Saturday, June 05, 2021

Weekly Mews: May, the Month We Bought a Lot of Books & Maybe Did A Little Reading / June's TBR List Poll (Please Vote!)

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  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 It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.

As part of my monthly wrap up, I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post and 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. 


What I Am Reading: I felt a little reading slump dip coming on after finishing Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev the beginning of June. I ended up loving the book, but since then I have had trouble settling on a book. At the urging of a friend, I recently picked up the second book in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead. I am hoping that will reignite my reading flame. I really liked the first book in the series, which I read a few years ago.  


Mouse and I are still working our way through Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan and will likely finish it this week. It is very different from the television series, which we really liked. Mouse has been distracted with other books, reading more on her own than with me recently (my working longer hours hasn't helped). We  are also both reading The Magic Misfits (#1) by Neil Patrick Harris, although separately. It is kind of like having our own little book club! 

My daughter is anxious to jump into the 13th Dork Diaries novel by Rachel Renée Russell, Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday, and I have a feeling we will be reading it together as soon as we finish Just Add Magic. She probably would have dived in by now, but she knows I enjoy the books too. Next up for me . . . As always, I am on the fence. At the moment, I am leaning toward either Joani Elliott's The Audacity of Sara Grayson or The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley. 


What I Am Watching:
My husband and I finished re-watching the final season of Angel and now have moved on to the second half of season 5 of Lucifer. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the show. I hadn't been sure I would like it when I first began watching, but it grew on me fairly quickly. We binge watched Shadow and Bone one weekend. Neither one of us have read the books, but we did enjoy the show. I still would like to try Leigh Bardugo's series at some point, although it likely will not be soon. I have also been working my way through Teen Wolf. I am in the middle of the 4th season. It's pure guilty pleasure, but it makes for good background television, although sometimes a little too distracting. Our family enjoyed the finale of the Masked Singer season--such a silly but entertaining show.

We are looking forward to seeing the first episode of Loki this next week. Is anyone else planning to watch it? 

Off the Blog: May was a full month. It was the final month of virtual school for Mouse. I had not expected to feel so emotional about it, the weight and the overwhelming-ness of it all crashing down mixed in with relief. We got through it. The whole work/life balance was blurred for so many months there, and I never felt like I was doing enough for anyone, including myself. I still don't, but at least I am beginning to feel like I am on firmer ground again. Somewhat, anyway. 

Mouse is attending a summer program a couple times a week and continues to participate in her dance classes and rehearsals for the summer show. Her Girl Scout troop had their last official meeting of the season this past Friday. It was the first time they had met in-person since the beginning of March 2020. Our Council was very strict about following state guidelines this Girl Scout season and only allowed in person meetings the past couple months. Even then, social distancing and masks have been required. This meeting was more of a movie party--the perfect end to the season. They are planning some summer activities for the girls. Perhaps we will be able to join in. 

I finally had my ultrasound appointment and the results came back clear. I have another test/procedure coming up in July that will take me off work for a couple days. Hopefully that news will be good too.

My husband's birthday is this coming week and we will be celebrating in style. If my daughter and I have our way, there will be cake. I mean, how can there not be cake?!

New to the Shelves in May:

My family and I visited our local Barnes and Nobles twice in May. My daughter has not had much of a chance to do much in-person shopping (none of us have, really) in over a year , and so we might have gotten carried away. I generally pay for the books Mouse gets, but this time she wanted to spend her own money (although I did buy some of these for her anyway).

My new books:
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
The Last Watch (The Divide #1) by J.S. Dewes 

Mouse's Books: 
Ghost Friends Forever (#2) by Monica Gallagher, illustrated by Kata Kane
The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi

Mouse's Books: 
Be Wary of the Silent Woods (The Weirn Books #1) by Svetlana Chmakova
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Mouse's Books: 
Summer Lifeguards (#1) by Elizabeth Doyle Carey, illustrated by Judit Mallol
Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor ( #1) by Ally Carter
The Truth About Stacey (Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel #2) by Raina Telgemeier & Ann M. Martin 

Mouse's Books: 
Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday (Dork Diaries #13) by Rachel Renée Russell
Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever (Dork Diaries #14) by Rachel Renée Russell
The Second Story (Magic Misfits #2) by Neil Patrick Harris
The Minor Third (Magic Misfits #3) by Neil Patrick Harris

My husband came across a Humble Bundle that he thought might interest me. Humble Bundle is a website that sells digital content like games, software e-books by partnering with other businesses and then giving part of the proceeds to charity. They recently ran an offer for a bundle of 20 mystery/thrillers called Murder by the Book. The cost? Whatever I chose to pay! Anjin didn't have to ask twice. Of course, I said, "Yes, please!" A portion of the money went to First Book, a charity that supports equal access to quality education. Here are the books that came in the bundle: 

