Bookish Treats


Nothing does it for me quite like a new book.  Something glossy and gorgeous that arrives in the mailbox.

And while I find much pleasure in my downloads on Sparky (my Kindle), I do thoroughly enjoy the touch, feel, and scent of a real book.  And what I received last week has sparked all of my pleasurable feelings.

I preordered Blackberry Winter, by Sarah Jio, months ago.  It felt a little like waiting for Christmas as the calendar days ticked off and the release date marched toward me.


I wanted to start reading it right away, but I had review books that took priority.  But after I had finished my third review book this week, I felt totally justified in grabbing this one.  So I set up a reading spot in the dining room with the cool air coming in through the open patio door, and enjoyed the opening pages along with a plate of scrambled eggs and orange juice.

Pleasurable moments sparked by my love of books.


Another book arrived unexpectedly this week.  I had read this author’s two previous books, so I was delighted to get You Tell Your Dog First, by Alison Pace.


What sparks your excitement on a Thursday?  Or on any day of the week?


Welcome to another day of bookish delight, as we celebrate two events.

Theme Thursdays, hosted by Reading Between Pages, is all about finding themes in the books we read and enjoying the writing styles of the authors we explore.

Booking Through Thursday is like a conversation amongst bloggers in response to a prompt issued each week.

Come on by and join in the fun!

Theme Thursdays:

Today’s theme:

AGREE , Nod, accept, etc


Today’s selection is a collection of short stories by Jennifer Weiner, called The Guy Not Taken.   In this collection of short stories, the reader follows the tender, and often hilarious, progress of love and relationships over the course of a lifetime. From a teenager coming to terms with her father’s disappearance to a widow accepting two young women into her home, Weiner’s eleven stories explore those transformative moments in our every day.  My snippet is from the first story, called Just Desserts.

In this passage, three siblings are at a family swimming pool, discussing jobs for one of them; after several attempts, all dismissed by Nicki for various reasons:  she doesn’t like people very much, doesn’t want to do anything physical, etc.  But after her siblings keep pushing, she finally grudgingly grabs the phone:

“When the ringing finally stopped, my sister stomped back across the gravel and snatched up the telephone.  She flopped onto her chair, punched in some numbers, and said, “Yes, in Avon, Connecticut, a listing for Friendly’s, please?” (p. 7-8)


Booking Through Thursday:

Heidi asks:

Do you have siblings? Do they like to read?

It has been many years since I lived under the same roof as my siblings.  We varied in age and interests so much, but I think that we all enjoyed some form of reading.

My older brother was very scholarly, so I don’t recall him reading for “pleasure,” however.  My younger brother and sister did read, but nobody in the family read as much as I did.

I was dubbed “the bookworm,” and spent more time reading than all of them combined.

I don’t know what their adult reading habits are…I don’t have a close relationship with the two younger ones, who live in a town a few hours away.  My older brother passed away almost thirty years ago.

It is interesting to think about reading habits among siblings, however, and I think of my own children and how they fared in these traits.  My older two were big Stephen King fans in their teens; I know my oldest one still enjoys an edgy story.  He is a writer/photographer, while my second oldest works in the film industry and occasionally writes screenplays.

Their reading habits fueled their adult pursuits.  I think a reader’s journey can take many paths, but in the end, the love of reading is at the core of those of us who love to read, informing our lives.

What about you?  What are your thoughts?

Curl up and read….




Good morning, and welcome to Teaser Tuesdays, hosted by Should Be Reading.

Every week, we celebrate bookish moments by sharing excerpts from our current reads.

Here’s how it works:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today’s selection is one I received in the mail last week, but I’m going to want to read this one very soon.

The Long Road Home, by Mary Alice Monroe, is the story of one woman’s journey toward pulling her life back together after her husband’s suicide.

Here’s a blurb from Amazon:

Her husband’s suicide left Nora MacKenzie alone, and his shady Wall Street dealings left the Manhattan socialite penniless. By a miracle she’s held on to their mountainside farm—and she’ll keep holding on, no matter what. The property is Nora’s one chance to wring some dignity out of the sham she’s been living.

The Vermont locals think she’s a city girl on a nature kick, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Nora’s serious about learning the farming business…if she can figure out where to begin. Against the locals’ skepticism, she has only one ally: Charles “C.W.” Walker.

