I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.
As part of my monthly wrap up, I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently.
Happy November! Where does the time go?! I have neglected my blog terribly the last couple of months and I wish I could promise this month will be different but a lot depends on whether I can scrape together any quality blogging time. Even my reading has slowed down. I confess, the introvert in me who needs quiet alone time to regenerate is very unhappy with me more often than not these days.
The weather has been so lovely with temperatures in the 80F's during the days. The nights are nippy enough to dress more warmly. The fog rolls in sometime in the night and leaves in the morning hours. The leaves haven't yet changed on our trees, but I imagine it will not be long. I have to remember to set my clocks back an hour tonight before I head to bed.
Work is taking a lot out of me, not to mention there are more changes afoot. Hopefully some of the changes coming will bring relief. I took a couple days off of work to help my mom settle into her new home here in town. It has been a bit of an adventure for her--a lot of bumps. You know, the usual: moving company issues, broken glass in the china cabinet, roots in the pipes causing overflowing toilets, missing silverware, just to name a few. On the plus side, my mom accepted an offer on her house. Not even a week on the market!
My mom arrived at a busy time for us--Mouse and some of the other dancers from her studio performed at a Halloween festival one day near the end of October and we attended a Halloween Girl Scout event. Both were a lot of fun. Because of the festival dance performance though, that meant more rehearsals at the studio during the week. We made it work though and Mouse really enjoyed the experience.
October also saw me volunteering to help Mouse's Girl Scout troop and taking part in the preparations for the dance studio's annual Showcase and Nutcracker ballet performances. We found out this morning that the venue they had secured cancelled. The good news is a new one has been found--although it means the performance dates have to be moved up. You can imagine there was a bit of panic in the studio today as everyone behind the scenes had to reconfigure some of the details. Fortunately we will be in the same theater we performed this past summer shows in, which means we are familiar with the layout. On the downside, it's a smaller stage with a lot less space behind stage for the many quick changes required and props and such. Every show has its challenges, but we always seem to make it work. I am sure we will this time as well. In the meantime, we will continue to stress and panic as usual. Oh, and guess who will be taking the stage in this year's Nutcracker? Besides my husband and daughter, that is. Me! I am not sure how or why I agreed to this, but I will be on that stage, dancing in the party scene as one of the parents. And I thought my days performing were long behind me . . . At least I will only have the one costume. Poor Mouse has eight!
Let's not even talk about dental appointments. I needed a crown replaced and no sooner was that one in, but another of my crowns fell out. I am just glad they were able to recement that one in instead of having to replace it completely. As I was leaving my last appointment, I told the dentist I hoped it would stay put this time (it had fallen off about four years ago too) and he replied, "It won't."
We still keep a careful eye on the virus numbers in our area and schools and mask up whenever out and about. Mouse will soon count herself among the vaccinated, and I know she's feeling relieved her turn has finally come. Even as active as we have been, we have not lost all sense of precautions.
The end of the first trimester was this past week and Mouse's dad and I met with her teacher online for the parent/teacher conference. Mouse is doing very well in school. How she manages to do all she does, I do not know. I can barely keep up and stay sane!
Hopefully I will have a chance to catch up reading your blog posts soon and will not be such a stranger. In the meantime, tell me what you have been up to! How was your October?
New to the Shelves
Well Matched (Well Met #3) by Jen DeLuca ~ I loved the first in the series and look forward to reading more Renaissance Faire romance in her latest.
A Song for the Road by Kathleen M. Basi ~ This one is sure to pull at my heartstrings and make me feel all the emotions. It's about a woman who embarks on an unforgettable road trip a year after the death of her family, touching on such themes as grief, forgiveness, and finding the strength to move forward.
Have you read either of these books? What books did you add to your TBR this past month?
My October reading centered around witches mostly along with a fairytale retelling of sorts. They were all so different from one another and I loved each one. Alix E. Harrow is an author I have read and enjoyed before, as is Erin Sterling, only writing as Rachel Hawkins. The other three authors were new to me, but I definitely hope to check out more of their work in the future. I highly recommend all of these books!
