Friday, July 03, 2020

Weekly Mews: June Highlights and My July TBR List Poll (Please Vote!)

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer, 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 The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants discuss what they are reading and other bookish topics. I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post, where any book bloggers who write monthly wrap-up posts can link up and visit other bloggers to see what they have been reading.   I am linking to 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. 

New to the Shelves:


White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Silver Blade (Kinsmen, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Silver Shark (Kinsmen, #2) by Ilona Andrews

Print Books:

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
The Library of Legends by Janie Chang
A Good Cry by Nikki Giovanni
(also featured: Mouse's and my face coverings)

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? If not, which ones are on your TBR pile? What new books did you add to your shelf in June?

What I Am Reading: Funny story. My husband and daughter were recently playing a baseball dice game, and my husband mentioned to me he had commented on a Kickstarter page about my daughter winning with her team of unicorns, and the creator commented back. His name, W.M. Akers, sounded familiar and, sure enough, he is the author on a couple of books I have on my TBR shelf. Which is why I am now in the middle of W.M. Akers Westside, the first in his historical mystery fantasy series featuring detective Gilda Carr. 

I am in between nonfiction books right now, trying to decide if I want to start How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi or The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. I have heard good things about both. Have you read either one? Which would you recommend?

What I Am Watching: I have been wanting to see Hamilton for what seems like forever, but ticket prices have always been so high. I finally got my chance yesterday and was not disappointed. It was as amazing as I hoped. And now I want to see it performed live on stage even more! Have you seen it? 

I recently watched Athlete A, the documentary about the Larry Nasser sexual abuse scandal in U.S. Gymnastics. I grew up following the sport, and always look forward to the gymnastic event in the Olympics, wishing I had half of their talent and skill as the gymnasts. The documentary was eye-opening, but not all that surprising. Just look at the Catholic Church and Boy Scout sexual abuse scandals. The way those girls were treated, not just the sexual abuse, but everything. And then the cover up . . .  I really feel for those girls and women, and all they've had to endure. No one should have to go through that. They are so brave to come forward, and I hope this will lead to reform of the entire program. 

My family and I are about to start the final season of Elementary. I read an (old) article about how the show makers didn't expect to get another season and so wrapped up the show with the sixth season finale. I am curious to see how this seventh season goes. 

Off the Blog: We eased into June and have been sticking close to home as we watch the rest of the country open up. My county was so cautious at first, mandating masks early on in March and taking the shelter in place order seriously. The curve was beginning to flatten. And then the protests demanding to return to normal lives began, the politicians caved to the pressure (or maybe they agreed with those who felt their civil liberties were being violated), the county sheriff refuses to enforce any safety requirements, and now the Coronavirus numbers continue to rise. Many in the public do not seem to care, with some loudly continuing to argue this is all a liberal hoax. Meanwhile, the virus is getting closer to home. Coworkers and friend's family members. It's touched some of you as well. The Governor recently ordered restaurants, bars and some other high traffic businesses to cease indoor services in several counties throughout the state, including mine. He's also mandated facial coverings for the entire state. 

We ventured out to the park last weekend for a picnic. There were a handful of people out and about while we were there. We found a quiet spot under a shady tree and enjoyed being outdoors and away from the house. The weather was perfect. It was really nice to get out, and we hope to do it again before it gets too hot. Not this weekend though. I imagine there will be many people out and about for the 4th of July holiday weekend. 

Mouse had her annual physical early in the week, which went well. The hospital is taking extra precautions, of course. They parking lot was as full as usual, but we did not see many people about. We stopped by the Starbucks drive thru on the way home as a treat. The next day I read online that the Starbucks had to close for quarantine because someone who works there tested positive. 

Work is going well. I had to drive to one of the downtown offices to pick up a replacement laptop. I was one of a handful of staff who were still working on an ancient computer evidently. The new computer is smaller, but it's faster. 

I  used more gas in the last week than I have in the past three months with all these outings! 

