Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: The Diving Pool by Yōko Ogawa

It's always warm here: I feel as though I've been swallowed by a huge animal. ~ Opening of The Diving Pool



The Diving Pool: Three Novellas  by Yōko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder
Picador, 2008 (originally published 1990)
Fiction (Short Stories); 164 pgs

This was my first experience reading this author. I have had this little slip of a book sitting on my shelf for quite a while now, but am just now getting to it. I have mixed feelings about each of the stories. The first with the same title as the collection, The Diving Pool, about a girl with a crush on her foster brother, took me by surprise in the cruelty of the main character. She is the only child to parents who run the Light House, an orphanage. She has seen children come and go from the home, never quite feeling the sense of family life—or that of a home—she wishes she could have. Something normal. She is lonely and bitter. And at times jealous. Jun, the boy she has a crush on, has lived at the Light House for a number of years, the two growing up together in a sense. As Aya secretly watches Jun, sneaking into the pool where he dives every day, observing him at home and plotting to run into him at various times where they can be alone, she does not realize that Jun is also aware of her. He sees how she treats the orphan toddler and knows she visits the pool where he dives. I was satisfied with the way this story was wrapped up, but overall found it disturbing and at times difficult to stomach.

The second story titled Pregnancy Diary was interesting to say the least. A unmarried woman is living with her sister and her husband. She keeps a diary of her sister’s pregnancy, noting the moment the pregnancy was announced to her sister’s behavior and habits during the pregnancy. The woman records her own feelings of discontent and even disgust and eventual retaliation. The story takes a dark turn, just as the first one did, and the reader cannot help but wonder what is real and what isn’t. Not to mention what it is behind the disturbing thoughts and actions of the narrator.

The final story in this trilogy of novellas, Dormitory, is about a woman waiting for word from her husband about their pending move out of the country. She is feeling restless and lonely when approached by a young cousin setting off to college. He needs a place to stay, and she recommends the old dormitory in which she had once stayed. When she first takes her cousin to meet the landlord of the building, I could not help but feel sorry for the landlord. Armless and with one-leg, he has managed to get along on his own for many years, and yet it is clear he is lonely and his health his beginning to fail. The young wife returns to the dormitory under the guise of wanting to visit her cousin (who is never there), and often falls into conversation with the landlord. He tells her the story of a missing student, the subsequent police investigation, and the decrease in interest in his dormitory by students that followed. The story then takes a weird turn, which I have come to expect from Ogawa. Would this turn into a mystery to be solved or a horror story? I wasn’t sure. The ending was a surprise, and I am still not sure what to make of it. Was this a story of a woman’s descent into insanity or was it more of a horror story, the events happening just as she narrates to the reader?

I imagine each reader could take something different away from these three stories. There is a lot left open for interpretation. When all is said and done, my favorite is probably the first story, even despite how disturbed I was by it, only because I seemed to have a better handle on what that story was about. Did I like this collection? I am not sure I can say yes. Not exactly. These three stories will definitely stay with me awhile though. Haunting, indeed.

For more information about the author and her books, visit her author page on Goodreads.

© 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.

My October TBR List Poll 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). 



(last night)

I do not think I have ever had such a close race between all three titles. When I went to close the poll last night, I discovered I had a three way tie. I sent out a tweet asking for help in breaking it--only for it to land in another three way tie! While I would love to read all three books this month, I know that is not realistic. So, I turned to my daughter this morning. She examined the covers, considered the titles, and chose the ultimate winner (because of the lion, she told me).
(this morning after my daughter's vote)

I may still try to read all three. We'll see . . .

The winner is: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Thank you to all who took the time to vote! 


© 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, October 09, 2018

Waiting to Read Wednesday (#18)



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!


U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone #21) by Sue Grafton (Putnam, 2009)
It's April 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office catching up on paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy a beer, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. More than two decades ago, a four-year-old girl disappeared, and a recent newspaper story about her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial and could identify the killers if he saw them again. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the grave and finding the men. It's way more than a long shot, but he's persistent and willing to pay cash up front. Reluctantly, Kinsey agrees to give him one day of her time.

But it isn't long before she discovers Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his story true, or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

Moving between the 1980s and the 1960s, and changing points of view as Kinsey pursues witnesses whose accounts often clash, Grafton builds multiple subplots and memorable characters. Gradually we see how everything connects in this thriller. And as always, at the heart of her fiction is Kinsey Millhone, a sharp-tongued, observant loner who never forgets that under the thin veneer of civility is a roiling dark side to the soul. [
Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: Sue Grafton's series is one of my favorite all-time mystery series, but I have not yet managed to read all the books in the series. Yet. This is next up. I just need to make time for it.

