COFFEE CHAT: HEATING UP AGAIN….

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.

With temperatures in the 80s most of last week and into the current week, I am sad that we’ll be up in the 90s again starting tomorrow.  Sigh.  But, as I told someone the other day, I’ve lived here in the Central Valley for 45 years, and I should be used to it.  Long hot summers, short falls, mild winters.

  • I have had a great reading week so far.  First I read and reviewed a NetGalley ARC of The Lies We Told, by Camilla Way (Release Date:  10/9). (Click title for my review).
  • Today I finished reading Fear:  Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward. (Click for review).  A brilliant read that kept me glued to the pages, even as my fears ratcheted up with the growing chaos that surrounds the man.
  • Now I need something lighter, so I picked up a recent acquisition:  Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties, by Camille Pagan: a hilarious and hopeful story about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough.
  • I am happy to report that, despite last week’s failures, my coffee pot is now behaving very well.  But I have an extra pot now, one I bought during that “off day.”  I also have a page bookmarked on Amazon where I’ll order a new pot, if need be.  One that might behave well, according to recommendations.  After all, our technology should not be in control!
  • Speaking of technology, while I’m loving Paige, my Oasis, I am realizing that when I hold it in such a way that I can keep control of it, I now have a pulled muscle and pain in my left shoulder!  There might be other reasons for the shoulder thing, but I know the pain is worse after a day of reading.  Sigh…
  • I’ve stayed in most days this week, but on the weekend, I enjoyed soup, salad, and a slice of Quiche.  I also relished a pumpkin spice muffin.

  • I finished Season 6 of Wentworth...loved it!  As always, it ends with a cliffhanger that will have me longing for a new season.
  • I also finished Season 2 of Ozark.  At first, I wasn’t feeling it, but then it sucked me in.
  • Tonight brings another episode of The Sinner. 
  • I am still waiting for the movie The Wife to come to town…so far, nothing.
  • I’m thinking of going to see A Simple Favor, with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.

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So…that’s my week so far.  Do you have books, movies, and adventures ahead?

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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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COFFEE CHAT: FROM THE EXTRAORDINARY TO THE ORDINARY…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

Hot days and nights are something I can count on in the summer months.  I would prefer if the weather would change suddenly, or give us a few raindrops.  I did sleep better last night…but then I still woke up early:  4:30.  The thing about routines, even when they start earlier than usual: they are smooth and it is easy to slide into them.  But I did do something different this week, a bit outside the normal schedule.  On Monday, after I visited a few blogs, I Skyped with my Prague son, the eldest of my crew.  I always enjoy these chats, which are hard to arrange because of the time difference.  The photo below was captured a couple of years ago when he and his wife Gabi visited us for a three-month vacation.  He is always connected to his camera. On Monday, we chatted for two hours!  That’s how it goes with us.

  • On  my Tuesday Potpourri post, I wrote about the new books I downloaded and some I’m eagerly anticipating, and I also mentioned my Friday Potpourri, in which I talked about sentimental objects in my home, like the ice cream table below that I bought in the 70s…when it was 25 years old.

  • On the weekend, I got a text and a photo from LA Son, Brett, who surprised me with the news of his engagement to Madeline.  He proposed in Central Park, below…I didn’t know he was in New York that weekend, either.  He is full of surprises!

  • After this romantic moment, they saw Hamilton:

  • Back to my humdrum life:  books, blogging, etc.  So far I’ve only read and reviewed one book:  A Noise Downstairs, by Linwood Barclay.  (Click title/cover for my review).

  • The book gripped me from the very beginning.  Strange noises in the house are my biggest annoyance (or fear), depending upon the sound.  Most of the ones I hear I’m sort of used to…house settling, etc.  But sometimes they are hard to identify, and then I go searching.  To find the source, if I can.  The vintage typewriter in the book would have really freaked me out.  So I had to keep reading, of course.
  • Now I’m reading When the Lights Go Out, by Mary Kubica.

  • A young girl applies to college and discovers that her social security number has raised a red flag. “Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.”

