Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Widow

By Fiona Barton
Audiobook format

The story begins in an English University town years after the abduction of 2 year old Bella Elliott from her yard while her mother was inside doing housework. The author had me guessing whether the accused child-porn-loving husband (Glen) had abducted little Bella, and if so, what (if anything) did his wife Jean know. Is Bella's wild single mother complicit?

The Widow is a psychological thriller/mystery with a strong female lead character Kate, an award-winning investigative journalist who sincerely cares about finding Bella and unburdening Jean from her doubts and secrets.

Try this if you enjoy fast-moving stories from different points of view like Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

~ Paula

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pupcakes

By Annie England Noblin

There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.
Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!

~Crystal

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

By Ameriie

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.
These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

~Crystal

Against All Odds

By Danielle Steel

Taking chances is part of life, but when you bet your future against the odds, it’s a high-risk game. Kate Madison’s stylish resale shop has been a big SoHo success, supporting her and her four kids since her husband’s untimely death. Now they are grown and ready to forge lives of their own. And they all choose to play against the odds, to their mother’s dismay.

~Crystal

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)

By Kendare Blake

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose… its life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

~Crystal

Empire of Dust (Blood of Gods and Royals #2)

By Eleanor Herman

In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust.

~Crystal

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book

By Diane Muldrow

A humorous "guide to life" for grown-ups! One day, Diane Muldrow, a longtime editor of the iconic Little Golden Books, realized that, despite their whimsical appearance, there was hardly a real-life situation that hadn't been covered in the more than 70-year-old line of children's books—from managing money, to the importance of exercise, to finding contentment in the simplest things. In this age of debt, depression, and diabetes, could we adults use a refresher course in the gentle lessons from these adorable books, she wondered—a "Little Golden guide to life"? Yes, we could! Muldrow's humorous yet practical tips for getting the most out of life.

~Crystal

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between

By Lauren Graham

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.
Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

~Crystal

Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1)

By Eleanor Herman

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

~Crystal

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1)

By Roshani Chokshi

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither role is what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion, protection, desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust?

~Crystal

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Little Deaths

By Emma Flint
Audiobook format

A fictionalized version of the true story of a divorced mother of two young children living in Queens, New York, in 1965. Ruth Malone didn't dress like a mother: she wore low-cut blouses, high heels, and red lipstick. She had relations with many men and locked her children in their room while she went out or drank until she passed out.

One hot July morning, Ruth unlocked the door of the children's room to find them missing. After an extensive search, little Cindy was found dead. As the search for little Frankie continued, the police, media, and ladies of the neighborhood all condemned Ruth without any evidence.

This story is fast-paced and is told from many viewpoints, including the rookie staff reporter Pete Wonicke who became obsessed with Ruth.

This story would appeal to readers of true crime and those who enjoy a good mystery.

~ Paula

The Arrangement


By Sarah Dunn
Audiobook format

Lucy and Owen, an upwardly mobile married New York couple, lead a very hectic life. They have just moved into a historic home in the suburbs that needs repairs, have a young autistic son who requires constant supervision, and 17 chickens.

While dining with friends (who all had way too much to drink) Lucy & Owen learn that the other couple has decided to make their marriage "open". While discussing the craziness of this idea after they got home, Lucy suggests that they try an open marriage as a 6 month experiment. She and Owen hammer out the rules and then swear not to talk about whatever happens.

The characters are witty & very humorous at times, but in the end Lucy & Owen must decide what is real and what is worth holding on to.

~ Paula

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend


By Katarina Bivald

Translated from the Swedish, this is the story of two pen-pals: Sara from Sweden and Amy from Broken Wheel, Iowa. Their love of reading bonds these two friends together across the miles until Amy invites the lonely and introverted Sara to visit her in the U.S.

This book would appeal to readers who enjoy charming stories about small-town life, bookshops, and awkward romances. Many titles and authors are discussed and recommended throughout the book and, to my pleasant surprise, they are listed by category at the end of the book! This would make a great book club selection.

Read-alikes: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

~ Paula

Shadow and Bone #2 & #3

Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2)
By Leigh Bardugo
Darkness never dies. Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

~Crystal



Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3)
By Leigh Bardugo
The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
~Crystal

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Boy Born Dead


By David Ring with John Driver & David Wideman

Life is full of obstacles and being born dead is unthinkable. That’s how David Ring’s life began in Arkansas in 1953. David’s lifeless body is placed aside for eighteen minutes while the doctor attends to his mother who is near death after his birth. Miraculously, David survives but not without serious consequences.

As a teen, David faces the loss of his beloved mother and his world is shattered. He is bounced between relatives and doesn’t really fit in anywhere. He is angry, rude and unapproachable. He faces bullying at school and horrendous abuse at home, enough to lead him to try suicide.

The local pastor encourages his son to befriend David and he tries - but how do you make friends with someone who won’t even speak? This struggling friendship starts a journey that is remarkable and extraordinary.

~ Dixie