HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: WELCOME TO MY INTERIOR WORLD!

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Welcome to my Hump Day Potpourri, my time and place to share more of my obsessions…and tidbits.  As some of you probably know, the fairytale image above is one of several such images that march across my mantle.

 

 

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I started collecting these, and a few others that intermittently line my bookshelves, along with the books, when I first moved in here nine years ago!  Nine years!  I can’t believe it.

In the neighborhood mall was a shop called Country Clutter, later renamed Apricot Lane…and I found all kinds of things to collect.

Nowadays, I have stashed a lot of these in bins in the garage….hoping to “declutter” a bit.

But today was also supposed to be about the image in my header:  the little house next to the Madeline Hatter doll.

 

 

Magical images

I bought this Mary Engelbreit cottage that mimics some of her own personal cottages, several years ago.  I was still living in the foothill house when I bought it, so it was sometime between 1994-2007.  Funny how I can’t remember exactly when I bought it…but I know that my eldest son used to walk by it and squeeze it, calling it Squishy House.  That made me smile.  And he only visited in the foothill house twice:  in 1994 and in 2006-2007.

Now it mostly lives here on my Baker’s Rack (bottom left).  On the top shelf, right, is another of ME’s cottages:

 

 

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That photo above was taken before some of my recent changes, I now notice…the Coca Cola jukebox is currently residing in my bedroom (below), where I made more changes last night, to connect my laptop to my TV via HDMI cable.  For watching Netflix in my bed.  The laptop will sit on the small chest next to the TV.  See my Thoughts from the Interior post here:

 

 

May 3 - more bedroom changes

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When I bought the HDMI cable yesterday, I also bought new sheets….they are so soft…and not the really high thread count kind, but they work for me:

 

 

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The table next to the bed was once across the room by the TV…the switcheroo happened to assist in Netflix viewing…so the laptop could rest on a larger surface (the chest pictured above this one).

As you can tell, I’m a bit obsessive about a few things:  my interiors, of course; my binge-watching and how to make it possible in as many places as I can arrange; and, my cozy bedroom, where I want to spend more time in the future. 

I picture Saturday or Sunday mornings lying in bed and watching Netflix….or Amazon Videos…or Hulu.

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What, if any, obsessions do you enjoy?  Do the small tidbits in your life keep you fascinated?  As you can tell, I don’t think of obsessions as mental health issues, but quirky characteristics that make life interesting.

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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #9: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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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 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 has been on my TBR since October 2014.  How time flies! 

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson, is a new American classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead and Housekeeping.   I’ve read these other books…and enjoyed them.  But this book has been languishing on Pippa.  Why?

 

 

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My food excerpt today comes from the opening chapter of the book, right after a strange woman named Doll has “rescued” Lila from the abusive, neglectful home where she lived.  They had arrived at the home of an old woman Doll knew:

“The old woman went into the house and brought out a scrap of corn bread.  She said, ‘I was about to do the milking.  You might as well go inside, get her in out of the cold.’

“Doll stood with her by the stove, where there was just the little warmth of the banked embers.  She whispered, ‘You hush.  I got something for you here.  You got to eat it.’  But the child couldn’t rouse herself, couldn’t keep her head from lolling back.  So Doll knelt with her on the floor to free her hands, and pinched off little pills of corn bread and put them in the child’s mouth, one after another. ‘You got to swallow.’

“The old woman came back with a pail of milk.  ‘Warm from the cow,’ she said. ‘Best thing for a child.’  That strong, grassy smell, raw milk in a tin cup.  Doll gave it to her in sips, holding her head in the crook of her arm.”

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Whew!  Probably not a fun excerpt, but I was drawn in…now wanting to know more about the character!

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For TBR Thursday:

Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder.
Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church-the only available shelter from the rain-and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.
Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand to mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.

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Should I keep reading this one?  What do you think?

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Now for some Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts:

  • I really love mornings…once I get up.  But I HATE the process of doing so.  Dragging myself out of bed, stumbling to the bathroom, going through what one of my friends calls “morning ablutions.”  It was so much worse when I had to go to work in the morning.  Why am I such a baby?  LOL.
  • Bedtime is better.  All comfy in my bed, with the TV on mute, reading whatever book I’m immersed in at the moment, and sometimes watching a movie from my DVR.  One of my current reads is A Fatal Grace, Book 2 of the series, by Louise Penny, a book that’s been on my TBR since January 2015.
  • I don’t know how I feel about how quickly the weeks seem to fly by.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy weekends, because I do…but there are so many more things I want to accomplish during the week!
  • I saw this on Facebook yesterday, and it made me smile:

 

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  • Do you ever friend people on FB that you knew many years ago and haven’t seen since?
  • Today is going to be another day of errands…but maybe I can combine those with a treat or two, like lunch at one of the neighborhood restaurants….perhaps this one.  I love living around the corner from several fun spots (for me).

