WEEKLY UPDATES: A MORE BALANCED WEEK…

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

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

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

 

My week was more balanced, and we had a nice mix of hot and cooler weather.  I actually read and reviewed three books:  one was a NetGalley ARC, and the other two were library books.  Yay, me!

This morning I got up early to have some routine bloodwork done…after a 12 hour fast.  Sigh.  I was more than ready for breakfast afterwards.  But I couldn’t eat it all!

I’m enjoying viewing Netflix and Amazon Prime on my newest BluRay player in the bedroom.   I finished a series that I saw on TV a while ago, but it was great to be able to binge-watch the whole thing.  Life Unexpected reminds me of my years working with foster kids; the premise of this show is an unexpected reunion between two biological parents and their teenage daughter.  They face many challenges!  Britt Robertson, as the teenager, portrayed all the angst, rebellion, and vulnerability of a real-life kid in this situation.

I also loved immersing myself in more of The Handmaid’s Tale, Season  II.

Now…what’s next?  Let’s grab some coffee and talk about the week.  Yes, I need MORE coffee.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Hello, May!  Check Out My April Reading…

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “Night Moves”

Hump Day Reading…

Coffee Chat:  My Reading Mojo Is Back!

Bookish Friday:  “The Book Club”

Review:  Sisters Like Us (e-book), by Susan Mallery (Library Book)Review:  How We Walk Away (e-book), by Katherine Center – NG-5/15Review:  The Other Mother (e-book), by Carol Goodman (Library Book)

INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty mailbox!  I downloaded one library book…and one purchased book.

The Other Mother (e-book), by Carol Goodman

The Perfect Mother (e-book), by Aimee Molloy

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading The New Neighbors (e-book), by Simon Lelic

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Then…since all of my May NG ARCs are finished, I plan to read an author review book…and other books on my stacks.

Beach Bliss, by Joanne DeMaio

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So, that was my week.  What did yours look like?  Earlier in the week, my son and I had some Chili from Marie Callender’s.  It was delicious!

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WEEKLY UPDATES: MOVIES, BOOKS, & YUMMY FOOD…

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.

 

 

What a week!  It started off brilliantly, with one book read quickly.  Then the second book (a library book) seemed to slog along, even though it was also very much a page turner.  I kept getting distracted, with errands, etc., and also having coffee with a friend on Monday.  Eventually I finished it…and then went on to read two more, one of which was a Vine review book.  A total of four, but I finished the fourth one on Saturday.

I’m still trying to rely more on library books and review books, but I couldn’t resist three purchases this week.  NetGalley came through for me, too, with 4 new books!

Last weekend, I went to the movies and enjoyed Chappaquiddick.

I’m going to grab another cup of coffee and chat more about the week.

Let’s take a closer look at my week…

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Books, Movies, & Dreams…

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “Raspberry Danish Murder”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Adding to My Shelves…

A Bookish Week…

Hump Day Sparks:  Thoughts of Spring…

Coffee Chat:  Books, Movies, & Other Tidbits…

Bookish Friday:  “Mrs.: A Novel”

Friday Potpourri:  Past & Present…Family & Obsessions…

Review:  A Turn for the Bad (e-book, County Cork #4), by Sheila ConnollyReview:  The Darkness Gathers (e-book), by Lisa Unger (Library Book)Review:  Go Ask Fannie, by Elisabeth Hyde (Amazon Vine Review)Review:  The Unexpected Mother (e-book), by Susan A. Ring

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty Physical Mailbox!  I did receive four NetGalley review books; one library book; and downloaded three purchases.

Not Her Daughter (e-book), by Rea Frey (NG – 8/21)

Shadow Dancing (e-book, Country Club Murders), by Julie Mulhern (NG – 6/19)

Lies (e-book), by T.M. Logan – (NG-9/11)

Bring Me Back (e-book), by B. A. Paris (NG- 6/19)

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Library Book:

A Nantucket Wedding (e-book), by Nancy Thayer

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Purchases:

The Female Persuasion (e-book), by Meg Wolitzer

The New Neighbors (e-book), by Simon Lelic

Tangerine (e-book), by Christine Mangan

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WHAT’S NEXT?

