Saturday, August 07, 2021

Weekly Mews: July Wrap Up & An August Blogging Break

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. 


In reading . . . 
Then

I started reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlyn Doughty in hopes of adding another nonfiction book to my list of challenge books read, but the timing wasn't right and so I have set it aside for now. It is definitely a book I want to read still and hope to pick it up again later. Sometimes mood is everything.

In its place I picked up The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun, a queer rom-com set in the middle of a reality dating show. It was funny and adorable and just what I needed reading-wise.


Now

Mouse and I are enjoying seeing favorite characters come to life as we read in Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co #1) by Anna James together. It is a middle grade novel about an eleven-year-old girl who is able to travel inside the stories she reads. A bit of magic, adventure and mystery--three of Mouse's and my favorite qualities in a book.

I am also reading Be My Ghost, the first book in Carol J. Perry's new Haunted Haven mystery series featuring a woman who inherits an inn just when she most needs to make a fresh start. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Except for maybe finding a dead body. There are ghosts. And a charming failed guide dog named Finn. I am enjoying it so far.


Next

Oh goodness! I am not sure what I will be reading next, honestly. As stressed, anxious, and busy as I have been, something fun and escapist will likely be the way to go. Perhaps the third book in Juliette Cross's paranormal romance Stay a Spell series, Witches Get Stitches. I really liked the first two books in the series. There's also The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale, a rom-com involving being matched with an ex by an online dating service, that sounds fun. The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson, about a lonely woman who joins forces with the community to save the library in their small English village, also sounds very appealing.   Then there is The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova which has caught my attention, if I am craving something a little darker.



What I Have Been Watching

My husband and I are continuing to make our way through Broadchurch. It is such a good but sad show. We recently began the third and final season.  We took a break from the heaviness of Broadchurch to watch the first season of Ted Lasso. To be honest, I was not very interested in watching a sports show, but my husband wanted me to give it a chance. And now I am completely hooked. It is such a good show--funny, uplifting and entertaining.



Monthly Wrap Up
 
New to the Shelves in July

E-Book Purchases:


My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Book from my local independent bookstore:


Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse


Have you read any of these books? What books did you add to your TBR this past month? 


Here is what I finished reading in July:
  • Death at the Crystal Palace (Kat Holloway Below Stairs #5) by  Jennifer Ashley
  •  I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel 
  • The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine
  • Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop by Rosselle Lim
  • Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever (Dork Diaries #14) by Rachel Renée Russell
  • A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows #4) by Kim Harrison 
  • Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge 
My reading in July was a mixed bag falling mostly on the enjoyable side. I did not dislike anything I read, at least. Jennifer Ashley continues to be a favorite with her Kat Holloway series and I adored Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop. Kim Harrison's series is a lot of fun and is becoming my go to series when I need an extra-comfort read. I imagine it will not be long before I pick up book 5 in the series.

This Past May In Reading Mews:

How did your July shape up? Do you have a favorite among the books you read? What are you looking forward to in August?


Off the Blog

July got away from me. And August is going to slip right on by as well. I have barely had a chance to turn on my personal computer. Lack of time. Lack of motivation. A good mix of both, I'm afraid. We have been keeping indoors as much as possible to avoid the heat. My medical procedure went well (no cancer found--thankfully). I also finally got around to the optometry appointment I had been putting off. Mouse had her annual check-up as well.

In July, Mouse attended a two week dance intensive, which she really enjoyed. Probably more so because she got to spend time with some of her friends. Mouse's rehearsals for the Annie musical and showcase performance have stepped into high gear as we count down to performance weekend the weekend after next. So much work, energy and time go into pulling off these of shows. We have two more dress rehearsals to go, including one this weekend. I am exhausted already thinking about it! The pandemic is never far from my mind, especially with the rapid rate the new variant is spreading. I go between thinking this is a terrible idea, that we should pull out, to not wanting to take this away from my daughter (or the other kids) given how much it means to her and how much work she's put into it--and how close it is to show time. The studio and everyone involved have been taking precautions and have safety measures in place, at least.

Mouse starts school next week. Masks are mandatory in schools here in California thankfully (although it hasn't stopped some parents from protesting and petitioning against them). The school will also be taking the students' temperatures as they come onto the campus. Mouse has the usual back to school nerves (new grade, new teacher) but also added in is whether the school friends she hasn't seen in over a year will remember her and what the environment will be like--how much the same and how different things will be for her. For the last couple months she has been attending the summer camp portion of the after school care program attached to the school a couple days a week to help ease her back in. So, she will have some familiarity in terms of expectations at school and in the after school program going in.

