Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, August 6, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

So as part of my birthday gift to myself, I signed up for two new-to-me book subscription services! I got three books in from those, I also received my BOTM selection. So without further ado, here’s what made it into my mailbox this past week:

I’ll start first with my BOTM selection:

Sweet Little LiesTwenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a detective constable with the Metropolitan Police Force, but she’s never been able to banish the ghosts of her past or reconcile with her estranged father. Work provides a refuge from her family dysfunction, but she relies on a caustic wit to hide her vulnerability from her colleagues.

When a mysterious phone call links a recent strangling victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier, the news is discomforting for Cat. Though she was only a child when her family met Maryanne on a family vacation, right before she vanished, Cat knew that her charming but dissolute father wasn’t telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about the girl’s disappearance. Did he do something to Maryanne all those years ago? Could he have something to do with her current case?

Determined to close the two cases, Cat rushes headlong into the investigation, crossing ethical lines and trampling professional codes. But the deeper she digs, the darker her secrets she may uncover…


Ok, so first I will start with my Page 1 Books subscription box! They have many different genre choices (I went with “For the Sleuth”) and offer 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions (I chose 3 months). What’s great is that you fill out a little survey (be sure to include your Goodreads TBR link!) and then they take your answers and personally pick out a book to send you based on your reading tastes. I specifically asked for books that are lesser known standalones. Even better is that if they send you a book you already own, have already read, or just don’t like it … they’ll immediately send you a new one to “make it right.” So when I opened this one I was super excited! It looks really good!!

Invitation to a Bonfire.jpgIn the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young refugee from the Soviet Union, finds herself in the alien landscape of an elite all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home, and her sense of purpose, Zoya must now endure the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country’s paranoia about Russian spies. With the arrival of visiting writer and fellow Russian emigre Leo Orlov – whose books Zoya has privately obsessed over for years – her luck seems poised to change, but the relationship that forms between them will put Zoya, Leo, and his calculating wife, Vera, all at risk.

Grappling with class distinctions, national allegiance, and ethical fidelity – not to mention the powerful magnetism of sex – Invitation to a Bonfire investigates how one’s identity is formed, irrevocably, through a series of momentary decisions, including how to survive, who to love, and whether to pay the complicated price of happiness.


And finally, I also received my first bookcase.club subscription box! They also have different genre options (I selected Thrill Seeker) and offer 3, 6 or 12 month  options (I went with 3 months). I received two books from them:

The Ice Beneath HerWinter’s chill has descended on Stockholm as police arrive at the scene of a shocking murder. An unidentified woman lies beheaded in a posh suburban home – a brutal crime made all the more disturbing by its uncanny resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier. But this time there’s a suspect: the charismatic and controversial chain-store CEO Jesper Orre, who owns the home but is nowhere to be found.

To homicide detectives, Peter Lindgren and Manfred Olsson, nothing about the suave, high-profile businessman – including a playboy reputation and rumors of financial misdeeds – suggests he conceals the dark heart and twisted mind of a cold-blooded killer. In search of a motive, Lindgren and Olson turn to the brilliant criminal profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schon. Once a valued police asset, now marooned in unhappy retirement and a crumbling marriage, she’s eager to exercise her keen skills again – and offer the detectives a window into the secret soul of Jesper Orre.

But they’re not the only ones searching. Two months before, Emma Bohman, a young clerk at Orre’s company chanced to meet the charming chief executive, and romance swiftly bloomed. Almost as quickly as the passionate affair ignited, it was over when Orre inexplicably disappeared. One staggering misfortune after another followed, leaving Emma certain that her runaway lover was to blame and transforming her confusion and heartbreak into anger.

Now, pursuing the same mysterious man for different reasons, Emma and the police are destined to cross paths in a chilling dance of obsession, vengeance, madness, and love gone hellishly wrong.

The Wolf of Sarajevo.jpgTwenty years after the Srebrenica massacre that claimed the life of his friend and colleague, Eric Petrosian is back in Sarajevo at the American embassy, and the specter of war once again looms over the Balkans. The Bosnian Serb leader, who had for a time been seeking a stable peace, has returned to his nationalist roots and is threatening to pull Bosnia apart in a bloody struggle for control … and behind him a shadowy mafia figure is pulling the strings.

