REVIEW: BORN WITH TEETH: A MEMOIR, BY KATE MULGREW

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The first daughter of Joan and Thomas Mulgrew came into the world with four tiny baby teeth, and while the parents were amazed and crowed over her beauty, the friends and neighbors in Dubuque, Iowa, worried that being so proud of her looks would bring nothing good.

Eventually, however, the tiny teeth were removed by the doctor, and the baby grew normally, developing a zest for solid food.

Thus began the life of Kate Mulgrew, who was followed by several more babies, until the family eventually moved to a larger house in the country, one they came to call Derby Grange.

Born with Teeth is a memoir, but it reads like a fictional story at times, and I held my breath, wondering what would unfold next. Not having read much about this actress before this book, I was drawn into the story of how she came to attend Stella Adler’s Studio of Acting as a teenager; how she starred in various productions through the workshop; and eventually joined a soap opera called Ryan’s Hope. While on that show, she fell in love with a young man…and got pregnant. The pregnancy was written into the show, but sadly, afterwards, she gave up the baby, a girl, for adoption. This loss would follow her throughout the years.

Theater was her first love, but she came to appreciate television production, and went on to be a part of another TV show called HeartBeat, in which she starred as a doctor. I remember this show, and enjoyed watching her perform.

Love came along, too, and two beautiful sons. But the marriage would not survive….and she escaped to Ireland to heal. Where she met her true soul mate. But would that relationship survive, with all the obstacles that stood in their way?

Meanwhile, her biggest show yet was about to come. Star Trek: Voyager would come to be one remembered by most people. The show was on for seven seasons.

Now she is a wonderful star in Orange Is the New Black, where she inhabits the role of Red as only she can.

Would Kate eventually find the happiness and love she longed for? Would her life settle into something peaceful? Turning the pages was a very satisfying experience for me, as I wanted to find the answers, too, and I enjoyed her writing style, which felt as though we were having a conversation. Then, in the final, suspenseful chapters, I felt a wonderful satisfaction about the events that unfolded. 5 stars.

WEEKLY UPDATES: A FEW DISTRACTIONS

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

My plans for the week were flexible, but I had expected to do better than the TWO books I read and reviewed.  Alas, my Netflix addiction grabbed me again.  I found another engaging series, called The Killing, and I’m almost finished with the second of four seasons.  Set in Seattle, the show captured my interest with its mix of a murder mystery and a corrupt political campaign.  Throw in a nearby casino with nefarious goings-on, and you can picture all the possibilities.

Meanwhile, however, I have read and reviewed 33 books for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

On Wednesday, I took Pippa with me to The Elephant Bar, where I enjoyed a tasty lunch, complete with my favorite Pomegranate martini.

 

 

may 15 lunch & martini

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Serendipitous Musings:  Wishing for “One True Loves”

Chasing Away the Blues with “Clouds in My Coffee”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Feeding My Obsessions

Bookish Wednesday:  Waiting for “Behind Closed Doors”

Bookish Thursday #14:  Serendipitous Moments

Bookish Moments:  Let’s Curl Up

Bookish Friday:  “The Orphan Choir”

Coffee Mornings:  My Interior World

Review:  The Other Typist (e-book), by Suzanne Rindell

Review:  The Ramblers (e-book), by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

 

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AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE:

From Katherine, @ I Wish I Lived in a Library:  Ramblings from the Stacks-Reviews & Ratings

From Grace, @Rebel Mommy Book Blog: Six Moments I Remember Best in Books

From Lexxie, @ Up Close and (un)Conventional:  BEA & ARCs

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing came in the mailbox!  But I downloaded two e-books:

 

The Two-Family House (e-book), by Lynda Cohen Loigman

 

 

 

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A Lowcountry Wedding (e-book), by Mary Alice Monroe

 

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  Born with Teeth:  A Memoir, by Kate Mulgrew

 

 

 

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On My Stack – I hope to read two or more of these:

 

Breakdown (e-book), by Jonathan Kellerman

 

 

 

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The Summer’s End (e-book), by Mary Alice Monroe

 

 

 

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I Almost Forgot About You, by Terry McMillan (Amazon Vine)

 

 

 

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That’s it for my week…what did yours look like?  Let’s grab some coffee and chat.

 

 

Books & fairytales - may 16

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BOOKISH MOMENTS: LET’S CURL UP!

 

 

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morning in april

 

Good morning, and it’s still Coffee Time in my world, so I’m eager to talk about books and reading.  You might have also noticed my new look here (see new header at the top of my post).

