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:

 

 

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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.

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: MY READING MOJO WENT MISSING…FOR A BIT

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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 started off great, with two fabulous reads.  Then I seemed to be stuck between two books that just didn’t grab me.  As I went back and forth between them, I feared that I would not find anything more to engage me this week.  After I tossed them aside (DNF), I picked up a review ARC from Amazon Vine, and started in.  I was a little hesitant, as it had 498 pages.  But I finished it…loved it!  It kept me thoroughly intrigued throughout.

Warm and then cooler weather followed us…and ended up being pretty perfect.  This weekend, I will run some errands…and hopefully see a movie.

Let’s grab some coffee and take a look at the rest of the week…

 

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

That’s a Wrap:  Read-a-Thon Is Over!

Interior Thoughts:  A Precarious Balance

Tuesday Sparks:  “Lies & Other Acts of Love

Hump Day Potpourri:  Waiting for “The Hopefuls”

Bookish Thursdays #11:  A Potpourri of Events

Feeding My Bookworm…and Thoughts About Changes

Bookish Fridays:  “Three-Martini Lunch”

Saturday Sparks:  More Family Fun

Whew!  Where Did April Go? — A Wrap-Up

Review:  The Obsession (e-book), by Nora Roberts

Review:  Buried in a Bog (e-book), by Sheila Connolly

Review:  Three-Martini Lunch (e-book), by Suzanne Rindell (Amazon Vine)

 

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AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE:

Check out Lexxie’s Up Close & (un)Conventional:  Keeping Track of Ideas

Over at A Little Time to Read, Kristilyn wrote about The Fine Art of Letter Writing

 

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INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in the mailbox!  But I received a review ARC from NetGalley…and I purchased three downloaded books.

 

Cruel Beautiful World (e-book), by Caroline Leavitt (NetGalley – 10/4/16)

 

 

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The Excellent Lombards (e-book), by Jane Hamilton

 

 

 

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Scandal in Skibbereen (e-book, Book 2), by Sheila Connolly

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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And then…perhaps one of these:

 

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

 

 

 

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What We Find (e-book, Sullivan’s Crossing), by Robyn Carr

 

 

 

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That’s it for my week…what did yours look like?  Let’s have some coffee….or a mimosa, and chat.

 

 

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THAT’S A WRAP: READ-A-THON IS OVER!

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My very first Read-a-Thon went pretty well, I think.  Okay, I didn’t read the stack of books I had selected…but I did read one of them, a 453 page book, The Obsession.  (Click for my review).

 

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A great page-turner romantic suspense that kept me glued to the pages.

But here is how my day unfolded.

7:30 a.m.- Started reading…took occasional breaks and took photos of snacks, etc.  Visited some blogs and then resumed reading.

2:00 p.m. – Tired eyes…took a nap.

3:00 p.m. – Resumed reading.

5:00 p.m. – Dinner and reading

Then my charger on Pippa went out, so I had to hook it up to my laptop.  I couldn’t figure out how to read while it was charging…so I got online to write my weekly updates, check e-mails, and order a new charger.

10:00 – Resumed reading until 11:00 p.m.

Slept until 1:30, so I read until 3:00 a.m.  Went back to sleep.

Woke up at 6:30 a.m., finished reading and checked some blog posts.  That’s a wrap!

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My optimistic reading goals included these books, 2 print versions and a couple more on Pippa:

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A READ-A-THON & MORE

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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.

It has been a good week for reading, and today I’ve joined in for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  I started out fairly late this morning, around 7:30 a.m., and I’ve been going at it pretty steadily.  I’ve taken some breaks to blog and visit sites, have snacks, and even some dinner.  My original plan was to read two or three small books, but instead, I started on one with 454 pages…and kept going with it because I love it.  I should be finished soon.

I haven’t done a lot of movie watching this week, and nothing on Netflix.  Usually that’s a weekend thing, but now I’ve got the reading thing going on.  Here’s my reading with dinner.

