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.

59 comments:

  1. Even though you didn't read a lot, it still sounds like it's been a fantastically productive month otherwise!

    It warms my heart to see your daughter's gift from her troop. I recently joined the Boy Scouts as an adult leader to help with my fiance's troop. Helping children is steadily becoming more important to me with each event we try to aid in.

    I've been hearing a lot about The Travelling Cat Chronicles lately. I think I need to read it soon!

    I hope you have a great week! Happy reading!

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    1. Lori - I hope you enjoy being a part of your fiance's Boy Scout troop. It can be very rewarding. :-)

      If you do read The Travelling Cat Chronicles, I hope you enjoy it.

      Thank you for visiting!

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  2. I love the Huber covers, and that McKenna one is amazing as well. That looks like a book I'd like, too- I'll have to take a closer peek. And have fun with the Star Wars movies- that sounds like a fun thing to do, watching them all.

    I think it's cool too that your tree is still up. I honestly wouldn't mind keeping one up year round- I love Christmas haha!

    Going back to school is so hard right now, and I know what you mean. We really struggled too and we're starting out with virtual- we had three options basically. We're going to see how it goes. It's so hard to know.

    Take care this week and be well!

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    1. Greg - I like the covers too. I've enjoyed Huber's other series and am sure I will like this one as well.

      I'm still trying to talk my husband into watching the Lord of the Rings movies again, but he hasn't taken me up on it yet. I love those movies. Star Wars first. :-)

      When we were setting up my daughter's new school work area, we were planning to take the tree down, but then realized it wouldn't be long before it went up again. So now it's sitting next to my work area. LOL This is the longest we've ever kept it up. We did decorate it for Easter with flowers and little Easter eggs. :-)

      We made the same school choice as you did. Yes, we'll see how it goes . . .

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I love the cookiegram idea, Wendy! Spread joy when and where you can. I'm sure it was was much appreciated. I decided to homeschool Gage this year mainly to avoid all of the confusion, decision making and extra stress of not having any control over what would happen. Needless to say it's not without its own issues, mainly the sheer amount of work involved to prepare. We're all just muddling through right now. Our school district just announced Friday it was going all virtual for fall after telling parents they had an option two weeks ago :(
    I've always wanted to be called for jury duty just to get a first hand look at the process, but I can see that this is the time better left unchosen.
    Keep on smiling and singing (with Mouse!).

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    1. Stacy - I thought it was a cute idea and it wasn't expensive at all. I even got Mouse one as a surprise. :-) I don't blame you for choosing homeschooling. You have much more control over situation that way. It will be challenging and probably even frustrating at times, but I know you are up for it.

      I served on a jury years ago and found the process very interesting. I wouldn't mind doing it again someday. Just maybe not right now. :-)

      Thank you for visiting! (We never stop singing here. LOL)

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  4. I am glad your husband wasn't chosen for jury service. It might have been interesting but better to be at home.

    I am so glad I don't have to worry about schooling and all that. I can't imagine how hard it is to know what the right thing to do is

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    1. Marg - I am glad he was not chosen either. He said they had waiting areas for the different courtrooms set up outside and were calling cases through a bullhorn. Such a different climate than the courthouse has had during normal times.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. The opening for Westside is really interesting! Makes me want to continue reading!

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    1. Eustacia - I really liked the premise of Westside and enjoyed my time reading it. If you do read it, I hope you will like it. Thank you for visiting!

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  6. I still need to read The Traveling Cat Chronicles. It's a disgrace that I haven't done so yet.

    My husband loved the S.H.I.E.L.D series. I rather read my book...

    I love both the new books on your shelf. Hope you get to enjoy them real soon.

    Yes, Mommy. You are a great Mom. And you are doing a good job. Take it from a teacher who is back to school full-time. There is no right or wrong way at this stage. There's just Mommy knows best.

    Have a good week and upcoming month. Here's my The Sunday Post

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    1. Elza - I think you would enjoy The Travelling Cat Chronicles!

