Adding to Your TBR December 2017

What to read this December

 

TBR December 2017

Adding to Your TBR December 2017. This month has an array of amazing books to choose from. Preorder now so you can read as soon as they release.

 

What Remains True by Janis Thomas

Expected: 1 December 2017

This has been on my radar for months. It promises dark secrets and fractured family with multiple POVs (point of view).

P.S. Just before publishing this post I read a review on Goodreads that mentioned that the family dog is one of the POVs. I must admit this doesn’t appeal to me. If you have read it please confirm and let me know if it’s worth overlooking this detail.

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TBR December 2017From the outside, the Davenports look like any other family living a completely ordinary life—until that devastating day when five-year-old Jonah is killed, and the family is torn apart. As the fury of guilt engulfs them, the Davenports slowly start to unravel, one by one.

Losing her son forces Rachel to withdraw into a frayed, fuzzy reality. Her husband, Sam, tries to remain stoic, but he’s consumed by regret with the choices he’s made. Eden mourns her brother, while desperately fighting to regain a sense of normalcy. And Aunt Ruth, Rachel’s sister, works too hard to care for the family, even as her own personal issues haunt her.

Told from multiple points of view—including Jonah’s—the family struggles to cope with unthinkable loss. But as they face their own dark secrets about that terrible day, they have a choice: to be swallowed up in sadness forever, or begin the raw, arduous ascent back to living – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Good Samaritan by John Marrs

Expected: 1 December 2017

This thriller has been on the all of the bookish news sites recently and I can’t wait to get stuck in. So glad its available on Audible! I love being read to and thrillers are all the more exciting on audio.

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TBR December 2017She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites & Translated by Alison Layland

Expected: 1 December 2017

As always I am drawn to books about the Second World War. This one is an epic spanning generations.

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TBR December 2017A captivating cross-generational novel from German author Mina Baites about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance with the power to bring them back together.

1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure for his young son before leaving to fight in a terrible war to honor his beloved country—a country that would soon turn against his own family.

A half-century later, Londoner Lilian Morrison inherits the box after the death of her parents. Though the silver is tarnished and dented, this much-loved treasure is also a link to an astonishing past. With the keepsake is a letter from Lilian’s mother, telling her daughter for the first time that she was adopted. Too young to remember, Lilian was rescued from a Germany in the grips of the Holocaust. Now only she can trace what happened to a family who scattered to the reaches of the world, a family forced to choose between their heritage and their dreams for the future. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Expected: 5 December 2017

The Vanishing Season is a psychological thriller / serial killer mystery – just the thing to bring more cheer to the festive season! Seriously though this is on my Christmas wish list.

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TBR December 2017Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived. 

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Ice House by Laura Lee Smith

Expected: 5 December 2017

This is not one I would have been drawn immediately, but it promises richly layers characters and the early reviews are very good.

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TBR December 2017The Ice House follows the beleaguered MacKinnons as they weather the possible loss of the family business, a serious medical diagnosis, and the slings and arrows of familial discord.

Johnny MacKinnon might be on the verge of losing it all. The ice factory he married into, which he’s run for decades, is facing devastating OSHA fines following a mysterious accident and may have to close. The only hope for Johnny’s livelihood is that someone in the community saw something, but no one seems to be coming forward. He hasn’t spoken to his son Corran back in Scotland since Corran’s heroin addiction finally drove Johnny to the breaking point. And now, after a collapse on the factory floor, it appears Johnny may have a brain tumor. Johnny’s been ordered to take it easy, but in some ways, he thinks, what’s left to lose? This may be his last chance to bridge the gap with Corran–and to have any sort of relationship with the baby granddaughter he’s never met.

Witty and heartbreaking by turns, The Ice House is a vibrant portrait of multifaceted, exquisitely human characters that readers will not soon forget. It firmly establishes Laura Lee Smith as a gifted voice in American fiction. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

One Station Away by Olaf Olafsson

Expected: 5 December 2017

I have heard very little about this book, but the abstract below sounds intriguing.

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TBR December 2017An overlooked pianist who finally receives fraught success after decades of disappointment. An elusive dancer whose untimely death her fiancé is desperate to untangle. A mysterious patient who is comatose after a violent accident.

