Books That Came My Way in March 2015

My mailbox was very busy this month and I have a lot of great reviews coming up for you. Before we know it the lazy days of summer will be here. I know I am looking forward to afternoons and weekends spent reading on my porch! I had a taste of it last month and I can’t wait to get back out there! 

As always, if I am choosing to read a book, then be sure that I truly think it is worthy of my time. Of course, some books just find their way to my mailbox without my previous knowledge. I am only going to spend time reading and reviewing books that I enjoy. If I’m not feeling it, I’m going to put it aside. I can’t get to all these great books that come my way, but at least I can tell you about them here and I hope to review them just as soon as I can! 

If you would like to purchase any of these books, 
clicking on the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon.  
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The Deliberate Reader
I will be linking up with other bloggers sharing our stack of books for the month. 
Click HERE to see all the great Stacks of Books. 

Books for Review 

TROIKA
By Adam Pelzman
Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Berkley Trade
I’m really intrigued by this book. The reviews so far have been fabulous. I am anxious to see what this book is all about.
A young Cuban woman passes her nights dancing in a seedy Florida strip club; a Russian orphan loses everything, then builds a new and prosperous life for himself in New York; a woman struggles to maintain her dignity and hope after a life-changing accident—these are the three members of the troika whose story is told in this dazzling literary debut.

Their lives unexpectedly intertwined, Perla, Julian and Sophie discover a world—a way of life—that forces them to challenge their definitions of commitment, love and trust, a world that heals old wounds and inspires them to transform tragedy into beauty.

A SMALL INDISCRETION
By: Jan Ellison
Published: January 20, 2015
Publisher: Random House
With reviews such as “astonishing”, “delicious”, and “impressive”, I am sure this is going to be a favorite! I can’t wait to dig in!
At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened. 

After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future. 

With the brilliant pacing and emotional precision that won Jan Ellison an O. Henry Prize for her first published story, A Small Indiscretionannounces a major new voice in suspense fiction as it unfolds a story of denial, obsession, love, forgiveness—and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.

MY BRILLIANT FRIEND
By: Elene Ferrante
Published: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Europa Editions
I love historical fiction and this one sounds like one I will enjoy!
The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.

BEING MORTAL
Medicine and What Matters In the End
By: Atul Gawande
Published: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
This book came in my Book Riot shipment. In my pre-mom life, I worked in Hospice as a social worker. This book definitely intrigues me and I am looking forward to reading it. 
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.

HALF RESURRECTION BLUES
A Bone Street Rumba Novel #1
By: Daniel Jose Older
Published: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Roc
This came in my Book Riot shipment. It is not something I usually read, or frankly plan to read. I’ll be passing this one on.
Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death. 

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.

INSIDE THE O’BRIENS
By: Lisa Genova
Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
I love Lisa Genova’s writing. Her book STILL ALICE was made into a movie, currently showing now. STILL ALICE dealt with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and this book deals with the devastating effects of Huntington’s Disease. I’m sure it is going to be a memorable read. A few other bloggers have said it is one that you don’t want to miss.
Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.

Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?

As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

LOVE AND MISS COMMUNICATION
By: Elyssa Friedland
Published: May 12, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
In light of our social media focused world and having to be available to anyone at any time, I think this will be an interesting and fun read!
This unforgettable debut novel asks us to look up from our screens and out at the world…and to imagine what life would be like with no searches, no status updates, no texts, no Tweets, no pins, and no posts

Evie Rosen has had enough. She’s tired of the partners at her law firm e-mailing her at all hours of the night. The thought of another online date makes her break out in a cold sweat. She’s over the clever hashtags and the endless selfies. So when her career hits a surprising roadblock and her heart is crushed by Facebook, Evie decides it’s time to put down her smartphone for good. (Beats stowing it in her underwear–she’s done that too!)

And that’s when she discovers a fresh start for real conversations, fewer distractions, and living in the moment, even if the moments are heartbreakingly difficult. Babies are born; marriages teeter; friendships are tested. Evie just may find love and a new direction when she least expects it, but she also learns that just because you unplug your phone doesn’t mean you can unplug from life. 

PIPSIE
By: Rick DeDonato
Published: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Two Lions
I will be reviewing this as part of a book tour on April 10, 2015. I love the cover and can’t wait to read this story!

Pipsie loves everything wild—from dragonflies to oceans to tall, tall trees. She also loves solving mysteries. That’s why she’s a nature detective! When she and her turtle, Alfred, notice that their new friend, Frannie the caterpillar, has vanished, Pipsie is on the case. She grabs her magnifying glass, goes to her tree-house headquarters, and begins to search for clues. It’s time to make this mystery history!

