Monday, January 2, 2017

A New Years Update: 1/2/17


It's the end of a long New Years weekend, and we are thankful for an extra day... everyone is sick or recovering. One of our daughters got sick over Christmas, then my sister and parents all got the flu (despite the shot!), and now my husband and I have bad colds. Needless to say, there were no festivities to ring in the New Year. My big accomplishment yesterday was taking the ornaments off the Christmas tree. Beyond that, it was a quiet day on the couch with tea, my laptop, and a book.

Current reading//

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


LaRose by Louise Erdrich
I'm listening to this... the author's narration is perfect! 


Finished last week//


Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand (Winter #1)
Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand (Winter #2)
Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand (Winter #3)

After nearly ten days of not being able to focus, I decided to give some lighter women's fiction a try. Regular readers know that's rarely my genre of choice, but it turned out to be just what I needed during this busy season. I started Winter Street  on the 23rd and had read all three books by the 28th. My time with the lovably dysfunctional Quinn clan (so much drama in a single family!) in their Nantucket inn at Christmastime was a wonderfully relaxing escape from my own hectic holiday schedule. I was a little disappointed with some loose ends at the end of book three, but have since learned that there will be a fourth book coming in October of 2017. It will surely be on my holiday reading list!




Send in the Clowns (Country Club Murders #4) by Julie Mulhern
This cozy mystery was another bit of escapist reading during a busy week.  I borrowed it from my library via Hoopla and enjoyed the trip back to the 1970s... it's always fun to spend a few hours with Ellison and company.


On the blog//

First Book of the Year: 2017
2016 Wrap-up: Stats and thoughts
My Favorite Books of 2016
Year-end Book Briefs: Fiction Edition


The week ahead//
This week will be all about packing, cleaning, and tying up loose ends. We're leaving for Florida on Friday or Saturday, so I may disappear for a week while we drive down and settle in. My next update will be a Sanibel Sunday!

What have you been reading during this holiday week?


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

60 comments:

  1. I just started the Elin Hilderbrand series, and have only read the first one, but I did really like it! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I am sorry to hear that you and your family were sick! We all just got over something here as well. :( Hopefully you are on the mend - if not, Florida should cure what ails you! The sunshine and warm weather sounds wonderful.

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    1. Erin - This is the first I've read by Hilderbrand, and it was exactly what I needed! Definitely looking forward to a little sunshine and warmth...

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  2. It's always a drag to be sick over the holidays--doesn't feel fair somehow. Glad you're on the mend and that you found a good set of books that helped you through. There are definitely comfort book reads out there. I picked up Winter Street, but wasn't in the mood for it this year. Really want to read Homegoing myself--sounds so interesting.

    Safe travels--we were in FL last week, and the warmth (except for Friday) was like a tonic!

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    1. JaneGS - I'm just glad we made it through Christmas before it hit... New Years was pretty much a bust. I've read about 100 pages in Homegoing and it is wonderful!

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  3. Elin Hilderbrand sounds like just what you needed! Hope you're feeling better soon and save travels.

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    1. BethF - I'd never read Hilderbrand before, but it was just what I needed last week. It's easy to see why she is so popular.

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  4. The Winter books are good...well, I've only read the first one, but I had hoped to read more...and soon.

    Loved Send in the Clowns...and that whole series so far.

    So sorry everyone is unwell...wishing a speedy recovery!

    Enjoy the New Year and your reading. Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - The Winter books and Country Club Murders were absolutely perfect last week... fun, light, and breezy. My husband seems to have turned the corner today. I seem to be a day behind, so am hoping tomorrow is my day.

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  5. I hope everyone's feeling better soon!

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. I don't ever remember a New Years quite like this one!

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  6. I tried LaRose earlier in the year and couldn't get into the story. Maybe I will need to try the audio. Homegoing has been on so many "best" lists. It's another one I need to try, but look forward to hearing what you think first. Have a safe trip to Florida. Happy New Year!

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    1. Susie - I'm having a hard time getting into LaRose, too. The story isn't grabbing me, but I do love the author's narration. At 35% now ... will keep going since I used an audible credit.

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  7. Ugh, it's horrible to be sick at the holidays. I hope you're all better soon!

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    1. Kathy - Thanks. My husband is better this afternoon, hoping tomorrow will be my day.

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  8. So sorry you and your family were bit by the flu bug. Still in all, I'm impressed by the amount of reading you accomplished during the holidays! Feel better and safe travels south.

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    1. Catherine - Thankfully, I don't think we have the flu like my sister and parents. This is the most I've ever read over the holidays... probably because these were such quick, light books.

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  9. So sorry you and your family had the crud over the holidays! I hope you feel better before your trip to Florida. I was afraid my husband was coming down with a cold before we left for Oregon, but it must have just been allergies.

