Books that Came My Way in January 2016

I’m back into a reading flow after finishing some great books during our Christmas getaway.  I’ve done a lot better using spare minutes to read rather than waste time on my phone. I also have some books I’m really anxious to read which gives me a push to finish the ones I’m currently reading. I read five books in January and started two others. That is a pretty good reading rate for me with my subbing schedule and busy night and weekend activities.

I have turned down a few books this month in my quest to only read books that really interest me. I have so many books on my own shelf, that I want to do a better job of reading them as well. These books found their way into my mailbox and a few others were good deals on Kindle. I am only going to spend time reading books that I find enjoyable and interesting. If I am not interested, I’m going to put it aside. I can’t get to all these 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 January. 
To see her Stack of Books as well as other bloggers’ Book Stacks, click HERE.
BOOKS FOR REVIEW

FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL
Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
By: Sheri Fink
Published: January 26, 2016 (paperback) Originally- September 10, 2013 
Publisher: Broadway Books
Format: Paperback
This book has been on my list for quite a while and it is now available in paperback. I just recently read a book about a family who survived Hurricane Katrina (see that book HERE) and found it extremely interesting. It’s hard to believe it has been ten years since Katrina hit and there is still places that haven’t been touched or cleaned up and repaired. This book is hefty at 565 pages, but the last 90 are acknowledgements, notes, and an index. The print is small in the paperback version so for us old folks, the hardcover or eBook might be easier to read. 🙂
In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos. 

After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.
FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.
In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better.

THE HISTORY MAJOR
A Novella
By: Michael Phillip Cash
Published: December 17, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback
After a vicious fight with her boyfriend followed by a night of heavy partying, college freshman Amanda Greene wakes up in her dorm room to find things are not the same as they were yesterday. She can’t quite put her finger on it. She’s sharing her room with a peculiar stranger. Amanda discovers she’s registered for classes she would never choose with people that are oddly familiar. An ominous shadow is stalking her. Uncomfortable memories are bubbling dangerously close to her fracturing world, propelling her to an inevitable collision between fantasy and reality. Is this the mother of all hangovers or is something bigger happening? 

BROOD X
A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion
By: Michael Phillips Cash
Published: May 4, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback
This one makes my skin crawl a bit. I’m not sure I could read this and sleep peacefully. 
Seth is laid off from work. His wife Lara just found out they are expecting a baby this summer. Seth plans on documenting the entire pregnancy with his brand new digital camcorder. During an evening home watching television, the news reports that a swarm of cicada (Brood Ten) is expected to overwhelm the entire Northeast. Brood Ten is vicious and ready to invade. During a sweltering summer night, Brood Ten emerges and wreaks havoc with the electric grid, phone and cell service, wi-fi, food and water supply. Civilization as they know it is gone. Seth and Lara are thrown back to the stone age in their own home with trillions of cicada trying to deposit their eggs and breed. 

WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE…A GOOD PERSON
By: Wigu Publishing
Published: December 22, 2015
Format: Paperback
I’m excited there is a new edition to the WHEN I GROW UP series. I’ve reviewed others, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. I think this book tackles a topic that kids and grown-ups can easily read together and discuss. 
Blake and Brendan would do almost anything to get out of going to Mr. Becket’s funeral. It will be boring and sad and dead people are scary! There might even be ghosts! But Mom and Dad insist. Mr. Becket was a good person, and it is right to gather with his family and friends to remember him and all the good things he did. So what’s so good about remembering a dead person? A lot. Readers learn with Blake and Brendan what it means to be a good person and all the ways a good person makes a difference in people’s lives, even long after they’re gone. 
THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF ELLIE THE ELEPHANT
ELLIE’S BEST BEACH VACATION EVER #4
By: Marci Fair and Ellie Fair
Published: November 16, 2015
Publisher: Pacochel Press
Format: Paperback
I previously reviewed the first of the Ellie the Elephant books, HERE. I was thrilled to hear there is a new adventure for Ellie and her friends. You can find all of Ellie the Elephant’s books, HERE.
Ellie the elephant and Pudgy the penguin are stuffed animals…and the best of friends. They have been on many adventures together, like moving to a new neighborhood, flying on an airplane, visiting animal friends and relatives at a zoo, going back to school together to meet new teachers and learn—and now they get to enjoy a summer adventure on a wonderful beach vacation!

The excitement mounts as Ellie and Pudgy pack their beach balls and sunglasses and jump in the car for the game-filled drive to the coast.

Once they arrive, Ellie and Pudgy head straight for the beach to dig in the warm sand, swim in the sparkly blue ocean and see lots of colorful fish. Then they head out for an afternoon packed full of fun!

Join in the adventure as these best friends share many new experiences while on their special beach vacation—traveling to a new place, trying new activities, riding bikes, enjoying a froggie lunch and sweet treats, swimming, building the biggest sandcastle ever, visiting an un-butterfly garden and much more as they spend a sunny day outside and explore this special beach town! 

SHIMMER THE GLOWWORM FINDS HER GLOW
By: Shelby Herman
Published: October 3, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback
I love inspirational kids stories! 
Shimmer the glowworm has a low glow and goes on an inspirational journey to find it. She discovers along the way that helping others find their glow is what makes her glow show and the ME TREE she lives in reflected that all along.

THE SILVER SUITCASE
By: Terrie Todd
Published: January 26, 2015
Publisher: Waterfall Press
Format: eBook
WWII, diary entries and a beautiful cover sold me on this one!
It’s 1939, and Canada is on the cusp of entering World War II. Seventeen-year-old farm girl Cornelia is heartbroken when she learns that her beloved soldier, Henry, has been killed in a train wreck. Alone and carrying a heavy secret, she makes the desperate choice that will haunt her for years to come. Never telling a soul, Cornelia pours out the painful events of the war in her diary.

Many decades later, Cornelia’s granddaughter, Benita, is in the midst of her own crisis, experiencing several losses in the same week, including her job and the grandmother she adored. The resulting emotional and financial stress takes its toll on her and her husband, Ken, who is also unemployed. On the brink of divorce, she discovers Cornelia’s diary. Now the secrets of her grandmother’s past will lead Benita on an unexpected journey of healing, reunion, and renewed faith. 

LILAC GIRLS
A Novel
By: Martha Hall Kelly
To Be Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: eBook
I can’t say no to a gripping WWII novel. This one sounds like a memorable story.
Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.


New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as a courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

BOOKS I PURCHASED

MAKING TOAST
By: Roger Rosenblatt
Published: February 16, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: eBook
This was already on my to-read list from a couple years ago. Since it was a Kindle deal I snagged it.
“How long are you staying, Boppo?”
“Forever.”

When his daughter, Amy—a gifted doctor, mother, and wife—collapses and dies from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, leave their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren: six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy, and one-year-old James, known as Bubbies. Long past the years of diapers, homework, and recitals, Roger and Ginny—Boppo and Mimi to the kids—quickly reaccustom themselves to the world of small children: bedtime stories, talking toys, playdates, nonstop questions, and nonsequential thought. Though reeling from Amy’s death they carry on, reconstructing a family, sustaining one another, and guiding three lively, alert, and tender-hearted children through the pains and confusions of grief. As he marvels at the strength of his son-in-law, a surgeon, and the tenacity and skill of his wife, a former kindergarten teacher, Roger attends each day to “the one household duty I have mastered”—preparing the morning toast perfectly to each child’s liking.

FIVE CONVERSATIONS YOU MUST HAVE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER
By: Vicki Courtney
Published: November 1, 2008
Publisher: B & H Books
Format: eBook
This was a Kindle deal and one that I am very interested in. These are all conversations I’ve been wanting to have and it will give me the push I need to start them with our daughter.
From the cradle to college, tell your daughters the truth about life before they believe the culture’s lies.
For mothers with girls newborn to eighteen, FIVE CONVERSATIONS YOU MUST HAVE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER is simply a must-have book. Youth culture commentator Vicki Courtney helps moms pinpoint and prepare the discussions that should be ongoing in their daughters’ formative years.

To fully address the dynamic social and spiritual issues and influencers at hand, several chapters are written for each of the conversations, which are:
1. You are more than the sum of your parts
2. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up
3. Sex is great and worth the wait
4. It’s OK to dream about marriage and motherhood
5. Girls gone wild are a dime a dozen—dare to be virtuous

The book is linked to online bonus features offering invaluable tips on having these conversations across the various stages of development: five and under, six to eleven, twelve and up. 

FIND THE GOOD
Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer
By: Heather Lende
Published: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Format: eBook
I love the idea of this book. Finding the good in any situation….letting go of the negative. Can’t wait to dig in! It was a Kindle deal and am glad I found it!
As the obituary writer in a spectacularly beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska, Heather Lende knows something about last words and lives well lived. Now she’s distilled what she’s learned about how to live a more exhilarating and meaningful life into three words: find the good. It’s that simple–and that hard.


Quirky and profound, individual and universal, FIND THE GOOD offers up short chapters that help us unlearn the habit–and it is a habit–of seeing only the negatives. Lende reminds us that we can choose to see any event–starting a new job or being laid off from an old one, getting married or getting divorced–as an opportunity to find the good. As she says, “We are all writing our own obituary every day by how we live. The best news is that there’s still time for additions and revisions before it goes to press.”

Be sure to let me know if you read any of these books! If you are new to my blog, check out the last few months of book stacks below:
A post from today, 7 years ago – My Friend, Tammy
A post from today, 6 years ago – Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday
A post from today, 5 years ago – Things I Love – Sending Cards
A post from today, 4 years ago – Family Time February – Balloon Lagoon
A post from today, 3 years ago – A Little Monday Inspiration 
A post from today, 2 years ago – Review Books that Came My Way in January
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2 Comments

  1. Ellen@Bookspired on February 5, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I am intrigued by Find the Good – will add it to my TBR list. Thanks, Stacie!

  2. Jill Hoke on February 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Great list. I love Ww2 novels, too. Happy reading!

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