Sunday, August 9, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 8.9.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Dewey's Reverse Readathon - liked this format better as it starts and ends in the afternoon.

2. Creating a summer themed mood board for the month.

3. Spotted a Stormtrooper on my walk.

Well, hello...



Boyfriend Material
by Alexis Hall | Romance, LGBTQ | Goodreads

A pre-order from Third Street Books came with a Rom Com Activity booklet.

Freebies: from Free Little Library

Summer Crossing
by Truman Capote
Classics, Literary | Goodreads

Library: audiobook

by Edith Wharton
narrated by Isabella Howell
Classics, Romance | Goodreads

For Review:

Prospects of a Woman
by Wendy Voorsanger
courtesy of October blog tour -Thanks!
Western, Historical | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Booksmith
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
Tune in Tuesdays 11am pst VIRTUAL: ZYZZYVA & The Booksmith Present: Lockdown Lit @ Lunch
A conversation between:

The Son of Good Fortune
by Lysley Tenorio
Contemporary, Filipino American | Goodreads

Members Only
by Sameer Pandya
Contemporary, Indian American | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passages
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)

Dead Land
by Sara Paretsky
Mystery, Crime | Goodreads


AND watched: virtual theatre for SFFILM Hong Kong Cinema (here)

Mad World (2016)
Yat nim mou ming (original title)
Director: Chun Wong
Writer: Florence Chan
Stars: Shawn Yue, Eric Tsang, Elaine Jin
Drama, Hong Kong, on Netflix | imdb | my rating: 5

A mentally ill stockbroker struggles to reconcile with his estranged father and his perturbed ex-fiancée.

SENSITIVE topic is tackled with interesting perspectives.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

*** THANKS to those on the front line during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 146, Week 22

Stay healthy! Be safe!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton

The Summer House
by Lauren K. Denton
narrated by Devon Oday

Published: 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Women's Fiction, Romance
Hardback: 352
Rating: 4
Goodreads | Website

First sentence(s):
The morning Worth left, something pulled Lily from her sleep, through at first glance nothing seemed out of place.

Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.

Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.

Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.

Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far.

My two-bits:

Fell in step with this summer southern story set in a retirement community with a small town comforting feel of its own. Liked the various characters and their growth and friendships.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Summertime time (schedule)

Friday, August 7, 2020

Dewey's 24 Hour Reverse Readathon

Dewey's 24 hour Reverse Readathon
August 7-8, 2020 | (details & signup)


My reading list:

Camino Winds
by John Grisham
Mystery | Goodreads

The Summer House
by Lauren K. Denton
Women's Fiction, Audio | Goodreads


HOUR 1: 5pm PDT (start time)

Opening Survey:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
San Francisco, California

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Will focus on completing one book.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Turkish Coffee ice cream

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Currently into reading, crochet and puzzles during these Covid-19 times.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Avoid distractions.

HOUR 2: 6pm

Had dinner and dessert with book in hand.

Camino Winds has whisked me away to an island off the coast of Florida set in early August. Within the first 50 pages I've encountered a hurricane and a dead body. And so, the mystery begins...

HOUR 3: 7pm

instagram: TBR pile - just one book

Pandemic Mood-Boosting Challenge:
Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda - the illustrations also bring cheer

HOUR 4: 8pm

instagram: Camino Winds with comfort drink - Mexican Hot Chocolate

HOUR 5: 9pm

Crossword Challenge:

HOUR 6: 10pm

Updated this post with info on challenges and a tiny bit of reading.

HOUR 7: 11pm

instagram: matching a book cover

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt:
Gold lettering: Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Eye on the cover: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Less than 100 pages: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories by HitRecord and Josephy Gordon-Levitt
Diversity: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
Virus or plague (non-YA): World War Z by Max Brooks
4 words in title: Diary of a Murderer by Young-Ha Kim
Classic: The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

HOUR 8: 12am

Update post, short break and read.

HOUR 9: 1am


HOUR 10-16: 2am-8am


HOUR 17: 9am

Back to reading with a breakfast smoothie.

