Laura E. Weymouth, Lucy Ellmann, and Tamsyn Muir – New Releases – 9/10/19

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It’s Tuesday, which means new books are being released today!!

Here’s a list of the most exciting books coming out today!

Synopses are courtesy of Goodreads and the publishers and are italicized.



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A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

Goodreads | Amazon

Can we take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this cover is? While it wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed Weymouth’s previous novel, The Light Between WorldsI’ll definitely be reading this one!

Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.

Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.

When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.

Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.


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Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

Goodreads | Amazon

This novel is on the longlist for the 2019 Booker Prize, and the consensus seems to be that this is a unique book worth reading. I’m sure I’ll be reading it someday, but at 1,345 pages, it might not be anytime soon.

Peeling apple after apple for the tartes tatin she bakes for local restaurants, an Ohio mother wonders how to exist in a world of distraction and fake facts, besieged by a tweet-happy president and trigger-happy neighbors, and all of them oblivious to what Dupont has dumped into the rivers and what’s happening at the factory farm down the interstate―not to mention what was done to the land’s first inhabitants. A torrent of consciousness, narrated in a single sentence by a woman whose wandering thoughts are as comfortably familiar as they are heart-rending in their honesty, Ducks, Newburyport is a fearless indictment of our contemporary moment.


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Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
(The Ninth House #1)

Goodreads | Amazon

This might be one of the book community’s most anticipated releases this week, and with good reason: lesbian necromancers in space. Who wouldn’t want to read that?

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.


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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale #2

Goodreads | Amazon

Okay, this is the book that I’m most excited about. One of my friends, years ago, first introduced me to Margaret Atwood and The Handmaid’s Tale when she gave me a mass-market paperback of it at work one day. I fell in love with the terrifying story immediately. While I’ll admit I haven’t watched the Hulu series aside from the first season, I’m glad people are talking about Gilead again. I pre-ordered this book the second it was available on Amazon, and I can’t wait to read it.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.


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Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs by Caitlin Doughty

Goodreads | Amazon

Caitlin Doughty’s YouTube channel, Ask a Mortician, is the most informative and morbidly fascinating channel I’ve ever discovered. I’m definitely looking forward to reading this.

Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. What would happen to an astronaut’s body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Do people poop when they die? Can Grandma have a Viking funeral?

In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, Doughty blends her mortician’s knowledge of the body and the intriguing history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer factual, hilarious, and candid answers to thirty-five distinctive questions posed by her youngest fans. In her inimitable voice, Doughty details lore and science of what happens to, and inside, our bodies after we die. Why do corpses groan? What causes bodies to turn colors during decomposition? And why do hair and nails appear longer after death? Readers will learn the best soil for mummifying your body, whether you can preserve your best friend’s skull as a keepsake, and what happens when you die on a plane. Beautifully illustrated by Dianné Ruz, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? shows us that death is science and art, and only by asking questions can we begin to embrace it.


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The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Goodreads | Amazon

If I’m being honest, I would buy this book solely for its cover. It’s perfect. However, the story seems pretty interesting too, and I’ve heard some really good reviews of this young adult historical fiction fantasy book.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.


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The Institute by Stephen King

Goodreads | Amazon

Thankfully, The Institute sounds a hell of a lot better than King’s last novel, ElevationI’ve loved Stephen King since my childhood, and I’m always ready to give his books a shot.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.


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Poisoner in Chief by Stephen Kinzer

Goodreads | Amazon

While I wouldn’t call myself a conspiracy theorist, I am fascinated by government secrets. I’ll definitely be reading Kinzer’s account of MK-Ultra.

The visionary chemist Sidney Gottlieb was the CIA’s master magician and gentlehearted torturer–the agency’s “poisoner in chief.” As head of the MK-ULTRA mind control project, he directed brutal experiments at secret prisons on three continents. He made pills, powders, and potions that could kill or maim without a trace–including some intended for Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders. He paid prostitutes to lure clients to CIA-run bordellos, where they were secretly dosed with mind-altering drugs. His experiments spread LSD across the United States, making him a hidden godfather of the 1960s counterculture. For years he was the chief supplier of spy tools used by CIA officers around the world.

Stephen Kinzer, author of groundbreaking books about U.S. clandestine operations, draws on new documentary research and original interviews to bring to life one of the most powerful unknown Americans of the twentieth century. Gottlieb’s reckless experiments on “expendable” human subjects destroyed many lives, yet he considered himself deeply spiritual. He lived in a remote cabin without running water, meditated, and rose before dawn to milk his goats.

During his twenty-two years at the CIA, Gottlieb worked in the deepest secrecy. Only since his death has it become possible to piece together his astonishing career at the intersection of extreme science and covert action. Poisoner in Chief reveals him as a clandestine conjurer on an epic scale. 


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The Transformation by James S. Gordon, MD

Goodreads | Amazon

I was very fortunate to receive an ARC of this book from the publisher. Here’s my full review, but, as someone who has experienced trauma and regularly deals with anxiety and depression, I very much recommend this book. It made a huge impact on me and the advice Dr. Gordon offers up is great.

A world-recognized authority and acclaimed mind-body medicine pioneer presents the first evidence-based program to reverse the psychological and biological damage caused by trauma.

