Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Books That Came My Way in April

I had a super busy mailbox this month. There are so many great books coming out in May as well as this summer, I don't know how I am going to keep up with all of them. I am certainly looking forward to sitting on my porch and reading all these amazing books. 

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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without you having to pay any more for your purchase.  
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The Deliberate Reader


I'm linking up with The Deliberate Reader to share our stacks of books for April.
To see  her Stack of Books as well as other bloggers Book Stacks, click HERE. 


Books for Review






THE SHELL SEEKERS
By: Rosamunde Pilcher
To Be Published: May 12, 2015
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin

For the first time ever, THE SHELL SEEKERS is being published as a trade paperback. Originally published over twenty years ago, the #1 selling novel is still a captivating story of life and love. Surprisingly it is one I haven't read and am looking forward to checking it out.  

The Shell Seekers is an enduring classic which has touched the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. A novel of connection, it is the story of one family--mothers and daughters, husbands and lovers--and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. This magical novel--the kind of reading experience that comes along only once in a long while--is the perfect read, whether you are returning to it again, or opening the cover for the first time.


At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.  


THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT
By: Beatriz Williams
Published: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Berkley

After being released for a year in hardcover, it will now be available in trade paperback. I loved A HUNDRED SUMMERS by Williams (see my review HERE) and am very anxious to read her newest book.

Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime of passion by an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.

Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.

As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.
 


HAVEN LAKE
By: Holly Robinson
Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: NAL

I became of a fan of Holly Robinson after reading THE WISHING HILL (see my review HERE). This novel full of secrets will be sure to keep me turning the pages. 

Sydney Bishop hasn’t returned to Haven Lake, her idyllic childhood home, since a pair of shocking, tragic deaths shattered her family when she was only sixteen. Now a child psychologist engaged to marry a successful surgeon, Sydney has worked hard to build a relationship with Dylan, her fiancé’s teenage son, so she feels nothing but empathy when he runs away—until she discovers that his hitchhiking journey has led him to Haven Lake and her mother Hannah’s sheep farm.
 
Sydney returns to Haven Lake for the first time in twenty years to coax the boy home. Against her daughter’s wishes, Hannah offers to take Dylan in until he’s ready to reveal his own troubling secrets. Now, for Dylan’s sake as well as their own, Sydney and Hannah must confront the devastating events that tore them apart and answer the questions that still haunt their family—and the suspicious surrounding community—about what really caused two people to die on their farm those many years ago.


OUT FROM THE UNDERWORLD
By: Heather Siegel
Published: April 30, 3015
Publisher: Greenpoint Press

I really love memoirs that show how someone can overcome even the most destructive circumstances. This one looks to be powerful.

Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him—from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape. 

Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out from the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out from the Underworld will move you to laughter and tears.


THE HOUSE OF HAWTHORNE
By: Erika Robuck
Published: May 5, 2015 
Publisher: NAL

I became a fan of Robuck's while reading FALLEN BEAUTY (see my review HERE) and have been anxiously awaiting her newest book. I learn so much from her detailed historical accounts and am anxious to read the stories of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne. Robuck is a leader in historical fiction and if you haven't read her books yet, this is the time to start!

Beset by crippling headaches from a young age and endowed with a talent for drawing, Sophia is discouraged by her well-known New England family from pursuing a woman’s traditional roles. But from their first meeting, Nathaniel and Sophia begin an intense romantic relationship that despite many setbacks leads to their marriage. Together, they will cross continents, raise children, and experience all the beauty and tragedy of an exceptional partnership. Sophia’s vivid journals and her masterful paintings kindle a fire in Nathaniel, inspiring his writing. But their children’s needs and the death of loved ones steal Sophia’s energy and time for her art, fueling in her a perennial tug-of-war between fulfilling her domestic duties and pursuing her own desires.

Spanning the years from the 1830's to the Civil War, and moving from Massachusetts to England, Portugal, and Italy, THE HOUSE OF HAWTHORNE explores the tension within a famous marriage of two soulful, strong-willed people, each devoted to the other but also driven by a powerful need to explore the far reaches of their creative impulses. It is the story of a forgotten woman in history, who inspired one of the greatest writers of American literature.


THE SOUND OF GLASS 
By: Karen White
To Be Published: May 12, 2015
Publisher: NAL

My first introduction to Karen White came in the short story collection, GRAND CENTRAL: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion (see my review HERE) and I knew I had to read more of her books. Another story of deeply buried family secrets that I am sure will keep me turning the pages.

It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.
 


THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US
By: Annie Barrows
To Be Published: June 9, 2015
Publisher: The Dial Press

One of my all-time favorite books is THE GUERNSEY AND LITERARY POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY of which Barrows is the co-author (see my review HERE). She also co-writes the IVY & BEAN series for young readers which my daughter is a fan of.  I'm excited to see what secrets are revealed in this novel.

