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.

Unlikely road trip companions form an unexpected bond in an uplifting novel about the past—lost and found—by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.

Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.

So Long, Chester Wheeler is an uplifting novel about looking deeper into the heart and soul to form bonds with the last people we’d expect—only to discover that they’re the ones who need it most.

This was offered for audio review and the description reeled me in. I’ve several books by the author but this will be my first read.

From million-copy bestselling author Imogen Clark comes a story of three siblings and a suitcase full of cash. Will the unexpected windfall tear them apart?

When their father dies unexpectedly, siblings Max, Ellie and Nathan can’t even contemplate emptying his house—not least because he spent his last decade curating what feels like a museum to his polished public image. So it is Max’s wife, Caroline, who finds the suitcase under a bed… A suitcase stuffed full of an awful lot of cash.

The source of the money is a mystery to them all, and each has a strong opinion about what to do with it. Ellie and her husband James have an expensive lifestyle to maintain and could do with their share of the windfall—James in particular, for reasons he doesn’t dare reveal. Nathan can’t be trusted with money, as the others all know; he’s desperate to get his hands on some (or all) of the cash. But Caroline is the one guarding the suitcase, and she’s insisting to Max that they take it to the police.

The three siblings have always been close. But now, with this money from nowhere threatening to rewrite what they thought they knew about their father and their family, nothing seems certain. Could it really tear them apart?

When this was offered for audio review I was first puzzled, thinking it was written by one of my favorite narrators (finally figured that out). It sounded too delicious to pass up so I grabbed it.

Everyone’s convinced her son is a killer, but Alex Forrester knows him best, doesn’t she?

Cynthia and Alex have always been like sisters. Living and working for years on Cynthia’s mother’s sprawling farm, they’ve raised their families together. It was the perfect life until the fateful night that Alex finds Hannah, one of Cynthia’s eighteen-year-old twins, inexplicably murdered in her own home.

Soon Alex’s life is spiralling out of control as she questions everything she knows and everyone she trusted. And when local detective, Stefani Watson starts investigating Hannah’s murder, one prime suspect quickly rises to the fore: Daniel, Alex’s nineteen-year-old son.

As Alex fights to protect him, she starts to uncover disturbing truths. Friendship, family bonds, even her own marriage are not what she thought, and threats seems to come from every direction, both invisible and way too close to home…

My friend Marialyce @ yayareads comes through again with a book she listed in her comments to last week’s post that I couldn’t resist! It’s on my Audible wishlist.

A stunning debut novel following the turbulent relationship of a Black, biracial teen and her ferocious Russian mother, struggling to survive in the California desert.

When sixteen-year-old Lara and her fiery mother, Yevgenia, find themselves homeless again, the misnamed Oasis Mobile Estates is all they can afford. In this new community, where residents are down on their luck but rich in humor and escape plans, Lara navigates what it means to be the Black, biracial daughter of a Russian mother and begins to wonder what a life beyond Yevgenia’s orbit—insistence on reading only the right kind of books (Russian), having the right kind of relationships (casual, with lots of sex)—might look like.

Lara knows that something else lies beneath her mother’s fierce, independent spirit, but Yevgenia doesn’t believe in sharing, least of all with her daughter. When a brutal attack exposes the cracks in their relationship, Lara and Yevgenia are forced to confront the family legacy of violence and the strain of inherited trauma on the bonds of their love.

A Country You Can Leave is a dazzling, sharp-witted story, suffused with yearning, as Lara and Yevgenia attempt to forge their own identities and thrive in a hostile land. Compelling and empathetic, wry and intimate, Asale Angel-Ajani’s unforgettable debut novel examines the beauty and dangers of womanhood in multiracial America.

I discovered this from a NetGalley email and everything about it intrigued me. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.

For eight strangers in a Los Angeles hostel, even the other side of the world isn’t far enough. The craving for a new identity and the desire to start again is something they have in common. But they discover that it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are – if you can’t lay the past to rest, fate and coincidence have a way of catching up with you.

I’ve become a big John Marrs fan and am looking to explore his backlist. Thanks to Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer and her outstanding review that helped me decide on this one. It’s also on my Audible wishlist.

They have different ideas about the fate of an old inn…until it brings them together.

When Sarah Lewis inherits a run-down B&B from her late grandmother in coastal Blue Moon Bay, common sense tells her to sell it and return to her life in L.A. But when the new owners decide to tear down the old place, Sarah’s plan changes in an instant. Now she’s determined to return the charming-but-run-down property to its former glory…even if it means hiring her old high school crush to help.

Wes Sharrun’s life feels like it’s unraveling. After losing his wife three years ago, he can’t seem to balance his struggling construction company afloat and be a great dad to his nine-year-old daughter. Working on Sarah’s B&B might be the perfect opportunity to get back on his feet. But keeping his distance is tough when even his daughter can’t resist Sarah’s warmth and charm…

As Sarah and Wes work together to transform the old place―and discover some of its secrets―the spark between them only grows brighter. But is this a labor of love…or a second chance at it?

I stumbled across this series and was drawn to the premise of the first book. Thanks to my library for coming through with the audiobook.

Three couples rent a luxury cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway to die for in this chilling locked-room thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger.

What could be more restful, more restorative, than a weekend getaway with family and friends? An isolated luxury cabin in the woods, complete with spectacular views, a hot tub and a personal chef. Hannah’s loving and generous tech-mogul brother found the listing online. The reviews are stellar. It’s his birthday gift to Hannah and includes their spouses and another couple. The six friends need this trip with good food, good company and lots of R & R, far from the chatter and pressures of modern life.

But the dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare. A deadly storm is brewing. The rental host seems just a little too present. The personal chef reveals that their beautiful house has a spine-tingling history. And the friends have their own complicated past, with secrets that run blood deep. How well does Hannah know her brother, her own husband? Can she trust her best friend? And who is the new boyfriend, crashing their party? Meanwhile, someone is determined to ruin the weekend, looking to exact a payback for deeds long buried. Who is the stranger among them?

The reviews by my Goodreads friends are all over the place for this book so when the audiobook showed up at my library I decided I’d see for myself. I’m really drawn to the story description.

What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?


18 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Lots of interesting titles at the cafe this week, Jo. I have a copy of Chester Wheeler, but I think the audiobook would be amazing. I am going to keep watching for it. Enjoy all of these, books.

    Liked by 1 person

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