Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 in Review

Usually February is the longest month of the year for me. I am not sure why--I mean, it is actually the shortest month. This year though it seemed to go by at a fairly clip pace. I think a lot of that had to do with just how busy I was. With mandatory training at work and still being short staffed on top of it being the busiest time of year work volume wise, pressures are still high. Girl Scout Cookie sales are still very much under way. Girl Scout meetings, karate, and dance kept us running around.

It was a month of good news and bad news for Mouse. She learned her Girl Scout troop will be disbanding at the end of the season. With a couple families moving away and another couple whose families are growing, there aren't enough girls staying to make it possible for us to stay together.  Mouse is heartbroken as she really loves her troop. That news is tempered, however, by the fact that she may be able to join the troop of a friend she's known since infancy. It is in the next town over, so not exactly ideal, but it is the most viable option for us. Having to work around my work schedule can be an obstacle in and of itself.

Also in Mouse news, Mouse auditioned for The Wizard of Oz this past Saturday. The cast list came out Tuesday, and Mouse is beyond excited (and I am hoping my hair doesn't turn completely gray in the next few months). Our dance class schedule will be full from now until the summer production. Unfortunately, Mouse will have to discontinue karate for the time being as a result. Mouse will be playing both a munchkin and a flying monkey. She was not too sure about the monkey given it's a bad gal role, but I think we've worked through her concerns.

For those of you following my mother's exploits, she spent a week in Greece earlier this month and had a marvelous time. I do not think she wanted to come back. It was a much needed break for her. Her visit with the oncologist and more tests this past week did not bring good news, however. She and her doctors had hoped to start the radiation treatment this next month, but that isn't a possibility at this time due to the new findings. My mom remains optimistic, but I think we are all feeling frustrated as well. Both of my grandmothers and at least two of my great grandmothers suffered from breast cancer too. Not only am I worried about my mom, but, I cannot help but how much higher my own chances are of developing it.

Blogging wise, it was a rather lax month here at Musings of a Bookish Kitty. I have not had much time to devote to the computer, which translates into not being able to polish and prep posts. And frankly, when I did have a moment to blog, I often decided I would rather read instead. When the reading mood strikes, it's best not to ignore it. Besides, it helps calm my brain, which has been working overtime as of late.

As for my reading, February seemed to the series continuation month. The majority of my reading was picking back up with beloved series. Thanks to all of you who voted in my February TBR List Poll, I finally dived into Anne Bishop's Marked in Flesh, which I loved. I could not help but also read the two other books up for vote in the poll though, and followed Bishop's book up with both of those. It turned out that it was another great reading month for me over all. Not a dud in the bunch! The downside is that my reading has fallen off a bit since I finished Weiss's book. Part of it is not having a lot of time to devote to reading with all the craziness that is going on right now. Hopefully it will not last.

Here is what I finished reading in February:

Solely For Me:
  • Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2) by Ilona Andrews
  • One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3) by Ilona Andrews
  • The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (Maggie Hope, #4) by Susan Elia MacNeal
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  • Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop
  • The Lost Plot (Invisible Library, #4) by Genevieve Cogman
  • Pressed to Death (Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, #2) by Kirsten Weiss

Some of the Books I Read With My Daughter (Guess which ones we read over and over again.): 
  • The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane Auch and Herm Auch
  • You! by Sandra Magsamen
  • The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
  • A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton
  • In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
  • The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury
  • Max the Brave by Ed Vere

Non-Book Review Posts in Feburary:

Challenge & Read-Along Updates:

#COYER Winter Switch ~

The Strict:
The List
  • Sunday Sugar by Q. Gibson
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  • Vanished (Black Hat Series, #4) by Karen E. Olson
  • Clean Sweep Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews
  • Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2) by Ilona Andrews
  • One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3) by Ilona Andrews
  • The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (Maggie Hope, #4) by Susan Elia MacNeal
The One With a Twist (so far):
  • Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop
  • The Lost Plot (Invisible Library, #4) by Genevieve Cogman
  • Pressed to Death (Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, #2) by Kirsten Weiss
I am doing about as well as I hoped with the COYER Winter Switch, thankfully. I did better on the list portion than I anticipated. The final phase, The One With a Twist, will be ending on March 9 so I have a little more time to fit something else in.

What's In A Name Reading Challenge ~ No new progress to report.