These are the three women who animate Olaf Olafsson’s brilliantly rendered One Station Away. Magnus, a New York neurologist—son to one, lover to another, and doctor to a third—is the thread that binds these women’s stories together as he navigates relationships defined by compromise and misunderstanding, guilt and forgiveness, and, most of all, by an obsessive attempt to communicate—to understand and to be understood, to love and to be loved  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Us by Curtis Wiklund

Expected: 5 December 2017

This enchanting book of sketches depicting artist Curtis Wiklund‘s love for his wife is a must-have! Curtis manages to capture bottomless emotion and intimacy in each drawing.

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TBR December 2017

 

This book of heartwarming sketches reveals the everyday intimate moments that make up a marriage.

Inspired by his wife, artist and wedding photographer Curtis Wiklund sketched a new drawing every day for a year. The result is this collection of adorable illustrations depicting the tender, true moments the couple shares. From winter walks to end-of-day cuddles, inside jokes to impromptu forts, this dreamy art has already captured the hearts of thousands of fans around the world. Now in book form, Us delights as a gift and a keepsake. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

The Truth Beneath the Lies by Amanda Searcy

Expected: 12 December 2017

There is always a place for thrillers on my TBR

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TBR December 2017Fight or Flight. 

All Kayla Asher wants to do is run. Run from the government housing complex she calls home. Run from her unstable mother. Run from a desperate job at No Limit Foods. Run to a better, cleaner, safer life. Every day is one day closer to leaving. 

All Betsy Hopewell wants to do is survive. Survive the burner phone hidden under her bed. Survive her new rules. Survive a new school with new classmates. Survive being watched. Every minute grants her another moment of life. 

But when fate brings Kayla and Betsy together, only one girl will live. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Here, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones

Expected: 19 December 2017

Friends, family and first love. This YA (young adult) contemporary has had good early reviews and despite the uninspiring cover this could be a great read. Let me know what you think.

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TBR December 2017Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls—the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s café and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life.

But then he meets Rose—funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician. 

Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling…if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak

Expected: 26 December 2017

Debut author Mandy Mikulencak takes us into the prison kitchen where the last meals for death row inmates are prepared in this haunting, mysterious historical fiction book. The Last Suppers has had excellent early reviews so don’t miss it.

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TBR December 2017Set in 1950s Louisiana, Mandy Mikulencak’s beautifully written and emotionally moving novel evokes both The Help and Dead Man Walking with the story of an unforgettable woman whose quest to provide meals for death row prisoners leads her into the secrets of her own past.

Many children have grown up in the shadow of Louisiana’s Greenmount State Penitentiary. Most of them—sons and daughters of corrections officers and staff—left the place as soon as they could. Yet Ginny Polk chose to come back to work as a prison cook. She knows the harsh reality of life within those walls—the cries of men being beaten, the lines of shuffling inmates chained together. Yet she has never seen them as monsters, not even the ones sentenced to execution. That’s why, among her duties, Ginny has taken on a special responsibility: preparing their last meals.

Pot roast or red beans and rice, coconut cake with seven-minute frosting or pork neck stew . . . whatever the men ask for Ginny prepares, even meeting with their heartbroken relatives to get each recipe just right. It’s her way of honoring their humanity, showing some compassion in their final hours. The prison board frowns upon the ritual, as does Roscoe Simms, Greenmount’s Warden. Her daddy’s best friend before he was murdered, Roscoe has always watched out for Ginny, and their friendship has evolved into something deep and unexpected. But when Ginny stumbles upon information about the man executed for killing her father, it leads to a series of dark and painful revelations.

Truth, justice, mercy—none of these are as simple as Ginny once believed. And the most shocking crimes may not be the ones committed out of anger or greed, but the sacrifices we make for love.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Expected: 26 December 2017

Kasie West has never failed to deliver thoughtful, fun (but without unnecessary fluff) love stories. This one includes a mental health theme

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TBR December 2017Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

Expected: 26 December 2017

Ancient love letters, heartfelt and humorous – sounds good to me!

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TBR December 2017When Lily Michaels-Ryan ditches her ADHD meds and lands in detention with Abelard, who has Asperger’s, she’s intrigued—Abelard seems thirty seconds behind, while she feels thirty seconds ahead. It doesn’t hurt that he’s brilliant and beautiful.

When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise online, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard. But is it enough to bridge their differences in person?

This hilarious, heartbreaking story of human connection between two neurodivergent teens creates characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading– Abstract from Goodreads

Unique Book Titles

Unique Book Titles

Unique Book Titles

 

These ten unique book titles are just the tip of the iceberg of weird and wonderful titles. Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for this Top Ten prompt, it’s one I know I will be doing again.

