TUESDAY POTPOURRI: BOOKS & MORE BOOKS…

Welcome to another Book Release Tuesday!  Today I received one pre-ordered book, and downloaded another one that was also released today.

Here are my treasures for the day!

The Break-Up Book Club, by Wendy Wax

Breakups, like book clubs, come in many shapes and sizes and can take us on unexpected journeys as four women discover in this funny and heartwarming exploration of friendship from the USA Today bestselling author of Ten Beach Road and My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding.

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Another favorite author brought out this one today:

Local Woman Missing, by Mary Kubica

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

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By the end of the day, I should be finished with When the Stars Go Dark, by Paula McLain

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What are you eyeing/buying/reading today?

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WWW POST…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words.  Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

CURRENTLY READING:  The Next Wife, by Kaira Rouda

BOOKS READ & REVIEWED SINCE LAST POST ON MAY 4, 2021:

Mother May I, by Joshilyn Jackson

The Perfect Daughter, by D.J. Palmer

Her Three Lives, by Cate Holahan

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:  The Guilt Trip, by Sandie Jones – August 3, 2021

Six friends.

Rachel and Noah have been friends since they met at university. While they once thought that they might be something more, now, twenty years later, they are each happily married to other people, Jack and Paige respectively. Jack’s brother Will is getting married, to the dazzling, impulsive Ali, and the group of six travel to Portugal for their destination weekend.

Three couples.

As they arrive at a gorgeous villa perched on a cliff-edge, overlooking towering waves that crash on the famous surfing beaches below at Nazaré, they try to settle into a weekend of fun. While Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her future sister-in-law Ali better, Ali can’t help but rub many of the group up the wrong way: Rachel’s best friend Paige thinks Ali is attention-seeking and childish, and while Jack is trying to support his brother Will’s choice of wife, he is also finding plenty to disagree with Noah about.

One fatal misunderstanding . . .

But when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them hold begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?

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ANNIVERSARY THOUGHTS…

In the photo above, I show my little home office, with the cozy sofa that converted into a bed for guests.  Across the room, I had a little office nook for my computer.  I had shelves with lots of books.  Then everything went downhill.

Two years ago, on May 6, 2019, my life changed dramatically.  I fell or lost my way, ending up on the floor for hours…and then a friend discovered my predicament and called 911.

After spending four days in the hospital, I had a diagnosis and treatment plan that would involve surgery.  It sounded simple enough, but it would be several months before the surgery could be done…and in the meantime, my kids persuaded me to move into an Assisted Living Facility.  I say “persuaded,” but most of the time I felt like I had no real choice.

For the past two years, I have felt a combination of resentment and gratitude.  Yes, it has helped to be in an apartment with housekeeping services, laundry, and food preparation.  But, those are mixed blessings, too.  Loss of control, etc.  And with the lockdown of 2020 that went on for more than a year, I lost even more of my independence, thanks to the rules of this very controlling establishment.  For most of 2019, I was able to come and go, using Lyft and going out with friends.  That all changed in March 2020.

Now restrictions have loosened and I am fully vaccinated.  But I cannot gain back what I lost.

My small studio apartment is my solace, as I have slowly added some old favorites, along with some new ones.  My bookshelves are growing (most of my books did not come with me here).  And favorite photos are on my walls. Even some dolls have joined me.

 

My laptop computer is my best companion, as I write my blogs, review books, and watch shows and movies on the streaming services.

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So perhaps some might ask what I’m complaining about…since there has been good with the not-so-good.  But loss of independence is not something I can take lightly.  Yes, I did have quite a bit of freedom before the Pandemic.  But that year changed everything.  The staff here make most of the choices for us…and it is hard not to wish things were different.

My attitude could use some more adjusting right now.  But considering how things have unfolded between two years ago and now, I might have to accept that some losses cannot be regained.

Until another day…any thoughts from other bloggers?

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WWW POST…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words.  Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

CURRENTLY READING: Mother May I, by Joshilyn Jackson

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BOOKS READ & REVIEWED SINCE LAST POST ON 4/27/21:

That Summer, by Jennifer Weiner – NetGalley ARC-5/11/21

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When I Last Saw You, by Bette Lee Crosby

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING: A book from a favorite author coming out on September 7, 2021: The Living and the Lost, by Ellen Feldman

Synopsis:  Millie (Meike) Mosbach and her brother David, manage to escape to the States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Millie attends Bryn Mawr on a special scholarship for non-Aryan German girls and graduates to a magazine job in Philadelphia. David enlists in the army and is eventually posted to the top-secret Camp Ritchie in Maryland, which trains German-speaking men for intelligence work.

Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie, works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing; she is consumed with rage at her former country and its citizens, though she is finding it more difficult to hate in proximity. David works trying to help displaced persons build new lives, while hiding his more radical nighttime activities from his sister. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, they suffer from conflicts of rage and guilt at their own good fortune, except for Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, who seems much too eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawl; the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, scheme to rise again; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a decision she made as a girl in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons.

Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of love, survival, and forgiveness of others and of self.

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HUMP DAY READING…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

CURRENTLY READING:

That Summer, by Jennifer Weiner – (NetGalley – 5/11/21)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another timely and deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship.

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BOOKS READ & REVIEWED SINCE LAST POST OF 4/20/21:

The Smash-Up, by Ali Benjamin

Cleaving, by Julie Powell

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:  Local Woman Missing, by Mary Kubica -May 18, 2021

Synopsis:  Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?

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REVIEW: LIFE & OTHER INCONVENIENCES, BY KRISTAN HIGGINS

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her—until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?l

potpourri thoughts

From the very first page of Life and Other Inconveniences, I was immersed in the family dynamics and the intriguing characters. They felt so real, and they kept me smiling, laughing, and sometimes crying.

Emma was my favorite character, along with her daughter Riley. Genevieve, whom we came to know a little better when her alternating narrative took over, kept me intrigued. She was a mixed bag of sadness, loss, and the kind of staunch grit that comes with her background and experiences.

There were times that I could almost empathize with Clark, Emma’s father, but he was such a weak imitation of the life he could have had.

So many troubled characters who could have had more, but who sank to the lowest of lows when confronted with difficulty. Or those little inconveniences that life throws at us. These were the characters against whom we cast the truly great ones, like Emma and Riley.

Then we meet Miller, and watch him deal with his challenging daughter Tess, and the combination of Emma and Miller made my heart soar. A lovely 4.5 star read.

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI…

As I turn the pages of my current read, Life and Other Inconveniences, I am thoroughly enjoying the characters without the kinds of twists and turns I usually savor. The book is not a thriller, but it does show us the dynamics of characters and the interactions I enjoy.

In addition to reading, I am also relishing my usual snapping of photos that remind me that my interiors are another part of my life that I enjoy.  Since I am mostly still isolated.

On my nightstand, I have collected a few print volumes to pick up soon, in addition to my current read.  To the left is my chest of drawers with a favorite decorative box atop it…next to my calculator.  I also love the hippie dolls on the nearby filing cabinet. Below, note a close-up of favorite photos.  An Ireland photo on the right, and an “I Love You” creation from my daughter on the left.

So…as I read and write posts and practice the Block Editor, I plan to somehow succeed at dealing with isolation and challenges.

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How are you spending your Hump Day?

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