We still have not made it back to the dance studio, but they are having classes in the studio. Mouse is still taking her classes via Zoom. The studio finally announced they were postponing the summer shows. It was inevitable, of course, but I am surprised they took so long to make that decision. Mouse took the news hard, even though her dad and I had tried to prepare her. She wants so much to be able to be with her friends again. I cannot blame her. 

Here is what I finished reading in June:
  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, Ann Hazzard & Jennifer Zivoin
  • Don't Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
  • Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis
  • The Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
I am happy with how June turned out reading wise. I read some great books, each very different from one another. On the downside, Mouse has not been too interested in reading with me as of late, preferring to read on her own. At least she's reading. My blogging has suffered this month. I spent less time on my computer than usual. I work from home most days and find that by the end of the work day, I haven't much interest in jumping back on the computer in the evenings for my personal stuff. I did not seem to mind it when I was in the office full-time. I am planning to take a blogging break this month for a week or two, try to catch up on my backlog of review writing perhaps.

Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? How was your June? Do you have anything planned for this month?

Thank you for helping me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next:

My TBR List is a meme 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 take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month, and my review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 

I considered doing a Christmas in July theme, but when looking over my TBR shelves, I came across these three gems and decided the theme was too good to pass up. The theme? See for yourself. Then help me decide what to read next! 

The Travelling Cat Chronicles
by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel 
Sometimes you have to leave behind everything you know to find the place you truly belong...

Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he's going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru's old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There's even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won't say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break...

All Cats Are Introverts
by Francesco Marciuliano

Have you ever been labeled as "antisocial," "shy," or "lost in your own thoughts" because you don't realize someone's been calling your name 148 times? The cats understand. All Cats Are Introverts is a collection of self-reflective poetry from cats that clearly shows them to be the insightful, often alert, crowd-averse, personally engaging, probably napping-as-we-speak introverts of the animal kingdom. Enjoy this completely relatable and hilarious book, and perhaps you will soon see the cat—and even yourself—in a whole new light.

They Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy Miller 
You’ve seen me on the street. You’ve walked past my house, and pointed, and wondered. The cat lady. All on my own, with only my five cats to keep me company. Did no-one ever tell you that you can’t judge a book by its cover?

Everyone in town knows Nancy Jones. She loves her cats. She loves her tumbledown house by the sea. She loves her job in the local school where she tries to help the children who need help the most. Nancy tries hard not to think about her past loves and where those led her…

Nancy never shares her secrets – because some doors are better kept locked. But one day she accepts a cat-sitting request from a local woman, and at the woman’s house, Nancy sees a photograph, in a bright-red frame. A photograph that opens the door to her painful past…

Soon Nancy doesn’t know what frightens her the most: letting her story out, or letting the rest of the world in. It’s impossible to find companionship without the risk of losing it. But can Nancy take that risk again?

A heart-wrenching and heart-warming story of love lost and found, and of second chances, They Call Me The Cat Lady is perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading and stay safe and well.

© 2020, 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, July 02, 2020

Where Is Your Bookmark? (My Current Read & Well-Hyped Books that Disappointed Me )

Happy Friday! What book is your bookmark in today? 

I thought I would share excerpts from a book I recently started called Westside (#1) by W.M. Akers I am not too far in, but I like what I have read so far. 

A young detective who specializes in “tiny mysteries” finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan’s Westside—a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents—that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman. [from the Goodreads Summary]

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.
I stole a glove.

It dangled off a table in a decrepit leather shop on Thieves' Market on the Eastside of Manhattan in sweltering late September 1921, and it was in my bag before I even knew it had been in my hand. 

My thoughts: The opening not only gives us the time and place, but also a bit of action right away. It had me wanting to read more.

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.

"Last night, one of her gangs was ambushed by men in your uniforms, firing pistols."

"My men are guardsmen - they guard. That's it. No booze, no women, and not a step across the Borderline, on penalty of death. They know better."

"They killed three boys."

My thoughts: I have not yet reached this point in the book, but the situation does not sound good. Did some of his men attack the other gang or was it another group trying to frame them? Hmm. I had better get back to my reading so I can find out! 

Have you read Westside or the newly released sequel, Westside Saints? Does Westside sound like something you would enjoy? 

