Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.


Another event-filled week just flew by, starting off with New Year’s Eve on Monday, with reading, movies, etc.  The biggest moments were during First Book of the Year, which featured my chosen book.  I read all day on January 1 and finished it!  You’ll see my review listed below.  After the momentum of my first (and only two) books read this week, everything kind of fizzled.  I got through 117 pages of Sadie, which started out okay…and then I kept setting it down, distracted, turning to other things…until I finally gave up.  I hate to DNF books, but one of the rules I make for myself these days is to move on when necessary.  So next I turned to an ARC, which has kept my interest.

I’ve enjoyed watching old movies (not 1930s-40s OLD, but 1980s, et. al., like When Harry Met Sally).  That’s a movie that needs to be viewed on New Year’s.  I think I know the dialogue by now.  I also enjoyed re-watching Shadowlands, since I just downloaded a book with the characters in it.  And last night, I started watching Evening, with Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Collette, Natasha Richardson, Patrick Wilson, etc.  I occasionally do this:  watch for a while, stop the DVR, and return to the movie later.  I’ve seen it a few times, so I don’t lose anything in this process.

Today is my youngest grandson’s 16th birthday.  Where did the time go?  I have five twenty-something grandchildren who are also very busy with their own lives, and only one of them lives in this city.  But today I’ll be picking this teenager up at my neighborhood mall where he is hanging out with friends…and will take him to his home where we plan to have a celebratory dinner.  Here he was, on his first birthday, when his family lived next door to me in my guesthouse in the foothills:


Now…let’s grab some more coffee and take a closer look at the week.  Note that my Christmas decorations are still up…but I think they’re coming down today.


Monthly Wrap-Up at Year’s End…

First Book of 2019:  Continuing a Tradition…

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Our Little Lies”

Hump Day Reading…The First of 2019

Coffee Chat:  Launching 2019…

Bookish Friday:  “Those Other Women”

Curling up to Read…Seeking Normalcy!

Saturday Potpourri:  Out with the Holidays…

Review:  You Don’t Own Me (e-book), by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke – First Book of the Year!                                                                               Review:  Sophie Last Seen (e-book), by Marlene Adelstein – Author Review Book


INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One purchased book came in my physical mailbox…and I downloaded another book.

Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton


Becoming Mrs. Lewis (e-book), by Patti Callahan



My plans for the week will be loose…I am trying that on for size.  I am currently reading (and loving so far) Forget You Know Me (e-book), by Jessica Strawser – a NetGalley ARC.  A “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best, friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.



So…that was my week.  What did yours look like?  I am hoping for a good week.  I plan to bring my home back to normalcy, Christmas decorations binned in the garage.  Reading, movies, and special foods that comfort me will be a priority.  Here’s what I had on New Year’s Day.



  1. The Christmas decorations are still up here too, although they’re slowly coming down. 🙂 And happy birthday to your grandson!

    I love 80’s movies, especially old favorites that I know by heart! And sorry to hear about Sadie, but… it happens lol. Better to DNF that slog through, I always say. 🙂

    Mmm New Year’s dinner looked yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Greg, it has been a great week, even with the DNF.

      Those decorations of mine came down shortly after I wrote this post.

      Meanwhile, I am looking forward to Hallmark Mysteries again. I’m so over the Christmas movies!

      Have a great week.


    • I liked the premise and thought I would enjoy the book. The writing did not capture me. Some might like it, though, and apparently many did enjoy the book.

      I may try again later. Thanks for visiting, Barb.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Hayley, I have loved When Harry Met Sally since it first came out. I’ve probably seen it a dozen times…or more. There are so many actors I enjoy in it, like Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Billy Crystal, etc.

      I hope you have a great week, and I am eager to read Wallis in Love.


  2. Sounds like your reading year got off to a good start! Although that’s too bad about Sadie. I hate to give up on books, but sometimes it is necessary. Time is too precious. When Harry Met Sally is such a good movie. It’s one of my husband’s favorites. 🙂 Happy birthday to your grandson!

