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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Belated Book Hauls!!!

Seriously, I've been remiss in making note of the books that have been coming in.  And they are so interesting and I'm very anxious to get to them, so I need to share with you....  

I have been taking it easy this past couple of months because I haven't been well, actually.  I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a benign brain tumor which affects the nerves having to do with hearing, the face and balance.  I had a series of Cyberknife radiation treatments to halt the growth and kill the tumor the end of Sept., and have been dealing with the side-effects since then.  I've completely lost my hearing in my left ear which has been a horrifying thing for me...and unexpected.  And, I'm now getting physical therapy for vertigo and balance issues.  What do I mean by vertigo?  It's as if I've been twirled around on a swing and then let go!  My head is often just wonky, so my balance is off slightly.  When I walk sometimes I look like I'm a bit tipsy.  It's not like this all the time, Thank God!!   I'm learning to live with these side effects, and hoping the tumor will shrink and go away in the coming months.  They tell me it can take up to 2 years.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed my reading and reviewing has slowed up a bit to compensate for this issue.  I'm not taking on as many books a week as I was in the past.  But, thankfully, this situation has nothing to do with and does not affect my ability to read, write and reason!!  All of that is as normal...for whatever that's worth!!  We can't blame the tumor for my opinions and thoughts!  :]

So, on to the books in my 3 Month Haul!  I hope you enjoy seeing what's new and coming soon to the book shops:

Library Journal
Present-day brothers Reggie and Nigel answer Sherlock Holmes-related correspondence since their law practice is at 221 Baker Street. This time, a case transcends reality and puts the brothers in danger. Sherlockians will grab this fourth entry (after The Baker Street Translation).

*Many thanks to St. Martin's Press


Introducing Alice Quentin, a London psychologist with family baggage, who finds herself at the center of a grisly series of murders

Alice Quentin is a psychologist with some painful family secrets, but she has a good job, a good-looking boyfriend, and excellent coping skills, even when that job includes evaluating a convicted killer who’s about to be released from prison. One of the highlights of her day is going for a nice, long run around her beloved London—it's impossible to fret or feel guilty about your mother or brother when you're concentrating on your breathing—until she stumbles upon a dead body at a former graveyard for prostitutes, Crossbones Yard. 

*In appreciation to St. Martin's Press


Midnight is the most bewitching hour of them all…

From Paula Brackston, the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter and The Winter Witch, comes a magical tale that is as dark as it is enchanting.  Set in high society Edwardian England, The Midnight Witch is the story of a young witch who faces the choice between love and loyalty to her coven…

*Thanks, again, St. Martin's Press!


A richly imagined, gorgeously written historical novel set in the Stuart court featuring a unique hero: Jeffrey Hudson, a dwarf tasked with spying on the beautiful but vulnerable queen.

It's 1629, and King Charles I and his French queen Henrietta Maria have reigned in England for less than three years. Young dwarf Jeffrey Hudson is swept away from a village shambles and plunged into the Stuart court when his father sells him to the most hated man in England—the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham trains Jeffrey to be his spy in the household of Charles’ seventeen-year-old bride, hoping to gain intelligence that will help him undermine the vivacious queen’s influence with the king.

*Note:  I reviewed this book in February.  Please check the "Search" box on the left to find the review.  With gratitude to St. Martin's Press!

Elizabeth Loupas returns with her most ambitious historical novel yet, a story of intrigue, passion, and murder in the Medici Court...

April, 1574, Florence, Italy. Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici lies dying. The city is paralyzed with dread, for the next man to wear the red lily crown will be Prince Francesco: despotic, dangerous, and obsessed with alchemy.

Chiara Nerini, the troubled daughter of an anti-Medici bookseller, sets out to save her starving family by selling her dead father’s rare alchemical equipment to the prince. Instead she is trapped in his household—imprisoned and forcibly initiated as a virgin acolyte in Francesco’s quest for power and immortality. Undaunted, she seizes her chance to pursue undreamed-of power of her own.

*In appreciation to Penguin!

Egypt, 1400s BC. The pharaoh’s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nile’s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsut’s games forces her to confront her guilt...and sets her on a profoundly changed course.

Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Isis ...

*Note:  Thanks again to Penguin!

Tolstoy wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." This is the statement that inspired bestselling author Gretchen Rubin to wonder whether she could foster an even greater happiness in her home. During The Happiness Project, the same questions kept tugging at her. How can I raise happy children? How can I maintain a tender, romantic relationship with my spouse--after fifteen years of marriage? How do I keep my Blackberry from taking over my private life? How can I foster a well-ordered, light-hearted atmosphere in my house, when no one else will lift a finger to cooperate?

This book is Gretchen's account of her second journey in pursuit of happiness. Prescriptive, easy-to-follow, and anecdotal, Happier at Home offers readers a way of thinking and being that is positive and life-affirming. With specific examples following the calendar year, an intimate voice, and drawing from science and pop culture, this book will resonate with anyone looking to strengthen the bonds of family.

