WEEKLY UPDATES: HOT DAYS & MORE READING…

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.

Another hot week!  I did read four books again this week, bringing my challenge total to 63 books.

There were some outside activities, too, which I tried to restrict to mornings:  coffee at Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, with a friend; and hair styling on Thursday.

Sadly the rash came back…despite the organic dye.  Luckily I had some of the ointment left over from last time, the kind that worked after several trials.  I also refilled the prescription for more…just in case.  After one day of using it, I’m almost in control of it. 

I may have to shave my head!  LOL.  No, I’ll probably just find a solution that involves going natural.  Whatever that may look like these days.

This morning I had breakfast at Marie Callender’s, after getting my prescription…I didn’t photograph it, as the platter was huge.  I didn’t eat it all…but still.  Piggy time?

Now I’m having more coffee in my “reading” cup.  Check out the dwindling book stacks on the shelf nearby…and I like the morning light coming through the blinds.  Now let’s look at last week’s blogging and reading…the blog posts were minimal, but the reading was good.

 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Potpourri:  “The Secrets She Keeps”

Hump Day Potpourri:  A Week of Reading….

Chatting with Coffee….

Bookish Friday:  “Mrs. Saint & the Defectives”

Looking Back…and Moving Forward….

Review:  My Life to Live, by Agnes NixonReview:  The Marriage Pact (e-book), by Michelle Richmond (NG – 9/25)Review:  The Best of Us (e-book), by Joyce Maynard (NG-9/5)Review:  Every Wild Heart (e-book), by Meg Donohue

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty physical mailbox!  My inbox, however, brought ONE NetGalley Review ARC…as if I need more.

The Blackbird Season (e-book), by Kate Moretti (NG – 9/26)

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Mrs. Fletcher (e-book), by Tom Perrotta (NG – 8/1)

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I also need to read some more e-ARCs in the next couple of weeks, like…

Girl in Snow (e-book), by Danya Kukafka (NG – 8/1)

Emma in the Night (e-book), by Wendy Walker (NG – 8/8)

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I would also love to grab one or two books from my TBR (Purchased)…but we shall see.

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That’s my week…what did yours look like?  A couple of nights ago, I read while eating this salad, topped off with my Pomegranate Martini.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: HOT, HOT, HOT!!!

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.

 

It is hot, hot, hot!  Yes, every year we begin summer with triple digits…but this year, we had some lovely 80 degree weather leading up to this scorching hot season.  However, it is perfect for staying indoors in the AC…reading, blogging, watching TV.  I love the new Netflix season on Wentworth…more than the Orange Is the New Black fifth season, which I finished anyway.

I read and reviewed three books...and I’m halfway through my fourth one, which I was sure I would finish before now.  But I’m savoring it.

My total for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge is…wait for it!  52!

Let’s grab some coffee…and/or breakfast, and chat.

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Bloggiesta Finish Line

Tuesday Sparks:  “The Summer House”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Book Love!

Coffee Morning:  Hot Day Ahead!

Bookish Friday:  “The Sunshine Sisters”

From the Past to the Present in Photos…

Coffee Morning on Saturday:  Reminiscing…

Review:  You’ll Never Know, Dear (e-book), by Hallie EphronReview:  Fairy Tale Interrupted, by RoseMarie TerenzioReview:  Good Me, Bad Me, by Ali Land

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in my physical mailbox…but I received one e-ARC from NetGalley…and then went on to download some purchases…and I also bought two books from Barnes & Noble’s bargain table.

Girl in Snow (e-book), by Danya Kukafka (NetGalley – 8/1/17)

 

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Purchases:  Downloads

Lost & Found Sisters (e-book), by Jill Shalvis

Here & Gone (e-book), by Haylen Beck

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Bargain Table Books: I had coupons!

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, by Chris Bohjalian

Heroes Are My Weakness, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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UP NEXT:

Currently Reading: The Sunshine Sisters (e-book), by Jane Green

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Then I have several possibilities, like these:

Watching the Detectives (e-book, Book 5), by Julie Mulhern

The Summer House (e-book), by Hannah McKinnon

The Bookshop at Water’s End (e-book), by Patti Callahan Henry (NG – 7/11)

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That was my week…what did yours look like?  Last weekend, I enjoyed this lunch treat.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: BLOGGIESTA IS COMING!

