Sunday, November 29, 2015

Weekly Update: November 29, 2015


Ah, Sunday... the busy, family-filled holiday week is winding down. Daughter #1 is on a train headed to NYC, my brother and his family are back in Philly, Twin A leaves early tomorrow morning, and her boyfriend left last night. We had the best time together... I am so thankful for my family!

November is winding down, too. All of central New York is referring to this as "No Snow November". Other than a dusting earlier in the month, there has been no measurable snowfall. I don't remember that happening before, but am definitely NOT complaining. It hit 66 degrees on Friday and I loved every minute!

There is still one more event left to celebrate this month. Tomorrow is our 30th wedding anniversary!

Now on to the reading...

Finished this week//
The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
 I have loved everything about this series and officially have a new favorite author. Now I want to read all of Trollope's work... a project that should keep me busy for decades!


Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern
Book 2 of The Country Club Murders, this was a perfect light, fun read for the holiday week. Look for a book brief soon.


Current reading//

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
Our next book club selection


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Written in verse, and a nice follow-up to Between the World and Me.


Up next//

Emma by Jane Austen
The readalong officially begins December 1. Hoping I can get started next weekend.


Coming in January//


The TBR Triple Dog Dare is back... maybe for the last time. All the details are at James Reads Books, but the basic idea is to read your own books for three months beginning January 1. We will be in Florida much of the winter and the bulk of my tbr pile will stay in New York, BUT I will pack a small bag of books and my kindle is loaded with enough 'Daily Deals' and classics to last the entire year. My biggest challenge will be the library. I love  our island library and visit often. Last year I committed to the dare for January only, but this time I'm in for the duration. Besides, I want Dakota's photo on my sidebar for all three months!


Recommendations needed//

Over the past two months, I've learned that cozy mysteries are the perfect remedy for a stressful day or an overtaxed mind. They are relaxing, easy reading and so much fun. The Country Club Murder series features a likable heroine, the social circle of the country club, plus a 1970s setting. I can't wait for book three. I've also enjoyed M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin character. The Costwolds village setting very appealing, too.

Now I'm stuck. As a cozy mystery novice, I have no idea where to turn next. What are some of your favorite series?


The week ahead//
As we move on to December, the fall decorations must come down and we will begin to deck the halls for Christmas. And I should probably start my Christmas shopping...


How was your week? What are you reading today?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

72 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary, a day early!

    I don't know if Elizabeth Peters' Amelia series counts as cozy, but they aren't particularly bloody, and they are a lot of fun.

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    1. Lisa - Thank you. I've heard of Elizabeth Peters... will investigate the Amelia series.

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  2. Library copy of "The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine" by Alexander McCall Smith became available yesterday. This is the latest of the adventures of Mma Precious Ramotswe, owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana. No high crime here, just mostly misdemeanors, but always a nice respite from heavier stuff, and I've read each and every one in this series. When the new Robert Galbraith book becomes available, then it will definitely be time for high crime. Happy Anniversary! Sounds like 30 on the 30th calls for a nice celebration!

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    1. JudyMac - I love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency! How could I have forgotten them in this post?? They were always audiobooks for me because I loved the narrator. Must have listened to at least 5 or 6 of them, then just got out of the habit. I'm sure they must be delightful in print, too.

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  3. Happy Anniversary JoAnn! M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth series is a great cozy series too. I've read all the Agatha Raisin and the MacBeth ones. I think I like Hamish the best though. Flaming red haired, single, and a dog named lugs (Scottish for ears).

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    1. Peggy Ann - Who doesn't love a man with a dog?? I've wondered about Hamish MacBeth... will look for the first in that series.

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  4. Happy anniversary! I concur w/ Peggy Ann - if you like Beaton, check out Hamish. I love him so!

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    1. Lisa - I will... sounds like he should be first on my cozy mystery list.

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  5. Happy wedding anniversary!! 30 years, I love it! I love that you go to Florida during the winter - do you have family there?

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    1. Athira - Thank you! It's hard to believe it's been 30 years. My FIL is in Florida. He moved to a senior living community a few years ago and gave us the condo he and my MIL have owned since the early 90s. He likes having family around in the winter and we love escaping the snow & cold! He also appreciates having a well-stocked freezer when we we leave in the spring ;)

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  6. Happy anniversary! How exciting- and love that pic. Looks like a beautiful sunset. Family is always nice over a long holiday weekend, and it's always a shame how fast even a long weekend goes by. Glad you had a great holiday. We've been mostly snow free too, and it was warm here tody. too!

    I'm not an expert on cozies by any means, being pretty new to them myself, but I like ellery adams and her Books by the Bay series. The heroine is likeable though snarky, and she joins a writers group which is one of my favorite parts of the books. Might be worth a try.

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    1. Greg - Thanks for the suggestion. I look forward to investigating some other cozy series... this one sounds good.