  • Sounds like another book that will keep me up at night.
  • Last week I took a detour from thrillers to lighter reads.  Now I am more than ready to jump back into books with unexpected twists and turns.
  • Back to the ordinary:  my granddaughter was supposed to come yesterday morning to clean, because she needed money.  She texted me a change of plans, but then didn’t come last night as planned because of a driving mishap.  She ended up coming tonight, and worked really hard on the kitchen:  floor, fridge, stove, etc.  The floor is the porous kind from the 1980s, so it requires hands-and-knees scrubbing once a month, at least.  Sigh.  She earned her money!

  • Now let’s revisit some of my sentimental things, like these Mary Engelbreit Cookie Jars.  They’ve been around for many years!  In this view, we can also see the ice cream table again.  The stack of books are all home decorating tomes.  I love leafing through them now and then, and when I do, they also get dusted properly.  LOL

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That is my week so far.  Books, blogging, cleaning…a productive week.  What did yours look like?

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COFFEE CHAT: SLEEPLESS IN FRESNO…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

Today was one of those “early rise and shine mornings” because of how hot it was throughout the night, even with a fan blowing;  I jumped out of bed at 3:30.  My plan was to go into the office and turn on the computer, check out my e-mails, and maybe read a little.  I did get to the supermarket in the late morning.  Then I took a nap!

  • Last weekend was a time for celebrating my daughter’s birthday.  We had our lunch together on Friday, but on Sunday we enjoyed a brunch in her new home.  I didn’t snap any photos of our food…sigh.  But here is Heather having a mimosa with her friend Jessica…

  • On Monday, I had a mani…and changed up my color from purple/red to blue:

  • I finished reading The Perfect Couple, by Elin Hilderbrand: (click title for my review).  I enjoyed visiting the setting and the characters, and the story kept me engaged throughout, trying to figure out what happened to the maid of honor.
  • Now I’m reading and enjoying All Your Perfects, by Colleen Hoover. The story flips from “then to now” throughout; “it is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?”
  • I started watching a new-to-me Netflix series, The Secret City, set in Australia.
  • On Sunday, I did a little rearranging, but not to worry:  the changes were light items that did not wrench my back.  I wanted to place two favorite Mary Engelbreit cookie jars in the pass-through between kitchen and living room, and tucked next to them is my little Mary Engelbreit cottage.

  •  Tuesday night, I had some pasta at my neighborhood CPK, and had to bring half of it home….

  • I’ve been watching Season 4 of Better Call Saul, on AMC; The Affair on Showtime; and tonight is Season 2 of The Sinner.  Of course I’m still watching Sharp Objects.  All through the summer, I’m glued to the DVR to see the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series.

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How is your week shaping up?  Do you have favorite books, movies, or adventures keeping you occupied?

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COFFEE CHAT: LAZY, HAZY DAYS OF SUMMER…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

I started my lazy day with a little blog visiting, and then headed over to Barnes & Noble for coffee with a friend.  I stayed away from the bargain tables…yay, me!  I had Pippa, my Kindle with me, and read while I waited for my friend.  I’m enjoying Not Her Daughter, by Rea Frey, a NetGalley ARC; release date is 8/21.

  • So far this week, I have read and reviewed Growing Up Fisher, by Joely Fisher; and Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler. (Click titles for my reviews)
  • I haven’t watched any Netflix shows this week; only regular TV shows.  But tonight I’ll be watching the second episode of The Sinner, Season II.
  • My daughter and her family are enjoying boating, etc., in Michigan this week.  Her in-laws own a house on a lake.

  • I love this photo of Noah, my youngest grandson, with his long curly hair.  The last time I saw him (a few months ago), it was very short.

  • He had curly blond hair as a baby; here he is with his cousin Fiona, before his mom started chopping his hair…

  • The hot weather is sapping my little bit of energy.  By early afternoon today, I was napping on the sofa.
  • Yesterday, I went to the mailbox and picked up Watching You,  Lisa Jewell’s newest book; her books take ages to arrive, but they are worth the wait.

