Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Books that Came My Way in July 2016


I've been catching up on my reading this month, reading four adult books and five children's books just this month. Not bad since I also have most of my house under construction and am living in complete disarray. Just when I think I can set aside some time to read, something comes up and my day is shot. It's going to get worse yet before it gets better, but I'm hoping the end of the construction is in sight soon. Flooring, cabinets and then finishing up the fine points are coming up soon.

Looking into our new front entrance and dining room
I'm still a bit behind on reviews from books I finished earlier this summer and still hope to write something up about them. They were all worthy of sharing with you.

There are just twenty days until school starts for the kids and then I know the sub calls will start rolling in. So, I need to enjoy these last few days of summer as much as I can. The first day of school, we have a Cross Country meet and the band plays at the home football game that Friday night. Prom fundraising goes into high gear once school starts and my schedule appears to be booked for quite awhile. We will celebrate my parents' 60th Wedding Anniversary this month, so I'm looking forward to spending a day with them yet this month as well. Going home always helps calm me and I'm going to need that this month.

There are a lot of great books in my stack this month. I can't wait to share my thoughts about them with you in the coming weeks. I'm only going to read books that I am interested in. If it isn't working for me, I'm going to put it aside and move on to something else. I can't read every book that comes my way, but I can at least share them with you 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.  
If you choose to purchase, I will receive a small commission 
without you having to pay any more for your purchase.  
I appreciate your support of SincerelyStacie.com reviews. 


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


BOOKS FOR REVIEW


FALLING
By: Jane Green
Published: July 19, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Hardcover

Jane Green is a best-selling author who seems to crank out a book every year. I have yet to read any of her books, but she has frequently been on my radar. The cover alone sold me on this one and I'm anxious to check it out. It sounds like the perfect summer read.

When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either. 
 
On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son. 
 
Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.
 
But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth, she has discovered about herself or risk losing it all. 
 
In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be.


ALONG THE INFINITE SEA
By: Beatriz Williams
Published: November 3, 2015 (Paperback August 9, 2016)
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback

I really love William's writing. I've read A HUNDRED SUMMERS and THE FORGOTTEN ROOM in which she collaborated with other writers and loved both of them.  ALONG THE INFINITE SEA is the third in her Schuyler Sisters series. I'm not sure how much each of the books depends on the other or if they stand alone. I'll have to do some checking. Otherwise, I may have to hurry and read the first two.... THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT and TINY LITTLE THING

Each of the three Schuyler sisters has her own world-class problems, but in the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler's problems are in a class of their own. When Pepper fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction, she thinks she's finally found a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries, the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician. 

But the car's new owner turns out to have secrets of her own, and as the glamorous and mysterious Annabelle Dommerich takes pregnant Pepper under her wing, the startling provenance of this car comes to light: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle's life from World War II stretch out to entangle Pepper in 1960s America, and the father of her unborn baby tracks her down to a remote town in coastal Georgia, the two women must come together to face down the shadows of their complicated pasts. 

Indomitable heroines, a dazzling world of secrets, champagne at the Paris Ritz, and a sweeping love story for the ages, in New York Times bestselling author Beatriz William's final book about the Schuyler sisters.


THE NEW TRAIL OF TEARS
How Washington is Destroying American Indians
By: Naomi Schaefer Riley
Published: July 26 ,2016
Publisher: Encounter Books
Format: Hardcover

I usually shy away from such politically motivated titles and I hope it isn't too full of rhetoric. But, I am intrigued. My nephew is a high school English teacher in a Northern Minnesota reservation. He has told me stories of the difficulties his students face. I also live near a reservation and see much of it first hand. I see many of the Native Americans making things worse for themselves and their families due to crime and alcoholism. But, I'm anxious to hear this author's take on the plight of Native Americans.

If you want to know why American Indians have the highest rates of poverty of any racial group, why suicide is the leading cause of death among Indian men, why native women are two and a half times more likely to be raped than the national average and why gang violence affects American Indian youth more than any other group, do not look to history. There is no doubt that white settlers devastated Indian communities in the 19th, and early 20th centuries. But it is our policies today—denying Indians ownership of their land, refusing them access to the free market and failing to provide the police and legal protections due to them as American citizens—that have turned reservations into small third-world countries in the middle of the richest and freest nation on earth.

The tragedy of our Indian policies demands reexamination immediately—not only because they make the lives of millions of American citizens harder and more dangerous—but also because they represent a microcosm of everything that has gone wrong with modern liberalism. They are the result of decades of politicians and bureaucrats showering a victimized people with money and cultural sensitivity instead of what they truly need—the education, the legal protections, and the autonomy to improve their own situation.

If we are really ready to have a conversation about American Indians, it is time to stop bickering about the names of football teams and institute real reforms that will bring to an end this ongoing national shame.
 


PROHIBITION IN EASTERN IOWA
By: Linda Betsinger McCann 
Published: June 2014
Publisher: The Iowan Books
Format: Paperback from the library

This author is coming to our local library in September to give a talk on her book. I am reading it ahead of time to do a promotional piece for The Cedar Rapids Gazette

This book looks at the 13-year span of time known popularly as "Prohibition" through the lens of Eastern Iowa townspeople and others. From the farmers who grew the corn used in making illegal liquor, to the bootleggers who trafficked it and the gangsters who sold it, Eastern Iowa saw its fair share.


SMALL GREAT THINGS
By: Jodi Picoult
To Be Published: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: eBook

I am super excited to have received an early copy (ebook) of Jodi's newest book. I can't wait to dig in, but I'll likely wait until closer to the publishing date since I won't be able to talk about with my friends until they've read it. This one sounds as gripping as ever and is surprisingly current.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
 





WEIRD BUT TRUE! SPORTS
300 Wacky Facts About Some Awesome Athletics
Published: May 17, 2016
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Paperback

These books have been around for quite awhile. Our kids loved reading them and now when I am in the classroom, these are often the first books kids grab to read during their free time. 

Everything has its weird side -- even sports! Add wacky stats, facts, and stories to your arsenal of sports trivia with this new slam-dunk addition to the very popular Weird but True series! With the Olympics on the way, discover tons more zany fun, focused totally on the subject of sports!


FUNNY FILL-IN
My Gold Medal Adventure
Published: May 10, 2016
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Paperback

With the Olympics starting in just a couple days, this would be a fun way to tie in the Olympics with a little language fun. This book asks for words to fill in and make a silly story...all related to Olympic sports. 

Do you love sports? Are you excited for the 2016 Olympic games? Here's an activity book that puts you right at the center of the gold-medal action! Fill in the blanks as you and a friend try your best at gymnastics, synchronized swimming, and much more!


EVERYTHING SPORTS
All the Photos, Facts, and Fun to Make You Jump!
By: Eric Zweig and Shalise Manza Young
Published: March 8, 2016
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Paperback

Another great book to check out and get your kids excited about the Olympics. 

Become an expert on sports, just in time for the 2016 Olympics! From archery to ziplining this book covers EVERYTHING about the world's favorite team and individual sports. With stunning visuals and energetic, impactful design, readers won't stop until they've learned everything there is to know about the history, rules and regs, training, and practice of dozens of athletic pursuits. Includes popular sports such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, and quirkier sports such as fencing, curling, and table tennis. 


IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED IN...BRAZIL
A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Kelsea Wierenga
Published: July 7, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

I have always been interested in Brazil. My parents hosted a foreign exchange student from Brazil when I was young. After she returned home, we lost contact with her and it has always been a wish that I could find her again for my parents. With the Olympics starting this week in Brazil, this would make another great choice to share with your kids. 

Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the stunning and diverse land of Brazil in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to South America to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler.


IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED IN....MIDDLE AGES
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Mateya Arkova
Published; July 9, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in her exciting new series. Learn what kind of food you might have eaten during the Middle Ages, the clothes you might wear, what your name could be, and children did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So get onboard this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you. 


IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED IN....ANCIENT CHINA
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Mateya Arkova
Published: June 18, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

Another addition to Roman's historical time-periods. These books are flimsy either, with lots of pages of facts to interest parents and kids.


IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED IN....THE AMERICAN WEST
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Paula Tabor
Published: July 4, 2016
Publisher: Cardinal Street, Inc
Format: Paperback

I love the cover of this one. I think this is going to be another winning series of books from Roman about our history. 

BOOKS I PURCHASED



LOVE DOES
Discover A Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
By: Bob Goff
Published: April 30, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Paperback

I was seeing this book everywhere I looked, which is odd because it didn't just come out. So, after seeing it for like the tenth time, I decided to look into it. I like these types of non-fiction books and decided to get myself a copy. It reminds me a bit of Randy Pausch's THE LAST LECTURE, which I loved.

As a college student, he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father, he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren't good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean's office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world's best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world's most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it's not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob's love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don't want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob's life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.
 



THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP
By: Nina George
Published: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Broadway Books
Format: Paperback

I sold some of the kids' books at Half Price Books and decided to treat myself to this gem that I've been eyeing. Paris? Bookshop? I'm in!

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.


STILL ALICE
By: Lisa Genova
Published: January 6, 2009 (Paperback December 2, 2014)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: Paperback

I read this back in 2009 when it came out and before I was really writing book reviews on my blog. I loved it and also loved the movie version. This was part of Quarterly's Literary Box for July. I'll save it and maybe give it to the school or to someone as a gift. 

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.


EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES
By: Laura Dave
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback

I snagged this one a few months ago as a Kindle Deal and then it also showed up in the July Quarterly Literary Box. Since it keeps showing up, I think I better get it read! I have no doubt I'll love it.

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fianc√© is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets.


THE SINGLES GAME
By: Lauren Weisberger
Published: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover

Lauren Weisberger was the curator of the July Quarterly Literary Box. She chose each of the items to go along with her new book. Along with the above books, I received sunglasses and paper straws. 

This cover is so fun....complete with sparkles for diamonds. I have never read her books, but did love the movie, "The Devil Wears Prada". This one definitely sounds juicy and unputdownable.   

The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and REVENGE WEARS PRADA—a dishy tell-all about a beautiful tennis prodigy who, after changing coaches, suddenly makes headlines on and off the court.

Charlotte “Charlie” Silver has always been a good girl. She excelled at tennis early, coached by her father, a former player himself, and soon became one of the top juniors in the world. When she leaves UCLA—and breaks her boyfriend’s heart—to turn pro, Charlie joins the world’s best athletes who travel eleven months a year, competing without mercy for Grand Slam titles and Page Six headlines.

After Charlie suffers a disastrous loss and injury on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, she fires her longtime coach and hires Todd Feltner, a legend of the men’s tour, who is famous for grooming champions. Charlie is his first-ever female player, and he will not let her forget it. He is determined to change her good-girl image—both on the court and off—and transform her into a ruthless competitor who will not only win matches and climb the rankings, but also score magazine covers and seven-figure endorsement deals. Her not-so-secret affair with the hottest male player in the world, sexy Spaniard Marco Vallejo, has people whispering, and it seems like only a matter of time before the tabloids and gossip blogs close in on all the juicy details. Charlie’s ascension to the social throne parallels her rising rank on the women’s tour—but at a major price.

Lauren Weisberger’s novel brings us exclusive behind-the-scenes details from all the Grand Slam tournaments: the US Open, the French Open, the Australian Open, and Wimbledon. Charlie Silver jets around the globe, plays charity matches aboard Mediterranean megayachts, models in photo shoots on Caribbean beaches, walks the red carpet at legendary player parties, and sidesteps looming scandals—all while trying to keep her eyes on the real prize. In this sexy, unputdownable read about young tennis stars who train relentlessly to compete at the highest levels while living in a world obsessed with good looks and Instagram followers, Charlie must discover the secret to having it all—or finally, shatter the illusion for good. 






MIDAIR
By: Kodi Scheer
Published: August 1, 2016
Publisher: Little A
Format: eBook

Kodi Scheer grew up near where I currently live and graduated from the school our children attend. Several teachers in the district attended her recent book reading at Prairie Lights Books. Unbeknownst to me, I had selected this from the Kindle First choices, not knowing who she was. From what I have heard so far, it is quite good.

“I had a secret: I wanted to leave the earth in a spectacular fashion. Specifically, by leaping from the Eiffel Tower.” So begins this provocative coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl bent on self-destruction and revenge, set in the City of Light.

It’s the summer of 1999, the end of a millennium. In the mind of Nessa Baxter, a girl from rural Illinois, Paris is the remedy for all of her woes. The death of her beloved brother and the betrayal by her classmate Kat has left Nessa bereft and doubtful about her future. She plans to exact revenge on Kat during their renegade French Club trip. Along with classmates Whitney and Kiran, the four girls embark on a series of misadventures in Paris. As part of her plan, Nessa starts a game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control.

A suspenseful psychological drama, Midair is the story of a young girl’s descent into darkness and the secrets we keep, even from ourselves.


THESE THINGS HIDDEN
By: Heather Gudenkauf
Published: January 18, 2011
Publisher: MIRA
Format: eBook

It's hard to turn down a $.99 book deal, but especially if it is a Heather Gudenkauf book. These are quick reads and always a good mystery. She's one of my favorite Iowa authors.

When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls' golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It's Brynn--shy, quiet Brynn--who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her. But then Allison is released to a halfway house and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister. Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.


That's a lot of books for this month, especially since I am trying to take on fewer books. But these are just too good to resist. As always, if you choose to read or have read any of these books, be sure to let me know in the comments. I hope you are finding time this summer to enjoy a bit of reading! 


A post from today, 7 years ago - Mondays Matter: Week 31
A post from today, 5 years ago - A Chuckle for the Day 

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