Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Can't Wait to Read Wednesday: Georgie, All Along / Vampire Weekend/ VenCo / Speaker of the Lost

The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

I love to lose myself in stories like this--rediscovering oneself and finding love. I cannot wait to read this one!

Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn 
(Kensington; January 31, 2023)
In this heartfelt tale of one woman’s quest to reinvent herself, the acclaimed author of Love Lettering and Love at First delivers a poignant, witty reflection on how the hopes, dreams, and stories from our past shape our future . . .

Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back. 

Honest and deeply emotional, 
Georgie, All Along is a smart, tender must-read for everyone who’s ever wondered about the life that got away . . . [Goodreads Summary]

The author's name is enough to get my attention, but I am really curious about this vampire tale.

Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen 
(MIRA; January 31, 2023)
Being a vampire is far from glamorous...but it can be pretty punk rock.

Everything you've heard about vampires is a lie. They can't fly. No murders allowed (the community hates that). And turning into a bat? Completely ridiculous. In fact, vampire life is really just a lot of blood bags and night jobs. For Louise Chao, it's also lonely, since she swore off family ages ago.

At least she's gone to decades of punk rock shows. And if she can join a band of her own (while keeping her...situation under wraps), maybe she'll finally feel like she belongs, too.

Then a long-lost teenage relative shows up at her door. Whether it's Ian's love of music or his bad attitude, for the first time in ages, Louise feels a connection.

But as Ian uncovers Louise's true identity, things get dangerous--especially when he asks her for the ultimate favor. One that goes beyond just family...one that might just change everything vampires know about life and death forever.
 [Goodreads Summary]

Everything about this book book screams, "Read me!" 

by Cherie Dimaline
(William Morrow; February 7, 2023)
For fans of The Once and Future Witches and Practical Magic, comes an incredibly imaginative, highly anticipated new novel featuring witches, magic, and a road trip across America—from Cherie Dimaline, the critically acclaimed author of Empire of Wild.

Lucky St. James, a Métis millennial living with her cantankerous but loving grandmother Stella, is barely hanging on when she discovers she will be evicted from their tiny Toronto apartment. Then, one night, something strange and irresistible calls out to Lucky. Burrowing through a wall, she finds a silver spoon etched with a crooked-nosed witch and the word SALEM, humming with otherworldly energy.

Hundreds of miles away in Salem, Myrna Good has been looking for Lucky. Myrna works for VenCo, a front company fueled by vast resources of dark money.

Lucky is familiar with the magic of her indigenous ancestors, but she has no idea that the spoon links her to VenCo’s network of witches throughout North America. Generations of witches have been waiting for centuries for the seven spoons to come together, igniting a new era, and restoring women to their rightful power.

But as reckoning approaches, a very powerful adversary is stalking their every move. He’s Jay Christos, a roguish and deadly witch-hunter as old as witchcraft itself.

To find the last spoon, Lucky and Stella embark on a rollicking and dangerous road trip to the darkly magical city of New Orleans, where the final showdown will determine whether VenCo will usher in a new beginning…or remain underground forever.
[Goodreads Summary]

Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?

The Old(er) 
Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight those unread books on my TBR in her Books from the Backlog feature, reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

This found its way to my TBR shelf five years ago. The lure of an FBI Paranormal Squad was irresistible. It still is. Unfortunately, this one got lost amongst my other e-books (that ol' hidden library curse again). 

Speaker of the Lost
(Lark Nation #1) by Clara Coulson
In a sleepy town in coastal Maine, a dangerous storm is brewing…

Stella Newport is the new kid on the block in the FBI’s Paranormal Squad. With three training missions left to ace and enough drive to nail them blindfolded, she’s well on her way to securing her place among the ranks of the elite agents known as “Larks.”

And then…Aurora, Michigan.

After magic practitioners brazenly destroy a massive convention center, supernatural crime rates surge across the United States. With the regional paranormal crime-fighting group—DSI—overtaxed, and the Paranormal Squad woefully short on manpower, Stella is pulled out of training early and shoved on a plane to a small New England town.

Her mission? To assist the infamously moody Oswald Bolton, known as the “Great and Terrible Oz,” with a complex murder investigation.