*

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.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
Date of Release: October 23, 2018 by William Morrow
A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness

Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh.

In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.

Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: Mostly because Sarah McCoy's name is on this one. I have yet to read a book by her I have not liked. Although I haven't yet read Anne of Green Gables, this novel sounds good on its own.


Well-Read Black Girls edited by Glory Edim
Release Date: October 30, 2018 by Ballantine Books
An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.  
Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging can stick with readers the rest of their lives--but it doesn't come around as frequently for all of us. In this timely anthology, "well-read black girl" Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black female writers and creative voices to shine a light on how we search for ourselves in literature, and how important it is that everyone--no matter their gender, race, religion, or abilities--can find themselves there. Whether it's learning about the complexities of femalehood from Their Eyes Were Watching God, seeing a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, each essay reminds us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her incredible book-club-turned-online-community Well-Read Black Girl, in this book, Edim has created a space where black women's writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world, and ourselves.

Contributors include: Jesmyn Ward (
Sing Unburied Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Zinzi Clemmons (What We Lose), N. K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Nicole Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and more.  [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: One of my favorite quotes about reading is about how a reader can find pieces of themselves scattered in the books we read. I can't remember who said it. It is probably from some random meme on Facebook or Pinterest. Regardless, it is true. And unfortunately, not everyone is able to see themselves as clearly in books as others of us. Whether it be the color of our skin, gender or sexual identity, religion or abilities, among other things. I am so excited about this book, and I am looking forward to reading each of these amazing women's essays.


Do any of these books appeal to you? Have you read them?


© 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, October 08, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

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


This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is the Longest Books I’ve Ever Read, at least according to Goodreads. Whether I read a longer book before I began keeping track, I cannot say. By the end of the year, I hope to add two more books to this list, Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.


The Stand by Stephen King (1,439 pgs)





Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke (1,006 pgs)




The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (973 pgs)



The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (944 pgs)




I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb (897 pgs)




A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (848 pgs)




The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald (848 pgs)





Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (838 pgs)





Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (768 pgs)




Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (759 pgs)


What are some the longest  books you have read? 



© 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, October 07, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang

The baby was small. ~ Opening of The Impossible Girl


The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang
Lake Union Publishing, 2018
Fiction (Historical); 364 pgs
Source: NetGalley for TLC Tour

I admit I have been shying away from doing book tours as of late, but when I was offered the chance to read and review this one, I jumped right on it. I love historical fiction and throw in a woman in an unconventional role, and I cannot resist. I knew resurrectionists existed, but did not know much about the field or their role in society. Lydia Kang certainly whet my appetite for wanting to know more. I especially like it when historical fiction novels have strands of truth running through them--and it's clear the author did a lot of research on the time period her novel is set in, Manhattan, 1850. 

I was taken by Cora Lee's confidence and double life immediately. By day she is a lady and by night a rough and tumble man. To the outside world, she is Cora and her twin brother Jacob. She's mastered the two roles she plays so well that they each have their own distinct personalities. Having spent a good part of her life having to pretend to be a boy in order to keep her true identity hidden, it is no wonder she is so well able to fool those around her. Diagnosed at birth with having two hearts, Cora has spent her life protecting her secret. Grave robbers like herself and those, particularly anatomists, who buy the bodies she procures would pay a pretty penny for a woman with two hearts after all.

When a young medical student, Theodore Flint, steps in her path, Cora wants nothing to do with him. He takes a shine to the unusual woman though, struck by her beauty, wit and no nonsense attitude. Not to mention he has heard she, her brother and their team are the best resurrectionists around--and he wants to learn the trade.

Cora has long had an agreement with several doctors in the city that upon the deaths of certain individuals with special health conditions, she will be informed first so that she can collect their bodies. Whether for research or spectacle, these bodies are a hot commodity. Just as hers would be if she were to end up dead. When some of these people seem to be turning up murdered, Cora comes to realize she might be next. Does someone know her secret? She no longer trusts those around her, not even those who claim to be on her side.

Lydia Kang sets the stage for the novel quite well, wrapping it in history, not only capturing the time period in terms of the setting, questionable and medical advances, roles and treatment of women, and the profitability of the strange and the odd. I loved every minute of this deliciously dark novel. I was drawn to both the mystery and the romance, as well as Cora's personal history and relationship--or lack there of--with her biological family. I was hopeful I would like this novel, and I came away loving it--every suspenseful twist and bit of drama.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Lydia

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


I hope you will check out what others had to say about The Impossible Girl 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.





© 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, October 06, 2018

Sunday Mews: Wrapping Up September & My October TBR List Poll

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. 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.  