I’ll be doing some mood reading…and also starting my May NetGalley list, like Paris Ever After and The High Tide Club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That was my week…what did yours look like?  Last weekend, I enjoyed this lunch before the movies…Sesame Shrimp and a Blushing Geisha Martini…

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A RAINY DAY…AND READING…

 

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.

 

After last week’s great reading (five books!), it was inevitable that the following week would be less than impressive.  I only read  and reviewed TWO books, and I’m into the third one, which I may finish today.  But I’m savoring the books.

Also…the week included a series of outside activities, like a mani-pedi on Tuesday and hair styling on ThursdayBelow, left, I’m relaxing over a movie (Motherhood), with Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver, and Anthony Edwards.  On the right…see my new hair style sprinkled with more purple than last time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So…is it any wonder that the reading came in second place?  I also tackled some long overdue “spring cleaning.”

Today I’m finishing up some tasks…and then, because it is raining, I may curl up on my office sofa, where I feel so cozy.  Let’s grab some coffee and chat about the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “The Affliction”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Borrow, Buy, & Request…

A Week of Savoring My Books…

Coffee Chat:  Random Bits of My Life…

Bookish Friday:  “The Garden of Small Beginnings”

Friday Potpourri:  Celebrating Spring…and Family…

Review:  Sometimes I Lie (e-book), by Alice FeeneyReview:  Saints for All Occasions, by J. Courtney Sullivan (Library book)

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty mailbox!

But…I did get one library book…and downloaded two e-books (purchased)

Library Book (via Libby @ Overdrive):

The Darkness Gathers (e-book, Lydia Strong #2), by Lisa Unger

Purchases:

Before I Let You Go (e-book), by Kelly Rimmer

True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness:  A Feminist Coming of Age (e-book), by Christine Lahti

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading:  A Turn for the Bad (e-book, County Cork #3), by Sheila Connolly

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And then…I want to read my other library book before time runs out on it (The Darkness Gathers), and next I can start my May NetGalley ARCs, like:

Paris Ever After (e-book), by K.S.R. Burns (NG – 5/1)

Then wherever my moods take me.

That was my week…what did yours look like?  Last night I enjoyed one of my favorite comfort foods:  French Pot Roast.

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COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, MOVIES, ETC.

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, featuring our bookish and not so bookish thoughts, hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

The weather has turned mild again, with 70-something temperatures.  No rain for several days, but while we had the rain, I found my reading mojo again…and so far this week, I’ve read and reviewed three books and I’m well into my fourth.  Two were NetGalley ARCs:  The Good Liar, by Catherine McKenzie and Other People’s Houses, by Abbi Waxman; (click for my reviews).  The third was a library book:  Map of the Heart, by Susan Wiggs (click for my review).

  • Now I’m reading and loving another library book:  Her Every Fear, by Peter Swanson.
  • I’m slowly learning the ins and outs of navigating Libby @Overdrive.  Figuring out how long I have to wait for each book.  So far, I’ve already downloaded three books as “loans.”
  • Son #2 took a road trip this week with his three kids, Alec, Aubrey, & Aaron; here’s a shot of them at the Grand Canyon…beautiful setting!

  • Here are Brett and two of the kids taking selfies:

 

  • I thought my youngest grandson (age 15) would be spending the weekend, but he’s going to his dad’s instead.  That works, as now I won’t have to scramble to arrange activities during the Easter weekend.
  • Speaking of Easter, I loved finding adorable photos of my great-grandniece, Margaret, who looks ready for spring in this one:

  • And doesn’t she look grown up in this shot?  Is that hot chocolate?

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How is your week shaping up?  Do you have plans for the weekend?

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A BLISSFUL FRIDAY…WITH COFFEE & BOOKS

Good morning!  Let’s grab some coffee and chat.  I am a big fan of coffee, and in my quest to find the perfect pot of coffee, I sometimes go astray.

The last bag of coffee that I purchased was not my favorite:  it was a milder flavor, and didn’t quite do it for me.  I accidentally picked up the wrong kind!  Then I found a rich and dark blend, and I’m enjoying the first pot of that this morning.  Yum!  Usually I only  feel this burst of flavor when I go to Barnes & Noble to read and sip their coffee, where I order it with two shots of Espresso.  But I’m too lazy to get dressed and go there on most mornings.

