Archive for the ‘Friday Finds’ Category
Today’s Friday Finds! so the three listed below are the ones that caught my eye this week:
Shades of Grey by Clea Simon
Twenty-something grad student Dulcie is having an awful summer. She’s had to put her beloved cat Mr Grey to sleep; she can’t decide on a thesis topic; and her best friend and room-mate has gone away, leaving her with a sub-letter, Tim, a boorish business school jerk. Walking home from her boring temp job she sees a cat the spitting image of Mr Grey and hears, in her head, a serious male voice saying, ‘I wouldn’t go in just now, if I were you’. Ignoring the cat’s advice she enters – to find Tim dead, stabbed with Dulcie’s own knife. Dulcie finds herself in the frame for murder, while the ghost of Mr Grey continues to appear, offering his cryptic advice. Then Dulcie discovers a ghostly Gothic novel, featuring a beleaguered heroine whose life is strangely reminiscent of her own…
Note: I attempted to ask for a review copy for this, unfortunately I was not lucky. No matter! I went to the store and picked up another one of Clea Simon’s works so that made me happy. I love kitties, so this mystery should be an awesome read.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.
Note: More TUDOR ERA STUFF! YES!!!!
A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd
England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford’s upbringing is far different from that of the usual upper-middle-class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her officer father. At the outbreak of World War I, she followed in his footsteps and volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic. On one voyage, Bess grows fond of the young, gravely wounded Lieutenant Arthur Graham. Something rests heavily on his conscience, and to give him a little peace as he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, and when she’s next in England, she herself is recovering from a wound. When Bess arrives at the Graham house in Kent, Jonathan Graham listens to his brother’s last wishes with surprising indifference. Neither his mother nor his brother Timothy seems to think it has any significance. Unsettled by this, Bess is about to take her leave when sudden tragedy envelops her. She quickly discovers that fulfilling this duty to the dead has thrust her into a maelstrom of intrigue and murder that will endanger her own life and test her courage as not even war has.
Note: I’m into mysteries and looking for good ones. This one caught my eye as I barely read anything having to do with WWI.
(All descriptions were taken from Amazon.ca)
What did you guys find?
Oh Crap! I’m late for my Friday Finds! *screams and quickly posts up three books*
Small Wars – Sadie Jones
What happens when everything a man believes in — the army, his country, his marriage — begins to crumble? Hal Treherne is a young British soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. Transferred to Cyprus to defend the colony, Hal takes his wife, Clara, and their daughters with him. But Hal is pulled into atrocities that take him further from Clara, a betrayal that is only one part of a shocking personal crisis to come. Small Wars is a searing, unforgettable novel from a writer at the height of her powers. (Amazon)
Note: Looks good, caught my attention.
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery’s pocket and touched the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who—or what—is stealing the city of Wellmet’s magic. (Amazon)
Note: I was going to take this out from the library but some twit beat me to it first. Damn them. It’s a first in a trilogy.
Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
Stoker-winner Hill features a particularly merciless ghost in his powerful first novel. Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios for fun, so doesn’t think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner’s ghost. Only after it arrives does Judas discover that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of Coyne’s discarded groupies, and that the old man’s ghost is a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter’s suicide. Judas isn’t quite the cad or Craddock the avenging angel this scenario makes them at first, but their true motivations reveal themselves only gradually in a fast-paced plot that crackles with expertly planted surprises and revelations. Hill (20th Century Ghosts) gives his characters believably complex emotional lives that help to anchor the supernatural in psychological reality and prove that (as one character observes) “horror was rooted in sympathy.” His subtle and skillful treatment of horrors that could easily have exploded over the top and out of control helps make this a truly memorable debut. (Amazon)
Note: Autumn is coming. The scary books should be read during that time
What did you guys find?
