Saturday, August 01, 2020

Weekly Mews: Welccome to August (New Books, Recent Reads & My August TBR List Poll--please vote!)

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.   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. 


New to the Shelves:

The Anatomist's Wife (A Lady Darby Mystery, #1) by Anna Lee Huber
Murder at Morrington Hall (A Stella and Lyndy Mystery, #1) by Clara McKenna

I added these two e-books to my e-reader this past month. I have been wanting to try Huber's Lady Darby series for quite some time now, and McKenna's series is another one I have been wanting to try.
 

My daughter's Girl Scout's troop has been meeting via Zoom this summer. The leaders left a surprise on everyone's doorstep one day in July. Included in the bag was this awesome "Quarantining With Troop 1241" t-shirt and the book Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart. 

The Mystery of the Moon Tower (The Pathfinders Society #1) by Francesco Sedita, Prescott Seraydarian, illustrated by Steve Hamaker 
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The Time Museum (Time Museum #1) by Matthew Loux

I also recently added more books to my daughter's growing graphic novel collection. She is currently reading The Time Museum and is enjoying it. 

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? What new books have you added to your TBR pile?


What I Am Reading: I am about halfway through How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, which is really good. It is one of those books I ger more out of when I can give it my full attention with no interruptions--time which is hard to come by these days. So, it is taking me a little while to get through, despite not being a long book.

This evening I began reading Wolf Gone Wild (Stay a Spell, #1) by Juliette Cross. I am  in the mood for something fun that can sweep me off my feet, which will hopefully help with the reading slump I seem to find myself in.

What I Am Watching: My husband and I watched the Sherlock series, rewatching the earlier episodes and seeing the later ones for the first time this past month. It is such a good show! Next we are taking on the Star Wars movies, and started tonight with Phantom Menace. We have seen all the Star Wars movies before, but were in the mood to watch them again--even the not so good ones. 

I have been working my way through the television show S.H.I.E.L.D., and am watching the 5th season at the moment. A jump to the future and outerspace. 

Off the Blog: It was an exciting month. Well, as exciting as they can get these days. My daughter took part in a virtual choir camp, which was a lot of fun for her. Her first love is singing. She also took a couple of virtual art classes, her second love being art. Her Girl Scout troop met up online a couple of times in July for fun home science projects and a directed art project. We picked up her Girl Scout cookie rewards one evening, and Mouse got to see one of her best friends (from a distance, of course). Mouse also reconnected with a couple of her school friends via Facebook Messenger. It was good to hear her laughing and having a good time with them again.

My husband was called to jury duty. The seating in the jury waiting area was spread out, and the usually crowded room was filled with a considerably less amount of people. The first day, he and eighteen other jurors were called into the courtroom and spread out in the public's seating area and instructed to fill out a questionaire. Then they were called back another day for the questions from the attorneys. He wasn't chosen, which I think disappointed him a bit. But still, probably for the best given the circumstances.

Jury Waiting Room

I surprised all of my staff by sending them cookie grams. I got the idea from my husband's boss who had sent him one. I thought it would be something fun to do for them in these weird times. Most of our contact is online and  telephone since we are all rotating into the office at different times. Work otherwise has been going about as well as it can be. I am still working from home part of the week and in the office the other. 

We took Christmas photos for this year's holiday card before we moved the Christmas tree to make room for Mouse's new work station for the upcoming school year (yes, my Christmas tree is still up--it's decorated with stuffed animals at the moment). Making the decision of which school option to choose for my daughter was agonizing. None of them are appealing. I made my husband hit the submit button and then I broke down crying. I am still second guessing myself, but am doing my best to stay positive and make the most of it. I know all of us parents are in the same boat, trying to decide if it is safe to send our children back, if that's even possible. I cannot even imagine what teachers and other school staff are going through right now, scrambling to prepare for the new school year, many still uncertain about how things will look when school begins again. My daughter's school district is beginning online per state mandate. We hope to hear soon who Mouse's teacher will be and some sort of instruction on where we go from here. School begins on the 10th of August, and so the countdown has begun . . . 



Here is what I finished reading in July:
  • Westside (#1) by W.M. Akers
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel
I took a break from blogging in July and evidently from reading too. I only managed to finish two books. I had hoped to get in some blog hopping this past month, but time got away from me.


