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Books > The Book Salon ~~ August

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments

This the thread for general book discussions for August.

Tell us what you just read, are currently reading or plan to read. Tell us about your favorite author. Have you read some book news? Share it with the group. Anything related to books and reading, we want to hear all about it !

message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 01, 2018 08:33PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Library recommendations

by Christina Dalcher

"In the future world depicted in Vox, women are limited to speaking 100 words per day. Readers will want to shout every word in their heads, hoard every book in their libraries, and second guess the words of every person in their lives. A captivating, timely book that explores women’s rights in a fast-paced, compelling story."

Jennifer Gaenzle, Fort Fairfield Public Library, Fort Fairfield, ME

----Our House
by Louise Candlish

"Full of secrets and surprises, Our House poses the question, “How well do you know the person you live with?” An attempt to co-habitate for the sake of the children leaves divorced mom Fiona alone and out in the cold. Readers will have a hard time putting down this twisty domestic suspense novel. Even after the last page is turned, the characters will linger."

Annette Herbst, Columbia County Rural Library, Dayton, WA

----- Bellewether
by Susanna Kearsley

"A character-driven story with a nice surprise twist, this gothic-style fiction, set in 1759 Long Island, will not disappoint Kearsley’s many fans. Readers who enjoy good doses of romance, history, and magic will be pleased."

Julie Raynor, High Point Public Library, High Point, NC

----- Good Luck With That
by Kristan Higgins

"Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met as teens at a "fat camp." When one of them dies young, the others are forced to confront their own struggles with self-esteem and acceptance. With equal measures of humor and heartbreak, this book sparks questions about society’s idea of the perfect size and explores how body image can have far-reaching effects."

Claudia Silk, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

----- The Masterpiece: A Novel
by Fiona Davis

"Disparate decades of New York City are capably brought to life through two strong and resourceful female characters in Davis’s latest work. At the center is the Grand Central Terminal, which served as an art school in the 1920s, is threatened with demolition in the 1970s, and connects the threads of Clara Darden’s and Virginia Clay’s lives. Well-researched and captivating."

Kelly Baroletti, Wantagh Public Library, Wantagh, NY

----- The Other Woman: A Novel
by Sandie Jones

"Emily thinks she's found the man of her dreams in Adam. But when she meets Pammie, the woman she hopes will be her future mother-in-law, things take a sinister turn. Fast-paced, gripping, and ultimately satisfying."

Jenny Moore for LibraryReads.

----- Rust & Stardust: A Novel
by T. Greenwood

"Disturbing crime fiction based on real events that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita. In 1948, fifth-grader Sally Horner is kidnapped by a man pretending to be a police officer."

Ninoshka Aviles, Osceola Library, Osceola, FL

----- Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding
by Rhys Bowen

"The 12th book in the Royal Spyness mystery series finds our heroine, Georgie, juggling all manner of details as she prepares for her upcoming marriage to Darcy. A fun, breezy mystery."

Cori Dodds, Derby Public Library, Derby, KS

----- Meet Me at the Museum: A Novel
by Anne Youngson

"A touching epistolary novel about an English farmer’s wife, and a museum curator who may be in for an unexpected second act."

Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI

---- A River of Stars: A Novel
by Vanessa Hua

"A Chinese woman makes her way to America with her unborn daughter, determined to make a life for them both. For readers who enjoy modern immigration stories like Behold the Dreamers and Little Fires Everywhere."

Abby Johnson, New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, New Albany, IN

message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments More book recommendations !

---- The devil crept in
by Ania Ahlborn

In a town plagued by mysterious disappearances and unsolved crimes, one of which resulted in murder, young Stevie Clark is determined to find out what really happened to his best friend, Jude, who has been missing for several days, but the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

---- Heating & cooling : 52 micro-memoirs
by Beth Ann Fennelly

A genre-defying memoir by the author of Unmentionables and Great with Child offers glimpses into a richly experienced life, detailing her observations as a wife, mother and writer as well as the humor she discovered in everyday interactions.

---- I believe in a thing called love
by Maurene Goo

A high achieving Korean-American student whose botched attempts at romance have made her a laughingstock decides to conquer her insecurities when the most attractive boy she has ever met walks into her life.

---- The way of all fish
by Martha Grimes

A sequel to Foul Matter finds writer Cindy Sella struggling with writer's block and a lawsuit by her unscrupulous former agent, L. Bass Hess, who is targeted by bumbling hitmen Candy and Karl's zany efforts to drive him out of New York City.

---- The hero's guide to saving your kingdom
by Christopher Healy

Exiled from their castles when they are rejected by the princesses they love, the prince rescuers of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel discover an evil plot that threatens all of their kingdoms.

----- Bad monkey
by Carl Hiaasen

Anticipating his retirement from the Key West Police, Andrew Yancy tackles a murder case involving a human arm in his freezer, an investigation that pits him against a twitchy widow, a clueless real estate developer and a voodoo witch with a string of hapless lovers.

