Wish-List 5: Thrillers

Before I Let Gobefore I let you go by Marieke Nijkamp

SOURCEBOOKS Fire

Mystery & Thrillers, Teens & YA

Pub Date 02 Jan 2018

Description

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends comes an intense story of loss and the quest for truth

Corey and her best friend, Kyra, are inseparable. Corey is the only person who understands Kyra’s high-highs and low-lows. So when Corey’s family moves away from their Alaskan town, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winters and wait for her return.  Except Kyra doesn’t.

Two days before Corey is to visit, Kyra is found floating underneath the ice.

While everyone in Lost Creek deems Kyra’s death a suicide, Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. The town is keeping secrets—chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to Kyra may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…

The Great AloneThe Great Alone

A Novel

by Kristin Hannah

St. Martin’s Press

Pub Date 06 Feb 2018

Description

“A TOUR DE FORCE.” —Kirkus (starred review)

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Two Girls Down by Louisa LunaTwo Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Doubleday Books

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 09 Jan 2018

Description

“Opening this book is like arming a bomb–the suspense is relentless and the payoff is spectacular.  Lead character Alice Vega is sensational–I want to see lots more of her.”–Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

As addictive, cinematic, and binge-worthy a narrative as The Wire and The Killing, Two Girls Down introduces Louisa Luna as a thriller writer of immense talent and verve.

When two young sisters disappear from a strip mall parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town, their devastated mother hires an enigmatic bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help to find the girls, and she will not be denied.

With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.

Then She Was GoneThen She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller

Random House UK, Cornerstone

Arrow

General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 14 Dec 2017

Description

She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. 
She had her whole life ahead of her. 
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.

But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.

Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.

Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Sourcebooks Landmark

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 04 Sep 2018

Description

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

The Hardcastle family is hosting a masquerade at their home, and their daughter Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die every day until Aiden Bishop is able identify her killer and break the cycle.

But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up each day in a different body as one of the guests.

Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend. But nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that’s an Agatha Christie mystery in a Groundhog Day Loop, with a bit of Quantum Leap to it.  Perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson and Claire North.

************

I had a lot of fun putting this wish-list list together. They’re all on Netgalley and while I am behind on my galley reviews, I requested them anyways. This is a big motivator to start cranking out reviews in 2018. There are so many great looking stories coming out next year and it is almost upon us! -Stephanie M. Hopkins

Stay calm and support book bloggers

Other Bloggers who has a Monthly Wish-List:

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Erin at Flashlight Commentary

 

Advertisements

Wish-List 5: World War II – Historical Fiction

I’ve read a lot of Historical Fiction that takes place during World War II but one can never read too many. You will always discover an event that happened. That is how many lives it affected. I have added these to my list and I hope you will too!

The Baker's SecretThe Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

From the critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

But in the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

The Boat RunnerThe Boat Runner by Devin Murphy

A DUTCH SEAFARER, TURNED SMUGGLER.

In the tradition of All The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, comes an incandescent debut novel about a young Dutch man who comes of age during the perilousness of World War II.

Beginning in the summer of 1939, fourteen-year-old Jacob Koopman and his older brother, Edwin, enjoy lives of prosperity and quiet contentment. Many of the residents in their small Dutch town have some connection to the Koopman lightbulb factory, and the locals hold the family in high esteem.

On days when they aren’t playing with friends, Jacob and Edwin help their Uncle Martin on his fishing boat in the North Sea, where German ships have become a common sight. But conflict still seems unthinkable, even as the boys’ father naively sends his sons to a Hitler Youth Camp in an effort to secure German business for the factory.

When war breaks out, Jacob’s world is thrown into chaos. The Boat Runner follows Jacob over the course of four years, through the forests of France, the stormy beaches of England, and deep within the secret missions of the German Navy, where he is confronted with the moral dilemma that will change his life—and his life’s mission—forever.

