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.





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!



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?




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!


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?


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:



  • 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).



  • 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



bookish  thursdaysWelcome 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.

The Frog Prince, by Jane Porter, is the centerpiece for today’s event.



Let’s start off by sharing  a foodie tidbit in honor of Lexxie’s event.  Our MC has left her marriage, is starting over by moving to San Francisco, and suddenly she is realizing that her food habits are not conducive to looking her best:

“I shower, dry off, avoid the mirror.  Diet plans always say to avoid the scale and mirror in the early weeks of any new program (I’ m sure they said the mirror, too), and in my favorite ratty winter pajamas—we wear the flannel winter stuff year-round in the city—I head to the kitchen, open the freezer, look at the carton of Dreyer’s Rocky Road Light (not Chunky Monkey, Olivia).  I know I shouldn’t have ice cream.  Even the light stuff isn’t on the diet plan.  But ice cream isn’t really crap food. It’s dairy.  Calcium.  Protein.  Strong bones.  Helps with sleep.

“I eat right out of the carton.  Three bites.  Four.  I should stop.  I really only need a taste.  Anything more than a taste is just empty calories….”

I can relate to her logic, can’t you?  LOL.


Now…on to the TBR part.  I have had this one on my Kindle since May 2015…so not a LONG time, but I should rescue it.  Here’s a snippet about it:

What happens when the fairy tale is over?

Once upon a time, a lovely maiden from Fresno married the man of her dreams. After the honeymoon, she waited for the “happily ever after” part… until her Prince Charming turned out to be a toad. Now Holly Bishop is about to write a new chapter in her life. She moves to San Francisco to become an event planner — only to find that she is dealing with a gorgeous fairy godmother for a boss and corporate witches wicked enough to sabotage her future. Not to mention the egomaniacal frogs Holly finds lurking at the bottom of the dating pool.

Why haven’t I grabbed this one sooner?  Should I start reading it now?  And I love the part about her leaving Fresno behind…I live there now, but have fond memories of my time in SF in the sixties. 


As for my Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts:

  • After a few rather skimpy reading weeks, I am on a roll this week, reading and reviewing three books already:  Where I Lost Her (e-book), by T. Greenwood;  I Was Here (e-book), by Gayle Forman; and Passenger, The (e-book), by Lisa Lutz. (Click for my reviews).
  • It is raining again today, and I have an appointment with the tax accountant…hoping for not so bad news, but I never know!
  • Taking Pippa along, so I can soothe myself afterwards with a cocktail and a book.
  • My only two granddaughters were both born in February and in the same year; they both turn nineteen this month!  Aubrey’s birthday was last Saturday, and Fiona’s is this Sunday.  Here is a shot of them when they were much younger:


the girls


Fiona, on the left, has covered up her blondness over the years with various shades of red, brunette, etc,  Aubrey has stuck with her brunette locks.  They are very different from one another…they are treasures.


What is your Thursday turning out to be?  Are you celebrating your life, along with bookish things?  Come on by and share!




Welcome to a celebration of life’s tidbits and obsessions….and anyone who has visited me here (or at any of my blogs) realizes that Netflix shows are my favorites to binge-watch.

When I watched Breaking Bad for weeks on end, I came to really enjoy the Saul Goodman character, so I was already waiting for the Better Call Saul show to appear.  This week, I got the announcement!

Only one season so far, but, of course, I had to watch the whole thing…in two nights.

It is like a prequel, and we get to see how that character evolved.  It was fun, let me tell you!  But now I want Season II…and I want it now!


Until then, I’ll settle for Season 4 of House of Cards!


Earlier today, I participated in another of my obsessive expressions….changing the blog header here.  I love the ladybug on the header, and the “potpourri” of them in the background.  Quirky!






What are you celebrating/obsessing about today?




Welcome to another Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts, hosted by Lexxie, at (un)Conventional Bookviews.

The idea of Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read. Please link up beneath, and visit other bloggers who are participating in Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts as well.

Today I am continuing the book I shared last time, with a better meal than we saw in the beginning.  Where We Belong, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, is a poignant, heartfelt, and uplifting story about finding your place in the world, no matter how impossible it seems.




