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.
A restless golden boy and a girl with a troubled past navigate a love story that may be doomed before it even begins in this irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed and The Lies That Bind.
The Kingsley family is practically American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. When Joseph S. Kingsley III is born in 1960, he inherits the weight of that legacy. Growing up with all the Kingsley looks and charisma, Joe should have no problem taking up the mantle after his father’s untimely death. But he is also a little bit reckless, and can’t seem to figure out how to channel the expectations of an entire country.
No one ever expected anything of Cate, on the other hand. She, too, grew up in a single-parent household—just her and her mom scraping by in their small apartment. As a teenager, though, Cate is discovered for her looks. Modeling may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, her face is everywhere, though she is always aware that she’d be a pariah in her social circles if anyone knew her true story.
When Joe and Cate’s paths cross, their connection is instant. What remains to be seen is whether their relationship will survive the glare of the spotlight that follows Joe everywhere. And just as they find themselves in the make-or-break moment, the tragedy that seems to run in Joe’s family right alongside all that privilege will repeat itself.
In a beautifully written novel that recaptures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells a story of a love that may or may not have the power to transcend circumstances that seem arrayed against it . . . and the difficulty of finding your way to the place you belong.
Thanks to Marialyce @ yayareads for putting another book on my radar! It’s scheduled for release in May and is a library audiobook hopeful.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger Beside Me comes the terrifying true crime story of a serial killer hiding in plain sight.
To his neighbors, Jerry Brudos was a gentle, quiet man whose mild manner sharply contrasted with his awesome physical strength. To his employers, Jerry was an expert electrician, the kind of skilled worker you just don’t find anymore. To his wife, Darcie, Jerry was a good husband, and a loving father to their children, despite his increasingly sexual demands on her, and his violent insistence that she never venture into his garage workroom and the giant food freezer there.
To the Oregon police, Jerry Brudos was the most hideously twisted killer they had ever unmasked. And they brought to light what he had done to four young women—and perhaps many more—in the nightmare darkness of his sexual hunger and rage. First, Jerry Brudos was brought to trial…and then, in a shattering aftermath, his wife was accused as well…
One of my Goodreads friends reviewed this true crime story during the week and I was hooked. Of course, I want the audio version.
Audie Award, Middle Grade, 2016
Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this virtuosic, genre-defying tour de force from storytelling maestro Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Lost and alone in the forbidden Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each becomes interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives, binding them by an invisible thread of destiny. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. How their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.
Richly imagined and structurally innovative, Echo pushes the boundaries of form and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories. With music by Corky Siegel.
One of my trusted Goodreads friends wrote a compelling review that had me add a middle grade book to my shelf. My nephew is in the fourth grade now and I gifted him a book subscription years ago. He calls to discuss the books and I can’t wait to introduce this audiobook to him, thanks to my library.
From number one New York Times best-selling author Lauren Kate comes an enemies-to-lovers romance about an editor, her best-selling author, and one life-changing secret.
What she doesn’t know about love could fill a book.
With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie’s more than good. She’s killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa’s writer’s block and she’ll get the promotion she’s always dreamed of. Simple, right?
But there’s a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.
I hadn’t heard of this book until I read the review by Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra. She had me at romance editor and thanks to my library for the audiobook.
Imagine a world devoid of violence – a world where fists can’t hit, guns don’t kill, and bombs can’t destroy. In this tantalizing novel of possibility, this has – suddenly and inexplicably – become our new reality. The US president must find a new way to wage war. The pope ponders whether the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is still relevant.
A dictator takes his own life after realizing that the violence he used to control his people is no longer an option. In the first days after the change, seven people who have experienced violence struggle to adapt to this radical new paradigm: Dab, a bullied middle-schooler; Marcus, a high school student whose brother is the last victim of gun violence in America; Ann, a social worker stuck in an abusive marriage; Richard, a professor whose past makes him expect the worst in the present; Gabriela, who is making a dangerous border crossing into the US; the Empty Shell, a dissident writer waiting to be tortured in a notorious prison; and Julian, a white supremacist plotting a horrific massacre. As their fates intertwine, the promise and perils of this new world begin to take shape. Although violence is no longer possible, mindless cruelty is still alive and well – and those bent on destruction still seek the means to achieve it.