 

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.

 

Ooh, yummy cup of coffee!  My coffee pot died yesterday (it was too soon, I thought!), but sadly, I had to go get a new one.  However, there is nothing better tasting than a fresh pot from a brand new machine.  After buying it, and a few other things I will need for my beach weekend, I had lots of coffee (and mimosas) at Mimi’s.  Just to assuage my caffeine withdrawal until I could get home and make a pot.

 

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A week of mostly sunshine…again.  I even had to turn the air conditioner on for a little bit.  But…I am not certain that we are done with the rain.

Busy days, errands, appointments, including my annual physical exam..and THREE books read and reviewed.  My total at Read the Books You Buy:  27.

Guess what is coming this week!  Spring Bloggiesta, from March 20-26.  I’ve already started, as you can probably tell.  I will be working primarily on this blog, but the other five will get a tweak or two.

I am looking forward to more Big Little Lies on Sunday…and The Good Fight.  I am also hooked on Scandal again, on Netflix.

I had a nice long phone chat with my second son, the one from LA…he is the only one of my grown kids who actually enjoys talking on the phone instead of primarily texting. 

I’ve been missing my Skype calls from my eldest; the nine hour time difference and busy schedules can be such a barrier.  He and his wife did a recent photo shoot at the Prague Hilton.  Here they are, ready to go.

 

 

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Let’s take a peek at last week’s blog posts…and have another cup of coffee:

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

A Sunday Coffee Chat:  Planning My Day…

My Journey:  Book Musings…

Curl up with “The Futures”

A Journey through My Shelves….

Hump Day Sparks:  A Reading Journey

Spring Bloggiesta:  Sign-Up Post….

My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts…

Bookish Friday:  “Never Change”

Interior Thoughts:  A Prague Photo Shoot….

Review:  The Mother’s Promise (e-book), by Sally HepworthReview:  The Futures (e-book), by Anna PitoniakReview:  Idaho (e-book), by Emily Ruskovich

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One Vine Review book came in my mailbox…and I also received a purchased book.  Two NetGalley Review books came to my Kindle…and I purchased three downloads.

Small Hours, by Jennifer Kitses (Amazon Vine)

 

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California Dreamin’, Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas, by Penelope Bagieu (Purchased)

 

 

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Downloads:

Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane (NetGalley – 4/4/17)

 

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The Idea of You (e-book), by Amanda Prowse – (NetGalley – 3/21/17)

 

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Every Wild Heart (e-book), by Meg Donohue – (Purchased)

 

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The Widower’s Wife (e-book), by Cate Holahan – (Purchased)

 

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Swimming Lessons (e-book), by Claire Fuller – (Purchased)

 

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Never Change (e-book), by Elizabeth Berg

 

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Then….some review books, etc., like these:

 

The Idea of You (e-book), by Amanda Prowse (NetGalley – 3/21-17)

 

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Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane – (NetGalley – 4/4/17)

 

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One Perfect Lie (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (NetGalley – 4/11/17)

 

 

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That was my week!  What did yours look like?  Grab some coffee, a mimosa, and let’s chat:

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: LOTS OF RAIN & A BIT OF SUNSHINE…

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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.

Good morning, and welcome to another weekend of chatting about books and blogging.  My week was pitiful, as I only finished reading and reviewing TWO books, but both qualified for the reading challenge…now totaling 18 books read and reviewed.

I spent some time watching Scandal on Netflix, and also saw a movie based on a book I’d enjoyed:  American Pastoral. (That one was On Demand).

On Friday, I was a bit bored and not wanting to read any more…so I created some new blog headers for my Serendipity site…and changed them about three times…LOL.  Here’s what I ended up with:

 

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We’ve had a lot of rain, but Monday started out with a sunny day, which my granddaughter and I celebrated with lunch and shopping.  She was visiting for the week from her training program in San Jose.  Every time I see her, she has a “new look.”  Ouch, right?

