Welcome to our Monday Memes, in which we reflect on our past week in books and blogging, and plan for the next one.

Mailbox Monday is hosted in February by Library of Clean Reads.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.




I was very excited by the books I received this week, all purchases I made.  Some were print books and some were e-books.


1.  A Widow’s Story, by Joyce Carol Oates

Here’s a blurb on Amazon:

Brutal violence and catastrophic loss are often the subjects of Oates’ powerful novels and stories. But as she reveals in this galvanizing memoir, her creative inferno was sequestered from her joyful life with her husband, Raymond Smith. A revered editor and publisher who did not read her fiction, Smith kept their household humming during their 48-year marriage. After his shocking death from a “secondary infection” while hospitalized with pneumonia, Oates found herself in the grip of a relentless waking nightmare. She recounts this horrific “siege” of grief with her signature perception, specificity, and intensity, from epic insomnia and terrifying hallucinations to the torment of “death-duties,” painful recognitions of confidences unshared and secrets harbored, and a chilling evaporation of meaning….

2.  The Easter Parade, by Richard Yates

A Snippet from Amazon:

In The Easter Parade, first published in 1976, we meet sisters Sarah and Emily Grimes when they are still the children of divorced parents. We observe the sisters over four decades, watching them grow into two very different women. Sarah is stable and stalwart, settling into an unhappy marriage. Emily is precocious and independent, struggling with one unsatisfactory love affair after another. Richard Yates’s classic novel is about how both women struggle to overcome their tarnished family’s past, and how both finally reach for some semblance of renewal….

3.  Now You See Her, by Joy Fielding

Amazon Blurb:

Fifty-year-old Marcy Taggart is in Ireland celebrating her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with one notable absence, that of her husband, who recently left her for the female golf pro at their country club. Ever since the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, Devon, two years ago, Marcy has been suffering one long nervous breakdown. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband and her sister are convinced that Devon, who had bipolar disorder, committed suicide. But Marcy believes Devon ran away to start a new life. When Marcy takes a break from her relentless sightseeing in Cork, she catches sight of Devon through a window, and so begins her reckless odyssey to reclaim her missing daughter….

Then I received a $20.00 gift certificate in a contest win from Book Journey, which led to my downloading these e-books.

Thanks, Sheila!

4.  Every Secret Thing, by Laura Lippman

Two 11-year-old children-good girl Alice Manning and bad girl Ronnie Fuller-wander homeward in Baltimore after being kicked out of a friend’s pool party. They discover a baby in an unattended carriage by the front door of a house and steal it away. The reader watches in horror, knowing what will come next. The baby dies, and Alice and Ronnie are imprisoned for seven years. The mystery involves which girl did the killing, and which was the dupe….

5.  The Tapestry of Love, by Rosy Thornton

A warm and uplifting story of how a woman falls in love with a place and its people: a landscape, a community and a fragile way of life. A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbours, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony…

6.  The Lake of Dreams, by Kim Edwards

When Lucy Jarrett returns to her childhood home in Lake of Dreams, N.Y., she learns that her brother, Blake, who’s gone into the family business, and his girlfriend hope to drain a controversial marsh to construct a high-end property. Meanwhile, Lucy, who remains haunted by her father’s death in a fishing accident years earlier, reconnects with her first boyfriend, Keegan Fall, now a successful glass artist. But when she sees something familiar in the pattern of one of his pieces, and discovers a hidden note in her childhood home, Lucy finally digs into her family’s mysterious past. Unfortunately, the lazy expository handling of information mutes the intrigue, and readers will see the reignited spark between Keegan and Lucy coming for miles….


What a treasure trove of books!  I’m loving each and every one.





In the past week, I’ve enjoyed my blogging and reading.

Here are some of my blog posts:






Books Read and Reviewed – Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Ladybird, by Grace Livingston Hill

2.  Married:  A Fine Predicament, by Anne Roiphe

3.  The Long Road Home, by Mary Alice Monroe

4.  My Passion for Design, by Barbra Streisand


What’s Up Next?

1.  The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

The fictional story brings Hadley Richardson Hemingway out from the formidable shadow cast by her famous husband. Though doomed, the Hemingway marriage had its giddy high points, including a whirlwind courtship and a few fast and furious years of the expatriate lifestyle in 1920s Paris….

2.  The Book of Tomorrow, by Cecelia Ahern

“A veritable modern-day Gothic, Ahern’s engrossing new novel is filled with family secrets, intrigue, and magic aplenty.”

3.  Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen (I’ll probably be reading this one awhile)

Franzen’s second novel is a wrenching, funny, and forgiving portrait of a Midwestern family (from St. Paul this time, rather than the fictional St. Jude). Patty and Walter Berglund find each other early: a pretty jock, focused on the court and a little lost off it, and a stolid budding lawyer, besotted with her and almost burdened by his integrity. They make a family and a life together, and, over time, slowly lose track of each other….


So that’s it…finally!  It’s going to be a very busy week.  What about you?  I’d love to read about your books, etc…..


    1. Helen, I wasn’t planning on buying anything else this week, but when I went into B & N yesterday (just for coffee and to read one of my books…LOL), I saw the Fielding book and had to grab it!

      Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Hi Laurel! I have a new blog now. Yay! I wrote down Now You See Her and Every Secret Thing. They sound like great reads. I’m interested in reading more books outside of YA. The Paris Wife sounds really good. I’m adding that to my list, too. I see you reviewed Barbra Streisand’s book. I’ve read the book myself. The house is incredible! It’s stunning, but it made me sick I can’t live there! LOL I would love to swim in the pool or watch movies on the huge movie screen! Definitely visit the basement with all the little “shops.” Hope you have a happy reading week 🙂


  2. You got The Tapestry of Love 🙂 Do hope you enjoy it.

    I am just finishing The Scarlet Kimono – Christina Courtenay
    and picking up Miss Julia Speaks her Mind – Ann B Ross

    enjoy ur reading week



  3. Golly, I need your mailbox, your energy, your time, your books. Yes, I need your books. Didn’t know Kim Edwards had a new book out. I still remember The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. So powerful. Well, enjoy everything, everywhere. Have a wonderful week.


    1. Thanks, Tea…I love the books, too. I first saw Kim Edwards’ new book on a blog, and then I kept seeing it. Had to have it, so when I got the gift card…there I went! Glad you could stop by, and have a great week!


    1. I’m practically drooling over my books this week…LOL. The mailbox ones usually have to wait a bit until they can move up on the stack….I’m loving The Paris Wife. Thanks for stopping by, Kristin….


  4. Looks like a great week. On my blog you said you would have to look at the Steifvater books (shiver, linger) as you kept seeing them everywhere – it’s exactly why I ended up reading them. I must admit I was prepared to be disappointed and was pleased to see I wasn’t! Thanks for visiting!


    1. Yes, Kylie, I tend to avoid the ones everyone else is raving about, especially if they aren’t in my usual genre…but I finally tried the first Stiev Larsson book, and was pleasantly surprised. I might find the same to be true with Shiver, Linger, etc.

      Thanks for stopping by.


    1. I think so, too, Beth…I sort of went crazy, since I loved the look of each of them and couldn’t resist…the e-books are easier to reconcile, since they only take up virtual space.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  5. What a great list! I’ve got several of those on my TBR list. My husband has been reading the JC Oates memoir, but said it might be too depressing to finish. Not the best recommendation, but I still want to take a look at it. Happy reading this week!


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