Epic in scope and featuring a thrilling narrative with precise, elegant language, The Boat Runner tells the little-known story of the young Dutch boys who were thrown into the Nazi campaign, as well as the brave boatmen who risked everything to give Jewish refugees safe passage to land abroad. Through one boy’s harrowing tale of personal redemption, here is a novel about the power of people’s stories and voices to shine light through our darkest days, until only love prevails.

The Time in BetweenThe Time in Between by María Dueñas

The Time In Between is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted María Dueñas, a debut author, to the top of Spain’s bestseller lists.

This sweeping novel, which combines the storytelling power of The Shadow of the Wind with the irresistible romance of Casablanca, moves at an unstoppable pace. Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Morocco by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.

The Wives of Los AlamosThe Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago—and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with a P.O. box for an address in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn’t exist as far as the public knew. Though they were strangers, they joined together—adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, full of the banalities of everyday life and the drama of scientific discovery.

And while the bomb was being invented, babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up, and Los Alamos gradually transformed from an abandoned school on a hill into a real community: one that was strained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, the freedom they didn’t have. But the end of the war would bring even bigger challenges to the people of Los Alamos, as the scientists and their families struggled with the burden of their contribution to the most destructive force in the history of mankind.

The Wives of Los Alamos is a novel that sheds light onto one of the strangest and most monumental research projects in modern history, and a testament to a remarkable group of women who carved out a life for themselves, in spite of the chaos of the war and the shroud of intense secrecy.

The Good GermanThe Good German by Joseph Kanon

With World War II finally ending, Jake Geismar, former Berlin correspondent for CBS, has wangled one of the coveted press slots for the Potsdam Conference. His assignment: a series of articles on the Allied occupation. His personal agenda: to find Lena, the German mistress he left behind at the outbreak of the war.

When Jake stumbles on a murder — an American soldier washes up on the conference grounds — he thinks he has found the key that will unlock his Berlin story. What Jake finds instead is a larger story of corruption and intrigue reaching deep into the heart of the occupation. Berlin in July 1945 is like nowhere else — a tragedy, and a feverish party after the end of the world.

As Jake searches the ruins for Lena, he discovers that years of war have led to unimaginable displacement and degradation. As he hunts for the soldier’s killer, he learns that Berlin has become a city of secrets, a lunar landscape that seethes with social and political tension. When the two searches become entangled, Jake comes to understand that the American Military Government is already fighting a new enemy in the east, busily identifying the “good Germans” who can help win the next war. And hanging over everything is the larger crime, a crime so huge that it seems — the worst irony — beyond punishment.

At once a murder mystery, a moving love story, and a riveting portrait of a unique time and place, The Good German is a historical thriller of the first rank.

More great reads to add from my friends this month!

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede – Thrillers Coming in 2018

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation – Historical Fiction Book Series

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary – The Women Behind Beloved Classics

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books – Christmas Books

Stay calm and support book bloggers

 

 

Wish-List 5: Spooky Reads

Me outside October 2017

This month’s wish-list is a theme for spooky reads in 2018. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of books I want to read for next October that hasn’t been published yet. Below in the descriptions, I have added the pub dates. I am really looking forward to these coming out. I have thought about requesting all of them to review but I am a bit back logged at the moment to say the least. Story of my life many people would say and they would be right!

What do I plan to read for Halloween this year? Well, it is a toss up between Bone Box by Faye Kellerman and The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. I’m really leaning towards The Night Sisters.

I hope you enjoy the list below! Happy reading and thank you for visiting with me today.

The Case of the Deadly DoppelgangerThe Case of the Deadly Doppelganger by Lucy Banks

Amberjack Publishing

General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 06 Feb 2018

Description

Only a few months have passed since the day Kester Lanner forced an angry ghost through the spirit door, but business prospects for Dr. Ribero’s supernatural agency haven’t improved. Things are looking grim when the agency lands a contract which they must share with a rival agency headed by Dr. Ribero’s sworn enemy, Larry Higgins. Desperate for the job, the team accepts and begins to investigate the seaside town of Lyme Regis, where elderly victims are dying.

