Happy Monday!  Now that the year is drawing to a close, with the holidays just ahead, I am eager to see what 2020 will bring to us bookworms.

After arranging my NetGalley review ARCs so that they would be grouped just so near the end of the year, with all of them finished in October, I am happily perusing my list for January and forward.

They are perfectly arranged right now, with two books being released in January; one in March; one in May…and today I received one that will come out on June 30.

Five review books so far.  Now I can sit back, relax, and pick and choose what comes next.

Here are my upcoming ARCs so far:


Big Lies in a Small Town, by Diane Chamberlain – 1/14/20 (read and reviewed)


Upcoming Reads:

The Look-Alike, by Erica Spindler – Release Date: 1/28/20



You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks/Sarah Pekkanen (3/3/20)



The New Girl, by Harriet Walker – (5/19/20)




The Dilemma, by B. A. Paris (6/30/20)



I like the reading landscape so far.  What review books are you anticipating in the New Year?




It’s Tuesday!  You know what that means, right?  New book releases.  I found several I want, but so far I’ve downloaded two.

The Mother-in-Law, by Sally Hepworth, is a book I’ve been ogling for a while.

A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death…


Then I clicked on over to this one:

I Know Who You Are, by Alice Feeney. ( I loved her book Sometimes I Lie).



I will sit on my hands for a bit, to avoid adding even more to my TBR…especially since I got another NetGalley book this morning!

The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves – Release date:  9/3/19

From Ann Cleeves—bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows—comes the first in a gripping new series.

I’ve never read any of the author’s other books, but I’m a fan of the Netflix series Vera and Shetland.


Last night I started reading My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing…and I am glued to the pages.  Who knew?

Well, all of you out there who are writing rave reviews!


How is your Tuesday so far?




As the New Year approaches, I find myself changing up my blogs, from the headers and backgrounds to the pages. Here I even changed my theme…and borrowed some photos from my folders that suggest cozy and quirky things.  The one above spotlights my Hippie Dolls, Dylan and Harmony, and a country cottage has pride of place on the opposite end.  Photos of Ireland, shot by my eldest son when he lived there, circle the room.  You can glimpse a couple of those photos in the photo on the left.

Over on Curl up and Read, I’ve added bookshelf pages for 2019:  Books Purchased, Review Books, Books Read, and Favorite Books.  I photographed some of my personal bookshelves for the header…and my exercise bike next to the shelves is a motivational tool.  I could listen to audiobooks while cycling!  I still haven’t purchased any audiobooks yet, but it could happen.


Other blog makeovers– I love lofts, so these lofty photos are on this Serendipity blog header.

And Rainy Days and Mondays:


Today I made a list of all the review books I received this year…and looked up the prices.  Just so I can realize what a treasure these books are, and how much money I’m saving by reading ARCs.  I downloaded 38 ARCs this year!


Today is Book Release Day, and after no purchases last week (I got one e-ARC and a freebie), I very cautiously approached the Book Release page at Goodreads…and discovered one to download, and one to order through the mail.

Just After Midnight (e-book), by Catherine Ryan Hyde (downloaded today)

Book Ordered by Mail (Hardcover):  Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton – I order hardcover nonfiction because of the photographs.  E-books, sadly, do not have them.

For fans of the Netflix series The Crown and from the author of the New York Times bestseller 17 Carnations comes a captivating biography of Wallis Simpson, the notorious woman for whom Edward VIII gave up the throne.

“You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance.” -Wallis Simpson

Before she became known as the woman who enticed a king from his throne and birthright, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish and particular girl from Baltimore. At turns imaginative, ambitious, and spoiled, Wallis’s first words as recalled by her family were “me, me.” From that young age, she was in want of nothing but stability, status, and social acceptance as she fought to climb the social ladder and take her place in London society. As irony would have it, she would gain the love and devotion of a king, but only at the cost of his throne and her reputation…


So…are you ready for Christmas?  Does the upcoming New Year motivate you to work on your blogs, your lists, and plan for your 2019 reading?



New Book Release Day!  But it has also been a week of adding review books to my shelves:  Two for two.  Two review books, and two purchases.

My vow to cut down on purchases in favor of review books and library books has led to fewer purchases.  But since I couldn’t get either of my purchases this week from the library or from NetGalley, I feel justified in these purchases. 

The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer, is a library book that I could have if I wanted to wait weeks and weeks…and then wait some more.  I am not that patient when the book is one that is calling to me! 

A novel about power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition. At its heart, The Female Persuasion is about the flame we all believe is flickering inside of us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time. It’s a story about the people who guide and the people who follow (and how those roles evolve over time), and the desire within all of us to be pulled into the light.


Today I added The New Neighbors, by Simon Lelic to my purchases:  not even on my library’s shelves…so there!  LOL



Two review books were approved and added to my shelves:

Not Her Daughter (e-book), by Rea Frey – (NG – 8/21)

Emotionally powerful and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.


Then...Shadow Dancing (e-book, Country Club Murders), by Julie Mulhern – (NG – 6/19)

I have loved every book in this series!

Synopsis:  Visiting a psychic is outside the norm for Ellison Russell. Finding bodies is not. Unfortunately, the psychic’s crystal ball says she’ll soon be surrounded by death. Again.


Now there’s a corpse in the front drive, a witchy neighbor ready to turn Ellison and her (not so) little dog into toadstools, and a stripper named Starry Knight occupying the guest room.

How did 1975 go so wrong so quickly?

Ellison must handle Mother (who’s found a body of her own), make up with a certain handsome detective, and catch a killer, or the death surrounding her might be her own.