---- The Abbot's Tale
by Conn Iggulden

In the year 937, the new king of England, a grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to go to war in the north. His dream of a united kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field--on the passage of a single day. At his side is the priest Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit (perhaps enough to damn his soul). His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome--from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan's vision, by his guiding hand, England will either come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule...From one of our finest historical writers, The Abbott's Tale is an intimate portrait of a priest and performer, a visionary, a traitor and confessor to kings--the man who can change the fate of England.

---- Batman : Nightwalker
by Marie Lu

An entry in the popular series depicting DC superheroes as teens follows a reckless young Bruce Wayne who must team up with a brilliant killer and overcome the challenges of not having superpowers in order to defend against Nightwalker attackers who are targeting the elite of Gotham City. Simultaneous eBook.

---- I am legend
by Richard Matheson

A lone human survivor in a world that is overrun by vampires, Robert Neville leads a desperate life in which he must barricade himself in his home every night and hunt down the starving undead by day

---- Fifty, fifty
by James Patterson

Violating protocol in her efforts to defend her brother against murder charges, Detective Harriet Blue is forced to relocate to a virtual ghost town in the outback, where a diary found on the roadside reveals shocking plans to massacre the community's few remaining residents.

---- Life as we knew it
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

When a meteor pushes the moon closer to the earth, setting into motion a series of destructive weather events that wipe out coasts, rock the continents, and block out the sun, Miranda and her family must find a way to survive in a desperate and unfamiliar world.

---- The soldier's scoundrel
by Cat Sebastian

After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman's life-- one that doesn't include sparring with a ne'er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack's pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they're together.

---- Wytches. Volume 1
by Scott Snyder

"When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they're hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient...and hungry"

---- Artemis : a novel
by Andy Weir

Augmenting his limited income by smuggling contraband to survive on the moon's wealthy city of Artemis, Jazz agrees to commit what seems to be a perfect, lucrative crime only to find herself embroiled in a conspiracy for control of the city.

----- The book of Essie : a novel
by Meghan MacLean Weir

A novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the emotionally stirring, wildly captivating story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family's hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

---- The female persuasion
by Meg Wolitzer

A shy college freshman finds her perspectives transformed by a mentor activist at the center of the women's movement who challenges her to discover herself in ways that take her far from the traditional life she envisioned at the side of her boyfriend.

---- The girl from Venice
by Martin Cruz Smith

A new standalone novel by the award-winning author of Gorky Park follows a turbulent love affair between a fisherman and a Jewish woman on the run in occupied 1945 La Serenissima.

---- The all-true travels and adventures of Lidie Newton : a novel
by Jane Smiley

Two years after her academic satire, Moo, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author brings to light the ante-Civil War memoirs of Lidie Harkness, an abolitionist who in 1855 enters the fray between Kansas free-staters and slave-holding Missourians.

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Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Thrillers and Suspense

---- Social Creature
by Tara Isabella Burton

Starring: wealthy, glamorous Lavinia, and penniless, forgettable Louise, who hit it off despite their differences, and are soon painting Manhattan red -- but how long will the party last?

Why you might like it: The glitz and glamour of the money-is-no-object lifestyle in New York is a draw in itself, but the real appeal is in the souring relationship between the two women. You know it won't end well from the early pages, but following along is undeniably enjoyable.

For fans of: Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley.

---- Jar of Hearts
by Jennifer Hillier

What it's about: Fourteen years ago, Angela Wong disappeared. Her best friend Geo has just given testimony against her own high-school boyfriend, now known as the Sweetbay Strangler -- and is facing jail time herself as an accessory.

Why you might like it: What happened that night? Flashbacks allow the story to unfold slowly, the tension always increasing. Meanwhile, women in the present are dying in eerily similar ways.

For fans of: the gruesome realism of the grisly Heartsick series by Chelsea Cain.

---- Star of the North
by D.B. John

Starring: newly recruited CIA agent Jenna Williams, whose sister disappeared from a South Korean beach 12 years ago; Mrs. Moon, an enterprising North Korean peasant; and ambitious North Korean diplomat Colonel Cho, whose murky family history spells danger if exposed.

What it's about: Jenna's dangerous search for her sister; the systemic oppression and suffering of North Korea's citizens.

Why you might like it: Extremely well-researched, this novel offers a nerve-wracking glimpse of the world's most secretive regime.

--- The Real Michael Swann
by Bryan Reardon

What happens: Problems on Amtrak's New Jersey routes cause a backup at Penn Station; when a bomb explodes there, the casualties are massive. Julia Swann believes her husband Michael has survived, and begins a desperate search to find him.

Why you might like it: As Julia is forced to confront difficult questions (why hasn't Michael called her? Is he somehow involved in the bombing?), this novel moves from family drama to page-turning (and terrifyingly plausible) suspense novel.
Set in Unusual Places

---- The Precipice
by Paul Doiron

Where it's set: In this 6th in the series starring game warden Mike Bowditch, he's headed to Maine's Hundred-Mile Wilderness, along the Appalachian Trail, where two women have disappeared.

What happens: While it's conceivable that coyotes are responsible, it's more likely that humans are the problem -- and the stakes increase when Mike's girlfriend, biologist Stacy Stevens, also disappears.

Why you might like it: The vividly depicted wilderness, multi-faceted characters, and increasing suspense set this "among the very best outdoors-based crime dramas" (Booklist).

