Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Oil!/Witch Hunt/Mexican Gothic/Her Last Flight



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!

Oil! by Upton Sinclair ( Penguin, 2007, originally published in 1926)
Sinclair's 1927 novel did for California's oil industry what The Jungle did for Chicago's meat-packing factories. In Oil! Upton Sinclair fashioned a novel out of the oil scandals of the Harding administration, providing in the process a detailed picture of the development of the oil industry in Southern California. Bribery of public officials, class warfare, and international rivalry over oil production are the context for Sinclair's story of a genial independent oil developer and his son, whose sympathy with the oilfield workers and socialist organizers fuels a running debate with his father. Senators, small investors, oil magnates, a Hollywood film star, and a crusading evangelist people the pages of this lively novel. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: My interest in reading Oil! was piqued around the time the movie No Country For Old Men, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, came out. I am not sure why the two are linked in my head, but they are somehow. Why am I suddenly thinking of milkshakes? Which is from an entirely different movie, There Will Be Blood, I think. Ah! Now it makes sense. There Will Be Blood is a film adaptation of Oil!, and it came out around the same time as No Country for Old Men. They both had a similar feel to them, if I remember right.  Crazy how the mind works sometimes, isn't it? There Will Be Blood made an impression on me at the time and got me curious about Sinclair's famous novel. 


Have you read Oil!? Have you seen the movie adaptation called There Will Be Blood? 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.


Witch Hunt by Cate Conte
Release Date: June 30, 2020 by Kensington Books
Murder isn’t always crystal-clear . . . especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.

Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s "voodoo shop," the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.

But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self—and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it . . . [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: This is my favorite kind of cozy mystery--a mix of mystery and magic. And there's a cat! Of course there is a cat.


Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Release Date: June 30, 2020 by Del Rey
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico -- and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find -- her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: This has been featured on several other blogs over the last couple months, and no wonder! It sounds like it will be really good.


Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams
Release Date: June 30, 2020 by William Morrow
The beloved author returns with a remarkable novel of both raw suspense and lyric beauty— the story of a lost pilot and a wartime photographer that will leave its mark on your soul.

In 1947, photographer and war correspondent Janey Everett arrives at a remote surfing village on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to research a planned biography of forgotten aviation pioneer Sam Mallory, who joined the loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War and never returned. Obsessed with Sam’s fate, Janey has tracked down Irene Lindquist, the owner of a local island-hopping airline, whom she believes might actually be the legendary Irene Foster, Mallory’s onetime student and flying partner. Foster’s disappearance during a round-the-world flight in 1937 remains one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

At first, the flinty Mrs. Lindquist denies any connection to Foster. But Janey informs her that the wreck of Sam Mallory’s airplane has recently been discovered in a Spanish desert, and piece by piece, the details of Foster’s extraordinary life emerge: from the beginnings of her flying career in Southern California, to her complicated, passionate relationship with Mallory, to the collapse of her marriage to her aggressive career manager, the publishing scion George Morrow.

As Irene spins her tale to its searing conclusion, Janey’s past gathers its own power. The duel between the two women takes a heartstopping turn. To whom does Mallory rightfully belong? Can we ever come to terms with the loss of those we love, and the lives we might have lived? [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: Historical fiction featuring a female protagonist is among my favorite type of book, and Beatriz Williams is an author whose work I have enjoyed in the past. I cannot wait to meet Janey.


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.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Where Is Your Bookmark? 05/22/2020

I am in the middle of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. I had not intended to dive into a book that falls on the dark side given my current mood, but upon the heels of my finishing Deanna Raybourn's A Curious Beginning, it seemed a serendipitous choice. I was on Twitter one evening and Deanna Raybourn commented on how much she enjoyed the book, and so I decided to read it. It really is hard to put down! 

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia's life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they're more likely to discuss the FBI's recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club's meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he's a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she--and her book club--are the only people standing between the monster they've invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community. [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.

This story ends in blood. [opening of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Vampire Slaying]


My thoughts: Talk about a hook! What does Hindrix mean? I need to know 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.