    Your books sound good and I have both on my TBR list. I just started Born a Crime (on audio) and I'm already engrossed. I'm reading Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher on my Nook. It's a lovely comfort read!

    Have a restful week, if at all possible!

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    1. Les - We may put off the drive until Saturday, but I can't imagine us not feeling better by then. My husband is already on the meant today and I seem to be a day behind him with this one. Homegoing is very good so far, but I'm having a harder time getting into LaRose. The author's narration is the biggest draw so far and I'm 35% in. Hope I get more involved... I used an audible credit.

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    2. I've only read one book by Louise Erdrich and I didn't care too much for it (Love Medicine), so I'll probably skip this one if it's not doing a lot for you (other than the narration). I know what you mean about using an audible credit. My daughter has given me a gift membership (a year's worth of credits) for the past couple of years and I hate to waste those credits by not finishing a book. But, I did learn that you can return a book if you don't like it. I was surprised when I was able to do that without any questions or hoops to jump through. Something to consider if the book doesn't improve.

      Have a good drive south! I look forward to all your gorgeous pictures. :)

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    3. Les - I have an old paperback copy of Love Medicine on my shelf. Think I picked it up at library sale several years ago... maybe it's time to put it back in my donation bag. I'm enjoying LaRose more now, but still haven't reached the point where I'm anxious to pick it up again. Audible has the best customer service around, and I've taken advantage of their return policy a couple of times. Think I'm going to stick with LaRose though.

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  10. I hope you all feel better soon. I am just getting over a December (all of Dec.) cough/bronchitis. Enjoy your trip to Fla.

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    1. Pat - Why do these things hang on for so long? Glad you're finally better... fingers crossed we're back to normal by Friday.

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  11. I hear you on needing the lighter stuff in the middle of chaos...that happened to me more than usual this year!

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    1. Sarah - Glad I just gave in and read something lighter. Guess I'll need to investigate Hilderbrand's other books and be ready the next time chaos strikes!

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  12. Your New Year's weekend sounds about like mine. I spent New Year's morning searching for a doctor, and then being diagnosed with acute bronchitis. Being a non-smoker, I have no idea how I got it, but am on the meds to recovery. Hopefully, you will be feeling much better soon and can enjoy the scenery on your way down to Sanibel. Have you a new route to view this time? If your route is ever anywhere near my neck of the woods, I would love to say hello over a cup of coffee or tea. Have a safe trip!

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    1. JudyMac - Oh, no... not you, too! There is so much sickness right now. I'm glad you're on the mend. Since we have Zelda with us this time (my daughter and her boyfriend transported her last year), we will stick to familiar places with pet-friendly hotels. We may be more confident and adventurous on the trip home. You're near Atlanta?

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  13. Sorry you've all been sick. I hope everyone is better soon!

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    1. Vicki - This has been a New Years to remember, but for all the wrong reasons! Hubby turned the corner today and I'm hoping tomorrow will be my turn.

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  14. So many people seem to have been sick this holiday season and I'm sorry to hear your family was among the casualties. I hope you're all feeling better! I love spending time with Ellison and really enjoyed that we were able to see more of her father in that book. Hilderbrand is an author I've really been wanting to read so I'm glad to hear it was just the thing! Enjoy your 2017 reads!

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    1. Katherine - This was the first time I've read Hilderbrand, though I've been meaning to for years. You know how that goes! So glad I saved the new Country Club Murder for last week, too... perfect light reading for the holidays.

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  15. Oh, I hate to hear that so many of you are not feeling well, JoAnn; jeez! I've heard so many people in our area report this, as well; that's a bummer. I'm glad you have a trip to Sanibel planned for later in the week; safe travels!

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    1. Tara - There is so much sickness around here now... wonder if it's because we've had so much snow and cold so early in the season. I'm sure some sunshine and warm weather will take care of everything ;-)

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  16. Oh no what a bummer. Being sick is no fun and especially when so many in the family are recovering. Hope you guys are all on the mend very soon. I'm with you, when I don't feel well I look to very light reads. Keep drinking lots of tea and hope you can get to your reads soon.

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    1. Iliana - I'm thankful our daughter who lives with us did not get sick... she has been so helpful! The light reads and tea surely help :)

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  17. Oh goodness! I hope you'll all be feeling better soon. My husband is finally getting better after getting a bad cold the week before Christmas. I have escaped it I think. Yes the Winter series books are great escapism, but I'll probably read book 3 and 4 next year. Safe travels on your way down to FL and let's keep thinking about meeting up some way!!

