the saturday six.

• Did you hear the big news?? NASA announced this week that they discovered SEVEN Earth-like planets! Though their sun is much smaller than ours, the conditions on each planet are perfect for water – and potentially life!

• I’m starting to suspect that these posts are subconsciously my way of spreading my love for bees, but seriously: bees can learn how to play soccer.

• I know I’m not the only one who daydreams in the shower or during my commute. This article on mind wandering is surprisingly fascinating!

AMERICAN GODS FINALLY HAS A PREMIERE DATE!!

• I ♥ this: love letters a WWII soldier wrote to his boyfriend.

The world’s most romantic cities – the obvious ones are included, but there were a few that I wouldn’t have guessed!

another 4 backlist bumps for recent reads!

In a recent edition of the saturday six I discussed backlist titles and that put me into an oldies mood! Today I’m sharing another 4 backlist bumps for recent reads – and I’ll be honest: this one was tough! Lately, the books I’ve been reading have been debuts!

Seaward by Susan Cooper
September 1983

This standalone seems to be a hidden gem, even among Cooper fans! West and Cally speak two different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart. What binds them together, however, is the shared tragedy of losing their parents. On top of that, the two find themselves being taken out of their reality and seemingly transported to a strange new world where the pair have to team up in order to survive.

Readers have said this book is much darker and has an older feel than Cooper’s The Dark is Rising novels and I’m intrigued!

RECENT READ Over Sea Under Stone. I came into this one as an adult and I’m a little disappointed I never read it as a child! That said, the audio was EXCELLENT and performed by the magnificent Alex Jennings.

Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt
May 2013

1956, the Cold War is looming over the land, striking fear into the hearts of millions. Ava is the single mother to 12-year-old Lewis, and their recent move to a Boston suburb has been less than ideal. However, Lewis quickly befriends two other fatherless children, Jimmy and Rose. ..then one day Jimmy goes missing. Years later, Lewis is an adult and still struggling with the trauma of losing his childhood friend. He’s unlucky in the romance department and can’t seem to stick a job, while Rose has become a teacher who’s determined to keep watch over her students because she still feels as though she failed her brother. Even Ava is slowly building a new life for herself. Everything changes the day Jimmy’s disappearance is finally solved.

I love novels that deal with the aftermath of a traumatic event (I Liked My Life was fantastic!) and I’m curious as to how Jimmy’s disappearance – and its closure – has affected these characters.

RECENT READ Cruel Beautiful World was a book I couldn’t stop gushing over! While it’s set against a backdrop of bell bottoms and the Manson Family, its storyline involving a teacher/student romance was very timely.

Overseas by Beatriz Williams
May 2012

I believe this was her first novel (??) and it also seems to be the one readers aren’t as fond of. I’m thinking it’s because there’s a time travel element: Kate is a twenty-something Wall Street analyst who manages to catch the eye of hot shot British billionaire Julian. Julian’s interest in Kate leaves her baffled: she’s bookish and hasn’t dated since college, why on earth would he be interested in her? As it turns out, they have a past. A past that goes way back. Back to WWI when a mysterious American woman saved the life of an injured army Captain.

RECENT READ The Wicked City had it all: flappers, hidden speakeasies, forbidden romance, fresh starts, a potentially haunted apartment building. I couldn’t read fast enough and this summer can’t come soon enough – I need the next book!

Simply Unforgettable by Mary Balogh
March 2005

The Simply Quartet series is set in Regency England and follows four teachers at Miss Martin’s School for Girls. I’m already starry-eyed. In the first book we meet Frances, the music teacher with a past! There’s a terrible snowstorm, a legit caped man who comes to her rescue, and now the two are stranded together at a country inn – and Frances learns her hero is actually the Viscount Sinclair.

This book sounds ridiculous and SO over-the-top and I need it in my life.

RECENT READ A Matter of Class was one of the best books I read in January and it was a completely unexpected pick! Do yourself a favor and don’t read reviews. Go into this novella totally blind – there’s a magnificent twist that I would hate to spoil!

