WEEKLY UPDATES: THE WEEK SLIPPED BY…

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post 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.

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I enjoyed reading and reviewing two books…and I spent some time viewing movies, an old one, The Goodbye Girl, and a new one, Jerry and Marge Go Large, starring Annette Bening and Bryan Cranston, on Paramount Plus. My six blog posts took us to bookish places…and in one of them, revealed how a gusty wind took down my little patio umbrella!

Now I will be shopping for a sturdier stand-alone version.

Let’s take a closer look at my week:

laurelrainsnowsfile

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI:  CHANGES IN INTERIORS

TUESDAY EXCERPTS:  “THE FOUNDLING”

TUESDAY POTPOURRI:  BOOKISH LOVE…

WWW READING…

BOOKISH FRIDAY:  “THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE”

COFFEE CHAT:  AN UNEXPECTED GUST…

Review:  Local Gone Missing, by Fiona Barton

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Review:  It All Comes Down To This, by Therese Anne Fowler

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INCOMING BOOKS:

The House Across the Lake, by Riley Sager – (Currently Reading)

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That was my week.  A pretty good one, although I didn’t get to enjoy any outings.  I did order another handbag, on its way to me tomorrow.

screenshot

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REVIEW: IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS, BY THERESE ANNE FOWLER

Meet the Geller sisters: Beck, Claire, and Sophie, a trio of strong-minded women whose pragmatic, widowed mother, Marti, will be dying soon and taking her secrets with her. Marti has ensured that her modest estate is easy for her family to deal with once she’s gone––including a provision that the family’s summer cottage on Mount Desert Island, Maine, must be sold, the proceeds split equally between the three girls.

Beck, the eldest, is a freelance journalist whose marriage looks more like a sibling bond than a passionate partnership. In fact, her husband Paul is hiding a troubling truth about his love life. For Beck, the Maine cottage has been essential to her secret wish to write a novel––and to remake the terms of her relationship.

Despite her accomplishments as a pediatric cardiologist, Claire, the middle daughter, has always felt like the Geller misfit. Recently divorced, Claire’s secret unrequited love for the wrong man is slowly destroying her, and she’s finding that her expertise on matters of the heart unfortunately doesn’t extend to her own.

Youngest daughter Sophie appears to live an Instagram-ready life, filled with glamorous work and travel, celebrities, fashion, art, and sex. In reality, her existence is a cash-strapped house of cards that may crash at any moment.

Enter C.J. Reynolds, an enigmatic southerner ex-con with his own hidden past, who complicates the situation. All is not what it seems, and everything is about to change.
 

an interior journey thoughts
From the first pages of It All Comes Down To This, we are caught up in the stories of the three sisters, their mother before them, and a wild card of a man whose life could unexpectedly join with theirs.

I felt connected to Beck, whose wishes to live in the island home to write her novel felt like something she should get, but we realize that her hopes might not come to fruition.

Claire’s secret desires seemed unlikely, and Sophie’s seemed selfish and reckless.

By the end of the story, things fall into place…perhaps just as they are meant to be. 4.5 stars.
 
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COFFEE CHAT: AN UNEXPECTED GUST…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, in which I ruminate about the week past.  Above, here I am having a blissful coffee morning “under the umbrella.”  Then…along came some gusty winds that took down trees and started fires…and not surprisingly, took apart my umbrella!  I usually put it down at night, but on that evening, I was negligent and had forgotten.

  • Sadly, it is not fixable.  I look around at other patios in my area, and they are all intact.  But they were bigger and sturdier, like the one I used to own!  I had it for fourteen years…and it moved from place to place, never breaking down.  Sigh.  It served me well
  • framed patio

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So…I guess I will go back to shopping for something sturdier, an umbrella I can tie down during the winds…or I can give up on the notion of the patio umbrella!

Meanwhile, I am reading and trying not to be distracted by the hearing that has pretty much preempted my favorite daytime shows for a few weeks.  The hearings are important, of course, but then again, sometimes we just want something to take our minds off of the disappointing events in our lives.

I was enjoying my current read:   It All Comes Down To This, by Therese Anne Fowler.  There are alternating characters, and I am enjoying the three sisters dealing with their mother’s death…but not really liking the ex-prisoner who is trying to buy their island home. 

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Where has your week taken you?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: GOOD READING!

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post 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.

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A much better week for me!  I read and reviewed three books that I really enjoyed, and I watched more episodes of The First Lady.  I have added The Old Man to my queue on Hulu, and hope to start watching it this weekend.

I haven’t been outside on my patio much, as it is either too hot or a little windy! 

