Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Review: National Geographic Complete Photo Guide by Heather Perry

If you know National Geographic, you know how amazing the photographs they use are. It seems like they have the very best photographers working for them so I was incredibly excited to see the Complete Photo Guide: How to Take Better Pictures by them. I was my high school's yearbook photo editor a trillion years ago so I have some vague (long lost) knowledge of the technical aspects of photography but I know there's a lot of room for improvement.

The book is divided into four sections, with the fourth being further resources. Starting with advice on how to look at the world in section one, the components of design that make for great photographs, and potential subjects, the book is very informative and thorough. The information is not incredibly technical, allowing photographers of all ability levels to take something from it. Each chapter has one or two amazing photographs to illustrate the suggestions the text is making and many of the chapters also cross reference other places in the book to find adjacent or complimentary info. Some also have a one or two sentence summary of the advice for those who only need a quick refresher on how to look or how to compose (or as the book says "make a photograph"). There are also photo assignments scattered throughout because as the opening essay shares, the best way to take better photographs, instead of unplanned snapshots, is by taking photographs. Yes, like everything else in life, it's practice, practice, practice. (And to be fair, I put the book down many times as I read in order to do just that.) A brief section two tells the history of photography. Section three is the most technical of the sections, focusing on technology and the photograph. This is where photographers learn or relearn about the different features their cameras might have as well as features all cameras definitely do have (well, maybe not cell phone cameras). This section is set up much like the first section with explanations of certain techniques or camera features, photographs that illustrate them, summaries, and cross reference notes. Placed throughout the book are gorgeous photos chosen by editors, photographers, and others who understand and appreciate the incredible art and skill behind an amazing photograph. These experts give a brief commentary on why they love this particular photograph, visibly illustrating many of the preceding lessons.

The book reminded me of things I had once learned and forgotten and it definitely made me want to get out there with my camera again, using some of the things they talk about. Since the book is not camera specific, I may have to revisit my camera's how to manual to even attempt some of the techniques here but even if I don't get around to reading that, this book has given me food for thought as I pause to compose a picture in the future.

And just for fun, here are a couple of raw (unedited) pictures I snapped of the skittish cat last night (using my cell phone) when I set the book down again to practice looking at the world in a different way.

For more information look at the book's Goodreads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, look at the reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book, and purchase here.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and publisher National Geographic for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

The book is being released by Avon on November 2, 2021.

The book's jacket copy says: Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.

Help comes in the form of an old college crush, Alex Lai. Not only is he successful and easy on the eyes, to her parents’ delight, he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.

With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.

Monday, October 18, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

Murder in the Piazza by Jen Collins Moore
Sting-Ray Afternoons by Steve Rushin
Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett
Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

Reviews posted this week:

Sting-Ray Afternoons by Steve Rushin


Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Arctic Fury by Greer MacAllister
Writers and Lovers by Lily King
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands
Refining Felicity by M.C. Beaton
Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie by Sherry Lynn Jones
Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford
The Belinda Chronicles by Linda Seidel
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance by Terre Reed
Lovely War by Julie Berry
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Dear County Agent Guy by Jerru Nelson
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday
Cosmogony by Lucy Ives
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
My Own Miraculous by Joshilyn Jackson
Duchess If You Dare by Anabelle Bryant
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
Assembly by Natasha Brown
The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Henriette Roosenburg
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Silence by William Carpenter
The Ghost Dancers by Adrian C. Louis
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Brother Sister Mother Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Other People's Children by R. J. Hoffmann
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa
Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed
Plutocracy by Abraham Martinez
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Earl Not Taken by A. S. Fenichel
The Stone Sister by Carolyn Patterson
The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou< br /> The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini
The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Circe by Madeline Miller
Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray
All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Loren Stephens
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
You Belong Here Now by Dianna Rostad
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton
Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
Death of a Diva at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison
Murder in the Piazza by Jen Collins Moore
Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

National Geographic Complete Photo Guide: How to Take Better Pictures by Heather Perry came from National Geographic for a book tour.

I can't wait to read this and improve my meager photography skills!

The Heartbreak Club by Eva Woods came from me for me.

Two people who are heartbroken by the loss of their partners are not feeling like talking about it to others is helping until a third person, who has been through it herself, comes to offer them a handbook that will show them how to live again. This sounds completely wonderful.

Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray came from me for me.

I have a strange fascination with hoarding (something I only come close to with books) so this story of a woman who collects things she loves until there's almost not room in her house for her will hit that sweet spot for me.

On Hampstead Heath by Marika Cobbold came from me for me.

I am really looking forward to this novel about a journalist who manufactures a feel good story that goes viral and then sets out to find the truth behind her created story.

The Last Act of Adam Campbell by Andy Jones came from me for me.

This novel about a man who loses his family when he cheats and then is given only twelve months to live who determines to turn his life around before he dies sounds totally intriguing for sure.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Review: Sting-Ray Afternoons by Steve Rushin

I was born in the early 1970s so I am about 5 years younger than Steve Rushin but I saw a lot of myself in his funny memoir about growing up in the 70s. I also had a father who traveled a lot for work. We watched Saturday morning cartoons before spending the rest of the day playing outside. I felt the disappointment when I was gifted off brand clothing my classmates would clock in a second. I remember many of the situations he discusses, the constant cigarette smoke, riding backward (and getting car sick) in the station wagon, tucking the blisteringly hot seatbelts down the crack between the seat and backrest, trying to hit play and record at the perfect moment to tape a song off the radio, the picture on the television screen shrinking and disappearing, using plastic bread bags to keep your socks dry in your snow boots, and so many more. Reading his memoir, Sting-Ray Afternoons, was without a doubt a nostalgic read for me.

Steve Rushin had a pretty idyllic childhood. Moving from Chicago to Bloomington, Minnesota when he was a toddler, he had a stereotypical Midwestern upbringing. His father was a salesman for 3M and traveled a lot, leaving Steve's mother to take care of the eventual family of five children. Steve was the third son in this chaotic bunch and while he was as sports obsessed as any of them, he also presents himself as a little more sensitive and bookish too. He took the expected beatings from his brothers and was afraid of a lot. His love of information and language, especially words and word play, shine through his account of his childhood. And he either has a prodigious memory or he's done a lot of research to refresh that memory because he has included just about every commercial jingle, tv show, toy, and cultural touchstone possible from the 70s. Often when he mentions one of these, he includes the history of the thing or its place in the era. These tangents, about things as varied as leaded gasoline, the Boeing 747, and the Sears Wish Book to name just a few, can overwhelm the narrative of his actual childhood. And in truth, there's little of a traditional narrative line here, with his own life just lightly woven in between lists of products and the Minnesota world around him. But perhaps that's the point: we are all formed as much by our own particular childhoods as by the outside influences we grow up immersed in. Rushin is humorous and still skilled with word play and I enjoyed this jaunt down memory lane even if I'm not certain how resonant it would be to people who did not share these experiences and this world. It's a memoir that probably works best for people who are within a decade either side of Rushin since the actual memoir piece of the writing is slight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Miss Eliza's English Kitchen by Annabel Abbs

The book is being released by William Morrow Paperbacks on October 26, 2021.

The book's jacket copy says: Before Mrs. Beeton and well before Julia Child, there was Eliza Acton, who changed the course of cookery writing forever.

England, 1835. London is awash with thrilling new ingredients, from rare spices to exotic fruits. But no one knows how to use them. When Eliza Acton is told by her publisher to write a cookery book instead of the poetry she loves, she refuses—until her bankrupt father is forced to flee the country. As a woman, Eliza has few options. Although she’s never set foot in a kitchen, she begins collecting recipes and teaching herself to cook. Much to her surprise she discovers a talent – and a passion – for the culinary arts.

Eliza hires young, destitute Ann Kirby to assist her. As they cook together, Ann learns about poetry, love and ambition. The two develop a radical friendship, breaking the boundaries of class while creating new ways of writing recipes. But when Ann discovers a secret in Eliza’s past, and finds a voice of her own, their friendship starts to fray.

Based on the true story of the first modern cookery writer, Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen is a spellbinding novel about female friend­ship, the struggle for independence, and the transcendent pleasures and solace of food.