The same mysterious clue links the horrendous deaths: the victims all see a double of themselves before dying. The teams wonder if they are dealing with a rogue doppelgänger, one that isn’t content just predicting deaths, but carrying them out as well. The victims’ connection to an ancient grave site leads to speculation that they may have disturbed a spirit more powerful than the two agencies can handle.

One thing is certain, the won’t stop unless Kester and the others can overcome their rivalry and stop this deadly spirit.

Paper GhostsPaper Ghosts (A Novel of Suspense) by Julia Heaberlin

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Ballantine Books

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 15 May 2018

#PaperGhosts #NetGalley

Description

A gripping thriller about a man who may or may not have dementia—and who may or may not be a serial killer—from a master of twists and turns, in the tradition of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn

An obsessive young woman has been waiting half her life—since she was twelve years old—for this moment. She has planned. Researched. Trained. Imagined every scenario. Now she is almost certain the man who kidnapped and murdered her sister sits in the passenger seat beside her.

Carl Louis Feldman is a documentary photographer. The young woman claims to be his long-lost daughter. He doesn’t believe her. He claims no memory of murdering girls across Texas, in a string of places where he shot eerie pictures. She doesn’t believe him.

Determined to find the truth, she lures him out of a halfway house and proposes a dangerous idea: a ten-day road trip, just the two of them, to examine cold cases linked to his haunting photographs.

Is he a liar or a broken old man? Is he a pathological con artist? Or is she? Julia Heaberlin once again swerves the serial killer genre in a new direction. With taut, captivating prose, Heaberlin deftly explores the ghosts that live in our minds—and the ones that stare back from photographs. You won’t see the final, terrifying twist spinning your way until the very last mile.

Watch MeWatch Me (A Gripping Psychological Thriller) by Jody Gehrman

St. Martin’s Press

St. Martin’s Griffin

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 23 Jan 2018

Description

For fans of dark and twisty psychological thrillers comes a riveting novel of suspense about how far obsession can go.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten year younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

The Ghost NotebooksThe Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Pantheon

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 13 Feb 2018

Description

A supernatural story of love, ghosts, and madness as a young couple, newly engaged, become live-in caretakers of a historic museum.

When Nick Beron and Hannah Rampe decide to move to the tiny upstate town of Hibernia, New York, they aren’t running away, exactly, but they need a change. Their careers have flatlined, the city is exhausting, and they’ve reached a relationship stalemate. Hannah takes a job as live-in director of the Wright Historic House, a museum dedicated to an obscure nineteenth century philosopher, and she and Nick move into their new home–the town’s remoteness, the speed with which she is offered the job, and the lack of museum visitors barely a blip in their considerations. At first life in this old, creaky house feels cozy–they speak in Masterpiece Theater accents, they take bottles of wine to the swimming hole. But as summer turns to fall Hannah begins to have trouble sleeping and she hears whispers in the night. One morning Nick wakes up to find Hannah gone. Now, in his frantic search for her he will discover the hidden legacy of Wright House: a man driven wild with grief, and a spirit aching for home.

Into the Drowning DeepInto the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Orbit Books

Sci Fi & Fantasy

Pub Date 14 Nov 2017

Description

New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, author of the renowned Newsflesh series, returns with a novel that takes us to a new world of ancient mysteries and mythological dangers come to life.

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

 

 

Wish-List 5: Inspiration for Good Reads Come from The Best Places

This month’s wish list is inspired by the books Erin over at Flashlight Commentary features at her Facebook Page. I highly recommend you check both her website and page out. You will find lots of great looking reads and posts. These five books I am sharing with you today really stood out to me and I have added them to my to-read pile. Which I hope to get to in the near future. Enjoy!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

**************

Island in the EastIsland in the East by Jenny Ashcroft

Paperback, 416 pages

Expected publication: November 2nd 2017 by Sphere

Set in 1890s and 1940s Singapore, the stunning Island in the East is a story of love, sisterly rivalry and the true cost of betrayal. Vivid, authentic and utterly beautiful, it’s the perfect read for fans of Victoria Hislop, Fiona McIntosh and Kate Morton.