Evoking the same small town charm with the same great eye for character, the co-author of THE GUERNSEY AND LITERARY POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY finds her own voice in this debut novel about a young debutante working for the Federal Writer's Project whose arrival in Macedonia, West Virginia changes the course of history for a prominent family who has been sitting on a secret for decades. The Romeyn family is a fixture in the town, their identity tied to its knotty history. Layla enters their lives and lights a match to the family veneer and a truth comes to light that will change each of their lives forever.  




I received the beautiful crocheted cross bookmark from my Secret Pal in my church circle. It is the perfect size for a bookmark and I look forward to using it.  I can't wait to find out if the person made it just for me.


SPARKY AND TIDBIT
By: Kathryn O. Galbraith
Published: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Simon Spotlight

A book that teaches kids to have a love for reading? I'm in! 

An intrepid do-gooder dog named Sparky and an eager young pup named Tidbit star in this charming Level 3 Ready-to-Read that's all about helping others, gaining confidence and learning to read!

Brave and bold Sparky receives a K-9 badge for his birthday and cannot wait to start doing heroic things. But he';s having a hard time finding ways to help. Then he hears Tidbit, the neighborhood pup, yipping and howling away because he is the worst in his class at reading. Sparky sighs. He can't possibly help with that...or can he?

Join the adorable team of Sparky and Tidbit in a story that will teach young readers that with a lot of patience and a little help from a friend, reading will become as easy as it is fun!


A FLAG FOR THE FLYING DRAGON: A Captain No Beard Story
By: Carole P Roman
Published: March 27, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

If you follow my blog you know I love Roman's books. This is her newest in the Captain No Beard series full of good friends and imagination. I can't wait to see what these pirates are up to next. 

It's business as usual on the Flying Dragon. Their mission is to find a flag for the ship. Captain No Beard sighs, "Being a captain is hard work," as he watches the busy crew preparing the vessel for their next adventure. 

Polly is giving out pretzels; Linus is polishing a lamp. Matie is cracking coconuts, Cayla is stuffing holes, and Hallie is swabbing the deck. High overhead, trouble is brewing, and it is not the weather. 

Mongo does not want any help from the newest crew member, and it is creating a hurricane of a mess on board. 

The team must come together and find a task that will fit Zachary without interfering with their own fun. On the way, they acquire a flag that will unite them as both friends and crew. 

Join the problem-solving crew of the Flying Dragon as they find a flag for their ship and a job for Zach.



Books I Purchased





THE LAST PRESENT 
Willow Falls #4
By: Wendy Mass
Published: April 28, 2015 (originally September 24, 2013)
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc

I pre-ordered this back in March for our daughter as she has loved the Willow Falls series. If you have a tween/teen daughter, I highly recommend this series as well as other books by Wendy Mass. This has just been released in paperback and my daughter is anxious to read it.

Amanda and Leo have a history with birthdays. Now their friend's little sister, Grace, has fallen into a strange frozen state on her birthday, and Amanda and Leo must travel in time in order to fix whatever's wrong. As they journey back to each of Grace's birthdays, they start seeing all sorts of patterns . . . which raise all sorts of questions.

Amanda and Leo are going to have to unravel the threads of the past and present - and travel much further than they ever imagined - if they're going to save Grace. Luckily, a little birthday magic always helps in the charming and funny Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass, where everything is possible and there are no coincidences.


THE READING PROMISE
By: Alice Ozma
Published: May 3, 2011  
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

I saw this book at our school's Scholastic Book Fair and knew I had to have it. My father and I love discussing books and I read to our kids every night when they were little. I wish I would have kept that tradition going as they got older and this book may just inspire me to start the tradition up again with our daughter.

When Alice Ozma was in 4th grade, she and her father decided to see if he could read aloud to her for 100 consecutive nights. On the hundreth night, they shared pancakes to celebrate, but it soon became evident that neither wanted to let go of their storytelling ritual. So they decided to continue what they called "The Streak." Alice's father read aloud to her every night without fail until the day she left for college. 

Alice approaches her book as a series of vignettes about her relationship with her father and the life lessons learned from the books he read to her.

Books included in the Streak included: 
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the Oz books by L. Frank Baum, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Shakespeare's plays.


BROWN GIRL DREAMING
By: Jacqueline Woodson
Published: August 28, 2014
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

This was also a purchase from the Scholastic Book Fair at our school. I have seen a lot of press about this book, especially after it was awarded as a Newbery Honor Book. Maybe this should be the first one I read with our daughter.

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. 
 
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.


CHLOE BY DESIGN: MAKING THE CUT
By: Margaret Gurevich
Published: August 1, 2014
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

I purchased this one from the Scholastic book fair for my daughter.  She loves designing dresses and I thought this would interest her. Since the book fair was a Buy One/Get One Free deal, I got two for me and two for her! She has already started reading it and said it is giving her lots of inspiration for her design ideas. It's a hard cover and includes pages of fashion designs. A very neat book for a tween fashionista. This appears to compile several of the books in the series into one with the next book in the series to come out in September 2015. 

