Books On My Radar #2

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Welcome to Books On My Radar! This is a section where I highlight and share my excitement for upcoming releases or simply books that I’ve wanted to read for a while.

JUST RELEASED & UPCOMING

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All Is Beauty Now by Sarah Faber

Set against the seductive world of 1960s Rio de Janeiro, an exquisite debut novel about family secrets, divided loyalties, and what we’re willing to do to save ourselves. This mesmerizing first novel follows a glamorous family as they prepare to leave the seeming paradise of Brazil for Canada in the wake to the mysterious disappearance–and presumed drowning–of their eldest daughter a year earlier. As the novel moves back and forth between the members of the Maurer family, we are taken into the heart of a family whose beauty and charm belie a more troubling reality. We meet the family’s brilliant and charismatic father, whose bipolar extremes are becoming increasingly disturbing; his long-suffering wife, who once had a brief affair that proves to have shattering consequences for the family she swore to protect; their two remaining daughters, both on the brink of understanding the darker currents that run in their once-proud family; and the lost daughter herself, a beautiful young woman undone by her own grand delusions.

I love the exotic setting and the fact that it’s a story about a family. Are you planning on reading this one?


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Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais

Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a nine-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband’s death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred . . . until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built, and shatters their worlds when Robin’s parents are left dead and Beauty’s daughter goes missing.

 Renee @It’sBookTalk told me about this one and I must say it looks amazing!!!

Check it out!


THROWBACK

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The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

Every first Sunday in June, members of the Moses clan gather for an annual reunion at “the old home place,” a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. And every year, Samuel Lake, a vibrant and committed young preacher, brings his beloved wife, Willadee Moses, and their three children back for the festivities. The children embrace the reunion as a welcome escape from the prying eyes of their father’s congregation; for Willadee it’s a precious opportunity to spend time with her mother and father, Calla and John. But just as the reunion is getting under way, tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core: John’s untimely death and, soon after, the loss of Samuel’s parish, which set the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change.

This one has been on my TBR forever, I’m hoping to read it soon!

Which books are you most excited for?

Books On My Radar #1

nyc (2)

Welcome to Books On My Radar! This is a section where I highlight and share my excitement for upcoming releases or simply books that I’ve wanted to read for a while.

JUST RELEASED & UPCOMING

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She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

Eleven-year-old Polly is smart far beyond her years. But she’s a loner. Her mother tells her she has ‘gunfighter eyes’, like the father she’s never met. In prison, about to be released, Nate runs afoul of the powerful leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Marked for death on his release, Nate soon realizes that everyone he has ever loved is a target – including his daughter, Polly. Now, forced into hiding by the greenlight placed upon them, Nate finds himself having to teach his estranged daughter how to survive in a kill-or-be-killed world, all the while observed by Polly’s teddy bear, who is soon the only outlet for the little girl’s emotions. Soon the two of them find themselves on a non-stop struggle for survival, and along the way, discover the bonds that eluded them for so many years… 

Wow. I just love the sound of this book. I really enjoy reading stories about father and daughter relationships.


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Cottonmouths by Kelly J. Ford

College was supposed to be an escape for Emily Skinner. But after failing out of school, she’s left with no choice but to return to her small hometown in the Ozarks, a place run on gossip and good Christian values. She’s not alone. Emily’s former best friend—and childhood crush—Jody Monroe is back with a baby. Emily can’t resist the opportunity to reconnect, despite the uncomfortable way things ended between them and her mom’s disapproval of their friendship. When Emily stumbles upon a meth lab on Jody’s property, she realizes just how far they’ve both fallen. Emily intends to keep her distance from Jody, but when she’s kicked out of her house with no money and nowhere to go, a paying job as Jody’s live-in babysitter is hard to pass up. As they grow closer, Emily glimpses a future for the first time since coming home. She dismisses her worries; the meth is a means to an end. And besides, for Emily, Jody is the real drug. But when Emily’s role in Jody’s business turns dangerous, her choices reveal grave consequences. As the lies pile up, Emily will learn just how far Jody is willing to go to save her own skin—and how much Emily herself has risked for the love of someone who may never truly love her back.

 I really liked the blurb and it seems like it could be an amazing & gritty story.


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The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy–an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.  Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.

I’m a big fan of Joshilyn Jackson, so this is one of my most anticipated summer books!

Check it out!


THROWBACK

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The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry— The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn’t know. With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives – and the life of a desperate stranger – with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.

I’ve read other books by this author and this one has always caught my attention.

Check it out!

Which books are you most excited for?

My Book Blogger Routine

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Hello and welcome to my book blogger routine! I was inspired by Sam @ Clues & Reviews and I thought it would be a good idea if we all shared our blogging routines, just like those YouTube videos I’m -secretly- addicted to. I’ve always been curious as to how other bloggers balance their daily lives with so much reading and blogging, and I wanted to share what I do. If you find this incredibly boring, you don’t need to read it at all! I know my life is boring 🤣

I decided to split this into two different routines: one for weekdays and another for weekends. Before you ask: no, I don’t have any children, so I deeply admire those bloggers with kids who’re able to read and post so much. I do work full-time, so that’s why I read more during the weekend. And yes, I wish I could spend all day reading and blogging, but unfortunately, it’s not possible. Hoping to win the lottery in the next few years 😇

WEEKDAYS

I wake up at 6.45. I’m supposed to take the 7.45 train, but I always get to the station around 7.30 so I’m able to read for a few more minutes. The ride is only 20 minutes long, so I need to make the most of it.