In his role as the founder and director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), the worlds largest and most effective program for healing population-wide trauma, Harvard-trained psychiatrist James Gordon has taught a curriculum that has alleviated trauma to populations as diverse as refugees and survivors of war in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, and Syria, as well as Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, New York City firefighters and their families, and members of the U. S. military. Dr. Gordon and his team have also used their work to help middle-class professionals, stay-at-home mothers, inner-city children of color, White House officials, medical students, and people struggling with severe emotional and physical illnesses.

Transforming Trauma represents the culmination of Dr. Gordon’s fifty years as a mind-body medicine pioneer and an advocate of integrative approaches to overcoming psychological trauma and stress. Offering inspirational stories, eye-opening research, and innovative prescriptive support, Transforming Trauma makes accessible for the first time the methods that Dr. Gordon—with the help of his faculty of 160, and 6,000 trained clinicians, educators, and community leaders—has developed and used to relieve the suffering of hundreds of thousands of adults and children around the world.


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Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Goodreads | Amazon

More than likely, this isn’t a book that I’ll be reading, because I rarely have good luck with young adult contemporaries. However, many, many people are excited about this book. On Goodreads, it already has a 4.2 rating, so clearly, people are enjoying it!

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.


What books are you most excited about coming out this week? Let me know in the comments!




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New Releases for May 7, 2019

New Book Releases

Here are the new releases for May 7, 2019!


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Top Ten Anticipated Releases for the Week of February 26, 2019

Here are my ten most anticipated releases for the week of February 26, 2019. Let me know what books you’re excited about this week! The italicized synopses are courtesy of the publisher.


1. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Goodreads | Amazon

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I will never have enough novels that feature dragons. This is one of my most anticipated novels of 2019, and I’m looking forward to reading it so much.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


2. The Fever King (Feverwake) by Victoria Lee

Goodreads | Amazon

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This new young adult fantasy novel seems really interesting in that it seems to be a combination of magic and technology. The cover is also gorgeous.

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.


3. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Goodreads | Amazon

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Aside from the wonderful title and pretty cover, the thing that attracted me to this novel is its comparisons to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, one of my favorite books. I love dystopian novels about women fighting for their rights, so I’m certain I’ll enjoy this one.

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love.


4. Magic is Dead: My Journey into the World’s Most Secretive Society of Magicians by Ian Frisch

Goodreads | Amazon

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This non-fiction book sounds fascinating and bizarre. I’m ready.

Magic Is Dead is Ian Frisch’s head-first dive into a hidden world full of extraordinary characters and highly guarded secrets. It is a story of imagination, deception, and art that spotlights today’s most brilliant young magicians—a mysterious club known as the52, who are revolutionizing an ancient artform under the mantra Magic Is Dead.

Ian brings us with him as he not only gets to know this fascinating world, but also becomes an integral part of it. We meet the52’s founding members—Laura London, Daniel Madison, and Chris Ramsay—and explore their personal demons, professional aspirations, and what drew them to their craft. We join them at private gatherings of the most extraordinary magicians working today, follow them to magic conventions in Las Vegas and England, and discover some of the best tricks of the trade. We also encounter David Blaine; hang out with Penn Jillette; meet Dynamo, the U.K.’s most famous magician; and go behind the scenes of a Netflix magic show. Magic Is Dead is also a chronicle of magic’s rich history and how it has changed in the internet age, as the young guns embrace social media and move away from the old-school take on the craft.

As he tells the story of the52, and his role as its most unlikely member, Ian reveals his own connection with trickery and deceit and how he first learned the elements that make magic work from his poker-playing mother. He recalls their adventures in card rooms and casinos after his father’s sudden death, and shares a touching moment that he had, as a working journalist, with his childhood idol Shaquille O’Neal.

“Magic—the romanticism of the inexplicable, the awe and admiration of the unexpected—is an underlying force in how we view the world and its myriad possibilities,” Ian writes. As his journey continues, Ian not only becomes a performer and creator of magic—even fooling the late Anthony Bourdain during a chance encounter—he also cements a new brotherhood, and begins to understand his relationship with his father, fifteen years after his death. Written with psychological acuity and a keen eye for detail, Magic Is Dead is an engrossing tale full of wonder and surprise.


5. Goulash by Brian Kimberling

Goodreads | Amazon

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I’ve never heard of Brian Kimberling before, but I’m intrigued by this novel and can’t wait to read it.

Stirring together the perfect proportions of humor, history, romance, and myth, the eagerly awaited new novel by Brian Kimberling brings to brilliant life a people, a time, and a city.

Eager to escape stifling small-town Indiana, Elliott moves to Prague, where he gets a job teaching English. It’s 1998, and the Czech Republic is moving with increasing rapidity out of the shadow of communism and into the wilds of twenty-first-century capitalism. Elliott meets his students in a variety of pubs and conducts his lessons over pints of local Radegast beer. He gets his shoes stolen by an experimental artist who engages Elliott in a number of eccentric schemes. And he meets Amanda, an English teacher from the UK, with whom he falls in love.
Together, they try to make a place for themselves as strangers in this strange land. They explore the dark history and surprising wonders of their adopted city, touring the twisting ancient streets and encountering expats, movie stars, tobacco executives, a former Soviet informant, and the president of Poland. But the forces that are reshaping the city are also at work on them, and eventually it becomes evident that their idyll must end–that change is the only reality one can’t outrun.


6. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

Goodreads | Amazon

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This novel by award-winning author Ann Leckie sounds like the dark fantasy novel I’m been waiting for.

For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven’s Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven’s watch, the city flourishes.

But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.

It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo–aide to Mawat, the true Lease–arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven’s Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself…and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever.


7. We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet

Goodreads | Amazon

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This historical fiction novel sounds absolutely heartbreaking and wonderful.

One woman. One little girl. The war that changed everything.

December 1940. In the disorderly evacuation of Southampton, England, newly married Ellen Parr finds a small child asleep on the backseat of an empty bus. No one knows who little Pamela is.

Ellen professed not to want children with her older husband, and when she takes Pamela into her home and rapidly into her heart, she discovers that this is true: Ellen doesn’t want children. She wants only Pamela. Three golden years pass as the Second World War rages on. Then one day Pamela is taken away, screaming. Ellen is no stranger to sorrow, but when she returns to the quiet village life she’s long lived, she finds herself asking: In a world changed by war, is it fair to wish for an unchanged heart?

In the spirit of We Were the Lucky Ones and The Nightingale, here is a novel about courage and kindness, hardship and friendship, and the astonishing power of love.


8. Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table (A Memoir with Recipes) by Boris Fishman

Goodreads | Amazon

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Food-based memoirs fascinate and inspire me to work harder in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to this one.

The acclaimed author of A Replacement Life shifts between heartbreak and humor in this gorgeously told, recipe-filled memoir. A family story, an immigrant story, a love story, and an epic meal, Savage Feast explores the challenges of navigating two cultures from an unusual angle. 

A revealing personal story and family memoir told through meals and recipes, Savage Feast begins with Boris’s childhood in Soviet Belarus, where good food was often worth more than money. He describes the unlikely dish that brought his parents together and how years of Holocaust hunger left his grandmother so obsessed with bread that she always kept five loaves on hand. She was the stove magician and Boris’ grandfather the master black marketer who supplied her, evading at least one firing squad on the way. These spoils kept Boris’ family—Jews who lived under threat of discrimination and violence—provided-for and protected.

Despite its abundance, food becomes even more important in America, which Boris’ family reaches after an emigration through Vienna and Rome filled with marvel, despair, and bratwurst. How to remain connected to one’s roots while shedding their trauma? The ambrosial cooking of Oksana, Boris’s grandfather’s Ukrainian home aide, begins to show him the way. His quest takes him to a farm in the Hudson River Valley, the kitchen of a Russian restaurant on the Lower East Side, a Native American reservation in South Dakota, and back to Oksana’s kitchen in Brooklyn. His relationships with women—troubled, he realizes, for reasons that go back many generations—unfold concurrently, finally bringing him, after many misadventures, to an American soulmate.

Savage Feast is Boris’ tribute to food, that secret passage to an intimate conversation about identity, belonging, family, displacement, and love.


9. Mother Country by Irina Reyn

Goodreads | Amazon

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I cannot stop staring at this stunning cover. This is another novel that sounds like it’ll be tear-inducing, but I’m still looking forward to it.

Nadia’s daily life in south Brooklyn is filled with small indignities: as a senior home attendant, she is always in danger of being fired; as a part-time nanny, she is forced to navigate the demands of her spoiled charge and the preschooler’s insecure mother; and as an ethnic Russian, she finds herself feuding with western Ukrainian immigrants who think she is a traitor.

The war back home is always at the forefront of her reality. On television, Vladimir Putin speaks of the “reunification” of Crimea and Russia, the Ukrainian president makes unconvincing promises about a united Ukraine, while American politicians are divided over the fear of immigration. Nadia internalizes notions of “union” all around her, but the one reunion she has been waiting six years for – with her beloved daughter – is being eternally delayed by the Department of Homeland Security. When Nadia finds out that her daughter has lost access to the medicine she needs to survive, she takes matters into her own hands.

Mother Country is Irina Reyn’s most emotionally complex, urgent novel yet. It is a story of mothers and daughters and, above all else, resilience.


10. The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Goodreads | Amazon

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Historical fiction novels set during World War II are always fascinating. I’ve never read anything by Kate Quinn, but I’ve been hearing positive things about this book.

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.

British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.

New Releases for January 1, 2019

It’s Tuesday, and that means new book releases are out! There’s no better way to start off the new year! What books are you most excited about this week?

Note: All synopses are courtesy of the publisher.


 

Bear No Malice by Clarissa Harwood

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History Fiction | Mystery
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Beaten and left for dead in the English countryside, clergyman and reformer Tom Cross is rescued and nursed back to health by Miranda and Simon Thorne, reclusive siblings who seem to have as many secrets as he does. Tom has spent years helping the downtrodden in London while lying to everyone he meets, but now he’s forced to slow down and confront his unexamined life.

Miranda, a skilled artist, is haunted by her painful past and unable to imagine a future. Tom is a welcome distraction from her troubles, but she’s determined to relegate him to her fantasy world, sensing that any real relationship with him would be more trouble than it’s worth. Besides, she has sworn to remain devoted to someone she’s left behind.