"I wasn't . . .," she said, genuinely trying to explain, "I didn't want to die. I was just so angry. You wanted me to take those pills so badly, so I took them."
His face instantly closed up, and a steel door came down. "Don't you dare put this on me," he said. [excerpt from 56% of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Vampire Slaying]


My thoughts: I have not reached this point in the novel yet, and so am not sure what is going on, but knowing what comes before, I can guess it has a lot to do with a certain someone . . .


What do you think? Does this sound like something you would want to read? Have you read it? If you have, what did you think?



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.

If you own an e-book, would you also purchase a print copy as well? (submitted by Tabatha @ Broken Soul Reviews)

I sometimes will buy a print copy of a book I own in e-format, particularly if I want to have a hard copy of that book for my keeper shelf. It does not happen often, but you know the book means a lot to me when it does.

On the flip side, I have been known to buy e-copies of books I own physical copies of just for of the convenience of reading them on my e-reader--especially if it is a big book (for example, War and Peace). 

What about you? Have you ever purchased a print copy of an e-book you own?


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 My Favorite/Least Favorite Board Game!


My favorite board game (at least today) is Clue Master Detective. I guess it is no surprise since I enjoy reading mysteries so much.


My least favorite board game is Monopoly, which probably puts me in the minority given its popularity.



What is your favorite and least favorite board game? 


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

© 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, May 19, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Hidden/I Was Told It Would Get Easier/American Demon/Saving Ruby King



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!

Hidden by Paul Jaskunas ( Free Press, 2005)
As unnerving as it is mesmerizing, Hidden is an evocative, emotionally charged domestic drama -- a willful and traumatized woman's painful search for the truth about the man who assaulted her one summer night.

Six years after the attack, Maggie Wilson receives a call from the prosecutor who helped put her husband in jail after Maggie identified him as the man who nearly killed her. Told that another inmate has confessed to the crime and that her ex-husband will be freed, the shock plunges Maggie into memories of her stormy marriage to Nate Duke, the ambitious heir to a real estate company. Secluded in an old farmhouse that was her marital home, Maggie relives her marriage to Nate and his abusive treatment of her. But in her present, a very different man is haunting her -- the born-again convict who has confessed to the crime. As his story competes with hers, Maggie pores through trial transcripts, old journals, and photo albums, trying fruitlessly to remember exactly what happened.

Written in spare, elegant prose, Paul Jaskunas's novel reads like a waking dream as Maggie is torn by the question -- was it Nate? Or was it this stranger who seems to know intimate details? And what will it cost her to discover the truth? A work of searing suspense written in the heroine's brave voice, Hidden is ultimately about a woman confronting the betrayal of her body and the ambiguity of her mind. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: Yet another book that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for years now whose origin I am not quite sure about. Did it come recommended? Did I receive it as a gift or find it while browsing at the bookstore? All I know is this sounds like an emotional roller coaster of a domestic thriller. 

Have you read Hidden? Does it sounds 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.


I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman
Release Date: June 16, 2020 by Berkley
Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I enjoyed The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and when I saw the author has a new book coming out, I knew right away it would go on my wish list. Although it's been am embarrassingly long time ago, I still remember when my mom, brother and I went on a road trip to tour prospective colleges for me and the adventure we had. I look forward to reading this one.


American Demon (Return to the Hollows #1) by Kim Harrison
Release Date: June 16, 2020 by Ace
A thrilling return to the #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series, continuing Rachel Morgan’s story.

RACHEL MORGAN IS BACK–AND THE HOLLOWS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
What happens after you’ve saved the world? Well, if you’re Rachel Mariana Morgan, witch-born demon, you quickly discover that something might have gone just a little bit wrong. That the very same acts you and your friends took to forge new powers may have released something bound by the old. With a rash of zombies, some strange new murders, and an exceedingly mysterious new demon in town, it will take everything Rachel has to counter this new threat to the world–and it may demand the sacrifice of what she holds most dear. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I have only read the first book in the original Hollow's series, and I loved it. I need to pick up the rest of the series and read it before I jump into this one, but I cannot resist adding this to my wish list. 


Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West
Release Date: June 16, 2020 by Park Row
Set in the South Side of Chicago, an epic, enthralling story of a young woman determined to protect her best friend while a long-buried secret threatens to unravel both their families.