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    1. Anita - We're still not 100% and considering leaving a day later now. Our usual route takes us west at Jacksonville, but I want to do a 'blogger route' one of these trips to finally meet up with friends. We may visit friends in Rockledge over the winter... I think that's closer to you?

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  18. Happy New Year! I hope you feel better soon. Homegoing is on my TBR list, so I’m hopefully going to read it soon.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. AJ - I'm about halfway through Homegoing now and loving it. You're in for a treat!

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  19. Happy Reading in 2017!!

    Nice on the three Elin Hilderbrand books.

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

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    1. Elizabeth - I surprised myself reading them all in a week, but they were definitely a case of the right books at the right time. Think I'll have to investigate her other novels the next time I need an escape!

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  20. I've been eyeing those Hilderbrand books myself. I might have to give them a try! I also love finding cozy mysteries on Hoopla.

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    1. Katie - The Hilderbrand books were just what I needed last week! Can't believe I've never read her before... she has so many books out there. Send in the Clowns was a lucky find on Hoopla. I just happened to be browsing their new additions and there it was! I don't keep up with many series, but do enjoy that one.

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  21. Glad you're getting better. Only person sick here is Odie, our dog. A bit of gastro and a trip to the vet. Possum poo does that.Safe travel to Sanibel.

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    1. Pam - Oh, no, poor Odie! Hope the pup is better now. Can't wait for the warmth and sunshine of Sanibel, it's so dark and gloomy here now. Only a few more days...

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  22. A quiet day on the couch with tea, my laptop, and a book sounds wonderful :-)Good luck with the packing and travelling.

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    1. Jessica - The day on the couch did wonders! Still recovering, but have definitely turned the corner :)

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  23. I hope that you are all on the road to recovery, especially since you will be on the road. Safe travels. I have yet to get to Winter Storms. Happy New Year.

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    1. Nise' - I was disappointed at the end of Winter Storms when I thought it was the end of the series... looking forward to the fourth book already!

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  24. Hope everyone recovers soon. Your books are delightful.

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    1. Thank you, Mystica. We're all feeling much better.

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  25. It's a good idea to switch things up when you feel the need. I generally turn to a cozy mystery or a romance, which I almost seldom read otherwise. The thing is, I find they are all that more enjoyable because they aren't only lighter, but a treat.
    I hope that your trip is is safe and that you have a nice time, JoAnn. I see in the comment above that you are all feeling better.
    Homegoing is on my TBR, so I look forward to seeing what you think of it. It is on BookBrowse's list of bests for 2016, and I am working my way through reading the ones that I haven't already.

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    1. Toady - Cozy mysteries are usually where I turn, but this foray into Hilderbrand's women's fiction was an unexpected success. It could turn into my lighter reading treat! I finished Homegoing last night and it was very good. As you'll see in today's post, our travels south were delayed, so I should be able to write a review before we leave.

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  26. I look forward to reading your thoughts on Homegoing. It was my favorite novel of 2016. I've been wanting to read Louise Erdrich for a while. I'm hoping to get to some of her stuff this year!

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    1. Kate - I finished last night and can see why Homegoing was your favorite! My only complaint was that I was forever wanting more of each character when the narrative moved to the next generation.

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  27. I'm reading Lion after watching the film. This true story is utterly moving. And the film adaptation is a must-see. Hope you have recovered from the flu by now. BTW, La Rose sounds v. intense. Did you say you liked The Nightingale? Well it's going to be turned into film. (Did I say that already? I forgot) Anyway, several books are going to see their adaptations in 2017. After Lion, I think I'll read Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife before the movie comes out in March. Have a fun year reading!

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    1. Arti - I didn't know The Nightingale was going to be adapted to film! It took me forever to read the first half, but then I read the rest of it in a day... very good. The Zookeeper's Wife has been on my shelf for a few years. Think I'll take to FL to read this winter so I'll be ready for the movie. Thank you for keeping me updated about these things ;-)

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  28. I hope 2017 brings you and your family excellent health. My husband had a sto,can virus & I don't know how I avoided getting it. Washed my hands so much. I'm glad you all are on the mend now.
    Some good books in your line up. I have not read Elin Hilderbtand before but I see her books at the bookstore, lots. Of them!

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    1. Tina - So glad you managed to avoid the bug, it was a nasty one! Now our daughter has it, so between her sickness and winter storm Helena, we are still here in NY :(

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  29. Wow you must be in Sanibel by now. Lucky you! Such a wonderful place to read, I'm sure. Thx for letting me the LaRose novel is read by the author. I think if you like the book I'll give it a whirl too. Enjoy your warmth there.

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    1. Susan - I wish! Our daughter is sick with the bug we had... plus winter storm Helena made travel impossible this weekend. Fingers crossed we're there by this time next week!

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