New Books Coming Soon, Early 2019

 

Just the title alone was enough to make me want to read it! Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig is a book full of wisdom and advice. You will think about his words long after you finish reading.

Quotable - Matt Haig

All you have to do is clear your schedule, make a cup of tea and grab a cozy blanket then settle in with this book and let yourself become immersed with Matt’s writing.

The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as an adult, it took him a long time to work out the ways the external world could impact his mental health in both positive and negative ways. Notes on a Nervous Planet collects his observations, taking a look at how the various social, commercial and technological “advancements” that have created the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness. Haig examines everything from broader phenomena like inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and even the distinction we draw between our minds and our bodies.

Matt Haig

I love books like this because at times I had bad anxiety and suffer from depression so writers like Matt make me feel a little less alone in the world.  Now I  have to read his book, Reasons to Stay Alive which has gotten many five star reviews.

 

 

Do you want a creepy, kind of gothic story that offers a little subtle humor? Then you need to read The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths! I am really enjoying this one, its a page-turner that moves quickly.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favourite literature.

To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn’t hers, left on the page of an old diary: “Hallo, Clare. You don’t know me.”
Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?

I am eager to continue reading, I love the setting with the spooky old house turned into a school plus there’s a murder mystery and as I read, I am imagining it as a movie. This one is coming out March 5th 2019.

 

 

American Pop by Snowden Wright captured my interest as soon as I read what it was about:

The child of immigrants, Houghton Forster has always wanted more—from his time as a young boy in Mississippi, working twelve-hour days at his father’s drugstore; to the moment he first laid eyes on his future wife, Annabelle Teague, a true Southern belle of aristocratic lineage; to his invention of the delicious fizzy drink that would transform him from tiller boy into the founder of an empire, the Panola Cola Company, and entice a youthful, enterprising nation entering a hopeful new age.

Now the heads of a preeminent American family spoken about in the same breath as the Hearsts and the Rockefellers, Houghton and Annabelle raise their four children with the expectation they’ll one day become world leaders. The burden of greatness falls early on eldest son Montgomery, a handsome and successful politician who has never recovered from the horrors and heartbreak of the Great War. His younger siblings Ramsey and Lance, known as the “infernal twins,” are rivals not only in wit and beauty, but in their utter carelessness with the lives and hearts of others. Their brother Harold, as gentle and caring as the twins can be cruel, is slowed by a mental disability—and later generations seem equally plagued by misfortune, forcing Houghton to seriously consider who should control the company after he’s gone.

I enjoy multigenerational stories and I have a soft spot for stories set in the south. It’s both funny and sad and the writing is fantastic.

 

 

Half of What You Hear by Kristyn Kusek Lewis is an engaging novel about a woman who moves from Washington DC to the very small town where her husband grew up. She left DC after she was fired from her job at the White House and now she is trying to rebuild her life. This new town is a small one and everyone gossips, Bess feels like she doesn’t fit in. When she gets the opportunity to interview an eccentric old woman, she takes the job but uncovers some secrets that could impact her family.

Greyhill, Virginia—refuge of old money, old mansions, and old-fashioned ideas about who belongs and who doesn’t—just got a few new residents. When Bess Warner arrives in town with her husband Cole and their kids, she thinks she knows what to expect. Sure, moving to Cole’s small hometown means she’ll have to live across the street from her mother-in-law, and yes, there’s going to be a lot to learn as they take over Cole’s family’s inn-keeping business, but Bess believes it will be the perfect escape from Washington. She needs it to be. After losing her White House job under a cloud of scandal, she hardly knows who she is anymore.

But Bess quickly discovers that fitting in is easier said than done. Instead of the simpler life she’d banked on, she finds herself preoccupied by barbed questions from gossipy locals and her own worries over how her twins are acclimating at the town’s elite private school. When the opportunity to write an article for the Washington Post’s lifestyle supplement falls into Bess’s lap, she thinks it might finally be her opportunity to find her footing here…even if the subject of the piece is Greyhill’s most notorious resident.

