It has been a cozy morning so far, sipping coffee and reading blogs. 

Yesterday was a complete change of pace, as my daughter called at 8:30, asking if I would hang out with Noah for the day.  She was having a late day, and he is still not back in school (next week).

So I agreed, and, of course, the two of us had fun.  We went to Barnes & Noble to hang out for a bit, and left with comic books for him.




I had Sparky with me and continued reading If I Stay while he shopped.  Finished it a little while later (click for my review).




I knew that I would have to finish this before the weekend, when the movie is released.  I keep seeing previews and wanting to be there in the audience already.

Funny how I am drawn to YA books when they have been made into movies.  Perhaps I just love books with characters that engage me, and I can’t imagine engaging with the characters in some YA novels.  But that’s okay.

I guess that I love the tearjerkers, as I enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Fault in Our Stars, etc.

As a matter of fact, I have discovered that the easiest way to capture my interest in a different genre than my usual is to discover the book on Vine.  This next week, I’ll be reading another one that is not my “usual.”  Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang.




Earlier today, I read a great review of Accidents of Marriage, by Randy Susan Myers, on Rita’s blog:  My Home of Books.  I’ve also seen Patty raving about it at Books, Thoughts, and a Few Adventures.

Of course I have pre-ordered it, and meanwhile, I’m thinking I should download one of her earlier books.




Perhaps The Comfort of Lies?  What do you think?





So while yesterday felt like it might be a day that would pull me away from my books, Noah’s desire to go to the bookstore, and then his total immersion in his books and video games after, gave me ample opportunity to enjoy a bookish day.

Here’s an earlier photo of Noah with Heather…after a day at the beach.  The kid knows how to have fun with adults.


heather and noah together

How is your Hump Day shaping up?  Anything special happening?



cozy clutter


Yes, there is something about this photo that makes my fingers tingle, wanting to straighten everything out.

But then I look at the cozy clutter of it all, especially set against the backdrop of those perfectly arranged shelves, and somehow it speaks to me.

I have been discovering more and more Pinterest images, and I’m especially fond of the bookish ones.  This is one I found last night, when I was restlessly trolling the ‘net, waiting for something to post.

I like inserting these images in posts…or on blog headers, like the one you see below.


PicMonkey Collage-august 13 quirky

Love the book bench in the upper right, too.

Okay…enough procrastination!  I am reading an awesome book that I wasn’t sure of after I’d picked it.  Yes, it had the “psychological thriller” aspect to it.  But there were teens in a unique therapeutic classroom.  And I thought…enough already with the troubled teenagers.

They do remind me of my last years as a social worker, when I had a caseload of fifteen teens who had bombed out of every home and now were on their “last chances.”  And yet how, despite the strikes against them, there was something about them that kept me engaged.  And rooting for them.

The kids in this novel are like that.  You want to kick them out, but then you want to keep trying.  The Furies, by Natalie Haynes, is a psychologically complex, dark and twisting novel about loss, obsession and the deep tragedies that can connect us to each other even as they blind us to our fate.




It took me a bit to realize that when the narration is in the present tense, we are in the aftermath of what has happened.  Most of the story alternates between what happened before and what is happening now  And as we see the past unfold in bits and pieces, we realize, finally, what is about to occur.  And I am cringing at the level of obsession going on with these young characters.

But I’m a big fan of obsessions….although there is a difference between the kind of obsession in this story, and the kind that has us blogging obsessively, or searching the ‘net for images.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself these days…LOL.

After reading Belzhar, I thought that I had reached my limit with these YA books…but guess what?  Another is headed my way:  Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang.





This one was scheduled to arrive yesterday…but somehow, I never made it to the mailbox.  Today!

What are the days and nights of blogging and reading like for you?  Any obsessions?  Books you are eager to read?




Here we are LATE on Sunday, and I’m just now getting around to my Sunday Potpourri post.  That’s because I’ve lazily been enjoying my Sunday.

Earlier, I finished reading and reviewing The Wrong Girl, by Hank Phillippi Ryan, (click for my review!); the second book in a series that is new to me.




Then I watched some movies stored on my DVR…and started reading Belzhar, by Meg Wolitzer, which is captivating, especially since I don’t often read this genre.  But I enjoy this author, so I decided to take a chance.  So far, so good!





And then, curious about my Amazon Vine Queue, I clicked over there and saw more books had been added.  Yay!

So I ordered The Silent Sister, by Diane Chamberlain, which I had planned to buy…and now won’t have to do that.



In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.


I adore this author’s books, and this one sounds like one I now can’t wait to receive!  So soon it will come.

What was your Sunday like?  What wonderful or lazy or unusual events have you enjoyed today?








Earlier this morning, I was clearing out shelves in the little book nook in my office.  It was quite a task, but now I feel good about creating a tidier nook.  Check out the Book Grabbing Event Here.

After doing that, I snapped a few photos of collections here and there in my space, like the one above.