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Let’s Chase Away the Blues & Muse About Books

Tuesday Sparks:  Excerpting “Terrible Virtue”

Reminiscing Childhood Moments:  Excerpted from “Web of Tyranny”

Bookish Hump Day: “The Beauty of the End”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Passions, Change, & the Comfort Zone

Bookish Thursdays #10:  A Potpourri of Events

Bookish Fridays:  “The Obsession”

Snow Sparks:  The Eyes, Etc.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon:  Morning Launch

Read-a-Thon:  An Engaging Story & a Snack

Review:  A Fatal Grace (e-book), by Louise Penny

Review:  Terrible Virtue (e-book), by Ellen Feldman

Review:  Mother Knows Best, by Karen MacInerney (Vine)

Review:  June, by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (Vine)

 

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

No books in the mailbox!  But I bought one print book at Barnes & Noble, and downloaded an e-book.

The One & Only, by Emily Giffin

 

 

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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (e-book), by Fredrik Backman

 

 

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

Currently Reading:

The Obsession (e-book), by Nora Roberts

 

 

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Have No Shame (e-book), by Melissa Foster

 

 

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A Thirty-Something Girl (e-book), by Lisa M. Gott

 

 

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There are more books on my stacks, of course, and I will follow my whims to see what comes after these.

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That’s my week.  What did yours look like?  Enjoy….

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: BOOKS, MOVIES, & MEMORIES

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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 week!  I read and reviewed THREE books, but none of them counted for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.  One was a “freebie” from Amazon Prime, while the other two were books purchased in 2014.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the books.  But since I purchased those books and was drawn to them at some point, should that surprise me?

Perhaps I should be stunned that I waited so long for them.

I finished watching American Odyssey, Season 1, on Netflix.  Now I’ll have to wait for another season!  I did also watch a couple of episodes of Lie to Me, but I am so annoyed by a couple of the characters (newbie staff members at the company), that I’m about ready to stop watching.  Do you ever find that when you are annoyed at characters, whether in a book, a movie, or a show, that you want to throw something?  Or am I the only immature creature here?  LOL.

I also watched a movie on my DVR that had me tearing up from the memories…it was an oldie, from the 1970s, and it had that Johnny Mathis song playing throughout:  “The last time I felt like this, I was falling in love….”. 

The movie was Same Time, Next Year, with Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda.

I hadn’t seen the movie in a few years, so it almost felt like the first time.  Do you ever have that reaction to old movies?  It reminded me of exactly what was going on in my own life when the movie first came out.  I must have listened to that song all through that momentous summer.  Enough said.  LOL.

Let’s toast, okay?  And chat about the past week in books and blogging….

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Rainy Day Reading: Sunshine Interruptus

Interior Thoughts: Musing About Books

Serendipitous Tuesdays: “Breakdown”

Hump Day Potpourri: Waiting for “Falling”

Bookish Thursdays #9: A Potpourri of Events

My Interior Thoughts: A Glimpse of the Past

Bookish Fridays: “Have No Shame”

Let’s Curl up with Some Bookish Dreams

Review:  Dream of the Blue Room (e-book), by Michelle Richmond

Review:  North of Here (e-book), by Laurel Saville

Review:  Lila (e-book), by Marilynne Robinson

 

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One review book came in my mailbox from Amazon Vine…and I downloaded three e-books (purchased).

Three-Martini Lunch, by Suzanne Rindell (Vine)

 

 

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Downloads:

Luckiest Girl Alive (e-book), by Jessica Knoll

 

 

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

 

 

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The Obsession (e-book), by Nora Roberts

 

 

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

Currently Reading:  A Fatal Grace (Book 2) (e-book), by Louise Penny

 

 

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Then….

Mother Knows Best, by Karen MacInerney

 

 

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Terrible Virtue (e-book), by Ellen Feldman

 

 

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I have a few more to consider….let’s see what really happens in next week’s post. 

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That’s it for my week…what did yours look like?  Have a good one!

 

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A GOOD READING WEEK

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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.

As you have probably noticed, I have brought the Weekly Updates over here to Curl up and Read.  I like to keep things in a state of flux.  LOL.

The week flew by, as usual.  One minute, it felt like Monday…and then, suddenly, it was Friday.  I did read and review four books this week, and have now read and reviewed 26 books for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

I spent some time bingeing on Netflix, with the new series The Ranch.  So far, it’s fun.  I also added a new show to my queue:  American Odyssey.

Midweek, I took a break for lunch with a friend at The Cheesecake Factory…delicious!  But it was a late lunch, so I didn’t feel much like having dinner later.  But that’s okay, too.

 

 

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(The cheesecake in the photo above was from The Elephant Bar, the week before.  I forgot to photograph mine from this week….but they looked the same).

Let’s revisit the rest of my week…

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Dreaming…Excerpt from “Web of Tyranny”

Sunday Potpourri: A Day of Lazing About

Ignite Your Book Love: Musings

Serendipitous Tuesdays: “Friction”

Curl up and Wait For “It Ends with Us”

Interior Thoughts: Exploring the Past…and Reveling in the Present

Bookish Fridays:  “Dream of the Blue Room”

Review:  Most Wanted (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline (NetGalley – 4/12)

Review:  The Nest (e-book), by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Review:  Domestic Secrets (e-book), by Rosalind Noonan

Review:  The Price of Salt (e-book, Carol), by Patricia Highsmith

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INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Two books came in my mailbox from Amazon Vine…and I downloaded three purchased books…plus, I got an Amazon Prime freebie.

Mother Knows Best, by Karen MacInerney (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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June, by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Blood Defense (e-book), by Marcia Clark (From Amazon Prime)

 

 

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First Frost (e-book), by Sarah Addison Allen (Purchased)

 

 

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

 

 

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River Road (e-book), by Carol Goodman (Purchased)

 

 

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

As usual, I have a few books on my stack that I plan to read…but in what order, or when, well, let’s just say that I’m trying for the whimsical.

North of Here (e-book), by Laurel Saville

 

 

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Dream of the Blue Room (e-book), by Michelle Richmond

 

 

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A Fatal Grace (e-book, Book 2), by Louise Penny

 

 

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That’s my week….what did yours look like?  I hope you’ll stop by and leave your links to your posts.

 

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CURL UP AND LET’S MUSE: UPCOMING READS & HALLOWEEN

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Welcome to a Monday for Musing…Jenn, at A Daily Rhythm leads us with her special topics, listed below:

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you read any horror, or something scary, in honor of Halloween? Why, or why not?

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I just downloaded a book today from NetGalley…I have been ogling it for a while.  It will be released on 1/26/16, but I plan to start reading it in December.

I read another book by the author, Melanie Benjamin, and I am a big fan of the characters in this book, The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

 

 

 

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Blurb:  The New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife returns with a triumphant new novel about New York’s “Swans” of the 1950s—and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley.

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends—the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman—a woman desperately longing for true love and connection.

Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entrée into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, along with unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe’s powerful circle. Sure of the loyalty of the man she calls “True Heart,” Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller—even when the stories aren’t his to tell.

Truman’s fame is at its peak when such notable celebrities as Frank and Mia Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Rose Kennedy converge on his glittering Black and White Ball. But all too soon, he’ll ignite a literary scandal whose repercussions echo through the years. The Swans of Fifth Avenue will seduce and startle readers as it opens the door onto one of America’s most sumptuous eras.

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Doesn’t it sound delicious?  I may not be able to wait until December to start savoring this one.

As for Halloween, I don’t read anything for the occasion, but I have a few little figurines I bring out, like these:

 

 

 

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My trusty Disney collectibles.

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I spent some of my weekend working on this blog, getting ready for 2016.  I added pages for Books Purchased, Books Read, and Review books for the new year.

While I was at it, I changed the theme here.  That’s what I love to do when I’m bored…LOL.

What are you musing about today?

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS – WAITING

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Welcome to another Thursday!  Today I’m participating in a little meme hosted by Bookishly Boisterous:  a chance to explore a variety of thoughts.

Thursdays are an odd day in the week, so I serendipitously discovered this little event last week, and decided to hop on board.

This week has been strangely out of sync, as the management of my condo complex is doing routine maintenance.  But they don’t tell you when they are coming!  The note says “anytime between 9 and 2:30, Mon. to Fri.”

I hate that, because for me, that means staying home every day between those hours. 

