The Monday Check-In ~ 5/23/2022

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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.

Life.

It’s been another busy workweek, so I was happy to spend the weekend basically doing nothing but reading and getting outside to enjoy the sunshine as often as possible.

I went to my very first Zumba class this week! I decided I needed more cardio in my routine (I basically was doing none), and I know I tend to like dance-based workouts more than other types of group exercise classes. It was fun! Hard, but fun. I’m going to keep going! (And since I’m putting in writing and sharing it, I guess I’ll have to stick with it!)

What did I read during the last week?

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel: Ew. Creepy, but not in a good way. My review is here.

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker: A sweet, fun YA graphic novel featuring witches, werewolves, and lots of really positive and diverse representation.

In audiobooks, I finished books 3 and 4 in the lovely Mure series by Jenny Colgan. I wrote a wrap-up post (here), and now I’m just eagerly awaiting the release of book #5 in June!

Puzzle of the week:

Another good one from Laurence King (1000 pieces):

This one is called The World of the Tudors. It wasn’t particularly hard, but all the little details made it really fun to do. Here’s the product image:

Pop culture & TV:

Another movie! That’s two weeks in a row of seeing movies in an actual movie theater! I saw The Northman with a friend. It was so well done, but very gory and violent.

This last batch of This Is Us episodes are bringing on the waterworks! Can’t believe the series finale is coming up this week.

Fresh Catch:

I’ve won two Goodreads giveaway this month, when I haven’t won a single one in years!

I’d forgotten that I entered the giveaway for The Lioness! I’ve already read an ARC via NetGalley (and loved it), but it’s nice to have the actual Kindle edition now too. And this week, I found out that I’ve won a print edition of The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker, which is super exciting! It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m thrilled to have won!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong: I’ve only read the first two chapters, but it seems interesting! I’m just a little bummed to see this book listed on Goodreads as the first in a series — when I requested it on NetGalley, I expected it to be a stand-alone.

Now playing via audiobook:

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White: My book group’s book for May — I’m a little behind. I’ve only listened to about 20% so far. I’m loving the Charleston setting (I lived there for a few years, ages ago), but despite being published in 2008, the book feels a little dated somehow. My book group friends all seem to really like the story, so I’m feeling hopeful overall.

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 — starting Act III this week.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/16/2022

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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.

Life.

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…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/9/2022

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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.

Life.

By the time you read this post, I’ll be on vacation! It’s just a mini-trip to spend a few days in the sun in Southern California, but as I write this post (Saturday), it’s making me happy just to think about it! This will be my first time traveling other than for family reasons in 2 years.

I’ll be away for three nights only, but in a shocking development, I’m planning to be offline for those days! I’ve never not traveled with a laptop, but this time, that baby is staying home without me.

Meanwhile, since we’re headed out of town on Mother’s Day, my husband and kids took me out for an early Mother’s Day dinner on Friday, which was lovely.

And now, all that I still need to do is pack and choose my books! (Kidding… I may still need to pack, but I’ve had my books picked out for weeks!)

What did I read during the last week?

It’s actually been a fairly slow reading week, with long hours at work and lots of busy-ness at home. Plus, I happened to have started longer books this week… so, I only managed to finish one book!

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner: I love how this author captures family dynamics so well — the good and the bad, the funny and the tragic. The Summer Place was a great read! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

This Is Us brought on the waterworks last week with its Miguel episode! Can’t believe the show is ending so soon — only three episodes to go!

I’ve started watching the final batch of Grace & Frankie episodes, but for whatever reason, they’re not loading on my TV… which left me sitting on my couch watching on my phone, definitely not ideal. I still have a bunch to go.

Fresh Catch:

Three new books this week! The first is one I preordered ages ago; the other two were spur-of-the-moment buys when I stumbled across a buy one, get one 50% off deal on Amazon.

I also made a last-minute impulse purchase of a jigsaw puzzle that caught my eye… but I’ll share that one once I actually get it done!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire: I started this as an audiobook, and as much as I liked hearing Amber Benson as the narrator, the story was just too complicated for me to be able to follow it by listening. After a day, I switched to print, and I’m having a much better experience! This book is long (over 500 pages), and I haven’t had very much time to really devote to it… but I hope to wrap it up shortly.

