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Thanks to the readers who wrote last week to note that the flowers in the newsletter were petunias, not pansies. I am not sure what I was thinking, but thanks to Myrna, Molly, Bonnie and Jane for catching this. I was amused by those who told me that “in their part of the country,” they were petunias. They are in ours, too. For humor, Tom Donadio, our Editorial Director --- who triple-checks the newsletter every week, but by his own admission knows nothing about flowers --- actually Googled pansies and thought the petunias looked like them! Which made me feel better. But they ARE petunias.

Tomorrow, June 20th, is the first day of summer. It is one of my favorite days of the year as I love the extra hours of daylight. I was outside deadheading flowers until 9:00 last night; it was nice to get that done in the evening.

We know that many of you normally would be making vacation plans now, or looking forward to spending countless hours at the beach or other vacation locations, soaking up the sun (with a good book in hand, naturally). Of course, so many of these getaways have been put on hold due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t visit amazing destinations this summer. Our newly created “Virtual Vacation Reads” feature gives you the opportunity to virtually travel with our list of books set in idyllic vacation locales, like Cape Cod, Nantucket, Montauk, Charleston, Pasadena, and so many others. All the titles here are hardcovers and paperbacks that have been published this year, or will be releasing in the weeks to come. We also have included links to indie bookstores that are at or near each of these locations, so you can pay them a virtual visit and do some shopping as well!

One of the joys of this time of year is the garden. It’s early days, and everything is at peak. The weeds have not taken over, the colors are still vibrant, and the leaves are still green. It’s not too hot, and it’s not too cool. It’s the time you want to bottle up and remember vividly. Above are two flowers that I love: the passion flower is new to the container garden this year, while the streptocarpus ladyslippers are something that we have planted for the last three years. This year, I may try to bring the latter indoors for winter.

Back in late March, I was not feeling well for a couple of weeks. It felt like I could have had COVID-19, but I did not have “all the right symptoms,” so I could not get tested. But the more I read over these last few months as new symptoms were discussed, the more I was sure that I had it. I took an antibody test on Wednesday, and the results came in this morning. I tested positive for antibodies, which means I did have it when I thought I did. I got sick on March 14th, the day I was scheduled to be in Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books. If those plans had gone ahead, how many people might I have unknowingly exposed to the virus?