I have no business accepting all these great books for review. My schedule is beyond crazy and I went a whole week without even turning a page in a book because I subbed every day and had meetings and kids’ activities in the evening as well as a busy weekend. I have fallen behind on summer books already and the fall books are rolling in. Fall isn’t looking to be any less busy, but I try to read a little bit every day and squeeze it a bit more if I have to miss a few days….or a week. People always ask me how I read so many books, and the truth is…sometimes I don’t. Life happens and other obligations have to come before reading time.
PUT A RING ON IT
Black Dog Bay #3
By: Beth Kendrick
To Be Published: November 3, 2015
I have read the first two in the Black Dog Bay series. Both novels were witty and fun stories of women rising above in a town full of breakups and disastrous relationships. I’m looking forward getting back to the stories of the people in Black Dog Bay! Click on the titles to see my reviews for the two previous novels in the series, CURE FOR THE COMMON BREAKUP and NEW USES FOR OLD BOYFRIENDS.
Brighton Smith doesn’t do outrageous. As an insurance actuary, it’s her job to assess risk and avoid bad investments. But when her fiancé calls to confess he’s married someone else on a whim (“I looked at her and I just knew!”), she snaps…
That night, at a local bar, Jake Sorensen—hot, rich, and way out of her league—buys Brighton a cocktail. At midnight, she kisses him. And by dawn, they’re exchanging vows at a drive-through chapel.
Brighton knows Jake is a bad bet, but she doesn’t care. After a lifetime of playing it safe, she’s finally having fun. Until the whirlwind romance gives way to painful reality…and Brighton finds out the truth about why a guy like Jake married a girl like her. With her heart on the line and the odds stacked against them, Brighton must decide whether to cut her losses or take a leap of faith that this love affair is one in a million.
STONES IN THE ROAD
By: E.B. Moore
Published: October 6, 2015
I read and reviewed E.B. Moore’s first novel, AN UNSEEMLY WIFE last October and really loved it. You can see my review, HERE. It was amazing to me that it was Moore’s first novel at the age of 72 and now she has another one out just one year later. I have no doubt I will love this one as well.
A young Amish boy ventures from Pennsylvania to California in this richly imagined historical novel from the author of AN UNSEEMLY WIFE.
1867. Growing up among the Pennsylvania Amish, eleven-year-old Joshua knows that his father is a respected church deacon who has the ear of God. But he’s also seen his father’s weakness for drink, and borne the brunt of his violent rages. In the aftermath of a disastrous fire, Joshua fears his father’s reprimand enough to run away from home. Having never experienced the ways of the English, Joshua now embarks on a decade-long journey to California, where he’s heard it’s always summer.
His mother, Miriam, is forced to take on the unusual role of head of the family when her husband is unable to recover physically, emotionally, or spiritually from the fire. As mother and son each find themselves in uncharted territory, they must draw on strength and forgiveness from within. Urged by everyone to accept her son’s death, Miriam never gives up hope of seeing Joshua again. But even as her prayers are answered so many years later, Joshua’s reunion will require him to face his father once again.
THE ITALIAN WIFE
By: Kate Furnivall
Published: October 6, 2015
This one grabbed me with the synopsis. Plus, it is set in Italy. Don’t you just love the cover. I think it’s my favorite this month! I’ll be starting this one next and reviewing before the end of the month!
One bright autumn morning, architect Isabella Berotti sits at a café in the vibrant centre of Bellina, when a woman she’s never met asks her to watch her ten-year-old daughter, just for a moment. Reluctantly, Isabella agrees — and then watches in horror as the woman climbs to the top of the town’s clock tower and steps over the edge.
This tragic encounter draws vivid memories to the surface, forcing Isabella to probe deeper into the secrets of her own past as she tries to protect the young girl from the authorities. Together with charismatic photographer Roberto Falco, Isabella is about to discover that secrets run deeper, and are more dangerous, than either of them could have possibly imagined . . .
From the glittering marble piazzas, to the picturesque hillside villages and winding streets of Rome, Kate Furnivall’s epic new novel will take you on an breathtaking journey of intrigue, romance and betrayal.
ANOTHER WOMAN’S DAUGHTER
By: Fiona Sussman
Published: October 6, 2015
Stories of mother’s in heart-breaking situations seem to grab my attention. This is one I’m sure will be tough to read, but one I won’t be able to put down or forget.
Celia Mphephu knows her place in the world. A black servant working in the white suburbs of 1960s Johannesburg, she’s all too aware of her limitations. Nonetheless, she has found herself a comfortable corner: She has a job, can support her faraway family, and is raising her youngest child, Miriam.
