BOOKISH THURSDAYS #11: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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.

Today’s featured TBR book has been on my stacks since August 2015:  The Race for Paris, by Meg Waite Clayton.

 

 

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In the foodie section, a British military photographer, Fletcher, is experiencing life in the military firsthand, including the food.  It is 1944, and he and two other photographers are heading for Paris.

“By the time Fletcher bathed and stopped by the mail room to send off his letters (to his parents, to the evacuee schoolgirls, to Elizabeth), the mess tent in the pasture was filled with correspondents eating a full hot breakfast.  Fletcher grabbed a cup of tea (bitter, oversteeped American stuff) and a plate of eggs and bacon and toast, and he joined Matt Halton and Charles Lynch at one end of the table.”

Hmm…doesn’t sound too bad.

***

Why has this book languished on my TBR?  Well, it hasn’t been there THAT long, for a change….but maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.  What do you think of it?

Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters returns with a moving and powerfully dynamic World War II novel about two American journalists and an Englishman, who together race the Allies to Occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives.

Normandy, 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press photographer, have endured enormous danger and frustrating obstacles—including strict military regulations limiting what women correspondents can. Even so, Liv wants more.

Encouraged by her husband, the editor of a New York newspaper, she’s determined to be the first photographer to reach Paris with the Allies, and capture its freedom from the Nazis.

However, her Commanding Officer has other ideas about the role of women in the press corps. To fulfill her ambitions, Liv must go AWOL. She persuades Jane to join her, and the two women find a guardian angel in Fletcher, a British military photographer who reluctantly agrees to escort them. As they race for Paris across the perilous French countryside, Liv, Jane, and Fletcher forge an indelible emotional bond that will transform them and reverberate long after the war is over.

***

Should I keep reading this one?  I might just have to keep it on the top of my stack.

***

Now for some Bookish…and Not So Bookish Thoughts:

  • After reading two really great books so far this week (The Obsession (click for my review) and Buried in a Bog (also click for my review), I somehow lost my mojo.  I picked up first one book and then another, reading for a while in each…and then tossed them.  Literally.  Into the recycling bag.  Now I am alternating between two books, and that seems to be working out pretty well so far (Three-Martini Lunch and Lies & Other Acts of Love).
  • For a little while, I was worried that I would never immerse myself in another book!  I think it was the read-a-thon on the weekend that put me off track.  Too much of a good thing can be just…too much.
  • Just when I think that I have WP figured out, they throw in another change.  At least this one isn’t as bad as the “infamous” Beep, Boop, Beep method of posting...that’s a whole other story, and it is so yesterday, too.  I have worked my way around that one.  Plus, I think they removed some of the weirder features. But now when I want to insert a link, a little box appears, and then, finally, I figured out how to add the link options…I thought the “old” way was working just fine.
  • I had to wait for the maintenance people to come yesterday to change out the filters, etc., and do their six-monthly thing…but luckily, the guy came early and I didn’t have to wait around all day.  So I took myself, and my library on Pippa (Kindle) to lunch at Marie Callender’s around the corner.  Take a look (below); totally unhealthy, of course.  The iced tea was just what I needed, though.  It is warming up here.  At least I didn’t have a martini!

 

 

april lunch at marie's

  • Last night I finished Season I of The Newsroom…I really got addicted to that one!  I added Season II to my Watch list, but I should wait a little before the binge-watching resumes.  Plus…tonight is TGIT…with Grey’s Anatomy, etc.  Now that How to Get Away with Murder is on hiatus, I’m enjoying Mom more.
  • Today I’ll veg out a bit…reading, watching from my DVR…or maybe I’ll go to Barnes & Noble.

 

Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - 2

 

What does your day look like?  What obsessions, if any, propelled your week?  Enjoy!

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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #10: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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.

Today’s featured TBR book has been on my stacks since May 2015, a short book about a young woman named Hope whose life is in shambles:  A Thirty-Something Girl.

In the “foodie” section, Hope appears at a restaurant at the invitation of some friends, and here is what happens:

“We’re ready now,” she (Clara) says to him.

“Ready for what?”  I look each of them directly in the eye.  They all know I don’t like surprises, and this quite possibly could be the worst day for them to spring one on me.  “You aren’t acknowledging my,” I lean in closer and whisper, “you know what, are you?”