 

I photographed a section of my bookish corner, the shelves built by my youngest son, and the loveseat…a thing from my past.  A place to curl up.

 

 

my bookish corner

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The wicker loveseat has found many places to belong (for a while) in my home, from a spot by the windows to a place at the foot of my bed.

But I think this is my favorite niche for it.  It is where people sit down right after coming through the front door…and before they find the couches (loveseat and bigger couch), where they settle in for conversation, food, or reading.

 

 

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Speaking of reading, I am pondering my books and trying to decide what’s up next.  Currently, I am still reading The Ramblers, an engaging book, but I’ve been distracted.  (Netflix, movies).

Breakdown is next on my list…and I love Alex Delaware.

But Friction has been on Pippa since March, so maybe it can be next?

 

 

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And I’ve been looking at ROOM, too, since I saw the movie already.

 

 

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So…I have a start for some engaging books….and now I just have to finish this week’s list first!  Or not.  Sometimes, I’m whimsical with my reading.

What about you?

Enjoy!

 

 

Books & fairytales - may 16

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REVIEW: THE OTHER TYPIST, BY SUZANNE RINDELL

 

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Everything about Rose Baker seemed prim and proper, from her “unremarkable” appearance to her orderly way of approaching each task. Her childhood spent in an orphanage set the tone for how her life would unfold, including her time spent as a typist in a police precinct.

Until the day “the other typist” walked into the precinct and seemingly tugged at a feeling that Rose had, as yet, not experienced. At that point, Odalie Lazare became the object of her obsession.

The Other Typist is narrated in Rose’s first person voice, and as she tells the story from her perspective, we learn that it is set in the mid-1920s, a time that would become real and visual in every way. We can almost feel what she feels as she describes her impressions of Odalie, her experiences with her as the two become confidantes and then roommates. The mysterious Odalie would become the center of Rose’s universe.

Nights in speakeasies, getaways to the beach, and entry into a world previously unknown…all would inform the days, weeks, and months of Rose’s life with Odalie as a friend.

So how did everything go so wrong? What, if anything, had Odalie done to set events in motion? What could anyone do or say to change the outcome of one fateful night? How did Rose become someone even she herself did not recognize? Had she been tricked and played, or was she simply a very unreliable narrator who might fool any one of us?

I could see it all coming, of course, as Rose’s narrative dropped hints along the way. But the ending completely stunned me…and I then began to question my own conclusions. Definitely a book I would recommend for anyone who loves a thriller with unexpected twists. 5 stars.

 

 

 

WEEKLY UPDATES: CURLING UP WITH BOOKS & NETFLIX

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

What a wonderful week it was!  It flew by…and every book I picked up seemed to keep me engaged.  I read and reviewed THREE books, and I’m halfway through the fourth one.  I now have 31 books completed for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge.  Last Sunday, I enjoyed brunch at the lake with my daughter and her fiance, along with my grandson Noah.  Here are Heather and Noah, with the lake as a backdrop.

 

 

Heather & Noah - Mother's Day Brunch - Bass Lake

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Weekend Moments:  Netflix Bingeing, Mother’s Day, & Love

Tuesday Potpourri:  Excerpting “The Children”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Luxuriating in the Goodies…

Bookish Wednesday:  Waiting on “This Must Be the Place”

Bookish Thursday #13:  Serendipitous Moments

Tensions Arise:  An Excerpt from “Interior Designs”

Bookish Fridays:  “I Let You Go”

Review:  What We Find (e-book), by Robyn Carr

Review:  My Name is Lucy Barton (e-book), by Elizabeth Strout

Review:  The Children (e-book), by Ann Leary – (NetGalley – 5/14)

 

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AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE:

From Cleopatra Loves Books, My A-Z of Books

 

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One book came in my mailbox from Amazon Vine! 

I purchased three e-books….

 

I Almost Forgot About You, by Terry McMillan (Vine)

 

 

 

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Downloads:

 

Clouds in My Coffee (e-book, Country Club Murders #3), by Julie Mulhern

 

 

 

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Two If By Sea (e-book), by Jacquelyn Mitchard

 

 

 

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Dear Thing (e-book), by Julie Cohen

 

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  The Other Typist (e-book), by Suzanne Rindell

 

 

 

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My list also includes:

 

Breakdown (e-book), by Jonathan Kellerman

 

 

 

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The Ramblers (e-book), by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

 

 

 

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Born with Teeth:  A Memoir, by Kate Mulgrew

 

 

 

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That’s it for my week…what did yours look like?  Some of you went to BEA…or did the armchair reading here.  Come on by and share, please!  Here’s what I did last weekend (below), and plan to do again today.  Netflix bingeing!