I might go this afternoon, though.  I’m feeling a little stir crazy. 

Last night I finished reading Two Girls Down, by Louisa Luna…my third book of the week.  (Click for my review).

Next I plan to start reading one of my March NetGalley ARCs:  The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian. (Release Date – 3/13).

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened.

I loved The Guest Room!  It was also a NetGalley ARC…click for my review.

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I’ve been waiting for this book for months!  I have loved several books by this author, and the anticipation has been palpable.

So…imagine me curling up with Pippa, my Kindle…another cup of coffee…and bliss.

How is your day shaping up for you?

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COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, BLOGGIESTA, & NETFLIX

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, featuring our bookish and not so bookish thoughts, hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

It has been a quick (and not that productive) week.  I have been doing some Bloggiesta tasks, since it is coming on February 3-4.  Typically I started early.  My focus this time will be this very blog, although I’ve been making some changes on some of my other blogs. 

  • My Sign-Up Post is HERE.
  • I have finished reading and reviewing one book, Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown (click for review).  The 585 pages were more than my usual, but the story kept me engaged and there was nothing tedious about the book.
  • I’m halfway finished with Fire & Fury...and The Great Alone is moving along and keeping me engaged.  I am spending most of my time on the latter book, as it is a NetGalley review book.
  • On Sunday, I ran some errands…and then stopped for this delicious Tomato Basil Bisque soup with a Strawberry Margarita.  I was reading Seeing Red while I ate.

 

  • I’ve added two new books to Pippa this week (so far).  One  was a book that came out in 2015, but I couldn’t resist downloading it when I saw one of the characters on Season 4 of Grace & Frankie reading it…and I also remembered that it was on my list!  Fates & Furies, by Lauren Groff, is a dazzling examination of a marriage, and also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. 

  • Then I downloaded The Wife, by Alafair Burke…a book I’ve been eyeing for quite a while.

  • When I go to Facebook these days, I steer away from the angry commenters…and focus instead on friends’ photos, like this adorable one of my step-great-granddaughters who are now four:  Bella and Lilly…

  • Or how about my great-niece America with her kitty.  She is nine:

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  • Then I scrolled over to my granddaughter Fiona’s page, and enjoyed seeing the new look in her room:

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Already I am feeling more upbeat, with changes on my blogs; lovely books, some already read and some newly purchased; and lovely photos of family.  How is your week unfolding?

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FRIDAY THOUGHTS: BOOKS, SOCIAL MEDIA, ETC.

My mornings in this little office nook are productive…but sometimes frustrating.

I love blog visiting, and even connecting on Facebook, but sometimes I have to steer myself away from that site.  There is a lot of hate there.  Especially in response to some of the thoughts written by FB friends.  Disagreement about the political situation in our country has turned to venom from some. 

Those FB friends to whom these thoughts are written should probably change their privacy settings and block some people.  Not that we can’t handle disagreement, but when it turns dark and menacing, we may need to take a different stance.

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I am going to stay away from the FB feed for a while, and read only the comments from friends.  I have a good book to read.  Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan, is capturing my interest, and I love the various perspectives offered.  We see the past, in the 1990s, when the main characters were at Oxford…and then the present, with a very scandalous trial going on, with one of the primary characters charged with rape.

 

Synopsis:  An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

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In books, and in life, there are different perspectives about events that transpire.  I am enjoying this one.

What are you reading?  What captures your attention?

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COFFEE CHAT: ASSORTED TIDBITS….

Welcome to our last Thursday Coffee Chat before Christmas.  I decided to pair my coffee with a Christmas cookie, which was one from a package I bought…yes, I buy my cookies!  Baking takes too much time and counter space.   Anyway…check over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

This week has been flying by.  I did binge-watch the ten new episodes from The Ranch…and every time I watch it, I vow to stop.  I can’t stand some of the characters…lol.  But I do enjoy Debra Winger and Sam Elliott.  Is it my age?  The youngish guys are just idiots.  My own youngish adult children like this kind of humor, though, so it must be my age and my generation.