---- Silent Creed
by Alex Kava

Where it's set: In the middle of a North Carolina mudslide -- literally.

What happens: In this sequel to Breaking Creed, K-9 trainer Ryder Creed and his dog Bolo are searching for victims of a landslide, but it seems at least one was killed purposefully.

Read it for: the intriguing relationship between Creed and Bolo and the possibility of a romantic one with Creed's FBI colleague, Maggie O'Dell, whom series fans will recognize.

For fans of: James Rollins' Tucker Wayne series, which also stars a working dog.

---- The Seventh Plague
by James Rollins

Where it's set: This is James Rollins' Sigma Force series, so we're talking all over the world, but the catalyst is the possibility that ancient plagues are returning in Egypt. The team's push to stop the spread takes them to Sudan and the Arctic.

Why you might like it: Bigger than life, this 12th in the series features "exotic locales, heroic quests, quixotic villains, action galore" (Publishers Weekly), as well as some nifty scientific and historical tidbits.

---- Afterlife
by Marcus Sakey

Where it's set: an alternate Chicago, populated only by those who died violently -- some of whom have learned that their power grows when they kill others.

What it's about: FBI agent Will Brody is hunting down a sniper when he's killed by a bomb; waking up in this other Chicago, he remains determined to stop the sniper, who seems to have connections to the deadly inhabitants of the afterlife.

Why you might like it: Smart writing, a powerful love story, plenty of action (and violence) and an intriguing, disturbing premise combine for a "noodle-bender of the first order" (Kirkus Reviews).

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Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments Us Against You Us Against You (Beartown, #2) by Fredrik Backman by Fredrik Backman

This is the sequel to the extremely popular Beartown. When a town's hockey hopes are dashed by an allegation of rape, the consequences are serious and long-lasting. This book was very highly praised by many readers but I thought it was average. 3 stars

My review:

message 6: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Barbara, do you think the author portrayed the town's hockey fans in a stronger light than football fans in Texas (or other southern states)? Just curious about your thoughts on the two. Your review seems very fair, though.

What an array of books, Alias. I watched most of the film based on I Am Legend over the weekend. My husband & i saw it a few years ago but he didn't rewatch it, while i was again caught up in it. The fact it's based on Richard Matheson's book is news to me, though.

message 7: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 02, 2018 04:08PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Barbara wrote: "Us Against You Us Against You (Beartown, #2) by Fredrik Backman by Fredrik Backman

This is the sequel to the extremely popular Beartown. When a town's hockey ho..."

I loved the author's A Man Called Ove but when a friend loaned me Britt-Marie Was Here I only read a few pages but it just didn't call to me. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.

I am finding more often than not I absolutely love an author's book but find the rest of their oeuvre lacking.

message 8: by Barbara (last edited Aug 03, 2018 04:27AM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments Madrano wrote: "Barbara, do you think the author portrayed the town's hockey fans in a stronger light than football fans in Texas (or other southern states)? Just curious about your thoughts on the two. Your revie..."

Madrano, my only experience with Texas football is watching the series "Friday Night Lights" (which I loved) about high school football. And they were fanatic about the sport.

My impression though, is that Beartown is even more zealous about hockey because every single person who's born there (apparently) wants to play and there's even a special section in the stands for the town's 'hooligans'....whom you'd better not cross.

message 9: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I am finding more often than not I absolutely love an author's book but find the rest of their oeuvre lacking ..."

Agreed, Alias. I suspect that for me it's a matter of age & trying to fit all the books i want to read in the time i have left. LOL! As if! Seriously, though, i am more willing to permanently put down a book, even by an author whose previous work i liked, than to continue if subsequent works don't call to me rather quickly. Or, perhaps, these more recent authors are either experimenting more or just had one good book in them?

Barbara, i think your second paragraph covers it. In Texas one seldom sees female football teams/aspirants--cheerleading or a different sport is for women. Unlike hockey in the northern US and Canada. The whole concept of "hooligans" is remarkable, i must say.

message 11: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Nice review, Dem.

message 12: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments You whet my appetite on this one, Dem. I've added it to my wanna-read list.

message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments The Word Is Murder The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz by Anthony Horowitz

A wealthy Londoner goes to an undertaker to plan her funeral - so it will go off smoothly at the appropriate time. Later that day, the woman is murdered. A brilliant detective - using Sherlock Holmesian techniques - investigates the crime. Good traditional mystery. 3.5 stars

My complete review:

message 14: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 921 comments I just read National Parks of the USA an illustrated non-fiction book for kids, but interesting for adults, too, by Kate Siber. I included some of the stylised art.
National Parks of the USA by Kate Siber

message 15: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Barbara, i've wondered about this book, as i was disappointed in his Magpie Murders, having figured it out early.

PattyMac, that art reminds me of some illustrated books from the 50s and 60s that i recently saw. I'm not a fan of the style but can see why some people might be. Still, as an example, the Alaska pages were neat, imo.

message 16: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 921 comments Madrano wrote: "Barbara, i've wondered about this book, as i was disappointed in his Magpie Murders, having figured it out early.

PattyMac, that art reminds me of some illustrated books from the ..."

