Morning Meanderings: Life and Book Happenings

20200719_072715 (1)It’s Sunday morning.  I have the COFFEE and I have my workspace all set up in the book room.  Life has been…


My weekdays are loaded with work and my weekends are my catch up on house and yard and nonprofit to dos.  I consistently try for balance and usually come up with something resembling that- for instance, yesterday.

I had my list of things I wanted/needed to get done over the weekend.  Yet when I sat down in the morning to do them… instead I downloaded a new book to listen to, I went to look for an elliptical (found one), cleaned up the book room and spent almost three heart filled hours sitting in the sun at a coffee shop speaking with a mom who lost her son in an accident a year and a half ago.  It was good solid me time actually and I don’t do that enough.

So today… all those things I pushed to the side yesterday are waiting and I am in a clearer frame of mind to handle them.

Switching gears…

I was reading an article this morning about the second half of 2020 Most Anticipated Books and how the writer of the article just felt kind of “meh” towards the selections and could not figure out if they were just not that exciting, or if in the state of the world, we just can’t wrap our head around what we once did as there is so much muchness going on…
I can relate and believe it is the latter. I don’t think the selections are poor, I think that with everything going on even if we don’t really think we are burning brain energy thinking about it, I believe we are.  When we change how we do many things, when the future can in some ways be uncertain (jobs, finances, trips, the health of those we love, events, plans…) it all takes up space in our head.  I know for myself when things are crazy its hard to get into a deep book… I tend to drift towards lighter reads that may even lean a bit towards “feel good” reads.  And God Bless the feel-good reads 🙂

I’ve got a little mix going on currently:

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes.  I listened to this on audio and it was wonderful and light and made me laugh.  This is our Books Burgers and Brews discussion book for tomorrow evening and while there is not a lot to discuss in the book I have some ideas….  (tune in you want we go like at 6 pm central time on the Books Burgers and Brews Facebook page)

The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben.  Absolutely enjoyed!  Its Coben at his finest.  Also, audio listen and grabbed me right from the start so I know I am not completely hopeless in the book department.

My Girls by Todd Fisher.  I just started this one and will probably mow the lawn today while listening to it.  It is the true story of Carrie and Debbie Fisher told by Carrie’s son, Todd.  So far, so good.

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand.  LOVED IT.  I usually love Elin’s books (not all… but most of them) and this one was so so good!  I loved how each chapter was a year and well … yes, read it.  Perfect and not heavy.

Temporary Fails:

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by  Suzanne Collins.  I LOVED the Hunger Games series yet struggled with this one holding my attention.  I put it down many times after reading only a few pages and not sure if I am just too preoccupied or what.


The Guest List by Lucy Foley.  It sounded goooooooood.  I downloaded it yesterday and either the narrators accent or the book itself or both did not grab me.

Amy:  My Search For Her Killer by James Renner.  Also an audio download,  I do admittedly like the occasions true crime read yet this one… I don’t know.  I may have given up to soon but let it go.

The Book of Second Chances by Katherine Slee.  This was our book club read and initially I would have said here that I was just really good at carrying this one around the house and deck without opening it but having intention too, HOWEVER, this one was just discussed by my book club this past Tuesday and after listening to the half-hearted thoughts on it… I am not going to invest time in it.

So that’s the current book situation.  I am super behind on reviews and hopefully will write them one of these days.

I will leave you with this… You have read the Queen Event details here for years (If not, type in the search area – upper right side “Queen Event” and you should find those posts)  so I do not want to leave out the 2020 version.  We changed a few things up as we are not full Bookies at this time as some are still staying home due to COVID and others have had commitments, but 9 of us did make it to our Annual event this past Tuesday and reviewed our book (The Book of Second Chances) and ate boxed lunches instead of our usual potluck and passed the Queen title, crown, scepter and throne by random drawing instead of the talent portion and vote like we used to do mainly because we could not all attend and some of us (me included) are tapped out of ideas. For now.  😉

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Have a super awesome day all.



22 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings: Life and Book Happenings

  1. Finally finished The Book of Second Chances. My rating on this stays the same. Glad I finished it though because I did want to know how it ended.

  2. Hi Sheila, sooo good to get your blog this am-you are so interesting and innovative and….well-nice and kind, too….have a great day-and keep those blogs coming- when you have time-thanks, Judy

    Sent from my iPhone Judy


  3. I loved reading My Girls. I bought and read the hardcover, filled with great photos. Sadly, many of my hardcover books didn’t come along with me to my studio apartment when I moved last year in May…I am slowly replacing some favorites.

    I have 28 Summers on my Kindle.

    I agree that the events around us change how we read, and I do love picking up some lighter reads to help me through the days. Last week, however, I read two nonfiction books that engaged me.

    Have a great week, and it’s wonderful to see your Morning Meanderings post!

  4. Did you read or listen to 28 Summers? I’ve heard such good things about it and now you give your seal of approval so I’m excited to read it. I really liked Evvie Drake.

  5. I’ve got 28 Summers on audio, I love listening to Elin’s books on audio. I agree, I choose more lighter reads at this time with a few thrillers thrown in the mix. Glad your book group figured out a way to meet. A couple of my groups have totally quit meeting for the foreseeable future. Great to see your post.

    1. Hi Nise! Our book club met a couple of months VIA ZOOM and it was actually hard to get everyone engaged… I think we were all just a bit shell shocked from everything going on in the world and emotionally exhausted (that could have been just me too lol). We met last month in person as well – about half of us and tried to ZOOM with those who were not able to attend and that was hard to do.

  6. “The Story so Far”, “From the Midway” are my 2 best this summer. FINALLY read “Priory of the Orange Tree” too. My fails: “American Prince” [which was shameful because American Queen was so good] and “The End is Her: Jessica Christ 7”

  7. Hi Sheila!!

    Good to read your blog again!!
    I always appreciate your reviews and book suggestions.

    After reading your post, I borrowed Evvie Drake starts over. But after about chapter 3 I returned because of the constant use of the F word.

    Perhaps I am a dinosaur, but I find that offensive and returned the book.

    I know it wasn’t a full review, but it might be helpful to give the unwary reader a language alert!!

    I have enjoyed your work over the years! Thank you for sharing book ideas!

    With gratitude,

    A sensitive reader

    1. Hi Lynn, my apologies… I have done that before in audio where I am so used to blocking out the word I tend to not notice it like I would in print. It is too bad they did that as the story itself was very appealing and the book group really enjoyed the discussion. I had forgotten it was in there or I would have mentioned it. Thank you for saying it here.

  8. In the early days of the pandemic I had trouble reading. Couldn’t concentrate. Still can’t but now as soon as I finish a book I have to go right into another in order to keep the pace up or I will stall. Luckily, I’ve chosen well because they’ve been pretty easy to push through. My last being The Second Home by Christina Clancy. Now, I am reading A Safe Place and it’s a little weird and hinting as some sinister works so looking forward to figuring out what that one is about.

    1. Thanks for the book suggestions! I agree, when my mind is full of worry concern… books may as well not include words and just be pages of paper. Now I am in that phase where I want to escape into a book and can, still nothing super heavy but I am enjoying audio one after another.

  9. Good to see you liked 28 Summers so will put it on my list, the library might have it. Yay for light reads and I loved Evvie Drake on audio too. Nice to hear an update. Take care and organise more “me time” for yourself.

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