COFFEE CHAT: BINGE-WATCHING, ETC.

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.

Last night’s debates were frustrating.  So infuriating primarily because 45 did his usual lying, while also interrupting every time Biden spoke.  So rude, and yet so typical.  I watched for a while, and then couldn’t stand it anymore.  By then, it was late, as I was watching it online.

  • So when the alarm went off today, I went back to sleep.  When I finally got up, it was still early enough that I could have made it to breakfast, but I decided not to go to the dining room.  Instead I made coffee and wrote a review of Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks.  My first completed book of the week.

  • I have decided that I will allow myself at least one day a week to change my routines.
  • Here we are with another month behind us…and as I add up my reading totals for September, I am not impressed.  Only nine books read!
  • For a couple of weeks, I have been binge-watching The Good Wife.  I am now winding down the final season (7), and looking for something else to distract me from my life.

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How are you managing your days, weeks, and months?  Do you search for distractions to help you cope?  Hang tough!

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A LITTLE READING & BLOGGING…

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.

It was a week filled with activities, but very little reading.  I only finished ONE book this week.  How embarrassing, right?  I have been binge-watching The Good Wife, and I am now on Season VI.  There are VII seasons.  My other activities now include daily visits to the dining room, which opens up interactions with other residents.  Walks, exercise classes, etc.

So…good stuff.  Sometimes I can’t even remember what life was like before the lockdown, but with a gradual reopening, I am curious about how it will all unfold.  Now that we can go out and about in the community, I am using some of my handbags that were just decorative before now:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I am ready to read more; I feel out of sorts without a book on the go.  I didn’t do as much blogging last week, either.  But let’s take a closer look for the details, as we sip another cup of coffee:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Anxious People”

Hump Day Reading…

Intriguing Book from the Backlog…

Bookish Friday:  “The Book of Two Ways”

Review:  When She Was Good, by Michael Robotham

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  I did download two new e-books, however.

To Tell You the Truth, by Gilly Macmillan

The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult

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CURRENTLY READING:

Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks

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That was my very lackluster week.  What did yours look like?  I did enjoy coffee and pumpkin pie a la mode this week, however.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A DIFFICULT 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.

The week was difficult at times, with the wildfires burning close enough that we couldn’t avoid inhaling the smoke.  Staying indoors became a necessity and easier to do.  The predictions suggest that we will be living with these fires for a while, since they are not contained yet.

I did read and review two books, and enjoyed watching shows and movies online.  But the ever-present anxiety about what is happening out there hovered nearby.

Then, to top off the week, the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg added more sadness and anxiety.

I hope that there won’t be a rush to replace her just yet.

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

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Monogamy”

Bookish Wednesday…

Let’s Curl up with a Neglected Book…

Bookish Friday:  “Custody”

Review:  Final Cut, by S.J. WatsonReview:  Monogamy, by Sue Miller

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox!  I did receive one NetGalley ARC and downloaded three e-books.

ARC:

The Good Sister, by Sally Hepworth- (NetGalley – 4/13/21)

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Downloads:

Rage, by Bob Woodward

Surfside Sisters, by Nancy Thayer

The Truth About Melody Browne, by Lisa Jewell

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CURRENTLY READING: When She Was Good, by Michael Robotham

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That was my week…a little depressing, but with some good moments, too.  The other day, I enjoyed this lunch of cream cheese on Dave’s Bread…and a glass of wine.

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REVIEW: MONOGAMY, BY SUE MILLER

 

Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. A golden couple, their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances.

Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.

When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him?

Then, while she is still mourning him intensely, she discovers that Graham had been unfaithful to her; and she spirals into darkness, wondering if she ever truly knew the man who loved her.

From the very first page of Monogamy, I was captured by the prose, the characters, and the settings, in which I could imagine myself walking along with Annie and Graham, as their story unfolds. A bookstore, a beautiful gallery of photographs, and a cottage by a lake in Vermont to which Annie retreats after Graham’s death.

The small details of a life are presented in a way that grabbed me, and I could feel the moments that had defined them. I could see Annie in her childhood, go back with them to their first meeting, and remember with Annie how they built a home and a life, while raising the children.
Reconnecting with people from the past, and reliving those poignant bonds left an indelible mark.

