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.

I am writing this on Sunday morning, much later than usual.  The past week has been tense and ridden with various anxieties, understandable given the potential of the looming coronavirus.  The residential facility where I live clamped down with rather restrictive changes that impacted our daily lives and left more fear in its wake.  Meant to protect us, the new “rules” simply left some of us more riddled with fear.  The dining room, once a happy place, was stripped down to basics, leaving a cheerless and intense environment.  Paranoia showed its face and some of us, me included, just wanted to hide away in our individual apartments.  I started to feel “imprisoned.”

Meanwhile, my reading fell off.  However, I finished two books and wrote five blog posts.  And ordered more things from Amazon.  LOL.

I did “escape” for a few hours on Saturday to do some shopping and have lunch at Mimi’s, where nobody around me seemed fearful or guarded.  Then I returned to dinner in the communal dining room and wanted t0 scream.  I couldn’t stand being there and I felt annoyed by everyone.

I will stay in my apartment all day today, retreating and trying to find my happy place in my interior world.

Let’s grab some coffee and take a closer look at my week:


Goodbye to February

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Pretty As a Picture”

Tuesday Potpourri:  New & Upcoming Releases…

Coffee Chat:  Stay Safe!

Bookish Friday:  “The Missing Sister”

Review:  When You See Me, by Lisa Gardner Review:  The Red Lotus, by Chris Bohjalian – (NG-3/17/20)



One book came in my physical mailbox, and I received one NetGalley ARC in my inbox.

Then, of course, I had to download one new release…and an Amazon Prime freebie.


Life and Other Inconveniences, by Kristan Higgins

NetGalley ARC:

Playing Nice, by J. P. Delaney – (7/28/20)



The Missing Sister, by Elle Marr



Eight Perfect Murders, by Peter Swanson



I desperately need something light and fluffy right now!  But I also want the quick gratification of a thriller…so here’s what I have chosen:

Coconut Layer Cake Murder, by Joanne Fluke


Pretty as a Picture, by Elizabeth Little


That was my week, with all its angst and some cozy moments, too, like my escape yesterday, during which I enjoyed this delicious dessert:



  1. I’m so sorry that you are feeling so besieged. While I know the coronavirus is a serious business, I can’t help reflecting that there is a tremendous fuss being made – by the end of January over 3,000 people in the UK had been hospitalised with flu and around 600 have died so far this winter. One person in the UK has died of the coronavirus with 164 infected…

    I hope you have a better week, Laurel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader

    I know Laurel the wolrd has gone crazy with that virus! let’s hope they find a cure soon enough. I hope next week will be easier and less stressful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand exactly how you feel. I think if I even hear the word coro…well, let’s just not go there, shall we? Let’s just try to stay calm and read, if we can.

    I hoped to read more fiction this year, and so I picked up three fiction books recently. The first one was horribly grim. Just not in the mood for that sort of read right now.

    Let’s both try to have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Trin Carl

    Glad you had a chance to look at ‘the missing sister’ -that’s a good one for sure. Hope you keep so busy, you don’t have time to think about one extra thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay for delicious dessert! I think I would just stay in my own place too. We are going to stay home for spring break I’d be happy to stay home all the week but my daughter does have 2 medical appts on Monday. Well I can get groceries then, at least. But we will be cutting back on going out anywhere the next few weeks. Not that we were much on the go anyway.

    At least you are reading some great books! I’ll be reading the Lisa Gardner one, and the Peter Swanson. I loved that Kristan Higgins one too. Happy reading!

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry for your week. It’s really a crazy time between election stuff and the virus stuff. I don’t even want to watch the news anymore. Your books look like a great escape, though. Enjoy and have a great week – hopefully it will be better than the last one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Yvonne, I hope we have a better week, too, and avoiding the news is easier than I might have thought! I don’t turn on the TV during news stories and scroll past the annoying things on FB.

      Enjoy your books and thanks for visiting.


  7. Diane

    I understand the anxiety Laurel. I am so sick of the news – virus, politics and tumbling stock market that I seem to be home more than usual willingly. We are eating out less, which makes me cranky as I don’t like cooking all that much, yet I don’t feel like going to busy restaurants either. Maybe we both can find a few good books this week to distract us from this madness? Take care, Laurel

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “And ordered more things from Amazon.” Haha there’s always something new to order, right? 🙂

    Sorry to hear though about the drastic changes. I feel like there’s so much fear and yes paranoia now that bad things are happening. It’s so sad. And is definitely getting out of hand.

    I do love a good thriller. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s hard isn’t it. Such a pity the joy has been sucked out of the dining room. It’s all so freaky. I can certainly identify with the anxiety, it sort of becomes like you are imprisoned for sure. Hang in there, we are all “around” and “with you” and I so hope things lighten up. Hope you can get lost in books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kathryn, I am immersing myself in my books…and I have a plan to rearrange my living/computer area. I have taken measurements and now I just need to find someone to do the “heavy lifting.” LOL.

