COFFEE CHAT: A STAGGERING PLAN…

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.

It is way past time to gather for another coffee chat.  The weeks have been unfolding, while events around us are still uncertain.  As usual, when I feel everything is out of control, I hunker down in my space and do a little more movie watching…and some redecorating.  Yes, minor things, like a new corner cabinet in the entry way, and a few rearrangements there.

  • First I added the new shelf in the corner (left), and then rearranged the rest of the entry way:

 

 

 

 

  • I’ve been adding more books to my shelves, both read and unread.  Here is the latest look at my TBR Shelves (new books unread!):

  • I’ve been shelving more new books as I read them, and also adding the books that I bought to reread:

  • Next week, the residence will gradually be opening up the dining room for us in a staggered fashion, with social distancing.  Alternating days between the dining room and our apartment dining.  We’ll see how that goes.
  • This week, I enjoyed reading and reviewing A Good Marriage, by Kimberly McCreight; and today I started reading The Sea of Lost Girls, by Carol Goodman. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far.
  • Yesterday I set up a little snack for myself in my apartment, with mini-quiches and a glass of wine.  The snack had been in my freezer, brought over on Mother’s Day by my daughter, so it seemed appropriate to take time now to enjoy it.

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That was my week…what did yours look like?  Are you gradually experiencing the outside world?  Carefully, slowly?  Stay safe.

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REVIEW: A GOOD MARRIAGE, BY KIMBERLY MCCREIGHT

Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.

No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.

The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.

As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Brooklyn Country Day school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.


From the very beginning of A Good Marriage, we know that the characters will be very flawed, with lots of secrets, and that Lizzie will be following a twisted trail to find the answers she seeks. In fact, her own marriage has a bit of darkness, too, and she might have to end up protecting her own.

As Lizzie tries to find alternate suspects for Amanda’s death, she learns a lot more about Amanda, whose journals and their descriptions make finding the truth that much harder. Plus, moving from one possibility to another leads her along some very convoluted pathways. Lizzie is our first person narrator, but the narrative flips between other characters and to testimony given during the grand jury hearing.

As we begin to figure out who might be guilty, we discover that the suburban couples have another threat from an unexpected source. Their secrets might be disclosed, and in order to protect them, they must do a lot more to stop that person. But in the process, will the wrong person be hurt? 4.5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A CHAOTIC 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.

 

I had hoped to write this post much earlier in the day, but I was still reading my third book and couldn’t stop. I finished it finally about an hour ago, wrote the review, and then got distracted by texts from my granddaughter, which I couldn’t ignore.  Family contacts are important, aren’t they?

So…the reading culminated nicely.  The book I was still poring over earlier was the one I bought in 2017 and featured on my “Books from the Backlog” event on Thursday.  Finishing it felt like a real accomplishment.

My eyes are blurring over, from reading and being online…so I hope I don’t make any typos.  LOL.

This week brought some interesting movies and the usual shows, plus I just started watching Sweet Magnolias on Netflix.  I’m enjoying it so far.

Let’s hasten along to check out the details of my week.  You can grab some coffee, if you like…but I am all caffeinated from the day.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Last House Guest”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Book Release Day!

Books from the Backlog:  It’s a Crime What I Found!

Bookish Friday:  “Crime Scene”

Saturday Potpourri:  Sprucing up My World…

Review:  The Sweeney Sisters, by Lian DolanReview:  The Last House Guest, by Megan MirandaReview:  Crime Scene, by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman

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INCOMING BOOKS:

My mailbox was overflowing this week (five books!), and I even downloaded one book, too.

Rodham, by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Flatshare, by Beth O’Leary

Feels Like Falling, by Kristy Woodson Harvey

The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier (Reread)

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Download:

A Week at the Shore, by Barbara Delinsky

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CURRENTLY READING:  A Good Marriage, by Kimberly McCreight

I am also slowly reading My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell

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That was my week.  It was chaotic at times, but I also felt a sense of accomplishment at finishing an older TBR…plus a library book.

Notice my stacks of new, unread books in hardcover/paperback, below.

Plus…my nightstand books:

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WEEKLY UPDATES: READING, BLOGGING, & KVETCHING…

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 brought good books to my shelves and great reading material, some from the backlog, allowing me to finish reading and reviewing three books.  Six blog posts were a reminder that reading and blogging go hand and hand.  Or hand in glove, a nod to one of my titles from this week.  One downside of the reading and blogging, which included a lot of blog visits, is that my eyes are so tired that I am struggling to type this!  That doesn’t happen often.