HOUR 18: 10am

Update post and read.

HOUR 19: 11am


HOUR 20: 12pm

Finished Camino Winds. Catchup with Dewey's posts and start audiobook, The Summer House.

HOUR 21: 1pm

Listened to audiobook while working on a puzzle.

HOUR 22: 2pm

Listened to audiobook while taking a walk to pickup lunch.

HOUR 23: 3pm

Audiobook and puzzle, continued.

HOUR 24: 4pm

More audiobook and puzzle.

HOUR 25: 5pm (Wrap-up)

Prefer this reverse timing for the readathon. I like being awake in the afternoon for the end.

August 2020 - 17 hours
April 2020 - 12 hours
October 2015 - 21 hours
October 2009 - 22 hours
April 2009 - 8 hours


* image source: reading woman

* THANKS to the hosts and volunteers :-)

Happy Release: The Summer We Found The Baby by Amy Hest

The Summer We Found The Baby
by Amy Hest
Historical, WWII, Middle Grade | Goodreads
Release date: August 4, 2020

On the morning of the dedication of the new children's library in Belle Beach, Long Island, eleven-year-old Julie Sweet and her six-year-old sister, Martha, find a baby in a basket on the library steps. At the same time, twelve-year-old Bruno Ben-Eli is on his way to the train station to catch the 9:15 train into New York City. He is on an important errand for his brother, who is a soldier overseas in World War II. But when Bruno spies Julie, the same Julie who hasn't spoken to him for sixteen days, heading away from the library with a baby in her arms, he has to follow her. Holy everything, he thinks. Julie Sweet is a kidnapper.

Of course, the truth is much more complicated than the children know in this heartwarming and beautifully textured family story by award-winning author Amy Hest. Told in three distinct voices, each with a different take on events, the novel captures the moments and emotions of a life-changing summer -- a summer in which a baby gives a family hope and brings a community together.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Summertime time

Summertime time
in which there will be summer-ish postings this month


Take a walk on the beach
feel the sand on your feet
hear the waves roar
feel the suns heat
it's a beautiful world
everythings feeling fine
there's a mood in the air
-Charles M. Moore


Happy Release: The Summer We Found The Baby by Amy Hest

The Summer We Found The Baby
by Amy Hest
Historical, WWII, Middle Grade | Goodreads

books featured: to be revealed per post

books featured: to be revealed per post

films featured: to be revealed per post

books featured: to be revealed per post

post links: will appear per day

MEANWHILE, check these out...

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner | Chick-lit | Goodreads
The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton | Women's Fiction | Goodreads | my review
My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong | YA | Goodreads


* image source: Picnic from Breathe magazine

* poem source: Summertime by Charles M. Moore

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Yarn Along - August

Yarn Along
hosted by small things
details | August links

On the first Wednesday of each month, knitters, and a few crocheters as well, link up and share what they are knitting along with what they are reading. The link up remains open all month long.


Yarn: Bernat Blanket Big Ball Yarn - Forest Sage
Crochet hook: Size U.S. L/11 (8mm)

Camino Winds by John Grisham | Goodreads

After I finished my blue blanket throw, the kid admired it so much. So soft. So cozy.

I got the same yarn, but green themed from Joann to make another throw using a double crochet stitch.

I will post final green throw here when done.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Happy Release: Engaging The Heiress by Juli D. Revezzo

Engaging the Heiress
by Juli D. Revezzo
Historical, Romance, England | Goodreads

Mr. Edwin Hetherington needs a fiancée he will never have to marry. Years ago, his family lost everything to an unscrupulous Irish landlord. Now, the fellow offers to make amends by reinstating Edwin’s family title and properties forfeited during the famine, if he weds Miss Jera Camden, a young woman Edwin pines for but has never approached with more than polite conversation. As far as Jera is concerned, so long as she manages to avoid an unwanted Scottish-born suitor of her mother’s choosing, the bluestocking is happy to play the part of Edwin’s blushing bride-to-be. Can Edwin and Jera dupe the crafty landlord into making good on his promise before the wedding date arrives … or will their best-laid plans result in disaster?