Bursting with personality, this engaging story introduces a spunky new girl detective, a scooter-driving turtle who loves to eat, and a string of simple scientific clues that will keep kids turning the pages until the mystery is solved. Two pages of nature fun facts at the end of the story offer even more information for young nature detectives. 

NALAH GOES TO MAD MOUSE CITY
By: Anne Sawyer-Aitch
Published: December 19, 2014
Publisher: Magic Lantern Press

I read the first book titled NALAH AND THE PINK TIGER. You can see my review, HERE. So I was thrilled to check out her newest book. Look for this review in the next couple weeks.
The adventures of Nalah continue! One day Nalah finds herself bored and lonesome because all of her imaginary friends have gone away on vacation. But wait – not all. Mad Tooth, the little mouse who lives in her sock drawer, is still busy munching away on her knee-highs. When she finds out why Nalah is sad, she offers to take her down through the sock drawer into a mouse metropolis. The result is a tale of wild dancing, cousins and mice, taffy and a sock monster.
BOOKS I PURCHASED 

SOME LUCK
By: Jane Smiley
Published: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Knopf
I loved A THOUSAND ACRES and have been wanting to read her newest book ever since it came out.  I found it at Half-Price books so purchased it with my book cash. I’ll be reading it and discussing it with some friends later this month. This is the first in a series that features an Iowa family. The next one comes out April 28, 2015, titled EARLY WARNINGwhich makes this the perfect time to read this one!

On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different yet equally remarkable children: Frank, the brilliant, stubborn first-born; Joe, whose love of animals makes him the natural heir to his family’s land; Lillian, an angelic child who enters a fairy-tale marriage with a man only she will fully know; Henry, the bookworm who’s not afraid to be different; and Claire, who earns the highest place in her father’s heart. Moving from post-World War I America through the early 1950s, Some Luck gives us an intimate look at this family’s triumphs and tragedies, zooming in on the realities of farm life, while casting-as the children grow up and scatter to New York, California, and everywhere in between-a panoramic eye on the monumental changes that marked the first half of the twentieth century. 



A MAN CALLED OVE
By: Fredrik Backman
Published: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books

I’ve heard great things about this book and it ran as a Daily Kindle Deal this month so I snagged it.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.


ON BECOMING A WRITER
By: Denise J Hughes
Published: November 22, 2013
Publisher: Amazon Digital Books

I heard about this book from another blogger and wanted to check it out. I’m currently reading a few chapters a week and finding great reminders as well as it being helpful for general writing techniques. For just $2.99 on Kindle, it is a valuable resource for writers.

“On Becoming a Writer” answers thirty-four of the most important questions about writing that bloggers need to ask. What’s the difference between writing advice and editing advice? What if I hated English class? What’s the one metaphor every writer should know? Do I always show and never tell? How do I tell my story? What if I can’t remember the eight parts of speech? This e-book answers these questions and more. Each chapter also ends with an optional writing assignment to help writers put into practice the tools discussed.

The concepts shared in this e-book are valuable for every nonfiction writer—blogger and non-blogger alike. “On Becoming a Writer” will help you to:

• Improve your writing by understanding when to apply conventional writing advice and when not to.

• Gain confidence by identifying what kind of writing processor you are and how that affects your writing style.

• Cultivate your unique voice by establishing a writing routine that turns a writer’s perspiration into inspiration.

• Avoid the frustration of futile feedback by formulating the right kinds of questions.

• Embrace your life as a writer by overcoming prior fears about grammar and developing strategies to achieve the three characteristics of great writing.

A writer is someone who has something to say and wants to say it well. And this e-book will help you do just that. 

THE COMFORT OF LIES 
By: Randy Susan Meyers
Published: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
I snagged this on a Daily Kindle Deal since it was on my to-read list and several bloggers I follow gave it high marks!

Five years ago, Tia fell into obsessive love with a man she could never have. Married, and the father of two boys, Nathan was unavailable in every way. When she became pregnant, he disappeared, and she gave up her baby for adoption. 

Five years ago, Caroline, a dedicated pathologist, reluctantly adopted a baby to please her husband. She prayed her misgivings would disappear; instead, she’s questioning whether she’s cut out for the role of wife and mother. 

Five years ago, Juliette considered her life ideal: she had a solid marriage, two beautiful young sons, and a thriving business. Then she discovered Nathan’s affair. He promised he’d never stray again, and she trusted him. 

But when Juliette intercepts a letter to her husband from Tia that contains pictures of a child with a deep resemblance to her husband, her world crumbles once more. How could Nathan deny his daughter? And if he’s kept this a secret from her, what else is he hiding? Desperate for the truth, Juliette goes in search of the little girl. 

And before long, the three women and Nathan are on a collision course with consequences that none of them could have predicted. Riveting and arresting, The Comfort of Lies explores the collateral damage of infidelity and the dark, private struggles many of us experience but rarely reveal.

EVERY SOUL A STAR

By: Wendy Mass
Published: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown Books

My daughter is loving books by Wendy Mass right now. Since we had money to spend at Half-Price Books, she decided to pick this one up.

And as streams of light fan out behind the darkened sun like the wings of a butterfly, I realize that I never saw real beauty until now.

At Moon Shadow, an isolated campground, thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun. It’s also were three lives are about to be changed forever:

Ally likes the simple things in life–labyrinths, star-gazing, and comet-hunting. Her home, the Moon Shadow campground, is a part of who she is, and she refuses to imagine it any other way.

Popular and gorgeous (everybody says so), Bree is a future homecoming queen for sure. Bree wears her beauty like a suit of armor. But what is she trying to hide?

Overweight and awkward, Jack is used to spending a lot of time alone. But when opportunity knocks, he finds himself in situations he never would have imagined and making friends in the most unexpected situations.

Told from three distinct voices and perspectives, Wendy Mass weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together, unlikely friendships, and finding one’s place in the universe. 


WHOSE BABY AM I?
By: John Butler
Published: May 11, 2004
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

I am a huge fan of John Butler’s books, so I bought this one for a gift.

Renowned wildlife artist John Butler has created a wonderful way to introduce very young children to animals. Each right-hand page-on sturdy card stock-features a picture of an adorable baby animal with the question “Whose baby am I?” Turn the page and see the baby together with its parent. The guessing game format and the mix-and-match game at the end of the book encourage interaction and make this an ideal book to share with little ones.


CAREERS
The Graphic Guide for Finding the Perfect Job for You
Published: March 3, 2015
Publisher: DK Publishing
I purchased this after seeing it reviewed on another book blog. I thought it would be perfect for our kids and I tucked it in one of their Easter baskets yesterday.  It will be a useful book for our family over the next few years as we begin the college/career process.  When I was in high school I knew what I wanted to study in college and do for a career, but I think that is rare. Of course, I am no longer working in that career, but I still think those choices I made early on, made me into the person I am today. I hope this book can help give our kids some options they may not have originally considered.
It’s never too early for your teen or tween to start thinking about a career, and Careers is the perfect way to do it. Inspiring and imaginative as well as practical, Careers has charts and tables that help young people gauge interest about possible careers — it’s like having a personal career advisor by your side whenever you need it!


Speech pathologist? Check. Zookeeper? Check. Jewelry designer? Check.
Nurse? Architect? Chef? Check, check, and check.
Covering more than 400 jobs, Careers is organized in an easy-to-navigate, clear structure that helps guide teen and tween readers. Check at-a-glance summary panels for chosen careers to learn about salary, working hours, training, and career paths. Cross-referenced job matrix tables offer another way to learn about all the options. Tweens and teens with no idea of what kind of job to look for can start with their favorite school subjects or hobbies and find relevant careers from there. It may not be time for your teen or tween to prepare a resume and find a job, but the advice in Careers can help young people start thinking about the future!
Bookish Items 

These items also came in my Book Riot shipment. 
The Books and Booze flask is awesome. I’m not sure when I will have the opportunity to use it, but I’m betting I will have a chance this summer. Right now it is just sitting on my desk and it makes me smile! 
The Library Card Journal is very cool. I just wish it was spiral bound because it would make it more user friendly for me.  
That is my round-up of books and bookish items from March. Maybe you will find something that intrigues you. If so, feel free to share it below! Stay tuned for reviews of these books soon!

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2 Comments

  1. bermudaonion on April 6, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I've been getting a lot of unsolicited books lately. If they don't appeal to me, I give them away. I really want to read Inside the O'Briens.

  2. Sheila @ The Deliberate Reader on April 13, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Inside the O'Briens sounds so intriguing, but maybe too emotionally wrenching for me? I'll have to see what you think of it before making a final decision.

    And I think Whose Baby Am I is going to be a fun present for my baby's first birthday. I want to get a few new books for her, as the ones we've got are mostly pretty battered thanks to the older two loving them so much. 🙂

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