Our teenage MC, Angie, our first person narrator, is more adult in her attitudes and behaviors than her mother, and seems to be in charge of coming up with plans for dealing with her autistic younger sister, Sophie.  She has built a connection with their neighbor, Paul, and even after Sophie’s behavior (shrieking constantly) gets them kicked out of more than one abode, Paul offers a way to help Sophie, who loves and is calmed when in the presence of his Great Dane Rigby.  Now a unique friendship has developed between them, and Paul is teaching Angie how to fish.  After a successful morning, they are getting ready to eat their catch:

I pressed the side of my fork down on a filet, but it was clear that it would fall apart at the slightest touch.  That I could just flake off a bite.  I did.  I popped it into my mouth.  Half excited, half nervous.

The flavor exploded on my tongue.  And yet it wasn’t too fishy.  It was fluffy, like a cloud.  It was the best thing I’d ever tasted in my life, I swear.  That’s not just one of those things you say.  I thought of pizza, and the steak my mom used to bring home from her old job at the restaurant.  And the shrimp I had once at a party.  They were nothing.  Next to this trout, they were cardboard.


Don’t you want some trout right about now?  What are you “eating or drinking” today?




Welcome to another Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts post…our leader is Lexxie, at (un)Conventional Bookviews.

The idea of Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read. Please link up beneath, and visit other bloggers who are participating in Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts as well.


Today’s excerpt is from an ARC I plan to read next week…or the following week.  All the Stars in the Heavens, by Adriana Trigiani, is a spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself.  Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town’s golden age—an era as brutal as it was resplendent—and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. 





The scene below takes place in Hollywood in 1917.  Life on the set reveals a series of lunches brought on trays, in this instance, to the actress Mae Murray:

“Miss Murray.  Your lunch.”  A runner approached with a tray.

“What’ve we got today?”

“Ham sandwich and lemonade,” the boy said as he hooked a tray onto the arm of the slant board.  The costumer draped a large, starched linen napkin over Mae’s costume to catch any crumbs.

“I should be eating a rare steak and raw tomato.  That’s how Mary Pickford stays slim.”

“B-but you ordered….,” the boy stammered.

“Teasing ya.  Ham for the ham, honey.”  Mae smiled as she lifted the bread and removed the meat.  She ate half a slice of the bread sparingly buttered.


I liked this little peek into the glitzy Hollywood world, back in the day.  We learn that all is not fancy lunches, and lunch on a tray can be boring.

What are you teasing us with today?

I’m linking this one up to My Guilty Pleasures page.




In the aftermath of my purging, rearranging, etc., my rooms still have more collections and books than some people enjoy.

But I am the one who lives here, so I guess I get to decide that!  LOL

Here are some changes on the hearth:





Yes, some of the goodies are now resting comfortably in garage bins that had space freed up after the purge.

I’ve also been tackling some closets, including the nook in my office.  You won’t believe what I found in some of the big, stackable boxes that seem to be purely decorative (see below under the bear), but contained computer floppy discs from the days when those were usable.  Out those discs went!





Books are still coming into the house, but as new ones come in, some older ones are going out to the library collections box in the garage.  The garage, by the way, is looking much better!


Here are some Amazon Vine books I’ve received: 


When We Fall, by Emily Liebert




Ready for a fresh start, Allison Parker moves back to her hometown in the suburbs of New York. While she’d once savored the dynamic pace of city life, sadly, it lost its allure after her husband’s untimely death. Now, ready to focus on her art career accompanied by her ten-year-old son, Logan, Allison doesn’t anticipate that her past will resurface. When the wife of her husband’s best friend from summer camp takes her under her wing, things begin to spin out of control.


And The Oleander Sisters, by Elaine Hussey





An emotionally riveting tale of the bonds of family and the power of hope in the sultry Deep South…set in the 60s.



I am looking forward to both of these…and am loving Accidents of Marriage, which I am reading now.  What are you enjoying on a Thursday?




Happily, I get to stay in my cozy home every day for the rest of this week, if I wish.  I did my final check-in at the Jury website, and I am “discharged.”  Released!  Yay!

I feel like those kids who get to go home from school early, or those who get a holiday from work.

All morning, I have been fiddling around, waiting for the time (11:30) when I had to check into the Jury website.  I did have to run out and do a couple of errands, and even had a cup of coffee at Barnes & Noble, with one eye on my watch the whole time.



Back home again, I’ve been plugging away on Pic Monkey, creating new headers for various blogs, and even my website.  My restless energy syndrome is alive and well….but now that I have been released, I can settle in and enjoy.

Do you hate having your routines in upheaval because of something hanging over your head?  How do you cope?

One thing I also did was go to Amazon Vine and order another book.  Yes, I had my review stack there pared down to two books, so I had to order another.

Then and Always, by Dani Atkins, is a debut novel that sounds so enticing.





Blurb:  For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot, and the hit film Sliding Doors, comes an absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers.
Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.


I’ve also downloaded four e-books already this week…I’ll be sharing more about them on Saturday.




Today I am enjoying the cool breezes coming from outdoors…which made me grab the photo above, a picture of my son’s garden cottage in Berlin.  Wishing I had those French doors.

My mind has been flitting around this morning, starting with a post I wrote about preferred reading formats:  Take a Risk:  Let’s Talk About Formats.


Naturally, I chose Sparky (above), because of the ease of downloading and fewer overcrowding issues.  At least fewer VISIBLE ones.

Afterwards, I noticed that at the bottom of each Word Press post are links to other posts I’ve written, which intrigued me.  So I started flipping back and found several posts from 2010, 2011, etc. 

Here’s one about Multi-tasking: (from 2011)



I used to do several things while I read, but that was during college.  I would study with the TV on, and occasionally glance up to see what was happening.  I did well in my classes, too, in case you’re worried…LOL

Nowadays, though, I like to focus more on the book. Maybe because I know I’m going to review it afterwards, or maybe because I’m older and it’s harder not to be distracted.  But I do usually have something to drink close by, and the TV is on, but muted.


Then there’s this one I wrote in 2010: Happy Thanksgiving Post.

What struck me was this little snippet:

Today I uploaded my NaNoWriMo novel and entered the Winners’ Circle there.  Who knows?  Perhaps the manuscript I began in this month of November 2010 will join my five other published novels and become published as well.


That manuscript was Interior Designs…and it was published April 1, 2014.


Front Cover-resized again



Do you ever read old posts?  Do you enjoy them?  Do you cringe?  Sometimes I do cringe, but mostly when I read the old ones on my very first blog from 2008, Story Corner.






I do love the idea of a nice breakfast on the patio.  But today, instead, I’m sipping coffee and eating by the computer.  I have just written about my disturbing dreams, in The Collision of Past and Present. 

And on the previous day, I wrote about organizing my bookish world.

Remember how I vowed to curb my book buying impulses?  And order fewer review books?

Well, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to peruse the Vine newsletter for a while…but sadly, my fingers have been clicking along and hitting the “buy” link in the Kindle store.  Yes, alas, I have three new e-books that I hadn’t even planned on…well, one of them was on my list.  MY PLANS TO CURB MY IMPULSES HAVE GONE AWRY!


The Matchmaker, by Elin Hilderbrand, was on my list.  I had pre-ordered it, so it showed up.  Earlier than expected, but no worries.






Then, after reading and enjoying The Fault in Our Stars, I found myself over at John Green’s site, clicking on Paper Towns.  Yes, alas…I did it!





Did I stop there?  No….I had just read a review (thanks, Patty!), and knew I would enjoy Monday, Monday, by Elizabeth Crook…so, magically, it appeared on Sparky.  Funny how that works!





Okay, here’s how my strange mind works…I had organized Sparky a few weeks ago…and recently purged some of my physical books from their shelves…so, what?  I can now go crazy?

Sigh…a little bit compulsive, right?

Maybe some of this came about because, after going through frustrations with my web browser, which stopped working yesterday…and after uninstalling the old one and downloading a new one, I felt a renewed vigor.  A zest for web browsing…and buying.





What triggers your impulse buying?  Or are you able to curb those impulses and delay your gratification?  What works for you?