Monday, April 30, 2018

April 2018 in Review

I thought March was busy, but April gave it a run for its money. Easter, Mouse's spring break, my mother's visit and my in-laws brief stopover. Mouse's postponed birthday celebration, my mom's surgery, Disneyland, Girl Scouts, Wizard of Oz rehearsals, dance classes and work. There was also sickness--again. We all caught colds in April, not to mention the hell called allergies. We are adopting a new kitten who will be coming home with us this next month, once she's a bit older. We have made frequent visits to see with her and will likely continue doing so until she comes home.

Birthday Cake (take 2) 

Wizard of Oz Rehearsal

Tom Sawyer's Island at Disneyland - Trapped in the Pirate's trap!

 Mouse & Friends on the Teacups at Disneyland

 Pixar Parade at Disneyland

Painting a Turtle with her Girl Scout Troop

 New addition to our family (3 1/2 weeks old)

Our new baby at 4 1/2 weeks

My beauty

April was not the best reading month. You will notice that I was not able to finish April's TBR poll winner, Hazel Gaynor's The Girl From the Savoy, by the end of the month. I got a late start on it, but am enjoying it quite a bit.

Here is what I read in April:
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Dawn of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson
  • Demons of Flame Sea by Jean Johnson
  • The Good Luck Sister by Jill Shalvis
A Wrinkle in Time was a re-read for me, although it had been many years since I last read it. My family and I saw the movie a couple weeks after I finished reading the book. It was a bit different, as expected, but we all enjoyed it. The Good Luck Sister was a lot of fun to read, but I found the Flame Sea novels to be just okay reads.

Non-Book Review Posts in April:
Challenge & Read-Along Updates:

What's In A Name Reading Challenge ~ No new progress to report. I am still at having just read one book for this one. I guess it is good there are only six titles, I have to read. I really need to make more of an effort with this one. 

The Grand World of Books Reviews Bingo ~ This month I was able to cross of a book made into a movie--A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

Unruly Reader Bingo ~ I have the Outsider category covered this month with Dawn of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson. Even among the elves with whom he has traveled, he is an outsider--not one of them. He is human, but not exactly.

2018 Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge ~ I debated whether to include the Jean Johnson books, Dawn of the Flame Sea and Demons of the Flame Sea, in my count for this challenge, but I think it they qualify. Even not counting the elves who are gifted at magic, the shaman like humans are able to manipulate fire and water to meet their needs as well. This brings my total for this challenge to five.

2018 Discussion Post Challenge ~ I combined this month's discussion post with the Blog All About It Challenge in which I discuss Cover Attraction.

2018 Blog All About It Challenge ~ April's topic is art, which I tied into a discussion titled Cover Attraction.

Les Misérables Read-Along ~  I am loving this book! Jean Valjean and Cosette are making their way in Paris, trying to stay a step ahead of Inspector Javert. He and Cosette have taken refuge at the Bernardine Convent of the Perpetual Adoration.

War and Peace Read-Along ~ While not quite as captivated as my other year long read of the year, War and Peace is holding its own nowadays. The war scenes can be quite intense, and the drama on the home front just as much so. I feel a bit sorry for Pierre (I don't much care for his wife at the moment) and both rejoiced in Prince Andrei homecoming and was devastated by what he came home to at the same time. And poor Denisov, who was only trying to feed his troops, cannot now catch a break . . . 

How did your April shape up reading wise? What was your favorite book you read in April?

© 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, April 29, 2018

Blog All About It & Discussion: Cover Attraction

This is not the first time I have talked about cover art on my blog, nor will it likely be the last. As book lovers, many of us will be the first to admit that we do judge books by their covers. While my decision to buy or read a book is not generally based on the cover alone,  the reality is that I am more likely to take a closer look at a book if I find the cover art appealing. So, first impressions do matter.

A beautiful cover. 

It is said beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What might catch my eye, might turn up your nose. That being said, certain covers are sure to grab my attention. I admit I am kind of all over the place in what I find attractive in a cover. I love partial portraits, forest scenes, landscapes, water related images including rain, cats, birds, flowers . . . and the list could go on forever.

The iconic cover.

It is pretty clear what type of book I am going to be reading by the look of certain covers. I may blush at the cover with a half naked man with a wolf over his shoulder on the front, but I know that if I am in the mood for a paranormal romance, that might be a good choice. 

I am especially drawn to cozy mystery covers that feature cats or dogs (don't most of them?) and/or books. And what of those gorgeous historical fiction covers with the woman or man dressed in period style clothes? That hat may be a dead give away. The outline of a dead body on the cover or a knife dripping in blood? I love a good mystery and may just have to take a closer look at a book with a cover like that. 


Layout, font and size of a title and the author's name can also attract me to a book. Sometimes simple is best. And there are quite a few covers that incorporate the title in the artwork in a creative and appealing way. 


Colors do matter. I am not a huge fan of single bold colors on covers like neon green or bright pink. I do tend to like muted darker colors, especially blues and greens and purples. Sometimes it is simply the contrast in the colors that appeals to me.

Illustrations versus photographs.

I have no talent when it comes to drawing or painting, much unlike my daughter and husband. I can take a decent photograph--but only because I have learned to take many at a time and hope at least one or two comes out well. I admire artists who have a gift with a pen, brush or camera. Some amazing covers have been created from their work.

These are just some of the ways a cover might catch my attention. Many of these covers could fit into any of the categories I mention, as you can see. Do any of these covers tempt you to take a closer look? 
  • What qualities do you find appealing in a book cover? 
  • What book covers do you find yourself attracted to?
  •  Do you have a favorite? 

© 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.