 

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

As one of my all-time favourite books, I return to this dark story again and again. Set in France with roots in the WWII German occupation, this story is beautiful, tragic and unforgettable.

And yes once you’ve read it the odd title makes perfect sense. Get yourself a copy today!

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Unique Book Titles

 

When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous Mirabelle Dartigen – the woman they still hold responsible for a terrible tragedy that took place during the German occupation decades before. Although Framboise hopes for a new beginning she quickly discovers that past and present are inextricably intertwined. Nowhere is this truth more apparent than in the scrapbook of recipes she has inherited from her dead mother.

With this book, Framboise re-creates her mother’s dishes, which she serves in her small creperie. And yet as she studies the scrapbook – searching for clues to unlock the contradiction between her mother’s sensuous love of food and often cruel demeanour – she begins to recognize a deeper meaning behind Mirabelle’s cryptic scribbles. Within the journal’s tattered pages lies the key to what actually transpired the summer Framboise was nine years old. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

This is another one of my favourite books, one which has pride of place at the top of my bookshelf. See an earlier post The books that changed the way I saw the world for my thoughts.

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Unique Book Titles

 

In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

All the books in this beautifully written series have unique titles from The Kalahari Typing School for Men to Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. The stories, set in Botswana, are full of eclectic, enchanting characters and humorous situations.

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Unique Book Titles

 

 

Precious Ramotswe has only just set up shop as Botswana’s No.1 (and only) lady detective when she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. However, the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

I loved Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things so this is high on my TBR (To be read list).

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Unique Book Titles

 

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent–from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.
It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love–and by hope.
The tale begins with Anjum–who used to be Aftab–unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her–including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo’s landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I listened to the Audible(Audio) edition of this stunning book, narrated by Zach Appelman, and loved it.

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Unique Book Titles

 

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. 

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes 

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk was inspired by true events and I’m looking forward to reading it.

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Unique Book Titles

 

Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt’s island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara’s life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core — and force her to make an impossible choice. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore

When I read the title my first thought was of my sister who as a child made cotton-wool beds for ‘sick’ frogs in her cupboard. I couldn’t resist adding it to this list!

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Unique Book Titles

 

The summer Berie was fifteen, she and her best friend Sils had jobs at Storyland in upstate New York where Berie sold tickets to see the beautiful Sils portray Cinderella in a strapless evening gown. They spent their breaks smoking, joking, and gossiping. After work they followed their own reckless rules, teasing the fun out of small town life, sleeping in the family station wagon, and drinking borrowed liquor from old mayonnaise jars. But no matter how wild, they always managed to escape any real danger—until the adoring Berie sees that Sils really does need her help—and then everything changes. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth (Jordan Mierek)

I have heard great things about Jordan Elizabeth’s writing so I am looking forward to The Goat Children.

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Unique Book Titles

 

When Keziah de Forest’s grandmother, Oma, is diagnosed with dementia, the seventeen-year-old makes the decision to leave her family and move to New Winchester to care for Oma. However, the decision comes with burdens Keziah never expected. Each day becomes a greater weight and loving the woman she once cherished becomes a chore.

Resentful of her hardships in New Winchester and the family secrets buried in the attic, Keziah finds herself drawn to Oma’s ramblings about the Goat Children, a mythical warrior class who ride winged horses and locate people in need, while attempting to destroy evil in the world. Oma sees the Goat Children everywhere, and as Keziah reads the stories her grandmother wrote about them, she begins to question if they really exist. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

A heartfelt, touching story which is uniquely narrated via notes on the fridge door between a mother and her daughter. Don’t miss this beautiful book. Tissues optional.

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Unique Book Titles

 

Claire and her mother are running out of time, but they don’t know it. Not yet. Claire is wrapped up with the difficulties of her bourgeoning adulthood—boys, school, friends, identity; Claire’s mother, a single mom, is rushed off her feet both at work and at home. They rarely find themselves in the same room at the same time, and it often seems that the only thing they can count on are notes to each other on the refrigerator door. When home is threatened by a crisis, their relationship experiences a momentous change. Forced to reevaluate the delicate balance between their personal lives and their bond as mother and daughter, Claire and her mother find new love and devotion for one another deeper than anything they had ever imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

White Dog Fell from the Sky by Eleanor Morse

I recently came across this historical fiction book on Goodreads and added it to my TBR. It sounds very good.

