WEEKLY UPDATES: A WEEK OF READING, BLOGGING, & ORGANIZING…

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 great week!  During this one, we celebrated First Book of the Year on New Year’s Day, and while I was getting ready for that event, I read another book on New Year’s Eve.  By the end of January 1, I had two books read and reviewed…which when added to the book I read earlier in the week, brought my total to three books.  Nine blog posts, too.

I’ve been finishing up some projects in my apartment…shredding the last bag of stuff.  And then I brought an old chest of drawers from my previous place, since my closet and other set of drawers were overflowing.  It looks a bit battered, in my vintage style of distressed furnishings.  But it serves its purpose, and now I can tuck things away easily.

So…today will bring more errands and tasks to organize some things.  Let’s grab some coffee and take a closer look at the past week.

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Savoring My Favorite Things…

Tuesday Excerpts:  “All the Flowers in Paris”

Goodbye to December and Hello to January 2020…

Curling up with New Year Tasks…

In a New Year, A Look Back…

First Book of the Year:  2020

Coffee Chat:  A New Year for All of Us!

Bookish Friday:  “Normal People”

Curling up with 2019 Books…

Review:  All the Flowers in Paris, by Sarah JioReview:  Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry, by Mary Higgins Clark (First Book)Review:  The Look-Alike, by Erica Spindler (NG – 1/28/20)

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  I did purchase three books: two e-books and one hardcover.

Downloads:

The Playground by Jane Shemilt

Such a Perfect Wife, by Kate White

Hardcover:

Christmas Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella

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CURRENTLY READING:  Normal People, by Sally Rooney

Now that the New Year has begun, I will also be participating in a Nonfiction Reading Challenge, hosted by Shelleyrae at Book’d Out.  Here are a stack of books coming to my reading list soon.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  After such a great week, I rewarded myself with tonight’s strawberry rhubarb pie.

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REVIEW: KISS THE GIRLS & MAKE THEM CRY, BY MARY HIGGINS CLARK

When investigative journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a “CRyan” describing her “terrible experience” while working at REL, a high-profile television news network, including the comment “and I’m not the only one,” Gina knows she has to pursue the story. But when Ryan goes silent, Gina is shocked to discover the young woman has died tragically in a Jet Ski accident while on holiday.

Meanwhile, REL counsel Michael Carter finds himself in a tricky spot. Several female employees have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Carter approaches the CEO, offering to persuade the victims to accept settlements in exchange for their silence. It’s a risky endeavor, but it could well make him rich.

As more allegations emerge and the company’s IPO draws near, Carter’s attempts to keep the story from making headlines are matched only by Gina Kane’s determination to uncover the truth. Was Ryan’s death truly an accident? And when another accuser turns up dead, Gina realizes someone—or some people—will go to depraved lengths to keep the story from seeing the light.

 

 An enticing MeToo story brings Gina Kane into the thick of a mystery that turns to murders in Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry. Alternating narrators reveal the players, and we soon realize that what Gina has discovered is bigger than anyone could have imagined.

The story takes us into Gina’s personal life, too, with her relationship with Ted unexpectedly linked to some of these events. Her father, who has connections to someone who could turn his world upside down, may have a new happily-ever-after, or a disaster waiting to happen.

I like how the author gives us numerous layers to peel back before we find the answers about who is doing what to whom. And I enjoyed realizing that the identity of the murderer would be a surprising reveal. Another 5 star read for me.

 

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COFFEE CHAT: A NEW YEAR FOR ALL OF US!

Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous,  to see what others are chatting about.  Let’s grab some coffee and share.

Wow, what a week it has been!  After the Christmas holidays, I was very excited about the New Year and our First Book of 2020 event. I started another book on New Year’s Eve day, a NetGalley ARC that kept me glued to the pages and watching the clock, since I knew I needed to switch over to my First Book right after midnight…which I did. 

  • Both books have been awesome, and I’ll be finishing them today.
  • The Look-Alike, by Erica Spindler, is the ARC that will be released on 1/28/20.
  • And, of course, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry, by Mary Higgins Clark, was my official First Book.

