Good morning!  Grab some coffee, and let’s talk about books…again.

While visiting blogs, I see others talking about their TBR…and their physical bookshelves.  So while I mostly read e-books, stashed away out of sight on Pippa, I do have some physical books in stacks.

Some are in my office, like these.  One is a review book, but the others are ones I have purchased:



In the living room, I have a stack of purchased and review books:



Once they are read, they go on one of these shelves:








There is also space on my office bookshelf, at the top of this post. 

I used to have a lot more shelves…thankfully, the great purges of 2015 and 2016 left them more manageable.

It would be lovely if they were all in one vast library, though, don’t you think?

What do your shelves look like?  How do you keep the unread books separate?






Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

Today I’m linking up at Monday Reading, hosted by Book Journey.

To check out my Sunday Updates/Mailbox Monday, click the link.  I had a great week, enjoying my reading and a little blogging.



Tuesday Intros/Teasers:  The Interestings

Hump Day Sparks:  Waiting on Thankless in Death

Book Beginnings & The Friday 56:  Ladies’ Night

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Life Throws a Curve

Sunday Potpourri:  Reading, Purging, & Mimosas

(Review) Amy Falls Down, by Jincy Willett

(Review) Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain

(Review) The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

(Review)  Ladies’ Night, by Mary Kay Andrews



We Are Water, by Wally Lamb (Amazon Vine Review)




MaddAdam, by Margaret Atwood (Amazon Vine Review)




The Obituary Writer (e-book), by Ann Hood





What does your upcoming (and past) week look like?  Come on by and let’s chat.







Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time at TEN BEACH ROAD in October

TEN BEACH ROAD is hitting the shelves anew this month as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Group’s READ PINK® program.

The READ PINK® program was created by my publisher, Penguin Group (USA) to promote public awareness of breast cancer and breast cancer research and to support and recognize the contributions of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®(BCRF) by connecting the cause to books written by, for and about women.

For the past two years, Penguin’s Read Pink donation has sponsored 500 hours of research time and I’m incredibly proud and honored to have my book on the shelves with the Read Pink Seal on the cover and information about BCRF in the back of the book.

But… it’s October!  My books usually hit the stores when temperatures are rising, school is out and we’re either headed to the beach or at least daydreaming about sand, surf and sun.  So this got me thinking about what makes a book a beach book, and why we should throw caution to the wind and read them all year long.   After all, if some fashionista somewhere can decree that white pants are acceptable all year long, then why can’t we do the same with beach books?

Not convinced?  Well, let me share my “Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time at TEN BEACH ROAD in October” list with you and see if we can get on the same page.  (Pun fully intended!)

1.    Since school is back in session, it’s important to set a good example for your kids by reading.  If you pick up TEN BEACH ROAD, you’ll be enjoying a sweat-soaked summer with Maddie, Nicole, and Avery as they rehab a dilapidated beachfront mansion in Pass-a-Grille, Florida.  Your kids will just think you are very smart and studious.

2.    If you need something to warm you up, the men of TEN BEACH ROAD are hot.

3.    Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why books that really take you away are necessary in the summer.  What better time for a good mental escape to the beach than a cold, rainy day in October?

4.    When you’re looking ahead to long cold months with the sun setting earlier and earlier each day, you can at least feel good that you have not lost everything in a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme like the women of TEN BEACH ROAD.

5.    If your neighborhood is getting too cold and windy for DIY projects, you can read about Maddie, Nicole and Avery’s work on Bella Flora and just tell your hubby that you’re in the “planning stages” for next spring and summer.

6.    Did I mention that there are some hot guys in TEN BEACH ROAD?

7.    Reading beach books in the summer can make you feel bad about not being quite bikini ready… but in October, you can pull out a big cozy sweater and some chocolate cake and know you have months before you have to worry about that again!

8.    If beach vacations are not just for summer, then beach books shouldn’t be either.  October is actually a good time to head to the beaches in Florida.  The crowds have thinned and the temperatures are still warm.  You could leave the kids with Dad, grab your girlfriends, a few copies of TEN BEACH ROAD and call it a book club weekend!

9.    Friendships are timeless, and so are troubles.  TEN BEACH ROAD is the story of three women who are thrown together when they lose everything.  It could be set in Aspen in March, Boston in December or Dubuque in May.  The story is about the women, their lives, and their bond.  So reading it in October wherever you live will work.  I promise.