C.W. is hardworking, gentle with the animals and a patient teacher of the hundreds of chores Nora needs to learn. Slowly she starts to believe she’ll survive in her new life, even flourish. She might even be willing to open her heart again. But she won’t return to a life of lies…and the truth about C.W. may be more than Nora’s fragile heart can bear….


Teaser:  For a moment their eyes met and revealed their private yearning for a home and a family and a simpler life.  Then they both quickly averted their eyes, as though they had both opened a hidden box and exposed their most private secret, before snapping it shut again in fear it would be stolen. p.89


Well, now I can’t wait to find out more.  What did you discover within your pages today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share….



Welcome to A Bit of Me (Me), hosted by There’s A Book.  Every week we gather to share bits and pieces of ourselves—including the part of us that we don’t necessarily showcase in our blogs.

Our host poses a question each week, and today’s is:

This Weeks Question: What’s your most looked forward to event coming up this year? (Online or real life, bookwise or not, anything.)

In my fantasies, I, too, would be at Book Expo America.  But since it’s in New York (again!), that’s not likely to happen.  Not that I wouldn’t love to visit New York, but I live in California.  It probably won’t happen.
I did go to BEA in 2008, when it was in LA.  Fabulous event!
Probably I will participate in Armchair BEA.
As for other events, I’m hoping for some kind of family vacation, perhaps to the beach.  I do enjoy the beach!
Here are some family members enjoying the beach this past year.
Noah in the Sand
Fiona at the Beach - Ninja?
Ah, yes, you might recognize the photo above in today’s header.  This one was actually captured in the past few weeks.  Yes, in LA there is beach weather in the winter.  Sort of…
What about the rest of you?  What are your fantasies/plans/dreams for events this year?   Hope you’ll stop by and share.







Good morning, and welcome to our Friday memes, those delightful opportunities to spotlight our books and share them with other bloggers.

Book Beginnings is hosted by A Few More Pages, and all we do is share the opening sentences and tell our thoughts about them.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and here’s how it works:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

My featured book today is Mary Ann in Autumn, by Armistead Maupin.

Here’s a snippet from Amazon:

Mary Ann in Autumn ( Tales of the City ) – Large Print Contributor(s): Maupin, Armistead (Author) Twenty years after leaving her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue a television career in New York City, calamities drive fifty-seven-year-old Mary Ann Singleton to return to the city and her oldest friend as she tries to put her life back together.

Beginning:  There should be a rabbit hole was what she was thinking.  There should be something about this hillside, some lingering sense memory—the view of Alcatraz, say, or the foghorns or the mossy smell of the planks beneath her feet—that would lead her back to her lost wonderland.

Now I’m definitely intrigued.  I want to know more.  And yes, I did post more than one sentence, but I couldn’t help myself!

56:  She nodded slowly, wordlessly, at the mention of the dreaded tourist trap.  “Well,” she said finally.  “That side of town can be lovely.”

This book is an ARC, and therefore the final publication may reflect textual differences.

What did you find this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and share.



Welcome to A-Z Wednesday, hosted by Vicki, at Reading at the Beach.  Every week, we join together to celebrate books “alphabetically.”

Here’s how it works….

1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back to Reading At The Beach and leave your link in the comments.
5~ If you’ve already reviewed the book, add the link.

This week’s letter:  Author – First or Last Name – “R”


Today’s author is Anne Roiphe, who has written many books that I have enjoyed.  Epilogue is a memoir written in the author’s later years.

On Amazon, I found this tidbit:

Grief is in two parts, writes Roiphe (Fruitful; 1185 Park Avenue). The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life. In her new memoir of late-life widowhood, she encounters the latter….

Here’s my review.

What books did you find today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share some comments and links.




Welcome to A-Z Wednesday, hosted by Reading at the Beach. Here we gather to share books that we’ve rediscovered by going through the alphabet.

To join, here’s all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books
Find an author whose first or last name starts with the letter of the week

1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back to Reading At The Beach and leave your link in the comments.
5~ If you’ve already reviewed the book, add the link.

This week’s letter:  Author – First or Last Name – “O”


My Sister, My Love, by Joyce Carol Oates, is a psychological exploration of a family shrouded in secrets and dark dysfunction.

Here is my review.