1897: twenty-year-old identical twins, Harriet and Mae, born from a scandalous affair, have spent their lives slighted by gossips. They’ve carried each other through the loneliness, believing that together they can survive anything. But then their mysterious benefactor sends them to Singapore to live with his relative, the watchful David Keeley, who will choose one of them to marry. In the tension of David’s house, a distance opens up between the twins, but it is only when they meet the handsome Alex Blake that their relationship truly fractures, resulting in a life-shattering betrayal with devastating consequences . . .

1941: Ivy, an intelligence officer with the women’s naval service and carrying her own ghosts from Blitz-torn London, is posted to wartime Singapore and arrives to the looming threat of a Japanese invasion. Nothing can prepare her for what’s waiting on the island – not the unexpected love, nor the strangers from her grandmother, Mae’s, past, and the shocking secrets that now echo down through the generations.

With a sizzling love affair playing out against this epic family drama, Island in the East is evocative, atmospheric and romantic historical fiction at its very best.

The Glass VirginThe Glass Virgin by Catherine Cookson

Hardcover, 356 pages

Published November 30th 2004 by Simon & Schuster

Annabella Lagrange had the kind of childhood that most can only dream about. The only child of an aristocratic couple, raised on their magnificent estate in the English countryside, she was loved by her parents and coddled by servants who acquiesced to her every whim. She was allowed to do anything she wanted, except, of course, to stray too far from her wing of the house. But her seclusion didn’t concern her too much, because when she grew up, she planned to marry her handsome cousin Stephen and live happily ever after. However, on the morning of her tenth birthday, Annabella ventured farther than she’d ever gone before. Overcome with curiosity, she opened a forbidden door that led into her father’s private quarters, and what she found there showed her with shocking clarity that her father was not the man she thought he was. And though she couldn’t know it at the time, the events of that day set in motion the uncovering of a secret that had been kept for many years.

So begins the remarkable story of Annabella Lagrange, a sensitive, beautiful young woman who was raised as a lady. But when she turns eighteen, she learns the surprising circumstances of her birth, and her entire world quietly crashes around her. Suddenly she’s forced from the genteel surroundings of her youth into the rough, lower-class society of Victorian England, where only her quick wit and determination can save her from starvation.

Catherine Cookson was one of the world’s most beloved writers, and in “The Glass Virgin” her powers are at their height. Rarely has a heroine been portrayed more sensitively or a situation more compellingly. Filled with passion and drama, “The Glass Virgin” is a rare treat forlovers of romantic fiction.

The Sound of RainThe Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Paperback

Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,

In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through

Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother’s life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Larkin Heyward’s life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more–maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.

Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd’s and Larkin’s dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together–or maybe, it will take a miracle.

See What I Have DoneSee What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Hardcover, 328 pages

Published August 1st 2017 by Atlantic Monthly Press

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

In the Midst of WinterIn the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

Hardcover, 336 pages

Expected publication: October 31st 2017 by Atria Books

New York Times and worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.

In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster—a 60-year-old human rights scholar—hits the car of Evelyn Ortega—a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala—in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz—a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile—for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia.

Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende’s landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of “humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics” (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Stay calm and support book bloggers

 

 

Wish-List 5: Alexander Pushkin to the Romanovs

Me IIRecently one of my friends and fellow book blogger shared The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam on Facebook and it recaptured my interest in stories set in Russia during the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th Century. My fascination in those periods lingered for a few years when I was in my late teens and early twenties and then I moved to other periods of history in other countries. Of late I am drawn-again- to Russian history and hope to spare what little free time I have to read these books below.  

