WEEKLY UPDATES: A BOOKISH WEEK…

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 week, and more good books to enjoy!  I read and reviewed three books, and wrote seven blog posts.  I also did some Netflix viewing (The Trial of the Chicago 7) and rearranged some more items in my entry way.  I am restlessly changing things up regularly.

My coffee grinder has given me some great brew all this week.  I love the scent of it, as well as the taste.

Speaking of the coffee, let’s grab a cup and take a closer look at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpt:  “The Lost for Words Bookshop”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Clicking on Bookmarked Titles…

WWW Post…

Another Neglected Book…

Coffee Chat:  Rediscoveries…

Bookish Friday:  “Invisible Girl”

Friday Potpourri:  Weekend Tidbits…

Review:  Remain Silent, by Susie SteinerReview:  Return to Virgin River, by Robyn CarrReview:  The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland

INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  I did download two e-books:

Sisters, by Daisy Johnson

The Sunday Girl, by Pip Drysdale

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CURRENTLY READING:  Finally, I am reading Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell has a way of combining furiously twisty, utterly gripping plots with wonderfully rich characterization—she has such compassion for her characters, and we feel we know them utterly… A triumph!” —Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author

I am eager to follow these twisty plots!

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That was my week.  Good reading, some productive blogging, and some mornings that I enjoyed in my apartment instead of the dining room.  I am sharing the rhubarb/strawberry pie I had a while ago, because we are having it again today!

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COFFEE CHAT: REDISCOVERIES…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

When I last posted a Coffee Chat, I was still struggling with the Block Editor.  While it still throws me for a loop or two, things are getting better.  I am finding ways to work around the challenges. 

  • I will be so glad when 2020 is behind us!  Let’s hope we survive it, and that the election doesn’t bury us in more darkness.  Sigh.
  • This week, I have read and reviewed two books so far:  Remain Silent, by Susie Steiner, and Return to Virgin River, by Robyn Carr.
  • Then I started reading The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland.
  • On Thursdays, I participate in a Books from the Backlog event, and have rediscovered “forgotten” books, many of which I have since read.  Today I added another Robyn Carr to my device…from the backlog:  The Summer That Made Us.  I can’t believe I haven’t yet read it!  Do you ever rediscover books that are languishing on your shelves and wonder why?
  • This week, I also rediscovered freshly ground coffee!  Yes, imagine that.  I inadvertently clicked on coffee beans in my Instacart order, and I was definitely surprised to see those beans when I opened the bag.  I immediately ordered a coffee grinder from Amazon…and it arrived the next day!

 

  • I am now blissfully sipping on the best coffee ever!

  • In the mood to celebrate fall, I retrieved my autumn wreath from my under-the-bed storage.  My granddaughter Fiona brought it to me last year:

  • So, despite the very frightening world around us, I am finding things to savor and cherish.

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How is your week going?  Are you rediscovering/recreating things that bring you joy?

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REVIEW: RETURN TO VIRGIN RIVER, BY ROBYN CARR

Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.

Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need.

Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.

From the very beginning of Return to Virgin River, I felt a connection to Kaylee and her life. As she settles into Virgin River, trying to deal with her grief and push forward with the book she is writing, I was caught up in her feelings and her goals.

Meeting townsfolk helped her begin the healing process, and then connecting to Landry, who was her landlord, brought out other forgotten emotions. The possibility of love.

The author’s descriptions of the setting, the characters who lived in Virgin River, and telling their stories as they all formed a community for Kaylee brought out a sense of a real place with real people. I love Humboldt County, so I felt as if I was there with these characters, many of whom were in the previous book.

I read the book in one day, as I could not put it down. I hope to rejoin these characters again. 5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: PERMISSION TO “GO WITH THE FLOW”

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.

I actually read and reviewed THREE books this week.  I only wrote five six blog posts (I added another one today!), but that’s how it goes sometimes.  However, I very lazily slept in two days this week, not even going to the dining room until dinner!  I did get up and read, played on the computer, and enjoyed going with the flow.  It reminded me of my days before I moved into this residence. 

Then I realized something.  My life in retirement was supposed to be about doing what I want and when I want to do it.  No alarm clocks or schedules.  So having to get up at the beckoning sound on my phone, get dressed, and go OUT, even if it is just down the hall to the dining room…was starting to feel constrictive.  So I decided to give myself permission to do what I want at least two days a week. 

This morning I turned off the alarm, but decided to get up anyway an hour later.  So here I am, writing this post and actually ready to go to the dining room in 45 minutes.