 

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  • So that’s it for today!  Have some fun and get through your days as smoothly as possible.  Here’s a toast!

 

Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - 2

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: AN ORDINARY DAY & A WEEK OF CHANGES

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The photo above was taken by iPhone today…Yes, Phoebe has been put to work.  On the bookshelf, I rearranged a few things, like my copy of Heartburn, which I wrote about in a post yesterday over at An Interior Journey, an homage to Nora Ephron.

It’s an ordinary Hump Day here, but all through the blogosphere, others are participating in something called A Day in the Life.  I didn’t write about mine yet…the host, Trish, says it’s not too late.  Maybe Friday.  Check out some of the posts at her site.

So far this week, I’ve been making changes, both visible and behind the scenes, due to Bloggiesta.  Curl up and Read has been the primary target of my efforts.

I’ve also changed a few headers and/or backgrounds here and there:  An Interior Journey, here, at Potpourri, and even over at Serendipity.  Nothing escapes me during this week long event.

I spent a lot of time at my primary target blog going back to early posts and correcting broken links.  When you merge or delete blogs, like I have done, you are bound to find some you weren’t aware of.  Sigh.

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Last night, I watched another episode of the OJ Miniseries, and I’m really annoyed by Cuba Gooding’s portrayal.  I wonder why he was chosen?  He bears no resemblance (physically, or in mannerisms) to the real OJ we have seen on our TVs or in the news…and it is distracting to watch him.

I keep viewing it, however, enjoying the Marcia Clark character and the occasional sightings of the real Dominick Dunne, who loves writing about real-life events…and he wrote about this case:  Another City, Not My Own.

I read it a few years ago…but downloaded the e-book for a reread.  I know, when will I have time to reread anything?

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Today I’m reading two books, a rare event, but I also did it last week:

Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin, and Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany:

 

 

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So far, I’m keeping them nice and separate in my head, as they are very different books.  The only way reading more than one book works for me.

On my coffee table sits a hardcover book that I might also try…it’s a memoir, and very different too, and I’ve had it for a while:  Born with Teeth, by Kate Mulgrew.  I love when I go to the Amazon page and it tells me when I purchased a book:  this one was purchased on May 5, 2015!

 

 

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I have enjoyed the author’s portrayals in various movies, but most recently, she has captivated me in how she inhabits the role of “Red” on Orange is the New Black.

When I visit my Netflix page and look at my queue, I am reminded that I haven’t binge-watched anything for a couple of days.  Most recently, I have been immersed in Broadchurch.

A murder mystery, with a focus on the townsfolk and the DCs who are investigating.  Set somewhere in England.

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What does your Hump Day look like?  How is your week shaping up?

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: CHALLENGES & CHANGES

Welcome to Hump Day Potpourri, a time and place to share those odd tidbits of life.  Like the fact that I changed the theme here again…and the background, which suggests spring.  Could I be longing for spring?

This weekend’s Bloggiesta has me thinking…CHANGE!

My primary site to work on is Curl up and Read, but I’ve also made some changes at Serendipity, Rainy Days and Mondays, my website….and HERE, of course.  See some screenshots below.

 

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website screenshot - jan

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Today would be a perfect day to curl up and read all day long…but I have a dental appointment this afternoon, which means I need to do a few things first.  Sigh.

Last night I started reading Gloria Steinem’s Life on the Road, and I’m loving it so far.

 

 

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I bought this one in the hardcover version, so it will be a keeper.  Not one that will go the way of the purged books of last year.  And I’m done purging…for a while, anyway.  LOL.

The only challenge I joined this year, other than the Goodreads one, is the Read the Books You Buy event (check out my page), hosted by Kathryn, at the Book Date.

The rules allow us to read books we purchased from June 2015 on, as well as books we buy this year.

So far, I’ve read four books from the allowed lists.

For the purposes of the Goodreads Challenge, I have completed SIX books, which include review books.

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Are you participating in challenges this year?  Do you join in the Bloggiesta fun?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: CHANGING UP MY SPACE

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Good morning!  It has been weeks (or even months!) since I wrote a Sunday Potpourri post, but now that I’m reclaiming my “normal,” or at least my “new normal,” I suddenly feel the itch.  To write.  To chat.