Stephanie M. Hopkins

The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer LaamThe Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam

The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story―the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

The Secret Daughter of the Tsar A Novel of The Romanovs by Jennifer LaamThe Secret Daughter of the Tsar: A Novel of The Romanovs by Jennifer Laam

A compelling alternate history of the Romanov family in which a secret fifth daughter―smuggled out of Russia before the revolution―continues the royal lineage to dramatic consequences

In her riveting debut novel, The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, Jennifer Laam seamlessly braids together the stories of three women: Veronica, Lena, and Charlotte. Veronica is an aspiring historian living in present-day Los Angeles when she meets a mysterious man who may be heir to the Russian throne. As she sets about investigating the legitimacy of his claim through a winding path of romance and deception, the ghosts of her own past begin to haunt her. Lena, a servant in the imperial Russian court of 1902, is approached by the desperate Empress Alexandra. After conceiving four daughters, the Empress is determined to sire a son and believes Lena can help her. Once elevated to the Romanov’s treacherous inner circle, Lena finds herself under the watchful eye of the meddling Dowager Empress Marie. Charlotte, a former ballerina living in World War II occupied Paris, receives a surprise visit from a German officer. Determined to protect her son from the Nazis, Charlotte escapes the city, but not before learning that the officer’s interest in her stems from his longstanding obsession with the fate of the Russian monarchy. Then as Veronica’s passion intensifies, and her search for the true heir to the throne takes a dangerous turn, the reader learns just how these three vastly different women are connected. The Secret Daughter of the Tsar is thrilling from its first intense moments until its final, unexpected conclusion.

The Tsarina's Legacy A Novel by Jennifer LaamThe Tsarina’s Legacy: A Novel by Jennifer Laam

Then…Grigory “Grisha” Potemkin has had a successful long association with the powerful Empress Catherine of Russia. But Catherine and Grisha are older now and face new threats, both from powers outside of Russia and from those close to them. Haunted by the horrors of his campaign against the Muslim Turks, Grisha hopes to construct a mosque in the heart of the empire. Unfortunately, Catherine’s much younger new lover, the ambitious Platon Zubov, stands in his way. Grisha determines that to preserve Catherine’s legacy he must save her from Zubov’s dangerous influence and win back her heart.

Now…When she learns she is the lost heiress to the Romanov throne, Veronica Herrera’s life turns upside down. Dmitry Potemkin, one of Grisha’s descendants, invites Veronica to Russia to accept a ceremonial position as Russia’s new tsarina. Seeking purpose, Veronica agrees to act as an advocate to free a Russian artist sentenced to prison for displaying paintings critical of the church and government. Veronica is both celebrated and chastised. As her political role comes under fire, Veronica is forced to decide between the glamorous perks of European royalty and staying true to herself.

In Jennifer Laam’s The Tsarina’s Legacy, unexpected connections between Grisha and Veronica are revealed as they struggle to make peace with the ghosts of their past and help secure a better future for themselves and the country they both love.

The Lost Crown by Sarah MillerThe Lost Crown by Sarah Miller

A heart-wrenching, suspenseful look at the downfall of the Russian empire as told through the eyes of the four Romanov sisters.

Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Like the fingers on a hand—first headstrong Olga, then Tatiana the tallest, Maria most hopeful for a ring, and Anastasia the smallest. These are the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, grand duchesses living a life steeped in tradition and privilege. They are young women each on the brink of starting her own life. The summer of 1914 is that precious last wink of time when they can still be sisters together—who link arms and laugh, sisters who share their dreams and worries, and who flirt with the officers of their imperial yacht.

But in a gunshot the future changes—for these sisters and for Russia.

As World War I ignites across Europe, political unrest sweeps Russia. First dissent, then disorder, mutiny—and revolution. For Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, the end of their girlhood collides with the end of more than they ever imagined.

At the same time hopeful and hopeless, naïve and wise, the voices of these sisters become a chorus singing the final song of this great empire. Impeccably researched and utterly fascinating, acclaimed author Sarah Miller recounts the final days of Imperial Russia.