Family. Faith. Secrets. Everything in this world comes full circle.

When Ruby King’s mother is found murdered in their home in Chicago’s South Side, the police dismiss it as another act of violence in a black neighborhood. But for Ruby, it means she’ll be living alone with her violent father. The only person who understands the gravity of her situation is Ruby’s best friend, Layla. Their closeness is tested when Layla’s father, the pastor of their church, demands that Layla stay away. But what are his true motives? And what is the price for turning a blind eye?

In a relentless quest to save Ruby, Layla comes to discover the murky loyalties and dark secrets tying their families together for three generations. A crucial pilgrimage through the racially divided landscape of Chicago, Saving Ruby King traces the way trauma is passed down through generations and the ways in which communities can come together to create sanctuary.

Saving Ruby King is an emotional and revelatory story of race, family secrets, faith and redemption. This is an unforgettable debut novel from an exciting new voice in fiction and a powerful testament that history doesn’t determine the present, and that the bonds of friendship can forever shape the future. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: After that description, how can I not want to read this one? I want to know more about Ruby and Layla, and I am hoping the two young women will come out on top of this one.


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.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Six Degrees of Separation: The Road to After the Flood


Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best in which our lovely host chooses a book and participants take it from there: creating a chain of books, each connected to the one before. Seeing where we end up is half the fun! 


It is rare I have actually read the book that starts the chain, and this is one of the cases in which I have. The Road by Cormac McCarthy made quite an impression on me when I read it. In my 2013 review I wrote: "the writing is brilliant, the story stark and depressing and yet full of love with a (very) dim spark of hope." The novel is about a young boy and his father as they travel toward the coast in an inhospitable, post-apocalyptic world.

Thinking of that father and son pair existing in such dire circumstances, trying to survive, instantly brought to mind Melanie and Justineau from The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, a dystopian novel in which  the last of the healthy survivors live in fear of a infectious fungal virus that causes people to lose their mental abilities and feed on the healthy. While the two characters are not blood related, they have a relationship much like that of a daughter and mother. Melanie is a part of a scientific experiment, and when the head doctor decides it is time for her to be dissected, her teacher, Justineau steps in and the two end up on the run, trying to make their way to what they hope will be a protected establishment.

Concern of a contagion and being on the run for their lives, immediately made me think of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, in which the last boy in a town of men uncovers a forbidden secret and must go on the run. At the beginning of the novel, the reader learns it is believed that a "germ" released by the local inhabitants of the planet killed all of the women and many of the men, making it impossible for the thoughts of the men to remain hidden from one another. It's another novel set in a rather dire world, this one another planet, and, like the previous book, the characters are on a journey for their lives.

A crazy preacher and a contagion lead me straight to The Stand by Stephen King next (there's a crazy preacher in Ness's book and a character worshiped as the "messiah" in King's), which features a weaponized influenza epidemic accidentally released onto the population, taking most people out.  Anarchy ensues, while people try to survive, some attempting to build safe communities to live in.


In writing The Stand, Stephen King wanted to create his own epic story in the spirit of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. King's Randall Flagg a version of the Dark Lord; Las Vegas was cast to represent Mordor.

An unlikely band of characters comes together to help Frodo on his mission in The Lord of the Rings. Similarly, Yumeko, the heroine in Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa picks up her own unlikely traveling companions as she journeys to a far off temple to deliver a part of an ancient scroll, chased by evil forces. Both Frodo and Yumeko face difficult journeys, each with their own burden to bear.

Yumeko guards her part of the scroll well, including keeping the very fact she has it at all from her companions, especially the dangerous and mysterious samurai who is after the scroll himself. Myra is not completely honest with her companions either when they take her and her daughter, Pearl, onto their boat in After the Flood by Kassandra Montag. She does what she can to gain the crew's trust and convince them to go where she needs them to go in the search for her older daughter, even if it means lying to them.


