WEEKLY UPDATES: COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS…

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.

 

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas just ahead, 2020 is finally winding down!  This past week was a time of remembering past celebrations, through photos and chats with friends/family via video and text messages.  I only read two books again, but both were great, and one was a NetGalley ARC.  I wrote seven blog posts.

My laptop was my friend as I viewed shows and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, from The Undoing, which has one more episode; Season 4 of The Crown, to Season II of Virgin River, and Hillbilly Elegy, a movie based on the book, which I read in 2016.

Yesterday I hung out in my apartment all day and recovered from the very tasty Thanksgiving meal of Thursday, served in our dining room.  Here is a view of the space that seems completely empty, since I arrived before anyone else…and we sit one to a table.

All week, I enjoyed breakfast in my apartment, beginning with my coffee ground from beans.  Let’s caffeinate and take a closer look at my week:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “I Was Told It Would Get Easier”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Book Releases…

WWW Post…

Digging Into Newer Books…

Coffee Chat:  Gratitude…

Bookish Friday:  “Take It Back”

Sunday Potpourri:  Adding Familiar Tidbits…

Review:  I’ll Be Seeing You, by Elizabeth BergReview:  Take It Back, by Kia Abdullah – (NG-12/8/20)

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox.  I did download one e-book.

The Girl in the Mirror, by Rose Carlyle

Written with the chilling, twisty suspense of The Wife Between Us and Something in the Water, a seductive debut thriller about greed, lust, secrets, and deadly lies involving identical twin sisters.

***

CURRENTLY READING:

I Was Told It Would Get Easier, by Abbi Waxman

Out of Her Mind, by T. R. Ragan

***

That was my week.  Here is a glimpse of my Thanksgiving dinner:

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COFFEE CHAT: GRATITUDE…

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.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today will bring some treats to those of us staying put in the residence, as required by the rules.  But mimosas, desserts, and hopefully a turkey will help make up for any disappointments.  Today I have been binge-watching shows on Netflix, like The Crown and the movie Hillbilly Elegy I read the book back in 2016.

  • I am also reading a NetGalley ARC Take It Back, by Kia Abdullah.
  • This week, I finished a great memoir, I’ll Be Seeing You, by Elizabeth Berg.
  • An early morning fire in the lobby is a lovely greeting on these cool mornings.

  • Dinners, treats, and the ever-growing book stack in my apartment do help to make up for what we lack these days.  But I miss my lovely family members, so when my granddaughter Fiona sends photos via Facebook, I am warmed by the gesture.

  • And when my daughter sends a family photo, I feel as though I am surrounded by family members.

  • Earlier today, I got an e-mail announcing a new title from a favorite author, so I had to pre-order it.  It is Joyce Maynard’s May 25, 202l release Count the Ways.

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What blessings can you count today?  I hope everyone is finding gratitude in small treats and the treasures found along the way.

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REVIEW: THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP, BY SUSAN WIGGS

There is a book for everything . . . Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.

The Lost and Found Bookshop was a wonderfully layered story about the past, the present, and the possibilities of the future. The bookshop setting pulled me in right away, and I could imagine myself curled up in the cozy chairs and window seats, with the San Francisco streets and scenes around me. Having lived in San Francisco for a while when I was young, I wanted to join these characters as they explored the world around them…and through the books they read.

Natalie was a character I enjoyed, and I was rooting for her as she went through her losses and started over in her mother’s bookshop. The great “handyman” who helped repair the shop was someone I would have loved to know, too, and I enjoyed watching Natalie slowly come to connect with him. The famous author who came to do a book signing to help them bring in more customers was fascinating, too, with his secrets and sorrows.

Dorothy was such a delightful child character, and I hoped she would always be a part of Natalie’s life.

The lost things discovered within the shop turned out to be a great boost to the characters’ lives and to the story. I knew a happy ending was coming. I loved this book and did not want to leave the characters behind. 5 stars.

***

COFFEE CHAT: CREATING A NEW NORMAL…

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.

Today is one day closer to Election Day…and I have mixed feelings.  Hope, combined with a bit of anxiety.  But once it is over, if it ever really is, lol, we can move a little closer to normalcy.  Then, of course, the Virus will still be looming and people around us might still be fighting the mask wearing and social distancing.  Sigh.

  • Meanwhile, I am reading.  I discovered an HBO miniseries based on a book I own:  a book I had started to read, but didn’t really like.  (That was back in 2014).  But I loved the first episode so much, that I thought I would give the book another try.  The show, called The Undoing, stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, among others.

  • The book was published under the title You Should Have Known, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, and after my viewing of the series episode, I started reading it again.  And I am still reading it!  Actually enjoying it.  Funny, that.
  • With October almost over, November and December and those holidays previously known as Thanksgiving and Christmas will be ahead of us.  Nothing will be the same as it was, of course, but perhaps we can create something new and hopeful?
  • We can mourn the past…or we can try to forge ahead with something new that might even be fun. 
  • I celebrated my birthday last Sunday, and instead of visiting my daughter at her home, still off limits, she came for a visit here, socially distanced and masked, and brought Champagne for mimosas and two slices of cheesecake.  Yum!  We couldn’t eat together (because she had to remain masked), but I had my goodies in my apartment later.
  • Then I received a cake in the community dining hall, from staff, and shared slices with other residents:

  • New ways of celebrating can happen!

