BOOKISH THURSDAY #25: 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 feature, Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty, the characters are a group of married adults, some with children, who have been through some truly horrendous (but unknown at this point) experiences at a barbecue in the recent past.  The story flashes back and forth, slowly moving toward the reveal.

 

 

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In this excerpt, we see the characters at the beginning of the barbecue, having just arrived.  Clementine has brought champagne.  The barbecue is hosted by Vid and Tiffany, who live in the McMansion of the neighborhood.  Clementine and Sam are the least well-off of the group, obviously trying to impress.  Erika and Oliver live next door to Vid and Tiffany, comfortably well-off, but not in the same league as Vid and Tiffany.

 

Erika watched Clementine try to rescue the Moet that was foaming and frothing from the bottle, while Vid stood in the middle of his gigantic kitchen, the champagne held aloft in both hands, grinning idiotically like a Formula One winner posing for a photo.

Clementine laughed as if it were all a great hoot, as if it didn’t matter that expensive champagne was being wasted.  She shouldn’t have spent that much.  It wasn’t necessary to turn up to a backyard barbecue with French champagne.  She and Sam always lived beyond their means.  The mortgage on their damp little trendy place!  Erika and Oliver couldn’t believe it when they heard how much they’d borrowed, and then they’d taken the little girls off for a holiday in Italy last year!  Fiscal madness.

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I can feel the tensions rising already, and I don’t even know, at this point, what the rest of the day will bring.

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My TBR pick today is a book I started a while ago and then set aside.  I purchased it in March 2014.   Someone reviewed it recently on a blog, and I was reminded that I once wanted to read it.  Maybe again?

You Should Have Known, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, is the story about a therapist, her oncologist husband, and their son, with everything just as she hoped it would be.  Until….

 

 

 

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Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: she lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them. But weeks before the book is published a chasm opens in her own life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only an ongoing chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.

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What do you think?  Should I pick this one up again?  Have any of you read it?

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  • As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in my Thursday post, I was headed for a little mini-break at the beach;
  • My granddaughter Fiona and I drove the 10 hour trip (plus stops) to the Northernmost tip of the state to visit my youngest son and his wife…and their dog Auggie;
  • Monday was the day of the drive, but Tuesday and Wednesday were delightful days exploring the beach;

 

August 2016 - Crescent City beach -layered waves

  • And then there were the Big Trees…and Paul Bunyan with Babe the Blue Ox;  I remember taking a road trip through these same woods, seeing those two guys…when I was just a kid;

 

August 2016 - Paul Bunyon & Babe the Blue Ox - Trees of Mystery, Klamath

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  • Dinners out, like this one in an Italian/Greek restaurant called Marlo’s, with more food than I could eat;

 

 

dinner on August 3

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  • We drove back home on Thursday, so it was truly a short trip.  I slowly unpacked while watching the shows stored on my DVR…and then there was Season 4 of Wentworth, which I had just discovered on my queue.  Of course I binge-watched all weekend until I finished it;
  • Monday, I went to lunch with my daughter, who is celebrating her 40th birthday on a cruise, leaving today.  That day, we had our only little lunch/celebration at a neighborhood restaurant, The Yard House;

 

Heather's birthday lunch - 2016

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What a week that was, and this one has been all about playing catch-up!  What was yours like?

 

 

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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #15: 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 on December 31, 2015, and even though it’s been hanging out on Pippa for a while, it is new enough to count for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.  It is Better Off Without Him, by Dee Ernst.

 

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Let’s take a look at the book, in terms of foodies excerpts:

 

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Our MC, Mona Berman, has a twenty-year marriage and three teenage daughters.  Here she is enjoying a normal morning of breakfasts, etc.  Here comes one of the teens:

That particular morning, I could see a happy kitten face beneath her grey hoodie, and her hair was in a long braid.  She carefully measured oatmeal and water into a bowl and set it in the microwave, then smiled as she poured her orange juice and said, in her very sweet, little-girl voice, “I put our DNA in Johnson already.  Is that okay?”

I smiled.  Of course it was okay.  For those who need a translation, Johnson is our minivan.  I call it Johnson after the actor, Van Johnson.  I am a huge movie fan, and I watched a lot of old movies on television when I was a kid.  The DNA she was referring to was the science project she and her sister had been working on for the past six weeks.

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Okay, I am already suspicious of this overly sweet girl.  I’ll bet she’s trouble!  lol

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Now we’ll examine this TBR more closely for TBR Thursday:

 

Blurb:  Mona Berman has it all—a twenty-year marriage, a successful career as a romance novelist, and three teenage daughters. But when her husband, Brian, leaves her for someone younger, thinner, blonde, and French, she has to step back and take a good, long look at her life.

First, her career. She can’t continue to write about “Happily Ever After,” so she changes the heroine of her new book from a hot young thing to a forty-something woman who manages to find happiness without a man. Her agent isn’t too happy—the heroine is how old? She doesn’t get the guy in the end? How is that even possible?

