books, etc.-monday memes

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



You know how one week you receive no books?  And then the next week, the books just flow…Well, that’s what happened here.  I received four review books in the mail; one book I purchased; and then I downloaded one e-book onto Sparky.

1.  While We Were Watching Downton Abbey, by Wendy Wax (From Publicist)



When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with each other…

Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money—for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.

Claire Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old world charm of The Alexander, and for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.

And then there’s Brooke MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She’s just starting to realize that it’s time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.

For Samantha, Claire, Brooke—and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings—it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey.

2.  Midnight Sacrifice, by Melinda Leigh (From Author)


The chilling sequel to Midnight Exposure

One by one, people are mysteriously disappearing from a small Maine town.

Four months ago, a ruthless murderer killed two people and kidnapped three more, including Danny Sullivan’s sister, who barely escaped. Unfortunately so did the killer, vanishing without a trace into the vast wilderness. When the police fail to find his sister’s captor, Danny returns to Maine to hunt him down.

He begins his search with another survivor, bed and breakfast owner Mandy Brown, but her refusal to cooperate raises Danny’s suspicions. What is the beautiful innkeeper hiding?

Mandy Brown has a secret. But sexy Danny Sullivan, his relentless questions, and the desire that simmers between them threaten to expose the truth. A revelation that puts her family in danger. As more people disappear, it becomes clear the killer is planning another ritual…and that he’s circling in on Mandy.

3.  The Tin Horse, by Janice Steinberg (Amazon Vine)


In the stunning tradition of Lisa See, Maeve Binchy, and Alice Hoffman, The Tin Horse is a rich multigenerational story about the intense, often fraught bond sisters share and the dreams and sorrows that lay at the heart of the immigrant experience.

It has been more than sixty years since Elaine Greenstein’s twin sister, Barbara, ran away, cutting off contact with her family forever. Elaine has made peace with that loss. But while sifting through old papers as she prepares to move to Rancho Mañana—or the “Ranch of No Tomorrow” as she refers to the retirement community—she  is stunned to find a possible hint to Barbara’s whereabouts all these years later. And it pushes her to confront the fierce love and bitter rivalry of their youth during the 1920s and ’30s, in the Los Angeles Jewish neighborhood of Boyle Heights.

Though raised together in Boyle Heights, where kosher delis and storefront signs in Yiddish lined the streets, Elaine and Barbara staked out very different personal territories. Elaine was thoughtful and studious, encouraged to dream of going to college, while Barbara was a bold rule-breaker whose hopes fastened on nearby Hollywood. In the fall of 1939, when the girls were eighteen, Barbara’s recklessness took an alarming turn. Leaving only a cryptic note, she disappeared.

In an unforgettable voice layered with humor and insight, Elaine delves into the past. She recalls growing up with her spirited family: her luftmensch of a grandfather, a former tinsmith with tales from the Old Country; her papa, who preaches the American Dream even as it eludes him; her mercurial mother, whose secret grief colors her moods—and of course audacious Barbara and their younger sisters, Audrey and Harriet. As Elaine looks back on the momentous events of history and on the personal dramas of the Greenstein clan, she must finally face the truth of her own childhood, and that of the twin sister she once knew.

In The Tin Horse, Janice Steinberg exquisitely unfolds a rich multigenerational story about the intense, often fraught bonds between sisters, mothers, and daughters and the profound and surprising ways we are shaped by those we love. At its core, it is a book not only about the stories we tell but, more important, those we believe, especially the ones about our very selves.

4.  The View from Penthouse B, by Elinor Lipman (Amazon Vine)


Two sisters recover from widowhood, divorce, and Bernie Madoff as unexpected roommates in a Manhattan apartment

Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband, Edwin, when her older sister Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot’s luxurious Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal (hint: her husband was a fertility doctor) and then made Ponzi-poor, it’s a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort she enlists a third boarder, the handsome, cupcake-baking Anthony.