Monday, October 11, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
Death of a Diva at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Interior Chinatown by Cahrles Yu
In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Sting-Ray Afternoons by Stevee Rushin

Reviews posted this week:

Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport


Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Arctic Fury by Greer MacAllister
Writers and Lovers by Lily King
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands
Refining Felicity by M.C. Beaton
Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie by Sherry Lynn Jones
Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford
The Belinda Chronicles by Linda Seidel
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance by Terre Reed
Lovely War by Julie Berry
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Dear County Agent Guy by Jerru Nelson
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday
Cosmogony by Lucy Ives
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
My Own Miraculous by Joshilyn Jackson
Duchess If You Dare by Anabelle Bryant
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
Assembly by Natasha Brown
The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Henriette Roosenburg
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Silence by William Carpenter
The Ghost Dancers by Adrian C. Louis
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Brother Sister Mother Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Other People's Children by R. J. Hoffmann
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa
Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed
Plutocracy by Abraham Martinez
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Earl Not Taken by A. S. Fenichel
The Stone Sister by Carolyn Patterson
The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou< br /> The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini
The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Circe by Madeline Miller
Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray
All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Loren Stephens
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
You Belong Here Now by Dianna Rostad
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton
Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
Death of a Diva at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

Annie Stanley All at Sea by Sue Teddern came from me for me.

How cute is that cover? Super cute, right? And do I have a weakness for water influenced titles? Why yes, I do. But this novel about a woman looking for the perfect place to scatter her father's ashes (potentially somewhere in the 31 sea areas that make up the Shipping Forecast) sounds good for even more reasons than those two.

Down to the Sea in Ships by Horatio Clare came from me for me.

I am fascinated by the concept of container ships and the journeys they take to bring us all the goods we desire from around the world so I can't wait to read this narrative about one man's experience on two such ships.

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper came from me for me.

The first in a trilogy about women of Pompeii, I am definitely looking forward to the story of a woman who lives as a slave in a brothel there yearning for freedom.

Hungry by Grace Dent came from me for me.

The memoir of a food writer, this promises 40 years of how Britain eats and lives and I think that it sounds delicious.

I Am an Island by Tamsin Calidas came from me for me.

A memoir about a woman and her husband who move to a far northern island only to have their marriage break down in the absence of the family they'd thought to start, this sounds both sad and introspective.

A Frog in the Fjord by Lorelou Desjardins came from me for me.

Aside from the funny title which I certainly appreciate, I am also a huge travel narrative fan so this one about a French woman who moves to Norway for a job sounds like the perfect book for me.

Worst. Idea. Ever by Jane Fallon came from me for me.

Two friends. Fake social media. A secret that could blow everything up. What's not to like about this premise?

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Jacket Weather by Mike DeCapite

The book is being released by Soft Skull on October 12, 2021.

The book's jacket copy says: Mike knew June in New York’s downtown music scene in the eighties. Back then, he thought she was “the living night—all the glamour and potential of a New York night when you’re 25.” Now he’s twice divorced and happy to be alone—so happy he’s writing a book about it. Then he meets June again. “And here she was with a raincoat over the back of the chair talking about getting a divorce and saying she’s done with relationships. Her ice-calm eyes are the same, the same her glory of curls.”

Jacket Weather is about awakening to love—dizzying, all-consuming, worldview-shaking love—when it’s least expected. It's also about remaining alert to today's pleasures—exploring the city, observing the seasons, listening to the guys at the gym—while time is slipping away. Told in fragments of narrative, reveries, recipes, bits of conversation and snatches of weather, the book collapses a decade in Mike and June’s life and shifts a reader to a glowing nostalgia for the present.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Review: Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport

My high school was a small, prestigious independent school. While I was there, there were currents swirling around that we students picked up on but certainly far more that we didn't. We had strong, unasked for opinions on the redesign of the school's seal (we called the new, expensive one the Chiquita banana seal). We felt more than actually knew some of the administrative or board issues. But mostly we were along for the ride, the underpinnings of the school's running hidden from us. This is probably true for most students at schools all over the country. Unless there is a compelling reason for them to look closer and be more engaged, they are focused on their own studies and getting into college, moving onto the next phase of their lives. In Stephen Davenport's novel Saving Miss Oliver's, there is no hiding the strife and turmoil or the two very real, very unlikable possibilities that the school may have to go coed or close given its financial situation. No one can just continue to keep their head in the sand and hope it all goes away. Because it just might.

