PicMonkey Collage-DEC 7-resized


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 new leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at The Book Date.


The week got off to a plodding start, with two books that just dragged.  They almost zapped away my Reading Mojo….but I prevailed.  I reviewed them, 3.5 stars each, which I hardly ever do.  Then I was saved, after grabbing one of my NetGalley books; I was back!  On the reading fast track.  Its review won’t be up for a couple of weeks, since its release date is early January.

I’m still bingeing on Netflix…and watching movies on the DVR.  Yesterday my daughter and I caught up on all of our gossip during my hair styling appointment.  She is a fun daughter, usually, but then our conversation turned dark as we talked about the sadness in San Bernardino.

Finally I saved my mood by turning my thoughts to a family get-together last Saturday, with just some of my family…my second son and his daughter Aubrey; and two of my grandkids,  Dominic and Fiona, with their friends.  That cheered me up, just thinking about it.


The Group on nov 28, 2015 -



Musings: Books that Engage Me

November Wrap-Up: Celebrating the Holidays

From the Interior: “The Guest Room”

How a Novel Came to Be: “An Accidental Life”

Hump Day Potpourri: Waiting for “She’s Not There”

My Year in Books: Numbers, Favorites, & Patterns

Dealing with the Consequences…& Distractions

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts: “Where We Belong”

Quotes from the Interior: “Where We Belong”

A Potpourri of Celebratory Moments


Review:  All the Houses, by Karen Olsson

Review:  All the Stars in the Heavens, by Adriana Trigiani

Review:  The Guest Room, by Chris Bohjalian-(Release date – 1/5/16).


INCOMING BOOKS (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty mailbox!  But I did download two review books from NetGalley…and purchased two downloads.

Missing Pieces (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf (NetGalley – Release Date – 2/5/16)






The Widow (e-book), by Fiona Barton (NetGalley – Release Date – 2/16)





Books I Purchased:

What She Knew (e-book), by Gilly MacMillan




The Broken String (e-book, novella), by Diane Chamberlain





How to Burst Through a Reading Slump, from Trish, at Between My Lines

First Book of the Year 2016, from Sheila, at Book Journey.



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

Lately I have been all over the place, picking up books here and there.  I’m hoping to establish a tiny bit of order in my bookish world, so perhaps I will try to stick to these choices:

Angels Burning (e-book), by Tawni O’Dell (NetGalley)





Forever, Interrupted (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid





November 9 (e-book), by Colleen Hoover





And maybe….

Wildflower, by Drew Barrymore



And just for fun, because I love Drew Barrymore, I ordered (and received) an old movie from her childhood:  Irreconcilable Differences, starring Drew, of course; Ryan O’Neal; Shelley Long; and wait for it!  Sharon Stone.


movie irreconcilable diff

I used to have a copy….but I lent it out to someone, back before I started keeping a list of borrowers…LOL.

I think I’ll watch it today!

So…that was my week…what did yours look like?  Join me in a cup of coffee!





  1. I’m glad your reading mojo prevailed! Books can make or break our reading moods, no doubt. Some of your recent books, like The admissions and Reid books, are interesting to me. Forever, Interrupted looks good and the cover of the O’Dell book is interesting!

    Glad you got some family time, nice pic of your get together. In these times being with family reminds us it’s not all bad. 🙂 Have a super weekend.


  2. I also sought out family this week. When things seem so out of our control it’s good to know we can turn to loved ones, isn’t it? I hope you have a lovely week.


  3. I hate when I get in phases where my reading isn’t bad but it’s not great either and just feels super uninspiring. Glad you were able to bust your way out of it! Looks like you had a lovely get together with your family! It’s nice to really get a chance to connect especially with all the craziness around us.


    • I agree, Katherine, and my spirits were definitely lifted. I can count on my kids and grandkids to understand my weird sense of humor and my sometimes OCD tendencies. We can make fun of ourselves.

      And I was happy to finally settle on a book that engaged me all the way through. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your week.


  4. Looks like a great time with your family!! Glad you got on track wit your books this week. The Widow looks good. I hope you enjoy What She Knew – I really loved it. Also can’t wait to see what you think of Forever Interrupted and November 9. That coffee looks lovely! Have a great week!


    • I hope we both love it, Barb….and I am a big fan of Drew…I’m glad she seems to be happy in her personal and work life.

