Good morning, and welcome to another Monday, in which we celebrate our reading, blogging, and life.  Mailbox Monday is hosted in August by 5 Minutes for Books; and Book Journey brings us another edition of What Are You Reading?


I received three books in the mail and I downloaded one for Sparky.

Two books were from Book Journey, along with gourmet chocolates and coffee.  Thanks, Sheila!

And another book was a purchase from Amazon.

1.  Arranged, by Catherine McKenzie (from Book Journey)

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, close friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share her life with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right. When her latest relationship implodes, and her best friend announces she’s engaged, Anne impulsively calls what she thinks is a dating service—only to discover that it’s actually an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she learns about the service, the more she thinks: Why not? After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world; maybe it could work for her.

A few months later, Anne is traveling to a Mexican resort, where, over the course of a weekend, she meets and then marries Jack. And initially, everything seems to be working out. . . .

The Meryl Streep Movie Club, by Mia March (Book Journey)

In the bestselling tradition of The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Jane Austen Book Club, three women find unexpected answers, happiness, and one another with Meryl Streep movies as their inspiration.

Two sisters and the cousin they grew up with after a tragedy are summoned home to their family matriarch’s inn on the coast of Maine for a shocking announcement. Suddenly, Isabel, June, and Kat are sharing the attic bedroom–and barely speaking. But when innkeeper Lolly asks them to join her and the guests in the parlor for weekly Movie Night–it’s Meryl Streep month–they find themselves sharing secrets, talking long into the night–and questioning everything they thought they knew about life, love, and one another.

Each woman sees her complicated life reflected through the magic of cinema: Isabel’s husband is having an affair, and an old pact may keep her from what she wants most . . . June has promised her seven-year-old son that she’ll somehow find his father, who he’s never known . . . and Kat is ambivalent about accepting her lifelong best friend’s marriage proposal. Through everything, Lolly has always been there for them, and now Isabel, June, Kat–and Meryl–must be there for her. Finding themselves. Finding each other. Finding a happy ending.

Jaden Bruxelle knows that life is precious. She sees it in her work as a hospice nurse, a job filled with compassion and humor even on the saddest days. And she sees it in Tate, the boy she has raised as her son ever since her sister gave him up at birth. Tate is seventeen, academically brilliant, funny, and loving. He’s also a talented basketball player despite having been born with an abnormally large head–something Jaden’s mother blames on a family curse. Jaden dismisses that as nonsense, just as she ignores the legends about witches and magic in the family.

Over the years, Jaden has focused all her energy on her job and on sheltering Tate from the world. Tate, for his part, just wants to be a regular kid. Through his blog, he’s slowly reaching out, finding his voice. He wants to try out for the Varsity basketball team. He wants his mom to focus on her own life for a change, maybe even date again.

Jaden knows she needs to let go–of Tate, of her fears and anger, and of the responsibilities she uses as a shield. And through a series of unexpected events and revelations, she’s about to learn how. Because as dear as life may be, its only real value comes when we are willing to live it fully, even if that means risking it all.

The Language of Sisters (e-book), by Amy Hatvany (download for Sparky)

Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny. Though her search for happiness—both in career and in love—has fallen short of her dreams, Nicole pretends that all is well. Then a shattering event turns her world upside down, and suddenly, she is back in her hometown, caring for her pregnant sister and trying to heal her embattled relationship with her mother.

Reunited with her family and forced to confront the guilt that haunts her, Nicole finally has the chance to be the sister she always wished she’d been. And when she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life, Nicole rediscovers the beauty of sisterhood—and receives a special gift that will change her life forever.



Welcome to another great week to share thoughts on reading and blogging.  If you stop by the other blogs in our community, you might just find your next favorite read.

In spite of triple digit heat this week, or maybe partially because of it, I felt pretty productive.

On the Blogs This Week:

My July Reading Wrap-Up

Row 80 Check-In Post

Sweet Saturday Sample:  An Unexpected Connection (From Interior Designs)

Books Read/Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

Gone Girl (e-book), by Gillian Flynn

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, by Christine Nolfi

Zero Day (e-book), by David Baldacci

Those We Love Most, by Lee Woodruff

What’s Up Next? (Click titles/covers for more info)

Grace Grows, by Shelle Sumners (Review from Amazon Vine)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple (Review Book)

The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner

Safe Within (e-book), by Jean Reynolds Page


And that’s it for my week.  What does your week look like?  I hope you’ll stop in and comment/link to your post.


  1. LRS: I am not very good about visiting MM posts (Monday is such a hectic day!), so am glad to get a few early minutes to do so. You got a great stack of books. Cathy Lamb is a fellow Oregonian, so I like to see her books making the rounds.

    And I am pleased as punch to see my MM badge! COOL!


  2. I think The Meryl Streep Movie Club sounds like such a cute and fun book. And while I haven’t picked up Jennifer Weiner’s newest yet, I know it’s only a matter of time.


  3. Arranged soudsn interesting and possibly scary. My favorite read last week was My favorite read last week was I Was Told There’d Be Cake by (audio) by Sloane Crosley which I listened to on my way to and from work Please come see what else I’m reading.


    1. The concept of arranged marriages, whether as tradition or something new, is not something I’d ever think of doing…but it’s fun to read about! lol

      Thanks for visiting, Dawn. Enjoy your week.


    1. Indeed! I didn’t get a lot of other stuff done, though, but I knew this week would be challenging (I have my grandson), so I might not get much done. Thanks for stopping by, Brooke, and have a great week.


  4. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    Cathy Lamb’s book looks good and I am sure you will enjoy The Meryl Streep Movie Club

    Wishing you a great reading week!

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d out


  5. A fantastic line up of books. I love Amy Hatvany’s writing so I think I’ll buy The Language of Sister’s this week. The Meryl Streep Movie Club and the Cathy Lamb book sound awesome, looking forward to your thoughts.
    Have a great week and happy reading 🙂


    1. Yes, I am very happy to have “discovered” Hatvany’s style (thanks, Teddyree!), and I’m a big fan now. I’m also enjoying Cathy Lamb’s writing.

      Meryl Streep is an actor I will see, no matter what the movie is…and there’s a new one coming this week. Thanks for visiting! Enjoy your week.


  6. They are summery looking reads! I haven’t got to Gone Girl yet. I read the ibook sample, but I’m not sure I really like the characters! I like how you gave the analogy of the kaleidoscope – clever! 🙂


    1. Oh, thanks, Wendy….yes, when I started realizing that the shifting of perspectives would be a big part of the story, I thought of the kaleidoscope. I discovered teeny parts of the characters that I could like…less for some than others, and I knew I was hooked. Glad you could stop by, and enjoy your reading.


  7. Those books from Sheila – brilliant! I’ve read (and enjoyed Arranged) and the other looks good, too. I’ve seen some great reviews of it (probably one of them was by Sheila, actually!). Happy reading this week.


    1. Definitely! I turn the air conditioning on earlier and earlier…I used to leave the door open for awhile in the morning, as it was cool. Not so much now…Thanks for visiting, Irene, and have a great week.


  8. I have been seeing Gone Girl on everyone’s list. I’m probably going to be the last person to read it!

    You’ve got some nice titles coming up this week. Where’d You Go, Bernadette is also on my to-read list.


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