Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Death of Fidel Pérez/The Furies/How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse/Red Oblivion



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 Death of Fidel Pérez by Elizabeth Huergo (2013)
On July 26, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the Moncada Army Barracks raid in Santiago de Cuba, something unexpected happens. When Fidel Pérez and his brother accidentally tumble to their deaths from their Havana balcony, the neighbors’ outcry, "Fidel has fallen,” is misinterpreted by those who hear it. The misinformation quickly ripples outward, and it reawakens the city. Three Cubans in particular are affected by the news—an elderly vagrant Saturnina, Professor Pedro Valle, and his student Camilo—all haunted by the past and now forced to confront a new future, perhaps another revolution. Their stories are beautifully intertwined as they converge in the frantic crowd that gathers in La Plaza de la Revolución.

By turns humorous and deeply poignant, The Death of Fidel Pérez reflects on the broken promises of the Cuban Revolution and reveals the heart of a people with a long collective memory.

Why I want to read this: Such an interesting premise and what promises to be a touching story--or rather three stories--of these three characters. I imagine the reader will get a look into Cuban history and culture, something that definitely interests me. I am not sure why I haven't gotten to this one yet. It has been sitting on my shelf for years now.


Does this sound like something you would enjoy reading? Have you read it? 


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

The Furies by Katie Lowe
Release Date: October 8, 2019 by 
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.

After an accident involving her Dad and sister, Violet joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls school in a quiet coastal town, which has an unpleasant history as the site of famous 17th century witch trials. Violet quickly finds herself invited to become the fourth member of an advanced study group, alongside Robin, Grace, and Alex - led by their charismatic art teacher, Annabel.

While Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals - warning the girls off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology - the girls start to believe that magic is real, and that they can harness it. But when the body of a former member of the society - Robin’s best friend, with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance - is found dead on campus nine months after she disappeared, Violet begins to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Something is going on at Elm Hollow Academy. It's tie to the 17th century witch trials are what first caught my attention, but I also very curious about what is happening and just what up the girls are up to.


How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse (The Thorne Chronicles #1) by K. Eason
Release Date: October 8, 2019 by DAW
First in a duology that reimagines fairy tale tropes within a space opera—The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia. Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she’d inherit her father’s throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium. 
Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince. 
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination—how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I think that last sentence of the summary says it all, don't you? Not to mention the comparison with The Princess Bride and Princess Leia (Yes, I know. Comparisions like that should always be taken with a grain of salt. But I have to see for myself!).


Red Oblivion by Leslie Shimotakahara
Release Date: September 21, 2019 by Dundrun
Family secrets surface when two sisters travel to Hong Kong to care for their ill father.

When Jill Lau receives an early morning phone call that her elderly father has fallen gravely ill, she and her sister, Celeste, catch the first flight from Toronto to Hong Kong. The man they find languishing in the hospital is a barely recognizable shadow of his old, indomitable self.

According to his housekeeper, a couple of mysterious photographs arrived anonymously in the mail in the days before his collapse. These pictures are only the first link in a chain of events that begin to reveal the truth about their father’s past and how he managed to escape from Guangzhou, China, during the Cultural Revolution to make a new life for himself in Hong Kong. Someone from the old days has returned to haunt him — exposing the terrible things he did to survive and flee one of the most violent periods of Chinese history, reinvent himself, and make the family fortune. Can Jill piece together the story of her family’s past without sacrificing her father's love and reputation? [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: A daughter learning about her father's past, one that he tried to hide. The Cultural Revolution. This sounds like it will be rich in history and quite an emotional read. 


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

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Weekly Mewsings: Mid-September Catch-Up and my September TBR Winner(s)

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. 


It was over 100 degrees out today. Thank goodness I spent most of it in the air conditioned dance studio getting in some quality reading time in while Mouse was in class and rehearsals (and talking to some of the other moms). We tried out the local Pieology after rehearsal. One of these days I may be brave enough to try their cauliflower crust. I hear it is really good--even for those of us who do not like cauliflower. Have you eaten there? 

