Saturday, April 13, 2019

Sunday Mews and My April TBR List Winner

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by the wonderful 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 the amazing Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants discuss what they are reading and other bookish topics. 

Playing in the sprinklers.

It is such a lovely spring day. The kind of day I would love to be outside reading under the shade of a tree, with nature all around me. Or at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. It feels like forever when I was last able to go. Perhaps next year . . .

What I Am Reading: I currently am reading Karen Lord's Unraveling, and confess I am struggling a little getting into it. The premise is intriguing, and I am interested to know where the story is going still--so definitely not DNF material at this point. Hopefully it will pick up for me soon!

The truth is my reading has been in a bit of a low place as of late. I have read some great books, but I feel so distracted. I am sure it is partly the stress I feel under. At least I am reading some, if not a lot. So I suppose I cannot call it a slump at this point. 

What I Am Watching: Mouse is going through a Pokémon phase, and so we have been watching Pokémon movies lately. And more Find Me In Paris, a time travel show about a ballet school. I did watch Russian Doll, which I wasn't sure about at first, but ended up really enjoying. Have you seen any of these?


  • What are you reading and watching this week? 
  • Just how much of a chance will give you give a book before deciding to not finish it? 
  • What steps do you take to avoid falling into a reading slump when you feel one coming on? 



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 Sunday 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). 




This month I put three very different books against each other and it was not much of a competition.
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard got 3 votes with Paula Paul's A Killer Closet received 8 votes. The Master Key by Masako Togawa won 11 votes. Talk about winning by a nice lead!


I am thrilled that The Master Key won and am looking forward to diving in soon.


The Master Key by Masako Togawa, translated by Simon Grove
The K Apartments for Ladies in Tokyo conceals a sinister past behind each door; a woman who has buried a child; a scavenger driven mad by ill-health; a wife mysteriously guarding her late husband’s manuscripts; a talented violinist tortured by her own guilt. The master key, which opens the door to all 150 rooms, links their tangled stories. But now it has been stolen, and dirty tricks are afoot.

A deadly secret lies buried beneath the building. And when it is revealed, there will be murder.
 [Goodreads Summary]

Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!

© 2019, 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, April 08, 2019

Bookish Thoughts: The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

Please forgive the haste and informality of this letter: you know my respect for you and my obedience to your will. ~ Opening of The Mortal Word


The Mortal Word (Invisible Library, #5) by Genevieve Cogman
Ace, 2018
Fantasy; 433 pgs
Source: I received an eARC copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I am a big fan of Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series, and eagerly dived into The Mortal Word. It is the fifth book in the series, and I highly recommend the series be read in order. Our feisty librarian, Irene, is pulled into the middle of the tenuous peace talks between the fae and the dragons when one of the dragon’s contingent is murdered. She and Vale are asked to be part of a joint team investigating the death. They, along with the dragon and fae representatives, have their work cut out for them. Uncovering the truth while balancing a very delicate political situation proves quite the challenge. Everyone is blaming everyone else, including the Library, whose own political agenda may not be as neutral as everyone is lead to believe.

I can always expect to be entertained as well kept up late into the night when reading one of Cogman’s novels, and The Mortal Word was no different. Irene continues to be one of my favorite series characters. Her resourcefulness and quick thinking on her feet are qualities I admire and wish I possessed. Although, I suppose I am glad I do not find myself in the same or similar predicaments! She has a strong sense of wanting to do the right thing while still keeping in mind the bigger picture.

It was good to visit with other familiar and favorite characters, such as Kai and Vale. Vale is called upon to lead the murder investigation, his skills as a private investigator being renowned across dimensions. I love that he stuck to his guns in conducting the investigation his way, rather than give in to the unsubtle suggestions of others. Too, it was interesting to see Kai more among the other dragons, although I would not have minded more of that. There was, of course, our old frenemy Silver who I can never quite decide if I like or not. Readers are introduced to a new dragon in this installment of the series----and I quite liked her. She works independently of any of the royal houses, which means her loyalties are her own. I hope to see more of her in future books.

Cogman has created such an interesting and complex world, the Library having a foot in several different dimensions, it’s role to help maintain the balance between chaos and order. The fae and dragons have long been at odds and many do not believe peace is possible. And there are those within the Library who wish for the Library to have more power, especially in these ever changing times. One can’t help but feel for the humans who seem to be in the middle of all of it, even if not always present.

The Mortal Word is high in action and the mystery itself is quite intricate in this one, taking the reader through the streets of Paris and into the middle of fae, dragon, and Library politics. Suspenseful and entertaining as ever, this latest book has me wanting more. No surprise there!