Susannah “Cricket” Lane, fruit of the town’s deepest-rooted family tree, is a special sort of outsider, having just returned to Greyhill from New York after a decades-long hiatus. The long absence has always been the subject of suspicion, not that the eccentric Susannah cares what anyone thinks; as a matter of fact, she seems bent on antagonizing as many people as possible. But is Susannah being sincere with Bess—or is she using their strangely intense interview sessions for her to further an agenda that includes peeling back the layers of Greyhill’s darkest secrets?

I thought this was a good book, I was curious about how all of the secrets would unfold and what Bess would do. Books that take place in small downs with drama and mystery are always fun to read.

 

 

I had heard awesome things about Helen Hoang’s novel The Kiss Quotient so I was eager to read The Bride Test. In this novel, the main character is Khai Diep, a young man who struggles with emotion, especially love. His mother is concerned that he will never find a wife so while on a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, she enlists the help of a poor but beautiful young woman named Esme Tran. The hope is that she will bring Esme to America, and Khai will fall in love with her then they will get married. If that doesn’t happen, Esme can walk away and go back to her family in Vietnam.

Esme comes to California and is perplexed by many things about Khai but she finds ways to make herself useful and goes to work at his mother’s restaurant. Meanwhile, Khai thinks Esme beautiful but is clueless when it comes to women and relationships.

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

This was a cute story, I was invested in learning about what was going to happen with Esme and Khai and if you like fun, light stories, you will love this one.

May 7th 2019

 

 

The writing of A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas is fantastic. I loved the plot which is something we haven’t seen a million times before. I really understood the main character, Ruth, and how she felt throughout the story. You could really see it all happening in real life!

Ruth Hartland is the director of a trauma therapy unit in London. A psychotherapist with years of experience, she is highly respected in her field and in her office. But her family life tells another story: her marriage has fractured; her daughter has moved far, far away to Australia; and Tom, her teenage son, after years of struggling with being a child who never fit in, has disappeared and has had no contact with anyone for two years. Ruth’s fragile son has always been sensitive and anxious, the opposite of his cheerful and resilient sister. Is he hiding? Is he dead? How did she fail him, and how can she find him after all this time?

Then Ruth is assigned a new patient, a young man who bears a striking resemblance to her own son. Ruth is determined to help Dan, but her own complicated feelings and family history cloud her judgement–and professional boundaries, once inviolable, are crossed. When events spiral out of control, Ruth will have to accept the unacceptable, and reckon with those who truly matter in her life.

If you enjoy books that are deep, thought-provoking, emotionally gripping then you will have to get your hands on this one.

April 30th 2019

 

 

Baby of the Family by Maura Roosevelt is at the top of my list to read.  I am so excited based on the description of the book. There are not enough books out there about family dynasties, I love reading about families that date far back and have a glamorous but troubled history.

A wry and addictive debut about a modern-day American dynasty and its unexpected upheaval when the patriarch wills his dwindling fortune to his youngest, adopted son–setting off a chain of events that unearth family secrets and test long-held definitions of love and family.

The Whitbys: a dynasty akin to the Astors, once enormously wealthy real-estate magnates who were considered “the landlords of New York.”

There was a time when the death of a Whitby would have made national news, but when the family patriarch, Roger, dies, he is alone. Word of his death travels from the longtime family lawyer to his clan of children (from four separate marriages) and the news isn’t good. Roger has left everything to his twenty-one-year-old son Nick, a Whitby only in name, including the houses currently occupied by Shelley and Brooke–two of Roger’s daughters from different marriages. And Nick is nowhere to be found.