So…my Tuesday has been productive so far.  I don’t plan to add any more purchases…but who knows what review books might land on my shelf?

What do you love about Tuesdays?





Surrounded by my memorabilia and pondering the book stacks in my office, I realize that I have no room to complain.




I recently wrote about my obsession with completing my Mt. TBR Challenge for the year, with ten more books to go.

And I have been striving to request fewer review books, meaning Vine, since those are most often the books I select.

So why am I chomping at the bit when my Vine Queue has NO BOOKS IN IT?

Yes, they supposedly appear suddenly, with no apparent plan…or rhyme or reason.  Vine for All is still full of books, but I want some in my Queue!  Even though I don’t plan to request any more books.

Could the Book Gods be watching out for me?  Trying to help me curtail my requests?

I received two books from Vine yesterday, and now have a total of three Vine review books on my stacks.  That should be enough to satisfy me, especially since I have been on a downloading spree lately, requesting several last week and two this week already.

This week’s downloads:

 After I Do, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.




And then, a book I’ve been ogling for a while:  The Children Act, by Ian McEwan:  spotlighting a judge with her own issues that may or may not affect some of her decisions.






Meanwhile, from the aforementioned TBR Stacks, I am reading Gringa in a Strange Land, by Linda Dahl.




I purchased this one after reading another book by the author:  Cleans Up Nicely.




I could relate to the times featured in both books…and after reading the second one (above), I wanted to know what happened before….Here are some conclusions in my review of the second book:

“The author has created very true-to-life characters that bring into focus the scenes in this story, reminding me of the times in which they are living. As if I were there with them. Sometimes I feel as though I am those characters, and the slide downward is mine. I almost inhabit their worlds. The bottoming out process is described with such accuracy, revealing much about the author’s ability to explore that universe. A compelling and captivating five star read.”


Now that I have ranted a bit, I am arriving at a point where I can see that my queue is what it is, and that I should accept it.  How zen of me!

What are your thoughts, if any, on the new Vine system?





I haven’t seen this little troll (above) in awhile…at least not on my blog.  I do see him and the goats pretty often when I notice my mantle.


He and his crew are sandwiched in between the boat and the cow jumping over the moon.

Okay…silly start to this post, but I am eager to nest today.  It’s the kind of day that makes me want to cozy up on the sofa and enjoy some books.

Awhile ago, I vowed that I would cut down on the Vine books I accept….since I end up with so many!  Well, I started out very well…and then kept adding to my list, until now I have EIGHT!

Yesterday’s books were On the Rocks, by Erin Duffy and The Opposite of Maybe, by Maddie Dawson.









And when I got home, I perused Last Harvest, on Vine, one more time….and drum roll!  The Book of You, by Claire Kendal.  I’ve been wanting this one!

A mesmerizing tale of psychological suspense about a woman who must fight to escape an expert manipulator determined to possess her, Claire Kendal’s debut novel is a sophisticated and disturbing portrait of compulsion, control, and terror that will appeal to fans of Before I Go to Sleep, The Silent Wife, and Into the Darkest Corner.




Meanwhile, I stayed up late last night to read Killer (e-book), by Jonathan Kellerman.  It’s been a while since I read one of his books, but I had a hard time putting it down for something as silly as sleep!

The City of Angels has more than its share of psychopaths, and no one recognizes that more acutely than the brilliant psychologist and police consultant Dr. Alex Delaware. Despite that, Constance Sykes, a sophisticated, successful physician, hardly seems like someone Alex needs to fear. Then, at the behest of the court, he becomes embroiled in a bizarre child custody dispute initiated by Connie against her sister and begins to realize that there is much about the siblings he has failed to comprehend. And when the court battle between the Sykes sisters erupts into cold, calculating murder and a rapidly growing number of victims, Alex knows he’s been snared in a toxic web of pathology.





Not a book that lends itself to sleep….

What new and exciting books are coming your way?  What is keeping you up at night (of a bookish nature, LOL).







Good morning, and welcome to another Thursday Potpourri.  Today’s tidbits, obsessions, etc., begin with my update about my recent book purge.

Yesterday was the library collection drive, so I loaded my boxed books into the car, and off I went.


Boxed Books
Boxed Books


I also returned some library books that I’d read and reviewed recently, and almost borrowed more books, but changed my mind.  My stacks are toppling and I need to FOCUS!

I am happy that I have whittled my Vine review books down to one remaining book:  Blue Plate Special, by Kate Christensen.  Looking forward to this memoir.




“To taste fully is to live fully.” For Kate Christensen, food and eating have always been powerful connectors to self and world—“a subterranean conduit to sensuality, memory, desire.” Her appetites run deep; in her own words, she spent much of her life as “a hungry, lonely, wild animal looking for happiness and stability.” Now, having found them at last, in this passionate feast of a memoir she reflects upon her journey of innocence lost and wisdom gained, mistakes made and lessons learned, and hearts broken and mended.


Doesn’t that sound delicious?

I’ve also been enjoying movies lately, and watched a couple listed On Demand:  What Maisie Knew, with Julianne Moore,




and Lovelace, with Amanda Seyfried.




Today I’m reading a book on Sparky:  The Obituary Writer, by Ann Hood.  One of those stories that flips between the past and the present, and I’m caught up in each character’s story, even though I haven’t yet figured out if there’s a connection between them.  Between 1919 and the 1960s…what a world of difference!




A sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras.

On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in unexpected and extraordinary ways. Part literary mystery and part love story, The Obituary Writer examines expectations of marriage and love, the roles of wives and mothers, and the emotions of grief, regret, and hope.


I’m looking forward to guessing what that surprising connection between them will be!

What’s on your plate today?