But as racial tensions explode, Celia’s world shifts. Her employers decide to flee the political turmoil and move to England—and they ask to adopt Miriam and take her with them. Devastated at the prospect of losing her only daughter, yet unable to deny her child a safer and more promising future, Celia agrees, forever defining both their futures.
As Celia fights against the shattering violence of her time, Miriam battles the quiet racism of England, struggling to find her place in a land to which she doesn’t belong—until the call of her heritage inexorably draws her back to Africa to discover the truth behind her mother’s choices and uncover a heartbreaking secret from long ago.
By: Holly Robinson
Published: October 6, 2015
I’m always a sucker for sister stories. Holly Robinson is a wonderful author and I loved her novel THE WISHING HILL. See my review, HERE. This one sounds like a definite page-turner.
Catherine and Zoe are sisters, but even their mother, Eve, admits her daughters are nothing alike. Catherine is calm and responsible. Zoe is passionate and rebellious. Nobody is surprised when Zoe gets pregnant, drops out of college, and spirals into drug addiction.
One night Catherine gets a call from Zoe’s terrified daughter, Willow, saying her mother has abandoned her in a bus station and disappeared. Eve blames herself, while Catherine, unable to have children, is delighted to raise Willow as her own.
Now, five years later, Eve is grieving her husband’s death and making reluctant plans to sell the family’s beloved summer home on Prince Edward Island. But a series of unexpected revelations will upend the family and rock three generations of women.
By: Paul Murry
Published: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Faber & Faber
This book came in my Book Riot shipment. I love getting these packages because they are always full of new-to-me authors and other bookish goodies.
Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?
Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory?
Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy’s rival in love?
Or could “the Automator”–the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school–have something to hide?
Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin “MC Sexecutioner” Flynn to basketball playing midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, SKIPPY DIES is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.
By: Zadie Smith
Published: August 29, 2006
Publisher: Penguin Books
This book also came in my Book Riot shipment. With it being nearly ten years since it’s original published date, I’m curious why they sent it now.
Howard Belsey is an Englishman abroad, an academic teaching in Wellington, a college town in New England. Married young, thirty years later he is struggling to revive his love for his African American wife Kiki. Meanwhile, his three teenage children— Jerome, Zora and Levi—are each seeking the passions, ideals and commitments that will guide them through their own lives.
“After Howard has a disastrous affair with a colleague, his sensitive older son, Jerome, escapes to England for the holidays. In London he defies everything the Belseys represent when he goes to work for Trinidadian right-wing academic and pundit, Monty Kipps. Taken in by the Kipps family for the summer, Jerome falls for Monty’s beautiful, capricious daughter, Victoria.” But this short-lived romance has long-lasting consequences, drawing these very different families into each other’s lives. As Kiki develops a friendship with Mrs. Kipps, and Howard and Monty do battle on different sides of the culture war, hot-headed Zora brings a handsome young man from the Boston streets into their midst whom she is determined to draw into the fold of the black middle class – but at what price?
THE MIND CONNECTION
How the Thoughts You Choose Affect Your Mood, Behavior, and Decisions
By: Joyce Meyer
Published: September 1, 2015
I enjoy Joyce Meyer’s writing and have found it insightful and thought-provoking. Her idea of your mood and thoughts connecting your behavior is spot on. I can think of multiple times when this has happened to me….my mind had raced to a horrible conclusion, it dampened my mood, which then resulted in awful behavior being lashed out at either my husband or children. I’m anxious to see what Meyer has to say.
TAMING MY TO-DO LIST
By: Glynnis Whitwer
Published: August 18, 2015
I couldn’t wait to dive into this one and I’ve already finished it. Stay tuned to a review coming soon. I can tell you now that if you have difficult starting tasks, putting things off, or completing projects, this book is for you! I learned so much from this book and will be putting Whitwer’s insight into practice right now.
Ever just wish the world would stop for a day so you could catch up?
No matter how much we accomplish in a day, we nearly always feel a little guilt over what we didn’t do. But do we really have more to do than the women who came before us? Maybe not.
In TAMING THE TO-DO LIST, Glynnis Whitwer exposes a seismic shift in society: from one in which most of us were proactive to one in which we carry the burden of having to respond—to every email, text, tweet, and message we receive. This creates a cycle where everyone else sets the priorities for our days rather than us directing our own lives. The result? We procrastinate, putting off the important stuff for later while we tend to the “urgent” stuff right now.
It’s time to take back your schedule! Ready to tame that to-do list? This book shows you how.
ANIMALS HAVE FEELINGS TOO
Exploring Emotions from A to Z
By: Karen Lee Stevens
Publisher: All for Animals
A first glance at the book and I can already recommend it for parents, teachers, counselors, and social workers. This is a book I will be keeping in my library. I’ll be participating in a book tour for this book in a couple weeks, so stay tuned.
