Books That Caught Our Eye

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With the 4th of July or Independence Day holiday nearly upon us in the United States, it’s a time for cookouts and family fun … and fireworks.  But also, it can be a time for books.  We’d love to hear about the books you’ll be reading or buying this weekend.

For now, we at Mailbox Monday want to encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

VICKI:

The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig @Savvy Verse & Wit

Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.

Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.

Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.

I love foodie books! Don’t you love that cover?

Landfall by Ellen Urbani @BookNAround

Two mothers and their teenage daughters, whose lives collide in a fatal car crash, take turns narrating Ellen Urbani’s breathtaking novel, Landfall, set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen-year-olds Rose and Rosebud have never met but they share a birth year, a name, and a bloody pair of sneakers. Rose’s quest to atone for the accident that kills Rosebud, a young woman so much like herself but for the color of her skin, unfolds alongside Rosebud’s battle to survive the devastating flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward and to find help for her unstable mother. These unforgettable characters give voice to the dead of the storm and, in a stunning twist, demonstrate how what we think we know can make us blind to what matters most.

Sounds sad, but so very good!

LESLIE:

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay @Book Dilettante

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

I’ve been drawn to psychological thrillers for a few months now!

Cuckoo by Julia Crouch @Sam Still Reading.

A dark, juicy, deliciously unsettling, read-it-in-one-sitting psychological drama.

Rose has it all – the gorgeous children, the husband, the beautiful home. But then her best friend Polly comes to stay. Very soon, Rose’s cosy world starts to fall apart at the seams – her baby falls dangerously ill, her husband is distracted – is Polly behind it all It appears that once you invite Polly into your home, it’s very difficult to get her out again…

First thing I thought when I saw the title Cuckoo was, Oh good, a book about birds. But nope, it’s a psychological thriller, and that’s just as good. Well, almost.

SERENA:

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay @Book Dilettante

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

I need a good scary book once in a while. This sounds like the perfect fit.  And I just love that cover!

Wave by Hoa Pham @Booklover Book Reviews

I remember how you were,
not how you are. We were we
until we became you and I.

Midori and Âu Cô are international
university students tasting freedom
from family for the first time. They
discover Melbourne and each other.
All is well until the tsunami that
swamps their world…

We were we until you made us me and you… .

Midori and Âu Cô are international university students in Melbourne. They play at being silver dragons birthing pearls from their mouths. They are united by loneliness. Midori’s parents are killed by the tsunami in Fukushima and soon after Midori and Âu Cô witness a university shooting. Midori ends up in a psychiatric hospital, not able to cope with the double blow.

Âu Cô is courted by a Vietnamese-Australian boy (Dzung) who has also survived the shooting. Dzung is unaware of Midori and Âu Cô’s relationship and pressured by his parents asks Au Co to marry him. Midori is silenced and unable to out herself and Âu Cô she understands too well the pressures of family. Âu Cô accepts since her own family wants to migrate to Australia. Midori absconds before the wedding to the Blue Mountains. She suicides close to the Three Sisters. Âu Cô is left to work through her guilt. She falls pregnant to Dzung and after she gives birth she looks closely at his skin. The little baby has silver dragon scales running down his neck.

This sounds like a great blend of folklore, fantasy and death.

What books caught your eye?

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7 thoughts on “Books That Caught Our Eye

  1. Thanks, Vicki, for calling out LANDFALL from among the vast numbers of eye-catching books available this summer! Set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, you’re right that there are some very sad, very devastating real-life events featured in LANDFALL. But my hope is that the resiliency of spirit demonstrated by so many New Orleanians and Gulf Coast residents shines through text. Their grit, graciousness, and good humor in the face of such loss was certainly my inspiration.

  2. Leslie, you picked a couple of real winners this week, although of your two choices ‘Cuckoo’ is the one making it to my ‘Want To Read’ list. I love a good psychological thriller and this one ticks all the boxes. Julia is definitely an author I shall be following with interest, although with several books already under her belt, I have some catching up to do!

    Thanks for sharing your choices and helping to host MM 🙂

    Yvonne

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