Thursday, April 15, 2021

Where Is Your Bookmark? (Road Trip Anyone? / Reading Now & Then / Meme Addict)




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

"An ill wind moves through Chicago," Lulu said, sniffing the air.

"It's not an ill wind," I said. But I stared down at the malformed lump of sickly gray dough currently spreading across the sheet pan and admitted to myself I didn't have much room to argue. [opening of Shadowed Steel]
While the opening lines are not very revealing, I thought it a good jumping off place--something domestic and normal--before all hell breaks lose. Which it will. It always does in books like this. 



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 stopped when we got to the vehicle, rested my head against the closed door.

Connor stopped, looked back at the dull thump. "That's not how you get in."

I  grunted.

"Are you practicing a new vampire power, or taking a moment?"

I swiveled my head to look at him. "I got fired." [excerpt from 30% of Shadowed Steel]
This time around I did not jump ahead to 56% in the novel like I usually do even when I have not yet reached that point. I decided to go with where I am in the book at the moment. Like the opening, there's a bit of humor mixed in with the serious. It hints at the building crisis, although I don't feel it fully captures the intensity of it.


Chloe Neill's Shadowed Steel is the third book in the Heirs of Chicagoland series. Because the synopsis gives away an important element of the second book, let me try to sum this one up without spoilers. The Assembly of American Masters (AAM), the ruling body of vampires, accuses our heroine, Elisa Sullivan, of committing a crime. She disagrees. When one of the AAM vampires is murdered, the obvious suspect is Elisa, and she won't stand down until she finds out who is behind not only the murder but who is also targeting her. Fortunately, she is not on her own. Her werewolf boyfriend, non-practicing witch best friend and other loyal friends have her back. I enjoyed the first two books of this action-packed series, Wild Hunger and Wicked Hour, and have high hopes for Shadowed Steel

Have you read any of the Heirs to the Chicagoland books? What are you reading right now? 

Originally a feature called Last Year I Was Reading created by Maria from ReadingMaria
I liked it enough to continue on my own, but have tweaked it
 to feature Five Years Ago I Was Reading. 
(I would have gone back ten, but I read so little in 2011)

Five years ago this week, I read Nadia Hashimi's When the Moon is Low, about a mother and her children escaping Afghanistan and making their way to England as refugees. This was actually one of my favorite reads that year. The writing, the characters, the heartbreak and the hope--I loved everything about it. Nadia Hashimi paints a very realistic picture of the hardships and conditions refugees face--from the backlash, the lack of resources and support, including lack of medical care, the cruelty of the system and certain individuals, as well as the helpfulness and kindness of others. 



Have you read When the Moon is Low? If so, what did you think? What were you reading five years ago? 


Connect Five Friday is a weekly meme where readers share a list of five books,
read or unread, or bookish things, that share a common theme. 
Hosted by the  Kathryn of of Book Date.


Who doesn't love a good road trip novel?  Instantly, I thought of books I have read and enjoyed that fall into the road trip category. Books like Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire, L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Or perhaps novels a bit less dramatic (or not) like these five which are on my to read list: 

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow promises to be a "wild and dangerous road trip" with a pop music loving alien and a book loving girl who are supposed to be enemies as they set out to save humanity. What kind of world makes music, art and books illegal?! I hope they succeed in their mission! 

The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary will be published toward the end of spring. What better way to spend this time than with two sisters on a road trip to a friend's wedding in Scotland? Then add in an ex boyfriend and his friend who are going to the wedding too. I mean, it's only fair since their car was totaled when it hit the back of the sisters' car. Sounds like it will be a tense road trip with these four! Perhaps a little romance will find its way into the car too . . .

The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan, due out in mid-May, is another road trip novel I will not be able to resist. Facing a move into a residential home, an eighty year old woman wants one last adventure. What better way than to go on a road trip! Her overworked and stressed out daughter places an ad seeking a driver and riding companion for her mother. Down on life and without many prospects, a young woman takes them up on the offer. It is a road trip none of them will forget. 

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman finds a mother and a daughter on a bus touring colleges together, looking ahead and back and every which way as they re-discover who they are, and having some fun (and maybe some mishaps) along the way. 

He Started It by Samantha Downing had me at a killer among them and a body in the trunk. This thriller is about a family having to go on a cross-country road trip together to fulfill the final wish of their newly deceased wealthy grandfather. They all want their inheritance, after all. Revenge, a missing person, a mysterious person following them . . . This sounds like it ill be one intense road trip! 