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



I stole a glove. ~ Opening of Westside

Westside (#1) by W.M. Akers 
Harper Voyager, 2019
Fantasy; 304 pgs
A young detective who specializes in “tiny mysteries” finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan’s Westside—a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents—that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman. [excerpt from the Goodreads Summary]
 
My thoughts: Set in 1921 Manhattan, this alternate history fantasy novel was both dark and witty and quite the rollercoaster. Gilda Carr lives behind the fence, the 13-mile fence that separates Manhattan into two, the prosperous Eastside and the dangerous Westside, where people and structures just seem to disappear. The Westside is the home of the gangs, thieves, poets, painters, drunks and the poor. Gilda makes a leaving as a detective, only takes on tiny mysteries--not the big ones. Not like murder. But while investigating a case of a missing glove, she becomes embroiled in a big mystery, just the kind she tries to avoid--one that may be tied to her own past--or rather, that of her police detective father and his death.

There is much to like about this novel from the world-building to the colorful and well-developed characters, including Gilda. Gilda is resourceful and strong willed. Manhattan, particularly the Westside, is a character all its own. Why do things from the simple, like coffee pots, to the larger, entire buildings, disappear? And people too. Guns do not work and nature thrives. There is murder, smuggling, bootlegging, gang disputes, and something much darker and sinister going on in the Westside, along with ordinary people just trying to get by. 

Fast-paced, full of action and unexpected twists, The Westside is one wild ride as Gilda tries to unravel the little mysteries that lead to the bigger one. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Westside Saints


I am a cat. ~ Opening of The Travelling Cat Chronicles

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel 
Viking, 2012
Fiction; 288 pgs
Sometimes you have to leave behind everything you know to find the place you truly belong...

Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he's going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru's old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There's even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won't say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break...
[Goodreads Summary]

My thoughts: The Travelling Cat Chronicles appealed to the cat lover in me, and I loved every minute of my time spent with Nana and Saturo. While the overreaching story arch belongs to Nana and Saturo, the side stories of his friends and Saturo's relationship with each of them, also plays major roles throughout the novel. I was especially touched by the time Saturo spends with his aunt, Noriko. I enjoyed getting to know Saturo, seeing different sides of him through the eyes of his childhoold friends. His kind heart and positivity are infectious. I found it especially comforting in the current climate of the world right now. 

While not all, much of the novel is told from the perspective of Nana, the stray cat who Saturo wins the trust of and takes in.  Saturo's love for his cat undeniable. I think most, if not all, animal lovers will be able to relate--especially if your animal companion is more than just a pet, but is also a part of your family. I liked how the author potrays Nana--somewhat aloof and yet not really.  Because a cat cannot just outright admit to caring, can he? I adored Nana from the beginning, but even more so by the end of the novel having seen the many sides of him.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a beautiful story of the love and bond between a man and his cat, the strength of friendship and family, and also of letting go. I finished the novel with an overwhelming feeling of love for my cats--and I tortured one of them with extra cuddles. The other one was too fast to catch. Thank you again to everyone who voted for this book in my July TBR List poll! 


Have you read either of these books? Do they sound like something you would enjoy?



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). 




This month's theme is libraries--but not just any library . . . Have you read this month's contenders? Which one do you think I should read next? 


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]

Checked Out for Murder
(The Haunted Library Mysteries #4) by Allison Brook 

Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook's fourth Haunted Library mystery. 

Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she's a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there's more to Daphne than she lets on. 

The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne's brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie's overbearing mother hits town. Mom's much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that's lensing locally, and she's there to keep an eye on him: Tom's costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fiance, and there's no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead. 

Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne's mean ex-husband? Carrie's sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town? [Goodreads Summary]

Ink and Bone
(The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
[Goodreads Summary]


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


© 2020, 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 11, 2020

Weekly Mews: My Week & July's TBR List Winner

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.

Outside: It is 102F as I write this. Summer is definitely here. There seems to be a breeze, however, so it's not unbearable.

What I Am Reading: I am currently reading How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Thank you to those who recommended it last week. I have begun reading this month's TBR winner, and think it will be a good one--a much needed escape from reality.

What I Am Watching: We finished watching Elementary. I was not as thrilled with the direction the last two seasons took, but they were still enjoyable. My husband and I next want to re-watch and catch-up on the British Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. We had seen the first couple of seasons years ago, and really liked them. We seem to be on a Sherlock Holmes kick. Maybe I should actually read Arthur Conan Doyle's work. I have only read The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Off the Blog: I got word that a woman I have worked with off and on for 20 or so years passed away from cancer one morning this past week. I supervised her for a number of years directly, and then occasionally more recently. She was a free spirit and had a big heart. She will be missed.