Miss Oliver's School for Girls is in dire financial trouble. The larger than life, much admired headmistress for the past 35 years, Marjorie Boyd, was not the best financial steward and she has been let go. Her replacement, Fred Kindler (a man! running a girl's school!), is definitely not being universally welcomed. Charged with turning the school's direction around in just one year, if Fred can't make up the financial shortfall, the school will either have to start admitting boys or close its doors permanently. Both of these options horrify the students and the alumnae. Francis Plummer could help Fred, and the support and approval of the popular, legendary teacher would go a long way to ensuring Fred's success. But Francis liked Marjorie and cannot overcome his otherwise unfounded dislike for the new headmaster. Peggy, Francis' wife and the school librarian, on the other hand, thinks that Fred's tenure is a chance to right the ship and she's going to do what she can to back him. One failing school, one marriage in turmoil, Fred's sad personal history kept secret from the students and staff, and the discovery of Native artifacts on school land, among other things, makes for a complicated story indeed.

All of the pieces of an engrossing story are here but somehow they don't quite gel. Fred seems ineffective and rather unprepared for the job he's taken. Francis is acting like a cranky child. No one has the courage to confront anyone else with the truth or to act like adults. And the underhanded conniving that goes on from the board on down, while perhaps realistic, isn't all that fun to read. Really this is Mean Girls pitted against each other in a school's struggle to survive. The writing itself is fine but the story drags and by the end I didn't really know whether I wanted the school and these people to survive or not, not that the eventual outcome was ever in doubt. Usually I love books set in schools or academia adjacent but this one, surprisingly, was not for me.

Monday, October 4, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
You Belong Here Now by Dianna Rostad
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Interior Chinatown by Cahrles Yu
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Reviews posted this week:

A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark
Strange Tricks by Syd Moore

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Arctic Fury by Greer MacAllister
Writers and Lovers by Lily King
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands
Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport
Refining Felicity by M.C. Beaton
Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie by Sherry Lynn Jones
Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford
The Belinda Chronicles by Linda Seidel
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance by Terre Reed
Lovely War by Julie Berry
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Dear County Agent Guy by Jerru Nelson
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday
Cosmogony by Lucy Ives
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
My Own Miraculous by Joshilyn Jackson
Duchess If You Dare by Anabelle Bryant
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
Assembly by Natasha Brown
The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Henriette Roosenburg
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Silence by William Carpenter
The Ghost Dancers by Adrian C. Louis
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Brother Sister Mother Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Other People's Children by R. J. Hoffmann
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa
Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed
Plutocracy by Abraham Martinez
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Earl Not Taken by A. S. Fenichel
The Stone Sister by Carolyn Patterson
The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou< br /> The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini
The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Circe by Madeline Miller
Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray
All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Loren Stephens
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
You Belong Here Now by Dianna Rostad
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

The Gran Tour by Ben Aitken came from me for me.

Who could resist the memoir of a grumpy millenial who signs up for six tours with British pensionners because doing so is cheaper than his rent? This looks like it will be a kick.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman came from me for me.

This is one of my several book clubs' choice for October and I'm curious to see what all the fuss is about.

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman came from me for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series so I can't wait to dive back in with the Thursday Murder Club.

Tish by Mary Rinehart came from me for me.

Now that I'm middle aged myself, I appreciate books with middle aged protagonists so this one about a woman choosing to live life to the fullest looks charming.

Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen came from me for me.

Although many WWII novels are starting to feel the same, this murder mystery set during the time promises to be just different enough to keep my attention.

The Feast by Margaret Kennedy came from me for me.

Although this opens with seven people dead in a collapsed hotel, this story about the inhabitants of the hotel from before the tragedy looks completely intriguing.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Review: Strange Tricks by Syd Moore

Sometimes series can be jumped into at point without a reader feeling as if they are missing vital information and other times series really need to be read in order to have any chance of understanding the ongoing, larger arc of the tale. I have not read the first five of Syd Moore's Essex Witch Museum series and it is one of those series where not having any knowledge from prior books is a real handicap so it's unfortunate that I jumped in at Strange Tricks, the sixth in the series.