As Annie moves through her days and weeks, the past rises to confront her and comfort her. Can she mourn the loss without going back in time to all that defined her? As Annie struggles to move beyond the death and the discovery of the betrayal, she learns to accept it all and rediscover the love they shared. 5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A GREAT 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 has slipped by, with some great books read!  I also enjoyed more blogging this week, which usually means that I have spent a lot of time on the computer. Some of that time I was glued to my laptop streaming shows.  I am now rewatching The Good Wife, a series I haven’t seen since it was on the networks a while ago.

I have also been online ordering things from Amazon, some practical things for the household and other items to spark some fun during my ongoing lockdown.

Here is a cute bag that reminds me of my more bohemian days:  It will arrive tomorrow.

Let’s take a closer look at my week…after another cup of coffee:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Odds & Ends, Tidbits…

Tuesday Potpourri:  Hoarding More Books…

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Three Perfect Liars”

Bookish Delights…

Hump Day Potpourri:  Reflections…

Another Book Hiding Out on My Shelves…

Bookish Friday:  “Unfollow Me”

Review:  Girls of Summer, by Nancy ThayerReview:  Little Disasters, by Sarah VaughanReview:  Unfollow Me, by Charlotte Duckworth

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox!  But I did download three e-books.

Monogamy, by Sue Miller

 

Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman

Custody, by Nancy Thayer (A reread)

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CURRENTLY READING: 

Final Cut, by S.J. Watson

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  I am sharing a photo of a pleasant surprise I had for dessert this week:  Pumpkin pie a la mode…and wine!

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WEEKLY UPDATES: AN INTERIOR WORLD…

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.

My week flew by, but I managed to read and review THREE books this time.  And they were all good ones.  I like when that happens.

The week was full with every other day in the dining room, alternating with days in my apartment, playing around with my blogs and my interiors, and watching movies and shows.  I finished all three seasons of Designated Survivor and saw an intense movie from 2016 called Christine, about a thirty-something journalist pushing the envelope and taking a drastic action at the end. 

My new comforter arrived this week, and I am eager to curl up on it.

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

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Heart Bones”

Hello September!

A Bookish Week…

Discovering a Treasure on the Backlog…

Bookish Friday:  “Final Cut”

Review:  Home Before Dark, by Riley SagerReview:  Don’t Look for Me, by Wendy Walker – (NG-9/15/20)Review:  Heart Bones, by Colleen Hoover

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox, but I downloaded two e-books.

Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks

Unfollow Me, by Charlotte Duckworth

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CURRENTLY READING:

Girls of Summer, by Nancy Thayer

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  One day this week, I enjoyed a quiche dinner with a glass of wine.  Sometimes the kitchen surprises us!

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REVIEW: DON’T LOOK FOR ME, BY WENDY WALKER

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

 

 

On Day One, we see Molly Clarke driving in the rain, thinking about the sadness of her life: her losses, her remaining two children who seem to wish she weren’t there at all, and the emptiness of her marriage.

She has just left her son Evan’s game at school and watched him look away from her, dismiss her, pretend she wasn’t there.

Driving toward home, she keeps going, as if she has no destiny. And then she runs out of gas on a stretch of road. She sees a gas station 30 feet away, but as she walks toward it, she realizes it is boarded up. Empty. Like her life.

When a truck drives by with what she thinks is a man and his daughter, and they pull over, offering her a ride, she doesn’t really hesitate…

What then begins is a nightmare.

Will Molly ever go home again? The man takes her to a house instead of the police station where she wanted to go. He makes empty promises about phoning for help…and she is soon a prisoner.

Meanwhile, back home, Molly’s daughter Nicole is searching for her. She doesn’t believe that her mom just walked away, and too many pieces of the story don’t make sense.

We watch the tale unfold between Nicole and Molly, back and forth in alternating narratives.

Who is the man holding Molly hostage? Why are the police and other residents of the small town of Hastings where Molly’s car and supposed “note” were found telling tales that don’t make sense? Is it a conspiracy? Or is it even more dark and evil?

I kept trying to figure out who the players were and how they connected to Molly and Nicole, so as the answers began to come, I was breathless with anticipation. Don’t Look for Me was a brilliant 5 star read.