I don't "mind" the art, but to introduce the spectacular scenery of America's national parks with flat, abstracted paintings seems like a poor way to get kids enthusiastic about saving those natural wonders. I haven't been to Alaska, but I've spent a lot of time in the mountains, and I've seen enough photographs to know Alaska has glorious colours too, not such an arbitrarily limited selection. Mind you, I think it would be a fantastic souvenir to remind you of a place you already like!

message 17: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 921 comments Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, eat your hearts out! Josephine Baker was a fabulous, internationally famous dancer, spy, and civil rights activist. I enjoyed this lively introduction for kids by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara.
Josephine Baker by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara 5★

message 18: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 225 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, eat your hearts out! Josephine Baker was a fabulous, internationally famous dancer, spy, and civil rights activist. I enjoyed this lively introduct..."

There is a new novel for adults about Josephine Baker called Josephine Baker's Last Dance by Sherry Jones. I haven't read it, but I've read books by her about Mohammed's wife, Aisha and her book about Abelard and Heloise which I gave four stars called The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard.

message 19: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Josephine Baker is one of those people whose life has been easily dismissed, thanks to my parents. To them, she was a fan dancer, someone not to be really discussed.* Nowadays, to learn the whys and whats of her life, one hopes her full self can be appreciated. I cannot imagine adopted that many children!

*To be fair, there was much going on during the 1920s which was not mentioned to children!

message 20: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 06, 2018 12:34PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise

---- Changeable: How Collaborative Problem Solving Changes Lives at Home, at School...
by J. Stuart Ablon

What it is: a fresh approach to tackling problem behaviors without exacerbating them, relying on empathy, skill-building, and collaborative communication.

About the author: J. Stuart Ablon is a renowned psychologist and the author of The School Discipline Fix.

Why you might like it: Featuring illuminating research in neuroscience, Changeable offers a "useful paradigm" (Library Journal).

----- Landwhale: On Turning Insults into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can...
by Jes Baker

What it's about: Body positivity advocate Jes Baker chronicles her journey to self-acceptance in this candid and courageous memoir.

Chapters include: "In Praise of Loud and Fat Women;" "6 Ways to Love Your Body;" "Maybe I'm a Hobbit?"

Reviewers say: "A funny, frank, and thoughtful exploration of how one woman sets a good example of how to live your best life" (Booklist).

---- Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and...
by Alison Green

What it is: a straightforward advice book collecting 50 difficult workplace situations and explaining how best to navigate them.

Topics include: how to address racist and sexist comments, coworkers taking credit for your ideas, and communicating decisions that you don't agree with.

Who it's for: new hires, new managers, and anyone looking to improve their workplace environment.

---- Do You Really Need That Pill? How to Avoid Side Effects, Interactions, and Other Dangers...
by Jennifer Jacobs

What it's about: the overuse of prescription drugs and how to avoid the dangers of overmedication.

Author alert: Dr. Jennifer Jacobs has served on the advisory board of the National Institute of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine.

Read it for: the sizable list of alternative homeopathic remedies, many of which are peer-reviewed.

---- Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World
by Deborah Reber

What it is: an optimistic guide for parents facing the "lonely and difficult" challenges of raising neurodiverse children in a world not always ready to accept them, written by a bestselling author and mother of a neurodiverse child.

What's inside: 18 "tilts" (paradigm shifts) that encourage families to change their actions and behaviors to improve relationships and embrace the strengths of differently wired family members.
Back to School

---- Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (And How To Teach It To Everyone)
by Elizabeth Green

What it is: a survey of education trends and instructional methods -- from Teach For America to the Japanese practice of jugyokenkyu ("lesson study") -- that examines what makes an effective teacher.

What sets it apart: Author Elizabeth Green includes perspectives from economists, psychologists, and entrepreneurs.

Try this next: Kim Bearden's Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me.

---- Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You're Not)
by Beth Kobliner

What it is: a thorough and practical guide for parents to help their children develop financial literacy skills, empowering kids and parents alike to make informed decisions on everything from incentivizing chores to paying for college.

Did you know? Research shows that money habits are formed by the age of seven.

----- The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5
by ML Nichols

What it is: an approachable and insightful how-to for parents navigating early childhood education, packed with advice to support academic success.

Topics include: communicating with teachers; recognizing developmental milestones and different learning styles.

Don't miss: sample scripts for interacting with teachers; the "Top Ten Takeaways" that conclude every chapter.

------ The Perfect Score Project: One Mother's Journey to Uncover the Secrets of the SAT
by Debbie Stier

What it's about: Hoping to motivate her underachieving son to perform well on the SAT, Debbie Stier explored a variety of test prep options -- and wound up taking the SAT seven times herself. Here she shares her test-taking tips and research, offering strategies to success.

Further reading: Anya Kamenetz's The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing -- But You Don't Have to Be.

Reviewers say: "A fascinating read" (Library Journal).

----- How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
by Paul Tough

What it's about: how non-cognitive skills and character traits aid children in and out of the classroom -- and are just as critical to success as cognitive skills.

Why you might like it: Paul Tough's compelling writing style interweaves anecdotes from education experts with personal details of his own childhood.

