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. I am linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently.
In reading . . .
As I slowly continue to make my way through Kim Harrison's Hollows series, I most recently finished reading For A Few Demons More (#5). It is an addicting urban fantasy series with a great cast of characters.
My daughter was shocked when I told her I had never tried Manga before and insisted I read the first three volumes of Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama. She loves the series which features a young apprentice witch--and, of course, I am smitten with it too.
I seem to be in a witchy sort of mood because I am now reading Witches Get Stitches (Stay a Spell #3) by Juliette Cross. I am excited to finally be reading Violet and Nico's story.
Mouse and I took a detour for a short while but are back to reading Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co #1) by Anna James together. We are enjoying it.
Will the witch mood continue, I wonder? Witch Please (Fix-It Witch #1) by Ann Aguirre is sounding good. There is also the next book in the Kim Harrison Hollows series, The Outlaw Demon Wails (#6) that I am looking forward to diving into. My eye keeps coming back to The Real Valkyerie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown though so that might be the way to go. It would be perfect if I want to reach my nonfiction challenge goal by the end of the year.
What I Have Been Watching
This past month my daughter and I got into AJ and the Queen, starring RuPaul Charles and Izzy G, which we both are enjoying. We only have a couple episodes left. The show, about a drag queen and a young stowaway who are traveling cross country on tour, takes on some serious issues while at the same time being sweet and funny. I was sad to hear there will not be a second season.
We also have been watching Charmed, the reboot version, about three sister witches. I really liked the original version, and, while there are some definite similarities (I can't help but make comparisions), and so was leery going into this new show, but I do like it so far.
As a musical loving family, we could not resist watching Schmigadoon, in which a couple having relationship trouble cross a bridge and find themselves in a musical. It was silly and over the top, sure, but that was expected.
I am slowly making my way through the first season of the television series Grim, which is giving me my supernatural fix (along with Charmed, of course!).
New to the Shelves
I was at my local independent bookstore picking up an order for my daughter and came across this one which had been recommended by a friend as well as the bookseller who had read and loved it. It is a historical fiction novel set during the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake: Vera by Carol Edgarian.
Although we were at the bookstore to pick up Witch Hat Atelier Volume 4 and 5 by Kamome Shirahama, I caved and also got Mouse What the Hex?! (Witches of Brooklyn #2) by Sophie Escabasse, Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres and illustrated by Elbert Or, and Back to the Drawing Board (Making Friends #2) by Kristen Gudsnuk.
Off the Blog
There is so much turmoil out there right now. It is hard not to be affected by it, even if not directly. My heart aches for those impacted by the fires in my own state and the hurricane and storms in the South and on the East Coast. The photos and news footage of the damage . . . so devastating. Add in what is happening in places like Afghanistan, not to mention other parts of the world and within my own country. Of course we can't forget COVID either, can we? The pandemic rages on.
In my own personal life: with August came the start of school for Mouse and a new work schedule for me. Mouse is happy to be back in the classroom again. Her dad and I have been keeping close watch on the virus numbers at her school, which fortunately remain low. I am still working a hybrid schedule (part working from home and part in the office) but there was a shift in my hours which is taking some getting used to. I kind of like it and hope it sticks. Early in August my car died and the cost was steep to get fixed. It could have been a lot worse though, so for that I am grateful. My mother-in-law was rushed to the hospital after a fall and it was discovered she had had a heart attack. She seems to be doing okay now and is taking it easy. Towards the end of the month, a long-time colleague of mine lost his battle with brain cancer.
A few other highlights:
My work buddy often comes and sits with me while I am working at home. She especially likes the heat coming off my monitor and laptop.
Sometimes she sneaks onto my keyboard when I'm on the phone.
The Annie Musical turned out really well with only a few tech issues. The kids did an amazing job. Mouse also performed in two Showcase dances, showing off what she's learned in a couple of her dance classes.
My mom drove into town for a visit and to see Mouse perform. We had an early birthday celebration for her before she had to head back home.
My grandmother also had a birthday celebration in August, turning 104 years old. I was unable to attend, but I was with her in spirit.
Mouse earned her much coveted pointe letter recently, having worked very hard over the past few years in her ballet classes. While ballet is not her first or even her second love, dancing en pointe has been a dream of hers. We are so proud of her! The studio owners/directors have a tradition of taking the new pointe students for their first pointe shoe fitting making it an even more special event for the girls.
And that just about sums up my August.
Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? What new books have you added to your bookshelves? How did your August shape up? What did I miss while I was on my break?
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).
There is a saturation of World War novels in the market (not that I am complaining) and these three have garnered a lot of buzz since they came out. Featuring clever and resourceful women, each of these books made their way onto my Mount TBR, and I could use your help deciding which one to read first.
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, code name Alice, the "queen of spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads. [Goodreads Summary]
From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.
In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…
Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.
British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.
Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear. [Goodreads Summary]
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.
1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.
1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy--closer... [Goodreads Summary]
Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!
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