***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley

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WEEKLY UPDATES: COUNTING DOWN TO 2021…

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.

 

How is it almost September already?  I am definitely ready for 2020 to be over, since it has been the worst year ever, but slow it down, please!  There are things we need to fix before it is done.  Then we will happily greet 2021!

My reading this week has not been the greatest, but I did enjoy both books I read and reviewed.  No DNFs this week! 

This week took us back to the dining room on alternate days, and we are also now offered, starting next week, a chance to socialize with others who live here!  Masked and socially distanced, of course, but I can deal with that.

A hair stylist has been brought in to offer outdoor hair cutting, with safety precautions in place.  I am reluctant to trust my hair to someone whose work I don’t know…but I will watch what she does to the other brave people who step up.  LOL.

Now…let’s grab some more coffee and take a closer look at my week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Don’t Look for Me”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Changing Things Up…

Coffee Chat:  Reshaping My Routines…

Bookish Wednesday…

Backlog Books to BriHng Forward…

Bookish Friday:  “Little Disasters”

Saturday Potpourri:  Restless Energy…

Review:  He Started It, by Samantha DowningReview:  The Switch, by Beth O’Leary

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INCOMING BOOKS:

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

Always Young and Restless, by Melody Thomas Scott

The renowned actress behind the character Nikki Newman of The Young and the Restless tells all in this scintillating memoir, divulging the insider details of her dramatic life and sixty-year career.

Downloads:

Heart Bones, by Colleen Hoover

Final Cut, by S.J. Watson

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CURRENTLY READING:  Home Before Dark, by Riley Sager

In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

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That was my week.  What did yours look like? In the absence of any good food photos to show, here are some memories from the past:  corn chowder and a margarita from Mimi’s.

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BOOK REVIEW: THE SWITCH, BY BETH O’LEARY

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest.

Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects.

But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything….or to find yourself.

 

The Switch was such a delightful way for these two women to change their lives, just by swapping them out for a couple of months. For Eileen, in the countryside, approaching her eightieth birthday, there would be few chances for the kind of adventure she needed.

For her granddaughter Leena, who was burned out at work and struggling with the loss of her sister Carla, a new perspective was sadly needed.

In alternating chapters, Leena and Eileen switch voices, sharing their thoughts and adventures as they navigate the lives they have adapted.

Each brought something unique to their new circumstances…and found something hidden within themselves. Can Eileen find love again? Will Leena discover that what she thought she wanted isn’t it at all?

I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the lives of these characters, enjoying their discoveries and their deepest thoughts. 5 stars.

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COFFEE CHAT: RESHAPING MY ROUTINES…

My Coffee Chats are out of whack lately, so this one is either early…or very late. My thoughts are all over the place as we continue to isolate and take our daily lives with caution, while also focusing on books, movies, etc.

Yesterday, Facebook changed its settings, and the look and navigation are a challenge.  One thing hasn’t changed.  They still haven’t allowed me to post from my Rainy Days and Mondays blog.  The message initially reported “abuse,” which is ridiculous, since I was chatting about books.  Today’s message (when I tried again!) said my blog URL was reported as spam.  Hmm.  I’ve had that URL since 2013.

So I did a work around by mentioning the name of my blog, the content of my review, and a photo of the blog header.  No URLs were entered…but hopefully other bloggers can find it.  We have to do whatever works, right?

Meanwhile, my day started in a non-routine way.  Usually I go through certain motions, like making the bed, lining up the clothes I am going to wear, and then jumping in the shower.  Before I do anything else.  Today was backward.  First I went on the computer, posted a review, drank some coffee, and then took my shower.  I felt better!

When life seems to drag along, with nothing but the “same old same old” every day, it is up to us to reshape our world a little.  Or a lot.  As most visitors to my pages know, I have done quite a lot of redecorating…mostly just rearranging things.  Sometimes by adding things; my bookshelves have definitely grown.

I also change up my stack of nightstand books from my unread pile in the entry way (left) to the nightstand on the right:

 

 

 

 

 

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How do you manage your days through this Pandemic?  If you are still in isolation, what works for you?

Has anyone else found Facebook changes challenging?

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