Books That Caught Our Eye

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At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood found at The Infinite Curio.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

“I totally needed some lighter reading this week and this cover and blurb caught my eye.”

58807372._sx318_Afloat in Venice (Monkey’s Great Adventures #1) by Tina Wilson found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

Monkey can’t wait to use his new camera in Venice… but along the way he discovers something more precious than sight-seeing!

Monkey, an endearing soft toy, finds himself in all sorts of scrapes where he learns about himself and the world around him. In this first book in the Monkey’s Great Adventure series, Afloat in Venice, Monkey is entranced by a “magical floating city that seems to grow straight out of the sea.”

This book includes original music composed by the highly acclaimed, Matt Ottley and an additional version specifically narrated for the visually impaired.

Heartwarming and unique, this series brilliantly captures the innocence of childhood and will be enjoyed by all ages.

“I collected monkeys in my youth so this naturally caught my eye. I like that the characters are knitted as Dot shared in the review… and it comes with a CD.”

VELVET:

The Raffles Affair by Vicki Virtue at Sam Still Reading.

Fresh from a gruelling three-month assignment in East Africa, beautiful former MI6 agent Victoria West arrives at Raffles Hotel in Singapore to attend her friend’s wedding. But Victoria’s plans for a relaxing break end abruptly with news the groom has been kidnapped. Warned not to contact the police, Victoria sets out to find him. But in this glamorous setting nothing is quite what it seems. 
 
As the deadline to pay the ransom draws near, events take a deadly turn. Victoria suspects murder. But which of the wedding guests did it? They all have a motive… and a talent for lying. With time fast running out, Victoria must untangle the web of domestic squabbles, red herrings and false alibis before it is too late.
 
“Feeling like arm-chair traveling to Singapore.”
 

 
It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiancé. 
 
After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?
 
Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.
 
But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—she realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.
 
“Liking the historical immigrant story vibe.”

SERENA:

The Romanov Empress by C.W. Gortner at Drey’s Library.

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in its final years.

“I absolutely loved Gortner’s other books.”

 

Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa from An Interior Journey.

The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history.

But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis.

Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink.

This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened.

Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history.

It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president.

“We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism.

Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage. And it is the beginning of a collaboration with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.

“Political history interests me, no matter what it is. The last election was a bit frightening, especially given the riots at the Capitol…something that’s hard to forget.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Mailbox Monday

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

The last two weeks at work have been very exhausting. I’m happy to have those weeks over and I hope that work moving forward gets a little less hectic. I don’t mind being busy at work, but these last weeks were a bit much. As you can imagine that cut down on reading time, especially since all I really wanted to do at the end of the day was sleep after cleanup from dinner and heading to swim practice with my daughter. This Monday, Sept. 27, I’m excited and nervous to be a featured poet at the local Poetry at the Port reading series, but it will be nice to be at an in-person event with fellow poets, who will be masked and distanced. I’ll be happy when we don’t have to do these things anymore. I hope everyone else is having a great reading week! Enjoy the rest of it.

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.

“I liked the cover and the title. Then I found the blurb intriguing.”

The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Chances were a million to one that a girl born and raised in Philadelphia would encounter a stranger from California on the trolley and fall madly in love, but that’s what happened. Templeton was not only taken with John Morehouse, but also with his tales of life in San Francisco. As an aspiring fashion designer, the dazzle of a city called the Paris of the West, with its towering department stores and European couture was too much to resist.

Despite her family’s objections, she and John are married and, on their way back to California, before the month is out. To ease the heartbreak of such a move, Templeton promises to return for a visit every summer. She intends to keep that promise, but when her design business grows more demanding, the trips back to Philadelphia become less frequent and she makes foolish choices she will come to regret.

Now, when she is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted, a devastating earthquake tears across San Francisco and she discovers the father of her baby is missing.

“I had seen this one before but must have selected another pick. So this time I chose it. I like stories set around natural disasters like the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.”

VELVET:

57815700._sy475_Showtime by Judy Nunn at Book’d Out.

In Showtime! comedy, tragedy, passion and betrayal play out – both onstage and off . . .