Have you read any of these or plan to? What are some of your favorite road trip novels? 


Every Friday Billy 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.

How many different weekly memes do you participate in besides the Book Blogger Hop? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

 

Too many when you add them all up. Seriously though, memes are my saving grace these days, helping me stay connected and blogging given how busy my life offline can be. There are some memes I only take part in periodically and others I more faithfully post. A few can be easily combined with others or  flow into one another. I like to change things up now and then and have participated in different memes throughout my blog's life. These days, I participate in the following: 

Weekends

Wednesdays:

Fridays:

*Although not an active meme any longer, I tweaked Last Year I Was Reading which had been hosted by Maria from ReadingMaria to Five Years Ago I Was Reading

Monthly


What about you?

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

© 2021 Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Waiting to Read Wednesday: Swimming Back to Trout River /Black Water Sister / Lost in a Good Book


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.

Swimming Back to Trout River
by Linda Rui Feng
Release Date: May 11, 2021 by Simon Schuster
A lyrical novel set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution that follows a father’s quest to reunite his family before his precocious daughter’s momentous birthday, which Garth Greenwell calls “one of the most beautiful debuts I’ve read in years.”

How many times in life can we start over without losing ourselves?

In the summer of 1986 in a small Chinese village, ten-year-old Junie receives a momentous letter from her parents, who had left for America years ago: her father promises to return home and collect her by her twelfth birthday. But Junie’s growing determination to stay put in the idyllic countryside with her beloved grandparents threatens to derail her family’s shared future.

What Junie doesn’t know is that her parents, Momo and Cassia, are newly estranged from one another in their adopted country, each holding close private tragedies and histories from the tumultuous years of their youth during China’s Cultural Revolution. While Momo grapples anew with his deferred musical ambitions and dreams for Junie’s future in America, Cassia finally begins to wrestle with a shocking act of brutality from years ago. In order for Momo to fulfill his promise, he must make one last desperate attempt to reunite all three members of the family before Junie’s birthday—even if it means bringing painful family secrets to light.

“A beautifully written, poignant exploration of family, art, culture, immigration, and most of all, love,” (Jean Kwok,
New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee) Swimming Back to Trout River weaves together the stories of Junie, Momo, Cassia, and Dawn—a talented violinist from Momo’s past—while depicting their heartbreak and resilience, tenderly revealing the hope, compromises, and abiding ingenuity that make up the lives of immigrants. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: How can I not want to read this after reading the description? History, family drama, characters I am sure to come to care for . . . This sounds like it will be an emotional and worthwhile read. 


Black Water Sister
by Zen Cho
Release Date: May 11, 2021 by Ace Books
A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there's only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she's determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god--and she's decided Jess is going to help her do it.

Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she'll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the
Black Water Sister may finish her off for good. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: Another one that sounds too good to pass up. I want to know more about these spirits and family secrets and about Jess and her grandmother. I cannot wait to read this! 


Does either of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


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!

Lost in a Good Book
(Thursday Next #2) by Jasper Fforde
(Penguin, 2002)
Intrepid literary detective Thursday Next is back in the second installment of Jasper Fforde's one-of-a-kind series The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with Jasper Fforde's magnificent second adventure starring the resourceful, fearless literary sleuth Thursday Next. When Landen, the love of her life, is eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath Corporation, Thursday must moonlight as a Prose Resource Operative of Jurisfiction--the police force inside books. She is apprenticed to the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens's Great Expectations, who grudgingly shows Thursday the ropes. And she gains just enough skill to get herself in a real mess entering the pages of Poe's "The Raven." What she really wants is to get Landen back. But this latest mission is not without further complications. Along with jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter's The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: This is the second book in the Thursday Next series. I really enjoyed the first one for all its wildness and bookish references. I went out and bought not just this one but the two books to follow. Someday I will get caught up with this series!


