January TBR

My reading has been a little slow-paced this week due to some family things and yet another root canal. So I thought I would share with you my TBR, and hopefully you find a book or two you want to read. Let’s get to it!

Do No Harm, Christina McDonald
Women’s Crime Fiction

Blurb:
Emma loves her life. She’s the mother of a precocious kindergartener, married to her soulmate—a loyal and loving police detective—and has a rewarding career as a doctor at the local hospital.

But everything comes crashing down when her son, Josh, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Determined to save him, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to fund the life-saving treatment he needs. But when somebody ends up dead, a lethal game of cat and mouse ensues, her own husband leading the chase. With her son’s life hanging in the balance, Emma is dragged into the dark world of drugs, lies, and murder. Will the truth catch up to her before she can save Josh?

A quick note: I’ve read Christina before and I love her writing. She always writes multi-layer books with in-depth characters. I started this one yesterday and I love where it’s going.

Ezra Slef: The Next Nobel Laureate in Literature, Andrew Komarnyckyj
Literary Fiction, Satire, Occult Horror

Blurb:
The pioneering writings of celebrated Russian novelist Ezra Slef have made him a titan of contemporary Postmodernism, with a worldwide following keen to know more about the man behind the books. Enter Humbert Botekin, a disgraced former professor of literature, and Slef’s biggest admirer. He writes the definitive biography of Slef, with compendious notes, an introduction, a list of plates, and a glossary.
But Botekin’s narrative soon spirals dangerously out of control. A supreme egotist, Botekin cannot resist assuming the foreground, so that his ostensible biography of Slef gradually changes into a personal memoir in which we learn far more about the biographer than about his subject. The narrative is both sinister and darkly comic.
Botekin’s secrets include making a Faustian pact with a well-travelled gentleman who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Devil—a likeness the self-absorbed Botekin fails to notice, even as his world collapses around him.

A quick note: I’ve read some of Andrew’s work before, and I’m really excited to start this one.

Amelia Unabridged, Ashley Schumacher
YA

Blurb:
Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Ashley Schumacher’s devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.

A quick note: Devastating and beautiful as written in the blurb is spot on. I started this the other day and there are so many feels. I can’t wait to share the blog tour for this with you!

The Last Hurrah, Victoria Anders
YA

Blurb:
3 nights, 2 days, and 1 massive music fest . . .

I’ve been content sweating under the covers, hiding from life all summer. That’s what happens when you suffer from a broken heart.

After being away most of the break, my best friend returns and tries to draw me out of my funk. She can try all she wants, but I’m not leaving my bed until school starts.

But then she dangles tickets to The Last Hurrah. Broken heart or not, this weekend-long music festival is not to be missed.

I expect the music and ambience to be awesome. What I don’t expect is for my heart to forget it’s been crushed when I meet the cute and quirky Link. We team up on a scavenger hunt for tickets to a super-secret show from our mutually favorite band: Black Moon.

Suddenly, the dark clouds resembling a shattered heart are breaking up.

Until we cross paths with my crowd-hating ex during the middle of our quest. I’m abruptly torn between my feelings of the past and my new attraction for Link.

Will I lose focus on the finish line of the scavenger hunt by folding into the reason I hid all summer long?

The Last Hurrah could turn out to be more than just a music festival. It could be the biggest turning point of my life.

A quick note: I love, love Victoria’s books. I cannot recommend them enough! I’m super excited for this one.

Flowers of Darkness, Tatiana de Rosnay
Psychological

Blurb:
Author Clarissa Katsef is struggling to write her next book. She’s just snagged a brand new artist residency in an ultra-modern apartment, with a view of all of Paris, a dream for any novelist in search of tranquility. But since moving in, she has had the feeling of being watched. Is there reason to be paranoid? Or is her distraction and discomfort the result of her husband’s recent shocking betrayal? Or is that her beloved Paris lies altered outside her windows? A city that will never be quite the same, a city with a scar at its center?

