WEEKLY UPDATES: BOOKISH MOMENTS…

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, turning the page on another week.  I did read and review three books this week, so that was good.  And I wrote seven blog posts.

I am hoping to enjoy the weekend.  I started watching a Netflix movie, Behind Her Eyes, which is based on a book I enjoyed.  So far, I’m loving it.

Let’s grab some coffee and take a closer look at the week:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Forgive Me”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Filling My Shelves…

Wednesday Reading…

Hump Day Potpourri:  A Valentine’s Day Celebration…

Another Backlog Book…

Coffee Chat:  Sweet Goodies, Etc.

Bookish Friday:  “The Paris Library

Review:  The Push, by Claire McGowanReview:  The Perfect Guests, by Emma RousReview:  Every Waking Hour, by Joanna Schaffhausen

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INCOMING BOOKS:

I received one Author Review Request book in the mailbox…and one NetGalley ARC.  I also downloaded three e-books.

Careful-ish, by Hone y Parker

Overeating. Oversharing. Overindulging. Over it all. Video chats. Not enough distancing. Alcohol. What could go wrong? And what are people doing when they think nobody is watching? Meet six friends who are COVID quarantining in The Greatest City On Earth.

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Thief of Souls, by Brian Klingborg – (NG – 5/4/21)

In Brian Klingborg’s Thief of Souls, the brutal murder of a young woman in a rural village in Northern China sends shockwaves all the way to Beijing—but seemingly only Inspector Lu Fei, living in exile in the small town, is interested in justice for the victim.

Downloads:

Let Her Lie, by Bryan Reardon

The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles

Consent, by Vanessa Springora

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CURRENTLY READING:

Hadley & Grace, by Suzanne Redfearn

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That was my week!  What did yours look like?  Here is a peek of my Valentine’s Day dinner:  Stuffed Chicken Breast.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A NEW MONTH, A NEW NORMAL?

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.

IMG_5502

Another week and another month have flown by! I only read and reviewed two books, but I enjoyed them both. I started watching Firefly Lane on Netflix, and I’m finding it addictive.

This week, I received my second vaccine! What a relief. I hope everyone will soon follow along, eventually leading us all to a safer place. Will we soon find a New Normal?

Now I want to grab some coffee and share the details of the week.

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Monthly Wrap-Up

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Every Waking Hour”

Happy Books…and a Mug…

WWW Post…

A Great Rediscovery!

Coffee Chat:  A Happy February So Far…

Bookish Friday:  “The Shadow Box”

Review:  The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi PicoultReview:  The Turn of the Key, by Ruth Ware

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INCOMING BOOKS: 

Empty physical mailbox!  I downloaded three e-books….

Hadley and Grace, by Suzanne Redfearn

The Shadow Box, by Luanne Rice

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, by Elle Cosimano

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CURRENTLY READING:  Pretty Little Wife, by Darby Kane

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That was my week!  What did yours look like?  I enjoyed this lemon yogurt cake one night.

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COFFEE CHAT: A HAPPY FEBRUARY SO FAR…

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.

Another month and a new week have slipped by, but I am just so happy to be moving beyond some of the horrific events of early January…and the whole of 2020.

I got my second vaccine shot yesterday, and so far, no side effects of note.  The usual arm soreness.  But exercising my arm works, and I’ve done that for years after my flu shots.

Today is another shopping day with Instacart.  How did my cupboards and fridge empty out so quickly?

  • I finally finished reading The Book of Two Ways, which was tedious at times…but interesting enough to keep me turning the pages.
  • Now I am back to reading one of my print books that I started earlier in the week:  The Turn of the Key, by Ruth Ware.  I think it will hold my interest!
  • Yesterday I went upstairs to the hair stylist, who is now back!  For however long that lasts, lol.  I got a trim and a curl.

  • On Monday I had a “socially distanced” visit with my daughter and youngest grandson.  They didn’t want their photo taken, so I snapped it quickly.  They each made me swear not to post it on FB…so I didn’t.  Except that the blog post will show up there, lol.  Technically not on FB.

  • They brought my Happy Mugs!  Below, see my celebration by drinking out of one of them.

  • I love those mugs…they are actually thicker than my regular ones, and keep the coffee hot for a while.  My favorite photo is of how they looked at my previous residence in a favorite cupboard.  My daughter kept the bowls and plates, but the mugs are enough for me.