When Tom returns to London, his life begins to unravel as he faces the consequences of both his affair with a married woman and his abusive childhood. When his secrets catch up with him and his reputation is destroyed, he realizes that Miranda is the only person he trusts with the truth. What he doesn’t realize is that even if she believes him and returns his feelings, he can’t free her from the shackles of her past.


Book Love by Debbie Tung

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Graphic Novel | Non-Fiction
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Read my review here

Bookworms rejoice! These charming comics capture exactly what it feels like to be head-over-heels for hardcovers. And paperbacks! And ebooks! And bookstores! And libraries!

Book Love is a gift book of comics tailor-made for tea-sipping, spine-sniffing, book-hoarding bibliophiles. Debbie Tung’s comics are humorous and instantly recognizable—making readers laugh while precisely conveying the thoughts and habits of book nerds. Book Love is the ideal gift to let a book lover know they’re understood and appreciated.


Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet

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Sci-Fi | Romance
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Captain Tess Bailey and her crew of Robin Hood-like thieves are desperate and on the run. Pursued by a vicious military general who wants them dead or alive, Tess has to decide if she can trust Shade Ganavan, a tall, dark and arrogant stranger with ambiguous motivations.

Shade Ganavan had oodles of arrogance, oodles of charm, and oodles of something that made me want to kick him in the nuts.

What Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other—while ignoring their off-the-charts chemistry.


Arkad’s World by James L. Cambias

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Sci-Fi
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Adventure and Excitement on an Alien World. Packed with exotic world-building and amazing characters, Arkad’s World is a rollicking adventure story about growing up and the things we share that make us human, from celebrated author James L. Cambias.

Young Arkad is the only human on a distant world, on his own among beings from across the Galaxy. His struggle to survive on the lawless streets of an alien city is disrupted by the arrival of three humans: an eccentric historian named Jacob, a superhuman cyborg girl called Baichi, and a mysterious ex-spy known as Ree. They seek a priceless treasure which might free Earth from alien domination. Arkad risks everything to join them on an incredible quest halfway across the planet. With his help they cross the fantastic landscape, battling pirates, mercenaries, bizarre creatures, vicious bandits and the harsh environment. But the deadliest danger comes from treachery and betrayal within the group as dark secrets and hidden loyalties come to light.


The Storm by David Drake

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SciFi
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The universe has shattered into chaos and monsters. Jon, the Leader, is dedicating his life to reuniting the scattered hamlets into a Commonwealth where all humans can live protected against the darkness and the things that live in that darkness.

But no man can reshape the universe by himself. Jon has Makers to build weapons and clerks to handle the business of government–but he also needs Champions to face the powers of chaos which will not listen to any argument but force.

Lord Pal of Beune is one of those Champions. He has fought monsters and evil on behalf of Mankind, and he will fight them again. But now Guntram, the man who transformed Pal from an ignorant rube into a bulwark of the Commonwealth, has disappeared. Pal must locate his friend and mentor–and then he must battle an entity which may be at the core of the splintered universe!

Pal of Beune: A humane man in a universe full of inhumanity.

Pal of Beune: A strong man in a universe where some recognize only strength.

Pal of Beune: A hero who will keep going until something stops him–and who hasn’t been stopped yet!


How to Hold a Grudge: From Resentment to Contentment – the Power of Grudges to Transform Your Life by Sophie Hannah

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Nonfiction | Self-Help
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Secretly, we all hold grudges, but most of us probably think we shouldn’t, and many of us deny that we do. To bear a grudge is too negative, right? Shouldn’t we just forgive and move on? Wrong, says self-appointed grudge guru Sophie Hannah, in her groundbreaking and irreverent self-help guide. Yes, it’s essential to think positively if we want to live happy lives, but even more crucial is how we get to the positive. Denying our negative emotions and experiences is likely to lead only to more pain, conflict, and stress.

What if our grudges are good for us? What if we could embrace them, and use them to help ourselves and others, instead of feeling ashamed of our inability to banish negative emotions and memories from our lives? With contributions from expert psychotherapists as well as extracts from her own extensive catalog of grudges, Sophie Hannah investigates the psychological origins of grudges and also offers not-so-obvious insights into how we should acknowledge—and embrace—them in order to improve the quality of our interpersonal relationships and senses of self. Grudges do not have to fill us with hate or make us toxic, bitter, and miserable. If we approach the practice of grudge-holding in an enlightened way, it will do the opposite—we will become more forgiving.

Practical, compassionate, and downright funny, How to Hold a Grudge reveals everything we need to know about the many different forms of grudge, the difference between a grudge and not-a-grudge (not as obvious as it seems), when we should let a grudge go, and how to honor a grudge and distill lessons from it that will turn us into better, happier people—for our own benefit and for the sake of spreading good and limiting harm in the world.


