As always, if I am choosing to read a book, then you can 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!
In fact, I just had this sort of discussion on Twitter. When I started blogging, there wasn't a rule book or any particular format that I followed. As my followers started responding to my book reviews and I began receiving more requests than I could keep up with, my blog started to lean more in that direction. But, I still post reviews of other items, inspirational quotes, recipes, and just other random family and personal topics. This blog is mine. No one tells me what to write or how to write it. I try to not live by deadlines and I, mostly, don't read what I don't want to. I want this to be fun and when it starts to become a chore....then I take a break and come back when I am ready...or change it up.
Life it short. There are too many great books to read in the time I have to read them. I am not about to follow any "rules" related to my blogging. So, what you see is what you get with me. Unless...someone wants to pay be me the big bucks...I'll just keep sharing what I love with you right here!
So....after that little ramble....here are the books that came my way in June!
If you would like to purchase any of these books,
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I'm linking up with The Deliberate Reader to share our stacks of books for May.
To see her Stack of Books as well as other bloggers Book Stacks, click HERE.
BOOKS FOR REVIEW
By: Wendy Wax
Published: June 23, 2015
I was reading this one when I took the photo above so I forgot to put it in the pile. Stay tuned to this review this week. I love books that deal with friendships and this one did not disappoint. I previously read the Wendy Wax novel WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY and if you are interested you can see my review, HERE.
Twenty years ago, Emma Michaels, Mackenzie Hayes, and Serena Stockton bonded over their New York City dreams. Then, each summer, they solidified their friendship by spending one week at the lake together, solving their problems over bottles of wine and gallons of ice cream. They kept the tradition for years, until jealousy, lies, and life’s disappointments made them drift apart.
It’s been five years since Emma has seen her friends, an absence designed to keep them from discovering a long-ago betrayal. Now she’s in desperate need of their support. The time has come to reveal her secrets—and hopefully rekindle their connection.
But when a terrible accident keeps Emma from saying her piece, Serena and Mackenzie begin to learn about the past on their own. Now, to heal their friendship and their broken lives, the three women will have to return to the lake that once united them, and discover which relationships are worth holding on to.
By: Alexandra Burt
To Be Published: July 7, 2015
When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to know what happened to Mia. This will be going along on my vacation and I can't wait to dig in.
First I remember the darkness.
Then I remember the blood.
I don’t know where my daughter is.
Estelle Paradise wakes up in a hospital after being found near dead at the bottom of a ravine with a fragmented memory and a vague sense of loss. Then a terrifying reality sets in: her daughter is missing.
Days earlier, Estelle discovered her baby’s crib empty in their Brooklyn apartment. There was no sign of a break-in, but all traces of seven-month-old Mia had disappeared. Her diapers, her clothes, her bottles—all gone.
Frustrated and unable to explain her daughter’s disappearance, Estelle begins a desperate search. But when the lack of evidence casts doubt on her story, Estelle becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of the police and the media.
As hope of reuniting with Mia becomes all she has left, Estelle will do anything to find answers: What has she done to her baby? And what has someone else done to her?
By: Paula McLain
To Be Published: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
This historical fiction based on a real person sounds fabulous. I can't wait to get started on it!
Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.
Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.
Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.
By: Michael Phillip Cash
Published: May 14, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Insdependent Publishing Platform
This really isn't my usual read. It isn't a very thick book, so I'm sure it'll be a quick read. I'll set it aside for now and may give it a look later.
Wes Rockville, a disgraced law enforcement agent, is given one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he's reassigned to a 232 year old secret government organization. The Witches Protection Program. His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar Cosmetics company’s diabolical plan of using witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in both witches and himself.
From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine
By: Bennett Jacobstein
Published: January 9, 2015
Publisher: Ballpark Food Publications
This is one of those perfect summer books. It shares some great history about baseball, ballparks and the food we all love to eat while watching a game. I highly recommend to all baseball fans! Check out my review, HERE.
Baseball is a game that is identified with food. We even sing about it at every ballpark during the seventh inning stretch: "….buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack..." The famous song was written by Jack Norworth in 1908. From the early part of the twentieth century until the 1980s, classic baseball fare consisted mostly of hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. Then ballparks slowly began to sell new items. A proliferation of new food offerings during the 1990s was fueled by the opening of twelve new major league ballparks. Now, teams around the country sell a variety of exotic food as well as wide variety of hot dogs. The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine begins with the history of the first hot dog at a ball game and concludes with a culinary tour of all 30 major league ballparks.
By: Alena Graedon
Published: Februar 3, 2015
If you love words, books, and a good mystery then this book is for you!
Books, libraries, and newspapers have at last become things of the past. Now handheld Memes allow for constant communication and entertainment. They can even anticipate our needs, dialing the doctor before we know we’re sick, or prompting us with words we can’t recall. Yet a few dedicated wordsmiths are still laboring on the final print edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language. But one evening, right before it’s released, Anana Johnson finds that the chief editor—her father—has vanished.
In alternating points of view, Anana and her bookish colleague Bart follow their only clue, the word ALICE, down the proverbial rabbit hole, into subterranean passages, the stacks of the Mercantile Library, and secret meetings of an anti-Meme underground resistance, racing closer to the truth about Anana’s father’s disappearance, and discovering a frightening connection to the growing “word flu” pandemic.
How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better
By: Clive Thompson
Published: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books
I think this book sounds interesting in the way that it finds the good in change. I remember growing up, my dad worked for the newspaper. I remember him showing me their new computer and it was huge! It took up a good share of the room. I remember him thinking it was a waste of money and was very skeptical. Look how far we have come!
It’s undeniable—technology is changing the way we think. But is it for the better? Amid a chorus of doomsayers, Clive Thompson delivers a resounding “yes.” In Smarter Than You Think, Thompson shows that every technological innovation—from the written word to the printing press to the telegraph—has provoked the very same anxieties that plague us today. We panic that life will never be the same, that our attentions are eroding, that culture is being trivialized. But, as in the past, we adapt—learning to use the new and retaining what is good of the old. Smarter Than You Think embraces and extols this transformation, presenting an exciting vision of the present and the future.
By: David Bell
To Be Published: July 7, 2015
I am not sure, but this has the feel of GONE GIRL, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, and ONE STEP TOO FAR that find the reader dealing with an unreliable narrator. Again, I don't know this, but I am wondering....It has intrigued me enough to give it a look.
When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.
The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.
Convinced there's a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning...and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.
By: Barbara Delinsky
Published: June 9, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
I listed this book in my Top 14 Books to Read This Summer. I hadn't received my copy when I printed this, but soon after, an ecopy arrived. Delinsky never disappoints and I am super anxious to read it. You can see my review of her book SWEET SALT AIR, HERE.
Caroline and Jamie McAfee are close. Not only do they enjoy their relationship as mother and daughter, they're in business together as the team that fronts the popular home renovation show Gut It! All is well with these two strong women, but when the network tells Caroline that Jamie is to replace her as host, Caroline feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world.
Jamie is unsettled by the cast change and devastated by her mother's anger, but she has little time to brood when a tragic accident leaves her two-year-old half-brother in her care. Accustomed to a life of order and precision, Jamie suddenly finds herself out of her depth, grappling with a toddler who misses his parents and a fiancé who doesn't want the child.
Amid such devastation, Caroline and Jamie find themselves revising the blueprints they've built their lives around. With loyalties shifting and decisions looming, mother and daughter need each other; but the rift between them is proving difficult to mend. As the women try to remake themselves and rebuild their relationship with each other, they discover that strength and even passion can come from the unlikeliest places. For Caroline, it's an old friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself. For Jamie, it's a staggering new attraction that allows her to breathe again-and breathe deeply-for the first time in forever.
By: Barbara Claypole White
Published: July 1, 2015
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
After reading the synopsis, I was immediately drawn to Ella and Harry's story. I think you will be too!
From a distance, Felix Fitzwilliam, the son of an old English family, is a good husband and father. But, obsessed with order and routine, he’s a prisoner to perfection. Disengaged from the emotional life of his North Carolina family, Felix has let his wife, Ella, deal with their special-needs son by herself.
A talented jewelry designer turned full-time mother, Ella is the family rock…until her heart attack shatters their carefully structured existence. Now Harry, a gifted teen grappling with the chaos of Tourette’s, confronts a world outside his parents’ control, one that tests his desire for independence.
As Harry searches for his future, and Ella adapts to the limits of her failing health, Felix struggles with his past and present roles. To prevent the family from being ripped apart, they must each bend with the inevitability of change and reinforce the ties that bind.
By: Laura Hankin
To Be Published: August 4, 2015
I love books about long-time friendships. It's Hankin's first novel and I'm anxious to give it a read!
When two lifelong friends reunite for one more summer in small-town Maine, they must bridge the gap caused by the dreams and secrets that tore them apart…
Ally Morris and Beth Abbott were beyond inseparable. From the very first time they met, the girls knew they’d found a once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But sometimes, life can’t help but get in the way.
As time goes by, disappointments and petty resentments begin to alter what they once thought was forever. Ally’s boho lifestyle leaves her drowning in confusion and cheap whisky, while a terrible secret threatens to shatter Beth’s carefully controlled world. By the time they need each other most, Ally and Beth are nearly strangers to each other.
When a family crisis prompts Beth to contact Ally for help out of the blue, the girls reunite in Maine. But the distance between them is overwhelming. To save their friendship, Ally and Beth will have to confront painful moments in their past and redefine who they are—before their incredible connection fades away for good…
By: Kimberly Belle
To Be Published: July 28, 2015
I previously read Belle's book, THE LAST BREATH. You can see my review, HERE. When the author asked if I would read her second novel, I couldn't resist!
A moving and evocative exploration of grief and guilt in the wake of one family's devastating loss.
When former DC journalist Abigail Wolff attempts to rehabilitate her career, she finds herself at the heart of a US army cover-up involving the death of a soldier in Afghanistan -- with unspeakable emotional consequences for one family. As the story of what happened comes to light, Abigail will do anything to write it.
The more evidence she stumbles upon in the case, the fewer people it seems she can trust, including her own father, a retired army general. And she certainly never expected to fall in love with the slain soldier's brother, Gabe, a bitter man struggling to hold his family together. The investigation eventually leads her to an impossible choice, one of unrelenting sacrifice to protect those she loves.
Beyond the buried truths and betrayals, questions of family loyalty and redemption, Abigail's search is, most of all, a desperate grasp at carrying on and coping -- and seeking hope in the impossible.
By: Dian Curtis Regan
Illustrated by: Robert Neubecker
Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Boyd Mills Press
I love books that share a child's imagination. When I was approached about this one, I couldn't resist. Our kids have always had a blast playing in boxes. In fact our daughter just created a house for our cat our of a box. It's also the first book of a series with more to come soon.
Niko may live on boring old Earth with his family, but he’s always finding a new adventure. Using the spaceship that he built from a box in his backyard and a little imagination, he flies off into space with his robot, Radar, and his dog, Tag. The only one NOT invited is his sister Posh who keeps trying to insert herself into Niko’s story. In this first mission, Niko and crew (and maybe also pesky Posh) fly to the moon in search of a lost cat.
By: Carole P Roman
Published: May 14, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
It is no secret that I love this series of books from Roman. Every library and school library should have these. She has just the write touch for educating kids and parents about other countries and what the people who live there find important.
Carole P. Roman's award winning series has traveling again and this time it's to East Asia to visit the People's Republic of China. In this book, younger readers can learn about the wide variety of climate when they read about China's vast size. They will begin their journey in China's ancient capital, Beijing, where they will discover the Imperial Palace of the Forbidden City. Different regions of cuisine are discussed, highlighting the variety of styles and spices of food. Currency, sports, exciting tourist attractions, and a lovely description of the New Year Festivities are included in this introduction the beautiful land of China.
By: Rob Elliott
Published: June 16, 2015
This is perfect to tuck in your purse for road trips, waiting rooms, and restaurants. It will encourage creativity while making your child laugh at the silly riddles. Check out my review, HERE. My daughter gave it two thumbs up!
Rob Elliott's Laugh-Out-Loud joke books have brought laughter to more than half a million households. His last book invited kids into the action as he teamed up with cartoonist Jonny Hawkins to create "Laugh-Out-Loud Doodles for Kids." Now the dynamic duo is back with two brand-new books for boys and girls who love to draw and love to laugh! Packed with jokes that will keep boys and girls giggling for hours, and unfinished doodles for them to complete any way they want, these books keep little hands and minds busy. Perfect for road trips, lazy summer days, or anytime the kids say, "I'm bored!"
Book One of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series - Volume 1
By: Iain Reading
Published: December 3, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Series
I love stories for kids where you can learn factual, historical information along with reading a great story. I'm looking forward to checking it out and then passing it on to my daughter.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.
After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska's inside passage and Canada's Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure - flying around the world!
By: Dorothy Thurgood Manning
Published: January 14, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
I love children's Christmas books. I have an entire tub full of just Christmas books from our kids' childhood that I will keep forever. This one teaches an important lesson for kids as well as parents! I was sent a paperback, but a hardcover will be available this fall. Perfect for gift-giving. I'll be reviewing this book this fall!
The True Spirit of Christmas is a rhyming picture book geared for children ages 3 to 8. It is about Maddie, a spoiled child who loves Christmas and thinks she knows what it's all about. On Christmas Eve, she confronts Santa over the lack of presents he is leaving under the tree for her. Santa teaches her that the true spirit of Christmas is in giving and not receiving.
Surprisingly, I didn't purchase a single book in June. That is very weird, but as you can see, I have plenty of books to keep me busy!
Be sure to let me know if you read any of these. I'd love to hear your thoughts!