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke
A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables #1) by Alix E. Harrow
Cackle by Rachel Harrison
In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B #1) by Auralee Wallace
The Ex Hex (#1) by Erin Sterling
What books have you finished reading recently? Are there any you would recommend?
I feel like I have been reading Nancy Marie Brown's The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women forever. I considered giving up a couple of times, but I am not ready to call it quits. It just is not holding my attention as much as I would like. Whether it is the book or just me being distracted by everything going on in my life right now, it is hard to say. I am also reading The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows #6) by Kim Harrison, which I find easier to get lost in.
What are you reading right now?
Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise).
I have the winter holidays on my mind and, as I try to think of last minute Christmas gifts for everyone, thought I might dive into a holiday themed book to help with the mood. All of these sound good to me right now. I just need help deciding which one to read next!
One Dress. Two Women. The Magic of the Holiday Season.
When hopeful fashionista Meg Julliard must return to her hometown of Chicago to manage her late father’s apartment building, she thinks her dreams of making it in the fashion business are over. Add in her father’s eclectic roster of tenants who all need Meg’s attention (ASAP!), a host of building related disasters, and a handsome handyman she keeps embarrassing herself in front of, and this has all the makings for the worst Christmas she’s ever had.
Ellie Wade, one of the building’s longtime residents, is also not feeling the Christmas Joy this year. She is preparing to move into a nursing home (reluctantly), and is in the process of sorting through her belongings to downsize. Every corner of her apartment holds memories, some good, some bad. But there’s one dress she hesitates to pack up as it represents both the best and worst night of her life.
Ellie and Meg strike up an unlikely friendship and the story of Ellie’s dress comes out. Ellie gifts the gorgeous dress to Meg, hoping that it will bring her more luck, on the condition that she wear it to the building’s Christmas party.
The dress magically fits, and while it eventually leads to the best night of Meg’s life, it also acts as inspiration for Meg to follow a life-long dream of her own, a dream that will help save the crumbling Parkview West, and restore it to its former glory, and keep it as a safe home for all of the current tenants..
The dress and the magic of the holiday season helps both Meg and Ellie find their own happy endings. [Goodreads Summary]
It's the first Christmas in Santaland for April Claus--but it may also be her last unless she can uncover a villain with a killer Christmas wish. . .
Love is full of surprises--though few compare to realizing that you're marrying the real-life Santa. April Claus dearly loves her new husband, Nick, but adjusting to life in the North Pole is not all sugarplums and candy canes. Especially when a cantankerous elf named Giblet Hollyberry is killed--felled by a black widow spider in his stocking--shortly after publicly arguing with Nick.
Christmastown is hardly a hotbed of crime, aside from mishaps caused by too much eggnog, but April disagrees with Constable Crinkle's verdict of accidental death. As April sets out to find the culprit, it'll mean putting the future of Christmas on the line--and hoping her own name isn't on a lethal naughty list . . . [Goodreads Summary]
One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning.
Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She's always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she's always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she's laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn't exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya's wedding.
Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it's the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual.
When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life--to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of. [Goodreads Summary]
Thank you for voting!
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I love it when the fog rolls in. Especially around this time of year. And our trees just started turning too in the last week or so- we were a little warm for Michigan there until about halfway thru October.ReplyDelete
No one seems to wear masks around here anymore and it's so frustrating. Some people wear them indoors but even that I don't see much. Just my area I guess. *sigh*
I still need to read Alix Harrow.
I voted for the Christmas dress because the cover spoke to me the most, I guess, although Holly Jolly Diwali looks fabulous too.
Have a super week!
Greg - I like the fog when it rolls in too. I hate driving in it though, especially when it is thick.Delete
Most people in our circle are good about wearing masks, fortunately. The dance studio is strict about it as are the schools. It helps that there is a state mandate. Going to the stores is a bit of a different story. I imagine it's much like it is where you live in that respect. Not many people are wearing masks anymore, even indoors where technically they are supposed to.
