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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.


The Bride Test

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

I was ready to read The Kiss Quotient until I read Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader’s review of this book and decided I’d wait and read both back to back. My library agreed with my recommendation and I’m first in line!

 


The Memory of You

When Steffi Lockwood returns to Sanctuary Sound to start over, she has no idea she’ll also get a second chance with her first love.

Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.

Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.

Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Steffi’s secrets begins to surface, will it bring them together…or tear them apart for good?

As an Amazon Prime member, I get books offered to read each month. This one caught my attention for the storyline and the option to listen to it, too. I listened to a little bit and am intrigued.

 


Two Can Keep a Secret

The New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying is back with an all-new, page-turning mystery perfect for fans of Riverdale!

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

I got in line at the library the same time I added the author’s earlier book, One of Us is Lying. It took awhile for my number to come up. Not sure if I’ll like it but I’m trying the audio version.

 


The Printed Letter Bookshop

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

I’m always drawn to books about books or bookstores. Thank you to Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader for her review of this title! I’ve recommended it for library purchase and am also hopeful I can get it for audio review.

 


What She Saw

She lied to her daughter to save her family.

Everyone knows Leona would do anything for her daughter Beth: she moved to Church Langdon to send Beth to the best school, worked hard to build a successful business to support them and found them the perfect little cottage to call home. Leona and Beth hike together, shop together, share their hopes and fears with one another. People say they’re more like best friends than mother and daughter.

It’s the relationship every mother dreams of.

But their closeness means that Beth struggles to make friends. Her mother has kept her sheltered from the world. She’s more reliant on her mother’s love. More vulnerable.

When Beth finds an envelope hidden under the floorboards of their home, the contents make her heart stop. Everything she thought she knew about her mother is a lie. And she realises there is no one she can turn to for help.

What if you’ve been protected from strangers your whole life, but the one person you can’t trust is the person closest to home?

Shalini @ Shalini’s Books and Reviews featured this book and I was immediately ready to read it! And, even better, it’s $.99 at Amazon💕

 


The Killer Across the Table

The legendary FBI criminal profiler, number-one New York Times bestselling author, and inspiration for the hit Netflix show Mindhunter delves deep into the lives and crimes of four of the most disturbing and complex predatory killers, offering never-before-revealed details about his profiling process, and divulging the strategies used to crack some of America’s most challenging cases.

The FBI’s pioneer of criminal profiling, former special agent John Douglas, has studied and interviewed many of America’s most notorious killers—including Charles Manson, ”Son of Sam Killer” David Berkowitz and ”BTK Strangler” Dennis Rader—trained FBI agents and investigators around and the world, and helped educate the country about these deadly predators and how they operate, and has become a legend in popular culture, fictionalized in The Silence of the Lambs and the hit television shows Criminal Minds and Mindhunter.

Twenty years after his famous memoir, the man who literally wrote the book on FBI criminal profiling opens his case files once again. In this riveting work of true crime, he spotlights four of the most diabolical criminals he’s confronted, interviewed and learned from. Going deep into each man’s life and crimes, he outlines the factors that led them to murder and how he used his interrogation skills to expose their means, motives, and true evil. Like the hit Netflix show, The Killer Across the Table is centered around Douglas’ unique interrogation and profiling process. With his longtime collaborator Mark Olshaker, Douglas recounts the chilling encounters with these four killers as he experienced them—revealing for the first time his profile methods in detail.

Going step by step through his interviews, Douglas explains how he connects each killer’s crimes to the specific conversation, and contrasts these encounters with those of other deadly criminals to show what he learns from each one. In the process, he returns to other famous cases, killers and interviews that have shaped his career, describing how the knowledge he gained from those exchanges helped prepare him for these.

A glimpse into the mind of a man who has pierced the heart of human darkness, The Killer Across the Table unlocks the ultimate mystery of depravity and the techniques and approaches that have countered evil in the name of justice.

Douglas is viewed as the pioneer of profiling so when Ren @ What’s Nonfiction? reviewed this book and gave it a thumbs up, I was all in. Before I could recommend it for library purchase, I was offered it for audio review! Woo hoo🎉

 


My Best Friend’s Ex

Trevor Booth’s life was just thrown a curveball. When his ex dies, he suddenly goes from an every-other-weekend, fun-time dad to a full-time dad. The dad part he’s cool with, but life with two teens is like a roller coaster in hell. Thank God his ex-wife’s best friend, Callie, seems to have secret powers that allow her to deal with the chaos.