Judy Nunn’s latest bestselling novel will take you from the cotton mills of England to the magnificent theatres of Melbourne, on a scintillating journey through the golden age of Australian showbusiness.

‘So, Will, are you going to come with me and my team of merry performers to the sunny climes of Australia, where the crowds are already queuing and the streets are paved with gold?’

In the second half of the 19th century, Melbourne is a veritable boom town, as hopefuls from every corner of the globe flock to the gold fields of Victoria.

And where people crave gold, they also crave entertainment.

Enter stage right- brothers Will and Max Worthing and their wives Mabel and Gertie. The family arrives from England in the 1880s with little else but the masterful talents that will see them rise from simple travelling performers to sophisticated entrepreneurs.

Enter stage left- their rivals, Carlo and Rube. Childhood friends since meeting in a London orphanage, the two men have literally fought their way to the top and are now producers of the bawdy but hugely popular ‘Big Show Bonanza’. The fight for supremacy begins.

Waiting in the wings- Comedy, tragedy, passion and betrayal; economic depression, a pandemic and the horrors of World War One..

“Would love to learn about the start of theatre in Australia.”

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long at Drey’s Library.

Meg Long’s Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves is a captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths.

On a frozen wasteland of a planet, a girl is on the run with a wolf who is born to be a killer but bound to be her guide. As they fight to escape ice goblins, giant bears, and a ruthless leader intent on trapping them both, one question drives them relentlessly forward: where do you turn when there is nowhere to hide?

“A winter race with these set of characters sounds like an exciting and nail-biting one.”

SERENA:

Echoes of War by Tania Blanchard at Book’d Out.

Calabria, Italy, 1936

In a remote farming village nestled in the mountains that descend into the sparkling Ionian Sea, young and spirited Giulia Tallariti longs for something more. While she loves her home and her lively family, she would much rather follow in her nonna’s footsteps and pursue her dream of becoming a healer.

But as Mussolini’s focus shifts to the war in Europe, civil unrest looms. Whispers of war are at every corner and her beloved village, once safe from the fascist agenda of the North, is now in very real danger.

Caught between her desire to forge her own path and her duty to her family, Giulia must draw on the passion in her heart and the strength of her conviction. Can she find a way to fulfill her dreams or will the echoes of war drown out her voice?

“I really love books about women looking to forge their own paths, and this one is set during one of my favorite time periods to read about — WWII.”

The Whale in the Living Room by John Ruthven at Book’d Out.

The Whale in the Living Room follows the thrilling adventures of award-winning wildlife documentary producer, John Ruthven, on a journey of discovery – by turns memorable, touching and often funny -that has helped the undersea world flow into countless living rooms to reveal many of our ocean’s mysteries.

John is the only producer to have worked on both Blue Planet and Blue Planet II, presented by David Attenborough, in total making nearly fifty ocean films, including episodes of Discovery Shark Week, expedition films for National Geographic and coral conservation documentaries for PBS. With innovative technology he has helped capture unique images of a sperm whale mother and calf, pictures of glowing creatures half a mile deep, and grey reef sharks hunting by the light of the moon.

We swim with him through blue lagoons, dive into the abyss to encounter new life forms, and experience everything from the danger of getting lost at sea to the sadness of finding a starving whale with a fishing net caught in its mouth. Through each remarkable adventure, John gives insight into what we currently know about the ocean, and our whole blue planet, revealing that the sea really is the ‘saltwater country’ the Yolngu people of Australia know it to be – a place with as many unique destinations in water as on land.

John’s book also explores why we have remained largely blind to the pollution in our oceans until recently and charts how plastic ‘went wild’ in the sea, to understand how we might begin to clear up the mess.

“I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but this is something I’m passionate about. We need to be more aware of what we’re doing to this planet. It is the only home we have.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Mailbox Monday

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

It was a super busy week at work. I apologize for the delay in posting this week’s linky. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I finished another poetry book, Dialogues with the Rising Tides, and started a new audiobook, The Refugees.

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Griffith Review 73: Hey, Utopia! found at Sam Still Reading.

There’s no place like utopia.