  • New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author and “brilliant storyteller” (Shelf Awareness, starred review) Lisa Jewell weaves another suspenseful thriller about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect for fans of Big Little Lies.

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What did your week look like?  Are you struggling with the heat, or enjoying cool breezes?  We are still fighting wildfires here in California…we’re a couple of hours from the nearest one, but the air is slightly smoky, even at that distance.  Sigh.  I hope everyone stays safe!

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COFFEE CHAT: A WEEK IN MY LIFE…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

What a week!  Like a jerk, I lifted the vacuum cleaner up the steps from the garage, and pulled a muscle in my back.  I had almost recovered by using heating pads, stretches, etc.  Then what did I do?  Yesterday, I grabbed a big suitcase stuffed with photos and negatives from the back of my closet…to search for some papers for my Prague son, and didn’t realize how heavy it was.  Wow!  That hurt, and I’m again spending time on the heating pad.  Sigh.  You’d think I would know by now that tugging at and lifting heavy objects leads to injury.

  • Maybe I need to hire a housekeeper (or a keeper!) for vacuuming, organizing things, etc.  I haven’t actually moved any furniture lately.  That used to be the cause of injuries here.
  • Determined to do better, I am now curled up reading and watching TV.  I finished The Season of Silver Linings, by Christine Nolfi (Click title for review); and I am currently immersed in a NetGalley review ARC, Feared, by Lisa Scottoline.  It will be released on 8/14.  I also started reading Growing up Fisher, by Joely Fisher.  I will be perusing it now and then and enjoying the photos.
  • Yesterday I posted my monthly wrap-up with titles I read and reviewed in July:  12 books.  I have continued to mix up my genres in a more balanced way:  5 mysteries & thrillers; 6 contemporary fiction; and one nonfiction.  My two favorite books for July:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tomorrow my daughter and her family are flying to Michigan to stay for several days at a lake house belonging to her in-laws.  It sounds restful and gorgeous.  I’m envious!  I expect lovely photos when she comes back.
  • They just finished moving into their new house, which I haven’t seen in person yet (just the virtual tour).  I’m eager to join them for a barbecue.
  • Next week, we’ll be celebrating Heather’s birthday… to honor the occasion, I usually like sharing photos of her from the past: Left, baby Heather with me; and right, teenage Heather, during her “hippie” days:

  • Tonight The Sinner, Season II, will be on TV.  The first season was so addictive that I am eager to see what lies ahead.  Synopsis:
  • “Detective Harry Ambrose returns to his hometown in rural New York to assess an unsettling and heart-wrenching crime — parents murdered by their 11-year-old son with no apparent motive. As Ambrose realizes there’s nothing ordinary about the boy or where he came from, the investigation pulls him into the hidden darkness of his hometown. He’s pitted against those who will stop at nothing to protect its secrets — and the mysterious Vera, who proves to be a complicated, enigmatic piece to this haunting puzzle.

  • I’m also loving the Hallmark Murders & Mysteries on the weekend.

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That is my week so far…what does yours look like?

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COFFEE CHAT: A RECLUSIVE WEEK…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

   

My week has had some twists and turns, like the books I read.  I had definitely planned to accomplish a lot more, but the heat outside and the good books inside kept me hostage in my house.  I did get out on Monday for a little while, to send some mail and to stock up on supplies.  Sometimes I realize that if I didn’t run out of food, I might never leave the house.  Then I think of those people who are agoraphobic…and how they order their food online.  Is that next for me?  LOL.

  • I do enjoy outings, however, and sometimes I go out to restaurants two or three times in a week.  Instead of doing that on Tuesday, like I had originally planned, I went for the mail, and then went through the Taco Bell Drive-Through.  At home, I arranged the tacos on a plate, poured a glass of wine, and told myself that I was creating a new normal.