About the author:
Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical romances, Courting the Stationmaster's Daughter, Engaging the Heiress, House of Dark Envy, Vesta's Clockwork Companions and Watchmaker's Heart, and the fantasy Gothic romance Lady of the Tarot, She's also the author of The Antique Magic paranormal series, and much more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Bookbub | Youtube


Monday, August 3, 2020

Austenesque Lovers TBR Challenge 2020

Austenesque Lovers TBR Challenge 2020
hosted by Sophia Rose
on Goodreads (details)


Do you have a pile of Austenesque books that are just begging to be read? Need a motivation or plan to read them before they bury you alive? Whether it is one or one thousand here's a chance to get your Austenesque book pile under control. This is the group for you if that sounds about right.

Miss Anne Elliot 11-20 Books:

1. Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
2. Austenland by Shannon Hale
3. The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser
4. Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken
5. Midnight I Austenland by Shannon Hale
6. Steampunk Darcy by Monica Fairview
7. Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits by Mary Jane Hathaway
8. Edmund Bertram's Diary by Amanda Grange
9. Camp Austen by Ted Scheinman
10. The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo
11. Duke Darcy's Castle by Syrie James

leaving the rest per my mood


* image source: Persuasion, 2007

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 8.2.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Falling into the internet rabbit hole about puzzles. And then, starting a 1,000 piece summer themed puzzle that I won from Marlene M. Bell's book tour in June.

2. Mason Jar Smoothies - made without a blender (details) and trying out recipes from Pick Up Limes (here) - so far loving the Mango Spinach combo

3. Grabbing a burrito from local eatery next door to the laundromat on wash day.


Library: audiobook

The Jane Austen Society
by Natalie Jenner
narrated by Richard Armitage !!!
Historical, Romance, Jane Austen theme | Goodreads

Writers & Lovers
by Lily King
narrated by Stacey Glemboski
Literary | Goodreads

For Review:

Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter
by Juli D. Revezzo
courtesy of author -Thanks!
Historical, Romance, England | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passages
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)

A conversation between:
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich | Historical, North Dakota | Goodreads
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett | Historical, Literary, Family | Goodreads

A conversation between:
Deacon King Kong by James McBride | Historical, Literary | Goodreads
The Library Book by Susan Orlean | History, True Crime | Goodreads


AND watched: online virtual theatre, Roxie

Around the Sun (2019)
Director: Oliver Krimpas
Writer: Jonathan Kiefer
Book reference: Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds by Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle
Stars: Cara Theobold, Gethin Anthony
Drama, set in France | imdb | my rating: 5

Touring a repossessed French chateau, a film location scout falls for its flirtatious representative, who recounts the story of an influential book written there. But is their connection for real, or just a projection of the book's characters?

ROMANTIC and cerebral rendezvous and déjà vu moments as a couple walks through a beautiful setting in France.

AND watched: virtual theatre for SFFILM Hong Kong Cinema (here)

Lion Rock (2019)
Shi zi shan shang (original title)
Director: Nick Leung
Screenplay: Man-Ho Cheng, Cheung Chung-Leong, Nick Leung
Stars: Alex Tak-Shun Lam, Michelle Wai, Kevin Kam-Yin Chu
Drama, Hong Kong | imdb | my rating: 4

In 2011, Lai Chi-wai - one of the top rock climbers in Asia - lost everything when a motorcycle accident took away his ability to walk. Rather than succumbing to his fate, Lai found his own way of scaling those dizzying peaks again. With his second feature, Nick Leung offers a remarkable change of pace, eschewing the macabre humour of his debut Get Outta Here for an inspiring and touching tale about how a human being overcomes adversity. Featuring a career-best performance from Alex Lam as the wheelchair-bound athlete, this incredible fact-based story is a rousing tribute to Hong Kong's never-say-die spirit.

