Meme

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.

 



Last night I dreamt about the past for the first time in years. I thought I was over it. I thought I’d finally learned to block it out. But I’m right back there, all over again, inside the house, and I’m afraid…

When Louise Taylor is hit by a car as she cycles home in the rain following a fight with her boyfriend, she’s left hurt, confused, and housebound in her cramped apartment while she recovers. And worse, something tells her it wasn’t an accident.

Desperate to keep busy and distract herself from the flashbacks to her childhood that are beginning to resurface, she hires Edward – a friend of a friend – to repaint her shabby living room and, hopefully, keep the past at bay.

But when Edward arrives – quiet, considerate and handsome – Lou instantly feels like they’ve met before, that she can trust him. Tired of carrying the guilt alone after all these years, Lou tells Edward her secret. And to her surprise, he doesn’t pull away. He doesn’t gasp, or grimace or preach about what she did. And Lou is so relieved to finally be free of this burden at last.

Until she learns that Edward has a secret of his own. One he’s been waiting a very, very long time to tell…

A gripping domestic drama from a USA Today bestselling author full of twists and turns, and with a very unexpected ending. Fans of Amanda Prowse, Kerry Fisher and Jodi Picoult won’t be able to stop turning the pages.

Thanks to Lynne @ Fictionophile, I got this at Amazon for $.99 because of her Miserly Monday post.  


When a woman travels to Nigeria to attend the funeral of the father she never knew, she meets her extravagant family for the first time, a new and inspiring love interest, and discovers parts of herself she didn’t know were missing, from Jane Igharo, the acclaimed author of Ties That Tether.

Hannah Bailey has never known her father, the Nigerian entrepreneur who had a brief relationship with her white mother. Because of this, Hannah has always felt uncertain about part of her identity. When her father dies, she’s invited to Nigeria for the funeral. Though she wants to hate the man who abandoned her, she’s curious about who he was and where he was from. Searching for answers, Hannah boards a plane to Lagos, Nigeria.

In Banana Island, one of Nigeria’s most affluent areas, Hannah meets the Jolades, her late father’s prestigious family–some who accept her and some who think she doesn’t belong. The days leading up to the funeral are chaotic, but Hannah is soon shaped by secrets that unfold, a culture she never thought she would understand or appreciate, and a man who steals her heart and helps her to see herself in a new light.

Okay, yes. The cover got me first. But the description is amazing, too. Fingers crossed 🤞 that my library comes through with audiobook. And, yeah, the NetGalley emails got me…again!



A CIA analyst makes a split-second decision that endangers her country but saves her son–and now she must team up with an answer-hungry journalist she’s not sure she can trust in this electrifying thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know.

Nothing gets by Jill Bailey. As a CIA analyst, she’s in charge of investigating and vetting new sources. Sources like FALCON, who’s been on the fast-track to recruitment. He says he’s a Syrian defense official attached to a covert biowarfare program–and with a global pandemic fresh in their minds, CIA officials are desperate to use him.

It’s Jill’s job to make sure he is who he claims to be, and that his case officers in the field haven’t been duped–or coerced. But before she can get to work, she gets a call. One that’s every parent’s nightmare. We have your son. And to get him back, Jill does something she thought she’d never do.

As it turns out, she isn’t the only one with questions about FALCON. Alex Charles, a journalist eager to break the next big story, begins to investigate an anonymous tip: an explosive claim about the CIA’s hottest new source. This is the story that Alex has been waiting for. The tip–and a fierce determination to find the truth–leads Alex to Jill, who would rather remain hidden.

As the two begin to work together, they uncover a vast conspiracy that will force them to confront their loyalties to family and country. You Can Run is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you asking: What would you do to save the ones you love?

Thanks to Marialyce @ yayareads for putting this on my radar. And, even better, the audiobook popped up at my library! You know I grabbed it.


In this “compelling, bighearted, emotionally precise page-turner” (Sunday Times), the New York Times best-selling writer and acclaimed television host explores the aftermath of a tragedy on a small town to illuminate the shame and longing that can flow through generations – and how the secrets of the heart cannot stay be buried forever.

It is 1987, and a small Irish community is preparing for a wedding. The day before the ceremony, a group of young friends, including the bride and groom, are involved in an accident. Three survive. Three are killed.

The lives of the families are shattered and the rifts between them ripple throughout the small town. Connor survived, but living among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as carrying the shame of having been the driver. He leaves the only place he knows for another life, taking his secrets with him. Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, he eventually makes a home – of sorts – for himself in New York, where he finds shelter and the possibility of forging a new life.

But the secrets – the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind – will not be silenced. Before long, Connor will have to confront his past.

A powerful and timely novel of emigration and return, Home Stretch demonstrates Norton’s keen understanding of the power of stigma and secrecy – and their devastating effect on ordinary lives.

I’d not heard anything about this book or author until it showed up at my library. After reading a few stellar reviews from my Goodreads friends, I added the audiobook.



An ordinary summer goes royally awry when a prince and princess move next door, bringing their handsome bodyguard with them, from New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle.

Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.

And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.

But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.