In related news, I attended an online author event with Seanan McGuire over the weekend, which was awesome! Her cat even made an appearance:

Now playing via audiobook:

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory: The 2nd book in Disney’s adult fiction Meant To Be series is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, featuring a 20-something editorial assistant trying to get an ill-tempered celebrity author to finish his memoir… by moving in with him in his gorgeous Santa Barbara mansion. It’s cute so far!

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 newest classic read. We’ll be going at a pace of one scene per week — now underway.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/2/2022

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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.

Life.

Oof. I got my second booster on Thursday, and it knocked me out for about a day and a half. I’m not sorry I got it — but I definitely did not feel okay the next day. I mean, my head was so fuzzy and achy that I couldn’t even read!

Other than that, it’s been another intense work week, and this coming week should be more of the same. Fortunately, I have a couple of days away next week to look forward to!

What did I read during the last week?

True Biz by Sara Novic: I absolutely loved this book set in a school for the deaf. Five stars! My review is here.

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson: This follow-up to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is interesting, but lacks the emotional connection of the first book. My review is here.

The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian: Wow, talk about a page-turner! I couldn’t put this book down, despite how anxious it made me feel throughout the reading process. My review is here.

In audiobooks, I finished a re-read of The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan, the first book in the Mure series, and immediately started book #2, The Endless Beach, which I finished over the weekend. Not surprisingly, I’m loving this series. Jenny Colgan’s books are always a ray of sunshine! I can’t wait to start book #3.

Outlander!!

The 6th season of Outlander has now come to an end, after last night’s agonizing season finale. This episode covers a section of book #6 that I absolutely loathe — it feels like such needless torture for our belove characters. And on top of everything, the episode (and thus the season) ends without finishing this segment of the plot… which means we’ll be picking up this storyline again in season 7. Ugh! Make it go away so we can move on!

Pop culture & TV:

Drop everything and watch Heartstopper on Netflix! This series is short and so, so sweet! I was just a big pile of FEELINGS after watching it. It’s eight 30-minute episodes, adapted from Alice Oseman’s graphic novels and webcomics. Just loved it.

And of course, if you haven’t read the comics, why not start now? Check out the webcomic, or the four graphic novels (with the 5th and final due out in 2023).

Fresh Catch:

I bought myself a present! This is a “miniature” library of Jane Austen’s novels, and it’s adorable! (The photo of Persuasion with the Four Aunties book is included as a size comparison…)

(For sale from The Jane Austen Online Gift Shop)

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner: After reading this author’s most recent novel, That Summer, last year, I was eager to get my hands on an ARC for her upcoming new release. This one comes out later in May — I’ve only just started, but I like it so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire: I’m actually just starting this audiobook today, with some hesitation, because I’m afraid it’s going to be more complicated than I can absorb via audiobook. That’s okay — I have both e-book and audiobook ARCs, so I can switch if needed… but Amber Benson is the narrator, which motivates me to at least give it a try! (Unfortunately, I barely remember the details of Middlegame, which this is the sequel to… I’m hoping I don’t find myself too lost.)

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 newest classic read. We’ll be going at a pace of one scene per week — now underway.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 4/25/2022

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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.

Life.

Getting back to normal… After a house full of guests the previous week, this past week has been relatively quiet, although work has been intense. It’s been lovely to have NO plans over the weekend! And especially lovely that the weather complied and gave me beautiful blue skies to enjoy.

What did I read during the last week?

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan: A weird thriller that kept my interest despite not making a ton of sense. My review is here.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: This was a re-read for me (in preparation for my book group’s discussion), and I loved it just as much the second time around! (My review from my first read is here.)

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher: A wonderful fairy tale adventure. My review is here.

Outlander!!

Wow, this season has sped by! Another powerful episode this week… but sadly, only one more left in the season.

Pop culture & TV:

There are times when I’m a complete sucker for sappy, plucking-on-the-heartstrings entertainment… so what better to watch than a dance competition show where talented kids invite their non-dancer parents to be their partners? Come Dance With Me is a little cheesy, but I’ve gotta admit it — I teared up a few times.

Fresh Catch:

No new physical books this week, but I did treat myself to a bunch of Kindle books that had price drops this week:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

True Biz by Sara Novic: This book is so good! I’m at about 75% — I had to force myself to put the book down and get some sleep last night, when what I really wanted to do was power through to the end.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan: I read the print version of this book several years ago, but decided to revisit via audiobook, and plan to continue with the remaining books in the series, which I haven’t read before. It’s a sweet and refreshing story, and the narration is terrific.