Ack!! I almost forgot Friday Finds!!!! the ones listed below are my top three finds I have found this week:
Interred With Their Bones – Jennifer Carrell
Jennifer Lee Carrell’s highly acclaimed debut novel is a brilliant, breathlessly paced literary adventure. The action begins on the eve of the Globe’s production of Hamlet when Shakespeare scholar and theater director Kate Stanley’s eccentric mentor Rosalind Howard gives her a mysterious box, claiming to have made a groundbreaking discovery. Before she can reveal it to Kate, the Globe is burned to the ground and Roz is found dead…murdered precisely in the manner of Hamlet’s father.
Inside the box Kate finds the first piece in a Shakespearean puzzle, setting her on a deadly, highstakes treasure hunt. From London to Harvard to the American West, Kate races to evade a killer and solve a tantalizing string of clues hidden in the words of Shakespeare, which may unlock one of history’s greatest secrets. (Amazon.ca)
Note: This one looks awesome! I’ve never heard of this author or book before!
The Arms Maker of Berlin – Dan Fesperman
When Nat Turnbull, a history professor who specializes in the German resistance, gets the news that his estranged mentor, Gordon Wolfe, has been arrested for possession of stolen World War II archives, he’s hardly surprised that, even at the age of eighty-four, Gordon has gotten himself in trouble. But what’s in the archives is staggering: a spymaster’s trove missing since the end of the war, one that Gordon has always claimed is full of “secrets you can’t find anywhere else . . . live ammunition.” (Amazon.ca)
Note: Awesome cool WWII stuff
Duchess – Susan Holloway Scott
Sarah Jennings’s ascent from poverty as a 13-year-old to the highest echelons of late 17th- and early 18th-century English society has all the trappings of supermarket tabloids: intrigue, treachery, deceit and sexual scandals. In this first-person telling, Scott takes a near-scholarly approach but maintains the thrills as Sarah and her equally ambitious husband, John Churchill, risk charges of treason (and thus, their necks) to ensure the crown for Anne Stuart. Sarah and John become the ultimate power couple: she gets her way, her riches and her title nearly without sacrificing her own principles, while John, despite his personal ambition, seeks the best for his family and country, becoming England’s greatest military hero. If each is a bit too good to be true, that is a hazard of the first person and is easy to overlook with two such interesting and able characters. That Sarah is an ancestor of both Winston Churchill and Lady Diana Spencer gives this novel appeal to several generations of historical fiction readers. (Amazon.ca)
Note: Thanks Lucy, for giving me the heads up on Susan Holloway Scott. Never heard of her until your review this one calls out to me the most though.
What did all of you guys find today?
Today is Friday Finds. Here’s what I found that caught my eye for this Friday:
Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie
When a diamond brooch stolen decades ago turns up for sale at an upscale London auction house, the brooch’s owner, Dr. Erika Rosenthal, a retired academic who escaped Nazi Germany with her philosopher husband, David, during WWII, turns for help to her friend Insp. Gemma James in Crombie’s lively 12th mystery to feature Gemma and Scotland Yard’s Duncan Kincaid (after 2007′s Water Like a Stone). The suspicious hit-and-run death of Kristin Cahill, a young clerk involved in the brooch’s sale, is but the first in a series of fatalities to befall people connected to the auction. Crombie raises the suspense by alternating the contemporary story, which includes news of Gemma’s mother’s battle against cancer, with flashbacks to the investigation of David’s unsolved murder in 1952 while he was working on an exposé about Nazi sympathizers. With its echoes of Elizabeth George and even Danielle Steel, this entry will appeal as much to newcomers as to series fans (Amazon.ca)
Note: I know this is part of a series. I’m wondering if this can be read as a stand alone? it certainly looks really good.