 

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I had errands to run and a tax appointment with my accountant…which ended better than expected.  So, what a relief!

After my appointment, I relaxed into an early dinner at Marie Callender’s.  Chicken Pot Pie and Caesar Salad…and a book.

 

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LET’S CHAT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED ON MY BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Routines & Changes….

Monday Potpourri:  Exciting New Read!

Let’s Curl up with “The Trophy Child”

Hump Day Serendipity:  Luxuriating in Books…

Hump Day Potpourri:  Books, Food, & Fun…

Coffee Chat:  A Morning of Books, Taxes, Etc.

Bookish Friday:  “Right Behind You”

Serendipitous Moments:  Blog Headers, Decor, & Nostalgia…

Weekend Potpourri:  Creative Changes…

Review:  My Husband’s Wife (e-book), by Jane Corrycropped-again-5Review:  The Vanishing Year (e-book), by Kate Moretticropped-again-5

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

I received one review book in my mailbox…and downloaded a review book from NetGalley. Then I purchased THREE  FOUR downloads…I couldn’t resist.

How Will I Know You?, by Jessica Treadway (Amazon Vine)

 

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One Perfect Lie (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline (NetGalley – 4/11/17)

 

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Downloads I Purchased:

Vivian in Red (e-book), by Kristina Riggle

 

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Heartbreak Hotel (e-book, An Alex Delaware Novel), by Jonathan Kellerman

 

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Eeny Meeney (e-book, Helen Grace #1), by M. J. Arlidge

 

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And…one I almost forgot about!

The Good Daughter (e-book), by Alexandra Burt

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Right Behind You (e-book), by Lisa Gardner

 

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Then…maybe these, or wherever my mood takes me….

The Trophy Child (e-book), by Paula Daly (NetGalley – 3/7)

 

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Rainy Day Women (e-book), by Kay Kendall

 

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That was my week….what did yours look like?  Let’s share a Cup of Joe…and perhaps a mimosa.

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A MOSTLY UNREMARKABLE WEEK….

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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.

 

We had some rain this week, but on other days, the sun made an appearance.  Then the clouds hung overhead, like a foreshadowing of more rain to come.  I stayed in most of the time, though, but only read and reviewed THREE books this week, bringing my challenge total up to SIXTEEN.

I did manage one outing on Monday to the Passport Place, at the university,  where they now handle passport applications and renewals.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years already!  That day was so windy that I felt like I was flying across the parking lot.

I didn’t even connect to Netflix this week, but enjoyed the return of some of the shows I like:  The Fosters, Switched at Birth, and the TGIT lineup.

So…what next?  I must have done more this week, since I only read three books…but obviously the events were not that remarkable.   Oh, right, I did change up the theme, background, and header here…and the header over at Serendipity.  If that counts.

Grab some coffee…and a mimosa, and let’s chat.

 

coffeemimosa-morning***

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Potpourri:  “Things We Didn’t Say”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Bingeing on Coffee and Books….

Hump Day Sparks:  Impulse Reading…

Hump Day Obsessions:  From Blog Posts to Headers…

Bookish Thursday #40: (After a Short Break)…

Thursday Potpourri:  Distractions, Etc.

Bookish Friday:  “Behind Her Eyes”

A Ditty Playing in My Head:  Monday’s Child, Etc.

Let’s Chat Over Coffee:  Family Moments…

Review:  Pretty Little World (e-book), by Melissa DePino, et. al.ratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  Behind Her Eyes (e-book), by Sarah Pinboroughratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  Things We Didn’t Say (e-book), by Kristina Riggleratings-worms-4-cropped

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

My mailbox had TWO books I had purchased, and I downloaded ONE from Amazon.

The Girl:  A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, by Samantha Geimer

 

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Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler

 

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Download:

The Fifth Letter (e-book), by Nicola Moriarty

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  My Husband’s Wife (e-book), by Jane Corry

 

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Then, maybe….

