BOOKISH THURSDAY #26: 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 I Found You, by Lisa Jewell, the story of a single mum, Alice Lake, who finds a nameless man outside her house on the beach.

 

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In this excerpt, Alice’s friend Derry has come over for tea and a chat, with her son Danny.  They talk a little about the man Alice found, and then they prepare tea.

 

Derry and Danny stay for a couple of hours.  The little ones play in the living room while Derry and Alice sit in the kitchen and drink tea.  Jasmine returns at four o’clock, soaked to the skin with a wet rucksack full of GCSE coursework, no coat and no umbrella.  Kai comes back at four thirty with two friends from school.  Alice makes spaghetti for tea and Derry stops her opening a bottle of wine on account of her having to go home.  She and Danny leave at six o’clock.  It is still raining.

***

Spaghetti sounds good, but it would have been better with the wine…sigh.

***

 

 

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My TBR book today is Dream Lover, by Elizabeth Berg, a book I bought in April 2015.

 

 

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I don’t know why I haven’t read this one, because I love this author.  Perhaps it’s the historical element that has put me off.  Here’s the synopsis:

 

At the beginning of this powerful novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name—George Sand—and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle.

Paris in the nineteenth century comes vividly alive, illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society. Sand’s many lovers and friends include Frédéric Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugène Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, and Alfred de Musset. As Sand welcomes fame and friendship, she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, failure and loss. Though considered the most gifted genius of her time, she works to reconcile the pain of her childhood, of disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter, and of her intimacies with women and men. Will the life she longs for always be just out of reach—a dream?

***

It sounds good, doesn’t it?  I think it’s a buried treasure that I must bring out.  What do you think?

***

 

 

 

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  • My week has gone by fast, as usual, with triple digits again;
  • I had a dental appointment, and will have two more before the treatment is done.  I’m not a fan;
  • My daughter is on her cruise this week; she left last Thursday, so she may be home tomorrow.  Here’s a photo she sent from the ship.  It looks like they’re having fun;

 

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  • Currently I’m reading Siracusa, an electrifying novel about marriage and deceit from bestselling author Delia Ephron that follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where the secrets they have hidden from one another are exposed and relationships are unraveled.

           Alternating narrators tell the tale, and we get to see the secrets and flaws of each character, and although I’m loving the story, I am not fond of any of the characters.  Especially the one child, Snow, who is spooky strange.

 

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  • Today I watched another episode of Vexed on Netflix, and I think I might just abandon it.  The two detectives are kooky and a little inept, which doesn’t work for me in the long haul;
  • I switched over to Parenthood.…and then decided to watch an Amazon Prime video, Shattered, with Gerard Butler and Maria Bello, two parents who are held at gunpoint by Pierce Brosnan, while a woman cohort has abducted their child;
  • Now I plan to watch American Gothic on TV, a show that I inadvertently got addicted to, while not planning to watch more than the first episode;

 

***

That’s it for this week….what has yours been like?  Lots of iced tea kept me hydrated on this hot day.

 

 

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #24: 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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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.

***

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!

***

 

 

tbr-thursday

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.

***

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.

 

The beach on Memorial Day - 2016

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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.

 

 

july 27 breakfast

  • 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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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.

***

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.

 

***

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?

***

BOOKISH THURSDAY #22: 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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I am currently reading Paris Runaway, by Paulita Kincer, and my “foodie section” happens back in Florida, where the single mom lives with her two daughters.  In this excerpt, the mother, Sadie, is talking about colleges with her daughter Scarlett.

 

 

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***

“It had been early spring, in the midst of travel soccer season, so most evenings were hectic with practices or games around town.  That night, with no game scheduled and practice finished, we’d been sitting at the round dining room table, my class lesson plans and books pushed to one side, while we ate burritos.  I tried to imitate the burritos at Chipotle, a favorite restaurant of teenagers, by providing rice, black beans, grilled chicken, salsa, cheese, sour cream and lettuce.  Then we each filled our own tortilla shell and folded it shut.

Scarlett sat moving her food around the plate with her fork, probably thinking how much she preferred actual restaurant food.  I kept up a general monologue about my classes and students.  I tried to avoid peppering Scarlett with questions about school and friends.  I wanted to wait for her to “come to me” as the parenting books advise.

