Finished Books: Us Against You

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

  • Published: June 2018
  • Publisher: Atria
  • Pages: 435
  • Series: “Beartown”

In this sequel to Beartown, Backman returns readers to the tiny Swedish hockey town. Their star player has left town. Many of their best players have followed their coach to go play for their rivals in Hed. The Beartown team has lost its sponsorship and does not have funding to continue. All seems lost until a local politician works magic by bringing in new sponsors, a new coach, a new captain, a new goalie. When a teenage girl witnesses something she shouldn’t and posts it online, it changes how the team, and the town, sees one of its own players. Beartown is still healing from the events of the spring, but it can’t seem to move forward while people still live in the past. Backman weaves vignettes of characters together, highlighting life’s complications and nuances. He evokes strong emotions in his readers by using simple words to illustrate complex matters. Despite all the tensions and biases, this novel has a hopeful tone. An excellent addition to this author’s repertoire.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*

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Finished Books: Young Jane Young

 

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Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 320

Aviva Grossman made some mistakes as a young intern that became very public and made her infamous.  What can she do with her life now?  Zevin explores her life choices through the eyes of several women who are integral to the story at various times in her life.  Each woman has a distinct voice and gets their own section of the novel.

This novel is certainly deeper than “chick lit,” but it doesn’t require the reader to invest so far emotionally as some other books.  It’s a fairly light read that I happily flew through.  Fans of some Jennifer Weiner titles might enjoy this for the flawed and complicated women characters who deal with more than just finding the love of their lives.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*

 

Finished Books: Quick Recap

 

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The Waking Land by Callie Bates

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 400
  • Series: The Waking Land #1

In The Waking Land, Bates creates a richly-detailed and action-packed story that focuses on Elanna, a young girl who grows into herself as she learns more about the magical world she lives in.  Politics abound as she tries to figure out what/who is right and she discovers an ingrained magical ability that she has suppressed her entire life.  Elanna’s earth-related magic may lead readers to try out Uprooted by Naomi Novik, if they haven’t already.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*


The Battle for Amphibopolis by Doug TenNapel

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 224
  • Series: Nnewts #3

In a battle of good and evil, Herk must fight to save Sissy and Zerk from corruption and save Amphibopolis from annihilation.  Bright colors, cartoony characters, and a great storyline make for a nice conclusion to this series.


The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 387
  • Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3

This romance features a strong female character who knows what she wants in life, which is not just to be a wife to some Duke.  There is wit and banter, as in many of MacLean’s books, but not as much as there sometimes is.  Unlike many formulaic romances, this book jumps back and forth in time, giving flashbacks of the couple’s past while driving the story forward in the present.  Still a great read for fans of this author, or authors like Tessa Dare and Courtney Milan.


Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 304

When I first started this book, I found the writing refreshing, with a mix of beautiful and unfamiliar words, as well as contemporary speech patterns. Unfortunately, this book was not for me.  Since it was an ARC, I really wanted to finish it to be able to give an accurate review.  However, I also have a “rule” such that I don’t finish books that I am not enjoying (unless it is for book club). There are too many books out there that I want to read.  There is no reason to spend time reading something that does not bring me joy.  The mystery was introduced in the beginning, but it took too long to get to the point where the character was investigating for my taste. A podcaster whose opinion I trust really loved this book, though, so I am willing to give Lucy Ives another chance for her next book.  

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*

 

New Books Overload 8/13/17

New to Bestseller Lists

In case you missed any of these books coming out, these have come to the bestseller lists in the last week.  [Sorry, folks.  No book cover pictures this week.]

FICTION:

  • Kellerman, Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman – Crime Scene
  • Kenyon, Sherrilyn – Dragonsworn
  • Perrotta, Tom – Mrs. Fletcher
  • Ward, J. R. – Devil’s Cut

NONFICTION:

  • Bianco, Chris – Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like
  • D’Souza, Dinesh – The Big Lie
  • Flake, Jeff – Conscience of a Conservative
  • Henderson, Bruce – Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler

Upcoming Books this Week

FICTION:

  • Brown, Sandra – Seeing Red
  • Gerritsen, Tess – I Know a Secret (Rizzoli & Isles series)
  • Henry, Veronica – How to Find Love in a Bookshop
  • Lapena, Shari – A Stranger in the House
  • Robinson, Peter – Sleeping in the Ground (Inspector Banks series)
  • Scottoline, Lisa – Exposed (Rosato & DiNunzio series)
  • Tanenbaum, Robert K. – Without Fear or Favor

NONFICTION:

  • Campbell, Bruce, Craig Sanborn, & John Hodgman – Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor
  • Goldstein, Bill – The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year That Changed Literature
  • Handy, Bruce – Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult
  • Levine, Art – Mental Health, Inc.: How Corruption, Lax Oversight and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

In the News

Just for Fun

New Books Overload 8/6/17

New to Bestseller Lists

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In case you missed any of these books coming out, these have come to the bestseller lists in the last two weeks.

