Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: A Natural History of Dragons, A Killer Edition, Careful What You Wish For, & The Ventriloquists



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!

A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) by Marie Brennan (2013)

Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age.

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one's life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: Why because it features dragons! And because I have heard wonderful things about this series.

Have you read this one? What did you think? If not, does it sound like something you would like? 


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. And this week's selections definitely fit that bill!


A Killer Edition (Booktown Mystery, #13) by Lorna Barrett
Release Date: August 13, 2019 by Berkley
Murder's in the mix for mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Tricia Miles, in the latest entry to Lorna Barret's New York Times bestselling Booktown series.

With her assistant, Pixie, picking up more responsibility around the shop, Tricia Miles suddenly has a lot more time on her hands. Tricia decides to join the local animal-rescue board and enter the Great Stoneham Bake-Off, but neither pans out as smoothly as she’d hoped.

Balancing a bake-off that’s heating up with a frosty reception from the board, Tricia stops by Joyce Whitman’s romance bookstore looking for a book to get her fired up. She stumbles on something hot, but it’s an argument between Joyce and her neighbor Vera Osborn instead of a steamy read. When Vera turns up dead in Joyce’s garden hours later, Tricia has to wonder—could Joyce be the killer? Or is the culprit still lurking in town?

One thing is for sure, someone in Stoneham is stirring up something more sinister than sweet. Tricia is determined to win the cutthroat cooking contest, but first she will have to make sure no one else is in danger of getting burned... [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I have long wanted to give this series a try. Imagine a town full of bookstores?! I have heard good things about this cozy series, and look forward to giving it a try.


Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron
Release Date: August 6, 2019 by William Morrow
From the New York Times bestselling author of There Was an Old Woman comes a novel about a professional organizer with a deadly problem she may not be able to clean up.

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.

Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.

Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.

But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.  [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: Doesn't this sound intriguing? With the current trend in decluttering, this sounds like a great set-up for a thriller, especially with the protagonist and her husband being such opposites.


The Ventriloquists by E.R. Ramzipoor
Release Date: August 27, 2019 by Park Row
In this triumphant debut inspired by true events, a ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters risk everything for an elaborate scheme to undermine the Reich.

Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene’s entire world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network publishing dissident underground newspapers.

Aubrion’s unbridled creativity and linguistic genius attract the attention of August Wolff, a high-ranking Nazi official tasked with swaying public opinion against the Allies. Wolff captures Aubrion and his comrades and gives them an impossible choice: use the newspaper to paint the Allies as monsters, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea: they will pretend to do the Nazis’ bidding, but instead they will publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin—giving power back to the Belgians by daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.

The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.

Told with dazzling scope, taut prose and devastating emotion, The Ventriloquists illuminates the extraordinary acts of courage by ordinary people forgotten by history—unlikely heroes who went to extreme lengths to orchestrate the most stunning feat of journalism in modern history.  [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: This one had me at "ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters."  Based on true events I am not too familiar with, I am eager to read this World War II novel.


Do any of these books appeal to you? What upcoming books are you looking forward 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.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Weekly Mews: What I Have Been Reading, What I am Reading Now & What I Will Be Reading Next

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by 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 The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants discuss what they are reading and other bookish topics. In addition, I am linking to Stacking the Shelves hosted by 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 Kathryn of The Book Date It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where readers share what they have been reading throughout the week.

 I had every intention of posting Friday night, but we ended up going out with friends for dinner after dance classes, and Saturday was a full day with dress rehearsals for both The Greatest Showman and Don Quixote. This is the first chance I have had to get on the computer (and put my feet up!). We will likely be running a couple errands Sunday to make sure we have everything we need for the performance weekend. We are in countdown mode now.

My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this past week. It was a quiet affair. And work has been uneventful for the most part--always a plus! The best part is the air conditioning vent near my desk at work has finally been fixed and is blowing cold air instead of hot air. Just in time for the triple digit temperatures we are enjoying.

Tell me what you have been up to! 


What I Am Watching: I did not watch much of anything this past week, other than a couple more episodes of Legacies on Netflix. There are a couple of movies out in the theater I know we want to see, but I am not sure we will be able to swing it with our current schedules.


What I Am Listening To: I am still in the same place I was last week in Marie Lu's Warcross. It was just not a week for listening, I am afraid.  I am hoping I can sneak in some listening time soon though. I want to get back to the story!


What I Am Reading: I have made progress in The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda. It got off to a slow start, but I am enjoying it more now. Mouse and I recently read another A to Z Mystery by Ron Roy, The Vampire's Vacation, which was cute.