Hunt Them Down (Pierce Hunt #1) by Simon Gervais

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Thriller | Suspense
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

As a former Army Ranger, DEA Special Agent Pierce Hunt is no stranger to violence. Fresh off a six-month suspension, he’s itching to hit a notorious Mexican drug cartel where it hurts, even if that means protecting crime boss Vicente Garcia, a witness in the case against sadistic cartel leader Valentina Mieles. But things spiral out of control when the cartel murders Garcia and kidnaps his granddaughter and an innocent bystander, Hunt’s own teenage daughter.
Mieles wants the new head of the Garcia family on a plate–literally. Hunt has seventy-two hours to deliver, or Mieles will execute the girls live on social media. With the clock ticking, Hunt goes off the grid and teams up with Garcia’s daughter, a former lover and current enemy. To save the girls, Hunt will have to become a man he swore he’d never be again: an avenging killer without limits or mercy.


The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

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Young Adult | Science Fiction | Mystery
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.


 

New Releases for December 4, 2018

There are a ton of books coming out today! Here are just a few:

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

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Young adult | Fantasy

 

This is the much-anticipated final novel in the Dark Artifices trilogy. The very survival of the Shadowhunters is threatened, and Emma and Julien try to save their world.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million


Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton

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Science Fiction

 

This novel is made up of six interconnected short stories that focus on humanity’s desire for perfection and how far we’ll go to achieve it. This is one of the books I’m most looking forward to this week.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

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Fiction | Magical Realism

Taking place in an ancient inn on midwinter’s night, a man walks in with a dead girl in his arms. A few hours later, the girl comes back to life. The people of the village try to figure out why the girl came back, but as they ask more questions the mystery grows.

 

Goodreads| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million


For the Sake of the Game: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger

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Mystery | Short Stories | Retellings

I’ve always been a big Sherlock Holmes fan (and no, not because of the television show starring Benedict Cumberbatch), and I also adore retellings. I cannot wait to get my hands on this collection of short stories about the world’s greatest detective.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thrift Books


The Man Who Would Be Sherlock: The Real-Life Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle by Christopher Sandford

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Biography | History

 

See above for everything I said about my love of Sherlock Holmes, and you’ll see why I’m excited about this one. Christopher Sandford examines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s real life and his influences on real-life mysteries.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


King of the Road by R.S. Belcher

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Science Fiction | Supernatural

This novel is set in R. S. Belcher’s Nightwise universe, which I should admit I haven’t heard of before today, but the book sounds like something I’d enjoy.

The Brotherhood of the Wheel explores haunted locations along the U.S. Interstate system. This Brotherhood protects people from supernatural monsters.

I’m sure I’m not the only person getting strong Supernatural vibes from that description.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

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Fiction | Romance

Charlotte Gorman is an elementary school librarian, while her twin sister, Ginny, is a beauty pageant contestant. When Ginny has a horrible allergic reaction the night before one of her pageants, Charlotte is talked into posing as Ginny. This story is about stepping out your comfort zone.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Hearts of the Missing by Carol Potenza

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Mystery | Thriller

In this mystery novel, a young woman linked to a list of missing Fire-Sky tribal members commits suicide, and a detective named Nicky Matthews is assigned to the case. She discovers that within the Fire-Sky tribe victims are chosen and murdered because of their genetic makeup. It goes so much farther than just death, however.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Strange Days by Constantine Singer

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Science Fiction | Young Adult

Alex Mata is a teenager that comes home one day to find that his parents have been murdered by an alien. Alex then finds himself on the run, until he teams up with Jeffrey Sabazios, a tech guru who believes that aliens are coming. Jeffrey convinces Alex to become a “Witness,” which means he’s gifted with an ability that allows him to travel through time. With his new power, Alex is forced to make the choice to save the people he loves or save the entire world.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


North of Dawn by Nuruddin Farah

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Fiction

Written by one of Somalia’s most famous writers, this novel follows a couple whose son kills himself in a suicide attack, and their daughter-in-law and teenage grandchildren come to live with them in Oslo. It’s a difficult transition for everyone and even has life-altering consequences.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky

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Fiction | Humor

This satire examines “the blurred lines between empowerment, spirituality, and consumerism in our online lives.” Our main character is Lilian Quick, a 40-year-old single woman whose estranged cousin is the internet-famous influencer of a massive empowerment brand. They reconnect, and Lilian enrolls in her cousin’s expensive seminar on leadership, spiritual awakening, and marketing. The book asks us how “we recognize authenticity when storytelling and magic have been co-opted by marketing.” I can’t wait to read this one.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning by George Lakey

Non-Fiction | Current Events

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Starting with the civil rights movement in the 1960s, George Lakey has a ton of experience in nonviolent political campaigns. His latest book is a guide for starting political campaigns that are non-violent in today’s climate, and it’s incredibly comprehensive.

 

Goodreads | Amazon  | Barnes & Noble


Revolution Sunday by Wendy Guerra

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Fiction

Taking place in Cuba, this is the first book by Wendy Guerra to be translated into English. Cleo travels to Spain to receive an award, and she becomes a target of suspicion. The Cuban government starts to spy on her, and she eventually discovers that her family may have some secrets.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 


The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone

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Horror | Science Fiction

Years ago, Billy and Shawn worked on a new computer together called Eagle Logic. They should have been able to celebrate their accomplishments together, but Billy left with Shawn’s girlfriend at the time, and Shawn took over the company. Years later, while Shawn is living a life of success and luxury, Billy is dealing with failure and poverty. Shawn decides to restart an old project called Nellie that can control entire houses. There’s something nefarious about Nellie, however, and Shawn gets Billy’s help to figure out what’s happening.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


What new releases are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments!