But Mona is tough, and she’s got Anthony, her personal assistant, and a few good friends to cheer her on and keep the stiff martinis flowing. And Ben. Ben is her plumber, but not your average plumber. He’s smart enough to know that Brian was never good enough for her, and sexy enough to be cast as the romantic lead in quite a few of her books. The sound of his voice alone can send her imagination into full romantic overdrive.

Then she meets Mitch, who might be just the guy for her. And there’s still Ben, who’s managed to come to her rescue more than once. But—there’s a book to publish, a soon-to-be-ex-husband to deal with, and what has Aunt Lily done this time?

Can Mona work this all out? Can life imitate art, and can Mona write her own happy ending?

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Why have I waited so long?  This one sounds like a fun story about the other side of romance.  What do you think?

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  • Yesterday was a good day to get out of the house, so I met up with a friend at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble.  I love having coffee, chatting, and then browsing books.  Here’s a view of the coffee shop;

 

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  • I found a couple of books on the bargain table….I’ll share more about those on Saturday’s Stacking the Shelves;
  • Afterwards, I hopped on over to The Elephant Bar, in the same parking lot, and had a delightful lunch that included a free appetizer (rewards card), a Pomegranate martini, and a salad;

 

May 25 elephant bar lunch

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  • Back home, I read a little, watched some TV…and started a new series on Netflix Revenge.  (I finished The Killing on the weekend).  I never watched this show on TV…and the first two episodes were okay, but I still prefer the murder mysteries (lol).  But who knows?  When revenge is happening, anything is possible;

 

 

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  • I don’t have much else to chat about…I guess I got it all out of my system when I visited with my friend yesterday…but on Monday, I did take my laptop and coffee out on my newly cleaned patio…which was long overdue;

 

 

may 24 another look at the patio

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What are you sharing today?  Come on by and leave a comment and link.  Enjoy the day!

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #14: 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 September 2015:  The Girls of August, by Anne Rivers Siddons.

 

 

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Friends who once met every year at the beach have not gotten together in a while.  Now they are coming together again, after one of them has died.

 

I stood in my kitchen, barefoot, anxious, muddling the sugar and mint that would spice the pitcher of mojitos I intended to ply the girls with.  They would be arriving momentarily, thus my nerves.  Had we changed too much?  Had three years been kind or cruel?  What if one of us had gotten wildly fat or depressed or mean-spirited?  Why, on earth, was I fretting so?

“Calm down,” I whispered.

I began juicing the limes.  The aroma of citrus and sugar curled through the air, and as I breathed in the tart sweet, I considered our different fates.

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Sometimes delicious mojitos are just the panacea for our hurts.

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I don’t know why I haven’t yet read this one…I enjoy the author, and a good beachy read is often just what I need.  Perhaps I’m waiting for summer?  What do you think?

Every August, four women would gather together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each year. The ritual began when they were in their twenties and their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. Their only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire to strengthen their far-flung friendships. They called themselves the Girls of August. But when one of the Girls dies tragically, the group slowly drifts apart and their vacations together are brought to a halt. Years later, a new marriage reunites them and they decide to come together once again on a remote barrier island off the South Carolina coast. There, far from civilization, the women make startling discoveries that will change them in ways they never expected.

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Some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts:

  • After finishing up a couple of Netflix shows, I searched for a while…and then found another one that I’ve immersed myself in:  The Killing. A character-driven murder mystery set in Seattle….I am on Season II.

 

the killing image

  • Tomorrow is my day with my stylist daughter…yay!  I always enjoy our chats and having her do her thing with my color and style.  I like this cartoon….

 

 

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  • My reading is sluggish this week, probably because of all the Netflix viewing.  I did read and review The Other Typist so far (click for my review)….and I’m enjoying The Ramblers. A story focused on three “lost souls” living in Manhattan.
  • Now I think I’ll watch some shows on my DVR….I need to clear it out.  Sometimes I just start to watch a show or a movie, and end up erasing it.  Like Castle...I stopped enjoying that show a while back.
  • So that’s it for this week…what are your thoughts?

 

 

Books & fairytales - may 16

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #13: 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’s featured TBR book has not been on my stacks that long.  Just since February 2016…but I am trying to clear things off sooner.  The Ramblers, by Aidan Donnelley Rowley, is a gorgeous and absorbing novel of a trio of confused souls struggling to find themselves and the way forward in their lives, set against the spectacular backdrop of contemporary New York City.

 

 

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In our “foodie” excerpt today, one of our trio, Clio, sits alone at the hotel bar.

She traces her fingertip around the rim of her empty champagne flute and surveys the aftermath of the party.  The lobby and bar are littered with wineglasses and crumpled cocktail napkins, evidence of exuberance and good cheer.  Wooden skewers with clinging shreds of chicken satay are tucked here and there.  A crimson scarf has been left behind on a velvet chair.  Towers of plates wait to be whisked away.

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Already I am sorry that I haven’t read this one yet.  I love a good party!