The Romanovs 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag MontefioreThe Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world’s surface for three centuries. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world’s greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?

This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin.

To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six of the last twelve tsars were murdered. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire, and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband (who was murdered soon afterward), enjoyed affairs with a series of young male favorites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul I was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who in turn faced Napoleon’s invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever composed by a ruler. The Romanovs climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas II and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution—and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.

Dazzlingly entertaining and beautifully written from start to finish, The Romanovs brings these monarchs—male and female, great and flawed, their families and courts—blazingly to life. Drawing on new archival research, Montefiore delivers an enthralling epic of triumph and tragedy, love and murder, encompassing the seminal years 1812, 1914 and 1917, that is both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia today.

Be sure to check out my wish-list from last month HERE

Here are the wish lists from a few of my friends this month:

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired

Stay calm and support book bloggers

 

Wish-List 5: World War II History/Sea Bound

This month’s wish-list is a powerful one in my opinion. We will never forget the sacrifices our military made and still makes so we might be saved from oppression and for many other reasons. War is ugly, brutal and often times heatless one…Needless to say, it also saves lives and governments from falling into the wrong hands.   

This list involves war at sea and this collection of books is one I want to have for my library. Be sure to check out other wish-list from my fellow book bloggers below!

**************

The Cruel Sea (Classics of War)The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat

A powerful novel of the North Atlantic in World War II, this is the story of the British ships Compass Rose and Saltash and of their desparate cat-and-mouse game with Nazi U-boats. First published to great accalim in 1951, The Cruel Sea remains a classic novel of endurance and daring

 

 

 

The Battle of the Atlantic How the Allies Won the WarThe Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War by Jonathan Dimbleby

“The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril,” wrote Winston Churchill in his monumental history of World War Two. Churchill’s fears were well-placed-the casualty rate in the Atlantic was higher than in any other theater of the entire war. The enemy was always and constantly there and waiting, lying just over the horizon or lurking beneath the waves. In many ways, the Atlantic shipping lanes, where U-boats preyed on American ships, were the true front of the war.

England’s very survival depended on assistance from the United States, much of which was transported across the ocean by boat. The shipping lanes thus became the main target of German naval operations between 1940 and 1945. The Battle of the Atlantic and the men who fought it were therefore crucial to both sides. Had Germany succeeded in cutting off the supply of American ships, England might not have held out. Yet had Churchill siphoned reinforcements to the naval effort earlier, thousands of lives might have been preserved. The battle consisted of not one but hundreds of battles, ranging from hours to days in duration, and forcing both sides into constant innovation and nightmarish second-guessing, trying desperately to gain the advantage of every encounter. Any changes to the events of this series of battles, and the outcome of the war-as well as the future of Europe and the world-would have been dramatically different.

Jonathan Dimbleby’s, The Battle of the Atlantic offers a detailed and immersive account of this campaign, placing it within the context of the war as a whole. Dimbleby delves into the politics on both sides of the Atlantic, revealing the role of Bletchley Park and the complex and dynamic relationship between America and England. He uses contemporary diaries and letters from leaders and sailors to chilling effect, evoking the lives and experiences of those who fought the longest battle of World War Two. This is the definitive account of the Battle of the Atlantic.

The Kappillan of MaltaThe Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat

As bombs pound Malta to dust, Father Salvatore–a simple priest, or kappillan, serving the poor–finds himself caught in the drama of World War Two. In the fragile safety of catacombs revealed by the explosions, he tends to the flood of homeless, starving, and frightened people seeking shelter, giving messages of inspiration and hope. His story, and that of the island, unfold in superbly graphic images of six days during the siege.

The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 by James D. Hornfischer

The extraordinary story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower

One of America s preeminent military historians, James D. Hornfischer has written his most expansive and ambitious book to date. Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts by Americans and Japanese alike, here is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the U.S. invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it triggered.