For fans of Ben Winters and Sarah Pinsker, this mind-bending and thought-provoking novel pushes the limits of fiction, questioning the violence sewn into our DNA.
I went back and forth deciding this book when it was offered for audio review but couldn’t resist exploring the concept.
Hannah smiles at her guests. In this grand house rented specially for the evening, everyone admires the sparkling chandelier and raises a glass to say goodbye before Hannah moves away from this little town for good. But the next day, one of them lies cold and lifeless in their bed…
The day of her leaving party, Hannah Ford is nervous. With so many secrets and lies over the years between her friends, and arguments between her sisters, is it really a good idea to gather everyone together? But her mother insists that, after Hannah’s divorce and job struggles, she deserves a send-off to remember. So they all plaster on fake smiles and put aside their rifts for an evening of celebrations.
In the morning, one of the guests is found dead.
Hannah is desperate to tell the police. But every single guest has something to hide, or someone to protect. The group insists: they will deal with this themselves.
After all, it must have been an accident. Perhaps too much wine, on a night where emotions were running high.
But what if it wasn’t?
And what if this was just the first victim?
An absolutely unputdownable thriller that won’t let you sleep until you’ve reached the final page! Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, The Hunting Party and Shari Lapena.
Thanks to Yvo @ It’s All About Books for her review teaser that was enough to pique my interest. It’s on my Audible wishlist.
A stunning YA fantasy inspired by ancient Mesoamerica, this gripping debut introduces us to a lineage of seers defiantly resisting the shifting patriarchal state that would see them destroyed – perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir.
Indir is a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers; able to see beyond reality, she carries the rare gift of Dreaming truth. But when the beloved king dies, his son has no respect for this time-honored tradition. King Alcan wants an opportunity to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end – an opportunity Indir will give him if he discovers the two secrets she is struggling to keep. As violent change shakes Indir’s world to its core, she is forced to make an impossible choice: fight for her home or fight to survive.
Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer – she has never been formally trained. Her mother exploits her daughter’s gift, passing it off as her own as they travel from village to village, never staying in one place too long. Almost as if they’re running from something. Almost as if they’re being hunted. When Saya loses the necklace she’s worn since birth, she discovers that seeing isn’t her only gift – and begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully constructed lie. As she comes to distrust the only family she’s ever known, Saya will do what she’s never done before, go where she’s never been, and risk it all in the search of answers.
With a detailed, supernaturally charged setting and topical themes of patriarchal power and female strength, Lizz Huerta’s The Lost Dreamer brings an ancient world to life, mirroring the challenges of our modern one.
It’s rare for me to read YA so when this was offered for audio review, I gave it a pass but after seeing the review by Toni @ Reading Tonic, I gave it a second and third look before deciding to accept it. I even listened to a sample and the writing is special.
From the author of The River at Night and Into the Jungle comes a harrowing new thriller set in the unforgiving landscape of the Arctic Circle, as a brilliant linguist struggling to understand the apparent suicide of her twin brother ventures hundreds of miles north to try to communicate with a young girl who has thawed from the ice alive.
Valerie “Val” Chesterfield is a linguist trained in the most esoteric of disciplines: dead Nordic languages. Despite her successful career, she leads a sheltered life and languishes in the shadow of her twin brother Andy, an accomplished climate scientist stationed on a remote island off Greenland’s barren coast. But Andy is gone: a victim of suicide, having willfully ventured unprotected into 50 degree below zero weather. Val is inconsolable—and disbelieving. She suspects foul play.
When Wyatt, Andy’s fellow researcher in the Arctic, discovers a scientific impossibility—a young girl frozen in the ice who thaws out alive, speaking a language no one understands—Val is his first call. Will she travel to the frozen North and meet this girl, try to comprehend what she is so passionately trying to communicate? Under the auspices of helping Wyatt interpret the girl’s speech, Val musters every ounce of her courage and journeys to the Artic to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.
The moment she steps off the plane, her fear threatens to overwhelm her. The landscape is fierce, and Wyatt, brilliant but difficult, is an enigma. But the girl is special, and Val’s connection with her is profound. Only something is terribly wrong; the child is sick, maybe dying, and the key to saving her lies in discovering the truth about Wyatt’s research. Can his data be trusted? And does it have anything to do with how and why Val’s brother died? With time running out, Val embarks on an incredible frozen odyssey—led by the unlikeliest of guides—to rescue the new family she has found in the most unexpected of places.
