If you remember, back in January I read 15 books! My all-time high for a month. February was not quite so exciting. I only read 7 books and that included a children’s book, 2 middle-grade books, and a novella. February went by so fast, I can barely believe we actually had the month. Just when I think our family is in a lull and we will have more downtime, I look at my calendar and realize…nope….not gonna happen. But, I am still sticking with my plan of always having a book with me and trying to be more conscious of going to my Kindle app versus going to social media and losing minutes or hours there.
I have so many great books to share with you this month. Some were purchased and others were sent for review. Be sure to look at the children’s books, many would make great Easter Basket gifts!
Currently Reading: THE ONE MAN, THE FRENCH GIRL
Currently Listening: GIVE A GIRL A KNIFE
Still Reading: THE GIFT OF AN ORDINARY DAY, GRACE NOT PERFECTION
Up Next: LET ME LIE
If you would like to purchase any of the books in this post, clicking the photo or title of the book will take you directly to the product on Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
LET ME LIE
By: Clare Mackintosh
Published: March 13, 2018
I read and enjoyed Mackintosh’s previous two novels I LET YOU GO
and I SEE YOU
. They had just the right amount of secrets, lies, and creepiness that kept me turning the pages. Can’t wait to see what thrills lie ahead in her third novel.
The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.
One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.
Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…
HOW TO FIND LOVE IN A BOOKSHOP
By: Veronica Henry
Published: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
I took a bag of books to Half Price and brought two books back home. This was one choice. It might be cheesy, fluff read, but I love books about books and bookstores, so why not? Sometimes I just need a light, fun read. I was surprised by how recently it was published and I hadn’t heard of it before.
Everyone has a story . . . but will they get the happy ending they deserve?
Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren’t just within the pages of the books she sells – Emilia’s customers have their own tales to tell.
There’s the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn’t quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .
And as for Emilia’s story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books?
MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY
By: Fredrik Backman
Published: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
My other choice from Half Price. I’m making it my mission to read all of Backman’s books so this is next!
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY
By: Hannah Tinti
Published: January 30, 2018 (March 30, 2017 original)
Publisher: The Dial Press
I joined the Target Book of the Month and this was their choice for February. Since it’s just come out in paperback, I’m guessing that is why it was chosen for by Target. I’ve heard of the title but that’s about it.
After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past; a past that eventually spills over into his daughter’s present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks.
FOUR SEASONS IN ROME
On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
By: Anthony Doerr
Published: June 12, 2007
I loved Doerr’s book THE SHELL COLLECTOR
. I’ve heard about this memoir of his family’s time in Rome and Anne Bogel
has raved about it several times. It was super cheap for a paperback (and still is) so I snagged a copy! I am dying to visit Rome so I’m sure this will feed my desires to travel there!
From the award-winning author of The Shell Collector and About Grace comes an evocative memoir of the timeless beauty of Rome and the day-to-day wonderment of living, writing, and raising twin boys in a foreign city.
GIVE A GIRL A KNIFE
By: Amy Thielen
Published: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
As of today, this is just $1.99 on Kindle
. I’ve been wanting to read Thielen’s book since it came out. My cousin knows her and has helped with a few of her book/food events in Minnesota. After Sheila at The Deliberate Reader
mentioned it last month, I decided it would make a good audiobook so I used an Audible credit and just started listening. She reads it herself which makes any audio memoir better in my opinion.
Before Amy Thielen frantically plated rings of truffled potatoes in some of New York City s finest kitchens for chefs David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten she grew up in a northern Minnesota town home to the nation s largest French fry factory, the headwaters of the fast food nation, with a mother whose generous cooking pulsed with joy, family drama, and an overabundance of butter.
Inspired by her grandmother s tales of cooking on the family farm, Thielen moves with her artist husband to the rustic, off-the-grid cabin he built in the woods. There, standing at the stove three times a day, she finds the seed of a growing food obsession that leads to the sensory madhouse of New York s top haute cuisine brigades. When she goes home, she comes face to face with her past, and a curious truth: that beneath every foie gras sauce lies a rural foundation of potatoes and onions, and that taste memory is the most important ingredient of all.
THE GOOD HOUSE
By: Ann Leary
Published: January 15, 2013
I think this was also recommended by Anne Bogel
and especially on audio, so I used another credit and purchased it. I was running low on audiobooks and my library holds aren’t coming through as fast as I had hoped. It was already on my to-read list so I’m hoping the audio version lives up to its great reviews.
How do you prove you’re not an alcoholic?
Hildy Good has reached that dangerous time in a woman’s life – middle-aged and divorced, she is an oddity in her small but privileged town. But Hildy isn’t one for self-pity and instead meets the world with a wry smile, a dark wit and a glass or two of Pinot Noir. When her two earnest grown-up children stage ‘an intervention’ and pack Hildy off to an addiction centre, she thinks all this fuss is ridiculous. After all, why shouldn’t Hildy enjoy a drink now and then?
