8/5/2016

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New release books that are on our radar.


For The Win
by Rochelle Allison, Angel Lawson

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

For the WinWhat better way to kick off the start of the 2016 Olympics than by reading an Olympic themed novel? 

Former All-Star collegiate goalie, Julian Anderson, has spent the last year off the grid, putting his life and health back together after losing nearly everything and everyone important in his life due to a series of bad decisions in college. But when he gets a call from the US Men’s Soccer team, asking him to play in the Olympic Games, he’s thrust back into the world he’s tried so hard to distance himself from  Read more...


It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

*I devoured this in two days.  It’s one of Colleen Hoover’s best novels!*

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. Read more


Mid Air by Kodi Scheer

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

“I had a secret: I wanted to leave the earth in a spectacular fashion. Specifically, by leaping from the Eiffel Tower.” So begins this provocative coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl bent on self-destruction and revenge, set in the City of Light.

It’s the summer of 1999, the end of a millennium. In the mind of Nessa Baxter, a girl from rural Illinois, Paris is the remedy for all of her woes. The death of her beloved brother and the betrayal by her classmate Kat has left Nessa bereft and doubtful about her future. She plans to exact revenge on Kat during their renegade French Club trip.  Read more...


Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together.  Read more

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7/29/2016

New release books that are on our radar.

51+4Kx79MyLTruly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarity

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate.  Read more...

 


Leaving Lucy Pear by Anne Tyler

51IoSXsXzrLOne night in 1917 Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle’s house on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, leaves her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and watches as another woman claims the infant as her own. The unwed daughter of wealthy Jewish industrialists and a gifted pianist bound for Radcliffe, Bea plans to leave her shameful secret behind and make a fresh start. Ten years later, Prohibition is in full swing, post-WWI America is in the grips of rampant xenophobia, and Bea’s hopes for her future remain unfulfilled. She returns to her uncle’s house, seeking a refuge from her unhappiness. But she discovers far more read more

 


Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Almam

As close as sisters for twenty years, Sarah and Lauren have been together through high school and college, first jobs and first loves, the uncertainties of their twenties and the realities of their thirties.

Sarah, the only child of a prominent intellectual and a socialite, works at a charity and is methodically planning her wedding. Lauren—beautiful, independent, and unpredictable—is single and working in publishing, deflecting her parents’ worries and questions about her life and future by trying not to think about it herself. Each woman envies—and is horrified by—particular aspects of the other’s life, …read more.


The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and …read more.

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7/15/2016

For Your Consideration SM

New release books that are on our radar.

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Nea618bwFzbYHL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_r an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself. Read more


Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

41AjUYjmVPL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: read more


The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

The Last Woman StandingTwo decades after the Civil War, Josephine Marcus, the teenage daughter of Jewish immigrants, is lured west with the promise of marriage to Johnny Behan, one of Arizona’s famous lawmen. She leaves her San Francisco home to join Behan in Tombstone, Arizona, a magnet for miners (and outlaws) attracted by the silver boom. Though united by the glint of metal, Tombstone is plagued by divided loyalties: between Confederates and Unionists, Lincoln Republicans and Democrats.

But when the silver-tongued Behan proves unreliable, it is legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp who emerges as Josephine’s match. As the couple’s romance sparks, Behan’s jealousy ignites a rivalry destined for the history books…read more.


The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

The Singles GameFrom the author of The Devil Wears Prada: How far would you go to reach the top?

When America’s sweetheart, Charlotte “Charlie” Silver, makes a pact with the devil—the infamously brutal tennis coach Todd Feltner—she finds herself catapulted into a world of celebrity stylists, private parties, charity matches aboard mega-yachts, and secret dates with Hollywood royalty.

Under Todd’s new ruthless regime, Charlie the good girl is out. Todd wants “Warrior Princess” Charlie all the way. After all, no one ever wins big by playing nice. Read more

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for your consideration (1) A new weekly feature.  New release books that are on our radar. 

 

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

In Twenty Years

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday…read more.

 


The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

WheThe Bourbon Thiefn Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris…read more.


First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

First Comes Love

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths…read more.  (Read about Between Two Books’ meeting with author Emily Giffin here!)