      I am so grateful for the blogging community and for books! Enjoy your week.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I suppose they are erring on the side of caution but I can see how it would make you want to scream. Thank goodness for books. That being said, I see you read The Red Lotus. I also read it and felt anxious the whole time. Creepy, scary book. The upside? At least we’re not stuck on a cruise ship!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary, the creepy elements of rats (both rodent and human!) in The Red Lotus kept me distracted…but it produced anxiety, thinking of people purposely releasing pathogens! So perfectly timed for the world we live in.

      And yes, I know the staff are trying to take care of us…in an overly-protective way. They are slowly walking back some of the changes. And so far, nobody is preventing me from my coming and going, the upside of my “independent” status.

      Enjoy your week!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s so hard to know what to do about coronavirus right now. My husband is freaking out but I don’t think it’s time to panic yet. I think we’d all feel better if we thought the government was concerned and being honest with us. Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kathy, I think the attitude of the government “freaks” me out the most. So casual and so many lies, too!

      Distraction is the best thing for me now…and, of course, I’m always scrubbing things. LOL

      Enjoy your week.


  12. Susie | Novel Visits

    I’m sorry the coronavirus has made things so uncomfortable where you live. I tried to explain to my mom that those types of changes may be coming to where she lives, too. She didn’t seem to believe me, but we’ll see. I’m much more up on things living in Washington than she is.

    Reading is a great escape! Maybe also binge watching a TV series you’ve missed? I recently watched the entire run of Mad Men and before the The Americans. I loved both and have no idea why I didn’t watch them while they were on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susie, I am grateful for books and movies, not to mention Netflix and Amazon Prime features! I am also planning to rearrange my apartment…that should help. LOL

      Enjoy your week, and stay safe.


  13. Sorry you have to deal with such anxiety. It’s a shame because the flu is SO much more prevalent and deadly than coronavirus. But I understand that entities that could face a lawsuit if even one person gets sick don’t want to take any chances.

    I hope the panic and the virus chill out and get under control soon so everyone can go back to their normal lives.

    Hang in there!!! At least they’ve cut your chances of getting the flu and/or the coronavirus, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jinjer, and you are right that they are protecting themselves with these actions. I always have the flu shot each year, so I don’t worry about that one.

      Perhaps we would feel safer if we had more transparency from government officials!

      Enjoy your books and your week. I am trying to focus on rearranging my space and reading/viewing activities.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Kathy Martin

    I’m sorry that things are so tense where you are. I hope things settle down. Our state just recorded its first confirmed case which occurred more than 100 miles from where I live. Nonetheless, my introvert desire to stay home is finally the most popular thing. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m so sorry that your home is becoming to feel restrictive and sort of like a prison. That is never very reassuring!! I was having a ton of anxiety about *that* and I still am – but I am working on reducing the amount I read online and it is helping. I picked two places to read about it only – NPR and the CDC. By cutting back on what I am reading I am doing better. Is there a yard or grounds that you could go and sit for a bit, when you start to feel penned in? Maybe the fresh air and sun would help?

    I self-care with books and Amazon too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Erin, I do have the ability to come and go, so I leave the facility with friends or by Lyft. That helps. I am also enjoying the books.

      I agree that online reading on certain sites is also a good thing. I am now scrolling past the messages that are fear-inducing.

      Enjoy your week.


  16. The Coconut Layer book sounds like a perfect read for you. I totally get that it’s difficult not to get affected by the measures being put into place but I have relatives in Europe and the situation has become quite scary. In Italy they are homebound, everything is in lockdown. Nothing is open, no schools, no theatres, no gyms, events are all cancelled…and it is spreading fast. Let’s pray and hope that we can get control of this virus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Laura, it is definitely scary. My eldest son and his wife live in Prague, so they are too close for comfort in my opinion.

      I am also hoping that we get control of it, but I am not impressed by how the Trump administration has handled it.

      I will savor the Coconut Layer Cake Mystery. Enjoy your week.


  17. Sarah Sammis

    I’m sorry your new home is turning out so stressful right now. Hopefully things will improve. My husband said the soup at work was being served by a security guard. Usually it’s self serve.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m sorry that you’re feeling tense from the cautious restrictions. Of course, assisted living and nursing care facilities have the people most at risk so it is probably better to be proactively cautious.
    Thank goodness books help take us away from life troubles.
    Your dessert looks yummy.
    I hope this week is less stressful and that you get to enjoy more good reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Martha, it is hard to deal with the actions that others take, supposedly on our behalf, that are not necessarily in our best interests emotionally.

      But I do appreciate how books can help distract me from these issues.

      Enjoy your week.


  19. Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf

    We have already shown the world how crazy we are in Australia with the great toilet paper debacle. I’ve sworn not to join in. I hate hysteria. I like the look of the JP Delaney book although The Girl Before is still sitting on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Books are definitely a great comfort in these difficult and stressful time, I do hope they help you escape from the tension a little! The Missing Sister sounds good. Have a good week and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

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