Hello my bibliophiles! Happy Holidays and Happy 2017! I hope you all had a wonderful time with friends and family and are getting to those To-Be-Read piles that I’m sure are accumulating in this new year. I know mine certainly are, which is why I’m bringing you all this post. I’ve bought and received a TON of books over the last few months… to the point I had to add cabinet space to my bedroom so that I could organize and properly add to my collection. However, as most of you know, work and random adulting took over my life (and continue to do so), so my posts between reviews took a big time hit. I’m REALLY hoping that changes in the coming year, and I apologize for getting this site going and then seemingly dropping it like a hot potato. That is not my plan in the long run. I really appreciate everyone I’ve met on my bookish adventures over the years, and I can only hope to expand our community from here on out. I appreciate you sticking by me, but for now, I say we get to a new and rather lengthy post!
So a few things. Obviously, I just enjoyed the holidays with my family and I celebrated a birthday yesterday (ugh, getting older. How stressful). Also, on a sadder note, my local Barnes & Noble that I’ve been frequenting for the past 17 years closed on New Year’s Eve. While I’m lucky enough to have several other store locations nearby, this particular store was my regular hang out. Before they left for good, a friend of mine and I went for a last hoorah and stocked up on a bunch of books that we wound up getting amazing deals on. What I’d like to do is share everything I’ve acquired since December 25th so that we can share some ideas and suggestions on anticipated reads for this year. I didn’t reach my goodreads goal for 2016 which really sucks, but I’m hell bent on surpassing my goal of 110 books for this year. As soon as I finish my re-read of the Gabriel’s Inferno series, I plan on putting my nose to the grind stone with the following list plus many more. Let’s get to it!
Hardy Boys The Secret Of The Old Mill by Franklin W. Dixon
I’m going to start with a story I got as a bit of a gag gift on Christmas morning. I have to thank my father for this one. It’s this long-standing joke between us that The Hardy Boys are the best books ever (according to him) so I shouldn’t have need to read any other books ever in my life. Anyway, on Christmas morning, I find myself sitting on my couch and opening this fancy box that looked like a holiday book, and received this. I have nothing else to say. I don’t think this is one I plan on reading, but I appreciate the sentiment that my dad put behind the gift. It made for a fun book chat. If any of you have little ones at home, these mysteries might be a fun way to get the kiddos into reading.
With two cases in tow, the Hardy boys look to Turner mill for clues. Determined to learn the secret of the old mill, Frank and Joe employ a clever ruse to gain entrance, only to find themselves trapped. How the young detectives extricate themselves from this dangerous situation and unravel mysteries will keep readers tense with suspense!
Marrow by Tarryn Fisher
Okay, so Tarryn Fisher is one of my more recent inspirations for writing. Funny thing is, I honestly can’t put into words how profound, poetic, yet straight forward her words really are. Her stories are so damn gritty and real and I can’t get enough of her honesty… even if she writes fiction. While I own most of her works in e-book form, I decided I need to start adding tangible copies to my shelves, so I started with this.
In the Bone there is a house.
In the house there is a girl.
In the girl there is a darkness.
Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When a neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.
What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one.
But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
It’s no secret that I’m a massive Anglophile, and I’ve been waiting for Victoria to hit PBS for months now. As soon as I saw this one on the shelves of B&N, I had to grab a copy and I can’t wait to dive in. To be honest, I just want to know more about this queen. In my time in England and Scotland, I’ve found the locals seem to adore Victoria, but every single story I’ve heard about her has been nothing but quirky, so I’d love to find out more about her appeal.
“They think I am still a little girl who is not capable of being a Queen.”
Lord Melbourne turned to look at Victoria. “They are mistaken. I have not known you long, but I observe in you a natural dignity that cannot be learnt. To me, ma’am, you are every inch a Queen.”
In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.
One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….
Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.
Too Late by Colleen Hoover
Sloan will go through hell and back for her little brother. And she does, every single night.