The Grand World of Books Reviews Bingo ~ No new progress to report.

Unruly Reader Bingo ~ No new progress to report.

2018 Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge ~ I have read three books so far to go towards this challenge.
  • Clean Sweep Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews
  • Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2) by Ilona Andrews
  • One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3) by Ilona Andrews
2018 Discussion Post Challenge ~ I did not manage a discussion post this month.

2018 Blog All About It Challenge ~ It was all about "red" in February, and I posted a list of some of favorite things that come to mind when I think of the color red. (Blog All About It: Red)

Les Misérables Read-Along ~  I started off the month ahead and slipped behind before catch up again. I am back to being all caught up now. I find I prefer to read this one right before bed when I can swing it. I find it very calming and engaging.

War and Peace Read-Along ~ If only this was as easy to read as Les Misérables. I am a little behind, but not too far.

Throwback Thursday Photo of Mouse and our cat Parker

How was your February overall? How did your February shape up reading wise? What was your favorite book you read in February? What have you been up to?

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. (The event picture will take you directly to Nicole's wrap up sign-up for February.) 

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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wishing for Wednesday: Death of an Unsung Hero & The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One

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

Death of an Unsung Hero by Tess Arlen (320 pgs)
Release Date: March 13, 2018 by Minotaur
Lady Montfort and her pragmatic housekeeper Mrs. Jackson investigate a murder of a WWI officer with amnesia in the 20th-century English countryside.

Building on the success of her last three mysteries in the same series, Tessa Arlen returns us to the same universe in Death of an Unsung Hero with more secrets, intrigue, and charming descriptions of the English countryside.

In 1916, the world is at war and the energetic Lady Montfort has persuaded her husband to offer the dower house to the War Office as an auxiliary hospital for officers recovering from shell-shock with their redoubtable housekeeper Mrs. Jackson contributing to the war effort as the hospital’s quartermaster.

Despite the hospital’s success, the farming community of Haversham, led by the Monfort’s neighbor Sir Winchell Meacham, does not approve of a country-house hospital for men they consider to be cowards. When Sir Evelyn Bray, one of the patients, is found lying face down in the garden with his head bashed in, both Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson have every reason to fear that the War Office will close their hospital. Once again the two women unite their diverse talents to discover who would have reason to murder a war hero suffering from amnesia.
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: This is the 4th in the Lady Montfort series, which I adore. From the time period to the characters to the mysteries themselves. I am especially a fan of Mrs. Jackson, the housekeeper. I cannot wait to see what Lady Montfort drags Mrs. Jackson into this time!


The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace (208 pgs)
Release Date: March 6, 2018 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.  [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: One of my personal goals this year is to read more poetry collections, and the title of this one was enough to grab my attention and make me want to read it. I have another collection by the author in my TBR pile at the moment, The Princess Saves Herself In This One. How can I resist an author whose books carry these titles?

Do either of these sound like something you would like to read too?

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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

The Summer King knelt before her. ~ Opening of Wicked Lovely

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1) by Melissa Marr 
HarperTeen, 2007
Fantasy/YA; 328 pgs
Source: I own two copies of this book, one in print and one in e-form.

Imagine going your entire life having to pretend you cannot see an entire segment of society because to acknowledge them could be detrimental. Imagine being one of very few humans who can actually see them or know of their existence. Aislinn, or Ash as she prefers to be called, wishes she could not see them and that she was not privy to their very existence. There are three basic rules her grandmother has ingrained in her: “Don’t stare at invisible faeries”; “Don’t speak to invisible faeries”; and “Don’t ever attract their attention.”

Ash had followed the rules very closely all her life, but when Keenan, the Summer King, sets his sights on her, all of those rules fall apart. As Ash, helped by her best friend Seth, attempts to sidestep the King at every turn, Keenan’s pursuit of her intensifies. He must find his queen and defeat the Winter Queen who holds all the power and is upsetting the balance.

Melissa Marr has created a world that I instantly found myself transported to. The fae of her world are both charming and terrifying. They are mischievous and playful as well as cruel and powerful. To draw the eye of the King of Summer means the end of one’s human life as she knows it.