I did go out to lunch with a friend on Wednesday; we enjoyed our time at The Olive Garden.  I had a huge Margarita…and in the photo, you can see she is enjoying a salad.  Later we had Fettucine Alfredo.

framed lunch with barb

 

Now let’s take a closer look at my week:

laurelrainsnowsfile

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS:  “TRACY FLICK CAN’T WIN”

WWW READING…

BOOKS FROM THE BACKLOG…

BOOKISH FRIDAY:  “LOCAL GONE MISSING”

Review:  Summer Love, by Nancy Thayer

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Review:  Tracy Flick Can’t Win, by Tom Perrotta

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Review:  Killer Deadline, by Lauren Carr

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Local Gone Missing, by Fiona Barton (and current read)

The Foundling, by Ann Leary

Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, by Ann Hood (Purchased as a Re-read)

Left on Tenth, by Delia Ephron

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That was my week!  Much better than last week, since I have stayed well and have had NO FALLS, LOL.I didn’t go anywhere, but I did order things online, and this new handbag came along!

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REVIEW: TRACY FLICK CAN’T WIN, BY TOM PERROTTA

Tracy Flick is a hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. Still ambitious but feeling a little stuck and underappreciated in midlife, Tracy gets a jolt of good news when the longtime principal, Jack Weede, abruptly announces his retirement, creating a rare opportunity for Tracy to ascend to the top job.

Energized by the prospect of her long-overdue promotion, Tracy throws herself into her work with renewed zeal, determined to prove her worth to the students, faculty, and School Board, while also managing her personal life—a ten-year-old daughter, a needy doctor boyfriend, and a burgeoning meditation practice. But nothing ever comes easily to Tracy Flick, no matter how diligent or qualified she happens to be.

Among her many other responsibilities, Tracy is enlisted to serve on the Selection Committee for the brand-new Green Meadow High School Hall of Fame. Her male colleagues’ determination to honor Vito Falcone—a star quarterback of dubious character who had a brief, undistinguished career in the NFL—triggers bad memories for Tracy, and leads her to troubling reflections about the trajectory of her own life and the forces that have left her feeling thwarted and disappointed, unable to fulfill her true potential.

As she broods on the past, Tracy becomes aware of storm clouds brewing in the present. Is she really a shoo-in for the Principal job? Is the Superintendent plotting against her? Why is the School Board President’s wife trying so hard to be her friend? And why can’t she ever get what she deserves?

 

an interior journey thoughts

 

As we watch Tracy Flick try to finally get what she deserves through hard work and staying true to her beliefs, we know already that Tracy Flick Can’t Win. Others seem to get the kudos, while she seems stuck in the past with the failures she can’t forget.

Alternating stories offer a look at the other characters, some of whom are competitors for Tracy…and some are friends.

As we near the big night when the Hall of Fame contenders are announced, we sense that there will be a big moment for Tracy. Something that will get her noticed. I enjoyed this character and rooted for her all along. 4.5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A DIFFICULT WEEK…

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post 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.

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What a week! I did read and review three books and wrote six blog posts. Otherwise, the week had its challenges. On Sunday, I fell down outside while carrying heavy packages from the mailbox. I have aches and pains as a result, and yesterday I discovered a very large, ugly bruise on my upper arm. Wow! Otherwise no harm no foul. But then my granddaughter, with whom I spent some time this week, tested positive to COVID! She is home and doing okay, thanks to having had the vaccine, with one booster. I had two boosters, and because I have had no symptoms, I am feeling okay. But I did take the nasal swab test, which was negative.

I spent time viewing on my laptop and finished all the available episodes of The Offer.

Not a bad week overall, therefore.

Now let’s take a closer look at the week.

laurelrainsnowsfile

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI:  A FEW NEW BOOKS…

TUESDAY SPARKS…

WWW READING…

DIGGING THROUGH THE SHELVES…

COFFEE CHAT:  AN UNEXPECTED WEEK…

BOOKISH FRIDAY:  “IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS”

Review:  We’re All Damaged, by Matthew Norman

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Review:  Fly Girl, by Ann Hood

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Review:  The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Summer Love, by Nancy Thayer (Currently Reading)

Tracy Flick Can’t Win, by Tom Perrotta

It All Comes Down to This, by Therese Anne Fowler

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That was my week.  I hope for a better one ahead!  One delightful gift came last week, from my granddaughter.  An Anne of Green Gables doll perches on my Jelly Cupboard in the bedroom.

 

framed doll and cupboard

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COFFEE CHAT: AN UNEXPECTED WEEK…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat!  My week has sped by, and after all of my outings in the last couple of weeks, I should have been prepared.  But when my granddaughter tested positive for Covid, I wasn’t ready to hear that.  After all, she was fully vaccinated!  I have been resting and waiting, and yesterday I took a test, which was “negative,” thankfully.  She isn’t feeling well, but she is home.  So I guess the vaccines have kept more people out of hospitals.  Now I wonder if I will be changing how I go out and about?

