Mailbox Monday: Book Acquisitions and Summertime Vibes

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

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Hello all and happy Monday. I hope you are all doing well. I have been missing from blogland for about a month and I definitely missed it. Blogging took a backseat as the warm weather rolled in and although I haven’t been visiting blogland too much, I have gotten a few good books read. I figured a MM post would be a nice way to jump back in and post a few updates.

I’ve slowly been visiting my blog friends this past week and it has been nice catching up but I can’t go back and see all the missed posts for everyone. So if there is a must see review or announcement at your blog, please leave me the link in the comments here. I don’t want to miss it.

If you noticed the Michael Phelps pic up there, it is because I have been watching and enjoying the Rio Olympic Games. I’m not much of a sports fan, but when the Olympic games roll around, I am all in. My favorites are the swimmers and the gymnasts. Watching the games has also given me plenty of crochet time as well.
I’ve been working on this baby blanket for a friend.

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As far as books go, these are my most recent additions….

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Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss

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source: free review copy via Amazon Vine
title: Tuesday Nights in 1980
author: Molly Prentiss
genre: fiction
published: 2016
pages: 317
first line: The meetings happen on Tuesdays, in the basement of Cafe Crocodile.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
A transcendent debut novel that follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980’s.

Welcome to SoHo at the onset of the eighties: a gritty, not-yet-gentrified playground for artists and writers looking to make it in the big city. Among them: James Bennett, a synesthetic art critic for The New York Times whose unlikely condition enables him to describe art in profound, magical ways, and Raul Engales, an exiled Argentinian painter running from his past and the Dirty War that has enveloped his country. As the two men ascend in the downtown arts scene, dual tragedies strike, and each is faced with a loss that acutely affects his relationship to life and to art. It is not until they are inadvertently brought together by Lucy Olliason—a small town beauty and Raul’s muse—and a young orphan boy sent mysteriously from Buenos Aires, that James and Raul are able to rediscover some semblance of what they’ve lost.

my thoughts:
An AmazonVine find, the cover and title on Tuesday Nights in 1980 captured my interest straight away, as did the New York setting. This is a story about three people, Lucy, Raul and James and how their lives intersect.

I enjoyed the 1980’s NYC setting and found that the author wove the art scene into the storyline really nicely.

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The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

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source: purchased
title: The Notebook
author: Nicholas Sparks
genre: romance
pages: 165
published: 1996
first line: Who am I?
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
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Blurb:
Every so often a love story so captures our hearts that it becomes more than a story-it becomes an experience to remember forever. The Notebook is such a book. It is a celebration of how passion can be ageless and timeless, a tale that moves us to laughter and tears and makes us believe in true love all over again…

At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle…

My thoughts:
Let me start my review off with a *sigh*.
Sigh.

I have shied from reading The Notebook for many years only because I like the movie so much. I felt like the novel would never live up to the movie.

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Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

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source: purchased
title: Flowers In The Attic (Dollanganger Book 1)
author: V.C. Andrews
genre: Gothic fiction/YA fiction/Classic
published: 1979
pages: 359
first line: It is so appropriate to color hope yellow, like that sun we seldom saw.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars for being entertaining and twisted
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Blurb:
A major Lifetime movie event—the novel that captured the world’s imagination and earned V.C. Andrews a fiercely devoted fanbase. Book One of the Dollanganger Family series.

At the top of the stairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent, and struggling to stay alive…

They were a perfect family, golden and carefree—until a heartbreaking tragedy shattered their happiness. Now, for the sake of an inheritance that will ensure their future, the children must be hidden away out of sight, as if they never existed. Kept on the top floor of their grandmother’s vast mansion, their loving mother assures them it will be just for a little while. But as brutal days swell into agonizing months and years, Cathy, Chris, and twins Cory and Carrie realize their survival is at the mercy of their cruel and superstitious grandmother…and this cramped and helpless world may be the only one they ever know.

Book One of the Dollanganger series, followed by Petals in the Wind, If There be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows.

My thoughts:
(minor spoilers)

Flowers In The Attic is a blast from the past for me. I remember seeing the 1987 film version as a tween and I read this book and the second in series, Petals on the Wind when I was pregnant with my son. He’s twenty now, so it has been a while since I revisited this series.

I have been on a trend lately, with reading books published in the 70’s like Stephen King’s Carrie, I think I will keep that up. I like the nostalgic vibe to these stories. Continue reading

Excerpt from Pound For Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life

Good morning everyone. I hope your weekend is going well. I hope to spend a good chunk of mine relaxing, reading and just enjoying some downtime.

Today I am posting an excerpt from Pound For Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp. Being an animal lover and having my own two fur babies at home, I happily accepted a review copy of Shannon’s memoir from FSB Associates. I know how therapeutic having four legged friends can be and how much joy that bond can bring. Shannon’s story intrigued me and I will be sharing my thoughts on her book sometime next week.

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Read on for the excerpt….

At 7 a.m., my name was called for “Morning Vitals.” Light poured in through the windows and I begrudgingly changed out of my boyfriends T-shirt into a white paper gown. I wanted to sleep more. I wanted coffee. I wanted to kiss Danny. I wanted to kill the shepherd-eyes woman, who was now sleeping peacefully. Apparently, it wasn’t her turn yet for vitals.

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