      My husband doesn't care for S.H.I.E.L.D., but I really enjoy shows and movies like that. They are my guilty pleasure.

      Thank you for your kind words. It's going to be a challenging school year, but we'll make it through. Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. I had to pick ink and bones since i have been wanting to read that series.

    We have opted to keep the kids home and to learn remotely. I don't think the virus was handled properly and I don't feel comfortable sending them back right now. I will make a decision in Jan if I want to send them back for the rest of the year but for now I am keeping them home since we have ability to do that.

    Have a great week, Wendy! Happy Reading!

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    1. Michelle - Thank you for voting! I have been wanting to read that series for quite a while now. I've enjoyed the author's work before, and am sure I'll love Ink and Bone.

      Yeah, the virus has not been handled well at all, and with so many people still thinking it's not serious . . . It just doesn't feel safe at all. I wish you the best this coming school year. We're all in this together--and somehow we'll get through it. Thank you for voting and for visiting!

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  8. I know two attorneys and both of them are primarily conducting their work over Zoom. I have been called for jury duty frequently, and I've served several times. I'd rather not be called right now.

    I love the gift your daughter's Girl Scout leaders left for her. And a cookiegram sounds great, too. Right now, anything contact is a great surprise and much appreciated.

    I am not a scary book reader, but, oh my, The Library of the Unwritten sounds fascinating.

    I hope you have a good week. Take care.

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    1. Deb - One of my coworkers' brothers is an attorney and he said one of his hearings was held in the parking lot near the courthouse. They're getting creative when they can't do it via Zoom. I guess.

      I think I was more excited about my daughter's Girl Scout gift than she was. LOL It is pretty cool.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  9. That's good your husband wasn't picked for jury duty right now.

    Oh my gosh, I can just imagine how difficult it is with schools re-opening soon. You are a good mom! It's not easy especially now.
    Stay well and enjoy your books, Checked Out for Murder looks especially good. Very nice about the Girl Scouts delivery too.

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    1. Naida - Yes, it was a bit of a relief he wasn't selected. It would have been a two week trial from what he said.

      Thank you for your kind words. These are strange times, aren't they?

      Thank you for visiting!

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  10. That sounds like a great month. I loved The Traveling Cat Chronicles too! Glad you enjoyed it..

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    1. Gayathri - It was such a heartwarming--but sad--book. I am glad i read it. Thank you for stopping by!

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  11. Busy month for you and the family. Virtual choir sounded nice for your daughter but, I wouldn't have wanted to be a pandemic juror for sure - - LOL

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    1. Diane - She loved her choir class and asked to do it again. It was nice to see her excited about something again. Thank you for visiting!

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  12. I'm glad to know you liked Westside. I want to read that one, too. And I have a copy of Wolf Gone Wild on hold at my library! I get to pick it up on Thursday. I'm excited to give that one a read. And I love Huber's Lady Darby series. Happy Reading! :D

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    1. Lark - I hope you enjoy Westside if you do read it. I'm really enjoying Wolf Gone Wild. I think it was the right book choice for me right now. Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. I've been calling several times for jury duty but have never been picked.

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    1. Mary - I sat on a jury once and it was an interesting experience. I would do it again if given the chance. Because of my job though, I tend not to get picked though. Thank you for visiting!

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  14. I love what your daughter's troop leaders did for the girls in the troop! And your idea of sending cookiegrams made me smile, too.

    It must be so hard to be a parent trying to make decisions around school this year. We homeschooled from 8th grade through graduation, so if I were in that position now, I'd probably decide to homeschool -- but when we homeschooled, we were involved in a co-op occasionally, and my child spent hours each day at the dance studio, so it wasn't as isolating as it is now. (Also, Robin is an introvert and was just as happy to be home most of the time.) It's such a tough decision, and my heart goes out to you and all parents making those choices, regardless of what you decide. I hope whatever decision you made, it goes well for all of you.

    I have been wanting to read the Anna Lee Huber series, too, and picked up The Anatomist's wife the last time it went on sale. But I still haven't gotten around to it!