We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

CatWe Could Be Beautifulherine 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…read more.


Intrusion by Mary McCluskey

IntrusionKat and Scott Hamilton are dealing with the hardest of losses: the death of their only child. While Scott throws himself back into his law practice in Los Angeles, Kat is hesitant to rejoin the workplace and instead spends her days shell-shocked and confused, unable to focus.

When an unwelcome face from Kat’s past in England emerges—the beautiful and imposing Sarah Cherrington—Kat’s marriage is thrown into a tailspin. Now wealthy beyond anything she could have imagined as a girl, Sarah appears to have everything she could need or want. But Sarah has an agenda and…read more.

What new release are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

The Bourbon Thief

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My first book signing: My experience with Emily Giffin

Is it embarrassing to say that I’ve never been to a book signing? Despite being a life-long avid reader, I’ve never been to a book signing. Perhaps it was due to geographic location limits, but book signings are not something that has ever crossed my radar.   After recently moving to the Atlanta area, with much more arts and culture activities, suddenly, book signings are something that are doable.

book signing author Emily Giffin

Author, Emily Giffin.

When I found out that one of my favorite authors, Emily Giffin, was going to be within driving distance launching her new book First Comes Love, I jumped at the chance to go.  But then….all of the questions….what happens at a book signing (books are signed, I know, but what else?), what does one wear (I found out that this event was mostly cute sun dresses), etc.  Needless to say, my excitement level was at a fever pitch and I grabbed a friend to tag along.  By the way, I would have gone alone, but it was defiantly a friend event.  There were gaggles of girls everywhere.

Hosted at the Marcus Jewish Community Center, Emily Giffin’s book signing was more of an event than just a signing.  A book talk was hosted by local personality Mara Davis that felt like we were in the audience of a talk show.  The venue was much smaller than what I anticipated but that worked out in my favor as we were able to see Emily better.  It felt very intimate but packed at the same time—the room was full of women (and a few men…a few)!  It surprised me how much I enjoyed the book talk.  I’m not sure if I enjoyed it so much because it felt talk showish or if it was because of Emily’s personality.  (Side note: Atlanta is where Emily Giffin resides and is personal friends with Mara Davis.  I’m sure their comradery added a little something extra to the event.)

book signing

Gift bags from Random House.

Because Atlanta is Emily’s (am I allowed to call her by her first name? It feels like I can after the event) hometown, many of her friends and family members were in the audience which she talked to, or rather about, throughout the book talk.  Mara Davis started the book talk by stating that Emily was everything you hoped she would be and more—which is something that she definitely lived up to.  I was surprised at how funny she was and candid throughout the conversation.  We quickly learned that she and her first book agent did not have the best of relationships.  As someone low on the totem pole, Emily’s emails were not returned frequently and responses were very short from her agent.  Emily told the audience under no uncertain terms should aspiring writers ever use this agent—frequently.  This was surprising and hilarious at the same time.  Haven’t we all had those people that we would love to give a big ol “I’ll show you” to?  Emily recalled a story where her sister confessed to her that she sent that agent a signed copy of one of Emily’s best-selling books.  I’m sure that agent has never forgotten the writer she passed on.

Another surprising thing that Emily said, I can’t remember the context, they were obviously talking about the movie Something Borrowed, but someone asked her about turning her current book, First Comes Love, into a movie and who would she cast.  Mara Davis, who was magnificent by the way, reminded Emily that she had just mentioned on the Today show this week that Kate Hudson would be a good person much to Emily’s surprise.  She said “did I really say that?!” to which Mara confirmed.  Emily then had a confused/horrified look on her face to which she then said something like “well let’s just say that Kate played her character true to form in Something Borrowed (this is a previous book of Emily’s that was turned into a movie.  Kate Hudson played Darcy.)  She is definitely a Darcy”.  (If you haven’t watched the movie, you should! It’s really good, and you will totally understand the Darcy dig).  My friend and I looked at each other going “did she just say that?” I was delighted—it’s refreshing that she didn’t give a PC answer.

book signing with Emily Giffin

The wonderful host, Mara Davis.