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I work 8 to 5 and I don’t get to read at all during those hours. I use my breaks to check out posts and Twitter, though. On my way back to my apartment in Barcelona, I usually travel with work colleagues so I blame them for not letting me read 😤

A couple of years ago, I used to hang out/have dinner with friends 3 or 4 days a week. Nowadays, I’m finding that my friends don’t want to hang out that much (busy lives, I guess) so I have much more time for myself. Right now, my boyfriend works until 8.30pm or sometimes at night (8pm – 8am) so I use those hours to read and watch movies (I’m a big movie geek, I watch about 5 every week).

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I love my doormat!

When he comes home, we usually watch a tv show (our most recent favorite: The Handmaid’s Tale) or part of a film, or we simply read in silence (he loves to read too, but not as much as I do, of course 😉). We also go to the movie theatre at least once a week. I could never give up that.

I write reviews as soon as I finish the book and it doesn’t take me long, probably about 15-20 minutes. If I don’t write it immediately, I might not write it at all. When it comes to blog hopping, I don’t do it every day and I don’t feel guilty at all. Sometimes, I just want to sit on the couch and read or watch a film. I try to visit your blogs every other day (or once every two days) and I love to comment on other people’s post, not just share.

I usually go to bed at 11pm (sometimes before). I can’t read at all in bed, as I fall asleep immediately.

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This was before we moved in 😉

WEEKENDS

I usually wake up around 9-9.30. My boyfriend likes to sleep in (probably because he’s worked late the day before), so this is when I read the most and my favorite moment to do it. After breakfast, I simply sit on the armchair and read for two hours straight, sometimes three. This is when I manage to read books in a sitting.

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Cozy spot

I don’t have a clear routine for Saturday and Sunday afternoons & evenings because it really depends on boyfriend/family/friends plans.

So what’s your blogger routine? Remember to send me the link to your post so I can read it!

 

Searching For Book Recommendations!

This is a different kind of post for me, as it’s not a review, a wrap-up or a tag. Bookworms, I need your help! Even though I still have many ARCs to read, I’m already thinking about future reads. And I’ve decided I want to branch out into other genres as well. No, I don’t need any mystery/thriller/historical fiction recommendations, I have plenty of those 😉

I’m going to list a series of books I’ve absolutely loved that were “a bit” outside my comfort zone, some way more than others. And I will explain what I liked about them. I’d love it if you could recommend similar ones to me. Pleaaase, avoid erotica! Not that any of these are remotely erotic, but what I mean is that even if I say I love time travel, don’t mention Outlander because I hated that one. You know what I like, you know what I don’t. I trust you with my reading soul! ❤


White Oleander

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Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes–each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned–becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.

I read this many years ago because I really enjoyed the film and I still haven’t found something quite like it. I loved getting to know each family and their peculiarities, as well as “watching” the main character come of age during those years.

 The Deviants

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Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her. Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near…
This was my only YA read last year (I grew tired of the genre). It was amazing and I even shed a few tears. A different kind of book and the ending was tragic and perfect.

The Last One

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She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far. It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game. Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit.

A weird one, one of my first Netgalley reads. I absolutely loved it, even though I don’t even watch any reality shows. But it featured great writing (love the characters’ nicknames) and the ending was so clever and satisfying.

 Where Rainbows End

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Where Rainbows End is the amusing story of Alex and Rosie, best friends who grow up together in Ireland and stay close throughout cross-continental moves, marriages, parenthood, family dramas. and professional triumphs. Friends for close to 50 years, the potential for romance between the pair is always under the surface, yet never seems to find the right time or place to become a reality.

Maybe it was the letters, the e-mails, the humour, or the fact that it spans across many years, but I still remember this fondly. And I almost never read romance anymore, but this was so cute and fresh and it was basically friendship, after all.

 Before I Fall

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For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

It was a mix between Mean Girls and Groundhog day. I just love the fact that the day kept starting over and over again and how the main character grew to be a better person. Also, the friends were so mean and fascinating.

11/22/63

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While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke…

One of the most special books I’ve ever read. It had a bit of everything I’ve mentioned before and the time travel part was just an excuse for a great story. That last dance…

A Mother’s Confession

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Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete. But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.

Although I was able to predict the twist, it was still a heartbreaking story. But what I loved the most about A Mother’s Confession is the way it made me feel. I literally couldn’t stop reading because I found Ivy’s perspective irritating and realistic at the same time.

Valley of the Moon

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Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way when she discovers an idyllic community in the Sonoma Valley. It seems like a place from another time until she realizes it actually is. Lux must keep one foot in her world, raising her son as well as she can with the odds stacked against her, but every day she is more strongly drawn in by the sweet simplicity of life in Greengage, and by the irresistible connection she feels with a man born decades before her.

Again, this was kind of a time travel story, but with a twist. The main character gets stuck in a village where time works differently. An hour there means 7 years on the outside. Original and emotional, I ended up crying.

Where the Heart is

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Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town–a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart.

I’ve read and loved other southern novels, but this was one of my favorites. A pregnant girl living in a Walmart. How could I not enjoy it? Colorful characters, southern charm and lots of unrealistic situations.

So… any similar recs?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

TODAY IS MY 1 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!!!!

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Last Week…

Sadly, I couldn’t finish The House of Birds, so I ended up not finishing it. I did read Girl On Point in a sitting and during the weekend I read Hold Back The Stars, which was quite a unique book.

Right now…35067524

I absolutely loved Little Girl Lost, so I couldn’t wait to read the sequel, Secrets of The Dead.

Next…

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Let’s see…

IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM LAST WEEK…

Have you read any of these?