    My book haul and week-in-review are in my Sunday Post today.

    Have a great (and safe and healthy) week!

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    1. Lark - Yes, it was a nice treat for all the girls. :-)

      Homeschooling isn't an option for us, with both my husband and I working at the jobs we do. I'm not sure I would be any good at it anyway, to be honest. The virtual (teacher-led) option though is something we are going to try to do--we don't really have a choice at this point anyway. We can only do our best, right? Thank you for stopping by!

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  15. So many good book choices. I am worried about the glass angel up by the cat changing time. Stay safe. Please join me for some good news of the week

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    1. Anne - Haha! The angel is fine. She was moved inside the cabinet to a safer place. Thank you for visiting!

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  16. Love the reminder to spread joy whenever we can by letting others know they are not forgotten. I have a few I need to do that for. Loved the 1st book in the Lady Darby series and need to get back to them. I had been getting them from library before the shut down, hopefully they are available on digital lending. Glad you have a decision made for school. We are still waiting here for finalizing the plans.

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    1. Nise' - I hope you are able to get your hands on the Lady Darby series so you can continue.

      I'm hoping for more details about the final plans for school at the next board meeting this week. We won't find out who Mouse's teacher is until the day before school starts.

      Take care, and thank you for visiting!

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  17. That so sweet that the leaders gave your daughter the tee and the book, what a lovely thought.

    My kids start to go back on the 12th to school, I’m dreading it but my daughters can’t wait to see their friends again.

    Have a good week.

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    1. Heather - It was a very nice surprise. :-) My daughter would love to see her friends again, I know. But it won't be when school starts again with the state ordering all schools in the county to start virtual. It's been tough for her as she's such a social child. But it is what it is. I hope your daughter's transition back to school does well! Sending a big hug your way. I know it's not easy. Thank you for stopping by!

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  18. Voted on your poll!
    I feel for all the moms making these tough decisions. My kiddo is starting K this year and I just feel lucky that I'm able to homeschool.
    Happy reading and have a great week!

    Stacy Renee @ LazyDayLit

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    1. StacyRenee - Thank you for voting! I am glad you are able to homeschool. I know that must bring you a lot of comfort given the circumstances. It's going to be a rocky road for most parents, I think. And teachers too. We're all in this together. Thank you for visiting!

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  19. I'm glad Mouse had some fun this month. It's got to be hard. My daughter's in college and she had the choice to do some on campus but said no, she would only do online this fall. I think it is for the best. She chose courses and teachers who have done online regularly.

    I like the look of the historical mysteries you have. I want to read the Lady Darby books. I'm reading the Sebastian St. Cyr ones by CS Harris (slowly). I read Westside and liked it but didn't love it.

    Anne - Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

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    1. Anne - My daughter really wanted to go back in-person. Even if we let her, it wouldn't look the same as it has in the past though. We have to start virtually anyway with the state mandate. At least you know your daughter chose teachers who have done online before. That must give you both some confidence it will work out well for her.

      I haven't tried CS Harris, although I have long wanted to.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  20. Checked Out for Murder looks tempting. I am also curious about Ink and Bone.

    Enjoy your week and your books. I hope I don't get called to Jury Duty any time soon! But it usually happens in August. Hmm. I didn't get one last August.

    Maybe they lost track of me because I had moved!

    Enjoy your week, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain - Doesn't it? I've enjoyed the earlier books in the series and am looking forward to reading the latest. Ink and Bone has long been on my TBR pile. It sounds good too!

      I hope you don't get called for jury duty any time soon either!

      Thank you for visiting!

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  21. We are stressing out over the school thing here too. Our school hasn't really told us what's going on and it's very frustrating. I love the idea of sending out cookie grams. Hope you have a great week!

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    1. SJ - I hope you get answers soon. It really is aggravating not knowing. Thank you for stopping by!

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  22. I can't imagine how difficult it is for parents and educators to know what the best thing to do is as far as the upcoming school year. I think everyone is feeling confused as to what to do. I hope everything works out for you. Cookie grams are a great idea! Have a great week!