Have you read Lost in a Good Book? Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 


© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Bookish Mewsings: Passiflora by Kathy Davis


Passiflora
by Kathy Davis
Cider Press Review, 2021
Poetry; 80 pgs
Passiflora is a collection of poems about our day-to-day struggles with loss, raising children, relationships, aging and creating art, and how the nature that surrounds us informs how we view these challenges and sometimes serves as a source of solace. [Goodreads Summary]

I initially was drawn to this collection of poetry based on the description, particularly about parenting, aging and seeing how the author weaves it with the nature around us. I always find it challenging to review poetry. It is so much about feeling--how the poems make me feel. And how I relate to them. I suppose it is the same with a novel too, but it's different somehow. Poetry is much more personal. Capturing a moment or thought in time. Kathy Davis's poetry does that in her collection Passiflora. Whether writing about adoption, a woman's thoughts as she wanders through an art exhibit, cancer, or loss among a myriad of other topics, Kathy Davis deftly entwines each of her poems with nature, whether animals or plants. In her poem, "Starlings", for example, the poet combines the imagery of nature, birds, with that of suicide and loss, and of secrets, mixed with the every day action of setting a table. 
[...] The cacophony of song
a hellish choir, each bird's tune slightly off

from the rest. It's been years since I've been back,
the lies elaborate and smart, the silence [excerpt from "Starlings" by Kathy Davis]
Then there is the poem "Weeding" in which the narrator worries, in my mind about a her child, as she weeds. I love the imagery:
Wire grass, insidious
    spreads the bed    evening
        primrose in the spirea    He should have

called by now    pigweed sprouting    here
    there    a deep breath    take it   clover
        tiny shoots beneath the juniper  [excerpt from "Weeding" by Kathy Davis]

Along with the more serious, there is a bit of humor in the collection too. I enjoyed the poem "The Shetland". Although not a librarian myself, I can relate to feeling the weight of everything one's job may entail. Amidst all that, imagine this scenario:
Would the library like a pony? A lady at the front desk
        has brought one in. [excerpt from "The Shetland" by Kathy Davis]
"April & the Affront of Spring" was extremely moving, touching on the topic of death, particularly of the young. I also really liked "With a Delicate Flicker of a Fan" about growing old and illness. I could go on and on, but I would rather you read Passiflora and see for yourself just how beautiful this collection is. 


hope you will check out what others have to say about Passiflora by Kathy Davis on the Poetic Book Tours route:

Add to GoodReads:

Passiflora

Available at Cider Press Review and Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 1: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)

April 5: Emzi.reads (Review)

April 6: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)

April 12: Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Review)

April 20: Review Tales by Jeyran Main (Interview)

April 26: Impressions in Ink (Review)

April 28: Suko’s Notebook (Guest Post)

May 3: Anthony Avina’s blog (Guest Post)

May 5: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)

May 10: Anthony Avina’s blog (Review)

May 11: The Book Connection (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #Passiflora #KathyDavis @CiderPressRev @KathyDavispoet


Many thanks to the Poetic Book Tours and Kathy Davis for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour! Thank you also for providing a copy of the book for my honest review.


© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Weekly Mews: Just Another Week & Cat Pictures (because there can never be enough)

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.






What I Am Reading: Earlier in the week I finished Chanel Cleeton's The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba, set in and around the Spanish-American War, focusing on the revolution in Cuba and the hardships the people there faced. Now I have settled into The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar, much lighter reading fare.

Mouse got my hopes up that we would be taking a little break from our Dork Diaries binge and pick up something else, but alas, as soon as we finished Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen, we have moved onto the 10th book in the series, Tales from a  Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter by Rachel Renee Russell. We are both still enjoying the series--so it isn't really a hardship to continue. 

Next up will be this month's TBR winner, which I am eager to dive into. I have also been eyeing the third book in the Heirs of Chicagoland series, Shadowed Steel by Chloe Neill. 

What I Am Watching: This week we've closed out our nights alternating between Angel and Buffy episodes, one show a night. I finished season one of my re-watch of Legacies this past weekend and look forward to starting the second season sometime soon. I also started watching The Irregulars, which I am enjoying. The most recent episode of Falcon and The Winter Soldier had quite the ending, didn't it? I am always a little mad when it's over. I am so used to being able to move onto the next episode right away if I can't wait. 

Off the Blog: My husband got his first vaccine today (Friday). As soon as they opened up the eligibility for him, he did not hesitate. Other than that, life is full of the usual: work, school, dance, rehearsals, Girl Scouts, sleeping and eating. Mouse had a big project to complete for her social studies class, which she got finished and turned in. 

Gracie loves tummy rubs

Nina loves high places

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


Thank you for helping me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next: 

My TBR List is hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 




The results of this month's poll were close. I peeked throughout the week to see which book was winning and they each had their turn at the top. Ultimately though, only one pulled in front to take the month. Both A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman  and A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman ended tied with nine (9) votes. With eleven (11) votes, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo takes the prize! I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you to everyone who voted! 


