WEEKLY UPDATES: DEALING WITH LIFE’S GLITCHES…

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!  How did the weekend get here so fast?  How is September half over?  The good news, however:  It is 64 degrees now at 7:30 a.m., and 85 and 83 are predicted for the rest of the weekend!  Could fall really be on its way?

Meanwhile, my reading week started out with a brilliant book, then I started another, and it did not “wow” me.  I picked up an alternate, which I loved, and when I went back to the less than thrilling book, I hung in there, went with the flow, and ended up loving it.  So…three good books read and reviewed.

Has anyone found that posting reviews on Amazon has become a bit…unwieldy lately?  I couldn’t believe it, since I’m supposed to be a “Top Amazon Reviewer,” but now we have to confirm our identity with a passcode.  Which is just a little annoying…but then today, I kept checking for that bloody passcode, and it wasn’t in my inbox.  I left.  Later I found that all those passcodes had gone to my spam folder!  Do I really want to post on Amazon now?

Life does keep throwing glitches at us in this technological age.  Then there are those reminders that these annoyances are nothing compared to hurricanes and other storms of nature.  I hope everyone in the eye of the hurricane is safe!

I fought with my coffee pot this week, bought a replacement, and then tried again with the old one (not really that old!).  Everything was fine!   I think I tried to set it up when half awake.  Who knows what I did?  There should be a way to make coffee without needing coffee first.  LOL.

I finished Season 6 of Wentworth.  Loved it!  I’m still struggling with Season II of Ozark.  I’m not feeling it.

So…now I need more coffee while we take a closer look at my week:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “The Lies We Told”

Hump Day Reading…

Coffee Chat:  Cooler Days Ahead…

Bookish Friday:  “Secrets of the Tulip Sisters”

Friday Potpourri:  Rumblings and Ramblings…

Review:  The Dream Daughter (e-book), by Diane Chamberlain – (NG-10/2)Review:  Cross Her Heart (e-book), by Sarah PinboroughReview:  The Golden State (e-book), by Lydia Kiesling

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

No books in my physical mailbox…BUT I received one NetGalley review ARC…and downloaded two purchases.

The Perfect Liar (e-book), by Thomas Christopher Greene – (NG – 1/15/19)

Downloads:

Fear:  Trump in the White House (e-book), by Bob Woodward

Girl, Wash Your Face (e-book), by Rachel Hollis

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WHAT’S NEXT?

The Lies We Told (e-book), by Camilla Way – (NG-10/9)

***

So…that was my week.  Some good books, some cooler days…and hope for the upcoming week.  What did your week look like?  Last night, I enjoyed soup and salad, a slice of Quiche,  and some wine…as I finished reading The Golden State.

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REVIEW: THE GOLDEN STATE, BY LYDIA KIESLING

 

In Lydia Kiesling’s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her toddler, Honey. Bucking under the weight of being a single parent—her Turkish husband is unable to return to the United States because of a “processing error”—Daphne takes refuge in a mobile home left to her by her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity.

But clarity proves elusive. Over the next ten days Daphne is anxious, she behaves a little erratically, she drinks too much. She wanders the town looking for anyone and anything to punctuate the long hours alone with the baby. Among others, she meets Cindy, a neighbor who is active in a secessionist movement, and befriends the elderly Alice, who has traveled to Altavista as she approaches the end of her life. When her relationships with these women culminate in a dangerous standoff, Daphne must reconcile her inner narrative with the reality of a deeply divided world.

My Thoughts: As I launched this journey with Daphne and her daughter Honey, I was initially underwhelmed with the first person narrative that felt like a rambling and disjointed internal monologue. The Golden State took me to the high desert, and also back in time to how Daphne first met her husband Engin, a Turkish man who is stranded in his home country due to a green card glitch that felt like a government conspiracy.

But soon I began to see Daphne’s world through her eyes, as she wanders from the mobile home inherited from her mother in Deakins Park to an assortment of diners and bars nearby, all afoot with Honey in her stroller or toddling along. Characters she met along the way felt like intruders into the life she remembered here. Cindy, part of a rabble-rousing secessionist group, is at first annoying, but later seems intrusive and jarring. Then there is Alice, in her nineties, who begins to feel almost like a comrade on this same journey.