Our local school board met last Wednesday evening to discuss the proposed options for the upcoming school year. After seven and a half hours they approved both a virtual learning program and a homeschool-based learning program. The in-person plan was tabled for further exploration and will be addressed at the next board meeting on the 21st. That portion of the meeting was not without drama. Meanwhile, I have between now and the 23th to decide which of the three programs to sign my daughter up in. A lot of neighboring school districts are making similar decisions, many planning to start the year out with a virtual format. 

The rate of the virus continues to skyrocket in my county and many other places around the U.S. The county offices have closed down to the public again. My family and I continue to lay low, working mostly from home and going out only for essential business. I still go into the office once a week. 

What I Am Grateful For: My daughter and I taking turns braiding each other's hair before bed. My husband--we are celebrating our wedding anniversary this weekend. We may not be able to go out and do something special, but we are together. Safe and healthy. Kitty kisses and cuddles. 

I hope you all have had a great week. Please share what you have been up to this past week? What are you reading? What are you watching? Do you have any plans for this upcoming week?


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). 




Thank you again for your votes! It was close, the winner coming out on top by two votes (9) and the other two, All Cats Are Introverts by Francesco Marciuliano  and They Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy Miller, tying each with 7 votes. 



The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel 
Sometimes you have to leave behind everything you know to find the place you truly belong...

Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he's going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru's old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There's even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won't say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break...
I began reading it earlier today and have met Nana and his human Satoru. I am looking forward to further immersing myself in the novel. I have a feeling it will be both heart warming and heartbreaking. 


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


© 2020, 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 03, 2020

Weekly Mews: June Highlights and My July TBR List Poll (Please Vote!)

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.   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. 



New to the Shelves:

E-Books: 


White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Silver Blade (Kinsmen, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Silver Shark (Kinsmen, #2) by Ilona Andrews

Print Books:


Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
The Library of Legends by Janie Chang
A Good Cry by Nikki Giovanni
(also featured: Mouse's and my face coverings)


Have you read any of these books? What did you think? If not, which ones are on your TBR pile? What new books did you add to your shelf in June?


What I Am Reading: Funny story. My husband and daughter were recently playing a baseball dice game, and my husband mentioned to me he had commented on a Kickstarter page about my daughter winning with her team of unicorns, and the creator commented back. His name, W.M. Akers, sounded familiar and, sure enough, he is the author on a couple of books I have on my TBR shelf. Which is why I am now in the middle of W.M. Akers Westside, the first in his historical mystery fantasy series featuring detective Gilda Carr. 

I am in between nonfiction books right now, trying to decide if I want to start How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi or The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. I have heard good things about both. Have you read either one? Which would you recommend?

What I Am Watching: I have been wanting to see Hamilton for what seems like forever, but ticket prices have always been so high. I finally got my chance yesterday and was not disappointed. It was as amazing as I hoped. And now I want to see it performed live on stage even more! Have you seen it? 

I recently watched Athlete A, the documentary about the Larry Nasser sexual abuse scandal in U.S. Gymnastics. I grew up following the sport, and always look forward to the gymnastic event in the Olympics, wishing I had half of their talent and skill as the gymnasts. The documentary was eye-opening, but not all that surprising. Just look at the Catholic Church and Boy Scout sexual abuse scandals. The way those girls were treated, not just the sexual abuse, but everything. And then the cover up . . .  I really feel for those girls and women, and all they've had to endure. No one should have to go through that. They are so brave to come forward, and I hope this will lead to reform of the entire program. 

My family and I are about to start the final season of Elementary. I read an (old) article about how the show makers didn't expect to get another season and so wrapped up the show with the sixth season finale. I am curious to see how this seventh season goes. 


Off the Blog: We eased into June and have been sticking close to home as we watch the rest of the country open up. My county was so cautious at first, mandating masks early on in March and taking the shelter in place order seriously. The curve was beginning to flatten. And then the protests demanding to return to normal lives began, the politicians caved to the pressure (or maybe they agreed with those who felt their civil liberties were being violated), the county sheriff refuses to enforce any safety requirements, and now the Coronavirus numbers continue to rise. Many in the public do not seem to care, with some loudly continuing to argue this is all a liberal hoax. Meanwhile, the virus is getting closer to home. Coworkers and friend's family members. It's touched some of you as well. The Governor recently ordered restaurants, bars and some other high traffic businesses to cease indoor services in several counties throughout the state, including mine. He's also mandated facial coverings for the entire state. 

