Down the TBR Hole: Week 15

Time for the next installment of my cutting down of the Goodreads TBR list!

For those not in the know, this was started by Lia from Lost in a Story. Here is how the challenge works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about going through my TBR list is seeing what I was really interested in reading at certain periods. For example, the next 9 books are a combination of essays and memoirs by and about punk rockers, musicians, and feminists. I’m going to loop them into books I’ll be keeping and which ones I’ll be passing on.

Books I will be keeping

All of these books have decent reviews and still make me excited about reading them. I had a hard time picking which ones to pass on, but these I just could not talk myself out of.

From left to right: M Train by Patti SmithMy Life on the Road by Gloria SteinmenThe Riot Grrl CollectionViolence Girls by Alice Bag; Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv AlbertineDancing With Myself by Billy IdolCyndi Lauper: A Memoir by Cyndi Lauper.


 

Books I am passing on

I had a hard time choosing which ones to cut, but I knew that I would not be getting to all of these books. Honestly, I should have probably cut at least one more, but I just couldn’t do it. I decided to pass on both of these due to their not-so-stellar reviews. Neither book seems to be compelling. And, at least where the compilation is concerned, I have other ones similar I would want to read that are more captivating and interesting.

From left to right: Reckless: My Life as a Pretender by Chrissie Hynde and She’s a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll by Gillian G. Gaar.

WWW Wednesday: June 14, 2017

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What are you reading? Wednesday: This meme asks us to post about three books:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.


 

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Recently Finished

I am happy to report that for two weeks in a row, I have a book to put here! That is so exciting for me. I really do feel like I’ve gotten over my most recent reading slump. YAY!

But I digress. I finished listening to Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. I had high hopes for this, as I was a fan of her previous novel The Girl On The Train but I am sad to report that I did not enjoy this one. I hope to get a review typed up within the next week or so to discuss my thoughts on the book. So be on the look out for that!

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Currently Reading

I picked up Bite by K.S. Merbeth again. I had set it aside to read some books that are more in my wheelhouse but I am looking forward to finding out what happens in this story.

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Reading Next

After my post about thrillers I had recently added to my TBR list, I was at Books-a-Million attending a knitting event with some friends. While sitting at a different table to drool over some yarn, I looked up over a fellow knitter’s shoulder and my eyes laid on We Could Be Beautiful. So I got up and bought it. I still have some other books I’d like to read first, but I am thinking this will be a reward book to read if I can continue to stay on task the rest of June with my reading.


 

Have you read any of these books? Any of them on your lists?

9 Series I Should Have Finished, Like, Yesterday

I have recently come to a realization: I am not the biggest fan of series.

I know, I know.

I, for some reason, prefer stand alone books. Yes, there are series I have read that I greatly enjoyed. And yes, there have been single books that I wished had more. At the same time, I love when a book just ends.

Now, sometimes with series, the book is written with the knowledge there will be more. However, there are other times where it seems like the author wrote a book, that book did so well, and hey series are popular…so let’s just add to it even though it didn’t need anything!

I am the same way with my TV – I would rather a show I love to end on a high note than to continue until it is canceled due to lack of viewership (thank you, Breaking Bad, for knowing when it was time to be done; Walking Dead — take note).

Having said that…I do have some books where I started the series And I would like to one day finish reading the series.


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The Kopp Sisters by Amy Stewart

I feel like I talk about this series a lot, but I loved Girl Waits with Gun SO MUCH! I have the second book, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, but I just haven’t listened to it yet. I think I’m nervous it won’t be as good as the first one, though I’ve yet to hear a negative thing about it. And the third book, Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions, is set to be released later this year. I will definitely have to get the second book listened to before it comes out. Maybe I’ll give the first one a relisten, as well.