What are you reading, listening to and watching? 



Along with my mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.


The Book Supremacy (Bibliophile Mystery #13) 
by Kate Carlisle
Berkley, 2019
Crime Fiction/Cozy; 288 pgs
It was our last day in Paris. [Opening of The Book Supremacy]

"It's so not fair," I muttered, closing the book and carrying it up to the checkout counter. "All she wanted to do was meet a nice guy." Instead she met the hypnotist-cyber-date serial killer. 
ho didn't love a good hypno-cuber-date serial killer thriller? [excerpt from 56%]

This is the first book I have read in Kate Carlisle’s Brooklyn Wainwright, book restoration expert, cozy mystery series, but the 13th in the series. Talk about jumping in late! Even so, I had no problem picking up with this book, and, in fact, enjoyed every second of the novel. Why I haven’t I gotten around to reading this series sooner?!

After her honeymoon in Paris, where she finds the perfect rare book for her new husband, Derek, the happy couple returns home. Derek isn’t quite able to settle in at home the way he would like to. Things at the office have reached a boiling point. Meanwhile, Derek is reunited with an old colleague from his spy days. Set in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, add in escape rooms, and a murder--all ingredients making this one cozy mystery I was sure to love. The mystery itself took a while to get off the ground, but I did not mind given I had some catching up to do with the character’s background. It was all very relevant and interesting for the buildup of what was to come. Both Derek and Brooklyn are likeable characters. This novel almost has me convinced I should give the whole escape room experience a try—but the jury is still out on it. A bit of humor, mixed in with action, romance and mystery, The Book Supremacy was a real hit for me.


The Night Tiger by by Yangsze Choo
Flatiron Press, 2019
Fiction (Historical); 384 pgs
The old man is dying. [Opening of The Night Tiger]

This is becoming a terrible evening for William. He swallows, reminding himself that he hasn't committed a crime.  [excerpt from 56%]
Set in 1930’s Malaysia, The Night Tiger is about a boy on a mission to find a lost finger for his former employer, and the young woman moonlighting as a dancehall girl to pay off her mother’s debts who pickpockets one off a customer. What comes next is a beautiful and at times heartbreaking story as the reader follows the characters over the next 49 days. Steeped in Chinese folklore and history, The Night Tiger is a mystery with a dash of romance and a hint of the supernatural. I adored Ji Lin and Ren, two of the main characters, who stole my heart from the first. There is so much to love about The Night Tiger, from its depth of character, it’s natural tie-in of the historical and political climate of the times as well as cultural superstitions and traditions, and the twists and turns the author took the various threads of the story. Yangsze Choo has proven again what an amazing author she is.


New to My Shelves (all books purchased by me)

My local independent bookstore was donating 10% of their purchases this past holiday weekend to RAICES, as if I need another excuse to buy books. My daughter found two books she wanted as well.

Salvation of A Saint by Keigo Higashino
All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell
Who Was Rosa Parks? 

Have you added any new books to your shelves recently?


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.

What do you like/dislike about self-published works? (submitted by Nicki @Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea)

Self-published books have a reputation of being poorly edited and sometimes the authors are a bit more pushy or even rude when it comes to getting reviews. Both of which I have experienced at one time or another. That said, I have read a few self-published books that have been very good, and so I am not as quick to judge a book based on how it was published as I might have once been. And most of the self-published authors I have worked with have been very nice and professional. In reality, there are poorly edited traditionally published books out there as well, and not all of traditionally published author's are reader friendly. Self-publishing has opened many doors for authors, whether new or veteran authors who want to do or try something different, and also for readers as well, particularly in providing a more diverse range.

What about you? 


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). 




Nic Stone's Dear Martin made a decent showing with 10 votes (37%), but ultimately Vox by Christina Dalcher came out on top by stealing the majority (55.6% - 15 votes). Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan only came away with 2 votes. Thank you again to everyone who voted! I am eager to read Vox this month.


Vox by Christina Dalcher 
Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. 
[Goodreads Summary]

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.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: A Fine Balance, Gods of Jade and Shadow, Singapore Sapphire, & The Perfect Son



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!

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (1995)
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.

The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers--a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village--will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.

As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: A friend recommended this book years ago, saying it was her all time favorite novel. I enjoy reading books about other countries, and immersing myself in the culture and life of the characters. 


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. And this week's selections definitely fit that bill!

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Release Date: July 23, 2019 by Del Rey
The Mayan God of Death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore, for readers of The Song of Achilles and Uprooted.

Here we shall begin to tell a story: a tale of a throne lost, of monsters and magic. A tale of gods and of the shadow realm. But this, our story, it begins in our world, in the land of mortals.

