Mini Book Reviews!

Quite busy this week and next, so today's post is going to be book heavy!

Truly a mini book reviews post -- in a nutshell, I've enjoyed all of these books recently, and would recommend them!

First we have Kait Nolan's latest!

"She thought she could never go home again. Kennedy Reynolds has spent the past decade traveling the world as a free spirit. She never looks back at the past, the place, or the love she left behind—until her adopted mother’s unexpected death forces her home to Eden’s Ridge, Tennessee.

Deputy Xander Kincaid has never forgotten his first love. He’s spent ten long years waiting for the chance to make up for one bone-headed mistake that sent her running. Now that she’s finally home, he wants to give her so much more than just an apology.

Kennedy finds an unexpected ally in Xander, as she struggles to mend fences with her sisters and to care for the foster child her mother left behind. Falling back into his arms is beyond tempting, but accepting his support is dangerous. He can never know the truth about why she really left. Will Kennedy be able to bury the past and carve out her place in the Ridge, or will her secret destroy her second chance?"

Then we're off to Camp Firefly Falls!

"We are thrilled to announce a connected series of “escape from real life” stories set at Camp Firefly Falls, a fictional sleep away camp for grownups, set in the Berkshires."

The first story in the series, Winning Back His Wife by Gwen Hayes and Zoe York, is free!

The series debuted last summer, and the first book in the series this summer is by Kait Nolan:

"Professor Audrey Graham shouldn't be alive. But she didn't walk away from the accident that should've taken her life. She shouldn't have ever walked again according to the doctors. But after two years of physical therapy and countless surgeries, she's got a second lease on life. First stop? Camp Firefly Falls to try and catch up on some of the living she never did before her accident.

Firefighter Hudson Lowell shouldn't be alive. In the wake of losing two members of his team in a structure fire gone wrong, he's been unable to work, unable to pull himself out of the survivor's guilt. In a last ditch effort to snap him out of it, his family surprises him with a 2 week reunion session at Camp Firefly Falls, reminder of a simpler, better time. The last thing he expects to find is the woman he helped cut out of a snarled up wreck of a car two years before.

As sparks ignite between rescuer and rescuee, Audrey finally gets the chance to repay her hero. But can she convince this proud, stubborn man that life is still worth living? Or will Hudson let this chance at happiness slip through his fingers?"

A short book!

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

"One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone—999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher—a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death, and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge what they see as a wrong.

It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him."

A fun book!
Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka

"Lentils, free love, radical politics and family truths ...Various Pets Alive and Dead is the wonderfully funny fourth novel from Marina Lewycka, author of the bestselling A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. For twenty years Doro and Marcus lived in a commune, convinced lentils and free love would change the world. They didn't. What they did do was give their children a terror of radicalism, dirt, cooking rotas and poverty. Their daughter Clara wants nothing less conformist than her own, clean bathroom. Their son Serge hides the awkward fact that he's a banker earning loadsamoney. So when Doro and Marcus spring a surprise on their kids - just as the world is rocked in ways they always wished for - the family is forced to confront some thorny truths about themselves..."

The Grape series by Laura Bradbury! (click on the link to read the descriptions on her blog if the size here is too small -- and don't say I didn't warn you if you fall down a rabbit hole of words and images traipsing you along vineyards in Burgundy, France!)

10% of all after-tax royalties from the Grape series goes to PSC Partners Seeking a Cure,
to support research into the liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis.

I've also been reading about whaling!

I started Moby Dick by Herman Melville (if you haven't read it, there's always the Moby Dick Big Read: each chapter read by a different author or actor or artist!), and then I veered off to read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe.

I can't imagine what 19th century readers thought of the ending of Poe's novel. It doesn't really end, just fades into the distance -- among the ice floes of Antarctica. The ending of C. S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was most likely inspired by the ending of Poe's book -- if anyone knows of any scholarly articles about this comparison, I'd love to read them.

Meanwhile, here's the wonderful Pauline Baynes' drawing of the Dawn Treader:

Quick ROW80 update -- I've revised my goals! Working on a submission of a short story, and I've got to add 4,000 words and then re-edit the whole tale. On a deadline, too! Wish me luck and editing mojo.

What books have you enjoyed recently?


Crystal Collier said…
Whew! That's quite a few books. I actually review all of mine on Goodreads and Amazon...unless they don't merit a review. It's an easy way to keep track of them, and at the end of the year, it makes it easy to go back and find my favorites. I've read 2.5 books in the last three days, and started 3 others that I put down. It's crazy how you can just be in the mood for a specific type of read, eh?
Hi Deniz - you are so disciplined ... I've read through the Bodleian catalogue ... hope that counts - that's it ... I was in Oxford briefly ... and thought of you ... cheers Hilary
Erin Z. said…
Good luck with the submission!

Those books look good!
I should pull out my short story and work on it. IMO, they are much harder to write than novels; no room for any fluff. Good luck. Hope the deadline is pretty far out there and not just around the corner.
Totally saving these for when I'm not quite so diversely busy! Several of these sound amazing!

And best of luck in that short story. I'm doing Story A Day May this month; many of my stories will be used for my upcoming July novel.

Happy reading, writing, revising! =D
Beth Camp said…
Good idea to do mini-book reviews as you are immersed in your own writing and deadlines! Yes, I'm sending good wishes that the words flow right out onto the page for that story being pushed by a deadline.
Deniz Bevan said…
I always feel guilty when I *don't* write a review. I really need to copy more of my reviews on the blog over to Amazon...

Taylor, you have a short story in the works? I want to see! What would happen if we all submitted to Surrey at the same time? :P

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