PicMonkey CollageNEW JUNE LOGO

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.

Today’s temperature is in the 80s, but by Monday, we’ll be in the triple digits again.  Yikes!

It’s not as if we’re not used to it…it’s like this every year, and our long hot summers are a legend.

Reading has been better this week, with three books read and reviewed, and all of them were review books from NetGalley and Vine.  I spent too much time on my second book this week, so it’s a good thing that the other two were compelling page turners.

Bloggiesta has begun for today and tomorrow, but I’ve been working on my blog since Monday.  Yes, I tend to get impatient and start early.

I’m loving my Netflix shows, and I’m on Season III of Revenge.  I also plan to start watching Season IV of Orange Is the New Black.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there….and for everyone else, have a wonderful week!  Here’s some coffee to get us going today.


Madeleine on June 15 - coffee



It’s Time!  Mini-Bloggiesta-June 18-19

Tuesday Sparks:  Excerpting “Death at Breakfast”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Caffeinated Tidbits

Hump Day Reading:  Current, Past, & Future

Bookish Thursday #18:  Serendipitous Moments

Bloggiesta:  Behind the Scenes

Bookish Friday:  Excerpting “The Exit”

Weekend Potpourri:  Pondering My Obsessions

Review:  The Girls (e-book), by Emma Cline – (NetGalley – 6/14)

Review:  Tuesday Nights in 1980, by Molly Prentiss – (Amazon Vine)

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


INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Two review books came in my mailbox from Amazon Vine…and I purchased a book at Barnes & Noble.

The Perfect Girl, by Gilly MacMillan (Amazon Vine)




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




Confess, by Colleen Hoover (Purchase)





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

Currently Reading:  Beach Blues, by Joanne DeMaio (Review Book from Author)






And maybe one or two of these:

Friction (e-book), by Sandra Brown





Flight Patterns (e-book), by Karen White



cover resized


That’s it for my week…what did yours look like?  Grab something caffeinated or icy cold…and let’s chat.  Here are some nachos and a margarita, to honor Bloggiesta! 


6-11 - Nachos, margarita



PicMonkey Collage-4th version


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



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




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


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






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







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

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







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


Breakdown (e-book), by Jonathan Kellerman







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







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







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



Books & fairytales - may 16



PicMonkey Collage-MAY

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



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)




From Cleopatra Loves Books, My A-Z of Books



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)








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






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






Dear Thing (e-book), by Julie Cohen







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

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






My list also includes:


Breakdown (e-book), by Jonathan Kellerman








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







Born with Teeth:  A Memoir, by Kate Mulgrew







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



PicMonkey Collage-MAY


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…



morning in april




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)




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



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)





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







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







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








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

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







And then…perhaps one of these:


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







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







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



Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - 2




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).




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!


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


april 23 break 2




After a somewhat tepid November, my reading seemed to soar this month, with sixteen books read and reviewed.

Even more impressive to me…most of them were engaging. 

Click on the titles to read my reviews.

What did your month look like?  Click on over to The Book Date to link up and check out other people’s wrap-up posts.




1.  A Slight Change of Plan (e-book), by Dee Ernst – 352 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 12/30/15

2.  All the Stars in the Heavens, by Adriana Trigiani – 442 pages – (historical fiction) – 12/1/15

3.  Angels Burning (e-book), by Tawni O’Dell – 298 pages – (mystery/murder) – 12/7/15 (NetGalley)

4.   Forever, Interrupted (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 322 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 12/11/15

5.   Guest Room, The (e-book), by Chris Bohjalian – 336 pages – (suspense, murder) – 12/5/15 – (NetGalley)

6.   Here, Home, Hope (e-book), by Kaira Rouda – 303 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 12/26/15

7.    House of Wonder, by Sarah Healy – 319 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 12/17/15

8.     In the Mirror (e-book), by Kaira Rouda – 200 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 12/29/15

9.     Like Family:  Growing up in Other People’s Houses (e-book), by Paula McLain – 260 pages – (memoir) – 12/31/15

10.    November 9 (e-book), by Colleen Hoover – 320 pages – (romantic fiction) – December 22, 2015

11.  Out of Orange (e-book), by Cleary Wolters – 300 pages – (memoir) – 12/19/15

12.  Straight from the Heart (e-book), by Barbara Delinsky – 328 pages – (romance) – 12/28/15

13.  Things We Keep, The (e-book), by Sally Hepworth – 352 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 12/21/15- (NetGalley)

14.  What She Knew (e-book), by Gilly MacMillan – 496 pages – (psychological thriller) – 12/15/15

15.  Where We Belong (e-book), by Catherine Ryan Hyde – 400 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 12/10/15

16.   Wildflower, by Drew Barrymore – 273 pages – (nonfiction/memoir) – 12/13/15



PAGES READ IN DECEMBER 2015:  5,301 pages





a bookish window seat-musings logo

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?


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.






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.


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:





My trusty Disney collectibles.


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?



PicMonkey Collage-textured


Here we are on Thursday again, ready to celebrate our Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts, hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

This week has been unsettling for me.  I received a summons for Jury Duty, but it’s one of those where you have to check in periodically.  Every day, I have held my breath and waited until time to check the Jury website:  Do I have to report, or do I get a reprieve?

And typically, they give me little incremental reprieves, like:  check back tomorrow after 5:00.

We’ve gotten through most of the week this way…except today (Thursday) I have to check at 11:30.  Not “after” 11:30, or “after” 5:00, but at 11:30.  I don’t like the sound of this.  Will I be stuck having this thing carry over into next week?  Will I have to spend my Friday downtown?

See, that’s the other thing.  If I have to go, it involves going to the downtown part of the city, with parking problems, etc., and I recall how I worked downtown for many years and how stressful that all was.  So I’m not looking forward to any of this.

Okay, it’s not that Jury Duty is horrible, or anything, but yes, it does mess up my routines.  And I was just chatting about that very thing over at my Musings Post.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy changing things up…I actually do.  But I want it to be my choice!  Yes, I’ve ranted about waiting on other people’s schedules, having my routines rearranged by the needs of others…and I know that my need to choose what I do with my days is very important to me.

So…heavy sigh.  Let’s hope for the best.

Meanwhile, I was checking my TBR stacks, for my Mt. TBR Challenge, I have pledged to read 36 books this year that I purchased before 2014, including e-books.  I’ve done pretty well, having finished 26 of them so far.  I went to my pages of Book Purchases, and I have seven books unread that I purchased before this year:  Two books in 2011; one book in 2012; and four books in 2013.  So, strangely enough, I won’t make the number even if I read all of these.

But then I remembered the REALLY old stack that isn’t on this blog:  Books Purchased Before 2009, when I started the blog.  And there are seven of them!  Yay!  So I picked out three and stacked them on my coffee table/trunk.

I don’t even want to talk about the books that I have purchased THIS year so far that I haven’t read.  Am I crazy? 

The only books I read in a timely manner are the review books.  I guess that’s good, though.  What are your thoughts on your TBR Stacks?


Here are the new (unread) print books (front row) that I purchased this year…but before you are impressed, this does not include, of course, all the many books on Sparky. 




Books on Sparky:  52 Unread Books Purchased This Year!




If you have something to muse or rant about, head on over to Should Be Reading and join in.

Possible topics:

Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


Recently I downloaded two books that I hadn’t even considered buying or reading…because they had been made into movies.  And I LOVE movies.

Yes, I love books, but books made into movies are my go-to thing.

If I Stay (click for review)was a book that left me sighing and weeping a little.  But the movie, which I saw yesterday, even more so.  To find out more about WHY, check out my Sunday Potpourri post.



I had noticed this title On Demand, but hadn’t watched it…but then my daughter kept urging me to do so, saying she was sure I’d love it.  Does that girl know me, or what?

I watched it On Demand…but then recorded it later last night, after noticing it on Starz.  I want to be able to watch it again…and you never know about On Demand.  Some of those movies hang around, and others disappear quickly.

I used to buy DVDs for everything…and you can tell by my DVD shelves…I have more than 800 movies there, and that doesn’t count the few VCR tapes that I still have!

Here’s a brief glimpse of a portion of the shelves that extend the length of the hallway.




My obsessions (which I prefer to call collections) are numerous, but recently I’ve been purging my bookshelves.  They are overflowing again, even though my habit nowadays is to download new books to Sparky.

But there are those giveaways and those Vine review books!

Right now I’m reading a Vine book called Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang, from Vine.  In some ways, it is reminiscent of If I Stay, as the girl in the story has also been in a horrendous accident and is lying in a hospital bed, while the world (and her world in the past) swirl around her.

But how she got there is very different.


Earlier today, I read a lovely post by Nose Graze, a blog I recently started following.  She talks about her routines and how much she loves them.

And I could definitely relate.  Even though mine is different, the similarities exist in the security of having something real and secure in our worlds…something that we look forward to in our days.

What has your day been like so far?  Your week?  Do you savor the routines, or do you like playing it by ear?



PicMonkey Collage-textured

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


bull in a china shop



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.






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.








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?