Filled with humor and whimsical illustrations, this enchanting and educational A-Z guide takes young readers on a journey through the alphabet with Sandy, a lovable Labrador retriever, who shows them that animals and people share many of the same feelings.
By: Stella Samuel
Published: October 4, 2015
Publisher: Stella Samuel
When one of my dearest friends moved to Colorado, one of her newest friends that she met after moving in was Stella Samuel. When my friend asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her friend’s first book, I was honored! I can’t wait to check it out!
Nikki and Will fell in love a lifetime ago in Deltaville, Virginia. Now living in Colorado with her family, Nikki is invited to attend Will’s wedding back in Virginia where she finds her past staring her in the face.
Will never wanted a wife, and he broke Nikki’s heart long ago. Nikki knew what she wanted: a strong, happy marriage and children, a future. She found those things when she married Chris, and she and Will managed to grow their friendship after heartbreak. A year after the wedding, Nikki is faced with her painful past again. She soon discovers she must find the strength to help Will on his own personal journey. In thirty-four seconds, she sees him slip from her life forever. Watching Will cross over to his fate, her past collides with her present, and Nikki learns she’s never been in control of her own destiny. Her own journey back to her family in Colorado becomes one of self-discovery. With the help of Will’s voice to carry her across the country, Nikki must decide how she will move forward.
THE BEST OF ENEMIES
By: Jen Lancaster
Published: August 4, 2015
Honestly this isn’t my usual read, but I’ll give it a shot. It is a storyline I have seen several times and not sure if it will be enough to hold my attention. Lancaster has a huge fan base, so there must be a good reason.
Jacqueline Jordan knows conflict. A fearless journalist, she’s spent the past decade embedded in the world’s hot spots, writing about the fall of nations and the rise of despots. But if you were to inquire about who topped Jack’s enemy list, she’d not hesitate to answer: Kitty Carricoe.
Kitty reigns supreme over the world of carpools and minivans. A SAHM, she spends her days caring for her dentist husband and three towheaded children, running the PTA, and hiding vegetables in deceptively delicious packed lunches.
Kitty and Jack haven’t a single thing in common—except for Sarabeth Chandler, their mutual bestie. Sarabeth and Jack can be tomboys with the best of them, while Sarabeth can get her girly-girl on with Kitty. In fact, the three of them were college friends until the notorious frat party incident, when Jack accidentally hooked up with Kitty’s boyfriend…
Yet both women drop everything and rush to Sarabeth’s side when they get the call that her fabulously wealthy husband has perished in a suspicious boating accident. To solve the mystery surrounding his death, Jack and Kitty must bury the hatchet and hit the road for a trip that just may bring them together—if it doesn’t kill them first.
By: Jayne Ann Krentz
To Be Published: December 8, 2015
Jayne Krentz is a much loved author but, I have never read any of her books. I’m anxious to see what all her adoring fans love about her.
They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.
Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.
Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.
Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth.
By: Kelly Romo
To Be Published: November 17, 2015
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
This synopsis had me right away. Again, we’ve got a sister story that I’m a sucker for. Plus it is set during the World’s Fair. It’s gotta be a good one!
Life went terribly wrong for Addie Bates in San Diego, and she’s been running from dark memories ever since. For fifteen years, the Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony has provided a safe haven for Addie to hide from the crime she committed. But when the residents pack up to go on exhibit at the 1935 world’s fair in San Diego, Addie returns and must face the thrilling yet terrifying prospect of reuniting with her estranged sister, Wavey.
Addie isn’t the only one interested in a reunion. When her niece, Rumor, discovers she has an aunt, Rumor is determined to bring her family together. But it’s not so easy when the women are forced to confront family secrets, past and present.
Set against the backdrop of the 1935 world’s fair, WHISTLING WOMEN explores the complex relationships between sisters, the sacrifices required to protect family, and the devastating consequences of a single impulsive act.
THE MAKING OF HOME
The 500-Year Story of How our Houses Became Our Homes
By: Judith Flanders
Published: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
When I first read about this book, I knew exactly who to buy it for. It will be a perfect Christmas present for someone special and I am hoping to at least skim it a bit before I hand it over. I think it sounds like a fascinating book.
The 500-year story of how, and why, our homes have come to be what they are, from the bestselling author of THE VICTORIAN CITY and THE VICTORIAN HOUSE.
The idea that ‘home’ is a special place, a separate place, a place where we can be our true selves, is so obvious to us today that we barely pause to think about it. But, as Judith Flanders shows in her fascinating new book, ‘home’ is a relatively new idea. When in 1900 Dorothy assured the citizens of Oz that ‘There is no place like home’, she was expressing a view that was the climax of 300 years of change.