I had hoped to get this post written and up sooner, but it has just been that kind of week, both at work and home. Work is a constant steady of busy these days. I have evaluations to write and have not had a chance to even begin one. My evenings are filled with helping Mouse with her homework and the usual household duties. In addition, it seemed to be the week for birthday parties. Mouse attended a pool party last Sunday, a doll party Friday, and has another party to attend tomorrow.

On another note, I cannot seem to get rid of this sore throat that is plaguing me. It isn't horrible, but it is annoying. I think it is just allergies since it hasn't developed into much more other than a few sniffles along with it.

What I Am Reading: I am reading Well Met by Jen DeLuca, a much welcome light romantic read after finishing  Vicki Pettersson by The Taken, an urban fantasy mystery which was rather dark in subject matter (but good, just the same!). Mouse and I are reading the first Ivy + Bean book by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, together and enjoying it immensely. We have just a couple chapters left to go. I imagine we will be diving into the next book of the series soon after.

What I Am Watching: Just as planned, I curled up on the couch last Sunday and watched Sleepless in Seattle, which I had not seen in years. It is one of my favorites. Tonight we watched Ever After, another favorite. It must be the week for romantic comedies . . .

Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? 



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 looks like I will be attempting to read two of this month's picks. It's a tie! Only five of you voted for The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox. But the other two choices, The Ten Thousand Doors of January and The Girl in Red, both received twelve votes each. I am looking forward to reading both! Fingers crossed I actually am able to get both in. I sure will try!




The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR
In a sprawling mansion filled with exotic treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. As each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, January discovers a story that might just be the key to unlocking the secrets of her past. [Goodreads Summary]


The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood"...about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.
It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.
There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.
Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods... [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.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware & Favorite Library Books I Had to Own



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.


Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Simon & Schuster, 2019
Crime Fiction (Thriller); 384 pgs

Book Beginnings:
3rd September 2017 
Dear Mr. Wrexham,

I know  you don't know me but please, please, please you have to help me

Beginning of Chapter One:
I started writing to you last night, Mr. Wrexham, and when I woke up this morning and looked at the crumpled pages covered with my pleading scrawl, my first instinct was to rip them up and start again, just like I had a dozen times before. I had meant to be so cool, so calm and collected - I had meant to set everything out so clearly and make you see. And instead I ended up crying onto the page in a mess of recrimination. 

Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
"I'm not going." Maddie was lying facedown on her bed, with her hands over her ears. I began to feel desperate. It wasn't so much what I would tell Sandra if I couldn't get the girls to school, but the fact that I needed this break. I had barely three hours' of sleep last night. I could cope with a fractious baby. I couldn't cope with two primary school age children as well, let alone one as stroppy and recalcitrant as Maddie. 

My thoughts:
Rowan Caine never expected she would actually get the job as a nanny at the Heatherbrae House when she applied. The live-in post promised quite a big salary and she would be staying in a “smart” home, everything computerized and perfected to meet the needs of those who live within its walls. The family of five appears perfect as well. The offer seems too good to be true . . . And, well, it is. Rowan now sits in prison, attempting to draft a letter to a prospective solicitor, explaining what happened in that house and hopefully prove her innocence. At least of the crime she’s accused of.

I listened to another of Ruth Ware’s novels, In a Dark, Dark Wood, a few years ago and enjoyed it. The atmosphere. The suspense. The complex characters. In many ways, Turn of the Key has all of those elements too. I confess the idea of a “smart” house makes me nervous (it’s why I have not jumped on the Alexa or Google Home bandwagon). They make the perfect setting for a horror novel, don’t you think? So much could go wrong . . . I found Heatherbrae house interesting—a mix of old and new. The majority of the inside of the house has been renovated and upgraded to be as modern as can be, while the bones of the house, and the outside still hold onto its original roots. Not to mention the house and its property have quite a history, contributing to its modern Gothic feel. I love how the setting of Ware's novels play such a big part in her stories--as if they are characters themselves.