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.

What book/books got a lot of hype but were a disappointment for you? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)
Sometimes a book just is not a good fit for a particular reader. Given the number of books many of us read, there are bound to be disappointments. It is easy for our expectations to be built up by the praise (even from fellow bloggers) and creative advertising, which could mean the harder the fall into disappointment. Take that fudge ad that keeps popping up on my Facebook feed. It looked sooo good and, after seeing it multiple times every day, hearing about the different flavors, how many people love it, and the big sale prices, I caved in and bought some. I liked the peanut butter chocolate fudge okay, but the other flavors I tried were disappointing. Is it me? Is it the fudge? Maybe I do not like fudge as much as I think I do because I have yet to find fudge that I love the way I feel I should . . . 

We are getting off track here. Back to books. It's funny. Sometimes I run toward hyped books like it is their last day on earth, and then they languish on my shelves for years until I read them. Other times I dive right in. And then there are those books I avoid like the plague--because THE HYPE! There is no rhyme or reason to my reading behavior. At least none that I have found. 

Anyway, you wanted to know some of the well-hyped books I found disappointing. [Book titles are linked to my reviews.]

No one can deny the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James received a lot of hype--both positive and negative. I have friends who did not just dislike the trilogy, but hated it, and others who absolutely loved it. I went into the trilogy to see why the books were so polarizing. I managed to read the first two books of the three, and, well, I am not in the least bit a fan. 

John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez are two books that receive heaps of praise even today, years after they were first published. Neither won me over. 

There is also Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, which, for all intents and purposes, I should have loved. Witches, after all! I remember all the hype when the book first came out, and then again with the movie. Like the book I found the movie disappointing too. 

There have been other well-hyped books that have left me disappointed of course, but these are the ones that instantly come to mind. Just because they may not have been my cup of tea doesn't mean they weren't someone else's. And given the praise they've received, I would say that is a good bet. 

What well-hyped books did you find disappointing?

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

© 2020, Wendy Runyon of 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, June 30, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Scottsboro/The Two Mrs. Carlyles/The Lions of Fifth Avenue/The Fate of a Flapper

The Old(er) 
I have an embarrassing number of unread books sitting on the shelves in my personal library. Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight and discuss those neglected books in her Books from the Backlog feature. After all, even those older books need a bit of love! Not to mention it is reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

by Ellen Feldman
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, a novel inspired by the shocking true story of the Scottsboro boys. 

Even after all these years, the injustice still stuns. Innocent boys sentenced to die, not for a crime they did not commit, but for a crime that never occurred. Lives splintered as casually as wood being hacked for kindling. 

Alabama, 1931. A freight train is stopped in Scottsboro, nine black youths are brutally arrested and, within minutes, the cry of rape goes up from two white girls. In the shocking aftermath, one sticks to her story whilst the other keeps changing her mind, and an impassioned young journalist must try to save nine boys from the electric chair, one girl from a lie and herself from the clutches of the past . . . 

Stirring racism, sexism and the politics of a divided America into an explosive brew, Scottsboro gives voice to the victims - black and white - of this infamous case. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2009, Ellen Feldman's classic charts a fight for justice during the burgeoning civil-rights movement.

Why I want to read this: A friend recommended this book to me, and I bought a copy in 2009 to add to my TBR shelf. Feldman brings us a fictionalized account of true events in which nine Black boys were convicted of a crime they did not commit. An important part of history that should not be forgotten. 

Have you read Scottsboro? Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 

The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

The Two Mrs. Carlyles
by Suzanne Rindell 
Release Date: July 28, 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons 
A suspenseful and page-turning descent into obsession, love, and murder in the wake of San Francisco's most deadly earthquake--and Suzanne Rindell's most haunting novel since her acclaimed debut The Other Typist

Which wife holds the darker secret? 

San Francisco, 1906. Violet is one of three people grateful for the destruction of the big earthquake. It leaves her and her two best friends unexpectedly wealthy--if the secret that binds them together stays buried beneath the rubble. Fearing discovery, the women strike out on their own, and orphaned, wallflower Violet reinvents herself. 

