WEEKLY UPDATES: HOLIDAYS AHEAD?

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.

 

Greetings, Bloggers!  Another week closer to the end of 2020!  While I spent most of the week reading one book—and it was a good one!—I finally finished a second one today!  A few blog posts kept me connected, but I also spent a lot of time binge-watching shows/movies on Netflix and Prime.  I hope to finally start the new season of The Crown this week.

As the Thanksgiving holidays approach, I have mixed feelings.  We thought we would get to celebrate with family and friends, but this residence put a kibosh on that plan.   They are bringing in some treats for the holiday meal, however, including mimosas and a dessert bar.

Now let’s grab something caffeinated…and take a closer look at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “I’ll Be Seeing You”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Bookish Magic…

Dusting Off Another Neglected Book…

Bookish Friday:  “A Well-Behaved Woman”

Review:  “The Lost and Found Bookshop,” by Susan WiggsReview:  “Don’t Make a Sound,” by T. R. Ragan

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Two books arrived in my physical mailbox, and I downloaded one e-book.

Flying the Nest, by Rachael Johns

Piece of My Heart, by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

Download:

Goodnight Beautiful, by Aimee Molloy

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CURRENTLY READING:  My e-ARC that will be released on December 8:

Take It Back, by Kia Abdullah

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  A couple of months ago, I enjoyed this apple pie a la mode…and I’m dreaming of more of this treat in the holiday seasons ahead.

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REVIEW: THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP, BY SUSAN WIGGS

There is a book for everything . . . Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.

The Lost and Found Bookshop was a wonderfully layered story about the past, the present, and the possibilities of the future. The bookshop setting pulled me in right away, and I could imagine myself curled up in the cozy chairs and window seats, with the San Francisco streets and scenes around me. Having lived in San Francisco for a while when I was young, I wanted to join these characters as they explored the world around them…and through the books they read.

Natalie was a character I enjoyed, and I was rooting for her as she went through her losses and started over in her mother’s bookshop. The great “handyman” who helped repair the shop was someone I would have loved to know, too, and I enjoyed watching Natalie slowly come to connect with him. The famous author who came to do a book signing to help them bring in more customers was fascinating, too, with his secrets and sorrows.

Dorothy was such a delightful child character, and I hoped she would always be a part of Natalie’s life.

The lost things discovered within the shop turned out to be a great boost to the characters’ lives and to the story. I knew a happy ending was coming. I loved this book and did not want to leave the characters behind. 5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: READING & BINGE-WATCHING…

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.

What did your week look like?  I was glued to the TV and social media for most of it, hoping that the delusions of #45 are quashed and do not erase our positive feelings about the outcome.  There will be no final resolution for a while, I suspect, so I am burying myself in books, but mostly binging on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  Happily, I am loving old shows, like Private Practice, and looking forward to a new season of The Crown on Netflix.

I finally finished my second book of the week…and I am hoping the upcoming week will be more productive.

I just finished ordering more provisions from Instacart and loving the Coconut/Pineapple Haagen Daz ice cream that is now in my freezer.

Yesterday, I had a great visit with my #2 son (left), who lives in LA.  First he had lunch with my daughter and youngest grandson…and then he joined me in our very socially distanced dining room for an hour-long visit.  Afterwards, he left some goodies for me, including a couple of bottles of wine.

I would have enjoyed joining them, but my residence is still very restrictive.  Sigh.

So…onward and upward.  Let’s grab some coffee and take a closer look at my week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Next Wife”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Book Releases…

Bookish Wednesday…

Another Buried Treasure…

Bookish Friday:  “The Book of Two Ways”

Review:  Finding Mrs. Ford, by Deborah Goodrich RoyceReview:  The Next Wife, by Liz Lawler

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INCOMING BOOKS:

One book arrived in my physical mailbox…and I downloaded two e-books.

Blue Monday, by Nicci French (purchased for reread)

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Downloads:

Don’t Make a Sound, by T. R. Ragan

Out of Her Mind, by T. R. Ragan

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CURRENTLY READING:

Another bookish read:  The Lost and Found Bookshop, by Susan Wiggs

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That was my week.  Despite all the stress and uncertainty, I had some enjoyable reads and some great binge-watching.  Plus…a delicious dessert of Red Velvet Cake again…

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WEEKLY UPDATES: ON TENTERHOOKS…

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.

Good morning!  We are on tenterhooks in this country right now as we await the final voter counts in the 2020 Election.  Even as the count seems to be going in a positive direction, there is sabotage and “poor loser” behavior going on.  But what else is new in this strange world in which we live?

Meanwhile, reading has been good.  Only two books read and reviewed this week, but they were lengthier than usual…and both were excellent.  Seven blog posts kept me busy, and I did my usual tweaking of a couple of sites.  These are the kinds of things that tend to stem the tide of anxiety that seems to be surrounding me.