When my house guests left to head up north (for cooler climes), I did what I always did back in the day.  When college kids went back to school, leaving empty spaces to fill…I always moved stuff around, cleaned closets, etc.

This time, I rearranged the office and dining area, since those areas were once inhabited by my guests.

Not to purge the rooms of their presence, but to reclaim them as mine…until their return.  Rinse, Repeat.

One of the things I realized about my dining area when guests were in my somewhat small space…it felt a little crowded.  So I decided to move one of the cupboards to another wall (the green one now centered on the back wall); bring the Coca Cola jukebox into my bedroom; and the dining table and chairs could scoot over, leaving a clear path.  With all the moving around, things got dusted and purged, too, adding little trinkets to my bins in the garage.  Funny how that works!

 

 

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Here is a view of the space from the kitchen:

 

 

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In the bedroom, check out the jukebox (and Minnie Mouse, the only one using the exercise bike!).

 

 

bedroom changes in august

 

And the office…well, it has been revealed in other blog posts, but check it out again:

 

 

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Looking at the bookshelves in the left corner…I’m wondering if they are due for a purge?  LOL

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What keeps you busy on a Sunday?  Reading, movies, eating out?  I hope to go out for lunch and then see the movie Ricki & the Flash.

 

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Have a great Sunday!

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REVIEW: DANCE THE EAGLE TO SLEEP, BY MARGE PIERCY

3277As an admirer of Marge Piercy’s volume of work, from novels to memoirs, I was eager to read this earliest novel, Dance the Eagle to Sleep: A Novel.

In her iconic style, she zeroes in on the young during an exploratory time in their lives, as they seek to free themselves from the strictures of ordinary society, to escape from the “boxes” in which they reside and the stilted mantra their parents perpetuate.

Our MCs are four teens caught up in a revolutionary fervor, and the story spotlights them one by one, in alternating perspectives, from Shawn (previously Sean) the rocker to the Native American Corey. Runaways are drawn to this fledgling group that expands as the zeal increases. Like Jill (Joanna) or Billy. As we examine their inner thoughts and feelings, through these individuals we come to understand their stories and their causes.

Through music, through dance, and ultimately through experimenting with their own structures, including a farm commune, they become their own persons.

Piercy is great at showing us what the “revolutionary world” of the sixties and seventies was all about. I enjoyed some of her later works a lot more, like Small Changes. But I also liked this glimpse of her beginnings. 3.5 stars.

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: CONTEMPLATIONS

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It has been a contemplative morning.  After finishing reading and reviewing Falling Into Place, (click for review) by Amy Zhang, I am definitely pondering choices we make.

 

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Not only the choices made by the characters in this book, but choices I have recently made in selecting my reading material.

For years, I have preferred my usual genres of mysteries (including psychological thrillers); contemporary adult fiction; and the occasional memoir.

YA books were the furthest books from my mind.  Who needs all that adolescent drama, was my thinking.  And also, I thought I had had enough of that while dealing with real-life teenagers in my work (social work) for years.

But lately that has apparently been changing.  Out of 14 books read so far this month, 4 of them were YA books.

Is this an accident, or am I purposely picking books that I notice around the blogosphere and wondering if there is more to them than teen drama?  Is there something in them to which I can connect?

The ones I have chosen are not the stereotypical ones I have scorned…okay, maybe “scorned” is the wrong description.  But I don’t want to read about annoying characters, unless there is something more to them than the obvious surface details.

The Amazon Vine program is a great place to find books that I don’t normally read…and a relatively risk-free way to add them to my stacks.

Meanwhile, I will still prefer books about adults….but occasionally, I will be drawn to the YA books that seem palatable to me. 

With a minimal amount of melodrama, please!

 

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Do you find your reading choices changing over the years?  What, if anything, leads to these changes?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: TIDBITS, CHANGES, & NEW BOOKS

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The little woven container with pockets (above) is a place to display mementos.  It has hung on numerous walls over the years, usually in my various offices.  On the very bottom right, is a backstage pass for a Soap Opera Awards Show from 1999, hosted by Dick Clark (for whom my second son worked at the time) and Soap Opera Digest magazine.

At the top is my author badge from BEA 2008, which was in LA…and where I signed copies of Chasing Stardust.

To the right, just below, is a ticket stub from the Chippendale’s show in Las Vegas (2008), attended by my daughter and me.