  • Today came around, and I was determined to go out for dinner tonight.  I had even decided on the restaurant…but then a show I was watching earlier in the afternoon was interrupted by a news conference (I hate when that happens!), so I stuck around until this evening so I could watch the show on Hulu.  Now that is a new low, right?  But while I was streaming, I hopped over to watch a movie on Amazon Prime  (After All These Years), based on a book by Susan Isaacs.  I also pre-ordered Book Club.
  • I did get some reading done this week.  Two books read and reviewed:  The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware; and Sister of Mine, by Laurie Petrou (a NG ARC, release date 8/7). (Click for my reviews).
  • Currently I am reading and loving All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin.
  • On Sunday nights, I’m still glued to the screen for Sharp Objects…and The Affair, another show I enjoy.
  • Last Sunday afternoon, I saw Mama Mia:  Here We Go Again, and felt myself swaying to the music, and looked around at others doing their own “dancing queen” rendition.  Before the movie, I enjoyed an appetizer and a Blushing Geisha.  That counted as an outing, which is probably why I’ve curled up like a recluse for most of this week.

  • I was scrolling through some photos taken by my son and DIL in Prague, and loved this one.  After walking around Prohonicky Park, snapping photos, they sat down here for drinks.  I felt like I was right there with them.

  • My daughter got all moved into her new house…and sent me a virtual tour via text.  She hasn’t yet arranged the house to her liking, but all the important things are in place…like the kitchen, the bedrooms, the electronics, etc.
  • She’ll want it to be perfect before she invites guests.  Yeah, I’m officially a guest.  LOL.
  • I am so glad not to be moving right now.  A few months ago, I was considering it, but hated the idea so much, I dug my heels in here…and ticked off all the things I still enjoy:  the neighborhood; the amenities that I haven’t found elsewhere at a comparable price; and the thought of packing up all my books and things made me conclude that I am definitely not moving yet.  Instead, I want to hire a housekeeper to help me organize.

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So…that was my week.  Weird and reclusive, as some might say.  But tomorrow is a new day…and I might actually get out and do something.  How has your week unfolded?

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COFFEE CHAT: ANXIETY, RELIEF, & MORE BOOKS…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

 

Good morning!  It is Tuesday, and I usually write this post on Thursday…but I woke up in a state, frustrated over a DMV issue…and then it was resolved.  I felt freed from the angst.

The problem began with my car registration, which was a mess because of the smog certificate issues….they took a couple of days to work through.  I sent off my late fee check, since I had missed the deadline.  And then waited.  Almost a month passed, with the check not making its way into my account.  Calls to the DMV.  No satisfaction.  Then, blissfully, the check went through today.  I felt freed!  I had planned to go to the field office today.  Luckily I don’t have to do that!

  • Do you ever feel frustrated, and then something happens and you get a reprieve from whatever anxiety is sitting on your shoulders, creating muscle pain with underlying emotional distress?
  • Afterwards, do you then want to celebrate?  I did, and it’s Book Release Day, so I had to find some books to download.  That’s how I celebrate when I’m at home.  Later I might go out for a martini.  LOL
  • What did  I download?  Well, two books I’ve been hearing about:  All Your Perfects, by Colleen Hoover;  and Her Pretty Face, by Robyn Harding….

 

 

 

 

 

  • Today I’m reading (and loving) Our House, by Louise Candlish, a NetGalley review book out on 8/7.  What an interesting premise:  a divorcing couple have a “birds’ nest” custody arrangement, with the kids staying in the house, and the parents moving in and out.  Then something unexpected happens.
  • Yesterday, I finished Castaway Cottage, a review book by Joanne DeMaio…(click for my review).
  • Tonight, The Bold Type is on, and I’m loving this series.  Three friends working in New York for a magazine…we watch their frustrations, their partying, and their love connections.  Does it sound boring and predictable?  Not so much.  I was surprised at how much I am enjoying it.
  • On Sunday, I watched the second episode of Sharp Objects.  I enjoyed the book, but with Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson starring, the miniseries is even more fascinating.
  • I have an episode of Dietland waiting on my DVR.  I originally started watching because Julianna Margulies (from The Good Wife) is on the show…but she plays a really nasty character.  The primary character is Joy Nash.    Check it out here
  • I’ve been watching a lot of Amazon Prime movies…and not really discovering anything to watch on Netflix.  Sigh.  I’m eager for the fourth season of Better Call Saul to arrive on AMC (in August).
  • As you can tell, I am addicted to books, movies, and shows.  But later today, I may have that celebratory martini.
  • While browsing on Facebook, I found some photos of my great-niece who just celebrated her third birthday.  Is she three already?  Here she is with her mom, my niece Emily:

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How is your week shaping up?  What creates anxiety? What gives you pleasure and/or relief?

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COFFEE CHAT: READING, RANTING, & VIEWING…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

Another week is speeding by.  My reading has been good so far, and I’ve also had a few outings.  On Monday, I had lunch with a friend/former colleague.  We do these gatherings about once a month.  We catch up, we reminisce, and we rant a little about the state of the world.  Sometimes it is necessary to commiserate with someone who shares your views on life, family, and even politics.  Maybe especially politics.

  • I read a really great book on Monday.  Yes, I spent the whole day on nothing but that book (except for the lunch, of course)..it was that good.  Believe Me, by J. P. Delaney:  (click title for my review).  The story has so many twisty elements that I was off-balance throughout.
  • Then I read my second book…and it was also one that kept me engaged, but I was very disappointed with the ending.  Maybe because I was so hoping for a better outcome?  Tangerine, by Christine Mangan (click for review).
  • Now I’m reading (and loving) The Ever After, by Sarah Pekkanen.   A story about a marriage filled with secrets and lies.  Lots of “feels” in this book.

  • Today is the final episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, Season II.  I just watched this week’s episode…and it can’t stop there!  We must have additional seasons!
  • Tonight I was craving Mexican food, so I went around the corner to one of my favorite restaurants and had some.  Along with a margarita.

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So…how is your week unfolding?  Reading, movies, adventures? 

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COFFEE CHAT: MY THOUGHTS FROM THE SIDELINES…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

 

Good morning!  Did fireworks keep you awake last night?  I heard them, very loud ones, so I watched TV for a while.  Then, for some reason, I fell asleep and slept a full eight hours…the first time in ages.  I never go out to watch them anymore…I guess I’ve seen enough.

  • My day was full of movies, reading, and plans for upcoming events, like the HBO limited series of Sharp Objects.  Coming July 8, it is based on the Gillian Flynn book, which I enjoyed.  Starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, etc.  The hype suggests another Big Little Lies type series.
  • Other people in my family had real celebrations, like #2 Son Brett & his GF Madeline.  They spent their time in Las Vegas.

  • I started watching the Netflix series Happyish...and it kept me engaged for a while.
  • On Saturday, I finally got around to hosing off the patio.  Just sweeping it down does not quite do it anymore, plus the water cooled me off, too.  The patio is tiny, but when it is buried in leaves and cobwebs, it seems HUGE:

  • I  kept losing my signal on the TVs…so the AT&T technician came on Tuesday, and worked outside on the lines, and then inside…and so far, so good.  Knock wood.
  • I am frustrated with the darkness of The Handmaid’s Tale, and keep hoping for an escape for June (Offred)…sigh.
  • I’ve only read and reviewed one book this week (so far):  My Girls, by Todd Fisher (click for review).  I loved it, though, and it was filled with gorgeous photos that made me remember Carrie and Debbie.
  • I’m almost finished with Night Moves, by Jonathan Kellerman…a very twisty tale.
  • Next I hope to start reading My (Not So) Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella…a library book due 7/18.  So far I’ve managed to return my library books early.
  • I’ve been noticing this third book in the Devil Wears Prada series:  When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger.  I enjoyed the first book in the series; the second one, not so much.  But I’m willing to try again with this one.  I like this opening line in the blurb:  HE SET HER UP. THEY’LL BRING HIM DOWN.

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So…these are my thoughts from the sidelines…what does your week look like so far?

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