 

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The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

This series. Man. It makes me anxious. There is just so much. For others, I’m sure, starting a series you like and realizing there are a bunch more is exciting! I find it overwhelming. I listened to the first book and really enjoyed it. I started the second book but wasn’t in the mindset to commit to a book of that length. I really liked the first book and would like to check out at least the second book eventually. Maybe one day I’ll finish the series. But I think I’m going to worry about doing one book at a time right now.

 

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The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

I am picky with my books of King’s that I read. The ones I have read, I have greatly enjoyed. And I have a lot more that I really want to check out now that I passed on while younger. The Dark Tower series is one of these. I listened to the first book, The Gunslinger, and really enjoyed it. And I find it interesting how interconnected a lot of his books are. There are tons of blog posts and/or articles discussing which of King’s other novels are part of this world and the order of which to read them. [Here’s one. And another. How about one more?] This is a series I definitely want to pick back up but, as with the Outlander series, I find myself overwhelmed with the “wholeness” of it.

 

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A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I read the first of this series, The Bad Beginning, earlier this year. And if you recall, I expressed interest in continuing with the series but listening to it as Tim Curry does the narration. And that just sounds lovely. I really liked the first novel for this and am also a fan of the movie as well as the Netflix series. I look forward to picking up the audio versions eventually and continuing on with it.

 

 

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The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

I toyed with not including The Millennium Trilogy on here. I read the first book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, before the movie came out in 2011. I enjoyed it, even with the more difficult parts to get through. I started the second book and never really go into it like the first. I’d like to give it another go, though. I know that there have been two books added to this series written by David Lagercrantz; if I do ever pick up this series again, I have no real interest in reading those.

 

 

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His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

I read the first two books in this series, The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife. For some reason, I never read The Amber Spyglass. This is definitely a series I would like to revisit in the future.

 

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The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I read the first book in this series, The Shadow of the Wind, while in college. I immediately fell in love. I picked up the second book soon after, then we moved and it got packed up and I kind of forgot about it. Some time last year, in one of the Kindle deal emails I receive, I learned there was a third book. This is yet another series I really want to revisit completely soon. Such well written, interesting stories with fascinating characters. [I also learned, by including this and reading up about the series, there is a fourth book not yet out in English as well as a novella and short story that go with this story! How exciting!]

 

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Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I listened to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children last year and greatly enjoyed it. I didn’t realize at the time it was a series. I look forward to picking up the other books. I think I will listen to them, too, but I also have considered purchasing the books. With the Audible books, I am able to download a PDF with the pictures throughout the book, but I feel like I almost miss out, in a way, with not being able to look at the pictures while listening.

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The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire

I loved Wicked. I have yet to see the play (maybe one day), but the book is one of my favorites. I started the second book, Son of a Witch, but never got into it. I decided to not worry about finishing the series. And then randomly, I found the third book, A Lion Among Men, at Goodwill and couldn’t pass it up. Added it to my collection right away. And then the fourth bookOut of Oz, was a Kindle deal sometime last year. So…yeah. I apparently decided that I was going to pick this series back up. This one will be another that I start from the beginning. I look forward to being put back into this world.


 

Wow. Those are a lot of books I want to read!

Have you read any of these series? Which one do you think I should invest my time in first? What series did you give up on?

Summer Bookish Bingo

I first heard about the Summer Bookish Bingo from Tiana at The Book Raven. This seems like a fun way to challenge yourself to read various themes. And I am finally getting back into my reading groove — and though I feel I’ve been saying this, I actually think it has happened. Finishing a couple of books can do that for you.

First, the guidelines, taken from Pretty Deadly Reviews:

  • Every new season has a new bingo card. This one is for books read in the months of June, July, and August.
  • The object is to get as many BINGOs as possible (five across, up and down, or diagonal)
  • One square per book
  • You do not have to review these books, or even have a blog, this is simply for books read during the allotted months

 

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I have read two books so far this June, one of which I know that meets the criteria, and two of my current reads fit two different squares. I will post updates on this when I do my monthly recaps to show my bingo progress.

