Friday, March 30, 2018

Book Dreams | Titles I'm Excited For In April

The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes - April 1, 2018 Lake Union Publishing

Find it on Goodreads | Buy It Now

In this novel from a New York Times bestselling author, the search for truth is defined by secrets and lies.

Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family estranged by silence and secrets.

Elle’s world turns upside down when she receives a deathbed request from her grandfather, a man she was told had died years ago. Racked by grief, regrets, and a haunted conscience, he has a tale of his own to tell Elle: about her mother, an imaginary friend, and two strangers who came to the house one night and never left.

As Elle’s past unfolds, so does the truth—if she can believe it. She must face the reasons for her inexplicable dread. As dark as they are, Elle must listen…before her grandfather’s death buries the family’s secrets forever.

In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It by Lauren Graham - April 3, 2018 Ballantine Books

Find it on Goodreads | Buy It Now
[Non-fiction | Essays]

Advice for graduates and reflections on staying true to yourself from the beloved Gilmore Girls actress and New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Talking as Fast as I Can and the novel Someday, Someday, Maybe.

“If you’re kicking yourself for not having accomplished all you should have by now, don’t worry about it. Even without any ‘big’ accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough.”

In this expansion of the 2017 commencement speech she gave at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. “Whatever path you choose, whatever career you decide to go after, the important thing is that you keep finding joy in what you’re doing, especially when the joy isn’t finding you.” In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we’ve yet to achieve. Grounded and inspiring—and illustrated throughout with drawings by Graham herself—here is a comforting road map to a happy life.

“I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve had successes and senior slumps. I’ve been the girl who has the lead, and the one who wished she had the bigger part. The truth? They don’t feel that different from each other.”

Other Books Releasing in April...

Come From Away by Genevieve Graham - April 24, 2018 Simon & Schuster [Goodreads | Buy It][Historical Fiction]
The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi - April 17, 2018 Simon & Schuster Canada [Goodreads | Buy It][Non-Fiction]
Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion - April 3, 2018 KCP Loft [Goodreads | Buy It][YA | Contemporary]
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell - April 24, 2018 Atria [Goodreads | Buy It][Mystery | Thriller]
Dead Girl Running by Christina Dodd - April 24, 2018 HQN [Goodreads | Buy It][Romantic Suspense | Mystery]

What books are you looking forward to in April? 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TTT: Books That Take Place In Another Country

Now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Most of the books I've read are based in the US, some in Canada (I'm trying to read more set in my home country) and a few in England. So this list is made up of 10 books I've read that are set in countries other than Canada. And in no particular order...

Poland - The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
China - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Afghanistan - A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Egypt - Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
France - The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie
Iran, Afghanistan & multiple other Middle East countries - A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
USA - Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (so many great stories set in the US, but this is a fave)
Pakistan - I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Maldives - On the Island by Tracey Garvs Graves

Leave me some suggestions for books to read set in countries that I have not listed above... I'm always looking for great stories in amazing settings!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hufflepuff Pride Day!

Today is Hufflepuff Pride Day! As a book blogger and Harry Potter fan I thought I'd link to this fun list of books for the Hufflepuff House Reading List (from Book Riot) - I've read a few, but I think I want to try reading them all.


I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai - read it and own audiobook
The Book Theif by Mark Zusak - watched the movie, own the book but haven't read it yet
Persuasion by Jane Austen - bought used paperbook to read
Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pamela Smith Hill - never on my radar as I've read LIW before
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling - read it and own hardcover
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - have an unread ARC to read
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Waters, Grace Ellis and Others - looks fun
Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain - interesting topic
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - read it & loved it!
The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty - food and history, yes please!
George by Alex Gino - on wishlist already
Wonder by R.J. Palacio - on wishlist already
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - hmmm
Dear Ijeawele , or a Feminist Menifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - heard this one is good
Beloved by Toni Morrison - on a lot of book lists, so I should really try it
We Are Okay by Nina Lacour - popular, added to wishlist for ASAP
The Giver by Lois Lowry - read it and own a copy
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - in my TBR pile somewhere
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona - wishlist

Have you read any from this list? Any I should try to get to ASAP? Are you a fellow Hufflepuff with any book recommendations for me?