What are the possibilities and pitfalls of imagining a better future? Hey, Utopia! explores the ramifications of Thomas More’s term in a range of contexts: the possible and the improbable, the out of reach and almost realised.

Edited by Ashley Hay and featuring work by Sarah Sentilles, Thurston Moore & John Kinsella, Ellen van Neervan, Alex Cothren, Fiona Foley and Lea McInerney, Griffith Review 73 looks into visions past and present, those with potential and those that proved punishing.

“Considering that I do love reading dystopian and post-apocalyptic, it’s not surprising that this one caught my eye.”

Unmissing by Minka Kent found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore and Silver’s Reviews.

A return from the past knocks a family dangerously off-balance in a novel of spiraling suspense by Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Minka Kent.

Merritt Coletto and her husband, Luca, have the life they dreamed of: a coastal home, a promising future, and a growing family. That dream ends with a late-night knock on the door.

Weak, broken, and emaciated, it’s Luca’s first wife, Lydia. Missing for ten years, presumed dead, and very much alive, she has quite a story. Her kidnapping. A torturous confinement that should’ve ended with her dead. And finally, escape. Racked with guilt over the beautiful life they’ve built, Merritt and Luca agree to help get Lydia back on her feet—it’s the least they can do.

But the more enmeshed Lydia becomes in Merritt’s family, the more questions Merritt has. What is it about Lydia that’s especially unnerving? Why hasn’t she gone to the police with her harrowing tale? What does she really want of them? The answers, when they come, are terrifying.

Because Lydia isn’t the only one with secrets.

“The title had me curious and the blurb, with the return of a presumed dead former wife, really caught my attention.”

VELVET:

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen at The Infinite Curio.

The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series is a chance to rediscover classic literature in collectible, luxuriously illustrated volumes. For the first time ever, the internationally celebrated artwork of Marjolein Bastin graces the pages of a timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice, the enduring story of the Bennet sisters and their quest for suitable marriages. Beyond bringing these stories to life, Bastin’s series adds elaborately designed ephemera, such as four-color maps, letters, family trees, and sheet music. Whether an ideal gift for an Austen or Brontë devotee or a treat for yourself, The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series, as a set or individually purchasedis perfect for anyone who feels a connection to these enduring literary gems.

Emma by Jane Austen at The Infinite Curio.

The Marjolein Bastin Classics Seriesis a chance to rediscover classic literature in collectible, luxuriously illustrated volumes. For the first time ever, the internationally celebrated artwork of Marjolein Bastin graces the pages of the timeless classic, Emma, the story of the well-meaning matchmaker of Highbury village. Beyond bringing these stories to life, Bastin’s series adds elaborately designed ephemera, such as letters, invitations, and more. Whether an ideal gift for an Austen or Brontë devotee or a treat for yourself, The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series, as a set or individually purchasedis perfect for anyone who feels a connection to these enduring literary gems.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte at The Infinite Curio.

The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series is a chance to rediscover classic literature in collectible, luxuriously illustrated volumes. For the first time ever, the internationally celebrated artwork of Marjolein Bastin graces the pages of a timeless classic, Jane Eyre, the story of a penniless orphan who finds love and friendship despite great adversity. Beyond bringing these stories to life, Bastin’s series adds elaborately designed ephemera, such as four-color maps, letters, family trees, and sheet music. Whether an ideal gift for an Austen or Brontë devotee or a treat for yourself, The Marjolein Bastin Classics Series, as a set or individually purchasedis perfect for anyone who feels a connection to these enduring literary gems.

“These look like lovely pairings for delightful comfy reading.”

SERENA:

61d5gwxxwyl._sl500_In the Shadow of the Towers: Speculative Fiction in a Post-9/11 World by Douglas Lain at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.

In the Shadow of the Towers compiles nearly 20 works of speculative fiction responding to and inspired by the events of 9/11, from writers seeking to confront, rebuild, and carry on, even in the face of overwhelming emotion.

Writer and editor Douglas Lain presents a thought-provoking anthology featuring a variety of award-winning and best-selling authors, from Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation) and Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) to Susan Palwick (Flying in Place) and James Morrow (Towing Jehovah). Touching on themes as wide-ranging as politics, morality, and even heartfelt nostalgia, today’s speculative fiction writers prove that the rubric of the fantastic offers an incomparable view into how we respond to tragedy. Each contributor, in his or her own way, contemplates the same question: How can we continue dreaming in the shadow of the towers?

