Thursday, April 01, 2021

Where Is Your Bookmark? Spring Flowers / Reading Now / Reading Then / 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.

From the prologue:  

I am surrounded by forgotten women. [opening of The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba]
And from the first chapter:
"I think you'll find, Mr. Pulitzer, that as a woman, I'm able to infiltrate parts of society your other reporters can't access. Why, look what Nellie Bly has done in her reporting . . . " [first line of first chapter in The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba]


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 lurch up in the bed, the darkness of the room disorienting me. For a moment, I can't remember where I am, if I am in our little house on the Isle of Pines, or in Recogidas, but the bed and sheets feel too fine to be either place. In sleep, in my dreams, I am back in Recogidas, the familiar sounds and smells of the prison assaulting me. [excerpt from 56% from The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba]

I currently am reading Chanel Cleeton's upcoming release (05/04) The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba. Although it is listed as the 4th book in the series, my understanding is that each book can be read as a stand alone as they each feature different characters which is good because this is my first book by the author. It got off to a great start; the opening caught my attention right away. The prologue was an instant hook for me given my interest in reading historical novels about women, especially those less talked about. Of course, any mention of Nellie Bly is likely to pique my interest immediately and so the first chapter opening was a hit for me as well. Combined together, I have high hopes this novel. 

 I am only about a fourth of the way into the novel, and so haven't yet reached the 56% mark I quoted above. It's a bit of a spoiler for me given where the characters are in the book now--but something to look forward to! 

At the end of the nineteenth century, three revolutionary women fight for freedom in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s captivating new novel inspired by real-life events and the true story of a legendary Cuban woman–Evangelina Cisneros–who changed the course of history.

A feud rages in Gilded Age New York City between newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. When Grace Harrington lands a job at Hearst’s newspaper in 1896, she’s caught in a cutthroat world where one scoop can make or break your career, but it’s a story emerging from Cuba that changes her life.

Unjustly imprisoned in a notorious Havana women’s jail, eighteen-year-old Evangelina Cisneros dreams of a Cuba free from Spanish oppression. When Hearst learns of her plight and splashes her image on the front page of his paper, proclaiming her, “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba,” she becomes a rallying cry for American intervention in the battle for Cuban independence.

With the help of Marina Perez, a courier secretly working for the Cuban revolutionaries in Havana, Grace and Hearst’s staff attempt to free Evangelina. But when Cuban civilians are forced into reconcentration camps and the explosion of the USS Maine propels the United States and Spain toward war, the three women must risk everything in their fight for freedom.
[Goodreads Summary]

Does The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba sound like something you would enjoy? Have you read other books in the series? What did you think? 

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 finished a moving character driven novel called All Stories are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer, set in and around a natural disaster. Although I found it slow to get into, the pay off was more than worth it. I loved the San Francisco setting and I really came to care for the characters as they were forced to face their fears, guilt of past actions, and re-evaluate what was important to them. I often record the first sentences of books I read and this one is quite impressive in size, wouldn't you say? (The cover is linked to Goodreads.)
On the morning of February 14, exactly seven hours, fifty-two minutes, and thirteen seconds before the earth's two largest tectonic plates released decades' worth of strain under a busy suburb just outside San Francisco; exactly eight hours, eight minutes, and fifty-three seconds before the energy dislodged from the seismic shifting triggered an even more catastrophic displacement farther north along the San Andreas Fault; exactly eight hours, nine minutes, and twelve seconds before all gas, power, water, cell, and satellite communications were severed from San Francisco and its environs; exactly eight hours and twenty-two minutes before thousands of tiny sparks and larger ignitions got out from under the valiant efforts of a drought-plagued understaffed fire department and prematurely exhausted volunteers; and exactly ten hours and eleven minutes before the real danger to the old precariously built packed-like-sardines city--fire--proved its indomitable hunger, Max Fleurent was on the phone with his mother.  ~ Opening of All Stories Are Love Stories

Have you read All Stories are Love Stories? 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.

I am a terrible gardener and it's a hardy plant that can survive my garden. I do love looking at gardens, especially this time of year. I thought I would connect five books today with flowers on their covers. Each of these are books I have read, enjoyed and recommend! [Covers are linked to Goodreads if you want to know more about each book.]


Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1) by Melissa Marr 


Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson 


Black-Eyed Susan by Julia Heaberlin


The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard


The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow


Have you read any of these books? What books come to mind that you enjoyed that have flowers on the cover? 


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.

Do you think you will ever get tired of blogging? (submitted by Julie @  JadeSky)


I began blogging in the summer of 2006 and my blog has gone through several transitions during that time, as have I. My love for reading and books though has never faltered. I take breaks now and then. Sometimes I need to step away from blogging for awhile to regroup, catch up or am just feeling overwhelmed, although more often it's because life gets in the way. I enjoy blogging and having a place to share my thoughts about books and my love for reading. I like being among other readers who understand my bookish quirks and obsessions. Not to mention all the books I might not have read or come across had it not been for other book bloggers!

The book blogging community has changed considerably since I first started blogging. It's grown exponentially and a lot of the people I was blogging alongside early on have moved on. I keep on though. I enjoy getting to know people from around the world and from all walks of life. There was a time when I did consider giving blogging up, when it felt more like an obligation and not as fun as it once was. After a break and making changes in how I blog and in the way I approach blogging, I found my joy for book blogging again. Plus, I really miss the community when I'm away. I enjoy connecting with other readers and I find blogging to be a great stress reducer, not to mention a creative outlet. Someday I may decide it is time to move on. But for now you are stuck with me! 