10.    I think I have mentioned that there are some hot guys in the book, but it bears repeating!  If you’re looking for a way to warm up, there’s nothing better than picturing Joe Giraldi running shirtless on the beach.  (Not sure who Joe is?  Pick up the READ PINK® edition of TEN BEACH ROAD to find out)!

So, show the world the kind of woman you really are: brave, fearless, and bold.  Wear white pants after Labor Day, drink a Piña Colada in December and proudly show off your copy of TEN BEACH ROAD in October.  You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood, and you can be proud knowing you’re supporting a great cause!

Visit Wendy at her Amazon Author Page.




Yesterday I was playing around on this blog, tweaking the header and changing the tagline…and realized that I haven’t posted “thoughts from the interior” in awhile.

I enjoy doing the Monday memes here, and book reviews show up quite often.  But when you have twelve blogs, as I do (yes, I know, a bit obsessive!), sometimes one or more of the blogs are “neglected.”

Since I discovered the tab for collage options on PicMonkey, I’ve had a lot of fun creating blog headers.  I have a stockpile now, and yesterday I tweaked this one by adding a bookish title on the coffee cup in the middle.

In developing our brand at our blog(s), we sometimes have to dig deep to find out what we’re trying to convey.

So now that you have the background for why I’m pondering my interior thoughts today, I’d like to segue into a WIP I’ve been working on for awhile.  And yes, it is just about ready to come out and play.

I started Interior Designs as a short story a few years ago.  Martha, the MC, was the antagonist to Amber Cushing (the protagonist) in Embrace the Whirlwind, which was published in 2007.  Afterwards, I thought about Martha and how she got a bad rap in that story.  I asked myself:  what if?  What if Martha had her own story, an interior world we could explore.  Incidentally, she is an interior designer, so when I crafted the story of Martha’s interior journey, I thought it would be a fun play on her career, as well as on her exploration.

When NaNoWriMo came in November of 2010, I decided to craft the first 50,000 words of a novel.  I ended up with 52,000+ words…and a good feeling about where I wanted to take this story.

Now the novel has 93,000+ words…and I’ve been doing final tweaks.  I have sent it to three Beta readers, each with different perspectives.

Here is a brief excerpt from the opening chapters:


Later that evening, after I’d tucked Meadow into bed, and once I’d made sure everything was in order downstairs, I curled up in my bed with a book.  I glanced around surreptitiously, as if to reassure myself that my world was intact—as much as it could be, anyway.  Over there was my favorite spot, the window seat, reminiscent of the one I used to adore as a child in my parents’ home.  Mine now was more luxurious, with its bevy of needlepoint pillows tucked decoratively along the pale rose-colored cushioned seat.  The windows looked out onto the backyard, another one of my favorite places.

My bed, with its pink and white floral Laura Ashley spread, shams, and assorted coordinating pillows felt like a queen’s throne.

So why did it seem as though the fairytale had ended?  Just because the prince had dashed off on his white charger to rescue another damsel didn’t mean that I was the wicked queen in this piece.  And maybe Hal wasn’t really a prince after all.

Which made me think of Zach again…I hadn’t called him back, but I’d tucked the pink message slip into my datebook.

My thoughts veered backwards in time to the moments, in the seemingly distant past, when I’d first realized that Hal was betraying me.  A mysterious e-mail message from that horrible girl Miranda Templeton had triggered the downward spiral for me.  My behavior had been less than stellar back then, and months later, when I’d realized how I had created that whole nefarious dark side, it was too late.  I couldn’t turn back the clock, but I could certainly change how I reacted nowadays.  I had to set a better example for my daughter.

Sighing, I tossed the book aside.  Traipsing down memory lane seemed to be the order of tonight’s business.  I could feel the pain all over again, even though I’d vowed to put it all behind me.  Actually, when I compared my marriage to Hal to the newer relationship with Zach—even though that hadn’t actually been a real relationship, but more of a liaison—I realized once again that Hal and I had lost our connection a long time ago.
What had happened between him and Amber had almost been inevitable.