In the town of Bismuth, Maine, an ancient creature has come calling, and it’s up to Stella and Oz to unravel the myriad secrets of a tight-knit (and tight-lipped) community…before another head goes rolling and another body falls. [Goodreads Summary]

Have you read Speaker of Lost?  Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 

© 2023, 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.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is my Top Ten Fourteen New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022 and will definitely be reading more of! 

Angela M. Sanders

B.B. Alston

S.A. Barnes

Kate Khavari

Celeste Martin

India Holton

Cherie Priest

Peng Shepherd

Sangu Mandanna

Abi Daré

Lyssa Kay Adams

Bianca Marias

Jesse Q. Sutanto

Shauna Robinson

Have you read anything by these authors? What did you think? What new-to-you authors did you discover in 2022?

© 2023, 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.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Eight Bookish Goals for 2023

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl.

I cannot imagine life without books and being able to read. Sometimes setting goals is a great motivator and helps me step outside my comfort zone. Sometimes it is just what I need. Other times, I prefer less structure and need more freedom. This is one of those years where I will be keeping the rules loose, setting realistic expectations, ones I can meet and maybe even go beyond--with no pressure. My Top Ten Tuesday topic is my Top Ten Eight Bookish Goals for 2023.

Declutter my bookshelves.

Organize my bookshelves.

Read at least one nonfiction/fiction pairing.

Continue catching up on my series reading project.

Read a classic novel that has been on my to read list for longer than I can remember.

Read at least three books my daughter recommends to me.

Complete my reading challenges for the year.

Read what I want, whether that be TBR books, review books, borrowed books or what have you.

 What are your bookish goals for this year?

© 2023, 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, January 14, 2023

Weekly Mews: More Rain and Good Books

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.

It has been raining nonstop most of the day. We enjoyed a couple of sunny days this past week, and I even opened the windows for a couple hours the day before yesterday (I ended up wrapped in a blanket, so maybe that wasn't the best idea).

Our plans to put together my new desk last weekend fell through. At least it was for a good reason. Mouse was hoping to help with the construction, but she got a last minute invite to go with a friend to see the musical Mean Girls at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. That's not something you pass up if you can help it, and so off she went. Her dad and I had a nice quiet day at home; we're only partially jealous we couldn't go too. I promised we would hold off on putting the desk together until this weekend so that she could help. It's been a slow process, involving rearranging furniture around, but what we did not get done today will definitely get done tomorrow. I am in the office this next week and so won't be able to try it out for work just yet. 

Helping to put away the holiday decorations

What have you been up to this weekend?

This past week I finished two books. I finished my first read of the year, A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab. I loved it! I am ready to jump into the second book, A Gathering of Shadows, but it seems to have disappeared. Mouse scampered off with it, wanting to read it before I do. Unfortunately, it's still in her TBR stack, and so it may be awhile before I see it again. I also recently finished Amy Lea's Exes & O's, which was a delightful slow burn romance. 

That leaves me reading my more long term books--not because they are long (they aren't) but because they are not my primary reads. Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer. It may sound dry, but it is anything but. I may not have the best track record with audiobooks, but I figured Jenny Lawson would be good company while I do my physical therapy exercises every day. At least that was the plan. It has not quite worked out that way, but hopefully I can fit Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things in more often than not during those sessions. 

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). 

Many thanks to everyone who voted in this month's TBR List Poll. Enlisting your help in choosing my next read is one of my favorite monthly events. January's contenders all had a bookish theme but a very different feel. While I plan to read all three, I will only be reading one this month. I held off peeking to see which one was winning all week even though I was tempted. Let's find out which one came out on top!

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan received 9 votes, coming in third place (it's also the book my daughter voted for).  Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence got 11 votes. And the winner is The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, coming in with 12 votes! It was a close race. I look forward to starting The Reading List soon!

What have you been reading lately?

I fell a little behind in my nightly poetry reading, but I was able to catch up without too much trouble. Of this past week's poems in A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year, a couple in particular stood out for me.

I loved "The Lake" by John Foster in its simplicity and description of a lake at various stages during different kinds of weather.
On a winter's day
The lake
Hides itself
Under a frozen blanket
And refuses to budge
Until it is warm enough
To come out again. [excerpt from "The Lake"]
I cannot help but read more into those words, how sometimes I wish I could do just that, hide and not budge until I feel comfortable enough to venture out again--whether because of the literal cold or in a metaphoric way.

