Saturday, March 05, 2022

Weekly Mews: February & March Craziness, Good Books & My March TBR 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. 

I knew going into February and March that they would be busy months all around--on the personal and work fronts. Sure enough, that is proving to be true. I am taking a moment to check in with you, take a few deep breaths, let them out slowly, and hope I am able to put together enough of a post for you this weekend and hit publish. 

Girl Scout cookie season is winding down with about two weeks still to go. Mouse will be manning another one of her troop's booths this weekend at a local store. She's also been busy with dance, rehearsals and school. A coworker of mine passed away recently, which was quite a shock to us all. She had been with the agency for longer than I have and was well liked and respected by many. Another coworker became a grandmother for the first time after her daughter's difficult pregnancy--we all are celebrating with her. We are extremely short staffed and busy at work, not to mention undergoing changes, which, however small they may actually be, only add to everyone's stress levels. I have been putting in my share of overtime when I am able to help ease some of the burden. Mixed in there, we have also had a couple of get togethers with friends, and the weather was perfect for a visit to the park last weekend.  Today it is overcast and chilly. 

I imagine the first two or three weeks of March will be much like these last two weeks. I will probably not be around the blogosphere much. I hope you have a wonderful week and month of March!

Last Read

I most recently read the 8th book in the Hollows series by Kim Harrsion called Black Magic Sanction. I continue to love the series more and more with every book I read: seeing how the characters and their relationships evolve and what trouble Rachel will find herself in next. 

Reading Now

I was not quite ready to leave Rachel Morgan's side (there were a few loose threads I did not want to put off following) and so am now reading Pale Demon (Hollows #9) by Kim Harrison. This installment of the series takes the characters on a road trip from Ohio to the West Coast. 

I am continuing my way through The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and enjoying it.  I can see why it's such a popular classic!

Up Next

Please help me choose which of these three books I will read next! I am eager to read all three. You are welcome to still vote even if you have not read them--perhaps a cover or title catches your eye over the others or the synopsis intrigues you. Or maybe it's on your TBR pile too! 

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
by Malinda Lo

Acclaimed author of Ash Malinda Lo returns with her most personal and ambitious novel yet, a gripping story of love and duty set in San Francisco's Chinatown during the 1950s.

"That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other." And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: "Have you ever heard of such a thing?"

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day. [Goodreads Summary]

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

The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain. [Goodreads Summary]

Clark and Division
by Naomi Hirahara

Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara’s eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister’s death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.

Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki’s older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family’s reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.

Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose’s death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.

Inspired by historical events,
Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime fiction plot with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history. [Goodreads Summary]

Thank you for voting! What will you be reading 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 let you vote for my next read during that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 

New to the Shelves

My latest additions:

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes
Moon Witch, Spider King (The Dark Star Trilogy #2) by Marlon James

Mouse's latest additions:

Best Friends for Never (Katie the Catsitter #2) by Colleen A.F. Venable and illustrated by Stephanie Yue
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner

Have you read any of these books? What new books did you add to your TBR pile recently?

February Monthly Wrap Up

Here is what I finished reading in February:
  • Hooky by Míriam Bonastre Tur
  • Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead (#2) by Elle Cosimano
  • Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose (#2) by T.A. Willberg
  • The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
  • Dial A for Aunties (#1) by Jesse Q. Sutanto (February's TBR Poll Winner)
  • The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow (#2) by Emma Steinkellner
  • Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 5 by Kamome Shirahama, translated by Stephen Kohler
  • The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
February turned out to be a great reading month with some laugh out loud moments along with a few nail biting ones. There were no disappointments and I am hard pressed to pick a favorite. Blogging wise, I started out strong, but a busy schedule in my offline life kept me away these past couple weeks. 

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  1. I voted for Last Night at the Telegraph Club since I am reading it right now and it's really good. I am sorry to hear about your colleague, that is never easy.

  2. I sorry to hear about your coworker. That's really hard. I hope you and your other coworkers and the family of the one who passed away can find peace in this difficult time. {{{hugs}}}

  3. Sorry to hear about your colleague. It's never easy when this happens.

  4. I've got a Naomi Hirahara book coming this month, too. It's the next in her series set in Hawaii, however.

  5. I'm glad you were able to take a little time and catch us up on what's going on. It sounds like your work life is crazy right now and your home life is busy, too.

    I'm sorry to hear about your colleague. It's difficult to lose people we care about.

    Last Night at the Telegraph Club is the book I picked for you. I'm curious about it.

  6. Sorry about the loss of your coworker - very sad indeed, even more so when death is unexpected. Congrats to the new grandmother, she must be thrilled. I'm not familiar with your books but, I noticed the new Simone St James was one you read in February - I LOVED The Sundown Motel by her so, I will be sure to read her new on as well. I voted for Last Night at the Telegraph Club - I like the sound of it. Hope March is a good month and not too stressful for you.

  7. Loved the Cartographers and wish Marlon James' books weren't so long.

  8. So terribly sad about your co worker, it always so difficult. I hope your works starts to get a bit easier soon.

  9. My industry is very busy now too. Hopefully it's a good sign of economic recovery😁 I voted for Black Sun since it's the only one I've read, but it was amazing! Have a good week, Wendy!