Callie is devastated when Lisa dies, and she’s determined to help the kids get through it. She’s concerned about how Trevor will adjust to being a full-time parent, but she’s having a tough time keeping her eyes off his ripped physique. Callie loves being a part of this makeshift family, but no way she’s falling for her best friend’s ex.

I was offered an opportunity to participate in the blog tour for this book and as I’d read Schroeder’s O’Leary’s series and enjoyed it, I decided to give this one a try.

 


Daisy Jones & The Six

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

I missed out getting this for audio review as I’d given it a pass until I read Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader’s review, as well as a host of others, that raved about the book. I held out FOREVER (since March 1!) in a long library queue for the full cast audio version and my number finally came up this week!

 


Twice in a Blue Moon

As an adventurous send-off to her childhood, eighteen-year-old Tate Jones travels with her grandmother from their small town in Northern California to London. But the vacation of a lifetime is wonderfully derailed by the appearance of two charming Vermont farmers: grandfather Luther and his handsome grandson Sam.

Sam and Tate fall hard and fast. For two glorious weeks, the couple share their hopes, dreams, and secrets. Sam admits he suspects his grandfather is dying and that this could be the last trip they take together, and Tate reveals that she is the hidden daughter of one of the biggest film stars in the world—a secret she’s never told anyone before.

But when Tate is exposed by a crush of cameras and reporters, she knows she’s been betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust. She is forced to decide whether she will return to her quiet life or embrace being in the public eye. So when Sam reappears in her world more than a decade later, can Tate forgive the past and rekindle the passion they shared on their magical trip abroad? And does she even want to?

I’ve made no secret of my love of this writing duo’s stories so when Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra featured it in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post, I added it to my shelf immediately. I’m hoping to get it for audio review.

 


Dual Citizens

Lark and Robin are half-sisters whose similarities end at being named for birds. While Lark is shy and studious, Robin is wild and artistic. Raised in Montreal by their disinterested single mother, they form a fierce team in childhood regardless of their differences. As they grow up, Lark excels at school and Robin becomes an extraordinary pianist. At seventeen, Lark flees to America to attend college, where she finds her calling in documentary films, and her sister soon joins her.

Later, in New York City, they find themselves tested: Lark struggles with self-doubt, and Robin chafes against the demands of Juilliard. Under pressure, their bond grows strained and ultimately is broken, and their paths abruptly diverge. Years later, Lark’s life is in tatters and Robin’s is wilder than ever. As Lark tries to take charge of her destiny, she discovers that despite the difficulties of their relationship, there is only one person she can truly rely on: her sister.

In this gripping, unforgettable novel about art, ambition, sisterhood, motherhood, and self-knowledge, Alix Ohlin traces the rich and complicated lives of two indelible women. Dazzlingly insightful and beautifully crafted, Dual Citizens captures the unique language of sisters and makes visible the imperceptible strings that bind us to the ones we love for good.

Okay, I rarely add a book because of a cover but this one….you have to admit it’s awesome💜💜💜 But! I’m equally impressed by the synopsis. I have it for audio review. Yum😊

 


Degrees of Guilt

When you listen to this audiobook, you will think you know every twist in the tale.

Maria is on trial for attempted murder.

She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.

Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.

She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.

You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.

You will be wrong.

Vicci @ Audio Killed the Bookmark wrote a killer review of this book. I put it on my Audible wishlist as I believe it’s worth the credit.

 


Things My Son Needs to Know About the World

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World collects the personal dispatches from the front lines of one of the most daunting experiences any man can experience: fatherhood.

As he conveys his profound awe at experiencing all the “firsts” that fill him with wonder and catch him completely unprepared, Fredrik Backman doesn’t shy away from revealing his own false steps and fatherly flaws, tackling issues both great and small, from masculinity and mid-life crises to practical jokes and poop.

In between the sleep-deprived lows and wonderful highs, Backman takes a step back to share the true story of falling in love with a woman who is his complete opposite, and learning to live a life that revolves around the people you care about unconditionally. Alternating between humorous side notes and longer essays offering his son advice as he grows up and ventures out into the world, Backman relays the big and small lessons in life, including:

-How to find the team you belong to
-Why airports explain everything about religion and war
-The reason starting a band is crucial to cultivating and keeping friendships
-How to beat Monkey Island 3
-Why, sometimes, a dad might hold onto his son’s hand just a little too tight

This is an irresistible and insightful collection, perfect for new parents and fans of Backman’s “unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness). As he eloquently reminds us, “You can be whatever you want to be, but that’s nowhere near as important as knowing that you can be exactly who you are.”