Without regular Wi-Fi and the only occasional Skype call with her husband, Daphne turns to vodka and cigarettes while waiting out the elusive future. Over a ten-day period, she ignores the incoming e-mails from her office in San Francisco…and then suddenly, she and Alice embark on a road trip which ends with dangerous and life-changing consequences.

Until the very end, there was a lulling quality to the narrative, and then danger took us to a whole other level. My heart was pounding. Would there be a resolution? I felt it, finally, as I turned the final page. An astounding story that I didn’t love at first, and then I did. 4.5 stars.

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COFFEE CHAT: COOLER DAYS AHEAD…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, in which we share bookish and not so bookish thoughts.  Head on over to Bookishly Boisterous to add your link.

 

Today brought upper 80s, which is a definite improvement over 90s or triple digits.  Yay!  I woke up early, and I was happy that I had slept well last night…probably because it was cooler.

I finished watching Season 6 of Wentworth, and continued with Ozark.  I’m only on Episode 3 of that show; for some reason, I’m not as enchanted with it as I was in Season I.  I do still enjoy Jason Bateman.

  • I texted with #2 son’s fiancee today…and at her request, I sent some photos of his childhood she wants to use when she throws a birthday party for him in October.  I sent this one, among others.  I love how much he enjoyed his chocolate cake on his fifth birthday.

  • I do love looking at photos from the past.  I need to figure out how to synch. my photos between my iPhone and Microsoft Pictures.  I ended up sending photos via e-mail.
  • My books this week have been fabulous, beginning with a NetGalley ARC of The Dream Daughter, by Diane Chamberlain.  (NetGalley -10-2) (Click title for my review.)

  • I’m currently reading Cross Her Heart, by Sarah Pinborough, and I’m enjoying it.   Secrets from the past are about to surface, and our MC will be running again.

                                                

  • Tonight I had soup and a margarita at California Pizza Kitchen and brought home this pie for later:

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What did your week look like?  Are you enjoying fall, or is summer still hanging on?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: ENJOYING THE ANTICIPATION OF FALL…

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.

 

 

 

Welcome to another September weekend!  As I sit in my office sipping coffee, I am pondering the busy week I had.  Four books read and reviewed, and eight blog posts!  Whew!  I most have found some energy.  Could it be the slightly cooler days?  Well, “slightly” is the key word, since it will be in the upper 90s again today.  My book haul is huge this week, too, with THREE new NetGalley ARCs, a new library book, and some purchases.  Just so you know:  I am loving Paige, my new Oasis.

On Netflix, I’m enjoying Season 6 of Wentworth and Season 2 of Ozark.  I haven’t made much progress on either…probably because of all my reading and blog posting.

On Wednesday, I had coffee with a friend, and we chatted for a few hours about life, books, and the daily annoyances in the world that we are trying to ignore.  As always, we felt supported and refreshed.

So…what else?  Well, grab some more coffee, and let’s take a closer look.

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  A New “Toy,” & Sunday Tidbits…

Tuesday Potpourri:  Finding Treasures…

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “Hungry Heart”

Hump Day Reading…

Thursday Potpourri:   Traipsing Down Memory Lane…

Coffee Chat:  A Mix of Good and Less Good…

Bookish Friday:  “Good Luck with That”

Curl up with New Review Books!

Review:  Now That You Mention It (e-book), by Kristan HigginsReview:  Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (e-book), by Gail Honeyman – (Library Book)Review:  The Other Woman (e-book), by Sandie JonesReview:  Lush (e-book), by Kerry Cohen

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty physical mailbox!  But…I received THREE NetGalley ARCs and one library book.  Then I purchased THREE e-books.

An Anonymous Girl (e-book), by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (NG – 1/8/19)

Forget You Know Me (e-book), by Jessica Strawser – (NG – 2/5/19)

A Year of Extraordinary Moments (e-book), by Bette Lee Crosby – (NG – 10/16/18)

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Library Book:

The President Is Missing (e-book), by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Downloads:

Good Luck with That (e-book), by Kristan Higgins

The Golden State (e-book), by Lydia Kiesling

 

Cross Her Heart (e-book), by Sarah Pinborough

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WHAT’S NEXT?

I’m planning to start the library book, The President Is Missing, since it has 513 pages.

