Friday Sparks

FRIDAY SPARKS: BLOG STUFF, BOOKS, ETC.

Today has been a great Friday, and I’ve been playing around on my blogs.  I’m also getting ready to watch some shows on Hulu.

My cute little Madeline Hatter dolls are now the featured blog header here..see the smaller version of them (above).

I’ve also been using a favorite little mug (below) as a container for tea bags and sugar packets.  Yes, a tiny space requires creative uses of objects.  The mug with cute penguins has been with me since the 1980s!  My youngest son gave it to me for a birthday.  My grandchildren love using it, but if they come here, we’ll have to take the tea bags out of it.  LOL.

 

Mugs are wonderful accessories.  I have several that decorate my surfaces, like these (below).  On the left is my first grandson’s baby photo, and in the middle the names and birthdates of three grandchildren (Alec, Aubrey, and Aaron) encircle the mug.

 

 

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I’ve been reading Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Michael Robotham, but I’ve also been distracted by blog stuff.

 

From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.

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What distractions/books/adventures have kept you busy today?

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Musing Mondays

MUSINGS….

It has been a long while since I participated in Musing Mondays, hosted by The Purple Booker.  Here are some prompts:

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…

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I’m currently reading Tangerine, by Christine Mangan; Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.

I am fascinated by books with characters that are expatriates searching for drama and escape.

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Today I pre-ordered a book that will be released tomorrow.  I love Anne Tyler, so it was inevitable for me to buy Clock Dance.

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother’s sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn’t sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she’s never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory–surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places. A bewitching novel of hope and transformation, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.

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What are you musing about today?

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Hump Day Sparks

HUMP DAY SPARKS: THOUGHTS OF SPRING…

Welcome to April!  Since Spring is officially here, I thought it was time to change up my blog header…from this one…

To this one:

I’ve been neglecting this blog lately…sigh.   So…time to change that!

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Let’s talk about books that remind us of Spring…and even Summer.  Yesterday, I was granted a library book that I had on hold….

A Nantucket Wedding, by Nancy Thayer

Synopsis:  A few years after losing her beloved husband, Alison is doing something she never thought she would do again: getting married. While placing the finishing touches on her summer nuptials, Alison is anxious to introduce her fiancé, David, to her grown daughters: Felicity, a worried married mother of two, and Jane, also married but focused on her career. The sisters have a somewhat distant relationship and Alison hopes that the wedding and the weeks leading up to the ceremony will give the siblings a chance to reconnect, as well as meet and get to know David’s grown children.

As the summer progresses, it is anything but smooth sailing. Felicity stumbles upon a terrible secret that could shatter her carefully cultivated world. Jane finds herself under the spell of her soon-to-be stepbrother, Ethan, who is as charming as he is mysterious. And even Alison is surprised (and slightly alarmed) by her new blended family. Revelations, intrigue, resentments—as the Big Day approaches, will the promise of bliss be a bust?

Against the gorgeous backdrop of the sunswept island of Nantucket, Nancy Thayer sets the stage for a walk down the aisle no one will ever forget.

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I am ready for a delightful story set on Nantucket.  What books remind you of Spring…and/or Summer?

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Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSING ABOUT BOOKISH SCENTS….

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Welcome to another Monday of Musing with Ambrosia, at The Purple Booker.

Check out these prompts:

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 WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: Do you like new book smell? Old book smell? All book smell?

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I love new and old book smells.  My early childhood was spent in an old library that shared space with the village post office, so when I now go into an old post office, I am also struck with the scent.  The one that reminds me of bookish things.

Later, I came to adore new books and spent lots of time buying books in bookstores…until they started closing down.

Now we have Barnes & Noble in my neighborhood…and I enjoy spending time there.  They also have a coffee shop, so sometimes I just settle in to read.

 

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I want to start visiting the library again, as we have a lovely one not too far from my home.

What are your thoughts about bookish scents?

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Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSINGS….

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Let’s join Jenn for Musing Mondays, at Books and a Beat.

 

  • 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: Are there any particular worlds in books in which you’d like to live?

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This week, I downloaded these two e-books.

While You Were Sleeping (e-book), by Kathryn Croft

 

 

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In Her Wake (e-book), by Amanda Jennings

 

 

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I can’t wait to start reading them!