Before they have time to answer, I see, out of the corner of my eye, a group form near the side of the restaurant.  The leader of the pack is carrying an over-sized cupcake, and with one quick nod from him, his entourage begins to clap as they make their way over to our table.  Burning atop the sugary monstrosity are two numbers.  Two numbers I very much do not want to see.  They sing Happy Birthday, but not the way the song is supposed to be sung, but their own horrific rendition of it…I have two options:  faint or run away.  I choose the latter.”

Okay…so she’s THIRTY!  Big deal…LOL.  The cupcake sounds good!

***

Why This TBR Thursday Pick?

As I mentioned before, I’ve had this on Pippa since May 2015.  I must have wanted to read it at some point…here’s the blurb for A Thirty-Something Girl:

 

 

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A Thirty-Something Girl follows the story of Hope. At the age of 30, she finds her life in utter shambles. Everything that could go wrong has – divorce, loss of a child, financial struggles. It is the love and unfettered support of her close friends who keep her from being lost in the quicksand of utter despair. As she slowly begins to wrap her head around who she is and what it means to be happy, she meets a man, Sam. Sam is also not a stranger to hardship and finds himself at his own crossroads. Together they find comfort and peace in one another; a soft, quiet place to fall, when the rest of the world is too hard and too noisy to inhabit.

***

So…should I read this one, or send it to the cloud?

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Some Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts for Today:

 

  • I’ve read three very different books this week, so the pages seemed to fly by;
  • It has been verging on HOT all week, up to 90-something;
  • I was bored with my theme here, so as you might notice, I changed it up.  Check out the features!
  • Here’s a cute photo of my three step-great-grandchildren, left to right:  Maddix, Lilly and Bella.  Lilly and Bella are twins.

 

Maddix, Lilly, & Bella

  • It seems just like yesterday that their father, Spencer, was eight years old, the age he was when his mom married one of my sons;
  • Season II of Better Call Saul just ended…sigh.  It will be a while now for the next season;
  • I am really longing for the ocean…I could drive two-and-a-half hours to the Central Coast…or, eleven hours or so to the Northern Coast, which I haven’t yet visited since my youngest son and his wife moved there.  (Below), Kerrie, right, my DIL, and her youngest daughter Jessica, at the beach near Crescent City;

 

Kerrie & Jessica on the beach

  • I think it will be fun to go farther north…and take my granddaughter Fiona, since it’s her dad’s home.  She has her driver’s license now, so we could take turns driving;

 

 

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  • I’ll have to think about it.  Those are my thoughts for today.  What are yours?

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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #9: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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.

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.”

***

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.

***

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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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #8: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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.

My featured book today has been on my TBR since July 2014.  Buried in a Bog, by Sheila Connolly,  takes the reader to Ireland, where our MC, Maura Donovan, fulfills her grandmother’s last wish for her to visit the village Leap, to find some kind of treasure.

 

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Our “foodie” section – Thirsty Thursday/Hungry Hearts:

“…Ellen set a plate heaped with food in front of Maura.

” ‘Oh, my.  What’s this?’ She poked a round slice of something the color of tar.

” ‘Blood sausage—Clonakilty’s famous for it.  You don’t need to eat it if you don’t want to.’

” ‘It really is made from blood?’

” ‘That it is, among other things.  Give it a try.’

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as Gran had often said.  Ellen watched, Maura quartered the piece, speared a quarter with her fork, and stuck it in her mouth.  She chewed thoughtfully.  Not bad, as long as you avoided thinking about what it was made from.  There were a lot of chopped oats in the mix somewhere, and a touch of seasoning.  Definitely not American sausage….”

(I lost my appetite!)

***

For TBR Thursday:  I can’t imagine why I haven’t read this one yet!  Soon…

Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where her Gran was born—though she never expected to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to know the people who knew her Gran.

