New Releases for June

There is no shortage of new books this summer. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for these advance review copies:

In a Dark Mirror by Kat Davis. Twelve-year-old Maddie Thompson and her friend Lana share a love of horror stories and wild imaginings. But Lana insists they are too old for pretending. It’s time for a different game: serving Him, a figure she sees lurking in the dark. Creepy! On sale 6/4/2024.

The Road to the Country by Chigozie Obioma. Set in Nigeria in the late 1960s, this is an epic story of a shy, bookish student haunted by long-held guilt who must go to war to free himself. When his younger brother disappears, Kunle must set out on an impossible rescue mission. On Sale 6/4/2024.

The Sons of El Rey by Alex Espinoza. Ernesto Vega has lived many lives, yet he has always worn a mask. He was discovered by a local lucha libre trainer at a time when luchadores—Mexican wrestlers—were treated as daredevils or rock stars. Ernesto found fame, but at great expense, nearly costing him his marriage. On sale 6/11/2024.

The New Tourist by Paige McClanahan. A non-fiction page-turning exploration of how tourism has shaped the world, for better and for worse—essential reading for anyone looking for a deeper understanding of the implications of their wanderlust. On sale 6/18/2024

Love Letters to a Serial Killer by Tasha Coryell. An aimless young woman starts writing to an accused serial killer while he awaits trial and then, once he’s acquitted, decides to move in with him and take the investigation into her own hands in this dark and irresistibly compelling debut thriller. On sale 6/25/2024.

The Mirror of Simple Souls by Aline Kiner; translated by Susan Emanuel. This novel of medieval Paris sold over 100,000 copies in France and offers a fascinating insight into the world of the beguines — communities of women who lived independently of men and successfully managed their own affairs all the way back in the Middle Ages. On sale 6/25/2024.

I can’t tell which one I would start with first – how about you? Let me know if you’ve heard of these and if you’ve added any one to your TBR list.

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What I’m Reading

It was wonderful to have a week off last week and spend a bit more time with books. I started several books and wanted to mention a bit them.

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. In this dual narrative, I’m immerse between the walls of the Barbizon Hotel for Women, past and present. This is the story of Rose Lewin, a journalist who decides to write about the women who lived in this famous hotel for women in the 1950s. I’ve read The Address by this author, which was also a dual timeline novel, and really enjoyed it. I think she does a good job of writing both the past and present and so I’m equally invested in both stories. I am about half way through this one.

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. In the spring of 2020, As Lara and her three daughters are gathered at the family orchard during Spring 2020, Lara shares the story of her romance with a famous theater actor. Despite this being set at the start of COVID-19, I’m so glad the focus is not about the pandemic but about the parents’ love, the family relationships and the story of the orchard. Such a great story and will more than likely finish this one soon.

Dearly by Margaret Atwood. I picked this collection up in April for National Poetry Month so it’s taken me a while to get through but I usually take my time with poetry collections so I’m not complaining. I’ve read a lot of Atwood but not her poetry so this has been really interesting and this collection offers a wide range of topics.

Finally a new book I’m starting tonight is Death in the Holler by John. G. Bluck. This is a small town mystery about a game warden who is about to lose his job and has a chance at redemption solving a murder mystery. This is not a typical mystery I would choose but it’s for my Mystery Book group discussion this month so let’s see how it goes.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these. What about you, what good book(s) are you reading this week?

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10 Books of Summer

How exciting to see that Cathy at 746 Books is celebrating 10 years of 20 Books of Summer! I haven’t participated every year but I’m looking forward to joining in on the fun this summer.

I enjoy using reading challenges to focus on books I’ve had for a while so with that in mind I’ve selected 10 books to focus on. This time I’m also including some Kindle reads that I’ve had on my Kindle for at least 5 years. If I swap out any books it has to be with another shelf sitter.

Here is my pile of possibilities:

The Swiss Summer by Stella Gibbons. I picked this one up due to the title because honestly that’s where I’d love to be right now!

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. This classic tells the story of Father Jean Marie Latour, a French Jesuit priest, who is sent on mission to the newly acquired southwestern part of the United States in 1851.

Barbara Isn’t Dying by Alina Bronsky; translated by Tim Mohr. Walter Schmidt has lived his whole life within the narrow, “comfortable” confines of traditional gender roles. After all, he could always count on his wife, Barbara. But when one morning she can’t get up from bed anymore, everything changes. I’ve greatly enjoyed  two other books by Alina Bronsky.

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie. The beautiful bronzed body of Arlena Stuart lay facedown on the beach. But strangely, there was no sun and she was not sunbathing… she had been strangled. I always like to have a mystery to choose from and it’s been ages since I read any Agatha Christie.

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood. Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank, and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three.

Photographic: The Life of Gabriela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero. Through this graphic novel we discover the power of images through the photography of Graciela Iturbide. Born in Mexico, Iturbide blazed her own path in the photography scene of the 1970s to become one of the most accomplished photographers in the world.

From my Kindle:

The Lost Words by Stephanie Butland. Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you. Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night.

Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose. In Regency London, an unconventional scientist and a fearless female artist form an unlikely alliance to expose a cold-hearted killer . . . It’s been a while since I read a historical mystery!

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife.

Things You Save in the Fire by Katherine Center. Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse. She’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

As usual, I try to  a variety of genres. Let’s see how I do this summer but I’m excited. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and if you are planning to join!

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