We ventured out to the park last weekend for a picnic. There were a handful of people out and about while we were there. We found a quiet spot under a shady tree and enjoyed being outdoors and away from the house. The weather was perfect. It was really nice to get out, and we hope to do it again before it gets too hot. Not this weekend though. I imagine there will be many people out and about for the 4th of July holiday weekend. 

Mouse had her annual physical early in the week, which went well. The hospital is taking extra precautions, of course. They parking lot was as full as usual, but we did not see many people about. We stopped by the Starbucks drive thru on the way home as a treat. The next day I read online that the Starbucks had to close for quarantine because someone who works there tested positive. 

Work is going well. I had to drive to one of the downtown offices to pick up a replacement laptop. I was one of a handful of staff who were still working on an ancient computer evidently. The new computer is smaller, but it's faster. 

I  used more gas in the last week than I have in the past three months with all these outings! 

We still have not made it back to the dance studio, but they are having classes in the studio. Mouse is still taking her classes via Zoom. The studio finally announced they were postponing the summer shows. It was inevitable, of course, but I am surprised they took so long to make that decision. Mouse took the news hard, even though her dad and I had tried to prepare her. She wants so much to be able to be with her friends again. I cannot blame her. 



Here is what I finished reading in June:
  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, Ann Hazzard & Jennifer Zivoin
  • Don't Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
  • Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis
  • The Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
I am happy with how June turned out reading wise. I read some great books, each very different from one another. On the downside, Mouse has not been too interested in reading with me as of late, preferring to read on her own. At least she's reading. My blogging has suffered this month. I spent less time on my computer than usual. I work from home most days and find that by the end of the work day, I haven't much interest in jumping back on the computer in the evenings for my personal stuff. I did not seem to mind it when I was in the office full-time. I am planning to take a blogging break this month for a week or two, try to catch up on my backlog of review writing perhaps.

Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? How was your June? 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 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 considered doing a Christmas in July theme, but when looking over my TBR shelves, I came across these three gems and decided the theme was too good to pass up. The theme? See for yourself. Then help me decide what to read next! 


The Travelling Cat Chronicles
by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel 
Sometimes you have to leave behind everything you know to find the place you truly belong...

Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he's going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru's old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There's even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won't say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break...


All Cats Are Introverts
by Francesco Marciuliano

Have you ever been labeled as "antisocial," "shy," or "lost in your own thoughts" because you don't realize someone's been calling your name 148 times? The cats understand. All Cats Are Introverts is a collection of self-reflective poetry from cats that clearly shows them to be the insightful, often alert, crowd-averse, personally engaging, probably napping-as-we-speak introverts of the animal kingdom. Enjoy this completely relatable and hilarious book, and perhaps you will soon see the cat—and even yourself—in a whole new light.







They Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy Miller 
You’ve seen me on the street. You’ve walked past my house, and pointed, and wondered. The cat lady. All on my own, with only my five cats to keep me company. Did no-one ever tell you that you can’t judge a book by its cover?

Everyone in town knows Nancy Jones. She loves her cats. She loves her tumbledown house by the sea. She loves her job in the local school where she tries to help the children who need help the most. Nancy tries hard not to think about her past loves and where those led her…

Nancy never shares her secrets – because some doors are better kept locked. But one day she accepts a cat-sitting request from a local woman, and at the woman’s house, Nancy sees a photograph, in a bright-red frame. A photograph that opens the door to her painful past…

Soon Nancy doesn’t know what frightens her the most: letting her story out, or letting the rest of the world in. It’s impossible to find companionship without the risk of losing it. But can Nancy take that risk again?

A heart-wrenching and heart-warming story of love lost and found, and of second chances, They Call Me The Cat Lady is perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine


Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading and stay safe and well.


© 2020, 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, July 02, 2020

Where Is Your Bookmark? (My Current Read & Well-Hyped Books that Disappointed Me )

Happy Friday! What book is your bookmark in today? 

I thought I would share excerpts from a book I recently started called Westside (#1) by W.M. Akers I am not too far in, but I like what I have read so far. 

A young detective who specializes in “tiny mysteries” finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan’s Westside—a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents—that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman. [from the Goodreads Summary]


A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the wonderful Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.
I stole a glove.

It dangled off a table in a decrepit leather shop on Thieves' Market on the Eastside of Manhattan in sweltering late September 1921, and it was in my bag before I even knew it had been in my hand. 