At one point during the book talk, Mara Davis posed the question to Emily about how she felt about being classified as a “chick lit” author.  I was surprised and thankful for Emily’s candid answer.  Emily stated that although her success of her first book, Something Borrowed, came on the heels of Bridget Jones’s Diary and that much of the success of her book can be attributed to the influx of female readers during that time period, she does not feel that her books fit into the “chic lit” mold that is so often characterized.  She stressed that she writes about relationships between people and not Sex and the City martini sipping shopping girls.  Mara Davis brought up the fact that late night talk show host Steven Colbert has not had the first female author on his show despite having plenty of bestselling male authors.  Emilly stated that despite male authors such as Nick Hornby writing about the same type of topics covered in her books, Hornby’s works are not classified as “chic lit”.  (This is a topic that would make for a great post about gender inequality in the publishing world) Despite not really liking her deemed genre, Emily stated that she is simply happy to have readers.  Readers that have made her a bestselling author for the soon to be 8th time.

After speaking with Mara Davis for about 30 minutes, the floor was opened up to audience member’s questions.  Dun, dun, dun….I had a question, but boy was it nerve wracking—do you raise your hand to ask? I finally worked up the courage, despite my nervousness.  I was dying to know if Emily had ever thought about writing a young adult novel (a guilty-ish pleasure).  Surprisingly, Emily stated that she would love to write a YA novel.  Because several of her novels are essentially coming of age stories, and because she likes them so much, she said that she could see herself writing one.  Fingers crossed!

book signing with emily giffin

Myself with author Emily Giffin.

Finally, as the last questions were being asked from audience members, I saw several people in the audience begin to leave—how rude! But then I realized….they were leaving to jump in line for the book signing.  Maybe they were smart.  That line was incredibly long! Are they always this long? I’ve never been more grateful that I had a friend with me.  We spent an hour in line chit chatting while we people watched and waited for our turn.  Although I thought the line would move faster, I realized that it wasn’t moving that fast because Emily was gracious enough to take pictures with anyone that asked, and multiples as well, and have conversations with her fans.  I couldn’t have asked for a better first book signing/talk and can’t wait to go to another one.

What has your experience been with book signings/talks? Are they similar to what I described?

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Banned Books Week

Banned Books Logo

Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read and is being celebrated September 27-October 3.

There were 311 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2014, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2014 were:

1)      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

2)      Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

3)      And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4)      The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5)      It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”

6)      Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:

7)      The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8)      The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9)      A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10)  Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: sexually explicit

 

Have you read any on this list? I have read A Stolen Life and have to admit that it was very hard to read. The subject matter was gruesome and literally left me sick to my stomach.  However, reading about her experience left me with a greater understanding of her situation, which is ultimately the goal of all books.  Being able to read books and gain a greater understanding of one another is necessary in order to become a more rounded person.  The thought of limiting what people read places limitations on our ability to understand each other.

Did one of your favorites make the list? Find more banned books here.  What is your favorite banned book?

 

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The ONE Recommendation for Everyone

Me-Before-You-book-cover-Jan-12-p122

If you could only recommend ONE book, what would it be?

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes, is THE best book that I’ve read in the past two years.  I recommend this to everyone that I have a book conversation with because it is that good.  It sticks with you. Two years later, this book STILL weighs heavy on my heart. Even more, this book makes you think.

 

I initially saw this book pop up on the best seller’s list month after month.  I read the synopsis and was ultimately put off by the subject matter–one of the main characters is a quadriplegic.  I didn’t think I could stomach the subject matter.  However, a few months later, desperate for something to read, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  This is one of those books that has you quickly asking yourself why you waited so long to read this.

 

The book will make you laugh.  And cry.  And cry some more, but it is so worth it!  It’s a moving novel that will stay with for years to come and make you reconsider the life that we are given, how we choose to live it, and how we choose to end it.   Me Before You is also being made into a movie that is due out June 2016 starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.  I don’t see how the movie can live up to the depth of this book but I am anxious too see!  This is a definite must read before it hits theaters.After You

 

Don’t miss the sequel, After You, which is being released September 29th!

 

Synopsis:  They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

 If you could recommend only one book to someone, what would it be?

(Comment button  is at top of post under title)

Download Book Here: Amazon

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