I’m a sucker for a game of Bingo. Will you be joining in on this summer challenge?

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Down the TBR Hole: Week 14

Time for the next installment of my cutting down of the Goodreads TBR list!

For those not in the know, this was started by Lia from Lost in a Story. Here is how the challenge works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

Room by Emma Donaghue was hyped up a lot in 2015 when the movie based on the book was released. This was when I added this to my TBR list. I still haven’t picked it up, but I do want to read this one day. The praise for this has been great and I definitely want to check it out. KEEP


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HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

I am torn on whether to keep Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. When I look at the Goodreads page, the friends I know who have read this gave it mostly positive reviews. One friend, whose opinion I really hold high especially when it comes to book reviews, did not have a lot of nice things to say. I do want to check this out, though. KEEP


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Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Remember a couple of weeks back when I decided to pass on Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell? When I wrote that, I decided to go ahead and pass on all Rainbow Rowell books on my list. After reading Sam’s review of Landline  and having a short talk with her, I’ve been told that some of her other books are a lot better than Landline, which is the only book by Rowell I’ve read. I’ve decided to keep Fangirl and I will be adding Eleanor and Park back to my TBR to check out in the future. KEEP


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From one of the greatest writers of our time: the most spellbinding, entertaining, wildly imaginative novel of his great career, which blends history and myth with tremendous philosophical depth. A masterful, mesmerizing modern tale about worlds dangerously colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and humanity in chaotic times.

Inspired by 2,000 years of storytelling yet rooted in the concerns of our present moment, this is a spectacular achievement–enchanting, both very funny and terrifying. It is narrated by our descendants 1000 years hence, looking back on “The War of the Worlds” that began with “the time of the strangenesses”: a simple gardener begins to levitate; a baby is born with the unnerving ability to detect corruption in people; the ghosts of two long-dead philosophers begin arguing once more; and storms pummel New York so hard that a crack appears in the universe, letting in the destructive djinns of myth (as well as some graphic superheroes). Nothing less than the survival of our world is at stake. Only one, a djinn princess who centuries before had learned to love humankind, resolves to help us: in the face of dynastic intrigue, she raises an army composed of her semi-magical great-great–etc.–grandchildren–a motley crew of endearing characters who come together to save the world in a battle waged for 1,001 nights–or, to be precise, two years, eight months and twenty-eight nights.

I have never read any works on Rushdie, but I remember coming across Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights on a book display and it just really spoke to me. I love the cover and there’s something that just really stands out to me about this. KEEP


 

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Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.

I remember finding this in the discount bin at Books-a-Million a couple of years ago. I don’t even remember if I read what it was about; I just loved the cover and added it to my list. reading the synopsis now, I am definitely not interested. PASS


 

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

Recommendations [from YOU]: True Crime

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Growing up, I wanted to be a writer. I still occasionally day dream of one day actually writing a complete novel and being proud of it. As of now, every couple of years I get a decent idea, run with it for a couple of days then realize I don’t love it and trash it. I have issues with doing something and it not being perfect the first go around. I realize how silly and potentially harmful this can be. But it is who I am.

In the same retrospective thread, I remember being in love with a website called Crime Library, that sadly no longer exists. This was a true crime/serial killer website and I devoured it. My best friend and I would send each other links to interesting cases via MSN Messenger.

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I look back and wonder if I had taken different roads, would I have eventually combined my love and interest in crime and writing? There is a part of me now that wouldn’t mind taking on the task of devoting myself entirely to a case and writing about it. I don’t really watch detective shows, but when I occasionally do, nothing makes me happier than a board with information all over it and pieces of yarn stringing the parts together. I want one of those.

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I say all this to give you some history of me and my love of true crime. But I have a confession: I have read very little true crime novels. I read a lot online, I listen to podcasts all the time, but I never really ventured into the novel part of the true crime genre.

So I am asking for your help.