***

How has your week been shaping up?  Are you looking forward to the holidays, in some form or other?

***

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

***

INCOMING BOOKS:

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

Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks

Unfollow Me, by Charlotte Duckworth

***

CURRENTLY READING:

Girls of Summer, by Nancy Thayer

***

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!

***

WEEKLY UPDATES: READING, BLOGGING, & WAITING…

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 has sped by, with three books read and reviewed.  One of the books was a NetGalley ARC, my last one to read until September; and another one was a dusty book from my TBR.  A brand new one was a good conclusion to the week.  I only wrote five blog posts this week, however.

We are still locked down, of course, and the alternating days in the dining room are over.  When that will change is anybody’s guess, but since the virus is surging in California, along with some other states, I guess we’re here for as long as it takes.  This week we were all swabbed and await test results.  Hopefully “negative.”

Trying to think of books, movies, and pleasant things…and awaiting goodies from Amazon:  those are my days.  Let’s grab some more coffee and take a closer look at the week.

Meanwhile, check out the pottery bowl that serves as my mail receptacle in the entry way.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “His & Hers”

Tuesday Potpourri:  It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books…

More Engaging Books…

Books from the Backlog:  Another Potential Treasure!

Bookish Friday:  “The End of Her”

Review:  Just Between Us, by Rebecca DrakeReview:  Until I Find You, by Rea Frey – (NG-8/11/20)Review:  His & Hers, by Alice Feeney

INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox!  I did download four e-books.

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, by Allison Winn Scotch

The Silent Wife, by Karin Slaughter

Imperfect Women, by Araminta Hall

Paris Never Leaves You, by Ellen Feldman

***

CURRENTLY READING:

My Pear-Shaped Life, by Carmel Harrington

***

That was my week.  A mix of familiar things, but with a touch of surprising ingredients in my books. What did yours look like?  One night I celebrated with a glass of red wine.

***

WEEKLY UPDATES: THE WEEK SPRINTED BY…

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

Here we are again at week’s end.  How do those days sprint by so quickly?  I did enjoy reading three books, and two of them were nonfiction; those will count for the Nonfiction Reading Challenge.  Officially, I have met my goal, but I have several more from that category that I must read.

This week I watched bits and pieces of shows on Prime, Netflix, and Hulu...and then settled down for Season II of In the Dark. I’m only on Episode 2, though.

Now…let’s grab some coffee and take a closer peek at the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Sparks:  Reshuffling the Collections, Etc.

Monday Potpourri:  A Doll Story, Etc.

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Playing Nice”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Book Releases:  It’s Not Hoarding!

A Bookish Week…

Backlog Books…Another One!

Bookish Friday:  “The Safe Place”

Happy Saturday!

Review:  Stranger in the Lake, by Kimberly BelleReview:  Nomadland, by Jessica BruderReview:  Too Much and Never Enough, by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D.

***

INCOMING BOOKS:

One book came in my mailbox; I received a giveaway book from Goodreads; and downloaded two e-books.

My Pear-Shaped Life, by Carmel Harrington

Giveaway Win:

Me and Carlos, by Tom Perrotta

***

Downloads:

The Safe Place, by Anna Downes

Too Much and Never Enough, by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D.

***

CURRENTLY READING:  The Girl from Widow Hills, by Megan Miranda

***

That was my week.  What did yours look like?  Here is my lunch today in my apartment:  turkey, vegetables, and cream of broccoli soup.  I added red wine from my own bottle:

And then a very small piece of apple pie with ice cream.

***

COFFEE CHAT: HANGING IN THERE…

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.

Good morning, Blog World!  Let’s grab some coffee and chat.  What a week so far.  Yesterday, I had meals in the dining room all day!  On alternate days, this plan will continue, with one person at a table, six feet away from the next one…but we can still talk!  That works.  I also liked that I could ask for a special item not on the menu, and I got it!  They were in a good mood yesterday.  LOL

  • On a dark note, what a horrendous week out in the world, with racism continuing to rear its head, and those “in charge” making all the wrong moves!
  • I am trying to calm myself with books and blogging.  And rearranging things, like these shelves.

  • Today was my post for Books from the Backlog, which I have been enjoying.  Since I started participating, I’ve rediscovered and read a handful of books I had forgotten about.
  • I am currently reading one of the books I found a few weeks ago:  A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline.  So far, so good.
  • Also this week, I read and reviewed another backlog book:  After Anna, by Alex Lake.
  • On Monday, I read and reviewed The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris, the ARC of a book being released on 6/30/20.
  • Last week, I received a book for reread, along with the DVD to watch.  I hope to settle in with the movie this weekend: In Her Shoes is a fun movie that I once owned…and had to replace.