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    1. Yvonne - Thank you. It's going to be a challenge, that's for sure. I hope you have a great week too. Thank you for visiting.

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  23. Aww, those are sweet gifts from the Girl Scout troop. Cookie grams sound like an excellent idea. It would make my day if I got one of those. Enjoy your new books. I hope you have a good week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. AJ - It was really nice of the leaders to do that for the girls. :-) I hope you have a good week too. Thank you for stopping by!

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  24. You are so right that there are no good answers about how schools should open. My district (and all of California) is all online for now. Our county has bad metrics so it will be quite a while before we can open in person.

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    1. Helen - My county is in the same boat as yours here in Southern California. I don't see children going back to school in-person anytime soon either. There's another board meeting tomorrow night, that I plan to check in on to see if there are any more updates. School starts up again next week and so many people are on edge. Take care of yourself! Thank you for visiting!

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  25. I was upset that the McKenna book has been archived on Netgalley and my request for the Huber book is still pending. I have had very good books from Netgalley, but if it is from their wish list I've never got any so I think I can kiss that one goodbye as well. I do like the Huber books (a lot).
    I did a road trip on my own to a city called Kandy (a cultural hub) and did the full tourist trail on my own. Hardly anyone there which was a good thing and I returned yesterday. Just two nights out of home. On the reading front not as much as I used to read. We go into a rather tumultuous election on the 5th and like all Asian countries, you never know how the dice are going to fall!

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    1. Mystica - I'm sorry to hear you weren't able to get the McKenna and Huber books. I'm not even sure how many books are in both series at this point. I just figured I'd start with the first ones.

      I am so glad you were able to go on the roadtrip. It sounds like a nice time. I'm sure it was nice to get away for a short while after being cooped up for so long.

      I hope the election goes well. I worry about what the election in the U.S. will look like in November . . .

      Take care and thank you for stopping by!

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  26. the girl scout gift is so cool. it's those moments that make us realize something so small can mean sooo much.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Sherry - Yes, it's the little things that can really turn a day around. :-) Thank you for visiting!

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  27. The uncertainty re: schooling is very frustrating I’m sure.
    I loved The Great Library series so that’s got my vote.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. Shelleyrae - It is frustrating. And I don't deal with uncertainty well. :-( Thank you for stopping by and voting!

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  28. Wendy, love hearing what you guys have been up to. I've not ever been called for jury duty, but think I would like to do that (maybe not right now). Actually, I was called once, but then they cancelled my notice, so I didn't have to go. My husband has been on 2 juries, once as the Foreman - both were tough cases.

    Fun about the Girl Scout surprises and I'm glad that Mouse is enjoying some graphic novels. Hope school and activities and friends can be enough for her right now. I know it's hard.

    Hope you can find some reading that will be peaceful, restful, and enjoyable for you - relaxing. Take care.

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    1. Kay - I admit the mystery reader in me was especially excited when I was serving on jury duty that one time. Such an interesting process to see first hand. It was a murder case. The deputy district attorney prosecuting the case was the husband of a woman who would later become my boss (she's retired now). Quite the coincidence!

      I can't seem to interest Mouse into reading anything other than graphic novels right now, but at least she's reading . . .

      Thank you for visiting!

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  29. That's great that your daughter was able to have some fun virtual activities last month and reconnect with some friends. My son is super social so not being able to really hang out with his friends has worn on him all summer. We're going through the same stress about school here too. It starts in two weeks and will be all virtual for at least the first 9 weeks. We're just not sure what to expect.

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  30. It is tough trying to decide which school option is best for your child and you in these times! My daughter is going through that now.

    Love the Lady Darby series! The audios are fantastic! Hope you love it, too. :)

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  31. I absolutely adore Anna Lee Huber's mysteries, and the McKenna one you shared beside it definitely caught my eye. I'm currently reading The Traveling Cat Chronicles and am enjoying it.

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