Posted in BOOK REVIEW

REVIEW: FLIGHT PATTERNS, BY KAREN WHITE

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A story with themes about journeys beginning and ending, the patterns of flight innumerable, the destination always being home, Flight Patterns takes us along for the ride. We find out more than we ever hoped to know about bees, we learn about loss and those who choose to stay apart rather than to forgive. And finally, we learn about how healing can begin.

Georgia Chambers, living her life in New Orleans, has stayed away from the family home in Apalachicola, Florida, ever since something happened between her and her sister Maisy Sawyers ten years before. Between the two of them, they are keeping the secrets and hanging onto the pain.

Meanwhile, their mother Birdie has not spoken a word for all that time, and the past is suddenly churning up, threatening to explode, right when Georgia returns to Apalachicola with a client in tow. James Graf is hoping to find out about a unique china pattern that belonged to his mother, a Limoges pattern with a unique design of bees circling it. And Georgia happens to be an expert in antiques. She also recalls seeing a soup cup in her own family home, one that might be part of the set.

What will Georgia discover in her quest for the china’s history? How will it take her to a family secret in France, one that might just have something to do with Birdie’s silence? How will a stolen truck only recently recovered help them all sort out the puzzle? And what will finally bring Georgia together with her sister Maisy, her niece Becky, and start the forgiveness process?

What a great story! I must admit that Georgia was my favorite character, with Becky my second favorite. I never warmed up to Maisy, really disliking her tendency to blame everyone else and not acknowledge her own faults. But in the end, she started to grow on me. James was delightful, and I kept rooting for him and his own healing. 5 stars.

Posted in Bookish Thursdays

BOOKISH THURSDAY #24: SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS

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Welcome to Thursday, a day that once seemed lost, with nothing exciting happening anywhere.  But then that changed, and today I am celebrating some of the bookish events around the blogosphere, like Lexxie’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts; Kimberlyfaye’s TBR Thursday; and Christine’s Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts.

 

 

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Today’s featured “foodie” quote comes from Flight Patterns, by Karen White. 

 

 

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Estranged sisters Maisy and Georgia have reunited after ten years because Georgia is searching for a china pattern for a client.  A pattern that might be one that their grandmother collected.  Despite the tension, the sisters and the client are enjoying some meals together.  Today, Maisy’s daughter Becky has joined Georgia and her client James at Aunt Marlene’s house. (Set in Florida, but Georgia lives in New Orleans).

 

Georgia (narrator):  My stomach growled as I spied the food on their plates and smelled the bacon, forgetting my next question involving why James and Becky were sitting at Marlene’s table.

James stood and pulled out a chair for me.  “Why don’t you eat first?  Becky brought these biscuits.  Maisy made them.  They’re pretty good.”

“Are they as good as mine?”  I’d meant it as a joke, but I realized it hadn’t sounded like one.

I slid into the offered chair as Marlene placed a full plate in front of me, along with a steaming cup of coffee.  “I enjoy having all my limbs attached, so give me a moment to answer that.”  James sat down.  “I think both are equally delicious and different.”

“Good one,” Becky said, offering her clenched hand for a fist bump.

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I’ve noticed that I find mostly breakfast foods for these excerpts.  Biscuits are especially delightful, as they seem to be a major part of Southern meals.  I would like some now, please!

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My TBR book today is Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell, a book that has been languishing on Pippa since December 2014.

 

 

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Synopsis:   Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.

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I’ve enjoyed Fangirl, Landline, and Attachments from this author…so I’m not quite sure why I haven’t read this one yet.  Perhaps I have to be in the mood to read about teenage misfits.  What do you think?  Have you read it?

 

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  • Finally I have arranged for a little trip up north to the beaches of Crescent City, along with my granddaughter Fiona.  I thought we weren’t going to be able to go, as she wanted her puppy to come along…and that was not something I could imagine for a 10 hour car trip.  Everything came together, though, she found someone to watch her dog and we’re leaving on Monday; we’ll be staying with my youngest son (Fiona’s dad), and his wife.