“I guess we need to get busy visiting colleges,” I’d said as I put down the burrito, which had begun to deteriorate as beans and rice fell to the plate below.  I decided to attack it with a fork.

“Hmmm,” Scarlett responded.

***

I do love burritos, and I enjoyed the conversation between mother and daughter, so typically one-sided.

***

 

 

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My TBR Thursday book is one I’ve had for a while, hiding away in the cloud.  I have had In the Woods, by Tana French, since August 2014.

 

 

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What is holding me back from reading this one?  The 600+ pages?  Here’s the synopsis:

 

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

***

I love murder mysteries, secrets and buried memories.  What do you think?

***

 

 

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My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

  • It has been a good week for reading.  I’m on my third book, halfway finished, and so far, all my books are keeping me engaged;
  • While writing a blog post earlier, I decided to peek back into the history of that site to see what I’d been writing about in July 2010.  Here is what I found on my July 15, 2010 Potpourri blog:  A Potpourri of Changes.  A pipe had burst in the walls, and my life was in upheaval for the two days it took to fix everything;
  • In an August 26, 2010 post, I wrote about some of my collections:  A Quirky Tale.
  • Today, I wrote a post on An Interior Journey about my efforts to achieve balance (my One Word for the year), in My Interior World:  Checking My Balance;
  • The photo, below, shows my Office Nook where I spend a lot of time; I just ordered a new carpet cover to put under the office chair.  You can’t really see it, but the current one is pretty old and my chair catches on the broken places;

 

curl up in cozy office - july 12

  • My Netflix viewing has diminished.  After finishing Season 4 of OITNB, I started watching Wallander, but then I lost interest in that one.  Occasionally, I’ve watched a few episodes of Parenthood, which I loved when it was on the networks;
  • That’s been my week so far….here’s dinner from a couple of nights ago, at my “new/old” little dining room table;

 

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What did your week look like?  What are you reading, writing, or thinking about?

***

BOOKISH THURSDAY #21: 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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For Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts, my excerpt comes from my current read, Clouds in My Coffee, by Julie Mulhern, Book 3 of the Country Club Murders.  Our MC, Ellison Russell, seems to stumble over dead bodies or become the target of murderers…without even trying.  The story is set in 1974, in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

 

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In today’s snippet, Ellison has been targeted twice:  once at an auction, and next when someone fire bombs her house.  The next morning after the gala hosted by her mother, when the woman who took the drink meant for Ellison has died, she is feeling especially vulnerable.

 

The smell of bacon lured me from my bed.

God love Aggie; she’d come to work on a Sunday.  This called for a huge bonus.  Normally on Sundays, Grace and I fended for ourselves.  That usually meant take-out pizza in front of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie or Kojak.  Tonight, given that I had a house full of guests, I’d planned on upping my game with Chinese.

I washed my face, brushed my teeth and hair and threw on actual clothes before I headed to the kitchen—after all, there was no telling who’d be clustered around the island.

Just Marjorie (her sister).

“You cook?” I asked.

“Don’t you?”  My sister wore capris and a sweater.  How nice that she possessed clothing capable of covering more than twenty percent of her body.  She should wear it more often.

“Not really.”

“Eggs and bacon?”  She grabbed a hot pad holder and pulled out a loaf pan that filled the air with the scent of banana bread.  “I left this in the oven to keep it warm.”

***

Yum…sounds good, right?  I am a big fan of eggs and bacon, especially since I seldom have them.

***

 

 

tbr-thursday

 

TBR Thursdays, hosted by Kimberlyfaye Reads:

 

I have had The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin, since November 2014.  It sounds like a book I would enjoy…so why is it still languishing on Pippa, my Kindle?

 

 

 

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“Funny, tender, and moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love.”*

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.

“This novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love–love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory.” —Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child

***

What do you think?  Have you read it?  Should I start reading it now?

***

 

 

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Here are some Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts, hosted by Christine.

