New Arrivals!

My new books! I want to dive into them right now – actually, I already read one or two… couldn’t wait. 

Books for review

Buzz by Anders de la MotteBubble by Anders de la Motte

Buzz by Anders de la Motte & Bubble by Anders de la Motte

Buzz is the sequel to Game, which I read and reviewed in Dutch. I only liked the first book so-so, but I did like the premise of the story, and was curious to see how the story would continue in this next book. Bubble is the third and last installment of the series. From Netgalley for review (ebook).

The publisher says (Buzz): “It’s been four months since HP Pettersson was dragged into a ruthless Alternate Reality Game that nearly cost him his life. Although he now has everything he ever wished for—freedom, money, and no responsibilities—he isn’t satisfied. He’s plagued by insomnia and paranoia, and misses the adrenaline rush of the Game. He misses the attention. At times, he even hopes the Game Master will find him. And when HP catches the eye of a rich and powerful CEO for all the wrong reasons, he may get his wish. But he quickly learns that sometimes, you have to be careful what you wish for . . .”

***

Mind of Winter By Laura Kasischke

Mind of Winter bLaura Kasischke

This book I got from review from Harper publishers. It sounds like a good thriller. It’s my first book by Kasischke.

The publisher says: “On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Something followed them from Russia. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, their pretty, black-haired Rapunzel, from the Pokrovka Orphanage #2. Now, at fifteen, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever—and disturbingly erratic.

As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behavior becomes increasingly frightening . . . until Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.”

***

From the library

The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

I’ve seen this book on other people’s blogs and when I noticed it in the library I decided to take it home. I have no time to read it, so let me know if you think I should definitely make time for this book. Or if I shouldn’t.

The publisher says: “Alex Woods knows that he hasn’t had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won’t endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen – he’s got the scars to prove it.

What he doesn’t know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he’ll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices.

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing . . .

***

A Book I Was Given

Lexicon by Max Barry

Lexicon by Max Barry

Suzanne of Bibliosue asked whether I was interested in reading this book. She didn’t like it too much but thought I might. And since Leslie said she loved it, I thought I probably also would. I read another book by this author a few years ago, Jennifer Government, that I enjoyed a lot. The book is a lovely hardover with author’s notes! Thanks so much, Suzanne!

The publishers say: “At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or mathematicsthey are taught to persuade. Students learn to use language to manipulate minds, wielding words as weapons. The very best graduate as poets, and enter a nameless organization of unknown purpose.

Whip-smart runaway Emily Ruff is making a living from three-card Monte on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organizations recruiters. Drawn in to their strage world, which is populated by people named Brontë and Eliot, she learns their key rule: That every person can be classified by personality type, his mind segmented and ultimately unlocked by the skilful application of words. For this reason, she must never allow another person to truly know her, lest she herself be coerced. Adapting quickly, Emily becomes the schools most talented prodigy, until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.

Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Parke is brutally ambushed by two men in an airport bathroom. They claim he is the key to a secret war he knows nothing about, that he is an outlier, immune to segmentation. Attempting to stay one step ahead of the organization and its mind-bending poets, Wil and his captors seek salvation in the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, which, if ancient stories are true, sits above an ancient glyph of frightening power.”

***

Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?

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New Arrivals!

My loot for the last six weeks! Yes, my last post was 6 weeks ago. That’s fine because it’s sort of relaxing not to get so many books every week. Relaxing, because I always want to start reading them straight away. 🙂

Books for review

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready by Adam Sterbergh

I received this book from the Dutch rep for Random House USA. I’m always interested in dystopia and this sounded good. I read a few positive reviews about the book and I’m really looking forward to this one. I’m hoping it’s a bit like Ready Player One, which I loved.

The publisher says: “Spademan used to be a garbage man.  That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he’s a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap in” to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets.  His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal.  He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s handy with a box cutter.  But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill.  Spademan must navigate between these two worldsthe wasteland reality and the slick fantasyto finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground. 

***

A Highly Unlikely Scenario by Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario by Rachel Cantor

This book I also received from the Dutch rep for Random House USA. This is a fun, but rather weird book. It plays is the near future, but because of time travel, some of it is set in the 13th or so Century. I read it already, and I liked it for its weirdness. My review is HERE.

***

Cold Storage, Alaska by John Straley

Cold Storage, Alaska by John Straley

I got this book from Soho Press. I love stories in cold places, so the title, Alaska, immediately made me sit up. It’s a mystery but I expect it’s more than that!

From the publishers: “Reformed with the dream of opening a bar-slash-church, Clive “The Milkman” McCahon returns to his Alaska hometown of Cold Storage after a 7-year jail stint for dealing coke. He has a lot to make up to his brother, Miles, who has dutifully been taking care of their ailing mother—and, really, all of Cold Storage.

Miles is a Physician’s Assistant and the closest thing to a doctor this side of Sitka.

