On virtual book hauling

So last week I went to a virtual conference sponsored by Library Journal. I attended in a webinar on Editors’ Picks and got a chance to learn about a lot of new books coming out. I didn’t know what to expect, but I have to tell you it was a lot of fun visiting all of the publishers’ virtual booths and seeing so many new books!

I also came away with a lot of ARCs, many via NetGalley and some PDFs. All titles will be released this summer, into the fall and a couple in 2021.

I’m looking forward to reading these books, despite the problem of already having too many books in my pile.

Here’s what I got and hope to read this summer:

Waiting approval, but I got a special NetGalley widget from Library Journal so I think they’re a go.

Don’t these book covers look nice? What’s on your summer reading list?

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Pretty, colorful and unique book covers

Don’t listen to the old saying because book covers are everything. They are often the sole reason we pick up one book, and pass on another. Today, I’m sharing some pretty, colorful and unique book covers.


Pretty covers (also colorful, by the way)

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – Published in 2019. Did you know that The Dutch House  was a finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction? I loved this book! You can read my review here. (FYI: The winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.)

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim – Published in 2018. From Goodreads:  “debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love, the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices theyre forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that continues to haunt us today.”

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin – Published in 2018. In 1969, four siblings sneak through their New York neighborhood to visit a mysterious woman. They hear she’s a fortune teller and that she will tell them the dates of their deaths. Varya is thirteen. Daniel is eleven. Klara is nine and Simon is seven. Should they believe? Read my review here.

The Moment of Tenderness by Madeline L’Engle – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “This powerful collection of short stories traces an emotional arc inspired by Madeleine L’Engle’s early life and career, from her lonely childhood in New York to her life as a mother in small-town Connecticut.”

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali – Published in 2019. From Goodreads: “A novel set in 1953 Tehran against the backdrop of the Iranian Coup about a young couple in love who are separated on the eve of their marriage, and who are reunited sixty years later, after having moved on to live independent lives in America, to discover the truth about what happened on that fateful day in the town square.”


Colorful covers (also pretty, by the way)

All Adults Here by Emma Straub – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?”

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Everything returns with an unforgettable novel about friendship and forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod.”

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. And then, tragically, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.” Definitely want to read this.

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C.”

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – Published in 2019. From Goodreads: “Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson’s taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.”


Unique covers

Almond by Won-pyung Sohn and Joosun Lee – Published in 2017. From Goodreads: “Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition.”

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Published in 2019. If you like stories about bands in the 60s and 70s, I think you will like this novel. The author was inspired by the band Fleetwood Mac and the relationships between its members, and her character Daisy Jones closely resembles Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. Read my review here.

Educated by Tara Westover –  Imagine growing up in isolation, with a father who regarded the government with paranoid distrust, who prepared the family for an impending apocalypse by stockpiling food, fuel and ammunition and “head for the hills” bags. Who made his children work with him in a dangerous scrap yard, where they were often severely injured. This and much more. Read my review here.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – Published in 2019. From Goodreads: “Kevin Wilson’s best book yet a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities.”

There There by Tommy Orange – Published in 2018. From Goodreads: “Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize.” Want to read this one, too.

What covers have caught your eye?

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Book Talk – No Place Like Home by Rebecca Muddiman

Image: Pixabay

Welcome to an occasional feature on Book Club Mom called Book Talk, home to quick previews of books that catch my eye.

I’m feeling a little guilty about not reading some of the NetGalley books I’ve received. This psychological thriller is one of them. I had a perfectly good plan to read it right away, but somehow No Place Like Home got lost on my Kindle, along with the other mess of books I have on there.

Here’s the book description:

“What would you do if you came home to find someone in your house?

This is the predicament Polly Cooke faces when she returns to her new home. The first weeks in the house had been idyllic, but soon Jacob, a local man, is watching her.

What does he want and why is he so obsessed with Polly?

In a situation where nothing is what it seems, you might end up regretting letting some people in.”

This is the kind of book that seizes on the reader’s need to be terrified. We all get a thrill from reading about someone else’s scary situations, right?

I have a few other books I’m going to read first, but I think I’m going to jump on this soon. At 234 pages, it looks like a quick read.

No Place Like Home was published in 2018. Check out these reviews. I’m going to wait in case they have spoilers!

Laurel-Rain Snow from Rainy Days and Mondays
Goodreads Reviews
Amazon Reviews

Have you already read No Place Like Home?

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Book on my radar – Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

 

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

I have a lot to do in the next week, but I find myself looking for new books to read, instead of churning through many tasks. And I have no business adding more books to my list, but still, I do! Here’s one I’m sure to read in 2020:

From book blurb:

One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them is a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured vet returning from Afghanistan, a septuagenarian business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. And then, halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place for himself in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a piece of him has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery–one that will lead him to the answers of some of life’s most profound questions: When you’ve lost everything, how do find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

Ann Napolitano is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She is also the Associate Editor of One Story literary magazine. She received an MFA from New York University; she has taught fiction writing for Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers’ Workshop. In November 2020, Ann was long-listed for the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize.

Book blurb and author info from annnapolitano.com

I tend to gravitate toward coming-of-age stories and books about overcoming adversity. Is this a book you’d be interested in reading? I think it would make a good book club book. What new books are you looking forward to reading in 2020?

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Books with commanding titles – a new trend?

Nobody Move. Do Not Become Alarmed. Find Me. Give Me Your Hand. You Don’t Know Me. Forget You Know Me. Don’t worry, I’m not ordering you around – these are book titles!

I like thinking about book publishing trends and how important covers and titles are in grabbing the reader. I don’t about you, but these commanding titles certainly make me want to read what’s inside! Some of these books are new this year, one is from 2017 and one is due out next year.

