Welcome to another Monday from the Interior, in which we share about the books we received in the mail (or bought), and talk about our bookish week, past and future.

Mailbox Monday for March is hosted by Anna, at Diary of an Eccentric.

What Are You Reading? is led by Sheila, at Book Journey.


All of my books this week were purchased or downloaded by me.

1.  Good-Bye and Amen, by Beth Gutcheon

Beth Gutcheon’s critically acclaimed family saga Leeway Cottage was a major achievement: a vivid and moving tale of war and marriage and their consequences that enchanted readers. Good-bye and Amen is the next chapter for the family of Leeway Cottage, the story of what happens when those most powerful people in any family drama, the parents, have left the stage.The complicated marriage of the gifted Danish pianist Laurus Moss to the provincial American child of privilege Sydney Brant was a mystery to many who knew them, including their three children. Now, Eleanor, Monica, and Jimmy Moss have to decide how to divide or share what Laurus and Sydney have left them without losing one another.Secure and cheerful Eleanor, the oldest, wants little for herself but much for her children. Monica, the least-loved middle child, brings her youthful scars to the table, as well as the baggage of a difficult marriage to the charismatic Norman, who left a brilliant legal career, though not his ambition, to become an Episcopal priest. Youngest and best-loved Jimmy, who made a train wreck of his young adulthood, has returned after a long period of alienation from the family surprisingly intact but extremely hard for his sisters to read.Having lived through childhoods both materially blessed and emotionally difficult, with a father who could seem uninvolved and a mother who loved a good family game of “let’s you and him fight,” the Mosses have formed strong adult bonds that none of them wants to damage. But it’s difficult to divide a beloved summer house three ways and keep it too. They all know what’s at stake-in a world of atomized families, a house like Leeway Cottage can be the glue that keeps generations of cousins and grandchildren deeply connected to one another. But knowing it’s important doesn’t make it easy.

2.  Blue Monday, by Nicci French

Frieda Klein is a solitary, incisive psychotherapist who spends her sleepless nights walking along the ancient rivers that have been forced underground in modern London. She believes that the world is a messy, uncontrollable place, but what we can control is what is inside our heads. This attitude is reflected in her own life, which is an austere one of refuge, personal integrity, and order.

The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when his face is splashed over the newspapers, Frieda cannot ignore the coincidence: one of her patients has been having dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A red-haired child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew. She finds herself in the center of the investigation, serving as the reluctant sidekick of the chief inspector.

Drawing readers into a haunting world in which the terrors of the mind have spilled over into real life, Blue Monday introduces a compelling protagonist and a chilling mystery that will appeal to readers of dark crime fiction and fans of In Treatment and The Killing.

3.  The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett (downloaded free!)

Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as imperious as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, closed up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors of England, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks; “It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of roses which were so thick, that they matted together…. ‘No wonder it is still,’ Mary whispered. ‘I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'” As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin’s sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden‘s portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. (Ages 9 to 12)



Let’s join Sheila and gang to chat about our reading and blogging.  Participating in this event and visiting lots of blogs along the way can help each of us to find more great books to add to our stacks.  As if we need more!

Now…let’s chat.

This week, I had some fun on the blogs.  I pondered some questions in Serendipity?  Fate? Choice?

Then I created my February Reading Wrap-up.  I had a pretty good reading month, despite the shortness of it.

On one of my writing blogs, I excerpted from my WIP Defining Moments, in Life Changing Moments.

Since I haven’t been as focused on my writing lately (it’s editing/tweaking time!), I wrote A Writing Journey — What Drives Us?

Finally, today I did my kick-off post for Bloggiesta:  It’s Coming, It’s Coming!  Bloggiesta!

Now for the books!  Click titles for reviews:

7th Heaven, by James Patterson/Maxine Paetro (Women’s Murder Club) (Quick and riveting)

Marilyn Monroe, by Barbara Leaming (A very sad, detailed read)

Unbroken, by Jamie Lisa Forbes (Review will be up during blog tour – 4/10/12), at Rainy Days and Mondays.


Click titles or book covers to find out more….

Still Reading:  Alice in Bed, by Cathleen Schine, and so far, it’s kind of unusual, but it’s drawing me in.

1.  Gossip, by Beth Gutcheon (Amazon Vine Review)

2.  Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen (Amazon Vine)

3.  The Effect of Living Backwards, by Heidi Julavits (From my TBRs)


And that’s it for this week!  What are you reading and blogging about?  Come on by and share!


    1. I love this author, and although some of the reviews say this sequel to Leeway Cottage was “disappointing,” I’m going to approach it without reservation.

      Thanks for stopping by, Mary, and enjoy your week.


    1. Thanks, Crystal…I really do need to push myself in these tasks. Maybe I’m reluctant because I’ve gone over the manuscripts so many times (and after every Beta read) that I’m wondering if I should let it breathe for awhile….nice excuse for procrastination, huh.

      Glad you could stop by, and I’m eager to read several books on my list this week.


  1. I keep seeing Blue Monday on people’s book lists. I requested an audio copy for review but nothing yet. I have a copy of Gossip coming and it sounds pretty good.

    I see you are joining Bloggiesta. I’m going to participate this year too.


    1. I was waiting for Bloggiesta to happen several months ago, since it used to be every six months. So I’m very ready!

      I have enjoyed several Nicci French books, and Beth Gutcheon is an old favorite from way back.

      Hope you get both books! Enjoy your week, Leslie, and thanks for stopping by.


    1. When I told my granddaughter that I had it, she looked enthralled. She has read it and loved it.

      I have mine on Sparky, my Kindle…so I won’t be able to gaze at the cover or any illustrations.

      Thanks for stopping by, Helen, and enjoy your week.


  2. Ah the new Nicci French book! I’ll want to read that at some point. And that Anna Quindlen book – will look out for your review, I’m very curious.

    Have a good week!


  3. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    Good luck with Blogiesta plans!

    I hope The Effect of Living Backwwards is good, I am currently reading The Vanishers by Julavits

    Have a great reading week!

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out


  4. I want to read The Effects of Living Backwards – just because of the title. 🙂

    you have an interesting mix of books there – I love seeing all the books people read.

    Happy Reading!


  5. Can’t wait for your thoughts on Blue Monday. Each year I promise myself I’m going to do Bloggiesta and each year I don’t allow the time for it … grr

    Have a great week and happy reading 🙂


    1. Teddyree, the way I do Bloggiesta is only to tackle what I think I can manage in the time I have. I know some people have big lists and goals….me, not so much.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I can’t wait to read Blue Monday.


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