Thursday, March 22, 2018

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A peek into The Storm King & My Favorite/Least Favorite Classic)

I am currently well into Brendan Duffy's The Storm King and quite enjoying it. With rain beating against my house, the winds blowing, and threats of flash floods, it seems a fitting novel to be reading right now. It's about a man who returns to the small lake town he grew up in after a long absence for a funeral. His presence and the massive hurricane that is hitting the town stir up old memories and hurts. This is a haunting book in it's own way. I imagine I will be finishing it in the next day or so, and although I have my suspicions about some of what hasn't yet been revealed, I am anxious to find out if I am even close to the mark. 

A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the wonderful Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.

For Nate, Saturdays in the spring means baseball.
His teammates think playing the outfield is ignominious, but he likes it. There's a meditative appeal to a morning spent watching for hard-struck balls as they spin and slow at the height of their parabolas.  

My thoughts: It does not seem as if there is anything particularly revealing about this thriller from the opening paragraphs. It's a meaningful moment though in Nate's life.

A weekly meme in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. Hosted by the wonderful Freda of Freda's Voice.

And Christ, his face. That way he smiles like a wolf. All teeth. I've seen that look before, but he's never used it on me. Not ever. It's different when those ice-cold eyes are on you. So I ran.  [56%]

My thoughts: This was quite a tense scene in the novel. This teaser doesn't reveal who "he" is, although it's pretty clear who it is to the reader reading the novel. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that look, that's for sure!

What do you think? Does this sound like something you would be interested in reading? 


Everyone has a favorite and then we also have something we dislike. Like a coin, there are two sides to every question. Each week, Carrie at The Butterfly Reads and Laura from Blue Eye Books ask participants to list what they like and don't like about that week's topic.

This week's topic is Favorite/Least Favorite Classic Novel:


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë ~ One of the few books I have read over and over again. And I love it each and every time. I may not think Rochester is all that, but I do love Jane and everything about this novel.

Least Favorite:

Brave New Word by Aldous Huxley ~ It took several attempts, but I finally got through this one last year. I see why it is a classic, but I was not impressed when all was said and done.

What is your favorite and least favorite classic? 

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Blog All About It: Favorite Scents

Linking up to the Blog All About It Challenge, hosted by Anna from Herding Cats and Burning Soup 

March's Blog All About It Challenge it topic is "Favorite Scent", a topic I have a difficult time narrowing down in the best of times. I turned to my husband and daughter for inspiration as well as the internet. It turns out my husband and I have a couple in common. My daughter, well, let's just say she needs to experience the world more, I think. It seems there are some common themes on the internet as to favorite scents from coffee to fresh mowed grass or the seaside. One list included gasoline (or petrol). And I know the smell of old or new books is a favorite among booklovers.

Both my husband and I love the smell of pine and the mountain air.  Add to that a camp fire warming us up at night. He and I also like the smell of the first rain. While he would say the first rain on pavement (it's actually quite a common favorite, evidently), I would just say fresh rain in general.

(Taken on our trip to Idyllwild this past summer)

I love the smell of a garden in the spring, even though the season brings out the worst of my allergies. Oh, and how I love the scent of the first hints of fall!

I also love the smell of homemade spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove, or fresh bread baking in the oven. Cinnamon is another favorite of mine. And freshly mopped floors in my house.

If I had to pick just one favorite scent, I would probably go with the Christmas season. Such a wonderful combination of scents all rolled into one! 

What are your favorite scents?

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Wishing for Wednesday: A Little Bit of Everything

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. (Based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.)

The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Hamel
Release Date: March 27, 2018 by Gallery Books
For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this one: Paris during World War II, what more do I need to say than that? I am eager to read The Room on Rue Amélie.

Death of a Dumpling by Vivien Chien
Release Date: March 27, 2018 by St. Martin Press
Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . . 
The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that a return to the Cleveland area to help wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband. 
Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead―after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy―to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out―it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order. . . before her own number is up. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this one: As if I need another cozy series. Who am I to fight fate? I really am curious about this new one and look forward to getting to know Lana and helping her solve crimes.


The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
Release Date: March 31, 2018 by Subterranean Press
Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appearance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow's Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow's Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow's Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim's past, The Shadow's Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau's own murky past--and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars...
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this one:  This may be a novella and I may end up longing for more, but, oh my gosh, do I want to read this one! In my quest to read more science fiction (which I have been failing at miserably this year), I definitely plan to read this one!

Do any of these sound like something you would like to read too?
What upcoming releases are you looking forward to? 

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR Pile

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl.

I have read five books from my winter TBR list, which isn't bad given how terrible I am at following lists. But I do love making lists, and so I cannot resist making one for spring  too. Fitting enough, this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is the Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR Pile, and I am determined to catch up on a little series reading.