Oates has the unique ability to delve into the dark side of humanity and plumb the depths for all the treasures hidden way below the surface.  And then she explores and reveals each nugget with literary prose that will leave the reader spellbound.


What did you find on your shelves this week?  I hope you’ll come on by and share….



Welcome to A-Z Wednesday, hosted by Reading at the Beach. In this event, we work our way through the alphabet, celebrating the books we love.

To join, here’s all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books
Find an author whose first or last name starts with the letter of the week

1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back to Reading At The Beach and leave your link in the comments.
5~ If you’ve already reviewed the book, add the link.

This week’s letter:  Author – First or Last Name – “N”

The book I’m featuring today is by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, a favorite author of mine.

Abuse of Power is a story about an idealistic young widow with two children who, as a police officer, is caught in an agonizing tug-of-war between conscience and career.

I haven’t read this one in awhile, but now, guess where it’s going?  On my “rereads” stack, which is toppling dangerously.

What have you rediscovered today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share.




In today’s exciting meme that pushes us to reveal bits and pieces of our real selves, our leader at There’s A Book cheers us on each week with questions.  Questions designed to probe and tug at those hidden aspects of ourselves.

Today’s Question:


Okay, this is more difficult for someone (like me) who has many years to scan, trying to recall…LOL.  I know that there have been many days, back in my youth, when I literally read all day long on a book.  Back then, it was probably Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, which I absolutely adored.  I recall carrying it around with me and reading it whenever I could steal a few moments at school, and then later, at home.  And, of course, I read it throughout the night.  I can’t say how late I read—way back then—but suffice it to say that I couldn’t get enough of the drama, the emotion, the fear I felt when the Civil War ravaged the land, and when Scarlett O’Hara would do anything to finally save her home (and get her man!).











In more recent times, I read until quite late (3:00 a.m.?) to finish Still Missing, by Chevy Stevens, which was so suspenseful that I literally couldn’t put it down.









To be completely honest, I often read into the night.  I am a light sleeper and wake up frequently.  When I do, I grab whatever book I’m reading.  If it’s a good one, I often read for two or three hours.

What books have literally kept you up at night?  I hope you’ll stop in and share a tidbit or two.



On Day Four of BBAW, our topic is about forgotten treasures.  We’re to spotlight a book that we wish would get more attention.  To play, click the picture for the link.

As I strolled through my rooms, scanning my bookshelves, I kept thinking…no, that one isn’t quite right.  And then I came to the short stack on my old wicker trunk, the stack of books I’ve planned to reread because they were uniquely special.

The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing, is on that stack.  I recall reading that one during college.

Novel Prize Winning Author

On Amazon, we find this blurb:

Much to its author’s chagrin, The Golden Notebook instantly became a staple of the feminist movement when it was published in 1962. Doris Lessing’s novel deconstructs the life of Anna Wulf, a sometime-Communist and a deeply leftist writer living in postwar London with her small daughter. Anna is battling writer’s block, and, it often seems, the damaging chaos of life itself. The elements that made the book remarkable when it first appeared–extremely candid sexual and psychological descriptions of its characters and a fractured, postmodern structure–are no longer shocking. Nevertheless, The Golden Notebook has retained a great deal of power, chiefly due to its often brutal honesty and the sheer variation and sweep of its prose.This largely autobiographical work comprises Anna’s four notebooks: “a black notebook which is to do with Anna Wulf the writer; a red notebook concerned with politics; a yellow notebook, in which I make stories out of my experience; and a blue notebook which tries to be a diary.” In a brilliant act of verisimilitude, Lessing alternates between these notebooks instead of presenting each one whole, also weaving in a novel called Free Women, which views Anna’s life from the omniscient narrator’s point of view. As the novel draws to a close, Anna, in the midst of a breakdown, abandons her dependence on compartmentalization and writes the single golden notebook of the title….

I do recall that I carried this one around with me, reading bits and pieces when I had the chance.  I mostly read it while I was going to consciousness-raising groups (an early 1970s feature of my life).

Today’s young women might not be able to relate to this one the way my generation could—we felt as though it was our mission in life to win personal freedom for all women—but I still think it’s an important part of our history and could lend insight into what made some of us tick…way back in the day.

My own journey is one I chronicled (fictionally) in the first novel I wrote, Miles to Go.

What treasures did you forget about, and then recall for today’s event?  Please stop by and share….