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Since my TBR book has not been languishing very long, I suspect it will make it to my list soon…what do you think?  Here is the synopsis:

 

Set in the most magical parts of Manhattan—the Upper West Side, Central Park, Greenwich Village—The Ramblers explores the lives of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family. During the course of one fateful Thanksgiving week, a time when emotions run high and being with family can be a mixed blessing, Rowley’s sharply defined characters explore the moments when decisions are deliberately made, choices accepted, and pasts reconciled.

Clio Marsh, whose bird-watching walks through Central Park are mentioned in New York Magazine, is taking her first tentative steps towards a relationship while also looking back to the secrets of her broken childhood. Her best friend, Smith Anderson, the seemingly-perfect daughter of one of New York’s wealthiest families, organizes the lives of others as her own has fallen apart. And Tate Pennington has returned to the city, heartbroken but determined to move ahead with his artistic dreams.

Rambling through the emotional chaos of their lives, this trio learns to let go of the past, to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds. The Ramblers is a love letter to New York City—an accomplished, sumptuous novel about fate, loss, hope, birds, friendship, love, the wonders of the natural world and the mysteries of the human spirit. 

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Moving on….let’s chat about some Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

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  • I had a great and very restful weekend, binge-watching Amazon Videos and Netflix in my “newly created” spot in my bedroom.  Normally I watch in the living room via my Blu-Ray, but this was a nice change;

 

May 7 breakfast in bed with Netflix***

  • On Sunday, my daughter and her fiance took us up to the mountains for a brunch by the lake.  Here are Heather and her son Noah;

 

Heather & Noah - Mother's Day Brunch - Bass Lake***

  • I have read and LOVED three books so far this week, and I’m enjoying my fourth one.  Is the slump behind me?  Click titles for my reviews of What We Find, My Name is Lucy Barton, and The Children;
  • Today I am reading The Other Typist, by Suzanne Rindell, a haunting debut novel set against the background of New York City in the 1920s…
  • Speaking of Netflix earlier, I watched Season II of Grace & Frankie.  The trouble with binge-watching:  you have to wait FOREVER for the next season to be available, or so it seems.  The good news, however:  Season II of Bloodlines is coming on May 24th!
  • That’s it for my ramblings today….I hope you’ll stop by, chat, and leave your links.  Have a great weekend!

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Married to Books with Friend

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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #12: 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’s featured TBR book has been on my stacks since April 2014:  Everyone Worth Knowing, by Lauren Weisberger.

 

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Our MC, Bette Robinson, has a standard dinner date every Thursday with her Uncle Will and Simon:

“Productive day?”  Simon asked Will, kissing him on the cheek in greeting.  He had showered and changed into a pair Hefesque linen pajamas and was holding a glass of champagne.

“Of course not,” Will responded, setting aside his dirty martini and pouring two more glasses of champagne.  He handed one to me.  “Deadline’s not until midnight; why would I do a damn thing until ten o’clock tonight?  What are we celebrating?”

I dug into my Gorgonzola salad, grateful to be eating something that hadn’t originated in a street cart, and took a gulp of champagne….

The salad sounds good…and so does the champagne!

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Here’s the blurb for this book that was published in 2005:

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A GIRL ON THE FRINGE ENTERS THE REALM OF NEW YORK’S CHIC, PARTY-HOPPING ELITE?

Soon after Bette Robinson quits her horrendous Manhattan banking job like the impulsive girl she’s never been, the novelty of walking her four-pound dog around her unglamorous Murray Hill neighborhood wears as thin as the “What are you going to do with your life?” phone calls from her parents. Then Bette meets Kelly, head of Manhattan’s hottest PR firm, and suddenly she has a brand-new job where the primary requirement is to see and be seen inside the VIP rooms of the city’s most exclusive nightclubs. But when Bette begins appearing in a vicious new gossip column, she realizes that the line between her personal and professional life is…invisible.

What do you think?  Should I grab this one off the stacks and read it now? Or donate it to the library?

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  • Reading has been great this week!  I read and reviewed two books so far:  Lies & Other Acts of Love (click for review), and Don’t You Cry (click for review);
  • I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix and watching Amazon Prime videos again this week.  Finished two seasons of The Newsroom and resumed watching Happy Valley on Netflix;
  • Because  my only Blu-Ray player for watching these shows is in my living room, I decided to set things up so I can attach my laptop to an HDMI cable in my bedroom for lazing about in there, too.  I had to move the furniture around a bit.  The round table (for the laptop) came from the living room, and the chest from the opposite side of the room.  The stacks of DVDs on the chest need to be moved back to the main shelves, but these are ones I planned to watch in the bedroom (in the near future).  The TV has a DVD player.  As you can tell, I’m a bit obsessed about my movies and shows;

 

may 4 bedroom changes

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  • Here are the main DVD shelves, where I’ll return the stacks once I’ve watched the movies;

 

DVD shelves in late April

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  • Below is the opposite side of the room, where I stashed the table that once stood by the TV;

 

May 3 - bedroom rearranged

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That’s my week…what was yours like?  I hope you’ll stop by and chat, leaving your links!

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