So why did I still feel the sting of betrayal?  I wasn’t exactly suffering here.  In the months before our divorce had actually happened, I had been busily squirreling away funds in separate accounts, just in case.  And when we’d actually sat down to divide up the assets, Hal, in his eagerness to sever our ties so he could move on, had been very generous.

I would not be suffering like other abandoned wives, trying to make ends meet.  I had retained the beautiful family home, a vacation home at Shaver Lake, some stocks, and a substantial trust for Meadow.  So my feelings were really more about my wounded ego.

I likened the feeling to the one I’d grabbed onto earlier—that image of my parents in their own little world, cocooned, while I sat somewhere on the outside.  Left out, excluded.

Was that a normal feeling?  Or was I behaving badly again?

Frustrated, I picked up the book and tried to read.



The Huge Original Stacks

Three years ago, I started a journey through my TBR stacks, and the photo above displays a portion of the original stacks.  To help me focus on that journey, I started my Curl up and Read blog.

There have been a couple of challenges along the way that helped me with this task.

However, there is the steady influx of new and review books to distract me from the goal.  Despite this influx and these distractions, I am happy to report that the Old TBRs, as I now call them, have been reduced in numbers and now rest on my office coffee table.

The stack in the front row (center) contains the current reads, while the others are from the Original TBRs.

Today’s count:  16 books!

You may recall that I wrote about my journey HERE.  The total at that time was around 166 books.

Of course, there is an ongoing stack of New TBRs to deal with, but let’s not worry about that right now…lol

Here’s a glimpse:

Not too bad…right?  Or am I creating another monster?  What do you think?

I am grateful for Sparky, my Kindle…many new books now rest there.


Welcome to another Monday from the Interior, in which we share about the books we received in the mail (or bought), and talk about our bookish week, past and future.

For April, Mailbox Monday is hosted by Cindy’s Love of Books.

Sheila, at Book Journey, brings us What Are You Reading?


My mailbox brought one review book; I also purchased one download and one from the bookstore.

1.  Come Home, by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s Press)

Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter’s lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her—though it is stressful—and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.

Come Home reads with the breakneck pacing of a thriller while also exploring the definition of motherhood, asking the questions: Do you ever stop being a mother? Can you ever have an ex-child? What are the limits to love of family? 

2.  The Beginner’s Goodbye, by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances—in their house, on the roadway, in the market.
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.
Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.

3.  More Than You Know (e-book), by Penny Vincenzi

It all comes down to love or money in a harrowing custody battle over a little girl, set against the glossy backdrop of the magazine and advertising worlds in 1960s London.
A privileged girl from a privileged class, Eliza has a dazzling career in the magazine world of the 1960s. But when she falls deeply in love with Matt, an edgy working-class boy, she gives up her ritzy, fast-paced lifestyle to get married.
By the end of the decade, however, their marriage has suffered a harrowing breakdown, culminating in divorce and a dramatic courtroom custody battle over their little girl. Also at risk is Eliza’s gorgeous family home, a pawn in the game, which she can’t bear to give up.
True to form, Penny Vincenzi introduces a devious cast of characters seemingly plucked from the pages of sixties- and seventies-era magazines, as she deftly maneuvers between the glamorous, moneyed worlds of fashion and advertising, and a heart-wrenching custody battle going on in the courtroom where the social mores of the time are on full display.



Welcome to another Monday morning where we share our thoughts about bookish topics.  This past week was spring break, and I spent some time with the grandkids; I even did some furniture rearranging.

The rest of the week I spent reading…and also did a bit of blogging.

Midweek found me writing Hump Day Potpourri:  Mugs, Memories, & Bookish Thoughts; and on that same day, I posted my review of Whole Latte Life, by Joanne DeMaio.  I read it in February, but it is on blog tour this month.

Read/Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

The Secret Garden (e-book), by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin

Arranged, by Catherine McKenzie

American Pastoralby Philip Roth

What’s Up Next? Click titles/covers for more info:

1.  The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty (Amazon Vine)

2.  A Silence of Mockingbirds, by Karen Spears Zacharias (Review book)

3.  An Appetite for Murder (e-book), by Lucy Burdette


That’s my week, past and present.  What are you planning?  What was your last week like?  Come on by and share.



Welcome to another edition of our Monday Memes, including Mailbox Monday, hosted this month by A Sea of Books; and What Are You Reading?, hosted by Book Journey.