The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
The tragedy of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and despair of its resolution provide the backdrop for Silva’s (The Unlikely Spy) heart-stopping, complex yarn of international terrorism and intrigue. Israeli master spy Ari Shamron sets an intricate plot in motion to lure deadly Palestinian assassin Tariq al-Hourani into his net. Art restorer Gabriel Allon, a former Israeli agent whose family was killed by Tariq, is lured back into the fray by Shamron and teamed with Jacqueline Delacroix, a French supermodel/Israeli secret agent whose grandparents died in the Holocaust. Gabriel sets up in London to monitor Yusef, Tariq’s fellow terrorist and confidant. Jacqueline is assigned to seduce him in hopes of intercepting Tariq, who is devising a plan to kill Israel’s prime minister during peace talks with Arafat in New YorkDand he has similar plans for Gabriel. The tortuous plot leading the various parties to the showdown in Manhattan is a thrilling roller-coaster ride, keeping readers guessing until the mind-bending conclusion. Sensitive to both sides of the conflict, the narrative manages to walk a political tightrope while examining the motivations of Palestinians and Israelis alike. The duplicity and secret financial juggling to keep government hands clean is personified in publishing mogul Benjamin Stone, who backs the Israeli efforts. He is just one of many larger-than-life characters (both real and invented) thrown into the mixDArafat himself has a tense encounter with Tariq that underscores the volatility of terrorist loyalty. An array of global locales adds to the complexity and authenticity of the dizzying, cinematic plot. (Amazon.ca)
Note: Now THAT one looks really really good.
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, has his work cut out for him trying to save his girl’s soul and plan the Master’s fast-approaching Death Day gala. In alternating points of view, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous and darkly hilarious love story for the ages.
Note: LOL this one made me chuckle a bit. I hope I can find it soon.
What did you find today?
Today’s Friday Finds and I found the following three (I picked the most interesting of a group of books I found)
Too Close to Home – Linwood Barclay
In a quiet neighborhood, in the house next door, a family is brutally murdered for no apparent reason. You can’t help thinking, It could have been us. And you start to wonder: What if we’re next?
Promise Falls isn’t the kind of community where families are shot to death in their own homes. But how well did Jim and Ellen Cutter really know their neighbors—or the darker secrets of their small town? They don’t have to look further than their own marriage to know that things aren’t always what they seem. Now the Cutters and their son, Derek, must face the unthinkable: that a murderer isn’t just stalking too close to home…but is inside it already. (Amazon.ca)
Note: After finishing Fear the Worst (which I enjoyed) I figured why not? this one looks good! I found it at the store and was about to get it, but I think I found something else instead. However! no biggie! it’s at my library ready to get my paws on it! muaha!
Crossfire – Miyuki Miyabe
This provocative paranormal police procedural from the prolific Miyabe, like her two previous crime novels translated into English (All She Was Worth and Shadow Family), examines the dark side of Japanese society. The complex story is seen through the eyes of two very different women: Junko Aoki, who’s afflicted/blessed with pyrokinesis, the ability to start fires through willpower, which she uses to avenge unsolved crimes, and Sgt. Chikako Ishizu of the Tokyo police department’s arson squad, a pragmatic skeptic. Chikako and her partner gradually piece together a series of baffling cases in which suspected criminals, cars and even buildings are inexplicably incinerated. Their investigation leads to those with supernatural powers, including a troubled young girl, as well as to an underground citizens’ organization of justice seekers. Despite uneven pacing and some unlikely coincidences, this startling genre mix keeps the reader turning the pages right up to the breathtaking climax. (Amazon.ca)
Note: This is one of the books listed for my Japanese Literature Challenge. It reminds me a lot of Firestarter
The Devil’s Queen – Jeanne Kalogridis
From Jeanne Kalogridis, the bestselling author of I, Mona Lisa and The Borgia Bride, comes a new novel that tells the passionate story of a queen who loved not wisely . . . but all too well.Confidante of Nostradamus, scheming mother-in-law to Mary, Queen of Scots, and architect of the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, Catherine de Medici is one of the most maligned monarchs in history. In her latest historical fiction, Jeanne Kalogridis tells Catherine’s story-that of a tender young girl, destined to be a pawn in Machiavellian games. Born into one of Florence’s most powerful families, Catherine was soon left a fabulously rich heiress by the early deaths of her parents. Violent conflict rent the city state and she found herself imprisoned and threatened by her family’s enemies before finally being released and married off to the handsome Prince Henry of France. Overshadowed by her husband’s mistress, the gorgeous, conniving Diane de Poitiers, and unable to bear children, Catherine resorted to the dark arts of sorcery to win Henry’s love and enhance her fertility-for which she would pay a price. Against the lavish and decadent backdrop of the French court, and Catherine’s blood-soaked visions of the future, Kalogridis reveals the great love and desire Catherine bore for her husband, Henry, and her stark determination to keep her sons on the throne. (Amazon.ca)
Note: Sure, Catherine was an evil witch, but this one sort of shows HOW she came to be that way. I haven’t read much on Catherine de Medici so this one would be interesting.