But Clive doesn’t realize the trouble he’s bringing home. His vengeful former business partner is hot on his heels, a stick-in-the-mud State Trooper is dying to bust him for narcotics, and, to complicate everything, Clive might be going a little insane—lately, he’s been hearing animals talking to him.

Will Clive’s arrival breathe new life into the dying town and its hard-drinking, no-nonsense inhabitants? Or will the trouble he brings along be the last nail in Cold Storage’s coffin?

***

From the library

To Be a Cat by Matt Haig

To Be a Cat by Matt Haig

I happened to come across this children’s book in my local library. Since I love the other two (adult) books I read by the author, I thought it would be fun to try this one. This is a book from the writer of The Humans and The Radleys.

The publisher says: “Barney Willow’s life couldn’t get any worse. He’s weedy, with sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him – Barney has no idea why. And headteacher-from-hell Miss Whipmire seems determined to make every second of Barney’s existence a complete misery! Worst of all, Dad has been missing for almost a year, and there’s no sign of him ever coming home.

Barney just wants to escape. To find another life. To be a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier – right?

***

A Book I Bought

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

I read The Devotion of Suspect X last year and I really loved that for being quite different from what I was used to. This book, which I’ve read already, was not quite so intriguing, but still a good read. My review is HERE.

***

And one in Dutch

The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

For all Murakami Fans! A new book is out: in Japanese, in Chinese, in German, in Dutch… But I haven’t discovered an English translation yet. I’m sure it’s on its way!  I got this from the Dutch publishers for review. 

***

Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?

New Arrivals!

My loot for the last six weeks! Yes, the amount of books that I receive has been greatly reduced. As is my reading time, so this is perfect, really. 

Books for review

The Holdout by Laurel Osterkamp

The Holdout by Laurel Osterkamp (ebook)

For review from the author herself. I don’t accept many self-published novels but this one sounded good. I already read it and loved it. 

The author says: “Robin wanted to win The Holdout, a cutthroat reality TV show, so she gave it her all, challenge after challenge. Then she fell for Grant, with his irresistible eyes and heartbreaking life story.

But Grant was only using Robin as they competed for a million dollars. Once home, Robin wants to hide from the humiliation as episodes of The Holdout are aired, and she worries her family was right all along; she’s not a survivor.

Yet she could surprise everyone, and have the last laugh.

Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again.

***

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

I loved A Land More Kind than Home by the same author so I was very pleased to see he had a new book out. This new story sounds like a family drama combined with a crime story. I’m very curious. Received for review from William Morrow (Harper Collins).

From the publisher: “After their mother’s unexpected death, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal rights, the only way he can get his daughters back is to steal them away in the night.

Brady Weller, the girls’ court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn’t the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.

Narrated by a trio of alternating voices, This Dark Road to Mercy is a story about the indelible power of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.

***

The Kept by James Scott

The Kept by James Scott

This cover reminds me of The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney and that is (almost) enough reason to read it. But yes, I also was attracted to this book by the description. For review from Harper (HarperCollins).

From the publishers: “In the winter of 1897, Elspeth Howell treks across miles of snow and ice to the isolated farmstead in upstate New York where she and her husband have raised their five children. Her midwife’s salary is tucked into the toes of her boots, and her pack is full of gifts for her family. But as she crests the final hill, and sees her darkened house and a smokeless chimney, immediately she knows that an unthinkable crime has destroyed the life she so carefully built.

Her lone comfort is her twelve-year-old son, Caleb, who joins her in mourning the tragedy and planning its reprisal. Their long journey leads them to a rough-hewn lake town, defined by the violence both of its landscape and of its inhabitants. There Caleb is forced into a brutal adulthood, as he slowly discovers truths about his family he never suspected, and Elspeth must confront the terrible urges and unceasing temptations that have haunted her for years. Throughout it all, the love between mother and son serves as the only shield against a merciless world.

***

Out of the Woods by Lynn Darling

Out of the Woods by Lynn Darling

I love a memoir every now and then, especially when then are about people who have reached a point in their life where they don’t know what to do. How are they going to get out of their situation? For review from Harper (Harper Collins).

From the publishers: “When her college-bound daughter leaves home, Lynn Darling, widowed over a decade earlier, finds herself alone—and utterly lost, with no idea of what she wants or even who she is. Searching for answers, she leaves New York for the solitary woods of Vermont. Removed from the familiar, cocooned in the natural world, her only companions a new dog and a compass, she hopes to develop a sense of direction—both in the woods and in her life.

Hiking unmapped trails, Darling meditates on the milestones of her past; as she adapts to her new surroundings, she uses the knowledge she’s gained to chart her future. And when an unexpected setback nearly derails her newfound balance, she is able to draw upon her newfound skills to find her bearings and stay the course.

***

Books I won

The Humans by Matt Haig

The Humans by Matt Haig

I win books a lot. That’s why I only enter competitions when I really, really want to win the book. As was the case with this book. A Twitter giveaway from the author, I was crossing my fingers and toes, hoping to win this. It helped. I loved The Radleys by this author and I hope this book is just as good.