Come and Get Me (Caitlin Bergman #1) by August Norman
Beijing Red (Nick Foley #1) by Alex Ryan
Last Girl Gone (A Laura Chambers Mystery #1) by J.G. Hetherton
The Coroner (Coroner's Daughter's Mystery #1) by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
All That's Bright and Gone by Eliza Nellums

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan
Dark Turns by Cate Holahan
One Little Secret by Cate Holahan
The Widower's Wife by Cate Holahan
When She's Gone by Jane Palmer

Heaven's Crooked Finger (An Earl Marcus Mystery #1) by Hank Early
In the Valley of the Devil (An Earl Marcus Mystery #2) by Hank Early
  Echoes of the Fall (An Earl Marcus Mystery #3) by Hank Early
House of Ashes (Haunted Bluffs Mystery #1) by Loretta Marion
Storm of Secrets (Haunted Bluffs Mystery #2) by Loretta Marion

Best Kept Secrets by Tracey S. Phillips
Crossroad by W.H. Cameron
#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar
Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff
When You Find Me by P.J. Vernon

Have you read any of these books? What books did you add to your TBR this past month? 


Here is what I finished reading in May:
  • Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
  • A Peculiar Combination (Electra McDonnell #1) by Ashley Weaver
  • Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers
  • Written in Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind by Sue Black
My reading quantity fell drastically in May. Not all the books I read were quick reads, whether because of content, size or both. With my daughter and I not reading as many middle grade novels together as we had been, that made a difference too. I am not complaining though. It was a good reading month quality wise. I finally fit in another nonfiction book! I am lagging behind in that challenge. I managed to get some reviews written and posted but am still behind. 

Challenge Progress: 

This Past May In Reading Mews:

Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? How was your May? 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 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. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 


I actually planned to have you vote on another set of three books, but then these three came to mind and I could not stop thinking about them. So, I did what I often do when I am on the fence about something and asked my husband for this thoughts. He will be surprised to know that I actually am going with his suggestion this time around (usually I go with a completely different option than the ones I had been considering). I have been wanting to read all three of these books since I first heard about them. Admittedly, there has been a lot of hype around each one of them, which always raises my expectations and often gives me pause. Will I like them too? I sure hope so!  Which of these three books do you think I should read next? They all sound so good! 


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can - will she? [Goodreads Summary]



The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. [Goodreads Summary]


The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week and a month of June! 
Happy Reading!

© 2021, 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.

50 comments:

  1. Anything to break up a slump! I feel myself wanting to read more urban fantasy of late. And I've been debating trying Shadow and Bone.

    Glad your ultrasound came back well.

    How did you like Long Way? I'm fond of that one... :)

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    1. Greg - Yes, anything! Going with urban fantasy did seem to help. There was a moment when I didn't think it would, but it seems to have. I really liked A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It was so good. I look forward to reading more by Chambers. Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. I hope your new book will help you get past the slump.

    I haven't seen Shadow and Bone yet, but I really want to. I read the first book and loved it.

    I also started watching Lucifer a little while ago. And although I really enjoyed it.. I still haven't seen more than three episodes.

    I'm glad to read your results came back clear!

    Have a great week and happy reading.

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    1. Maureen - It seems to have, thankfully! I hope you continue to enjoy Lucifer when you can get back to it. It goes into interesting directions. Thank you for the well wishes and for visiting!

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  3. Sorry to hear this has been an emotional month with a reading slump, but so glad your ultrasound came back clear and that you have had some good television to lose yourself in.
    As for me, I read five books in May, which is a great amount for me! And the sun has finally come out to play, so I have been enjoying spending time outside in the garden.
    Take care and happy reading in June 😎

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    1. Jessica - Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you had a great reading month in May. :-) And yay for the sun! Thank you for stopping by!

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  4. Voted for the Midnight Library because I've heard so many good things about it!

    I'm glad your ultrasound results are good and I hope the next tests bring more positive news.

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    1. Eustacia - Thank you for voting. I'm trying hard not to peek at the results yet. :-) Thank you too for your kind words and well wishes!

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  5. I just started watching season 5 of Lucifer. I really like the show too and glad their is a new season. I will look into Angel. thanks for all the reviews

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    1. Judee - I hope you are enjoying the 5th season of Lucifer. I am glad we'll have another season after this. I hope you like Angel if you watch it! Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. I always have a hard time picking a new read after a fabulous read; new readers just don't measure up. I've heard lots of great things about Invisible Life, and I greatly enjoyed Midnight Library as a testament to life. Maybe you just want to enjoy some books this summer as readalongs with your daughter. That's good, too.