As for the random question:  I love reading books set in England, Ireland, and Australia. 

Some will probably choose magical worlds, but I choose the real worlds that the authors have described in such a way that I want to be there, visiting or living.

What are yours?

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Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSINGS….

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Welcome to another Monday of Musing with Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

 

  • 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: Name a book that you hope to re-read some day.

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Currently, I am reading Blood Defense, by Marcia Clark, and even though I haven’t been reading very much this weekend due to catching up after my vacation, I am loving what I have read so far.  I enjoy the author’s writing style and the character of Samantha Brinkman.

 

 

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Blurb:  First in a new series from bestselling author and famed O. J. Simpson trial prosecutor Marcia Clark, a “terrific writer and storyteller” (James Patterson).

Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.

Though Sam has doubts about his innocence, she and her two associates (her closest childhood friend and a brilliant ex-con) take the case. Notorious for living by her own rules—and fearlessly breaking everyone else’s—Samantha pulls out all the stops in her quest to uncover evidence that will clear the detective. But when a shocking secret at the core of the case shatters her personal world, Sam realizes that not only has her client been playing her, he might be one of the most dangerous sociopaths she’s ever encountered.

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As for the Random Question:  I purchased a book a while ago that I hope to reread some day.  It is one I read when I was a teenager, so I am curious as to how I would feel about it now.  That book is Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier.

 

 

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What are you musing about today?  What are you reading/planning?

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monday musings

MONDAY SPARKS: BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS!

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Welcome to another Monday of Musing, hosted by Jenn, at A Daily Rhythm.  Check out the prompts:

 

  • 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: How do you choose which books you read?

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I am very excited that tomorrow, my pre-order of Under the Influence, by Joyce Maynard, will come to live on Pippa, my Kindle.  I have been a fan of this author since I read her first book, published when she was a teenager:  Looking Back:  A Chronicle of Growing Up Old in the Sixties.

Another favorite from her, which I still have on my bookshelves, is a somewhat controversial memoir:  At Home in the World, the story of her teenage relationship with J. D. Salinger.  Maynard does not steer away from difficult topics, and she reveals much of herself in the characters she creates in her fiction.

 

 

 

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Blurb:  The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and After Her returns with a poignant story about the true meaning—and the true price—of friendship.

Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet taking portraits of school children and working for a caterer. Recovering from her addiction, she spends lonely evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. Weekend visits with her son are awkward. He’s drifting away from her, fast.

When she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. Wealthy, connected philanthropists, they have their own charity devoted to rescuing dogs. Their home is filled with fabulous friends, edgy art, and dazzling parties.

Then Helen meets Elliott, a kind, quiet accountant who offers loyalty and love with none of her newfound friends’ fireworks. To Swift and Ava, he’s boring. But even worse than that, he’s unimpressed by them.

As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence—running errands, doing random chores, questioning her relationship with Elliott—Ava and Swift hold out the most seductive gift: their influence and help to regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due.

Ollie witnesses an accident involving Swift, his grown son, and the daughter of the Havillands’ housekeeper. With her young son’s future in the balance, Helen must choose between the truth and the friends who have given her everything.

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I know that I won’t be able to relegate this book to the bottom of the pile.  Some books just call out to be read immediately.

What are you musing about today?  As for how I pick my books, I choose from my list of favorite authors, as well as various books that I see on the blogs.  Books that are thrillers or those that reveal secrets in the relationships between the books’ characters.  Books about people that intrigue me.

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Hump Day Sparks

WHAT IGNITES YOUR PASSION ON A WEDNESDAY?

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It is a curl up and read day.  Outdoors is a little bit cool, and I’m not feeling the draw to go out there.  Although a nice, brisk walk might be in order.  Later.

I’ve been fussing around with my blogs again, and as you can tell, this one went through a makeover.  I like the background with the sparkly drink.

Over at Going out on a Limb, everything is different, too.  I changed themes to a format I’ve been noticing around the blogosphere, in which you can see snippets of the posts in miniature…and click to “read more.”

I’m reading a captivating book from Vine, written by Tiffany Baker: Mercy Snow.

 

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In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

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And in the mailbox yesterday, I found my last anticipated Vine review book, The Book of You, by Claire Kendal.