In THE MAKING OF HOME, Flanders traces the evolution of the house from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century across northern Europe and America, and shows how the ‘homes’ we know today bear only a faint resemblance to ‘homes’ through history. Along the way she investigates the development of ordinary household items – from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to the fitted kitchen, plumbing and windows – while also dismantling many domestic myths.
WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR
The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II
By: Molly Guptill Manning
Published: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile. Books about wars are high on my list of favorites and especially WWII. I love that librarians found a way to get books in soldiers hands which allowed them to escape a bit from their current situation. I had been watching this book go down in price on Amazon and when it hit $5 I snagged it. It is currently $2.62 for the hardcover. That’s a steal!
When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned over 100 million books and caused fearful citizens to hide or destroy many more. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In 1943, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks, for troops to carry in their pockets and their rucksacks, in every theater of war.
Comprising 1,200 different titles of every imaginable type, these paperbacks were beloved by the troops and are still fondly remembered today. Soldiers read them while waiting to land at Normandy; in hellish trenches in the midst of battles in the Pacific; in field hospitals; and on long bombing flights. They wrote to the authors, many of whom responded to every letter. WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR is an inspiring story for history buffs and book lovers alike.
THE 52 LISTS PROJECT
A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration
By: Moorea Seal
Published: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
I purchased this for myself. I love making lists but they are usually to-do lists. This journal includes a list for every week of the year including Goals and Dreams, Best Qualities, Qualities You Admire in Others, and Things You Love Outdoors. Since I just had a birthday, I plan to start it this week and finish it by my next birthday. It is set up to start in January, but doesn’t seem like the categories will affect me starting it now. I think it would make a great gift for someone with a milestone birthday or someone who likes to journal. I love all the prompts for each week.
Create 52 lists, one for every week of the year, that will help you discover the beauty, joy, creativity, and power you already have! THE 52 LISTS PROJECT is a gorgeous journal for list lovers, based on the popular blog series by Moorea Seal. This beautiful undated journal of weekly lists will help nurture self-expression and self-development. Each seasonal section includes list prompts, with plenty of space to write your own lists, and challenges to help you take action and make your dreams a reality. With perfectly timed prompts that meet you where you are throughout the different seasons, this journal will open up new avenues of self-knowledge and help you celebrate, enjoy, and take ownership of your life, as each week of the year becomes more thoughtful and vibrant.
AUGGIE AND ME
Three Wonder Stories
By: R.J. Palacio
Published: August 27, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
I loved, loved, loved WONDER and wanted to read this too. My daughter already snagged it so I haven’t had a chance to even look at it yet.
WONDER tells the story of Auggie Pullman: an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, whose first year at school changed the lives and the perspectives of everyone around him.
AUGGIE & ME is a new side to the WONDER story: three new chapters from three different characters – bully Julian, oldest friend Christopher and classmate Charlotte – giving an insight into how Auggie has touched their own lives. Thought-provoking, surprising, infuriating, heartbreaking and heartwarming, AUGGIE & ME is a must-read for the thousands of readers who loved WONDER.
PRAY, WRITE, GROW
Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together
By: Ed Cyzewski
Published: February 28, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
I heard about this book from Modern Mrs. Darcy and I immediately thought that my sister-in-law would benefit from it. Then when I read more about it, I decided that I might enjoy it as well. For $2.99 on Kindle, I think it is well-worth the price.
If you want to improve your prayer life, try writing.
If you want to improve your writing life, try praying.
The two require many of the same practices, disciplines, and virtues. If you’re already inclined to both write and pray, you may as well figure out how they can help each other. If you’re experienced in one, you may find opportunities for personal or spiritual growth by trying out the other.
This book offers life-giving practices that will help you grow in both prayer and writing and show how the two can work together to improve your craft as a writer and your spiritual practices as a person of faith.
“Fire up your neurons and hang onto your hippocampus!” How fun!
When it arrived in the mail I showed it to her and she immediately sat on the couch and I didn’t hear a word from her until supper-time. She loves it! I am anxious to look through it and likely learn something as well. This would make a great gift idea for a science-loving child.
QUICK: Name the most powerful and complex supercomputer ever built. Give up? Here’s a hint: It’s housed in your head and it’s the one thing that makes you YOU. Your brain is mission control for the rest of your body and steers you through life. Not bad for something the size of a softball that looks like a wrinkled grey sponge!In this fascinating, interactive book — a companion to the National Geographic Channel hit show – kids explore the parts of the brain and how it all works, brainy news nuggets from a neuroscientist, plus fun facts and crazy challenges.