The other poem that spoke to me was Oscar Wilde's poem, "Impressions I: Les Silhouettes"--the imagery is beautiful and I like the way it sounds when read out loud. 
   The sea is flecked with bars of grey
   The dull dead wind is out of tune,
   And like a withered leaf the moon
Is blown across the stormy bay. 
[excerpt from "Impressions I: Les Silhouettes"]


I was looking through my poetry books to see if one called to me and I have landed on Find Her. Keep Her. by Renaada Williams to read next. 
Renaada Williams beckons readers into her deepest thoughts and most intimate experiences as a queer black woman living in America with her latest collection of poetry. Much like her first book, Williams presents themes like sexuality and acceptance through her stunningly arranged words, but this time she dives much deeper. find her. keep her. delivers an amplitude of emotion and rawness; reading her poetry feels as if you’ve stumbled upon her secret journal and are reading words that were never meant to be found. [Goodreads Summary]

I mentioned it last weekend, but this week I really do plan to read the graphic memoir Guts by Reina Telgemeier. My daughter and I have enjoyed many of Telgemeier's books, and this is one she highly recommends I read. 

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on?

Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face—and conquer—her fears. [Goodreads Summary]

Mouse is currently reading book 8.5 in Shannon Messenger's Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Unlocked. It is less of an actual novel and more of a companion book. She's enjoying reading the character studies, recipes, the registry files (her favorite is Keefe's registry file because he let Dex hack into it and change some of the information around), looking at the illustrations and maps, and working her way up to a novel portion at the end.  

She just finished reading Reign of the Seven Spellblades, Vol. 3 (manga) by Sakae Esuno, Ruria, Mikuki, and Bokuto Uno. Mouse described it as being a little gorier than the first two volumes, but she thought it was good. 

© 2023, 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, January 12, 2023

Where Is Your Bookmark: A peek into Exes and O's & A Couple (more) Upcoming Releases I Can't Wait to Read

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.

You know your day is going swimmingly when you've been projectile vomited on and someone stole your Greek yogurt from the staff room refrigerator. And it's only seven in the morning. [opening lines from Exes & O's]

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've written My Life Would Totally Succ Without You across the top of the card in faux calligraphy. This card screams friend-zone. A least, I thought it did. Technically, I've made the eyes tiny hearts. Under Angie's critical eye, I'm now paranoid Trevor will mistake it for a declaration of love, which is the last thing I need. [excerpt from 56% in Exes & O's]

At the moment, my bookmark is in Amy Lea's Exes and O's, a romcom after the romance reader's heart. I am just over half way finished with the novel and look forward to finishing it soon. That opening line is an attention grabber, isn't it? As to the Friday 56 excerpt, I think a card like that could have gone either way--until the heart eyes . . . 

A romance novel–obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes on her hunt for true love in this romantic comedy from the author of Set On You.

Romance-novel connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men--all of whom dumped her because of her "stage-five clinger" tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead thanks to modern dating apps. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance.

Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn't his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara's journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.

The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily-ever-after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection? [Goodreads Summary]

Does this sound like a book you would enjoy? 

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.

Are there any new books you are excited to read this year? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)


So many! I actually posted a list of ten for this week's Top Ten post, which I hope you will check out. Here are a few I did not mention previously but which recently caught my attention.

Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea by Rita Chang-Eppig (June 6, 2023) 
For readers of Outlawed, Piranesi, and The Night Tiger, a riveting, roaring adventure novel about a legendary Chinese pirate queen, her fight to save her fleet from the forces allied against them, and the dangerous price of power.

When Shek Yeung sees a Portuguese sailor slay her husband, a feared pirate, she knows she must act swiftly or die. Instead of mourning, Shek Yeung launches a new plan: immediately marrying her husband's second-in-command, and agreeing to bear him a son and heir, in order to retain power over her half of the fleet.