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 newest classic read. We’ll be going at a pace of one scene per week — now underway.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 4/18/2022

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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.

Life.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week! We had a full house for Passover, including out of town guests plus local family, and it was amazing (but also exhausting). It’s such a treat being able to gather again for the first time in two years!

What did I read during the last week?

Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond: A silly romance involving demon summoning and avoiding an apocalypse — super fun! My review is here.

The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk: I loved this stand-alone fantasy novel. My review is here.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows: This book was a perfect choice for a crazy week. I loved it so much. My review is here.

Outlander!!

No new episode this week, alas. Only two more left in the season!

Pop culture & TV:

Nothing much new here — I’ve caught bits and pieces of various shows, including the season finale of Abbott Elementary — which, seriously, you need to check out!

Fresh Catch:

Two new books this week:

Because OF COURSE I’m going to read the sequel to Not Your Average Hot Guy!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan: This book is weird and not particularly believable… but it’s holding my attention in the short chunks of time I’ve had to read over the last few days.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: This is a re-read for me (first time via audiobook) — I need a refresher before my book group discussion later this month.

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 newest classic read. We’ll be going at a pace of one scene per week — now underway.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 4/11/2022

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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.

Life.

It’s almost Passover! We’re doing a big family gathering at our house this year — the first out-of-towners arrived yesterday, and we have more coming over the next few days. We haven’t had a big seder in years. Should be fun!

What did I read during the last week?

Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson: A contemporary romance retelling of Romeo and Juliet (without the tragic ending). My review is here.

Leviathan Falls (The Expanse, #9) by James S. A. Corey: It’s going to take me a while to recover from reaching the end of this outstanding series. My review is here.

Also in the world of the Expanse, I read the two novellas in the series that I hadn’t read yet: The Vital Abyss and The Sins of Our Fathers. Both excellent, of course.

Outlander!!

Another terrific episode! I can’t believe the season is almost over. Due to pandemic filming challenges, the current season (the 6th) is only eight episode, and this week was #6.

Pop culture & TV:

This week’s binge: Our Flag Means Death. You have to check it out!

I also caught up on Abbott Elementary, which totally deserves all the buzz it’s been getting.

Puzzle of the Week:

Whew! Finished my 2000 piece puzzle!

It was a good one, despite leading to some serious eye and back strain…

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond: After my intense sci-fi series reading last week, I thought I’d switch things up with a silly romance involving an escape room and a demon summoning!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk: Witchcraft and a novel of manners, narrated by a favorite (Moira Quirk, who does the audiobooks for the Custard Protocol series). Really enjoyable so far!

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 newest classic read. We’ll be going at a pace of one scene per week — now underway.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 4/4/2022

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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.

Life.

Happy April! It’s really starting to feel like spring. This has been another busy workweek, but I’ve managed to fit in some outdoor time, and even started thinking about doing a bit of traveling this summer.

I also got new glasses for the first time in six years! My vision hasn’t changed all that much, but I was tired of wearing the same frames for so long… now I just need to adjust to my new look.

What did I read during the last week?

To Marry and To Meddle by Martha Waters: The 3rd installment in a fun Regency romance series. My review is here.

Auberon by James S. A. Corey: A novella in the excellent Expanse series that fits in between the 8th and 9th books. Fascinating, as expected.

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy: A Cinderella retelling set in the world of a reality TV dating show. I listened to the audiobook, and it was a hoot. My review is here.

The Black Moth by Georgette Meyer: My Classics Club Spin book! My review is here.

Outlander!!

Even though I ended up not writing episode recaps this season, I’m going to leave Outlander here in my weekly check-in posts because I love it so much! This past weekend was episode #5. Awesome season.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished Bridgerton season 2! It was terrific. I wrote up my thoughts, here.

Since then, I’ve been bouncing between a few different shows, not quite up for a full-on binge just yet — so I’ve sampled episodes of Our Flag Means Death, Abbott Elementary, and Shining Vale.

Puzzle of the Week:

I just started a new puzzle over the weekend, and since it’s 2000 pieces, it’ll take me a while. Here’s a shot of the work in progress:

… and what it’ll look like when I’m all done:

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Leviathan Falls by James S. A. Corey: This is the 9th and final book in the Expanse series, and I’m both super excited to be reading it and full of dread over reaching the end. I’m at about 30% right now.