The Best Awful, by Carrie Fisher

 

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The Vanishing Year (e-book), by Kate Moretti

 

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And…that was my week.  What did yours look like?  Here’s a dessert I enjoyed last weekend….Key Lime Pie and Coffee with Jameson…

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: RAINY DAY READING…

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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.

 

We had quite a bit of rain again this week, and yesterday it pounded so hard that I kept checking the skylight in the kitchen…so far, so good!  It was a good week for reading, though, and I read and reviewed FOUR books.  I have now added THIRTEEN BOOKS to my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

Today I am going to find a place to have a new passport photo taken…the ten years have gone by, and it’s time to renew!  How did that happen?  It seems as though I just got it.

I settled down last night to watch some Netflix, but kept skipping from show to show, not finding anything I wanted to binge-watch…and then I remembered my Amazon Videos, some of which I added this week.  I started watching Z:  The Beginning of Everything, and several hours later (1:00 a.m.) I had finished!  Whew.  Since it is based on the novel Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler…I grabbed my iPhone and ordered it!  Yes, I am impulsive like that.  I’ve read other “Zelda” books, but none that were set in the early years.  Looking forward to reading it!

 

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But I woke up late this morning, as a result…and I’m not yet fully caffeinated.  Here’s a photo that might help!

 

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Let’s look at the past week….

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Monday Sparks:  Musing About Books…

Let’s Curl up with “Pretty Little World”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Celebrating with Books…and a Martini?

January Wrap-Up:  A Great Reading Month

Hump Day Sparks:  A Delightful Week So Far…

Bookish Friday:  “Rainy Day Women”

Coffee & Family Moments:  Savoring Them…

Weekend Potpourri:  A Switcheroo…

Review:  The Red Car (e-book), by Marcy Dermanskyratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  The Dry (e-book), by Jane Harpercropped-again-5Review:  Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (e-book), by Kathleen Rooneycropped-again-5Review:  The Bad Things (e-book), by Mary-Jane Rileyratings-worms-4-cropped

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INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in my mailbox this week…but I downloaded four books.

A review book came on Saturday!

Slightly South of Simple, by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Author Review Request)

 

 

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Downloads:

 

Right Behind You (e-book), by Lisa Gardner

 

 

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Behind Her Eyes (e-book), by Sarah Pinborough

 

 

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My Husband’s Wife (e-book), by Jane Corry

 

 

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After She Fell (e-book, Alex Devlin Book 2), by Mary-Jane Riley

 

 

 

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Now…what’s up next?

Currently Reading:  Pretty Little World (e-book), by Melissa DePino & Elizabeth LaBan

 

 

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Then….who knows?  Maybe one of these…

 

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

 

 

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Rainy Day Women (e-book, Book 2), by Kay Kendall (I love this cover!)

 

 

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That was my week…what did yours look like?  Here’s a tease from midweek….a breakfast at Mimi’s…with a Bloody Mary and an omelet.

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: HELLO, 2017!

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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.

 

Happy New Year!  Did 2016 fly by, or what?  In many ways, I am happy about that fact, as there were some moments so sad and so frustrating that nothing but a New Year on the horizon could give us HOPE, which is my One Word.

Check out my First Book of 2017!  I do love this event.

The week was pretty good…until yesterday, when I got a flat tire!  In the ten years I have had this car, I have never had one.  Thank goodness for Triple A!  After the tire change, I had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen before heading over to get a new tire.  (The rest of them are good…I haven’t had these tires that long!).  But at the tire shop, there was a two-hour wait while they installed the new tire.  I am grateful that I had Pippa, my Kindle, with me!  But after already reading three books this week, I couldn’t find anything that engaged me!  All the newer books I’m holding off on until tomorrow…when I can start reading for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge for 2017.

My Reading Wrap-Up for the Year was an opportunity to spotlight my stats…and showcase my December reading.  Here’s a peek:

167 BOOKS READ IN 2016:

100 of those were purchased books that I read for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge: books I bought between June 2015-December 2016

40 of the books were review books

27 books were a mix of older books that I had purchased…

Let’s take a look at last week…

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Monday Sparks:  What Are You Musing About?

Tuesday Potpourri:  “Never Alone”

Top Ten Favorites of 2016!