 

 

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A mesmerizing tale of psychological suspense about a woman who must fight to escape an expert manipulator determined to possess her, Claire Kendal’s debut novel is a sophisticated and disturbing portrait of compulsion, control, and terror that will appeal to fans of Before I Go to Sleep, The Silent Wife, and Into the Darkest Corner.

His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go….

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I had to have these books…and now that all of my Vine books have arrived, I must hurry up and read!  I have finished one of the eight, and I’ll finish the second one today, probably (Mercy Snow).

I am listing the books in order of how I plan to read them.  It is hard to choose, though!

Next?

 

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And then this one:

 

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Could this one come next?

 

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All of these are waiting, tantalizing me.  Sparking my enthusiasm.  What books ignite your passions this week?

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Friday Sparks

WHAT IGNITES YOUR INTEREST ON A FRIDAY?

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What sparks your enthusiasm as a weekend approaches?  What ignites your passion?

For me, it’s great books and movies.  One of my current reads is an epic story penned by a well-known Southern writer:  Pat Conroy.  Beach Music has been on my stacks for quite awhile…and it is a heavy-weight (literally).  With almost 800 pages, it is definitely one to savor, and it takes the reader back and forth in time and across countries.  From South Carolina to Italy and also to Holocaust times, we can immerse ourselves in the culture, the ambience, and the flavors of this world painted by this author.

From Amazon:  PAT CONROY, America’s preeminent storyteller, delivers a sweeping novel of lyric intensity and searing truth–the story of Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome, scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife’s suicide draws him into a painful, intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family’s past that can heal his anguished heart.

Spanning three generations and two continents, from the contemporary ruins of the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from the unutterable horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music sings with life’s pain and glory. It is another masterpiece in PAT CONROY’S legendary list of beloved novels.

 

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Meanwhile, I am reading a few other books, just so I can see an ending on the horizon.  Right now, I’m approaching the 600 page mark in my epic novel.

Today is also a day to enjoy new movies, and I’m eager to see August:  Osage County, with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and many others.

 

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Now I’m off to see the movie….Sparky (my Kindle) is coming with me, so afterwards I can read while I eat lunch.  I’m taking this book along:  I See London I See France, by Paulita Kincer.

 

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So…again.  What sparks your weekend moments? 

 

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Thursday Sparks

THURSDAY SPARKS: RANDOM THOUGHTS ON LIFE, ETC. — MAY 23

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When I found this photo of poppies on Pinterest, my mind reeled backward in time.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are about wandering the land around our home, picking poppies at will.  Not something we can do nowadays, if we can even spy a spare poppy field.

And I loved the song about Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun….

Nostalgia catapults me backwards at the oddest moments, but never more than when I’m reading or watching a movie.  Images thrust me into the oddest places in my life and my mind.

As I came here today, presumably just to check out alternate themes…and then when I actually changed the theme to this one, I thought about “followers.”

Our blogs keep track for us, and while not one of my blogs has very many followers—the largest total being on An Interior Journey, with 146—when I add up the totals of all eleven blogs, I have 772 followers.  Would I have more or less followers if I had stuck to just one blog? Definitely a random thought….and trivial, at best.

What does any of this have to do with nostalgia, or childhood, or random thoughts?  Well….random, as in traipsing all over the place and seemingly going nowhere.

Do you have days like that?

Meanwhile, I’m struggling with my reading this week.  After a promising start with my quick read of captivating Don’t Go, by Lisa Scottoline, I’ve been trudging through the books that followed.  Alternately watching movies, taking naps, and doing anything but staying on track.

 

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Is it WHAT I’m reading…or something else?  How do you bring focus to your reading when your mind wants to take a journey elsewhere?

It didn’t help that I’ve downloaded some new books and two new Vine reads came in the mail.  I’m itching to grab one or more of these, and forget all about my plan for the day!

Kind of Cruel, by Sophie Hannah, is one I really want to read!

 

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And The Husband’s Secret has me drooling, too….

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Yesterday, I downloaded All the Days of My Life (so far), by Alison Sweeney.

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And another download is practically shouting at me:  The Glass Wives, by Amy Sue Nathan

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So now that I’ve laid it all out there, what should I do?  What would you do?