After the Flood is a post-apocalyptic novel set  a century or so from now; floodwaters have overtaken much of the land and coastal cities and even much of the inlands are covered in water. Myra and Pearl have been on their own for many years, living on the water and stopping on land only when they need food or supplies. It is a bleak and near hopeless novel about a mother and her child that brought to mind McCarthy's The Road as I read it. How fitting then that my chain brings me right back to the beginning. Each novel in the chain takes the characters on a quest of some sort, whether it be in search of something or to deliver something or just with the hope of surviving.

All of these are excellent books I highly recommend if you have not yet read them! 

Next month we’ll begin with Sally Rooney’s best seller (and now a TV series), Normal People.


© 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, May 12, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Primitive Secrets/The Invisible Boy/The Marriage Game/The Shadow Wand



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!


Primitive Secrets (Storm Kayama Mysteries, #1) by Deborah Turrell Atkinson ( Poisoned Pen Press, 2005)
An exciting new voice richly and suspensefully evokes modern and ancient Hawaii...

When Storm Kayama walks into her lucrative Honolulu law firm one morning, she's shocked--and grieved--to find her adopted uncle at his desk, stiff and cold. Years before, Miles Hamasaki had fulfilled a promise to Storm's father and brought her to be raised with his own family. But, as questions surround Miles' death and her adopted family begins to close ranks, Storm suspects that he has been murdered.

Heading to the Big Island for a weekend escape from escalating pressures, she narrowly escapes a terrible accident. Storm takes refuge in the home of her Aunt Maile, a traditional Hawaiian healer, and Uncle Keone, a paniolo on the huge Parker Ranch. There she encounters a legend from her youth and a family totem, or 'aumakua, which Aunt Maile promises will protect her. As Storm struggles to heal her own childhood wounds and bring justice to Hamasaki's killer, she also comes to grip with the rifts in her own life and culture.

From the winding cane roads of Hamakua to the seedy side of Honolulu's Chinatown, with a deft juxtaposition of a bustling Honolulu against the island's legends and wild beauty, Atkinson reveals a Hawaii that few visitors ever see. [Goodreads Summary]

Why  I want to read this one: This mystery novel has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a number of years. I am sure the fact that it is a mystery set in Hawaii played at least a small part in my decision to add this one to my collection. This mystery sounds not only suspenseful, but also rich in culture.


Have you read Primitive Secrets? 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 Invisible Boy by Alyssa Hollingsworth
Release Date: June 9, 2020 by Roaring Brook Press
If no one sees him, does he exist? This superhero-inspired adventure story explores friendship and what it means to be a truly brave.

Nadia finds adventure in the pages of her Superman comic books, until a mysterious boy saves her dog from drowning during a storm and then disappears. Now she finds herself in the role of Lois Lane, hunting down the scoop of the Invisible Boy, and suddenly she’s in a real-life adventure that’s far more dangerous than anything in her comic books.

The Invisible Boy is a mystery and an adventure story, as well as a story about child labor trafficking. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Crenshaw and Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth takes a difficult subject matter and makes it accessible for middle-grade readers. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: This middle grade novel appeals to me for many reasons: Nadia's love for comic books, a mysterious hero, a mystery and such a serious issue as child labor trafficking. I am curious to see everything plays out in Hollingsworth's novel. 


The Marriage Game by Sara Desai
Release Date: June 9. 2020 by Berkley
A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…

As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he's forced to share his space with the owner's beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: This sounds like it will be a fun romantic comedy set in one of my favorite cities. 


The Shadow Wand (The Black Witch Chronicles #3) by Laurie Forest
Release Date: June 2, 2020 by Inkyard Press
Elloren Gardner hides the most powerful secret in all of Erthia - she is the Black Witch of Prophecy, and destined to triumph...or be used as the ultimate weapon of destruction.
Separated from everyone she loves, isolated and hunted, Elloren must turn to the last person she can trust, her fastmate, Commander Lukas Grey. With the Mage forces of Gardneria poised to conquer all of Erthia, Elloren has no choice but to ally with Lukas and combine their power to keep herself out of the hands of the Gardnerian leader Marcus Vogel...the holder of the all-consuming Shadow Wand.
With just weeks to train to become a warrior, and no control over her magic, Elloren finds unexpected allies among those under orders to kill her. It's time to step up. To fight back. And to forge onward through the most devastating loss yet. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I have yet to read the first two books in the series, but they are high on my wish list. I mean, witches! 


