Thursday, February 14, 2019

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Peek Into Stars Uncharted)

I started reading my February TBR poll winner, Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall, this week, and is it ever good!

A ragtag band of explorers are looking to make the biggest score in the galaxy in the brand-new science fiction adventure novel from the national bestselling author of Linesman.
Three people who are not who they claim to be:
Nika Rik Terri, body modder extraordinaire, has devoted her life to redesigning people's bodies right down to the molecular level. Give her a living body and a genemod machine, and she will turn out a work of art.
Josune Arriola is crew on the famous explorer ship the Hassim, whose memory banks contain records of unexplored worlds worth a fortune. But Josune and the rest of the crew are united in their single-minded pursuit of the most famous lost planet of all.
Hammond Roystan, the captain of the rival explorer ship, The Road, has many secrets. Some believe one of them is the key to finding the lost world.
Josune's captain sends her to infiltrate Roystan's ship, promising to follow. But when the Hassim exits nullspace close to Roystan's ship, it's out of control, the crew are dead, and unknown Company operatives are trying to take over. Narrowly escaping and wounded, Roystan and Josune come to Nika for treatment--and with problems of her own, she flees with them after the next Company attack.
Now they're in a race to find the lost world...and stay alive long enough to claim the biggest prize in the galaxy. [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 first thing Nika noticed about the man who buzzed the studio bell was his scar. 

My initial thought: Has trouble just walked in the door?




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.

Roystan looked at Snow and Carlos, running out with the rockets. She saw the struggle on his face as he looked at her, and thought he was going to argue, but he didn't. Instead, he clapped her on the shoulder. [56%]



My thoughts: I have yet to reach this spot in the novel, but it sounds like they are in another tight spot.

*

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.

Have you ever thought about taking a break from blogging? If you have, how long was the break and what did you learn from it? (submitted by Danielle @ PoetryBooksYA)
Oh goodness. I have taken quite a few breaks from blogging throughout the years. Some intentional and some not. Early on in my blogging career, I would plan posts ahead of time if I knew I was going to be away from my blog. I even asked for and posted guest posts to cover a couple of those times. That got to be more work than it was worth though. Usually I plan breaks when I have something going on that I know will keep me away from the computer: a family vacation, out of town company, family obligations, or just when I needed some time off from blogging to catch up and regroup.

I think my longest break from blogging was right around the time my daughter was born. Suddenly my world was upended, and my priorities shifted. It wasn't an intentional break, even my reading suffered significantly. I slowly regained momentum, although never quite like it was during my early years of blogging. I had to find my new normal, balancing being a wife, mother, professional, and life in general.

At first I would feel guilty when I could not spend as much time blogging--or even reading--as I might like. Somewhere in there though, I accepted my new normal. Completely stopping looking at my blog stats helped too. All those many blogger "rules" out there (some of which are contradictory)? I threw them out the window. I do what works best for me and my lifestyle. I am not always the most consistent blogger, and I may take a planned or unplanned break now and then, but I am okay with that.

I am still working on not stressing sometimes when I am not able to keep up with comments or comment on other blogs in a timely fashion . . . 

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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: Color of the Sea/Wild Country/The Lieutenant's Nurse



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!


Color of the Sea by John Hamamura (Anchor, 2006)
Raised in Japan and Hawaii, Sam Hamada has been trained in the ways of the samurai. After graduation Sam strikes out for California and falls in love for the first time, with a beautiful young woman named Keiko. But then the Japanese attack Peal Harbor, igniting the war and making Sam, Keiko, and their families enemies of the state.
Drafted into the U.S. Army, sent on a secret mission, Sam’s very identity both puts his life at risk and gives him the strength he needs to survive. Taking us from the lush Hawaiian Islands of the 1930s to the wartime world of madness in Hiroshima, Color of the Sea is the unforgettable story of one Japanese boy’s coming-of-age. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I met the author at the Los Angeles Festival of Books in 2008, and purchased a book, which he was kind enough to sign for my husband and I. I am not sure why it hasn't been read yet. Even now, reading the synopsis reminded me why I am interested in it. From Hawaii and Pearl Harbor to California and Hiroshima. This is definitely my kind of book.

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.


Wild Country (The World of the Others #2) by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 5, 2019 by Ace
In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I think this one is obvious to anyone who follows my blog. How can I resist a book from my favorite series? The answer is I cannot.


The Lieutenant's Nurse by Sara Ackerman
Release Date: March 5, 2019 by Mira
November, 1941. She's never even seen the ocean before, but Eva Cassidy has her reasons for making the crossing to Hawaii, and they run a lot deeper than escaping a harsh Michigan winter. Newly enlisted as an Army Corps nurse, Eva is stunned by the splendor she experiences aboard the steamship SS Lurline; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a man to whom she is drawn but who clearly has secrets of his own. Eva's past--and the future she's trying to create--means that she's not free to follow her heart. Clark is a navy intelligence officer, and he warns her that the United States won't be able to hold off joining the war for long, but nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know. In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. And the danger that finds her threatens everything she holds dear. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves. Set in the vibrant tropical surroundings of the Pacific, The Lieutenant's Nurse is an evocative, emotional WWII story of love, friendship and the resilient spirit of the heroic nurses of Pearl Harbor.  [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Another World War II title that caught my attention, this one set in the Pacific. I look forward to reading this one!


Do either of these interest you? 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.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bookish Thoughts: The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

If not for the second worst mistake of Grace Healey's life, she never would have found the suitcase. ~ Opening of Lost Girls of Paris



The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

Park Row, 2019

Fiction/Historical; 384 pgs

Pam Jenoff has long been on my must read author list, and I was excited when offered the opportunity to read and review her latest, The Lost Girls of Paris. Women going undercover just at the beginning of World War II? I could not say no to that.