I hadn’t heard of this book until it showed up at my library and now I’m seeing it everywhere. One of my Goodreads friends raved about it. Now I’m glad I took a chance on the audiobook.
From the New York Times best-selling author of Ghostedcomes a love story wrapped in a mystery: an up-all-night pause-resister with a dark secret at its core.
I have held you at night for 10 years and I didn’t even know your name. We have a child together. A dog, a house.
Who are you?
Emma loves her husband, Leo, and their young daughter, Ruby: She’d do anything for them. But almost everything she’s told them about herself is a lie.
And she might just have got away with it, if it weren’t for her husband’s job. Leo is an obituary writer; Emma a well-known marine biologist. When she suffers a serious illness, Leo copes by doing what he knows best – researching and writing about his wife’s life. But as he starts to unravel the truth, he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t really exist. Even her name isn’t real.
When the very darkest moments of Emma’s past finally emerge, she must somehow prove to Leo that she really is the woman he always thought she was….
But first, she must tell him about the other love of her life.
Another book I hadn’t heard of until it showed up at my library. I quickly grabbed it, intrigued by this mysterious description.
Sheriff Bree Taggert’s downfall is part of a killer’s cunning design in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, lies, and revenge.
Called to an isolated farm to check on an elderly widow, Sheriff Bree Taggert finds a brutal double homicide. One of the victims is Eugene Oscar, the bitter and corrupt former deputy she recently fired.
Working with criminal investigator Matt Flynn, Bree discovers that she isn’t the only one who had a troubling history with Eugene. But someone doesn’t want Bree digging up the past. She becomes the target of a stranger’s sick and devious campaign calculated to destroy her reputation, career, family, and new relationship with Matt. To make matters worse, she’s the prime suspect in Eugene’s murder.
When her chief deputy goes missing while investigating the case, Bree refuses to back down. She won’t let him become the next victim. His life and her future depend on finding a killer nursing a vengeful rage.
This 5th book in the series is scheduled for release in May and is an audio review hopeful. The series was selected as a group read in one of mine on Goodreads.
Every day without fail, Travis Devine puts on a cheap suit, grabs his faux-leather briefcase, and boards the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan, where he works as an entry-level analyst at the city’s most prestigious investment firm. In the mornings, he gazes out the train window at the lavish homes of the uberwealthy, dreaming about joining their ranks. In the evenings, he listens to the fiscal news on his phone, already preparing for the next grueling day in the cutthroat realm of finance.
Then one morning Devine’s tedious routine is shattered by an anonymous email: She is dead.
Sara Ewes, Devine’s coworker and former girlfriend, has been found hanging in a storage room of his office building—presumably a suicide, prompting the NYPD to come calling on him. If that wasn’t enough, Devine receives another ominous visit, a confrontation that threatens to dredge up grim secrets from his past in the Army unless he participates in a clandestine investigation into his firm.
This treacherous role will take Travis from the impossibly glittering lives he once saw only through a train window, to the darkest corners of the country’s economic halls of power…where something rotten lurks. And apart from this high-stakes conspiracy, there’s a killer out there with their own agenda, and Devine is the bullseye.
A new standalone from Baldacci! Thanks to his newsletter, I’m adding this as a library audiobook hopeful.
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Butterfly House, called “brazen and original” by The Toronto Star, comes a timely, suspenseful, and darkly original new novel about a missing child and the web of lies that has threatened his life—and may prevent him from ever being found.
When fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff disappears, the police assume he’s simply a runaway—a typically overlooked middle child doing what teenagers do all around the world. But his frantic family is certain that something terrible has happened. After all, what runaway would leave behind a note that reads:
He looked around and saw the knife that had stabbed Basil Hallward. He had cleaned it many times, till there was no stain left upon it. It was bright and glistened. As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter’s work, and all that that meant. It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free.
It’s not much to go on but it’s all that detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner have. And with every passing hour, as the odds of finding a missing person grow dimmer, it will have to be enough.
I’m collecting the audiobooks for this series and finally got the fourth book.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?