What I am interested in is hearing what true crime books or authors you have read and enjoyed. What true crime book blogs you follow that I should also follow. Hell, even the podcasts you listen to — maybe it’s one I haven’t checked out yet.

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I think there was a part of me that never really wanted to dive into this genre; like, to be the reader I thought I needed to be, I needed to read “fancier” books. I do love my literary fiction pieces, but nothing cleanses the reading palette for me like a quick true crime piece that delves into the minds and lives of those who have committed various crimes. [I realize how odd of a statement that could be, but I think true crime fans get it.]

I’ve been reading about Crime Con and I hope to attend one year. I think this has been what’s finally pushed me over the edge into really jumping into this genre I’ve dipped my toes in.

I completely thank you for any and all recommendations you have! I cannot wait to check them out and report back to you guys in the upcoming months on my discoveries.

WWW Wednesday: June 07, 2017


What are you reading? Wednesday: This meme asks us to post about three books:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.


 

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Recently Finished
I did it. I did it, y’all! I actually finished a book. I listened to The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis and enjoyed it! I hope to have a review up within the next week or so. Quick listen that was just what I needed, since my current reads haven’t been making me that happy. It’s been a minute since I read a historical fiction piece, which is in my top three favorite genres.

 

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Currently Reading
I am still currently trying to get through Into the Water and The Nest. I am not hating these books, but they just aren’t doing it for me. I’m really hoping for endings that will turn the books around for me, though I’m not having high hopes — specifically for Into the Water.

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Reading Next
I received a copy of Lola from the early reader program on Library Thing. I put it on a shelf and kind of forgot about it until I was working on my Top Ten Tuesday list yesterday. I’m going to pick it up once I get finished with these current reads.


 

Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading?

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Top Ten Tuesday

I usually don’t get the chance to participate in this meme, but I am home for the day so I’m going to use my lunch break to join right in!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

 

This week, our topic is to list our 10 most recent X books added to our TBR. We can choose the genre of our choice. The ladies at The Broke and the Bookish did theirs on contemporary pieces. I toyed with the idea of staying with that genre but decided to instead go with my one of my favorite genres: Thriller.


 

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt 

25533076.jpgWhoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.


 

Broken Grace by E. C. Diskin

25866725.jpgOn an icy winter’s day in southwest Michigan, Grace Abbot wakes up as the survivor of a car crash. But she’s left with a traumatic brain injury and a terrifying reality: she can’t remember anything.

Left in the care of her sister, Grace returns to the family’s secluded old farmhouse to recover—but within an hour of her return, the police arrive. Grace’s boyfriend has been murdered. Without any memory, Grace has no alibi.

With suspicion weighing heavily on her and flashes of memory returning, Grace searches for clues to her past. But with every glimpse, her anxiety grows. There is something about the house, her family, her childhood…perhaps the accident isn’t the only reason she can’t remember. Are the dark recesses of her mind hiding something even more sinister and terrifying than she could ever imagine?

And someone is watching. Someone willing to kill again to protect a secret.


 

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

20200400.jpgInternationally acclaimed crime writer Jo Nesbø’s antihero police investigator, Harry Hole, is back: in a bone-chilling thriller that will take Hole to the brink of insanity. 

Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. 

Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother—and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised—and constantly revised—by the killer.

Fiercely suspenseful, its characters brilliantly realized, its atmosphere permeated with evil, The Snowman is the electrifying work of one of the best crime writers of our time.


Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

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A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.What if your best friend’s child disappears? And it was all your fault. This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto, overwhelmed working mother of three, one freezing December in the English Lake District. She takes her eye off the ball for just a moment and her whole world descends into the stuff of nightmares. Because, not only is thirteen-year-old Lucinda missing, and not only is it all Lisa’s fault, but she’s the second teenage girl to disappear within this small tightknit community over two weeks. The first girl turned up stripped bare, dumped on a busy high street, after suffering from a terrifying ordeal. 