    I've been eager to make up for lost time at bookstores, too. Every time I go into a bookstore, I think about how grateful I am that they survived the pandemic.

    I'm especially glad your ultrasound results were good.

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    1. Deb - Me too. When I'm on that reading high I want to dive sometimes want to dive right into another book, but nothing catches my fancy. As you said, nothing measures up. I seem to be faring better now with my reading, thankfully.

      I was so excited with the library opened for in-person visits again so I could take Mouse. Unfortunately, they are on limited hours and smack dab during my work time--so no library visits for us yet. We have plenty of books at home still to read, so we are set there, but we're looking forward to going again when they extend their hours more.

      I hope you are well. Thank you for visiting!

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  7. I see you got a copy of The Death of Vivek Oji, which I thought was wonderfully done.

    I am glad to hear your test results came back clear; what a relief! I hope the next ones are good as well.

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    1. Helen - I am really looking forward to reading The Death of Vivek Oji. I am glad you liked it! Thank you for the well wishes! Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. I missed the ultrasound announcement. I hope all is well after the next test. Glad that Mouse is having a normalish start to summer. We're not there yet, but working on it. I wish Jason and I binged more shows, but I count myself lucky that he is mysteriously addicted to the British Bake Off on Netflix, lol.

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    1. Stacy - Thank you! That's my hope too. :-)

      I am glad Mouse is able to resume some of her regular activities and be around other kids again. California is one of the states that has the strictest safeguards in place, so we're not as open as other states have been for awhile now. Many of the state's restrictions will be lifted on the 15th of June, and I'm curious (and anxious) to see how that takes shape. I think too many people are taking it to mean the pandemic is over. We are still being cautious in many respects but also taking calculated risks in others. The state's numbers continue to show improvement, and so that's good sign.

      We enjoyed the one episode of The British Bake Off we watched several months ago. Mouse loves cooking shows. Her favorite is Nailed It. I'm not as big on them myself but sometimes get sucked in. :-)

      Thank you for visiting!

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  9. It sounds like change is afoot. We have also had a TON of med appts that we put off during COVID so we are getting back on track. We still mostly stay home. I give Addie Larue 5 hearts but it is a longish book. I listened on audio. I also have Last Watch coming up on reserve from the library.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

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    1. Anne - Lots of change--we are definitely in a state of transition. You've reminded me (again) that I need to schedule an optometrist appointment. My prescription was outdated before the pandemic hit and it's worse now. And I need to schedule Mouse's annual physical . . .

      I hope you enjoy Last Watch! I've heard good things about it. I am glad to hear you liked The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue. I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for stopping by!

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  10. i love angel and lucifer, but since i only have cable, i don't get to watch them. hope they will run reruns some time
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Sherry - I don't have cable either, but I subscribe to Netflix, which is how I watched Lucifer. We actually have Angel on DVD (and Buffy too) which makes re-watching easy. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  11. I have not read or watched Shadow and Bone yet, but I am planning to do both. Heard so many good reviews about it. Have a good week ahead.

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    1. Gayathri - I hope you enjoy the books and show when you get to them! Thank you for stopping by!

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  12. I have Pride, Prejudice and other flavors on my list for coyer book this month (you should join us since you've read it)! I hope the dip was because it was good? I agree with the Hollows plan, such a good series and book 1 was the worst. So if you liked it, it's going to get better for sure!

    I want to watch Shadow and Bone, but I reas the first book years ago and really want to reread it and then finish the series before I watch the show. But sounds like it's a good show, from all I've heard.

    I understand how hard things have been, for sure. I'm sure it's a relief to have school finished and hopefully things will continue to improve as more and more people get vaccinated. Sounds like Mouse had an excellent end to Scout season with a movie night!

    All those books for your TBR List sound so good - and such a similar theme! I voted for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue because it is my favorite read of 2021 so far. So good!! I hope you enjoy whichever wins!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Berls - I hope you enjoy Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors as much as I did. I think the dip was because I liked it so much. LOL. It was nice to settle into an urban fantasy novel again. I may pick up the third book to read soon. I shouldn't let so much time pass between my series reading. I'm so bad about that though.

      Yeah, I think the compilation of everything hit me hard. It's been such a challenging year. I am glad Mouse is able to get back into more of her regular activities again. It's been so good for her--and good for me, I think.

      Thank you for voting! I am glad to hear you liked The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue so much!

      Thank you for visiting!

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  13. I'm glad your ultrasound was clear, and I hope the next set of tests is, too. I've heard really good things about Addie LaRue, and our Robin gave it to me for Christmas, so I need to read it soon. Maybe this month.