Brooke, the oldest of the children, who is unexpectedly pregnant, leads the search for Nick, hoping to convince him to let her keep her Boston home and her fragile composure. Shelley hasn’t told anyone she’s dropped out of college just months before graduating, and is living in her childhood apartment while working as an amanuensis for a blind writer named Anandaroop Gupta, with whom she develops a rather complicated relationship. And when Nick, on the run from the law after a misguided and dramatic act of political activism, finally shows up at Shelley’s New York home, worlds officially collide as Nick and Mr. Gupta’s daughter fall in love. Soon, all three siblings are faced with the question they have been running from their whole lives: What do they want their future to look like, if they can finally escape their past?

Weaving together multiple perspectives to create a portrait of an American family, and an American dream gone awry, Baby of the Family is a book about family secrets–how they define us, bind us together, and threaten to blow us (and more) apart–as well as an amusing and heartwarming look at the various ways in which a family can be created.

This novel promises to be full of secrets, consequences of decisions that impact family members, sibling rivalry.

March 5th 2019

 

 

 

The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz promises to deliver some twists and turns, keeping the reader turning the pages quickly. Suspense /thrillers are my favorite genre and I am always up for reading about a murder mystery.

Check out the premise:

What really happened the night Edie died? Ten years later, her best friend Lindsay will learn how unprepared she is for the truth.

In 2009, Edie had New York’s social world in her thrall. Mercurial and beguiling, she was the shining star of a group of recent graduates living in a Brooklyn loft and treating the city like their playground. When Edie’s body was found near a suicide note at the end of a long, drunken night, no one could believe it. Grief, shock, and resentment scattered the group and brought the era to an abrupt end.

A decade later, Lindsay has come a long way from the drug-addled world of Calhoun Lofts. She has devoted best friends, a cozy apartment, and a thriving career as a magazine’s head fact-checker. But when a chance reunion leads Lindsay to discover an unsettling video from that hazy night, she starts to wonder if Edie was actually murdered—and, worse, if she herself was involved. As she rifles through those months in 2009—combing through case files, old technology, and her fractured memories—Lindsay is forced to confront the demons of her own violent history to bring the truth to light.

 

This book reminds me a little of Gossip Girl thanks to the setting of NYC. I am not done reading it yet but am loving it so far!

February 26th 2019

 

 

I have read almost every book Lucinda Riley has written and I am absolutely excited to read The Moon Sister. This is a really amazing series, the authors writing is awesome and always keeps me engaged from page one until the very end. If you enjoy a huge novel that you can really sink your literary teeth into, get The Moon Sister (and Lucinda Riley’s other books in the series) ASAP!

Tiggy D’Aplièse spends her days experiencing the raw beauty of the Scottish Highlands doing a job she loves at a deer sanctuary. But when the sanctuary is forced to close, she is offered a job as a wildlife consultant on the vast and isolated estate of the elusive and troubled laird, Charlie Kinnaird. She has no idea that the move will not only irrevocably alter her future, but also bring her face-to-face with her past.

At the estate, she meets Chilly, a gypsy who fled from Spain seventy years before. He tells her that not only does she possess a sixth sense passed down from her ancestors, but it was foretold long ago that he would be the one to send her back home…

In 1912, in the poor gypsy community outside the city walls of Granada, Lucía Amaya-Albaycin is born. Destined to be the greatest flamenco dancer of her generation—and named La Candela, due to the inner flame that burns through her when she dances— Lucía is whisked away by her ambitious and talented guitarist father at the tender age of ten to dance in the flamenco bars of Barcelona. Her mother is devastated by the loss of her daughter and as civil war threatens in Spain, tragedy strikes the rest of her family. Now in Madrid, Lucía and her troupe of dancers are forced to flee for their lives, their journey taking them far across the water to South America and eventually, to North America and New York—Lucía’s long-held dream. But to pursue it, she must choose between her passion for her career and the man she adores. The Moon Sister follows these two women on their journey to discover their true futures—but at the risk of potentially losing the men they had hoped to build futures with.

This is the fifth book in the series. The settings of the stories and the characters will capture your interest and you will be thinking of these books long after they are over. Read it!