When a whirlwind romance with the city's most eligible widower, Harry Carlyle, lands her in a luxurious mansion as the second Mrs. Carlyle, it seems like her dreams of happiness and love have come true. But all is not right in the Carlyle home, and Violet soon finds herself trapped by the lingering specter of the first Mrs. Carlyle, and by the inescapable secrets of her own violent history. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Having spent the majority of my growing up years in Northern California, San Francisco was always one of my favorite places to visit. So full of history and charm. This being set in the city during the 1906 earthquake was enough to catch my interest. But I think this particular story sounds pretty intriguing on its own, don't you? What happened to the first Mrs. Carlyle? And what does this mean for Violet?

The Lions of Fifth Avenue
by Fiona Davis

Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Dutton
In nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis's latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.

It's 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn't ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she finds herself drawn to Greenwich Village's new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club—a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women's rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she's forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.

Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she's wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie's running begin disappearing from the library's famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library's history. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Another historical novel I do not want to miss out on! This one is centered around the New York Public Library.  

The Fate of a Flapper
(The Speakeasy Murders #2) by Susanna Calkins

Release Date: July 28, 2020 by St. Martin's Griffin

The Fate of a Flapper, the second mystery in this captivating new series, takes readers into the dark, dangerous, and glittering underworld of a 1920's Chicago speakeasy.

A 2019 Agatha Award Nominee for "Best Historical Mystery"!

After nine months as a cigarette girl at the Third Door, one of Chicago’s premier moonshine parlors, Gina Ricci feels like she's finally getting into the swing of things. The year is 1929, the Chicago Cubs are almost in the World Series, neighborhood gangs are all-powerful, and though Prohibition is the law of the land, the Third Door can't serve the cocktails fast enough.

Two women in particular are throwing drinks back with abandon while chatting up a couple of bankers, and Gina can't help but notice the levels of inebriation and the tension at their table. When the group stumbles out in the early morning, she tries to put them out of her head. But once at home that night, Gina's sleep is interrupted when her cousin Nancy, a police officer, calls—she's found a body. Gina hurries over to photograph the crime scene, but stops short when she recognizes the body: it’s one of the women from the night before.

Could the Third Door have served the woman bad liquor? Or, Gina wonders, could this be murder? As the gangs and bombings draw ever closer, all of Chicago starts to feel like a warzone, and Gina is determined to find out if this death was an unlucky accident, or a casualty of combat. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I read another of Susanna Calkins mysteries a few years ago and enjoyed it, but for some reason never followed up with it. Now she's coming out with the second in a new series I have yet to try--and this one sounds too good to pass up! 

Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?

© 2020, 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, June 23, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Blood Line/The Year of the Witching/The Book of Lost Names/Paris is Always a Good Idea

The Old(er) 
I have an embarrassing number of unread books sitting on the shelves in my personal library. Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight and discuss those neglected books in her Books from the Backlog feature. After all, even those older books need a bit of love! Not to mention it is reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

Blood Line (Anna Travis #7) by Lynda La Plante (Harper Collins, 2011)

Under the watchful eye of DCS James Langton, DCI Anna Travis takes charge of an investigation for the first time. But is it purely a missing person's case - or a full blown murder enquiry? An ominous pool of blood and no victim lead Anna on a desperate hunt for a man who has disappeared without trace. As Anna becomes obsessed with seemingly irrelevant details, Langton fears that she is losing control. They still have no body and Anna is under increasing pressure to make an arrest... [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Yeas ago I was given the opportunity to read and review book #6 of this series, Backlash, which I enjoyed quite a bit. It was my first by the author. While I generally like to start at the beginning of the series, over the years I have broken that "rule" a number of times, always with the intent of going back and starting from the beginning. Somehow I ended up with this book (#7) on my TBR shelf, and I imagine that is part of why this one still sits there unread. My intention has always been to go back and start at the beginning. It's not a good excuse, I know. But there you have it. 

Have you read Blood Line? Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 

The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Ace
The Handmaid's Tale for a new generation . . .

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy.

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.