“This might be a good listen on audio, but what attracted me was the cover.”

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne at Sam Still Reading.

Dazzle (n): Brightness that blinds someone temporarily. 

Position Vacant: Two ancient old women residing at Providence Retirement Villa seek male assistant for casual exploitation and good-natured humiliation. Duties include boutique shopping, fast-food fetching, and sincerely rendered flattery. Good looks a bonus—but we aren’t picky.

An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears.

Ruthie Midona will work in Providence’s front office, and be at the Parloni’s beck and call, forever. That’s sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses’ absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious—and that’s what she does best.

Until, one day, someone dazzling blows into town.

Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence’s on-site maintenance cottages—right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie—but only if he works there and starts to grow up.

Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep—and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant…

“Doesn’t this sounds like a fun read?”

What books caught your eye this week?

Mailbox Monday

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

We’ve celebrated my mom’s birthday and my brother’s birthday, and now it is all about Christmas for my daughter. She loves celebrations, and birthdays are no exception, especially when there is cake and ice cream to be had. Nothing much going on except trying to navigate a school year with the unvaccinated group of kids and in-person learning. I wish a vaccine would be ready sooner, rather than later. Those are just my thoughts. I haven’t read much, but I hope that changes.

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books that Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes found at Kait Plus Books.

Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn’t yet ended.

A GHOST SHIP.

A SALVAGE CREW.

UNSPEAKABLE HORRORS.

Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed—made obsolete—when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.

What they find at the other end of the signal is a shock: the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick trip through the Aurora reveals something isn’t right.

Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Words scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold onto her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora, before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.

“Horror isn’t usually a go-to choice for me but October is getting closer and this SF horror got my eye.”

The Actual Star by Monica Byrne at A Universe in Words.

David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas meets Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series, as acclaimed author Monica Byrne (The Girl in the Road) spins a brilliant multigenerational saga spanning two thousand years, from the collapse of the ancient Maya to a far-future utopia on the brink of civil war.

The Actual Star takes readers on a journey over thousands of years and six continents —collapsing three separate timelines into one cave in the Belizean jungle.

An epic saga of three reincarnated souls, this novel demonstrates the entanglements of tradition and progress, sister and stranger, love and hate. The book jumps forward and backward in time among a pair of twins who ruled a Maya kingdom, a young American on a trip of self-discovery, and two dangerous charismatics in a conflict that will determine the fate of the few humans left on Earth after massive climate change.

In each era, age-old questions about existence and belonging and identity converge deep underground. Because only in complete darkness can one truly see the stars.

“This sounds complex but I like mixed time lines.”

VELVET:

The Attic on Queen Street by Karen White at Savvy Verse & Wit.

After the devastating events of the past few months, the last thing Melanie Trenholm wants is to think about the future.
Why, when her husband, Jack, has asked for a separation—a separation that might have been her fault?  Nevertheless, with twin toddlers, a stepdaughter leaving for college soon, a real estate career to resume and a historic home that is still being restored, Melanie doesn’t have much time to wonder where it all went wrong—but that doesn’t stop her from trying to win her husband back.
Their relationship issues are pushed aside, however, when longtime nemesis, Marc Longo, comes to them with a proposition:  allow their Tradd Street house to be used as the filming location for the movie adaptation of Marc’s bestselling book, and he will help Jack re-establish his stalled writing career. Despite Melanie’s hesitation, Jack jumps at the chance.  But Melanie’s doubts soon prove to be well founded when she uncovers ulterior reasons for Marc wanting to be back in their house—reasons that include a hidden gem so brilliant that legend links it to the most infamous jewel of all, the Hope Diamond.
But Melanie has an unexpected ally in protecting the house and its inhabitants—the ghost of a Civil War era girl warns her of increasing threats to her family. But she’s not the only spirit who is haunting Melanie.  A malevolent ghost seems determined to stop Melanie from investigating the decades-old murder of a friend’s sister, and this spirit will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—even from beyond the grave.
Melanie and Jack must work together to find the answers before evil spirits of past and present destroy everything they love.
“The ghostly activity sounds perfect for this time of year.”