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Pub. Date: February 21, 2017
Source: e-ARC via publisher (Thank you, Berkley books!)
Summary: Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her…

It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.

Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose…A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.

And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller

Last month I featured a week-long series on the blog where I highlighted upcoming novels I couldn’t wait to read. One day was dedicated to mystery and suspense novels and at the top of the list was Clare Mackintosh’s I See You. Hot on the heels of last year’s I Let You Go (or, at least here in the US – back in the UK it originally came out in 2014), I See You is another twisty ride with a premise that could easily have been ripped from the headlines.

Zoe is a creature of habit. Every morning she goes through the same routine, heading to the same platform to get on the subway, choosing to sit in a particular seat – her favorite. Naturally she doesn’t think anything of it and why should she? There are thousands of people who use the subway every day; why would she have to fear her routine has gone noticed?

It isn’t until she opens the paper one day that she realizes something isn’t quite right. There, in the classifieds, is an advertisement for a dating site – FindTheOne.com and while that’s not cause for alarm in itself, it’s the photo used that had Zoe do a double take. Right there, staring back at her, is a photo of herself. Her birthday isn’t for months, but one of her friends must be playing a prank, right? When she goes home and shows the photo to her partner and children, they insist that the grainy black-and-white picture does bear a resemblance, but with the woman’s back turned to the camera, it really could be anyone.

Still, Zoe isn’t convinced. Especially when each day the photo in the ad shows a different woman…women who turn out to be victims of violent crimes.

Right from the start I See You had me hooked. Zoe and her live-in (and much older) boyfriend are struggling to make ends meet. Her two grown children still live at home and are in no hurry to leave. Her boss’s moods vary wildly day-to-day, but she knows she has to take it all with a smile – she seriously cannot afford to lose her job. Zoe was entirely believable and relatable, particularly when she realized how much of her private life is easily accessible through social media sites like facebook.

Kelly, the other narrator in the novel, doesn’t have it any easier. After an altercation with an inmate left her with PTSD and a leave of absence, she’s back on the force, but in a severely demoted role. Determined to show her superiors she’s changed, that she takes full responsibility for what happened but is more than ready to return to her old job, Kelly just needs that one case that’ll change everything. Initially writing off Zoe’s concerns, Kelly soon notices a pattern between the photos and subsequent crimes and leaps at the chance to get to the bottom of it.

I know I’m being pretty vague, but I See You isn’t a book I want to spoil for anyone. As the story slowly revealed its secrets I couldn’t help but think of Law & Order – I can EASILY see this working as an episode! Several other reviewers have mentioned I See You doesn’t stand up to the success of Mackintosh’s debut, but I thought it was great! Admittedly, I haven’t read I Let You Go, so I have nothing to compare this one to, but I enjoyed it immensely.

Mackintosh doesn’t bring anything new to the genre with this book – it’s a British psychological thriller that starts out on a train, now where have I heard that before?? – but fans of quick-paced, intense reads will be sure to feel right at home here.

weekly wrap-up 2/19: the one that made me swoon.

Bay is a Valentine’s Day baby! Because it fell on a Tuesday, we didn’t do much (unlike the birthday party we had last year and how awesome was that doggy cake??), but there’s an amazing pet shop just minutes away from my new job and let’s just say she’s spoiled. Treats, toys, you name it, she got it.

• If you follow me on IG you might have noticed my new AMAZING dress. It’s modcloth’s Start Spreading the Mews dress and it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. The entire thing is covered in newspaper print – but the articles are all about cats. It’s hilarious and I got a ton of compliments when I wore it on Friday! SIZE DOWN THOUGH. I grabbed a small because it was on sale and couldn’t be returned and modcloth’s sizes are totally bonkers sometimes. It’s not overly big, but an XS would definitely fit better.

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? The only post that went up this week was the saturday six. Willy Wonka, bees, Mister Rogers!