Thank you for voting! I really like the cover of The Christmas Dress too.
Thank you for visiting!
I wish we had a state mandate. I know the "freedom" people hate that but I look at Asian countries and they seem to wear them as a matter of course over there- for the public good. I know we're different as a country and that would never fly, but... still :)Delete
Greg - I feel the same way.Delete
My October flew by too! Also I found work difficult with lots of changes! I hope November will be a calmer and slower month for both of us. 🙏 Take care and happy reading. 🙂ReplyDelete
Jessica - You have had to endure a lot of changes with the change in classroom and new students. I do hope your November will be calmer now that you are settled in a bit. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
It sounds like so much fun to be in the Nutcracker with your family. I'm glad to hear that your mom got successfully moved and that Mouse will get her vaccination. Lots of good, if busy, personal news.ReplyDelete
I am fascinated with Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings. We are supposed to read a cozy mystery with a holiday setting for our book club in December, and I may stretch the definition of cozy for it.
Deb - I don't know how Mouse does it--I'm a bundle of nerves about performing--and I'm only in one scene. LOLDelete
That would be great if you could get your group to read Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings for December. :-) Thank you for visiting!
Wow, you have been extremely busy. It is easy to forget how stressful child rearing and working full time once was when you are retired....time goes so quickly. I am happy your mom is closer to you now and, sorry about all the moving frustrations she encountered. I just made a list of a few Christmas books I'd like to read as well; The Christmas Bookshop is top on my list along with The Matzah Ball.ReplyDelete
Diane - I hope you get a chance to read both The Christmas Bookshop and The Matzah Ball. I really enjoyed Colgan's book. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I voted. Your then books have a few on my wishlist and a few I loved. Hope November treats you well.ReplyDelete
Kimberly - Thank you for voting and visiting!Delete
I voted for The Christmas Dress because I've read it and really enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
Wendy - Thank you for voting and stopping by!Delete
Wow you are busy! Your books look good, I'm going to check out a few. Hope you have a great week.ReplyDelete
SJ - Thank you for visiting!Delete
I don't know how it can be November! You certainly have been busy. I'm glad to hear you are still being cautious. I see so many who don't mask or anything. We are fully vaccinated and still mask every time we are out and now in our home with the contractors here.ReplyDelete
Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post
Anne - The new strain out there is certainly a reminder of why caution is still needed, isn't it? Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Wendy, your life is at a busy, busy time. Wow! That's good though and glad Miss Mouse is able to do her activities, glad your Mom got an offer on her house and is settling in to your area, and I'm glad your crown issues are over for a bit. Take care and one day I promise things will be a little less busy. And you'll miss it a bit too - ha!ReplyDelete
Kay - I think the rest of the year is a wash blogging wise for me. I think the new work schedule really played havoc with my blogging routine and I just haven't been able to find a good footing since. I'm sure I will find a way. :-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
It definitely sounds like you've been having a very busy time lately. I hope you'll be able to relax a bit more this month.ReplyDelete
Those books you've read look amazing.
I voted for The Christmas Dress.
Have a great week and happy reading.
Maureen - I just have to get through the next two weeks and then will be able to relax some. This time is always so busy. Thank you for voting and stopping by! I hope all is well with you.Delete
the air is crisp but the sun is bright here. even though i love the heat, i was ready for some cooler weather. i chose santaland slayings because i just read a frosty horror story and this would go hand in handReplyDelete
sherry @ fundinmental
Sherry - Thank you for voting! I enjoyed The Santaland Slayings. It made for a good holiday cozy mystery. Thank you for visiting!Delete
It was so good to read this catch up post from you. While your mom's move sounds stressful as are moves at least she's now in her new home and getting settled and near you guys! And, that is so cool that all three of you will be performing! We need photos for sure! Sounds like you had a good reading time with R.I.P. I mainly focused on hauntings! Maybe next year I'll do witches :) Hope all goes well with the work changes!ReplyDelete
Iliana - Thank you! The situation at work is still in flux--always in flux, it feels like. My mom is settling in well. We have dress rehearsals coming up and I hope to get some decent photos then. Maybe even a holiday card photo if we're lucky! I hope you are well. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
So happy for Mouse that she now qualifies for her vaccine, what a relief!! I'm anxiously waiting for the next age group - the last one - that will mean Dante can get his shot. We've been careful but since he's not old enough to wear a mask, we've really had to live SUPER careful with him. I'm excited to be able to return to semi normal lives... perhaps early in the new year.ReplyDelete
Sounds like y'all are keeping super busy as always. Mouse is incredible keeping up with school and all the extra curriculars, you must be so proud. I hope work slows down for you soon!!!
