Monday, May 09, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Eleven Bookish Characters

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

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is favorite Bookish Characters and here are some of mine: 

Even Hell has a library and Claire is the head of the Unwritten Library in this first book in A.J. Hackworth's series, The Library of the Unwritten

Lindsey Norris is the Director of the Briar Creek Public Library in the Library Lover's cozy mystery series by Jenn McKinLay. 

Liesel is more than just a book thief in this moving novel by Markus Zusak set in World War II. 

Carrie Singleton is in charge of programs and events at the local public library in the Haunted Library cozy mystery series, which also features a ghost!

Down on her luck Carmen is tasked with helping turn a failing bookstore around in Jenny Colgan's The Christmas Bookshop.

Librarian Amy Webber has her hands full in Victoria Gilbert's Blue Ridge Library cozy mystery series. 

Jess Brightwell, whose family has a long history of stealing and selling books on the black market, gets a position with the Great Library and must work extra hard to hold onto it in this fantasy series by  Rachel Caine. 

Brooklyn Wainwright is a rare book expert in San Francisco in the Bibliophile cozy mystery series by Kate Carlisle. 

Bookstore salesclerk Nina Hill wants more in life but doubts her life will ever live up to the fiction she enjoys reading in Abbi Waxman's The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Trudell Beckett is a librarian who takes matters into her own hands when her library goes book-less by creating a secret library in the basement for patrons who aren't ready to give up their physical books in the Beloved Bookroom cozy mystery series by Dorothy St. James. 

is my favorite spy and librarian in the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman that combines fantasy and mystery. 

Who are some of your favorite bookish characters? 

© 2022, 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.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Weekly Mews: Happy May (Please Vote in my TBR Poll!)

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.

As part of my monthly wrap up, I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently. 

A rose from my mom's garden

We made it to May! My mom's surgery last month went well and she's feeling much more like herself these days. She is cancer free which is such a relief. 

May is always a busy month for Mouse with school wrapping up. This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week, the last of the state testing, and Mouse performed in her first school band concert. This next week her big state report is due and she's been putting the final touches on that. Her class will soon be taking the stage for the school musical about the American Revolution. And then comes the end of the school year and the start of her summer break. If only I got one too!

Tomorrow is Mother's Day in the U.S. We are celebrating early with my mom tonight since tomorrow my husband and daughter are taking me to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire for a day of fun. The weather is expected to be nice and it will be nice to get outdoors for a bit. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! I hope you all have a great week. 

Last Read

This week I spent time in World War II London trying to uncover an espionage ring in Ashley Weaver's historical mystery, The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2)--a fun page turner. I also took to the streets of New York City in Riding the Lightning: A Year in the Life of a New York City Paramedic by Anthony Almojera, which was an emotional and worthwhile read. 

Reading Now

I am currently reading A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons by Kate Khavari, the first in a new historical mystery series set in London, 1923. 

What are you reading now? 

Up Next

It is that time again when you help me choose the next book I will read! In deciding what to choose for this month's TBR List poll selections, I found myself gravitating most toward protagonists with a criminal bent. These three popped out at me and I hope you will help me vote for which one I will read next.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive. [Goodreads Summary]


The Old Woman with the Knife by Gu Byeong-mo
The kinetic story of a sixty-five-year-old female assassin who faces an unexpected threat in the twilight of her career—this is an international bestseller and the English language debut from an award-winning South Korean author.

At sixty-five, Hornclaw is beginning to slow down. She lives modestly in a small apartment, with only her aging dog, a rescue named Deadweight, to keep her company. There are expectations for people her age—that she'll retire and live out the rest of her days quietly. But Hornclaw is not like other people. She is an assassin.

Double-crossers, corporate enemies, cheating spouses—for the past four decades, Hornclaw has killed them all with ruthless efficiency, and the less she's known about her targets, the better. But now, nearing the end of her career, she has just slipped up. An injury leads her to an unexpected connection with a doctor and his family. But emotions, for an assassin, are a dangerous proposition. As Hornclaw's world closes in, this final chapter in her career may also mark her own bloody end.

A sensation in South Korea, and now translated into English for the first time by Chi-Young Kim, The Old Woman with the Knife is an electrifying, singular, mordantly funny novel about the expectations imposed on aging bodies and the dramatic ways in which one woman chooses to reclaim her agency. [Goodreads Summary]

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels #1) by India Holton
A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She's also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it's a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he's under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her--hopefully proving, once and for all, that she's as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them. [Goodreads Summary]

Thank you for voting! What will you be reading next?

My TBR List is hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and let you vote for my next read during that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 

What I Have Been Watching

My family and I have been watching the Moon Knight, the latest MCU series, on Disney+, which I am still kind of on the fence about.  It hasn't won me over the way the other MCU series have, although I do like it on some levels. We have also been watching The American Song Contest, the U.S. attempt at the Eurovision Song Contest. It's not the same by any stretch, but there are some talented songwriters and performers on the show. Then to go along with our reading of the Spy x Family manga series, we are watching the anime series. It's funny and mostly true to the source material--with an embellishment here and there. I decided to give the first season of Transplant, a medical drama, a try and am really enjoying it.