This week, I bought three books on sale at Barnes & Noble; I ordered one from Amazon; and received one from a contest win at Book Journey.

1.  Island of Lost Girls, by Jennifer McMahon (Book Journey)

McMahon offers a moving if bittersweet portrait of childhood. When a person dressed up in a rabbit costume abducts a little girl out of her car, the lone witness, Rhonda, is too stunned to act. As the small rural town mobilizes a search for the missing child, Rhonda, reeling with guilt, is reminded of another girl who went missing—her closest friend from childhood, Lizzy. Joyful memories of their youth spent putting on plays and exploring the woods alternate with darker moments: losing the love of her life, Lizzy’s brother, Peter, and the year an increasingly disheveled and moody Lizzy stopped talking to her or anyone else. Past and present merge as Rhonda closes in on the costumed abductor and also on the dark family secrets that tore their perfect childhood apart. McMahon spends a good deal of time setting the stage; however, once the pieces of the intricate plot are in place, readers will be hooked on both the mystery element and the coming-of-age aspects of this atmospheric novel….

2.  Distant Shores, by Kristin Hannah

From Summer Island to On Mystic Lake to Distant Shores, best-selling author Hannah seems to walk on water. Here, as Elizabeth packs up the beach house after her father’s death, she comes to realize that her own marriage is all washed up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

3.  Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan

It isn’t quite love at first sight when Celia, Sally, Bree and April meet as first-year hall mates at Smith College in the late 1990s. Sally, whose mother has just died, is too steeped in grief to think about making new friends, and April’s radical politics rub against Celia and Bree’s more conventional leanings. But as the girls try out their first days of independence together, the group forms an intense bond that grows stronger throughout their college years and is put to the test after graduation. Even as the young women try to support each other through the trials of their early twenties, various milestones—Sally’s engagement, Bree’s anomalous girlfriend, April’s activist career—only seem to breed disagreement….

4.  Smash Cut, by Sandra Brown

“This superlative romantic thriller from bestseller Brown (Smoke Screen) features a particularly memorable villain, sociopath Creighton Wheeler, who’s obsessed with re-enacting scenes from films like Strangers on a Train and Frenzy…. Multiple smash cuts (abrupt scene shifts) lead to a wonderfully frenzied finish.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brown delivers more than a few thrills and surprises in this taut, satisfying page-turner.” — Booklist

5.  Then Came You, by Jennifer Weiner

An unexpected love story…

 Jules Strauss is a Princeton senior with a full scholarship, acquaintances instead of friends, and a family she’s ashamed to invite to Parents’ Weekend. With the income she’ll receive from donating her “pedigree” eggs, she believes she can save her father from addiction.

Annie Barrow married her high school sweetheart and became the mother to two boys. After years of staying at home and struggling to support four people on her husband’s salary, she thinks she’s found a way to recover a sense of purpose and bring in some extra cash.

India Bishop, thirty-eight (really forty-three), has changed everything about herself: her name, her face, her past. In New York City, she falls for a wealthy older man, Marcus Croft, and decides a baby will ensure a happy ending. When her attempts at pregnancy fail, she turns to technology, and Annie and Jules, to help make her dreams come true.

But each of their plans is thrown into disarray when Marcus’ daughter Bettina, intent on protecting her father, becomes convinced that his new wife is not what she seems…

With startling tenderness and laugh-out-loud humor, Jennifer Weiner once again takes readers into the heart of women’s lives in an unforgettable, timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, the rights of a parent and the measure of motherhood.





What a great week it has been.  After a slow start, I managed to read and review the following books:

1.   The Uncoupling, by Meg Wolitzer

2.   She Makes It Look Easy, by Marybeth Whalen

3.  Afternoon Delight, by Carolyn Hinsey

4.  Best Staged Plans, by Claire Cook

What’s Up Next?

1.  Never Knowing, by Chevy Stevens

2.  Escape, by Barbara Delinsky

3.  Heat Wave (e-book), by Nancy Thayer

4.  Goodie One Shoes, by Roz Siegel


That’s it for this week…hope you all enjoy your reading, and stop on by and share what’s going on…..



Wow, another week has passed!  And now it’s time for those Monday Memes again, with Mailbox Monday hosted by Mari Reads, and What Are You Reading? led by Book Journey.