I’m a fan of the author and I didn’t think twice when it was offered for audio review.

 


Mine

He’s mine. That’s what both Tessa and Lindsey believe about Ethan. But after getting caught in an affair months ago, Ethan ended things with Lindsey in an attempt to win back his wife. Lindsey refuses to let go of the relationship so easily and begins stalking Tessa. Tessa, still shattered from Ethan’s infidelity, finally hits her breaking point and snaps, devising a plan to lure Lindsey to her home one weekend when her husband is away. Told in alternating perspectives and set over the course of a weekend, Mine explores the emotional complexity of infidelity and its aftermath and what happens when those two scorned women finally meet face to face.

I’ve not read this author before but that synopsis was too delicious to pass up when it was offered for audio review. As I was contemplating the title, up pops a glowing review by Michelle @ Books on a Shelf and my decision was sealed  

 


Ask Again, Yes

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other outside the city. What goes on behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the stunning events to come.

Ask Again, Yes by award-winning author Mary Beth Keane, is a beautifully moving exploration of the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, who are born six months apart. In the spring of Kate and Peter’s eighth grade year a violent event divides the neighbors, the Stanhopes are forced to move away, and the children are forbidden to have any further contact.

But Kate and Peter find a way back to each other, and their relationship is tested by the echoes from their past. Ask Again, Yes reveals how the events of childhood look different when reexamined from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

I was offered this for audio review and decided to accept it as I want to add more literary fiction titles to my shelf and the nature of the story appeals to me.

 


 

The ArrangementNatalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Emotionally powerful and packed with page-turning suspense, The Arrangement delves into the sordid, all-too-real world of shadowy relationships between wealthy, powerful men and the young women who are caught in their web.

I received an email from NetGalley that this book was available for request. As I’m a fan of the author, I decided I’d rather listen to the book and added it as an audio review hopeful! Fingers crossed 🤞

 


The Guest Book

The Guest Book follows three generations of a powerful American family, a family that “used to run the world.”

And when the audiobook begins in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything—perfect children, good looks, a love everyone envies. But after a tragedy befalls them, Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine. That island, and its house, come to define and burnish the Milton family, year after year after year. And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she dies.

In 1959 a young Jewish man, Len Levy, will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters, but the scorn of everyone else. Len’s best friend, Reg Pauling, has always been the only black man in the room—at Harvard, at work, and finally at the Miltons’ island in Maine.

An island that, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it, and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past, she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life.

An ambitious story that weaves the American past with its present, The Guest Book looks at the racism and power that has been systemically embedded in the U.S. for generations.

I love epic family sagas and this sounds like a really good one. Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader wrote a wonderful review that put it on my radar and I added it. Before I could recommend it for library purchase, the audiobook showed up and I’m in a really short queue.

 


Cleaning the Gold

THE NEW SHORT STORY FROM KARIN SLAUGHTER AND LEE CHILD!
Jack Reacher and Will Trent

Twice the action.
Twice the drama.
Double the trouble.
Will Trent is undercover at Fort Knox. His assignment: to investigate a twenty-two-year-old murder. His suspect’s name: Jack Reacher.
Jack Reacher is in Fort Knox on his own mission: to bring down a dangerous criminal ring operating at the heart of America’s military. Except now Will Trent is on the scene.
But there’s a bigger conspiracy at play – one that neither the special agent nor the ex-military cop could have anticipated. And the only option is for Jack Reacher and Will Trent to team up and play nicely. If they can…

I’m just really having a great week. A Goodreads friend posted a message that this book not only existed but was available. While I was checking it out, I got the offer for audio review. That’s kismet💜


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

25 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Oh my goodness! I recommended 1,000 books to you this week, Jonetta! And Susan’s talking about me, too! 😂 ♥️ I’m so excited for you to read all of these and thank you for the links back to my reviews. Every book you’ve chosen sounds so good, and you continue to be such a wonderfully eclectic reader. I love that you added Ask Again, Yes. I love literary fiction, too, and those books don’t tend to get the attention that our more flashy titles do. Happy reading and I’ll be watching for all your reviews! OH and that Slaughter/Lee Child book?! Oh my!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent additions! I absolutely loved Daisy Jones and really enjoyed Two Can Keep A Secret… I’ve recently added The Bride Test as well. I hope you will enjoy these!

    Liked by 1 person

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