But as the story progresses, we start to see another side to Hildy Good, and to her life’s greatest passion – the lies and self deceptions needed to support her drinking, and the damage she causes to those she loves. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behaviour of one threatens to expose the other, with devastating consequences.
WHITE ROSE, BLACK FOREST
By: Eoin Dempsey
Published: February 1, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
This was a choice in the February Free Reads for Kindle through Amazon Prime. It sounded like something I would like.
December 1943. In the years before the rise of Hitler, the Gerber family’s summer cottage was filled with laughter. Now, as deep drifts of snow blanket the Black Forest, German dissenter Franka Gerber is alone and hopeless. Fervor and brutality have swept through her homeland, taking away both her father and her brother and leaving her with no reason to live.
That is, until she discovers an unconscious airman lying in the snow wearing a Luftwaffe uniform, his parachute flapping in the wind. Unwilling to let him die, Franka takes him to her family’s isolated cabin despite her hatred for the regime he represents. But when it turns out that he is not who he seems, Franka begins a race against time to unravel the mystery of the airman’s true identity. Their tenuous bond becomes as inseparable as it is dangerous. Hunted by the Gestapo, can they trust each other enough to join forces on a mission that could change the face of the war and their own lives forever?
By: Benjamin Ludwig
Published: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Park Row Books
My BFF told me she was reading this book and enjoying it, then that same week it was part of the Kindle Daily Deals
so I snagged it.
After years in foster care, Ginny is in her fourth forever family, finally with parents who will love her.
Everyone tells her that she should feel happy, but she has never stopped crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape.
Because something happened, a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right…
THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST
By: Ann Hood
Published: August 9, 2016
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company
This came up in my library overdrive loans. I read it quickly and it was an enjoyable read although it did take a few unexpected turns. You can see my thoughts in my Quick Lit Post
Ava’s twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
THE ONE MAN
By: Andrew Gross
Published: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Minotaur Books
My niece told me about this one and it came up in my library overdrive loans. It’s a bit different from other WWII books I’ve read. It’s going a little slow for me, but I have a 14-day deadline, so I’m hoping I can keep at it before it disappears from my Kindle.
Poland. 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. His family is torn away from him on arrival, his life’s work burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact Mendl–a renowned physicist–holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine.
Four thousand miles away, in Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. Having escaped the Krakow ghetto as a teenager after the Nazis executed his family, Nathan longs to do more for his new country in the war. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from “Wild” Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth, a living hell, on a mission to find and escape with one man, the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.
By: Victoria Helen Stone
Published: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
I chose this as part of a free book through my IHG Hotels app. A free Kindle book is a reward for members and so my cousin and I chose this one from the options. She’s already read it which means it must be a quick and thrilling read.
Evelyn Tester is sleepwalking through her suburban life—until a late-night phone call startles her awake. Her husband, a prestigious psychiatrist, has been in an accident. And he isn’t alone.
Suddenly Evelyn’s world isn’t as tidy as she thought. And in the midst of it all is Juliette, not only her husband’s secret lover but also his patient. If news of the affair were to get out, it would ruin more than just Evelyn’s marriage. Although it’s a bitter pill for Evelyn to swallow, protecting her family means staying silent—even if, as she begins to discover, the night of the accident has consequences far more dangerous than the unmasking of an affair.
But the more Evelyn learns about Juliette’s picture-perfect life—complete with a handsome, unsuspecting husband—the more she yearns for revenge…and satisfaction. Her growing obsession fuels her rage, burning away her complacency. What will be left of her after it flames out?
I AM FAMOUS
By: Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie
Illustrated by: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Published: March 1, 2018
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
This is a book for review that looks like a fun read for kids.
Kiely knows she is famous! The paparazzi (her parents) follow her every move, documenting with cameras. It’s exhausting being famous, but someone has to do it! She even gets to perform a big song at her grandfather’s birthday. When she messes it up, she’s worried she’s lost her audience forever, but it turns out that no one is as loyal as her fans who love her.
PINK IS FOR BOYS
By: Robb Pearlman
Illustrated by: Eda Kaban
Published: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Running Press Kids
After reading THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS
this book came up in my email as a potential review book. It seemed like perfect timing. This book doesn’t come out until this summer though so you’ll have to wait a bit to purchase. You can always preorder if you are interested!
Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.
Q & A FOR KIDS
A Three-Year Journal for Kids with Inspirational Bible Verses
By: Scott Bowen
Published: February 18, 2018
Publisher: Freely Give Co.
The three-year journal would make a great gift for Easter baskets or birthdays. I’ll be reviewing this one on Friday.