In the pub, she’s swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the recent discovery of a nearly one-hundred-year-old body in a nearby bog. When Maura realizes she may know something about the dead man—and that the body’s connected to another, more recent, death—she fears she’s about to become mired in a homicide investigation. After she discovers the death is connected to another from almost a century earlier, Maura has a sinking feeling she may really be getting in over her head…

***

Here are some Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts:

  • Yesterday, I went to Cheesecake Factory with a friend…soup, and a slice of cheesecake…delicious!  But I was too full to eat dinner later!
  • How can it be Thursday already?  It was just Monday a minute ago…or so it seems;
  • Yesterday I found some old photos in a box and scanned them.  Here’s one of me and my daughter when she was a baby…thirty-some years ago!  Oh, that hair of mine!  Yikes….
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  • Currently, I’m reading a book called Domestic Secrets, by Rosalind Noonan, a book about friendship, secrets, and shattering revelations…good, right?
  • I need to do a little housework…ugh!  Cleaning the microwave by steaming a bowl of water and vinegar…I’ve heard it makes the task easier;
  • Now I’m off to visit some blogs….enjoy the day!

***

What is your Thursday like?  Join in and share some thoughts….

 

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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #7: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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.

Our feature today is one on my TBR from way back…February 2014!  I purchased A Desirable Residence, by Madeleine Wickham, from a board and brick bookstore, so it wasn’t even hiding.  It was right there on my stack!  It is a story of “love and real estate.”

Liz and Jonathan Chambers were stuck with two mortgages, mounting debts and a miserable adolescent daughter. Then Marcus Witherstone came into their lives – and it seemed he would solve all their problems. He knew the perfect tenants from London who would rent their old house: a glamorous PR girl, Ginny, and her almost-famous husband, Piers.

 

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In our food and drinks section, Liz has brought the exciting news of her plan for renting out the house, and offers Jonathan some tea.  He isn’t as thrilled about the plan as she is:

‘Here’s your tea,’ said Liz.  She looked at his face and frowned.  ‘Oh, come on.  Don’t be such a misery.’  Jonathan roused himself, and gave her a small smile.  Liz took a huge bite of doughnut and looked at him balefully.  ‘I’ve had a really hard day,’ she added.

‘I know you have,’ said Jonathan, automatically adopting a soothing voice. ‘Well, why don’t you go and sit down, and I’ll bring you a piece of toast.’

‘OK,’ said Liz grudgingly, taking another bite of her doughnut.  ‘Where’s Alice?'(the adolescent daughter), she added, in a muffled voice.

‘She went out earlier on,’ said Jonathan.  He opened a drawer and took out the bread knife.  ‘She didn’t say where she was going.’

(I’m not sold on this one yet…they don’t even anything interesting to eat!  I had to search and search to find this bit.)

***

As for its TBR standing:  I have enjoyed some books by this author, and I must have really wanted to read it at the time I bought it…so why is it still waiting?  What do you think?  Here’s a bit more from the blurb:

…But soon Liz is lost in blissful dreams of Marcus, Jonathan is left to run their tutorial college, and neither of them has time to notice that their teenage daughter is developing a passion for the tenants, Piers and Ginny. Everyone is entangled with everyone else, in the most awkward possible way. And as events close in, they all begin to realize that some deceptions are just a bit too close to home.

***

Now for my Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts:

  • Today I have to run some end-of-the month errands…post-payday errands.  Yikes, I hate that!  Most bills can be paid online or even mailed, but there are a couple that require dropping them off.  Annoying…
  • But later, I get to see my daughter for my “styling” and a chat.  She is lots of fun.  She has this little bear at her station that I gave her when she graduated:  “I’m a beautician, not a magician.”  Hint, hint.

 

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  • How did this week fly by so fast?  I’m only on my second book, Virgin River, and yes, it has 430 pages, but I’m only half finished.  Usually I’m on the third book by now.  But I’m savoring the book, so that’s good, right?
  • I’m feeling much better this week…back on the old meds, but still a little furious with the doctor who changed them to a “newer” prescription, for no reason that makes sense to me…but I’ll try to let it go;
  • It’s beautiful out this week…although the weather people are still talking about more rain;
  • I finished Broadchurch, the Netflix show I was bingeing on, and last night, resumed watching Lie to Me.  A new show, called The Ranch, is starting tomorrow.  Yes, I do get addicted….
  • I love Thursday TV, with the Shonda Rhimes shows…the new one, The Catch, looks promising, but I’m not quite addicted to it.
  • Here’s a photo I took of one of my quirky dolls, with the mug my daughter got me, because she knows me so well:

 

Married to Books with Friend

 

So that’s it for my thoughts?  What are you doing/reading/thinking about today?

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BOOKISH THURSDAYS # 6: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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.

