Saturday, July 31, 2021

The Week in Review - Favorite Books of July and Thinking About August


Thank You Deb@ Reader Buzz


This week was "a very good busy." Lunch with a friend, catching up by phone with a few other friends, book group meeting, hair appointment and a somewhat annoying fine dining experience.

The book group met to discuss: Ask Again, Yes; Mary Beth Keane. I loved this one and thought others would as well and although most enjoyed it some were quick to find fault with certain aspects of the writing.  Oh well, it will be interesting as next months book is American Dirt which I also liked a lot so I have no idea what my fellow group readers will think.  Our fine dining experience was interesting on Friday night.  We had last been to this restaurant in May and the website still states "all wait staff wears masks". We are vaccinated but because of the variant virus to worry about now we decided to wear masks. Well, NO ONE, maitre d or wait staff had masks on - just us.  I would have expected when our waiter came to the table seeing we had masks on would put one on but, NOPE. I didn't want to make a big deal as there were only two other tables in our dining room, but we won't be going back anytime soon even though the food was very good as was service.   Are you noticing that all of your favorite finer restaurants have eliminated some of your former favorites?  It seems to be the case wherever we have gone in the last few months.

READING

I caught up on some reading and reviews that I put off.

  1. The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer (NF); Liz Rodman - 3.5/5 stars
  2. Kill Your Darlings; David Bell - 4/5 Setting: KY
  3. Dead By Dawn; Paul Doiron - 4/5 Setting: Maine
  4. Mrs March; Virginia Feito - 5/5 Setting: NYC (briefly-Maine)
July Reading Favorites


JULY READS
  1. The Temple House Vanishing; Rachel Donohue - 4/5 - Setting: Ireland (July)
  2. Northern Spy; Flynn Berry - 4/5  Setting: Ireland
  3. When the Stars Go Dark; Paula McLain - 3.5/5 Setting: CA
  4. The Therapist; B.A. Paris - 3.5/5 Setting: London suburb
  5. Swimming Back to Trout River; Linda Rui-Feng - 4.5/5 Setting: China and US
  6. Malibu Rising; Taylor Jenkins Reid - 4/5 Setting: CA
  7. Such a Quiet Place; Megan Miranda - 3.5/5 Setting: VA
  8. Hairpin Bridge; Taylor Adams - 4/5 stars Setting: Montana
  9. That Summer; Jennifer Weiner - 3/5 stars Setting: Cape Cod, MA and PA
  10. The Guncle; Steven Rowley - 4.5/5 - Setting CA and CT
  11. The Newcomer; Mary Kay Andrews - 4/5 - Setting: FL and NY
  12. The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer (NF); Liz Rodman - 3.5/5 stars
  13. Kill Your Darlings; David Bell - 4/5 Setting: KY
  14. Dead By Dawn; Paul Doiron - 4/5 Setting: Maine
  15. Mrs March; Virginia Feito - 5/5 Setting: NYC (briefly-Maine)
YTD Total (117) - YTD - DNF - (10)

Countries traveled to through the books I've read:  Ireland (2x) , London and China 

US States CA (3X), VA, MT, MA, PA, CT, FL, NY (2X)

August Plans

My eGalleys and review copies are a bit out of control to say the least so I want to try to be more on top os this moving forward. 

Here are (10) books that I hope to read or finish. - we will se how that goes.
  1. Shoulder Season; Christina Clancy
  2. We Are the Brennans; Tracey Lange (in process)
  3. The Stranger Behind You; Carol Goodman (in process)
  4. The Last Chance Library; Freya Sampson
  5. No Touching; Ketty Rouf
  6. Where I Left Her; Amber Garza  
  7. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead; Emily Austin
  8. Getaway; Zoje Stage
  9. His Only Wife; Peace Adzo Medle
  10. Songbirds; Christy Lefteri
How was your month? Are there any books you are looking forward to?

36 comments:

  1. I'm glad you had a fun week and got to enjoy some time with friends. We're always amazed and impressed with your reading lists!

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    1. Thanks Brian, I read a lot as I don't watch much television.

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  2. Yeah, I've noticed many places that say employees will wear masks don't follow through, unfortunately. At least your food & service was good on your night out! I put Mrs. March on hold at the library. Can't wait to read it!

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  3. I haven't eaten inside a restaurant since before the pandemic, I'll only do outside. And, now that cases in my area are on the rise again, I may return to take out only. Wait staff were wearing masks until a couple weeks ago and I hope they go back to be cautious!

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    1. We've eaten indoors about 7-8 times since May but, will be doing curbside from this point on.

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  4. What good titles you have/had this past month! Many I have my eye on, such as Getaway, We Are the Brennans, Northern Spy...
    I read When the Stars Go Dark and liked it a bit more than you and have Hairpin Bridge, but am waiting until I am in the right mood for that. I also enjoyed Ask Again, Yes this year.
    Re: masks. My family is fully vaccinated, so that's good, but we also see up here the resistance to wearing masks indoors in crowded places (for variant strain), and who can know what's what without asking to see an app't. card... Why did it become a political move? Good health should be for all, regardless.

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    1. We Are the Brennans has been good and curious about Getaway.

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  5. I like good-busy.

    We haven't eaten indoors yet. I'm staying away from indoors as much as possible. We live in an area where there are lots of unvaccinated people. I'm sorry that your dining experience was a little disappointing.

    I'm adding Mrs. March and Swimming Back to Trout River to my lists. Both of these sound great.

    I'm also interested in reading Songbirds. Let's see what you think about that one.