    Did you get your decorations down like planned? I think we’ll do that tomorrow. We got our tree decorations down as soon as Nina decided she wanted to climb to the top of the tree. I’ve had cats who liked to nestle in the lower branches and sleep, but never one who liked to climb all the way to the top like Nina. I almost hate to take down the tree since she loves climbing it so much!

    Forget You Know Me looks good. I just finished my first read of the year this afternoon and have started on Don Quixote, which I think I will read in small increments, stretching it out over the next few months. We’ll see how it goes.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year, Laurel-Rain! Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Wendy, and I did get the decorations down! As I hastily binned everything, I was so thankful that I had decided on “less is more” this year.

      Your cat climbing the tree sounds cute…but I guess it could be disastrous, though. However, cats sometimes delicately creep around as they climb.

      When Harry Met Sally is one of those books with unforgettable lines and moments. I still tear up at Harry’s speech to Sally at the end. So sweet!

      I am enjoying Forget You Know Me…and so glad I set aside Sadie. It just wasn’t working for me.

      Have a great week and New Year!


  3. Happy New Year!! I’m glad you had a good start of the new year. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never seen When Harry Met Sally. I don’t even know why not. It’s definitely my kind of movie. I just never got to it I guess. It probably will be a good goal this year: watching When Harry Met Sally. LOL!.
    Have a great week and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Maureen, and you are going to LOVE When Harry Met Sally…I hope. LOL

      When I first watched it, I was “youngish” and still into romance. Seeing it again always takes me back.

      Enjoy your week and your books!


  4. I have Sadie on my TBR, I am sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I am with you on learning to DNF!

    My wishes to your grandson on his birthday. Have a great week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Gayathri…and I spent 117 pages on Sadie, so I think I gave it enough. LOL.

      I love watching the grandchildren grow and mature…it’s different than it was with my kids, as I don’t feel “responsible” for them in the same way.

      Enjoy your week.


  5. I like the idea of playing it loose with life. Tomorrow, with Christmas and all the assorted celebrations around it behind me (finally), I will also assume a loose-with-life demeanor. No, I think I will go ahead and start today. Why not?! Life is short.

    Today is the shower for my second (and probably final) grandchild. My other grandchild is three. I can see that grandchildren grow up even faster than children. I will enjoy this time of my life, no matter how fast it races by.

    And I will use your witness to DNF anything that doesn’t grab me. Again, life is short.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Deb, with the world around us going crazy, it is so important to enjoy the moments with family and friends. Those babies won’t be young very long. Enjoy! While I was at my daughter’s house, savoring the celebration I got a text and picture from my No. 2 son and his fiancee; they are in Hawaii, enjoying their time together. They have gone to so many places together. He proposed to her earlier last year in Central Park just before they saw Hamilton.

      I am glad my son is having a good time. He has been all about his kids recently, with the three of them in college at the same time. The first finally graduated, and the second one will this year.

      Have a great and “loose” day and year.


  6. I DNF, or in many cases, put-aside, more frequently than I used to; I just don’t discuss them on my blog. Especially if it’s a borrowed or library book, then I don’t feel guilt about it.

    Happy Birthday to your grandson! They do grow so fast!

    I read the Jessica Strawser book recently and I liked it a lot– hope you do too! Oh and When Harry Met Sally… I’ve seen that so many times! And it was filmed in NYC where I grew up, although in a different borough, and I loved seeing all the familiar landmarks. Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Rita, and I’m loving Forget You Know Me so far. My No. 2 son liked When Harry Met Sally (he works in the industry)…and he also dabbles in oil painting. A few years ago, he painted a poster of that movie, among others; he likes New York, too, even though he lives in LA. He proposed to his current fiancee in Central Park and sent me a text picture. For a businessman, I am glad he has romantic gestures in him. LOL.

      My 16-year-old grandson (my youngest) seems to be enjoying his life..and getting all A’s.

      Enjoy your week!


  7. I have seen Sadie on many blogs. I got it from the library but never managed to start it. Now I can’t remember anything about it other than an impression it might be YA which is always a tossup for me. I really hate to DNF but sometimes you have to do it.

