Welcome to another edition of our Monday Memes:  Mailbox Monday, which is hosted this month by Bluestocking; and What Are You Reading?, led by Book Journey.


So let’s begin with the books received this week.  Both purchased by me, so I guess that “book buying ban” fell by the wayside…LOL

1.  The Astral, by Kate Christensen, was one I had to have, since I have loved every one of her books so far.

“Like the rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn of its setting, Christensen’s unremittingly wonderful latest (after Trouble) is populated by an odd but captivating mix of characters. At the center is Harry Quirk, a middle-aged poet whose comfortable life is upended one winter day when his wife, Luz, convinced he’s having an affair, destroys his notebooks, throws his laptop from the window, and kicks him out. Things, Harry has to admit, are not going well: their idealistic Dumpster-diving daughter, Karina, is lonely and lovelorn, and their son, Hector, is in the grip of a messianic cult. Taking in a much-changed Greenpoint, Brooklyn, while working at a lumberyard and hoping to recover his poetic spark, Harry must come to terms with the demands of starting anew at 57. Astute and unsentimental, at once romantic and wholly rational, Harry is an everyman adrift in a changing world, and as he surveys his failings, Christensen takes a singular, genuine story and blows it up into a smart inquiry into the nature of love and the commitments we make, the promises we do and do not honor, and the people we become as we negotiate the treacherous parameters of marriage and friendship and parenthood.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred)

2.  Summer Rental (e-book),  by Mary Kay Andrews

Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction….

Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she’s made over the past decade of her life. Julia—whose caustic wit covers up her wounds–has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can’t hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life.  And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs….

These two are bound to keep me turning pages (or forwarding through Sparky, my Kindle).



My reading and blogging week has been full, and so has the rest of my life this week.

Catch Up on Some Blog Posts Here:

Hump Day Potpourri

6-15 Check-In Post:  Reading & Tweaking

Exploring Past Behaviors – An Excerpt

Saturday Snapshots – Summer Moments

Sunday Potpourri

And now for some book talk….

Books Read & Reviewed – Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Whitethorn Woods, by Maeve Binchy

2.  Dedication, by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

3.  The Year We Left Home (e-book), by Jean Thompson

Still Reading:

Dismantled, by Jennifer McMahon

What’s Up Next?

Since I’m still reading one book from this past week, I’m only going to add another three.  If I have time for more, there are plenty I can grab!

1.  Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan (Amazon Vine)

In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family.

For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago….

2.  Daughters of the Revolution, by Carolyn Cooke (Amazon Vine)

“Carolyn Cooke writes with knives and feathers. She slices into her subjects so we see the insides of them and she dusts off the everyday covering to reveal the true contours beneath. Her Daughters of the Revolution is bristling with smarts. Read it slowly and savor the gift this author gives her readers: fierce intelligence, sly humor and not a moment of missing the folly in life.”
—Susan Minot, author of Rapture

3.  The Magnolia League, by Katie Crouch

“I was mesmerized as I watched Alex, a girl raised on a California commune, learning to navigate Savannah high society. This is a story infused with romance and dark magic, and I couldn’t put it down. I’m a huge Katie Crouch fan, and this book will make you one, too.” (Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Gods in Alabama and Backseat Saints )

“Katie Crouch’s The Magnolia League is mysterious, magical, and alluring. Crouch’s voice is both humorous and intense, lending itself well to the novel’s darker undercurrents and its richly southern flavor.” (Faria Stolarz, bestselling author of the Blue is for Nightmares series and the Touch series )

I’m looking forward to each of these.  What are the rest of you reading this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and share….


  1. You’ve got a couple that are on my list too. I want to read SUMMER RENTAL and also MAINE. Just craving some beach reads or books set at the beach I guess. Hope you enjoy them!


  2. I can’t wait for your review of The Astral. It sounds really good. Summer Rental is on my TBR list as is Maine. So many good reviews for Maine. Have a great week, Laurel-Rain.


  3. Wow! What a fabulous week for you! I have The Astral for review; wasn’t certain about it, but all of the comments say I’ll love it! The Magnolia League has been getting great reviews, too! I’m off to read some of your other posts! Enjoy your reading week!


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