 

  • Fourth of July was a quiet day for me, with reading, movies, and Netflix.  But the weekend before, I had my youngest grandson, Noah, age 13, spending a couple of days.  He brought his X-Box, and we hooked it up in my bedroom, where he seemed very comfy with the set-up.  I watched the whole Season I of Marcella, on Netflix in the living room;

 

Noah enjoying X-box-July

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  • Before he settled in, we spent some time at Barnes & Noble, and then had burgers at Red Robin;

 

July - Noah with burger

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  • Currently I’m enjoying the book mentioned above, Clouds in My Coffee...and also The Beauty of the End, by Debbie Howells;
  • Met a friend at Starbucks this morning for coffee and danish…and it was still cool enough to eat and drink outside, which is rare these days with our triple digits;
  • Yesterday, I had to take my car to the dealer for an airbag repair; there was a recall.  The car was there all day, but luckily the dealership provided shuttle service home and back.  I didn’t get my car until almost 6 p.m., so I headed straight for The Elephant Bar...and had this repast:

 

 

july 5 dinner

 

 

***

  • While I ate, I continued reading Friction, by Sandra Brown, which I finished…and reviewed last night.  Click the title for my review;

 

 

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That’s about it for my week so far.  What did yours look like?

 

Madeleine on June 15 - coffee

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #20: 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 snippet has been taken from my current read, The Perfect Girl, by Gilly MacMillan.  Our MC Zoe is a talented pianist, but she is also a girl with a past.  In her new life, which she calls Second Chance Family, she and her step-brother Lucas are performing one night.

 

 

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After the performance, during which something very dramatic happened, the family gathers for food.  Zoe has made an innocuous comment to steer them away from talking about what happened earlier:

 

It’s my mum who’s coming now and she’s carrying a plate of bruschetta and a pile of napkins.

“Paper napkins, I think, for a garden supper,” she says.  She hasn’t heard what I said and I don’t repeat myself.

We sit around the table and Chris pours wine:  a full glass for him and Mum, but just a half for Lucas and me.  Tessa covers the top of her glass.  “Water for me now, I think,” she says.  “It’s so hot.”

***

A very tense meal ensues, and before the night is over, tragedy will strike.

***

 

 

tbr-thursday

My TBR Thursday selection is a book I’ve had since September 2014.  Desolation Row, by Kay Kendall, is a story set in the 1960s, with themes of protest and an escape to Canada.

 

 

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The flight to avoid the killing…
It’s 1968. The Cold War is hot, the Vietnam War is raging, and the women’s movement is beating a far-distant drum. When Austin Starr’s husband decides to protest the war by emigrating from Texas to Canada, she goes along, with the biblical dictate of “whither-thou-goest I will go” ringing in her ears.

Leads to murder…
No activist herself, Austin is homesick, drowning in culture shock, and now, her husband has been accused of murdering a fellow draft resister, the black-sheep son of a U.S. Senator. Alone and ill-equipped to negotiate in a foreign country, she is befriended by Larissa Klimenko, the daughter of Austin’s Russian history professor.

A desperate race to find the truth…
The Mounties aren’t supposed to harass draft-age boys but the truth is very different, especially when political pressure is applied by both the victim’s father and the Canadian prime minister’s office. They may have a reputation for always getting their man, but Austin is convinced this time they have the wrong one. Once courted by the CIA, and a lover of mystery and espionage novels, Austin launches her own investigation into the murder. When ominous letters warning her to stop her sleuthing turn into death threats, Austin must find the real killer or risk losing everything. Her love—and her life—are on the line.

***

What do you think?  Should I read this one now?  Later?  I know what drew me to it, but is it something that appeals to me now?

***

 

 

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Here are some Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

 

tax-time

  • Tax time is long past, right?  So why am I still impatiently waiting for my state tax refund?  Well, the State Franchise Tax Board and the trust that handles my pension each made mistakes, which, after many calls back and forth…and mail, too, they finally tell me that I should be getting my refund shortly.  That was two weeks ago!  And my return was filed five months ago.  GRRR!
  • While waiting for something that I sometimes believe will never happen, I try to keep busy reading, and staying indoors to avoid the triple digit heat…105 today!  The sun was shining in rather brightly in the morning (below);

 

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  • Of course, I didn’t leave the window open…it was time to close it up and turn on the air conditioning;
  • I haven’t watched much Netflix this week, as some of my favorite TV shows are back from hiatus:  Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles, The Fosters…and a new show I’m enjoying:  American Gothic;
  • I’m reading The Perfect Girl, by Gilly MacMillan, and loving the twists and turns and the multiple narrators, which offers the opportunity to decide which of the unreliable narrators is more likely to be telling the truth;

 

 

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  • Earlier today, I was playing with PicMonkey, and also another site, trying to create “cartoons” of some of my photos, like these:  (the one on the left is a photo of mine from 1978, while the one on the right is a recent one);cartoon me 3

 

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What I actually want is for someone (like my granddaughter) to draw a cartoon sketch of one of my photos.  To use on the blog…or wherever.