  • Since I was reading the ARC and getting ready for my First Book, I stayed up past the ball drop!  Amazing, right?
  • I got this photo in a text from my second son and his wife, depicting them celebrating at their Irish Pub in Toluca Lake.

  • My daughter sent funny videos of her and hubby celebrating via an app on the phone called Marco Polo.
  • For the first time in years, especially since 2019 was not my best year ever, I felt truly alive and energized as the New Year began.

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How is 2020 going for you so far?  What are your plans and what is keeping you excited about the newness of it all?

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FIRST BOOK OF THE YEAR: 2020

Welcome to our seventh year of this event.  Join in and share your own chosen book.

For the First Book of 2020, I have selected another Mary Higgins Clark novel, although this one is a stand-alone:  Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry.

 

Synopsis: An electrifying new thriller from “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark!

When investigative journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a “CRyan” describing her “terrible experience” while working at REL, a high-profile television news network, including the comment “and I’m not the only one,” Gina knows she has to pursue the story. But when Ryan goes silent, Gina is shocked to discover the young woman has died tragically in a Jet Ski accident while on holiday.

Meanwhile, REL counsel Michael Carter finds himself in a tricky spot. Several female employees have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Carter approaches the CEO, offering to persuade the victims to accept settlements in exchange for their silence. It’s a risky endeavor, but it could well make him rich.

As more allegations emerge and the company’s IPO draws near, Carter’s attempts to keep the story from making headlines are matched only by Gina Kane’s determination to uncover the truth. Was Ryan’s death truly an accident? And when another accuser turns up dead, Gina realizes someone—or some people—will go to depraved lengths to keep the story from seeing the light.

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When I finish the book, I will review it here.  I’ll be visiting many other participants. Enjoy your first books!

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WEEKLY UPDATES: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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 was another busy one, with holiday activities, occasional outings, and yes, some reading and blogging.  I read and reviewed three books…and went a little crazy with blog stuff.  I changed some headers, and also wrote nine blog posts!

In the process of blogging, I encountered some difficulty with images, mostly book images, which led to contacting WP support.  Their directions took me to a block editor system, which fixed the images, but the process was cumbersome…and I felt like I had no control over anything.  Luckily, I was able to revert to the classic editor afterwards…and the problems with images didn’t occur on all my posts.  Obviously I need to figure out how to make it work for me.  Sigh.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.  LOL.  I also enjoyed some movies this week, mostly older ones, like Interiors and The Company You Keep.  I was avoiding the Hallmark Christmas movies, and I’m now eager for a return to the mysteries they will show us in January.

Let’s not forget First Book of the Year.  My post will go up on this site on January 1.

Now…let’s grab another cup of coffee or tea, and take a closer look at my week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

My Personal “Yellow Brick Road”

Monday Potpourri:  Perusing My Upcoming Review Books…

Challenging Myself with Nonfiction – 1-1 to 12/31/20

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Delusions of Grandma”

Hump Day Serendipity:  Merry Christmas!!

Coffee Chat:  A Week of Odds & Ends…

Bookish Friday:  “The Empty Nest”

Curling up with Stacks of Books…

Holidays Can Bring on the Blues…Chasing Them Away…

Review:  Meg & Jo, by Virginia KantraReview:  Delusions of Grandma, by Carrie FisherReview:  The Empty Nest, by Sue Watson

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  I did receive a NetGalley ARC in my inbox, however.  I also downloaded a purchased book.

NetGalley:

The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris – (6/30/20)

 

Download:

Normal People, by Sally Rooney

 

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CURRENTLY READING:

All the Flowers in Paris, by Sarah Jio

 

 

And then I’ll be reading my First Book of the Year, which will be posted here on January 1.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  Below is my Christmas dinner dessert, which, surprisingly, did not make me sick.  Blueberry Cheesecake.  Yum!