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  7. Oh, I love the photo at the top of your blog....gorgeous!

    Congrats on 30 years, and how smart to choose the 30th of a month for that event.

    I agree that cozies are great fun....Off hand, I can't think of a series at the moment, unless we count Joanne Fluke's foodie cozies. They are now being televised on the Hallmark Channel.

    Enjoy! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - Funny you should mention Joanne Fluke. The first book in that series was $1.99 today, so I went the one-click route ;-)

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  8. I love "no snow" period! lol Happy Anniversary to you!

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  9. Happy Anniversary! This weather is scary in a beautiful way -- not even a dusting here yet as we approach December in New England.

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    1. Diane - I'm hoping this No Snow November continues right on into December!

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  10. Can't help you with the cozy mysteries because I have read only a few! Sounds like you had a really good family time for Thanksgiving and congrats on 30th wedding anniversary. Awesome.

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    1. Kathryn - I almost want to say I'm "familied out" today, but I doubt that will ever happen, lol!

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  11. Happy Anniversary!
    I like Hamish too (esp. as audiobooks!). Also Hazel Holt's Mrs. Malory series (lots of literary references), and Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple series (1920s setting). And have you read Louise Penny's books? They're wonderful (also as audiobooks!) I'd count them as cozies...they are set in a village!

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    1. Audrey - Those all sound perfect! I've not read Louise Penny, but she's been on my wish list for a while. Can't wait to sample all of these cozies!

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  12. 30 years, that's wonderful, congrats! Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by your family. Enjoy your new reads, The Red Garden sounds good.
    Gorgeous pic too :)

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    1. Teddyree - The photo was taken last week ... one of the lost beautiful late autumn sunsets ever!

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  13. That first pic is absolutely stunning. I enjoy Alice Hoffman and Jane Austen but don't recognise some of your other reads. Hope you have a good week!

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    1. Deborah - I'm pretty sure I read an Alice Hoffman novel several years ago, but can't remember the title for the life of me!

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  14. Happy anniversary! For cosy mysteries - I really enjoyed the early Cat Who. ... books by Lilian Jackson Braun. The later ones dipped in quality, sadly,but the early ones are pretty good. Love that Emma cover. Have a great week :)

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    1. Maree - Finally a cozy series I've at least heard of... will be sure to start at the beginning. Thanks for the rec!

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  15. Happy anniversary!
    I'm not reading anything at the moment - finished my last read so have the bliss of choosing something (which may or may not be Elena Ferrante).

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    1. Samstillreading - The Ferrante books are so addicting! I took a break for several months between books 1 and 2, but once I finished 2 there was no stopping me. Enjoy!

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  16. I see some of the best book covers on your posts. They alone make me want to read them...the Emma one especially. Have a good week and here's to no snow December if you are lucky.

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    1. Emma - I just love the Emma cover, too. It's on my nightstand now and I can't wait to get started.

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  17. Happy anniversary!

    Congratulations of completing The Last Chronicles of Barset.

    After reading the entire series over the last two years Trollope has become one of my favorite authors too. I am planning on starting the Palliser novels next year.

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    1. Brian Joseph - I'm trying to decide now whether to jump right into the Pallisers next year or take a break from series and read Trollope's standalones...

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  18. it has been really warm in Cleveland also. It normally is winter 8 months out of the year but it seems that this year it feel like spring. I have Brown Girl dreaming out from the library. I should get to it soon.

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    1. Hillary Roberts - Brown Girls Dreaming seems to be a very quick read.

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  19. Thirty years is a long time to be married! Congratulations!

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2015/11/thankfully-reading-weekend.html

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    1. Deb - Thanks. Can't believe it's been 30 years though...

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  20. I like MC Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series, the Ellis Peters (author) books, Carola Dunn (author), Elizabeth Peters's Peabody-Emerson books, Simon Brett (author), and many others. I love cozies for escape reading. Check out the site http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/index.html for ideas.

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    1. Beth F - I think cozies are about to become my escapist reading of choice! Thanks for the recs and the website.

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  21. The picture you shared is just stunning - such vivid colours!

    Thirty years - well, a happy early anniversary to you and your husband!

    Alice Hoffman is one of those authors I think I'd love, but have yet to delve in to. Well, I tried one of her works once but I just wasn't in the frame of reading at the time so I ended up DNFing it.

    Happy reading! And enjoy the Christmas festivities from now on in - we put our decorations up yesterday!

    Reading With Jade

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    1. Reading with Jade - Not sure if the book I'm reading is representative of Hoffman's style, but I can see how it wouldn;t appeal to all readers.

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  22. Can't help you on the cozy front, but I LOVE your gorgeous lake pictures and have also been loving this relatively mild weather!

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    1. Sarah - That photo has got to be one of the most beautiful late autumn sunsets I've ever seen. Sure hope the No Snow November doesn't end with the month!

