WEEKLY UPDATES: NETFLIX, ETC.

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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, in anticipation of Sheila’s return to lead us in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, check out Book Journey.

The week flew by, and while I didn’t achieve any records in my books read totals, I did manage a decent number:  three.  The books were quite diverse and enjoyable.

I also found myself bingeing on Netflix, finishing up Lipstick Jungle and beginning with Cedar Cover.

Now I’m enjoying a cup of coffee and pondering what happened this past week.

 

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Changing up the Blog & My Interior World

Chasing Away the Blues…Again!

Merging & Deleting – My Interior Thoughts

Curl up with Intros/Teasers – “The Summer Girls”

Serendipitous Wednesday: Waiting for “Flight Patterns”

Caroline’s Obsession Continues: An Excerpt from “Interior Designs”

Does My Blog Sparkle? – Changes…

Fun & Games – Beyond the Books

Bookish Friday: Excerpts & Bookish News

Saturday Sparks: Baby Love!

Review: Cold Spring Harbor (e-book), by Richard Yates

Review: The Summer Girls, Book 1 (e-book), by Mary Alice Monroe

Review: My Real Children (e-book), by Jo Walton

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Another empty mailbox, but I downloaded, via purchase, two e-books:

Who Do You Love (e-book), by Jennifer Weiner

 

 

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The Summer Wind (Book 2) (e-book), by Mary Alice Monroe

 

 

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

Currently Reading:  The Mistake I Made (e-book), by Paula Daly (NetGalley – To Be Released on 9/8)

 

 

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One Moment, One Morning (e-book), by Sarah Rayner

 

 

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In the Unlikely Event (e-book), by Judy Blume

 

 

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So that was my week…and what I am looking forward to in the upcoming week.  What did yours look like?  I also enjoyed more purging, and here is one of my bookshelves AFTER:

 

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: EXCERPTS & BOOKISH NEWS

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting 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 an e-book I have been eager to read, from a new-to-me author.  My Real Children, by Jo Walton, is the story of one woman’s two versions of her life.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  VC:  2015

“Confused today,” they wrote on her notes.  “Confused.  Less confused.  Very confused.”  That last was written frequently, sometimes abbreviated by the nurses to just “VC,” which made her smile, as if she were sufficiently confused to be given a medal for it.  Her name was on the notes too—just her first name, Patricia, as if in old age she were demoted to childhood, and denied both the dignity of surname and title and the familiarity of the form of her name she preferred.

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56:  (Tricia 1949)

She changed in Bristol Temple Meads and bought a pallid sausage roll at the station buffet which she could hardly eat despite her hunger.  She was afraid—of Mark, who had been so strange on the telephone and so silent since, of the new life she was plunging into, of marriage, and most of all of her wedding night.

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Blurb:  It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know-what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War-those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. Jo Walton’s My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan’s lives…and of how every life means the entire world.

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I am eager to continue reading this book, and to discover how it all unfolds.

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On other bookish fronts this week, I have conducted another purge, removing several of the older books from two of my shelves…and taken the books to the library collection drive.  Below is a photo of one of the shelves BEFORE the clearing out.

 

 

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And here it is AFTER:

 

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Here are the books I donated, a combination of what I took from this living room bookshelf (above), as well as from some other shelves throughout the house.

 

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Before I began the purges several months ago, I had counted my physical books (print format), and they totaled 1435.

Today, after this last purge, I counted what remains.  Ready for it?  630 books! 

I am pretty sure that I’m not done yet, but I think we can conclude that I am making real progress.  Do you have any bookish news to celebrate today?

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES: MORE PURGING

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It’s Monday, and I’m eager to share bookish stuff….if you are ready to join in, check out Jen, at A Daily Rhythm.

Some topics:

  • 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: Do you read in the water (bathtub, pool, etc)? Why, or why not?

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Today I’m sharing the outcome of my latest purge.  After my house guests left for a while, I started in on the office.  And noticed that my bookshelves were overflowing…again.

And since I am determined to stay ahead of the game, here are my “before and after” shots.

 

 

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And these books joined the others I am getting ready to donate…in the bookcase in the garage that I removed a few weeks ago.

 

 

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I love having this bookcase just waiting to receive the books.  I will soon empty it into my car for its trip to the library.

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As for the question:  I used to love reading in the bathtub…but since most of my reading nowadays is on my Kindle, Pippa, no way!  I am too afraid of liquid getting into my device.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: OBSESSIONS, ETC.

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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 now hosted at the home site:  Mailbox Monday.

It has been a week with more purging and organizing…which always triggers the need for a little rearranging.  I moved my pub table over by the big bookshelf again…I can sit there with breakfast and/or my laptop.  And on the bottom shelf, you can now see some of my Disney figurines that were hidden by the loveseat that was there before.

