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Saturdays at the Café

ihis 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 Last Thing to BurnA woman being held captive is willing to risk everything to save herself, her unborn child, and her captor’s latest victim in this claustrophobic thriller in the tradition of Misery and Room.

On an isolated farm in the United Kingdom, a woman is trapped by the monster who kidnapped her seven years ago. When she discovers she is pregnant, she resolves to protect her child no matter the cost, and starts to meticulously plan her escape. But when another woman is brought into the fold on the farm, her plans go awry. Can she save herself, her child, and this innocent woman at the same time? Or is she doomed to spend the remainder of her life captive on this farm?

Intense, dark, and utterly gripping The Last Thing to Burn is a breathtaking thriller from an author to watch.

This book will probably break my heart but I had to add it after reading the review by Marialyce @ yayareads. I’m hoping for my library to purchase.


Just As I Am“In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only exceeded as an actor, she has shaped the course of history.” (President Barack Obama, 2016 Presidential Medal of Honor ceremony)

Just as I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. Here, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and mother, a sister, and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by His hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at

How utterly poignant it is that Ms. Tyson died only a few days after the release of her memoir. I grabbed the audiobook when it showed up at my library.


Dark HorsesA darkly gripping debut novel about a teenage girl’s fierce struggle to reclaim her life from her abusive father.

Fifteen-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena and outside of it. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all areas of her life. The warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan’s relationship with her father has long been inappropriate. She has been able to compartmentalize that dark aspect of her life, ruthlessly focusing on her ambitions as a rider heading for the Olympics, just as her father had done. However, her developing relationship with Will Howard, a boy her own age, broadens the scope of her vision.

At the intersection of a commercial pause resister and urgent survivor story, Dark Horses takes the searing themes of abuse and resilience in Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling and applies the compelling exploration of female strength in Room by Emma Donoghue. In much the same way that V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic transfixed a generation of listeners, Susan Mihalic’s debut is set to a steady beat that will keep you listening.

I hadn’t heard of this book until it showed up at my library. It’s a bit out of my comfort zone but it’s intriguing.


The Sum of UsA powerful new exploration about the self-destructive bargain of white supremacy and its rising cost to all of us – including white people – from one of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers.

Heather C. McGhee’s specialty is the American economy – and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. As she dug into subject after subject, from the financial crisis to declining wages to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common problem at the bottom of them all: racism – but not just in the obvious ways that hurt people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It’s the common denominator in our most vexing public problems, even beyond our economy. It is at the core of the dysfunction of our democracy and even the spiritual and moral crises that grip us. Racism is a toxin in the American body and it weakens us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

To find the way, McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Mississippi to Maine, tallying up what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm – the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she collects the stories of white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams and their shot at a better job to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country–from parks and pools to functioning schools – have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. It’s why we fail to prevent environmental and public health crises that require collective action. But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee also finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to the benefit of all involved.

The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, still the richest country in the world, but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. At the heart of the book are the humble stories of Americans yearning to be a part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a vision for the future of our country – one whose population has ties to every place on the globe – where we finally realize that life can be so much more than zero-sum.

I’m a fan of the author who is always insightful and thoughtful in her analyses. I got this for audio review.


One Snowy NightA woman struggling to raise her daughter alone in a small Alaskan town finds her simple existence upended when the father of her child returns….

 

Sweet Home, Alaska, was once a thriving, idyllic town, where A Stone’s Throw Hardware and Haberdashery and the Sisterhood of the Quilt were the cornerstones of the community. Then, in one fatal moment, two young lives were cut short, and everything changed. Now the Stone family businesses have closed, the diner is in the red, and the population has dwindled to 573.

After the tragic accident that took her sister’s life, Hope McKnight discovered she was pregnant, and gave up her dreams of college to raise her daughter. When Donovan Stone returns to sell his family’s properties and to cut final ties with Sweet Home, he’s shocked to find Hope still there – and a single mother. The pull between Hope and Donovan is as powerful as ever. But so are the secrets and lies stemming from that long-ago tragedy. Will they be able to overcome the past, or will the heartbreak of bygone days destroy their love again?

This was offered for audio review and I couldn’t resist, especially after reading the review by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.


A Gambling ManAloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.

 

Along the way, Archer stops in Reno, where a stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible—plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears.

Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job, and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land—but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.

I didn’t even know the next book in this series was released until it showed up at my library. I’m a fan of the author so I pounced on this one. I’m in a short queue.


The Dinner GuestFour people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.
Matthew: the perfect husband.

Titus: the perfect son.

Charlie: the perfect illusion.

Rachel: the perfect stranger.

Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.

And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand.

Agatha Christie meets Donna Tartt in this nerve-shredding domestic noir thriller that weaves a sprawling web of secrets around an opulent West London world and the dinner that ends in death.

After reading the review by Rose @ Novels & Teacups, I was so intrigued. I’m hoping to get it for audio review. 