Meanwhile, I am relaxing today, reading and writing posts, and waiting for my grocery delivery.  Having food and medical supplies delivered to my door is one of those big changes of the past two years.

I actually love it!  I don’t think I miss going into the grocery stores at all!  I would have liked doing more furniture shopping in stores, but the shops held very little of what I wanted.  So most of my furniture has come from online shops as well.

  • So far I have read and reviewed two books:  We’re All Damaged, by Matthew Norman, and Fly Girl, by Ann Hood.  Now I am reading The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz.  So far, I am not fully engaged.  It is getting a little more interesting, but I am only holding on.  By the skin of my teeth.
  • After reading the Ann Hood book, I ordered her debut novel, which I had already read and loved: Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine.

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After the negative news of this week, I have changed my plan to go visit my youngest son on the Coast by train.  Not ready for all that closeness on the ride!  But someday… Here is a shot of my daughter-in-law by the fire at that beach outing I last enjoyed:

August 24 on the beach

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REVIEW: WE’RE ALL DAMAGED, BY MATTHEW NORMAN

Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a hand-some paramedic down the street.

We’re All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend’s wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn’t technically his. But before long he needs to go back to Omaha to say good-bye to his dying grandfather.

Back home, Andy is confronted with his past, which includes his ex, his ex’s new boyfriend, his right-wing talk-radio-host mother, his parents’ crumbling marriage, and his still-angry best friend.

As if these old problems weren’t enough, Andy encounters an entirely new complication: Daisy. She has fifteen tattoos, no job, and her own difficult past. But she claims she is the only person who can help Andy be happy again, if only she weren’t hiding a huge secret that will mess things up even more. Andy Carter needs a second chance at life, and Daisy—and the person Daisy pushes Andy to become—may be his last chance to set things right.

 

an interior journey thoughts

We’re All Damaged is full of past and present moments, and our protagonist Andy is a likeable character who is struggling.

I was annoyed with most of the other characters, especially Andy’s right wing mother who is so judgmental that you just want to leave the room when she speaks.

But then something happens along the way, and we realize that nobody is exactly who they seem to be, and there might be good in all of them. Even Daisy, who seemed like someone to enjoy…and then her big secret is revealed. A four star read.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: MAKING OVER MY LIFE…

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post 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.

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This week, I actually read three-and-a-half books!  And I had outings, like dinner on Sunday with Fiona and a hair styling appointment on Wednesday…after which we had Mexican food and Margaritas.  Here’s my new look:

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I started watching The Offer, on Amazon Prime, and I’m loving it.

Now let’s take a closer look at my week.

laurelrainsnowsfile

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COLLECTIONS…(OBSESSIONS?)

TUESDAY POTPOURRI:  NEW BOOKS…

WWW READING…

TUESDAY EXCERPTS:  “THE BODYGUARD”

GOODBYE TO MAY…

BOOKISH FRIDAY:  “TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY”

Review:  Never Coming Home, by Hannah Mary McKinnon

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Review:  The Widow, by K. L. Slater

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Review:  Take Your Breath Away, by Linwood Barclay

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INCOMING BOOKS:

The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Take Your Breath Away, by Linwood Barclay

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CURRENTLY READING:

We’re All Damaged, by Matthew Norman (a book I bought in May 2016!) – I finished this last night!  Here’s the review:

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That was my week.  I really enjoyed it, with outings (dinner with Fiona, below, at The Cheesecake Factory) and a hair styling and lunch with my daughter.

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REVIEW: NEVER COMING HOME, BY HANNAH MARY MCKINNON

Lucas Forester didn’t hate his wife. Michelle was brilliant, sophisticated and beautiful. Sure, she had extravagant spending habits, that petty attitude, a total disregard for anyone below her status. But she also had a lot to offer. Most notably: wealth that only the one percent could comprehend.

For years, Lucas has been honing a flawless plan to inherit Michelle’s fortune. Unfortunately, it involves taking a hit out on her.

Every track is covered, no trace left behind, and now Lucas plays the grieving husband so well he deserves an award. But when a shocking photo and cryptic note show up on his doorstep, Lucas goes from hunter to prey.

Someone is on to him. And they’re closing in.

 

an interior journey thoughts

Never Coming Home is told from the perspective of Lucas Forester, and his darkness shows through in every detail. As he describes his actions, down to each one he takes, we find ourselves glued to the pages. Even though we might be hoping that he will be caught, we are still eager to learn everything there is to know.

I figured that his plans would go awry at some point, but I was surprised at how everything began to unravel, and stunned at who would be the characters that would bring him down.

His plan seemed so well formulated, so it was very fascinating to see how it all came apart.

I couldn’t stop reading this brilliant five star book.

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