Hi! My name is Margot. My blog is about the things I love to do. That could be what I'm reading, places we visit, my family, food, or whatever else is happening. I hope you'll stay and visit a while. Contact me by email: joyfullyretired (at) gmail (dot) com.

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"I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place." - Anne Tyler

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First Paragraph: The Godforsaken Daughter

This week I am featuring The Godforsaken Daughter by Christina McKenna. The main character, Ruby, worked side by side with her father on their Irish dairy farm. She’s struggling to cope now that he’s gone. Here’s how the story begins: Ruby Clare sat in a velour recliner in the kitchen of Oaktree Farmhouse, knitting a […]

First Paragraph: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

One of the book clubs I belong to is reading this twentieth-century classic by Betty Smith. I’m finding it just as enjoyable as I did when I first read it when I was 13. Have you ever read it? Serene is a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York. Especially in the summer of […]

First Paragraph: A Dangerous Place

I am excitedly reading A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear for a TLC Book Tour. I have been hoping to read this Maisie Dobbs series for a long time, and now I finally have the impetus to get me going. A Dangerous Place is actually the eleventh book in the series so, if I like […]

First Paragraph: The Crossover

I’m reading The Crossover by Kwame Alexander for the second time. Yes, it’s that good! I’m not a big poetry person, but I absolutely love this book. I’m envisioning a reluctant 12-year-old reader boy with this. It’s perfect for young basketball fans. It’s the latest Newberry Award Winner (best books for children). Here’s how it […]

First Paragraph: Night is the Hunter: A Harlan Donnally Novel

I’m reading a very good crime novel. This is a new-to-me author but, so far, I’m enjoying it. It’s one of those that make me think deeply about the people/characters I’m meeting. Its also making me think about our entire criminal justice system. Here’s how the novel begins. See what you think. Ray McMullin, standing […]

First Paragraph: Emma by Jane Austin

I’m long overdue for a re-read of Emma. I just started it over the weekend and, of course, I’m enjoying it. Anyone have fond memories of Emma? Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one […]

First Paragraph: The American Heiress

I’m listening to The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. Its a good tale of an extremely rich American girl who marries an English duke. Here’s how the novel begins. I apologize for the long first paragraph. Chapter 1 The Hummingbird Man Newport, Rhode Island, August 1893 The visiting hour was almost over, so the hummingbird […]

First Paragraph: A Week In Winter

I’m reading/listening to a great Maeve Binchy book. It’s A Week In Winter. Already I want to be in this small town on the Atlantic coast of Ireland. I’m meeting some wonderful characters. I know I’ll be sad when my “week” is over. Here’s how the story starts: Everyone had their own job to do […]

First Paragraph: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

There’s  not much that can beat a good John Grisham novel for me.  I love the dilemmas he always presents. They all have an element of good vs. evil, but they’re much more complicated than that. Gray Mountain is John Grisham’s latest book. It’s set in the coal mining area of Appalachia. In this first […]

First Paragraph: Reconstructing Amelia

Reconstucting Amelia by Kimberly McCreight is a book club read. I’m really enjoying the book, but I doubt everyone will. One of my friends said this was “one of those mean-girl” books. Have you read it? Here’s how it begins: eRaCeFULLY SEPTEMBER 5TH Because there are 176 definitions for the word loser on urban dictionary.com. Don’t […]