Wednesday Reads, August 16, 2017

Aug 16 '17

 

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard;  In a world divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities–seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. But Mare risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard –a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.

Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephrom;  Ivy and David Rose, happily married high school sweethearts and expecting their first child, are plunged into a growing web of suspicion when a young, pregnant high school classmate disappears and David’s past is exposed in this tale of obsession.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman; Harboring secret preoccupations with a magical land he read about in a childhood fantasy series, Quentin Coldwater is unexpectedly admitted into an exclusive college of magic and rigorously educated in modern sorcery.

Unlikely Friendships:  Dogs by Jennifer Holland; “A heartwarming and inspirational book for the tens of millions of dog owners and dog lovers-and the newest addition to the phenomenal Unlikely Friendship series, a publishing program with three New York Times bestselling books and, with its bestselling calendars, nearly two million copies in print. Unlikely Friendships: Dogs brings together twenty-seven new stories of canine kindness and courage, plus a handful of classic tales involving dogs from Unlikely Friendships, Unlikely Loves, and Unlikely Heroes. Meet Rex, a Belgian Malinois who learned to love and trust again through the improbable friendship of a goose. Popeye the Mastiff, who ran into a burning stable and saved seventeen terrified horses by nibbling at their hooves. And a pit bull named Dolly, whose antics with her best friend, Sheldon the tortoise, include games of tag. (Yes, picture a tortoise running after a dog!) Enhanced with beautiful full-color photographs, these true stories of camaraderie, affection, remarkable bravery are more than a lovely tribute; they are proof that dogs are every creature’s best friend”– Provided by publisher.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin; Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes — those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon — are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back. She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Beautiful Tempest by Johanna Lindsey; “#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey now reveals the tempestuous story of Jacqueline Malory whose furious desire for revenge leads to a confrontation with the handsome pirate who abducted her–and sparks a much steamier kind of desire. For the first time, James Malory and his Anderson in-laws agree on something: It’s payback time for the culprit who kidnapped James and Georgina’s beloved daughter Jack from her American debutante party and whisked her away to the Caribbean, no matter that she escaped unscathed. James figured out who masterminded the dastardly plot and is leading a fleet of ships to the West Indies to deliver some Malory-style retribution. More interested in revenge than in finding a husband during her first London Season, Jack is furious that her father left her behind. Then an intriguing stranger leads her and her older brother Jeremy to her mysterious abductor. But instead of capturing him, the Malory siblings wind up as his ” guests” on a ship sailing away from England. As Jack re-engages in a battle of wills with her all too attentive captor, she realizes he is no ordinary pirate, perhaps no pirate at all, but a nobleman determined to settle a score that dates back to the days when her father was known as Captain Hawk–and what endangers her most is the increasingly passionate attraction they feel for each other”– Provided by publisher.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling; When the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.

 

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What we are reading, August 2, 2017

Aug 2 '17

What We Find by Robyn Carr (FIC CAR) A Denver neurosurgeon relocates to the small rural town named after her ancestor in the aftermath of a wrongful malpractice suit to recover and reconnect with her estranged father.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (FIC GRO) Harboring secret preoccupations with a magical land he read about in a childhood fantasy series, Quentin Coldwater is unexpectedly admitted into an exclusive college of magic and rigorously educated in modern sorcery.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (FIC JOH) “On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon–from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic–to prevent her from wearing the crown.”– Amazon.com.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (FIC OZE) “A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.” In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace–and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox–possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

Blackthorne’s Bride by Joan Johansen (PBK J)  When Josie Wentworth, a maid in the house of the Duke of Blackthorne, becomes a wealthy heiress, she vows to teach the duke, whom she has despised for years, a lesson by transforming herself in order to catch his eye, and then breaking his heart.

Rimfire by William W. Johnstone (PBK J)  The continuing story of Smoke Jensen’s long-lost nephews, Ace and Chance, a pair of young-gun twins as reckless and wild as the frontier itself…

A Stranger in Town by William W. Johstone (PBK J) The train grinds to a halt somewhere in the Indian Nations, and the bandits get onboard. They take everything on the train worth stealing and gun down a guard to make their escape–just another notch on the belt for Ben Trout and Zack Larsen, two of the most savage killers in the west. U.S. Deputy Marshal Ed Pine follows them to Muskogee. There the trail runs cold, and Ed Pine disappears. To save his friend, Deputy Will Tanner rides for Muskogee, where justice extends only as far as the range of a Colt .45. Tanner earned his badge in a blistering gunfight, when he got the drop on a trio of killers and saved the life of another fellow marshal. Now, he&#x;ll have to be just as quick–and just as deadly. To bring in Trout and Larsen, Tanner must set his badge aside, and resort to the law of the gun.

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo (YAFIC BAR) The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction―and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for. Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones (YAFIC JON) Set in the deep South, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, and surprisingly funny novel that follows an unnamed narrator as he comes of age under the care of his aunt and uncle – who are werewolves.