WRAPPING UP AUGUST!

It’s time to look back at August!  I read more pages this month than the previous ones, but I read one less book than in July.  There were so many books to love…so it was hard to choose favorites. 

Check in at The Book Date, to see what others have read and enjoyed.

Here are my favorites, despite how difficult it was to choose:

Top Favorites:

 

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My Book Genres:

Literary Fiction:  2 books read

Contemporary Fiction:  2 books read

Historical/Contemporary Fiction:  2 books read

Mysteries/Thrillers:  8 books read!

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Click on my titles to see my reviews:

AUGUST 2017:

1.After She Fell (e-book), by Mary-Jane Riley – 323 pages – (psychological thriller) – 8/26/17

2.Before We Were Yours (e-book), by Lisa Wingate – 352 pages – (historical/contemporary fiction) – 8/12/17

3.Bookshop on the Corner, The (e-book), by Jenny Colgan – 331 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 8/3/17

4.Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, by Chris Bohjalian – 266 pages – (literary fiction) – 8/7/17

5.Good Daughter, The (e-book), by Karin Slaughter – 528 pages – (suspense thriller) – 8/28/17

6.Here & Gone (e-book), by Haylen Beck – 288 pages – (suspense thriller) – 8/18/17

7.Home, by Harlan Coben – 385 pages – (mystery) – 8/30/17

8.Identicals, The (e-book), by Elin Hilderbrand – 418 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 8/17/17

9.Lying Game, The (e-book), by Ruth Ware – 384 pages – (mystery) – 8/24/17

10.Other Girl, The (e-book), by Erica Spindler – 256 pages – (mystery/thriller) – 8/4/17 – (NetGalley – 8/22/17)

11.Secrets She Keeps, The (e-book), by Michael Robotham – 367 pages – (mystery) – 8/15/17

12.Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 400 pages – (historical/contemporary fiction) – 8/21/17

13.Sunday Morning Coming Down, by Nicci French – 406 pages – (suspense thriller) – 8/1/17

14.Swimming Lessons (e-book), by Claire Fuller – 356 pages – (literary fiction) – 8/8/17

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN AUGUST 2017:         14

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN AUGUST 2017:     5060

BOOKS READ YTD:                                                      117

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Enjoy September!

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REVIEW: TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN, BY LAUREN GRAHAM

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.


My Thoughts: I was probably one of the last people to come to the Gilmore Girls party, but once I discovered the show on Netflix, I couldn’t stop watching. The term “binge watching” completely describes my experience.

Before I found myself a real fan of this show, I had already discovered Lauren Graham in movies and on Parenthood.

Now, in Talking as Fast as I Can, I liked discovering her personal take on her movies, TV shows, and relationships. Her self-deprecating voice kept me smiling, even as I felt like someone who was having a conversation with her.

I liked learning how she came to start writing, and enjoyed her descriptions of her writing process, which included tidbits from someone whose process became part of her writing style.

But my favorite moments were the peeks behind the scenes on the sets, especially the ones related to the Gilmore Girls reboot. Special moments involved the connections with the cast who felt like family, and the emotions they experienced as they wrapped up the show. As a reader, I felt like I was part of it all. 4.5 stars.

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OFF TO THE SHORE: THE BOOKS ARE COMING, TOO….

 

It is almost time for my trip to the beach!  You’d think I’m going for a week or more, the way I’m gathering things together, making lists, etc.

All week long, these pieces of half-packed luggage have been sitting by my bed.  Whenever I can tuck something away, which has to be an item I won’t be using again before I leave…in it goes.

At least I have refrained from bringing out my large luggage…my daughter has reminded me that other people will have luggage in the van.  LOL.

One thing I haven’t forgotten…books.  Maybe I won’t have much reading time, but you have to be prepared.  For late nights, when everyone else is out doing other things, I can curl up in my hotel room and read a little.  I’m thinking one of these, below.  I’m already reading The Cutaway, by Christina Kovac.

 

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I’ll be bringing Pippa, too, with many book choices, including One Perfect Lie, by Lisa Scottoline.

 

 

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I also have a short book on my Kindle, one I downloaded this week:  All Grown Up, by Jami Attenberg.

 

 

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So….I will party with the others until I can make my excuses and retreat to my room…for reading, TV, etc.  That’s how I enjoy myself, and since many people will be having a bonfire on the beach after the festivities, I will not be missed, I’m pretty sure.

Now you know my secret…I am basically a recluse who comes out to play for only a few hours into the night.  That’s how I do things nowadays.  I had my days of partying all night back in the day…now I prefer curling up to read.

What do you like to do when you are on “vacation”?

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CURL UP…AND LET’S TAKE A LOOK BACK…

Madeleine on June 15 - coffee

Looking back, checking to see what I was thinking and feeling during a particular time period, is one of my favorite blogging activities.  Today I looked back two years ago, to February 2015 and my review of The Girl on the Train.  Remember that one?

You will see, if you check it out, that I loved it.  And later, I loved the movie, which is now available on Amazon Prime Videos.  I will be watching it…again!

I saw it twice at the theater, once alone and another time with my granddaughter.  She and I often enjoy some of the same movies.  We’ve watched White Oleander and Erin Brockovich too many times to count.

 

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I used to buy the DVDs of favorite movies, but now, with Amazon Prime, I can buy them on the site for less than the cost of the DVD.  So that’s what I do.  Sometimes they are free!

Speaking of Prime..and Netflix...and Hulu, I do enjoy visiting those sites, and haven’t been there in at least a week…but now that some of my favorite TV shows are back from hiatus, I tend to save those places for nights or weekends when nothing else is on.

Tonight it’s This Is Us, one of my favorites of the new season.  The actor, below, was a fan fave on The Young and the Restless…and those of us sad to see him go can now enjoy him on this show. (Hey, that sort of rhymed!  LOL).   Here is super-hot Justin Hartley…

 

 

JUSTIN HARTLEY

 

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What do you enjoy, in movies, TV, or even in books?  Do you find yourself gravitating to a certain kind of reading or viewing?

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A CHALLENGE: MAKING LISTS, COUNTING MY NUMBERS…

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Making lists is an ongoing part of my blogging journey.  They begin with pages on this blog, from which I gather information I need for the weeks and months ahead.

Since I will be participating in a new Read the Books You Buy Challenge, starting on January 1, I thought it was imperative that I take a look at the target months and the numbers.

What are the target months?  July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017.

Let’s take a peek:

July 2016:

10 Books Purchased, 1 Book TBR (Not bad!)

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August 2016:

19 Books Purchased, 4 TBR

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September 2016:

9 Books Purchased, 3 TBR

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October 2016:

13 Books Purchased, 5 TBR

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November 2016:

14 Books Purchased, 6 TBR

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December 2016:

9 Books Purchased, 8 TBR

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Total Purchased for July through December:  86

Total TBR for July through December:  32

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So…32 books to read from 2016.  Not bad.  But guess what the best part is?  2017 is a Clean Slate!  Thanks to last year’s challenge, I feel as if I am in a good place.

What are you planning for the New Year?  Will you be signing up for a challenge or two to whittle the unread books from your stacks?  Good luck, and have fun!

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP: HELLO, OCTOBER!

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Wow!  The months are ticking by, and we just said goodbye to September.  My total books read dropped by one from last month’s, but everything I read engaged me.  It was hard to pick just one favorite.

What did your month look like?  Let’s link up to Kathryn’s Book Date so we can visit others.

Here are my books, with the titles linked to my reviews.

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SEPTEMBER 2016:

1.Cruel Beautiful World, by Caroline Leavitt – 352 pages – (Literary Fiction) – 9/28/16 (NetGalley – 10/4/16)

2.Girl on the Run, by Daryl Wood Gerber – 290 pages – (mystery/suspense) – 9/11/16 – (Author Review Request)

3. If I Forget You (e-book), by Thomas Christopher Greene – 255 pages – (literary fiction) – 9/22/16

4.It Ends with Us (e-book), by Colleen Hoover – 384 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/5/16

5.I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline, et. al. -304 pages – (memoir) – 9/3/16

6. My Life, My Body, by Marge Piercy – 128 pages – (nonfiction) – 9/30/16

7. Sister, The (e-book), by Louise Jensen – 330 pages – (psychological thriller) – 9/9/16

8. Sunshine Beach (e-book), by Wendy Wax – 414 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/25/16

9.  They May Not Mean To, But They Do (e-book), by Cathleen Schine – 306 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/14/16

10.This Must Be the Place (e-book), by Maggie O’Farrell – 400 pages – (contemporary/historical fiction) – 9/2/16

11. Untethered, by Julie Lawson Timmer – 332 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/19/16 (Amazon Vine)

12.Watching Edie (e-book), by Camilla Way – 291 pages – (psychological thriller) – 9/16/16

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN SEPTEMBER 2016:         12

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN SEPTEMBER 2016:    3,786

BOOKS READ YTD:                                                                     120

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK IN SEPTEMBER 2016:

It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover

 

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LET’S CURL UP & MUSE ABOUT BOOKS

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It’s Monday, so let’s muse about bookish things, along with Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

Check out these topics:

 

  • 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: Which book do you wish you’d written, yourself?

 

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Currently, I’m reading the NetGalley e-ARC, Leave Me, by Gayle Forman (Release date – 9/6).  Loving it!  When I feel connected to one character and dislike several of the others, I know that I’m in for a delightful journey.

 

 

leave me cover

Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is often the case, once we get where we’re going we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves.

With bighearted characters–husbands, wives, friends, and lovers–who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing the fears we’re all running from. Gayle Forman is a dazzling observer of human nature. She has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home?

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I have been eagerly awaiting this book, and now that I have it, I am so pleased that it wrapped itself around me and held on, making it a difficult book to put down.

What are you reading or pining for today?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: JULY IS HERE!

JULY WEEKLY UPDATES

 

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.

Wow, what a great week I had!  After my lackluster reading numbers in June, I felt as though I was off to a great start for July with my FOUR books read and reviewed this week.  Plus…the books were all amazing.  I read two of them in the last two days, which means that I was riveted to my reading spot.

After reading mostly review books this week, I was able to add one more to my Read the Books You Buy Challenge, which now totals 38 books.

It is still very hot, with triple digits again…and I’m happy that the AC is working.

I haven’t watched Netflix at all this week, but I hope to resume Orange Is the New Black again this weekend.  My grandson Noah will be here, glued to his X-box, which frees me up to do my thing…lol.  I added a new show to my list:  Marcella, which is all about a woman whose life is a train wreck…and she is in search of a killer.  Sounds good, right?  Grab some coffee, and let’s chat.

 

Madeleine on June 15 - coffee

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Monday Sparks:  Musings

Serendipitous Tuesday:  “Flight Patterns”

Tuesday Potpourri:  “Perfect” Days Ahead

Hump Day Potpourri:  PicMonkey Fun!

Hump Day Reading:  Past, Present, Future….

Bookish Thursday #20:  Serendipitous Moments

Thursday Potpourri:  A New Day, A New Quirk

Bookish Friday:  “The Beauty of the End”

June Wrap-Up:  The Long Hot Summer is Here

Review:  The Perfect Neighbors (e-book), by Sarah Pekkanen (NetGalley – July 5)

Review:  The Perfect Girl, by Gilly MacMillan (Amazon Vine Review)

Review:  Intrusion (e-book), by Mary McCluskey

Review:  River Road (e-book), by Carol Goodman

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AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE:

Check Out Lexxie’s Up Close and (un)Conventional – Reviewing

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INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing came in my mailbox…but I received one review book from a blogger/author; and downloaded two e-books (Purchased)

Paris Runaway (e-book), by Paulita Kincer (Author Request)

 

 

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The Dinner (e-book), by Herman Koch

 

 

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In Twenty Years (e-book), by Allison Winn Scotch

 

 

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

The Beauty of the End, by Debbie Howells (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Perhaps some whimsical choices….

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So that was my week…what did yours look like?  Here’s what yesterday brought me…soup and a strawberry margarita.

 

margarita thurs

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JUNE WRAP-UP: THE LONG HOT SUMMER IS HERE

June 3 - rearranged spaces - 1

June is gone, sadly…How did so many days go by, with so few books read?  My month was a very slow one.  But I read some delightful books.

Click the titles for my reviews, and link up at The Book Date to see what others have been reading.

 

JUNE 2016:

1.   All the Missing Girls (e-book), by Megan Miranda – 384 pages – (mystery/thriller) – 6/18/16 – (NetGalley – 6/28)

2.   Beach Blues, by Joanne DeMaio – 411 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 6/24/16 – (Author Review Request)

3.  Girls, The (e-book), by Emma Cline – 368 pages – (historical/contemporary fiction) – 6/12/16 –(NetGalley – 6/14)

4.  I Almost Forgot About You, by Terry McMillan – 355 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 6/2/2016 – (Amazon Vine)

5.  I Let You Go (e-book), by Claire Mackintosh – 369 pages – (thriller/mystery) – 6/9/16

6.  Intrusion (e-book), by Mary McCluskey – 246 pages – (psychological thriller) – 6/30/16

7.   Perfect Girl, The, by Gilly MacMillan – 435 pages – (mystery/thriller) – 6/29/16 (Amazon Vine Review)

8.  Perfect Neighbors, The (e-book), by Sarah Pekkanen – 352 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 6/27/16 – (NetGalley – 7/5)

9.  Tuesday Nights in 1980, by Molly Prentiss – 317 pages – (historical fiction) – 6/16/16-(Amazon Vine)

10.  Wilde Lake (e-book), by Laura Lippman – 368 pages – (mystery/legal thriller) – 6/5/16

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN JUNE 2016:     10

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN JUNE 2016:      3,605

BOOKS READ YTD:                                                       81

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK IN JUNE 2016:  Tied:  All the Missing Girls; Beach Blues

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