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.

This morning, as I sip my coffee, I ponder the anticipation of a new and better year ahead.  We can always hope, right?  And HOPE is my One Word for the year.

A great reading week brought three books reviewed, and I began reading my First Book of the Year. I went a little nuts with the blogging, totaling nine posts.

My viewing has included some Prime movies, like Spinster and The Nest.

I am eagerly trying to find a show on one of the outlets, something I can settle into and binge.  Any ideas?

Yesterday I cleared my space, settling my Christmas stuff into the under-the-bed storage bins.  It didn’t take long, as my decorations were minimal.

Yesterday I opened the bottle of Champagne my daughter brought a few days ago, and made a couple of mimosas.  Happy New Year!

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


Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Arrangement”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Books for the Last Tuesday of the Year…

WWW:  A Week of Reading…

Hump Day Serendipity:  Past Treasures…

Plumbing the Depths…

First Book of Year Event:  2021

Monthly Wrap-Up:  Year’s End…

Bookish Friday:  “Piece of My Heart”

One Word:  Hope…

Review:  The Last Wife, by Karen HamiltonReview:  The Lies You Told, by Harriet TyceReview:  The Arrangement, by Robyn Harding


Empty Physical Mailbox!  But I downloaded three e-books.

The Wrong Family, by Tarryn Fisher

Pretty Little Wife, by Darby Kane

Shelter in Place, by David Leavitt


CURRENTLY READING:  My First Book of the Year:  Piece of My Heart, by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke


That was my very hopeful week, as I prepared to say goodbye to my least favorite year:  2020!  In the dining room, we had some delicious treats, like this cheesecake on New Year’s Eve:



  1. Happy New Year! Looks like you are starting the year off with some good books. Of course the delicious dessert, too.

    I’ve been looking for something new to binge on too but I haven’t found anything yet.

    I hope you have a great week and a great year.

    My post is here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan

    Happy New Year Laurel! 2020 is gone, Hooray! It must get better from here! How was The Nest movie ? I hope you are enjoying your first book of the Year. I’ve put some January movies coming up on my site — so we have something to look forward to. best wishes for 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan, and yes, it is wonderful to say goodbye to 2020!

      I am enjoying my First Book of the Year, and The Nest was pretty good, but I hated the ending.

      I just saw an older movie with Liam Neeson, called The Unknown. Pretty intense.

      Enjoy your week and 2021!


  3. Oh my that cheesecake looks yummy. Hope your first book of the year is going well. I have just finished watching Bridgerton – I loved it, although a few too many sex scenes etc. However I do have a fast forward button!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Literary Feline

    Hope is a good choice as a Word for the year–something we all need. We probably should take down our Christmas decorations this weekend. I tried to interest my family in doing it today, but no takers. We’ll have to decide if we want to leave our tree up again all year like we did this past year. I hope you enjoy your new books and your first selection for the year. That cheesecake looks irresistible! Wishing you a peaceful and healthy New Year, Laurel-Rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wendy, one year I left up my tree until March! LOL.

      But this year, it was easy to put everything away as the decorations were minimal.

      I am loving my First Book!

      Have a great week…and a great year.


  5. Happy New Year Laurel-Raiin! I hope 2021 will bring us something that looks a bit more like our old normal! And that we’ll all stay safe and healthy throughout.
    We watched ‘Home for Christmas’, a Norwegian Netflix original – there are two seasons with 6 episodes for each season, and it was so nice to watch a show in Norwegian – that hasn’t happened in a very long time.
    Have a wonderful week ahead, and happy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    Nine posts in a week is crazy. Hope is a great word for the year, we all need just that. And I hope your first book of the year is going well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the look of the cheesecake – let’s hope the restaurant now also step up a bit more with the quality for 2021, too:)). And I also love your single word – HOPE… as your watchword for the New Year. We could all do with more of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sarah, and as I was looking back over my previous words, I realized I had “hope” back in 2016, too. What a long journey we’ve had, the past four years, and we needed all the hope we could get!

      Enjoy your books and your viewing…and yes, that cheesecake was delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think HOPE is always important – because if we don’t have that, then we are heading for DESPAIR… You’re right – the last four years have been a real roller-coaster in all sorts of ways. I’m hoping that the coming year may be the start of a smoother period, perhaps…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Trin Carl

    Im glad you were able to clean your space. I have been able to declutter some, and the big piles of stuff I don’t get to, I throw a cover over. I think a clear space does wonders. Sometimes I take inspiration from house designers and I barrow books from the library to further ideas. Happy New Year. May you see happiness wherever you go and in great service to people.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jackie

    I added The Nest and Spinster to by watch list. I read The Arrangement and liked it. Added Perfect Little Wife to my list.
    I am currently binging on Ozark. Loved Schitt’s Creek and Kim’s Convenience.
    Money Heist was an absolute favourite in 2020, top of my list.
    We are both watching Yellowstone.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A very good word, Laurel. Mine is breathe. I have an app on my watch that reminds me throughout the day to do a short breathing exercise. Have to say it helps! The cover of The Wrong Family has me curious about the novel. Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hope is a great word for 2021. My 94-year-old dad told me today that he has made an appointment for his vaccine, and that made me so happy.

    A good series to binge-watch? We have just started Queen’s Gambit, and it is great so far.

    I think we will start packing up Christmas tomorrow. And mimosas sound delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy New Year! Hope is the perfect word for 2021… I’m not sure improvement will come as soon as we’d like (at least based on the FL vaccine rollout), but am certain it will come. Enjoy your books and have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We are catching up on the final (follow-up) seasons of Doc Martin, but I don’t think that’s on Netflix. We’re watching on DVD from the library, interspersed with Discovery (the new Star Trek series on CBS) and seasons of one of our old, OLD favorites — As Time Goes By with Judi Dench.
    Wow! You’re off to a great start with reading and blogging! I’m resolved to do better in both areas this year, and not let 2020 get any residual hooks into me to drag me down. While outside activities are still suspended and part of my job is still remote, I’m going to focus on eating better, exercising more, and spending time on my favorite home activities — reading, writing, and blogging!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being able to spend time indoors with favorite activities is the silver lining to the year we’ve had.

      I also love Doc Martin, but I think I have watched all the available seasons and episodes. Sigh. I hope there will be more.

      Now I must check out that Judi Dench movie, Laurie. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Mareli Thalwitzer

    I’ve seen Pretty Little Wife around and cant wait to hear what you think of it. And the Mary Higgins Clark one!

    I still need to pack up all the Christmas stuff. Maybe tomorrow…

    Hope you will have a good week and enjoy all those great reads!

    Elza Reads

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Cheryl Malandrinos

    Sounds like you had a nice week. I put away some of our decorations so I could switch to more of a winter theme, but the trees are still up.

    I am no help when it comes to shows, but I did watch Mary Poppins Returns before it left Netflix. It was okay, but I liked the original much better.

    I want to read Pretty Little Wife. Thanks for sharing your books and for visiting my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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