Sunday Sparks

SUNDAY SPARKS: WEEKEND CONNECTIONS…

Welcome to a new Sunday feature.  I usually share my Sunday thoughts on Potpourri, but now that I’ve changed up this blog, I decided to spotlight it occasionally.

Last week brought a nice mix of books, movies, and outings.  And a hairstyling on Saturday, after which my daughter and I enjoyed lunch at La Kebrada, next door to her salon.  She is making a face in the photo, because she didn’t want to be photographed while she ate.  Can’t blame her, but she wouldn’t pose for me.  So this is what happened.  LOL.

I went home afterwards and curled up with books and movies.  I had some on my DVR to watch…and I am reading Untouchable, by Jayne Ann Krentz.

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Today I plan to enjoy lunch at California Pizza Kitchen…with my book.  I finished most of the weekly laundry.  Later today, I will go on Netflix and Prime…and will not be watching the Super Bowl.

Is anyone out there affected by the closing down of Google+ in April?  I hope they don’t shut down the regular Google.  I didn’t actually use Google+, but I had linked to it on my blogs from my social media icons.  It was annoying to delete that part of my text box.

What does the rest of your weekend look like?

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Musing Mondays

THOUGHTS ON A MONDAY…

Good morning!  I haven’t participated in Musing Mondays in a while.  So here goes.

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…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: Have you ever read a book that changed your life?

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Currently Reading:  When We Were Worthy, by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen: A win brought them together, but loss may tear them apart.

 

 

I am enjoying this one so far, but there are a lot of characters, so I am taking notes, and sometimes have to refer to them to know which character’s voice I’m reading.

What are you reading or thinking about on this Monday?

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WWW Wednesday

HUMP DAY SPARKS: A DELIGHTFUL WEEK SO FAR…

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Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

Currently Reading:

I am delighted with my current read, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney,  “Extraordinary…hilarious…Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future.”
Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed)

 

 

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JUST FINISHED:

I’ve finished two books so far this week:  The Red Car, by Marcy Dermansky (click title for review);

 

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And…The Dry, (click for review), by Jane Harper;

 

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING THESE READS:

(I downloaded these books today, and hope to read them soon).

Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough

 

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In Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough has written a novel that takes the modern day love triangle and not only turns it on its head, but completely reinvents it in a way that will leave readers reeling.

Right Behind You, by Lisa Gardner

 

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Lisa Gardner’s next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

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What does your week look like so far?

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Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSING ABOUT READING & THE HOLIDAYS…

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Welcome to another Musing Mondays, hosted now by The Purple Booker.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

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 tend to find that you make more time to read during the holiday season? Or do you have less time to read because of the hustle of the season?

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I’m currently reading a review book, The Sleepwalker, by Chris Bohjalian.    It is a NetGalley book, to be released on 1/10/17.

 

 

 

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When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

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I have enjoyed several books by this author, and I’m already caught up in the story.  I read a prequel to this book last week, The Premonition (click for my review), which introduces the reader to the characters and the affliction.

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As for the random question, the holidays find me continuing with my reading, as always, although I often try to finish up the books I had hoped to get to during the year.

What are you musing about today?

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Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSING ABOUT BOOKS….

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It’s time to muse about reading, etc.  Let’s join Jenn, at Books & 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: How has your reading changed in the last 10 years?

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Today I’ll respond to the random question.  In the past ten years, I’ve been immersed in my post-retirement/free lance life, so reading has definitely changed.

For one thing, I started blogging eight years ago, which introduced me to books I had never encountered, and I also became compulsive about checking Amazon…and yes, clicking to buy.

And Goodreads became a part of my world in 2008.

Exposure to so many more books, and with more free time available, I was reading a lot more, as well as picking up new authors and enjoying them.

I’ve loved every minute of it!

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Today I’m reading Two If By Sea, by Jacquelyn Mitchard, and she is a “favorite” author from the past, one I read many years ago, starting with Deep End of the Ocean (reviewed in 2008, but read earlier).

 

 

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This week, my Weekly Updates on my Serendipity blog included reviews of books (and authors) I discovered in the past ten years, like Dee Ernst, Bethany Chase, and Lynda Cohen Loigman.

What has your week been like?  What books are you reading?

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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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creative sparks · Saturday Snapshot

CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS — MOMENTS

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy.

Today I’m featuring moments with Noah…and my own special morning in my newly painted patio.