 

 

In The Couple by Sarah Mitchell, Claire and Angus are happy and in love (or are they?), engaged to be married and excited about their life. When Claire meets a man who looks like her old boyfriend, she becomes very intrigued with him and loses her common sense. And when he calls her over to look at some of the antiques he wants to sell, things take a turn…

Following a whirlwind four-month romance, lawyer Claire and hotel entrepreneur Angus are engaged to be married. Happy and successful, and ready to start their new life together, Claire and Angus find what they believe to be the perfect home.

But when Claire meets Mark, the man selling them the house, he looks eerily familiar. He looks exactly like the man she loved five years ago, the man she couldn’t bear to lose.

As Claire finds herself irresistibly drawn to Mark and crosses lines she never thought she’d cross, Angus’ behaviour becomes increasingly suspicious. Soon Claire doesn’t know whether she can trust Mark, Angus… or even herself.

This book is a solid suspense that keeps you interested though at times I wanted to pull Claire aside and give her some advice!

Due out February 5th 2019

 

Did you read C.J. Tudor’s first novel,  The Chalk Man? If you haven’t, do it! It was really good. Then get yourself a copy of The Hiding Place.  Joe is a man who struggles with is past, but here he is returning to his home town to work as a teacher and to also see if he can figure out what happened to his sister Annie. Something bad happened in the town decades ago and it hangs over the town like a heavy fog.

Here’s what you need to know:

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back.

There is a supernatural, horror-ish element to this book so keep that in mind. It’s a dark, creepy book that is also sinister which is what you want when reading a thriller.

 

 

I LOVED THIS BOOK! Woman 99 by Greer Macallister just exceeded my expectations and I was totally hooked from the first page. Many times books will sag at some point but not this one, every chapter was riveting. The author is so talented, her wording and descriptions make me wish I was a better writer.

Scoot this novel to the top of your Must-Read list.

Check it out: 

When Charlotte Smith’s wealthy parents commit her beloved sister Phoebe to the infamous Goldengrove Asylum, Charlotte knows there’s more to the story than madness. She risks everything and follows her sister inside, surrendering her real identity as a privileged young lady of San Francisco society to become a nameless inmate, Woman 99.

The longer she stays, the more she realizes that many of the women of Goldengrove aren’t insane, merely inconvenient ― and that her search for the truth threatens to dig up secrets that some very powerful people would do anything to kep.

A historical thriller rich in detail, deception, and revelation, Woman 99 honors the fierce women of the past, born into a world that denied them power but underestimated their strength.

I knew very little about the mental health institutions of the 1800s so it was interesting to learn about them and how many women were committed and weren’t actually mentally ill.  I enjoyed Charlotte’s personal transformation though she was always spunky, though not as much as her older sister. What she did to rescue Phoebe was brave and showed a true strength of character. After reading this book, I immediately downloaded another one of Greer Macallister’s novels.

Due out March 5 2019.

 

 

This was so good, I couldn’t put it down! I Know You by Annabel Kantaria kept me glued to the pages and I honestly didn’t figure it out until the author revealed the secrets.

Here’s the premise:

A recent transplant from sunny California, life in the London suburbs is not what Taylor Watson expected. Far from the West End shops and city lights she imagined, she finds herself pregnant and lonely, with a husband frequently away on business and only social media to keep her company. It’s only after Taylor joins a book club and a walking group, that she finally starts to make some real-life friends.

Before long, Taylor’s hanging out with Anna, Sarah, Simon, and Caroline but, as her pregnancy progresses and her friendships blossom, a sense of unease develops. Nothing’s ever quite as it seems on the surface, and it soon becomes clear that Taylor’s new friends have secrets. One appears to be after Taylor’s husband, another’s always putting her down, and then there’s the question of Simon. Could he have feelings for Taylor?

But far more worryingly, one of the group’s not being too careful what they post on social media—and another is watching all too closely. Who’s stalking who . . . and why?

I loved the idea that the person watching Taylor could be one of several shady characters. The writing was tense, you really are on the edge of your seat as the book progresses. Not out until June, I will be reminding you when it is published!

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