New Releases for the Week of November 13, 2018

There are so many interesting books coming out today, so the list is a wee bit longer than normal. Let’s get right into it:

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I’ve been eagerly anticipating this memoir by our former First Lady. I’m not afraid to admit that I was a Michelle Obama fangirl while Barack was in office. I love the energy she put into her healthy eating campaigns, and she just seems so delightful.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha) by Tasha Suri

This is a fantasy novel inspired by Mughal India, which isn’t something I’ve read before. “The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.”

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Creature of Want and Ruin by Molly Tanzer

Can we talk about how amazing that cover is? I was drawn to it immediately. This novel is a fantasy book that takes place during Prohibition. Ellie makes and sells bootleg alcohol, and comes into possession of an unusual drink. The drink is made from mushrooms by a cult of diabolists and anyone who drinks it has terrible visions.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

We Can Save Us All by Adam Nemett

The synopsis of this book intrigues me: “Welcome to The Egg, an off-campus geodesic dome where David Fuffman and his crew of alienated Princeton students train for what might be the end of days: America is in a perpetual state of war, climate disasters create a global state of emergency, and scientists believe time itself may be collapsing.” That sounds exactly like something I’d enjoy.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


A Cat by Leonard Michaels

This is a newly published edition of a book about cats, featuring meditations, anecdotes, illustrations, and more. Cats are amazing, so what else needs to be said?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson

This novel takes place on a space station after much of the crew is killed by a virus. Lindley becomes the leader then and struggles to survive with her crew. Since the virus only killed the first generation of the crew, they think they’re safe, until one of the second generation crewmembers dies from similar symptoms.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In/Half by Jasmin B. Frelih

“Twenty-five years into the future, a glitch in the global communications network is ripping a previously united world apart at the seams. The millennials find themselves hardest hit, trapped in a crumbling world they did not want.” This #intranslation book sounds interesting. It’s already won the EU Prize for Literature and has been shortlisted for the Kresnik Award.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Maurice Swift wants to be a famous writer, except he doesn’t have any talent. He “accidentally” encounters a celebrated author named Erich Ackermann, and uses Ackermann’s real-life secrets for his new novel.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


The April 3rd Incident: Stories by Yu Hua

“The stories collected here show Yu Hua masterfully guiding us from one fractured reality to another… By turns daring, darkly comic, thought-provoking, and profound, The April 3rd Incident is an extraordinary record of a singular moment in Chinese letters.” This is another #intranslation book, and appropriate for Read Yourself Happy’s #readtheworld challenge.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Madame Victoria by Catherine Leroux

This is a solid week for books #intranslation. The synopsis of this book caught my eye. A woman’s skeleton is found and placed in an evidence room, eventually forgotten. Leroux creates twelve different histories for this Jane Doe: “Like musical variations repeating a theme, each Victoria meets her end only after Leroux resurrects her, replacing the anonymous circumstances of her death with a vivid re-imagining of her possible lives.”

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ThriftBooks

The Incredible True Story of the making of the Eve of Destruction by Amy Brashear

In this young adult novel, Laura Ratliff wins a minor role in a film, which is the perfect opportunity to distract herself from her broken family. While on the set, her father, a military officer, calls her and hints at an impending catastrophe, and Laura and her stepbrother try to figure out if a real nuclear bomb has detonated.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey by A. J. Jacobs

The premise of this book sounded so sweet and fun to me. Jacobs decided to thank every single person who was involved in making his morning cup of coffee. He travels around the world thanking everyone from truckers, farmers, chemists, and more. Our current world is filled with so much hate, and seeing a book like this makes me feel a little more hopeful. I will definitely be reading this in December.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and the Human Space Travel (for the Cosmically Curious) by Michael Wallis

Since I’ve always been obsessed with anything space-related, I had to add this to the list. This book is set up in a question-and-answer format and examines the possibility of alien life and what human life in space might look like long-term, among other topics.

Amazon

Bedfellow by Jeremy C. Shipp

The newest book from this Bram Stoker Award-nominated author is a psychological horror fantasy novel. “When the… thing first insinuated itself into the Lund family household, they were bemused. Vaguely human-shaped, its constantly-changing cravings seemed disturbing, at first, but time and pressure have a way of normalizing the extreme. Wasn’t it always part of their lives?”

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Pulp by Robin Talley

This is a dual-narrative young adult novel that takes place in 1955 and 2017. In the earlier narrative, a woman named Janet Jones is gay, which is looked down upon. She discovered a series of book about women falling in love with other women, and she discovers that she wants to write her own story. In the portion of the story taking place in 2017, Abby Zimet is working on her senior project about 1950s lesbian pulp fiction, and the two lives intertwine.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby

The Winter Road is a fantasy novel. “The Circle – a thousand miles of perilous forests and warring clans… With a merchant caravan protected by a crew of skilled mercenaries, Teyr embarks on a dangerous mission to forge a road across the untamed wilderness that was once her home.”

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


What books are you most excited to read this week? Leave your answers in the comments!