 

Noah’s special creation:

A Creation

Noah’s Band Award – (He plays the trombone):

 

Noah, the Trombone Player

Bookworm Noah:

 

Little Bookworm

 

And….this morning, I was happily reading and having breakfast on my newly fenced and painted patio.  Last week, they built the new fence, and this week they painted it.

 

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SATURDAY SPARKS

SPARKING SOME COZINESS ON A SATURDAY

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Welcome to a cozy Saturday evening.  I’ve been reading, watching movies, and contemplating the week ahead.  Check out my Weekly Updates.

It is much easier to enjoy these leisurely pursuits when surrounded by cozy accouterments.  So here are a few things around me when I relax.

One of my favorite bookshelves, it houses books and some “fairytale” figurines.

 

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Here’s a close-up of the bottom shelf:

 

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And one of the books I’ll be reading this week is from a favorite author, Anna Quindlen.  Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

 

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I’ll be curling up here for the rest of the evening to read and watch more movies.

 

 

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What do you like to do on a cozy Saturday evening?

 

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Monday sparks · Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSING ABOUT BOOKISH THINGS — JUNE 24

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Welcome to another Musing Mondays, where the sparks can fly as we chat about bookish things.  Head on over to Should Be Reading to find out more.

Here are some thoughts to ponder:

• 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!

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Right now, I am reading a memoir by Joyce Carol Oates called A Widow’s Story. 

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I bought the book two years ago, and it’s been resting comfortably on my stacks ever since.  I wanted to read it because it’s Joyce Carol Oates, and it’s a memoir about a very difficult and challenging time in her life.  I was curious about how she would show us what she experienced.  I was sure that she might have something important to share.

Here’s a part of the blurb that grabbed me:

In a work unlike anything she’s written before, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates unveils a poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of her husband of forty-six years and its wrenching, surprising aftermath.

“My husband died, my life collapsed.”

On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Both Joyce and Ray expected him to be released in a day or two. But in less than a week, even as Joyce was preparing for his discharge, Ray died from a virulent hospital-acquired infection, and Joyce was suddenly faced—totally unprepared—with the stunning reality of widowhood.

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Who among us hasn’t feared those infections that lurk in hospitals, the very places where we hope to find healing?  It is a grim reminder that medical facilities are also flawed, as well as places of care and nurturing.

As I read the book (I am halfway finished), I am captivated by the sheer honesty of the author as she shares her fears, her vulnerabilities, and how being alone has shaken her to her core.

As a bestselling author and the winner of numerous awards, I have never thought of JCO as anything but strong, independent, and able to handle anything.  I had never seen her as “needing” someone as much as she describes her need for her husband.  It lends an extra layer of humanity to someone who is one of the literary greats.

While the story is difficult, sad, and frightening at times, I am glad I am finally reading it.

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What is sparking your musings today?  Come on by and share your thoughts…and links.

 

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Monday impressions · Monday sparks

HAPPY NEW YEAR! IGNITE YOUR CONNECTIONS!! — DEC. 31

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For the New Year, I visualize more time spent in cozy surroundings, and I want to love and nurture my connections.

I also like making a few blog changes, so I altered the colors here.

Yesterday I took down the Christmas decorations.  As I boxed them up, I felt happy to see my usual space beneath, almost as if it had been waiting patiently.  But it looked slightly different, since, as usual, when I take away the ornaments, trees, etc., I see little tweaks I can make to the surroundings.  Nothing major or back breaking.  Just a little change here and there.  Like these:

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I have started reading my first book of the New Year:  Potboiler, by Jesse Kellerman.  I had mixed feelings about some of his previous books, but he is definitely a talented author.  And I love the blurb on this one.

Arthur Pfefferkorn is a has-been, or perhaps a never-was: a middle-aged college professor with long-dead literary aspirations. When his oldest friend, bestselling thriller writer William de Vallèe, is lost at sea, Pfefferkorn is torn between envy and grief, for de Vallèe not only outshone Pfefferkorn professionally, but married the woman Pfefferkorn loved.
Pfefferkorn’s decision to reconnect with de Vallèe’s widow sets in motion a surreal chain of events, plunging him into a shadowy realm of double crosses and intrigue, a world where no one can be trusted–and nothing can be taken seriously.

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What will your day and year bring?  I hope you will find the happiness, peace, and balance you desire.