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COFFEE CHAT: A WEEK OF ODDS & ENDS…

Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous,  to see what others are chatting about.  Let’s grab some coffee and share.

Another busy week just flew by, with mostly holiday stuff clamoring for my attention.  I had a lovely luncheon planned for Tuesday with my daughter and friends…and then I got sick from something I ate!  Will it never end?  Just when I think I’ve licked it and know what I can avoid, I’m stymied.  I was fine the next day, Christmas Day, and enjoyed a healthy dinner. 

  • I finished two books this week so far:  Meg and Jo, by Virginia Kantra; and Delusions of Grandma, by Carrie Fisher.  (Click titles for reviews).
  • Yesterday, I played around on my computer and changed blog headers and buttons at two of my sites:  Serendipity and Rainy Days and Mondays.

  • I found this sweet little photo of my grand-niece Margaret on Facebook.  She is holding a doll that belonged to her mother when she was a child.  They made a replica of the dress the doll wore back then.

  • Last night I watched an old movie from 1978, a rather gloomy flick called Interiors, from Woody Allen.  The stars:  Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt, Maureen Stapleton, and Sam Waterston…among others.

 

 

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That was my week, full of odds and ends, books, and movies that I haven’t watched in a while.  What was your week like?

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MY PERSONAL “YELLOW BRICK ROAD”

Lately, I’ve been thinking of different kinds of journeys, including the Yellow Brick Road shown above.  I enjoyed spotlighting these trinkets on my Baker’s Rack at my previous residence. 

Then I added some plush images to the grouping.  I have taken lots of photos of them in various positions and featured them on my website, my blogs, etc.

The close-up below shows the versions of the Oz characters in plush and resin.

Sadly, I no longer have these “dolls,” now that I have moved to a smaller space.  But I am very happy to have the photos in my files to spotlight the metaphorical journey in my blogging/website world.

Below, my header at my website, with my creations (books) and the Oz characters in the center, remind us again of journeys.

 

Yesterday, I changed my blog header here, with my little creatures taking their position on the right side of the banner.

 

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The Wizard of Oz theme popped up again last week as I watched the movie Judy, on Amazon Prime, starring Renee Zellwegger as Judy Garland, remembered especially for her role in the original Wizard of Oz film.

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Do you have favorite images/themes/trinkets that symbolize your personal journey in life and in blogging?  How do you showcase them on your blogs/websites?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: READING, BLOGGING, & OUTINGS…

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 had another busy and productive week, with a mix of activities, reading, and blogging.  I only read and reviewed two books, but they were both engaging; I wrote five blog posts.

On Thursday night, we had a Country Christmas party in the dining room, with a lovely setting…and delicious food.  There was also music, line dancing, etc.  Most of us just enjoyed watching the dancers…lol.

In the evenings, I savored movies on Netflix and Prime:  Marriage Story, and older productions like The Mirror Has Two Faces.  I also rewatched My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams.

Today I’m going out for a mani and lunch, via Lyft.  Last week I took myself to lunch and shopping, so I’m finding my way out more often.  Not just doctor’s appointments, like in the past few months.  In fact, those appointments are few and far between these days, thankfully.

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

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Meg and Jo”

From My Interior To Yours…

Obsessions on a Hump Day…

Coffee Chat:  My Life These Days…

Bookish Friday:  “The Look-Alike”

Review:  Marilyn Monroe:  The Private Life of a Public Icon, by Charles CasilloReview:  Tell Me Everything, by Amy Hatvany

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox!  But…I did download two e-books.

The Empty Nest, by Sue Watson

Home Truths, by Tina Seskis

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CURRENTLY READING: (I am reading the paperback version from my stack of print volumes.  After I read each one, I add them to my shelves, which I am slowly filling up!).

Meg & Jo, by Virginia Kantra

 

Here are my fiction stacks, next to my nonfiction hardcover versions of books to read soon.  Of course, the First Book of the Year, not shown in these photos…will be brought out to start reading on New Year’s Eve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That was my week.  What did yours look like? Below is a slice of Key Lime Pie that I enjoyed on my outing last Saturday.