The new hybrid rotation at work started last month and went fairly well. I had stimulus overload on my first day back in the office with my team. I was so used to having the office to myself--or close to it--for over a year. And while there still were not a lot of people in the office all at once, each team often sits in the same general office area and so it felt a bit crowded going from one to seven people in my section. All of us continued to wear masks--even those of us who had the option not to. We had a nice send off for my team member who is moving out of state. I was really sad to see her go but glad I got the opportunity to say goodbye in person. I have to admit I was happy when my week in the office was up and I could work from home again. Our turn in the office will be coming around again soon enough.

With work, school starting, the show and an upcoming visit from my mom, I think it is time I make this break official. I will be back in September and hope you all have a wonderful August in the meantime. Please stay safe and take care of yourselves. 

On a particularly difficult work day (unbeknownst to my daughter), 
she handed me a handmade card and a little gift she made for me. 
The note inside is even sweeter. 

At the local Starbucks drive thru

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

© 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.

68 comments:

  1. Mood definitely matters when it comes to what books I end up reading. And I'm so glad your medical procedure went well and came back clear! No cancer...yay!!! Enjoy your break. :) (Or should I say good luck with all that's on your plate?)

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    1. Lark - And my mood has been very opinionated lately when it comes to books! Thank you for the kind words. I hope there will be time in there to enjoy my time away. I would like to play a little catch up on review writing, but I am not sure if I will get the chance. We'll see. Thank you for visiting!

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  2. I find it so interesting that it is the parents who are complaining about their students wearing masks. The students are just doing it without complaints for the most part.

    I feel like August is also flying by, perhaps because work has started up again for me.

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    1. Helen - Yes, I don't hear too many children complaining about the masks, just the parents too. My daughter is just glad to be back in the classroom again. She doesn't mind the mask. I hope you have a good school year! Thank you for stopping by.

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  3. We've been facing the same kind of thing- school will be all in-person with masks, when last year we did it all virtual. My ten-year-old attended a few week-long day summer camps to help her get used to being around other kids again- she enjoyed it but also found it stressful I think. It will be good for her to be around peers again but can't help feeling anxious about the variants circulating, and the risk posed by people who aren't (or refuse to get) vaccinated . . .

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    1. Jeane - I hope school got off to a good start. My daughter is so happy to be back while I'm a nervous wreck. Thank you for visiting!

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  4. I've read Last Chance Library and it was pretty good. You have a lot of books here i've wanted to read. Well done!

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    1. Wendy - I am glad you enjoyed Last Chance Library. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. I'm so glad you got good news on the cancer front! Yay!! And I hear you on the pandemic. Our school district here is going with masks optional, which I think is ridiculously irresponsible, but this is a red county so... but what can do? Good luck to Mouse on her going back, hope it goes well :)

    I've been wanting to read Roanhorse.

    Be well! what an adorable card f/ your daughter :)

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    1. Greg - If it weren't for the governor, I am sure masks would be optional in my district too, sadly. Thank you for visiting!

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  6. Wow, you have been busy! Glad you and Mouse are still reading together and spending time together. My daughter only danced for a couple of years, but I remember all the time spent to put the shows together. She also did figure skating and we had shows there as well. Our kids don't start back to school until after labour day, but they will also be wearing masks. Good luck to Mouse in all she has coming up. Take care and see you back in September.

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    1. Carla - I remember when school started after Labor Day here--back when I was a child. I am not sure why they start school so early here nowadays. It feels like it gets earlier every year. That is cool that your daughter did figure skating. Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. Have a wonderful August break! I hope Mouse's first day is a fantastic one. I imagine the nerves are running high with all the time away and it being so unfamiliar along with all the regular nerves. Glad the procedure went well and no cancer was found. Definitely a relief. I have both Pages and Co and the Carol J Perry on my TBR. I love Perry's Witch City series.

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    1. Katherine - Thank you! Mouse had a great first day and is enjoying being back at school. I wish I was feeling so confident about it with the virus raging. I enjoyed Be My Ghost. It was a good start to a new series. Thank you for visiting!