 

 

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My reading and blogging took a slight hit due to these distractions, but of the four books I read and reviewed, three of them were page turners.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

May Was a Winning Month! – Wrap-Up

From the Interior: Intros/Teasers – “My Sunshine Away”

My Blogging Journey:  A Tumultuous Ride

What’s up on Wednesday? – My Reading Journey

Bookish Fridays:  Sharing Excerpts & Thoughts

Weekend Potpourri: Celebrating…

Review: The Woman Upstairs (e-book), by Claire Messud

Review: Crash & Burn (e-book), by Lisa Gardner

Review: Monday’s Lie (e-book), by Jamie Mason

Review: The Rocks, by Peter Nichols

 

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

I received (via download) two review books from NetGalley; and I purchased two downloads.

Things You Won’t Say (e-book), by Sarah Pekkanen (NetGalley)

 

 

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In this timely and provocative novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen takes us inside a family in crisis and a marriage on the brink after a tragic shooting.

How far would you go to save your family?

Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There’s been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn’t hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband’s insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting—but this time Mike has pulled the trigger.

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Pretty Baby (e-book), by Mary Kubica (NetGalley)

 

 

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A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica 

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

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Purchased Downloads:

In the Unlikely Event (e-book), by Judy Blume

 

 

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In her highly anticipated new novel, Judy Blume, the New York Times # 1 best-selling author of Summer Sisters and of young adult classics such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, creates a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by unexpected events.

 

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Out of Orange (e-book), by Cleary Wolters

 

 

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The real-life Alex Vause from the critically acclaimed, top-rated Netflix show Orange Is the New Black tells her story in her own words for the first time—a powerful, surprising memoir about crime and punishment, friendship and marriage, and a life caught in the ruinous drug trade and beyond.

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

Currently Reading:  Things You Won’t Say (e-book), by Sarah Pekkanen

 

 

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The Cry (e-book), by Helen Fitzgerald

 

 

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Crooked Little Lies (e-book), by Barbara Taylor Sissel (NetGalley)

 

 

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Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Wow, what a week!  What did yours look like?  Come on by and share….

 

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A SHORT 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 now hosted at the home site:  Mailbox Monday.

With the holiday, the week seemed to fly by.  Hot weather kept me indoors, doing more rearranging and purging of the shelves.  I emptied another bookshelf in my bedroom.  Here’s what it looks like now, with one shelf where once there were two.  Now there are a total of three shelves in the room; a couple of months ago, there were five.

 

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I also managed to get some reading and blogging done….

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Weekend Interiors & Thoughts

Serendipitous Tuesdays:  Intros/Teasers – “Apron Strings”

Tuesday Potpourri:  My Quirky Office, Etc.

I’m Not Blue!  I’m Waiting for “Corrupted”

My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:  Saying Goodbye!

Serendipitous Fridays:  Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – “Crash & Burn”

Review:  The Liar (e-book), by Nora Roberts

Review:  The Lake Season (e-book), by Hannah McKinnon (NetGalley)

Review:  The Hypnotist’s Love Story (e-book), by Liane Moriarty

Review:  Daughters-in-Law, by Joanna Trollope

 

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Three review books came in my mailbox!  Two from Amazon Vine, and one from the publicist.

The Rocks, by Peter Nichols (Vine)

 

 

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“Irresistibly sunny…  Set in the brightly lit Mediterranean amid old olive trees and sexual intrigue, music and wine and beautiful women… Propulsive.” –The New York Times Book Review

“The perfect book for pretending it’s already beach season.” –O, The Oprah Magazine

A romantic page-turner propelled by the sixty-year secret that has shaped two families, four lovers, and one seaside resort community.

 

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Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave (Vine)

 

 

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A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she’s describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).

 

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A Week at the Lake, by Wendy Wax (Publicist)

 

 

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Twenty years ago, Emma Michaels, Mackenzie Hayes, and Serena Stockton bonded over their New York City dreams. Then, each summer, they solidified their friendship by spending one week at the lake together, solving their problems over bottles of wine and gallons of ice cream. They kept the tradition for years, until jealousy, lies, and life’s disappointments made them drift apart.

It’s been five years since Emma has seen her friends, an absence designed to keep them from discovering a long-ago betrayal. Now she’s in desperate need of their support. The time has come to reveal her secrets—and hopefully rekindle their connection.

But when a terrible accident keeps Emma from saying her piece, Serena and Mackenzie begin to learn about the past on their own. Now, to heal their friendship and their broken lives, the three women will have to return to the lake that once united them, and discover which relationships are worth holding on to…

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The Seven Sisters (e-book), by Margaret Drabble (Bought for reread)

 

 

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Candida Wilton–a woman recently betrayed, rejected, divorced, and alienated from her three grown daughters–moves from a beautiful Georgian house in lovely Suffolk to a two-room walk-up flat in a run-down building in central London. Candida is not exactly destitute. So, is the move perversity, she wonders, a survival test, or is she punishing herself? How will she adjust to this shabby, menacing, but curiously appealing city? What can happen, at her age, to change her life? And yet, as she climbs the dingy communal staircase with her suitcases, she feels both nervous and exhilarated.
There is a relationship with a computer to which she now confides her past and her present. And friendships of sorts with other women–widows, divorced, never married, women straddled between generations. And then Candida’s surprise inheritance . . .
A beautifully rendered story, this is Margaret Drabble at her novelistic best.