I think it is safe to say a novel like this is bound to have twists and turns. I found it to be predictable in some respects and not so in others. I was not particularly fond of any of the characters, including Rowan. Although, by the end, I understood her a lot better. There is a minor romantic thread, which I could have done without, if I am completely honest. But it did not hurt the story either. While at times I felt the pacing was on the slower side in this novel, overall I enjoyed it.

Does this sound like something you would enjoy reading? Have you read Turn of the Key? 


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 read a library book you loved so much, you just HAD to own it, so you bought a copy for yourself after returning the library book you had already finished?

I can only think of one book: Chalk by Bill Thomson. I first came across this book while searching the children's section of our local public library for books to read with my daughter a few years ago, and it became a fast favorite for both of us. The illustrations are beautiful and tell a story about the magic of children's imaginations. There are no words; simply whatever story the reader wishes to ascribe to the pages.


I guess the graphic novel Smile by Raina Telgemeier could count. My daughter checked it out from her classroom library last year to read. She really enjoyed it. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about myself, and so I read it as well. We ended up buying a copy for our personal library some time after that. My daughter just finished re-reading it, as a matter of fact.


I asked my husband if he could think of any books he had checked out that he liked so much he went out and bought it. He instantly replied with: Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3) by Douglas Adams. He liked it so much he not only bought it, but the other books in the series as well.


While I may not purchase books I have loved that I checked out from the library very often, I do sometimes buy finished books of advanced readers copies (ARC's) I have read and loved. And I often buy finished copies to give as gifts for family and friends if I think someone on my gift list will especially like a particular book. But that is an entirely different topic . . .

What about you? Have you ever loved a book you checked out of the library so much you had to go out and buy it?  

 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, September 10, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: Metropolis, The Good Luck Girls,The Miracles of the Namiya General Store, & The Library of the Unwritten



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!


Metropolis by Elizabeth Gaffney (2005)

Elizabeth Gaffney’s magnificent, Dickensian Metropolis captures the splendor and violence of America’s greatest city in the years after the Civil War, as young immigrants climb out of urban chaos and into the American dream.

On a freezing night in the middle of winter, Gaffney’s nameless hero is suddenly awakened by a fire in P. T. Barnum’s stable, where he works and sleeps, and soon finds himself at the center of a citywide arson investigation.

Determined to clear his name and realize the dreams that inspired his hazardous voyage across the Atlantic, he will change his identity many times, find himself mixed up with one of the city’s toughest and most enterprising gangs, and fall in love with a smart, headstrong, and beautiful young woman. Buffeted by the forces of fate, hate, luck, and passion, our hero struggles to build a life–just to stay alive–in a country that at first held so much promise for him.

Epic in sweep, Metropolis follows our hero from his arrival in New York harbor through his experiences in Barnum’s circus, the criminal underground, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, and on to a life in Brooklyn that is at once unique and poignantly emblematic of the American experience. In a novel that is wonderfully written, rich in suspense, vivid historical detail, breathtakingly paced, Elizabeth Gaffney captures the wonder and magic of a rambunctious city in a time of change. Metropolis marks a superb fiction debut. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I bought a copy of this at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival years ago after hearing the author speak on a panel. The history of New York City has always been a draw for me. What's interesting is I had forgotten about the P.T. Barnum connection. I might have picked this one up to read this summer as we prepared for The Greatest Showman musical. I imagine it wasn't that which first intrigued me about this novel, however. New York gangs and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge were probably the biggest draws.

Have you read this one? Does it sound like something you would enjoy? 


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


The Good Luck Girls (#1) by Charlotte Nicole Davis
Release Date: October 1, 2019 by Tor Teen
Westworld meets The Handmaid's Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protectorViolet, the favoriteTansy, the medicMallow, the fighterClementine, the catalyst
THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls--they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a "welcome house" as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta's most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It's going to take more than luck for them all to survive. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: How could I not want to read this after reading that description?! These girls . . . I cannot wait to dive in.


