Galadriel (El) is enrolled at Scholomance school for magic which is a bit like a haunted boarding school filled with deadly monsters and you are armed with little more than a wooden spoon. This is not your average school experience and El is better equipped than most there to deal with a graduation rate of 50%. She is angry, anti-social and really tired of trying to fit into the school's more elite cliques. Orion, think Duddly DoRight meets Thor, is one of the school's most popular hero types. He is the one who is ever vigilant, chasing down and extinguishing all those pesky monsters, called malls. It is exhausting and he has taken to saving El which she does not take well at all. Excellent world building which Novik does so well and the perfect snarky but smart main character in El. For those who are searching for the more adult less playful Harry Potter type story or loved GIDEON THE NINTH - this is for you. 4 stars
Did you ever wonder how your life would have turned out if you had taken a different path? The Midnight Library exists for all of us who have pondered their life choices. Nora has decided she is finished with her unhappy life and ends up in the library run by her favorite school librarian ( a true delight). She is able to choose any book and experience the life that would have happened had she chosen it. When that life becomes unsatisfactory - poof! she is back at the library to choose another. A delightful romp of "what ifs" and the characteristic Matt Haig trip down the rabbit hole. This will appeal to readers of other marvelous Haig stories as well as OONA OUT OF ORDER and ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS. 4 1/2 stars
Don't let the petite size of this tale fool you - it packs a gut punch in its sparse pages. A train carrying Jews on the road to Hell, a remote woodcutter and his wife starving for more than just food and the hand off of a newborn that doesn't have much of a prayer. To the woodcutter's wife the miracle child is the answer to her prayers but to the child's father who must make an unbelievable choice, it is a cry to God for a miracle. To the world beyond the woodcutter's woods the child is an abomination. A classic fairy tale of love, survival and sacrifice yet also moored in the sad reality of war. 4 stars
Hard working sweet Becky Farwell begins working for the rural Illinois town she has lived in her whole life, handling their accounting and sorting their mishmash of accounts. Shrewd Reba Farwell is a successful art dealer with clients in Chicago, New York and Europe. Who is she really and how on Earth does she steal from the town to fund her art business and personal collection without anyone suspecting? No one is born a criminal but it doesn't take much for a small loan to leap to sending a town into financial ruin. The tension builds as her split personality and double life takes its toll and we keep reading knowing that at some point the house of cards (or canvas) has to come tumbling down. A thrilling story that makes you wonder how many con artists in a similar situation are lurking right under our noses. Anyone who enjoyed DIAMOND DORIS, THE TALENTED MR.RIPLEY or A BEAUTIFUL CRIME will be fascinated and engrossed. 3 1/2 stars
An ode to a soft spoken but profound seeker of truth and racial equality. Jon Meacham gives us the background and beginnings of this great man but also gives us a glimpse into one of this country's most volatile periods in history- the civil rights movement of the 60's. There were so many brave demonstrators seeking justice in an unjust world and these accounts along with photographs help us to understand and appreciate the sacrifice they made. It is difficult to comprehend the violence and hatred and balance that with the calm and peaceful ways that John Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King and others preached and practiced. The afterward by John Lewis is beautiful and reminds us why he will be missed and to still have hope for the future. 4 stars
A debut fantasy told in the classic style that could easily read like European historical fiction. It is a story of an abusive king who terrorizes his wife, two sons and the kingdom itself. Mirantha holds on as long as she can for the sake of her sons but she knows the king will get rid of her soon. Years pass with the king still on the throne until a group of young revolutionaries led by the elusive Sparrow attempt to work with the princes to kill the king. Old World politics, forbidden love, loyalty and some pretty vicious battle scenes - this has all the earmarks of a great new series.
Everyone wonders at some point in their life what would their life be like if they had taken a different path. Did I make the right decision? Do I have any control? For Dawn, who was on the path to becoming an Egyptologist, coming home and cutting her studies short to take care of her dying mother and raise her younger brother was the only choice. She finds comfort and love in the arms of her husband and they have a daughter.
Fifteen years go by and Dawn is now a death doula, guiding those who are drying and their families down that scary path. Something happens to send her back to Egypt to find the man and love she left behind. The path of two ways is a book that was left in the tomb to guide the dead person to the afterlife but it also applies to Dawn trapped in a life of "what if". As only Jodi Picoult can write this book is full of tearful moments, life decisions and a wealth of knowledge of hieroglyphs, burial customs and all the finds of Egyptian tombs as well as guidance and compassion for those who help terminal patients and their families. She is known for making you cry a bit but this book will clean you out of Kleenex. I listened to the audiobook which was breathtaking and also let me hear the correct pronunciation of all the ancient Egyptian. 4 stars
Anna does data processing jobs for a temp agency until an unfortunate accident which actually works out to her benefit by landing her a great full time job. She has no problem working for a super villain even one who is super mysterious. When she creates a spreadsheet that shows how collateral damage can be traced back to the super heroes, all the villains cheer but for Anna and her boss it is personal. There is a thin line between good guy and bad guy in this wonderful jaunt that feels like a cross between "Eve" and "Billions" with super powers. I really hope this one is picked up for tv or a movie. Anna is bad ass but connects with all the people out there just trying to make a living. A powerful, fun debut full of action, unique characters and a side of the bizarre that is sure to send you looking for your cape or cheering for the villains. 4 1/2 stars
The book picks up where THE GILDED WOLVES left off but now instead of Paris we find the unlikely group in the heart of Russia once more looking for treasure and to save one of their own. No spoilers but Chokshi digs deep and dark in this sequel. It has a lovely period French and Russian vibe to it with a mythology all its own. The team is made up of a mix of genders, ethnic backgrounds and personalities. They follow their leader Severin but he and the others have many secrets they won't share and while there is loyalty, there is also betrayal. This is geared for young adult but many adults fantasy lovers will enjoy this sophisticated world. Fans of SIX OF CROWS, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES will find much in this series. 4 stars
A tell all book of five brave souls who have been a patient of Therapist Dr. Gildiner. I won't tell you that it is an easy book to read as each of the patients have been to Hell and back but the joy is that they all came out the other side. Abused as children and adults by people they trusted they all had emotional and physical scars that ran deep. Dr. Gildiner helped them slay dragons to find love and the light at the end of the tunnel. This could have been a clinical retelling of some colorful and horrific examples of the need for therapy but the author has a gift for presenting all of them in a heroic and very humanistic way. This is a must for anyone starting the journey of therapy or for young professionals guiding others in the journey. 4 stars
I love to read good books and share the new books that are available and those that are coming soon