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    1. I hope you will enjoy Songbirds,Mrs. March and Swimming Back to Trout River. We won't be dining indoors moving forward - back to just curbside.

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  6. Glad you had a good week!

    When my son and I went to Georgia last month we stopped at a Sonny's on the way home because I want their salad bar. I was shocked to see that it and the other AYCE items were no longer on the menu. I have noticed that a few other restaurants are missing items. I don't know what's going on with that.

    You sure have been doing good with your reading. I'm still reading slower that usual and behind on reviews.

    I hope you have a great week!

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    1. I think restaurants are less crowded so they are offering fewer choices to avoid waste.

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  7. After the past years, good busy seems great! We've only had one meal indoors and I was a little nervous... not sure we'll do that again soon. What I'm noticing (both here and especially in FL) is that restaurants are having a hard time with staffing. Some are even closed sometime when they can't get people to work. We have enjoyed a lot of outdoor dining and take out though. You had a great reading month... I've added Swimming Back to Trout River to my list. Happy August!

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    1. Yes, we talked about it and will be doing outdoor dining or curbside moving forward. I hope you will enjoy Swimming Back to Trout River.

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  8. I do not want to be dining indoors right now either...I'm so sorry that your dining experience was less than stellar. So hard right now. So many mixed messages and so many people not caring anymore.

    Looks like a fantastic reading month! I hope you have some more stellar books this month.

    Have a great week! and stay safe.

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    1. Thanks Heather, yes things are getting scary once again with the variant virus.

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  9. How is it August already?! I hope you have a great month of reading, Diane!

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    1. I know the summer is flying by, hope August is a good month for you.

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  10. You had another great month of reading, didn't you?! My numbers were better in July, but still nowhere near yours.

    We've eaten inside a few times, but the first times were when the restaurants were only at 25% capacity (and everyone was masked). We went out with family this past week and some waitstaff were masked, but not everyone. :( We're traveling in the RV next week, but we eat most meals inside so that's no worry, but we have plans to drive (in our truck) to Nashville in September. I'm beginning to worry about that trip since we'll be in hotels and eating out. This surge was so unnecessary... grrrrr.

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    1. Yes, we decided we will revert to outdoor dining or curbside only - it's so sad to see things getting out of control again.

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  11. What a great reading month! We haven't eaten at a restaurant yet, but we're thinking of going to one that has outdoor seating. SO many places around here are reverting to 100% capacity and no masks ... we won't go.

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    1. Yes our restaurants are back to full capacity but not at many customers at many. We will be going back to curbside or outdoor dining.

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  12. I have Ask Again, Yes, on my TBR shelves...a hardcover book, so I hope to read it soon. Book clubs can be disappointing, IMO. I find more connections on blogs.

    I liked American Dirt.

    Enjoy your week, and so sorry about that restaurant!

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    1. I think you will like Ask Again, Yes - most readers have. Our group is all senior age women except for (1) young girl who we love having.

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  13. We mostly do curbside though there is one restaurant that we do eat inside at but only on off hours. So far the staff is masked thankfully. Looks like you had a fantastic July reading month!

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    1. We will be going back to curbside or outdoor dining only. That variant is scary.

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  14. Wow...that's quite a good reading month. I loved "American Dirt," too, despite all the negativity associated with the author's "audacity" to write the novel in the first place. I really felt sorry for her and the way she was treated by a loud segment of the public.

    I've got "Everyone in This Room..." on hold at my library, but they don't seem to have it on the shelf quite yet. I'm looking forward to that one a lot.

    On to August!

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    1. Yes, I didn't understand the big deal about Cummins not being Mexican so she shouldn't have been pushed along in promoting her book. A lot of her scheduled appearances ended up being canceled. I'll be starting Everyone in this Room Will Someday Be Dead this week hopefully.

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  15. You had a good month -- and I still plan to get to Swimming Back to Trout River sometime. I'd also like to read the novel Once There Were Wolves, which comes out in August. hopefully it'll be good.

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    1. I really enjoyed Swimming Back to Trout River and I just learned about Once There Were Wolves - so since I loved Migrations, I want to try that one as well.

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  16. Masks are required here but it's hit or miss. Our law enforcement made it clear that they would not be enforcing it and they don't wear masks either so... there is definitely a type that will not wear a mask. And yes, many of my fave restaurants changed their menu to only offer limited items. I suppose they don't want to get stuck with a lot of product should we shut down again. Food doesn't appear to be as fresh either.

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    1. Personally, for us at least, I think we will be back to curbside or outdoor dining soon. I think that is exactly why the pared down menus - the number of diners has not been consistent so waste is a concern.

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  17. I did request Mrs. March but I am still waiting. The new King book came in so I have that and three other books going right now.

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    1. I'm waiting for my hold with the new King book but also hoping I get the audio to compliment it - his audios are always awesome. I hope you love Mrs. March. I just picked up another library book that is one I think I will like: Unsettled Ground, Clare Fuller - but I have 2 others to finish first.

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  18. With the variant virus around, we're not taking any chances so we'll stick with takeaways for a while, although we're now open to 2 pax per table and 5 for those vaccinated.

    I'm excited to see that there's a new release by Carol Goodman!

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  19. I'm sorry to hear your book group didn't enjoy Ask Again, Yes. I loved that book too. Very curious how the discussion will go for American Dirt. I haven't read it yet but am interested in it. I'm sorry about the experience at the restaurant - we've only been to one restaurant and it was outdoor dining. Granted that was before this variant surge. I wish stores would bring back mask mandates. I know wearing a mask is no fun but how hard is it to do the right thing? Anyway, you've got some great titles to look forward to in August!

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