  10. I am very sorry for the passing of your coworker!

  11. Sorry about your coworker!

    I am glad you have several interesting looking books. I haven't read any of them, but I'll be watching for reviews.

    Have a great week, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

  12. Hope your work situation settles soon. Fake Blood looks like a fun one. Enjoy.

  13. It seems as if you need to take that breath yes... And that's okay too! That's what breathing is for - take it, own it and know that all will be okay.

    Hmmm, I don't know any of the books on your poll. I just voted for the last one, for that is the one I will most probably read first!

    Have a wonderful week and keep on breathing.

    Elza Reads

  14. I did a February wrap up this past week and I had two 5-star reads. One was fiction and the other was nonfiction. I hope you have a great week!

  15. I'm sorry to hear about your coworker, it must be a painful time for all involved!

  16. You can never go wrong with a Kim Harrison novel!

  17. I'm sorry to hear about your coworker. Sending you the best of luck to get through the next few busy weeks/months!

  18. I can sympathise with your stress, tiredness and situation at work, as I am going through something similar. I hope things will settle back down for you soon. Take care and happy reading. 🙂

  19. I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your co-worker... especially hard when it was so unexpected. Hope things clam down for you soon. This sounds like such a busy time. At least reading provides an escape...

  20. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your coworker passing away. May she rest in peace.

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  21. Hang in there! I hope things get less busy and less stressful for you soon.

  22. Sounds like you've been busy! And I'm sorry tohear about your coworker! How terrible.

    You have me curious about Dumas now! And I just finished dead Silence- hope you love it :)

    I voted LAst Night at the Telegraph Club because I thought it was really good. The Roanhorse looks fantastic too though.

  23. It's always a shock when a coworker dies. So sorry. I've had that happen several times ... and it's terrible. Sounds like you are putting in a lot of hours ... hope you get a breather soon. Lately I'm reading a novel called Mothering Sunday ... which is coming out as a movie soon. We'll see if it's any good. Enjoy your week.

  24. I hope the situation at work settles down soon. My sympathies on the loss of your colleague.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  25. Sorry about all the stress. I hope it settles down soon. Have a great week!

  26. Clark and Division sounds good to me. I really should reread that Kim Harrison series. I remember enjoying the earlier ones in the series more than the recent ones. Maybe the series would work better for me if I read them back to back. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  27. Wow! Mouse has been busy. Good to have a catch-up, its sounds like your work place has seen a mix of sadness and joy.
    A fairly productive month for me. IO finally feel I have some of my bloggy mo-jo back.
    I'm not sure if my vote registered or not but my pick is Last Night at the Telegraph Club

  28. Sorry to hear a coworker passed away.
    I should start reading Kim Harrison again. I read her books years ago and then stopped but I know I liked what I read.

  29. I'm so sorry to hear about your coworker. And I'm glad you're getting a few minutes to breathe as it definitely does sound like things are crazy on multiple fronts for you. I couldn't decide on your TBR poll because they all sounded interesting and I can't wait to see what you read.

  30. I'm sorry to hear that things are crazy at work. Hopefully you will get a break soon!

    I voted for Clark and Division--it was one of my favorite books of 2021. I also read and liked Black Sun. I'm not a high fantasy reader so it took me a little while to settle in with it, but once I did it was quite good.

    Have a great week! - Melinda @ A Web of Stories

  31. I'm very sorry to hear about the death of your coworker. It's super busy at my work right now and we are short-staffed too so I feel your pain. I feel like I have time to do one marathon blog hop once a week and that's about it most weeks. Hopefully things will slow down a bit for us both soon.

  32. Last Night at the Telegraph Club was excellent! The Book of Cold Cases is on my list. I've read her other two books and love her style. Fake Blood was fun; another good one! And I just read Dead Silence and it was creepy and thrilling and just what I needed. I hope you love it too!

    I'm so sorry about your co-worker. I hope things at work get less stressful and that you have a great week and month.

  33. I've got to the computer after a week. We are living here in a very unsettled frame of mind. Seven hour power cuts, no cooking gas mile long queues, shortage of diesel and petrol. Today the price of both diesel and petrol has gone up, burdening the average worker even more.
    I hope you and your family are keeping well and safe.

  34. Wow, you are having a busy time. I am so sorry to hear about your co-worker. That is always so difficult to process and bounce back from. I hope your upcoming few weeks are a bit easier.

  35. Hi Wendy, I can relate to that work/life busyness. Hopefully you get some reading and relaxing time in between. I am sorry about your co-worker :(
    Good luck to Mouse with the girl Scout cookie season. I'd buy a bunch if I was near you guys!
    I need to read Kim Harrison, I've been meaning to for so long. Stay well!

  36. I'm sorry to hear about your co-worker. Hopefully work will be less stressful for you in the upcoming months.

    I've been curious with Last Night at the Telegraph Club so I'll be interested to know what you think of this book should you decide to read it, Wendy.


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