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

Currently Reading:  The Woman Upstairs (e-book), by Claire Messud

 

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My Sunshine Away (e-book), by M. O. Walsh

 

 

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Crash & Burn (e-book), by Lisa Gardner

 

 

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The Rocks, by Peter Nichols (Vine)

 

 

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That’s what my week looked like…and what’s coming next.  What about yours?

 

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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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WEEKLY UPDATES: A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT….

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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 now hosted at the home site:  Mailbox Monday.

It was pretty hot this week, so I stayed inside with the air conditioning and read and reviewed five books!  I also did a little more purging and rearranging….I removed the little white shelf with trinkets, and shoved Fantasia Mickey Mouse over into the space.

 

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Weekend Potpourri:  More Tidbits About My Obsessions

Tuesday Potpourri:  Intro/Teasers – “The Shore”

Waiting for “X (Kinsey Millhone Mystery”

My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:  Books & Movies

Escape to the Cabin:  An Excerpt from “Interior Designs”

Bookish Friday:  Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – “The Woman Upstairs”

Friday Potpourri:  Time for a Garage Sale?

Saturday Sparks:  “Gilding the Lily”

Review:  Little Black Lies (e-book), by Sandra Block

Review:  Bittersweet, by Miranda Beverly Whittemore (Vine)

Review:  The Shore, by Sara Taylor (Vine)

Review:  Every Fifteen Minutes (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline

Review:  Black-Eyed Susans (e-book), by Julia Heaberlin (NetGalley)

 

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INCOMING BOOKS:(Titles Linked to Amazon)

Two review books were downloaded from NetGalley

 

 

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The Lake Season (e-book), by Hannah McKinnon (Available on June 2, 2015)

Crooked Little Lies (e-book), by Barbara Taylor Sissel (Available August 1, 2015)

 

Purchased & Downloaded:

 

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If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now (e-book), by Claire LaZebnik

A Thirty Something Girl (e-book), by Lisa M. Gott

 

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

Currently Reading:  The Liar (e-book), by Nora Roberts

 

 

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Daughters-in-Law, by Joanna Trollope

 

 

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The Hypnotist’s Love Story (e-book), by Liane Moriarty

 

 

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And that’s my week, past and future.  What does yours look like?

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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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BOOKISH & NON-BOOKISH SATURDAY: SNAPSHOTS

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Welcome to a special Saturday edition:  Bookish Saturday & Saturday Snapshot.  For SS participants, click on over to West Metro Mommy Reads.

Today I want to begin by sharing some changes in my bookshelves.  I did some more purging, and here is what those results look like.

 

In the bedroom, here are two Before Shots:

This shelf stood between the TV on the left and another shelf on its right….In the aftermath, I removed this bookshelf and rearranged the books, adding some of them to my donations box in the garage.

 

 

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Here are the three shelves, before:

 

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After some purging and rearranging…it feels strange without the wall lined with bookshelves.

 

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Here’s another view of the remaining shelves….

 

 

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And for a final tweak, here’s a finishing touch:

 

 

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Across the bedroom is another shelf, where some of the decorations from the old shelf ended up…along with some of the books.

 

 

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On to my “bookish granddaughters,” who are enjoying the final weeks of their senior year:  Aubrey and Friends, “faux” smoking, I think…LOL

 

 

More Senior Fun - Aubrey

 

 

Fiona and Tomas, off to the Senior Prom:

 

 

 

Prom Night-Fiona

 

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As a final bookish note, I am reading and loving this book, The Sound of Glass, by Karen White:

 

 

 

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What are you spotlighting today?  I hope you’ll leave your link, along with your comments….

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS: A CHANGE IN ATTITUDE

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Good morning!  It is that time in the week when we gather around and compare notes on our thoughts, both bookish and not so bookish.  Join Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

I haven’t participated in this event for a couple of weeks, as I was flat on my back, ill, most of last week. 

I have saved up some of my thoughts, however, and now that I’m feeling better, I’m ready to play!  I have had fun watching my granddaughter Fiona change up her look recently.  She turned eighteen on her birthday in February, so I think she’s searching for just the right style for her.

Here is one version:

 

 

another new verion of Fi

 

Here is another:

 

 

a painted princess

 

Finally, a totally fun look:

 

 

A cool Fi

 

My daughter also enjoys changing her look, but in this photo, it’s more about changing her attitude:  becoming a bit more playful.

 

 

Heather at Play

 

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While I was sick, I had ample opportunity to study my interiors.  I wrote about some of them last week  in My Interior World:  Under Scrutiny.

After “editing” some of my tablescapes, I kept going and did a little bit of purging on my Baker’s Rack.  There is still a lot going on here, but I did remove a few things from the surfaces:

 

 

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I love NetGalley so far!  I have received nine e-ARCs as of today, and I’ve reviewed one of them.  My rule is working so far:  only request books that I would buy.  Here is what I’m reading now:  Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova.

 

 

 

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My newest book came this morning:  The Royal We, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan.

 

 

 

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Pippa, my Paperwhite, is earning her keep!

 

 

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What are your bookish/not so bookish thoughts about this week?

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