12 Exciting New Book Releases for the Week of October 30, 2018

Elevation by Stephen King

I grew up loving Stephen King’s books, so anytime a new one is released (which is often) I immediately add it to my TBR list. This one is about a man named Scott Carey, who has a mysterious affliction. He’s losing weight, although he doesn’t look any different on the outside.

How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England by Ruth Goodman

This non-fiction book is about the rule-breakers in Elizabethan society. It sounds hilarious and educational at the same time.

Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim

Well-Read Black Girl is a collection of essays by black women writers, such as Jesmyn Ward, Tayari Jones, Jacqueline Woodson, and more. The focus is on recognizing diversity in literature.

Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen’s latest book is based in fairy tales, but not quite how you’re thinking. Natasha leaves her stressful home and discovers a house in the woods inhabited by a fairy tale witch.


Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

Joseph Fink is one of the creators of the incredible Welcome to Night Vale podcasts. His new book is about a truck driver searching for her wife, who is supposed to be dead.

Family Trust by Kathy Wang

In this debut novel, Stanley Huang is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he and his family are faced with unexpected challenges that force them to consider the things (and people) they value most.

How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance by L.A. Kauffman

This non-fiction book examines the 2017 Women’s Marches in detail and argues that these mass protests fueled a new movement in America. It’s the perfect book for people looking for hope during the current state of our country.

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

I Might Regret This is a collection “about love, loss, work, comedy, and figuring out who you really are when you thought you already knew.” Abbi Jacobson is the co-creator and co-star of the hit series Broad City.


Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen

In this LGBT young adult contemporary novel, Jack Rothman is a high schooler who starts writing an online sex advice column and gets a stalker because of it.

Mage Against the Machine by Shaun Barger

This is one of the books I’m most excited this week, as it’s described as “Harry Potter meets The Terminator” on Goodreads. The story takes place in 2120, and humans are dead. Mages take refuge from a nuclear apocalypse beneath domes that have been created to protect them. It sounds like a book I’ll love.

Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss

So many of us grew up with the Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club series in the ’80s and ’90s, and this new book by Gabrielle Moss is a trip through those stories.

Salt by Hannah Moskowitz

This story is about a group of siblings who travel the Mediterranean hunting monsters. I’ve read mixed reviews about this book, but it sounds like a fun story to read.


What books are you most excited about this week?

Tuesday Temptations: 12 Great Books Coming Out Today

There are so many great books coming out this week, including the final book in the Throne of Glass series. Here are my top twelve picks for the week.

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J. Maas

Amazon | Goodreads

The much-anticipated conclusion to Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling Throne of Glass series is finally here. I’m not going to say too much about this book, as most people who are going to be excited about it are already familiar with the story. If you’re not familiar with it, now’s a good time to start with the first book, Throne of Glass

From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen by Snoop Dogg

Amazon | Goodreads

This is a cookbook written by Snoop Dogg, and that should make everyone happy.

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

Amazon | Goodreads

In this young adult historical fiction novel that takes place in Elizabethan England,  Lady Katherine’s father is killed, after which she discovers that he was involved in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I.

A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland

Amazon | Goodreads

Chant is a storyteller who is wrongfully imprisoned on charges of witchcraft and treason, and he tries to discover the reasons behind his imprisonment before he’s executed. It sounds like a wonderful story, and the cover is gorgeous.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Amazon | Goodreads

From the book blurb: “These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.” One of my favorite writers, Colson Whitehead, nominated this book for the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35,” and I trust his judgment.

A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Collected Stories by Kat Howard

Amazon | Goodreads

This book of fantasy short stories has already been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and Neil Gaiman is a fan of her writing, so I’m definitely going to be reading this one.

Anna and the Apocalypse by Barry Waldo & Katharine Turner

Amazon | Goodreads

This young adult book is a horror comedy about a teenager fighting through a zombie apocalypse. It’s the perfect book to read for Halloween.

 

Little by Edward Carey

Amazon | Goodreads

The wry, macabre, unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and radicals, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud.” This book has been compared to The Night Circus and sounds so wonderfully weird. I have a feeling I’m going to love this book.

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E Weymouth

Amazon | Goodreads

I love the concept for this book, as it takes a normal fantasy story and looks at the ramifications of what comes after. Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were taken to a fantastical kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for six years. After returning to their normal lives in post-WWII England, they struggle to readjust.

Go To My Grave by Catriona McPherson

Amazon | Goodreads

This book is a standalone Gothic thriller, which is nice since so many books coming out nowadays are parts of series. In this story, we follow Donna Weaver as she restores The Breakers, an old bed and breakfast on a remote beach. When her first guests arrive, they realize they’d been here before, and that first trip still haunts them.

The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm

Amazon | Goodreads

An American woman wakes up alone in a tent in the Norwegian mountains. Outside a storm rages and the fog is dense. Her phone is dead. She has no map, no compass, and no food. How she ended up there, and the tragic details of her life, emerge over the course of this novel.” That sounds really interesting to me, and it’s been a long time since I read a book with Norway as the setting.

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

Amazon | Goodreads

Red Moon is a science fiction novel that takes place thirty years into the future when we’ve colonized the moon. Fred Fredericks travels to the moon in order to install a communications system when he witnesses a murder. Reading the synopsis of this book gave me strong vibes of Artemis by Andy Weir, which I loved.