The novel is split between two time lines--that of 1946, where widowed Grace Healey is trying to re-build her life after the death of her husband during the war. On her way to work one day, an accident forces her to walk through Grand Central Terminal where she stumbles upon an abandoned suitcase. Curiosity gets the better of her, and she opens it, finding a dozen photographs of various women. Despite her better judgement, she takes the photos with her. It isn't until later she discovers the photos belonged to the now deceased Eleanor Trig, a British citizen with ties to the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The women featured in the photos are all missing, presumed dead. Grace sets out to find out the identity of the women and learn more about Eleanor. She gains help in an unexpected place, from a friend of her husband's.

Taking readers back to 1943, right before the war, Pam Jenoff introduces readers to Marie, a young mother who is recruited by Eleanor as a radio operator and special operative destined for Occupied Europe. Marie proves to be good at what she does despite both hers and Eleanor's initial reservations, but what awaits is danger and risk she never could imagine. Friendship, betrayal, and even love are the center of her story.

The Lost Girls of Paris was at times nail bitingly suspenseful and at other times heartbreaking--often both. The goal of the SOE was to sabotage the Germans in order to make it harder for them as they gained ground during the early part of World War II. It was a risk to add women to the mix, but the hope was their presence would be easier to hide than that of the British men who were already on  the ground in the occupied areas. Most of the men in authority were against the move, but desperation made it happen.

I was just as curious as Grace to find out what happened to the women. I thought it was interesting that the author chose two timelines that were so close together. It provided a nice juxtaposition between the time just before and after the war.

While many of the characters and events in Pam Jenoff's novel are pure fiction, the role women played during that time in the war was very real. For many years, women's roles have been downplayed or ignored, and I am grateful to authors like Jenoff who bring them into the limelight.

It was impossible not to get caught up in Eleanor and Marie's stories. They were both amazing women who proved that women should not be underestimated. If anything, I wish there had been more. I wanted to know more about all the characters, especially the women in the trenches, an even deeper delving into just who they were. Of course, with the way the novel played out, that might have been hard to do. The author would not want to reveal her hand to soon. Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Lost Girls of Paris. This was my first Pam Jenoff novel, but it will definitely not be my last. I cannot wait to read more b her.


Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senior levels of government, including helping the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims secure their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, observing recovery efforts at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and attending ceremonies to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II at sites such as Bastogne and Corregidor.

Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam moved to the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Pam developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.

Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a labor and employment attorney both at a firm and in-house in Philadelphia and now teaches law school at Rutgers.

Pam is the author of The Kommandant's Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as The Winter Guest, The Diplomat's Wife, The Ambassador’s Daughter, Almost Home, A Hidden Affair and The Things We Cherished. She also authored a short story in the anthology Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.


Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


Connect with Pam

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


I hope you will check out what others had to say about The Lost Girls of Paris on the TLC Book Tours route!


Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour.  Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review.





© 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.

February's TBR Winner

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). 




It was close for awhile there, but a clear winner began to emerge by the end. Coming in last place was Terminal Alliance by J.C. Hines with only three votes, followed by Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet with 6 votes. Stars Uncharted won with 8 votes.  I am eager to dive into the winner!

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.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Peek Into Beautiful Bad)

[If you haven't already, please help me choose which book to read next by voting in my February TBR List poll!]

I am in the middle of reading Annie Ward's upcoming Beautiful Bad, which I will be featuring for an upcoming blog tour next month. It is one of those books I wish I could read in one sitting--but unfortunately life has a way of inserting itself at the most inopportune times. I am sure many of you understand. 

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry... That something is really, really wrong with me.

Maddie and Ian's romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian's PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son, Charlie; and the couple's tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime. [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.
Twelve weeks before
I type, "Should I see a therapist?"
A popular Google search it seems. There's a lot of information on the topic. Pages and pages of tests you can take to help you decide if therapy is right for you. If so, what kind of therapy? Psychiatrist versus psychologist? What's your major disorder? There's so much. I could do this all night. Once Ian leaves, maybe I will. 

Although I have not asked Google that particular question, I sometimes do ask those "should I see a doctor about [insert symptom]?" I always joke that an internet search for a medical condition or symptom often results in being told I have cancer or some such deadly illness. And so, right off, I can relate to Maddie, the main character, at least in this regard.


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'm waiting for you to have your little visit with me and then walk out of here with no intention of ever seeing me again, at which point in time I'll go up to my room and get drunk."
The blanket of self-doubt that settled over his face made him look vulnerable, like the younger man he'd been when we met. He wanted something. It was the same thing that I wanted. He just didn't know it yet. [56%]

I am just past this scene in the book, and really liked it. Taking into account everything the two characters have been through, especially Ian, I found this moment for them to be very moving. I still have mixed feelings about both Ian and Maddie though. There are still so many unanswered questions . . . I need to know!  

*

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 have celebrations for your blog's anniversary such as a giveaway? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

​Off and on through the years, I have celebrated my blog anniversaries with a brief mention in a post, often after the fact (does that count as a celebration? I am not sure).  Twice I went so far as to hold giveaways in honor of the occasion. More often than not though, the day slips by me without any notice at all.

It is hard to believe I will have been blogging 13 years this coming July. How is that possible?! When I started, the blogging community was on the small side; we were a relatively close knit community. It has grown so much since then.There have been many changes over the years. I have changed. My little blog is my haven, a space where I can be my book crazy self and feel at home, surrounded by others who share my passion for reading.

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.