Let’s grab some coffee…I haven’t had any yet!  And check out my week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Confessions on the 7:45”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Adding to the Hoard…

Bookish Wednesday…

A Bookish Delight on the Backlog…

Bookish Friday:  “All the Best Lies”

Sunday Potpourri:  A Quest for Coffee…

Review:  The Library of Lost and Found, by Phaedra PatrickReview:  Confessions on the 7:45, by Lisa UngerReview:  Rage, by Bob Woodward

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox…but I downloaded two e-books:

Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell

Return to Virgin River, by Robyn Carr

***

CURRENTLY READING:  Remain Silent, by Susie Steiner

I have enjoyed previous books in the series, so I bought this one in June.  Time to read it!  So far, so good.

An immigrant’s mysterious death sets off a chilling hunt for the truth in this gripping crime novel from the author of Missing, Presumed, featuring a “delightful protagonist who deserves a place alongside other beloved literary detectives” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

***

That was my week…better than usual, and I credit the more relaxed week with giving myself permission to “go with the flow” a little bit. My lunch reflected that attitude:

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REVIEW: CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45, BY LISA UNGER

Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.
 
 
 
 


Our story begins after Selena discovers her husband’s latest infidelity via nanny cam. In an unexpected action, she shares her feelings with a woman she meets on her homeward commute in a situation that has a “stranger on the train” vibe. Afterwards, she asks herself why she would do that, but admits that she felt a unique connection to the woman. A good listener, perhaps?

As Confessions on the 7:45 unfolds, we learn, via alternating narrators, the secrets of several assorted characters, all of whom seem completely unrelated to one another. Along the way, we begin to suspect that these lives will eventually intersect, and as we start to piece the puzzle together, the odd connections begin to make sense.

I loved another surprising reveal at the end as the characters walked off into the “sunset” to a place familiar to Unger fans. A delightful and intense book that held me hostage throughout. 5 stars.
 
 
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WEEKLY UPDATES: ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER WEEK…

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 Week Two of Block Editing, and I am finding my way…slowly.  As for my reading, not so great.  I read two books, and had mixed reactions.  But I did write nine posts:  I tell myself it is extra practice with this difficult editor.

We are allowed to go to the dining room for all of our meals now, and also attend activities.  Distanced and masked.  I don’t participate in many events, as I am not interested in a lot of things.  Not a bingo player, for example.  But there was a Happy Hour event yesterday…so I went to that.  Not very exciting, but then again, what can we expect?

Let’s grab some more coffee and take a closer look at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Life in Pieces”

Book Release Tuesday…

Book Release Day, Continued…

Playing Around with Headers…

Bookish Wednesday…

Another Backlog Book…

Coffee Chat:  Life’s Annoying Moments, Etc.

Bookish Friday:  “The Library of Lost & Found”

Saturday Potpourri: Odds & Ends…

Review:  The Truth About Melody Browne, by Lisa JewellReview:  Life in Pieces, by Dawn O’Porter

***

INCOMING BOOKS:

One print book arrived from Amazon:

Notorious RBG, by Irin Carmon

Downloads:

Confessions on the 7:45, by Lisa Unger

Troubles in Paradise, by Elin Hilderbrand

The Beach Club, by Elin Hilderbrand

***

CURRENTLY READING: After finishing my two books this week, I picked up a couple on my Kindle…and then settled on this one, a backlog book:

The Library of Lost and Found, by Phaedra Patrick

***

That was my week!  How did your week go?  Every day feels like a chore sometimes, but then something happens to brighten things up.  A conversation with another resident, a special menu in the dining room, or a good show on Amazon Prime or Netflix.  Sometimes it is a simple lunch of banana, cottage cheese, and wheat germ with a good cup of coffee.

***

COFFEE CHAT: LIFE’S ANNOYING MOMENTS, ETC.

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

I woke up exhausted this morning!  Why?  I am not sure, but I suspect that the world around us is responsible.  And this morning, the gardener is noisily doing what he does.  Do you ever find ordinary things creating more havoc than you can stand?

  • I have been slowly trying to work around the elements of Block Editor, and just when I think I have it figured out, it throws a curve or two.
  • Earlier, I was searching for something in my desk drawer:  a pencil, of all things!  Could I find one?  No, and I am not sure how it is possible that I don’t have even one!  But then again, others moved me here…and I have slowly been stocking up on office supplies, etc.
  • By the time I had searched every drawer, however, I had weeded out a lot of junk and it is now organized.  LOL.
  • And I ordered some pencils from Amazon!
  • My reading sucks.  I have finished one book this week, and I didn’t love it:  The Truth About Melody Browne, by Lisa Jewell.
  • Next I started reading a book called Life in Pieces, by Dawn O’Porter.  A diary of one mother/writer’s journey through a Pandemic year.  Yeah, a true story.
  • As usual, I have been playing around with blog themes/headers, hoping that I can somehow win out over the block editor through sheer practice.