So! what did you find today?
Today is Friday Finds and let’s see…as usual I found a lot but I’ll narrow it down to three that stood out for me the most:
The Black Tattoo – Sam Enthoven
London teen Jack leads a not-very-interesting life. His friend Charlie is none too bright and is blinded by his anger over his parents’ divorce. Jack stands by his best mate through thick and thin, even when Charlie, possessed by a demon, crosses into Hell itself. Khentimentu, also known as the Scourge, has been trapped in the roots of an ancient tree for thousands of years by a secret society called The Brotherhood of Sleep. Charlie, thinking he is being recruited into it, unwittingly becomes a host for the escaped Scourge, manifested in a writhing, black tattoo. With Charlie’s help, the demon kills all the members of the Brotherhood except the young warrior-woman Esme. When the demon and Charlie escape into Hell, it is up to Jack and Esme to rescue Charlie and save the universe from Khentimentu’s evil plan. Enthoven has created an interesting and original universe and a gripping story. Hell is a demon-populated Roman empire at its most decadent, complete with gladiators and an all-powerful emperor. (Amazon.ca)
I’m in the mood for some dark stuff. That suits it perfectly.
Jar City: A Reykjavik Thriller – Arnaldur Indridason (Author), Bernard Scudder (Translator)
When a lone septuagenarian is murdered in his apartment in the Nordurmýri district of Reykjavík, detective inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is called in, along with partner Sigurdur Óli and female colleague Elínborg. Everyone is related to everyone else in Iceland and refer to one another by first name, even formally. Erlendur is about 50, long divorced, with two kids in varying degrees of drug addiction. The victim, a man called Holberg, turns out to have been a nasty piece of work, and Erlendur is disgusted by the series of rapes Holberg apparently committed. The rapes and the deaths of a number of young women may be connected, and the search brings Erlendur to the forensic lab, whose old “jar city,” since disbanded, held research organs. Meanwhile, Erlendur’s daughter, Eva Lind, is pregnant and still using; she flits in and out of his life angrily, but may be crying out for help. Reykjavík’s physicality, and the fact that crimes are relatively rare in Iceland, gives things a defamiliarizing cast. The writing, plot and resolution are nicely done, but remain fully within genre boundaries.(Pub. Weekly)
There’s a trend in foreign detective novels so I figured I might as well jump on the wagon and see how it goes.
The Plantation – Chris Kuzneski
One by one, in cities across America, people of all ages are taken from their homes, their cars, their lives. But these aren’st random kidnappings. They’sre crimes of passion, planned and researched several months in advance, then executed with a singular objective in mind. Revenge. (Amazon.ca)
Like I said, I’m in the mood for real dark stuff.
These three are available at the library so I’ll have to wait until perhaps next week’s trip. We’ll see I have quite a bit to read (quite a bit being a major understatement!)
What did you guys find?