    It sounds like Mouse is doing well, and keeping busy. It's wonderful that she loves to read as much as she does! She takes after her mom in that respect, clearly.

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    1. Lark - Thank you! I hope so too. I hope you enjoy The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue when you read it too.

      I am glad Mouse has finally fell under the spell of reading. It hasn't always been that way.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  14. So glad to hear your results are clear! Continued health vibes going out to you! I can only imagine how emotional May must have been. I think once we are over the pandemic we'll still be trying to process everything we went through. Thank you for sharing the Humble Bundle - what a great idea and will keep my eyes on it. Here's to the beginning of great summer reading!

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    1. Iliana - Thank you. I appreciate the good thoughts and support. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  15. Ohhh you must read Invisible Husband of Frick Island! I got an ARC of it and really loved it! (but i also grew up on the Chesapeake bay so im a little biased:D)

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    1. Alchemy Bookshop - What a great name! I decided to take your advice and am not reading The Invisible Husband of Frick Island. :-) Thank you for recommendation and for stopping by!

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  16. Though I really enjoyed Life After Life, it is very confusing and may not be the best choice to help dig out of a reading slump. I just finished Midnight Library and found it very thoughtful.

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    1. Anne - Thank you for the head's up about Life After Life. I am trying not to peek at the results of the poll just yet, but it's hard. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  17. When I'm in a reading dip, I usually reach for an old tried and tested favourite book. Hope you find something to capture your interest.
    Yes, my kids and I are very excited about Loki. ;-)

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    1. Flora - I am not much of a re-reader, but sometimes diving into a series I enjoy helps. I think the Kim Harrison book worked like a charm. :-)

      I hoped you and your kids enjoyed Loki!

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  18. That Humble Bundle looks like its filled with interesting books. I hope you find some to really love. Glad to hear about the ultrasound. Rereading old favorites helps me get out of reading slumps. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I couldn't resist when my husband shared the link to the bundle with me. All the books sound good and I have had good luck with Crooked Lane books. Thank you for visiting!

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  19. I voted for Addie LaRue. Would love to hear what you think of it.

    I hope you enjoy all your new books, My daughter loved Ghosts :)

    I hope you have a great week! Happy Reading!

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    1. Michelle - Thank you for voting! I have yet to read any of Victoria Schwab's books, but I have several on my TBR shelves. Go figure. LOL

      My daughter loved Ghosts too. She's read it several times since we brought it home. :-)

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  20. Kim Harrison is great. I haven't read her in quite sometime though. So many books, so little time.

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    1. Mary - My friend was reading the most recent in the series and just kept telling me I needed to continue with it. I loved the first book. She may have spoiled a big twist I'll come across later on, but I can live with that. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  21. We all have book slumps but a trip to Barnes and Noble will cure it for me. I checked out the bundles I will have too pick something out for my son . Another reading fan like your daughter. Have a great week 😀

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    1. Lisa - I hope you find something he would like. Thank you for stopping by!

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  22. Glad the ultrasound was clear! Always a relief. My daughter said the same thing when school ended for her boys, we all survived. Have not read any of the books in the bundle.

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    1. Nise' - Thank you. It was a relief. Thank you for visiting!

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  23. I've not visited blogs, my blog is not working, I think something wrong with the wifi and we are in lockdown!
    Husband was in hospital, just got out but not quite right yet.
    I just try to remember blogs I visit and visit! Glad about the ultrasound.

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    1. Mystica - I hope your blog is working again and you were able to get the wifi or whatever it was sorted out. That would be frustrating, especially because you are cooped up at home.

      I am so sorry to hear your husband was in the hospital? How is he doing? I hope better now that he's home.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  24. I liked the Midnight Library so I voted for that. Super glad you had good US results. Sounds like Mouse has a great summer planned. Congrats to you for making thru the virtual year- you did a great job! I hope you enjoy The Hollows series. It's a good one.

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    1. Victoria - Thank you for voting! I am really looking forward to reading The Midnight Library. Any of them really. :-) I am hoping to dive into the third book of the Hollows series soon. I'm enjoying them. Thank you for visiting!

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  25. Wow, you have had a lot going on Wendy. My granddaughter's school goes until June 28th, so I have a few more weeks yet. I love seeing all the books for Mouse. It is so awesome to see how much she is reading herself and together with you. Thanks for the reminder about Loki, I definitely want to watch it. The only book of your three I have read is The Midnight Library and I enjoyed it, so that is what I voted for. I learned about the Humble Bundle from another blog (Fictionophile) and thought it was amazing. I hope you enjoy them all. Have a great upcoming week.

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    1. Carla - I can't get used to school ending in May here. It just seems wrong somehow. LOL Thank you for voting!

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