What are you watching these days?

New to the Shelves 

Everyone got a book in their Easter basket this year: 

Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega (Mouse's) 
A Burning by Megha Majumdar (Mine)
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Anjin's)

Have you read any of these books? What books did you add to your TBR this week? 

April Monthly Wrap Up

Here is what I finished reading in April:

Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers (#1) by Anna James
Four Aunties and a Wedding (#2) by Jesse Q. Sutanto
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman - April's TBR List Winner
A Burning by Megha Majumdar
The Bromance Book Club (#1) by Lyssa Kay Adams
When the Crow's Away (Evenfall Witches B&B #2) by Auralee Wallace
Spy x Family, Vol. 1 by Tatsuya Endo
Spy x Family, Vol. 2 by Tatsuya Endo
Spy x Family, Vol. 3 by Tatsuya Endo
Spy x Family, Vol. 4 by Tatsuya Endo

April was a big reading month for me. I read all three of my April TBR List poll options. My daughter and I finally finished The Bookwanderers, which we both loved, but somehow it kept getting shuffled to the side with all the other books my daughter was reading the past few months. My entire family is loving the Spy x Family manga series. Most of my reading inn April got me laughing while a couple had me tearing up. A Burning made me angry. My favorite of the month by was Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. I am looking forward to watching the Netflix series based on the book.

I did not do much blogging in April. March was a rough month and while some of that carried over into April.

How did your April shape up? Do you have a favorite among the books you read?

© 2022, 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.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Where Is Your Bookmark: My Recent Read & Dystopia or Utopia?

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

It's often a man's mouth that breaks his nose, my uncle Mick was fond of saying, and the bloke in front of me was doing his best to test the theory. [opening of The Key to Deceit by Ashley Weaver]

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.

I was awakened at the crack of dawn by a sharp rapping on the door of my flat. I looked at my clock. It was five in the morning. [excerpt from 56% of The Key to Deceit]

I love that first line. Isn't it the truth sometimes?  These excerpts come from an early release copy of Ashley Weaver's The Key to Deceit. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, A Peculiar Combination, and was excited to start this one. 

The second in the Electra McDonnell series from Edgar-nominated author Ashley Weaver, The Key to Deceit, is a delightful World War II mystery filled with spies, murder, romance, and wit.

London, 1940. After years of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor—well, to themselves, anyway—Ellie McDonnell and her family have turned over a new leaf as they help the government’s war effort. It’s true that the straight-laced Major Ramsey didn’t give them much choice, but still, Ellie must admit she doesn’t miss breaking and entering as much as she might have thought. What she does miss is the challenge of unlocking an impossible code and the adrenaline rush that comes from being somewhere she shouldn’t.

So when Major Ramsey turns up unannounced with another job, she can’t say no. A woman’s body has been found floating in the Thames, with a bracelet locked onto her wrist, and a cameo locket attached to it. It’s clear this woman was involved in espionage, but whose side was she on? Who was she reporting to? And who wanted her dead?

Does this sound like something you would enjoy? Did you read the first book in the series? 

Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.
Which do you think is more likely - clean utopia or frenzied dystopia? (Julie @ Stepping Stone Book Reviews)


This is actually last week's Book Blogger Hop question, but it gave me an idea for this week's Connect Five feature and so I decided to include it here. There is often a fine line between utopian and dystopian societies. The idea of a clean utopia may sound good on the surface, but underneath there always seems to lurk something darker; we see this a lot in fiction--and even when looking at real life communities that carry that promise. Cults, anyone? There's another way of looking at it too. For those on the inside, life may seem like a utopia, but for those on the outside . . . not so much.  If recent years are anything to go by, a frenzied dystopia is more likely--some would even argue we are already there. 

Five books I enjoyed reading that fit the dystopia/utopia theme: 

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist, Marlaine Delargy

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Connect Five Friday is a weekly meme where readers share a list of five books, 
read or unread, or bookish things, that share a common theme. 
Hosted by the  Kathryn of of Book Date.

What are some of your favorite dystopia and/or utopia novels?

 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!

© 2022 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, May 02, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: (Not So) One-Word Reviews for the Last Twelve Books I Read

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

The Top Ten Tuesday topic this week is One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read. This is a tough one for me. Just one word . . . Yikes. 

~ Don't mess with the Aunties. ~

Four Aunties and a Wedding (#2) by Jesse Q. Sutanto

~ Don't jump to conclusions. ~
When the Crow's Away (Evenfall Witches B&B #2) by Auralee Wallace 

~ Estelle! ~

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

~ Backstory is important. ~

The Bromance Book Club (#1) by Lyssa Kay Adams

~ Scars run deep. ~

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

~ Community + Hope ~ 

The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon

~ Secret Identities. Best. Family. Ever.  ~

Spy x Family, vol, 1-4 by Tatsuya Endo

~ Humans suck. ~

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

~ Booklover's dream ~

The Bookwanderers (Pages & Co. #1) by Anna James

So, maybe not one word reviews for most of these, but I tried my best. These, of course, do not come close to describing all of my thoughts on the books, but it was an interesting exercise to try to come up with a short and simple statement to describe some of what I took away from them.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? 

© 2022, 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.