The Miracles of the Namiya General Store by Keigo Higashino
Release Date: September 24, 2019 by Yen On (originally published in 2012)
When three delinquents hole up in an abandoned general store after their most recent robbery, to their great surprise, a letter drops through the mail slot in the store's shutter. This seemingly simple request for advice sets the trio on a journey of discovery as, over the course of a single night, they step into the role of the kindhearted former shopkeeper who devoted his waning years to offering thoughtful counsel to his correspondents. Through the lens of time, they share insight with those seeking guidance, and by morning, none of their lives will ever be the same.

By acclaimed author Keigo Higashino, The Miracles of the Namiya General Store is a work that has touched the hearts of readers around the world. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I have a soft spot for stories involving correspondence, and this one sounds like a touching story I do not want to miss.


The Library of the Unwritten (Hell's Library #1) by A.J. Hackwith
Release Date: October 1, 2019 by Ace Books
In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren't finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories. Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing-- a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil's Bible. The text of the Devil's Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell….and Earth. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: As if the word "library" in the title wasn't enough. A book about characters from unfinished books coming to life? Doesn't this sound fascinating?


Do any of these books appeal to you?  What upcoming releases 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.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Sunday Mews: August Wrap Up & Welcome to September (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. 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.  




Happy September! I hope those in Dorian's path are staying safe. A fire broke out not too far from one of my relative's house here in Southern California late this past week, which had us worried. Some of the schools were closed today (Friday) due to the smoke. My daughter's school was not affected, thankfully. With the winds, we have been getting it could have been much worse. Hopefully the firefighters will have it completely under control soon. I hope your September has gotten off to a good start.

What I Am Reading: I recently finished reading a Dystopian novel by Kassandra Montag, After the Flood, which had me hugging my daughter a little tighter with each turn of the page. I am now reading The Taken by Vicki Pettersson, the first in her Celestial Blues series. A friend talked me into giving it a try--which wasn't hard because I do enjoy these types of novels. A mystery with a splash of romance and a supernatural element. How could I say no? Besides, I had a copy on my TBR pile already. I am thinking of starting Jen DeLuca's Well Met next, which comes highly recommended by Suzanne of The Bookish Libra.


What I Am Watching: My daughter and I are hooked on Netflix's series Free Rein. It is about a teen who, along with her mother and sister move to an island off the coast of England. The teen bonds with a horse with a dark past. It's a cute show.

I discovered Shadowhunters on Hulu. I have only read the first book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, and while I liked it, I haven't worked up the interest to read further in the series. I think the movie kind of ruined it for me (the movie was awful). I was curious how the show would turn out though. I am in the middle of the second season at the moment.


Off the Blog: I am still trying to accept we are a week into September. August went by so fast. With it came the start of school for Mouse and my new work schedule (which I am still trying to adjust to). The new dance season is underway. Mouse is taking pre-pointe classes along with her other dance classes. She was so excited when she received her pre-pointe acceptance letter the end of July. Mouse auditioned for the dance studio's annual Nutcracker ballet the week before last. Rehearsals begin this weekend. The new Girl Scout season kicked off the end of August as well. We ended August with a potluck barbecue and viewing of the summer performances on video with some of our dance friends, which was fun. They set up a giant projector screen in their backyard, and we gathered around to watch once the sun set.  I am just glad there were a couple of my husband's caramel soaked brownies left I could enjoy at home!

Nina in the bag

What I Am Looking Forward To: Popping Sleepless in Seattle in the DVD player, box of tissues nearby, and enjoying a little Dairy Queen in honor of my birthday this weekend. The coming of fall. Cooler weather at some point. Hopefully, anyway. It would be nice to open the windows in the evenings again. And settling more into a routine in the next week or so.


Here is what I finished reading in August:
  • Hold Your Breath (Search & Rescue, #1) by Katie Ruggle
  • Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles, #4) by Ilona Andrews
  • On His Watch (Search & Rescue, #0.5) by Katie Ruggle
  • The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare (The Princess in Black #6) by Shannon Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  • Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna
  • Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu

I feel satisfied with my reading this past month. Every book hit the spot just as it was meant to. I really enjoyed my August TBR Poll winner, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill--so thank you to all who voted for it! I finally finished listening to the audio of Warcross. It's a great book. I just wish I was better at making time for audiobooks. My favorite read of the month was Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews. No surprise there given how much I love the series.

