The Monday Check-In ~ 5/16/2022


My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.


What a week! For the first time since 2020, I took a little vacation that was purely for fun, and loved it! My husband and I spent three days in the Palm Springs area (Southern California), and lucked into some great weather while we were there.

I’d originally thought we’d be mostly exploring Palm Springs itself, but we ended up spending most of our time outdoors, hiking and enjoying the gorgeous settings. We spent one day at Joshua Tree National Park, then did some other trails at a state park and a local canyon. Bliss!

A Joshua tree, at Joshua Tree National Park

It didn’t hurt that we stayed at a hotel with a lovely pool and some interesting spa/relaxation options, including a Himalayan salt room. I’m not sure that it was actually therapeutic, but it felt luxurious to lie there all the same!

And now, back to reality…

What did I read during the last week?

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire: This story about living embodiments of Summer and Winter kept my attention, despite how confusing it all gets. My review is here.

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren: This author duo’s romances are always fun, but this one was less to my taste than some of their others because of the focus on an adventure story with a dangerous/criminal element. My review is here.

By the Book (Meant to Be, #2) by Jasmine Guillory: This retelling of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast for grown-ups is just as sweet and enchanting as you’d expect. My review is here.

The Emma Project (Rajes, #4) by Sonali Dev: This modern-day interpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma is a quick read, but I found some of the emotional entanglements overwrought. The main fun is figuring out how these characters relate to the Austen characters — it’s not always obvious! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

First time in a movie theater in a year! My son and I went to see the new Doctor Strange movie and it was… okay. I’m not a big fan of the character anyway, and I really didn’t like who they chose to be the villain of the piece. It felt like very unfair treatment of a great character. But, there’s plenty of fun, some good actions sequences, and a few surprising cameos, so overall, still an enjoyable experience.

I think I’m going to start watching the new HBO adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife… but with severe trepidation. The reviews have been awful!! Still, at one point, it was a favorite book, so I’m curious enough to want to check it out.

Puzzle of the week:

It’s been a few weeks since I last did a jigsaw puzzle, but over the weekend, I indulged. This one was really fun! Another great puzzle from the Laurence King literary-themed puzzle collection — The World of Dracula. So many terrific details to pore over and enjoy! Here’s what my finished version looked like (excuse the shoddy lighting and photography…):

And here’s the product image:

Fresh Catch:

Haha, my new book makes me laugh just by looking at it! This is a graphic novel by Julia Quinn, bringing to life a story that her Regency characters read in various books. It looks incredibly silly… and who doesn’t need some silliness in their reading every now and then?

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel: I’ve only just gotten started, so all I know so far is that it has to do with girls who grew up in a cult. And that it has a creepy cover!

Now playing via audiobook:

Christmas on the Island (Mure, #3) by Jenny Colgan: I don’t typically read Christmas-themed books, but I make an exception for author Jenny Colgan, especially when the book fits into a series that I love! This is the 3rd book in her lovely Mure series, and I’m so happy to be back with these terrific characters!

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — in the middle of Act II this week.

So many books, so little time…


5 thoughts on “The Monday Check-In ~ 5/16/2022

  1. I’m glad you had fun in Palm Springs! I’m starting Just Like Mother today, and I’m looking forward to the cult angle. Cults fascinate me😁

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