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.

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Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

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?

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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.


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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!  

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Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Do you 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.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: Guilt by Association/Final Exam/The Huntress



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!


Guilt by Association  (Rachel Knight, #1) by Marcia Clark (Muholland Books, 2011)
When Deputy District Attorney Rachel Knight's journey home is interrupted by screaming sirens, she decides to follow them. But what she finds when she arrives at a sleazy LA motel shatters her world: her trusted colleague Jake lies dead beside the body of a teenage male prostitute. 
The police say murder/suicide. Rachel's gut says different. Her search for proof will take her through the dark and tangled city, from its wealthy suburbs to its violent heart. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this one: I was very hesitant about adding this one to my TBR pile given Marcia Clark's notoriety, however, after fellow bloggers continually sang its praises, I decided to get myself a copy. I just haven't managed to read it yet. 


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?

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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.


Final Exam (Witch City Mystery #8) by Carol J. Perry
Release Date: February 26, 2019 by Kensington Publishing
A cold case update in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

Life at the house on Winter Street is abuzz with preparations for Aunt Ibby's 45th high school reunion, and Lee Barrett is happy to pitch in, tracking down addresses and licking envelopes. But as a field reporter for Salem's WICH-TV, her priority is to be on top of the town's latest news before for anyone else.

When the local police dredge up a vintage sports car containing human remains, Lee is thrilled to be the first reporter on the scene. Once she learns the car is connected to the cold case her boyfriend Pete happens to be investigating, her powers of investigation are quickly alerted. But it's her Aunt Libby's emotional reaction to Lee's TV report that puts her on the case. With the help of O'Ryan, her psychic feline sidekick, she'll have to unravel a tangled past of secrets and promises to stop a killer from making history again.
 [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I discovered this series last year, and really enjoyed my time in Salem with Lee and her Aunt Ibby. And of course, O'Ryan. My favorite cozies are mysteries with a bit of the paranormal. This sounds right up my alley. 


The Huntress by Kate Quinn
Release Date: February 26, 2019 by William Morrow
From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.

British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I have long been interested in books set around and during the World Wars, and this one in particular appeals to me because of the Nazi Hunter premise and the Night Witches connection. Doesn't it sound good?


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


© 2019, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

My Bookish Thoughts: Educated by Tara Westover

I'm standing on the red railway car that sits abandoned next to the barn. ~ Opening of Educated 


Educated by Tara Westover
Random House, 2018
Nonfiction (Memoir); 334 pgs

I have such admiration for Tara Westover and all that she had to overcome—and likely still is dealing with. Raised by survivalist parents who feared the government and were preparing for the end of the world as we know it, Tara’s education came through limited homeschooling. Most of what she learned growing up was through helping her mother, a midwife and healer, or working with her father in the junkyard. The family did not believe in hospitals or modern medicine, and so even with major injuries caused by fire, car accidents, or what have you, the rule was the family had to be treated at home by Tara’s mother.

Despite her father’s disdain for the established education system, Tara set her mind on attending college at the urging of one of her older brothers. She taught herself math and grammar, and studied hard so she could pass the ACT test. At seventeen, she stepped onto the Brigham Young University campus for the first time. It was a culture shock, and Tara struggled to fit in. Her classmates thought she was mocking the Holocaust when she said she had never heard of it. The truth was, she hadn’t. She knew slavery had existed, but not the reality of it. She had not heard of the Civil Rights Movement. Her eyes were suddenly opened wide to just what she did not know.

Tara struggled with her identity as one can expect. She came to see the world she was raised in, including her parents, in a very different light. She loved them fiercely, but began to see cracks in their thinking and way of life that she once had accepted as normal and right before. I appreciated that Tara does not gloss over what she has been through, both the bad and good. I liked that she is honest in her divided feelings about her family and the world that has opened up for her. I cannot imagine it was easy for her any step of the way, even now.

I never doubted Tara’s parents’ love for her, even if I didn’t always agree with the choices they made. I enjoyed reading about Tara’s experiences on stage and can definitely see the allure of the mountains where she was raised. I felt for Tara as she grew apart from her family and her strong desire to have that familial connection when it seemed impossible it could still exist.

It was painful to read some parts of the book, particularly about her brother, who, although it is never said, I wondered if he too was mentally ill like her father. I was scared to death for Tara, and, honestly, I am scared to death still for her brother’s family. I really hope that someone has stepped in to intervene. Domestic violence and child abuse is no joke, and I worry someone will end up dead.

Kudos to the author for using footnotes to document discrepancies in the memories of certain events. It’s hard not to read memoirs with a grain of salt given the two or three people who have outright falsified their stories, and so Westover including those added notes only adds to the validity of her story—and her efforts to get it as right as she could.

Although our experiences are completely different, I found I could relate to some of Tara’s struggles. I think many of us can. Whether it be struggling to fit in, living with a parent with a mental illness, reconciling our past with our present, or learning to accept and trust in oneself.

From a poor girl with little to no education to earning a doctorate at Cambridge University, a lot can be said for the strength and perseverance of the author. She is both intelligent and extremely resourceful. Tara was also very lucky given her circumstances that she had the support and guidance she did along the way, sometimes from surprising sources. People believed in her even when she did not believe in herself, and that played a key role in the direction her life took. Educated is an inspiring book.


Tara Westover is an American author. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She spent her days working in her father's junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first encounter with education, she pursued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014.