Oh how I love October! We have been able to open our windows in the evenings now, and people are starting to put out their fall and Halloween decorations. My daughter's been begging us to put up ours. I guess we should get a start on it! Wouldn't you know it, I hurt my arm early last week; my dominate arm, at that. After a week of being in pain, I finally went to the doctor. Fortunately, it is just as I suspected, a strained, muscle, but, boy, does it ever hurt! As a result, my online presence has been spotty this past week and likely will be for another week or so.


New to My Shelves in September: 

E-Book Purchases:

Zig Zag Girl (Magic Men Mysteries, #1) by Elly Griffiths
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The Ripper's Shadow (Victorian Mystery, #1) by Laura Joh Rowland
A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
Bound (A Doyle Witch Mystery, #1) by Kirsten Weiss (free)
Ground (A Doyle Witch Mystery, #2) by Kirsten Weiss
Gone With the Ghost (Murder by Design, #1) by Erin McCarthy (free)
Murder, Mayhem and Mama by Christie Craig (free)
The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker (free)
Wandfasted (Black Witch Chronicles, (0.5) by Laurie Forest

My husband's most recent purchase (he has this manga series in Japanese and is so excited that it is now coming out in English so he can read it):

Dragon Half  (Volume 2) by Ryūsuke Mita

My Birthday Books:

 The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish
City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

 Josie: A story of Faith and Survival by Susan Lowe and Diane-Iverson 
(personalized/autographed- gift from my mom)

Someone trying to steal my birthday candy!


What I Am Reading: I am reading The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo at the moment, and enjoying it. I did sneak in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving first since Palombo's novel is a re-telling of that original short story.

What I Am Watching: Our first month without cable went by without a hitch. I was able to finish the 13th season of Supernatural, and I watched the first season of Jack Ryan, which I really enjoyed. My daughter got me hooked on Mako Mermaids, an Australian show about teenage mermaids. I binge watched The Innocents, a Netflix original, about two teens who run away together and discover one of them is a shapeshifter. I was not sure I would like it at first, but I soon found myself invested in the characters. I enjoyed it, but did not love it. I recently started Netflix's Maniacs. The jury is still out.

Off the Blog: September was a full month. I celebrated my birthday, and Nutcracker rehearsals got underway. Mouse officially started with her new Girl Scout Troop. We spent the last day of September on a Girl Scout outing, enjoying the OC Children's Book Festival, which I will talk more about in a future post. My boss went on vacation for three weeks and left me and another colleague in charge. We had a few bumps, but overall it went well. I am just so glad she was back this week! September was a rough month at work as it was.

Does anyone else hate fundraisers as much as I do? I know there's a need for them (and I am very grateful for what we are able to earn--it really helps), but I hate asking people to buy things or for money. Ugh. Mouse has three going on right now: school, dance and Girl Scouts.

Here is what I finished reading in September:
  • The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang
  • Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
  • Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
September was another slow reading month for me. I think I reached a really long portion of War and Peace because I spent a lot of time trying to stay on top of my reading of that. My reading of Les Miserables is still going well. The chapters with that one mostly fly by. Remind me to never do two one-year long read-alongs at the same time again, please. Of the books I finished, I enjoyed them all very much.

I was on top of my blogging in September, and while I wasn't always quick about responding to comments, I feel like I managed pretty well, even with everything going on (I am behind already this month, however, thanks to my arm). I keep hoping I can get ahead in my blogging by more than a week, but so far it hasn't happened. This past month I introduced one new feature (Poetry Corner) and a twist to an old one (Mouse's Corner), both of which I would like to make more regular features on my blog. 

This Past September In Reading Mews:

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

*

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

My TBR List is a meme hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st 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). 




As I was deciding what books to include in this month's TBR List Poll, I kept coming back to my last Top Ten Tuesday post featuring books by my favorite authors that I still haven’t read. Here are three books I have had on my shelf for quite some time and am kicking myself for not yet reading. All of these are a part of series I have already begun reading. Which do you think I should read next?


Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, # 5) by Ilona Andrews
Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name. Plus, many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. But it turns out that this is not an isolated incident. Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—and fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price… [Goodreads Summary]


River Marked (Mercy Thompson, # 6) by Patricia Briggs
Being a different breed of shapeshifter-a walker-Mercy Thompson can see ghosts, but the spirit of her long-gone father has never visited her. Until now, on her honeymoon with the Alpha werewolf Adam. An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-and innocent people are dying. As other walkers make their presence known to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil... [Goodreads Summary]








The Good, The Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows, #2) by Kim Harrison
It's a tough life for witch Rachel Morgan, sexy, independent bounty hunter, prowling the darkest shadows of downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night.

She can handle the leather-clad vamps and even tangle with a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is definitely pressing the limits.