Some of the eye fatigue also comes from all the viewing I’ve done:  movies, shows, etc., all online, which is another kind of eye strain.

When I searched my tiny fridge yesterday, I felt a momentary panic.  Almost empty!  And yes, I get food brought from the residential kitchen, but nothing has improved from those quarters.  Not only is the food often “slop,” (sorry about that!), but they tend to bring things I didn’t request, while ignoring those that I specifically asked for.  I photograph my menu requests as a reminder of their failings.  Can I say that I’m not popular?  LOL.  And they ran out of red wine again!

So…complaints aside, I added a nice little grocery app to my phone and ordered food from Save Mart…and it arrived within three hours, and I got exactly what I requested.

I still get a lot from Amazon, too, and the orders are coming more quickly.  Yay!

So I’ll stop complaining for a bit, while we grab some more coffee and study the details of my week.

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “A Good Marriage”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Adding to My Shelves…

Another Bookish Hump Day…

Coffee Chat:  Comfort Reads and Viewing…

From the Backlog:  Bringing it Forward…

Bookish Friday:  “The Closer You Get”

Review:  The Girl in White Gloves, by Kerri MaherReview:  Little Secrets, by Jennifer HillierReview:  Hungry Heart, by Jennifer Weiner – (Nonfiction Challenge)

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Three books came in my mailbox!  And I downloaded two e-books.

The Turning of the Key, by Ruth Ware

A Heart in a Body in the World, by Deb Caletti

 Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler (for reread)

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Downloads:

This Is How I lied, by Heather Gudenkauf

The Closer You Get, by Mary Torjussen

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CURRENTLY READING:  The Sweeney Sisters, by Lian Dolan

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That was my week.  Exhausting, but with good books…and a delicious glass of red wine from the bottle my daughter sent over to compensate for the kitchen failure to send any.  LOL.

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COFFEE CHAT: COMFORT READS & VIEWING…

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.

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted a Coffee Chat.  I’ve been sidetracked onto other events, both bookish, etc.  My Post-It notes reveal much about my viewing habits lately…and also the books I have pre-ordered.  My regular viewing now includes I Know This Much Is True, based on the Wally Lamb book.  New episodes come on Sunday nights.

  • I continue to love The Good Fight and Mrs. America.  Tonight I started watching a series that I have savored in the past:  Lipstick Jungle, which I found on Amazon Prime.  I used to have the boxed DVDs.  Sigh.  I am drawn to comfort reads and viewing lately.  Familiar books and series.  I have added more old favorite books to my shelves, too, like Anne Tyler’s The Clock Dance.
  • This week I have read and reviewed The Girl in White Gloves, by Kerri Maher; and Little Secrets, by Jennifer Hillier.
  • Today I started reading Jennifer Weiner’s memoir called Hungry Heart.  I’m really liking it so far.  I can add it to my list for the Nonfiction Reading Challenge for which I have already completed four of the six books I signed up to do.
  • My shelf is filling up!

  • Since we can’t leave our apartments, except for scheduled walks in the courtyard, I am keeping those packages coming from Amazon. This week I bought some new shams and pillowcases to cheer me up.  They make reading in bed more fun.

 

 

 

 

 

  • On Sunday, I enjoyed a cranberry juice mimosa.  My daughter sent over a bottle of Champagne, along with a bottle of wine, which I haven’t opened yet.

***

I am continuing to focus on a day at a time, and choosing comfort reads, viewing, and other activities.  How have the rest of you been staying safe and well?

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REVIEW: THE GIRL IN WHITE GLOVES, BY KERRI MAHER

A life in snapshots…

Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamor and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves.

A woman in living color…

But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth. The sacrifices it takes for an unappreciated girl from Philadelphia to defy her family and become the reigning queen of the screen. The heartbreaking reasons she trades Hollywood for a crown. The loneliness of being a princess in a fairy tale kingdom that is all too real.

Hardest of all for her adoring fans and loyal subjects to comprehend, is the harsh reality that to be the most envied woman in the world does not mean she is the happiest. Starved for affection and purpose, facing a labyrinth of romantic and social expectations with more twists and turns than Monaco’s infamous winding roads, Grace must find her own way to fulfillment. But what she risks—her art, her family, her marriage—she may never get back.

 

The story of Grace Kelly is told in flashbacks to her early years, when she first entered the world of theater and then movies. We follow her through her various love affairs that coincide with her movies. From there we flash forward to her first meeting with the Prince. Back then, we are offered a glimpse of what life looks like in the beginning, while moving forward we see what happened to take them off the fairytale course.