  • I am eager to see what February brings us.  With the second shot behind me, I am starting to feel hopeful.

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What are you eagerly reading/viewing/and anticipating?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: GOOD BOOKS!

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 reading week, with three books read and reviewed, each different from the other. One was a NetGalley ARC for a book to be released on 2/2, so I just got it in under the wire.

As for viewing, I finished The Queen’s Gambit, and now I am scrolling through my queue for my next binge-watch.

Yesterday was a day in the apartment while the maintenance man tried and finally succeeded in fixing my plumbing! Wow! Who knew that those kinds of issues could sideline one for a day!

I am hoping for a better day.  Meanwhile, let’s take a closer look at my week, while sipping some coffee.  Monday, my daughter has promised to bring my favorite mugs (see below)…the ones that she has had in her kitchen for almost two years!  LOL.  See with coffee, and below, lined up on the counter.

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “At the Edge of the Haight”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Celebrating Books…

Hump Day Reading…

A Backlog Book to Bring Forward!

Coffee Chat:  Pandemic Fatigue?

Thursday Sparks:  Nostalgic Moments…

Bookish Friday:  “The Perfect Guests”

Treasures from the Past…and Present

Review:  Rachel to the Rescue, by Elinor LipmanReview:  The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah – (NG-2/2)Review:  Single Mother, by Samantha Hayes

INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox!  But I downloaded four e-books.

The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig

Forgive Me, by Susan Lewis

The Perfect Guests, by Emma Rous

Every Waking Hour, by Joanna Schaffhausen

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CURRENTLY READING: The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult

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That was my week!  What did yours look like?  I have been dreaming of chocolate!

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COFFEE CHAT: PANDEMIC FATIGUE?

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.

 

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post, back when I still felt the exhilaration of the Inauguration and the sight of #45’s back in the wind.  Of course that last bit hasn’t happened, and the Impeachment conviction some of us hoped for probably won’t happen either.  Sigh.  When I go to the news videos lately, I tend to scroll on past.  I don’t want to waste head space on these events!

  • In the interim, however, I am enjoying my reading and blogging.  I just finished reading and reviewing an ARC of a book that will come out next week:  The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah.
  • After I finished that rather lengthy tome, I searched my shelves to pick the next one…and actually started reading another, but then moved on to something completely different:  Single Mother, by Samantha Hayes.  I am turning the pages quickly.
  • Lately I have been staying in my apartment more and more, skipping most meals and even activities offered.  Then, on Sunday, I went to all three meals and yesterday I went to two.  But today is going to be another “hermit” day…unless something changes.  Why is this happening?  Things should be looking up, right?
  • But maybe the news alerts that hint at more violence could be at fault.  Will we never feel safe?
  • I know that Pandemic Fatigue could also be the culprit. I have had my first shot, but no word on when we will get the second one.  There are shortages…and who knows what will unfold?
  • I miss my people, like all of us do, and I also realize, as the months pass, it will soon be ONE YEAR that I have been locked down here (since March 11!), with no escape except one doctor visit in October!
  • Meanwhile, I love looking at my new Mary Engelbreit calendar.

  • It hangs next to my kitchen cabinets.
  • I have also done my usual blog changes, and created some new headers this week:  First, Potpourri:

Then I changed up my Serendipity blog header:

  • You might also notice a few tweaks in this blog header.  So that’s what I do when I feel frustrated, depressed…or just bored.

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I would rather get a mani-pedi, though, which isn’t going to happen any time soon.  How do you deal with Pandemic Fatigue?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A FEW STEPS FORWARD…

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.

A great week!  I read and reviewed three books, all of which I enjoyed; I wrote five blog posts; and I immersed myself in the Inauguration Day activities. 

The Queen’s Gambit is on my Netflix queue, and even though I don’t really watch chess, I am intrigued by this show.

Let’s grab some coffee and take a look at the details of the week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Blood Orange”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Bookish Joy…

WWW Reading…

Rediscovery from Way Back…

Bookish Friday:  “Before She Disappeared”

Review:  The Wife Upstairs, by Rachel HawkinsReview:  The Push, by Ashley AudrainReview:  The Cousins, by Karen M. McManus

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INCOMING BOOKS:

I received one book in my physical mailbox!  Then I downloaded three e-books.

