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 numerous complaints about our long hot summer, I am finally enjoying fall (and winter?).  We have had 50s and 60s by day and 30s by night.  We have been visited by rainy days.  All good.

Meanwhile, curled up in my cozy home, I’ve read and reviewed THREE books this week…I didn’t think I would finish that third one, with its 400+ pages, but I did.   On my Read the Books You Buy Challenge, I’ve reached the number 92!  All week, I’ve been struggling to find a balance between reading and blogging:  with nine blog posts and three books read and reviewed, did I come close?

Last weekend, I binge-watched Gilmore Girls on Netflix...and then finally, at long last, watched the movie Me Before You, which had me in tears.  I read the book a few years ago, and I’d forgotten how emotional it was!

Even as recently as last Sunday, I thought I would forego the Christmas decorations, but come Monday, I found myself dragging the bins out of their hiding places and did a little bit.  Not as much as usual, but just enough to surround me with the Christmas spirit.  Here’s a peek:




There is another miniature tree on the other table…here’s the long view:



So…what else is happening?  Let’s grab some coffee and take a look.



As I see this close-up of the tree with the Christmas coffee mug…its overall “crookedness” embarrasses me.  But the sad little tree spends most of its days stuffed in a bin.  LOL



Sunday Potpourri:  A Rainy Day of Reading, Etc.

Monday Potpourri:  Overcoming Holiday Reluctance…

Tuesday Potpourri:  “In Her Wake”

Hump Day Reading:  What’s On Your List This Week?

Monthly Wrap-Up:  Goodbye, November!

A Coffee Morning in December

Bookish Friday:  “The Other Widow”

Looking Back:  Finding Ways to “Chase Away the Blues”

Friday Potpourri:  Choices…

Review:  Echoes of Family (e-book), by Barbara Claypole Whitecropped-again-5Review:  While You Were Sleeping (e-book), by Kathryn Croftcropped-again-5Review:  Sting (e-book), by Sandra Brownratings-worms-4-cropped


INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One book (purchased) arrived in my mailbox!  Five e-books were downloaded….

White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg






Never Alone (e-book), by Elizabeth Haynes





After You (e-book), by JoJo Moyes (I had to download this one after watching the movie Me Before You!)





Sweet Lamb of Heaven (e-book), by Lydia Millet




When All the Girls Have Gone (e-book), by Jayne Ann Krentz





The Bad Things (e-book), by Mary-Jane Riley






Currently Reading:  Little Deaths, by Emma Flint (Amazon Vine Review)





And then, maybe:


The Sleepwalker (e-book), by Chris Bohjalian (NetGalley – 1/10/17)





The 4th Man (e-book, short story), by Lisa Gardner (NetGalley – 1/3/17)





That’s it for my week.  What did yours look like?  Come on by and let’s chat.  Below, check out what my lunch looks like when I stay in.  Egg on Toast, wine, and books.  And a very messy coffee table, I see.






  1. I’m loving your Christmas decorations, It’s a bit too early yet for me 🙂
    Well done on reading 3 books. I’ve been rubbish this week; real life kept getting in the way.
    I started a rewatch of Gilmore Girls the other day. It must be that time of year lol. Did you know Lauren Graham has a book out? Might be tempted with that next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I hope you liked Gilmore Girls! I still need to watch Me Before You. I hope you enjoy After You – it isn’t as good but still solid I think. We just put up our tree and decorations today. We don’t go too crazy but I like feeling in the holiday spirit! Hope you enjoy your new books and have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Greg Hill

    Hey it’s starting to look a little like Christmas over there. 🙂 Glad you had a good week- I think 9 posts and three books is pretty dang good! It’s cooled down here too although a little cooler- after a nice day early in the week it’s been 30/40’s and rainy quite a bit. But for this time of year it’s pretty normal. 🙂

    I like those miniature trees. They festive up a space without taking up a lot of space.

    I kinda want to read White Trash. I saw it referenced in one of those post- election articles I’ve been reading lol. And Never Alone looks spooky. I’ve been seeing reviews this week for When All The Girls Have Gone too- looks like a good suspense read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Greg, and I decided the miniature trees work best in my smaller space. They are already decorated and go into the bins afterwards that way.

      After reading Hillbilly elegy, White Trash should complete the picture of a unique demographic.

      I can’t wait to get into When All the Girls Have Gone…but first, I have a few others. Enjoy your week!


  4. I like the look of Never Alone!

    I did some decorating this week as well – well my mother came and forced me to. I don’t worry too much and only decorate the main living room though cos you just have to take that stuff down in a few weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deborah, and I just decorate my main room, too. Each year, I bring out fewer things…LOL. I am all too aware of how quickly time passes until they have to go back again.