 

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  • So I have a list, have taken the car in for a tune-up, gathered up some luggage, and had a little celebratory brunch this morning at Mimi’s.  Quiche and a Triple Berry Mimosa.

 

 

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  • This will be my first beach getaway in years!  How is it that I’ve become such a stick-in-the-mud homebody?  Oh, yes, blogging and reading.  And Netflix.  This week, I’m engrossed in a new series recommended for me, since I’m so fond of the British shows.  This one is actually set in Cornwall, and it’s Doc Martin, which lots of folks have already seen, I’m sure.  I just started Season II.

 

 

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  • Now that I’m actually going away, I won’t be posting from Sunday through Wednesday next week, most likely; I was going to take my laptop, but decided…no, I should unplug.  I will have my iPhone, however, and can visit some blogs…maybe.
  • My Kindle (Pippa) is coming, of course, and I hope to get started on my August NetGalley reviews:  Damaged, by Lisa Scottoline, and The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena.  Then again, I might not get much reading done.

 

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That’s it for today, and I hope you’ll stop by and chat!  I’ve been drinking iced tea this afternoon while hanging about visiting blogs.

 

 

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Posted in WWW Wednesday

HUMP DAY READING: PRESENT, PAST, & FUTURE READING

June 3 office changes 3-WWW LOGO

Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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Current Read:

I am reading Flight Patterns, by Karen White, after putting it off for a couple of months.  Now I wonder why I waited.  I am enjoying it, as the underlying dysfunction and secrets are very slowly meted out, and while I might guess, I am sure I’ll be surprised.

 

 

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The New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Glass and coauthor of The Forgotten Room tells the story of a woman coming home to the family she left behind—and to the woman she always wanted to be…

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JUST FINISHED:

The Orphan Choir, by Sophie Hannah, (click for my review), is a disturbing story of what happens when one woman desperately misses her seven-year-old son, Joseph, who is a boarder at Saviour College, run by a Dr. Freeman. The story is a mix of madness, despair, and ghostly warnings. Even as I kept imagining one scenario, another would appear. I thought I would discover that the husband and Dr. Freeman were playing cruel tricks on Louise. But I was wrong.

 

 

 

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

As a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz, I was excited to learn of her upcoming release, When All the Girls Have Gone, coming on November 29, 2016.  I requested it from NetGalley, and fingers crossed, I should receive it in the near future.

 

 

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When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished. 
 
Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.  
 
After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…
 
When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way…

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What are you reading and anticipating?  Come on by and let’s chat.

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Posted in Weekly Updates

WEEKLY UPDATES: CRICKETS BEGONE!

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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 week flew by, and while the temperatures were slightly cooler (90s on most days), it was too warm to spend outside.  It was a busy week, with the exterminator coming on Wednesday to deal with the cricket problem…which seems to have worked.  Knock wood!

I left the apartment after the spraying, as recommended.  Went to Barnes & Noble for a bit, then The Elephant Bar for lunch…and finally, to my daughter’s salon for a spiff-up (trim and color).

My carpet cover arrived on Monday, and now I can slide around in my chair happily.  Note:  this new chair arrived a few weeks ago from Amazon Vine.  Who knew?

 

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I read and reviewed THREE books this week…and I now have 44 books completed for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

No thrillers this week, just sweet books about family, relationships, and interesting characters.  Today I took  Pippa with me and headed to Marie Callender’s for some soup and iced tea.

 

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I watched a delightful Netflix series this week…and finished it.  The Last Tango in Halifax.  I’ve been enjoying the British offerings for a while, from the police procedural shows to the family sagas….and I have almost developed an accent.  Or at least have added some expressions to my repertoire.  LOL.

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  New things, Creepy Visitors…

Monday Potpourri:  Musings….

Tuesday Potpourri:  Intros/Teasers – “Here’s To Us”

Finding My “Blog” People:  Likes & Dislikes

Hump Day Potpourri:  The Exterminator Is Coming!