The publisher says: “One wet Friday evening, Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University solves the world’s greatest mathematical riddle. Then he disappears.

When he is found walking naked along the motorway, Professor Martin seems different. Besides the lack of clothes, he now finds normal life pointless. His loving wife and teenage son seem repulsive to him. In fact, he hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton. And he’s a dog.

Can a bit of Debussy and Emily Dickinson keep him from murder? Can the species which invented cheap white wine and peanut butter sandwiches be all that bad? And what is the warm feeling he gets when he looks into his wife’s eyes?

***

Persephone's Tourch by Freder

Persephone’s Tourch by Freder (ebook)

I won this book from the Guiltless Reader during the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop. I’m unsure of the cover (it’s not something I go for normally, but neither does it look bad). I didn’t understand much of the description and that made me very curious to the book. I decided just to enter the giveaway and see what would  happen.

Synopsis: “1939: travel with an unusual theatrical company through a painted landscape of desire and dreams. Fantasy is their specialty and they have mastered the art – is the newest member of their extended family being carried to new heights by his yearning, or is he the victim of his own delusion? One by one you will come to know each member of the company, unlocking their colorful lives, learning their sometimes dark secrets. In this fateful last season of the company’s life, who will emerge with their hopes for the future intact?”

A Book From the Author

Closed Doors by Lisa O'Donnell

Closed Doors by Lisa O’Donnell

I reviewed The Death of Bees last year and promoted that book a few times because I loved it. Now the author has a new book out, and she send it to me. Because I’m her biggest fan, I think. How nice is that? I read it and reviewed it HERE.

Book description: “Eleven-year-old Michael Murray is the best at two things: keepy-uppies and keeping secrets. His family think he’s too young to hear grown-up stuff, but he listens at doors; it’s the only way to find out anything. And Michael’s heard a secret, one that might explain the bruises on his mother’s face.

When the whispers at home and on the street become too loud to ignore, Michael begins to wonder if there is an even bigger secret he doesn’t know about. Scared of what might happen if anyone finds out, and desperate for life to return to normal, Michael sets out to piece together the truth. But he also has to prepare for the upcoming talent show, keep an eye out for Dirty Alice, his arch-nemesis from down the street, and avoid eating Granny’s watery stew.”

***

Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?

New Arrivals!

Another few books that I received recently. The last week or so the parcel postman has been parking outside a few times, and even Mr. DHL made his appearance. I think they’re great books, all of them. Have you read any of these?

Books for review

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

For review from Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins). A YA dystopian novel that I was very keen to read. I don’t read all YA dystopia but this was a good one (I read it already) and not really a YA book at all.

The publisher says: “Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most important, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, the nighttime threats, and the gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it. . . .

***

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani

I’ve read many of Trigiani’s books so this is one I could not miss out on. For review from Harper.

From the publisher: “For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This ancient business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the schoolteacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.

But after the wedding celebrations are over, Valentine wakes up to the hard reality of juggling the demands of a new business and the needs of her new family. Confronted with painful choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: “A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything.” Now the proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves—the bitter and the sweet of life itself.”

***

A gift to Remember by Melissa Hil

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill

I really have enough books to read in October, but look! Look! Who can refuse a book with such a cover? Well, I can’t! For review from Simon & Schuster UK.

From the publishers: “Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man… literally.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.

Wracked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aidan. As she discovers the mysterious stranger’s world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she’s ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…

But does fantasy match reality? What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aidan be the happy ever after she’s always imagined?

***

The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

And how about this cover? I love it! The book sounds fun, too. A nice, light read (or so I expect). For review from William Morrow.

From the publishers: “Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?

Told from the perspectives of these three remarkable women, The Whole Golden World navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility. It’s a novel both shocking and unforgettable in its power.”

***

Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

This sounded a bit like The Glass Castle, a book that, despite its terrible contents, I was glad to read. For review from William Morrow.

From the publishers: “In this story of perseverance in the face of adversity, Regina Calcaterra recounts her childhood in foster care and on the streets—and how she and her savvy crew of homeless siblings managed to survive years of homelessness, abandonment, and abuse.

Regina Calcaterra’s emotionally powerful memoir reveals how she endured a series of foster homes and intermittent homelessness in the shadow of the Hamptons, and how she rose above her past while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together.

Beautifully written and heartbreakingly honest, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.”

***

The Circle by David Eggers

The Circle by Dave Eggers

This book looks so beautiful. I know, what is it with me and looks? Well, I happen to have read a few books by Dave Eggers so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a good read. But you see, this is a hardback and when you take of that bright orange cover, there is a most beautiful cover inside. Oh! For review from my Random House USA rep.

From the publisher: “When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.”

***

A Book I bought

I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

I had so much fun with Notes from a Small Island! When I saw this book, I just had to buy it.

The publisher says: “After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens–as he later put it, “it was clear my people needed me”).  They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I’m a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth.  The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man’s attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.”

***

Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?

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