Forced to remain in a relationship with the dangerous and corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to make sure her brother has what he needs.
Nothing will get in her way.
Nothing except Carter.
Sloan is the only good thing to ever happen to Asa. He knows this and he never plans on letting her go; even if she doesn’t approve of his lifestyle. But despite Sloan’s disapproval, Asa knows what it takes to get what he wants. He knows what he needs to do to remain on top.
Nothing will get in his way.
Nothing except Carter.
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
In her enthralling debut, Gilly Macmillan explores a mother’s search for her missing son, weaving a taut psychological thriller as gripping and skillful as The Girl on the Train and The Guilty One.
In a heartbeat, everything changes…
Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry—until Ben vanishes.
Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel’s newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public’s attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion.
As she desperately pieces together the threadbare clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent’s nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most.
Where is Ben? The clock is ticking…
Unauthorized Doctor Who Psychology A Madman With A Box by Travis Landley and Katy Manning
Anglophilia and Whovian life go hand-in-hand. Enough said.
If a person could travel eternally through space and time, how would this power affect him, psychologically and emotionally? In a fun and accessible way, Doctor Who Psychology explores this question through an analysis of the longest-running sci-fi TV series of all time. This fascinating in-depth academic study, edited by Travis Langley, contains 20 essays delving into the psychology behind the time-traveling Doctor in his many iterations, as well as his companions and his foes.
The essays include:
“Who’s Who: A Myers-Briggs Comparison of the Doctors’ Personalities”
“Madness among the Monsters: Are the Doctor’s Enemies Insane?”
“Twice the Hearts, Half the Feels: Time Lord Detachment, Attachment, Abandonment”
“Fear Fuels Love: Misattribution of Arousal and Companion Attraction”
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother’s name. What is the book’s connection to his family?
Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.
One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.
The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.
Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga #1) by Jennifer Donnelly
Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation – and burden – that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother’s hopes.
The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Stay away from the woods…
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
The world-renowned classic that has enthralled and delighted millions of readers with its timeless tales of gods and heroes.
Edith Hamilton’s Mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture–the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present. We meet the Greek gods on Olympus and Norse gods in Valhalla. We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus. We hear the tales of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cupid and Psyche, and mighty King Midas. We discover the origins of the names of the constellations. And we recognize reference points for countless works of art, literature, and cultural inquiry–from Freud’s Oedipus complex to Wagner’s Ring Cycle of operas to Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra. Praised throughout the world for its authority and lucidity, Mythology is Edith Hamilton’s masterpiece–the standard by which all other books on mythology are measured.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
Elizabeth: Virgin Queen? by Philippa Jones
‘Gloriana’, ‘Faerie Queen’, ‘Queen Bess’, are just some of the names given to Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. But the name for which she is perhaps most remembered and which best explains why Elizabeth was the last of the Tudor monarchs, was the “Virgin Queen.’
But how appropriate is that image? Were Elizabeth’s suitors and favourites really just innocent intrigues? Or were they much more than that?
Between Shades of Gray by Rita Sepetys
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Okay, so I’m guilty of owning numerous copies of this story. I fully blame not only my studies in World Literature, but also Sylvain Reynard and my obsession with the Gabriel’s Inferno series that I keep picking up copies of this book.. and this one was so pretty!
The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.
This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli’s marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.
America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
I’m guilty of adoring American History almost as much as British History. That’s why I grabbed a copy of this one.
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I have to admit, this is a classic that I have not read. I picked u pa copy, but I can’t promise when I’ll get to it.
The award-winning translation of Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel.
The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia.
Okay, guys! That’s it for now! I think I have a good start for 2017. My TBR is seriously hundreds of books long, so here’s hoping I get the proper time to read and adore as many of these stories as I can. I’d also love any suggestions if you’d like to leave some in the comments below! I promise to get back to my reviews soon! Until next time, bookworms! Happy reading!