Wracked with guilt over her mistake and after being publicly blamed by Lucinda’s family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. But as she begins peeling away the layers surrounding Lucinda’s disappearance, Lisa learns that the small, posh, quiet town she lives in isn’t what she thought it was, and her friends may not be who they appear, either.


Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

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The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia . . . but what no one has figured out is that the gang’s real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia’s girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola. 

Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man’s world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated. But in truth she is much, much smarter–and in many ways tougher and more ruthless–than any of the men around her, and as the gang is increasingly sucked into a world of high-stakes betrayal and brutal violence, her skills and leadership become their only hope of survival. 

An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman who combines the genius and ferocity of Lisbeth Salander with the ruthless ambition of Walter White. Lola marks the debut of a hugely exciting new thriller writer, and of a singular, magnificent character unlike anyone else in fiction.


Nyctophobia by Christopher Fowler

21412133.jpgAn original thriller from bestselling author Christopher Fowler that reinventing the haunted house story.

There are two things you need to know about haunted houses. One, there’s never been an actual authenticated haunted house. Two, it’s not the house that’s haunted, but the person.

Callie is a young architectural student who marries Mateo, a wine importer, and moves to a grand old house in Southern Spain. Hyperion House is flooded with light, it also has a mute gardener, a sinister housekeeper and a sealed, dark servants’ quarters that nobody has the keys for. And although initially happy, and taking care of Mateo’s daughter, Callie can’t help being drawn to the dark empty rooms at the back of the house, and becomes convinced that someone is living in there.

Uncovering the house’s history, she discovers the shocking truth. As Callie’s fear of the darkness returns, she comes to understand the true nature of evil. 


The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

30753708.jpgWhen brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly receives a disturbing “MISSING” notice on her desk related to the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head. Despite skepticism from her colleagues, Knightly suspects this ambitious young lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister, especially since she was last seen leaving an upscale restaurant after a domestic dispute. Yet, as the only woman of power at her station, Knightly quickly finds herself investigating on her own.

Risking her career, her life, and perhaps even her own sanity, Knightly dives deep into the dark underbelly of Washington, DC business and politics in an investigation that will drag her mercilessly through the inextricable webs of corruption that bind the press, the police, and politics in our nation’s capital.


Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

30256250.jpgIn an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as “bodies“, wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients. 

But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls. 

After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.


 

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

32054096.jpgThe text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, after what they did.

At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?

And how much can you really trust your friends?


We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

27190202.jpgA spellbinding psychological debut novel, Swan Huntley’s We Could Be Beautiful is the story of a wealthy woman who has everything—and yet can trust no one.

Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. She sees her personal trainer, she gets weekly massages, and occasionally she visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she’ll never have a family of her own. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine’s parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone…” Is William lying about his past? And if so, is Catherine willing to sacrifice their beautiful life in order to find the truth? Featuring a fascinating heroine who longs for answers but is blinded by her own privilege, We Could Be Beautiful is a glittering, seductive, utterly surprising story of love, money, greed, and family.


I’ll be honest — I forgot about a lot of those and seeing them again has made me quite excited to get my greedy hands on them!

Have you read any of these? Are any on your TBR list?

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5 Books I Cannot Wait to Read

As I sit here, thinking about the upcoming summer, I start to think about what I want to do during this time. School has me trained to think of summer as a time to plan for things, even with being out of school for five years now. I am not a person who gets the chance to travel or vacation much; if I do take time off, I tend to just stay home. I love me a staycation.

So, instead of thinking of places I would like to go physically, I started to think about places I could go mentally. I looked at my shelf of books I want to read throughout the year. I decided I wanted to pick a few that I want to read this summer. Now, I cannot say I will actually get to them [I still have a bunch of ARCs I need to get to], but I think five books is a reasonable number to attempt.

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First up, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I read this book, like most, in high school. I remember reading this during my dual credit English class my senior year. It was the first time I recall writing up a book – highlights, notes, etc – while reading. I wish the copy I had was the copy I used for my paper. It would be neat to see what I had found important at the time.

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Secondly, I want to read The Dinner by Herman Koch. This is a book I have been hearing about for a while now. The movie version, starring Richard Gere and other people, was recently released to mixed reviews, as far as I can tell. I would like to read the book before seeing the movie when it comes out on Redbox.

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Next, I plan to read History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. This book was one of the first books I bought this year. The cover is gorgeous and I’ve heard lots of good things about the novel.

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The other book that was part of my first book purchase this year was The Strays by Emily Bitto. I love this cover so much. I have actually started it once or twice throughout the past few months, but never started it at the right time.

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Last I plan to read All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. This book I got last year when I was subscribed to Book of the Month. I have heard only good things about this one.

Do you have any summer reading plans?
Have you read any of these books? 
Let me know your thoughts, if you have!

Down the TBR Hole: Week 13

Time for the next installment of my cutting down of the Goodreads TBR list!

For those not in the know, this was started by Lia from Lost in a Story. Here is how the challenge works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

9969571In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I added this to my TBR because of all the hype. This is not a genre I am incredibly intrested in, however, so I think I’m going to go ahead and PASS on it.

 

 

Covering the years 1944-45, the 170-page journal contains Frida’s thoughts, poems, and 91760dreams, and reflects her stormy relationship with her husband, Diego Rivera, Mexico’s famous artist. The seventy watercolor illustrations in the journal – some lively sketches, several elegant self-portraits, others complete paintings – offer insights into her creative process, and show her frequently using the journal to work out pictorial ideas for her canvases.

The text entries, written in Frida’s round, full script in brightly colored inks, add an almost decorative quality, making the journal as captivating to look at as it is to read. Frida’s childhood, her political sensibilities, and her obsession with Diego are all illuminated in witty phrases and haunting images.

Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self Portrait by Frida Kahlo
I am a huge Frida Kahlo fan. And I love reading diaries. I will definiely be KEEPing this one to check out in the future.

 

 

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In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

I listened to Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. I appreciate her humor and think she is an interesting person. I will be KEEPing this one, as well.

 

 

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Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
I don’t remember where I heard of this book or why I added it to my list. I checked on Goodreads and I have a few friends who have read it with mixed reviews. Re-reading the synopsis, this just doesn’t sound good to me. I’m going to PASS.

 

 

Sensitive, big-hearted, and achingly self-conscious, forty-year-old Aaron Englund long ago escaped the confines of his Midwestern hometown, but he still feels like an outcast. After twenty years under the Pygmalion-like direction of his older partner Walter, Aaron at last decides it is time to stop letting life happen to him and to take control of his own fate. But soon after establishing himself in San Francisco—where he alternates between a shoddy garage apartment and the absurdly ramshackle ESL school where he teaches—Aaron sees that real freedom wi23492669ll not come until he has made peace with his memories of Morton, Minnesota: a cramped town whose four hundred souls form a constellation of Aaron’s childhood heartbreaks and hopes.

After Aaron’s father died in the town parade, it was the larger-than-life misfits of his childhood—sardonic, wheel-chair bound dwarf named Clarence, a generous, obese baker named Bernice, a kindly aunt preoccupied with dreams of The Rapture—who helped Aaron find his place in a provincial world hostile to difference. But Aaron’s sense of rejection runs deep: when Aaron was seventeen, Dolores—Aaron’s loving, selfish, and enigmatic mother—vanished one night with the town pastor. Aaron hasn’t heard from Dolores in more than twenty years, but when a shambolic PI named Bill offers a key to closure, Aaron must confront his own role in his troubled past and rethink his place in a world of unpredictable, life-changing forces.

After the Parade by Lori Ostlund

Another book I do not recall how it ended up on my list! But unlike the previous book, this one intrigues me. And that cover! Swoon. KEEP!


 

Have you guys read any of these? What did you think of them?