  • I watched Ellen DeGeneres today, and one of her guests was Barbra Streisand (speaking of age!).  Barbra has a new Netflix show (The Music…the Mem..’ries…the Magic) that begins tomorrow.
  • The other night I recorded The Year: 2017, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to watch it in bits and pieces.  We already know it was a horrific year, with violence from people and nature…but to see it all unfolding…it was almost overwhelming.
  • I’m going back to watching Hallmark Christmas movies now, just to get past the angst.
  • Only one book read and reviewed so far:  Snap Judgment (Samantha Brinkman Book 3), by Marcia Clark (click for my review).  I loved it, just as I’ve enjoyed the first two books in the series.
  • One of these days I hope to read Without a Doubt, her book about the O. J. Trial.
  • Currently reading:  Wonder Valley, by Ivy Pochoda; halfway finished.
  • Earlier in the week, I started reading Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward…but gave up on it after the first chapter, which is really unusual for me.  Obviously I’m in the minority, as I see many rave reviews about it, and it won prizes.  So…I guess it’s me, not you, little book.  LOL.  I didn’t connect with the narrators at all.  I do normally love the themes, though (drug abuse, dysfunctional family, poverty, etc.).
  • Does it seem as though I’m apologizing for not loving what little I read of the book, or that I gave up so quickly?
  • Moving on.  Yesterday I downloaded a new release that I’ve been eyeing:  The Girl in Times Square, by Paullina Simons.

  • On a lighter note, last week I mentioned my plan to change up my nail color…which I did.  If you’ve already seen the photo on one of my other blogs (or Facebook, lol), I apologize for the repetition.

  • More photos from abroad:  Aubrey had a friend capture this cute photo of her and my eldest son (her Uncle Craig) in a snow globe…

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So…that’s it for today.  Come on by and let’s chat. 

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COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, MOVIES, & VICARIOUS TRAVELS

Good morning!  Let’s have another cup of coffee and chat.  Connect with other friends over at Bookishly Boisterous.

The sofa (above) is the one in my office, where I have been hanging out lately.  There is a nice TV in the room now…and my laptop, too, of course (below).

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  • While I have been nesting in my cozy spots, my second son Brett has been in Spain, Ibiza, and now Prague…where his daughter Aubrey will be attending a semester of college.  Here are some of my family members in Prague:

  • My vicarious travels are working for me…so far.  But even though I’m not headed to far off places any time soon, my third son has tempted me with these beach photos near where they live, in the northern part of the state.

  • What else is happening here?  I finished binge-watching Nurse Jackie, and wrote some thoughts about it over at Hump Day Serendipity:  Creating My “Happy Moments.”
  • Bloggiesta has begun….and I had already started ahead of time, as usual.  Check out what I’ve done here…
  • I also watched Season 7 of Offspring....
  • Now I’m ready for the Netflix movie based on Our Souls at Night, with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford….coming September 29!

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Now I’m ready to cozy up with books and movies…but first, I’m going to visit some blogs and chat.

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HOPE: MY ONE WORD THAT GUIDES ME…

Earlier today, I was revisiting some of my earlier blog posts, and realized that I haven’t talked about my One Word since May, when I wrote Hope:  More Important Than Ever.

And at that time, I was sharing about my allergic reaction to hair dye.  Well, that reaction happened again in July…so I have decided that I am done with dye.  All the hope in the world couldn’t keep the rash at bay.

But…here’s what I’m hoping now.  That there will be something great about going natural.  How bad could it be?  LOL.

Lately, I’ve been noticing gray hair on people I know or see around (I’m assuming that my natural hair is probably gray, but I have only seen hints of it over the years…hidden, under the dye, but making a brief appearance at times).

Meanwhile, I am enjoying my books, as usual, and hoping to read as many of my purchased books as possible by year’s end (for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge).  So far, I’ve read 71, and should have completed another by the end of the day.

I have a dwindling stack of print volumes, too.  The most recent stack is on my living room coffee table:

 

In my office, there are two short stacks with a total of 11 unread books (older ones than those on my living room coffee table).  Not bad.  There is HOPE that I will finish at least some of these.

Reading print volumes has turned out to be a challenge…occasionally.   Some of the nonfiction books, especially, have a tiny font, making reading them tedious.  I should check these things out before I buy…except, most of them came from Amazon.

I am hopeful that I will somehow rise to the challenge.

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What gives you hope and helps guide you through your days?  Do you find it in books?  People you know and love?  Or in your interior moral compass?

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