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Unique Book Titles

 

In apartheid South Africa in 1976, medical student Isaac Muthethe is forced to flee his country after witnessing a friend murdered by white members of the South African Defense Force. He is smuggled into Botswana, where he is hired as a gardener by a young American woman, Alice Mendelssohn, who has abandoned her Ph.D. studies to follow her husband to Africa. When Isaac goes missing and Alice goes searching for him, what she finds will change her life and inextricably bind her to this sunburned, beautiful land. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Head on over to the Broke and the Bookish for more unique book titles published by other fanatic book bloggers.

Top Ten Tuesday

 

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Adding to Your TBR August 2017

Adding to your tbr

Adding to Your TBR August 2017

Adding books to your TBR (To Be Read list) is serious business #bookwormproblems I have more books on mine than I care to admit but fortunately, that doesn’t stop me adding more every month. So I am sharing my most anticipated books of August 2017 new releases to help you compile a threatening fabulous list too.

These are the books I am most looking forward to… (In order of release so you can get your pre-orders in before you forget!)

 

Have you read any of these? What’s on your TBR for August?

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby 

Expected: 1 August 2017

A YA thriller with an unreliable narrator.

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Adding to Your TBR

 

When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a car accident that almost took her life, she can’t remember the details about how she got there. She figures the fog is just a symptom of being in a week-long coma, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last several days of her life—she’s lost her memory of the last four years. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. 

As Liv tries to block out what her family and friends say about who she used to be, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance—and the only person Olivia inexplicably feels herself with. With her feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

Expected: 1 August 2017

A psychological thriller full of secrets and promising unpredictable twists.

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Adding to Your TBR

 

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name. -Goodreads

   

 

Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock

Expected: 1 August 2017

Well, I had to put at least on contemporary in! I know this sounds like thousands of books just like it but I know it’s going to be just the thing to turn a bad day around.

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Adding to Your TBR

 

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all. – Abstract from Goodreads

    

 

The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride

Expected: 8 August 2017

I love scavenger hunts and with the chance to read a thriller with a scavenger hunt makes The Bakersville Dozen my most anticipated August read.

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Adding to Your TBR

 

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up. But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone… – Abstract from Goodreads 

 

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Expected: 8 August 2017

I loved Brandy Colbert’s ballet thriller Pointe (link to my 5-star review) so much that she became one of my ‘auto-buy’ authors so the inclusion of Little & Lion is a given.

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Adding to Your TBR

 

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 

Expected: 8 August 2017

Disappearing sisters, lies, dysfunctional family… this sounds like a winner!

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Adding to Your TBR

 

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

Expected: 10 August 2017

After reading the brilliant Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, which highlighted the appalling conditions Japanese American citizens were subjected to after Pearl Harbour, I have been more aware of the US/Japanese aspect of WWII. I am strangely drawn to the Second World War but for the most part, my interest has centred on Europe. Having had the privilege of living in Indonesia I have seen relics of their Japanese Occupation and I am looking forward to immersing myself and learning more about the Asian Pacific aspect.

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Adding to Your TBR

 

During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Expected: 15 August 2017

I have been on the fence with this one, it could go anyway. But I’m going to put my trust in the early ratings on Goodreads and give it a go.

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Adding to Your TBR

 

Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them. Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. 

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Expected: 15 August 2017

Another one I am not too sure about, but again it’s had great early reviews…

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Adding to Your TBR

 

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love. 

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Expected: 29 August 2017

OMG just look at this cover! #coverlove I don’t read a lot of science fiction, and although I added it to my TBR just for the cover, the storyline is intriguing and the early ratings on Goodreads are excellent.

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He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her… – Goodreads

 

 

December 2016 Books With Wings

Books With Wings

#BooksWithWings

December 2016 Books With Wings. This December, while traveling home for Christmas, I left three books in random places to become #BooksWithWings. Two were released in Singapore and one in South Africa.

A fellow school librarian recently recommended a handy website Bookcrossing.com which facilitates the tracking of the books. *Great idea for a school library project. Each book is given a unique tracking number which is written in the book, along with instructions on how to record each capture. While my books have yet to been registered as caught, I’m going to optimistically believe that they are being enjoyed by someone, somewhere! It would be fun to follow their journey from reader to reader., but the record keeping is not as important to me as the thought that I may make someone happy.