Now playing via audiobook:

Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson: A contemporary retelling of Romeo and Juliet, set amidst a gentrification battle in San Diego. Hopefully without the Shakespearean ending…

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 newest classic read. We’ll be going at a pace of one scene per week, and this week is our kick-off.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 3/28/2022

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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.

Life.

The sun finally came out on a day when I was home to enjoy it! Walking to the beach and then spending time with a book on my back porch felt like such a treat.

In weird blogging news, I’m suddenly getting way more views this week than I normally do, apparently for my reviews of Bridgerton books. I don’t know why, but I guess they’re popping up in Google searches this week, probably as people are looking for info on the book behind the new Bridgerton season? It’s weird, but I’ll take it!

What did I read during the last week?

Reputation by Lex Croucher: A light take on the Regency era, with lots of drinking and bad behavior. My review is here.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker: My book group’s pick for March. Some beautiful writing, but there was too much about the plot that didn’t really make sense to me for me to fully enjoy it.

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth: A contemporary thriller with lots of surprises. Kept me turning the pages, but ultimately I felt let down by the ending. My review is here.

Outlander!!

Week #4! The 4th episode aired last night, and I thought it was excellent!

I’m loving this season!

Pop culture & TV:

Bridgerton season 2 is here! I couldn’t indulge in quite as intense a binge as I would have liked… but I’ve watched six episodes so far, and I can’t wait to watch the final two! I love the casting this season, but I do sort of miss the way the central romance unfolded in the book vs how it’s being developed on the show. Still, it’s so entertaining (and so pretty to look at!).

Puzzle of the Week:

This is a 1000-piece puzzle from Ravenburger (called Quaint Cafe). As usual with my photos, it’s a lot cuter and more detailed than you can really tell from the picture. I gave in to my obsessive puzzle behavior and finished it within 24 hours. Fun!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

To Marry and To Meddle by Martha Waters: The 3rd book in a very fun series — I’m about halfway done.

Now playing via audiobook:

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy: This audiobook is sweet and funny, just what I needed!

Ongoing reads:
  • 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.
  • The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer: I joined the Classics Club Spin for the very first time, and this is what my spin turned out to be. I’m reading this book in daily installments through the Serial Reader app, and really like it so far (although I’m already feeling impatient with this approach, and may end up sitting and reading straight through eventually).

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 3/21/2022

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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.

Life.

Another busy work week, but we’ve also squeezed in some fun, including two different dinners out for my husband’s upcoming birthday (first a “date night” dinner for the two of us at a favorite restaurant, then a family dinner for six with yummy food).

What did I read during the last week?

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai: I finished this audiobook at the end of last week. My 1.5 star rating is generous! My review is here.

Scorpica by G. R. Macallister: An impressive start to a new fantasy series. My review is here.

Outlander!!

Week #3! The 3rd episode aired last night, but since we were out for a while, I didn’t get to watch yet. Overall, this season is good! But I’m struggling a bit in terms of the storylines, because nothing pleasant happens in the 6th book, and the show is being very faithful to the big events.

I love the characters as much as ever, but these episodes can be really hard to watch.

Pop culture & TV:

Bridgerton! With season 2 coming later this week (yay!), I thought a re-watch of season 1 would be a perfect binge for this week. I’m loving it all over again!

Puzzle of the Week:

I finished this one mid-week — it was more challenging than I expected!

Fresh Catch:

Exciting new books! Although I’ll probably hold off a bit before starting any of them, considering how overloaded with ARCs I appear to be right now.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Reputation by Lex Croucher: I’m almost done! I had my doubts early on, but this close to the end, I’m eager to see how the plot wraps up.

Next up will be The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth. A real change of pace, but I do always enjoy this author’s books.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker: My book group’s pick for March — I started last week, and have about an hour left to listen to.

Ongoing reads:

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.

Aaaaaand…. I joined the Classics Club Spin for the very first time, and here’s what my spin turned out to be. I’m happy with the way the spin turned out! This is Georgette Heyer’s first novel, and while I’ve read several of her other books, this one will be new to me. Plus, it’s available via the Serial Reader app, so I’ll be reading it in 33 daily installments starting this week, which means I’ll be finished before the April 30th target date.

So many books, so little time…

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