I was fairly consistent with my blogging in August. I do need to make time for review writing sometime soon. I am still playing catch up. Thank you to everyone who visits and/or takes the time to comment! I appreciate you all very much.

This Past August In Reading Mews:

This Past Week In Reading Mews:

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


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

My TBR List is a meme hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Sunday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month, and my review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 




When considering what books to add to this month's poll, I kept coming back to these three. They seem like perfect fall reads, and I don't think I can go wrong with any of them. But which one should I start with?! I cannot decide and could use your help . . .


The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?
Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.
But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.
As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales. [Goodreads Summary]

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR
In a sprawling mansion filled with exotic treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. As each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, January discovers a story that might just be the key to unlocking the secrets of her past. [Goodreads Summary]


The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood"...about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.
It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.
There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.
Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods... [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.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley / Bookish Gift Ideas / August's Favorite/Least Favorite Read



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.


Death in Kew Gardens (Kat Holloway, #3) by Jennifer Ashley
Berkley, 2019
Crime Fiction (Historical); 320 pgs

Book Beginnings:
The Chinese gentleman ran from between the carriages packed the length of Mount Street and straight into my path. I had no chance--he emerged so suddenly and without my seeing him that I barreled directly into the poor man. 

Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
As I drew a breath to admonish her, Mr. Davis, in his shirtsleeves and waistcoat, strode in waving a newspaper. 
He's been murdered!" he declared. 
Tess jumped, potato slipping from her hands. My apron strings suddenly knotted and my fingers fumbled. 

Settling in for a visit with Kat Holloway and and Daniel McAdam’s is always a pleasure, and this third installment in Jennifer Ashley’s series was another good one. Is it any wonder this series is among my favorites? For those new to the series, Kat is a cook in Victorian London. She is very good at her job—and has a nose for murder. When a Chinese scholar is suspected of murdering her next door neighbor, Kat has strong doubts. Her instincts about people are usually right, and she does not believe Li is guilty. With the help of her friends, Kat attempts to unravel the mystery, while at the same time dealing with a not so nice new housekeeper who seems out to get her.

Kat does not look for trouble, but it seems to find her as has been seen in previous novels. This worries her friend Daniel, who himself seems to always be in the middle of some sort of investigation. With each book we get to know a little more about him, but he still remains a bit of a mystery. I love the slow burn romance between the two characters. Trouser wearing Lady Cynthia is one of my favorite characters in the series, and it was good to see more of her and her friend Bobby in this book. Tess, Kat’s assistant, was her usual outspoken self, and we get to see a side to Mr. Davis, the butler, we haven’t seen before. I do love my time visiting Ashley’s characters! This is such a fun series, with historical and cultural tidbits woven into the mystery, this one involving merchants and China—and tea. I enjoy reading the interactions between the characters, and seeing how everything unfolds. The mystery in Death in Kew Gardens is well crafted and clever. I look forward to the next book in the series.


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 would you give as a birthday gift to a fellow book lover?

This seems a perfect question with my birthday coming up early next week. I know what this book lover would like! No two book lovers are the same, however, and so it can be a challenge to buy actual books for someone who loves reading. Unless you have access to their wish list or have a good idea of what books they already have read--or own. Bookstore gift cards are always a big winner with me, and one of my favorite gifts to give to a fellow book lover. Extras like a cute bookmark, especially if it matches the interests of the individual reader, also make a great gift. Items with a bookish-themes or quotes make fun gifts as well.





Do you have any go to gifts for the book lovers in your life? Or perhaps there is something you wish someone would give you? 



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


This week's topic is Favorite/ Least Favorite Read of August


My Favorite August Read:



Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles, #4) by Ilona Andrews


My Least Favorite Read (there were no bad books this month, and I actually enjoyed this one--just not as much as the others):


On His Watch (Search & Rescue, 0.5) by Katie Ruggle


What were your favorite and least favorite books read in August? 


 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, September 03, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: Holiday Edition



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!