In those early years, I learned new things about Grace that I hadn’t read anywhere else, but by the time she was the Princess, living in Monaco, I was on familiar ground.

No matter how much of a fairytale life she had fallen into, we see a sad realization as the years moved by. She had given up so much to become the Princess. Would she come to regret it? And would the sad and tragic ending remind us all that sometimes we must make bittersweet choices? The Girl in White Gloves is a great story that earned 4.5 stars from me.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: MORE OF THE SAME…

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.

This past week has been exhausting, and I’m not sure why.  It has been warmer outside, and I’ve had to use the air conditioning, which is not the best unit I’ve ever had…LOL.  It is also loud!  Despite these issues, I managed to finish reading and reviewing two books, one of which was an ARC that wasn’t supposed to be released until May 19, but suddenly appeared on the Amazon page on 5/5.  Luckily it was a good book that kept me engaged throughout, as did my second book.  I also spent time reading a hardcover book that is slow going, so I’m picking it up and spending bits of time on it.  I’m about halfway finished. 

I’ve spent more time on movies and shows online.  New episodes of The Good Fight, continuing episodes of Mrs. America, and I started Season II of Dead to Me on Netflix.  Today I plan to begin I Know This Much Is True on Prime, based on Wally Lamb’s book.

Last night I went to bed at 7:00 p.m.!  Just to lie there and watch TV for a while, and I finally slept periodically, turning off the TV at 11:30.  Up at 4:30 today!

So…now what?  I think I’ll continue reading the hardcover book today, as I’m eager to finally finish it…and I have some e-books that are calling out to me, both fiction and nonfiction.  I have discovered that my e-books go faster and more smoothly…and I think I like holding the Kindle more than a physical book.  That was surprising to me, but I’ve been realizing this for a while.

Let’s grab some coffee.  I’m sitting right here at my computer, in the chair you see in the photo, and we can take a closer look at my week.

 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Hanging Out…

Tuesday Potpourri:  Expected and Unexpected Treasures…

Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Sweeney Sisters”

From the Backlog:  I Ghosted This One…

Bookish Friday:  “Little Secrets”

Review:  Big Summer, by Jennifer Weiner – (NG – Released on 5/5)Review:  Have You Seen Me?, by Kate White

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  I did download two e-books.

A Good Marriage, by Kimberly McCreight

Killer Deadline, by Lauren Carr

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CURRENTLY READING: 

I have been periodically reading The Girl in White Gloves, by Kerri Maher…I hope to finish it eventually. 

Then I will grab another e-book or two.  I have my eye on this memoir by Jennifer Weiner: Hungry Heart.  It has been on my Kindle for a while (since October 2016!), and it will count for my nonfiction challenge.

***

So…that was my week.  Not a lot of fun or excitement, but then again, we’re still on lockdown.  Even though parts of the state and this city will slowly reopen, I am still restricted due to being in senior residential living.  However, I am grateful not to have to make that decision on my own.

I do miss my granddaughter Fiona…but she regularly sends updated photos, like this one.  I like how she plays around with hair color.

And to start off Mother’s Day weekend with something beautiful, here’s what Fiona and her mother sent me today:

 

 

 

 

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: PLODDING ALONG…

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.

 

This week was a slog.  I ended up reading and reviewing three books, and two of them were review ARCs.  But I was still reading the third one until after dinner tonight. However, I did spend more than two hours on Skype with my eldest son and DIL in Prague.  That was time well spent.  We had the video feature on, so we could see faces and surroundings.  Video chatting is a recurring thing these days of “sheltering in place.”  On Monday I’m scheduled to have a video chat with my doctor, since we didn’t have the annual physical due to The Virus.

Movies were great.  I saw The Lost Husband on Amazon Prime, based on the Katherine Center book.  I started watching Normal People on Hulu and also took in a rather depressing flick on Prime starring Naomi Watts called The Wolf Hour.  Earlier I began viewing Notes on a Scandal, a movie starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench.  I actually once owned the DVD…but we all know what happened to many of my books and movies.  LOL.

While I did enjoy my books, they felt too much like work…I shouldn’t read two ARCs in the same week.  I have one more to read for May.  Perhaps I need to pass on more review books for a while if they feel like a job.  Something to ponder.

I did spend some time changing up my blogs…headers, etc.  I know that I am avoiding things when I start doing that. 