Rosie Strange owns the Essex Witch Museum and she is still discovering things about it and about her biological family. She and her curator, Sam, who might or might not be heading for a relationship, leave the museum in order to investigate reports of a medium who has frequent Near Death Experiences and needs to share the information she's receiving there. It turns out that Rosie and Sam have been sent there by their superior Monty, who appears to be the head of a governmental agency that investigates supernatural things. (Maybe, but this is where knowledge of prior books would be a plus.) Instead of being a random case, it turns out this one is very personal, tied as it is to Sam's younger brother Jazz's unsolved disappearance so many years ago. Poor, young teenage boys who are not likely to be missed by those around them and whose disappearances police have been shrugging off, have been going missing for decades. Rosie must learn to trust her gut instincts as she tries to uncover what happened to the abducted boys.

The main story line is interrupted at intervals with parts of Rosie's birth mother's journal and her hand drawn tarot cards. These pieces serve to remind the reader that there is an unsolved mystery in Rosie's past that she very much wants to solve, just as Sam desperately wants to solve his brother's disappearance. The interaction between Rosie and Sam clearly has much more to it than is presented in this book. In fact, diving into this book as the first, the reader questions why Rosie has any softer feelings towards Sam at all. He is so wrapped up in his own desires that he is thoughtless and dismissive to Rosie, including when her life is in imminent danger. The main mystery, that centered on the abducted boys, is wrapped up but so many other plot lines are left dangling, from Rosie's mother's death to someone called Big Ig to some mysterious and attractive man coming around the museum, that this felt incomplete in many ways. And the story went from mildly ominous to dark and deeply disturbing in the blink of an eye, giving the reader a bit of whiplash. Moore brings an important social concern into the light here but it is still best read in context of the rest of the series rather than as a stand alone mystery.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Review: A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark

I've never read a steampunk novel before. I've read very few books with djinn in them. Fantasy is not my usual genre. Nor is alternate history. But P. Djeli Clark is an award winning master and I'm trying to be more open to books I normally wouldn't read. I have to say, what a book to start with! A Master of Djinn has a complex and fascinating world, a strong female main character, and a mystery that has to be solved in order to save humanity. I never knew what I was missing.

It's 1912 and Alistair Worthington, a rich English businessman living in Cairo is the head of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Al-Jahiz, a secret society of his own creation. When the entire society is murdered in spectacular fashion in Lord Worthington's home, each member's flesh burned but their clothing untouched by the flames, it is clear that something supernatural is involved. Fatma el-Sha'arawi, the youngest agent and one of the few women in the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, is called in to investigate the sinister happening. It isn't hard for Fatma and her new partner Hadia, a young woman assigned to her by the Ministry who Fatma accepts reluctantly, to discover who committed the murders but stopping the man in the gold mask, a man who claims he is the revered al-Jahiz returned, a man who can command the most terrifying of djinn, a man who is holding rallies in the poorest sections of town to profess his intention to address the enormous social inequalities of this world, a man who is capable, at every turn, of besting Fatma and her girlfriend Siti who seems to possess a certain magic of her own, a man who is bent on the destruction of the Ministry, Cairo, and this world, will be much harder.

The world that Clark has built here is indeed magical and fantastical and even those who have not read the previous novellas set in this same world (me!) will appreciate the detail about the world and the way it works here. Fatma is a quirky character, with her sharp sartorial sense--each of her suits lovingly described--and her curmudgeonly response to being assigned eager, new agent Hadia as a partner. She says that the reappearance of Siti in her bed has muddled her a bit but without her somewhat mysterious girlfriend and Siti's contacts, Fatma herself, as sharp and as smart as she is supposed to be, would make zero progress on the case. And it does seem as if there is a lot of running from pillar to pole to add more plot elements. Perhaps this is because Clark normally writes in shorter form but occasionally this feels quite forced. For instance, the man in the gold mask has no need of the rallies to win over the Cairenes given his ultimate goal but without the rallies, Fatma would never track him down. The political bickering at a peace conference felt inserted simply to remind the reader that Europe is in the run up to WWI rather than serving this particular story. And the unmasking in the end is completely, and perhaps intentionally, predictable. Despite this, Clark's novel was ultimately an engrossing story, filled with piquant commentary on anti-colonialism, racism, misogyny, mentorship, and relationship. It has convinced me to keep a more open mind toward the genre for sure.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

The book is being released by Catapult on October 28, 2021.