This week, I received one book!  Yes, only one, a review book.  But this is kind of a relief, since my stacks are almost overwhelming by now.

A Pug’s Tale, by Alison Pace, came to me from the publisher.

There are pugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Hope McNeill has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for years, but this is the first time she’s been able to bring along her pug, Max. (Officially at least. Previously she’s had to smuggle him in inside her tote bag.)

The occasion: a special “Pug Night” party in honor of a deep-pocketed donor. Max and his friends are having a ball stalking the hors d’oeuvres and getting rambunctious, and making Hope wonder if this is also the last time she gets to bring Max to the museum.

But when a prized painting goes missing, the Met needs Hope’s–and Max’s–help. In her quest for the culprit, Hope searches for answers with an enigmatic detective, a larger-than-life society heiress, a lady with a shih tzu in a stroller, and her arguably intuitive canine. With luck, she’ll find some inspiration on her trips to Pug Hill before the investigation starts going downhill…

Now doesn’t that pique your curiosity?



Last week, I blogged everyday about various things, mostly memes.  But as part of my ROW 80 Writing Challenge, I did a post about my WIP at Snow Chronicles.

My Reading Week-Read & Reviewed – Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

2.  The Ghost of Greenwich Village, by Lorna Graham

3.   I’m Over All That, by Shirley MacLaine

4.   The Lake of Dreams (e-book), by Kim Edwards

What’s Up Next?

1.  The Long Journey Home, by Margaret Robison (Amazon Vine)

A memoir from the mother of Augusten Burroughs, who has given us many memoirs.

2.  Love You More, by Lisa Gardner

One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?

3.  Out of Balance, by Angela Lam Turpin (review book)

Former stay-at-home wife and mother, Beverly Mael, turns her life upside down in Out of Balance, a hilarious new novel about bank shenanigans and underground cyber societies.

Caught between her husband, the ultimate prankster, and her boss, the charmingly seductive President and CEO of Vine Valley Bank, Beverly struggles to keep her husband’s secret and help her boss’s blind ambition without losing her marriage or her job. Floundering through dictation during the day and falling asleep in her dinner at night, Beverly needs to get away from it all. But a surprise date turns sour when Beverly discovers her unemployed husband has developed a computer program that can change the world-for better or worse. To complicate matters, the bank’s president keeps lavishing praise on Beverly, giving her the attention she desperately craves from home. Armed only with a gift for numbers and a steadfast faith in God, Beverly must stop her husband’s pact with the cyber underworld and uncover the truth about World Bank’s false profit before it’s too late.

So that’s it for this week…I cut back a bit on what I’ve planned for the week, knowing I can always add something from Sparky, my Kindle.  So what’s on tap for the rest of you???



Good morning!  Welcome to our Monday Memes, in which we review the past week, in terms of blogging, reading, and life…and share it all with the rest of you.

Mailbox Monday is hosted through March by I’m Booking It.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.




This week, I received one book for review, purchased one book at Borders, and ordered an e-book from Amazon by an author I know.

Here they are, in all their splendor:

1.  Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, by Lucy Adams (review book)

Don’t you love the title and cover?  Here’s a tidbit from Amazon:

Ever laughed when you knew you shouldn’t?  Battled with Satan over chocolate?  Forgotten to wear lipstick to the Garden Club meeting?  Tried to define variorium?  At times like these, what else can you do but Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run?

In her much awaited second book, award winning writer Lucy Adams, author of If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny, takes readers on a roller-coaster ride through life’s most embarrassing moments and delivers them safely on the other side.  In her usual form, Adams gives readers an eye-watering, nose-snorting, giggling gift of a good time….

2.  Untied, by Meredith Baxter (my purchase)

Here’s a snippet from Amazon:

Meredith Baxter is a beloved and iconic television actress, most well-known for her enormously popular role as hippie mom, Elyse Keaton, on Family Ties. Her warmth, humor, and brilliant smile made her one of the most popular women on television, with millions of viewers following her on the small screen each week. Yet her success masked a tumultuous personal story and a harrowing private life. For the first time, Baxter is ready to share her incredible highs, (working with Robert Redford, Doris Day, Lana Turner, and the cast of Family Ties), and lows (a thorny relationship with her mother, a difficult marriage to David Birney, a bout with breast cancer), finally revealing the woman behind the image….

3.  Children of the Fog, (e-book), by Cheryl Kaye Tardif


Let A Kidnapper Take Your Child, Or Watch Your Son Die.

Sadie O’Connell is a bestselling author and a proud mother. But her life is about to spiral out of control. After her six-year-old son Sam is kidnapped by a serial abductor, she nearly goes insane. But it isn’t just the fear and grief that is ripping her apart. It’s the guilt. Sadie is the only person who knows what the kidnapper looks like. And she can’t tell a soul. For if she does, her son will be sent back to her in “little bloody pieces”….


Don’t these make you want to start reading?  Those are my thoughts, anyway.






This past week, I’ve done quite a bit of reading…finally finished Freedom, which I’ve been working on sporadically for the past three weeks.  I’ve also done the following blog posts (among others):




Then there’s my reading….

Books Read & Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Wicked Appetite, by Janet Evanovich

2.  The Opposite of Me, by Sarah Pekkanen

3.  Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen


What’s Up Next?

1.  The Easter Parade, by Richard Yates

In The Easter Parade, first published in 1976, we meet sisters Sarah and Emily Grimes when they are still the children of divorced parents. We observe the sisters over four decades, watching them grow into two very different women. Sarah is stable and stalwart, settling into an unhappy marriage. Emily is precocious and independent, struggling with one unsatisfactory love affair after another. Richard Yates’s classic novel is about how both women struggle to overcome their tarnished family’s past, and how both finally reach for some semblance of renewal.

2.  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, by Ruth Pennebaker (review book)

Joanie Pilcher, nearing 50 and recently divorced, is firmly entrenched in the sandwich generation. Working at a job she hates in an ad agency, she’s doing her best with her moody 15-year-old daughter, Caroline, and her depressed 77-year-old widowed mother, Ivy, who moved in six months earlier after her stock portfolio tanked. When Joanie’s ex calls to tell her that his much-younger live-in girlfriend is pregnant, it seems a final straw. Meanwhile, Caroline suffers typical teenage angst, hating her life, discovering pot, and mooning over handsome Henry in her Spanish class, and Ivy—keenly missing her old home and friends—tries to fill her days with Goggling on the Internet, with a little shoplifting on the side….

3.  Now You See Her, by Joy Fielding

Fifty-year-old Marcy Taggart is in Ireland celebrating her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with one notable absence, that of her husband, who recently left her for the female golf pro at their country club. Ever since the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, Devon, two years ago, Marcy has been suffering one long nervous breakdown. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband and her sister are convinced that Devon, who had bipolar disorder, committed suicide. But Marcy believes Devon ran away to start a new life. When Marcy takes a break from her relentless sightseeing in Cork, she catches sight of Devon through a window, and so begins her reckless odyssey to reclaim her missing daughter….

4.  These Things Hidden (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf

Gudenkauf’s scintillating second suspense novel (after The Weight of Silence) opens with the release of 21-year-old Allison Glenn from prison, where she has served five years for an unspecified but particularly horrible crime. Allison is reluctant to enter a halfway house in her hometown of Linden Falls, Iowa, where “even a heroin-addicted prostitute arrested for armed robbery and murder would get more compassion than I ever will.” Allison, her family’s former golden girl, secures a job at a local bookstore, but her efforts to resume some sort of normal life are undermined by her well-to-do parents’ indifference, her sister’s hatred, and the stigma of her conviction….


So that’s my week…past and upcoming.  What are the rest of you doing?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your comments and links.






Welcome to our Monday Memes, in which we reflect on our past week in books and blogging, and plan for the next one.

Mailbox Monday is hosted in February by Library of Clean Reads.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.




I was very excited by the books I received this week, all purchases I made.  Some were print books and some were e-books.


1.  A Widow’s Story, by Joyce Carol Oates

Here’s a blurb on Amazon:

Brutal violence and catastrophic loss are often the subjects of Oates’ powerful novels and stories. But as she reveals in this galvanizing memoir, her creative inferno was sequestered from her joyful life with her husband, Raymond Smith. A revered editor and publisher who did not read her fiction, Smith kept their household humming during their 48-year marriage. After his shocking death from a “secondary infection” while hospitalized with pneumonia, Oates found herself in the grip of a relentless waking nightmare. She recounts this horrific “siege” of grief with her signature perception, specificity, and intensity, from epic insomnia and terrifying hallucinations to the torment of “death-duties,” painful recognitions of confidences unshared and secrets harbored, and a chilling evaporation of meaning….