For all his charm and good looks, it took me a while to warm to Keenan. The more I learned about him and his predicament, the more I sympathized with him and his situation. He really is a nice person at heart, with the best of intentions. He is used to getting his way, and isn’t sure what to make of Ash, who seems to thwart his every attempt to romance her. He comes to see it as a challenge, and a sign that she truly is meant to be the Summer Queen.

Ash, who is used to trying to hiding her ability to see the faeries, is rightfully scared when she realizes all the precautions she’s taken are no longer working. She is my kind of heroine though—resourceful and smart.

I appreciated how quickly Seth came to believe Ash’s assertions about the faeries living among them, despite his not being able to see them. While in other cases I might find it too convenient, in this instance, I felt it fitting. It spoke to Seth’s devotion to Ash.

I most felt for Donia though, the human who had given her life to be with Keenan, only to be felled by the Winter Queen’s curse. Even above Ash, Seth, and Keenan, I found her to the most interesting character—and probably my favorite. There is a bit of mystery and power about her. She is the underdog who should not be underestimated.

It is obvious from the start that Ash has a crush on Seth, and he on her, despite her protestations that they are just friends. If I had to complain about anything in the book, it would be that Ash ignored the signs as long as she did. For those who do not like love triangles (I rolled my eyes at the thought about this coming into play in this one too), I feel it is worth it to continue anyway. I really liked the way everything played out in the end in that regard.

In case you get the impression this book is all romance, it is far from it. The struggle between the Summer King and the Winter Queen is quite intense, and Ash finds herself right in the middle of it all. It was hard to tear myself away from the book because I had to know how everything would play out.

Wicked Lovely reads much like how I imagine Marr’s faery world—a dash of comedy, a dollop of romance, all swirled in with the darker elements. I loved the author’s imagery of winter and summer in their fae forms, especially when the Summer King and Winter Queen were around. I found this first book in the trilogy to be entertaining and thrilling. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Thank you to all who voted for Wicked Lovely in my January TBR List Poll!

To learn more about Melissa Marr and her work, please visit the author on the her website and onTwitter

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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Peek at Pressed to Death & My First and Last Reads as a Book Blogger)

When I finish my current book (likely tomorrow), I will have read all three of my TBR List poll choices for the month of February. It's been awhile since I last managed that! I currently am reading Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss, the second book in her Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mystery series. It's set in small town wine country, right outside of my old stomping grounds, Sacramento, California. I fell in love with the first book in the series and am enjoying this second book.

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 was going to jail.

My thoughts: I couldn't help but wonder what trouble Maddie had landed herself in on the very first page of the book.

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 starting to think your museum really is cursed," he said.
"The exhibits, not the museum," I corrected automatically. "Why? Did something happen at the museum?" 
"No, I was talking about you. Why don't you tell me why you really went to Mrs. Paganini's home last night?"  [56%]

My thoughts: Our handsome Detective Slate asks a very good question, but is Maddie ready to lay all of her cards on the table? I am guessing not, knowing her. Not yet, at least.

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


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

This week's topic is the My First and Last Reads as a Book Blogger.

Another not my the first book I reviewed on my blog, Thrity Umrigar's Bombay Time was the first book I read when I began blogging in July of 2006.

The last (or most recent) book I finished reading (a re-read for the umpteenth time) was Ed Vere's Max the Brave, one of my daughter's favorite books. Technically, she read it to me, but I read along. That counts right?

What was the first and last (as of today, anyway) book you read as a book blogger?

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blog All About It: Red

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

February's Blog All About It Challenge it topic is "Red". It immediately brings to mind hearts and love, anger and blood. Maybe a little red wine. Here are a few other things that popped into my mind when I thought of the color red. 

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant ~ One of my favorite books. I am not really into biblical fiction and wasn't sure I would like Diamant's novel, but I ended up really liking it in the end.  If you are looking for a book that is strong on women power, consider giving this one a try.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss ~ is a favorite of my daughter's. It was one of the first books she was able to read all on her own. 

Die for Me by Amy Plum ~ One of my favorite covers featuring a red dress of a book I have read.

Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong ~ This is a book sitting on my TBR shelf, waiting to b e read. Don't you just love the cover? 

Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs) ~ Although Caramel deLites/Samoas and Thin Mints are among my favorites, I cannot resist the Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties. 

My Kitchen ~ This isn't really my kitchen, but my kitchen has a definite red theme. Red rugs. Red mixer and toaster. Red towels. (My walls are brown.) I wouldn't mind a little more red in my kitchen. 

Canada ~ I am not from Canada, although some of my ancestors were French Canadian. Canada is a great country, don't you think? I love my Canadian friends.

Dove Dark Chocolate ~ Heaven in the form of chocolate.

Red Rose ~ I know it is cliche, but I have always loved red roses.

The Rose by Bette Midler ~ Although this doesn't have the color "red" in it anywhere, thinking of roses brought to mind one of my all time favorite songs.

What sort of things come to mind when you think of red?

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wishing for Wednesday: So Many Good Books!

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

I tried to stop at just a couple this week, but I had trouble narrowing it down. Is it any wonder my wish list will outlive me?

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh (384 pgs)
Release Date: March 13, 2018 by Berkley
The police say it was suicide. 
Anna says it was murder. 
They're both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

The stunning, twisty new psychological thriller from number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh, author of
I Let You Go and I See You. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: Enough of my fellow book bloggers have raved about Clare Mackintosh that this one immediately caught my eye. The synopsis of this one has me intrigued!


Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (320 pgs)
Release Date: March 6, 2018 by Simon Pulse
Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: How could I not want to read this one?! The cover is gorgeous. And from the description, this really does have a Hocus Pocus vibe to it. I cannot wait to read it!


It Takes a Coven by Carol J. Perry (384 pgs)
Release Date: February 27, 2018 by Kensington
There’s a new witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

When Lee Barrett joins a former student’s bridal party as maid of honor, she expects cake tastings and dress fittings. But wedding planning becomes more peculiar than Lee’s scrying talents could ever predict. There’s a magical baker, a best man with a checkered past, and a talking crow named Poe as the ring bearer. There’s also a kindly old man dead under his apple tree—one of a series of unexplained deaths hanging over the Wiccan community . . .

With witches dropping dead before they even come out of the proverbial broom closet, Lee’s best friend, River, fears she might have somehow unleashed a terrible curse on the city. Now, aided by Poe and her clairvoyant cat, Lee sets out to investigate. Are lives being claimed by vengeful supernatural forces—or by something more shocking? She soon discovers, casting light on the wicked truth can be one killer commitment . . .
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: It must be the season of the witches because here is another witch related book that has caught my eye. This is my favorite kind of cozy mystery. I cannot pass up a story about magic or witches.


All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages by Saundra Mitchell, Kody Keplinger, Kate Scelsa, Robin Talley, Shaun David Hutchinson, Tess Sharpe, Alex Sanchez, Nilah Magruder, Sara Farizan, Mackenzi Lee, Anna-Marie McLemore, Malinda Lo, Dahlia Adler, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Scott Tracey, Tessa Gratton, Natalie C. Parker, Elliot Wake (384 pgs)
Release Date: February 27, 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.

From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene,
All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: I occasionally like to read short stories, and I enjoy historical fiction. This particular collection appealed to me for those reasons, as well as that they feature LGBQT youth, an under represented group in literature that deserves more of a voice.

Do any of these sound like something you would like to read too?

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Wishing for Wednesday: Lake Silence & Darkest Night

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

As if I need to add more books to my existing TBR pile, but these are two coming out that I don't think I will be able to resist.

Darkest Night by Tara Thomas (352 pgs)
Release Date: February 27, 2018 by St. Martin's Press
In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless killer is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close… 
SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVERTilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFEKeaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women,the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night? [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: I admit it was the Charleston setting that initially caught my attention first. I enjoy second chance romance from time to time and throw in a mystery/thriller type angle, and I am even more interested.


Lake Silence by Anne Bishop (416 pgs)
Release Date: March 6, 2018 by Ace

In this thrilling and suspenseful fantasy, set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, Vicki DeVine and her lodger, the shapeshifter Aggie Crowe, stumble onto a dead body . . . and find themselves enmeshed in danger and dark secrets.

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shapeshifting Others–discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Lake Silence is probably at the top of my most anticipated books coming out this year. The Others series is a favorite of mine, and I am eager to read this one.

Do either of these sound like something you would like to read too?

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: Claws for Concern by Miranda James

I couldn't stop checking the clock on the wall nearby. ~ Opening of Claws for Concern

Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks, #9) by Miranda James
Berkley Books, 2018
Crime Fiction (Cozy); 288 pgs
Source: Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:
Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are embroiled in a new mystery when a cold case suddenly heats up in the latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series. 
Charlie Harris has been enjoying some peace and quiet with his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to an unsolved murder starts visiting the library...