But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel - a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . . [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Everything about this book calls to me. Witches, secrets, the church, everything.

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Gallery Books
Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: There was no question I would want to read this one when I first came across it. A long lost book, World War II, a code needing breaking . . . I am really looking forward to this one.

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay
Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Berkley
It's been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she's lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea's thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he's getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps--to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy--Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Something lighter and more introspective. I have enjoyed Jenn McKinlay's books in the past and am eager to read this one. I admit from the discription it brought to mind Mama Mia

Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?

© 2020, 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, June 16, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: A Clockwork Heart/Well-Behaved Indian Women/Fast Girls/The Safe Place

The Old(er) 
I have an embarrassing number of unread books sitting on the shelves in my personal library. Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight and discuss those neglected books in her Books from the Backlog feature. After all, even those older books need a bit of love! Not to mention it is reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

A Clockwork Heart
(The Chronicles of Light and Shadow #2) by Liesel Schwarz
(Del Rey, 2013)
FOR BETTER OR CURSE. That might as well have been the wedding vow of Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh in the second book of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into storytelling magic. 

As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart . . . literally. 

In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device—a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband’s old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Beladodia, to track down Marsh’s heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I read the first book, A Conspiracy of Alchemists, in 2013 and immediately added a copy of the second book to my TBR shelf--only there it still sits. I enjoyed the first book and meant to continue on with the series . . . I still want to. 

Have you read A Clockwork Heart? Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 

The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

Well-Behaved Indian Woman by Saumya Dave
Release Date: July 14, 2020 by Berkley
From a compelling new voice in women's fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams.

Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist, but her engagement to her high school sweetheart.

Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children in America. From dealing with her husband's demanding family to the casual racism of her patients, everything Nandini has endured has been for her children's sake. It isn't until an old colleague makes her a life-changing offer that Nandini realizes she's spent so much time focusing on being the Perfect Indian Woman, she's let herself slip away.

Mimi Kadakia failed her daughter, Nandini, in ways she'll never be able to fix---or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it's needed. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her own secret burden. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: There is something about mother and daughter stories that I find compelling--perhaps because I am both a mother and a daughter myself. I also really like generational stories featuring women, and add in the cultural and racism aspects, which also caught my attention when I discovered this one.

Fast Girls by Elise Hooper
Release Date: July 7, 2020 by William Morrow
Acclaimed author Elise Hooper explores the gripping, real life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany.

This inspiring story is based on the real lives of three little-known trailblazing women Olympians. Perfect for readers who love untold stories of amazing women, such as The Only Woman in the Room, Hidden Figures, and The Lost Girls of Paris.

In the 1928 Olympics, Chicago’s Betty Robinson competes as a member of the first-ever women’s delegation in track and field. Destined for further glory, she returns home feted as America’s Golden Girl until a nearly-fatal airplane crash threatens to end everything.

Outside of Boston, Louise Stokes, one of the few black girls in her town, sees competing as an opportunity to overcome the limitations placed on her. Eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a champion, she risks everything to join the Olympic team.

From Missouri, Helen Stephens, awkward, tomboyish, and poor, is considered an outcast by her schoolmates, but she dreams of escaping the hardships of her farm life through athletic success. Her aspirations appear impossible until a chance encounter changes her life.

These three athletes will join with others to defy society’s expectations of what women can achieve. As tensions bring the United States and Europe closer and closer to the brink of war, Betty, Louise, and Helen must fight for the chance to compete as the fastest women in the world amidst the pomp and pageantry of the Nazi-sponsored 1936 Olympics in Berlin. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: We may not get a Summer Olympics this year, but I can at least read about these amazing women as they came together to compete in 1936 during a very tumultuous time during our history.

The Safe Place by Anna Downes
Release Date: July 14, 2020 by Minotaur Books
Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downes's debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

Welcome to paradise...will you ever be able to leave?

Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn't play along, the consequences could be deadly. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: An outsider drawn into the tangled web of a seemingly perfect family is not a new concept, but I do enjoy seeing how different authors weave their own thrilling takes around that trope. I am curious to see where Anna Downes goes with The Safe Place.

Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?

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