With its thunderous assault into Japan s inner defensive perimeter, America crossed the threshold of total war. From the seaborne invasion of Saipan to the stunning aerial battles of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, to the largest banzai attack of the war and the strategic bombing effort that led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marianas became the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender with consequences that forever changed modern war.

These unprecedented operations saw the first large-scale use of Navy Underwater Demolition Teams; a revolution in the fleet s ability to sustain cross-hemispheric expeditionary warfare; the struggle of American troops facing not only a suicidal enemy garrison but desperate Japanese civilians; and the rise of the U.S. Navy as the greatest of grand fleets. From the Marianas, B-29 Superfortresses would finally unleash nuclear fire on an enemy resolved to fight to the end.

Hornfischer casts this clash of nations and cultures with cinematic scope and penetrating insight, focusing closely on the people who rose to the challenge under fire: Raymond Spruance, the brilliant, coolly calculating commander of the Fifth Fleet; Kelly Turner, whose amphibious forces delivered Marine General Holland Howlin Mad Smith s troops to the beaches of Saipan and Tinian; Draper Kauffman, founder of the Navy unit that predated today s SEALs; Paul Tibbets, who created history s first atomic striking force and flew the Enola Gay to Hiroshima; and Japanese warriors and civilians who saw the specter of defeat as the ultimate test of the spirit.

From the seas of the Central Pacific to the shores of Japan itself, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a stirring and deeply humane account of World War II s world-changing finale. Advance praise for The Fleet at Flood Tide

This is a masterful account of the barbaric last year of the Pacific War, combining original scholarship, engaging prose, excellent historical judgment, and empathy for the soldier, to explain why defeating the Japanese proved so costly and how American military forces performed so effectively and, in the end, humanely. The Fleet at Flood Tide is, quite simply, popular and scholarly military history at its best. Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture, senior fellow in classics and military history, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University

We have here a carefully researched and well-written account of key stages and events in the final portion of the war in the Pacific that includes a careful look at the Japanese side as well as the American. The campaign in the Marianas and the background and reality of the atomic bomb are exceptionally thoughtfully presented. Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, professor emeritus of history, University of North Carolina”

Pacific CruciblePacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 (The Pacific War Series #1) by Ian W. Toll

On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

Ian W. Toll’s dramatic narrative encompasses both the high command and the “sailor’s-eye” view from the lower deck. Relying predominantly on eyewitness accounts and primary sources, Pacific Crucible also spotlights recent scholarship that has revised our understanding of the conflict, including the Japanese decision to provoke a war that few in the country’s highest circles thought they could win. The result is a page-turning history that does justice to the breadth and depth of a tremendous subject.

The Caine MutinyThe Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

The Novel that Inspired the Now-Classic Film, The Caine Mutiny and the Hit Broadway Play, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Herman Wouk’s boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life-and mutiny-on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater was immediately embraced, upon its original publication in 1951, as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of World War II. In the intervening half century, The Caine Mutiny has become a perennial favorite of readers young and old, has sold millions of copies throughout the world, and has achieved the status of a modern classic.

 

 

Here are the wish lists from a few of my friends this month:

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired

 

Wish-List 5: 20th Century

me-iiI missed posting my March wish-list 5 and I was not happy about that. I dislike letting my readers down. However, I have started back up and have searched for stories to add to my list that take place in the 20th Century. There are a few books here that actually constitute as historical fiction. My hope is that when you see the books I selected, you will find something of interest to you. Happy reading!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

************

The Girl at the Lion d'OrThe Girl at the Lion d’Or (French Trilogy #1) by Sebastian Faulks

From the author of the international bestseller Birdsong, comes a haunting historical novel of passion, loss, and courage set in France between the two world wars. This Vintage Original edition marks its first appearance in the United States.

On a rainy night in the 1930s, Anne Louvet appears at the run-down Hotel du Lion d’Or in the village of Janvilliers.  She is seeking a job and a new life, one far removed from the awful injustices of her past. As Anne embarks on a torrential love affair with a married veteran of the Great War, The Girl at the Lion d’Or fashions an unbreakable spell of narrative and atmosphere that evokes French masters from Flaubert to Renoir.