2.  The Easter Parade, by Richard Yates

A Snippet from Amazon:

In The Easter Parade, first published in 1976, we meet sisters Sarah and Emily Grimes when they are still the children of divorced parents. We observe the sisters over four decades, watching them grow into two very different women. Sarah is stable and stalwart, settling into an unhappy marriage. Emily is precocious and independent, struggling with one unsatisfactory love affair after another. Richard Yates’s classic novel is about how both women struggle to overcome their tarnished family’s past, and how both finally reach for some semblance of renewal….

3.  Now You See Her, by Joy Fielding

Amazon Blurb:

Fifty-year-old Marcy Taggart is in Ireland celebrating her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with one notable absence, that of her husband, who recently left her for the female golf pro at their country club. Ever since the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, Devon, two years ago, Marcy has been suffering one long nervous breakdown. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband and her sister are convinced that Devon, who had bipolar disorder, committed suicide. But Marcy believes Devon ran away to start a new life. When Marcy takes a break from her relentless sightseeing in Cork, she catches sight of Devon through a window, and so begins her reckless odyssey to reclaim her missing daughter….

Then I received a $20.00 gift certificate in a contest win from Book Journey, which led to my downloading these e-books.

Thanks, Sheila!

4.  Every Secret Thing, by Laura Lippman

Two 11-year-old children-good girl Alice Manning and bad girl Ronnie Fuller-wander homeward in Baltimore after being kicked out of a friend’s pool party. They discover a baby in an unattended carriage by the front door of a house and steal it away. The reader watches in horror, knowing what will come next. The baby dies, and Alice and Ronnie are imprisoned for seven years. The mystery involves which girl did the killing, and which was the dupe….

5.  The Tapestry of Love, by Rosy Thornton

A warm and uplifting story of how a woman falls in love with a place and its people: a landscape, a community and a fragile way of life. A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbours, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony…

6.  The Lake of Dreams, by Kim Edwards

When Lucy Jarrett returns to her childhood home in Lake of Dreams, N.Y., she learns that her brother, Blake, who’s gone into the family business, and his girlfriend hope to drain a controversial marsh to construct a high-end property. Meanwhile, Lucy, who remains haunted by her father’s death in a fishing accident years earlier, reconnects with her first boyfriend, Keegan Fall, now a successful glass artist. But when she sees something familiar in the pattern of one of his pieces, and discovers a hidden note in her childhood home, Lucy finally digs into her family’s mysterious past. Unfortunately, the lazy expository handling of information mutes the intrigue, and readers will see the reignited spark between Keegan and Lucy coming for miles….


What a treasure trove of books!  I’m loving each and every one.





In the past week, I’ve enjoyed my blogging and reading.

Here are some of my blog posts:






Books Read and Reviewed – Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Ladybird, by Grace Livingston Hill

2.  Married:  A Fine Predicament, by Anne Roiphe

3.  The Long Road Home, by Mary Alice Monroe

4.  My Passion for Design, by Barbra Streisand


What’s Up Next?

1.  The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

The fictional story brings Hadley Richardson Hemingway out from the formidable shadow cast by her famous husband. Though doomed, the Hemingway marriage had its giddy high points, including a whirlwind courtship and a few fast and furious years of the expatriate lifestyle in 1920s Paris….

2.  The Book of Tomorrow, by Cecelia Ahern

“A veritable modern-day Gothic, Ahern’s engrossing new novel is filled with family secrets, intrigue, and magic aplenty.”

3.  Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen (I’ll probably be reading this one awhile)

Franzen’s second novel is a wrenching, funny, and forgiving portrait of a Midwestern family (from St. Paul this time, rather than the fictional St. Jude). Patty and Walter Berglund find each other early: a pretty jock, focused on the court and a little lost off it, and a stolid budding lawyer, besotted with her and almost burdened by his integrity. They make a family and a life together, and, over time, slowly lose track of each other….


So that’s it…finally!  It’s going to be a very busy week.  What about you?  I’d love to read about your books, etc…..