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy
Fifteen-year-old Lucy discovers her father has been keeping a massive secret: he not only had an affair, but she now has an 8-year-old half-brother who lives in the same tiny town. Floored by the news, Lucy flees to Maine where her estranged grandfather lives. I don’t know much about this book – hadn’t even heard of it until it appeared at my door – but it looks interesting! Thank you, Algonquin!

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Callaway
Joy held a giveaway on instagram and Erin and I both won copies! The Bronx, 1891. Four artistic sisters. I love books about art AND when books take on real figures from history: there are appearances by Edith Wharton and Oscar Wilde! I’m positive I’ll enjoy this one immensely. Thank you, Joy!

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
Adam Sharp is just about to turn fifty. He’s happy being with Claire, he’s fantastic at the music trivia questions at their pub’s quiz night, and he has a fairly comfortable IT job. He likes his life, but he can’t help but wonder what it might have been. Over twenty years ago he had a passionate affair with an intelligent and ambitious actress only to let her walk away. When Angelina calls out of the blue, what does it mean? I’m all about lost love novels! Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I mentioned this one back in January when I discussed upcoming novels I couldn’t wait to read and I am ecstatic that I was able to grab a copy! What I said in that post: A classic film actress-now-reclusive Hollywood icon is ready to tell her life’s story. There’s only one reporter she wants to talk to though, and it’s unclear why Evelyn would choose Monique, but she’ll gladly take the opportunity to get her career back on track. I’m all about old school Hollywood and the scandalous truths behind the glitzy ballgowns and lavish parties – whether they’re real or fictional! It also sounds a little like June in terms of old Hollywood and I am SO there! Thank you, Atria!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Brigid introduced me to those Merrick boys and I will happily read anything she writes. In Letters to the Lost, a girl copes with her mother’s death by leaving letters at her grave. A boy serving his court-ordered community service at the cemetery comes across one of those letters and writes back. Before either one knows it, Juliet and Declan have formed a connection, writing letters back and forth, all the while unaware they know each other from school. Thank you, Bloomsbury!

If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide
This was a book I mentioned in the historical fiction edition of the upcoming novels I can’t wait to get my hands on posts. The publicist recently reached out to me and offered a copy – um yes please! The Nightingale meets Anna Karenina, guys. Julia is living a highly privileged life in England. She has a handsome husband, a young son, a housekeeper, and a very comfortable home. Everything changes when a film crew arrives in town…and she falls in love. Now penniless and cut off from her little boy, Julia is left to travel around war-torn London with her lover as the German invasion looms ever closer. Thank you, Penguin!

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
AND THERE WAS MUCH SHRIEKING AND FLAILING! Behind Closed doors was one of my FAVORITE books of 2016 and I really haven’t shut up about it since reading it. I highlighted The Breakdown in my mystery and suspense list and AAAAAHHHHHHH IT’S MIIIINE. Since the night Cass saw a car accident in the woods she hasn’t been the same. Though there wasn’t anything she could have done – there was a heavy storm, that particular stretch of road is extremely dangerous, the woman in the car was clearly dead – Cass can’t stop thinking about it and soon finds herself forgetting things. First it starts off with small details, forgetting her keys or where she parked the car, but who doesn’t do that? Soon, however, her memory lapses develop into something more: why has been been ordering baby supplies when she doesn’t have a child? Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!

There’s Something About Cornwall by Daisy James
As much as I love a good and twisty thriller, sometimes I just want a fluffy, easy read and There’s Something About Cornwall looks perfect: Emilie Roberts is a food photographer who just had her dream assignment (Venice) nabbed by her slimy ex. Instead, Emilie is sent to the Cornish coast. Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, disaster strikes. Emilie’s knight in shining armor may have come in the form of a surfing instructor and the fearsome steed is actually a bright old camper van, but could this be the start of a new fairy tale? Talk about fluff! Total brain candy right here and I can’t wait. Thank you, HQDigital!

