It’s Monday: What Are You Reading?—September 18th, 2023

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet and share what you have been and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit, comment, and add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-lit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.


  • Guess what? The weather has finally cooled down. It hasn’t been above 90 since last Monday or Tuesday. I am totally loving it.
  • We have to start applying to college and scholarships for Miss B. Her guidance counselor emailed me a Google Classroom link, and there are several things for me (and her) to do to get started. I am waiting for the list of colleges that waive their registration fees to start going.
  • Miss R did great on the NC geography test I mentioned last week. She got a 100 and was very proud. Last Friday, she had her first spelling test. I am curious to see how she did (when I quizzed her, she nailed them).
  • Miss B had a health scare last week. Her lips were blue, she was shaking, and she was very dizzy walking around. I took her to the Dr, who gave her a tentative diagnosis of POTS. She has to go back in 2 weeks. We are following the doctor’s orders (drinking plenty of Gatorade and eating small snacks throughout the day), and her symptoms aren’t getting any better.
  • I know I don’t talk about Mr. Z a lot on here. He is doing good. We had gotten him Crunchyroll (for anime), and that’s all he watches. We also watched the live-action One Piece together. My favorite characters were torn between Zoro and Sanji. His is Luffy, Usop, and Nami.
  • The rest of the week was just me hanging out at home, writing reviews, and doing stuff for the kids.
  • I did commemorate 9-11 by myself. I had known one of the victims (she was on one of the planes that flew into the towers). I knew her through school (she was a year ahead of me), and her mother was my home ec (sewing) teacher. So I spent Monday, until I had to get Miss B, thinking about her and her mother (who passed away the next year).


  • I am below 60 books on NetGalley. I was at 57 until yesterday when one of my wishes got granted (I got The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden). I was super excited, and even more exciting, I will be below 55 by the end of this week. Yay!!
  • I am caught up with my reading and am ahead. Again, I am thrilled with that (back to school messed with me, big time).
  • Review-wise, I am behind slightly. I have four reviews to write. But, hopefully, I can get them written today.
  • If everything works out, I hope to start reading my reading challenge books again. I am a month and a half behind (whoops) of where I want to be. I am closing in on finishing some of the challenges, but I won’t finish them all.

What I am Reading Now:

Amy Chua’s debut novel, The Golden Gate, is a sweeping, evocative, and compelling historical thriller that paints a vibrant portrait of a California buffeted by the turbulent crosswinds of a world at war and a society about to undergo massive change.

In Berkeley, California, in 1944, Homicide Detective Al Sullivan has just left the swanky Claremont Hotel after a drink in the bar when a presidential candidate is assassinated in one of the rooms upstairs. A rich industrialist with enemies among the anarchist factions on the far left, Walter Wilkinson could have been targeted by any number of groups. But strangely, Sullivan’s investigation brings up the specter of another tragedy at the Claremont, ten years the death of seven-year-old Iris Stafford, a member of the Bainbridge family, one of the wealthiest in all of San Francisco. Some say she haunts the Claremont still.

The many threads of the case keep leading Sullivan back to the three remaining Bainbridge heiresses, now Iris’s sister, Isabella, and her cousins Cassie and Nicole. Determined not to let anything distract him from the truth―not the powerful influence of Bainbridges’ grandmother, or the political aspirations of Berkeley’s district attorney, or the interest of China’s First Lady Madame Chiang Kai-Shek in his findings―Sullivan follows his investigation to its devastating conclusion.

Chua’s page-turning debut brings to life a historical era rife with turbulent social forces and groundbreaking forensic advances, when race and class defined the very essence of power, sex, and justice, and introduces a fascinating character in Detective Sullivan, a mixed race former Army officer who is still reckoning with his own history.

Books I plan on reading later this week:

It’s beginning to look a lot like murder in the sixth installment of this charming cozy mystery series, perfect for fans of Donna Andrews and Jacqueline Frost.

It’s the beginning of December in Rudolph, New York, America’s Christmas Town, and business is brisk at Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, a gift and décor shop owned by Merry Wilkinson. The local amateur dramatic society is intensely preparing a special musical production of A Christmas Carol. But it’s not a happy set, as rivalries between cast and crew threaten the production.

Tensions come to a head when a member of the group is found dead shortly after a shopping excursion to Mrs. Claus’s Treasures. Was someone looking to cut out the competition? Everyone in the cast and crew is a potential suspect, including Aline, Merry’s mother, and Merry’s shop assistant Jackie O’Reilly, who was desperate for a starring role.

It could be curtains for Christmas—and for Merry—unless the killer can be ferreted out of the wings.

Logan Kent knows too much.

He knows his idyllic life in The Capitol is a lie. He knows a secret society is pulling the strings of their puppet government. And worst of all, he knows they built their utopia upon the stolen dreams of its citizens.
When the rebel faction, Anyone, rises up against The Capitol, Logan escapes The Circle and runs away with Reina, the rebel medicine thief who helped him see behind The Capitol’s lies. But having reached Anyone’s last free base in the country, Logan realizes what he knows is a weapon.
Anyone will use what Logan knows to bring The Circle to its knees. And his biological mother is at the heart of Anyone’s council.
Having a choice is what Anyone has been fighting for. Why they’ve wanted to free others. Free agency is worth dying for; but to Logan, going back across the arid Expanse and Heartlands feels like a suicide mission.
What choice does he have other than to betray his friends and the freedom of every citizen back home?

Fans of The Matrix, Inception, and The Giver have been dreaming of this series for a long time coming.

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