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  23. Happy Anniversary! So happy that you had a lovely holiday! How will you celebrate your anniversary?

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    1. Thanks, Patty. We're having dinner at our favorite inn/restaurant tonight. And I'm hoping there will be a visit to the jewelry store later in the week ;-)

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  24. Huge cozy fan here! I love Krista Davis, Tonya Kappes, Kathi Daley, Heather Blake, and Sofie Kelly.....just for starters!

    Happy anniversary!!

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    1. Teresa - Thank you!! Those starter suggestions should keep me busy for quite some time :)

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  25. It was gorgeous weather for November on Friday.

    Sounds like a wonderful time with your family.

    ENJOY your anniversary celebration and this reading week.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

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    1. Elizabeth - Thanks. We're heading out for an anniversary dinner soon.

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  26. That is a lovely sunset; how cool to be able to witness that. I happy for you that you had QT w/the ohana and have terrific winter traveling coming up. Mahalo for dropping by my blog; have a great day.

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    1. Thanks, Stefanie. Have a good week :)

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  27. Happy anniversary! And yay for No Snow November! I am not a snow person at all which considering I live in the South is probably for the best!
    I'm so glad you enjoyed Guaranteed to Bleed! Cozy mysteries can be fantastic though there is such an overwhelming selection. Some of my favorites are Kate Carlisle, Sheila Connolly, and Jenn McKinley. I also just read 2 books from Shelley Freydont from 2 different series and enjoyed them both.

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    1. Kathrine - Thank you for the suggestions. I think cozy mysteries are about to become my go-to escape reading!

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  28. Happy (almost) Anniversary, JoAnn! That is fantastic! I have seen The Country Club Murders series around before and it looks really cute; I have someone that I need to recommend this to. I haven't read any cozy mysteries in awhile, but I do find that I enjoy mysteries more in the fall/winter; I always wonder if it has to do with the cooler temps and curling up with a blanket?

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    1. Tara - I'm pretty new to cozies, but they seem to be perfect for whenever an escape is needed ;-)

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  29. Oh, I looooved Brown Girl Dreaming. Totally agree that it's a great pair with Between the World and Me!

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    1. Shannon - I'm not very far into Brown Girl Dreaming, but loving it already.

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  30. When I m lived in Ft Myers in the 70s and 80s I read all the Cat Who ..... mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun. They were great little mysteries where Jim Quilleran, a journalist solved the local murders with the help of his two Siamese cats Yum Yum and Koko. They were lots of fun and I am sure the local m library might still have them. Merry Christmas as from Tasmania and I look forward to following you again in 2016.

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    1. Pam - Thanks! I keep seeing The Cat Who... books everywhere, but have never taken the time to investigate. They sound like fun. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  31. Happy Anniversary!

    I haven't read many cozy mysteries lately but some of my favorites have been the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters, the Mrs. Murphy books by Rita Mae Brown (Mrs. Murphy is a cat), Diane Mott Davidson' Goldy Bear culinary mysteries, and Susan Wittig Albert's Beatrix Potter mysteries. I think Susan Wittig Albert also has another cozy mystery series but I haven't read any of those.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Introverted Jen - Thanks you. We had a wonderful anniversary dinner at our favorite restaurant last night. Culinary cozies sound very appealing :)

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  32. Happy Anniversary! Isn't the weather great for this time of year in NY? I'll enjoy it for however long we can get it.

    I loved Guaranteed to Bleed.

    Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Yvonne - It doesn't get much better than this for November and early December around here! Did you read the first Country Club Murder, The Deep End? That was great, too.

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  33. Happy anniversary! My husband and I celebrated our 24th on Sunday. You don't see too many November anniversaries. We got married over a Thanksgiving weekend and it turned out to be a great time to have a wedding.

    I'm currently reading Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr. I love books about sailing and this one is very engaging and readable and gives a great view of 1830's California.

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    1. Patience_Crabstick - We got married over a Thanksgiving weekend, too, and it worked out perfectly. I mentioned our anniversary on Facebook and was shocked when one of my friends said they were celebrating their 30th yesterday, too. Small world!

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  34. Happy Anniversary! I'm not a big Cozy reader, but probably should read more of them. I love your photo and I can see why you would want to have the TBR-Triple Dare logo on your sidebar. It's adorable. Have a great December!

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    1. Pat- Thanks, we had an excellent anniversary dinner at our favorite restaurant. I've just discovered what great escapist reading cozies are - so much fun!

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  35. Happy belated Anniversary! It's been a mild winter so far in Western Canada too. They keep talking about El Nino on the West Coast. So far it's in the 40s here which is warm this time of year. What side of Florida do you go -- oceanside or gulf? It's magic I'm sure. We used to spend time in Naples and it was paradise.

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    1. Susan - We go to the gulf side ... to Sanibel Island, one of the islands off Ft. Myers. It's pretty close to Naples - definitely paradise!!

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