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont at Book Reviews by Linda Moore

“A long time ago, in another country, I nearly killed a woman. It’s a particular feeling, the urge to murder. First comes rage, larger than any you’ve ever imagined. It takes over your body so completely, it’s like a divine force, grabbing hold of your will, your limbs, your psyche. It conveys a strength you never knew you possessed. Your hands, harmless until now, rise up to squeeze another person’s life away. There’s a joy to it. In retrospect, it’s frightening, but I daresay in the moment it feels sweet. The way justice feels sweet.”
So begins The Christie Affair, told from the point of view of Miss Nan O’Dea, a fictional character but based on someone real. In 1925, she infiltrated the wealthy, rarified world of author Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. A world of London townhomes, country houses, shooting parties, and tennis matches. Nan O’Dea became Archie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted wife. In every way, she became a part of their world–first, both Christies. Then, just Archie.
The question is, why?
And what did it have to do with the mysterious eleven days that Agatha Christie went missing?
The answer takes you back time, to Ireland, to a young girl in love, to a time before The Great War. To a star-crossed couple who were destined to be together–until war and pandemic and shameful secrets tore them apart.
What makes a woman desperate enough to destroy another woman’s marriage?
What makes someone vengeful enough to hatch a plot years in the making?
What drives someone to murder?
“I am taken with this mystery about the queen of mystery.”

SERENA:

A Letter from Nana Rose by Kristin Harper from Silver’s Reviews.

Arriving at the honeysuckle-covered beach house inherited from her beloved grandmother, recently heartbroken Jill hopes to convince her two feuding sisters not to sell a place so full of happy childhood memories. But the envelope waiting on the driftwood table changes everything. In her elegant handwriting, Nana Rose promises a new letter will arrive each day of the summer revealing a family secret she took to her grave.

Shaken, Jill anxiously awaits each letter filled with Nana’s bittersweet memories of her own sister who she loved more than anyone—and lost far too young. But why did Nana never speak of this tragic loss to her grandchildren?

Watching the sunset each night and wondering how well they really knew Nana Rose, Jill feels her family is closer than they’ve been in years. And after a chance encounter with blue-eyed tree surgeon Alex, she wonders if Nana believed being back on Dune Island would help Jill find love, too?

But when Nana’s final letter arrives, the revelation about how her sister died is more shocking than Jill ever imagined. Suddenly, despite the chance of happiness with Alex, selling the house seems the only way forward. Will Jill find a way to forge new bonds of sisterhood and save their inheritance, or will Nana Rose’s secret tear them all apart?

“I really enjoy books where secrets are uncovered, especially family secrets, and the creation of bonds. This sounds intriguing.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Mailbox Monday

3 Comments

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

We had a lovely August off without swim team practices and meets, but September is here so it will be all business. School is back to in person, with masks. While the Delta variant is a concern, I’m hopeful that this year will be smooth and that the kids can get back to normal ways of learning. I have read a few books of poems, but not much fiction. I am listening to the new Stephen King, Billy Summers, which is not that King-y. I hope everyone has a great week.

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Camouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson found at Bookworm.

A missing man, a new police chief and an unexpected New England town mystery.

When Sean Dermott, the newly appointed police chief, sees the report that a popular local high school coach is missing, his growing fascination with the alluring Vanessa Strauss, who reported the disappearance, makes him determined to solve the case.

The investigation leads him and his team deep into Quarry Head Park, a local scenic preserve with nature trails and expansive views. There is no sign of the missing man, but what he does find terrifies him to the core.

From the depths of the park, a deadly prehistoric looking creature emerges, attacks swiftly and silently, leaving devastation in its wake. In the chaos which follows, it is up to Chief Dermott and a team of scientists to fight for balance by ensuring the safety of his town and preserving this remarkable discovery.

He will risk his career, his reputation and even his own life to stand by what he believes to be right. The question is, will he succeed, or will all be lost?