My thoughts: The opening not only gives us the time and place, but also a bit of action right away. It had me wanting to read more.


A weekly meme in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. Hosted by the wonderful Freda of Freda's Voice.

"Last night, one of her gangs was ambushed by men in your uniforms, firing pistols."

"My men are guardsmen - they guard. That's it. No booze, no women, and not a step across the Borderline, on penalty of death. They know better."

"They killed three boys."

My thoughts: I have not yet reached this point in the book, but the situation does not sound good. Did some of his men attack the other gang or was it another group trying to frame them? Hmm. I had better get back to my reading so I can find out! 


Have you read Westside or the newly released sequel, Westside Saints? Does Westside sound like something you would enjoy? 


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 book/books got a lot of hype but were a disappointment for you? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)
Sometimes a book just is not a good fit for a particular reader. Given the number of books many of us read, there are bound to be disappointments. It is easy for our expectations to be built up by the praise (even from fellow bloggers) and creative advertising, which could mean the harder the fall into disappointment. Take that fudge ad that keeps popping up on my Facebook feed. It looked sooo good and, after seeing it multiple times every day, hearing about the different flavors, how many people love it, and the big sale prices, I caved in and bought some. I liked the peanut butter chocolate fudge okay, but the other flavors I tried were disappointing. Is it me? Is it the fudge? Maybe I do not like fudge as much as I think I do because I have yet to find fudge that I love the way I feel I should . . . 

We are getting off track here. Back to books. It's funny. Sometimes I run toward hyped books like it is their last day on earth, and then they languish on my shelves for years until I read them. Other times I dive right in. And then there are those books I avoid like the plague--because THE HYPE! There is no rhyme or reason to my reading behavior. At least none that I have found. 

Anyway, you wanted to know some of the well-hyped books I found disappointing. [Book titles are linked to my reviews.]

No one can deny the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James received a lot of hype--both positive and negative. I have friends who did not just dislike the trilogy, but hated it, and others who absolutely loved it. I went into the trilogy to see why the books were so polarizing. I managed to read the first two books of the three, and, well, I am not in the least bit a fan. 

John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez are two books that receive heaps of praise even today, years after they were first published. Neither won me over. 

There is also Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, which, for all intents and purposes, I should have loved. Witches, after all! I remember all the hype when the book first came out, and then again with the movie. Like the book I found the movie disappointing too. 

There have been other well-hyped books that have left me disappointed of course, but these are the ones that instantly come to mind. Just because they may not have been my cup of tea doesn't mean they weren't someone else's. And given the praise they've received, I would say that is a good bet. 



What well-hyped books did you find disappointing?


 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!

© 2020, Wendy Runyon of 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, June 30, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Scottsboro/The Two Mrs. Carlyles/The Lions of Fifth Avenue/The Fate of a Flapper



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!


Scottsboro
by Ellen Feldman
(2008)
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, a novel inspired by the shocking true story of the Scottsboro boys. 

Even after all these years, the injustice still stuns. Innocent boys sentenced to die, not for a crime they did not commit, but for a crime that never occurred. Lives splintered as casually as wood being hacked for kindling. 

Alabama, 1931. A freight train is stopped in Scottsboro, nine black youths are brutally arrested and, within minutes, the cry of rape goes up from two white girls. In the shocking aftermath, one sticks to her story whilst the other keeps changing her mind, and an impassioned young journalist must try to save nine boys from the electric chair, one girl from a lie and herself from the clutches of the past . . . 

Stirring racism, sexism and the politics of a divided America into an explosive brew, Scottsboro gives voice to the victims - black and white - of this infamous case. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2009, Ellen Feldman's classic charts a fight for justice during the burgeoning civil-rights movement.

Why I want to read this: A friend recommended this book to me, and I bought a copy in 2009 to add to my TBR shelf. Feldman brings us a fictionalized account of true events in which nine Black boys were convicted of a crime they did not commit. An important part of history that should not be forgotten. 


Have you read Scottsboro? Does this book 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.


The Two Mrs. Carlyles
by Suzanne Rindell 
Release Date: July 28, 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons 
A suspenseful and page-turning descent into obsession, love, and murder in the wake of San Francisco's most deadly earthquake--and Suzanne Rindell's most haunting novel since her acclaimed debut The Other Typist

Which wife holds the darker secret? 

San Francisco, 1906. Violet is one of three people grateful for the destruction of the big earthquake. It leaves her and her two best friends unexpectedly wealthy--if the secret that binds them together stays buried beneath the rubble. Fearing discovery, the women strike out on their own, and orphaned, wallflower Violet reinvents herself. 