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.

33 comments:

  1. I love that quote from the first chapter! So inspiring for some reason!

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    1. Eustacia - I came close to sharing the next paragraph of the prologue because it really paints a picture of how dire the situation is for the women, but since I shared the bit from the first chapter too, I thought it best not to. I was certainly sucked in immediately. Thank you for visiting!

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  2. I've had a book blog for just under 4 years but have only actively/seriously blogged for around a year. Before that I mainly just posted promotional material. I hope I keep enjoying it too.

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    1. Louise - I hope you will continue to enjoy blogging too! I enjoy reading your blog. :-) Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I hope to start reading The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba soon. I have really enjoyed some of the other books in the series. I still need to read the third book though. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a fantastic book! I have thought about quitting blogging. I enjoy it but it takes up so much time that I could be spending reading. I try to take breaks when I need to and that helps.

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    1. Carole - I hope you enjoy The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba when you read it! I am glad to hear you really enjoyed the earlier books in the series. I would like to go back and read them at some point.

      Yes, blogging really is time consuming, isn't it? I think that's the part of it that trips me up the most. Trying to fit it in around everything else can be a challenge. And then the reading . . . If we don't read, we have nothing to blog about! Haha.

      Thank you for visiting!

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  4. Those first two quotes are great and Nellie Bly was indeed an amazing woman! I hope you enjoy it and you weren't spoiled too much by the F56! I've been blogging since 2010 and I completely understand the need to sometimes step away, I've done the same! And the blogosphere does change but I also love seeing new voices come in! I hope you have a lovely week and do drop by my Friday post if you have the time! - Juli @ A Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - New voices are always welcome in the blogging community. They often bring enthusiasm and energy with them that can be contagious. :-)

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. Fascinating excerpts! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

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  6. I didn't quite manage to finish The Ten Thousand Doors of January when I started it earlier this year but it is a book I would enjoy. I love that cover of Black Eyed Susans, well, not so much the woman clothed in flowers but the flowers themselves lol.

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    1. Athira - I hope you get a chance to pick up The Ten Thousand Doors of January again someday. It was my favorite book the year before last. Thank you for visiting!

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  7. I love those snippets. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a lovely weekend! :)

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    1. Ashley - Thank you! I hope you have a nice weekend too!

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  8. I hope you really enjoy this book! Happy Easter weekend!

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  9. The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba sounds great. I've been wanting to read this author for awhile. Happy Easter!

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    1. Yvonne - I am enjoying it so far. I will definitely have to go back and try the author's earlier work. Thank you for stopping by!

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  10. Your current read is the type of historical fiction I really like because it explores the lives and accomplishments of women--subjects that weren't included in most history classes.

    Enjoy...and have a great weekend!

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    1. Catherine - When I read the blurb, I knew this book was for me. I hope you get a chance to read it too! Thank you for visiting! Have a great weekend too.

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  11. Lots to respond to here. I also have Chanel Cleeton's book to read. I have read two others and they were somewhat connected, but this one takes place before those two. I am looking forward to reading it. I have not read any of those books with flowers on the cover, but have read others by Joshilyn Jackson. Will I get tired of blogging? Possibly. I started my blog in September 2015 and it has not changed a lot, but my reviews have and I do more non-review type posts. Have a great Easter Weekend, Wendy.

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    1. Carla - I cram way too much into these Friday posts. LOL I hope you enjoy the Chanel Cleeton book. I wondered where this one fell into the timeline of her series and am glad you mentioned it comes before. That makes me feel better about reading them out of order--even if they aren't closely connected. I hope you have a great weekend too! Thank you for stopping by!

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  12. Women fighting for freedom in Cuba? Sounds interesting!

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    1. Helen - Doesn't it? It's good so far! Thank you for visiting!

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  13. I've been wanting to re-read the Wicked Lovely series! It's one of my faves, but I read it ages ago. I also love that you can recall books you read 5 years ago, because I have absolutely no idea what I was reading then. 🤣

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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  14. I still am finding it interesting to go back and see what I was reading years ago! I still remember this book vividly: https://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2021/04/my-weekly-bookishness-422021.html

    Colletta

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  15. I'm terrible at growing things or keeping them alive. I have plastic plants. lol
    I have been blogging for 15 years and I don't see myself getting bored with it anytime soon.

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  16. Like you, I'm a sucker for anything Nellie Bly. Looks like an interesting read.

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  17. I phase in and out of blogging. I try to be faithful to a few memes but then can't help but be frustrated when I try to communicate with everyone and I don't get the love back. Then I get discouraged and phase back for a while. Such a circle.

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  18. I am not much of a flower gardener but I do love others and ask questions so that maybe one day!! I enjoyed the Joshilyn Jackson book and Ten Thousand Doors. So a Snap of two!

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  19. I love those covers with all the flowers. I am a terrible gardener but do love flowers so even when I'm working on crafty projects I sometimes use background paper with flowers!

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  20. Love those covers with the flowers! I don't have green fingers but I love admiring them. I've seen many positive reviews on Black-Eyed Susans and The Ten Thousand Doors of January so I'll have to check them out.

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