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.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Weekly Mews: Happy Mother's Day/My Thoughts on Starbreaker & Inside Out & Back Again/May's TBR List Poll 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. 







Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there, whether you have human children, furkids, or both (or perhaps are a mother figure in someone's life)! Due to world circumstances, it may be a bit more subdued a celebration, but I hope you know how appreciated you are. Sending extra hugs to those of you who have an especially difficult time this time of year--whether because you have lost your mother, had abusive/absent mother or lost a child.

flowers from my husband and daughter

What I Am Reading: I was hoping to have A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison finished by now so I could share my thoughts with you (I am so close!), but you will have to wait until next weekend. Besides that, this week I read the last two Ivy + Bean books by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall with Mouse. We have both enjoyed the series.

What I Am Watching: Since last week, my husband and I finished watching season 2 of Elementary and watched the first episode of season 3. For those who do not know, it is a modern day Sherlock Holmes type show with Lucy Lu playing Watson.

Off the Blog: County leaders met this past week and have asked the head of the county's Public Health Department to rescind his mandatory orders of having residents wear face mask in public and social distancing, although they did state doing both are still highly recommended. I understand the meeting they held was quite heated, everyone offering their different views. One of the members of the Board wants to open up the county with no restrictions. Most of his concern surrounds the ailing economy. Regardless of the county officials' stances, the state governor's orders still take precedence. Hopefully people will exercise good judgement.

The governor allowed several more businesses to open this past Friday, the start of the slow process to getting back to some semblance of normalcy. Among them, retailers such as bookstores and sporting goods stores are allowed to offer curbside pick-up, as are nurseries. Manufacturers who supply those re-opened businesses are also being allowed to re-open as long as they maintain social distancing and take safety precautions.

On a personal note, the week was uneventful for the most part. I guess that's a good thing, considering.

 My supervisor making sure I'm working.


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

Where is Daniel Ahern? [opening of Starbreaker]
Starbreaker (Endeavor #2) by Amanda Bouchet
(Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2020; Science Fiction/Romance, 448 pgs)

I enjoyed the first novel in Bouchet's romantic science fiction novel called Nightchaser featuring Captain Tess Bailey and Shade Ganavan. Tess is back with her crew in the latest novel in the series, this time with an impossible mission ahead of them. As nightchasers, the make a living off of stealing cargo from the wealthy and government and giving it to those in need. But now they are being asked to break into Starbase 12, an extremely secure facility, and free an imprisoned scientist whose recent discovery will tip the scales in the rebels favor against the Dark Watch.

Things become more complicated when the Endeavor takes on a couple of new crew members--one is not someone they are sure they can trust and the other is someone from Tess's past.

Starbreaker was as entertaining and as action-packed as I anticipated. I really like Tess and her crew. They are well matched and have each other's backs through thick and thin. Shade and Tess have baggage between them that they are still working through, and I appreciated the way Bouchet addresses both of their concerns and feelings. The reader gets to learn more about Tess and her past, including her complicated relationship with her uncle. There are plenty of twists, some of which were predictable, and others came as a complete surprise. Be forewarned that while some things were resolved, a lot more is left in the air. This is definitely a series to read in order.

Have you tried this series? If so, what do you think? 

Today is Tết,the first day of the lunar calendar. [Opening of Inside Out & Back Again]
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai 
(Harper Collins, 2011; Fiction/Historical/Middle Grade, 262 pgs)

Ten year old Hà has lived her entire life in Saigon. It is home, from the busy markets to the traditions she's grown up with, her friends and her beloved papaya tree. 

With war comes change, however, and when the war reaches Saigon in 1975 and the government falls, Hà, her mother and brothers flee to America.  Her family settles in Alabama where life is completely foreign to Hà. They do not receive a warm welcome by everyone, and Hà struggles to fit in, learn a new language and grieve for the life she's left behind. This novel in verse is based on the author's real life experiences.