It’s Hump Day:  Past, Present, & Future Reading

Bookish Thursday #23:  Serendipitous Moments

Bookish Friday:  “Falling”

Pinpointing the “Before” & “After” Moment:  Excerpting “Web of Tyranny”

Review:  Vinegar Girl (e-book), by Anne Tyler

Review:  One True Loves (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Review:  Falling, by Jane Green (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE:

Check out A.J.’s post, at Read All the Things:  Why Diverse Books Matter To Me

Here is Katherine, from I Wish I Lived in a Library:  Ramblings from the Stacks:  Magic Words in Book Blurbs

 

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty mailbox!  I did download a NetGalley review book, though.  Yay!

 

The Couple Next Door (e-book), by Shari Lapena (NetGalley – 8/23)

 

 

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How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . . 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  The Orphan Choir (e-book), by Sophie Hannah

 

 

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I have a number of books from which to choose this week…so I’m not going to decide right now.  But I am eager to follow my moods and my whimsical leanings….Perhaps one of these….

 

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So…that was my week.  What did your week look like?  Right now, I’m enjoying iced tea in one of my vintage tumblers.

 

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Posted in BOOK REVIEW

FALLING, BY JANE GREEN

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Emma Montague may be British upper crust, with a boarding school and university education, and she may have done well in the banking world, both in London and later in Manhattan.

But what Emma truly wants and hopes to find in her new life in Westport, Connecticut, is something completely different. A homey and lovely life, with gorgeous interior designs. She starts out designing for local women, and creates a show place of her own in the little cottage she has rented. The cottage next door to her landlord, Dominic Di Franco, a bartender at the Fat Hen, and a sometime carpenter. And the father of six-year-old Jesse.

They become friends fairly quickly, and although Emma insists to her friends, like Sophie, who lives nearby, that he is not her type, something begins to happen between them.

Learning Dominic’s story, about how Jesse’s mother Stacy left them when Jesse was a tiny baby, Emma is drawn into this little family. Yes, there are times that Jesse is jealous and possessive, not wanting to share his father. But he clearly loves and adores Emma.

Falling is a beautifully rendered tale of unexpected love, the way life changes to accommodate that love, and how the past connections sometimes interfere and create conflict.

I loved the author’s descriptions of the developing love and family feeling between Emma, Dominic, and Jesse. I also enjoyed visualizing the before and after creations Emma brought to life. The settings made me feel as though I was visiting the lovely community, almost as if I were a part of it.

The unexpectedly dramatic and sad culmination left me in tears, but I also rejoiced at the way life brought the characters to a place of true discovery. A place of finding what they needed. Not necessarily what they wanted, but just what would feel like home for them. 5 stars.

Posted in Bookish Thursdays

BOOKISH THURSDAY #23: SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS

bookish thursdays

Welcome to Thursday, a day that once seemed lost, with nothing exciting happening anywhere.  But then that changed, and today I am celebrating some of the bookish events around the blogosphere, like Lexxie’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts; Kimberlyfaye’s TBR Thursday; and Christine’s Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts.

 

 

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My foodie excerpt today comes from One True Loves, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

 

 

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Our MC, Emma, lost her first love, presumably, in a helicopter accident a few years ago.  She is starting over with an old high school friend-turned-love, Sam.  They are enjoying an outing of a symphony and dinner.  Emma is our first person narrator.

“I’m ravenous,” I said to him.  “I realize we ate dinner but I just had that tiny salad and now I feel like I could eat a full meal.”

Sam laughed.  “Should we stop somewhere?” he asked.

“Please,” I said.  “Somewhere with french fries.”

Soon enough, I was eating a hamburger with the wrapper still half on as Sam and I walked down the street in black-tie attire.  Sam was holding the rest of the bag in one hand—I’d already eaten the carton of french fries—and drinking a chocolate milk shake with the other.

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My TBR book today is The Life List, by Chrissy Anderson, which I downloaded in March 2014.  Again, like many books hanging out on Pippa endlessly, I don’t know why I have not yet read this book.

