Advance Copy Requests for 10/23/2019

I request advance copies often. I get approved often enough on NetGalley, but rarely win any physical copies. I love to grow my bookshelf and see my books, new and old, on display, so I keep on requesting! See what I’ve requested today below.

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Firstly, I like this cover. The book appears to be about a mother who is scared of the growing distance between herself and her daughter, and a growing resentment for her teacher, who seems to connect with the daughter better. Teacher – apple – perfect. Then it’s an apple in the process of being unpeeled, which makes this reader hope that the story will be similar. The bold blurb on its GoodReads page ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46809734-minor-dramas-other-catastrophes?ac=1&from_search=true ) recommends it to people who enjoyed Where’d You Go, Bernadette. I did! Fingers crossed.

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Claire has a mostly perfect life, but for an extremely controlling politician husband. She decides to try and escape. She happens to meet another woman in dire circumstances at the airport. They swap tickets. The other woman’s plane crashes. Claire now has the chance for a new life, as the woman whose plane went down. Along with being able to assume this woman’s life, she will have to take on those dire circumstances that the woman was under. This sounds twisted and fabulous!

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Told from the point of a view of a chambermaid to Elizabeth Báthory, in 17th century Hungary. What originally seems like a dream job becomes a nightmare. Horror, history, and an author I’ve heard wonderful things about.

Would you read any of these books? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

Good Morning!

Good morning and Happy Wednesday, friends! We’ll soon be through this week and ready to enjoy the weekend. What are you all up to today?

I’m expecting some course textbooks to arrive today, so tomorrow I’ll be back to studying hard. Thus, today I intend to take it easy. Maybe I’ll have a nice long soak in the tub, but I’ll definitely curl up on the couch under a blanket and read today.

Whatever it is you are doing, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Diary of a Dead Man on Leave by David Downing

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I had never read a historical fiction novel told from a Comintern spy’s point of view before and was intrigued about that before I’d even started. I thought Downing did a fantastic job with this background. Towards the beginning “Josef Hofmann” is focused on his mission, but as the story progresses and he gets to know his housemates, including 12-year-old Walter, the reader can sense his focus shifting. Eventually, as one knows it shall, it becomes a ‘them or me’ situation. Will Josef put his Communist loyalties first or his loyalty to humanity first?

I thought this story painted a vivid picture of prewar Germany, in the months leading up to Kristallnacht and shortly thereafter, especially as someone who hadn’t been living only in Germany for quite some time. It shows just how blinded the people were, how wanting to believe and hope and trust, to it eventually being too late when they discovered that what they were believing in was monstrous. There was never the real ‘falsely bouyant’ feel to it. The events and the descriptions of what people seemed to be going through and feeling came across as honest and straightforward: not perfect, but not all bad either. It also showed how the Nazis and Gestapo didn’t only target the Jewish: They took out everyone they suspected of having ideas that didn’t involve dog-like obedience to Hitler and the Nazis.

There were parts of the story where I felt it was dragging, but it was worth the continued push. If you like historical fiction involving WWII, this is one I’d recommend to you.

Pearl

Just thought I’d share a picture of the baby who is with me when my offspring are not.

This is Pearl. She is a Maltichon and 100%cuddlebug. 💜

Advance Read Requests… I May Have a Problem! ;)

I generally try to keep a healthy balance of not yet published and backlist reads. Mostly, I do alright, but I have a stack of requests NetGalley that are still pending. Thinking I’m going to give them about a month before I start requesting more, but FOMO is real! In the meantime, I’ve requested a couple of physical advance copies. I’ve only been approved for these twice, once through #Bookbrowse and once through my Shelf Awareness email. Here’s to hoping! And info about the books I requested below:

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Ada and her father, touched by the power to heal illness, live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals—or “Cures”—by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily burying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Ada, a being both more and less than human, is mostly uninterested in the Cures, until she meets a man named Samson. When they strike up an affair, to the displeasure of her father and Samson’s widowed, pregnant sister, Ada is torn between her old way of life and new possibilities with her lover—and eventually comes to a decision that will forever change Samson, the town, and the Ground itself.

Yeah… I also entered the Goodreads giveaway for this baby too. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything quite like it, so I’m really excited by the prospect.

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Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy–two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

This one hits home for me because my oldest, Annie, has family that lives in Mexico, and the drug cartel problem is very real and very terrifying.

Annnd, in the time it took me to pick up my girls from school, one of the NetGalley stack was approved. Can’t wait to read it! See below!

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Kyuri is a heartbreakingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a “room salon,” an exclusive bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client may come to threaten her livelihood.

Her roomate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea’s biggest companies.

Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist for whom two preoccupations sustain her: obsession with a boy-band pop star, and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that is commonplace.

And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy.

Together, their stories tell a gripping tale that’s seemingly unfamiliar, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships may have to be their saving grace. 

Looks lovely, right? Happy Monday!

Literary Slumber Party? Sign me up!

Back row: Meg Waite Clayton (The Last Train to London), Hank Phillippi Ryan (The Murder List), Linda LeGarde Grover (In the Night of Memory)
Front Row: Lynn Cullen (The Sisters of Summit Avenue) and Pamela Klinger-Horn

Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, MN, recently had these authors to her shop. Afterwards they went to her house and had a slumber party, with wine and dogs. This would be my ideal slumber party! Link to Shelf Awareness’s post about it below.

https://www.shelf-awareness.com/theshelf/2019-10-21/image_of_the_day:authors_in_pjs(with_dogs).html

Out with the Ex, In with the New by Sophie Ranald

I thought this book was fabulous! My last few reads had been more serious, thought-provoking books; this was a rom-com, chick lit, through and through, perfect for a break; it’d also be good on its own, though, if you prefer less serious genres.

Towards the beginning, Gemma feels like she has it made. She just landed a job and soon will be able to move in with the love of her life, Jack. He breaks the news to her the same night, however, that he’ll be off for a year of travel. He later, a bit predictably, dumps her. She takes to her vlog to vent, and it goes viral… Life then takes a lot of new turns for her, and the rest of the book is basically about Gemma finding Gemma.

The book is full of funny moments, girly moments, romance, wine, coffee, and cats. Can you go wrong with that combo? I think not! There were a few times it touched on more serious topics, but I felt like it was done properly for the genre: Not overly done and not lacking the respect important issues merit.

I’d recommend this to anyone who wants something feel-good and more lighthearted, someone who is a bit of a romantic at heart, or someone who believes in women empowering women.

Thanks so much to Sophie Ranald for writing this book, Bookouture for publishing it (You guys have yet to fail me as a reader.), and Netgalley for making the Bookouture-Terry connection possible. All the opinions above are my own.