This is the ninth book in the Cat in the Stacks series, but my first by Miranda James. Charlie Harris is a retired librarian who volunteers at the local library. He also enjoys every minute he is able to spend with his infant grandson. Charlie is well known about town, probably most notably because of his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, who goes just about everywhere with him.

Claws for Concern was a nice break from the more intense thrillers I have been reading lately, although it was not without its own suspenseful moments. The author takes his time setting up the story. A familiar looking stranger who frequents the library approaches Charlie and asks him about an address that just happens to be Charlie’s. In addition, a true crime author reaches out to Charlie in a roundabout sort of way to see if he would like to be a part of his latest project.

Charlie has a good head on his shoulders and is a very thoughtful man. I liked that he doesn’t rush into anything, something I see all too often in mystery novels. He takes his safety and that of those he loves seriously. He is reluctant about meeting with the true crime author, not wanting to be in the limelight. And, as for the stranger, he knows nothing about him or what exactly it is he wants. Of course, Charlie does make up his mind about both situations, and soon he is digging into a cold case of a triple homicide from years before.

I have read a number of cozy mysteries recently that have really knocked my socks off, and I was hoping this one would too. It didn’t quite, unfortunately, but I did enjoy it just the same. The novel took a little too long to get off the ground for me, and there were day to day details, which I read more like a checklist than naturally occurring events. That was not enough, however, to pull me out of the story. It’s a good solid book overall.

I adored Charlie’s cat, Diesel. Diesel may or may not understand everything going on around him (although it seems like he does), but he clearly is a smart cat. I loved that Charlie takes Diesel just about everywhere—on a leash, even! Talk about a good icebreaker when questioning folks about a murder! Charlie has a great support network from his family to his tenants to his friends, and I appreciated that he took their opinions into consideration.

I would consider reading another book by the author and in this series, although it isn’t at the top of my list. I liked getting to spend time with Charlie and Diesel and am curious to know how they got their start as amateur detectives.

To learn more about Miranda James (aka Dean James) and his books, please visit the author's website. You can also find the author on GoodreadsFacebook, and Diesel's Facebook Page.

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

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Weekly Mews: A Quiet Weekend & My February TBR 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 playing catch up with commenting and blog hopping, as well as preparing upcoming blog posts. My offline life has just been too busy to fit everything in. I know you understand how that goes. I hope you are all well.

What I Am Reading: I finished a couple books this week: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews, the third book in the Innkeeper Chronicles, and Susan Elia MacNeal's The Prime Minister's Secret Agent, the fourth book in the Maggie Hope series set during World War II. I enjoyed both immensely. They were the best in their respective series yet.

This weekend I am trying to get a little ahead in Les Misérables and War and Peace before beginning my next book. As today is the kick off of The One With a Twist phase of #COYER Winter Switch Challenge, for which I will be reading solely e-books, it seems the perfect time to start on my February TBR List winner. I also need to start The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez for my Going Postal book group.

What I Am Listening To: This week I finished listening to The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, narrated by Kirsten Potter. Now I know what all the fuss is about.

What I Am Watching: I finished the twelfth season of Supernatural. Dare I hope that the deaths at the end of the season are like all the others and not really the end? I sure hope so! Now I just have to wait for the current season to finish and be released on Netflix. I have also started watching the second season of Travelers, which I am trying to get my mind around a bit. Maybe I should have gone back and re-watched the first season. Mouse has gotten us into Annedroids, an Amazon Prime television show. I am not quite as taken with it as I was with Just Add Magic, but it's cute. Annedroids is about girl who lives in a junkyard and makes androids and her two neighborhood friends.

We are also watching the Winter Olympics. I enjoyed what I was able to catch of the opening ceremonies.

Off the Blog: It was another crazy week at work. I definitely feel like I have earned my weekend. Friday was Mouse's 100th day of school, and she got to present the project she had been working on the past two weeks. She was quite proud of the 100 heart pin board she put together along with the story she wrote about her great grandmother celebrating her 100th birthday last year. Mouse also got to dress up as a 100 year old, gray hair and all. She had a blast.