Educated is her first book.

For more information about the author and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Twitter.

© 2019, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Sunday Mews: January Wrap Up and February 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.  




New to My Shelves: 

I did not have much luck during my last visit to Barnes and Noble, but the gift cards I received for Christmas were burning a hole in my pocket. I ended up ordering three books that were lingering on my wish list:

Moriarity by Annelie Wendeberg
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liz Mundy
Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson


And I could not pass up a recent Amazon sale for Goodreads award winners, picking up copies of:


Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Roa



Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien






Rosewater (The Wormwood Trilogy Book 1) by Tade Thompson


What I Am Reading: This winter/spring I am participating in a read-along of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. I am behind, I am afraid, but will be catching up shortly. I am also reading  a domestic thriller, Annie Ward's Beautiful Bad, which I just started.

What I Am Watching: I was able to finish watching the available episodes of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. It's a definite twist on the teenage witch from my younger years, but I quite like the new, darker version. I also caught the third season of the science fiction show, The Travelers. Movie wise, I watched Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, which felt like it should have been based on a children's book. I was hoping Mouse would have been more interested in it because it seemed like the type of movie she would enjoy, but her attention was elsewhere for most of it. It was not anything fancy, if a little silly. It still made me tear up at the end.  Just Add Magic has a new season out, and so Mouse and I got started on that one this past week. It is a show we both enjoy.

Off the Blog: January found Mouse and I sick for a good part of the month. We both ended up missing a few days of school/work as a result, and are still fighting the lingering cough and congestion. Girl Scout Cookie Season is now officially underway, and Mouse is preparing for next month's Greatest Showman auditions. My mom's hip replacement surgery went without a hitch, and she is doing well. Our Christmas tree is still up. At least it is bare, I suppose. Nina appreciates that we have left it up. She gets her daily exercise in climbing up to the top and down again frequently.


Here is what I finished reading in January:
  • This Side of Murder (Verity Kent, #1) by Anna Lee Huber
  • April Fools' Fiasco (A to Z Mysteries, #9) by Ron Roy 
  • The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
  • Judy Moody Girl Detective (Judy Moody, #9) by Megan McDonald
I was hoping to finish my January TBR poll winner in January, but it did not quite work out that way. I was not online much, especially the second half of the month hence why I did not post much. I hope to be more present in February. I have missed catching up on your news and seeing what you all are reading.


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

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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). 




I was thinking the other day that I have not kept up with my desire to read more science fiction as of late, and these three titles have been calling to me in particular. I hope you will help me decide which one I should read next.


Nightchaser (Endeavor, #1) by Amanda Bouchet
Tess Bailey: the galaxy's Most Wanted. Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who'll take them dead or alive. Tess's best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear...

Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm...and that special something that makes you want to kick him. With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don't know about each other might get them killed...unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it's too late.
[Goodreads Summary]







Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall
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]


Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #1) by Jim C. Hines
When the Krakau came to Earth, they planned to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species.

This would have worked out better for all involved if they hadn’t arrived after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn their ships around and go home. After all, it’s hard to establish diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.

Their second impulse was to try to fix us.

A century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack by an alien race wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her assortment of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship, but flying the damn thing is another matter. As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance.

A conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago… [Goodreads Summary]




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


© 2019, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Six Degrees of Separation: From The Fight Club to Exit Strategy


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! 


This month’s lead in book is Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. I have seen mention of the movie so often that I am not sure if I am just remembering clips from trailers or if I have actually seen the movie myself. My husband says I have, and so I will take his word for it. 


Regardless, I know I have never read the book. That is partly because I read Chuck Palahniuk's Diary in which a wife tries to figure out the meaning behind the hidden messages her comatose husband has left for her. While I wanted to like it and could appreciate Palahniuk’s writing, I was left disappointed in the book itself.


Perhaps one of the most famous books published in diary form is The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank. I read her book as a child and connected with Anne, the young Jewish girl hiding in the attic during the Holocaust, just as many other girls have over the years.


And that brings to mind Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo, which is comprised of journal entries written by the author, Zlata Filipović, during the war in Sarajevo. It offers a glimpse of the horrors of war, the fears of a child and her family, as well as a thread of hope.


Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo is a fictional account of the war in Sarajevo during the 1990's. Of all the story lines in Galloway's novel (the lonely baker, the father out to provide for his family, the sniper, and the cellist), I was most drawn to that of Arrow, the young female sniper, a former university student, once with dreams and hopes of her own--for whom killing is now second nature.


Arrow's character brings to mind that of Tat'yana, a poet and academic, turned soldier who became one of the top Soviet snipers during World War II in Beautiful Assassin by Michael C.White. While women soldiers were not new to the Soviet Union during that time period, their path was still difficult. Many men still did not believe women had a place on the battlefield, and Tat'yana had to prove herself time and time again.


It isn't always easy being one of the few women in a traditionally male role, as Nadia Stafford can attest to. Like Tat'yana and Arrow, she has quite the kill list. Nadia is a contract killer who readers are introduced to in Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong. Nadia is a killer with a conscience, but not one you would want to cross.

This week's chain was much more straight forward for me than previous ones I have taken part in. With the exception of Fight Club, I have read all of these titles. I cannot wait to see the direction others go with their Six Degrees of Separation!

Have you read any of these titles? What sort of chain do you think you would put together?


Next month (March 2, 2019), the starting book will be The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper. I hope you will play along!

© 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.