Dying to Meet YouLiz Parker doesn’t like surprises, but winning the lottery isn’t something she would complain about. Before she has time to think about how to spend her new fortune, she’s hit with an even bigger shock than unexpected wealth. She has three months to live unless she finds a one-in-a-million bone marrow donor.

While her medical team scrambles to locate her miracle, Liz throws together a bucket list, charters a private jet, and takes off to see the world. The journey of a lifetime holds even more surprises, including the hunky pilot she’s falling for at the most inconvenient time.

Will Liz die before she can realize her happily-ever-after, or will the universe come through for her one more time? Find out in this humorous tale of true love and adventure!

This was offered for audio review and I just love the premise of the story.


The Last One HomeA razor-sharp novel of suspense about the lies families tell—and those we choose to believe—by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Jane Doe.

Lauren Abrams wants nothing to do with her damaged mother, whose spurious testimony sent Lauren’s father to prison for murder years ago. After a serial killer’s confession to the crime restored justice, Lauren chose to live with her father and grandmother. Now an adult, Lauren has come home to the Sacramento family estate for good, her mother’s lies be damned…

It’s been decades since Donna made her cheating husband pay, but she hasn’t forgotten the past. She knows her estranged daughter has made a terrible mistake by returning to the estate. There’s more to the story of the welcoming old homestead—and her childhood—than Lauren knows.

As Lauren settles in, she is haunted by the questions of what really happened with her father, what her mother might be hiding, and what secrets the family ranch holds. It’s getting so dark, Lauren may not be able to see the truth to save her life.

I loved the author’s Jane Doe series so when this was offered for audio review, I didn’t think twice.


Heartbreak BayAn Amazon Charts and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling series.

They’re hunting a killer so silent, so invisible, that his unspeakable crimes are the only proof he exists.

A car submerged in a remote pond. The bodies of two girls strapped into their seats. The mystery of their mother, vanished without a trace, leads Gwen Proctor and Kezia Claremont into dangerous territory.

On the surface, Gwen’s life is good – two children approaching adulthood, a committed partner, and a harrowing past dead and gone. But that past is attracting the attention of someone invisible…and unstoppable. Trouble’s just beginning. So is the body count in this backwoods Tennessee town.

As threats mount and Gwen’s hunted by an enemy who pulls all the strings, Kezia has her back. But working to solve these vicious and unreasonable crimes will expose them both to a killer they can’t for the life of them see coming.

Oh, this is bittersweet. This is the last book in the Stillhouse Lake series, which the author finished shortly before her heartbreaking death from cancer. I got it as soon as it was offered for audio review.


 

What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

19 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Good Saturday morning! So happy to see you added The Last Thing to Burn and I just finished Dark Horses last night. It was such a powerful story about how impressionable and manipulative a young girl can be when wanting to be loved and paid attention to. Not an easy read at all but absolutely an amazing story. (quite sexually graphic at times though) Rachel Caine will definitely be sorely missed. Her Stillhouse series was riveting, each and every one of them.

    I added The Family Ship by Sonja Yoerg, When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain, and Revival Season by Monica West.
    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend! Looks like another good day for reading! (but then again isn’t every day?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning! I’m so glad for that feedback about Dark Horses so thank you💜 I stepped out there on nothing but instinct. Yes, when I saw Rachel Caine’s book I misted. Such a talented writer and this series brought her such acclaim.

      I’m still pondering the Paula McLain book so I just might wait on your review. Need to check out your other two.

      Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be out of communication the next few days as I’m off to Virginia to clear out my Mom’s house as I sold it. So much to do in one week….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just as I Am and Dark Horses both sound great. I hope you will enjoy all of your new acquirements! I just added one book this week “What Will Burn” by James Oswald (Scottish crime) and already finished it.

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  3. Ha! Already have the Will Dean book on my wish list, but already scribbling a couple more down to add later. And yeah, agree about The Dinner Guest sounding like my kind of read, who can resist that blurb? 😉

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  4. Oooooo, so many wonderful additions Jonetta. I just finished Just As I Am and it was amazing. I am sure you will enjoy it. I forgot to add Dying to Meet You to my Stacking the Shelves, I got it as well. I will have to wait patiently for Heartbreak Bay and One Snowy Night. I don’t think I could handle Dark Horses. I will wait and see what you think of it. Enjoy all your upcoming reads and listens.

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  5. Plenty of great choices as usual. I want to read One Snowy Night and Heartbreak Bay. It would be interesting to read about Cicely Tyson. I’ve always liked her. Happy reading!

    Anne – Books of My Heart

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I see so many here I want to read Jonetta, especially Dark Horses and the Will Dean book is on my shelf. That is so sad about Rachel Caine. I have not yet started the series and remember when she posted on instagram about the treatments being stopped. Just heartbreaking.

    I hope you enjoy all your new reads, Jonetta. Also hope you are enjoying these warmer days! ♥️

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