 

 

May 7 breakfast in bed with Netflix

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REVIEW: MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, BY ELIZABETH STROUT

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From the very beginning of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the reader can sense the emotional neediness of Lucy, our first person narrator. She tells her story in fits and starts, which sweeps back and forth through time.

The impetus for her narrative was Lucy’s hospitalization some time in the 1980s, when an appendectomy resulted in some complications. Unexpectedly, her mother has flown to be by her side, after never having done such a thing in the past. She has come all the way from the farming town of Amgash, Illinois. One could wonder what prompted the visit, but nothing about the mother’s motives are revealed. Theirs is not a loving relationship and never has been. Could the mother have been reaching out, but felt unable to express her need to connect?

The two converse in a rather strange fashion, with Lucy’s mother relaying bits and pieces of information about the townsfolk, as if trying to relate to Lucy in a meaningful way. But everything said between them seems superficial, and whenever Lucy tries to probe for more information, her mother shuts down.

We learn from Lucy’s reflections about growing up as an outsider, looked down upon by other kids in school. Being laughed at for her clothes and where they lived, which was a garage for a while, and then later, a broken down house.

Even now, years later, Lucy’s feeling of being different or less than comes through, although she had a somewhat normal life at the time of her mother’s visit, with a husband and two daughters. She had even attended college on a scholarship…and has a fledgling writing career. A career that takes off later in our story.

The meandering style of the narrative has an autobiographical nature to it, with Lucy trying to make sense of her life, her feelings, and her choices. While I found Lucy’s thoughts and feelings interesting and reflective of a life raised in poverty with the hint of some abuse and neglect, nothing is actually stated clearly. Much is left unsaid. Almost as if the emotional impoverishment of the characters stifled the expression of their experiences. The story left me unfulfilled, in terms of Lucy’s issues, as if more information was just waiting to be brought forth, but somehow was lost in translation. Therefore, 4 stars.

WEEKLY UPDATES: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

The week flew by, but I enjoyed my books; I also did some binge-watching of Happy Valley and The Newsroom on Netflix and Amazon Video.  I am also watching Grace and Frankie, now that Season II is out.

To celebrate my weekend, I’ve rearranged some things in my bedroom so I can watch there via my TV/Laptop hook-up (HDMI cable).  I watch via the Blu-Ray in my living room.

I only finished reading and reviewing two books, but they were both really good.  I’m halfway through the third book.

I got an early Mother’s Day delivery today…a balloon, a bear, and these gorgeous edible treats:

 

 

mother's day chocolates

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Serendipitous Musings:  I Can’t Wait to Get a Copy!

Tuesday Potpourri:  Excerpting “The Excellent Lombards”

Serendipitous Wednesdays:  Waiting for “Siracusa”

Thoughts from the Interior:  Favorite Places

Hump Day Potpourri:  Welcome to My Interior World!

Interior World Shake-Ups:  When Will I Stop?

Bookish Thursdays # 12:  Serendipitous Moments

Bookish Fridays:  Excerpting “The Other Typist”

Rainy Day Reading:  Curling up with Books & Netflix

Saturday Sparks:  Spotlighting Interior & Exterior Moments

Review:  Lies & Other Acts of Love (e-book), by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Review:  Don’t You Cry (e-book), by Mary Kubica –(NetGalley – 5/17)

 

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AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE:

From Kristilyn, at A Little Time to Read:  Bullet Journaling:  One Month In

From Lexxie, at Up Close & (un)Conventional – Memes

 

INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

No books in the mailbox!  I did receive two review ARCs from NetGalley…and downloaded four purchased e-books.

Ink & Bone (e-book), by Lisa Unger  (NetGalley – 6/7)

 

 

 

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All the Missing Girls (e-book), by Megan Miranda – (NetGalley – 6/28)

 

 

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Purchases:

Dear Carolina (e-book), by Kristy Woodson Harvey

 

 

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The Blue Bath (e-book), by Mary Waters-Sayer

 

 

 

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Wilde Lake (e-book), by Laura Lippman

 

 

 

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I Let You Go (e-book), by Claire Mackintosh

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  What We Find (e-book), by Robyn Carr

 

 

 

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Next:  My Name Is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout

 

 

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There will be others from my stacks, depending on my mood and available time….What did your week look like?  Come on by and chat, sharing your comments and links.

 

Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - 2

 

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