***

So…that was my week…what did yours look like?  The other night, I had my usual pot pie at Marie Callender’s…and took home this slice of pumpkin pie to eat at home while reading on Paige.  I am ready for fall!

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REVIEW: LUSH, BY KERRY COHEN

 

When Loose Girl author Kerry Cohen reached her early 40s, she realized she had a drinking problem. Yes, she could get up on time, bring her kids to school, make dinner, chat with friends, and all around have a normal day, but, throughout it all, Kerry was waiting for her five o’clock glass of wine. Maybe two glasses. Maybe a bottle. Just enough to blur the edges of her life that had become a monotony of vacuuming, carpooling, and disagreements with her husband. Kerry had replaced one addiction with another, instead of seeking sex she was seeking merlot. Instead of intimacy, she craved the fuzziness of a nice buzz.

What she also realized was: she wasn’t the only one.

LUSH is a gripping memoir that examines Kerry’s struggle with alcohol, a struggle that a rising number of middle-aged women are facing today as alcohol dependency amongst females drastically increases. A wonderfully poignant and relatable follow up to her memoir Loose Girl, LUSH follows Kerry as she attempts to rediscover the awe in her life, leaving past mistakes, regrets, and the bottle behind.

My Thoughts: With a story that was honest and gritty, revealing all the least flattering aspects of her life, the author of Lush kept me gripped with its intensity. I could not stop following her battles and conflicts, and discovering how she eventually chose a new path.

I could especially relate to how feeling unloved and unlovable drove her choices, leading to situations in which she was more likely to feel those feelings.

Since she is obviously an intelligent and educated woman, I liked how she described the struggles and how she eventually chose to take an unpopular path. With all the hoopla about the disease of alcoholism, I appreciated how she realized that, for her, moderation could be a choice. That particular path was not an easy one, as she faced criticism and raised eyebrows.

She also admitted that her love/sex addictions were as much a part of her problems as her drinking, and that she couldn’t just “quit” love or sex. But she had to learn how to make choices that brought her to a more peaceful place. She described that sometimes you just have to “sit” with your feelings, instead of chasing after something that might make you feel better.

An interesting look into one woman’s world of addiction, and how she dealt with it. 4 stars.

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COFFEE CHAT: A MIX OF GOOD & LESS GOOD…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, in which we share bookish and not so bookish thoughts.  Head on over to Bookishly Boisterous to add your link.

Another week of up and down temps.:  some triple digits, and some in the 90s.  Of course, the 90s are better…but shouldn’t we start seeing some 80s by now?  Oh, who am I kidding?  It’s California’s Central Valley.

  Meanwhile, I am loving my new Kindle Oasis (see above), which I’ve dubbed Paige, despite my earlier thoughts of choosing an “O” moniker.   I had fun playing around in the Cloud and choosing to deliver various titles to my new device.  Paige came registered, but without most of the content that was showing on Pippa.  I actually loved being able to decide when to bring down some of the titles that have been languishing up there.  My plan is to have no more than 20-30 titles on the device, giving me a chance to sort through the content periodically.

  • Yesterday I had a mani-pedi, long overdue on the pedi part…and chose a reddish-purple color for fall…

  • Afterwards, I had my usual pot pie at Marie Callender’s, and finished reading Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (click title for review).  I totally immersed myself in the story, and loved the main character.

  • On the weekend, I read Now That You Mention It, by Kristan Higgins, my first by the author, and I really loved this book!  (Click title for review).
  • Today I’m reading The Other Woman, by Sandie Jones, and enjoyed it with coffee and a scone at Barnes & Noble, while waiting for my friend to arrive.

  • I got my DMV Renewal notice in the mail, and before the end of October, I’ll be there taking the written exam, required again for me at this juncture (meaning, at my age!  LOL), and I will also take care of the REAL ID stuff.  I have my envelope prepared with all the necessary info.
  • The confirmation hearings are going on, and I cringe when I think of what the nominee stands for.  I did like seeing these protesting women dressed in Handmaiden costumes.

  • On Netflix, Season 6 of Wentworth has arrived, the Australian women-in-prison series.  I hope to start watching tonight, but another episode of The Sinner, Season II, will also be on TV.