It begins with a woman. For this story, it is her story. It begins with her.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather's house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather's room. She opens it--and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan God of Death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea's demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucat√°n to the bright lights of Mexico City--and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Mixing the excitement of the Roaring Twenties with Prehispanic mythology, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a vivid, wildly imaginative historical fantasy. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: The Mayan aspect caught my attention right away, given my fascination with the culture and civilization since I was a child. Add in that I enjoy fantasy novels steeped in folklore. Gods, magic, and the Jazz Age - I am looking forward to diving into this one!


Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mystery #1) by A.M. Stuart
Release Date: August 6, 2019 by Berkley
Harriet Gordon stumbles into a murderous web of stolen gems and cutthroat thieves as she runs from her tragic past in an enthralling new historical mystery series set in early twentieth century Singapore.

Singapore 1910--Desperate for a fresh start and to distance herself from her tragic past, Harriet Gordon finds herself in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold--explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers' Club--dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet's keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When a second body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a complex web of stolen gemstones and a mysterious gang of thieves who have no qualms about killing again to protect their secrets. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: An interesting time period and a setting I long to know more about, this is definitely a mystery I would like to give a try. Besides, historical mysteries are among my favorites.


The Perfect Son by Lauren North
Release Date: August 13, 2019 by Berkley
A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she'll go to in order to keep him safe.

When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie's eighth birthday, she's sure of these things: She's been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her.

After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that's what matters.

But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won't listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark's death and Jamie's birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: What happened?! I must find out!


Do any of these books sound like something you would want to read? What books can't you wait to read?


© 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, July 05, 2019

Weekly Mews: The One Where I Cram It All Into One Post (Vote in My July TBR List Poll!)

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by 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 The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants discuss what they are reading and other bookish topics. In addition, I am linking to Stacking the Shelves hosted by 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 Kathryn of The Book Date It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where readers share what they have been reading throughout the week.

 View from our hike in the San Jacinto Mountains

California is doing a bit of rockin' and rollin' all of its own as of late. I hope all my fellow Californians who felt it are safe. It's a good reminder for those of us living in earthquake prone areas to be prepared.

My family and I spent last week in the mountains, getting some much needed relaxation and quiet time in. I love being surrounded by trees and nature. Our time there went by too fast and it was back to the real world this week.

We attended a local minor league baseball game who was hosting a Girl Scout night the last Friday in June. Mouse and some of her troop members were able to parade on the field. Mouse took part in a pudding eating contest during one of the inning breaks. The girls had to lay on the grass field, head to head, with one of them feeding spoonfuls of pudding to the girl behind her. Mouse and her partner won, making Mouse very proud!

Mouse attended Girl Scout camp earlier this week. Most of her troop are attending a horse camp the end of this month, but because of the summer show schedule, she is not able to go. She was nervous about going to camp without knowing a soul, but Mouse tends to make friends easily, and she enjoyed herself quite a bit.

With the show dates bumped up a weekend due to venue availability, it has put everything into more than the usual rush mode. With extra rehearsals for both my husband and daughter, including dress rehearsals (which means I will be busy helping with costume changes and such), there will be little rest for us this month. Family will be coming in from out of town as well, which brings with it its own extra level of stress.

June was busy as expected. There was dance camp and Anjin's birthday, along with Father's Day, which we spent mini-golfing and visiting the local amusement park. Anjin started his rehearsals as Don Quixote. Work has also been keeping us busy. You know. The usual.

I did manage to get in a lot of reading for myself this past month, I am happy to say; although my blogging completely fell by the wayside.


Tell me what you have been up to! How was your June? Do you have anything planned for this month?  

Be sure and vote in my TBR List Poll this week, and help me decide what to read next! You can find the poll at the bottom of this post. Thank you!


What I Am Watching: I recently watched Netflix's Dead to Me starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Those two actresses were amazing in their roles, and I liked the depth and complexities of each of their characters. The short episodes make it perfect for binge-watching, not to mention the way each episode builds on the other. For those who do not know, the show is a domestic thriller about a newly widowed woman and mother who is befriended by another grieving woman during a support group.

I also caught a couple episodes of Legacies, which somehow I completely missed hearing about until I found it on Netflix. I never did see the last couple seasons of The Vampire Diaries or ever really get into The Originals, of which Legacies is a spin off.  That doesn't seem to matter though.