I have one of those homes with lots of collections, etc., so the “bull in the china shop” guys have a tendency to mow them down as they go about their business.  Am I being sexist?  No, I have just observed a lot of guys doing their work, whether it’s construction or maintenance, for many years.  And that is why I have elected to stay close to home when they arrive…to observe and protect my turf.  LOL

 

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The upside:  I have been reading, and the books I selected for this week have been wonderfully engaging.  Small Blessings, by Martha Woodroof (click for review) is one of those books that seemed to wrap itself around me like a cozy shawl, as each character brought something special to the canvas.

 

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Today I am reading Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty, and those pages seem to fly through my fingers.  There is bullying, and there is lots of competition between the mums at the school, and there is a murder…we think.  The hint of it hovers over every page, as we wonder who did what to whom.

 

 

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The kinds of books that definitely distract me during this long, hot week of annoyances.

Oh, and by the way…it is Thursday, I’ve been stuck at home all week, and they haven’t come yet!  I cancelled my hair stylist for today…just because they might come today.

I looked in the mirror and studied my locks…they can manage another week.

Blogging is something else that distracts me when I’m waiting for things….and I have done something on my blogs every day this week.

I have changed themes, headers, etc.  Did you notice that this blog has a new look?

So…now I’m off to grab my breakfast tray and enjoy a little munching.  What are you up to today?

 

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MY UBIQUITOUS JOURNEY: MANAGING THE BOOKSHELVES

 

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On October 22, 2009, I launched this blog.  It was a desperate attempt to make sense of my stacks of books…and to formulate a plan for working my way through them.  At that time, I had 166 unread books stacked in my bedroom!

The photo above is not a portrait of my messy shelves….but I feared I would reach this point if I didn’t do something.  Or I would end up on that Hoarders’ Show…LOL.

Now, four years later, I cannot tell you that the TBR Stacks are a thing of the past….but I can assure you that the stacks are more under control.  I can also show you that I now have itemized “collections” on my pages here, from 2010 through 2013.  And I plan to continue.

My collections are organized further, showing Book Purchases for each year; Books Read each year; and Review Books.  After I read a book, I link the titles to my reviews.

I am a bit compulsive, which is one reason I collect so many books…but it is also the reason I need to organize and document my journey.

In the process of reviewing what I have accomplished so far, here’s what my Books Read numbers look like from the previous years:

Books Read in 2010:  143

Books Read in 2011:   177

Books Read in 2012:   191

Books Read in 2013:   I reached my goal of 200 books read; I have gone beyond that number, with 202 so far.

In looking back at when I purchased individual books, I have a few from the early years, still unread.

2010:  All read!

2011:   3 unread; 1 DNF

2012:   5 unread; 2 DNF

2013:   26 still unread; 1 DNF

As you can see, I need to join another Mt. TBR Challenge, to clear out the unread books.  I think it looks manageable though, don’t you?

How do you organize your bookshelves?  Do you have a plan for reading the unread books?

 

MIX A SPLASH OF BETRAYAL WITH A FEW DROPS OF OUTRAGE….– A REVIEW

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When I first read the blurb for Ladies’ Night, I was especially drawn to the fact that the main character, Grace, was a “lifestyle blogger.” Yes, the author had me at “blogger.”

Also as a fan of all things cozy and beautiful, I was hooked immediately by this aspect of the story. But what kept me turning those pages were the events that changed Grace’s life in innumerable ways, and how, despite what seemed like her powerlessness, she rose above it. And then she began to take control. And reinvent herself.

Wouldn’t you, if your husband betrayed you, locked you out of your home and your blog, along with your bank accounts? The outrage I felt on her behalf, especially since he was the one who betrayed her…well, you can imagine the emotions engendered. But emotions like these can turn lives around in new directions.

And this is what makes this author’s work so readable. She grabs us emotionally and takes us along for the ride with the characters.

What will Grace do to jumpstart her new life? How will she manage to turn the most infuriating and even humiliating experiences into True Gold…or True Grace, if you will? And when she is presented with obstacles over and over, will she give up? Or will she find a way to turn everything around?

I could not put this book down. I loved the characters, the settings in beautiful Florida, and how the story kept me rooting for Grace and her new friends, Wyatt and Camryn; and I started to feel empathy and compassion for some of the unlikeable ones, too. This delightful tale follows a somewhat predictable path, in that we know that the characters will find a way to win out in the end. The fun is figuring out how they will do that. 4.5 stars.