Without further delay, let’s grab some caffeine boosts all around…and take a closer look at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG:

Goodbye to October!

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Girls of Brackenhill”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Books, Books, & Books…

A Bookish Wednesday…

Searching the Backlog…

Bookish Friday:  “Finding Mrs. Ford”

Serendipitous Friday:  Moving On…

Review:  The Silent Wife, by Karin SlaughterReview:  House of Correction, by Nicci French

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox!  But I downloaded one e-book.

The Next Wife, by Liz Lawler

I should never have married him. I ignored the warnings. It’s what you do when you’re in love. Ignore what you don’t want to see.

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CURRENTLY READING:  Finding Mrs. Ford, by Deborah Goodrich Royce

On a sunny summer morning by the sea in New England, Susan Ford’s cocoon of privilege is threatened when an Iraqi man from her distant past boards a plane in Baghdad to come find her.

I am ready to immerse myself in this story!

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  Hopefully only calm and peace lie ahead…and lots of books.  Meanwhile, a lovely salmon dinner was a nice surprise for us this week.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: MONTH & TIME CHANGES…

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.

Where did October go?  In fact, where has the whole year gone?  I can’t say that I will miss 2020, and remnants of the bad parts will continue into the New Year, I am sure.  Also…did you remember to set back your clocks? 

I am focusing on reading and blogging…and movies.  I only finished two books this week, but I enjoyed them both.  As I started another one yesterday, I quickly set it aside, and tried a couple of others before finally landing on the one I’ll be reading now.  Some new books arrived in my Kindle, so I am looking forward to those. 

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

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Undoing”

Tuesday Potpourri:  The Gifts of New Books…

Hump Day Potpourri…A Great Start to the Day

Wednesday Reading…

A Rediscovered Book…

Coffee Chat:  Creating a New Normal…

Bookish Friday:  “Sisters”

Saturday Potpourri:  Autumn Tidbits

Review:  Invisible Girl, by Lisa JewellReview:  You Should Have Known (The Undoing), by Jean Hanff Korelitz

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox!  I did download three e-books…

House of Correction, by Nicci French

I’ll Be Seeing You, by Elizabeth Berg

And an Amazon Prime Freebie:

Girls of Brackenhill, by Kate Moretti

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CURRENTLY READING:

The Silent Wife, by Karin Slaughter

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That was my week…what did yours look like?  This past week, I had birthday Champagne cake in the dining room.

And on Halloween, we had a lovely salmon dinner and Red Velvet Cake for dessert.

framed dinner

framed cake 3

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COFFEE CHAT: CREATING A NEW NORMAL…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

Today is one day closer to Election Day…and I have mixed feelings.  Hope, combined with a bit of anxiety.  But once it is over, if it ever really is, lol, we can move a little closer to normalcy.  Then, of course, the Virus will still be looming and people around us might still be fighting the mask wearing and social distancing.  Sigh.

  • Meanwhile, I am reading.  I discovered an HBO miniseries based on a book I own:  a book I had started to read, but didn’t really like.  (That was back in 2014).  But I loved the first episode so much, that I thought I would give the book another try.  The show, called The Undoing, stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, among others.

  • The book was published under the title You Should Have Known, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, and after my viewing of the series episode, I started reading it again.  And I am still reading it!  Actually enjoying it.  Funny, that.
  • With October almost over, November and December and those holidays previously known as Thanksgiving and Christmas will be ahead of us.  Nothing will be the same as it was, of course, but perhaps we can create something new and hopeful?
  • We can mourn the past…or we can try to forge ahead with something new that might even be fun. 
  • I celebrated my birthday last Sunday, and instead of visiting my daughter at her home, still off limits, she came for a visit here, socially distanced and masked, and brought Champagne for mimosas and two slices of cheesecake.  Yum!  We couldn’t eat together (because she had to remain masked), but I had my goodies in my apartment later.
  • Then I received a cake in the community dining hall, from staff, and shared slices with other residents:

  • New ways of celebrating can happen!

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How has your week been shaping up?  Are you looking forward to the holidays, in some form or other?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A BOOKISH WEEK…

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 week, and more good books to enjoy!  I read and reviewed three books, and wrote seven blog posts.  I also did some Netflix viewing (The Trial of the Chicago 7) and rearranged some more items in my entry way.  I am restlessly changing things up regularly.

My coffee grinder has given me some great brew all this week.  I love the scent of it, as well as the taste.