The black pin-on name tag (Lorre Frost, Editor) was mine from 1980, when I edited a newsletter for a group dedicated to helping divorced people adjust.  That was the name I used back then…LOL. (Get it?  Lorre Frost, Laurel-Rain Snow).

Odds and ends….tidbits.  Like much of what I share on this blog.

To continue on in this vein, today was about more odds and ends, like me getting the sudden urge to move some cabinets in the dining room.

I swapped out the green and burgundy cupboards…and here are some views of the finished arrangement:

 

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The burgundy cupboard on the back wall (on the left) was once in the middle.  This is the view from the kitchen.

 

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View from the entry way.

 

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Close-up of the two rearranged cupboards.

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Why do I do these things?  I was very hot and tired afterwards, as I did it this afternoon, when the outside temperature was 101…and despite the air conditioning indoors, I felt as though I were out in the heat.

Once I had cooled down, I savored the three new Vine books that came in the mail today.

 

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty

 

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Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .

A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?

What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

But who did what?

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads…

 

 

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Small Blessings, by Martha Woodroof

 

 

 

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Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing the oddball faculty in his department and caring, alongside his formidable mother-in-law, for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier….

Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop’s charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner, out of the blue, her first social interaction since her breakdown. Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon, a feeling confirmed upon his return home, where he opens a letter from his former paramour, informing him he’d fathered a son who is heading Tom’s way on a train.  His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom’s ready or not.

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Katwalk, by Maria Murnane

 

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Katrina Lynden has always walked a straight line in life, an approach that has resulted in a stable career and pleased her hard-nosed parents but that has also left her feeling unfulfilled—and miserable. When her best friend suggests they quit their Silicon Valley jobs and embark on two months of adventure in New York City, Katrina balks at the idea but ultimately agrees, terrified yet proud of herself for finally doing something interesting with her life. But when her friend has to back out at the last minute, Katrina finds herself with a tough decision to make. Much to her surprise, she summons the courage to go alone, and the resulting journey changes everything. Along the way she makes new friends, loses others, learns what is really important to her, and finds a way to grow up without leaving herself behind.

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I think I am in for a treat with these….meanwhile, I am reading a book on Sparky that has been waiting patiently since last year.  Sheltering Rain, by JoJo Moyes, is the story of three generations of women in a family, which takes us from the 1950s in Hong Kong to the 1990s in London and Ireland.

 

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What was your Thursday like?  Are you eagerly planning your holiday weekend?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: VIGNETTES

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After my post-holiday changes, I took things a step farther, to mix up the vignettes a little bit.  In my header today (also depicted above in this post), I show a few of those changes.

On the far left and far right are a few tweaks to the sofa table.  I brought a couple of items from other spots in the room, and arranged them on the table.

Second Image from left:  the country cupboard has most of the same items, but on the right side are a sunflower vase (from the top of the fridge) and a Kitchen Angel, “stolen” from the red cupboard in another part of the room.

The little popsicle stick cottage that once sat atop that country cupboard is now on the sofa table (far right).  I’ve had that little cottage for many years.  It began life in someone’s shop, next landing in one of my favorite crafters’ stores.  It then “lived” for awhile in my foothills home.

I have to tweak things now and then, or I stop seeing them.  They are revived when I move them around.  Do you ever find that to be true?

See the individual images below:

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NEW YEAR’S EVE POTPOURRI: A COZY EVENING AT HOME

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I’ve brought home the snacks, I have gathered up some books and movies, and I am ready!

My quiet New Year’s Eve at home has begun.  Earlier I was watching shows on my DVR and reading a little.  I also spent some time on my blogs, creating pages for 2014 at Curl up and Read and joining another Challenge.

I now have signed up for two:  Mt. TBR Challenge and Southern Literature Challenge.  I also wrote my Year End Report, and listed my Favorite Reads of 2013.

Earlier in the week, I packed up the Christmas stuff and revamped my living space.

 

A New Look in the Dining Area

A New Look in the Dining Area

 

 

View from the Kitchen

View from the Kitchen

Another View

Another View

 

Check out An Interior Journey to read about the first book of the year event, hosted by Book Journey.

In the next few days, I will be reading several books…but I’ll also be waiting for these books in the mail:

 

A Circle of Wives, by Alice LaPlante

 

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Clever Girl, by Tessa Hadley

 

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Golden State, by Michelle Richmond

 

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There are more, too, but I’ll share about them later.

What are you looking forward to in the New Year?  Books, getaways, resolutions?  What makes it all like a clean slate for you?

 

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