sign is reversed.  They spent a lot of time in this rooftop pool.

 

 

Craig on The Broadway roof

Here is the sign, lit up:

 

 

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When they arrived here, in our less than celestial city, we visited the mountains, enjoyed a lake, and ate lots of good food at my daughter’s house.   We had one lunch here, below, in an Old Town hotel.

 

a little Shaver Lake pub

 

Craig & Gabi -Old Town Hotel

On our last night together, Craig made spinach enchiladas, and we watched back-to-back movies.

While they were here, my office, temporarily, was this one in the dining room:

 

 

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At least I was close to the coffee pot!

Now I am back in my normal office, left, minus the bulky bookcase that once jutted out into the room(right)…it is now in the garage.

 

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Here is the abandoned bookcase, full of books to donate:

bookcase with donated books

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July was a relatively non-bookish month.  I only read and reviewed TEN books…a very low number for me.  But I had a lot of fun.

Now I am moving back and forth between books on my Kindle:  first I chose Some Luck, by Jane Smiley, but stalled after just 26 pages!

So now I am reading Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen, a book that has been on my Kindle for quite a while.

 

 

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So that was my month.  What did your month/week look like?

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS: TIME WITH FAMILY

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Good morning!  It has been a while since I participated in My Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts.  For those who want to give this a whirl, head on over to Bookishly Boisterous.

The past three weeks have been mostly “not so bookish,” in that my reading has been minimal….but I’m enjoying a long-term visit from my eldest son and his wife of two years, whom I’ve been calling “The Berliners,” since that was where they were last living.  It had been eight years since he last visited, and at that time, he had been living in Prague.  This time, they will stay here for a while, head up the coast to visit other relatives, and then return here before going back to Europe in late September.  They will then return to Prague.  He is a photographer/writer.

Yesterday we had lunch in a neighboring village that is known for its Old Town vibe.  Below, Craig and Gabi are in the Old Town Hotel, where we enjoyed the ambience.

 

Craig & Gabi -Old Town Hotel

 

Here is another glimpse of the surroundings….

 

 

Dining room - Old Town Hotel - July 22

 

And then we headed to another part of the Old Town center, where we enjoyed The Old Town Saloon, with its western feel.

 

 

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Yes, a little tacky, perhaps, but it’s fun to step outside one’s comfort zone.

A couple of weeks ago, we visited the mountains an hour from here…Shaver Lake is a favorite place to enjoy the cooler weather.

 

 

Shaver Lake - 1 - July 10

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I have been doing a little reading, and right now, I am as immersed as I can be, when reading sporadically, in The Murderer’s Daughter, by Jonathan Kellerman:  from NetGalley.

 

 

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I am loving this stand-alone novel that is not part of the Alex Delaware series, although his name does appear a few times, as he is connected to the MC, Dr. Grace Blades.  A clinical psychologist, she treats clients with PTSD, and she certainly relates, as she has her own issues.

When her past collides with her present, she will be running for her life.

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What have you been up to lately?  What does your bookish/not so bookish world look like?

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS: GRADUATIONS, ETC.

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Welcome to My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts!  Check out Christine’s blog to see what others are doing this week.

It has been a couple of weeks since I participated in this event….last week was a total wash, with all the distractions, etc.

Coming this weekend is a Mini-Bloggiesta event, which I always enjoy.  I really loved the main event a couple of months ago, but this one is like a chance to do some minor tweaks.

I will be primarily working on Serendipity, but I will also do a few things on my other sites.  Like on this one, I’ve already changed the header.

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Both of my granddaughters (like twins, they were born the same month and year) graduated high school.  Aubrey graduated in May, and promptly went to Hawaii as her senior grad trip.  Here she is with her dad (my son) and two of her brothers.

 

 

My Robinson Four

 

Fiona graduated Tuesday night, and afterwards, we all got together at the Spaghetti Factory for a dinner…and closed down the restaurant.  (Below:  Fiona is on the right; her cousin Dani, left, also graduated).

 

 

Graduates -Fiona & cousin Dani

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They are eager to go off to college, but first, summer fun!

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I am now happily enjoying Netflix on my Blu-Ray player—not that my whole hooking-up-to-the-laptop via HDMI cables wasn’t a great way to go—but this is easier.  I finally finished watching the five seasons of Breaking Bad…and started House of Cards.

 

 

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This week’s reading has kept me glued to my books (Kindle, actually); and now I am reading a print book from Vine:  Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave.  It is fun so far.

 

 

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I think I am finally getting into my rhythm at NetGalley.  I have received some great reads, and my rules for myself are working so far: only request books from authors recommended to me or have read, and only books that I would otherwise have purchased.

I am trying to avoid the deep dark hole I was in with Amazon Vine when I requested books without a lot of thought…and then found myself slogging through them.  Not fun!

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What books are you enjoying?  What’s ahead in the upcoming weeks?  Summer fun?  Trips?

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS: SAYING GOODBYE!

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Welcome!  It is Thursday, and that means we should check in over at Bookishly Boisterous, and then share a few tidbits about our Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts.

Last night, while I was propped up in bed with all the pillows and cushions available, I was reading.  But I kept getting distracted as I studied the room.  Yes, my bookish and cozy room that has been under fire lately.

There once were five bookshelves stuffed with books…and I started whittling away at them, removing shelves until there were four left. 

Suddenly I found myself out of that cozy bed and tossing books into a basket to carry them to the garage donation shelf (one of the empty shelves that now lives there!).