    I am looking at those green beans – yum. Turkey and mashed? I like those also but no to gravy. I did have green beans last night but I need to go find some breakfast.

    Have a great week reading! I love the idea of keeping it flexible but with my daughter back into college classes and her medical appts, we will have more scheduled now. Anne – Books of My Heart

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Anne, and when I ordered the turkey dinner, I was happy they had choices other than broccoli, which seems to be the regular vegetable for restaurant dinners. LOL.

      I should have known Sadie would be iffy for me since YA isn’t my first choice. Some are better than others, of course.

      Enjoy your week…I am not a fan of heavily scheduled weeks, but sometimes they are unavoidable.


  8. Well Laurel Happy New Year! I also spent my first day of the year reading a book the whole day! I see that you read Mary Higgins Clark! I stopped reading her years ago because she was so good I usually could not sleep after setting the book aside! Plus my blood pressure was through the roof LOL
    I don’t have grand kids yet i’d rather be the age of your kids as mine are 19 (my son) and 17 (my daughter). Have a wonderful Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Sophie, and my eyes were very tired by the end of the book. But her short chapters and intense pace wouldn’t let me stop. LOL.

      Oh, I empathize with parents of teens…those were not the best years for me and my kids. LOL.

      Enjoy your day!


  9. Glad you had a first book of the year to challenge you to read. I have started a british detective series, but it’s slow. Thank God it’s on audiobook. This year I plan to journal a bit more about the books I read. In the past this has helped me intersect the books I’m reading with my day to day life.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. All for a DNF. I try to finish review books because I feel (rightly or wrongly) that I agreed to read and review it, but anything else gets the heave. Some books just sing along and then others dra……….ag!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Yvonne, I can’t believe my youngest grandson is 16 already. When he was a baby, they lived in my guesthouse and I saw him everyday. The same with one of my granddaughters…her family lived in that guesthouse for a while, too.

      I am excited about Becoming Mrs. Lewis.

      Enjoy your week!


  11. Happy New Year, Laurel! I don’t blame you for DNFing the book if you’re not enjoying – Life is too short to trudge through a book if you’re not loving it. I love the pic of your grandson when he was a baby – what a dear little soul – those curls! Have a great week:))

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sorry to hear Sadie was a bust. I liked it, but didn’t love it. It was very dark and bleak, and those books never get “love” status from me, but I did think it was very emotional, compelling, and well written. You can’t love them all. You hair looked fantastic in your picture, and at least your first read of the year was a winner.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sometimes a DNF is just necessary. We can’t like everything! 🙂

    I took my decorations down Wednesday evening as I was back at work on Thursday and couldn’t face it with everything still decorated for the holidays. It’s always sad – but slightly refreshing – when they come down.

    Happy birthday to your grandson! Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nicci, and I agree that it is sad, but refreshing to see the “normal” house again.

      I was surprised not to like Sadie, but I realize that my tolerance for YA books is lower than it is for other books.


    • Thanks for visiting, Veronica, and after writing the post, I ended up taking down the decorations. I feel free, now! LOL

      As for DNF…the only way that plan would work for me would be to more carefully select the books I buy.

      Good luck, and enjoy!


  14. I am glad you had a happy new year. We have a few movies where we know the dialogue.
    I hope you had a great day with your grandson.
    I have been eyeing Becoming Mrs. Lewis. It sounds really good.
    Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy New Year! I am glad yours is off to a good start. I will have to remember When Harry Met Sally for next New Year’s. I like to pause movies and return to them too. It is rare for me to watch a movie from beginning to end these days!

    I think everyone should feel free to DNF books that aren’t working for them. There are too many good books out there (and not enough time!).

    I want to read Becoming Mrs. Lewis. It looks really good.

    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Christina; since I love stopping a movie and returning to it later, it is harder for me to go to the theater, where that isn’t a possibility.

      Enjoy your week…and enjoy your reading. I prefer NOT to DNF books, but when they don’t grab me, there they go. LOL


    • Thanks, Laura, I don’t know how a “young” person like me could have twenty-something grandchildren, LOL.