Book buzz: A follow-up guide, Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, was published in 2016.

message 21: by Dru83 (new)

Dru83 | 216 comments Wrapped in Rain Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin by Charles Martin

I tried this one because I liked the novel the Mountain Between Us by the same author. When I started reading this one, I immediately noticed the attention to detail. The author's descriptions of the setting and characters are incredibly detailed and also include a fair number of similes and metaphors. The story starts out in the present and uses flashbacks to explain the characters' backstory and how it affects what is happening in the present. Mutt and Tucker were born to an abusive wealthy man who didn't care much about them and hired the kind, loving Ella Rain to raise his boys so he could go out and keep making his millions of dollars. As the story progresses, the scenes from both the present and the past show how having two completely opposite parental influences affected Tucker and Mutt. This is a wonderful story that shows how our childhood experiences build who we are as adults and it shows how people can heal each other through forgiveness.

message 22: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Nice description, Dru. I've seen his books around but haven't read many reviews about them. Thanks.

Alias, what a good variety of titles/topics in the list. I appreciate the work and post.

message 23: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Thanks for the feedback, deb.

message 24: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 921 comments Madrano wrote: "Josephine Baker is one of those people whose life has been easily dismissed, thanks to my parents. To them, she was a fan dancer, someone not to be really discussed.* Nowadays, to learn the whys an..."

Shomeret wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, eat your hearts out! Josephine Baker was a fabulous, internationally famous dancer, spy, and civil rights activist. I enjo..."

I can imagine Josephine Baker was a pretty divisive character at the time. When you think of the flappers and the Roaring 20s all taking place during the Prohibition, you have to wonder what it must have been like living between the wars (as it turned out people were). And her spy activities would have been secret (well, duh), so she probably didn't seem admirable at all.

That's one reason I thought immediately of Angelina Jolie. She started out as a seriously wild child, a rebel who loved to shock people, and is now an acclaimed human rights activist (among other things). Plus the rainbow family, of course. I'll have to look for the book you mentioned, Shomeret.

message 25: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 921 comments I think I'm the one out of step about Claire Fuller's new novel Bitter Orange. Many readers love it.
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller 3★ Link to my review

message 26: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments Bad Call: A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance Bad Call A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance by Mike Scardino by Mike Scardino

In 1967, Mike Scardino was an 18-year-old high school graduate who needed tuition for Vanderbilt University. Mike got a job with St. John's Queens Hospital Ambulance Service in New York, where he worked during summers and holidays. Mike stored up a treasure trove of stories about his ambulance experiences, some of which he shares in this book. The subject is serious, but the book is entertaining and even funny. 4 stars.

My review:

message 27: by Dru83 (new)

Dru83 | 216 comments Barb, that's a pretty detailed review and that book is now on my to be read list. A word to the wise, I believe the picture in your review that you labeled as the inside of a 1960's era ambulance is actually from a much more modern ambulance. That's just my opinion judging from the design and materials of the stretcher and the appearance of what looks like a portable defibrillator on the shelf behind the passenger seat.

message 28: by Barbara (last edited Aug 08, 2018 06:33AM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments Dru83 wrote: "Barb, that's a pretty detailed review and that book is now on my to be read list. A word to the wise, I believe the picture in your review that you labeled as the inside of a 1960's era ambulance i..."

Thank you Dru. I'll fix it. 😊

message 29: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Barbara, the exchange with the woman who was "Jesus" was worth the price of admission. I had to read it aloud to my husband and we both got a kick out of it. Great way to start the day.

PattyMac, it's educational to learn there are others who can like some of an authors work but not the most recent. The idea sounds good, so one wonders where things went amiss.

You made a good point about Baker. We have a better picture of who she was, thanks to time. My parents & their parents, only knew what was well publicized at the time.

message 30: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments Madrano wrote: "Barbara, the exchange with the woman who was "Jesus" was worth the price of admission. I had to read it aloud to my husband and we both got a kick out of it. Great way to start the day.


I'm happy I could give you and your hubby a smile Madrano. 😊😊

message 32: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 921 comments Just read The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy. New mothers, a baby abducted, a mystery many will enjoy.
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy 3.5★ My review

message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments

message 34: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I did not know we book lovers have a day! Hurrah! Best reading to everyone here!

Dem, is that a genre in itself, people searching for their roots or just a theme you like to see books explore? There are so many genres out there (& so little time to keep up with them, let alone read them), that i'm never sure. I agree i enjoy the few i've read, though.

PattyMac, your review helps me see that as appealing as this book sounds, keeping track of characters would drive me to distraction. I don't know if i ever could keep up with too many characters in one book but in my old age, i find it far too tough to attempt. Fortunately, your review was useful that way.

Presently i'm reading Bone Rattler, a U.S. colonial mystery which begins on a ship and is full of characters whose names & identities i've forgotten. However, i like the story, so am just muddling through until i figure out someone is important to remember, as which point i'm scrolling back to find early mentions. Frustrating. If i read another by him, i'll make notes as i go.

message 35: by Dem (new)

Dem | 393 comments Madrano wrote: "I did not know we book lovers have a day! Hurrah! Best reading to everyone here!