Today’s Friday Finds! as usual, I found a lot of books through surfing through book blogs and through publisher websites so here’s three that stood out for me:
Dark Hours by Gudrun Pausewang Translated by John Brownjohn
Pausewang has created another World War II story, from the perspective of a German Christian teen whose life is at risk when caught in the brutality of war. Several days before Gisel’s 16th birthday, the family must flee their small village as the Russian army advances and the American forces approach. Waiting in the overcrowded train station, the teen is suddenly left responsible for her three younger brothers, including 18-month-old Rolfi, while her grandmother is at the information desk. When the air raid sirens go off, everyone tries to reach the nearest shelter and Gisel becomes separated from six-year-old Harald. Several harrowing hours ensue before the children are reunited, and when the bombs fall, they become entrapped in the rubble for two very long and frightening days. Gisel is a strong heroine who is able to maintain calm and optimism while hiding her fears and doubts from her young charges until their long rescue. Told by an elderly Gisel to her granddaughter in the form of a letter, Pausewang’s book seeks to make a statement that war is a crime and never good for either side. Yet some may bristle when she compares the difficulties of Gisel’s family with the suffering of so many in the inhumane conditions of the concentration camps, calling the Holocaust an “injustice” rather than organized genocide. Well written with suspense and powerful sentiments, this story will spark discussion when used in conjunction with other Holocaust literature. (Amazon.ca)
Note: Yes..I’m still craving WWII stuff.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
Note: This reminds me a lot of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy for some reason.
Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
Some secrets are too terrible to reveal . . . Some crimes are too unspeakable to solve . . . In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish. Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.
Note: This looks really damn good.
What did you find this week?
Today is Friday Finds hosted by Should Be Reading. As usual I found quite a lot. Again, I’ll choose three that sound pretty decent.
Tsar – Ted Bell
In bestseller Bell’s rousing fifth thriller (after Spy), Alex Hawke fights the leaders of a new and invigorated Russia, where Vladimir Putin has been locked up in a lethal prison built over a massive radioactive waste site. Evil mastermind Count Ivan Korsakov (aka the Dark Rider) is determined to return Mother Russia to her rightful place in the world order by reacquiring her former colonies, after which he intends to conquer Europe and reign as the new tsar. The only thing standing in his way is Hawke, who, as series fans well know, is more than up to the task of thwarting those who try to take over the globe. Life throws Hawke a curve when he finds himself falling in love with the astoundingly beautiful Anastasia, who just happens to be Korsakov’s daughter. As always, Bell pulls out all the stops with terrific action scenes, fiendish murders, diabolical villains, dramatic rescues and all the cool weaponry the reader could possibly hope for. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Note: I saw this at the local grocery store and just thought it would be interesting. I haven’t read the other previous books but this sounds pretty exciting.
A Monster’s Notes – Laurie Sheck
What if Mary Shelley had not invented Frankenstein’s monster but had met him when she was a girl of eight, sitting by her mother’s grave, and he came to her unbidden? What if their secret bond left her forever changed, obsessed with the strange being whom she had discovered at a time of need? What if he were still alive in the twenty-first century?
This bold, genre-defying book brings us the “monster” in his own words. He recalls how he was “made” and how Victor Frankenstein abandoned him. He ponders the tragic tale of the Shelleys and the intertwining of his life with that of Mary (whose fictionalized letters salt the narrative, along with those of her nineteenth-century intimates) in this riveting mix of fact and poetic license. He takes notes on all aspects of human striving—from the music of John Cage to robotics to the Northern explorers whose lonely quest mirrors his own—as he tries to understand the strange race that made yet shuns him, and to find his own freedom of mind. (Amazon.ca)
Note: I liked Frankenstein back then in the days of Gothic Literature class at college. Thought this one was interesting and a definitely a different twist to the classic story.
Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament – S G Browne
Browne’s black comedy debut brilliantly reinvents zombie culture for the 21st century. Andy Warner reanimates after the car accident that kills his wife, but is too mangled from his injuries to talk. He lives in his parents’ wine cellar, occasionally attending a zombie support group and struggling to rejoin a society that offers the undead no rights, bans them from working and doesn’t even punish those who destroy them. When Andy and his fellow zombies—notably Rita, a sexy suicide victim with a lipstick fetish, and Jerry, a Playboy-obsessed stoner—learn why they’re so driven to consume human flesh, the repercussions are both tragic and hilarious. Browne neatly mixes humor and extreme violence with a surprisingly tender love story, some witty social satire and an extremely strong narrative voice. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Note: I also put this under the Wishful Wednesday meme
What did you find this week?
