Saturdays at the Café

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 New York Times bestselling author of the “mesmerizing and evocative” (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet returns with a powerful exploration of the love that binds one family across the generations.

Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living.

As Washington’s former poet laureate, that’s how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has truly come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.

Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America.

As painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn’t the only thing she’s inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who’s loved her through all of her genetic memories. Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, to finally find peace for her daughter, and gain the love that has long been waiting, knowing she may pay the ultimate price.

I’m still not sure about this one as the reviews are mixed among my friends but I’m intrigued by the themes and it’s the August selection for the Today show’s Read With Jenna book club. I’ve had lots of success with the club selections and thanks to my library for the audiobook.

Everyone has a story. You just have to read between the lines….

When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.

It’s a chance to make a real difference, too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start—like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.

Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?

But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?

An uplifting story about fresh starts, new beginnings and the power of stories, from the bestselling author of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop!

I’m always on the lookout for wonderful palate cleansers and this one looks perfect. Thanks to the lovely review by Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books I added the audiobook, recommended for library purchase.


Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. He’s at his son’s nursery to pick up Max. But he isn’t there.


Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done. Max has been locked in her car for six hours on the hottest day of the year.


But she’s too late.

What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial, that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.

Courtroom drama on audio is my catnip and this was a no brainer. I’ve recommended it for library purchase but am also hoping to get it for audio review.

In Boyfriend Material, Luc and Oliver met, pretended to fall in love, fell in love for real, dealt with heartbreak and disappointment and family and friends…and somehow figured out a way to make it work. Now it seems like everyone around them is getting married, and Luc’s feeling the social pressure to propose. But it’ll take more than four weddings, a funeral, and a bowl full of special curry to get these two from “I don’t know what I’m doing” to “I do”.

Good thing Oliver is such perfect Husband Material.

This showed up at my library and I quickly grabbed the audiobook, next book in the series.

Finley McGowan is determined that the niece she’s raising will always feel loved and wanted. Unlike how she felt after her mom left to pursue a dream of stardom, and when the grandfather who was left to raise them abandoned her and her sister, Sloane, when they needed him most. Finley reacted to her chaotic childhood by walking the straight and narrow—nose down, work hard, follow the rules.

Sloane went the other way.

Now Sloane is back, as beautiful and as damaged as ever…and she wants a relationship with her daughter. She says she’s changed, but Finley’s heart has been burned once too often for her to trust easily. But is her reluctance to forgive really about Sloane or worry over losing what she loves the most? With the help of a man who knows all too well how messy families can be, Finley will learn there’s joy in surrendering and peace in letting go.

Beloved bestselling author Susan Mallery—with wisdom, compassion and her trademark humor—explores the nuances of a broken family’s complex emotions as they strive to become whole in this uplifting story of human frailty and resilience.

The author now is an auto read and I discovered this next book, scheduled for release in March, announced in her most recent newsletter. It’s an audio review hopeful.

Northern Escape Series

He needs to find his father.

Dr. Nate Hunter simply wants to be left alone in his lab, but the disappearance of his father in the Alaskan bush makes that an impossibility. When Nate finds coordinates tucked away in his dad’s papers, he has to take the investigation into his own hands to protect his family.

She needs to find a killer.

State trooper Freya Ashby already has a lot on her plate when she and her avalanche rescue K9, Xena, are assigned to Dr. William Hunter’s disappearance. His son, Nate, is her last one-night-stand and a complication she doesn’t need … especially after she finds him standing over a dead man.

They are racing against the clock.

Battling the dangerous geography and an attraction that could derail them both, Nate and Freya must find Dr. Hunter before the trail goes as cold as the terrain. But as the clues pile up and point towards soft-spoken and insanely sexy Dr. Nathaniel Hunter, Freya has to decide if he is the killer…or the killer’s next target?

He must rescue the man whose secrets could destroy his life.

Dr. Damian Hunter sold his soul to escape the icy grip of his hometown in Alaska. In the Lower 48, he built an empire as a TV veterinarian, leaving behind his life as the forgotten youngest son of the town drunk. He never planned to return to Anchorage, but when his estranged father’s plane disappears in the bush, he’s left with no choice. Now he’s wanted for murder.

She must find the woman whose disappearance haunts her mind.

Ruby Ootoova has dedicated her life to finding justice for the missing and murdered Indigenous women of Alaska. Along with her water search and rescue K9, Newt, she scours the lakes and rivers of the vast wilderness, hoping to bring one woman in particular home–her sister. The last thing she expects to find is the FBI’s most wanted man bleeding out on an iceberg.

They have to trust each other if they have any chance to survive.

Damian and Ruby have no interest in working together, but as the seasons shift and the ice breaks, they find themselves trapped by the floodwaters and ensnared by a passion that could break through all of their defenses. When a mutual enemy threatens their lives and the recovery of the people they love, they must learn to trust each other or risk never making it out of the bush alive.

I read and reviewed the first book in this trilogy earlier in the week (Northern Escape) and am utterly hooked. I purchased the remaining books in the series immediately.

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

I initially took a pass when this was offered for audio review despite the provocative title as I am unfamiliar with the author/actress. But after reading the outstanding review by Ren @ What’s Nonfiction? I immediately changed my mind and accepted it for my own review.

An ingenious new high-concept thriller from #1 internationally bestselling author Catherine Ryan Howard (56 Days and The Nothing Man).


Feeling her stardom fading, struggling soap-actress Adele Rafferty is ready to give up on her dreams when she gets a last-minute offer to play the lead in upcoming horror film Final Draft. Could this be her big break? Will she have redemption for what happened the last time she was on a film set? Adele doesn’t think twice before signing the dotted line.


Adele quickly makes her way to set, deep into the isolated and wintry woods of West Cork, Ireland, miles away from civilization and cell service.


When real life on set starts to somehow mirror the sinister events portrayed in the script, Adele fears the real horror lies off the page. Isolated and unsure who in the crew she can trust, is there anywhere or any time left to run?

I read the description and quickly got in the short queue when this audiobook showed up at my library. I’m a fan of the author so this was a nice surprise.

What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?



21 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Love your choices, Jo, and as usual, I have added some of your books.

    This week (finally), I was able to add some choices. I added Broken Roads by Kimber Silver (a great contributor to GR), The Twist of the Knife bu Anthony Horowitz, Mad Honey by Jodi Piccoult, and Marriage Portrait by Maggie Farrell.

    Desperately working on getting back my grove reading. Hope all is well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you’re back, Marialyce💜💜💜

      I added the Horowitz and Picoult books and am looking into the others. My shelves (me, too, goes without saying) have missed you dearly. I’m rooting for you and you’ll get there in your own time. Took me six months.

      Have a wonderful week!


  2. So many great sounding books here, Nicki. The only one already on my TBR is Elodie’s Library of Second Chances. I am going to check out the Northern Escape series, especially after seeing your review earlier in the week. Enjoy all these, Jo and I hope the library gets all the ones you are hoping for.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many and varied as always, Jonetta! I may take a look at Elodie’s Library of Second Chances and Run Time. I have added too many this week (or should I say last). One was Jennifer Grey’s memoir on audio from my public library, and another was You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi, an author I’d never heard of before. Have a great week Jonetta! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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