Books That Came My Way in July 2015

I haven’t accepted many books this summer because I’m trying to catch up on all the great books I received this spring. Plus I took a blogging and reviewing break to focus on family. I read three books on my vacation and am about done with two more. So there will be reviews coming. School starts for us in just two weeks! I don’t even want to think about it. I’m subbing right away that first week, so I won’t get back into my routine right away. It will be a bittersweet two weeks as the kids enjoy the last few days of summer and even though I am craving routine again, I don’t want these summer days and nights to end. 

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!
Enjoy these few books that came my way in July!
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The Deliberate Reader

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


THE SOMEDAY JAR
A Novel
By: Allison Morgan
Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback

This is one of those books where the cover got my attention. Then when I read the synopsis, I knew it was one I had to read. It reminds me of Lori Nelson Spielman’s THE LIFE LIST (see my review HERE) that I just loved. I can’t wait to read this one!

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMON-DROP MARTINIS…
Real-estate broker Lanie Howard figures she has the perfect man, the perfect job, and the perfect life. Then she stumbles across her old Someday Jar, the forgotten glass relic where she stashed all the childhood wishes—no matter how crazy—that her father encouraged her to write down on the backs of Chinese restaurant fortunes. She used to be fun once! What happened to her?

DON’T CHOKE ON THE RIND.
Although Lanie is wary of uncorking her past, when an attractive stranger saves her from a life-or-death encounter with a lemon peel at the bottom of a martini glass, she realizes that life is way too short for regrets. Now, jar in hand, Lanie decides to throw caution to the wind, and carry out everything she had once hoped to do, even if it means leaving her perfectly “perfect” life behind.

BELOW THE WATER LINE
Getting Out, Going Back, and Moving Forward in the Decade after Hurricane Katrina
By: Lisa Karlin
Published: July 3, 2015
Publisher: Centennial
Format: Paperback

I’m participating in a book tour for this book. I’ll be reviewing this book on August 24, 2015. I usually enjoy these types of memoirs that discuss tragedy and their courage to overcome obstacles. I think this book will highlight a lot of issues still causing problems after Hurricane Katrina.

Lisa Karlin’s memoir describes her family’s hurricane evacuation experiences and all that followed in the decade after Hurricane Katrina. In August 2005, Lisa, her husband, thirteen-year-old daughter, eleven-year-old son, and two dogs evacuated New Orleans for what they thought would be a two-day “hurrication.” Her day-by-day account of the weeks that follow vividly chronicles the unprecedented displacement of thousands of Americans, and on a personal level, describes how her family makes the trifecta of major life decisions: where to live, where to work, and where to enroll their children in school. Lisa Karlin provides a personal commentary on how everyday life has been impacted by Katrina’s aftermath and how, a decade later, there are still lingering effects of one of the most devastating events in American history. 

THE BOURBON KINGS
The Bourbon Kings #1
By: J.R. Ward
Published: July 28, 2015
Publisher: NAL
Format: Hardcover

JR Ward is raved as an amazing storyteller. I’m not into paranormal romance which she is well-known for, but this book really intrigued me. Even those this is still touted as a “romance novel”, I’m still interested to see how I like it. As you can see, it is the first in a series of books, so I’m sure her fans will be thrilled to continue the saga.

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive. 

THE SUMMERTIME GIRLS
By: Laura Hankin
Published: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eBook

Friendships, secrets, Maine setting come together for a story I’m sure to enjoy. It reminds me of books by authors Wendy Wax and Barbara Delinsky that I loved.

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.

CHILDREN’S BOOK OF MAGIC
30 Magic Tricks for Young Wizards
By: Konrad Modzelewski
Published: April 22, 2015
Publisher: Appetite for Education
Format: eBook

I thought our daughter would enjoy reading this book and trying out some of the magic tricks. Knowing the secrets and illusions behind some tricks will be fun to learn.

Children’s Book of Magic will take your child into a fascinating world of magic and illusion. The secrets are revealed by a young, yet famous illusionist Konrad Modzelewski. The book is not only great entertainment, but it will also:

improve your child’s memory 
boost their creativity 
develop their manual, acting and interpersonal skills, as they can perform the tricks in front of their parents, teachers or friends 
introduce them to basic physics concepts 

The book contains 30 magic tricks with beautiful and funny cartoons as well as detailed explanation and tips on how to perform them. Three difficulty levels make the book perfect for children starting from 4, up to 9 years of age.

Abracadabra, Hocus Pocus… With this book you’ll not limit yourself to these magic words, but you’ll actually do magic! You’ll be able to break the law of gravity, make objects disappear or even read people’s minds.And the best thing is you will need just a few everyday items such as coins or markers. Have a magical time!

Books I Purchased


THE GLASS KITCHEN
A Novel of Sisters
By: Linda Francis Lee
Published: June 17, 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Format: eBook

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since it came out. I love the cove and the fact that it is about sisters. This was as Daily Kindle Deal so I snagged it for just $1.99. Remember, you can always check out the Daily Kindle Deals by clicking on the right side of my blog that says DAILY KINDLE DEALS.

Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan… and never cook again. 

But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream. 

The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

THE ESSENTIAL CAKE BOSS
By: Buddy Valastro
Published: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Atria
Format: Paperback

During a trip to Half-Price Books my daughter spotted this book. She is a huge fan of the show Cake Boss and has the DVR set to record every episode. So, while her cousins were visiting we made cupcakes and decorated them with Buddy’s Buttercream Frosting. You can see in my photo above that she has marked several pages of recipes and techniques she wants to try. It  looks like we will be eating a lot of sweets in our future.

Everyone who works at Carlo’s Bake Shop gets an on-the-job education on how to bake like a pro. Now you can get that training in The Essential Cake Boss, a collection of Buddy’s recipes and techniques that are the building blocks of his show-stopping desserts. You’ll learn to work with baking and decorating equipment, bake perfectly moist cupcakes and cakes, and work magical effects with frosting and fondant. With Buddy’s inspiring enthusiasm and stories from the bake shop told in his inimitable voice, The Essential Cake Boss provides you with the tools for making his most popular, signature creations. A unique chart lets you mix and match cake flavors, frosting, and liqueur syrup to create your own personal trademark cakes. Plenty of gorgeous, step-by-step instructional photos let you follow Buddy as he shows how to create his artistic flourishes and decorations. An incomparable dessert education,The Essential Cake Boss will become a beloved reference for aspiring and skilled bakers alike.



Bursting with delicious, tried-and-true recipes, how-to boxes and sidebars, and numerous tricks of the trade, The Essential Cake Boss is a rare treat—a fun, accessible guide to baking, all in a gloriously designed, fully illustrated package worthy of the Cake Boss’s unique artistic vision.

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1 Comment

  1. Sheila @ The Deliberate Reader on August 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    It's not my usual sort of fiction pick at all, but I'm really intrigued by The Someday Jar. It sounds like it could be lots of fun, but with some extra depth. Looking forward to hearing your opinion on it!

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