Coffee Morning:  Pondering the Old, Looking Ahead to the New…

Hump Day Reading:  Let’s Talk About It!

Thursday Potpourri:  Countdown to Year’s End….

2016 Review Books:  Check My Progress!

Looking Back on Cozy Moments:  A Journey

Bookish Friday:  “The Missing”

Review:  The Things We Wish Were True (e-book), by Marybeth Whalen Mayhewratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  Last Night at the Viper Room (e-book), by Gavin Edwardsratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  The Girl Before (e-book), by J. P. Delaney – (NetGalley – 1/24/17)ratings-worms-4-cropped***

INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One review book came in the mailbox…from Amazon Vine.  And I downloaded a review book from NetGalley.  I am pleased to report that I stuck to my vow not to buy any more books in 2016!  After tomorrow, I can go nuts with that new Amazon gift card!  LOL.

The Orphan’s Tale, by Pam Jenoff (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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It Happens All the Time (e-book), by Amy Hatvany (NetGalley – 3/28/17)

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

I am reading my First Book of the Year…check the link above to find its identity…Yes, sneaky here.

There are a few books on my list as well…

The Woman in Cabin 10 (e-book), by Ruth Ware

 

 

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Missing, Presumed (e-book), by Susie Steiner

 

 

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Tonight, I’ll do some reading, watch some movies, (I’ve started watching The Crown on Netflix, and I’m hooked!), and see the ball drop at midnight…while sipping Champagne and eating popcorn.  I think.  What are your plans?

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: WELCOME TO MY “NEW” VENUE!

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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.

 

Welcome to our New Venue for the upcoming weeks (or months).  I do like moving events around to my various sites.  This blog was feeling “overlooked.”

Another week has flown by, but despite the fact that I had outings, including lunch at Pismo’s with a friend, I actually read more than usual.  FOUR books and one short story.  My Read the Books You Buy total is now 95!

I didn’t watch Netflix at all this week, but I did enjoy catching up on my DVR.  I deleted some of the recorded Christmas movies after watching for less than half an hour.  Why?  Well, I guess I was starting to get a sugar rush.  LOL.

I have a low tolerance for Christmas sentimentality, with all of it’s saccharine moments.  A little bit goes a long way.  I did enjoy the Dolly Parton Circle of Love movie, with that sweet little actress who plays “Faith” on The Young and the Restless. (Alyvia Alyn Lind).

Let’s take a look at the week….and enjoy caffeine while you read.

 

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Snow Sparks:  Musing About Libraries, Etc.

Tuesday Potpourri:  “The Bad Things”

My Book Journey:  A Dance!

Change of Venue for Weekly Updates…

Hump Day Reading:  Current, Past, & Future…

Bookish Thursday #39:  Serendipitous Moments

Bookish Friday:  “When All the Girls Have Gone”

Weekend Potpourri:  ‘Tis the Season…

My Interior World:  Upcoming Book Releases!

Review:  Little Deaths, by Emma Flint – (Amazon Vine)ratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  The 4th Man (e-book, short story), by Lisa Gardner (NetGalley – 1/3/17)cropped-again-5Review:  In a Dark, Dark Wood (e-book), by Ruth Wareratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  In Her Wake (e-book), by Amanda Jenningsratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  When All the Girls Have Gone (e-book), by Jayne Ann Krentzcropped-again-5

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in the mailbox!  Three purchased downloads, however.

The Woman in Cabin 10 (e-book), by Ruth Ware

 

 

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The Premonition (e-book, prequel to The Sleepwalker), by Chris Bohjalian

 

 

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Missing, Presumed (e-book), by Susie Steiner

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  The Premonition (e-book, prequel), by Chris Bohjalian

 

 

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The Sleepwalker (e-book), by Chris Bohjalian (NetGalley – 1/10/17)

 

 

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Sweet Lamb of Heaven (e-book), by Lydia Millet

 

 

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That’s it for my week.  What did yours look like?  I have no lovely food to showcase this week…but here’s another glimpse of my Christmas decorations.  I found the red table runner and place mats in a drawer…I had forgotten about them!