Dem, is that a genre in itself, people searching for their roots or just a theme you like to see books explore? The..."

I don't think it's a genre a,though I could start a new trend Madrano. :-)

message 37: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments The Lake of Dreams The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards by Kim Edwards

Lucy Jarrett, who's been working overseas, returns to her upstate New York home town for a visit....ten years after her father accidently drowned. She discovers some old pamphlets and letters that belonged to a relative, Rose, who was erased from the family tree. Lucy decides to learn about Rose and find out why she was 'disowned.' Along the way Lucy also learns about other family secrets. I didn't love the book but I think some people - who like historical novels - might. 3 stars for me.

My review:

message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Romance

----The First Time at Firelight Falls: A Hellcat Canyon Novel
by Julie Anne Long

What it’s about: In Hellcat Canyon, California, elementary school principal and ex-Navy SEAL Gabe Caldera falls for single-mom Eden Harwood -- but Eden’s got a ten-year-old secret (the identity of her daughter’s father) and the past has just come knocking.

Is it for you? This 4th novel in the Hellcat Canyon series (after Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap) is for readers who enjoy fun, realistic, small-town contemporary romances.

You might also like: Susan Mallery’s Fool's Gold series; start with Chasing Perfect.

---- The One You Can't Forget
by Roni Loren

Featuring: School-shooting survivor and Austin, Texas, divorce attorney Rebecca Lindt, who is traumatized again when she’s mugged; and Wes Garrett, a former chef -- and the ex-husband of one of Rebecca’s former divorce clients -- who comes to her rescue in more ways than one.

Why you might like it: This bittersweet contemporary romance deals sensitively and realistically with topics like trauma, addiction, and recovery.

Series alert: This is the 2nd in a new series, after The One Who Got Away.

----- How to Forget a Duke: Misadventures in Matchmaking
by Vivienne Lorret

What it’s about: Matchmaker Jacinda Bourne, part-owner of the Bourne Matrimonial Agency, has one simple rule: never fall in love with a client. But this axiom is put to the test when she develops amnesia after an accident en route to the home of her client, Crispin Montague, fifth Duke of Rydstrom.

Reviewers say: This Regency is bursting with "captivating characters, clever plotting, and copious amounts of sizzling sensuality" (Booklist).

------ When Katie Met Cassidy
by Camille Perri

What it's about: Corporate attorney Katie Daniels has just been dumped by her art-curator fiancé. But when she meets Cassidy Price, a charismatic lawyer who wears men’s suits, Katie begins to wonder if her newfound friend is everything she’s been looking for.

Is it for you? If you're looking for something new, you'll appreciate this refreshing take on female sexuality and gender identity in the Big Apple.

You might also like: Other recent LGBTQIA contemporary romances to check out are Blend by Georgia Beers and Room Service by Fiona Riley.

----- Rainy Day Friends
by Jill Shalvis

What it’s about: Newly widowed graphic designer Lanie Jacobs doesn’t think her life can get much worse -- but then she discovers that her deceased husband had several other wives while they were married. In need of healing, Lanie heads to a winery in California, never imagining that she might find real, lasting love there, too.

Why you might like it: Fans of Susan Mallery and Kristan Higgins will enjoy this warm-hearted, emotional contemporary romance.

Reviewers say: "impossible to put down" (Publishers Weekly).
Matchmaker, Matchmaker

----- A Winter Wedding: A Love for All Seasons
by Amanda Forester

What it's about: James Lockton, Duke of Marchford, would sooner face an invading army than a gaggle of giggling debutantes. He would happily settle down with sensible young Miss Penelope Rose, but she has other ideas: she helps operate a matchmaking service and finding James a suitable bride would be a boon to business -- if only he'd stop flirting with her!

Series alert: A Winter Wedding is the 3rd Regency installment of the Marriage Mart series, after A Wedding in Springtime and A Midsummer Bride.

----- When the Marquess Met His Match: An American Heiress in London
by Laura Lee Guhrke

What it’s about: London matchmaker Lady Belinda Featherstone is infuriated when notorious rake Nicholas, the Marquess of Trubridge, asks for her help landing a rich and naive American wife -- so that he can be reunited with his trust fund. She’s determined to foil his plans, not expecting that she might find him a bit too tempting to cast aside.

Why you might like it: This steamy historical romance is populated with memorable characters.

Reviewers say: "Pure reading bliss" (Booklist).

----- Christmas at Two Love Lane
by Kieran Kramer

Featuring: Sixth-generation Southern belle Macy Frost, co-owner of the matchmaking agency Two Love Lane in Charleston, South Carolina; and New Yorker Deacon Banks, whom she's promised a soulmate by New Year's Day.

Is it for you? Christmas at Two Love Lane will appeal to readers who like contemporary romances with dry wit, quirky characters, and Southern charm.

You might also like: Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay, another South Carolina-set holiday romance.

----- 'Til Death Do Us Part
by Amanda Quick

What it’s about: In Victorian England, Calista Langley is well into her 20s (diving headlong into spinster territory) and running an "introduction" matchmaking service. But things take an unexpected turn when author Trent Hastings arrives on the scene -- and a stalker begins leaving Calista mysterious memento mori.