      I loved Elizabeth Haynes’ previous books, so I’m excited about Never Alone.

      Hope you have a great week, and thanks for visiting.


    1. Thanks, Yvonne, I am excited that I finally got the JAK book…and I also love the decorations. Whenever I feel too lazy to do it, I remember how good it feels when they’re out and around the place.

      Enjoy your week!


  5. Awe your tree is adorbs. I just listened to the prequel to Sleepwalker this week, and hope to read it next week I love Chris. Never Alone has me curious. We always decorate the weekend after Turkey Day. It helps get me in the holiday mood.plus I never venture out to the shops and all the madness. Have a lovely week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kimberly, the weekend after Thanksgiving is my usual time, too; I also avoid Black Friday. But this year, for some reason, I didn’t do it. But by Monday, I was getting out the bins. LOL.

      I have three miniature trees that I usually set around the living room, but this year, I only brought out two.

      Enjoy your week! I also love Bohjalian’s books.


    1. Thanks, Whitney, I loved finding just the right decorations for each of the two miniatures when I got them…and then I store them still decorated. So it’s not a lot of work to bring them out, but I always dread it anyway…LOL.


  6. Nice decorations, but then your home is always decorated to the hilt with wonderful things 🙂

    I read your three book reviews from last week- all appeal, maybe While You Were Sleeping, and I’ve read an Elizabeth Haynes so maybe Never Alone. I’ve yet to see Me Before You. Is it on Netflix now? If it is, I’ll watch it this week. Have fun reading all those great books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I do love decking the halls.

      As for Me Before You, I haven’t checked to see if it’s on Netflix…I watched it On Demand. I should have checked Netflix first!

      I loved a couple of books by Elizabeth Haynes, so I’m eager to begin Never Alone…but first: there are a few others ahead of the new ones. It is tempting to start with the newest.

      Thanks for visiting, Rita.


  7. Your Christmas decorations look great, Laurel-Rain! I think that sometimes, less is more 😉 We don’t have a lot of decorations already out, we usually wait until we’re closer to Christmas.
    I found the movie Me Before You to be more moving than the book, actually… I loved how the actors played their roles, and I cried more…
    Your new books look awesome, and I hope you’ll enjoy them 🙂
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Lexxie, and I agree with you about the movie. My experience with books into movies often comes down on the side of the movies for emotional impact. But I think the actors being so great was a plus, too.

      Enjoy your week, and have fun in Amsterdam.


  8. Despite a late one at the Christmas party last night my tree is now up, wreath on the door and the light up tree on the balcony! I’m loving the look of your books, I do hope you enjoy The Bad Things as much as I did – that was a real find! I really want Little Deaths too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Cleo, and I haven’t had Christmas lights anywhere for years…but I love seeing trees and wreaths lit up.

      Thanks for sharing The Bad Things…and I hope to love it. I finished Little Deaths early this morning, after getting up very early. I couldn’t put it down!

      Enjoy your week.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Good to see that you are going to read White Trash. I’ve heard great things, and I’ll be holding a group-read of it in November & December of next year, so I’ll watch for your thoughts! Of course, you’re welcome to join us if you don’t read the book long before then. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rachel, and I do sometimes have a book on my stacks for a while (case in point: I still have some unread from 2014 and 2015!). But I suspect I will get to it sooner.

      Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your week.


  10. Literary Feline

    Your little crooked tree has its own personality. 🙂 I don’t think you should be embarrassed by it. I am enjoying the cooler weather too. I’m really curious about White Trash and look forward to reading your thoughts on it, if you review it.

    I hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wendy, and it’s funny about the crookedness…from certain angles, it looks perfectly straight. LOL.

      I enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy, so I think reading White Trash soon will complement what I learned in that book.

      Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting.


  11. I like your little crooked tree. I am glad you got a few decorations up. It always seems like so much work to me to decorate for the holidays, and I dread it, but it went faster this year, I think because the kids are old enough that they can pretty much do the tree. I am curious to think what you will think of Me After You. I tried to read it this spring right after my mom’s diagnosis, and I just didn’t like it at all so I put it aside. It could have been because of my mood and the circumstances. Anyway, hope you have a happy week. Enjoy your lovely cool weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Heidi, and I read Me Before You three years ago; I didn’t remember loving it as much as the movie, although in checking my review on Goodreads, I gave it five stars.

      I think I dreaded seeing the movie, because I have to be in the right frame of mind to deal with quadriplegia, especially in young people after an accident. I worked with this population in my early days as a social worker, and it was challenging to keep my emotions in check.

      I also dread putting up the decorations, and then find that the process goes quickly. Especially since I bring out fewer things each year…LOL.