VIBRANT positive human spirit is inspiring. Surreal scenes brought in a touch of dark humor.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

*** THANKS to those on the front line during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 139, Week 21

Stay healthy! Be safe!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Death in Provence by Serena Kent

Death in Provence
by Sarah Kent
narrated by Antonia Beamish

Published: 2019
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Mystery, France
Hardback: 368
Rating: 5

Penelope Kite Mysteries series:
Death in Provence
Death in Avignon

First sentence(s):
In early spring, everything had been so different.

It’s love at first sight when Penelope Kite sees Le Chant d’Eau—The Song of Water—the stone farmhouse tucked high in the hills above the Luberon valley, complete with a garden, swimming pool, and sweeping mountain vistas. For years, Penelope put her unfaithful ex-husband and her ungrateful stepchildren first. Since taking early retirement from her job in forensics at the Home Office in England, she’s been an unpaid babysitter and chauffeur for her grandchildren. Now, she’s going to start living for herself. Though her dream house needs major renovations, Penelope impulsively buys the property and moves to St. Merlot.

But Penelope’s daydreams of an adventurous life in Provence didn’t include finding a corpse floating face down in her swimming pool. The discovery of the dead man plunges her headlong into a Provençal stew of intrigue and lingering resentments simmering beneath the deceptively sunny village. Having worked in the forensics office, Penelope knows a thing or two about murder investigations. To find answers, she must carefully navigate between her seemingly ubiquitous, supercilious (and enviably chic) estate agent, the disdainful chief of police, and the devilishly handsome mayor—even as she finds herself tempted by all the delicacies the region has to offer. Thank goodness her old friend Frankie is just a flight away... and that Penelope is not quite as naïve as her new neighbors in St. Merlot believe.

My two-bits:

Quite a welcoming party, indeed, for an English Expat lady moving into a small town in Provence. It took awhile to warm up to Penelope as well as the serious bunch of members in this small town community. However, in the end I got caught into caring.


* cute reference to Duran Duran by Frankie character ;-)

* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Paris in July (here)

Friday, July 31, 2020

Goodbye... Paris in July

Au revoir!


Goodbye Paris
by Anstey Harris
Chick-lit, France, Paris | Goodreads

Grace once had the beginnings of a promising musical career, but she hasn’t been able to play her cello publicly since a traumatic event at music college years ago. Since then, she’s built a quiet life for herself in her small English village, repairing instruments and nurturing her long- distance affair with David, the man who has helped her rebuild her life even as she puts her dreams of a family on hold until his children are old enough for him to leave his loveless marriage.

But when David saves the life of a woman in the Paris Metro, his resulting fame shines a light onto the real state of the relationship(s) in his life. Shattered, Grace hits rock bottom and abandons everything that has been important to her, including her dream of entering and winning the world’s most important violin-making competition. Her closest friends—a charming elderly violinist with a secret love affair of his own, and her store clerk, a gifted but angst-ridden teenage girl—step in to help, but will their friendship be enough to help her pick up the pieces?


* image source: vintage au revoir

* part of Paris in July (here)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Murder in Clichy by Cara Black

Murder in Clichy
(Aimée Leduc Investigation #5)
by Cara Black

Published: 2005
Publisher: Soho Crime
Genre: Mystery, France, Paris
Hardback: 320
Rating: 4
Goodreads | Website

First sentence(s):
In the storefront Cao Dai temple under the red lanterns, her foot asleep, pins and needles up and down her legs, Aimée Leduc struggled to keep her spine straight, thumb and pinky together, in the half-lotus position.

Aimée Leduc, private investigator specializing in computer security, has been introduced to the Cao Dai temple in Paris by her partner René Friant. He urges her to learn to meditate: she could use a more healthful approach to life. The Vietnamese nun Linh has been helping Aimée to attain her goal, so when she asks Aimée for a favor—to go to the Clichy quartier to exchange an envelope for a package—René prompts Aimée to agree. But the intended recipient, Thadée Baret, is shot and dies in Aimée’s arms before the transaction can be completed, leaving Aimée with a wounded arm, a check for 50,000 francs, and a trove of ancient jade artifacts.