Winner: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 

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, April 08, 2021

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Bookstore Vacation / Spelling the Month in Books / BBHOP)




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

Advertisement: A Novel Holiday Idea

Borrow-A-Bookshop invites you to live out your dreams of running your very own bookshop in a historic Deveonshire harbour village . . . for a fortnight. [opening of prologue in The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday]

 and

'Gran needs me, sorry,' I say, not making eye contact because I know I've said this a thousand times before and it wears a bit thin with people. [first line of first chapter in The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday]


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 want to know everything about you,' I say, and it's true. I really do.

Elliot's eyes leave mine for a moment and it feels like winter coming, I'd been so warm under his gaze. He gets up, reaches for his phone on the counter and skips a few songs.

'Or we could stop talking?' he says.

I draw my neck back, trying to work out what he means.

'We could . . . dance?' [excerpt from 56% of The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday]
After finishing The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton, I was in the mood for something lighter and recently began reading Kiley Dunbar's The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday. I am not too far in yet. The novel opens with the advertisement listing an unusual type of holiday which immediately drew me in. The first line of the first chapter is not particularly revealing, although it is clear our protagonist often uses that excuse to get out of something, whether true or not. 

I have not yet made it to excerpt 56% which is shared above but two thoughts came to mind instantly about this scene--a romantic moment, perhaps? And why doesn't Elliot want to talk about himself? 

The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.
Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.
Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…

The perfect cosy, romantic read for any bookworm! Fans of Jenny Colgan, Cressida McLaughlin and Philippa Ashley will love this feelgood romcom. [Goodreads Summary]

Does this sound like something you would like to read? What are you reading at the moment? 

Originally a feature called Last Year I Was Reading created by Maria from ReadingMaria
I liked it enough to continue on my own, but have tweaked it
 to feature Five Years Ago I Was Reading. 
(I would have gone back ten, but I read so little in 2011)

Five years ago, I was reading The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys, a quiet novel about a woman who longs for love, who has never really experienced love, and when she does . . . Well, it is beautiful and sad all rolled into one. The novel is set during World War II and is about a group of women who volunteered for the Women's Land Army in an effort to help the war effort--and whatever other more personal reasons they have for needing a change. On a nearby estate are a group of Canadian soldiers waiting for their orders. The Lost Garden came to my attention because of Catherine, Book Club Librarian, her contribution to that year's postal bookclub, and while I wasn't sure about it at first, I ended up really enjoying it. It is a different kind of love story from the one I am reading at the moment. 



Have you read The Lost Garden? If so, what did you think? What were you reading five years ago? 


Connect Five Friday is a weekly meme where readers 
share a list of five books, read or unread, or bookish things,
 that share a common theme. 
Hosted by the  Kathryn of of Book Date.

This week I am combining my Connect Five Friday with Jana's (Reviews from the Stacks) "Spell the Month in Books" feature. Since there are five letters in the word April, it seemed a good fit. Thanks to Carla of Carla Loves to Read for pointing me in this direction! I decided to go with books on my TBR shelf whose titles begin with the first letter spelling out the month's name. (Covers are linked to Goodreads.)

A - Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor


PPride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev


RRed At the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson


IIgnite the Stars by Maura Milan


L -  Little Gods by Meng Jin



Have you read any of these books? If so, 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.

Does the cover of a book affect whether you are more willing to read it? (submitted by Julie @  JadeSky)


Yes and no. An attractive cover is likely to get me to pick up a book and take a closer look to see if it is something I would want to read, but no amount of an appealing cover is going to convince me on its own to read a book that does not interest me subject/author/genre wise. 

On the other side of it, a not-so-attractive cover is not the death knell for a book. If the blurb entices me, the cover does not matter. Add in recommendations from friends or trusted book bloggers, even better. 

What about you?

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

© 2021 Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Waiting to Read Wednesday: 04/07/2021 Arsenic and Adobo /The Bookshop of Second Chances / No One Can Pronounce My Name


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.

Arsenic and Adobo
(Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala
Release Date: May 4, 2021 by Berkley
When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant and has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Jennifer Crusie romp to an Agatha Christie joint.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I have been seeing this one pop up around the blogosphere and was instantly drawn in by the synopsis So, of course it is on my wish list! [I often prep my Waiting to Read posts ahead of time, and, after adding this title to my wish list, I requested it from NetGalley, was approved (yay!), and have read it. My review will come out closer to the publication date--but I highly recommend it!.