The book's jacket copy says: Examing freedom, prejudice, and personal and public inheritance, Sankofa is a story for anyone who has ever gone looking for a clear identity or home, and found something more complex in its place.

Anna is at a stage of her life when she's beginning to wonder who she really is. She has separated from her husband, her daughter is all grown up, and her mother—the only parent who raised her—is dead.

Searching through her mother's belongings one day, Anna finds clues about the African father she never knew. His student diaries chronicle his involvement in radical politics in 1970s London. Anna discovers that he eventually became the president—some would say dictator—of a small nation in West Africa. And he is still alive...

When Anna decides to track her father down, a journey begins that is disarmingly moving, funny, and fascinating. Like the metaphorical bird that gives the novel its name, Sankofa expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present to address universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for a family's hidden roots.

Monday, September 27, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

Circe by Madeline Miller
Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray
All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Loren Stephens

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Interior Chinatown by Cahrles Yu
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

Reviews posted this week:

nothing, because I have been busy owithther things

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Arctic Fury by Greer MacAllister
Writers and Lovers by Lily King
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands
Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport
Refining Felicity by M.C. Beaton
Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie by Sherry Lynn Jones
Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford
The Belinda Chronicles by Linda Seidel
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance by Terre Reed
Lovely War by Julie Berry
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Dear County Agent Guy by Jerru Nelson
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday
Cosmogony by Lucy Ives
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
My Own Miraculous by Joshilyn Jackson
Duchess If You Dare by Anabelle Bryant
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
Assembly by Natasha Brown
The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Henriette Roosenburg
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Silence by William Carpenter
The Ghost Dancers by Adrian C. Louis
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Brother Sister Mother Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Other People's Children by R. J. Hoffmann
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa
Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed
Plutocracy by Abraham Martinez
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Earl Not Taken by A. S. Fenichel
The Stone Sister by Carolyn Patterson
The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou< br /> The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini
The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Circe by Madeline Miller
Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray
All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Loren Stephens

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

The book is being released by Scribner on September 28, 2021.

The book's jacket copy says: Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope—and a book. In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we’re gone.

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.

Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of gravest danger. Their lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr’s dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own. Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship—of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

Monday, September 20, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Interior Chinatown by Cahrles Yu
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton
All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Loren Stephens

Reviews posted this week:

nothing, because I have been busy owithther things

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Arctic Fury by Greer MacAllister
Writers and Lovers by Lily King
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands
Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport
Refining Felicity by M.C. Beaton
Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie by Sherry Lynn Jones
Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford
The Belinda Chronicles by Linda Seidel
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance by Terre Reed
Lovely War by Julie Berry
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Dear County Agent Guy by Jerru Nelson
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday
Cosmogony by Lucy Ives
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
My Own Miraculous by Joshilyn Jackson
Duchess If You Dare by Anabelle Bryant
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
Assembly by Natasha Brown
The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Henriette Roosenburg
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Silence by William Carpenter
The Ghost Dancers by Adrian C. Louis
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Brother Sister Mother Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Other People's Children by R. J. Hoffmann
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa
Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed
Plutocracy by Abraham Martinez
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Earl Not Taken by A. S. Fenichel
The Stone Sister by Carolyn Patterson
The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou< br /> The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini
The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

Farewell Mr. Puffin by Paul Heiny came from me for me.

As a man sails north to Iceland, noting the lack of puffins along the way, this looks to be a beautiful and elegaic travel story and I can't wait.

A House Full of Windsor by Kristin Contino came from me for me.

How could Anglophile me possibly pass up a book with this title? About a woman who collects royal memorabilia and ends up on a hoarding show, this looks fantastic.

The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke came from me for me.

I love books that share random facts so this one about animals and the animal world should be right up my alley.

Sugar Birds by Cheryl Grey Bostrom came from me for me.

Centered on a young girl named Aggie who inadvertently sets a fire and flees and another young woman who joins the search party for Aggie, where she meets two men, one autistic and the other dangerous, this looks completely gripping.

Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo came from me for me.

A business enemies to lovers book about an aspiring clothes designer and the son of the new deaprtment store owners, this should be cute and frothy and perfect for reading in between heavier reads.

The Dickens Boy by Thomas Keneally came from me for me.

A novel about Charles Dickens' youngest son, sent off to Australia to fend for himself? This sounds completely delightful.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

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