      I did watch the DVD Irreconcilable Differences…I loved it as much today as the twenty or so times I’ve seen it in the past…LOL. The child Drew plays could have been created from some of her own life stories…and it all seemed so poignant, knowing that she had gone through a lot of the same things.


  5. Good to hear your reading mojo came flying back! I’m a teensy bit jealous that you have a copy of the new Heather Gudenkauf, the copy on NG wasn’t available for the UK (yet?) I also have The Widow and of course the Gilly Macmillan is going to make my top ten for 2015! Happy reading, and reflecting.


    • Thanks, Cleopatra, I am very excited about all of my books…and as for my reading mojo, I sailed through The Guest Room and I’m burrowing into Angels Burning. I’m back! For now, anyway…LOL.

      I know from your review of the Gilly MacMillan that I’m in for a treat. Glad you could stop by, and enjoy your week. I hope you get Missing Pieces soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a coworker pass away unexpectedly last week, right before Thanksgiving so I can empathize with you feeling down. I also tried, and have been trying, to focus on the positives. It’s not easy, I admit, but I’m getting there, along with the help of the staff at our library, my wife, my parents, and my sister.

    On a lighter note, as always, I have to ask so what did you watch on Netflix?


    • Thanks, Bryan, and the support of family and friends is the best. I’m still watching The West Wing, now almost on the fourth season…and Jessica Jones is patiently waiting in my queue for afterwards.


  7. Yeah the San Bernardino news was devastating. I grew up in Redlands and my parents still live there. How unusual a place for this brutal terrorism to happen. I’m glad you got to visit with your kids and grandkids (everyone needs to after this). & glad your reading mojo is back!


    • Thanks, Susan…my older brother, who passed away years ago, was a professor at the university there.

      I can’t help but think that all of this encroaching terrorism and violence tells us more about us and our laws than anything else. Gun laws anyone? Enough, I guess…that’s a sensitive topic for some.

      I’m glad you could stop by…enjoy your week.


  8. Glad spending time with family gave your mind a diversion from the horrible events this week…it always works for me, too. The story just keeps getting worse as more details emerge. Will be curious to hear what Obama says tonight.

    Hope the week ahead is a good one!


    • Thanks for stopping by, JoAnn, and I dread the ongoing news coverage that seems excessive at times, and it just intensifies the horror, IMO.

      Meanwhile, it’s books and blogging for us, right? Enjoy your week.


  9. Those books that sap your reading mojo are annoying. In my rating system 3.5 stars are still pretty good books. I’ve become a bit more picky this year and gave out more 3 stars, but most of those are still series I want to continue. I hope you’ll enjoy November 9, I heard good things about it!


  10. You know, I’ve seen a ton of reviews for November 9. I finally put it on my TBR list, but since I’m so swamped with library books, I haven’t put it on hold yet. I can’t wait to read your review on it!

    I’m glad you were able to push through your reading slump. I’m still trudging through mine, even though I’m really enjoying the book I’m reading. I haven’t picked it up today, yet. I thought maybe just focusing on everything else would help recharge my reading batteries a bit more before finishing the last 25%.

    Hope you have a fantastic week!


  11. Good to hear you found a book you liked. It is hard to continue to read after a couple of disappointing books. I love Drew Barrymore and I admire her for changing her life around. I loved that movie too. The shootings in San Bernardino was heartbreaking but it’s good you had time with your family to lift up your spirits. I hope you have a great week!


  12. Hate it when books are just so-so, they just make me dopey and off reading and then its a joy to find one that lifts up again. Yeah that shooting in San Bernardino was tragic. I so hope that solutions can be found.
    I requested Missing Pieces but haven’t heard so maybe/maybe not!


    • Thanks, Kathryn, and I do despair when such tragedies seem to befall us all too frequently. But it’s also wonderful to have reading and blogging, as well as family time to balance us.

      I love Heather Gudenkauf’s books, so I was delighted to find this title. I hope you’ll get it soon, too, and have a great week.


  13. Thank goodness you rescued your reading and mood, the news of late has been so sad. Always joy to be found with family. Argh I must have Heather Gudenkauf’s new one, off to request lol. I think I read The Broken String, that’s the prequel to The Silent Sister isn’t it?
    Have a good week and enjoy your new reads.


    • Thanks, Teddyree, and yes, The Broken String is a prequel to The Silent Sister. I was surprised to discover it, since the TSS came out a while ago. But delightful, nonetheless.

      I am on my second engaging book now, so maybe the week will be better! Enjoy your week….