Confronting an ancient, implacable evil is more than just child's play -- and this time, Rachel will be lucky to escape with her very soul. [Goodreads Summary]





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

Friday, October 05, 2018

Six Degrees of Separation: From the Outsiders to White Oleander


Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best in which our lovely host chooses a book and participants take it from there: creating a chain of books, each connected to the one before. Seeing where we end up is half the fun! 

I had such fun putting this chain together last month that I had to do it again. This month begins with The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I read The Outsiders when I was a young teenager and fell in love with the characters--and the movie. I went on to read as many of S.E. Hinton's books as I could get my hands on. Considered a classic today, The Outsiders is often required reading in schools. While somewhat dated, the underlying themes in the book still apply to our society today in many respects.


Gangs and violence play a role in Angie Thomas's poignant novel The Hate U Give. Like S.E. Hinton hoped to do with her novel, Angie Thomas gives a voice to those who have too long been voiceless. The Hate U Give tackles racism and police violence, two topics that are very relevant today. 

A theme that runs through The Hate U Give is that of speaking out against injustice. It is something the main character Starr struggles with, and no wonder given the pressures coming at her from all directions, not to mention the fear she feels. Another character who struggles to find her voice in the midst of adversity is high school student Melinda, who was sexually assaulted at a party. Shame, guilt and the judgement of her peers cause her to turn inward, afraid to speak out. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson may have been written nearly 20 years ago, but it could have been written today.


Another book taking on the subject of sexual assault is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. In this case, the main character, Amir, who was just a child at the time, witnesses the crime and does nothing. It weighs heavily on him. The Kite Runner centers around the themes of guilt, redemption and atonement set during tumultuous times, spanning the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban to the flight of refugees from the country, seeking safety and a better life.


Immigrants face many challenges when moving to another country, such as clashing cultures and conflicts of assimilation among other things. Like Amir and his father immigrated to the United States in The Kite Runner, so did Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli in The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.


The focus of Jhumpa Lahiri's novel is, in part, about the American born Gogol's relationship with his immigrant parents, Ashoke and Ashima. Similarly, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, focuses on the relationships of four Chinese born mothers and their American born daughters. Old traditions war with new ones and the gap between generations has never seemed so large as for these women.


Although a very different type of book, White Oleander by Janet Fitch also delves into the relationship of a mother and daughter, that of Ingrid and Astrid. In this gut-wrenching novel, Astrid longs to be loved and find acceptance, as she moves from foster home to foster home while her mother serves time in prison for murder.


Each of these books are ones that made a big impression on me even long after I read them. They all touch on heavy subject matter in one way or another. Would you be surprised to know every book in this chain was at one time challenged or banned?

Have you read any of these? Which six books would you choose to link to The Outsiders?


[Next month (November 3, 2018), we’ll begin with Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.]


© 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, October 02, 2018

Waiting to Read Wednesday (#17)



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!


When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
(Knopf, 2002)
On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family's possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert.

In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism.
When the Emperor Was Divine is a work of enormous power that makes a shameful episode of our history as immediate as today's headlines. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: This is a novel of a part of American history that must not be forgotten. It sounds like an emotional and poignant novel, and one I must read.


What's a Ghoul to Do? (Ghost Hunter Mystery #1) by Victoria Laurie
(Berkley, 2007)
M.J., her partner Gilley, and their client, the wealthy, de-lish Dr. Steven Sable, are at his family's lodge, where his grandfather allegedly jumped to his death from the roof-although Sable says it was foul play. But the patriarch's isn't the only ghost around. The place is lousy with souls, all with something to get off their ghoulish chests. Now M.J. will have to to quell the clamor-and listen for a voice with the answers... [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: I do not know much about this series other than it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. A ghost hunter cozy? Sounds perfect for this upcoming Halloween, doesn't it?






*

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


The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Release Date: October 16, 2018 by Simon Schuster
Susan Orlean, hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post and the acclaimed bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—our libraries.

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie.” The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in today’s climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books—and that they are needed now more than ever.

Filled with heart, passion, and unforgettable characters, The Library Book is classic Susan Orlean, and an homage to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country and culture. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: A book that is sure to appeal to a book lover--and especially the library lover. 


Melmoth by Sarah Perry
Release Date: October 16, 2018 by Harper Collins
For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now, in Sarah Perry’s breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.

It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy.

But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . . [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: I have a copy of The Essex Serpent sitting on my shelf to read, but haven't yet read it. I cannot help but add this one to my wish list, however. The premise fascinates me--a mysterious letter and an old legend are sure signs that trouble is to come.


Do any of these books appeal to you? Have you read them?

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