Yay! Two weeks straight of this new idea I had – I’m on a roll!
Okay, let’s start off with my CURRENTLY reading title – this is an 800 page monster of a book, so I’ve been reading it ALL. WEEK. LONG and will be reading it through the weekend for sure. That is pretty much unheard of for me! I’m really, really enjoying it, though, so if you are into lengthy detailed political and historical sagas, look for this one!
The Revolution of Marina M. by Janet Fitch
(Little Brown ~ November 7, 2017
From the mega-bestselling author of White Oleander and Paint It Black, a sweeping historical saga of the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of one young woman.
St. Petersburg, New Year’s Eve, 1916. Marina Makarova is a young woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life, a life about to be violently upended by the vast forces of history. Swept up on these tides, Marina will join the marches for workers’ rights, fall in love with a radical young poet, and betray everything she holds dear, before being betrayed in turn.
As her country goes through almost unimaginable upheaval, Marina’s own coming-of-age unfolds, marked by deep passion and devastating loss, and the private heroism of an ordinary woman living through extraordinary times. This is the epic, mesmerizing story of one indomitable woman’s journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century.
Now for the TBR!
Due to the fact that I spent so much time on Marina this week, my “weekend” TBR is now big enough to last the weekend and all of next week as well! Here is what I’m going to be focusing on……..
The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State
by Nadia Murad
(Tim Duggan Books ~ November 7, 2017)
Thanks to Crown Publishing for this review copy! This looks absolutely fascinating, but possibly a tough read. I may be reading this one on and off combined with one of the lighter middle grade titles below.
In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of ISIS tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story.
Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her eleven brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia was in high school and had dreams of becoming a history teacher and opening her own beauty salon.
On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. ISIS militants massacred the people of her village, executing men old enough to fight and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia and her two sisters were taken to Mosul, where they joined thousands of Yazidi girls in the ISIS slave trade.
Nadia would be sold three times, raped, beaten, and forced to convert to Islam in order to marry one of her captors. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to the safety of a refugee camp. There, surrounded by bereaved and broken Yazidi families, Nadia decided to devote her life to bringing ISIS to justice.
As a farm girl in rural Iraq, Nadia could not have imagined she would one day address the United Nations or be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She had never been to Baghdad, or even seen an airplane. As a slave, she was told by her captors that Yazidis would be erased from the face of the earth, and there were times when she believed them.
Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to ISIS, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.
Millard Salter’s Last Day by Jacob M. Appel
(Gallery Books ~ November 7, 2017)
Thanks to Gallery for this review copy! I have read some great reviews of this one, so am excited to dig in.
In the spirit of the New York Times bestselling A Man Called Ove, this is the heartwarming story of a man who decides to end his life before he’s too old—but then begins to reconsider when he faces complications from the world around him.
In an effort to delay the frailty and isolation that comes with old age, psychiatrist Millard Salter decides to kill himself by the end of the day—but first he has to tie up some loose ends. These include a tête-à-tête with his youngest son, Lysander, who at forty-three has yet to hold down a paying job; an unscheduled rendezvous with his first wife, Carol, whom he hasn’t seen in twenty-seven years; and a brief visit to the grave of his second wife, Isabelle. Complicating this plan though is Delilah, the widow with whom he has fallen in love in the past few months. As Millard begins to wrap up his life, he confronts a lifetime of challenges during a single day—and discovers that his family has a big surprise for him as well.
The Bowery: The Strange History of New York’s Oldest Street
by Stephen Paul Devillo
(Skyhorse Publishing ~ November 7, 2017)
I requested a review copy of this from Skyhorse because I am obsessed with NYC history ~ a huge thanks to them for indulging my obsession!
It was the street your mother warned you about–even if you lived in San Francisco. Long associated with skid row, saloons, freak shows, violence, and vice, the Bowery often showed the worst New York City had to offer. Yet there were times when it showed its best as well. The Bowery is New York’s oldest street and Manhattan’s broadest boulevard. Like the city itself, it has continually reinvented itself over the centuries. Named for the Dutch farms, or bouweries, of the area, the path’s lurid character was established early when it became the site of New Amsterdam’s first murder. A natural spring near the Five Points neighborhood led to breweries and taverns that became home to the gangs of New York–the “Bowery B’hoys,” “Plug Uglies,” and “Dead Rabbits.” In the Gaslight Era, teenaged streetwalkers swallowed poison in McGurk’s Suicide Hall. A brighter side to the street was reflected in places of amusement and culture over the years. A young P.T. Barnum got his start there, and Harry Houdini learned showmanship playing the music halls and dime museums. Poets, singers, hobos, gangsters, soldiers, travelers, preachers, storytellers, con-men, and reformers all gathered there. Its colorful cast of characters include Peter Stuyvesant, Steve Brodie, Carrie Nation, Stephen Foster, Stephen Crane, Carrie Joy Lovett, and even Abraham Lincoln. The Bowery: The Strange History of New York’s Oldest Street traces the full story of this once notorious thoroughfare from its pre-colonial origins to the present day.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
(Knopf ~ September 9, 2014)
I may be the last person on earth to have NOT read this book, and despite EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. in the #bookstagram world telling me how amazing this is, it’s not one I would have picked up if it weren’t on my Librarian Battle of the Books list. Fingers crossed all of those bookish friends are right!
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains – this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.
Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
Far From the Tree by Robin Benway (YOUNG ADULT)
(Harper Teen ~ October 3, 2017)
National Book Award finalist and my Instagram librarian BFF Laura tells me it is AMAZING – those two things have pushed this to the top of my YA TBR pile!
A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.
Being the middle child has its ups and downs.
But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—
Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.
And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.
That’s the Spirit by Stacia Deutsch (MIDDLE GRADE)
(Stone Arch Books ~ August 1, 2017)
This is another title that was included in the Intermediate WAM Book Bundle I received for free as one of the company’s Instagram reps – it looks great, and it may end up being a series I want to buy for my library.
The brown house at the end of Shaker Street is a bit shady. Everyone who moves in gets scared off. Liv is convinced the house is haunted by the ghost of its late owner, General Pablo Carlos, Michael doesn’t buy it, and Leo want nothing to do with ghosts! One thing’s for certain, something fishy is going on. The Mysterious Makers set to making a ghost detector to determine just what’s behind the spirit on Shaker Street. Real-life makers can keep the fun going and create their own detector and levitating ghost with instructions at the end of the book, and a glossary and reader questions make this a great choice.
Kat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske (MIDDLE GRADE)
(Charlesbridge ~ August 22, 2017)
I requested this title for review from Charlesbridge because I had read such amazing reviews from my librarian colleagues across the interwebs. I’m really looking forward to reading and adding it to my library!
Eleven-year-old Kat Greene has a lot on her pre-rinsed plate, thanks to her divorced mom’s obsession with cleaning. When Mom isn’t scrubbing every inch of their Greenwich Village apartment, she’s boiling the silverware or checking Kat’s sheets for bedbugs. It’s enough to drive any middle schooler crazy! Add friendship troubles to the mix, a crummy role in the class production of Harriet the Spy, and Mom’s decision to try out for “Clean Sweep,” a competitive-cleaning TV game show, and what have you got? More trouble than Kat can handle. At least, without a little help from her friends.