Stuck between an upright politician seeking to make her name by brokering peace in the region and an old CIA contact – and former lover – who begs for his help locating some sensitive information, Eric is dragged deeper into the maelstrom. What he uncovers is a plot of blackmail and ruthless ambitions, and he’s faced with an impossible choice: to take the path of expedience or to risk his life for what’s right.

Rich with bone-chilling tension and penetrating insight, The Wolf of Sarajevo is another masterwork of suspense from an author who’s been in the trenches of international diplomacy for over a quarter century.

 

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Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, July 9, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

This week I got my BOTM box in. I treated myself to a couple of extras for my birthday 🙂

The Last Time I LiedTwo truths and a lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she – or anyone – saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings – massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees.

Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager but soon discovers a security camera – the only one on the property – pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind the camp’s twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself soothing through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to her friends, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.


GhostedWhen Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall deeply in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun, and it’s mutual: it’s as though Eddie has been waiting forever for her, too. Sarah is certain she and Eddie know everything about each other. So when he leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him.

But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened. There must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes more and more worried. Then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason Eddie disappeared. It’s because they both failed to share one essential thing with each other: the truth.


The Summer WivesIn the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose estate on Winthrop overlooks its famous lighthouse, Miranda is catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister – all long legs and world-weary bravado – is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.

Yet beneath the Island’s patrician facade, there are really two castes: the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic laborers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the grand houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. But as the summer winds to its end, Joseph and Miranda are caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the Island for nearly two decades.

Now, in the landmark summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same – determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the once-powerful Fisher family is a shadow of its former self, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for murder eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naive teenager, and she begins an impassioned quest for justice for the man she once loved … even if that means laying bare every last one of the secrets that bind the families of Winthrop Island.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, June 11, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

I’ve definitely curbed my book acquisitions lately … my shelves are completely out of control. But sometimes you just can’t help yourself – that’s what I told myself as I made my way to the Goodwill to see what goodies they had on their shelves 🙂

Falling TogetherIt’s been six years since Pen Calloway watched Cat and Will, her best friends from college, walk out of her life. Through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them. When, after years of silence, Cat – the bewitching, charismatic center of their group – urgently requests that the three meet at their college reunion, Pen can’t refuse. But instead of a happy reconciliation, what aways is a collision of past and present that sends Pen and Will on a journey around the world, with Pen’s five-year-old daughter and Cat’s hostile husband in tow. And as Pen and Will struggle to uncover the truth about Cat, they find more than they bargained for: startling truths about who they were before and who they are now.


Christmas Cookie MurderFor Lucy Stone, the best thing about Christmas in Tinker’s Cove has always been the annual Cookie Exchange. But the usual generosity and goodwill is missing from this year’s event which turns out to be a complete disaster.

Petty rivalries and feuds that have long been simmering finally come to a boil, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many guests, including Lee Cummings who accuses Tucker Whitney of stealing her recipe for low-fat, sugar-free cookies. But the icing on the cake is when Tucker is found strangled in her apartment on the following morning.

Who could’ve wanted Tucker dead badly enough to kill her? Despite all of the ingredients for danger, Lucy sets out on the trail of a murderer and soon uncovers a Christmas secret best left wrapped.

 

 


And then I also got my BOTM selection in this week:

The Book of EssieEsther Anne Hicks – Essie – is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Should they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Pass the child off as Celia’s? Or try to arrange a marriage – and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie seeks her salvation in Roarke Richards, a senior at her high school with a secret of his own to protect, and Liberty Bell, an infamously conservative reporter. As Essie attempts to win the faith of Roarke and Liberty, she has to ask herself the most difficult of questions: What was the reason her older sister left home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

Written with blistering intelligence and a deep, stirring empathy, The Book of Essie brilliantly explores our darkest cultural obsessions: celebrity, class, bigotry, and the media.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, May 14, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

Two books this week, both from Book of the Month (because I couldn’t pick just one!)

How to Walk AwayMargaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked so hard and so long for: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First, there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then there’s her sister, Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there’s Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won’t let her give in to her pity and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best – a masterpiece of a novel that is both hopeful and hilarious, truthful and wise, tender and brave.


The Perfect MotherThey call themselves the May Mothers – a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at a hip neighborhood bar, they’re looking for a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.

 

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, May 7, 2018

Just one book this week, a purchase from Amazon for June’s Modern Mrs. Darcy book club selection.