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COFFEE CHAT: MY LIFE THESE DAYS…

Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous,  to see what others are chatting about.  Let’s grab some coffee and share.

My week has been a good one…again.  On Saturday, I grabbed a Lyft and went back to my old neighborhood to enjoy lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, followed by shopping at a nearby clothing store.  Fun!

  • It has also been a better week in the dining room.  I am discovering which foods I can eat and what to avoid…and at our dining table, we now have a nice mix of interesting people.  Surprise, right?  A couple of times we have all stayed to talk and laugh after we eat. 
  • My reading has been good, but slower.  Perhaps because I’m getting out more.  I read and reviewed Marilyn Monroe:  The Private Life of a Public Icon, by Charles Casillo.  I loved his writing style and learned a few things about Marilyn that I hadn’t already known.
  • I’m currently reading Amy Hatvany’s Tell Me Everything, an unusual story from this author, I think.  A couple finds unique ways to deal with their marital slump. Definitely racy and steamy.
  • In between reading, I’ve changed up a few blog headers, (Curl up and Read):

  • I also tweaked this blog header a little. Then I borrowed from my archives here to re-post something from a year ago:  From My Interiors to Yours.
  • On Netflix, I watched Marriage Story.  Interesting but a little predictable.
  • I’ve been rediscovering old favorite movies on Amazon Prime, and enjoyed watching Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges in The Mirror Has Two Faces.  I have Prince of Tides in my queue.  Both were movies I owned on DVD, but couldn’t bring here…since I had to limit the number due to space issues.  Sigh.
  • So…I guess I can say that finally, after living here for almost seven months, I have adjusted.  As well as I can, given that I still miss many aspects of my former place.  But that’s the way it is.  I do enjoy having a housekeeper to clean, and someone else does the laundry.  I may start using the residents’ laundry room, though, as I have a few things I don’t want to send out.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?

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FROM MY INTERIORS TO YOURS…

Welcome to another greeting from My Interiors to Yours.

As some of you know, I like going back a year (or more) to see what my archives can reveal about my thoughts in another time…or place.

Today, I’m revisiting a post from last Christmas: December 25, 2018, when I was living in my previous residence, savoring the moments.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

As I sip my morning coffee and plan for the day ahead, I send happy thoughts out to all of you.  Hoping for a wonderful day.

Yesterday I finished reading The Adults, by Caroline Hulse, and it was a story that kept me turning the pages, even as I kept shaking my head at the so-called “adults,” who were behaving badly. (Click title for my review).

I didn’t find any New Book Releases for today.  That’s probably a good thing, as I still have older books tucked away on Paige, just waiting patiently.  Last night I started reading The Affliction, by Beth Gutcheon, a favorite author.  This book is the second in her clever romp of a mystery series combining social comedy and dark-hearted murder—a novel set at a girls’ boarding school in a picturesque Hudson River town with more than its share of secrets.  I enjoyed the first book, Death at Breakfast.(Click title for my review). 

I didn’t love the first outing as much as her other books, and as I read my review again, I noticed that my only complaints were the numerous characters that added a bit of confusion.  The boarding school aspect was another negative for me.  I’m not a fan of those.  But because Beth Gutcheon wrote the book, I decided to give it a try.  Which is why I am now reading the second book in the new series.

What I love best from the author are some of the older books, one of which was made into a movie:  Still Missing became the movie Without a Trace.  I watched it again this week.

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I love watching old favorite movies during the holidays.  This movie came out in 1983, so not “old” in the sense of Katherine Hepburn and her crowd, but old to millennials.

The newest version of the book Still Missing was published in 2005, but it first came out in 1981.

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Just rereading this post reminds me of favorite books, movies, and authors, and now I’m eager to relive some of the moments.

Do you revisit your older posts?  Your past?  Do those meanderings help you plan the New Year?

What are you anticipating for this coming Christmas Day?  Movies, books, games, and food?  Enjoy!

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