The Bookshop of Second Chances
by Jackie Fraser
Release Date: May 4, 2021 by Ballantine (first published in UK in 2020)
A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly handsome bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job--on Valentine's Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn't know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and shaggy, tulip-covered lawn. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can't seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle's antique novel collection. His gruff attitude--fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord--tests Thea's patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn't felt in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I love a Scottish setting, and one that involves a books and possibly a bookstore make this one too bad to pass up.


Does either of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


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!

No One Can Pronounce My Name
by Rakesh Satyal 
(Picador, 2017)
In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. For some, America is a bewildering and alienating place where coworkers can’t pronounce your name but will eagerly repeat the Sanskrit phrases from their yoga class. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant in his midforties, lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of Harit’s sister, Swati. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant in her midforties, has just seen her only child, Prashant, off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana’s paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.

Reminiscent of Angela Flournoy’s
The Turner House, Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish, and Jade Chang’s The Wangs vs. the World, No One Can Pronounce My Name is a distinctive, funny, and insightful look into the lives of people who must reconcile the strictures of their culture and traditions with their own dreams and desires. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I received this in a lit box I subscribed to a few years ago that featured authors of color. They've since gone out of business, but I enjoyed getting a box each month and finding out what goodies and books I would receive. This was one of those books. I still really want to read and hope I can make time for it soon.


Have you read No One Can Pronounce My Name ? Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 

© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Weekly Mews: Marching Into April (March Wrap Up & April's TBR List Poll--Please Vote!)

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.

As part of my monthly wrap up, I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently. 


Spring is definitely in the air in my little pocket of California. My redbud trees are in full bloom, the lizards are scurrying about in the sun, my next door neighbors are preparing for their weekend trip to the lake, and it is too hot to sleep with all those darn blankets on at night. 

What I Am Reading: I got a jump start on National Poetry Month and ended March with From the Inside: The Inner Soul of a Young Poet by Thanvi Voruganti. I had come across it on NetGalley, and it immediately caught my attention due to its tie-in to the pandemic. I hope to share a bit about it later this month during my Poetry Corner. 

I am now reading Chanel Cleeton's The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (The Cuba Saga #4), which grabbed me right away. I have not read any of the earlier books in the series, but that has not been an issue. Each of the books feature different protagonists. 

Mouse and I are in the middle of Tales of a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen (Dork Diaries #9) by Rachel Renée Russell. There was one day this week in which Mouse decided to give me a break from reading with her (but really because she wanted to start a new Nancy Drew Clue Crew book). It was right before we jumped into the part of the book where Nikki's arch-nemesis, Mackenzie takes over writing the diary. So, even though I thanked my daughter for her thoughtfulness, internally I was wishing she'd picked a between-books moment instead. My wait did not last long fortunately, and we are now well into Makenzie's not-so-kind diary entries.

Next up I am considering reading The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar, which sounds like a dream come true vacation for booklovers. 


What I Am Watching: My family and I recently watched Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I have not yet read the book, but we were looking for a movie to watch and that one sounded good. It took a moment for all of us to settle into, but we all enjoyed it in the end. 

This past month I watched the Marvel show Inhumans on Disney+.  It runs for only a season, and I can see why. I really liked Lockjaw (because who would not love a giant pug that can transport people anywhere in a flash?). Other than him, the show was not very memorable. 

I have reached the end of Supernatural. There were tears. I can see why so many people thought there was no need for that final episode. I have mixed feelings about it myself. I take comfort knowing I can re-watch the show any time I want to. 

Having caught up on Vampire Diaries and The Originals this past summer, I decided to start at the beginning of Legacies again. I had seen the first season awhile ago, which is what spurred my re-watch of The Vampire Diaries. Even my husband has gotten into Legacies this time around. I don't know what it is about these shows--call them my guilty pleasures. 

My husband and I are really enjoying The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as I knew we would. I am so glad the filmmakers went all out on the quality and effort put into both this and WandaVision


Off the blog: March seemed to fly. Mouse celebrated a birthday, and she and I had our semi-annual dental appointments. The whole family enjoyed a week off from work and school for a much needed spring break. My mom visited with us for a few days, and it was great to see her again after over a year apart. Saying goodbye was hard. Anjin, Mouse and I spent a day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.  Reservations were required to visit and capacity was strictly limited--it made for a not-so-crowded park which was really nice. Masks were required as well. Most of the indoor or close-proximity exhibits were closed, as was the tram tour, all of which we knew about going in. It was just nice to get away--this was our first big outing in a year. I feel like I'm coming out out of a cocoon. Slowly and cautiously. 