Where My Heart Used to BeatWhere My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks  

London, 1980. Robert Hendricks, an established psychiatrist and author, has so bottled up memories of his own wartime past that he is nearly sunk into a life of aloneness and depression. Out of the blue, a baffling letter arrives from one Dr. Alexander Pereira, a neurologist and a World War I veteran who claims to be an admirer of Robert’s published work. The letter brings Robert to the older man’s home on a rocky, secluded island off the south of France, and into tempests of memories–his childhood as a fatherless English boy, the carnage he witnessed and the wound he can’t remember receiving as a young officer in World War II, and, above all, the great, devastating love of his life, an Italian woman, “L,” whom he met during the war. As Robert’s recollections pour forth, he’s unsure whether they will lead to psychosis–or redemption. But Dr. Pereira knows. Profoundly affecting and masterfully told, Where My Heart Used to Beat sweeps through the 20th century, brilliantly interrogating the darkest corners of the human mind and bearing tender witness to the abiding strength of love.

The Daughters of MarsThe Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

In 1915, two spirited Australian sisters join the war effort as nurses, escaping the confines of their father’s farm and carrying a guilty secret with them. Used to tending the sick as they are, nothing could have prepared them for what they confront, first near Gallipoli, then on the Western Front.

Yet amid the carnage, Naomi and Sally Durance become the friends they never were at home and find themselves courageous in the face of extreme danger, as well as the hostility they encounter from some on their own side. There is great bravery, humor, and compassion, too, and the inspiring example of the remarkable women they serve alongside. In France, where Naomi nurses in a hospital set up by the eccentric Lady Tarlton while Sally works in a casualty clearing station, each meets an exceptional man: the kind of men for whom they might give up some of their precious independence — if only they all survive.

At once vast in scope and extraordinarily intimate, The Daughters of Mars brings World War I to vivid, concrete life from an unusual perspective. A searing and profoundly moving tale, it pays tribute to men and women of extraordinary moral resilience, even in the face of the incomprehensible horrors of modern war.

The Wolf of SarajevoThe Wolf of Sarajevo by Matthew Palmer

A riveting novel of international suspense from acclaimed author and veteran diplomat Matthew Palmer.

Twenty years after the Srebrenica massacre that claimed the life of his friend and colleague, Eric Petrosian is back in Sarajevo at the American embassy, and the specter of war once again hangs over the Balkans. The Bosnian Serb leader, who had for a time been seeking a stable peace, has turned back to his nationalist roots and is threatening to pull Bosnia apart in a bloody struggle for control . . . and behind him is a shadowy mafia figure pulling the strings. As Eric is dragged deeper into the political maelstrom and uncovers a plot of blackmail and ruthless ambitions, Eric is faced with an impossible choice: use the information he’s uncovered to achieve atonement for the past or use it to shape the future.

The Arrow CatcherThe Arrow Catcher (The Arrow Catcher #1) by Jim Mather

In 1948 Young Jonathan Lusk’s life was perfect. Big Boston house. Swimming pool. Summers on the Cape. His father a Nobel Prize winning Harvard professor; his mother the beautiful only child of Boston socialites. When his parents get caught between rival Arab and Jewish faculty over the creation of the State of Israel, Jonathan’s life is turned upside down. He soon finds himself in Japan, living with his grandfather, former American Ambassador and a judge on the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals. American opulence and comfort is abruptly replaced by subtle Japanese elegance and traditional austerity. The boy is thrust into a life among strangers and forced to navigate his way through a new country, foreign customs, unfamiliar language, and ultimately political intrigue that will threaten his life. This suspenseful story, one of personal survival, is a testament to a young boy’s perseverance and to human courage and loyalty that are sometimes found in unexpected places.

Here are some of the wish lists from a few of my friends this month:

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court-Coming soon

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired