Waiting on Wednesday – Heartless by Marissa Meyer

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week:

Heartless by Marissa

heartless

Publication Date: November 8, 2016

From Amazon:

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland―the infamous Queen of Hearts―she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

* * * * *

Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite childhood stories, so I’m excited for Heartless because I love the idea of getting a possible backstory on the infamous Queen of Hearts.

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday. Is anyone else excited for Heartless?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books Set Outside the U.S.

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books Set Outside the U.S. I think this is a great topic because even though I definitely enjoy books that are set all over the world, I do tend to gravitate to those set in the U.S. I’m looking forward to seeing what titles my fellow bloggers suggest.

My Top 10 Books Set Outside the U.S.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

1. A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki. (Setting: Japan and Cortes Island, British Colombia (Canada).

Goodreads Synopsis: 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 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 a 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 humour 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.

2. Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter. (Setting: Edinburgh, Scotland, Porto Vergogna, Italy, and some U.S.)

Goodreads Synopsis: The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

3. Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes. (Setting: Tuscany, Italy).

Goodreads Synopsis: Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion.

4. White Dog Fell from the Sky – Eleanor Morse. (Setting: Africa).

Goodreads Synopsis: Eleanor Morse’s rich and intimate portrait of Botswana, and of three people whose intertwined lives are at once tragic and remarkable, is an absorbing and deeply moving story.

In apartheid South Africa in 1976, medical student Isaac Muthethe is forced to flee his country after witnessing a friend murdered by white members of the South African Defense Force. He is smuggled into Botswana, where he is hired as a gardener by a young American woman, Alice Mendelssohn, who has abandoned her Ph.D. studies to follow her husband to Africa. When Isaac goes missing and Alice goes searching for him, what she finds will change her life and inextricably bind her to this sunburned, beautiful land.

Like the African terrain that Alice loves, Morse’s novel is alternately austere and lush, spare and lyrical. She is a writer of great and wide-ranging gifts.

5. Cutting For Stone – Abraham Verghese. (Setting: Ethiopia).

Goodreads Synopsis: A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel — an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics — their passion for the same woman—that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him — nearly destroying him — Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.

An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson. (Setting: Sweden).

Goodreads Synopsis: Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there’s always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

7. The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah. (Setting: France).

Goodreds Synopsis: In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. (Setting: Paris, France).

Goodreads Synopsis: WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

9. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden. (Setting: Japan).

Goodreads Synopsis: A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.

In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon. (Setting: England).

Goodreads Synopsis: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

Waiting on Wednesday – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week:

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval th

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

From Amazon:

“A spellbinding tale of sisterhood, love, and betrayal.”
―Sabaa Tahir, New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

How far would you go to save your sister?

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

* * * * *

I’m excited about this one because some of the advanced reviews compare it to Erin Morganstern’s The Night Circus, which is one of my favorite books! I think I’ve applied for every ARC giveaway on the internet in hopes of winning so I don’t have to wait until January to read Caraval, haha. 🙂

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Facts About Me

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Facts About Me (bookish or just general about you facts or ten facts about you as a blogger…whatever you want).

Ten Facts About Me

1. I’m the Queen of the Socially Awkward. Seriously, if they handed out a crown for that, it would be mine!

2. I have an 8 year old son named Ian, whom I adore. It is also my mission in life to make him as much of a bookworm as I am. We’re reading the Harry Potter series together now and he’s obsessed with it, so I think I’m off to a good start 🙂

3. I love all things Disney and Eeyore is my favorite.

Credit:  Disney

Credit: Disney

4. I don’t know how I find the time for it considering my obsession with books, but I’m also addicted to TV. Some of my favorite shows right now are The 100, Once Upon a Time, and Pretty Little Liars. Favorites that aren’t on the air anymore: CSI, Lost, Gilmore Girls, and China Beach.

5. I’m a left-handed Libra.

6. I’m a huge Star Wars fan! I adore all of the movies, particularly the original triology and The Force Awakens, and my favorite characters are Han and Chewbacca. As you can imagine, I was over the moon when Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise and can’t wait to head back to Disney World once the new Star Wars Land addition is complete.

Credit:  LucasFilms

Credit: LucasFilms

7. I’m very political. I keep it off my blog and off of my blog’s twitter, but I spend probably way too much time on my personal twitter account raging against that orange clown, Donald Trump.

8. Music is my life. I have to listen to music at almost all times. Like my taste in books, my taste in music is very eclectic. Classic rock, especially Bruce Springsteen, is my favorite, but you’re equally likely to find me listening to alternative, rap, or even to someone as quintessentially pop as Taylor Swift.