Although the books I have released so far have been in large international airports, I don’t think anyone should be put off sharing books just because they don’t have to opportunity to travel. Leave a book in your local coffee shop/doctor’s room/hospital/retirement village/supermarket/school/homeless shelter… the list is endless. It’s not important how far the book travels, it still has the opportunity to bring joy to someone else.

Beautiful Broken ThingsBeautiful Broken Things

I was brave. She was reckless. We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. – Goodreads.com

Wild release notes
Released in the wild on Wednesday 14 December 2016 at the free internet kiosk in Terminal 2 Transit area, Changi International Airport, Singapore.

 

Holding Up the UniverseHolding up the Universe

When Libby and Jack get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—they are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours. – Goodreads.com

 

Wild release notes
Released in the wild on Wednesday 14 December 2016 next to a water feature in Terminal 3 Transit area, Changi International Airport, Singapore.

 

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking… – Goodreads.com

Wild release notes
Released in the wild on Thursday 15 December 2016 near Gate E3 domestic departure lounge, OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa

Have you ever released or caught a book in the wild? I would love to hear about your experiences.

These Books Deserve More Attention

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It is strange (but true) that many great books just don’t get into the hands of readers. Whether it’s an unappealing  cover / title or just poor marketing I feel sad for those little-known books that are really worth reading.

Here is a list (does anyone else get a spike of joy when compiling lists?) of books I loved but which have had very little attention on Goodreads even though it’s been a while since they were published. One thing these books all have in common, other than that I love them, is that they all have edgy, gritty characters (trust me this is a good thing!).

*All ratings are out of the possible 5 stars, subjective to the individual reviewer opinion published publicly on Goodreads and retrieved on 9 August 2016 .

These Books Deserve More Attention

Between Two Seas

 

Between Two Seas by Marie-Louise Jensen
317 Ratings,   4-star average
Set in Denmark this is a beautifully written historical fiction by a first-class author. It’s about a strong female character who journeys into the unknown to find her father. I have no idea why this book is not more popular. It’s a must read.

 

Dust by Sarah DaltryDust
37 ratings, 4.14- star average

An epic fantasy by an author whose writing is so seductive you’ll be sucked in from the first page. Full of twists the three main characters, a princess, assassin and a thief, will keep you on your toes throughout. Fantasy lovers add this to the top of your TBR. This is one of my rare 5-star reads,

Agora Files

 

The Agora Files by Adam Oster
18 ratings,  3.94- star average 

The Agora Files is a fast-paced, unpredictable and original dystopian story. Full of action, adrenaline, excitement and adventure but with a strong, appealing human element which comes through in family dynamics and unexpected relationships.

 

Scarred

Scarred by Joanne Macgregor
327 ratings, 3.86-star average

Written by a South African author this is a tender, sensitive contemporary story of hope and redemption but with strong, complex characters and witty banter.

 

Retaliation

Retaliation by Yasmin Shiraz
105 ratings, 4.24-star average

This is a powerful, brutal, raw but ultimately inspirational account of life on gang ruled streets.  Although set in Washington D.C. the story will resonate with any inner city streets of all major cities across the world and as such has the potential of reaching many teens who desperately need to hear the message of hope.

Grass

 

Grass by Cathy MacPhail
87 ratings, 3.75-star average

Grass is a story that will stick with you long after you’ve finished reading. Cathy MacPhail is a well-known author and this is my favourite of her books. A witness to a horrific crime by a local gang is placed in a very difficult situation when he is forbidden to grass (tell on).

Last Summer of Us

 

The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt
388 ratings, 3.64-star average

Drama follows three best friends, whose relationships intertwine with unexpected results, as they embark on a road trip.

One Two Three

 


One, Two, Three
by Elodie Nowodazki
237 ratings, 3.61-star average

Passionate, gritty, complicated characters abound in this intense story which revolves around a ballerina’s future career after an accident and her bizarre family relationships


Street Duty

Street Duty, Case One: Knock Down  by Chris Ould
60 ratings, 3.82-star average

Trainee student police officers encounter gritty, streetwise characters on their watch. Fast-paced action and realistic settings. A book not to miss.

 

Goblet Club


The Goblet Club
by S.A. Partridge
34 ratings, 3.75-star average

Set in a boy’s boarding school this is a gothic, sinister, award-winning book by a South African author. Reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History with the formation of a secret exclusive club which in this case is dedicated to the study of poison. Dark themes and compelling characters make this a book not to miss.

Top Ten Tuesday

 

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