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How has the week flown by so quickly?  What was your week like?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A NEW MONTH…AND FALL LIES 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.

 

 

 

Here we are on the first day of September, and for some reason, my mind is not accepting that fact.  I do have all the calendars up…and yes, I’m one of those people who enjoys pretty calendars in each room. 

Today has been very busy already!   Late last night, I had written my review on my third book of the week, which I needed for my August wrap-up; I wrote that post first thing this morning.  Earlier in the week, I started having glitches on my Pippa, and lost the library book I had been reading.  I think I might have been able to get it back from the cloud…but then I recalled that these glitches had been happening more often than I liked.  I brought Pippa into my home in 2015, so I guess she had served her time.   I went to the Oasis page and ordered my newest friend.  It is supposed to arrive today by 8 p.m.  I hope it is on time, as I am eager to start figuring it out and reading from it.  I have some “O” names to ponder for this new gadget…yes, Pippa was my Paperwhite, and an “O” name will honor my Oasis.

While waiting for Opal, or Octavia, or Olga…October?...to arrive, I have a new season to watch on Ozark!  Yay.  I also started watching Friends, a show I didn’t see on the networks, except for the occasional episode.

So…that’s my week so far.  Let’s grab some more coffee and take a closer look:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  A Cooling Trend & Hot Books…

Tuesday Potpourri:  Cozy Spaces & New Books…

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “They All Fall Down”

Books That Resonate…

Coffee Chat:  Interior & Bookish Challenges…

Thursday Potpourri:  A Peek at Some Obsessions & Tidbits

Bookish Friday:  “Watching You”

Hello, September!  August Monthly Wrap-Up

Review:  Lies (e-book), by T. M. Hogan – (NG-9/11)Review:  An Unwanted Guest (e-book), by Shari LapenaReview:  Pieces of Her (e-book), by Karin Slaughter

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty physical mailbox!  But my inbox had a link to a new library book that I had on hold.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (e-book), by Gail Honeyman

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Now That You Mention It (e-book), by Kristan Higgins, a book that has been on my shelves since December…and I want to read her newest book soon!

I also want to scan my shelves and see what has been waiting around too long…like Best Beach Ever, by Wendy Wax, since 5/18; or Those Other Women, by Nicola Moriarty, since 6/18; or The Other Wife, by Michael Robotham, since 6/18.  Then, of course, there is Watching You,  by Lisa Jewells.

We won’t mention the books that have been hanging around since 2016 or 2017…or before.  Those are a task for another week.

***

So…that’s my week.  What did yours look like?  Of course I’m going to share the dessert I had last night at Marie Callender’s…plain old French Apple Pie a la Mode.  I was reading Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter…see the review above.

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REVIEW: PIECES OF HER, BY KARIN SLAUGHTER

 

Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother Laura. She’s knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Gullaway Island; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a Saturday afternoon trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one will ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

Twenty-four hours later Laura is in the hospital, shot by an intruder who’s spent thirty years trying to track her down and discover what she knows. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumbs of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . .

My Thoughts: I was drawn into Pieces of Her because I loved the premise of the chasm between mothers and daughters, and how they keep parts of themselves hidden, even from those they love.

In her daughter Andrea’s eyes, Laura Oliver has had an ordinary existence, but then a violent episode in the mall drastically changes that view. Afterwards, Laura tells her daughter she needs to move out, now that she is thirty-one, and make it on her own. Blindsided by her mother’s actions, both at the mall and then afterwards, Andrea resists.

But suddenly something even more troubling happens a day later that sends Andrea on a quest to find answers. Her mother has given her very specific guidelines of where to go, and how to stay safe. Everything about these actions changes not only her view of her mother, but of her own existence.

I found this part of the novel intriguing, as Andrea tried to stay ahead of the danger, but kept finding herself in the midst of it because she had forgotten to do one or two of the things her mother had suggested.

Obviously Laura had quite a journey in her younger years, but it will take Andrea’s numerous and sometimes dangerous efforts to learn what her mother had done back then…and how she managed to survive.

The story also reminded me a little of other cults we saw in the 70s and 80s, and how the groups depend on the leadership of charismatic and dangerous men.

Who was Laura Oliver, and what were her defining moments? How did she manage to escape, and what did she still need to do to protect her daughter. An engaging read. 4.5 stars.