Nutcracker and Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman &  The Tale of the Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas, translated by  Joachim Neugroschel (Translation)
It wasn't until the 1950s that seeing The Nutcracker at Christmastime became an American tradition. But the story itself is much older and its original intent more complex. This eye-opening new volume presents two of the tale's earliest versions, both in new translations: E.T.A. Hoffmann's Nutcracker and Mouse King (1816), in which a young girl is whisked away to the Land of Toys to help her animated nutcracker defeat the Mouse King, and Alexandre Dumas's 1845 adaptation, The Tale of the Nutcracker, based on Hoffmann's popular work. Irresistible tales of magic, mystery, and childhood adventure, these timeless delights and fresh interpretations about the importance of imagination will captivate readers of all ages. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this:  This particular book has only been on my TBR shelf for a year now. I originally bought it to read with my daughter who performed in her dance studio's annual production of The Nutcracker. This will be her second year performing in the ballet, and so maybe this year we actually will read these two classic stories. That is the plan, anyway!


Have you read either of these versions of the story or perhaps both? Have you seen the ballet? 


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.


Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder (Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery #3) by Meg Macy
Release Date: September 24, 2019 by  Kensington
This holiday season, teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman must solve the slaying of Santa Bear . . .

Sasha and her sister Maddie are thrilled that the Silver Bear Shop and Factory has won the Teddy Bear Keepsake Contest, which means they get to produce a holiday specialty toy, a wizard bear named "Beary Potter." Promising to be just as magical is Silver Hollow's annual tree-lighting ceremony and village parade. Only one hitch: the parade's mascot, Santa Bear--played by Mayor Cal Bloom--is missing.

After a frantic search among the floats, Bloom is found dead. When the outfit is removed, it's clear the mayor's been electrocuted. Who zapped hizzoner and then stuffed him into his Santa Bear suit? While the police investigate the grisly crime, Sasha attempts to track down the murderer herself, with some help from the Guilty Pleasures Gossip Club. Can they wrap up this case in time for Christmas--or will Sasha meet her own shocking end? [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Teddy bears! And a Guilty Pleasures Gossip Club? How intriguing! I do love a good cozy mystery and this holiday-themed one sounds like one I do not want to miss.


Coming Home for Christmas (Haven Point #10) by RaeAnne Thayne
Release Date: September 24, 2019 by HQN
Hearts are lighter and wishes burn a little brighter at Christmas…

Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.

But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning? [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: RaeAnne Thayne is one of my favorite romance authors, and I look forward to returning to Haven Point in her latest book in the series.


A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan
Release Date: September 24, 2019 by HQN
In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister, Katie, is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself! If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiancé but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived—how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget! [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: A Christmas wedding sounds so perfect, doesn't it? But will this wedding come off  or called off? I am looking forward to this holiday-themed romance by Sarah Morgan.


Murder in the First Edition (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #3) by Lauren Elliott
Release Date: September 24, 2019 by Kensington
Addie Greyborne is preparing for the holidays at her bookstore in seaside New England--but a winter storm is coming, in more ways than one . . .

Addie's getting into the spirit for the upcoming Charity Auction—especially since she's got an 1843 copy of Charles Dickens's
A Christmas Carol to donate. Her former colleagues at the Boston Public Library have confirmed that its worth runs toward the high five figures, which should help with the new pediatric wing. Her mood darkens, though, when a visitor from the past appears—Jonathan Hemingway, the father of her late fiancé. His presence stirs up sad memories for Addie, but also has her fuming when Jonathan, true to his womanizing ways, runs off for a lunchtime liaison with Teresa Lang, who's in charge of the auction.

Soon after, Addie heads to Teresa's office at the hospital—and finds the poor woman's dead body. What she doesn't find is her valuable first edition. What sort of Scrooge would steal from sick children and commit murder in the process? As a Nor'easter bears down and a mystery emerges about Jonathan's past, Addie must find out if she can appraise people's motives and characters as well as she can appraise rare books . . . [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I have been wanting to try this series for some time and this sounds like the perfect cozy mystery for this upcoming holiday season.


Notice a theme with all these titles? Do any of them sound like something you would like 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.