For viewers that love Project Runway comes a series that puts fashion at the forefront. 16-year-old Chloe Montgomery has always loved everything to do with fashion. Clothes, accessories, designing--she knows it all. And when she finds out Teen Design Diva, a new reality series for aspiring teenage designers, is holding auditions in her town, she's desperate to win a spot on the show. She knows this is her chance to finally get her designs noticed. But before Chloe can realize her dreams, she has to survive the competition. 


THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH
By: Jennifer L Holm
Published: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

This is the other book for my daughter from the book fair. This was already on her list to read and she read it immediately, saying she loved it. 

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?


The rest of these books were all purchased through the Daily Kindle Deals on Amazon. Each day a variety of Kindle books are offered at a reduced price. Click HERE. to check daily for books as cheap as $.99 to $2.99. I highly recommend you bookmark this link. It takes just 10 seconds a day to check out the great deals. Do I find a deal every day? No, but usually a couple times a month, I find a book that I've been wanting to read on the Daily Deal. It is worth checking if you are looking to fill your eReader. 



ME, MYSELF AND PIE
By: Sherry Gore
Published: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Zondervan

This was a steal at $.99 on Kindle. Aside from the pie recipes, I am anxious to read the personal stories of Amish life. I have always been intrigued by their tight-knit, simple life and love reading and learning from the Amish. 

Filled with classic pie recipes such as apple and pecan, yet bolstered with modern pie innovations like pie pops, Thanksgiving Pie, and pies-in-a-jar, this is a collection of simple, straightforward recipes and stories of Amish life that will help bakers bring their families together around the table. Brimming with full-color photography of more than 100 recipes full of simple, wholesome ingredients and easy tried-and-true techniques that are sure to please any palate, this distinctive cookbook will help you bake the perfect Amish pie, whether you are a pie novice or a filled-pastry aficionado. Recipes include sweet and savory fillings, basic crusts, fruit pies, cream pies, meringues, scrumptious toppings, and so much more. Sprinkled throughout are Sherry Gore's personal stories of Amish life and culture that are best enjoyed over---what else?---a slice of homemade pie! 


THE DEATH OF BEES
By: Lisa O'Donnell
Published: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Harper Perennial

I can't ignore a $1.99 deal for a book like this. 

Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.

Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren’t telling. While life in Glasgow’s Hazlehurst housing estate isn’t grand, they do have each other. Besides, it’s only one year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the new year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? But he’s not the only one who suspects something isn’t right. Soon, the sisters’ friends, their other neighbors, the authorities, and even Gene’s nosy drug dealer begin to ask questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls’ family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.


BUTTERNUT SUMMER: A Novel
The Butternut Lake Trilogy
By: Mary McNear
Published: August 12, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow

The third in The Butternut Lake Trilogy becomes available on May 12, so I snagged this daily deal for her second book at just $1.99. 

Preparing for her final year of college, Daisy is crazy busy now that she’s back at Butternut Lake. She’s helping her mother, Caroline, run their coffee shop and trying to build a relationship with the absentee father who’s suddenly reappeared. She never expected to fall in love with Will, the bad-boy from high school who works at the local garage. With every passing day she and Will grow closer to each other . . . and closer to the day they will have to say goodbye. As summer’s end looms, Will and Daisy face heartbreaking choices that might tear them apart.

Caroline already has her hands full trying to make ends meet at the coffee shop without having her no-good ex suddenly show up. Now that Jack is back, he’s determined to reconnect with the family he walked out on twenty years ago. But with the bank pounding on her door and Jack’s presence reminding her of the passion they once shared, Caroline’s resolve begins to crumble. As Daisy’s departure looms and her financial worries grow, Caroline just may discover the support she needs . . . in the last place she ever imagined. 



MAUDE
By: Donna Foley Mabry
Published: October 16, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

This was recommended to me by my cousin. It is currently at $2.99 for Kindle but I purchased it for $1.59. If you like historical fiction, I recommend reading this one.

In 1906, I was barely over fourteen years old, and it was my wedding day. My older sister, Helen, came to my room, took me by the hand, and sat me down on the bed. She opened her mouth to say something, but then her face flushed, and she turned her head to look out the window. After a second, she squeezed my hand and looked back in my eyes. She said, “You’ve always been a good girl, Maude, and done what I told you. Now, you’re going to be a married woman, and he will be the head of the house. When you go home tonight after your party, no matter what he wants to do to you, you have to let him do it. Do you understand?” I didn’t understand, but I nodded my head anyway. It sounded strange to me, the way so many things did. I would do what she told me. I didn’t have a choice, any more than I had a choice in being born.


TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS
By: Sejal Badani
Published: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

This a free one and I can't pass up a free Kindle book if it sounds like something I would like. I will get to all these great books eventually, right? I can't seem to resist a book about sisters!
When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay.
Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets.
As always, if you end up reading one of these, be sure to let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts!



1 comment:

Sheila @ The Deliberate Reader said...

I was thinking how many interesting books you had listed and then you got to the ANNIE BARROWS book and I had to immediately go and look for it on Amazon. I LOVE the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book she co-authored SO MUCH and I'm so hopeful that the new one is even close to that.

Suddenly I am so anxious for June to arrive...