Movie wise, my family and I saw the live action Aladdin this past month. I think my daughter has a new appreciation for Jasmine. I liked it more than I expected. And yes, I even liked even Will Smith as the genie. The new song, "Speechless" had a bit too much of a pop sound to it as compared to the songs from the original, but I appreciated the added women empowerment message.


What I Am Listening To: My personal listening time is very limited, and so I am only two thirds of the way through Marie Lu's Warcross. But when I am able to listen, I am loving it! It reminds me a bit of Ready Player One, but likely only because of how much of it takes place in the virtual world.

Meanwhile, on our drive up and back to the mountains, my husband, daughter and I listened to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I enjoyed Jim Dale's narration. And my daughter is loving it too. She's seen the movie, but this is her first experience with the book. My husband and I were reminded of things about the book we'd forgotten since we first read it, remembering why we loved the books in the first place.


What I Am Reading: I was on a romantic thriller kick last week, reading Katie Ruggle's Fan the Flames and Monica McCarty's Off the Grid. Both were on the fun side. I also finished Ruth Ware's upcoming thriller Turn of the Key, which I will be discussing closer to the release date. Let's just say I have no interest in living in a smart house any time soon!

Mouse and I are reading the Pippi Longstocking Goes on Board by Astrid Lindgren, and are enjoying it quite a bit. I never read the books as a child, but remember seeing the television show and movies based on the character. Mouse has really taken to Pippi, just like I did. We plan to continue with the series.

I currently am reading a couple of books, one on my phone and the other on my Kindle: Out of Time  (Lost Platoon, #3) by Monica McCarty and The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda. I am having a little trouble getting into the latter book, and hope it will pick up for me soon.

Books Read in June:
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
The Lady and the Thief by Megan Derr
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson
Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley
False Step by Victoria Helen Stone
Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Fan of the Flames by Katie Ruggle
Off the Grid by Monica McCarty

What are you reading, listening to and watching? 



Along with my mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.


Tales of the Fae by L.J. Hamlin
Less Than Three Press, 2018
Fantasy/Romance (Short Stories); 35 pgs
Walking into the gallery, brightly lit with amazing art on the walls, Alice is almost glad she came. [Opening of "Hearts in Motion" from Tales of the Fae]
"Do not worry, little one. Nothing you say in my forest will ever leave it. You're safe here with me, for as long as you want to stay." [excerpt from "Ode the the Forest Fae", 56% of Tales of the Fae]
I have not read much in the way of LGBTQIA romance, and thought L.J. Hamlin’s Tales of the Fae would be a good one to dip my toe into. I do enjoy a good story about the fae, after all. I wanted to like this collection more, but was underwhelmed by all three of the short stories. I never felt like I really got to know any of the characters well—always a risk with short stories, I suppose. The first one, “Hearts in Motion,” was perhaps the strongest, and the one I enjoyed the most. It is about a yeti shifter who steps out of her comfort zone when she meets a beautiful faerie artist who asks to paint her. I connected with the yeti shifter and would not have minded a longer story involving her character. And the fae artist too, of course. I was the least moved by “Ode to the Forest Fae,” sadly. It is about an ancient forest faerie who is awakened by a young human girl’s singing. While I liked the idea of the story, it never really got off the ground for me. I would have liked more in the way of character development so I could better understand—and feel--what drew these two women together. The third story, “The Fae by the Lake,” held promise, but ultimately failed me in much the same way as the second, although worked a bit more for me. In that one, a photographer stumbles into a lake and is saved by a faerie. I think the stories had promise, but ultimately, were not what I was hoping for. 


The Lady and the Thief  (Deceived, #5) by Megan Derr
Less Than Three Press, 2018
Romance/Historical/Mystery; 78 pgs
"Lisette!" Adeline hissed, and when Lisette turned, wisps of her beautiful hair fluttering about her face, Adeline beckoned to her. [Opening of The Lady and the Thief]
"I don't want to spend the rest of my life hearing that I should be gateful someone was willing to marry me. Like I'm a punishment people endure so they can tell everyone how good and wonderful they are." [excerpt from 56%]
The Lady and the Thief is my first experience with Megan Derr’s writing. I was immediately struck by the synopsis which offers us a taste of what the reader can expect: the story of a teenage orphan, Adeline, who, while in the care of her aunt and uncle, falls in love with her maid. Then the maid turns around and steals from them, including taking the only piece of jewelry Adeline has left of her mother. Now, older and wiser, Adeline is at a ball when she sees who other than her former maid, the love of her life. Only, her maid is no longer Lisette, as Adeline once knew her, but Lady Wisteria.

