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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.


These Women

In West Adams, a rapidly changing part of South Los Angeles, they’re referred to as “these women.” These women on the corner … These women in the club … These women who won’t stop asking questions … These women who got what they deserved …

In her masterful new novel, Ivy Pochoda creates a kaleidoscope of loss, power, and hope featuring five very different women whose lives are steeped in danger and anguish. They’re connected by one man and his deadly obsession, though not all of them know that yet. There’s Dorian, still adrift after her daughter’s murder remains unsolved; Julianna, a young dancer nicknamed Jujubee, who lives hard and fast, resisting anyone trying to slow her down; Essie, a brilliant vice cop who sees a crime pattern emerging where no one else does; Marella, a daring performance artist whose work has long pushed boundaries but now puts her in peril; and Anneke, a quiet woman who has turned a willfully blind eye to those around her for far too long. The careful existence they have built for themselves starts to crumble when two murders rock their neighborhood.

Written with beauty and grit, tension and grace, These Women is a glorious display of storytelling, a once-in-a-generation novel.

After reading the review by Kyra @ Roots & Reads, I was captivated. I’m hoping I can get this for audio review.

 


The Wife and the Widow

The second standalone thriller from the award-winning author of THE NOWHERE CHILD

Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and The Widow is an unsettling thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she’s forced to confront the evidence of her husband’s guilt. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives. Brilliant and beguiling, The Wife and The Widow takes you to a cliff edge and asks the question: how well do we really know the people we love?

A strong recommendation from a couple of my Goodreads friends got my attention. Thankfully it’s available at my library, though I’m in a short queue.

 


Beyond the Horizon

She points the lens of the camera. The artist turns his head slightly. The light catches his brow and his silver-white hair. She snaps. He is lit like a Vermeer.

Ireland. County Wicklow, 1951. A father and son go swimming in the sea. The waves crash. The wind rises. Only one comes back—Colin, aged six. His mother, Eileen, runs to seek help, but this is a tragedy that will haunt them forever. Colin won’t speak a word. He is mute and struggling to cope. But Eileen can see he has a talent for painting. She shows him his father’s artwork and gives him a print of a Paul Henry landscape, and slowly, with her encouragement, he begins to follow his dream.

Years later on Inishbofin island off the west coast of Ireland, out walking with his dog on the sand, Colin meets Laura, a young woman on holiday, and a tentative friendship starts to develop. Gradually his past comes to life in a story filled with love and frustration, loss and betrayal, but above all with the passion he has held through his life for the light in the sea and the sky and his search for that distant, elusive shore where the sky sweeps down to the water.

One man. The sea. One painting.

Marialyce @ yayareads wrote the most beautiful review of this story and it moved me. Looks like I’m going to have to use an Audible credit for the audiobook.

 


Beach Read

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

Marialyce put this title on my radar, even though she wasn’t thrilled with it. But, it’s more in my romance wheelhouse. Hoping to get this for audio review.

 


The Hunting Party

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?

To say that my friends reviews are all over the place is an understatement. But, the urge to find out for myself is strong! Thanks to my library, I get to listen to it without risk. I was in a long queue for quite some time.

 


All Adults Here

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is intentionally pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.

This promises to be something different and I wanted to explore more. Got it for audio review.


Little Family

A powerful novel about young people in a conflict-scarred land, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together.

Hidden away from a harsh outside world, five young people have improvised a home in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country’s chaos. Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise. Clever Khoudiemata maneuvers to keep the younger kids—athletic, pragmatic Ndevui; thoughtful Kpindi; and especially their newest member, Namsa—safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the little family may be able to keep the world at bay and their household intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the “beautiful people”—the fortunate sons and daughters of the powerful—the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and follow her own destiny proves impossible to resist.

A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we’re dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice.

Offered for audio review, I found the synopsis intriguing, especially as it’s categorized as literary fiction, one of my book goals for my shelf.


Tiny Imperfections

The Wedding Date meets Class Mom in this delicious novel of love, money, and misbehaving parents.

One of PopSugar’s Best New Books of 2020
One of SheReads Most Anticipated Books of 2020

“Delightful . . . Hilarious, cringe-worthy, and all too relevant. I ate this book up like a box of candy; you will too.” –Tara Conklin, author of The Last Romantics

All’s fair in love and kindergarten admissions.

At thirty-nine, Josie Bordelon’s modeling career as the “it” black beauty of the ’90s is far behind her. Now director of admissions at San Francisco’s most sought after private school, she’s chic, single, and determined to keep her seventeen-year-old daughter, Etta, from making the same mistakes she did.

But Etta has plans of her own–and their beloved matriarch, Aunt Viv, has Etta’s back. If only Josie could manage Etta’s future as well as she manages the shenanigans of the over-anxious, over-eager parents at school–or her best friend’s attempts to coax Josie out of her sex sabbatical and back onto the dating scene.

As admissions season heats up, Josie discovers that when it comes to matters of the heart–and the office–the biggest surprises lie closest to home.

Everything about this screams fun! I snatched it up when offered for audio review.


Out of the Easy

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

I’m a fan of the author but somehow missed this title. Thanks to the review by Carol @ Reading Ladies for getting my attention. It’s available at my library!


The German Heiress

Clara Falkenberg, once Germany’s most eligible and lauded heiress, earned the nickname “the Iron Fräulein” during World War II for her role operating her family’s ironworks empire. It’s been nearly two years since the war ended, and she’s left with nothing but a false identification card and a series of burning questions about her family’s past. With nowhere else to run to, she decides to return home and take refuge with her dear friend, Elisa.

Narrowly escaping a near-disastrous interrogation by a British officer who’s hell-bent on arresting her for war crimes, she arrives home to discover the city in ruins, and Elisa missing. As Clara begins tracking down Elisa, she encounters Jakob, a charismatic young man working on the black market, who, for his own reasons, is also searching for Elisa. Clara and Jakob soon discover how they might help each other – if only they can stay ahead of the officer determined to make Clara answer for her actions during the war.

Propulsive, meticulously researched, and action-fueled, The German Heiress is a mesmerizing pause-resisting story that questions the meaning of justice and morality, deftly shining the spotlight on the often-overlooked perspective of Germans who were caught in the crossfire of the Nazi regime and had nowhere to turn.

What would this post be without at least one title inspired by Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader? I have the audiobook on hold at my library.

 


Invisible Girl

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his 30s, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel – involuntary celibate – forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears – and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times best-selling author).

It’s a new book by Lisa Jewel!!! Thanks to Darinda @ Nightcap Books for the heads up in her Weekly Recap!

 

 


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

37 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Aww! I really hope you love The German Heiress, Jonetta. I see so many I want to read here, too, and you had me adding to my TBR! I have Beach Read coming up and I loved that Christian White book. He’s so good at what he does. Enjoy your reads and your weekend, my friend! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t read anything in weeks, and I am getting antsy, and also, I’m waiting on June Hur’s historical THE SILENCE OF BONES to arrive, I so want to read this one, and hope it will get me back reading. And have a good one yourself, Jonetta.

        Like

    1. I added Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai; You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle; And First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn.

      I finished the new Terry McMillan and it thought it was amazing

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have also not enjoyed her past 2 books and have NEVER loved her story telling style. I did enjoy her late sister Rosalyn McMillan much more.
        I don’t even know why i picked this one up but I think it’s the one book of hers that I just loved

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay missy, you just blew up my THE mountain! I went to Netgalley and requested a few and then to the library to download the Ruth Sepetys book that I missed too! What an awesome haul Jo! I hope you love them all!💜

    Liked by 1 person

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