House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick
Back in April, I mentioned this one in a GoodReads Recommends post and it basically is a check list of everything I love in a book: “for fans of Kate Morton,” a dual era timeline (1660s and the present day), FAMILY SECRETS! A man researching his family tree disappears suddenly and his sister begins a frantic search. In doing so she uncovers a 200-year-old diary of a courtesan who was living on their estate when it burnt to the ground. In uncovering the truth behind the centuries-old tragedy, will Holly also be able to learn the truth about what happened to her brother? Thank you, Graydon House!

the saturday six.

• Good Housekeeping shared a slideshow of the most romantic movie the year you were born. I love lists like this (bestselling book/highest grossing film/etc etc) and I got a ton of recommendations!

• On Cookie and Kate, 15 healthy comfort food recipes. Even though spring is just around the corner, nothing beats tucking into a meal that’s warm and cozy.

• Valentine’s Day is over, but Mister Rogers never goes out of style. Here are 10 of his quotes about love.

• !!!!! WILLY WONKA IS LOOKING FOR 5 NEW GOLDEN TICKET WINNERS

• Y’all know I love me some bee talk, but this news infuriated me: the Trump administration actively blocked federal protection for the rusty patched bumblebee. HOWEVER! a conservation group is suing.

14 television shows that broke ground with gay and transgender characters.

weekly wrap-up 2/12

• Hands down, the highlight of my week was board game night with my group of girls. So. Much. Fun.

• Continuing with the birthday celebrations from last week, my youngest sister turned 19 this week (!) and this coming Tuesday, Bay turns 3. ♥ My Valentine’s Day puppy.

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? Abby Fabiaschi’s debut I Liked My Life is one I definitely recommend! Maddy is a mother who seemingly had it all, only to commit suicide. Told in three voices (Maddy’s, her husband Brady’s, and their daughter Eve’s) the book follows a family in pieces as they try to make sense of what happened and why – and where to go from here. Don’t let the topic scare you, I Liked My Life is surprisingly lighthearted and I giggled SEVERAL times.

I shared my January 2017 recap. The books I read were either really fantastic or downright terrible. Not much middle ground!

This week’s the saturday six includes more smoothie recipes (beets!), The Crown talk, and a historic house that’s on the market for a mere $20 million.


 

No Easy Target by Iris Johansen
(okay, so I’m assuming it’s Target and not Prey) An enemy from her past sends Margaret on the run, only this time she’s determined to go from hunted to hunter. I really don’t know much more apart from that sentence, but I’m intrigued! Apparently Margaret is also a dog whisperer and a packet of dog biscuits were included! Bay loved them, btw! Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!

The Heartbeat of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
I mentioned this one last month in my series about books I need to get my hands on. This YA novel is about a girl who lives under her brother’s shadow. He’s the star football player, super popular, and totally handsome – but everything changes the night he drunkenly drives himself home after a party and ends up killing two people. Now Wing is paying the price for her brother’s actions. Tormented and bullied in school, her only solace is running the track at night. Thank you, Delacorte!

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
I was beyond impressed with last year’s The Star-Touched Queen and was delighted when the publicist reached out with a copy of the upcoming companion novel! Indian Mythology, guys. Thank you, St. Martin’s Griffin!

the saturday six.

Berry, beet, mint, lime, chia smoothie, y’all. Also, these beet chips are calling my name.

• Because Martha Stewart does it all, here’s her 2017 reading list. I’m loving how so many of the titles listed are older – backlist titles need love too! For some of my backlist recs, check out my posts on 5 backlist additions to my TBR pile, that time I shared some backlist bumps for recent reads, and when I couldn’t get enough and shared four MORE backlist bumps!

• Also bookish: Little Golden Books turned 75!

• Interesting! The science behind Little House on the Prairie.

• Matt and I marathoned The Crown in record time and I can’t wait for season two, especially since JFK and Jackie are going to be in it!

• Who wants to be roomies? Grey Gardens is for sale – for a steal at $20M!