The above are examples of what happens when I’m hot and bored…lol.

What did your week look like so far?  Come on by and share!  The drink below is a great way to cool down in this weather!

 

 

 

jUNE 8 - POMEGRANATE MARTINI

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #19: 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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In today’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts snippet, my featured book is Beach Blues, by New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio, who invites you to spend the summer by the sea, in a quaint New England beach town where friends and love await just outside the cottage doors.

 

 

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Kyle Bradford, who runs the diner in Stony Point, is starting a new day, with some extra summer help.

“Catch you later, boss.”

“Wait.  What the—”  But when another waitress clips three new orders to his carousel, he grabs them and starts sizzling bacon and cracking eggs before things get ahead of him.  And it doesn’t take long for that to happen, not with the way Sal keeps clipping orders on the carousel, which he then gives a spin before turning back to his customers.  So Kyle wants to witness this Wall Street dude working the floor, waiting tables.  He steps back from the stove and sure enough, there’s Sal in the diner:  laughing, talking, patting folks on the shoulders.  Kyle shakes his head and gets cooking, doubling up on the eggs—sunny-side-up and scrambled—and waffles and buttermilk pancakes, sprinkling them with powdered sugar and chocolate chips, getting the home fries crisp, and adding extra toast slices.

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I love breakfasts, especially the kind with eggs, waffles, pancakes…and more.  Yum!

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For TBR Thursday, hosted by Kimberlyfaye Reads, I am sharing a book that I’ve had since March 2015:  Cavendon Hall, by Barbara Taylor Bradford.

 

 

 

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An epic saga of intrigue and mystique set in Edwardian England. Cavendon Hall is home to two families, the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them. Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, lives there with his wife Felicity and their six children. Walter Swann, the premier male of the Swann family, is valet to the earl. His wife Alice, a clever seamstress who is in charge of the countess’s wardrobe, also makes clothes for the four daughters. For centuries, these two families have lived side-by-side, beneath the backdrop of the imposing Yorkshire manor. Lady Daphne, the most beautiful of the Earl’s daughters, is about to be presented at court when a devastating event changes her life and threatens the Ingham name. With World War I looming, both families will find themselves tested in ways they never thought possible. Loyalties will be challenged and betrayals will be set into motion. In this time of uncertainty, one thing is sure: these two families will never be the same again. Cavendon Hall is Barbara Taylor Bradford at her very best, and its sweeping story of secrets, love, honor, and betrayal will have readers riveted up to the very last page.

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What do you think?  Should I pull it out of Kindle Purgatory and start reading?  Have any of you read it?

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Let’s share some Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts, hosted by Christine.

 

  • I’ve been reading one book all week long.  It’s a delicious beachy read, featured above…but I’ve been distracted;
  • My Netflix viewing has continued, and I finally finished Revenge.  There were four seasons with 22 and 23 episodes in each;
  • Up next:  Season Four of Orange Is the New Black;
  • I enjoyed having dinner last night on my newly arranged table;

 

 

dining room 622

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  • My son,Craig, the photographer, and his wife, went to Amsterdam where he had a job, and where they also spent some time having fun.  Here are some of the photos….Coffee is a favorite beverage, and the shops are everywhere…

 

 

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  • A Waffle shop?

 

 

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  • Here is the photographer himself, relaxing….

 

 

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  • That’s it for my thoughts….mostly non-bookish.   I’m going to settle into my cozy bed and do some more reading…and TV watching:

 

 

June 3 bedroom changes - 1

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June 3 office changes 3

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Come on by and let’s chat!

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #18: 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.

Today I’ll be featuring two books:  One True Loves, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, for its foodie snippet, and the other, The Shadow Tracer, by Meg Gardiner, because of the length of time it’s been on my TBR.

 

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For Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts:

In this scene, Emma is finishing up dinner with her family, ready to celebrate her dad’s sixty-fourth birthday:

 

The cake arrives, we all sing loudly, and my father turns beet red.  Then the servers turn away and we are left with an oversized piece of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

The waitstaff left five spoons but my father immediately grabs them all.  “Not sure why they left so many spoons.  I only need one,” he says.

