Good morning!  It’s Monday and time to celebrate those great beginning-of-the-week memes.

Mailbox Monday is hosted through August by Chick Loves Lit.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.

Both are celebrations of reading, and opportunities for bloggers to click around the blogosphere, networking and adding new books to their lists.

Monday Mailbox: This week’s mailbox brought two great books:

Irish Twins, by Michelle Cozzens (received from the author)

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

Anne Shields died at the age of 80. It happened while she was water-skiing. Her husband of fifty-four years, Michael, tried to revive her; however, it was no use. There was no return from a massive stroke to the brain stem. She passed in peace, and entered a new existence in a place called Ohr where her sister, Molly, greeted her with a cup of hot tea. Molly was her Irish Twin. “Irish Twin” is a slang term for two children born to the same mother within a twelve-month period. Its origin is uncertain, but it’s a decidedly derogatory term, which mocks the Irish Catholic culture’s rejection of birth control methods. This is the story of not one, but two sets of Irish Twins-Anne and Molly- as well as Anne’s daughters, the Irish Twins Jennifer and Catherine. Also known as Jenny and Caylie, they are approaching middle age when their mother dies, and are left to face the world with many unanswered questions about a mother who left them far too quickly. Anne and Molly reunite in Ohr and Molly, the elder Irish Twin, guides Anne through her judgment. She witnesses her life and the lives of her surviving husband and five children through endless cups of tea, served to her by her sister. Anne is the heart and soul of this tale. Although she has passed away, she is very much present in the lives of her daughters. She keeps watch over Jenny and Caylie as well as her three additional children, and through her we learn a lot about being a sister, a wife, a parent, a friend. We learn not only about life . . . . . . but also about death.

Next, I received The Quick and the Thread, by Amanda Lee, a contest win from Pudgy Penguin Perusals.

Here’s a tidbit from Amazon:

When Marcy Singer opens an embroidery specialty shop in quaint Tallulah Falls, Oregon, she throws a soiree and a Stitch-In. Soon, Marcy’s sign- up sheet for embroidery classes fills up and everyone in town seems willing to raise a glass-or a needle-to support the newly-opened Seven Year Stitch.

Then Marcy finds the shop’s previous tenant dead in the store-room, a message scratched with a tapestry needle on the wall beside him. Now Marcy’s shop has become a crime scene, and she’s the prime suspect. She’ll have to find the killer before someone puts a final stitch in her.


What Are You Reading?

Last week, I finished these books:   (Click the titles for the reviews)

1)  Fly Away Home, by Jennifer Weiner

2)  As Husbands Go, by Susan Isaacs

3)  Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, by Josie Brown

What’s Up This Week?

1)  Irish Twins, by Michelle Cozzens

A story, described above, about the mysterious guidance of some unique twins.

2)  Let’s Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell (a memoir)

A tale of friendship between two writers—a memorializing of the deceased friend.


Give Me Your Heart, by Joyce Carol Oates (Tales of mystery and suspense)

So these are my reading adventures for the week.  What have you all been up to?  I hope you’ll stop by and share.


Good morning, it’s time for one of our favorite Monday memes, hosted by Sheila, at Book Journey.

Here’s our chance to get together, from all over the blogosphere, to celebrate the past week’s reading, to talk about what’s up this week, and to network with other bloggers.

My past week was not exactly stellar, in terms of reading accomplishments, but I did enjoy what I read.

I did a little bloggy stuff, like combining my now defunct Snow Impressions with Connections to make Snow Connections and Impressions.


As for the reading, here’s what I accomplished:

Reviewed Last Week:

1)  Guest House, by Barbara K. Richardson (Click title for Review)

2)  The Position, by Meg Wolitzer


1)  Fly Away Home, by Jennifer Weiner

2)  Give Me Your Heart, by Joyce Carol Oates

What’s Planned for This Week:

1)  Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, by Josie Brown (an Amazon Vine read).