  14. Yeah, it was a tough week! Glad family, reading and Netflix have been helping. All your new books look excellent! I enjoyed Forever, Interrupted a lot though it’s a heart-wrenching one. Have a good week 🙂


  15. There is definitely a lot of sadness around the world these days, Laurel-Rain. It seems I can’t read a newspaper or watch a news-cast without some horrific news being shared with us. I really hope it will calm down and become a bit more peaceful.
    Your new books look great this week! Especially “What She Knew”, but of course, I hope you’ll enjoy them all.
    Have a wonderful week and happy reading.


    • Yes, Lexxie, we could all use a little Peace on Earth about now…and reading that engages us.

      I am excited about What She Knew…it seemed to take FOREVER to arrive, since I couldn’t find an ARC anywhere.

      Enjoy your week…thanks for stopping by.


  16. I think a/w is a funny old time for reading… I’ve seen it a lot around the book community and have been experiencing it myself. I’m ploughing on with reading but hoping once the new year arrives I’ll have my reading mojo back in full force.

    Diane Chamberlain and Heather Gudenkauf are two authors I only discovered in the past couple of years and have been reading a lot of their backlist; I’ll have to check out some of their newer works soon.

    Happy reading!


    • Yes, I love finding books that engage me, and dread the ones that don’t. I’ve been doing the same with Diane Chamberlain and Heather Gudenkauf…they are post-blogging discoveries for me as well. Thanks for stopping by, Jade, and have a great week.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Laura, and while Trigiani’s newest wasn’t a favorite for me, I still look forward to each of her publications. And I love having family around. They are kind of spread out, from Southern to Northern California…and then to Europe, but we manage somehow.


    • Oh, yes, Peace on Earth would be a great thing to have in this season, with no more violence.

      Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl, and I am delighted about my recent reads. I’m also eager to dive into What She Knew. Enjoy your week.


  17. It was a rough week for sure with the shooting. But glad you got to spend time with your daughter and have fun! I also do love family get togethers and I’m excited for Christmas to get here because of that! Thanks so much for stopping by my Sunday Post earlier, and have a great week!


    • Thanks, Buffy, time with family can heal all wounds….and then again, sometimes family can create some wounds, too, as we worry about the choices they make!

      But reading is a great escape, if the books are engaging. Luckily, I am reading a good one now.


  18. Yes, another disheartening week. So tired of these tragedies. Why can’t we all try harder to make the world better? Sigh…. Hopefully this week will be better. I really loved November 9, I hope you do too. Have a wonderful week, Laurel.


  19. I don’t want to dwell for too long on what happened a few days ago here, but living about 1 1/2 hours away from the tragedy and having the local news displaying excitement over discovering new horrifying facts, well… I turned to Amazon Prime to watch Bosch, Hulu for Elementary, and my newer books. I need to disengage a bit from this media storm, not in the sense that I don’t care, but that I care too much 😦
    You have a beautiful family and should be proud of them. Glad you had some fun visiting with your daughter.


    • Thanks, Rita, and I don’t like the way we are overloaded with images and news of these events…it’s like they want to bombard us with it all until the pain is unbearable. The same thing happened with 9/11….for days we saw nothing else.

      At those times, I am glad for a way to escape.

      I do love Amazon Prime and Netflix, as a way to accomplish the escape.


  20. There are more and more of these shootings in our country. It’s horrific, scary, disgusting, and disturbing all rolled in one. Getting your hair did is always fun though and how lovely to have some QT with your daughter. I used to go all out on my hair (cut and highlights at a swanky salon) but while being a young mum to now, that has dwindled down to only the basic haircut. It’s all good though as now I’m saving more money for us with cheaper, but good quality haircuts I’ve been able to find since our move.


    • For years, especially when I had young children and then for most of my career, I had basic hairstyles that I could do myself. Some were pretty horrible…LOL.

      Now that I am retired and my daughter is a stylist, I am allowing for the pampering…and the price is right (free!).

      I agree about how terribly often these shootings are happening…and when the news outlets show them over and over, we are almost desensitized to it all…it probably feels like a TV show after a while. I wish that didn’t happen…sigh. And I wish someone would take a look at why this is occurring…insufficient gun laws, perhaps?

      Thanks for stopping by, Stefanie.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Your family get-togethers always look like fun!

    Nice book week. I have a copy an advance of What She Knew, but I’ve fallen sadly behind on my reading since I picked up a part-time holiday job. The extra money is nice, but I feel the crunch on my former free time!


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