But as Shek Yeung vies for control over the army she knows she was born to lead, larger threats loom. The Chinese Emperor has charged a brutal, crafty nobleman with ridding the South China Seas of pirates, and the Europeans-tired of losing ships, men, and money to Shek Yeung's alliance-have new plans for the area. Even worse, Shek Yeung's cutthroat retributions create problems all their own. As Shek Yeung navigates new motherhood and the crises of leadership, she must decide how long she is willing to fight, and at what price, or risk losing her fleet, her new family, and even her life.

A book of salt and grit, blood and sweat, Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea is an unmissable portrait of a woman who leads with the courage and ruthlessness of our darkest and most beloved heroes. [Goodreads Summary]


 Episode Thirteen by Craig DeLouie (January 24, 2023)

A ghost-hunting reality TV crew gain unprecedented access to an abandoned and supposedly haunted mansion, which promises a groundbreaking thirteenth episode, but as they uncover the secret history of the house, they learn that “reality” TV might be all too real — in Bram Stoker Award nominated author Craig DiLouie's latest heart pounding novel of horror and psychological suspense.

Fade to Black is the newest hit ghost hunting reality TV show. It’s led by husband and wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin and features a dedicated crew of ghost-hunting experts.

Episode Thirteen takes them to Matt's holy grail: the Paranormal Research Foundation. This crumbling, derelict mansion holds secrets and clues about the bizarre experiments that took place there in the 1970s. It's also, undoubtedly, haunted, and Matt hopes to use their scientific techniques and high tech gear to prove it.

But, as the house begins to slowly reveal itself to them, proof of an afterlife might not be everything Matt dreamed of.

A story told in broken pieces, in tapes, journals, correspondence, and research files, this is the story of Episode Thirteen — and how everything went horribly wrong. [Goodreads Summary]


A Witch's Guide to Fake-Dating a Demon by Sarah Hawley (March 7, 2022)

Mariel Spark knows not to trust a demon, especially one that wants her soul, but what’s a witch to do when he won’t leave her side—and she kind of doesn’t want him to?

Mariel Spark is prophesied to be the most powerful witch seen in centuries of the famed Spark family, but to the displeasure of her mother, she prefers baking to brewing potions and gardening to casting hexes. When a spell to summon flour goes very wrong, Mariel finds herself staring down a demon—one she inadvertently summoned for a soul bargain.

Ozroth the Ruthless is a legend among demons. Powerful and merciless, he drives hard bargains to collect mortal souls. But his reputation has suffered ever since a bargain went awry—if he can strike a bargain with Mariel, he will earn back his deadly reputation. Ozroth can’t leave Mariel’s side until they complete a bargain, which she refuses to do (turns out some humans are attached to their souls).

But the witch is funny. And curvy. And disgustingly yet endearingly cheerful. Becoming awkward roommates quickly escalates when Mariel, terrified to confess the inadvertent summoning to her mother, blurts out that she’s dating Ozroth. As Ozroth and Mariel struggle with their opposing goals and maintaining a fake relationship, real attraction blooms between them. But Ozroth has a limited amount of time to strike the deal, and if Mariel gives up her soul, she’ll lose all her emotions—including love—which will only spell disaster for them both. [Goodreads Summary]


Block Party by Jamie Day (July 18, 2023)

On the night of the annual Summer block party, the Meadowbrook community Facebook page lights up with posts reporting sirens descending on the desirable and exclusive cul-de-sac neighborhood on Alton Road. Bit by bit, the comments trickle in, some taking pleasure in their neighbors’ misfortune and others showing concern. The truth eventually comes out. It's not an accident, or a drowning, or a fire, as some had predicted. For the first time in forty years, there's been a murder in Meadowbrook.

The residents of Alton Road—The Fox family, the core of the neighborhood but each with secrets of their own; the Adair Family, the seemingly perfect all-American family; the Thompson Family, on the brink of an explosive divorce; The Kumars, the mysterious "new neighbors"; Brooke Bailey, the "Black Widow"; and Gus Fisher, the quirky salesman— are entangled in a web of secrets and scandal unbeknownst to the outside world and even each other.

Who was murdered at the block party? Who committed the murder? And why? As the night unfolds, the residents will discover that the real danger lies within their own block and nothing—and no one—is ever as it seems. Propulsive and layered, THE BLOCK PARTY will keep you guessing until the very last page. [Goodreads Summary]


Do any of these books interest you? What new book are you looking forward to reading? 

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

© 2023 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.