“I like camouflage and then I noted “prehistoric” creature and Alternate History – that really got my interest.”

Lie Beside Me Gytha Lodge found at An Interior Journey.

You wake up.
You can’t remember what happened.
The man lying next to you is not your husband.
And he’s not breathing . .

Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy. But she suspects she’s done something bad.

She rolls over towards her husband, Niall. The man who, until recently, made her feel loved.

But it’s not Niall who’s lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.

And he’s dead . . .

As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, it’s clear to Detective Jonah Sheens and his team that she is their prime suspect – though they soon find she’s not the only one with something to hide.

Did she do it? And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?

“I was caught by the first lines of the blurb in this thriller.”

VELVET:

Rouge Street by Shuang Xuetao at drey’s library

An enterprising inventor dreams of escaping his drab surroundings in a flying machine. A criminal, trapped beneath a frozen lake, transforms into a giant fish. A strange girl pledges to ignite a field of sorghum stalks. Rouge Street collects three novellas by Shuang Xuetao, the lauded young Chinese writer whose frank, fantastical short fiction has already inspired comparisons to Ernest Hemingway and Haruki Murakami. Located in China’s frigid Northeast, Shenyang, the author’s birthplace, boasts an illustrious past—legend holds that the emperor’s makeup was manufactured here. But while the city enjoyed renewed importance as an industrial hub under Mao Zedong, China’s subsequent transition from communism to a private economy led to an array of social ills—unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, divorce, suicide—which gritty Shenyang epitomizes. Orbiting the toughest neighborhood of a postindustrial city whose vast, inhospitable landscape makes every aspect of life a struggle, these many-voiced missives are united by Shuang Xuetao’s singular style—one which balances hardscrabble naturalism with the transcendent, and faces the bleak environs with winning humor. Lyrical, masterful, Rouge Street illuminates not only the hidden pains of those left behind in an extraordinary economic boom, but also the unlikely, nourishing grace they, nevertheless, manage to discover.

“That cover… and then the settings, got me.”

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler at Sam Still Reading

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend’s phone and makes a startling discovery: he’s an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she’s not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she’s relieved—he was always a little distant—and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women’s March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies. Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can’t trust anyone–shouldn’t the feeling be mutual?

“Been wanting to do a reading binge of social media themed books.”

SERENA:

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger from The Infinite Curio.

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

“This just sounds fascinating. There’s something intriguing about another ‘America’ – one that we don’t recognize.”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

Please welcome Velvet as she takes on MM duties next week. We’re happy to have Velvet on board.

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

MARTHA:

One in the Hand by Rhonda Parrish found at Amber Stults.

When a sword manifests in an old folk’s home it opens Autumn’s eyes to a whole world of magic, gods and giants. But before she has a chance to come to grips with her new reality, Autumn’s grandmother is attacked and put in the hospital. Autumn needs to discover what the deal is with the sword and how to protect herself and the people she loves.

And, of course, there’s also the matter of the wings that have sprouted from her back.

Can she learn about this new reality and the shadowy forces working within it in time to diffuse the situation before someone gets killed?

“I didn’t see the cover until I went to Goodreads but I liked the premise – I like wings.”

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis found at Bookfan.

On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.

All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.

With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate.

“Sometimes a lighter romance like this gets my eye (even over two sci fics I was eyeing).”

VELVET:

CursesCurses by Lish McBride found at Kait Plus Books

Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling’s curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother’s choosing before her eighteenth birthday.

Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family’s cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to abandon their engagements, unless their parents agree to pay him off. But after his mother runs afoul of the beast, she decides to trade Tevin for her own freedom.

Now, Tevin and Merit have agreed that he can pay off his mother’s debt by using his con-artist skills to help Merit find the best match . . . but what if the best match is Tevin himself?

“The cover with that sliver of a beast peeking through grabbed me.”

IronWidowIron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao found at Juli @ A Universe in Words

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

“Liking the mashup of asian, scifi, queer, historical, YA.”

SERENA:

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke from Amber Stults.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

“Sometimes you just need to get into a fantasy world to escape real life. This sounds like one of those intriguing books that can take you away.”

What books caught your eyes this week?