FICTION:

  • Andrews, Ilona – Wildfire
  • Box, C.J. – Paradise Valley
  • Connelly, Michael – The Late Show
  • Fairstein, Linda – Deadfall
  • Force, Marie – Fatal Threat
  • Golden, Christie – Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
  • Paris, B.A. – The Breakdown
  • Patterson, James – The Moores are Missing
  • Peters, Elizabeth and Joan Hess – The Painted Queen
  • Ware, Ruth – The Lying Game
  • Wingate, Lisa – Before We Were Yours

NONFICTION:

  • Green, Joshua – Devil’s Bargain

Upcoming Books this Week

FICTION:

  • Backlund, J. R.- Among the Dead (Rachel Carver series)
  • Dee, Jonathan – The Locals
  • Gregory, Phillippa – The Last Tudor (Plantagenet and Tudor series)
  • Kava, Alex – Before Evil (Maggie O’Dell series)
  • Macomber, Debbie – Any Dream Will Do (New Beginnings series)
  • Slaughter, Karin – The Good Daughter
  • Walker, Wendy – Emma in the Night
  • Woods, Stuart and Parnell Hall – Barely Legal (Herbie Fisher series)

NONFICTION:

  • Anders, George – You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education
  • Bontinck, Dimitri – Rescued from ISIS: The Gripping True Story of How a Father Saved His Son
  • Berman, Bob – Zapped: From Infrared to X-rays, the Curious History of Invisible Light
  • Omalu, Bennet – Truth Doesn’t Have a Side
  • Sancton, Tom – The Bettencourt Affair: The World’s Richest Woman and the Scandal that Rocked Paris
  • Saunders, John with John U. Bacon – Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope

In the News

Just for Fun

New Books Overload 7/22/17

New to Bestseller Lists

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In case you missed any of these books coming out, these have come to the bestseller lists in the last week.

FICTION:

  • Castillo, Linda – Down a Dark Road
  • Lindsey, Johanna – Beautiful Tempest
  • Mallery, Susan – Secrets of the Tulip Sisters
  • Reichs, Kathy – Two Nights
  • Silva, Daniel – House of Spies

NONFICTION:

  • Nye, Bill – Everything All at Once

Upcoming Books this Week

FICTION:

  • Andrews, Ilona – Wildfire (Hidden Legacies series)
  • Ashley & JaQuavis – Illuminati (Cartel series)
  • Berg, Elizabeth – The Story of Arthur Truluv
  • Box, C. J. – Paradise Valley (Highway Quartet series)
  • Burrowes, Grace – Too Scot to Handle (Windham Brides series)
  • Casey, Jane – Let the Dead Speak
  • Daniels, April – Sovereign
  • Elliott, Rachel – Whispers Through a Megaphone
  • Fairstein, Linda – Deadfall (Alexandra Cooper series)
  • Foster, Lori – Worth the Wait (Guthrie Brothers)
  • Golden, Christie – Battlefront II: Inferno Squad (Star Wars)
  • Graham, Heather – Dark Rites (Krewe of Hunters series)
  • Grant, Sofia – The Dress in the Window
  • Huntley, Swan – The Goddesses
  • James, Lorelei – When I Need You (Need You series)
  • Kamal, Sheena – The Lost Ones
  • Melamed, Jennie – Gather the Daughters
  • Modesitt Jr.,  L.E. – Assassin’s Price
  • Novak, Brenda – Until You Loved Me (Silver Springs series)
  • Patterson, James – The Moores are Missing
  • Peters, Elizabeth and Joan Hess – The Painted Queen (Amelia Peabody series)
  • Phillips, Gin – Fierce Kingdom
  • Probst, Jennifer – All or Nothing at All (Billionaire Builders series)
  • Ware, Ruth – The Lying Game

NONFICTION:

  • Gore, Al – An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
  • Henderson, Bruce – Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler

In the News

Just for Fun

Unshelved comic strip for 6/28/2017

Unshelved June 28, 2017 (Classic strip from March 9, 2006)

Finished Books: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 400

Link to Goodreads summary

This beautiful, sweeping story of the ups and downs in the life of a 1950s movie star is told as an interview to a young journalist, Monique, whose life is unknowingly intertwined with the star’s life.  The journalist’s husband has recently left her and her job is currently uninspired.  She hopes that this article will jump-start what was an otherwise listless career.

Evelyn Hugo’s reflections on life and relationships and career success will make the reader consider the complexities that exist when trying to navigate reality.  Although Evelyn is a movie star whose rich and luxurious life is beyond that of the average person, readers will still empathize with Evelyn’s heartbreaking relationship with her true love.  She is not the most likeable character, but her flaws make her real and relatable.  We all make bad decisions.  Then we have to deal with the consequences.  Reading about a character who suffers from the repercussions of bad decisions can be quite refreshing.  Sometimes there just isn’t a happy, perfect, tidy ending.  It’s up to the reader to decide if the ending of this novel is satisfactory.  I have a feeling that some people will not like it, but that’s the way things go.

The shifts back and forth in time might not appeal to all readers, but those who don’t mind will find it was well done.

Rating: 4 stars

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*