  12. katarguelles

    I love your Christmas decorations especially the little crooked true. It’s adorable. I wasn’t feeling up to decorating so I put my daughter in charge. It’s nice to give up that responsibility lol. I still haven’t read or watched Me Before You so hopefully I can read this next year. You are doing really great on your reading challenge and next year I plan to focus more on the books I have. I hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks,Kathy, and the way I keep buying books, this challenge will be an ongoing one!

      I love giving up some of the holiday responsibilities. For a while, some of the grandchildren helped me decorate, but now they are all “too grown-up” to help.

      I did turn over hosting Thanksgiving to my daughter a few years ago, but she opted out last year, and now we both are guests at her in-laws’ home. LOL.


    1. Thanks, Anne, some of my favorite decorations were the handmade ornaments I gathered over the years, but each of my kids took some when I moved out of my bigger house. So I switched to the miniature trees and decorated them once. They go away in the garage, fully decorated each year. Although the trees do get squished…hence, the crookedness. LOL


  13. Lovely to see your festive pictures, December is now upon us and Christmas will be here before we know it. I hope your preparations are going along nicely.

    There are a lot of books on your list this week that catches my eye. The Lisa Gardner, Jayne Ann Krentz and Elizabeth Hayes books to name a few. I hope you enjoy After You, Me Before You is one of my all time favourite novels.

    Have a lovely week and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Melinda, and the whole thing about the boxes, etc., makes me avoid the decorating sometimes…but I only brought out the contents of one bin this year! Very lazy. Enjoy the process and your week!


  14. Yay for eggs on toast, partial to it myself. I wonder is it the living alone thing. Looking nice and Christmasy, I haven’t done anything – yet. Hm I passed on the movie of Me Before You but loved the book. Might view it at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Kathryn, and I do enjoy that part of living alone: eating eggs at lunch or dinner, and setting up the meal at the coffee table.

      I’m glad I finally watched Me Before You, as it touched me emotionally even more than the book.

      Have a great week!


  15. I love decorating for the holidays, I am 80% there. So many amazing books. I am currently reading a Elizabeth Hayes, love her books. I look forward to Sleepwalker, I enjoyed Guest Room this year. I also just read While You Were Sleeping. I should read After You as I enjoyed Before You.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth, I do love making my nest cozy…and while I don’t have a lot of guests here, I luxuriate in it for my “me time.” (And I love sharing photos on my blog).

      I envy those who get to meet Chris B…he wrote such kind comments on my review of The Guest Room. I also loved Midwives, and can’t wait to read The Sleepwalker.

      Enjoy your week, and I tried to get The Good Daughter from NetGalley, but my request was declined. I thought: what??? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I feel personally rejected. LOL

      I will keep trying to find it (Vine?). Or wait until it’s released. Thanks for stopping by.


  16. The Cue Card

    Ahh I like the decorations! I found the Me Before You movie quite good and I thought it lived up to the novel, didn’t you? I was enchanted by the actors in the film. You are on a roll with your reading & blogging, wow inspiring! I see you got the Sweet Lamb of Heaven book. It’s a bit of a doozy. I’ll be interested to see what you think of it whenever you get to it. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan, my decorations are mostly what I bought after I moved into this condo. The kids took all of my old ones, the ones that fit bigger trees. LOL.

      I am looking forward to Sweet Lamb of Heaven, which I saw on your blog, and you did make it sound really tempting.

      I loved the actors in Me Before You, too; I had never seen either of them before, but they were perfect for the roles, I thought. Have a great week!


    1. Thanks, Nise, and for some reason, I’m really finishing books right and left this week. Three books so far! Well, one of them was actually as short story. But I find that the thrillers go pretty fast.

      I also dread getting out the decorations, and have to talk myself into it. LOL. Enjoy your week!


    1. Little Deaths was a book that reminded me once again of why I’m glad that things have changed (for the most part). Set in the mid-sixties, the MC (Ruth Malone) didn’t fit in with the women in Queens, whose primary focus was husband and children. A single mother who worked as a cocktail waitress, she also enjoyed the company of men. She was harshly judged by the neighbors (and by the cops) when her children went missing. It never let up! She was convicted because of her lifestyle and the judgment of others.

      I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for visiting, and have a great week.


  17. Susan @ The Book Bag

    I love your decorations. I still haven’t gotten mine out yet. Just can’t seem to get in the spirit, it just crept up so fast this year.

    I have all 3 of the Jojo Moyes books on my TBR pile and I just need to get them read. I have heard so much about them. Someday, sigh.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Nice week, lots of good book choices there.

    My Christmas decorations are a festive tablecloth, a small ceramic tree, and a few other Christmas-y knick-knacks. I stopped most of the decorating years ago because I hated having to take the stuff down and put it away!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: Books That Caught Our Eye | Mailbox Monday

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