When a whirlwind romance with the city's most eligible widower, Harry Carlyle, lands her in a luxurious mansion as the second Mrs. Carlyle, it seems like her dreams of happiness and love have come true. But all is not right in the Carlyle home, and Violet soon finds herself trapped by the lingering specter of the first Mrs. Carlyle, and by the inescapable secrets of her own violent history. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Having spent the majority of my growing up years in Northern California, San Francisco was always one of my favorite places to visit. So full of history and charm. This being set in the city during the 1906 earthquake was enough to catch my interest. But I think this particular story sounds pretty intriguing on its own, don't you? What happened to the first Mrs. Carlyle? And what does this mean for Violet?


The Lions of Fifth Avenue
by Fiona Davis

Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Dutton
In nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis's latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.

It's 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn't ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she finds herself drawn to Greenwich Village's new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club—a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women's rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she's forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.

Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she's wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie's running begin disappearing from the library's famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library's history. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Another historical novel I do not want to miss out on! This one is centered around the New York Public Library.  


The Fate of a Flapper
(The Speakeasy Murders #2) by Susanna Calkins

Release Date: July 28, 2020 by St. Martin's Griffin

The Fate of a Flapper, the second mystery in this captivating new series, takes readers into the dark, dangerous, and glittering underworld of a 1920's Chicago speakeasy.

A 2019 Agatha Award Nominee for "Best Historical Mystery"!

After nine months as a cigarette girl at the Third Door, one of Chicago’s premier moonshine parlors, Gina Ricci feels like she's finally getting into the swing of things. The year is 1929, the Chicago Cubs are almost in the World Series, neighborhood gangs are all-powerful, and though Prohibition is the law of the land, the Third Door can't serve the cocktails fast enough.

Two women in particular are throwing drinks back with abandon while chatting up a couple of bankers, and Gina can't help but notice the levels of inebriation and the tension at their table. When the group stumbles out in the early morning, she tries to put them out of her head. But once at home that night, Gina's sleep is interrupted when her cousin Nancy, a police officer, calls—she's found a body. Gina hurries over to photograph the crime scene, but stops short when she recognizes the body: it’s one of the women from the night before.

Could the Third Door have served the woman bad liquor? Or, Gina wonders, could this be murder? As the gangs and bombings draw ever closer, all of Chicago starts to feel like a warzone, and Gina is determined to find out if this death was an unlucky accident, or a casualty of combat. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I read another of Susanna Calkins mysteries a few years ago and enjoyed it, but for some reason never followed up with it. Now she's coming out with the second in a new series I have yet to try--and this one sounds too good to pass up! 


Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


© 2020, 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, June 23, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Blood Line/The Year of the Witching/The Book of Lost Names/Paris is Always a Good Idea



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!



Blood Line (Anna Travis #7) by Lynda La Plante (Harper Collins, 2011)

Under the watchful eye of DCS James Langton, DCI Anna Travis takes charge of an investigation for the first time. But is it purely a missing person's case - or a full blown murder enquiry? An ominous pool of blood and no victim lead Anna on a desperate hunt for a man who has disappeared without trace. As Anna becomes obsessed with seemingly irrelevant details, Langton fears that she is losing control. They still have no body and Anna is under increasing pressure to make an arrest... [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Yeas ago I was given the opportunity to read and review book #6 of this series, Backlash, which I enjoyed quite a bit. It was my first by the author. While I generally like to start at the beginning of the series, over the years I have broken that "rule" a number of times, always with the intent of going back and starting from the beginning. Somehow I ended up with this book (#7) on my TBR shelf, and I imagine that is part of why this one still sits there unread. My intention has always been to go back and start at the beginning. It's not a good excuse, I know. But there you have it. 


Have you read Blood Line? Does this book 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.


The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Ace
The Handmaid's Tale for a new generation . . .

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy.

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.

But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel - a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . . [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Everything about this book calls to me. Witches, secrets, the church, everything.


The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Gallery Books
Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: There was no question I would want to read this one when I first came across it. A long lost book, World War II, a code needing breaking . . . I am really looking forward to this one.


Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay
Release Date: July 21, 2020 by Berkley
It's been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she's lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea's thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he's getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps--to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy--Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Something lighter and more introspective. I have enjoyed Jenn McKinlay's books in the past and am eager to read this one. I admit from the discription it brought to mind Mama Mia

Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


© 2020, 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.