The Monday Check-In ~ 11/21/2022


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.


A family situation came up that required a sudden trip back east, so I was mainly offline and away from blogging for about two weeks. Then we returned home, only to have a household member test positive for COVID — recovering quickly, thank goodness, but yet another obstacle to getting back to routine.

Looking forward to a return to something that passes for normal in the near future…

What did I read during the last week?

It’s been two weeks, actually, since my last Monday Check-In… so I did manage to get through quite a lot!

Ocean’s Echo by Everine Maxwell: Terrific follow-up to Winter’s Orbit. My review is here.

Even Though I Knew the End by C. L. Polk: Emotionally satisfying novella that’s noir detective story mixed with paranormal elements and a moving love story. My review is here.

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger: I didn’t write a review, but I really loved this magical story (via audiobook). So worth checking out!

Ship Wrecked (Spoiler Alert, #3) by Olivia Dade: More steamy romance set in the world of a fictional TV blockbuster series. Lots of fun. My review is here.

He Gets That From Me by Jacqueline Friedland: Interesting premise about a botched surrogacy arrangement and a custody battle, but certain elements just didn’t work that well for me. My review is here.

Rizzio by Denise Mina: Fascinating novella about the real-life historical murder of a key ally to Mary, Queen of Scots. I originally read this book last year (review), and did a quick re-read on the plane home to prepare for a book group discussion.

The Date From Hell by Gwenda Bond: This sequel to Not Your Average Hot Guy is just pure silly fun, with a hunt for the Holy Grail and relationship drama between a human woman and the son of Lucifer. If that sounds ridiculous… well, it is, but also highly entertaining if you’re looking for a fluffy read.

Pop culture & TV:

Yellowstone is back! I just watched the two-hour season premiere over the weekend. So happy to be back in this world. And I can’t wait for the next spin-off, 1923, coming in mid-December. Have you seen the trailer yet? I mean… Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren??? Yes, please!

Fresh Catch:

I treated myself to a stack of books! One I’ve already read (Last Night at the Telegraph Club) and wanted my own copy of, and the rest are new to me.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Between my print read and audiobook listen, I’m involved in two stories about 30-ish women returning to their hometowns after years away. It’s a little confusing… except one has werewolves!

Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison: I’m loving this! Hope to finish later today.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale by Stephanie Eding: This popped up when I went looking for audiobook inspiration on Hoopla — it seems like a light, engaging listen. Just what I needed!

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. We’re past the halfway point!
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen: My book group’s current classic read. I’ve read this several times already, but I’m always up for another go! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week, and will finish by mid-December.
  • Paper Girls: The Complete Story by Briana K. Vaughan: I’ve already read the first few volumes in the Paper Girls series, but I’m not sure where I left off… and now that I have this BIG (800 pages!) edition of the entire series, I thought I’d start again from the beginning and read it in bits and pieces.
  • Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell: I never do well with reading story collections, so I figured I’d keep this one on my nightstand and read stories here and there until I finish.

So many books, so little time…


6 thoughts on “The Monday Check-In ~ 11/21/2022

  1. So many books so little time is literally my catchphrase. And just to make things harder for myself I always ask for books as presents (lol). I am stoked I found your site. I absolutely love your recommendations and I have just added Ship Wrecked to my TBR pile (sounds like a fun read!)

    I have to recommend my most recent “steamy” romance read “Awake” by Lisa Battalia (Book 1 of the series) It really was feel-good
    heartwarming read with a lot of sex (not cliche… like… really well-written!) I absolutely loved it!
    The story follows Lori, a woman who is going through a tough divorce after basically abandoning her dreams to focus on the family and is trying to rebuild her life. Cue her old friend (“it’s complicated relationship”) Brandon. They have an emotional and intellectual connection that has carried over throughout the years (they haven’t seen each other in a decade!) Although they are on opposite coasts and have major adulting to do (Brandon is a single dad with financial issues and Lori is dealing with joint custody and starting over again) they have to find a way to make it work!
    The characters were incredibly relatable, and the romance was a good mixture of steamy and sweet. This is a perfect book for any woman who is looking for a romance novel that doesn’t feel like it’s been written 10000 times already. Hope you will check it out! –

    Happy Reading!

    • Hi Teri and Lisa — Lisa Battalia here. Thanks Teri so much for the nice words about “Awake” — I’m so glad you found the characters relatable and refreshingly not cliche. I hope you’ll keep reading to see how Lori and Brandon’s story continues (there’s lots more steam LOL). Teri, It would be wonderful if you’d be willing to share your review on amazon, but please know that I appreciated these comments. Happy Holidays and warm regards, Lisa

    • Thank you! I’m really loving reading Paper Girls, and I guess I hadn’t actually read as much of it previously as I’d thought. Thanks for the kind wishes — my husband is improving, and my son and I remain COVID-free… although I suppose I should wait until my husband’s isolation period is completely done before breathing a sigh of relief. 🙂 Have a great week!

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