Stuck inside, in the midst of a sweltering heat wave, Clarissa enlists her beloved granddaughter in her investigation of the mysterious, high tech building even as she finds herself drawn back into the orbit of her first husband who is still the one who knows her most intimately, who shares the past grief that she has never quite let go.

A quick note: I read Sarah’s Key a few years ago and liked it, so I thought I would give this one a try. I love a good psychological thriller.

Sweet Bean Paste, Durian Sukegawa
Japanese Historical Fiction

Blurb:
Sentaro has failed. He has a criminal record, drinks too much, and his dream of becoming a writer is just a distant memory. With only the blossoming of the cherry trees to mark the passing of time, he spends his days in a tiny confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with sweet bean paste.

But everything is about to change.

Into his life comes Tokue, an elderly woman with disfigured hands and a troubled past. Tokue makes the best sweet bean paste Sentaro has ever tasted. She begins to teach him her craft, but as their friendship flourishes, social pressures become impossible to escape and Tokue’s dark secret is revealed,
with devastating consequences.

Sweet Bean Paste is a moving novel about the burden of the past and the redemptive power of friendship. Translated into English for the first time, Durian Sukegawa’s beautiful prose is capturing hearts all over the world.

A quick note: A friend recommended this and I started the other day. I adore the story so far, it’s really good. This was made into a movie so I would like to check that out after I’m done. (and then probably realize the book is better, but we’ll see)

Sorry I Missed You, Suzy Krause
Dark Comedy

Blurb:
When Mackenzie, Sunna, and Maude move into a converted rental house, they are strangers with only one thing in common—important people in their lives have “ghosted” them. Mackenzie’s sister, Sunna’s best friend, and Maude’s fiancé—all gone with no explanation.

So when a mangled, near-indecipherable letter arrives in their shared mailbox—hinting at long-awaited answers—each tenant assumes it’s for her. The mismatched trio decides to stake out the coffee shop named in the letter—the only clue they have—and in the process, a bizarre kinship forms. But the more they learn about each other, the more questions (and suspicions) they begin to have. All the while, creepy sounds and strange happenings around the property suggest that the ghosts from their pasts might not be all that’s haunting them…

Will any of the housemates find the closure they are looking for? Or are some doors meant to remain closed?

Quirky, humorous, and utterly original, Sorry I Missed You is the perfect read for anyone who has ever felt haunted by their past (or by anything else).

A quick note: I grabbed this last year and I’m trying to clear out some of the top books in my TBR. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far, I love watching this unfold.

Sea Spray, John A. Heldt
Historical, Time Travel Mystery

Blurb:
Months after stealing two time machines from a madman who wants them back, the Lanes, a family of seven, seek peace and safety in 1927, the latest stop on a journey through time. For a while, each succeeds.

Parents Mark and Mary find housing in affluent East Hampton, New York, where a gracious elderly couple offers use of their mansion. Son Jordan and his new wife, Jessie, plan a family. Siblings Laura, Jeremy, and Ashley pursue fun and adventure. All form strong friendships with the Prices, a mysterious mirror-image family that lives next door.

Billionaire Robert Devereaux could not care less. Reeling from the theft of his million-dollar devices, he sends a hit man to the past to retrieve his property and rid the world of his former business partner and his troublesome clan.

Randy Taylor, who programs the machines, is determined to stop him. He tries to undermine his boss and save the Lanes, even as he tries to help his mother beat a deadly illness. He pines for the day he can join his fugitive friends and rekindle a promising relationship with Laura Lane.

Filled with romance, humor, and heartbreak, SEA SPRAY follows a modern family on the adventure of a lifetime as they navigate their way through the exciting and often dangerous world of Lindbergh, Gershwin, and Fitzgerald.

A quick note: I love reading John’s books and I love this series. I’m excited to start this so I can see what the Lanes are up to.

There we have it! It’s a fairly big TBR to get finished before the end of the month, but I think I will be able to do it. What are you reading? Anything I must add to this list (or perhaps February, where it’s a little less full?)

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