 

 

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And now there is another empty shelf…on the other side of the garage.  And here are some views of what my room looks like now. (Below).  There was another full shelf where you now see the exercise bike and the stack of boxes under Minnie Mouse.  Before, the exercise bike was right next to my bed and I stumbled over it regularly…LOL.

 

 

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Here is a close-up of the bike and the remaining shelf.

 

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And a view of the other shelves. (Below):  Number Two Shelf Remaining.

 

 

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Below:  Shelf Number Three:  And I had that fan blowing the whole time, as I was SWEATING like crazy.

 

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Of course, I could not go to sleep!  And I had to take two pills for my sore muscles…LOL.

I watched Hot in Cleveland, with the story of how the show came to pass, and some of the actors’ favorite moments while filming.  I am going to miss that show!  Series finale is next week.

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Then I continued reading Daughters-in-Law, by Joanna Trollope, another fun family story that peeks behind the facades….

 

 

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I have loved reading two other books this week, too; The Liar, by Nora Roberts, and The Hypnotist’s Love Story, by Liane Moriarty. (Click for my reviews).

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Mini-Bloggiesta is coming in June (13th and 14th)…and I’ll be participating.  I love these events, as they give me the opportunity to play with one or more of my blogs.

What has your week brought for you?  I hope you’ll come on by and share….

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS: BOOKS & MOVIES

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Good morning!  It’s another Thursday, which means the weekend is almost here…and it’s time to talk about our Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts with Bookishly Boisterous.  Check out Christine’s blog to see what others are chatting about.

Do I even have any thoughts today?  I have been sticking close to home, reading and watching movies.  I saw one the other night that I watched again the next day.  I loved it that much!  It was 5 Flights Up, with Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman.

 

 

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Okay, this is not a movie for everybody, but I was drawn in by the NY scenes, and the characterizations of Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton.  Alex and Ruth, who are getting older, have lived in this Brooklyn apartment for 40 years, and they are tired of climbing those five flights up to the apartment.  Plus, the neighborhood is changing—gentrifying—and the aspects that drew them in the beginning are no longer there.

It was fun (for me) to watch them hold a hilarious open house, with TV in the background showing shots of a “terrorist” scene unfolding at the bridge.  Their realtor is Ruth’s niece Lily, portrayed by an intense and rather annoying Cynthia Nixon.  She did a great job of playing THAT kind of realtor.

They also looked at some apartments in Manhattan…and that was an eye-opener for them…and for me.

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My reading started out great, with Little Black Lies, by Sandra Block, followed by Bittersweet and Every Fifteen Minutes.  (Click titles for my reviews).

Now I am struggling to get through The Shore.  Yes, I was forewarned that this is not for everyone.

 

 

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Yes, it sounds lovely in the blurb:  “The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it’s a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. “

Some of the stories are enchanting…while others, not so much.  My biggest problem with the novel is how it flips back and forth across time, picking up with characters at various points in their lives…and I didn’t think it was done that seamlessly.

But I plan to slog along a little longer….sigh.

Did anyone read it?  Thoughts?

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I also started reading an e-Arc that is much better (for me):  Black-Eyed Susans, by Julia Heaberlin.

 

 

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As a sixteen-year-old, Tessa Cartwright was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “Black-Eyed Susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. Tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row.

Now, almost two decades later, Tessa is an artist and single mother. In the desolate cold of February, she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susans—a summertime bloom—just outside her bedroom window. Terrified at the implications—that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large—Tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. But the flowers alone are not proof enough, and the forensic investigation of the still-unidentified bones is progressing too slowly. An innocent life hangs in the balance. The legal team appeals to Tessa to undergo hypnosis to retrieve lost memories—and to share the drawings she produced as part of an experimental therapy shortly after her rescue.

What they don’t know is that Tessa and the scared, fragile girl she was have built a  fortress of secrets. As the clock ticks toward the execution, Tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. Is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting Tessa with a trail of clues? She has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night.

Sounds intense, right?

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So that’s what my week was like so far….and I have no idea what the weekend holds, other than reading and catching up on my DVR recordings.  What about you?

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS: READING & RELAXING

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Welcome to our Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts, hosted by Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous.

Today is Spa Day again, although this time, I am just getting hair and nails done.

 

 

beautician bear

I am wondering if I should change up my nail color…I have had these dark shades of navy blue forever!

 

 

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I cannot imagine them in pastels, though; those colors do not feel like me.  Red?  Maybe just a variation of the dark shades.  Off to check out the possibilities before I head over.

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This week has brought more purges, but nothing overwhelming.  A few stacks of magazines made it to the recycling bin…I like saving some favorites for a while, but when they start to pile up, and they threaten to topple, well….that’s it.

I rearranged some more of my figurines on the bookshelves…keeping the arrangements small, but changing them up a bit.

 

 

photo - may 13 - new arrangements

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Now, for the books….I am reading the Kellerman book, Guilt, and it is pretty interesting, but it is not keeping me up at night, which is a bad sign for a mystery.  But I will plug away.

 

 

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I’m taking Pippa, my Kindle, to the salon….where I have a whole library of books to choose from….

 

 

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I’m thinking of starting Little Black Lies, by Sandra Block

 

 

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She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own…

In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother’s death, the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out.

As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can’t remember just might kill her.

Little Black Lies is about madness and memory – and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

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After the salon, I’ll be hanging out with Noah at his house, and if he is true to form, he will be glued to his video games..so I can read.

How has your day been shaping up?  Your week?

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