Today is Friday Finds hosted by Should be Reading!
Woah. This week was pretty good. I found A LOT of stuff. As usual, my wish list is overfilled with so many books I want to read. I’ll keep it to three this time:
The Unit – Ninni Holmqvist translated by Marlaine Delargy
One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixty–single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries–are sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders. In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: well-housed, well-fed, and well-attended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, and…well, then what? (Amazon.ca)
Note: I’m hoping the translation isn’t so far off. Sometimes it is and it sort of throws the novel off course. Let’s hope not huh? this really caught my eye!
The Last Queen – C W Gortner
The 1492 conquest of Granada makes for high adventure and royal intrigue in this second sparkling historical from Gortner (The Secret Lion). Spanish Princess Juana, 13, watches as her parents, King Fernando and Queen Isabel, unite Spain, vanquish Moors and marry their children off to foreign kingdoms for favorable alliances: Princess Catalina becomes first wife to Henry VIII; Princess Juana, who narrates, is shipped off to marry Philip of Flanders, heir to the Hapsburg Empire. Although Juana balks at leaving Spain for the north and a husband she has never met, their instant chemistry soon turns to love. Years and children later, Juana unexpectedly becomes next in line to the Spanish crown and must carefully navigate every step of the journey from Flanders to Spain, fearful of alienating husband or parents or both. Emotional and political tensions soar as Juana’s loyalties are tested to their limits. Disturbing royal secrets and court manipulations wickedly twist this enthralling story, brilliantly told. (Publishers Weekly)
Note: I have never read a historical fiction novel featuring Juana La Loca. This would be an awesome read I think.
Wake – Lisa McMann
Not all dreams are sweet.
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does — they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant…. (Amazon.ca)
Note: I love YA fiction. They’re such great reads and most of them take a few days to finish. It’s refreshing after reading huge epic books. I just found out about this one by looking up the third book. Didn’t even know it was a series! how did I miss this one????
So those are my finds of the week. What are yours?
Today is Friday Finds hosted by Should Be Reading well, I found quite a few books I could add! I think I’ll just stick to these two:
Poison Study – Maria V Snyder
Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die—but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman’s noose.But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia’s food taster—chosen to ensure that the Commander’s food is not poisoned—has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed—me—must be offered the position. (Amazon.ca description)
- I actually found out about this book while surfing through book blogs. It interested me and looks good.
The Russian Concubine – Kate Furnivall
The experiences of the author’s mother inspired this debut novel, a somewhat improbable tale of star-crossed love in 1928 China. Valentina Ivanova and her 16-year-old daughter, Lydia, White Russian refugees, live in grinding poverty in the International Settlement of Junchow, subsisting off whatever presents Valentina can charm from gentlemen admirers and the profits Lydia makes from pawning stolen goods. When Lydia inadvertently attracts the unwelcome attentions of a criminal gang, the Black Snakes, she finds a rescuer in Chang An Lo, an English-speaking Communist and kung fu master. Danger is never far as the two fall in love. Lydia’s travails are mirrored by those of Theo Willoughby, the British headmaster of her school. Theo’s struggle to preserve his school and his happy life with his Chinese mistress, Li Mei, drives him to collude with Li Mei’s estranged father—the leader of the Black Snakes—to run opium into Junchow. Violence is more prevalent (and graphic) than sex, and the narrative has extended periods of inertia during which there is much action, but not of the plot-advancing sort. Despite these flaws, Furnivall vividly evokes Lydia’s character and personal struggles against a backdrop of depravity and corruption. (Amazon.ca, Publishers Weekly)
- I know…I know!!!! it sounds like something I would NEVER EVER EVER read. However recently I’ve noticed I’ve been opening up my book horizons. (I think surfing book blogs and looking for something new has something to do with it) so I’m willing to give this a try just as long as no one I know personally doesn’t see me with it har har.
I found so many others! but, I’ll just leave it with these two. Have you read these? what do you think?