Why you might like it: This romantic suspense story has Gothic flare, moments of humor, complex characters and a clever plot.

You might also like: A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson

----- Love at First Sight: A Cupid, Texas Novel
by Lori Wilde

What it's about: In Cupid, Texas, bed-and-breakfast owner Natalie McCleary is part of the Cupid Committee, which answers letters to Cupid that are left in a town mailbox. It’s all fun and games -- until Lori has to confront whether love at first sight (in the form of a naked, soaking wet ex-Navy SEAL) is possible.

Read it for: humor, spice, and an intriguing mystery.

Series alert: Next up in the Cupid, Texas novels is All Out of Love.

message 39: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1004 comments I finished a real fun story yesterday: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O..
It's a real world-fantasy type of story.... a world-building event. It was funny and interesting throughout. I listened to the audio, which was really well done.
My review:

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson

message 40: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Good reviews of interesting books, folks. Thanks for sharing new stories. Dem, i'm with you on a lack of willingness to suspend my disbelief. The idea of the book sounds good.

Petra, that story sounds good but i have a hard time wanting to read a book that long. Listening to it would be a good idea.

Barbara, that book sounds good. Neat mystery and premise.

Again, thanks to each of you. Alias, it was fun reading the variety of romance novels available. That last one "Cupid, Texas", caught my eye, of course.

message 41: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 921 comments I had no trouble keeping track of these characters. I recently enjoyed Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom. Everyone’s farourite hunchbacked lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, works reluctantly for evil Thomas Cromwell and survives (only just) to live another day in Henry VIII’s Tudor England. Great book but scary times.
Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2) by C.J. Sansom 4.5★ : My review

message 42: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 225 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I had no trouble keeping track of these characters. I recently enjoyed Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom. Everyone’s farourite hunchbacked lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, works reluc..."

The Shardlake series is one of my favorite series, but they are lengthy books so I've gotten behind with them.

message 43: by Dru83 (last edited Aug 12, 2018 02:13PM) (new)

Dru83 | 216 comments Soft Target Soft Target (Ray Cruz, #2) by Stephen Hunter by Stephen Hunter

I found a copy of this being given away and was intrigued by the premise. While some of the characters are from Hunter's other books, it doesn't reference them much and I didn't feel like I was missing anything since this is the first of his books that I've read.
Terrorists have taken over one of America's biggest malls during the Christmas shopping season and are holding a thousand hostages until certain prisoners are released. This one comes from the author of the Bob Lee Swagger series and the protagonist is Ray Cruz, Bob Lee's son, who is a former Marine and is trapped inside the mall with his girlfriend and her family when the terrorists start shooting. Another interesting character is Nikki Swagger, a daughter of Bob Lee, who is reporting on the event from a news chopper over the mall. The plot does get slightly confusing at times as the narrator's perspective shifts and some events are seen multiple times from different viewpoints. This is an intense action story that gives one an idea of what exactly would happen if such a scary event were to take place. The action builds right up to the end, including some interesting and unexpected plot twists.

message 44: by Dru83 (last edited Aug 12, 2018 02:12PM) (new)

Dru83 | 216 comments The Power of Six The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2) by Pittacus Lore by Pittacus Lore

This is the second book in the series that started with I Am Number Four. The story switches back and forth between two different groups of people in different parts of the world and a couple of the switches were slightly confusing as there is nothing to tell you of the switch in perspective. The story starts off by introducing us to Number 7 who has been hiding in Spain. Then the next chapter brings us back to Number 4's story right where the first book left off. There are several new and interesting characters and plenty of action filled battles with the Mogadorians. You should not read this one without reading I am Number Four as it is a continuation of the story. Number 7, Marina, is a very interesting character, especially since she doesn't have the experience or training that Number 4 and Number 6 have. This is an action packed sequel and the ending left me wanting to immediately start reading the next book in the series.

message 45: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments I read I Am Number Four but didn't go on with the series. Maybe I will. :)

message 46: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17670 comments Historical Fiction

----- Woman of the Ashes
by Mia Couto; translated by David Brookshaw

What it’s about: In war-torn colonial Mozambique at the end of the 19th century, Sgt. Germano de Melo is tasked with putting down an uprising led by Ngungunyane, a native leader. Germano hires a 15-year-old girl, whose family sides with the Portuguese, as his translator.

Series alert: Woman of the Ashes is the 1st in a planned trilogy.

Is it for you? If you enjoy books that have a touch of magical realism, allegory, and folklore, you'll savor this meticulously researched and powerful novel.

------ The Home for Unwanted Girls
by Joanna Goodman

What it’s about: Fifteen-year-old Maggie is pregnant by her French farm boy neighbor in 1950s Québec -- and her disappointed parents force her to give up the baby, Elodie. Maggie’s story alternates with that of her daughter, who grows up under harrowing circumstances in an orphanage that is converted into a psychiatric hospital.

Why you might like it: Readers who enjoyed Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train or the film Philomena will like the intertwining narratives of this bittersweet, poignant tale, which is based on true events.

------- The Soul of a Thief
by Steven Hartov

What it's about: As World War II draws to a close, Shtefan Brandt is a German of Jewish descent hiding in plain sight as clerk to Colonel Eric Himmel. Himmel has the foresight to realize that the Germans are about to lose -- but has plans for how to come out ahead.

