books, etc.-monday memes

Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Monday Mailbox, Dolce Bellezza is hosting for June; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?





I received three review books in the mailbox and one purchase; I downloaded two books (my purchase) onto Sparky.

1.  Flora, by Gail Godwin (Amazon Vine Review)



Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen’s decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of World War II.At three Helen lost her mother and the beloved grandmother who raised her has just died.A fiercely imaginative child, Helen is desperate to keep her house intact with all its ghosts and stories.Flora, her late mother’s twenty-two-year old first cousin, who cries at the drop of a hat, is ardently determined to do her best for Helen.Their relationship and its fallout, played against a backdrop of a lost America will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.

This darkly beautiful novel about a child and a caretaker in isolation evokes shades of The Turn of the Screw and also harks back to Godwin’s memorable novel of growing up, The Finishing School. With its house on top of a mountain and a child who may be a bomb that will one day go off, Flora tells a story of love, regret, and the things we can’t undo.It will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.


2.  Coming Clean, by Kimberly Rae Miller (Amazon Vine Review)



Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a beautifully tidy apartment in Brooklyn. You would never guess that behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house hid teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room — the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding.

In this dazzling memoir, Kim brings to life her experience of growing up in a rat-infested home, hiding her father’s shameful secret from friends for years, and of the emotional burden that ultimately led to her suicide attempt. And in beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents that has thrived in spite of the odds.

Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where you come from and understanding the relationships that define you. It is also a powerful story of recovery and redemption.


3.    Looking for Me, by Beth Hoffman (My purchase)




A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.


4.  The Last Camellia (e-book), by Sarah Jio



On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.

More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple’s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener’s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?


6.  Roast Mortem (e-book), by Cleo Coyle



Clare Cosi, manager and head barista of the landmark Village Blend coffeehouse, has perfected the art of steaming hot espresso. But now she needs to keep New York’s bravest from being burned. As someone torches cafes around the city and firefighters begin to die in suspicious ways, Clare investigates. Will she be able to solve the crime before someone tries to extinguish her?




Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

Wow, what a great week it was!  For those who remained “behind” during BEA week, we had Armchair BEA, and here are some of those posts, along with a few others:

Armchair BEA Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

Monday Potpourri:   Musing About Bookish Things

Tuesday Potpourri:  Intros/Teasers – “He’s Gone”

Rolling Out the New for June:  Books, Blog Designs, Etc.

Guest Post with Lisa Ellis (Blog Tour)

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Moving On

May Reading Wrap-Up (16 Books Read in May, 85 YTD)

Sunday Potpourri:  Enjoying Books & Movies

Reviews: (Click Titles for Reviews)

Finding Lily (e-book), by Lisa Ellis (Blog Tour)

Sweet Salt Air, by Barbara Delinsky

He’s Gone (e-book), by Deb Caletti

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty

Dark Places (e-book), by Gillian Flynn

What’s Up Next? (Click Titles/Covers for More Info)

1.  What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty



2.  The Lost Husband (e-book), by Katherine Center




3.  Kind of Cruel, by Sophie Hannah (Amazon Vine Review)




4.  All the Available Light, by Yona Zeldis McDonough (from Mt. TBR)





And that’s my week!  I think I’m exhausted…I’ve been napping on and off all day.  Catching up?  I hope you all have a wonderful week.


coffee cup


  1. Hi Laurel-Rain,

    You have a great mix of books this week, although the one which particularly caught my eye was ‘Kind Of Cruel’ by Sophie Hannah.

    I have only ever read one of this author’s previous books, however I thoroughly enjoyed her style of writing and excellent storyline, so this sounds like another great opportunity to track a few more of her books.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that you have a good week,



  2. Rose Milligan

    I hope you are able to rest up for the new week; it looks busy. Your books look good. I’m currently reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares.


  3. I had no idea Sarah Jio had a new book coming out! I used to read her blog back when she blogged at Glamour. Of course, I’ve yet to actually read any of her books, but from what I’ve heard, I think I’d really enjoy them.


  4. It sounds like you had a very busy time, but a great one as well with beautiful books. I quite like the cover of The lost husband, and I am really interested in the Marilyn Monroe book.

    Have a great week,
    kind regards,


    1. Thanks, Bettina….I have had the Marilyn Monroe book for quite a long while, but now I’m planning to enjoy it. Also The Lost Husband is one I think will be good, too. Glad you could stop by; enjoy your week.


  5. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    I’m glad you enjoyed The Husband’s Secret, I hope you enjoy What Alice Forgot as well!

    Wishing you a fabulous reading week
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out


    1. I am loving it, Shelleyrae….the books are different from one another, but with the same beautiful style that probes into family dynamics. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your week.


  6. You will LOVE Looking for Me. Flora looks good. I downloaded it last month, but haven’t gotten to it.

    ENJOY all your books.

    I didn’t post a Mailbox Monday this week. I am not home yet. Will be heading home tomorrow from the BEA. I am just checking out everyone’s mailboxes. 🙂

    I do have a review of THE TIME BETWEEN by Karen White posted this morning.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog


  7. What a great list of books! I’ve always intended to read something by Gail Godwin. I’ve had The Finishing School on my “must-read” list for quite a while, but now I’m thinking maybe I’ll start with Flora — it sounds really intriguing.


    1. That’s how I’m going to feel, too, Kathy; as I look at the books I’ve committed to read, though, I get depressed that it may be awhile before I can start it. I want to dive in and forget the planned list! Thanks for stopping by.


  8. Wow! I am seeing a lot of Flora and Looking for Me! You’ll need to take a “reading retreat” to read all of your goodies! (I need to take one, too.) 🙂


  9. kimmery4

    You are my kind of reader–there are several in your post that are on my list to read. I have my eye on Flora, The Last Camila, and the Lost Husband. Currently reading Beth’s book and loving it!


    1. I am so sure that I will, Lori…I have always described myself as a “frustrated interior designer,” so I love any books that incorporate design into the story. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your week.


    1. Isn’t she great? I remember reading my first book of hers and thinking that she was someone to watch. I didn’t know she was from Houston, Deb….isn’t it fun when favorite authors live where you’ve lived? Thanks for stopping by.


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