Kamala’s Way, by Dan Morain

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Downloads:

Before She Disappeared, by Lisa Gardner

The Forever Girl, by Jill Shalvis

At the Edge of the Haight, by Katherine Seligman

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CURRENTLY READING: Rachel to the Rescue, by Elinor Lipman

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That was my week!  I did enjoy all of my books…and especially felt the relief that came on January 20 with the Inauguration.  Here is a shot of #46 signing some executive orders to help our beleaguered country during these difficult times.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A NEW NORMAL?

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 January half over, I am still feeling the intensity of last year and all that it brought.  In fact, some of it has carried over into this New Year, and I hate that!  But…maybe we can begin to create our New Normal.

I had my first vaccination!  The next one comes in three weeks or so.  Hopefully.  There have been mutterings of shortages.  Why am I not surprised?Meanwhile, I am reading and blogging.  Two books, both great, and seven blog posts.  I also enjoyed some shows and movies, like the pilot of Call Your Mother, on Hulu.

Let’s grab some coffee and take a closer look.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Pretty Little Wife”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Book Love…

Wednesday Reading…

Another Book to “Dust Off”

2021 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Ignite Your Sparks:  Fueled by Hope…

Bookish Friday: “Rachel to the Rescue”

Review:  The Wrong Family, by Tarryn FisherReview:  The Love Story of Missy Carmichael, by Beth Morrey

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox!  I did download two e-books…

Rachel to the Rescue, by Elinor Lipman

Blood Orange, by Harriet Tyce

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CURRENTLY READING:  The Wife Upstairs, by Rachel Hawkins

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  May the next week and onward bring peace and calm.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: INTENSE 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.

What a week! Intensity, worry, and questions about what happens next have kept me tied up in knots…but then I turn to my books, movies, and shows. Those activities do help. I read and reviewed two great books and wrote seven blog posts.

I enjoyed my First Book of the Year read, and then grabbed a book that resonated with me during these times in which we live.

I watched a movie that took me completely out of the situation:  a new Woody Allen film on Amazon Prime, and I could totally forget (almost) all the events of the week.  A Rainy Day in New York was not spectacular, but it was definitely distracting.

Let’s take a closer peek at the week while sipping some coffee.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Bookish New Year Tasks…

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Shelter in Place”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Obsessions…

Hump Day Reading…

Another Rediscovered Book…

Coffee Chat:  Stress Activities…

Bookish Friday:  “The Wife Upstairs”

Review:  Piece of My Heart, by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke – First Book of the YearReview:  Shelter in Place, by David Leavitt

INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox…but I downloaded four e-books!

The Wife Upstairs, by Rachel Hawkins

All the Colors of Night, by Jayne Ann Krentz

Single Mother, by Samantha Hayes

The Push, by Ashley Audrain

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CURRENTLY READING:  The Wrong Family, by Tarryn Fisher

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That was my week.  Let’s hope for a calmer one ahead!  I have no treats to display this week…but I will be dreaming of good movies and books.  My Mini-Me (Bitmoji) is feeling no pain.

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SUNDAY INTERIOR THOUGHTS…

April has been a difficult month over the years, and this one, with the Pandemic, has been a continuation of life’s challenges.  I have lost loved ones in April, over the years, and last year I wrote a post to commemorate some of those losses.

Here is my Coffee Chat from last April:

On Tuesday, I took a nap, and then woke up to the pounding of heavy winds that sounded like thunder.  When my phone rang, I picked up to hear my daughter crying.  Her BFF Jessica’s daughter Paige was killed in a car accident Monday night.  My mind carried me back to those teenage years with Jessica and Monica, close friends to my daughter, and how these women have maintained such a beautiful friendship over the years.  I call them my Other Daughters.  Paige was just a little younger than my 22-year-old granddaughters Fiona and Aubrey.  My mind takes me to a photo my eldest son captured of Fiona and Paige when they were toddlers, with their curly blond hair, looking like twins.   I wish I had that photo now!  To remember.  But here is Paige, on the right, with her mom and siblings:

  • I am sad and feeling the loss, and while I have not personally experienced the loss of a child, I have lost close family members, including several young people  (a niece, a nephew, and a step-granddaughter).  My eldest brother died early, too.  There is nothing that can replace what has been taken from us.
  • While I am trying to concentrate on my reading and blogging, my mind keeps leaping to moments and memories.
  • The horrendous winds of yesterday felt like the fierce storms of life that sweep in and capture our loved ones, with no rhyme or reason.
  • On Monday, I finished reading The Night Visitors, by Carol Goodman; (click title for my review).
  • Wednesday, I finished reading The Editor, by Steven Rowley.
  • Now I’m going to have dinner while watching The Act, on Hulu; Thursday will bring another episode from The Good Fight, on CBS-All Access.