Who it’s for: Fans of World War II-era fiction and readers who like vivid characters and plot twists.

Reviewers say: “Simply a wondrous and utterly captivating novel” (Booklist).

------ The Abbot's Tale
by Conn Iggulden

Featuring: Tenth-century English abbot Dunstan of Glastonbury, the confidant and advisor to King Aethelstan, who, as the grandson of Alfred the Great, dreams of creating a united kingdom.

Why you might like it: Readers who enjoy gripping, grand historical sagas rich with battles and intrigue will savor this page-turning masterpiece.

You might also like: Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Series; the 1st is The Last Kingdom.

************ Focus on: Rivalry

----- Dragon Teeth
by Michael Crichton

What it’s about: The real-life 19th-century rivalry known as the Bone Wars between paleontologists Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope -- who resorted to a variety of underhanded methods to outdo one another in pursuit of fossils in the American West -- is retold through the eyes of fictional Yale student William Johnson.

Why you might like it: Though this book was published after bestselling author Michael Crichton’s death, it has his signature elements: action, science, and history all combined in page-turning fashion.

------ Conspirata: A Novel of Ancient Rome
by Robert Harris

What it’s about: In 63 BC, Cicero has been elected consul -- the highest government official in Rome -- but a rising upstart named Gaius Julius Caesar (as well as the discovery of a young murdered boy) complicate Cicero’s newfound power.

Series alert: Conspirata is the 2nd book in the Cicero trilogy; the 1st is Imperium.

You might also like: Steven Saylor’s Roma Sub Rosa series -- try The Seven Wonders -- or Colleen McCullough’s Master of Rome series (start with The First Man in Rome).

------ The Sweetheart
by Angelina Mirabella

Featuring: Seventeen-year-old Leonie Putzkammer, who leaves behind her 1950s Philadelphia neighborhood to train as a female wrestler; and “Screaming Mimi Hollander,” who becomes Leonie’s fiercest competitor.

Why you might like it: You'll cheer for Leonie as she finds herself -- and love -- in the male-dominated world of professional wrestling.

You might also like: Velva Jean Learns to Fly by Jennifer Niven, which is also set in mid-20th-century America and is a moving coming-of-age story featuring a feisty, offbeat heroine.

------ Crossing the Horizon
by Laurie Notaro

What it’s about: In 1927, three women vie to be the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic: the Honorable Elsie Mackay, a disobedient earl’s daughter; Mabel Boll, a wealthy American widow who craves fame; and Ruth Elder, a former beauty pageant winner from Alabama.

Try this next: Victoria Patterson's The Peerless Four, about a Canadian track and field team overcoming significant hurdles in pursuit of Olympic gold. It too is a character-driven tale of daring women breaking barriers in the 1920s.

------ Tesla: A Portrait with Masks
by Vladimir Pistalo

What it’s about: the life and times of Serbian-born inventor Nikola Tesla -- the solitary genius behind the world’s first alternating-current motor -- and his intense rivalry with Thomas Edison.

Is it for you? Yes, if you like novels set in the first half of the 20th century and enjoy cameo appearances by notable historical figures -- Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain and more.

Reviewers say: Tesla is a “moving, inventive and poetic work of biographical fiction” (Kirkus Reviews).

----- Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral
by Mary Doria Russell

What it’s about: In this sequel to Doc, the consumptive Doc Holliday accompanies Wyatt Earp and his brothers to 1881 Tombstone, Arizona, to face off in a legendary gunfight against the Clantons and the McLaurys.

Why you might like it: Author Mary Doria Russell employs meticulous research, sumptuous period detail, and sensitive, in-depth character studies.

Try this next: Lyndsay Faye's Gods of Gotham, a historical mystery set in 1845 New York and the 1st in a trilogy, which also features rich characterizations and vivid storytelling.

message 47: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 225 comments I won Crossing the Horizon by Laurie Notaro from Goodreads and reviewed it at

I thought two out of the three women were wonderful, and that the third was obnoxious and unnecessary. I am not the only reviewer who thinks so.

message 49: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments PattyMac, that blackened teeth as a fashion/wealth statement is something i've only read about in the last few years, too. I wonder where they found that info. My husband and i have read much about that era but this never arose in books we've read that written before 2010. Ah, research!

Shomeret, it's a shame the author included the 3rd woman. You perfectly phrased the question about her presence in the book.

Dem, i'm passing that title to above-mentioned husband who was stationed in Vietnam in 1970-1. He's been impressed by what he has learned in such books.

Alias, usually i quickly skim past historical fiction lists because they don't call to me. In this case i was surprised that the one which actually did call to me was by Michael Crichton, whose novels i haven't read but have read about. Dragon Teeth, the story of competition in science intrigues. Thanks for the list.

message 50: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2780 comments A Morning for Flamingos A Morning for Flamingos (Dave Robicheaux #4) by James Lee Burke by James Lee Burke

In this 4th book in the 'Detective Dave Robicheaux' series, Dave goes undercover to take down a New Orleans drug lord. The book can be read as a standalone.

My review:

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