This weekend will be a relatively quiet one, thank goodness. We had our first cookie booth for the cookie season last weekend, but aren't scheduled for another one until next weekend. And we won't be running around preparing for something dance or school related. Maybe finally we can relax a little. After Karate.

What I Am Grateful For:  I have the best cat. She's been especially cuddly lately, and I am loving the extra affection. I am also grateful for blanket/pillow forts and Thin Mints.

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


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). 

Thank you for voting in my February TBR poll! I actually was thinking the results would be a little closer than they were. I hope to read all three books this month, but I will definitely be reading the winner first! I may not be able to resist reading the fifth book in the series as well though, so time will tell.

As you can see, Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop is the clear winner, with 51.4% of the vote (18 votes). I am very excited about finally diving into this one. I am not sure why I have been putting it off given how much I loved the first three books in the series.

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

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

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Her husband's almost home. ~ Opening of The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
William Morrow, 2018
Crime Fiction (Thriller); 448 pgs
Source: Review copy provided by publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review.

Doctor Anna Fox lives alone in Harlem, never venturing outside its walls. It is her safe haven. Anxiety and agoraphobia plague Anna, and so she has found ways to cope as best she can. Her food is delivered. Her basement tenant is a handyman, who helps her around the house when needed. Her physical therapist and psychiatrist meet her at her home. Hiding from the outside and her past, Anna finds comfort in medication and alcohol, and also in watching her neighbors through her windows. She knows their habits and many of their secrets.

When a new family moves in across the park, Anna’s safe but dysfunctional world is rocked. In a drunken haze, she witnesses a terrible crime through the window of the neighbor’s home. Did she really see what she thinks she saw? Or was it just a hallucination?

A.J. Finn takes readers into the mind of Dr. Anna Fox as she grapples with her own illness. The reader knows right from the start Anna is an unreliable narrator. And it had me questioning her take on everything at every turn. There were certain aspects of the novel I figured out right away while others came as a surprise. I liked the way Finn kept me guessing—and glued to the pages of the book. I just had to know. What was real? What was imagined? What was going to happen next?

As someone who experiences anxiety issues and with my background in psychology, I was especially drawn to Anna’s character and the portrayal of her mental illness. Anna herself is a child psychologist, which I thought was genius on the author’s part. It adds a more complex layer to Anna’s character and situation. Anna is very isolated, cut off from just about everyone. She has her online support group, as well as her tenant, physical therapist and psychiatrist, but, really, that’s it. Her fear of leaving her house is palatable. Maybe because I know something about panic attacks from personal experience, I felt her rising anxiety acutely several times throughout the novel.

The Woman in the Window has been described as Hitchcockian for good reason. Anna is a lover of Hitchcock’s films, and there is almost always one playing in the background. It adds to the atmosphere of the novel, which itself is very like a Hitchcock film.

It takes me a couple pages to fall into Anna’s narrative, but once I did, I was hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed The Woman in the Window, and hope you will too.

To learn more about A.J. Finn and his book, please visit the author on GoodreadsInstagram, and Twitter.

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

Monday, February 05, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest Which I Still Haven't Read

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

My Top Ten Tuesday is my Top Ten Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest Which I Still Haven’t Read. I did not start tracking when I began buying books until sometime in 2004, and even then I was not good about logging in the date. So, there are likely books that have been on my shelves for much longer. All these books survived several book weeding sessions--and so I definitely still want to read them. For the sake of today, I will go with the ones I have documented as the oldest by date. Note: I define TBR as To Be Read books I actually own and have on my shelves.  


Open House by Elizabeth Berg 
(purchased in 2004)


Pope Joan by Donna Wolfolk Cross
(purchased in 2004)


A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley #1) by Eizabeth George 
(purchased in 2004)


Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb 
(purchased in 2004)

Katwalk (Kat Colorado #1) by Karen Kijewski 
(purchased in 2004)


Through Wolf's Eyes (Firekeeper Saga #1) by Jane Lindskold 
(purchased in 2004)


The Color of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett 
(purchased in 2004)


Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray 
(purchased in 2004)


A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #1) by Deborah Crombie 
(purchased in 2005)


The Vampire Files, Volume 1 (Vampire Files #1-3) by P.N. Elrod 
(purchased in 2005)

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What book has been on your TBR pile the longest? 

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