So…that was my week. Let’s have some tea or coffee and take a closer look at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

What a Difference a Year Makes…

Tuesday Potpourri:  Treasuring the Bounty…

Tuesday Excerpts:  “On Ocean Boulevard”

Hump Day Reading…

Wrapping up April…

Scrounging Around in my TBR:  Books from the Backlog

Bookish Friday:  “Pretty Things”

Rainy Days…and Fridays…

Review:  The New Girl, by Harriet Walker-NG-5/19Review:  The New Husband, by D. J. PalmerReview:  On Ocean Boulevard, by Mary Alice Monroe -NG-5/19

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INCOMING BOOKS:

One paperback book came in my mailbox to replace another “lost” one…and I downloaded two new e-books.

Looking for Me, by Beth Hoffman

Downloads:

Have You Seen Me?, by Kate White

The Sweeney Sisters, by Lian Dolan

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That was my week, and it felt exhausting!  There were some fun things, however,  including this cute little handbag that came today from Amazon:

What did your week look like?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: ONE DAY AT A TIME…

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 had a good week of reading, viewing, and visiting blogs.  I read and reviewed three books, wrote  seven posts, and skipped around between Hulu and Amazon Prime for some movies.  Like Apple Tree Yard, based on a book I read a few years ago.  And We Were the Mulvaneys, based on a Joyce Carol Oates book.  I’ve watched it before, but I am in the mood for revisiting old favorites.

On Hulu, I’m up to date on Mrs. America, which definitely reminds me of the 70s and the ERA bracelets we once wore.  We all hated Phyllis Schlafly, lol.

My mug collection is growing.  Here are a few on my desk.  You might also notice my little VW bug paperweight:

Yes, I am a little OCD.

So…let’s grab some more coffee (here’s a favorite photo of another collectible mug, one that, sadly, didn’t make the move!) and take a closer look at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Interior Thoughts…

Tuesday Excerpts:  “The New Girl”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Treasures for the Shelves…

It’s Hump Day!  What Have You Been Reading?

Books from the Backlog:  Deep Diving in the Shelves…

Coffee Chat:  Reading, Blogging, Etc.

Bookish Friday:  “The New Husband”

Review:  Mrs., by Caitlin MacyReview:  Something She’s Not Telling Us, by Darcey BellReview:  Redhead by the Side of the Road, by Anne Tyler

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  But I downloaded three e-books.

Little Secrets, by Jennifer Hillier

Truths I Never Told You, by Kelly Rimmer

Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown

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CURRENTLY READING:

The New Girl, by Harriet Walker – A NetGalley ARC for a 5/19 book release…

“This debut thriller reads like The Devil Wears Prada meets Single White Female. I couldn’t put it down.”—Catherine Steadman, author of Something in the Water and Mr. Nobody

She’s borrowed your life. But what if she decides to keep it?

***

That was my week, and overall, it was a good one.  As long as we forget the fact that we are living in scary times.  But we only have to take one day at a time…and read!  And watch movies and shows.  I did enjoy this lunch the other day:  turkey, stuffing, and strawberry/rhubarb pie.

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COFFEE CHAT: READING, BLOGGING, 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.

Another day of coffee and chatting!  I missed last week, because it has just been like that lately.  I have been reading, though, and even finding old and neglected books on my shelves to share.  Like Mrs., by Catilin Macy, which was on my shelves for two years!

Yesterday, I finished reading Something She’s Not Telling Us, by Darcey Bell, and it definitely distracted me from all the disease and disinformation that are plaguing us.

  • Today I posted my Books from the Backlog event at Carole’s Random Life of Books.  I found another neglected book from 2018!
  • Meanwhile, I’m reading another newer book:  Redhead by the Side of the Road, by Anne Tyler.
  • Yesterday I finished watching Little Fires Everywhere...and I wanted it to keep going!  But it’s done, unless they bring another season.  But that will take forever.  Nothing will be in production for a while!
  • Today would be the time to watch another episode of The Good Fight, but they have taken a break until the end of the month, when they plan to finish producing the season.
  • I find myself scrolling through titles on Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Thankful for those sites!
  • Even soap operas are running out of episodes that are in the can!  Soon classic episodes will appear.
  • Meanwhile, meals are delivered, and I just got my breakfast:

  • I am missing outings and shopping, but I definitely don’t want those things to open up until this is over…if it ever is!

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How are you handling your “sheltering in place,”  if you are still immersed in it?  Introverts like us do have an advantage, don’t we?

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