Here’s a quick description of each (all from Goodreads):


Nobody Move by Philip Elliott (2019)

“Eddie Vegas made a terrible mistake. Now he has to pay the price. After a botched debt collection turned double murder, Eddie splits, desperate to avoid his employer, notorious L.A. crime boss Saul Benedict, and his men (and Eddie’s ex-partners), Floyd and Sawyer, as well as the police. Soon he becomes entangled with the clever and beautiful Dakota, a Native American woman fresh in the City of Angels to find her missing friend—someone Eddie might know something about. Meanwhile in Texas, ex-assassin Rufus, seeking vengeance for his murdered brother, takes up his beloved daggers one final time and begins the long drive to L.A. When the bodies begin to mount, Detective Alison Lockley’s hunt for the killers becomes increasingly urgent. As paths cross, confusion ensues, and no one’s entirely sure who’s after who. But one thing is clear: They’re not all getting out of this alive.”


Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (2017)

“When Liv and Nora decide to take their families on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. The children – two eleven-year-olds, an eight-year-old, and a six-year-old—love the nonstop buffet and the independence they have at the Kids’ Club. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor misfortunes leads the families farther and farther from the ship’s safety. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

What follows is a riveting, revealing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the once-happy parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their lives.”


Find Me by André Aciman (2019)

“A follow-up to Aciman’s 2007 Call Me by Your Name. In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio’s father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends Sami’s plans and changes his life forever.

Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, now a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.

Aciman is a master of sensibility, of the intimate details and the emotional nuances that are the substance of passion. Find Me brings us back inside the magic circle of one of our greatest contemporary romances to ask if, in fact, true love ever dies.”


Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (2018)

“You told each other everything. Then she told you too much.

Kit has risen to the top of her profession and is on the brink of achieving everything she wanted. She hasn’t let anything stop her.

But now someone else is standing in her way – Diane. Best friends at seventeen, their shared ambition made them inseparable. Until the day Diane told Kit her secret – the worst thing she’d ever done, the worst thing Kit could imagine – and it blew their friendship apart.

Kit is still the only person who knows what Diane did. And now Diane knows something about Kit that could destroy everything she’s worked so hard for.

How far would Kit go, to make the hard work, the sacrifice, worth it in the end? What wouldn’t she give up? Diane thinks Kit is just like her. Maybe she’s right. Ambition: it’s in the blood . . .”


You Don’t Know Me by Sara Foster (2020)

“Lizzie Burdett was eighteen when she vanished, and Noah Carruso has never forgotten her. She was his first crush, his unrequited love. She was also his brother’s girlfriend.

Tom Carruso hasn’t been home in over a decade. He left soon after Lizzie disappeared, under a darkening cloud of suspicion, and now he’s back for the inquest into Lizzie’s death – intent on telling his side of the story.

As the inquest looms, Noah meets Alice Pryce on holiday. They fall for each other fast and hard, but Noah can’t bear to tell Alice his deepest fears. And Alice is equally stricken – she carries a terrible secret of her own.

Is the truth worth telling if it will destroy everything?”


Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser (2019)

“When a video call between friends captures a shocking incident no one was supposed to see, the secrets it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.

Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.

When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.

What Liza sees next will change everything.”


I like books that are about relationships and hint at secrets and suspense. There’s some of that in all of these books and I know I’ll be putting them  on my ever-growing list. Have you read any of them? Are any on your list?

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How deep is your reading list?

Image: Pixabay

There’s something exciting about finishing a book and thinking about what to read next. I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself this month, though, because now I have a mini stack of books to be read. It’s not a bad problem to have. Even when I’m in a bit of a time crunch, I always relax while I’m reading. It’s my escape!

Here’s a peek at what’s coming up:


Last Stop in Brooklyn:  A Mary Handley Mystery by Lawrence H. Levy

I know this is going to be a fun read and I can’t wait to start. This is the third book in the Mary Handley historical mystery series, featuring New York’s first female detective. For all you NetGalley readers, Last Stop in Brooklyn is up and ready to go!

And if you want to start at the beginning, click on the links below to learn more about the first two books in the series:

Second Street Station
Brooklyn on Fire


Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate

I read about this on Cleopatra Loves Books and knew I wanted to read it! Originally published in 1940, it’s part of the British Library Crime Classics collection and follows a jury’s intense deliberation. At 237 pages, it’s a shorter read, something good to read between the bigger books.


Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

My ladies book club is reading this for our December meeting. This is another short one, published in 2016. It’s about a group of friends in 1970s Brooklyn and sounds great, perfect to read during the busy holiday season. We’ll be chatting about this one while we celebrate the holidays with our annual book exchange.


 Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

You see a lot of books when you work in a library and this one caught my eye. It’s a Young Adult book about high school kids, friendship, scandals and lies. Redgate wrote this as a senior economics major at Kenyon College and it is her first novel.


 The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

Our mystery book club at work has chosen this one for December, the first in `The Laetitia Rodd Mysteries’, six novels featuring a Victorian lady detective. Here’s what Amazon has to say:

The Secrets of Wishtide brings nineteenth century society vividly to life and illuminates the effect of Victorian morality on women’s lives. Introducing an irresistible new detective, the first book in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery series will enthrall and delight.”


David Bowie:  A Life by Dylan Jones

This biography came to me from NetGalley and I’m looking forward to it because of Bowie’s music and my high school memories, including one of my friend singing “Changes” in Algebra II and hanging out in the cool crowd’s “Bowie Room” one night.


I’m ready to go with this nice mix of books, including a couple to add to my New York Books list!

So what about you? What’s on your December list?

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