The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Title: The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax Series #2), Author: Dorothy GilmanThe Amazing Mrs. Pollifax. Finished 6-12-16, rating 4/5, mystery, 172 pages, pub. 1970

When Emily Pollifax answers the phone that Sunday morning, she quickly forgets all about her Garden Club tea that afternoon. For the voice on the other end belonged to a man she had never seen, a man from the CIA who asked her if she could leave immediately on a mission that would take her halfway across the world! What could Mrs. Pollifax say but yes?    from Goodreads

Mrs. Pollifax is a widower in her 60’s and instead of settling down to garden club meetings she has become an improbable asset to the CIA.  This is her second case and she heads to Turkey to try to make contact with a double agent being sought by a seemingly endless list of countries.  As Emily Pollifax makes friends in the most unlikely of places, the authorities  and bad guys close in.

I read a few of the Mrs. Pollifax series way before I became obsessed with reading series’ in order and I have to say that it’s okay.  Emily is just as delightful in any order 🙂 I like learning about the exotic locales that Emily is sent to and really liked learning about the gypsies in this one.

I recommend this series to cozy mystery fans and fans of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.


Already Home by Susan Mallery

Title: Already Home, Author: Susan MalleryAlready Home. Finished 3-29-16, rating 4.25/5, women’s fiction, pub. 2011

Unabridged audio read by Teri Clark Linden. 10 hours 33 minutes.

After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, and fresh off a divorce from the owner, Jenna Stevens is desperate for a change. So when she spots a for-lease sign in her hometown, she impulsively decides to open her very own cooking store. Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But as soon as she gains a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect.

Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with the parents who raised her and decide whether to open her heart to a man who just might be the best thing to happen to her in years. All without sacrificing her newly found dreams. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love.…  from Goodreads

I went in expecting a romance, and while this did have the feel of  romance, it was so much more than that.  Jenna (I’ve always loved that name) has been left by a jerk of a husband and decides to go home and on a whim buys retail space for a cooking store, with no retail experience or plan at all.  Her first order of business was hiring the most interesting character in the book, Violet, and the two of them form a successful business and friendship.

Jenna enjoyed a close and loving relationship with her parents and had no interest in finding her real parents, even after they showed up in her store.  The story of two families coming together was sweet and heartwarming.  I didn’t always love Jenna, she seemed clueless much of the time, but the cast of characters (especially her half-brother Dragon) made this a fun and touching novel.

If you love reading about family dynamics, especially those with likeable aging hippies, then you should give this one a look.

June Matinee -Me Before You

Last month 57.14% of you voted to watch Me Before You this month for our first Monthly Watchathon.

Me Before You (film).jpgThe movie is based on the bestselling book by JojoMoyes. Sorry I’m getting this up so late, before I left for vacation Genius was winning and that didn’t come out until this weekend.

So, since we’re a little late and you may have seen it and even written about it already, let’s keep it simple.  I’m going to offer up a few questions for your post, feel free to answer just one or all.

After you post your review, leave the link in a comment AND add one question to add to mine. I’ll add both to this post.


Did you read the book first?

Who was your favorite character in the movie and if you read it too was it different from the book?

In the end, did you understand Will?


I’m off to see the movie tomorrow and then I’ll add my review. I look forward to seeing what you all thought.

Quiz winners!

As the first round of Quizzes comes to a close we have a winner

Nise from Under the Boardwalk who wins an $18 B&N gift card

and another winner

Tara from Tales of a Book Addict who was the randomly selected winner and will receive a small bookish prize from me soon.

Congratulations 🙂

Thank you all for participating. Starting next week, Wednesdays will be home to my new Movie Meme and Movie Watch posts.  Quizzes will most likely return this fall.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Title: Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Author: Curtis SittenfeldEligible. Finished 5-15-16, rating 4/5, romance, 492 pages, pub. 2016

A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.      from Goodreads

I read this book for book club and, as luck would have it, Curtis spoke at a local library a week before our meeting. She was funny and charming and those of us that attended really liked her.  I waited until after meeting her to start reading the book and am glad I did.  She stressed that this was a fun ‘romp’ not an exact retelling of Pride & Prejudice.  This helped frame the book and that description was used a few times at our book group meeting.  Everyone really liked it. Here I am with Curtis…


As for the story itself, it was good, but I did have one major issue from the beginning.  Elizabeth had spent most of her adult life involved with a married man.  It just didn’t mesh with my vision of Lizzie and it took me a while to get past it.  Sittenfeld did a good job of making Pride & Prejudice ultra modern.  She took on hoarding, reality tv, artificial insemination, transgenders.  Hardly a current hot button issue not included.

There was chemistry between Liz & Darcy, and Liz’s family was something to behold. A modern, beach romp for sure and P&P fans will enjoy visiting with old friends.


