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weekly wrap-up 10/23

↠ It’s beginning to feel like fall! That’s the view from my backyard and, in just a few days, nearly all those leaves have now changed the orange. ♥!

↠ A few nights ago my local indie had a book launch party for The Other Einstein – more on the book below! The author (Marie Benedict is a pen name for Heather Terrell!) lives in town and was sweet as could be. She even had her husband and two sons there – the younger son played a big role in providing the inspiration for the book. I would have liked a bit more to the Q&A/author talk bit, but overall I had a blast.

↠ We had a little scare earlier in the week when a loose dog bit Bay while we were on our walk. The owner was a complete nut and I’ll spare you my rant, but know that Bay’s doing fine and the police were notified. That was a terrible day and I’m ready for this week to be over.

↠ HISTORICAL FICTION FANS! This coming Tuesday, October 25, we’re having another #HistoricalFix chat! This time we’ll be discussing historical mysteries and am beyond thrilled to announce Lyndsay Faye will be joining us! The fun begins 8:30 EST – see you there!

READING REPORT Last read my total for the year was 152 books read with 105 female authors, 47 male authors. This week I’m at 157 books read. 109 of those books are written by women, 48 are by men.

WHAT I FINISHED I tore through the second volume in the deluxe collection of Revival. I’ve said it before, but I am NOT a zombie person…yet I am so hooked on this series! A tiny town in Wisconsin is quarantined after Revival Day, a day when those who had died simply get up and go about their business as though nothing happened. Lisa Gardner’s FANTASTIC thriller Find Her had me hooked from the first page and my review can be found below! E. Katherine Kottaras’s The Best Possible Answer was…really bad, but Caroline Leavitt’s Cruel Beautiful World more than made up for it and my review is linked below. Finally, I read my very first Eloisa James novel, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, and OMG WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! Like, seriously, maybe 5 stars. Historical romance with a spunky MC, moody love interest, humor, engaging plots…I loved every second.

CURRENTLY READING I had set aside Marie Benedict’s The Other Einstein for the Eloisa James novel and I’m looking forward to finishing! Also, because it’s almost Halloween I have a copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost I’d like to get to!

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? Although Lisa Gardner’s Find Her is the 8th book in the series, it easily read as a standalone and I fell hard before the first chapter was over. A woman was kidnapped in college and held for nearly 500 days before finally escaping. Since then, she’s made it her mission to track down other missing girls…until she finds herself captive once more. AAAHHH SO GOOD and I definitely will be reading more of Gardner’s work soon! Completely switching gears, Caroline Leavitt’s Cruel Beautiful World takes place in the late 60s/early 70s amid the Manson Family murders and Woodstock. A 16-year-old falls in love with and then runs away with her high school English teacher and the book is a magnificent character exploration of her story as well as what happened to the family she left behind. I hiiighly recommend this one!


The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
Mileva Marić is the sole woman in her physics class. While other girls her age have long since left school to start families and the their households, Mitza has other aspirations. Leaving her tiny town for Zurich, she attends an elite university, knowing all too well the hardships she’ll face (not only is she female, but she walks with a severe limp). What she didn’t expect was to meet one Albert Einstein. Yep, The Other Einstein is about Al’s first wife, a woman rumored to have actually been the one to come up with his theory of relativity! Thank you, Sourcebooks!

Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister
First off, let it be known that I adore Greer, She’s a regular in our #HistoricalFix chats and is such a lovely person. The moment I heard she had a new novel coming out I began pestering the publicist – sorry! Girl in Disguise is based on the true story of Kate Warne, America’s first female detective – her work impressed Allan Pinkerton so much she’s actually buried in the Pinkerton Family plot! This novel takes place during the Civil War and that’s really all I need to know. Thank you, Sourcebooks!

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
A Bavarian castle, once host to countless parties full of German high society, now sits in ruin after WWII. The castle had belonged to Marianne von Lingenfels’s husband’s family and now falls to her after her husband was executed when a plot to assassinate Hitler failed. Marianne now dedicates her life to rescuing and protective other widows of the resistance. Thank you, William Morrow!

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
A woman asks her best friend to pick up her son from school and she readies agrees, after all, their five-year-olds are best friends as well. Stephanie, a stay-at-home mommy blogger, doesn’t mind watching the boy, but when Emily, a PR exec in Manhattan, doesn’t come home, she begins to worry. Texts and calls are left unanswered and eventually Stephanie reaches out to her readers for help, soon learning that Emily has been found dead. I’ve been having FANTASTIC luck this year with debut thrillers and A Simple Favor sounds like it’ll be just as excellent. Thank you, Harper!

Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis
The thing that initially drew me to this book was the setting: a small college town in Pennsylvania. I LOVE stories that hit close to home! Thomas Huston is a beloved professor and bestselling author and certainly something of a local celebrity. But when his wife and children are brutally murdered, Huston immediately become sthe prime suspect. YESSSS!! Thank you, Sourcebooks!

The Dressmaker’s Dowry by Meredith Jaeger
My favorite, favorite method of storytelling is through a dual era narrative. I love it. This one jumps between the present day and San Francisco in the 1870s when an heirloom engagement ring unravels a 140-year-old mystery of the disappearance of a young dressmaker. Thank you, William Morrow!

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
1910, two babies are left on the steps of an orphanage and, as they grow, their talents emerge. Pierrot’s incredibly gifted at the piano while Rose’s dancing and comedy acts can put a smile on the more dour of faces. Over time, they fall in love and begin making plans for a circus show unlike any New York has ever seen. This one is being compared to The Night Circus and features New York’s seedy underworld, a traveling band of clowns and show girls, and the Great Depression. I. Can’t. Wait. Thank you, Riverhead!

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
Pride and Prejudice + dragons. That’s all you need to know. Thank you, Harper Voyager!

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist
Will Porter is sixteen and blind and on his first day at a new high school he accidentally groped a girl and sat on another student in the cafeteria. Things can only get better from here, right? He soon develops a crush on a girl when he learns about a highly experimental new surgery that would allow him to see for the first time. Sight, however, isn’t all he imagined and it soon becomes clear his friends have been keeping some pretty big secrets. They’ve pushed hard for Will to finally get together with Cecily and it turns out everything they’ve said about her appearance has been a lie. Although Will definitely feels betrayed, should he really care what Cecily looks like? I already know how the story will end here, but it sounds really cute. Thank you, Little, Brown!

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