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For TBR Thursday.

 

 

 

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The Shadow Tracer has been on my stacks since August 2014.  Why have I waited so long?  Here’s the blurb.  Tell me what you think.  Have you read it?

 

Sarah Keller is a skip tracer, tracking criminals who have gone on the lam. She’s also a single mother to five-year-old Zoe, living quietly in small-town Oklahoma—until an accident sends Zoe to the ER, and their life changes in a heartbeat. Medical tests reveal a desperate secret Sarah has been hiding for years: Zoe is not her daughter, but rather a girl once rescued from a nightmare of murder, vengeance, and harrowing family ties she can’t possibly remember. Sarah does. And someone wants to make sure she never forgets.

Now Sarah must abandon her carefully constructed life and take Zoe on the run. Using her knowledge as a skip tracer to stay off the grid, she must remain one step ahead of her pursuers if she is to stay alive, save Zoe, and bury the past once and for all.

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I am liking the sound of this one!

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Let’s share some Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

  • It has been another busy week, although a little bit cooler than the triple digits we were enduring.  I got a new office chair from Amazon Vine, so my granddaughter put it together for me on Saturday.   But first, we had lunch at Chevy’s;

 

 

6-11 - Nachos, margarita

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  • See the newly rearranged nook (with my roll top desk).  In last week’s Bookish Thursday, I shared photos of my reshuffling;

 

June 11 - new office chair

 

 

  • Today, the new bench arrived…I had ordered it to go with the little drop leaf table I had moved from the office nook.  My granddaughter put it together, too, although I might have been able to manage this one.  But I like having an excuse to enjoy an afternoon with her;

 

 

June 15 - new bench - 1

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  • My reading has been fairly slow this week.  I finished The Girls on Monday (click for my review), but I’m still plodding along with my second book, Tuesday Nights in 1980;
  • This weekend, a Mini-Bloggiesta has come around again, and I’ve already started doing my “improvements” on my Curl up and Read site.
  • I’ve finished Season II of Revenge, on Netflix...looking forward to Orange Is the New Black’s Season IV;
  • My eldest grandson turned twenty-one on Monday!  Below is a photo of him taken a few months ago on the terrace of his dad’s place in Hollywood.  During the school year, he is at University of California at Berkeley, where he will be starting his senior year in August;

 

June 2015 - Alec in the Hollywood condo

  • That’s pretty much all I have to share today, except that it’s hot, even at 10:00 p.m.!  Here’s the margarita I had on Saturday at Chevy’s.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

June 11 at Chevy's

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BOOKISH THURSDAY # 17: 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.

My featured book today is one I purchased in January 2015, so it has been languishing on Pippa for a while.  Lost and Found, by Brooke Davis, is an irresistible debut novel about the wisdom of the very young, the mischief of the very old, and the magic that happens when no one else is looking.

 

 

 

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In our Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts snippet, our young character, Millie, has been left behind by her mother, told to wait in the section Millie calls “the Ginormous Women’s Underwear,” where she patiently waits, watching the people, and getting hungrier as time passes.  Finally she notices a man with some food.

Are you gonna eat that? she says, pointing to a muffin.  He pushes the plate toward her.

Millie shoves the muffin into her mouth.  Why won’t you drink your coffee? she says, mouth full, pushing his coffee toward him.

I don’t want it.  He pushes it back.

Millie wraps her hands around it and leans over it, feeling the steam rising beneath her chin.  Why did you get it?

It’s nice to have somewhere to put my hands.

***

I’m not sure about this one, but the other characters sound interesting, and I’m curious about what will happen to the hungry and thirsty girl.

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Let’s find out more about this book, for TBR Thursday.

 

Millie Bird, seven years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her curly hair. Her struggling mother, grieving the death of Millie’s father, leaves her in the big ladies’ underwear department of a local store and never returns.

Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house—or spoken to another human being—since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silence by yelling at passersby, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule.

Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now that she’s gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.

Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark upon a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.

Together they will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy life.

***

Now I am more curious about the story.  It sounds quirky and engaging.  What do you think?