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COFFEE CHAT: INTERIOR & BOOKISH CHALLENGES…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, in which we share bookish and not so bookish thoughts.  Head on over to Bookishly Boisterous to add your link.

 

Last week, I had much to share about family, the fun stuff, and the gritty house-cleaning.  I went on to do a little more of the scrub-a-dub detail, in bathrooms, etc., inspired by Fiona’s efforts in my kitchen.  But let’s not go crazy…I’m not going to turn into Martha Stewart.  LOL.  I do love playing around with the decor, however, and if I dust and clean along the way, that’s just a side effect.  Patty, at Books, Thoughts & Adventures, wrote about collecting more of her white, “peely pieces”…and I was reminded of some of mine.  Here’s one I own, a nightstand, but it has served other purposes over the years.  I used it to hold a small TV in my other house.  Now I love it as my go-to place for STUFF.  I used to have a stack of books on top.  I have cleared it off except for the clock radio, my cordless phone charger, and my mug of tea.  I like that it has a drawer and a bottom door that opens to other goodies I can stash there.  You might be surprised at what you find inside:  baby books, for one.  Yes, a book for each of my four children.

  • So…let’s chat about some bookish things.  What a great reading week so far!  I plowed through some thrillers:  Lies, by T. M. Hogan, a NetGalley review book being released on 9/11; and An Unwanted Guest, by Shari Lapena.  (Click titles for my reviews).
  • Today I started reading a book I got from the library:  I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara.

  • I have added a few extra purchased books in the last couple of months, despite my vow to buy less and borrow more.  In July, I bought 13 books!  But I dropped down to 6 (so far) in August.  The problem with buying so many:  sometimes I forget what I own (even though I enter the titles on my Curl up and Read blog).  Like this morning, I saw the book Those Other Women, by Nicola Moriarty…and immediately went to the Amazon page…only to discover that I had bought a copy in June!  (I’m glad Amazon lets us know when we purchased the book!). Then I realized the problem:  the one I bought has this cover on the left, while the one I saw this morning had the one on the right:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Confusion abounds with distinct covers…and then there are those titles that are different, too.  I have actually ordered a book that I already had because of the alternate title.  Sigh.
  • The world of bookish things can be a challenge!

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What does your week look like so far?  What bookish and not so bookish things are challenging you?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A BUSY 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.

 

I am halfway through my Saturday…and just finished my third book of the week.  Each book brought something unique to my reading experience.  My week was also one of household tasks, like scrubbing the kitchen with the help of my granddaughter.  (Okay, she did all the work!).  I continued with the bathrooms the next day.  Now I am ready to relax.  But first, let’s talk about other events of the week:  Skyping with my eldest son in Prague; texting with Son #2, who had just proposed to his girlfriend in Central Park, after which they went to see Hamilton on Broadway; watching some favorite shows, like Sharp Objects and The Affair; and getting ready for new Netflix shows to binge-watch soon (Ozark, Season II).

This week’s episode of The Sinner, Season II, is still waiting on my DVR.  Today I’ll probably get to it.

So…now I’m ready for more coffee, and a chat about the details of the week:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Weekend Tidbits…

Tuesday Potpourri:  Tidbits, Book Releases, Etc.

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “Three Days Missing”

Another Great Week of Reading…

Coffee Chat:  From the Extraordinary to the Ordinary…

Friday Potpourri:  Celebrating Some Moments…

Bookish Friday:  “Mr. Flood’s Last Resort”

Review:  A Noise Downstairs (e-book), by Linwood BarclayReview:  When the Lights Go Out (e-book), by Mary Kubica – (NG – 9-4)Review:  November Road, by Lou Berney – (Amazon Vine)

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty mailbox!  But I received one library book through Libby Overdrive…and downloaded two purchased e-books.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (e-book), by Michelle McNamara (Library Book)

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Purchased Downloads:

Pieces of Her (e-book), by Karin Slaughter

The Other Woman (e-book), by Sandie Jones

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

An Unwanted Guest (e-book), by Shari Lapena

Lies (e-book), by T. M. Logan – (NG – 9/11)

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  After some enjoyable reading, a bit of blogging, and some housework, I grabbed a pot pie at Marie Callender’s.

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