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  8. I completely agree that your mood is so important during reading! Sometimes it just isn't the right time and it's better to wait with a book. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina sounds amazing, I'm definitely adding that to my list! I remember the back to school-nerves but they must definitely be intensified now. I've also been getting overwhelmed in the rare social encounters I have, just too much all at once! I hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer and that you all have a lovely week!
    Juli @ A Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - Yes, mood plays a big part in what book will work for me at any given time. Thank you for stopping by!

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  9. The actors in Broadchurch are just incredible.

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  10. I loved Broadchurch! I may need to watch it again.

    I hope all goes well with school...it has to be very stressful for the kids...and the parents!

    Hope the anti-maskers don't cause too much trouble.

    Have a great week, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain - Broadchurch is such a great show. Thank you for the well wishes for the school year. Thank you too for stopping by!

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  11. My office is getting more and more crowded as people start to trickle back in and I don't like it! Our owners are insisting that at some point everyone is going to have to come back, even though many jobs can be done at home with no issues. Sigh. Enjoy your break!

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    1. Tammy - The mask rule for everyone regardless of vaccine status is back in affect in my office (not that I ever stopped wearing mine) and there's talk of having us go back to fewer people in office at a time as the virus continues to get worse. We'll see. Thank you for stopping by!

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  12. I so agree with you on mood reading. I'm exactly the same. I also believe that you have to read the right book at the right time, or it will be lost to you.

    Be my ghost seems like such a fun read! I am going to take a look at it now. I've never heard of Broadchurch, but I'll take a look there as well.

    Have a good week and happy reading!

    Elza Reads

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    1. Mareli (Elza) - I enjoyed Be My Ghost and look forward to future books in the series. There were some loose threads I look forward to seeing tied up. Thank you for visiting!

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  13. Really cool post! The books all look good, and the personal catch up reads well too. It sounds as if things are right in your world. God is sure goooood, isn't He?
    I hope you have a productive, fun week ahead.

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  14. Wendy, glad your medical procedure went well -whew. Back to school this year is extremely stressful indeed. Hope it goes well for Mouse. Our schools open, fully masked Labor Day week. I'll be reading The Last Chance Library this week. I LOVED: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (an "eye opener" and so funny.) Have a good week

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    1. Diane - Thank you! Yes, it was such a relief to get those results. I hope you enjoyed The Last Chance Library! Thank you for visiting!

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  15. I can definitely sympathise with the burn out feeling - I really neglected my blog and all your blogs in July! Then I went on a lovely, relaxing two week break and now I am feeling raring to go! I also escaped into some comfort reads from some of my favourite authors - My favourite being a re-read of The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley.

    I am so pleased your appointments went well and there is no sign of cancer. Take care, enjoy your break and happy reading! 🙏❤🙂

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    1. Jessica - I am glad you had a nice break. Comfort reads are the best! Thank you for stopping by!

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  16. I understand how we get crazy-busy and neglect our blogging life. It has been very stressful here, with a crazy governor who prohibited making masks mandatory! Go figure.

    I can see me setting aside Smoke Gets in Your Eyes right now, but you have dialed up my interest in reading Last Chance Library and Dial A for Aunties. I enjoyed Vanessa Yu, too.

    Good luck to Mouse in beginning the new school year.

    I'm happy to see that your medical procedure went well, and that no cancer was found.

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    1. Deb - I am sorry you live in a state where your governor isn't stepping up. It's such a stressful time for everyone and then add to it inept leaders. Thank you for visiting!

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  17. Mood is a huge factor when it comes to reading enjoyment. You were wise to put the book aside for now. I hope all goes well for your daughter going back to school. I don't have kids in school, but I didn't think about the fact that kids would be afraid that their friends forgot about them after not seeing them for so long.

    Hope you have a wonderful August!

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  18. I'll be reading Last Chance Library soon and I'm looking forward to it. We were going out a bit more with masks but I am pulling back from that now. My daughter had decided in April when she signed up for fall classes she was doing everything online still. I thought she might take one on campus but now I think it's for the best.

    You're right August is flying by. I hope you have a good week!

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

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    1. Anne - I hope you enjoy The Last Chance Library. Your daughter is probably smart to sticking with online classes. Thank you for visiting!

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  19. Oh wow, yes. Lots of stressful things happening in your world right now. I hope the break helps!