My TBR book featured today is the fifth in the Lizzy Gardner Series:  Almost Dead, by T. R. Ragan.  A P. I. with something to avenge, after her fiance Jared was shot (in the last book), Lizzy is dealing with her comatose love, while trying to solve some murders.  I like this series set in my old stomping grounds of Sacramento, CA.

 

 

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In this “foodie” description, Lizzy was hanging out at the office with her friend and colleague, Hayley, who is taking care of her during her time of need.  Hayley has whisked her off somewhere while she was half out of it, drunk, and she wakes up to strange surroundings:

This was no hotel—it was a house.  A ridiculously large house.  Halfway down a long stretch of carpeted stairs, she got a whiff of bacon.  Her stomach rumbled in a bad way.

Despite the never-ending square footage, the kitchen was easy enough to find.  Kitally stood in front of the stove, flipping pancakes.

“You’re just in time.  Bacon and pancakes.  If you prefer eggs, I can make them to order.”

“Just coffee.  I just need coffee.”

“Cream and sugar?”

“No, thanks.  Black.”

***

I could use some bacon and pancakes right now!  What do you think?  Our MC is a little hung over, wanting only coffee, apparently.  Now…why has this one been on my stacks for such a long time?  I purchased it in April 2015, and I have another in the series to read as well.  But you know how it is…the best of plans and all.

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On to some Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts:

  • I woke up very early this morning; 4:30 a.m….upset stomach, thanks to the new meds again.  Time to toss them out?
  • All over the blogosphere, some are recording “a day in the life” with Trish, at Love, Laughter, & a Touch of Insanity.  I didn’t record a day, but I think I might try it…tomorrow?
  • I’m shivering here; I even had to turn on the heater for the first time in weeks; I think it’s going to rain, too;
  •  Maybe I’ll take a nap…

 

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  • Then I might keep reading one of the two current books on my stacks, Somewhere Out There, which has totally captivated me;

 

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  • Tonight is the Shonda Rhimes line-up for Thursday (Grey’s Anatomy, and a new show called The Catch); I don’t watch Scandal;
  • Tomorrow I want to see a movie, and I’m considering Hello, My Name is Doris, with Sally Field;

 

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  • All week long, I’ve been participating in Bloggiesta, mostly at my Curl up and Read site.
  • Now I’m going to check out some of the bloggers participating in this Thursday event, and I’ll have some coffee, please!  Not the mimosa today, though.

 

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #4: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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.

My selection today is a book that has been on my shelves since September 2014:  Virgin River, by Robyn Carr.

 

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In our “food” section today, our MC has just responded to an ad for a nurse practitioner in Virgin River, a mountain town.  But when she arrives, she is severely disappointed at the cabin, the lack of food, etc.  The woman who signed her up for this place sarcastically offers her a meal at a nearby tavern.

“…The bartender set down a bowl along with a napkin and utensils, then stood there awaiting her.  He held the chair for her….She dipped her spoon into the stew and gave it a taste.  He hovered near the table for a moment.  Then she looked up at him and said in some surprise, “This is delicious.”

“Squirrel,” he said.

She choked.

“Just kidding,” he said, grinning at her.  “Beef.  Corn fed.”

***

Why has this book been on my TBR for so long?  Already, I am fascinated by the story, the descriptions, and how it pulled me in.  Melinda, our MC, has been recently widowed and is searching for something new in her life.  But will she find it here?  I can’t wait to discover what happens next.

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Now for some Bookish/Non-Bookish Thoughts:

  • The rain has been replaced by sun in the past couple of days, but more rain is coming, according to the weather people;
  • Yesterday’s doctor’s appointment was uneventful, except she changed one of my prescriptions, and I’m a little nervous…what new side effects might appear?  I have a fear of the side effects of most meds being worse than the original disease;
  • My daughter is throwing a grand party for her 40th birthday in August:  a cruise, to which she is inviting friends and family;
  • I finished the complete Season 4 of House of Cards on the weekend…I couldn’t stop watching until the last episode!  Now for another long wait (a year) for Season 5.
  • I’m reading a book I featured here a couple of weeks ago, and really enjoying it, a testament to how good those older TBRs can be!  A Long Time Gone, by Karen White, on my shelves since August 2014.

That’s it for this week…what books are you spotlighting today?

Here I am in my mini-office:

 

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