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.
New to the Shelves:
I took advantage of my local independent bookstore's curbside service and bought four books this past month. I figured three of them could serve as late Christmas presents to myself (and in of support a local small business). The fourth book I picked up for my daughter because I cannot buy myself books without buying her something too.
Kent State by Deborah Wiles
The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
Who Is Kamala Harris? by Kirsten Anderson, Who Hq, Manuel Gutiérrez
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris
A January e-purchase which I couldn't resist after hearing about it from a fellow blogger (I really need to keep better track of where I find these recommendations so I can credit them to the blogger--if it was you, thank you!):
A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
What I Am Reading: I ended January on a high note reading Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #1) by Charlaine Harris, where Lizbeth Rose makes her way to the San Diego in the Holy Russian Empire to save Prince Eli whose landed himself in jail.
I have two books going right now (three if you count If the Shoe Fits in the Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski, which I'm reading with my daughter). During my lunch break, I am reading (and loving) Becoming by Michelle Obama. I have been enjoying Valerie Wilson Wesley's A Glimmer of Death as my bedtime reading.
I have not quite settled on the book I want to read next. Maybe The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, which I have heard so many good things about. I also want to get to Emily Henry's Beach Read at some point this month so I will be ready for the COYER book club discussion.
What I Am Watching: My family and I are all caught up with WandaVision. It is such a good show. We also are still making our way through our re-watch Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We are about 5 episodes away from the end of Season 3 of Angel and Season 6 of Buffy. I also have resumed watching The 100 and just started Season 4
Off the Blog: I have been busy at work, as has my husband. He has been putting in overtime every week. Mouse is still active in her dance and musical theater classes via Zoom and recently started an online piano (keyboard in our case) class. The casting call for the summer musical is today, and she will be taking part in that. She is excited but nervous too. She's missed being part of a show.
Last week Mouse's Girl Scout Troop held a virtual bridging ceremony for the girls who aged out of Brownies and into the Junior level of the program. It had been delayed in hopes the girls could hold it in person, but with that not likely to happen this Girl Scout Season, they went ahead with a virtual ceremony. While not quite what everyone had hoped for, it did make it possible for out of town family and friends to attend who wouldn't have been able to otherwise. It was a nice ceremony and everyone did a great job. The Girl Scout Cookie Season is well under way. Sales are down, but we expected that.
The two week window is now open for us to decide which school program she will be taking part in this coming school year. The district cannot offer much in the way of answers as to how things will play out given no one knows what the situation will be come August. Still, it has left a lot of people frustrated, teachers and parents alike.
Here is what I finished reading in January:
- Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (Dork Diaries #4) by Rachel Renée Russell
- The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
- One by One by Ruth Ware
- What Mothers Withhold by Elizabeth Kropf
- Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All (Dork Diaries #5) by Rachel Renée Russell
- Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg
- Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
- Fairest of All (Whatever After #1) by Sarah Mlynowski
- Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #3) by Charlaine Harris
January turned out to be a great reading month. My daughter and I continue to enjoy the Dork Diaries series together, and we started at the beginning of the Whatever After series.
I read several great books this past month. I enjoyed visiting with Lizbeth Rose in Charlaine Harris's latest Gunnie Rose book. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It was just plain fun, and I liked Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder quite a bit. The latter mystery has a steampunk feel to it with a bit of alchemy mixed in. I look forward to reading more by both authors.
I also read and enjoyed Ruth Ware's latest, One by One. While not her strongest book in my opinion, I did enjoy it. I felt like I was right there with the characters in the French Alps, caught up in the storm. I took part in my first COYER book club this past Sunday to discuss the book. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed putting faces and voices to names I have only seen in the COYER Facebook group or around the blogosphere. I am hoping to take part in this month's book club as well. The group will be discussing Beach Read by Emily Henry and To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. I have a copy of Beach Read and so hope to take part in that part of the discussion. I have heard good things about it but am not sure I will be able to get a copy and fit it in.
My stand out January reads were The Island of Sea Women and What Mothers Withhold. Both were 5 paw reads for me. One is a historical fiction novel set on an island in South Korea, and the other a collection of poetry about motherhood. Both were amazing.
Blogging wise, I seem to be managing okay. I sure posted a lot! More than I usually do, at least. I am a little behind on my review writing but hope to get caught up soon. I do have a couple done that are waiting on me to hit the publish button. I generally only post two Sunday posts a month, but last month decided to try something different, adding in a Poetry Corner and bringing back Mouse's Corner. As much as I would like to make those monthly features, it may not be realistic given my higher, non-blogging priorities.
This Past January In Reading Mews:
- Our First Books of 2021
- Weekly Mews: Goodbye December & 2020 (Or should I say good riddance?)
- 2020: Year in Review
- Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Last Tiara / The Ex Talk / Wilde Lake
- Where Is Your Bookmark? A Peek Into What I Am Reading Now & What I Was Reading Five Years Ago / Connect Five: Winter Titles / BBHOP: Can't Wait to Read!
- Weekly Mews: Back to the Grind
- Bookish Mewsings: Nightlights / The Okay Witch / Book Love
- Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Nature of Fragile Things / City of a Thousand Gates / A Rogue By Any Other Name
- Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Peek Into My Current Read & What I Was Reading 5 Years Ago/ Nonfiction-Fiction Pairings / BBHOP)
- Weekly Mews: The Poetry Corner Edition (Plus Recent Updates)
- Bookish Mewsings: The Broken Spine by Dorothy St. James
- Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Kindest Lie / The Iron Raven / Fearless Fourteen
- Where Is Your Bookmark? (5 Fave Nonfiction Books / What I Am Reading Now & Five Years Ago / BBHOP: E-Readers)
- Weekly Mews: Mouse's Corner Edition & What I Have Been Reading/Watching
- Bookish Mewsings: What Mothers Withhold by Elizabeth Kropf
- Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Downstairs Neighbor / The Russian Cage / The Law and the Lady
- Where Is Your Bookmark? (Friday Bookish Fun)
Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? How was your January? Do you have anything planned for this month?
Thank you for helping me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next:
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 considered a few different themes to go with for my TBR poll this month and kept returning to Valentine's Day. My three choices this week all speak to love in some form: romance, friendship, and crimes of passion. There has been a lot of positive buzz around the blogosphere surrounding all three, and I cannot wait to read all of them. But which should I read next? Please help me decide!
Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon's sparkling romantic comedy debut.
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can't imagine working anywhere else. But lately it's been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who's fresh off a journalism master's program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it's this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it's not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers. [Goodreads Summary]
She's going too far to go it alone.
It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is trying to get through life, surviving on scraps. One day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and small existence to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist--the golden beetle of New Caledonia. When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind. Fun-loving Enid Pretty in her tight-fitting pink suit and pom-pom sandals seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship. [Goodreads Summary]
A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.
Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.
But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.
Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?
With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending? [Goodreads Summary]
Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!
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