To learn more about Genevieve Cogman and her work, please visit the author's website. You can also find her on Twitter and Goodreads.


© 2019, 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, April 06, 2019

Sunday Mews: New Books, Illness, and My April TBR List Poll (Come Vote!)

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by the wonderful 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 to Stacking the Shelves hosted by the great Team Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently. 

The amazing Deb Nance of Readerbuzz has added new life to the The Sunday Salon, and I hope you will consider visiting her blog as well as those of other participants. 

March seemed to both fly by and drag its feet at the same time. We celebrated Mouse's birthday, attended the Drag Queen Story Hour at our local indie bookstore, closed out the Girl Scout cookie season, started rehearsals for The Greatest Showman, continued to attend dance classes and Girl Scout meetings, attended a dance competition to cheer on the competing dancers from our studio, fought and continue to fight illnesses (will this cough ever go away?!), and, well, went to work. A lot of big changes came at the end of the month at work that have left many of us within my agency a bit shaken. Work and illness have affected my reading and blogging, unfortunately. They has left me feeling rather out of sorts.

Mouse enjoyed a week off with her dad during her spring break. It rained. A lot. But spring is definitely here now. It has been nice to finally open the windows.

I hope you had a wonderful March and that your April has gotten off to a good start!

New to My Shelves: 


Dead Witch on a Bridge by Gretchen Galway ~ I couldn't resist adding this to my TBR pile after hearing about it from Jenclair at A Garden Carried in the Pocket.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Stories Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlyn Doughty ~ I saw this book mentioned by a couple book bloggers, and decided it might be something I would enjoy reading.



The Songs of Achilles by Madeline Miller ~ I read an review of Circe (which I haven't yet read--I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback) recently and the blogger mentioned loving this one even more. I decided I should give it a try as well.

Afterland by Mai Der Vang ~ In my recent search for a book of poetry to try, I came across this one and couldn't resist. 

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar ~ I saw mention of this on someone's blog (I can't remember whose) and knew I had to get a copy. While my daughter is still a bit young for it, she won't be for long. This novel in verse deals with a girl's first period.



The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See ~ I wasn't able to attend the signing in March, but Lisa See and Vromon's Bookstore were kind enough to make sure I got a personalized signed copy! Lisa See is one of my favorite authors.


The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo ~ I had the privilege of attending her book signing at a local bookstore this weekend. She is amazing and so are her books! It was a real honor to meet her. 


Mouse's School Book Fair Picks:
Jada Jones: Rock Star (#1) by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
The Scaredy Cat (Purrmaids #1) by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
101 Great Science Experiments: A Step by Step Guide by Neil Ardley
Mysticons, Volume 1 by Kate Leth

(She goes again to the book fair with her class this next week and has already asked if she can have more money to buy more books)


 Mouse's recent book purchases at the bookstore:
Who Was Princess Diana? by Ellen Labrecque, illustrated by Jerry Hoare
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Who Was Joan Arc? by Pam Pollack & Meg Belviso, illustrated by Andrew Thomson & Nancy Harrison


What I Am Reading: I just finished reading Yangsze Choo's The Night Tiger, a historical novel with ghosts, weretigers, and a mystery--what can be better than that? Next up is Unraveling by Karen Lord, which also delves into the realm of spirits and is a murder mystery.

What I Am Watching: I missed some work in March due to illness and, if I am honest, have spent more time watching television than reading because I feel so exhausted all the time. Between Riverdale, The Umbrella Academy, Love It Or List It, Find Me In Paris, and catching up with 9-1-1 (and I am sure other shows I am forgetting), I have watched more than my share as of late.

We did catch Captain Marvel in the theater and really enjoyed it.

Off the Blog: 
The wild one caught in a rare moment of rest. 

Enjoying the sunspot

Drag Queen Story Hour: Herstory - It was a lot of fun for everyone.

She couldn't wait to get home to read her new book. 

Opening the Disney Store at the Mall with the Magic Key

One of our trees is in bloom with the help of the rain


Are they really lying this close together? I can't believe my eyes!


Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching?

*

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 Sunday 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). 




This month's selections are on the short size on purpose. I have some upcoming deadlines I need to meet, and wanted to be sure to find time to fit this month's winner in. A couple of these have been on my shelf for a few years now, while another for just a year. Which do you think I should read?



A Killer Closet by Paula Paul
Irene Seligman loves the warmth and beauty of her Southwest hometown, but only one thing could make her quit her prestigious job as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan to return there: the guilt applied by her demanding mother, Adelle. After Adelle’s most recent husband dies, leaving her with nothing, Irene decides to take a break from prosecuting criminals to move back to Santa Fe and open an upscale consignment store. With Irene’s determination and her mother’s eye for haute couture, they’re sure to make a killing.