 

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “I AM NO ONE”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is I Am No One, by Patrick Flanery, a tense, mesmerizing novel about memory, privacy, fear, and what happens when our past catches up with us.

 

 

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Beginning:  At the time of my return to New York earlier this year I had been living in Oxford for more than a decade.  Having failed to get tenure at Columbia I believed Britain might offer a way to restart my career, though I always planned to move back to America, imagining I would stay abroad for a few years at most.  In the interim, however, America has changed so radically—by coincidence I left just after the attacks in New York—that I find myself feeling no less alienated now than I did during those long years in Britain.

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56:  As I showed her to the door, I turned and said, before thinking about the words or what their effect might be, “You know, Rachel, one of the great things about America, one of the reasons I wanted to come home to my country, is that anyone can speak any language in any possible accent and still be accorded the status of American.”

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Synopsis:  After a decade living in England, Jeremy O’Keefe returns to New York, where he has been hired as a professor of German history at New York University. Though comfortable in his new life, and happy to be near his daughter once again, Jeremy continues to feel the quiet pangs of loneliness. Walking through the city at night, it’s as though he could disappear and no one would even notice.

But soon, Jeremy’s life begins taking strange turns: boxes containing records of his online activity are delivered to his apartment, a young man seems to be following him, and his elderly mother receives anonymous phone calls slandering her son. Why, he wonders, would anyone want to watch him so closely, and, even more upsetting, why would they alert him to the fact that he was being watched?

As Jeremy takes stock of the entanglements that marked his years abroad, he wonders if he has unwittingly committed a crime so serious as to make him an enemy of the state. Moving towards a shattering reassessment of what it means to be free in a time of ever more intrusive surveillance, Jeremy is forced to ask himself whether he is “no one,” as he believes, or a traitor not just to his country but to everyone around him.

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I love the sound of this one. What do you think?

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REVIEW: I’VE GOT SAND IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES, BY LISA SC0TTOLINE, ET. AL.

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Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella are adept at humor, as exemplified in I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places, the latest in a series of such collections that offer up short and witty vignettes on a variety of topics.

They bring us right into the thick of it all, as they alternately share anecdotal incidents from their lives, mostly about all the daily things everyone experiences, but also spiced with their take on clothes; their unique book signings; gardening, especially fantasies about the perfect garden; food and metabolism; life with dogs; friendships; and romantic relationships, to name a few.

Lisa is famous for her labeling of her two ex-husbands as Thing One and Thing Two. Thing One has redeeming social value: he is Francesca’s father, whereas Thing Two barely gets a mention.

Francesca shares a frightening assault she experienced, and walked us through how she healed from it, while still acknowledging that she relives it at times. Her writing about her relationships, her dogs, and her single life in Manhattan help us see her perspective on a variety of issues, including her connection to her mother, and the importance of that connection in getting through life’s challenges.

Another topic many of us “people pleasers” can relate to is how to say no and how to do it without guilt. Lisa shares how she came to a realization that trying to make everybody happy was not a good thing for her own life.

“It took me fifty years to figure out what I was doing wrong, and how to fix it. I started saying no, and the world did not end. Then I kept saying no, and it got easier and easier.

“It takes practice….and I taught myself that every time I said no to someone else, I was saying yes to myself….I started living—my own life.”

I loved the section on The Empty Nest, and how Lisa dealt with it as a celebration, which does not in any way negate how much she loves and enjoys her daughter. But being able to own your day, without having responsibility for another human being under your roof, is a freedom unmatched by any other kind. She describes how her world is rocked a little when her daughter comes to visit, though, and that they get into little conversations about “why is the TV on CNN” all the time, or why are there closed captions? I got a giggle out of this one, as I love having the captions on, too, not because I can’t hear, but so I can mute the TV and still glance up to see what is going on. When I am reading or working, the TV, with captions, is muted and is like a backdrop to my other activities.

I thoroughly enjoy these chats with the authors, which make me feel as though I know them and that I’m joining them for coffee…or a drink. So I can’t wait for the next installment.

Rating:  cropped again 5

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