Other Books Coming Out Today:

  • The Art of Feminism: Images That Shaped the Fight For Equality, 1857-2017 by Helena Reckitt – Amazon | Goodreads
  • I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller – Amazon | Goodreads
  • Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously by Adam Ellis – Amazon | Goodreads
  • How to Not Always Be Working: A Toolkit for Creativity and Radical Self-Care by Marlee Grace – Amazon | Goodreads
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – Amazon | Goodreads
  • A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson – Amazon | Goodreads
  • Find Me Gone by Sarah Meuleman – Amazon | Goodreads
  • Let It Bang: A Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey Into Guns by RJ Young – Amazon | Goodreads
  • Pulse by Michael Harvey – Amazon | Goodreads
  • Shelf Life of Happiness by Virginia Pye – Amazon | Goodreads
  • Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan – Amazon | Goodreads
  • Useful Phrases for Immigrants by May-Lee Chai – Amazon | Goodreads

What books are you most excited about this week? 


Penny is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron

Daisy's Run: Book One of The Clockwork Chimera by Scott Baron; new books, scifi books, what should i read next; good books coming out in november

The Book

Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron
Part One of The Clockwork Chimera series
Amazon | Goodreads
Published by Curiouser
Release Date: November 15, 2018
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | FacebookTwitter
Obtained through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

What It Is

Daisy’s Run is the first in a five-part science fiction series focused on artificial intelligence, cyborgs, spaceships, and what it means to be human.

After an accident in space, the crew of a massive spaceship, the Vali, is woken from their cryo-sleep in order to repair the ship. One of these characters is Daisy, one of the two technicians/engineers on the ship. She and Sarah work together to try to repair a ship that seems to be constantly malfunctioning, until one day a tragic event occurs and Sarah is jettisoned into space.

Daisy is wary of the artificial intelligence all around her, including the cybernetic implants that almost all of the crew have. The ship is full of other futuristic technology, such as neuro-stims, which allow the crew to learn new information as they sleep by plugging a cord into the back of their heads.

As time goes on, Daisy starts to realize that the ship and everyone on it may not be what they seem, and she goes on a mission to uncover the truth.

My Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. As readers of this blog probably already know, science fiction is my favorite genre, and I’m always searching for new books and series to get into.

From the very first page, I found myself getting very strong Star Trek vibes, which is exciting since Star Trek is the most important thing in the world (yes, I am a Trekkie). A cyborg/android that appears human; Gustavo, a character that has artificial eyes that allow him to see in multiple spectrums; a responsive, personable ship’s computer; food replicators – all things that make me think of Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Scott Baron does a great job with setting and landscape. While following the characters on the ship, I could easily picture everything in my head. When the story moves down to Los Angeles, I really enjoyed the imagery of an empty city.

I did not like Daisy’s character, although I do think Scott Baron did a fine job of writing her. I simply did not enjoy her personality: I found her to be irrational, rash, and prejudiced. Her main reason for not liking cyborgs and being judgemental of her cybernetically-enhanced crewmates appears to be that they creep her out, which gave me absolutely no sympathy for her. She also has a tendency to be patronizing, which is most apparent when she’s speaking to Alfred Chu.

The main problem I had with Daisy is that her unwillingness to listen to her crewmates was so incredibly frustrating. There were times throughout the book where I wished I could reach into the story, grab her by the shoulders, and shake her until she agreed to listen to what they had to say.

When Daisy reaches Los Angeles, she encounters a completely new type of threat, which I won’t mention due to spoilers, but ultimately I believe it is a threat that would cause most people to re-evaluate their objectives, but not Daisy. She seems to be so focused on her original, somewhat irritating, goals, that she seems to just ignore the new threat entirely.

My not liking Daisy actually led to my enjoying the book more. It is very difficult for a writer to write a compelling character, and even more difficult to write a compelling, unlikeable character into a novel, and still have the novel itself be enjoyable. It was refreshing to read a book where I wasn’t rooting for the main character, but couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

The main reason I could not give this book five stars is due to two main points: The novel never addresses whether Sarah’s death was an accident or not. It’s a major plot hole that I’m surprised was never addressed. Also, I was really disappointed in the ending of the book. I read a lot of book series, and the best ones offer novels that can stand on their own even if you don’t read the whole series. Each book is a complete story. I cannot say that about Daisy’s Run: the book ends more like a television show, in the middle of an incident. There’s no closure at the end of this book, and while I will probably read the next four books at some point, I did not enjoy the story ending in the middle of a cliffhanger.

Another quick note is that all five of these books are being released on the same day. I’m not sure why that is being done, and I personally do not believe it is a good choice. One of the exciting things about book series is the anticipation between book releases. Think of a book series you read as they were being released. For me, that’s Harry Potter. When I finished each book, I was so anxious to get my hands on the next one. I spent so much time between book releases dreaming of what could happen next, and it was well worth the wait when I could finally go to the bookstore to get the next one. I feel like releasing an entire series at the same time robs the readers of that excitement.

Verdict

I struggled to choose a rating for this novel. I kept wavering between 3-4.5 stars. I’m still not really sure, but I’m settling on 4 out of 5 stars. The main issue I had with this book was the way it ended, but the rest of it I really enjoyed. Scott Baron is a talented writer, and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.