Credit:  BruceSpringsteen.net

Credit: BruceSpringsteen.net

9. I love to travel. To date, my favorite cities are New York City and Venice, Italy.

10. I love Broadway musicals. Thank goodness for the TKTS discount ticket booth in Times Square. I hit that up every time I go to NYC so that I can catch a few shows. So far my favorite musicals are Wicked, The Lion King, Motown, and Book of Mormon.

Credit:  Wicked.com

Credit: Wicked.com

Waiting on Wednesday – The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week:

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

underground railroad th

Publication Date: September 13, 2016

From Amazon:

From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

* * * * *

I’ve always been a big fan of historical fiction and all of the advanced reviews I’ve read about The Underground Railroad have me very excited to get my hands on this book. Just give them a read yourself and see how incredible this book sounds!

Posted on Amazon:

“Nothing, not one thing or activity, can replace the experience of a good read—being transported to a different land, a different realm, through words and language. I just finished an advance copy of Colson Whitehead’s new novel, The Underground Railroad. Every now and then a book comes along that reaches the marrow of your bones, settles in, and stays forever. This is one. It’s a tour de force, and I don’t say that lightly.”
— Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine

“Whitehead, whose eclectic body of work encompasses novels playing fast and loose with ‘real life,’ both past and present, fires his most daring change-up yet. . . . Imagine a runaway slave novel written with Joseph Heller’s deadpan voice leasing both Frederick Douglass’ grim realities and H.P. Lovecraft’s rococo fantasies…and that’s when you begin to understand how startlingly original this book is. Whitehead continues the African-American artists’ inquiry into race mythology and history with rousing audacity and razor-sharp ingenuity; he is now assuredly a writer of the first rank.”
–Kirkus (starred review)

“[S]pellbinding and ferocious…. The story is literature at its finest and history at its most barbaric. Would that this novel were required reading for every American citizen.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday?

Top 10 Underrated Books I Enjoyed Reading

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads.

One thing this week’s topic taught me is that I don’t read nearly enough underrated books, so I’m very excited to do a little blog hopping after work to see what others are posting so as to expand my reading horizons.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Underrated Books to add to your TBR List


1. Annapurna by Sharr White

03 I don’t know if drama in general is underrated on Goodreads or if Sharr White himself is because I’ve read two wonderful plays by him that both have less than 2,000 reviews. For those unfamiliar with Mr. White, he is a master at writing powerful roles for women. Even if you don’t read the plays, definitely don’t hesitate to check them out on stage. Brilliant stuff!

Synopsis from Goodreads: “Twenty years ago, Emma walked out on her husband, cowboy-poet Ulysses, in the middle of the night. Now hearing he’s in dire straits, she tracks him down in the wilds of Colorado to a filthy trailer, where he’s hooked to an oxygen tank and cooking sausage in the buff. Their reunion, charged by rage and compassion, brings back the worst and best of their former bond.”

2. A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher

04 It has been a number of years since I read this so I don’t remember much about it other than that it reminded me a lot of To Kill a Mockingbird because of the themes it tackled.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Howard Frank Mosher has earned both critical acclaim and a wide readership for his vivid historical portraits of northern New England residents in his fictional Kingdom County, Vermont. A Stranger in the Kingdom tells the unforgettable story of a brutal murder in a small town and the devastating events that follow. The town’s new preacher, a black man, finds himself on trial more for who he is than for what he might have done in this powerful drama of passion, prejudice, and innocence suddenly lost . . . and perhaps found again.

3. The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

01 The Memory of Things actually hasn’t been published yet, so I’m kind of cheating a bit here because I think this should be on everyone’s radar for when it does come out in September. I just recently read it and thought it was such a moving and poignant read.

Synopsis from Goodreads: “The powerful story of two teenagers finding friendship, comfort, and first love in the days following 9/11 as their fractured city tries to put itself back together.” Read More…

4. Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter

05 This is a suspenseful page turner and a recent release that I’m frankly surprised hasn’t wracked up anymore reviews than it has.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her. Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it. You can also read my review HERE.

5. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

06 This book is a fairly recent release that, like Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, so far hasn’t gotten as much attention as I thought it would have. It reminded me a lot of Gone Girl and to The Girl on the Train, except with the added twist that it’s told in reverse.