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Let’s share some Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

  • After several triple digit days, today was wonderfully cool at 85-90 degrees.  See, amazing how weather that might actually be fairly warm can feel cool in comparison to 102-103.
  • I met a friend for lunch today at The Elephant Bar, and I know I mention that place a lot here, but it is one of my favorites.  I had this frothy drink with my soup and salad:

 

 

jUNE 8 - POMEGRANATE MARTINI

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  • I’ve been binge-watching Revenge again, and I’m almost finished with Season I.  It is not my favorite show on Netflix, but I needed a break from the regular crime shows, which I love, but which were starting to seem a little too dark;
  • I’m reading I Let You Go, by Claire Mackintosh, a sad tale of a child killed by a hit and run driver.  We follow the mother’s actions as she escapes to Wales (from Bristol), trying to forget, while back home, the inspectors work to try to find the killer;
  • I read and reviewed Wilde Lake earlier this week (click for review).

 

 

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  • Last week, I did some furniture shuffling, moving things around to give the space a new look, and to make a few things better for my use.  Here’s my little roll top desk (formerly in my bedroom), now living in my office nook, where I am working away most days;

 

June 3 office changes 3

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  • I moved the drop leaf table that once was in this nook; it now resides in the dining area/entry way.   I hope to find some small chairs to go alongside the table;

 

 

June 5 - table, etc.

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  • Even though the temperature was cooler today, it is a temporary reprieve, we’re told.  I hope to make that trip up North to the beach town where my youngest son and DIL live.  Here they are on the beach on Memorial Day.

 

 

The beach on Memorial Day - 2016

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So that’s my week so far….what did yours like like?

 

 

may 24 another look at the patio

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #16: 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.

My featured book today is one I purchased in February 2016:  ROOM, by Emma Donoghue, a book I’ve been eyeing for a long while and finally bought, after seeing the movie.

 

 

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Today’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts snippet comes from the early pages, with our first person narrator, the five-year-old boy:

 

I count one hundred cereal and waterfall the milk that’s nearly the same white as the bowls, no splashing, we thank Baby Jesus.  I choose Meltedy Spoon with the white all blobby on his handle when he leaned on the pan of boiling pasta by accident.  Ma doesn’t like Meltedy Spoon but he’s my favorite because he’s not the same.

I stroke Table’s scratches to make them better, she’s a circle all white except gray in the scratches from chopping foods.  While we’re eating we play Hum because that doesn’t need mouths….

***

What an interesting perspective that child has!  Now I do want to read this one soon.

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For TBR Thursday:

Here’s the synopsis:  To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

***

This book hasn’t been languishing on my shelves that long, but I was hesitating.  Why?  Probably because I saw the movie already, and sometimes that changes how I see the book.  So…what do you think?

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Some Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

  • It has been pretty warm all week, so on Tuesday, after doing some errands, I treated myself to a nice lunch in the air-conditioned California Pizza Kitchen.  A Spinach and Mushroom Pizza (lunch size), a Strawberry Margarita, and a salad;

 

 

CPK on may 31

 

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  • I did some Netflix bingeing again this week, finishing Bloodline Season II…and then started watching an old favorite:  Parenthood.  The Bravermans, back in the beginning, were fun.  I recall not really liking them much at the end, since they were all pretty messed up…lol;
  • So I’ll be looking for a new crime series, preferably one of the BBC ones, since I seem addicted to those;
  • I have THREE grandsons with birthdays this month…two of them were my first born grandsons, 21 years ago, within days of each other; the third June birthday is my third from the youngest, who is turning eighteen.  Wow, right?
  • Speaking of weird spacing of birthdays, both granddaughters were born in the same month and year, too, just days apart.  They are nineteen;
  • I am feeling pretty old right about now!
  • So…on to something else.  I’m reading a Terry McMillan book, I Almost Forgot About You, the first one I’ve read in a while.  I’m enjoying it, as her characters are often funny and irreverent, and they usually have a BFF or two who adds to the humor;

 

 

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  • Earlier in the week, I read and reviewed two NetGalley books that really kept me glued to the pages:  The Girls in the Garden, by Lisa Jewell (click for my review); and Ink and Bone, by Lisa Unger, a creepy thriller that verges on horror (click!).  They will be released on 6/7/16 ;
  • I have another two NetGalley books to read this month with “girls” in the titles:  The Girls, by Emma Cline; and All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda;

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That’s it for today….come on by and chat, and please leave a link.  Enjoy your day!

 

Married to Books with Friend

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