 

 

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Synopsis:  When she was just sixteen, Chrissy Anderson made a life list…

…The outcome is a dream husband, a career to envy, and the kind of best friends every girl wants. Then out of nowhere…an affair. What would you do if you realized the life you created wasn’t right for you? You think you know the answer? Think again. Follow Chrissy as she lies and cheats and ultimately learns to tell the truth to herself and those that she loves.

At twenty-eight, Chrissy has been steadily checking off the boxes on her life list as she mocks the style and life choices of everyone around her. She’s got it all—or so everyone thinks. Her life begins to fall apart when she unexpectedly meets a much younger man, Leo, who makes her question just how perfect her “perfect life” really is. With the help of her no-nonsense therapist, Dr. Maria, Chrissy learns more about herself than she anticipates. But it isn’t until she stares an untimely death in the face that Chrissy is catapulted into an overdue reality check. Only then does she scramble to correct the mistakes of her past…trying to figure out if it’s her husband Kurt, her lover Leo, or both that she has to leave behind to make everything right.

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What do you think?  Should I toss it?  Or read it soon?

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  • What a week!  Last Friday, I spent an hour-and-a-half Skyping with my son in Prague.  It was a wonderful chat, catching up.  We don’t Skype as often as we once did, due to scheduling and time differences.
  • This week, I finished reading Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler…and loved it. (Click for my review).

 

 

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  • Yesterday I started reading One True Loves, (see above).  A captivating read about choice…and unexpected events.
  • I opened an e-mail today, and found an ad from Grove Atlantic, sharing that a 50-year-anniversary edition of Valley of the Dolls is being released!

 

 

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  • Some of you may have read about my Cricket Saga…yes, a couple of crickets appeared, days apart, but they freaked me out enough to lead to calling the exterminator.  The last straw was that, even though I saw no more than two, I heard a chorus of them coming from behind the washer and dryer!  Yikes!  So he came yesterday, and I had to vacate the house for a few hours afterwards.
  • I hung out at Barnes & Noble for a bit…sipping coffee and reading.  I even bought a bargain book (Lisa Gardner), but then later got home (after I could go home again) and had a strange feeling as I looked at it again.  I have already read it, and my copy is in the Kindle Cloud.  Have you ever done that?

 

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  • In the afternoon I went to my daughter’s salon, where she trimmed and colored my hair, and it was another opportunity to chat with her.  Even though we live only a few miles apart, her schedule is very time-consuming.  And next month, her birthday month, she and her fiance are going on a cruise to Ensenada, etc.  I was invited, but I have this thing about boats and too much water….
  • After not being obsessed with any Netflix show at all for a couple of weeks, I found myself addicted to another British drama:  The Last Tango in Halifax.  Loved it.  Stayed up until midnight last night finishing the final episodes of the last season (there were three).  I cried, I laughed, I shouted….yes, there were wonderfully flawed and sometimes annoying characters in unexpected situations.

 

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That’s it for this week…I think I’ll try not to find another Netflix show for a few days, anyway, so I can resume reading.  What did your week look like?

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Posted in WWW Wednesday

IT’S HUMP DAY: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE READING

June 3 office changes 3-WWW LOGO

Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING:

I just started One True Loves, from Taylor Jenkins Reid, a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

I am enjoying it so far, but that is no surprise to me, as I’ve loved every book I’ve read by this author.

 

 

 

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JUST FINISHED:

Yesterday, I finished reading and reviewing Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler (click the title for my review).  A lovely book, the characters came alive on the pages.

Our MC Kate is a woman who says what she thinks, never mind what anyone else expects from her. Like many eldest daughters in Anne Tyler’s novels, Kate is the one her father expects to do his bidding. To set aside her needs for his own selfish pursuits, which to him seem necessary. He believes he should come first in her eyes.

The story unfolds, showing us how sometimes events take unexpected turns.

 

 

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EAGERLY AWAITING:

Behind Closed Doors, by B. A. Paris, is a book I’ve been anticipating for a while.  Not long to wait now!  It will be released on August 9, and I have it bookmarked on Amazon.

 

 

 

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Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.

You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

From author B. A. Paris comes a thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.

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What are you reading and planning to read?  What are your thoughts on the books you have already finished?

 

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