*Note:  With thanks to Crown Publishing/Random House

Nancy Turner burst onto the literary scene with her hugely popular novels These Is My Words, Sarah’s Quilt, and The Star Garden. Now, Turner has written the novel she was born to write, this exciting and heartfelt story of a woman struggling to find herself during the tumultuous years preceding the American Revolution.

The year is 1729, and Resolute Talbot and her siblings are captured by pirates, taken from their family in Jamaica, and brought to the New World.

 *Note:  With gratitude to St. Martin's Press

This mesmerizing coming-of-age novel, with its sheen of near-magical realism, is a moving tale of family and the power of stories. 

    After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz take steps to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia—who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights—is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother's unfinished novel to lay her spirit properly to rest.

*Thank you, Crown Publishing!!!

For fans of Meg Wolitzer and Allegra Goodman, an intimate and provocative novel about three couples whose paths intersect in their New York City neighborhood, forcing them all to weigh the comfort of stability against the costs of change.

Nina is a harried young mother who spends her evenings spying on the older couple across the street through her son’s Fisher-Price binoculars. She is drawn to their quiet contentment—reading on the couch, massaging each other’s feet—so unlike her own lonely, chaotic world of nursing and soothing and simply getting by. One night, through that same window, she spies a young couple in the throes of passion. Who are these people, and what happened to her symbol of domestic bliss?

 *Note:  I appreciate the book Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt!

From the author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and long listed for the Orange Prize.

1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston Island, Texas—a thousand miles from home—she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar's little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them. Meanwhile for Nan Ogden, Oscar’s housekeeper, Catherine’s sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar’s first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar which she is struggling to suppress. And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.

*Note:  Thanks so much for the book,  Skyhorse Publishing!

"Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It's my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy."

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

*With thanks to St. Martin's Press

The mesmerizing story of Hillary Clinton's political rebirth, based on eyewitness accounts from deep inside her inner circle Hillary Clinton’s surprising defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career, vanquished by a much younger opponent whose message of change and cutting-edge tech team ran circles around her stodgy campaign. And yet, six years later, she has reemerged as an even more powerful and influential figure, a formidable stateswoman and the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, marking one of the great political comebacks in history. 

*I appreciate the opportunity to have a "look-see,"  Crown Publishing!

Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is shocked when her daughter's exclusive Brooklyn private school calls to tell her that Amelia—her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old—has been caught cheating. But when Kate arrives at Grace Hall, she's blindsided by far more devastating news: Amelia is dead. Despondent, she's jumped from the school's roof. At least that's what Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. It's what she believes, too, until she gets the anonymous text: Amelia didn't jump. ...

 *Note:  Published by Harper Collins

The Wind Is Not a River is Brian Payton's gripping tale of survival and an epic love story in which a husband and wife—separated by the only battle of World War II to take place on American soil—fight to reunite in Alaska's starkly beautiful Aleutian Islands.

Following the death of his younger brother in Europe, journalist John Easley is determined to find meaning in his loss. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Helen, he heads north to investigate the Japanese invasion of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, a story censored by the U.S. government...

*Note:  Thanks to Harper Collins!

At the end of a particularly grueling summer day, Ash is heading home to his wife and kids when he discovers a pair of bodies, shot execution style, in the front seat of a crashed vehicle. As the first officer on the scene, Ash finds himself and his department 20 minutes behind a killer in a race where every second counts. With two victims down and a third unaccounted for, the clock is ticking and Ash must find the killer before he strikes again...

*Note:  Thanks to Grand Central/Hachette Publishing
When Eve Petworth writes to Jackson Cooper to praise a scene in one of his books, they discover a mutual love of cookery and food. Their friendship blossoms against the backdrop of Jackson's colorful, but ultimately unsatisfying, love life and Eve's tense relationship with her soon-to-be married daughter. As each of them offers, from behind the veils of semi-anonymity and distance, wise and increasingly affectionate counsel to the other, they both begin to confront their problems and plan a celebratory meeting ...
 *Note:  Thanks so much to Grand Central/Hachette Publishing!!

"This assured, compassionate first novel channels the suburban angsty of Updike and Cheever...with pitch-perfect prose and endearingly melancholy characters."--Booklist (Starred Review)
Anders Hill, entering his early sixties and seemingly ensconced in the "land of steady habits"--a nickname for the affluent, morally strict hamlets of Connecticut that dot his commuter rail line--abandons his career and family for a new condo and a new life...

*Note:  With thanks to Little, Brown & Co.




I'm so sorry to see you're having health issues. I struggle with vertigo from time to time so I know what that's like. I hope things improve for you quickly.


Thank you for caring, Kathy. Physical therapy is helping tremendously. I'm feeling better all the time... :]

Ann Weisgarber

Deb, you're so brave and your sense of humor is your thoughtful way of making this easier for your blog fans. Same for your optimistic point of view. Two years is a long recovery but we're out here cheering for you. You must feel like you're living inside some weird sci-fi novel.

I'm glad to hear it hasn't impacted your ability to read. It's inspiring that you're willing to tackle the long list of books waiting to be read. Thank you for including The Promise on your list.

Take care of yourself!


Thank you, Ann. It's because of authors, publishers and friends like you that my spirits are up and I have a reason to keep my head up! I appreciate your support so much.


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