The Great Alone.jpgErnt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: They are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and residence, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska – a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, April 23, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

So this week I impulse ordered this one from Barnes & Noble:

The Female PersuasionGreer Kadetsky is a college freshman when she meets the woman who will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others. Hearing Faith speak for the first time, in a crowded campus chapel, Greer feels her inner world light up. She and Cory, her high school boyfriend, have both been hardworking and ambitious, jokingly referred to as “twin rocket ships,” headed up and up and up. Yet for so long Greer has been full of longing, in search of a purpose she can’t quite name. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites her to make something out of her new sense of awakening. Over time, Faith leads Greer along the most exciting and rewarding path of her life, as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory, and the future she’d always imagined. As Cory’s path, too, is altered in ways that feel beyond his control, both of them are asked to reckon with what they really want. What does it mean to be powerful? How do people measure their impact upon the world, and upon one another? Does all of this look different for men than it does for women?

With humor, wisdom, and profound intelligence, Meg Wolitzer weaves insights about power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition into a moving story that looks at the romantic ideals we pursue deep into adulthood: ideals relating not just to woo we want to be with, but who we want to be.

At its heart, The Female Persuasion is about the select figures and experiences that shape our lives. It’s about the people who guide and the people who follow – and how those roles evolve over time. And it acknowledges the flame we all want to believe is flickering inside of us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time.


I also made the mistake of going to my grandmother’s house and going through her recently read books ….. oops!?!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, April 16, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

One book this week, my BOTM selection:

Our Kind of Cruelty.jpgThis is a love story.

Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely, life before her met Verity. V was the first person to understand him. To love him. In return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s secured the right job; he’s found the perfect home; he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He’s ready to start their blissful life together.

It doesn’t matter that V hasn’t been returning his e-mails or phone calls.

It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.

It’s all part of the secret game they used to play. As long as Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move, he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…

Spellbinding and seductive, Our Kind of Cruelty is a darkly twisted love story – one that draws razor-sharp lines between love and obsession, between truth and perception, and dares you to pick a side.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday – April 9, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

This one came from my grandmother with her description of it as being “really good.” Harlan Coben has never let me down, so I’m sure it is really good!

Don't Let Go.jpgSuburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since his senior year of high school, when his twin brother, Leo, and Leo’s girlfriend, Diana, were found dead on the railroad tracks – and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions – about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana – whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.


So my local used book store is unfortunately closing down 😥 They had tried to sell it and had a buyer, but something happened and the sale fell through. You have NO IDEA how much I wanted to buy this bookstore. I would be in absolute heaven. So anyway, I stopped in there last Friday after work. The picture below is 26 books that I picked up in a big bag of thrillers. Kind of a blind date type of thing, it was all sealed up and sold for $10. I figured why not…. I did pretty good. I’ve read one of those already and three others I already own, but I figured 22 books for not knowing what I was getting was pretty good. Besides … some of these look really interesting – lots of new-to-me authors!  

And this stack are the books that I picked out myself off the shelves. 

I’m sure I’ll make another stop back in there before they close (in mid-May) …. but there were already big gaps in their shelves that hadn’t been there a month or so ago 😦 And now I will have to drive at least 2 hours in order to get to a used book store. That’s a bummer … we do still have a Barnes & Noble locally, but there’s just something about used bookstores that I love.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, March 19, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

So I just returned from our Florida vacation. It was a good time – maybe a little too long and too much togetherness 🙂

Who takes a vacation without bringing home books?! Not me apparently….. I may have gone a little crazy this time. I came home with 13 new to me books. Five of them I got from my grandma’s shelf at her condo and the other 8 came from the Goodwill we stopped at. And I was bummed because apparently they have a Goodwill Bookstore down there that I missed. Ugh! Maybe next trip I’ll make it there 😀

From my grandma’s shelves I got these:

Among the WickedThe Affair16th SeductionA Fatal GraceFamily Jewels

And from the Goodwill I got these:

A Man Called OveBritt-Marie Was HereThe Cinderella MurderDark MatterSeven for a SecretHow to Murder a MillionaireJackabyThe Kept Woman

I think I’m good for a while …. ha! According to my Goodreads list I have 449 unread books on my shelves. And I know for a fact that not all of my books are listed on there. Eek. I definitely need to read faster than I acquire…..