    I read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes....eye-opening stuff that's for sure! I'm kinda scared to die now. lol

    That card your daughter made for you is so sweet. She loves her Mommy. Awww...

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    1. Jinjer - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes does sound good. I look forward to trying it again when the mood is right. Thank you for stopping by!

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  20. I'm glad your medical procedure went well and no cancer was found. I'm sure that's stress relieving to find out.

    I read Witches Get Stitches and loved it. That series is so good.

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  21. Goodness, so much to talk about! I always love your weekend posts.

    Thankfully you are in good health, and a few weeks away from the blog should be a welcome change. I hope Mouse enjoys going back to school. She's growing into a lovely little girl with many interesting hobbies (reading, dancing, performing, scouts!). I remember when she was a little toddler... :)

    We watched Broadchurch last year and I read the book, also. I totally get the mood thing-- there are some topics I am gravitating towards and others I definitely don't want to think about.

    Enjoy time with the family and hope your work continues on smoothly!

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    1. Rita - At least we know my health concerns aren't cancer related! That is a relief. Mouse is growing way too fast. She definitely keeps busy. Thank you for stopping by!

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  22. We are also facing the Delta variant in all its force. Hospitals are overcrowded, no one seems to know which way to go, here schools are definitely a no go, offices work with skeleton staff on rotation and everything seems to be in limbo.

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    1. Mystica - I do hope things improve for all of us. Thank you for visiting!

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  23. I'm glad the medical procedure went well! I hope you have a restful month ahead!

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  24. It sounds like you have a busy few weeks coming up so a break from the blog sounds sensible. Good luck to Mouse with school and her performance!

    Wishing you an awesome August.

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  25. Have a great August! It sounds like a break is sensible since you are so busy. I hope Mouse enjoys returning to school. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  26. My goodness, that's some busy month you'd had.

    Given life as it is at the moment I think mood is dictating what we read for many of us, with many of us seeking out books that offer some light relief.

    Covid is never far from the my mind either. That like you on one hand I want some sense of normality and yet worry that our government is moving things too quickly.
    Enjoy what sounds like a well deserved break.

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    1. Felicity - Yes, you are right. So much of what is going on in the world right now is having an impact on our reading and reading choices. Thank you for visiting!

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  27. OMG I loved Broadchurch so much. I wish they would do another season.

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    1. Ti - It was such a good show. Thank you for stopping by!

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  28. So wonderful to hear all went well with your procedure! I hope you are having a great time with your mom and all is going well with Mouse returning so school. Enjoy your blog break and hope you read lots of great books!

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  29. You have been busy! I'm glad your daughters school is requiring masks and temperature checks, I wish the best for her and you.
    The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun sure looks good to me. I've also been wanting to read A is for Aunties. Have a great week!

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    1. Wendy - Thank you! The Charm Offensive was good and I recommend it. Thank you for visiting!

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  30. I'm so happy you are cancer-free! Best news! I really hope the start of school went as well as possible. Our county just mandated masks for all schools here yesterday and I'm relieved as too many kids can't yet get vaccinated. The Charm Offensive is a book I received as an ARC and it's on my fall TBR. I'm happy you enjoyed it.

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    1. Danielle - Thank you! School got off to a good start. Mouse really likes her teacher and is happy to be back. I am glad to hear your county mandated masks at schools. It gives them at least some defense since so many can't get vaccinated. I hope you enjoy Charm Offensive like I did. Thank you for stopping by!

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  31. Hi Wendy, I'm very glad the procedure went well. Take care of yourself, I can totally relate with the lack of motivation and time for the computer, there's not enough hours in the day for it all.

    Doesn't the office seem loud and a little crowded now? I feel that same way, even though we have a hybrid schedule and the building is not full capacity I prefer the days I'm working from home.

    The note from Mouse is so sweet. Good luck to her with school and happy reading! Enjoy your break and hope you get time to relax.

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    1. Naida - Thank you for the well wishes. I find I prefer working from home too. I feel lucky I am able to do it at all. Thank you for visiting!

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  32. That's a lovely note from mouse. NO return to office scheduled here, but DC has tough restrictions right now, so the company is holding off on that.

    Love the dog person/cat person tip jars.

    I hope things have improved for you as we head into September

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    1. Serena - I think the tough restrictions are for the best given the climate right now. I was relieved when my agency returned to the mask in office policy--at least around others--regardless of vaccine status.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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