Speaking of the coffee, let’s grab a cup and take a closer look at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpt:  “The Lost for Words Bookshop”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Clicking on Bookmarked Titles…

WWW Post…

Another Neglected Book…

Coffee Chat:  Rediscoveries…

Bookish Friday:  “Invisible Girl”

Friday Potpourri:  Weekend Tidbits…

Review:  Remain Silent, by Susie SteinerReview:  Return to Virgin River, by Robyn CarrReview:  The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland

INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  I did download two e-books:

Sisters, by Daisy Johnson

The Sunday Girl, by Pip Drysdale

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CURRENTLY READING:  Finally, I am reading Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell has a way of combining furiously twisty, utterly gripping plots with wonderfully rich characterization—she has such compassion for her characters, and we feel we know them utterly… A triumph!” —Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author

I am eager to follow these twisty plots!

***

That was my week.  Good reading, some productive blogging, and some mornings that I enjoyed in my apartment instead of the dining room.  I am sharing the rhubarb/strawberry pie I had a while ago, because we are having it again today!

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COFFEE CHAT: REDISCOVERIES…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

When I last posted a Coffee Chat, I was still struggling with the Block Editor.  While it still throws me for a loop or two, things are getting better.  I am finding ways to work around the challenges. 

  • I will be so glad when 2020 is behind us!  Let’s hope we survive it, and that the election doesn’t bury us in more darkness.  Sigh.
  • This week, I have read and reviewed two books so far:  Remain Silent, by Susie Steiner, and Return to Virgin River, by Robyn Carr.
  • Then I started reading The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland.
  • On Thursdays, I participate in a Books from the Backlog event, and have rediscovered “forgotten” books, many of which I have since read.  Today I added another Robyn Carr to my device…from the backlog:  The Summer That Made Us.  I can’t believe I haven’t yet read it!  Do you ever rediscover books that are languishing on your shelves and wonder why?
  • This week, I also rediscovered freshly ground coffee!  Yes, imagine that.  I inadvertently clicked on coffee beans in my Instacart order, and I was definitely surprised to see those beans when I opened the bag.  I immediately ordered a coffee grinder from Amazon…and it arrived the next day!

 

  • I am now blissfully sipping on the best coffee ever!

  • In the mood to celebrate fall, I retrieved my autumn wreath from my under-the-bed storage.  My granddaughter Fiona brought it to me last year:

  • So, despite the very frightening world around us, I am finding things to savor and cherish.

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How is your week going?  Are you rediscovering/recreating things that bring you joy?

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REVIEW: RETURN TO VIRGIN RIVER, BY ROBYN CARR

Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.

Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need.

Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.

From the very beginning of Return to Virgin River, I felt a connection to Kaylee and her life. As she settles into Virgin River, trying to deal with her grief and push forward with the book she is writing, I was caught up in her feelings and her goals.

Meeting townsfolk helped her begin the healing process, and then connecting to Landry, who was her landlord, brought out other forgotten emotions. The possibility of love.

The author’s descriptions of the setting, the characters who lived in Virgin River, and telling their stories as they all formed a community for Kaylee brought out a sense of a real place with real people. I love Humboldt County, so I felt as if I was there with these characters, many of whom were in the previous book.

I read the book in one day, as I could not put it down. I hope to rejoin these characters again. 5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: PERMISSION TO “GO WITH THE FLOW”

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 actually read and reviewed THREE books this week.  I only wrote five six blog posts (I added another one today!), but that’s how it goes sometimes.  However, I very lazily slept in two days this week, not even going to the dining room until dinner!  I did get up and read, played on the computer, and enjoyed going with the flow.  It reminded me of my days before I moved into this residence. 

Then I realized something.  My life in retirement was supposed to be about doing what I want and when I want to do it.  No alarm clocks or schedules.  So having to get up at the beckoning sound on my phone, get dressed, and go OUT, even if it is just down the hall to the dining room…was starting to feel constrictive.  So I decided to give myself permission to do what I want at least two days a week. 

This morning I turned off the alarm, but decided to get up anyway an hour later.  So here I am, writing this post and actually ready to go to the dining room in 45 minutes.

Let’s grab some coffee…I haven’t had any yet!  And check out my week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Confessions on the 7:45”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Adding to the Hoard…

Bookish Wednesday…

A Bookish Delight on the Backlog…

Bookish Friday:  “All the Best Lies”

Sunday Potpourri:  A Quest for Coffee…

Review:  The Library of Lost and Found, by Phaedra PatrickReview:  Confessions on the 7:45, by Lisa UngerReview:  Rage, by Bob Woodward

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox…but I downloaded two e-books:

Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell

Return to Virgin River, by Robyn Carr

***

CURRENTLY READING:  Remain Silent, by Susie Steiner

I have enjoyed previous books in the series, so I bought this one in June.  Time to read it!  So far, so good.

An immigrant’s mysterious death sets off a chilling hunt for the truth in this gripping crime novel from the author of Missing, Presumed, featuring a “delightful protagonist who deserves a place alongside other beloved literary detectives” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

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That was my week…better than usual, and I credit the more relaxed week with giving myself permission to “go with the flow” a little bit. My lunch reflected that attitude:

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