Shortly I will go pick up the mail and hope for some new books I’m awaiting.  What?  Yes, I know I cleared out my bookshelves a bit, but that doesn’t mean I don’t eagerly await new ones.

I am waiting for Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang, for one:




Plus An Italian Wife, by Ann Hood:




After the mailbox, Sparky and I are headed to a lunch spot we enjoy, where I plan to keep reading an exciting mystery called The Wrong Girl, by Hank Phillippi Ryan.





Then, home again to watch some movies I have saved on my DVR.  Tomorrow, I’m off to meet my daughter and friends for her birthday brunch at Campagnia’s.  What do your weekend plans look like?








Welcome to a special Hump Day Potpourri, dedicated to Waiting on Wednesday.  Click on over to Breaking the Spine to find all the upcoming releases shared today.

One of my favorite authors is Lisa Scottoline, and coming on November 25, 2014, is the newest book in her Rosato & Associates series:  Betrayed.




Blurb:  Blockbuster author Lisa Scottoline returns to the Rosato & Associates law firm with Betrayed, and maverick lawyer Judy Carrier takes the lead in a case that’s more personal than ever.  Judy has always championed the underdog, so when Iris, the housekeeper and best friend of Judy’s beloved Aunt Barb, is found dead of an apparent heart attack, Judy begins to suspect foul play.  The circumstances of the death leave Judy with more questions than answers, and never before has murder struck so close to home.

In the meantime, Judy’s own life roils with emotional and professional upheaval.  She doesn’t play well with her boss, Bennie Rosato, which jeopardizes her making partner at the firm.  Not only that, her best friend Mary DiNunzio is planning a wedding, leaving Judy  feeling left behind, as well as newly unhappy in her relationship with her live-in boyfriend Frank.

Judy sets her own drama aside and begins an investigation of Iris’s murder, then discovers a shocking truth that confounds her expectations and leads her in a completely different direction.  She finds herself plunged into a shadowy world of people who are so desperate that they cannot go to the police, and where others are so ruthless that they prey on vulnerability.  Judy finds strength within herself to try to get justice for Iris and her aunt — but it comes at a terrible price.


This one is definitely a must-read for fans of the series, or even fans of other books by this author.  Come on by and share your own WOW picks.






Enter my little Coca Cola Cafe for Sunday Potpourri, a venue for sharing life’s tidbits.

Over at Serendipity, you can find my weekly updates, including blog posts and reviews from last week, and books I am reading now.

I started a rather ambitious read, with 640 pages.  Unfortunately, I began it in bed and the book was so heavy I had to set it aside for the light of day.  I’ll be getting back to it soon, as it does seem fascinating….except for that HEAVINESS, but it’s all about an Irish dysfunctional family, set in New York, so I’m in.  The book, you say?  Oh, yes!  We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas.




Am I procrastinating here?  It is already 9:30, and I am still on the computer.  I read some blogs; visited Facebook; took a photo and edited it (above) for my Sunday Potpourri logo here (I had rearranged a few things in my dining room cupboards, so I thought the logo should reflect how my little Cozy Cafe looks).  LOL

Then I created a new header for my website.


PicMonkey Collage-2nd website header in august

Do you think I have fiddled around more than enough?  Do you ever play around endlessly, avoiding something?  Or just because?




PicMonkey Collage-cozy weekend moments


My mornings usually involve lots of coffee, visiting blogs, and creating new photos that spotlight the cozy moments in my life.

This past week, I finally replaced the old cordless phone/answering machine system (FOR THE NEW ONE, see above right).  It sits on its charger at night on this rolltop desk, where I pay the few bills that I don’t handle online.




Sadly, this phone (above), which served me well, was chipped…and worst of all, there was static on my calls.  So it had to be done! 

Finding a new phone involved lots of visits to Amazon pages, Best Buy, and then finally, I found the new one at Target.  I don’t think it’s as nice as the Panasonic I found on Amazon, but that one had two handsets, which I don’t need.

And then I struggled for a couple of days, adding phone numbers to the Directory.  It took a while to maneuver…again, not as user-friendly as my old Panasonic.

Now it’s done.

And I can move on, hopefully to a few more years before I have to replace it.



Speaking of devices that serve us (or no longer do!), I had a few panicky moments with the ATT receiver in my bedroom.  It froze while on the DVR…and then went to snowy screen.  I haven’t had that happen in years!

I did the usual trouble-shooting, and even called ATT.  They were scheduled to come out, but then, in desperation, I unplugged the receiver from the outlet, replugged it, and voila!  It was back in business.

This might be a temporary fix.  But for now, we’re good.

I have been considering the wireless receivers, but how would we reboot them?

I don’t love having devices rule my life.  That’s how it feels, anyway.  Even Sparky, my beloved Kindle, is part of the system of DEVICES.  And because I have had it for four years, should I be worried?

Life was simpler back in the day.  But it wasn’t as much fun…or maybe, from the perspective of this new digital age, it only seems so.

What do you think?  Do devices rule your life?  Or do they add something special?