  • I am missing my family members…sigh.  Even though we are slowly moving out and about (within the community here), the outside world remains “out there.”  But when I notice the places opening up and moving out, and see that infections are on the rise, I curb my impatience…and settle in with my books and movies.
  • Meanwhile, I look at this photo of family members gathered together at Thanksgiving.  The last time we were all together.

***

How are the rest of you handling the world as we know it now?  Staying safe, I hope.  Enjoy your books and your home.  I am, as usual, rearranging things.

***

MONDAY MORNING COFFEE, ETC.

Another week, another morning of coffee and books.  I am already enjoying The Operator, but I have learned, sadly, that a book can start out in a promising way and then turn sour.  This one seems really good so far, though, and looks perfect next to my coffee.

I spent hours yesterday reading Been There, Married That, by Gigi Levangie…and it did start out so well!  I was laughing and eagerly turning pages.  And then, at some point, I found myself in that tricky place where I would read a paragraph or a page and get lost in my thoughts, losing my way in the book and in the story.  That kept happening…and I blamed myself.  I was too distracted, etc.

At 60% into the book, however, I realized that, no, the book was no longer holding my interest.  It wasn’t me, it was the BOOK.  In fact, I was bored!  I faced the truth that it would end up in the DNF pile.

I hate when that happens, especially when I’ve spent hours on a book.

Now some may love this book, and when I finally checked out the reviews, I realized that a few did.  But a handful of others had the same reaction that I had.  Plus, it doesn’t even matter that a few loved it if I hated it and couldn’t wait to put it down.  That’s how it goes sometimes.

All of this leads to my conclusions for the day as I start a new week.  Life is too short, especially in Pandemic times, to waste on books that just aren’t doing it for us.

In fact, my biggest frustration besides books I don’t love…is food delivered to my apartment like room service that is not only cold but disgusting. At times.  Sometimes it’s okay.  They do best with the breakfast foods. 

 

I made a decision to lift the lids of those cartons in which the food is brought…and check them out!  What are they hiding in those containers?  LOL.  Well, last night’s soupy chicken dish, for one thing.  I should have photographed it!

Since we can’t even leave our apartments to shop, I have been exploring online grocery deliveries, but I have hit a glitch on those.  I am afraid to try them, since the delivery person would have to leave the groceries at the front door for a staff person.  Nobody can enter this facility.  Although they do let in the mailman.  Hmm.  And Amazon.  Has anyone tried Amazon’s grocery fresh items?  I have ordered coffee and tea from them.

Option Two:  turn in a list to the staff person at the front desk, who then gives it to the person who actually goes to the stores and picks out the items.  I did that last week, and it worked great.

This could be a system that needs to work for a long time.  The more I read about how many weeks/months we will have to “shelter in place,” I get a little stir crazy.  But one who optimistically says “back to business by Easter” is, frankly, full of it.  This was, after all, the same guy who said it would “all disappear in the sunshine.”

“Good morning. This is the White House. Press (1) for disinformation about coronavirus testing; press (2) for disinformation about masks and ventilators; or press (3) for all other corona disinformation.”

***

How are the rest of you hanging?  A day at a time seems the best plan for me, while also having hopes of finding supplies, groceries, etc.  And optimism about finding books and movies that will keep my thoughts away from the disasters around us.

***

WEEKLY UPDATES: NOT YET STIFLED BY THE ISOLATION…

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.

 

As Week Two of our Lockdown comes to an end, I realize that I am coping better than I could have imagined.  Being an introvert helps.  Plus finding great things to read and watch, along with my urge to rearrange my space.  All good.  My choices of books this week helped, as well, and I ended up reading three.  Which puts me right on target with my Goodreads Challenge.

I am still loving Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu, and the fact that new episodes show up regularly (Wednesdays).

Last night I found Season III of Ozark, a show that isn’t quite as fascinating now…but I’ll keep watching for a while.

Let’s grab some more coffee (and thankfully, I still have some!), and take a closer look at my week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Heaven Adjacent”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Inspiration!

Hump Day Reading:  WWW Post

Coffee Chat:  Week Two in Lockdown…

Bookish Friday:  “Follow Me”

Review:  And They Called It Camelot, by Stephanie Marie ThorntonReview:  Wallis in Love, by Andrew MortonReview:  Heaven Adjacent, by Catherine Ryan Hyde

***

INCOMING BOOKS:

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

The Sea Glass Cottage, by RaeAnne Thayne

Follow Me, by Kathleen Barber

***

CURRENTLY READING:

Been There, Married That, by Gigi Levangie

***

And, since I’m following my whims lately, I think I’ll also pick up a book on my nightstand:   The Operator, by Gretchen Berg

***

That was my week.  I feel very grateful to have all the books I could possibly read…now I just need other things that I can only get in the shops. Someday!  Stay indoors and stay safe!  Here is an apple tart I enjoyed a few weeks ago.

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