I expected a romance when picking up The Lady and the Thief, with a bit of mystery—and was pleasantly surprised that the mystery is quite strong in this one (you can’t take the mystery lover out of me, I’m afraid). This was a fun read. I really liked Adeline in her innocence and straightforwardness. She was not going to back down until she found out what Lisette/Lady Wisteria was up to. I can definitely see, too, why Adeline was drawn to Lisette. She’s charming and earnest in her concern for Adeline. Even I wanted to trust her even despite her past actions, wanting to at least hear her out. The chemistry between the two was palpable. The novella has a Victorian feel to it, time period wise, but I really appreciated, even with that, the fact that same sex marriages were not only acceptable, but encouraged in the world Derr has set her story in. If I had any complaints, it would be that it was too short, and so the characters weren’t as fleshed out as I might have liked (forever my complaint about short stories and novellas). I hadn’t realized this was part of a series, but I would like to go back and read the earlier books in the series.

Source: I received eARC copies of both of these books via NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews. This does not affect my opinion of the books or the content of my reviews.


New to My Shelves (all books purchased by me)


Love_Is_Love: An Anthology for LGBTQIA+ Teens edited by Emma Eden Ramos


One of my blogging friends and poet, Serena Agusto-Cox (of Savvy Verse & Wit), has a couple poems in the collection and graciously signed my copy for me. I could not miss the opportunity to support a good cause, The Trevor Project, not to mention feed my love for poetry.


Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa


Crime and Punctuation (Deadly Edits, #1) by Kaitlyn Dunnett


Have you added any new books to your shelves recently?


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 review all of the books you read? (submitted by Elizabeth @Silver's Reviews)

There was a time I would have answered yes to this question, but over the past eight years, I have not reviewed every book I have read. The books that tend to get overlooked are the children's books I read with my daughter. I have reviewed some, but not most. There may be the occasional health related book I feel is too personal to mention or review. And I do not count DNF (Did Not Finish) books as having been read, and so rarely talk about them. If I remember though, I might at least explain why I could not finish a book. I do not think it is fair to call my thoughts on why I did not finish a book a review, however.

What about you? If you are a blogger, do you review or share your thoughts about all the books you read?


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). 




I am excited about all three of this week's TBR List options and look forward to seeing which one wins!

Vox by Christina Dalcher 
Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Dear Martin by Nic Stone 
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other. [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.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Camel Bookmobile, The Gossamer Mage, Never Have I Ever, & Well Met



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!


The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton (Harper, 2007)
Fiona Sweeney wants to do something that matters, and she chooses to make her mark in the arid bush of northeastern Kenya. By helping to start a traveling library, she hopes to bring the words of Homer, Hemingway, and Dr. Seuss to far-flung tiny communities where people live daily with drought, hunger, and disease. Her intentions are honorable, and her rules are firm: due to the limited number of donated books, if any one of them is not returned, the bookmobile will not return.

But, encumbered by her Western values, Fi does not understand the people she seeks to help. And in the impoverished small community of Mididima, she finds herself caught in the middle of a volatile local struggle when the bookmobile's presence sparks a dangerous feud between the proponents of modernization and those who fear the loss of traditional ways.
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I think the reason this landed on my TBR pile is kind of obvious. It is clear Fiona loves books and wants to share them with others. I like that this book delves into culture clashes, as well as tradition versus modernization, and am curious to see what direction the author takes it. This still sounds like a book I really want to read. I just need to make time for it!


Have you read The Camel Bookmobile? Does this sound like something you would like to read?


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read. And this week's selections definitely fit that bill!


The Gossamer Mage by Julia Czerneda
Release Date: August 6, 2019 by DAW
From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage.

For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.

To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive.
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I would be lying if I denied that the cover of The Gossamer Mage plays a part in my desire to read the fantasy novel. It also sounds really good, and a bit different than other fantasy novels I have come across.


Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
Release Date: July 30, 2019 by William Morrow
New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson—”an admired writer who deserves to be a household name” (Kirkus Reviews)—displays her masterful talent in this dark and deliciously addictive tale of domestic suspense.

In this game, even winning can be deadly...

Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.

Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.

When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.

To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.

A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson’s trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I have enjoyed Jackson's writing in the past and I enjoy a good thriller, so this seems like it will be a winning combination.


Well Met by Jen Deluca
Release Date: September 3, 2019 by Berkley
All's faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon's family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn't have time for Emily's lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she's in her revealing wench's costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they're portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can't seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this:  I love the idea of a rom-com  set around a Renaissance Faire. And Shakespeare conspiracy theories?! Well Met sounds like it will be a lot of fun.


Do any of these upcoming releases appeal to you? What books can you hardly wait to read?


© 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.