books, etc.-monday memes

Welcome to another week of bookish fun.  Join in with those who celebrate Mailbox Monday, hosted in February by Unabridged Chick; and What Are You Reading?, hosted by Book Journey.




No books came in the mail this week!  No downloads, either.  I walked right past the bargain table at Barnes & Noble.  I am strong!  lol

I did receive some lovely swag this week from Tif Talks Books...for my participation in Bloggiesta.






Welcome to another week of sharing our blogging and reading adventures, as well as the great time we have every week visiting other blogs and chatting about stuff we love.

Since the Oscars are on Sunday night, and because I’m writing this on Sunday, I haven’t yet watched them.  By the time we gather around our blogs on Monday, we’ll know who the winners are.

Do any of you enjoy watching the Oscars?  What movies have you loved this year?

It took me awhile to watch the movie that I’ve been eager to see…but I saw it yesterday on my On Demand lineup.  Argo!  Yes, I vividly remember the angst of those days when the hostages were held in Iran.

And I wasn’t aware of this underlying story that came through so intensely in this film.

But meanwhile, back at the ranch….Or in my house, there was some blogging and reading this week.


Monday Sparks:  Musing About Bookish Things

Tuesday Potpourri:  A Morning with Books, Coffee, & the DVR

Thursday Potpourri: Fiona Through the Years — Happy Birthday!

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Meeting Evan

Sunday Check-In Post:  Row 80

Sunday Potpourri:  A Little Irish

Reading/Reviewing-Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Evil at Heart, by Chelsea Cain (Sequel Challenge)

2.  Emancipating Alice (e-book), by Ava Winder

3.   Plum Spooky, by Janet Evanovich (Sequel Challenge)

4.  After the Rain (e-book), by Karen White (Sequel Challenge)

5.  The Art of Men, by Kirstie Alley

What’s Up Next?

1.   The History of Us, by Leah Stewart


Sometimes home is the hardest place to go.In the newest novel by the celebrated author of The Myth of You and Me (which Claire Messud called “poignant, fierce, and compelling”), three grown siblings return to their childhood home and face a family secret that forces them to reexamine their relationships to each other—and to the aunt who took them in as children.

Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach a class at Harvard when she receives a devastating phone call. Her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident, and Eloise must return home to Cincinnati to take their three children, Theodora, Josh, and Claire, out of the hands of her own incapable mother. She moves back into her mother’s century-old house and, after her mother leaves, pours her own money into its upkeep.

Nearly two decades later, Eloise is still in that house with now-grown Theo, Josh, and Claire, still thinking about the career and life she left behind, even as she pushes the kids to get a move on. With Claire leaving for New York City for a promising ballet career, Eloise has plans to finally sell the house and start a life that’s hers alone. But when her mother creates a competition for which of them gets the house and Claire turns out to have a life-changing secret, their makeshift family begins to fall apart.

The History of Us is a heartrending story of loss, sibling relationships, and the life you make in the path not taken.


2.  Knit Two, by Kate Jacobs (for Sequel & Mt. TBR Challenges)



The Sequel to the Beloved #1 New York Times Bestseller The Friday Night Knitting Club

The sequel to the number-one New York Times bestseller The Friday Night Knitting Club, KNIT TWO returns to Walker and Daughter, the Manhattan knitting store founded by Georgia Walker and her young daughter, Dakota. Dakota is now an eighteen-year-old freshman at NYU, running the little yarn shop part-time with help from the members of the Friday Night Knitting Club.

Drawn together by the sense of family the club has created, the knitters rely on one another as they struggle with new challenges: for Catherine, finding love after divorce; for Darwin, the hope for a family; for Lucie, being both a single mom and a caregiver for her elderly mother; and for seventy-something Anita, a proposal of marriage from her sweetheart, Marty, that provokes the objections of her grown children.

As the club’s projects—an afghan, baby booties, a wedding coat—are pieced together, so is their understanding of the patterns underlying the stresses and joys of being mother, wife, daughter, and friend. Because it isn’t the difficulty of the garment that makes you a great knitter: it’s the care and attention you bring to the craft—as well as how you adapt to surprises.


3.  Blast from the Past, by Lauren Carr (Review Book) (Sequel Challenge)


In this fourth mystery on Deep Creek Lake; Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs with mobsters and federal agents. After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday! Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.


4.  Her:  A Memoir, by Christa Parravani (Review Book)


A blazingly passionate memoir of identity and love: when a charismatic and troubled young woman dies tragically, her identical twin must struggle to survive

Christa Parravani and her identical twin, Cara, were linked by a bond that went beyond siblinghood, beyond sisterhood, beyond friendship. Raised up from poverty by a determined single mother, the gifted and beautiful twins were able to create a private haven of splendor and merriment between themselves and then earn their way to a prestigious college and to careers as artists (a photographer and a writer, respectively) and to young marriages. But, haunted by childhood experiences with father figures and further damaged by being raped as a young adult, Cara veered off the path to robust work and life and in to depression, drugs and a shocking early death.

A few years after Cara was gone, Christa read that when an identical twin dies, regardless of the cause, 50 percent of the time the surviving twin dies within two years; and this shocking statistic rang true to her. “Flip a coin,” she thought,” those were my chances of survival.” First, Christa fought to stop her sister’s downward spiral; suddenly, she was struggling to keep herself alive.

Beautifully written, mesmerizingly rich and true, Christa Parravani’s account of being left, one half of a whole, and of her desperate, ultimately triumphant struggle for survival is informative, heart-wrenching and unforgettably beautiful.


And that’s my week!  What are you planning?  What did last week look like?  Let’s chat.



    1. I must admit that I peeked, Laura…and even picked up a book or two. And maybe I was able to walk by because nothing grabbed me….sigh. Perhaps not so strong…lol

      Thanks for stopping by…and I’m loving The History of Us already.


    1. It only got worse, Sheila…I really can’t stand Seth MacFarlane, and his jokes just kept spiraling downward.

      I really must see Silver Linings Playbook, though…and Lincoln. I was pleased that the movie I watched won….

      Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your week.


  1. The History of Us, Knit Two and Us all appeal to me, will be interested to read your thoughts. Not watching the Oscars, I have too much reading to catch up on lol
    Have a great week and happy reading 🙂


  2. So proud of you walking by that bargain table, such willpower 🙂 I really have to watch Argo this weekend. We may have a family movie night if I can get them all together 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!


  3. Congrats on the book swag! You are strong to leave Barnes & Noble empty handed 🙂

    Glad you got to check out Argo. I found the Oscars entertaining for the most part and was pleased that Jennifer Lawrence won. Seth MacFarlane wasn’t the best fit to host the show, I agree.
    Have a great week!


  4. I hope you enjoy Knit Two, I read it several years back and really enjoyed the whole series!

    I watched the Oscars as well, and I was glad to see that Argo won best picture. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve heard and read so many wonderful things about it!


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