BOOKISH THURSDAY #28: SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS

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

 

 

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Today’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts snippet is from Forever Beach, by Shelley Noble.

 

 

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In this snippet, our MC Sarah Hargreave has been eagerly awaiting news that she has been approved to adopt her foster daughter, Leila.  Instead, the letter informs her that the biological mother of the little girl has been granted visitation.  As her world feels like it is falling apart, Sarah tries to focus on the “now,” advice she once received from Sam, her former boss and now deceased friend.  She will prepare a snack for Leila, and it will be a special time together.

 

She cut the apple, sliced off the core, and spread almond butter over the pieces, concentrating on each step, each slice.  The swipe of the almond butter across the juicy surface.  The wedges carefully arranged in a circle around the plate.  It’s important to give the child a sense of order.  Consistency makes a child feel safe.

But today Sarah was doing it for herself.

She poured out a glass of milk and put the glass and plate on the table in front of Leila.  It was a small kitchen; you could reach anything you needed with just a few steps.  Fridge, stove, counter, wall calendar where they marked school dates, doctors’ and therapists’ appointments, play dates and special days with colorful stickers.

***

That cozy snack time routine sounds like just the thing that child (and the foster mother) needed that day.

***

 

 

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Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts:

  • My week has been very busy, with lots of errands, some bill paying, some shopping, and another dental appointment;
  • Today was better, as I had an appointment at my daughter’s salon, and loved the pampering that went along with it.  Afterwards, she and I had lunch together at the place around the corner: Neighbors Tap and Cook House;

 

neighbors tap and

  • So far this week, I’ve read and reviewed two books…and I’m enjoying a third one.  The Girls of August, by Anne Rivers Siddons (click title for review) was enjoyable enough, although it didn’t “wow” me.  Leave Me, by Gayle Forman, (click for review) did have a “wow” factor to it, and ended up being my favorite August read.  Although I must say that there were several excellent books on my list this month.
  • I wrote my Monthly Wrap-Up Post, which reveals that I read and reviewed thirteen books in August;
  • I started a new-to-me Netflix series called Longmire.  Loving it so far;

 

 

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  • In the upcoming month, I am hoping to get some books I’ve been anticipating.  Here are two I’m especially eager to have:  The Life She Wants, by Robyn Carr: and Echoes of Family, by Barbara Claypole White.

 

 

 

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That’s it for today.  What are you sharing today?

***

BOOKISH THURSDAY #27: 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 a couple of the bookish events around the blogosphere, like Lexxie’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts; and Christine’s Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts.

 

 

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Today’s Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts excerpt comes from The Book That Matters Most, by Ann Hood.

 

 

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When Ava’s husband Jim left her for another woman, she decides to try to restart her life, which includes joining a book group.  At the first meeting, Ava approaches the wine and cheese table.

 

The book group ladies were at that table, plastic glasses of wine in their hands, munching on Camembert and grapes.

Relax, Ava told herself.  She took a deep breath and went to join them.

As soon as Ava got a glass of wine, a slender, ancient blonde in a beige Chanel suit came up to her and said, “Are you the one taking Paula’s spot, (in the book club)  Cate’s friend?”

“I am,” Ava said.

“Glad to have you.  I’m Penny Frost, the grande dame here.  Which just means I’m older than everyone else.”

***

The Providence book group sounds good to me, as their plan for the year is for each member to pick the book that mattered most to them in their life.

The wine and cheese sound pretty good, too.

***

 

 

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My Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts this week:

 

  • The week has been one of great reading, with two books read and reviewed so far.  (Click titles for reviews).   The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton, was not my favorite from this author, but it was still a good read. Behind Closed Doors, by B. A. Paris was truly a riveting read.
  • Currently I’m reading The Book That Matters Most, by Ann Hood, excerpted above.
  • The rest of the week has been busy with errands, and I also took a little break for dinner earlier tonight, at the neighborhood Marie Callender’s.

 

 

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  • My youngest son’s birthday was today.  However, we just texted, as we had our celebratory dinner earlier in the month.  He sent me some gorgeous photos of the beach where they kicked back to relax.  His wife is pictured below:

 

 

August 24 on the beach

 

  • A couple of nights ago, I rearranged the dolls in my bedroom, the ones on a couple of the shelves.  Just so the oscillating fan wouldn’t blow the hair of the hippie dolls…yes, silly, right?

 

 

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  • I am on the final season of Doc Martin, on Netflix, and I’m hoping to find another show to binge-watch when that one is done.
  • I also have some shows to watch on my DVR.  Has anyone been watching Guilt?  The Monday night episode had a startling end, and I suspect it will not resume until next summer.

 

***

That’s my week…what has yours been like so far?

***

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;

 

Heather & friends - cruise

 

 

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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.

 

 

***

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.

***

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.

***

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

***

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

 

 

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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.

 

 

doc martin

  • 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?

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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

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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

 

 

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  • 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

 

cartoon me - 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

***

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

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tbr-thursday

 

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….

 

 

coffeehigh-amsterdam

 

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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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