Oh and I voted for the Mrs. Claus book, that sounds fun! Have a great week.
Berls - Mouse will be getting her second vaccine this coming week. Hopefully they will have a vaccine for the youngest children soon. Thank you for voting and visiting!Delete
I'm so excited about the vaccine being available to younger kids though to be fair Will is almost 12 so it was kind of a race to see which one happened first. I'm not sure when he's going to be able to get it as there's a lot involved but it's such a relief. Sounds like craziness with the dance venue. I'm so glad they were able to find a new place. Sounds like Mouse is a champ with keeping up with everything! Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Katherine - Me too! I hope Will is doing well. You've both been on my mind lately. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
You have so much going on and then to deal with dental work?! Ugh. The holiday season sounds like you are going to be super busy with dance in particular, but how wonderful that she gets to do it all in person this year!ReplyDelete
Helen - It is exciting that everyone will get to perform in person this year. I will be so glad when it's all behind us though. LOL Thank you for visiting!Delete
My kids are all finally vaccinated, I’m sure it will be a relief when Mouse is too. Masks are still compulsory indoors here, 8 hate wearing them but I’m glad as it’s the responsible thing.
I voted for Holly Jolly Diwali though I like the sound of the cosy mystery too
Wishing you a great reading week
Shelleyrae - Eight! It's crazy and hopefully will not become the norm. LOL Thank you for voting and stopping by!Delete
The Santaland Slayings is one on my wish list. It sounds really good! I'm hoping to read The Matzah Ball soon, and then we'll see what other holiday books I can squeeze in.ReplyDelete
I read The Ex Hex and thought it was cute. I would recommend The Charm Offensive - that was my last 5 star read.
Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net
Lauren - I hope you are able to squeeze in several good holiday themed books. I read The Charm Offensive a month or so ago as well and enjoyed it. Thank you for visiting!Delete
Despite being in a sort of semi lockdown, not going out much the days have just drifted by and I find myself in November slightly puzzled what I am going to do for Christmas. No family here now other than hubby and me and he really doesnt do Christmas. Still the end of the year has come or rather coming fast.ReplyDelete
Mystica - With the new strain out there, I imagine it will limit any possibility of travel more. I hope you and your family are well and staying safe. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The fairytale retelling focus sounds so fun! And the covers are always so gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Eustacia - I think so too! Thank you for visiting!Delete
Looks like you read some great books last month. Hope your November calms down a bit.ReplyDelete
Hena - Thank you! I hope you are well this month.Delete
You've sure been busy. October always goes by fast for me.ReplyDelete
Mary - This time of year always seems to fly by. I always feel like I am playing catch up. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
You have been busy! I hope you get a little more down time in November, although with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon life always seems to get busier and busier. Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Lark - Rest will come in another two weeks, I think. :-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
Sounds like a busy month for you, Wendy, but I'm glad to hear your mom is settling down and staying near to you. I feel excited for you for the stage performance and I hope you'll share some pictures if you don't mind. ;) Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Melody - Thank you, Melody!Delete
October was a really busy month for you and I'm happy your daughter is staying active in Girl Scouts. I'm going to check out A Song for the Road--this one is new to me. I haven't read Well Matched either, but have it on my want-to-read list. Hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving!ReplyDelete
Danielle - Thank you! I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving too!Delete