Here’s a tidbit from Amazon:

Just in time for summer, Brown’s novel offers an enjoyable, if predictable, take on suburban California family life, complete with mommy cliques, rebel teenagers, and, of course, lots of adultery. Lyssa is a pushover mom striving for approval from her judgmental peers as well as her three active kids and overworked husband. She befriends Harry, a recently divorced half of the untouchable “perfect couple” of Paradise Heights, and in the process makes trouble for her family, but also finds some freedom from the pressures of wealthy suburbia. This is a town where kids have names like Tanner, McGuyver, and Temple; women meet daily at Starbucks to measure themselves against each other; and facials and pedicures are scheduled around school pickups. It’s unfortunate that the narrator, Lyssa, is no more accessible or intelligent than any of her peers, and it’s sometimes hard to root for her. However, these women inside their fishbowl are fun to peer in on despite being caricaturish, and the momentum of Brown’s writing and plot keeps the pages turning. –Annie Tully

2)  As Husbands Go, by Susan Isaacs.

On Amazon, this blurb enticed me:

She may not be as brainy as her famous Manhattan plastic-surgeon husband, Jonah, nor as proper as his snooty rich parents. And she may be clueless about mothering, thanks to her wildly deficient Brooklynite parents (picture schlumpy, depressed Roz Chast characters), but nonetheless Susie loves her triplets, three rambunctious four-year-old boys. She also takes unabashed pleasure in her happy marriage, her floral design company, her humongous Long Island home, and her designer wardrobe. She may be shallow, as she’s the first to admit, but she does have heart. And ethics, even though she’s not sure what that means. And so when her husband is found stabbed to death in a prostitute’s apartment, Susie is devastated, skeptical about the open-and-shut case touted by the district attorney and her impossible in-laws, and determined to unearth the truth about Jonah’s killer. Her best ally turns out to be her glamorous renegade grandmother Ethel, a woman so cold she abandoned her daughter. But maybe Ethel is due for a thaw as these two queens of chutzpah and couture conduct a brazen investigation. Isaacs’ latest Jewish-gal-in-distress adventure purrs along perfectly––sharply funny, all-knowing, and marvelously diverting. –Donna Seaman

When I combine these new reads with those ongoing, I should be very busy this week.  What do you have planned?  And what did you finish?  I hope you’ll come on over and share.


Good morning and welcome to this wonderful meme hosted by Sheila, of Book Journey.

I’m very excited about this past week, as well as the upcoming one.

In the blogging world, I posted an interview on Wednesday with a fascinating paranormal author, Denise Verrico.

Then, today I’ve reviewed a wonderful mystery and posted an interview with the author, Lauren Carr.

Books Read This Week (Click Title for Review):

1)  Beachcombers, by Nancy Thayer

2)  It’s Murder, My Son, by Lauren Carr

3)  Guest House, by Barbara K. Richardson (Review will be up later today)

Books On the List for This Week:

1)  The Position, by Meg Wolitzer

Here’s a titillating tidbit from Amazon:

Wolitzer’s novel of sexual politics and family farce continues in the dark comic vein that she mined in “The Wife.” In the nineteenseventies, at the height of the sexual revolution, a married couple, aptly named Mellow, publish a liberated sex manual that features pictures of themselves and includes a sexual position—”Electric Forgiveness”—that they claim to have invented. The manual becomes an epochal best-seller. The publication, decades later, of a new edition of the notorious classic is a catalyst for a plot that examines the effects of this legacy on the adult children of the Mellows, who are now divorced. These effects are variously hilarious, disabling, painful, embarrassing, and, ultimately, empowering. Wolitzer’s comic timing never wavers, and she has an astute grasp of the way one generation’s liberation inspires the next generation’s pity.

2)  Give Me Your Heart, by Joyce Carol Oates (Short Story Collection)

A blurb from Amazon:

The need for love—obsessive, self-destructive, unpredictable—takes us to forbidden places, as in the chilling world of Give Me Your Heart, a new collection of stories by the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates.

3)  Fly Away Home, by Jennifer Weiner

A snippet:

“Unflappably fun… Hilarious… In Jennifer Weiner’s luscious new novel, Fly Away Home, a political wife’s predicament is the catalyst for a highly entertaining story… The message is choosing to live an authentic life. As always, Weiner gives us a woman who stands taller, curvier, and happier when she does just that.” —USA Today

“This is summer reading at its best: entertaining and full of insight into relationships and how they change” — People (3.5 out of 4 stars)

“Fresh, nuanced… Weiner wryly and sensitively shows the trade-offs we all make to maintain our relationships.” —Parade

I’m very excited about the upcoming week, with these delightful books awaiting me.  And I’ve really enjoyed this past week, too.

Hope you’ll stop by and share your own plans for the week.