Whoever killed Baret wants the jade. The RG—the French secret service; a group of veterans of the war in Indochina and some wealthy ex-colonials and international corporations seeking oil rights are all implicated. And the nun, Linh, has disappeared.

Since the incident in which she was temporarily blinded (Murder in the Bastille), Aimée has promised to avoid danger. But somehow, it continues to seek her out.

My two-bits:

This story ventures into some history between Vietnam and France. The historical and descriptions of Parisian neighborhoods continues to draw me to this series.

Action and a touch of romance troubles keep Aimée on the move in this Leduc mystery series.


* author binge (series): Cara Black

* part of Paris in July (here)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Mystery and France

Sacré bleu!


The 7th Woman Frédérique Molay, translated by Anne Trager (Paris Homicide #1)
Mystery, Thriller, Crime, France, Paris | Goodreads

There's no rest for Paris's top criminal investigation division, La Crim'. Who is preying on women in the French capital? How can he kill again and again without leaving any clues? A serial killer is taking pleasure in a macabre ritual that leaves the police on tenterhooks. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky—a super cop with a modern-day real life, including an ex-wife, a teenage son and a budding love story—races against the clock to solve the murders as they get closer and closer to his inner circle. Will he resist the pressure?

The story grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the last page, leading you behind the scenes with the French police and into the coroner’s office. It has the suspense of Seven, with CSI-like details. You will never experience Paris the same way again!

Crossing The Line Frédérique Molay, translated by Anne Trager (Paris Homicide #2)
Mystery, Thriller, Crime, France, Paris | Goodreads

The Book Artist by Mark Pryor (Hugo Marston #8)
Mystery, Thriller, France, Paris | Goodreads

Hugo Marston, head of security for the U.S. Embassy in Paris, puts his life in danger when he investigates the murder of a celebrated artist, all the while fending off an assassin looking to settle an old score against him.

Hugo Marston accompanies his boss, US Ambassador J. Bradford Taylor, to the first night of an art exhibition in Montmartre, Paris. Hugo is less than happy about going until he finds out that the sculptures on display are made from his favorite medium: books. Soon after the champagne starts to flow and the canapes are served, the night takes a deadly turn when one of the guests is found murdered.

Hugo lingers at the scene and offers his profiling expertise to help solve the crime, but the detective in charge quickly jumps to his own conclusions. He makes an arrest, but it's someone that Hugo is certain is innocent. Meanwhile, his best friend, Tom Green, has disappeared to Amsterdam, hunting an enemy from their past, an enemy who gets the upper hand on Tom, and who then sets his sights on Hugo.

With an innocent person behind bars, a murder to solve, and his own life in danger, Hugo knows he has no time to waste as one killer tries to slip away, and another gets closer and closer.

The French Widow by Mark Pryor (Hugo Marston #9)
Mystery, Thriller, France, Paris | Goodreads
release date: September 15, 2020

The Godmother
by Hannelore Cayre, Stephanie Smee (Translator)
Crime, Mystery, France | Goodreads

Inspiration for the major motion picture Mama Weed; translated from the international bestseller La Daronne, winner of the European Crime Fiction Prize and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France’s most prestigious prize for crime fiction

Meet Patience Portefeux, a fifty-three-year-old, underpaid Franco-Arab interpreter for the Ministry of Justice who specializes in phone tapping. Widowed after the sudden death of her husband, Patience is now wedged between university fees for her grown-up daughters and nursing home costs for her aging mother. Happening upon an especially revealing set of police wiretaps ahead of all other authorities, Patience makes a life-altering decision that sees her intervening in — and infiltrating — the machinations of a massive drug deal. She thus embarks on an entirely new career path: Patience becomes The Godmother.

This is not the French idyll of postcards and stock photos. With a gallery of traffickers, dealers, police officers, and politicians, The Godmother casts its sharp and amusing gaze on everyday survival in contemporary France. With an unforgettable woman at its center, Hannelore Cayre’s bestselling novel reveals a European criminal underground that has rarely been seen.


* image source: Place de Clichy by Eugene Galien Laloue

* part of Paris in July (here)
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu