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Last weekend was the perfect summer weekend for reading --- it was sunny, not humid and not broiling hot. I had declared it a weekend of reading. I started with EVERYONE HERE IS LYING by Shari Lapena. I have coined Shari “The Queen of the One-Sit Read.” Once I start reading one of her books, I do not stop until the last page has been turned. And that is exactly what I did. I moved from the reading chair in what we have dubbed the “Cleopatra” reading tent (which is turquoise, of course) to the side of the pool where I could stand and read when I was not floating and reading. Shari completely delivered --- again. More on the book below as we are reviewing it this week!

This is the time of year when the flowers in the yard are really spectacular. The giant hibiscus flowers in the first picture above are among my favorites. For a really long time, the second garden was peonies and irises. Both bloom by late spring, and after that this garden always looked terrible. For a few years, we had lots of rudbeckia, but so many of those plants died off. So we --- okay, let’s get real, it was my husband, not me --- pulled out all the iris bulbs and then planted all the perennials that I brought home around the few remaining rudbeckia and a peony plant that we got from his mom. The original peonies are off to the left in the second picture above. Just looking at it makes me happy!

When we took a break last week and did not do a website update, we joked that we all were taking deep breaths for the first time since our holiday break in December. We took advantage of the short week to do some brainstorming and leisurely planning.

I also had plenty of downtime during the long weekend to read and found three new Bets On selections: LITTLE MONSTERS by Adrienne Brodeur, THE BETTER HALF by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans, and HER, TOO by Bonnie Kistler. We reviewed LITTLE MONSTERS two weeks ago, and I interviewed Adrienne this week. We are reviewing THE BETTER HALF and HER, TOO this week. My Bets On copy for all three will come next week.