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler | Review

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: August 22, 2017
Received: picked up audiobook randomly from library
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon

A horrific crime. One witness—a fifteen year old girl from the wrong side of the tracks, one known for lying and her own brushes with the law.
Is it any surprise no one believed her?
Officer Miranda Rader of the Harmony, Louisiana PD is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from the town of Jasper, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to earn the respect of her coworkers and the community.
When Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the brutality of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about that terrible night fifteen years ago. The night she’d buried, along with her past and the girl she’d been back then. Until now that grave had stayed sealed…except for those times, in the deepest part of the night, when the nightmares came: of a crime no one believed happened and the screams of the girl they believed didn’t exist.
Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop. Not just any cop—the one who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda.

Another great thriller, I'm on a roll! I randomly picked the up from the library because the cover caught my eye. Something about the yellow and orange drew me in. Then once I read the back, I knew I needed to listen to this audio book. I was not disappointed.

Miranda is a no nonsense, focused and determined police officer. She grew up in a trailer park where no one seemed to care what happened to her, until one night something terrible happened and after that day she determined she'd get out somehow. She's no longer that girl anymore, but after so many years of trying to let go and push the secrets deep inside, something happens to bring them to the surface again.

Miranda was hitchhiking and ended up being picked up by a guy who already had plans to attack and rape the girl that was already with him and she just happens to alter his plan, but in a bad way. She's lucky that she gets away before being raped, but people think she's crazy because after reporting what happened and that they need to go help the other girl, they can't find even a trace that anything happened at the location. 

In present day, a well known professor from the university, who also happens to be the son of a prominent person in town, ends up dead. And it's not a cut and dry case like suicide or heart attack - it's murder and a violent one at that. It's sexual in nature too, so that adds a shock to those involved in the investigation. Miranda happens to be called in to work on the case, but little does she know someone is trying to frame her (or so she comes to think that's the case).

As they uncover more and more about the professor and different links he has in the community, it seems that Miranda is finding herself tied to the case in the wrong way and tries desperately to clear her name before anyone realizes what's happened. While looking through evidence she realizes it has to do with her past... will this all come back to haunt her or bite her in the ass? Who is doing this and why now?

It's quite the thrill ride following along with Miranda and her partner while they try to figure out who did this, why and how she's tied to it. It starts off a little slow, but quickly picks up speed as the flashbacks add more detail and depth to the story. There are a few details that will start to make you think one way, then flip flop back and forth. I loved it. It had me guessing and changing my mind a couple of times. 

If you're like me and love a good mystery or thriller, this book is for you. I enjoyed that it actually involved the officer doing the investigation, so it wasn't just following along with the police while the solve the crime, she was somehow linked to the mystery and I loved that aspect.

I'll definitely be checking out more by Ms. Spindler. And I now have a new narrator to listen to: Tavia Gilbert - loved her voice and cadence. I'll probably make a list of audiobooks to find just because I enjoyed her narration so much!

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About the Author: 
A New York Times and International bestselling author, Erica Spindler's skill for crafting engrossing plots and compelling characters has earned both critical praise and legions of fans. Her stories have been lauded as “thrill-packed page turners, white- knuckle rides and edge-of-your-seat whodunits.”

Erica loves meeting and interacting with her fans, both in person and online. She has a wicked sense of humor, an optimistic spirit and loves coffee, chocolate and red wine, not necessarily in that order.

In 2002 her novel Bone Cold won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence. A Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member, she received a Kiss of Death Award for her novels Forbidden Fruit and Dead Run and was a four-time RITA® Award finalist. In 1999 Publishers Weekly awarded the audio version of her novel Shocking Pink a Listen Up Award, naming it one of the best audio mystery books of 1998.

Erica lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband and two sons. -source

About the Narrator: 
Tavia Gilbert is an award-winning narrator with 300 audiobooks under her belt. Contemporary and literary fiction, biography and memoir, fantasy, romance, children’s literature, science, religion…Tavia’s range of genres is a direct result of her intuitive interpretation, clever diction and pacing, and sensitivity to each author’s or publisher’s needs. She makes her home in Brooklyn, where she produces, directs, and narrates audiobooks and full-cast recordings. -source

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