My county moved into the Red Tier easing some of the pandemic restrictions. Now there's talk we may be moving to the Orange Tier soon, which will mean even less restrictions. I admit I am a bit nervous as I watch the virus rates rise again in other parts of the country and around the world. There comes a certain sense of security as more and more people become vaccinated, but every day I hear about friends or coworkers who themselves or family members are contracting the COVID virus, a couple of whom are in the hospital receiving treatment. 

Easter always seems to creep up on me. We are not religious and so the day is more of a celebration of spring for us with an Easter twist. There will be baskets full of goodies, an egg hunt and way too much candy. Otherwise, it will be a quiet Sunday for us. For those of you who celebrate, I hope you have a Happy Easter! 

Visiting the elephants as the Safari Park

Sleepy rhinoceros at the Safari Park

The lioness keeping watch at the Safari Park

California Juniper Bonsai Tree (Harry Hirao), approximately 200-300 years old at the Safari Park

California Juniper Bonsai Tree (John Y. Naka), approximately 300-400 years old at the Safari Park

Kangaroo on the move at the Safari Park

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


New to the Shelves in March
:

E-book deals I could not resist: 

Stolen Remains (Lady of Ashes #2) by Christine Trent
A Virtuous Death (Lady of Ashes #3) by Christine Trent
The Mourning Bells (Lady of Ashes #4) by Christine Trent
Death at the Abbey (Lady of Ashes #5) by Christine Trent
A Grave Celebration (Lady of Ashes #6) by Christine Trent
Fate's Edge (The Edge #3) by Ilona Andrews
Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1) by Kerry Greenwood


Mouse got a few books for her birthday last month: 

Katie the Catsitter (#1) by Colleen A.F. Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue

Hannah Saves the World by A.M. Luzzader, illustrated by Chadd VanZanten
Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel adapted by Mariah Marsden, illustrated by Brenna Thummler (original story by L.M. Montegomery)
Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by Rey Terciero, illustrated by Bre Indigo 

Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts
The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis
The Forbidden Library (#1) by Django Wexler
Summer of the Woods (Virginia Mystery #1) by Steven K. Smith


We made our first trip to an actual Barnes and Noble store in over a year. I got one book for myself and my daughter chose four of her own: 

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass adapted by Eva Mason, 
original by Lewis Carroll

Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter (Dork Diaries #10) by Rachel Renée Russell 
Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy (Dork Diaries #11) by Rachel Renée Russell 
Tales from a Not-So-Secret Catastrophe (Dork Diaries #12) by Rachel Renée Russell 


Did you add any new books to your TBR stacks and shelves? Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think?


Here is what I finished reading in March:
  • Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker (Dork Diaries #6) by Rachel Renée Russell
  • The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna 
  • The Arrangement  (Plainclothes Tootsie #1) by M. Ravenel 
  • Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star (Dork Diaries #7) by Rachel Renée Russell
  • The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville
  • The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
  • Passiflora by Kathy Davis
  • Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After (Dork Diaries #8) by Rachel Renée Russell
  • Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie's Kitchen #1) by Mia P. Manansala
  • From the Inside: The Inner Soul of a Young Poet by Thanvi Voruganti
March is always a busy month for me life-wise and and this year was no different. As a result, I stepped away from my blog for a bit and had a nice break. I did not get to focus on review writing like I planned and so have some major catching up to do. I might end up doing some extra mini-reviews, but we'll see. It was another great reading month in terms of the books I chose to read and the books I read with Mouse. There was not a book I did not enjoy. The Gilded Ones was as good as I hoped it would be, and while The Memory Collectors got off to a slow start, I really enjoyed it in the end. The Lost Apothecary was amazing. The Arrangement and Arsenic and Adobo left this mystery reader looking forward to more. I also fit in two poignant poetry collections, which I look forward to telling you about later this month. 

 How was your March? Do you have anything planned for this month?


Thank you for helping me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next: 

My TBR List is hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 


As I considered what three books to offer for your consideration this month, my eyes fell on my shelf of unread novels written in verse. Two of these lost in a previous poll. Maybe one of them will be the winner this round. I look forward to seeing which one you pick for me to read this month!


Brown Girl Dreaming
 by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
 [Goodreads Summary] 

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman 
Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.

Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her. [Goodreads Summary]

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. [Goodreads Summary]

 


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


© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.