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Today I had a lovely chat with my #2 son, who lives in LA.  He had anticipated a wonderful year running his new Irish pub…and then the Pandemic hit.

He is trying to be optimistic about the future, but none of us can actually predict how this whole Pandemic will play out.

We commiserated with each other and talked about how we are dealing by watching Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  We also shared our thoughts on how Amazon has filled the gap with shopping needs.

I am loving my bookish moments.  I also had a nice glass of red wine from a bottle brought to me last Monday by my granddaughter.  I finished off the bottle today.  Sigh.

Must buy more!  But I haven’t found any I want on Amazon.

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AN UNEXPECTED LUNCH COMPANION: EXCERPTED FROM “INTERIOR DESIGNS”

reading in rstaurants

Martha’s assistant, Caroline, enjoys taking a break at a nearby mall…with a good book.  She doesn’t expect to run into the hunk she has been lusting over.  Excerpted from Interior Designs.

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Caroline had lunch in the nearby mall most days.  She would take a book and huddle in a back corner.  Today she was reading something for her book club, thoroughly engrossed in it while waiting for her salad, when the voice she heard catapulted her back from the world within the pages.

 
“Hello, there,” he said, in those deep bass tones.

 
Even before glancing up, she recognized the voice.  She’d seen him around occasionally, even in this very restaurant.  Was that why she came here every day?  Hoping to run into him?  No, surely her mind didn’t work like that.  But she smiled and said, in an innocent, yet curious tone:  “Hi, Mr. Lowenstein.  Are you meeting Ms. Cummings here today?”

 
“No, we’re meeting tomorrow, but not here,” he added.  “I do come in here a lot, though.  You do recall that, don’t you?”  He looked amused.

 
She felt her cheeks redden as she nodded.  “But I didn’t expect to see you today.  How’ve you been?”

 
“May I join you?”  He glanced at the opposite bench in the booth.

 
She didn’t really feel up to companionship, but he was so gorgeous….Was that wrong of her, in light of Martha’s relationship with him?  Of course, who knew if they actually had a relationship?

 
“Sure,” she nodded.  She closed the book and waited for him to say something else.

 
“You and I have been like ships passing in the night,” he commented.

 
“Not really.  Yeah, I’ve noticed you here once in awhile, but that’s not unusual.  Isn’t your office somewhere near here?  And you know that mine is, as well.  Nothing odd about us running into each other.”

 
He laughed, gifting her with his magnetic glance.  “Just in case you’re feeling disloyal for breaking bread with me, I’m sure your boss wouldn’t mind.”

 
Caroline’s salad appeared, along with her glass of red wine; the server pulled out her pad and took Zach’s order:  a burger and fries.  Caroline smiled at the boyish appetites of this man.

 
She wondered how old he was.  He was probably a few years younger than Martha, so maybe he was about her age.  Not that any of it mattered.  They were just having a friendly lunch.

 
They talked about casual topics, and when Zach’s burger arrived, they ate in silence for a few minutes.

 
Caroline began to feel as though she were “getting through” a chore of some kind.  When had the lightness slipped away, replaced with these heavy silences?  Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all.

 
But Zach put down his burger, sipped some water, and met her gaze.  “Would you like to go out to dinner or a movie sometime?”  Just like that, out of the blue.

 
Frowning, she started to shake her head.

 
But he pursued the topic:  “Come on, just two acquaintances getting to know each other better.  You don’t have a big bruiser of a boyfriend who would beat me up, do you?”  And he flashed that sexy grin.

 
“No,” she laughed.  “I guess that sounds like fun.”

 
They agreed on a time for Saturday.  Then Zach stood up, grabbed his check, and leaned in to kiss her on the cheek.

 
After he had gone, she sat there for a long while, feeling discombobulated and confused.

 

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Front Cover-resized again

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