Synopsis from Goodreads: “Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.” Read more…
Read more

Spotlight on To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week:

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey.

bright edge eowyn ivey

Publication Date: August 2, 2016

From Amazon:

An atmospheric, transporting tale of adventure, love, and survival from the bestselling author of The Snow Child, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn’t return–once he passes beyond the edge of the known world, there’s no telling what awaits him.


The Wolverine River Valley is not only breathtaking and forbidding but also terrifying in ways that the colonel and his men never could have imagined. As they map the territory and gather information on the native tribes, whose understanding of the natural world is unlike anything they have ever encountered, Forrester and his men discover the blurred lines between human and wild animal, the living and the dead. And while the men knew they would face starvation and danger, they cannot escape the sense that some greater, mysterious force threatens their lives.

Meanwhile, on her own at Vancouver Barracks, Sophie chafes under the social restrictions and yearns to travel alongside her husband. She does not know that the winter will require as much of her as it does her husband, that both her courage and faith will be tested to the breaking point. Can her exploration of nature through the new art of photography help her to rediscover her sense of beauty and wonder?

The truths that Allen and Sophie discover over the course of that fateful year change both of their lives–and the lives of those who hear their stories long after they’re gone–forever.

* * * * *

I’m excited for To the Bright Edge of the World because Eowyn Ivey is a writer that creates pure magic. The Snow Child is probably one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read – well-developed characters that have a bit of mystery to them, a surreal setting, and a compelling storyline to boot. I’m hoping to be equally captivated by Ivey’s latest book when it comes out in August.

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on My Summer TBR List

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is “FREEBIE WEEK — topic of your choice or go back and do one you missed!” This is my first week participating so I’m choosing to go back and do an earlier top 10 list, so without further ado, here’s my first Top Ten Tuesday!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on My Summer TBR List


A Darker Shade final for Irene 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab – Nearly everyone I follow has given this one rave reviews, plus I’m kind of intrigued by the idea of London parallel universe style, so I’m super excited to give it a read this summer.

2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Back when I read Red Queen, I remember a lot of reviews saying that it was similar to Red Rising but that Red Rising was the superior series. I’ve decided I want to see for myself which is better.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas -Again, major rave reviews for this series and the blurb on Goodreads sold me as soon as it mentioned Beauty and the Beast!

4. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – After starting out with so many fantasy novels, I like to switch gears and read something a little different. I chose this one because I love novels that focus on the bonds of friendship and also because it’s set in Italy and I went there last year and fell in love with the country.

5. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub – This one appeals to me because of all of the positive buzz it has gotten and also when I read the blurb on Goodreads, it sounded like a book I would be able to relate to: “Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.”

6. A Storm of Swords, Game of Thrones # 3, by George R. R. Martin – As much as I enjoy the Game of Thrones series, I can only tackle one of these behemoths a year and it’s that time again…

7. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – The cover of this novel is what initially drew me in – the look of pain on that man’s face. The synopsis sounds pretty compelling as well: “When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.”

8. Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman – The reviews I’ve read on this book have been somewhat mixed, but I’m still intrigued and want to give it a shot. From Goodreads: “Girls on Fire tells the story of Hannah and Lacey and their obsessive teenage female friendship so passionately violent it bloodies the very sunset its protagonists insist on riding into, together, at any cost.”

9. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa – This book was on a lot of the Must Read lists at the beginning of the year. Although it isn’t my usual reading fare, it sounded very interesting so I entered a Goodreads giveaway and won a copy. I’m excited to give it a try and see if it lives up to the hype. From Goodreads: “The Flamethrowers meets Let the Great World Spin in this debut novel set amid the heated conflict of Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests.”

10. Fire Falling, Air Awakens # 2, by Elise Kova – I just started the Air Awakens series this week and am already so in love with it that the second book in the series bumped another TBR book from my top 10 list.

Waiting on Wednesday – Holding up the Universe

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week:

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven.

holding up the universe

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

From Amazon:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

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I just recently read and fell in love with Jennifer Niven’s last book All the Bright Places (Click HERE to read my review). It’s probably one of my favorite books EVER and so just knowing that she has another book coming out in the fall has me so excited, especially since Holding Up the Universe sounds equally amazing. Based on the description, I have a feeling that Holding Up the Universe is going to be one of those books that breaks my heart into a million pieces and that I’ll love it for exactly that reason!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday: Today Will Be Different

New WoW
“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week:

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple.

today will be different thumb

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

From Amazon:

A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

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I’m excited about this one because I fell in love with Where’d You Go, Bernadette when I read it. Her characters are just very relatable and often hilarious, so I really can’t wait to see what Maria Semple brings to the table with this new book!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?