Thank you to everyone who voted for Inside Out & Back Again as my April TBR read. This book had been on my TBR shelf for quite a while. One of those books I kept meaning to get to, and yet never quite managed to. Until last month. When I asked my daughter if she wanted to read it with me, she eagerly said yes. 

We both really enjoyed this wonderful book. Both simple and beautiful in narrative, this novel touched both our hearts.  Hà is a very relatable character and Mouse and I had quite a few discussions as we read. I was able to share stories about my father who fought in the Vietnam War and share some of my own knowledge of that time period. We talked about immigration and cultural differences, and how difficult it must have been for Hà, leaving behind the home she loved and coming to a country so different from her own, including being bullied, and finding her own place in her new community.

I marked several passages in my copy of the book that really moved me, too many to share. Here are a small few:

I vow
to rise first every morning
to stare at the dew
on the green fruit
shaped like a lightbulb.

I will be the first
to witness its ripening. [excerpt from "Papaya Tree" pg 9]

*

I always wish for her eyes,
but Mother says no.
Eyes like hers can't help
but carry sadness;
even as a child
her parents were alarmed
by the weight in her eyes. [excerpt from "Birthday" pg 27]

*

Would be simpler
if English
and life
were logical. [excerpt from "Fourth Rule" pg 159]

*

How can I explain
dragonflies do somersaults
in my stomach
whenever I think of
the noisy room
full of mouths
chewing and laughing?

and later in the same poem

Things will get better, 
just you wait.

I don't believe her
but it feels good
that someone knows.  [excerpt from "Someone Knows" pgs 181-182]

I know I would have loved this book just as much if I had read it on my own, but the experience was made infinitely more special because I read it with my daughter.

Have you tried this one? If so, what do you think? 


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 to everyone who voted! The winner won by quite a bit. It was not even close. Three of you voted for Heather Graham's The Forgotten, seven of you voted for Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews, and fourteen of you cast your votes for A Curious Beginning.



A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn
London, 1887.

After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
 [Goodreads Summary]

Although I would not have minded if any of the books won the poll this month, I was kind of pulling for this one a bit more, and so am glad it won.

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.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Where Is Your Bookmark? (Murder in Bellamy Bay/Favorite & Least Favorite Required Reading)

I am nearly finished reading A Spell for Trouble (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #1) by Esme Addison, which has turned out to be a delight to read. It has really hit the spot.

Alexandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.
Bellamy Bay doesn't look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.
Alex's investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex's own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for. [Goodreads Summary]

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

The house at 136 Cypress Lane didn't look like trouble--quite the opposite. The seafoam-green Queen Anne was well kept, with rows of purple tulips blooming beside the wraparound porch and daffodils leading up to the brick walk to the front door. Alex stepped out of the SUV and onto the sidewalk. Everything about this place was lovely. So why had her father insisted for years that she not set foot within miles of Bellamy Bay?


My thoughts: Why indeed? What is it about that side of her family that set her father on edge? What kind of trouble is implied in that opening statement? This opening paragraph makes me eager to find out.


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.

Minka and Kamila made faces, while Lidia snorted out a most unladylike laugh. "That witch would rather see me hang than exonerate me from anything." [excerpt from 56%]


My thoughts: Poor Aunt Lidia. Accused of a murder she didn't commit. Obviously this "witch" she is referring to is not a friend.



What do you think? Does this 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 platform do you use for your blog? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)
I use Blogger. It's been my home ever since I began blogging in July 2006. 


What about you? If you have a blog, what platform do you use?



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 Book You Had to Read for School

Favorite:

I fell in love with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë the first time I was assigned to read it in high school, and again when I had to read it at the university. Even now, having re-read it on my own, I still take great pleasure in the book.

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


Least Favorite:

I was one of those rare students who actually enjoyed most of the assigned reading in high school, and so it was rare that I came across something I did not enjoy. There was one writer whose work I always dreaded reading, however. Shakespeare. I can appreciate his influence on modern culture and his contributions to literature, and can even speak fondly of them now. But when it came to reading his plays in school, I would have rather been stuck in a waiting room with nothing to read.

“This above all: to thine own self be true.” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

What was your most favorite and least favorite book you had to read for school?


 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.