      Looking back on raising their parents, on the other hand, is kind of a blur, especially during their teens. With four kids, three of them were teens at the same time. Yikes! I have decided that being a grandmother is better.

      Maybe that’s why YA books don’t appeal to me. Enjoy your reading, and thanks for visiting.


  16. What a cute photo of your grandson. How sweet. I’m in no rush to take down my decorations since they went up so late. Probably going to be a week or so before I even consider it. Then I’ll still leave up the ones that are more winter than Christmas just to extend my season.

    Becoming Mrs. Lewis needs to go on my wish list. Sigh, there are so many there. Hope you have a great week.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cheryl, and I ended up taking my decorations down shortly after writing the post. LOL. One year I recall leaving the tree up until March…it was an artificial tree of course.

      Enjoy your week and your books, and thanks for visiting.


  17. I have trouble setting books aside as well but I did it a few times last week. I’ve been reluctant to pick Sadie up and I’m thinking I won’t bother. My mom loved Wallis in Love and I hope you do too. Happy birthday to your grandson!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kathy, I am pretty sure I’ll love Wallis in Love, as I have enjoyed the author…and I love the Royals. Even the ones in disgrace. LOL.

      I kept waiting before I started Sadie, despite the good reviews; I must have had a premonition that it wasn’t for me. From now on I hope I get those before I buy the book.

      I still can’t get over my youngest grandson being 16, but he is a delightful teen. Yes, he is sometimes uncommunicative, but he isn’t rude. And he is a good student. Plus…he has a sense of humor.

      Enjoy your week!


  18. Evening looks like something I’d like — just based on the actors. I just read a book in which Wallis plays a big role … I might have to pick this up too. And I too have the Mr. Lewis book, maybe next for me?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Candace, and I love anything with that cast. It had a dual timeline, which I enjoy. I read the book first (by Susan Minot), which I bought at Borders, when that bookstore was still around. I miss that store!

      Enjoy your week.


  19. Oh.. When Harry Met Sally is wonderful!! I should watch that again soon, even if New Years Eve is a whole year away. Reading your whole First Book on New Years must have been such a good, relaxing day! My book is really long, so it’s going to take a while to get through it. Congrats on DNFing the book… life is too short to read books that aren’t for you. The New Years dinner looks so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, JoAnn, and you could even watch it any time during the year. I enjoy that New Year’s Eve feeling in the spring as well. Just sayin’. LOL

      I purposely have picked fast-paced fairly short books for First Book…just because I know that a longer one would be harder to get through in one day.

      I hope you enjoy yours, though.


    • Thanks for visiting, Nise, and as it turned out, I put them all away Saturday afternoon. The best part: my “less is more” decorating this year made the task much easier.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes.


  20. I am sorry to hear you didn’t like Sadie, I loved it and rave about it. It was just the kind of book that I love and was profound to me. Happy belated Birthday! Have a wonderful week!


    Liked by 1 person

  21. Happy New Year! I’ve heard so many good things about Sadie, I am sorry it didn’t work out for you. I hate DNFing a book but there are so many good books out there that you can read and enjoy. It is something I’m trying to work on as well.

    Happy belated birthday to your grandson!

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Congrats on finishing your first book of the year on the first day of the year!

    And those adorable curls – oh my goodness!!

    I also love When Harry Met Sally – it is one of my favorites. 🙂 I love all the couples interspersed telling their stories. 🙂 And it is totally a NYE movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yes I want to read Becoming Mrs. Lewis too. I recall Shadowlands as being a weeper of a movie. I only saw it once when it came out but probably needed a box of Kleenex by the end. So sad. Glad you are enjoying your Grandkids. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Susan, and yes, I needed Kleenex, too, just as I did in that other weeper with Debra Winger, Terms of Endearment. She does that kind of movie well.

      I must admit that “grandparenting” is much more fun than “parenting.”

      Have a great week.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Mary, and since I loved Shadowlands, I’m eager to read Becoming Mrs. Lewis.

      I don’t know where the years have gone either! My youngest grandchild is 16, but the oldest is 23, which seems equally impossible.

      Enjoy your weekend.


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