Sundays (or a week) with Gage at Kiawah Island, South Carolina

We travelled by car with my parents down to Kiawah Island Golf & Tennis Resort so that Jason could spend 2+ hours playing tennis with the club pros everyday, as part of his 40th birthday gift.  Kiawah is an interesting place.  I didn’t realize before we went that it was a popular alligator hang out spot.  These signs were everywhere on the island…

k1  IMG_1344  We saw three in our time there, one in the water on the golf course!  Needless to say I was cautious when walking by myself or with just me and Gage.

On the drive down we spent a few hours in Charleston.  I would’ve liked more so maybe we’ll have to plan a second trip.

IMG_7668  IMG_7660Gage wanted his picture taken with EVERY cannon in Battery Park, but I fell in love with the trees.


We had some lunch at the Southend Brewery & Smokehouse and headed for the pier where Gage found this fountain…IMG_7717. Our time in Charleston was fun, but too short.

Kiawah Island was lovely (sans the alligators) and we had a relaxing week staying in one of the villas. Gage built sandcastles on the beach, swam with Daddy, and just chilled out.

IMG_1358  k3   IMG_7747

The restaurants on the island were all great and able to handle Gage’s allergy restrictions.  Jason and I went out for a date on our last night there and this was out pre-dinner spot.  Not bad, right?


If we are friends on Facebook you probably saw that Gage had some carsickness both coming and going but this was the backseat when we were almost home from the long drive…IMG_1462so the trip was a success 🙂

Now on to trying to catch up with seven days of responsibility neglect!



The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Author: Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower. Finished 5-13-16, rating 3.25/5, YA, pub. 1999

Unabridged audio read by Noah Galvin. 6.25 hours

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This is a book that has been embraced as a modern YA classic and for good reason.  Charlie is a naïve, but insightful, high school freshman who is quite a loner after losing his best friend and he took a leap of faith in befriending Sam and Patrick, older and more worldly students.  Charlie fits into their circle of friends because he is older and wiser than his years, even if he tends to cry and become flustered easily.

The book is a series of letters written to a virtual stranger over the course of the year.  It masterfully touches on many serious problems that kids are dealing with, like suicide, abuse, sex, sexuality, abortion, drugs.  I think this book would speak to mature teens and start much needed conversations.  I liked Charlie but, maybe because I listened to this in too many sessions too far apart, I was ready for it to be over, hence the average rating.  I honestly think that’s just me because, looking back, I really have no complaints.

I’m interested in watching the movie, mainly because I’d like to see Emma Watson as Sam.

A look back, June 2010

In January I began a Kay inspired Bookish Nostalgia feature that I call A look back. I’m revisiting my 2010 blogging life and see what was going on. So far, this has been a lot of fun!  If you care to revisit your own blog in June 2010 and want to share your favorite post, I’ll add it here.

I posted a respectable 22 times. I wrote a half-year round up where I lamented only having read 44 books, lol (I’m currently at 23). I posted 3 quizzes (one of which I reposted yesterday), 3 Monday Movie Memes, listed 9 giveaway winners, wrote about my favorite film #12 Four Weddings and a Funeral, and reviewed 7 books!  I posted a Baby-to-Be Update that on any other month would have been my favorite post, but not this month. Why?  Well, Jason and I took a trip to France to visit friends 🙂

My favorite BookBlack Water by T Jefferson Parker

Merci is a homicide detective with her eyes on the sheriff’s office someday.  This will be hard since decisions made a year ago (in Red Light) have alienated her from half of the police force of Los Angeles.  When a case comes in about a probable murder-attempted suicide involving a fellow officer Merci is reluctant to believe the officer guilty, even though evidence points in his direction.  When the officer survives, but with bullet parts littering his brain, the case becomes more complicated since he remembers little to nothing about the crime and what he does remember may or may not be true.

My favorite post and my favorite pics will combine.  Read all about our France trip. We visited friends in Lyon here and went on to Paris here.  In a fun self challenge, I chose 6 favorite photos from the ones I posted.

France 262Since it’s French open time this one is fitting! Being there was a thrill.

France 137Pere-Lachaise Cemetery was perfection and a who’s who of famously deceased. We only had an hour or two but I could have easily spent a whole day there.

I still remember the breathtaking thrill of standing in the Sainte-Chapelle, built in the 1200’s.

France 026

Lyon from above.

France 065

Gorgeous French countyside.

France 061

Have you been to France? Share your pics! Looking at these posts has made me want to make another trip!


Retro Dr. Seuss Quiz – guessing closed

This will be the last quiz for the summer.  I’ll be spending as much time as I can entertaining my KINDERGARTNER!  He graduates from Pre-K today, where he has been with much of the same staff for three years and I anticipate some tears (mine, not his).

This quiz is from June 2010 and you just need to guess the Seuss titles.

No Googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system :)  Play every week or just one time, you are always welcome 🙂  It only takes once to be eligible for a prize.

Leave your guesses as a comment. Good luck!!

1-Happy Birthday to You  2-The Sneeches and Other Stories  3-Oh, the Places You’ll Go  4-Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories  5-And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street  6-Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book  7-Horton Hears a Who  8-How the Grinch Stole Christmas  9-Daisy-Head Mayzie  10-The Lorax