Here are some new headers: Potpourri

Serendipity

  • Now that I have conquered a few tasks, I think I’ll pick up my book and read a while.

***

How are you handling the day-to-day life of 2020?  Did anyone watch the debate last night?  Not as bad as last week’s, but still annoying.

Hang in there!

***

WEEKLY UPDATES…

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.

My week has been interesting.  I read and reviewed two books, both of which were great.  I did set aside a third book, but will probably pick it up again later.  I also wrote a lot of blog posts…but then WordPress closed off that back door to the classic editor and now I am forced to use the Block Editor.  I am struggling!

So this post will be shorter than usual.  Let’s take a closer look at the week:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “To Tell You the Truth”

Another Bookish Week…

Coffee Chat:  Binge-Watching, Etc.

September Wrap-Up…

A Book Overlooked…

Bookish Friday:  “The Truth About Melody Browne”

Friday Potpourri:  Tidbits…

Review:  Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks

Review:  To Tell You the Truth, by Gilly Macmillan

***

INCOMING BOOKS:

From Amazon:

Jackie and Maria, by Gill Paul

***

Download:

Life in Pieces, by Dawn O’Porter

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CURRENTLY READING:

The Truth About Melody Browne, by Lisa Jewell

***

That was my week.  I will stumble along, trying to maneuver with the Block Editor…and occasionally eat pineapple and coconut ice cream.

***

REVIEW: TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, BY GILLY MACMILLAN

Lucy Harper’s talent for writing bestselling novels has given her fame, fortune and millions of fans. It’s also given her Dan, her needy, jealous husband whose own writing career has gone precisely nowhere.

Now Dan has vanished. But this isn’t the first time that someone has disappeared from Lucy’s life. Three decades ago, her little brother Teddy also went missing and was never found. Lucy, the only witness, helplessly spun fantasy after fantasy about Teddy’s disappearance, to the detectives’ fury and her parents’ despair. That was the start of her ability to tell a story—a talent she has profited from greatly.

But now Lucy’s a grown woman who can’t hide behind fiction any longer. The world is watching, and her whole life is under intense scrutiny. A life full of stories, some more believable than others. Could she have hurt Teddy? Did she kill Dan? Finally, now, Lucy Harper’s going to tell the truth.

Cross her heart.

And hope to die.

Immediately I was caught up in the thrilling story spun in To Tell You the Truth. Lucy is a novelist, and she and her “imaginary friend” and muse, Eliza, intrigued me as I followed along with the adventures they shared.

Alternating between the past and the present, Lucy’s tale kept me glued to the pages. I felt an instant dislike of Dan, who seems to be gaslighting Lucy, as well as controlling her life, even her finances. I began to suspect him of so many possible nefarious deeds, but I also needed to consider that Lucy was not the most reliable narrator.

What happened to little Teddy all those years ago? And what has become of Dan in the present?

Has Dan been having an affair with Sasha? Some of Sasha’s actions are also suspect, so I wanted to know more as I turned the pages. As the darkness descends, we are not sure what will come of these characters, but I knew I wanted to hang out with them more.

I loved the short chapters and how the narrative flowed so smoothly. 5 stars.

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COFFEE CHAT: BINGE-WATCHING, ETC.

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

Last night’s debates were frustrating.  So infuriating primarily because 45 did his usual lying, while also interrupting every time Biden spoke.  So rude, and yet so typical.  I watched for a while, and then couldn’t stand it anymore.  By then, it was late, as I was watching it online.

  • So when the alarm went off today, I went back to sleep.  When I finally got up, it was still early enough that I could have made it to breakfast, but I decided not to go to the dining room.  Instead I made coffee and wrote a review of Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks.  My first completed book of the week.

  • I have decided that I will allow myself at least one day a week to change my routines.
  • Here we are with another month behind us…and as I add up my reading totals for September, I am not impressed.  Only nine books read!
  • For a couple of weeks, I have been binge-watching The Good Wife.  I am now winding down the final season (7), and looking for something else to distract me from my life.

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How are you managing your days, weeks, and months?  Do you search for distractions to help you cope?  Hang tough!

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