Questions and Answers for Kids is a journal that provides a wonderfully unique way to gather your family to intentionally grow together. With this tool, you will be able to ask your kids a question each day for the next three years. This little book will serve your family well as a place to meet together daily to talk about both the silly and the serious and document it along the way. This journal gives your family space to explore together both core questions about building character, such as ‘What’s the difference between a mistake and a bad choice?’, ‘What qualities are in a true friend?’ and silly questions about the world around us like, ‘What animal makes the coolest noise?’ and ‘What is the worst smell in the world?’. Together you and your kids will be able to visit the same question on the same day year after year and watch how your child’s thoughts about life and the world change. Each question is also partnered with an encouraging verse from the Bible that will help point your family together to the what the Word of God says about the serious and the funny. Their response may be serious, silly, or surprising. This can be a safe place where your child can share their real, authentic self. The wide range of questions offer a few lines to write a response- an easy way to freeze time for a moment. As you revisit the same question on the same day year after year you and your child will be able to see how their responses change over time, or don t change at all! A wonderful way to get to know your child s unfolding personality as well as an open door to ask the hard questions. This journal will be a keepsake for years to come. A priceless way to get to know your child and help guide them in following Jesus.
THE BOO-BOOS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
A True Story about an Invention (Really!)
By: Barry Wittenstein
Illustrated by: Chris Hsu
Published: February 13, 2018
Format: Hardcover/Picture Book
A fun story about the invention of the bandaid!
1920s cotton buyer Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson and had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. The son of a doctor, Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle’s bosses at the pharmaceutical giant weren’t convinced, and it wasn’t until the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle’s prototype that this ubiquitous household staple was made available to the public. Soon Band-Aids were selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.
TRY THIS EXTREME
50 Fun & Safe Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You
By: Karen Romano Young
Published: September 26, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
I wish I had this book when my daughter had to come up with her own science experiment every few weeks during 6th grade! This would also make an excellent book to keep your child busy (and learning) during the summer months with minimal supervision!
Science can be extreme! Let curious kids discover it for themselves in this fascinating book of hands-on science experiments that takes interactivity to a whole new level.
Weird, wacky science facts and basic principles are explained as a first step to launching these creative (and safe) science projects. Dynamic photos and art clearly highlight each step so kids can conduct experiments with confidence and accuracy. Projects involve kid-friendly subjects like force and motion and temperature and freezing points, and most experiments are based on materials easily found at home. Bonus projects throughout encourage curious kids to dig deeper and discover more!
ADVENTURES IN SCIENCE
The Human Body
By: Courtney Acampora
Published: December 12, 2017
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Format: Paperback and Kit
Oh my gosh, this is an awesome kit for science fans. I can’t wait to look through the flash cards, put the skeleton together and read through the book. Very cool! A great gift for your child’s science teacher!
Which part of the brain is in charge of creativity? What is the smallest human muscle? Take a trip inside the human body and discover the amazing systems that allow us to move, breathe, and speak. After reading about everything from the digestive tract to the cornea, kids can assemble their own plastic skeleton and view the systems of the body in a layered cardstock model. With 20 fact cards, 2 sticker sheets, and a double-sided poster, this interactive kit is a perfect primer for learning about how the human body works.
By: Mary Russell
Published: February 1, 2018
Publisher: Autumn Arch Publishing
This is written by a local author who contacted me to consider reviewing her book.
Have your parents ever sent you to someplace you didn’t want to go to?
For me, it was summer camp. Camp Peony Pines to be precise.
It’s not necessarily camp that’s the problem, but that my parents want me to go with my scuzzball cousin, Caryl.
Caryl and I simply have nothing in common. We might as well be from different planets. She’s a flea market wrapped up in a garage sale, delivered in army surplus. I simply cannot go. It will be the end of my life. But off to camp I go, where things take a surprising turn. And the most unexpected person comes to my rescue.
THE WAR I FINALLY WON
By: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. What is she?
World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex. Who is Ada now? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?
THE UNDERGROUND TOY SOCIETY SAVES PEGGY
By: Jessica D. Adams
Published: October 7, 2015
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
The author contacted me about reading and reviewing her book. I liked the premise so decided to give it a look.
Peggy remembers a time when she was the only baby doll in the house. Janice loved Peggy so much, but as all little girls do, Janice grew up. Peggy was passed down to Janice’s two daughters, Jessica and Jennifer. Peggy had to learn to share her time with other toys.
After the two girls grew up, and Janice passed away, Peggy was forgotten. What will happen to Peggy? How will she ever find children to love her again?
I’m linking up with THE DELIBERATE READER
for her monthly feature NEW ON THE STACK. To see other bloggers’ new books from February, click HERE
As always, be sure to let me know if you read any of these.