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Saturdays at the Café

Saturdays at the Café - Body

Saturdays at the Café is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.

 


One Summer in Paris

To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband-a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.

Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely…until she meets Grace, and everything changes.

Grace can’t believe how daring Audrey is. Audrey can’t believe how cautious newly single Grace is. Living in neighboring apartments above the bookshop, this unlikely pair offer each other just what they’ve both been missing. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding this unbreakable friendship might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them…

I was still mulling over this one until I read the review by Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra, which pushed me over the edge. Several other blogger friends later posted equally compelling reviews, too, and I now have this for audio review.

 


California Girls

The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…

Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

Berit @ Audio Killed the Bookmark convinced me not to take a pass on this book and I’m glad she did. I have it for audio review.

 


Not the Duke’s Darling

Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family, appears at the country house party she’s attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins—sins he’d much rather forget. But she’s also fiery, bold, and sensuous—a temptation he can’t resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he’ll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya’s trust-by whatever means necessary.

I’m a fan of the author’s Maiden Lane series and even though I haven’t yet finished it, I couldn’t pass up this first book in a new series when the audiobook showed up at my library. It’s narrated by the same wonderful performer, Ashford McNab.

 


Murder on Trinity Place

The year of 1899 is drawing to a close. Frank and Sarah Malloy are getting ready to celebrate the New Year at Trinity Church when they notice Mr. Pritchard, a relative of their neighbor’s behaving oddly and annoying the other revelers. Frank tries to convince Pritchard to return home with them, but the man refuses and Frank loses him in the crowd. The next morning Sarah and Frank are horrified to learn Pritchard was murdered sometime in the night, his body left on Trinity Place, the side street near the church.

The police aren’t too interested in the murder, and the family are concerned that the circumstances of the death will reflect badly on Pritchard’s reputation. To protect the family from scandal, Nelson asks Frank to investigate. Frank and Sarah delve into Pritchard’s past and realize there may have been a deadly side to the dawning of the new century.

This is one of my favorite series that I’m reading with a group. As we near the end, we were excited to see another book added, scheduled for release at the end of the month. I’ve recommended it for library purchase and it should be available by the time I’m ready to read it.

 


Cook Like a Pro

In her new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro , Ina Garten shares a brand-new collection of recipes, tips, and techniques, so readers can cook with confidence no matter how much experience they have in the kitchen.

As America’s most trusted and beloved cookbook author, Ina Garten–the Barefoot Contessa–has taught millions of people how to cook. A home cook at heart, Ina knows that cooking and entertaining can be difficult, so to make her recipes simple and streamlined, she tests and retests each recipe until it’s as straightforward and delicious as possible. Although Ina is completely self-taught and doesn’t consider herself to be a “professional” cook, she has spent decades working with chefs and learning the techniques that take their cooking to the next level. In Cook Like a Pro, Ina shares some of her most irresistible recipes and very best “pro tips,” from the secret to making her custardy, slow-cooked Truffled Scrambled Eggs to the key to the crispiest and juiciest Fried Chicken Sandwiches. Ina will even show you how to make an easy yet showstopping pattern for her Chocolate Chevron Cake–your friends won’t believe you decorated it yourself!

For Ina, cooking like a pro also means hosting like a pro, and along with know-how like how to tell when a filet of beef is perfectly cooked, you’ll find dozens of other great ideas to boost your cooking and entertaining skills such as how to set up an elegant home bar and how to make an impressive Raspberry Baked Alaska that can be completely prepared ahead of time so all you need to do is finish it for your guests before serving. Beginner and advanced cooks alike will love Ina’s delectable recipes, and if you have questions along the way, don’t worry–Ina’s practical cooking advice talks you through every detail, as though she were right there by your side.

With beautiful photos and a treasury of pro tips that span prepping, making, and serving, as Ina says, “You don’t have to be a pro to cook like one!”

I’ve seen her a few times on television and thought I’d give her new cookbook a try when it showed up in my library. I’ll test it out before committing to buying the book in hardcover.

 


Wild Country

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side…without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

I still have to start the first series by the author, The Others, which I’ve collected all of the audiobooks. The audio version of this book is also available from my library.

 


Before She Was Found

A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession, and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times best-selling author of The Weight of Silence.

For 12-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover – movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon, their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora – and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted – not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe – even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

This was offered for audio review and I grabbed it after reading the synopsis and having loved Little Mercies.

 


Finding Dorothy

A richly imagined novel that tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum’s intrepid wife, Maud–from the family’s hardscrabble days in South Dakota to the Hollywood film set where she first meets Judy Garland.

Maud Gage Baum, widow of the author of the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, met Judy Garland, the young actress playing the role of Dorothy on the set of The Wizard of Oz in 1939. At the time, Maud was seventy-eight and Judy was sixteen. In spite of their age difference, Maud immediately connected to Judy–especially when Maud heard her sing “Over the Rainbow,” a song whose yearning brought to mind the tough years in South Dakota when Maud and her husband struggled to make a living–until Frank Baum’s book became a national sensation.

This wonderfully evocative two-stranded story recreates Maud’s youth as the rebellious daughter of a leading suffragette, and the prairie years of Maud and Frank’s early days when they lived among the people–especially young Dorothy–who would inspire Frank’s masterpiece. Woven into this past story is one set in 1939, describing the high-pressured days on The Wizard of Oz film set where Judy is being badgered by the director, producer, and her ambitious stage mother to lose weight, bind her breasts, and laugh, cry, and act terrified on command. As Maud had promised to protect the original Dorothy back in Aberdeen, she now takes on the job of protecting young Judy.

I didn’t have any interest in this book initially but after reading review after positive review, beginning with Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader and ending with Janel @ Keeper of Pages, I grabbed the audiobook when it showed up at my library.


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

34 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. I love Ina Garten, when my grandmother was alive I bought her every new cookbook of hers when it came out. I like her style of food. I’m trying to go back now and read through some of the recipes and tips in them, I could really use them and was never all that interested in cooking when I was giving them to her, just in eating what she made 🤣 I’m excited to hear how the new one is!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No new books for me this week, as I had my April book haul, but I do like the look of more than a couple of titles here. The Oz book especially, Finding Dorothy. And a few people have mentioned One Summer in Paris, which sounds fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love all the audiobooks you have added to your list this week. I really wanted to read Finding Dorothy, so I will have to see if my library has the audiobook. I will be watching for your review Jonetta.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Norrie! I wouldn’t put the Gaslight Mysteryseries in the cozy category, though. The crimes can be rough and the lead character is a detective with the NYPD, presented with historical accuracy and it isn’t pretty. Highly recommend it though as the author focuses strongly on enlightenment about the era.

      Liked by 1 person

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