Another book I hadn’t heard of until it showed up at my library. I almost passed it over but, again, checked reviews by Goodreads friends I trust and found it to be more than I thought.


North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder – Dr. Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter’s broken vases.

Dr. Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.

Then another body is found – killed in a similar way. Matthew soon finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home.

DI Matthew Venn returns in The Heron’s Cry, in Ann Cleeves powerful next novel, proving once again that she is a master of her craft.

This second book in the Two Rivers series also showed up at my library (which rocks!).



Falling in love is the ultimate payback in this delightful romcom about an interior designer who teams up with a mysterious architect at her firm to get revenge on her ex the only way she knows how: by building a spite house next door

They say living well is the best revenge. But sometimes, spreading the misery seems a whole lot more satisfying. That’s interior designer Dani Porter’s justification for buying the vacant lot next to her ex-fiancé’s house…the house they were supposed to live in together, before he cheated on her with their Realtor. Dani plans to build a vacation rental that will a) mess with his view and his peace of mind and b) prove that Dani is not someone to be stepped on. Welcome to project Spite House.

That plan quickly becomes complicated when Dani is forced to team up with Wyatt Montego, the handsome, haughty architect at her firm, and the only person available to draw up blueprints. Wyatt is terse and stern, the kind of man who eats his sandwich with a knife and fork. But as they spend time together on- and off-site, Dani glimpses something deeper beneath that hard veneer, something surprising, vulnerable, and real. And the closer she gets to her goal, the more she wonders if winning revenge could mean losing something infinitely sweeter…

I’ve said before, it’s dangerous for me to read the Can’t Wait Wednesday posts by Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra. This is the second week in a row! An audiobook review hopeful.


She’s the woman he doesn’t remember. He’s the man she can’t forget.

Bad boy Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus used to have everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder and a spot on the US Olympic team. Nine months ago, after a bad crash in the half pipe, he woke up in the hospital, unable to move his legs. Now he’s landed there again, but gravity is not the culprit. With his family pressuring him to try a groundbreaking treatment, Hank self-medicates with too much tequila instead.

Doctor Callie Anders has the courage to restart a patient’s heart with a thousand volts of electricity, yet she’s afraid to risk her own. So she doesn’t confess to her newest patient they they met just before the accident, an encounter that he doesn’t remember. Even as their friendship develops, she won’t admit that she regrets turning down his dinner invitation, or that her heart stutters every time those inked shoulders roll through the door of the therapy department.

With another Vermont winter coming again, Hank needs a hand out from under the avalanche of his disappointments. If only Callie were brave enough to take the job.

This is a kindle freebie! So many of my romance reading friends swear by this author so I grabbed it.



“It’s time to come Home. All five of you. Or else.”

Saskia was a damaged, lonely teenager when she arrived at the lakeside commune called Home. She was entranced by the tang of sourdough starter; the midnight call of the loons; the triumph of foraging wild mushrooms from the forest floor. But most of all she was taken with Abraham, Home’s charismatic leader, the North Star to Saskia and the four other teens who lived there, her best and only friends.

Two decades later, Saskia is shuttered in her Connecticut estate, estranged from the others. Her carefully walled life is torn open by threatening letters. Unless she and her former friends return to the land in rural Maine, the terrible thing they did as teenagers—their last-ditch attempt to save Home—will be revealed.

From vastly different lives, the five return to confront their blackmailer and reckon with the horror that split them apart. How far will they go to bury their secret forever?

Another book that showed up at my library that I’d hadn’t heard of before. I was drawn by the title and description so after seeing some strongly positive reviews from friends (one of them Jennifer @ Tar Heel Reader!), I quickly added the audiobook.


A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick

FORECAST: Storm clouds are on the horizon in this fun, fast-paced novel of an affluent Mexican-American family from the author of the #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller Esperanza’s Box of Saints.


L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He’s harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters—Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude; Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt; and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers—are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way.

With quick wit and humor, Maria Amparo Escandón follows the Alvarado family as they wrestle with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down.

This is the latest selection by Reese Witherspoon for her Hello Sunshine book club. I’ve had great success with her choices so I took a hard look at this one. I was slower to add until it showed up at my library and I listened to the sample. I was immediately drawn in so it’s now on hold.



In Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates directly to “beautiful country”. Yet when seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City in 1994 full of curiosity, she is overwhelmed by crushing fear and scarcity. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family is “illegal”, and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive.

In Chinatown, Qian’s parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates and teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library and masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there is delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly “shopping days”, when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn’s streets, and a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center – confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all.

But then Qian’s headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost and scrutiny of a doctor’s visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you’ve always lived here.

Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity and unforgettable charm and strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.

In Chinatown, Qian’s parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates and teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library and masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there is delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly “shopping days,” when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn’s streets, and a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center—confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all.

But then Qian’s headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost and scrutiny of a doctor’s visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you’ve always lived here.

Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity and unforgettable charm and strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.

This is the latest selection by the Today show’s Read With Jenna book club. I’ve had even greater success with her choices and this memoir sounds extraordinary. Of course, my library came through with the audiobook.



What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

16 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

Leave a Reply to thebookishlibra Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s