As the three swap money-making schemes and timid Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margot’s paroled ex in the efficiency apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness. A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age, this is a cracklingly witty, deeply sweet novel from one of our finest comic writers.

5.   The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult (My Purchase)





Some stories live forever . . . Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions.

Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?

In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths we will go in order to protect our families and to keep the past from dictating the future.

6.  Obsolete (e-book), by C. T. French


In a dystopian future, an epic battle between the sexes will determine who lives and who dies.

After the Blue Pox pandemic wipes out 99.99 percent of males and 99.95 percent of females,18-year-old Madison is lost and alone. She joins forces with Katherine, a former anthropologist, in search of a safe place to live, and the two find a group of women gathered on the campus of a small college in East Tennessee. Katherine quickly establishes herself as leader and under the influence of Callie, a former prison guard, begins to imprison men for what Madison perceives can only be nefarious reasons. When the prisoners start mysteriously disappearing, Madison suspects Callie and her band of deputies are killing them. Then Callie and Katherine devise a procreation policy, mating the younger women with the male prisoners, and Madison must make a decision to either stay and become puppet to their plans or make her way alone in a desolate, violent world.




Welcome to the first Monday in March.  Let’s gather around our cups of coffee and chat about February…and last week.  Let’s also plot the week to come.

First…let’s look at what happened on my blogs:

Musing & Ranting About Guilty Pleasures, New Reading Habits, & Bookish Love

Author Interview with Alan S. Blood

Author Interview with Kimberly S. Young & Review of The Eighth Wonder

Hump Day Potpourri:  Collections & Bookish Anticipation

Wrapping up February:  Lots of Good Books!

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Mother/Daughter Conflicts

Count Down to the End of the Round

Reading-Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  The History of Us, by Leah Stewart

2.  Blast from the Past, by Lauren Carr (Sequel Challenge)

3.  Knit Two, by Kate Jacobs (Mt. TBR & Sequel Challenge)

4.   Her:  A Memoir, by Christa Parravani

What’s Up Next? (Click Title/Cover for More Info)

1.  Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell


2.   The Day After Yesterday, by Kelly Cozy (Review book)


3.   Half Broke Horses (e-book), by Jeannette Walls (Mt. TBR Challenge)



That’s it….unless I finish them all, in which case, I have stacks and stacks of them waiting.  What are you planning this week?  Come on by and share….


    • I am very tired….and I have another memoir this week. I need to be careful about those, as they can leave me feeling soooo depressed!

      I read “Her” today, a very emotionally exhausting read, and I’m so ready for something light…..Thanks for stopping by, Patty.


  1. I almost purchased the Storyteller; Picoult. Preordered, but canceled as I am far up on the library list so think I should have ir without a few weeks……it sounds wonderful!!

    Also looking forward to the Lipman book – I generally love her books. enjoy, you are in for some great reading — enjoy Laurel.


    • I canceled my preorder of The Storyteller, and then ordered it after all, a few days later…lol

      I have been using the library more, but the Picoult books are ones I like to keep.

      Thanks for stopping by, Diane….and enjoy your week.


  2. The Storyteller is on my reading list for this month as well – I hope you enjoy it!

    Wishing you a great reading week!


  3. great books! I read one by Wendy Wax a few years ago and really liked it – since I love Downton too, I have this one on my radar.

    Have a good week!


  4. The Storyteller is next on my to-buy list, I’m a Jodi Picoult fan even though the endings of her last couple of books have cheesed me off lol. Hope While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a terrific read, I do love the show. Have a great week and happy reading 🙂


    • I didn’t get into Downton Abbey soon enough…I would have to watch the previous seasons to know who everyone is…lol; I’m looking forward to Wendy’s book, though.

      From the little bit of Season Three that I watched, I could tell I would be addicted.

      Thanks for stopping by, Teddyree….and you’re right about Picoult’s endings…they’re quite unpredictable.


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