But on the day of the grand opening, Irene discovers the body of one of Adelle’s friends in her storeroom. And although the intrigue causes business to boom, when someone else from Adelle’s social circle is murdered, Irene begins to suspect her mother might be in danger too. Ever the protective daughter, Irene investigates her mother’s friends, suspicious that they’re hiding more than designer clothes in their closets. But as she gets closer to uncovering some real skeletons, Irene might not live to regret coming home again. [Goodreads Summary]

The Master Key by Masako Togawa, translated by Simon Grove
The K Apartments for Ladies in Tokyo conceals a sinister past behind each door; a woman who has buried a child; a scavenger driven mad by ill-health; a wife mysteriously guarding her late husband’s manuscripts; a talented violinist tortured by her own guilt. The master key, which opens the door to all 150 rooms, links their tangled stories. But now it has been stolen, and dirty tricks are afoot.

A deadly secret lies buried beneath the building. And when it is revealed, there will be murder.
[Goodreads Summary]






The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
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 appareance 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]




Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!

© 2019, 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 19, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: 2666/A Woman of No Importance/Lost Roses



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!


2666 by Roberto Bolaño, translated by Natasha Wimmer (Picardor, 2009 - originally published in 2004)
Three academics on the trail of a reclusive German author; a New York reporter on his first Mexican assignment; a widowed philosopher; a police detective in love with an elusive older woman—these are among the searchers drawn to the border city of Santa Teresa, where over the course of a decade hundreds of women have disappeared. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this:  I had heard magnificent things about this book and so added it to my TBR shelf. I find the size a bit intimidating, admittedly, which is why it still remains unread. One of these days perhaps. 



Have you read this one? If so, what did you think? What book has been lingering on your shelf for a while that you want 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.


A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell
Release Date: April 9, 2019 by Viking
The never-before-told story of one woman's heroism that changed the course of the Second World War

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her."

This spy was Virginia Hall, a young American woman--rejected from the foreign service because of her gender and her prosthetic leg--who talked her way into the spy organization dubbed Churchill's "ministry of ungentlemanly warfare," and, before the United States had even entered the war, became the first woman to deploy to occupied France.

Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies in American history, yet her story remains untold. Just as she did in Clementine, Sonia Purnell uncovers the captivating story of a powerful, influential, yet shockingly overlooked heroine of the Second World War. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the "Madonna of the Resistance," coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerilla fighters. Even as her face covered WANTED posters throughout Europe, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped with her life in a grueling hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown, and her associates all imprisoned or executed. But, adamant that she had "more lives to save," she dove back in as soon as she could, organizing forces to sabotage enemy lines and back up Allied forces landing on Normandy beaches. Told with Purnell's signature insight and novelistic panache, A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: I enjoy reading novels featuring women in nontraditional roles, and this nonfiction book caught my attention in particular given the time period and Virginia Hall's role in the war.


Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Release Date: April 9, 2019 by Ballantine Books
The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline's mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker's treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre's who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.  [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Not the best time to be traveling to Russia, I imagine, but what an intriguing story line this promises to be!


Do these interest you too? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to getting your hands on and reading?


© 2019, 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, March 14, 2019

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Peek Into Broken Girls by Simone St. James)

I am in the middle of reading this month's TBR poll winner (thank you again to all who voted!). Broken Girls by Simone St. James is as good as so many of you have said! 

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .
Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . . [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.
The sun vanished below the horizon as the girl crested the ridge of Old Barrons Road. Night, and she still had three miles to go. 

My initial thoughts: It's dark and she is on foot with a long way to go to her destination. This doesn't bode well for her, I think.


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.

Fiona stared at her ceiling in the dark, her eyes burning. It was incredible that tens of thousands of people could vanish from history without a single record. "Were the women Jews?" she asked. 
"Very few, in fact," Ginette said. They were prisoners from countries occupied by the Nazis, communists, members of the Resistance, Gypsies, captured spies. There was also a certain type of prisoner the Nazis termed 'asocial.'"
"Asocial?"
"Prostitutes, destitute women, addicts and alcoholics, the mental ill. Women the Nazis simply didn't want society to support anymore, or women considered of low morals."
"Jesus Christ," Fiona said. "How horrible." [56%]

My initial thoughts: How horrible, indeed. Such a terrible time in our history.

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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.

Do you use NetGalley, Edelweiss, both, or neither? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

I use both NetGalley and Edelweiss. More than I probably should given I have so many of my own books still to read that I keep putting off in order to read review books. I want to read all the books! 

What about you?


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


© 2019, 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.