Death of an Unsung Hero (Lady Montfort, # 4) by Tessa Arlen ~ One of my favorite historical cozy mystery series. In the most recent installment, Lady Montfort has opened one of her houses as a hospital for soldiers. Only, not everyone is pleased with the idea and now a World War I officer with amnesia has been found dead in the garden.


Etched in Bone (Others, #5) by Anne Bishop ~ I cannot sing the praises of this series enough. The world building is amazing. Tensions remain high in the fifth book in the series as the Others and humans try to negotiate and hold onto a fragile peace. 


The King Slayer (The Witch Hunter, #2)  by Virginia Boecker ~ I enjoyed the first book in the series and have no excuse for not reading the second. This is a series set sixteenth century England, at a time when witches were hunted and seen as a threat to society. In the second book, our heroine Elizabeth has lost her protective stigma, but there is a war going on and she has much to do for her enemy and that of the witches and wizards is still out to get them. 


Small Favor (Dresden Files #10) by Jim Butcher ~ This used to be one of the series I was always up to date on, but somewhere I fell behind. I adore Harry Dresden, and it's about time I spent more time with him. True to it's title, in this book, Mab, monarch of the Sidhe from the Winter Court, calls in an favor. You can imagine it won't go so well for Harry. 


Red Lily (Vampire Blood, #2) by Juliette Cross ~ I went on a Juliette Cross binge awhile ago, ending with the first  book in the author's Vampire Blood Series, Black Lily. The resistance against the vampire monarchy is on the rise, but Sienna resistance of Nikolai may not be possible.


U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone, #21) by Sue Grafton ~ I have been a fan of this series since the beginning. In this one, Kinsey investigates a cold case involving the disappearance and possible murder of a 4 year old girl two decades before. 


Another Man's Moccasin's (Longmire, #4) by Craig Johnson ~  I have only seen a couple episodes of the television series, which I was not able to get into, unfortunately, but I do love the books. In this fourth installment of the series, Sheriff Walt Longmire investigates the death of a Vietnamese woman found alongside the highway. It brings back memories from his time in Vietnam during the war. I imagine this one will strike a chord with me as well, given my dad's service as  Marine during that war as well.


Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante
(Maggie Hope #5) by Susan Elia MacNeal
~ I just love this series set in England around the time of World War II. Accompanying Prime Minister Churchill to the United States, Maggie finds herself in the Eleanor Roosevelt's confidence. An assistant gone missing, scandal, and with war a foot, Maggie finds herself yet again in the thick of things. 

After Atlas (Planetfall, #2) by Emma Newman ~ Set in the same world but years in the future, and featuring different characters, I have heard wonderful things about the science fiction novel After Atlas


Deja Moo (Perfectly Paranormal Museum, #3) by Kirsten Weiss ~ The third book in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mystery series. In this one, one of the cow guards trying to keep the thirty-foot straw cow in the center of town from going up in flames yet again is murdered.

What books are you looking forward to reading this spring? 

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: Vanished by Karen E. Olson

The hacker known as Tracker moves along the sidewalk, a hoodie pulled up over his head, his eyes darting from side to side. ~ Opening of Vanished 

Vanished (Black Hat Thriller, #4) by Karen E. Olson
Severn House, 2018
Crime Fiction; 224 pgs
Source: I received an e-copy from the publisher via NetGalley

Karen E. Olson’s 4th and most recent book in her Black Hat series, Vanished, was another next to impossible book to put down. I was caught under its spell from the start when Tracker appears on the first page. Hacker Tina Adler is living under yet a new alias, trying to blend into a small South Carolina town, selling her art and doing what she can to stay off the radar. A chance meeting with an elderly gallery patron, however, derails all her best efforts, and Tina finds herself on the run again. This time she has a destination though. Someone she loves may be in trouble, and she is not going to leave him high and dry.

If you have not read any of the previous books in the series yet, I recommend you start with the first book, Hidden, in which Tina is first introduced to us. This is a series best read in order. Each book builds on the next.

I have not read too many thrillers involving hackers, but just enough to know I enjoy them. It’s scary to know how easily someone can get into your computer or steal information from an ATM. It’s a good thing Tina has a conscience. There are plenty of twists and turns in Vanished as Tina travels from South Carolina to New York and onto Paris. Memories of her childhood and her grandmother come flooding back, adding a closer look at the life Tina lived before she became a hacker.

Spencer returns in Vanished, a character I have grown more and more curious about. He’s extremely talented with computers and technology and well-connected with the dark web. Tina can’t help but  be curious, but knows she is on a need to know basis. She is still unsure how much she can trust him, but needs his help.

In Vanished we see the prey turn into the hunter as Tina tries to stay hidden from those out to get her and find out what’s happened to her friend. The stakes have never been higher for Tina. Vanished is entertaining and fast-past. I enjoyed spending time with Tina again—although am glad I don’t lead her life!

To learn more about Karen E. Olson and her books, please visit the author's website. You can also find the author on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.